Our beautiful, slowly improving, two-steps-forward-one-step-back country took a giant step backward yesterday.
We lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people made America see love and sex and family differently. In 2004, George W. Bush won the election by vilifying us — and we fought back.
We fought back so successfully that we helped elect an African-American president who lit the White House in rainbow, who chose an attorney general who said to the transgender community, “…the Department of Justice and the entire Obama administration wants you to know that we see you; we stand with you; and we will do everything we can to protect you going forward.”
And now this.
It hurts. As a woman, a Jew, a queer it hurts that so many people yearn for a white, straight, Christian America that never existed. It hurts that ambition is a bad thing for a woman to have. It hurts that we have made our country a more perfect union, but the racism built into our founding has still not been repealed, and the civil war is still not over.
Lambda Legal will hold the line when our rights are under attack. We know how to fight the government in the courts when the other branches are closed off — we did it in those dark years after 2004, and still we made progress. We will do it again now — and this time Americans know who we are and stand with us.
We will fight back in our beautiful diversity and without compromise. We will fight back as LGBT people of color, Muslims, immigrants and refugees. As my friend Cristina Jimenez, head of the immigration leader United We Dream, wrote early this morning, we are here to stay.