Democrats took control of Colorado’s State House of Representatives in Tuesday’s election and have elected an openly gay man as House speaker.
Democratic lawmakers will choose Denver Rep. Mark Ferrandino as speaker when they reconvene in January and Republicans ratify the choice.
Last spring, Democrats tried to pass a civil unions bill, but were blocked by Republicans in the House. Ferrandino co-sponsored the bill and vowed to bring it back when the session resumes.
In the 1992 election, Colorado citizens passed an amendment to their constitution banning any protections for “homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual orientation, conduct, or relationships.” It was struck down as unconstitutional.
“Twenty years ago, Amendment 2 passed in Colorado,” Ferrandino said after his election. “And now we have our first openly gay speaker. I think that is an amazing turnaround for our state. It speaks volumes for how much we’ve grown.”
Ferrandino was the House minority leader prior to the election.