#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: June 16, 2016

HRC staff

SHAMEFUL: TRUMP ALIGNS WITH McCRORY, WHO JUST SIGNED HATEFUL HB2 LAW; SAYS HE'S DOING A "FANTASTIC JOB" Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump continues to show his true, anti-LGBTQ colors. After delivering a disgusting speech saying he “predicted” the Orlando tragedy, Trump traveled to North Carolina to attend a fundraiser with NC Governor Pat McCrory and later praised him for “doing a fantastic job.” HRC President Chad Griffin blasted Trump for endorsing McCrory: “Donald Trump’s two-faced insincerity is mind-blowing. If his anti-LGBTQ agenda and unbridled Islamophobia didn’t give fair-minded voters enough pause, his hearty endorsement of a Governor who has made North Carolina home to one of the worst state law in the nation for LGBTQ people should.” More from Buzzfeed.

  • #AskTheGays: Need further proof of Trump’s deplorable record on LGBTQ issues? He encouraged us all to ask “The Gays” and they responded in kind. Read the best responses at BuzzFeed.

Earlier today, dozens of HRC staffers and other advocates chanted “Love Conquers Hate” outside a building near HRC where the anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim Trump was being deposed in a lawsuit. More from Politico.

TOP UTAH OFFICIAL APOLOGIZES FOR FAILING TO STAND WITH THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY: Powerfully testifying to the power of knowing LGBTQ people as colleagues, friends and fellow citizens, Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox offered an apology for not standing with the LGBTQ community sooner. At a vigil this week for victims of the Orlando massacre, the Utah Republican said: “Over the intervening years, my heart has changed. It has changed because of you. It has changed because I have gotten to know many of you.You have treated me with the kindness, dignity, and respect -- the love -- that I very often did not deserve. And it has made me love you.”

  • But anti-LGBTQ animus is still evident at the Republican National Committee, which edited its original statement on the Orlando shooting to eliminate references to LGBTQ people as victims of the attack. HRC Communications Jay Brown said that “the RNC's erasure of LGBTQ people of color, who were targeted simply because of who they are, demonstrates a profound lack of judgment and empathy that has no place in politics.”
  • Meanwhile, actor and LGBTQ activist Wilson Cruz, who lost a family member in the Orlando massacre, described it as “a direct attack on LGBTQ Latinos.” In an interview with The Huffington Post, Cruz, best known for his role as one of the first queer characters of color in the cult-classic “My So-Called Life,” urged the media not to “whitewash the experience.” Cruz, related by marriage to victim Brenda Lee Márquez McCool, encouraged the LGBTQ Latinx community to “find some refuge and some comfort in knowing that they are members of a long line of LGBT Latino people that have fought their entire lives, generation after generation, for our right to live the lives that we live now…”
  • For more on how you can support victims, survivors and their families go to WeAreOrlando.org and SomosOrlando.org.

A CLOSER LOOK AT ANTI-LGBTQ HATE CRIMES: The New York Times highlights the high rate of hate crimes against the LGBTQ community, which is more likely to be targeted than any other minority group. The report breaks down the most recent data from the FBI, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) and HRC. Reporting often dramatically undercounts LGBTQ data, as it’s based on local, non-mandatory reporting. More here.

HOLD THE FLOOR: In a historic 15-hour filibuster, Senate Democrats argued for gun law reform in the wake of the tragic Orlando massacre. The effort was initiated by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn), who was joined by dozens of senators including Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-Md), Dick Durbin (D-Ill), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt), Joe Manchin (D-W. Va), Ed Markey (D-Mass), Bill Nelson (D-Fl), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), among others. The names of the 49 victims in Orlando were read during the impassioned speeches, and accounts given other major mass shootings in the United States. The filibuster ended at 2 AM today when the Senate majority agreed to allow votes on gun-control legislation. More from Politico.

ORLANDO TRAGEDY INSPIRES PEOPLE TO LIVE THEIR TRUTH: Following the tragedy in Orlando, people, including including actress and author Mara Wilson, are using social media to open up about their own sexual orientation and gender identity. Wilson, best known for her role in the films Mrs. Doubtfire and Matilda, tweeted Monday about her sexual orientation. “I said I used to identify as mostly straight. I've embraced the Bi/Queer label lately,” she said. BuzzFeed reported that a number of people around the globe took to social media to come out, sending a powerful message to those still closeted. And surveys have shown that when people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support equality under the law. More from HRC.

  • LGBTQ members of Congress have also spoken out in the wake of the tragedy. Yesterday the co-chairs of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, Reps. Jared Polis, David Cicilline, Sean Patrick Maloney, Mark Pocan, Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Takano, all released statements. Read them here.
  • A brave gay couple in Moscow was arrested earlier this week for leaving a “Love Wins” sign at a memorial for the victims of the Orlando massacre. They were questioned for three hours and face 10 days in prison or a fine of 60,000 rubles if convicted. Read more here.

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE HONORS ARMY RESERVIST KILLED IN ORLANDO ATTACK: U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter movingly honored Army Reserve Captain Antonio Brown, who lost his life in the Orlando shooting last weekend. Brown had served in the Army domestically and abroad for nearly a decade. Carter said that Brown “gave his fellow Americans the security to dream their dreams, and live full lives,” asserting that the Army stands "with the people of Orlando and the nation's LGBT community during this difficult time....”

KANSAS VOTES TO PUT TRANS STUDENTS AT RISK: Yesterday the Kansas State Board of Education unanimously voted to ignore the Obama administration's historic guidance ensuring that transgender students are treated with respect in public and federally-funded schools, instead leaving the decision of whether to comply with federal civil rights law to each individual school district. Kansas schools receive almost $500 million dollars in federal education funding, which would be at risk if schools fail to comply. More from The Associated Press.

AMA URGES BETTER PrEP EDUCATION FOR PROVIDERS: Yesterday the American Medical Association (AMA), the largest association of physicians and medical students in the nation, adopted two new policies recognizing the need for better provider education about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). First approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012, PrEP is a once-daily pill regimen that can keep someone HIV-negative. However, PrEP uptake has been frustratingly slow in the U.S., due in part to low levels of awareness among doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers. According to a 2015 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three primary care doctors and nurses haven’t even heard about PrEP.


The Huffington Post explains why we need LGBTQ Pride now more than ever; Valley Central highlights the story of 10-year-old transgender boy Benjamin Alder; The New York Times stresses that it’s time to stand with LGBTQ Americans; Pink News reports on the first anti-trans protest calling for a “bathroom bill” in the UK; Vice updates the fight for marriage equality in Bermuda; and Gay Times introduces us to the pro-equality Archbishop of York.
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