Uncategorized | 1:42 pm | October 7, 2010 | By Susannah Albert-Chandhok

Openly gay candidate chats with students

Although Kevin Lembo, Democratic candidate for state comptroller, may still have a tough time getting citizens to understand what a comptroller does (budgeting for health care is the biggest role currently), he is making history as the first openly gay major party nominee for state office in Connecticut.

Lembo took part in an informal question and answer session in William L. Harkness Hall Wednesday, sponsored by Fierce Advocates, a group that supports LGBTQ community activism.

Lembo began the evening by recounting his difficulties adopting two foster children with his partner, now spouse. On the day the couple went to finalize the adoption, the Albany County Court judge said “that there wasn’t a real two-parent family available for these kids” and the adoption was

denied. It took Lembo four years before finalizing the adoption.

This was more than 20 years ago. Lembo said that at the Democratic convention when a blogger announced that Democrats had just endorsed their first openly gay candidate that “everybody yawned.”

Indeed, the question and answer session hardly touched on Lembo’s sexuality beyond the opening minutes.

Lembo came to speak at Yale as part of his campaign to raise awareness of the state comptroller position, one people only think about “when it breaks.”

“Educating folks about the comptroller office is going to be a multi-year effort and the only way it’s going to be relevant is if we can show people why it matters in their lives,” Lembo said.

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