#AM_Equality Tipsheet: December 7, 2017

by Allison Turner

Australia passes marriage equality; pass the DREAM Act now; Congress okays NRA bill; I Am Jazz readings nationwide today

LOVE WINS! AUSTRALIA PASSES MARRIAGE EQUALITY: HRC joins the world in celebrating the Australian House of Representatives’ overwhelming vote earlier today in favor of marriage equality legislation. The measure passed with only four opposing votes. The Australian Senate previously passed the measure by a vote of 43 to 12. “We welcome Australia into the growing family of freedom-loving nations that ensure marriage equality for all couples,” said Ty Cobb (@tywesleycobb), Director of HRC Global. “The overwhelming support for marriage equality Down Under is a testament to the hard work of Australia’s LGBTQ advocates and allies who fought tirelessly to make today a reality. We congratulate them on this incredibly important victory.” Australia will become the 25th country to recognize same-sex couples’ right to marry. #LoveWins Read more at The New York Times and HRC.

  • Rates of anti-LGBTQ violence increased during non-binding postal vote on marriage equality this year. More from Pink News.
  • The Masterpiece case here in the U.S. is fueling discussion in Australia. Conservatives are already conspiring on how to discriminate against LGBTQ people using religion and freedom of speech as foils. More from The Associated Press.
  • The Sydney Harbour Bridge will set off rainbow fireworks on New Year’s Eve to commemorate the fight for marriage equality. Cheers, queers! More from PinkNews.

HRC JOINS ALLIES TO DEMAND A CLEAN DREAM ACT: HRC joined Dreamers from across the nation on Capitol Hill yesterday to demand that Congress pass a clean DREAM Act and protect dreamers and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. “Thousands of lives are already at risk and if Congress fails to act, many more dreamers -- including more than 75,000 LGBTQ dreamers -- will also be forced to face the real and dangerous threat of deportation,” said Alejandro Avilés, HRC’s Director of Outreach and Engagement. “It is unacceptable to use these young people as political pawns and Congress must act this year to pass a clean DREAM Act and address this problem created by the Trump-Pence administration. HRC is proud to join forces with United We Dream, Center for Community Change, SEIU and many others to stand with all Dreamers and calls on Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act.”  More from HRC.

  • This week, HRC joined with 127 LGBTQ and allied organizations in a letter calling on Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act before the end of the year.

U.S. HOUSE PASSES NRA PET PROJECT GUN BILL: HRC called for a  “no” vote on H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. The dangerous bill would allow people who are prohibited from getting a concealed carry permit in a state with strong gun laws to apply for a permit in a state with weaker laws. This includes convicted stalkers, domestic abusers, people convicted of violent crimes and people with no training or experience firing a gun. “Congress should be putting forward legislation that addresses the epidemic of gun violence not pandering to long-standing pet projects of the NRA,” said David Stacy, HRC Government Affairs Director. “This ill-conceived bill would undermine state laws and greatly weaken local law enforcement’s ability to serve their community.” More from HRC.

HAPPENING TODAY: IN MASSIVE DISPLAY OF SUPPORT FOR TRANS AND NON-BINARY YOUTH, NEARLY 400 COMMUNITIES JOIN NATIONAL I AM JAZZ DAY OF READINGS: HRC and the National Education Association, inspired by a small Wisconsin town that stood up for a transgender child and rejected anti-LGBTQ bigotry and censorship, are sponsoring today’s readings of the children’s book by transgender teen trailblazer and HRC Youth Ambassador Jazz Jennings (@JazzJennings__). The unprecedented demonstration of support for trans and non-binary youth across the nation - from grassroots events in libraries, schools and community centers to readings on Capitol Hill - comes after a year of significant attacks on the rights of transgender people. “Transgender and non-binary youth deserve to know that their communities, neighbors and educators see them, love them and affirm them,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC’s Senior Vice President for Research, Programs and Training. “What started as a simple act of inclusion by a parent in Mt. Horeb, Wisc., in 2015 has transformed into an annual nationwide day of action and underscores the power of even one voice to spark a movement and effect positive change.” More from HRC.

PENTAGON PREPARING TO ACCEPT TRANSGENDER RECRUITS ON JAN. 1: In an email to the Washington Examiner, Pentagon spokesman Maj. Dave Eastburn wrote, “While reviewing legal options with the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense is taking steps to be prepared to initiate accessions of transgender applicants for military service on January 1, 2018, per recent court orders.” Last week, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly clarified a preliminary injunction that blocked portions of the Trump-Pence discriminatory ban on transgender groups, including ruling that the Pentagon must move forward with previously developed plans to allow qualified trans people to enlist or commission into the military starting in January. The Justice Department is asking for the decision to be put on hold. More from The Washington Post and The Associated Press.

