We Will Stand With You

As you can imagine, we have been reeling from Tuesday's election. This election and the hate-filled campaign season that preceded it reminds us that we can't ever take progress for granted.

But this moment is about more than who won or lost an election. It’s about the kind of world we want to live in. Who is valued. Who is respected. And who we will fight to protect. Many of us will personally experience the hate, discrimination, and fear that has been uncovered and given license to grow.

Know this: We stand with you. We will fight for you.

Sexism and misogyny, racism and white supremacy – these forms of discrimination travel together. And while we all struggle to find our footing in this new terrain, we know that the roots and very present realities of these dangerous ways of thinking are core to understanding both how we got here and where we go from here.

Over the last few days, it’s been therapeutic for us to identify some of Tuesday’s silver linings. They give us hope and the strength to fight on. Here are a few we found in recent days:

•   Arizona’s Maricopa County Sherriff, Joe Arpaio was finally booted from office thanks to the determination and relentless organizing of undocumented people and people of color. Arpaio is infamous for many shameful anti-immigrant policies and practices, and Gender Justice has long decried his use of pink underwear to shame male inmates.

•   Oregon Governor Kate Brown is the first openly LGBT person to ever win a gubernatorial election. Here, closer to home, Ilhan Omar will represent Minneapolis in the MN House as the first Somali-American ever elected as a legislator in the country.

•   And thinking back to the long campaign season, we can be grateful for the personal and profound discussion taking place about consent and sexual assault and the everyday experiences of sexism and sexual harassment. The explosion of stories shared about women’s first sexual assaults on Twitter under the hashtag #NotOkay represents a foundation of understanding and awareness upon which we can build.

We also can’t forget the laws, rights, and institutions for justice we do have in place – especially here in Minnesota. The judicial system remains a powerful avenue for change and a backstop against regression. It is resilient in the aftermath of political shock waves like the one we’re experiencing right now.

With you by our side, we will redouble our efforts to use the courts and existing laws to ensure human rights for our clients and for all women, trans people, queer people, and men who experience gender discrimination.

You can count on Gender Justice to keep litigating cases that demand that courts enforce laws barring discrimination “because of sex” to their full extent, leaving nobody out. We will continue to advocate for just policies that create the inclusive world we long for.

And, we will continue to be inspired by our mighty clients who, with tremendous bravery and vulnerabilitycome forward to hold people and institutions accountable – and to ensure equal rights for all of us.

We will draw strength from each other, our community of advocates, activists, volunteers, donors, and fellow attorneys who believe in justice and gender equality.

We must come together to steel ourselves for the battles ahead and to summon all our courage, creativity, and grit to mount a mighty defense of the human, civil, and constitutional rights we have fought so hard to secure.

Thank you for coming together with us. Together, we will go forward.