#AM_Equality Tipsheet: May 23, 2018

by Allison Turner

HRC and Lawyer’s CMTE request investigation into anti-trans incident in Cali; DeVos confirms she’ll ignore trans students.

HRC AND LAWYERS’ COMMITTEE REQUEST INVESTIGATION INTO ANTI-TRANS INCIDENT IN CALIFORNIA: HRC and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law released a letter asking California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to ensure a thorough review and investigation into Jazmina Saavedra, a political candidate in California who recorded a non-consensual video of herself following a transgender woman into a bathroom, harassing her and repeatedly and intentionally misgendering her. “Jazmina Saavedra’s actions are dangerous. She invaded a woman’s privacy while harassing and misgendering the victim. This type of discriminatory behavior is unacceptable, especially from someone seeking to represent the people of California,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. More from HRC, Bustle, and INTO.

HRC RESPONDS TO FEDERAL COURT DECISION REAFFIRMING PROTECTIONS FOR TRANSGENDER STUDENTS IN GAVIN GRIMM CASE:  The court ruled that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects transgender students from discrimination -- including being forced to use separate bathroom facilities. “No student should feel unsafe at school, regardless of gender identity. Transgender students are covered by Title IX and are entitled to the same rights and protections as every other student,” said Sarah Warbelow, HRC Legal Director. Grimm had challenged his Virginia school district’s policy that prevented him from using the restroom that corresponded with his gender identity. More from HRC

OUTRAGEOUS -- BETSY DEVOS TELLS CONGRESS SHE’LL CONTINUE TO IGNORE CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AGAINST TRANSGENDER STUDENTS: The Secretary of Education, during a House committee grilling, said she would not take action on violations "until the Supreme Court opines or until [U.S. Congress] takes action.” More from The Hill.

HRC-ENDORSED CANDIDATES GINA ORTIZ JONES AND TIPPI MCCULLOUGH WIN THEIR PRIMARIES: Congratulations to Gina Ortiz Jones (@ginaortizjones) on her victory in Texas’s 23rd congressional district primary runoff. If elected in November, she will be the first openly gay, first Iraq War vet and first Filipina-American to represent Texas in Congress. And last night in Arkansas, Tippi McCullough (@ElectTippi) won the primary in the 33rd state House District.

  • Also last night, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez became the Democratic nominee for Texas governor -- the first openly lesbian Texan to do so. More from Advocate.

WHAT WE’RE READING WEDNESDAY -- LGBTQ ELDERS FORCED BACK INTO THE CLOSET BY LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES:  The Merion, a senior living community in Evanston, Illinois, is the first in the state to achieve a credential from SAGE  in LGBTQ competency. The number of LGBTQ people in the state over age 50 is estimated at 2.7 million, and is expected to grow -- as are reports of anti-LGBTQ  bias and bullying. More from Chicago Tribune.

U.S. SENATORS INTRO BILL TO ENSURE RFRA CAN’T BE USED TO HARM OTHERS: Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) yesterday introduced the Do No Harm Act, which would clarify that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) is intended to protect religious freedom without allowing the infliction of harm on other people. More from HRC and The Washington Post.

PRINCIPAL REMOVED TO SETTLE CASE BROUGHT BY TWO LGBTQ STUDENTS IN OREGON TARGETED BY SCHOOL STAFF: The agreement calls for the North Bend School District to fire the principal and improve the school climate for LGBTQ students. “In Oregon, we want our children to thrive in inclusive environments and to be able to focus on learning,” Gov. Kate Brown, who is openly bisexual, told the AP. “Every student deserves to feel welcomed at their schools, and to know that they are safe -- no matter where they come from or how they identify.” More from The Associated Press.

GLAAD RELEASES INDEX OF LGBTQ REPRESENTATION IN MOVIES: It reveals that representation in major motion pictures in the past year has been the lowest since 2012. More from The Daily Beast.

TRANSGENDER CUSTOMERS ALLEGEDLY DENIED SERVICE AT NASHVILLE IHOP: They were attending a local conference and reported being laughed at by staff and denied service. The group was comprised primarily of people of color. More from CBS19 and The Hill.

DETROIT-AREA CHURCH CREATES SUPPORT GROUP FOR TRANS COMMUNITY: After a Detroit-area church made headlines when it held a workshop promoting practices similar to the dangerous practice of “conversion therapy,” another church created a support group for the transgender community. More from Detroit Metro Times.


DESPICABLE -- GHANA’S STATE-OWNED PAPER ATTACKS LGBTQ EQUALITY: The article was titled “Let’s Unite To Reject LGBT.” More from NewNowNext.

CANADA JOINS GLOBAL EQUALITY FUND: The fund brings together governments, foundations and corporations to support LGBTQ equality, including HRC. More from Washington Blade.

BELARUSIAN INTERIOR MINISTRY ATTACKS LGBTQ COMMUNITY IN STATEMENT: It makes the specious claim that  “same-sex relationships are fake”. More from RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty.


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

Project Q Atlanta congratulates its new editor, Patrick Saunders (@patricksaunders); Comicbook reports that the show ‘Supergirl’ will feature a transgender character; Advocate honors LGBTQ advocates in all 50 states; INTO profiles 10 LGBTQ candidates in Ohio; Miami Herald looks at the American presence at Havana’s LGBTQ Pride festival

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