#AM_Equality Tipsheet: March 23, 2017

by Allison Turner

HRC Legal Director testifies against Gorsuch nomination; #TBT -- HB2 one year later

TODAY -- HRC LEGAL DIRECTOR SARAH WARBELOW TESTIFIES AGAINST GORSUCH NOMINATION: HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow is scheduled to testify today before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding Gorsuch’s nomination, and will detail the equality case against the nominee. Gorsuch has a long and troubling career opposing civil rights, including civil rights for LGBTQ people, including calling marriage equality part of the liberal social agenda, saying, “American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom… as the primary means of effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide…” We can’t afford a Supreme Court justice who will rubber stamp Trump’s agenda. And because so many of the LGBTQ community’s hard-fought rights have been secured in the nation’s highest court, HRC opposes Judge Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court. We have no reason to believe he will be an advocate for LGBTQ Americans, and we urge senators to vote “no.” Warbelow’s written testimony, to be accepted for inclusion in the confirmation hearing, can be found here. Warbelow’s oral testimony detailing Gorsuch’s long and troubling career opposing civil rights, including for LGBTQ people, as prepared for delivery can be found here.

THROWBACK THURSDAY -- HB2 ONE YEAR LATER, NC GOP LEADERSHIP REFUSE TO ALLOW CLEAN UP OR DOWN VOTE ON FULL HB2 REPEAL: Signed into law a year ago today by former Governor Pat McCrory -- who lost his bid for re-election over that unconscionable decision -- HB2 has cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars and continues to inflict profound harm on North Carolina’s people, reputation, and economy. HRC and Equality North Carolina also released a new video taking a look back over the past year and the very real harm HB2 has caused. The video makes clear that North Carolina cannot afford one more day of the deeply discriminatory law. “It’s now a full year since HB2 was signed into law, and the shameful political gamesmanship we’re seeing from North Carolina’s GOP leadership is beyond the pale,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “Instead of taking meaningful action, North Carolina’s Republican leadership has given excuse after excuse as to why they can’t allow a clean up or down vote. To be clear, their reckless obstructionism makes them directly responsible for the continued harm inflicted on the state. No more excuses. Republican leadership must immediately allow a clean vote on HB2 repeal.” Meanwhile, the people, reputation, and economy of North Carolina have continued to suffer very real harm caused by HB2. Check out a snapshot of the overwhelming outcry over the past year from HRC.

CALL  IT OUT -- DEPT. OF ENERGY SECRETARY RICK PERRY RAILS AGAINST GAY STUDENT INSTEAD OF DOING HIS JOB: Instead of focusing on his new job, Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry decided to lash out at Bobby Brooks, Texas A&M’s newly-elected student body president, in an oped for The Houston Chronicle… because Brooks is also the first openly gay student body president. The absurd reasoning Perry has is that he feels another (straight, white, cisgender) student, disqualified for voter intimidation, should have won instead. Question to ask: Did any Department of Energy resources go into wasting this energy to spread hatred? Read the full piece from The Houston Chronicle.

VP PENCE RECEIVES ‘WORKING FOR WOMEN’ AWARD AND IT’S NOT A JOKE (WE CHECKED): Yesterday, HRC released a video highlighting Vice President Mike Pence’s “achievements” as he received a “Working for Women” award from the Independent Women’s Forum, a conservative women’s organization on whose board Kellyanne Conway serves. “What would we do without Mike Pence and his tireless efforts to ban women from making decisions about our own bodies, serve openly in the military, or earn an equal paycheck?” said Olivia Alair Dalton, HRC SVP of Communications & Marketing (@OliviaAlair). “With an agenda like this, there are women everywhere who owe Mike Pence a debt they can literally never repay.” The video takes a look back at some of Mike Pence’s historic “achievements” on behalf of women, including arguing that the Disney film Mulan was “a cautionary tale about the negative consequences of letting women serve in the military,” voting against vital legislation like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act (twice), sponsoring a bill to redefine rape as “forcible rape,” and signing a law that would have forced Indiana women to seek funeral services for miscarriages. More from HRC.

HRC MOURNS TRANSGENDER WOMAN SHOT IN BALTIMORE: A 38-year-old transgender woman was shot in Baltimore early on Wednesday morning, and died after being taken to a local hospital. The Baltimore Sun reports that witnesses saw two men fleeing the scene following the shooting. Police have not yet released the victim’s name. At least eight transgender women -- mostly Black transgender women -- have been murdered this year. More from The Baltimore Sun.

KENTUCKY PRINCIPAL TO RECEIVE UPSTANDER AWARD AT TIME TO THRIVE FOR SUPPORTING TRANS STUDENTS: Award-winning Kentucky principal Dr. Tom Aberli will be honored with the Upstander Award at HRC’s annual Time to THRIVE Conference. Three years ago, Dr. Aberli oversaw changes at Atherton High School that led the school to become the first in the state with a transgender-inclusive policy for students. Since then, he has been a strong and persistent advocate for these fair-minded policies. More from HRC.

MORE THAN 115 ANTI-LGBTQ BILLS INTRODUCED IN 30 STATES: As lawmakers continue to meet in state capitols around the country, HRC is tracking more than 115 anti-LGBTQ bills in 30 states. Updates on bills moving in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah, from HRC.

HRC PARTNERS WITH UPENN ON HBCU LGBTQ-INCLUSION EFFORTS: A new effort to increase LGBTQ-inclusion for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) from the HRC Foundation has launched. The three-year initiative is a partnership between HRC and  the Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) at the University of Pennsylvania. More from Diverse Education.

JM LOGO SHARES STORIES FROM LGBTQ JAMACIANS: In a new video from Logo, the stories of LGBTQ people in Jamaica are highlighted in a storytelling project called “Where Love is Illegal.” More from The Huffington Post.


Advocate honors Claire Waldoff, a German lesbian cabaret singer who spoke out against Nazism, for Women’s History Month

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A.M. Equality