The people who serve in public office can make a real difference in our lives. Having officials in the executive branch and the judiciary that understand the concerns of LGBT Americans, and reflect the experience and diversity of our nation, is critical. President Obama has been busy filling key posts within the Administration on the Federal Judiciary.
Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance the nomination of Debo Adegbile to the full Senate. Mr. Agebile, who is nominated to the next Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights of the Department of Justice, brings a considerable wealth of experience in civil rights law to the position at a critical time when we continue to fight for the equal rights of all Americans, from prosecuting hate crime to protecting voting rights. Mr. Agebile is a strong supporter of LGBT rights, a skilled litigator, and an accomplished advocate. We urge the Senate to promptly vote to confirm him.
Yesterday, the President announced his intention to nominate Judge Darrin Gayles to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. An out, gay man, Judge Gayles sits on the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida in Miami, where he serves on its civil court. His colleague, Judge William Thomas, was nominated for the seat in 2012, but Senator Marco Rubio withdrew his support from the nominee earlier this year. If confirmed, Gayles would be the first openly gay black male Federal judge. HRC commends Judges Gayles and Thomas for their courage to live as out public servants, and looks forward to welcoming Judge Gayles to the Federal bench.
Finally, last week, the White House announced its intention to nominate Ann Dunkin to be head of the Office of Environmental Information in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The office is in charge of ensuring the quality of EPA's information, the efficiency and reliability of EPA's technology, and data collection, among other responsibilities. In addition to holding a number of positions at the Hewlett-Packard Company, Ms. Dunkin was also Director of Technology for the Palo Alto Unified School District. Ms. Dunkin is a seasoned IT professional and member of the LGBT community, and we look forward to supporting her nomination.