- Fans call out Madonna for edited Eurovision video Tuesday 9:36 PM
- Partnered Twitch streamer temporarily banned for airing troll’s racist message Tuesday 8:45 PM
- Reddit theory says fans are wrong about who won ‘Game of Thrones’ Tuesday 6:52 PM
- Elon Musk hires ‘absolute unit’ sheep meme creator to be Tesla’s social media manager Tuesday 6:12 PM
- Jason Momoa stands by his Khaleesi after the ‘Game of Thrones’ finale Tuesday 4:05 PM
- Airbnb, 23andMe partner for creepy heritage travel recommendations Tuesday 3:26 PM
- Rep. Katie Porter goes viral again for trouncing Ben Carson (updated) Tuesday 3:26 PM
- This deepfake takes Bill Hader’s Schwarzenegger impression to the next level Tuesday 2:58 PM
- Wanda Sykes rails against Trump and offers much-needed perspective in ‘Not Normal’ Tuesday 2:41 PM
- Man arrested after allegedly threatening to shoot YouTube employees Tuesday 2:13 PM
- Some House Dems are backing away from the Save the Internet Act Tuesday 1:40 PM
- Thousands sign petition calling for Danny DeVito to play Wolverine Tuesday 1:02 PM
- Jason Mitchell fired from ‘Desperados’ and ‘The Chi’ after misconduct allegations Tuesday 12:36 PM
- Police raid Black woman’s house after white neighbor complains about loud Malcolm X speeches Tuesday 12:20 PM
- ‘Transfixed’ says it’s a ‘breakthrough’ series, but it still fetishizes trans bodies Tuesday 11:04 AM
These are the 2015 election wins and losses for LGBT rights
I’ll trade you one lesbian mayor for a bunch of horrible discrimination.
The 2015 election results are in, and as usual, there’s little rhyme or reason to the status of LGBT rights at the state level.
It was an election that brought wins, losses, and disappointing reversals of earlier victories. The day’s biggest news came from Houston, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah: two cities known for being LGBT-friendly enclaves in otherwise overwhelmingly red states.
Salt Lake City elected its first openly lesbian mayor on Tuesday night, reported the Salt Lake City Tribune. Former Utah state legislator Jackie Biskupski took a 52.19 percent lead against incumbent mayor Ralph Becker in an unofficial count. The city is still awaiting some mail-in votes and will determine the official win on November 17. If Biskupski’s lead holds, she will not only be the first lesbian to lead the city but also the second female mayor.
In Houston, a conservative push led to voters repealing the city’s existing civil rights ordinance that offered nondiscrimination protections based on a number of protected classes including sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, disability, pregnancy and genetic information, as well as family, marital or military status. But the reason the law was fought? It included sexual orientation and gender identity in the range of protected classes—leading to a conservative campaign that alluded to the concept of “men dressed as women” and “sexual predators” being allowed to enter women’s bathrooms, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“As a proud Texan, Reverend, and black gay man, I am deeply disappointed with the outcome of today’s election—yet we are not defeated,” said Rev. Rodney McKenzie Jr., Director of the Academy for Leadership and Action at the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, in a statement emailed to the Daily Dot. “While the road to justice is long, we will redouble our efforts to secure full freedom, justice and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.”
Houston’s equal rights ordinance—dubbed the HERO Act—was so hotly contested after being passed by the City Council in May 2014 that it ended up in the state Supreme Court this July after a year of referendum challenges. Despite an online campaign by Houston Hero Cats, which used images of adorable kitties to illustrate the various ways the law protected people from racism and other forms of discrimination in hiring, housing, public accommodations, and other areas, in the end the measure couldn’t hold in light of the bathroom wars.
In another blow to the LGBT community, Kentucky voters elected GOP rising star Matt Bevin to the seat of Governor. Bevin embraced Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis during her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, visiting her in jail and speaking on her behalf across the country. Bevin told the Washington Post this week that he had planned to center his campaign on the economy, but then discovered that all people really wanted to talk about was same-sex marriage and Planned Parenthood.
According to The Advocate, the country saw a smattering of other LGBT losses as well. In Mississippi, lesbian state auditor candidate Jocelyn “Joce” Pritchett lost to the Republican incumbent. A lesbian mayoral candidate for Charleston, South Carolina failed to capture a majority, and Utah’s Sophia Hawes-Tingey, poised to be the state’s first out transgender elected official, likely lost the Midvale City Council seat by a narrow margin.
San Francisco saw an entire city split over whether to restrict Airbnb, which many residents say has contributed to gentrification, skyrocketing rents, and lack of affordable housing that have driven out swaths of the LGBT community. In the end, Airbnb won with Proposition F being voted down.
But with some losses came wins in other parts of the country, such as Palm Springs, California, where newly-elected openly gay mayor Rob Moon beat lesbian candidate Ginny Foat to grab the mayoral seat out from under gay mayor Steve Pougnet, who led Palm Springs for the past eight years.
Photo via Ludovic Berton/Wikimedia Commons
Mary Emily O'Hara is an LGBTQ reporter. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, NBC Out, Daily Dot, Broadly, Vice, the Daily Beast, the Advocate, Huffington Post, DNAinfo, Al Jazeera, and Portland's Pulitzer Prize-winning newsweekly Willamette Week, among other outlets.