- November 2, 2017
HRC URGES SENATE TO REJECT ANTI-LGBTQ EXPORT-IMPORT BANK NOMINEE: Scott Garrett, Trump’s nominee to lead the Export-Import Bank, had his hearing yesterday before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. “Scott Garrett is not qualified to be the President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. It makes no sense to appoint someone to lead an institution he does not believe should exist,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “Even among the many House members with anti-LGBTQ records, Scott Garrett managed to stand out for his extreme positions on the inclusion of LGBTQ people in our country. The Trump-Pence administration continues to dispatch anti-LGBTQ officials to all levels of government and Garrett is simply another disgraceful agent in their crusade against equality. We urge the Senate to reject his nomination.” Garrett’s stance and hateful remarks led HRC to call for his removal as subcommittee chair in the House Financial Services Committee. More from HRC.
COURT PREVENTS LOUISIANA GOV FROM PROTECTING LGBTQ STATE WORKERS: Yesterday, a three-judge panel of Louisiana’s First Circuit Court of Appeal upheld an earlier District Court decision striking down Governor John Bel Edwards’ executive order protecting LGBTQ state workers and contractors from discrimination. “This decision is a setback with serious consequences for LGBTQ state employees and contractors throughout Louisiana,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “Governor John Bel Edwards’ common sense protections are similar to executive orders issued by governors around the country.” Bel Edwards issued the executive order last April, protecting state employees and contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Attorney General Jeff Landry sued the governor, asking the court to throw out those explicit protections that do not exist under state law. More from The Associated Press.
TRUMP JUDICIAL NOMINEE FAILS TO DENOUNCE DANGEROUS PRACTICE OF SO-CALLED ‘CONVERSION THERAPY’: When asked by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) about his connection to the anti-LGBTQ Nebraska Family Alliance, L. Steven Grasz -- Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals -- failed to denounce the group’s support of the debunked practice. Additionally, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) asked Grasz about referring to marriage equality as a “grave danger,” he claimed he would follow the Obergefell decision as the law of the land. More from Newsweek and Mother Jones.
- The American Bar Association yesterday deemed Grasz “not qualified” for this seat. More from The Omaha World-Herald.
- Grasz joins a growing list of anti-LGBTQ judicial nominees being advanced by the Trump-Pence Administration, including Jeff Mateer, Damien Schiff, Stephen Schwartz and Mark Norris.
THANKFUL THURSDAY -- WATCH THIS 104-YEAR-OLD AUSTRALIAN EXPLAIN WHY HE SUPPORTS MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Alex was married for 45 years to his wife, and now wants the same rights for his gay grandson. Results in Australia’s non-binding postal vote on marriage equality are expected November 15. More from Metro.
MORNING MUST READ FROM REUTERS, “OUT FOR VOTES: BATTLE OVER RIGHTS INSPIRES MORE U.S. TRANSGENDER CANDIDATES”: Reporter Letitia Stein (@LetitiaStein) writes, “[Virginia Delegate candidate Danica Roem’s] candidacy comes as more transgender men and women are vying for voices in the political arena where they have been targeted by conservative lawmakers seeking to limit their rights, most notably by restricting bathroom access... Nearly 30 races in the 2017-18 election cycle already have a transgender candidate, up from 13 in 2015-16… The community’s electoral push comes as Republican President Donald Trump’s administration has reversed guidance to public schools on allowing transgender students’ bathroom choice and wants to ban transgender people from military service.” More from Reuters.
With LGBTQ rights under attack, more transgender Americans are running for office. That's good for the country. https://t.co/QSQKxEwjox— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) November 1, 2017
RUSSIAN OFFICIAL SUPPORTS CRIMINAL CASE OVER CHECHNYA'S ANTI-LGBTQ HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES: Russian Human Rights Ombudsperson Tatayana Moskalkova told reporters yesterday that a criminal case could be made concerning anti-LGBTQ torture against Chechen man Maksim Lapunov. Since early this year, Chechen authorities have rounded up and detained more than 100 men in secret prisons, under suspicion that they are gay or bisexual. Chechen leaders have denied these accusations, going so far as to deny the very existence of LGBTQ people in Chechnya. Nonetheless, there have been numerous verified reports of torture and at least three and possibly as many as 20 men have been killed. More from Tass Russian News Agency.
