Whooooa. What a night. Barack Obama was not only reelected by a fairly big margin, but he was reelected in a year where politics are as partisan as they’ve ever been. And, whether it’s just me getting older, the millions thrown at attack ads, or just the idiotic footage coming out of the FOX news, I was more invested in this election than I’ve ever been. It felt like a watershed moment in politics: Would conservative money sway voters? Would voters let the dated rhetoric about women (in or out of binders) fly? Would support for same sex marriage continue its positive trend? Last night, voters actually gave me hope, answering those questions in ways that finally made sense and reaffirmed many people’s belief in democracy.
At the very least, the results last night will force the Republican party to finally confront the reality of who makes up this country – and make some adjustments to their outdated thinking. For example, no matter what party you typically align yourself with, I think we all despaired every time a old white guy made a thoughtless comment about rape or women’s health measures (my favorite FB post in my newsfeed last night: “My uterus is safe for 4 more years!”).
During the run up to the election, neither Barack Obama or Mitt Romney directly discussed same sex marriage, but we knew how Romney felt about same sex families: he didn’t believe in them, didn’t support them, and frankly, didn’t understand them. It was anyone’s guess what he would have done if he had been elected, but I’m glad we aren’t going to find out.
That said, here’s a round up of the historic victories for same sex rights that were scored last night (we’re still waiting on results from Washington state, which voted on legalizing same sex marriage on Tuesday as well) :
Maine and Maryland vote for same sex marriage
Both states asked voters, “Do I support same sex marriage?” and both states said YES. This is the first time states have approved same sex marriage in popular vote, reaffirming a trend of support increasing across the country. Have people previously opposed to same sex marriage finally realized that same sex marriage isn’t going to affect their lives whatsoever? Maybe – and that’s a good thing. As I write this, I’m listening to the radio, where they interviewed a guy who used to be against same sex marriage about the results. In a bored voice, he said, “yeah, seems like that’s the way things are going. I accept it.” ’nuff said. Can we repeal DOMA now?
Tammy Baldwin elected first openly gay senator, and also is awesome person
I wrote about Tammy Baldwin’s historic senate race over a year ago in a post about famous gay politicians that were currently in the house and senate. Last night Wisconsin elected her to the Senate, making her the first openly gay senator to be elected, ever. The best part? Baldwin’s sexual orientation was basically moot in the race; she won on the issues and because she was the best candidate.
Minnesota votes NO to adding one man, one woman definition of marriage to constitution
In perhaps the race that was most immediately important to same sex families, Minnesota voted against a measure that would add a definition of marriage as between one man and one woman to the state constitution. This language was similar to the one that recently passed in North Carolina, with devastating effects for same sex families in that state.