Most diverse Congress in history is sworn in

The 113th Congress was sworn in on Thursday, and made history in being the most diverse Congress in history, due to racial, religious, and sexual orientation diversity. Although overall the majority of lawmakers who were sworn in were white Protestant men, there are some notable milestones that move Congress to be more reflective of the diversity of the American public, including:

  • 101 women, with 20 in the Senate
  • 43 African-Americans
  • 31 Latinos
  • 12 Asian-Americans

Massachusetts' new senator Elizabeth Warren was sworn in, as well as Representative Joseph Kennedy III.

Other congressional firsts:


First Buddhist Senator

Mazie Hirono, Democrat from Hawaii

Photo via MazieForHawaii/Flickr
















First Hindu member of Congress

Tulsi Gabbard, Democrat from Hawaii. Gabbard used a Bhagavad Gita, the sacred text of Hinduism, to be sworn in.

Photo courtesy of EMILY's List/Flickr















First openly bi-sexual member of Congress

Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat from Arizona

Photo courtesy of EMILY's List/Flickr
















First openly gay Senator

Tammy Baldwin, Democrat from Wisconsin


Photo courtesy of ljlphotography/Flickr
















First time a state has an all-female delegation: New Hampshire

A unique political system in this state allows women to gain powerful positions in local government. Democratic governor  Maggie Hassan, Democratic senator Jeanne Shaheen, returning Republican senator Kelly Ayotte, and congressional representatives Ann McLane-Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter make up New Hampshire's delegation.

Photo courtesy of




First female combat veterans in Congress

Along with Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii, Tammy Duckworth, Democrat from Illinois this will be the first Congress with female combat veterans. Duckworth is also a double-amputee.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs/Flickr


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Meghan is a member of the class of 2013 from Cape Elizabeth, Maine. She is a Political Science major and Faith Peace and Justice minor. She joined the Gavel her sophomore year and has been an editorial assistant, News Editor, and Managing Editor. She spent her junior spring semester studying abroad in Granada, Spain. She enjoys writing political stories and covering campus events for the Gavel.