- July 24, 2017
TEXAS MOM OF TRANS CHILD -- ‘HE DESERVES A SUMMER VACATION WITH HIS FRIENDS’: Amber Briggle, a member of HRC Foundation’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council, shared a powerful post on Facebook detailing the raw realities of anti-transgender legislation in Texas, and the devastating effect the discriminatory efforts have already had on her son, Max. A raw, emotional photo shows Amber comforting Max when he broke down outside of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s office this week while rallying against the legislation. “He deserves a summer vacation with his friends, not a political pissing contest with the Texas Legislature,” she wrote. 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 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. Read the post here.
- Morning Must Read: Read this Texas Tribune article about Libby Gonzales, a 7-year-old trans girl who shared her story to legislators. More here.
- HRC Senior Legislative Counsel Cathryn Oakley testified against Texas’ anti-transgender legislation -- which passed out of Senate Committee. More from Texas Public Radio.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW LABOR, HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION APPROPRIATIONS BILL: The House Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations last week. The bill allocates funding for domestic HIV & AIDS and sex education programs. You may recall that President Trump proposed siphoning nearly $1 billion from these vital HIV & AIDS programs. Fortunately, members of the committee recognized the importance of the Ryan White program in delivering care and treatment to more than 500,000 people living with HIV & AIDS each year, voting to continue funding the program, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) HIV prevention efforts, at their current FY17 levels. In the budget climate we’re facing, maintaining level funding is a win. More from HRC.
MUST WATCH MONDAY: VH1’s ‘Daytime Divas’ featured a compelling storyline of a mother coming to love and accept her transgender daughter. The episode features transgender trailblazer and author Janet Mock (@JanetMock). Watch here.
ACLU & LAMBDA LEGAL CHALLENGE NC’S ANTI-TRANS LAW IN NEW SUIT: Their lawsuit alleges that North Carolina's HB 142, which replaced HB2, continues to discriminate against transgender North Carolinians. HB 142 bans local LGBTQ non-discrimination protections statewide through 2020. It also substitutes HB2’s anti-transgender bathroom provisions with a new discriminatory provision forbidding state agencies, public universities, primary and secondary schools, and cities from adopting policies ensuring transgender people have access to restrooms consistent with their gender identity. More from CBS North Carolina.
BIG WIN FOR TRANS STUDENTS IN MINNESOTA: The Minnesota Department of Education advisory council voted to approve the “Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students” toolkit. The bold move not only takes the state in the right direction, it also serves as a model to other state Departments of Education. More from HRC.
DELAWARE GOV AIMS TO MAKE SCHOOLS MORE LGBTQ INCLUSIVE: Delaware Governor John Carney (@JohnCarneyDE) has issued a directive for the education department to draft anti-discrimination policies to protect LGBTQ students in the state’s public and charter schools. More from HRC.
HBCU PRESIDENT REFLECTS ON HRC OUTREACH EFFORTS: HRC hosted its first Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Briefing for presidents and senior executives of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). The summit last week featured discussions of LGBTQ inclusive practices and policies and information on best practices for expanding equality on their campuses. Dillard University President Walter M. Kimbrough (@HipHopPrez) shared his experience -- and two specific action items -- on Medium.
- Spelman University, a Georgia HBCU, has created a scholarship program for LGBTQ students. More from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
NEW REPORT -- AIDS DEATHS ARE HALF OF WHAT THEY WERE IN 2005: However, many experts worry that the Trump Administration’s policies on health care could stop -- or reverse - this encouraging progress. More from Mic.
CUTS TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD WOULD BE DEVASTATING FOR LGBTQ PEOPLE: Congress' proposed cuts to Planned Parenthood would leave many people in the LGBTQ community, including Grecia Magdelano, a lesbian who lives in Arizona, without safe, affordable access to the health care they need. More from NBC.
HOMOPHOBE SUES MEMBERS OF CONGRESS FOR DISPLAYING PRIDE FLAG: Representatives Alan Lowenthal, Susan Davis, Don Beyer, and Earl Blumenauer are being sued for flying the iconic rainbow flag in front of their offices. Lowenthal vowed to “fight this hateful attempt to silence equality and justice. We have come too far to allow the voices of bigotry and hate to win.” More from LGBTQ Nation and Advocate.
GERMAN PRESIDENT SIGNS MARRIAGE EQUALITY INTO LAW: The Bundesrat, Germany's upper house, approved marriage equality and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier signed it into law. Same-sex couples are expected to be able to marry as early as October 2017. More from HRC and The Washington Post.
UPDATES FROM JOLLY OLD ENGLAND:
- The government is considering a policy to make it easier for transgender people to change their gender marker on official identification. More from The Associated Press.
- The government will also begin allowing men to donate blood within three months of same-sex sexual activity instead of 12. While this is still not ideal, it is a step forward. More from Reuters.