#AM_Equality Tipsheet: May 3, 2017

by Allison Turner

TODAY -- LGBTQ groups to rally outside WH against Trump anti-LGBTQ EO; Anti-LGBTQ Army Sec Nom Mark Green -- is he in or out?

TODAY: HRC & CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS RALLY OUTSIDE WHITE HOUSE AMID REPORTS TRUMP WILL SIGN ‘LICENSE TO DISCRIMINATE’ ORDER: In response to reports that Donald Trump plans to sign a #LicenseToDiscriminate executive order tomorrow, putting millions of LGBTQ Americans at risk of discrimination, HRC President Chad Griffin issued this statement: “Donald Trump’s rumored unconstitutional action is nothing more than a license-to-discriminate order that puts millions of LGBTQ people at risk. There is no religious freedom crisis in America today, but there is a crisis of hate and discrimination. At a time when two-thirds of all LGBTQ people report having experienced discrimination, Donald Trump is making the problem worse by giving legal cover to perpetrators. By even considering this discriminatory order he has broken his promise to be a president for all Americans.” Earlier this year, a leaked draft of this discriminatory order led to a national outcry from civil rights organizations and millions of LGBTQ supporters. Trump’s license-to-discriminate order, would allow hospitals, child welfare providers, and other taxpayer-funded entities to cite religion in denying services or discriminating against LGBTQ people and women. Read more at HRC.

  • TODAY AT NOON -- HRC and other civil rights groups will hold a press conference outside of the White House. For more information, contact press@hrc.org.

PRESSURE MOUNTS FOR MARK GREEN TO WITHDRAW: In an interview with USA Today, Senator John McCain (R-AZ), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he is troubled by Mark Green’s comments “concerning the Muslim faith, concerning the LGBT community, other issues…” Green’s anti-LGBTQ record includes describing former President Obama’s guidance protecting transgender students an example of “tyrannical government,” saying that being transgender is a “disease” and encouraging the state of Tennessee to deny marriage licenses to gay couples. As a State Senator, he supported legislation giving businesses a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, sponsored several anti-transgender bills, and opposed state non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation. More from The Tennessean.

  • A red light for Mark Green? CNN reports that three sources familiar with the issue say Green could withdraw his nomination as soon as this week because of backlash over his horrendous anti-LGBTQ, anti-Muslim, anti-evolution positions. More from CNN.

#EQUALITYFORWARD -- BIPARTISAN EQUALITY ACT INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS WITH UNPRECEDENTED SUPPORT: Yesterday, HRC joined with bipartisan lawmakers and an unprecedented number of businesses to announce the re-introduction of the Equality Act -- federal legislation that would finally guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBTQ people under our nation's existing civil rights laws. The bipartisan legislation would provide clear and equal protections under federal law for all Americans in vital areas of life, including employment, access to public spaces, housing, credit, education, jury service, and federally-funded programs. Today, in a majority of U.S. states (31), LGBTQ people remain at risk of being fired, evicted or denied services because of who they are. More from HRC, Metro Weekly and NBC News.

  • Watch the livestream of the reintroduction event here.

WHAT WE’RE READING WEDNESDAY: NPR sits down with Max, an agender teenager, to talk about their identity and the struggle to be accepted at school. Max has been bullied by peers and -- like far too many within the transgender and gender non-conforming community -- has considered suicide. A recent survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality showed that at least 28,000 respondents identify as nonbinary or genderqueer. Read and listen to the full interview from NPR.

COUPLE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BY KIM DAVIS SEEK DAMAGES: Yesterday, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati decided to revive a lawsuit against Kim Davis, the infamous county clerk from Kentucky who refused to do her job and grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2015 under the guise of ‘religious freedom.’ The appeals court panel said David Ermold and David Moore -- who were refused a marriage license by Davis -- could revive their lawsuit, after it was declared moot by a lower court. More from Reuters.

MISSISSIPPI MAN SUES FUNERAL HOME FOR REFUSING TO BURY HIS HUSBAND: A Mississippi man has sued a funeral home after it declined to cremate his late husband and partner of more than 52 years. Jack Zawadski -- represented by Lambda Legal -- is suing the Picayune Funeral Home, which refused to pick up the body of his late husband, Robert Huskey, 86, after learning the men were gay and married. Rob Hill, HRC Mississippi state director, told NBC News: “All Mississippians -- regardless of who they are or whom they love -- deserve to be treated with respect. We will continue to push for expanded, statewide protections for LGBTQ Mississippians so that this type of unconscionable discrimination will be prevented in the future.” More from NBC News and The Washington Post.

TEXAS FAITH LEADERS GATHER TO OPPOSE ANTI-LGBTQ DISCRIMINATION: Today in Austin, clergy will gather at the Texas Capitol to voice opposition to several anti-LGBTQ bills making their way through the legislature. The gathering -- organized by Texas Believes, a coalition of interfaith clergy who support equality for LGBTQ people -- will coincide with the release of a new letter signed by dozens of national religious figures opposed to bills such as HB2899 and SB6. Faith leaders will join in silent prayer outside the Texas House chamber at 10 a.m. CT and then deliver these letters opposing discriminatory bills to the offices of Texas lawmakers. Follow @HRC and @TFN (the Texas Freedom Network) on Twitter for more.

SHOCKER (NOT) -- TRUMP LIKELY NOMINATING YET ANOTHER ANTI-LGBTQ LAWMAKER: CNN’s Jim Acosta (@Acosta) tweeted yesterday that Former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) is the leading contender to become the U.S. Ambassador to NATO. Hutchinson received a ‘zero’ on every HRC Congressional Scorecard during her time in the Senate. More from CNN.

GERMAN CHANCELLOR URGES PUTIN TO INTERVENE IN CHECHNYA: During a joint news conference with Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she asked the Russian leader to intervene in Chechnya in response to reports that authorities have detained, beaten and tortured at least 100 gay men. The Russian LGBT Network says that as many as 20 men may have been killed in the attacks in Chechnya, a republic within Russia. More disturbingly, the paper reported that Chechen authorities were engaged in purging gay men by kidnapping and imprisoning them secretly in “detention style camps.” According to ABC News, Chechen authorities have denied the arrests and torture, asserting that LGBTQ people in Chechnya don’t even exist in the republic. The Russian government has also refused to intervene, telling victims to “file official complaints and go to court.” which is highly unlikely to yield any success. More from BBC.

NEW HRC VIDEO EXPLAINS HOW TENN BILL HARMS LGBTQ COMMUNITY: HB 1111, which is headed to Governor Bill Haslam’s desk, could undermine certain protections under state law for women and LGBTQ people in a shameful effort to challenge the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision on marriage equality. The unconstitutional measure would require that courts and agencies apply a so-called “natural” meaning interpretation of gendered statutory language, including those involving the rights of husbands and wives. More from HRC.

  • TODAY -- LGBTQ and civil rights advocates will hold a press conference at 10:00 AM at the state capitol calling on Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to veto HB 1111.

NEW SURVEY -- THEIR RIGHTS UNDER ATTACK, LGBTQ TEXANS FACE INCREASED WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION: The Williams Institute released a survey that finds that anti-LGBTQ laws and social climate in Texas contributes to increased discrimination at work. According to the study, Texas ranks 39th in the nation in social acceptance for LGBTQ people, showing a negative impact on individuals, businesses and the economy. More from San Antonio Current.


The New York Times honors the life of William M. Hoffman, who wrote As Is, the pioneering play about HIV and AIDS; Advocate honors a history of transgender advocacy for its 50th anniversary edition;

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