President Obama today announced the resignation, reported earlier, of Attorney General Eric Holder.
Obama lauded Holder for his work in the Justice Department and as Attorney General, "from counterterrorism to civil rights, public corruption to white-collar crime."
Also noted were Holder's efforts to strengthen hate crimes law and his recommendation that the federal government stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act, opening the door to federal recognition of same-sex marriage, and federal benefits for same-sex couples.
Holder also mentioned that work, among many other issues:
We have begun to realize the promise of equality for our LGBT brothers and sisters and their families. We have begun to significantly reform our criminal justice system and reconnect those who bravely serve in law enforcement with the communities that they protect.
Watch the announcement and read a transcript of the remarks, AFTER THE JUMP...
In related news, the Human Rights Campaign today urged Obama to replace Holder with the first LGBT cabinet member:
"President Obama faces a historic opportunity in light of Attorney General Holder's departure,” said Chad Griffin, President of HRC. “The President has expressed a commitment to appointing a cabinet that reflects the full diversity of the American people, and there are many richly-qualified candidates available to serve as the first openly-LGBT cabinet secretary. It would be a natural extension of this administration's enduring commitment to equality to send a message of visibility and inclusion by nominating such a candidate to serve in this historic role."
One potential nominee is U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, Buzzfeed reports:
“It will be a huge milestone if the president chooses a qualified LGBT American like Jenny Durkan,” Torey Carter, managing director of the Victory Fund, told BuzzFeed News. “It would send a signal that experience and ability matter a lot more than gender or sexual orientation, and that would matter a lot to young people who worry they can’t be authentically themselves and still succeed in life.”