#AM_Equality Tipsheet: March 28, 2017

by Allison Turner

“HB2 is a $3.7B Boondoggle”, says Raleigh newspaper; First openly gay Texas A&M student body prez invites Rick Perry to meet

“HB2 IS A $3.7 BILLION-DOLLAR BOONDOGGLE”: The Raleigh (NC) News & Observer, in a scathing editorial today, excoriated state Republican leaders for failing to repeal the discriminatory HB2 -- even as an exclusive report by the AP detailed the billions in lost business the state has suffered under the law. “Basically, Republicans are standing behind their horrendous mistake 1. because they can and 2. because HB2’s financial impact has affected mainly urban areas, which Republicans see as strongholds for Democrats,” writes the N&O editorial board. “It’s as if they care little about the damage this ridiculous law has done to North Carolina’s progressive reputation, something that was, by the way, good for business.” As conservative businesses execs like Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan continue to warn about companies moving to other states because of the law, it remains a “tragic irony that leaders who have touted their ability to create jobs and run the economy have done so much damage to it,” the N&O writes. “ They are hurting people who need work, families who need a living. And all to advance an ideological agenda as they try to make a discriminatory law the centerpiece, the symbol, of that agenda.” Read the full piece here.

  • Here’s how the AP calculated the nearly $4B cost of HB2: After its blockbuster report yesterday that “despite Republican assurances” to the contrary, the discriminatory HB2 law is hurting North Carolina’s economy -- to the tune of more than $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years -- the AP detailed how is arrived at its numbers. (Which, it reports, likely underestimates the damage.) The financial hits range 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 reports. The state could lose hundreds of millions more if the NCAA pulls championship events from the state through 2022 because of the law. For more on how the AP calculated this jaw-dropping number, click here.

RICK PERRY LASHED OUT AT OPENLY GAY TEXAS A&M STUDENT BODY PREZ -- NOW BOBBY BROOKS WANTS TO MEET: Last week must have been a real slow one for Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry-- who in an oped for The Houston Chronicle lashed out at Bobby Brooks, Texas A&M’s newly-elected student body president for...becoming the university’s first openly gay student body president. Now, Brooks has graciously reached out to Perry, inviting him to discuss the oped. “I sincerely appreciate your ongoing and committed interest in this University we both love so much,” Brooks writes, adding that he would be “happy to… speak about the important issues you raised in your oped. ” Read the full letter from The Battalion and more in The Dallas Morning News.

  • Meanwhile, HRC has sent a FOIA request to the Department of Energy, seeking information to determine whether Perry produced his specious oped on the taxpayers’ dime. Read the full letter here.

TUESDAY TWEET --WELCOME TO THE WORLD, ODETTE ELLIOTT: Supernatural star Jared Padalecki (@JarPad) and his wife Genevieve Padalecki (@realGpad) welcomed their third child, Odette Elliott, last week. They are using the occasion to raise money for HRC and Planned Parenthood through a collaboration with accessory brand Pop & Suki. More from Daily Mail and Refinery29.

MONTANA LEGISLATIVE PANEL REJECTS ANTI-TRANS BILL: The Montana House Judiciary Committee voted against a bill that would force transgender people to use facilities inconsistant with their gender identity. The bill could return to the legislature at a later date. More from The Associated Press.

ARKANSAS HOUSE CONSIDERING VILE ANTI-TRANS HB 1986: Earlier this month, the Arkansas House of Representatives advanced HB 1986, an anti-transgender bill, to the Senate. The bill clearly intends to discriminate against transgender Arkansans by making it criminal for a transgender person to access a sex-segregated space consistent with their gender identity. The measure would make it a crime for transgender Arkansans to use some facilities that correspond to their gender identity, and would impose a criminal record on a transgender person who use locker rooms or similar facilities that are consistent with their gender identity. More from NBC.

COLUMBUS CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO BAN SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY”: Yesterday, the Columbus (Ohio) City Council voted to protect LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and abusive practice of “conversion therapy.” Advocates from HRC and Equality Ohio worked closely to ensure its passage. More from The Associated Press.

HRC TIME TO THRIVE SPECIAL GUESTS NOMINATED FOR DAYTIME EMMY AWARD: Nayyef Hrebid and Btoo Al Lami, who are slated to speak at HRC Foundation’s fourth annual Time to THRIVE Conference in April, have been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for their documentary film Out of Iraq. The documentary features Hrebid and Al Lami, both of whom served in Iraq  -- Al Lami as an Iraqi soldier and Hrebid as a translator. After falling in love, they were forced to flee the country separately after being targeted for their sexual orientation. More from HRC.

HONORING PRO-EQUALITY WOMEN SENATORS FOR WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH: On Election Day, four incredible women made history in their own right by winning U.S. Senate seats: Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Kamala Harris of California. During Women's History Month, HRC is honoring these women for making US Senate history: the 115th U.S. Senate has more women members than ever before -- a record-breaking 21. More from HRC.

IN INDIA, CATHOLIC CHURCH TEAMS WITH TRANS ADVOCATES TO IMPROVE COMMUNITY: In a heavily Catholic Indian town, local nuns helped transgender advocates open the first school where members of the transgender community can take classes and participate in vocational training -- all in the name of the Catholic principles of community and service. More from The Atlantic.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOTHER MONSTER: Today is Lady Gaga’s 31st birthday! The openly bisexual pop star has always put the LGBTQ community front and center in her work, from advocating for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to simply letting her fans know “you’re on the right track baby -- you  were born this way.” #HappyBirthdayLadyGaga


The Associated Press stylebook announces guidance on the use of “they” as a singular pronoun, and updates guidance on the use of “LGBTQ”… HRC Global Fellow shares media tips for covering HIV and AIDS… Pink News reports on the first Brazilian transit station named after an LGBTQ person, equality advocate Carlos Jáuregui… The Virginian-Pilot reports on a photography project highlighting LGBTQ families...

Happy Birthday -- to us! On this day in 2014, we sent our very first edition of #AM_Equality. Thank you for making us one of your morning must-reads.

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