After years of heartbreak at the polls,
gay marriage advocates are cheering marriage wins in as many as four
Voters in three states, Maine, Maryland
and Minnesota, helped turn the tide on Tuesday.
became the first state to legalize gay nuptials by referendum.
voters upheld a marriage law approved by lawmakers. And
rejected a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual
couples, though same-sex couples remain barred from marrying in
the state due to state law.
In Washington state, a
referendum upholding a marriage law approved by lawmakers was leading
52% to 48% with 52% of precincts reporting.
In a video message sent to supporters,
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin called Tuesday's
election the “most important and historic in the history of the
“After a 2-year effort, $20 million
dollars raised and contributed, and HRC's largest mobilization effort
in our history, we've won a landslide victory for equality at the
ballot box. We've secured the first-ever electoral victories for
marriage equality in Maine, Maryland and Minnesota, and we're
optimistic about the results still to come in Washington,” Griffin
said in the 2-minute video.
Election night also brought victories
for 6 out of 8 openly LGBT Congressional candidates. A seventh,
Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, holds a narrow lead against her Republican
Griffin said the victories are a
reminder of the work left to do.
“We've got to seize the mantle and
continue to push forward, because at a moment like this, when
momentum is at our back, we don't slow down, we double down,” he
said. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
GLAAD President Herndon Graddick echoed
“Visibility and progress for LGBT
people have grown under President Obama and now that momentum must
continue. 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.”
Evan Wolfson, founder and president of
Freedom to Marry, the nation's largest group advocating for marriage
equality, said voters proved foes “wrong.”
“Our huge, happy, and historic wave
of wins last night signaled irrefutable momentum for the freedom to
marry, with voters joining courts, legislatures, and the reelected
president of the United States in moving the country toward the right
side of history. The anti-gay opposition kept moving the goalposts
and had as their last talking point that we could not win a popular
vote on the freedom to marry. Last night, voters in Maine, Maryland,
Minnesota, and, all signs suggest, Washington proved them wrong,
wrong, wrong and wrong.”
Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the
Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a group which supports openly LGBT
candidates, called Tuesday's results a “breathtaking leap forward”
in an e-mail to supporters.