Kevin Moriarty, Johnson County, Kan.
RESULT: Pro-Equality Judge Retains Office Despite Right-Wing Effort
Kevin Moriarty retained his position as chief judge in Johnson County, Kan., "by a comfortable margin," reports Kansas City public radio station KCUR. In October Moriarty incurred the wrath of the right when he ordered that the county issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. His order came just two days after the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a pro-marriage equality ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. The 10th Circuit decision had struck down marriage bans in Oklahoma and Utah, but Kansas is in the same circuit, and some legal experts say its ruling should be binding on other states in the circuit too. Colorado officials agreed and began issuing licenses to same-sex couples, and New Mexico already had marriage equality, but Kansas's governor and attorney general are continuing to resist, although in issuing his order, Moriarty wrote that "any case from Kansas ... brought before a federal court ... would be bound by the Tenth Circuit decision" and said that court would "no doubt" rule against Kansas's ban. A lesbian couple in Johnson County obtained a license before state officials won a temporary stay of Moriarty's order from the Kansas Supreme Court, which is scheduled to hold a hearing on the matter Thursday.
In Tuesday's election, Johnson County voters were asked whether to retain Moriarty as a judge. Judicial retention is usually routine, but Kansas conservatives called for Moriarty to be booted from office because of his marriage equality order. "Mr. Moriarty obviously believes his personal views supersede legal protocol, the will of the voters and the Kansas Constitution," said Brian Baumgardner, husband of Republican state senator Molly Baumgardner, in encouraging voters to remove Moriarty. "This most recent disregard for the Kansas Constitution is the final straw." For good measure, Brian Baumgardner also called Moriarty a "stinker" and an "activist judge with a super ego." Moriarty has been a Johnson County judge since 2004, when he was appointed by then-Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat. He won retention votes in 2006 and 2010. His county is the most populous one in Kansas, encompassing several suburbs of Kansas City. -- Trudy Ring
Liz Dickinson, Democrat, Kansas House District 30
RESULT: Kansas Still Not Ready for a Bisexual State Rep
Despite a strong grassroots campaign that earned Kansas Democrat Liz Dickinson the distinction of being named"Most Exciting Underdog in Kansas" by TheNew Republic, the out bisexual candidate came up short in her bid to represent Kansas House District 30, according to Kansas.com. Dickinson was defeated by her Republican challenger Randy Powell, a staunch social conservative who was hand-picked by the outgoing Rep. Lance Kinzer, who is retiring after nearly 10 years representing the district.
The former National Organization for Women lobbyist very nearly defeated Kinzer in 2012, taking 46 percent of the vote from the incumbent. In Tuesday's election, Dickinson got 43 percent of the vote to Powell's 57 percent.
This year marked Dickinson's second attempt to become a different kind of Kansas legislator. The bisexual, married mother of two not only vocally supports LGBT rights (she's a member of Equality Kansas), but her campaign has focused on women's rights and education.
Kansas's House District 30, which includes parts of Olathe and neighboring Lenexa (where the 30-year-old Dickinson reside), sits within Johnson County, the state's most populous and, notably, the source of much media attention last month after a state judge ordered county clerks there to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The state Supreme Court eventually stepped in and placed the order on hold, but not before the lesbian couple who filed the lawsuit were legally married at the Johnson County Courthouse -- a moment Dickinson captured on camera, as she owns local studio Piper Lucy Photography. -- Sunnivie Brydum
Shiela Kuehl, Los Angeles County supervisor
RESULT: Kuehl Beats Shriver in West Los Angeles
Former California lawmaker Sheila Kuehl defeated Santa Monica City Council member and fellow Democrat Bobby Shriver Tuesday night, with 52.8 percent of the vote, KTLA reports. The race to replace longtime board member Zev Yaroslavsky in the western end of Los Angeles County means that Kuehl will serve in one of the most powerful bodies in Southern California, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. She is the first openly gay member of the board, after having been the first openly gay California state legislator.
The five-member board presides over Los Angeles County's 10 million residents, 103,000 public employees, and influences the 88 incorporated cities within the county, and two million people live in the district in the Kuehl-Shriver race. According to Deadline Hollywood, Shriver led with the entertainment industry heavyweights, but Kuehl had clout with the fundraising effort. And both say they want to be Hollywood's voice on the board. Kueh had few big-name Hollywood endorsers like Shriver (the former Santa Monica mayor had Jodie Foster, Renee Zellweger, and J.J. Abrams), but she has a long history in politics in both the state Assembly and Senate. -- Michelle Garcia
Sandra Fluke, California state senate
RESULT: Thrust Into Spotlight, Fluke Has National Attention in State Race
LGBT ally and reproductive rights activist Sandra Fluke lost her bid for California's state Senate Tuesday night to fellow Democrat Ben Allen. The attorney and civil rights advocate was put in the national spotlight after she testified before Congress about contraception access at college campus as a Georgetown University law student. It wasn't so much her speech that gained traction, but the reaction from the conservative right, mostly Fox News and most famously, Rush Limbaugh, who called her a "slut" and a "prostitute" for advocating better access to contraception on campuses. Fluke, who co-founded the New York Statewide Coalition for Fair Access to Family Court, also assisted LGBTQ Youth and wrote an op-ed for The Advocate last week.
