#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: August 15, 2016
TRUMP AND PENCE WOULD FAIL THEIR OWN IGNORANT TEST: Today media reports surfaced that Donald Trump would require immigrants to pass an “ideological test” that includes interviews about their feelings about LGBTQ equality. HRC President Chad Griffin rebuked Trump’s test saying, “What’s craziest about this ignorant, incomprehensible plan is that Donald Trump and Mike Pence would fail their own test. Just last week, Donald Trump courted votes in Orlando from some of the nation’s most notorious anti-LGBTQ activists, including people who have worked to export anti-LGBTQ hate abroad. Trump and Pence have vowed to to roll back nationwide marriage equality, supported vile laws like North Carolina’s HB2 and pledged to appoint anti-LGBTQ Supreme Court justices. Pence is best known by most Americans for the hateful denial-of-service law he peddled in Indiana last year, and even sought to divert funding from HIV programs to promote the abusive practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy.’” More from HRC.
- Meanwhile Trump’s running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, continues to promote his epic brand of anti-LGBTQ hypocrisy. On Fox News Sunday, Pence again said that he opposes discrimination of all kinds, but thinks people “should have the right to refuse to serve a gay” for religious reasons. More from The Washington Blade.
DESPICABLE -- TRUMP OPENS CAMPAIGN OFFICE ACROSS FROM PULSE NIGHTCLUB MEMORIAL: Adding insult to injury, two months after the tragedy at Pulse Nightclub, Trump is also setting up shop just across the street. The nightclub is now the site of a permanent memorial to the 49 LGBTQ people and allies lost -- a memorial that Trump has never bothered to visit, despite repeatedly referencing the attack on the campaign trail. This comes just days after Trump shared the stage with anti-LGBTQ activists only 10 miles from the site Bloomberg Politics has more.
MOTHER OF PULSE NIGHTCLUB VICTIM BLASTS MARCO RUBIO: At the Disarm Hate rally in Washington, DC, this weekend, Christine Leinonen, the mother of Drew Leinonen, among the victims of the tragic shooting at Pulse Nightclub, blasted Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for shamelessly citing the attack as a reason for running for re-election, while consistently voting against commonsense gun safety legislation. Rubio also has a long record of opposing LGBTQ equality, and last week on the two-month anniversary of the nightclub tragedy, spoke at a conference hosted by the notoriously anti-LGBTQ Liberty Counsel in Orlando. Leinonen told The Washington Blade, “[Rubio] didn’t feel our pain enough or long enough to make some real action that we can live in a safer society… He didn’t do that and that’s what he’s elected to do.”
- Orlando survivor Brandon Wolfe also called out Rubio: In a statement read at an Orlando rally, Wolfe characterized the so-called “gay agenda” as “simply to survive the day." More from Creative Loafing Tampa.
- Bright side in the Sunshine State: The Sun Sentinel reports that a record eight openly-LGBTQ candidates are running for seats in the Florida State Legislature.
COURT DENIES MISS. GOV’S LATEST PUSH TO ENFORCE DISCRIMINATORY LAW: The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has denied Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s request to allow the anti-LGBTQ HB1523 law to go into effect while the state appeals a lower court’s ruling that the law is unconstitutional. Bryant’s request to expedite the appeal was also rejected. More from The Clarion Ledger.
- Meanwhile, three churches in Jackson, Miss., joined Sunday in an LGBTQ-inclusive celebration. More from WILX.
RECORD CROWD EXPECTED AT CHARLOTTE PRIDE: Up to 120,000 people are expected at this year’s Charlotte Pride, as LGBTQ North Carolinians and allies celebrate equality and rally for the repeal of the discriminatory HB2 law, which was signed into law six months ago. The Charlotte Observer reports that the festivities will likely turn into one big civil rights march. More here.
ADVOCATES MOURN RAE’LYNN THOMAS: HRC is horrified and saddened to learn of the brutal murder of Rae’Lynn Thomas, a 28-year-old transgender woman from Columbus, Ohio. Thomas’s family reports witnessing her death at the hands of James Allen Byrd, an ex-boyfriend of Thomas’ mother who lived in the family home. 10TV reports that in her last words, Thomas expressed her love for her mother, brother and sisters. More from HRC.
STATE DEPT. SPEAKS OUT AGAINST ANTI-LGBTQ STATEMENTS IN INDONESIA: The U.S. State Department has strongly condemned anti-LGBTQ statements made by Indonesian officials, saying the nation must “uphold international rights and standards by ensuring equal rights and protections for all of its citizens.” More from The Manila Times.
IOWA PSYCHOLOGY BOARD REJECTS “CONVERSION THERAPY” BAN: On Friday, the Iowa Board of Psychology voted to reject a petition calling for banning therapists and licensed counselors in the state from practicing so-called “conversion therapy,” which preys on vulnerable LGBTQ people and families by making dangerous and discredited claims that it can change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. The board says it will explain its vote when it releases its full decision later this year.
SPELMAN COLLEGE CONSIDERS ADMITTING TRANS STUDENTS: Spelman College, an all-women’s historically black university in Atlanta, will be considering whether to admit transgender students. President Mary Schmidt Campbell shared the news in a welcome letter to students last week. More from The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
PATHETIC NOM!: The notoriously anti-LGBTQ National Organization of Marriage (NOM) is reeling from a lack of donations during a recent fundraising push that yielded just 256 contributions. NOM’s own president called the results “pathetic.” We prefer “heartening.” More from Metro Weekly.
The New York Daily News report on the Mets first LGBTQ Pride event in Citi Field; CBS News profiles a new school in Atlanta for LGBTQ youth; In a Huffington Post blog post, Eric T. Shoen-Ukre shares the impact of marrying his Nigerian partner; The Christian Science Monitor questions whether the historic number of LGBTQ athletes in Rio is a trend or a trendsetter; 76 Crimes celebrates the shrinking list of anti-LGBTQ nations; CBS 46 highlights Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s appointment of the first transgender person to a citizen panel; The Huffington Post explains the importance of the record number of out LGBTQ athletes competing in this year’s Olympics; PBS talks to bisexual and gay men affected by the blood ban; The Star Tribune highlights how LGBTQ entrepreneurs are viewing their identity as an asset; and Balkan Insight shares how the local LGBTQ community feels forced to stay in the closet.