In one of its last acts of the current session, the U.S. Senate last week confirmed the nomination of long-time lesbian activist Chai R. Feldblum to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Feldblum was nominated to the 5-seat EEOC in November 2009 by President Barack Obama. A Senate committee voted in favor of Feldblum’s nomination in December 2009, but Republicans blocked a full-Senate vote from taking place, leading Obama to use a recess appointment to make her, temporarily, a Commissioner on March 27, 2010.
The temporary appointment would have expired at the end of 2011; Feldblum will now serve through July 2013.
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At the time of her recess appointment, Traditional Values Coalition called Feldblum a “radical” because of, among other things, she was the lead drafter of the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and opposed the Supreme Court ruling that allowed the Boy Scouts of America to exclude gays.
As legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union in the 1980s, Feldblum worked to secure legal protections for people with AIDS, and played a leading role in the drafting and negotiation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Prior to her appointment In March, Feldblum served as a professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center.
“Chai Feldblum has spent decades working to protect those most ignored and maligned by our society,” said Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “The civil rights of all Americans will be in good hands with Chai Feldblum’s continued service on the EEOC.”