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FBI nominee urged court to strike down Prop 8

Comey among 131 Republicans who signed brief against marriage ban



James Comey, gay news, Washington Blade
James Comey, gay news, Washington Blade

The expected nominee for FBI director James Comey signed a brief against Prop 8. (Photo public domain)

President Obama’s expected nominee as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation was among the 131 Republicans who signed a legal brief asking the Supreme Court to strike down California’s Proposition 8.

Jim Comey, who served as deputy attorney general during the Bush administration, signed the brief that was delivered to the court in February.

Other names on the brief included Republican notables such as gay former Republican National Committee Chair Ken Mehlman, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. and former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.

Obama is expected to announce the nomination on Friday. Before becoming deputy attorney general, Comey, 52, served for 15 years as a federal prosecutor, including several years as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Additionally, he’s served as a member of the Defense Legal Policy Board, a group charged with advising the defense secretary on major defense policy issues.

Gregory Angelo, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans, said Comey’s nomination and support for marriage equality demonstrates Republicans can advance while supporting LGBT rights.

“No one should be defined by a single position — especially not the director of the FBI, but clearly Comey’s nomination shows that support for civil marriage for same-sex couples isn’t the career killer ‘so-cons’ say it is,” Angelo said. “It’s also nice to see President Obama looking to yet another Bush administration alum to lead on national security.”

According to the Washington Post, Comey left the Justice Department in 2005 and served as vice president and senior counsel at the defense contractor Lockheed Martin. He has worked at Bridgewater Associates, a Connecticut-based hedge fund, and now teaches national security law at Columbia University.

Fred Sainz, vice president of communications at the Human Rights Campaign, spoke highly of Comey and said his nomination represents a change from when the FBI kicked out employees for being gay 60 years ago:

Six decades after J. Edgar Hoover created a “Sex Deviate” program to investigate, red-flag and target gay and lesbian federal employees, today’s nominee for FBI Director not only supports marriage equality, but he’s a Republican to boot. Comey signed onto the groundbreaking GOP amicus brief filed in the Prop 8 case earlier this year.

Not only that, but the FBI he inherits will, next year, begin releasing hate crimes data that, for the very first time, include both sexual orientation and gender identity-based crimes (sexual orientation-only data has been kept since the 1990s). Following the rash of hate-motivated violence and even murder in New York City, this data will only improve the investigation and prosecution of these despicable crimes.

Clearly this is not your grandfather’s FBI. And we can all be glad for that.

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  1. Rick Mangus

    June 23, 2013 at 1:09 am

    James Comey should worry about running the FBI and criminals and stay away from pandering.

    • Billy

      June 23, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      In fact no public official other than Rick Mangus should EVER be allowed to express his opinion, especially if it differs from the opinion of Rick Mangus.

  2. Angela Diniz

    June 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    ahuaauhauahuaauhauahuah kkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

    60 anos depois que o FBI expulsou um funcionario por ser gay , hoje o big boss é gay nomeado pelo Presidente Obama para acabar deve com a frescura contra os gay!

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Out for America; nearly 1,000 elected LGBTQ+ officials but more needed

Lack of representation has consequences, as LGBTQ elected officials are best positioned to defend against anti-LGBTQ legislative attacks



Victory Institute Out for America report cover Image of Delaware State Senator Sarah McBride (D First District) being sworn in to office

WASHINGTON – In its annual report the Washington D.C. based LGBTQ Victory Institute noted that there had been an increase of 17 percent in the past year of LGBTQ Americans serving as elected officials. According to the data in the Out for America 2021 report released this past week, there are 986 known out LGBTQ elected officials in the United States.

The Victory Institute reported that total included two U.S. senators, nine U.S. representatives, two governors, 189 state legislators, 56 mayors and six statewide executives. While this is considered a large increase, LGBTQ people hold just 0.19 percent of elected positions in the United States, despite making up at least 5.6 percent of the U.S. adult population.

Americans must elect 28,116 more LGBTQ people to public office for LGBTQ people to achieve equitable representation (serving in 5.6 percent of elected positions) the report went on to note.


The report found that in the past year (between June 2020 and June 2021):

  • LGBTQ elected officials of color increased by 51 percent, with Black LGBTQ elected officials growing at the fastest pace (a 75 percent increase);
  • Trans women elected officials increased by 71 percent (from 21 to 36), yet trans men saw no increase (with just five serving nationwide);
  • Queer-identified elected officials increased by 83 percent, faster than all other sexual orientations; and
  • LGBQ cisgender women state legislators surpassed the number of GBQ cisgender men state legislators for the first time.

The report also found that:

  • LGBTQ elected officials are significantly more racially and ethnically diverse than the overall elected official population, but are less diverse than the U.S. population;
  • Mississippi is the only state in the nation with zero known out LGBTQ elected officials serving;
  • 23 states have transgender elected officials serving and 29 states have non-cisgender elected officials;
  • LGBTQ people are equitably represented among mayors of top 100 cities for the first time (with six), but are underrepresented among mayors overall and in all other public positions; and that
  • 84 percent of LGBTQ elected officials are Democrats and just three percent are Republicans.

