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Out Lesbian Chai Feldblum Appointed to EEOC

Out Lesbian Chai Feldblum Appointed to EEOC

President Barack Obama appointed lesbian law professor Chai Feldblum to a position on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Feldblum was key in the drafting and negotiations over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Should ENDA pass, a position on the EEOC puts Feldblum in position to be one of five commissioners to develop regulations for its implementation.

President Barack Obama on Saturday appointed lesbian law professor Chai Feldblum to a position on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to the Advocate.

Feldblum was key in the drafting and negotiations over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). She and three others were appointed using a constitutional provision known as a recess appointment.

Should ENDA pass, a position on the EEOC puts Feldblum in position to be one of five commissioners to develop regulations for its implementation.

Although a Senate committee had approved Feldblum in December, one Senate Republican put their confirmation vote on unspecified hold. Any senator can put any nominee on indefinite hold for a period of time without identifying him or herself.

"The United States Senate has the responsibility to approve or disprove my nominees," Obama said in a statement. "But if, in the interest of scoring political points, Republicans in the Senate refuse to exercise that responsibility, I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis."  

The nominees, who are expected to begin work next week, will be able to serve without Senate confirmation until the end of 2011.

Serving for a time as legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union in D.C., Feldblum also served for a year as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun.

Feldblum is currently a professor of law at Georgetown University and serves as co-director of the university's Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic.

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