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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