California Gets Its First Openly Gay Speaker



Democrats in the state Assembly voted unanimously yesterday to select Los Angeles Assemblyman John Perez as their next speaker, making him the first openly gay person to hold the powerful position. Perez must still be approved by the entire Assembly, but that is considered a mere formality because Democrats have a large majority in the lower house. Perez has only served one year in the Assembly, and so is expected to remain speaker for up to five years. If that happens, it would be one of the longer reigns of the term limits era.