Gayest Accomplishments of President Joe Biden
Out US Rep. Chris Pappas Marries His Boyfriend

118th Congress Breaks Record for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Representation
Arizona’s New Governor Katie Hobbs Issued LGBTQ Protections on Her First Day in Office
Massachusetts's Maura Healey on Becoming the First Lesbian Governor
Vermont's First Trans State Lawmaker Gets Engaged at White House

Kentucky Senator Blames Transphobic Politics for Suicide of Her Trans Son
Lawmakers Set New Benchmark for Measuring LGBTQ Equality

These Recently Elected Trans Lawmakers Say Anti-LGBTQ Bills Inspired Them to Run


LGBTQ Republicans: What a Joke

Chicago Has The Gayest City Council In The Country
Montana Transgender Lawmaker Zooey Zephyr Is Engaged to Her Girlfriend

NPR: More Than Half of Republicans Support Christian Nationalism, According to Survey

Gay Dem Blasts Marjorie Taylor Greene for Going After Drag Shows at Hearing
A Ron DeSantis Presidency Would Have Dire Consequences
In California, 10% of Legislature Now Identifies as LGBTQ

House Representative Taylor Small Got Engaged on the White House Lawn
Colorado's Jared Polis Is First Out Gay Man Re-elected Governor
Historic Number of LGBTQ Candidates Ran for Elected Office This Year: Here’s Who Won



White House Blasts Attacks on LGBTQ Community: Shameful, Hateful, Dangerous

The White House in March 2023 condemned what it called “shameful, hateful and dangerous” attacks on the LGBTQ community, and transgender people in particular, pointing to comments from a speaker at a major conservative conference last week and a barrage of bills introduced in GOP-led state legislatures.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre spoke about the rhetoric and legislation targeting transgender people, pointing to a speech given at the Conservative Political Action Conference by Michael Knowles in which he said “transgenderism must be eradicated from public life.”

“It started with a speaker at a conservative conference calling for the eradication of transgender people, language that not a single national Republican leader has condemned,” Jean-Pierre said.

She highlighted that Republicans in Iowa and Tennessee have called for legislation attacking gay marriage, while in Florida GOP lawmakers have introduced a slew of bills to roll back the rights of LGBTQ communities. Those bills are part of a larger trend, with Jean-Pierre noting more than 450 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced at the state level in the first 70 days of the year.

“The same leaders that tout freedom apparently don’t extend their love for freedom if they disagree with who you are, who you love, or how you parent,” Jean-Pierre said. “It’s government overreach at its worst, taking away rights from the vulnerable all to distract from a deeply unpopular agenda that caters to the ultra-rich.”

Jean-Pierre vowed the Biden administration would continue to support members of the LGBTQ community. President Biden last year signed a sweeping executive order aimed at protecting LGBTQ youth from a raft of conservative state laws and addressing barriers they face to health care and housing.

In his State of the Union address in February 2023, Biden called on Congress to pass the Equality Act to “ensure LGBTQ Americans, especially transgender young people, can live with safety and dignity.”

[Source: Brett Samuels, The Hill, March 2023]


Michigan Lawmakers OK LGBTQ Rights Bill: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to Sign
LGBTQ Venues and Events Continue to be Targeted by the Far-Right
South Dakota and Tennessee: Trans Youth Health Care Ban

Oklahoma House Passes Don't Say Gay or Trans Bill

The Fight for Anti-LGBTQ Rights in Arkansas
Laverne Cox: Trans People Are Exhausted by Anti-Trans Legislation

Queer Youth Negatively Affected by Anti-LGBTQ Laws and Debates

With Over 100 Anti-LGBTQ Bills Before State Legislatures, Activists Say They're Fired Up

Celebrities Who Are Standing Against Anti-Drag and Anti-Trans Bills


John Stewart Confronts Current Issues


Jon Stewart Interviews Oklahoma State Sen. Nathan Dahm
John Stewart Interviews Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Jon Stewart Interviews Families About  Gender-Affirming Care
Jon Stewart Taking Responsibility For Systemic Racism
Jon Stewart on Culture Wars
Jon Stewart on Marriage Equality


Lesbian Mayor of Tampa Wins Reelection By Landslide

Jane Castor, Mayor of Tampa and an out LGBTQ woman, easily won reelection in March 2023 with 80% of the vote.   But there’s one caveat.  She didn’t have an opponent except for a blank line where voters could fill in whomever they wanted. According to the Tampa Bay Times, some of those write-ins went to Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady; Tampa’s strip club king Joe Redner; Mickey Mouse; Santa Claus; and Spongebob Squarepants.


