#AM_Equality Tipsheet: January 23, 2018

by Allison Turner

Congress must find agreement that protects Dreamers and most vulnerable Americans; Mike Pence’s dangerous silence on Egypt

URGENT -- CONGRESS MUST FIND AGREEMENT THAT FUNDS CRUCIAL PRIORITIES, PROTECTS DREAMERS AND MOST VULNERABLE AMERICANS: HRC issued the following statement: “The fight continues. We need to keep our eye on the ball,” said David Stacy, HRC’s Government Affairs Director. “We have a short amount of time to ensure our elected leaders protect vulnerable Americans, including kids who need health care, seniors, troops and hundreds of thousands of Dreamers, including 75,000 LGBTQ young people. The Trump-Pence Administration and Congressional leaders have once again kicked the can down the road and failed to act in a timely fashion. They must act to ensure these vulnerable communities are not put at further risk.” More from LGBT Weekly and HRC.

  • HRC released a new video featuring Viktor, a queer Dreamer from Texas who closes his emotional appeal by saying, “I’m proud to call this country my home… Texas is my home sweet home.” Watch Viktor’s story here.

MIKE PENCE'S DANGEROUS SILENCE ON EGPYT: Just days before Pence arrived in the country on January 19, Egyptian police arrested an additional 10 people on suspicion of being LGBTQ. Yet Pence, who met with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, refused to condemn the violence publicly, even when a reporter directly asked him about it. HRC is reiterating its call for the Trump administration to forcefully condemn the Egyptian government’s escalating, brutal anti-LGBTQ crackdown. “Unless Pence uses the opportunity to forcefully speak out against these human rights abuses, the U.S. risks emboldening the Egyptian government’s assault on LGBTQ people and Pence will -- once again -- reaffirm his position as one of the most anti-LGBTQ politicians in the U.S.,” said Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global (@TyWesleyCobb). More from Washington Blade, HRC and Human Rights Watch.

SENATOR KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, AUDRA MCDONALD AND DIAGEO TO BE HONORED AT HRC GREATER NEW YORK GALA: HRC announced that U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) will speak and Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award-winner Audra McDonald will be honored at the 2018 HRC Greater New York Gala on February 3 in New York City. HRC also announced that Diageo will receive the organization’s Corporate Equality Award. To request media credentials, please email your full name, outlet affiliation, role, and cell phone number no later than noon on February 1 to stephen.peters@hrc.org. More from HRC.

HRC GLOBAL DIRECTOR TY COBB HEADS TO DAVOS: He will be amplifying the importance of LGBTQ rights around the globe. During the forum, Elton John is slated to be honored for his work at the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Additionally, HRC will join Accenture and others to co-host the 4th Annual Davos LGBT Breakfast at which the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein will speak about the U.N’s Free & Equal effort on behalf of LGBTQ people worldwide. More from HRC.


MORNING MUST READ FROM VOX -- “TRUMP PROMISED TO BE LGBTQ-FRIENDLY. HIS FIRST YEAR IN OFFICE PROVED IT WAS A GIANT CON”: The Trump-Pence administration has attacked LGBTQ equality at every turn -- from rescinding guidance on school’s obligations to protect transgender students to attempting to block qualified transgender Americans from serving their country in the military. Despite Don the Con’s lip service during the campaign, he has overwhelming failed LGBTQ Americans, and actively worked to undermine the great strides for equality made by the Obama Administration. More from German Lopez (@germanrlopez) at Vox.

A FANTASTIC WOMAN MAKES HISTORY AT THE OSCARS: The film -- nominated for Best Foreign Language Film -- is the first starring an openly transgender woman, Daniela Vega (@danivega), to be nominated. Call Me By Your Name was nominated for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Timothée Chalamet (@RealChalamet) was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his role in Call Me By Your Name. HRC supporter Meryl Streep was nominated for Best Lead Actress for her role in The Post. Coco, which is nominated for Best Animated Feature, was co-directed by openly gay Adrian Molina (@AdrianTheMolina). Openly lesbian Dee Rees was nominated, with professional partner Virgil Williams (@VirgilWilliams), for Best Adapted Screenplay for Mudbound. HRC Supporter Allison Janney (@AllisonBJanney) was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in I, Tonya. Openly gay songwriter Benj Pasek (@benjpasek), with professional partner Justin Paul (@heyitsjustin), was nominated for Best Original Song for “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman. More from Variety.

