#AM_Equality Tipsheet: June 9, 2017

by Allison Turner

HRC honors those killed in Pulse violence with “beacon of strength and hope”; HRC to host series of historic events during weekend of action.


The Washington Post this morning details HRC’s “big goals of a massive art project for Capital Pride” -- a large-scale installation on the exterior facade of HRC headquarters to honor those killed in the Pulse Nightclub shooting nearly one year ago. The monumental piece, “49,” by artist Megan Geckler, will be illuminated tonight at sundown in tribute to the 49 lives lost in the worst mass shooting in the nation’s history. Writes the Post’s Caitlin Gibson (@CaitJGibson):

It began to take shape early this week beneath a heavy gray sky, a bright cone of pure white ribbon streaming from the top of the eight-story building to the ground-floor canopy below. Passersby on the sidewalk below the Human Rights Campaign headquarters in Dupont Circle paused and stared, raising their iPhones to snap photos of the gleaming fabric strips fluttering in the breeze — 49 in all, one for every life lost in the June 12, 2016 mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

Read the full piece about the artist, the installation, and the concept behind it at  The Washington Post.

49; HRC building

HRC TO HOST SERIES OF HISTORIC EVENTS DURING WEEKEND OF ACTION: HRC is set to mark a weekend of action with events from coast to coast. Major resistance marches are planned for Sunday in D.C., Los Angeles and dozens of cities in between. And with Monday marking one year since the deadliest mass shooting in our nation’s history at Pulse Nightclub, there are also remembrances planned for those who lost their lives that horrible Sunday night in Orlando.

● On Friday and Saturday, HRC’s headquarters will transform into an Action Center, where visitors and volunteers who will able to engage in direct action -- from grassroots advocacy training and sending a postcard to Donald Trump, to unique social media opportunities. The HRC Action Center will also feature an exhibit from the Stonewall National Museum & Archives titled, The Orlando 49: Documenting the 2016 Orlando Tragedy and Its Consequences.

● On Sunday, HRC will participate in the National Equality March in Washington, D.C., the #ResistMarch in Los Angeles, and dozens of sister marches across the nation. HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) will lead HRC’s contingent and speak at the LA #ResistMarch. The National Equality March will feature 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.

Unite; Resist; Enlist

ONE YEAR AFTER PULSE, HRC PRESIDENT URGES COMMUNITY TO HONOR VICTIMS WITH ACTION: In a powerful piece for Orlando’s LGBTQ publication, Watermark, HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) honored the lives of those taken in Orlando, committing to #HonorThemWithAction and urging others to do the same. He writes, “As Pulse showed us, hateful rhetoric and laws can turn dangerous when coupled with unfettered access to deadly weapons. The safety of LGBTQ people in the United States requires the adoption of common-sense gun safety measures... The LGBTQ community must be consistent and steadfast in our support of these reforms. That’s why it’s so important that as we approach one year after the tragedy at Pulse, we all commit to #HonorThemWithAction. HRC’s millions of grassroots advocates in cities coast to coast will keep fighting discriminatory laws, bridging divides, and holding elected leaders to account. But we have a long fight ahead of us.” More from Watermark.

● The Advocate interviewed Pulse survivors, as well as LGBTQ celebrities, to find out why they are marching this year. More from The Advocate.

● NPR’s Storycorps features Emily Addison, who lost her partner Deonka Drayton in the Pulse violence.  "I will always love her, no matter what," she says. "There will never be an end." Read, and listen, at NPR.

● Valerie Jarrett, former senior advisor to President Obama, weighs in on Pride month and the continuing fight for LGBTQ equality. Read her attn: piece here.

GRIFFIN TO IVANKA TRUMP -- TWEETS DON’T MAKE YOU AN ALLY:  “An ally is not someone who tells people that they’re an ally. An ally is not someone who sends a tweet to show that they’re an ally. An ally is someone who stands up and fights for a cause,” HRC President Chad Griffin said during an interview with Politico’s chief Washington correspondent Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) for his Off Message podcast. Read, and listen, to the interview at Politico.

HRC JOINS EVERYTOWN, MOMS DEMAND ACTION AND BROAD COALITION MARKING #DISARMHATE WEEK JUNE 12-18: The week includes the days marking one year since the June 12 mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, and two years since the June 17 mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. It will honor victims of hate-fueled gun violence attacks in America and demand that political leaders do more to prevent the approximately 8,000 hate crimes committed with guns that occur every year in America. Read more at Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY -- MTV’s ‘PROMPOSAL’ FEATURES SAME-SEX COUPLE: The show, which chronicles the experiences of teens asking out potential prom dates, featured Brandon Aberdeen, a North Carolina high schooler, and his boyfriend, Noah. Both are LGBTQ equality advocates and have volunteered with Equality North Carolina, Sandhills Pride, and HRC. Happy prom, Brandon and Noah! More from MTV.

● And one more dose of adorableness: Huffington Post features 28 photos of kids “who know that love is love” just having a blast at Pride parades. Check them out at HuffPo.

LAVERNE COX NARRATES VIDEO SERIES HONORING PRIDE: To honor LGBTQ Pride Month, Logo released a series of videos telling the stories of historic LGBTQ figures -- including Plato, Sappho, Joan of Arc, Walt Whitman and We’wha. The series is narrated by transgender trailblazer Laverne Cox. Watch at Logo.

LGBTQ EQUALITY IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS: This Pride season, companies across the country are affirming their dedication to LGBTQ equality for their employees and customers. In an oped for Ozy, HRC Workplace Equality Director Deena Fidas discusses the benefits of the importance of equality in the workplace, and lays out the business community’s amazing progress -- as documented in HRC Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index. In 2002, its inaugural year, the index had only 13 companies that had a perfect equality rating; the most recent edition had 515. More from Ozy.

PrEP IS ‘ESSENTIAL MEDICINE’, SAYS WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: PrEP, a once-daily pill that reduces the risk of acquiring HIV, has been added to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) list of essential medicines, reinforcing its effectiveness and role to combatting HIV on a global scale. More from Gay Times.

GERMANY GRANTS VISA TO GAY CHECHEN ESCAPING VIOLENCE: A representative from the foreign ministry announced the man was granted a humanitarian visa, and that four more cases are under consideration. Last month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel pressed Putin on the atrocities taking place in the Russian republic. More from The Local de.

SCOTTISH EPISCOPAL CHURCH WILL ALLOW SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY: The church is now the first Anglican church in the United Kingdom to change its policy regarding marriage equality. More from BuzzFeed.

ROMANIAN EQUALITY GROUPS LOBBY PARLIAMENT ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Dozens of Romanian LGBTQ groups have asked the Romanian Parliament to reject a proposed referendum that could rule out the possibility of marriage equality. More from Reuters.

ICYMI -- HRC HOSTS TWITTER TOWN HALL WITH NORDIC AMBASSADORS: Yesterday, HRC hosted a virtual town hall with the Nordic ambassadors from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden to answer questions from the public about how the countries are working to address LGBTQ issues. More from HRC. Check out the conversation at the #AskNordicAmbs hashtag.


Georgia Voice reports on the Atlanta Braves’ first ever LGBTQ night; The New York Times recaps Orange is New Black in anticipation of its fifth season premiere; Mic interviews Jelanii Kabita, a Black, transgender and bisexual man living his truth through dance; Esquire lists the top 50 best LGBTQ films; USA Today shares tips for LGBTQ allies during Pride;

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