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Recent blog articles published by the Human Rights Campaign 2020-04-07T20:56:00-04:00
Updated: 11 min 59 sec ago

Nevada Rates High for Pro-LGBTQ Laws in HRC’s Annual State Equality Index

Fri, 02/07/2020 - 12:35

HRC Foundation and the Equality Federation Institute released their 5th annual State Equality Index (SEI), a comprehensive report detailing statewide laws and policies that affect LGBTQ people and their families, and assessing how well states are protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination. Nevada falls into the category, “Working Toward Innovative Equality.” 

“As LGBTQ people continue to face an onslaught of attacks from the federal administration in Washington, the Human Rights Campaign’s 2019 State Equality Index (SEI) documents how states were instrumental in advancing equality through pro-LGBTQ legislation, policies and proposals,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “In the absence of federal non-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community, states must put policies in place to ensure equality for their residents, workers and visitors. In 2020 and beyond, the Human Rights Campaign will continue to work with our partners to defeat anti-LGBTQ legislation in the states and secure new protections for our community, both at the state and federal level. Already, we see the promise of even more protections passing state legislatures in 2020, including action taken in Virginia advancing the Virginia Values Act.”

Due to the lack of explicit, comprehensive civil rights protections for LGBTQ people at the federal level, the rights of millions of LGBTQ people and their families vary depending on which state they live in. In 30 states, LGBTQ people remain at risk of being fired, evicted or denied services because of who they are. These top-rated states and Washington, D.C., have robust LGBTQ non-discrimination laws covering employment, housing and public accommodations.

The SEI’s assessment of statewide LGBTQ-related legislation and policies in the areas of parenting laws and policies, religious refusal and relationship recognition laws, non-discrimination laws and policies, hate crime and criminal justice laws, youth-related laws and policies and health and safety laws and policies has placed each state in one of four distinct categories:

  • Seventeen states and the District of Columbia are in the highest-rated category, “Working Toward Innovative Equality”: California, Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; District of Columbia; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; Nevada; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; and Washington
  • Three states are in the category “Solidifying Equality”: Hawaii; Iowa; and New Hampshire
  • Two states are in the category “Building Equality”: Utah and Wisconsin
  • Twenty-Eight states are in the lowest-rated category “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality”: Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; Florida; Georgia; Idaho; Indiana; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Michigan; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Virginia; West Virginia; and Wyoming

“Nevadans should be proud to know that the Silver State is a leader in the fight for full, lived LGBTQ equality. As we look forward to introducing even more legislation to advance LGBTQ civil rights and social justice, we urge the Senate to pass the Equality Act and ensure every American is protected from discrimination. Thank you to our partners at HRC Foundation, Equality Federation Institute and Equality California for fueling the state-based equality movement,” said André Wade, Silver State Equality State Director. 

Last year, the pro-equality majority in the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, a bill to establish comprehensive federal protections for LGBTQ people. But as HRC and other civil rights organizations work toward establishing these critical federal protections, accelerating progress at the state level is critical.

This SEI report comes as 38 state legislatures and the District of Columbia have opened their sessions -- and with several good bills introduced, including the Virginia Values Act, a bill that would modernize Virginia's existing human rights laws and provide non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people in public employment and housing. In New Jersey, the governor has signed a bill to ban anti-LGBTQ “panic defenses.”

Unfortunately, we have also seen the introduction and passage of bad legislation, including a Tennessee bill that would allow child welfare organizations -- including taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies -- to turn away qualified Tennesseans seeking to care for a child in need, including LGBTQ couples, interfaith couples, single parents, married couples in which one prospective parent has previously been divorced or other parents to whom the agency has a religious objection. In South Dakota, the state House of Representatives passed a bill that effectively bars instructors who teach grades K-7 in the state’s public schools from instructing students on gender identity or gender expression.

Advancing LGBTQ non-discrimination protections at the state and federal level is supported by a wide swath of Americans. A recent PRRI survey found that 71 percent of Americans support LGBTQ non-discrimination laws like the Equality Act. A map of this patchwork of laws can be found here.

HRC’s full State Equality Index report, including detailed scorecards for every states, and a preview of the 2020 state legislative session is available online at www.hrc.org/sei.


#AM_Equality Tipsheet: February 7, 2020

Fri, 02/07/2020 - 10:21

HISTORY -- VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE ADVANCES CRITICAL PROTECTIONS TO LGBTQ VIRGINIANS: The bill will grant non-discrimination protections to Virginians on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and several other characteristics. The legislation must now go through a few more procedural votes before heading to the governor’s desk. “Today, history was made in Virginia, and LGBTQ Virginians are one step closer to being protected from discrimination. No one should be discriminated against simply because of who they are or whom they love,” said HRC President Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid). “This day would not have been possible without the years and years of tireless work from advocates across the commonwealth, or the voters in Virginia who filled the halls of the General Assembly with pro-equality champions who fulfilled their promises.” More from HRC, Washington Blade, The Hill, The Washington Post and The Associated Press.

  • HRC joined its partners and pro-equality lawmakers in Richmond to celebrate this history-making legislation. Watch here.

History made in Virginia as the legislature advances the Virginia Values Act, extending long delayed non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ people and other protected classes. #VALeg https://t.co/C3pWIudWE9

— Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) February 6, 2020

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY -- HRC ON THE GROUND IN RICHMOND FOR THIS HISTORIC EVENT:

.@HRC is proud to be on the ground in Richmond to celebrate the passage of the Virginia Values Act through both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly.

After years of legislative stalemates, this bill will finally grant non-discrimination protections to Virginians. pic.twitter.com/gQzjFqt49c

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

ADVOCATES PLAN RALLY TO OPPOSE TRANSPHOBIC BILLS IN SOUTH DAKOTA: More from KELO.

MORE THAN 200 ANTI-LGBTQ LAWS INTRODUCED IN STATE LEGISLATURES: Julie Moreau (@JEMoreau) breaks down this onslaught of anti-LGBTQ bills, which overwhelmingly attack the most vulnerable LGBTQ Americans -- including transgender youth. More from NBC.

ARCHITECT OF OBAMA’S HIV POLICY CALLS OUT TRUMP-PENCE FOR DANGEROUS RECORD ON HIV AND AIDS: Despite a disturbing record on HIV and AIDS, the Trump-Pence administration announced an initiative to end HIV transmission in the United States by 2030 one year ago. Take an inside look at how the administration and its policies are undermining that objective from Greg Millett in The Hill.

TODAY IS NATIONAL BLACK HIV & AIDS AWARENESS DAY: This evening, HRC will host a discussion focusing on HIV and AIDS in the Black community. If you are a member of the press interested in attending, please contact elliott.kozuch@hrc.org.  More from HRC.

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

COCA-COLA TAKES OUT PRO-EQUALITY ADS IN NEWSPAPERS ACROSS SWITZERLAND: More from PinkNews.

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break! 

Metro Weekly reviews artist and HRC staffer Laya Monarez’s (@layamonarez) incredible art exhibit, which opened last week at the DC LGBTQ Center; Pink News interviews a couple from Belfast that plans to make history as one of the first same-sex couples to wed in Northern Ireland; NewNowNext interviews trans actor Scott Turner Schofield (@turnerschofield) about his role on the show ‘Studio City’

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!


Educating the Educators: The Impact of HRC’s Time to THRIVE Conference

Fri, 02/07/2020 - 10:09

Dr. Eduardo Reyes is a high school principal and elementary school board member from California who is always looking to expand his knowledge and grow professionally — particularly when it comes to supporting his LGBTQ students.

A straight, cisgender ally, Reyes has attended HRC Foundation’s Time to THRIVE Conference every year since its inception, taking lessons he has learned and putting them into action to create a more inclusive and welcoming school culture back home in California.

The premier national conference to promote safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ youth, Time to THRIVE engages a broad audience of youth-serving professionals, including K-12 educators, mental health providers, pediatricians, recreational athletic coaches, religious leaders, youth development staff and more. Time to THRIVE provides a comprehensive opportunity to build LGBTQ awareness and cultural competency, learn current and emerging best practices and gather resources from leading experts and national organizations in the field.

HRC spoke with Reyes about what he’d like you to know about Time to THRIVE’s impact on LGBTQ students in his schools, and why all youth-serving professionals should register.

Why did you decide to attend the conference in its inaugural year?
I have always been an advocate of LGBTQ youth and I thought I had all of the information to help our students. But I was faced with a few situations where I realized I didn’t have the tools, information and resources to truly support our students. I also felt that within the school culture there were instances where our LGBTQ students were not being acknowledged. I needed to find the resources to ensure we had a school culture that fully embraced everyone.

Our 2020 conference will be your seventh. What brings you back year after year?
Time to THRIVE is where I recharge my batteries. There are so many workshops and great guest speakers — it’s never the same. I routinely get new information and enjoy sharing experiences with and hearing from other educators and leaders about what they’re doing and what challenges they have been able to overcome. It’s inspiring to continually learn new skills and gain new resources I can then transmit to an entire school community.

How has implementing those resources improved your school community?
If you make equality a priority, it becomes a priority — and it has to start from the top, and students see that. You have to be a model for creating change and be outspoken about the fact that when you are responsible for creating a safe environment for everyone, that means everyone, not just one group. I’ve seen students who are free to be themselves — they’re no longer hiding. I’ve watched students push back on ignorance and biases.

