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Statement From Kierra Johnson, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force, on Leak of Draft SCOTUS Decision to Overturn Roe v. Wade

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The following can be attributed to Kierra Johnson, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force

“This morning, the nation woke up to the horrifying news that a draft decision from the Supreme Court related to the overturning of Roe v. Wade signals a full reversal by the court and the potential to undermine and overturn other important decisions impacting LGBTQ people, people of color, and others whose rights were won after the Constitution was ratified.

Visionaries over generations have been adding to the foundation of this document, in an effort to evolve our laws and policies to be relevant to the changing times and inclusive of the rapidly growing and changing demographics as the country expanded. We should be proud of battles fought and won to eradicate slavery, to ensure women and black people were guaranteed the right to vote, and to have marriage be affirmed and legal between two people regardless of gender. It hasn’t been easy or without a cost but at least we could see forward progress. Today we must grapple with the real possibility that our highest court will not further equity and justice but instead choose to take away from more than half of the population in this country.  I have devoted 25 years to advocating for reproductive justice, LGBTQ liberation and civil and human rights. I believe that each person deserves for their humanity to be affirmed, protected, and celebrated. So, like many of you, I am furious, but I am ready to do whatever is necessary to mobilize our communities to respond to this and make our voices heard not just today, not just election day but every day.

I know that the public is on our side but public opinion means very little if there is no power behind it. So, I urge us to think about the people in our lives, the people in our communities, and the millions of individuals that will be directly and indirectly impacted if Roe v. Wade is overturned and access to contraception, marriage equality, sexual freedom and bodily autonomy are compromised. I want us to get mad. I want us to get inspired. And MOST importantly, I want us to get activated. 

We have the power to shift the debate. We have the power to change hearts and minds and we have the power to hold the highest leaders in this country accountable to furthering justice, equity and liberation. 

While I am encouraged to see governors, city councils and school boards in several states doubling down on support for reproductive rights, racial justice, LGBTQ liberation and expanding voting rights, these leaders need us now more than ever. We need to tell our stories at the state legislature, to demand an end to censorship at schools and to make it known that we will be there to stand up for Transgender and non-binary kids on the field, in church and at school. I know it is a lot to ask. I know we are tired, weary, and may be feeling hopeless but the alternative to getting active is doing nothing. And we can’t afford for our brilliance and power to lie dormant.”