Tina Kotek To Be Named First Gay Leader Of Oregon’s House


The Democratic majority in Oregon's House of Representatives is set to name openly gay state Rep. Tina Kotek as their new leader tonight.

Kotek, a state representative since 2007, joins Washington's Ed Murray and Colorado's Mark Ferrandino as newly named leaders, which brings the total number of states headed by an out and proud lawmaker to five.

Oregon's KATU offers more from Kotek herself:

Kotek said she didn't set out to break barriers but is honored to
represent the gay community. It's important for the gay community to
have role models in leadership positions, she said.

"We all look for people out there who look like us," she said.

"I have had emails and text messages from people who are very excited,"
Kotek said. "I think any time you have a 'first' it's an important thing
for the community."

Denis Dison from Victory Fund, the national organization that backs LGBT candidates, said Kotek and her peers are just the latest example of LGBT Americans' inclusion in the legislative system.

"For many years we were building a bench of openly gay officials who could
step into those roles, and now we're seeing that around the country," he said.

[Image via KATU]


  1. bkmn says

    Would love to see Towleroad cover Victory Fund’s realization that only backing DCCC backed candidates is not being a good LGBT organization.

    They finally came to the realization that they should have backed Trevor Thomas in MI. VF passed on endorsing him even after he passed several milestones.

    Only now are they realizing that if VF had provided Trevor with backing early in the race he might have been able to pull off a victory.

    The Democrats are an ally to the LGBT community but not always true advocates for LGBT causes.

    Look at Obama. His stated fierce advocacy only came when the LGBT community forced him to carry through on his promises.

    After this election the Democratic party should be paying more attention to the LGBT community.

  2. Fruit-for-Peace says

    I remember Tina coming around and talking to various LGBT groups back in 2004 when she was first running for office. That was when the Portland, OR LGBT groups were organizing together for our try at marriage equality starting in Multnomah County, and also to fight the State constitutional amendment. We failed on the marriage equality aspect but, BOY, are we PROUD of Tina and how well she has and is doing in service to the State of Oregon. :-)

  3. Brian says

    “Kotek, a state representative since 2007, joins Washington’s Ed Murray and Colorado’s Mark Ferrandino as newly named leaders, which brings the total number of states headed by an out and proud lawmaker to five.”

    No – rather, there are 99 state legislative bodies (Nebraska is unicameral), of which, if this sentence is otherwise true, 5 are/will be headed by LGBT people. The 50 governors, too, are lawmakers after a fashion. So, depending on how you look at it, of the 99 or 149 top legislative officials in the 50 states, 5 are LGBT. We should celebrate our advances, but clarity with language is preferable.

  4. AB says


    In Montana, State Rep. Bryce Bennett (D-Missoula) was named as the House Minority Caucus Chairman. It’s the #4 position of the House Democrats, but it is still quite cool. Bennett is the first and only openly gay man to be elected to the state legislature.

    Link (sidebar): http://bit.ly/UJaVhv

Leave A Reply