“It is clear the Tampa community is all-in for Jane across all party lines. She has ushered in a new level of prosperity and equity for the city by delivering real results and passing smart policies for the community she loves,” said Annise Parker, President of Victory Fund, in a press release. “While today’s result is a victory for all Tampa residents, it is also a meaningful victory for Florida’s LGBTQ community. With anti-LGBTQ hate spreading like wildfire in Florida, Jane has consistently fought back. We are confident Jane will continue making Tampa a bastion for LGBTQ rights and equality in the state.”   Castor is a Democrat and former Tampa police chief.

[Source: South Florida Gay News, March 2023]


Rainbow Wave Spreads Across US as Hundreds of LGBTQ Candidates Win Elections
Meet the History-Making Class of the 2022 Midterms
History Making LGBTQ Candidates Elected to State Legislatures Across the Country
Maura Healey Becomes First Lesbian Elected Governor in US

In a Historic First, LGBTQ Americans Will Be On the Ballot in All 50 States

Groundbreaking LGBTQ Politicians and Public Officials
History-Making LGBTQ Women in Politics


Lawmakers Set New Benchmark for Measuring LGBTQ Equality


"Our ability to thrive in this country should not be limited due to our sexual orientation or gender identity."


The Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus issued its inaugural report in Dec 2022, which its leaders say will establish an official benchmark of the nation’s progress in advancing LGBTQ equality.

“We are not starting at a great place,” Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), one of the equality caucus’s co-chairs, wrote in an introductory message on the report, which details disparities in access to education, housing, economic security and health care among LGBTQ people. LGBTQ students as young as kindergarten, for instance, face obstacles including harassment and discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity that negatively impact their ability to learn in a secure environment, according to the report, which uses survey data collected last year by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).


In the year since the GLSEN surveys were distributed, more than a dozen state legislatures have passed laws that bar transgender women and girls from competing on female sports teams, limit transgender students’ access to restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity and restrict how LGBTQ issues and identities more broadly are discussed in schools.

“With the increasing rise of violence against the LGBTQ community and the growing number of anti-LGBTQ bills being introduced in state legislatures and in Congress, it is especially critical that all levels of government work to ensure true lived equality for LGBTQ people,” Cicilline said. That includes enacting the Equality Act, Cicilline said, referring to a bill passed last year by the House that would broaden existing federal civil rights law to include nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people.

“Our ability to thrive in this country should not be limited due to our sexual orientation or gender identity,” he said. “The fight for equality in this country will not be over until we address all of these disparities and create true equity for the LGBTQ community.”

The Equality Caucus report highlights disparities in rates of unemployment and economic and food insecurity among LGBTQ people, driven in part by employment discrimination that is not expressly prohibited in at least a dozen states, according to the Human Rights Campaign.  In 20 states, LGBTQ people can be evicted, denied home loans or turned away from rental properties because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, exacerbating struggles to find housing in a tight market. Transgender individuals and people of color often bear the brunt of this kind of discrimination, as well as LGBTQ youth, who disproportionately struggle with homelessness.

The Equality Caucus report also emphasizes unique obstacles faced by LGBTQ Americans in accessing basic health care.  LGBTQ people, especially transgender and gender-nonconforming people, often struggle to find culturally competent providers and may steer clear of doctor’s offices to avoid being misgendered or discriminated against.

LGBTQ people also face disproportionately high rates of depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders due to factors including victimization, discrimination and minority stress, according to their report.  More than 60 percent of LGBTQ youth in a report from The Trevor Project, a leading LGBTQ youth suicide prevention group, said their mental health was negatively impacted by state-led efforts to curb the rights of transgender people in the US.


Congress has taken some steps in the past to reduce discrimination and stigma faced by the nation’s LGBTQ community. A measure signed into law last year includes funding for grants meant to improve data collection of hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as grants for states to better assist victims.

Last year, President Biden signed into law a bill to recognize the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., as a national memorial to honor the victims of a 2016 mass shooting.  And in June, the House passed the “LGBTQ Data Inclusion Act,” which would require federal surveys to collect voluntary information on sexual orientation and gender identity.  In December Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law, officially repealing the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage for federal purposes as a union between one man and one woman. The law also requires states to recognize legal same-sex marriages.

[Source: Brook Migdon, The Hill, Dec 2022]

History-Making LGBTQ Women in Politics
Lawmakers Set New Benchmark for Measuring LGBTQ Equality
These Recently Elected Trans Lawmakers Say Anti-LGBTQ Bills Inspired Them to Run
Rainbow Wave Spreads Across US as Hundreds of LGBTQ Candidates Win Elections
Meet the History-Making Class of the 2022 Midterms

Pete Buttigieg is Laying Groundwork to Run for… Something

Karine Jean-Pierre Reflects on Historic Marriage Act Signing

Karine Jean-Pierre: White House Press Secretary is a Gay Black Woman



Gay Man Blasts His GOP Anti-LGBTQ Lawmaker Aunt
Black Gay Man Davante Lewis Is First Out State Official in Louisiana

Kentucky Senator Says Transgender Son Died by Suicide
President Biden: We Must Stop the Assault on American Democracy

LGBTQ History in the Making With Record Number of Out Candidates

Tammy Baldwin to Marco Rubio: Marriage Equality Bill Is Not Stupid
Pete Buttigieg Responds to Marco Rubio’s Snide Comments About Marriage Equality
Marriage Equality Bill Could Pass Senate Despite Some GOP Opposition
Republicans Split on Same-Sex Marriage Bill: Faces Uncertainty in the Senate


Maura Healey Becomes First Lesbian Elected Governor in US

Out Democratic candidate Maura Healey has been elected the first out lesbian governor in the US, as well as the first woman to lead Massachusetts.

