#AM_Equality Tipsheet: June 29, 2017

by Allison Turner

Rep. attempts to sneak in anti-trans amendment during NDAA markup; Miss. reacts to ‘the worst anti-LGBTQ state law in America’

GOTCHA! REP. HARTZLER TRIES TO SNEAK IN ANTI-TRANS AMENDMENT DURING DEFENSE POLICY MARKUP: During endless maneuvering over the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) tried to sneak in an amendment banning transgender service members. “Rep. Hartzler’s amendment to the NDAA barring transgender service members is simply disgraceful,” said David Stacy, HRC Director of Government Affairs. “If adopted, this amendment would harm military readiness and restrict the Armed Services ability to recruit the best and brightest. Thousands of transgender people are currently serving effectively and honorably in our armed forces. We’ve lived through the negative consequences of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and we’re glad that the House Armed Services Committee has decided to avoid attacks on LGBTQ service members in the NDAA.” Hartzler ultimately withdrew the amendment, ostensibly to “give the Pentagon more time to review the policy on its own,” The Hill reports. More from the Military Times.

MISSISSIPPIANS REACT TO WORST ANTI-LGBTQ STATE LAW IN AMERICA: The law “take[s] us back to the 1960s,” said HRC Mississippi Faith Organizer Daniel Ball about HB 1523. Last week, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for the measure to become law in Mississippi, enabling almost any individual or organization to use religion as a justification to discriminate against LGBTQ Mississippians at work, at school and in their communities. Advocate spoke to Mississippians affected by this terrible bill, including Ball, who noted that religion has historically been used to “justify oppressing so many different groups of people.” More from Advocate.

THROWBACK THURSDAY: OMG, Remember her? Two years ago today, Kim Davis, the infamous county clerk from Kentucky, made headlines by refusing to do her job by denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples under the guise of ‘religious freedom’. Whatever happened to her? In May, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati decided to revive a lawsuit against Davis, saying David Ermold and David Moore -- who were refused a marriage license by Davis -- could revive their lawsuit, after it was declared moot by a lower court. More on that lawsuit from Reuters.

IF TRUMP WON’T, LGBTQ ALLIES IN THE SENATE WILL: Led by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the Senate resolution will be the first ever to recognize June as LGBTQ Pride Month.

TRANSGENDER TEENAGER SUES FLORIDA SCHOOL DISTRICT UNDER TITLE IX: Drew Adams, a 16-year-old transgender boy, was forced to use restrooms inconsistent with his gender identity. “I was shocked, I was confused, I didn't know what I had done wrong to warrant taking away this seemingly basic right I had," Adams told BuzzFeed’s Nidhi Prakash (@NidhiPrakash). Now, he and his family have filed a lawsuit asserting that the school’s actions are a violation of the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Adams is represented by Lambda Legal. More from BuzzFeed.

  • The LGBTQ employee group at the Department of Justice honored Gavin Grimm (@GavinGrimmVA) at its annual Pride event. Grimm told The Associated Press, “Given that today’s administration is largely hostile to LGBT people and especially dangerous to LGBT youth, the gravity of receiving an award from DOJ itself, specifically the pride alliance within it, is not lost on me at all.” More from Talking Points Memo.

COMCAST NEWSMAKERS FACEBOOK LIVE: Noël Gordon (@NoelGordon09), HRC Senior Program Specialist for HIV Prevention and Health Equity, joined host Robert Traynham (@roberttraynham), Jamie Curtis from PFLAG and Tea Sefer from GLSEN for a Facebook Live roundtable yesterday to discuss what’s at stake for the LGBTQ community nearly 50 years after the Stonewall uprising. More from Comcast Newsmakers.

WISCONSIN SCHOOL DISTRICT CREATES POSITION TO SUPPORT LGBTQ YOUTH: The Madison Metropolitan School District announced it will add a position to oversee the district’s Welcoming Schools initiative, which provides professional development to educators and administrators on creating safe and inclusive schools and classrooms. More from WORT [Begins at 24:10].

YOUR OCCASIONAL SURVEY ROUNDUP:

  • Half of all Americans are more likely to spend money on brands that are LGBT inclusive, according to a new survey from Ogilvy. More from Fortune.
  • Forty-seven percent of evangelicals born after 1964 support marriage equality, according to a new Pew Research Center report. More from The Washington Post.
  • Sixty-two percent of Americans think that transgender people are discriminated against; 58 percent think that gay and lesbian people are discriminated against. The survey, from Public Religion Research Institute, did not ask respondents about bisexual discrimination. More from Out In Jersey.

HRC HONORS 12-YEAR-OLD WHO CAME OUT TO HER MORMON CHURCH: After Savannah powerfully spoke her truth to her Mormon congregation in Utah, HRC honored her and her supportive parents in Salt Lake City last weekend at the annual HRC Utah Gala. Watch here and more from HRC and NewNowNext.

COULD GERMANY OK MARRIAGE EQUALITY BY FRIDAY? Chancellor Angela Merkel has indicated a change in her viewpoint on same-sex marriage, opening a path to a vote on marriage equality in Germany’s federal legislature as early as Friday, according to The New York Times. More from HRC.

  • Why the change of heart? Chancellor Merkel noted her opinion changed when she was invited to have dinner with a same-sex couple and their foster children. More from Refinery29.

UGANDAN LAWMAKER VOWS TO INCREASE SENTENCES FOR SAME-SEX SEXUAL ACTIVITY: Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said she wants to pass a law that would increase penalties for LGBTQ people charged under existing law. More from Gay Star News.

READING RAINBOW

Forbes shares three habits of effective LGBTQ leaders; Teen Vogue reports on Gavin Grimm’s interview with Action on Tumblr; Slate interviews Oliver Anene, a Nigerian refugee and LGBTQ advocate;

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