HRC PRESIDENT CHAD GRIFFIN ON SHOOTINGS OF ALTON STERLING AND PHILANDO CASTILE: “We are horrified and profoundly saddened by the recent murders of two Black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, at the hands of police in Baton Rouge and near Minneapolis. In less than 48 hours, these two men became the latest victims of an epidemic of brutality that continues to plague our nation, joining a tragic list of 123 Black men fatally shot by police officers in 2016 alone. These men leave behind families, children and friends who struggle to find justice and healing, but are too often met with indifference and inaction by those responsible for protecting them. On a Sunday morning less than a month ago, the nation awoke to news of a tragic mass shooting that stole the lives of 49 LGBTQ people and our allies -- almost all of them Latinx. That same afternoon, the NAACP stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us to speak out against the hate violence that has targeted our inextricably-woven communities. The LGBTQ community is as diverse as the fabric of our nation. We are African Americans, Latinx, women, Christians, Jews and Muslims -- and so many more identities -- and we must stand together against violence that targets any portion of our community. Today, as we grieve and mourn, we are also united in demanding solutions to stop the tragic epidemic of police-involved deaths.”
HOUSE TO HEAR ANTI-LGBTQ LEGISLATION ON ONE-MONTH ANNIVERSARY OF ORLANDO: Next Tuesday, on the one-month anniversary of the horrific attack at an Orlando nightclub where 49 LGBTQ people and allies were murdered and 53 others wounded, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is set to hold a hearing on the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) -- radical legislation that would sanction unprecedented taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBTQ people. On its face, this legislation purports to prohibit discrimination by the federal government based on individual beliefs about marriage between loving, same-sex couples. In reality, this bill would allow individuals, many businesses, and nonprofit organizations -- even those contracting with the federal government -- to circumvent critical federal protections designed to protect LGBTQ families from harmful discrimination. More from HRC.
HRC SLAMS TX AG KEN PAXTON FOR REPREHENSIBLE ATTACK ON TRANS YOUTH: HRC denounced Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for filing a motion in federal court yesterday on behalf of 13 states seeking an injunction blocking President Barack Obama’s historic guidance to ensure the equal treatment of transgender students in public and federally-funded schools. “Ken Paxton and his gang of bullies aren’t simply stoking anti-transgender rhetoric, they are hurting children,” said Jay Brown, HRC Communications Director. “They should be ensuring our children’s dignity and ability to learn in a safe environment, not going to court to target transgender students for discrimination and bullying by blocking guidance educators across the country had been asking for.” Paxton’s latest discriminatory attack comes just weeks after he filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Texas and 10 other states challenging the Obama Administration’s guidance on transgender students’ rights.
- TX Gov. Greg Abbott is also shamefully stoking anti-LGBTQ flames, using Twitter to mock New York’s admirable pro-LGBTQ “Open Doors” campaign, and making the ludicrous claim that his state’s discrimination against LGBTQ people is somehow justified because of… low taxes? Disgusting. More from The New Civil Rights Movement.
MUST SEE: Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, who died Saturday at age 87, delivers a powerful speech at an HRC Dinner in 1989. Watch here.
BEST INVITE EVER: Get your party on to protest the hate embedded in North Carolina’s HB2… in the house of NC Gov. Pat McCrory, the guy who signed the discriminatory measure into law. Progress NC, in a brilliant move, is exercising its right as a non-profit to rent space in the Governor’s Mansion for a “Garden Party Against Hate.” That’s right -- a night in McCrory’s crib protesting HB2. INDY Week plans to release a special issue about the disastrous law and a performance by the playful Air Horn Orchestra will be featured. Let’s have us some fun - don’t forget to RSVP! More from INDY Week.
