#AM_Equality Tipsheet: December 20, 2017

by Allison Turner

House GOP passes Trump-Pence tax scam that undermines ACA; Scott Garrett rejected; HRC projects CDC ‘banned words’ on Trump Hotel

SENATE GOP PASSES TRUMP-PENCE TAX SCAM W/ PROVISIONS TO UNDERMINE ACA: As the tax scam bill heads back to the House for a final vote today, HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy issued the following statement about the legislation, carefully crafted to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other vital health care programs: “We’re extremely disappointed that some members have put their own constituents in harm’s way by passing a tax bill that also threatens the health care of millions of Americans. If the Trump-Pence tax scam becomes law, programs crucial to the LGBTQ community like Medicare, Medicaid, global HIV & AIDS programs, and the Ryan White Care Act will surely face future efforts to cut their benefits. This is a reckless and desperate attempt to score a legislative victory at the expense of everyday Americans.” More from HRC.

REJECTED! SCOTT GARRETT, MOST RECENT UNQUALIFIED ANTI-LGBTQ TRUMP-PENCE NOMINEE, IS OUT: HRC will continue to fight against -- and defeat -- Trump nominees with histories of bigotry toward the LGBTQ community.  “This Administration has demonstrated a deeply concerning track record of nominating unqualified people with a history of anti-LGBTQ views and actions,” said David Stacy, HRC Government Affairs Director, after Garrett’s nomination to head the Export-Import Bank  failed in a Senate Banking Committee vote. “The American people made clear they do not want nominees with anti-LGBTQ views appointed to crucial positions of power. It is not only a moral failing but is proving to be a political non-starter.” More from HRC.

ICYMI - HRC PROJECTS CDC’S ‘BANNED WORDS’ ONTO TRUMP HOTEL: Last night for roughly 30 minutes during rush hour, HRC and artist Robin Bell projected the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) banned words onto the side of the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. The projections included the banned words - "transgender," "fetus," "vulnerable," "entitlement," "diversity," "evidence-based" and "science-based” - and concluded with a declaration from the LGBTQ community: “we will not be erased.” The Washington Post recently reported that the Trump-Pence Administration banned the use of the words by the CDC. Additionally, HRC filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seeking records, including all Trump-Pence communications with the CDC, relating to the banned words. More from HRC, The Hill, Axios and International Business Times.

  • Morning Must Read: “Trump Administration’s banned words would be deadly for LGBT Americans, just like the AIDS Crisis,” from Newsweek.

READING, PA, UNANIMOUSLY VOTES TO PROTECT YOUTH FROM SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY”: Reading is the fourth Pennsylvania city to pass such a measure following Allentown, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. “No child should be put through the dangerous and inhumane practice of conversion therapy which we know doesn’t work,” said HRC State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley. “This victory would not have been possible without the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center and the LGBT Center of Greater Reading, who pushed for the council’s consideration and worked tirelessly toward passage of the ordinance. We remain committed to working with our partners in Pennsylvania and across the nation to ensure that this junk science is banned in every jurisdiction.” More from HRC.

WHAT WE’RE READING WEDNESDAY: HuffPost’s Rebecca Klein (@rklein90) sheds light on a disturbing trend: public funding going to religious schools that actively discriminate against LGBTQ students or those perceived to be LGBTQ. They are using a little-known provision in the law that allows educational institutions controlled by religious organizations to request an exemption allowing them to discriminate using taxpayer money. More from HuffPost.

FBI HATE CRIMES REPORTING IS HELPFUL, BUT PAINTS INCOMPLETE PICTURE: Of the 6,121 hate crimes reported in 2016, 1,076 were based on sexual orientation bias and 124 were based on gender identity bias. However, these numbers likely represent only a fraction of such cases, given that reporting hate crimes to the FBI is not mandatory, and thousands of law enforcement agencies did not submit any data. More from PinkNews.

NEW SHOW FROM ISSA RAE TO FEATURE BLACK BISEXUAL MAN: Him or Her will be a significant milestone for television representation of LGBTQ people of color, and especially bisexual people of color. More from The Grio.

HATEMONGER TONY PERKINS CALLS CDC WORD BAN “BRINGING COUNTRY BACK TO REALITY”: Perkins, president of the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council (FRC), and a frequent visitor to Trump’s White House, was responding to reports that the Trump-Pence administration has moved to have the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ban words including “transgender” and “diversity.” This proves once again that there is truly no floor for how low Perkins and his ilk will go to attack LGBTQ people.. More from The Hill.

  • Meet another anti-LGBTQ extremist from FRC who is now heading the Heritage Foundation: Kay Cole James is a former senior vice president of the Family Research Council, has compared LGBTQ people to drug addicts, alcoholics, adulterers or “anything else sinful.”

TURKISH LGBTQ ADVOCATES FIGHT BAN ON LGBTQ EVENTS: Writes HRC Global Fellow Efe Songun: “For the past month, the LGBTQ community in Turkey has been busy raising public awareness and taking legal action in order to reverse the ban that stopped [a LGBTQ film festival in Ankara]. Unfortunately, the ban now includes greater restrictions on gatherings, protests, exhibitions and screenings organized by any LGBTQ groups, including those at universities.” More from The Washington Blade.

INDONESIAN ANTI-TRANSGENDER VIGILANTES STALKING TRANS WOMEN: These actions come amid an anti-LGBTQ crackdown in the country, and are focused in Aceh province, which is governed by Sharia law. Also in Aceh, men have also been publicly caned on suspicion of being gay or bisexual. More from Human Rights Watch.

LGBTQ PARAGUAYANS LIVE IN FEAR UNDER DISCRIMINATORY LAWS: Earlier this year, the country’s education minister banned classes from teaching about LGBTQ identities. The Paraguay government has ignored a U.N. Human Rights Council recommendation that the country pass a non-discrimination law to protect LGBTQ people. More from The Associated Press.

FIRST-EVER LGBTQ RADIO STATION IN THE ARAB WORLD LAUNCHES: Radio Shams, headquartered in Tunisia with support of the Dutch embassy, can be streamed across the world. More from NewNowNext.


HRC interviews its new global fellow from Turkey, Efe Songun (@efesongun); Gay Star News shares a story of an Australian couple marrying after 17 years and dealing with a cancer diagnosis; Autostraddle lists 10 books with LGBTQ themes; Gay Star News details the fight for LGBTQ equality in South Asian countries

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