Maura Healey - History Month

Maura Healey - History Month

Maura Healey is a trailblazing figure in American politics. She holds the distinction of being the first openly LGBTQ state attorney general in the U.S. and, in 2023, she further cemented her legacy by becoming the first female and openly lesbian governor of Massachusetts.

Healey's journey began in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, where she grew up as the eldest of five siblings. Her academic pursuits led her to Harvard University, where she not only majored in government but also captained the women’s basketball team. Following graduation with honors, Healey took her talents to Australia, playing professional basketball for two years.

Upon returning to the U.S., Healey pursued a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law, completing her degree in 1998. This was followed by a stint as a clerk for a U.S. district court judge in Massachusetts and working at various law firms. Her career then took a turn as she became a special assistant district attorney. In 2007, Healey was appointed chief of the Civil Rights Division under Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. Here, she played a pivotal role in the successful legal challenge against the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibited same-sex marriage.

In 2013, Healey announced her candidacy for Massachusetts attorney general. This endeavor saw her secure a resounding victory in the Democratic primary, buoyed by crucial endorsements. Her triumph in the general election in 2014 marked a significant milestone, making her the first openly lesbian state attorney general in the nation.

Healey's accomplishments didn't end there. She secured re-election in 2018 and tackled major challenges, including lawsuits against Purdue Pharma over OxyContin and Exxon Mobil over climate-related concerns.

The year 2022 saw Healey step into the Massachusetts gubernatorial race. The primaries were a decisive win, with endorsements from influential political figures, most notably Vice President Kamala Harris. This momentum carried her through the general election, where she defeated the Republican candidate endorsed by former President Trump. This historic victory shattered a decades-long "attorney general's curse" in Massachusetts, as the previous six AGs who sought the governorship had all been unsuccessful. Concurrently, Healy and Oregon’s Tina Kotek made history as the first openly gay elected female governors in the United States.

In addition to her political pursuits, Healey is deeply committed to supporting LGBTQ youth. Throughout her career, she has steadfastly advocated for the rights of women and the LGBTQ community. This includes unwavering support for safe and legal abortion rights, as well as access to gender-affirming care for transgender youth.

On a personal note, Healey is in a relationship with Joanna Lydgate, her former deputy AG. Together, they call Cambridge, Massachusetts home.

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