#AM_Equality Tipsheet: April 11, 2017

by Allison Turner

Trump guarantees Hill fight over anti-LGBTQ nominee for Army Sec; Trump appoints Bush-era official who punished LGBTQ employees

TRUMP GUARANTEES FIGHT ON HILL OVER HIS RADICAL ANTI-LGBTQ NOMINEE FOR US ARMY SEC: President Donald Trump “couldn’t have picked a worse nominee’’ for Secretary of the Army than Tennessee State Senator Mark Green, HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy told reporters Monday. “It’s a nonstarter with Democrats, and a nonstarter with moderate Republicans. It’s guaranteed to cause a fight on the Hill.” HRC has denounced Trump’s nomination of Green, citing his anti-LGBTQ record that includes describing former President Obama’s guidance protecting transgender students an example of “tyrannical government,” saying that being transgender is a “disease”, encouraging the state of Tennessee to deny marriage licenses to gay couples, and equating transgender people to rapists and pedophiles. As a State Senator, Green supported legislation giving businesses a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, sponsored several anti-transgender bills, and opposed state nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation. If confirmed, Green would succeed former Secretary of the U.S. Army Eric Fanning, who made history as the first openly gay leader of a branch of the U.S. military. More from HRC, The Hill, the Washington Post and USA Today.

DESPICABLE BUSH-ERA OFFICIAL WHO PUNISHED AND FIRED EMPLOYEES FOR BEING LGBTQ APPOINTED TO TRUMP ADMIN: James Renne, who has secured a senior position in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, once worked to purge the Bush Administration of its LGBTQ employees as deputy special counsel of the Office of Special Counsel. His methods? He’d target employees suspected of being LGBTQ, and reassign them to an undesirable post that he and a colleague conspired to create -- and then fire those who declined to move. Renne also took the lead in removing language from the agency’s website indicating that sexual orientation was covered under agency nondiscrimination protections. His actions led to years of Congressional and criminal investigations. More from ProPublica.

  • And, yet another anti-LGBTQ Trump appointee: Twelve Senate Democrats have sent a letter to HHS Secretary Tom Price expressing deep concern about Trump’s appointment of anti-LGBTQ activist Roger Severino to lead the division charged with enforcing civil rights law at HHS. Severino’s extreme views opposing transgender people and women’s rights have made him a darling of the far right. While at the Heritage Foundation, he wrote scathing opinions on transgender issues, abortion rights, and gay marriage. More from The Washington Blade.

TUESDAY TWEET -- EAST BAY TIMES WINS PULITZER FOR COVERAGE OF OAKLAND WAREHOUSE FIRE THAT CLAIMED LGBTQ ARTISTS AMONG ITS VICTIMS: Yesterday, the East Bay Times won a prestigious Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Oakland warehouse fire in December that included heartbreaking profiles of each of the 36 victims. The tragic event claimed the lives of at least three openly transgender people and many other members of the LGBTQ community. The “Ghost Ship” location was a hub for LGBTQ artists, and the tragedy continues to reverberate in the community. The paper took to Twitter to share insight on how the story was reported. Read the full list of Pulitzer winners here.

NEW REPORTS THAT CHECHEN AUTHORITIES ARE ARRESTING AND MURDERING GAY MEN IN RUSSIA -- PLACING THEM IN SECRET PRISONS: After Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported last week that at countless men were arrested and at least three killed by Chechen police, “in connection with their nontraditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such,” new reports from a Russian LGBTQ advocacy group shared by Washington Blade’s Michael Lavers (@MKLavers81) confirmed that the arrested men are being sent to “secret prisons.” Several reports have described the prisons as “concentration camps,” noting that at least one is located in Argun, 12 miles from the Chechen capital of Grozny. More from The Washington Blade.

HAWAIIAN LGBTQ COMMUNITY SEEKS EQUAL ACCESS TO FERTILITY TREATMENT: While Hawaii requires insurance companies to cover fertility treatments, the mandate applies only to married, different-sex couples -- leaving out many members of the LGBTQ community. A proposal to make the mandate apply equally to all has passed the Hawaii State Senate and is up for a vote in the House. More from The Associated Press.

INSPIRING TRANSGENDER HIGH SCHOOLER’S DREAM COMES TRUE AS SHE RUNS ON THE GIRLS’ TRACK TEAM: After coming out as transgender, Andraya Yearwood was finally able to achieve her goal of running with her high school’s girls’ track team. She found strong support from her school, family and teammates, telling The Hartford Courant, “I hope it inspires people to not hold yourself back just because you're scared of it or it is your first time doing it, or because of other people's negativity.” More from The Hartford Courant.

SAME SEX COUPLE ARRESTED IN INDONESIA -- FACES 100 LASHINGS: The couple was arrested under a Sharia code that allows up to 100 lashes for “morality offenses.” Aceh, an Indonesian province, began to impose Sharia law in 2006. More from Metro.

GHANAN AUTHORITIES MAKE ARREST IN ANTI-GAY BLACKMAIL CASE: In a rare instance of support for LGBTQ Ghanans, two men were arrested for blackmailing a man on a gay dating app in the capital city of Accra. More from Erasing 76 Crimes.


HRC marked National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day by highlighting important facts and resources; Fortune looks at data methods to assess diversity efforts, including HRC’s Corporate Equality Index;

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