Yesterday, the U.S. Human Rights Network announced our shared disappointment in the Supreme Court’s decision to weaken the Voting Rights Act. This act helped reduce the likelihood that historically troublesome areas in voting rights, those that had actively made voting by minority populations difficult if not impossible (and downright deadly at certain times).
The Network states the following on all of the recent activity regarding LGBTQIA-related Supreme Court decisions and pending bills on disenfranchised communities:
[T]he Supreme Court’s decision to weaken the Voting Rights Act by diminishing the ability of the federal government to ensure that voting, a fundamental human right, is equally and meaningfully accessible to all. Yet, we are very encouraged by the same body’s decision on marriage equality, declaring unconstitutional the ban on federal government recognition of same-sex marriages legalized by states. The vote by the Senate on immigration left us with mixed feelings as the bill spells progress but is deeply flawed if passed as is. In all, we remain convinced of the need for a strong and unified people-centered movement to define and fight for a future based on human rights for all.
As the “Queer Community,” made up of LGBTQIA individuals, we intersect with nearly every other “group” out there, whether based on language, skin color, national status, citizenship, and so forth. As such, you will hear from OutJustice at times on these important issues.
The Voting Rights Act, for instance, may still be helpful in some ways as some of it remains intact. Sadly, the section left for us now to fight discrimination requires is a long, expensive, uphill battle – and that’s if people stand up to be counted after being pushed down by our system. Historically our country has changed methods to keep the “unwanted” voters from the polls and these shameful tactics are still in action today. And they are much less obvious and much harder to detect for the average person.
Naturally, same-sex marriage is an obvious link to OutJustice’s work. As individuals considered “less than” our neighbors, even though we have always paid more in taxes as “single” individuals, we set a tone for discrimination (bullying) and acceptance of violence against those of us who are targeted by hate-motivated actions. So, on October 22 we hope that Illinois residents will join us in Springfield to push for marriage equality.
And, let’s face it: every single one of us (unless you are full-blooded American Indian) has family history of coming to this country as immigrants – OR they were forced against their will). We can all support fair treatment of others.
At OutJustice we have assisted families torn apart by the documentation process and discrimination for queer couples. Without the right to marry one another, our foreign partners can be deported against their will. For communities that are disenfranchised, these legal barriers make life just that much harder. It shouldn’t be.
Let’s all stick together and stand up for justice.
If you know of anyone in need of assistance due to injustice they have faced or face now, please encourage them to speak with us.