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POLITICS
 

First LGBTQ Holders of US Political Offices

Huff Post: Obama Legacy on LGBTQ Rights

HRC: Important Moments for LGBTQ Progress

Washington Blade: How Trump Could Undermine LGBTQ Rights

CNN: What a Trump Presidency Could Mean for LGBTQ Americans

New York Times: Trump Victory Alarms LGBTQ Groups

Huff Post: Assault on LGBTQ Rights Already Underway


Donald 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.”

 

The LGBTQ 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 Americans

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.”

 

 

LGBTQ Politicians

 

As of 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.

 

 

US Congress

 

--Rep 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. Served 2009–present.
--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.

 

 

US Executive
 

--Roberta 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.

--James Hormel - First openly LGBTQ Ambassador. Served 1999–2001 in Luxembourg.
--Sharon Lubinski - First openly LGBTQ US Marshal. District of Minnesota (2009).

--Jenny Durkan - First openly LGBTQ US Attorney. Western District of Washington (2009).

--Chai Feldblum - First openly LGBTQ Commissioner of Equal Employment Opportunity Comm (2010).

--Fred 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.

--Eric Fanning - Secretary of the Army. Appointed 2016.

 

Obama's Support 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

 

During the presidency of Barack Obama his agenda regarding LGBTQ rights included these items:

--Expand Hate Crimes Statutes

--Fight Workplace Discrimination

--Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBTQ Couples

--Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

--Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell

--Expand Adoption Rights

--Promote AIDS Prevention

 

LGBTQ Politicians

 

State Delegation

 

--Ariz Rep 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) – Served 1971–87. Died of AIDS in 1987. Bisexual.
--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.

--Mass Rep 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 after Steve Gobie (a male prostitute who Frank had hired for sex, and who later became his friend, personal assistant, and housekeeper) tried to sell his story to The Washington Times.
--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 elected.

 



State

--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 when elected.

--Gov Jim McGreevey (D-NJ) - First openly gay governor. Came out 2004 (during the same speech in which he announced his resignation as governor).

--Gov Kate 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 governor resigned).
--Maura Healey (D-Mass) - First openly gay attorney general. Elected in 2014.

--Minn Sen Allan H. Spear (D) – Elected Senate President in 1993.
--RI Rep Gordon D. Fox (D) – Elected Speaker of House in 2010.

US Senator Tammy Baldwin

First Openly Lesbian US Congress Woman

 

In 2012, 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.

 

 

LGBTQ Politicians

 

Local

--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 city (in the country) with lesbian mayor. Houston, Texas (2009).
--Ed Murray - Largest city with gay male mayor. Seattle, Washington (2014).
--Cathy Woolard - First openly gay president of a city council. Atlanta City Council President 2002–04.
--Stu Rasmussen - First transgender mayor. Silverton, Oregon (2008).
--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 (1974).
--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.
--Mayor Ron Oden - Palm Springs, California. First openly gay African-American Mayor popularly elected in US.
--Mayor Neil Guillano - Tempe, AZ
--Rep Patricia Todd (D) - Birmingham, Alabama. First openly gay legislator in Alabama.
--Rep Nicole LeFavour - Idaho. First openly gay official in Idaho.
--Sam Adams - Portland OR. City Commissioner. First openly gay Commissioner in Portland.
--Mayor Sam Adams - Portland, Oregon.


Patricia Todd: Lesbian Lawmaker From Alabama
 

In 2006, 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 district).

 

 

In the 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.

 

 

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