The Current Assault on LGBT & Women’s Rights Was Inevitable
The phrase “the most important election of our lifetime” is thrown out reliably every four years by candidates on both sides of the aisle trying to turn out as many of their supporters as possible. The ubiquity of the phrase makes it harder to recognise when the stakes really are that high — as they were in 2016. The phrase was once again invoked by Democrats in 2020 — and while denying Trump a second term was a vital achievement — by this point there is no denying that 2016 was in fact the most important election of our lifetime. Such, should have been clear during the insurrection, the Kavanaugh hearings, the family separations and frankly, far far sooner.
While Trump may be out of the White House for now, his legacy lives on through the record-breaking number of judges he confirmed during his presidency, as well as through the supporters he inspired — many of whom entered Congress for the first time in 2020 and have proven to be reliably crazy since then (“Jewish space lasers”, anyone?). For all the horrors of the Trump years, it’s notable that the most regressive of his aims are only now beginning to take shape — Roe v Wade, for instance, looks set to either be repealed or severely curtailed this Summer. Additionally, we are witnessing the most aggressive attempt to push back LGBT+ rights this century.
All around us, it seems as though decades of progress — fought for against the highest of stakes — are crumbling
The strides America made regarding LGBT+ rights in the 2010s were unparalleled in their scope and speed. At the start of the decade, less than half of all Americans supported same-sex marriage, by the end, that number stood a little above two-thirds. This sharp change in opinion stands in stark contrast to that of a number of social issues; namely abortion, where public opinion has remained practically deadlocked for two decades and counting.
Perhaps the backlash to the rapid advancement in LGBT+ rights was inevitable — it didn’t feel so at the time, though it’s sure starting to now. Recently, Florida’s state senate passed the so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill…