We Won So Many Things! Obama, Same-Sex Marriage, Drugs, Rock ‘n Roll

It’s nearly 11 PM in California and we’ve been awake forever, because we had to vote first thing in the morning so I could come home and freak out about it all day. I’ve eaten a lot of potstickers and Chuck Todd is definitely fading and Rachel Maddow remains a supreme being and WOW, what a day! WHAT A FUCKING DAY!

via shepelavy.com

Tammy Baldwin: Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) will become the first openly gay woman in the U.S. Senate!

We’ve never ever won a popular vote on marriage equality until tonight. This is really fucking historic.

Marriage Equality Wins in Maine: Question 1 has succeeded! That means gay marriage is legal in Maine. See — we got gay marriage in Maine in 2009 but then before anybody could start getting married, they took it back. Now everybody has come to their senses, so suck it Maggie Gallagher!

Marriage Equality Wins in Maryland: Guess where else you can get married? Maryland! That’s why it’s called Maryland, you know, because gay people can get married there!

Marriage Equality Is Winning In Washington: Washington state, birthplace of Nirvana and coffee, so far is voting in favor of Referendum 74 to affirm the state’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage! Votes are still being counted.

Discrimination Against Gay People Loses in Minnesota: Minnesotans were voting on whether or not to amend their state constitution to deny same-sex couples the right to marry today, and it’s official — they’re now the first state to reject a same-sex marriage ban!

Weed: Medical marijuana was legalized in Massachusetts and in Colorado and Washington, small amounts of marijuana were legalized for adults for recreational use. So that’ll be neat.

Also Notable:

Todd Akin, who believes in a magical thing called “legitimate rape,” lost in Missouri. Incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill kept her seat.

Richard Mourdock, who believes pregnancy from rape is a gift from G-d, lost in Indiana to Joe Donnelly.

Openly pansexual Mary Gonzalez won the race for Texas State District 75.

Elizabeth Warren defeated Scott Brown to become the first woman to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate!

In California, Mark Takano is the first openly gay person of color elected to congress!

Rachel Maddow: Just briefly, and I’m not being hyperbolic — Rachel Maddow’s presence is so comforting on my television. This must be what it feels like for straight white men every time they watch everything, ever. Rachel Maddow is a safe space.

Oh right and…

Barack Obama Has Been Re-Elected!!!

The networks called it for Obama and we were really excited about it, but then Romney got upset because he hadn’t written his speech yet, so he bought himself some time by saying he wanted to wait for Ohio to finish counting all their votes. Then at 12:55 EST he conceded and a little before 2 AM EST Barack Obama gave his speech in which he actually mentioned gay people! I sort of want to just lie down now, you know? Like, I’m just so relieved. My brain is reclining. I’m so relieved and thrilled.

Also: every one of you who stood up for your rights against people who wanted to vote against them made a difference tonight. It feels like we — the feminist and queer “blogosphere” — have been just screaming all year. We’ve just been screaming because what else can you do but scream when you’re forced to make a case for yourself on issues that shouldn’t be up for debate anymore. Because sometimes there really is a wrong and a right. Tonight the left won, and that’s all right. I think voter turnout numbers are gonna be massive this year, and a tip of the hat to all of y’all who turned out. Not everything went our way tonight, but for tonight, let’s just celebrate. Celebrate that it’s time for shit to start making sense.  GAME ON.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3213 articles for us.


  1. tears streaming down my face as i watch obama’s speech and read this post. i am so proud and so relieved and so ready for what comes next. LET’S DO THIS THING.

  2. Heads up, MA actually voted for legalize medical pot only, not all pot for recreational use (although we already have it decriminalized)

    • Massachusetts voted in 2008 to decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot, basically what Washington did this year. That’s not the same as having it totally decriminalized, though.

    • How can it be decriminalized and yet still illegal? Or is this a weird English language/legalese thing?

  3. Remember that the measures (marriage and voter ID) in MN are both amendments, so a 50% yes vote is required. Basically, blank votes are no. Which is great.

