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The 2012 Election Will Go Down as the Year of Gay


Lane Hudson reflects on a night of electoral triumphs for the LGBT community.

Photo: Getty Images

There is no shortage of reasons for LGBT people to celebrate last night's results. At the top of the ticket, the first President to support marriage equality was re-elected. Tammy Baldwin made history by becoming the first openly lesbian US Senator. Congress will welcome four new LGBT members, including the first bisexual woman and first gay man of color. Four States affirmatively voted in favor of marriage equality. At least one more state legislature will have an openly gay Speaker of the House.

It's hard for me not to walk a little taller today. I remember four years ago noticing a little spring in the step of my African American neighbors. I smiled and was so proud for them. That's how I feel today.

There is so much work to be done, but the game has changed forever. Today, the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage are scrambling for their next steps. The trend towards love and fairness is unmistakable. Their steady march in the other direction is taking them to ever so quickly to irrelevancy.

As I ponder what comes next, I am confident that our movement stands ready to capitalize on this. Chad Griffin has brought a new, smart and aggressive leadership to the Human Rights Campaign. Herndon Graddick is bringing his career in entertainment to a resurgent GLAAD. The American Foundation for Equal Rights, with Adam Umhoefer at its helm, has positioned us for a major win on marriage equality at the Supreme Court of the United States. A new generation of leadership at our advocacy organizations could not have come at a better time.

And because the President has been re-elected, we will certainly add Supreme Court Justices that will cement full civil equality to American law in our lifetimes. The importance of this cannot be overstated. With yesterday's results, we are well on our way to being fully recognized citizens. Many doubted the Obama strategy to build a new winning coalition of women, African Americans and Latinos. But it has proven to be a sound strategy and one that will take the Democratic Party into the future. LGBT voters are part of that strategy and this election may mark the end point of our lives being used as a political football by the Republicans. The impact of this on the lives of LGBT youth is enormous.

So today, LGBT Americans should walk a little taller and dance a little harder. It just got better. Welcome to the new gay.
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