#AM_Equality Tipsheet: March 1, 2019

by HRC Staff

HRC files brief with companies supporting trans students; HRC celebrates the start of Women’s History & Bisexual Health Awareness Month

HRC FILES AMICUS BRIEF WITH 32 MAJOR COMPANIES SUPPORTING TRANSGENDER STUDENT IN CRITICAL FLORIDA CASE:  The brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit supports Drew Adams, represented by Lambda Legal, who is challenging his school district’s discriminatory policy forbidding transgender students from accessing facilities consistent with their gender identities. “At this critical juncture in the fight for transgender equality, these leading businesses are standing up for the rights and dignity of transgender students,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). More from HRC and Metro Weekly.

TEXAS SENATE COMMITTEE ADVANCES DANGEROUS BILL THAT COULD GUT NON-DISCRIMINATION ORDINANCES: “Texans don’t have an appetite for discrimination. SB 15 is a wholly unacceptable bill on its face, but the Senate State Affairs Committee has made it into an even more harmful proposition by removing specific language that would ensure that existing non-discrimination ordinances in some of Texas’ most populated cities are not undercut or eliminated,” said Rebecca Marques, HRC Texas state director. More from HRC.  

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY -- HRC AND NEA’S NATIONAL JAZZ & FRIENDS DAY OF COMMUNITY READINGS CELEBRATED TRANS INCLUSION, FROM CLASSROOMS TO THE FLOOR OF THE U.S. HOUSE:  Yesterday, HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride) and NEA President Lily Eskelsen García (@Lily_NEA) joined dozens of Arlington, Virginia, kindergarteners to read “I Am Jazz” and “Julian is a Mermaid” -- two children’s books about transgender identity and gender expression. The most pressing question the kids had? “Why does Jazz’s headband have dots on it?” The incredible day of readings nationwide help foster safe and welcoming schools and communities for young people who still rarely hear affirming stories of LGBTQ people across the country. More from HRC and The Washington Post.

  • The hundreds of readings across the country included a livestream by Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), and U.S. Reps. Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Angie Craig (D-MN) led a reading of I Am Jazz from the House floor.

A PERSONAL MISSION FOR TRANS YOUTH: “This is why I fight,” writes Rep. Joe Kennedy (@RepJoeKennedy). “Because a country that staked its claim on the radical notion of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness must do better.”  More from Advocate.  

HRC URGES CONGRESS TO ADVANCE THE “DO NO HARM ACT”: It will preserve the core protections of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), while clarifying it cannot be used to violate essential non-discrimination protections, including for the LGBTQ community. “Religious freedom is a fundamental American value, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed to reinforce the right of religious minorities to practice their religion. But some anti-equality activists have distorted and manipulated the legislation to try and justify discrimination against others,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy (@david_stacy). More from HRC, Advocate and Rainbow Times.

HRC HONORS LGBTQ WOMEN AND ALLIES THIS WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH: HRC celebrates women leaders and the barriers they’ve broken while recognizing the distance we have to go to achieve full equality. Women’s leadership is more important than ever in the fight to move equality forward -- not only for women, but for communities of color, minorities and those at the intersection of those identities. More from HRC.  

AT START OF BISEXUAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH, HRC CELEBRATES THE POWER OF REPRESENTATION: “In the past few years, more and more celebrities, politicians and others have come out as bi, pan, queer and fluid, putting a spotlight on the bisexual community and making us more visible than ever,” said Chantel Mattiola, co-chair of HRC’s Bisexual, Pansexual, Queer, Fluid Employee Resource Group. “However, even as our visibility increases, we are still fighting to eradicate biphobia and bi erasure within and outside of the LGBTQ community.” More from HRC.

HRC FOUNDATION SPOTLIGHTS YOUTH AMBASSADOR ASHTON MOTA: “What truly inspired me was an absence of representation of LGBTQ advocates of color in mainstream spaces. I believe that the LGBTQ community and our allies need to work together to bring more visibility and a voice to issues impacting LGBTQ youth in marginalized communities,” said HRC Foundation Youth Ambassador Aston Mota on his inspiration to become an ambassador. More from HRC.

 GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

NIGERIA RE-ELECTS PRESIDENT WHO CALLED SAME-SEX RELATIONS ‘ABHORRENT’: Current laws in Nigeria criminalize same-sex relations and ban same-sex marriage. More from Pink News.

POLISH MAYOR SIGNS DECLARATION RECOGNIZING LGBTQ RIGHTS: Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski (@trzaskowski_) signed a declaration affirming LGBTQ rights, and a commitment to an LGBTQ shelter  and community center,  and access to anti-discrimination and sex education in city schools. More from Gay Star News.

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break!
The New York Times highlights Jason Collins (@jasoncollins98) and the landscape of openly LGBTQ athletes in professional sports; South Florida Gay News features powerful story of Candelario Saldana (@saldana1987), an undocumented LGBTQ DREAMer.

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