WASHINGTON — Barack Obama has appointed a man who identifies as a woman to serve on his Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.
The man, who goes by the name Barbara Satin, is a veteran of the United States Air Force and formerly served on the United Church of Christ’s executive council. He was behind the denomination’s decision to affirm transgendered persons in the ministry.
Satin was raised by his mother after his father died just over a year after Satin was born. He went on to marry a woman and the two had three children together.
“At age 54, Barbara took early retirement and then began to explore more fully her transgender identity,” Satin’s biography outlines. “With the support of her children and a knowledgeable therapist, Barbara came to understand that her transgender identity was how God had made her and rather than being a curse it could be a blessing in her life.”
“As a way to more fully explore her identity, she moved out of the family home to live full-time as Barbara,” it says.
He left his Roman Catholic upbringing for the United Church of Christ since Roman Catholicism does not affirm the transgender lifestyle.
Satin is now involved with a number of homosexual and transgender advocacy groups, and was invited to the White House earlier this year to speak to the Obama administration about housing issues for seniors who identify as homosexual or transgender. Currently, Satin serves as the Assistant Faith Work Director for the National LGBTQ Task Force.
On Thursday, Obama announced his intent to nominate 11 individuals to various administrative posts. Satin was included in the list as a member of the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
“Given the current political climate, I believe it’s important that a voice of faith representing the transgender and gender non-conforming community—as well as a person of my years, nearly 82—be present and heard in these vital conversations,” Satin said in a statement released by the United Church of Christ.
Included in the nominations for the council were Naseem Kourosh, the human rights officer at the U.S. Bahá’í Office of Public Affairs, and Manjit Singh, the co-founder and chairman of the board of directors of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Thomas Reese, S.J., a senior analyst for the National Catholic Reporter, and Dr. John Ruskay, the executive vice president-emeritus of the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, were both appointed to serve on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
“These fine public servants bring a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their important roles. I look forward to working with them,” Obama said in a statement.
However, not all those who have struggled with gender identity believe that it is right to support and affirm a person’s desire to live as those of the opposite sex.
As previously reported, Walt Heyer, a 75-year-old man who obtained a sex change operation in the 1980’s to live as a woman for eight years before reverting back to his biological gender, now leads a ministry in which he shares his story with the world of how Christ redeemed his life and gave him hope.
“Nobody’s ever born a transgender,” he told the Daily Mail last January. “They’re manufactured as a result of something, a developmental childhood issue that has yet to be determined for many people.”
“All of them have some level of depression, and we’re not treating them,” Heyer lamented. “We’re just cutting off body parts and giving them a new name and a new gender.”
“God designed man; He designed women,” he also said in a video recorded last year. “God will redeem the lives of people who struggle with gender identity issues just like I did. He redeemed my life, and I’ve been free from it as a result of that.”