#AM_Equality Tipsheet: August 4, 2017

by Allison Turner

Updates from HRC on-the-ground in Texas; Trump can’t ban trans servicemembers’ excellence.

Y’ALL MEANS ALL -- HRC ON THE GROUND IN TEXAS, FIGHTING ANTI-TRANSGENDER LEGISLATION: Yesterday, HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) met with families of transgender children in Texas, to talk about the deep harms of potential anti-LGBTQ legislation currently being debated. The proposed legislation, SB3, which has passed the State Senate, 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. The measure would also overturn LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances protecting millions of people across Texas in cities including Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Forth Worth insofar as those ordinances protect people from discrimination in bathrooms. It also prohibits those entities from allow transgender students to compete in athletics consistent with their gender identity.

  • Republican Texas House Speaker Joe Straus opposes the discriminatory legislation, and is pushing back against it in the State House. More from NPR.
  • How can you help stop this anti-transgender legislation? Griffin put out a call-to-action for Texans to join HRC’s coalition partners, trans families and advocates to text ‘TX HOUSE’ to 30644 to be connected with their local state house member.

HEY, TRUMP -- YOU CAN’T BAN OUR EXCELLENCE: Transgender servicemember Audrey Di Faye reacted to Donald Trump’s unconscionable tweets barring transgender people from serving their country in the U.S. Military in a powerful piece for HelloGiggles. She writes, “I still serve with the heart required to fulfill my obligation to my home and country, and I fulfill it with the continued excellence you know well. My strength allows me to serve in times of doubt.” There is a growing consensus -- including among military leaders -- that Donald Trump's tweeted pledge to ban qualified transgender people from military service would undermine the readiness, morale, retention, and recruitment of our forces. More from HelloGiggles.

  • The AP’s Lolita Baldor (@LBaldor) reports on the potential legal and moral implications of Trump’s tweeted ban. The piece notes the parallel with the discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, and quotes HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow:  "Are they going to go on a witch hunt?" Read the full piece from the AP.
  • In The New York Times, Helene Cooper (@helenecooper) exposes Trump’s lie that military readiness is undermined by transgender troops. “Now, a week after Mr. Trump’s Twitter statements, military policy experts say that years of study have not produced much evidence to support Mr. Trump’s claims that transgender service members make it harder for the American military to focus on “decisive and overwhelming victory,” as the president wrote. More at The New York Times.
  • A majority of American households (68 percent) and military households (55 percent) support transgender people serving openly, according to a new Quinnipiac Poll.
  • City police departments, including Houston; Austin, Tex.; Aurora, Colo.; and Cincinnati, have sent a message to the transgender community that they will accept transgender recruits. More from The New York Times.

UNITED HEALTHCARE ALLEGEDLY DENIED PREVENTIVE CARE TO MAN, CITING RISK OF ‘HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR’: The insurance company reportedly denied a gay man coverage of Truvada for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a once-daily pill regimen that can prevent someone from becoming HIV-positive. A letter sent to the man from United Healthcare read, “The request for coverage for Truvada is denied. This decision is based on health plan criteria for Truvada. The information sent in shows you are using this medicine for engaging in High risk homosexual behavior.” More from Refinery29.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY -- LADY GAGA SENDS POWERFUL MESSAGE TO LGBTQ COMMUNITY & TRANSGENDER TROOPS: During a recent concert in Vancouver, openly bisexual pop star Lady Gaga (@LadyGaga) held up a rainbow flag borrowed from a fan before launching into the song ‘Come to Mama,’ which emphasizes the need to love each other. Additionally, Gaga tweeted directly to Donald Trump to condemn his tweets banning transgender service members, saying, “The message you have just sent has endangered the lives of people all over the United States and overseas bravely serving our nation.” Yaas, Gaga!

HRC ENDORSES DANICA ROEM -- FIRST OPENLY TRANS NOMINEE FOR PUBLIC OFFICE IN VIRGINIA: Today, HRC announced its endorsement of longtime local reporter Danica Roem (@pwcdanica) in her bid to represent Virginia’s District 13. Challenging anti-LGBTQ Delegate Bob Marshall in the November 2017 election, if elected, Roem would make history as the first out transgender person seated in a state legislature, according to the Washington Blade. “Danica Roem is breaking down barriers while building bridges in her bid for the Virginia House of Delegates,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “By electing Danica Roem, voters will send a tireless advocate for fairness, equality, and Virginia values to represent them in Richmond. We are proud to endorse Danica Roem and are committed to helping her make history by moving the commonwealth forward.” More from HRC.

#EyesOnChechnya -- ONLY FIVE COUNTRIES ARE WORKING WITH THE RUSSIAN LGBT NETWORK TO HELP GAY AND BI CHECHENS: France, Germany, Lithuania, Canada and one country not named by the organization are helping gay and bisexual men escape Chechnya. Since news first broke in April, reports indicate that 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. More from euObserver.

PIMA, ARIZ., PROTECTS LGBTQ YOUTH FROM ‘CONVERISON THERAPY’: The Pima County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution that protects LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and debunked practice. More from The Associated Press.

EQUALITY DIGNITY FOR MARRIED TAXPAYERS ACT INTRODUCED IN U.S. SENATE: The act, introduced by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) (@RonWyden) on behalf of Senate Democrats, would would modernize the U.S. tax code to remove gender-specific references to marriage such as ''husband" and "wife" in favor of "married couple" and ''spouse." More from The Hill.

AFTER THE TRAGIC DEATH OF HER SON -- THIS MOM WILL FIGHT FOR LGBTQ YOUTH: Alba Lucía Reyes lost her son to suicide after he was bullied for being LGBTQ. Now, this mom is fighting for more LGBTQ-inclusive schools in Colombia, taking justice all the way to the Colombian Constitutional Court. More from HRC in English and Spanish.

  • Movement Advancement Project has released a new guide on how to talk about suicide and LGBTQ populations. Read the guide, available in English and Spanish, here.

HRC LAUNCHES MAJOR SURVEY FOR LGBTQ TEENS: HRC and researchers at the University of Connecticut launched a major national survey of LGBTQ teens. The survey is open to teens who identify as LGBTQ, are between 13 and 17, and are living in the U.S. More from HRC.

LITTLE TOWN, BIG PRIDE: Jackson, Mich. -- hometown to YouTuber Tyler Oakley (@TylerOakley) -- will hold its first-ever LGBTQ Pride celebration this weekend. If you’re there, be sure to stop by the HRC booth and tell Allison (@amturner1993)  ‘hi, y’all’! More from WLNS.

MAJORITY OF AUSTRALIANS SUPPORT MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Sixty-seven percent of women and 59 percent of men polled support marriage equality. This poll is the latest in a line of positive polling. More from hit929.


Autostraddle shares an undocumented African immigrant’s struggles with immigration and their sexuality

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A.M. Equality