New Civil Rights Division Counsel To Work With Gay Community
By Joe Palazzolo | August 18, 2009 12:04 am
Matt Nosanchuk

Matt Nosanchuk

We’ve obtained an e-mail from University of Pennsylvania Professor Tobias Wolff, a top LGBT adviser on the Obama campaign, announcing the news to his associates.

Wolff said that Matt Nosanchuk, a former adviser to Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), will join the division as a senior counselor. Nosanchuk ”will be the front office point person on LGBT issues for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division,” Wolff wrote in the e-mail.

POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein, who first got hold of the email last night, reported:

The hire looks like yet another effort by the Obama Administration to calm the anger of the gay community over a series of perceived slights, including a controversial brief filed in June in a lawsuit over the Defense of Marriage Act.

Justice Department lawyers, dialing back their defense,  said in a court filing yesterday that DOMA discriminates against gays but that the new administration will continue to uphold the law as long as it is on the books.

A DOJ spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on Wolff’s e-mail.

UPDATE:

DOJ spokesperson Alejandro Miyar issued the following statement on Nosanchuk:

“Matt Nosanchuk joined the Civil Rights Division earlier this summer as a Senior Counselor. He brings extensive experience as a civil rights attorney from his time in Congress, as well as work in the non-profit and private sectors. Among his primary duties, Matt will help manage the Division’s Criminal Section and pursue key policy priorities. He will represent the Division in many capacities, including work with Congress and the LGBT community. He returns to the Justice Department after having been a career attorney in the Office of Policy Development during the Clinton Administration.”

Andrew Ramonas contributed to this report.

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