Oregon Will Have the First Openly Bisexual Mayor

Kate Brown (The Democratic Party of Washington County)

Kate Brown (The Democratic Party of Washington County)

Progress is being in Oregon today: Former Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown will be sworn in as governor, becoming the first openly bisexual woman (actually, person) in the nation to hold the office. Brown succeeds former governor John Kitzhaber, who resigned due to a criminal probe into his fiancée’s role in his office.

She was appointed to Oregon’s State House of Representatives in 1991, was elected the following year, and re-elected two years later in 1994. She moved to the Senate in 1996, and was elected Senate Majority Leader in 2004. She began serving as Oregon’s Secretary of State in 2009.

While her main interests center on removing barriers to voting registration and growing small businesses and entrepreneurship, she’s also advocated for LGBT rights. Brown was profiled in the “Out and Elected in the USA” survey of LGBT government officials in 1992. She’s been married to her husband Dan Little since 1997.

Brown hasn’t run into any trouble with her constituents with her status as a bisexual woman, as  Oregon is known for being very socially progressive. As Hannah Hoffman of “The Statesman Journal” notes:

Her sexuality has never been a prominent issue in Oregon, where Portland recently had an openly gay mayor in Sam Adams and where the current speaker of the House, Tina Kotek, is a lesbian.

Hopefully, we’ll see the rest of the country follow suit.


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