Out gay Colorado State Representative Mark Ferrandino has been elected to the position of House Minority Leader, the Victory Fund reports, adding that "he could become House Speaker if the chamber flips back to Democratic control next year."
Brad Clark, the Executive Director of One Colorado, released a statement following Ferrandino's election:
“When openly LGBT people are elected, the face of politics is changed. By speaking honestly about their lives and their families, they are giving voice to our community and bravely serving as champions for equality. Representative Ferrandino has been a tremendous voice at the Capitol for the LGBT community. He succesfully sponsored a bill to grant domestic partner benefits to state employees, and he garnered significant support for a civil unions bill that was blocked from a floor vote. During the civil unions debate, Representative Ferrandino spoke openly about his partner and about his family’s hopes of starting a family. Because of his courage and willingness to publicly share his life, countless Coloradans feel connected to gay and lesbian families in their own neighborhoods. Representative Ferrandino hasn’t just been a champion for the LGBT community; he has also been an incredible leader for the people of House District 2. As a respected member of the powerful Joint Budget Committee and the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, Representative Ferrandino has been applauded for his keen understanding of fiscal matters and his sharp political mind. Without a doubt, openly LGBT lawmakers like Representative Mark Ferrandino are instrumental in creating a government and a world that is more fair and just.”