#AM_Equality Tipsheet: March 29, 2017

by Allison Turner

#AM_Equality: #CantEraseUs -- Trump admin eliminates LGBTQ data from US Census; HRC calls on Senators to vote “No” & filibuster Neil Gorsuch;

#CantEraseUs -- TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ELIMINATES LGBTQ DATA FROM 2020 US CENSUS: Last night, the Census Bureau issued an alarming corrective statement, asserting it had  “inadvertently listed sexual orientation and gender identity as a proposed topic in the appendix” of a bureau report. The correction suggests that plans for data collection for the 2020 census had included LGBTQ people, but the Trump Administration has removed them. This is Trump’s latest move in a larger campaign to erase LGBTQ people from federal surveys and disrupt programs that provide direct assistance to the LGBTQ community. Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services removed a question about sexual orientation from the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants. Earlier this month, the Department of Housing and Urban Development withdrew two notices impacting data collection and implementation guidelines for a homelessness prevention initiative targeting LGBTQ youth.

 HRC TO SENATE - VOTE ‘NO’ & FILIBUSTER GORSUCH: HRC today continued its historic opposition to the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, calling on every pro-equality member of the U.S. Senate to vote “no” and filibuster his nomination.“Last week, Neil Gorsuch refused to answer basic questions regarding his alarming history of opposing civil rights,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “Anyone looking to gain a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court must prove they will apply a compassionate, impartial, and inclusionary interpretation of the Constitution faithful to its drafters' vision -- and Judge Gorsuch proved he is not that person. We believe every U.S. Senator must not only oppose Neil Gorsuch but also filibuster his nomination. Republicans should not unilaterally change long-standing Senate rules to allow Trump’s nominee to waltz into the Supreme Court.” Read more about Gorsuch’s long and troubling career opposing civil rights, including for LGBTQ people, here.

  • LGBTQ groups are united in their opposition to Gorsuch -- Check out why 18 LGBTQ civil rights organizations, including HRC, are urging pro-equality Senators to vote ‘no’ on a nominee “more conservative than Scalia” in Salon.

GET SERIOUS -- NC GOP LEADERS ENGAGE IN POLITICAL THEATER AS NCAA  TICKS DOWN OVER HB2 REPEAL: HRC and Equality NC last night slammed Republicans Phil Berger and Tim Moore for attempting to mislead the people of North Carolina rather than focusing on repealing HB2. In a bizarre stunt touted as a “press conference,” the two continued their quest to shift the political blame they alone bear for the discriminatory legislation -- while the clock ticks down to NCAA’s Thursday repeal deadline. Their radical new proposal attempts to double down on discrimination by continuing to prevent local municipalities from passing meaningful non-discrimination protections, allowing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity to continue, and providing a broad license to discriminate against LGBTQ people that is even more extreme than the Indiana law that sparked a national outcry. “Phil Berger and Tim Moore are fighting fire with gasoline. This proposal masquerading as a solution is really an extreme license to discriminate -- the last thing that North Carolina needs,” said Cathryn Oakley, HRC Senior Legislative Counsel. “They are literally proposing to pile a ‘super RFRA’ on top of some of the most egregious parts of HB2. It’s outrageous, poorly conceived, and a divisive distraction from the matter at hand – that Republican leadership is refusing to allow the full and unequivocal repeal of HB2.” More here, and watch what Duke’s Coach K and North Carolina Coach Roy Williams think about the discriminatory law here.

HAPPENING TODAY -- HRC FOUNDATION RELEASES 10TH EDITION OF HEALTHCARE EQUALITY INDEX: Today, HRC Foundation released the 10th edition of its Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), reflecting a decade of progress in LGBTQ-inclusive healthcare. Of facilities surveyed for the HEI, 303 earned HRC’s coveted “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation. This year also marks the first time the HEI has awarded numerical scores -- and three quarters of the healthcare facilities actively participating in the survey scored 80 points or above. “The 2017 HEI reminds us again that though we have made tremendous gains over the past decade, there is still much more work left for us to do. With some of our biggest battles still ahead of us, it is crucial that institutions continue to demonstrate that the march toward full equality is not slowing down,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “The 590 participants in this year’s HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBTQ community. For the past decade, the HEI has been the roadmap to closing the gap in ensuring equal care to LGBTQ patients and their families, and we urge every healthcare facility to join us in this continuing effort to provide inclusive care to all.” More from HRC.

