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Bisexual ex-Mormon to bring 'secular' views to Congress

Published November 21, 2012 3:02 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona who was narrowly elected this year, brings several underrepresented identities to the U.S. Congress: "secularist," bisexual and former Mormon.

Though Sinema, 36, does not call herself an atheist, she supported many causes as both an Arizona state senator and representative — including women's rights, marriage equality, gay rights and science education — that are important to secular humanists.

Given her voting record, the Secular Coalition for America sees her as a fitting successor to Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., the only openly atheist member of Congress, who was defeated in this election.

"She was able to run openly as a nontheist and it didn't seem to be an issue," Lauren Anderson Youngblood, the coalition's communications manager, told Religion News Service. "That is a great thing for the community, especially because with the loss of Pete Stark, we are left with a big hole."