#AM_Equality Tipsheet: June 12, 2017

by Allison Turner

Remembering those lost on June 12, 2016, in the Pulse tragedy; HRC’s Weekend of Action -- Unite. Resist. Enlist.

REMEMBERING THOSE LOST ON JUNE 12, 2016, IN THE PULSE TRAGEDY: Today, one year after the Pulse Nightclub shooting, HRC and a broad coalition of organizations are joining Equality Florida’s #HonorThemWithAction campaign to pay tribute to the 49 people whose lives were taken on that terrible Sunday morning with vigils across the nation. Orlando and the Pulse Nightclub are also holding observances today as part of an Orlando United Day, including an evening vigil at Lake Eola Park that HRC President Chad Griffin will attend. At HRC headquarters, staff will observe a moment of silence at noon, when church bells across the country will toll 49 times for those killed in Orlando. HRC honored the Pulse victims Friday evening, when it illuminated a large-scale artwork “49”on the exterior facade of its headquarters that pays tribute to the victims -- almost all Latinx and LGBTQ -- killed in the worst mass shooting in the nation’s history, as well as others targeted by hate violence. Christine Leinonen, mother of Christopher “Drew” Leinonen, whose life was taken in Orlando, was a special guest at the event. More on the artwork from The Washington Post. More on #HonorThemWithAction from U.S. News & World Report.

  • Boston honored 29 survivors of the Pulse tragedy during its annual Pride parade. More from The Boston Globe.
  • Florida minister in a moving oped calls for LGBTQ nondiscrmination protections one year after Pulse. “My faith tells me, as a member of the Christian clergy, that discrimination categorically does not belong here or anywhere,” wrote the Rev. James Coffin, executive director of the Interfaith Council of Central Florida. More from Florida Today.
  • #DisarmHate: This week, HRC joins Everytown, Moms Demand Action and a broad coalition marking #DisarmHate Week. More from Everytown for Gun Safety.
  • 2016 deadliest year ever for LGBTQ Americans, according to a new National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs report released today. Read more at The Daily Beast.



Over an unprecedented Weekend of Action, HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) led HRC’s contingent at the LA #ResistMarch, saying “Now is our moment to unite and ensure that the bully in the White House fails each and every time he tries to roll back progress. I’m asking you to take the passion that is here today & keep that passion alive in the weeks, months and years ahead.” In Washington, D.C., HRC members, supporters and staff streamed from HRC headquarters to the National Equality March, which rolled past the White House and featured speakers including HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride), HRC Senior Program Specialist for HIV Prevention and Health Equity Noël Gordon (@NoelGordon09), and HRC Youth Ambassador Javier Cifuentes. And dozens of staff member and volunteers fanned out across the country for Pride events. HRC transformed its headquarters into an Action Center for weekend, drawing thousands of visitors, members and advocates who engaged in direct action -- from grassroots training and writing letters to elected officials, to unique social media opportunities. The Action Center also featured Stonewall National Museum & Archives exhibit, The Orlando 49: Documenting the 2016 Orlando Tragedy and Its Consequences. To read an exclusive with Griffin about his role in LGBTQ advocacy and the #ResistMarch, check out The Los Angeles Times.

  • This was most definitely “Not the White House Pride Reception.” The gathering in D.C., a response to Trump’s refusal to recognize Pride Month, was hosted by the LGBTQ appointees of the Obama Administration. Boldface guests included former Army Secretary Eric Fanning, and Valerie Jarrett, former senior advisor to President Obama. More from The Washington Blade.
  • Speaking of Valerie Jarrett, she weighs in on Pride month and the continuing fight for LGBTQ equality. Read the piece from ATTN:.
  • Companies are getting creative as they join in celebrating LGBTQ Pride. Check out what companies from Facebook to Skittles, and other the top-performing companies on HRC's Corporate Equality Index are doing. More from HRC.
  • MUST WATCH MONDAY: From livestreams of the Equality March and #ResistMarch to 360 and timelapse videos of HRC’s large-scale art installation honoring the victims of the Pulse tragedy to an online seminar on grassroots organizing, HRC has been sharing all the latest action on its YouTube channel.

