Breaking! Marriage equality moves forward in Germany; Troubling Trump nomination for head of DOJ civil rights division
BREAKING! MARRIAGE EQUALITY MOVES FORWARD IN GERMANY! HRC is celebrating a vote by the Bundestag, the lower house of Germany’s parliament, to make marriage equality the law of the land. Once the legislation is approved by the upper house - expected to be a formality - and signed into law by the president, Germany will become the 22nd country to secure full marriage equality for same-sex couples. “We welcome the German people into the growing family of nations that ensure loving and committed same-sex couples have the right to marry,” said Ty Cobb, Director of HRC Global. “With the very serious challenges the LGBTQ community continues to face around the world, this is welcome news and an important victory in working to ensure LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society. We congratulate the German advocates who made this historic day possible through their tireless advocacy.” More from HRC and The New York Times.
ANOTHER TROUBLING TRUMP NOMINATION -- THIS ONE TO HEAD DOJ CIVIL RIGHTS UNIT: Donald Trump has nominated Eric Dreiband to head the Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division. Dreiband brought cases challenging the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, and lacks experience on voting, police reform, housing and hate crimes -- all at the core of the Civil Rights Division’s mission. What is particularly egregious about Dreiband’s nomination is that he would follow Vanita Gupta, who headed the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division under Obama and was a tireless advocate for LGBTQ Americans, including and especially transgender young people. More from Politico.
RHODE ISLAND LEGISLATURE PASSES BILL PROTECTING YOUTH FROM “CONVERSION THERAPY”: Yesterday, HRC hailed the Rhode Island legislature for passing a bill protecting minors from the harmful and discredited practice of “conversion therapy.” The bill now heads to Governor Gina Raimondo’s desk. “No child should be put through the dangerous and inhumane practice of conversion therapy,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “Medical professionals agree this outdated and discredited practice not only doesn’t work, but can also have life-threatening consequences. It is nothing short of child abuse.” Rhode Island may become the eleventh jurisdiction -- and the fourth state so far this year -- to enact these crucially important protections. More from HRC.
YOU CAN BET WE’RE GOING TO HOLD SESSIONS’ FEET TO THE FIRE ON THIS ONE: After a career of opposing hate crimes protections for LGBTQ Americans, Attorney General Jeff Sessions yesterday pledged to have the Department of Justice investigate the epidemic of violence against transgender people -- and especially transgender women of color. “Now that Jeff Sessions is finally recognizing the national epidemic of violent hate crimes against transgender people, it is critical that the Department of Justice enhance its efforts to investigate, prosecute and deter these horrible crimes,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. Sessions consistently opposed and undermined efforts to pass the Matthew Shepard and James L. Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act -- arguing repeatedly that LGBTQ people as a class were not deserving of additional federal safeguards alongside other vulnerable minority populations. More from USA Today and BuzzFeed.
KEEP THE PRESSURE ON TO SAVE THE ACA: We did it -- for now, anyway. A vote on the dangerous repeal of Affordable Care Act has been delayed, but the threat still looms large. Check out this Facebook Live conversation with these experts from HRC -- Legal Director Sarah Warbelow, Senior Public Policy Advocate Andrea Levario, and Senior Program Specialist for HIV Prevention and Health Equity Noël Gordon (@NoelGordon09). Find out what's in the bill and why your voice is so important. Watch here.
FEEL GOOD FRIDAY -- A DAUGHTER’S TRANSITION CHANGED THIS MOM’S LIFE FOR THE BETTER: When Zoila Fajardo and her family moved to the U.S. from Nicaragua, she never imagined that advocating for transgender children would be part of her full-time duties as a mom. But after her 6-year-old transgender daughter, Ariel, came out, that’s exactly what happened. More from HRC in English and Spanish.
ALARMING NEW REPORT -- OVER HALF OF HATE CRIMES IN U.S. GO UNREPORTED: The Bureau of Justice Statistics found that many hate crimes are not reported because they are handled through other legal means -- or because the victim doubted the ability of police to help. Centro Presente Executive Director Patricia Montes told The Associated Press that some communities -- especially Latinx immigrants -- may not report out of fear of discrimination by police. “Donald Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric also will prevent more immigrants from reporting crimes to police,” she added. More from The Associated Press.
NINE STATES AND D.C. FILE AMICUS BRIEF SUPPORTING TRANS VETERANS: The brief, in support of transgender military veterans who are suing the Department of Veterans Affairs for transition-related coverage under their health care plan, states, “there is no legitimate basis for the Department’s refusal to cover sex reassignment surgery to transgender veterans who need it.” More from BuzzFeed.
GUS KENWORTHY HONORED WITH HRC VISIBILITY AWARD: Kenworthy, an openly gay Olympic skier, spoke at HRC’s Utah Gala about coming out, saying, “It had simply gotten to a point where the pain of holding onto the lie had become greater than the fear of letting go.” Kenworthy famously came out to ESPN in 2015 -- and is in the current edition of ESPN’s ‘Body’ issue. Watch here.
A SMALL TOWN’S JOURNEY TO CELEBRATE ITS PRIDE: MTV takes a look at Pride in Casper, Wyo. -- the hometown of Matthew Shepard. In 1998, Shepard died at 21 from injuries he suffered in a brutal hate crime attack. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a federal law protecting LGBTQ individuals from against hate crimes, was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2009. More from MTV.
How the small, but dedicated queer community of Casper, Wyoming worked to create a safe and fearless Pride parade: pic.twitter.com/DAUUeiSbKJ— MTV News (@MTVNews) June 28, 2017
OPENLY LGBTQ PRIME MINISTER ANA BRNABIC TAKES OFFICE IN SERBIA: Yesterday, Serbia’s parliament confirmed Ana Brnabic as prime minister, making her the first woman and first openly LGBTQ person to hold the position. Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic nominated Brnabic, who was minister of public administration, as the prime minister-designate of the Eastern European country last week. More from HRC.
FRANCE TO ALLOW ASSISTED REPRODUCTION FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES AND SINGLE WOMEN: The decision came at the urging of the National Advisory Ethics Committee to allow more than just infertile different-sex couples to use assisted reproduction. More from The Associated Press.
Huffington Post shares a comic book artist’s need to create bisexual-inclusive media; NBC spotlights Dillon Eisman, a high schooler who “upcycles” clothing for LGBTQ youth; BuzzFeed tells the history of the 1970s LGBTQ rights movement through photography; A.V. Club explores LGBTQ representation in film before the Stonewall uprising; Autostraddle reviews eight books featuring bisexual women;