Democrat Maura Healey scored a decisive and historic victory in the 2022 midterm elections, becoming the first elected female governor in Massachusetts and the nation's first openly lesbian governor.

Healey, the state's Attorney General since 2014, overwhelmed her Republican opponent, former state Rep. Geoff Diehl, and put the governorship firmly back in Democratic hands after Republican Gov. Charlie Baker declined to seek a third term. Diehl was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who remains deeply unpopular in Massachusetts.


Healey never trailed in the polls and held huge advantages in fundraising and name recognition. She campaigned on a long list of Democratic priorities, including expanding affordable housing, promoting green jobs, and improving public transportation.

"Let's put money back in people's pockets by cutting the costs of housing, energy and health care," Healey said last June, when she accepted her party's nomination.

As the state's attorney general, Healey initiated or joined dozens of lawsuits against the Trump administration – from challenging his Muslim travel ban to protecting immigrant rights to suing the EPA for delaying or rolling back environmental regulations.

Healey's historic victory burnishes her profile as a leader in the LGBTQ community. "I'm proud of who I am," Healey said. She said she is especially moved when young people from that community tell her they feel comforted by her success. 
"Kids need to understand and believe that they are loved, they are seen and that they can be whoever they are."


Maura Healey Becomes First Lesbian Elected Governor in US
Out Lesbian Maura Healey Claims Historic Victory: Elected First Woman Governor in Massachusetts
Maura Healey Wins Massachusetts Governor's Race: First Lesbian Elected to Lead a State

Massachusetts's Maura Healey on Becoming the First Lesbian Governor



Addressing her supporters at a victory rally in Boston, Healey dedicated her win to "every little girl and every young LGBTQ person out there."  "I hope tonight shows you that you can be whatever, whoever you want to be," she said to a roaring crowd. "And nothing and no one can ever get in your way except your own imagination, and that's not going to happen."


Annise Parker, the president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which helps queer candidates get elected to public office, said Healey’s historic win will help send a message that “LGBTQ people have a place in American society and can become respected public leaders. We are confident that under Maura’s leadership, Massachusetts will reach new heights as one of the most inclusive states in the country."

Healey will follow two other out LGBTQ Democrats who have been elected to lead their states: Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who is bisexual, became the first openly LGBTQ person to be elected governor in 2015, and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis became the first openly gay man to be elected governor in 2018. (Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey was not out when he was elected to office in 2001; he came out as gay in his 2004 resignation speech.)

[Source: Anthony Brooks, NPR News, Nov 2022]


Congressman Chris Pappas Announced He Is Engaged to Boyfriend
Remembering Trump Election: Kate McKinnon as Hillary on SNL

Danica Roem Message to LGBTQ Youth: You Have to Care About Politics

Biden Nominates First Out Lesbian to Ambassador Post

The Inauguration We Can’t Enjoy
LGBTQ Reaction to Biden's Inauguration

C-SPAN: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Inauguration Ceremony

Meet Your Republican Insurrectionists


Joe Biden Elected President


It took a few extra days to get there, but Joe Biden has now been elected president of the United States. The Democratic nominee went over the needed 270 votes in the Electoral College. For many Americans, including LGBTQ ones, it means the end of the long national nightmare of Donald Trump’s presidency — at least that the end will come with Biden’s inauguration January 20. Trump has sowed hatred against LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants, and many other groups, while demeaning women and taking grossly insufficient action against the COVID-19 pandemic. It means a welcome return to normality, with relief from Trump’s Twitter tantrums and vitriol-filled rallies, and a chance to reverse the many harmful policies enacted by his administration.

It also means history has been made with the election of Kamala Harris as vice president. Harris, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, is the first woman elected vice president as well as the first Black vice president and first one of South Asian descent. There has, of course, been one Black person in the top post, President Barack Obama, for whom Biden served as vice president.



