PFLAG National – the nation’s largest organization uniting families, allies, and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) – lauded President Obama for appointing Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon and attorney Debo Adegbile to six-year terms on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
“Both Assistant Secretary Lhamon and Mr. Adegbile have proven they will unwaveringly work for the fairness and dignity of all people, especially those who are pushed to society’s margins,” said Elizabeth Kohm, PFLAG National’s Interim Executive Director. “In her current role, Assistant Secretary Lhamon worked to ensure that transgender youth would not have to choose between getting an education and their personal safety. Mr. Adegbile has been a longtime champion for equality, both in and outside of the courtroom. With bias-motivated violence on the rise, and a long way to go to achieve PFLAG’s values of liberty and justice for all, we look forward to our continued work with the USCCR, including its two new commissioners.”
As Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Civil Rights, Catherine Lhamon has been one of this Administration’s key leaders in advancing civil rights, offering up groundbreaking work on how colleges respond to sexual assault and how schools treat transgender students.
As a partner at WilmerHale – a longtime corporate partner of PFLAG National – and before that at the NAACP, Debo Adegbile has pursued a range of civil rights issues, including employment and housing discrimination and criminal justice. He also argued before the Supreme Court multiple times, including his defense of the Voting Rights Act in 2008.
The bipartisan, independent USCCR is composed of eight Commissioners: four appointed by the President and four by Congress. They hold public briefings, issue press releases, conduct hearings and publish studies on a range of civil rights issues. Most recently, they issued a statement on the rise of hate crimes in the United States, and notably released a statement in support of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights’ protection of transgender students.
PFLAG engages in advocacy on a wide range of issues of importance to the LGBTQ community. To learn more, visit pflag.org/wherewestand.