Openly lesbian Georgetown University Law Professor Chai Feldblum is among the 15 administration nominees appointed Saturday by President Barack Obama in his first recess appointments since taking office. Feldblum has been appointed to be a commissioner on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

A key Senate committee voted in favor of Feldblum's nomination in December, four months after being nominated by Obama, but Republicans have since blocked a full Senate vote.

In making the announcement, Obama said he was bypassing the Senate, which is responsible for approving hundreds of nominations, because of Republican obstruction.

“If, in the interest of scoring political points, Republicans in the Senate refuse to exercise that responsibility, I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis,” Obama said in a statement. “Most of the men and women whose appointments I am announcing today were approved by Senate committees months ago, yet still await a vote of the Senate.”

“I simply cannot allow partisan politics to stand in the way of the basic functioning of government,” he added.

The White House said Obama's 217 nominees pending before the Senate have waited an average of 101 days. The 15 nominees, the White House said, have been pending for an average of 7 months.

Feldblum is considered a national scholar on transgender rights, disability issues and the gay rights movement.

In January, Denis Dison, vice president of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a group that promotes openly gay elected officials, told On Top Magazine that the Obama administration is on track to setting a new record on appointing openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender officials.

“Obama has appointed about 100 openly LGBT staff to the executive branch in his first year in office,” Dison said in an email. “[President] Clinton appointed about 140 over 8 years.”

“Obama is certainly on track to set a record in this regard,” he added.

Dison cheered Feldblum's appointment in an email: “We're very happy she will finally be able to serve on the EEOC, and proud that she is the first openly LGBT EEOC commissioner. Few people are as qualified for this job as Chai Feldblum.”

Social conservatives, however, have decried the appointment, labeling Feldblum a “radical.”