Kyrsten Sinema has become the first ever openly bisexual Senate candidate for a major party.
Arizona’s Democratic nominee, who has served three terms in the House of Representatives as the only bisexual member of Congress, could now become the only openly bisexual person to ever be a Senator.
More than 400 LGBT+ candidates are standing in elections for public office this year – a record number, according to the Victory Institute.
Sinema, 42, won her primary with an overwhelming 80.5 percent of the vote.
She will be taking on Republican Martha McSally in November to fill the seat vacated by Senator Jeff Flake, who has decided not to seek another term.
McSally, an Air Force veteran who has served in the House since she was first elected in 2014, beat Republican challengers Kelli Ward and Joe Arpaio to secure the nomination.
Earlier this month, Arpaio, Maricopa County’s far-right former Sheriff, told Sacha Baron Cohen he would accept a blow job from President Donald Trump on the comedian’s show, Who Is America?
Arpaio, who ran a self-described “concentration camp” for prisoners, received a controversial pardon from Trump last year as he faced a string of criminal charges for abuse of powers and racial profiling during his 24-year tenure.
He picked up just 19 percent of the vote, according to the latest reports.
Writing on Facebook, Sinema responded to her victory by saying: “Thank you, Arizona! We launched this campaign to fight for our shared Arizona values.
“Today we won the primary election and took one step closer to victory. I’m grateful for all your support and ready for the road ahead.
“Let’s go win this thing.”
During her time in Congress, Sinema has co-sponsored the Equality Act, which would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act
to also ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
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She has also sponsored HR4041, a bill currently in committee which, if it were passed, would ensure that transgender people were able to serve in the US military.
Her opponent, McSally, has voted for an amendment which would have made it impossible for the military to pay for gender surgeries for its trans service people.
The cost of doing offering these procedures, though proven to be tiny in comparison with the amounts which the military spends in areas like Viagra provision, is used by Trump to justify his desire for a trans ban.
McSally has also stood against using Title IX to protect the right of trans students to use the bathroom which matches their gender, an issue which has been mainly used by Republicans as a way of fighting against trans equality.
Victory Fund CEO Annise Parker Tuesday’s (August 28) result, saying that Arizona voters had “shattered a lavender ceiling.”
She called Sinema “the embodiment of the American dream – surviving homelessness to become a social worker, teacher and then a member of Congress.”
Parker added that the race had a larger significance, explaining: “An LGBTQ Senate candidate taking down an anti-LGBTQ opponent in a red state will be a defining moment in this year’s rainbow political wave – and will further the evolution in how Americans view LGBTQ people and candidates.
“McSally refuses to support a federal right to marriage equality, votes for ‘religious exemption’ laws designed to target LGBTQ people for discrimination, and opposes federal protections for transgender students,” she said.
Parker concluded: “We need Kyrsten not just because the LGBTQ community needs her, but because America needs her.”