HRC President Chad Griffin and other progressive leaders thank you for supporting LGBTQ equality during this historic Weekend of Action.

SEN. KAINE INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO PROTECT LGBTQ PEOPLE FROM HOUSING DISCRIMINATION: The Fair and Equal Housing Act would provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people in housing by adding sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics under the Fair Housing Act. HRC hailed the introduction of the legislation in the Senate by Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA). A companion bill to bipartisan legislation was introduced in the House in March by Representatives Scott Taylor (R-VA) and Brad Schneider (D-IL). More from HRC.

GAME CHANGER -- FDA APPROVES GENERIC TO TREAT AND PREVENT HIV:  The FDA approved the first generic version of Truvada, the potentially lifesaving antiretroviral medication used for HIV treatment and prevention. “While the timeline is uncertain for when a generic drug will be available to consumers, today’s decision by the FDA is a much-needed breakthrough in our ongoing efforts to expand HIV prevention options, especially for those most vulnerable to HIV and AIDS” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC Senior Vice President for Programs, Research and Training. “Despite growing use of PrEP nationally, the drug remains out-of-reach for many in the communities hardest hit by the epidemic, including young gay and bisexual men and transgender women of color. We implore Gilead to continue their critical payment assistance programs and urge other companies to provide similar financial relief.” More from HRC.

FIRST-HAND ACCOUNTS FROM GAY CHECHENS ON NPR: On Morning Edition, David Greene (@NPRGreene) spoke to two gay men who escaped unspeakable tortures in Chechnya by fleeing to Moscow. In the Russian republic, gay and bisexual men are being rounded up, locked in secret prisons, tortured and even murdered by their own government. HRC has called on the U.S. government to condemn these heinous crimes and take every possible step to help the victims to safety. More from NPR.

HRC-ENDORSED RON NIRENBERG ELECTED MAYOR OF SAN ANTONIO: “Ron Nirenberg has the vision, experience, and commitment to equality that will continue to move San Antonio forward as a welcoming and inclusive city,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “HRC is proud to stand with Nirenberg because he firmly believes that every San Antonian should be treated fairly, regardless of who they are or whom they love.” More from KENS5.

TEXAS ANTI-TRANS LEGISLATION JEOPARDIZES NFL DRAFT IN LONE STAR STATE: Sources tell SportsDay’s David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) that Texas’ proposed anti-transgender legislation could affect the Dallas Cowboy’s chances to host future NFL events, including the 2018 draft. More from SportsDay.

CHAD GRIFFIN KNOWS A THING OR TWO ABOUT HOPE (ARKANSAS): In an exclusive profile of HRC President Chad Griffin, his hometown newspaper highlights his Arkansan roots and how they shaped his view of his own LGBTQ identity and role in advocacy. Read Frank E. Lockwood’s (@LockwoodFrank) piece at The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

BRITISH LABOUR PARTY TO THERESA MAY -- DON’T ABANDON LGBTQ EQUALITY: Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, warned Prime Minister May that she must not abandon her principles on most LGBTQ rights in order to align with the Democratic Union Party. More from Pink News.

  • England welcomes most diverse Parliament ever -- election ups LGBTQ members by 40 percent. More from BBC.


PAPER Magazine interviews drag superstar of the world RuPaul (@RuPaul) about Trump’s presidency; The Hartford Courant sits down with openly gay NBA star Jason Collins (@JasonCollins98) about LGBTQ representation in sports; Bustle shares that Facebook users are using the new ‘Pride’ react button to troll anti-LGBTQ politicians like Roy Moore; The Guardian lays out how the Babadook became a viral LGBTQ icon

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!

A.M. Equality