California’s state legislature hit a milestone with this year’s midterm elections: at least 10% of its state lawmakers identify publicly as LGBTQ, believed to be a first for any U.S. legislature.
According to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, at least 519 out LGBTQ candidates won elected office this year, in positions ranging from school board up to Congress and governor. That’s a big increase from the 336 who won in 2020, leading the LGBTQ Victory Fund, along with Equality California to calculate that California has surpassed the 10% threshold for LGBTQ lawmakers.
New Hampshire and Vermont have each had more LGBTQ legislators, but because their legislatures are bigger than California’s they have not reached the 10% threshold.
The latest U.S. census has found that 9.1% of Californians identified as LGBT, compared with 7.9% for the nation overall. Meanwhile, the state legislature has not reached parity in gender or in race and ethnicity, according to statistics from the California State Library.
California state lawmakers are set to be sworn in for their new terms December 5.