LIVE BLOG: 2012 election results important to LGBT Americans

(Editor's note: SDGLN will be publishing a live blog tonight to track major election results that affect the LGBT community. This will be updated constantly throughout the night. Individual stories will be published separately on the presidential race, the San Diego mayoral race, the San Diego Board of Supervisors' race involving Dave Roberts, and the four marriage-equality ballots.)

President Barack Obama was re-elected President of the United States. Read SDGLN's full story HERE.

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The Republicans will retain control of the U.S. House of Representatives, major media are reporting, meaning that House Speaker John Boehner, who was re-elected today by Ohioans, and the so-called Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) will keep spending millions of dollars of taxpayer money to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court. BLAG lawyers have yet to win one case.

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Tammy Baldwin wins the Senate seat in Wisconsin, becoming the first known gay person in that hallowed hall on The Hill.

Baldwin's old House seat goes to Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), an openly gay man.

“Rep-elect Pocan has a remarkable record of public service and is the perfect person to represent the district following Tammy Baldwin ... We have no doubt that Congressman-elect Pocan will be a leader among his colleagues in fighting for full equality for all citizens," @HRCPress tweeted.

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Voters in Maine became the first to ever pass marriage-equality by the ballot box. Read SDGLN's story HERE.

Voters in Maryland soon followed. Read SDGLN's story HERE.

Then voters in Washington agreed as well. Read SDGLN's story HERE.

Minnesota voters refused to approve a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Read SDGLN’s story HERE.

Voters in Iowa refuted an all-out effort by the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage to get rid of state Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins, who voted with the majority of justices when they ruled in favor of marriage equality. “Iowans have made a strong statement for judicial independence and refused to let politics get in the way of judges doing their duty to uphold the law. Right-wing groups trying to exact political retribution on judges should learn their lesson. Marriage equality remains the law of the land in Iowa and judges will continue to do their jobs,” said Chad Griffin, HRC president.

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The San Diego mayoral race went down to the wire and Democrat Bob Filner edged gay Republican Carl DeMaio. Read SDGLN's coverage HERE.

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The Victory Fund on Wednesday was celebrating the election of more than 100 LGBT candidates across the country. Here are some of the highlights as reported over the past 24 hours by the LIVE BLOG:

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Brian Sims has been elected to the Pennsylvania legislature, the first known LGBT candidate elected in the Commonwealth. The Democrat from the Philadelphia area took to Facebook to announce his victory: "I'm so excited to report that Pennsylvania has finally elected an openly LGBT State Legislator!"

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Florida elects two gay men to the state House, Joe Saunders and David Richardson, and the Victory Fund hopes that Ian Whitney joins them from the Key West area.

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Chris Murphy, a Democrat, wins Connecticut's Senate seat. He is a supporter of marriage equality, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

“Over his three terms in the House of Representatives, Chris Murphy made his mark as a committed advocate for fair treatment and equal protection for all. As he prepares to continue this work in the United States Senate, the HRC family offers both our congratulations as well as our optimism for future collaboration,” said Chad Griffin, HRC president.

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Angus King, an Independent who is an ally of the LGBT community, supportive of women's rights and Obamacare, has been elected to the U.S. Senate from Maine. He is expected to caucus with the Democrats.

“Senator-elect King promises to be a fighter for all families and we are thrilled to add another marriage equality supporter to the U.S. Senate. I know he will work every day to ensure that the voices of LGBT people and our families are heard in the halls of Congress and we look forward to working with him on critical priorities for our community,” said Chad Griffin, HRC president.

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Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, is elected governor of New Hampshire. This is a huge win for LGBT community because her Republican opponent had vowed to overturn same-sex marriage in the state. Hassan will have the ability to veto any legislative effort to throw out the law.

“Governor-elect Hassan’s victory is vital to preserving New Hampshire’s popular marriage equality law and we thank her for her continued commitment to the LGBT community. She will no doubt continue the great work of Gov. Lynch in ensuring that all loving and committed couples in New Hampshire are able to experience the joys of marriage,” said Chad Griffin, HRC president.

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Sherrod Brown whomps anti-gay Josh Mandel to win re-election as Ohio's U.S. Senator. Mandel's cousins bought a big ad in a local paper to condemn his anti-gay rants, a story published today on San Diego Gay & Lesbian News. Brown is a friend of the LGBT community and supports marriage equality, according to HRC.

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Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., is re-elected to the U.S. House. He is openly gay.

Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., is re-elected to the U.S. House. Yep, he's gay too. And pundits predict that he will take over the mantle as senior LGBT member of the House from the retiring Barney Frank.

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Openly gay Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) wins a seat in Congress, according to the Victory Fund. Maloney, a former staffer in President Bill Clinton’s White House, has a partner of 20 years and three children.

“We can’t wait for Sean to show his colleagues in the House his pride in his family, and his commitment to the people of New York’s 18th Congressional District,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund.

”Sean has been a leader in New York, serving two governors and working hard to secure a more promising future for his children. He will also be a strong voice in Congress for fairness and equality.”

He is the first openly LGBT member of Congress from New York.

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West Virginia elects its first-even openly gay state lawmaker in Stephen Skinner, the founder and board president of LGBT advocacy group Fairness West Virginia.

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North Dakota elects Josh Boschee as its first-ever LGBT candidate in the state legislature, the Victory Fund reports.

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The Georgia Voice reported that three lesbian lawmakers -- Simone Bell, Karla Drenner and Keisha Waites -- were re-elected to the Georgia General Assembly.

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LGBTQ Nation reports that LGBT ally Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat who lost both her legs during the Iraq war when her Black Hawk helicopter was shot down, defeated Tea Party favorite Joe Walsh on Tuesday night. “I support the freedom to marry because everyone deserves the same level of access, support and love,” Duckworth said in a statement. “As a Member of Congress, I will work tirelessly to support the LGBT community and push for total equality.”

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Openly gay Republican Richard Tisei, the poster child of the Log Cabin Republicans, apparently has lost his bid to win a House seat from Massachusetts. Veteran Democratic Rep. John Tierney gave a victory speech, according to LGBTQ Nation, but Tisei has yet to concede.

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In Troy, Mich., voters recalled their homophobic Mayor Janice Daniels, who had called homosexuality a "mental disease" and used anti-gay slurs. The Tea Party darling lost by 4 percentage points, reports LGBTQ Nation.

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Turns it this race wasn't even close. The first-ever gay Asian-American is elected to the U.S. House, when Mark Takano (D-Calif.) whipped Republican John Tavaglione with more than 56% of the vote. He will represent California's 41st Congressional District based out of Riverside County.

Ken Williams is Editor in Chief of SDGLN. He can be reached at ken@sdgln.com, @KenSanDiego on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to (877) 727-5446, ext. 713.

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