#AM_Equality Tipsheet: April 13, 2017

by Allison Turner

HRC Calls on Senators to Draw Line in the Sand -- #StopMarkGreen; Trump Must Act to Stop Anti-LGBTQ Violence in Russia

HRC CALLS ON SENATORS TO DRAW A LINE IN THE SAND - #STOPMARKGREEN: In a new video, HRC exposes Mark Green, Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. Secretary of the Army, for what he is: a dangerously anti-LGBTQ politician who encouraged the state of Tennessee to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges, characterized being transgender as a “disease,” and supports license to discriminate laws that target LGBTQ people. In his first public statement since being nominated, Green attempted to dismiss his disgraceful attacks against the LGBTQ community as just “politics.” Our service members deserve better. HRC is urging senators to stand up and #StopMarkGreen. Check out the video here, and read the latest news coverage on Green’s disqualifying record at HRC.

HRC TO TRUMP -- TAKE ACTION TO STOP ANTI-LGBTQ VIOLENCE IN RUSSIA, PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS AT HOME AND ABROAD: According to numerous media outlets and human rights organizations across the globe, authorities in the Russian republic of Chechnya have been rounding up dozens of men on the suspicion of being gay. They have been humiliated, tortured, placed in detention and killed. HRC is urging the White House to take immediate action to stop the persecution of LGBTQ people in Russia. For more about the atrocities, and steps being taken by HRC and other rights organizations to address the crisis, read this report at NBC.

ALABAMA SENATE COMMITTEE ADVANCES SHAMEFUL ANTI-LGBTQ CHILD WELFARE BILL: Yesterday, HRC Alabama called out the Alabama Senate Health Committee for advancing the anti-LGBTQ bill H.B. 24, and renewed its call for the full Senate to defeat this proposal. The bill would allow taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies to reject qualified prospective LGBTQ adoptive or foster parents based on the agency’s religious beliefs. The measure has already passed the Alabama House. Said HRC Alabama’s Eva Kendrick: “This bill is a solution in search of a problem, and the consequences it may bring -- such as political and economic fallout similar to what we’ve witnessed in North Carolina after it passed anti-LGBTQ legislation -- are potentially disastrous for the state. Alabama has a chance at a fresh start after more than a year of political scandals; it should not create a new, unnecessary scandal by targeting LGBTQ people.”

CALIFORNIA JOINS STATES AND CITIES BARRING STATE-FUNDED TRAVEL TO NC: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra yesterday announced that the state will continue to prohibit state-funded and state-sponsored travel and expenditures to North Carolina based on that state's discriminatory laws, joining an ever-growing chorus of cities and states not fooled by NC’s anti-LGBTQ law. Cities and states now barring travel to NC by government employees include: Minnesota; New York City; Washington, DC; San Francisco; Seattle; Portland, OR; Atlanta; Baltimore; Burlington, VTLos Angeles; Oakland; Santa Fe; Cincinnati; Salt Lake City; Palm Springs, CA; West Palm Beach; Portland, ME; and Wilton Manors, FL.

OUTED ON NATIONAL TELEVISION -- TRANSGENDER  “SURVIVOR” CONTESTANT TELLS HIS STORY: In a piece for the Hollywood Reporter, Zeke Smith opens up about being outed by fellow contestant Jeff Varner during last night’s episode of Survivor, and about his own personal journey. He had this to say about Varner: “I don’t believe Varner hates trans people, just as I don’t believe conservative politicians who attack trans people actually care where we use the bathroom. For both, trans people make easy targets for those looking to invoke prejudice in order to win votes..” Read his powerful story here.

WATCH: DOVE CELEBRATES TRANSGENDER MOM IN NEW AD: Shea, a transgender mom and grad student, is one of several moms being featured a groundbreaking new ad that’s part of Dove’s #RealMoms campaign. “There’s no one right way to do it all,” Shea says of parenthood. Read more via the Los Angeles Blade.

THE FALKLAND ISLANDS LEGALIZES MARRIAGE EQUALITY: The Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly has voted overwhelmingly in favor of marriage equality. “It does not matter whether they are a same sex couple or not and the law now reflects the Falkland Islands’ tradition of being an open, tolerant and respectful community,” said the spokesperson for the islands, located just off the southern coast of Argentina. Find out more via GT.

ONE MAN’S STORY OF THE DANGEROUS, DEBUNKED PRACTICE OF “PRAYING THE GAY AWAY”: In a powerful piece for the Springfield (Missouri) News-Leader, reporter Jackie Rehwald (@JackieRehwaldNL) tells the story of Caleb Marshall, who spent nine horrible months in a church-based, so-called “conversion therapy” program that tried to change his sexual orientation. "What I got from the therapy was not a new sexuality. I got really good at lying," Marshall, now 20, told Rehwald. "And I got a really great case of chronic depression that I've been through and still am going through therapy to handle." Today he’s a math and psychology double major at Missouri State University, and plays cello for the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. Read his harrowing, and inspiring, story here.

HRC’s #AskTheGays NAMED FINALIST IN SHORTY AWARDS: Just days after the horrific shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Donald Trump had the audacity to pander to LGBTQ voters by challenging his skeptics to "ask the gays" about where he stood on LGBTQ equality. HRC answered. Using the hashtag #AskTheGays, countless took to social media to call out Trump and Mike Pence on their anti-LGBTQ records. More on the campaign and the Shorty Awards here.


The Atlantic asks, “Should acting prizes be gender-neutral?”; Washington Blade reports that the haphazardly planned White House Easter Egg Roll is unlikely to include an LGBTQ presence as in years past; Vice interviews Jennifer Boylan about her new book Long Black Veil; Knoxville News Sentinel shares Chandler Frumin’s story about coming out and finding acceptance from her family and the University of Tennessee rowing team.

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