This is why Ge­or­gia Voice is with her

GA Voice - - Outspoken -

By GE­OR­GIA VOICE ED­I­TO­RIAL BOARD

After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last June that mar­riage equal­ity was the law of the land, there was a sense from those out­side of the LGBT com­mu­nity (and per­haps many within it) that the bulk of the mis­sion for our rights was fin­ished.

We as a com­mu­nity knew oth­er­wise, and we pre­pared for the back­lash that even­tu­ally ar­rived six months later in the form of nu­mer­ous anti-LGBT so-called “reli­gious free­dom” bills filed across the coun­try. The state of Ge­or­gia even made na­tional and in­ter­na­tional head­lines as the crit­i­cally dan­ger­ous House Bill 757 passed both cham­bers of the leg­is­la­ture and made it to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk. Thank­fully, Gov. Deal ve­toed the leg­is­la­tion, and our com­mu­nity pre­pared for the next fight.

Then in June, a gun­man killed 49 peo­ple at the LGBT Or­lando night­club Pulse. Add to that the on­go­ing pres­ence of “bath­room bills,” lack of em­ploy­ment and hous­ing pro­tec­tions, and the con­tin­u­ous and heart­break­ing in­ci­dents of vi­o­lence against trans­gen­der women of color and it should be painfully clear to ev­ery­one in and out­side of the LGBT com­mu­nity—our fight is far from over.

Which is why it was in­cred­i­bly dis­ap­point­ing that, of all the ques­tions asked dur­ing the three pres­i­den­tial de­bates and one vice-pres­i­den­tial de­bate this elec­tion year, not a sin­gle one was about LGBT peo­ple. And that was a vice-pres­i­den­tial de­bate that in­cluded no­to­ri­ously anti-LGBT In­di­ana Gov. Mike Pence. Peo­ple still think our fight is pretty much over, de­spite all ev­i­dence to the con­trary.

So we need some­one who will carry on Pres­i­dent Obama’s legacy of com­ing to the LGBT com­mu­nity’s aid, some­one who re­al­izes how much more needs to be done. We need to elect for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton.

You’ve read and heard ours and other pub­li­ca­tions and news sources lay out all of the stark dif­fer­ences be­tween the two ad nau­seam, so we won’t get into that here. You’ve heard all of the things that Don­ald Trump has said about women, peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, vet­er­ans, and nu­mer­ous oth­ers to the point where it’s al­most painful to turn on a TV or jump on­line to hear any­more of it.

So we’ll zero in on a se­lect few LGBTre­lated items. Sec­re­tary Clin­ton has vowed to sup­port the Equal­ity Act. Mr. Trump has re­fused to say where he stands on it. Sec­re­tary Clin­ton has come out against North Carolina’s anti-LGBT HB2. Mr. Trump did too ini­tially, then changed his mind after speak­ing with North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory. Sec­re­tary Clin­ton hired openly LGBT peo­ple to two prom­i­nent po­si­tions in her cam­paign. Mr. Trump has hired none. Sec­re­tary Clin­ton’s vice-pres­i­den­tial choice, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Vir­ginia, is a long-time sup­porter of LGBT rights. Mr. Trump’s vice-pres­i­den­tial choice, Gov. Pence, is most de­cid­edly not.

But per­haps the most glar­ing dif­fer­ence be­tween the two is the one that would not only keep us from mov­ing for­ward, it would ac­tu­ally set us back. Sec­re­tary Clin­ton has said mar­riage equal­ity would be a pri­or­ity when choos­ing a nom­i­nee to fill a va­cancy on the Supreme Court. Mr. Trump has re­peat­edly stated that he would ap­point some­one like the late Jus­tice An­tonin Scalia—one of the most anti-LGBT jus­tices in his­tory.

So Mr. Trump would ap­point jus­tices that would roll back the LGBT com­mu­nity’s largest vic­tory to date.

At an At­lanta cam­paign stop in June, Mr. Trump fa­mously said to “ask the gays” who they sup­port for pres­i­dent. Well, we’re an­swer­ing. Vote Hil­lary Clin­ton on Nov. 8.

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