Why is Time to THRIVE so important for youth-serving professionals?
There are still a lot of beliefs and misconceptions that do not support, but rather isolate and discriminate against, LGBTQ youth — they could be faith beliefs or cultural biases or a number of other reasons. I truly believe to have an inclusive environment, it cannot be just one person, it has to be everyone. And I believe you start by informing and educating the educators. This conference is extremely important for every educator, as well as anyone who works with students, because you must have the information to support, embrace, respect, acknowledge and celebrate differences within our student population. This work is literally saving lives.

Time to THRIVE will be held February 14-16, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Register now at TimeToTHRIVE.org, take a look at this year’s lineup of speakers, special guests and workshops and watch highlights from previous conferences.


HISTORY: Virginia Values Act Passes, Extending Critical Protections to LGBTQ Virginians

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 14:30

HRC celebrated the passage of the Virginia Values Act through both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly, a bill that will grant non-discrimination protections to Virginians on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and several other characteristics. Similar legislation passed through the Virginia Senate several times in recent years, but was blocked by anti-equality lawmakers in the House of Delegates. In the 2019 election, voters in the commonwealth elected pro-equality majorities to both houses of the General Assembly, making this victory possible. The legislation must now go through a few more procedural votes before heading to the governor’s desk. 

In addition to sexual orientation and gender identity, the bill also extends protections to Virginians on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, and status as a veteran. Virginia will be the first state in the South to have non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, the first state in over a decade to add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing non-discrimination law, and the first state since 1993 to add a prohibition on discrimination in public accommodations (protecting all Virginians) where none existed before.

“Today, history was made in Virginia, and LGBTQ Virginians are one step closer to being protected from discrimination. No one should be discriminated against simply because of who they are or whom they love,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “This day would not have been possible without the years and years of tireless work from advocates across the commonwealth, or the voters in Virginia that filled the halls of the General Assembly with pro-equality champions who fulfilled their promises. HRC is proud to have worked to elect pro-equality lawmakers across Virginia in 2019, and we are thrilled to see that effort culminate in this important victory today. We’re especially grateful for the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, Senator Adam Ebbin, and Delegate Mark Sickles, each of whom made this day possible. We also thank the patrons in each chamber, Sens. Jennifer Boysko and Jennifer McClellan in the Senate and Dels. Mark Levine and Delores McQuinn in the House.”

Virginia is home to 257,400 LGBTQ adults. Under current Virginia law, LGBTQ people are not explicitly protected from discrimination, meaning they are at risk of being fired, evicted or denied service in restaurants or stores. Virginia is one of only five states without protections in public accommodations for any protected class. The new law will bring Virginia into the 21st century, and into alignment with Virginia voters, by modernizing and expanding existing human rights law.

The bill requires private employers with six or more employees to comply with the new protections. In addition, all state government employees and school board employees will be covered under the law. It will also update Virginia's Fair Housing Act to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. 

For years, the Human Rights Campaign has worked with Equality Virginia and others to expand Virginia’s non-discrimination protections to include LGBTQ people. However, despite majorities in both the House and Senate supporting the legislation, former Speaker Kirk Cox refused to bring the legislation up for a vote. Cox and former House Majority Leader Tim Hugo not only acted counter to members of their own caucus and the Virginia public, but also counter to the desires of their own base. According to polling, LGBTQ non-discrimination protections have overwhelming support among Virginians, including a majority of Virginia Republicans. Over the past several elections, HRC has successfully elected pro-equality champions at every level of Virginia’s state government. 

In August 2019, the Human Rights Campaign endorsed 27 candidates and committed to invest over $250,000 to elect pro-equality candidates across Virginia. The endorsements marked the beginning of HRC’s largest ever field, digital and direct mail program in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

From Northern Virginia to Hampton Roads, HRC field organizers were deployed to mobilize 1.2 million Equality Voters across the commonwealth. In 2018, HRC used sophisticated analytics to identify and mobilize 57 million “Equality Voters” nationwide who prioritize LGBTQ-inclusive policies including marriage equality, equitable family law, and laws that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. In Virginia’s 2019 state legislative elections, HRC targeted and turned out these voters in the 27 districts where HRC made an endorsement.

HRC is a proud member of the Virginia Values Coalition. The Virginia Values Coalition was founded on the shared belief that discrimination is wrong and that we are called to treat others as we want to be treated. Members include national and regional organizations, along with faith leaders, parents, law enforcement officers, veterans and people of all political ideologies committed to protecting their LGBTQ neighbors from discrimination. 


Celebrating Community-Led Organizations This National Black HIV & AIDS Awareness Day

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 13:23

Post submitted by HRC HIV & Health Equity Program Coordinator Dimetri O'Brien

National Black HIV & AIDS Awareness Day is observed each year on February 7 to increase HIV education, testing, community involvement and treatment among Black communities. With members of the Black and African American community making up 44.1% of total reported deaths from HIV, and those in the Latinx community making up 16.3% of total deaths in 2017, according to the CDC, work in these communities is an urgent priority. This year’s theme for NBHAAD, which is coordinated by the Strategic Leadership Council, is “We’re in This, Together,focusing on increasing HIV education among Black communities. 

To mark this year’s awareness day, the HRC Foundation’s HIV & Health Equity Program is highlighting a community organization providing meaningful and vital services for those living with HIV in Virginia.

The Fredericksburg AIDS Support Team (FAST) began as a support group in 1989, providing services for those living with HIV in the Fredericksburg and Culpeper, Virginia, areas. In 1992, with a robust group of volunteers-turned-board members, FAST organized under the name Fredericksburg Area HIV/AIDS Support Services, and since then has been the leading service provider for those living with HIV in the Fredericksburg area,  and in Caroline, Culpeper, Fauquier, King George, Madison, Orange, Prince William, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, Stafford and Westmoreland counties. 

FAHASS offers medical case management, mental health services, housing assistance and more. Its  initiatives educate people about the transmission of HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections, as well as emphasizing the need for testing to reduce stigma among those they serve and beyond. FAHASS also provides the most-up-to-date information about HIV and resources related to health and wellness. 

On this National Black HIV & AIDS Awareness Day, HRC is proud to stand “Together For Love” with FAHASS as it continues to be a shining beacon of service while reducing stigma and ending the epidemic one day at a time. 

HRC is committed to working with our allies, partners, members and supporters to end the HIV & AIDS epidemic and the stigma surrounding HIV & AIDS. Learn more about HRC Foundation’s work here.


#AM_Equality Tipsheet: February 6, 2020

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 10:02

TODAY -- VIRGINIA POISED TO PASS LONG-DELAYED, CRITICAL PROTECTIONS FOR LGBTQ VIRGINIANS: Today at 10:45 a.m. ET at the Virginia State Capitol, elected officials and advocates will hold a press conference ahead of the floor votes on the Virginia Values Act, which will grant non-discrimination protections to Virginians on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability and status as a veteran. For more information, contact press@hrc.org.

  • When passed, Virginia will be the first state in the South to have non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, the first state in over a decade to add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing non-discrimination law and the first state since 1993 to add a prohibition on discrimination in public accommodations (protecting all Virginians) where none existed before.
  • In August, HRC endorsed 27 candidates and committed to invest over $250,000 to elect pro-equality candidates across Virginia. The endorsements marked the beginning of HRC’s largest-ever field, digital and direct mail program in the state.

SENATE MAJORITY FAILED AMERICAN PEOPLE BY ACQUITTING DONALD TRUMP AND VOTERS MUST ACT NOW: “This is a sad day for our country. It is crystal clear that Donald Trump abused his power to subvert the next election, worked to cover it up, and lied about his motives and actions. Senators who have doubts about the evidence refused to seek the truth, but instead were this President’s accomplices in the cover up. This is profoundly troubling and a blow to the rule of law,” HRC President Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) said. More from HRC.

DOZENS OF CORPORATIONS AND SMALL BUSINESSES SIGN LETTER OPPOSING DISCRIMINATION IN TENNESSEE: The open letter, signed by 35 corporations and 107 small businesses, opposes discrimination against LGBTQ Tennesseans and calls on lawmakers to not pursue any further harmful bills this legislative session. This letter was organized by the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce with support from Freedom for All Americans, HRC and GLAAD. More from HRC and CNBC.

BREAKING: 35 corporations & 107 small businesses are calling on Tennessee lawmakers to stop attacking LGBTQ people through harmful legislation. Tennesseans and businesses agree — bills that target LGBTQ people are bad for Tennessee and its economy. #tnleg https://t.co/dkEcseKtgz

— Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) February 5, 2020

THANKFUL THURSDAY -- KRISTIN CHENOWETH EXPLAINS HOW HER FAITH AND LGBTQ ALLYSHIP GO HAND-IN-HAND: Chenoweth (@KChenoweth) was honored with the Ally for Equality Award at HRC’s Greater New York Gala last weekend. More from HuffPost and The Cut.

JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS OF HATE CRIMES ACT INTRODUCED WITH BIPARTISAN SUPPORT: HRC has joined other LGBTQ and civil rights groups in supporting the bill. More from Los Angeles Blade.

MEET SOUTH DAKOTA’S FRED DEUTSCH, THE ANTI-LGBTQ EXTREMIST PUSHING TO LEGISLATE HARM AGAINST TRANS KIDS: The legislation, which has passed the South Dakota House of Representatives, bars transgender youth and their parents from making decisions about their medical care, and allows the state to arrest and imprison doctors providing care for trans and gender non-conforming youth. More from HRC.

