#AM_Equality Tipsheet: January 4, 2018

by Allison Turner

In a win for democracy, Trump dissolves so-called “voter fraud” commission; Swearing-in of U.S. Senator Doug Jones

IN A WIN FOR DEMOCRACY, TRUMP DISSOLVES SO-CALLED “VOTER FRAUD” COMMISSION: The Mike Pence-led sham was a threat to voting rights and aimed at framing undocumented immigrants and further disenfranchising minority voters. This farce was a threat to voting rights in the United States and our democracy. Good riddance.

HRC CELEBRATES SWEARING-IN OF ALABAMA’S U.S. SENATOR DOUG JONES: “Thanks to hundreds of thousands of fair-minded Alabamians who rejected the politics of hate and fear, we have one more vote for equality and justice in the U.S. Senate today,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “We look forward to working closely with Senator Jones to advance LGBTQ equality. Let his victory in one of the reddest of states be a lesson to politicians everywhere: if you come after our rights and attack our families, we will organize, mobilize and come after you on Election Day.” HRC -- which opened offices in Alabama in 2014 and first launched its #NoMoore campaign against Roy Moore in 2016 -- engaged in a public education campaign about Roy Moore’s record during the Republican primary and endorsed Senator Jones in Alabama’s hotly-contested special election. In the weeks leading up to Election Day, HRC organized dozens of events, recruited hundreds of volunteers, and partnered with the NAACP of Alabama on statewide get-out-the-vote efforts. More from HRC.

COREY JOHNSON ELECTED SPEAKER OF NYC COUNCIL: Johnson is the first openly gay man and the first person with HIV to be elected to the position. More from Washington Blade.


  • SHE’S BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK: Anti-LGBTQ politician Michele Bachmann is considering a bid for U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota in 2018. Bachmann, who earned zero after zero after zero after zero on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard during her time in Congress, has been cozy with Trump since his campaign. More from Advocate and Washington Blade.
  • For your radar -- 15 races in 2018 that will impact LGBTQ Americans: More from Advocate.
  • At least 35 LGBTQ people intend to run for public office in Texas in 2018. More from The Hill.

THANKFUL THURSDAY -- THE “SEXIEST TEACHER ALIVE” SHARES A POWERFUL MESSAGE WITH LGBTQ YOUTH: HRC Upstander Award Winner Nicholas Ferroni, named People’s “Sexiest Teacher Alive,” fights for his LGBTQ students. “As a cisgender, straight man it is part of my purpose to show people that we are all created equal and should all be given the same rights and opportunities,” Ferroni says in a video for Advocate.

WIN IN ILLINOIS CASE INVOLVING TRANS STUDENT: U.S. District Judge Jorge Alonso denied a request by anti-equality activists for a preliminary injunction to halt the Palatine District 211 school policy allowing transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. More from The Associated Press.

ILLINOIS’ BAN ON SO-CALLED “GAY PANIC” DEFENSE GOES INTO EFFECT: The law prevents criminal defense attorneys from using the victim’s sexual orientation as justification for a crime against an LGBTQ person. LGBTQ advocates hope to replicate this law in other states. More from the The Associated Press.

MORNING MUST WATCH -- SARAH MCBRIDE SITS DOWN WITH DANICA ROEM: HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride) sits down with Virginia Delegate-elect Danica Roem (@pwcdanica) for an extended interview on running for office and fighting for LGBTQ equality. More from HRC.

  • Danica also spoke with InStyle about her historic win. More from InStyle.

HOPING FOR A NEW DAY DAWNING IN THE LDS CHURCH: Thomas S. Monson, who presided over the rapidly-growing Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) since 2008, died Monday at his home in Salt Lake City. Said Lisbeth Melendez Rivera, HRC Foundation’s Director of Latinx and Catholic Initiatives: “As the church contemplates its path forward, we call on leaders to take this opportunity to open their hearts and doors and examine the pain many of their policies have caused to the LGBTQ community.” More from HRC.

SALT LAKE CITY’S CITY COUNCIL NOW HAS THREE LGBTQ MEMBERS: This week, Chris Wharton and Amy Fowler were sworn in, joining Council member Derek Kitchen to make three of the seven members LGBTQ. More from KUER and Deseret News.

CONGRATS TO THE HAPPY COUPLE -- ELLEN PAGE AND EMMA PORTER MARRY: Page, who came out in 2014 in an amazing speech at HRC Foundation’s Time to THRIVE conference, shared photos on her Instagram. More from People.

DUSTIN LANCE BLACK WINS WRITERS GUILD AWARD: Black (@DLanceBlack), who directed “Milk” and “When We Rise,” will receive the Valentine Davies Award in recognition of his commitment to civil and human rights. More from Variety.

ABHORRENT -- RENO, NEV. LGBT CENTER VANDALIZED: A person wearing a mask allegedly smashed a window with a rock while people were in the building. No injuries were reported. More from My News 4.

SOUTHERN MISS BASEBALL TEAM LOSES THREE HOME GAMES OVER ANTI-LGBTQ LAW: A harmful Mississippi state law allowing the use of religion as a justification for discrimination against LGBTQ Mississippians at work, school and in their communities prompted New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban non-essential travel to the state to protect state employees. More from the Jackson Clarion Ledger.

LARGEST MENNONITE CONGREGATION IN U.S. LEAVES DENOMINATION OVER EFFORTS TO EMBRACE LGBTQ FAITHFUL: The Lancaster Mennonite Conference, with 179 churches, split from the Mennonite Church USA, which has some policies that affirm the LGBTQ community. More from Deseret News.

EVANGELICAL GROUP’S ANTI-LGBTQ PROPOGANDA DISGUISED AS “MILLENIAL” VIDEO: It sends a dangerous message to LGBTQ youth that there is something wrong with them. More from Queerty.

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. In 2016, he was banned from South Africa and arrested and deported from Botswana for advocating for the murder of LGBTQ people. More from Washington Blade.

UKRAINE’S ONLY LGBTQ SHELTER: The eight-bed shelter, run by Insight, a Kiev-based LGBTQ group, helps and houses LGBTQ people across the country fleeing violence and discrimination in the conservative country. More from Reuters.

ADVOCATES TO AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT -- DON’T INSTALL A LICENSE TO DISCRIMINATE: On the heels of a marriage equality win, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ordered a review of “religious freedom” protections -- which advocates worry may prompt legislation to undermine protections for the LGBTQ community. More from Pink News.

Mirror reports that India Willoughby, an openly transgender talk show host, will host Celebrity Big Brother;

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A.M. Equality