Gay: Blasé?

Is it buzzworthy anymore if a state legislator comes out of the closet? Connecticut Rep. Jason Bartlett has announced that he's gay, but the Hartford ...
by | February 20, 2008

Bartlett_2 Is it buzzworthy anymore if a state legislator comes out of the closet?

Connecticut Rep. Jason Bartlett has announced that he's gay, but the Hartford Courant's Capitol Watch blog wonders what the big deal is:

"I don't know if that's news," Bartlett said.

Once, it clearly was. In December 1990, Joseph Grabarz, then a state representative from Bridgeport, made national news by announcing he was gay. At the time, Connecticut was considering gay rights legislation and Grabarz was one of only nine openly gay legislators in the U.S.

Today, Connecticut alone has at least a half-dozen openly gay lawmakers.

Of the approximately 500,000 elected officials in America, about 400 of them are openly gay or lesbian, according to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based political action committee. So I guess it's still noteworthy when another legislator comes out. (Plus, Bartlett appears to be the first openly gay black legislator in the country, so that's a pretty big deal.)

Still, it's interesting to see an announcement like this be met with shrugs and yawns.

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