Sanchez becomes first openly transgender person to serve on Capitol Hill
WASHINGTON -- The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights group, today praised Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), Chairman, House Financial Services Committee, for naming transgender rights advocate and HRC Business Council member Diego Miguel Sanchez, APR, as his Legislative Assistant for LGBT, Healthcare, Labor, Veterans and Census issues. Sanchez assumes the post, based in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2009, becoming the first openly transgender person to work on Capitol Hill.
"We congratulate Diego Sanchez on his new position and applaud Representative Barney Frank for this ground-breaking step forward for our entire community," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Diego's long-standing commitment to equality and years of professional experience both in corporate America and in non-profit advocacy will serve him well."
"The appointment of Diego to this critical staff position is another defining moment in progression of full acknowledgement of LGBT workers," said Meghan Stabler, national transgender activist and fellow HRC Business Council member, "Diego dedicates his community involvement to social justice and his corporate and non-profit experience will help in many important policy arenas beyond advancing legislation for transgender employment inclusiveness. I am proud to have Diego not just as a business colleague but also a close friend and congratulate him on this appointment."
Until his appointment Sanchez served as Director of Public Relations & External Affairs for AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, New England's first and largest AIDS organization, and AIDS Action Council in Washington, DC. He directed media relations for the National AIDS Strategy Coalition, which successfully urged President-elect Barack Obama to support the design and implementation of a national AIDS strategy for the United States.
Earlier this year, Sanchez became the first transgender person appointed to a standing committee of the national Democratic party, the DNC Platform Committee. As a member of the Platform Committee, he successfully worked to include support for a national AIDS strategy, federal employment protections based on both gender identity and sexual orientation, and affirmation of same-sex couples as families. He was also appointed to the positions of Party Leader and At-Large Delegate to the 2008 Convention in Denver. Sanchez served on President-elect Barack Obama's LGBT Policy Advisory Committee and Transgender Policy Sub-Committee and previously was a national LGBT advisor for Senator Hillary Clinton's Presidential Campaign. In July 2008, he testified before Congress as one of three transgender witnesses on the issue of employment discrimination faced by the transgender community.
Sanchez is a member of the Human Rights Campaign Business Council and Diversity Co-Chair of its Boston Steering Committee, founding Board member of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and SomosLatinos LGBT, first Co-Chair of Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) and on the Board of Boston's Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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