Colorado House Chooses Gay Speaker
openly gay man as its new speaker.
Jubilant Democrats nominated Mark Ferrandino as speaker of the House on Thursday, the first time in Colorado history a gay lawmaker has presided over the chamber. The nomination, he said, was a victory not only for gays but also for every special-ed kid who was ever picked on and bullied. In his four years as a state legislator, the Denver lawmaker has earned a reputation as a budget wonk and a practical joker who wears his heart on his sleeve. Ferrandino struggled Thursday to hold back his tears. "I told myself I wasn't going to cry, but as a kid growing up in New York who had a learning disability, who was in special education, who struggled a lot, a kid who was picked on, called names, to be where I am and have your support, that is awesome; it is humbling," he said.Ferrandino is the fourth currently presiding openly gay speaker of a state chamber. Colorado now has eight openly gay state legislators, including Ferrandino. (Tipped by JMG reader Bob)