November 8, 2016 at 8:04 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Van Hollen defeats Szeliga in Md. Senate race

Chris Van Hollen, gay news, Washington Blade

U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) will succeed U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) in the U.S. Senate. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen on Tuesday defeated House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga (R-Baltimore and Harford Counties) in the race to succeed U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)

Van Hollen defeated Szeliga by a 60-37 percent margin.

Van Hollen specifically mentioned the “LGBT movement” in his victory speech that he gave at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center.

“I want to thank you for making me your partner in change in the United States Senate,” he said.

Van Hollen is a co-sponsor of the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights law.

He told the Blade in February that advancing LGBT-specific issues was “a priority of mine” when he served in the Maryland General Assembly from 1991-2003.

He was among the members of the Maryland Senate who led the effort in support of a 2001 bill that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation in Maryland. Van Hollen also donated more than $20,000 to the campaign that urged voters to support the state’s 2012 same-sex marriage law.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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