#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: June 7, 2016

HRC staff

HISTORY IN THE MAKING AS VOTERS IN SIX STATES TURN OUT TODAY: Voters in six states -- California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota -- will have the historic opportunity today to cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton, the first woman to win a major party’s nomination. The Associated Press reported last night that Clinton had the needed number of delegates to clinch the Democratic nomination.

TEXAS CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO PROTECT LGBTQ EMPLOYEES FROM WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION: The City Council in Mesquite, Texas has voted to approve a welcome change to their Equal Employment Opportunity Policy. The change to the non-discrimination policy would make sexual orientation, gender identity and pregnancy protected classes under the definition of sex. The policy change will move Mesquite into line with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by guaranteeing equal protection to its LGBTQ job applicants and employees. More from CBS DFW.

WHAT NORTH CAROLINA COULD LEARN FROM D.C.’S NON-DISCRIMINATION LAW: The Charlotte Observer says North Carolina ought to look to Washington, DC when determining how to protect its transgender residents and visitors from discrimination. DC law has allowed transgender people to use public restrooms that correspond to their gender identity since 2006, among other places of public accommodation. The availability of both multi-stall and single-stall restrooms allow people to use either the bathroom that matches their gender identity or gender-neutral facilities. Kyle Todd, an executive director of a local economic development program, says the law hasn’t caused a big stir: “You’ve probably been using the restroom with transgender people off and on for decades, and nobody’s ever known. I just can’t stress this enough: It’s just not a big deal. There hasn’t been a lot of wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth. It’s just a bathroom.”

  • “If you really want to serve DC’s trans community, hire them”: The DC Office of Human Rights and the National LGBTQ Task Force have released a best-practices guide for hiring and retaining transgender and gender non-conforming employees. More from DCist.
  • Lutheran leaders call for the repeal of HB2: The North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) wants HB2 repealed. The group represents more than 200 Lutheran churches in the state, and says that the measure “creates a hostile community atmosphere.”
  • When asked about HB2, Dolly Parton came out in support of North Carolina’s transgender residents: “I think everyone should be treated with respect… I hope that everybody gets a chance to be who and what they are. I just know if I have to pee, I'm gonna pee. I don’t care where it’s going to be.”

NEW HOUSE AMENDMENT TARGETS TRANSGENDER AMERICANS: Congressman Steve King (R - IA) has proposed a vehemently anti-transgender measure that would prohibit transgender people from using the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity in the U.S. Capitol. King’s amendment would be tacked on to the fiscal year 2017 legislative appropriations bill and prohibit the use of funds that would allow individuals to use the restroom that matches their gender identity. HRC’s Government Affairs Director David Stacy says the amendment would “tell every Members’ transgender constituents they aren’t welcome to visit the Capitol, the Library of Congress, or a House or Senate office building. Surely the House of Representatives has important work it should be getting done for the American people instead of targeting transgender Americans. The House should reject this harmful and mean-spirited amendment.”

35th ANNIVERSARY OF FIRST CDC REPORT ON AIDS: This week marks the 35 years since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report on five young men who died as a result of AIDS in the early 1980s -- the first documented cases of AIDS. This anniversary serves as reminder of the years of stigma, advocacy and medical innovations that have marked the HIV and AIDS movement. Read the report at The Advocate and check out President Obama’s statement on this anniversary and history of HIV/AIDS in America here.

  • Proving there is still much work to be done, the National AIDS Trust in Great Britain warned the country’s National Health Service that it will face a legal challenge over its refusal to make available the HIV-prevention drug, PrEP. More from BuzzFeed.

HRC’S MUNICIPAL EQUALITY INDEX TO ADD 98 NEW CITIES TO 2016 REPORT: For the first time, HRC’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI), along with the Equality Federation, asked members and supporters to vote on the new cities to be rated by the annual survey of LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices of municipalities nationwide. Ninety-eight new cities were picked to be researched this year, in addition to the usual lineup of all 50 state capitals, the nation’s 200 most populous cities, the five largest cities in every state, the communities home to each state’s two largest public universities, and an equal mix of 75 of the nation’s large, mid-size and small municipalities with the highest proportion of same-sex couples. A total of 506 cities will be rated, including NC newcomers Carrboro and Wilmington. More from HRC.

LOOK PAST PINK AND BLUE: Following complaints of discrimination in public places, New York City launched a $265,000 “Look Past Pink And Blue” ad campaign promoting the right of transgender residents and visitors to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity. The ads will begin appearing this week throughout the city’s subways, buses, phone booths and newspapers. More from BuzzFeed.

TRANS ATHLETE BECOMES FIRST TO COMPETE IN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Chris Mosier became the first transgender athlete to compete in a world championship when he participated in the 2016 International Triathlon Union championship this past weekend. He’s the first transgender athlete to qualify under the International Olympic Committee’s revised guidelines, which allow transgender athletes to compete as the gender with which they identify. Mosier qualified for the U.S. team while competing in North Carolina last month.

O CANADA: Last week, Canada’s Parliament approved legislation to make the county’s national anthem gender neutral. The bill, which passed overwhelmingly, changes the anthem’s words, “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command.” Canada continues to be at the forefront of LGBTQ equality. Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Administration proposed sweeping federal protections for transgender people. More from The Huffington Post.

OUT AND PROUD ON YOUTUBE: To celebrate Pride Month, popular LGBTQ YouTubers have used the platform to share why they’re proud to be out. YouTuber Davey Wavey organized the video, telling The Huffington Post that “With nearly five million [collective] subscribers, these YouTubers -- and their audiences -- have built a virtual community for celebrating who we are. It’s so powerful, and something we’re all grateful to be a part of.” Watch the video here.

  • BATHROOM SHOW-STOPPER: The cast of the hit musical Kinky Boots created a video calling out the ridiculousness of anti-transgender bathroom laws. Check it out at The Advocate.

HRC PARTNERS WITH AMERICAN APPAREL TO “MAKE AMERICA GAY/ LGBTQ AGAIN”: Yesterday, American Apparel, HRC and the Ally Coalition launched a new campaign to support LGBTQ equality this Pride season. The campaign, Make America Gay Again/Make America LGBTQ Again, will feature a new Pride-themed merchandise line at American Apparel, a video series and in-store events to support acceptance for the LGBTQ community. A portion of all merchandise sales will go to HRC and the Ally Coalition. More from HRC.

  • Snaps for Equality: In honor of Pride Month, the W Hotel franchise has launched an exclusive series of Snapchat filters featuring phrases such as “love won” and “the road to equality has never been straight.” For every filtered snap, the W will donate $1 to HRC.
  • Live Proud: AT&T has kicked off its fourth annual Live Proud campaign, which encourages participants to celebrate and empower the LGBTQ community. Go to att.com/liveproud for more.


BuzzFeed captures moments from LGBTQ Pride celebrations around the globe… Moroccan transgender activist Mala Badi writes in The Huffington Post about her experience and hopes for the movement… Out Magazine reviews Kerry Eleveld’s upcoming book on the fight for marriage equality… NBC News profiles Trey Pearson, a Christian rocker who recently came out… and Pink News reports that the former president of Nigeria recently announced that the country may revisit laws banning marriage equality.

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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