President Joe Biden has nominated lesbian rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum to serve on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Under her position as commissioner, she will help monitor and evaluate religious freedoms around the world.
Kleinbaum currently serves as the Chief Rabbi at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST).
On Friday (30 July), the White House released a statement regarding the nominees and included Kleinbaum’s history with religious inclusivity and LGBTQ+ rights.
“Under her leadership as Senior Rabbi, CBST has become a powerful voice in the movement of equality and justice for people of all sexual orientation, gender identities, and expressions,” the statement reads.
The statement also mentioned that Kleinbaum has served as a commissioner on New York City’s Commission on Human Rights.
“Sharon Kleinbaum’s longtime leadership of congregation Beth Simchat Torah and her outspoken activism have made her a powerful voice for religious freedom, LGBTQ+ rights, and other human rights and around the world.”
This isn’t the first time that the religious figure has lent her services to the government. Kleinbaum had previously served on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in both 2019 and 2020.
She was nominated by Chuck Schumer who was Senate minority leader at that time.
Since the nominations were announced, religious leaders and state officials have come out and congratulated Kleinbaum.
Taking to Twitter, Representative Jerry Nadler called the senior rabbi a “fierce” defender of human rights.
“I am thrilled that the POTUS will nominate my friend Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum as Commissioner of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom,” he wrote.
“[She] is a fierce, unparalleled defender of human rights and the inherent dignity of all Mazel tov, Rabbi!”
The 62-year-old responded to the tweet, stating: “Thank you [Jerry Nadler]! I am grateful for all you do every day for all of us.”
Rashad Hussain, Deborah Lipstadt and Khizr Khan will also be joining Kleinbaum as commissioners.
Since coming into office, the Biden administration has brought in an array of LGBTQ+ individuals into government positions.
Earlier in July, Gina Ortiz Jones and Shawn Skelly both officially started their respective positions in the defence apartment.
Jones was confirmed as the undersecretary of the Air Force. This made her the first out lesbian to hold the position through all branches of the military.
She has also become the first woman of colour to be an undersecretary for any military branch.
Skelly is set to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness, which makes her the first transgender person to hold the position. She is also the highest-ranking out trans defense official.
We love to see all this LGBTQ+ diversity.