It’s Been a Pretty Great Day for Progressives, but Don’t Get Complacent

photoIt’s a pretty wonderful day when Justices Scalia and Roberts vote on the correct side of a Supreme Court decision and strike down Prop 8. Granted it was a technicality on which they decided that Hollingsworth v. Perry was unconstitutional, but even a broken Supreme Court gets it right once in awhile. I would have liked them to declare all bans on equal rights as being in violation of the Constitution, but unfortunately, justice moves at a painfully slow pace.

Whether it was Prop 8, DOMA or the courageous stand by state Senator Wendy Davis of Texas last night, it’s been a great 24 hours for progressives. For everyone who has worked to make a difference, thank you.

But let’s not rest on our laurels now, as much as you may want to. Even as you read this, the religious right and the Tea Party are cooking up new legislation to restrict rights of all kinds. Whether it is women’s health, the right to unionize, voting or equality, while you’re basking in the glory of the moment, they’re hard at work to turn back everything we’ve just accomplished. How do I know this? I have people in my own family that make a living lobbying for greater restrictions on abortion, repealing the Affordable Care Act, privatizing schools, denying basic rights to same-sex couples and even trying to block access to contraception. Every day, they get up and go to work at this — and every day, I do what I can to somehow offset their very well-funded efforts.

Do not stand idly by and think that signing a petition here or there somehow will negate the constant attempts to roll back all the progress we’ve made. Don’t think you can ignore politics until 2014 or even 2016. There’s elections going on at your local and state levels which are just as important.

We have won a battle but one battle does not equal winning the war. The tide is turning slowly but surely and we cannot stop until we have equal protection under the law for all Americans, not just rich, white, heterosexual Christian men. We need all hands on deck.

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  • Mary G.

    Sigh. It’s like laundry. You get it all washed, dried, folded, hung and put away. Then another day comes, and another grubby shirt. Socks happen.

  • December27

    I agree–let’s celebrate, then get back to work. Who would have imagined that, 50 years after the fact, we would be seeing wholesale reversals of civil rights victories? Or what’s happening to abortion, and women’s reproductive rights generally? It will take vigilance to keep progress going forward and prevent setbacks on this issue as well.

  • otis

    it really is sad that the “freedoms” our founding “fathers” wrote in the constitution only apply to the “wasps” of america… that the civil war was apparently fought for nothing and those thousands of poor men (and women in disguise) who fought and died to end slavery are forgotten as meaningless….. the boston tea party in the bay was to get out from under the same sort of restrictions that the new “tea party” is now trying to impose on us… taxation without representation….. oh and if you are too young to remember what a wasp is….. White Anglo Saxon Protestant…. apparently the only group allowed to live that american dream…… so sad

  • Spinnaker

    2014 will be upon us before we know it. After the SCOTUS decision on the VRA, many jurisdictions will actively try to keep people with whom they disagree away from the polls. WE MUST NOT LET THIS HAPPEN!!!! The next two election cycles may well decide whether we survive as a democracy.