Tom Duane Takes Office as First Gay New York State Senator
Tom Duane won election to the New York state Senate in 1998, becoming the second out LGBTQ person elected to the New York state legislature and the first in the state senate. He was also the first out HIV-positive person elected to the state legislature. Previously, Duane served on the New York City Council, where he and Antonio Pagán became its first out members when both were elected in 1991. Duane served on the council until joining the state senate, where he became one of the most outspoken advocates for LGBTQ people and people living with HIV.
Duane’s lesbian chief of staff from his city council office, Christine Quinn, overwhelmingly won the February 1999 special election to succeed him on the council.