President Obama's second term is tonight's big news, but this election could eventually be remembered more for its gay equality milestones than its presidential results. Same-sex marriage was approved in two states, a ban will likely be struck down in another, and Tammy Baldwin became America's first openly gay senator. 2008 wasn't such a great year for gay rights, with California's Prop. 8 outlawing gay marriage in the state. This year, we've witnessed a big about-face, with two states making history by simultaneously becoming the first to pass gay marriage by popular vote. Let's run down all the important results for gay issues:
Wisconsin's Senate race
The contenders: Tommy Thompson (Rep) vs. Tammy Baldwin (Dem)
The results: Tammy Baldwin marks one of tonight's milestones as Wisconsin has elected her the first openly gay senator, something which she acknowledged in her victory speech. But Baldwin's sexuality was de-emphasized during the campaign. Jesse McKinley of the New York Times reported that "gay groups have been surprisingly low-key about their public support." The Guardian reported that Baldwin said that her orientation "almost never comes up" in a race that's "been flat out on economic issues." Today, Emily Heil at the Washington Post explained that voters weren't that conscious of the fact that Baldwin was making history. Fox News called the election for Baldwin just before 10:00p.m.