January 23, 2012 | by Chris Johnson
Lesbian invitees to sit with first lady during SOTU

Two lesbians who had captivating stories in 2011 will be among the invitees to sit with the first lady in her box during the State of the Union address on Tuesday, the Washington Blade has learned.

Lorelei Kilker, a 31-year-old analytical chemist from Brighton, Colo., received monetary relief as a result of the Obama administration’s investigation into gender-based discrimination she allegedly faced at her former workplace.

Kilker was among a class of women benefiting from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s investigation of alleged sex discrimination at her former employer, the Western Sugar Cooperative.

In October, those who were involved in the case received an award of $550,000, which was achieved through a cooperative process between the employer and EEOC.

The other invitee is Air Force Col. Ginger Wallace, who’s 43 and lives in McLean, Va. She’s currently training to deploy to Afghanistan in the spring through the Afghanistan-Pakistan Hands program.

The Washington Blade reported in December on Wallace’s partner Kathy Knopf participating in her “pinning-on” promotion ceremony, the first reported instance of such an event happening with a same-sex partner since the lifting of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

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

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