#AM_Equality Tipsheet: May 22, 2018

by Allison Turner

Michigan Civil Rights Commission affirms that sex discrimination include SO and GI; BuzzFeed’s “The History of Queer Dance.”

MICHIGAN CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION AFFIRMS THAT SEX DISCRIMINATION INCLUDES SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY: “This is a welcome step forward in the fight for equality that will have a real impact on the lives of LGBTQ Michiganders who are not explicitly protected from discrimination,”  said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “Consistent with federal courts across the country, today’s decision affirms that discrimination against an individual based on their sexual orientation or gender identity is fundamentally a form of sex discrimination -- which is prohibited both under federal laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Michigan’s Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act.” More from HRC, Detroit Metro Times and M Live.

PAKISTAN ENACTS MONUMENTAL LEGISLATION PROTECTING TRANSGENDER PEOPLE: The “Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018” went into effect this past weekend, providing comprehensive protections for transgender people across several important aspects of life, including employment, education, healthcare, housing, public transportation and a host of other areas. “This is a truly historic moment as Pakistan joins the ranks of a growing number of countries with non-discrimination laws that protect the transgender community,” said Ty Cobb (@tywesleycobb), director of HRC’s global program. “These are explicit, nationwide protections that we have yet to achieve here in the United States. Transgender people around the globe face high levels of discrimination, stigma, and violence, and Pakistan has now taken a historic step in addressing this heartbreaking tragedy.” More from HRC and Reuters.

BIDEN FOUNDATION AND THE YMCA LAUNCH LGBTQ EQUALITY INITIATIVE: In a powerful oped, Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) and YMCA CEO Kevin Washington (@KevinWashYMCA) write, “Every American deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, but too many in the LGBTQ community are denied this basic human right today. This is unacceptable in a country founded on the belief that we all are created equal. Equality and opportunity for all is the way to a brighter future, and at the Biden Foundation and the Y, this is the future we are working to create.” More from CNN.

MORNING MUST WATCH: BuzzFeed released an exhilarating new video on the history of LGBTQ dance. From underground ball culture dominated by LGBTQ people of color as far back as the 1960s to modern, more mainstream depictions of LGBTQ joy, dance has always been a tool for expression and activism in the LGBTQ community. Watch the full video here.

JOIN THE NATIONAL BLACK JUSTICE COALITION FOR A TWITTER CHAT ON MASTERPIECE SCOTUS CASE: Today at 3 p.m. ET, use the hashtag #CakeToCare to join the conversation on Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, one of the most significant cases to be heard this session by the Supreme Court of the United States. The court’s decision, expected by the end of June, could have sweeping consequences for every LGBTQ American: the justices will either protect the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people -- or set a dangerous precedent giving businesses a license to discriminate.

SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST WORKERS’ RIGHTS IN EPIC SYSTEMS CORP. V. LEWIS: Yesterday’s decision by the SCOTUS said that companies can use arbitration clauses in employment contracts to bar workers from joining forces in legal actions over problems in the workplace. This means that workers who are experience wage theft, are discriminated against or harassed are barred from utilizing lawsuits to achieve justice. More on this damaging decision from The New York Times.

CAN’T MAKE IT UP, FOLKS -- WISCONSIN TAXPAYER $$$ USED TO SEND STATE ATTORNEY TO A CONFERENCE SPONSORED BY AN ANTI-LGBTQ HATE GROUP: Wisconsin Deputy Solicitor General Kevin LeRoy used more than $1,000 of taxpayer money to attend the Alliance Defending Freedom’s (ADF) Summit on Religious Liberty in California. More from Wisconsin Gazette.


DOCUMENTARY TACKLES ANTI-LGBTQ PREJUDICE IN SPORTS: Alone in the Game, which premieres June 28, features Robbie Rogers (@robbierogers), HRC honoree Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) and Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe). More from NewNowNext.

LYFT DEACTIVATES DRIVER WHO OBJECTED TO SAME-SEX COUPLE KISSING:  The driver had ordered Ben Martella and Alec Jansen to exit their Lyft. The company also refunded the couple for the cost of their ride. More from IndyStar and NewNowNext.



NEW REPORT DETAILS EXPERIENCES OF LGBTQ BOTSWANANS: HRC Global Innovator Tashwill Esterhuizen was involved in the new report.

NEW PHOTO SERIES CHRONICLES LGBTQ LIFE IN CUBA: More from Michael Lavers (@mklavers81) at Washington Blade.

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

Loudwire honors LGBTQ rockstars; The Spectrum covers the recent Equality Celebration held by Equality Utah; Reuters explores a Chinese charity’s run to support LGBTQ people; GhanaWeb interviews three local LGBTQ advocates; The Hollywood Reporter interviews Mishel Prada (@MishelPrada), star of the show ‘Vida’

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A.M. Equality