The Intersection of Pro-Choice Women in Office and the LGBTQIA+ Community

Now more than ever, representation in government is vital to protecting our rights. We have seen an onslaught of attacks on reproductive health care, gender-affirming care, and more anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation than in decades. Run Women Run is fighting back by getting more pro-choice women elected into office. 

You may wonder how women’s rights are linked to LGBTQIA+ equality. The rights of both communities are aligned. In speaking to these shared interests, Julianna S. Gonen writes in an article from Alliance for Justice. She says, “We seek the freedom to form our families on our own terms – to partner with and marry whom we love, to have children or not, and to live as our true selves as determined by us, not by someone else.” Our rights are intertwined. If you are fighting for one you are fighting for all. We saw this in the first Title VII case the Supreme Court heard. Title VII makes it illegal to be hired or fired based on your sex. Ida Phillips was not hired at a job due to her having preschool age children. Even though she was a white woman, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund represented her. The lawyers believed that if Title VII couldn’t protect a white woman from discrimination, then jobs could discriminate against race, sexuality, etc. As the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Director, Ria Tabacco Mar, states, “The unanimous victory in that case laid the foundation for what we think of as modern anti-discrimination law.” 

Gender equality is not as simple as a male and female binary issue. The attacks on abortion access and reproductive care do not just impact cisgender women who can become pregnant. It impacts transgender men and non-binary people who can become pregnant. As the opinion piece was leaked we saw that other rights protected by the 14th Amendment such as same-sex marriage can be rolled back. In a Teen Vogue article, the author Namrata Verghese writes, “Even though Alito does not tackle issues other than abortion, his methodology suggests that any right not explicitly enshrined in the Constitution may be on the chopping block.” This includes cases like Griswold v. Connecticut (which found laws that banned birth control to be unconstitutional), Loving v. Virginia (laws against interracial marriage were found to be unconstitutional), and Obergefell v. Hodges (which legalized same-sex marriage). Representation in government will move our country forward instead of taking us back decades. 

 Fundamentally, reproductive rights, sexual orientation rights, and gender identity rights are all about people’s rights to live their authentic and free lives. Ria Tabacco Mar, says, “Gender justice is really about ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to structure their lives and thrive, regardless of gender, unlimited by gender stereotypes.” Our government is currently lacking in representation needed to move our country forward. Pro-choice women candidates will help drive this change. For our country to succeed, we must work on helping everyone succeed.

Roe and Privacy Rights: The Risk to Birth Control, Gay Marriage, and More - Teen Vogue

How Women’s Rights Paved the Way for Gender Justice at the ACLU - ACLU