#AM_Equality Tipsheet: December 12, 2017

by Allison Turner

Today - Special election for Ala.’s open U.S. Senate seat; HRC Mourns SanFran Mayor Ed Lee; Court orders orders halt of trans troops ban

IT’S DECISION DAY IN ALABAMA -- VOTERS HAVE CLEAR CHOICE IN U.S. SENATE RACE: 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. 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 and direct mail to educate voters about their choices in this year’s election.

  • Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) is disappointed that the Republican National Committee has thrown its support behind Moore, telling CBS’s Face the Nation, “I did not support Mr. Moore even prior to these allegations of sexual misconduct because I was concerned about his anti-Muslim comments, his anti-LGBT comments...” More from Maine Public Radio and Politico.
  • Heartbreaking Must Watch: In a video shared by NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard), a local Alabamian who lost his lesbian daughter to suicide, says: “I was anti-gay myself. I said bad things to my daughter, which I regret.” Watch here. More from Mashable.

HRC MOURNS SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR ED LEE: Mayor Lee, 65, was a tireless champion for LGBTQ equality and the first Asian American elected to lead the city. He was a founding member of the “Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination” coalition and began his career as a civil rights attorney, fighting for fair housing for low-income people and battling corruption. According to the Office of the Mayor, San Francisco added more than 140,000 jobs and more than 17,000 homes during Lee’s tenure. More from The New York Times.

HRC TO HONOR TRANS TRAILBLAZER GAVIN GRIMM AT TIME TO THRIVE CONFERENCE: Today, HRC announced that Grimm will receive the Upstander Award at the organization’s annual Time to THRIVE Conference on February 16-18 at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. “Gavin has set a powerful example for LGBTQ advocates across the country, serving as a leader for transgender youth and taking his fight for equality all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States,” said Vincent Pompei, chair of Time to THRIVE and director of the HRC Foundation’s Youth Well-Being Project. “As we join together with hundreds of youth-serving professionals at Time to THRIVE, we are privileged to welcome and honor Gavin with our Upstander Award.” More from HRC.

VICTORY! COURT ORDERS U.S. MILITARY TO IMMEDIATELY HALT BAN OF TRANS TROOPS: The ruling came in the lawsuit brought by Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN challenging the ban and prevents the ban from being implemented while the case proceeds. Today’s ruling came in response to the motion for a preliminary injunction Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filed in September in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. “This preliminary injunction is a victory in the fight against Donald Trump and Mike Pence's cruel and animus-fueled policy,” said HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride). “Allowing this discriminatory ban to take effect would cause serious harm to our national defense and to the thousands of transgender people serving and wishing to serve their country. We thank Lambda Legal and Outserve-SLDN for representing us in this landmark case, and we are grateful that Judge Pechman has ruled against discrimination.” More from HRC and The Associated Press.

TUESDAY TWEET -- SCOTUS DENIES APPEAL IN LGB EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION CASE: Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States announced it will not review Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, a case in which Lambda Legal represented Jameka Evans, who was harassed in the workplace and fired from her job as a hospital security officer because of her sexual orientation. “We are deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision refusing to review the Evans case this term. Despite rulings by several federal courts saying that lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are covered by Title VII anti-discrimination protections, not all courts have agreed,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “By refusing to hear this important case, the Supreme Court is delaying the inevitable fix and leaving the civil rights of LGB people to be inconsistently applied according to conflicting rulings by circuit courts.” More from The Associated Press and The Washington Blade.

HAPPENING TODAY -- HRC URGES SENATE TO REJECT TRUMP NOMINEE L. STEVEN GRASZ FOR FEDERAL BENCH: Grasz’s long record of animus toward LGBTQ people is well documented. “L. Steven Grasz stands out as a Trump-Pence judicial nominee with a poor record of promoting harmful anti-LGBTQ policies and rhetoric,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “If confirmed to a lifetime judicial appointment, Grasz’s extreme rhetoric and inability to be an impartial adjudicator would undermine our justice system and threaten thousands of LGBTQ people who look to our courts to affirm their civil rights. The Senate should reject this nominee and stop the Trump-Pence administration’s crusade to stack our courts with extreme anti-equality judges.” Grasz served on the board of a non-profit that backed the abusive practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ minors, has said that language protecting people on the basis of sexual orientation opened the door for protections for pedophiles, and argued that Nebraska should not recognize marriage equality. Grasz also opposed allowing same-sex parents to adopt. Even the American Bar Association has deemed Grasz unqualified to serve on the 8th Circuit.

HRC MARKS HUMAN RIGHTS DAY BY HONORING GLOBAL ADVOCATES: Last night, HRC and Human Rights First presented their third annual Advocates & Allies in the Global Equality Movement awards to outstanding LGBTQ advocates and allies from around the world. This year’s honorees: Tatiana Vinnichenko, chair of the Russian LGBT Network; Father Sean Major-Campbell, a faith leader from Jamaica; and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. More from HRC.

  • “For much of the past year, our national voice on international human rights issues has been largely silent,” Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) wrote in a letter to Trump. More from The Washington Blade.

HRC STANDS WITH DREAMERS: Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC’s Senior Vice President for Programs, Research and Training, writes in a piece for The Washington Blade, “Congress must protect these innocent Dreamers from the Trump-Pence administration’s heartless attacks. We share a belief in the U.S. that a person’s circumstances at birth, or where their life takes them as a child, shouldn’t determine their ability to pursue the American dream.” More from The Washington Blade.

ANTI-TRANS PA. HEALTH CARE BILL DEAD FOR NOW: HB 1933 would have stripped transition-related services for Medicaid and CHIP recipients. The bill was not taken up yesterday, effectively killing it for this year and protecting health care for transgender Pennsylvanians -- for now. More from PennLive.

DISGUSTING -- UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA BOARD OF REGENTS MEMBER COMPARES LGBTQ PEOPLE TO PEDOPHILES: University President David Boren condemned Regent Kirk Humphreys’ remarks. More from The Norman Transcript.

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNOR-GENERAL SIGNS MARRIAGE EQUALITY INTO LAW: The Australian Governor-General on Saturday granted royal assent to the marriage equality bill.  Same-sex couples may marry starting January 9. Australia is the 25th country to recognize the right of same-sex couples to marry. More from news.com.au.

UGANDAN POLICE RAID LGBTQ FILM FESTIVAL: The event was shut down on its second day, after selling out tickets for the first. LGBTQ Ugandans face widespread and ongoing persecution by the government and society. More from PinkNews.

SWISS FOOTBALL REFEREE COMES OUT AS GAY: Pascal Erlachner is believed to be the first person in Swiss professional football to come out. More from Gay Star News.


Advocate shares how the Masterpiece case will particularly impact LGBTQ people of color; The Paris Review lays out the history of LGBTQ representation in comics; The Times of India explains the notorious anti-LGBTQ law, Section 377; The Associated Press reports on a new historic marker in Tennessee commemorating LGBTQ advocate Penny Campbell; SAGE announces that it has renamed one of its buildings after the late Edie Windsor; M Live interviews Cornerstone Elementary School Principal Craig McCalla, who championed transgender equality in his school

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A.M. Equality