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United States celebrates historic day for gay rights

United States celebrates historic day for gay rights

The United States can now celebrate a historic day for gay rights after the first sitting president in history to back marriage equality has been given a second term.

President Barack Obama won the election after gaining the 270 electoral votes needed.

With only Florida’s 29 electoral votes still undecided, Obama won 303 votes to Mitt Romney’s 206.

In three states, Maine, Maryland and Washington, gay people are now able to get married and enjoy the same legal benefits as their heterosexual peers.

In Minnesota, people voted to stop gay marriage from being banned outright in the state.

The Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin, whose organization gave $5 million to the four marriage equality battles, said these laws give thousands of loving couples the ‘opportunity to make lifelong commitments through marriage.’

He said: ‘This is a milestone night for the simple truth that when Americans are presented with the real lives of their friends and neighbors, they have no choice but to vote for equality.’

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin also made history by becoming the first openly gay person to be elected to the US Senate.

‘I am honored and humbled and grateful, and I am ready to get to work – ready to stand with Barack Obama, and ready to fight for Wisconsin’s middle class,’ Baldwin told supporters at her victory party.’

Openly gay candidate Mark Pocan took Baldwin’s seat in the House of Representatives, meaning it is the first time a gay member of congress is succeeded by another gay member.

In early returns, openly gay Democratic candidate Mark Takano is leading against his Republican challenger in a new California district. If he wins, he would be the first gay Asian-American in Congress.

If they were elected, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running-mate Paul Ryan said they would introduce a federal state-wide ban on same-sex marriage.

Anti-gay and anti-abortion Republican candidate Todd Akin, renowned for saying women cannot get pregnant from ‘legitimate rape’, lost his fight to become a senator of Missouri.

Writing on Facebook before the presidential result was officially announced, he said: ‘Fox News Channel projects Barack Hussein Obama has won reelection. May God have mercy on our nation.’

Extremist Christian conservative pundit Bryan Fischer predicted on Twitter that anti-gay Mike Pence of Indiana would win the 2016 election. He added: ‘Today was Pearl Harbor. Tomorrow we begin planning for Normandy.’

In his victory speech, President Barack Obama said gays should be able to achieve the American dream.

He said: ‘It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love.

‘It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or pool, abled, disabled, gay or straight.

‘You can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.’