#AM_Equality September 18, 2017

by Allison Turner

HRC responds to new Pentagon guidance on trans troops; Hillary Clinton speaks at Edie Windsor’s funeral

HRC RESPONDS TO REPORTS OF NEW PENTAGON GUIDANCE ON RE-ENLISTMENT OF TRANS TROOPS: “It is clear that there is broad opposition within Congress and military leadership to Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s discriminatory attacks on transgender troops,” said HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride), in response to reports of new guidance from Secretary of Defense James Mattis regarding the re-enlistment of transgender service members and access to required medical care. “Donald Trump’s erratic July tweets -- and the subsequent half-baked orders -- have left the lives and careers of thousands of transgender service members in question. There is only one right answer here, and that is allowing any person willing and able to serve to do so. And we will not relent in our efforts to make that a reality.” More from HRC.

  • Billie Jean King, in an interview with The New York Times, supports trans troops, and speaks frankly of challenges ahead:  “We’ve made a lot of advances in the L.G.B.T. community. We still have a long way to go, and I think we’re starting to go backward a bit, especially with the ban on trans people in the armed forces. We have to keep pushing. We have to have equality in every way. Everyone deserves to belong.” Read the interview at the NYT.

MONDAY MUST WATCH -- HILLARY CLINTON SPEAKS AT EDIE WINDSOR’S FUNERAL: Clinton honored the civil rights trailblazer and made an impassioned plea for all of us to continue the fight for full equality. Windsor, plaintiff in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor, successfully challenged and defeated the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2013. Her case was argued by Roberta Kaplan, and helped pave the way for the 2015 Supreme Court decision that granted nationwide marriage equality, Obergefell v. Hodges. As a leader and icon in the fight for marriage equality, Edie Windsor became a hero to millions and her advocacy continued well beyond the Supreme Court. Watch here.

TODAY -- TRUMP HEADS TO THE U.N. IN ADVANCE OF MAJOR SPEECH: The United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly convenes this week for its annual meeting. Donald Trump is scheduled to participate today in a meeting on U.N. reform, and deliver his first speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. While reform is on this year's agenda, HRC is among civil rights groups here and abroad using this opportunity to celebrate the U.N.’s critical role in protecting the world’s most vulnerable people and fostering global stability since its establishment after World War II. It has also has been crucial to advancing and protecting the human rights of LGBTQ people. More from HRC.

HISTORIC NIGHT AT THE #EMMYS, “THINGS THAT MAKE US DIFFERENT -- THOSE ARE OUR SUPER POWERS”: Last night, LGBTQ actor and writer Lena Waithe (@LenaWaithe) made history, becoming the first Black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing for her work on a powerful Master of None episode on coming out in which she also starred. She shared the honor with show creator and star, Aziz Ansari. In a joyful, passionate acceptance speech, Waithe thanked her girlfriend, her chosen family, and, “last, but certainly not least, my L.G.B.T.Q.I.A. family. I see each and every one of you. The things that make us different, those are our super powers. Every day, when you walk out the door and put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world — because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it. And for everybody out there that showed so much love for this episode, thank you for embracing a little Indian boy from South Carolina and a little queer black girl from the South Side of Chicago. We appreciate it more than you could ever know.” Read about the Emmy Award-winning episode at the LATimes.

  • The Netflix series Black Mirror was another important winner at the Emmys for LGBTQ inclusion in media. The groundbreaking episode San Junipero chronicles the virtual love story of an older black woman and older white woman, and even has a happy ending. More from Quartz.
  • Congratulations also to #KateMcKinnon on her #Emmys win for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy for her unparalleled work on Saturday Night Live.

GEORGIA TECH LGBTQ STUDENT LEADER TRAGICALLY KILLED: Scout Schultz, a non-binary activist and president of the Georgia Tech LGBTQ student organization, was killed by police over the weekend. More from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

HAPPY #BIWEEK FROM HRC: Bisexual Awareness Week, also known as #BiWeek, culminates on September 23, with Bi Visibility Day. Follow HRC’s blog to learn more about Bisexual Awareness Week and check out hrc.org/bisexual for more information about the community and the issues they face. More from HRC.

HONORING HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH: HRC is proud to observe National Hispanic Heritage Month, which began Friday, an annual celebration of the histories and cultures of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. More from HRC.

LA CELEBRACIÓN DEL MES DE LA HERENCIA HISPANA: HRC se enorgullece de observar el Mes de la Herencia Hispana que comienza hoy, 15 de septiembre. Esta celebración anual conmemora las historias y culturas de los ciudadanos estadounidenses cuyos ancestros provienen de España, México, el Caribe, Centroamérica y Sudamérica. Más de HRC.

BRUCE BASTIAN OF HRC BOARD OF DIRECTORS TO RECEIVE KEY TO SALT LAKE CITY: The honor to be bestowed by openly lesbian Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski marks the tremendous contributions made by Bastian to the city. Kate Kendall, who heads the National Center for Lesbian Rights, will also be honored. The official event will be held on National Coming Out Day, October 11.

AUSTRALIANS RING THEIR GRANDMOTHERS FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY: In a heartwarming new video from Australian Marriage Equality, Lisa calls her grandmother and encourages her to vote ‘Yes’ on the upcoming postal survey on marriage equality to support Lisa and her partner. Watch here.

HONG KONG ALTERS BLOOD DONATION RULES FOR MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN: The Hong Kong government will begin allowing men to donate blood within 12 months of same-sex sexual activity instead of prohibiting donations. While not ideal, it is a step forward. More from Gay Star News.

SERBIA’S FIRST LGBTQ PRIME MINISTER LEADS BELGRADE PRIDE PARADE: Despite the recent appointment of Ana Brnabic as the country’s first openly LGBTQ and first woman prime minister, Serbia’s LGBTQ community still faces disproportionately high rates of discrimination, according to a new report from the United Nations Development Program. More from BBC.


Gay Star News shares the successes and struggles of an Albianian LGBTQ hotline; HRC reflects on National Stepfamily Day

Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!

A.M. Equality