Letters from readers on what matters in Lafayette.

LETTER: We’re all in this together

Abortion rights protestors
Abortion rights protestors demonstrate outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, May 3, 2022. Jane Norman (States Newsroom)

When responding to the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, it’s difficult to know  where to begin. The repeal itself of the protections of reproductive rights leaves a large portion  of the population in very real danger of disability, impoverishment — even death. That the law  that went into immediate effect in our home state has no exceptions for survivors of rape and  incest, and limited provisions for others, is appalling and negligent on the part of Louisiana  lawmakers and our governor. The Acadiana Queer Collective stands with those who will be  affected and will continue to advocate beside and for them. 

The verdict, however, has the potential to go even further than this already grievous harm to  American rights. Many LGBTQ+ individuals, when the position was leaked last month, feared  that this would lay the groundwork for the rolling back of other rights, such as the right to  marriage equality, and the right to privacy which protects not just queer folx, but all Americans.  

There was a fear of the return to the nightmare of the not-so-distant past, of hiding who and  what we are in order to avoid prosecution, unemployment, the loss of access to medical and  mental health care, or worse, and of not being able to enjoy the same rights as every other  American. Justice Thomas, in his concurrence, gave vivid life to that nightmare, calling for the  revisiting of those very protections. 

The Acadiana Queer Collective was created to make a safe space in Lafayette and the  surrounding areas by promoting unity, civic pride, and inclusivity within the city so many of us  call home. Acadiana is known worldwide for its diversity and welcoming spirit, and the massive  turnout for our Pride celebration earlier this month proved that reputation is well deserved. We  hope, sincerely, that Acadiana will continue to carry alongside us this light of love and hope into  a suddenly much darker world. It is only by standing together that we will create a better, safer  world for us, and for our children. 

To everyone out there who is afraid of what has happened, and what may, know this: We will  support you. We will work to keep you and your rights safe and whole. We will never stop  trying to make this city what we know it can be — because it has so often been. We are all in this together, and we will not back down.