#AM_Equality Tipsheet: April 9, 2019

by HRC Staff

HRC to testify at congressional hearing on the Equality Act; Taylor Swift donates $113,000 to fight “slate of hate” bills in Tennessee.

TODAY -- HRC LEGAL DIRECTOR SARAH WARBELOW (@SarahWarbelow) TO TESTIFY AT CONGRESSIONAL HEARING ON THE EQUALITY ACT: The hearing on the legislation will take place this morning in the Education and Labor Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services. Backed by nearly 70 percent of Americans, hundreds of members of Congress, more than 180 major businesses and more than 350 statewide and national organizations, the Equality Act has growing, unprecedented support. More from HRC.

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business organization representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses, wrote a letter to Congress in support of the Equality Act. Read it here.

TAYLOR SWIFT DONATES $113,000 TO FIGHT “SLATE OF HATE” ANTI-LGBTQ BILLS IN HER HOME STATE OF TENNESSEE: In a handwritten note to the Tennessee Equality Project, the singer said she was inspired by the group’s work, and in particular a recent petition it organized from Tennessee faith leaders. Chris Sanders, the organization’s executive director, said Swift has been a “long-time ally to the LGBTQ community. She sees our struggle in Tennessee and continues to add her voice with so many good people, including religious leaders who are speaking out for love in the face of fear.” Read more at USA Today and Variety.

  • Nashville Public Radio rounds up the ‘slate of hate’ anti-LGBTQ bills. More from Sergio Martínez-Beltrán (@SergioMarBel) here.
  • The Tennessee House yesterday passed a bill that advocates are calling an anti-transgender public accommodations bill in disguise. More from Tennessean.
  • Want to know who’s behind behind Tennessee’s “copy cat” anti-LGBTQ legislation? Check out reporter Mike Reicher’s (@mreicher) story to find out how measures targeting LGBTQ people are being seeded around the country. More from Tennessean.

MASSACHUSETTS GOV. CHARLIE BAKER SIGNS LAW PROTECTING YOUTH FROM DANGEROUS “CONVERSION THERAPY”: Massachusetts is the 16th state in the U.S. to protect youth from this egregious practice. Read more at HRC and the Boston Globe.

MICHIGAN STATE BOARD OF ED QUASHES EXTREMIST PLOT TO REMOVE REFERENCES TO LGBTQ PEOPLE, REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND CLIMATE CHANGE FROM CURRICULUM: But the practice of redlining, as well as references to Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movement, were not included in the final curriculum revisions. More from New York Intelligencer and the Detroit Metro Times.

TUESDAY TWEET -- IN NEW HRC VIDEO, REP PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA) ENCOURAGES CONGRESS TO PASS THE EQUALITY ACT:

CONVICTION IN ANTI-LGBTQ HARASSMENT COMMITTED IN PORTLAND, OREGON: Scott Wayne Smith pled guilty last week for shouting death threats at two gay men. More from Portland Mercury.

 OPENLY LESBIAN SOCCER STAR JOANNA LOHMAN ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT: Congratulations and thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of LGBTQ people around the world. Check out HRC’s interview with Lohman (@JoannaLohman) here.

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

BISEXUAL MAN IN BRUNEI SPEAKS OUT AGAINST COUNTRY’S DRACONIAN LAW AGAINST LGBTQ PEOPLE: And he predicts it will harm the economy. “Right now, it has been a serious challenge to expand the local job market and attract outside investors into the country,” he told the Washington Blade’s Michael Lavers (@mklavers81). “With these laws in place, it’s not too far of a stretch to imagine such laws as discouraging to would-be investors.” More from The Washington Blade.

  • A growing number of companies and celebrities are taking a stand against Brunei’s law. More from CNN.
  • The British Military is pressuring the Queen to rescind honorary titles given to the Sultan of Brunei. More from Business Insider.
  • Also in the U.K., the Health and Safety Executive agency has suspended a project in Brunei as a result of this law. More from Pink News.

TASMANIA ON VERGE OF PASSING HISTORIC PROTECTIONS FOR TRANSGENDER PEOPLE: More from The Guardian.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU MEETS WITH LGBTQ ADVOCATES FOR FIRST TIME IN 10 YEARS TO DISCUSS EQUALITY IN ISRAEL: More from The Jerusalem Post.

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break!

Reuters reports that “The Inheritance,” a play about the HIV epidemic, swept Britain's Olivier Awards; Arizona Republic interviews Monica Helms (@MF_Helms), creator of the iconic transgender pride flag; NBC covers a recent project documenting LGBTQ skateboarding culture; The New York Times details the Poland Populist Party’s attacks on LGBTQ people

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A.M. Equality