The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has made history after the city council chose Denise Simmons to serve as the first black lesbian mayor in America.

The city’s more famous namesake in England made history last year when its councillors chose a woman who had transitioned sex as mayor.

Gay political activists in the US praised Ms Simmons’ selection by her fellow city councillors. Her predecessor, Ken Reeves, was also gay and black.

The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which campaigns to increase the number of LGBT elected officials, said:

“We are enormously proud of Mayor Simmons.

“Like Mayor Ken Reeves before her, she is among our community’s trailblazers. Today is a day to celebrate another broken glass ceiling.”

Ms Simmons has served on the city council since 2001.

Cambridge, population 101,000, is the home of two of the best educational institutions in America, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is on the outskirts of Boston.

Massachusetts is the only US state with legal gay marriage.

“It feels really great,” Ms Simmons told the Cambridge Chronicle.

“When I first came to the School Committee, one of the things I always said was that I wanted to be mayor.”