In an emailed statement, former Houston, Texas Mayor Annise Parker, who currently serves as the President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute reflected, “While LGBTQ elected officials are growing steadily in number, at this pace it will still take decades to come anywhere close to achieving equitable representation in government.” 

Parker went on to note, “This lack of representation has enormous consequences, because LGBTQ elected officials are best positioned to defend against anti-LGBTQ legislative attacks and to change the hearts and minds of colleagues in supporting inclusive policies. A moonshot effort to increase our numbers is essential to advancing equality at every level of government – and a large part of that is showing LGBTQ people that running for office is our best bet to achieve lasting social change.”

In addition to changes in representation over the last year, the report also looks at trends since the first Out for America report was released in November 2017. In that time, LGBTQ elected officials increased by 121 percent (from 448 to 986) overall, and LGBTQ elected officials of color increased by 201 percent (from 92 to 277). 

Since November 2017, there is a 296 percent increase in Black LGBTQ elected officials (from 23 to 91), 135 percent increase in Latinx LGBTQ elected officials (from 51 to 120) and a 117 percent increase in Asian American and Pacific Islander elected officials (from 12 to 26). Trans women increased by 800 percent (from four to 36) and bisexual elected officials by 787 percent (from eight to 71).

“LGBTQ elected officials are significantly more diverse than the overall elected official population – so their impact extends beyond LGBTQ equality alone,” said Ruben Gonzales, Executive Director of LGBTQ Victory Institute. “LGBTQ elected officials are on the frontlines in legislative efforts to end police brutality, defend voting rights and secure inclusive healthcare reform. LGBTQ people are represented in every community in America and that diversity allows for more thoughtful policy changes when we are in office.”

The Out for America report is an annual analysis of LGBTQ elected representation in government based on Victory Institute’s LGBTQ elected officials database – the largest and most comprehensive listing available. The interactive Out for America map, updated daily, displays all known LGBTQ elected officials and is available at

Read the full Out for America 2021 report at

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Biden to nominate LGBTQ synagogue rabbi to religious freedom commission

Sharon Kleinbaum joined NYC’s Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in 1992



Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

President Biden on Friday announced he plans to nominate the chief rabbi of an LGBTQ synagogue in New York City to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum joined Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in 1992.

“She was installed as CBST’s first rabbi in 1992, arriving at the height of the AIDS crisis when the synagogue was in desperate need of pastoral care and spiritual leadership,” reads a bio that announced Biden’s intention to nominate Kleinbaum to the commission. “She guided the congregation through a period of loss and change, while addressing social issues and building a strong and deeply spiritual community. Under her leadership as senior rabbi, CBST has become a powerful voice in the movement for equality and justice for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.”

Kleinbaum is married to American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.

The commission seeks to defend religious freedom in the U.S. and around the world. The president and Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress nominate members.

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Bill would require universities to apply for Title IX religious exemption waiver

Measure seeks to highlight anti-LGBTQ higher education institutions



Four members of Congress on Thursday introduced a bill that would require federally-funded universities to apply for a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education before they can receive a religious exemption from Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

A press release that U.S. Reps. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), Chris Pappas (D-N.H.), Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) and Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) issued notes the Exposing Discrimination in Higher Education Act would also require “the Department of Education and the exempted higher education institutions to prominently display the waiver on their websites in order to inform students of their beliefs before arriving on campus.”

The members of Congress note “several higher education institutions across the U.S.” beginning in 2013 “applied for religious exemptions with the Department of Education that would allow them to discriminate against LGBTQ students on campus.” The Department of Education during the previous White House sought to revoke the waiver application requirement.

“These exemptions allow students to be removed from extracurricular organizations, leadership posts, sports teams, and even be expelled simply for being members of the LGBTQ community,” reads the press release.

The previous White House rescinded guidance to public schools that said Title IX requires them to allow transgender students to use restrooms based on their gender identity. The Biden administration last month said Title IX bans discrimination against LGBTQ students.

“Every student deserves to attend a college where their entire identity is accepted and celebrated,” said Clark. “Without transparency about a school’s beliefs, students may arrive on campus only to learn that their school has policies in place that infringe on their civil rights. I’m proud to introduce the Exposing Discrimination in Higher Education Act to ensure that students can apply to college with all the information necessary to set them up for success.”

Davids added “every student deserves an educational experience free from discrimination and harassment.”

“At the moment, we are letting down our LGBTQ+ community on college campuses, as more taxpayer-funded universities quietly skirt around civil rights law,” said the Kansas Democrat. “By reinstating the waiver requirement for universities who seek exemption from anti-discrimination protections, we are not only protecting LGBTQ+ students from unfair treatment, but we are reminding them that their experience is visible and valuable.”

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