#AM_Equality Tipsheet: August 28, 2017

by Allison Turner

HRC plaintiff in lawsuit against Trump’s trans military ban; Trump pardons racist, disgraced former Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

#ProtectTransTroops -- HRC PLAINTIFF IN LAMBDA LEGAL AND OUTSERVE-SLDN LAWSUIT AGAINST TRUMP’S TRANS MILITARY BAN: HRC is joining Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filing a federal lawsuit against the White House directive that interferes in Department of Defense personnel policy by pushing forward President Trump’s and Vice President Pence’s transgender military ban. HRC called on Secretary of Defense James Mattis to protect transgender service members from the vicious political assault. “Our military is stronger when any qualified American willing to defend our country is able to serve, regardless of their gender identity,” said HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride). “It is an unconscionable and unconstitutional breach of trust for the president to single out brave transgender service members and able recruits for discrimination. The harm that this administration is causing to both these courageous Americans and our national security must be stopped. We are proud to be a plaintiff on behalf of our transgender members currently serving or wishing to enlist or commission, but who find their careers and their future under attack - and we thank all of the plaintiffs, Lambda Legal and Outserve-SLDN for their leadership in challenging this dangerous directive.” More from HRC.

  • Must reads: The Hill, “Mattis to US troops: ‘Hold the line until our country gets back to respecting each other’”; The Hill, “McCain: ‘Step in the wrong direction’ to force transgender people out of military”
  • “Texas rejected [anti-trans legislation]. Inevitably, the nation will too.”: WaPo’s Dana Milbank (@Milbank) writes about the failures of anti-LGBTQ legislation in Texas and the backlash of anti-LGBTQ legisalation in North Carolina, comparing it to Donald Trump’s attempts to attack transgender service members. More from The Washington Post.
  • During a speech this week in Fort Myer, Va., President Trump claimed the military is no place for bigotry -- just days before issuing this hateful directive. Watch here.

TRUMP PARDONS RACIST, ANTI-IMMIGRANT, ANTI-LGBTQ DISGRACED FORMER SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO: HRC condemns President Donald Trump’s presidential pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. “Joe Arpaio must be held accountable for his long record of violating the civil rights of Maricopa County’s Latinx population, and carrying out a hate-filled agenda through extreme racial profiling,” said HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof. “During his tenure, Arpaio has attacked nearly every marginalized community, including using anti-LGBTQ schemes to humiliate inmates at his ‘Tent City’ prison. By pardoning Arpaio, Trump is again aligning himself with his nationalist, racist, anti-LGBTQ supporters -- only two weeks after the violent extremism in Charlottesville.” Arpaio additionally campaigned against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides much needed relief for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. DACA allows these young people to come out of the shadows and live fully within their communities -- including 75,000 LGBTQ Dreamers. More from HRC.

  • MORNING MUST READ: The Arizona Republic Editorial Board writes: “Donald Trump said he was going to pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio. But knowing in advance didn't soften the blow to Latinos - and equal justice.” More from The Arizona Republic.

MUST WATCH MONDAY -- “THERE IS A GOOD CHANCE SHE WON’T LIVE TO 35” SAYS MOTHER OF TRANSGENDER CHILD: DeShanna Neal is a mother of four, including her transgender daughter, Trinity. When Trinity was about to enter Kindergarten, she was not accepted by her school. DeShanna homeschooled Trinity, quitting her job and struggling through poverty to give her daughter an education where she could be herself. Watch the heartbreaking video from HRC.

YOUTH ACCESS TO SEXUAL HEALTH SERVICES ACT INTRODUCED IN THE U.S. HOUSE: HRC hailed the introduction of the Youth Access to Sexual Health Services (YASHS) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC) to provide sexual health services to marginalized youth. The bill would provide federal funding to expand access to sexual health services and scientifically-based, inclusive sexual health information and support programs that promote sexual health for LGBTQ youth, young people of color, homeless youth, youth in foster care, immigrant youth, and youth in juvenile detention. More from HRC.

SEVENTEEN LGBTQ ASYLUM-SEEKERS DETAINED IN NEW MEXICO: The people, from Central America and Mexico, asked for asylum, and are now being held in detention facilities. Their lawyers have filed a motion for their release, drawing on studies that LGBTQ people are more vulnerable to voilence when held in detention. More from Arizona Public Media.

CHORUS OF VOICES CALLING FOR RESIGNATION OF ANTI-LGBTQ FRESNO SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT GROWS: The Rev. Ara Guekguezian has called for Fresno Unified School Board President Brooke Ashjian’s resignation after Ashjian compared his critics to “Ottoman Turks.” At a recent school board meeting, Ashjian said, “It is sad, they like the Ottomans are trying to be the thought police. They are trying to make people of faith second-class citizens, as they seek to silence our voices in the public square.” More from The Fresno Bee.

VP PENCE BREAKING FAITH WITH THOSE FIGHTING HIV AND AIDS: During his term as Governor of Indiana, Pence repeatedly ignored warning signs that there was a potential for an infectious disease outbreak of HIV in his state, and fought against programs designed to slow the surge of HIV cases in the hardest-hit communities. More from HRC.

FAITH AND HIV AND AIDS AWARENESS DAY: To mark Faith and HIV and AIDS Awareness Day, HRC sat down with Shawn P. Torres, Jr., M.Div., Associate Minister, First Nazareth Baptist Church in Columbia, S.C., to discuss the need to address HIV in the LGBTQ community and in congregations. The goal of the day is to rally U.S. communities representing different faiths to take a stand against HIV and HIV-related stigma in their congregations, and raise awareness about HIV and AIDS. More from HRC.

SAN JOSE POLICE BEGIN LGBTQ RECURITMENT OUTREACH: The new promotional efforts aim to increase LGBTQ representation in the city’s police force. More from NBC Bay Area and The Mercury News.

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR SIGNS LGBTQ PUBLIC SERVICE LAW: This law, signed by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner earlier this month, helps the state track the sexual orientation and gender identity data of those interested in being on state boards and commissions. More from Advocate.

VMAs HONOR LGBTQ AND ALLIED ARTISTS: Among the winners were P!nk and Fifth Harmony, whose member Lauren Jauregui is bisexual. MTV also brought openly transgender troops to walk the red carpet in light of the White House directive that interferes in Department of Defense personnel policy by pushing forward President Trump’s and Vice President Pence’s transgender military ban. More from CNN.

CANADA INTRODUCES ‘X’ OPTION FOR GENDER ON PASSPORTS: The ‘X’ option will allow Canadians who do not identify as man or woman to have documentation that accurately reflects their gender identity. More from The New York Times.

90,000 NEW AUSTRALIAN VOTERS REGISTERED TO PARTICIPATE IN POSTAL VOTE -- NUMBER EXPECTED TO RISE: The newly enrolled voters have pushed the country’s electoral roll to more than 16 million. More from BuzzFeed.


CNN highlights some important LGBTQ historic milestones; HRC Welcoming Schools shares books featuring same-sex parents just in time for back to school; HRC Parents for Transgender Equality Council Members Peter and Sarah Tchoryk share their experience advocating for their trans child in a small town

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A.M. Equality