#AM_Equality Tipsheet: April 7, 2017

by Allison Turner

Shameful -- Senate leaders go nuclear to guarantee appointment of anti-equality Neil Gorsuch; States and Cities reaffirm NC travel ban

SHAMEFUL -- SENATE LEADERS GO NUCLEAR TO GUARANTEE APPOINTMENT OF ANTI-EQUALITY NEIL GORSUCH TO SCOTUS: Yesterday, Senate Republicans deployed the “nuclear option” to hand anti-equality Judge Neil Gorsuch a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States by shamefully changing Senate rules and bypassing the historic 60-vote threshold for high court nominees. “We are deeply disappointed by the Senate Republicans’ decision to pave the way for the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, who throughout his career has dismissed the role of the courts in protecting individual and civil rights,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “He does not believe the Constitution protects marriage rights for same-sex couples. He has twice ruled in cases that undermined equality for transgender people. In his Senate testimony, he repeatedly dodged answers about the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people. If you harbor any remaining doubt about his dangerous worldview, consider for a moment that Judge Gorsuch’s idol is none other than Antonin Scalia.”

  • HRC supporters rallied on Capitol Hill yesterday to oppose Trump's anti-LGBTQ Supreme Court nominee. Watch here.

STATES AND CITIES AGREE -- NORTH CAROLINA REMAINS UNSAFE FOR LGBTQ PEOPLE: Portland, OR; Portland, ME; Wilton Manors, FL; and Palm Springs, CA, join a growing chorus of cities and states reaffirming their travel ban to North Carolina. Other city and states protecting their LGBTQ state employees include: Minnesota; New York City; Washington, DC; San Francisco; Seattle; Los Angeles; Oakland; Santa Fe; Cincinnati; and Salt Lake City.

  • Check out this ad from a broad coalition of civil rights organizations calling out this so-called ‘deal’ for what it is -- doubling down on the discriminatory aspects of HB2. It appeared yesterday in The San Jose Mercury News and The (Raleigh) News & Observer. The ad also appeared in The Charlotte Observer earlier this week. More from The (Raleigh) News & Observer.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: In this heartwarming video, parents share affirmations with their transgender children -- including “I am powerful,” “I can get back up again,” and “I know who I am.” The video includes parents DeShanna Neal and Jodie Patterson, both members of HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council. Get your tissues ready and watch at The Scene.

SAFE SCHOOLS IMPROVEMENT ACT REINTRODUCED IN CONGRESS: Representatives Linda Sánchez (D-CA) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) have reintroduced the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA), which would require schools to have anti-bullying policies that specifically include LGBTQ students. SSIA would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to require school districts in states that receive ESEA funds to adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment, including on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion. SSIA would also require that states report data on bullying and harassment to the Department of Education. More from HRC.

NEVADA BILL TO PROTECT LGBTQ FOSTER YOUTH HEADS TO GOVERNOR’S DESK: Assembly Bill 99 would require prospective foster parents to participate in training on working with LGBTQ children. The bill also requires state and local agencies and facilities to provide children care consistent with their gender identity. It now awaits signature by Governor Brian Sandoval. More from Las Vegas Review-Journal.

MORE THAN 130 ANTI-LGBTQ BILLS INTRODUCED IN 30 STATES: As lawmakers continue to meet in State Capitols around the country, HRC is tracking more than 130 anti-LGBTQ bills in 30 states. Last week saw the beginning of what will become a steady increase in the number of legislatures adjourning. Legislatures have already gaveled out in Arkansas, Arizona, Kentucky, Montana, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. Equality advocates have successfully stopped anti-trans measures from passing in those states. The Daily Beast recently took a deep dive into why lawmakers rejected those vile proposals.

SURVEY SHOWS TRANSGENDER ARKANSANS FACE HIGHER RISK OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND POVERTY: UA Little Rock Public Radio takes a deep dive into Arkansas-specific findings of the 2015 US Transgender Survey, conducted by the National Center For Transgender Equality. According to the survey, 11 percent of transgender Arkansans are unemployed and 37 percent are living in poverty. More from UA Little Rock Public Radio.

A FIRST -- JAPAN RECOGNIZES SAME-SEX COUPLE AS FOSTER PARENTS: The city of Osaka officially recognized two men as foster parents of a teenage boy who has been in their care since February. The couple first submitted their request to officially become foster parents in 2015. More from Mashable and BBC.

NON-BINARY TV STAR HELPS CLARIFY EMMY AWARD CATEGORIES: Billions’ Asia Kate Dillon, a non-binary actor and the first person to portray a non-binary character on mainstream television, was able to choose the category they would be considered for in this year’s Emmy Awards -- as opposed to being forced into “supporting actor” or “supporting actress." More, including Dillon’s letter to the Academy challenging the categories, from Variety.


BuzzFeed profiles a LGBTQ-welcoming Mosque in Toronto; The New York Times discusses the importance of using correct names and pronouns for story sources; The band A Great New World joins HRC’s Equality Rocks campaign; BuzzFeed shares a powerful photo series of LGBTQ people living in Delhi;

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