South Dakota is pushing legislation that will do incomprehensible harm to trans kids.

See what the SD Speaker of the House Haugaard said about this vulnerable community. #SDLeg #HB1057 pic.twitter.com/58QjhfIPur

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) February 5, 2020

CALIFORNIA GOV GRANTS POSTHUMOUS PARDON TO BAYARD RUSTIN: Rustin, the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, was openly gay and in 1953 was arrested under a discriminatory “morals charge”. He spent nearly two months in jail. While he was a key strategist who greatly influenced Martin Luther King Jr., Rustin is too often left out of civil rights history. More from Los Angeles Times.

MEET MOLLY PINTA, ONE OF HRC’S 2020 CLASS OF YOUTH AMBASSADORS: Pinta, who founded the LGBTQ Pride festival in her Chicago suburb, is just one of the incredible advocates joining HRC’s new class of youth ambassadors. More from Chicago Tribune.

STATE COLLEGE, PA. TO HOST ITS FIRST-EVER LGBTQ PRIDE PARADE: The city recently earned a score of 100 on HRC’s Municipal Equality Index. More from Centre Daily Times.

GET CULTURED - Entertainment, arts and sports news!

ACTOR JAMEELA JAMIL COMES OUT AS QUEER ON TWITTER: “I added a rainbow to my name when I felt ready a few years ago, as it’s not easy within the south Asian community to be accepted, and I always answered honestly if ever straight-up asked about it on Twitter,” she (@jameelajamil) wrote in a note posted to Twitter. “It’s also scary as an actor to openly admit your sexuality, especially when you’re already a brown female in your thirties.”

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break! 

Mary Emily O’Hara (@MaryEmilyOHara) writes in AdWeek about how the trans flag got added to the list of emojis

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!


Senate Majority Failed American People by Acquitting Donald Trump and Voters Must Now Act

Wed, 02/05/2020 - 17:33

Today, HRC responded to the U.S. Senate’s narrow vote to acquit Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, despite members of both parties supporting his conviction.

“This is a sad day for our country. It is crystal clear that Donald Trump abused his power to subvert the next election, worked to cover it up, and lied about his motives and actions. Senators who have doubts about the evidence refused to seek the truth, but instead were this President’s accomplices in the cover up. This is profoundly troubling and a blow to the rule of law,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “We are a nation of laws, built on a promise in the Constitution that no one is above the law — especially those elected to serve the public, and that includes the president. The impeachment clause is not the only Constitutional remedy. The Senate majority has failed its Constitutional role. So in November, voters must make their disapproval known to those who have rejected justice and vote to remove Donald Trump from office.”

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 52-48 and 53-47, respectfully, to acquit Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, following a truncated trial  in which witnesses and documentary evidence were not permitted.

Last month, the Human Rights Campaign called for a fair and thorough trial and urged the Senate to ensure full accountability for the American people.

In December, HRC announced its support for the formal impeachment of Donald Trump. In September, HRC expressed support for a formal inquiry into the alleged corruption of Donald Trump in attempting to force the government of Ukraine to investigate a chief political rival by withholding foreign aid that had already been approved by Congress.


35 Corporations and 107 Small Businesses Sign Letter Opposing Discrimination in Tennessee

Wed, 02/05/2020 - 12:11

Today, 35 corporations and 107 small businesses released an open letter opposing discrimination against LGBTQ Tennesseans and calling upon lawmakers to not pursue any further harmful bills this legislative session. This letter was organized by the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce with support from Freedom for All AmericansGLAAD and HRC

“Our state wins financially when we encourage the most people to participate in our economy,” said Joe Woolley, Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer. “We know that regular Tennesseans and business leaders alike are ready to move beyond division, beyond policies that would encourage Tennesseans to refuse to work together, serve each other, and care for each other just because we each have a different walk in life. Only a forward-looking Tennessee will continue to attract the world’s best talent, and the vibrant tourism and entertainment industries that help make this state so special, and that help sustain big and small communities alike.” 

Earlier this year, Governor Bill Lee signed into law HB 836, a bill that would allow child welfare organizations -- including taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies -- to turn away qualified Tennesseans seeking to care for a child in need, including LGBTQ couples, interfaith couples, single parents, married couples in which one prospective parent has previously been divorced, or other parents to whom the agency has a religious objection. 

In the letter, the businesses write: “Policies that signal that the state is not welcoming to everyone put our collective economic success at risk… We ask that lawmakers not pursue any further legislation that would target or exclude LGBTQ people, which would do harm to Tennesseans and create unnecessary hurdles to economic competitiveness.” 

Corporate signers of the letter include AllianceBernstein, Amalgamated Bank, Amazon, American Airlines, Bridgestone Americas, Camelot, Care Services, CMT, Concord, Cummins, Inc., Curb Records, Dell Technologies, Discovery, Inc., Dow, Genesco, Hilton, IKEA North America Services, LLC, Lyft, Inc., Marriott International, Inc., Mars, Inc., Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp, Nashville International Airport, Nashville Predators, Nashville Soccer Club, Nike, Inc., Nissan North America, Postmates, Salesforce, ServiceSource; Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, including member companies Danone North America; Mars, Incorporated; Nestlé USA; and Unilever United States; Tennessee Titans, Trillium Asset Management, Unilever, Vanderbilt University, Warby Parker, Warner Music Group.

"Tennesseans and businesses agree – bills that target LGBTQ people are bad for Tennessee and its economy,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “When anti-LGBTQ bills pass, it harms real people, but also affects businesses’ ability to recruit and maintain talent. We are grateful that businesses have spoken out so strongly against anti-LGBTQ legislation, and we join them in urging elected officials to stop attacking LGBTQ people living in Tennessee.” 

"The onslaught of anti-LGBTQ bills proposed by Tennessee lawmakers stands in sharp opposition to a majority of the state's fair-minded residents as well as to business leaders who seek to work in a place that is competitive and economically viable," said Kasey Suffredini, CEO and national campaign director of Freedom for All Americans. "We thank these businesses for affirming fairness and equal treatment for all Tennesseans. When everyone is treated with dignity and respect, we all win."

“LGBTQ consumers and allies support companies that support us, and vocal corporate support and action can truly change the game as LGBTQ Tennesseans are placed in harm's way,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO. “These bills legitimize discriminatory practices against LGBTQ people and will define Tennessee as a state where LGBTQ citizens are second-class citizens. Companies that do business in the state should not sit idly by.”

The full text of the letter and an up to date list of corporations and small businesses who have signed it can be found here.  

Business statements:

Concord: “The creative community in TN, and especially in Nashville, is essential to the state’s culture and economy. It is a community that was built on inclusiveness and continues to thrive because of it. The signing of HB 0836 / SB 1304 into law does not reflect the type of inclusiveness that Concord believes makes better communities, creative works, and culture. Concord will continue to speak out against any laws that threaten its stakeholders and have therefore added our name to an ever-expanding list of TN businesses that oppose such legislated discrimination.”

Mars, Inc.: “At Mars, we believe our business and our community are at their best when we embrace and celebrate all people. We firmly believe that everyone is equal and that every person deserves to be treated with respect, dignity, and fairness. We value our presence across the state of Tennessee and continue to invest here as it has been a great place to do business. Discrimination has no place in our business or our laws. We strongly oppose any bill that would negatively impact our entire community and the thriving business environment that we currently have.”

Postmates: “Postmates continues to be alarmed by the Lee Administration’s anti-LGBTQ agenda, particularly as we consider expanding our presence in the Volunteer State. It is impossible for Tennessee to be a great place to do business while its government imposes policies of exclusion and discrimination. State leaders cannot and will not be able to expect companies like ours to power its economic engines while supporting legislation that undermines our ability to feel welcome in this state unless they commit to a new pathway to include all families & all workers. HB 836 undermines businesses’ ability to recruit top talent and grow in the state by policies that say not all are welcome — and it’s just plain wrong. To our Postmates fleet, our customers, our small business owners, our entire community: we stand with you no matter who you love or who you are, and we will not accept this kind of flagrant hatred.” 


#AM_Equality Tipsheet: February 5, 2020

Wed, 02/05/2020 - 09:41

HISTORY IN THE MAKING -- WITH MORE THAN 70% OF IOWA CAUCUS RESULTS IN, PETE BUTTIGIEG IS POISED TO BECOME FIRST OPENLY-LGBTQ MAJOR PARTY CANDIDATE TO FINISH AT OR NEAR TOP OF A PRESIDENTIAL CONTEST: “It's extraordinary,” Buttigieg, speaking emotionally in New Hampshire, said of his slim lead in Iowa. “It also, I hope, means something to a lot of people wondering if they fit in, people who are different, people who don't know if they belong in their community, or in their family. This is proof you can believe in yourself and in your country.” More from CNN. 

For the first time, an openly LGBTQ candidate put points on the board in a presidential contest. Truly a historic moment as results come in from the #IowaCaucuses.

— Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) February 5, 2020

THE DISSEMBLER-IN-CHIEF USES STATE OF THE UNION TO SEED HARMFUL LIES: During last night’s State of the Union, HRC highlighted Trump’s record on demonizing immigrants, cutting funding for HIV and AIDS and placing anti-LGBTQ judges on the bench at all levels. Read more of last night’s coverage on HRC’s Twitter.

