05.24.13

The Press Enterprise: LA Gay Pride: Mark Takano person of year

The organizers of the June 9 West Hollywood lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered pride parade named Rep. Mark Takano, D-Riverside, its person of the year.

Christopher Street West, which produces LA PRIDE, said in a statement that “Congressman Takano’s election to the United States Congress as the first openly gay person of color in this role offers hope to the next generation of LGBT Americans.”

Takano will ride down the parade route on Santa Monica Boulevard in a convertible.

Takano’s Nov. 6 victory over Republican John Tavaglione, a RiversideCounty supervisor, made Takano the first openly gay member of Congress from California.

When I talked with the congressman in March at a Riverside rally on the eve of U.S. Supreme Court hearings on same-sex marriage, he said his election from an Inland Empire seat was a sign of a shift in public attitudes toward gay and lesbian people.

It’s quite a symbol that the first openly gay person from California to serve in Congress is not from Los Angeles, not from San Francisco, not from San Diego, but from the Inland Empire,” he said.

Takano said in a statement that he is “incredibly honored to be selected as the 2013 LA Pride Person of the Year.”

“With the constitutionality of Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act being considered before the Supreme Court, the issues of the LGBT community are at a historic crossroads,” he said. “Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules, I will continue to fight for equality in Congress, as all Americans deserve to be treated equally under the law.”