Last Night

I know it has been a while-~-there’s been school and work and organizing and an election and so many things-~-and for the last two days, I’ve been wondering where I should start, now that I’m ready to start posting again.

And I think the truth is, the only place to start is with last night.

Last night, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock lost their respective legislative elections.  When it comes to letting rape apologists dictate our lives, it turns out that women DO have a way of shutting that down-~-and they used it.  Missouri had an incredibly high female voter turnout yesterday, and it made a difference.

The United States is not a country that needs men who don’t understand the first thing about biology making decisions about women’s health.

Last night, New Hampshire elected two female representatives, two female senators, and a female governor, giving the state an all-female leadership core.

Last night, Tammy Baldwin became the first openly lesbian woman to be elected to the US Congress.

Last night, Elizabeth Warren won election in Massachusetts, giving the liberals in that state a voice to push for change, real change.

And of course, last night President Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term, helping to ensure that we keep a Supreme Court that won’t overturn Roe v Wade, and helping to ensure that issues like equal pay for women remain important to our government.

And all of that is excellent.  I don’t want anyone to for one minute mistake how excellent all of that is.  I think it’s beautiful that voters were finally able to make their voices heard, and to elect representatives who are less extreme.

But there are a couple of other things I think need to be recognized as well from last night.  Because Americans did not just vote on the people that they wanted representing and leading them-~-in several states, they voted directly on issues that mattered a lot, and we won some major victories last night.

For example, FLORIDA defeated AMENDMENT SIX, which would have made it impossible to ever use state funds to help subsidize abortions and would have jeopardized women’s abilities to access abortions in Florida if Roe v Wade were ever overturned.  Moreover, Amendment Six would have potentially opened the doors to things like mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds, etc., even if abortion weren’t outlawed.  Congrats, Florida, for upholding women’s rights to privacy.

IOWA, which I swear to you I never really thought I’d be commending for much this election, re-elected a judge that had come out in support of same-sex marriage.  This tacit approval for these kinds of stances is an important step in the process of winning marriage equality.

And that’s not the end of it.  Last night was FILLED with victories for same-sex marriage.

MINNESOTA voted down an amendment that would have protected “traditional” marriage, thereby leaving open the possibility for same-sex marriage to be legalized in that state in the (hopefully near) future.

And MARYLAND and MAINE went ahead and just legalized it altogether.  Those are some real victories right there, and the expansion of the acceptance of same-sex marriage means that the Supreme Court is more and more likely to either legalize same-sex marriage across the US or at least overturn DOMA soon.

So good work, states that start with the letter “m”.  You’ve made us proud.

Guys, I can’t say this enough.  There are people in the United States of America who, as of January 1, will have more RIGHTS than they did before.  Who will be on more equal footing with the rest of their fellow Americans.  Who will finally be able to access the same privileges with their life partners that I as a heterosexual American would have always been able to access with my choice of spouse.  And that is huge.  It doesn’t seem like a big deal, probably because it’s so damn common sense, but it really, really is.

We didn’t win absolutely everything we might have, of course.  But last night, real victories were won.  And hopefully this will be a step in the right direction.

All I know is, the White House was crazy last night, and I should probably be catching up on other neglected non-election things.


~ by Randi Saunders on November 7, 2012.

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