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Obama Appoints
Gay Leader to Faith Office

Obama Appoints
Gay Leader to Faith Office

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Pres. Barack Obama appointed Fred Davie, the gay leader of Public/Private Ventures, to the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships' governing council.

Expanding the White House's Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Pres. Barack Obama appointed Fred Davie, the openly gay leader of Public/Private Ventures, to the office's governing council.

The council of 25 appointees, serving one-year terms, is composed of secular and religious leaders who will promote localized involvement and community improvement.

Davie joined P/PV in 2001 and became president in 2006, according to the organization's website. Prior to joining P/PV, Davie worked at various positions in New York City government as well as for philanthropic groups and community-service programs. As the program officer for the Ford Foundation's faith-based community development office, he managed grants for programs in the United States and Africa.

Public/Private Ventures describes itself as an "action-based research, public policy, and program-development organization" that especially focuses on programs like education, employment, prisoner reentry, crime reduction, and community health.

"There is a force for good greater than government," Obama said in a statement on Thursday. "It is an expression of faith, this yearning to give back, this hungering for a purpose larger than our own, that reveals itself not simply in places of worship, but in senior centers and shelters, schools and hospitals, and any place an American decides."

The president signed an executive order expanding the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives launched by former president George W. Bush. He appointed as its director Joshua DuBois, a 26-year-old Pentecostal pastor from Massachusetts who worked with Obama on religious outreach both as a senator and on the campaign trail.

When campaigning, Obama condemned Bush policies that allowed religious organizations to receive federal money despite exercising discriminatory practices in employment and aid work.

"If you get a federal grant, you can't use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can't discriminate against them -- or against the people you hire -- on the basis of their religion," Obama said. (Michelle Garcia, Advocate.com)

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