#AM_Equality Tipsheet: March 27, 2017

by Allison Turner

BREAKING: HB2 will cost NC $3.76B; AHCA Repeal Defeated; 1000s of LGBTQ people will retain health care.

AP EXCLUSIVE THIS MORNING -  HB2 WILL COST NORTH CAROLINA $3.76 BILLION: In a jaw-dropping analysis published today, the AP reports that “despite Republican assurances” that the discriminatory HB2 law isn’t hurting North Carolina’s economy, it will cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years - and even that likely underestimates the damage. “Over the past year, North Carolina has suffered financial hits ranging from scuttled plans for a PayPal facility that would have added an estimated $2.66 billion to the state's economy to a canceled Ringo Starr concert that deprived a town's amphitheater of about $33,000 in revenue,” the AP’s Emery P. Dalesio (@EmeryDalesio) and Jonathan Drew (@JonLDrew) report. “The blows have landed in the state's biggest cities as well as towns surrounding its flagship university, and from the mountains to the coast.” The AP’s extensive analysis shows that the state could lose hundreds of millions more if lawmakers refuse to repeal the law, prompting the NCAA to pull championship events from the state through 2022. Read more about the AP’s analysis of the terrible cost of the anti-LGBTQ law The Associated Press.

  • ICYMI: The Washington Post’s Steven Petrow (@StevenPetrow) reviews the year of damage HB2 has caused North Carolina, and calls out attempts to “negotiate” on the issue when the lives of transgender North Carolinians are at risk. More from The Washington Post.

AHCA REPEAL DEFEATED ; THOUSANDS OF LGBTQ PEOPLE WILL RETAIN HEALTH CARE: On Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the American Health Care Act (AHCA) from consideration by the House of Representatives. The Congressional Budget Office projected that the legislation would result in 14 million Americans losing their health insurance by 2018, skyrocketing to 24 million by 2026. “Today is a win for the thousands of LGBTQ Americans who will retain live-saving health care under the Affordable Care Act. The Republican proposal would have ripped away care from millions of people, with a particularly devastating impact on low-income senior citizens, women, children, LGBTQ people, people living with HIV and others,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “This move is an example of the power of constituents and their stories, which weighed heavily on Members of Congress. Thankfully, Members did not turn their backs on the very people they represent.” The AHCA would have undermined core provisions of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a result of the ACA, thousands of low-income people living with HIV have been able to obtain health insurance through the Medicaid expansion. The AHCA’s drastic changes to Medicaid would have stripped these people, and other vulnerable populations, of essential healthcare coverage. More from HRC.

And HRC won’t stop fighting to protect it.

TRUMP APPOINTS RADICAL ANTI-LGBTQ ACTIVIST TO LEAD HHS CIVIL RIGHTS OFFICE: Last week President Trump quietly appointed anti-LGBTQ activist Roger Severino to lead the division charged with enforcing civil rights law at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). “I could not think of a more dangerous person to head up the Office of Civil Rights at HHS,” said JoDee Winterhof, Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs of HRC. “Once again, Donald Trump is declaring war against our community by appointing anti-LGBTQ people at all levels of his administration. Mr. Severino takes pride in being a stark opponent of the LGBTQ community and has made it clear that his number one priority is to vilify and degrade us. We will fight tooth and nail against any attempts to roll back civil rights including access to healthcare.” Until this week, Severino served as Director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society for the Heritage Foundation where he wrote scathing opinions on transgender issues, abortion rights, and gay marriage. He repeatedly denounced and worked to oppose OCR’s implementation of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which provides critical non-discrimination protections based on gender identity and sex stereotyping in federally-funded health programs. He also referred to the Obama Administration's guidance to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matched their gender identity as a “radical social experiment.” More from HRC, Pink News and Washington Blade.

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY: On Saturday, LeAnn Rimes was awarded the Ally for Equality Award at the HRC Nashville Equality Dinner for consistently speaking out for LGBTQ equality. At the event, she shared how her experience with illness spoke to a larger theme of having to hide who you are, saying, “This is so hard to say, once you hide a part of you, you start to hide all of you and I know you guys know that all too well,” she said. More from WRCB and News Channel 5.

TEXAS HOUSE SPEAKER ON ANTI-TRANS SB6 -- “COUNT ME AS A NO”: At an event at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus spoke out against SB6 -- a radical anti-transgender bill being considered by the Texas legislature, saying:“I oppose it … I’d never even heard about [this issue] until a year or two ago … Count me as a no.” SB 6 aims to make it illegal for transgender people in Texas to access facilities consistent with their gender identity and exposes Texas to tremendous risk of the kind of financial, legal, and political blowback that North Carolina has continued to reckon with after the passage of HB2.​ More from The Texas Observer.

BUSINESS LEADER TO SD GOV -- WE’LL TAKE OUR BUSINESS ELSEWHERE: In an open letter to South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, Randy Horton, the managing principal of 94 Westbound Consulting, noted he will be urging the businesses he consults with to stay out of the state because of its recently passed anti-LGBTQ law. Earlier this month, Daugaard shamefully signed into law SB 149, a bill that enshrines taxpayer-funded discrimination into state law by 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. Read the full letter from Argus Leader.

LIVING AT THE INTERSECTION OF BEING LGBTQ AND UNDOCUMENTED: The Williams Institute estimates that there are 267,000 undocumented LGBTQ adults living in the United States. Melissa Pandika (@MMPandika) and Diana Clock interviewed several community organizers and artists about being undocumented and queer. More from Fusion.

UKRAINIAN LGBT ADVOCATES VISIT HRC: Seven leading LGBTQ advocates from Ukraine visited HRC earlier this week to share their stories and learn about our work. The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation and Open World Leadership Center organized the program. More from HRC and Washington Blade.

SAMIRA WILEY AND LAUREN MORELLI MARRY: Over the weekend, Orange is the New Black star Samira Wiley and show writer Lauren Morelli married in Palm Springs. Wiley and Morelli are both HRC supporters; Wiley received the HRC Visibility Award in 2015. More from People.


NBC talks to Sean and Terry Torrington, founders of SlayTV, a network for the Black LGBTQ community… Vice explores the complicated experiences LGBTQ African refugees experience as they escape violence in their own countries only to be discriminated against in refugee camps… Teen Vogue profiles nine bisexual women making history…

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A.M. Equality