│ LGBTQ INFORMATION NETWORK │ RAINBOW OF RELEVANT
First LGBTQ Holders of US Political Offices
Huff Post: Obama Legacy on LGBTQ Rights
Rainbow Wave Hits Midwest
Republicans and Democrats: LGBTQ Acceptance
HRC: Important Moments for LGBTQ Progress
Washington Blade: How Trump Could Undermine LGBTQ Rights
CNN: What a Trump Presidency Could Mean for LGBTQ
New York Times: Trump Victory Alarms LGBTQ Groups
Huff Post: Assault on LGBTQ Rights Already Underway
Lightfoot: First Gay, Black, Female Mayor of Chicago
Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot trounced her
opponent in April 2019 and made history. Lightfoot will
be the only black lesbian mayor in the nation. And the
first out mayor of one of America’s three largest
“A Black lesbian taking power in the nation’s
third-largest city is a historic moment for so many
communities that are too often ignored in American
politics,” said former Houston mayor Annise Parker.
Parker, the President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund
formerly held the record as the “highest ranking” out
mayor. Houston is the nation’s fourth largest city.
“Chicago’s enormous influence on the national dialogue
provides a platform for Lori to promote more inclusive
solutions to the challenges facing our cities and nation
– and to be a credible messenger as well,” Parker said.
“Lori will certainly remain focused on the issues facing
Chicago. But as the highest-ranking LGBTQ person ever
elected mayor of an American city (a title she takes
from me) she is also now a key leader in the movement to
build LGBTQ political power nationwide.”
first openly LGBTQ woman of color to be elected mayor in
any of America’s 100 largest cities and the first black
woman to serve as Mayor of Chicago, Lightfoot is an
inspiration to thousands of LGBTQ people of color who
have a new role model in elected office,” DNC chair Tom
Perez said in an emailed statement.
“This historic win reaffirms that our diversity is our
greatest strength, and that our elected leaders should
reflect the diversity of the communities they represent.
I look forward to working with Mayor-elect Lightfoot as
she fights to build a brighter future for all. The
people of Chicago will be well served with her
LGBTQ Nation: Black Lesbian Becomes Chicago Mayor
USA Today: Chicago Makes History with First Gay, Black,
Chicago Tribune: Lori Lightfoot Breaks the Rules
Advocate: Lesbian Mayoral Candidates Making History
Trump Elected President
The election of Donald Trump in November 2016 to the
presidency sent panic through much of the lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender, and queer community, which for
the first time in eight years will face an
administration hostile to its civil rights goals and a
president-elect who has expressed a desire to reverse
many of its political gains.
The Human Rights Campaign (one of the most prominent
LGBTQ advocacy groups) responded quickly after the
results were announced. President Chad Griffin called
the election a “crucial moment for our nation and for
the LGBTQ movement.”
community called upon the President-elect Donald Trump
to rise above the often divisive rhetoric of his
campaign, while urging its members to stay vigilant and
fight for equal rights.
He pledged to “bind the wounds of division” in his
victory speech, though he’s been criticized for
promising to elect conservative justices to the Supreme
Court — justices that could overturn marriage equality
and other LGBTQ civil rights.
In his home state of Indiana, Vice President-elect Mike
Pence signed numerous anti-gay legislation, including
the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015, which
allowed individuals and businesses to deny service to
LGBTQ people. In the 2000 election, Pence said money
raised by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program should go to
organizations “which provide assistance to those seeking
to change their sexual behavior.” So-called “conversion
therapy” has been called emotionally and physically
harmful by many members of the LGBTQ community.
CNN: What a Trump Presidency Could Mean for LGBTQ
New York Times: Trump Victory Alarms LGBTQ Groups
Washington Blade: Anti-Gay Leaders Bask in Trump Victory
Is this the end of same-sex marriage? Many same-sex
couples worry that their marriages could be invalidated
in Trump's America, or that if things are getting
serious they better hurry up and make it official before
their right to tie the knot disappears. Neither the
President nor Congress can take away what the Supreme
Court has deemed a "fundamental right," leaving current
marriages safe, multiple legal experts said. While Trump
does not have the right to unilaterally scrap marriage
equality, he has the power to appoint Supreme Court
justices who could.
