As results were still coming in during election night, Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, got on the phone to the leaders of Planned Parenthood and the NAACP, figuring out a game plan. “They made a commitment to stand even closer together than we have before as leaders in the progressive movement,” says HRC communications director Jay Brown. In the days following, leaders of groups that had opposed president-elect Donald Trump huddled together and starting mapping out a plan. “It’s going to look very different for us, but we’ve not gotten where we’ve gotten without hard work,” Brown says. “Our movement has had incredible setbacks and devastating results and we have pushed on.”
By Susan Milligan | Staff Writer
The day after the election, the HRC website got more hits than it did the day the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage the law of the land, Brown says. “Our folks are scared. They worried, and they coming to us for answers – do I need to get married now? Do I need to shore up my parenting rights?” Brown says.
In the short-to-medium term, progressives are looking to the courts and to states and localities to hang onto the advances they have made in their own missions. Same-sex marriage is not really imperiled, experts say, since the Supreme Court affirmed the right even with the opposition of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Even if Trump replaces Scalia with a similarly minded justice, the math is the same – and the court, even if faced with a new challenge to the right it upheld in 2015, is bound by the concept of “stare decisis,” or an allegiance to judicial precedent.