#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: July 18, 2016

HRC staff

OPENING DAY OF RNC FEATURES ANTI-LGBTQ OFFICIALS… DELEGATES ADOPT PLATFORM TARGETING LGBTQ AMERICANS: As media and delegates converge today on Cleveland for this week’s Republican National Convention, here’s the reality: the party platform that delegates just embraced is jam-packed with historically discriminatory anti-LGBTQ provisions, from opposing marriage equality to attacks on transgender people. Today, The Wall Street Journal’s Reid Epstein reported, “Republican delegates aiming to strip perceived anti-gay language from the party’s platform formally gave up Monday.” Here’s what that means:

  • The platform asserts that laws and government regulations should only “recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman, endorses the deeply discriminatory “First Amendment Defense Act,” and launches a vile attack on transgender people. It’s a platform that perfectly fits not only this week’s parade of anti-LGBTQ convention speakers, including Scott Walker and Ted Cruz, but also reflects the anti-equality hostility of the Donald Trump and Mike Pence ticket. Read more here on Trump and Pence’s anti-equality positions.
  • Tonight, the RNC features anti-equality U.S. Senators: Among today’s RNC speakers are Senators Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst and Jeff Sessions. In 2015, Cotton defended an Arkansas bill aimed at enabling discrimination against minority groups. Sessions called the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling “unconstitutional.” Cotton and Ernst both voted against the Student Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit anti-LGBTQ discrimination in public schools,
  • You’re not going to believe this: OK Gov. Mary Fallin told CNN this morning that the GOP platform isn’t anti-LGBTQ… because there were “gay people on the committee” that drafted it. That would be one -- Rachel Hoff, who emotionally, and unsuccessfully, begged her fellow party members to soften their anti-marriage equality stance.

PENCE’S DANGEROUS PROPOSALS ON HIV & AIDS FUNDING: While Pence gained national attention for signing a law that could have allowed businesses to refuse service to LGBTQ people on religious grounds, he was also behind terrible proposals calling for diverting money from HIV & AIDS programs to practitioners of the dangerous and debunked “conversion therapy.” According to BuzzFeed News, Pence pushed the proposal while running for Congress in 2000. As HRC President Chad Griffin said the day Trump announced Pence as his running mate, “Mike Pence has never left any question about his animus toward LGBTQ people.”

  • More on Pence’s appalling record on LGBTQ issues from the Huffington Post, Bustle and TIME. Bloomberg details how Pence’s anti-LGBTQ record is out of step with America’s biggest companies.

WHILE DEFENDING THE DISCRIMINATORY GOP PLATFORM, RNC CHAIR REINCE PRIEBUS MAKES STUFF UP: Over the weekend, RNC Chair Reince Priebus hit the interview circuit to defend the GOP’s appallingly anti-LGBTQ platform. During an interview with The Associated Press, Priebus denied that the proposed platform endorses the dangerous and widely-discredited practice of “conversion therapy,” despite language reading, “We support the right of parents to determine the proper treatment or therapy, for their minor children.” During an appearance on Meet the Press yesterday, Priebus said that that opposite-sex parents are the “best scenario” for children -- an assertion widely debunked by scholarly research. PolitiFact also rated Priebus’ absurd claim “FALSE.”

ALABAMA PANEL WANTS #NOMOORE - SAYS DISCRIMINATORY JUDGE MUST GO: The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Committee is urging the state’s Court of the Judiciary to immediately remove the notoriously discriminatory Roy Moore -- the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court -- from office. Moore’s charges stem from his decision to urge state probate court judges to not follow federal courts’ rulings on marriage equality. The Court of the Judiciary will decide whether he violated judicial ethics in a hearing scheduled for August 8th.

HB2 HEADS TO TRIAL NEAR ELECTION DAY: The Associated Press reports that pending lawsuits over North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2 law will likely head to trial in either late October or early November, “putting the divisive issue in the spotlight as voters prepare to cast ballots in the closely watched governor’s race.” NC Gov. Pat McCrory, who signed the bill into law, is locked in a heated battle for the governorship with the state’s Attorney General, Roy Cooper, who has refused to defend HB2 in court. A new NBC/WSJ poll has found that Cooper is leading McCrory by four percentage points.

SCHOOL DISTRICTS LEADING ON TRANS EQUALITY: Los Angeles Unified School District, Boulder Valley School District and District of Columbia Public Schools are three notable school districts that have long been working diligently to ensure the dignity and respect of transgender students -- even before the Obama Administration issued its historic guidance in May. Read about them here.


The Washington Blade highlights the global LGBTQ rights conference in Uruguay; The Los Angeles Times talks to the stars of the Emmy-nominated web series “Her Story”; The Christian Science Monitor examines the struggles LGBTQ couples face when looking for wedding vendors; WKBN profiles the eighth annual Pride Youngstown Festival in Ohio; Latina features the queer, Latina, feminist music podcast Radio Menea; BuzzFeed unpacks the duality of identity and safety after Orlando; The Advocate shares a thoughtful interview from openly-gay Army Secretary Eric Fanning, one of San Diego Pride’s Grand Marshals this year; BuzzFeed breaks down what a free vote on marriage equality in Australia would look like; and The Washington Post celebrates Bolivia’s recent push for more equality.

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