HRC CALLS ON SENATE TO REJECT EXTREMIST JUDICIAL NOMINEE THOMAS FARR: “Thomas Farr has spent his career intimidating and disenfranchising African-American voters,” said David Stacy, HRC Government Affairs Director. “Americans deserve judges we can trust to apply our laws faithfully and administer equal justice under those laws.” Farr has a long history of representing North Carolina in legal battles with voting rights groups who accuse the state of discriminating against African-American voters. In one case, the attempts to disenfranchise voters of color was so blatant that a federal judge asserted that the regulations “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.” More from HRC.

DESPICABLE -- ICE REFUSING TO RELEASE REQUIRED REPORT ON BRUTAL DEATH OF TRANS ASYLUM SEEKER ROXANA HERNÁNDEZ: After an autopsy report strongly indicated Hernández was beaten in U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) custody before her death, the agency is falsely claiming its press release announcing her death constitutes its report and is attempting to undermine the physician who performed the autopsy, INTO’s Kate Sosin (@shoeleatherkate) reports. Lynly Egyes, litigation director at the Transgender Law Center (TLC), which is filing a wrongful death suit in Hernández’s case, told INTO: “Accountability dies in the darkness that they’re creating. They’re claiming that they have this review or that she wasn’t abused in custody, but aren’t submitting the information to those who are requesting it.” HRC in July sent Freedom of Information Act request to ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol for all records related to the detention of Hernández and her death on May 25. More from HRC and INTO.

THANKFUL THURSDAY -- NANCY PELOSI NOMINATED BY HOUSE DEMS TO SERVE AS SPEAKER: Leader Pelosi has dedicated her career to LGBTQ equality has said that the Equality Act, which would establish explicit federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ people, will be a major legislative priority in the upcoming session. More from The New York Times.

HORRIFYING -- INMATE LIVING WITH HIV FORCED INTO SOLITARY FOR A YEAR FOR HAVING CONSENSUAL SEX: Said John Dorn: “I was told by several prison officials that I was being treated differently because of my HIV status.” More from Tonic.

HRC’S SARAH MCBRIDE ON THE MOTHER JONES PODCAST -- “WE’VE GONE FROM A PRESIDENCY OF PROGRESS TO A PRESIDENCY OF PREJUDICE”: More from Mother Jones.

MAN DENIED SURVIVOR’S BENEFITS AFTER SPENDING 40+ YEARS WITH HUSBAND BECAUSE COUPLE WAS ONLY ABLE TO LEGALLY MARRY SEVEN MONTHS BEFORE DEATH: Michael Ely and James Taylor began their relationship just two years after the Stonewall Uprising, and married just three weeks after their home state of Arizona legalized marriage equality. Tragically, Taylor passed away from cancer seven months later. Now, Ely is seeking justice after being denied survivor benefits because the Social Security Administration requires couples be married nine months before becoming eligible. More from The Washington Post.

NORFOLK, VA, FIREFIGHTER ALLEGES CITY FORCED HIM OUT OF JOB AFTER LEARNING HE WAS GAY: More from The Virginian Pilot.

ARIZONA STATE SUPREME COURT TO HEAR CASE INVOLVING A BUSINESS THAT WANTS TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST LGBTQ CUSTOMERS: The case, brought by anti-LGBTQ organization Alliance Defending Freedom, which was also behind the discriminatory Masterpiece cake case, asserts that Brush & Nib Studio should be allowed to discriminate against customers seeking invitations for a same-sex wedding. More from KJZZ.

LGBTQ ADVOCATES IN UTAH WORK TO PROTECT YOUTH FROM SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY”: These dangerous practices are based on the false premise that being LGBTQ is a mental illness that needs to be “cured” -- a theory that has been rejected by every major medical and mental health organization. Fifteen states and D.C. already have laws or regulations against the practice. More from The Salt Lake Tribune.

GAY UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS STUDENT ALLEGES ADMINISTRATION REFUSES TO ALLOW HER TO HAVE GUESTS IN HER DORM: Kaj Baker says she was punished for spending time with her girlfriend in the common area of the dorm -- and more harshly than her non-LGBTQ peers. More from News 4 San Antonio.

UPCOMING LGBTQ ROM-COM FROM CLEA DUVALL STARRING KRISTEN STEWART: “Happiest Season” will feature a woman planning to propose to her girlfriend at a family holiday party, only to realize her partner is not yet out to her family. More from Indiewire and Variety.

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

HORRIFYING -- TAIWAN LGBTQ COUNSELING HOTLINE CALLS JUMPED 4O PERCENT FOLLOWING MARRIAGE EQUALITY VOTE: More from Gay Star News.

LAILA ALI HAS BECOME THE FIRST TRANS WOMAN IN ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN, TO RECEIVE A DRIVER'S LICENSE: More from Gay Star News.

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

BuzzFeed visits the world’s first synagogue for the LGBTQ community; WRAL TechWire interviews HRC Chief Operating Officer Joni Madison; Out Magazine shares the experience of a person who came out as gay, and later as bisexual; Culture Cruise remembers the groundbreaking “Murphy Brown” episode featuring a man coming out

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Filed under: A.M. Equality, Community

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