cicilline victoryChuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, issued the following statement tonight about the election of Providence, R.I., Mayor David Cicilline to the U.S. House of Representatives (RI-1):

“Mayor Cicilline will be a strong advocate for all Rhode Islanders, but he will also be an authentic voice for the millions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans who long for the day when we will be treated equally under law.  We are enormously proud of him and grateful to Rhode Island voters.”

The Victory Fund, which has endorsed Cicilline four times during his political career, endorsed 164 openly LGBT candidates in 2010, a new record for the organization.  Since its founding in 1991, the number of openly LGBT elected officials serving in the U.S. has grown from 49 to more than 500.

The six openly LGBT Americans who have served in Congress are:

- Rep. Gerry Studds, D-Mass. (MA-10, 1973-1997.  Studds came out publicly as gay in 1983.)

- Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. (MA-4, 1981-present.  Frank came out publicly as gay in 1987.)

- Rep. Steve Gunderson, R-Wisc. (WI-3, 1981-1997.  Gunderson came out publicly as gay in 1994.)

- Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz. (AZ-8, 1985-2007.  Kolbe came out publicly as gay in 1996.)

- Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc. (WI-2, 1999-present.  Baldwin was openly lesbian when first elected in 1998.)

- Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo. (CO-2, 2009-present.  Polis was openly gay when first elected in 2008.)

Photo:  Victory Fund’s Chuck Wolfe (right) with Mayor Cicilline on his primary election night.