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#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: July 25, 2016

by HRC staff July 25, 2016

WITH TIM KAINE, HILLARY CLINTON BOLSTERS HISTORIC CAMPAIGN IN SUPPORT OF FULL LGBTQ EQUALITY: In advance of today’s opening of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton introduced her running mate -- Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, who has a solid commitment to LGBTQ equality. Her choice of Kaine contrasts starkly with Donald Trump’s running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, who has one of the most anti-LGBTQ records of any vice presidential candidate. In addition to supporting marriage equality, Kaine is an original co-sponsor of the Equality Act -- federal legislation that would finally guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBTQ people under our existing civil rights laws. As Virginia Governor in 2006, one of Kaine’s first actions was to sign an executive order adding sexual orientation protections to the non-discrimination policy for state workers. Kaine also recently signed onto an amicus brief in the 2nd Circuit case, Christiansen v Omnicom Group Inc., arguing that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination are prohibited under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He has voted in favor of the Employment

Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA). More from HRC.

  • Before officially announcing her VEEP pick, Hillary Clinton paid her respects to the victims of the Orlando shooting, visiting a memorial at the Pulse nightclub. Meeting with first responders and the victims’ families, she pledged to “promote the kinds of changes that will prevent this from happening to other people, other families and other communities.” More from The Orlando Sentinel.
  • Meanwhile HRC President Chad Griffin calls out Trump for pandering to LGBTQ voters. Griffin told NPR, “We're beyond the time in our country where someone deserves praise for acknowledging that we exist and for saying that we shouldn't be murdered.”

HRC’S SARAH MCBRIDE TO MAKE HISTORY AT THE DNC; HRC PRESIDENT CHAD GRIFFIN ALSO TO SPEAK THURSDAY: HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride will speak at the DNC on Thursday -- marking the first time in history an openly transgender person will speak at a major party convention. HRC President Chad Griffin will also address the Democratic National Convention on Thursday. A record number of LGBTQ delegates -- including a historic high of 27 transgender delegates -- will also be attending the Democratic convention. The party is slated to adopt the most inclusive and progressive platform ever on LGBTQ equality. That proposed platform includes planks endorsing comprehensive non-discrimination protections, opposing anti-LGBTQ bills, condemning violence against transgender people, and calling for LGBTQ equality to continue to be a part of U.S. foreign policy. Mara Keisling, veteran trans advocate and executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, served on the platform committee. More from HRC and The Hill.

  • HRC President Chad Griffin has also been named a Vice Chair of the 2016 DNC. Other LGBTQ officers include U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, LPAC Board Chair Laura Ricketts, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and transgender rights advocate Marisa Richmond.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama, who shares Hillary Clinton’s commitment to LGBTQ equality, is the featured speaker at tonight’s opening night of the DNC. She has long been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ people, most recently urging Jackson State University graduates in Mississippi to stand against discrimination - including their state’s new anti-LGBTQ law, HB1523. “So we've got to stand side by side with all our neighbors — straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender; Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu immigrant, Native American — because the march for civil rights isn't just about African Americans, it's about all Americans.”

TEXAS SCHOOL DISTRICT ABRUPTLY CHANGES GUIDELINES FOR TRANSGENDER STUDENTS: Texas’ Fort Worth Independent School District has rewritten its guidance on transgender students, saying that parents must work with school administrators to create an individual education plan for transgender students. The original guidelines, advanced by Superintendent Kent Scribner, laid out the policies the school would follow to show respect for the student’s gender identity, and gave students the option to involve their parents. The new policy, however, is specific to each particular student (and doesn’t lay out a comprehensive policy for how transgender students should be treated, including around the issues of bathroom access and participation in sports - those decisions are left the school administrators); furthermore, as ThinkProgress reports, the new policy emphasizes parental involvement which can present a challenge for students who are not out to their parents or whose identity is not supported by their parents. Scribner was under tremendous pressure from state officials to change the initial guidance, including  from anti-LGBTQ Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has asserted that Fort Worth’s initial guidance violated Texas law. More from The Associated Press.

  • In Cleveland, transgender equality is affirmed: The day after the RNC wrapped up in Cleveland, the city’s mayor signed into law a bill protecting the rights of the transgender community. More from The Washington Blade.

JUDGE ORDERS KANSAS AGENCY TO FULLY COMPLY WITH OBERGEFELL: On Friday, a federal judge ordered the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to comply with the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, and allow LGBTQ couples the same benefits as their heterosexual counterparts. The case involved “the state health department den[ying] at least two couples the ability to place both of their names on their children’s birth certificates.”

NCAA TESTING POTENTIAL HOST CITIES ON THEIR LGBTQ-INCLUSIVE POLICIES: A day after the NBA pulled the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte over HB2, the NCAA also took a decisive step to stand up for LGBTQ equality. It announced that all cities bidding to host championship games must submit a survey detailing their non-discrimination laws and policies. BuzzFeed has more.

  • The PGA on the other hand has announced that the 2017 PGA Championship will remain in Charlotte despite their opposition to HB2, but they do “plan to allow spectators to use the restroom that conforms with their gender identity or gender expression.” The Association also said the law will affect the likelihood of them returning to the state for future events, and expressed hope that HB2 will be changed.

FOLLOWING ORLANDO, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF LA RAZA PASSES GUN SAFETY RESOLUTION: This weekend, the National Council of La Raza adopted new policies supporting reducing and preventing gun violence. NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía said in a statement, “The tragic event at Pulse nightclub changed Orlando and it has changed NCLR. Today, by formally adopting this position, we join with the vast majority of Americans calling for an end to gun violence and we will urge policymakers to adopt common-sense measures to reduce mass shootings and gun violence, saving countless lives.” Murguía joined HRC President Chad Griffin and other civil rights leaders outside of HRC headquarters for a press conference the day after the tragedy. More here.


The Huffington Post highlights a new video series featuring transgender women affected by HIV; The Associated Press breaks down anti-LGBTQ organization the Alliance Defending Freedom involvement in Mississippi’s HB1523 law; The Atlanta Journal Constitution profiles a new school for LGBTQ youth opening next month in the city; CBS 58 shares a new partnership in Milwaukee between the small business administration and the LGBT Chamber of Commerce; An NBC News op-ed explains why Trump is no friend to the LGBTQ community; The New York Times reflects on what the Hindu festival Mayana Kollai means to Indian transgender women; The U.S. News and World Report reports how support for the LGBTQ community is rising at historically black schools; and TIME explains the significance of the NBA moving the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte over HB2.

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

HRC staff
HRC staff


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