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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

H8 Going Down -- Time for Uprising

A new framework for lgbtq equality activism has emerged this morning, since nearly a third of the nation's population will soon live in states that recognize gay marriage and since DOMA has been deemed illegitimate. Court cases will surely extend marriage protections to queer couples in recalcitrant states via the full faith and credit clause and citing the SCOTUS language that restriction of marriage to heterosexual couples serves "no legitimate purpose."

I must admit I am glad that the court didn't just end the issue by sweepingly endorsing gay marriage everywhere. Not that anybody really expected such a thing anyway, but were that to have happened I daresay too many queer folks would have deemed the battle over and picked up their toys and gone home. By providing equality activists with new momentum and new tools, this decision sets the scene for energetic efforts to implement ENDA, which is connected with and will provide a boost for a host of other labor politics issues around raising the minimum wage and re-instating workplace protections that were once again brutally assaulted by SCOTUS this session.

Given the prominence of privileged white gay men in queer activism, I fear too sweeping a win this morning would have undermined the Democratic and progressive electoral coalition that is absolutely necessary to overcome voter disenfranchisement of people of color already taking place in bigot-ruled Red State politics across the country in the aftermath of the vile and spineless gutting of the Voting Rights Act by SCOTUS yesterday, a devastating decision in the service of reaction at least the equal of today's progressive decision in terms of historical significance.

Let us hope that the activism around immigration, women's health, voting equity, and continued queer struggle can energize a Democratic mid-term electorate that usually stays home, win Congressional majorities that will work with the Obama administration to implement his climate change agenda through the EPA, save and even expand the Voting Rights Act by extending pre-clearance to every jurisdiction in the entire country, provide a path to citizenship for a new generation of invigorating diversifying immigration, introduce common sense gun safety regulations, press forward the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and extend access to safe affordable abortion and birth control and women's health services everywhere in the US and introduce a public option through the healthcare exchanges, pass the Jobs Act and end the unnecessary austerian unemployment crisis, turn the tide of anti-union plutocracy with Card Check and another raising of the minimum wage finally indexed to inflation, end job discrimination against queer folks -- not to mention, one hopes, provide us more sane and sensible Democrats to work both with and against the Obama administration to revoke the 2002 War Resolution and limit the Patriot Act provisions that have empowered the global war on terror, drone policies, Guantanamo and comparable facilities, surveillance profiteering, and a Unitary Executive dangerously expanding to fill the governmental spaces opened up by Republican-exacerbated dysfunction in the other branches.

That's not a wish list, by the way, but a list of policies in the pipeline I think two more years of Democratic House control under Nancy Pelosi could reasonably accomplish with filibuster reform in the Senate. If I were writing a wish list, baby, there would be single payer healthcare, free universal public education from pre-K through community college, a living wage and truly generous work-leave and unemployment benefits tantamount to a universal basic income guarantee and universal strike fund, continental high-speed rail and a smart grid fueled by a two-hundred fifty million solar rooftops and wind farms all paid for by progressive income, property, and financial transaction taxes.

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