    Also it’s 2 a.m. here but I can’t go to bed until Minnesota doesn’t fuck up.

  4. You guys, my President saying the word “gay” and talking about gay people like we’re a part of this country and not an “other” makes me feel like a real fucking person.

    • I had a few beers while waiting it out, and then down some coffee as i await for the President’s speech. When he said the “Gay” word, I felt like, finally, a politician is being decent human being. And him just saying the word (it might be just a political agenda), it makes my existence feel legitimate.

      Did i see this four years ago? Not really. I truly look forward to the coming four years. (And then Elizabeth Warren ticket please. Thanks.)

      • I was watching it on TV, sitting there thinking “is he going to say it? C’mon, say it! YEEEESSS!”

  5. Today I was proud to vote for marriage equality in Maryland, and to see it pass.. Also to hear a shout-out from Obama to gay people and Native Americans. Two powerful minorities I am proud to be a part of =)

  6. Hi everybody who is following Minnesota, my friend who is there just said that ABC Local says Minneapolis has to count a bunch of ballots by hand tomorrow because voting machines fucked up. Awesome.

    So I will go to bed, begrudgingly.

  7. I am so beyond happy about all of our victories today including the re-election of Barack Obama! And the election of Tammy Baldwin! And the election of Elizabeth Warren! Yay! This is all great news.

    I am still hopeful that Minnesota will not vote in favor of this amendment. We’re still waiting on parts of Minneapolis and Duluth to report so…we’ll see. Right now it’s at 48.9% in favor. The Michele Bachmann / Jim Graves election is still ridiculously close, too. That’s scary.

  8. Watching the news from Canada… all about same-sex marriage and weed… What is happening? Is this real life? Congrats American queers!!

  9. Mostly good news here in Wisconsin (yay Tammy! we also elected an openly gay man to Congress in Mark Pocan) – though it looks like, even after all the recall hoopla of the last year-and-a-half, our state senate is going back into Republican control (boooo).

    Beyond thrilled about Maine, Maryland and Washington. And right now, with 86.4% reporting, Minnesota is at 51.1% AGAINST the anti-gay marriage amendment. Fucking beautiful.

  10. I can’t really express how much more optimistic I feel about life living in Washington state now than I did back when I lived in Idaho and Wyoming. Because gay marriage there? Is never going to happen unless they pass a constitutional amendment, then send in the National Guard. But here? I feel like my vote actually makes a difference and I might just be treated like a real person after all!

  11. I started crying so hard as soon as he said the word “lesbian” in his speech. I was so happy. I can’t believe it. Today has been like finally making your way out if the most horrendous dark cave.

  12. just realized i’ve been watching election coverage for 8 straight hours. i need sleep but i’m so, so, happy and excited about the results that i can’t stop watching yet!

  13. There’s more! Arizona is sending an openly bi-gal
    to the House. Kyrsten Sinema won in a new
    congressional district.

  14. I’m in Britain and I’m not kidding, EVERYONE I know is saying ‘thank fuck for that!’ congrats guys!

  15. I don’t want to go to bed for the night because so many amazing things happened tonight I’m a little concerned that it’s all a dream. Can I really trust this many Americans to make good choices?

    Aaaagghhhhhjsjsiaiwidjduw I’m so happy you guys

  16. YOU GUYS! As a Wisconsinite who doesn’t (unfortunately) live in the Madison area, I was always jealous that I was so close, yet so still so far from being able to vote for Tammy Baldwin.
    Today, that all changed. I was finally able to cast my vote for Tammy Baldwin and it has never mattered more. I’m so proud of my state right now. I really needed this after what we did in 2010.
    Also, it’s worth noting that Baldwin’s old congressional seat was won by an openly gay man tonight.

