Massachusetts became the first state to elect an openly gay attorney general, while the gay candidate in Maine's gubernatorial race narrowly lost his chance to make history. Nationally, gay-rights activists worried that conservative gains in Congress would hamper their bid for federal anti-bias legislation.
In all, it was a sobering election for the gay-rights movement, contrasting with its recent court victories that have nearly doubled the number of states allowing same-sex marriage. In U.S. Senate races, several Democrats who supported gay marriage — including Mark Udall of Colorado and Kay Hagan of North Carolina — lost to Republicans who oppose it.
Among the highlights for gay-rights activists was Democrat Maura Healey's election as Massachusetts attorney general. Healey, a former prosecutor, played pro basketball in Austria before launching her law career.