Voters went to the polls today to decide three important ballot initiatives that will impact LGBT rights in Michigan, Maine and Washington state.
The results are in from Kalamazoo, Michigan, where voters were overwhelmingly positive in support of LGBT rights, by almost 2 to 1. The anti-discrimination law had been approved by the City Commission in June of this year and extended existing protections to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. An opposition group had placed the measure on the ballot in hopes of overturning the law; their efforts failed tonight.
“This is a wonderful day for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as voters once again stand up for justice. This is the third time that voters in different parts of the country have affirmed LGBT anti-discrimination laws—in Montgomery County, Maryland, Gainesville, Florida, and now in Kalamazoo— and rejected the mean-spirited ballot measures that sought to remove basic rights from LGBT people,” commented Mara Keisling, the National Center for Transgender Equality’s Executive Director. “I hope that the extremists who keep trying this tactic will learn from tonight’s results that decent people just don’t buy their message of bigotry and fear.”
One particularly troubling feature of the campaign in Kalamazoo was the virulent negative stereotyping of transgender people in an attempt to scare voters.
Results are still coming in from Maine’s efforts to uphold marriage equality and a Washington state measure on domestic partnership.
Congratulations to OneKalamazoo for their efforts and to the voters of Kalamazoo for their fair-mindedness.