LGBTQ Caucus

Washington has been fortunate for many years to have strong leaders from our community in the state legislature who helped make our state a leader in establishing and protecting the rights of LGBTQ people. Senators Cal Anderson, Ed Murray, and Joe McDermott and Representatives Dave Upthegrove, Jim Moeller, Mary Helen Roberts, and Brady Walkinshaw served with distinction and helped to accomplish hate crimes protections, a fully inclusive law against discrimination, domestic partnership and marriage equality, and equal parentage rights. We stand on their shoulders and benefit from many years of work and carefully cultivated relationships.

After the alarming election in 2016, much that we had taken for granted seemed to be at risk in our communities – as well as for people of color, immigrants, women, and members of other historically disfavored groups.

In 2018, with Democrats back in control of the Legislature, we passed legislation to prohibit “conversion therapy” and to further the ability of same-sex couples to become parents. We continue to fight every day for legislation to protect the rights and dignity of everyone.

The 2019 Washington State Legislature LGBTQ Caucus hit a historic high and included Senators Jamie Pedersen, Marko Liias, Emily Randall, and Claire Wilson, and Representatives Laurie Jinkins, Chris Kilduff, Nicole Macri, and Beth Doglio. This was the same year that the legislature established the LGBTQ Commission, who works to identify the needs of the LGBTQ community and ensure there is opportunity in state government for advocacy for those needs and for LGBTQ equity.

In 2020, the House of Representatives elected the first out lesbian Speaker of the House, Representative Laurie Jinkins. She follows Oregon Speaker, Tina Kotek, as the second out lesbian House speaker to serve in a state legislature.

In 2021, the Legislature passed the Gender Affirming Care Act. Before this law, many plans in our state classified gender affirming care as cosmetic, and didn’t include it in health care insurance plans. This law requires insurers to cover gender affirming care in their plans and is another step toward health care equity. We also passed legislation to make menstrual products available at no cost to all school districts and institutions of higher education. Lack of menstrual products increases the risk of anxiety and stress for students in addition to medical risks. Menstruating students should not have to choose between menstruating or learning.

Today, the 2024 Washington State Legislature LGBTQ Caucus includes: Sens. Jamie Pedersen, Marko Liias, Emily Randall, and Claire Wilson, Speaker Laurie Jinkins, and Representatives Nicole Macri and Beth Doglio. All of us are strongly committed to continuing the ongoing struggle for safety, dignity, and full equality for all members of our community. We meet regularly with community advocates, including the GSBA, Pride Foundation, Legal Voice, the ACLU of Washington, Equal Rights Washington, Washington Won’t Discriminate, Ingersoll Gender Center, the SAFE Alliance, the Gender Justice League, and many others to defend our hard-fought rights and lead the country with pro-LGBTQ legislation. All of us need to stand together to make sure that the arc of history continues to bend toward justice for all people.

Meet the Caucus

Rep. Beth Doglio

Chair, Environment & Energy

As a progressive, community organizer and a mother of two, Representative Doglio has spent the last thirty years in training to take on the trust and aspirations of her community, to secure a thriving, sustainable, just and compassionate future for us all. She is currently serving her third term as a state representative from the 22nd Legislative District, following a brief pause for two years out of the Legislature. When not in session, Beth serves as the campaign director at Climate Solutions, a Northwest-based clean energy economy nonprofit. She also served as the regional co-director for the ...

Rep. Nicole Macri

Vice Chair, Appropriations

43rd District – Seattle
Nicole Macri is a longtime resident of Capitol Hill with more than 20 years of experience championing progressive causes on issues around affordable housing, homelessness, human services, and mental health. Nicole attended Rutgers University, where she met her partner Deb Cayz, and was the first woman in her family to graduate from college.

Speaker Laurie Jinkins

27th District – Tacoma
Laurie Jinkins represents the 27th Legislative District in Pierce County, which includes East, Downtown, Hilltop, North, Northeast, West, and part of South Tacoma as well as Ruston and Fife Heights. Her legislative priorities include improving our schools and health care, helping working families and transforming Washington’s revenue structure.

Sen. Marko Liias

Chair, Transportation

21st Legislative District – Everett
Marko was appointed to the House of Representatives in 2008. In 2014, he was appointed to the Senate, where he’s currently serving his third term. Throughout his service in the Legislature, he has focused on policies to build an economy that works for everyone and to create strong pathways to education and opportunity, while ensuring a focus on equity and social justice for all Washingtonians.

Sen. Jamie Pedersen

Majority Floor Leader

43rd Legislative District – Seattle
Jamie Pedersen grew up in Puyallup, graduated from Puyallup High School and worked at McDonald’s to help put himself through Yale College, where he studied Russian and history, and graduated summa cum laude.

Sen. Emily Randall

Deputy Majority Leader

26th Legislative District – Bremerton
Emily Randall is the daughter of two union workers and was born on the Kitsap Peninsula and raised in Port Orchard. She’s worked for ten years in health care and education fundraising and advocacy and in the Legislature plans to focus on affordable college, apprenticeship and job training programs, and removing health care barriers for Washingtonians. She was elected in 2018.

Sen. Claire Wilson

Chair, Human Services

30th Legislative District – Auburn
Claire Wilson has represented the people of the 30th District since 2018. She is in her second year as chair of the Human Services Committee and is proud to serve as vice chair of the Early Learning and K-12 Committee. She is also a member of the Transportation Committee, Rules Committee and holds the role of Assistant Majority Whip.  

Latest news

WA LGBTQ Caucus responds to recent raids at Seattle-area gay bars

The Washington State Legislative LGBTQ Caucus released the following statement Friday: “As members of the Washington State Legislature’s LGBTQ Caucus, we were deeply impacted by the unacceptable actions taken by the Liquor ...

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