GLAAD, LGBT advocacy groups stand with civil rights orgs in disappointment at Supreme Court ruling on voting rights

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled against a central piece of the Voting Rights Act. This removes major protections on voting rights passed by Congress in 1965 and reduces the federal government's ability to oversee voting discrimination in areas with a legal history of discriminatory voting standards against minorities, most specifically African-Americans.

GLAAD joins several other LGBT advocacy organizations expressing concern over today's ruling. The act had been renewed four times previously and had been repeatedly reaffirmed by Congress. The NAACP, the American Bar Association, the Navajo Nation, the states of New York, California, Mississippi and North Carolina, numerous former Justice Department officials charged with protecting voting rights, dozens of U.S. senators and representatives, and many others flooded the court with requests to continue these protections for people of color and those identified in minority language groups.

These protections are deeply necessary, even with the gains made in equality since 1965. As recently as this past year there have been accusations that politicians are attempting to control the outcome of elections were using divisive voter suppression laws to reduce the voting power of people of color. The transgender community has faced challenges at the ballot box and voter intimidation as well.

"We're deeply troubled by the Supreme Court's decision to dismantle one of our nation's most significant Civil Rights advancements, the Voting Rights Act," said GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz. "Discrimination, in any of its forms, is simply not an American value. Today, we stand by Civil Rights organizations and fair-minded Americans everywhere, who believe everyone -- regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation or gender identity -- should have equal access to the ballot box."

GLAAD today signed a joint statement in solidarity with the nation's leading LGBT advocacy organizations. It is presented below.

LGBT advocacy groups stand with civil rights counterparts in disappointment at Supreme Court ruling on voting rights

WASHINGTON, June 25 - Today, the Supreme Court struck down a central part of the Voting Rights Act, invalidating crucial protections passed by Congress in 1965 and renewed four times in the decades since. The sharply divided decision will significantly reduce the federal government’s role in overseeing voting laws in areas with a history of discrimination against African-Americans.

We, America’s leading LGBT advocacy organizations, join civil rights organizations – and indeed, all Americans whom this law has served to protect – in expressing acute dismay at today’s ruling. Not only had Congress repeatedly reaffirmed the need for this bedrock civil rights protection, but authoritative voices from across America had filed amicus briefs urging the court not to undermine the law: the NAACP; the American Bar Association; the Navajo Nation; the states of New York, California, Mississippi and North Carolina; numerous former Justice Department officials charged with protecting voting rights; dozens of U.S. senators and representatives; and many others.

These varied and powerful voices attest to the self-evident reality that racial protections are still needed in voting in this country. As recently as last year’s elections, political partisans resorted to voter suppression laws and tactics aimed at reducing the votes of people of color.

Voting rights protections, which have long served our nation’s commitment to equality and justice, should not be cast aside now. The court has done America a grave disservice, and we will work with our coalition partners to undo the damage inflicted by this retrogressive ruling.

All Out
Believe Out Loud
Center for Black Equity
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals
Courage Campaign
Equality Federation
Family Equality Council
Freedom to Marry
Freedom to Work
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders
Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC)
Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
Gay Straight Alliance Network
Get Equal
Harvey Milk Foundation
Human Rights Campaign
Immigration Equality Action Fund
Lambda Legal
Movement Advancement Project
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC)
The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
PFLAG - Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays
Pride at Work, AFL-CIO
The Trevor Project
Trans Advocacy Network
Transgender Law Center
Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC)