#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: March 28, 2016

HRC staff

FOLLOWING MASSIVE OUTCRY FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY, GA GOV. HAS VETOED HB 757: After weeks of pressure by HRC, Georgia Equality, and others, Governor Nathan Deal announced this morning that he’s vetoing H.B. 757, a deeply discriminatory bill which sparked a massive outcry of opposition from a broad array of civil rights groups and leaders in Hollywood and corporate America. The legislation would have weakened local non-discrimination protections, allowed businesses to discriminate and deny service to LGBT people, and explicitly empowered discrimination by taxpayer-funded religious organizations. Deal’s veto comes one week after HRC President Chad Griffin called on Hollywood to stop productions in Georgia if Deal refused to veto the legislation. Soon after, many of the biggest entertainment companies in the world responded to the call -- including 21st Century Fox, AMC Networks, CBS Corp., Comcast NBCUniversal, Lionsgate, Live Nation, MGM, Netflix, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Starz, The Walt Disney Co., Time Warner, The Weinstein Company and Viacom. And more than thirty  leading actors, directors, producers, musicians, and agents signed HRC’s letter demanding that he veto the proposal. HRC President Chad Griffin praised the news and called out state leaders in North Carolina saying, “Discrimination and intolerance have no place in the United States of America, and we hope North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly are paying close attention to what has transpired in Georgia. They must undo their disgraceful attack on LGBT people in the state’s upcoming legislative session.” More here: http://nyti.ms/1qbnDHg

NC GOV MCCRORY, ARE YOU LISTENING? BUSINESSES DO NOT SUPPORT YOUR ANTI-LGBT LAW: North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory claims that businesses support his radical new law attacking LGBT North Carolinians and visitors to the state. However, the Associated Press has reported that Gov. McCrory’s office can’t name a single business that supports his decision, and in fact, the business community is overwhelmingly opposed to his outrageous attack on fairness and equality. We've seen a wave of opposition from leading corporations and organizations, including from Dow, Biogen, PayPal, RedHat , the NCAA, the PGA, American Airlines, Salesforce, IBM, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Marriott, Bayer, and others. The NBA has even said that it is considering moving it’s 2017 All-Star game from the state because of this measure, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has banned travel to NC. The message couldn't be clearer: discrimination is bad for business, and the private sector sees Gov. McCrory’s blunder as taking North Carolina in the wrong direction. Things are far from over as advocates are continuing to mobilize and keep lawmakers accountable ahead of their legislative session next month. This appalling new law eliminates existing municipal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people and some veterans; prevents such provisions from being passed by cities in the future; and forces transgender students in public schools to use restrooms and other facilities inconsistent with their gender identity. More here: bit.ly/22HkEI8

LAWSUIT FILED OVER NC’S NEW DISCRIMINATION LAW: Today, Equality NC, the ACLU of North Carolina, and Lambda Legal, along with three LGBT plaintiffs, filed a lawsuit against several senior North Carolina officials including Governor Pat McCrory and Attorney General Roy Cooper, as well as the University of North Carolina. In the suit, the plaintiffs contend that “By singling out LGBT people for disfavored treatment and explicitly writing discrimination against transgender people into state law, HB 2 violates the most basic guarantees of equal treatment and that U.S. Constitution.”  Further, the lawsuit argues that the new law violates Title IX, which bans discrimination on the basis of sex in education, and has been interpreted by the Obama Administration to include transgender students. North Carolina is now the first state in the country to enact such a law attacking transgender students, even after several similar proposals were rejected across the country this year -- including a high-profile veto by the Republican governor of South Dakota on a very similar bill. Transgender North Carolinians continue to speak out against the legislation. Last week, Maddy Goss, an openly transgender woman from Raleigh, testified about the harmful impact HB 2 would have. Maddy told lawmakers,“I can’t use the men’s room. I won’t go back to the men’s room. It is unsafe for me there. People like me die in there.” More here:  bzfd.it/22UglWD

