SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Toni Atkins took the oath as the first openly gay and first female President Pro Tem of the California Senate with no opposition, just two years after serving as speaker of the Assembly.
“It’s the first time and its about time, standing on shoulders of couriers of courage,” she said.
The entire California Senate cheered her on along with her biggest supporter, her spouse Jennifer LaSar, and the outgoing pro tem Kevin de Leon.
“This is what makes California a magical place,” said de Leon.
He’s running for US Senate and leaves behind a sexual misconduct scandal which included the resignation of his former colleague and roommate state Sen. Tony Mendoza. But fellow senators say the fight for women’s rights may be stronger than ever.
“As Beyoncé has said I and I quote ‘I love being a woman and I love being a friend to other women.’ Some argue that should be feminism’s new tagline,” said state Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles).
State Sen. Ricardo Lara, the first openly gay lawmaker of color, looked on with pride.
“For gay children across the world to now be able to say that you can continue to do whatever you want,” he said.
Outside Senate chambers, Atkins picture is already in the frame. And she says she has big shoes to fill.
“I do like shoes, let me be clear,” she said.
Atkins female colleagues were quick to point out she’s also the first to be sworn into the Senate in black and white polka-dot heels.
“These are a great addition to my collective pairs,” she said.