HAPPENING NOW -- SCOTUS HEARING ARGUMENTS IN MASTERPIECE CASE OF BUSINESS THAT TURNED AWAY SAME-SEX COUPLE: The case, which will be decided by next June, will either protect the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people -- or it could set a dangerous precedent giving businesses a license to discriminate. The case involves Jack Phillips, a baker who refused to serve a gay couple in violation of Colorado’s statewide non-discrimination law. Represented by the SPLC-designated hate group Alliance Defending Freedom, Phillips -- who lost before the Colorado Supreme Court -- was granted the Supreme Court hearing to make a claim that he should be able to discriminate against LGBTQ people on religious freedom and freedom of speech grounds. The Trump-Pence Administration has also entered this case to back the baker’s claim. Masterpiece Cakeshop is one of the most significant Supreme Court cases of the year, and the outcome could have sweeping consequences for every single LGBTQ American and millions of others. More from HRC.

 “At its core, this case is a cynical effort to manipulate the First Amendment in order to provide a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people and our families,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “The Trump-Pence administration’s decision to back discrimination in this case is another attack in their all-out war against the LGBTQ community. At every turn, they have sought to undermine the civil rights of LGBTQ people. It’s crucial that the justices reject discrimination and stand on the side of fairness and equality.”

  • #OpenToAll: HRC is a proud member of the “Open To All” coalition. As a nation, we decided a long time ago that when a business opens its doors to the public, it should be open to everyone, on the same terms. Learn more here.
  • Read the ugly truth about the anti-LGBTQ organization representing the baker: The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated anti-LGBTQ hate group. Check out this report on them from Media Matters.
  • Erwin Chemerinsky, Constitutional law expert and Berkeley Law dean: “This should be a simple case for the Supreme Court: The government has a compelling interest in stopping discrimination. All anti-discrimination laws interfere with freedom to discriminate; there is an inherent tension between liberty and equality. But our society has made the choice for more than a half century that preventing discrimination is more important than upholding the freedom to discriminate.” Read more at the Miami Herald.

DONALD TRUMP UNEQUIVOCALLY ENDORSES ANTI-LGBTQ SEXUAL PREDATOR ROY MOORE FOR U.S. SENATE: Yesterday, Trump tweeted his opposition to Doug Jones, cementing his endorsement of Moore, the disgraced former Alabama judge and child molester. While Moore has spent his entire life acting as though he is above the law, Jones has spent his life upholding the law and the rights of all people. HRC has proudly endorsed Jones, the pro-equality leader Alabamians deserve. More from CNN.

  • Morning Must Read: “President Trump says ‘we need Roy Moore.’ A look at who ‘we’ excludes.” by WaPo’s Eugene Scott (@Eugene_Scott). Spoiler: LGBTQ people, women and Black Alabamians, among many others. More from The Washington Post.

HRC EQUIDAD MX REPORT RECOGNIZES 32 LGBT-INCLUSIVE WORKPLACES IN MEXICO: HRC, in partnership with PEMEX, Mexico’s largest state-owned petroleum company,  launched the 2018 HRC Equidad MX Report, a first-of-its-kind assessment designed to increase LGBT-inclusion in workplaces across Mexico. “These employers have invested in LGBT inclusion in the workplace because it is both fair and smart business. The 32 honorees know that the economy of tomorrow is built by today’s talent and becoming more inclusive is key to attracting and retaining the best workforce, said Deena Fidas, HRC Director of HRC Equidad MX and Workplace Equality Programs. “We commend all of them on this designation of being a ‘Best Place to Work for LGBT Inclusion’ and look forward to continuing our work together in the coming years.” HRC Equidad MX has been on the ground working with Mexican companies to promote awareness about the importance of LGBT diversity and inclusion in workplaces across Mexico. The program creates consulting and education models for Mexican companies and organizations interested in furthering their inclusivity efforts. More from HRC.

INFORME HRC EQUIDAD MX RECONOCE 32 CENTRO LABORALES INCLUSIVOS DE PERSONAS LGBT EN MÉXICO: HRC, en colaboración con PEMEX -- la compañía petrolera estatal más grande de México -- lanzó el Informe HRC Equidad MX 2018, la primera evaluación de su tipo, diseñada para promover la inclusión LGBT en los centros laborales en México. “Estos empleadores han invertido en la inclusión LGBT porque son negocios justos e inteligentes. Los 32 empresas reconocidas saben que la economía del futuro se construye con el talento de hoy; ser más inclusivo es clave para atraer y retener a la mejor fuerza laboral”, dijo Deena Fidas, Directora de HRC Equidad MX y el Programa de Igualdad en el Centro Laboral de HRC. “Honramos el nombramiento de dichas empresas como ‘Mejores Centros Laborales para la Inclusión LGBT' y esperamos continuar trabajando juntos en los próximos años”. HRC Equidad MX ha estado trabajando con empresas mexicanas para promover la importancia de la diversidad e inclusión LGBT en los lugares de trabajo en México. El programa crea modelos de consultoría y educación para empresas y organizaciones mexicanas interesadas en promover sus esfuerzos de inclusión. Más de HRC.

TEARJERKER TUESDAY: As the Australian House of Representatives debated marriage equality, Member Tim Wilson proposed to his longterm partner from the House floor, saying “There’s only one thing left to do. Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?” The marriage equality bill already passed in the Senate, and it is expected to pass in the House this week. Love is love, y’all. More from NPR.

HRC, WOMEN’S RIGHTS GROUPS PROTEST TRUMP’S BIRTH CONTROL RULE WITH MASSIVE GRASSROOTS VISUAL: Last night, HRC’s building lit up with an enormous projected message, encouraging people to stand up against Trump and Pence’s a attacks on basic health care for women. “It’s unconscionable that the Trump-Pence administration wants to take away copay-free birth control, which could affect 62 million Americans’ access to critical contraceptive care,” said HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof. “This decision will undoubtedly limit access to vital care that women and so many in the LGBTQ community rely on every day. This administration’s efforts to undermine our right to basic, affordable health care must be stopped.”

ILLINOIS TRANS TEEN FIGHTS FOR ACCESS TO GIRLS’ LOCKER ROOM: Nova Maday was first denied and then allowed access to the girls’ locker room -- but, unlike other students, was required to use an “unspecified private changing area within the locker room.” More from The Chicago Tribune.

UN NAMES NEW EXPERT ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY: Victor Madrigal-Borloz will succeed Vitit Muntarbhorn, an international law professor from Thailand and the first-ever UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. More from Windy City Times.

HUNGARIAN COMMISSIONER SAYS IT’S UNLAWFUL TO REJECT SAME-SEX COUPLES WHO WANT TO ADOPT: The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights found that the government's refusal to grant a same-sex couple an adoption “infringed on the child’s right to protection and care, and amounted to unlawful discrimination based on sexual orientation.” More from The Hatter Society.

SHAMEFUL -- GROUP OF ANTI-LGBTQ RABBIS PROTEST INCLUSIVE JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER IN LONDON: JW3, the Jewish community center, recently hosted a Hanukkah party organized by an LGBTQ Jewish families group. More from Forward and Haaretz.

READING RAINBOW

The Washington Post interviews trans advocate and chief executive of the LGBTQ advocacy center Check It Enterprises Star My’shay Bennett; Technode reports on how livestreaming is helping the LGBTQ community in China; LGBT Weekly reflects on police brutality against the LGBTQ community; Deadline reports that ‘Will & Grace’ will now air on Channel 5 in the United Kingdom

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Filed under: A.M. Equality, Community

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