In what LGBT activists considered an historic development, Mayor Vincent Gray on July 11 administered the oath of office to transgender advocates Earline Budd and Alexandra Beninda as members of the D.C. Commission on Human Rights.
Gray nominated the two for the post and the D.C. City Council confirmed the nominations earlier in the year.
The appointments represent the first time a transgender person has been named to the city’s Commission on Human Rights, which acts as an adjudicatory body that enforces the city’s Human Rights Act. The act, among other things, bans discrimination in employment, housing, education and public accommodations based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, religion and ethnicity.
“I’m very pleased and I’m looking forward to the challenge and I’m always honored to be a representative of my community,” Budd said after the swearing in ceremony. “I’m going to do the best I can in this position and make sure that discrimination ends.”
Beninda said she was looking forward to joining Budd on the commission
“I’m definitely very excited about getting started,” she said. “I look forward, myself and Earline, to be able to represent our LGBT community overall and especially our transgender community in terms of making sure our voices are heard.”