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Second Openly Gay
Member Welcomed in Washington State Senate

Second Openly Gay
Member Welcomed in Washington State Senate

Joe_mcdermott

Joe McDermott, a Seattle Democrat, was appointed to the Washington state senate on October 15, making him that body's second openly gay member.

Joe McDermott, a Seattle Democrat, was appointed to the Washington state senate on October 15, making him that body's second openly gay member, according to a press release from the Washington Senate Democratic Caucus. McDermott was appointed by the King County Council to fill a vacancy left by Sen. Erik Poulson, who left for another position.

McDermott and his partner, Michael, live in west Seattle, where McDermott keeps active with the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Vashon Allied Arts, and Highline Historical Society. McDermott also serves on the boards of the West Seattle Helpline and Southwest Youth and Family Services.

"We look forward to welcoming Joe to the senate," Majority Leader Lisa Brown said in the release. "We know he is passionate about education, and he will continue the 34th district tradition of strong advocacy for the environment."

According to the statement, McDermott has represented the 34th legislative district in the house of representatives since 2000. "It's a journey of not much more than a few dozen yards between the house and senate, but I'm tremendously eager to get started," McDermott said in the release. A legislative champion of education, McDermott is also an effective advocate for electoral, public disclosure, and civil rights issues. Chief among his accomplishments is legislation that revamped the Washington Assessment of Student Learning and the State Board of Education. He also sponsored measures adding sexual orientation to the state's antidiscrimination laws and creating a domestic-partnership registry. Long concerned about secondhand smoke, McDermott introduced Washington's first comprehensive ban on smoking in indoor public places. (The Advocate)

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