Recent policies have targeted the LGBTQ+ community: Don’t Say Gay Bathroom Blocks Drag Bans Sports Redlining Healthcare Denial Deadname Locks
With 540 anti-LGBTQ+ laws introduced and 45 enacted, 2023 public policy is weaponized to erase and deprive people of PRIDE.
Some lawmakers claim they have suddenly discovered our millennia of existence to be malignant, while others avert their eyes from the politically-profitable stripping of our rights. Our community is being blatantly attacked more and more. Gay rights have been made into a political football — of little inherent value and to be kicked around and played with by both Republicans and Democrats.
Can a return to institutional dehumanization be far behind? Not on our watch.
In the shadow of Stonewall and legal gay marriage, we fought way too hard to give up our freedom of expression, human dignity and safety now. LGBTQ+ comments from conservative pundits, politicians and lobbyists are patently eliminationist. And President Biden’s State of the Union Address mentioned only two pitifully slender items of LGBTQ+ concern: urging Congress to pass The Equality Act to safeguard that “LGBTQ Americans, especially transgender young people, can live with safety and dignity,” and referencing the recently passed Respect for Marriage Act.
It sucks that elected officials single out LGBTQ+ as expendable in pursuit of more mainstream votes. But if Republican lawmakers are singing that loud, Democrats are very much humming along, or toe-tapping mutely.
The most vocal public faces of anti- LGBTQ+ sentiment do not speak for most people. A May 23 2023 Washington Post article explains, “Books about LGBTQ people are fast becoming the main target of a historic wave of school book challenges — and a large percentage of the complaints come from a minuscule number of hyperactive adults.”
There is a Czech saying: “A thousand nothings killed the ox.” Little by little, queer lives are being jeopardized and devalued in a myriad of ways. Democrats’ unwillingness to govern and campaign forcefully on our issues undermines LGBTQ+ voters’ safety and trust. If Democrats really care about queer people’s dignity, continuing to take our support for granted could be a costly mistake. Both the proverbial ox and authentic democracy could perish.
But queer indie voters still believe in liberty and justice for all. Sometimes those values are best achieved through an unaffiliated candidate. And we will vote our issues — not the slogan or brand on a candidate’s jersey.