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LGBT rights map.... Where is the power of Federalism? I don't get it!

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aaaaaa5a Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-08-09 02:37 PM
Original message
LGBT rights map.... Where is the power of Federalism? I don't get it!

First let me say it is an honor to be a part of this forum. I really do appreciate everyone who helped to set it up and make it possible.

Here is an excellent map from NPR which highlights the state of our civil rights movement across the nation. It does not reflect the recent changes in the District of Columbia. /

I don't get it.

Look at that map. I have a concern with the lack of Federalism in our struggle.

If you look at the course of our history, the fight for Civil Rights is usually a Federal issue. Whether it was white men who were not land owners being denied the right to vote in 1776, the rights of women to vote and own property, or the first Civil Rights movement of the 1950-60's; All of these injustices were aided by the Federal Government. And would have been unsuccessful without it.

For instance, during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's, Jim Crow was conquered with Federalism. If the Country had to wait for the Mississippi state legislature, segregation would still be the law of the land.

Like-wise, women were granted the right to vote with a constitutional amendment. Not a really good, well written bill from the Texas State House of Representatives.

Yet when I look at that map, I see the opposite of the way Federalism has worked in the past. States are driving the issue. Not Federalism. And it's far more difficult to obtain equal rights when you must fight 50 individual state battles, instead of just one.

I don't get it.

Yes, I understand politics. But you are not going to tell me that supporting equality today is any more risky than supporting the right to vote of women in 1919. And it can't be "Politically riskier" than supporting African Americans in the south. Heck, the fight to end Jim Crow was so just, and so moral, Progressives threw away any chance of winning in the South again in my lifetime over the issue. Democrats saved America by sacrificing the south. (Let's be honest, we all know why Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama and Oklahoma are red states today!)

Yet regardless of what political party is in power, or who is the President, the concept of Federalism goes nowhere when it comes to the last group in our community who can legally be discriminated against.

I don't get it.

If it's a 50 state battle is required, so be it. All Americans will earn equality one state at a time.

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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-08-09 03:19 PM
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1. The problem is more judicial than political...

the Federal Supreme Court may be too conservatively biased for challenges to be successful, although I'm hopeful that this is not the case.
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aaaaaa5a Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-08-09 04:06 PM
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2. We are down 5-4 right now. Obama is going to need a second term for it to flip our way. nt
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-11-09 07:09 PM
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3. You should perhaps be aware that the term "Federalism" is usually used in a sense rather different
from what you intend: you use "Federalism" as if you thought it meant an emphasis on Federal power, but in American political discourse, "Federalism" usually means a conservative philosophy that emphasizes a certain Federal weakness and a corresponding delegation of power to the states -- so, for example, the "Federalist Society" is a conservative group that intends to reduce Federal power in favor of states' rights. Thus, if you say you want a more "Federalist" approach to gay rights issues, many people will think you mean that matters should be decided at the state level
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