- November 20, 2015
HRC COMMEMORATES TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE: Today, HRC joins the country in commemorating the 17th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) – a day set aside in solemn tribute to transgender people across the globe who have lost their lives to violence, and to raise awareness of the constant threat of brutality faced by many in the transgender community. While transgender visibility has increased, the community continues to see the tragic suicides of transgender youth and the brutal murders of transgender people--both in the United States, and around the world. Over the past week, HRC released a comprehensive report on this epidemic of violence with the Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC), testified before Congress at the first-ever Congressional Forum on Violence Against the Transgender Community, and released a video highlighting some of the spectacular moms who are standing up and speaking out in support of transgender equality. Watch here http://bit.ly/1lyDXQ9. For a list of vigils and remembrances worldwide, visit www.transgenderdor.org.
HUD PROPOSES STRONGER PROTECTION FOR TRANS PEOPLE IN EMERGENCY SHELTERS: Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed a new rule change requiring all programs that receive funding from the Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) to give equal access to transgender people. The proposed rule change revises and expands the February 2012 regulation known as the Equal Access Rule, which prohibited discrimination in HUD programs on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The 2012 Equal Access Rule failed to specifically address access to safe emergency shelters and temporary housing consistent with an individual’s gender identity. This newly proposed rule change also formalizes guidance published by HUD in February of this year by ensuring placement in housing that is consistent with an individual’s gender identity, and revising the definition of gender identity used in the Equal Access Rule. HRC has consistently raised this important issue with the Department and has called on HUD and the Department of Justice to adopt discrimination protections in emergency housing. The public will have 60 days to comment on the proposal. The full proposed rule change can be found here. More here: http://goo.gl/ykaLpQ
SEN. TED CRUZ DEPLORES OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S DECISION TO SUPPORT TRANS STUDENTS: During an interview with conservative radio show Steven Crowder, Ted Cruz took the opportunity to blast the Obama Administration’s support of transgender students across the country who are fighting to be treated equally by their schools. Cruz commented, “Look, these guys are so nutty that the federal government is going after school districts, trying to force them to let boys shower with little girls. Now listen, I’m the father of two daughters, and the idea that the federal government is coming in saying that boys, with all the god-given equipment of boys, can be in the shower room with junior high girls – this is lunacy!” Sen. Ted Cruz has become one of the most vociferous opponents of equality for LGBT Americans in the country. Just last weekend at a campaign stop, Cruz vowed to continue his fight against nationwide marriage equality, claiming that it’s not the law of the land or in the Constitution. 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. For more on Cruz’s anti-LGBT record, visit hrc.org/2016RepublicanFacts. More here: http://bzfd.it/1MYXqPI
WISCONSIN REPUBLICANS PUSH ANTI-TRANS BILL: Yesterday, the Wisconsin Assembly held a hearing on disgraceful anti-transgender legislation that would expose trans and gender nonconforming students to heightened risk of bullying, harassment and discrimination. Not only is the bill--AB 469--shameful and horrific public policy, passing it would put the state in conflict with federal law. Hundreds of HRC members and supporters in Wisconsin have already responded to an HRC action alert sent this week by asking their lawmakers to oppose AB 469. This year has seen an alarming uptick of anti-transgender state bills across the country. These bills came in several forms, aiming to restrict transgender Americans’ access to public accommodations, school activities, or appropriate medical care. Similar legislation was introduced--and defeated--in several states this year, including Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Texas, South Dakota, Minnesota, Connecticut, and South Carolina. AB 469 has not yet been scheduled for a floor session in either chamber. More here: http://strib.mn/1YknRri
SCOTTSDALE WEIGHING LGBT NONDISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS: According to the Scottsdale Independent, the Scottsdale City Council is moving forward with drafting an ordinance that will protect residents on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. The local governing board held an hours-long debate this past Tuesday about the ordinance. In March, in lieu of passing an ordinance, the Council signed a voluntary Unity Pledge which they encouraged businesses and residents to sign as well. The city currently holds a 65 rating out of a possible 100 on HRC’s Municipal Equality Index. More here: http://bit.ly/1XeiHut
INDIANA FAITH LEADERS SUPPORT LGBT NONDISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS: Yesterday, 141 faith leaders across the Hoosier State submitted a letter expressing support for LGBT nondiscrimination protections. The letter reads in part, “Updating our civil rights law to include sexual orientation and gender identity transcends the issue of same-gender marriage and should become a rallying cry for people of faith who believe that all Hoosiers should be treated with respect and dignity. In the upcoming Indiana General Assembly session, we have an opportunity to address centuries of discrimination against gay and transgender people. We stand together urging lawmakers to seize this opportunity to make clear that our state welcomes and protects everyone.” This week, Indiana Republicans introduced an extremely flawed bill that leaders claim will expand the existing civil rights law to include protections for LGBT people. The measure however, has huge religious carve-outs that go far beyond the existing religious exemptions in Indiana law for religious institutions and ordained clergy. The General Assembly returns in January to begin debating the bill. LGBT nondiscrimination protections has been a leading issue in the Hoosier State since March when Governor Mike Pence signed a discriminatory, so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. Read the letter here: http://indy.st/1SLx6gw
AROUND THE WORLD
ALBERTA INTRODUCES BILL TO BAR TRANS DISCRIMINATION: Yesterday in Canada, the Alberta government introduced a bill that would explicitly bar discrimination against transgender people. The bill would amend the existing Human Rights Act, adding gender identity and expression as a protected class. Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley, who introduced the legislation said, "These proposed changes will ensure trans and gender variant Albertans are treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve. No Albertan should be denied basic services for being true to themselves." According to CBC News, “If passed, Alberta would join Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador in explicitly listing gender identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination in human rights law. Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories have gender identity as prohibited grounds of discrimination in their human rights acts.” More here: http://bit.ly/1OVg81v
The International Business Times shares important facts about Transgender Day of Remembrance… Buzzfeed takes an in-depth look at the violence threatening transgender women in Detroit… The Huffington Post shares a touching video by the Hetrick-Martin Institute of LGBT youth talking about their personal experiences.
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