#AM_Equality Tipsheet: June 6, 2018

by Allison Turner

School Board in Grimm case appeals federal court decision affirming protections for trans students.

VA SCHOOL BOARD IN GRIMM CASE APPEALS FED COURT DECISION AFFIRMING PROTECTIONS FOR TRANS STUDENTS: Gloucester County School Board has appealed a ruling affirming that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects transgender students from discrimination -- including being forced to use separate bathroom facilities. “No student should feel unsafe at school, regardless of gender identity. Transgender students are covered by Title IX and are entitled to the same rights and protections as every other student,” Sarah Warbelow, HRC Legal Director said of the original decision. Gavin Grimm had challenged the school district’s policy that prevented him from using the restroom that corresponded with his gender identity. More from Chicago Tribune.

CELEBRITY CHEFS AFFIRM THEY ARE #OPENTOALL:  Art Smith, a former “Top Chef Masters” star and personal chef to Oprah, is calling on LGBTQ bakers to take his “sweet advice” and spread the message that they are #OpenToAll following the ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop case. Last year, HRC organized the ‘Chefs for Equality’ brief that includes bakers, chefs, restaurateurs and other culinary industry leaders who oppose discrimination against LGBTQ people -- the central issue in the case. Smith joins chefs, including Duff Goldman, who have affirmed they support the LGBTQ community. More from TMZ.

  • HRC Mississippi Director Rob Hill on Masterpiece: “[The Supreme Court]  asserted that LGBTQ people deserve to be treated equally throughout the country. It does not in any way weaken or alter our efforts to pass the Equality Act and to do anything we can on the statewide and local level to make sure that everybody has the same right to live freely in this country.” More from MS News Now.
  • Reality check from ACLU Deputy Legal Director Louise Melling: “Today, federal civil rights laws and the laws of more than half the states still do not expressly bar discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. But if the anti-discrimination laws we end up with have broad carve-outs for religious objections, those of us who are fighting for legal equality for LGBT people may be playing into our opponents’ hands. I know because I’ve spent the last 25 years defending [Roe v. Wade].” More from Slate.

MORE THAN 100 MEMBERS OF CONGRESS CALL ON TRUMP-PENCE TO OVERTURN THEIR UNCONSTITUTIONAL BAN ON TRANS TROOPS: The letter, led by Congressman Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), calls the ban “antithetical to our country’s and our military’s values and belittles the extraordinary commitment by our transgender service members.” In April, a federal court in Seattle found that the implementation plan of the ban violates the Constitution, and that the lawsuit brought by Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN -- in which HRC is an organizational plaintiff -- can proceed to trial. More from USA Today.

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING WEDNESDAY -- “THE UNSOLVED MURDER OF MESHA CALDWELL”: Caldwell, 41, was found dead near Canton, Mississippi, on January 4. Her death is believed to be this year’s first reported murder of a transgender person in the U.S., and part of a devastating trend of violence against transgender people -- particularly trans women of color -- and their communities. More from Channel 4.

HRC MOURNS ANTASH’A ENGLISH, TRANS WOMAN OF COLOR KILLED IN JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA: English was fatally wounded in a drive-by shooting early Friday morning. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is investigating her death as a murder, reports Action News Jax. Friend Taliyah Smith remembers English as “an unapologetic, bold and loyal person.” First Coast News reports that InCahoots Nightclub, where English was a popular performer, is hosting a benefit on Thursday to help her family cover burial costs. More from HRC and Advocate.

U.S. CHESS FEDERATION SAYS ‘CHECKMATE’ TO OUTDATED POLICY REGARDING TRANS PLAYERS: The Federation unanimously adopted guidelines allowing players to compete using the gender they identify with. More here.


MORNING MUST READ -- CHICAGO HOLDS LGBTQ PROM EVENT: Nearly 150 high school students from more than 30 schools attended the event, where students expressed their authentic selves through clothing, dance and prom court categories. The city supported the celebration with a transportation grant from the Chicago Public Schools Office of Student Health and Wellness. More from The New York Times.

  • Game streaming platform Twitch is celebrating Pride month by showcasing LGBTQ creators and donating to LGBTQ organizations, including HRC. More from MCV.
  • Berks County (Pa.) Public Libraries are donating  books to the resource library of the local LGBTQ center. More from BCTV.
  • Despite threats, Guyana’s LGBTQ community held a LGBTQ Pride festival on Saturday. More from Guyana Times.
  • Last night, the Washington Nationals held their annual LGBTQ Pride Night, and HRC’s Charlotte Clymer opened the game with a rousing, “play ball!”:


EUROPEAN UNION’S TOP COURT RULES THAT ROMANIAN MAN’S AMERICAN HUSBAND RETAINS SPOUSAL RIGHTS: Romania, which does not have any form of recognition of same-sex relationships including marriage equality, had argued that the husband was not entitled to residency rights because he was not from an European Union country. More from BBC.

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

Vice asks six trans people what they love about being trans; Refinery29 interviews Pose star Dominique Murphy; KCTS reviews a new art exhibit honoring those lost to anti-transgender violence; Advocate reports that HBO has opened a new studio in Provincetown, Mass.; Slate talks about the push to make video games inclusive of transgender and non-binary players

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A.M. Equality