As a community of practitioners, teachers, and researchers working in service of the well-being of families and communities, we are breathing a collective sigh of relief at the election results. We are allowing ourselves to access hope, and tentatively engage the belief that our leaders will now readily operate from the assumptions that Black Lives Matter, families belong together, no human is illegal, science is real, love is love, and the future is not binary.

The U.S. Supreme Court Election Firmly Leans Toward a more Conservative Ideology that Confirms an Imbalance of Power in the Judiciary System and Raises a Multitude of legal Issues on Minorities and Human Rights

Through this extraordinary shift of paradigm and perspective, our commitment to support our members to address a divided society's most critical challenges is more relevant than ever. Beyond the election, we are entering a moment of uncertainty, and the stakes are enormous. During the last months, the pandemic has exposed our vulnerability as humans and how the injustice of racism, poverty, and disparities continue to segregate us.

The loss of most liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been significant; her continued fight for women's rights and minorities, among others, represents the level of advocacy our organization would like to endure. In the field of family therapy and academy, her legacy stated the importance of becoming aware of heteronormative identities, assumptions, and privileges relating to heterosexism.

In July 2020, AFTA applauded the supreme court's affirmation of the civil rights of gay and transgender citizens and continued protection of dreamers. Swing votes in the past have helped liberal causes such as gay marriage and the Affordable Care Act. The 5-4 balance we saw in the past helped Justices reach compromises. That will likely no longer be the case.

During the last month, the U.S. supreme court confirmed Amy Coney Barrett, completing a conservative majority of 6-3. Representing a supreme court that could be the most conservative it has been in the last 70 years. This, in turn, raises a panoply of legal concerns that may jeopardize the accomplished rights of minorities, and human rights issues such as access to abortion and LGBTQ rights.

Only a few days ago, conservative Justice Samuel Alito stated in a speech: "You can't say that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. Until recently, that's what the vast majority of Americans thought. Now, it's considered bigotry." AFTA condemns Justice Alito’s bigotry and wildly inappropriate speech that represents a partisan stand that has raised serious concerns for the LGBTQ community. When our society is separated and social cohesion is weakened, we support the belief in the importance of "listening to people with views other than one's own."

AFTA would like to dedicate the time and resources that this difficult period demands. More than ever, our interest to drive impact, promote our power to drive impact, promote empathy, and lay the foundations for social justice is exponentially intensified. It is our hope that all of these historic events – the battle for public safety from COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, the Court’s affirmation of rights in the L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ community, and the Court’s decision to reject dismantling DACA will firmly be respected despite the ideological differences.

AFTA upholds the inextricable relationship between promoting equity, social justice, and context to marginalize populations being heard. We will continue to promote equity. And will encourage AFTA members to identify individuals and groups of support that can help their clients to strengthen and build a community of support.

-------------------------------------------

The Family Policy and Human Rights Committee and AFTA's Board of Directors