For Immediate Release
Supreme Court Voting Rights Act Decision: 'A Major Step Backwards'
WASHINGTON - The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is describing the Supreme Court's decision to strike down a central part of the Voting Rights Act — in its ruling on Shelby County v. Holder — as a major step backwards in the ongoing effort to eliminate racism from our democracy.
The ruling invalidated crucial protections passed by Congress in 1965 — protections subsequently renewed four times in the decades since. "Discrimination at the ballot box is a real problem and causes real harm to our democracy. This ruling is a major step backwards in the ongoing fight for a truly free and fair democracy and democratic system," said Rea Carey, Task Force Executive Director.
The controversial ruling will significantly reduce the federal government's role in overseeing voting laws in areas with a history of discrimination on the basis of race, color or membership in a language minority group.
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The Task Force has joined with other LGBT and civil rights organizations to express its deep concern with today's ruling.
"We are committed to working with Congress and continuing our work on the ground in the states to make sure America's democracy is free, fair and accessible for all," Carey stressed.
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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force builds the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, building the organizational capacity of our movement and generating groundbreaking research through our Policy Institute.