Allen will represent a large swath of notoriously progressive western Los Angeles County, a district that includes the city of West Hollywood, a heavily LGBT area. He is a longtime Westside figure who received a major financial boost from local Republican-turned-independent Bill Bloomfield, who challenged (and nearly beat) now-retiring Henry Waxman in 2012. Bloomfield has spent $1.3 million in independent expenditures on Allen in this election cycle, but has not publicly explained why, since Allen and Fluke are both Democrats. -- Michelle Garcia
Lauren Scott, Republican, Nevada State Assembly District 30
RESULT: With Nevada Loss, We're Still Awaiting the First Trans State Lawmaker
Trailing Democratic incumbent Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle by more than 7 percent on Wednesday morning according to SilverStateElection.com, transgender Republican Lauren Scott lost her bid to represent Nevada's Assembly District 30, as well as her chance to make history for trans visibility in politics. Scott, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who served in Operation Desert Storm, held a top-secret security clearance, and proudly touts her expertise with an M-16 rifle on her campaign website's home page, had no shortage of conservative credentials.
But in the end, the 51-year-old, self-described "quiet person" who rescues cats couldn't overcome the popularity of the incumbent representative. While she espoused fiscal conservativism, it may not have been helpful that her campaign website acknowledged that until 2009, she was a registered Democrat.
If she's elected, Scott will not only be the first out trans lawmaker in Nevada, she'll be the first openly trans person elected to state office anywhere in the U.S., according to the Reno Journal-Gazette.
Although she won't be state's -- or the nation's -- first openly trans lawmaker, Scott's trans identity was an impressive nonissue in her bid for office, perhaps partly because she says she's "over it," having transitioned in the early 1990s, according to the Las Vegas Weekly. Scott is "a moderate but politically dynamic candidate whose contradictions can be complementary," reports the local outlet. She handily defeated a more conservative opponent in the Republican primary in June.
Scott will presumably retain her seat as a commissioner on the Nevada Equal Rights Commission, where she was appointed in 2012 by Gov. Brian Sandoval, who endorsed her bid for state Assembly. She's long been a member of Equality Nevada, the statewide nonprofit that was instrumental in securing the state's improved (and trans-inclusive) hate-crimes law, LGBT-inclusive employment nondiscrimination law, and, as of last month, marriage equality. -- Sunnivie Brydum
Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland mayor
RESULT: Kaplan Fails to Take Mayorship
Out Oakland politician Rebecca Kaplan has been a figure in the Bay Area for years, but that didn't help her in Tuesday's race for Oakland mayor. First elected to the City Council in 2008, Kaplan had name recognition, but could not beat Libby Schaaf, who surprisingly trounced Kaplan. -- Michelle Garcia
Jordan Haskins, Republican, Michigan State House District 95
RESULT: Candidate Who Denounced 'Homosexual Lobby' Is Defeated
Republican Jordan Haskins, whose antigay rhetoric and criminal record made headlines in a race for the Michigan House, failed to win over many voters, losing to Democrat Vanessa Guerra 24 percent to 76 percent in a liberal district centered on Saginaw, MLive reports. During the campaign, Haskins said that if Michigan legislators vote to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state antidiscrimination law, "it's time for conservative Christians to vote with their feet and their dollars" and leave the state. He boasted of turning back a similar municipal effort in Saginaw, writing on Facebook that he was among those who stood up to "the homosexual lobby pushing their happy feel good, anti-discrimination BS." Haskins has a checkered past, with a criminal record that includes breaking into cars so he could masturbate to the sound of the engine. "I was in a messed-up state of mind mentally and emotionally when I did what I did," he told a Saginaw newspaper.--Trudy Ring
Larissa Sneider, Wyoming
RESULT: Piiparinen Prevails Over Longshot Candidate
According to preliminary results by the Wyoming secretary of state, transgender house candidate Larissa Sneider lost her bid for office against Republican Garry C. Piiparinen. Sneider ran unopposed for the Democratic primary for a House seat in Wyoming's 49th district, but Garry Piiparinen, the Republican incumbent, was a heavy favorite. According to campaign finance reports, Sneider had raised just over $700 as of last week. --Michelle Garcia
Gordon Klingenschmitt, Republican, Colorado State House District 15
RESULT: Election Win for Preacher Who Blames LGBT Progress on Satan
