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#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: January 14, 2016

by HRC staff January 14, 2016


JAZZED ABOUT READING FOR TRANSGENDER EQUALITY: Today, inspired by a Wisconsin town’s unequivocal repudiation last month of the Liberty Counsel’s bigotry and censorship, HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools and youth advocates across the country are hosting readings of “I Am Jazz” in more than two dozen schools, churches and community centers in eight states -- from Tacoma to North St. Paul; and Dallas/Fort Worth, to Washington, D.C. You may remember the story of how more than 600 people from Mount Horeb, WI turned out to support a young transgender student at a public reading of “I Am Jazz,” by and about transgender teen and HRC Foundation Youth Ambassador Jazz Jennings, after the anti-LGBT Liberty Counsel pressured the child’s school to cancel a reading of the book. “Here’s to more Mount Horeb,” HRC President Chad Griffin writes in a piece featured today in the Advocate. And in a new video, Jazz thanks the caring people reading her book. Read Chad Griffin’s full op/ed here: bit.ly/1PdgGdB

MORNING JOE HITS TED CRUZ OVER ‘NEW YORK VALUES’ AND HYPOCRISY ON LGBT RHETORIC: The crew at Morning Joe dissects the latest in an escalating war of words between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Cruz’s latest attack against Trump is that he represents “New York values.” Joe’s take: “Ted Cruz [is] being a hypocrite here by acting like he’s some country lawyer who just fell off the turnip truck. And then he comes to New York City, and he speaks differently about same-sex marriage in New York City fundraisers, as he does when he’s in middle America.” More here: youtu.be/3WW9eIDUBik?t=2m1s

REPUBLICANS DEBATE TONIGHT IN SOUTH CAROLINA: Tonight, Fox Business will host the first Republican debate of 2016 in South Carolina. Here are a few things you might have missed from the candidates since the last debate. Six Republicans quietly signed an anti-LGBT group’s pledge to discriminate over the holidays. Ben Carson said he was open to bringing back “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Ted Cruz amped up the transphobic rhetoric. And Marco Rubio laid out his push to reverse the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality. More on the candidates' records here: http://www.hrc.org/2016republicanfacts

ICYMI: SEAT OF UNREST: Gavin Grimm is a 15-year-old transgender teen in Gloucester, Va…. and he has to use the bathroom. Unfortunately, we all know where this story is going. In an in-depth report, the New York Daily News lays out the story that led to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against the Gloucester County School Board for violating Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination by schools receiving federal funds. Even the Obama Administration supports Gavin against this ridiculous, transphobic school rule. More here: bit.ly/1njgbs

43 PERCENT OF DC HOMELESS YOUTH ARE LGBT: The first-ever homeless youth survey in Washington, D.C. has revealed a terrible reality - 43 percent of the city’s homeless youth identify as LGBT. Many homeless LGBT young people cite family rejection as one of the most common reasons for being homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless. Though this announcement is extremely distressing, LGBT service providers across the city, as well as the office of Mayor Muriel Bowser are devoted to tackling this issue. Bowser’s administration in partnership with Verizon, has directed a number of grants to increase the services available to LGBT youth. More here: wapo.st/1nl7L3q

STATE SNAPSHOT

ANTI-LGBT ACTIVISTS RALLY BEHIND INDIANA GOV. MIKE PENCE: Anti-LGBT activists are already rallying behind Gov. Pence and his comments Tuesday night that he would oppose any LGBT non-discrimination legislation that somehow “diminishes” so-called “religious freedom” (often used as code for the ability to discriminate against LGBT people). Pence knows full well that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution already protects freedom of religion, and he’s just shamefully positioning himself to oppose full non-discrimination protections for LGBT Hoosiers. No surprise that the anti-LGBT Indiana Pastors Alliance and the American Family Association of Indiana are praising him. More here: indy.st/1P2FPxP

TENNESSEE LAWMAKERS TO VOTE ON BILL THAT WOULD VOID ALL SAME-SEX MARRIAGES: Next Wednesday, Tennessee lawmakers are scheduled to vote on a bill called the Natural Marriage Defense Act (yes, that’s actually the name). Introduced by Republican legislator Rep. Mark Pody, the bill is a slap in the face of the U.S. Supreme Court, as it would declare all same-sex marriages “void and unenforceable in Tennessee.” State lawmakers have been busy fighting the lost battle that was marriage equality. Since last year, county after county in Tennessee has been moving to pass resolutions asking state legislators to pass this horrific bill. More here: tnne.ws/1ZxGs7w and bit.ly/1Q0qjQ5

STILL NO TRANS COMMITMENT FROM MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR: Despite mounting pressure and a host of new endorsements, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker won’t commit to supporting legislation in the Bay State that would grant protections for transgender residents and visitors in public places. Earlier this week, a group of professional sports teams out of New England -- the New England Patriots, New England Revolution, Boston Celtics, and Boston Bruins, as well as the TD Garden arena -- threw their weight behind the bill, which already has support from the Boston Red Sox, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, and Attorney General Maura Healey. Baker’s support is crucial because he can either sign the bill or veto it if there’s not a two-thirds support veto-proof majority in the State House and Senate. More here: bit.ly/1RNlJX8

