#AM_Equality Tipsheet: June 15, 2017

by Allison Turner

New report further exposes atrocities on gay/bi Chechens; More than 60 orgs send Senate letter opposing American Health Care Act.

REUTERS EXPOSES ATROCITIES INFLICTED BY CHECHEN OFFICIALS ON GAY AND BISEXUAL MEN -- TRUMP ADMINISTRATION CONTINUES TO TURN BLIND EYE: In a Reuters exclusive, two men describe the horrors they endured at the hands of their government because of their sexuality, including  electric shocks and beatings. One man described escaping the torture, only to be handcuffed to a radiator by his own family. “There was only one thing left to do: to get rid of me,” the man said. Meanwhile, during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing yesterday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson admitted that he hasn’t spoken of the Chechen atrocities with his Russian counterparts. “People have been tortured and killed in Chechnya, yet Secretary Tillerson admitted he hasn’t raised concern about the atrocities against gay and bisexual men with his Russian counterparts — not even once,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “And he had no idea if the President has raised the issue. The Trump/Pence administration’s lack of leadership on this issue and human rights around the globe is beyond disturbing.” 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 Reuters. To learn more, visit HRC’s #EyesOnChechnya website.

MORE THAN 60 ORGS JOIN HRC TO OPPOSE AMERICAN HEALTH CARE ACT: On Monday, HRC and the National Center for Lesbian Rights delivered a letter to the Senate on behalf of 61 organizations opposing the American Health Care Act (AHCA). This dangerous bill would undermine core provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the 2010 landmark healthcare reform law that has extended healthcare coverage to an additional 22 million Americans, including many who are LGBTQ. The letter details the negative impacts of the American Health Care Act and ACA repeal on many vulnerable and marginalized communities that already face systemic discrimination and healthcare disparities -- including those who are LGBTQ. The letter also calls on the Senate to reject the AHCA’S attempt to bar Planned Parenthood and its affiliated clinics from participating in essential public health programs. More from HRC.

THANKFUL THURSDAY -- TRANS ADVOCATE CREATES SAFE SPACE FOR LGBTQ HOMELESS: NBC in its OutFront series features Ruby Corado, a prominent transgender activist and leader in Washington, D.C., who grew up in El Salvador and fled the country at age 16 during a civil war. She is the founder and executive director of Casa Ruby, the capital’s only bilingual, multicultural LGBTQ community center. Corado helped add gender identity and expression to the D.C. Human Rights Law and worked with local and national experts to secure regulations ensuring access to transition-related healthcare for transgender people. More from Julie Compton (@JulieAllmighty) at NBC.

LEO VARADKAR BECOMES IRELAND’S FIRST OPENLY GAY PM: He’s officially taken over as Ireland's new prime minister, after a parliamentary vote yesterday. Varadkar is Ireland’s first openly gay head of government and, at age 38, the youngest-ever to assume the position. More from HRC and BBC.

ONE IN FOUR LGBTQ ADULTS REPORTED STRUGGLING TO AFFORD FOOD IN THE PAST YEAR: A new report from the Williams Institute looks at the way LGBTQ people are disproportionately affected by poverty. More from The Huffington Post.

LEANN RIMES DEBUTS ‘LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE’ MUSIC VIDEO: The video features a clip from Rimes recent speech at HRC’s Nashville gala. More from The Huffington Post.

LAMBDA LITERARY AWARDS ANNOUNCES WINNERS: They include Cleve Jones (@CleveJones1) for his memoir When We Rise. See the full list of winners here.

NEW NOVEL EXPLORES HORRORS OF SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY”: The debut novel from Nick White (@NickWhite1985) follows a young gay man from Mississippi recovering from the brutal practice. More from Rolling Stone.

HRC SUPPORTS CONFERENCE IN MISSISSIPPI FOCUSING ON BLACK LGBTQ HEALTH: More than 400 Black LGBTQ people and allies convened in Jackson, Mississippi, for the fifth annual Saving Ourselves Symposium hosted by The Red Door Foundation, which was founded by HRC Foundation's HIV and AIDS Project Manager Marvell Terry II. It addresses the health and wellness of Black LGBTQ people living in the South, with a focus on HIV, and this year featured sessions on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU); addressing the HIV epidemic among Black youth; using clinical trials as a social justice tool, and many others. Terry and Leslie Hall, senior manager of HRC Foundation’s HBCU Program, were among featured speakers at the event. Read more about the Red Door Foundation here.

OPENLY GAY ATLANTA FIREFIGHTER CHANGING HEARTS AND MINDS: Anaré Holmes says his visibility challenges people’s notions of a “hyper-masculine” career. More from NBC.

BRUNEI LGBTQ ADVOCATES DISCUSS ANTI-LGBTQ LAWS: Matthew Woolfe, founder of The Brunei Project, and an unnamed Bruneian free speech advocate visited HRC’s headquarters to discuss the Sharia Penal Code in Brunei which increases criminal penalties for same-sex sexual activity. More from HRC.


Autostraddle shares fun facts about rainbows for LGBTQ Pride Month; Jackson Free Press profiles HRC Mississippi State Organizer Daniel Ball; Refinery29 interviews transgender supermodel Andreja Pejić (@AndrejaPejic); Latina sits down with Fifth Harmony singer Lauren Jauregui about coming out as bisexual; The Huffington Post reports that ‘Orphan Black’ star Jordan Gavaris (@JordanGavaris) has come out as gay

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