An LGBTQ rights group, alongside 22 organizations, called on leading Senate figures to reject recent attacks on Federal Communications Commission (FCC) nominee Gigi Sohn and move forward with her confirmation.
The Victory Institute delivered a letter Monday to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as well as the two congresspeople atop the Senate Commerce Committee, which needs to vote on Sohn to advance her nomination: Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
“It is past time that she join the FCC,” the letter said, noting that a number of right-wing publications were attempting to smear her in recent weeks.
“Gigi’s nomination has recently come under attack, not on the basis of qualifications or substance, but
because she is openly LGBTQ+. Her barrier-breaking nomination as the first LGBTQ+ nominee to the
FCC is being met with homophobic tropes and attacks, against herself and her family, in an attempt to stall her nomination. That cannot stand.”
The letter was signed by GLAAD, Free Press Action, Human Rights Campaign, and others.
Recently, the Daily Mail and Fox News attempted to tie Sohn’s work at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a leading digital rights group, to the actions of specific sex workers.
“Homophobic and sexist fearmongering should have no place in the consideration of Gigi’s qualifications. It’s morally corrupt and antithetical to the high virtue of the Chamber,” the letter said.
Sohn’s nomination to the FCC has been a series of twists and turns, all while the nation’s top telecom regulator has sat understaffed. Democrats technically have the majority on the FCC, but without Sohn being approved by the Senate, the agency is deadlocked.
A number of agency priorities, such as reinstating net neutrality, have taken a back seat over Biden’s first two years without a voting majority.
Sohn’s first nomination passed through the Commerce Committee in a 14-14 tie in March 2022, but only after Republicans dragged her back for a new round of hearings. Sohn never received a full Senate vote. After the 2022 midterms, President Joe Biden renominated Sohn, but there has been little movement on her since the start of the new Congress.
Sohn is a prominent opponent of big telecom, which has fought her through astroturfed campaigns and big ad spends.
Although Biden, in renominating her, claimed Sohn had his full support, the nomination exists in the same limbo as it did a year ago.