Minnesota Gets Its First Transgender Lawmaker: Who Is Leigh Finke?
Democrat leader Leigh Finke, a first-time contester, described her victory as a transwoman a ‘milestone’ at a time when anti-trans and anti-abortion laws are ruling the US.
Written ByShreya Basak
Democrat leader Leigh Finke registered for a landslide victory in the hotly contested midterm elections of the United States and will be the first transgender legislator in the Minnesota House after she handily won the seat for District 66A on Tuesday night.
The victory of Finke is seen as one more step towards an inclusive legislature in a country deeply divided by queer rights.
Finke defeated her Republican rival Trace Johnson’s 18 per cent vote with a whopping 81 per cent and is set to serve St. Paul, Falcon Heights, Roseville, and Lauderdale.
Finke, a first-time contester, described her victory as a trans-leader a “milestone” at a time when anti-trans laws are ruling the states of the US.
According to Pink News, Finke was among the 11 openly LGBTQ+ legislators elected in Minnesota during the midterms.
The 41-year-old mother of two daughters is a filmmaker for the American Civil Liberties Union and has produced documentaries like White Saviour: Racism in the American Church.
Born in Minnesota, she attended the ultra-conservative Christian Bethel University and has worked in the field of journalism, energy policies and filmmaking.
Leigh ran on a strong platform of racial justice, reproductive rights, preventing gun violence, supporting a state-wide equal rights amendment and explicit protections trans and gender non-conforming young people, as well as improving mental health support in schools.
“As a woman, I’m worried about a future without reproductive rights. That’s why I’m committed to the fight to protect abortion in Minnesota. As a trans woman, I’m worried about the organized national campaign to hurt trans kids. I’m committed to expanding protections for trans, queer and LGBTQ people of all ages,” reads Leigh’s official website
Shortly after the results came in, Leigh posted a celebratory video on Twitter, saying, “Many stories will be written about Minnesota’s elections. One undeniable story is the rise of Queer Political Power. 11 LGBTQ Candidates for the legislature: 11 victories. In those 11 victories are many firsts.
In Minnesota, 11 out LGBTQ+ candidates won their elections on Tuesday night, including Alicia Kozlowski of Duluth who is the first non-binary person elected to the capitol. The number of LGBTQ+ representatives in the Minnesota legislature has now doubled, reports CBS news.
Courtesy : Outlook India
Note: This news piece was originally published in outlookindia.com and used purely for non-profit/non-commercial purposes exclusively for Human Rights .