#AM_Equality Tipsheet: March 7, 2017

by Allison Turner

Trump’s continued attacks on immigrants and refugees; Today -- public hearing on Texas’ anti-transgender bill

TRUMP’S CONTINUED ATTACKS ON IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES: Yesterday, HRC strongly condemned President Donald Trump’s second Muslim ban executive order. The order not only needlessly and shamefully continues to vilify the Muslim community, it poses a threat to countless refugees -- including thousands of LGBTQ refugees seeking to escape violence and persecution. “This latest discriminatory iteration of Trump’s Muslim ban will have tragic consequences for thousands of people seeking safety in the U.S.,” said JoDee Winterhof, Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs of the Human Rights Campaign. “The intent of Trump’s executive order targeting refugees and Muslims remains the same -- he has simply changed the wrapping paper. Tragically, LGBTQ people in the Middle East and North Africa are regularly threatened with violence and death for merely living their lives. Barring them from reaching asylum in the U.S. puts their lives in jeopardy. HRC will continue to fight for all LGBTQ Muslims and immigrants -- and we will stand alongside them against this discriminatory order.” More from HRC.

  • Last night, HRC joined advocates and allies to stand in solidarity with the immigrant community and rally against Trump’s continued attacks on immigrants and refugees. HRC Global Director Ty Cobb spoke at the event.

TODAY -- PUBLIC HEARING ON TEXAS’ ANTI-TRANSGENDER BILL: SB 6 would overturn non-discrimination ordinances currently providing critical protections in several major Texas cities; further, it would force state agencies, municipalities, public schools and public universities to discriminate against transgender people. By making it illegal for transgender people in Texas to be afforded access to facilities consistent with their identity, it opens them up to increased discrimination and harassment as they simply live their everyday lives. It also 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.​ Last week, nearly 70 businesses made public their opposition to SB 6. As part of the public hearing, Texans will be able to either submit written testimony or give a two-minute public testimony. More from HRC.

  • Today at 11:30 AM CT at the Texas Capitol: HRC, Equality Texas, the Texas Freedom Network and the ACLU of Texas will join parents of transgender children, religious leaders and the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault to speak out against SB6 and detail how it will hurt Texas families and children.
  • Yesterday, HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride) joined the Transgender Education Network of Texas for its Texas Lobby Day, rallying opposition to anti-LGBTQ bills like SB 6.

HOUSE REPUBLICAN HEALTH CARE BILL PUTS 20 MILLION AMERICANS AT RISK: The House Republican plan on replacing the Affordable Care Act strips away health insurance, pricing protections, and the essential health benefits Americans have come to rely on. In its place, individuals have no guarantee that the plans to be marketed at some future date will provide the care they or a family member needs to stay healthy. This is particularly true for people living with HIV. Thirty two states (including DC) cared enough about their citizens to take the option under the ACA to expand their Medicaid programs. As a result thousands of low-income people living with HIV were able to get health insurance through that safety net program. This new plan takes away that expansion and slashes Medicaid funding, leaving those with HIV and many others without the care they rely on to survive. The health care for 20 million Americans is at risk and the quality for all but the very wealthiest Americans is certain to decline. More from CNN.

TUESDAY TWEET: Following the news that the Supreme Court of the United States will not hear the case of G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board this term, HRC Press Secretary Sarah McBride put out a video message to transgender students everywhere letting them know that this decision is a delay, not a defeat. More on the decision from HRC, Yahoo and The New York Times.

KENTUCKY LEG PASSES ANTI-LGBTQ SB 17 -- WILL GOV. BEVIN VETO?:  Yesterday, HRC called on Governor Matt Bevin to veto SB 17, a bill that would, among other things, allow student groups at colleges, universities, and high schools to discriminate against LGBTQ students. The bill passed the Kentucky House in an 81 to 8 vote after passing through the Senate last month. “This discriminatory legislation goes beyond protecting students' already secured First Amendment rights and would allow, in part, student groups, at colleges, universities and high schools to discriminate against LGBTQ students and still receive public funding,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “We call on Governor Bevin to veto this legislation. All students should have the opportunity to fully participate in school programs, and no public school should have a license to discriminate against LGBTQ students.” More from HRC.

TRANSGENDER ADVOCATES CALL FOR HB2 REPEAL IN NEW VIDEO: In a new video from Equality North Carolina and HRC, transgender advocates Candis Cox (@Candis_Cox) and Ames Simmons (@Ames_Simmons) slam HB 186, a Republican-led proposal that would double down on damage done by HB2. Like HB2, HB 186 would continue North Carolina’s shameful distinction as the only state in the nation to single out transgender people for discrimination. 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. HB 186 would forbid cities from prohibiting discrimination with regard to bathrooms and would force any ordinance to contain sweeping exemptions. Watch here.

THE EPIDEMIC OF VIOLENCE AGAINST TRANSGENDER WOMEN OF COLOR MUST END: The chilling reality of anti-transgender violence is an urgent crisis for our country. Transgender women of color face a toxic combination of transphobia and racism that together fuel an environment of often fatal violence. The heartbreak of these murders is only amplified by the reality that their lives and identities are too-often disrespected in reporting by law enforcement and coverage by the media. At least seven trans people -- six Black transgender women and one Native American transgender woman -- have been murdered in 2017. Within the last two weeks, three transgender women of color were murdered in the state of Louisiana. In many instances, law enforcement and the media repeatedly misgendered the victims of these crimes, undermining their identities and adding to the pain of their loved ones. More from ThinkProgress.

GERMAN SOCIAL DEMOCRATS PUSH FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY: The Social Democrat party in Germany will push for marriage equality at the next meeting of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s right-centre coalition. More from Reuters.


CNN interviewed Kasha Nabageresa -- one of the leaders of Uganda’s LGBTQ equality movement… The Huffington Post shares an uplifting story of a nine-year-old who got a surprise after dressing up as his idol, Audra McDonald, for a school project...

Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!

A.M. Equality