#AM_Equality Tipsheet: May 8, 2017

by Allison Turner

HRC pressure forces Mark Green to withdraw as Army Sec nom; Tenn Gov signs bill undermining LGBTQ and women’s equality

MARK GREEN WITHDRAWS AS ARMY SEC NOM FOLLOWING WEEKS OF PRESSURE FROM HRC: HRC and our allies claimed victory as Donald Trump’s anti-LGBTQ nominee for Army Secretary, Mark Green, announced he would remove himself from consideration. Since Trump  announced Green as the nominee, HRC methodically exposed his deep and shameful anti-LGBTQ record and rhetoric, and the danger his nomination posed to LGBTQ service members and their families. “Mark Green’s dangerous views and hateful comments are disqualifying for any public servant, let alone someone wishing to serve as secretary of the Army. His nomination was a clear indication of Donald Trump’s lack of judgement and failure to be a president for all Americans,” said Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “We thank the many Senators, from both parties, who expressed concerns about this nomination. HRC’s millions of members and supporters stood strong against Donald Trump’s nomination of Green, and we will continue to fight back against any appointment or policy made by this president that puts our community at risk.” More from HRC.

  • For more on Mark Green’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week, check out this roundup of opposition from HRC.

MUST WATCH MONDAY: On Saturday, The Today Show highlighted HRC’s pivotal role in the successful effort to #StopMarkGreen. During its robust campaign to #StopMarkGreen and expose his shameful history of attacking LGBTQ people , HRC and its members took more than 25,000 actions to #StopMarkGreen, including making over 6,800 calls to the Senate last week.

TRUMP LAYS GROUNDWORK FOR A #LICENSETODISCRIMINATE: HRC condemns Donald Trump’s latest executive order which gives Attorney General Jeff Sessions discretion to create a #LicenseToDiscriminate in agencies across the federal government. In an oped for U.S. News and World Report, HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow lays out the danger of Trump’s action: “From the moment Donald Trump stepped foot in the White House, the LGBTQ community has been under attack by this president and this administration. And now, Trump has signed an executive order directing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to seek a license to discriminate in agencies across the federal government. In essence, the executive order punts the question of how and where the administration will permit discrimination against LGBTQ people to Sessions, a man who has consistently denied LGBTQ people equality under the law.” This sweeping approach could result in an unprecedented expansion of religious exemptions affecting employment, services, and programs. More from U.S. News & World Report.

WASH POST -- ANTI-LGBTQ KY JUDGE “NO LONGER EQUIPPED TO DO HIS JOB”: In an editorial “Same-sex marriage is the law of the land,” The Washington Post this morning asserts that Kentucky family court Judge W. Mitchell Nance’s refusal to hear adoption cases initiated by gay or lesbian parents renders him unfit to continue serving on the bench. “The law does not tolerate discrimination based on race, religion or sexual orientation, but Mr. Nance does, by his own admission,” the Post writes. Read the eloquent editorial at The Washington Post.

TENN. GOV. SIGNS BILL UNDERMINING LGBTQ & WOMEN’S EQUALITY: HRC condemns Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s decision to sign into law HB 1111 -- a measure that 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. “Governor Haslam has chosen to put pure politics ahead of Tennessee’s women and LGBTQ people,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “This draconian measure will open the state up to many expensive legal challenges and divert state resources to defending an unnecessary, unconstitutional measure.” The new law requires courts and agencies apply a so-called “natural” meaning interpretation of gendered statutory language, including those involving the rights of husbands and wives. More on this draconian, unconstitutional bill from HRC.

DON’T CITE RELIGION AS DEFENSE TO DISCRIMINATE, BAPTIST PREACHER URGES CHRISTIANS: Mark Wingfield, associate pastor of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, penned a powerful oped in The Dallas Morning News calling on Christians to realize the ways ‘religious liberty’ is used as a license to discriminate against marginalized groups. He writes, “My "sincerely held religious belief" should not allow me to discriminate against others on the basis of things they cannot change. No workaround to the First Amendment and existing law is needed to solve this "problem," because it should not be a problem if we follow the Golden Rule.” Read the full piece from The Dallas Morning News.

IN NYTIMES,  JOHN MCCAIN WRITES POWERFULLY ABOUT SUPPORTING HUMAN RIGHTS INTERNATIONALLY: “We are a country with a conscience,” writes Sen. McCain, (R-AZ), in a New York Times oped. “We have long believed moral concerns must be an essential part of our foreign policy, not a departure from it… Our values are our strength and greatest treasure.” McCain says that Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is wrong to diminish the importance of the U.S. role as a beacon of hope to people worldwide seeking human rights and dignity. Read more at The New York Times.

MAY IS ASIAN-AMERICAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE MONTH: HRC is proud to celebrate Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. AAPI is one of the most diverse communities in America, and LGBTQ AAPI youth can face coming out experiences that are intensified, and the lack of AAPI visibility within the LGBTQ community can also create challenges. Despite facing unique hurdles throughout the coming out process, these can be overcome with time and education. More from HRC.

WEDDING BELLS IN BERMUDA: The Royal Gazette reported that the Supreme Court of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda, a collection of small North Atlantic islands, has legalized marriage equality. More from HRC.

UKRAINE TURNS MONUMENT INTO RAINBOW TO CELEBRATE EUROVISION: The ‘Friendship of Nations Arch’ has been covered in rainbow paper as a promotion for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. The colors represent a celebration of diversity. More from Reuters.


BuzzFeed shares a queer, disabled person’s experiences and challenges with dating; The Huffington Post shares the winners of MTV’s first gender-neutral acting awards;

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A.M. Equality