#AM_Equality Tipsheet: January 11, 2018

by Allison Turner

HRC calls on Senate to reject Trump-Pence anti-LGBTQ nom; Landmark ruling in Costa Rica could have major effects in 19 other countries

HRC CALLS ON SENATE TO REJECT TRUMP-PENCE ANTI-LGBTQ NOM HOWARD C. NIELSON: While attending Nielson’s Senate nomination hearing for U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) in a series of tweets outlined his experience with the nominee when they were on opposite sides of California’s Proposition 8 debate in 2010. Nielson had defended the unconstitutional law that prohibited loving, same-sex couples from marrying, arguing in court testimony that homosexuality is a choice, that anti-LGBTQ discrimination doesn’t lead to increased stress and mental difficulties, and that Vaughn Walker, a federal judge nominated by Presidents Reagan and H.W. Bush, couldn’t rule on a federal civil rights case because he is gay. More from HRC.

LANDMARK LGBTQ RULING IN COSTA RICA COULD EFFECT ACROSS 19 OTHER COUNTRIES: The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered the Costa Rican government to “recognize and guarantee all the rights that are derived from a family bond between people of the same sex” and “guarantee access to all existing forms of domestic legal systems, including the right to marriage, in order to ensure the protection of all the rights of families formed by same-sex couples without discrimination.” The decision creates precedent and could lead to similar outcomes in the 19 other countries that have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court. More from The Washington Blade and Reuters.

THROWBACK THURSDAY: This week in 1958, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in its first case involving the LGBTQ community. One: The Homosexual Magazine, an early LGBTQ magazine in the U.S., had been declared “obscene” by the Los Angeles postmaster, who refused to deliver it. A challenge to that decision rose to the Supreme Court, which overturned the 9th Circuit decision that the magazine was “obscene,” allowing the LGBTQ press to flourish across the country. The archives of this pivotal publication are available through the USC Libraries Archive.

From the ONE Archives Foundation

SETTLEMENT REACHED IN TRANS STUDENT DISCRIMINATION CASE: A settlement of $800,000 was awarded to Ash Whitaker who sued the Kenosha (Wisc.) Unified School District for denying him access to the facilities consistent with his gender identity, using his birth name and incorrect pronouns, isolating him from his peers on overnight school trips and proposing a policy to require that transgender students wear green wristbands or stickers. Whitaker prevailed in his case before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. More from Advocate and The New York Times.

ICYMI -- HRC & EQUALITY FEDERATION INSTITUTE RELEASE ANNUAL STATE EQUALITY INDEX (SEI) RATINGS: The comprehensive state-by-state report details statewide laws and policies that affect LGBTQ people and their families. It also highlights the onslaught of more than 125 anti-LGBTQ laws introduced across 30 states during the 2017 state legislative season. HRC Rapid Response Press Secretary Charlotte Clymer (@cmclymer) took a dive into the SEI assessment of Washington, D.C., and her home state of Texas. More from HRC.

FLORIDA BEGINS 2018 BY OFFERING FREE PrEP STATEWIDE: “Florida providing free PrEP in all 67 of its local county health departments is significant because it provides those who are most at-risk for HIV, but are uninsured, another tool in their HIV prevention toolbox that they did not have before,” says Daniel Downer, Early Intervention Services Program Coordinator at Hope and Health Center of Central Florida and a HRC HIV 360° Fellow. “It also shows that health officials understand the important role PrEP has played in the response to HIV and AIDS in the State of Florida.” PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 92 percent in people who are at high risk. More from HRC.

NEW YORK CITY CREATES A MORE LGBTQ-INCLUSIVE PAID FAMILY LEAVE POLICY: It  allows workers to use paid family leave to care for anyone they define as family, helping end policies that often exclude or unintentionally discriminate against LGBTQ families. For instance, some discriminate by limiting maternity benefits only to pregnant women,  withholding equal coverage to men or parents who pursue surrogacy or only giving time off to parents welcoming a child through childbirth -- an oversight that can disproportionately affect same-sex couples who are more likely to foster and adopt children. More from Quartz.

VIDEO FROM HRC -- HRC CELEBRATES DANICA ROEM AS SHE IS SWORN IN TO VA’S HOUSE OF DELEGATES: Roem is now Virginia’s first out transgender public official and the nation's only out transgender state representative. She unseated Bob Marshall, who had a vicious, anti-LGBTQ record. More from HRC.

TRANSGENDER PEOPLE GOING TO UTAH SUPREME COURT TO CHANGE GENDER MARKERS ON LEGAL DOCUMENTS: After a lower court judge denied Angie Rice and Sean Childers-Gray’s request to update their gender marker on legal documents, they decided to challenge the decision at the state’s highest court. More from The Associated Press.

TRANS INMATE WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO WOMEN’S PRISON: Deon “Strawberry” Hampton received a rare hearing from a U.S. magistrate judge, who approved Hampton’s request to serve out her sentence in a women’s facility, where she will be less vulnerable to assault and harassment. More from The Southern Illinoisan.

RICKY MARTIN MARRIES JWAN YOSEF: Martin announced his marriage to Yosef on E! News. Congrats to the happy couple! More from USA Today.

AUSTRALIA MUST REPEAL ANTI-TRANS ‘FORCED DIVORCE’ LAWS: Before marriage equality became the law of the land in Australia, a transphobic law required people to be unmarried in order to make changes to birth certificates. Advocates are working with jurisdictions across the country to repeal the law, created to prevent same-sex marriages in the country. More from BuzzFeed.

JAMAICAN ADVOCATES WORK TO BAN ANTI-LGBTQ EXTREMIST FROM ENTERING COUNTRY: Steven Anderson is a known exporter of hate and a pastor at the Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group Faithful Word Baptist Church. Jamaican LGBTQ advocate Maurice Tomlinson (@mauricetom2) detailed Anderson’s horrific assertions about LGBTQ people in a letter to the editor in The Gleaner. In 2016, he was banned from South Africa and arrested and deported from Botswana for advocating for the murder of LGBTQ people. Read the full piece from The Gleaner.

MORNING MUST READ -- TRANS WOMEN IN PAKISTAN WORKING FOR EQUALITY: Transgender women have found a role in the Sufi religion, where they are believed to belong to a sacred third gender. Despite this, trans Pakistani women are often the targets of discrimination, poverty and violence. Read and listen to Diaa Hadid’s (@diaahadid) piece at NPR.

ANTI-LGBTQ PAPER BANNED FROM VIRGIN TRAINS IN UK: A statement from the train company reads: “We’ve decided that this paper is not compatible with the [Virgin Trains] brand and our beliefs. We won’t be stocking the Daily Mail for sale or as a giveaway.” More from Pink News and The Guardian.


The Daily Beast discusses best practices for covering bisexuality in the media; The Grunion previews a new show from Long Beach’s LGBTQ chorus; Canva interviews HRC Senior Design Director Robert Villaflor about HRC’s iconic logo and marketing strategies;

A.M. Equality