Story at a glance
- President-elect Biden tapped Pete Buttigieg for the role as his transportation secretary.
- LGBTQ+ advocates say this nomination is “a historic milestone.”
Earlier today, sources confirmed that President-elect Joe Biden would nominate former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg to serve as his transportation secretary.
This would make the former Indiana mayor the among the first openly LGTBQ+ people nominated to a Cabinet-level position, and, if confirmed, the first openly LGTBQ+ Cabinet secretary to be approved by the Senate.
Richard Grenell was the first openly LGBTQ+ cabinet secretary, but the Senate did not officially confirm his position as he was named acting director of national intelligence.
Buttigieg is a likely candidate for the post, with much of his campaign platform resting on his plans to improve U.S. infrastructure, specifically focusing on Internet access.
As transportation secretary, Buttigieg would be responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of U.S. transportation legislation and policy, with regard to national security and safety of transportation systems.
Advocates within the LGBTQ+ community see his nomination as a broader instance of representation for a historically marginalized population.
Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), tweeted her support for Buttigieg, calling his nomination “a historic milestone for LGBTQ visibility.”
Mayor Pete Buttigieg would be the first Senate-confirmed LGBTQ Cabinet secretary should his nomination make it through the chamber. This will be a historic milestone for LGBTQ visibility. https://t.co/S6buJ4Rl47
— Sarah Kate Ellis (@sarahkateellis) December 15, 2020
“Pete’s experience and skills as a leader, manager and brilliant communicator, combined with his heartland roots and his unqualified commitment to diversity and equality, will improve the lives of all Americans as Transportation Secretary,” Ellis added.
Biden tapping Buttigieg for the transportation secretary job furthers his Cabinet’s inclusivity. He has already nominated Karine Jean-Pierre, Pili Tobar and Carlos Elizondo, to work as his deputy press secretary, deputy White House communications director, and White House social secretary, respectively.
All are open members of the LGBTQ+ community.