#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: May 9, 2016
BREAKING: MCCRORY SUES FOR RIGHT TO DISCRIMINATE: Gov. McCrory is doubling down on discrimination, suing to defend HB2 in court. "North Carolina's HB2 law is blatantly unconstitutional and violates federal civil rights law,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The Department of Justice has already been clear that it violates the civil rights of North Carolinians. The idea Governor McCrory is going to waste even more time and millions more taxpayer dollars defending it is reckless and wrong. HB2 is a vile law attacking transgender North Carolinians and leaves many more unprotected from discrimination. Rather than defending it, Governor McCrory should be working with state lawmakers to fix the mess he’s created." North Carolina has already lost more than a half billion dollars - and counting - in economic activity just from companies canceling or reconsidering plans to come to the state, and in cancelled conventions, concerts, and other lost tourism dollars. That doesn’t even include potential economic development that now just won’t happen in North Carolina because of HB2’s discriminatory provisions, or the potential catastrophic loss of federal funding for schools, roads, bridges, and other essential services.
- NC educators speak out at 4 p.m. ... By doubling down on their support of HB2 in spite of the DOJ’s call to repeal, McCrory is recklessly risking $4.5 billion in federal education funding. Equality NC and HRC will hold a press conference today at 4 p.m. in front of Broughton High School (723 St Marys St, Raleigh, NC 27605) to address the potential consequences of McCrory’s decision to defend HB2.
MCCRORY RAMPS UP HYPOCRISY: During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, a flustered McCrory continued to defend the discriminatory HB2 law and dismissed the hundreds of millions in economic damage it has wrought. Perhaps most appallingly, the same man who signed HB2 into into law in the dead of night after legislators rammed it through in 9 hours, complained of not having more time to respond to the DOJ's request. When McCrory claimed that preventing NC from losing any money was his No. 1 priority, FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace astutely pointed out that HB2 has already cost the state millions of dollars and thousands of jobs. Wallace even pinned him down on his sham arguments about public safety. To top it all off, McCrory claimed that he needed to “talk to businesses” before determining the best response to the DOJ’s directive, ignoring the nearly 200 executives who have called for the law to be fully repealed. HRC recaps McCrory’s Fox News follies in this video.
- HB2’s economic fallout continues... Last week, two bond rating agencies flagged North Carolina in upcoming bond offerings because of the discriminatory law’s effects. Moody's Investors Service warned of a potential slowing of economic activity in the state. More from Fidelity.
- New York values… NY Gov. Cuomo has announced that the Empire State will be filing an amicus brief in support of Lambda Legal, the ACLU and Equality North Carolina’s lawsuit calling for HB2 to be overturned. More from New York Daily News.
- On a high note… Broadway vet and LGBT ally Kristin Chenoweth will donate all the proceeds from her upcoming performance in the Tar Heel State to charity. More from The Huffington Post.
ALABAMA ETHICS COMMISSION SAYS #NOMOORE, SUSPENDS ANTI-LGBT CHIEF JUSTICE FOR ABUSE OF POWER: On Friday, notoriously anti-LGBT Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended by the Judicial Inquiry Commission of Alabama for his consistent defiance of pro-marriage equality federal rulings. The commission found that Moore has been abusing his position and authority by issuing multiple orders defying federal rulings that found the state’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. For too long Moore has flouted the Constitution, becoming a persistent embarrassment to the judicial system, and the state of Alabama. The commission is finally holding the rogue judge responsible for defying the laws he is entrusted to uphold. His suspension is welcome news, and HRC urged his permanent removal from the court. Last year, HRC joined the Southern Poverty Law Center’s ethics complaint against Moore, delivering to the commission 28,000 petitions from our members demanding his removal. Moore from Reuters. And check out AL.com’s timeline documenting Moore’s long history of judicial defiance.
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO RAMP UP SUPPORT OF TRANSGENDER STUDENTS: Politico reports that in the coming weeks the Obama Administration is expected to ramp up efforts to reinforce its position that transgender students have the right to use bathroom facilities that correspond with their gender identity. While several government departments have already issued guidance to that effect, with the recent uptick in attacks on transgender youth, the administration also plans to warn of the potential loss in federal funding to states and school districts that do not comply. More from Politico.
- In a commencement speech Saturday at Howard University, President Obama acknowledged that transgender people are among those still struggling in the U.S., and noted that the global expansion of marriage equality is one of the ways the world is better than when he graduated. More in The Washington Blade.
MEANWHILE, OREGON LEADS BY EXAMPLE: As certain states (looking at you NC) double down on anti-trans discrimination, the Oregon Department of Education announced a new policy based on established state nondiscrimination law that treats transgender students at every level with the dignity and respect they deserve. Several other states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York have already implemented similar guidelines. Nice to see that some places are getting it right. More from The Oregonian.
NO DISCRIMINATION ZONE: Last week, HRC and members of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus hosted a congressional staff briefing on recent decisions from Federal courts, and interpretations by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regarding discrimination against LGBT people as unlawful sex discrimination under existing law. Read more on HRC’s blog.
SAME-SEX ADOPTION COMING TO IRELAND: Over a year after marriage rights were granted to same-sex couples in Ireland a new adoption bill will finally grant them the right to adopt as well. More from Gay Star News.
The International Business Times explores the ongoing threats faced by Japan’s LGBT community… Vox breaks down the political battle for transgender people’s right to use the correct restroom… HRC’s blog highlights The Gambia’s human rights violations… The Charlotte Observer wonders how the Department of Justice’s directive to North Carolina may affect Mississippi’s recently-passed anti-LGBT law… Media Matters continues to debunk the trans bathroom myth… ABC11 introduces us to First Lt. Megan Joyner, the first openly gay chaplain of North Carolina’s National Guard… WHO-TV Des Moines shares the story of an Iowa teen whose school isn’t recognizing his LGBT scholarship… Reuters covers Tokyo’s thousand people strong LGBT pride march.