Not Settled Law: Marriage Equality

The Advocate reported that the White House would give LGBT Syrian refugees priority for entry given the persecution they face under ISIS. The Advocate writes, according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest, “the administration would instead prioritize letting in those refugees ‘deemed to be the most vulnerable.’ LGBT people would be among those meeting that definition.” 

The article goes on to say that the State Department has said that, “priority would be placed on those facing extreme persecution,” and that the definition of those being persecuted included LGBT refugees. Another interesting dimension, the article described, was a recent change in the State Department’s definition of the word, ‘spouse’, which now includes LGBT. So LGBT spouses of Syrian refugees are now seen differently than they might have been, thanks to marriage equality.

I found this Advocate article to be a moving tribute to just how friendly the current presidential administration of the United States is to LGBT. But it had me consider just what would happen under a Republican administration. The current field of Republican contenders, for the office of the president of the United States, have made some virulent, hate-filled comments about LGBT.

The Advocate, a few days ago, reported on a phone call Ted Cruz held with “fellow right wing pundits” in which he spoke in a very ugly way about LGBT. Cruz, according to the article, “managed to blast the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, LGBT members of the military, and federal nondiscrimination protections — all in a single conversation.” The quotes of Cruz’s comments on this call, which were recorded, are extensive and frightening.

Both Cruz and Rubio have called marriage equality, not settled law. An Advocate article quotes Cruz as saying, “[Marriage equality] is not settled,” and he goes on to say “It’s not the law of the land. It’s not the Constitution. It’s not legitimate, and we will stand and fight.” How frightening is that? Do we really want this man to be our President?

Rubio has vowed to roll back protections for LGBT and has said he would appoint supreme court justices, according to the Advocate, “who believe that the court’s rulings on marriage equality and abortion rights are ‘constitutionally flawed.’”

While I have only briefly discussed two of the Republican candidates, I selected two that are at the top of the national polls, after Trump. None of the candidates have a good record on LGBT rights. Some are definitely worse than others, but ALL of the Republican candidates oppose marriage equality. The Human Rights Campaign has a great website Republican presidential candidates, Highlighting Candidates’ Records on LGBT Equality.

Hillary may not excite a lot of people, but she has vowed to fight for LGBT equality. The alternative, which includes any of the leading Republican contenders, would turn back the clock in an ugly and determined manner. If we value our freedom, our dignity, our rights, our pride as LGBT and allies, then it is critical that we do not allow the hate-mongering Republican contenders for the president of the United States to hold that office.

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