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Pride Politics

June 30, 2022

As Pride month comes to a close, it's a nice time to reflect on LGBT+ progress. Two major public servants—Barack Obama and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—proved important allies who made meaningful change for the community, and we're grateful for their contributions. Barack Obama’s speeches are available now in Word Cloud and Leather editions from Canterbury Classics, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dissents is on sale July 19.

Barack Obama
As noted in Barack Obama Selected Speeches, Obama’s contributions to advances in LGBT+ equality are undisputed. His early accomplishments include signing the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” endorsing marriage equality, and refusing to back the Defense of Marriage Act. The most succinct expression of his contribution comes in the “Statement on Supreme Court Decision on Marriage Equality,” collected in both Barack Obama Speeches and Barack Obama Selected Speeches. His complete statement is worth a look, but see below for a moving excerpt:

[I]t is a consequence of the countless small acts of courage of millions of people across the decades who stood up, who came out, who talked to parents—parents who loved their children no matter what. Folks who were willing to endure bullying and taunts, and stayed strong, and came to believe in themselves and who they were, and slowly made an entire country realize that love is love.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
We have RBG to thank in part for that Supreme Court decision, of course. Ginsburg’s support of the LGBT+ community was clear throughout her career, and specifically in her passion about the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. In Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dissents, we get a thorough exploration of her thinking about the constitutional harm of discrimination. This begins with her earliest writing and continues into her late dissents. Most notable is her opinion on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores from 2014, in which she contemplates the conflict between religious belief and the idea of equal protection. Pre-order this rich collection of legal writing before it hits shelves July 19.

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