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California sees its first openly gay governor, if only for a few hours

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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Toni Atkins is sworn in as 69th Assembly Speaker by former Assembly Speaker, Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., right, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif.,  on May 12, 2014.AP

Toni Atkins is sworn in as 69th Assembly Speaker by former Assembly Speaker, Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., right, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., on May 12, 2014.

California will see its first-ever openly gay governor on Wednesday as out Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins fills in, briefly, while other state officials are traveling outside of California.

The Washington Post reports:

The state this week is cycling through four Democratic governors as official after official leaves for scheduled travel. Gov. Jerry Brown is on a trade mission in Mexico. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom filled in for a bit, but is on the East Coast for a Special Olympics event. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg took the reins, but he has plans to leave the state for Chicago on Wednesday.

For the roughly eight to nine hours before Brown returns on Wednesday night, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins will be acting governor—the first openly gay governor in California’s history…

Atkins is the first out lesbian to serve as Assembly Speaker in California, and only the second openly LGBT person to serve in that capacity. She succeeded Perez in May, who was the first openly gay lawmaker to hold the post. She was also the first lesbian mayor of San Diego when she briefly held office in 2005 after a predecessor resigned.

Atkins poked fun at the temporary role, Tweeting Wednesday morning that one of her first duties “#ActingGov was to make sure the #ActingFirstDogs got their morning walk.”

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