General elections tend to bring out the absolute worst in people.
Nearly seven years of Barack Obama will certainly have let you know which of your friends are racists through their angrily typed Facebook posts, speckled with excess punctuation.
While politicians may know that the keys to the White House pass through gay-loving young people, said young people haven’t yet reached the critical mass to force LGBT equality through the fossils that collect up on Capitol Hill.
So it should be no surprise that, with 18 months of presidential campaigning ahead of us, our people are going to be skewered in a high profile manner multiple times. And those who don’t believe in our right to be treated equally will bleat on about how unfair it is that our supporters are rude to them when they shit on the idea of two people they have never met participating in a civil marriage so that, for example, they can live in the same country as each other and pay taxes as a household.
This aggrieved target market is ripe for the plucking by the many-carriaged train chuffing down the GOP railway. If we still had conservative Democrats—they are rarer now than a parking space at Mary Mac’s—they’d probably be joining the procession of people who like to use the blades of Bible verses, free of context, to hack away at things they don’t like.
Already in Texas, the legislature is stuffing through a bill that says churches and pastors are exempt from having to host or officiate a gay wedding. The first amendment ensures this exemption already, and it is not exactly like our people are pushing for homophobic officiants, but isn’t it just nice to hand a little extra fuck-you to gay people, just in case the electorate forgot how much those in charge love Jesus.
Transgender people will definitely get it in the neck. Even in liberal states the simple bathroom question is being thrown around in fashion so stupid it’s being worn by Björk. And the continually growing list of slaughtered transgender people, 11 that we know of in 2015, will remain in the filing cabinet of things no one gives a shit about.
And if we get same-sex marriage when the Supreme Court rules in June, which we’re kind of expecting, puff-faced Huckabees and Santorums and Carsons will continue to compare our relationships to Nazis and our marriages to bestiality and our orgies unfit for Piedmont Park.
It was only two and a half years ago that every single Republican presidential candidate stood by and watched a gay army veteran get booed by a crowd, and not one had enough valor to defend him (again, in case the crowd doubted they possessed an acceptable level of bigotry).
While I have mentioned many times that the fight over marriage equality is really a small one relative to the smorgasbord of rights that actually ensure our equality, marriage is going to be used as a proxy for just about everything that involves not liking gays very much.
So when your presidential contenders bang on about traditional marriage, you can slot in transgender rights, employment nondiscrimination, changing documents to fit your gender, hate crime legislation, education of LGBT+ history, and in some cases, hospital visits, along with hoping to hell that there is a country in the world respectful of your marriage that one of you can get a visa to. My American husband and I were lucky to have the insurance policy of South African residency if the Supreme Court didn’t deal with the Defense of Marriage Act in 2012.
Your next president will likely choose four Supreme Court justices. Think about that when you listen to presidential contenders proclaim how little they think of us.