November 4, 2014 at 10:31 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Maura Healey elected nation’s first out state attorney general
Maura Healey, gay news, Washington Blade

Maura Healey was elected Massachusetts attorney general. (Photo courtesy of Healey Campaign)

A lesbian candidate in Massachusetts achieved a first for the LGBT community Tuesday night by becoming the first out person elected state attorney general.

Maura Healey, a Democrat who currently serves as assistant attorney general, was declared the winner in her bid to become the Massachusetts attorney general against Republican candidate John Miller. According to the Boston Globe, Miller conceded to Healey around 10:16 p.m.

In her position as assistant attorney general, Healey had a lead role in the state’s litigation against Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. In April 2012, she argued against the law, which prohibited federal recognition of same-sex marriages, before the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals.

D’Arcy Kemnitz, executive director of the LGBT Bar Association, said Healy’s election isn’t just a first for LGBT people, but also the legal profession.

“Maura’s win proves that voters recognize the expertise and value our community’s legal professionals bring to public service,” Kemnitz said. “And just as Massachusetts began a national movement on marriage equality, it has now launched another first that we believe will be the first of many more similar victories to come.”

Speaking before the First Circuit, Healey argued that overturning DOMA would return authority over marriage to Massachusetts and drew on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal as a reason why the law should be struck down.

“I’ll take you to our state veterans cemeteries because here the operations of DOMA really revives the concept of separate but equal,” Healy said. “In this day and age, when gay people can now go serve in the military, fight for our country and even die, unlike other married service members, they can’t be buried with their spouse on state land in our veterans cemetery. Instead, Massachusetts is essentially required to build on the next hillside over a cemetery for those veterans. We think that’s wrong.”

KC Coredini, executive director for the statewide LGBT group MassEquality, said Healey is poised to make history once again after her historic effort against DOMA.

“For LGBTQ young people everywhere, Maura is an example of how far they can go, and how much they can accomplish,” Coredini said. “We look forward to continuing to work with her to ensure a level playing field for all and to raise the bar on equality and justice, both across this state and the nation.”

Also running for statewide in Massachusetts is Steve Kerrigan, who’s gay and was CEO of the 2012 Democratic National Convention. At the time of this posting, that race had yet to be called.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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