Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD CEO & President, joined Advocate Today on Monday with Senior Correspondent Tracy E. Gilchrist, to discuss what’s at stake 50 days away from the 2022 midterm election.
“When you think of the rights the LGBTQ community has at the federal level, they are held together with tape by the Supreme Court,” said Ellis. “Those nine justices decide whether or not we are able to get married or [if] we are able to hold jobs in this country, and when we can see a pretty hostile Supreme Court against human rights, we get very concerned.”
One of those motivating ballot issues held by tape is marriage equality.
Ellis mentions the indispensable Respect for Marriage Act whose vote has been delayed until after the election. The delay, pushed by senators, has hopes of helping to garner the 10 necessary Republican votes to pass the bill into law, which would codify Obergefell and protect marriage equality from being overturned by the Supreme Court. At this moment, there is too much at stake for voters to believe that marriage equality isn’t as threatened as reproductive rights.
Gilchrist also asks Ellis about GLAAD’s “I Say Vote” campaign, which came as a direct response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Reading a small variety of scripts, LGBTQ celebrities and allies like Laverne Cox, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Ariana DeBose looked into the camera to promise their support to the LGBTQ community, to vote and to encourage others to do the same. “We decided to utilize our strongest names and allies within our community to ensure people got to the ballot box,” said Ellis.
This year voting is an assertion of democracy to protecting the youngest of our LGBTQ community, says Ellis. As numerous anti-LGBTQ and anti-trans bills sweep the legislature, like Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s new school policy which forces and transfers the rights of trans youth to parents, Ellis encourages the community to use collective power to win equality this election season.
“Our mission at GLAAD is to make sure, in key races across the country – that’s going to make the difference in us holding the house and gaining traction in the senate – that we are showing up as a community to vote and that our allies are showing up to vote,” said Ellis. “We know they vote up and down the ballot for equality when they show up.”
GLAAD has hope in 2022.
“We need you out there. We need you registered, first and foremost, and we need you voting,” Ellis said. “This year, unlike other years, the opposition is creating as many barriers for you to vote as possible. Think about how powerful your vote is if the other side is trying so hard to make it impossible for you to vote. We want to make sure everyone understands what’s at risk and how to get to the ballot box.”
See the whole interview above. Check your registration at www.GLAAD.org/vote today! We will see you at the polls and drop boxes!