HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's first openly gay candidate to be elected to the Legislature has taken the oath of office.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Democrat Brian Sims says 2012 "will go down in history as when being anti-gay puts you in the minority."

The 34-year-old Philadelphia lawyer won office by defeating longtime incumbent Rep. Babette Josephs in the primary. He recently served as board president of Equality Pennsylvania, a lesbian and gay advocacy group.

Last month an incumbent Republican state representative, Mike Fleck of Huntingdon County, disclosed he also is gay.

Sims tells the newspaper that with two gay members, the Legislature will have a more difficult time ignoring such issues as housing and workplace discrimination, hate crimes and bullying.