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Hundreds of LGBTQ candidates win state and local elections

Hundreds of LGBTQ candidates win state and local elections


Hundreds of LGBTQ candidates win state and local elections

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — While LGBTQ candidates and their supporters celebrated many victories around the nation in this year's midterm elections, high on their list are the victories in California where 10% of its state lawmakers identify publicly as LGBTQ, believed to be a first for any U.S. legislature.

Across the country, at least 519 out LGBTQ candidates won elected office this year, in positions ranging from school board up to Congress and governor, said LGBTQ Victory Fund press secretary Albert Fujii. That’s a record, well up from 2020, when 336 LGBTQ candidates won, according to the group, which along with Equality California calculated that California is the first state to pass the 10% threshold.

Alaska and South Dakota elected their first out LGBTQ legislators, and Montana and Minnesota elected their first transgender legislators, according to the Human Rights Campaign. In New Hampshire, Democrat James Roesener, 26, became the first trans man elected to any U.S. state legislature.

He said he was motivated to run after a state bill that would have required schools to notify parents of developments in their children's gender identity and expression failed only narrowly. Opponents of such requirements claim they invade children’s privacy and can put them at risk of abuse at home.

Leigh Finke, who was elected in Minnesota, also was driven by a pro LGBTQ agenda.

Finke hopes to ban so-called conversion therapy in Minnesota and, like California, make the state a so-called

sanctuary for children, and their parents, who can't access gender-affirming health care elsewhere.

“I just thought, ‘This can’t stand.’ We have to have trans people in these rooms. If we are going to lose our rights, at least they have to look us in the eye when they do it,” she said.

Massachusetts and Oregon elected the nation’s first out lesbian governors.

Charlotte Perri, a 23-year-old voting organizer in Portland, Oregon, said she got emotional hearing Gov.-elect Tina Kotek talk at a campaign event about young people thanking her for running.

“It’s hard to feel optimistic as a young queer person with everything that’s going on," Perri said.

Though the newly elected LGBTQ officials are overwhelmingly Democrats, at least one homosexual Republican — George Santos, a supporter of former President Donald Trump — won a U.S. House seat in New York by defeating another homosexual, a Democrat.