SHAME: ON ANNIVERSARY OF ORLANDO TRAGEDY, HOUSE REPUBLICANS HELD HEARING ON ANTI-LGBTQ BILL: Today, on the one-month anniversary of the horrific attack in Orlando, House Republican leaders held a committee hearing on a deeply discriminatory anti-LGBTQ bill. The so-called “First Amendment Defense Act” (FADA) -- endorsed by Donald Trump -- would sanction unprecedented taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBTQ people. “Members of Congress should hang their heads in shame for attempting to advance this reckless and irresponsible bill that embraces taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBTQ people,” said HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof.
- The White House didn’t mince words when slamming the hearing. Spokesperson Jeff Tiller told The Washington Blade that the hearing is “disturbing” and he reaffirmed President Obama’s commitment to “promoting and defending the equal rights of all Americans, including the rights of LGBT Americans.”
#BENCHHB2: AS NBA NEARS DECISION ON ALL-STAR GAME, LEADERS URGE THEM TO STAND STRONG: Tech industry leaders in a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver are urging the league to move its 2017 All Star Game out of Charlotte unless North Carolina legislators repeal the discriminatory HB2 law “in very short order,” the Associated Press is reporting. The letter, signed by leaders including those from SV Angel, Google, Reddit, Paypal, Lyft, and Pinterest, asserts that, "If the NBA holds events in North Carolina while HB2 remains law, players, employees, and fans will be at risk of discrimination -- and that's wrong." Silver is huddling this week in Las Vegas with team owners, and is holding a press conference tonight at 8 p.m. EDT. Speculation is he may announce a decision on the game’s location, which the NBA had said would come sometime this summer. Silver has warned repeatedly that the NBA would move the high-profile game if lawmakers fail to roll back HB2’s vile anti-LGBTQ provisions. Read more here.
RNC CONSIDERS ANTI-LGBTQ PROVISIONS FOR PARTY PLATFORM: Yesterday, the Republican Party’s policy subcommittee proposed a slew of anti-LGBTQ provisions for the GOP platform, including: supporting anti-transgender discrimination, calling for a Constitutional amendment undermining marriage equality, and embracing the discredited practice of “conversion therapy." The proposals to undermine marriage equality and attack transgender people align with anti-LGBTQ stances taken by the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump. HRC urged the RNC and Trump campaign to strike the anti-LGBTQ provisions, and called on sponsors and convention affiliates to make clear their opposition to the proposals. More from HRC.
- HRC’s Senior Vice President JoDee Winterhof on the platform:“The Republican Party’s message is clear: Their proposed platform says LGBTQ people are second-class citizens, and that we are not equal or worthy of basic fairness or dignity. This is a shameful and repugnant message for the Republican Party to send, particularly as the nation prepares to mark the one month anniversary of the tragedy in Orlando.”
- “With friends like these”: Salon breaks down the Trumpster’s VP picks and allies, and says a Trump presidency could be worse for LGBTQ people than Reagan’s.
- Despite Republicans’ overwhelming support (64 percent) for the Equality Act, which would provide federal non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide, it’s not mentioned in the party platform. Shocker!
MISS. GOV. BRYANT STILL TRYING TO FORCE IMPLEMENTATION OF H.B. 1523: Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has asked the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to stay a federal judge’s ruling blocking the implementation of the state’s discriminatory H.B. 1523. For this latest discriminatory move, Bryant enlisted notorious anti-LGBTQ legal group, the Alliance Defending Freedom, along with the general counsel for the office of the governor and a smaller Missouri-based law firm. This follows Bryant’s unsuccessful bid to have U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves reconsider his block on the implementation of the law.
WILL AUSTRALIAN MPs FINALLY GET A VOTE?: Australia’s recent federal election has raised concerns about the country’s path to marriage equality. With a strong majority of Members of Parliament favoring marriage rights for same-sex couples, advocates are hoping Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s will finally allow members to simply vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the issue. Turnbull has been promising a nationwide vote on marriage, which LGBTQ advocates have argued is expensive, contentious and non-binding. More from HRC.
- Australian officials announced on Monday that AIDS is “not a public health issue in the country anymore,” with so few people dying from AIDS that it’s become insignificant to report. This success comes from medical advances and public awareness campaigns. More from Mic.
ANTI-LGBTQ VIOLENCE ESCALATING IN BRAZIL: Leading up to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympic Games, HRC Global’s Saurav Jung Thapa takes a look at the troubling escalation of brutal anti-LGBTQ violence in the South American country. Read the full op-ed at The Advocate.
ICYMI, STIRRING READ: Imagine being told that you cannot take your child home with you from the hospital on the day they were born because of your sexual orientation. That is what one couple was forced to endure because of a lone judge’s hateful interpretation of the law. Read the full heartbreaking story at Independent Journal Review.
The Associated Press reports that a LGBTQ-supportive pastor has been detained in Russia and ordered to leave the country; Pink News chronicles potential British Prime Minister Theresa May’s evolution on LGBTQ equality; Independent.ie breaks down a new Irish report that says half of LGBTQ survivors of sexual assault wait more than ten years to report the crime; Bustle asks for your support in helping the oldest LGBTQ bookstore in the world to stay in business; LGBTQ Nation shares that France is ending it’s ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood -- if they abstain from same-sex intercourse for a year; The Washington Blade talks to LGBTQ Puetro Ricans who continue to honor the victimes of the Orlando tragedy; and Local 4 Detroit examines a new Detroit Police Department team dedicated to investigating LGBTQ hate crimes.