#AM_Equality Tipsheet: May 16, 2018

by Allison Turner

Maryland enacts legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy; HRC holds 2018 LGBTQ Youth Report event in Detroit

VICTORY! MARYLAND ENACTS LEGISLATION PROTECTING LGBTQ YOUTH FROM “CONVERSION THERAPY”: Maryland has officially joined the growing number of states and municipalities adopting critical protections for LGBTQ youth. “No child should ever be subjected to the abusive practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy,’” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “This dangerous and ​inhumane form of child abuse has no basis in science and is ​uniformly rejected by every major mental health and child welfare ​organization. Today, Maryland is a better place for countless young people thanks to the many advocates, allies, parents, and survivors who spoke out against this practice and urged their elected officials -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- to adopt these crucial protections.” Read more from HRC.

TODAY IN DETROIT: Following yesterday’s release of HRC’s 2018 LGBTQ Youth Report, issued in partnership with the University of Connecticut, HRC President Chad Griffin will join community leaders today at the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit for an event underscoring the urgency of supporting LGBTQ youth and the unique challenges facing LGBTQ youth of color — who reported the highest levels of rejection and isolation in HRC’s report. Read more from Metro Weekly.

  • Only 11 percent of youth of color surveyed believe their racial or ethnic group is regarded positively in the U.S., and four out of five LGBTQ youth of color have personally experienced racism;
  • 21 percent of youth of color think about racism every day;
  • Compared to their white peers, some LGBTQ youth of color are more likely to experience family environments where negativity about LGBTQ people is expressed.

Media interested in attending should RSVP to press@hrc.org.

SPEAKING OF CHALLENGES FACED BY LGBTQ YOUTH -- THE DAILY BEAST TRACKS THE TROUBLING TREND OF ANTI-LGBTQ SENTIMENT IN SCHOOLS: Samantha Allen (@SLAwrites) reports on LGBTQ teachers who have been fired recently, the pushback in Illinois to including LGBTQ history in school textbooks, and actions in Canada that could out students involved in LGBTQ extracurriculars. “LGBT teachers and lawmakers who advocate for LGBT history in schools are not trying to mass produce a generation of queer kids. … What they want is for fewer of those kids to hurt themselves or feel invisible to the point of hopelessness.” Read the full piece here.


WHAT WE’RE READING WEDNESDAY: In a new interview with SWERV Magazine, HRC President Chad Griffin spoke about HRC’s efforts to strengthen representation and inclusion of LGBTQ people of color at the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization and how the movements for LGBTQ equality and racial equity and justice are inextricably linked. Griffin discussed HRC’s expanding work in communities of color in the South, HIV and AIDS advocacy and groundbreaking HBCU Program fostering the next generation of Black LGBTQ advocates and changemakers. “We know that we cannot achieve LGBTQ equality while members of our community continue to be oppressed because of their race. It’s our responsibility to make sure we are doing everything we can to include and effectively advocate for those within our community who are doubly marginalized and shut out by systems and institutions because they are both people of color and LGBTQ,” Griffin says. Read the full interview here.

HRC CELEBRATES PRO-EQUALITY CHAMPIONS IN PENNSYLVANIA PRIMARY: HRC released the following statement on victories of pro-equality candidates Senator Bob Casey, Representatives Brendan Boyle (PA-2), Dwight Evans (PA-3), Matt Cartwright (PA-8), and Michael Doyle (PA-18), and Chrissy Houlahan. “HRC was proud to mobilize our members and supporters across the Keystone State to turn out for these pro-equality champions, and we look forward to carrying this momentum to the general election in November,” said HRC Pennsylvania State Manager Allison VanKuiken. “As Donald Trump and Mike Pence ramp up their attacks on the LGBTQ community, it’s more important than ever to elect candidates who will pull the emergency brake on a harmful administration, and reject anti-equality politicians like Lou Barletta, who will only double down on their discriminatory agenda.” Read more from HRC.

UNITED METHODIST CHURCH FACES INTERNAL BATTLE OVER MAKING THE DENOMINATION MORE INCLUSIVE: LGBTQ advocates are squaring off with anti-equality activists. Find out more via Religion News.

LGBTQ ASYLUM SEEKERS FACE DANGER AT THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER: "They fear for their lives. They are hunted, and their rights are not respected." More via Teen Vogue.



LEBANON’S LGBTQ PRIDE WEEK HALTED AFTER CRACKDOWN: The AP is also reporting that the organizer of Lebanon's gay pride week was detained by authorities. More here.

COSTA RICA COURT RULES TRANS PEOPLE CAN CHANGE OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS : The Central American country’s supreme electoral court has ruled transgender people can change their official documents to match their gender identity.  More from NewNowNext.

CANADA TO ADD THIRD GENDER OPTION IN GOVERNMENT SURVEYS: Transgender advocates are celebrating a move to make Canada’s 2021 census more inclusive. More from The Guardian.


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

North Carolina Public Radio shares the journey of transgender advocate Candis Cox (@candis_cox) and how N.C.’s HB2 led to her ongoing fight for equality; Pink News profiles four LGBTQ activists working to end the stigma surrounding mental health;

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