Yesterday, January 3rd, newly elected members of Congress officially took office on Capital Hill. Among them was Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona—the first openly bisexual person to serve in the Senate. And in a moment of pure poetic irony, Vice President Mike Pence, notorious for his anti-LGBTQ politics, swore her into office (according to senate.gov, the vice president is required to swear in all new senators).
Sinema’s swearing-in was also notable for the fact that she did not swear on a Bible. According to Pew Research Center, she officially lists herself as religiously unaffiliated and is the only member of Congress to do so. A spokesperson for Sinema told azcentral.com that the new senator took her oath of office with her right hand placed on a law book that contained both the U.S. and Arizona constitutions.
Pence, for his part, kept things civil, telling Sinema that he was looking forward to working with her. However, many on Twitter joked that Pence seemed uncomfortable with the moment.
The Hill reports that Sinema, in addition to being the first out bisexual senator, is only the second openly LGBTQ member of the Senate (Senator Tammy Baldwin is a gay woman). She’s also Arizona’s first ever female senator, and the first Democratic senator elected in the state since 1988. And many couldn’t help but comment on her chic and powerful choice of outfit for the special day.
We’re so excited to see what all the incredible women joining Congress this year accomplish—including Sinema.