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Recent blog articles published by the Human Rights Campaign 2020-07-24T08:32:00-04:00
Updated: 52 min 25 sec ago

HRC President: Kamala Harris “Exceptional Choice” for Vice President

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 16:24

Today, the Human Rights Campaign praised the selection of U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California as Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s Vice President.

“Senator Kamala Harris is nothing short of an exceptional choice for Vice President,” said Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “Throughout her groundbreaking career, Senator Harris has been an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ community, standing with us when many, even sometimes those within her own party, did not. As a presidential candidate, Harris spoke with deep understanding of and empathy for the issues our community faces. It’s clear the Biden-Harris ticket marks our nation's most pro-equality ticket in history. Now it's time to come together, unite like never before, and turn the page on the Trump-Pence brand of lies and hate.”

In 2013, Kamala Harris officiated the first marriage between a same-sex couple in the state of California between Proposition 8 plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier.

As a Presidential candidate, Harris released one of the most substantive LGBTQ policy agendas of any candidate in the presidential field. She attended the historic HRC-CNN Power of our Pride Town Hall where she discussed her in-depth agendas to combat HIV/AIDS among black and brown people and reduce violence against the transgender and gender non-conforming community, particularly Black transgender women.

As Senator of the state with the highest number of LGBTQ people in our nation, Kamala Harris has been one of our community’s strongest allies in Congress earning a perfect 100 on every HRC Congressional Scorecard while serving in the U.S. Senate. She co-sponsored the Equality Act, crucial federal legislation that would finally guarantee explicit protections for LGBTQ people under our nation's existing civil rights laws. She supports efforts to prevent anti-LGBTQ bullying in schools, opposed using religion as a license to discriminate, and supports banning harmful “conversion therapy.” She called on all of us to speak out against transphobia and homophobia and challenged our nation to do better, and combat the underlying struggles that lead to continued violence against our community. She defended the Affordable Care Act and advocated for inclusive, substantive health care for people with preexisting conditions and LGBTQ people.  As Attorney General of California, she helped end the use of “gay panic defenses” and refused to defend the discriminatory Proposition 8 -- a 2008 California ballot measure that eliminated the right for same-sex couples to marry -- a position that was eventually upheld by a federal judge.


#AM_Equality: August 11, 2020

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 10:53

 84 DAYS  

The Trump-Pence administration and its allies are continuing to prove that they are no friends to the LGBTQ community. Yesterday morning, Trump Campaign Senior Legal Advisor Jenna Ellis intentionally misgendered Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, an openly transgender woman, tweeting, “This guy is making decisions about your health,” and linked to a local story concerning a reporter accidentally misgendering Levine. 

  • Said HRC President Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) in response, “Jenna Ellis is a bigot and Dr. Levine is a patriot -- plain and simple. Dr. Levine illustrates character and patriotism while Ellis cannot even define those terms. Using a person’s pronouns is a basic level of respect. Despite claims of allyship, Donald Trump, Mike Pence and their staff have gone out of their way to dehumanize and attack transgender and non-binary people simply for existing.” More from HRC and The Washington Post.
  • Meanwhile, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Levine has steered Pennsylvania through this crisis by leading efforts to reduce the spread of the virus and keep Pennsylvanians safe and healthy. The U.S. should continue to laud the frontline workers and public servants confronting this pandemic, not attack them simply for living their truth.
  • HRC has been keeping track of Trump-Pence’s anti-LGBTQ actions since they entered office. Learn more here

TUESDAY TWEET -- BUZZFEED SPEAKS TO LGBTQ IMMIGRANTS ON TRUMP-PENCE ADMINISTRATION’S RECENT ATTACK ON ASYLUM SEEKERS: More from Bessie Yuill (@bessimistic) at BuzzFeed.

In the midst of *gestures wildly* all of this, President Trump has launched an attack on LGBTQ immigrants that you may have missed:

“This is like Stephen Miller’s magnum opus to just eviscerate the asylum system."https://t.co/HVAulJ2Lz0

— Zach Stafford (@ZachStafford) August 7, 2020

POLICE ATTACK, ARREST POLISH LGBTQ ADVOCATES: After police detained 48 LGBTQ advocates who were protesting the country’s anti-LGBTQ policies and rhetoric, additional advocates protested throughout the weekend, calling for their release. More from Time.

IN THE STATES

FEDERAL COURT IN IDAHO RULES STATE MUST ALLOW TRANS PEOPLE TO CORRECT THEIR GENDER ON BIRTH CERTIFICATES: Lambda Legal represented the plaintiffs in this case, challenging a law signed by Idaho Governor Brad Little earlier this year. More from Reuters.

AND… FEDERAL APPELLATE COURT IN FLORIDA RULES ST. JOHN’S COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD MUST ALLOW STUDENTS TO USE RESTROOMS THAT MATCH THEIR GENDER IDENTITY: “I am very happy to see justice prevail, after spending almost my entire high school career fighting for equal treatment,” said Drew Adams, the plaintiff in the case. “High school is hard enough without having your school separate you from your peers and mark you as inferior. I hope this decision helps save other transgender students from having to go through that painful and humiliating experience.” He was represented by Lambda Legal. More from Tampa Bay Times.

WISCONSIN -- MAKE YOUR VOICE COUNT IN TODAY’S PRIMARY ELECTION: If you haven’t sent in your absentee ballot yet, find out where you need to drop it off here.

CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF DETROIT BARS TWO LGBTQ CATHOLIC GROUPS FROM HOLDING MASS, USING CHURCH FACILITIES: Dignity Detroit and Fortunate Families Detroit are now looking for new spaces to support LGBTQ Catholics. Auxiliary Bishop Gerard Battersby sent a letter to all priests in the Archdiocese asking them to not offer mass to these groups. More from Insider.

  • HRC offers a guide for LGBTQ American Catholics who hope to lead their faith communities toward a more welcoming stance, and for those seeking a path back to their beloved tradition. More here.

Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!


Human Rights Campaign Makes Endorsements to Expand Pro-Equality Majority in Congress

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 09:32

Today, the Human Rights Campaign announced the endorsement of  several candidates seeking to expand the pro-equality majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The full list of endorsements can be found below.

“We must reelect and expand the pro-equality majority in Congress to achieve real and lasting change for LGBTQ people,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “The candidates endorsed today are proof that the battleground for the majority is expanding, and LGBTQ equality is a winning issue in every corner of the country. Over the coming months, we will utilize every opportunity and every resource to elect these candidates and ensure we make history once again in 2021 by finally enacting the Equality Act.”

In 2018, HRC was proud to support dozens of pro-equality congressional challengers who explicitly laid out their pro-equality positions in detail and in public.  These candidates largely ran against anti-equality incumbents in districts won by Donald Trump in 2016, but they understood the power of LGBTQ and Equality Voters and knew that support for LGBTQ equality is an asset as opposed to a wedge issue.  As a result of that election, not only do we have a pro-equality U.S. House majority, but we have younger, more racially diverse, more female House membership than ever before. And in 2019, the U.S. House made history by passing the Equality Act -- crucial federal legislation that would finally guarantee explicit protections for LGBTQ people under our nation's existing civil rights laws -- for the first time. Never before had a comprehensive LGBTQ non-discrimination bill passed a chamber of the U.S. Congress.

This November, the candidates HRC is endorsing today will expand the pro-equality majority, pass the Equality Act, ensure access to quality, affordable health care is protected, pass systemic reform to our police system and ensure common sense gun safety legislation is considered, and advance voting rights.

Candidates endorsed include:

  • Alyse Galvin (AK-AL)
  • Margaret Good (FL-16)
  • Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-7)
  • Michelle de las Isla (KS-2)
  • Hillary Scholten (MI-3)
  • Kathleen Williams (MT-AL)
  • Kara Eastman (NE-2)
  • Desiree Tims (OH-10)
  • Sima Ladjevardian (TX-2)
  • Candace Valenzuela (TX-24)
  • Cameron Webb (VA-5)

“Our leaders must be strong and steadfast in protecting the rights of LGBTQ Americans,” said Alyse Galvin (AK-AL) “Thanks to groups like the Human Rights Campaign, significant progress has been made in recent years, but until comprehensive federal civil rights protections are enacted, LGBTQ Americans remain vulnerable to discrimination in almost every sphere of life. I’m honored to have the support of the Human Rights Campaign and I look forward to working with them to ensure equal rights for the LGBTQ community.”

