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Dem congressman announces he's gay in newspaper op-ed

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An activist in Ukraine's first gay pride demonstration seen through the rainbow flag during the action in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, May 25, 2013. About a hundred gay and lesbian Ukrainians and those from other countries took part in the gay pride rally, protected by hundreds of riot police. Antipathy toward homosexuals remains strong in Ukraine. Credit: AP

A conveniently timed coming-out from Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, to coincide with action on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill to ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. As Politico reports, the Senate is set to take up the legislation for a key vote this evening, but the bill -- which has been introduced in every session of Congress in recent memory -- faces dim prospects in the House of Representatives.

Via the Washington Post:

Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) announced in an op-ed in a Maine newspaper on Monday that he is gay.

Michaud, who is running for governor in 2014, said he decided to come out publicly after his opponents launched a "whisper campaign" about his sexuality.

“They want people to question whether I am gay,” Michaud writes in the Bangor Daily News. “Allow me to save them the trouble with a simple, honest answer: ‘Yes, I am. But why should it matter?’ ”

Michaud becomes the seventh openly gay member of the House of Representatives and the eighth in either chamber of Congress. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) became the first openly gay senator when she won a seat in the 2012 election.

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