#AM_Equality Tipsheet: April 21, 2017

by Allison Turner

Trump’s anti-LGBTQ Army Sec. nom thinks trans vets have ‘a disease’; The world cannot ignore gay men being murdered in Chechnya

“TRUMP’S ANTI-LGBT ARMY SECRETARY NOMINEE THINKS VETERANS LIKE ME HAVE ‘A DISEASE’”: This morning in The Washington Post, retired Army Col. Sheri Swokowski, a transgender woman who served her country for more than three decades, lays bare the extreme anti-LGBTQ animus of Mark Green, Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. Army, and the terrible message the president is sending to LGBTQ service members. “Leading the Army requires an appreciation for every individual, without exception, and Green wouldn’t have the confidence of the thousands of LGBT soldiers proudly and openly serving today,” Swokowski writes in a powerful oped. “Every soldier needs to know that those at the top, uniformed and civilian, have their back. But based on the way he has used anti-LGBT politics to advance his career, that’s not him.” Trump’s nomination of Green, she says, shows the president’s “true colors on LGBT issues.” She also notes that if Senators vote to confirm, they will be doing the same. Swokowski ends with a direct message to Green, a former Tennessee legislator: “Oh, and Sen. Green, I’m not diseased.” Read about Green’s record of anti-LGBTQ extremism at HRC, and Swokowski’s full piece here.

  • In radio interview, Army Sec nominee Green says his transphobia will help him “crush evil.”  In a bizarre interview, uncovered by Huffington Post’s Amanda Terkel (@ATerkel), Green claims that his anti-transgender views are intended “to create an environment where people who do right are rewarded and the people who do wrong are crushed. Evil is crushed.” More from The Huffington Post.
  • Hillary Clinton warns of LGBTQ rights rollback under Trump, cites Green nomination:  During a speech in New York at The Center, an LGBTQ community organization, she called Green an “outspoken opponent” of LGBTQ rights, and also said her “heart broke” when Trump rescinded protections for transgender students. Read more at CNN.

THE WORLD CANNOT IGNORE GAY MEN BEING DETAINED AND MURDERED IN CHECHNYA: In the weeks since a Russian newspaper and LGBTQ advocates in the country have reported that Chechen police have been detaining, torturing and killing gay men, HRC has been vigilant in drawing the attention of world leaders to these horrors. In advance of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s recent trip to Russia, HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) sent a letter to him, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and members of the White House National Security Council encouraging them, “to make clear to your Russian counterparts that such lawless detentions, arrests, torture and murders are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.” Despite a message of condemnation from the State Department, Secretary Tillerson made no public remarks on the matter. HRC is working closely with the Russian LGBT Network, which asserts that as many as 20 men may have been killed in the attacks in the Russian republic.  The Network -- the primary organization leading efforts to evacuate people in danger in Chechnya -- has set up a hotline to provide assistance to LGBTQ Chechens. More from HRC.

#McHUGHEXPOSED -- HRC LAUNCHES SITE DEBUNKING JUNK SCIENCE OF ANTI-LGBTQ EXTREMISTS’ FAVORITE FAKE ‘EXPERT’: Today, HRC launched #McHughExposed, a website that pulls back the curtain on the anti-LGBTQ myths and junk science being peddled by Dr. Paul McHugh. The site includes a timeline of how McHugh’s damaging essays have been used to target and attack LGBTQ people, and a new video featuring renowned LGBTQ health expert, Dr. Tonia Poteat. McHugh’s false, non-scientific assertions have been used by anti-equality activists in state legislatures and courtrooms to defend discrimination against LGBTQ people, including in an amicus brief submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States opposing the rights of transgender student Gavin Grimm. “Paul McHugh’s writings continue to dangerously undermine the safety, security and wellbeing of LGBTQ people, and particularly transgender youth, across the country,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC Vice President for Research, Training, and Programs. Read more about how McHugh and other anti-LGBTQ activists are leveraging junk science to advance their agenda at www.McHughExposed.org

(NOT SO) FUNNY FRIDAY: Presented without comment from Charlotte Observer cartoonist Kevin Siers (@KevinSiers)... but if you need some background, find it here at HRC.

TODAY -- DAY OF SILENCE TO HIGHLIGHT ANTI-LGBTQ BULLYING: Today, HRC honors Day of Silence, an annual event led by GLSEN that highlights the bullying and harassment LGBTQ youth face. LGBTQ youth experience bullying at school more frequently than their non-LGBTQ peers. In January, HRC Foundation released the results of a groundbreaking post-election survey of more than 50,000 young people ages 13-18 revealing the deeply damaging fallout the November election has had on youth across the U.S. Learn more about Day of Silence here. More from HRC.

BUZZFEED CELEBRATES LGBTQ FAMILIES: The LGBTQ community is as diverse as the fabric of this nation, and BuzzFeed showed this in a recent article featuring beautiful LGBTQ families. The family stories encompass raising children as a same-sex couple, the legal battles of adoption, protecting transgender and gender nonconforming children and more. Celebrate these families (and maybe shed a few “Feel Good Friday” tears) from BuzzFeed.

GEORGIA COUNTY VOTES TO PROTECT ITS LGBTQ EMPLOYEES: The ordinance, which passed Tuesday night by a 6-3 vote, adds sexual orientation and gender identity to existing nondiscrimination protections for county employees. More from WMAZ.

CO-CHAIRS NAMED FOR LGBTQ MARCH ON WASHINGTON: The Equality March for Unity and Pride, scheduled for June 11, will be co chaired by 13 people, including HRC Foundation Board Member Ashley Smith; LGBTQ immigrants rights advocate and Casa Ruby’s Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships and Communications Catalina Velasquez; and Latino GLBT History Project President Jose L. Plaza. More from The Washington Blade.

TODAY -- NATIONAL KINDERGARTEN DAY: Today marks National Kindergarten Day. Although the day recognizes Johann Friedrich Oberlin, the founder of kindergarten, it also honors our youngest explorers, scientists, artists and curious learners. To celebrate, HRC shares some ideas for teachers in engaging young children in conversations about diversity with Welcoming Schools books and lessons. More from HRC.


Vogue interviews transgender model Stav Strashko about her story and the importance of trans visibility in the fashion industry; Quartz looks at the history of laws affecting Iran’s transgender community;

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A.M. Equality