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The Administrative Repeal Of DOMA Continues Apace
The Advocate November 8, 2011 By Andrew Harmon
The interagency working group, announced in August by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, includes DHS executive secretary Philip A. McNamara as the LGBT liaison, DHS deputy press secretary Matthew Chandler wrote in an email response to The Advocate.
The working group's inclusion of McNamara, one of several openly LGBT presidential appointees in Homeland Security, is “a very big step in the right direction” as DHS and Department of Justice officials undergo a review of some 300,000 current deportation cases, said Rachel Tiven, executive director of the LGBT immigration advocacy group Immigration Equality.
“We are pleased the administration has heard our concerns about the need to identify a working group member who is familiar with the unique obstacles faced by LGBT immigrants and their families,” Tiven said Monday. “Mr. McNamara has been engaged on those issues and is someone who we believe will have an open-door policy. We hope his appointment to the working group will be followed by clear, written guidance for all members of that group to ensure that, as cases are reviewed, LGBT individuals receive the discretion and consideration their cases warrant.”
Upon taking this position at the Department, he concluded an 11-year career with the Democratic National Committee (DNC), where he had served as the Director of Party Affairs and Delegate Selection since 2002. The Office of Party Affairs and Delegate Selection assists the National Party Chairman with the institutional functions of the DNC and coordinates the Party’s presidential nominating process and selection of delegates to the National Convention. Mr. McNamara was the senior advisor to five DNC Chairmen on Party rules and procedures from 1998 to 2009.
Mr. McNamara was the DNC’s lead expert in the historic 2008 presidential nominating process. He was responsible for developing the Party’s 2008 presidential nominating calendar that added Nevada and South Carolina as early states alongside Iowa and New Hampshire. He led efforts to enforce the Party’s rule on timing against the states of Florida and Michigan, and was the recognized expert on the role and history of super delegates. Ultimately, Mr. McNamara was responsible for selecting delegates from all 56 states and territories, and for facilitating relationships with all presidential campaigns.Mr. McNamara coordinated the operations of the 2000, 2004, and 2008 Convention Committees on Credentials, Platform, and Rules. It was on this work that Mr. McNamara had the chance to work with then-Governor Janet Napolitano as she served as chair of the 2008 Platform Drafting Committee.