#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: June 21, 2016

HRC staff

TRUMP CAMPAIGNS, AGAIN, WITH ANTI-LGBTQ LEADERS, DESIGNATED HATE GROUPS: Today, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with hundreds of anti-LGBTQ activists, just days after he repeatedly bragged about being right about predicting the tragedy in Orlando and campaigning as “far better” for the LGBTQ community than Hillary Clinton. Among the activists Trump is courting is Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Donald Trump continues to prove that he is no friend of the LGBTQ community, and his plan to meet with some of the most virulent anti-LGBTQ activists in the country underscores the terrible reality that, if elected, he would put everything our community has gained under President Obama at risk,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “Aligning himself with hate group leader Tony Perkins and his anti-LGBTQ ilk should leave no doubt that Donald Trump stands on the wrong side of history when it comes to equality.” At every turn during his campaign for the Republican nomination, Trump has vowed to roll back and block LGBTQ equality.

SENATE REJECTS COMMON-SENSE GUN SAFETY MEASURES: Last night, the U.S. Senate voted down two gun violence prevention amendments that would have struck the balance Americans are seeking in our nation’s laws regulating the sale and ownership of guns. The unconscionable vote to stop these gun violence prevention measures comes just a week after 49 LGBTQ and allied people were massacred -- and 53 others injured -- in an attack on a club in Orlando on Latin night. “We are deeply disappointed in each and every Senator who failed to stand up today for commonsense gun violence prevention legislation,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “For decades, LGBTQ people have been a target for bias-motivated violence, and easy access to deadly weapons has compounded this threat...”

  • In a letter sent to Senators prior to the vote, HRC urged them to vote in favor of the critical legislation.
  • Upon hearing that the Senate had failed to pass the common-sense gun violence prevention measures, Hillary Clinton tweeted out a simple but powerful response.

HUFFPOST: ORLANDO’S LGBT COMMUNITY IS WOUNDED, BUT TOUGH AS NAILS: Orlando’s LGBTQ community is profiled by the Huffington Post as “wounded, but tough as nails, too.” Andy Campbell reports that locals immediately jumped into action after the tragedy, including groups like The Barber Fund, which raises money for cancer patients and their families, but shifted its efforts to helping victims of the massacre. This should come as no surprise, Campbell writes, describing the Orlando LGBTQ community as “a tight-knit crew that’s always been ready to jump up and offer its support, no matter what the cause.”

  • The Broadway for Orlando community, including stars Bernadette Peters, Audra McDonald and Lin-Manuel Miranda, has come together and recorded “What the World Needs Now Is Love” to honor victims of the Orlando massacre. Marriage equality champion Edie Windsor also helped with the recording. All of the proceeds from the single will benefit the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida. See the music video and download the track here.
  • Florida teams are standing with LGBTQ community. During the team’s Pride Night on Friday, the Tampa Bay Rays shared an emotional tribute from Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred. “The LGBT community is part of the baseball community,” Manfred said. The Rays are also auctioning off signed hats, donating proceeds from ticket and parking revenues, and holding blood drives. Several other Florida teams, including the Orlando Magic, Lions, Predators, Solar Bears and Pride have also donated thousands of dollars to victims of the attack. More from HRC.

FEDERAL JUDGE REFUSES TO BLOCK VILE ANTI-LGBTQ LAW IN MISSISSIPPI: A federal judge in Mississippi has refused to block Governor Phil Bryant’s discriminatory H.B. 1523, which allows far-reaching discrimination against LGBTQ people. The new law, which will go into effect July 1, will allow taxpayer-funded faith-based organizations to: refuse to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples for provision of critical services including emergency shelter; deny children in need of loving homes placement with qualified LGBTQ families, including the child’s own family members; and refuse to sell or rent a for-profit home to an LGBTQ person. Said HRC Mississippi State Director Rob Hill: “The business community -- including national companies such as AT&T, IBM, General Electric and more -- has roundly condemned this dangerous bill. It will do harm to our community, our families and our economy and we must not allow it to stand. We look forward to pursuing and supporting legal and legislative recourse to ensure this bill is ultimately struck down or repealed.”

GAY LAWMAKERS CALL LGBTQ NIGHTCLUBS SAFE HAVENS: Representatives Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) have called LGBTQ nightclubs “safe havens” for the community. Rep. Maloney met his husband of more than two decades in a gay club. He said bars also served as a community resource for the gay community long before the Internet. Following the Orlando shooting at a LGBTQ nightclub, the representatives also stressed the need for passing the Equality Act.

ST. LOUIS FLIES THE TRANSGENDER FLAG: St. Louis raised the transgender flag Monday morning to mark the start of the city’s Pride Week, becoming only the third U.S. city to fly the pink, blue and white flag outside its city hall. More from St. Louis Post-Dispatch.


Hillary Clinton declares that “prayers alone aren’t enough” to stem the epidemic of gun violence in America; NBC News profiles the LGBTQ Muslims that are bravely coming out after the Orlando massacre; The Huffington Post unveils London’s new LGBTQ traffic signals; UPI dives into the issue of mental health studies lacking information on LGBTQ participants; Gay Star News recounts the heartwarming story of Orlando locals dressing up as angels to block an anti-LGBTQ group from protesting a shooting victim’s funeral; and Slate discusses anti-LGBTQ harassment in the workplace.  

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