Katie Hill, 32-year-old, became the first ever openly bisexual person to be elected to the U.S. Congress in the mid-term elections of 2018. It was a real pride for this young politician and for our community.
This is Transgender Awareness Month. We are both divided between the joy of celebrating the transgender community and the sadness at the too many murders that have taken place this year again.
We can now see the first signs of aggravation of discriminating laws against the LGBTQ community, and more particularly against families.
In 2017, Danica Roem became the first transgender woman to serve in a legislature, the Virginia one, and guess what? She’s running for office again!
After several years of love and living together, two lesbians from the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota wanted to evolve their relationship by marrying on the Pine Ridge Reserve.
In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed marriage equality across the United States, but Native American tribes do not depend on it for marriage. They have their own rules, and unfortunately, most of them have not yet approved same-sex marriage.
Since Native American traditions require couples to marry on sacred lands, many LGBTQ Native Americans cannot wed within their tribe.
In the Pine Ridge Reserve, Monique “Muffie” Mousseau and Felipa De Leon found it impossible for them to marry.
Both women felt very sad that they couldn’t marry within their tribe. Nevertheless, they received a marriage license in Pennington County and married in Mount Rushmore, considered sacred land.
The story might have ended there, but Muffie and Felipa are among those women who fight for generations to come.
They set themselves the goal of legalizing marriage equality within their tribe.
“We are looking out for future generations, for protections, and for equality,” Mousseau told the Rapid City Journal. “These foundations of laws have to be in place because we have grandkids. And that next generation coming up, we don’t want them experiencing the same (LGBTQ) bashing, we don’t want them to get to a point where somebody says a bad word to them because they like somebody of the same-sex and they hang themselves. We don’t want that.”
The result is hardly believable! By a 12-3 vote, the tribal council adopted a resolution amending the marriage Act and allowing same-sex people to marry.
Two days later, the same council recommended that the tribe pass a hate crime ordinance to provide protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity, inspired by the Matthew Shepard Act.
As a result, the Oglala Sioux Tribe became South Dakota’s first tribe to legalize marriage equality. Muffie and Felipa hope other tribes will follow their lead in allowing LGBTQ couples to marry.
“These are historic days for our tribe and for the rights of all people who seek equality, justice, and recognition under the law,” said Julian Bear Runner, president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, through his Chase Iron Eyes.
The Oglala Sioux Tribe has legalized marriage equality!
The Oglala Sioux Tribe became South Dakota’s first tribe to legalize same-sex marriage.
Laurie Jinkins is Washington House’s first lesbian and first woman to be elected Speaker.
Once Laurie Jinkins became involved in politics, she was mainly concerned with protecting children from abuse and neglect, but also helped improve the public health system in Washington over the two decades.
“I first ran for public office because I wanted to make sure all families have the same opportunities for success,” Jinkins said in a statement.
“Washington continues to rank among the top states to live, work, and do business in large part due to the forward-thinking policies adopted by the legislature over the last 20 years.
“We made sure all kids have access to health care regardless of family income. We have some of the best colleges and universities in the nation. And we support families by embracing marriage equality, paid family leave, equal pay, and many other policies.
“I want every family to have the same opportunities my family has had, and that vision will be the guiding force during my service as Speaker.
“I thank my colleagues for their confidence. This will be the most challenging job I’ll ever have but I am humbled and buoyed by the support of members of this caucus. For 20 years, we’ve worked together to improve quality of life on behalf of the people of Washington and House Democrats are committed to continuing that work for communities and families all across the state.”
The Washington State Democrats have appointed Laurie Jinkins as their new state House Speaker.
Laurie Jinkins becomes the third LGBTQ individual to lead a legislative chamber on the Pacific Coast after Oregon state Speaker Tina Kotek and California Senate President Toni Atkins.
She is also the first woman to lead the Washington state House.
Laurie Jinkins will start serving as House Speaker in January 2020.
“To have an openly LGBTQ woman in one of the most powerful roles in government can be transformative for the state of Washington,” said Annise Parker, President and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Institute.
“Speaker Jinkins will bring her unique perspective to the job: determining priorities, shaping legislation, and influencing how her caucus votes on equality and other key issues.
“All three states on the Pacific Coast now have LGBTQ people leading one chamber of their state legislature, continuing the trend of more LGBTQ people securing key legislative leadership positions.”
The Victory Institute announced that Washington now has the largest number of LGBTQ legislators in office with 10 people representing our community
Lesbian Rep. Laurie Jinkins becomes the first woman to be appointed Speaker of the Washington House
Washington State Democrats have chosen lesbian State Representative Laurie Jinkins as State House Speaker.