Making History: Election 2012
Four states from across the nation made history in the fight for equal marriage, while LGBT politicians made strides in several states. After recent losses on the ballot in other states, including a ban against equal marriage in North Carolina just this year, this election may signal a change in opinion.
Votes for Marriage
For the first time in the United States, a majority of voters approved measures for equal marriage–Maine, Maryland, and Washington all voted to allow same-sex marriage! All three measures passed by over 50% of voters. This is the first time that equal marriage rights have been confirmed by the popular vote.
Meanwhile, Minnesota became the first state to defeat an amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. Over half the voters in Minnesota (52%) voted against a constitutional amendment to define marriage solely as a heterosexual union.
James Esseks, director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project, stated:
“Not long ago, marriage for same-sex couples was unimaginable. In a remarkably short time, we have seen courts start to rule in favor of the freedom to marry, then legislatures affirm it, and now the people vote for it as well.”
LGBT Politicians Make History
Across the nation, LGBT politicians made gains last night. In Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin was elected the first openly lesbian Senator, as well as Wisconsin’s first woman Senator. Baldwin previously served in the House of Representatives, where she also made history as the first openly LGBT non-incumbent US Representative. In the House, Baldwin will be succeeded by Mark Pocan, who is also openly gay.
In New York, Sean Patrick Maloney became the first openly-gay person elected from that state. On the West Coast, Mark Takano became the first LGBT person of color in Congress! Takano is an openly-gay Japanese-American from Riverside, California.
Stacie Laughton became the first openly transgender person to be elected to a state Congress, and will serve in the New Hampshire State House of Representatives. Laughton stated: “We are people, too, who still have talents and ideas. And I hope that people won’t be afraid to get into politics, or any other position, for that matter. I want the community to feel inspired.” With victories on November 6th, there are now LGBT politicians in 40 out of 50 state legislatures–totaling more than 110 LGBT candidates at the state and local level.
For more information on these victories, and what is happening in your state, check out http://thefour2012.com/