Howard County Executive Charles I. Ecker has decided to fill a vacancy on the county's Human Rights Commission with a 42-year-old mother of two, who is a lesbian and political independent. So far, the nomination of Jan Nyquist, a Columbia resident, looks like a good move.
The Republican county executive had been hazy about the qualities he was looking for in a nominee, but with this selection he made an emphatic and positive statement on the issue of gay rights.
A previous candidate, Bob Healy, was deemed too controversial by Mr. Ecker. It was unclear whether Mr. Healy's homosexuality or his politics were at issue. Mr. Healy, a Democrat, was heavily favored by Democratic members of the county council, who all but demanded his appointment even though it was not theirs to make.