Politics Unusual

Politics Unsual

Democrats lose, but not by much

Did you even vote?

Poll PlaceIt’s time we faced the facts: The 2014 midterm elections are over, Democrats are licking their wounds after tough losses at almost every level of government, and so many people just stayed home and didn’t even bother to vote. Nationwide, just over a third of the voting population actually made it to the polls, resulting in huge wins for Republicans, but they eked those wins out by mostly slim margins.

Here in Florida, people are in for another round of anti-LGBT, pro-life Rick Scott at the helm, aPU__Rick-Scott_Copylongside the traditional marriage (and divorce too!) defender, Attorney General Pam Bondi. The race for governor was a close call, with Scott getting fewer than 62,000 more votes than Republican Independent Democratic Party candidate Charlie Crist. Let´s take a quick look at how JUST MIAMI-DADE COUNTY could have changed the results. In the election, there were 304,138 votes cast for Crist, while there are 553,771 registered Democrats as of September 2014. Can you see where I’m going here? More than 200,000 registered Democrats didn’t freaking vote! It’s really frustrating when apathy on the part of the electorate can have such a profound effect on real people’s lives. OUR LIVES!

Nationally, the results were more of the same. Republicans, who by and large, still tend to be anti-gay, benefited from low voter turnout, taking control of the Senate and maintaining control of the House of Representatives. How the Grand Old Party will govern over the next few years remains to be seen, but they now feel like they have a mandate from voters to stifle the President and continue their primary goal of overturning the Affordable Care Act.

Here are my takeaways on the midterms and then I will move on. If you are poor, sick, a woman, African-American, Latino, or LGBT  you´re f–ked, politically speaking, at least for the next few years. So, if you are a Black Latina Lesbian, hang it up, your views are no longer welcome (as if they ever were) in this government.

Okay, sorry about the profanity-laced tirade, but if you may remember, we have even more bad news. As soon as the election was over and the incessant political ads finally ended, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld marriage equality bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The ruling marked an end to a long string of victories for the LGBT community. The judge who wrote the 2-1 decision stated “the right to marry in general and the right to gay marriage in particular, nowhere appear in the Constitution. That route for recognizing a fundamental right to same-sex marriage does not exist.”

Looking at the silver lining of the ruling, pundits quickly pointed out this case sets the Supreme Court up to FINALLY issue a definitive decision that would apply to the entire country. Earlier this year, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg indicated that the SCOTUS would have reason to act quickly if the 6th Circuit upheld the bans in its states, thus creating differing opinions that the high court could decide once and for all. This could be the case that brings marriage equality to all Americans, so the set-back could lead to huge gains that would continue the momentum built since the last ruling in the Windsor and Prop 8 cases.

LGBTThe LGBT community has had a bit of good news since early November. Pro-equality rulings in Missouri and in South Carolina were handed down, but they were stayed in both states. In Missouri some couples were able to marry before Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a temporary emergency stay halting marriages, which as of press time have not begun anew. Once marriages begin in earnest in South Carolina and Missouri, the number of states with marriage equality will be 34. We must not lose sight of the fact that less than a year, the number of states has doubled. We are well on our way, and we won’t quit until everyone has the right to marry the person they love.