RBG’s LGBTQ+ legacy

Late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lasting legacy in regards to protecting LGBTQ+ rights is still being celebrated today.

The+Gender+Sexuality+Alliance+club+at+Granite+Bay+High+School+serves+as+a+safe+place+for+the+LGBTQ%2B+community+and+beyond.

Claire Dorarn

The Gender Sexuality Alliance club at Granite Bay High School serves as a safe place for the LGBTQ+ community and beyond.

A few months ago, a true legacy passed away. As the first Supreme Court Justice to officiate same sex marriage, and as the second woman to ever be sworn into the highest court in the nation, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg truly left a memorable legacy behind her. 

Bader is remembered for a few notable Supreme Court decisions, but some of her most famous decisions stemmed from the long held debate of LGBTQ+ rights. 

Two notable cases can be applied: the Obergefell v Hodges case that legalized gay marriage in the United States, and Romer v Evans, which contained elements of religion and LGBTQ rights mixed together. 

As a quick run down, here is what happened in both of those Supreme Court cases. Bader acted as a crucial vote in a tight 5-4 ruling on whether or not gay marriage would be legalized nationally. Gay marriage was legalized, which became a source of great celebration among the entire LGBTQ+ community, so much so that the White House became illuminated with the colors of the pride flag. 

Claire Doran is a senior at Granite Bay High School, and one of the co-presidents of the  Gender Sexuality Alliance club. They have appreciated their rights because of this landmark case. 

I can actually get married to who I like, and I have my reproductive rights so I appreciate the role (Bader) has played in the fight for equality.”

— Claire Doran

“I can actually get married to who I like, and I have my reproductive rights so I appreciate the role (Bader) has played in the fight for equality,” Doran said. 

Sarah LeDonne works as the Senior Communications & Marketing Manager for the LGBTQ Vicotory fund, which aims to ensure LGBTQ+ representation in all levels of government. 

“While there’s been little research done, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’ve seen record numbers of LGBTQ people – especially LGBTQ and trans women – running for office since Obergefell v. Hodges passed,” LeDonne said. 

In Romer v Evans, the Supreme Court argued a case involving religion with gay rights. A conservative Christian group in Colorado voted to pass an amendment to the Colorado Constitution with the intent of restricting gay rights. Bader voted that this act was unconstitutional because the amendment was made to purposefully single out a group, which is in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. 

Francis Smith* is a Catholic who gave their thoughts about religion and LGBTQ+ rights. 

“Even in the Catholic Church, there are two camps right now,” Smith said. “There are people who are trying to say (that) the church needs to update their teachings, (and) they need to be okay with homosexual marriages (and) … abortions, because in our modern circumstances, we need to adapt. I believe that those people are wrong; but, the church is split in that sense.”

On a broader scale, RBG’s fight for equality in the LGBTQ+ community has deeply impacted many people nationwide. 

From working as a young woman in a man’s field (as most things still are) to actually changing the laws that allowed women to control their own bodies, join the workforce or even open their own bank account, RBG opened the door for millions.”

— Sarah LeDonne

“As a young working woman, it’s hard to overstate the ways RBG’s life and legacy have affected me,”  LeDonne said. “From working as a young woman in a man’s field (as most things still are) to actually changing the laws that allowed women to control their own bodies, join the workforce or even open their own bank account, RBG opened the door for millions.”

Although Bader has worked extraordinarily hard to bring about change, there is still work to be done. 

“There’s still so much work to prioritize beyond marriage equality – protecting trans youth, addressing the murders of trans women (particularly trans women of color), repealing outdated sodomy laws, banning conversion therapy, etc.” LeDonne said. 

So what are some ways to help?

Students at Granite Bay High School can start by trying to understand. Join the GSA club and follow them on instagram at GBHS GSA. You can also check out the LGBTQ Victory Fund at https://victoryfund.org/.

¨We need more young women – especially LGBTQ women – in the political process, especially as campaign staff,”  LeDonne said.  “If you’re involved now and have a topic that motivates you, stick with it and keep fighting. As hard as it might feel sometimes, positive change is happening, little by little.¨ 

*name changed for the purpose of anonymity

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