Election Day Victories Move Equality Forward

by HRC Staff

'Fairness advanced forward Tuesday, with voters securing equality in the law, in the statehouse and in city hall,' said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

WASHINGTON - Election Day 2005 produced solid and crucial victories for equality with defeat of an anti-gay ballot measure in Maine, the ousting from office of one of the most viciously anti-gay legislators in America and the victory of the first-ever openly gay city councilperson in Columbus, Ohio.&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp

Many openly gay candidates and officials also won election or re-election across the nation Tuesday. These victories were won despite passage of a discriminatory constitutional amendment in Texas.

"Fairness took a step forward Tuesday, with voters securing equality in the law, in the statehouse and in city hall," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Standing shoulder to shoulder with our partners in the states, we mobilized and educated voters and equality triumphed."

  • The Maine victory was a historic win. The ballot measure defeated Tuesday would have repealed a non-discrimination bill that passed both houses of the Maine Legislature in March 2005 with strong bipartisan support and was signed into law by Democratic Gov. John Baldacci. This was the third attempt to repeal the measure and the first time voters approved the law. HRC invested more than $150,000 to defeat the measure, working closely with Maine Won't Discriminate.
  • In Virginia, Del. Richard Black, R-Loudoun County (32nd district), one of the most anti-gay legislators in America, was defeated Tuesday by David Poisson. Black has a long tradition of anti-gay votes and proposed legislation, including one that would have required social workers to determine if parents seeking to adopt a child are gay. HRC donated resources to Equality Virginia for to help defeat Black.
  • In crucial electoral battleground Ohio, Mary Jo Hudson was elected as the first openly gay member of the Columbus City Council. Hudson's victory was particularly gratifying for HRC as she is a former board member with longtime involvement in the organization.

Also on Tuesday, in Texas, voters approved a sweeping constitutional amendment banning not just marriage equality but also civil unions, domestic partnerships and even the most basic arrangements to secure fairness for Texas families.

"The amendment will hurt thousands of men, women and children in Texas, denying them basic rights and responsibilities provided to every Texas family," added Solmonese. "The battle for equality is often two steps forward and one step back and sadly that proved true on Tuesday."

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country.&nbspIt effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

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