The Constitution was written to give all individuals a voice (one person, one vote), but it has taken women’s suffrage, civil rights, and LGBTQ equality to even approach that aspiration. But the 2010 Supreme Court case Citizens United v. FEC has worked against those hard-fought victories by allowing extremely wealthy individuals to spend unlimited amounts of anonymous money and drown out everyone else by monopolizing the media.
As an LGBTQ person, I support Initiative 735 on this November’s ballot as a way to protect our community.
About 75 percent of the top mega-wealthy donors give to conservative Republicans. This is dangerous to our LGBTQ community. Why do conservative politicians speak out against gay marriage when 55 percent of the US population supports equality? Why was there an anti-transgender bathroom bill in Washington, a forward-leaning state? Because there’s money behind it.
Keeping anti-LGBTQ vitriol in the public spotlight continues to inspire events like the Orlando shooting. It causes young queers to hate themselves, and allows groups to demonize transgender people for political gain.
Money has influenced politics since time immemorial. Initiative 735 won’t fix that completely. But it will make Washington the 18th state to tell Congress to make sure that all donations in elections are regulated and publicly disclosed.
Lessening the influence of big money in politics will not stop racists, bigots or homophobes. But when Citizens United is overturned, at least we will know where the anti-LGBTQ money is coming from.