#AM_Equality Tipsheet: July 17, 2018

by Allison Turner

Gay Chechen kidnapped from street by men who appeared to be police, reportedly saved; Trump remains silent

HORRIFYING -- GAY CHECHEN KIDNAPPED FROM STREET IN RUSSIA BY MEN WHO APPEARED TO BE POLICE, REPORTEDLY SAVED: While taking out the trash, Zelimkhan Akhmadov, who had been previously detained by Chechen authorities in their anti-LGBTQ purge of gay and bisexual men, was kidnapped in St. Petersburg. He managed to send one text message to the LGBTQ advocates he was working with -- “help me.” According to the Russian LGBT Network, the man has since been returned to safety. For more than 15 months, Donald Trump and his administration have refused to publicly condemn the systematic torture, abuse, and murder of LGBTQ people occurring in Chechnya as Vladimir Putin has licensed the violence to continue. More than a 100 LGBTQ people have been rounded up, tortured, and abused -- and as many as 20 have been murdered. More from Metro Weekly and Gay Star News.

TUESDAY TWEET: Just ahead of the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, HRC projected an enormous message onto the Presidential Palace demanding that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin immediately end the ongoing anti-LGBTQ crimes against humanity occurring in the Russian republic of Chechnya. More from HRC, NewNowNext and NBC.

ALARMING SPIKE IN VIOLENCE AGAINST CLEVELAND’S TRANS COMMUNITY DEMANDS ACTION: A transgender woman was stabbed and wounded this weekend in her Cleveland apartment -- the fourth known violent attack against a transgender person in the Ohio city this year, according to news reports. Within the last six months, two transgender women have been murdered and a homeless transgender woman was sexually assaulted in the Cleveland-area. More from HRC and Cleveland.com.

MUST READ LETTER TO THE EDITOR IN CHICAGO TRIBUNE -- “IF TRUMP’S SUPREME COURT PICK SCARES YOU, VOTE”: Writes Bloomfield resident Jill Farber-Bramson, “Yes, elections have consequences. In the coming election and every election thereafter, it’s my most sincere hope that Americans will vote en masse for equality, justice, liberty and freedom and to make America kind again.” The prospect of Brett Kavanaugh on the high court threatens to erode our nation’s civil rights laws, block transgender troops from bravely serving this nation and allow a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people in every aspect of American life. The 2018 midterm elections are the most consequential of our lifetime. More from Chicago Tribune.

ICYMI -- BETRAYING CHILDREN IN NEED, REPUBLICANS ON HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE ADOPT “LICENSE TO DISCRIMINATE” AMENDMENT: If it remains in the final bill, the amendment would grant a “license to discriminate” allowing child welfare placing agencies that receive federal government funding to turn away qualified prospective parents based on the agency’s religious beliefs. More from HRC, Georgia Voice and Palm Springs Desert Sun.

MORNING MUST READ FROM MASSACHUSETTS HOUSE SPEAKER -- VOTE ‘YES’ TO PRESERVE PROTECTIONS FOR TRANS COMMUNITY: State Rep. Robert DeLeo writes, “For two years this law has made our communities safer and demonstrated to transgender youth that their state has their back. Let’s ensure that on the morning after Election Day, we can still say that. Stand with me and the growing coalition of thousands who will vote yes on Question 3 on Nov. 6.” More from HRC and The Boston Globe.

HRC REMEMBERS FOUNDING BOARD MEMBER JERRY WELLER: “With Jerry Weller's passing, our community has lost another giant,” said Vic Basile, who served as HRC’s first executive director. “When few of us had the courage to be out and fighting the good fight, Jerry was there, ready to lead or simply to lend a helping hand.  He was spirited, brave and selfless.” More from HRC and The Oregonian.

VMAS NOMINATE LGBTQ, ALLIED PERFORMERS: Among the nominees are Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande), Hayley Kiyoko (@HayleyKiyoko), Demi Lovato (@ddlovato), P!nk (@Pink), Jennifer Lopez (@JLo), Imagine Dragons (@Imaginedragons), Panic! At The Disco (@PanicAtTheDisco) and Janelle Monáe (@JanelleMonae). Read the full list of nominees from Variety.

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

INDIAN STATE OF KERALA WILL RESERVE SPACE IN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS FOR TRANS STUDENTS: More from CNN.

PROPOSED BILL DENIES  ISRAELI SAME-SEX COUPLES STATE-SUPPORTED SURROGACY SERVICES: More from The Jerusalem Post.

FIRST MINISTER NICOLA STURGEON LEADS LARGEST-EVER LGBTQ PRIDE PARADE IN SCOTLAND: More from Advocate and The Hill.

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break!

Playbill asks where the original cast of Angels in America are now; Advocate profiles HRC-endorsed candidate for U.S. Senate, Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ); Black Star News reports that pro-equality Ugandan Bishop Christopher Senyonjo will receive an honorary degree from Leeds University; OutSports congratulates Rachel Bowers and Stephanie Loh, two LGBTQ editors recently-promoted sports journalists; Independent gives a history lesson on the anti-LGBTQ trial of George Bryan “Beau” Brummell; The Post and Courier reviews a memoir about the gay daughter of a Focus on the Family executive coming out within the church; Entertainment Tonight Canada shares a heartwarming video of icon Mariah Carey helping two men get engaged during a recent concert

Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!

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A.M. Equality