#AM_Equality: July 2, 2020

by HRC Staff

History made in Virginia; HRC mourns Brayla Stone, trans girl killed in Arkansas

HISTORY MADE IN VIRGINIA: Yesterday, the Virginia Values Act -- a comprehensive bipartisan law that expands non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people and adds all-new protections in employment and public accommodations for all Virginians -- took effect. Roughly 257,400 LGBTQ people in Virginia -- people of color, people of faith, immigrants, women and more -- are now protected from discrimination at work and in their communities. And that is not all. In addition to the Virginia Values Act, a historic slate of pro-LGBTQ laws also takes effect in the commonwealth. More from HRC and The Washington Post.

  • Other Virginia laws taking effect include: banning the practice of so-called conversion therapy; adding a non-binary gender marker option on state driver’s licenses and IDs; prohibiting a health insurance carrier from denying or limiting coverage to a transgender individual; ensuring public schools provide an equal learning environment to transgender students; repealing the ban of same-sex marriage in Virginia’s code; allowing cities and counties to pass their own non-discrimination ordinances; updating Virginia’s code to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity; updating Virginia’s hate crimes law to include LGBTQ people and requiring the reporting of hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity along with other protected characteristics; and requiring diversity and cultural competency training for state employees. 

“Today is a day that LGBTQ Virginians – and people of color, people of faith, immigrants, women and more – have been awaiting for decades. Now, they will finally be legally protected from discrimination at work and in their communities,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign (@AlphonsoDavid). “No one should be discriminated against simply because of who they are or whom they love. HRC was proud to work tirelessly to elect pro-equality lawmakers across Virginia in 2019, and we are thrilled to see that effort culminate with this historic enactment, today. We want to thank all who helped make this day possible, including our bill patrons Senator Adam Ebbin and Delegate Mark Sickles. We’re also grateful for the leadership of the Speaker of the House of Delegates, Eileen Filler Corn. Finally, I want to thank everyday Virginians who have been fighting for equality for decades, and our state and national partners in the Virginia Values Coalition, especially Equality Virginia.” 

TRUMP AND PENCE PRIDE MONTH OF HATRED: Four months before the election, the Human Rights Campaign compiled and released a compendium showing that -- rather than acknowledging its existence -- the Trump-Pence administration has utilized Pride month to significantly heighten their aggressive attacks on LGBTQ people. In the midst of a pandemic, HHS released new rules allowing for discrimination against LGBTQ patients and HUD leaked plans for a rule restricting transgender people’s access to emergency shelters. Trump attacked the Supreme Court’s pro-equality ruling and tried to silence embassies embracing equality. They did this all while elevating anti-LGBTQ extremists and anti-LGBTQ legislation. More from HRC.

HRC MOURNS BRAYLA STONE, BLACK TRANS GIRL KILLED IN ARKANSAS: “Brayla Stone was a child. A child, just beginning to live her life. A child of trans experience. A young Black girl who had hopes and dreams, plans and community,” said Tori Cooper, HRC director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative (@MsToriCooper1). “As a nation, we failed Brayla -- as we have failed every transgender or gender non-conforming person killed in a country that embraces violence and upholds transphobia, racism, homophobia. Guns are not as important as people.” More from HRC.

  • In Bakersfield, California, a Black transgender teen named Kristian Rouse was attacked in his home. He has been recovering from his injuries for more than a month. More from Los Angeles Blade.
  • Watch: Cooper joined Naomi Campbell, Indya Moore and Chase Strangio to discuss this epidemic of violence on No Filter with Naomi.

ICYMI -- HRC’S ALPHONSO DAVID, ATLANTA MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS ON LGBTQ EQUALITY, BLACK LIVES MATTER, COVID-19 AND MORE: Watch here.

JULY IS BLACK, INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF COLOR (BIPOC) MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH MONTH: Yesterday, The Jed Foundation - JED, Human Rights Campaign and The Steve Fund kicked off #BIPOCMentalHealthMonth with a discussion on mental health, the importance of language and building systemic change. Watch here.

  • More on this month from HRC.

IN THE STATES

KENTUCKY GOVERNOR SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER TO PROTECT LGBTQ PEOPLE IN STATE CONTRACTS, PUBLIC SERVICES AND STATE EMPLOYMENT:

GET CULTURED - Entertainment, arts and sports news!

DOCTOR WHO STAR PEARL MACKIE COMES OUT AS BISEXUAL IN ADORABLE INSTAGRAM POST!

ADD THESE SONGS TO YOUR SPOTIFY PLAYLIST: Check out this roundup of new music from LGBTQ artists in them.

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

PARLIAMENT OF MONTENEGRO PASSES BILL ALLOWING SAME-SEX PARTNERSHIPS: The bill must now be signed by the country’s president. 

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

HRC ends pride with a celebration of Black LGBTQ leaders; The New York Times takes a heartbreaking look at the many cases of police violence against Black Americans and the legacy of the phrase “I can’t breathe;” Fast Company offers five tips for employers who want to be more LGBTQ-inclusive; Indiewire highlights LGBTQ short films.

Topics:
A.M. Equality