#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: June 22, 2016

HRC staff

ATTORNEY GENERAL LORETTA LYNCH VISITS ORLANDO: Yesterday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch visited Orlando to meet with survivors of the Pulse dance club massacre, as well as the victims’ friends and loved ones. Lynch said that while the LGBTQ community had faced a “shattering attack,” a message of hope prevails. Said Lynch: “The message of Orlando that I have seen today -- and what the American people have seen in the wake of this horrific assault -- is a message of determination to remove hatred and intolerance from our midst; to live our lives freely and without fear; and to stay true to the principles of liberty, justice and equality that define America at our best.”

  • The tragedy in Orlando has inspired many, especially Latinx LGBTQ people, to come out: The New York Times gives a heartbreaking account of the hours and days following the Pulse massacre, as many directly affected by the tragedy chose to come out to their families.
  • R&B star Frank Ocean’s emotional response to Orlando massacre: In a letter on Tumblr, Ocean, who is bisexual, wrote about homophobia, how hate can escalate to violence, and shared stories of witnessing anti-LGBTQ discrimination from an early age.
  • In the wake of the senseless violence in Orlando, Senators Tammy Baldwin,(D-WI), Barbara Mikulski, (D-MD) and Mazie Hirono, (HI-D), have introduced an amendment to increase funding to prevent and respond to hate crimes.

RALLY AGAINST HATE: Tonight, LGBTQ advocates, including HRC, will hold a “Rally Against Hate” at the Bicentennial Plaza in downtown Raleigh. Following Orlando, equality advocates are determined now more than ever to come together to defeat the hate and bigotry that motivated the attack, and others like it. The reality that HB2 continues to put a target on the backs of LGBTQ people is abundantly clear. The rally will call for the protection of LGBTQ North Carolinians, and consequently, the full repeal of HB2.

WHILE TRUMP COURTS ANTI-LGBTQ EXTREMISTS, CLINTON VETS PRO-EQUALITY CANDIDATES FOR RUNNING MATE: Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has begun vetting a shortlist of pro-LGBTQ equality running mates. It includes Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro of Texas. All three candidates have shown a commitment to the LGBTQ community throughout their years of service. Meanwhile, presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump met yesterday behind closed doors with anti-LGBTQ leaders and hate groups -- including Tony Perkins, Jerry Falwell Jr. and E.W. Jackson -- in an effort to assure them that he’s the candidate who will promote their vile agenda.

MAKE IT STOP: RUBIO WANTS ANOTHER SIX YEARS TO FAIL LGBTQ FLORIDIANS: Failed presidential candidate Marco Rubio has announced he will run for another Senate term and, despite his long history of voting against the interests of LGBTQ Floridians, he has astonishingly suggested that the attack on Pulse nightclub was an impetus for his decision to run again. JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs, said that Rubio’s recent plans to run for the Senate seat is “shameful,” and especially so “after he’s promised to roll back all the gains LGBTQ people have made. From his votes to his rhetoric, Marco Rubio has never been an ally to LGBTQ people…” More from The Miami Herald.

THE PENTAGON MOVES INTO FINAL STAGES OF LIFTING THE BAN ON TRANSGENDER SERVICE: According to media reports, the Pentagon is closing in on finalizing a policy that will finally allow transgender troops to openly serve in the military. On Monday, military officials met to lay out the terms of the policy repeal, as well as discuss when the ban’s repeal would be publicly announced. The new policy is expected to affect the military’s nearly 2,500 transgender servicemembers. More from USA TODAY.

DISGRACED KY CLERK KIM DAVIS WANTS HER CONTEMPT APPEAL TO GO AWAY: Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis, famous for flouting federal law by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, is now asking for a big “nevermind.” She wants a federal court to dismiss her appeals of contempt charges for defying the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling now that Kentucky has removed the requirement for clerks to sign their names to marriage licenses. More from ABC News.

KKK FLYERS TARGET LGBTQ COMMUNITY: Residents of Ocean Springs, Miss. were stunned recently to find Ku Klux Klan flyers spouting anti-LGBTQ hate scattered across their neighborhood, just days before the state’s discriminatory HB 1523 law goes into effect July 1. Said HRC Mississippi State Director Rob Hill, “This is another example of just how dangerous this hateful HB 1523 law is; it sends a message that LGBTQ people are second-class citizens in our own state, and it lends credence to groups that prey on hate, ignorance and fear.” More from MSNewsNow.

#NOMOORE: ROY MOORE ASKS TO HAVE ETHICS CHARGES DISMISSED: Yesterday, disgraced Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore asked a court to dismiss ethics charges against him stemming from his refusal to accept the marriage equality ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. From HRC Alabama State Manager Eva Kendrick: “It is clear that Roy Moore not only believes he is above the law, he believes he is above judicial ethics. Moore was tasked with upholding the law of the land when marriage equality was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States, and he defied that task, in the process harming loving, committed same-sex couples across Alabama for his own personal, discriminatory reasons. We remain optimistic that the sanctions against Moore will be upheld.”

UK HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT WILL FLY LGBTQ FLAG FOR FIRST TIME: As a part of Pride celebrations in London this weekend, Parliament members will raise the LGBTQ pride flag for the first time in history. Members will also be taking part in the Pride parade, and a double-decker bus will display the number 49 in memory of the lives lost in Orlando. More here.

  • In another first, all 28 member states of the EU have agreed to work to end “any discrimination” faced by the LGBTI community. As part of the agreement, the EU will file a yearly progress report regarding the rights of LGBTI people across every European country.

BERMUDA TO HOLD NON-BINDING REFERENDUM ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY: The British Overseas Territory of Bermuda will hold a referendum on marriage equality and same-sex civil unions on Thursday. Since the results will be non-binding, the government will not be required to take action based on the results.


In a powerful video, actor Evan Rachel Wood opens up about the issues, stereotypes and misconceptions facing the bisexual community, including her own struggles; Pink News highlights beautiful Orlando remembrance tattoos; The Huffington Post shares a father’s journey to love and acceptance of his genderqueer child; NBC News details how parents can be supportive of LGBTQ children; and New York Magazine profiles transgender athlete Chris Mosier, the first trans athlete to appear in ESPN Magazine’s annual “Body Issue.”

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