Tonight is a big night for LGBT rights and issues- Marriage Equality in Maine, Relationship Recognition in Washington State, and a Human Rights Ordinance in Kalamazoo. Add that to the openly gay candidates (Annise Parker in Houston) and races that effect our movement (the New Jersey Governor's Race), and you have a busy night for all things LGBT.
We're going to use this open thread to update election results, talk about the races, follow everything that matters to you. Jump in the comments, add the races you're watching, and give your commentary throughout the evening!
We'll be updating this post all night as results trickle in!
Maine Question 1 Results: 84% Reporting NO (yay!): 47.4% Yes (boo!): 52.6% *Winner-UGH*
"Our campaign started with a very basic idea, and today voters confirmed that we are One Kalamazoo," said Campaign Manager, Jon Hoadley.
With only absentee ballots outstanding, 65 percent of Kalamazoo voters have approved Ordinance 1856 by a vote of 6,463 to 3,527, adding protections for gay and transgender people to the city's nondiscrimination ordinance. This margin is larger than the number of outstanding absentee ballots that are currently being counted.
"I am elated with the outcome of the election," says Yes on Ordinance 1856/One Kalamazoo Steering Committee member and local resident Janice Brown. "This vote reinforces what our campaign set out to prove - that our fellow residents of Kalamazoo share the belief that all people should be treated fairly and equally, including gay and transgender people."
The outcome of today's vote confirmed that all hardworking people in Kalamazoo should have the chance to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families without fear of being fired for reasons that have nothing to do with their job performance.
"Kalamazoo is a great place to live and the passage of Ordinance 1856 makes the city an even better place," says local resident Rev. Matt Laney, Pastor of the First Congregational Church. "I am proud to live in a city that recognizes that all people deserve fairness and respect."
The Yes on 1856/ One Kalamazoo campaign in support of the nondiscrimination ordinance involved hundreds of local volunteers and contributors, and had the endorsement of over 30 local religious, social, business, and political organization. The campaign would like to thank the Kalamazoo community for asserting their belief in the inherent equality of all Kalamazoo residents, and the countless volunteers for their hard work and dedication in recent months - and in some case, years - to ensure the passage of the ordinance.
STATEMENT OF JESSE CONNOLLY, CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR NO ON 1
Tonight, hundreds of thousands of Maine voters stood for equality, but in the end, it wasn't enough.
I am proud of the thousands of Mainers who knocked on doors, made phone calls and talked to their family, friends and neighbors about the basic premise of treating all Maine families equally.
And I'm proud of this campaign because the stories we told and the images we shared were of real Mainers -- parents who stood up for their children, and couples who simply wanted to marry the person they love.
We're in this for the long haul. For next week, and next month, and next year-- until all Maine families are treated equally. Because in the end, this has always been about love and family and that will always be something worth fighting for.