The Gay Community Continues Gaining As Minority Community Continues Losing
Although the gay community gained a huge win with the overturning of Proposition 8 last week, there was also another issue that was heavily overlooked in the media and is set to heavily impact the voting rights of minority U.S. citizens.
The U.S. Supreme Court ended its blockbuster civil-rights term pointing in opposite directions: cutting legal protections for racial minorities even as it bolstered them for gays.
Decisions requiring tougher court scrutiny of affirmative action and striking down much of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act were still fresh yesterday when the court cleared the way for gay marriage in California and invalidated a federal law that denied benefits to married same-sex couples.
Only 24 hours earlier, minority-rights advocates were denouncing the court’s conservative majority for gutting the Voting Rights Act, the law that opened the polls to millions of blacks across the South.
The court voted 5-4 to nullify the requirement that all or parts of 15 states get federal clearance before changing their election rules or voting lines.
Obama called that ruling “a mistake” because suppression of minority voting still exists in some regions of the country. He said he wanted to work with Congress in a non-partisan way to address the defects cited by the top court.
The decision “frighteningly opens the door for underhanded schemes to reduce the electoral power of minority communities,” said Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 Democratic leader and highest-ranking black member of the House.
Surprise, surprise. Another day, another underhanded jab at the livelihoods of minorities delivered by the Republican-majority Congress.