HRC ENDORSES CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLYWOMAN CHRISTY SMITH FOR U.S. CONGRESS: Said HRC President Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid): “As a former school board president, Smith brought her unique experience to the California Assembly and became a champion for LGBTQ students. HRC is proud to endorse her bid and will work to ensure she joins the pro-equality majority in the House of Representatives.” More from HRC.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR -- THIS FRIDAY, HRC TO HOST PANEL FOR NATIONAL BLACK HIV AND AIDS AWARENESS DAY: If you are a member of the press interested in attending, please contact elliott.kozuch@hrc.org

This National Black HIV and AIDS Awareness Day, join @HRC, @NativeSonNow and @TheBodyDotCom for CommUNITY Voices, a discussion and listening session on health, faith and relationships. #NBHAAD

Join us → https://t.co/1Q2rCqXZmj pic.twitter.com/7r1d6TzIlF

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) February 5, 2020

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING WEDNESDAY -- BILLY PORTER GIVES THE LGBTQ STATE OF THE UNION FOR LOGO: More from USA Today.

��️‍������ Billy Porter delivers the 2020 LGBTQ State of the Union, reflecting on the past year and looking ahead for the #LGBTQ+ community. ���� #SOTU #LGBTQSOTU @theebillyporter pic.twitter.com/NDWQSER396

— Logo ��️‍�� (@LogoTV) February 4, 2020

TRANS WOMEN TRANSFERRED OUT OF ICE DETENTION CENTER IN NEW MEXICO: The Sante Fe Dreamers Project, which is in regular contact with the women, say they have been transferred to two facilities, one in Colorado and one in Washington. More from Washington Blade.

IDAHO MAN FOUND GUILTY OF BRUTAL BEATING OF TRANS WOMAN IN A WOMAN’S BATHROOM IN OREGON: Fred Constanza, 37, was convicted of first-degree bias crime, second-degree assault and harassment, The Oregonian reported, for following Lauren Jackson into the women’s bathroom in an Oregon park and attacking her -- shattering her jaw and fracturing her skull. More from The Oregonian.

LGBTQ CENTER IN DETROIT TO OPEN PERMANENT HOUSING DEVELOPMENT FOR LGBTQ YOUNG ADULTS EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS: More from The Detroit News.

.@REC_Detroit’s new residential community aims to provide stable housing for LGBTQ people, especially trans women of color, ages 18-25. They offer shelter, access to primary care doctors and addiction and mental health counseling. https://t.co/HbiCGTFhyv

— HRC in Michigan (@HRC_MI) February 4, 2020

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT: The Virginia General Assembly recently ratified the amendment, taking a step forward in affirming the importance of equality under the law. This historic moment has been almost a century in the making, and HRC breaks down what’s happening. More from HRC

CALIFORNIA BILL WOULD REQUIRE COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES TO CHANGE DIPLOMAS TO REFLECT CHOSEN NAMES OF TRANSGENDER GRADUATES: More from NBC Out

JESUIT FATHER JAMES MARTIN URGES CATHOLIC COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES TO ACTIVELY SUPPORT & WELCOME LGBTQ STUDENTS: More from Crux

HRC SEEKING APPLICATIONS FOR SUMMER INTERNS: More from HRC.

GET CULTURED - Entertainment, arts and sports news!

NYT FEATURES TRANSMASCULINE ACTORS ON HOW THEY’RE CHALLENGING STANDARDS IN THE INDUSTRY: More from The New York Times.

  • History-making article! According to the “New New York Times” Twitter bot, which flags when a word is first used in The Times, this article marks the first appearance of “transmasculinity.” 

transmasculinity

— New New York Times (@NYT_first_said) February 4, 2020

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

REPORT FROM ILGA-EUROPE SHOWS RISE OF ANTI-LGBTQ RHETORIC AND HATE CRIMES ACROSS EUROPE: More from Reuters.

CAMEROON ADVOCATES REOPEN SHELTER FOR VICTIMS OF ANTI-LGBTQ VIOLENCE: More from RightsAfrica.

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break! 

CBC speaks to Norma Lize about her work to help trans refugees in Vancouver; NPR reports on the renaming of a Brooklyn park to honor Marsha P. Johnson

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 Endorses Assemblywoman Christy Smith for U.S. Congress

Wed, 02/05/2020 - 08:39

Today, HRC announced its endorsement of Assemblywoman Christy Smith in her bid to represent California’s twenty-fifth congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Christy Smith has been an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality while in the California State Assembly. While serving in the Assembly and as a member of the Newhall School District Board, Smith has advocated on behalf of LGBTQ students, working towards creating a more fair, more welcoming education system in California. Smith has committed that should she be elected, she would co-sponsor and support the Equality Act, crucial federal legislation that would finally guarantee explicit protections for LGBTQ people under our nation's existing civil rights laws.

“Christy Smith has a demonstrated track record of standing up for LGBTQ people throughout her history in public service,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “As a former school board president, Smith brought her unique experience to the California Assembly and became a champion for LGBTQ students. HRC is proud to endorse her bid and will work to ensure she joins the pro-equality majority in the House of Representatives.”

“I’m incredibly honored to have earned the support of the Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s leading LGBTQ civil rights and advocacy organizations,” said Assemblywoman Christy Smith. “In Congress, I will continue to be a dedicated fighter working to tear down barriers facing the LGBTQ community and build a more equal, fair, just and inclusive society. I look forward to working shoulder to shoulder with HRC in the weeks and months ahead.”

In the 2018 midterms, HRC helped register more than 32,000 voters and recruited more than 4,200 volunteers, who worked over 8,500 shifts and clocked more than 30,000 volunteer hours. In the critical final four days of the campaign, HRC staff and volunteers in get-out-the-vote efforts alone knocked on more than 80,000 doors, and held 36,400 conversations with voters at their doors and by phone on behalf of our endorsed candidates. HRC's unprecedented grassroots mobilization represented an investment of approximately $26 million to recruit volunteers, mobilize constituents, register voters and grow the organization's grassroots army in an all-out effort 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.

 

 Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC (www.hrc.org) and authorized by Christy Smith for Congress 

Interns for Equality: Accepting Applications Today

Wed, 02/05/2020 - 03:00

Post submitted by Intern Program Assistant Temp Makaela Bournazian 

The HRC Internship Program provides an invaluable opportunity for college students and recent graduates committed to making a difference in the lives of LGBTQ people to work for the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization in pursuing our mission to ensure that all are embraced as full members of society -- at home, at work and in every community.

Every year, HRC welcomes dozens of young people from around the world for one of our three internship sessions, in the spring, summer and fall. At HRC, interns get hands-on experience working for a high-profile, high-impact non-profit in the nation’s capital -- learning about the issues driving our work, taking part in educational opportunities, working closely with our experts and assisting at HRC events.

Our team works to ensure that HRC interns get the best experience during their time with us at HRC headquarters. We offer a mentorship program that matches interns with an experienced staff member, providing a valuable opportunity for networking within our organization. We continue to enhance our in-house educational “brown bag” series for interns, adding topics to ensure that our interns leave here with a much deeper understanding of the issues of importance to our community -- from battling the HIV and AIDS epidemic, to advancing global equality and much more. We’ve also incorporated  a D.C.-based field trip that focuses on LGBTQ and other civil rights issues with visits to institutions such as the African American Civil War Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

All interns will also receive stipends beginning with our summer 2020 session.  We encourage a wide, talented pool of leaders -- present and future -- to join us!

Apply now for an internship with HRC and help us make change as part of our equality movement. We are currently accepting applications for summer 2020. The priority deadline is Friday, February 21 at midnight - apply today! 


#AM_Equality Tipsheet: February 4, 2020

Tue, 02/04/2020 - 09:56

VIRGINIA HOUSE PASSES BILL TO PROTECT LGBTQ YOUTH FROM SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY”: The bill has bipartisan support, and could lead to Virginia becoming the 20th state, alongside DC and Puerto Rico, to enact laws or regulations protecting youth from this harmful practice. More from WAVY.

HRC SVP AND (MORE IMPORTANTLY) IOWA NATIVE JODEE WINTERHOF WAS ON THE GROUND IN HER HOME STATE TALKING TO VOTERS, HANDING OUT COOKIES FOR EQUALITY: Winterhof (@JoDeelive), senior VP for policy and political affairs, hit the streets of Des Moines to encourage caucus-goers to support equality. More here. 

  • Read more about how HRC is working to harness the power of LGBTQ and equality voters in Iowa and other early primary and caucus voting states in this John Riley (@JohnAndresRiley) piece for Metro Weekly. 

