First Practicing Hindu in US Congress
Hawaii elected the first practicing Hindu to the US House of Representatives. Congresswoman-elect Tulsi Gabbard will represent the second district of the state. She said that her election showed the respect, diversity, and love that people have in Hawaii for allowing something like this to happen.
Gabbard is a 31 year old Democrat. She said that she will take her oath of office on the Hindu religious text Bhagavad Gita in January. She added that it’s a perfect time for Congress to start moving towards the representation on diversity. She said that it is a common ideal no matter what the differences might be. People need to come together to do what’s best for everyone.
Gabbard started her political career at a young age. She was elected to the state legislature at 21 years old, which made her the youngest lawmaker in Hawaii. She will also be the first female combat veteran in Congress. She served in Iraq for Hawaii’s National Guard in 2004 as a medical operations specialist. After her officers’ training, she was sent to Kuwait in 2008 to train the country’s counter-terrorism units.
She easily won the election by getting over 80 percent of the vote. She defeated K. Crowley of the Republican Party. Her victory was cheered by the Hindu-American community across the nation.
Gabbard said that the practice of yoga served as a guiding light and motivation throughout her life. She is joined in Congress by fellow Hawaiian Mazie Hirono, who is the first Buddhist to be elected to the US Senate. More than 300 members of Congress at present are Protestants, Around 29 percent are Catholics.
There are 20 women in the US Senate in January. They include Wisconsin Democratic Representative Tammy Baldwin, who is the first openly-gay senator. Democrat Krysten Sinema won in Arizona’s 9th Congressional District. She is the first openly bisexual member of Congress.