LGBT Candidates and Marriage Equality Earn Hard Fought Victories On Election Day 2012 | Jive in the [415] Blog | Gay LGBT News Political Commentary

November 14, 2012

LGBT Candidates and Marriage Equality Earn Hard Fought Victories On Election Day 2012

Out LGBT candidates were victorious on election day 2012 - Tammy Baldwin, David Cicilline and Jared Polis are all returning to Congress.

Jive in the [415] LGBT Election Recap 2012  

By Roy Steele

Marriage Equality

Marriage equality was on the ballot in four states on November 6, 2012, and the LGBT communities in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state, worked their asses off campaigning to ensure that marriage equality was extended to each and every citizen in each state.

In the state of Minnesota alone, during the 7 days leading up to the election, marriage equality activists called 900,000 people and knocked on 400,000 doors.

All four campaigns for marriage equality were victorious, which is a remarkable testament to the hard work and dedication of the same-sex marriage campaigns in each state. The majority of voters in each of these states rejected discrimination and bigotry, in order to embrace the ideal that we are all created equal.

Final Electoral College Map for Election 2012 Obama 332 Romney 206

President of the United States and LGBT Ally In Chief

We re-elected a President of the United States who fully supports marriage equality, while the electorate rejected the divisive bigotry and tired rhetoric of his Republican opponent.

US Senate

The Democratic party retained control of the United States Senate, and had a net pick up of +2 seats, which surprised both parties. The Democrats were defending 23 of the 33 seats being contested in the Senate, and they won 25 Senate races. In 2013 the Democrats will control the Senate with 55 seats (including 2 Independent Senators caucusing with Democrats), and Republicans with 45 seats.

There will be a record number of women serving in the US Senate, when the new members assume office. There will be 20 female US Senators, 16 Democrats and 4 Republicans.

US Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), a lesbian trailblazer and hero to many, was elected to represent the state of Wisconsin in the US Senate. She is the first woman elected to represent her state in the Senate, as well as the first out and open LGBT candidate to ever be elected to a Senate seat.

Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a Rutgers Law School graduate, and champion of the middle class, easily defeated the incumbent Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown (R-MA).

US Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)  of Hawaii is the first woman elected to represent the state of Hawaii in the US Senate, the first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate, the first U.S. Senator born in Japan, and the nation's first Buddhist Senator.

LGBT candidates Sean Maloney, Mark Takano, Kyrsten Sinema, and Mark Pocan were elected to Congress

US House of Representatives

The Greedy Old Party (GOP) was expected to retain control of the House, and while they are still the majority party, they lost seats to the Democrats. Current projections reflect that Republicans will have between 233 and 236 seats, and Democrats will have between 196 and 199 seats.

Two prominent tea-baggers lost their seats. US Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) who was known as the “deadbeat dad” lost his bid for re-election to Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). Florida’s resident wackadoo US Rep. Allen West (R-FL) of “there are communists in Congress” fame, lost his race to Patrick Murphy (D-FL).   

There was more good news for the LGBT community, when 6 out of 7 LGBT candidates for Congress were elected to the House. Newly elected Representatives include Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Mark Takano (D-CA), Sean Maloney (D-NY), and Marc Pocan (D-WI), who will join re-elected incumbents Jared Polis (D-CO) and David Cicilline (D-RI). Republican Richard Tisei (R-MA) was defeated in his race.

Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) is the first out bisexual member of Congress, and Mark Takano (D-CA) is the first LGBT person of color elected to the House.

The gay and lesbian victory fund supports gay and lesbian candidates for public office

The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund - State and Local Races

In 2012 the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund set a record when they endorsed 180 LGBT candidates running for office at the local, county, state and federal levels. Included in that total were 8 candidates for the US Senate and US House of Representatives (7 of 8 won).

The Victory Fund reported:

In addition to the federal candidates, Victory has endorsed 101 state legislative candidates in 30 states, and dozens more at the municipal, county, judicial and school board level.
“Whether at the local, state or national level, LGBT officeholders are helping to add significant power to legislative fights to win equality for all Americans.  These candidates will make sure that progress continues, and that’s why their victories this year are so important,” Wolfe said.
Seven state legislatures gained their first or only openly LGBT state lawmakers this year, including North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, New Mexico, Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida, which went from zero to two gay legislators.  And in Oregon and Colorado, state legislative election results have positioned two out lawmakers to become House Speakers.
The Victory Fund endorsed in 180 races in 2012, with 122 candidates victorious and one race still too close to call.  Full results can be viewed here.
This year represents a negligible turning point in our struggle for equality and civil rights. While our victories are few, our achievements loom large. It’s hard to believe that our small minority group has achieved so much in such a short time.

I have to tip my hat to Frank Kameny, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, Harvey Milk, Randy Shilts, Barney Frank, Steve Gunderson, and thousands of other people who often worked in the shadows to fight the institutionalized discrimination that permeated our society and government institutions for hundreds of years. Without their trailblazing work, our achievements today wouldn’t be possible. 

Congratulations to the dedicated campaign volunteers in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. The voters have spoken and your hard work was rewarded and I say BRAVO!

The Victory Fund has been raising the profile of their organization, while recruiting excellent LGBT candidates for public office who can win, and that is awesome.

LGBT Americans experience discrimination every day, and while there are millions of our family members, friends, and neighbors who support full equality, there are millions who will fight us to the end, who seek to deny us our basic civil rights, and want to turn the LGBT civil rights movement back to the time when we weren’t seen or heard.

That’s why we must remain vigilant, and be out and proud of who we are.

It may take some time to achieve full equality, but with the tide finally flowing in our direction, we may get there sooner than we think.   

straight talk in a queer world.            
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