#AM_Equality Tipsheet: May 18, 2018

by Allison Turner

Investigation reveals discrimination in Oregon school; HRC remembers Pearl Berlin.

INVESTIGATION REVEALS TROUBLING DISCRIMINATION AND BULLYING IN OREGON SCHOOL: An alarming report by the Oregon Department of Education found “substantial evidence” of discrimination by school officials and extreme bullying against LGBTQ students in the North Bend School District. Writes the New York Times’  Matthew Haag (@matthewhaag), “In the hallways of a rural Oregon high school, gay and lesbian students were taunted with homophobic slurs. In the cafeteria, students pelted a transgender student with food. And when gay and lesbian students got into trouble, the school’s principal assigned a specific punishment just for them: readings from the Bible.” The findings underscore the need for LGBTQ-inclusive schools -- even in states with nondiscrimination protections like Oregon. More from the New York Times.

HRC REMEMBERS PEARL BERLIN, NORTH CAROLINA MARRIAGE EQUALITY PIONEER: Today, HRC responded to the tragic news that Pearl Berlin, wife to Lennie Gerber, has passed away. Pearl and Lennie were intimately involved in the fight for marriage equality in North Carolina. The couple was together for more than 50 years; this June would have been their 52nd anniversary. “Pearl Berlin was a fierce advocate for same-sex couples in North Carolina, and a force so dedicated to change that she and her wife Lennie were able to bring marriage equality to the Tarheel State,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “We at HRC are saddened by her loss, but we are deeply grateful to have been able to know Pearl during her extraordinary life and through her tireless fight for equality. All of our thoughts and prayers are with her wife Lennie, and Pearl’s family.” Read more from HRC.

FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY -- QUEER WOMEN ARE REMAKING THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY: Several restaurants owned and operated by female couples are serving up a new way to run notoriously grueling businesses. Ligaya Mishan (@ligayamishan) writes in the New York Times, “As restaurants helmed by queer women thrive in American cities, so too does a new paradigm for less brutal, more collaborative, professional cooking.” More, including photographs of delicious food, from the New York Times.

HRC’S SARAH MCBRIDE HONORED BY NATIONAL CENTER FOR TRANSGENDER EQUALITY: Last night, HRC’s Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride) was honored with the Andrew Cray Award by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) at its 15th anniversary event.  The award is named for Sarah’s late husband, who was a fierce fighter for LGBTQ equality, particulary in expanding access to health care. Congratulations, Sarah!

INSIDE THE WAVE OF CHILD WELFARE LICENSE TO DISCRIMINATE BILLS: The Daily Beast’s Samantha Allen (@SLAWrites) dives into the push for legislation licensing discrimination against LGBTQ people by child welfare agencies. Governor Mary Fallin (R-OK) recently signed into law the first explicitly anti-LGBTQ bill of 2018. It allows adoption and foster care agencies to turn away qualified Oklahomans seeking to care for a child in need, including LGBTQ couples, interfaith couples, single parents, married couples in which one prospective parent has previously been divorced, or other parents to whom the agency has a religious objection. More from The Daily Beast.

SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION REVERSES DECISION TO REMOVE LGBTQ RESOURCES ON WEBSITE: Following complaints from activists and members of Congress, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has decided to republish an LGBTQ resource page on their website for LGBTQ-owned and operated small businesses. The resource page had been removed after Trump’s inauguration. Representatives Nydia M. Velázquez (@NydiaVelazquez) and Yvette Clarke (@RepYvetteClarke) wrote a letter of concern to the SBA Administrator last week, saying, “It is important that all federal agencies are inclusive and work proactively to serve the needs of all Americans.” More from the Advocate.

HRC RECOGNIZES NATIONAL ASIAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER HIV & AIDS AWARENESS DAY: Though Asians and Pacific Islanders (API) account for approximately two percent of new HIV diagnoses in the U.S., an examination of data reveals the barriers that prevent API people from accessing vital HIV & AIDS services, writes Peter Cruz, Associate Director of the HRC Foundation’s HIV and Health Equity Program. According to the CDC, API people living with HIV have the longest delay in HIV diagnoses compared to all other race and ethnicity groups, posing significant risks for undiagnosed individuals. Read more about advocates working to provide HIV & AIDS services for API and other affected communities at HRC.

HRC.ORG CITED AS A BEST BLOG ON LGBTQ PARENTING: Healthline just published its annual top blogs list. More from Healthline.

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

POLITICAL AND BUSINESS LEADERS, CELEBRITIES AND ADVOCATES JOIN IN HONORING INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA, TRANSPHOBIA AND BIPHOBIA: Read more about how they marked IDAHOTB at HRC.

  • And Georgia cancels IDAHOTB celebrations: Citing security concerns, LGBTQ activists cancelled yesterday’s planned celebrations for IDAHOTB. They canceled the celebrations because of death threats from far-right groups. Read more from Gay Star News.

INDONESIAN LGBTQ ACTIVISTS FIGHT BACK AGAINST STATE-SPONSORED HOMOPHOBIA: The action comes after recent anti-LGBTQ statements and actions by the Indonesian government, including the West Java Social Affairs Agency posting a sign designating “LGBT” as a “societal illnesses.” More from The Jakarta Post.

HONG KONG BEGINS OFFERING VISAS TO SAME-SEX COUPLES: The move follows a High Court decision last year. Read more from Gay Star News.

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

Gay Star News reports on a sports day held for transgender people in Pakistan;

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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