#AM_Equality Tipsheet: December 21, 2017

by Allison Turner

Congressional GOP sends Trump-Pence tax scam to the White House; HRC announces key staff to lead HRC Rising effort

CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS SEND TRUMP-PENCE TAX SCAM TO THE WHITE HOUSE: “After nearly a year, the only significant legislation that Donald Trump and his supporters in Congress have managed to pass is a disastrous bill that directly threatens our health care and critical health programs,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “Shame on GOP leadership for celebrating a bill that will result in millions of Americans losing their health care and future cuts to programs critical to the LGBTQ community. ” Yesterday, Republicans in the House and Senate approved legislation carefully crafted to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other vital health care programs. Republican leadership rushed the partisan bill through both chambers of Congress in less than 24 hours and without a single vote from Democratic lawmakers. More from HRC and Metro Weekly, Washington Blade.

  • If Trump signs this tax scam into law, millions of Americans will lose their health care and programs crucial to the LGBTQ community will face future cuts. More from Independent.

ICYMI -- HRC PROJECTS CDC’S ‘BANNED WORDS’ ONTO TRUMP HOTEL: On Tuesday, 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.” More from NewNowNext, Advocate, Mashable and Newsweek, and NPR.

HRC ADDING ON-THE-GROUND STAFF FOR 2018 AND LARGEST GRASSROOTS DEPLOYMENT IN 37-YEAR HISTORY: HRC has begun recruiting at least 45 full-time political, field, grassroots organizing, volunteer engagement, communications, and digital staff for HRC Rising, its unprecedented national effort to organize against the Trump-Pence agenda and support pro-equality candidates in coming elections.  Targeted HRC Rising states include Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. “The defeat of Pat McCrory in North Carolina and Roy Moore in Alabama show anti-equality politicians everywhere that ‘Equality Voters’ are a powerful voting bloc that can determine elections,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs. “With so much at stake in 2018, it was more important than ever for us to make this crucial investment in on-the-ground staff a year before the election.” More from HRC.

THROWBACK THURSDAY:  On December 22, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and placing it where it belongs -- in the dustbin of history. For 17 years, the law had prohibited qualified gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans from serving openly in the military, sending a message that discrimination was acceptable. HRC was proud to play a crucial role in the fight to end the ban. This moment was a pivotal point on the path toward full LGBTQ equality in the military, allowing countless Americans to serve their country with dignity and respect every service member deserves. #ThanksObama

HRC STOOD WITH DREAMERS AT CAPITOL YESTERDAY, URGING CONGRESS TO PASS CLEAN DREAM ACT NOW: Dreamers are recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), created by the Obama administration in 2012 to protect 800,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. as children. Thanks to DACA, Dreamers who meet certain guidelines are able to attend college, obtain driver's licenses and work permits to support their families. Among those who would be affected by DACA’s rollback -- 36,000 LGBTQ DACA recipients. With every day they delay, lawmakers are putting more and more people at risk of deportation. HRC continues to pressure Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act and protect Dreamers, including the thousands who are LGBTQ.

ONE-THIRD OF TRUMP’S JUDICIAL NOMINEES ARE ANTI-LGBTQ: A new report from Lambda Legal revealed that 16 out of 59 nominees that Trump has put forth since taking office have had anti-LGBTQ records. These include Jeff Mateer, Damien Schiff, Leonard Steven Grasz, Mark Norris, and Stephen Schwartz. More from The Hill.

ANTI-LGBTQ CHECHEN PRESIDENT AND OTHER OFFICIALS TO BE SANCTIONED UNDER U.S. HUMAN RIGHTS LAW: Ramzan Kadyrov is infamous for his role in the anti-LGBTQ purge in Chechnya, a Russian republic. Chechen authorities have rounded up and detained more than 100 men in secret prisons, under suspicion that they are gay or bisexual. There have been numerous verified reports of torture and at least three and possibly as many as 20 men have been killed. More from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

EVEN DURING DISMAL TRUMP-PENCE ADMINISTRATION, BRIGHT SPOTS FOR LGBTQ EQUALITY IN 2017: From marriage equality in Australia, Germany and Malta to breakthroughs in HIV research and prevention, there were wins for the LGBTQ community in 2017 -- despite the Trump-Pence Administration’s work to turn back the clock on equality. More from NewNowNext.

  • The Daily Beast’s Samantha Allen (@SLAwrites) imagines 2017 for LGBTQ people had a pro-equality president been elected. More from The Daily Beast.

MORNING MUST READ, “THIS TRANSGENDER MAN IS TRYING TO ENLIST IN THE MILITARY ON JAN 1. TRUMP IS TRYING TO STOP HIM”: Nicolas Talbott, a substitute teacher in Ohio, trains twice every day in the hopes of joining the U.S. Air Force. However, Talbott says his recruiter is waiting for clarification on Trump’s ban on recruiting qualified transgender people to serve in the military. More from BuzzFeed.

REP. NADLER NAMED TOP DEM ON HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Congratulations to LGBTQ equality champion Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) (@RepJerryNadler) on his election as top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. HRC looks forward to continuing our work together toward ensuring full legal equality, including passing the Equality Act.

MEET THE MAN RUNNING TO BE TEXAS’ FIRST OPENLY GAY STATE SENATOR: Mark Phariss, a former member of HRC’s Board of Governors, sued Texas to overturn its discriminatory ban on marriage equality -- and is now vying to represent his community in the State Senate. More from Dallas Morning News.

CALL IT OUT -- THIS PASTOR TRAVELS TEXAS FOMENTING ANTI-LGBTQ HATRED: Dave Welch has made a career peddling lies about the LGBTQ -- and especially transgender -- community in Texas. He was instrumental in repealing Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, and has worked to bar transgender Texans from public life. More from Michael Barajas at The Texas Observer.

MEANWHILE… A LESSON IN SHARING LOVE FROM THE PULPIT: When Gregory Greiten, a Roman Catholic priest at St. Bernadette’s Ministry in Milwaukee, Wisc., came out as gay to his congregation, they gave him a standing ovation. “I would like to apologize personally to my LGBT brothers and sisters for my part in remaining silent in the face of the actions and inactions taken by my faith community towards the Catholic LGBT community as well as the larger LGBT community,” he wrote in a column for The National Catholic Reporter.

ACTOR/SINGER ALEX NEWELL DEBUTS ON BROADWAY: The show, Once on This Island, is based on the Caribbean tale of Ti Moune. More from Playbill.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ELTON JOHN AND DAVID FURNISH: The pair became civil partners on this date in 2005, and converted it to a marriage nine years later.

MEET ONE OF THE MEN ARRESTED IN INDONESIA’S ANTI-LGBTQ CRACKDOWN: Jeffrey Hutton (@JeffreyHutton) reports that Steven Handoko had his photo posted on state social media and was sentenced to two years and three months in prison following a raid in Jakarta in May. “It doesn’t get better, does it,” he said. More from The New York Times.


ABC Baltimore looks at the history of LGBTQ elected officials; Sixth Tone shares the story of a 11-year-old Chinese boy’s struggle with HIV stigma; Autostraddle speaks to global LGBTQ advocates; Bleeding Cool reports that the next edition of the Supergirl comics will feature a nonbinary character; OUT Magazine recounts 13 historic coming out moments; El PAÍS reseña "La Primavera Rosa", un cortometraje nominado a los Premios Goya que trata sobre la violencia contra la comunidad LGBTQ en México

#AM_Equality will be taking a short hiatus through the new year. Check out HRC’s Twitter (@HRC) for updates, and we look forward to hitting your inboxes on January 2!

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