#AM_Equality Tipsheet; March 21, 2017

by Allison Turner

Named plaintiff in marriage equality case speaks out against Neil Gorsuch

NAMED PLAINTIFF IN MARRIAGE EQUALITY CASE SPEAKS OUT AGAINST NEIL GORSUCH IN TIME OPED: A powerful oped from Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that made marriage equality the law of the land, shows how a thorough confirmation hearing of Robert Bork in 1987 -- revealing his extremist views on civil rights issues such as women’s health and the scope of the First Amendment -- allowed for Justice Anthony Kennedy to be confirmed. This hearing not only affected Obergefell’s case, but the three previous Supreme Court cases that recognized the fundamental dignity of LGBTQ people as well. He writes, “Gorsuch’s Senate confirmation hearings this week will be a crucial test for the LGBTQ community. The outcome will determine the future of our equality, as well as women’s health, the rights of religious minorities, worker’s rights and the rights of immigrants and refugees escaping prejudice and seeking a better life.” Read the full piece from TIME.

  • 5 reasons why Gorsuch is a threat to LGBTQ equality: In a new video, HRC highlights five reasons why Neil Gorsuch is bad for the LGBTQ community, including his troubling records on LGBTQ rights and the fact that he is backed by extremist anti-LGBTQ groups. Watch from HRC.

KENTUCKY GOV. MATT BEVIN SIGNS ANTI-LGBTQ SB 17 INTO LAW: Yesterday, HRC called out Governor Matt Bevin for signing SB 17 into law, a measure that allows student groups at colleges, universities, and high schools to discriminate against LGBTQ students. “Governor Bevin’s shameful decision to sign this discriminatory bill into law jeopardizes non-discrimination policies at public high schools, colleges, and universities,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “No student should fear being excluded from a school club or participating in a school activity because they are LGBTQ. While of course private groups should have the freedom to express religious viewpoints, they should not be able to unfairly discriminate with taxpayer funds.” SB 17 undermines inclusive “all comers” policies at public colleges, universities, and now high schools, by allowing student organizations to discriminate against students under the guise of religion. More from HRC and ATTN:.
TUESDAY TWEET -- Nearly 1,000 pro-equality advocates, Grey’s Anatomy star Sara Ramirez take part in “All in for Equality Advocacy Day”: Yesterday in Austin, nearly 1,000 Texans took part in “All In For Equality Advocacy Day,” to demand state lawmakers focus their efforts on legislation that would acknowledge the rights and human dignity of LGBTQ Texans instead of proposals -- most notably Senate Bill 6 -- that would amount to state-sanctioned discrimination. At a rally in the afternoon, Sara Ramirez (@SaraRamirez) from Grey’s Anatomy joined participants and advocates on the Capitol steps to speak out against discrimination and for the dignity of LGBTQ Texans. The advocacy day and rally was hosted by HRC, Equality Texas, the Texas Freedom Network, the ACLU of Texas and the Transgender Education Network of Texas. More from HRC, CBS Austin and The Texas Observer.

TRUMP ADMIN REMOVES SEXUAL ORIENTATION QUESTION FROM NATIONAL SENIOR SURVEY: Yesterday, HRC lambasted the Trump Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Community Living (ALC) for removing a question about sexual orientation from the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP), an annual national survey of recipients of select services under the Older Americans Act (OAA). Removing this critical question was the only change made to the survey. “If we do not collect data on LGBTQ seniors, policymakers and advocates can not know the extent of the problems they face,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “HRC implores the Trump Administration to add this crucial question back to the NSOAAP and expand their questions to include data collection on gender identity.” More from HRC and The Associated Press and NBC.

GA GOVERNOR ON ANTI-LGBTQ STATE BILL -- “I CERTAINLY DON’T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN”: In an interview on Monday, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal noted that he opposed changes to HB 159 that could allow private adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples, saying “I certainly don’t want that to happen, and I would hope they would reconsider the addition to this language that could put the whole bill in jeopardy.” More from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

EPIDEMIC OF VIOLENCE AGAINST TRANS WOMEN OF COLOR NOTED ON NBC NIGHTLY NEWS: On Sunday, NBC Nightly News’ Lester Holt (@LesterHoltNBC) looked at the epidemic of violence against transgender women of color At least seven trans women of color -- six Black transgender women and one Native American transgender woman -- have been murdered in 2017. More from NBC Nightly News.


The Associated Press asks LGBTQ people their worries about the future of hate crimes prosecutions under Attorney General Jeff Sessions… HRC honors Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) for Women’s History Month…

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