#AM_Equality Tipsheet: December 11, 2017

by Allison Turner

Countdown to special election for Alabama’s open U.S. Senate seat; New FOIA’d video reveals interns roasting AG Sessions on LGBTQ policy

COUNTDOWN TO SPECIAL ELECTION FOR ALA.’S OPEN U.S. SENATE SEAT: HRC was proud to endorse Doug Jones in this race and to campaign and canvass for his pro-equality agenda and against Roy Moore’s dangerous, hateful policies and rhetoric. “It feels, in a way, that we’ve been building toward this moment -- where progressive folks feel like there’s a common cause to rally for and to rally voters to,” Eva Kendrick, HRC Alabama State Director told The Daily Beast’s Andrew Desiderio (@desiderioDC). “And in this case, it’s the election of Doug Jones.” Throughout this campaign, HRC organized phone banks, canvasses, fundraisers and community events to encourage Alabamians to make their voices heard and defeat Roy Moore, arguably the most anti-LGBTQ Senate candidate in modern history. HRC also ramped up a public education campaign that included yard signs, online ads, direct mail to educate voters about their choices in this year’s election. More from The Daily Beast.

  • Iconic Alabama author Harper Lee reportedly expressed alarm about Roy Moore before her death, writing, “I dread the advent of Roy Moore's administration but its coming sure as doomsday.” More from AL.com.

MONDAY MUST WATCH -- I BELIEVE THAT INTERNS ARE OUR FUTURE: In a video obtained by ABC News through a FOIA request, Attorney General Jeff Sessions became noticeably flustered when a number of U.S. Justice Department interns questioned him about the LGBTQ issues during a June lecture series. The interns wanted to know why the Departments’ of Justice and Education revoked the Obama Administration’s guidance detailing schools’ obligations to transgender students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; and why the Trump Administration failed to recognize June as Pride Month. More from ABC and Advocate.

MORNING MUST READ -- U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, “FIGHTING THE HIV/AIDS EPIDEMIC IN THE SOUTH”: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 44 percent of all Americans living with an HIV diagnosis live in the South. The CDC also says that those living in the South are more likely to die from complications related to HIV and less likely to know their HIV status. A toxic mixture of higher rates of opioid use, stigma around HIV, poverty and health care infrastructure has lead to this harrowing reality. More from U.S. News and World Report.

TAMMY BALDWIN, NATION’S FIRST OPENLY LGBTQ SENATOR, RIPS INTO TRUMP-PENCE ADMINISTRATION: At the Victory Institute’s annual conference, Baldwin (D-WI) said Trump-Pence policies have hurt “religious minorities, immigrants and the working poor.” Baldwin, endorsed by HRC for reelection, also criticized Trump’s anti-LGBTQ judicial nominees, and noted the power of getting LGBTQ people elected. “The representation that we fought for and won over the course of a generation all over the country, up and down the ballot, means that we no longer have to stand alone,” said Baldwin. More from Washington Blade.

HRC COMMEMORATES HUMAN RIGHTS DAY: On Sunday, HRC commemorated Human Rights Day, marking the date in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration was the first time the global community spelled out a set of inalienable rights everyone is entitled to have, including LGBTQ people. In honor of the day, HRC and Human Rights First will today present its third annual Advocates & Allies in the Global Equality Movement awards to outstanding LGBTQ advocates and allies from around the world. This year, HRC recognized an advocate from the Russian LGBT Network, a faith leader from Jamaica and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. More from HRC.

 AUTOMAKERS PUTTING PEDAL TO THE METAL FOR LGBTQ WORKERS: Automakers earned high marks on HRC’s 2018 Corporate Equality Index, reports Phoebe Wall Howard (@phoebesaid) of the Detroit Free Press.  “In the highly competitive automotive industry, employers know that innovation is spurred by a diverse and inclusive workforce,” said Beck Bailey, deputy director of HRC’s Workplace Equality Program. “That’s why we continue to see leadership across the sector.” More from The Detroit Free Press.

