Human Rights Campaign on the Historic Nomination of Pete Buttigieg to be Secretary of Transportation

by HRC Staff

Post submitted by Lucas Acosta (he/him), former Deputy Director of Communications, Politics

HRC responded to media reports of the historic nomination of Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation.

If officially nominated by President-elect Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Buttigieg will become the first openly LGBTQ, Senate-confirmed person to lead the department and hold a Cabinet-level position.

With the reported historic nomination of former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg as Secretary-designate of Transportation, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are keeping their promise, representing a significant step in creating an administration that reflects the diversity and life experiences of America.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg was open and honest about his identity throughout his time on the national scene, giving a voice to our community, and a new vision of who and how our leaders can love. His voice as a champion for the LGBTQ community in the Cabinet room will help President-elect Biden build back our nation better, stronger and more equal than before.

This is a historic moment for our community, though not the end of our advocacy. We have and will continue to engage with the Biden-Harris Transition team to ensure that LGBTQ people will be appointed at all levels of government and that those appointments will reflect the full diversity of our community, including and especially LGBTQ people of color and transgender and gender non-conforming people. It is absolutely critical that we as a community continue to uplift and empower the most marginalized among us to ensure the full tapestry of our voices are heard. We strongly urge speedy confirmation of Mayor Buttigieg’s nomination by the United States Senate so the Biden-Harris administration can hit the ground running and address the many crises facing our community and our nation.

Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign

In early 2019, Pete Buttigieg was the first openly gay candidate to run for a Democratic presidential nomination, where he became the first openly LGBTQ person of any party to earn a delegate and win a state caucus or pimary.

A longtime public servant, Pete Buttigieg has served as the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, since 2012. After coming out as gay in 2015, Buttigieg became the first openly LGBTQ executive in the state and the highest elected official in Indiana to come out. In late 2015, he was re-elected to his second term as mayor of South Bend with more than 80 percent of the vote. A champion of LGBTQ equality, Buttigieg helped lead the fight against then-Indiana governor Mike Pence’s efforts to license discrimination against LGBTQ Hoosiers in 2015. Buttigieg is an outspoken advocate of the Equality Act — critically important, bipartisan legislation that would finally provide clear protections against discrimination for LGBTQ people across the country.

HRC recently released the Blueprint for Positive Change 2020, an important brief that includes 85 individual policy recommendations, reaching across the federal government, aimed at bettering the daily lives of LGBTQ people at home and abroad. Recommendations include ensuring consistent administrative implementation of Bostock v. Clayton County across all agencies enforcing civil rights statutes and provisions and appointing openly-LGBTQ justices, judges, executive officials and ambassadors.

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