#AM_Equality Tipsheet: August 30, 2017

by Allison Turner

HRC mourns beloved colleague and advocate Cassidy Karakorn; 140 House Dems condemn Trump’s trans military ban.

HRC MOURNS CASSIDY KARAKORN, BELOVED COLLEAGUE, FRIEND AND ADVOCATE: The HRC Family is mourning the loss of our beloved colleague and friend, Cassidy Karakorn. Over her 17-year career at HRC, Cassidy tirelessly championed civil rights for the LGBTQ community. As Director of Consumer Marketing, Cassidy's eye for fashion and art made a transformative impact on HRC and helped us reach more people than ever before. Her work was often deeply and profoundly moving; this past June, she worked with renowned artist Megan Geckler to bring to life an eight story public art installation remembering the 49 lives taken in the Pulse Nightclub shooting and other victims of hate violence. Cassidy was a vibrant and energetic force for change in the world. Her talents were boundless. Her creative genius and passion were unmatched. She was fun, caring, and her positivity was contagious. We loved her and loved working with her. Our hearts go out to Cassidy’s family and many friends who are grieving her loss. In every future effort, we will seek to make Cassidy proud, and will carry her memory with us always. More from HRC.

#ProtectTransTroops -- MORE THAN 140 U.S. HOUSE DEMS CONDEMN TRUMP’S TRANS MILITARY BAN: In a letter to Trump, they write: “Implicitly, your ban denies the value of transgender servicemembers, and it questions the professionalism of those who serve beside them. Our Armed Forces have grown more equal and more inclusive over time, often in the face of strident opposition. In 1948, when President Truman moved to racially integrate the military, voices were raised in protest. They were raised again in 2010, when Congress at last repealed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ At every turn, those voices have been proven wrong.” Read the full letter here.

  • HRC, represented by Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN, is a plaintiff along with Gender Justice League and transgender individuals affected by the Trump-Pence transgender military ban. The case will be heard in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Learn more about the judge who will hear this case at Rewire.
  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis late Tuesday announced that he is assembling a panel to study how to implement President Trump’s transgender military ban. “In the interim, current policy with respect to currently serving members will remain in place,” said Secretary Mattis. Read the full statement here.

EVANGELICAL LEADERS ALIGNED WITH TRUMP-PENCE LAUNCH VICIOUS ATTACK ON LGBTQ PEOPLE: More than 150 conservative Evangelical Christian leaders, including prominent members of the Trump-Pence administration’s Evangelical Advisory Board who lobbied for a ban on transgender people serving in the military, released a vicious, anti-LGBTQ manifesto Tuesday attacking LGBTQ people as immoral and sinful, asserting their opposition to marriage equality and denying the dignity of transgender people. The ugly three-page document they called “The Nashville Statement,” was released as hundreds of thousands of people in Texas and beyond continued to grapple with the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, and while the attention of most of the nation’s religious leaders was focused on helping victims of the historic disaster. The statement elicited widespread condemnation from scores of national religious and political leaders, including the mayor of Nashville, and sparked outrage on social media. Read more from HRC and the Nashville Tennessean.

WADE HORN -- JUST THE LATEST ANTI-LGBTQ EXTREMIST TO FIND A HOME IN THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION: And though it isn’t clear what Horn is actually doing in his position at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) -- he’s on board full-time as a contractor -- we know from his history that it most certainly will not be good. While at HHS during the Bush Administration, Horn funneled taxpayer dollars to organizations that opposed marriage equality, and to grants that propped up abstinence-only education programs. He also approved a HHS contract for Maggie Gallagher, a founder of the anti-LGBTQ “National Organization for Marriage,” to promote his own initiatives -- an effort aptly characterized by some as “state-sponsored propaganda.” More from Mother Jones.

WHAT WE’RE READING WEDNESDAY -- TOOLS FOR LGBTQ FAMILIES AS KIDS HEAD BACK TO SCHOOL: There are many actions LGBTQ parents can take to support their children in elementary school. With your own child, it’s important to build resilience and pride, discuss different types of families, and practice with them how to respond to questions about their family. Get involved -- whether it’s volunteering in your child’s classroom, joining the PTA, or organizing a family program or teach your district about the Welcoming Schools program. More from HRC.

RELIGIOUS LEADERS JOIN CHORUS CALLING FOR FRESNO’S ANTI-LGBTQ SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT TO RESIGN: An interfaith group of religious leaders has called for Fresno Unified School Board President Brooke Ashjian’s resignation after he compared critics of his anti-LGBTQ comments 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.” HRC earlier this month called on the Ashjian to step down after he made anti-LGBTQ remarks regarding California’s LGBTQ-inclusive sex education laws. More from Your Central Valley.

CALL IT OUT -- ST. PETER, MINN., SAME-SEX COUPLE RECEIVES THREATENING LETTER: According to the couple, the letter used anti-gay slurs and threatened the lives of the couple and their daughter. Local police are investigating the incident. More from the Mankato Free Press.

MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN MALTA BECOMES LAW OF LAND NEXT FRIDAY: Last month, the Mediterranean island nation’s parliament voted overwhelmingly to advance a marriage equality bill after the third and final debate on the issue. Malta will become the 23rd country with marriage equality. More from Times of Malta.

HORRIFYING -- LGBTQ ADVOCATES IN COUNTRY OF GEORGIA ATTACKED BY POLICE: Levan Berianidzé and Tornike Kusiani were detained by Batumi city police, who allegedly attacked them and subjected them to anti-LGBTQ slurs. More from Tabula.


Advocate shares LGBTQ tropes in media that need to end; Mic highlights Munroe Bergdorf (@MunroeBergdorf) as the first openly trans woman to land her own L’Oréal Paris U.K. campaign; NewNowNext guides you on LGBTQ representation in the Fall TV lineup; HRC Arizona donated $10,000 in emergency aid to assist with building costs for one•n•ten LGBTQ youth center, which was a recent victim of arson.

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