#AM_Equality Tipsheet: April 24, 2017

by Allison Turner

NYT interview exposes horrors gay men face in Chechnya at hands of police; HRC honors trans trailblazers at national youth conference

NYT INTERVIEW WITH GAY CHECHENS EXPOSES TORTURE, STARVATION, ELECTROSHOCK TACTICS BY POLICE:  The New York Times has published a shocking report of first-hand accounts to the atrocities experienced by gay men in Chechnya, including starvation and electroshocks. The account comes in the wake of reports by a Russian newspaper and LGBTQ advocates in the country that Chechen police have been detaining, torturing and killing gay men. 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.” 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. More from HRC, BuzzFeed and The New York Times.

  • The New York Times Editorial Board called out these atrocities in an oped this morning. They call out the administration of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and their claims that LGBTQ people “do not exist” in Russia. They write, “This abominable crime by a Russian republic and its reprehensible cover-up warrant a strong response from Moscow and the international community.” Read the full piece from NYT.

HRC TO HONOR TRANS TRAILBLAZERS JAZZ JENNINGS AND RUBY CORADO: Jazz Jennings, star of TLC’s I Am Jazz, and Ruby Corado, founder of the renowned LGBTQ center Casa Ruby, will be honored with Upstander Awards at HRC’s annual Time to THRIVE Conference for their tireless efforts to advance the visibility, public understanding and acceptance of LGBTQ people and identities. “Jazz Jennings and Ruby Corado have set powerful examples for LGBTQ young people across this country,” said Vincent Pompei, chair of Time to THRIVE and director of the HRC Foundation’s Youth Well-Being Project. “Jazz’s visibility has helped shatter stereotypes, open hearts, and demonstrate the power of authenticity to youth and adults alike. Ruby’s tireless commitment to empowering LGBTQ youth has literally saved lives and allowed more young people to pursue their dreams.” HRC’s Time to THRIVE is the nation’s premier gathering for K-12 educators, professional counselors and other youth-serving professionals on LGBTQ youth safety, inclusion and well-being. It will be held April 28-30 in Washington, D.C. More from HRC.

MONDAY MUST WATCH: Google’s latest advertisement celebrates families with same-sex parents. It features two dads using Google Home to plan their days, decide who will take their two children to school, and to help them decipher the newly-learned French words their daughter uses. Google is a long-time supporter of equality, earning a perfect score on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index. It has also spoken out strongly against anti-LGBTQ state bills.

HRC MOURNS LOSS OF CHAY REED -- TRANS WOMAN MURDERED IN MIAMI: HRC mourns the tragic death of Chay Reed, a 28-year-old transgender woman from Miami, who died Friday after being shot in the stomach. The Miami Herald spoke to her friends, who described her as “ sweet, full of life and hilarious” woman who loved dancing. WPLG reports that police are investigating whether she was the direct target of the crime. Chay Reed is at least the ninth transgender woman -- all women of color -- murdered this year in the U.S. More from Mic.

WHY #SCIENCEMATTERS TO LGBTQ PEOPLE: This weekend, millions of people across the country participated in the March for Science. While science helps build support for and advance understanding of LGBTQ people, junk science remains a huge concern. Last week, the HRC Foundation launched McHugh Exposed, a website that pulls back the curtain on the anti-LGBTQ myths and junk science being peddled by Dr. Paul McHugh, the go-to ‘expert’ for anti-equality extremists. The resource details how McHugh’s hateful and damaging essays have been used to target and attack LGBTQ people, and features a new video with renowned LGBTQ health expert, Dr. Tonia Poteat. More from HRC.

TEXAS FOSTER CARE BACKLOG CAN BE HELPED BY WELCOMING AND REACHING OUT TO POTENTIAL LGBTQ FAMILIES: In a powerful oped in the Austin American-Statesman, a local professor broke down the need to allow LGBTQ couples to adopt, and how this benefits LGBTQ and other marginalized children looking for loving homes. This op-ed comes as the Texas legislature considers HB 3859, a bill that would allow sweeping discrimination by foster care and adoption agencies against potential parents based on the agencies’ religious beliefs. Read the full oped from the Austin American-Statesman.

PARIS POLICE OFFICER KILLED WAS LGBTQ EQUALITY ADVOCATE: Xavier Jugelé was one of the brave people who lost their lives last week when a gunman opened fire at police officers on the Champs-Élysées. According to the police force’s LGBTQ employee organization, Jugelé also advocated for equality, protesting during the 2014 Winter Olympic games in anti-LGBTQ Russia. More from New York Daily News.

TOP U.N. EXPERT ON LGBTQ ISSUES MEETS WITH AMERICAN LGBTQ ADVOCATES: Last week, Vitit Muntarbhorn, the United Nations’ newly-appointed Independent Expert on Protection against Violence and Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, met with 30 leading LGBTQ advocates. He discussed the challenges and opportunities he faces monitoring the rights of LGBTQ people around the world. HRC co-hosted the meeting  with partners Outright Action International and Open Society Foundations. This was Muntarbhorn’s first visit to the U.S. since taking office in September. More from HRC.


American alternative-rock band Portugal. The Man (@PortugalTheMan) has joined HRC’s Equality Rocks campaign; NewNowNext previews the L.A. Dodgers “LGBT Night”, celebrating LGBTQ athletes and featuring gay actor Matt Bomer (@MattBomer)

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A.M. Equality