“This is how we will change things in this country.” - @RepCindyAxne

Iowans, make your voices heard today. And pro-equality voters everywhere, find what you need to vote in your primary or caucus at https://t.co/TlHI8DjGud. #IowaCaucuses #IACaucus pic.twitter.com/hPgXRI1bnC

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

TUESDAY TWEET -- OUT MAGAZINE EDITOR RAQUEL WILLIS (@RaquelWillis_) MARKS BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH A TWITTER THREAD HONORING BLACK LGBTQ CHANGEMAKERS: Read the powerful thread here

THREAD: Black queer and trans folks are making history every day. Give us our flowers. #BlackHistoryMonth pic.twitter.com/JLwXW86DXq

— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) February 2, 2020

ICYMI -- MEET HRC FOUNDATION’S 2020 CLASS OF YOUTH AMBASSADORS: The new class includes Nicole Talbot, 18, a musical theater actress with Broadway aspirations who is a passionate advocate for transgender youth and for the rights of transgender people in her home state of Massachusetts and nationally, and Gia Parr, 15, a high school student in Connecticut who is shifting the conversation around gender by being a model of positivity and achievement. Read more about them at Wicked Local Beverly and Hamlet Hub

NEW HOUSING IN GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN, TO OPEN FOR LGBTQ YOUTH: Five community groups are joining together to open the Union House to support LGBTQ youth who are experiencing homelessness. More from Brian McVicar (@GRMcVicar) at MLive

HRC MOURNS JUDGE DEBORAH BATTS, FIRST OPENLY GAY FEDERAL JUDGE: “Saddened to hear of the passing of Deborah Batts, a giant of the legal community who blazed new trails for justice and equality,” said HRC President Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid). “This is a major loss for our judiciary and our movement. Sending my deepest condolences to Judge Batts’ loved ones.” More from The Associated Press and The New York Times.

GET CULTURED - Entertainment, arts and sports news!

LOS ANGELES FEATURES AWESOME NEW BILLBOARD OF SCHITT’S CREEK CHARACTERS DAVID ROSE AND PATRICK BREWER: Dan Levy (@danjlevy), who stars as David Rose, will be honored next month with the HRC Visibility Award alongside Janelle Monáe (@JanelleMonae) at the 2020 HRC Los Angeles Dinner. More from Brandon Voss (@BrandonVoss) at NewNowNext

LA! �� 7677 Sunset Boulevard, if you want to grab a selfie (and send it our way!) https://t.co/AoOgGf0jHV

— Schitt's Creek (@SchittsCreek) December 18, 2019

THE ADVOCATE SITS DOWN WITH OPENLY BISEXUAL NFL ATHLETE RYAN RUSSELL: In the interview with Diane Anderson Minshal (@DeliciousDiane), Russell (@RKRelentless) reflects on his NFL career, coming out and what’s next. Read more here

It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and I’m rooting for inclusivity! Thank you to @TheAdvocateMag for this fantastic exclusive being released at such a crucial time in football and on Black History Month. Sports, at its root, is about family and working together to reach a common goal. pic.twitter.com/O3MUFlbZBf

— R.K. Russell (@RKRelentless) February 2, 2020

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH RELEASES REPORT DETAILING TANZANIAN GOVERNMENT’S CRACKDOWN ON THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY: Read the full report here

SAME-SEX COUPLE ATTACKED AT TRAIN STATION IN KILDARE, IRELAND: The attack is currently being treated as a hate crime. More from The Irish Post (warning -- disturbing descriptions of attack at link.)

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break!
Cosmopolitan recommends five queer movies and shows; NBC Out looks at the rise of LGBTQ-inclusive sober spaces

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!


What You Need To Know About The ERA

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 11:20

Post submitted by Ryan Carey-Mahoney Senior Writer, Online Strategy

Over the last few weeks, you may have heard the words “Equal Rights Amendment” more than you ever have before -- and for good reason. 

The Virginia General Assembly recently ratified the amendment and took a step forward in affirming the importance of equality under the law. Since this historic moment has been almost a century in the making, here’s a breakdown of what’s happening and where we’ll go from here.

What is the Equal Rights Amendment?

This proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution seeks to guarantee the equal legal rights of all Americans, regardless of their sex. First introduced in the early 1920s, the ERA has pushed forward slowly -- passing out of Congress in 1972 and ratified by the required 38 states over the subsequent decades that followed. 

In order to make it an official amendment, legislatures in three-fourths of the states need to ratify it. Of the 38 states required, 35 ratified it in the five years after it passed out of Congress -- and three (Nevada, Illinois and Virginia) more ratified it from 2017 to today. 

So, it passes?

While the ERA has hit the 38-state threshold, adoption of the amendment isn’t quite that simple. 

Opponents of the ERA argue that the deadline set by Congress expired in 1982 before three-fourths of the states ratified it. There are also questions of whether states can rescind their ratification as some have tried to do. Yet, those who support the ERA are pushing forward and calling for its adoption, as all required thresholds were met.

As of now, there are federal lawsuits representing both sides of this argument. 

Why is Virginia so important? 

Well, for a myriad of reasons. The most obvious, of course, is that it is the 38th state to ratify the ERA but that’s not all. Last year, the Human Rights Campaign and other incredible advocates and state leaders on the ground worked to flip the state legislature -- and succeeded! 

Because of our work to elect a pro-equality majority in both chambers, we are seeing equality being pushed forward on a national scale with the ERA, and statewide with key legislation.

What else is going on in Virginia? 

As you read this, the Virginia General Assembly is weighing several pro-equality bills.  This includes the Virginia Values Act (SB868/HB1663), which would provide comprehensive non-

discrimination protections for LGBTQ people and expand protections for all Virginians.

Should the Virginia Values Act become law, Virginia will be the first state in the south to have non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. It will also be the first state in over a decade to add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing non-discrimination law, as well as the first state in 12 years to pass a public accommodations law (protecting all Virginians) from scratch.

HRC is working with leaders in the General Assembly and Virginians on the ground to get this passed before the state’s legislative session ends in early-March. Meanwhile, we’ll continue supporting work to advance the ERA and ensure it’s added to the Constitution. 

For more updates on key legislation like the ERA and the Virginia Values Act, text JOIN to 472472. We’ll keep you up-to-date on key legislation in your area and breaking LGBTQ news. 


#AM_Equality Tipsheet: February 3, 2020

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 10:08

HRC MARKS BLACK HISTORY MONTH AND CELEBRATES BLACK LGBTQ LEADERS: “Black LGBTQ people were key leaders in the civil rights movement, and Black leaders have been at the forefront of the struggle for LGBTQ equality from the very start,” said HRC President Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid). “At this juncture in our ongoing struggle to realize America’s promise of equality and justice for all, we know that our work is not complete until the most marginalized within our LGBTQ community have achieved equality.” More from HRC

For #BlackHistoryMonth, @HRC is lifting up the history of Black leadership within the LGBTQ community and highlighting a new generation of Black leaders who are fighting violence, discrimination and injustice to build a brighter, more inclusive and healthier future for all. pic.twitter.com/e1tSYhbzXR

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

HRC TO HONOR ACTOR AND PLAYWRIGHT LIV HEWSON (@livhewson) AT 2020 AUSTIN GALA DINNER: “As an actor and playwright, Liv has been an outspoken advocate on uplifting and including LGBTQ voices and narratives. Through their versatile representation as a non-binary person on and off the screen, they are moving LGBTQ visibility forward like never before,” said HRC President Alphonso David. More from HRC

BETSY DEVOS & DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION FORCE OUT EMPLOYEE WHO RAISED CONCERNS OVER ANTI-LGBTQ ACTIONS: The employee had raised serious concerns over the department expediting complaints against trans students participating in sports. “It is unconscionable that DeVos and her top officials are seeking to expedite bias driven and legally specious complaints against the inclusion and welfare of trans students,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “It is imperative this behavior be held accountable and that no student, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, be attacked or feel unwelcome in their school.” Read more from HuffPost

MUST-WATCH MONDAY -- SOUTH DAKOTA MUST REJECT ANTI-TRANSGENDER BILL: The bill would bar transgender youth and their parents from making decisions about their medical care, and allow the state to arrest and imprison doctors providing care for trans and gender non-conforming youth. Watch here

  • On Friday, HRC released a new survey showing that a majority of South Dakota voters do not support anti-transgender legislation: See the full results here

Medical decisions should be made with doctors and families, not hateful politicians.

Extreme South Dakota Rep. Fred Deutsch and his cronies are peddling bogus, harmful claims about trans people. #SDLeg #HB1057 pic.twitter.com/gcnJe4gR56

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

UTAH’S ACTION TO PROTECT LGBTQ YOUTH FROM SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY” COULD PAVE WAY FOR SIMILAR STATES TO DO SAME: More from Vox

CHAMPIONS AND TRAILBLAZERS SHINE FOR EQUALITY AT 2020 HRC NEW YORK GALA: At this year’s gala, the honorees included Naomi Campbell (@NaomiCampbell), Kristin Chenoweth (@KChenoweth), Jeremy O. Harris (@jeremyoharris) and Matthew Lopez. More from HRC and Instinct Magazine.

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) announced at the HRC gala that a state park in Brooklyn will be named after trailblazing LGBTQ icon and Black trans activist Marsha P. Johnson. “My goal has been to make New York State the leading champion in the nation for the LGBTQ community, to be the state that ended discrimination, bias, tolerance, and jugmentalism against members of the LGBTQ community,” said Cuomo. More from LGBTQ Nation, New York Daily News and NBC

I love you, New York. So good to be home for my first Greater New York Gala as @HRC President & to share the stage with so many champions & trailblazers, including @NaomiCampbell, @KChenoweth, Matthew Lopez, @jeremyoharris, @NYGovCuomo, @SenSchumer & more. pic.twitter.com/Z4M44J7Ygp

— Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) February 2, 2020

ATLANTA RELEASES REPORT ON LGBTQ INCLUSION IN THE CITY: More from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

GET CULTURED - Entertainment, arts and sports news!

