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President Obama Makes Transgender Appointment to Faith Advisory Group

Barbara Satin, transgender woman

The White House has appointed a transgender woman to serve on the President's Advisory Council on Faith-based Neighborhood Partnerships.

Barbara Satin is an Air Force veteran and currently serves as Assistant Faith Work Director for The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. She is a member of the United Church of Christ.

Satin served as the first openly transgender member of the UCC's executive council. She was involved in the UCC's 2003 decision to affirm the inclusion of transgender people in the full life and ministry of the United Church of Christ.

"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 said of her appointment to the President's advisory council.

Satin, along with 10 other individuals were appointed to the council on May 12.

President Obama described Satin and the other appointees as "fine public servants" and would bring "depth of experience and tremendous dedication" to their roles.

The advisory council helps to make policy recommendations to the administration and suggests improvements and best practices for services that relate to faith-based groups. Of the 15 current members on the council, most are Christians.

Recently, the president defended his administration's decision to instruct public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, saying that society must protect the dignity and safety of vulnerable children.

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