#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: May 16, 2016

HRC staff

TRUMP’S CONTINUED FAILURE ON LGBT EQUALITY, WON’T BACK ADMINISTRATION PROTECTIONS FOR TRANSGENDER STUDENTS: Continuing his anti-LGBT charge, presumptive GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump won’t support the Obama Administration's historic guidance ensuring that transgender students in public schools are treated with dignity and respect, saying he’ll leave these crucial civil rights protections to the whims of states. Trump would allow state elected officials to target transgender students with dangerous laws -- which we’re already seeing in states like Texas -- an abdication of leadership that should be deeply alarming to the majority of Americans who support LGBT equality. A survey by the HRC Foundation found that three-quarters of transgender students feel unsafe in school settings, and politicians like Trump and North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory are further risking the safety and wellbeing of those students. A report by the Williams Institute found that half of transgender adults who were bullied in school had attempted suicide.

  • What leadership looks like… Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., shares a story of parental love for her transgender son on the front page of The New York Times; says her party is “lagging behind” on transgender equality. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen is featured in HRC’s Moms for Transgender Equality video series.

“WOMEN FOR REPEAL OF HB2”:  This morning in Raleigh, TurnOutNC launched its “Women for Repeal of #HB2” coalition, speaking out against Gov. Pat McCrory’s false rhetoric about transgender people, and focusing on the harmful effects of his specious assertions.  The group includes organizations that combat sexual assault and domestic violence, many of them part of a group of 300 organizations that issued an open letter opposing anti-transgender legislation like HB2. TurnOutNC will hold events in Greenville on Wednesday and Charlotte on Thursday.

$10 BILLION TEXAS SHOWDOWN: Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick says he’s willing to risk $10 billion in federal education money to retain the right to discriminate against students he was elected to protect and serve. Patrick on Friday rejected the U.S. Department of Education’s guidance for transgender students, making the utterly astonishing argument that the 5.2 million public school students in Texas don’t need the billions in federal education money. More from The Associated Press.

  • Other states dig in… Officials from Arizona, Arkansas and Utah are also saying they prefer to embrace discrimination against transgender students rather than comply with the Department of Education’s guidance ensuring that all students are treated with dignity and allowed equal access to facilities consistent with their gender identity.
  • Also in Texas… The state’s GOP is ramping up discrimination aimed at trans people and LGBTQ youth, including adding anti-trans bathroom provisions to its party platform and retaining language that “homosexuality” is "chosen behavior" that "must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle.” The platform keeps the Texas GOP at the head of the class in anti-LGBT efforts. More from The New Civil Rights Movement.

NEW HAMPSHIRE SENATE VOTES TO PROTECT LGBTQ YOUTH FROM  “CONVERSION THERAPY”: The Republican-majority New Hampshire Senate last week passed legislation that would prohibit licensed mental health providers from subjecting individuals under the age of 18 to the dangerous and debunked practice of “conversion therapy.” The bill, known as HB 1661, is expected to pass through conference committee and head to Gov. Maggie Hassan’s desk for her signature. If signed into law, New Hampshire will become the seventh jurisdiction to enact a law protecting youth from “conversion therapy.” Last month, the Vermont legislature passed a bill to protect LGBTQ youth from these abusive practices, which the governor is expected to sign in the coming weeks. More from NECN.

PENTAGON SAYS MATTER OF ‘MONTHS’ TO FINALIZE TRANS SERVICE: The Washington Post reports that the Department of Defense continues to finalize details in its efforts to lift the ban on openly-transgender personnel serving in the military. Acting Pentagon Personnel Chief Peter Levine estimated it will take “months, but not large number of months” to square away remaining details. Meanwhile, transgender service members continue to wait for the ability to serve their country openly. More from The Post.

NOTORIOUS U.S. ANTI-LGBT HATE GROUP TAKES PROPAGANDA TO EUROPE: The anti-LGBT hate group the World Congress of Families (WCF) descended on Tbilisi, Georgia this weekend for an international gathering of some of the most virulently anti-LGBT extremists from around the world. The conference, which continues until Wednesday, comes as LGBT Georgians celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. In 2013, the day was marred by anti-LGBT violence in the capital. This year’s hate conference speakers include Theresa Okafor, who has compared LGBT people to the terrorist group Boko Haram, and Brian Brown, president and co-founder of the beleaguered National Organization for Marriage. More from HRC.

FEDERAL TRANSGENDER PROTECTIONS COMING TO CANADA: Canada is poised to pass federal non-discrimination protections for the transgender community after more than a decade of debate. Vice News reports, “The effect of the new laws would be to give trans Canadians protection from discrimination in federal workplaces or federally-managed housing, and to recognize violence targeting trans people as a hate crime. It could also open the door to improving trans healthcare access.” Let’s look to our neighbor to the North for inspiration, and pass our own Equality Act.

LONG TIME COMING: The Portuguese Parliament has approved a legal change that will finally give lesbians access to artificial insemination, as well as granting women limited access to surrogacy. The Associated Press reports that lawmakers also recently passed a law allowing same-sex couples to adopt.

MONDAY MUST-WATCH: In case you missed it, check out this clip from “Hardball with Chris Matthews.” An anti-LGBT activist from the Family Research Council makes an utter fool of himself when asked what restroom another guest on the show, trans woman and author Jennifer Finney Boylan, should use. He just can’t answer the simple question. More from The Advocate.

WORD OF THE DAY: Merriam Webster reports that following the recent guidance issued by the Department of Education regarding trans students, there has been a 630 percent increase in searches for the word ‘transgender.’ More from The Washington Post.


USA Today and Vox both break down the historic guidance issued by the Obama Administration  regarding transgender equality… The Washington Post debunks five myths about transgender people… Mic puts President Obama’s groundbreaking guidance for transgender students in the context of his lasting legacy on LGBT equality… The Salt Lake Tribune documents the Harvey Milk Boulevard dedication ceremony which brought hundreds of attendees… ABC7 News highlights California’s two-year-old law which already required schools to accommodate the needs of trans students… NBC News talks to Israel’s first transgender military officer… Refinery29 displays Converse’s latest creation in honor of Pride season… HRC breaks down exactly how the Affordable Care Act, Section 1557 will impact the LGBT community… and BuzzFeed outlines the effort to pass same-sex marriage in Japan.

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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