BILLY PORTER (@theebillyporter) TO GUEST STAR IN UPCOMING EPISODE OF SESAME STREET: More from Out Magazine

DEMI LOVATO OPENS UP ABOUT COMING OUT TO HER PARENTS AS BISEXUAL: More from Seventeen

KATIE SOWERS (@KatieSowers), LIL NAS X (@LilNasX) AND DRAG QUEENS -- SUPER BOWL 2020 MAKES HISTORY WITH LGBTQ VISIBILITY: Super Bowl 2020 shone with historic LGBTQ inclusion and visibility, including Katie Sowers’ trailblazing role as the first woman and openly LGBTQ coach in the game’s history. More from Washington Blade and Outsports.  

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

AGENCY REJECTS SAME-SEX COUPLE’S FOSTER CARE APPLICATION, DEFYING CROATIAN COURT RULING: Read more from Total Croatia News

“IT WAS A SYMBOL THAT I FINALLY KNEW WHO I WAS”: Transgender people talk about how coffee shops have become affirming spaces for names and identities. More from BBC

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break!

Melissa A. Fabello (@fyeahmfabello) writes for SELF on what identifying as bisexual means to her

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 to Honor Liv Hewson with the Visibility Award at the 2020 HRC Austin Gala Dinner

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 09:32

Today, HRC announced that actor and playwright Liv Hewson will be honored with the HRC Visibility Award at the 2020 HRC Austin Gala Dinner on Saturday, February 8 at the JW Marriott.

“Liv Hewson is a dynamic actor and rising LGBTQ star,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “As an actor and playwright, Liv has been an outspoken advocate on uplifting and including LGBTQ voices and narratives. Through their versatile representation as a non-binary person on and off the screen, they are moving LGBTQ visibility forward like never before. We are incredibly excited to honor Liv Hewson with the HRC Visibility Award at the 2020 HRC Austin Gala Dinner.”

Actor Liv Hewson has been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ representation, often sharing their own experience as a non-binary person. “There just isn’t one way to be non-binary,” said Hewson to Gay Star News. “There isn’t one way to play around with gender and there’s no wrong way to look and be non-binary.”

Liv Hewson is best known for their role alongside Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie in Jay Roach’s gripping drama Bombshell. Lionsgate released the film in December 2019 to widespread critical acclaim and awards attention. Most recently, Hewson starred in a queer role on Netflix’s Let It Snow, based on the popular young adult novel of the same name by best-selling authors John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. They also previously starred opposite Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant in Netflixʼs hit comedy series, Santa Clarita Diet. The series ran for three critically acclaimed seasons and garnered considerable praise for Hewson’s breakout performance as Abby, the headstrong daughter of newly zombified Sheila (Barrymore) and Joel (Olyphant). Liv’s television presence also includes Australian mini-series Homecoming Queens; the second season of Jane Campion’s critically acclaimed crime-drama Top of the Lake: China Girl opposite Elisabeth Moss and Nicole Kidman; Marvel’s Inhuman; and the 2016 Viki series Dramaworld. Hewson’s on-screen credits also include Puzzle, which was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, as well as the big screen adaptation of the bestselling young adult novel Before I Fall, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. 

Set to take place at the JW Marriott, the 2020 HRC Austin Gala Dinner brings together HRC’s most active members and supporters in the greater Austin area to raise crucial funds in the fight for LGBTQ equality. Tickets and further information are available at https://www.hrc.org/events/hrc-austin-gala.


HRC President Alphonso David Delivers Remarks at the HRC Greater New York Gala

Sat, 02/01/2020 - 11:36

“Phonso, don’t put your hand where your hand can’t reach, but never forget to dream?”

Those were the words of my mother, who passed away 6 years ago.

I can hear those words as if it were yesterday. The cadence of her voice communicating love, caution and wisdom.

Those words have been etched in my memory, etched in my consciousness since I was a child.

They are as vibrant a memory as my first birthday party, my acceptance into law school and the day I came out as a gay man.

Her words became a motto for the reality of life and for the power of dreams.

My mother understood the challenges we face globally as people of color — from indifference in some parts of the world to overcoming the shackles of colonization.    

She understood the challenges we face in this country as immigrants — from fraudulent immigration service providers to readjusting to a new station in life that does not resemble anything you know.

But she also understood (with all of her being) the power of faith, the power of manifestation, and the power of determination to affect change.

To my family, friends, colleagues and allies here in New York, my hometown . . . 

Thank you for exercising courage in fighting for change, thank you for not wavering to pressure, thank you for all of your support over the years. 

Tonight, I come before you asking you to trust (like never before) in the power of faith, in the power of manifestation and in the power of determination.

In 2 days the Iowa caucuses take place. In 163 days is the start of the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee. In 276 days is Election Day. These are facts — they cannot be disputed or labeled as “fake news.” This is real.

These dates serve as keys to our future.  They also highlight a sobering reality — time is limited.  Each day that passes is another day closer to the most important election of our lives, and perhaps in our nation’s history. The outcome of this election will truly determine the future of our democracy and the rule of law, and we cannot take a single moment for granted.

We know how high the stakes are. Over the past three years, we have witnessed an onslaught of attacks on our Constitution and Bill of Rights by a president who has never read either of them. From day one, Donald Trump has chipped away at the principles that have guided this nation since its founding. 

He has emboldened hate groups and white supremacists. He has embraced brutal dictators and alienated our allies. He has undermined the rule of law and stacked the courts with grossly unqualified judges. He has torn families apart at the border and tried to define some of us as less American than others based on our religion or the color of our skin. He has sought a license to discriminate and attacked transgender troops and transgender students. He has waged war on the truth, while bringing us to the brink of war in the Middle East.

There is a death blow threatening the soul of our country, and we cannot allow darkness to win.  We cannot allow our Constitution to become meaningless. We must be the radiation and sunlight that our country needs right now.  We must stand up, we must organize and we must fight back to ensure all of us are treated equally under the law.

This year, we must mobilize our community to be the change this moment in our history demands. We must mobilize every person who we know, and we must be willing to dedicate our time and our resources to engage others who we may not know. At the core of our work this year is protecting the right to vote. As we approach the most important election of our lives, we must all fight against voter suppression efforts, and against the erosion of our democracy. We see it with offensive gender marker and document requirements, we see it with misleading polling information and we see it with onerous registration processes. We cannot win this or any future election, if we do not address the fact that many voters are being denied their constitutional right to vote. 

Which is why the Human Rights Campaign is partnering with Stacey Abrams and her organization Fair Fight. With this partnership, we are working to combat voter suppression efforts which all too often target members of the LGBTQ community, including people of color, young people, and transgender people. When we remove the barriers to register and to vote, we can elect pro-equality candidates across this country to protect the rights of all of us.  We can also elect a pro-equality Senate that will follow the House’s lead and pass the Equality Act, and we can elect a president who will sign it into law.

And as we fight to elect pro-equality public officials into office, we must also fight against the forces that further marginalize our community.  We must do everything in our power to end an epidemic of violence that claimed the lives of more than 150 transgender people – nearly all of them Black trans women – over the past several years. We have launched a new Transgender Justice Initiative, we have hired a director to manage the program nationally, and we are working with local activists and advocates who have been doing this work for decades to provide additional support, advance programs and ultimately change systems to drive long-term change. We cannot ignore the plight facing any member of our community.

As we combat all forces that marginalize our community, we will also fight in the courts to balance the scales.  We can never lose sight of how central the judiciary has been in our struggle for equality and in protecting the disenfranchised and the marginalized. That is why we are expanding our legal footprint to do impact litigation work. Working with all of our movement partners, we are going to advance cases both domestically and internationally.  We must see the young white man in Oklahoma with the same eyes as the young black girl in Nigeria. Equality is our goal, and we can never forget that equality (in order to grow and survive) must extend beyond our own borders. Equality is just as contagious as populism, if we work to advance it.  

As an example, we are transforming the workplace for LGBTQ people throughout this country using the Corporate Equality Index.  The measure of success for business is often viewed through a lens of return on investment. Just as meaningful however, is creating inclusive work spaces for employees to show up, produce and excel. Consider this: when we launched the Corporate Equality Index in 2002, only 61% of Fortune 500 companies in the United States had sexual orientation protections and only 3% had gender identity protections. Today, those numbers are 93% for sexual orientation and 91% for gender identity respectively. In 2002, just 13 companies scored top marks on the corporate equality index. This year, we have a record-breaking 686 companies receiving top marks, some of whom are in the room tonight.  We are going to build on this success and expand its reach, while recognizing that far too many members of our family are still fighting for access to and visibility in the workplace.  

Since I took the helm of the Human Rights Campaign, we have entered a new chapter in the history of this organization, as we deepen our partnerships and expand our footprint. 

All of you here tonight have devoted your time and resources to attend this event.  Some of you have been supporting this effort for years and in some cases for decades. I want to thank you all for continuing to support our work — our quest for full equality. But I also want to challenge all of us to engage others who are not here and help create transformational change.  

We cannot continue to engage in convenient illusions.  This is the time to break free of the comforts of our own worlds, venture into new spaces and challenge our understanding of what it means to fight for full equality.  I know it can be scary, but this is New York and nothing ever scares New Yorkers (well except giant rats, bad pizza, and scary fashion). But seriously, I know you have it in you and we have it in us as a nation.  And I know from the bottom of my heart that we must engage in a new way to win and create the equality we profess to want. We must see beyond ourselves. We must see beyond the policy issues we care about most. We must see beyond the tax benefits and personality contests. We must see beyond the attack ads and one liners. Contrary to what some pundits are peddling, economic success and social progress are not mutually exclusive. We need both.  But without social progress, we are nothing but machines. We must see this election for what it really is – a battle for the soul of our country.  

