Barack Obama Appoints Transgender Attorney Shannon Price Minter To President’s Commission

On Monday, 8 June, US President Barack Obama appointed the first transgender man Shannon Price Minter, to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.

Shannon Minter gained a great deal of attention in America back in 2001 by representing Diane Whipple, a victim of a fatal dog attack. Diane worked as a Lacrosse coach, and had lived with Sharon Smith, her domestic partner, for six years.

Minter’s work resulted in a landmark decision in California which resulted in extending tort claims to same-sex partners, rather than just marriage couples. Sharon Smith was awarded $1,500,000 in civil damages, which she donated to charity.

Just two years later, Minter represented Michael Kantaras, a transgender man trying to keep custody of his children. The legal case was eventually settled with joint custody in 2005.

Mr Minter is currently working as the Legal Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco. The NCLR is an American non-profit, public interest law firm and dates back to 1977.

“I am confident that these experienced and hardworking individuals will help us tackle the important challenges facing America, and I am grateful for their service,” Obama said in a statement, of Minter and a handful of other new nominees. “I look forward to working with them.”

“I am deeply honored to serve on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, which provides a unique opportunity for new leaders to gain a firsthand experience of our nation’s government,” Minter said in a statement. “As a transgender man, I am especially grateful to President Obama for his commitment to building a government that reflects the full diversity of our country and for supporting equal opportunity for all people.”

Shannon Price Minter is one of several transgender appointees in President Obama’s administration. Growing up in East Texas, Minter had started transitioning at the age of 35, but opted to keep his name when transitioning from female to male.