SWISH! NCAA SAYS NO FINAL FOURS - OR ANY EVENTS - IN CITIES WITHOUT FULLY-INCLUSIVE NON-DISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS: The NCAA has made its pro-equality stance official, announcing that it will not hold any of its events -- from education conferences to its marquee sports event, the Final Four basketball championship -- in cities that don’t protect all residents with fully LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination laws. Host cities must “demonstrate how they will provide an environment that is safe, healthy, and free of discrimination, plus safeguards the dignity of everyone involved in the event,” the NCAA says. It went on to make clear that the NCAA considers “the promotion of inclusiveness in race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity” vital to “the well-being of student-athletes, promoting diversity in hiring practices and creating a culture of fairness.” The decision means cities like Charlotte, NC, where a municipal non-discrimination ordinance was stripped away by the state’s new discriminatory HB2 law, will, like all cities in NC, now fail to meet the NCAA’s new, inclusive guidelines. The state, which has hosted NCAA basketball tournament games 17 times, continues to pay the price for NC Gov. Pat McCrory’s terrible law. Read the NCAA’s statement, and more from HRC's blog.
SMALL BIZ, MICHAEL JORDAN, ASK LAWMAKERS TO BENCH HB 2: The latest in the continuing HB2 fallout… from just the past 24 hours:
TENN. GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL ALLOWING COUNSELORS TO REFER AWAY LGBT YOUTH : In remarkably depressing news, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has signed a bill that will allow counselors in private practices to use their religious beliefs as an excuse for terminating their care of LGBT clients, allowing them to refer clients because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This unnecessary law opens the door for all types of discrimination, and could particularly hurt LGBTQ youth, who are already more likely to need these kinds of services than their straight peers as a result of intolerance. More from WMC Action News.
IT’S THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF ORAL ARGUMENTS IN OBERGEFELL V. HODGES!!! SENATE REPUBLICANS - #DOYOURJOB! On the one-year anniversary of Supreme Court arguments in the historic Obergefell v. Hodges case that paved the way for marriage equality in all 50 states, HRC is again demanding that Republican senators to #doyourjob and hold hearings on President Obama’s high court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. It’s been over a month since the president nominated the highly-qualified and respected judge to fill the open seat on the Supreme Court, but there’s been no action so far. On this anniversary of Obergefell v. Hodges, the Senate should #doyourjob and hold confirmation hearings for Judge Garland. More from HRC’s blog.
#NOMOORE - HRC RENEWS CALL TO REMOVE ALA. CHIEF JUSTICE ROY MOORE FOR DEFYING FED COURT: HRC is again calling for the censure and removal of Chief Justice Roy Moore from the Alabama Supreme Court for consistently failing to do his job and follow laws ensuring marriage equality. Last year, HRC and other civil rights organizations joined the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) ethics complaint with the Judicial Inquiry Commission of Alabama, seeking Moore’s removal for violating the obligations of his office. The complaint details Moore’s blatant disregard for the law, including communications in which he urges Governor Robert Bentley and members of the state’s probate judges association to ignore federal court rulings striking down Alabama’s ban on marriage equality. He’s gotta go.
HOUSE COMMITTEE STRIPS VITAL FED CONTRACTOR NON-DISCRIM REQUIREMENTS: This morning HRC condemned a U.S. House Armed Services Committee decision that would dismantle President Obama’s executive order prohibiting discrimination in federal contracting based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The House amendment would allow, under the guise of “religious liberty,” sweeping, taxpayer-funded discrimination by contractors working for the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. More from HRC's blog.
MEANWHILE, AT LEAST SOME FOLKS ARE FIGHTING FOR THE EQUALITY ACT: Members of Congress are calling on the Republican leadership to give the bipartisan Equality Act a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. Since it was introduced last summer, House and Senate leaders have not taken any action on the legislation and several of the bill’s sponsors are done waiting. The ball is in the court of Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). The Equality Act’s House sponsor, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI),will submit a formal letter asking for a hearing today. More from BuzzFeed.
CRUZ & FIORINA, A HATEFUL UNION: Yesterday, Ted Cruz announced Carly Fiorina would be his running mate, in a desperate attempt to fan the dying embers of his presidential aspirations. In doing so, his campaign has doubled down on its embrace of anti-LGBT policies -- a fact unlikely to draw in new support, or support from younger Republicans and Independents. More background here on Cruz and Fiorina’s anti-LGBT platforms.
MISSOURI SJR 39 IS DEAD... FOR NOW: But don’t let your hair down just yet. A Missouri bill that would’ve enshrined state-sanctioned discrimination against LGBT people and their families into the Missouri Constitution was voted down in committee. However, if 55 lawmakers vote to do so, the bill could circumvent the committee process and still head to the floor. Now, we all love The Walking Dead… but not like this. More from The Associated Press.
VERMONT LEGISLATURE VOTES TO PROTECT LGBTQ YOUTH FROM “CONVERSION THERAPY”: Vermont is on track to become the 6th jurisdiction to protect LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” Shout out to Senators Campion, Ayer and Rep. Pugh for their leadership on the bill which now heads to the desk. California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington D.C. currently have similar laws and more than 20 states have introduced legislation. Following an executive action from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, New York is also adopting regulations to protect youth from “conversion therapy.” More from HRC's blog.
HRC announces former NAACP Chairman Ben Jealous as a key speaker at the Rally to Repeal HB 1523 in Mississippi this Sunday... Erasing 76 Crimes hails Human Rights Watch’s call to investigate the Bangladeshi LGBT murders… The Huffington Post points out that marriage equality was not the end for Southern LGBT equality… BuzzFeed discusses the legal challenge Oxford, Ala. will likely face from our friends at ACLU... and Fox News talks to the mother of a SC trans student urging a school to update their bathroom policies.
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