ON EVE OF CHARLOTTE PRIDE, HRC JOINS EQUALITY NORTH CAROLINA TO ENDORSE ROY COOPER FOR GOVERNOR: One day after Donald Trump campaigned in North Carolina, and on the eve of Charlotte Pride, HRC and Equality North Carolina have joined to endorse Roy Cooper for Governor. From HRC’s Chad Griffin: “Roy Cooper is a stalwart advocate for LGBTQ equality and a proven leader who will work to make the Tar Heel State inclusive and welcoming for all. Day after day, Pat McCrory has continued his reckless defense of the discriminatory HB2 with disregard for the very real harm inflicted on the people, reputation and economy of North Carolina. As governor, Roy Cooper will work to repeal HB2, stand up for common decency and fight to pass statewide, LGBTQ-inclusive, non-discrimination protections. The choice this election couldn’t be clearer. And we are proud to endorse Roy Cooper for Governor so that each and every LGBTQ person across North Carolina can finally live free from fear of discrimination.” More here.
Meanwhile, Trump and McCrory joined at the hip: The Charlotte Observer notes that Donald Trump’s association with Pat McCrory is causing backlash for both campaigns, “...former state Sen. Malcolm Graham held a news conference to denounce Gov. Pat McCrory for supporting Trump. McCrory is an honorary chair of Trump’s Charlotte fundraiser. McCrory has appeared with Trump before, most recently at last week’s rally in Wilmington. ‘Gov. McCrory has shown his true colors,’ said Graham, who appeared on behalf of McCrory’s Democratic opponent, Roy Cooper, and the state Democratic Party.” More here.
NBA MOVES 2017 ALL-STAR GAME TO NEW ORLEANS DUE TO NC’s ANTI-LGBTQ HB2 LAW: According to a report from The Associated Press, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is moving the 2017 All-Star Game away from North Carolina to New Orleans, LA -- a city with explicit LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination protections. Citing the hostile environment created by North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2 law, and after repeated warnings the league would move the event if the law remained on the books, the NBA recently announced it was moving the game out of Charlotte after state lawmakers failed to repeal the measure. “By moving the 2017 All-Star Game to New Orleans, the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver have sent a clear message to lawmakers in North Carolina and across the country that discrimination against LGBTQ people has consequences and will not be tolerated,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “New Orleans' explicit LGBTQ non-discrimination protections will ensure all NBA employees, players, and fans who participate in the All-Star Game are protected from discrimination. Governor Pat McCrory and state lawmakers should use this as an opportunity to halt their assault on the people, reputation, and economy of North Carolina, and work toward replacing HB2 with commonsense non-discrimination protections. We look forward to the day when all North Carolinians can live their lives free from discrimination, and Charlotte is able to welcome back the All-Star Game.” More from The Associated Press.
JUDGE SETS POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS PRECEDENT WITH RULING SAYING FEDERAL RFRA CAN BE USED AS EXCUSE TO FIRE A TRANSGENDER WOMAN: A federal judge in Michigan ruled in favor of a Detroit-based funeral home who fired a transgender employee due to her gender identity. U.S. District Court Judge Sean Cox ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) could be used as a defense in a sex discrimination claim under Title VII -- exempting the employer from Title VII's non-discrimination requirements. “This is a reckless ruling against a woman who was fired simply because she is transgender,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “Judge Cox’s deeply disappointing decision has the possibility of setting an incredibly dangerous precedent that purported religious beliefs can be used as an excuse to violate non-discrimination laws. It has the potential of opening a Pandora's box of discrimination against a wide range of vulnerable communities. We are incredibly concerned about the implications.” More from HRC and Politico.
SAN ANTONIO MAYOR SPEAKS OUT AGAINST ANTI-LGBTQ BILLS: With the NCAA setting stricter non-discrimination measures for potential host cities of marquee events, San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor is working to protect her city's LGBTQ non-discrimination laws. This week, Taylor spoke out against Texas lawmakers’ efforts to pass discriminatory HB2-style bills as San Antonio prepares to host the 2018 Final Four. The association recently announced that cities bidding to host championship games must submit a survey detailing their non-discrimination laws and policies. More from Towleroad.
TRANS WOMAN IN QUEENS ATTACKED WITH HAMMER: Early this morning, a transgender woman was attacked with a hammer in Queens, NY. Police sources say the attacker shouted anti-LGBTQ sentiment during his attack. The attacker fled the scene, and no arrests have been made. The woman is being treated in a local hospital. More from PIX 11.
LOVE THY NEIGHBOR: United Methodist Women, the largest denominational faith organization for women, have come out against North Carolina’s HB2, opting to move its upcoming leadership trainings out of North Carolina in protest. The organization’s CEO said the decision was a matter of justice: “In 1942 our predecessors stood against racial segregation and moved the Assembly from St. Louis, Missouri, to Columbus, Ohio, so that black and white members could stay in the same hotels. Today’s decision is a current application of the same principle, caring for all our members, paying attention to where and how we spend their Mission Giving and standing with those who are oppressed.” More from Religion News Service.
OLYMPIAN HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR GLOBAL LGBTQ ADVOCACY: Tom Bosworth wants to help LGBTQ athletes from countries with anti-LGBTQ records, noting that many athletes remain closeted while competing out of fear of persecution in their home countries. The British Olympian made headlines earlier this week by proposing to his boyfriend. More from BuzzFeed.
This affects our children: International Business Times shares how LGBTQ representation at the Olympics could influence policies that prevent transgender children from playing sports on teams aligned with their gender identity.
SETTLEMENT REACHED IN TRANS EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION CASE: Faye Seidler and Sanford Medical Center have reached a settlement in the discrimination lawsuit brought by Seidler after she was discriminated against in the workplace. Reportedly she was denied access to facilities consistent with her gender identity. More from The Associated Press.
The Economist discusses the precedent set by Belize decriminalizing same-sex sexual activity… Iowa Public Radio shares stories from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Rural Pride Summit in Des Moines… Milwaukee Record discusses a new documentary on Milwaukee’s LGBTQ history… Dallas Voice reports that Marius Mason will become the first trans man to obtain transition-related healthcare in prison… Huffington Post breaks down a study about bisexual people and health…