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January 15, 2010
Right wing goes crazy over Obama’s TG appointee
Washington, D.C.--President Barack Obama’s administration quietly appointed a transgender woman to an obscure post in the Department of Commerce at the end of December.
Amanda Simpson, a former test pilot, is now a senior technical adviser with the Bureau of Industry and Security in the Commerce Department.
Simpson is Obama’s first openly transgender appointee, and one of the few transgendered federal appointees overall.
But perhaps just as interesting is the sturm und drang coming from religious conservatives and the rest of the far-right publicity machine.
Focus on the Family argues that Simpson was put to Obama by “a gay activist group,” and that the appointment is “payback to his far-left base for their political support.”
Compared with some of what’s being said and written, Focus on the Family’s tirade, which refers to the post as a “high level Commerce Department position,” seems unusually sedate and progressive.
The Huffington Post points out that an associate dean at Liberty University, founded by the late Jerry Falwell, approves more of token hiring for African Americans than for transgender people.
“This isn’t like appointing an African-American in order to try to provide diversity and right some kind of discriminatory wrong,” said Matt Barber of Liberty University. “This is about political correctness.”
“The transgender thing doesn’t play well with millions of conservative Evangelicals,” said David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network. “I understand President Obama wont’ be after die hard conservative Evangelicals in 2012 but let’s remember that moves like this don’t play well with the millions of conservative Independent voters and Catholics who will be up for grabs in 2012 as well.”
Apparently, Brody believes that transgendered people should not be hired at all.
His view, however, is far kinder than that of the American Family Association, who seems to be confused on a number of issues.
" 'Amanda' is a biological male in every cell of his body, and no amount of surgical mutilation is ever going to change that,” said organization president Tim Wildmon. "Gender is assigned by the Creator at the moment of conception, and no healthy society should ever regard sexual mutilation, even if it's self-inflicted, as something that's normal and merits approval. But that's exactly the kind of signal the president has sent here. This appointment should be rescinded immediately."
It is not known how the AFA obtained DNA samples from Simpson to conduct genetic testing to prove that she has male chromosomes.
However, the outcry from the extreme right has made one thing very clear: Simpson’s appointment obviously has nothing to do with her 30 years of experience in her field.
“I’m sure I will have to do and intend to do a far superior job than any other person,” Simpson said. “But I’m sure I will always be second-guessed.”
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