LGBTQ political representation in America took a gigantic leap forward after 2018’s Rainbow Wave, increasing the number of openly LGBTQ people serving in elected office to 670!
However, history is still being made.
One of the most encouraging stories to emerge post-Rainbow Wave is the number of out legislators who have been elected to leadership positions in statehouses across the country. In total, there are now 19 openly LGBTQ legislators serving in leadership roles!
To start the 2019 legislative session, nine out state legislators have been elected or appointed to top legislative posts in their respective chambers.
Senator Kelvin Atkinson (D-Las Vegas) was elected Majority Leader of the Nevada Senate, becoming the nation’s first black LGBTQ person to lead a legislative body. In Oklahoma, Senator Kay Floyd (D-Oklahoma City) was elected Minority Leader of the Oklahoma Senate, making her Oklahoma’s first woman and first LGBTQ person to serve in leadership. And, Senator Jeremy Moss (D–Southfield), who is the first openly gay person elected to the Michigan Senate, was named Assistant Minority Leader.
In Maine, Representatives Matt Moonen (D-Portland) and Ryan Fecteau (D-Biddeford) were elected House Majority Leader and Assistant Majority Leader, respectively, making Maine the first state in the nation to have a legislative chamber led by a gay duo. Additionally, Representative Greg Harris (D-Chicago) was appointed House Majority Leader in Illinois, Representative Josh Boschee (D-Fargo) was elected Minority Leader in the North Dakota House of Representatives, Representative Raghib Allie-Brennan (D-Bethel) was named House Assistant Majority Leader in Connecticut, and Montana Representative Kim Abbott (D-Helena) was elected House Minority Whip.
These out legislators join five openly LGBTQ lawmakers already serving in top leadership roles, including California Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland), Vermont Senate Majority Leader Becca Balint (D-Windham), Wyoming House Minority Leader Cathy Connolly (D-Laramie), and Connecticut House Deputy Majority Leader Jeff Currey (D-East Hartford).
Full List of 2019 Out Legislative Leaders (by state)
- Sen. Toni Atkins, Senate President Pro Tempore
- Asm. Todd Gloria, Assembly Majority Whip
- Rep. Jeff Currey, House Deputy Majority Leader
- Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan, House Assistant Majority Leader
- Rep. Shevrin Jones, House Deputy Democratic Leader
- Rep. Matt Moonen, House Majority Leader
- Rep. Ryan Fecteau, House Assistant Majority Leader
- Sen. Jeremy Moss, Senate Assistant Minority Leader
- Rep. Kim Abbott, House Minority Whip
- Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, Senate Majority Leader
- North Dakota
- Rep. Josh Boschee, House Minority Leader
- Sen. Kay Floyd, Senate Minority Leader
- Rep. Tina Kotek, House Speaker
- Rep. Rob Nosse, House Deputy Majority Whip
- Sen. Derek Kitchen, Senate Minority Caucus Manager
- Sen. Becca Balint, Senate Majority Leader
- Sen. Marco Liias, Senate Majority Floor Leader
- Rep. Mark Spreitzer, House Minority Caucus Chair
- Rep. Cathy Connolly, House Minority Leader
The trust each of these accomplished out legislators have been given by their peers is great news for the LGBTQ community. All of us at Victory Institute wish them a ton of success. Representation is power!
There are 670 LGBTQ elected officials currently serving in the United States, including 149 legislators. You can view them all here: outforamerica.org.