#AM_Equality Tipsheet: December 15, 2017

by Allison Turner

New HRC report details harms of writing discrimination into child welfare laws

NEW HRC REPORT DETAILS HARMS OF WRITING DISCRIMINATION INTO CHILD WELFARE LAWS: The publication of Disregarding the Best Interest of the Child: License to Discriminate In Child Welfare Services comes as legislatures across the country prepare to reconvene in January, with many states poised to consider anti-LGBTQ bills. “Anti-LGBTQ discrimination has no place in our nation’s child welfare services,” said Cathryn Oakley, HRC’s State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel. “A taxpayer-funded license to discriminate against LGBTQ parents and, in some cases, children is cruel, harmful and unconstitutional. This new report details the the harms imposed -- at the taxpayers’ expense - upon children who are in the state’s care.” Seven states, including five in just the last three years, have passed laws granting a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people in foster care and adoption services. In 2017, the number of anti-LGBTQ child welfare-related bills nearly doubled, from four to seven. Laws like these allow agencies to refuse to work with LGBTQ people; some even allow them to refuse to provide certain types of medical treatment to LGBTQ children in their care. More from HRC.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY -- SALLY RIDE TO BE ON USPS STAMP IN 2018: As a pioneering NASA astronaut and science education advocate, Sally Ride was both the first American woman and the youngest American to be launched into space. More from NewNowNext.

HRC MOURNS DEATH OF BRANDI SEALS, BLACK TRANSGENDER WOMAN MURDERED IN HOUSTON: Transgender rights advocate and blogger Monica Roberts reports that on Wednesday morning, Seals, 26, was found shot in front of a home under construction. Police are investigating but so far have no leads on a suspect. Multiple media outlets and law enforcement have misgendered Seals. Seals’ family described her as a “loving person” and “beautiful person.” Seals is now the 28th known trans person killed in the U.S. this year. Read more from HRC.

SAME-SEX PARENTAL CASE MAY BE FIRST TO REACH HAWAII SUPREME COURT: Tragically, a woman is seeking to sever her parental rights to a child her ex-wife gave birth to. More from The Associated Press.

DISGUSTING -- TRANS WOMAN ASSAULTED AT D.C. LGBTQ COMMUNITY CENTER: A suspect entered Casa Ruby, the capital’s only bilingual, multicultural LGBTQ community center, and punched and maced a client. Police are investigating the incident as a suspected hate crime. More from The Washington Blade.

TWO DETROIT MEN TO STAND TRIAL FOR SHOOTING TRANSGENDER WOMAN: Charles Marion Brown and Jujuan Alexon Williams are charged with shooting  Sharita Maxwell, who described the horrors in court, reports Oralandar Brand-Williams of the Detroit News. The assault left Maxwell paralyzed. More from The Detroit News.

REMEMBERING CASSIDY KARAKORN, BELOVED HRC COLLEAGUE, FRIEND AND ADVOCATE: The Washington Post Magazine’s Britt Peterson spoke to Cassidy’s brother and sister -- John and Kim -- about her life, talents and passions. 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. Our hearts go out to her  family and many friends grieving her loss. More from The Washington Post.

NEW REPORT -- TRUMP-PENCE ADMINISTRATION HARMS LGBTQ PEOPLE IN HEALTH CARE: The Fenway Institute looks at the harm the Trump-Pence Administration’s actions have on LGBTQ people trying to access healthcare, and their experiences with social service providers, private businesses, and government officials. More from Augusta Free Press.

REMEMBER THE DAD OUTSIDE THE ROY MOORE RALLY WHO SPOKE MOVINGLY ABOUT HIS LESBIAN DAUGHTER WHO COMMITTED SUICIDE? Nathan Mathis told The Daily Beast’s Tim Teeman (@TimTeeman) that “I believe Patti would have appreciated what I did. I believe had Patti still been alive, she would have been out there holding up that sign herself.” More from The Daily Beast.

LGBTQ COMMUNITY CENTER IN CLEVELAND BREAKS GROUND: The new facility will have a community drop-in space, meeting rooms and event space. More from ABC 5 Cleveland.

DANICA ROEM -- “YOUNG TRANS KIDS DESERVE REPRESENTATION, TOO”: Roem, speaking at an event in San Francisco, encouraged people to volunteer for the candidates they believe in. More from The Bay Area Reporter.

#METOO -- THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY AND SEXUAL ASSAULT: Forty-seven percent of trans people report being sexually assaulted at some point in their lives. Forty-six percent of bisexual women have been raped, with 48 percent of them experiencing that sexual assault between the ages of 11 and 17; and 26 percent of gay men and 37 percent of bisexual men have experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner. More from Bustle.

SAME-SEX UK COUPLE DENIED ACCESS TO FUNDED IVF TREATMENT: They were told by the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group they would have to spend £6,000 on an interim procedure that a different-sex couple would not be required to undergo before starting IVF. More from Telegraph.

AUSTRALIAN BARBER REFUSED TO CUT TRANS MAN’S HAIR: The Kingsmen Hair barber shop has been reported to the Anti-Discrimination Board for refusing to serve and verbally harassing Casey Franklin. More from The Daily Telegraph.


The Standard speaks to an openly gay Australian dairy farmer on his reaction when learning about marriage equality; HBO reviews 15: A Quinceañera Story, a documentary including a transgender girl coming of age; India Today shares the story of Manpreet Singh Virk, a transgender Sikh man; NBC dives into the story of three openly gay men competing to be on the U.S. Olympic team; ABC interviews LGBTQ people in Paraguay about the discrimination they face; Billboard highlights five times Christina Aguilera advocated for LGBTQ equality

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A.M. Equality