At the Los Angeles Times:
Four years ago, opponents of gay marriage celebrated a winning streak, having persuaded California voters to end marriage rights for gays. If courts or legislatures bowed to the pro-marriage forces, the opposition figured it could just go to the ballot box to restore marriage bans.RELATED: "Bishop E.W. Jackson: ‘It Is Time For a Mass Exodus from the Democrat Party’."
But all that changed Tuesday, when gay marriage supporters succeeded in the four states where the question was on the ballot. Until then, voters had consistently opposed marriage rights, most recently in May in North Carolina.
The opposing sides differed on the significance, with Christian conservatives considering the election a blip and gay rights activists describing it as a monumental sea change. But the results emboldened activists to target other states for marriage rights and left their opponents reeling.
Gay rights activists singled out President Obama's change of heart in favor of same-sex marriage as a key ingredient in Tuesday's victories. Just four years ago, the sponsors of Proposition 8's ban on same-sex marriage made robocalls to California homes with a recording of Obama saying he opposed gay nuptials.
"His shift caused a lot of other politicians to feel free to change their positions as well and made it easier for African American churches to change their positions," said Jon W. Davidson, legal director for Lambda Legal, a gay rights organization.
With election victories in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, gay rights activists said Wednesday that they would focus next on winning marriage rights both in the federal courts and in state legislatures, which could include states such as Rhode Island, Delaware, Hawaii and Illinois.
"When you have momentum on your side, it's the time to double down," said Chad Griffin, who launched the legal fight against Proposition 8. "That's exactly what we've got to do: We've got to take this momentum and move forward."
BONUS: "Gay Marriage is Not a Civil Right."