#AM_Equality Tipsheet: March 3, 2017

by Allison Turner

AG Sessions recuses himself -- HRC calls on him to resign; Veto that anti-LGBTQ bill, Gov. Daugaard -- it harms kids

HRC CALLS ON JEFF SESSIONS TO RESIGN FOR FALSE SENATE TESTIMONY, VIOLATING PUBLIC TRUST: Following reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave false testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding conversations he had with Russia’s U.S. ambassador during the Trump presidential campaign, HRC yesterday called for him to resign. Sessions’ announcement that he would recuse himself from any existing or future investigations related to presidential campaigns -- he didn’t even mention Russia in his recusal statement -- is not enough. “The Attorney General bears a sacred responsibility for enforcing our laws, upholding the Constitution and protecting civil rights that are crucial to our community. We must be able to trust that our nation's top law enforcement official will respect and abide by the rule of law,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “It is now clear that Jeff Sessions gave false testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing that was misleading at best, and perjury at worst. Given that he has violated both the public trust and the law, we believe he should resign.” More from HRC. Top Democrats join call for Sessions to resign. More from The Washington Post.

  • From today’s USAToday: “Sessions’ Credibility is Shot.”  America needs a top law enforcement officer people can trust, that's why the former senator has to go, writes Arn Pearson (@APearson15).
  • Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that Sessions used political funds for a Trump campaign trip to Republican National Convention during which he met with Russian envoy. Read about it here.

LGBT EQUALITY CAUCUS RELAUNCHES TRANS EQUALITY TASK FORCE: Yesterday, the LGBT Equality Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives relaunched the Trans Equality Task Force at a Capitol Hill event featuring members of the caucus, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), HRC President Chad Griffin and HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride). The Task Force is chaired by Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA). Watch the launch event here. More from Metro Weekly and The Washington Blade.

  • Yesterday, 122 Members of Congress signed on to a bipartisan letter urging President Trump to reinstate critical guidance detailing schools’ obligations to transgender students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. More from HRC.

53 MAJOR COMPANIES JOIN HRC’S AMICUS BRIEF TO #StandWithGavin AND #ProtectTransKids: Yesterday, HRC announced that 53 major U.S. companies have joined a “friend of the court” brief supporting transgender student Gavin Grimm in G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board. Grimm, a transgender boy, filed suit against the school board alleging it violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 by denying him use of the boy’s restroom. The Supreme Court’s decision in this case could have far-reaching consequences for transgender students across the nation.  More from USA Today and NBC.

  • 196 Members of Congress also submitted an amicus brief in support of Gavin Grimm. More from NewNowNext.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: In HRC’s post-election youth survey, 57 percent of teens said that since Election Day, they more frequently feel motivated to help people in their community. Across the country, we have seen stories illustrating this point. A wonderful example is Rebekah, a 10-year-old trans girl who has been sharing her story at rallies, and calling out the Trump Administration’s unconscionable decision to rescind critical federal guidance protecting transgender students. Rebekah’s brave story and her creative protest sign have captivated the Internet. More from The Huffington Post.

VETO THAT ANTI-LGBTQ BILL, GOV. DAUGAARD -- IT HARMS KIDS: HRC and the ACLU of South Dakota are urging South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard to veto discriminatory legislation targeting LGBTQ people and other minorities. SB 149 would enshrine 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. “We implore Governor Daugaard to veto this legislation,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “Last year, when Governor Daugaard vetoed HB 1008, he stood on the right side of history and protected transgender children. He must do the same now. This legislation puts discrimination ahead of the best interests of more than a thousand children in South Dakota waiting for a loving home.” More from HRC.


  1. Like HB2, HB186 would make North Carolina the only state in the nation with a law singling out transgender people for discrimination.
  2. Cities would not be able to pass meaningful non-discrimination ordinances - precisely the kinds of protections that the NCAA has been asking bidders to include in their tournament applications.
  3. HB186 would forbid cities from prohibiting discrimination with regard to using appropriate public facilities, and would embed in any local ordinance a sweeping license to discriminate based on religious beliefs.

More from HRC.

IF YOU STAND WITH THE TRANS COMMUNITY, YOU MUST #StandWithPP: In addition to providing vital medical services to many in the LGBTQ community -- from routinee exams and HIV and STI testing, to reproductive health services -- Planned Parenthood is one of the largest providers in the U.S. of hormone replacement therapy for transgender people. Any attack on Planned Parenthood is an attack on the transgender community. More from The Guardian.

MARCH IS BISEXUAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH: The Bisexual Resource Center announced that this year’s focus will be identifying social health disparities within the bisexual community,  and taking steps to build social support and resiliency. A study conducted by the Williams Institute found that the bisexual population is the single largest group within the LGBTQ community, with about half identifying as bisexual. The Williams Institute also found that bisexual people are far less likely than their gay and lesbian counterparts to disclose their sexual orientation to their medical providers, leaving them at risk of failing to have access to a full range of medically-necessary care. More from HRC.

LITTLE TOWN, IT’S A QUIET VILLAGE, NOW HAS A GAY CHARACTER, UNLIKE THE ONE BEFORE: Disney’s live-action retelling of Beauty and the Beast will feature an openly gay character -- a first for Disney. More from The Hollywood Reporter.

HRC GLOBAL PARTNERS WITH LGBTQ ADVOCATES IN NICARAGUA: For the past year, HRC Global has been working shoulder to shoulder with Grupo Consultivo, an alliance of LGBTQ advocates in Nicaragua. More on this partnership from HRC.


The New York Times reviews ‘Kiki,’ a new documentary exploring the voguing scene as a refuge for LGBTQ youth… ABC 7 interviews a local trans teen about his fears under a Trump administration…

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A.M. Equality