New York City Council to elect first female, openly lesbian speaker

Christine Quinn is poised to become "the most powerful openly lesbian or gay official in the country."

Published January 4, 2006 1:54PM (EST)

History will be made in New York today when Christine C. Quinn is elected as the next speaker of the City Council, succeeding former mayoral hopeful Gifford Miller. She will be the first woman, and the first openly gay person, to hold that position.

That's nice, you're thinking, but c'mon, it's New York. It's not like she's the gay mayor of Casper, Wyo.

Still. Think of it this way: "This has extraordinary significance in its own right: Chris will be the second most powerful person in the largest city in America," Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, told the New York Times. "In terms of raw political power, the size of the city budget and the Council's powers, she will become the most powerful openly lesbian or gay official in the country."

"The ascension of Ms. Quinn," the Times says, "not only confronts the mayor with a strong-willed opponent with firm convictions, but also one who is welcomed by the administration as a straightforward adversary unafraid to compromise for the sake of practical politics."

Today's New York Post takes Quinn to task for her anti-Wal-Mart/pro-union positions, which makes us like her even more.

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

MORE FROM Lynn Harris

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