#AM_Equality Tipsheet: May 23, 2017

by Allison Turner

HRC mourns lives lost in Manchester attack; TX Lege attacking LGBTQ people; HRC Pres to SecState: grant visas to gay & bi Chechens

HRC MOURNS LIVES LOST IN MANCHESTER ATTACK -- CALLS FOR STAND AGAINST HATRED: At a Monday night Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, a horrific bombing stole the lives of at least 22 people -- many of whom were children. The terrorist group ISIL has claimed responsibility for the ruthless attack. HRC President Chad Griffin expressed HRC’s despair, saying, “My heart is with everyone in Manchester tonight. We stand with you -- and against hate.” The bombing is thought to be England’s deadliest since 2005. More from The New York Times.

IT’S A DISGRACE -- TEXAS LEGISLATURE DISCRIMINATING AGAINST ITS OWN CITIZENS, ATTACKING LGBTQ PEOPLE: On Sunday night, the Texas legislature passed two discriminatory anti-LGBTQ pieces of legislation. HB 3859 would allow child welfare organizations -- including adoption and foster care agencies -- to turn away qualified Texans 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. It also could harm children in care; HB 3859 would forbid the state from canceling a state contract with an agency that subjected children in their care to dangerous practices such as so-called “conversion therapy.” The bill now heads to the governor’s desk. And the Texas House of Representatives added a discriminatory amendment to an otherwise unrelated education bill that could ostracize and harm transgender students. More from Bustle, The Washington Blade and The Hill.

  • Transgender children and their parents fear for their safety: While Texas lawmakers are advancing proposals to harm transgender children, these children and their families are preparing for the worst. More from The Associated Press.

#EYESONCHECHNYA -- HRC PRESIDENT URGES TILLERSON TO GRANT VISAS TO LGBTQ CHECHENS FLEEING VIOLENCE: Yesterday, HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urging him to allow those fleeing violence in Chechnya -- including gay and bisexual men who have been targeted by the government -- access to U.S. visas. This comes after reports that the U.S. has discouraged Russian LGBTQ adovcates from helping Chechens to obtain visas. In Chechnya, gay and bisexual men are being rounded up, locked in secret prisons, tortured and even murdered -- by their own government. HRC has called on the U.S. government to condemn these heinous crimes and grant victims asylum. More from The Washington Blade.

TUESDAY TWEET -- GEORGIA TRANS ADVOCATE WHO FOUGHT TO CHANGE NAME DIES: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution honors the life of local trans advocate Rowan Feldhaus, whose fight to change his name helped define Georgia law. Said attorney Beth Littrell of Lambda Legal, which represented Rowan: “Because Rowan stood up, Georgia judges are now required to allow people to change their names without bias.” More from LGBTQ Nation.

DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN -- TRUMP APPOINTS YET ANOTHER ANTI-LGBTQ EXTREMIST: This time, it’s Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who will serve as vice chair of a commission to review claims of “voter fraud.” Kobach has compared LGBTQ people to drug users and currently acts as an attorney for the nationalist, anti-immigrant “Federation for American Immigration Reform.” More from Salon.

BILL BANNING SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY” INTRODUCED IN WISCONSIN: The measure, introduced by State Representative Amanda Stuck, would protect youth from the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” More from The Post-Crescent.

HRC MOURNS THE LOSS OF SHERRELL FAULKNER, A TRANS WOMAN ATTACKED IN NOVEMBER: HRC mourns the tragic loss of Sherrell Faulkner, a transgender woman of color, who died last week of injuries suffered during an attack last November in Charlotte, North Carolina. Faulkner was 46. She is the 11th transgender person to die this year as a result of violence in the U.S. Twenty-two trans women were killed in the U.S. last year. More from HRC.

METRO WEEKLY EXCLUSIVE WITH RAFFI FREEDMAN-GURSPAN: The latest cover of Metro Weekly features Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, the White House’s first openly transgender staffer and current Director of External Relations for the National Center for Transgender Equality. In the interview, Raffi shares her coming out story, her work for the LGBTQ community and her hopes for the future of LGBTQ equality. More from Metro Weekly.

LGBTQ LAWS ON THE AGENDA AT AMES, IOWA, CITY COUNCIL MEETING: Council members tonight will discuss recommendations by the local Human Relations Commission based on LGBTQ-inclusive criteria in HRC’s 2016 Municipal Equality Index. More from Iowa State Daily.

IN LAST WAPO COLUMN, STEVEN PETROW WRITES ABOUT OVERCOMING FEAR: In a powerful final installment of his ‘Civilities’ column in The Washington Post, Steven Petrow (@StevenPetrow) discusses fear that has washed over the LGBTQ community since the Pulse nightclub shooting, the election of Trump election and during the wave of anti-transgender state legislation. But, Petrow writes, reaching out, learning and respecting others may help. “Respect, after all, is a two-way street. And when we have more respect for ‘others’ -- and they for us -- we will all have less to fear.” More from The Washington Post.

HORRIFYING -- POLICE DETAIN 141 MEN IN INDONESIA ON SUSPICION OF BEING GAY OR BISEXUAL: The men were arrested in the capital of Jakarta on Sunday night. Indonesia is one of at least 72 countries that criminalizes same-sex sexual activity. More from The New York Times.


Pride shares new cards from Hallmark to celebrate a person’s transition; Condé Nast Traveler shares travel tips for same-sex couples and their families;

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A.M. Equality