#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: May 3, 2016

HRC staff

CRUZ’IN TOWARD LOOZIN’: Tonight, as Ted Cruz -- one of the most extreme anti-LGBT candidates in this presidential primary circus -- heads toward a crushing defeat in Indiana, there is evidence that his disgusting attacks on the LGBT community may have played a role in the loss. From his vile smear ads targeting transgender people, to throwing a transgender teen out of a campaign event, to appearing with a pastor in Iowa who called for “death to gays,” Cruz has spared no opportunity to attack the LGBT community in an effort to score political points. All the while, the vast majority of Hoosiers of all political stripes -- who have watched Indiana suffer economic and reputational damage as the result of Governor Pence’s disastrous efforts to pass anti-LGBT legislation last year -- have been shaking their heads. As Politico reports today, one Republican delegate specifically noted Cruz’s vicious attacks on transgender people in his decision not to support his presidential campaign. More via Politico, and a look back at Cruz’s anti-LGBT policies and rhetoric here.

...Meanwhile, elsewhere in Indiana, the mayor of Greenwood, Indiana is seeking an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance, after the State Legislature failed to pass one this session.

AS TRUMP REACHES TIPPING POINT IN RACE TO NOMINATION, LET’S SET HIS ANTI-LGBT RECORD STRAIGHT: Make no mistake -- despite his malleable history of shifting positions, Trump has made no secret of his fundamental opposition to LGBT equality. Let’s remember four things:

  • Donald Trump opposes marriage equality. And he has vowed to appoint a Supreme Court justice who would overturn Obergefell.
  • Donald Trump has signed a pledge to pass Kim Davis-style discrimination. He has promised to pass the so-called “First Amendment Defense Act” which would sanction Kim Davis-style discrimination against LGBT people from coast to coast.
  • Donald Trump says he opposes HB2, but would still ‘leave it to the states.’ Opposing discrimination in theory, but not doing anything to protect the victims is #notleadership.
  • Donald Trump would repeal President Obama’s executive orders. At risk is President Obama’s EO protecting LGBT federal contractors from discrimination. Why that’s significant: President Obama’s EO covers 20 percent of the workforce and without it, contractors are at risk for being fired or denied a job just because they happen to be LGBT.

SECRETARY OF EDUCATION CALLS ANTI-TRANSGENDER LAWS “TERRIBLE MISTAKE”: John B. King Jr., the U.S. Secretary of Education, called for the repeal of anti-transgender laws in North Carolina and Mississippi, referring to them as a “terrible mistake” during a conference in Boston. King’s strong denunciation of the discriminatory laws comes shortly after President Obama also called for the measures to be overturned. The Associated Press reports that King told attendees at the Education Writers Association conference that the hateful laws send a problematic message to students, and could impair the safety of transgender students. More from The Associated Press.

TUESDAY MUST-WATCH: Watch transgender North Carolinian Tina White respond to NC HB 2 here. Tina’s video is the ninth in a series of powerful videos from HRC, as detailed by The Charlotte Observer.

U.S. REP. CLARK INTRODUCES BILL TO PUBLISH SCHOOLS SEEKING TITLE IX EXEMPTIONS: Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts announced introduction of legislation to require the Department of Education to publish the list of universities and colleges that have sought a religious exemption under Title IX in order to discriminate, including against LGBT students. Clarke told the Huffington Post, “Students are making a fundamental decision when they’re looking at colleges. It will probably be one of the biggest investments of money and resources they make in their lives. We want to be sure that they have all the information to make sure they’re making the right choice.” The Dept. of Education is already making strides to increase transparency and accountability. Just last week, they published the list of educational institutions that have received an exemption from Title IX, including against LGBT students, since 2009. More from the Huffington Post.

HRC SHARES STORIES OF LGBTQ FOSTER YOUTH AT #FOSTEREQUALITY: This year, HRC marks National Foster Care Month with the launch of HRC Foundation and FosterClub’s #FosterEquality campaign. Throughout May, HRC will share stories of LGBTQ youth in foster care and highlight agencies that are working to improve their practices with LGBTQ youth. There are currently more than 400,000 children and youth in the foster care system in the U.S. LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in this system and too often receive unequal treatment simply because of who they are or who they love. Thanks to programs like HRC’s All Children-All Families, more and more agencies are opening their doors to LGBTQ and allied adults who are ready and willing to open their homes to young people in need.


