Federal elections in Australia brought victory in November for Louise Pratt, who will become the second open lesbian to hold a seat in the parliament.
Pratt, 35, an Australian Labor Party Senator elect for Western Australia, will take her seat in the Canberra parliament in July. She joins South Australia Senator Penny Wong Ying Yen, elected in 2001, and appointed minister for water and climate change in December.
In matters such as LGBT taxation and healthcare, Pratt may find an executive ally in Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, a member of the Labor Party who in the recent elections ousted the more conservative John Howard, leader of the Liberal Party.
As the youngest woman ever elected to Western Australia’s Legislative Council at age 29 in 2001, she helped to advance some of the most progressive gay equality legislation in the country, including equalizing the age of consent, allowing same-sex adoption and banning sexual orientation discrimination.
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