With Republican and Tea Party victories, the gay community will sufferNov 3rd, 2010 | By News Tips: email@example.com | Category: Kentucky Political News, Lead Story
The 2010 election has set the gay rights movement back, possibly for a long time. The Washington Post reported that the tea party celebrated decisive victories on Tuesday night, proving that it has matured from a protest movement into a powerful force for political change.
Republicans appear to have regained the majority of U.S. Governor’s Mansions, gaining an additional 10 in states where the previous chief executive was a Democrat. Kentucky will not vote on constitutional officers until 2011.
Tennessee, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, and Kansas all have gone from Democrat to Republican, according to CNN analysis of exit poll data.
As of late Tuesday night, no Democrat won a election to lead any state with a previous Republican Governor, another blow to the gay community since those executives (unlike the U.S. executive) have line-item veto power. Those executives can rollback protections for the gay and lesbian community like the Governor of Virginia did just this year. (previous story)
The Old Dominion (Virginia) was the highlight of CBS News late last-night as political analyst Jeff Greenfield said the “Commonwealth of Virginia was setting the tone for the nation hence its nickname, Old Dominion.”
Harry Smith echoed the same statements on The Early Show (CBS).
The National Journal asked, who was the big loser Tuesday?
The easy answer is President Obama and his fellow Democrats on this day of epic GOP victories in the House, the Senate and U.S. statehouses.
But there is a bigger loser: Washington.
The wave of disappointment and disillusionment with Washington that swept Obama into office two years ago never went away. With the unemployment rate hovering near double digits, the president was unable to deliver the change that most Americans could believe in, so voters delivered a message of their own to the incumbent party: Get out.
Kentucky House of Representatives
Republicans gained seven seats in the Kentucky House of Representatives, but Democrats will maintain control, with 58 seats to 42 for the Republicans. Before last night, the total was 65 Democrats to 35 Republicans.
Longtime gay friendly Representative Charlie Hoffman (D-Georgetown), was defeated by Republican Ryan Quarles, 26, a recent University of Kentucky law school graduate. Quarles beat Hoffman by fewer than 300 votes, according to unofficial results reported by the Herald-Leader.
Republican Donna Mayfield beat Democratic incumbent Don Pasley of Winchester, and Republican Kim King beat Democratic incumbent Kent Stevens of Lawrenceburg.
“It was a bad year to be an incumbent, and it was a really bad year to be a Democrat,” Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo said. “It was a bad year to be an incumbent, and it was a really bad year to be a Democrat,” Stumbo told various news sources.
Gay friendly senior Representatives Mary Lou Marzian (unopposed), Ruth Ann Palumbo, and Tom Burch retained their seats, as did Susan Westrom, and a few other gay friendly lawmakers.
Openly gay candidate Matthew Vanderpool (D) managed to receive a respectable 6,217 votes in Lexington’s conservative 45th House District but was easily defeated by incumbent Stan Lee (R) with 13,135 votes. Vanderpool would have been the first openly gay person to ever be elected to the Kentucky Legislature.
Republicans increased their majority in the Kentucky Senate. Republicans defeated two Democratic incumbents and a third Republican had a strong lead in the open 34th District seat held by retiring Senate Minority Leader Ed Worley of Richmond. This effectual reverses seats picked-up by Democrats in special elections. (previous story)
Republicans now hold 22 seats with Democrats holding 15 seats and 1 Independent who caucuses with Republicans. This puts the Kentucky Senate back to the same basic setup it has held for the past 10 years.
U.S. House of Representatives
Republicans picked up at least 60 House seats, far more than the 39 they needed for a majority that would elevate John Boehner to House speaker and put Republicans in charge of House committees. Many races remained too close to call.
An energized conservative electorate, fueled by the anti-establishment Tea Party movement that emerged in 2009, helped Republicans win the biggest shift in power since Democrats lost 75 House seats in 1948.
Tea Party favorite Rank Paul easily defeated Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (D) to join Kentucky’s Congressional Delegation to Washington, D.C. for federal funding and grants.
Many U.S. Senate races remain too close to call, but Democrats have been able to maintain control.
Kentucky’s Gay Community
Louisville Fairness Campaign endorsed multiple candidates, while Kentucky Equality Federation stopped endorsing candidates.
However, Kentucky Equality Federation founder and former president Jordan Palmer issued a warning to gay voters and newspapers for pushing Republican agendas with contributors and publishers writing articles “looking forward to punishing Democrats.” After last nights defeats however, those sames printed or online news sites are claiming “Democrats will listen next time,” believing that the newly elected Tea Party members and new Republican gains can be easily reversed as early as 2012.
With such huge losses to conservatives, the gay military ban will remain in place, with no gay friendly legislation passing either the U.S. or Kentucky Houses or Senates.
Kentucky’s First Gay Mayor
Lexington voters elected Jim Gray, the first openly gay mayor in the Commonwealth. Lexington is Kentucky’s second largest city. What is surprising is that people across the United States seem surprised that Gray won, even though Lexington has ranked in the Top 10 on multiple occasions for “gay friendly” cities to live.