Share This Year
View All Decades

First Out Washington Supreme Court Justice Appointed

Mary Yu was appointed to the Washington Supreme Court in 2014, becoming the first out LGBTQ+, first Asian-American, and first Hispanic woman of the court. She ran successfully in 2016 to complete the term and won reelected in 2016 for a six-year term. Yu served as a judge of the King County Superior Court from 2000 to 2014, and officiated the first same-sex marriages in Washington in 2012. 

Maura Healey Elected Nation’s First Out LGBTQ+ State AG

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey

Maura Healey, a Harvard graduate with a law degree from Northeastern University, was hired by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley in 2007 to head up the Civil Rights Division. It was there Healey drew national attention as she spearheaded the official state challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act. In 2009, on Coakley’s orders, Massachusetts filed a complaint alleging that DOMA violated the U.S. Constitution by ignoring and violating state sovereignty after the 2004 ruling legalizing same-sex marriages in Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health. The 2010 District Court decision was the first to hold that DOMA was unconstitutional.

Healey was subsequently appointed to head up the Business and Labor Bureau but resigned to run for attorney general. She won in November 2014, becoming America’s first out LGBTQ+ state attorney general.

“My commitment is deeply personal,” Healey told the Huffington Post on March 13, 2014. “I’m a gay person myself, so of course it’s personal. I do feel and hope that equality is everyone’s agenda and everyone’s interest and something that everyone should be behind, but I certainly have a personal commitment to issues of equality.”

Toni Atkins Assumes Speakership in California Assembly

Toni Atkins is sworn in.
Toni Atkins is sworn in.

Inspired by pioneering out elected official Christine Kehoe, Toni Atkins jumped into politics and has never looked back. Atkins personifies the American Dream. A coal miner’s daughter born into poverty in southwest Virginia, her home had no running water. But Atkins went to college, volunteered for Christine Kehoe’s 1993 campaign to be San Diego’s first out LGBTQ+ city council member, joined Kehoe’s council staff, then won that seat when her mentor moved to the Assembly in 2000. Atkins then won that Assembly seat when Kehoe moved to the state Senate.

Atkins is a political pioneer, serving eight years on the San Diego City Council — including serving as acting mayor — and participating in the LGBTQ+ Victory Institute Bohnett Leaders Fellowship. In March 2014, California lawmakers unanimously elected Atkins to succeed openly gay Assembly Speaker John Perez, becoming the third woman and the first out lesbian Speaker in California history. The ceremony was sealed with a kiss between Atkins and her wife, Jennifer LeSar. “It really is about trying to mentor other members of our community. I think it’s really important,” Atkins told Frontiers magazine.

In 2016, Atkins was elected to the state Senate and on March 21, 2018 made history again, becoming the first out LGBTQ+ person and first woman to serve as President Pro Tem of the California state Senate.

Robert Garcia Elected Long Beach Mayor

Mayor Robert Garcia
Mayor Robert Garcia

Robert Garcia was an active young Republican until 2007 when he changed his party affiliation to Democrat and started a local news website where he gained prominence. In 2009 at age 32, he defeated six other candidates for Long Beach City Council, making history as the youngest, first Latino man, and first LGBTQ+ council member of color in Long Beach. As a Victory Fund–endorsed candidate, Garcia made history again when elected Long Beach mayor in 2014.

“I think you run, not necessarily to be the first, I know that there are certainly historical implications of my election,” Garcia told NBC4 Los Angeles. “I’m in this to be mayor of everyone, no matter the age or the color of their skin or who they love.”

USPS Unveils Harvey Milk Stamp

Former Acting Executive Director of LGBTQ+ Victory Institute Torey Carter speaks at the 2014 unveiling of the Harvey Milk stamp.
Former Acting Executive Director of LGBTQ+ Victory Institute Torey Carter speaks at the 2014 unveiling of the Harvey Milk stamp.

In May 2014, the United States Post Office honored Harvey Milk’s legacy with a dedicated stamp. LGBTQ+ Victory Institute President & CEO Chuck Wolfe joined other out leaders and allies at the White House to witness the dedication of the stamp. Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman said during the ceremony:

“Let this stamp remind us of the fundamental truth behind Mr. Milk’s message — that we all have a stake in equality. Let this stamp inspire a new generation to continue Harvey Milk’s legacy — to keep working toward a world where prejudice gives way to acceptance, where division gives way to unity, and where fear gives way to hope.”

President Obama Appoints LGBTQ+ Judges

Obama officials celebrated the Supreme Court's June 2015 ruling by lighting up the White House with the colors of the Pride flag.
Obama officials celebrated the Supreme Court's June 2015 ruling by lighting up the White House with the colors of the Pride flag.

