NORTH CAROLINIANS DON’T LIKE HB2 -- AND ARE REALLY FED UP WITH THEIR LEGISLATORS: A new survey from North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling found that a majority of likely voters in the state want the discriminatory HB2 repealed, with 56 percent saying the law is hurting the state economically and damaging its national reputation. Oh, and despite false claims by anti-LGBT forces that the bill is all about safety, most women say HB2 hasn’t made the state safer. The state legislature, which passed the discriminatory measure, isn’t faring any better than HB2: only 19 percent of voters surveyed approve of the job their elected leaders in Raleigh are doing. More from The News & Observer.
- Spike in number of people who know a transgender person: A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 39 percent of people surveyed say they personally know or work with a transgender person, up a whopping 10 points from last year and consistent with HRC polling.
- Blame Game continues…. NC House Speaker Tim Moore has announced yet again, that the only way Republican state leadership will consider making changes to HB2, is if Charlotte makes the first move. Moore told reporters yesterday, “Charlotte needs to take a look at what it did and it needs to be the first to make any movement before there’s any conversation.” Time for state lawmakers to face the facts -- they are the only ones responsible for this mess, and the only way to fix it is by repealing HB2.
- Charlotte Chamber playing clean-up, claims they’ve supported non-discrimination efforts all along: Following a meeting yesterday with NC Chamber Board Chair Ned Curran, Charlotte Chamber President Bob Morgan and his organization released a letter urging NC House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger to consider the “diverse needs” of NC cities, and urged them to return to the cities the power to pass their own non-discrimination ordinances.
- Maybe NC’s Chambers should give Oklahoma Chambers a call … Yesterday Oklahoma lawmakers (despite saying they wouldn’t bring up the bill) voted 10 - 10, effectively squashing a bill that would have discriminated against transgender students. A force in defeating the bill? The warnings of the Tulsa and Greater Oklahoma City Chambers of Commerce of the economic damage the bill would cause.
TEXAS STATE AG EXPECTED TO ANNOUNCE LAWSUIT AS NEARLY 5 MILLION EDUCATORS, PEDIATRICIANS, ETC. SAY STOP IT ALREADY: Based on his relentless attacks on transgender students and school officials doing right by them, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is expected to announce at a 2 p.m. press conference that he’ll be filing a lawsuit against the federal government in response to the guidance issued earlier this month by the Departments of Justice and Education reaffirming their position that transgender students have the right to be free from discrimination in federally-funded education. This comes as HRC today released a letter signed by national organizations representing almost 5 million educators, pediatricians, counselors and other child welfare providers urging lawmakers like Paxton to stop their vile attacks. Organizations include the American Federation of Teachers; the American Academy of Pediatrics; the American Counseling Association; the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Education Association.
- Meanwhile, HRC Welcoming Schools today released a key resource for school officials to effectively and respectfully follow recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Education on the rights of transgender students. The guide answers questions school officials may be asked by parents, guardians and other community members. “These kinds of policies, already in place at many schools, have helped transgender students enormously, and without any negative effect on their non-transgender schoolmates,” said HRC’s Ellen Kahn.
- Fayette County in Tennessee, on the other hand, worked against the best interest of their schools last night by passing a resolution in a 17 to 0 vote to defy that guidance on transgender students. The Tennessee Equality Project reports the Fayette County Commission did not put the resolution on their agenda, giving the public no time to respond. Now doesn’t that sound familiar?
- And in Mississippi, the State Board of Education has done an about face, officially saying it will follow the “state’s lead,” and ignore the guidance from the Departments of Education and Justice that transgender students be treated with dignity and respect. The State superintendent originally said Mississippi would comply with federal law, but changed her position when Republican state lawmakers called for her resignation.
REPUBLICAN HOUSE LEADERSHIP SEEKS TO BLOCK DEMOCRATS’ AMENDMENTS: After last week’s abuse of House rules to defeat an amendment protecting LGBT workers, Speaker Paul Ryan may try to limit such amendments to save Republican leadership from “surprises.” Ryan may propose a procedural change that would make efforts more difficult, like Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s (D-NY) attempt to protect LGBT workers employed by federal contractors. “This change seems intended to give leadership more time to figure out how to defeat amendments like Rep. Maloney’s preventing LGBT discrimination, which would have passed if not for their strong arm tactics,” said a spokesperson for Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY). So much for the promises of an open and transparent amendment process. More from The Hill.
- Rep. Maloney plans to revive his amendment this week on the House floor. If passed, the amendment would prohibit the government from paying contractors that discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Maloney is hopeful: “There is a majority [in] the House of Representatives right now to oppose discrimination in the workplace. Really, the only way discrimination is going to win is if [House Majority Leader] Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) keeps rigging the votes.” More from The Washington Post.
HELP FOR LGBTQ YOUTH FORCED TO LIVE ON THEIR OWN: LGBTQ youth are much more likely than their non-LGBTQ peers to be forced from their homes because of rejection or abuse, and too often lack the skills or resources needed to live safely and begin building a successful life. To help them establish stability and safety, the HRC Foundation, in partnership with Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund and Time Out Youth Center in Charlotte, NC, has released On Our Own: A Survival Guide for Independent LGBTQ Youth, which is geared toward older teens and young adults. It provides practical advice on essential topics ranging from finding housing, going to school and opening a bank account, to getting a job, accessing healthcare and living on a budget. More from the HRC Foundation.
ANTI-TRANS FLYER FROM KKK SURFACES IN ALABAMA TOWN: Fear-mongering by anti-LGBT legislators can have real consequences. Yesterday, disturbing anti-transgender flyers surfaced in the Dothan, Ala., neighborhood. They appear to have been distributed by the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan as a recruiting tool. The Dothan Police Department notified the FBI, as the flyer’s message could promote hate crimes against the transgender community. More AL.com.
TOUCHDOWN FOR EQUALITY: The NFL announced yesterday that it is awarding the 2019 Super Bowl to Atlanta. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed an anti-LGBT religious refusal bill last month, after the measure drew criticism from the NFL and LGBT advocates. The NFL warned Georgia that it stood little chance of hosting a Super Bowl if it did not adhere to the League’s standards of “tolerance and inclusiveness.” More from The New Civil Rights Movement.
YOUNG QUEER LEADERS ARE OUR FUTURE... AND PRESENT! The Advocate profiled seven extraordinary young LGBTQ politicians who are taking the system by storm. The lawmakers are all under 30 and dedicated to bettering their communities and the country at large. More from The Advocate.
Slate points out the flawed logic of those claiming that transgender people using the correct bathroom is somehow a “safety concern”; Newsweek considers the possibility of the 2021 UK Census finally asking vital questions about gender identity and sexuality; Wayne Dhesi writes for Huffington Post about the continued need for LGBT Pride events; The Associated Press calculated that Florida will spend more than $213,000 to compensate the attorneys who sued the state to bring marriage equality to Florida; WMFE reports that the Brevard (Fla.) School Board will continue its fight to expand LGBT protections to students and staff… Gay Times highlights a rejected marriage lawsuit filed in South Korea; and The Des Moines Register looks into whether Rep. David Young (IA - R) was bullied by Republican leadership into switching his vote on a LGBT rights bill.