#AM_Equality Tipsheet: November 6, 2017

by Allison Turner

Our hearts go out to those affected by the Texas shooting; HRC president calls on Sec. Tillerson to speak out on global anti-LGBTQ attacks

HRC PRESIDENT CHAD GRIFFIN STATEMENT ON MASS SHOOTING IN SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TEXAS: “Our hearts go out to those impacted by this senseless tragedy today in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Whether in an LGBTQ club or a Texas church, gun violence is plaguing our country. Unless Congress acts, no community in America can be safe. Make no mistake about it, what happened in Sutherland Springs could have easily happened in any other town across America. The murder of innocent people across our country should move Congress to realize there is an overwhelming and indisputable need for action. It's time for Congress to stand up to the NRA. We will continue to demand action until our lawmakers either hear us -- or we have new lawmakers.” The tragedy, which left at least 26 people dead and at least 20 injured, comes just a few weeks after a mass shooting in Las Vegas that took  58 lives and injured more than 515. Last year, 49 people -- most of them LGBTQ and Latinx -- were killed at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Yet, in recent weeks, Congress and the White House have only discussed modest potential steps to address the scourge of gun violence facing the country. Prior to the Las Vegas shooting, Congress was even considering legislation to allow silencers and transportation of concealed weapons across state lines. Common-sense gun violence prevention measures endorsed by HRC include banning access to assault-style rifles, expanding background checks, and limiting the ability for suspected terrorists and those with a history of domestic abuse to access guns. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, more than 33,000 gun deaths happen every year. More from HRC and the Washington Blade.

HRC PRESIDENT CALLS ON SECRETARY TILLERSON TO SPEAK OUT ON GLOBAL ANTI-LGBTQ ATTACKS: In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) addressed the growing attacks against the LGBTQ community around the world and called on Tillerson to speak out against the anti-LGBTQ human rights abuses occurring in Egypt, Chechnya, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Georgia, Tanzania, Azerbaijan, and Tajikistan. To date, neither President Trump nor Tillerson have publicly condemned the atrocities. Writes Griffin, “When you are silent, the perpetrators of this violence see America not as a moral leader -- but as a government that will look the other way. In addition, we ask you to demonstrate America’s commitment to human rights by increasing U.S. funding for LGBTQ civil society groups around the world and making it clear to the American people, the international community and State Department staff that supporting and protecting the human rights of LGBTQ people remains a State Department commitment and priority.” More from HRC.

MUST WATCH MONDAY -- FORMER NFL PLAYER RYAN O’CALLAGHAN WRITES LETTER TO HIS YOUNGER SELF: The openly gay former New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs player reveals his struggles with remaining closeted throughout high school, college and in his professional career. “You will realize, Ryan, that you have been scared of nothing. This is not the end. No. This is just the beginning. You will soon feel free for the first time in your life. Heck, you might even find love with someone who understands you and your struggle. So again, breathe. Really, breathe. Believe it or not, it gets better for you, and soon you will want to share this newfound happiness and love with the world. Just hang in there a little longer, buddy. One day, people will look up to you for your strength.” More from CBS.


  • NBC4 spoke to HRC-endorsed Roem about her bid to represent Virginia’s District 13. If elected tomorrow, Roem, who is challenging anti-LGBTQ Delegate Bob Marshall, would make history as the first openly transgender person seated in the Virginia state legislature. When asked about her opponent’s numerous attacks on her gender identity, Roem said “When Delegate Marshall realized he cannot win on public policy issues, on traffic, jobs, schools and health care, he resorted to trash.” More from NBC4.
  • Also in Virginia, HRC has endorsed Dr. Ralph Northam for Governor, Justin Fairfax for Lieutenant Governor and Mark Herring for Re-election as Attorney General.
  • HRC has also endorsed Phil Murphy for New Jersey Governor, Jenny Durkan for Seattle Mayor, Cathy Woolard for Atlanta Mayor and Vi Lyles for Charlotte, N.C. Mayor.

MEET THREE MAINE CHEFS STANDING UP FOR LGBTQ CUSTOMERS IN SCOTUS MASTERPIECE CAKESHOP BRIEF: Mike Wiley, Wendy Larson and Robert Brown have signed onto the HRC-led Chefs for Equality’ brief, which includes bakers, chefs, restaurateurs and other culinary industry leaders from every state, plus Washington D.C. In addition to food professionals from all over the country, it is signed by some of the most prominent names in the culinary industry, including Jose Andres, Padma Lakshmi, Christina Tosi, Anthony Bourdain, Tom Colicchio, Duff Goldman, Sam Kass and more. More from The Press Herald.

  • Anti-LGBTQ Masterpiece Cakeshop baker “entitled to his beliefs, [but]when he opens a business to the public he is required to follow state laws and treat his customers equally.” More from Reuters.

MAN ALLEGEDLY MURDERS 14-YEAR-OLD SON BECAUSE HE WAS GAY: Those close to the victim say Wendell Melton shot and killed his son, Giovanni, because he suspected he was gay. More on the horrifying crime from LGBTQ Nation.

TWITTER BLOCKS SEARCHES FOR SOME LGBTQ TERMS, CORRECTS COURSE FOLLOWING OUTCRY: Over the weekend, HRC and other advocates spoke out on Twitter because video and news searches for #bisexual and the video search for #gay were blocked. More from Gizmodo.

LOCAL ADVOCATES RALLY FOR JUSTICE IN MURDER OF TEXAS TRANS WOMAN: Stephanie Montez, a 47-year-old transgender woman, was brutally murdered weeks ago near Robstown, Texas. So far, almost every victim, including Montez, has been a woman of color. More from The Caller-Times.

HRC MOURNS ED FLANAGAN, FIRST OPENLY GAY STATEWIDE LAWMAKER: Flanagan, who passed away this weekend at age 66, was a former Vermont auditor of accounts and state senator. More from Newsday.

HORRIFYING -- TWO CHARGED WITH HATE CRIME IN ASSAULT OF TRANSGENDER TEEN: Brothers Cody and Shane Thomas have been charged with a hate crime for assaulting a 19-year-old transgender person. More from Syracuse.com.


Vice explores the journey to capture and share LGBTQ history; Los Angeles Times reviews ‘Uncle Gloria: Old Helluva Ride!’ the story of a transgender woman; Hollywood Reporter interviews Ian McKellen about his upcoming documentary;
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A.M. Equality