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Oklahoma elects first openly gay state senator

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Oklahoma state Rep. Al McAffrey, was elected to the state Senate in a special election on Tuesday, becoming the first openly gay Oklahoma state senator.

Al McAffrey

McAffrey (D) was first elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2006, becoming the state’s first openly gay member in the state legislature

He later ran for reelection in 2008 and 2010, and won by significant margins in both contests.

In Tuesday’s election, McAffrey won with more than 66 percent of the vote, and is due to be sworn into office next week.

McAffrey, 63, was endorsed by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.

“Al’s election to the State Senate is another milestone for LGBT Oklahomans, and we are proud to support his campaign,” said Chuck Wolfe, CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.

“There are still a number of states that have never elected any openly LGBT state legislators, so Oklahoma can be proud that Al has been elected to both the House and the Senate,” Wolfe said.

Oklahoma media outlets reported that McAffrey was a leader on legislation supporting senior citizens, education issues and access to affordable health care.

He was also one of the state House’s most vocal critics against Republican Rep. Sally Kern and her anti-gay agenda.

The Senator’s constituency includes almost all of the metropolitan Oklahoma City area and with his election, the Democrats now have 16 seats in the state Senate. Currently the Republicans hold a 32-seat super-majority.

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