Democrats in Washington state have
elected the state's first openly lesbian speaker of the House.
With Wednesday's vote, Washington
becomes the second state after Oregon to elect a gay speaker of the
House. Oregon Representative Tina Kotek was first elected speaker in
Representative Laurie Jinkins, a
54-year-old Democrat, told reporters on Wednesday that she is “really
proud” to serve as the state's first woman and out lesbian speaker
of the House.
“I believe very, very strongly that
the diversity of our caucus really more and more is representing the
diversity of our state and helps us make better decisions for the
people of this state. I'm proud to be a part of carrying that
forward,” she said.
Jinkins will take over the position
from acting speaker Representative John Lovick in January.
reported that eight states – Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Maryland,
Minnesota, Oregon and Vermont – have a woman leading the House.
Jinkins and her wife Laura Wulf are
raising one son.