The importance of this elections for LGBTQ people
By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT columnist—
It’s a presidential election year in the good old U.S.A. and everyone has their own opinions about where the country is headed and who would be the best fit, or the worst fit, to lead the country. I personally love to hear everyone’s thoughts and arguments because they usually either make me think and/or they make me chuckle. I think that it’s great that we have so many different points of views and I never want that to change. If everyone thought the same way that would be quite boring and it really wouldn’t be good for the country. We need different avenues of thought to move this country forward.
I don’t know what your particular views are in politics and I will support your right to vote any way that you see fit even if I don’t agree with it. After all, you might have some thoughts that I have never explored and you just might be right in the long run. Speaking of long runs, I want to offer you some food for thought as you navigate your way through this election year. I will only stick to the topic of voting as an LGBTQ person. Yes, I know that I can be accused of voting on one issue but there are actually many issues that one might think about when voting as an LGBTQ person.
First of all, when it comes to any bills that will advance the rights of LGBTQ people, there is usually a party line divide between the Republicans and the Democrats. Not always, but usually the Republicans will vote against LGBTQ rights and the Democrats will vote for LGBTQ rights. Many times the lawmaker has to vote along party lines no matter how they personally feel about these bills, but the Republican Party lines are usually against LGBT rights while the Democrat party lines are for LGBTQ rights. This is not always true, but I have watched different votes time and time again and I have seen the results.
Case in point: I watched the Connecticut state senators vote on trans rights in 2011 and every single Republican voted against trans rights while every single Democrat voted for trans rights. I would call that a party line vote. I also watched the Massachusetts state representatives vote on trans rights this year and the results were fairly similar although I did see some Republicans cross party line to vote for trans rights. Yes, the Republican lawmaker just might be on the side of LGBTQ rights but you really should remember that many times Republicans vote against LGBTQ rights. What you can glean from my thoughts is that if you are an LGBTQ person it will behoove you to elect as many Democratic lawmakers as possible. Of course, the choice is yours, but please keep the party line vote in mind.
As far as the presidential vote, it will make a difference whether there is a Republican or a Democrat in office because of the fact that the next president will probably appoint three or four Supreme Court Justices during the next four years. The Republicans usually opt for conservative folk while the Democrats usually opt for liberal folk. If you are LGBT I would think that you would want liberal folk in the Supreme Court, so voting Democrat is probably the best way to go. Once again it is, of course, up to you to vote however you see fit.
I hope that you are enjoying this election year with all of the different thoughts and points of view, but again I ask you to think about the consequences that might arise with your vote. The way I look at it, me being an LGBTQ person, it might be a lot better for me to vote for as many Democrats as I can for nothing else but to keep and advance our rights. We’ve made many good gains the past few years and I would hate to see them overturned. Of course you may vote any way that you want, but I do ask you to think about how your rights could change in the future.
*Deja Nicole Greenlaw is retired from 3M and has three grown children and two grandchildren. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While I understand that you are a firm advocate of everyone voting as they wish, it’s important to really inform people of what voting in the Presidential election might rally mean this year. While the Supreme Court nominations are at stake and the most obvious reason to vote for Hillary, there are a few other items you missed. The Republican platform is the most anti-LGBTQ platform in American history according to Gavin Newsom, the LGBTQ activist who is California’s Lt. Governor. Donald Trump may or may not pay attention to it, but you can bet your britches that his VP candidate, Mike Pence along with Republican Congressmen will clutch that platform in one hand while clutching their Bibles in the other as they legislate us back to the stone age. Pence, the LGBTQ conversion poster-boy not only signed one of the worst bills in history into Indiana law, he currently has imprisoned a woman for 20 years there for an attempted abortion.
I’m a life-long Republican and I’m trans. Which makes it very hard for me to choose between the candidates we’ve had foisted on us. This election, I’ve decided that I can’t stomach either major party candidate for President. So I plan to vote Libertarian, as I find myself in agreement with most of the Libertarian platform positions. I can only hope that having a “minor party” glean a substantial percentage of the vote will send a message to the establishment!
I really wish our electoral system allowed us to vote “none of the above”. I bet that choice would get more than half the votes this November if we only could…