The Good News: Election Night Victories We Can Cheer About

There's a lot of silver linings.

Last night, the unthinkable happened: Donald Trump was elected President of the United States of America.

Today is a tough day for LGBT people—and women, immigrants, Muslims, people of color, Native Americans—let’s just say, it’s not a red-letter day for a lot of us.

But some good came out of last night, too.

kate-brown

In Oregon, bisexual governor Kate Brown (D-OR) beat Republican opponent Bud Pierce, 50% to 44%.

Brown was appointed to the position in February 2015 when former Governor John Kitzhaber resigned, but now she’s be elected in her own right. It marks the first time an out LGBT politician has won a governor’s seat.

kate brown jpg

“Kate Brown’s win in Oregon is one for the history books,” said Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, president of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which backed Brown and other LGBT candidates.

“Her lopsided win is testament to her strength as a candidate, her winning message and her connection with Oregon voters. Governor Brown has been an outstanding leader on common sense gun reform, reproductive freedom, domestic violence prevention, and investments in education.”

Other LGBT incumbents won reelection, too: Mark Pocan (D-WI), Jared Polis (D-CO), Mark Takano (D-CA), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and David Cicilline (D-RI) all kept their seats in the House.

Sean Patrick Maloney

Maloney, who authored a bill to prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, beat back a serious challenge from Republican Phil Oliva to secure a third term in Congress.

In Florida, Carlos Guillermo Smith became the state’s first openly gay Latino legislator winning a the Florida House race to represent the Sunshine State’s 49th district, which includes Orlando.

Smith ran on a platform of social justice, strong schools and worker’s rights. A member of Equality Florida, he spoke with Logo in the wake of the Pulse nightclub tragedy.
 

 

Also worth cheering: Out legislator Brian Sims (D-PA) was reelected to the Pennsylvania state House.

FILE - In this May 9, 2013, file photo, State Rep. Brian Sims D-Philadelphia speaks before Mayor Michael Nutter signs legislation that broadens equality protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people living and working in Philadelphia. Across the country, this week's landmark Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage have energized activists and politicians on both sides of the debate. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
Matt Rourke, AP

The openly gay Representative has tirelessly advocated for LGBT and minority rights and has not been quiet about his disdain for Trump.

“This election has shown us a side of American politics we haven’t seen in generations,” he said in a statement. “Despite all of the negativity, I am proud that we have worked together to move the District, Commonwealth, and Nation forward. I am looking forward to continuing the fight in Harrisburg for our shared progressive values and continuing to earn the privilege of serving all of you,”

TUCSON, AZ - JANUARY 12:  Daniel Hernandez, Jr., an intern of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's (D-AZ), speaks during the event 'Together We Thrive: Tucson and America' honoring the January 8 shooting victims at McKale Memorial Center on the University of Arizona campus on January 12, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona. The memorial service is in honor of victims of the mass shooting at a Safeway grocery store that killed six and injured at least 13 others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who remains in critical condition after being shot in the head. Among those killed were U.S. District Judge John Roll, 63; Giffords' director of community outreach, Gabe Zimmerman, 30; and 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
David Becker/Getty Images

Daniel Hernandez, the gay man who helped save the life of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords during the 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, has won his race for the Arizona House of Representatives.

Like many of us, though, he didn’t feel like celebrating. “While I may have won my race I find it hard to even muster a smile,” Hernandez wrote on Twitter. “We don’t give up we stay and we fight for our shared values.”

And Leslie Herod won a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives, making her one of the few lesbians of color to hold statewide office.

Her reaction was brief but appreciative.

There was good news from California, as well, where A voter referendum mandating condom usage in porn films was voted down.

Get your freak on.

Proposition 60, which would have instituted fines of up to $70,000 for actors who failed to wear condoms, was widely opposed by LGBT and First Amendment groups.

California also voted to legalize recreational marijuana, as did Massachusetts and Nevada.

marijuana

Residents of North Dakota, Florida and Arkansas, meanwhile, voted to legalize marijuana use for medical purposes.

And in the wake of the Pulse nightclub massacre and other tragedies, California voters approved a measure making it illegal to possess ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

The state will also now require background checks for anyone buying bullets and give police more authority to removing firearms from gun owners with felony convictions.

Also pushing back against the NRA were voters in Washington State, who approved a measure allowing authorities to get court orders to temporarily remove guns from people they deem as a threat to families in “crisis.”

Today is bleak, but it doesn’t mean we stop fighting. As HRC president Chad Griffin said, “There will be time to analyze the results of this election, but we cannot afford to dwell. We must meet these challenges head on.”

Texas native with a penchant for strong margaritas, early Babs and tastefully executed side-eye.