Joe Biden Wins Presidency: LGBTQ Folks Can See the Sun Again

LGBTQ Leaders: Biden's Victory and Trump's Defeat

Joe Biden: First President Entering the White House Supporting Marriage Equality

What Vice President Kamala Harris Means to Marginalized People

Biden Wins Historic 2020 Election and Vanquishes Trump

Van Jones on CNN: Character Matters

Both Biden and Harris are longtime LGBTQ allies and ran the most pro-LGBTQ campaign in history. They have promised to lobby Congress for passage of the Equality Act, address the epidemic of violence against transgender Americans, appoint equality-minded judges, and more. On other issues, they support reproductive rights, expansion of the Affordable Care Act to make health insurance more widely available, environmental protections, and other progressive moves.

Biden was a US senator from Delaware from 1973 until becoming Obama's vice president in 2009. While he took some negative positions on LGBTQ rights at some points, such as voting for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, he became a strong supporter of LGBTQ equality. He notably came out for marriage equality as he and Obama were seeking reelection in 2012, a few days before Obama did the same. As vice president, he successfully pressed Congress to pass a hate-crimes law that covers crimes against LGBTQ people. As a senator, he supported the Equality Act's predecessor, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, although it never became law.

Harris is currently a US senator from California, having previously been the state's attorney general and, before that, San Francisco district attorney. As San Francisco DA, she established a hate-crimes unit, and as attorney general, she led efforts to abolish gay and trans "panic" defenses in criminal trials. In the latter position, she also refused to defend Proposition 8, the voter-passed measure that revoked marriage equality in California, and her position was key to it being struck down in court.

[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate, Nov 2020]


Nine Strong Queer Candidates for Congress
Pete Buttigieg: Sharp Comebacks to Critics

Queer Lives Under Attack: Fight Back at the Polls

Out Gov. Jared Polis Slams GOP for Attacking LGBTQ People With Over 150 Bills

Out LGBTQ Elected Officials Jump to Record Level in Past Year

Number of LGBTQ Elected Officials in US Doubled Since 2017
Beto O'Rourke Praises Parents of Trans Kids in Late Night Appearance

Sam Brinton: Biden's Non-Binary Energy Appointment

What Biden Can Learn From Hillary Clinton’s Landmark LGBTQ Speech



Number of Out LGBTQ Elected Officials Surpasses 1000
New LGBTQ State Lawmakers Who Won Their First Elections

LGBTQ Political Victories: Meet the 2020 Rainbow Wave

Andrea Jenkins Makes History as 1st Openly Transgender City Council President
Review of Mayor Pete Documentary: Inside Look at a Historic Campaign

Vote 'Em Out: Willie Nelson
Difficult to Threatening: LGBTQ Women Running for Office

Tracy Chapman on Seth Meyers Show: Talkin' 'Bout a Revolution

Rise in LGBTQ Political Representation

Pete Buttigieg Join's Joe Biden's White House Transition Team

Sarah McBride: Most Inspiring Elected Official in America

Democratic Platform Promises Bold Action for Racial and LGBTQ Equality

Joe Biden: Pro-LGBTQ Presidential Candidate


LGBTQ Republicans: Gay Voters for Trump?


More than 80% of LGBTQ voters say they were more motivated to vote this year, according to a poll by the LGBTQ organization GLAAD. Many say they feel like their lives depended on this vote.

However, as it turns out, the LGBTQ community is not a monolithic voting bloc. We've all heard of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of LGBTQ Republicans, which always seemed like a contradiction in terms. While it might be difficult to imagine, we are now learning that the number of LGBTQ people who voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 US presidential election more than double compared to four years ago, exit polls suggest. And according to exit polls conducted by Edison Research for the National Election Pool, the sturdy trend that LGBTQ people vote Democratic has remained, but more voted for Trump this time around than in 2016.


A mere 14 per cent LGBTQ people voted for the Trump-Pence ticket in 2016, even despite the pair’s anti-LGBTQ track records. Come 2020, and that figure has doubled to 28 per cent who voted for the Trump-Pence ticket, even despite the absolute onslaught of anti-queer attacks by the administration.

Around 61 per cent of LGBTQ voters went for Biden at the ballots. The study found that of the 15,590 voters interviewed, around seven per cent were LGBTQ. The exit poll comes after survey-takers in September found around 45 per cent of queer men intended to vote Trump.

As much as Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has netted an, albeit, slim majority of the queer male vote, securing 51 per cent, it signaled to pollsters how the president’s brand of bullish showmanship has roiled the political landscape. Indeed, the LGBTQ voting bloc has long been reliably Democratic. The poll conducted by queer dating app Hornet found that, overall among its users, around 66 per cent prefer Biden while 34 per cent support Trump.



But for queer Americans, pollsters said, the statistics were far tighter together. Just less than half of queer men said they do not support Trump, and a slim 11 per cent said they generally disagree with his stances.

LGBTQ Republicans: What a Joke
LGBTQ Nation: Why Are Some LGBTQ People Republicans?
USA Today: Gay Voters for Trump

NPR: What is at Stake for LGBTQ Voters?

