New England's Bay Windows reports that one of the key Latino LGBT community leaders in the United States has been appointed as the legislative assistant to openly gay Democratic Congressman Barney Frank ("Mr. Sanchez goes to Washington", Dec . 17, 2008).
Diego Sanchez (right), the director of public relations and external affairs for the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, will be leaving his long-time post as a community health advocate in Boston and begin his new job in early January. He becomes the first openly transgender person to have ever been appointed as a legislative staff member and will serve as the Congressman’s point person on LGBT rights.
Congressman Frank has come under fire from transgender activists in the past, particularly those who felt that he was too quick to drop language that would have extended protections for transgender individuals in the long-gestering, never passed federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and Sanchez will undoubtedly be getting some flack from those who might feel he has sold out.
The appointment seems to explain comments from Congressman Frank made at the Victory Fund luncheon that I attended on December 6th in DC as part of an LGBT bloggers gathering. It was as close as I have heard him say that the next push for ENDA might include a push for transgender protections.
I wish Diego the best in his new post and extend warm congratulations for being appointed to the Congressman's staff.
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