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Have LGBTQ rights gone back into the closet?
Since marriage equality became law in 2015 and Trump left office, everything’s equal. Right? Wrong! The fight for LGBTQ rights has gone to the state level. Here’s what we need now to expand LGBTQ rights. Expand your life with the free 5 Building Blocks of a Happy Gay Life here.
Attorney Elizabeth Schwartz talks protecting LGBTQ rights:
Will the Biden/Harris Administration expand LGBTQ rights?
On episode #29 of the Queer Money® podcast, just over a month before Donald Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States, we talked with attorney and activist, Elizabeth Schwartz.
Elizabeth’s known for arguing and then winning the case for marriage equality in Florida in 2015 before the Supreme Court of the United States decided that marriage equality would be the law of the land. Elizabeth also argued for and won the case in Florida for allowing two people of the same sex to be listed as parents on a birth certificate. In both cases, Elizbeth’s client was a previous Queer Money® guest, Cathy Pareto, from Queer Money® episode #24, which we covered on Queer Money Follow-Up #24.
Much of our interview with Elizabeth centered around the fight for marriage equality and family planning for queer people. Unfortunately, too much of our interview included the warnings of the pending doom of the then-incoming Trump administration. Elizabeth referred to this as the Trumpocalypse.
We know now the rath of the Trumpocalypse on the queer community. Over 78 aggressions toward the queer community are listed on transequality.org. Since its last update, we know the outgoing Trump Administration, in its last few days, passed a law that made it harder for same-sex couples to adopt children.
Of course, there are more than 79 adverse actions taken against the LGBTQ community by the Trump/Pence Administration.
So, what now?
First, we should all get up to speed on the recent executive orders of now-President Biden that expanded LGBTQ protections, including for housing and services and for trans inclusion in the military. We should also stay up to speed on what and how the Biden/Harris Administration continues the push for queer equality.
Second, stay active, stay loud and keep fighting. Many in the LGBTQ community tend to go into hibernation and rest mode when there’s a Democrat president, and especially when Democrats control Washington. We saw this during President Obama’s term.
But now, when the fight is just a little bit easier on the national level and quietly migrates to the state level is the time to be more active, be louder and fight harder. Now’s the time when we can make greater progress, so let’s take advantage of it.
Third, as Elizabeth stressed on episode #29 of the Queer Money® podcast, get your legal matters in order. Regardless of who’s in office, whether we’re single or partnered, whether we have children or not, it’s imperative we have our trust and estate planning completed by an attorney and our wills and advanced directives drawn and signed.
People, LGBTQ and straight, come up with myriad reasons to delay or avoid these critical personal, legal matters, but we do ourselves and our families a huge favor by take care of these legal matters.
Let’s take care of our queer houses and take care of our country.
Resources to expand LGBTQ rights
Because the queer community has not yet achieved full equal rights and because laws for same-sex couples and parents from state to state are so disparate, Liz shares important information about how we can button up parental rights and protections, wills, estates and trusts, living wills and more.
Liz shares how the queer community must continue to stay informed and fight for queer equality. She shares a list of organizations for us to get on their email lists and attend local and national meetings, including:
- Lambda Legal: 866-542-8336
- GLBTQ Legal Advocacy & Defenders: 800-455-GLAD
- Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders: 888-234-SAGE
- National LGBTQ Task Force: 800.528.6257
- National Center for Lesbian Rights: 800-528-6257
Liz preaches to the choir when she says, as we often do, it’s the responsibility of those of us who are privileged to live in parts of the country that have employment protections for queer equality and where we can hold hands with our same-sex partner to fight for those in the parts of the country who aren’t as fortunate.
As mentioned on the show, DocuBank electronically stores all official and legal documents, including healthcare directives and emergency medical information, on a card to keep them accessible from anywhere in the world at any time of day.
We discuss expanding LGBTQ rights in 2021 and beyond:
How can you get more Debt Free Guys and Queer Money®?
Get more info to enhance LGBTQ rights:
- How the Supreme Court Helped Protect LGBTQ Rights
- 2 Ways to Influence LGBTQ Leadership
- How to Start Being a Happy Gay Man
We’re David and John Auten-Schneider, the Debt Free Guys (www.debtfreeguys.com) and hosts of the Queer Money® podcast. We help queer people (and allies) live fabulously not fabulously broke by helping them 1) pay off credit card debt, 2) become part- or full-time entrepreneurs and 3) save and invest for retirement.