#AM_Equality Tipsheet: March 9, 2017

by Allison Turner

“With one signature on a piece of paper, our lives completely changed”; NC report finds spike in anti-LGBTQ bullying

“WITH ONE SIGNATURE ON A PIECE OF PAPER, OUR LIVES COMPLETELY CHANGED”: BuzzFeed’s Sarah Karlan (@SkarSkarSkar) reports on Texan Paul Harrison, who, in a moving new HRC video, tells the story of meeting his fiancé two years ago in Iran, where same-sex sexual activity is illegal, and the fear and hardship President Trump’s unconscionable Muslim travel ban has caused the couple. Harrison tells their loving story -- daily phone calls, time together in Turkey, and the terrible uncertainty they now face. When Trump signed his first ban, Harrison told Karlan, “I became sick to my stomach… My fiance was just in disbelief and denial that this could be happening.” Trump’s latest order still makes them uneasy. Harrison is abroad working to get a visa for his fiance and hoping their marriage dreams, and his partner’s safety, won’t be compromised by Trump’s action that shamefully vilifies the Muslim community and poses a threat to countless refugees -- including thousands of LGBTQ refugees seeking to escape violence and persecution. More from BuzzFeed.

NC REPORT PROMPTED BY HB2 FINDS SCHOOL BULLYING WORSENING FOR LGBTQ STUDENTS: A review of more than 75 studies between 1996 and 2016 tracks a troubling increase in bullying targeting LGBTQ students, “hurting attendance and academic achievement and increasing their risk of suicide attempts,” the Raleigh News & Observer reports today. The review was prompted by HB2, North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ law that specifically targets transgender people for discrimination. Researchers in the Violence and Victimization Research Program at the NC-based non-profit RTI’s Center for Justice, Safety and Resilience also found no evidence that LGBTQ people pose a threat to others -- in fact, many studies show they are more likely to be victims of assault, harassment, bullying and hate crimes. “I had really hoped and almost expected to see that things might be moving in a better direction as far as victimization,” said lead author Tasseli McKay. “It really surprised me to see not just are forms of victimization staying the same, some forms are getting worse.” Read more here.

KATY PERRY, AMERICA FERRERA , SEN. TIM KAINE  AND SINGER TROYE SIVAN TO HEADLINE HRC’S LA GALA: HRC announced today that global pop icon and longtime equality advocate Katy Perry will be honored with HRC’s National Equality Award at the 2017 Los Angeles Gala Dinner on March 18. Ground-breaking actress and LGBTQ advocate America Ferrera will be also be recognized with HRC’s Ally for Equality Award. Lena Dunham, actor, writer, director, creator and star of HBO's GIRLS and co-founder of LennyLetter.com, will present the award to Ferrera, her friend and fellow advocate.  HRC also announced that U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, (D-VA), will be the featured speaker at the gala. And singer/songwriter Troye Sivan will perform. Special guests include Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Read more at HRC, People, and E!Online.

THROWBACK THURSDAY: This week marks two years since HRC delivered to the Supreme Court of the United States the historic "People's Brief," signed by 207,551 people calling for full nationwide marriage equality. The People’s Brief  had more signatories than any amicus brief ever submitted to the Supreme Court, and was nearly 3,500 pages long. It required four days of round-the-clock printing in order to complete the 50 copies required by the Court in time for the March 6 deadline for filing. Nineteen boxes were delivered to the court. More on The People’s Brief here.

HRC CALLS ON CONGRESS TO REJECT THE AHCA: HRC has sent a letter opposing the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR), the Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce; Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce; Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX), the Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means; and Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Ways and Means. “We are deeply concerned about the negative impact this proposal would have on communities already facing discrimination and healthcare disparities, including the LGBTQ community. The announced legislation undermines core provisions of the Affordable Care Act and cuts off tens of millions of Americans from life-saving healthcare coverage,” HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy said in the letter. “This flawed proposal, drafted behind closed door without public input, turns a blind eye to the essential health benefits that millions of Americans have come to rely upon.” More from HRC.

The AHCA could prevent access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) -- a once-daily, life-saving pill regimen that helps people stay HIV-negative. More from TIME.

MAGNOLIA, MISS., BECOMES 2ND CITY IN STATE TO OK LGBTQ NON-DISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS: With a unanimous vote, the Magnolia, Miss., Board of Aldermen enacted city-wide non-discrimination protections that include sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, public accommodations and employment. The ordinance also includes a new LGBTQ-inclusive hate crimes provision. Magnolia joins Jackson as the two cities in the state to pass fully-inclusive non-discrimination ordinances. “Magnolia has sent a clear message: all people are welcome, and all people are protected from bias-driven crimes in this inclusive city,” said Rob Hill, HRC Mississippi state director. “As cities such as Magnolia and Jackson pass these important protections, they are showing our state legislature and our other elected officials that inclusivity and acceptance are Mississippi values, and that we don’t want hate in our state.” More at HRC.

AUSTIN OPENS FIRST CLINIC SPECIFICALLY SERVING TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY: Kind Clinic offers free services to the transgender and gender nonconforming community. The clinic shares space with Texas Health Action, which does HIV-prevention work. Kelly Kline, a patient of Kind Clinic and local transgender advocate, said, “I can’t stress enough how important it is to walk into a place where we don’t feel judged.” More from the Austin American-Statesman.

PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSIONER OF ANNA, TX, COMES OUT AS TRANSGENDER: On Monday, Janine Johnson handed out a letter to the commission and city council coming out, citing the anti-transgender SB6 as her reason for deciding to live openly. Earlier this year, New Hope Mayor Jess Herbst became the first known openly transgender elected official in Texas’ history. More from KXII.

HRC MOURNS DANDARA DOS SANTOS, TRANSGENDER WOMAN MURDERED IN BRAZIL: Dandara dos Santos, a Brazilian transgender woman, was brutally murdered last month by five attackers. The crime was captured on video, forcing many in Brazil to face the epidemic of violence against transgender women in the country and around the world. More from The New York Times.

TAIPEI MOVES TO OPEN PUBLIC HOUSING OPTIONS TO SAME-SEX COUPLES: The city is currently processing an amendment that would allow registered same-sex couples to access public housing in the Taiwanese city. More from Focus Taiwan.

RUSSIA BANS CHILDREN FROM SEEING NEW DISNEY FILM: The Russian Culture Ministry has announced that the new Beauty and the Beast film will be restricted to those ages 16 and up because the film features a gay character. In 2013, Russia enacted harsh anti-LGBTQ laws banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” and blocking same-sex couples from adopting children. More from The Associated Press.

READING RAINBOW

The Associated Press reviews a new documentary exploring the drag community in Columbus, Ohio… HRC sits down with the Initiative for Multipurpose Prevention Technologies (IMPT) to talk about global sexual and reproductive health needs for women and girls… �� Paste Magazine reviews Equality Wines, which donates a portion of its proceeds to equality efforts…

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!

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A.M. Equality