“We are fighting for equality and justice on so many fronts in this country,” said Magaret Good (FL-16). “I am proud to have the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign not only because of their leadership in the fight to end discrimination against LGBTQ people but also because of their fundamental understanding that LGBTQ issues intersect with the fight to end discrimination of people of color and the fight for gender equality.  Working together, I know we will create a more just, more free society.”

“I am very proud to come from a community where diversity and inclusion are prized values,” said Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-7). “The Human Rights Campaign lifts those values up every day in its fight to build a world where LGBTQ people are ensured their basic equal rights and can live their lives openly and honestly. I am honored to have the support of the Human Rights Campaign and will partner with them to advocate for LGBTQ rights in Congress.” 

“As a public interest lawyer and a person of faith, I've devoted my life, professional and personal, to defending the rights of our most vulnerable,” said Hillary Scholten (MI-3). “The work of HRC has been indispensable in the fight for equality across the country, and that's why I am so proud to have their support as we work to make sure every Michigander has the opportunity to succeed.”

“The Human Rights Campaign has fought for the freedom of all Americans to live their lives with dignity and I'm proud to have their endorsement,” said Kathleen Williams (MT-AL). “Montanans know that freedom, privacy, and equality are fundamental rights that we should all be able to enjoy. It's critical we continue the fight for equal rights by passing legislation like the Equality Act, which I look forward to helping with come January. I am committed to fighting for our values - and for all Montanans - in Congress.”

“LGBTQ rights are human rights and we must do everything in our power to fight injustice wherever we see it,” said Kara Eastman (NE-2). ”I’m honored to receive the endorsement of  the Human Rights Campaign and will work tirelessly to protect the human rights and dignity of ALL Americans”

“I’m honored to stand with and earn the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign,” said Desiree Tims (OH-10). “Every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. We must protect the freedoms of all LGBTQ+ Americans by passing The Equality Act. I am running for Congress to bring opportunity to my district, and that means ensuring that every person in the Miami Valley is protected from harassment and discrimination.”

“I’m proud to have the Human Rights Campaign on our side in this fight for the health of Houston’s diverse family,” said Sima Ladjevardian (TX-2). “We need to keep fighting until equality is the expectation for our LGBTQ+ community — not the exception. While Congressman Dan Crenshaw shamelessly voted against the Equality Act and supported the Trump administration’s dismantling of health care protections for LGBTQ+ Americans, this community suffered. As your congresswoman, I’ll fight until every LGBTQ+ Texan has equal protection under the law and access to the quality, affordable health care they deserve.”

"I am proud to have the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign. HRC has been fighting to secure LGBTQIA+ rights for a generation, and the victories they've won just in the past decade are monumental. But there's still so much work to be done. In Congress, I'll stand with HRC as we work efforts to pass the Equality Act and ensure equal rights for every American regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation,” said Candace Valenzuela (TX-24).

“I am honored to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign. HRC stands as a pillar of the modern fight for civil rights, and I am proud to have their support for our campaign” said Dr. Cameron Webb (VA-5). “As a doctor and educator, I have seen first-hand the devastating effects of discrimination and inequity in our society. With the Human Rights Campaign’s support, I look forward to taking the fight for a more equal and just America to the halls of Congress.”

In the 2018 midterms, HRC mobilized our grassroots army of 3.2 million members, supporters, and volunteers to work on behalf of pro-equality candidates and engage pro-equality voters primarily in six key states: Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. This unprecedented grassroots mobilization worked to recruit and train volunteers, register and mobilize voters and grow the organization's political organizing efforts in order to pull the emergency brake on the hateful anti-LGBTQ agenda of the Trump-Pence administration and elect a Congress that would hold them accountable.

This election, our engagement and mobilization efforts have only deepened. In addition to our expansive volunteer network, HRC will have at least 51 full-time staff in seven priority states (Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin) and an additional 26 staff focused on a second tier of states. While in person organizing has been limited by the COVID-19 pandemic, HRC has embraced digital organizing, launching a new tool called TEAM allowing our broad network of volunteers and steering committees to engage their networks personally and hundreds of virtual phone banks and text banks to engage pro-equality voters even without the ability to interact in person.

 

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC (www.hrc.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

HRC Responds to Jenna Ellis Misgendering Pennsylvania Health Secretary

Mon, 08/10/2020 - 11:04

This morning, Trump Campaign Senior Legal Advisor intentionally misgendered Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, an openly transgender woman, tweeting “This guy is making decision about your health” and linked to a local story concerning a reporter accidentally misgendering Levine. In response, HRC President Alphonso David issued the following statement: 

“Jenna Ellis is a bigot and Dr. Levine is a patriot - plain and simple. Dr. Levine illustrates character and patriotism while Ellis cannot even define those terms.

“Using a person’s pronouns is a basic level of respect. Despite claims of allyship, Donald Trump, Mike Pence and their staff have gone out of their way to dehumanize and attack transgender and non-binary people simply for existing. Trump and his allies have refused to acknowledge the epidemic of violence transgender and gender non-conforming people face, attempted to strip away their access to health care, and blocked these patriotic Americans from openly serving in the military. 

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Levine has steered Pennsylvania through this crisis leading efforts to reduce the spread of the virus and keep Pennsylvanians safe and healthy. Our nation has and should continue to laud the frontline workers and public servants confronting this pandemic, not attack them simply for living their truth.”


#AM_Equality: August 10, 2020

Mon, 08/10/2020 - 10:30

85 DAYS

One year ago last Friday, HRC President Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) took the helm of the organization. Since his appointment as president, HRC has expanded  its efforts for LGBTQ rights -- especially for justice for transgender and non-binary people -- in the U.S. and around the world, reaffirmed that Black Lives Matter, built virtual communities while at home due to COVID-19 and mobilized to work to defeat Donald Trump and Mike Pence this Fall.

  • Said HRC President Alphonso David: “I’m so proud of the work that we have done at the Human Rights Campaign over the past year -- one of the most challenging, yet inspiring, years of my life. As I look back on the past year, one thing is clear: nothing is certain. However, we must all work together to make certain that we deny this hateful administration four more years and continue our work, together.” 
  • Since David took the helm at HRC, the organization has: Deepened the organization’s commitment to racial justice; hosted a primetime LGBTQ-focused town hall in partnership with CNN; launched a new impact litigation initiative and filed HRC’s first federal civil rights lawsuit in June; introduced an initiative aimed at justice for transgender and non-binary people; and transformed HRC’s programming and events in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See a full list here
  • Morning Must Read: David participated in a roundtable of Black LGBTQ advocates Patrisse Cullors, Ashlee Marie Preston, Aaryn Lang, Rashad Robinson and Alicia Garza to discuss the future of the movement. More from The Advocate.

One year ago today, I took the helm as president of @HRC. It has been an amazing journey — one that has inspired me, challenged me and deepened my appreciation for this great organization. I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished, or more optimistic about the future. pic.twitter.com/Azbw0eVpAA

— Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) August 7, 2020

ALT-RIGHT GROUP TARGETS LGBTQ-OWNED DETROIT BAKERY: Said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow (@SarahWarbelow): “This is not an issue of discrimination. This is about an extremist hate group targeting an LGBTQ owned business to hurt the owners by demanding hate speech from them.” More from Between the Lines

HRC PRESIDENT ALPHONSO DAVID JOINED WNYC TO DISCUSS HOW POLICE OFTEN HARASS AND MISTREAT TRANS AND NON-BINARY PEOPLE: Listen to the full interview here

TRUMP’S OWN HIV COUNCIL OPPOSES HIS ACTIONS AGAINST LGBTQ PATIENTS: Last Thursday, the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) unanimously adopted a resolution condemning his admin’s proposed new regulation that would enable discrimination against LGBTQ patients by eliminating Section 1557 of the ACA. In response, HRC National Press Secretary Lucas Acosta (@LucasRAcosta) said, “Amid a global pandemic, LGBTQ people of color, particularly transgender people and people living with HIV, have faced increased negative health impacts due to COVID-19. PACHA knows it’s time to end the constant fear and anxiety felt by many in the LGBTQ community that their gender identity might determine the kind of medical care they receive. It’s time Trump learns.” More from Washington Blade.

