- July 14, 2017
VICTORY! NDAA ANTI-TRANS AMENDMENT FAILS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Yesterday, HRC claimed victory following the defeat of a hateful and cruel amendment proposed by Representative Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) to the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which would ban critical access to transition-related health care for military service members and their families. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 214-209 with every Democratic and 24 Republican “nay” votes. “Today’s strong, bipartisan vote sent a resounding message of support for our military families and transgender service members,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “This dangerous amendment would have put at risk the health and wellbeing of military families, and threatened military readiness and national security. We applaud those members from both parties who stood up for the thousands of transgender service members proudly serving their country.” More from HRC, Mic and The Washington Post.
● House Speaker Paul Ryan attempted to clear a path for the amendment by making false claims about the process in a pitiful effort to dodge responsibility. The feckless House Speaker made two blatantly false claims, both reported by the Washington Blade. More from Wisconsin Gazette.
NEW SENATE #TRUMPCARE PROPOSAL JEOPARDIZES HEALTH CARE COVERAGE FOR MILLIONS: “Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell released a new draft that would still rip health care from millions of people, with a particularly devastating impact on low-income senior citizens, women, children, LGBTQ people, and people living with HIV,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “Any health care proposal should improve the lives of individuals -- not put them at risk. This version of the bill is just as bad as the previous ones. With people’s lives on the line, we urge the Senate to stop this madness and reject this harmful piece of legislation.” While the Congressional Budget Office has yet to score this version of the legislation, a previous projection estimated the legislation will result in 22 million Americans losing their health insurance by 2026 -- with 15 million losing their insurance by the end of next year. More from HRC.
FOIA FRIDAY: Following pressure from HRC, other civil rights organizations and reporters including BuzzFeed’s Dominic Holden (@dominicholden), the Department of Justice (DOJ) yesterday used an intermediary to release a copy of remarks U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered in secret earlier this week to the anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Holden had filed a Freedom of Information request seeking a transcript of the speech. Sessions’ comments proved predictably alarming. He used the meeting to advocate strongly for license to discriminate laws, which most frequently target LGBTQ people, and he shamefully invoked civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr. in a specious effort to defend his attempts to cloak his discrimination under the guise of religion. Read Holden’s FOIA request here, and Sessions’ troubling speech here.
SENATE JUDICIARY VOTES TO ADVANCE ANTI-LGBTQ JUDGE NOMINATIONS: Two of President Trump’s federal judicial nominees -- John Bush and Damien Schiff -- have made deeply alarming comments against significant LGBTQ court decisions. Bush, who was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, has criticized rulings striking down sodomy laws targeting LGBTQ people; while Schiff, nominated to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, has been a longtime opponent of marriage equality and opposed anti-bullying policies. More from HRC.
PARENTS OF GENDER CREATIVE SON STAND UP TO INTERNET BULLYING: Lori and Matt Duron, the parents of a 10-year-old gender creative son, spoke out after their family was targeted for abuse online by actor and Trump supporter James Woods. In an interview with Huffington Post’s Noah Michelson (@noahmichelson), Lori said, “I’ve had to remind myself of another thing we teach our kids: You can’t let hate breed hate and fear breed fear. Some of my initial reactions to the tweet included hate and fear, I had to exercise some self-control because lashing out wouldn’t help the situation.” More from Huffington Post and Gay Star News.
CHALLENGE TO GYM’S TRANSGENDER-INCLUSIVE LOCKER ROOM POLICIES HEADED TO MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT: In 2015, Yvette Cormier’s membership to Planet Fitness was cancelled after she complained repeatedly about a transgender woman using the women’s locker room. A Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that Cormier’s complaint had no substance, upholding a lower court’s dismissal of her lawsuit against Planet Fitness. Now, Cormier has appealed the decision to the state’s highest court. More from M Live.
WARREN INTRODUCES THE REFUND EQUALITY ACT: Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has introduced a bill that could allow same-sex couples to receive a refund on their back taxes if they married more than three years before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. More from Washington Blade.
LGBTQ ACTORS, LONGTIME HRC SUPPORTERS SNAG EMMY NOMS: Congratulations to Lily Tomlin, Laverne Cox, Evan Rachel Wood, Jane Fonda, Jeffrey Tambor, Tituss Burgess, Samira Wiley and Allison Janney on your nominations! Ellen Page’s Gaycation was nominated for ‘Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program.’ The show Transparent received seven nominations and RuPaul’s Drag Race received eight. Openly lesbian Lena Waithe, who stars and writes for Netflix's Master of None, was nominated for Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series. She's nominated for the episode “Thanksgiving,”which tells her character's coming out story. Read the full list of nominees on Forbes. More from HRC.
BRITISH COURT CASE GRANTS SAME-SEX COUPLE DIGNITY IN DEATH: The landmark case will allow the husband of a British man to receive the same surviving spouse pension benefits as someone in a different sex marriage. More from Reuters.
NBC shares the history of ‘queercore’ -- a movement combining LGBTQ advocacy with punk rock; BuzzFeed interviews LGBTQ families about their experiences with parental leave; ESPN talks with with Kansas State offensive tackle Scott Frantz about coming out to his teammates;