  17. So much nicer this time around… Last time Obama got elected I didn’t even enjoy it because of Prop 8.
    Also also also, Dr Maddow makes me drool

  18. Washington (at least western Washington) is the place to be! Y’all should move here. It’s always green/natural/beautiful, we have all the biomes in one state, we’re liberal, we’re artsy, environmentally friendly, literate and now we can get married!!!

    Also I’d like to be able to hang out with more of you in person. Seriously. Move here. Or at least come here to get gay married.

    • Yeah, southeastern Washington sucks, but at least we won in this state.. I am totally moving to Seattle in the next few months.

    • I just moved back to this b-e-a-utiful state (after spending several years outside of it), and I have to agree! This place is by far one of the bestest places to live! Has some of the nicest people too…and this is coming from someone who grew up in a small conservative town outside of Seattle. Ya’ll should defs come visit! I’ll even buy ya your first WA microbrew :D

  19. So I watched part of the election tonight and the hosts where wondering why Obama has about 90% support here in Germany. One said something like: “Because we love America. We want them to be our friends. But we feel we can only love them with Obama. We feel the Obama-United States are the good United States, the only real USA. The only one we can like and support.”
    I feel that’s so true. So I am so glad you voted for Obama. We all are. Yay you. Also I am so happy about Maine. Hope we’ll get there as well in a few years.

  20. So pleased with this!! Stayed up all night to hear the results which were released about 5am here if my sleepy brain remembers right… lots of congratulations and happiness from the UK! :) This is brilliant!!

  21. Good job America!

    Over here all the way in Australia, my boss called us in to his office when the victory speech was on, and we all packed in to watch your big moment, smiling smiling smiling as you cheered for your President. Oh, it was sweet.

    And after, my friend and I went out and toasted you all with mojitos, and who would have been in the bar but a pack of Americans, ordering drink after drink and talking about how the ‘moderate’ Romney was ‘cheated’ by the ‘extremist’ Obama. And I must confess, to hear to Republican disappointment voices at the precise moment we raised our glasses to Obama’s victory… well, that was sweeter still.

    You did a good thing guys, you really did :)

  22. Obama!!! And question 6 passed! My grandparents may have been even happier than I was about that (if such a thing is possible). I can get married!!!!

  23. Mary Gonzalez was elected State Rep too! First Open Pansexual!

    I feel like I cried tears of joy all night. So many feelings.

  24. YAY Maryland!!! I read the question sooooo closely in case it was a trick question or had tricky wording. I was so suspicious.

    Also totally got my election news from Autostraddle last night because it was updating faster than my local news website. Congrats :)

  25. Also, as well as victories, why not celebrate some big defeats:

    – Richard Mourdock (Republican, Indiana) – said that rapes resulting in pregnancy were part of God’s plan, and that rape victims needed to pray harder.
    – Todd Akin (Rep, Missouri) – he of the ‘legitimate rape’ comments.
    – Joe Walsh (Rep, Illinois) – said that abortion was never necessary to save a woman’s life.

    All these scumbags lost :D

  26. I am so happy for America and Ameri-queers! Now, if only we Canadians could get Stephen Harper’s ass off of Parliament Hill…

    • Now we’ve taken back America, nothing would make me happier than to see people of color, women, and queers, across the globe get the right to marry, the right to control their own bodies, and that they oust conservative politicians. I voted yesterday thinking, “Hope this creates a tidal wave,” and hopefully it will.

  27. I’ve never been prouder to be from Maryland. Marriage AND the Dream Act. Plus now we’ve got more gambling for all you other dirty sinners… :D

  28. Congratulations Americans!! :-) I’m glad you won bc you did… Hopefully people who think differently from you (us) can come to their senses and support, work! God Bless America… A great nation! :-) I feel like your flag is a little more colorful today!

    Love from Venezuela!

  29. On the state level, Iowa retained its Supreme Court Justices which means gay marriage is still a thing in Iowa!

      • it may be just a vote to someone. but to people who can/cannot marry their loved ones because of them, the moment when they realise they can, it is everything.

        i want to like this many many times over.

