Lesbian Assistant Police Chief Nominated as U.S. Marshal
President Obama nominated a lesbian assistant police chief as a U.S. Marshal. Fifty seven year old Sharon Lubinski made headlines when she came out as a lesbian in a 1993 Minneapolis Star Tribune interview, Lubinsky told the newspaper she feared she was putting her safety, career and personal life in danger. At the time of her coming out, officers who were suspected of being gay endured countless slurs and verbal attacks. In one instance Lubinsky was called a "sicko."
"Hopefully, my coming out will dispel any myths that you can’t be gay and in uniform," Lubinski told the newspaper. Some gay rights activists have criticized the nomination as nothing more than a symbolic gesture, while others have noted the nomination to be a step in the right direction.
"She distinguished herself early on as someone who took on the tough assignments," said Greg Hestness, a longtime colleague who’s now police chief at the University of Minnesota.
"She’s smart, she thinks, she listens, you always know where you stand with her," said Minneapolis Lt. John Delmonico, the police union president who often clashes with top brass. "It’s a real loss for the department."
Two days after the National Equlaity march on Oct. 13, Obama nominated Lubinski. The White House announcement made no mention that she was gay. "I don’t want to appear to be denigrating this woman’s accomplishments, which appear to be substantial," said Cleve Jones, an activist who worked with the slain gay-rights pioneer Harvey Milk and helped organize the Oct. 11 National Mall gay-rights rally. "But there’s some peril in focusing on these appointments when the reality is that LGBT people in all 50 states are still second-class citizens."