MORE THAN 150 LGBTQ COMMUNITY CENTERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY URGE CONGRESS TO PASS THE EQUALITY ACT: In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, CenterLink, an organization that works to support strong, sustainable LGBTQ community centers, wrote: “For decades, community centers have been working with and for the LGBTQ community to fight discrimination. With passage of the Equality Act, community centers will finally have federal protections in place to assist them as they advocate for their constituents and work toward lived equality.” Read the full letter here.

DESPITE PUSH FOR ANTI-LGBTQ LEGISLATION, PRO-EQUALITY BILLS GET HISTORIC HEARINGS IN TEXAS HOUSE: “Having a hearing is sometimes a victory,” said state Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin (@CeliaIsrael), whose conversion therapy ban was debated for the first time this year, reports Emma Platoff (@emmaplatoff) of The Texas Tribune. One of the pro-equality bills would extend statewide non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ people. Notably, this legislative session, anti-LGBTQ legislators are attempting to gut Texas cities’ employment non-discrimination ordinances, which extend the only fully-inclusive protections for LGBTQ Texans. Read more at The Texas Tribune.

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING WEDNESDAY -- HRC CELEBRATES TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK: Through the HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools program, elementary school educators can access training and resources to help them embrace family diversity, create LGBTQ-inclusive schools, prevent bias-based bullying, and support trans and non-binary students. Learn more here.

NEW REPORT FROM NATIONAL CENTER FOR TRANSGENDER EQUALITY DETAILS FAILURE OF U.S. POLICE DEPARTMENTS TO PROTECT TRANSGENDER PEOPLE: Failing to Protect and Serve “reveals a widespread failure of the nation’s police departments to adopt or modernize policies protecting the rights of transgender people.” Read the full report here.

  • Researchers at HealthEast Medical Transportation are collecting data on how transgender patients are treated by EMTs. Learn more here.

PROMINENT TRANSGENDER ACTIVIST FROM ZIMBABWE, RICKY “RIKKI” NATHANSON, GRANTED ASYLUM IN THE U.S.: Nathanson (@rickynathanson) is the director of HIV & AIDS prevention and outreach at Casa Ruby in Washington, D.C. Read more from Michael K. Lavers (@mklavers81) at the Washington Blade.

STATE DEPARTMENT CONTINUES TO FIGHT JUDGE’S DECISION THAT TWIN SON OF BINATIONAL SAME-SEX COUPLE IS A U.S. CITIZEN: Read more from the Daily Beast.

NEW YORK MAY BECOME FOURTH STATE TO BAN “PANIC DEFENSE” AGAINST LGBTQ PEOPLE: “It is long past time that every state ban perpetrators of violent crimes from asserting a victim’s LGBTQ identity as a potential defense for their violent actions,” said Xavier Persad, HRC senior legislative counsel. Read more from Susan Miller (@susmiller) at USA Today.

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

COVERAGE CONTINUES ON REPORTS THAT THE SULTAN OF BRUNEI HAS DECLARED A MORATORIUM ON THE DEATH PENALTY: While this is an important step, the Sultan must repeal this draconian law in its entirety and uphold all Brunei’s commitments under international law. Read more from the Washington Blade, Metro Weekly, Gay Times and CNN.

NEW REPORT FROM HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH DETAILS THE ONGOING ANTI-LGBTQ CRACKDOWN IN CHECHNYA: Read more here.

LGBTQ MARCHES IN CUBA HAVE BEEN CANCELLED: They were set to take place in Havana and Camagüey to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Read more from the Washington Blade.

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

WBUR reports on a mom who attends same-sex weddings as a stand-in mother to support LGBTQ couples; The Daily Beast reviews the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new exhibit, “Camp: Notes on Fashion”; HRC celebrates the addition of trans-inclusive terms to the official SCRABBLE™ dictionary

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Filed under: A.M. Equality, Community

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