Kate Brown--Oregon's Openly Bisexual Governor

Kate Brown replaces John Kitzhaber as Oregon's Governor

Oregon governor Kate Brown
  Anthony Pidgeon/Getty Images

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber announced his resignation and on February 18, 2015, Secretary of State Kate Brown was sworn in as Oregon's governor. This will make Kate Brown the first openly bisexual governor in the US and the highest ranking openly bisexual elected official. She is the second openly LGBT governor. New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey announced he was gay in 2004, shortly before resigning. 

Kate Brown's Political Career

Kate Brown was elected secretary of state for Oregon and took office in January 2009. At the time, she was the highest-ranking openly bisexual elected politician in the United States. 

In Oregon, the secretary of state is the second highest political post in the state. There is no lieutenant governor, so when a governor resigns, or is unable to perform his/her duties, the secretary of state is next in line to governorship. The secretary of state also oversees the elections, acts as state auditor, is the public records administrator and works to oversee state-owned lands.

Kate Brown served in both the House of Representatives and the Oregon state Senate, first entering public office in 1991. She became Oregon’s first woman Senate majority leader in 2004.

Advocate for GLBT Rights

Kate Brown has sponsored several gay rights bills in her terms in the Oregon legislation, including Oregon's domestic partnership and civil rights ordinances. Oregon passed marriage equality during her time as secretary of state. 

Personal Life

Kate Brown is married to Dan and lives with him and his two children. When she is not working, she enjoys skiing and hiking around the Northwest with her family and their dog.


Oregon Blue Book, The Oregonian, Kate Brown for Oregon