Importance of the 2020 Election to the LGBTQ Community
Election Day 2020 is rapidly approaching. Every form of media is overwhelmed with political advertisements and supporters for all candidates are extremely passionate. As a member of the LGBTQ community, this election is critical.
Understanding the Recent Past
Actions speak louder than words. While President Trump claims to be a friend to our community, his behaviors (and those of his supporters) contradict his words. Consider just a few of his actions during his term.
Vice President Mike Pence: The President’s choice of a running mate opposes gay marriage and is against allowing LGBTQ individuals to serve in the military. His actions are based on deeply religious beliefs and have been consistent throughout his political career. The bottom line, he does not support our community.
Military Actions: In 2017 President Trump tweeted that transgender individuals would be prohibited from serving in the military. The Atlantic shared his tweets which stated “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow..........Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming........victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you”
Equality Act: Introduced in March of 2019, this bipartisan act was passed by the House of Representatives. According to the Human Rights Campaign, this act “...would amend existing civil rights law—including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Jury Selection and Services Act, and several laws regarding employment with the federal government—to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics. The legislation also amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination in public spaces and services and federally funded programs on the basis of sex.” President Trump actively opposed this Act.
Looking Towards The Future
The past actions of this administration have members of the LGBTQ community hoping for a brighter future, one in which we are all treated equally with the respect we deserve. That said, it is critical that we ALL actively work to ensure President Trump is not elected for a second term. We can help affect this outcome in a variety of ways.
Stay Informed: Listen to the news and actively research the claims of those running on local and national platforms. As we have seen, actions matter - they tell the true story. Make sure you understand the platforms of those running and support those individuals whose actions align with your beliefs.
Donate: Running for office is expensive. If you have the means, consider a donation to the campaigns of the candidates you support. Your contribution does not need to be considerable. Smaller donations from many add up and are incredibly valuable.
Volunteer: If you have time, volunteer for the candidates you support. You can phone banks, send postcards or even offer to campaign at the polls.
Be Visible: Share your support for your candidates on your social media and in conversation.
Register to Vote AND Vote: You MUST register to vote and then make sure you do vote, either in person or via absentee ballot. Voter registration deadlines vary by state. Now is a good time to ensure you are all set for election day. And, you can order your absentee ballot if you would rather vote in this manner.
It’s Time To Act
Clearly, the 2020 election is the most important in recent history for the LGBTQ community. It is our responsibility to stand up for ourselves, our family, and our friends and actively support those who respect us.
Please, register to vote. And, encourage your friends and family to do the same. Research early voting and vote by mail opportunities and make sure you cast your 2020 vote for a safer, brighter, and better future for us all.