RIP — Allan Spear — Dead at 71
AP is reporting that Allan Spear, one of the country’s first openly gay politicians has died. He passed away Saturday at the age of 71 following complications from a recent heart surgery.
First elected to the Minnesota State Legislature in 1972, Spear served as State Senate president from 1993 until his retirement in 2000.
He came to national prominence in 1974 when, during an interview with the Minneapolis Star, Spear publicly announced his sexual orientation, becoming one of only two openly gay legislators in the country. From that time on, Spear championed changing the Minnesota’s Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. His legacy as a progressive reformer was solidified in 1993 when the bill passed.
NOTE FROM PAM: KatRose also has a diary on Spear’s passing. Click over.