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California briefly has first openly gay governor

California briefly has first openly gay governor

California’s Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins got to make some history Wednesday (30 July).

With the state’s governor, lieutenant governor and state Senate president pro tem all out of the state for part of the day, Atkins briefly became the first openly gay person to be acting governor.

Atkins told the Los Angeles Times that she couldn’t help but think about ‘how a young girl who grew up in poverty in Virginia ends up as speaker and therefore gets the opportunity to be acting governor.’

‘I wish my parents could see this,’ she added. ‘If Gov. Brown wants a few more days away I’m here for him!’

But Brown was expected back from a trade mission in Mexico by Wednesday evening.

Atkins became House speaker in May.

She was elected to the Assembly in 2010 following eight years on the San Diego City Council including a brief time as acting mayor.

She is only the second Democratic woman and second member of the LGBTI community to hold the post. She succeeded John Perez, who is also gay, when he was termed out.