Discussion: Can You Be Gay and Republican?

NBC News: Gay Republicans Backing Trump

Pink News: Number of LGBTQ Voters for Trump Doubles

Log Cabin Republicans


Sam Brinton: Nuclear Engineer in US Energy Dept


President Biden has tapped a non-binary, LGBTQ activist, drag queen, and pup fetishist to be the deputy assistant secretary of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition in the Energy Department’s Office of Nuclear Energy. Sam Brinton (they/them) has a dual Master’s degree in engineering systems and nuclear science and engineering from MIT.  Sam has worn their stilettos to Congress to advise legislators about nuclear policy and to the White House where they advised President Obama and Michelle Obama on LGBTQ issues.

Calling themselves a "radioactive nerd," they worked in the clean energy movement and has been in the forefront of numerous queer rights issues. And in February 2022, it was announced that Sam Brinton will be the deputy assistant secretary of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition in the Energy Department's Office of Nuclear Energy. "In this role," Brinton wrote, "I'll be doing what I always dreamed of doing, leading the effort to solve the nation's nuclear waste challenges."

Brinton was praised by colleagues: "Sam, you're exactly the right person for this job. I know you've been preparing diligently for just such a position for a decade or more. Besides, we need a courageous problem solver to address one of the few remaining obstacles to rapid growth in nuclear energy."

They see a connection between their two great advocacy passions. "I want to move the dial a little bit to leave the world in a better place by talking about a hard issue in a way that more people are able to access it," he said. "The challenge of coming out as LGBTQ sure gives you a lot of practice for coming out for nuclear energy."

Brinton has been passionate about these issues since they were an undergraduate at Kansas State University, where they helped found the state's first LGBTQ resource center while earning earned bachelor's degrees in mechanical and nuclear engineering and vocal music performance.

At MIT, they earned dual master's degrees through the Technology and Policy Program: one in engineering systems and the other in nuclear science and engineering. They served as president of the MIT Science Policy Initiative and co-founded two student groups: Stand with Science, which supports more federal research funding, and the National Science Policy Group, a nationwide network focusing on science and policy issues.

You might not expect a nuclear engineering graduate from MIT to be strolling through the White House in stilettos, but that is part of the reason Sam does it. Having a chat on preconceptions is right up their alley. Whether it's on technical topics or social issues like supporting LGBTQ survivors of conversion therapy, Sam is always willing to have the tough conversations with an open mind.


They are also a passionate advocate against conversion therapy. "Sam is an ardent activist against the dangerous and discredited practices of conversion therapy.

Brinton enjoys roleplaying as a “pup handler" in the "pup play" community.  Their drag queen alter ego is “Sister Ray Dee O’Active.”  And they are a member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

Sam Brinton: Biden's Non-Binary Energy Appointment
Andrea Jenkins Makes History as 1st Openly Transgender City Council President
Review of Mayor Pete Documentary: Inside Look at a Historic Campaign
Kimi Cole Aims to Be First Trans Politician to Win Statewide Race

Karine Jean-Pierre: 1st Gay Person to Lead White House Press Briefing
Difficult to Threatening: LGBTQ Women Running for Office
For the Trump Family, LGBTQ People Are Nothing but a Joke
Election 2020: Reasons to be Optimistic

Sarah McBride: Most Inspiring Elected Official in America

First LGBTQ Holders of US Political Offices

Huff Post: Obama Legacy on LGBTQ Rights

Pete Buttigieg: First LGBTQ Person to Win Delegates in Any Presidential Contest

Rainbow Wave: 114 LGBTQ Candidates Won Office This Year

Pete Buttigieg: Unlikely Unprecedented Presidential Campaign

Rainbow Wave Hits Midwest

Pete Buttigieg: Best Debate Moments

Republicans and Democrats: LGBTQ Acceptance

Van Jones: Exposing Liberal Hypocrisy and Conservative Closemindedness



Pete Buttigieg Wins Iowa Caucus


In February 2020, Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg made history at the Iowa caucus. He is the first LGBTQ person to win delegates in any presidential contest. He hopes his success in that contest will provide some amount of comfort and inspiration to young people who feel marginalized in their families and communities.


“It validates for a kid, somewhere in a community, wondering if he belongs, or she belongs, or they belong in their own family, that if you believe in yourself and your country, there’s a lot backing up that belief,” he said. In the final days before the Iowa caucuses, Buttigieg had leaned on the historic nature of his candidacy. The 38-year-old would also be the youngest president, if elected. “So, are you ready to make history one more time?” he said to an estimated 2,000 people at his final rally in Des Moines.

Buttigieg reminded Iowans that he was in Iowa roughly 12 years ago to knock doors for Barack Obama when the nation’s first black president was making his bid for the White House. Buttigieg said he also remembered watching from afar in 2009 when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in 2009 to uphold same-sex marriages. The consequential decision paved the way for a 2015 ruling in the US Supreme Court. “You all changed what people thought was possible once again, and gave someone like me permission to believe that one day I would be able to wear this wedding ring,” Buttigieg told the crowd. "You did that.”


