#AM_Equality Tipsheet: May 2, 2018

by Allison Turner

NEW - 60% of Americans oppose anti-LGBTQ licenses to discriminate; Fighting anti-LGBTQ adoption bills in OK & KS.

MAJOR NEW NATIONAL SURVEY -- MAJORITIES OF AMERICANS IN EVERY STATE & MOST RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS OPPOSE ALLOWING LICENSES TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST LGBTQ PEOPLE:  The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found nearly 2 to 1 opposition -- 60 percent to 33 percent -- to allowing business owners to deny service to LGBTQ customers, reports Gabrielle Levy (@gabbilevy) of U.S. News. She notes that the survey results come as the Supreme Court of the United States is poised to rule in Masterpiece Cakeshop, a case involving a Denver-area baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, citing religious beliefs. “While religious liberty is a widely held value, most believe that small businesses that are open to the public should serve all customers, and that personal religious objections of the owners should not be allowable grounds for refusing service to gay and lesbian customers,” PRRI CEO Robert Jones said in a statement. The survey also found broad, growing support for marriage equality. More from U.S. News and World Report.

HRC MARKS NATIONAL FOSTER CARE MONTH BY CONTINUING TO FIGHT AGAINST ANTI-LGBTQ ADOPTION BILLS IN KS AND OK: These discriminatory bills would allow child welfare organizations -- including adoption and foster care agencies -- to turn away qualified prospective parents seeking to care for a child in need, including LGBTQ individuals. “In the United States, there are an estimated 430,000 kids in the child welfare system in need of a home, and potentially millions of LGBTQ adults who hope to build their families through adoption,” said Ellen Kahn, Director of the Children, Youth & Families Program at the HRC Foundation. “We hope that lawmakers in Kansas and Oklahoma will recognize the simple fact that children’s lives are not bargaining chips for legislators looking for cheap political points.” More from HRC.

PENCE ALIGNS HIMSELF WITH DANGEROUS WHITE SUPREMACIST ARIZONA SENATE CANDIDATE: Last night, Vice President Mike Pence praised Joe Arpaio while raising funds for a dangerous anti-LGBTQ slate of Arizona senate candidates. Arpaio, a convicted criminal, built his career on attacking nearly every marginalized community, including using anti-LGBTQ schemes to humiliate inmates at his ‘Tent City’ prison. Following a long record of flouting the law, violating the civil rights of Maricopa County’s Latinx population, and carrying out a hate-filled agenda through extreme racial profiling, Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt, but was pardoned by Trump last August. He continues to campaign against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides much needed relief for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children -- including 75,000 LGBTQ Dreamers.

HAWAII LEGISLATuRE SENDS BILL TO PROTECT LGBTQ YOUTH FROM “CONVERSION THERAPY” TO GOVERNOR: HRC is urging Governor David Ige to sign the crucial legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” SB 270 was approved yesterday by both chambers of the state legislature. If signed into law, Hawaii will join the growing number of states and municipalities enacting crucial protections for LGBTQ youth. “So-called ‘conversion therapy’ is nothing short of child abuse with life-threatening consequences for countless LGBTQ youth,” said HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof. “It is time Hawaii join the growing number of states who are enacting laws to protect LGBTQ youth from this dangerous and discredited practice.” More from HRC.

WHAT WE’RE READING WEDNESDAY -- FROM SLATE, “TRUMP’S WAR ON TRANS AMERICANS IS ABOUT TO FACE A COUNTERATTACK”:  The Trump-Pence administration claims it may have to modify regulations implementing section 1557 of the ACA, which expressly protects individuals from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sex stereotyping. Mark Joseph Stern writes, “[T]he American Civil Liberties Union is ready to file suit against HHS as soon as it issues a final rule carving out trans protections from Section 1557,” and would assert that the proposed rule is based on “fundamental errors of law and would jeopardize the health of transgender people.” More from Slate.

LAWSUIT ALLEGES WISCONSIN IS UNLAWFULLY DENYING MEDICARE COVERAGE FOR TRANSGENDER PATIENTS: The suit is brought by two transgender Wisconsinites who were denied Medicaid coverage for gender affirmation surgery. More from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

RATES OF HIV DECLINING NATIONALLY, BUT REMAIN GEOGRAPHICALLY CONCENTRATED IN THE SOUTH: According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More from Patch Maryland.


U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE FROM CALIFORNIA PUBLISHES ANTI-TRANSGENDER RANT IN VOTER GUIDE: Don J. Grundmann’s candidate statement was sent to every voter in California in anticipation of the June 5 primary. More from Advocate.

ANGELS IN AMERICA NOMINATED FOR 11 TONYS, THE MOST EVER FOR A SINGLE PLAY: The revival focuses on the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. More from WBUR.

PRO SQUASH PLAYER TODD HARRITY COMES OUT GAY IN POWERFUL TWITTER POST: Harrity writes, “This is what’s necessary for me to be myself, and best enjoy the rest of my time on the [squash] circuit, and beyond.” Read his full post here.

FORT WORTH NEWSPAPER CALLS ON SCHOOL DISTRICT TO ADOPT ANTI-DISCRIM POLICY AFTER PLACING LGBTQ TEACHER ON LEAVE: The Star-Telegram Editorial Board writes, “The Mansfield School district deserves a big fat F for the way it's handled the controversy swirling around LGBT elementary school art teacher Stacy Bailey. For at least seven months the district has failed to resolve the situation surrounding the popular teacher, ultimately bringing unwanted national attention to a district that's often known success in the classroom.” More from The Star-Telegram.


RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT BLOCKS WEBSITE FOR PROVIDING INFORMATION ON SEXUAL HEALTH AND HIV: The website, Parni Plus, was blocked under the country’s anti-LGBTQ “anti-propaganda” law. More from Kyiv Post.

CRIMINAL COMPLAINT AGAINST EXTREMIST GROUP THAT TARGETED TRANS ACTRESS DANIELLE VEGA (@DANIVEGA): A Chilean LGBTQ organization filed the complaint with the National Intelligence Agency for hate speech. More from Latin American Herald Tribune.

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

Toronto Life shares the story of an Orthodox Jewish man who is also a surgeon specializing in gender confirmation surgery; The Salt Lake Tribune mourns Rob Goulding, owner of a local LGBTQ bar and community space

A.M. Equality