MATTIS ASKED ABOUT TRANS TROOPS, DECLINES TO PRAISE THEIR BRAVE SERVICE: During a Capitol Hill hearing yesterday on the Pentagon’s budget, Defense Secretary James Mattis refused to praise the service of Logan Ireland, an exemplary transgender Air Force staff sergeant bravely serving his country. After Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) held up a photograph of Ireland and asked, “Do you believe that currently serving transgender troops like Staff Sgt. Ireland are a burden to our military?” Mattis refused to directly answer, saying only that the matter is in the courts. Rep. Speier’s pointed response: “Well, Mr. Secretary, you rolled out this new policy and now you are saying you are not prepared to defend it.” More from Federal News Radio and The Hill.

  • Meanwhile, during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) confirmed with the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of Army that the military has heard of  “zero” issues with unit cohesion or readiness since the ban on trans people was lifted.

HUH? TRUMP SEC OF STATE NOMINEE MIKE POMPEO CLAIMS HE’LL TREAT PEOPLE WITH DIGNITY AND RESPECT -- HIS RECORD SAYS SOMETHING FAR DIFFERENT: During a Senate confirmation hearing yesterday, Pompeo reiterated his opposition to marriage equality, and under intense questioning from Senator Cory Booker and others, refused to denounce his deplorable anti-LGBTQ record -- including his past assertion that being LGBTQ is a “perversion.” Pompeo co-sponsored legislation to allow states to not recognize same-sex marriage and to allow businesses and organizations using taxpayer dollars a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people. Pompeo's political career has been funded by anti-LGBTQ hate groups, including the Family Research Council. HRC urges Senators to reject his nomination. Eugene Scott (@Eugene_Scott) reports on Booker’s grilling of Pompeo at  The Washington Post, and more from Gay Today and Washington Blade

  • Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) and nearly 50 House colleagues signed a letter to Senators opposing Pompeo because of his long-standing opposition to LGBTQ equality. Read the letter here.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY -- MOMENTUM! SENATOR DOUG JONES (D-AL) CO-SPONSORS THE EQUALITY ACT: “With his support for this crucial legislation, Senator Jones adds to the tremendous momentum for the Equality Act, and brings the number of sponsors to 245 -- the most ever for any LGBTQ civil rights bill,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “HRC was proud to mobilize our more than 18,000 members and supporters and the nearly 200,000 Equality Voters across Alabama to support Doug Jones in the U.S. Senate race last year. Today, we are even prouder to see him using his office to push for the rights of LGBTQ people, both in his home state and across the country.” The announcement was first reported by Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson (@chrisjohnson82). More from HRC.

MAINE HOUSE PASSES LEGISLATION TO PROTECT LGBTQ YOUTH FROM CONVERSION THERAPY: “No child should be subjected to this dangerous practice with life-threatening consequences for countless LGBTQ youth,” said HRC Legislative Counsel Xavier Persad. “For the sake of LGBTQ youth across the state, it’s essential that fair-minded voices speak out now and call on their state senators to pass this crucially important legislation.” More from HRC.

ILLINOIS BILL CREATING LGBTQ-INCLUSIVE SCHOOL CURRICULUM PASSES STATE SENATE: More from The Hill.

ANTI-LGBTQ FRESNO UNIFIED TRUSTEE BROOKE ASHJIAN WILL NOT SEEK RE-ELECTION: Last year, HRC President Chad Griffin called on Ashjian to step down in the wake of his anti-LGBTQ remarks regarding California’s LGBTQ-inclusive sex education laws. More from Aleksandra Appleton (@aleksappleton) in The Fresno Bee.

NEW SEC GUIDELINES LIMIT SHAREHOLDERS’ ABILITY TO PRESS MANAGEMENT ON LGBTQ EQUALITY: Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ruled that fashion retailer Cato could shut down a shareholder proposal that would explicitly add sexual orientation and gender identity to company non-discrimination policies. More from NewNowNext.

ALARMING -- DALLAS HIV & AIDS PATIENTS MAY HAVE SUFFERED UNNECESSARY TREATMENT DELAYS: Naomi Martin (@NaomiMartin) reports that access to health care is key to ending the HIV epidemic once and for all. More from Dallas Morning News.

  • In Florida, high housing costs and an epidemic of HIV are disproportionately affecting transgender people.  Read this comprehensive piece by Noreen Marcus for U.S. News and World Report.
  • HRC has released a guide to HIV prevention, treatment and care on college campuses. More from Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

GAY AND LESBIAN YOUTH IN ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS EXPERIENCE LESS MENTAL DISTRESS: The study from the Journal of Abnormal Psychology found the correlation did not hold for bisexual subjects. More from The Washington Post.

THIS WEEKEND -- PRIDE IN PENCE’S HOMETOWN: HRC will be on-the-ground in Columbus, Indiana, for its first-ever LGBTQ Pride festival. More from IndyStar.

TEXAS PASTOR SAYS IT’S TIME TO LOVE AND ACCEPT LGBTQ PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH: “[W]e've got thousands, if not millions, of young LGBT people in America today, many of them Christians, followers of Christ, who have left the Church because they feel rejected. I think it's a great tragedy,” Pastor Andy McQuitty of the Irving Bible Church told The Christian Post.

  • And in England, a senior Church of England bishop called on the church to “do better” in supporting the LGBTQ community. More from The Guardian.

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

HIGH COURT OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO RULES CODE CRIMINALIZING SAME-SEX ACTIVITY IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL: In a landmark judgement, the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago ruled that outdated sections of the country’s penal code that criminalize consensual adult same-sex activity are unconstitutional. More from HRC and Guardian.

POLLING IN BRAZILIAN PRESIDENTIAL RACE SPELLS UNCERTAINTY FOR LGBTQ COMMUNITY: Primary polls are favoring Congressman Jair Bolsonaro, who is known for anti-LGBTQ and anti-woman stances. More from Washington Blade.

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break!

Outsports reports the NCAA annual Inclusion Forum will feature two LGBTQ- themed events; Metro shares a tribute to the LGBTQ community from Harry Styles (@Harry_Styles); Face 2 Face reviews a Malian shortfilm with LGBTQ themes; Advocate checks out the anti-LGBTQ potentials to replace Paul Ryan as leader of Republican House members; and…


Filed under: A.M. Equality, Community

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