I was a college student in the 1990s, during the height of the AIDS crisis, at a time before adequate government attention to the crisis or medical research into a cure and before my LGBTQ friends had the right to marry and have their domestic partnerships legally recognized.

I had to watch the heartache of friends who were barred from advocating for stricken loved ones, who were oftentimes not even allowed to see their partners, if the families banned them from visiting, simply because they were not seen as couples or families in the eyes of the law.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote a decision that now protects the civil rights of people like my friends, so they can be recognized as families and get the respect that any family deserves.

I am afraid that that decision, along with several other crucial civil liberties decisions, is in danger of being reversed by Brett Kavanaugh if he is confirmed to the court. I have heard what Brett Kavanaugh says, but I have also seen what he does, and I do not have faith that he will guarantee and uphold the rights of the LGBTQ community.

If Sen. Susan Collins supports Brett Kavanaugh, I fear that it will risk stripping away the rights of my friends and their families and a return to the dark ages before LGBTQ couples and families were recognized as such.

This is the time to reach out to Sen. Collins and ask her to be be a voice of reason and to say “no” to judges like Kavanaugh who would very likely reverse such hard-won civil rights decisions.

Jeanne Strole


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