Voting Rights Are LGBTQ+ Rights': Our Commitment to Equitable LGBTQ+ Rep

Dear reader:

Without free and independent media, Pride Source (and its print publication, Between The Lines) wouldn’t exist, and a community would go underserved when it comes to accessing vital content not found in traditional media outlets.

Since the first issue of Between The Lines hit the stands more than 25 years ago, we’ve been a part of a historically important, unified voice of those who are often ignored, discriminated against, and who live with a constant risk of physical and mental violence for merely existing. Our staff is diverse in many ways, including our individually unique political values, but together, we are united by a shared experience of what it is to be “othered” and misunderstood.

This united vision and deeply felt recognition of the importance of representation in government guides us as we consider political endorsements. We seek to only endorse those candidates who will respect the LGBTQ+ community in every way — candidates who will fight for our freedoms and rights and who always prioritize our ability to participate fairly in the government processes that impact all our lives. We demand respect for facts, science and representative democracy.

By that same token, we reject those candidates who relent against the veracity of the 2020 presidential election, as well as every politician who supports the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building.

As we look ahead to the upcoming presidential election cycle, we fear that our nation is headed for a repeat of the misinformation campaign and ensuing violence that underscored the 2020 election. One key example includes dozens of Republican legislators throughout the country who are determined to implement voter suppression tactics that are uncomfortably similar to the Jim Crow tactics that our nation faced only a few decades ago. Regardless of the way it is implemented, the outcome of these laws are objectively measurable and entirely predictable: longer voting lines in Black and brown communities where local communities support Democrats.

A reminder to these Republican legislators: Voting rights are LGBTQ+ rights.

In Michigan, our community has been fighting for basic protections at the workplace, in housing, and justice from those in positions of power who disagree with our fundamental existence as equals. We must not be comfortable with the status quo. We cannot ignore our Black and brown communities as if they are not also our community.

Every election year presents a new opportunity to act transformatively. The LGBTQ+ community in Michigan is sizable and powerful — let us demand representation through our vote, and let us ensure our democratic process is guaranteed for those who will come after us.

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