Colorado Springs is one of the nation's most conservative cities, and it drove that point home Tuesday by sending antigay preacher and former Navy chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt to the state House of Representatives. "Klingenschmitt walked away with the win with 70 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Lois Fornander in the race for a vacated seat," reports The Gazette of Colorado Springs. Klingenschmitt sets a high bar for homophobic rhetoric -- he claims LGBT people are doing the bidding of Satan. Literally. "They want your soul," he recently said of gay activists, on his Pray in Jesus Name broadcast. "They want you to disobey God so that you go to hell with them. It's not enough that they go to hell for disobeying God, they want you to disobey God so that we all go to hell. That's the devil's goal in the end." Pro-marriage equality rulings, he said on the same episode, come from "demonic judges who are imposing the devil's law upon the people." And Klingenschmitt actually calls his political position "center right." -- Trudy Ring
Ryan Fecteau, Maine
RESULT: This Man Is The Nation's Youngest Out Legislator
Ryan Fecteau soundly won Maine's 11th House District and, at 22, became the nation's youngest out state legislator. The 22-year-old defeated Republican Debi Davis in this historically Democratic district. Fecteau is an alum of Catholic University and was director of CUAllies, an LGBT student group that the religious university had refused to recognize. --Lucas Grindley
David Catania, D.C. mayor
RESULT: D.C. Shuts Out Gay Mayor Hopeful Catania
Muriel Bowser edged out Washington, D.C., mayoral hopeful David Catania, who is gay and a former Republican, and Carol Schwartz. Bowser will replace outgoing mayor Vincent Gray, whose one term was tainted by a federal investigation into campaign finance irregularities, Politico reports.
The Washington Blade reports that in last-minute mailers Catania was attacked personally as bad tempered and "unfit to be mayor." And Metro Weekly reports that Catania headed into Election Day behind by 17 points in the race, which if he won would have made him the first ever out mayor of Washington, D.C. --Lucas Grindley
Maura Healey, Massachusetts AG
RESULTS: Healey Wins Race To Become First Gay AG in U.S.
Maura Healey will be the first openly gay state attorney general in the U.S., the Boston Globe reports. With 71 percent of precincts reporting at 10:30 p.m. EST, Healey had taken 62.9 percent of the vote across the state.
"Maura's win tonight is an historic victory for LGBTQ people and for LGBTQ equality," MassEquality Executive Director KC Coredini said in a statement Tuesday night. "Maura has spent the last seven years in the attorney general's office making the Commonwealth a national leader on LGBTQ issues with her vision, drive and talent. Now, as the country's first openly gay state attorney general she is poised to make history again, not only with what more she will accomplish in this critical office, but with who she is. For LGBTQ young people everywhere, Maura is an example of how far they can go, and how much they can accomplish. We look forward to continuing to work with her to ensure a level playing field for all and to raise the bar on equality and justice, both across this state and the nation."
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said Healey "is one of the staunchest advocates for equality we have in this country, and we join her in celebrating her historic victory tonight. As the nation's first openly gay attorney general, she is an inspirational trailblazer and will fight to guarantee civil rights and legal equality for all people of Massachusetts."
In September, Maura Healey won the Democratic primary in the state's attorney general race by a landslide, touting her involvement in championing marriage equality in Massachusetts and federally as assistant attorney general. Healey was endorsed by several major organizations and local papers, including the Boston Globe in September, citing her deep legal experience as assistant attorney general. "Healey is not afraid to lead on civil rights issues," the editorial board wrote. "She directed successful efforts to challenge the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. She showed similar passion while bringing the nation's first civil rights case by a state against subprime mortgage lenders who overcharged minority borrowers." If elected, Healey could be the first openly gay state attorney general in the U.S. -- Michelle Garcia
Pam Bondi, Republican Florida Attorney General
RESULTS: Florida's Anti-Marriage Equality AG Wins Reelection
Pam Bondi, Florida's attorney general and a staunch marriage equality opponent, easily won reelection as Florida's top lawyer. With over half the expected vote counted, Bondi had 55 percent to Democrat George Sheldon's 42 percent, the Associated Press reports. Bondi, a close ally of Gov. Rick Scott, has an edge over Sheldon in fundraising and name recognition. At a campaign event this summer, Bondi made clear that she's only just begun to fight to keep Florida's marriage ban -- a law that Sheldon he would not defend. Before reporters could even ask her about the ban or the numerous court cases challenging it, she asserted, "That is part of the Constitution, which I am sworn to uphold. ... This is me doing my job as attorney general. And I will continue to do that and if anybody wants me to moderate my message or stand for less I have a message for them: I am just getting started." -- Trudy Ring