#AM_Equality Tipsheet: March 10, 2017

by Allison Turner

100s of LGBTQ advocates storm Capitol Hill for HRC Lobby Day; Transparent cast records video to #StandWithGavin

HUNDREDS OF LGBTQ ADVOCATES FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY STORM CAPITOL HILL FOR HRC LOBBY DAY: Yesterday, HRC held its annual spring Lobby Day, joining hundreds of HRC members and volunteers on Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and encourage support for issues critical to the LGBTQ community -- from passing the Equality Act to opposing the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. “As Donald Trump continues to fill his administration with anti-LGBTQ appointees and pursue harmful, discriminatory executive orders, it is more important than ever for members of Congress -- from both parties -- to stand up for their LGBTQ constituents,” said HRC President Chad Griffin, who joined the effort on Capitol Hill. “HRC’s Lobby Day provides a vital opportunity for our grassroots army of volunteers to make the case for pro-equality policies and legislation directly to their members of Congress. We are grateful to the nearly 300 participants who made their voices heard today, and to the lawmakers who fight for the rights of their LGBTQ constituents.” Participants held 218 meetings with Congressional offices to discuss issues critical to the LGBTQ community. Check out some of the highlights from #HRCOnTheHill here. More from HRC.


TODAY, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and screenwriter/filmmaker DUSTIN LANCE BLACK are addressing HRC members and volunteers at the annual HRC Equality Convention.

HATE CRIME CHARGES FILED IN MURDER OF TRANSGENDER WOMAN: Three men have been indicted under hate crimes law for the murder of Deeniquia Dodds, 22, a Black transgender woman who died 10 days after being shot on July 4, 2016, in Washington, D.C. According to The Washington Post, Jolonta Little, Monte T. Johnson and Cyheme Hall are charged in a robbery conspiracy and with first-degree felony murder motivated by prejudice because of the gender identity of the victim. Earline Budd, an advocate for the local transgender community, praised the decision by the U.S. attorney’s office to officially characterize the shooting as a hate crime, telling The Post: “It sends a message that it’s not okay to go around and shoot, harm and kill transgender people,” said Budd, who helped organize a vigil in Dodds’ honor. “It sends a message that we are human like anyone else.” More from The Washington Post.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY -- ⚽ BRITISH FOOTBALL TEAM SHUTS DOWN HOMOPHOBIC TROLL: After Manchester United announced it would partner with the LGBTQ charity Stonewall, one troll announced on Twitter that they’d “rather support Bolton Wanderers” than a pro-equality team. The Bolton Wanderers had news for them... More from BuzzFeed.


TRANSPARENT CAST RECORDS VIDEO TO #STANDWITHGAVIN: The cast and crew of Amazon’s series Transparent recorded a powerful video sharing the story of Gavin Grimm, the transgender student who filed suit against his school board alleging it violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 by denying him use of the boy’s restroom. “When trans people like me are turned away from restrooms that match our true gender, we can’t go to work, go shopping or go to school,” actress Alexandra Grey said in the video. “We can’t be part of society.” Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of the United States announced it will not hear the case of G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board this term. Watch the video and read an interview with showrunner Jill Soloway at TIME.

HRC PROUD TO WELCOME EQUALITY ADVOCATES KATY PERRY, AMERICA FERRERA, SEN. TIM KAINE AND SINGER TROYE SIVAN TO LA GALA: Global pop icon and longtime equality advocate Katy Perry will be honored with HRC’s National Equality Award at the 2017 Los Angeles Gala Dinner on March 18. Ground-breaking actress and LGBTQ advocate America Ferrera will also be recognized with HRC’s Ally for Equality Award. Lena Dunham, actor, writer and director, will present the award to Ferrera. U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, (D-VA), will be the featured speaker at the gala. And singer/songwriter Troye Sivan will perform. More from the Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue and Variety.


20/20 EXPLORES DANGEROUS SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY” AND ITS SUPPORTERS: Tonight at 10 PM ET, 20/20 investigates the debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy,” telling the harrowing story of two LGBTQ youths who escaped an abusive “camp” that employed this practice. Supporters of this horrific “therapy” told ABC they are encouraged to have anti-LGBTQ Vice President Mike Pence in the White House. ABC reports that as a candidate for Congress in the 1990s, Pence included on his website a statement signaling his support of “conversion therapy.” More from ABC.

HRC-ENDORSED FAIR AND EQUAL HOUSING ACT INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS: Yesterday, Congressman Scott Taylor (R-VA) introduced the Act, which would guarantee critical federal protections against housing discrimination for LGBTQ people.

The bill, cosponsored by Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL), would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected characteristics under the Fair Housing Act, which currently includes discrimination based on race, color, national origin, disability, sex, religion, and familial status. "I'm pleased to have the Human Rights Campaign endorse this important legislation," Congressman Taylor said. "I welcome their support and the support of anyone who believes LGBT Americans should not be discriminated against when seeking a place to call home." Read more at HRC.

TUPELO, MISS. TOWN HALL CELEBRATES #LOVEYOURNEIGHBOR: This week, HRC Mississippi held a town hall to mark the culmination of the first stage of Project One America’s video storytelling series, #LoveYourNeighbor. The event took place in Tupelo, Mississippi where the seven videos were filmed to explore the experience of LGBTQ people and allies in Northeast Mississippi. The project was funded by Toyota, which has a plant outside of Tupelo in Blue Springs, Miss. and several Toyota employees joined the discussion with their LGBTQ neighbors. This event and conversation are just the beginning of Project One America and HRC Mississippi’s continuing engagement with the local communities about LGBTQ issues. More from HRC.

TRANS TEEN KICKED OUT OF CRUZ RALLY OFFERS ADVICE ON HOW TO PUSH BACK ON TRUMP’S ANTI-LGBTQ AGENDA: During the presidential election, transgender teen James Van Kuilenburg was kicked out of a Ted Cruz rally, along with his mom, for wearing a trans equality t-shirt. Since then, he has continued to fight for transgender equality, and shared some tips in the Advocate: “We cannot trust the administration to know what's right; we must trust supportive parents like my mom. Organizing is key right now -- targeting our school boards, city councils, and mayors. We must persuade them to be on the right side of history.” Read the full oped at Advocate.

SHAMEFUL -- NH HOUSE TABLES BILL TO ADD GENDER IDENTITY TO STATE NONDISCRIM LAW: Yesterday, the New Hampshire House tabled HB478, vital bill that would add gender identity to the state’s nondiscrimination law. More from WMUR.

BuzzFeed shares the story of a man’s battle to use the bathroom -- both as a transgender man and a disabled person…

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A.M. Equality