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As a gay American, a vote for Trump is a vote against my humanity

Like millions of other Americans, I woke up hoping it was all a bad dream: Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Ruth Bader Ginsburg dead at 87 due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer. It was no dream. This news is a devastating continuation of the larger mess we begrudgingly call 2020.

RBG’s death is by no means surprising; millions of Americans, myself included, found ourselves regularly uttering the phrase, “Please God, just let us have her until the November election.” I believe even RBG herself did everything in her power to beat her diagnosis, for the sake of this country she served.

We now must come to terms with a very sobering realization that we’re in the thick of a battle for the soul of a true, prosperous, and fair democracy. And for some of us, myself included, it is a battle for our very humanity.

Many people talk about their friends and family who are voting for Trump; they accept not everyone sees eye to eye.

Not me. A vote for Trump is a vote against who I am as a human being.

I identify as a gay and Jewish American. My rights are in limbo and the next administration will undoubtedly decide my future as an American citizen. If you’ve never had a Supreme Court case decide if you have the same rights as others, this is because of your privilege. If that’s not something you’re willing to see, accept, and vote against, then you don’t value me as a family member or friend.

To my fellow gay Americans tolerating friends and family members voting for Trump, I’d like to remind you that our Jewish sages taught that “The world endures because of three things: justice, truth and peace.” But in order to bring these words to life, you must first find justice, truth, and peace within your own psyche. The longer you deny yourself this opportunity by allowing family and friends to remain in your life that threaten your very existence, the further away you’ll be from living your life out loud and in keeping with who you are as a member of the Jewish community.

In essence, a vote for President Trump this upcoming election is a nail in the coffin for intrinsic and valuable personal rights for all American citizens, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum.

I’m not 100% certain why RBG’s death has spurred me to finally act and speak out on these feelings I’ve been keeping tucked away for the previous four years, but I’m glad I’ve finally decided to make my voice heard as an American and a Jew. Perhaps it’s because her passing has shown the delicate thread our democracy clings to in a time of life altering political unrest. More so, I’ve come to the conclusion it’s associated with my ultimate need to lean into my faith and find support in coming to terms with living a life that I know makes me a better citizen of the world when my livelihood as a Jew and American are at stake.

Before I act on this ultimatum with family and friends, I’ll give it my all to engage with them in the uncomfortable conversations we as Jews need to have out loud and in the open. I plan to provide resources, educational materials, and tangible examples of how the Trump administration is threatening my freedoms and rights, as well as those of the majority of Americans in our country.

At the end of the day, I’ll implore them to be reminded of RBG’s comment, “Yet what greater defeat could we suffer than to come to resemble the forces we oppose in their disrespect for human dignity?”

The rest, as they say, is in God’s hands.

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