#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: July 28, 2016

HRC staff

TONIGHT, MOST LGBTQ-INCLUSIVE DNC EVER CONCLUDES ON HISTORIC NOTE: History will be made tonight at the Democratic National Convention as equality champion Hillary Clinton takes the stage becoming the first woman to accept the presidential nomination of a major party.  It will also be a historic night for LGBTQ progress, as HRC’s Sarah McBride becomes the first openly transgender person to address a major party convention. HRC President Chad Griffin, named a vice chair of the convention, will also speak tonight. Both are expected to speak during the 4-6p.m. hour.

  • Also today, LGBTQ panel discussion: HRC’s Jay Brown will join a panel at 2:30 p.m. today moderated by Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff to discuss where the LGBTQ movement goes next. Panelists include Melissa Harris-Perry, Kevin Jennings of the Arcus Foundation and Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom to Marry. The discussion will be hosted at the National Museum of American Jewish History.
  • Other signs of historic progress include… a record number of LGBTQ delegates -- including a historic high of 27 transgender delegates; transgender rights advocate Marisa Richmond serving as official timekeeper; and Mara Keisling, a veteran trans advocate, serving on the platform committee. Watch here as McBride talks about the most pro-LGBTQ platform in history.
  • Equality hero President Obama opened his inspiring speech last night by saying, “Love has no limits, and marriage equality is the law of the land.” During his address, vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine honored LGBTQ champion Harvey Milk, saying, “Martin had a dream… Harvey gave his life.”
  • Christine Leinonen, the mother of Drew Leinonen, who was among 49 LGBTQ people and allies killed in the tragic shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando last month, made an emotional plea for gun violence prevention last night. And Georgia-based HIV activist Daniel Driffin became the first openly HIV-positive person to address a major party convention in 16 years.
  • Chelsea Clinton condemns “conversion therapy”: During a luncheon for LGBTQ delegates hosted by HRC and Victory Institute yesterday, Chelsea Clinton lambasted the Republican Party for its support of dangerous so-called “conversion therapy.” More from The Washington Blade.
  • Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black reflected on the progress of the LGBTQ movement during a dedication ceremony for a new LGBTQ landmark in Philly. More from The Daily Dot.
  • Last night, HRC and Everytown held an event at the DNC with special guest, pop icon Tiffany. Follow @WeAreHRC on Snapchat for more.

12 STATES FILE BRIEF SUPPORTING DOJ & ED’S TRANSGENDER GUIDELINES: Yesterday Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a brief on behalf of 12 states, and the District of Columbia, supporting the recent release by the Departments of Education and Justice of historic guidance advising schools on how to ensure dignity and equal treatment of transgender students in federally-funded schools. The 12-state brief counters federal lawsuits filed by the Attorneys General of Nebraska and Texas, asserting that the administration’s action and similar policies protect transgender individuals from high rates of discrimination and violence. Contrary to claims being made by Paxton and Peterson, Ferguson’s brief states, “our shared experience demonstrates that protecting the civil rights of our transgender friends, relatives, classmates, and colleagues creates no public safety threat and imposes no meaningful financial burden.” California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Washington, DC, joined the amicus brief which was filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Texas. More from BuzzFeed News.

ICYMI: HIV OUTBREAK IN RURAL INDIANA COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED: A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine highlights how an HIV outbreak in rural Indiana could have been prevented. The study points to the deadly consequences of policies that Pence has pushed during his time in Congress and as Governor. Reminder: In Congress, Pence opposed funding for HIV prevention and suggested funding harmful conversion therapy programs. The Courier-Journal breaks down the study today: “‘A lot of things could have been done differently with our resources and capacity,’ said Carrie Lawrence, with the Indiana University School of Public Health Rural Center for HIV/STD Prevention.” More here.

WHO TO FINALLY REMOVE “TRANSGENDER IDENTITIES” FROM LIST OF MENTAL ILLNESSES: In a long-overdue move, the World Health Organization (WHO) will soon no longer classify transgender identities as mental disorder. This revision, which was unopposed, will significantly improve healthcare for transgender people. The new WHO’s codebook -- the first revised edition in 25 years -- is expected to be published in May 2018. More from The New York Times.

ALABAMA CHIEF JUSTICE ROY MOORE’S PATHETIC DEFENSE: In response to ethics charges filed against him for advising judges to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore claims he took his discriminatory action simply to answer questions from probate judges. The disgraced chief justice faces potential removal by the state's Court of the Judiciary for defying the law of the land. #NoMoore from ABC News.

THE POLITICS OF BEING ‘OUT’ AT THE RIO OLYMPICS: As athletes prepare to head to the Brazil, where the threat of violence against LGBTQ people runs high, many of the estimated 500-plus LGBTQ athletes will likely remain closeted during the games out of concern for safety and a desire to preserve focus and sponsorships, USA Today reports.

  • Earlier this month, HRC released a global spotlight brief on Brazil highlighting the violence the LGBTQ community continues to face despite social progress. Read it here.

WE ARE ORLANDO: A permanent memorial at Pulse Nightclub for the 49 victims of the deadly attack there last month is being planned. The OnePulse Foundation submitted paperwork for the tribute this week. More from The Orlando Sentinel.


The Montgomery Advertiser Editorial Board warns the Alabama Legislature about the backlash from anti-LGBTQ laws; A Jackson Free Press op-ed describes how LGBTQ individuals experience “relentless pursuit” by Mississippi state legislators; A writer chronicles in Torontoist her bleak experience of being LGBTQ in foster care; VICE introduces the gay Syrian refugee who will be leading the Toronto pride parade; OUT examines queer themes within beautiful Islamic poetry; In The Advocate, Equality Virginia shares why it loves Tim Kaine; and UALR Public Radio highlights a new group house in Little Rock for homeless LGBTQ youth.
Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to A.M. Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!

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