MUST-READ MONDAY -- MORE STATES MUST COLLECT DATA ABOUT COVID-19’S IMPACT ON LGBTQ PEOPLE: California, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia and Nevada have announced they are or will begin including questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in their COVID-19 data collection. Said HRC Foundation Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives and Research Ty Cobb (@tywesleycobb), “We need states to implement practices that allow us to collect accurate data on the impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQ people. With data in hand, our allies in government can help fund and develop programs to truly stem the pandemic’s effects on our community.” More from Casey Quinlan (@thatcaseyquin) at The American Independent

To help better understand the virus’ impact on LGBTQ people �� https://t.co/RpcAvPE4gg

— The American Independent (@AmerIndependent) August 7, 2020

HRC ON JERRY FALWELL’S FIRING: On Friday, the Liberty University Board of Directors forced Rev. Jerry Falwell to take an indefinite leave as Liberty University president after posting controversial photos on social media. Said HRC President Alphonso David: “Jerry Falwell is a fraud -- it’s long past time for him to have stepped down from his position as president of Liberty University. For years Falwell has advanced a racist, anti-LGBTQ, hateful position he masquerades as Christianity. Christianity at its core holds an ethic of justice, inclusion and radical love. Those who misrepresent the true values of Christianity must and will be held accountable for their vile words and actions against our community.” More from HRC

IN THE STATES

NEW YORK STATE’S STEUBEN COUNTY AGREES TO SWEEPING CHANGES TO POLICIES AROUND TRANSGENDER PEOPLE IN PRISONS: The policy includes preferred names, clothing, housing and health care for transgender and gender non-conforming people. More from NBC

GET CULTURED - Entertainment, arts and sports news!

ACTRESS LILI REINHART OPENS UP ABOUT HER DECISION TO COME OUT AS BISEXUAL: In a new interview, Reinhart (@lilireinhart) said she was inspired to come out after attending a Black Lives Matter protest with others in the LGBTQ community. “It was incredible to be surrounded by so many people who are actively fighting against the injustices that are happening right now,” Reinhart said. Read the full interview from Flaunt Magazine

MARVEL COMICS PORTRAYS FIRST EVER SAME-SEX WEDDING BETWEEN TWO SUPERHEROES: More from Gay Star News

Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!


HRC on Jerry Falwell’s Firing

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 19:32

The Liberty University Board of Directors forced Rev. Jerry Falwell to take indefinite leave as Liberty University president after posting controversial photos on social media. In response, HRC President Alphonso David issued the following statement. 

“Jerry Falwell is a fraud - it’s long past time for him to have stepped down from his position as president of Liberty University. For years Falwell has advanced a racist, anti-LGBTQ, hateful position he masquerades as Christianity. 

“From advocating for so-called conversion therapy and racist transphobe Roy Moore to encouraging violence against racial and religious minorities, Falwell has perverted and turned his back on what it means to be a true Christian. Christianity at its core holds an ethic of justice, inclusion and radical love -- not the anti-LGBTQ radicalism, white supremacy and hatred that Falwell and the religious right have upheld for decades. Those who misrepresent the true values of Christianity must and will be held accountable for their vile words and actions against our community.” 


HRC Marks One Year Under the Leadership of Alphonso David

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 15:32

Today, the Human Rights Campaign celebrated the one year anniversary of Alphonso David being appointed president of the organization.

“I’m so proud of the work that we have done at the Human Rights Campaign over the past year – one of the most challenging, yet inspiring, years of my life,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “We have fought for LGBTQ rights in a myriad of venues — in state legislatures, Congress, courtrooms and around the world. We are reaffirming that Black Lives Matter. We are aggressively fighting for justice for transgender people, and for all those who are targeted because of who they are or whom they love. And, even though we are still stuck at home, we have built virtual communities and comforted each other while preparing for what’s next. Now, the most important thing we must focus on is defeating Donald Trump and Mike Pence this fall. As I look back on the past year, one thing is clear: nothing is certain. However, we must all work together to make certain that we deny this hateful administration four more years and continue our work, together.”

Since Alphonso took the helm at the Human Rights Campaign, the organization has:

  • Deepened the organization’s commitment to racial justice, penning an op-ed late last year noting the organization’s – and the greater LGBTQ movement’s – failings in centering the experiences of people of color in the community.
  • Hosted an unprecedented primetime, nationally televised LGBTQ-focused town hall in partnership with CNN, allowing the Democratic candidates for president to talk about their plans for LGBTQ equality.
  • Endorsed Joseph R. Biden for president of the United States and worked alongside his campaign to educate and turn out LGBTQ and Equality Voters, a critical and powerful group of voters that could sway the election and oust Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s administration of hate.
  • Partnered with Stacey Abrams and Fair Fight to ensure increased access to the ballot for all by fighting voter suppression and intimidation.
  • Initiated a campaign, dubbed “Vote Equal, Vote Safe”, to educate and inform people about how they can cast their ballots in this year’s election – whether it’s by mail, in-person, through early voting options, or otherwise.
  • Published research – in coordination with HIT Strategies, the Latino Victory Foundation, the NAACP, UnidosUS and Woke Vote – on voting by mail and how it affects marginalized groups at the ballot box.
  • Passed comprehensive LGBTQ non-discrimination protections in Virginia, making it the first state in the South to have those protections.
  • Defeated anti-LGBTQ bills at the state legislative level, including in some of the most politically challenging states in the country.
  • Launched a new impact litigation initiative and filed HRC’s first federal civil rights lawsuit last month. The lawsuit challenges the Trump-Pence administration’s attempt to strip the protections of Section 1557 out of the Affordable Care Act. Section 1557 provides critical, LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination protections in the provision of health care services. The impact litigation practice will also be announcing additional domestic cases and its first international lawsuit in the coming months.
  •  Introduced an initiative aimed at justice for transgender people, including celebrating the lives and accomplishments of members of the trans community and ensuring that they have economic opportunities and can receive justice when they are targeted for crimes.
  • Expanded protections for employees, hospital patients, and youth in foster care through growth in HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, Healthcare Equality Index, and All Children-All Families Program.
  • Engaged our members nationwide with campaigns that garnered hundreds of thousands of actions, such as a letter condemning racial violence, one condemning the Food and Drug Administration’s ban on blood plasma donations from gay and bi+ men, and a campaign asking Hallmark to include more LGBTQ representation on its channel following its removal of an ad featuring a same-sex couple.
  • Transformed the Human Rights Campaign’s programming and events in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including hosting voter town halls, local fundraising events, virtual concerts, interfaith services and more.
  • Amplified the organization’s work through strategic partnerships with cultural leaders such as Billy Porter, Hank Willis Thomas, Jericho Brown, Lindsey Peoples Wagner and the Black in Fashion Council, Showtime and more.
  • Conducted several rounds of research around the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQ people in the United States.

#AM_Equality: August 7, 2020

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 11:04

88 DAYS 

With less than 100 days left until Election Day, HRC is continuing to organize and mobilize as we head toward November’s incredibly important election. Building momentum is key right now, and so is making sure we can sustain that momentum for the next 88 days. 

  • Yesterday, HRC partnered with Upworthy and Firefox for an #UpChat to discuss how to make change, get involved and make sure we’re protecting our mental health at the same time. 
  • HRC is also ensuring that all voters are able to vote equally and safely in the upcoming election. Earlier this week, HRC & HIT Strategies released the first results of a national survey of voters of color, including LGBTQ voters of color, to determine voter sentiment in regards to vote by mail. HRC and our partners also held a virtual launch event to discuss the results. Read more from Metro Weekly
  • Yesterday, HRC also announced Unite for Equality, our national virtual event to bring together members and supporters from across the country to mobilize and build momentum going into the election. LGBTQ people have a long history of assembling and organizing, and we’re committed to carrying that same spirit and energy forward in 2020!

