#AM_Equality Tipsheet: April 17, 2017

by Allison Turner

NY Times Debunks the LGBTQ “Trump Fallacy”; Former VP Biden condemns human rights abuses against LGBTQ people in Chechnya

NYTIMES THOROUGHLY DEBUNKS THE LGBTQ “TRUMP FALLACY”: In The New York Times this morning, the editorial board lays bare the lie that Donald Trump would be a friend to the LGBTQ community as president, cataloging his egregious anti-equality actions and appointments -- with Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the top of the list. And The Times provides mounting evidence that should finally put to rest the myth that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner, would be LGBTQ allies in the White House. “The nomination of several key officials who have disparaged the L.G.B.T. community and sought to curtail the rights of its members has exposed the narrative that Mr. Trump would be a champion of gay and transgender people as a fallacy,” The Times writes, harking back to the “jarringly unorthodox moment” when Trump unveiled a rainbow flag scrawled with “LGBTs for TRUMP” on stage while campaigning. The Times catalogues Trump’s aggressive turn against the LGBTQ community here.

  • Among his first actions, AG Jeff Sessions revoked the Obama Administration’s guidance protecting the dignity and safety of transgender students;
  • Tom Price, an anti-LGBTQ politician picked by Trump to head the Department of Health and Human Services, which under Obama expanded access to healthcare for LGBTQ people, has been joined by Roger Severino, equally hostile to LGBTQ equality, to run the Department’s Office of Civil Rights;
  • Trump has nominated aggressively anti-LGBTQ Tennessee legislator Mark Green to head the U.S. Army, most recently led by Eric Fanning -- the first openly gay leader of a branch of the U.S. military;
  • Under Trump, federal agencies, including HHS, are rolling back efforts to collect data on the LGBTQ communities.

ICYMI: #STOPMARKGREEN -- TRUMP ARMY SECRETARY NOMINEE IS NOTORIOUSLY ANTI-LGBTQ: Last week, HRC exposed 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.

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN SPEAKS OUT AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AGAINST LGBTQ PEOPLE IN CHECHNYA: Former Vice President Joe Biden issued a powerful statement through the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement condemning the reported human rights violations occurring in Chechnya. "I am disgusted and appalled by reports from both the Russian media and non-governmental organizations that authorities in the Russian republic of Chechnya have rounded up, tortured, and even murdered individuals who are believed to be gay,” Biden said in Friday’s statement. “When faced with such crimes of hate and inhumanity, it is the responsibility of every person of conscience to speak out -- to oppose this campaign of violence before it continues further. Every man or woman on this earth is entitled to be treated with dignity -- to live without fear and to love freely…I hope that the current administration lives up to the promises it has made to advance human rights for everyone by raising this issue directly with Russia’s leaders. The United States must lead the way to demand an end to these egregious violations of human rights." Read his full comments here.

  • In response to Biden’s comments, Ty Cobb, Director of HRC Global, said, “The reports coming out of Chechnya should alarm every person who cares about freedom and human dignity. For decades, Joe Biden has stood up for civil and human rights, both at home and around the globe, and he continues to do so today. We implore the Trump Administration and State Department to follow Vice President Biden’s lead and treat this situation with the urgency that it deserves. For the LGBTQ people reportedly being detained in Chechnya, the stakes could not be higher.”
  • Previously, HRC called on President Trump and the U.S. State Department to help stop anti-LGBTQ atrocities in Russia. In a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, HRC President Chad Griffin urged him “to make clear to your Russian counterparts that such lawless detentions, arrests, torture and murders are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

MUST WATCH MONDAY -- TRANSGENDER TEEN ACTIVIST TALKS ABOUT HER JOURNEY: Trinity Neal, daughter of HRC Parents for Transgender Equality Council member DeShanna Neal, came out as transgender in kindergarten several years ago, but when her school rejected Trinity, her mother, DeShanna, was forced to quit her job in order to homeschool her daughter and sons. Trinity in a series chronicling the experiences of transgender people in America. Learn more about this family’s touching story from Broadly.

CALIFORNIA, WASHINGTON STATE AND CHICAGO CONTINUE BANS ON TRAVEL TO NORTH CAROLINA AFTER PASSAGE OF HB2.0: California, Washington state and Chicago are the latest jurisdictions to reaffirm bans on all non-essential governmental employee travel to North Carolina, joining a growing list of cities and states, including Minnesota, New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, and Salt Lake City, that have done the same. The bans were initially announced in response to passage of the discriminatory law, HB2, and will continue under North Carolina’s HB142, which doubles down on discrimination. More from HRC and the News & Observer.

HEY NCAA, WE FILLED OUT YOUR NONDISCRIMINATION QUESTIONNAIRE FOR YOU: In response to the release of the NCAA’s nondiscrimination questionnaire, HRC took the liberty of filling it out on behalf of North Carolina public universities in the wake of HB2.0. Check out the full questionnaire here.

NEVADA GOV SIGNS BILL PROTECTING LGBTQ YOUTH IN FOSTER CARE: Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has signed into law a measure extending protections to LGBTQ youth in child welfare and juvenile detention facilities. The Youth Out of Home Placement bill requires foster parents to be trained on working with LGBTQ youth and requires that state and local agencies and facilities treat children in accordance with their gender identity. “Ensuring that every child, regardless of background, identity, or expression is safe and secure is not something I am willing to compromise on,” the Republican governor said in a statement. More from HRC.

HRC CONCLUDES LENTEN DEVOTIONAL CAMPAIGN ON EASTER SUNDAY: This year during Lent, HRC Foundation launched a campaign that told stories of LGBTQ people of faith. Author and Episcopal Church Reverend Dr. J. Edwin Bacon provided the final devotional of the campaign on Easter Sunday. “A central and inspiring part of my ministry has been working to make sure the institutional church -- and religion in general -- is affirming and inclusive of LGBTQ persons,” he wrote. “ I am a more joyful and faithful priest because of that part of my work.” More from HRC.

HRC’S BECK BAILEY FEATURED IN NYTIMES STORY ON TRANS DISCRIMINATION IN HEALTHCARE: Helen Ouyan, an emergency physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University, writes about the continued challenges facing transgender patients in hospital emergency rooms. She points to a 2016 piece in which HRC’s Beck Bailey, deputy director of the HRC Foundation’s Workplace Equality Program, recounted his troubling experience as a transgender man in a Vermont emergency room after a skiing accident. More from the New York Times.

TALKING ABOUT STD’S CAN BE AWKWARD, BUT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE: Unfortunately, talking about issues pertaining to sex and sexuality is often easier said than done. Talking about STDs to your sexual partners and your healthcare provider is critical to maintaining good sexual health. For suggestions on how to make these conversations a little less awkward and a lot more empowering, check out this list from HRC.

WE STAND WITH PLANNED PARENTHOOD AS TRUMP SIGNS LAW THREATENING HEALTH CARE FOR 4 MILLION: On Thursday, President Trump signed a bill overturning a rule upholding protections for as many as 4 million people who rely on vital Title X support, the national family planning program. More from Planned Parenthood.


The Washington Blade reports that the Trump/Sessions Department of Justice has withdrawn its lawsuit against North Carolina for discriminatory laws; Bustle discusses HRC’s Welcoming Schools program and the need for schools to include diverse books affirming LGBTQ identities.

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