The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund reports that openly gay and lesbian candidates won election to municipal, judicial and state legislative offices from coast to coast Tuesday night. At least 53 of the group’s 75 endorsees were victorious, with two races still undecided this morning.
Of the 75 candidates endorsed by the Victory Fund in 2011, 46 were non-incumbents, 22 were women and 15 were people of color.
Key 2011 victories included:
- Zach Adamson, who becomes the first openly LGBT city councilmember in Indianapolis, Indiana;
- Caitlin Copple, an out lesbian who won a seat on the Missoula, Montana City Council;
- Adam Ebbin, a Virginia Delegate who becomes the first openly gay State Senator;
- Daniel Hernandez, Jr., the intern who helped save the life of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was elected to his local school board in Pima County, Ariz.;
- Robin Kniech, an out lesbian who became the first openly LGBT member of the Denver, Colorado City Council;
- Mike Laster, who becomes the first openly gay man elected to the Houston, Texas City Council;
- LaWana Mayfield, who will be the first openly LGBT city councilmember in Charlotte, North Carolina;
- Alex Morse, a 22-year-old gay man who won his race for mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts;
- Annise Parker, who was reelected as mayor of Houston, Texas;
- Chris Seelbach, who made history as the first openly LGBT candidate to win a seat on the Cincinnati, Ohio City Council
All I can say is WOW!!!
Sometimes it seems like we are going backwards, especially when we see a string of vicious muggings in schools by so-called “bullies.” However, as we like to point out at TWO, we are really moving forward at a historic clip. The violence and the vitriol is only a manifestation of our opponents deep fear that they are losing the war — and as today’s election shows also beginning to lose battles.
I mean — we are WINNING in one-time anti-gay strongholds such as Houston, Cincinnati, and Charlotte!!! Yeah, I’m using exclamation points!!! I’m excited!!!
I’m not done….want more good news? MW’s crack reporter Chris Geidner (‘crack’ meaning he does a good job, not on crack) talks about a huge victory in Iowa:
The Iowa Independent reports that the “final” results in the balance-of-power state Senate special election race went to the Democrat, Liz Mathis. With 55.8 percent of the vote, she bested Republican Cindy Golding, who received 43.52 percent of the vote. Mathis’s victory means the state Senate stays in Democratic control, stopping an attempt at reversing marriage equality in the state. Freedom to Marry president Evan Wolfson said in a statement, “The voters rebuffed the anti-gay attacks that sought to make undoing the freedom to marry a critical factor in the race, and instead elected a candidate who supports the freedom to marry for all Iowa families. One Iowa worked hard to make sure that marriage remains secure in Iowa and to elect a legislator who will focus on the real challenges confronting the state.”
I’m still not finished!!! As TWO’s Jenny Blair mentioned today, Mississippi voters defeated the so-called Personhood Amendment that would have basically outlawed abortion and many forms of contraception.
This is shaping up to be a damn good day. Enjoy the results!!
UPDATE: A bit of bad news to report. The bigoted New York marriage clerk, Rose Marie Belforti, who illegally refuses to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples, won reelection in the town of Ledyard, NY. Belforti received 305 votes while her write-in challenger Ed Easter received 186 votes.
UPDATE 2: From Nadine Smith and her team at Equality Florida (my home state):
Great news! Tonight Michael Smith won his historic race to become the first LGBT person to win a seat on the Largo City Commission. Michael defeated a long time incumbent known for her anti-gay beliefs. The victory is sweeter because of the incumbent’s history of appealing to prejudice. She led the charge to have the City Manager fired for being transgender. Michael’s opponent appealed to homophobia once again, but the tactic backfired. Longtime supporters deserted her and Michael won tonight’s election with 53.97% of the vote.