Meet Brian Kemp’s three LGBTQ appointments

Gov. Brian Kemp (photo) has filled some 80 positions to state boards and criminal justice posts with a diverse slate of people, including at least three LGBTQ appointments.

Women accounted for about half of the appointments and African Americans for about a quarter of them, according to the AJC

Kemp’s three openly LGBTQ appointees are Kate Brady, Reshell Baldini and Dr. T.E. Valliere-White. They did not respond to Project Q Atlanta’s questions about the appointments, such as whether Kemp’s support for anti-LGBTQ “religious freedom” bills concerned them. 

A Kemp spokesperson pointed Project Q to a statement he tweeted out in response to the AJC article. 

"I will always put hardworking Georgians ahead of politics and the status quo,” the statement said. “I expect the same from those serving in my administration. By appointing individuals with character, integrity and humility to public service, we will ensure a brighter and more prosperous future for Georgia."

Kemp appointed Brady to the State Rehabilitation Council on June 4, according to a statement posted to his website. The council develops plans for services and makes recommendations to assist people with disabilities.

More on Brady, according to the statement

Kate D. Brady has worked in the field of disability policy, service, and systems advocacy for nearly two decades. Brady is Deputy Director for the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities with extensive experience in vocational rehabilitation, Medicaid, Social Security, and workforce development. She lives in Hapeville with her spouse, Dr. Michelle Ramsey.

Kemp appointed Baldini to the Statewide Independent Living Council on June 6, according to his website. That council identifies barriers to independent living for people with disabilities.

More on Baldini:

Reshell Baldini is COO of Business Development with 5 Star Office Furniture in Avondale Estates, Georgia. She lives in Atlanta with her spouse, Karla, and has two children, Kennedy and Breeze.

Kemp appointed Valliere-White to the Board of Public Health on June 7, according to his website. That board guides and oversees the state Department of Public Health. 

More on Valliere-White

Dr. T.E. Valliere-White has been a licensed physician in Georgia since 2014 and holds licenses in New Jersey and New York. Valliere-White is a general surgeon with Piedmont Healthcare in Conyers. She obtained her medical degree from Rutgers - New Jersey Medical School. She was named as a New Jersey “Top Doc” in 2013. Her spouse is Gabrielle Valliere-White, and they live in McDonough.

Kemp has long vowed to sign a “religious freedom” bill into law. He reiterated his stance after the November election against Stacey Abrams, saying he would support a bill that mirrors federal law. But LGBTQ activists said the bill he supports is still discriminatory and sets a dangerous precedent. A “religious freedom” bill stalled in the Senate in this year’s legislative session and will return in the 2020 session. 

Kemp appointed an anti-LGBTQ activist to his transition team in November. He also appointed Allen Fox, a gay Republican who founded the group Georgia Republicans for the Future to oppose anti-LGBTQ “religious freedom” legislation. 

Bisexual state Rep. Renitta Shannon, a Democrat from Decatur, boycotted Kemp’s first major speech as governor-elect in December. She said Kemp ran a “campaign of hate” that targeted voters of color, immigrants, women and LGBTQ people. 

Kemp signed two HIV bills into law following this year’s legislative session. They included a bill that establishes a hypodermic syringe and needle exchange program to reduce HIV and a bill creating a pilot PrEP program.