Jay Brown, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign,
said its office had received calls throughout the day on
Wednesday from frightened people who wanted to know what
the election results might mean for them. Some callers
wondered if they should speed up wedding plans so they
could be married before the inauguration, in case a
President Trump tries to overturn gay marriage, he said.
Others worried that the military would reinstate “don’t
ask, don’t tell,” the ban on openly gay and lesbian
service members that ended in 2011. “This is a
devastating loss for our community,” Mr. Brown said. “It
is something a lot of folks are still trying to wrap
their heads around.”
First Lesbian Mayor of Houston
Annise Danette Parker (born May 17, 1956) is an American
politician who served as the 61st Mayor of Houston,
Texas, from 2010 until 2016. She also served as an
at-large member of the Houston City Council from 1998 to
2003 and city controller from 2004 to 2010.
Parker was Houston's second female mayor (after Kathy
Whitmire), and one of the first openly gay mayors of a
major US city, with Houston being the most populous US
city to date to elect an openly gay mayor, until Lori
Lightfoot was elected mayor of Chicago in 2019.
2016, all 50 states have been served by openly LGBTQ
elected politicians in some capacity. 43 states
have elected openly LGBTQ politicians to one or both
houses of their state legislature. There has been one
openly bisexual state governor. One state governor
has come out as gay. No openly LGBTQ person has
served as president or vice president of the United
States, nor has an openly gay person ever served on the
Supreme Court of the United States.
Gerry Studds (D-Mass) - First out congressperson and
Democrat. Served 1973–1997. Outed 1983.
--Rep Barney Frank (D-Mass) - First to voluntarily come
out. Served 1980–2013. Came out in 1987.
--Rep Steve Gunderson (R-Wis) - First out Republican.
Served 1981–1997. Outed 1994.
--Sen Harris Wofford - Not out when first elected. First
male US Senator to come out. Served 1991–1995. Came out
in 2016 after announcing plans to marry a man.
--Rep Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz) - First Republican to
voluntarily come out. Served 1985–2007. Came out 1996.
--Rep Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis) - First lesbian. Out when first elected. Served 1999–2013.
--Rep Jared Polis (Colo) - First gay man. Out when first elected.
--Rep Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz) - Out when first elected.
First openly bisexual member of Congress. Elected 2012.
--Rep Mark Pocan (Wisc) - Out when first elected. First
to succeed another openly-gay officeholder in office.
Elected 2012. Succeeded Tammy Baldwin.
--Rep Mark Takano (Cal) - Out when first elected. First
non-white openly gay member of Congress. Elected 2012.
--Sen Tammy Baldwin (Wis) - Out when first elected.
First openly LGBTQ Senator. Elected 2012.
Achtenberg - First openly LGBTQ person appointed to a
federal position requiring confirmation by US Senate.
Assistant Secretary for fair housing and equal
opportunity at US Dept of Housing and Urban Development
(1993). Later became commissioner for US Commission on
Civil Rights in 2011.
Hormel - First openly LGBTQ Ambassador. Served 1999–2001
--Sharon Lubinski - First openly LGBTQ US Marshal.
District of Minnesota (2009).
Durkan - First openly LGBTQ US Attorney. Western
District of Washington (2009).
Feldblum - First openly LGBTQ Commissioner of Equal
Employment Opportunity Comm (2010).
Hochberg - First openly LGBTQ person in a cabinet-rank
position. Deputy Administrator / Acting Administrator of
Small Business Administration, which held cabinet-rank
during the Clinton administration. Later became Chairman
and President of Export-Import Bank in 2009.