Presidential appointees working in the executive branch and federal agencies can influence policymakers and steer agencies to recognize and address equality issues. Recognizing this insider power, LGBTQ+ Victory Institute’s Presidential Appointments Initiative presented more than 3,000 vetted resumes of LGBTQ+ leaders to the Obama transition team in late 2008. The Obama administration subsequently set a record for LGBTQ+ hires—with more than 300 out LGBTQ+ people appointed to professional full-time or advisory positions in the executive branch and federal agencies. In addition to executive branch appointments, Obama also appointed several out LGBTQ+ jurists to federal courts, including Darrin Gaynes, Judith Ellen Levy and Staci Michelle Yandle, who were all confirmed in 2014.  

LGBTQ+ Victory Fund Endorsed Candidates in 2014

LGBTQ+ Victory Fund endorsed 153 candidates in 2014.


Patricia Todd (D), State House, Alabama

Kyrsten Sinema (D), U.S. House of Representatives, Arizona

Steve Gallardo (D), Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Arizona

Mark Takano (D), U.S. House of Representatives, California

Toni Atkins (D), State Assembly, California

Lori Droste (D), Berkeley City Council, California

Sheila Kuehl (D), Los Angeles County Supervisor, California

Jeffrey Prang (D), Los Angeles County Assessor, California

Joaquin Rivera (D), Alameda County Board of Education, California

Robert Garcia (D), Long Beach Mayor, California

Kevin Beiser (D), San Diego School Board, California

Jay Hansen (D), Sacramento School Board, California

James Williamson (D), School Board Unified School Trustee, California

Susan Eggman (D), State Assembly, California

Richard Gordon (D), State Assembly, California

Evan Low (D), State Assembly, California

Jared Polis (D), Colorado-02 Congress, Colorado

Daneya Esgar (D), State House, Colorado

Paul Rosenthal (D), State House, Colorado

Beth Bye (D), State Senate, Connecticut

Kevin Lembo (D), Connecticut State Comptroller, Connecticut

John-Paul Hayworth (D), DC Advisory Neighborhood Council, Washington, DC

Lesa "Le" Peerman (D), Margate City Commissioner, Florida

Gary Resnick (D), Wilton Manors Mayor, Florida

David Richardson (D), State House, Florida

Karla Drenner (D), State House, Georgia

John McCrostie (D), State House, Idaho

Sebastian Patti (NP), Cook Circuit Court, Illinois

Sam Yingling (D), State House, Illinois

Linda Pauel (D), 10th Subcircuit Court Judge, Illinois 

Susan Lamb (NP), Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council, Kentucky

