- October 17, 2017
TODAY -- TRUMP TO ADDRESS AN ANTI-LGBTQ GROUP, AGAIN: It’s becoming a thing with this president -- today at 7:30 p.m. ET, Trump is scheduled to speak to members of the Heritage Foundation, an organization that asserts that laws protecting LGBTQ people are not “necessary” and “weaken the marriage culture and the freedom of citizens and their associations to affirm their religious or moral convictions…” Last week, Trump became the first sitting president to speak at the Values Voters Summit, an annual gathering of the nation’s most extreme anti-LGBTQ politicians, candidates and activists. More from Chris Johnson (@ChrisJohnson82) in The Washington Blade.
TRUMP FAILS TO DISAVOW ROY MOORE’S ANTI-LGBTQ, ANTI-MUSLIM EXTREMISM: Just hours after The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer reported that Trump “joked” that Vice President Mike Pence wants to hang all gay people, Trump declined to disavow the anti-LGBTQ, anti-Muslim rhetoric of Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. During a White House press conference, Trump dodged the question about Moore’s clear lack of fitness to serve, saying only, “I'll be meeting with him next week.” In 2016, Moore was removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing to implement a ruling that brought marriage equality to Alabama. Despite his assertion that he was only opposing marriage equality as a legal matter, his subsequent comments about the LGBTQ community have revealed a deep, underlying animus toward LGBTQ Alabamians. Recently, he took his extremism one step further by saying that he and Vladimir Putin may be “more akin... than [he] knows,” specifically citing both of their views on LGBTQ rights. More at The Washington Blade.
HRC PRESIDENT CHAD GRIFFIN RESPONDS TO THE NEW YORKER REPORT THAT TRUMP “JOKED” ABOUT WANTING TO HANG LGBTQ PEOPLE: "It's disturbing and sickening that Donald Trump would 'joke' about Mike Pence wanting to 'hang them all' in reference to LGBTQ people,” Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) said. “Hate violence is tragically still a fact of life for LGBTQ people across this country, even without Donald Trump and Mike Pence helping to fan the flames. Mike Pence has spent his career attacking LGBTQ people in Congress, in the governor's mansion, and now in the White House. Donald Trump's remark lays open the depth of their hostility and animosity toward LGBTQ people, and just how deeply they believe we should be treated as second-class citizens in our own country. That's not funny, that's dangerous and un-American.” More from HRC.
HRC JOINS LETTER TO SENATORS TO #StopJeffMateer: The letter, spearheaded by Lambda Legal, is signed by 36 groups and calls on senators to demand that Mateer’s nomination be withdrawn. In a 2015 speech titled “The Church and Homosexuality,” Mateer objected to a transgender student using the bathroom corresponding to her gender identity, saying “I mean it just really shows you how Satan's plan is working and the destruction that's going on.” As general counsel of the Liberty Institute -- now known as the First Liberty Institute -- he defended then-Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s ‘license-to-discriminate’ bill and objected to efforts to alter the legislation. Mateer also fought against non-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community of Plano, Texas and San Antonio, Texas. Mateer also supports the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy,” and claimed that marriage equality will lead to bestiality. Read the full letter here.
15 ATTORNEYS GENERAL OPPOSE TRUMP’S BAN ON TRANSGENDER TROOPS: The group, led by Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, filed a brief in federal court yesterday in support of transgender service members. The brief argues “that banning transgender individuals from the military is unconstitutional, against the interest of national defense and harms the transgender community.” After Trump in July unexpectedly and callously announced via Twitter that he would impose a discriminatory ban on transgender military service, elected officials from both sides of the aisle spoke out forcefully against it. A clear majority of Americans believe anyone who is willing and able to serve in our nation’s military should be allowed to do so. More from The Associated Press.
TUESDAY TWEET: Jackie Shane is an elusive transgender soul singer who made a name for herself in the 1960s before abandoning the spotlight. Now, she’s granted The New York Times’ Reggie Ugwu (@Uugwuu) an exclusive interview, sharing her story publicly for the first time in decades. More from NYT.
JAPANESE COMPANIES WORK TOWARD LGBTQ INCLUSION: Jonathan Soble (@jonathan_soble) of The New York Times writes: “It is a striking trend in a country where departures from the norm, sexual or otherwise, have long been something to keep hidden -- especially at work. Being openly gay was something for niche transgressive pop stars; for the average gray-suited ‘salaryman,’ it was all but unthinkable. And when it comes to the government, marriage for same-sex couples remains off limits.” A combination of evolving social attitudes and competition for talent, Soble writes, is forcing Japanese businesses to adapt at home and abroad. Last week, HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) spoke at the 5th annual Work with Pride summit in Tokyo, which drew a crowd of over 500 LGBTQ advocates from multinationals and Japanese companies. More from The Japan Times and NYT.
