John A. Pérez is sworn in as the new Speaker of the California Assembly, the first openly gay man to hold the powerful position. During his swearing-in, Pérez refelected on the historical significance of his appointment, reported the Sacramento Bee.
"'As a 16-year-old, I stood in awe on the floor of this great chamber. I was overcome by the history of this place, where our very laws are debated and created. It never occurred to me that I could one day stand here amongst you as a member, much less as a speaker.' When he was a teenager, Pérez said, the Capitol had little history of welcoming Latinos or openly gay legislators. Pérez is both Latino and gay, he noted, and 'now I have have more certainty about what is really possible in California.' "
Pérez replaces Karen Bass, the state's first black female Assembly Speaker, and was sworn in by California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno, whom you may recall was the sole justice to cast a vote against Proposition 8.
Watch the ceremony AFTER THE JUMP ...