And as I stand before you as the first person of color to lead the Human Rights Campaign in its history, I promise you that I will fight as hard and as long as necessary to make the dream of full equality a reality for all of us.

As I wake up every day to fight for change, and break down barriers in this state and across the country…

I am fighting for you the black transgender woman who is struggling to survive violence and indifference.

I am fighting for you the lesbian executive who is pushing uphill to break through that glass ceiling.

I am fighting for you the Latinx bi-sexual immigrant who is living under a barrage of attacks from this federal administration.

I am fighting for you the young white gay man who faces indifference when trying to create a family.

I am fighting for you the LGBTQ ally who stands with us because you understand that if one of us is attacked for who we are, we are all attacked.

Throughout our history, we have had to fight to ensure our founding principles are fully realized. 

When our relationships were criminalized, we had to fight.

When we were denied custody of our children because of who we are, we had to fight.

When our very being was deemed a sickness, we had to fight.

And by organizing and mobilizing, by speaking our truth and exercising our political muscle, we didn’t just change hearts and minds – we changed a nation and the world.

As we enter a new decade, we have an opportunity to fully realize who we are as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. And we must ask ourselves, will we allow this decade to define us, or will we define this decade?  

Are you willing to smile at fear?  Are you willing to tackle fear?

I say, let’s expand our horizons.  Let’s move beyond the normal to the extraordinary.  Let’s be daring. Let’s ride the waves of life with enthusiasm, passion and freedom in our hearts, not for some of us but for all of us.  Open our arms wide and receive the opportunities that life is presenting us. Let’s engage and see clearly and see beyond ourselves. Let’s all engage in the power of manifestation and determination that I learned so many years ago in Liberia.  Our destiny awaits us. Let’s skip towards it. As the prophetic activist Beah Richards once said:  

Today is ours. Let’s live it.

Love is strong. Let’s give it.

A song can help. Let’s sing it.

Peace is dear. Let’s bring it.

The past is gone. Don’t rue it.

Our work is here. Let’s do it.

Our world is wrong.  Let’s right it.

The battle hard. Let’s fight it.

The road is rough. Let’s clear it.

The future vast. Don’t fear it.

Is faith asleep? Let’s wake it.

Today is ours. Let’s take it.

Let’s take it for you, let’s take it for us and let’s take it for the next generation yet to come.

Thank you, New York!


HRC Marks Black History Month and Celebrates Black LGBTQ Leaders

Sat, 02/01/2020 - 08:00

Today, HRC marked the beginning of Black History Month — and a celebration of the long history of Black leadership in the LGBTQ movement, including the ways in which Black LGBTQ and allied trailblazers have been and remain at the center of the fight for equality. 

“As we mark the beginning of Black History Month, we celebrate those who made enormous sacrifices in their own lives to blaze a trail toward greater freedom and equality. At the same time, we must also confront the barriers that continue to exist for Black people and Black LGBTQ people,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “Black LGBTQ people were key leaders in the civil rights movement, and Black leaders have been at the forefront of the struggle for LGBTQ equality from the very start. At this juncture in our ongoing struggle to realize America’s promise of equality and justice for all, we know that our work is not complete until the most marginalized within our LGBTQ community have achieved equality. This Black History Month and beyond, let us celebrate our progress, let us be inspired by our history and let us recommit to the work ahead.”

Throughout this month, HRC will lift up the history of Black leadership within the LGBTQ community and highlight a new generation of Black leaders who are fighting violence, discrimination and injustice and building a brighter, more inclusive and healthier future for all. 

On February 7 in honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, HRC’s HIV and Health Equity team is hosting an event at HRC’s D.C. headquarters with author and activist George Johnson, The Body editor Kenyon Farrow and journalist and LGBTQ advocate Emil Wilbekin for a discussion about health, faith and relationships in the Black LGBTQ community. Joining the conversation will be J. Maurice McCants-Pearsall, director of HRC’s HIV and Health Equity Program, Tori Cooper, director of Community Engagement for HRC’s Transgender Justice Initiative and Michael Vazquez, director of HRC’s Religion and Faith Program. Those interested in this event may RSVP here:  hrc.im/HRCVoices.

In a recent op-ed in USA Today, David wrote, “racial equity and inclusion cannot simply be a sliver of our work — it must be the core of our work.” Building on HRC’s 40-year history in the fight for equal justice and opportunity, HRC is committed to ensuring that the organization is living into its principles on racial equity and inclusion and delivering on our mission of achieving full equality for all. 

That fight to protect and uplift LGBTQ people of color must include intensifying efforts to address major health and safety injustices the community faces — from the disproportionate impact of HIV and AIDS on people of color, particularly Black and Latinx LGBTQ people, to the epidemic of violence targeting the LGBTQ community, especially Black transgender women.

  • One in two gay and bisexual Black cisgender men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime, and almost half of Black transgender women in the U.S. are living with HIV. 
  • In the United States in 2019 alone, at least 25 transgender and gender non-conforming people, mostly Black transgender women, died due to fatal violence.

To address these injustices, HRC has deepened its efforts around combating the HIV and AIDS epidemic, and recently launched the Transgender Justice Initiative, which is informed, built and led by transgender and non-binary people. The initiative will advance new HRC projects and resources that address the urgent needs of the transgender and non-binary community. 

HRC is also working to protect one of the most fundamental rights of our democracy — the right to vote. Ahead of the critically important upcoming 2020 election, HRC and Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight are partnering to help combat voter suppression — which all too often target members of the LGBTQ community, including people of color. This partnership is bringing together the organizations’ expertise in voter protection and voter mobilization to ensure fair and open elections in 2020 and beyond.


#AM_Equality Tipsheet: January 31, 2020

Fri, 01/31/2020 - 09:52

HRC TO HONOR ACTRESS JAMIE CLAYTON, TEACHER SAM LONG AT 7th ANNUAL TIME TO THRIVE CONFERENCE: Singer and songwriter Shea Diamond will also perform at the Feb. 14 opening event, and U.S. Congresswomen Angie Craig (D-Minn.) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) will be featured speakers. Clayton stars as Tess Van De Berg in Showtime’s “The L Word: Generation Q,” and her authentic performances have resonated with audiences, especially LGBTQ youth, throughout her acting career. Sam Long, a biology teacher at Standley Lake High School in Westminster, Colorado, is the co-founder of Colorado Transgender/Nonbinary Educators Network. Sam’s presence in the classroom as an openly transgender teacher, along with his advocacy work, sets an example for LGBTQ youth everywhere. Read more from HRC

Joining us at our #TimeToTHRIVE Conference in February:

��@msjamieclayton, Upstander Award honoree
��‍��@samlong713, Upstander Award honoree
��@iamsheadiamond, Performer
��️@RepAngieCraig, Special guest speaker
��️Del. @eleanornorton, Special guest speakerhttps://t.co/cd0tXN8Iy0

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

MAJOR ORGS DEDICATED TO THE WELL-BEING OF CHILDREN & FAMILIES SEND LETTER TO TENN. GOV OPPOSING STATE’S ANTI-LGBTQ LEGISLATION: It allows child welfare organizations to turn away qualified Tennesseans seeking to care for a child in need, including LGBTQ couples, interfaith couples, single parents, married couples in which one prospective parent has previously been divorced or other parents to whom the agency has a religious objection. The bill was signed into law by Tenn. Governor Bill Lee. Read the full letter here

1/ Five major nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations dedicated to ensuring the safety, permanency and well-being for children and families that are connected to adoption and foster care are calling out @GovBillLee for signing #HB836 into law. #tnleg https://t.co/sMKkcsr8wR pic.twitter.com/28Ete4ofty

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) January 30, 2020

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY -- LOVE WINS! COUPLE WHO MET WHILE INTERNING AT HRC ARE ENGAGED:

Congratulations Rachel and Shannon! ���� https://t.co/lzN30w0nGG

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) January 30, 2020

HRC INVESTS ACROSS NEVADA WITH FIRST-EVER CAUCUS ORGANIZERS: “Our biggest priorities are voter turnout, voter education and voter recruitment,” said HRC Nevada State Director Briana Escamilla (@escamillabriana). Read more from The Nevada Independent

AN IOWA BILL THAT WOULD HAVE REMOVED DISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS FOR TRANSGENDER PEOPLE HAS DIED IN COMMITTEE: Read more from KCRG

CHICAGO TRIBUNE ANALYSIS FINDS THAT REPORTED HATE CRIMES ARE ON THE RISE IN CHICAGO, INCLUDING THOSE TARGETING LGBTQ PEOPLE: “LGBT people have been the target of more reported hate crimes than any group in Chicago over the last eight years: 159,” writes reporter Dan Hinkel (@dhinkel). “That also was true [in 2019]. The 29 alleged crimes reported as of mid-November nearly doubled the 16 reported in 2018.” Read the full analysis here

THERE HAVE STILL BEEN NO ARRESTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE DEATH OF DUSTIN PARKER: He was killed on New Year’s Eve in Oklahoma. More from KTUL

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

STONEWALL RELEASES INDEX OF TOP LGBTQ-INCLUSIVE EMPLOYERS IN THE U.K.: More from Forbes

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break!

