#AM_Equality Tipsheet: January 5, 2018

by Allison Turner

Discriminatory and invasive “voter fraud” commission disbanded; Shocker! Another anti-LGBTQ judicial nom from Trump

TRUMP-PENCE DISCRIMINATORY AND INVASIVE “VOTER FRAUD” COMMISSION DISBANDED: ICYMI, the White House announced it would disband the so-called Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity following numerous lawsuits and no real evidence of election fraud. “This is a victory for democracy,” said David Stacy, HRC Government Affairs Director. “The Trump-Pence Administration’s dangerous and false claims of election fraud were a farce from the start and a threat to the voting rights of all Americans, particularly citizens of color. Our government has an obligation to protect the right to privacy of all its citizens and ensure their fair and equal access to the ballot box. Mike Pence has failed miserably on all counts.” Pence, who led the commission, was unable to uncover significant evidence of voter fraud despite maintaining that millions of people had engaged in criminal conduct during the election. It was disbanded largely due to the determined efforts of a coalition including the Brennan Center, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, state chapters of the NAACP, the American Civil Liberties Union, the League of Women Voters, and the League of United Latin American Citizens. More from HRC.

SHOCKER! ANOTHER ANTI-LGBTQ JUDICIAL NOMINEE FROM TRUMP: Howard C. Nielson Jr., Trump’s nominee for the U.S. District Court in Utah, doesn’t think that LGBTQ judges should hear cases involving LGBTQ issues. If he extends that ridiculous logic to himself, he’ll have to start recusing himself from cases involving white people. Or men. Or straight people. Or cisgender people. Nielson is just the latest in a long line of extreme and unqualified anti-LGBTQ officials Donald Trump and Mike Pence have appointed and nominated to crucial agencies and court benches -- some of whom will serve lifetime appointments. Last year, HRC aimed a bright spotlight on five federal judicial nominees -- Jeff Mateer, Damien Schiff, L. Steven Grasz, Mark Norris, and Stephen Schwartz. And last month, HRC’s work to expose these nominees’ shameful anti-LGBTQ rhetoric paid off, as  Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley announced that Mateer would not be confirmed for a seat on the federal bench. More from Advocate.

CLAP BACK OF THE WEEK:  At his dad’s U.S. Senate swearing in, Doug Jones’ openly gay son served some epic side-eye to notoriously anti-LGBTQ Mike Pence. Get your life from Bustle and Advocate.

WASHINGTON STATE TO ALLOW ‘X’ GENDER MARKER ON BIRTH CERTIFICATES: The rule, officially announced by the state’s Department of Health yesterday, will go into effect on January 27. Washington joins California in instituting this change. More from The Olympian.

ONE YEAR LATER -- MURDER OF MESHA CALDWELL REMAINS UNSOLVED: Said HRC Mississippi State Director Rob Hill: “The unique and tragic stories, like Mesha Caldwell’s, reflect the obstacles that many transgender Americans -- especially trans women of color -- face in their daily lives. It is crucial that we know, lift up and highlight these stories in order to combat the transphobia, misogyny and racism fueling this violence so that we can end this epidemic before it takes any more lives.” More from Deep South Voice.

305 DAYS UNTIL ELECTION DAY 2018: Bay Area Reporter’s Matthew S. Bajko (@politicalnotes) speaks to California LGBTQ leaders about the upcoming election season and what’s at stake for equality. More from The Bay Area Reporter.

HORRIFYING -- TRANS WOMAN ALLEGES SHE WAS BEATEN BY RIKERS GUARDS: Avion Stinson is suing New York City and the Department of Corrections, alleging she was left with a broken jaw, missing teeth and two black eyes after being beaten and harassed by Rikers guards. More from The New York Post.

BROWARD (FLA.) COUNTY COMMISSIONERS CONSIDER MEASURE TO PROTECT YOUTH FROM SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY”: They will vote on the proposed ordinance next Tuesday, and could join municipalities across the state that have already protected residents from the dangerous and debunked practice. More from WSVN.

MEMO TO STATEHOUSES -- ANTI-LGBTQ LAWS ARE EXPENSIVE: Companies are increasingly looking to locate and expand in regions that can attract and support a diverse, talented workforce. Knowing that all their employees will be protected from discrimination is a priority. Case in point -- a new study from UCLA’s Williams Institute found that states that fail to protect their LGBTQ  residents are losing billions in potential revenue. More from The Daily Beast.

TRANS MAN IN PHILLY SUES IHOP FOR HARASSMENT: Jahkee Wade alleges he was sexually harassed and discriminated against by his employer because of his gender identity -- including being called anti-LGBTQ slurs and refusing to use his correct name and pronouns. More from Philadelphia Magazine.

IN D.C., WHILE CRIME IS DOWN, REPORTED ANTI-LGBTQ CRIMES ARE UP: Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Brett Parson noted that this increase may be due to LGBTQ victims being more comfortable reporting such crimes. More from Washington Blade.

SAN ANTONIO LGBTQ CENTER TO OPEN NEW HEADQUARTERS: It will offer counseling, mental health services, meetings spaces, parenting classes among other services through partner agencies. More from Texas Public Radio.

PROFESSIONAL ICE SKATER MATT EVERS COMES OUT AS GAY: The Dancing on Ice star (@TheMattEvers) told Attitude, “I live my life by example, and I want to show young people that what you feel or how you were born isn't something bad.” More from Attitude.

HONG KONG EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION ASKS GOV’T TO ROLL BACK TRANSPHOBIC RULE: EOC Chairperson Alfred Chan asked Hong Kong’s government to roll back a requirement that transgender people undergo medical transition before updating their gender marker on legal documents. More from Hong Kong Free Press.

SINGAPOREAN COURT DENIES GAY MAN’S BID TO ADOPT BIOLOGICAL SON: The child was born to a surrogate in the U.S. More from HuffPost.

BEIJING COURT AGREES TO HEAR CASE INVOLVING ANTI-LGBTQ CENSORSHIP: The suit challenges China’s ban on portraying “abnormal sexual lifestyles” on TV and in online videos, often used to censor LGBTQ stories and characters. More from Ozy.

LGBT INTERNATIONAL POWERLIFTING CHAMPIONSHIP ADDS NON-GENDERED CATEGORY: The category, called “Mx,” was designed to welcome nonbinary and intersex competitors. More from HRC and NewNowNext.


Detroit Metro Times reviews a new documentary featuring a local transgender man; PrideSource announces a program from SAGE aimed at combatting loneliness and isolation of LGBTQ elders; Advocate shares the life of the late Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, an ally who helped create Black LGBTQ-inclusive spaces; Vice meets with three anti-LGBTQ hate groups; Independent takes a look at the history of Cuba’s LGBTQ advocacy; Advocate highlights LGBTQ-inclusive graphic novels released in 2017; San Diego LGBT Weekly reports on a new effort to digitize historic copies of The Bay Area Reporter;

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A.M. Equality