ANTI-TRANS LEGISLATION INTRODUCED DURING TX SPECIAL SESSION: Texas Sen. Lois Kolkhorst and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick introduced the explicitly anti-transgender bills SB3 and SB91. This attack on the LGBTQ community doubles down on the discrimination Sen. Kolkhorst and Lt. Gov Patrick championed during the regular session. SB3 and SB91 mandate HB2-style anti-transgender discrimination in any multiple-occupancy restroom or locker room in any property owned by a city, county, school district, state agency, or other political subdivision. Further, it would overturn LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances protecting millions of people across Texas in cities such as Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth insofar as those ordinances protect people from discrimination in bathrooms. It also prohibits these entities from forbidding discrimination in athletics on the basis of any characteristic not currently reflected in state law -- an obvious jab at transgender athletes in particular.

“SB3 and SB91 are a blatant attack on transgender Texans, and these bills would harm the state’s reputation, its people and its economy,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC senior vice president of policy and political affairs. “Texas had the most anti-LGBTQ legislative session in the United States, and now, Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Patrick are pushing their extreme agenda with this unnecessary, costly special session. This unconscionable bill revives the most troubling parts of the anti-transgender legislation that already failed to become law during the regular session and doubles down on the governor and lieutenant governor’s desire to play political football with transgender Texans’ lives. We will be fighting against this harmful bill and any attempt to single out LGBTQ Texans.”

  • Million Dollar Discrimination: Texas lawmakers are spending an estimated one million dollars on the 30-day special session. More from The Texas Tribune.

RHODE ISLAND GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL PROTECTING YOUTH FROM ‘CONVERSION THERAPY’: Yesterday, HRC hailed Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo for signing into law HB 5277 -- a measure protecting LGBTQ youth in the state from the harmful and discredited practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” “No child should be put through the dangerous and inhumane practice of conversion therapy,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “Medical professionals agree this outdated and discredited practice not only doesn’t work, but can also have life-threatening consequences. It is nothing short of child abuse. We thank Governor Raimondo and the Rhode Island Legislature for protecting the state’s LGBTQ youth.” Rhode Island is now the eleventh jurisdiction -- and the fourth state so far this year -- to enact these crucially important protections. More from HRC, Pink News, Gay Star News, Washington Blade, Providence Journal and The Associated Press.

HRC HOSTS HBCU PRESIDENTS FOR FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND SUMMIT ON LGBTQ INCLUSION: Yesterday, HRC hosted its first ever HBCU Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Briefing for University Presidents and Senior Executives. The summit is a day-long meeting of high profile HBCU leadership to discuss LGBTQ inclusive practices and policies and share best practices for expanding equality on their campuses. “Historically Black Colleges and Universities continue to be at the forefront of social change for our community,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “Facing unprecedented attacks by the Trump-Pence regime on marginalized Americans of every background, the HBCU Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Briefing is one of the vital ways we continue to connect in new and unique ways to stand as a united front against those who oppose equality and justice for all. HRC is honored to host senior leadership from these sixteen esteemed institutions.” More from HRC, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed and The Washington Post.

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Remember when Donald Trump asked “who is really a friend to the LGBT community?” We haven’t forgotten -- and in a powerful new video from HRC, we asked transgender children what the word ‘friend’ means to them. With answers like “A friend loves you, accepts you and cares for you” and “A friend will protect me from bullies,” it’s time to ask… is Donald Trump keeping his promise to the LGBTQ community? More from Refinery29 and Upworthy.

LGBTQ ADVOCATES REMAIN VIGILANT ON HEALTH CARE: Despite news that support for Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may have crumbled, HRC and other LGBTQ advocates remain vigilant. “While we’re glad to see the Trump/McConnell plan to strip health care from millions of Americans has failed up until this point, by no means are we claiming complete victory,” HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy told Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson (@ChrisJohnson82). “... HRC will continue to engage our millions of members across the country and keep the pressure on Congress to reject any proposals to dismantle our health care system.” More from Washington Blade.

  • The Congressional Budget Office estimates that, under Trumpcare, 17 million people could lose insurance in the next year, and 32 million could lose insurance by 2026. More from CNBC.

ANTI-EQUALITY JUDGE PASSES CLOTURE VOTE, COULD BE CONFIRMED TODAY: Yesterday, anti-LGBTQ judicial nominee John K. Bush passed through a cloture vote. Bush has made deeply alarming comments against significant LGBTQ-affirming court decisions. Bush, who was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, has criticized court rulings striking down laws that criminalize same-sex intimate relationships. Yesterday, HRC sent a letter to senators calling on them to oppose Bush. His final confirmation vote is likely happening TODAY.

OUT ‘POWER 50’ HONORS LGBTQ ADVOCATES, CHANGEMAKERS: The list features HRC President Chad Griffin among its 50 journalists, entertainers, elected officials, advocates, business leaders, musicians, producers, designers, writers and influencers. More from USA Today and OUT Magazine.

SINGER GREYSON CHANCE COMES OUT AS GAY: In a moving Instagram post, Greyson shared that he was able to come out after receiving an inspiring message that gave him the courage. More from Towleroad.

Greyson Chance performing at the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner in 2011

INDIA NAMES FIRST EVER OPENLY TRANSGENDER JUDGE: Joyita Mondal Mahi has become India’s first-ever openly transgender judge. More from Gay Star News.

SCOTLAND MAY CREATE GENDER NEUTRAL RESTROOMS IN SCHOOLS: The proposal would update a 1960 law and help to ensure restrooms are safe and inclusive of all young people. More from Gay Times.

READING RAINBOW

Shape shares six people’s experience with nonbinary identities; NBC interviews photographer Tarik Carroll on his new series challenging gender norms; BuzzFeed highlights LGBTQ media and resources for those thinking of coming out; Pink News shares a British Church’s project to bring awareness to global LGBTQ issues; Rolling Stone profiles Gavin Grimm (@GavinGrimmVA)

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!


Filed under: A.M. Equality, Community

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