- While the U.S. Congress has passed resolutions condemning the violence and persecution by Chechen authorities, President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have thus far failed to publicly condemn the attacks. More from Upworthy.
EGYPT AND RUSSIA BLOCKED FROM REMOVING INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE IN UN’S OLYMPICS RESOLUTION: In advance of the Olympics, the United Nations General Assembly passes an “Olympic Truce Resolution,” which includes a commitment that the Olympics will not discriminate -- including on the basis of sexual orientation. This year, however, Egypt and Russia attempted to remove the language on non-discrimination, because of the reference to sexual orientation. The U.S. and other nations blocked them. More from HRC and The Washington Blade.
COUNTY JUDGE TELLS PHOENIX WEDDING SHOP OWNERS THEY MUST SERVE SAME-SEX COUPLES: Judge Karen Mullins of the Maricopa County Superior Court rejected Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski’s challenge to the city’s LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance in their quest to discriminate against same-sex couples. More from The Arizona Republic.
HEARING SET IN ETHICS CASE AGAINST ANTI-LGBTQ JUDGE: The Judicial Conduct Commission asserts that Judge W. Mitchell Nance, a family court judge in Kentucky, violated several ethics provisions when he refused to hear adoption cases involving same-sex parents. His outrageous reasoning was that he does not believe same-sex parents are in the “best interests” of a child. Nance has announced he would resign effective December 16. More from The Associated Press.
HRC MOURNS CANDACE TOWNS, TRANS WOMAN OF COLOR MURDERED IN GEORGIA: HRC was horrified to learn of the death of Candace Towns, a 30-year-old woman shot to death in Macon, Georgia. Towns is at least the 25th reported killing of a transgender person in the U.S. this year. Nearly every person killed has been a woman of color -- and overwhelmingly Black women. More from NewNowNext.
THOUSANDS CALL FOR REMOVAL OF CATHOLIC OFFICIAL OVER SHAMEFUL “TIPS” FOR SHUTTING LGBTQ FAITHFUL OUT OF FUNERAL RITES: In a newsletter to area priests, Bishop Morlino of the Catholic Diocese of Madison (Wis.) urges preventing same-sex partners of the deceased to play a “prominent role” in funerals, and forbidding Mass at funerals where the LGBTQ deceased didn’t give “any signs of repentance before death.” More from The Associated Press.
MANDY MOORE TALKS ABOUT HER LGBTQ MOM & TWO BROTHERS: The singer and actress says that “nothing makes me happier than seeing anybody live their authentic self, and to choose love. If anyone can find love, I support it, I salute you and I celebrate that.” More from NewNowNext.
NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH: There are more than 400,000 children and youth waiting for a permanent family. Check out some ways you can mark National Adoption Month with HRC’s All Children – All Families Project at HRC.
REFLECTING ON PROTESTANT CHRISTIANS EMBRACING LGBTQ DIVERSITY, 500 YEARS AFTER MARTIN LUTHER: There are more than 5,000 Protestant churches in the U.S. that are welcoming and affirming of LGBTQ people. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran church body in the U.S. consecrated an openly gay bishop in 2013 and allows clergy to perform same-sex marriages. Other major mainline protestant denominations, including the United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian Church (USA), have also opened their doors to LGBTQ people and advocate for LGBTQ equality. More from HRC.
WORLDWIDE SURVEY FINDS MAJORITY SUPPORT EQUALITY FOR LGB PEOPLE: The ILGA-RIWI survey found that 55 percent of respondents agree that “equal rights and protections should be applied to everyone, including people who are romantically or sexually attracted to people of the same sex.” The question did not include gender identity. More from PinkNews.
HONG KONG FINANCIAL SECTOR PUSHES CITY ON LGBTQ EQUALITY: In light of this week’s announcement that Hong Kong will host the 2022 Gay Games, companies including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are pushing for pro-equality policy. More from Bloomberg.
NBC reports that an Alabama drag queen will donate the outfit she wore while advocating against the anti-LGBTQ then-state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore; Broadway World announces Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund ‘Home for the Holidays’ benefit concert; Arizona PBS reports that the state legislature has formed an LGBT Caucus;