When Lower Manhattan’s Deborah Glick won her assembly seat in 1990, as the first openly gay member of the state Legislature, New York lagged behind the times. Harvey Milk had been the first openly gay man to win office in California more than a decade earlier. New York has made strides since then.

“Deborah Glick’s election was a huge breakthrough,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who set a precedent as the first openly gay woman in her position.

“We’ve certainly moved forward, but we’re not done,” she said, noting that New York has yet to pass marriage equality or proposed protections for transgender workers.


Quinn pointed to Queens where the borough’s first two openly gay city councilmen represent 300,000 residents and have doubled the council’s LGBT caucus.

“I didn’t think Queens would evolve as fast at it has. [It] used to be known as the home of Archie Bunker,” Jackson Heights City Councilman Daniel Dromm said.

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