#AM_Equality Tipsheet: August 2, 2017

by Allison Turner

56 retired generals and admirals condemn trans service member ban; Texas faith leaders rally to oppose anti-trans bill.

FIFTY-SIX RETIRED GENERALS AND ADMIRALS CONDEMN TWITTER BAN ON TRANSGENDER SERVICE MEMBERS: “This proposed ban, if implemented, would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent, and compromise the integrity of transgender troops who would be forced to live a lie, as well as non-transgender peers who would be forced to choose between reporting their comrades or disobeying policy,” they wrote in an incredible letter warning that Trump’s  transgender military ban would degrade military readiness. Among the signatories are retired four-star Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, and retired four-star Army Gen. Robert W. Sennewald. Stephen Peters, HRC National Press Secretary and Marine veteran (@StephenPeters2) responded: “These retired generals and admirals have made it clear exactly how harmful President Trump's transgender military ban would be to our nation's armed forces. President Trump's and Vice President Pence's attack on bravely serving transgender troops is dangerous and unpatriotic.” Read the full letter here. More from HRC and Metro Weekly.

  • Nicole Stephens, the wife of a transgender service member, shared her experience and explained how Trump’s ban threatens her family. More from The American Military Partner Association.
  • Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft personally reached out to reassure the service branch’s first openly transgender officer, Lt. Taylor Miller, that she has his support. “I told Taylor, I will not turn my back. We have made an investment in you and you have made an investment in the Coast Guard and I will not break faith.” The Hill’s Ellen Mitchell (@EllenMitchell23) reports that Coast Guard officials reached out to all of its transgender service members with the same assurances. More from The Hill.

FAITH LEADERS RALLY AT TX CAPITOL TO OPPOSE ANTI-TRANSGENDER LEGISLATION: Nearly 250 faith leaders gathered yesterday to oppose SB3, which mandates HB2-style anti-transgender discrimination in any multiple-occupancy restroom or locker room in any property owned by a city, county, school district, or other political subdivision. “I’m tired of the fear and scapegoating driving politics in this state,” said the Rev. Griff Martin of First Baptist Church of Austin. The measure would also overturn LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances protecting millions of people across Texas in cities including Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth insofar as those ordnances protect people from discrimination in bathrooms. It also prohibits those entities from allowing transgender students to compete in athletics consistent with their gender identity. More from The American-Statesman.

  • Need a Texas backgrounder? Check out four things you need to know about the state’s current special session and the discriminatory SB3 from The Washington Post.


  • “A threat to business:” The Houston Chronicle Editorial Board writes: “A sensible governor - and lieutenant governor - would look to the recent cautionary experience of North Carolina, where extremist Republicans pushed through a bathroom bill similar to Patrick's pet legislation and immediately wreaked havoc on the state's economy.”
  • “A Texas-sized mistake -- ask North Carolina:” Deirdre Walsh and Bob Page shared similar sentiments in The Austin American-Statesman.
  • “The ‘bathroom’ bill isn’t about transgender Texans. It’s about politics of fear:” HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council member Amber Briggle calls out this legislation as a political distraction, writing for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING (AND LOWKEY SOBBING OVER) WEDNESDAY: Oh, friends, today is chock-full of beautiful/tear-jerking/powerful videos. But you have to check out this new animated short film called In A Heartbeat, which follows a closeted boy falling in love with another boy. More from MTV and Entertainment Weekly.

#LoveYourNeighbor -- HRC VIDEO SERIES HIGLIGHTS THE LIVES OF LGBTQ SOUTHERNERS: HRC has released several new videos as part of the #LoveYourNeighbor campaign, a storytelling project focused on sharing the experiences of LGBTQ people and allies across the South, particularly in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi. HRC has permanent campaigns in these three states as part of its Project One America campaign. “Through HRC’s work in the South, we have found that the most effective way to change hearts and minds is simply to share the stories of our LGBTQ friends and neighbors,” said Ben Needham, director of Project One America. “With #LoveYourNeighbor, we take the stories of LGBTQ people living in the South and share them with a broad audience -- many of whom may not have had an opportunity previously to hear these powerful accounts.” More from HRC.

TELESUR ESTRENA NOTA SOBRE HRC RISING: La cadena hispana TeleSur presentó un reportaje sobre HRC en Congénero, el programa de temas LGBTQ. TeleSur habló con la secretaria de prensa nacional de HRC Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride); la diretora de iniciativas latinas y católicas de HRC Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera, el director de alcance comunitario de HRC Alejandro Aviles y la jefa de prensa bilingüe de HRC Milagros Chirinos sobre la iniciativa HRC Rising para expandir nuestro alcance en los estados clave. “Estamos haciendo un esfuerzo sin precedentes en la historia de nuestra organización para invertir en organizaciones de base. Estamos contratando a más personal, vamos a trabajar con aliados locales y estatales,” dijo McBride. Vea más aquí.

HRC MOURNS TEE TEE DANGERFIELD, A BLACK TRANSGENDER WOMAN MURDERED IN ATLANTA: HRC was horrified and saddened to learn that Tee Tee Dangerfield, a 32 year old Black transgender woman, was shot and killed in Atlanta. Raquel Willis, National Organizer for the Transgender Law Center, noted that Tee Tee’s death came just days after a nationally-syndicated radio talk show posted a video denigrating and devaluing the lives of Black transgender women. Dangerfield’s death marks the 16th known homicide of a transgender person in the U.S. this year. So far, almost every victim has been a woman of color -- and nearly all have been Black women. More from HRC and Georgia Voice.

#EyesOnChechnya -- NEW REPORT FROM RUSSIAN LGBT NETWORK: The report details of the horrifying conditions gay and bisexual men have faced at the hands of Chechen authorities, the Russian and Chechen politics that led up to these human rights abuses, and the culture that encourages families to ostracize -- and sometimes even murder -- their LGBTQ family members. Since news of these abuses first broke in April, reports indicate more than 100 gay and bisexual Chechen men have been arrested and detained without charge. While some have been freed, many remain in detention and have been beaten, tortured, and even killed. Read the report here.

  • Media Matters reports that these human rights abuses have been underreported in evening cable and broadcast news -- despite persistent calls for action from human rights groups, including HRC. Read the full report here.

NEW SERIES ON TRANSGENDER TEEN FROM THE OREGONIAN: The three-part series profiles Jay, a transgender high schooler navigating bullying, transgender media representation, transitioning and preparing for adulthood. Read part one and part two now.

PHILIPPINES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH APPROVES PrEP TRIALS: This move comes after the country recorded its highest-ever number of new HIV diagnoses. More from Gay Star News.

FIVE GAY MEN HAVE GONE MISSING FROM TORONTO SINCE 2010: Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen have both disappeared in the past few months, joining a growing list of Toronto gay men who have disappeared under unexplained circumstances. More from NewNowNext.


Observer reports on a panel focusing on issues specific to LGBTQ people of color in the Trump administration; HRC recommends LGBTQ-inclusive books and activities to help children prevent ‘summer slide’; Newsweek profiles Trump’s anti-LGBTQ ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom Sam Brownback; HRC reflects on Minority Mental Health Month

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