Digital activism in the age of #COVID19 is more important than ever as we continue to champion causes that foster change. We’re excited to join @Upworthy and @firefox for an #UpChat today on how we're using technology to effect change and how to avoid activism fatigue! pic.twitter.com/ghW4Agkx3L

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) August 6, 2020

THERE IS AN EPIDEMIC OF VIOLENCE AGAINST TRANSGENDER AND GENDER NON-CONFORMING PEOPLE, EXACERBATED BY COVID-19: The negative economic impacts of COVID-19 are creating risky situations for transgender people, especially Black trans women. “There are more deaths and they’re happening in shorter periods of time,” said HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative Tori Cooper (@MsToriCooper1), “We’re seeing people pick on folks who have less power and there are few people with less power than Black trans people.” Read more from Spectrum News

FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY -- LGBTQ PEOPLE ARE CREATING WELCOMING AND INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES DURING THE COVID-19 HEALTH CRISIS: Read more from BuzzFeed

How Queer Folks Are Fleeing US Cities To Create Their Own Utopias https://t.co/roCR1Ma0tj

— BuzzFeed LGBTQ (@BuzzFeedLGBTQ) August 5, 2020

IN THE STATES

NEVADA WILL BEGIN INCLUDING QUESTIONS ABOUT SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY IN COVID-19 DATA COLLECTION: More from the Associated Press

  • HRC has long advocated for more inclusive data collection with regards to sexual orientation and gender identity, and has called on the CDC, HHS and other states to also begin collecting and reporting data on the impact of the virus on LGBTQ health. 

LGBTQ CANDIDATES IN WASHINGTON STATE, KANSAS AND MICHIGAN HAVE ADVANCED TO THE GENERAL ELECTION: More from The Advocate

GEORGIA GOVERNOR PASSES LAW THAT WILL THREATEN THE SAFETY OF THE PEOPLE IT SHOULD PROTECT: More from HRC

Equating police officers' employment status with discrimination & violence Black people, LGBTQ people, religious minorities, women & other marginalized communities face is blatantly offensive & threatens the safety & liberties of the people first responders are sworn to protect. https://t.co/xbBWH7R8lG

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) August 6, 2020

GET CULTURED - Entertainment, arts and sports news!

SWEDISH SINGER DARIN ZANYAR (@darinofficial) COMES OUT AS GAY IN AN INSTAGRAM POST: More from Gay Times

LOOKING FOR WEEKEND ENTERTAINMENT -- HERE ARE THE BEST LGBTQ MOVIES TO WATCH ON NETFLIX: See the full list at Gay Times

Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!


#AM_Equality: August 6, 2020

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 10:14

89 DAYS  

NEW RESEARCH: Voters across the country this fall will be facing unprecedented challenges in how to safely cast their ballots. And we know that voters of color, including LGBTQ voters of color, face additional hurdles because of shameful, long-standing systems of oppression. Voters of color -- who are being disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic -- are seeking safe and secure alternatives to make their voices heard.

  • Today, HRC Foundation & HIT Strategies are releasing the first results of a national survey of voters of color, including LGBTQ voters of color, to determine voter sentiment in regards to vote by mail. 
  • Conducted in partnership with major advocacy organizations, including Latino Victory Foundation, the NAACP, UnidosUS and Woke Vote, this survey shows key commonalities -- as well as critical differences -- in how voters from different communities view the current voting climate. Voters of color, including LGBTQ voters, favor a vote by mail option for November’s elections. Read more from The Advocate
  • Said HRC President Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid): “Voters across the country this fall will be facing unprecedented challenges in how to safely make their voices heard in the pivotal election ahead. As these results show, voters are hopeful, resilient and ready to cast their votes this November -- from the ballot box to the mailbox.” 
  • TONIGHT at 7:30 p.m. EDT, on the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, the HRC Foundation is hosting Communities of Color: Communicating Safe Voting Options for November to share the results of this survey. 

HRC CONGRATULATES JON HOADLEY: Yesterday, Michigan state Rep. Jon Hoadley, who if elected would become Michigan’s first openly LGBTQ member of Congress, was declared the winner of the Democratic Primary in Michigan’s 6th Congressional District. Said HRC Michigan State Director Amritha Venkataraman, “Hoadley is the only candidate who will fight for working families over special interests, pass the Equality Act and ensure people with pre-existing conditions have access to health care. HRC will continue to digitally barnstorm the state and help make sure Michigan sends Jon Hoadley to Congress.” 

HRC MARKS THE 55TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT: More from HRC

On this day 55 years ago, the Voting Rights Act was signed into law to ensure all people have access to fair and free elections. This fall, we must elect candidates who will restore the #VRA and continue the fight of generations before us. https://t.co/pVV6n5rkdp

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) August 6, 2020

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY -- DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IS NOT YET AFFIRMING THE LANDMARK U.S. SUPREME COURT RULING IN BOSTOCK V. CLAYTON COUNTY: “I think that the purpose of sort of the coordinating efforts of the Department of Justice is to make sure that not only do people know their rights, but that the covered entities know their obligations,” said HRC Associate Legal Director Robin Maril. “Silence, inaction and a wrong and dangerous message opens up other people to liability if they end up being bad actors.” Read more from Kate Sosin (@shoeleatherkate) at 19th News

HRC MOURNS AJA RAQUELL RHONE-SPEARS, BLACK TRANS WOMAN KILLED IN OREGON: According to her Facebook, Rhone-Spears was incredibly close to her family, posting photos with her father and playful statuses related to conversations she had with family members about cooking. She called out instances of racial injustice, especially violence by police, and advocated for a world free from white supremacy. She also noted on her Facebook profile that she studied at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and was the owner and founder of International Barbie, a Portland-based clothing brand. Neighbors and loved ones have posted about Rhone-Spears online, calling her a “vibrant personality.” More from HRC

HRC CONTINUES TO CALL FOR CANCELLATION OF PUERTO RICO TV SHOW ‘LA COMAY’: “More than a puppet on TV, Kabbo Santarossa, who voices La Comay on MegaTV, is Puerto Rico’s chief hate monger,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “Puerto Ricans once canceled this show because of its long history of anti-Blackness, transphobia, homophobia and xenophobia. It is now time again to stop La Comay from fueling the sort of hate that endangers the lives of Puerto Rico’s LGBTQ, Black and Immigrant communities. We support the public call to end La Comay’s reign as the queen of trash TV, and we thank Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez for bringing much needed attention to this issue.” Read more from The Americano

IN THE STATES

IF ELECTED, MICHELE RAYNER AND JASMEN ROGERS-SHAW WOULD BECOME THE FIRST OPENLY QUEER BLACK WOMEN IN THE FLORIDA STATE LEGISLATURE: Read more from LGBTQ Nation

  • HRC has previously endorsed both Rayner (@micheleforfl) and Rogers-Shaw (@JasRogersShaw), as well as six additional pro-equality candidates who are also running for the Florida state legislature. More from HRC

NEW YORK STATE’S VITAL RECORDS DEPARTMENT CHANGES POLICY, NOW  INCLUDES AN ‘X’ GENDER MARKER OPTION: More from WSKG

NEVADA GOV. STEVE SISOLAK SIGNS VOTING RIGHTS BILL INTO LAW: More from HRC

UPDATE: @GovSisolak signs voting rights bill #AB4 into law, setting a standard for governors around the country to move quickly & efficiently to protect our fundamental right to vote. https://t.co/3H9gC5rMfE

— HRC in Nevada (@HRC_NV) August 4, 2020

GET CULTURED - Entertainment, arts and sports news!

LIFETIME TO DIVERSIFY HOLIDAY MOVIE LINEUP, WILL INCLUDE A MOVIE STARRING AN LGBTQ COUPLE FOR THE FIRST TIME: More from Deadline

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT RELEASES PROPOSED STYLE GUIDE THAT RECOMMENDS USE OF GENDER-NEUTRAL LANGUAGE: More from them.


Human Rights Campaign Foundation & HIT Strategies Release Research on Voters of Color & Vote by Mail

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 09:00

Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and HIT Strategies released the first results of a national survey of voters of color, including LGBTQ voters of color, to determine voter sentiment in regards to vote by mail. Conducted in partnership with major advocacy organizations, including Latino Victory Foundation, the NAACP, UnidosUS, and Woke Vote, this survey shows key commonalities -- as well as critical differences -- in how voters from different communities view the current voting climate. 

