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Wilton Manors, Florida Elects All Gay City Commission and Mayor

The city of Wilton Manors, in South Florida will have an all-gay City Commission and a newly elected gay Mayor after Tuesday’s election.

Commissioner Justin Flippen was elected mayor, while the outgoing mayor, Gary Resnick, won a commissioner seat. Paul Rolli won the second commissioner seat in a four-candidate race.

The two other commissioners who form the five-person body, Julie Carson and Tom Green, are in the middle of their terms.

Commissioner Scott Newton, the only straight member of the commission, lost his re-election bid.

Data from the 2010 U.S. Census showed that Wilton Manors has the second-highest percentage of gay couples — behind Provincetown, Mass. — in the country.

Wilton Manors is the second city in the United States to have a city council with all gay members, after Palm Springs, California.

Tuesday’s election will also give Florida more openly gay and lesbian state legislators — three of 160 — than it’s had before.

Jennifer Webb, a Gulfport Democrat, became the first open lesbian elected to the state House of Representatives.

State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, the state’s first openly gay Latino legislator, won a second term on Tuesday.

State Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, who became the state’s first openly gay black legislator when he came out in August, didn’t have any opposition in his re-election bid.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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