Saunders and Richardson, though, said they see themselves primarily as state legislators pursuing wide-ranging policy agendas.
The fact that they're gay is part of the experience they bring to the Capitol. But it's not the central issue they plan to build their political careers around, both lawmakers said.
"I think this says something about the world we live in — this 2012 moment," Saunders said. "My commitment is to ensuring that no one is discriminated against in any way and that artificial barriers to success aren't created or institutionalized.
"What's really great about that message is that during the campaign, it resonated in communities that weren't gay."
Richardson, who worked for the U.S. Defense Department as a forensic auditor and continued that work in the private sector, examining government contracts, has been appointed to two House appropriations subcommittees and the Finance and Taxation Subcommittee.
For the legislature's minority party, Richardson is likely to emerge as a point-man in budget and spending issues. "That's what I want to do, is work on the numbers, then talk about it," Richardson said.
Richardson said he realizes he plays a historic role. But he also wants to be best known for what he brings to the legislature and the voters in his Miami Beach district.
"Just by being here and working with my colleagues, I'll make my statement in that way," Richardson said. "I don't want special treatment or different treatment, I just want equal treatment."
He added, ""I'm not going to be a 'gay legislator.' I'm here to do a lot of work for my district and Floridians."
Information from: The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, http://www.pbpost.com