Tonight at 7:30 PM EST, on the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, Human Rights Campaign Foundation President Alphonso David, NAACP President Derrick Johnson, UnidosUS President & CEO Janet Murguía, and Latino Victory Foundation President and CEO Nathalie Rayes will discuss the results of this survey in a panel moderated by Jamal Simmons, CBS News analyst and host of #ThisisFYI on IGTV. Interested press should RSVP with matilda.young@hrc.org. 

“Voters across the country this fall will be facing unprecedented challenges in how to safely make their voices heard in the pivotal election ahead,” said Human Rights Campaign Foundation President Alphonso David. “As these results show, voters are hopeful, resilient and ready to cast their votes this November -- from the ballot box to the mailbox. Along with our partners, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation looks forward to educating and empowering voters in how they can safely and effectively have their say in the future of our democracy. ” 

“Part of increasing voter turnout and engagement means meeting people where they are,” said Dejuana Thompson, Founder of Woke Vote. “We need to make sure voters are both empowered and excited to cast their ballots. The results of this survey provide meaningful pointers for how we can help voters navigate these uncertain times to safely and successfully cast their ballots.” 

“This year’s general election will present some unique obstacles. Our findings show how we can work to prepare and rise to this historic moment, and voting by mail is an important tool in doing so,” said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía. “The Latino vote will be a decisive factor in the electoral equation and we at UnidosUS, along with our sister organizations, are committed to making sure Latinos and all communities have the information and tools needed to make their voices heard in November.” 

“The 55th Anniversary of The Voting Rights Act reminds us that the right to vote has not come easy and was hard-fought,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, NAACP. “As we live through this COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that the governmental agencies responsible have the resources they need to create a safe and fair election environment without risking lives. The research tells us that in our communities, we need multiple options for every voter to cast a ballot by mail or in person. This year is vital for elections, and we must vote because our lives depend on it, otherwise what we fought for 55 years ago will be in vain.” 

“Latinos are disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and that makes our communities especially vulnerable. We’re the second-largest voting bloc in this election, so we need to focus on increasing our efforts to ensure Latino voters are able to cast their ballots safely during this election,” said Nathalie Rayes, Latino Victory Foundation President & CEO. “The results of this survey will help guide Latino Victory’s and our partner organizations' work to engage and mobilize Latino voters in this unprecedented election.” 

“Communities of color, being disproportionately impacted by this pandemic, are seeking safe and secure alternatives to make their voices heard in this election,” said Terrance Woodbury, HIT Strategies. “This research reveals the real and perceived barriers that voters of color have toward voting by mail, and the interventions that can be taken to overcome those barriers." 

Key takeaways from the research include: 

● 76% of POC voters think the coronavirus crisis will affect who votes in the 2020 election, and 73% of POC voters think the protests following the death of George Floyd will affect who votes in the 2020 election. 

● 68% of POC voters will either vote in person early or by mail, including 59% of APPI voters stating that voting by mail is their current voting preference. 

● 75% of POC voters, including 76% of Black voters and 79% of POC LGBTQ voters, are more likely to vote by mail in November if we still don’t have a cure or vaccine for coronavirus. 

● 80% of POC voters, including 84% of Black voters and 80% of LGBTQ POC voters, favor allowing all voters the option of vote by mail or absentee ballot in this year’s election. 

● In terms of voters’ feelings towards the November election, the highest rated feeling was hopeful, at 34% of those surveyed. 

The initial survey included a sample of over 800 individuals from across the U.S, including Florida, Wisconsin, Texas, and Georgia. This research is still ongoing, and results will continue to be released through November. 

For a link to a slide deck with results, click here.

For a link to tonight livestream at 7:30 PM EST, click here.


HRC Mourns Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears, Black Trans Woman Killed in Oregon

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 11:21

The Human Rights Campaign is horrified to learn of the death of Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears, who sometimes used the name Rocky Rhone, yet another Black transgender woman. Rhone-Spears was fatally stabbed in Portland, Oregon, on July 28, as she was attending a vigil for Tyrell Penney, 27, who had been fatally shot. Rhone-Spears’ death is believed to be the at least 26th violent death of a transgender or gender non-conforming person this year in the U.S. We say at least because too often these stories go unreported -- or misreported. Since HRC began tracking this data in 2013, advocates have never seen such a high number at this point in the year.

“Black transgender women are being violently killed in our streets,” said HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative Tori Cooper. “The current rates of violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people are unlike any the Human Rights Campaign has tracked in the past seven years. I, alongside HRC and so many others, am mourning the loss of Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears -- who was not even able to attend a vigil to mourn without risk of death. Our community needs allies; we need accomplices. This violence cannot continue and we must all ask ourselves why our nation is allowing this epidemic of violence to continue, and how we can come together to ensure trans people, especially Black transgender women, can live their lives without fear of joining this long list of lives stolen.”

According to her Facebook, Rhone-Spears was incredibly close to her family, posting photos with her father and playful statuses related to conversations she had with family members about cooking. She called out instances of racial injustice, especially violence by police, and advocated for a world free from white supremacy. She also noted on her Facebook profile that she studied at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and was the owner and founder of International Barbie, a Portland-based clothing brand. Neighbors and loved ones have posted about Rhone-Spears online, calling her a “vibrant personality.”

Anyone with information regarding the murder of Rhones-Spears is encouraged to contact Detective Brad Clifton at 503-823-0696, Brad.Clifton@portlandoregon.gov, or Detective Mike Greenlee at 503-823-0871, Michael.Greenlee@portlandoregon.gov.

There are currently very few explicit federal legal protections for transgender or gender-expansive people. Nationally, despite some marginal gains in state and local policies that support and affirm transgender people, recent years have been marked by anti-LGBTQ attacks at all levels of government.

We must demand better from our elected officials and reject harmful anti-transgender legislation appearing at the local, state and federal levels. It is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color. The intersections of racism, transphobia, sexism, biphobia and homophobia conspire to deprive them of necessities to live and thrive.

This epidemic of violence that disproportionately targets transgender people of color -- particularly Black transgender women -- must cease.

For more information about HRC’s transgender justice work, visit hrc.org/Transgender.


HRC Endorses For Ohio’s Legislature and State Supreme Court

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 10:13

The Human Rights Campaign announced the endorsement of champions of equality the Ohio State Legislature and statewide office. 

Today, 29 states, including Ohio, lack comprehensive protections for LGBTQ people. First introduced in 2009, the Ohio Fairness Act would provide those protections and explicitly bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in areas of employment, housing and public accommodations under state law. The bipartisan legislation was introduced in the state senate by openly LGBTQ State Senator Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood), and has support from nearly 600 businesses in Ohio and across the country.

“Right now, over 389,000 LGBTQ Ohioans live under a patchwork of protections,” said HRC Ohio State Director Shawn Copeland. “Driving from Cincinnati to Cleveland, an LGBTQ person would have different rights in every town, city or county they drove through. That must change, and while the Bostock ruling has provided some important workplace protections, LGBTQ Ohioans are still at risk of discrimination in a variety of areas including seeking basic services offered to the public, such as transportation and retail services. In the coming weeks, HRC will mobilize the over two million Equality Voters across the state to ensure we elect the strongest slate of pro-equality candidates as possible this November.”

HRC Endorsed Candidates include:

  • Jennifer Brunner (Supreme Court)
  • John O'Donnell (Supreme Court)
  • Crystal Lett (SD-16)
  • Betsy Rader(SD-18)
  • Phillip Robinson (HD-6)
  • Nancy Day-Achauer (HD-23)
  • Casey Weinstein (HD-37)

In the 2018 midterms, HRC mobilized our grassroots army of 3.2 million members, supporters, and volunteers to work on behalf of pro-equality candidates and engage pro-equality voters primarily in six key states: Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. This unprecedented grassroots mobilization worked to recruit and train volunteers, register and mobilize voters and grow the organization's political organizing efforts in order to pull the emergency brake on the hateful anti-LGBTQ agenda of the Trump-Pence administration and elect a Congress that would hold them accountable. 