SOUTHERN LEGISLATURES MAY HAVE LEARNED SOMETHING FROM BACKLASH TO ANTI-LGBTQ MEASURES IN NC & TEXAS: But equality advocates aren’t complacent -- not by a long shot. “There’s a lot of time, and I would be very derelict in my duty if I said I wasn’t worried,” Cathryn Oakley, HRC state legislative director and senior counsel told The New York Times’ Alan Blinder (@alanblinder). “We as advocates, but also our allies, will be very sorry if we take our eyes off the ball.” More from The New York Times.

One important factor in this slowdown on the attacks on LGBTQ equality? Businesses.

HOW DO THE 20 POTENTIAL AMAZON HQ2 CITIES RATE ON LGBTQ EQUALITY? CEOs like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) know that in order to attract and retain the best employees, they must grow their companies in places that protect LGBTQ citizens from discrimination and actively open their doors to all communities. More from Newsweek.

ALARMING REPORT REVEALS 2017 DEADLIEST YEAR ON RECORD FOR LGBTQ AMERICANS: The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Project found 52 recorded anti-LGBTQ murders -- an 86 percent increase from 2016. The numbers don’t include those killed in the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub, which took the lives of 49 people -- most of them LGBTQ and Latinx. More from The Washington Blade.

BIDEN FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES POWERHOUSE LGBTQ ADVISORY COUNCIL: It includes Cyndi Lauper (@cyndilauper), Sara Ramírez (@SarahRamirez), Jason Collins (@jasoncollins98), HRC’s own Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride), Judy Shepard (@WyoJudyShepard) and Mara Keisling (@MaraKeisling), among others. More from the Biden Foundation.

HRC MAKING HEADLINES IN CHILE’S LARGEST PAPERS: The recent launch of HRC Equidad CL: Global workplace Equality Program in Santiago -- highlighting the importance of LGBTQ-inclusive practices and policies among companies and U.S. multinationals across workplaces in Chile -- was recently featured in Pulso, PressRoad and La Tercera (page 31).

HRC ENCABEZA TITULARES EN LOS PERIÓDICOS MÁS GRANDES DE CHILE: El reciente lanzamiento de HRC Equidad CL: Programa Global de Equidad Laboral en Santiago – que destaca la importancia de las prácticas y políticas inclusivas de trabajadores LGBT en centros laborales de empresas locales y multinacionales estadounidenses en Chile – apareció en notas de Pulso, PressRoad y La Tercera (pág.31).

JUSTICE DELAYED BY MORE THAN 60 YEARS: In 1955, Airman Second Class Helen Grace James was dishonorably discharged for being a lesbian at the height of the “Lavender Scare” that targeted and systematically fired LGBTQ government employees. James recently got word from the Air Force that her records will finally be upgraded to an honorable discharge, and her service recognized. More from The Washington Post.

2017 WAS THE DEADLIEST YEAR ON RECORD FOR LGBTQ BRAZILIANS: The Brazilian LGBTQ watchdog group Grupo Gay de Bahia reports that at least 445 LGBTQ Brazilians were murdered in 2017 -- a 30 percent increase from 2016. LGBTQ Brazilians have long faced deadly violence. More from The Guardian.

GAY MAN ATTACKED IN AMSTERDAM: It’s the latest in a disturbing uptick in anti-LGBTQ violence in the city. More from NL Times.


International human rights lawyer Jonathan Cooper (@JonathanCoopr) writes for The Guardian about how Brexit could affect LGBTQ equality; The Hollywood Reporter speaks to Alex Blue Davis (@alexbluedavis), an openly trans actor who has joined the cast of Grey’s Anatomy; The Grio reviews Lena Waithe’s (@LenaWaithe) new film, Step Sisters

A.M. Equality