With the gay
rights gaffe that likely cost him the support of most LGBT
voters in the 2008 Democratic primaries but a distant
memory, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson accepted
President-elect Barack Obama's invite to serve
as Commerce secretary on Wednesday.
contender for the Democratic nomination, Richardson's
appointment comes days after Obama named another former
competitor, New York senator Hillary Clinton,
secretary of State.
In making his
announcement, Obama said Richardson would be an
"unyielding advocate for American business and American
dropped out of the presidential race in January, a few
months after a universally panned showing at the Human
Rights Campaign/Logo presidential forum, which gave
the candidates for the Democratic nomination a chance
to clarify their positions on gay rights.
At the forum,
Richardson seemed to trip over his words when he said that
being gay was a "choice" versus a biological predisposition.
debate, Richardson contacted The
Advocate's political editor, Kerry
Eleveld, and requested an in-person interview to
clarify his position, saying that he has long known
being gay is biological.
the question, and I made a mistake in the way I
answered it," he said during that interview.
That flub aside,
Richardson has long been a proponent of gay rights,
championing civil unions legislation that would
grant all the rights of marriage, a
position that could come in handy with his work as
secretary of Commerce. (Ross von Metzke, Advocate.com)