In 2020, our engagement and mobilization efforts have only deepened. In addition to our expansive volunteer network, HRC will have at least 51 full-time staff in seven priority states (Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin) and an additional 26 staff focused on a second tier of states. While in person organizing has been limited by the COVID-19 pandemic, HRC has embraced digital organizing, launching a new tool called TEAM allowing our broad network of volunteers and steering committees to engage their networks personally and hundreds of virtual phone banks and text banks to engage pro-equality voters even without the ability to interact in person.


#AM_Equality: August 5, 2020

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 09:50

90 DAYS

JOIN US FOR AN EXCITING EVENT TOMORROW: On Thursday, August 6 at 7:30 p.m. EDT, on the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, the HRC Foundation is hosting Communities of Color: Communicating Safe Voting Options for November, which will share the first results of a national survey of voters of color, including LGBTQ voters of color, to determine voter sentiment in regards to vote by mail.

Mark your calendars: August 6th, 7:30 PM EST!@HRC Foundation President @AlphonsoDavid will be joining @DerrickNAACP, @JMurguia_Unidos @NathalieRayes, & @t_woodbury1 to discuss how POC voters view our current voting climate.

RSVP now to attend! �� https://t.co/2CpdgiotNn pic.twitter.com/dsNTgHrOt2

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) August 4, 2020

HRC ON KANSAS REPUBLICAN PRIMARY RESULTS: Yesterday, Rep. Roger Marshall won the state’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Said HRC Associate Regional Campaign Director Lindsey Clark in response: “At every opportunity, Roger Marshall has attacked, demeaned and dehumanized transgender people. He and his fellow Republican candidates waged one of the most anti-LGBTQ primaries this cycle, engaging in a race to the bottom by releasing ad after ad attacking transgender kids and LGBTQ people. Marshall’s brand of anti-LGBTQ extremism may have won a primary, but it won’t win the battle ahead. Over the next 91 days, HRC will work to unite all vulnerable communities across the state of Kansas to close the book on Marshall’s politics of discrimination and bigotry and elect a true ally, Barbara Bollier, to the U.S. Senate.” Read more from HRC.

WHAT WE’RE READING WEDNESDAY -- FORMER U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MEMBER LORI LINDSEY PENS OP-ED AGAINST IDAHO’S ANTI-TRANS LAW: “Anti-transgender activists claim that laws like HB 500 will protect girls’ and women’s access to sport, but that’s far from the impact,” writes Lindsey (@LoriLindsey6). “Anti-transgender laws fail to address actual barriers in women’s sports such as a lack of resources and funding, lack of training and investment in women coaches and lack of education about the unique benefits of supporting female players… Our laws should protect transgender youth, not discriminate against them.” Read the full op-ed from the Indy Star.

ICYMI -- YESTERDAY, HRC FOUNDATION & PSB INSIGHTS RELEASED NEW DATA ON THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON BLACK LGBTQ PEOPLE: The new research shows that Black LGBTQ people are more likely to have had their employment adversely impacted due to the virus, are more likely to have made changes to their budgets and are more likely to have asked for delays in paying various expenses for necessities. Read more from Reuters, NewNowNext and The Hill.

"It's no surprise — now that the bottom is falling out due to the pandemic...people are really getting to see firsthand what it's like for people of color, particularly Black LGBTQ folk." - @HRC's J. Maurice McCants-Pearsall https://t.co/j7DbKjGejR

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) August 4, 2020

HRC ENDORSES…

PAT TIMMONS-GOODSON FOR CONGRESS IN NORTH CAROLINA’S EIGHTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: “Justice Pat Timmons-Goodson will not just be an ally to our community but a true advocate,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “Justice Pat Timmons-Goodson not only understands that, but has committed to making the change we need by passing the Equality Act. The Human Rights Campaign is proud to endorse Justice Timmons-Goodson and will work in the coming months to help mobilize the 1.5 million Equality Voters across the state of North Carolina to elect her and other pro-equality leaders up and down the ballot.” More from HRC.

OHIO CHAMPIONS FOR EQUALITY: HRC-endorsed candidates include: Jennifer Brunner (Supreme Court); John O’Donnell (Supreme Court); Crystal Lett (SD-16); Betsy Rader (SD-18); Phillip Robinson (HD-6); Nancy Day-Achauer (HD-23); and Casey Weinstein (HD-37). “Right now, over 389,000 LGBTQ Ohioans live under a patchwork of protections,” said HRC Ohio State Director Shawn Copeland. “Driving from Cincinnati to Cleveland, an LGBTQ person would have different rights in every town, city or county they drove through. That must change... In the coming weeks, HRC will mobilize the over two million Equality Voters across the state to ensure we elect the strongest slate of pro-equality candidates as possible this November.”

THE PRECAUTIONS NECESSARY TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 ARE CAUSING DISRUPTIONS TO OTHER TREATMENTS -- INCLUDING TREATMENTS AND MEDICATIONS FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV: More from The New York Times.

CHECK OUT THESE GENDER-INCLUSIVE ALTERNATIVES TO “HEY, GUYS” TO USE IN THE WORKPLACE: More from HuffPost.

GET CULTURED - Entertainment, arts and sports news!

“POSE” ACTRESS & ACTIVIST ANGELICA ROSS (@angelicaross) PARTNERS WITH PRODUCTION COMPANY PIGEON TO DEVELOP AND PRODUCE CONTENT: More from Deadline.

Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!


Human Rights Campaign Endorses Pat Timmons-Goodson for Congress

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 08:51

Today, the Human Rights Campaign announced the endorsement of former state Supreme Court Justice Pat Timmons-Goodson in her bid for Congress in North Carolina’s Eighth Congressional District.

In 2019, the U.S. House made history by passing the Equality Act -- crucial federal legislation that would finally guarantee explicit protections for LGBTQ people under our nation's existing civil rights laws -- for the first time. However, despite the support for the bill from over 70% of Americans, incumbent Rep. Richard Hudson voted “no” and Sen. Mitch McConnell has refused to bring the bill up for a vote. We must protect and expand the House’s pro-equality majority to ensure that when we break the Senate’s logjam, we have a House ready and able to move forward and make the Equality Act the law of the land.

“Justice Pat Timmons-Goodson will not just be an ally to our community but a true advocate,” said Alphonso David, HRC President. “In 29 states across the country, including North Carolina, LGBTQ people are at risk for discrimination in many areas of life. This patchwork of protections is completely untenable. Justice Pat Timmons-Goodson not only understands that, but has committed to making the change we need by passing the Equality Act. The Human Rights Campaign is proud to endorse Justice Timmons-Goodson and will work in the coming months to help mobilize the 1.5 million Equality Voters across the state of North Carolina to elect her and other pro-equality leaders up and down the ballot.”

“Throughout my tenure as a judge and member of the US Commission on Civil Rights, I worked to protect the rights of everyone living in our country,” said Justice Pat Timmons-Goodson. “At a time when so many rights are yet denied based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or zip code, I am proud to join the Human Rights Campaign in fighting for progress. I appreciate their endorsement of our campaign.”

In the 2018 midterms, HRC mobilized our grassroots army of 3.2 million members, supporters, and volunteers to work on behalf of pro-equality candidates and engage pro-equality voters primarily in six key states: Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. This unprecedented grassroots mobilization worked to recruit and train volunteers, register and mobilize voters and grow the organization's political organizing efforts in order to pull the emergency brake on the hateful anti-LGBTQ agenda of the Trump-Pence administration and elect a Congress that would hold them accountable.

In 2020, our engagement and mobilization efforts have only deepened. In addition to our expansive volunteer network, HRC will have at least 51 full-time staff in seven priority states (Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin) and an additional 26 staff focused on a second tier of states, including North Carolina. While in person organizing has been limited by the COVID-19 pandemic, HRC has embraced digital organizing, launching a new tool called TEAM allowing our broad network of volunteers and steering committees to engage their networks personally and hundreds of virtual phone banks and text banks to engage pro-equality voters even without the ability to interact in person.

 

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC (www.hrc.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Human Rights Campaign on Kansas Republican Primary Results

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 22:30

Today, Rep. Roger Marshall won the state’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate. In response, HRC Associate Regional Campaign Director Lindsey Clark issued the following statement:

“At every opportunity, Roger Marshall has attacked, demeaned, and dehumanized transgender people. He and his fellow Republican candidates waged one of the most anti-LGBTQ primaries this cycle, engaging in a race to the bottom by releasing ad after ad attacking transgender kids and LGBTQ people. Marshall’s brand of anti-LGBTQ extremism may have won a primary, but it won’t win the battle ahead.

