OKLAHOMA SENATE PASSES ANTI-LGBTQ CHILD WELFARE BILL: “Bills such as SB 1140 are a clear attempt to solve a ‘problem’ that simply doesn’t exist while enshrining anti-LGBTQ discrimination into law,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. “If lawmakers in Oklahoma truly wanted to help find permanent homes for the children in the child welfare system, they wouldn’t be focusing on narrowing the pool of potential parents, which only hurts those kids. HRC calls on the Oklahoma House to reject this needless, harmful bill.” More from HRC.

PHILLY INQUIRER’S JULIA TERRUSO (@JULIATERRUSO) EXPOSES ANTI-LGBTQ FOSTER CARE & ADOPTION AGENCIES: She reports on two organizations turning away qualified LGBTQ foster parents at a time when Philadelphia has put out an “urgent” call for more. “It is unconscionable that any child welfare agency -- especially those receiving taxpayer dollars -- would blatantly turn away LGBTQ adults who wish to open their hearts and homes to children in need of a permanent family,” said Ellen Kahn, director of HRC’s Children, Youth & Families Program. More from The Philadelphia Inquirer.


WHY WE FIGHT WEDNESDAY: Today, we’re fighting so children like Evelyn don’t have to grow up in fear of gun violence. HRC supports common-sense gun violence prevention measures, including limiting access to assault-style rifles, expanding background checks, and limiting the ability for suspected terrorists, and those with a history of domestic abuse to access guns. More from NBC Washington.

FEDERAL JUDGE IN MARYLAND RULES IN FAVOR OF TRANS STUDENT: U.S. District Judge George Russell III ruled this week that Max Brennan, a Maryland transgender student who sued St. Michaels Middle High School in Talbot County, has the right to use restrooms and locker rooms in alignment with his gender identity. Brennan was represented by the ACLU, which worked with Maryland LGBTQ group FreeState Justice. More from The Washington Blade.

MORNING MUST WATCH: Last year, Jake Bain (@Jakebain10) of John Burroughs High School in St. Louis came out as gay -- a brave decision that inspired his community and his fellow student-athletes. When the notorious anti-LGBTQ Westboro Baptist Church came to town this week to rally against Bain, a star running back for the school’s football team, the school and town joined in a counter-protest in support of Bain and other LGBTQ students. More on this powerful story from Twitter Moments.

COMMUNITY LEADERS IN MILWAUKEE CALL FOR ACTION AND FUNDING AFTER HIV AND SYPHILIS OUTBREAK: Peter Cruz (@PeterD5th), Associate Director of the HIV and Health Equity Program at HRC, called the outbreak “significant,” especially with 33 new diagnoses of HIV over the past three months. More from WUWM.

HRC RELEASES #LOVEYOURNEIGHBOR ADS: Today, HRC Foundation released two television advertisements that will be airing for two weeks in the Northeast Mississippi media market, which includes the cities of Tupelo, Columbus and Starkville. The ads -- a part of HRC’s #LoveYourNeighbor campaign -- focus on stories of LGBTQ Mississippians and their allies, and discuss acceptance in the South. “Through HRC’s work in the South, we have found that the most effective way to change hearts and minds is simply to share our stories,” said Rob Hill, HRC Mississippi state director. “We’re thrilled to bring the #LoveYourNeighbor campaign to the airwaves in Northeast Mississippi, where this multi-state storytelling project began." More from HRC.

NEW NPR SURVEY SHOWS MORE THAN HALF OF TRANS AND GENDER EXPANSIVE TEACHERS HAVE FACED DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE: However, many trans teachers are creating a network to combat discrimination and forge community. More from WBUR.

  • For transgender students, coming out in school poses unique challenges as well. More from The Associated Press.

LPAC ENDORSES MARIE NEWMAN: LPAC, which supports pro-equality candidates with a focus on women, joined HRC in endorsing Marie Newman for Illinois’s 3rd district. Incumbent U.S. Representative Dan Lipinski is a rubber stamp for the despicable Trump-Pence administration. More from Windy City Times.

NYC CITY COUNCIL APPROVES PACKAGE OF BILLS TO ADDRESS YOUTH HOMELESSNESS: Forty percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ -- and these measures, which are on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s desk -- would help these youth prepare for adulthood. More from Advocate.



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

Out Magazine talks to HRC Ally for Equality Tatiana Maslany about her upcoming short film; BBC reports on new guidance for health care providers caring for trans people with dementia; Investment News interviews Jennifer Hatch, owner of Christopher Street Financial, a company serving the LGBTQ community; The New Yorker follows a trans woman as she undergoes medical transition; Advocate interviews openly gay actor Joey Pollari of Love, Simon;

Filed under: A.M. Equality, Community

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