#AM_Equality Tipsheet: July 11, 2017

by Allison Turner

The scoop on HRC’s $26 million grassroots expansion; New report puts one-day murder toll of gay and bi Chechens as high as 27.

BREAKING: HRC LAUNCHES LARGEST, EARLIEST GRASSROOTS INVESTMENT IN ITS 37-YEAR HISTORY AHEAD OF 2018: This morning, HRC, America’s leading LGBTQ civil rights organization launches HRC Rising, a massive grassroots campaign aligned with staff & volunteer deployments across 50 states, with significant additional investments in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) announced the organization would be going on offense with an investment of $26 million coast-to-coast: “It’s not enough to resist the hateful policies and attacks coming from the Trump-Pence regime -- we’ve got to accelerate the pace of progress toward full equality and secure protections for LGBTQ people in states and communities across the country.” Take the pledge to join HRC Rising here: hrc.im/rising. MORE:

● The Washington Post’s Amber Phillips (@ByAmberPhillips): “The nation's most influential LGBT rights advocacy group announced Tuesday that it will spend $26 million and hire at least 20 additional political staffers to deploy across all 50 states ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. The goal: replicate what happened in North Carolina in Senate, House and governor's races across the nation next year and make the LGBT vote one of the most forceful voting blocs in the progressive movement.”

● Huffington Post’s Jennifer Bendery (@JBendery): “The Human Rights Campaign will announce Tuesday that it’s making a massive ― and early ― investment in its grassroots mobilization efforts, with a goal of turning the 2018 midterm elections into a rebuke of President Donald Trump and anti-LGBTQ members of Congress.”

● The AP’s Julie Pace (@jpaceDC): “While the effort is nationwide, the group is focusing its resources in particular on several key states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada. All six states are expected to have competitive Senate races next fall, and each is a presidential battleground.”

● TIME’s Phil Elliott (@Philip_Elliott): “The group plans to send staff and cash to Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin—each a state with a top-tier Senate race. Republicans have a two-vote majority in the upper chamber, and strategists in both parties see Republican incumbents Jeff Flake of Arizona and Dean Heller of Nevada as potentially vulnerable.”

● Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere): “The group has positioned itself as a leader of the opposition to President Donald Trump, taking on a role as a nexus of LGBTQ pushback and coordination with other progressive groups.”

● US News’ Susan Milligan (@MilliganSusan): "You can't just be part of the resistance," Griffin says, referring to the left-leaning protests against President Donald Trump, his administration and his policies. "Marching is important, protesting is important. But what we're really doing here is going on the offensive, mobilizing folks across the country to act for equality."

● The Nevada Independent’s Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports):“... considering Nevada has a pivotal U.S. Senate contest, a gubernatorial battle and two potentially competitive congressional races, as well as the battle for both houses of the Legislature, HRC is likely to spend a substantial sum in a small state that offers much bang for outside bucks.”

#EYESONCHECHNYA -- HORRIFYING NEW REPORT: AT LEAST 27 EXECUTED WITHOUT TRIAL IN CHECHNYA: : The Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta says that at least 27 men were executed without trial on January 25 in the Russian republic of Chechnya, including members of the LGBTQ community. This alarming news comes shortly after LGBTQ advocates in Russia told BuzzFeed that the detentions of gay and bisexual men are again being ramped up in Chechnya. Since news first broke in April, more than 100 gay and bisexual men have been arrested and detained without charge. While some have been freed, reports indicate that many remain in detention, where they have been beaten, tortured, and killed. HRC has repeatedly called on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Trump to forcefully condemn the atrocities in Chechnya, including last week when Trump meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 summit. Unconscionably, Trump reportedly did not raise the issue with Putin. More from International Business Times.

TUESDAY TWEET -- OLDER LGBTQ PEOPLE DESERVE TO RETIRE WITH DIGNITY: Too many LGBTQ people are forced to go back into the closet as they age, and the LGBTQ advocacy organization Sage (@sageusa) is working to change that. The New York Times’ Tammy La Gorce (@TammyNiceword) looks at Sage’s work, specifically around long-term care facilities including retirement communities and nursing homes. More from The New York Times.

NEW POLLING -- 37 PERCENT OF LGBTQ AMERICANS FEEL LESS SAFE UNDER TRUMP: The SurveyMonkey poll also shows that fewer LGBTQ Americans think societal acceptance will improve in the next decade. A staggering 92 percent of respondents said that they feel the country is going in the wrong direction. More on the findings from Katy Steinmetz (@KatySteinmetz) at TIME.

DO NOT FAIL MY SON -- A MOTHER’S EMOTIONAL PLEA TO THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE: HRC Parents for Transgender Equality Council member Amber Biggle appears in a new video calling on the Texas Legislature to protect transgender children in the upcoming special session. She shares the emotional journey of her son’s coming out and his struggles in school when his gender was not affirmed. “...[I]f there were to be a law passed that were to force Max back into the girls’ bathroom, we would be failing him.” Watch the full video here.

LGBTQ PROTECTIONS ARE GOOD FOR OHIO’S COMMUNITY AND ECONOMY: In a letter to the editor published in The Columbus Dispatch, resident Letha Pugh makes a strong moral and economic case for the Ohio Fairness Act. The measure, being considered by the state legislature, would bring statewide nondiscrimination protections to the LGBTQ community. Read her full letter from The Columbus Dispatch.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO TRANS PROTECTIONS IN MASSACHUSETTS: This weekend marked the one-year anniversary of a law protecting Bay Staters against discrimination in public accommodations based on gender identity. But the fight’s not over -- anti-equality activists put a repeal measure on the ballot in 2018. More from The Associated Press.

FOR YOUR RADAR -- ANTI-LGBTQ BALLOT INITATIVE IN ANCHORAGE: Anti-equality activists in Anchorage, Alaska, are collecting signatures to put the city’s LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinace on the ballot in 2018. They must submit 5,700 valid signatures by July 20. More from HRC.

SHAMEFUL --  SCHOOL FORCES TEEN TO WATCH ‘EX-GAY’ VIDEO AS PUNISHMENT: The same private high school in 2010 forced students to watch anti-LGBTQ  propaganda. More from LGBTQ Nation.

TOYKO CREATES POLITICAL COALITION FOR LGBTQ EQUALITY: It has 78 members, including Assemblymember Kunihiro Maeda, who came out as gay during the the group’s first news conference. More from The Asahi Shimbun.


NBC interviews Katalina Ángel, a Colombian transgender advocate working to improve conditions for incarcerated transgender people; Professor Gene Preuss (@GBPreuss) writes for Houston Chronicle about the teaching LGBTQ history in schools; Gay Times reports on what is believed to be the United Kingdom’s first same-sex Muslim marriage; The Chicago Tribune profiles gay former NBA player Jason Collins (@jasoncollins98) on his efforts to make sports more accepting of LGBTQ people.

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A.M. Equality