#AM_Equality Tipsheet: November 9, 2017

by Allison Turner

BREAKING - HRC releases report measuring LGBTQ inclusion at Fortune 500 companies and top law firms

BREAKING -- HRC RELEASES ANNUAL CORPORATE EQUALITY INDEX WITH RECORD 609 COMPANIES EARNING PERFECT SCORES: A record number of the nation’s major companies and law firms are advancing vital policies and practices to protect LGBTQ workers around the world, according to the HRC Foundation’s 2018 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). “At a time when the rights of LGBTQ people are under attack by the Trump-Pence Administration and state legislatures across the country, hundreds of top American companies are driving progress toward equality in the workplace,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “The top-scoring companies on this year’s CEI are not only establishing policies that affirm and include employees here in the United States, they are applying these policies to their operations around the globe and impacting millions of people beyond our shores. In addition, many of these companies have also become vocal advocates for equality in the public square, including the dozens that have signed on to amicus briefs in vital Supreme Court cases and the 106 corporate supporters of the Equality Act. We are proud to have developed so many strong partnerships with corporate allies who see LGBTQ equality as a crucial issue for our country and for their businesses.” More from HRC.

  • 609 companies earned a perfect scores of 100 points, up from 517 in the 2017 report;
  • Gender identity is now part of non-discrimination policies at 83 percent of Fortune 500 companies, up from just 3 percent in 2002, the CEI’s first year;
  • 459 major employers have adopted supportive inclusion guidelines for transgender workers who are transitioning.

THROWBACK THURSDAY: When the CEI launched in 2002, only 13 companies received a perfect score, fully-inclusive non-discrimination policies were a rarity, and trans-inclusive health care plans were simply not an option for workers at our nation’s largest companies. Today’s report highlights the dramatic equality gains made in the past 15 years, as corporate leaders are increasingly stepping up to play a leading role in creating fully LGBTQ-inclusive workplaces, and also opposing anti-equality legislation -- from statehouses to the U.S. Capitol. Eighty-three percent of Fortune 500 companies have non-discrimination protections that include gender identity, and 79 percent of companies participating in this year’s CEI offer at least one health care plan that has trans-inclusive coverage. HRC's work through the CEI, often through one-on-one consultation with individual companies, has helped employers move toward full inclusion for their LGBTQ employees.

YOU WON’T WIN BY ATTACKING US -- MEET THE TRANS AMERICANS WHO WON ON ELECTION DAY: Across the nation on Tuesday, voters stood against the Trump-Pence agenda of fear, division, and hatred. In decisive and historic fashion, Americans from coast to coast elected close allies of equality and openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) leaders -- including seven out transgender people. The message was resounding -- you will not win by attacking any one of us. The winners included Virginia state delegate candidate Danica Roem, who became the state’s first out trans public official, and out trans candidates from Georgia and Pennsylvania to Virginia and Minnesota. “For trans youth across the country, Danica Roem’s election isn’t just a headline or even history,” HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride) told The New York Times’ Maggie Astor (@MaggieAstor). “It’s hope. Hope for a better tomorrow.” Meet the newly-elected public servants at HRC.

  • Some of our favorite election headlines: The New York Times, “Danica Roem Wins Virginia Race, Breaking a Barrier for Transgender People;” Chicago Tribune, “Minneapolis elects 2 black transgender City Council members;” Palm Springs Desert Sun, “An all LGBT council in Palm Springs takes charge;” Rewire, “In Virginia Race, A Glimmer of Hope for More Trans Politicians;” BuzzFeed, “This Transgender Candidate Just Beat An Anti-LGBT Republican, Putting Her On The Cusp Of History”

HRC ENDORSES OHIO SENATOR SHERROD BROWN FOR RE-ELECTION: “Since entering public office more than two decades ago, Senator Brown has stood shoulder to shoulder with our community, relentlessly championing justice, fairness and equal rights for every American,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Senator Brown has proven himself to be an effective legislator and one of our staunchest allies in the United States Senate. HRC is proud to endorse Senator Brown in his bid for re-election and we look forward to continuing to work with him to pass the Equality Act and achieve full federal equality.” Sherrod Brown is a longstanding advocate for LGBTQ equality, scoring 100 percent on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard for the last six years running. He voted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2010 and for passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009. He is a co-sponsor of the Equality Act, crucial federal legislation that would finally guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBTQ people under our nation's existing civil rights laws. More from HRC.

ROY MOORE BARRED WOMAN FROM SEEING HER CHILD BECAUSE SHE WAS IN A SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIP: CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski (@KFile) and Chris Massie (@ChrisMassie) uncovered a divorce case from the 1990s in which Roy Moore, current senatorial candidate in Alabama’s special election, denied a woman access to visit her children unsupervised because she was with a woman, writing that “minor children will be detrimentally affected by the present lifestyle.” Later in his career, Moore was removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing to implement a ruling that brought marriage equality to the state. Recently, he took his extremism one step further, saying that he and Vladimir Putin may be “more akin... than [he] knows,” specifically citing their shared virulently anti-LGBTQ views. #NoMoore from CNN.

  • Unfit to serve Alabamians in the U.S. Senate: HRC has endorsed Doug Jones in the special U.S. Senate race in Alabama, where he faces vehemently anti-LGBTQ Moore. They face off on December 12.

HRC & OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS RALLY IN SUPPORT OF EGYPTIAN LGBTQ COMMUNITY: Over the last few months, Egyptian authorities have been rounding up and arresting LGBTQ people as part of a wider crackdown on human rights in the country. Last night, HRC, Human Rights First, Amnesty International and Egyptian LGBTQ advocates gathered to show solidarity with the Egyptian LGBTQ community, call on the Egyptian government to stop the crackdown, and urge the international community to condemn these human rights abuses.

TODAY -- RALLY TO SUPPORT DREAMERS: Today, HRC is joining United We Dream, immigration advocates and over 1,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to defend the DREAM Act. DACA was created by the Obama administration in 2012, to protect 800,000 young people who came to U.S. as children. Thanks to DACA, Dreamers who meet certain guidelines are able to attend college, obtain driver's licenses and work permits to support their families. If the Trump administration ends DACA, many communities will be affected, including 75,000 LGBTQ dreamers.

NEW POLL -- MOST ARKANSANS SUPPORT LGBTQ EMPLOYMENT PROTECTIONS: Eighty-four percent of respondents said they believe that LGBTQ individuals should have employment protections. Read the full results from the University of Arkansas.

I AM JAZZ READINGS TO SUPPORT TRANS AND NON-BINARY YOUTH: HRC’s Welcoming Schools program and the National Education Association (NEA) are gearing up for the National “I Am Jazz” School and Community Readings on December 7. Advocates who host  readings are sending a powerful message of support to trans and non-binary youth and their families. More from HRC.

NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH: Check out this list of LGBTQ-inclusive adoption agencies in the U.S. from HRC.

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