State Representative Jason W. Bartlett
(D-Bethel) has come out to become the sixth openly gay legislator
serving in the Connecticut General Assembly. Bartlett made the
announcement in interviews with The Hartford Courant, the nation's
47th largest newspaper by circulation, and his local
paper, the Danbury News-Times.
Bartlett's announcement was barely news
in Hartford where Democrats claim a 70% majority of the General
Assembly. Connecticut became the second state to enact same-sex civil
unions in 2005 after Vermont and the first to do so without judicial
But it was a historic announcement in
other regards, Bartlett has the distinction of being the first openly
gay black legislator in the United States. The National Black
Justice Coalition, a Washington D.C. gay rights group, says Bartlett
is only the sixth openly gay black elected official.
Bartlett, 41, is a freshman lawmaker
and co-chairman of Senator Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in
Connecticut. He was elected to the General Assembly in 2006 after
two previous unsuccessful attempts.
In his interviews Bartlett said he was
never a hypocrite about his sexual orientation. He said he has
always supported marriage equality and gay rights.