#AM_Equality Tipsheet: December 18, 2017

by Allison Turner

Trump-Pence takes a page from Orwell’s 1984; Puerto Rico governor must veto anti-LGBTQ bill; Tearjerking Google year-end wrapup

TRUMP-PENCE ADMINISTRATION TAKES A PAGE FROM ORWELL'S 1984: “Vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” What do these words have in common? They are all banned from multiple divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services’ budget documents, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “The Trump-Pence administration's effort to eliminate entire communities from its vocabulary is a dangerous attack on LGBTQ people, women, and fact-based policy making. The move is reminiscent of a time not long ago when the government tried to ignore the reality of the HIV and AIDS crisis to the detriment of millions,” said David Stacy, HRC Director of Government Affairs. “This kind of erasure has potentially catastrophic consequences beyond the words used by the CDC -- it could impact the very programs most vital to the health of women, transgender people, and others. But we will not be erased. The Human Rights Campaign will fight this and other politically-motivated policies, and this decision will ultimately backfire on the Trump-Pence administration.” More from Inverse and The Washington Post.

PUERTO RICO GOVERNOR MUST VETO DANGEROUS ANTI-LGBTQ BILL: HRC called on Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló to veto a bill passed by the Senate on Sunday that could allow anyone who claims a religious exemption the right to discriminate against the Commonwealth’s LGBTQ community and visitors. “This legislation would allow a dangerous license to discriminate, putting LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities directly in harm’s way,” said Sarah Warbelow, HRC Legal Director. “Leaders in Puerto Rico should focus on bringing its citizens together -- not on measures that would cause harm and discrimination.” The bill is similar to one Vice President Pence disastrously signed into law as governor of Indiana, would empower individuals to pick and choose which laws they want to follow and allow an individual to sue government actors, including teachers, firefighters and police officers, if that individual believes their religious rights were being violated by a government action. More from HRC.

MUST WATCH MONDAY: Google marked the year’s biggest moments with a powerful new video -- highlighting Women’s March, the election of openly transgender Danica Roem to the Virginia assembly, Ellen DeGeneres joining the #MeToo movement, transgender youth Avery Jackson and Lena Waithe making history as the first Black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing. Watch here.

MORNING MUST READ -- TRANSGENDER RIGHTS IN TRUMP’S AMERICA: WHAT HAPPENED IN 2017 AND WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2018: Despite historic wins for the transgender community, including Danica Roem’s election in Virginia, Andrea Jenkin’s and Phillipe Cunningham’s election in Minnesota, Newsweek’s Christianna Silva (@christianna_j) breaks down the countless anti-transgender actions taken by the Trump-Pence administration, including attacks on transgender service members, health care and the “license to discriminate” executive order among others. “Heading into 2018, there is plenty of legislation involving transgender rights to watch, including anti-discrimination laws, healthcare, and the attempted ban on transgender servicemen and women,” predicts Silva. More from Newsweek.

HRC MOBILIZES #NOMOORE CAMPAIGN IN THE ALA. SENATE RACE IN MAJOR WIN FOR EQUALITY: Check out this new resource detailing HRC’s work in the Alabama Senate Race advocating for Doug Jones and against anti-LGBTQ bigot Roy Moore. #NoMoore from HRC. And more on HRC’s work in Alabama from AL.com.

TRANS WOMAN SUES ALLEGHENY COUNTY (PA) JAIL FOR BEING HELD IN MALE PRISON FACILITY: The woman alleges she was sexually assaulted by a male inmate, verbally harassed and humiliated by jail staff. More from TribLIVE.

INDONESIA SENTENCES GAY AND BI MEN WITH THREE YEARS IN PRISON: At least ten of the 140 men who were arrested under suspicion of being gay or bisexual in a raid in Jakarta in May  have been sentenced to up to three years in prison. Gay and bisexual men have also been publicly caned in the province of Aceh this year. More from Gay Star News.

COULD THE BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY BE FORCED TO VETO BERMUDA’S REPEAL OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY? HRC is urging the Governor of Bermuda to veto legislation passed by the Bermuda Parliament repealing marriage equality. If Governor John Rankin signs the measure into law, the British overseas territory will become the first territory in the world to take away the right of same-sex couples to marry. To veto the bill, the governor would need the approval of British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. More from HRC and Daily Mail.


Reuters interviews a same-sex couple in Haiti; The New York Times shares Joanne Spataro (@LookitsJoanne) story of her and her girlfriend Lara traveling around their home state of North Carolina

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