Pete Buttigieg becomes 1st American LGBTQ cabinet member


Pete Buttigieg – the first LGBTQ American confirmed to a cabinet-level post (Pic: Gage Skidmore)

In a historic moment, the US Senate has confirmed the proudly gay Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary, making him the first LGBTQ American to hold a Senate-confirmed cabinet position.

The 39-year-old Buttigieg, who ran for president before dropping out of the race in March last year, was confirmed by senators in an overwhelming 86-13 vote on Tuesday.

He will be responsible for transportation in President Joe Biden’s cabinet and will oversee the US Department of Transportation, which is comprised of over 55,000 employees and thirteen agencies.

“I’m honored and humbled by today’s vote in the Senate — and ready to get to work,” said Buttigieg in a tweet.

A former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Buttigieg broke new ground as an openly gay presidential candidate and had no reservations about sharing the stage with husband Chasten Glezman. During his recent Senate confirmation hearing, Buttigieg made a point of highlighting his spouse to the senators and the nation.

“I also want to take a moment to introduce my husband, Chasten Buttigieg, who is here with me today,” he said. “I’m proud to have him by my side, and I want to thank him for his many sacrifices and his support in making it possible for me to pursue public service.”

Buttigieg has pledged to improve America’s ageing infrastructure, including roads and bridges, and to do so in an environmentally responsible way.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest LGBTQ rights groups, congratulated Buttigieg on his landmark confirmation.

“This confirmation breaks through a barrier that has existed for too long; where LGBTQ identity served as an impediment to nomination or confirmation at the highest level of government,” said HRC President Alphonso David.

“Let this important moment for our movement serve as a reminder to every LGBTQ young person: you too can serve your country in any capacity you earn the qualifications to hold. President Biden promised to deliver an administration representative of the diversity of this nation, and this confirmation is a significant achievement toward that goal,” David added.

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