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A Vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Is a Vote for Hope and Honor

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

The former executive director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights imagines a world in which this "national nightmare" is over. 

When we won the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in 2015, we as legal advocates knew that the fight for true liberation, equality, and justice was far from over for the LGBTQ+ community -- especially for our Black, Brown, and trans brothers and sisters. What we did not imagine was that five short years later we would see Justices on the Supreme Court, where we won in Obergefell v. Hodges, denounce the ruling and openly scheme about how to limit and undermine this landmark ruling. It is a well-held principle that once a majority of Justices rule, even if you were a dissenting judge, you accord that ruling respect and honor it as settled law.

This bedrock norm in a democratic society has been trashed and abandoned, as have so many of the critical rules of fair play and free elections in our far too fragile democracy. The rights we've fought so hard to win are imperiled and democracy itself is on life support. The carnage caused and celebrated by the GOP Senate and the Republican party is disgraceful and we have a Presidential Administration that despises the very idea of "Equal Justice Under the Law."

But maybe, just maybe, our long national nightmare is about to be over.

As Americans head to the polls today, we have a chance to save our democracy and those fundamental values rights we hold dear by electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Just writing that sentence gives me hope and the ability to imagine a policy agenda marked by humanity, a love for justice, and a belief in the right of every individual to live with full dignity: free from harm, cruelty, and suffering.

Can you imagine?

In the years and months since the inauguration of Donald Trump, we have watched with growing horror and shame as he has embodied the very worst of the human character. I will not relay the litany of those characteristics here, there is no need. We have seen them all every day and the harm done to our national reputation and psyche is incalculable.

But it doesn't have to be this way.

Today, we can chart a new future and begin the hard work of repairing and rebuilding. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the best of us. They are honorable, kind, curious, humble, dedicated, and wicked smart. Together, they embody the qualities we most want to see in ourselves and love in others. Of course, it doesn't hurt that they have clear and doable policy positions on the most urgent needs our nation and our neighbors face. But to just have kindness and decency once again emanating from the White House and to know that we matter to our leaders.

So today, vote. Vote to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris our next President and Vice President of the United States. Vote like our lives depend on it -- because they do.

Kate Kendell, Former Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and current Interim Legal Director Southern Poverty Law Center.

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Kate Kendell