OBAMA, BIDEN AND CLINTON SUPPORT HERO: Yesterday was a big day for supporters of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), as President Obama, Vice President Biden and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton all expressed their support for the ordinance, which will be voted on this Tuesday, November 3rd. The White House released the following statement, “While the Administration generally does not take a formal position on specific proposals or initiatives, the President and Vice President have been strong supporters of state and local efforts to protect Americans from being discriminated against based on who they are and who they love. We’re confident that the citizens of Houston will vote in favor of fairness and equality.” Earlier that day actor Matt Bomer released a letter sent by HRC calling for a yes vote on the ordinance. Football Star and Texas native Michael Sam also joined the call for HERO with a new video. Learn more about the campaign here: http://bit.ly/1GMi3SW

SALLY FIELD COMES TO HOUSTON: Yesterday, two-time Academy Award winning actress Sally Field joined female civic leaders in Houston for a press conference highlighting the importance of HERO to women. “Why here, why Houston, why me? Because everyone in this country is watching this. This is incredibly important. Eyes are on Houston. This is Texas,” Field said. “There are 15 different categories of people it protects. I fit into many of those categories. This is my country, this our fight to bring about equality as a right for everyone.” Field was joined by Texas State Senator Sylvia Garcia, Houston Independent School District President Juliet Stipeche, Houston Council Member Ellen Cohen and others. More here: http://bit.ly/1GP6UAz. Check out this can’t miss moment from Norma Rae!: http://bit.ly/1WlGIoj

APPLE SUPPORTS HERO: Yesterday, the company released the following statement to the Houston Unites coalition, “Apple is proud to be a part of Houston with four stores that employ over 500 people. Our stores and our company are open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. Apple supports Proposition 1 as it sends a clear message that Houston is focused on a future of inclusion, diversity and continued prosperity.” Apple now joins the growing list of national and local businesses that have come out in support of HERO, including the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Houston Partnership business association. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1M0Z185

INSIDE LOOK - WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES (WCF) CONFERENCE? On the conference’s last day, our friends at Planned Parenthood continued to be bashed by this hateful group. We stand with them in this joint fight against hatred and bigotry. Noted anti-LGBT activist, Austin Ruse, ended a panel by calling on the audience to be as creative as David Delieden, the orchestrator of the latest pernicious video campaign against PPFA, when fighting against LGBT rights. The assault against the pro-choice and LGBT community is nothing to be proud of, and we will continue to fight against it at every turn. As the conference comes to a close this evening, HRC will continue to ensure that these dangerous attacks are overcome. It is time that WCF and its partners realize, Love Conquers Hate. Read Ty Cobb of HRC Global’s op-ed here: http://bit.ly/1kYriWu

NEW POLL ON KIM DAVIS: According to a new Associated Press-Gfk poll, the majority of  Americans believe that government officials should resign if they have a personal objection to the duties of their position. Additionally, with respect to religious freedom and the First Amendment, the poll found that a growing majority of 56 percent of Americans, believe government officials must do their jobs, while only 41 percent believe there should be religious exemptions in place. Read more here: http://abcn.ws/1M5jL2b This new polling is in line with what HRC found last month. Read that poll here. http://bit.ly/1WlGUE5

A.M. MUST READ ON THE COST OF TRANSITIONING: Today’s must read comes from Reuters where Chris Taylor takes an in-depth look at the financial burden transgender people can face when transitioning. Taylor writes, “ Transgender issues are more openly discussed these days, such as Caitlyn Jenner's transition from Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner. But the costs of transition can be overwhelming, especially for a population that is already marginalized.” Read the full story here: http://reut.rs/1P1qix5

MARRIAGE EQUALITY OFFICIALLY SIGNED INTO LAW IN IRELAND: Five months after the historic ‘YES’ vote in favor of marriage equality, Ireland’s Presidential Commission has finally, officially made it the law of the land. Weddings are expected to begin as early as next month. This past May, Ireland made history as the first country in the world to pass marriage equality through a national referendum, and the first 18th country to decide to afford same-sex couples full marriage rights. Ireland voted 62.1 percent in favor of the referendum which asked voters to approve language that updates the country’s constitution to state, “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with the law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” Read more here: http://bit.ly/1GAY2Pb and http://ti.me/1P9DsGW


SCHOOL BOARDS LEAD ON INCLUSIVE POLICIES FOR STUDENTS: Mahwah School Board in New Jersey has approved a new transgender inclusive policy. According to NorthJersey.com, “Superintendent Dr. C. Lauren Schoen said the policy, while optional for school districts, is meant to promote a comfortable environment for both transgender students and the entire school body.” Read more here: http://bit.ly/1P1rMYo. Cumberland School Board in Rhode Island is also drafting a transgender inclusive policy, according to The Valley Breeze. More here: http://bit.ly/1LGbBvy

READING RAINBOW - Your must-reads for the day!

Metro Weekly: November Impact: Upcoming elections LGBT voters should know about

Reuters: Carson's boardroom support for gay rights could test his base

Houston Press: What the HERO backlash has done to transgender Houstonians

Houston Public Media: Why Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance Became National News\


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