Talk:Out and Elected in the USA: 1974-2004

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User said ...
13:40, 11 November 2009 (PST)
In 1977, Kenneth Sherrill was elected Democratic District Leader from New York's 69th Assembly District. This was the first time that an openly LGBT person was elected to office in New York State. He served until 1985.

The first openly gay elected official was not at the state level, but the local level in Ann Arbor, MI. There are many citations. Here is one from an Ann Arbor paper, the Michigan Daily:

"At the same time as the University was trying to improve its gay relations, the city of Ann Arbor was setting an example for gay-friendly towns across the country.

Ann Arbor issued the first "Gay Pride Week" proclamation in the nation and passed one of the broadest non-discrimination ordinances in the summer of 1972.

De Griek, who had given GLF space for its conference, and Nancy Wechsler, another University student, were both elected to the Ann Arbor City Council in 1973 and came out of the closet together in 1974 at a council meeting.

A year later, Ann Arbor voters elected Cathy Kozachenko, to the council - the first time an openly gay person had ever been elected to public office in the nation. "

Ron Schlittler here - yes, I'd learned of the folks in Ann Arbor during my research, but they were not out when elected. Thank you for the note about Kozachenko - I researched her further and edited the introduction to the exhibit to include her accomplishment.

Your section on Minnesota is missing quite a few people: - Karen Clark, elected to the House of Representatives in 1980, and still serving there. Longest serving lesbian elected official in the USA. - Scott Dibble, elected to the Senate in 2000, and still serving. - Brian Coyle, Minneapolis City Council, elected in 1983, and served until his death from AIDS in 1991. - Wally Swan, elected to Minneapolis Board of Estimate & Taxation in 1993, retired in 2004. - Rod Krueger, Minneapolis Library Board, elected in 1997, served until 2007 when the library merged with Hennepin County libraries. - Al Oertwig, St. Paul School Board, elected in 1983, resigned in 2007. - Robert Lilligren, Minneapolis City Council, elected in 2001, still serving (Council Vice President). Also Native American. - Gary Schiff, Minneapolis City Council, elected in 2001, still serving. - Scott Benson, Minneapolis City Council, elected in 2001, still serving.

lnniles said ...
16:10, 7 April 2010 (EST)
Voted for Allan Spear in Mpls in 1972 and 1976