UNANIMOUS SUPPORT FOR TRANS CLEVELANDERS DAYS BEFORE RNC: Yesterday, the Cleveland City Council voted unanimously to approve anti-discrimination legislation protecting the right of transgender people to use restrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity. The vote came just days ahead of the 2016 Republican National Convention, which is being held in Cleveland. A slew of anti-LGBTQ provisions have been approved this week by the GOP’s policy subcommittee, including a provision supporting anti-transgender discrimination, a provision calling for a Constitutional amendment undermining marriage equality, and another supporting the discredited and dangerous practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” More on the new legislation here.
- Read about the Republican Party’s anti-LGBTQ platform provisions and others pushing the the GOP to the far right at Mother Jones, and check out this interview with GOP platform committee’s first openly-LGBTQ delegate Rachel Hoff. Hoff’s emotional attempts to make her party more inclusive were soundly rejected.
ALBANY DUMPS DUKE OVER HB2: Albany University has cancelled its basketball game against Duke because of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s stance against the anti-LGBTQ law. Duke was scheduled to play Albany at Cameron Indoor Stadium in November, but due to Cuomo’s executive order banning all non-essential state travel to North Carolina while HB2 remains in effect, Albany is looking for a new opponent. More from Fox News Sports.
- DOJ seeks to dismiss McCrory’s bogus lawsuit: To streamline its case against North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has asked a judge to dismiss Governor Pat McCrory’s lawsuit against the federal government. According to The Associated Press, “The federal government argues that McCrory’s lawyers ‘rushed to the courthouse’ because they knew the Justice Department planned to sue the state.”
- More on the real cost of HB2: In the nearly four months HB2 has been in effect, the Tar Heel State has taken a hit of at least $329.9 million in lost business, and in taxpayer money used to defend the measure -- including funding Gov. Pat McCrory’s road trips to explain why he signed discrimination into law. More from HRC.
- Party Pooper! McCrory cancels a pro-equality garden party at the Governor’s mansion hosted by Progress NC. The Charlotte Observer has more.
GRIMM’S CASE HEADS TO SCOTUS: Transgender teen Gavin Grimm’s case against the Gloucester County School Board, which has barred him from accessing the boy’s bathroom, has been appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States. Following the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in favor in Grimm, opponents filed an emergency application to the Court. Should SCOTUS decide not to take the case, the 4th Circuit decision will stand and Grimm and all transgender kids in the 4th Circuit (MD, NC, SC, VA and WV) will continue to be able to access bathrooms consistent with their gender identity in schools that accept federal funds. More from Reuters.
MISS. AG REFUSES TO DEFEND HB1523: Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood announced he won’t appeal a federal judge’s ruling blocking the state’s anti-LGBTQ HB1523, saying it’s “not in the best interests of the state of Mississippi or its taxpayers.” This comes just two days after Gov. Phil Bryant asked the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to stay the decision pending his appeal of the ruling. More from The Clarion Ledger.
- Meanwhile, the Campaign for Accountability today released a revealing report tracking how national anti-LGTBQ groups, working through smaller local organizations, are driving the movement to legalize discrimination through so-called religious refusal legislation, like Mississippi’s HB1523.
“LOVE MAKE THE WORLD GO ROUND:” Check out Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jennifer Lopez’s beautiful tribute to the victims of the Orlando tragedy last month. Proceeds from downloads on iTunes will benefit the Hispanic Federation for the Somos Orlando Fund. Watch their performance here.
- Gay Puerto Rican box Orlando Cruz has dedicated his next fight to the victims of the shooting -- four of whom were his friends.
KENTUCKY ROLLS OUT NEW MARRIAGE LICENSES: Starting Friday, Kentucky clerks will issue new marriage licenses giving both people tying the knot the option to select “bride,” “groom” or “spouse.” The new licenses also do not require a county clerk’s signature (looking at you, Kim Davis). More from WTVQ.
DETROIT POLICE INVESTIGATE ANTI-LGBTQ CRIME GONE VIRAL: Earlier this week, a horrifying video of a man pointing a gun and yelling homophobic slurs at a man he believed to be gay went viral on Twitter. From the video, Detroit Police identified the location of the incident, and opened an investigation on behalf of the victim. More from Detroit Free Press.
- Another gay man was attacked in Bronx over the weekend. Marquis Devereaux was walking home early Sunday when we was knifed by men hurling anti-LGBTQ slurs.
A LESSON IN EQUALITY: The Associated Press reports that California is set to become the first state in the nation to include prominent LGBTQ leaders and milestones in the fight for equal rights in required curriculum for history classes. The curriculum is being reviewed today by the State Board of Education.
JOLLY GOOD - UK’s NEW PM HAILS MARRIAGE EQUALITY AS BRITISH ACHIEVEMENT: In one of her first appearances as the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Theresa May referred to marriage equality as a progressive achievement for the country. May has had a mixed voting record on LGBTQ rights, but has more recently declared support for equality. More from OUT Magazine.
- PM May makes haste appointing new cabinet members, including Justine Greening as Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities. Greening is the first LGBTQ woman to serve in the UK cabinet. More from Independent.
Gay Star News breaks down a study showing that three-quarters of lesbian and bisexual women aren’t out at work… Americas Quarterly takes a look at the LGBTQ movement in the Dominican Republic after the Orlando shooting… The New York Times shares the stories of LGBTQ-affirming therapists… Fast Company outlines how to find LGBTQ-friendly employers… American Quarterly highlights how the Dominican LGBTQ movement is recovering after Orlando… and New York Daily News profiles Robert Sepulveda Jr., star of LOGO’s new show ‘Finding Prince Charming.’