Eileen Duff (D), Massachusetts Governor's Council, Massachusetts

Stan Rosenberg (D), State Senate, Massachusetts

Maura Healey (D), Massachusetts Attorney General, Massachusetts

Byron Macfarlane (D), Howard Register of Wills, Maryland

Luke Clippinger (D), State House, Maryland

Bonnie Cullison (D), State House, Maryland

Richard  Madaleno (D), State Senate, Maryland

Maggie McIntosh (D), State House, Maryland

Mary Washington (D), State House, Maryland

Henry Beck (D), State House, Maine

Justin Chenette (D), State House, Maine

Ryan Fecteau (D), State House, Maine

Andrew McLean (D), State House, Maine

Matt Moonen (D), State House, Maine

Brian McGrain (D), Ingham County Commissioner, Michigan

Jon Hoadley (D), State House, Michigan

Jeremy  Moss (D), State House, Michigan

Mike Colona (D), State House, Missouri

Bryce Bennett (D), State House, Montana

Andrea Olsen (D), State House, Montana

Diane Sands (D), State Senate State Senate, Montana

Marque Snow (D), Omaha Public School Board, Nebraska

Christopher Pappas (D), New Hampshire Executive Council, New Hampshire

Ennio Garcia-Miera (D), Corrales Village Council, New Mexico

Lisa Schultz (D), Third Judicial District Court Judge, New Mexico

Sean Maloney (D), U.S. House of Representatives, New York

Harry Bronson (D), State Assembly, New York

Brad Hoylman (D), State Senate, New York

Matthew Titone (D), State Assembly, New York

Tim Brown (R), State House, Ohio

Nickie Antonio (D), State House, Ohio

Kay Floyd (D), State Senate, Oklahoma

Cathy Callahan (D), Columbia County Circuit Court, Oregon

Tina Kotek (D), State House, Oregon

Rob Nosse (D), State House, Oregon

Brian Sims (D), State House, Pennsylvania

David Cicilline (D), U.S. House of Representatives, Rhode Island

Donna Nesselbush (D), State Senate, Rhode Island

Deb Ruggiero (D), State House, Rhode Island

Angie Buhl O'Donnell (D), State Senate, South Dakota

Mary Gonzalez (D), State House, Texas

Celia Israel (D), State House, Texas

Arlyn Bradshaw (D), Salt Lake County Council, Utah

Mary Yu (NP), Washington State Supreme Court, Washington

Christine Kildruff (D), State House, Washington

Marko Liias (D), State Senate, Washington

Joan McBride (D), State Senate, Washington

Jim Moeller (D), State House, Washington

Brady Walkinshaw (D), State House, Washington

Mark Pocan (D), U.S. House of Representatives, Wisconsin

Tim Carpenter (D), State Senate, Wisconsin

JoCasta Zamarripa (D), State House, Wisconsin

Stephen Skinner (D), State House, West Virginia

Cathy Connolly (D), State House, Wyoming


Bonnie Dumanis (R), San Diego County District Attorney, California

Susan Guinn (D), San Diego County Assessor, California

Scott Hines (D), Rancho Mirage City Council, California

Jill Ravitch (D), Sonoma County District Attorney, California

Joe Shaw (D), Huntington Beach City Council, California

Richard Waterman (D), Campbell City Council, California

Ken Yeager (D), Santa Clara County Supervisor, California

Dylan Sullivan (U), El Dorado County Superior Court Judge, California

Scott Gruendl (D), Chico Mayor, California

Rebecca Kaplan (D), Oakland Mayor, California

Stella Ursua (D), Long Beach Comm. Coll. Board of Trustees, California

David Campos (D), State Assembly, California

John A. Perez (D), California State Comptroller, California

Doug Milliken (D), Arapahoe County Treasurer, Colorado

Courtney Snowden (I), District of Columbia City Council, DC

David Cantania (I), Mayor, Washington, DC

Scott Simpson (D), DC State Board of Education, Washington, DC

Joe Saunders (D), State House, Florida

Joan Garner (D), Fulton County Commissioner, Georgia

Bob Gibeling (D), State House, Georgia

Randy New (I), State House, Georgia

Kyle Williams (D), State Senate, Georgia

Hina Wong-Kalu (NP), Hawaiin Cultural Affairs Board of Trustees, Hawaii

J.D. Ford (D), State Senate, Indiana

Richard Tisei (R), U.S. House of Representatives, Massachusetts

Shawn Allyn (D), Hampden County District Attorney, Massachusetts

Denise Andrews (D), State House, Massachusetts

Chris Remmes (D), State House, Massachusetts

Steve Kerrigan (D), Lieutenant Governor, Massachusetts

Evan Glass (D), Montgomery County Council, Maryland

Joseph Smith (D), Harford County Council, Maryland

Spencer Dove (D), State House, Maryland

Gene Stanton (D), State House, Maryland

George Zokle (D), State House, Maryland

Mike Michaud (D), Maine Governor, Maine

Garnet Lewis (D), State Senate, Michigan

Rudy Serra (D), State House, Michigan

Jon Tollefson (D), State House, Minnesota

Mike Evans (D), Jefferson County Councillor, Missouri

Clay Aiken (D), U.S. House of Representatives, North Carolina

Marcus Brandon (D), U.S. House of Representatives, North Carolina

John Arrowood (D), State Court of Appeals, North Carolina

Kyle Thorson (D), State House, North Dakota

James Michael Bowers (D), State Senate, Nebraska

Dan Innis (R), U.S. House of Representatives, New Hampshire

Linda Tanner (D), State Senate, New Hampshire

Jeffrey Gardner (D), Passaic County Clerk, New Jersey

Catherine Begaye (D), State House, New Mexico

James Healey (D), State House, Nevada

Andrew Martin (D), Nevada State Controller, Nevada

Sean Eldridge (D), U.S. House of Representatives, New York

William Hanauer (D), Ossining Mayor, New York

Jill Webb (R), 14th District Court Judge, Oklahoma

Paula Sophia (D), State House, Oklahoma

Christopher Proudfoot (D), Salem City Council, Oregon

James Owens (R), State House, Oregon

Josh Young (D), State House, Pennsylvania

Frank Ferri (D), Lieutenant Governor, Rhode Island

Jimmy Flannigan (NP), Austin City Council, Texas

John Turner-McClelland (D), Denton County Fresh Water Supply Board, Texas

Kim Ogg (D), Harris County District Attorney, Texas

Jim Evans (D), Harris County Family District Court, Texas

Steven Kirkland (D), Harris County District Judge, Texas

Sara Martinez (D), Dallas Justice of the Peace, Texas

Jerry Simoneaux (D), Judge 3 County Probate Court, Texas

Adam Ebbin (D), U.S. House of Representatives, Virginia

Coy Flowers (D), State House, West Virginia

Keep in Touch

Stay up-to-date on the latest in LGBTQ+ representation and
LGBTQ+ Victory Institute's work increase the number of LGBTQ+ public leaders.
join our movement