        • Unfortunately for Minnesota, this was just a measure to ensure that we didn’t write bigotry into our constitution. But, with the other happy outcomes in the US, maybe I can soon take “civil rights” off of my Christmas list…

    • First the pictures made me so happy. And then I thought about it and it made me sad. They are so relieved, so incredibly happy you’d think they just got the right to marry. But I understand they didn’t, they just didn’t lose rights. And that makes me sad and angry, I mean that’s what they do to us, we’re lying in our arms crying because we don’t lose our rights…

  30. I stayed up until 6am in Britain so that I could hear Rachel Maddow call the Wisconsin race for Tammy Baldwin. It felt so fucking empowering to hear an out woman anchoring the national election coverage of a major broadcast network, predicting that the US had just elected an out woman as the first openly gay Senator. NPR and Politico had already called the race for Baldwin, but I had to hear Maddow say the words.

    Then I slept for two hours, got up and went to work. A couple months ago my deskmate in the lab decided it would be funny to put a picture of Mitt Romeny over my desk, and I was too superstitious to take it down so I just defaced it and gave him insulting speech bubbles. So this morning the first thing I did was cover him up with a picture of Tammy Baldwin! (I also put up a picture of Elizabeth Warren for my deskmate ’cause he loves Massachusetts and Harvard.) Now my desk is a safe space too!

  31. Wearing a blue and red striped tie at work in an attempt to look dapper AND bipartisan, although I can hardly contain my glee.

  32. I stayed up until 6am and I don’t regret it one bit! I’m so happy for all of you American Autostraddlers. :D Congratulations!

  33. I was late for work.
    I had a sex dream about Nate Silver.
    I may have forgotten to feed my dog.
    4 more years :)

    • sex dream about Nate Silver?! details please. wait. we need some actual stats to five decimal points.

      feed your dog!!!

      • true story — my gf says the weirdest shit when i wake her from a half-slumber, usually incoherent babble or something that seems out of left field and last night when i woke her up, she asked, “are you nate silver?”

        • legitimate questions.

          I will feed my dog or she will riot.

          Nate and I were in the supply cabinet at the New York Times geeking over new calculators when he found out he is basically Electionostradamus so we celebrated, but we had lesbian sex,so..

          …I’m blaming 1/2 price wine night.

  34. So…I got to watch all these wonderful things happen at Smith college. I love celebrating victories with like minded people. And it happened in person instead of on the internet for once!

  35. Oh hey, I am so happy for you, seriously!
    I only managed to stay up until 4.30 or something tonight. But the nicest thing was to be woken up this morning by my girlfriend giving me a kiss on the cheek and whispering “Obama won”. I got to check the news on her phone and went back to sleep.

    I have been hating all day on german media though, because some asshats managed to (once again…!!!) translate “gay” to the term that only refers to gay men. thanks for nothing, really.

  36. Minnesota is officially the FIRST state to say NO to an anti-marriage amendment. We also turned down a voter ID amendment! Which is awesome. I am so happy about how many things we won. We won SO many things! I think this election was a huge turning point. It was a statement that America is not going to put up with the absolute bullshit Republicans keep throwing at us.

    The only real loss I see in my state is that Michele Bachmann won again. Which is just disgusting and stupid and I hate that she’s associated with my state. It was a really close race, too.

    • Holy crap I just read an article that said she outspent Jim Graves by a 12-to-1. That’s ridiculous.

  37. I’m reading all these comments and all you beautiful people from around the world congratulating us is truly something special. It’s like getting Birthday wishes from a million people and you’re seriously trying to be cool about it but you can’t. So everyone celebrate! Woohoo!!!

  38. “Just briefly, and I’m not being hyperbolic — Rachel Maddow’s presence is so comforting on my television. This must be what it feels like for straight white men every time they watch everything, ever. Rachel Maddow is a safe space.”

    I want to turn this into a poster/t-shirt/billboard/cross-stitch/65ft tall neon sign. Truth bomb.

