Kehoe_red_suitCalifornia State Sen. Christine Kehoe has been named chair of the seven-member caucus of openly LGBT state legislators.

The second-term lesbian lawmaker was chosen by her peers, whose numbers increased this year after three openly gay and lesbian candidates were elected to the California Assembly, joining Kehoe, Sen. Mark Leno, Assembly member Tom Ammiano and Assembly Speaker John Perez.

The new out state lawmakers are Assembly members Toni Atkins, Ricardo Lara and Rich Gordon.

In 2002, California became the first state in the country to establish an LGBT Caucus.  Today only Maryland equals California’s seven out state legislators.

Eighteen states have no openly LGBT state legislators, and four of those have no out elected officials at any level of government.  They are:

Alaska*
Delaware
Florida
Indiana
Kansas*
Kentucky
Louisiana
Michigan
Mississippi*
Nebraska
New Mexico
North Dakota
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
South Dakota*
Tennessee
Texas
West Virginia

*indicates states with no openly LGBT elected officials at any level of government