President Barack Obama won re-election after becoming the first acting president to voice support for marriage equality.
Voters in Maine and Maryland affirmed marriage for gay and lesbian couples. This is the first time that voters in any state voted in favor of marriage equality.
“Visibility and progress for LGBT people have grown under President Obama and now that momentum must continue,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “LGBT people deserve full equality in every aspect of American life and President Obama, in his second term, should take every concrete step within his power to make it so.”
Mainers United for Marriage and Marylanders for Marriage Equality joined national media in declaring victory for marriage equality in their states. Results of votes for marriage equality in Washington and against a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality in Minnesota have not been announced.
“Voters in Maine and Maryland have shown that full equality for gay and lesbian people is no longer a partisan issue but an issue of human dignity,” said Graddick. “The claims made by anti-gay activists that voters would never embrace marriage for gay and lesbian couples could not be further from the truth. Across lines of politics, race, religion and gender, voters in Maryland and Maine today demonstrated that marriage equality is becoming a real part of American history.”
In Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin became the first out gay U.S. Senator.
“Tonight, Tammy Baldwin made history and shone a bright light across America. No longer is the United States Senate a place for only a select few but for every citizen, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans,” said Graddick. “Baldwin’s victory showed what a majority of Americans already know: that candidates should be judged on their qualifications for the job and not their sexual orientation.”
HRC President Chad Griffin released the following statement:
“When the history books are written, 2012 will be remembered as the year when LGBT Americans won decisively at the ballot box. The dreams of millions of fair-minded Americans were realized as discrimination crumbled and equality prevailed.”
Marriage Wins at Ballot Box for First Time
“For the first time, voters in Maine and Maryland voted to allow loving couples to make lifelong commitments through marriage – forever taking away the right-wing talking point that marriage equality couldn’t win on the ballot. No amount of well-funded lies about our families could deceive Mainers and Marylanders. We await results in Minnesota and Washington State but remain optimistic that they will be successful as well. The momentum for marriage equality has never been stronger, and with poll after poll showing a growing majority of support, we have a renewed certainty that we will win this fight.
Pro-Marriage Equality President Wins Reelection
“As millions of Americans celebrate President Obama’s reelection tonight, the LGBT community is particularly elated to return the most pro-equality President ever to a second term. There is no doubt that we will continue to see tremendous strides forward like we’ve made during his first four years with our Ally-in-Chief back in office. While some pundits predicted the President’s support for marriage equality would hinder his campaign, we know the opposite is true. His historic and heartfelt declaration that all loving and committed couples should be able to marry further motivated millions of voters and sparked conversations that led to wins for marriage at the ballot box. His win is further proof of the marriage equality movement’s momentum.
First Openly Gay Senator
“Another milestone was celebrated as Senator-elect Tammy Baldwin has again earned her spot in the history books. As the first openly gay person elected to the United States Senate, she is a role model for LGBT youth and all young women across the country. With a relentless focus on the issues that matter most to Wisconsin voters – economic security, access to healthcare, and fairness and inclusion for all – Senator-elect Baldwin earned the respect of all her constituents, gay and straight.
Pickup of Fair-Minded and Openly LGB Members of Congress
“For LGBT youth who aspire to public service, we have shattered a glass by sending Tammy Baldwin to the Senate and increasing the number openly LGB members of Congress. In the Senate we have at least three new marriage equality supporters who proudly declared their support for marriage for gay and lesbian couples on the campaign trail.
Voters Retain Iowa Justice Who Decided for Marriage
“It appears that Iowans have made a strong statement for judicial independence and refused to let politics get in the way of judges doing their duty to uphold the law. Anti-gay groups trying to exact political retribution on judges should learn their lesson. Marriage equality remains the law of the land in Iowa and judges like Justice Wiggins will continue to do their jobs.
LGBT Voters Flex Political Muscle, Break for President
“Our community has flexed our political muscle with exit polls showing an increase from 4 percent of the vote in 2008 to 5 percent this year. And the President gained many more supporters among lesbian, gay and bisexual voters – jumping seven points to garner 77% of our vote.
“Tonight we celebrate, but tomorrow morning we get up and get back to work so that the victories we hail tonight are felt everywhere across this great country. Too many people are denied the ability to marry. Too many people go to their jobs without workplace protections. Too many young people go to bed at night and stare at the ceiling, sleeplessly wondering what awaits them the next day at school or at church or in their own home. Thanks to all the hard work in achieving tonight’s victories, we finally have momentum on our side and we will not rest until the promise of equal justice under the law is realized for every single person living in every single corner of this vast country.”
Source: GLAAD/Human Rights Campaign