- January 9, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES CHRONICLES JEFF SESSIONS’ ATROCIOUS RECORD ON LGBTQ CIVIL RIGHTS: The Times’ Sharon LaFraniere (@SharonLNYT) and Matt Apuzzo (@MattApuzzo) write about Donald Trump attorney general pick, Sen. Jeff Sessions’ (R-AL) decades-long career, reporting that he envisions a Department of Justice modeled on his conservative ideology and rural Alabama roots. Of his LGBTQ record, they say, “Advocates and career prosecutors see a shift in the department’s work on gay, lesbian and transgender issues as all but certain under Mr. Sessions. As Alabama’s attorney general in the mid-1990s, he defended a state law barring funding for gay student groups on state college campuses, arguing that their very existence encouraged violation of state sodomy laws. A federal appeals court disagreed, striking down the law as “blatant” discrimination. In the Senate, he voted against making it a federal hate crime to attack people based on their sexual orientation.” HRC has publicly opposed Sessions’ appointment as Attorney General. More from The New York Times.
MERYL STREEP CALLS OUT TRUMP’S HATE AT GOLDEN GLOBES: While accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award at last night’s 74th Annual Golden Globes Awards, LGBTQ ally and advocate Meryl Streep spoke out against the hate spewed by President-Elect Donald Trump. When referencing a disabled reporter who Donald Trump infamously mocked while on the campaign trail, Streep said, “It kind of broke my heart when I saw it and I still can't get it out of my head because it wasn't in a movie, it was real life. This instinct to humiliate when it's modeled by someone in the public... by someone powerful, it filters down into everyone's life because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same.” Last month, HRC announced it will honor Streep with the organization’s Ally for Equality Award at the 2017 HRC Greater New York Gala on February 11, 2017. More from The Los Angeles Times.
Meryl Streep: "Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose."— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) January 9, 2017
MONDAY MUST READ -- WHY WOULDN’T GOD CHANGE ME? “HE NEVER FELT LIKE HE NEEDED TO”: In a moving installment of “Humans of New York,” a gay man shared his heartbreaking and relatable struggle with self-acceptance. “The funny thing is that I never felt pressured by God himself, only his followers,” he says. “But I desperately wanted God to change me. I didn’t want to be part of a group with so much shame attached to it. So I started praying in my twenties for God to make me straight… But I couldn’t change. I kept slipping up. I couldn’t give my wife what she needed. My marriage ended. I had tried so hard but nothing worked. I got so angry with God for not keeping up his end of the bargain. But after some time, I finally realized why he wouldn’t change me. He never felt like he needed to.” Read the full post here.
WHITE HOUSE EXIT MEMOS DETAIL EIGHT YEARS OF LGBTQ PROGRESS IN OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: Cabinet exit memos from almost 30 different agencies and government organizations published by the White House underscore the historic progress the LGBTQ community has made during President Obama’s administration. He signed the only signature pieces of LGBTQ-inclusive legislation to be passed by Congress, and his administration made a record number of appointments of LGBTQ judges and ambassadors — among 250 LGBTQ appointments to full-time and advisory positions in the federal government. The administration has also proactively instituted many far-reaching administrative and regulatory policy changes that have dramatically improved the lives of LGBTQ people in all 50 states and around the world. The United States Mission to the United Nations and the Department of Justice’s memos feature sections devoted exclusively to the progress they have made for the LGBTQ community. In addition to those two exit memos, almost half of the agencies included references work and accomplishments related to the LGBTQ community. More from HRC.
BEST-SELLING TEXAS AUTHOR DECLINES STATE LEGISLATURE’S HONOR BECAUSE OF PROPOSED ANTI-TRANSGENDER BILL: Rick Riordan (@CampHalfBlood), author of the widely read series, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” has declined an invitation to be honored by the Texas State Legislature. The Texas native took to Twitter to speak out against the legislature’s proposed anti-transgender SB 6 -- dishonestly titled the “Privacy Protection Act” -- a bill expressly intended to discriminate against and block facility access for transgender Texans. The bill would overturn non-discrimination ordinances currently providing critical protections in several major Texas cities; further, it would force state agencies, municipalities, public schools and public universities to discriminate against transgender people. More from The Texas Tribune.
Just turned down an invite to be honored by TX state legislature as a Texas author. If they want to honor me, they could stop this nonsense. https://t.co/UuH5QLCRNe— Rick Riordan (@camphalfblood) January 6, 2017
LGBTQ STARS AND STORIES WIN BIG AT SUNDAY’S GOLDEN GLOBES: The 74th Annual Golden Globes Awards featured several openly LGBTQ winners. Moonlight, which tells the story of a black gay man, won Best Drama Motion Picture. Ryan Murphy's The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story won Best Miniseries or TV Film. Sarah Paulson (@MsSarahPaulson) won Best Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture for her role in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. See a list of all the winners here.
IBM RELEASES NEW LOGO FOR EQUALITY: IBM has released a new version of its logo to mark its longtime commitment to LGBTQ equality. The new logo will accompany all of IBM’s LGBTQ and other diversity initiatives. More from IBM’s blog.