Will Openly Gay OPM Director Be Next Interior Secretary?

JBerry2The Obama cabinet rearrange continues. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced yesterday he’ll step down later this year, leaving yet another open spot for the president to nominate.

As speculation mounts over who could take the spot, one name keeps coming up: John Berry, the openly gay director of the Office of Personnel Management.

From the Washington Post:

Interior secretaries generally hail from the West, and Berry, a Rockville native, does not. But the president is under intense pressure from gay activists to appoint an openly gay secretary to his cabinet, a historic move. And Berry fits the bill.

He also has experience, serving at Interior during the Clinton administration as Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget then moving to direct the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the National Zoo during the second Bush administration. Obama tapped Berry to run OPM in 2009.

Berry has always been very honest about his sexuality, and last May made it the pivot for a moving commencement speech at the University of Maryland.

But an eventual confirmation by the Senate may get confusing: President Obama will have to be very careful when addressing John Berry and potential Secretary of State John Jerry.


  1. alexander says

    @ KT interior secretary and secretary of state are two different jobs . We need more non-white gays in some of these jobs. i swear it just makes it look like gay is a white thing and no other ethnic groups exist in our community. quit the damn white washing… it’s annoying. ^_^

  2. Rick says

    “We need more non-white gays in some of these jobs. i swear it just makes it look like gay is a white thing and no other ethnic groups exist in our community.”

    I knew this was coming. The political correctness police will not consider a white male who is gay to be sufficiently “diverse”–no, for them, “diverse” means non-white and female; gay does not count unless it includes at least one of the above.

    This despite the fact that there has never been any openly gay member of any President’s cabinet in the entire history of the Republic, white male or otherwise.

    The Far Left hates all white males regardless of sexual orientation and I would hope some of you would have gotten this by now.

    And that will be reflected in their reaction if Berry is appointed (which I doubt he will be),

    Oh, well, at least it will be another learning experience for some of you, if you let it be.

  3. Rick says

    This culture of worshipping effeminacy and being oh-so-PC and hating on white males is the reason I had to get done up in blackface drag when performing analingus on my geriatric father.

    All I wanted was to dress up like a real boy but he made me wears frills and lace and a surrey with a fringe on top, and blackface, while I did it. And that made me mad. It ruined the experience.

  4. DAN says

    RICK: There are MANY, many, many WHITE men on the far left. Quit trying to feed us your republican bull crap. Woe is Rick, everyone is against him. As a white male I get tired of the whining from those poor hard done by white guys. It makes the rest of us look bad.

  5. ratbastard says

    Oh Jeez…another white guy? Can’t our ‘progressive’ president find any suitable woman? A wise Latina latina? A black woman? An oppressed white woman? Better yet, a disabled 1/2 black, 1/2 Cherokee lesbian Jewish convert veteran? All he could dreg up was an oppressed professional middle aged white male homosexual?

  6. says

    Can’t we do better than Berry? He is the man who ordered Blue/Cross/Blue Shield not to cover Golinski under her partner’s healthcare — despite a federal judge ordering him to do so. We could do SO much better than this man.

  7. says

    I’ve talked about this before – that my 63 year old openly gay neighbor was employed with HUD for 28 years. When a new Director (his direct supervisor) was appointed our friend was subjected to continuous gay bullying and discrimination by this director. He filed a bevy of complaints and HUD blocked them all. They threatened him with termination he if filed another complaint and after a meeting where another supervisor called him an eff’n faggot, he walked out and back to his office. Two weeks later he was handed a termination notice and escorted out of the HUD building by 6 fully (SWAT) armed Federal officers and driven home.

    He sued, of course, but Federal lawsuits are much different than State lawsuits and HUD has an entire floor of attorneys and unlimited money and time. They assigned eight lawyers to his case, repeatedly sought continuances and delays, blocked his witnesses (because they were Federal employees) and he appealed for help to OPM as well as The White House.

    They finally got to court and the trial went on for a full week. Altho Obama has signed an executive order protecting gay employees from being terminated, it is only an executive order and means little under the Federal system. OPM did nothing to assist my friend.

    So after 28 years of devoted Federal service he has been tossed out in the street. The judge in the case has not ruled after four months and a week ago “suspended case processing for another 30 days” while he reviewed testimony.

    Up until 2005 any gay Federal employee could be fired for simply being gay but HUD, which consists of primarily all white male supervisors and directors, have consistently and repeatedly refused to hire openly gay people or worked to remove them from their jobs – not just from HUD but their intent is to remove them from being able to work anywhere within the Federal government.

    So I hold no respect for Ken Salazar – in fact I hold only disdain for OPM for refusing to step forward and protect an openly gay employee.

