As a nonprofit organization, the River Valley Equality Center must remain nonpartisan in matters such as the election. At the same time, given our mission and our goals, it's our moral duty to respond to, and try to assuage, the very real fear that the outcome of the election has provoked among many in the LGBT community.
President-elect Trump said in a January interview that he "would strongly consider" appointing Supreme Court justices who would overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, thereby casting the future of gay marriage on a national level into doubt. Vice president-elect Pence has a history in Indiana of favoring legislation potentially harmful to the LGBT community (and others) — for example, advocating for taxpayer money to support "conversion therapy," defunding Planned Parenthood (with the outcome being an HIV outbreak of nearly 200 cases), and signing Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
We say this not to fearmonger, but to educate: it's conceivable that as a consequence of this election, we could enter a new era of hostility toward LGBT rights on a national level. At a time like this, we recognize that RVEC is called to fulfill our mission more than ever. We have always been committed to non-violent advocacy for the rights of all humans, with an emphasis on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities and other minority sexualities.
The election will not change RVEC's role in carrying this crucial work out in a nonpartisan and officially apolitical way, but we're very aware that our community may be frightened, and we want to help in any way we can. We want to continue to support you by offering a friendly ear and a safe space. Whatever may happen in America in terms of official hostility toward LGBT people, our mandate is to stand with our community as sympathetic peers who will provide support and try to enable you in the continued courage to live out loud.
This may be a time of fear, but we want to be able to turn it into a time of hope as well.
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