- April 10, 2017
TRUMP NOMINATES RADICAL ANTI-LGBTQ STATE SENATOR TO LEAD THE U.S. ARMY: In an appalling move, President Donald Trump has nominated Tennessee State Senator Mark Green as Secretary of the Army. If confirmed, Green, who has supported anti-LGBTQ discrmination at every turn of his political career, would succeed former Secretary of the U.S. Army Eric Fanning, who made history as the first openly gay leader of a branch of the U.S. military. “Mark Green is a danger to every LGBTQ soldier bravely serving our country,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Mark Green has called for states to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and appallingly said that being transgender is a ‘disease.’ He has used his office in Tennessee to push ‘license to discriminate’ legislation and undermine the basic civil rights of LGBTQ people at every turn. It would be unconscionable to put this man in charge of our Army. We call on every U.S. Senator to stand up for LGBTQ service members and reject this nomination.” “As a Marine discharged under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ I am appalled that Donald Trump would seek to put this man in charge of the U.S. Army,” said HRC National Press Secretary Stephen Peters (@StephenPeters2). “Under President Obama’s leadership, we finally ended policies that forced service members, their partners, and families to hide who they are and treated them as second class citizens. There are thousands upon thousands of us who fought this injustice so that we could serve openly today -- and who are now threatened by the appointment of a man who has spent his career working to undermine our rights.” More from HRC and The New York Times.
- Green’s anti-LGBTQ record includes describing former President Obama’s guidance protecting transgender students an example of “tyrannical government,” saying that being transgender is a “disease”, encouraging the state of Tennessee to deny marriage licenses to gay couples, and equating transgender people to rapists and pedophiles.
- As a State Senator, he supported legislation giving businesses a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, sponsored several anti-transgender bills, and opposed state nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation.
GORSUCH HAS DANGEROUS WORLDVIEW; DISMISSES ROLE OF COURTS IN PROTECTING CIVIL RIGHTS: HRC denounced the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch, an ardent opponent of equality, to a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States. “We are deeply disappointed by the Senate Republicans’ decision to pave the way for the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, who throughout his career has dismissed the role of the courts in protecting individual and civil rights,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “He does not believe the Constitution protects marriage rights for same-sex couples. He has twice ruled in cases that undermined equality for transgender people. In his Senate testimony, he repeatedly dodged answers about the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people. If you harbor any remaining doubt about his dangerous worldview, consider for a moment that Judge Gorsuch’s idol is none other than Antonin Scalia.” More from HRC and The Washington Blade.
GROWING CHORUS OF MAJOR CITIES AND STATES STAND UP FOR LGBTQ EMPLOYEES -- REAFFIRM TRAVEL BAN TO NORTH CAROLINA: Atlanta, Baltimore and West Palm Beach join growing chorus of cities and states not fooled by NC’s anti-LGBTQ law. Atlanta, Baltimore and West Palm Beach join Minnesota; New York City; Washington, DC; San Francisco; Seattle; Portland, OR; Los Angeles; Oakland; Santa Fe; Cincinnati; Salt Lake City; Palm Springs, CA; Portland, ME and Wilton Manors, FL.
- DISAPPOINTING -- NBA REWARDS NC FOR CONTINUING TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST LGBTQ PEOPLE: On Friday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced North Carolina is now eligible to host future All-Star Games. The NBA decision comes in the wake of the discriminatory back-room “deal” made by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and the state’s GOP leadership that doubles down on many of the worst aspects of the anti-LGBTQ HB2 law. Commissioner Silver said the NBA would develop a non-discrimination policy and require NBA partners to sign on to it. Unfortunately, Governor Roy Cooper’s back-room deal with Republican leadership in the General Assembly currently prevents North Carolina cities from meeting non-discrimination requirements. More from HRC.
MONDAY MOTIVATION: At a recent HRC event, Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) shared a powerful message with the LGBTQ community, “We love you. We support you. We thank you, and we are all in it together. Not only are we together, but we have faith that if we stay together, stick together, work together, we’re going to achieve great things together. Let’s keep the fight on.” Watch here.
VICTORY! NM GOV SIGNS BILL PROTECTING LGBTQ YOUTH FROM SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY”: HRC hails New Mexico Republican Governor Susana Martinez for signing into law SB 121 -- legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” “This is an incredible victory for LGBTQ youth in New Mexico,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “No child should be subjected to this dangerous practice that amounts to nothing more than child abuse. By signing this crucially important legislation into law, Governor Martinez is standing up for vulnerable youth who deserve to be loved and supported for who they are.” HRC has partnered with the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and state equality groups across the nation to pass state legislation ending conversion therapy. California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, New York, and the District of Columbia currently have laws or regulations protecting LGBTQ minors from the dangerous practice. Numerous municipalities also have these protections in place. More from HRC and The Washington Blade. Lea más en español.
IN WASH POST, HRC’S SARAH MCBRIDE CALLS ON JOHNS HOPKINS TO DISAVOW ANTI-LGBTQ ATTACKS BY FACULTY MEMBER: In a letter to the editor, HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride) highlights the continued steps Johns Hopkins needs to take to disavow deeply disturbing anti-LGBTQ misinformation voiced and published by faculty member Paul McHugh. McBride writes that while Hopkins’ recent move to open a gender clinic “is important, that alone cannot heal the wounds inflicted by Hopkins against transgender people nor alleviate the ongoing harm caused by the continued invocation of its credibility to support Mr. McHugh’s essays attacking LGBTQ people.” Read the full letter to the editor at The Washington Post.
BRIDGING THE CHASM BETWEEN LGBTQ IDENTITIES AND THE MORMON FAITH: In an oped published in the Salt Lake Tribune, John Gustav-Wrathall, an adviser for HRC’s new Coming Home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to Self guide, writes about the efforts many have taken to reconcile LGBTQ identities and the Mormon faith. While Mormon parent groups have become strong advocates for the full inclusion of LGBTQ people, many LGBTQ Mormons remain closeted and are wondering if and how they might be open about who there are in their wards and stakes. He writes, “As the LDS Church and as LGBT community organizations are increasingly finding consensus around fostering this middle space, we will all be blessed.” More from HRC and read the full oped at The Salt Lake Tribune.
NEBRASKA COURT AFFIRMS DECISION ENDING BAN ON SAME-SEX FOSTER PARENTS: On Friday, a Nebraska court upheld a previous decision striking down a 1995 ban on same-sex couples from becoming foster parents. The plaintiffs -- three same-sex couples -- were represented by the ACLU of Nebraska, the ACLU LGBT and HIV Project, and the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. More from WLWT.
CONGRESSIONAL FORUM ON STATE OF CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER TRUMP: Members of Congress who have championed civil rights held a forum last week examining “Civil Rights Under the Trump Administration-The First 100 Days.” Witnesses delved into the troubling trend of the administration pulling back federal enforcement of civil rights protections, including non-discrimination protections for the transgender community. More from HRC.
The Washington Post Editorial Board slams Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic for his mishandling of a string of arrests and murders of gay men; Reuters exposes anti-transgender discrimination in Thailand’s military; The Washington Post shares a parent’s experience with a gender nonconforming child;