“Kansans need a sensible leader who values inclusivity, not one who demonizes vulnerable communities to get ahead. Over the next 91 days, HRC will work to unite all vulnerable communities across the state of Kansas to close the book on Marshall’s politics of discrimination and bigotry and elect a true ally, Barbara Bollier, to the U.S. Senate.”

BACKGROUND

Earlier this primary season, Rep. Roger Marshall released an advertisement attacking transgender children. He has also spoken out in favor of allowing foster care agencies to discriminate against potential LGBTQ parents and was the only Member of Congress from Kansas to support Trump’s discriminatory ban against transgender people serving in the military. Marshall has never earned more than a 0 on HRC’s congressional scorecard.


Intern Remotely With HRC This Fall

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 16:20

Post submitted by Makaela Bournazian, HRC Internship Program Assistant

Apply now!

The Human Rights Campaign is excited to announce we will be offering a fully remote internship program during the fall 2020 semester. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to intern with us from across the country without moving to Washington, D.C.

It is sure to be an exciting experience to work alongside HRC during the critical election cycle.

For college students who are committed to making a difference in the lives of LGBTQ people, the HRC internship program provides an invaluable opportunity to work for the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization in pursuing our mission to ensure that everyone is embraced as full members of society — at home, at work and in every community.

Although the program will be remote, we are still offering many of the same educational opportunities. We will provide an exciting intern experience by offering an online educational “brown bag” series, which discusses topics ranging from the HIV and AIDS epidemic to government and policy and more. There will also be bi-weekly intern cohort check ins where everyone will get the opportunity to share what projects they are working on. In addition, we will go on a virtual field trip that is focused on LGBTQ and other civil rights issues.

All interns will be required to receive college/university credit to participate. We encourage a wide, talented pool of leaders — present and future — to join us. We strongly encourage people of color, transgender people and non-binary people to apply.

Apply now for an internship with HRC and help us make the world a more equal place for all. We are currently accepting applications for fall 2020. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled, so we encourage you to submit an application early. Apply today!


#AM_Equality: August 4, 2020

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 10:43

91 DAYS

NEW RESEARCH: Amid dual health and economic crises, new data show that Black LGBTQ folks are shouldering an additional burden when it comes to the economic impacts of COVID-19. Today, HRC Foundation & PSB Insights released new data showing that Black LGBTQ people disproportionately suffer the adverse economic impact of COVID-19. 

  • The newly released data show that 31% of Black LGBTQ respondents had their work hours reduced due to COVID-19, 18% of Black LGBTQ respondents became unemployed due to COVID-19 and 36% of Black LGBTQ respondents have made changes to their household budgets. 
  • Said HRC President Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid): “The data make clear what we have long known: that those living at the intersections of multiply marginalized identities face harsher consequences of the pandemic. It is a clarion call to policymakers that we must do all we can to combat the virus and its economic impact on multiply marginalized communities.” 
  • Last week, California announced it will begin collecting LGBTQ-specific health data about the coronavirus, becoming the second state to do so. Inclusive data collection is vital in addressing the disproportionate risks and impacts of COVID-19 on LGBTQ people and multiply marginalized communities. 
  • HRC is calling on the CDC, HHS and other states to also begin collecting and reporting data on the impact of the virus on LGBTQ health.

Our latest report with @psbresearch shows that due to #COVID19, Black LGBTQ people are more likely to have:

✊��Adverse effects on their employment

✊��Made changes to their budgets

✊��Asked for delays in paying various expenses for necessities https://t.co/SfRbeV9PzK

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) August 4, 2020

HRC MOURNS AJA RAQUELL RHONE-SPEARS, BLACK TRANS WOMAN KILLED IN OREGON: “I, alongside HRC and so many others, am mourning the loss of Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears -- who was not even able to attend a vigil to mourn without risk of death,” said HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative Tori Cooper (@MsToriCooper1). “Our community needs allies; we need accomplices. This violence cannot continue and we must all ask ourselves why our nation is allowing this epidemic of violence to continue, and how we can come together to ensure trans people, especially Black transgender women, can live their lives without fear of joining this long list of lives stolen.” More from People

HRC TO SUPPORT THE BLACK IN FASHION COUNCIL AS THEY BEGIN WORK WITH 38 BRANDS ON ENSURING BLACK EQUITY AND INCLUSION IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY: HRC’s contribution will be modeled after our Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which scores workplaces on LGBTQ equity and inclusion. Read more from Vogue

TUESDAY TWEET -- HRC ON MERRITT CORRIGAN’S TWEETS, DEPARTURE: Yesterday, USAID Deputy White House Liaison Merritt Corrigan issued a series of tweets attacking LGBTQ people. In response to reporting of her departure, HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy (@david_stacy) said, “Corrigan is a symptom of a larger problem, it’s time to hold the Trump-Pence administration accountable at the ballot box and elect a leader this November who supports the fundamental humanity of LGBTQ people and appoints people who share that basic decency.” More from HRC, NBC News, Politico and the Washington Blade

Let us be clear:
1. Marriage equality is here to stay.
2. Trans rights are human rights.
3. We'd suggest you resign, but seems like that’s taken care of already. pic.twitter.com/WbB6WEXAaW

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) August 3, 2020

KY PETERSON, A TRANSGENDER SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVOR WHO WAS WRONGFULLY INCARCERATED FOR NINE YEARS, FINALLY RELEASED: More from them.

  • Within the LGBTQ community, transgender people and bisexual women face the most alarming rates of sexual violence. In June, HRC released a report showing that LGBTQ people are more likely to experience intimate partner violence -- a likelihood that has increased during COVID-19. 

HEALTH MAG SHARES FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO BE A BETTER LGBTQ ALLY: More from MSN

HORRIBLE -- A BLACK TRANSGENDER MAN WAS ATTACKED LAST WEEK IN ROCHESTER, N.Y.: More from Democrat & Chronicle

IN THE STATES

A NEW YORK STATE RESIDENT IS SUING FOR THE STATE’S FAILURE TO OFFER AN ADDITIONAL ‘X’ GENDER MARKER OPTION ON IDs: More from Metro Weekly

ALABAMA RALLY AGAINST INJUSTICE HOSTED A RALLY AND MARCH TO REMEMBER THE BLACK TRANS LIVES LOST THIS YEAR: More from AL.com

GET CULTURED - Entertainment, arts and sports news!

OUT LESBIAN WRESTLER SONYA DEVILLE (@SonyaDevilleWWE) TALKS COVID-19 AND LGBTQ REPRESENTATION IN WRESTLING: Read more from the International Business Times

Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!


New Data Shows Black LGBTQ People Disproportionately Suffer Adverse Economic Impact of COVID-19

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 09:52

Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation released new data outlining the economic impact of COVID-19 on Black LGBTQ people. The research, released in partnership with PSB Insights, builds on prior data showing that LGBTQ people, especially LGBTQ people of color and specifically transgender people of color, are disproportionately impacted economically by the pandemic. The new research shows that Black LGBTQ people are more likely to have had their employment adversely impacted due to the virus, are more likely to have made changes to their budgets and are more likely to have asked for delays in paying various expenses for necessities.

“Even as Black communities, especially Black trans communities, across the country are reckoning with racism and violence, Black LGBTQ people are also being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “We know Black people are dying from COVID-19 at extremely alarming rates. Unfortunately, this new research shows Black people and Black LGBTQ people are suffering disproportionate economic inequities. The data make clear what we have long known: that those living at the intersections of multiply marginalized identities face harsher consequences of the pandemic. It is a clarion call to policymakers that we must do all we can to combat the virus and its economic impact on multiply marginalized communities.”

