TOP HEADLINES FROM YESTERDAY’S HRC ENDORSEMENT OF HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT: With so much at stake in 2016, yesterday HRC announced that its board voted unanimously to endorse Hillary Clinton for president. The LGBT vote will play a crucial role in this year’s presidential election and Hillary Clinton is the champion we need to fight for us each day on the campaign trail and every day in the White House.
The Washington Post: Hillary Clinton is endorsed by largest LGBT rights group
USA TODAY: Human Rights Campaign backs Hillary Clinton
Politico: Human Rights Campaign endorses Clinton
Associated Press: Clinton receives endorsement from largest LGBT organization
The Hill: Human Rights Campaign endorses Hillary
VEEP URGES US BUSINESSES TO INFLUENCE ANTI-LGBT NATIONS: At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Vice President Joe Biden called for the private sector to work toward a culture of inclusion around the globe. At a roundtable discussion hosted by Human Rights Campaign, Microsoft, and SkyBridge Capital, Vice President Biden celebrated the pro-LGBT efforts of of global businesses, and encouraged them to continue promoting LGBT equality abroad, especially in countries that lack LGBT-supportive laws. Leadership by these businesses is crucial -- particularly because in over 70 countries today, being LGBT or even expressing support for LGBT people remains a crime. The voices of businesses leaders are key to advancing equality and justice for LGBT people in every corner of the world. Check out Huffington Post's coverage of the event.
#IMSOESTABLISHMENT: ADVOCATES RESPOND TO SANDERS ATTACK: After Senator Sanders made comments impugning HRC and Planned Parenthood last night as too “establishment,” Clinton, PPFA and HRC all took to social media to express their disappointment. Meanwhile, grassroots advocates also chimed in sharing their support with using the hashtag #ImSoEstablishment
MARK KIRK BECOMES FIRST SENATE REPUBLICAN TO CO-SPONSOR THE BIPARTISAN EQUALITY ACT: Yesterday, U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) became the second Republican member of Congress--and the first Republican senator--to co-sponsor the Equality Act, landmark federal legislation that guarantees explicit, permanent protections for LGBT people from discrimination in many of the most important aspects of their lives. Kirk joins Rep. Bob Dold, (R-IL) who announced his support last week. HRC President Chad Griffin congratulated Kirk saying, “Senator Kirk has once again proven his leadership, by becoming the first Republican Senator to co-sponsor of the Equality Act. His support for the Equality Act sends a strong message that fairness and equality are bipartisan values. It also reflects the view of the overwhelming majority of all Americans who believe that everyone, including LGBT people, should be able to have a fair chance to earn a living, provide for their families, and live free from fear of discrimination.”
- Polling conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR) has found that 63 percent of LGBT Americans report having experienced such discrimination, much of it in the workplace. GQR’s polling has also shown strong support among Republican voters for the Equality Act’s non-discrimination protections. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of all likely Republican voters support protecting LGBT people from discrimination, as do 90 percent of Democrats. Nearly eight out of 10 Americans -- an overwhelming majority -- support non-discrimination protections for LGBT Americans. More here: bit.ly/1SwTq0R
AL CHIEF JUSTICE ROY MOORE’S SUPPORTERS STILL DON’T GET IT: It’s been two weeks, but despite the tremendous backlash and complete defiance of the rule of law, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and his supporters are still under the impression that last year’s Supreme Court ruling didn’t apply to Alabama. Thankfully, as the Birmingham News reports, despite what his small (but loud) group of supporters may want, Moore is ineligible to run again. Moore here: bit.ly/1ny6BSt
ANTI-LGBT TENNESSEE LAWMAKER SHAMEFULLY PUSHES TO DEFY THE U.S. SUPREME COURT ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY (NO MATTER HOW MUCH IT COSTS TAXPAYERS): Being pushed by anti-LGBT State Rep. Mark Pody (R-46), the so-called Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act is scheduled for a hearing today in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee. Yesterday, HRC and the Tennessee Equality Project strongly condemned the legislation which attempts to defy the Supreme Court of the United States on marriage equality. HB 1412 would eliminate marriage equality in the state and would require the state to defend marriage as “between one man and one woman” – costing taxpayers upwards of an estimated $8 BILLION annually, according to the Tennessee General Assembly’s Fiscal Review Committee. But Rep. Pody could care less and is shamefully pushing ahead with the appalling legislation. More here: tnne.ws/1RzN7t5, bit.ly/1T4Ft9K and bit.ly/1nlV1Kh