  • This year’s HEI highlights the groundbreaking work taking place at two transgender youth clinics -- GENECIS at Children’s Health in Dallas, and the Center for Child and Adolescent Gender Care at Duke Children’s Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. Legislative attacks on the transgender communities in both of those states underscore the importance of the care and affirmation these clinics are providing transgender youth.

WHAT WE’RE READING WEDNESDAY: This week, The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier and Fusion shared the stories of transgender children and their families who are working to maintain their well-being amid attacks on transgender youth by state and federal legislators, as well as Trump Administration officials. G, a transgender girl from Dorchester, South Carolina, is fighting for her right to use the correct bathroom, and battling bullies who refuse to use her correct name and pronouns. Read Post and Courier reporter Deanna Pan’s story about how, with the help of her fierce parent-advocates, G reached a settlement with her school allowing her to use the correct facilities. Fusion reporter Kathryn Joyce tells the story of Kai, a five- year-old transgender girl from Texas who has faced humiliation in her school, including being denied access to the correct restroom. Her mother is fighting for her child’s rights -- and against SB 6, a proposed state bill that would further discriminate against her daughter. These stories underscore the importance of sharing your stories while advocating for LGBTQ equality in the face of difficulty. If you have a story of anti-LGBTQ discrimination you would like to share with HRC, you may do so here.

MAJOR CHILD WELFARE ORGS URGE GA LAWMAKERS TO REJECT ANTI-LGBTQ AMENDMENT TO ADOPTION BILL: HRC has released an open letter from major child welfare organizations -- including the Child Welfare League of America, The Donaldson Adoption Institute, FosterClub, North American Council on Adoptable Children, and Voices for Adoption -- urging Georgia lawmakers to reject a discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ amendment to an adoption-related bill, HB 159, being considered by the state legislature. The shameful amendment puts discrimination ahead of the best interests of children in Georgia by granting a special license to discriminate based on an adoption agency’s “mission” -- even if the agency receives public funds. “Georgia lawmakers should heed the warning of these major child welfare organizations and put the best interest of the child over discrimination,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “With thousands of children in Georgia in desperate need of permanent, loving homes, all qualified adults who have the room in their hearts and homes to adopt a child should be permitted to do so and treated fairly in the process. Lawmakers must reject this dangerously broad amendment that could swing the door wide open to taxpayer-funded discrimination.” More from HRC.

ORLANDO SETS “DAY OF LOVE AND KINDNESS” FOR ANNIVERSARY OF PULSE NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING: To honor the 49 victims -- almost all LGBTQ and Latinx -- of the Pulse nightclub shooting, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs announced that June 12, the one-year anniversary of the attack, will be knows as “Orlando United Day -- A Day of Love and Kindness.” In a joint statement, Dyer and Jacobs said the day will feature events and activities giving the community an opportunity to come together “through Acts of Love and Kindness.” More from Towleroad.

REUTERS REPORTS -- 'AM I NEXT?’ KILLINGS IN EL SALVADOR LEAVE TRANSGENDER PEOPLE IN FEAR: In February alone, at least three transgender women were murdered in El Salvador -- a country that Reuters reports is one of the most deadly outside of a war zone. For one transgender woman, Teresa, this means she lives in near-constant fear of anti-transgender violence. LGBTQ Salvadorians are leaving the country in such high numbers that The United Nations Refugee Agency has called it “a refugee crisis.” More from Reuters.

HONORING TRANS YOUTH ADVOCATES FOR TRANS DAY OF VISIBILITY: This Friday, LGBTQ and allied communities around the globe will mark International Transgender Day of Visibility. This year poses new challenges for transgender people as President Trump and states across the country are aiming to undermine their rights. Ahead of the annual event, HRC is highlighting the growing number of visible trans and gender fluid youth advocates, as well as their families, who are helping change the hearts and minds of millions. Several have already helped spark a national conversation around what it means to be transgender. More from HRC.

#PARTYGOALS: At Sir Elton John’s 70th birthday party last weekend, he was serenaded by none other than Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder. What we wouldn’t give to have been a fly on the wall! More from BuzzFeed.


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A.M. Equality