“RELIGIOUS FREEDOM” BILLS POPPING UP IN GEORGIA: Three days into the legislative session and Georgia Republicans have already made their priorities clear. The Georgia State House has filed legislation that would allow private businesses owners to refuse services to same-sex couples getting married in the state. In some positive news, the Georgia Voice reports that two openly LGBT candidates have announced runs for the Georgia House. More here: on-ajc.com/1ZxtR47 and bit.ly/1N9pqjv

CHARLOTTE CITY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS PRO-LGBT ORDINANCE: The Charlotte City Council is expected to discuss a possible non-discrimination ordinance that would protect LGBT residents and visitors in public accommodations. This is the city’s second attempt since an ordinance failed to pass last March, and the first attempt since a new pro-equality City Council was elected in November. Charlotte remains one of the largest cities in the country without an LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance. More here: bit.ly/1RGWcRc

STORY OF THE DAY! A SLICE OF EQUALITY: A pizza restaurant in Charlotte, NC is showing us exactly what southern hospitality really means. Pure Pizza is making the rounds on the Internet after a sign it placed on its unisex bathroom went viral. The sign states that the restaurant “[has] a unisex bathroom because sometimes gender-specific toilets put others into uncomfortable situations, and since we have a lot of our friends coming to visit us, we wanted to provide a place for our friends who are single dads with daughters, single moms with sons, parents with disabled children, those in the LGBTQ community and adults with aging parents who may be mentally/physically disabled.” This show of support for the LGBTQ community is especially crucial in a city like Charlotte, where elected offices are discussing an LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance after a failed attempt last year. Kudos, Pure Pizza! More here: huff.to/1JKTzLa

ACLU V. NSAA ON TRANSGENDER EQUALITY IN NEBRASKA: The American Civil Liberties (ACLU) has issued a warning to the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) after the association proposed a strict new policy on the participation of transgender students in high school sports. If the proposal moves forward, the ACLU warns that they will sue on the grounds that the rule violates Title IX, which prohibits schools that receive federal funding from discriminating on the basis of sex. The Activities Association has planned to vote on this anti-trans rule today, potentially blocking transgender students from participating in sports and using locker rooms or bathrooms that correspond with their gender. More here: bit.ly/1RKss47

THE NEXT MT. HOREB. WISCONSIN?: On the heels of a similar issue in Mt. Horeb, WI, a school in St. Paul, MN seeking to prevent bullying and support a transgender child, found itself the target of anti-LGBT extremists. And like Mt. Horeb, hundreds of community members turned out to support the child, the school and show that love conquers hate. The powerful silent protest was attended by hundreds of purple-clad community members. Read more: bit.ly/1P2DqmE

AROUND THE WORLD

LOST IN TRANSLATION?: The ambiguous wording of a Japanese Supreme Court ruling could mean the start of a move toward marriage equality in the country. In a suit filed by couples objecting to the requirement that couples register under only one surname, the judges used wording that could refer to a married couple as “two parties” rather than “husband and wife.” This wording could be used in future cases arguing for same-sex marriage, according to Associate Professor Sota Kimura of the Tokyo Metropolitan University. More here: bit.ly/1JEMcVF

WILL GERMANY FINALLY SAY ‘I DO’ TO MARRIAGE EQUALITY?: Currently one of the few countries in Western Europe without marriage rights for same-sex couples, the German government will now be forced to discuss the issue thanks to the use of a loophole by Renate Keuhnat of the leading Green Party. Now, the Speaker’s office must decide if and when to set the debate. More here: bit.ly/1P1853D

FLAG ON THE PLAY, FIFA TAKES A STAND: FIFA took a bold stand against homophobia earlier this week by fining five countries for chanting anti-gay slurs at opposing teams. Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay will pay a combined $150,000 for their “insulting and discriminatory chants” during the qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup. An additional country, Honduras, could also face fines. More here: usat.ly/1PYqQlk

PRIDE PARLIAMENT: The United Kingdom has another jewel in its crown. After British politician David Mundell came out on Wednesday, the UK became the parliament with the most LGBT members in terms of sheer numbers, though the Danes might take some offense, since 7.2% of their parliament is LGBT. With U.S. elections around the corner, it’s time America gave them a run for their money! More here: wapo.st/1Q5EOUr

DISCRIMINATION IS NOT WELCOME ON THE ISLAND: The Cayman Islands Premier has made clear that discrimination has no place in the tropical Island. Alden McLaughlin explained that the immigration policies of his country need to be amended so as to include the dependents of same-sex couples. Though this might not exactly pave the way towards full equality, it is certainly a promising start. More here: bit.ly/1OsXOYC

HISTORIC TRANS EQUALITY CASE OUT OF CANADA: The Manitoba Human Rights Commission will hear the case of a nine year-old transgender girl who filed a complaint against the River East Transcona School Division, alleging that they did not do enough when she was bullied by the parent of another student, for using the girls’ restroom at her school. The public hearing will take place from July 11-15 in Winnipeg. Her parents told CBC News that prior to hearing, they had gone through two investigations without reaching an agreement. More here: bit.ly/1UPfhOw

READING RAINBOW

Washington Blade sits down with HRC President Chad Griffin... CNN explores the evolving world of Social Security in light of marriage equality… The Guardian examines the effect of gentrification on historically-LGBT neighborhoods… Alturi looks at how a distant relative of Gambia’s president became a global LGBTI activist… and Media Matters debunks the transgender “bathroom predator” myth.

Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to A.M. Equality, and follow @HRC for all latest news and updates. Thanks for reading!





HRC staff
HRC staff

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