Obama Appointee: ‘Making Progress’ on LGBT Issues; ‘Question of Sequencing Things’

By Gorman Gorman

Nov 13, 2009 2:52pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: When President Obama named Fred Hochberg to head the Export-Import Bank, the selection was cheered by LGBT activists, given Hochberg's prominence in the gay-rights community.

Now he sometimes finds himself in the position of counseling patience.

At this week's Bloomberg Washington Summit, I asked Hochberg about what he tells his friends and allies about the pace of progress on gay-rights issues under the Obama administration.

"People — of course they're going to be skeptical," Hochberg said. "I think that President Obama's making progress. He would like to make greater progress. I think that, and in almost every area we look at, from LGBT issues to health care and so forth, things sometimes move at a slower pace than we'd like."

"He's made a very clear personal commitment; he's made a very public commitment. He's made it clear to those of us who are serving the administration that this is important to him. And it's also a question of sequencing things," Hochberg said.

Watch our discussion HERE. The conversation also included a discussion of the Ex-Im Bank's attempts to work more seamlessly with small businesses — a Hochberg specialty — the president's trade agenda, and new ideas for job creation.

Hochberg's comments on LGBT issues come amid signs of movement on key priorities for gay-rights leaders. This week, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said Democratic leaders have settled on a strategy to repeal the military's ban on having gays and lesbians serve in the military next year.

Plus, as ABC's Teddy Davis reports, Melody Barnes, the head of the president's Domestic Policy Council, told students at Boston College Law School this week that she disagrees with the president on the subject of same-sex marriage.

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