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Michelle Obama Visits, John Berry Sworn In at OPM

By Ed O'Keefe
Making her ninth visit to a federal agency, first lady Michelle Obama lent her star wattage today to the ceremonial swearing in ceremony for Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry.

Berry, the most senior gay person in the Obama administration, noted the historical significance of his ascension by inviting Dr. Franklin E. Kameny to attend the event. The military veteran turned civil rights activist was fired by the Army in 1957 because of his homosexuality, a personnel move that was legal and official government policy at the time, Berry said.

Today, "It is the president's and my opinion, that employees should only be judged by their ability to do the job and their performance while on the job and not by any other irrelevant factors," Berry said. "In no small part, Dr. Kameny's work and other leaders like him made it possible for me and other leaders like him to stand here today."

Obama later echoed Berry's remarks, telling the 300 assembled employees and guests at OPM headquarters that "Our nation is best served when the principles of excellence and diversity guide the federal government's hiring processes. It all starts there."

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Posted at 4:35 PM ET on Apr 23, 2009  | Category:  Cast of Characters
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Wonderful that it is possible for a gay person to be appointed to such a position. Maybe some day there will be full equality for the gay community.

Posted by: dpflum | April 23, 2009 9:22 PM

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