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Maloney, Sean Patrick (b. 1966)  
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Long a champion of glbtq and progressive causes, Sean Patrick Maloney was elected to the United States House of Representatives from the 18th District of New York in 2012. He is the first openly gay U.S. Representative from New York state.

Maloney is a member of what he humorously described to Jonathan Miller of the National Journal as a "small Irish-Catholic family." He has five brothers and one sister.

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Maloney's parents are Americans, but his father's work as a lumberman caused the family to live temporarily in Canada. It was during their stay in Sherbrooke, Quebec that Sean Patrick Maloney was born on July 30, 1966.

The family subsequently settled in Hanover, New Hampshire.

In high school Maloney developed an interest in history, particularly with respect to civil rights. He continued his education at Georgetown University, but after two years he transferred to the University of Virginia, from which he received a bachelor's degree in international relations in 1988.

After spending a year doing volunteer social work in Peru, Maloney enrolled in the law school of his alma mater and earned his juris doctor degree in 1992.

That same year he became involved in Bill Clinton's presidential campaign, working as a deputy to Susan Thomases, who was in charge of scheduling.

Following Clinton's victory Maloney passed the bar exam and began practicing as an attorney, but when Clinton ran for re-election in 1996, he once again joined the team, working as the director of surrogate travel.

During the second Clinton term Maloney worked in the office of Chief of Staff John Podesta and eventually became a senior West Wing advisor.

In that capacity he was one of two representatives sent by Clinton to the funeral of Matthew Shepard, the gay college student brutalized and left to die, tied to a fence outside of Laramie, Wyoming. A contemporary news article described Maloney as "the highest ranking openly homosexual man on the White House staff."

Maloney is the partner of Randy Florke, a designer and businessman. The couple has been together since 1992, when Maloney, in New York to help with the planning of the Democratic convention, met Florke, who was then working for decorator Juan Pablo Molyneux.

The couple established a household, and a third member soon joined it. The grandson of Molyneux's chauffeur was in need of a stable environment since the boy's parents were addicted to drugs. Maloney and Florke opened their home and their hearts to the child, named Jesús, and, following the death of his mother, adopted him.

Maloney later recalled to Penelope Green of the New York Times that a friend had asked him, "Shouldn't you tell your parents you're gay before you adopt a child with another man?"

Maloney stated that he felt that "Jesús made it easier" for him to come out to his mother and father because it created "some common ground" for them all.

"Whatever their fears and preconceived notions were about what it meant to be gay had to be integrated with the healthy family they saw us creating," he declared to Green.

The family continued to grow as Maloney and Florke subsequently welcomed adopted daughters Daley and Essie.

(Somewhat ironically given the fact that marriage equality featured prominently in Maloney's campaign for Congress, he and Florke have not married even though same-sex marriage became legal in New York in 2011.)

When the second Clinton administration ended in 2000, Maloney took the position of chief operating officer at Kiodex, a company that specialized in commodity trading and risk management. Upon the sale of the company three years later, Maloney returned to the practice of law.

In 2004, in his capacity as legal advisor and member of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Maloney was interviewed for an episode of the ABC News show 20/20 about the college student's murder. When the show was aired, the producers had deleted Maloney's interview entirely and utterly distorted the facts of the case, portraying the murderers of Shepard as drug addicts who were motivated only by a desire to rob Shepard and did not commit a hate crime.

The parents of Shepard were dismayed by the tabloid nature of the report and its misrepresentations. In a statement, Judy Shepard said that in the interview that was cut, Maloney "was quite eloquent in stating the facts pertaining to Matt's case, his knowledge of hate crimes in general, and in debunking 20/20's attempt to rewrite history." Her own remarks, she said, "were reduced to a few very personal maternal comments taken out of context to make it appear as if I agreed with 20/20's theories. That couldn't be farther from the truth."

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Sean Patrick Maloney campaigning for Congress.
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