#AM_Equality Tipsheet: March 15, 2017

by Allison Turner

NCAA affirms commitment to LGBTQ inclusion in tourney selection process; Anti-LGBTQ bills target children & families

NCAA AFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO LGBTQ INCLUSION IN TOURNEY SELECTION PROCESS: In a message responding to a letter from the HRC Foundation, Athlete Ally, and more than 80 national, state, and local LGBTQ organizations, NCAA President Mark Emmert late Monday strongly reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to ensuring safe and welcoming environments for its championship tournaments and events. In his response, Emmert wrote, “The Board and I remain committed to maintaining a college sports experience that is inclusive and fair for all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. As the next round of site selections is underway, this commitment has not changed. The bidding process for hosting NCAA events now explicitly asks potential sites how they will provide an environment that is safe, respectful and free of discrimination at the events. We expect that all people will be welcomed and treated with respect at our NCAA championships and events.” Said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin): “The NCAA has made it clear they won't abide by discrimination against their athletes, fans or employees. With anti-LGBTQ bills advancing in dozens of states, lawmakers from North Carolina to Texas to South Dakota will know that discrimination has consequences. We are proud to have an ally like NCAA President Mark Emmert, who is doing what's right to help ensure LGBTQ people and their families are protected.” More from HRC, ESPN and USA Today.

ANTI-LGBTQ BILLS TARGET CHILDREN AND FAMILIES: Last week, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard became the first governor this legislative session to sign an anti-LGBTQ bill in to law. It targets LGBTQ people and other minorities by enshrining taxpayer-funded discrimination into state law -- allowing state-funded adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ youth in their care and to reject qualified prospective LGBTQ adoptive or foster parents based on the agency’s purported religious beliefs. HRC is tracking more than 100 anti-LGBTQ bills across the country -- many of which aim to hurt LGBTQ children and LGBTQ parents. HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow told NBC’s Mary Emily O’Hara (@MaryEmilyOHara) that, "[m]any of these bills have a serious chance of moving forward this year." More from NBC.

WHAT WE’RE READING WEDNESDAY: In El Salvador, transgender women are too often the victims of violence and murder. ASTRANS, one of El Salvador’s leading transgender advocacy organizations, is fighting against this -- sometimes risking their own safety. The Daily Beast’s Tim Teeman (@TimTeeman) spoke with members of ASTRANS about the violence; seeking asylum in countries like Guatemala, Mexico and the United States; and the organization’s efforts to bring trans-inclusive healthcare to the country. More from The Daily Beast.

LGBTQ MILITARY FAMILIES WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT UNDER TRUMP: Ashley Broadway-Mack and her wife, Army Lt. Col. Heather Mack, understand sacrificing for the family -- as a military family during ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and DOMA, they had to make hard decisions in order to stay together while serving their country.  Under a Trump Administration, Ashley, president of the American Military Partner Association, says she worries about maintaining gains made for military families in the past eight years, and vows to keep working. More from The Hill.

REP. JOE KENNEDY III SHARES POWERFUL STORY ON ACA: On Morning Joe yesterday, Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) emotionally shared the story of how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) saved his intern’s life -- twice. More from MSNBC.

AG JEFF SESSIONS ERASES LGBTQ AND LATINX IDENTITIES OF PULSE NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING VICTIMS: Yesterday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) in a press release announced that victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting and their families would receive a grant through the DOJ’s Office for Victims of Crime, Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program. But the statement from Attorney General Jeff Sessions -- who opposes hate crimes laws -- failed identify the Pulse shooting as an attack that took the lives of 49 LGBTQ and Latinx people. This erasure of the victim’s identities is a dishonor to their memory, and to the more than 50 who were injured. Read the release here.

LGBTQ ELDERLY AT HIGHER RISK FOR HEALTH PROBLEMS: A new study has found that elderly LGBTQ Americans are at higher risks of disability, cardiovascular disease, depression and social isolation, but are also likely to be active in their communities and participate in wellness activities. More from Newsday.

LGBTQ ALLY AND NYPD OFFICER WHO DELIGHTED US ALL IN PRIDE PARADE DANCE DIES OF CANCER: Michael Hance, a NYPD officer and 9/11 first responder who went viral in 2015 for dancing during the New York LGBTQ Pride Parade, died on Sunday of cancer. More from TIME.


Rolling Stone reports on the history of LGBTQ Pride Parades and wonders what they will mean during Trump’s administration… The Link reviews a documentary on Inuit LGBTQ communities…

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