Celebrating election results

By Kathi Wolfe

McClatchy Newspapers

The recent elections marked a milestone along the road to equality for gays and lesbians.

For the first time in our country, voters in three states — Maryland, Maine and Washington — approved ballot initiatives permitting same-sex couples to marry.

Gay marriage has been legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and the District of Columbia. But because same-sex marriage was approved by legislatures or courts in these jurisdictions, opponents of marriage equality have said that gay marriage was not what the people wanted.

With this election, it can no longer be said that a majority of voters, in at least some states, don’t want same-sex couples to wed. Minnesota, for instance, voted down a constitutional amendment to define marriage as being only between a man and a woman. This was the first time that such an amendment has been defeated.

Senate victory

Also historic was Tammy Baldwin’s Senate victory in Wisconsin. “I am well aware that I will be the first openly gay senator,” Baldwin said in her victory speech. “But I didn’t run to make history. I ran to make a difference.”

These election victories are huge steps forward in our struggle for real equality and full inclusion in our society. They reflect a historic shift in our nation’s attitude toward gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people.

Let’s take a moment to celebrate.

Kathi Wolfe is a writer and poet. She wrote this for Progressive Media Project, a source of liberal commentary on domestic and international issues; it is affiliated with The Progressive magazine. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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