The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed on Thursday James Abbott to the Federal Labor Relations Authority, making him the second openly gay nominee confirmed during the Trump administration.
The uncontroversial nomination was confirmed by unanimous consent “en banc” as part of a group of three nominees to the Federal Labor Relations Authority, an independent U.S. agency charged with adjudicating concerns over collective bargaining agreements. Each of the nominees was confirmed to terms of five years.
Gregory Angelo, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, said Abbott “earned this post, pure and simple” based on his qualifications for the position.
“Log Cabin Republicans submitted a letter in support of James’ nomination, he has been a longtime member of our Washington, D.C. chapter, and I was personally in attendance at his hearing, so naturally this is something Log Cabin Republicans across the country are celebrating,” Angelo said.
According to his White House bio, Abbott prior to his confirmation was chief counsel to the Federal Labor Relations Authority since 2007. Before that time, Abbott was deputy general counsel for the Congressional Office of Compliance. Abbott received his law degree from Temple University and graduated magna cum laude from Malone University.
But Abbott isn’t the first openly gay nominee the U.S. Senate has confirmed during the Trump era. That distinction belongs to David Glawe, who was unanimously confirmed in August as under secretary for intelligence and analysis at the Department of Homeland Security.
Another pending openly gay Trump nominee isn’t likely to enjoy the same unanimous support. Richard Grenell, Trump’s pick as U.S. ambassador to Germany, is opposed by Senate Democrats over his history of sexist comments on Twitter. Grenell deleted those posts years ago and apologized for them.
Grenell’s nomination remains pending before the Senate. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) has said he won’t give up debate time to move forward with the nomination when Senate leadership brings it to the floor.
Despite these gay nominees, President Trump has faced criticism for the lack of diversity in his nominations. Chief among the complaints is the small percentage of women among the choices of U.S. attorneys. According to the Daily Beast, 95 percent of Trump U.S. attorney picks are men, as are 80 percent of his nominees at large.