August 23, 2010 | by Chris Johnson
Obama makes recess appointment for gay nominee

President Obama last week made a recess appointment for a gay presidential nominee awaiting confirmation for a high-level position at the Department of Health & Human Services.

The president appointed Richard Sorian as assistant secretary of public affairs for the Department of Health & Human Services along with three other nominees. The recess appointment enables these appointees to take their positions in the Obama administration without having to go through Senate confirmation.

At a time when our nation faces so many pressing challenges, I urge members of the Senate to stop playing politics with our highly qualified nominees, and fulfill their responsibilities of advice and consent,” Obama said in a statement. “Until they do, I reserve the right to act within my authority to do what is best for the American people.”

Sorian was among three openly gay presidential nominees awaiting Senate confirmation to their positions. The other openly gay nominees who have yet to receive confirmation are Michael Camunez, who was nominated to become assistant secretary of commerce for market access and compliance, and Beatrice Hanson, who was nominated to become director of the Justice Department’s Office of Victims of Crime.

Prior to his presidential appointment, Sorian was vice president for public policy and external relations for the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Before working for NCQA, Sorian was director of public affairs for the Center for Studying Health System Change and a project director at the Georgetown University Institute for Health Care Research and Policy.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

1 Comment
  • Its bad for the country when the republican party has become the party of intolerance and yes hatred.

    this all comes from their base. When Pr. Johnson signed the civil rights law in 1964, which was supported by republicans, he said “I’m giving the south to the republicans for a hundred years.

    And he was right. Old prejudices don’t go away when they are supported by religions bereft of any value, which have to use hatred to sell their love of God.

    NO wonder we see the republicans foaming at the mouth at Pr. obama, as they try to destroy the presidency of the first Black President – to feed the evil of their base – the south and the even more extreme tea party.

    And the gays are just another victim group for the republicans to demonize

    The scene reminds me of some movies I’ve seen from the early thirties – of a madman who gave the world 55 million deaths, the HOlocaust of the Jews and Germany’s gays and other hated groups eg slavs, gypsies etc/

    And guess what – the leaders of the demonization of the gays are the same church that gave the world the hatred of the Jews which that man leveraged to power.

    And he is still UNwxcommunicated.

    And why haan’t the church of “life” excommunicated hitler – because to do that, they would be admitting their own guilt for hitlers madness, and the death of 55 million human beings in history’s worst ever conflagration.

    And they talk about supporting life – their smokescreen to hide the worst of humanities crimes.

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