First Openly Gay Candidates Win Tennessee State House Seats

  • Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Both Torrey Harris of Memphis and Eddie Mannis of Knoxville won their elections for the Tennessee state House on Tuesday, becoming the first two openly LGBTQ people ever elected to the Tennessee state legislature, officials of the LGBTQ Victory Fund said.

Tennessee was one of just five states in the nation to have never elected an openly LGBTQ person to its state legislature.

Currently there are just eight openly LGBTQ elected officials in all of Tennessee, the group said.

Mayor Annise Parker, president & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, said, “Twin victories secured a long-elusive political milestone in Tennessee and will pave the way for a more representative state legislature next year. Both Torrey and Eddie sent a clear message that LGBTQ candidates can win in a deep red state while being their authentic selves. Their presence in the state legislature can dilute the most toxic anti-LGBTQ voices and lead to more inclusive legislation.

"Before tonight, the other four states to have never elected an openly LGBTQ state legislator were Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana and Mississippi. Tonight Sarah McBride, Eric Morrison and Marie Pinkney won a seat in the Delaware state legislature and Lyn Frank’s race for the Alaska state House is still undecided."

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