TRUMP & PENCE CLOSE OUT WEEK OF ATTACKS ON LGBTQ EQUALITY AT RNC: The Republican National Convention drew to a close last night, with Donald Trump and Mike Pence wrapping up a week during which the GOP adopted the most anti-LGBTQ platform in its history and featured a parade of anti-LGBTQ speakers. In his speech accepting the party’s nomination last night, Trump appallingly pandered to LGBTQ people while he and running mate have opposed equality at every turn. Yesterday, HRC released a new microsite highlighting how Trump and Pence threaten historic gains the LGBTQ community has made in the last eight years. “Donald Trump and Mike Pence are now leading the most antiquated, anti-LGBTQ ticket in recent memory,” said HRC Communications Director Jay Brown. “Together, Donald Trump and Mike Pence threaten everything we've gained -- from marriage equality to worker protections -- and Trump has vowed to sign hateful federal legislation that would open LGBTQ people to Kim Davis-style discrimination across the country. This week has also shown, sadly, just how far the GOP has left to go, as they doubled down on the most anti-LGBTQ platform in history. This is clearly a ticket that will ‘Take America Backward Again’.”
- The RNC platform committee passed a slew of anti-equality provisions, including attacks on transgender people and a commitment to overturn nationwide marriage equality.
- Featured speakers launched attacks on LGBTQ people; retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn even attacked transgender people serving our country in the military.
- Former GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson compared transgender people to someone who “woke up… after seeing a movie about Afghanistan and saying ‘you know what? I’m Afghanistani [sic].”
- Meanwhile, five LGBTQ-supportive Republicans were among those skipping the convention - Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, Illinois Rep. Bob Dold, and Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Read about their pro-equality records here.
ON ANNIVERSARY OF EQUALITY ACT INTRODUCTION, HRC ANNOUNCES SUPPORT OF MORE THAN 80 MAJOR CORPORATIONS: Today, ahead of the one-year anniversary of the introduction of the Equality Act, HRC announced that Adobe Systems Inc., Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Alcoa Inc., Automatic Data Processing Inc., Bank of America Corp., Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Cargill Inc., Chevron Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Darden Restaurants Inc., Delhaize America Inc., InterContinental Hotels Group Americas, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Kenneth Cole Productions Inc., Pure Storage Inc., TIAA, Uber Technologies Inc., WhiteWave Foods Co., Williams-Sonoma Inc., Xerox Corp., and Office Depot Inc. have joined HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act. “These leading companies are joining a bipartisan chorus in Congress and the vast majority of Americans who support ending unfair and unjust discrimination against LGBTQ people,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “They are stepping forward to say that all Americans should be able to live free from fear of discrimination and have a fair chance to earn a living. Momentum is on our side, and we will not rest until the Equality Act is the law of the land.” Read more here.
CITING HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT CREATED BY HB2, NBA MOVES 2017 ALL-STAR GAME OUT OF NC: Yesterday the NBA announced that it is standing up for LGBTQ equality and pulling its 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, NC. Despite the NBA’s repeated warnings that it would consider moving the high-profile game out of the state if the anti-LGBTQ HB2 law was not repealed, the state’s General Assembly shamefully adjourned after 100 days of inaction earlier this month. HRC President Chad Griffin hailed the news saying, “Today the NBA and Commissioner Silver sent a clear message that they won’t stand for discrimination against LGBTQ employees, players or fans. The NBA repeatedly warned state lawmakers that their hateful HB2 law created an inhospitable environment for their 2017 All-Star Game and other events. Nevertheless, Governor McCrory, Senator Berger and Speaker Moore doubled down on HB2 and refused to undo their discriminatory and costly error in judgment. Every day that HB2 remains on the books, people across North Carolina are at risk of real harm. We appreciate the leadership of the NBA in standing up for equality and call once again on lawmakers to repeal this vile HB2 law.” More from USA Today.
- The Charlotte Observer Editorial Board: “We’re falling behind, North Carolina. It cost us deeply this week. It will continue to hurt us.” More here.
- This isn’t the first time the NBA has made a bold move for equality, according to Charlotte Magazine’s Adam Rhew. In 1958, the NBA pulled games from Charlotte because of its discriminatory Jim Crow laws.
- Our favorite headlines: From The New York Daily News, The Charlotte Observer and Mother Jones
- Meanwhile, the Greensboro, NC-based ACC is taking wait and see approach: The collegiate athletic league, scheduled to hold championship games in NC through 2019, released a statement saying it is waiting to see how things “evolve.” More from CBS Sports.
ADF-INGERPRINTS ALL OVER MISSISSIPPI’S H.B. 1523: Yesterday, The Washington Post reported that for nearly a year, the anti-LGBTQ legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) coordinated with state officials in Mississippi to introduce, support and defend the discriminatory H.B. 1523. HRC Mississippi state director Rob Hill said in the Post: “Wherever hateful anti-LGBTQ legislation pops up, the Alliance Defending Freedom is usually not far behind. HB 1523 never reflected the true values of Mississippians, so it's no surprise that Governor Bryant, Lt. Governor Reeves and Speaker Gunn enlisted ADF when crafting one of the most overtly discriminatory laws in the United States.” Read the full story here. Need a refresher on ADF? Check out HRC’s explainer.
OFFICE OF MINORITY HEALTH RELEASES REPORT ON LGB OLDER ADULTS: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Office of Minority Health has released its first ever report comparing the health of LGB and heterosexual older adults. More from HRC.
- Justice in Aging also released a report highlighting the unique legal needs of LGBTQ seniors. More from Huffington Post.
- The Austin Chronicle interviewed several HIV+ Austin residents about their experiences during the HIV & AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. More here.
AFT PASSES RESOLUTION SUPPORTING LGBTQ STUDENTS AND STAFF: Earlier this week, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) at its biennial convention passed a landmark resolution supporting of LGBTQ students and staff. More from HRC.
CNN shares Charlize Theron’s speech highlighting the effects racism, sexism and homophobia have on HIV & AIDS advocacy… Huffington Post speaks to Republicans who want to move on from the party’s anti-LGBTQ agenda… The Atlantic details why California schools are teaching students about the LGBTQ community… NPR shares the story of teens taking PrEP to prevent HIV… WSOC Charlotte shares how HB2 is affecting a local LGBTQ leadership camp… and The Associated Press looks at how the Nevada Department of Corrections is changing their policies to stop discriminating against HIV positive inmates…