Gay Rights Lawyer Selected for an Ambassadorship
By Michael D. Shear
President Obama has named a noted gay activist to be his ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, marking only the second time that an openly gay person has been selected for a top foreign posting.
David Huebner, an attorney who has served for more than a decade as the chief lawyer for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, will head oversees pending Senate confirmation.
"We congratulate David and know he will bring the determination and expertise that he has brought to his work at GLAAD to this new post," said GLAAD President and former Massachusetts state senator Jarrett T. Barrios.
The first openly gay ambassadorial nominee was James Hormel, who was considered to represent America in Fiji by President Bill Clinton but ran into conservative opposition. Hormel ultimately became ambassador to Luxembourg through a recess appointment.
If confirmed, Huebner will join an administration that already has several other high-profile gay members. John Berry, the director of the Office of Personnel Management, is the government's highest-ranking gay official.
Posted at 2:07 PM ET on Oct 8, 2009
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