US Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee in October. Some worry that the Trump-stocked Supreme Court with Barrett on board is a threat to same-sex marriage rights. (Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images) Amy Coney Barrett
US Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee in October. Some worry that the Trump-stocked Supreme Court with Barrett on board is a threat to same-sex marriage rights. (Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

A former North Carolina House candidate on why the threat to same-sex marriage is real. And what we should do about it. 

I’m about to hurt your feelings. 

Because the truth hurts, and you can’t do anything but let it hurt when it’s this bad.

If you didn’t vote, volunteer, donate, and do everything you possibly could in 2016, this is your fault. And if you didn’t do everything you could to get rid of Trump this time, you’re wasting your time reading this. 

Trump’s America is a very different place. I’m about to paint a gloomy picture for you all, and I hope it shakes you to your core. 

A few weeks ago, Amy Coney Barret was confirmed to the Supreme Court. On Nov. 4, the US Supreme Court heard a case on whether “religious freedom” can be used to deny taxpayer-funded services to minorities. On Nov. 10, the court heard a case on the legality of the Affordable Care Act. In efforts to dismantle our healthcare and roll back our rights, hope seems lost. And some say a Trump-warped court might also imperil the same-sex marriage rights won by 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision

To add, Trump isn’t planning on leaving office, even if he lost. He has claimed victory for 2020 since 2017 and any other result is “rigged.” Voter suppression through the GOP is widespread. They tried to disregard mail-in ballots with Supreme Court cases in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Even now, the GOP is still trying to shift the outcome in states like Georgia and Michigan, both of which went blue for President-elect Joe Biden. 

To top it off, Trump signed an executive order that allows his government to fire federal workers if they don’t support his agenda. What we are looking at is our republic crumbling and falling into an authoritarian government of Trump, even if he lost. 

As an openly gay candidate who ran for office in Guilford County, my boyfriend and I are terrified. Looking back from 2015, we had plans to get married and live happily in an America we felt safe and accepted in. One year later and a lot has changed. 

Our hard fought rights are once again at risk after just gaining marriage equality. Marriage and adoption could no longer be an option for us soon. I’m not being overly dramatic, look at the state of our nation. We all know what happens to minorities in the end game of all this.

North Carolina elections, including mine, might not have gone the way we wanted.

But in the days and weeks ahead, here’s what I need you to do. Make sure you read this as me talking to you in the most stern tone: 

I will not go back into the closet, I will not give up my rights, I will not let them take our rights, and if they try I need you beside me in these streets. 

I’m not asking, it’s your duty.