TEXAS’ ANTI-LGBTQ LEGISLATION COULD COST STATE  $3 BILLION -- YES, BILLION -- A YEAR: A study commissioned by Visit San Antonio, a tourism group, found that bills barring transgender people from using facilities consistent with their gender identity could cost the state up to $3.3 billion and 35,600 jobs annually. "These numbers tell us there will be a significant -- and longstanding -- adverse impact on San Antonio and the state. We urge our legislators to consider these effects in making their decisions," Casandra Matej (@CasandraMatej), president and CEO of Visit San Antonio, told Brandi Grissom (@BrandiGrissom) of The Dallas Morning News. The Texas Association of Business released a similar study in January estimating that Texas would take an economic hit as big as $8.5 billion if an anti-transgender bill passed. Read Grissom’s full piece in The Dallas Morning News.

  • In a new video from GLAAD, students from the University of Texas-Austin discuss the anti-transgender discrimination they experience at school, including having bleach-filled balloons thrown at them. The students connect these acts of unconscionable violence to the slew of anti-LGBTQ bills in the state legislature, including SB6. More from Teen Vogue.

REPORTER WHO BROKE STORY OF CHECHNYA’S ANTI-GAY PURGE FLEES RUSSIA: Novaya Gazeta reporter Elena Milashina, who first confirmed the anti-gay actions being taken by authorities in the Russian republic of Chechnya, has fled her home in Moscow due to threats of violence. It was reporting by Milashina and a colleague that confirmed hundreds of gay men were being detained, and at last three killed, by Chechen police. The fear for Milashina’s safety is real -- The Washington Post notes that the paper's star reporter Anna Politkovskaya was shot dead in her apartment building in 2006. Milashina tells the Post: “People in Chechnya are dying. Because they are gays, because they are suspected of sympathies with ISIS, because they are suspected of using drugs, because of many reasons. At the Novaya Gazeta, it's our position that we have to write about those crimes and put them in front of our society, in front of the powers. Today or tomorrow, the Kremlin will have to deal with the situation. I'm very sure of this. We will continue to apply this pressure.” Read the full interview at The Washington Post.

  • Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley issued a statement Monday on the situation in Chechnya. “We continue to be disturbed by reports of kidnapping, torture, and murder of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation and those persecuted by association. If true, this violation of human rights cannot be ignored -- Chechen authorities must immediately investigate these allegations, hold anyone involved accountable, and take steps to prevent future abuses.” Read her full statement here.

TUESDAY TWEET: Chris Mosier (@TheChrisMosier), a Team USA duathlete and VP for Program Development at You Can Play, took to Twitter to call out Texas’ SB6 -- an HB2-like bill expressly intended to discriminate against and block facility access for transgender Texans. He also criticizes the NCAA for allowing North Carolina to again host tournament events, tweeting, “Texas has been emboldened to pass #SB6 because of the lack of repercussions in North Carolina from @NCAA after the repackaging of #HB2.” Read the full thread here.

LGBTQ-INCLUSIVE EMPLOYEE POLICIES ARE GOOD FOR BUSINESS: GumGum COO Phil Schraeder writes for AdWeek about the importance of LGBTQ equality in the workplace, citing HRC’s Corporate Equality Index and the 366 businesses who earned top marks on the annual survey. More from AdWeek.

TODAY -- NATIONAL TRANSGENDER HIV TESTING DAY: Today marks National Transgender HIV Testing Day, which focuses on the importance of routine HIV testing, status awareness and continued attention to HIV prevention and treatment efforts among transgender people. Keep an eye out on HRC’s Instagram and Snapchat for exclusive content featuring HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride). More from HRC.

NATIONAL PTA JOINS 11 OTHER CHILD WELFARE GROUPS CALLING OUT STATE BILLS ATTACKING TRANSGENDER CHILDREN: The open letter -- which highlights the damage these bills will have on transgender youth -- has been signed by the American Academy of Pediatrics; the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; the American Counseling Association; the American Federation of Teachers, AFLCIO; the American School Counselor Association; the Association of Title IX Administrators; the Child Welfare League of America; the National Association of School Psychologists; the National Association of Secondary School Principals; the National Association of Social Workers; the National Education Association; and the National PTA. Read the full letter here.

ILLINOIS STATE SENATE CONSIDERING ANTI-LGBTQ “LICENSE TO DISCRIMINATE” BILL: The measure would allow for widespread discrimination against the LGBTQ community, single mothers, unwed couples and interracial couples -- among others. The bill is in a subcommittee and must be debated before May 5. More from Columbia Chronicle.

NEW POLLING -- 71 PERCENT OF FLORIDIANS THINK SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY” SHOULD BE ILLEGAL FOR MINORS: A recent poll by the Orlando Political Observer found that 71 percent of voters in Florida think that the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy” should be illegal for minors. Two bills that would ban this practice were filed in the Florida legislature earlier this year. More from Florida Politics.

DON’T ERASE LGBTQ SENIOR CITIZENS: Recently, the Trump Administration removed a question tracking LGBTQ seniors from a major national survey of older Americans. The action could jeopardize access by LGBTQ seniors to critical taxpayer funded services, such as nutrition programs like Meals-on-Wheels, transportation services, family caregiver support and other community and home-based programs. HRC is calling on its members and supporters to use the required public comment period to tell the Trump Administration not to erase LGBTQ seniors from this vital survey. More from HRC.

IRELAND BECOMES FIRST COUNTRY TO CARRY OUT NATIONAL LGBTQ YOUTH STRATEGY: It addresses issues that affect LGBTQ Irish youth, and will begin with an online questionnaire and events across the country. More from The Journal.

READING RAINBOW

Project Q Atlanta interviews Greg Nevins, who successfully argued that Title VII protects workers based on sexual orientation; HRC breaks down the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and how it benefits the LGBTQ community; The Atlantic sits down with Kate Barnhart, the director of New Alternatives for LGBT Homeless Youth in New York City; Fortune reports that Tim Cook will be receive the “Free Speech Award” from The Newseum Institute; NewNowNext discusses the LGBTQ themes of the American Library Association’s annual report of challenged and banned books;

Have news? Send us your news and tips at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!


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