By Katherine Dean
We don’t yet know what impact the fallout from Tuesday’s election will have on the legal recognition of same-sex marriage, but we do know that we lost some important allies in the fight for equal rights for all.
As the Huffington Post reports, Wisconsin’s Russ Feingold, a huge supporter of gay marriage, lost his bid for a fourth term in the U.S. Senate. On Top Magazine suggests that the election of a Republican majority to the state legislature could threaten same-sex marriage in the state of New Hampshire, where it is legally recognized. And in one of the most insidious efforts nationwide, Bob Vander Plaats and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) successfully campaigned for the removal of the Iowa Supreme Court Justices who helped to get gay marriage legally recognized in that state last year. Sadly, voters in the Hawkeye State denied judicial retention to all three of the justices on Tuesday, which “might cause judges in the future to be less willing to protect minorities out of fear that they might be voted out of office,” Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of the University of California, Irvine, School of Law, told The New York Times.
Still, the election wasn’t all doom and gloom for marriage equality supporters.
Lincoln Chafee, the Independent (former Republican) senator from Rhode Island who supports gay marriage, was elected governor of that state. In California, Democrat Jerry Brown, the former attorney general who refused to appeal the ruling that found Prop 8 unconstitutional, won the governorship. And despite the well-financed efforts of NOM, New Hampshire’s Governor John Lynch, who signed gay marriage into law in 2009, managed to hold onto his seat. Finally, Andrew Cuomo, who has declared gay marriage a priority in New York state, defeated anti-gay marriage candidate Carl Paladino in the race for governor.
Regardless of what happens in the coming months, Equally Wed will continue to fight for marriage equality and bring you the headlines, wherever they happen.
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