Democracy at stake, 4th of July 2024

25 years ago my wife and I launched, the world's first online wedding resource dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community. It's hard to believe it's been a quarter of a century, but the calendar tells me it has... and my greying hair seems to also tell a similar tale.

During that span of time, we've witnessed a great many things, and several election cycles. Most of them quite heated, some more contentious than others. Divisiveness has been sown, scapegoats have been named, the rights of the LGBTQ+ minority have been vollied like a ping pong ball to incite voters to cast their ballots one way or another. Death threats to us, personally, and threats to our little company, have spiked and then plateaued. It's been a volatile time.

I could go on for several paragraphs about the milestones we've seen and celebrated across the United States, the landmark decisions we have witnessed, the courageous LGBTQ+ heroes we have lauded... about the LGBTQ+ wedding expos our company has produced, about the tens of thousands of vendors and couples across the country we have met, chatted with, and had the honor to support and moreover to learn from. But my post today is focused on one point, and it's a vital one.

Yesterday's SCOTUS decision, July 1, 2024, regarding presidential immunity has ramifications for our entire country, in ways that can easily be extrapolated well into the future. This goes beyond the looming threat of another Trump presidency, but that in and of itself is a hurdle we must soon face.

So many things are on the ballot this Fall: LGBTQ+ rights, certainly... and also more broadly civll rights of so many factions throughout the country, national security, climate issues, education, social security, immigration, serious economic issues, student debt, our standing in the international community, and so much more. :The willingness to hold Truth as recognizable, and non-negotiable. The unwavering belief that Democracy based on the foundational principle "We the People" must not be swept aside with a pen.

Throughout many decades in this nation, even well before Stonewall, members of the LGBTQ+ community have found ways to forge onward and enact progress through grassroots efforts. We have found ways to mobilize ourselves, uplift others, keep an eye on expanding the vision of equality in America. And now, in 2024, it is time to re-energize ourselves, despite the swirling chaos, distrust and weariness, and the disheartening headlines: to dig even deeper and take further substantive action.

Obergefell will likely be overturned in the next year or two, no matter what happens with the presidential election. But we must not lose heart. Anti-trans legislation will still be proposed at the local, state and federal levels in the months ahead. But we must not let that overshadow our convictions. We must not let any of the headlines or threats or injustices deter our stamina nor our willingness to head to the ballot box.

This year, perhaps more than any other in recent history, as a community of active citizens, we have a vital job to do.

We must inform ourselves and vote mindfully up and down the ticket in November. Too much is at stake.

This year's election we're voting not just for political intangibles or lofty concepts, we're voting yes or no for Democracy itself.




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