Despite this year's historic election, the gay rights movement suffered a shocking defeat as California voters approved Prop 8, a ban on same-sex marriages that will override a recent court decision legalizing them. More than 11,000 same-sex couples could possibly have their unions invalidated.

In the South and Southwest gay-rights also suffered another setback. Voters in Arizona and Florida approved constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. In Florida, more than 62 percent of voters approved adding language to the state constitution that will define marriage as only between a man and a woman. Fifty-seven percent of voters in Arkansas approved a measure to prohibit unmarried sexual partners from adopting children or from serving as foster parents. There are now 29 states that have prohibitions in their constitutions to block same-sex marriage - Massachusetts and Connecticut are the only states that legalize gay unions.

Barack Obama's sweeping victory last night is being cheered by gay rights advocates across the country, but the passage of these anti-gay ballot initiatives is illustrative of the long road ahead for what many are calling one of the major civil and equal rights battles of this century.