NC LAWMAKERS END SESSION WITHOUT REPEALING DEEPLY DISCRIMINATORY HB2: Ignoring the overwhelming chorus of North Carolinians, business leaders, fair-minded voices, and civil rights advocates, the North Carolina General Assembly shamefully adjourned this weekend without repealing the state’s deeply discriminatory HB2 law. Every anti-LGBTQ provision of HB2 remains intact. In a limited maneuver, lawmakers passed a bill restoring the ability to sue for workplace discrimination under state law; however, North Carolina does not protect LGBTQ people from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. More from HRC and Reuters.
- Adding insult to injury, NC lawmakers approved legislation that would divert $500k from the state’s disaster relief fund to defend HB2. The Associated Press has more.
- Before the session ended, 25 local and national civil rights organizations signed onto a letter strongly condemning HB2 and any attempts to double-down on discrimination. Read it here.
- And The Charlotte Observer Editorial Board, noting Mississippi’s own discriminatory “HB2 law” was blocked by last week by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves, says that NC’s HB2 should be next. The board writes: “HB2 will likely find a similar fate in federal courts — after, of course, Republicans in the General Assembly spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on outside attorneys to defend the indefensible.” Read more here.
BAD COMPANY: Despicable Donald Trump is vetting notoriously anti-LGBTQ Indiana Governor Mike Pence as a potential veep. Gov. Pence made headlines last year by signing the discriminatory and disastrous ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act’ into law, allowing Indiana businesses to refuse services to LGBTQ people under the guise of so-called ‘religious freedom.’ (The state lost at least an estimated $60 million in convention revenue alone because of the terrible law.) Trump has also stated that he would support Kim Davis-style discrimination, supporting a national bill that would promote taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBTQ people. More from ABC News and Pink News.
- Speaking of bad company, Marco Rubio, who recently announced plans to run for re-election in the Senate (after promising he’d spare us…), is touting an endorsement from John Stemberger, President of Florida Family Action. Stemberger heads up a group that actively works against a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to Florida’s non-discrimination law and lists resources on its website for “leaving the gay lifestyle.” Considering Rubio’s horrific record on issues of equality, this endorsement should come as no surprise.
DEMOCRATIC PARTY COMES OUT STRONGLY FOR LGBTQ EQUALITY: The Democratic Party unveiled its draft 2016 platform, and it’s the most LGBTQ-inclusive platform of any major U.S. political party in history. The platform addresses many of the major challenges facing the LGBTQ community today, including ending the epidemic of violence against transgender people, and passing an explicit and comprehensive federal non-discrimination law. Gun violence prevention was also highlighted. More from HRC.
GOOD RIDDANCE TO ANTI-LGBTQ CARDINAL: Yesterday, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez of the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo, the notoriously anti-LGBTQ Catholic prelate who used homophobic slurs against openly-gay U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic James “Wally” Brewster. HRC President Chad Griffin last year called on Pope Francis to condemn the Cardinal’s anti-LGBTQ slurs. More from The Washington Blade.
NEW LGBTQ ADVISORY BOARD IN HOUSTON: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has created an LGBTQ advisory board to provide recommendations and policy advice to the mayor's office on issues concerning the LGBTQ community. The board has 49 members -- a nod the 49 lives lost in the Orlando tragedy. More from Click2Houston.
INDIANA JUDGE RULES IN FAVOR OF LGBTQ PARENTS: Federal U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled last week that both same-sex parents have the right to be listed as parents on their children’s birth certificate. The ruling comes after eight same-sex couples sued Indiana health commissioner Dr. Jerome Adams for forcing parents who did not give birth to the child to undergo a costly adoption process to be legally recognized as a parent of their own child. More from The Indianapolis Star.
AMOR ES AMOR: Over the weekend, Puerto Rico unveiled its first-ever LGBTQ monument, honoring the victims of the June 12th Orlando tragedy. The monument, in San Juan’s Third Millennium Park, features seven rainbow-colored columns and a plaque highlighting the names of the victims -- 23 of whom were Puerto Rican. More from The Advocate.
BE STILL OUR HEARTS: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has given us another reason to love him. Over the weekend he became the country’s first sitting Prime Minister to march in the Toronto Pride Parade. More from AFP.
The Commercial Appeal profiles Logan Boldon, a transgender intern at Great Smoky Mountains National Park who’s committed to highlighting the park’s diversity; The Pacific Daily News breaks down how Guamanian schools are planning to comply with federal guidance regarding transgender students; NBC News shared a transgender soldier’s journey; WTVM highlights Congressman John Lewis’ fight to add protections for the LGBTQ community to the Civil Rights Act; Mic applauds Elle UK’s groundbreaking move to feature transgender and bisexual women on dual September covers; CNN explores whether Taiwan will be the first Asian country to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples; The New York Times details how Brazil is dealing with an epidemic in anti-LGBTQ violence; and The Washington Blade gives an overview of the White House’s recent dialogue on global LGBTQ rights.