Fanning - Secretary of the Army. Appointed 2016.
of LGBTQ Community
"While we have come a long way since
the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work
to do. Too often, the issue of LGBTQ rights is exploited
by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this
issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about
whether this nation is going to live up to its founding
promise of equality by treating all its citizens with
dignity and respect."
-Barack Obama, June 2007
"I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the
idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t
matter who you are or where you come from or what you
look like or who you love. It doesn’t matter whether
you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native
American or young or old or rich or poor, able,
disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in
America if you’re willing to try."
-Barack Obama, November 2012
presidency of Barack Obama his agenda regarding LGBTQ
rights included these items:
--Expand Hate Crimes Statutes
Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBTQ Couples
Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
Don't Ask-Don't Tell
Big LGBTQ Thank You to President Obama
Gay is Good for America
LGBTQ Speakers at DNC Convention
President Obama: It Get's Better
Jim Kolbe (R) - Served 1985–07. Outed in 1996 following
his vote for anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act.
--Ariz Rep Kyrsten Sinema (D) - Bisexual. Elected 2012.
--Cal Rep Michael Huffington (R) – Served 1993–95. Came
out as bisexual in 1998.
--Cal Rep Mark Takano (D) – Elected 2012.
--Colo Rep Jared Polis (D) – Elected 2008.
--Conn Rep Stewart McKinney (R) – Bisexual. Served
1971–87. Died of AIDS in 1987.
--Fla Rep Mark Foley (R) – Served 1995–06. Outed by
lawyer after resignation in 2006 due to sex scandal.
--Maine Rep Mike Michaud (D) – Served 2003–15. Came out
in 2013 while running for Governor.
--Maryland Rep Robert Bauman (R) – Served 1973–81. Outed
after sex scandal.
Gerry Studds (D) – Served 1973–97. Came out involuntary
in 1983 due to sex scandal.
--Mass Rep Barney Frank (D) – Served 1980–13. Came out
voluntarily in 1987 due to sex scandal.
--Miss Rep Jon Hinson (R) – Served 1979–81. Outed after
sodomy arrest in 1981.
--NY Rep Sean Patrick Maloney (D) – Elected 2012.
--RI Rep David Cicilline (D) – Elected 2010.
--Wis Sen Tammy Baldwin (D) – Elected 2012.
--Wis Rep Tammy Baldwin (D) – Served 1999–13.
--Wis Rep Steve Gunderson (R) – Served 1981–97. Outed
involuntarily in 1994.
--Wis Rep Mark Pocan (D) – Elected 2012. Out when
--Mass Rep Elaine Noble (D) - First openly lesbian or
gay candidate elected to a state legislature. Elected in
1974. Served two terms starting in January 1975. Out
McGreevey (D-NJ) - First openly gay governor. Came out
2004 (during the same speech in which he announced his
resignation as governor).
Brown (D-Ore) - First openly bisexual governor and first
person to be openly LGBTQ at time of taking office as
governor. Ascended to office in 2015 after previous
--Maura Healey (D-Mass) - First openly gay attorney
general. Elected in 2014.
Allan H. Spear (D) – Elected Senate President in 1993.
--RI Rep Gordon D. Fox (D) – Elected Speaker of House in
Senator Tammy Baldwin
First Openly Lesbian US Congress Woman
Rep Tammy Baldwin (D) beat former Governor Tommy
Thompson (R) to represent Wisconsin in the US Senate.
Baldwin is the first openly gay US Senator and the first
female Senator to represent Wisconsin.
"If you dream of a world in which you can put your
partner's picture on your desk, then put her picture on
your desk...and you will live in such a world. And if
you dream of a world in which you can walk down the
street holding your partner's hand, then hold her
hands...and you will live in such a world. If you dream
of a world in which there are more openly gay elected
officials, then run for office...and you will live in
such a world. And if you dream of a world in which you
can take your partner to the office party, even if your
office is the US House of Representatives, then take her
to the party. I do, and now I live in such a world.