Pete Buttigieg: First LGBTQ Person to Win Delegates in Any Presidential Contest

Pete Buttigieg: Advocate Magazine Interview

Iowa Voter Shocked to Learn Buttigieg is Gay, Asks to Change Vote

Pete Buttigieg Interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell

Pete Buttigieg: Unlikely Unprecedented Presidential Campaign

Pete Buttigieg Interviewed by Bill Maher

Pete Buttigieg Confronts VP Mike Pence About Anti-Gay Comments

Pete Buttigieg: Sharp Comebacks to Critics



Rainbow Wave: LGBTQ Candidates Getting Elected


In 2019, 144 openly LGBTQ candidates won their races, according to Victory Fund, an organization which supports LGBTQ political candidates nationwide. In addition, 12 races involving LGBTQ candidates remain undecided or are headed to runoff elections.

A total of 382 known out LGBTQ candidates ran in political races this year. Among winners in Nov 2019 were eight bisexuals, 20 lesbians and nine trans women, including Danica Roem who serves in Virginia’s House of Delegates, making her the first-ever trans person to win re-election for a state legislature in the US.

“Anti-LGBTQ attacks on our candidates almost universally backfired,” said Annise Parker, President and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, in a statement. She added: "LGBTQ candidates are winning elections in numbers and in parts of the country thought unthinkable a decade or two ago. LGBTQ people are in every community – we are people of color, women, immigrants, and people with disabilities – and we come from families both liberal and conservative. This beautiful diversity provides an opportunity to connect on some level with every single voter in America. That is the reason LGBTQ candidates are winning in unprecedented numbers, and this will only accelerate in the years ahead."

Victory Fund says there are currently 765 openly LGBTQ elected officials serving nationwide.


Rainbow Wave: 114 LGBTQ Candidates Won Office This Year

Danica Roem: First Trans Legislator Re-Elected

Trans Lawmaker of Virginia: Danica Roem

Victory Fund: Results 2019

Victory Institute: Out for America



LGBTQ Victory Fund


The LGBTQ Victory Fund (commonly shortened to Victory Fund) is an American political action committee dedicated to increasing the number of openly LGBTQ public officials in the United States. Victory Fund is the largest LGBTQ political action committee in the United States and one of the nation’s largest non-connected PACs. The Victory Fund was founded in 1991 as a non-partisan political action committee. It provides strategic, technical and financial support to openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer candidates and officials across the United States running for all levels of government. Its partner organization, Victory Institute, offers programs and training to elected officials.

According to the Victory Fund organization, its mission is "to work to change the face and voice of America’s politics and achieve equality for LGBTQ Americans by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ officials at all levels of government."


Victory Fund

Wikipedia: LGBTQ Victory Fund

2019 Candidates Endorsed by the Victory Fund


Since 1991, Victory Fund has helped elect thousands of LGBTQ candidates. These LGBTQ voices have made significant contributions to advancing equality for LGBTQ Americans, from passing non-discrimination laws to defeating amendments to ban marriage equality.

The Victory Fund provides campaign, fundraising and communications support to LGBTQ candidates to increase the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials. According to the Victory Fund, "Representation is power. When LGBTQ elected leaders are in the room, they humanize our lives, impact policy and legislative debates and influence straight lawmaker colleagues to vote in favor of equality. LGBTQ elected officials are our best defense against anti-LGBTQ efforts at all levels of government, and are best positioned to advance equality for our community."


History-Making LGBTQ Women in Politics

Groundbreaking LGBTQ Politicians and Public Officials

Election 2020: GOP Claims Trump Protects LGBTQ Rights

LGBTQ Voters Needs to Be Aware: Anti-LGBTQ GOP Platform for 2020 Election

Anti-LGBTQ Pastors, Politicians, Pundits Predict End of World if Trump is Not Re-Elected

HRC: Important Moments for LGBTQ Progress

Candidate Pete Buttigieg Confronts VP Mike Pence About Anti-Gay Comments

Washington Blade: How Trump Could Undermine LGBTQ Rights

Rep. Angie Craig: LGBTQ Member of Congress

CNN: What a Trump Presidency Could Mean for LGBTQ Americans

New York Times: Trump Victory Alarms LGBTQ Groups

Pete Buttigieg: Advocate Magazine Interview

Huff Post: Assault on LGBTQ Rights Already Underway

First Drag Queen Elected to Public Office in US

Donald Trump Opposes Nationwide Marriage Equality
Richard Nixon Discusses Homosexuality


Pete Buttigieg: Gay Presidential Candidate


When Pete Buttigieg announced that he was running for president in March 2019, the general feeling was he was a minor candidate at best. At 37, he’s just two years older than the office requires, and thirty (even forty) years younger than some of his Democratic rivals. The only elected office he has held is mayor of South Bend, Indiana, which, with a population of 102,000, is hardly a metropolis.

