The election is over, but the culture war continues

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Sam Martino
Out In Jersey magazine editor Sam Martino

Editor’s Letter

Today we are all under attack. LGBTQ civil rights, women’s rights, transgender rights, blacks, Jews, and everyone else that is not the norm of the Christian right, is under attack.

If you think they can’t take your marriage equality rights away, you are sadly mistaken. We are on their hit list. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when they will strike and how.

Give a hard look at Roe v. Wade. Ask the women who can’t get an abortion how they like the state government controlling their reproductive health care. Never did we think that the U.S. Supreme Court would take this 50-year healthcare right away from women. But here we are feeling blindsided.

The majority of Americans may believe in the right to choose, but national consensus be damned. This conservative Supreme Court did exactly what we should have expected.

There are so many conspiracies out there that it’s hard to keep up. I don’t want to give any thought to these theories, but if you have a brain, you should use it. If it sounds too crazy to be true, then it probably isn’t true.

It’s not too hard to figure things out. NO, Dems don’t drink babies’ blood! No, the guy who tried to kill Nancy Pelosi’s husband wasn’t having an affair with him! And no, the election wasn’t decided by votes from dead people.

Change starts at the polls. Our democracy depends on you doing the right thing, and voting. There is so much at stake, but by the time you read this, we will have our results from this election cycle. Did it go the way you wanted?

Nine years ago, Out In Jersey Editor Emeritus Toby Grace wrote, “It was the politics of a culture war that tore the Austrian empire to shreds and made it impossible for the monarchy to continue in the face of defeat in 1918. Austria, like the United States, was an artificial construct — not a unified nation with tribal roots. Like the United States, it existed because a small number of powerful people had decided to create it, and in doing so, brought a highly diverse population together under one governmental umbrella.” You can read his article reprinted in this issue as if he wrote it today.

Remember, civil rights that are taken away are rarely, if ever, restored.

And since it’s the giving season, there are so many worthy organizations that could help fight for the cause, such as Lambda Legal and the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund. There are many others. If you can’t give money, your time is always a great way to give to organizations that you care deeply about.

Though we are in trying times, remember to always smile, and know that there are people in this world who care about you and are fighting for your civil rights.

Maria Sammartino (aka Sam Martino), is a writer and artist for over 15 years. Maria started at Out In Jersey as the news editor in 2009, and shortly thereafter became the Editor-In-Chief. She has been published in the Philadelphia Gay News, The International Journal of MS Care, and others. Maria goes by Sam Martino because she believes that women are never given a fair shot - and doesn’t want her art or her writing to be judged based on her sex, but on the merit of the work.