HRC ENDORSES SENATOR TAMMY BALDWIN (D-WI) FOR RE-ELECTION: “We were proud to stand with Senator Baldwin when she made history in 2012, and today we are thrilled to enthusiastically endorse her bid for a second term in the U.S. Senate,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “A true trailblazer, Senator Baldwin has been at the center of every battle for full equality, fighting tirelessly on behalf of Wisconsin and the American people. Her leadership and voice remain crucial in the effort to advance equality and we look forward to continuing to work with her in the U.S. Senate.” Baldwin is the first openly gay U.S. senator and the first woman elected to the chamber from Wisconsin. She was a leader in the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” an early supporter of marriage equality, a champion for federal hate crimes protections, and co-author of the Equality Act, crucial legislation that would extend comprehensive federal protections to LGBTQ Americans. More from HRC.

UPDATE -- HE’S DOING IT!! GAY MAN DENIED A MARRIAGE LICENSE BY NOTORIOUS KY COUNTY CLERK KIM DAVIS WILL RUN AGAINST HER: David Ermold, whose heated exchange with Davis after she denied him and his partner a marriage license went viral, returned to the courthouse yesterday, sat across from Davis, and officially filed to run against her. More from The Associated Press.

NEW STUDY -- KNOWING A TRANS PERSON INFLUENCES YOUR OPINION ON EQUALITY: The University of Kansas study found that people who personally knew a transgender person, or saw positive depictions of transgender people in the media, are more likely to support transgender equality. More from Phys.org.

PHILLY EXHIBIT PRESERVES HISTORY FROM THE 80s AIDS EPIDEMIC: The William Way LGBT Community Center assembled artifacts from that era for the exhibit, “Still Fighting for Our Lives.”  More from WHYY.

PA GOP STATE REP DARYL METCALFE HAS HOMOPHOBIC MELTDOWN OVER….COLLEAGUE TOUCHING HIS ARM?? The lawmaker interrupted Democratic state Rep. Matt Bradford, who touched Metcalfe’s forearm, saying, “Look, I'm a heterosexual. I have a wife, I love my wife, I don't like men -- as you might... If you want to touch somebody, you have people on your side of the aisle who might like it.” More from The Washington Post.

SOUTH BEACH MAN FACES CHARGES IN ALLEGED ANTI-LGBTQ HATE CRIME: Wade Rutledge was charged in connection to a crime last month where a same-sex couple was harassed and mugged. More from The Orange County Register.

ANTI-LGBTQ LIBERTY COUNSEL FILES SUIT IN TAMPA CHALLENGING PROTECTIONS AGAINST SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY”: The city banned the debunked and dangerous practice earlier this year. More from Orlando Weekly.

JIM GRAY RUNNING TO BE KENTUCKY’S FIRST OPENLY GAY CONGRESSMAN: The Lexington Mayor will run for U.S. Congress against incumbent Representative Andy Barr (R-KY), who received a score of zero on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard for the 114th and 113th Congresses. More from HuffPost.

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE CHARACTER COMES OUT AS BISEXUAL: In the show’s 99th episode, Rosa Diaz came out as bisexual, marking an important move for bisexual representation in television. Stephanie Beatriz (@iamstephbeatz), who plays Diaz and is bisexual and queer, pushed for this important character development. More from Variety.

LGBTQ AND ALLIED ACTORS, DIRECTORS NOMINATED FOR CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS: Those nominated include Asia Kate Dillon (@AsiaKateDillon), Tituss Burgess (@TitussBurgess), Allison Janney (@AllisonBJanney), Sean Hayes (@SeanHayes), Dee Rees and Ryan Murphy. More from The Hollywood Reporter.

N.C. SERVER FIRED FOR CALLING OUT ANTI-GAY ABUSE FROM CUSTOMER: The server had posted online a photo of a receipt on which a customer had written a homophobic slur.  The Hickory Tavern said the employee violated its  “confidentiality policy,” but has since said he could return to his job. More from The Charlotte Observer.


HuffPost reviews a new art show in Los Angeles with LGBTQ themes; The New York Times shines a light on Moogfest, a music festival highlighting LGBTQ and women artists; Washington Blade reports that the Ali Forney Center in New York will dedicate its new LGBTQ youth homeless residence to the late Bea Arthur

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