NC SEN. BERGER SENDS DESPERATE, DISSEMBLING LETTER TO CEOS; HRC EDIT IN THE TRUTH: Further compounding the HB2 economic catastrophe that NC Gov. Pat McCrory, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore inflicted on the state when they rammed the dangerous legislation through in less than a day, they are now doubling down on their refusal to listen to the business community. While CEOs and business leaders have spoken with one voice over the past six weeks, calling on NC leaders to repeal HB2, Senator Berger has sent a letter to corporate leaders, defending his discriminatory HB2 law. HRC and Equality NC are taking him to task and HRC took the the liberty of redlining Senator Berger’s letter with the truth and publishing it here. Trust us, you won’t want to miss it.
HRC GOES TO BATTLE OVER HOUSE AMENDMENT THAT WOULD UNDERMINE POTUS’S EO & STRIP LGBT RIGHTS IN FEDERAL CONTRACTING: An amendment added to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) at 2 a.m. seeks to undermine President Obama’s executive order protecting federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The amendment opens up a broad loophole for employers and creates dangerous pathway for LGBT-based discrimination. HRC’s Director of Government Affairs David Stacy said of the amendment: “We see this as social conservatives in the House trying to push what they view as a religious liberty exemption and use it as a sword rather than a shield.” More from The Washington Post.
WHILE WE WERE CORRECTING SEN. BERGER, FOX NEWS’ MEGYN KELLY WAS SCHOOLING NC GOV. MCCRORY ON HIS ANTI-TRANS BIAS: Perpetually grinning NC Gov. Pat McCrory couldn’t shake off Megyn Kelly of Fox News on Thursday as she took him on for promoting terrible and untrue stereotypes of transgender people and embracing the discrimination inherent in his HB2 law. Kelly didn’t beat around the bush, asking the fumbling Gov. McCrory point-blank: “What was the fear that led to the enactment of this law?” Watch the exchange here.
More from the Tar Heel State...
- NC-based Bank of America has renounced the Tar Heel State’s anti-transgender law, joining more than 180 business leaders who have signed an open letter condemning the law, and now is reaffirming in a statement the company’s commitment to equality. More from HRC’s blog.
- For some unfathomable reason, GOP presidential race dropout Lil’ Marco Rubio is still spouting the discriminatory rhetoric that got him so far (NOT) in his White House bid. More from the Christian Post.
HRC HOSTS NATIONWIDE “I AM JAZZ” READINGS IN SUPPORT OF TRANSGENDER YOUTH: As extremists target transgender people, HRC and thousands of advocates across the nation gathered this week to support transgender youth by joining in more than 50 community readings of “I Am Jazz,” a book by transgender teen and HRC Foundation Youth Ambassador Jazz Jennings. Organized by HRC’s Welcoming Schools, the readings were held in schools, libraries, bookstores, homes -- even on the floor of the US House of Representatives. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh also stopped by a reading to stand with transgender citizens. The national event sponsored by HRC’s Welcoming Schools, was inspired by tiny Mount Horeb, WI., where 600 people attended a public reading of “I Am Jazz” after legal threats by an anti-LGBT hate group forced a school to cancel its plans to support a transgender student by reading the book. Check out #ClosetheBookonHate #LoveConquersHate on Twitter for great photos, and read HRC’s Mary Beth Maxwell’s lovely piece on The Huffington Post. More from HRC’s blog.
TOP HOUSE DEMS URGE HEARINGS ON EQUALITY ACT: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was among a group House Democrats who on Thursday called for a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the federal Equality Act, which would extend the protections enumerated under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include LGBT people. Given the heinous number of anti-LGBT bills being considered across the country, the need for a federal law ensuring non-discrimination protections nationwide has never been more important. This is a commonsense solution, and people are listening: the “Equality Act” was the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter during the press conference. More from The Huffington Post.
CONGRESS URGES NATIONAL SURVEY TO INCLUDE QUESTIONS ON SO/GI: Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) on Wednesday sent a bipartisan letter to U.S. Census Bureau Director requesting that the Census Bureau include questions regarding sexual orientation and gender identity on the American Community Survey (ACS). The lack of data on the LGBT population is a significant barrier to improving services and programs that impact the LGBT community and addressing the LGBT populations’ unique challenges. Several other U.S. agencies have already added sexual orientation and gender identity questions to their surveys. More from HRC’s blog.
4 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY:
- Friday funnies: Late Night host Seth Meyers takes down anti-trans state legislation -- watch here.
- LGBT legal groups sent a letter to the Justice Department and White House urging officials to challenge federal school funding for states that have passed anti-LGBT legislation. Looking at you NC and MS… More from BuzzFeed.
- The anti-LGBT National Organization for Marriage has officially come untethered from reality, declaring they were “so successful” in stopping the push for marriage equality that they now are “critically short on funds” and need your contribution today! More from Pink News.
- The American Counseling Association says it is reconsidering its plan to hold a conference next year in Nashville because of a new state law allowing counselors and therapists with “sincerely held principles” to refer LGBT clients to another professional. The Tennessean has the story.
SC’S ANTI-TRANS BILL IS (LIKELY) DEAD THIS YEAR: Looks like lawmakers in South Carolina took notice of the fierce backlash their counterparts to the North are facing over the discriminatory HB2 law, and finally decided to jettison a similar bill that would have barred transgender people from using restrooms that align with their gender identity. No doubt Gov. Nikki Haley, who said the bill was “unnecessary,” is breathing a sigh of relief. In other news, a South Carolina school district has reversed its anti-transgender policy following a demand letter from the Transgender Law Center. Good news all around!
LGBT NON-DISCRIM BILL ADVANCES IN LOUISIANA: Yesterday, a bill that would extend non-discrimination employment protections to the LGBT community advanced to the full Senate in Louisiana. Troy Carter’s impassioned plea to his colleagues. This is the first-ever LGBT non-discrimination bill to advance in the state. Earlier this month, Louisiana Gov. Edwards issued an executive order protecting LGBT state employees. Unfortunately, the order still allows state contractors receiving taxpayer money to discriminate against LGBT employees based on religious beliefs. More from The Times Picayune.
- The list of government entities barring business-related travel to North Carolina and Mississippi continues to grow. The County Council of Montgomery, Maryland, is the most recent city government to ban travel for their county employees to the states because of their anti-LGBT laws. More from Bethesda Magazine.
- Rep. Donald Norcross, R-NJ, offered a non-discrimination amendment to the DC School Voucher Program, but was rebuffed by the House Rules Committee. We commend him for his effort. More from HRC’s blog.
- Another Alabama town is considering an anti-transgender bathroom ordinance, ignoring the calls of countless fair-minded Americans… More from The Cullman Times.
AROUND THE WORLD
COLOMBIA SAYS ‘I DO!’: In a historic 6-3 ruling, Colombia’s highest court has granted marriage rights to same-sex couples, bringing marriage equality to the country. The ruling is effective immediately, making the country the fourth in Latin America to embrace marriage equality. More from The Washington Blade.
Mic points out five ways NC Gov. McCrory is failing his state… Slate breaks down the ways trans rights are being attacked… NPR covers a band banned from performing in Jordan for having a gay frontman… Mashable shares a photo campaign against HB2… The Huffington Post looks at the intersection of LGBTQ and African identities... US News & World Report profiles the underground Bangladeshi LGBT community… and The Guardian captures that community in a photo series... Motto shares Judith Light’s relationship to the LGBT community… and The Washington Post looks at one trans woman’s journey fighting for her rights.