LGBT+ elected officials in US increased by 21% over last year, report shows

Number of out representatives more than doubled since 2016

James Crump
Thursday 16 July 2020 23:41
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The number of openly LGBT+ elected officials in the US has increased by 21 per cent over the last year, according to a new report by the LGBTQ Victory Institute.

Bisexual representation increased by 53 per cent in the last year, while the number of individuals who identify as queer elected to office rose by 71 per cent.

However, the report did not find an increase in openly transgender men in the last 12 months, but did show that the amount of trans women elected to office rose by 40 per cent.

The findings, which were published on Wednesday as part of the organisation’s Out for America 2020 digital report, also showed that the number of LGBT+ elected officials more than doubled in the last four years.

The report found that there were 843 openly LGBT+ elected officials over all forms of government serving in June 2020, which is an increase from the 417 in 2016.

Last month, Rosemary Ketchum became West Virginia’s first openly transgender elected official, when she became a city council representative, and this week, Peyton Rose Michelle became the first openly transgender woman elected in Louisiana, after joining the Democratic State Central Committee.

Other out officials are tipped to be elected in November, and Mondaire Jones is predicted to become the first openly LGBT+ black congressman in November, following his victory in the Democratic primary in the 17th District of New York.

Ritchie Torres, who currently serves as a New York City councilman and is running in the area’s 15th Congressional District, is expected to become the first Afro-Latino LGBT+ representative, according to the Hill.

However, LGBTQ Victory Institute’s CEO Annise Parker said that more needs to be done in terms of government representation.

In a statement that accompanied the report, Ms Parker wrote that LGBT+ people “continue to be severely underrepresented in every state and at every level of government,” despite the advancements made in the last four years.

The Former Houston mayor said that LGBT+ people only hold 0.17 per cent of 510,00 elected positions, despite making up 4.5 per cent of the US population.

“The hateful legislation targeting our community in city councils, state legislatures and at the federal level is a byproduct of this gap in representation,” Ms Parker added.

“Allied elected officials are critically important. But when LGBTQ elected officials are in the halls of power, they change the hearts and minds of their lawmaker colleagues, defeat anti-LGBTQ bills, and inspire more inclusive legislation.”

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