Barbara Satin, a transgender woman, joined representatives from the Sikh and Baha'i communities as new advisers to President Barack Obama on faith-based issues. The White House announced the additions to the President's third and final advisory council on faith-based and neighborhood partnerships on May 12. But Satin's appointment was not welcomed by all.
Citing negative articles about the development, on Tuesday, Satin posted on Facebook: "I wanted to raise our collective consciousness about the intolerance that is so rampant in our society today.
"The LGBTQ community has seen progress in equality and acceptance that was unimaginable in the past, but we are beginning to see what the future can hold if the religious right continues to be effective at chipping away at our progress. North Carolina is the poster child for such intolerance. We need to be active and passionate about our future, and our votes."
This President's advisory council makes policy recommendations to the administration, as well as suggests improvements and best practices for services that relate to faith-based groups.
Satin is the assistant faith work director for the National LGBTQ Task Force, and a member of the United Church of Christ. Satin was the first openly transgender member of the UCC's executive council, and has served on the board of a number of other LGBT community groups.
Regarding the appointment, Satin said: "Given the current political climate, I believe it's important that a voice of faith representing the transgender and gender non-conforming community - as well as a person of my years, nearly 82 - be present and heard in these vital conversations."
Satin recently worked on the development of Spirit on Lake, a LGBTQ senior housing project in Minneapolis. Satin served on the board of directors for OutFront Minnesota from 2001 to 2008, and has chaired GLBT Generations since 1999.
Satin also served on the board of directors of PFund Foundation, a regional LGBTQ community foundation advancing social justice in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, since 2013.
The other appointments to the President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships included Naseem Kourosh, human rights officer at the U.S. Baha'i office of public affairs and Manjit Singh, co-founder and chairman of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Along with a number of other appointments, Obama said Satin, Kourosh and Singh were "fine public servants" and would bring "depth of experience and tremendous dedication" to their roles.
"I look forward to working with them," he said.
This council currently has 15 members, most of whom are Christian, reports Christian Today.