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|Openly gay candidates fare well, despite GOP 'wave'|
|by Ryan Watkins|
|November 03, 2010 09:57|
In spite of gains made across the country by Republicans typically unsupportive of LGBT rights, there were several important victories for the LGBT equality movement last night.
While it now seems unlikely that the Employment Nondiscrimination Act will be pass in the next session or efforts to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will continue in the U.S. House, many high-profile victories on the state and local level could signal opportunity for continued victories for LGBT rights.
Last night, New York elected Andrew Cuomo, son of former governor Mario Cuomo, as its next governor over Republican challenger Carl Paladino. Paladino made several anti-gay remarks (a few of which forced apologies) during the campaign, while Cuomo vowed to work toward marriage equality in the Empire state. “He will fight to make sure all couples have equal marriage rights under the law,” his website says.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a supporter of marriage equality, also won reelection last night over GOP challenger Charlie Baker.
All three LGBT U.S. House incumbents won reelection and a fourth man, David Cicilline, will join the LGBT delegation in Washington in January. Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, won the House seat vacated by former Rep. Patrick Kennedy. Cicilline spoke at the Atlanta Human Rights Campaign dinner earlier this year.
Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank was thought to be in a difficult battle for his U.S. House seat, but eventually came away with the victory after a strong challenge from political newcomer and former Marine Sean Bielat.
Here in Georgia, Democratic U.S. Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson easily won reelection. Both have been vocal supporters of LGBT equality while in office.
Lewis spoke at Atlanta Pride and promised to continue the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (video here).
On the local level, Lexington, Kentucky, elected its first openly gay mayor. Jim Gray won over incumbent Jim Newberry in a non-partisan election, according to The Washington Post. Lexington is Kentucky’s second largest city and home to the University of Kentucky.
Ohio and North Carolina also elected their first openly gay state legislators in a night that set a new record for the number of out LGBT candidates elected to public office, according to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. At least 106 of the Victory Fund’s 164 candidates won their races. For more information on how out candidates fared around the country, you can read the Victory Fund’s summary here.
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