And then there’s the gay thing. As an openly gay candidate, Buttigieg seemed easy to classify as a novelty. All in all, Buttigieg looked like he was destined to be a footnote in a crowded presidential field. But, it’s not turning out that way at all.



Gay Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg

Mayor Pete Announces Prez Campaign and Kisses Husband

Pete Buttigieg: Advocate Magazine Interview

Mayor Pete Hailed as Role Model by 58 US Mayors

NY Times: Pete Buttigieg Might be President

Pete Buttigieg and Husband on Cover of Time Magazine

Pete Buttigieg: Gay South Bend Mayor Running for President

CNN: Pete Buttigieg Doing Well in the Polls

Buttigieg is proving to be a credible candidate simply by being himself. His appearance at a CNN Town Hall was a turning point. Buttigieg impressed the audience and pundits by his plainspokenness and command of facts, to say nothing of his ability to turn a phrase.

He called Vice President Mike Pence, whom Buttigieg knows personally, the “cheerleader of the porn presidency,” a description that will haunt Pence for years and will serve as an epitaph for his career.

Buttigieg did such a good job that he raised $600,000 from 22,000 donors in just 24 hours. Within a few days, Buttigieg was able to announce that he had hit the threshold of 65,000 donors necessary to qualify him for the Democratic candidates’ debate.


Buttigieg has the kind of background that is tailor-made for a presidential candidate: Harvard, Rhodes scholar, veteran. He also has a big uphill battle. Most people don’t know who he is; he’s polling at one percent. He’s not the fundraising juggernaut that other candidates are. The media’s love affair with him now can quickly turn, as the press decides the pendulum has swung too far in that direction.

Yet so far, Buttigieg’s candidacy has been more successful than anyone would have predicted. Seeing him arrayed on a stage crowded with first-tier candidates will further boost his credibility. Maybe Buttigieg doesn’t win the nomination for president, at least not this time around. But he’s definitely paved the way for a bigger presence in the Democratic party.


Pete Buttigieg: Unlikely Unprecedented Presidential Campaign

Washington Post: Is Pete Buttigieg Gay Enough?

Pete Buttigieg Will be Part of Presidential Debate

South Bend Tribune: Mayor Buttigieg Marries Partner

Pete Buttigieg: Presidential Candidate With an Advantage Over Trump

LGBTQ Nation: Why Pete Buttigieg is Good for Gays


Lori 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 cities.

“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.”

“As the 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 leadership.”

LGBTQ Nation: Black Lesbian Becomes Chicago Mayor

USA Today: Chicago Makes History with First Gay, Black, Female Mayor

Chicago Tribune: Lori Lightfoot Breaks the Rules

Advocate: Lesbian Mayoral Candidates Making History


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.


History-Making LGBTQ Women in Politics

Variety: LGBTQ Groups React to Trump Victory

NBC News: Nationwide Anti-Trump Protests

Huff Post: Assault on LGBTQ Rights Already Underway

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.”


Trump's Anti-Gay Cabinet and LGBTQ Rights

Over 700 Reports of Harassment Since Trump Election

Outbreak of Hate Incidents Since Trump's Win

Republicans and Democrats: LGBTQ Acceptance

Huff Post: Attitude of Trump's Transition Team Regarding LGBTQ People

Out: How Trump Presidency Could Affect LGBTQ Rights

Washington Blade: How Trump Could Undermine LGBTQ Rights


Annise Parker: 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.


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.

--Sen Kyrsten Sinema - first openly bisexual US Senator. Elected 2019.

--Rep Robert Garcia (D-Calif) - First gay immigrant elected to Congress. Elected 2022.


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.

--Pete Buttigieg - Secretary of Transportation. Appointed 2020.


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


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


President Obama Speaks for Gay Civil Rights

Big LGBTQ Thank You to President Obama

Gay is Good for America

LGBTQ Speakers at DNC Convention

President Obama: It Get's Better

History-Making LGBTQ Women in Politics


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) – 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.

--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 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 elected.

--RI Rep Frank G. Ferri (D) - Served 2007-2015.



--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.


Groundbreaking LGBTQ Politicians and Public Officials

Discussion: Can You Be Gay and Republican?

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

Vote 'Em Out: Willie Nelson


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.



First LGBTQ Holders of US Political Offices

Huff Post: Obama Legacy on LGBTQ Rights

Pete Buttigieg: First LGBTQ Person to Win Delegates in Any Presidential Contest

Rainbow Wave: 114 LGBTQ Candidates Won Office This Year

Pete Buttigieg: Unlikely Unprecedented Presidential Campaign

Rainbow Wave Hits Midwest

Discussion: Can You Be Gay and Republican?

