HISTORY MADE: Oregon's Tina Kotek Becomes One of the First Lesbian Governors in U.S History

SALEM - November 9, 2022 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, hailed the victory of HRC-endorsed Tina Kotek in her bid to become the governor of Oregon. Tina Kotek joins Massachusetts Governor-elect Maura Healey as the first lesbian governors elected in the United States.

Human Rights Campaign Interim President Joni Madison released the following statement:

"Tina Kotek is a trailblazer who served as the first openly lesbian speaker of a State House and now has made history again by becoming one of the first out lesbian governors in our nation's history. Oregonians elected Tina Kotek governor because of her consistent record of fighting for equality. HRC is proud to have engaged Oregon's 1.1 million Equality Voters to help pro-equality candidates win up and down the ballot. We celebrate Tina Kotek's historic win and look forward to working with her to fight for a more equitable Oregon."

Tina Kotek's life of service began when she graduated from college and worked as a policy advocate for the Oregon Food Bank and then as the policy director for Children First for Oregon. In 2006, she ran for public office in the Oregon Legislature where, during her first term, she rewrote the state's poverty program for low-income families and played a key role in expanding statewide protections and access to benefits for the LGBTQ+ community.

In 2013, she was elected by her peers as Speaker of the Oregon House, making history as both the first openly lesbian speaker in the nation and eventually the longest-serving speaker in Oregon history.

HRC's Commitment to Oregon

HRC worked this year to engage our volunteers, members and supporters to mobilize the 1,1 million Equality Voters in Oregon in support of Tina Kotek and other pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot. Equality Voters are a voting bloc of demographically and geographically diverse Americans who are united by the advancement of LGBTQ+ equality. Equality Voters are younger, more racially diverse, and more female than the general electorate, they recognize and trust the HRC brand, and they are more likely to identify with issue-specific organizations than candidates or political parties.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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