- August 17, 2016
TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN SHAKEUP ELEVATES STAFFERS WITH ANTI-EQUALITY RECORDS: Overnight, Donald Trump promoted two operatives who have a history of anti-equality activism. Steve Bannon, promoted to CEO of the Trump campaign, launched a vile smear against transgender people during a May interview with the American Family Association while he worked for Breitbart news. Bannon was attacking non-discrimination protections that ensure transgender people are able to use facilities that match their gender identity. Meanwhile, Kellyanne Conway, promoted to campaign manager, is a longtime pollster for the anti-LGBTQ National Organization for Marriage. Reminder: these positions are aligned with Trump, who has supported North Carolina’s HB2 and has committed to rolling back nationwide marriage equality. More here.
THANKS, OBAMA: Check out this terrific piece in The Washington Post chronicling President Obama’s historic legacy of advancing LGBTQ rights -- progress that would be put at risk under a Trump administration. It includes a video of the President dialing up marriage equality plaintiff Jim Obergefell from the Oval Office to congratulate him moments after the Supreme Court ruled that marriage is a fundamental right for all. HRC President Chad Griffin was with Jim on the other end of the call -- check out this snapshot (h/t @NRMorrow)! Read the inspiring story and watch the video here.
NAVAL SHIP NAMED AFTER LGBTQ RIGHTS PIONEER HARVEY MILK: At a ceremony yesterday in San Francisco, the U.S. Navy made history by naming a new Military Sealift Command ship after Harvey Milk, the former Navy diver and pioneer in the LGBTQ civil rights movement who was assassinated in 1978. In another historic first, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus selected transgender Navy veteran Paula Neira as a sponsor of the ship, along with U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “Harvey Milk was a pioneer in the fight for LGBTQ equality, and his legacy lives on through LGBTQ advocates around the word,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. More from HRC.
FREE SPEECH VICTORY FOR TENN. STUDENT IN PRO-LGBTQ T-SHIRT CASE: The Tennessean reports that the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN) has successfully settled a free speech lawsuit with Giles County school officials who had prohibited a student from wearing a T-shirt that read, “Some People Are Gay, Get Over It.” Said Thomas H. Castelli, ACLU-TN legal director: “This is a victory not just for one student’s right to free speech, but for all students in the Giles County school system.” The new school dress code no longer singles out one type of speech for censorship, according to the ACLU-TN. Read more about the case here.
SPEAKING OF T-SHIRTS: OLYMPIAN ROCKS HRC’S “MAKE AMERICA GAY AGAIN” TANK: U.S. Olympic gymnast Danell Leyva, who is taking home two silver medals from Rio, continues to show support for the LGBTQ community in a big way. Following the attack at Pulse Nightclub, Leyva recorded an instagram video calling out bigotry and sharing his support for the victims and survivors, all while rocking an HRC “Make America Gay Again” shirt. Watch here.
SNL NAMES FIRST OPENLY GAY LEAD WRITER: Chris Kelly will become Saturday Night Live’s first openly gay lead writer, the NBC show has announced. He’ll join Sarah Schneider, who will become SNL’s first female lead writer since 2008. Read more here.
FOUR WAYS EDUCATORS CAN SUPPORT LGBTQ YOUTH: As educators across the country prepare for the new school year, many LGBTQ students and those with LGBTQ families are wondering if they will be safe, seen, heard and represented at school this term. HRC’s Welcoming Schools program provides timely advice on how teachers and school staff can help ease these worries.
NEW STUDY REVEALS GAPS IN LGBTQ PEOPLE’S ACCESS TO FERTILITY SERVICES: A new study out of Boston University School of Medicine has found huge gaps in the accessibility of fertility services to LGBTQ people. More here.
LIGHTING THE WAY: A vacant store near the North Carolina’s State Capitol in Raleigh is making (light) waves in support of LGBTQ equality with a motion-sensitive LED display that lights up in rainbow colors when people walk by. Read more about the installation and its creator, and see video of the display here.
UKRAINIAN CITY HOSTS FIRST PRIDE MARCH: The city of Odessa in Ukraine held its first LGBTQ pride parade over the weekend, after organizers persuaded the police to sanction the march. The 50 participants encountered protesters, but police offered protection. More from Towleroad.
Congrats to all the winners of this year’s Association of LGBTQ Journalists’ 2016 Excellence in Journalism Awards!... Vice interviews Chris Mosier, the first trans athlete on Team USA… BuzzFeed reports on the politicians working to make it easier for trans teens to transition… The Guardian highlights the mass resignations from the Mormon Church over its anti-LGBTQ positions… OutSports highlights a new NBC video featuring Brazilian beach volleyball player Larissa Franca and her wife, Liliane Maestrini.