2018 is looking bright for pro-equality candidates; Trump fires HIV & AIDS council; Trump signs tax scam, attacking health care.
2018 LOOKING BRIGHT FOR PRO-EQUALITY CANDIDATES: HRC released new polling data from Hart Research Associates one year out from the 2018 midterm elections, showing that likely voters across in Arizona and Pennsylvania overwhelmingly support LGBTQ-inclusive policies and are less likely to vote for a candidate who does not. “A year out from the midterm elections, the data clearly show that Arizonans and Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support LGBTQ equality,” said JoDee Winterhof, Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “Just as they have in North Carolina last year and Alabama last month, Arizona voters will stand up to reject candidates who target LGBTQ people. These polling results make it clear -- hate is not a winning political strategy.” Key findings from the poll:
A MAJOR MILESTONE AND BLOW TO TRUMP -- PENTAGON BEGINS ACCEPTING TRANSGENDER RECRUITS ON JAN. 1: Yesterday, qualified transgender people who want to serve their country in the military were finally allowed to sign up openly after the Department of Justice decided not to appeal federal court rulings blocking Trump's discriminatory transgender military ban. While an important step, the fight is not over to ensure trans troops can continue to serve. “This is another significant blow to Donald Trump and Mike Pence's unconstitutional ban on transgender troops. There is clearly no legitimate rationale for the commander in chief to target our own service members for discrimination. The president should recognize the writing on the wall and rescind his reckless policy once and for all,” said HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride). “We are proud to serve as an organizational co-plaintiff in this case brought by Lambda Legal and Outserve-SLDN -- and we will continue to fight this cruel order until it's firmly relegated to the dustbin of history where it belongs.”
Despite Donald Trump and Mike Pence's dangerous agenda, beginning today, brave transgender patriots are now able to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. To those both currently serving and planning to enlist: thank you for your courage and determination to serve. (1/2)— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) January 1, 2018
We continue to stand with you, our brave service members, as we work to remove any threat of discrimination in the military and throughout daily life. The fight is far from over, but today is a significant milestone. (2/2)— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) January 1, 2018
ABHORRENT -- TRUMP FIRES REMAINING MEMBERS OF HIV & AIDS COUNCIL: In yet another attack on LGBTQ health, Trump fired the remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). Over the summer, six members resigned over the Trump Administration’s complacency in fighting the HIV epidemic. More from The Washington Blade.
TRUMP OKAYS ATTACK ON HEALTH CARE FOR MILLIONS BY SIGNING TRUMP-PENCE TAX SCAM: HRC issued the following statement after Donald Trump signed the Trump-Pence tax scam into law. “Donald Trump just signed legislation attacking access to health care for millions of Americans and threatening the longevity of programs critical to the LGBTQ community,” said HRC Director of Government Affairs, David Stacy. “It is clear that this President is more than willing to sell out the American public for any perceived legislative victory.” This dangerous legislation was 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 didn’t receive a single vote from Democratic lawmakers. More from HRC.
REFLECTING ON 2017 -- AND GEARING UP FOR THE 2018 FIGHT: In 2017, HRC united, resisted and enlisted against discrimination targeting LGBTQ people at the federal, state and local levels. Despite the hateful and bigoted policies pushed by the Trump-Pence administration, we mobilized against their discriminatory agenda to ensure full equality and justice is achieved for everyone, everywhere. Check out how HRC, along with our more than three million members and supporters, stood up and fought back in Trump’s America here.
HRC MOURNS LOSS OF MOVEMENT LEADER ANN KANER ROTH: Ann was a fierce ally, advocate and leader of the LGBTQ community in Minnesota and across the nation. “The Human Rights Campaign family is deeply saddened by the loss of Ann, and our thoughts go out to her husband Marc, her children, and the entire Minnesota community she loved so dearly. Ann was a tireless leader and ally for LGBTQ equality, and her historic work to win marriage equality in Minnesota helped lead the entire nation to victory on the issue just a few years later,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). Ann served as Executive Director of Project 515 and as co-chair of Minnesotans United for All Families through the historic and successful legislative campaign to win marriage equality in the North Star State. She was a member of HRC’s national Board of Governors, serving as a Governor for two years. More from HRC.
SAME-SEX COUPLE AND TWO CHILDREN MURDERED IN NEW YORK STATE: Shanta Myers, 36; Brandi Mells, 22; Jeremiah Myers, 11; and Shanise Myers, 5 were found in their Troy apartment. Our deepest condolences go out to friends and loved ones of the Myers-Mells family in the wake of this heartbreaking, senseless tragedy. More from The Associated Press.
LGBTQ AND ALLIED FAITH LEADERS REFLECT ON THE HOLIDAYS: To celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa, HRC’s Religion and Faith Program asked four esteemed faith leaders, Rabbi Haim Ovadia, Rosa Manriquez, Rev. Elder Darlene Garner and Rev. Candy Holmes, to contribute holiday stories as a gift of reflection and inspiration to the LGBTQ faith community and our allies.
Sydney New Year's: A rainbow 'waterfall firework' fell from the Sydney Harbour Bridge to celebrate the legalising of same-sex marriage in Australia. https://t.co/h85xZYLDth #SydNYE #SSM #7News pic.twitter.com/IvzCAm2F2C— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) December 31, 2017
The New York Times interviews LGBTQ Lebanese about the barriers to coming out, including HRC Global Innovator Steph; M + R shares why one American is grateful for HRC’s Project One America this new year; The Columbus Dispatch reviews the patchwork of protections for LGBTQ people in Ohio; NPR inteviews a transgender Pakistani woman