SPECIAL HEARING FOR LGBT NON-DISCRIMINATION BILLS IN JACKSONVILLE: WJCT reports that the two non-discrimination bills that have been proposed in Jacksonville, FL, will be heard by the entire city council at the same time, as opposed to being heard through a series of smaller committees. Starting next month, there will be three hour-long public hearings over the span of several weeks. The bill proposed by Council Member Tommy Hazouri would add LGBT protections in housing, employment and public accommodations to the city’s existing human rights ordinance directly, while Council Member Bill Gulliford’s bill proposes putting the addition up to a public vote. Last year, Republican Mayor Lenny Curry, who has yet to announce his position, hosted three “community conversations” on LGBT non-discrimination protections, attracting hundreds of residents. Jacksonville remains one of the largest cities without protections for LGBT people in housing, employment, and public accommodations. More here: bit.ly/1UbBV3I
SCARE TACTICS ALREADY BEING USED IN CHARLOTTE: Opponents of equality are already on the attack in Charlotte, NC as the city council explores adding gender identity and sexual orientation protections for residents and visitors. Republican state Rep. Dan Bishop has already called the effort a “radical transgender proposal,” and threatened to legally challenge an ordinance in court. Bishop also lamented his “fear” that the new policy would affect every public restroom in the city. Should a non-discrimination ordinance be proposed, it would be the city’s second attempt since an effort to pass one failed last March, and the first attempt since a new pro-equality City Council was elected in November. The ordinance would protect LGBT residents and visitors in public accommodations More here: bit.ly/1P5tKG6
NEW ‘ADD THE WORDS’ BILL INTRODUCED IN IDAHO: This week, Democratic State Senator Grant Burgoyne introduced a new bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations to the Idaho Human Rights Act. While republican lawmakers continue to express concerns regarding religious exemptions, Burgoyne, who has been very involved in this effort for the past 4 years, is confident that existing religious protections are sufficient. More here: bit.ly/1njVdtG and bit.ly/1OwpEp5
HEY, IOWA! LEAVE THOSE KIDS ALONE: In a scene that resembles an old man shaking his fist and telling kids to get off his lawn, Iowa legislators have begun an investigation into an LGBT youth event. The investigation is aimed at seeing if the conference featured “inappropriate” content. The conference, called the Iowa Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth, is run by a nonprofit focused on protecting LGBTQ students from bullying, harassment and discrimination. Yeah… really inappropriate. This whole investigation stems from a lone report by a former attendee who, get this, is connected to the state anti-LGBT group Family Leader. Great use of tax dollars, Iowa. More here: bit.ly/1RSWC74
AROUND THE WORLD
RUSSIA REJECTS HORRIFIC ANTI-LGBT BILL: In a surprising twist, after international condemnation, the Duma Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building decided not to vote on a new anti-LGBT bill that would effectively criminalize any public display of affection between same-sex couples. The rejection was “primarily due to the fact that from a formal legal perspective, the bill was illiterate.” Ahead of the vote, thousands of LGBT advocates and allies joined forces to combat the discriminatory legislation. They collected thousands of signatures opposing the unconstitutional and inhumane new law. In the two years since the passage of Russia’s anti-LGBT “propaganda” law, the situation for LGBT people in the country has significantly deteriorated. The impact of Russia’s actions has been felt beyond its borders in countries such as Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, which have tried to pass copycat laws. As detailed in reports by HRC, Human Rights First, and most recently by Human Rights Watch, LGBT people are facing ever more violence, discrimination, and humiliation throughout the region. More here: bit.ly/1ZI6gxN
HRC FOUNDATION PREVIEWS WHAT’S COMING UP IN 2016: As the new year begins, we’re keeping our eyes and ears peeled as equality is under threat around the world. HRC Senior Vice President for Programs, Research and Training Mary Beth Maxwell highlights the good, the bad, and the ugly coming up in 2016.. More here: huff.to/1lrS9d5
The New York Times explores the growing support for LGBT rights in India… BuzzFeed dives into the anti-LGBT past of a Republican Gubernatorial candidate in Montana… Project Q Atlanta profiles the six LGBT candidates running for the Georgia House… and Pink News shares the tragic story of how the Australian government refuses to recognize the marriage of a gay man who died on his honeymoon.