The White House announced Monday that it will nominate Chai Feldblum, LGBT rights scholar and advocate, to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Chai is a Georgetown Law Professor, former law clerk to former Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, a primary mover behind passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and a longtime advocate for people with disabilities. She is also the partner of Bilerico contributor Nan Hunter.
Chai is the first openly gay or lesbian person appointed to the EEOC, which issues regulations implementing anti-discrimination laws (including ENDA when it passes!) and which authorizes test case litigation under anti-discrimination laws. If confirmed, she will serve a five year term.
Bilerico readers who remember the early Clinton years may remember the Senate confirmation battle over Roberta Achtenberg, nominated to be Assistant Secretary of HUD. She was confirmed, but not before Jesse Helms referred to her as that "damn lesbian." Achtenberg was the former executive director of the Lesbian Rights Project/National Center for Lesbian Rights. So she wasn't just a lesbian, she was an activist.
Jesse Helms is long gone, but the Alliance Defense Fund already has set its sights on Feldblum.