On Tuesday, American politics became much more gay-friendly. Wisconsin voters elected a lesbian senator. Three gay men, and potentially one bisexual woman, will join the House of Representatives. And the approval of ballot initiatives means homosexuals can marry in three more states.
The gay rights movement had come to dread election days, when voters often reversed measures that legislatures and governors had backed. And opponents of same-sex marriage consistently won decisive statewide votes with far less money and manpower than its advocates.
As recently as May, North Carolina voters delivered another drubbing in a string of 30-plus statewide losses for gay-marriage activists, adding the state’s ban on same-sex marriage to its constitution. In Tuesday’s vote, those advocates welcomed a different result. “Winning for the first time at the ballot box in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington is truly historic,” said Chad Griffin, who recently took over the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest gay rights organization. “You’re seeing how fair-minded Americans are, coming down on the side of full equality and inclusion in this country.”
via Gay rights advocates welcome election-day results for a change – The Washington Post.
DENVER — Democratic lawmakers in Colorado sustained a wrenching defeat in the final days of the legislative session last spring. A bill that would have allowed civil unions for same-sex couples was blocked from getting a full vote in the State House of Representatives by Republican leaders, who knew Democrats had the votes to pass it.
But this week, Democrats here regained control of the House, buttressed by a favorably redrawn legislative map and simmering anger over the civil unions debate.
And on Thursday, punctuating the moment, Democratic lawmakers elected the state’s first openly gay speaker of the House.
The new speaker, State Representative Mark Ferrandino, a Democrat from Denver, was a co-sponsor of the civil unions bill and has vowed to bring it back when the session resumes in January.
via Mark Ferrandino Is Elected Colorado’s First Gay Speaker – NYTimes.com.
Hailed as a watershed moment for the LGBT movement, Election Day yielded several milestones that political observers say will have a profound impact on the advancement of LGBT rights and marriage equality going forward.
Here are five takeaways from an evening that saw wins for marriage equality at the ballot and the election for the first time of an openly gay U.S. Senate candidate — not to mention the re-election of a U.S. president who endorsed marriage equality.
1. The sky’s the limit for gay candidates seeking political office
Lesbian U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin made history when she became the first openly gay person elected to the U.S. Senate in a highly contested race against former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson. She’ll be part of a record number of as many as seven openly gay, lesbian and bisexual candidates elected to Congress and 121 candidates endorsed by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund elected to various offices throughout the country.
via 5 takeaways from Election Day on LGBT issues | Washington Blade – Americas Leading Gay News Source.