Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Biden picks first GAY in cabinet as Transport Sec

Former 2020 presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has made history as the first openly gay Cabinet member in U.S. history to be confirmed by the Senate.

At age 39, Buttigieg also represents another "first" as a millennial and the youngest person nominated to Biden's Cabinet.

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the country's first openly bisexual senator, was presiding over the Senate Tuesday and announced the 86-13 final vote.

As transportation secretary, Buttigieg has pledged to recognize how infrastructure has the power to bridge racial and economic disparities in America, as well as to keep in lockstep with Biden's agenda of fighting climate change and address systems reeling from plummeting ridership amid the coronavirus pandemic.

He will assume a department with 55,000 employees and a budget of tens of billions of dollars.

Buttigieg tweeted shortly after the confirmation vote that he's "honored and humbled" and "ready to get to work."

In a speech from Wilmington, Delaware, Buttigieg reflected on what the moment means for all LGBTQ Americans when Biden announced his nomination late last year.

"I can remember watching the news -- 17-years-old in Indiana, seeing a story about an appointee of President Clinton named to be an ambassador attacked and denied a vote in the Senate because he was gay -- ultimately able to serve only by a recess appointment," he said. "And I learned something about some of the limits that exist in this country when it comes to who is allowed to belong. But just as important, I saw how those limits could be challenged."

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