President-Elect Barack Obama is set to make two more steps that show his commitment to including LGBT Americans in his vision for our country.
Obama is expected to announce that he has chosen Nancy Sutley as his pick to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Sutley is a deputy mayor of Los Angeles. She is the first openly gay person to be appointed to a prominent position in the Obama administration.
Sutley, who currently serves as deputy mayor of energy and the environment, will be named chairwoman of the Council of Environmental Quality, which helps develop environmental policy and advises the White House on such matters.
After the jump, Obama invites gay band to march in Inaugural Parade.
In addition to Sutley being named to a key White House post, the Presidential Inaugural Committee has announced that it has invited the Lesbian and Gay Band Association to perform during the Inaugural Parade. This is the first time in U.S. history that a LGBT group has been invited to perform for an Inaugural parade.
Below is the email announcement sent out by the committee:
PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURAL COMMITTEE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Shin Inouye
December 10, 2008 (202) 203-1700
For First Time, Presidential Inaugural Committee Invites LGBT Group to Perform in 56th Inaugural Parade
Talent From Across America To March In Parade From Capitol To White House
WASHINGTON - Today, in keeping with its commitment to hold inaugural events that celebrate our common values and reflects the diversity and history of our great nation, President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden's Inaugural Committee officially extended an offer to the Lesbian and Gay Band Association to march in the 56th Inaugural Parade. Members of that group will join representatives from across the country and our Armed Forces in the historic parade down Pennsylvania Avenue following President-elect Obama's swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the Capitol.
This marks the first time that an openly LGBT group has been invited to participate in an Inaugural Parade.
"I am honored to invite these talented groups and individuals to participate in the Inaugural Parade," said President-elect Obama. "These organizations embody the best of our nation's history, diversity and commitment to service. Vice President-elect Biden and I are proud to have them join us in the parade."
Organizations wishing to participate in the parade submitted an application to the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee (AFIC), which then assisted the Presidential Inaugural Committee in reviewing all of the groups' applications. All told, 1,382 organizations applied to participate, setting a new standard for interest in marching in the parade.
The Lesbian and Gay Band Association is a musical organization comprised of concert and marching bands from cities across America that provides a network of lesbian and gay bands.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee was assisted in its selection process by a group of experienced military musicians, who utilized their expertise to help assess the presentation skills of marching bands, musical acts and drill teams.
All participants in the Inaugural Parade are responsible for paying for their own lodging and transportation to and from Washington, D.C. The Committee has been working closely with area governments and civic organizations to facilitate access to affordable accommodations and would like to encourage citizens from across the country to reach out and help the Lesbian and Gay Band Association raise the necessary resources to participate in this historic event.
If you are interested in finding out more about supporting the Lesbian and Gay Band Association and their participation in the 56th Inaugural Parade, please visit www.gaybands.org.
Regularly updated information will be provided to the public and the media on our website, www.pic2009.org.