#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: June 15, 2016

Today, we continue to mourn those lost in Orlando. Last night, HRC President Chad Griffin memorialized those lost in a series of messages on Twitter, releasing an image of each victim every minute for 49 minutes. As the nation reels from the tragedy, we’ll continue to stand alongside fellow advocates to pay tribute to their lives and work tirelessly to ensure such tragedies do not continue to plague our future.

NYT: “THE CORROSIVE POLITICS THAT THREATEN LGBT AMERICANS”: In a powerful editorial, The Corrosive Politics that Threaten LGBT Americans, The New York Times Editorial Board details the onslaught of legislative attacks on the LGBTQ community -- including more than 200 discriminatory bills proposed in 34 states --- since nationwide marriage equality was affirmed. Trump gets special mention, along with NC Gov. Pat McCrory, for championing and enabling discriminatory laws that drive hatred toward LGBTQ people. “The 49 people killed in Orlando were victims of a terrorist attack. But they also need to be remembered as casualties of a society where hate has deep roots,” The Times Editorial Board wrote.

JACKSON CITY COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES LGBTQ-INCLUSIVE NDO: Last night -- in a 7 to 0 vote -- the Jackson Mississippi City Council voted to advance city-wide non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, public accommodations and employment. The landmark measure also expands the city’s hate crimes statute to include tougher penalties for perpetrators who commit crimes motivated by the victim’s real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. More from HRC.

WHILE LGBTQ COMMUNITY AND NATION MOURN ORLANDO VICTIMS, NC ANTI-EQUALITY ACTIVISTS CHEERLEAD FOR DISCRIMINATION: Yesterday, only two days after the deadly attack in Orlando targeting LGBTQ people -- almost all Latinx -- anti-equality activists in North Carolina continued pressing their support for the deeply discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ HB2 law. “Have they no shame? Have they no empathy,” asked HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof. “It is unconscionable that as the nation mourns the 49 victims of the horrific massacre in Orlando, anti-equality activists in North Carolina are urging lawmakers to support one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQ laws in the country.” HB2 must be repealed in full, now.

  • The Orlando massacre demonstrates why the nation needs fully LGBTQ-inclusive federal non-discrimination protections guaranteed in the proposed Equality Act. In the wake of Orlando, bill co-sponsor, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), said passing the Act is “the most important signal we can send as a country that we don’t tolerate discrimination.” More from USA TODAY.

WITH “FRIENDS” LIKE DONALD TRUMP…: Despite the fact that presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump would rollback LGBTQ equality if elected, he absurdly claimed to be the “real friend” of the LGBTQ community earlier this week. Sad. In the wake of the Orlando massacre, perpetrated by an American-born shooter, Trump also renewed his racist call for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. Said HRC President Chad Griffin: “...it’s shameful and disgusting what Donald Trump did today and what he said today and I hope he says not another word about it.”

  • The Wall Street Journal contrasts Trump’s attempts to cast himself as a “friend” to the LGBTQ community with his actual support of anti-LGBTQ policies. Commenting on Trump’s supposed “support” HRC Communications Director Jay Brown said, “He has no shame. We are the very people around whom he has built an entire campaign belittling and maligning at every turn.”
  • Meanwhile, McCrory plans to raise money for Trump.

CATHOLIC BISHOP SAYS CHURCH “BREEDS CONTEMPT” FOR LGBTQ PEOPLE: In a stunning essay for The Washington Post, St. Petersburg, Fla., Bishop Robert Lynch said religion, including his own, must shoulder some of the blame for planting the seed of anti-LGBTQ animus that can ultimately lead to violence. “Those women and men who were mowed down Sunday were all made in the image and likeness of God,” he wrote. “We teach that. We should believe that. We must stand for that.” HRC President Chad Griffin called Lynch’s remarks “brave and big-hearted Catholic leadership during this difficult time.”

#MyBloodIsAsGoodAsYours -- DEMS CALL ON FDA TO END BLOOD DONATION BAN: A decades-old LGBTQ issue has come to the forefront following the Pulse nightclub shooting -- out-dated policies banning men who have sex with men from blood donation. Until last year, any man who had sex with another man was banned from giving blood for life. Last year the FDA reduced this lifetime ban to 12 months. In practice, for many sexually active gay and bisexual men this remains to be an effective lifetime ban.  Rep. Jared Polis, (D-Colo.) of the LGBT Equality Caucus, calls the ban “morally bankrupt” and “contrary to the goal of public health.” The American Red Cross and America’s Blood Centers agree. More from The Hill.

STATE DEPARTMENT HOSTS WEBCHAT ON LGBTI RIGHTS WITH JUDY SHEPARD: Yesterday, the U.S. Department of State hosted a global webchat featuring Randy Berry, Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons, and human rights activist Judy Shepard on hate crime prevention and issues LGBTI people face around the world. More from HRC.


The Washington Post shares the story of a gay Chinese man, who alleges that a government-run hospital drugged and beat him in attempt to “cure” him; Prince William is the first royal to appear on the cover of an LGBTQ magazine; Yahoo spotlights Ukraine’s first LGBTQ Pride march; ABC News highlights an organization providing comfort dogs (in the form of adorable golden retrievers) to those affected by the Orlando shooting; The Washington Post provides a guide to help readers comfort scared or grieving LGBTQ loved ones; Southern Maryland News Net covers a transgender veteran’s speech at a U.S. Navy LGBTQ event; The Washington Post discusses how in the aftermath of the Orlando attack, the outpouring of support shows how far we’ve come on LGBTQ equality; The Associated Press gives us the latest on lawsuits pending against Mississippi’s HB1523; and PennLive highlights the efforts to move the Pennsylvania Fairness Act to the House floor.

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!

HRC staff

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