#AM_Equality Tipsheet: July 6, 2018

by Allison Turner

Fate of critical ban on abusive practice of so-called “conversion therapy” rests in hands of Maine Governor LePage.

FATE OF CRITICAL BAN ON ABUSIVE PRACTICE OF SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY” RESTS IN HANDS OF MAINE GOVERNOR LePAGE: Maine Gov. LePage could be the first governor to veto bipartisan state legislation banning the dangerous, debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy”. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have laws or policies effectively banning this practice for minors. Already this year, several states have taken action on banning conversion therapy, including New Hampshire, where Republican Governor Chris Sununu signed legislation last month. Every major, mainstream psychological and child welfare organization has spoken out against this practice, which is solely being pushed by anti-LGBTQ extremists. If Gov. LePage vetoes this critical legislation, the Maine legislature must stand up to protect Maine’s youth and override the veto.

MEDICAL EXPERTS AND MILITARY LEADERS SUBMIT AMICUS BRIEFS IN SUPPORT OF TRANS TROOPS IN KARNOWSKI V. TRUMP: The lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal and Outserve-SLDN challenges Donald Trump's discriminatory ban on transgender people serving openly in the military. The briefs included submissions from retired military officers and former national security officials, the American Medical Association (AMA), the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF), former U.S. Armed Services Surgeons General, attorneys general from 18 states and DC, and The Trevor Project, among others. “The amicus briefs filed today represent the clear broad, bipartisan opposition to Donald Trump and Mike Pence's unconstitutional ban on transgender troops,” said HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride). “[T]hese legal, medical and national security experts lay bare the hollow reasoning and discriminatory motivations behind this cruel and counterproductive policy. We are hopeful that the courts will heed the advice of these experts and continue to ensure that transgender service members are able to continue to serve the country they love.” HRC is an organizational co-plaintiff in the case. More from HRC, The Hill and Bloomberg.

SHAMEFUL -- AG JEFF SESSIONS AND EDUCATION SECRETARY BETSY DEVOS ATTACK STUDENTS OF COLOR:

NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR PHIL MURPHY SIGNS LAWS REMOVING ROADBLOCKS FOR TRANS PEOPLE: The newly signed legislation helps ensure transgender residents’ birth and death certificates accurately reflect their gender identity. “This is an important victory that will modernize state law and remove unnecessary roadblocks that have proven invasive and expensive for far too many of New Jersey’s transgender residents,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “We thank Governor Murphy and the bipartisan group of lawmakers who took action to help ensure all Garden Staters are treated equally.” More from HRC, New Jersey 101.5, and HuffPost.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY -- RECENTLY OUT 86-YEAR-OLD GAY MAN SHARES HIS STORY WITH THE WORLD; LGBTQ YOUNG PEOPLE SEND THEIR STORIES BACK: Eighty-six year old Martin, in a video for 5 Gum, says “I missed the boat in regards to finding a lovely partner, a soulmate.” Inspired by his story, Martin received an outpouring of support and love from the LGBTQ community. In one video, a man even came out to his father on camera and shared it with Martin. By finding this community, Martin was able to attend his first-ever Pride parade this year. More from Upworthy.

NEW HRC VIDEO -- MUSLIM ADVOCATES LEGAL DIRECTOR JOHNATHAN SMITH (@Smith_JohnJ) ON SCOTUS’ UNCONSCIONABLE RULING ON TRUMP-PENCE MUSLIM BAN: The Trump-Pence administration’s Muslim Ban on persons from Muslim-majority countries has been widely decried as racist and xenophobic with no discernible significant benefit to the safety of Americans. HRC has continuously stood with coalition partners in fighting the Trump-Pence effort to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. More here.

COST OF PrEP IS A BARRIER TO ACCESS FOR MANY WHO NEED IT: Copay accumulator programs, a relatively new policy from health insurance companies, disallows the subsidies that patients receive from drug or copay assistance programs to be applied towards the patient’s deductible or annual out-of-pocket maximum. This policy will prevent many individuals from accessing and adhering to PrEP. More from NPR.

POPE FRANCIS CONTINUES TO DANCE AROUND LGBTQ ISSUES: The last few weeks alone have clearly illustrated how, on LGBTQ issues, the Church often takes two steps forward and one step back. More from HRC and check out this must-read open from John Gehring (@gehringdc) in The New York Times.

ARIZONA FOSTER CARE AGENCY RECEIVES ALL CHILDREN - ALL FAMILIES SEAL OF EXCELLENCE: Lane Barker, executive director of Devereux Arizona, tells the story of Donna and Sharicka McHenry in a recent op-ed in the Arizona Central. Barker describes the couple as, “the epitome of what we all hope for in foster parents. They are compassionate, patient, loving and kind. They’re also part of the LGBTQ community.” More from HRC.

CDC HOPING TO DEDICATE RESOURCES TO STUDY HIV INFECTION RATES AMONG LGBTQ PEOPLE OF COLOR: The research, if approved by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, would work with community partners to help connect people to resources to prevent the spread of HIV or to manage a diagnosis. More from Modern Healthcare.

LGBTQ GROUP MARCHES FOR FIRST TIME IN PROVO FREEDOM FESTIVAL: More from Fox 13 Salt Lake City.

ASSOCIATION OF LGBTQ JOURNALISTS ANNOUNCE EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM AWARDS: Congrats to the winners! See the full list here.

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

HONG KONG’S TOP COURT RULES SAME-SEX COUPLES HAVE SAME RIGHTS TO SPOUSAL VISAS AS DIFFERENT-SEX COUPLES: Advocates say this historic decision could be transformative in the fight for full LGBTQ equality. More from The New York Times.

BERMUDA GOVERNMENT FILES APPEAL AGAINST SUPREME COURT DECISION REVERSING BAN ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Last month, a historic decision by the Bermuda Supreme Court overturned the ban on marriage equality. The court’s decision came in response to legal challenges to domestic partnership legislation that repealed marriage equality in Bermuda. More from the Royal Gazette.

CINCO EMPRESAS ADOPTAN POLÍTICAS DE INCLUSIÓN LGBTQ EN MÉXICO: Ikea, IBM, Nestlé, Kellogg y Microsoft forman parte del reporte de HRC Equidad MX: Programa Global de Equidad Laboral, que evalúa las políticas de inclusión LGBTQ y promueve las mejores prácticas en los centros de trabajo de México. Más de AméricaRetail.

AT LEAST THIRTEEN OPENLY TRANS CANDIDATES RUNNING IN PAKISTAN’S UPCOMING ELECTIONS: The country recently enacted historic national legislation protecting transgender people. More from Daily Times.

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

Outsports sits down with openly gay pro soccer player Collin Martin (@martcw12); Forward shares a video on how Hasidic texts support trans equality; NPR reviews The Boys in the Band, a Broadway revival with LGBTQ themes that sparked controversy during its original run in the 1960s; ShortList interviews Queer Eye’s Tan France (@tanfrance); Into shares the experience of a Black, gay immigrant in America; Daily Mail shares one woman’s painful tale as a survivor of so-called “conversion therapy”

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