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    Two California Politicians Who Have Made LGBT History Are Sworn into Office

    On Monday, January 7, former State Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) was sworn into office as California Insurance Commissioner, while former Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom was sworn in as Governor of California. Both men have achieved historic firsts for the LGBTQ community.

    Lara is the first openly LGBTQ+ statewide elected official in California history. Prior to this achievement, he was the first openly gay person of color elected to the California State Senate (2016).

    “I am grateful for the support of California voters who deserve a strong consumer advocate,” Lara said in statement after his latest election win. “Helping communities recover from wildfires while preparing for the threat of climate change will be my first job as Insurance Commissioner. As communities are rocked by devastating wildfires, Californians need a healthy, honest insurance market that allows them to quickly rebuild their lives and protects against future disasters.”

    Newsom, in turn, gained national attention in 2004 when, as Mayor of San Francisco, he directed the city’s county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, which was then in violation of state law. A memorable moment was when he presided over the wedding of lesbian activists Phyllis Lyon (1924–) and Del Martin (1921–2008), who had been together since 1952.