- The United Nations has launched standards aimed to help businesses fight anti-LGBTQ discrimination. More from Advocate.
CALIFORNIA GOV. BROWN SIGNS BILL RECOGNIZING NON-BINARY IDENTITY: California becomes the first state in the nation to officially recognize non-binary genders on all state-issued identity documents. More from BuzzFeed.
MORNING MUST WATCH: In the cold opening for this weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live, the cast sheds light on the Trump-Pence Administration’s attacks on the LGBTQ community. In the sketch, Trump, played by Alec Baldwin, calls Pence, played by Beck Bennett, and orders him to walk out of a same-sex wedding -- similar to the stunt the administration pulled at a recent NFL game. More from NewNowNext.
#EYESONCHECHNYA -- MARCHERS IN NYC DEMAND ACTION: Hundreds walked from the Stonewall Inn to Trump Tower in an effort organized by Voices4Chechnya to draw attention to atrocities occurring in the Russian republic. Since early this year, Chechen authorities have rounded up and detained more than 100 men in secret prisons, under suspicion that they are gay or bisexual. There are numerous verified reports of torture, and at least three and possibly as many as 20 men have been killed. Chechen officials have also reportedly encouraged families to murder relatives they suspect might be gay, something that at least one family reportedly acted on. Chechen leaders have denied these accusations, going so far as to deny the very existence of LGBTQ people in Chechnya. More from W Magazine.
- “I thought they would kill me no matter what happened”: One victim of these vicious attacks is Maxim Lapunov, who is sharing his gruesome story to raise awareness and demand justice. More from The Washington Post.
KEEPING LATINX LGBTQ HISTORY ALIVE: José Gutiérrez has been working as an LGBTQ rights and AIDS activist for nearly his entire adult life. Gutiérrez, who founded the Latino GLBT History Project and organized the first DC Latino Pride, reflects on the need to preserve the history of the Latinx community, and its importance to the broader LGBTQ fight for equality in the country. More from HRC.
PRESERVANDO LA HISTORIA LGBTQ LATINX: José Gutiérrez ha dedicado la mayor parte de su vida a la defensa de derechos LGBTQ y de personas que viven con sida y VIH. Gutiérrez es el fundador de la organización sin fines de lucro, Latino GLBT History Project, y organizador del primer desfile de Orgullo Latino de D.C. La labor de Gutiérrez acentúa la necesidad de preservar la historia de la comunidad latinx y su importancia en la amplia lucha LGBTQ del país. Más de HRC.
GAY CINCINNATI PASTOR FIGHTS TO CONTINUE LEADING CONGREGATION: Since marrying his husband, Reverend David Meredith has received complaints -- despite serving his church for six years. On Sunday, the United Methodist Church's Committee on Investigation heard his case and will soon decide if Meredith will be allowed to remain in the post he’s held for six years. More from WLWT.
MALAYSIAN AIDS COUNCIL SAYS ANTI-LGBTQ EFFORTS ARE HAMPERING AIDS PREVENTION EFFORTS: “There is enough evidence to prove that in settings where LGBT people are targeted, discriminated against, and persecuted, the AIDS epidemic thrives,” the council said. “If we are serious about ending AIDS by 2030, we must not allow homophobia, transphobia, and anti-LGBT sentiments to pervade HIV and AIDS discourse in our society.” More from The Malaysian Insight, Gay Star News and Malay Mail Online.
MILESTONE MOMENT -- BRITAIN'S TOP ORGANIZATION FOR PSYCHIATRISTS ACKNOWLEDGES TERRIBLE HARM DONE BY SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY”: The Royal College of Psychiatrists, Britain’s main body for psychiatrists, issued a historic statement expressing “profound regret” at the damage such therapy has inflicted on people. Wrote the group’s president, Professor Wendy Burn: “There are no words that can repair the damage done to anyone who has ever been deemed ‘mentally unwell’ simply for loving a person of the same sex. For those who were then ‘treated’ using non-evidence based procedures by mental health professionals up until as late as the 1970s, the trauma of such experiences can never be erased.” More from BuzzFeed.
The Associated Press interviews African LGBTQ advocates about their worries during the Trump administration; HRC Welcoming Schools recommends three books for bullying prevention; The New York Times highlights a ball for older LGBTQ people coming out after being forced back into the closet