GEORGIA STATE SENATE INTRODUCES ANTI-LGBTQ RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION ACT AGAIN: The legislation could excuse Georgians from any state or local law, policy other government action that they claim “burdens” their exercise of religion, opening LGBTQ Georgians to discrimination in many aspects of their lives. More from HRC.

  • Georgia Equality notes that the legislation would “allow businesses to refuse services to LGBT customers, among others, and would grant taxpayer-funded agencies a broad license to discriminate against LGBT youth, families and other Georgians.” More from The New York Times.

MOMENTUM -- LGBTQ PROTECTIONS FOR YOUTH EXPAND ACROSS STATES: State lawmakers move to expand LGBTQ protections and ban dangerous so-called “conversion therapy” for youth. Read more from Susan Milligan (@MilliganSusan) in US News and World Report.

HRC & NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION HOST JAZZ AND FRIENDS READING IN ARLINGTON, VA.: The annual national day of school and community readings supports transgender and gender-expansive youth and helps foster safe and welcoming schools and communities for young people who still rarely hear affirming stories of LGBTQ people. “For young people, being kind and being respectful is quite simple,” said Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride), HRC National Press Secretary, who read the book I Am Jazz to students. “LGBTQ young people are their classmates, their friends. They may be LGBTQ themselves. And so, this just makes sense. No one’s ever too young to learn to be nice.” Read more from Debbie Truong (@debbietruong) at the Washington Post.

MUST READ MONDAY: In an excerpt from her upcoming book, Real Queer America: LGBT Stories From Red States, Samantha Allen (@SLAwrites) describes her experiences in Texas as a transgender woman. “Intellectually, I can tell myself these bathroom bills are the product of cynical backroom scheming: When same-sex marriage became legal nationwide in 2015, anti-LGBT hate groups needed a new scapegoat to stay relevant and keep raising money,” she writes. “It’s not a coincidence that there were over double the number of anti-transgender bills filed in state legislatures in 2016 as there were in 2015: When you’re fighting a lucrative culture war, it’s a savvier choice to simply change the target than to surrender.” Read the exclusive excerpt from BuzzFeed.

PARENTS FROM TRANS EQUALITY COUNCIL SHARE MESSAGE OF ACCEPTANCE AND INCLUSION: “If you have a transgender child, accept the child, even if you are having a hard time understanding, embracing or respecting what it means,” said Keisha and Sean Michaels, members of HRC Foundation’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council. “Many of us in Brown, Black and sometimes poor communities have a long tradition of not accepting transgender people. It might be hard, but doing so may be the difference between life and death for your child.” More from HRC.

STATEHOUSE ROUND-UP

  • The Washington State Senate recently passed legislation that would require public schools to adopt policies protecting transgender students. The bill now moves to the state House for consideration. More from KomoNews.
  • South Carolina’s Legislative Black Caucus advocates for legislation that would provide additional charges for crimes targeting a victim based on their identity or circumstance. More from Charleston City Paper.

HRC RESPONDS TO TRUMP-PENCE SPEECHES AT CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL ACTION CONFERENCE: CPAC is notorious for its extreme rhetoric and discriminatory remarks delivered from its stages, often directed against the civil rights of LGBTQ people. HRC live-tweeted the speeches here.

HRC YOUTH AMBASSADOR SETH OWEN (@SETH_A_OWEN) STARTS UNBROKEN HORIZONS SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION: The Foundation will award three scholarships to LGBTQ youth this summer. More from US News & World Report.

COUNTRY SINGER AND ACTRESS JENNIFER NETTLES RECEIVES ALLY FOR EQUALITY AWARD AT HRC’S 2019 NASHVILLE DINNER ON SATURDAY: More from CMT.

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

TAIWANESE LEGISLATORS INTRODUCE BILL IN EFFORT TO ADVANCE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Last November, voters rejected same-sex marriage in a nationwide referendum. More from The Washington Blade.

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

Advocate celebrates Women’s History Month by honoring LGBTQ women who paved the way; Crain’s Detroit Business reports that local nonprofit, the Ruth Ellis Center, is planning to expand their housing facilities for LGBTQ young people; UTK News reports that the National Institute of Health will fund research into the quality of life of LGBTQ caregivers;

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Filed under: A.M. Equality, Community

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