A victorious night for LGBT rights

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By Anna Peirano

Overall, it was a sweepingly momentous victory for the LGBT community, with ballot wins from equality to elected officials. 

Marriage Equality initiatives were on four ballots across the United States in Maine, Minnesota, Maryland, and Washington. 

Maine was the first state in this election to legalize same-sex marriage, and is the first state ever to do so by popular vote. Where gay marriage is legal, laws were enacted by lawmakers and through court rulings. 

In both Maryland and Washington, same-sex marriage laws were approved by lawmakers and signed by governors earlier this year, but those against marriage equality were able to gather enough signatures to challenge the decisions. In both states, voters will decide whether or not to approve those laws legalizing same-sex marriage. 

In Minnesota, the voting issue lay in whether or not the state would join 30 others in banning gay marriage in its constitution. Though the ban was defeated, same-sex marriage is still illegal in the state. However the victory ensures that same-sex marriage is not banned in the state constitution, leaving room for progress. 

Maine, Maryland, and Washington join six other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing same-sex marriage. 

Earlier this year, Democrats officially adopted marriage equality as part of the Democratic Platform. 

In addition to equality wins, President Barack Obama, who has come out as a firm supporter of the LGBT rights, was reelected for another four years.

Tammy Baldwin was elected and is now the first openly gay Senator in the history of the United States. And other victories further down on the ballot tallies added to the number of LGBT representatives in congress and positions of influence. 

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