#AM_Equality Tipsheet: January 5, 2017

by Allison Turner

Anti-transgender bill filed in Virginia; New polling on global perceptions of trans community

ANTI-TRANSGENDER BILL FILED IN VIRGINIA: On Tuesday, Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall filed HB 1612, a measure that includes discriminatory anti-transgender provisions emulating those in North Carolina’s egregious HB2 law. As a reminder, North Carolina’s LGBTQ community continues to suffer under HB2, and the state’s economy has taken a hit of more than $600 million -- and counting -- as visitors, businesses, sports leagues and major entertainment groups made tough decisions to protect their LGBTQ loved ones, employees, customers and fans by avoiding the state while the discriminatory law remains in effect. The bill would also force school administrators to, within a 24-hour window, notify the parents of students who come out to teachers or other school officials as transgender.   More from CBS 6 and The Washington Post.

  • And in Kentucky yesterday, a bill with similar anti-transgender language was filed in the General Assembly, as was an additional measure that would give businesses a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people. More from The Advocate.
  • But in Arkansas, Republican Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said he “doesn't see a need for legislation that would limit which restrooms transgender people could use at public schools.” More from The Associated Press.

NEW BUZZFEED POLLING RANKS COUNTRIES, INCLUDING U.S., ON SUPPORT FOR TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY: BuzzFeed, Iposo and the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute have released new polling conducted in 23 nations, including the United States, on issues affecting the transgender community -- including non-discrimination laws, changing  identity documents , healthcare, marriage and parenting. The first-of-its-kind survey ranked the countries on a 100-point scale based on their public support of the transgender community. Of countries surveyed, Spain received the highest overall score (81) and Russia received the lowest (44). The United States earned a score of 66. More from BuzzFeed and read the full findings at The Williams Institute.

THROWBACK THURSDAY: On January 4, 2010, the 22-year ban on HIV positive visitors and immigrants entering the U.S., first established in 1987, was lifted when the Obama administration removed HIV from the list of communicable diseases that bar foreign nationals from entering the country. Under the ban, HIV-positive foreign nationals entering the U.S. had to obtained a special waiver, which was difficult to secure and only allowed short-term travel. The policy also prevented the vast majority of foreign nationals with HIV from obtaining legal permanent residency in the United States. More from HRC and ABC News.

THE MILITARY SAYS #THANKSOBAMA -- PRESIDENT REFLECTS ON REPEAL OF DADT: Yesterday in comments during a military ceremony honoring his service to the nation, President Obama noted the tremendous strides his administration made for LGBTQ equality in the military, including the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and lifting the ban on transgender people serving openly. He said, “Service members can now serve the country they love without hiding who they are or who they love.” His remarks came during the Armed Forces Full Honor Review Farewell Ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. The president was joined by Vice President Biden, Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford. Watch the ceremony here. (Event begins at 42:40)

HRC COLLECTING DATA FOR NEW YOUTH SURVEY: In a new survey, HRC is asking LGBTQ young people, ages 13-18, to share their experiences on a range of issues including bullying, and to talk about their hopes, dreams and concerns for the future. If you or a LGBTQ young person in your life would like to participate, click here.

NATION’S CAPITAL PASSES TWO LGBTQ BILLS INTO LAW: The D.C. Council gave final approval to two laws to protect the LGBTQ community -- one allows all couples to enter into legal agreements with a surrogate to give birth to a child, and the other creates a process for designating gender identity on a person’s death certificate. More from The Washington Blade.

BOYNTON BEACH POISED TO BAN SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY” FOR MINORS: On Tuesday, the Boynton Beach City Commission voted to advance an ordinance that would ban the dangerous and debunked practice of conversion therapy for minors. A final vote is scheduled for January 17. More from Palm Beach Post.

LAS VEGAS NAMED TOP TRAVEL SPOT FOR LGBTQ PEOPLE: GayTravel has named Las Vegas as its pick for “Destination of the Year,” citing the city for having the year's best travel providers for the LGBTQ community. More from CTV News.


Fusion discusses the unique issues facing bisexual men coming out… American pop-funk band MUNA has joined HRC’s Equality Rocks campaignPeople reports that reality TV star Mariah Brown has come out as gay...

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