A look at our options

clintonAmerica chooses a president, U.S. Senators, and everyone takes a break from nasty TV ads Nov. 8.
The LGBTQ community has a lot at stake in next week’s election.

The platforms of Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are slugging it out for 270 Electoral College votes. Their platforms on our community’s top issues reveal much:

From the Democratic Party platform, which Clinton enthusiastically endorses:
“Democrats will fight for the continued development of sex discrimination law to cover LGBT people. We will also fight for comprehensive federal nondiscrimination protections for all LGBT Americans, to guarantee equal rights in areas such as housing, employment, public accommodations, credit, jury service, education, and federal funding. We will oppose all state efforts to discriminate against LGBT individuals, including legislation that restricts the right to access public spaces. We support a progressive vision of religious freedom that respects pluralism and rejects the misuse of religion to discriminate.”

From the Republican Party platform, which Trump has pledged to carry out if elected: “We condemn the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor, which wrongly removed the ability of Congress to define marriage policy in federal law. We also condemn the Supreme Court’s lawless ruling in Obergefell v Hodges, which in the words of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, was a “judicial Putsch”— full of “silly extravagances”— that reduced “the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Storey to the mystical aphorisms of a fortune cookie.” In Obergefell, five unelected lawyers robbed 320 million Americans of their legitimate constitutional authority to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. “
The Republican nominee has further promised to support a Constitutional Amendment which would reverse the Windsor and Obergefell decisions, as well as the appointment of Supreme Court justices who would reverse the landmark rulings.

Also on the ballot, although far behind in every reliable poll, is Libertarian Gary Johnson. From the Libertarian platform:
“Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.” And regard¬ing full LGBTQ_civil rights, if obliquely:
“Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and must accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. Our support of an individual’s right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices. No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.”

trumpAs a sidelight, voters can learn much from a presidential candidate’s choice for vice president.

Trump chose Indiana’s governor — known best for his defiant refusal to back away from a controversial “religious freedom” law in 2015, which was showcased worldwide.
Clinton chose Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a moderate harmonica-playing former governor. Vanilla, said some. But non-controversial, low-keyed, a former mayor and a “doer” in Washington.

Johnson chose former Massachuetts Gov. William Weld, a Republican-turned-Libertarian, whose policy brilliance was sorely needed on the campaign trail.

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