Monday, October 13, 2008

Allan Spear

An event of historical importance to Minnesota politics occurred on Saturday. Former state Senate President Allan H. Spear died at the age of 71.

During Spear's first term in that body, in 1974, he came out as one of the first openly gay legislators in the U.S. I had thought he was the first but, according to the Associated Press's obituary, he was one of two at that time.

So much progress has been made in the meantime, that it's a bit difficult at this remove to appreciate just how momentous that was, at the time. I find it noteworthy that he decided to come out for positive reasons, in contrast to many gay elected officials who have been "outed" as the result of a scandal.

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