January 23, 2012 at 10:34 pm EDT | 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

  • JCF


  • Tim

    would never happen under a Gingrich or Romney administration! Thank you First Lady!

  • Camille Hopkins

    “allegedly”? Oh please.

  • Stevie Brigode

    It’s little things like this that give us hope that our country is starting to lean toward true equality for all. I agree that the republicans wouldn’t let this happen. Three cheers for the Obamas. At least they have hearts, as well as intelligence. Thank you.

  • Betty Lark Ross

    Visibility is validation and acceptance. This sends a positive message and sadly the GLBT community still is in need of this to experience moments of equality. Thanks for all our first family is doing as they keep working towards full equality.

  • Sparky Jo

    Does anyone have a tally of the not-out lesbians that attended last night’s SOTU?

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