Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Department of Justice Hires Attorney Matt Nosanchuk as LGBT Liaison

Towleroad reports:
UPenn law professor Tobias Wolff, who served as chair of the national LGBT policy committee for the Obama campaign, sent an email to associates last night announcing that gay attorney Matt Nosanchuk has been hired for the Justice Department as a liaison to the gay community.

Nosanchuk Wrote Wolff: "I am pleased to pass along the news that Matt Nosanchuk has been hired as Senior Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the Department of Justice. Matt served as one of the leaders of the LGBT policy group from the first days of the Obama campaign. He is a respected out gay attorney and public policy advocate whose previous positions include serving as counselor to Senator Bill Nelson of Florida and doing significant policy work on gun control. In addition to his other duties as Senior Counselor to the Assistant AG, Matt will be the front office point person on LGBT issues for the DOJ Civil Rights Division."
This is good news.

Early in office, Obama's administration decided not to have an LGBT liaison, a position past administration's used with varying success, but at least it existed. Obama passing on a liaison proved to be a mistake.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) angered the LGBT population by filing a brief back in June comparing marriage equality to incest. Many said this could have been avoided if a liaison had existed and had objected to the filing, which apparently hadn't even been reviewed by Obama or raised any red flags in the administration before the brief was filed.

Yesterday, the DOJ attempted to make slight amends by stating in its newest filing that it thought DOMA was discriminatory and called for its repeal. However, many said it wasn't enough since it was still defending the law.

Though Nosanchuk won't by an administration liaison, working for the DOJ will still hopefully prove beneficial. Several LGBT DOMA lawsuits are working their way through the federal court system, among others. The DOJ has shown that its in dire need of Nosanchuk - hopefully they can avoid anymore mistakes, mistakes that could give ammunition to LGBT opposition and can be costly to LGBT equality.

1 comment:

  1. I guess it's a silly question, but why does every LGBT liaison have to be gay? The trend is vaguely insulting, imo. What? Straight people are incapable of protecting equal rights? Gays don't trust non-gays to do their jobs? Feh.

    Also, I wish UTF would stop perpetuating the canard that the DoJ brief "compared" same-sex marriage to incest. I think the time has passed for such inflammatory statements.

    The brief did not make a qualitative comparison between same-sex marriage and marriage between relatives or between an adult and minor; rather it merely cited the readily available examples of a state's right to not recognize a legally performed marriage from another jurisdiction. What other types of non-recognized marriages do you suppose they could have cited as examples?

    I think UTF knows better. It was one thing to hear this repeated everywhere when the brief came out and tempers flared. I think it's time to let this unfair and inaccurate portrayal of the DoJ brief fade away.