SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), the first openly gay person to be elected Speaker of a legislative body, was unanimously chosen by California Assembly Democrats to continue serving as their leader.
Pérez is one of a handful of LGBT Speakers across the U.S. Tuesday’s elections will add two more LGBT Speakers.
In Colorado, state Rep. Mark Ferrandino was chosen by Democrats today to serve as Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives in January.
In Oregon, state Rep. Tina Kotek is on track to be elected Speaker in that state.
“I am very much looking forward to working with Rep. Ferrandino and Rep. Kotek. I know how important it is for the LGBT community to have a seat at the table, and these key victories underscore the powerful momentum our community has built to achieve full acceptance by society and respect in the eyes of the law,” Pérez said.
Speaker Pérez added that the additional high-profile legislative positions were on top of other decisive victories for the LGBT community nationally on Tuesday, including marriage equality votes in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington, the re-election of the first national ticket to support marriage equality, and the election of the first openly gay U.S. Senator, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.
“We have won four hard fought contests in key states, and for the first time in our history, the electorate has voted in favor of marriage equality,” Speaker Pérez said. “This is a critical turning point in our long march to justice, and I am deeply moved by the tireless commitment of the activists and allies who made these victories possible.”
Before Tuesday’s election, Speaker Pérez and Rhode Island Speaker Gordon Fox were the only openly gay Speakers, all of whom are Democrats.
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