To add to the happiness over Obama's re-election and Tammy Baldwin's election to the Senate comes another bit of good news sure to make the lgbt community shout from the rooftops.
We won ALL FOUR marriage equality initiatives in Maine, Maryland, Washington State, and Minnesota. Maine, Maryland, and Washington State all voted to approve marriage equality. And Minnesota became the first state to defeat an anti-marriage equality initiative.
All victories are sweet but three of those victories should be considered extra sweet by the lgbt community. In 2009, voters initially passed a referendum in Maine defeating the state's pro-marriage equality law. Last night, Maine became the first state to approve marriage equality through a popular vote.
Maryland was also a hard fought battle. In 2010, a marriage equality law just missed being passed by the state legislature after a coalition of religious leader and African-Americans legislators voiced a huge disapproval of it. When it was passed last year, it was almost immediately put up to vote via referendum.
Washington State was one that gay equality advocates really expected to win and as the votes slowly came in, marriage equality always led the count.
Minnesota was one many gay equality advocates expected to lose. Leaders of the Catholic Church fought tooth and nail to pass an anti-marriage equality law, including Archbishop John Nienstedt, who led the charge for the initiative by blurring the lines between politics and the church even in the face of much criticism.
At press time, the National Organization for Marriage has yet to comment on these losses, which is not surprising. The organization was involved in each initiative and has to be shocked at losing them all.
To make matters worse for the organization, NOM also lost a sparsely watched but crucial battle in Iowa to defeat a judge who voted for marriage equality in that state. Judge David S. Wiggins handily won another term in spite of a huge campaign by NOM and other religious right figures to have him dismissed. His victory comes two years after NOM led a successful effort to defeat three other Iowa judges who ruled for marriage equality.
To many in the lgbt community, last night brought a sense of completeness that they should have had in 2008. That election night, President Obama became the first black president, but we lost the Proposition 8 vote in CA. Last night, brought a huge change from four years ago.
And it felt so right.