Rainbowflag In one obvious way, Tuesday wasn't good for gays: Seven states passed constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. Arizona was the exception, where voters rejected a marriage ban -- the only state to do so in the more than two dozen that have voted on bans in recent elections.

But there are a couple other aspects of Election 2006 that are wins for gays. First, Massachusetts voters resoudingly supported a candidate, Deval Patrick, who supports gay marriage.  (His challenger, Kerry Healey, supported a constitutional ban.)

Even more telling was the record-setting number of openly gay candidates who were elected to state and local offices this year. Sixty-seven out gays and lesbians were voted into office (out of 88 who ran), according to a press release from the Victory Fund.

Oklahomans voted for that state's first out legislator. And Indiana, Arkansas and Alabama (which we've written about) each elected their first openly gay public officials of any kind.