kotekOregon State Rep. Tina Kotek has been chosen by her peers to become the next speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, marking the first time in U.S. history an out lesbian will lead a state legislative chamber.

Kotek becomes the third out state lawmaker this year to win an election for a top state legislative job.  Colorado state representatives chose Mark Ferrandino, an openly gay Democrat, to be their speaker, and Washington State Sen. Ed Murray won an election to become the next Senate majority leader.

“We all look for people out there who look like us.  I have had e-mails and text messages from people who are very excited,” Kotek said.

Photo:  Associated Press