Joe Biden Names LGBTQ Legal Advocate, Planned Parenthood Exec to Administration

US President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event to introduce key Cabinet nominees and members of his climate team at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware on December 19, 2020. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden has named a legal advocate for LGBTQ rights and a St. Louis Planned Parenthood executive to serve in his administration.

Suzanne Goldberg, who started her career in sexuality and gender law at Lambda Legal, will serve the Biden administration in the Department of Education as deputy assistant secretary for strategic operations and outreach at the Office for Civil Rights.

Metroweekly reported Goldberg is the founding director of the Columbia Law School’s Sexuality & Gender Law Clinic and codirector of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law.

The report noted Goldberg has advocated for LGBTQ rights in the areas of immigration, employment, and family law, and that, while working at Columbia, she filed briefs “in nearly every marriage equality case in the United States.”

Goldberg worked on two key cases: Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned a Texas law banning sodomy, and Romer v. Evans, in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Colorado voter-approved law that did not provide protective status to the identity of sexual orientation.

In the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, Goldberg is expected to oversee efforts to prevent, identify, and find solutions for discrimination against students in federally-funded schools.

Jesse Lawder, the former vice president of marketing and communications for Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, was tapped by the Biden administration to become deputy assistant secretary of Labor for Public Affairs.

On Biden’s inauguration day, Lawder tweeted he had “joined the Biden Administration” and was “honored to be taking on this new challenge, and ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work supporting the President and workers across this great country.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Lawder, who worked for the Department of Labor during the Obama era for eight years, touted in a news release that, while at Planned Parenthood he “worked to protect the last abortion clinic in Missouri, roll out new telehealth services during the pandemic and led a successful unveiling of (a) … new Fairview Heights health center.”


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