In this week’s Rainbow Votes 2020, Xtra’s U.S. political correspondent Nico Lang takes a step back to survey what the heck has transpired over the past week: Trump has COVID-19, Ruth Bader Ginsburg could be replaced with the anti-LGBTQ2 Amy Coney Barrett and the first presidential debate became what national broadcasters called a dumpster fire.
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.)
Trump has COVID-19. Now what?
In his opening essay, Lang chronicles the last 72 hours in America: Watching the president fall ill and end up in hospital, only to use the illness to boast about what little threat COVID-19 poses. But Trump isn’t out of the woods yet—even if he plans photo-ops, sans mask, to suggest so. Lang looks at what comes next—and, yes, that still could mean a Pence presidency.
The uncertainty of LGBTQ2 rights
Lang also speaks to Jim Obergefell, the civil rights activist whose namesake case, Obergefell v. Hodges, legalized same-sex marriage in the country. Obergefell, though, is not optimistic about the state of queer and trans rights now that the Supreme Court could boast a conservative majority. “We’re supposed to move forward as a country,” he says. “We’re supposed to move toward that value of ‘we the people’ and ‘equal justice under law,’ but I feel like we’re going back to a time when ‘we the people’ only means some of the people.”
In support of mail-in voting
The Human Rights Campaign’s president Alphonso David pens a guest op-ed in this week’s Rainbow Votes on the importance of the mail-in vote especially for LGBTQ2 folks—and how the organization is fighting to get voters to the ballot box.
Even if President Trump’s many machinations to game the election don’t work, it’s still unclear whether he will leave office. When asked to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, Trump declined to do so. He told reporters: “Well, we’ll have to see what happens.”