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Despite Texas Loss Anti-Gay Vote Tide May Be Changing

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Despite Texas Loss Anti-Gay Vote Tide May Be Changing

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: November 10, 2005 11:00 am ET

(Washington) An analysis of voter trends in Tuesday's off-year election shows that the country appears to be mellowing to gay issues and candidates despite the approval by the electorate in Texas of an anti-gay marriage amendment.

The biggest gay win Tuesday was in Maine where voters rejected an attempt to overturn the state's LGBT civil rights law.

In Cleveland Heights, Ohio, a city council member who fought against the nation's first voter-approved domestic partner registry lost a bid for re-election to a candidate who is openly gay.

The Rev. Jimmie Hicks Jr. lost Tuesday's election to Mark Tumeo.

Hicks had sued to block the creation the city's domestic partner registry, which recognizes gay and unmarried heterosexual couples but gives no legal status or marriage rights. The registry had been approved by voters in 2003 and ruled constitutional by a Cuyahoga County judge.

In July, the 8th Ohio District Court of Appeals upheld the ruling, but not before the city spent more than $100,000 to fight Hicks' lawsuit.

Statewide in Ohio, a state that went for George Bush last year, four other LGBT candidates endorsed by the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund were elected.

Three of the wins were for new seats, including Joe Santiago for Cleveland City Council, Nickie Antonio for an At-Large Lakewood City Council seat and Joe Lacey for a new seat on the Dayton School Board. Mary Jo Hudson won a seat she was appointed to last year on the Columbus City Council.

The Victory Fund said that of its 55 endorsements of gay and lesbian candidates nationwide, 35 won their races or performed well enough to proceed to a runoff.

In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Dan Miller garnered 22% of the vote, enough to secure a new seat on the Harrisburg City Council. This marks the first time an openly gay candidate was elected in that city.

In Texas, where a statewide vote Tuesday to ban legal recognition of same-sex relationships passed overwhelmingly, 33% of Houston voters supported Sue Lovell for an At-Large City Council seat, enough to propel Lovell to a December 6th runoff. Houston is the fourth largest city in the country.

"These candidates bring the skill, talent and passion that the LGBT community has to contribute to our political system and to society as a whole," said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.

"Winning races at the local level and striving for change within the political process is the surest way to achieve true equality for gay and lesbian Americans," Wolfe added.

Anti-gay attacks against Norfolk, Virginia City Treasurer candidate Vivian Paige appear to have contributed to her loss.

Last month, fraudulent flyers placed on cars outside an NAACP candidate forum proclaimed that Vivian Paige, a highly qualified candidate and Certified Public Accountant, is a proud lesbian and "doesn't care what people think!" A group called Christian Leaders of Tomorrow went on TV with an ad last week targeting Paige's sexual orientation.

©365Gay.com 2005

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