Ka­vanaugh’s seat on U.S. Supreme Court leaves LGBTQ+ rights at stake

The News (New Glasgow) - - OPINION / LETTER - Ger­ard Veld­hoven Ger­ard Veld­hoven is a long­time ac­tivist for the les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­der com­mu­nity. His col­umn ap­pears weekly in The News. Com­ments and in­for­ma­tion may be sent to lgbt­con­nec­tion­sgv@gmail.com.

The ad­di­tion of Jus­tice Brett Ka­vanaugh to the United States Supreme Court is cer­tainly a step to­wards elim­i­nat­ing LGBTQ+ equal rights in that coun­try.

The right-wing, evan­ge­lis­tic-think­ing jus­tice is known to be against same-sex mar­riage and is op­posed to pro-choice abor­tion. This devel­op­ment means that the Repub­li­cans con­trol the Supreme Court and have the abil­ity and the will­ing­ness to over­turn all that has been ac­com­plished in the way of equal rights and abor­tion ac­cess.

Of course, this is not sur­pris­ing in the least, as we were fully aware of Don­ald Trump’s out­look, and that be­ing in con­trol as pres­i­dent, his party has the op­por­tu­nity to dis­miss any chances of head­ing in a di­rec­tion where LGBTQ+ cit­i­zens and oth­ers will be pro­tected.

We have heard the threats, and we are very much aware of the five Repub­li­can jus­tices on the United States Supreme Court. Any changes to what we used to cel­e­brate as equal­ity are now at stake for the LGBTQ+ cit­i­zens south of the bor­der. The right-wing evan­ge­lis­tic jus­tices on this court will be in a po­si­tion to change di­rec­tion that will surely di­min­ish equal rights. The United States, in the hands of Repub­li­cans, is set to con­tinue as an in­tol­er­ant coun­try, thanks to Trump, his cabi­net and the Repub­li­can Party.

We must con­sider the dan­gers that may have some ef­fect on Canada’s LGBTQ+ equal rights if a con­ser­va­tive right-wing gov­ern­ment is in power. We would like to be­lieve that these at­ti­tudes do not ex­ist here, but let me as­sure you that it is pos­si­ble. As pointed to in an ear­lier col­umn, we do have politi­cians who, if voted in to gov­ern our na­tion, could pos­si­bly take such neg­a­tive ac­tion. If Doug Ford or the likes of Al­berta op­po­si­tion leader Ja­son Kenney be­come na­tional party lead­ers, then we may be in the same po­si­tion as is ex­pected in the United States.

This is not only a scary thought but a pos­si­ble re­sult if our gov­ern­ment turns to a right-wing evan­ge­lis­tic regime. Ideas have a habit of cross­ing bor­ders and could be im­ple­mented in Canada. This hap­pens in some coun­tries in Europe where many na­tions are in­flu­enced by oth­ers on that con­ti­nent, but mainly in Eastern coun­tries. Rus­sia’s anti-LGBTQ+ cit­i­zens are con­stantly bat­tered by the po­lice, and yes, its cit­i­zens, as gay rights are chal­lenged daily.

Rus­sia’s anti-gay move­ment is very strong, as 63 per cent of its pop­u­la­tion be­lieves that gays are con­spir­ing to sub­vert the na­tion’s tra­di­tional val­ues, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey re­cently con­ducted by the state-run Rus­sian Pub­lic Opin­ion Re­search Cen­ter.

“There is the strong be­lief in the ex­is­tence of an or­ga­ni­za­tion that seeks to de­stroy the spir­i­tual val­ues gen­er­ated by Rus­sians, through the pro­pa­ganda of non­tra­di­tional sex­ual re­la­tions,” the poll states.

This is quite com­mon in eastern na­tions, es­pe­cially where tra­di­tion means more than equal­ity for all. Ukraine and oth­ers are in the same po­si­tion, as ideas cross bor­ders and neg­a­tively af­fect LGBTQ+ cit­i­zens. The fed­eral courts in those coun­tries are con­trolled by their re­spec­tive gov­ern­ments and re­ally carry no weight. Tur­key, Saudi Arabia and so many oth­ers in the area are also heavy­weights as far as the courts are con­cerned, and where LGBTQ+ rights are re­ally non-ex­is­tent.

So, as we con­tem­plate the changes that may oc­cur as we move for­ward in North Amer­ica, we must be on guard and be ready to coun­ter­act the dis­crim­i­na­tion that may come from the high­est courts. Brett Ka­vanaugh is against same-sex mar­riage and other LGBTQ+ rights and there is ev­ery in­di­ca­tion that this will be dealt with in short or­der.

The high­est courts in our so­ci­ety are de­cid­edly given the power to change course, there­fore, dis­crim­i­na­tion is prac­tised at the high­est level, as well. It’s a sad time when some of the world’s high­est courts prac­tice dis­crim­i­na­tion. Hope­fully, Canada will never fol­low suit!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.