#AM_Equality Tipsheet: February 1, 2019

by HRC Staff

HRC releases annual SEI ratings; HRC marks start of Black History Month; photo of Jupiter mirrors trans flag

HRC RELEASES 5th ANNUAL STATE EQUALITY RATINGS AS U.S. HOUSE POISED TO CONSIDER EQUALITY ACT: The State Equality Index is a comprehensive report detailing statewide laws and policies that affect LGBTQ people and their families, and assessing how well states are protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination. Because there are no comprehensive federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ people, the rights of millions of LGBTQ people and their families depend on which state they live in. In 30 states, LGBTQ people remain at risk of being fired, evicted or denied services because of who they are. For this reason, the new pro-equality majority in the U.S. House has made the Equality Act -- a bill to establish comprehensive federal protections for LGBTQ people -- a top priority. More from HRC and Pink News.

  • From USA Today -- “Sobering reality': LGBT progress report shows gains, but most states still won't grant rights”: Jorge L. Ortiz (@jorgelortiz) reports, “As the LGBT community continues to pursue equal rights, it can point to substantial gains at the state level, broad public support and increased momentum toward a federal Equality Act. On the other hand, a majority of states still lack laws banning discrimination...” More at USA Today.

HRC MARKS TODAY’S START OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH: “As we mark Black History Month and celebrate the barriers that have been broken by Black LGBTQ trailblazers in the struggle for equality, we must also confront the barriers that remain, and work to lift up the voices of Black and LGBTQ advocates challenging systems of power and oppression every day,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “Throughout this month, we must not only celebrate our heroes but reflect on how we can bring long-marginalized voices within our movement to the forefront and accelerate the pace of progress toward an America where everyone within the LGBTQ community is equal.” Read more at HRC.

STATEHOUSE ROUNDUP -- VIRGINIA HOUSE LEADERSHIP KILLS NON-DISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS IN COMMITTEE: House of Delegates leaders refused to bring up two commonsense LGBTQ non-discrimination measures for a vote in the General Laws committee yesterday. Similar bills have passed the Virginia Senate with bipartisan support. More from HRC and On Top Magazine.

  • Arizona lawmakers introduce a bipartisan non-discrimination bill to protect LGBTQ Arizonans. Polling shows that 70 percent of Arizona voters support such protections. More from Metro Weekly.
  • Four of Texas’ LGBT chambers of commerce will hold a Day of Advocacy at the Texas Capital in support of LGBTQ Texans. More from Dallas Morning News.
  • HRC urges the Mississippi House and Senate to bring up for a vote bills that would add sexual orientation, gender identity and disability to the existing hate crimes law. Read more from HRC.

WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT NOM BRIAN HAGEDORN’S HORRIFIC ANTI-LGBTQ COMMENTS ARE DISQUALIFYING: Hagedorn suggested that the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Lawrence v. Texas ruling could lead to the legalization of bestiality in the country. “Hagedorn’s anti-LGBTQ rhetoric is deeply disturbing, and as someone who has publicly and unabashedly voiced contempt for LGBTQ equality he has no place on the bench or in public office,” said HRC Wisconsin State Director Wendy Strout. Read more at HRC.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY -- NEW PHOTO OF JUPITER MIRRORS THE TRANS FLAG, LIGHTS UP THE SKY FOR EQUALITY:

TWO-THIRDS OF AMERICANS REPORT INCREASE IN HATE CRIMES SINCE 2016; PERPS IN 40 PERCENT OF INCIDENTS INVOKED TRUMP OR ALT-RIGHT:  Read more in the Communities Against Hate report, “Hate Magnified: Communities in Crisis”, here.

  • Jussie Smollett’s family issues statement on the violent, homophobic and racist attack he suffered earlier this week in Chicago. Read it here.

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

CANADIAN MAN ACCUSED OF MURDERING EIGHT GAY MEN, MOST OF SOUTH ASIAN OR MIDDLE EASTERN DESCENT, PLEADS GUILTY: Bruce McArthur, 67, remained at large for eight years, causing a rift between Toronto’s LGBTQ community and local police. More from The New York Times.

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break!

Colorado Public Radio interviews LGBTQ advocate Mikah Meyer (@MikahMey), who is challenging the lack of LGBTQ representation in the outdoor recreation industry; NPR explores how Lady Gaga’s legendary anthem ‘Born This Way’ was created

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A.M. Equality