NBC Out reports on LGBTQ representation in this year’s Super Bowl commercials 

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 to Honor Actress Jamie Clayton, Teacher Sam Long at Time to THRIVE Conference

Fri, 01/31/2020 - 08:00

Today, HRC announced it will honor actress Jamie Clayton and Winchester, Colorado, high school biology teacher Sam Long during the organization’s seventh annual Time to THRIVE Conference, held February 14-16 at the Renaissance D.C. Downtown Hotel in Washington, D.C. Singer and songwriter Shea Diamond will perform at the Feb. 14 opening event, and U.S. Congresswomen Angie Craig (D-Minn.) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) will speak at the conference.

Jamie Clayton is an actress who currently stars as Tess Van De Berg in Showtime’s “The L Word: Generation Q”. She is also known for her roles on two Netflix Original Series, Nomi Marks on “Sense8” and Sasha Booker on “Designated Survivor.” Clayton’s authentic performances have resonated with audiences, especially LGBTQ youth, throughout her acting career. In 2011, she was honored as one of Out magazine’s “Out 100.”

“Jamie Clayton has been blazing trails as an openly transgender actress with her exceptional work on ‘Sense8’ and ‘The L Word,’” said HRC President Alphonso David. “Her portrayal of transgender characters has given LGBTQ youth, especially transgender youth, someone to look up to and aspire to be. Jamie continues to inspire us through her visibility and willingness to speak out on behalf of LGBTQ youth everywhere, and we are proud to honor her at Time to THRIVE.”

Sam Long, a biology teacher at Standley Lake High School in Westminster, Colorado, is the co-founder of Colorado Transgender/Nonbinary Educators Network. The community-organizing group works to support  transgender and non-binary teachers and others working in the education system. Sam’s presence in the classroom as an openly transgender teacher, along with his advocacy work, sets an example for LGBTQ youth everywhere.

“Sam Long perfectly represents the values that Time to THRIVE stands for, and we’re thrilled to be honoring him at this year’s conference,” said David. “The conference was founded to provide training and resources to educators and other youth-service providers across the country, ensuring that they have the tools they need to teach and serve all youth. That’s exactly what Sam does every day in the classroom and beyond.”

Singer, songwriter and advocate Shea Diamond released her debut EP “Seen It All” through Asylum Records in 2018 and that same year performed at HRC’s National Dinner, and multiple HRC events across the country. A proud Black transgender woman from the South, she also participated in HRC’s Americans for the Equality Act video series last spring, which featured actors, athletes, influencers and musicians calling on Congress to advance the Equality Act.

“Shea Diamond’s powerful story and message of resilience and hope resonates with LGBTQ youth across the country,” said David. “Through her music, Shea uses her voice to amplify the experiences of her community, and to assert a truth that everyone needs to hear: that we all deserve our piece of the American Pie. We are so excited to welcome Shea at this year’s Time to THRIVE.”

In 2018, Congresswoman Angie Craig made history as the first openly lesbian and LGBTQ congressperson elected from Minnesota. Since her election, Craig has supported the Equality Act and has been a strong voice for the rights of all LGBTQ people. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has been a voice for equality since her election in 1991, championing protections for the LGBTQ community in Washington, D.C. Norton has also met with Black transgender activists to hear and respond to their concerns about the rise in violence against Black transgender women in D.C.

“Congresswomen Craig and Norton are key advocates for LGBTQ equality in the U.S. House of Representatives,” said David. “When LGBTQ youth hear from these leaders at Time to THRIVE, they will see the strength of their support in Congress and beyond. We are thrilled to welcome both of these strong and inspiring women to Time to THRIVE.”

HRC’s Time to THRIVE Conference is the premier event to promote safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ and questioning youth. The event brings together a wide range of youth-serving professionals to discuss best practices for working with and caring for LGBTQ youth and their families in schools, community centers, health care settings and beyond. It is co-presented by the National Education Association and the American Counseling Association. BBVA Compass, AT&T and Toyota are presenting sponsors of the event.

The Time to THRIVE Conference features 65 workshops by more than 45 national and grassroots organizations dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ youth. HRC’s Youth Ambassadors will also be featured at the conference. Additional speakers and honorees will be announced at a later date. To register, visit www.TimeToTHRIVE.org.


#AM_Equality Tipsheet: January 30, 2020

Thu, 01/30/2020 - 10:00

HRC RELEASES ANNUAL STATE EQUALITY INDEX RATINGS: Seventeen states and Washington, D.C., earned top honors, setting the standard for state LGBTQ-inclusive laws and policies. “As LGBTQ people continue to face an onslaught of attacks from the federal administration in Washington, the Human Rights Campaign’s 2019 State Equality Index (SEI) documents how states were instrumental in advancing equality through pro-LGBTQ legislation, policies and proposals,” said HRC President Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid). “In the absence of federal non-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community, states must put policies in place to ensure equality for their residents, workers and visitors. In 2020 and beyond, HRC will continue to work with our partners to defeat anti-LGBTQ legislation in the states and secure new protections for our community, both at the state and federal level.” More at HRC

.@HRC Foundation and @EqualityFed released our 2019 State Equality Index — a comprehensive report that assess how well states protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. #StateOfEquality https://t.co/KOGfraJfJ8

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) January 30, 2020

VIRGINIA SENATE COMMITTEE PASSES “VIRGINIA VALUES ACT”: The bill would modernize Virginia's existing human rights laws and provide nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in public employment and housing, as well as create new nondiscrimination protections in private employment and public accommodations for all Virginians. More from HRC

�� UPDATE: The Virginia Values Act just passed Senate committee. Next stop: Senate floor!

Right now, LGBTQ Virginians are not explicitly protected from discrimination under state law but we’re working to change that. https://t.co/rVTOdfn2Hx pic.twitter.com/1xhnQTzlcE

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) January 29, 2020

LEGISLATURES ACROSS THE U.S. ARE INTRODUCING LEGISLATION TO DENY CARE FOR TRANSGENDER PEOPLE UNDER AGE 18: “The anti-trans fight has moved from bathroom access to legislating over children’s bodies. With so many bills in process, LGBTQ advocates worry that the passage of one could trigger passage of the rest, casting the progress of trans children back at least half a century,” writes Katelyn Burns (@transscribe) for Vox. Read the full piece here

  • The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) & its U.S. chapter have issued a statement opposing this and similar bills filed in at least 11 states. Read their statement here
  • Last night, the South Dakota House passed its version of this discriminatory anti-transgender legislation. The bill would bar transgender youth and their parents from making decisions about their medical care, and allow the state to arrest and imprison doctors providing care for trans and gender non-conforming youth. More from HRC

These anti-trans politicians want to discriminate against transgender & gender non-conforming South Dakotans, full stop. If HB1057 becomes law it will send a devastating message to trans youth. We implore the Senate to reject this harmful legislation. https://t.co/14dizt2zc0

— Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) January 29, 2020

THANKFUL THURSDAY -- COMING OUT GUIDE FOR ASIAN AMERICANS AND PACIFIC ISLANDERS HAS BEEN TRANSLATED TO VIETNAMESE, SIMPLIFIED CHINESE, KOREAN & JAPANESE: There is no universal coming out experience that all LGBTQ API Americans share, but many report similar challenges during the process. Read more from HRC and NBC Out

As a queer Asian immigrant, I came out in 2008 in English & then again in 2018 in Vietnamese.

These new resources by @NQAPIA +@HRC -- in Simplified Chinese, Korean, Japanese, & Vietnamese -- would have greatly supported my coming out journey.https://t.co/7VN5w2N3wO

— Viet Tran (@viethoaitran) January 27, 2020

PHILLY OFFICE OF LGBT AFFAIRS (@PhillyLGBTgov) NAMES CELENA MORRISON AS NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: More from Philadelphia Gay News

NYC POLICE MAKE ARREST IN CONNECTION WITH THE ASSAULT OF A TRANSGENDER WOMAN, SERENA DANIARI, ON A SUBWAY TRAIN: Read more from NBC Out (warning -- upsetting descriptions and video at link). 

ORLANDO COMMUNITY MOURNS LONG-TIME LGBTQ ADVOCATE TERRY DECARLO, WHO DIED EARLIER THIS WEEK: More from WMFE and Ari Shapiro (@arishapiro) at NPR

GREENVILLE, S.C., PASSES LGBTQ-INCLUSIVE HATE CRIMES ORDINANCE: More from Greenville Journal

GET CULTURED - Entertainment, arts and sports news!

CHRIS MOSIER CONTINUES TO BREAK BARRIERS FOR TRANSGENDER ATHELES: Mosier (@TheChrisMosier) has become the first openly transgender athlete to “qualify for and participate in an Olympic trials in the gender with which he identifies,” writes Talya Minsberg (@tminsberg). Says Mosier: “For me, it’s all about making a pathway for all the trans athletes that come after me.” Read the full interview from The New York Times

History. �� pic.twitter.com/HB0QbonBBw

— The Chris Mosier (@TheChrisMosier) January 25, 2020

 GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

HUNGARIAN CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP SPEAKS OUT AGAINST INCREASED GOVERNMENT ATTACKS ON THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY: More from Openly and HRC

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break!

Forbes reports on new emojis announced by Emojipedia, which include the trans flag!

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!


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