 GOLDEN GLOBES NOMINATE LGBTQ MEDIA, ACTORS AND ALLIES: Nominees include Meryl Streep’s role in “The Post” for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture -- Drama; Steve Carell’s (@SteveCarell) role in “Battle of the Sexes” for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture -- Musical or Comedy; Emma Stone’s role in “Battle of the Sexes” for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture -- Musical or Comedy; “Call Me by Your Name” for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture; Allison Janney’s (@AllisonBJanney) role in “I, Tonya” for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture; “Will & Grace” for Best Television Series -- Comedy; Eric McCormack’s (@EricMcCormack) role in “Will & Grace” for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series -- Musical or Comedy; Ryan Murphy’s “Feud: Bette and Joan” for Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television; and Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon’s (@SusanSarandon) roles in “Feud: Bette and Joan” for Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television; and Alfred Molina’s (@OfficialMolina) role in “Feud” for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. Full list from Variety.

WASHINGTON DEPT. OF HEALTH CONSIDERING ‘X’ OPTION FOR GENDER MARKERS: The change would apply to birth certificates. If passed, the state would follow Oregon, California and Washington, D.C., in allowing a third gender option on some official documents. More from The Chronicle.

DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES FOR ILL. GOV ADDRESS LGBTQ EQUALITY: During an event moderated by Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson, the candidates discussed non-discrimination protections, HIV & AIDS, sex education, overrepresentation in juvenile detention and immigration. More from Advocate.

COULD TONI ATKINS BECOME CALIFORNIA’S FIRST FEMALE LGBTQ SENATE PRESIDENT? She is poised to succeed current Senate President Kevin de León. More from San Francisco Gate.

INDIANA POLICE OFFICER NOTES ISSUE OF WHITE PRIVILEGE -- PLACED ON LEAVE, THEN REINSTATED: During a training seminar specifically focused on improving police interactions with transgender people, Capt. Scott Arndt questioned statistics showing that transgender people are more likely to be targets of police violence. When Capt. Carri Weber raised the concept of white, male privilege as a barrier to understanding the lived reality for many trans people, she was placed on paid administrative leave. More from The Washington Post.

NATION’S TOP MAYORS -- “WE CANNOT LET DISCRIMINATION FLOURISH IN OUR CITIES”: In a piece published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser), Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (@PhillyMayor) and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (@mayoredlee) write, “As the mayors of three of America’s biggest and most diverse cities, we serve people who represent all backgrounds and belief systems... When we allow anyone a license to discriminate, we set the stage for further discrimination surrounding sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, sex, and more.” They are part of The Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination Coalition, founded earlier this year, which filed an amicus brief supporting non-discrimination in the Masterpiece case. Read the full piece in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

ALARMING -- BERMUDA ON PATH TO REPEAL MARRIAGE EQUALITY: The country’s House of Assembly voted to replace marriage equality with domestic partnerships. It's not too late for fair-minded voices in the Bermuda Senate to stop this travesty. More from The Royal Gazette.

DELAYED JUSTICE -- EIGHT YEARS LATER, PHILLY CAB COMPANY FINED FOR THROWING OUT SAME-SEX COUPLE: The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations ordered PHL Taxi to pay Mark Seaman, who was thrown out of a cab for kissing his partner, $500. The commision also ruled that dispatch companies must educate drivers on the city’s fair practices ordinances. More from The Philadelphia Inquirer.

U.N. ROUNDTABLE ON GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS: HRC Global Deputy Director Jean Freedberg attended a U.N. Foundation roundtable with U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein and asked about the future of LGBTQ rights around the world. More from the Washington Blade.


Independent reports that Justin Trudeau made history as the first Canadian Prime Minister to appear on the cover of an LGBTQ publication; The New York Times recounts the fight for Australian marriage equality

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A.M. Equality