By all accounts, yesterday's primaries in Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Rhode Island, New York, New Hampshire and Wisconsin were filled with victories for the LGBT community. 29 of the Victory Fund's 33 endorsed LGBT candidates walked away winners, and many of them will run unopposed (or virtually unopposed) in November. One of those 29 victories went to Providence, Rhode Island mayor and Democratic Congressional candidate David Cicilline, who will become the fourth openly gay member of the US House of Representatives if he wins in November. Since 1941, the seat he's running for (currently held by the retiring Patrick Kennedy) has been held by a Republican for only three terms.
On the state level, Victory Fund reports "The Maryland House of Delegates is set to welcome three new gay and lesbian members, bringing the total number of out Maryland state lawmakers to 7. This could have an enormous impact on the fight to bring marriage equality to the state. Gov. Martin O’Malley earlier this month pledged to sign a marriage equality bill if the state legislature is able to pass one."
Meanwhile, in neighboring Delaware, home to what's been considered a loss for the LGBT community, we have the victory of Tea Party-endorsed Republican (and conservative crusader) Christine O'Donnell. It's never a good sign when a majority of voters back someone who once ran a so-called "ex-gay" program that compared the use of the word "gay" to Hitler. Even Karl Rove called attention to her anti-gay statements, which irked some others on the right. Clearly, Delaware Republican primary voters picked a woman who is not a friend to our community.
But stats guru Nate Silver wrote earlier this week that an O'Donnell victory could actually hurt the Republicans in November. His prediction model gave Republican Michael Castle a 94.4 percent chance of beating Democrat Chris Coons in November and flipping the Senate seat formerly held by Vice President Joe Biden. However, Silver says O'Donnell only has a 16.3 percent chance of winning the seat. Chris Coons, is a strong supporter of LGBT rights, including marriage equality, a fact he proudly touts on his website.
So even what looked like a loss for the LGBT community could turn out to be one more victory from a night that saw quite a few.