By Chaim Harrison
Yesterday marked Independence Day, a day dedicated to the United States Independence as a nation and the freedom for all of its citizens. Yet we know that celebrating freedom on the 4th of July has always come with an asterisk: freedom, initially, only for white men, and today, even though women and Black people have legal freedom, we know that we have far to go until all of us, truly, are free. In a time of acute backlash for LGBTQ+ people and others, last week’s Supreme Court decisions made this even more painfully clear.
As a Black, bisexual man, I am directly impacted by last week’s rulings ending affirmative action and twisting free speech into a license to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. Although the immediate application of the 303 Creative ruling is limited, I fear that the door has been opened to further roll back equality.
Despite all of this, I refuse to let apathy and despair win. I feel energized when I see the hard work being done across our country to fight back against injustice. As LGBTQ+ Jews and allies, we know firsthand that we must pursue justice, and that’s why we are standing firm and making our voices heard against these rulings. We’re making it clear: Black and Brown people deserve equitable access to education, students deserve to have a portion of their debt forgiven, and, of course, free speech does not mean the freedom to discriminate based on someone’s identity.
I ask that you support Keshet’s work to advance true freedom, including fighting for The Equality Act, fighting against bills harming LGBTQ+ youth, and supporting legislation affirming the LGBTQ+ and Jewish community at large. We’re in this fight together, and as we come off of a holiday honoring freedom for a select few of us, may we use our collective strength to ensure that freedom means freedom for all of us.