Everyone has been buzzing with post election hype and whether their joy or frustration is up, this election affirmed something for me about the nation. America is one nation and we are together on many things, but we are being divided on issues around people’s human rights and we are being told it’s about morality. Unfortunately, many of us are buying that.
For many the election was about the economy. For me it was about rights and I know I’m not the only one. In fact, people came out in hoards to say they too believe the nation needs to uphold people’s human rights.
The obvious win was Obama. This win was a clear demonstration of America’s concerns about those human rights because Obama has assured rights will be safeguarded while Romney vowed to shut them down!
Same sex marriage and abortion were both on the table. Both of these issues are about people’s human rights. Do same sex couples have the right to marry who they choose? Do women have the right to make decisions for their own bodies? Keep in mind, making decisions for our bodies includes not only whether we have an abortion or not, but also what we wear, whether we want to be beaten up or not, whether we want to have sex or not…
And speaking of rape, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock both lost. Marked with an official L to the forehead. Losers! We don’t need people promoting the idea that women are responsible for rape or that only some rape is real. We need to work to eradicate rape, not brush it aside.
Florida defeated Amendment 6, which would have prohibited the use of public funds for abortions except as required by federal law and to save the mother’s life. It also would have opened the doors to things like mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds if abortion weren’t outlawed. Surprising to me, but awesome- Florida stood up for women’s rights!
Women, who have been very absent from the political table, took more seats in government and the political scene, assuring human rights are maintained and equal rights a goal.
New Hampshire set women as the helm of their state governance as they elected two women representatives, two women senators, and a governor, who… wait for it… is a woman. Yes!
Elizabeth Warren, who helps Democrats keep control of the Senate and who is a strong support of the Democratic Party, won election in Massachusetts.
If I were a cheerleader, I would be doing a cheer already. Human rights- Hurrah! I am doing a happy dance, but wait, there’s more!
Hawaii elected Japan-born Mazie Hirono to be the first ever Asian-American woman elected to the Senate. Impressive! They also elected Democrat Tulsi Gabbard as the first ever practicing Hindu to the US House of Representatives. And she’s swearing in over the Bhagavad Gita. That shakes things up a bit!
Tammy Baldwin became the first openly lesbian woman to be elected to the US Congress.
Speaking of lesbians, same sex marriage was legalized in Maryland and Maine, allowing more families protection and more couples recognition under the law, when they have not had that recognition and protection before. Alright! And Minnesota voted down an amendment to protect marriage as something between men and women, hopefully paving the way for same sex marriage legalization in that state!
So, a lot of good stuff for human rights, for women, for our nation! But keep your eyes open and your feet ready to move locally and nationally because it has been a rough fight, but it’s not over. Radical right wing anti-human rights groups are still working on pushing their agendas and they aren’t going away. We need to be vigilant about who we elect into our government, what their interests are and whether they reflect who we are as a nation.