First openly gay state Assembly speaker elected

California's state ssembly made history Thursday when its Democratic Caucus unanimously voted in the first openly gay lawmaker to the office of Assembly Speaker.
Assemblyman John Perez, D-Los Angeles, smiles as he talks with reporters about his selection to replace Karen Bass, right, as the new California Assembly Speaker in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009. (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)
Assemblyman John Perez, D-Los Angeles, smiles as he talks with reporters about his selection to replace Karen Bass, right, as the new California Assembly Speaker in Sacramento, Calif., on Thursday. Phot courtesy of: Rich Pedroncelli/AP

SACRAMENTO, Calif., — California’s state Assembly made history Thursday when its Democratic Caucus unanimously voted in the first openly gay lawmaker to the office of Assembly speaker.

John Perez, a freshman lawmaker and Latino Democrat from Los Angeles, is expected to replace the current Assembly Speaker, Karen Bass, in January.

“It’s obviously an incredibly moving experience to have the unanimous support of my colleagues,” Pérez, 40, said shortly after the caucus vote. “I think it says more about California than it does about me – it means that California is a place where everybody has a seat at the table, that we’re a state where everybody brings forward their contributions.”

To read more about this story, visit the San Francisco Chronicle.

– Simon Husted

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