US: First openly bisexual governor sworn in

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The first governor of a US state to openly identify as LGBT has officially taken up her office.

The existing Governor of Oregon, Democrat John Kitzhaber, announced his resignation last week over allegations that he allowed his fiancée Cylvia Hayes to profit from his role.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Kate Brown was sworn in as the state’s new governor – making history as the first bisexual person to ever take on the role.

Ms Brown said during her inauguration: “Oregon has been in the national news for all the wrong reasons. That changes starting today.”

She took an oath of office in the state’s House chamber, with Chief Justice Thomas Balmer presiding over the ceremony.

House Speaker Tina Kotek, who is a lesbian, said: “In her many years of public service – first as a family advocate, then as a legislator and our Secretary of State – Kate Brown has always stood up for Oregon’s values and served with integrity.

“I am confident that Governor Brown will use her skills and strengths to lead our state toward a more prosperous future for everyone. I am committed to working with her to restore the public’s trust in state government.

“I am also proud that Oregon has again made history as a leader in equality, with Kate Brown now serving as the nation’s first governor from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.”

Democrat Mike Michaud had campaigned last year to become the first openly gay governor in Maine, but lost out following a tight race with Republican Paul LePage.

Congressman Michaud conceded defeat with 44.1 percent of the vote, to LePage’s 47.5 percent.