Happy Pride! June is a great time to celebrate. In June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled that same-sex couples had the right to marry, just in time for Pride celebrations across the country. SCOTUS generally releases the most important and impactful cases in June of each year. This year is no different. Except for this year, with the right-wing supermajority, they are taking our country BACKWARDS. They plan to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that made abortion legal. This constitutional right, the right to privacy, is found in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So was the same-sex marriage case, and cases that overturned sodomy laws gave interracial couples the right to marry and access to contraception. This right to privacy has moved the country forward. Now a right-wing SCOTUS is taking us backward to pre-1973 when none of these rights existed. A woman’s right to have an abortion is about to be lost. Based on the flawed and incorrect “reasoning” that there is “no right to privacy” found in the Constitution, all these other cases and many other rights we currently take for granted could be lost if the leaked SCOTUS opinion becomes law.
Elections matter. When you vote, you exercise one of your fundamental rights as an American. But even this right is under attack by the right-wing. How do we prevent all of this? WE VOTE! No matter your age, your vote matters. It matters because Supreme Court Justices are appointed by the President. It matters because federal and state legislatures make the laws that most directly govern our lives. It matters because most of us want our country to move forward. But a small minority wants to tell the rest of us how to live based on their own very flawed interpretations of the Bible. Do we want to live in a world where a woman doesn’t control her own body? Or gay men or women are imprisoned for being gay? Different races or same-sex couples couldn’t get married? On this last point - it would directly affect my marriage as I’m Latino and my husband is white, and we’re gay. Or no one can get contraception, so those condoms you see at events will disappear, women can’t get the pill for birth control, and we’ll have a lot more unwanted kids because women can’t get an abortion either. If the worst happens and Roe v. Wade is overturned, we can change it. How? By VOTING! Vote for your values and your freedoms! We celebrate Pride every year. Why? Because we were oppressed and called all kinds of names and even jailed for being ourselves. All that changed because people voted because many of us sacrificed to get these rights. We worked hard to make gains for our community, and Pride is a celebration of that. But it’s also a reminder of how fragile those rights are and how determined homophobes can take those rights away in an instant. We CAN NOT let this happen! So I urge you to vote in November, especially for younger folks. Go to Pride, stand up for what you believe. Wear your Pride everywhere. When you’re out celebrating the Pride parade, festival, and parties, remember the reason for Pride. It came from our struggle for our rights. This Pride season, let’s preserve those rights we have fought hard for! Stay safe and HAPPY PRIDE!
Mauro A. Walden-Montoya, Esq., is a recovering attorney who's worked with the People with AIDS legal program at the Whitman-Walker Clinic (Washington, D.C.) and The HIV Legal Clinic at the D.C. School of Law. He’s past President and board member of the New Mexico OUT Business Alliance, on the boards of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Wheels Museum and the ABQ Leather Daddies and a Minister in the Universal Life Church. Mauro lives in Albuquerque, with his adoring husband, Andy.
P&E - After Print
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