In addition to the “headliner” of the 2012 election, the re-election of President Obama, one of the major issues on ballots in several states was marriage equality.
Three states — Maine, Maryland and Washington — put same-sex marriage on their ballots for a popular vote. The initiative officially passed in Maine and Maryland and is expected to pass in Washington, marking the first popular-vote victories for same-sex marriage after 30 previous attempts by other states.
Gay marriage is currently legal in six states (Massachusetts, Iowa, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut and Vermont), as well as in Washington, D.C. But as The Associated Press points out, those laws were either enacted by lawmakers or through court rulings.
The happy news was met with enthusiastic reactions from celebrity gay-rights supporters.
“We did it!!!! Maryland and Minnesota workin the marriage equality!!!” Adam Lambert tweeted, along with a sassy photo/drawing of Obama “workin’ it.”
“Maryland Marriage Equality just passed!! Congratulations lovers!!!” Mark Ruffalo wrote. “Huge cultural growth in our country.”
MTV’s own “family” member, Dan Savage of “Savage U,” added his heartfelt happiness and gratitude into the mix with poignant thoughts about how far we’ve come.
“We came out, fought back, changed the world. Miles to go,” Savage wrote. “But tonight take a moment to marvel at how far we’ve come. When I came out to my parents 30 years ago saying ’I’m gay’ meant saying ’I will never marry and I will never have children.’ #ItGotBetter.”
Minnesota also voted on marriage equality Tuesday, but that state’s ballot initiative was to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. At press time, the ban was failing.
In other LGBT-related news, Lady Gaga helped celebrate the news that Wisconsin elected the first-ever openly gay senator, and its first-ever female senator, Tammy Baldwin.
“[Congrats] to @TammyBaldwinWI for being elected the first openly gay senator in the HISTORY of The United States. #inspiring #brave #courageous,” she tweeted.
“I am well aware that I will have the honor of being Wisconsin’s first woman senator. And I am well aware that I will be the first openly gay member,” Baldwin said during her victory speech recorded by ABC News. “But I didn’t run to make history. I ran to make a difference.”
Stick with MTV News for post-election analysis and reports from Chicago, Boston and New York. Share your voting stories by tweeting @MTVNews with the hashtags #GoVote or #IVoted!