GOP Agenda: Rolling Back Rights in 2011


It is just not a great week to be a woman and/or gay, and also happen to enjoy having rights in America.

First, Justica Scalia goes and declares that the Constitution just isn’t meant to cover you and your rights. Now, the Republicans are about to take back the House, and they’re making it crystal clear whose rights they’re coming after first.

TPMDC reports that at the RNC chair debate yesterday, candidates pledged to “hold the line” on gay rights, despite growing national support for LGBTQI rights and protections. Wisconsin GOP chair Reince Priebus, the man who seems most likely to replace current RNC chair Steele, for example, made it clear he saw no legal case for gay marriage when he said “I don’t believe that judges can rewrite the Constitution and redraft what marriage is…I think there is a sanctity of marriage.”

Ignoring the increasingly tolerant and positive attitudes of your constituents to promote bigotry and to roll back the rights of minority groups? That doesn’t sound like the best use of your newfound power in the House.

And as if that weren’t bad enough, Kaili Joy Gray of the Daily Kos describes a coming war on women that will accompany the imminent GOP majority. “Many Republicans in Congress, and in state legislatures around the country, have promised to pursue… the further restriction of women’s reproductive rights,” she writes, including a plan to defund Planned Parenthood — you know, the largest pregnancy prevention and sexual health provider in the country. These leaders include the incoming Speaker of the House, John Boehner, who we all know to be a staunch opponent of women’s reproductive rights, with a 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee. Gray puts it well:

Despite Republicans’ promises to re-dedicate the government to focusing on the “real” problems Americans face, it is abundantly clear that they are, in fact, dedicated to restoking the flames of the culture wars, with the battle to strip women of their reproductive rights front and center in that war. The real question is whether self-described pro-choice Democrats, including and especially the president, will have the strength to fight back. Because this is a war women can’t afford to lose.

I join Gray in her call for Democratic courage in the face of this anti-woman and anti-LGBTQI GOP agenda. Dems, your pro-choice, pro-woman, and pro-LGBTQI constituents- and there are a lot of us– are watching you, and we have high hopes. Losing the majority is no excuse for us losing our rights.

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is a writer and advocate focusing on race, gender, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition to serving as an Executive Director at Feministing, Lori is the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Lori has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Human Rights Watch, and has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, The Grio, and the New York Times Magazine. She regularly appears on radio and television, and has spoken at college campuses across the U.S. about topics like the politics of black hair, transnational movement building, and the undercover feminism of Nicki Minaj. In 2014, she was named to The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and to the Forbes Magazine list of the "30 Under 30" successful people in media.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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