#AM_Equality Tipsheet: November 28, 2017

by Allison Turner

SCOTUS to hear arguments next week in Masterpiece; Federal judge to Trump -- Pentagon must accept trans service members by Jan. 1

LOOK AHEAD -- SCOTUS TO HEAR ARGUMENTS NEXT WEEK IN CASE OF CAKE BAKER WHO WANTS LICENSE TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST LGBTQ PEOPLE: USA Today’s Richard Wolf (@richardjwolf) previews the Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case involving a baker who in 2012 refused to provide a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments in the case on Dec. 6. Last year, the Colorado Supreme Court upheld a ruling by the Colorado Court of Appeals that bakery owner Jack Phillips cannot cite religious beliefs or free speech in order to discriminate against same-sex couples. More from USA Today.

  • Read the ugly truth about the anti-LGBTQ organization representing the baker: The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated anti-LGBTQ hate group. Yesterday, Citizens for Transparency unveiled a website that exposes ADF’s bigoted, sustained attacks on the LGBTQ community -- in the U.S. and around the world. More from The Truth about ADF. And more on ADF from The Nation.

FEDERAL JUDGE TO TRUMP -- PENTAGON MUST ALLOW TRANSGENDER PEOPLE TO ENTER THE MILITARY BY JANUARY 1: U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly clarified a preliminary injunction issued last month that blocked portions of the Trump-Pence discriminatory ban on transgender groups. In addition to blocking the administration from discharging highly trained transgender service members, Judge Kollar-Kotelly ruled the Pentagon must move forward with previously developed plans to allow qualified trans people to enlist or commission into the military starting January 1, 2018. “Donald Trump’s erratic tweets and half-baked orders disrespect the bravery of the countless transgender people who have fought, and in many cases died, for their country,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow of the injunction. “The immediate harm to our national defense and to the thousands of transgender people serving and wishing to serve their country must be stopped -- and we are grateful that a federal judge has blocked this administration from discharging any qualified individuals because of their gender identity while these cases continue to make their way through the courts.” More from The Hill and NBC.

TODAY IS #GIVINGTUESDAY: Join the fight to protect and defend LGBTQ rights as we head into 2018, a critical election year during which we are expecting to face an onslaught of attacks on equality. Today, an anonymous donor will make a generous gift in the name of every person who donates $10 or more to HRC. More from HRC.

  • HRC is also proud to join forces today with West Elm to launch a special “Love is Love” #GivingTuesday effort. West Elm is committing 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of items in its “Love is Love” line, available online and in stores, to HRC. More from HRC.

TUESDAY TWEET -- CONGRATS TO GIGI GORGEOUS AND NATS GETTY ON THEIR NEW BABY: Transgender advocate and Youtuber Gigi (@TheGigiGorgeous) announced on Twitter that she and her partner Nats (@NatsGetty) had a child via surrogate. Congratulations to the couple -- and we look forward to seeing more of the most fashionable baby on the internet! More from Refinery29.

DOUG JONES FOR U.S. SENATE -- WHERE HE STANDS: HRC has endorsed Doug Jones for U.S. Senator from Alabama. Jones is running against the notoriously anti-LGBTQ Roy Moore in a December 12 special election to replace now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Doug Jones is the only candidate in this race who will look out for all Alabamians, regardless of who they are or whom they love. Learn his stances on women’s health, the Affordable Care Act, common sense gun safety, LGBTQ equality and taxes from CNN.

HRC ENDORSES MARIE NEWMAN FOR U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: HRC joined a coalition of progressive groups, including NARAL Pro-Choice, MoveOn.org, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) and Democracy for America (DFA) to endorse Newman -- who is running against anti-LGBTQ Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL). “The people of greater Chicago deserve a leader who will stand up for every resident and serve as a champion for equality. Marie Newman is that leader, and we are proud to endorse her in this race,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs. “It's time for new leadership and someone who will fight for full LGBTQ equality in Congress -- it's time for Marie Newman.” More from The Hill.

MUST READ FROM WAPO -- “I DON’T FEEL LIKE I’M A THREAT ANYMORE”: Chris Kimmenez has been HIV positive and adhering to antiretroviral therapy for years, and he and his wife practice safe sex, he told Washington Post reporter Lenny Bernstein (@LennyMBernstein). But new HIV guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention affirming that people, like Kimmenez, who have no detectable viral loads cannot transmit the virus are transforming lives and have “reduced stigma for the 1.2 million Americans living with HIV,” the Post reports. With its statement, the CDC joined HIV researchers, doctors and service providers throughout the world in affirming the efficacy of treatment as an HIV prevention strategy. More from The Washington Post.

  • Friday is World AIDS Day. Learn more here.

OHIO BILL WOULD PROTECT LGBTQ PEOPLE FROM DISCRIMINATION: The Ohio Fairness Act, introduced by State House Rep. Nickie Antonio, would protect people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in housing and employment. More from The Athens News.

  • The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services unveiled a new anti-bullying campaign that will focus on at-risk groups including LGBTQ youth. More from The Associated Press.

MEET OKLAHOMA’S NEW OPENLY LESBIAN STATE SENATOR: Allison Ikley-Freeman, a married mother of three, made waves earlier this month when she won her seat in the Republican-controlled state legislature. “We were really thinking about what we were looking for in a candidate, trying to call some people and convince them to run,” she told The Daily Beast’s Samantha Allen (@SLAwrites). “And I just had this moment where I was like, ‘I need to do this.’” More from The Daily Beast.

KENTUCKY BAPTIST CHURCH CONSIDERS LIFTING BAN ON LGBTQ EMPLOYEES: The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has formed a committee to review the anti-LGBTQ policy and recommend changes that could signal a split for some of the member churches from the conservative Kentucky Baptist Convention. More from The Advocate and The Courier Journal.

MUST WATCH -- AUSTRALIAN SENATOR’S EMOTIONAL PLEA FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Sarah Hanson-Young said, “In my small high school, one of my best friends was gay, and he struggled for a long time. And I remember thinking I never did quite enough to have his back. He was one of my bestest friends and we hung out and every now and then I told people to bugger off when they tried to pick on him. But it didn’t quite feel like it was enough -- it was just, ‘well, that’s the way you are so that’s the way people are gonna treat you.’ Young people in Australia deserve better than that.” More from News Corp Australia Network.

UGANDAN LGBTQ ADVOCATES -- “ACTIVISM IS LIKE A SPIRIT”: The Salt Lake Tribune’s Jennifer Dobner (@JenniferDobner) sat down with Barnabas Wobiliya and Apollo Kimuli, two Ugandan LGBTQ and HIV advocates who told their harrowing stories of harassment, arrest and escape from the country. Read the full piece from The Salt Lake Tribune.


  • 100,000 march for transgender equality in Chile: Chilean President Michelle Bachelet supports many pro-equality laws. More from On Top Magazine.
  • Historic LGBTQ march in Ghana: The “peace walk” aims to thank Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo for his recent interview with AlJazeera, in which he hinted that the country would address pro-equality laws if there was “a strong current of opinion.” More from GhanaWeb.
  • Hong Kong holds annual LGBTQ Pride parade: Last month, it was announced that Hong Kong will also host the 2022 Gay Games. More from Agence France-Presse.


WBUR interviews Maddie Adelman and Laurie Provost, two Phoenix-based LGBTQ advocates; News Deeply examines anti-LGBTQ violence in Colombia; PinkNews takes a look at a pro-equality shirt worn by the iconic doll Barbie on its instagram;

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