State Rep. Mark Ferrandino, who is openly gay, on Friday was elected minority leader of the Colorado House, the Denver Post reported.

“I will be a vocal advocate for the values and principles we care about as Coloradoans and as Democrats,” the 34-year-old Ferrandino said.

“I know the importance of creating strong bipartisan relationships, and I've always sought to do so in my role in the JBC,” he added, referring to his membership in the Joint Budget Committee.

Last year, Ferrandino, a Denver Democrat, co-sponsored a bill that sought to recognize gay and lesbian couples with civil unions. The measure died in a Republican-controlled House committee after the Senate had approved the bill. Ferrandino is widely expected to reintroduce the proposed legislation next year. Colorado voters approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in 2006.

Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty said he looked forward to working with Ferrandino.

“He is a good friend, and I look forward to working with him. As the House Democrat member of the Joint Budget Committee, Mark showed an interest in spending restraint,” McNulty said in a statement.

Ferrandino's election means that should Democrats regain control of the House, he could become house speaker.

Also gay are California Assembly Speaker John Perez and Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox.