A new Democratic member of Congress from California, who is the first out gay immigrant elected to the body, will be sworn in on a rare first-edition Superman comic, sentimental personal items, and the Constitution once Republicans manage to elect a new speaker of the House.
Robert Garcia, who was mayor of Long Beach before November's election, announced on Tuesday that he would be sworn in with items of personal significance.
"Will be proudly sworn-in to Congress on the U.S. Constitution. Underneath the Constitution will be 3 items that mean a lot to me personally. A photo of my parents who I lost to covid, my citizenship certificate & an original Superman #1 from the @librarycongress," Garcia wrote on Twitter alongside a photo of the items.
Garcia's love of comic books is well documented. Most recently, days after his election, the incoming lawmaker tweeted his amazement at the collection of comic books in the Library of Congress collection.
In November, he tweeted, "Ok y'all I'm freaking out. This is the Congressional members reading room in the Library of Congress. I can pull any comic book from what is the largest public comic collection in the country and read them here. Let's go!"
Although many lawmakers traditionally have brought a Bible to swearing-in ceremonies, there is no such requirement. In fact, the Constitution spells out in Article VI that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."
In addition to the comic book, Garcia will have his certification of citizenship and photos of his parents with him for the big moment.
Garcia immigrated to the United States as a 5-year-old from Peru and subsequently earned his U.S. citizenship. Garcia's election is significant since he is the first immigrant who is also an out member of the LGBTQ+ community to join Congress.
In July 2020, while battling the COVID pandemic as the chief executive in Long Beach, Garcia lost his mother, a health care worker, to the virus. Then, in early August, his stepfather died of complications from the virus.
Garcia is one of the new congressional Democrats who have made a splash in advance of their official assumption of office.
Most notably, Garcia has his mind set on giving Georgia's far-right, anti-LGBTQ+ Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene a run for her money and has relentlessly trolled the extremist congresswoman.
In November, Garcia told The Advocate that as far as Greene is concerned, "I'm sure she's not going to like me very much."