Equal Justice for All

After so many years of progress for LTBTQ and minorities under President Obama, these last few years have been painful. The country seems to be fracturing, first from COVID-19, and now from the death of George Floyd, with cities exploding into anger and protests, and in some cases violence. It is hard to watch for too long without turning away.

As a child I remember watching TV images of Vietnam protests and documentaries in religious school about the freeing of the concentration camps after World War II. It was hard then to make sense of the cruelty in the world. It is still hard today to see our country being torn apart and racial injustice running rampant.

Today, sitting in our suburban home, the events happing just a few miles away in Washington, D.C. seem like another world. Our neighborhood is quiet and the stores seem unaffected. I spoke to a woman earlier today who had helped care for my father during the last year of his life. In her community, a poor, black, inner city area, stores have been looted and people are unable to purchase basic goods. She was angry that mothers could not buy diapers for their babies or food for their families due to the looting and violence.

I do understand the anger in people across the country. The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out jobs and incomes, particularly affecting low income individuals. Then comes the brutal murder of George Floyd by police officers. It is like a one, two punch. The tinder was ready to be lit and it was.

I see the protests in our streets as more than a moment in time. I see the culmination of the past few years where minorities saw gains made under Obama repeatedly lost. We have watched right wing hate go mainstream and a president continuously fanning the flames of discord and hatred.

The protests are a wonderful moment where people say, no more! While I do not condone the violence and destruction, I think the protests happening across the USA are an important moment of resistance and a standing up for equal justice for all.

The Republican Party Platform of Bigotry and Hate

The amount of hate and bigotry in the Republican Party Platform emerging in advance of the Republican Convention next week is deeply disturbing.  According to the New York Times  the platform “amounts to a rightward lurch even from the party’s hard-line platform in 2012 — especially as it addresses gay men, lesbians and transgender people.” The article goes on to say that, “nearly every provision that expressed disapproval of homosexuality, same-sex marriage or transgender rights passed. The platform calls for overturning the Supreme Court marriage decision with a constitutional amendment and makes references to appointing judges “who respect traditional family values.

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Trump Fatigue

Trump Protest

Given how Trump has dominated the news for months now, and the recent complete descent of Trump events into violence, it is hard to imagine how a President Trump would govern this country. The way he incites racial hatred, religious hatred and violence does not bode well for the United States of America. I can imagine Trump supporters, during a Trump presidency, quickly becoming disappointed and angry when he can not fulfill his promises. He will be unable to deliver everything he has said he will do to, “make America great again,” given the limits of presidential power. I can imagine a president Trump pushing the limits of presidential power or even circumventing the rule of law to have his way. I can imagine military leaders refusing his orders. I can imagine Congress refusing to follow his leadership. I can imagine impeachment hearings. I can imagine Trump turning to wars, invasions, strong man tactics against anyone he dislikes in order to divert attention from his failures as president.

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Fear is Hugely Contagious

Ok, I admit it. I am a bit of a political junkie. I love when the presidential election cycle comes around. I like to listen to the daily election news and watch the presidential debates. This election cycle I have satellite radio. On my way to work I have been listening to CNN’s New Day with Chris Cuomo and MSNBC’s Morning Joe, hosted by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. And then of course there is P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States) radio, which is always fascinating.

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Restoring Marriage: Code for Hate

The Family Leader is a Christian organization whose mission is to, “Strengthen families, by inspiring Christ-like leadership in the home, the church, and the government.” They do this, according to their website by, transforming the culture; impacting elections; and influencing policy. While the organization has chosen not to publicly endorse a presidential candidate before the Iowa Caucuses, they have encouraged their leadership to speak out. Bob Vander Plaats, President and CEO of The Family Leader, who the New York Time calls, “an influential leader of Iowa’s Christian right” has endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz. The Family Leader, said the New York Times article, is “staunchly opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage.”

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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 change recently in the State Department 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.

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