PROTECTING TRANS PRISONERS: The Department of Justice (DOJ) has rolled out an important clarification to their 2012 guidelines aimed at protecting transgender prisoners. While the Department had already made clear that the gender identity of prisoners should be considered when placing them in facilities, on Thursday, they made things far more explicit by criticizing those who automatically assign inmates to facilities based on their anatomy without taking into proper account the safety considerations applicable to each individual inmate. The new guidance states, “any written policy or actual practice that assigns transgender or intersex inmates to gender-specific facilities, housing or programs based solely on their external genital anatomy violates the standard.” The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) responded positively to the news saying, “The new guidance… sends the clearest message yet that current housing practices in prisons and jails are in violation of PREA and put transgender people at risk for sexual abuse.” More here: bit.ly/1pUwlKn

TED CRUZ’S ‘RELIGIOUS LIBERTY’ PLAN CREATED BY ANTI-LGBT LEADERS: Last week, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz unveiled his so-called ‘religious liberty’ platform, a 15-point list which aims to roll back LGBT rights if he’s elected president. The list includes recommendations such as rescinding President Obama’s executive orders protecting LGBT employees of federal contractors and directing federal agencies to stop interpreting ‘sex’ to include sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This list has very little to do with protecting religious liberties (which are already constitutionally protected by the First Amendment), and much more to do with spreading hateful anti-LGBT rhetoric. Looking at the consultants on this list reveals an infamous cast of nefarious anti-LGBT characters, including Bishop Harry Jackson, Steve Riggle, Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation and Kelly Shackleford of First Liberty. More here: bit.ly/1Pv1WGB and bit.ly/1qbkEyK


MINNESOTA GOVERNOR PLEDGES TO VETO LEGISLATIVE ASSAULT ON TRANSGENDER MINNESOTANS IF IT REACHES HIS DESK: Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has pledged to veto a vile and discriminatory legislative assault on transgender Minnesotans and visitors to the state. Addressing the anti-equality lawmakers who are pushing the discriminatory bill that seeks to force transgender people to use restrooms and other sex-segregated facilities inconsistent with their gender identity, Gov. Dayton said, “They are wrong on the issue and wrong on the morality of it in my opinion. I’ll veto it.” More here: bit.ly/1Ux3hW6

MICHIGAN DEPT OF ED EXTENDS COMMENT PERIOD FOR LGBT STUDENT POLICIES: The Michigan Department of Education is extending the public comment period on a proposal that would give policy recommendations to schools on LGBT students. The comment period, which was scheduled to end on April 11, will now end on May 10, in time for formal consideration at the state Board of Education’s meeting on that day. Conservative lawmakers in the state have pushed back against the original end date, claiming it did not give parents enough time. The recommendations include policies on allowing transgender students to use the names, pronouns and facilities in line with their gender identity. So far, over 3,000 comments have been submitted. More here: detne.ws/1pUzkSX

NJ.COM TAKES ON NJ REP. SCOTT GARRETT, CALLS HIM “UNSKILLED LIAR” AND “SHAMELESS BIGOT”: In a scathing op-ed today, the NJ.com editorial board calls out Rep. Scott Garrett for his disingenuous apology tour last week. Though his opposition to marriage equality and refusal to even support gay Republican candidates have been extremely well documented, Garrett is now claiming that it was all “fabrications and distortions.” NJ.com gives an overview of Garrett’s history of lying, as well as the huge number of pro-equality banks that pulled their financial support for his re-election campaign after learning about his anti-LGBT positions. Read the full editorial here: bit.ly/1UpTEYL


PBS Newswire interviews trans people about North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law… Los Angeles Times editorial board praises Disney for speaking out against Georgia’s HB 757… Media Matters calls out National TV news for not reporting on anti-LGBT legislation… NJ.com profiles one man’s journey to make the Boy Scouts more welcoming… The Wall Street Journal highlights the five things to know about LGBT issues in Indonesia… The Charlotte Observer breaks down HB 2…The Christian Science Monitor reports on the backlash of North Carolina’s discriminatory new law... The Detroit News looks at a study calling for more data on LGBT students… and NBC News examines the role of business pressure against anti-LGBT bills.

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