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With a little help from the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, John A. Perez, was sworn in early Monday morning and became California's first openly gay assembly speaker.

December's win for Perez, a younger cousin of L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, was something of a surprise. He beat more seasoned members of his party, and as he has only one term in the legislature under his belt, the Los Angeles Times reports he could remain speaker for almost five years, "a remarkably long tenure in the era of term limits."

Before he was even sworn in, Perez led the vote against confirming Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's pick for lieutenant governor, state senator Abel Maldonado. The Sacramento Bee reports that during his ceremony, Perez banned texting on the floor.

Click here to read Perez's speech.

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