Openly gay Richard Sorian is among the
four administration nominees appointed Thursday by President Barack
Obama in his latest recess appointments.
In making the announcement, Obama said
he was bypassing the Senate, which is responsible for approving
hundreds of nominations, because of Republican obstruction.
“At a time when our nation faces so
many pressing challenges, I urge members of the Senate to stop paying
politics with our highly qualified nominees, and fulfill their
responsibilities of advice and consent,” Obama said. “Until they
do, I reserve the right to act within my authority to do what is best
for the American people.”
The administration said the four
nominees had waited an average of 303 days for Senate confirmation.
Obama nominated Sorian to serve as
assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health
and Human Services in October. Sorian currently serves the HHS in a
senior advisory capacity. He is expected to focus on health care
reform and HIV/AIDS policies.
In June, the White House announced that
Obama has appointed more openly gay staffers than the administrations
of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton combined.
Appointments Project, a community driven effort coordinated by
the Gay &
Lesbian Victory Fund, was responsible for bringing many of the
appointments, including Sorian, to the attention of administration