The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed
the nomination of Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary, making
him the first openly gay Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate.
Buttigieg's nomination cleared the
chamber with bipartisan support. Thirteen Republican senators voted
“no,” including Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.),
Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Tommy Tuberville
(R-Ala.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Marsha
Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), James
Lankford (R-Okla.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.).
Cruz, Blackburn and Scott had voted against advancing Buttigieg's
nomination in the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
Republicans who joined with united
Democrats in approving the nomination included Senators John Cornyn
of Texas, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, John
Kennedy of Louisiana, and Rob Portman of Ohio.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, applauded Buttigieg's historic
“Congratulations to Secretary Pete
Buttigieg on his historic confirmation,” HRC President Alphonso
David said in a statement. “This confirmation breaks through a
barrier that has existed for too long; where LGBTQ identity served as
an impediment to nomination or confirmation at the highest level of
government. Let this important moment for our movement serve as a
reminder to every LGBTQ young person: you too can serve your country
in any capacity you earn the qualifications to hold. President Biden
promised to deliver an administration representative of the diversity
of this nation, and this confirmation is a significant achievement
toward that goal. I look forward to working with Secretary Pete
Buttigieg and the entire Biden cabinet.”
Buttigieg, who served two terms as the
mayor of South Bend, Indiana, achieved another LGBT first when he won
delegates in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.
Buttigieg thanks husband Chasten in accepting Cabinet nomination.)