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Florida

First openly gay state lawmakers sworn in to Florida legislature

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Newly elected Florida State Representatives David Richardson (D-Miami Beach) and Joe Saunders (D-Orlando) took their oaths of office Tuesday, becoming the first openly gay state lawmakers elected to the Florida state legislature.

Rep. Joe Saunders (left) was accompanied by his partner Donald Rupe.
via: Facebook

“Standing there with him was a dream realized and a memory I’ll have for the rest of my life,” Saunders told the Orlando Sentinel. Florida has never had an open LGBT Legislator.

Rep. David Richardson.
via: Facebook

Michael Kenny, Executive Director of Florida Together, a statewide LGBT advocacy coalition commented:

“For the first time in the history of our state – we have an openly gay State House Representatives. David Richardson will not only be representing the residents of State House District 113 in Miami Dade County – he will be the voice for all of Florida’s LGBT residents.”

[...]

“Congratulations to Joe Saunders on his victory as State Representative in District 49. There is no doubt that the people of Florida will be well served by Joe Saunders being in the legislature.”

“Before you can participate in the conversation, change hearts and minds, and impact policy, you must first have a seat at the table. Until today, LGBT Floridians were shouting from the spectators section.”

Saunders and Richardson took their oath along with more than 50 state legislators in the capitol building in Tallahassee.

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18 more reader comments:

  1. Welcome to the State Florida Leggies!

    Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 8:58pm
  2. Our movement moves forward.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9:00pm
  3. They must be feeling the Miami heat now. Wait, Flo Rida is also the home town of Surfing king Kelly Slater.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9:02pm
  4. They’re republicans… -_- Why are there GAY Republicans!? >.>

    Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9:02pm
  5. And West is gone……There art thou happy? YES!!

    Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9:03pm
  6. They are both democrats.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9:03pm
  7. Congrats!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9:04pm
  8. Who cares WHAT PARTY THEY ARE FOR!? They’re happily gay, happy, and kudo’s to them.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9:05pm
  9. AWESOME

    Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9:07pm
  10. Oops nevermind! they are democrats! >.> I read it wrong when it said Rep. I thought that meant Republican, but it means Representative lol Nevermind xD

    Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9:09pm
  11. Very happy! They are both Democrats, but unfortunately Jason, there are gay republitards. Traitors…

    Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9:10pm
  12. Yea I noticed they’re both Democrats… But you’re right… Sadly, there ARE Gay Republitards! Dx

    Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9:11pm
  13. LOUDER AND LOUDER—we will no longer be silent or absent from the conversation….

    Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9:13pm
  14. It’s about time! YEAH!

    Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9:14pm
  15. Congratulations!

    Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9:18pm
  16. Progress is slow but well worth it!

    Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9:35pm
  17. Congrats!

    Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 10:29pm
  18. At this rate gays will be able to Marry in Fl in oh… 20 years

    Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 6:36am