Amid the midterm election’s rainbow wave, Michigan’s Dana Nessel became the first gay person to hold statewide office there, winning a five-way race to become that state's attorney general. Her closest competitor, Republican Tom Leonard, conceded Wednesday morning, according to MLive, a website for several Michigan newspapers.
But ahead of her win while speaking to supporters Tuesday at Detroit's MotorCity Casino Hotel, Nessel sent a message to her detractors.
“And for all of you out there that can’t handle the fact that I’m about to become the first openly gay person to hold statewide office [in Michigan]…” Nessel said and then planted a big kiss on her wife Alanna Maguire, according to OutPost magazine's Facebook page, while their son Alex looked on.
Nessel made history winning the AG position in Michigan, but she has already contributed to LGBTQ history as a prime figure in the fight for marriage equality.
The 49-year-old Nessel litigated DeBoer v. Snyder in 2012, in which a Michigan lesbian couple challenged the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, one of the cases that was eventually consolidated into Ohio’s Obergefell v. Hodges and cases from Kentucky and Tennessee.
Obergefell v. Hodges went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and resulted in the 2015 national marriage equality ruling.
April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, the women at the center of DeBoer v. Snyder, joined Nessel on stage Tuesday in a show of support in light of Nessel’s having endured homophobia throughout the campaign, according to MLive.
While Nessel had vowed to make the situation with clean water in Flint, Mich., a priority if elected, the vice president of that city’s chapter of the NAACP, A.C. Dumas, wrote on Facebook during the campaign that he would not vote for her because “she’s gay.”
Nessel proposed to Maguire outside the Supreme Court in April 2015 following arguments in Obergefell. The couple is raising twin sons.
Watch the video below.