A new column by Troy Price
Vice-chair Iowa Democratic Party – Stonewall Caucus
I was driving in my car in June 2015, listening to the radio when they broke in for a special report – the US Supreme Court had just released their decision in Obergefell v. Hodges stating that marriage equality was now the law of the land.
I pulled over on the side of the road and cried. While my husband and I had been married for nearly two years at this point, it still was overwhelming. This was something that we were told would never happen. But the LGBT community did not stop, we did not quit, and we kept fighting in cities, states, and across the country, until it became the law of the land.
I thought at that time that our community was finally making the progress that had so long been denied. But then came Donald Trump.
Four years ago, Trump and the GOP was swept into office up and down the ballot, many progressives and people in marginal communities had hope that it wouldn’t be that bad. He said a lot of crazy things on the campaign trail, but once in office he would level out. Unfortunately, they were wrong.
We have watched in horror as policy after policy has been enacted rolling back the progress for our community. The Trump Administration has ended protections for Transgender students and reinstated a ban on Transgender individuals serving in our armed forces. They have proposed a new rule that would allow health care providers to discriminate against LGBTQ patients. Last week, Trump’s labor department proposed a rule that would overturn an Obama-era executive order banning discrimination against LGBTQ individuals by federal contractors. And, this Administration even banned the Pride flag from flying outside embassies during Pride month.
Closer to home, the GOP controlled state house banned Medicaid funds to be used for medically necessary transition-related surgeries for Transgender individuals and has yet to take any action banning the barbaric practice of conversion therapy.
Who knows where we will be with four more years of GOP control in Washington or Des Moines. The good news is – we have a chance to end all of this in just two short months.
On November 3rd, we can elect politicians that will put us back on the path to progress here in Iowa and across the country. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have long records of fighting for our community. US Senate Candidate Theresa Greenfield is a champion for our community. Democratic candidates for Congress and the Statehouse stand ready to pass legislation ending Republican restrictions on our freedom, and enacting policies that will move us forward once again.
So, make sure to fill out your absentee ballot request. When your ballot comes, immediately return it. Talk to your friends, neighbors, and loved ones as well about the importance of this election.
Make sure you do everything you can to get the vote out this year. Act as your life depends upon it, because for the lives and livelihoods of so many people – including the LGBTQ community – it does. TP