History was made in Nebraska Tuesday night after voters elected the first LGBT candidate ever to hold a seat in the state legislature. According to the Victory Fund, the LGBT community is “severely underrepresented in Nebraska government, with just four openly LGBTQ elected officials currently serving in the entire state.” But after the election of Megan Hunt, who is openly bi-sexual, representation for the state’s LGBT community got little bit stronger.
“Megan defied the odds and shattered a long-standing political barrier in Nebraska, becoming the first openly LGBTQ person ever elected to the state legislature,” President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund Annise Parker said. “Nebraska was one of the few states in the nation where LGBTQ people have never had a voice in their state government, depriving legislative debates of an LGBTQ perspective. This is a milestone moment for LGBTQ Nebraskans, but it was Megan’s values-driven agenda, not her sexual orientation, that won over voters on Election Day. Yet the openness about her life lent her an authenticity rarely found in politicians, and it clearly resonated with voters.”
The state’s secular voters also have a representative in Hunt. As the Friendly Atheist‘s Hemant Mehta points out, Hunt is also a open atheist.
Hunt’s bonafides as a progressive activist are solid. As the Freethought Equality Fund PAC notes:
Megan Hunt is running for the Nebraska State Senate in District 8. She won the nonpartisan primary on May 15 with 56% of the vote. A small business owner, community activist, mother, and sixth-generation Nebraskan, Hunt has worked in her community to empower girls, end sexual assault and harassment, and advocate for comprehensive sex education. Running because “I don’t see enough leaders who are willing to advocate for forward-looking developments in Nebraska policy,” her policy priorities focus on reducing the brain drain in the state, funding quality public education, reforming the criminal justice system, expanding Medicaid, funding for family planning services, and investing in alternative energy sources for Nebraska. Hunt is an atheist.
Before Tuesday, only seven states had openly LGBT people serving in their state legislatures: Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska and Tennessee.
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