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California legislators choose LGBT leader

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Assemblyman Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park) was elected Wednesday as chair of the California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Caucus, the assemblyman announced in a news release.

“I am honored to be elected as Chair of the LBGT Caucus,” Gordon said in a prepared statement. “I will continue work on important LGBT issues and fight to bring equality to all LGBT individuals and couples.”

Other members of the seven-member caucus are:

Speaker of the Assembly John Pérez (D-Los Angeles);

State Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego);

State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco);

Assemblymember Toni Atkins (D-San Diego);

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco); and

Assemblymember Ricardo Lara (D-South Gate).

"The Caucus was formed originally in June 2002," the caucus states on its web page. "Its role is to present a forum for the California Legislature to discuss issues that affect LGBT Californians and to further the goal of equality and justice for all Californians. Formation of the LGBT Caucus made California the first state in the country to recognize an official caucus of openly-LGBT state legislators."

A United Methodist minister, Gordon earned a masters in divinity degree from Garrett Theological Seminary at Northwestern University.

He is a former school board member and formerly served on the San Mateo Board of Supervisors.

He resides in Menlo Park with his husband, Dr. Dennis McShane.

Perez is the first openly gay person to be elected a speaker of the assembly in a state legislature.

He served both President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush as a member of the President's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

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