  8. andrew says

    I almost never agree with anything that Rick posts on this site. But as wrong as he is on the issues, he is not a twisted sicko like Little Kiwi who posts vile things in Rick’s name.

  9. Reality says

    John Berry is great – I’ve had the privilege of meeting him several times. Always very friendly and a terrific public speaker. He knows what he’s doing and is good at it too.

  10. Reality in L.A says

    There’s a lot of homophobia being spewed here..and sadly, by ethnic minorities who think that gays are ‘priviliged’…B-tch please. We’re fighting for our rights (And sadly, yet oddly) it’soften you ethnic minorities standing in our way from attaining full equality. You want to strip us of our rights, and then tell us we’re not a minority? You don’t own -civil rights- never have never will.

  11. says

    A white gay man is never a minority? Huh? I’m as liberal as they come, but this attacking of gays (notably white gays) make me wonder if some of you who are multicultural; had you been straight, you’d probably be first in line to be homophobic.
    Gays are and have always been a minority group in this nation. Be they white gay or any other gay. Playing the oppression Olympics while throwing white gays under the bus is a sure bet way to create far more tension between LGBT and other minority groups.
    LGBT don’t have to answer to why or how they are discriminated. Especially to other minority groups who want to bully us around for daring say we know what it’s like to be persecuted.

  12. Kyle C. says

    @ Marty
    I don’t agree with Rick on hardly anything, but this anti white { especially anti white gay} sentiment being spread here is coming off as both homophobic and racist. Clearly those making these remarks are not in fact for true diversity and inclusion of all, otherwise you wouldn’t say “white gays don’t know true suffering” Why? because their suffering differs from yours. I’m a white gay male who is openly gay in Kansas. I know discrimination, hatred and suffering and due to my sexuality, AM a minority in the area I live in. If that matter of fact threatens you, that’s your own insecurity and homophobia.

  13. 2 Dads says

    White gay men are not minorities? who the hell are you? and who the hell made you ruler of that?
    You need to be smacked in your face for your blatant ignorance.

  14. Scott Johansen says

    MARTY: An LGBT of any kind is a minority, by virtue of their sexual orientation. Ethnicity has not and never will be the sole pillar of being a minority. If you believe that, then you’re lens of viewing the world is very narrow and self revolved to what affects you. Creating a hierarchy for who is a minority based on personal notions is flawed at best, and intentionally bigoted at worst.

  15. Duration & Convexity says

    You’re the same exact type of person who argues marriage equality isn’t a civil right. Same person who argues that discrimination gays face isn’t a civil rights issue. Same person who argues blacks suffered more than gays, and gays don’t know true suffering (as though it’s some contest, and only the demographic who’s suffered most earns equal rights). We know your kind and your same tired arguments. I’m glad others are standing up to that homophobic, hate laced talking point which is calculating and seeks to undermine the rich history of what LGBT of all races, including caucasian, have lived through.

  16. IonMusic says

    Marty said:

    “white gay men are not minorities”
    Tell that to Matthew Shepherd. Tell that to any young white GAY kid in any small town in America. What defines minority status to you? strictly skin color? skewed way of seeing reality.

  17. KidoKinko says

    Lol @ only black gay people being minorities. I’m biracial and gay, and yes…a minority. But my very white, very gay ex boyfriend living in Omaha is also a minority.
    let’s get educated peeps.

  18. says

    @EMJAYAY – John Berry is the current Secretary of OPM and it is John Berry being considered for a cabinet post. As Secretary of OPM he failed to take appropriate action against HUD officials for a prohibited personnel practice – retaliatory termination of an openly gay Federal employee. OPM has taken action against HUD and many other agencies of retaliatory termination of Asian, African American, Jewish and Hispanic Federal employees. This was cited in the Federal lawsuit and noted by the Federal judge in the case my friend brought against HUD (and contributed to the amount of compensatory damages). The Federal Government, including OPM and HUD, would rather pay off a Federal employee wrongly terminated rather then step forward and admit that what they did was wrong. My friend is not hurting by any means because one fourth of his case has been settled – all paid for by the American Tax Payer (that would be you and me). Rather then remove those officials who cost the Tax Payer gobs of money, they are allowed to remain in place without discipline or demotion which means they will continue with their biased bigoted policies.

  19. says

    BTW, the judge has yet to issue a decision on the allegation of age, race (yes, he’s White while the officials in this case are not) and sexual orientation. If HUD officials are found guilty of any one of these discriminatory allegations the (former) discriminated employee can receive as much as $200,000 per incident. There were 21 incidents, all documented and over 80 pieces of evidence. Who is going to foot the bill for that? The American Tax Payer. HUD will turn their head and cough but little more.

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