Lesbian Considered for Secretary of Labor
by Quinn Wonderling
December 4, 2008
photo by istockphoto.com

Mary Beth Maxwell, founding executive director of American Rights at Work, could become America's first out cabinet member, if president-elect Obama nominates her for the position of Labor Secretary.

On a short list of candidates, Maxwell supports legislation that allows unionization with the signing of cards as opposed to secret ballots. American Rights at Work is a national advocacy organization seeking to reform and modernize America's labor laws. Before helping establish the organization five years ago, Maxwell was a national field director at Jobs With Justice and the deputy field director of NARAL Pro-Choice America, a political action organization that seeks to expand access to abortion.

According to the Wall Street Journal, HRC president Joe Solmonese wrote to Obama, saying, "It has come to our attention that Mary Beth Maxwell is...being considered for this crucial position. Given Ms. Maxwell's long history of leadership on labor issues, HRC is pleased to...endorse Mary Beth Maxwell for secretary of labor."

Decisions on remaining cabinet positions are expected to be made soon. Obama, who named gay rights supporter Hilary Clinton as his Secretary of State on Monday, commented, "I think people are going to say, this is one of the most diverse Cabinets and White House staffs of all time."

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