#AM_Equality Tipsheet: May 30, 2017

by Allison Turner

Trump dismantles enforcement of fed worker protections; TX leg. adjourns, but Lt. Gov. may force special session to attack trans people

SHOCKING -- TRUMP NOW SEEKS TO DISMANTLE ENFORCEMENT OF FED ANTI-DISCRIMINATION WORKER PROTECTIONS: The Washington Post reports this morning that a move by Trump to disband a Labor Department division that polices discrimination is yet another example of the administration’s effort to diminish the federal government’s role in fighting discrimination. The Post notes that Trump has already reversed Obama-era protections for LGBTQ people, from revoking “a rule ensuring that transgender people can stay at sex-segregated shelters of their choice,” to the removal of a question about sexual orientation from two surveys of elderly Americans about services offered or funded by the government. “They can call it a course correction, but there’s little question that it’s a rollback of civil rights across the board,” Vanita Gupta, who headed the Department of Justice’s civil rights division during the final years of the Obama Administration, told The Post. Read more at The Washington Post.

CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS TAKE ON TEXAS’ SLATE OF ANTI-LGBTQ BILLS: More than 30 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced this year in the Texas Legislature -- more than in any other state. And though the Texas legislature officially adjourned yesterday, the fight against anti-LGBTQ bills in the state is far from over. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and other far-right lawmakers are asking the governor to call a special session simply to discriminate against LGBTQ Texans, after they failed to pass anti-transgender legislation during the regular session. Last week, LGBTQ and civil rights group responded to the anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration by Texas lawmakers, including HB 3859, which would allow taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBTQ prospective adoptive or foster parents as well as allow discrimination against children in foster or adoptive care; and anti-transgender amendments to bills such as SB 2078 and HB 4180. “Quite simply, the legislature is putting politics before people,” said Marty Rouse, HRC national field director. “Texas has undertaken an unprecedented ‘Slate of Hate’ this legislative session… and Texas lawmakers must focus on the best interests of all Texans instead of attempting to win cheap political points by targeting LGBTQ people.” More from The Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News and The Houston Chronicle.

TUESDAY TWEET -- MAJOR NATIONAL BUSINESS LEADERS CONDEMN TEXAS’ SLATE OF ANTI-LGBTQ LEGISLATION: Lead by Apple CEO Tim Cook and Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell, CEOs from 14 top companies have sent a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, urging him to reject anti-LGBTQ legislation. "As large employers in the state, we are gravely concerned that any such legislation would deeply tarnish Texas' reputation as open and friendly to businesses and families,” they wrote. “Our ability to attract, recruit and retain top talent, encourage new business relocations, expansions and investment, and maintain our economic competitiveness would all be negatively affected.” More from The Dallas Morning News.

  • Signatories included leaders from Facebook, Apple, Amazon, IBM, Microsoft Corp., Google, Dell Technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Cisco, Silicon Labs, Celanese Corp., GSD&M, Salesforce and Gearbox Software.

MEMO TO TRUMP... THIS IS LEADERSHIP -- FRENCH PRESIDENT CALLS ON PUTIN TO INVESTIGATE LGBTQ PERSECUTION IN CHECHNYA: During a press conference with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, French president Emmanuel Macron told reporters, “We spoke about the cases of LGBT people in Chechnya... I told President Putin what France is expecting regarding this issue, and we agreed to regularly check on this subject.” The French LGBTQ rights organization SOS Homophobie also announced that the country has started taking in refugees from Chechnya. Macron follows German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who pressed Putin on the atrocities. In the Russian republic, 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 in the U.S.. More from CNN and LGBTQ Nation.

ICYMI -- CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE PASSES RESOLUTION CONDEMNING CHECHNYA: House Resolution 351, introduced by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and with more than 50 bipartisan cosponsors, “calls on Chechen officials to immediately cease the abduction, detention, and torture of individuals on the basis of their actual or suspected sexual orientation, and hold accountable all those involved in perpetrating such abuses.” British reports suggest that Chechen officials have set a target to “eliminate” all LGBTQ people from Chechnya by the start of Ramadan, which began Friday. More from HRC.

HRC SUBMITS SENATE TESTIMONY SUPPORTING UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL HRC’s testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee comes in response to the committee’s hearing entitled “Assessing the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR),” and strongly supports the work of the UNHRC. As HRC’s Government Affairs Director David Stacy explained in his testimony, “the Council has taken historic steps to protect and promote the human rights and dignity of LGBTQ people.” More from HRC.

HRC MARKS THE START OF RAMADAN: This year for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, HRC Foundation is launching an online campaign to tell the stories of LGBTQ Muslims and their allies. More from HRC.

MAKEUP HAS NO GENDER -- 10-YEAR-OLD GURU BREAKING NORMS: Jack, a 10-year-old from England is shaking up the internet with his amazing makeup looks on his Instagram, and, with the hashtag #MakeupHasNoGender standing up to those who discourage his gender expression. More from The Huffington Post.

COMMUNITIES SUPPORTING TRANS CHILDREN WITH BOOK READING: On May 18, thousands of people in 23 states across the country came together to read I Am Jazz in a tremendous show of support for transgender and nonbinary children. The readings, part of the National I Am Jazz School and Community Readings by HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools, and the National Education Association (NEA), took place in schools, libraries, and community centers across the country. Check out a roundup from HRC.

GET OUT YOUR POPCORN -- ELLEN’S BACK AT THE MIC: For the first time since 2003, Ellen DeGeneres will be returning to the world of stand-up comedy in a special for Netflix. More from Variety and OUT Magazine.

NO 2 SCOOPS FOR YOU, AUSTRALIA: Ben & Jerry’s will no longer allow two scoops of the same flavor in their Australia locations until marriage equality comes to the country. Talk about sweet justice. More from Towleroad.


GLAAD announces the Bi Writers Association's fifth annual Bisexual Book Awards; Gay Times relives Sir Ian McKellen's finest moments in honor of his 77th birthday; HRC honors National Foster Care Month;

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