#AM_Equality Tipsheet: May 14, 2018

by Allison Turner

HRC responds to rollback of guidance protecting safety of trans prisoners; VP Pence spoke Saturday at anti-LGBTQ college

HRC RESPONDS TO ROLLBACK OF GUIDANCE PROTECTING SAFETY OF TRANS PRISONERS: On Friday, HRC responded to news that the Trump-Pence administration has ordered the Bureau of Prisons to use “biological sex” in determining how transgender prisoners are assigned housing, putting them at significant risk of sexual abuse, assault, and other types of discrimination. “The Obama Administration put this guidance into place after an extensive review to develop workable and reasonable procedures that would protect some of the most vulnerable people in our prison system,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “The decision to disregard a  transgender person’s gender identity is harmful and disrespectful. This unconscionable decision ignores medical expertise and  defies common sense. Transgender people under the control of the Bureau of Prisons will face greater risk of violence and discrimination.” Read more from HRC and BuzzFeed.

PENCE SPEAKS AT ANTI-LGBTQ HILLSDALE COLLEGE: “It tells you a lot about who Mike Pence really is that he’s elevating and celebrating an institution like Hillsdale College, with its troubling history of rejecting its LGBTQ students,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy, about Pence’s attendance Saturday. “The college is consistently ranked among the worst for LGBTQ students and has been openly hostile to LGBTQ people.” Read more from HRC, and find out who “The Real Mike Pence” is here.

HRC RESPONDS TO OKLA. GOV. MARY FALLIN SIGNING ANTI-LGBTQ BILL: HRC condemned Fallin for signing the anti-LGBTQ bill SB 1140, a bill that would allow child welfare organizations -- including adoption and foster care agencies -- to turn away qualified Oklahomans seeking to care for a child in need, including LGBTQ couples, among others. “It is shameful that Gov. Mary Fallin has signed into law a patently discriminatory law that targets children,” said JoDee Winterhof, Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs at the Human Rights Campaign. “Gov. Fallin has cemented her legacy, siding with discrimination and the legislature in throwing kids under the bus to create a ‘license to discriminate’ against LGBTQ Oklahomans. With this action, Oklahoma has the negative distinction of being the only state[s] to sign an anti-LGBTQ bill into law this year.” Read more from HRC.

MONDAY MUST READ -- “WE NEED MORE LGBTQ WOMEN IN ELECTIVE OFFICE”: In a piece for Advocate, Stephanie Sandberg (@smsandberg), Executive Director of LPAC, which works to elect LGBTQ women to political office, makes the case for the urgency of the this endeavour. “We need leaders who understand what it means to stand up to bullies, to advocate for the full mosaic that is the American electorate -- leaders whose intersectional identities enable them to be broadly representational, and whose visibility alone begins to change culture,” Sandberg says. Read the full piece here.

SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION MAY BE CENSORING LGBTQ CONTENT: Not long after the Trump-Pence administration took office, LGBTQ resources were removed from the SBA’s website, writes Brooke Sopelsa (@brookesopelsa) of NBC Out. Officials said the page was “under construction and review,” along with several others; but almost a year and a half later, the SBA’s LGBTQ pages remain deactivated while other pages have been reactivated. We’re crying foul, and others are too -- last week, two Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to the SBA, calling out its failure to reactivate the page so LGBTQ people can access resources they need. Read the full story here.

HRC’S LESLIE HALL (@MrLeslieHall) SELECTED AS BLACK ENTERPRISE MODERN MAN 100 HONOREE: Reporter Tyrus Townsend interviews Hall about what the honor means to him, projects he’s working on, and advice he has to offer. Read the full interview at Black Enterprise.

NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ADVANCES PROTECTIONS FOR LGBTQ STUDENTS: “These protections are long overdue and can make all the difference to the countless transgender and gender diverse youth facing harassment and bullying every day simply for being who they are,” said Briana Escamilla, HRC Nevada State Manager. “When students are free from fear of discrimination, they can develop their strengths and thrive socially, emotionally and academically. We hope school districts across Nevada will move quickly to implement inclusive policies that protect the safety and wellbeing of every student.” Read more from HRC.

HRC ENDORSES TIPPI McCULLOUGH FOR ARK. HOUSE: “Tippi’s voice would be invaluable in the Arkansas House of Representatives, at a time when it is crucial for LGBTQ people to be a part of the conversation inside the Arkansas Capitol,” said Ben Needham, director of strategic initiatives for the Human Rights Campaign. “HRC is proud to work alongside Tippi and her campaign, and we look forward to working with her when she takes her seat under the dome.” Read more from HRC.

HRC RESPONDS TO REPUBLICAN PARTY OF WISC. ENDORSING ANTI-LGBTQ EXTREMIST LEAH VUKMIR FOR U.S. SENATE: An anti-LGBTQ extremist, Vukmir is out of touch with the majority of Wisconsinites who support equality.  “Leah Vukmir has no place in the United States Senate,” said HRC Wisconsin State Manager Wendy Strout. “She has consistently worked to undermine LGBTQ equality, and built a disturbing record that demonstrates a long standing hostility to some of Wisconsin’s most marginalized and vulnerable communities.” Read more from HRC.



TRANSGENDER COUPLE MARRIES IN INDIA: In a first for the state of Kerala, Surya and Ishaan Shaan married last week. The wedding took place after a change in Indian law to allow transgender people to marry. More from Pink News.

LGBTQ ACTIVISTS IN SERBIA EXPAND EFFORTS OUTSIDE OF CAPITAL: They’ve opened a new LGBTQ community center in Novi Sad, helping to expand their efforts beyond the capital Belgrade. Read more from INTO.

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break!

On Top Mag showcases Chandler Massey’s (@ChandlerMassey) speech at HRC Atlanta Dinner last weekend; Business Insider takes a look at the work and career of Evan Rachel Wood (@evanrachelwood), actress and bisexual LGBTQ activist; People interviews singer Rita Ora (@RitaOra) on her new bisexul anthem, ‘Girls,’ inspired by her own sexuality;

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A.M. Equality