BIG NATIONAL EDUCATION ORGS MAKE HISTORY, ESTABLISH LGBTQ-INCLUSION POLICIES: Two of the nation’s largest and most influential education organizations took bold steps to support LGBTQ students this weekend. Both the National Parent Teacher Association (NPTA) and the National Education Association (NEA), together representing more than five million members and constituents, established formal policies of LGBTQ-inclusion, and committed to redoubling their advocacy at the federal, state and local levels to ensure that LGBTQ students are treated with dignity and can learn in environments that are safe and free from discrimination. More from HRC.
KIM DAVIS IN TROUBLE, AGAIN: In an opinion released yesterday, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear asserts that Kim Davis, infamous for breaking the law by denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples, also violated the state's Open Records Act when she and her legal team withheld documents requested by his office. More from Roll Call.
TRANSGENDER RIGHTS BILL EXPECTED TO LAND ON MASS. GOV’S DESK TODAY: Massachusetts lawmakers today are expected to pass a bill expanding state anti-discrimination protections to transgender people - including allowing them access to restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity. If approved, Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to sign the compromise bill into law. More from The Associated Press.
LGBTQ ATHLETES IN ESPN’S BODY ISSUE: This week, two openly LGBTQ athletes are gracing the pages of ESPN The Magazine’s 2016 Body Issue -- duathlete Chris Mosier and retired Olympic diving superstar Greg Louganis, who has been living with HIV for nearly three decades. Mosier is making history not only as the first known out transgender athlete to appear in the annual Body Issue, but also the first trans athlete to qualify for a U.S. national team, earning a spot on the Team USA sprint duathlon men’s squad for the 2016 World Championships. More from HRC.
MORMON “MAMA DRAGONS” ADVOCATE FOR THEIR LGBTQ CHILDREN: Morning listen alert! Check out this piece by NPR on Mormon “Mama Dragons,” who are protecting their LGBTQ children in face of the church’s anti-LGBTQ stances. More from NPR.
AS WE ALWAYS SAY, EQUALITY IS NOT ONLY THE RIGHT THING TO DO, IT’S SMART BUSINESS, TOO: A new report from the Williams Institute found that companies that don’t discriminate against LGBTQ employees when hiring are “far more” successful than those who do. More from The Street.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS: During the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia later this month, Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff will moderate a panel on the future of the LGBTQ movement. The July 28 discussion will feature HRC President Chad Griffin, former MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, Kevin Jennings of the Arcus Foundation and Evan Wolfson, formerly of Freedom to Marry. More from Washington Blade.
DRAFT D.C. CONSTITUTION BANS ANTI-LGBTQ BALLOT MEASURES: Lawyers are preparing a draft D.C. statehood Constitution that includes language prohibiting the use of voter referendums to repeal protections embedded in the DC Human Rights Act, which explicitly bans discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. More from Washington Blade.
CLOSING THE LOOPHOLE: A British lawmaker has introduced a measure that would repeal anti-LGBTQ provisions in an antiquated law that could be read as allowing ship owners to fire sailors who engage in “gay sex” while on board. Although Britain’s 2010 Equality Act prohibits this discrimination, lawmakers are working to remove this language from the statute in a symbolic gesture. More from Lloyd’s List.
The Advocate highlights the world of anti-LGBTQ extremists in a series called “Blame It on the Queers”; Radio Times introduces us to the transgender actors behind Britain’s groundbreaking TV show “Boy Meets Girl”; NJ.com explores what it means to be non-binary; Fusion looks at a new crowdfunding site that will help LGBTQ and immigration activists facing criminal charges; Vox meets the federal agency working to stop anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace; Hip-Hop Wired teases Calvin Klein’s fall campaign with a clip of hip-hop artist Young Thug saying, “there’s no such thing as gender”; The Colorado Springs Independent dissects nine LGBTQ microaggressions and how to respond when you hear one; Gay Star News reveals the cheeky HIV awareness campaign from France, which features risqé (and NSFW) photographs of models in full body paint; and Mashable profiles a series on Kickstarter that highlights trans activists of color.