Question of the Week: March 24, 2015

I’m very excited– being a newly minted voter within the last year, I will be able to participate in the 2016 US presidential election; my very first one! Also notable are the British elections coming up in May 2015, as well as French elections in 2017. I can’t say I know of any others, but please do mention them if they’re coming up.

What effect will these elections (and others, if they’re coming up) have on the LGBTQIA populations of their respective countries? Are marriage rights in the US on too much of a roll to be stopped by any president now? If yes, then what will the future look like for other rights that have still been left up in the air? If you’re not American, how does it look from where you are?

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9 Responses to Question of the Week: March 24, 2015

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I think it’s way too soon to tell what effect the elections will have, so I don’t want to make any predictions there. But as for marriage rights, I think it’s pretty much up to the Supreme Court, and the other two branches of government can’t have much more than an indirect effect at this point. I’m hopeful.

  2. Ireland is actually about to have a referendum on marriage equality–so the impact could be pretty big! There’s also a gender recognition bill in the works, but it’s up to the legislature to get that through. My sense is that they probably will pass it, but without the amendments that the trans community is asking for, so we’ll be left with a lot of things that need fixing.

    Also, the marriage equality referendum will have an effect on how things go with the gender recognition bill, since currently the bill currently forces married trans people to get divorced before having their gender recognized in order to avoid any accidental same-gender marriage. If the referendum passes and equal marriage becomes the law of the land, there have been promises to fix that provision as quickly as possible. I certainly hope that will be the case, because otherwise happily married trans people are going to have to choose between living (legally) as their birth-assigned gender, or going through the ridiculously difficult process required for divorce (living separately from their spouse for several years, lying to the court about irreconcilable differences…). This spring is a very interesting time to be here.

  3. Tristifere says:

    Dutch elections will be in 2017 (if they can stick it out for that long…. our four previous governments fell before the end of their term). We’ve got marriage equality so that’s not really a big issue anymore. Last elections, all parties (except the christian ones) signed an argeement to get some other big lgbt issues sorted. It was called the “pink agreement” and even before the elections, it was clear that the agreement would have majority support in the parlement (because the christian parties never have a majority…). This year, they’ve managed to do everything they promised to do! (yay!) The biggest thing was the new transgender law, so trans people don’t have to medically transition before they can change their legal gender. I can imagine Dutch lgbt organisations trying a similar coup next elections with other issues. The Netherlands is pretty good with lgb issues, but there’s still a world to be won with trans and intersex rights.

    • Norah says:

      We’ve had the water management and provinciale staten elections this month too, and there’s the Eerste Kamer at the end of May. Though water management especially won’t have any impact on LGBTIA issues :P.

  4. Isaac says:

    This year will be full of elections in Spain: municipal, regional and national elections. In total, considering also the elections affecting a single region, there will be 4 election dates this year: March (only Andalusia), May, September (only Catalonia) and November. This is not usual having so many election in a year, but this was caused by different advanced elections. Moreover, these elections are very open because there are two new parties gathering the vote of the people fed up with corruption.

    I think that LGBT rights are not in jeopardy in Spain. They mostly depend on the national legislature, though the regions can improve them in their territory, never abridge them. The same-sex marriage law and the improvement of legal gender transition were passed under Zapatero (socialist) and the conservatives (ruling now) did not overturn them. Looking in perspective, I guess that the LGBT rights will be improved if the socialists win but will be kept if the conservatives win.

  5. I see LGBTQIA rights continuing to progress all over the world. As for elections, only a truly radical idea will stir me from my slumber of uninterested late-stage capitalist voyeurism. Obama, his successor, David Cameron, his successor, Hollande, et cetera, are adherents within capitalist parameters. It seems clear to me that capitalism will always oppress and subjugate, as to its inherent nature. So as much as it may be pie in the sky, at the moment at least, to dream in anticipation of a free post capitalist societies, it is inevitable that this is where the world must move if we want to the liberty to be who truly want to be… unless your a megalomaniac of course. Personally, I feel Obama is the biggest anti-climax in the history of humanity due to his conformity and lack of radicalism. And as a Brit, I am throwing tactical voting to the wind and voting as far to the left as my conscience will allow, and leave all the complicity in the neoliberal reductions to fetish and commodity behind; I’m voting Green.

  6. Grey Wanders says:

    This one isn’t a matter of national elections, but in Canada Ontario is rolling out a new sex-ed curriculum that covers fantastic (and controversial) stuff such as consent, gender identity, and healthy relationships. There is much brouhaha.

    If you’re interested you can find the grade-by-grade breakdown of topics here: http://globalnews.ca/news/1845754/what-ontarios-new-sex-ed-curriculum-teaches-in-grades-1-through-12/
    And the actual curriculum here:
    http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/health1to8.pdf

  7. In the U.S., I think that the situation with marriage equality has now progressed to the point that only the Supreme Court can stop it.

    However, for other LGBTQ issues, the key elections to follow are for governors and state legislators. The same is true for reproductive rights and other women’s issues. There is a lot of REALLY bad legislation being proposed and enacted at the state level so I encourage people who care about these issues to get informed what is going on in their state and be sure to vote. There’s a lot more at stake than just the presidency.

  8. maralaurey says:

    I’ve not read through any party’s manifestos or anything, but I think the majority of the parties in the UK won’t go backwards on the same-sex marriage front (the Tories voted it through, after all) or any other LGBTQIA-related laws, although I doubt that much else LGBTQIA-wise is going to happen in the near future (perhaps if the Greens got in, but that’s a pipe dream). As long as UKIP don’t get in to even a smidgen of power, we should all be alright.

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