  39. Yes! What a great day! So glad Obama and Joe Donnelly won. Me and my friends in Indiana were voting for him like crazy.

  40. Gay marriage HAS NOT PASSED in Washington yet. Only 51% of the votes have been counted as of this morning. They still have 1.2 million ballots to process, and a lot of those are from extremely conservative parts of the state. They’re saying we won’t know the result for another 3 days. We are definitely not celebrating yet.

  41. When another commentator asked Rachel Maddow how she felt about Scott Brown’s truck and she was all like “mine’s bigger” I literally fell off the couch and let out of a squeal of delight.

  42. Thanks for making me cry while reading this in the library!

    Last night so many amazing things happend, I can’t beleive it. I’m so proud of everybody for making this happen :)

  43. Sorry to be the Debbie Downer on this thread, but one thing we *didn’t win* is No on Prop 35 in CA. On the surface it’s about human trafficking, but now there are going to be laws that will be super dangerous to sex workers and those that live off their income, as well as gross privacy invasions. :|

    • I’m glad someone mentioned this! It’s especially going to target trans women and/or women of color…

  44. I stayed up all night and didn’t really eat dinner or do my physics homework to make sure that the networks were sure-sure-sure that I’d still have my basic civil rights when I woke up for class. It certainly was an anxiety ride, but it was worth every minute.
    Also, I’m mad jealous of all the buttons on Maddow’s blazer; could someone tell me how I could get that close to her, please?

  45. All of this made me cry – the events, the story, the comments.

    My gf was sure that Romney had won @ 8pm last night and I told her NO WAY — too early and things would work out. What an amazing turn of the tide on so many levels and I’m so grateful to be able to participate in this.

  46. Last night was great. My mom and I watched as if it was game night and watching all of these victories with my formerly narrow-minded and homophobic mom was probably the best time ever. She even smiled when I told her about Mary Gonzalez.

    • and in 2024: sending a lesbian to the white house?
      ’cause i want hillary 2016, so tammy won’t have a chance til after hill’s 2 terms. i mean, lez be real. the first lady prez WILL come from a seven sisters school.

  47. For once there’s something other than Beautiful summers to be happy about regarding living in Maine! oh yes, let me not forget about the fact that medical marijuana is legal here, too. Hey, the winters are long!

  48. I’m not even American and I stayed up all night following the results, went to bed at 8am after Obama’s speech. Congrats guys, you made it :)

    BTW I watched the coverage on Euronews, and while we were waiting for Obama’s and Romney’s speeches after the results they were showing shots of the two crowds side-by-side, and it was so telling : I saw every single age group, ethnicity and gender fairly represented in the Obama crowd (they even showed a cute lesbian couple kissing! Unless it was a dude who looked like a baby butch), whereas the Romney crowd was overwhelmingly white, significantly older, and I’m pretty sure the men-to-women ratio was skewed. So much bald white heads.
    It’s like one crowd was America, and the other was… not.

    Also, a question to American straddlers : how much do you think social VS economical concerns played a part in Obama’s reelection? When I’d read about it this year on the net it was mostly on websites like AS who obviously care a lot about the social aspect, but on the French and European TV channels they only ever said that Obama won because his economical plan was more appealing. I’m really curious as to which one is closer to the truth.

    • I think it was hugely social. Romney never gave a clear description of what his economic plan would be; he just promised tax cuts.

  49. So much happiness and just utter relief, once I finally went to bed I slept better than I had in weeks

  50. You forgot the Dream Act in Maryland, which allow people who are not documented to live/work in the US to be able to enroll in state colleges and universities in Maryland and pay in-state tuition rates. HUGE win for fairness and equality, too. Huge. Proud to be from Maryland.

  51. I’m very seriously considering moving to Washington for grad school in a few years now. My friend mentioned it last night as a joke, but the UW math program seems really good and if I were a TA it would be pretty much free. Plus marriage and pot, so UW just shot to the tiptop of my list.

    Also Washington is much closer to California so maybe I’d eventually get to go to A-Camp!

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