It was exciting this week to see progressives and moderates take the reigns of Congress. Voters also passed legislation in five states increasing the minimum wage. Missouri voters wisely endorsed state funding for stem cell research. But there were other important progressive victories worth noting.
While several states did vote to back new anti-gay legislation there was a lot of good news on the civil rights front. Human Rights Campaign reports:
WASHINGTON -- This year, the Human Rights Campaign flexed its political muscle in unprecedented and strategic ways that helped alter the political dynamic in key races across the country. With victories for strong pro-equality candidates like Florida's Ron Klein and Arizona's Gabrielle Giffords, the 110th Congress promises to be the most fair-minded in history. Voters in Arizona also made history last night, defeating that state's discriminatory domestic partnership ballot initiative.
Out of the 225 candidates that HRC endorsed, 208 proved triumphant, with several races still too close to call. HRC was involved in 18 Senate victories, 179 House wins and 11 successful governors' races. HRC also helped to defeat some of the most anti-gay voices in Congress such as John Hostettler and Rick Santorum, signaling that the era of gay-bashing for political gain is coming to an end.
"Last night we saw unprecedented victories for fair-minded candidates and for equality; we also witnessed a stinging rebuke of anti-gay elected officials in this country," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "The historic rejection of the domestic partnership ban in Arizona is a symbolic turning point in the march toward marriage equality. We congratulate Arizona Together for their work in defeating the discriminatory, un-American measure."
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