Republicans and Democrats: LGBTQ Acceptance

HRC: Important Moments for LGBTQ Progress

Candidate Pete Buttigieg Confronts VP Mike Pence About Anti-Gay Comments


LGBTQ Politicians



--Lori Lightfoot - First gay, black, female mayor of Chicago (2019).

--Pete Buttigieg - Openly Gay (and married) Mayor of South Bend, IN.

--David Cicilline - First mayor of a US state capital. Providence, Rhode Island (2002).

--Neil Rafferty - Openly gay state representative, Birmingham, Alabama.
--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, Washington (2014).
--Cathy Woolard - First openly gay president of a city council. Atlanta, GA (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.
--Ron Oden - Palm Springs, California. First openly gay African-American Mayor popularly elected in US.
--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 in Idaho.
--Sam Adams - City Commissioner. First openly gay Commissioner in Portland.
--Sam Adams - Mayor. Portland, Oregon.


Washington Blade: How Trump Could Undermine LGBTQ Rights

Vote 'Em Out: Willie Nelson

Rep. Angie Craig: LGBTQ Member of Congress

Groundbreaking LGBTQ Politicians and Public Officials

CNN: What a Trump Presidency Could Mean for LGBTQ Americans

New York Times: Trump Victory Alarms LGBTQ Groups

Pete Buttigieg: Advocate Magazine Interview

Huff Post: Assault on LGBTQ Rights Already Underway

First Drag Queen Elected to Public Office in US

Richard Nixon Discusses Homosexuality

Discussion: Can You Be Gay and Republican?


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.


First LGBTQ Holders of US Political Offices

Huff Post: Obama Legacy on LGBTQ Rights

History-Making LGBTQ Women in Politics

Discussion: Can You Be Gay and Republican?

Rainbow Wave Hits Midwest

Republicans and Democrats: LGBTQ Acceptance

HRC: Important Moments for LGBTQ Progress



Oliver Sipple: Tragic Hero

In 1975, a disabled Vietnam vet named Oliver Sipple saved President Gerald Ford from an assassin. Although Sipple was hailed a hero at first, the tide quickly turned when the media outed him as a gay man.

Not only did the exposure of his homosexuality overshadow his heroic act, but it also led to his family essentially disowning him. Years later, Sipple's lifeless body was found next to a cheap bottle of bourbon in his apartment. He'd been dead for nearly two weeks before anyone found him.


Oliver Sipple: Biographical Notes

Vietnam Vet Saves President's Life and is Punished

Oliver Sipple: Tragic Story of an American Hero


James Buchanan and William Rufus King

There has always been some speculation surrounding James Buchanan's bachelorhood and his relationship with William Rufus King. Buchanan was the 15th US President and King was the 13th US Vice President.

The argument for Buchanan's and King's homosexuality has been put forward by biographer Jean Baker. It has been supported by Shelley Ross, James W. Loewen, and Robert P. Watson. It focuses essentially on the close and intimate relationship between President James Buchanan (from Pennsylvania) and Vice President William Rufus King (from Alabama).


The two men lived together for 13 years from 1840 until King's death in 1853. Buchanan referred to the relationship as a "communion", and the two often attended official functions together. Contemporaries also noted and commented upon the unusual closeness. Andrew Jackson mockingly called them "Miss Nancy" and "Aunt Fancy."


Loewen has described Buchanan and King as "siamese twins." Sol Barzman, a biographer of vice presidents, wrote that "King's "fastidious habits and conspicuous intimacy with the bachelor Buchanan gave rise to some cruel jibes." Buchanan adopted King's mannerisms and romanticised view of southern culture. Both had strong political ambitions, and in 1844, they planned to run as president and vice president. Both men were soft, effeminate, and eccentric. They spent some time apart while King was on overseas missions in France, and their letters remain cryptic and avoid revealing any personal feelings at all.


In May 1844, Buchanan wrote to Cornelia Roosevelt, "I am now 'solitary and alone,' having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them. I feel that it is not good for man to be alone, and I should not be astonished to find myself married to some old maid who can nurse me when I am sick, provide good dinners for me when I am well, and not expect from me any very ardent or romantic affection." After King died in 1853 Buchanan described him as "among the best, the purest and most consistent public men I have known." Baker concluded that while some of their correspondence was destroyed by family members, the length and the intimacy of surviving letters illustrate "the affection of a special friendship" between King and Buchanan, with no way to know for certain whether it was a romantic relationship.


Footnote: A similar story has been circulated about the intimate relationship between Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed.

Close Friends: Buchanan and King
William Rufus King: Background Notes
Speculating About President James Buchanan’s Bachelorhood
William Rufus King: US Vice President
C-SPAN: James Buchanan and William Rufus King Relationship


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