Thursday, November 17, 2016

Solidarity is Needed Now More Than Ever

There are two major political parties in the US, and due to the recent election, the party that has consistently opposed progress when it comes to diversity (especially when it comes to gender, sexual orientation, and the freedom to form marriages and other relationships) will, as of January 20, 2017, have the Presidency and control both houses of our bicameral Congress. The other branch of the federal government is the Judicial (the courts) will have judges appointed per the whims of the leadership of that party when there are vacancies. That includes the Supreme Court, where there is currently one vacancy.

The good news is that it is extremely unlikely that there will be any loss in the advancements of the freedom to marry. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled for the limited, monogamous, nonconsanguineous freedom to marry nationwide. To change that to take away that freedom, it would take 1) the same court (albeit, with some different justices) overturning itself or 2) a Constitutional Amendment. Neither is going to happen. The Supreme Court is very reluctant to flat-out reverse itself, and I don't think they've ever done it in a way that takes away rights from people. So even if a court case could get into the system, which I doubt will go to the federal level, it isn't going to result in a reversal. Constitutional Amendments are very difficult to pass, and the political will to do it just isn't there. More and more people are seeing that same-gender couples being married is a good thing.

The bad news is that 1) progress may be slowed, and 2) federal agencies may drag their feet when it comes to protecting the civil rights of people who have or are involved with gender, sexuality, and relationship diversities, such as LGBTQ, polyamorous, and consanguinamorous people. It would be great to see the Brown family's case against Utah's ban on polyfidelity reach the Supreme Court and be decided in the best way possible, but that's less likely than it had been before the election. It could  still happen though.

If a few Senators switch parties or Senate seats change parties due to Senators being removed, control of the Senate would switch. Even without that, a third of the Senate will be up for election in 2018, and the entire House of Representatives will be up for election. It is also possible both major parties will get on board with seeking progress in these areas, realizing that pandering to prejudice is, in the long run, a losing strategy. It would be great to have people running for office who will take this pledge.

This is an English-language blog, and as such, we are especially interested in and able to follow developments in countries where English is a common language. For example, Australia needs to step up and get moving on marriage rights. They are behind other English-speaking countries such as Canada, the US, Ireland, the UK, South Africa, and New Zealand. Progress continues to be made all of the planet, and we are interested in that, too.

What is needed more now than ever, within nations and internationally, is solidarity. The civil rights of all adults need to be advanced, not stalled or rolled back. Standing up for all adults at the same time, rather than focusing on limited advancements for this group or that group, is what is needed. An adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage, and any other legal arrangement offered, and any of those things without the others, with any and all consenting adults, without fear of prosecution, bullying, or discrimination.

Here's how to help.

I answered a question on Tumblr regarding the election that discusses some of the same things.

Here's Jane's open letter to President-elect Trump.
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