GLAAD joins millions in celebrating the gains made for LGBT Americans in this election.
Maine and Maryland passed marriage equality at the ballot box, while Washington is continuing to count ballots toward marriage equality. These three states mark the first time that marriage equality has been upheld by a voter referendum. Additionally, Maryland passed a state-wide version of the DREAM Act, which was also supported by LGBT advocates. Alliances were formed to support both bills.
“We are thrilled that Question 6 and Question 4 were approved today in Maryland. LGBT people and their families are part of our Latino and immigrant communities and many young DREAMers are LGBT. This is a day of triumph for those of us who want a bright future for all Marylanders,” said Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA de Maryland, the state’s largest Latino and immigrant rights organization.
"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 Herndon 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 the becoming a real part of American history."
Minnesota voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have further banned marriage equality, breaking a 30-state streak of constitutional amendments that limit marriage equality. The only other state to reject a constitutional amendment, Arizona, adopted the amendment two years later. Minnesota also rejected a strict voter ID constitutional amendment, which had the possibility of disenfranchising LGBT voters, as well as other minority groups, students, and seniors.
"Voters in Minnesota have refused to vote for discrimination against their gay and lesbian friends and families, despite the work of anti-gay activists to spread hurtful misinformation about marriage equality and our families," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "Minnesotans heard not only from LGBT people, but faith leaders, athletes, business leaders, and residents from across races and political persuasions who spent countless hours raising support for equality."
President Barack Obama won re-election after becoming the first sitting president to voice support for marriage equality. Claims from anti-LGBT activists that his support for marriage equality would harm his campaign turned out to be completely unfounded.
"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."
LGBT visibility will be stronger than ever in congress. In Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin was elected the first out gay U.S. Senator. She will be joined by a record number of out LGBT individuals in the US House of Representatives, as well as many statewide and local LGBT elected officials.
"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 Herndon 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."
Leading up to Election Day, GLAAD worked to counter and expose anti-LGBT activists as they spent countless hours and millions of dollars spreading misinformation about LGBT families. GLAAD also brought the stories of loving and committed couples and our allies to voters across Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, helping Americans better understand the families at the heart of Tuesday's votes.
For more election news, visit www.glaad.org/vote