#AM_Equality Tipsheet: December 13, 2017

by Allison Turner

VICTORY! HRC-backed Doug Jones defeats anti-LGBTQ bigot Roy Moore

VICTORY! HRC-BACKED DOUG JONES WINS ALABAMA U.S. SENATE RACE, DEFEATS ANTI-LGBTQ ROY MOORE IN HISTORIC RACE: HRC is celebrating the victory of civil rights prosecutor Doug Jones over Roy Moore, the bigoted anti-LGBTQ politician twice ousted from the Alabama Supreme Court for ethics violations and recently accused of serially preying on teen girls. “Tonight, in rejecting avowed bigot Roy Moore, Alabama voters solidified once and for all that attacking and demonizing the LGBTQ community is a sure-fire way to get yourself beat on Election Day,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “Doug Jones’ victory in Alabama is monumental, and was made possible by the overwhelming and unprecedented, grassroots resistance of ordinary Alabamians against the politics of hate and division. From our victories in North Carolina, Virginia, and now in Alabama, Equality Voters have proven that LGBTQ people and our allies are a voting bloc to be respected, sought-after and feared by candidates on both sides of the aisle. The American people will no longer tolerate discrimination against their family, friends and neighbors.” For nearly two years, HRC has engaged in a ground campaign against Roy Moore in Alabama in an effort to stop his attacks on LGBTQ people across the state, initiating the #NoMoore campaign that successfully removed him from the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing to implement a ruling that brought marriage equality to Alabama. In the run up to Election Day, HRC organized at least 20 GOTV events, including phone banks, canvasses and community events. Read coverage at Gay Times, The Washington Blade, HuffPost and HRC. And, in the past 60 days:

  • More than 160 HRC volunteers and 11 HRC staff worked to reach the nearly 200,000 “Equality Voters” across Alabama -- a voting bloc comprised of not only the 60,000 LGBTQ voters across Alabama, but allies HRC has identified.
  • HRC volunteers logged 583 hours -- or 24 days -- toward GOTV efforts.
  • During the Republican primary, HRC took the unusual step of launching direct mail, online ads, and robocalls targeting receptive voters to make them aware of Moore’s extreme views. HRC also partnered with allied civil rights organizations, including the NAACP of Alabama and others, to increase voter turnout.
  • Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) of The New York Times noted HRC’s efforts in Alabama, tweeting a photo featuring one of more than 1,000 #NoMoore yard signs distributed in the lead up to the election. More here.

In a stunning victory, Democrat Doug Jones has won the special election to fill a Senate seat in Alabama, a major upset in a solidly Republican state, in which massive turnout among African American voters helped defeat a candidate enthusiastically backed by President Trump. Jones becomes the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Alabama since 1992. The Senate seat came open when Trump chose former Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to become attorney general earlier this year. Jones, 63, is a former U.S. attorney best known for prosecuting two Ku Klux Klan members for the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham Baptist church, which killed four girls. The bombers were not tried until the 1990s. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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TRUMP-PENCE’S ANTI-LGBTQ NOMINEE CONFIRMED TO LIFETIME JUDICIAL APPOINTMENT: HRC denounced the 50-48 Senate vote yesterday to confirm L. Steven Grasz to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. “We are deeply disappointed that Senate Republicans have voted to confirm a nominee who is clearly unfit to serve as a federal judge,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “Grasz’s confirmation is in line with the Trump-Pence administration’s alarming trend of advancing under-qualified nominees with terrible anti-equality records. This radical ideological transformation of our justice system will lead to long-term, harmful consequences that will live well beyond the Trump-Pence administration.” Grasz served on the board of a non-profit that backed the abusive practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ minors, said that language protecting people on the basis of “sexual orientation” opened the door for protections for pedophiles and argued Nebraska should not recognize marriage equality in other states. He also opposed allowing same-sex parents to adopt, and was deemed unqualified to serve on the court by the American Bar Association. More from HRC.

GRASSLEY (AND HRC) TO TRUMP -- RADICAL JUDICIAL NOM JEFF MATEER HAS GOT TO GO: After Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) yesterday urged Trump to reconsider the nomination of anti-LGBTQ Jeff Mateer, HRC issued this statement from Government Affairs Director David Stacy: “The Trump-Pence administration’s extreme judicial nominee, Jeff Mateer, has been repeatedly exposed as unfit and unqualified to serve. With Senator Grassley’s call for Trump to reconsider Mateer’s nomination, the writing is on the wall. Mateer has to go. Mateer has spent his career publicly voicing his contempt for LGBTQ people, opposing LGBTQ non-discrimination protections, and even attacking transgender children. As we have said from the beginning, the White House must immediately withdraw his nomination.” More from CNN and HRC.

