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Victory Fund
lauds new roles for gay and lesbian lawmakers

Victory Fund
lauds new roles for gay and lesbian lawmakers

Gay and lesbian lawmakers take key roles in New York and New Jersey

The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund on Thursday cited three openly gay legislators in New York and New Jersey who have been elected to leadership roles in their respective legislative bodies. "These outstanding officials are a testament to the skill and talent that the LGBT community offers in the public arena," said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and Leadership Institute. "The over 350 openly LGBT public officials serving with distinction in the United States today, many who lead legislative bodies or are chief executives, demonstrate that sexual orientation need not be a barrier to running for office." In New York City, council member Christine Quinn was elected to the post of city council speaker on Wednesday. As the face of the 51-member New York City council, the speaker is widely regarded as the second most powerful city official and a counterbalance to the mayor. On Tuesday night Gina Genovese, a gay township committee member in Long Hill Township, N.J., was elected mayor. In Long Hill the township committee elects a mayor from among its members. The vote was 5-0, including the votes of the three Republicans. According to Garden State Equality, Genovese thus becomes the first openly LGBT person to be elected mayor of any New Jersey municipality in the state's 219-year history. On Wednesday in New York State's Suffolk County, Democrat Jon Cooper was elected majority leader of the Suffolk County legislature. Due to the body's recent transition from Republican to Democratic control, Cooper's nomination makes him the first Democratic majority leader in the 36-year history of the Suffolk County legislature. There are currently 352 openly LGBT elected officials in the United States serving from local office to the U.S. Congress. Of those, approximately 50% serve at the local legislative level. More than a dozen cities in the United States have had openly gay or lesbian mayors, including San Diego, Chula Vista, and Palm Springs, Calif; Providence, R.I.; Casper, Wyo.; Wilton Manors and Key Biscayne, Fla.; and Northampton, Mass. (Advocate.com)

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