Anti-LGBTQ state bills pass the 100 mark; Gavin Grimm writes in NYT -- “The fight for transgender rights is bigger than me”
ANTI-LGBTQ STATE BILLS PASS THE 100 MARK: As lawmakers continue to meet in state capitols around the country, HRC is tracking more than 100 anti-LGBTQ bills in 29 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. These bills target transgender adults and children, LGBTQ public school students, same-sex parents and same-sex couples hoping to adopt. Many of these bills aim to give businesses and agencies receiving taxpayer-funding a license to discriminate against many different groups -- from LGBTQ people to single mothers; and from unwed, cohabitating couples to interfaith couples. More from HRC.
GAVIN GRIMM WRITES IN NY TIMES -- “THE FIGHT FOR TRANSGENDER RIGHTS IS BIGGER THAN ME”: In a poignant and inspiring oped for The New York Times, transgender high school student Gavin Grimm, the plaintiff in G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, shares his struggle to be accepted, and the “crazy, stressful, busy, breathtaking, rewarding, beautiful, fantastic” road he’s traveled since challenging the discrimination perpetrated by his school board. This week, the Supreme Court of the United States announced it will not hear Gavin’s case this term, sending the case back to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in the wake of the Trump Administration's revocation of school guidance ensuring the protection and dignity of transgender students. Read the full piece in The New York Times.
WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO WEDNESDAY: When Alexandra Chandler came out as transgender at her job in the U.S. Department of Defense , she didn’t know any other transgender people in her office. She feared being forced out her job -- but was supported by her supervisors, even when other employees expressed fear and ignorance about the transgender community. Listen to her conversation with Mary Louise Kelly (@NPRKelly) about this transition, anti-transgender state laws and the importances of living openly and sharing your story at NPR.
HUNDREDS RALLY AT TEXAS CAPITOL TO OPPOSE TEXAS’ ANTI-TRANS BILL: Yesterday, hundreds of Texans gave powerful public testimony in Austin opposing anti-transgender bill, SB 6. The discriminatory measure, modeled after North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ HB2 law, 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. Last week, nearly 70 businesses also made public their opposition to SB 6. More from The Hill.
COLORADO HOUSE PASSES BILL TO BAN SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY”: Yesterday, the Colorado House paseed HB 1156 -- legislation that would protect LGBTQ youth in the state from the dangerous and abusive practice of “conversion therapy.” The bill passed through the house with bipartisan support. State LGBTQ group One Colorado has been instrumental in leading the fight for this vital bill. More from The Colorado Statesman.
HRC JOINS ORGANIZATIONS CALLING ON DHS TO HALT DEPORTATIONS OF DREAMERS: In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, 19 progressive organizations, are calling for a halt the deportations of Daniela Vargas of Mississippi and Daniel Ramirez of Seattle, as well as any other DREAMers in his custody, and release them back to their families and communities. Read the letter here.
CELEBRATE WOMEN’S DAY -- READ ABOUT INSPIRATIONAL LGBTQ WOMEN AND ALLIES: Pink News shares the stories of 24 wonderful advocates, from Ellen Page and Janet Mock, to Ruth Bader Ginsburg and J.K Rowling. Check it out here.
LESBIAN, GAY, AND BISEXUAL PEOPLE ARE INCARCERATED AT HIGHER RATES: A new study from the American Journal of Public Health find that LGB people, particularly women, are overrepresented in the United States prison population, and that LGB people, particularly men, have much higher rate of sexual assault in the prison system than hetrosexual people. The study did not look at the transgender community, a step the study’s author hopes to remedy in the future. More from NBC.
LACK OF LAWS ENSURING EQUALITY DRIVING LGB PEOPLE OUT OF HONG KONG: A recent online survey has found that nearly 40 percent of LGB (the survey did not ask about gender identity) people in Hong Kong have considered leaving because of the lack of legal protections, lack of marriage equality, or difficulties facing same-sex parents. More from South China Morning Post.
OPENLY GAY POLITICIAN FRONTRUNNER TO BE PM OF IRELAND: Ireland could make history in late March or April if the country elects Leo Varadkar as its first openly gay prime minister. Varadkar is currently the minister of social protection in the minority government headed by the Fine Gael Party. He was previously the health minister. More from HRC.