Voting is a Right, a Civil Right

Filed By IN THE LIFE | October 30, 2008 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: civil rights, gay rights, Get Out the Vote, GOTV, IN THE LIFE, Jonathan Capehart, Julian Bond, LGBT civil rights

The LGBT community is the only community that's ever had its fundamental rights put to a vote. To date, twenty-six states have enacted constitutional amendments defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

On Tuesday, November 4, LGBT citizens will again face the possibility of having their civil rights taken away in California, Florida, Arizona, and Arkansas.

At the same time, a contentious Presidential election is prompting anti-gay forces to try and divide Americans along racial, class and sexual identity lines with "wedge" issues - like marriage equality and adoption rights of gays and lesbians.

In this exclusive footage, NAACP Chair Julian Bond and Washington Post writer Jonathan Capehart discuss the common ties of the civil rights and LGBT civil rights movements. Bond speaks of the divisive tactics used in the 2004 election and offers a stirring reminder of all Americans' common humanity.

iPhone users: Click to watch

What hangs in the balance Tuesday, November 4th, is nothing short of whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality for all.

Every vote counts this Election Day. For that reason, it's crucial that you know your rights and that you exercise them and vote!

Voting Resources

With so much riding on this election, you can be sure that partisan efforts to prevent Americans from voting through deception, fraud, and bullying will be ferocious. In The Life Media encourages you to visit these nonpartisan voter education and protection sites to learn more about and ensure your right to vote.

Election Protection - 866-OUR-VOTE

Smart Voter -

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The LGBT community is the only community that's ever had its fundamental rights put to a vote

Um, that would be false. It took a vote on the 13th-15th Amendments to eliminate slavery and affirm African Americans' right to vote and be considered equal citizens of the United States. And it took a vote on the 19th Amendment for women's right to vote to be recognized in this country.

I'm glad, however, that you've rightly pointed out that voting is a right, not a responsibility or obligation. And if it's a right, then people should feel free not to exercise that right if they don't want to.

I don't remember state-level constitutional amendments being put up for a vote. That said, I have to agree about the federal amendments although they weren't put up for popular vote - only through state legislatures.

well, there are those initiatives, like the one Serena mentioned in another thread, that said that undocumented people couldn't use any social services. That counts.

Bil and Serena, you're both half right. Amendments to the U.S. constitution on women's rights and slavery (and other rights issues as well) WERE voted on at the state level.

But they weren't approved by popular vote. All Constitutional amendments have to be ratified by a majority of least 2/3 of the states, and the voting is done by the state legislature.

I suppose the language should be more precise, but no other group has had their rights removed by popular vote. The most analogous situation I can think of is the initiative to outlaw abortion in 2006.