A man who vows to attend every major LGBT+ rights court case in the US has described how he even made it to the Supreme Court after being run over in a hit and run.
Eddie Reynoso from San Diego, California, who is the founder and CEO of the San Diego LGBT Visitors Center, has been travelling across the country for years to witness cases affecting the LGBT+ community.
According to the SCOTUS blog, he has been present at Hollingsworth v Perry in 2009, which took down Proposition 8 and legalised same-sex marriage in California, Obergefell v Hodges in 2015, which legalised same-sex marriage across the United States, and Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission in 2018, when the Supreme Court ruled in favour of a bakery that refused to serve a gay couple.
But last year, when judges scheduled arguments for Harris Funeral Homes v Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which aimed to decide whether trans people could be fired for being trans, Reynoso’s plans were ruined.
Just before he left on his trip, Reynoso was struck by a car in a hit-and-run.
Though not seriously injured, he missed his flight to Washington, but his supporters were quick to rally around him. Friends and sympathisers quickly set up a crowdfunding page and donated around $1,500 to get him to Washington, paying for his flights, accommodation and food.
Still only partially recovered, he made it to Washington four days early, in time to camp outside the court and make sure he got a seat,
He said: “I got hit by a vehicle [in a] pedestrian hit and run. I have a bad back. I’m popping pain medication all night just to be able to sleep on a concrete floor.
“It’s probably not the healthiest, and my doctor’s probably going to flip out. But if it’s what I have to do to carry that message home, then it’s what I’m going to do.”
He said his main aim in going to the court cases is to educate people, bringing information on complicated legal cases to the wider LGBT+ community.
Reynoso continued: “It’s important for everyday Americans to take the message that is being argued and relay that back to our communities.
“When we think of a court case… we forget that those very arguments and the issues that they’re arguing will affect all of us.
“By being here, I feel like I humanise some of those issues for people back home, and… people that might not agree with me.”