US President-elect Joe Biden will nominate out former Democratic Presidential contender Pete Buttigieg to transportation secretary in his administration.
Buttigieg was the first openly gay presidential candidate to gain traction in the Democratic primaries.
The former Indiana mayor and Iraq war veteran eventually won the Iowa Caucus vote. He was the first openly queer person to win a major party primary.
Now Buttigieg will be the first Senate-confirmed LGBTIQ Cabinet secretary should his nomination make it through the chamber.
“Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a patriot and a problem-solver who speaks to the best of who we are as a nation,” Joe Biden said.
“I am nominating him because this position stands at the nexus of so many of the interlocking challenges and opportunities ahead of us.
“Jobs, infrastructure, equity, and climate all come together at the Department of Transportation.
“I trust Mayor Pete to lead this work with focus, decency, and a bold vision. He will bring people together to get big things done.”
Buttigieg said the role is “a tremendous opportunity to create jobs, meet the climate challenge, and enhance equity for all.”
“I’m honoured that the President-elect has asked me to serve our nation as Secretary of Transportation,” he said.
.@PeteButtigieg on being the first openly LGBTQ Cabinet nominee:
"The eyes of history are on this appointment … I can't help but think of a 17 year old somewhere who might be watching us right now, somebody who wonders whether and where they belong." pic.twitter.com/Mke0jD1VEI
— DJ Koessler (@DJKoessler) December 16, 2020
Pete Buttigieg appointment a big step for LGBTIQ community
US LGBTIQ organisations celebrated Pete Buttigieg’s appointment.
Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso David said it’s “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,” David said.
“[He gave] 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 to ensure that LGBTQ people will be appointed at all levels of government.
“Those appointments [should] reflect the full diversity of our community, including and especially LGBTQ people of color and transgender and gender non-conforming people.”
US President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated on January 20.