By Joel S. Slotnick
Forty-years ago, I voted in my first election and can’t think of one I have missed. It is not only my civic responsibility, it is a right not everyone in our world has. Voting is just one of many ways to voice our opinion. We may not always get the results we hope for when we vote, but I’d rather lose knowing I spoke up in some form. Nothing frosts my backside more than people who don’t vote, yet do nothing but blame everyone else for the results.
On March 15, 2016, it will be Florida’s time to vote in the Primary Election. One of many things I consider when I vote is the person who has my back, not who wants to put a knife in it.
Yes, I realize there is more to a candidate than what they feel about the LGBT community, but it’s an important part of today’s world, especially since “We” seem to be part of their topic, and not everyone is happy about that.
I did a bit of research when it comes to “Us.” I chose the most current commentary I could find from each of the remaining “prominent” candidates on both sides of the party lines.
TED CRUZ: (Towerload 2/18/16) “Again touching on Obergefell, Cruz said, “I think that decision was fundamentally illegitimate. It was lawless. It was completely inconsistent with the constitution. It will not stand.”
As for so-called “religious liberty”, Cruz added, “[I]f I’m elected president I intend on the first day I enter office to instruct… every government agency that the persecution of religious liberty ends today.”
HILLARY CLINTON: (CBS News 6/27/15) “This morning love triumphed in the highest court in our land,” she said, before quoting from the majority decision passed down earlier Friday, and allowed same-sex couples to marry. “They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law and the Constitution grants them that right.”
Clinton took aim at her Republican opponents, chiding them for their objections to the Supreme Court’s rulings on both same-sex marriage and, earlier in the week, the Affordable Care Act.
Many of the Republican candidates “seemed determined to lead us right back into the past,” she said. Without naming him, Clinton called out Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has yet to announce his bid for the Oval Office, for his suggestion of a constitutional amendment to reinstate the power of the states to define marriage.
“Instead of trying to turn back the clock,” Clinton said to applause, “they should be joining us in saying loudly and clearly no, no to discrimination once and for all.”
MARCO RUBIO: (Media ITE) “We are going to be a country that says life begins at conception and the life is worthy of the protection of our laws. We are going to be a country that says a marriage is between one man and one woman.”
BERNIE SANDERS: (Bernie Sanders website): “Senator Sanders has been a longtime supporter of LGBT rights. In 1983, during his first term as Mayor of Burlington, Sen. Sanders supported the city’s first ever Pride Parade. He later signed a city ordinance banning housing discrimination.
When he served in the House of Representatives, then-Congressman Sanders voted against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 1993 and the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” in 1996. Sen. Sanders hailed the landmark Supreme Court decisions in 2013 and 2015 which struck down DOMA and recognized same-sex marriage is a right in all 50 states, calling the decisions a “victory for same-sex couples across our country as well as all those seeking to live in a nation where every citizen is afforded equal rights.”
DONALD TRUMP: (Towerload 2/18/16) “While appearing on a show called The Brody File on The Christian Broadcasting Network, Trump responded to claims made by the Log Cabin Republicans that he is the most pro-gay candidate currently running in the GOP primary for president. As Right Wing Watch points out, Trump replied, “Well I haven’t heard. I have not heard that at all.”
Host David Brody pressed Trump, “Well, what’s your reaction that because there are evangelicals out there that want to be able to trust you on traditional marriage and other issues.” Trump responded, “I think they can trust me. They can trust me on traditional marriage.”
So, there you have it, words out of their mouths, whether you believe them or not. Though it is something that still baffles me, there will be many LGBT persons voting for the candidates who would like to send them to another island, tell them their relationships shouldn’t or don’t exist or want to send them far, far away – and that’s just to start. To each her/his own. Either way, no matter how, just make sure you VOICE YOUR CHOICE AND VOTE! No excuses accepted!
I leave you with the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt: Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.
Rev. Joel S. Slotnick is an ordained Interfaith minister and full time digital court reporter for the state of Florida. He can be found on Facebook and followed on Twitter.