AFTER REFUSING TO APOLOGIZE FOR HOMOPHOBIC TWEETS, COMEDIAN KEVIN HART WITHDRAWS AS OSCARS HOST -- AND FINALLY ISSUES MEA CULPA: In a statement this morning, Hart said, in part, “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past. I'm sorry that I hurt people... I am evolving and want to continue to do so.” Hart had initially dismissed concerns over his history of appalling anti-LGBTQ tweets, doubling down and refusing to apologize before ultimately deciding not to host the Oscars. HRC President Chad Griffin was among those who had called on the comedian to use the situation as a teaching moment by acknowledging and apologizing for his comments, tweeting yesterday, “You have a rare opportunity to take responsibility, teach people in this moment & send a message to LGBTQ youth that they matter & deserve dignity and respect.” Read more at CNN and USA Today.

TOP HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS CALL ON STATE DEPARTMENT TO STOP CENSORING DIPLOMATS: More from the International Women’s Health Coalition.

FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY -- THE ELLEN SHOW (@TheEllenShow) FEATURES HRC AS PART OF LYFT’S (@Lyft) ROUND UP AND DONATE PROGRAM:

TOP CIVIL RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS CALL ON CONGRESS TO DIVERSIFY SENIOR STAFF: Sixty-seven national organizations and stakeholders signed the letter, including HRC, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and UnidosUS. More from The Charleston Chronicle.

YOUNG BLACK GAY AND BISEXUAL MEN AT HIGHER RISK FOR HIV: A new study by Northwestern University notes that young black gay and bisexual men in the U.S. are 16 times more likely to acquire HIV than their white counterparts. More from GayStarNews.

IOWA MAN WHO BURNED LGBTQ BOOKS FORMALLY CHARGED: More from KTIV.

WASHINGTON, D.C., COUNCIL APPROVES THREE PRO-LGBTQ EQUALITY MEASURES: They include a bill strengthening existing protections against so-called "conversion therapy" and a resolution supporting transgender people. More from Washington Blade.

QUINCY, MASS., CITY COUNCIL CREATES LGBTQ CITY COMMISSION: The 11-member body will include representatives from the school and police departments, the city council and the community. Read more from The Patriot Ledger.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LGBTQ AND ALLIED PERFORMERS ON THEIR GRAMMY NOMINATIONS! Good luck to Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande), Demi Lovato (@ddlovato), Benj Pasek (@benjpasek), Lady Gaga (@LadyGaga), Janelle Monáe (@JanelleMonae), P!nk (@Pink), Teddy Geiger (@Teddygeiger) and “Call Me By Your Name” (@CMBYNFilm). 

NEW YOUTUBE SHOW AIMS TO CREATE SAFE SPACE FOR LGBTQ YOUTH OF COLOR: In the premiere episode of “Kikis With Louie,” “Pose’s” MJ Rodriguez (@MjRodriguez7) talks LGBTQ history and the importance of including trans voices in the community. Read more from PaperMag.

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

HORRIBLE -- TEENS THREATEN GAY-STRAIGHT ALLIANCE AT CANADIAN HIGH SCHOOL: More from GayStarNews and PinkNews.

JAMAICA BECOMING MORE INCLUSIVE OF LGBTQ PEOPLE: More from The Guardian.

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

Entertainment Weekly features David Yost, a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers star, discussing his experience with “conversion therapy” and coming out; Vice showcases interview of extraordinary LA transgender activist Karina Samala; OutSports highlights Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills receiving award from Florida LGBTQ group; Windy City Times profiles Nigerian LGBTQ activist Davis Mac-Iyalla.

Have news? Send us your news and tips at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!


Filed under: A.M. Equality, Community

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