WHAT WE’RE READING WEDNESDAY -- COULD AMAZON’S HQ2 SEARCH DEEP-SIX GEORGIA’S ANTI-LGBTQ PROPOSED LAW? After all, why would Amazon,  which earns a perfect score on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index for its LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices, want to locate in a state trying to undermine equality? CityLab’s Sarah Holder (@ptsarahdactyl) reports that Atlanta’s bid to be the home of Amazon’s second headquarters may finally kill repeated efforts by anti-equality state legislators to pass anti-LGBTQ  “license to discriminate” measures. In October, HRC recognized Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with its National Equality Award for his personal and professional support of the LGBTQ community and policies that advance equality. Said Director of HRC’s Workplace Equality Program Deena Fidas, “Bezos has personally been a tremendous leader not just in his rhetoric but in his actions.” Read the full piece at CityLab.

TRUMP-PENCE ABANDONING GLOBAL LGBTQ EQUALITY EFFORTS:  “The Trump-Pence administration’s indifference and inaction has further emboldened those who seek to suppress LGBTQ people and our right to be who we are,” writes Mary Beth Maxwell,  HRC’s Senior Vice President for Programs, Research and Training, in a piece for The HuffPost. “We cannot allow their silence to define us. As advocates, and as Americans, this last year has shown us that -- more than ever before -- our voices and our action on global equality are as urgent and important as ever.” More from HuffPost.

HOUSE GOP HIGHER EDUCATION ACT AMPS UP TRUMP-DEVOS ATTACK ON LGBTQ STUDENTS: House Republicans have pushed a bill through Committee to reauthorize the Higher Education Act that would continue the Department of Education’s attacks on the civil rights of students, including survivors of sexual harassment and violence. The so-called “PROSPER Act” has many problematic provisions, from allowing discrimination to rolling back protections for survivors of sexual violence. More from HRC.

TRUMP’S GOT FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES: At a White House event earlier this week, a slew of anti-LGBTQ extremists -- including Ralph Reed of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and Focus on the Family Founder James Dobson -- thanked Trump for his egregious anti-LGBTQ actions, including banning qualified transgender people from serving in the military, and supporting a license to discriminate. More from The Washington Blade.

MORE THAN 60 COMPANIES JOIN COALITION SUPPORTING TRANSGENDER NONDISCRIM PROTECTIONS IN WISCONSIN: The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce announced the coalition Wisconsin Businesses for Equality, which supports adding gender identity to the state’s nondiscrimination protections. More from Milwaukee Business Journal.

PARENTS ADVOCATE FOR TRANS-INCLUSIVE POLICY AT LAKOTA (OHIO) LOCAL SCHOOLS: While transgender students in the school are “unofficially” allowed to use facilities aligned with their gender identity, the school board in the Cincinnati suburb voted down writing a formal policy. More from The Cincinnati Enquirer.

LANDMARK RULING IN BOTSWANA FOR TRANSGENDER RIGHTS: Justice Leatile Dambe ruled that Tshepo Ricki Kgositau, a transgender woman, must be allowed to change her gender in the national registry. More from Reuters.

PRO SOCCER PLAYER CHRISTINE NAIRN COMES OUT: In a blog post, Nairn (@NairnChristine) writes, “At 27 years old, there are many things that I do not know yet and there are many things that aren’t ‘normal’ about me…but the funny thing is, the more I find out what is not ‘normal’ about me, the more excited I am to live my life.” More from Finding My Euphoria.

INDONESIAN LGBTQ ADVOCATES FACE DEATH THREATS, POLICE HARASSMENT: This year alone, more than 140 men were arrested under suspicion of being gay or bisexual and gay men have been publicly caned in the province of Aceh. More from Asian Correspondent.

DISGUSTING -- MAN BARRED FROM BECOMING PILOT BECAUSE OF HIV STATUS: The United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority allegedly refused a man’s application because he was HIV-positive. More from BuzzFeed.

AUSTRALIAN BORDER AGENTS DEPORT, HARASS GAY MAN FOR HAVING PrEP IN LUGGAGE: The man’s lawyer reportedly was not allowed contact with her client, and referred to the border agents as “incredibly racist and incredibly homophobic.” More from NewNowNext.


The Wire surveys LGBTQ and women’s rights in Latin America; South Florida Gay News speaks to  Elle G, an openly gay singer; The Daily Beast interviews Annise Parker (@AnniseParker), the new president of the Victory Fund and the Victory Institute;
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