Meet one of the rare bright spots in the 2016 election.
For at least half the nation, it’s been a dark night-into morning-into full-blown day with the news that our collective nightmare turned out to be reality—but as with every dark cloud there’s a silver lining. For instance, it’s going to be a lot easier to get high in some states. And there is now a record number of women in the Senate. It’s not quite the same as a record number of women in the White House, but it’s something.
Also something is Sam Park’s feat. The 31-year-old Georgia native and son to Korean immigrants defeated incumbent Republican state Rep. Valerie Clark in House District 101 to become the first openly gay man elected to the Georgia legislature.
Although Clark outraised Park 3:1, Park still managed to defeat Clark by four points, or approximately 800 votes, thanks in part to a platform that focused on economic growth and security in Georgia.
In an interview the week prior to his election, Park spoke about his struggle to reconcile his faith and his sexuality, and how that informs his advocacy for LGBTQ issues.
“I am of the opinion that (some parts of) Christianity has been turned, and distorted into hate,” Park told the Georgia Voice, “so for me it’s very unfortunate that the people who share my faith are people who are leading the charge against the GLBT community, and in my experience, that’s not based on faith. It’s based on fear and hate. I think ultimately that is why we have bridge that gap.”