Remember, there are two things that keep us oppressed
--- them and us. We are half of the equation."
-Tammy Baldwin, US Congress
In 1999 State Rep Tammy Baldwin has made history by
becoming the first openly gay first-time candidate ever
elected to US Congress, winning Wisconsin's 2nd
congressional district seat over Josephine Musser. While
four openly gay men have served in the House, all
disclosed their sexual orientation after first being
elected to their posts. Baldwin also becomes the first
lesbian to win a House election. The 2nd district seat
was vacated by moderate Republican Scott Klug.
--Lori Lightfoot - First gay, black, female mayor of
Buttigieg - Openly Gay (and married) Mayor of South
--David Cicilline - First mayor of a US state capital.
Providence, Rhode Island (2002).
--Neil Giuliano - First directly elected openly gay
mayor in US. Tempe, AZ (1998.)
--Annise Parker - Largest US city with
lesbian mayor. Houston, Texas (2009).
--Ed Murray - Largest US city with gay male mayor. Seattle,
--Cathy Woolard - First openly gay president of a city
council. Atlanta, GA (2002–04).
--Stu Rasmussen - First transgender mayor. Silverton,
--Nancy Wechsler and Jerry DeGrieck - First openly LGBTQ
members of a city council. Both elected as members of
Human Rights Party to Ann Arbor City Council (Michigan)
in 1972. Both came out in 1973.
--Kathy Kozachenko - First openly gay person elected to
public office (city council). Ann Arbor, Michigan
--Jim Yeadon - First openly gay man elected to a US city
council. Madison, Wisconsin (1977).
--Harvey Milk - First openly gay man non-incumbent
elected in US. First openly gay person elected to public
office in California. Member of San Francisco Board of
Supervisors. Elected 1976. Assassinated in 1978 by Dan
White (who also killed Mayor George Moscone).
--Keith St. John - First openly gay black person elected
to public office in US. Elected to Albany, New York
common council in 1989.
--Ricardo Gonzalez - First openly gay Hispanic person
elected to public office in US. Madison, Wisconsin.
--Joanne Conte - First openly transgender member of a
city council. Arvada, Colorado. Trans woman. Served on
Arvada City Council from 1991 to 1995.
--Marlene Pray - First openly bisexual member of a city
council. Joined Doylestown, Pennsylvania council in
2012. Resigned 2013. Also first openly bisexual office
holder in Pennsylvania.
--Christine Quinn - City Council Speaker. Elected 2006.
--Ron Oden - Palm Springs, California. First
openly gay African-American Mayor popularly elected in
--Neil Guillano - Mayor of Tempe, AZ.
--Rep Patricia Todd (D) - Birmingham, Alabama. First
openly gay legislator in Alabama.
--Rep Nicole LeFavour - First openly gay official
--Sam Adams - City Commissioner. First
openly gay Commissioner in Portland.
--Sam Adams - Mayor. Portland, Oregon.
Todd: Lesbian Lawmaker From Alabama
Patricia Todd served as the first openly gay legislator
in the State of Alabama. She held a state House seat
representing parts of Birmingham (54th legislative
June 6 primary election, Alabama voters overwhelmingly
approved a state constitutional amendment banning gay
marriage. Ironically, on the same day Patricia Todd came
one step closer to becoming the first openly gay member
of the Alabama Legislature. The massive vote for the
anti-gay marriage amendment did not make her victory
bittersweet, she said. "We knew the marriage amendment
was going to pass overwhelmingly. It was not surprising.
It was just a matter of how big the margin was going to
be," Todd said.
Patricia Todd made history when voters in Alabama’s 54th
legislative district voted to send the Democrat to the
State House, marking the first time ever that
legislature will include an openly gay Representative.
The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, the nation’s largest gay
and lesbian political action committee, endorsed Todd
and helped raise tens of thousands of dollars from its
national network of donors to help fund her campaign.
│ LGBTQ Information Network │ Established 2017 │