The stakes are high for LGBTQ+ Americans in this November's election, two new ads from GLAAD are reminding voters.
The ads, released Wednesday, highlight the threat to marriage equality and the continuing attack on transgender youth. They will air nationwide on digital and broadcast media.
The election will determine control of Congress and many state and local races. It comes at a time when Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has said the court's 2015 marriage equality ruling should be reversed; he did so when the court overturned Roe v. Wade, which had guaranteed the right to abortion nationwide. A bill that would write marriage equality into federal law is pending in Congress. Meanwhile, several states have enacted anti-trans laws and policies, particularly targeting young people.
In a marriage equality ad, a collaboration between GLAAD and Family Equality, married gay dads Kent and Diego describe how the overturning of Roe threatens LGBTQ+ families and their marriages, urging voters to show up to the polls to protect all families.
"When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, we both looked at each other and said, I think our family could be at risk," they say. "When we fought for marriage equality, we never thought we would be at risk of having it taken away. Walking down the aisle was very special and something I never imagined would happen for me. We can no longer take for granted the rights we thought were our protections. And marriage equality could be next. We all have to turn out to vote. It's important for all families."
GLAAD also released an updated public service announcement spotlighting the Briggle family of Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered that parents who allow their trans children to receive gender-affirming health care be investigated for child abuse. The order is now on hold for most families while a court case is heard, but the outcome of the case will determine if the investigations resume. Abbott and other Republican Texas state officeholders are being challenged by LGBTQ-supportive Democrats in November.
"Do you want to meet a family of a transgender kid?" Amber Briggle says in the PSA. "Here we are. There are some politicians who are trying to tear my family apart simply because my son is transgender. Trans kids don't have a political agenda. They are just kids. They want to be left alone. They have the same hopes and dreams and deserve the same equality as your child does. My family is just like yours. We love our kids unconditionally and we will never stop fighting for them. Stand with us. Go to GLAAD.org/vote and make a plan to vote."
"The stakes could not be higher," GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a press release. "Every LGBTQ person and every one of our allies must hear the warning in these ads and make a plan to vote. The legal protection of our marriages is at risk, and marriage equality is on the ballot. We urgently need everyone to speak up for LGBTQ people with their votes to protect our marriages, our children, our families, and our futures."
"It's clear from the 300-plus anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced across the United States in 2022 that our families are at risk," Family Equality CEO Stacey Stevenson added. "Our legal protections are at risk. Our kids are at risk. The LGBTQ+ community and our allies must come together and vote. We can't afford to sit this one out."