For Out.com, Richard Socarides, who worked in the Clinton White House, has written about the importance of Tuesday's election. Take a few minutes and read his entire column but here are some excerpts.
"Probably the best thing about the election, for me, was how many “how far we've come” moments it provided. We won our first marriage equality ballot initiatives -- in fact, winning all four of them: in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington State. We elected our first openly gay or lesbian member of the U.S. Senate, a club historically restricted unlike any other in Washington. We added new openly gay members of the House of Representatives. (I am particularly proud of my friend Sean Maloney, who I worked with in the Clinton White House, who beat a one-term incumbent tea party-er, who had no business representing the people of her district in the first place.)
Perhaps most importantly, we helped reelect the most pro-gay president in history. In fact, we more than helped. Exit polling suggests that record numbers of gays and lesbians showed up at the polls and that we represented as much as 5 % of the self-identified total electorate -- and that 77 % of us supported President Obama. Thus, strong support from gays and lesbians put the president over the top in the popular vote and probably was crucial in several swing states."
By next June, when the Supreme Court announces its decisions, California will likely be re-added to the list of states where same-sex marriage is legal. The Defense of Marriage Act is likely to have been stricken down as unconstitutional, which would make marriage fully recognized in each of the states that allows it. And with the addition of California, Americans will live in ten states representing over 25% of the U.S. population where marriage is fully accessible to all.
For as long as I have been in politics—which is all of my adult life—it has been “Washington groupthink” that gay issues are dangerous and only mean trouble for elected officials, even ones who are sympathetic to our cause. It is now a new day – one that has been a long time in coming. Politicians need to recognize that their embrace of us is not only the right thing to do, but leads to success at the ballot box."