Some post-election marriage-equality notes

A few gubernatorial election results relevant to marriage equality:

  • In Rhode Island, pro-marriage-equality Republican-turned-Independent Lincoln Chafee won the gubernatorial election. 60% of the RI population supports equality, including 63% of the very large Catholic population. Former Gov. Don Carcieri is a member of NOM, so there was no chance of equality passing in RI during his term. I don't know what the RI state legislature's stance will be, but I'm thinking that the chances of equality in RI have gone way up.
  • In Maine, anti-equality Republican candidate Paul LePage is currently slightly ahead of pro-equality Independent candidate Eliot Cutler, with 84% of precincts reporting. Cutler was leading for a little while, but I don't know who's gonna win this. Of course, the governorship isn't as important (on this issue) in Maine, where it was a referendum that overturned marriage equality after it had already passed into law. But I'm still crossing my fingers for Cutler.
  • In California, the news orgs are calling the race in favor of pro-equality Democrat Jerry Brown, who has made clear that he will not attempt to intervene in the Prop 8 appeal. Unfortunately, however, anti-equality Republican Steve Cooley is well ahead in the race for Attorney General, with 35% of precincts reporting; I believe Cooley has said that if he's elected, he will attempt to intervene in the appeal. I was rooting for Cooley's opponent, San Francisco DA Kamala Harris (who I believe has said she would not try to intervene), but she's currently pretty far behind.
  • In Hawaiʻi, pro-equality Democrat Neil Abercrombie is currently ahead, but with less than 1% of precincts reporting, that's not useful information. Fingers crossed; the last governor there was not so good with the LGBT stuff. The Republican candidate in this race wants to amend the state's constitution to ban marriage equality.
  • In New York, pro-equality Democrat Andrew Cuomo easily won. Of course, the governor hasn't been the problem wrt marriage equality in NY; Paterson has been vocally pro-equality. The thing I'm not clear on is what's going on in the NY state senate, which is where things fell apart last time there was a vote. I saw speculation an hour or two ago that the Democrats' two-seat lead in the senate may drop to a 31-31 tie. ~Yay, gridlock.~ Not that having a Democratic majority in the NY state senate is sufficient to get to marriage equality (as witness the last time they voted), but I'm guessing it's a necessary prerequisite.
  • Added later: I forgot Iowa, where Republican (and former four-term governor) Terry Branstad has now won the gubernatorial race. Branstad is opposed to marriage equality (and apparently has even said he would support a state constitutional amendment to revoke equality), but according to in July, he's not rabidly anti-gay. So an LGBT group called One Iowa has been asking Iowans to write letters to Mr. Branstad telling him how important marriage equality is. If you live in Iowa, it might be worth a try. (You can choose whether to let them post your letter publicly or not; there are some lovely stories on their site.) One Iowa notes that, sadly, a bunch of pro-equality people lost the election today, and three of the state Supreme Court judges who unanimously recognized marriage equality last year were voted out of office. Disappointing.

Any other relevant races out there? I haven't been paying much attention to this stuff; just started wondering tonight what effect the new governors would have, so went and looked it up.

6 Responses to “Some post-election marriage-equality notes”

  1. Will Q

    Here’s a tiny bit of good news for the morning: Harris has pulled ahead of Cooley again.

  2. CComMack

    The details of the NYS Senate are more complicated than the topline results would suggest; pro-equality forces are claiming scalps from targeted campaigns against anti-equality Senators, and of course three key races are close and may be heading to recountland.

  3. jacob

    With 100% of the precincts reporting, Kamala Harris is leading by around 15,000 votes. However, that race hasn’t been called, for whatever reason; perhaps there are outstanding absentee ballots? Nonetheless it looks good.

  4. Jed

    Will and Jacob: Yeah, there are tens of thousands of absentee ballots still to be counted. As of this morning, Harris is ahead by 9,000 votes. Fingers crossed that she’ll stay ahead.

    CComMack: Yikes. Thanks for the info!

    After seeing y’all’s comments yesterday, I found a bunch more pages with more info, but will have to wait to post those ’til I’m a little more on top of things.

  5. jacob

    And, finally, Kamala Harris has been declared the winner.


    • Jed

      Jacob: Well, sorta kinda mostly probably. Cooley has indeed now conceded—but then again, he also declared victory that first day.

      It would be almost impossible for Cooley to catch up at this point, but Harris (perhaps out of an abundance of caution) has not yet declared victory, and the count won’t be final ’til next week.

      Still, it’s looking very good for Harris.

      (It’s not that I don’t think she’ll win; it’s just that the count has undergone so many surprising reversals so far that I’m hesitant to make any firm statements until it’s final.)


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