#AM_Equality Tipsheet: April 28, 2017

by Allison Turner

#Trump100Days -- an overwhelming failure on LGBTQ equality; 31 House Dems send letter opposing Mark Green

#TRUMP100DAYS -- AN OVERWHELMING FAILURE ON LGBTQ EQUALITY: Tomorrow marks 100 long days since Donald Trump was sworn in as president. Since the moment he walked into the White House, Donald Trump has attacked the progress we have made toward full equality for the LGBTQ community and undermined the rights of countless Americans. HRC has launched a new website -- HRC.org/Trump -- chronicling the Trump Administration’s unprecedented attacks against the LGBTQ community. The timeline, which will continue to be updated, spotlights efforts to undermine the LGBTQ community, from rescinding guidelines protecting transgender students and appointing Jeff Sessions to the nation’s highest law enforcement post, to threatening a “license to discriminate” Executive Order and erasing LGBTQ people in federal data gathering. The timeline also highlights how the community is fighting back. More from HRC.

“Since the moment he walked into the Oval Office, Donald Trump has attacked our progress and undermined the rights of countless Americans,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “After promising to be a president for all Americans, Trump has stacked his cabinet with anti-LGBTQ officials, rescinded protections for transgender students, pushed a Muslim ban and draconian deportation orders, and is reportedly considering a license to discriminate order. But instead of dividing us, Donald Trump has united us. Never before have Americans been more eager to participate, to advocate and to fight back. And today, HRC and our grassroots army are harnessing the full power of our democracy to protect our progress and resist Donald Trump’s attacks.”

  • In the run up to the 100-day mark, HRC is also launching a social campaign spotlighting 100 Messages of Hope that highlight how people have come together -- and to encourage people to post their own messages. Check them out on HRC’s Facebook and Twitter.
  • Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson (@chrisjohnson82) asked LGBTQ leaders to grade Trump on his first 100 days -- and the results shouldn’t surprise you. More from Washington Blade.
  • In a powerful new video, HRC highlights the Trump Administration’s attacks on LGBTQ rights, and the work of HRC’s dedicated members and allies to combat his efforts to rollback equality gains, and target people for discrimination. Watch here.

31 HOUSE DEMOCRATS SEND LETTER OPPOSING ANTI-LGBTQ NOMINATION OF MARK GREEN: Thirty-one House Democrats sent a letter to the leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee voicing strong opposition Trump’s anti-LGBTQ extremist nominee for Secretary of the Army Mark Green. The letter highlights Green’s anti-LGBTQ history in the Tennessee State Senate. The members write, “LGBT soldiers are willing to make tremendous sacrifices to protect our rights and freedoms. It would be deeply disrespectful to their service to appoint a secretary of the Army whose history of homophobia and transphobia makes it clear that he is not willing to do the same for them.” More from The Washington Blade and The Hill.

CLAP BACK OF THE WEEK: “What would your grandma think?”  That’s what Pennsylvania House Rep. Brian Sims thought as he saw homophobic and racist slurs posted on his Facebook page. The Facebook troll also happened to post his grandmother’s phone number online -- so Rep. Sims decided to call her and fill her in on the kind of hateful language her grandson was using. “It is the ultimate calling card of a coward to -- under the guise of night and behind a keyboard -- use the kind of language that in person would cause most decent people to respond in anger and frustration,” Rep. Sims told HuffPo. More from The Huffington Post.

U.S. HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM CONDEMNS CHECHNYA’S PERSECUTION OF GAY MEN: Yesterday, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) issued a statement condemning Chechen authorities following reports that Chechen police have been detaining, torturing and killing gay men. “The Holocaust teaches us what can happen when state-sponsored, group-targeted violence is allowed to go unchecked,” says USHMM Director Sara J. Bloomfield. “The reports about the targeting of LGBT persons in Chechnya combined with statements from Chechen officials seemingly endorsing violence are cause for great concern. Both the Chechen and Russian governments need to investigate these allegations and ensure the safety of LGBT populations within the Russian Federation.” Read the full statement here. More from Metro Weekly.

  • Politico today details backlash experienced by the Russian paper that exposed the detentions, torture and reported murders of gay men. Read more here.
  • Yesterday, Yahoo Anchor Katie Couric interviewed Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, and pressed her for details into Russia’s investigation of Chechnya’s actions. HRC thanks Couric for holding Russian leaders accountable.

TN LAWMAKERS VOTE TO UNDERMINE PROTECTIONS FOR WOMEN & LGBTQ PEOPLE IN EFFORT TO CHALLENGE MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Yesterday, HRC condemned a vote by the Tennessee Senate passing HB 1111 -- a measure that could undermine certain protections under state law for women and LGBTQ people in a shameful effort to challenge the Obergefell marriage equality decision. The measure would require that courts and agencies apply a so-called “natural” meaning interpretation of gendered statutory language, including those involving the rights of husbands and wives. The bill now heads to Governor Bill Haslam’s desk. More from HRC.

LOUISIANA HOUSE COMMITTEE ADVANCES LGBTQ-INCLUSIVE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BILL: The Louisiana House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice voted to advance legislation that would update state domestic violence law to remove the phrase “opposite sex” from the references to household and family members. Louisiana is only one of a handful of states where the law specifically singles out opposite sex partners in the state’s domestic violence statute, making it harder for prosecutors and victim advocates to address domestic violence situations in same-sex households. More from HRC and The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune.

THANK YOU, ELLEN DEGENERES, FOR COMING OUT 20 YEARS AGO: Sunday marks the 20th anniversary of Ellen DeGeneres’ public coming out on her TV show Ellen in “The Puppy Episode.” The episode featured several big names, including Oprah Winfrey and Laura Dern, as well as a brief cameo by DeGeneres’ real-life mom and long-time HRC supporter Betty DeGeneres. Ellen’s courageous decision to live openly and honestly -- both on- and off-screen -- was truly historic. Not long after coming out, HRC at its first National Dinner honored DeGeneres with the National Civil Rights Award. More from HRC.

TRANS CONGRESSWOMAN IN PHILLIPINES FIGHTING FOR LGBTQ EQUALITY: Congresswoman Geraldine Roman, the Philippines first openly transgender elected official, is fighting for a law to outlaw discrimination against the LGBTQ community. More from South China Morning Post.


Voice of America shares a photo series highlighting Rwanda’s LGBTQ community; CNN shares experiences of parents and children teaching each other about transgender 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