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HRC FOR HRC!: HRC President Chad Griffin and hundreds of HRC members and supporters joined former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday night in West Des Moines as she formally accepted the organization’s endorsement in the 2016 presidential race. In front of a packed crowd chanting her name, Clinton vowed to fight for full federal equality through passage of the Equality Act. Her robust agenda calls for ending the brutal practice of so-called “conversion therapy,” securing affordable treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS, and protecting transgender people from violence and discrimination. In introducing Secretary Clinton, HRC President Chad Griffin said, “We’ve come too far… We’ve fought too hard and accomplished too much to allow these pandering politicians to play with our rights, with our lives. And that’s why we need to mobilize and to organize, and to elect a new pro-equality champion to the White House who will fight for us each and every day.” See more from the event via The Des Moines Register, and watch full video of the rally and remarks here:


DES MOINES REGISTER ENDORSES CLINTON; DINGS RUBIO FOR OPPOSITION TO MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Saying that “no other candidate can match the depth or breadth of her knowledge and experience,” Iowa’s largest newspaper endorsed Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president. The endorsement notes that Clinton’s ability makes her uniquely qualified for the White House, saying, “Clinton has demonstrated that she is a thoughtful, hardworking public servant who has earned the respect of leaders at home and abroad. She stands ready to take on the most demanding job in the world.” On the Republican side, the paper endorsed Marco Rubio, but dinged him on his anti-LGBT statements, saying that his anti-marriage equality stance shows that “he wants to fight the battles of the past.”

JAZZ JENNINGS TO PUBLISH MEMOIR: Jazz Jennings, a transgender teen advocate and HRC Youth Ambassador, will be publishing a memoir about her experiences this summer. “I hope that my challenges and triumphs will resonate with readers of all ages, whether they are transgender or not,” she told TIME. Earlier this month, HRC organized more than a dozen public readings of I Am Jazz, a book co-authored by Jennings to educate younger children about trans youth, in libraries and schools across the nation. The nationwide effort was sparked after more than 600 people turned out for an I Am Jazz reading in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin to show support for a local elementary school student targeted by Liberty Counsel.


FLORIDA HOLDS FIRST HEARING ON NON-DISCRIMINATION LEGISLATION: The Florida Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing for the first time on SB 120, a bill that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations. LGBT Weekly reports, “Since the start of legislative session on January 12, The Florida Competitive Workforce Act has picked up critical support in the Senate with the addition of Senators Jack Latvala (R) and Travis Hutson (R)  as co-sponsors.” More here
FILE UNDER “WELL, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY”: Remember Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s battle over the state’s disastrous and discriminatory so-called “religious freedom restoration act”? Turns out that law, and the resulting backlash, cost the state $60 million in hotel profits, tax revenue and other economic benefits. And guess what? Those same Indiana legislators are pushing for an even more draconian RFRA that would negate existing non-discrimination protections altogether. The first committee hearing on this “Super RFRA” is tomorrow. Read more about Indiana’s losses here:

OKLAHOMA IS #1... IN ANTI-LGBT LEGISLATION: Oklahoma’s legislative session kicks off February 1, and at least 26 bills attacking LGBT Oklahomans and their families are already in the docket for consideration – the most of any state in the nation. These bills include a pro-”conversion therapy” bill, proposals aimed at authorizing individuals, businesses, and taxpayer-funded agencies to use religion as a legal reason to refuse goods or services to LGBT people, and - unbelievably - Senate Bill 733, which would require all Oklahomans seeking marriage licenses to be tested for communicable and infectious diseases and would deny them a license if the test proves positive.

REALLY TONY? Former Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott is on his way to the U.S. to speak at a private event for the notorious Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a vehemently anti-LGBT legal group spearheading anti-equality work around the globe. Abbott’s decision to speak to the organization’s gathering comes as he is launching a reelection bid after he was unceremoniously booted from office in 2015 following his disastrous handling of marriage equality. Though many might see this as a chance to curry favor with conservative voters back in Australia, over 70 percent of folks down-under support LGBT equality. More here:


SAVE THE DATE: MARRIAGE EQUALITY HEARING IN CHINA THIS THURSDAY: In a swift turn of events, a Chinese man petitioning for marriage recognition with his long-time partner will have a chance to argue his position in court on Thursday. This is the first such case of its kind in China. Currently, China’s constitution does not explicitly ban same-sex marriage. Sun’s case could have broad ramifications for LGBT people across China, and pave the way towards China becoming the first country in Asia to fully recognize same-sex marriage. In July, HRC published a Global Spotlight highlighting the situation for LGBT people in China.

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