Rainbow Votes 2020
2 min

Why should LGBTQ2 Canadians care about the U.S. election?

What can you expect from our next edition of Rainbow Votes 2020? Here’s The Brief for Sept. 21

Canadian and American flags together, illustrating why the U.S. election matters for LGBTQ2 Canadians.
Credit: The Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward; Francesca Roh/Xtra

In this week’s Rainbow Votes 2020, Xtra’s U.S. political correspondent Nico Lang explores the hurdles trans voters will have to overcome at the polls this November, and yours truly reminds LGBTQ2 Canadians what’s at stake for us as our southern neighbours pick a new president.

Here’s what’s in store for this week’s Rainbow Votes 2020. (And remember: The Brief is just your sneak peek into our new U.S. election newsletter. Subscribe now to get the full version, featuring exclusive interviews, analysis and Q&As.)

Politics and the 49th parallel

Remember when former prime minister Pierre Trudeau famously called being the U.S.’s neighbour akin to “sleeping with an elephant”? Some 50 years later, that sentiment still rings true—and with a presidential election looming, Canadians have plenty at stake. I look at how LGBTQ2 Canadians will be affected by the next president of the United States—regardless of who takes the top job.

Gatekeeping the vote

A new study finds more than 370,000 trans voters could be disenfranchised at the polls this November—that’s roughly the population of New Orleans. Lang explores the barriers in place that keep trans voters from casting their ballots, and what it could mean for election results.


This week’s news roundup will focus on what feels like the only story anyone is talking about: the sudden vacancy on the Supreme Court following Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. Ginsburg, a liberal stalwart who was just the second woman to be appointed to the court, spent her life fighting against gender-based discrimination and was a key voice for LGBTQ2 equality on the bench. She died on Friday at the age of 87 from pancreatic cancer.

Meanwhile, all hell has broken loose since her passing. Despite blocking Barack Obama’s appointment of Merrick Garland to the bench in 2016 by claiming it was an election year, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to push forward a nominee with less than two months to go and appears to have the votes in the GOP-controlled Senate to do so.

The moment

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Ginsburg’s dying wish, according to members of her family, was that the winner of the 2020 presidential election be entrusted with filling her Supreme Court seat. She reportedly dictated to granddaughter Clara Spera, an attorney, at her deathbed: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

Rainbow Votes 2020, a U.S. election newsletter by Xtra

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