Pride, Philadelphia, 2016 | Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images | 16270ga
When gay Americans notched some of their biggest political victories in the last year for same-sex marriage and military service, opponents were already preparing an intense battle to roll back the new rights.
That onslaught, in state legislatures and Washington, has raised the stakes in the 2016 election for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, which is trying to leverage its unprecedented political power to elect lawmakers who would extend federal protections at work and home to gay citizens, just as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protected race, religion and gender,
There has been a huge increase in the number of gay people who have been or are hoping to be elected. About 500 LGBT politicians are serving in elected office at all levels of U.S. government and almost 200 more are running for office this year, including 11 for Congress, according to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which supports them.