Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Black State Representative Comes Out As Gay

New York Times -- State Rep. Jason Bartlett put rumors to rest Tuesday when he announced publicly that he's gay.

Bartlett, a Democrat who represents portions of Bethel, Redding and Danbury, said he has been open about his sexual orientation with relatives and decided now was the time to speak publicly.

"For me the decision came down to why not now," said Bartlett, 41, during a meeting with The News-Times Tuesday. "To me this is about having a conversation with my larger family - the people of Greater Danbury who voted for me."

The lawmaker added that while he's always tried to keep his personal life private, there have been rumors from time to time about his sexual orientation on web sites and innuendoes during prior political campaigns. Bartlett, a self-employed businessman who grew up in Redding, was first elected into office two years ago.

"I've always considered my life private," he said. "But at the same time we are also living in a digital age and I'm in the public eye. People are always interested in you and your family."

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