November 6, 2010
by Andy Kelley
New Media Organizer, Courage Campaign
As Eden reported yesterday, despite spending over $5 million on right wing, anti-gay candidates, the so-called “National Organization For Marriage” had little success at the ballot box on Tuesday. NOM’s dismal showing on Tuesday further underscores how out of touch NOM is with mainstream America.
Not only was NOM’s support less than likely to lead to election, but for many candidates, NOM’s support proved toxic. Despite NOM’s best efforts to promote an anti-gay agenda, Tuesday’s elections saw the greatest number of out, LGBT candidates elected nationally, ever.
In fact, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund reported at least 106 out LGBT candidates endorsed by the group were elected. Including notable developments in many congressional and state level races:
–David Cicilline’s election to Congress. The Providence, R.I. mayor will be the fourth openly gay member of the U.S. House of Representatives, joining Reps. Tammy Baldwin, Barney Frank and Jared Polis, who each won reelection.
–Jim Gray’s election as mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, the state’s second-largest city.
–Nickie Antonio’s election to the Ohio House. Antonio will be the first openly LGBT person to serve in the state legislature.
–Marcus Brandon’s election to the North Carolina House. Brandon will be the state’s only openly gay state legislator and one of just five out African Americans to serve as state lawmakers.
–Victoria Kolakowski’s election as a Superior Court judge in Alameda County. Kolakowski becomes the first openly transgender judge in America.
–Kevin Lembo’s election as Connecticut State Comptroller. Lembo joins just a handful of openly LGBT candidates to have been elected to statewide positions.
–Laurie Jinkins’ election to the Washington State House. Jinkins is Washington’s first openly lesbian state legislator, and could help her gay colleagues pass a marriage equality bill in the next legislative session.
–Maryland’s and California’s expanded LGBT state legislative caucuses. Each will include seven openly gay and lesbian lawmakers. In Maryland, the caucus is poised to help pass marriage equality legislation, which the reelected Gov. Martin O’Malley has vowed to sign.
These are just a few highlights of the growing number of openly LGBT people elected to public office, and a strong sign that increasingly hearts and minds are being changed across our nation.