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Mayor Prang: 'We're Starting to See the Fruits of Our Labor'

Members of West Hollywood City Council say that Tuesday's victories for gay marriage are monumental for the LGBT community.

In light of Tuesday night's historic victories for gay marriage in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and potentially, Washington, and the election of the first openly gay member of the United States Senate in Wisconsin, members of West Hollywood City Council lauded the efforts of the LGBT community across the country.

"It was a huge night for the LGBT community," said Weho Mayor Jeffrey Prang. "Not only did we get our first openly gay United States senator in Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin, but in the four states where marriage equality was on the ballot, we won in all of them."

Prior to Tuesday, the legalization of same-sex marriage endured a 32-state losing streak.

"We had 32 straight losses but now we have four straight victories, demonstrating that the efforts to reach out to our fellow Americans and talk about the issue of equality, have been successful," Prang said. "We're starting to see the fruits of our labor."

Maine and Maryland now join six other states, and Washington, D.C., that allow gay marriage: Iowa, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Connecticut.

"Last night was an incredible victory for the LGBT community," said Weho Councilman John Heilman. "We re-elected a president who supports marriage equality and we won four marriage related ballot measures. More and more the American people recognize that LGBT people and couples should be treated fairly and equally."

Minnesota voted down a measure, Amendment 1, that would have outlawed same-sex marriage in the state by defining it as a union between a man and a woman.

Weho City Councilman John Duran said Wednesday that what caught his eye about Tuesday's victories was that the Freedom to Marry organization, which ran the campaign against Proposition 8 in California in 2008, also had its hand in the same-sex marriage campaigns that came to a close Tuesday night.

“What interests me is that Marc Solomon of Freedom to Marry, who is responsible for those victories Tuesday night, he was the same person who ran our “No on Prop. 8” campaign," Duran said. "So, we had the same leadership running the campaign. What that tells me is the time that has passed from 2008 to 2012 was the most important factor in Tuesday night's wins.”

Duran pointed out that Tuesday's victories spanned across the country, from Maryland to Washington, signaling that the country is ready for change. 

“If you look at marriage equality on a timeline, Proposition 22 was the first initiative that we had and that was resoundingly defeated,” Duran said. “Eight years later, we lost narrowly with Prop. 8. Now, four years after that, we were successful in four places. The time is now right for marriage equality to be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

In Washington, although votes will not be official until Wednesday at the earliest, all signs indicate that voters are in support of Referendum 74, which would legalize gay marriage. 

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Jerome Cleary November 08, 2012 at 07:23 AM
Ha! "starting to see the FRUITS of our labor"......no pun intended....I'm so sure!!!!
George Reese November 08, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Jerome - I never thought of it that way, but you are right - it IS funny! I'm sure Mayor Prang wasn't trying to make a pun though. Still......
jimmy palmieri November 08, 2012 at 10:04 PM
It seems that liberal progression has always been generational. We are seeing strides in our movement simply because younger, educated people refuse to hold onto the prejudices that their elders may have. My nieces and nephews simply do not understand the vehement hatred in some parts of the country for the lgbt community. These wins, show us, albeit slow but steady, that "old school" is fading while new and fresh ideas are rising. For this I am grateful. I am also grateful to have a President who not only acknowledges the LGBT community , but embraces it!
George November 08, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Who cares. My candidate lost so I'm bummed out.

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