Lesbian labor activist Mary Beth Maxwell is under serious consideration to be named Secretary of Labor by President-Elect Barack Obama.
For the rainbow cabinet of the nation's first African American president, Mary Beth Maxwell is the perfect labor secretary you've probably never heard of: a gay woman, community organizer and labor leader with an adopted African American son. And this founding executive director of American Rights at Work is about to get the full-court press.
Maxwell has won praise from leaders of the AFL-CIO and Change to Win. The Human Rights Campaign also sent a letter to President-Elect Obama strongly supporting Maxwell for the cabinet position. If appointed, she would be the first openly gay cabinet secretary.
A Zogby poll commissioned by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund last August showed that more than 70% of American said they would support an openly gay cabinet member. The Victory Fund and 10 other organizations launched the Presidential Appointments Project last year to serve as a talent bank for openly LGBT professionals seeking appointed positions in the next presidential administration.