The data show that:

  • 31% of Black LGBTQ respondents had their work hours reduced due to COVID-19, compared to 23% of Black respondents, 28% of LGBTQ respondents and 22% of the general sample population.
  • 18% of Black LGBTQ respondents became unemployed due to COVID-19, compared to 16% of Black respondents, 16% of LGBTQ people and 12% of the general sample population

These economic realities have also led to financial challenges for Black LGBTQ people, causing many to make changes to their budgets and ask for delays in various expenses for necessities:

  • 36% of Black LGBTQ respondents have made changes to their household budgets, compared to 27% of Black respondents, 30% of LGBTQ respondents and 26% of the general sample population.
  • 28% of Black LGBTQ respondents have taken out more cash from the bank, compared to 15% of Black respondents, 18% of LGBTQ respondents and 13% of the general sample population.
  • 20% of Black LGBTQ respondents have checked to see if their bank account has overdrafted, compared to 14% of Black respondents, 14% of LGBTQ respondents and 10% of the general sample population.
  • 21% of Black LGBTQ respondents have asked for delays in paying their bills, compared to 17% of Black respondents, 14% of LGBTQ respondents and 12% of the general sample population.
  • 23% of Black LGBTQ respondents have asked for delays in paying their rent, compared to 12% of Black respondents, 11% of LGBTQ respondents and 7% of the general sample population.

With the expiration of the $600 federal supplement for unemployment benefits on Friday, July 31, it’s clear that the communities who are the hardest hit economically -- including Black LGBTQ people, as the data above shows -- will also be the most impacted by that expiration. As it’s also becoming more and more clear that Black, Indigenous and Latinx people are also facing disproportionately higher death rates from COVID-19, there must be immediate action to ensure that multiply marginalized communities are not discriminated against in the response to COVID-19 and in any aid packages that are meant to help combat this pandemic and its effects.

The new data and resource build on HRC’s previously released reports, The Lives and Livelihoods of Many in the LGBTQ Community are at Risk Amidst COVID-19 Crisis” and “The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ Community,” published in March and April. In June, HRC released “The Impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQ Communities of Color,” which documented the heightened risk of LGBTQ people of color in facing negative economic consequences from the pandemic, and “The Economic Impact of COVID-19 Intensifies for Transgender and LGBTQ Communities of Color,” which showed that transgender people, especially transgender people of color, are more likely to face negative economic consequences as a result of the virus.

HRC has also partnered with the Black Trans Advocacy Coalition on a resource, “Finding Financial Stability During Turbulent Times,” with steps and advice for those who may be struggling to make ends meet during these difficult times.

Read more about HRC’s efforts during COVID-19 here.


#AM_Equality: August 3, 2020

Mon, 08/03/2020 - 09:51

92 DAYS

Ongoing police brutality and systemic racism have plagued this nation for generations. It is time we take urgent and immediate action for structural change, for divestment of police resources and reinvestment in communities.

  • Last week, we learned that no charges will be filed against the Ferguson officer who killed Michael Brown. HRC President Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) responded: “This decision reveals how woefully ill-prepared our justice system is for combating white supremacy. We must continue to protest, and we must continue to vote. My heart goes out to Michael Brown’s family, who have been denied justice yet again.”
  • A new study shows that Black LGBTQ men experience more discrimination in policing, which results in a range of health effects. The research found that Black LGBTQ men who experienced police discrimination also reported facing more psychological distress, a greater risk of acquiring HIV and a lower willingness to take PrEP than their peers.
  • “There is no state, no municipal jurisdiction, and no law enforcement agency where transformational changes are not necessary and urgent.” HRC has joined over 350 civil rights organizations in calling for transformational change to policing.

2020 IS THE DEADLIEST YEAR ON RECORD FOR TRANS WOMEN, PARTICULARLY BLACK TRANS WOMEN: “As a Black trans woman, I feel absolutely horrified, I feel scared, I feel almost targeted -- and I use that word specifically,” said HRC Director for Community Engagement, Transgender Justice Initiative Tori Cooper (@MsToriCooper1). More from Openly.

Violent deaths of trans people in the United States are on track to reach a record high this year, after two Black trans women were killed in the last weekhttps://t.co/PlzHKhyMrf

— Openly ��️‍�� (@Openly) July 31, 2020

MUST READ MONDAY -- WE WERE ALWAYS QUEER: “South Asians have always been queer and trans and everything else in between,” writes Tania Chatterjee (@taniachatterbox), co-founder of South Asian Sexual Mental Health Alliance, on living at the intersection of being South Asian and queer. “We -- like everyone else -- are allowed to struggle with our mood, mental health and societal expectations. None of those things makes us any less South Asian, but they do make us that much more human.” More at HRC.

ACTIVIST AND HRC FOUNDATION BOARD CHAIR JODIE PATTERSON (@jodie_GeorgiaNY) SHARES HER TRANSGENDER SON’S STORY IN A NEW BOOK: Pre-order the book here.

Congrats to @jodie_GeorgiaNY, activist and @HRC Foundation board chair, on her latest book! �� “Born Ready” shares her transgender son’s story and teaches people of all ages the importance of identity and acceptance. Pre-order it today: https://t.co/Hw47qio8EL pic.twitter.com/SyeacS2StC

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) August 2, 2020

INTERSEX JUSTICE PROJECT CAMPAIGN CELEBRATES VICTORY, UNPRECEDENTED ACTION FROM U.S. HOSPITAL: More from InterACT and Openly.

Thank you for your advocacy work, @interACT_adv and @IntersexJustice, and congratulations on this hard-fought victory.

We commend @LurieChildrens on the decision to end surgeries on intersex children.https://t.co/vyEe3Q0yfJ

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) July 31, 2020

CNN PROVIDES AN EXCLUSIVE LOOK INSIDE THE U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION TO AFFIRM PROTECTIONS FOR LGBTQ EMPLOYEES: More from CNN.

NEW SURVEY SAYS ONE IN FOUR LGBTQ YOUTH USE NON-BINARY PRONOUNS: More from NBC.

LGBTQ YOUTH HAVE LOST SAFE SPACES BECAUSE OF COVID-19: Young LGBTQ people who already face disproportionate rates of unemployment and homelessness must also deal with the anxiety, physical distancing and economic strain caused by COVID-19. More from the World Economic Forum.

GET CULTURED - Entertainment, arts and sports news!

OUT CANANDIAN OLYMPIAN MARTHA MCCABE (@MarthMcC) IS WORKING WITH OTHER OLYMPIC ATHLETES TO MENTOR YOUTH: More from OutSports.

Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!


We Were Always Queer

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 11:51

Post submitted by Tania Chatterjee, South Asian Sexual Mental Health Alliance, co-founder. 

In the South Asian community, members are very familiar with a particular phrase: “What will people say?” 

It’s a simple little phrase with heavy meaning, and holds the same weight across many languages and cultures. For South Asians — especially members of the diaspora living abroad (third-culture kids) — the phrase crosses beyond the usuals of what you’re wearing or who you’re hanging out with. The phrase colors every aspect of your life. Third-culture kids are often battling a slew of expectations placed upon them by their parents, families and communities — good grades, reputable careers, doing it all and doing it really, really well. The expectations also bleed into who you’re allowed to love — and how. 

Mental health is not something that’s easily talked about in the South Asian community. Being queer is the same — the expectation is that South Asians are straight, cis and perfect. We don’t struggle, fail or ever stumble. For those of us who go against the grain — by being queer (which is, to be clear, not a choice), by pursuing different careers, by speaking up against outdated norms and customs — we often face rejection and ostracization from our families and communities, simply for being who we are, and daring to live our own lives freely. The sheer weight of “what will people say” suffocates many of us, day in day out, as we are told to live our lives by the ideals of others, rather than our own.

The truth is that we have always been queer. We have always questioned why things are the way that they are — that’s just human curiosity. Gender roles, expectations and cultural norms are all societally (and often colonizer) constructed, and they’re not something we are born knowing. Living your life to the fullest means living your romantic and sexual life to the fullest, no matter what society prescribes as “right” or “wrong.” When we suppress ourselves and our desires, needs and wants for fear of “what will people will say,” we deny ourselves the opportunity to live to the fullest, healthiest extent possible as human beings. 

So to my fellow South Asians, and to everyone else living under the weight of “what will people say” — keep questioning. Keep pushing boundaries. And most of all, keep on redefining what it means to be South Asian, and what it means to be “traditional” in staying true to your own personal roots. South Asians have always been queer and trans and everything else in between. We — like everyone else — are allowed to struggle with our mood, mental health, and societal expectations. None of those things makes us any less South Asian, but they do make us that much more human. 


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