THOUSANDS OF MORMONS LEAVE CHURCH OVER NEW ANTI-LGBT POLICY: In a formidable display of support for the LGBT community, thousands of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints resigned from the church this weekend in protest of a new policy that includes a ban on the baptism of children of same-sex couples. According to KUTV, local attorneys have already signed 1,500 letters of resignation, and an additional 1,000 have been submitted online. Hundreds of people gathered in City Creek Park in Salt Lake City this weekend to protest the new rules which characterize the relationships of Mormons in same-sex relationships as “serious transgressions,” calling them apostates of the faith and putting them on par with those who commit murder, rape, or sexual abuse. On Friday, Church leaders released a so-called “clarification” statement and claimed that the changes are to protect the “harmony” of the church. More here: http://bit.ly/1j3kMvO

xTED CRUZ SAYS HE WILL “FIGHT” MARRIAGE EQUALITY: During a campaign stop at Bob Jones University for the Rally for Religious Liberty, GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz vowed to continue his fight against nationwide marriage equality. According to Greenville Online, Cruz told the crowd, “This is not settled...It’s not the law of the land. It’s not the Constitution. It’s not legitimate, and we will stand and fight.” This comes as no surprise, considering Cruz said the Supreme Court’s historic ruling brought about “some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history.” A recent HRC poll found that 55 percent majority of voters are less likely to support a candidate for president who opposes allowing same-sex couples to marry, including 40 percent who strongly oppose. A Gallup poll from last week estimates that there are approximately 972,000 Americans in same-sex marriages, with 96,000 same-sex weddings having taken place since June. More here: http://grnol.co/20WEPyi

HRC CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION IN UTAH JUDGE WHO TRIED TO TAKE FOSTER CHILD FROM SAME-SEX PARENTS: In response to Utah Judge Scott Johansen's order earlier this month to remove a child from the home of her married foster parents because they are a same-sex couple, HRC filed a formal complaint with the Utah Judicial Conduct Commission last week  calling for a full investigation into the judge. If Judge Johansen ordered the child be removed because of the couple’s sexual orientation, it would be a clear violation of the Utah Code of Judicial Conduct. Furthermore, all major studies have unequivocally affirmed that the sexual orientation of a parent has nothing to do with his or her ability to be a good parent. Following a national outcry, Judge Johansen amended his order on Friday and has allowed the child to remain with the parents until a new hearing on Dec. 4. Read the full letter here: http://bit.ly/1QqtHG5

ICYMI: SNL CALLS OUT ANTI-TRANS RHETORIC SURROUNDING HERO: This weekend, Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update took on the recent vote on the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which would have protected folks in 15 classes -- from LGBT people to women to veterans -- from discrimination. Actor Pete Davidson called out the anti-LGBT, fear-mongering campaign that opponents of equality launched against the commonsense ordinance. Watch the can’t miss clip here: http://bit.ly/1Mx7DDV

STATE SNAPSHOT

INDIANA COUNTY CLOSE TO IMPLEMENTING LGBT PROTECTIONS: Last week, the Andersonville City Council unanimously voted in support of a measure that would add LGBT people to the list of protected categories in housing, employment, public accommodations and education. This was the 2nd of 3 readings required for such ordinances in the county, with the final scheduled for the council’s meeting on Dec. 10. LGBT nondiscrimination protections became a leading issue in the Hoosier State after Governor Mike Pence signed a discriminatory Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into law. Many businesses and organizations, including the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, have come out in support of fully inclusive non-discrimination legislation at the state level, though Gov. Pence still refuses to make this a priority for the next legislative session. Last night, Freedom Indiana hosted a vigil where faith leaders also expressed their support for LGBT Hoosiers. More here: http://bit.ly/1SwsjQ5

ALABAMA PAPER CALLS OUT “FAKE ADOPTION RESEARCH THAT DEMONIZES SAME-SEX COUPLES”: Last week, the Montgomery Advertiser published an editorial denouncing the anti-LGBT American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) for filing an amicus brief using faulty research about same-sex parenting in an Alabama Supreme Court case. In the editorial, they write,  “The group’s brief says research shows children raised by same-sex parents, “particularly those who identify as married,” fare worse than those raised by opposite-sex parents, and that many “experience substantial harm.”That’s untrue. ACPeds has a long history of distorting data from legitimate studies on the issue and using bogus anti-gay research to prop up its views. Real research on the well-being of children of gay and lesbian parents overwhelmingly shows they fare equally to their peers.” Read the full editorial here: http://on.mgmadv.com/1kZiKhv

POSSIBLE HATE CRIME IN HOUSTON: Reports surfaced yesterday about a possible hate crime involving Marc Pourner who was burnt in his truck on Saturday night in Montgomery County Woods in Houston. While investigators are still assessing the possible motive, family members of Pourner say he may have been targeted because he was openly gay. No arrests have been made yet. More here: http://abc13.co/1MhU1OS

AROUND THE WORLD

SAME-SEX COUPLES CAN GET MARRIED IN IRELAND TODAY: Today, 6 months after Ireland’s historic ‘YES’ vote on marriage equality, same-sex couples can finally get married all over the country. This past May, Ireland made history as the first country in the world to pass marriage equality through a national referendum, and the first 18th country to decide to afford same-sex couples full marriage rights. Ireland voted 62.1 percent in favor of the referendum which asked voters to approve language that updates the country’s constitution to state, “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with the law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” According to Gay Star News, over 300 marriages are expected to take place over the next 2 weeks. More here: http://bit.ly/1Mx9sAP and http://bbc.in/1kAaNzN

JAPANESE BUSINESSES BECOMING MORE LGBT FRIENDLY: According to the Japan Today, a recent survey has found that 1 in 13 people in Japan identity as LGBT, causing businesses and companies to explore new ways to make their workplace policies more LGBT friendly. Shibuya Ward became the first in the country to grant marriage certificates earlier this month, and though the certificates have no legal binding power, officials have been encouraging real estate brokers, hospitals, and other businesses and facilities in the ward to treat same-sex couples with the certificate the same as opposite-sex married couples. More here: http://bit.ly/20WGVye

READING RAINBOW

The Houston Chronicle explores the uphill battle ahead in the fight for transgender equality (paywall)...Media Matters breaks down what the updates to the nondiscrimination ordinance in Dallas really mean….The International Business Times takes a look at the recent uptick in violence against the transgender community in Argentina… and Think Progress highlights a new study by the D.C. Trans Coalition that looks at the experiences of the transgender community in the nation’s capital.

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