Usually, at this time of summer, I am eager to enthusiastically wish everyone a Happy Fourth of July. But not this year. I have always been proud of being an American, especially after same-sex marriage was legalized in 2015. But no more.
When Donald Trump was elected President I was pretty leary of what he might do to the LGBTQ community and in particular my same-sex marriage. With every attack from his administration on gays, immigrants, Blacks, Muslims, and women, my paranoia grew. When I saw Conservatives, mainly Christian Conservatives, viciously attack Roe vs Wade and call for its repeal and call for the repeal of all LGBTQ rights, as well, I became increasingly alarmed. My Republican friends and many political pundits said not to worry, it will never happen. They are now legal precedents and part of our American culture and our rights as Americans. Well, guess what? They were all wrong.
Trump’s picks for SCOTUS were given a mission by the GOP, the Federalist Society, and the Christian Right. Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett are all Roman Catholics, belonging to a radical faction of that religion. All three were pushed through by McConnell, regardless of their qualifications, and accusations of sexual misconduct, on Kavanaugh’s part. They were not entirely vetted by the FBI, at the behest of the Trump administration. Their mission was to destroy Roe vs Wade, repeal same-sex marriage, ban contraceptives, and limit voting rights with a preference given to whites and Republicans.
In 10 days the Supreme Court for the first time in American history took away rights from the American people. They banned abortion and took away the rights of all American women to control their health and reproductive rights. They destroyed the time-honored tradition of Separation of Church and State, undoubtedly favoring the Christian faith. They weakened gun control laws making it easier to carry concealed weapons, thus making it easier for more of our children to be slaughtered in their classrooms. At least the children will be able to be led in prayer as they are being massacred by an AR-15! Finally, SCOTUS sided with the fossil fuel industry instead of the health and safety of future generations, in America and worldwide, by stripping the EPA and other environmental regulatory agencies of their powers.
In his majority opinion on the repeal of Roe vs Wade, Clarence Thomas made it clear that they would “revisit” the decisions on contraception and same-sex marriage. The court is now in recess until October, but there is an item on their docket that could take away our freedom to vote. That item would allow state legislatures to overturn the popular vote in the individual states. This means that if a Democrat wins the vote in a state with a Republican state legislature, the legislature could overturn the vote and award the state to the Republican candidate. If they allow this to happen our democracy is over.
If the Republicans retake the House and Senate, Biden will become the last Democrat to serve as President. Soon after the Republicans return to power, same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights will be gone, women’s rights will be further eroded, voting rights will be severely restricted, Civil rights will be curtailed, First Amendment rights will disappear, and a Christo-fascist authoritarian government will be installed.
I can hear the fireworks from our community’s Fourth of July celebration as I am writing this article. I cannot be excited as women’s rights are being taken away, and my rights are on the chopping block. I cannot be excited about being an American because, to me, this year’s celebration seems more like a deathwatch. If people don’t vote the Republican fascists out of office in November, the next July Fourth will be a funeral. A funeral for our democracy and our once cherished freedoms.