The issue of "gay marriage" technically was not on any ballot Nov. 2 but it nevertheless was a big loser again on the state level, as Iowa voters ousted three state Supreme Court justices in an unprecedented vote, and several key state legislatures and governor's offices flipped from liberal to conservative.
The result is that on the national level, the legalization of "gay marriage" could be slowed, halted or -- in the cases of Iowa and New Hampshire -- altogether reversed.
-- From "Same-Sex Marriage Supporters See Election as Major Setback" by David Crary, Associated Press 11/4/10
On both sides of the marriage debate, the Iowa vote was seen as a signal that judges in other states could face similar punitive challenges.
The congressional results further clouded the prospects for repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy so that gays could serve openly in the military. Democratic leaders, including President Barack Obama, hope for a repeal vote in the Senate during the upcoming lame-duck session, but the post-election climate may strengthen the hand of conservatives wary of repeal.
And leading gay activists acknowledged that the Republican takeover in the House of Representatives likely doomed short-term hopes for major gay-rights legislation addressing workplace discrimination [ENDA] and federal recognition of same-sex couples.
Among the Democratic losers on Tuesday were several staunch gay-rights supporters, including Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Rep. Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania, an Iraq war veteran who volunteered to be the House leader of the effort to repeal "don't ask, don't tell."
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From "'Gay marriage' loses big on election night" by Michael Foust, Assistant Editor of Baptist Press 11/3/10
. . . the Iowa legislature saw Republicans retake the state House and, at a minimum, significantly narrow their margins in the Senate. The legislature is key to the "gay marriage" issue because Democratic leaders have blocked all efforts to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would reverse the "gay marriage" ruling. An amendment likely now will clear the House, while its prospects in the Senate remain unclear but are probably improving. . . .
. . . In Maine, Republican Paul LePage, who opposes "gay marriage," won an open seat to succeed outgoing Democratic Gov. John Baldacci, who signed a "gay marriage" law in 2009, only to see voters reverse it. Additionally, Republicans took the Maine House and Senate from the Democrats for the first time since the early 1970s. Homosexual activists had hoped to push a "gay marriage" law there again in the near future.
. . . In Minnesota, Republicans shocked political pundits in the state by taking both the House and Senate for the first time in 38 years, likely thwarting hopes by homosexual groups to pass a "gay marriage" law and perhaps setting the stage for a marriage amendment to be placed on the ballot. In the governor's race, "gay marriage" supporter and Democrat Mark Dayton was clinging to a small lead over "gay marriage" opponent and Republican Tom Emmer.
. . . In Indiana, Republicans retook the House, an action that could put a constitutional marriage amendment -- which appeared to be sailing along several years ago until it was blocked by the now-outgoing Democratic House speaker -- back on track. The GOP also strengthened its majority in the Senate.
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