Thanksgiving has come and gone. I stayed in the City and cooked at home with good friends, too much food, too much wine, and way too much Bourbon Punch, but the 48-hour “food coma” that followed was almost worth it. Now, in rapid succession we move toward Christmas, New Years, Mardi Gras, and the beat goes on and on. Pace yourself, plan ahead, and enjoy every minute of the fun and good times this time of year has to offer in New Orleans.
What in the world is wrong with the people of Alabama? How did they propel a lunatic fringe candidate like Roy Moore to the runoff for the United States Senate? How many more angry white men do we need in public office? To our readers in Alabama: PLEASE vote and ask everyone you know to vote! Simply put, there is no way in hell you can vote for Roy Moore.
It is always difficult to appreciate or even understand how things could go bad so quickly, particularly for those of us who live in this “protective bubble” we have created in New Orleans. Remember, it was not that long ago, when opportunistic publicity hungry politicians would routinely raid the gay bars at election time, when the police would harass and brutalize gay or “perceived gay” persons just for being themselves.
In the span of just a relatively few short years, we saw a sea change in most of these things. We got very comfortable, we came out, we became visible, we made a difference, some of us got married, and yet – with one election in 2016 – Donald Trump has put everything at risk. He has given voice and validation to every hate filled religious fanatic and every however small lunatic fringe group on the horizon. Any glance at the rogue gallery of misfits and fanatics who make up his nominees for lifetime appointments to the Federal Bench should strike terror into the hearts of not only the LGBTQ community, but of everyone who has even a remote appreciation of the constitution.
All of the “buzz word/ catch phrase” hot buttons are being pulled out once again, including “states rights” “religious freedom,” “federal overreach,” and “activist judges,” but in the end it is about one thing. Are we just a collection of 50 little fiefdoms each making its own way and rules to live by, or are we in fact “one nation” with rights and privileges and responsibilities to that nation and to each other as citizens? Do the fundamental rights apply to all? Does a high school diploma from one state have the same basic value in the world because of the standards set as a “United State of America” as part of the American Nation? Can any Citizen be assured of the rights as guaranteed in the Constitution or will they be applied differently as we cross state lines? The current administration in Washington has fundamentally different answers to these and so many other questions which we have come to take for granted. The LGBT community must be concerned and stay forever vigilant in our defense of the hard fought and hardwon battles of the recent past.