A Political Sea Change for LGBT Civil Rights

“Tuesday’s stamp of approval from a venerable institution will further influence public opinion,” wrote the editors of the Los Angeles Times in May 2011 after the passage of Amendment 10a. “This welcome move by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) indicates that religion has a role to play in this nation’s lurching progress toward gay rights.”

The victories on Tuesday night were more than a lurch, but represented a political sea change for the advancement of LGBT civil rights. At the heart of each marriage equality campaign in ME, MD, MN and WA were people of faith proclaiming the goodness of all of God’s creation. This leadership helped shape the following victories.

  • A majority of Mainers voted YES on the question, “Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?”
  • A majority of Marylanders voted FOR question 6, “Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license…”
  • A majority of Minnesotans voted NO on the discriminatory constitutional amendment, “Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman.”
  • A majority of Washingtonians APPROVED Referendum 74 approving Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6239 allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Additional Victories for LGBT Equality

President Obama

President Obama became the first pro-marriage equality president ever to be reelected.

“We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world…But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being…

…America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.”

Senator-Elect Tammy Baldwin

Rep. Tammy Baldwin won the Senate election race in Wisconsin. She is the first openly gay person elected to the United States Senate!

“Now, I am well aware that I will have the honor to be Wisconsin’s first woman U.S. Senator, and I am well aware that I will be the first openly gay member…but I did not run to make history. I ran to make a difference!”

Full Coverage

You can read complete LGBT election coverage at Freedom to Marry’s live blog.