Voting Rights Is an LGBT Rights Fight

As we mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, it is a good time to state clearly and unequivocally that voting rights is an LGBT issue. The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy and the fundamental right upon which all our civil liberties rest. Congressional action to restore the landmark law and remedy key voter protections lost in the Supreme Court’s disastrous Shelby County decision  is of immense importance to the LGBT community. 

Voter suppression tactics are often used to silence some of the most vulnerable members of the LGBT community. In particular, voter ID laws that require voters to present a photo ID that matches their gender identity can block many transgender and gender nonconforming people from voting. Many transgender individuals find obtaining an updated ID that accurately reflects their gender identity to be incredibly difficult.  And, many transgender individuals fear the stigma they will face at the polling place if they do not have the “proper ID.”

Asher Schor, a former ACLU client in Pennsylvania, is one of those people.  The photo on his ID was taken before his transition and the official sex still read “female” and Asher worried that the discrepancy between his identification documents and his gender identity could lead to confusion and a higher level of needless and potentially embarrassing scrutiny from poll workers.  He decided to challenge the Pennsylvania voter ID law  because he wanted to make sure his vote counted and that other transgender individuals could vote in peace.  Pennsylvania’s law was ultimately struck down, but similar laws in other states that discriminate against the transgender community still remain on the books.

Congress now has two bills on the table – the Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Voting Rights Amendment Act – that would restore the Voting Rights Act.   Congress needs to act to pass legislation that will enhance the ability of federal courts to order a state or jurisdiction to have its voting changes pre-approved if the court finds any violation of the Voting Rights Act based on discriminatory intent or result, including those resulting from photo ID laws. This week a coalition of LGBT groups and the ACLU announced support of the Voting Rights Advancement Act, because too many eligible transgender and gender nonconforming voters like Asher Schor face being left out of the democratic process due to onerous and discriminatory efforts to suppress the vote.  Restoring the Voting Rights Act is an essential first step towards the eradication of these discriminatory efforts and one step closer to a more inclusive electorate.

 

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Anonymous

"Asher Schor, a former ACLU client in Pennsylvania, is one of those people. The photo on his ID was taken before his transition and the official sex still read “female” and Asher worried that the discrepancy between his identification documents and his gender identity could lead to confusion and a higher level of needless and potentially embarrassing scrutiny from poll workers."

-Any change is supposed to be reported. If you can legally get in trouble for not updating something like your address, then you definitely ought to be REQUIRED to get a new photo ID. Your fear of being embarrassed or harassed is no excuse. If someone there gives you crap, you then have legal grounds for recourse... but your fear of accepting your new identity (which is what it really is - you're too scared to live like the person you claim to want to be) because "someone might laugh or attack me" is self-defeating.

Anonymous

Good to know there are pieces of shit like you in the world. Gold star, asshole.

James Mitchell, Jr

I am mitchell4president16.com.
Another item in this debate is ballot access for candidates that do not have buckets of gold to overcome state election codes that are financially insurmountable. Arizona for example in 2006 required only an affidavit. New Hampshire was $1000.00 .Illinois my home state had a large signature requiremeet per Congressional District. THE Privatization of the Presidential Debates is a clear example of disenfranchisement of candidates. The networks continue this practice, yet there should be equal access under the Fed rules for access to the American Public. There are electronic responses that could be tallied on a regular basis allowing the public to review our comments in parallel to the debates allowing us an opportunity to participate on an intellectual level. Instead we have the car us of high school trash talk that is pathetic at best and not useful in moving America forward with a better agenda.
It is truly unfortunate for America to have wealthy supporters of and elite that can'take govern effectively preventing matters like voter discrimination, jobs, municipal debt and other chicanery of leadership. If I had the wherewithal, I would file a class action suit to bring the Presidential Committee to heal regarding the disenfranchisement.
Please comment at mitchell4president16.com.
Thank you

Anonymous

Its not just lgbt rights but instead all voter rights that have been taken away long ago, we all know that the next president has already been elected by the elite and that the people's votes do not matter, all this campaining is for the birds, the people do not have rights and that includes all color and all genders period. WAKE UP AMERICA it's all a facade, nothing is what it appears to be, we are fed lie after lie by mainstream liers, predidential puppets and brainwashed celebrities (also victims). WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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