TWO TEXAS CITIES PROPOSE ANTI-TRANS PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS LAWS -- ONE FAILS: Two Texas cities were considering anti-transgender proposals that would bar people from using the restrooms that align with their gender identity. The good news? A proposal by the mayor of Rockwell to fine transgender people up to $500 for using restrooms in public places and spaces  consistent with their gender identity died Monday night when scores of community members came to speak out against the proposal and no one on the City Council seconded the mayor’s call for a vote. Let’s hope for the same outcome in Lufkin, Texas, where a council member says he’s working on a similar discriminatory proposal. More from WFAA.

  • Also in Texas… The predominantly LGBT neighborhood Oak Lawn in Dallas has seen another attack on an LGBT resident, with no arrest. Police say they are investigating it as a hate crime. In the latest, Craig Knapp was attacked and called homophobic slurs while walking his friend’s dog. This marks the 17th reported attack on an LGBT person in Oak Lawn since September, though local advocates say many incidents go unreported and the total number could be as many as 30. More from Fox News Dallas.

MISSISSIPPI GIVES IN, ALLOWS BAN ON ADOPTION BY SAME-SEX PARENTS TO FALL: Mississippi’s ban on adoptions by same-sex parents has fallen, making adoption by gay couples finally legal in all 50 states. The ban became unenforceable at midnight last night when state officials failed to appeal a federal court decision declaring the ban unconstitutional. This is wonderful news for both prospective parents and the 400,000 children and youth estimated to be in the foster care system. More from BuzzFeed.

VIRGINIA RULES THAT WHEN IT COMES TO SPOUSAL SUPPORT, ALL COUPLES WILL BE TREATED THE SAME: The Virginia Supreme Court has recognized the relationships of LGBT people in a different way -- just like everyone else, if they enter into a new relationship after divorce that relationship will be recognized for the purposes of calculating spousal support regardless of their new partner’s sex. Previously, if a man and woman divorced and one person in the couple cohabitated with or remarried someone of the same sex, the former spouse was still obligated to pay any spousal support - but if the relationship was with someone of a different sex, support would have been recalculated or stopped altogether. Now, the Virginia Supreme Court will legally recognize cohabitating same-sex couples as being “in a relationship analogous to marriage,” just like a cohabitating opposite-sex couple. More from The Washington Post.

BOSTON RAISES TRANSGENDER FLAG: The transgender flag was raised at the Boston City Hall on Monday, marking just the third time the blue, pink and white flag has been flown by a municipality. Advocates, including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and City Council members, raised the flag in support of a transgender equal rights bill that has passed the Judiciary Committee. More from the Metro.


AUSTRALIAN ACTIVISTS TO RAMP UP PUSH FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN UPCOMING ELECTION: Activists in Australia are looking to build federal support for marriage equality, specifically targeting more than 30 electorates that have not historically backed same-sex marriage. It will be Australian Marriage Equality’s largest effort to date, with campaigns across multiple seats throughout Australia, and targeting politicians of all parties. Australia’s Labor Party has promised that, if elected, it would hold a parliamentary vote on marriage equality within its first one hundred days in office. More from The Guardian.

MALTA CONSIDERING REMOVING ITS LIFELONG BAN ON BLOOD DONATIONS FROM GAY MEN: The government of Malta is considering lifting its lifetime ban on blood donations from gay men. A research committee has proposed a deferral of donations from men who have had sex with other men in the past twelve months. This follows in the steps of the US, which implemented a similar program for blood donations last year. Malta Health Minister Chris Fearne says the government is considering whether the twelve-month deferral program would be “viable” for the country. More from Times of Malta.


  • Former Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove argues that the effects of the state’s new anti-LGBT law are far worse than people realize; compares to the Salem witch hunts. More from The Huffington Post.
  • In a must-read from TIME, Katy Steinmetz breaks down the false and debunked “bathroom predators” argument.
  • The film industry has flunked GLAAD’s “Vito Russo Test,” which measures LGBT representations in movies. More from Time.
  • The FDA has launched a new campaign against tobacco use in the LGBT community. More from ABC News.

Also, Vice explains the push for equality in Northern Ireland, where voters are trying to bring the marriage equality debate into the spotlight… The Washington Post discusses how the recent killings in Bangladesh highlight a global problem with LGBT persecution… Fusion shares the story of a bisexual man in Bangladesh, who fears for his life because of his sexual orientation… The Advocate makes the case for LGBT equality in the United Methodist Church, saying that the church’s leadership could open a pathway for dismantling prejudices that still exist in the Christian faith… WLRN Miami wonders if the Latin American LGBT community is gaining respect as quickly as it is gaining rights… and Mother Jones profiles extreme anti-equality Ted Cruz supporters.

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 the latest news. Thanks for reading!

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