#AM_Equality Tipsheet: October 11, 2017

by Allison Turner

Happy National Coming Out Day!; Members of Congress ask Sec. Mattis to prove Trump was advised before issuing trans military ban.

HAPPY NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY: Today, the HRC Foundation is celebrating the 29th annual National Coming Out Day (NCOD) with the release of a powerful new video highlighting the inspiring coming out stories of 15 prominent celebrities and activists -- including actress Sara Ramirez, Jay-Z’s mom Gloria Carter and WNBA star Sue Bird. HRC is also featuring individual videos of Ramirez, Carter and Bird, as well as singer Lauren Jauregui; actor, model and musician Daniel Newman; actor Kaiynan Lonsdale; singer Jake Zyrus; and actress Natalie Morales. “Coming out is one of the most courageous acts any LGBTQ person makes, and on this National Coming Out Day that courage remains essential to our continued progress toward full equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “As LGBTQ people across the nation and around the world continue to come out, opposition to equality will continue to crumble. Sharing our stories is a key way each of us can fight back against attempts to turn back the clock on LGBTQ equality.” More from HRC and ABC.

  • Additionally, HRC is marking the day with the release of updated editions of its Coming Out Guides in both English and Spanish.
  • Influencers and celebrities come out for equality in 2017: More from HRC.
  • For National Coming Out Day, HRC's Bisexual, Pan, Queer and Fluid Employee Resource Group offers these important issues to consider when coming out, based on their experiences. More from HRC.
  • NewNowNext is marking National Coming Out day with “Letters To Myself,” a series of 40 letters LGBTQ people have written to their younger selves. More from NewNowNext.

SEVENTY-SIX MAJOR COMPANIES SIGN BRIEF SUPPORTING LESBIAN WORKER: Today, HRC announced a  “friend of the court” brief  brief signed by 76 major U.S. companies supporting Jameka Evans, Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, in her efforts to ask the Supreme Court of the United States to hear her case. Evans was was harassed in the workplace and fired from her job as a hospital security officer because of her sexual orientation. Lambda Legal is seeking a nationwide ruling affirming that sexual orientation discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. “These companies are sending a powerful message to LGBTQ workers and their families that America’s leading businesses believe in equality,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “Across the country, corporate leaders are speaking out because they know attacking LGBTQ employees isn't just shameful -- it also puts the families of their employees and customers at risk. LGBTQ people like Jameka are entitled to the full protection of the law, and must be affirmed, respected and protected in their workplace and beyond.” HRC joined with Lambda Legal, who are representing Evans, Freedom For All Americans and Out Leadership in organizing the amicus brief. More from HRC.

MORE THAN 110 MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ASK SECDEF MATTIS TO PROVE TRUMP WAS ADVISED BEFORE TWEETING TRANSGENDER MILITARY BAN: Trump insisted that he consulted with “generals and military experts” before tweeting his intent to ban thousands of brave, qualified transgender troops from serving honorably in the nation’s armed forces “in any capacity.” The letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis reads: “We seek access to these materials in order to determine whether the president, his national security team, and military leaders are actively coordinating policy with one another, or whether the president’s transgender ban announcement reflected a breakdown in communication.” Read the full letter here. More from LGBTQ Nation.

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING WEDNESDAY: A viral video out of Australia shows a gay man mic-dropping on anti-marriage equality Senator Matt Canavan during a Q&A session regarding the country’s postal survey on the issue. The man asks, “Now you, Mr. Canavan, have criticised my community as being delicate little flowers who need to grow a spine in the face of abuse. Isn't the role of leadership to support society's most vulnerable, rather than kick them while they're down in hopes of some political point scoring?” More from Advocate and Mashable.

  • The country’s Bureau of Statistics reports that 10 million voters, or 63 percent of eligible voters, have cast their votes in the postal survey. More from Reuters.

MORNING MUST READ -- “LGBT AMERICANS FEEL TRUMP HAS SACRIFICED THEM TO SHORE UP HIS EVANGELICAL BASE”: WaPo’s Eugene Scott (@Eugene_Scott) writes that the Trump-Pence sweeping license to discriminate directive that puts millions of LGBTQ Americans at risk of discrimination is the administration’s “latest attempt to deliver to the 80 percent of white evangelicals who backed [Trump] in the general election and who still mostly have favorable views of him despite him receiving record low approval ratings in general.” Read the full piece from The Washington Post.

SHAMEFUL -- CONSERVATIVE VIRGINIA GROUP LAUNCHES TRANSPHOBIC ROBO-CALLS AND ADS: The despicable move targets HRC-endorsed candidate Danica Roem, a transgender Democrat running to unseat vehemently anti-LGBTQ Del. Robert Marshall. More from The Washington Post.

KNOXVILLE RESIDENTS URGE SCHOOL BOARD TO PROTECT LGBTQ EMPLOYEES: Nearly a dozen citizens spoke at a county school board meeting in favor of keeping language in the district’s harassment policy that protects LGBTQ employees. The board will vote today on whether to change the policy. More from WBIR.

OCTOBER IS BULLYING PREVENTION MONTH: Originally created in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, the goal of the month-long campaign is to educate and raise awareness around bullying and how to prevent it. Preventing bias-based bullying is a cornerstone of HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools approach. Throughout October, HRC will publish blog posts highlighting Welcoming Schools trainings, book lists and lesson plans that address bullying. More from HRC.

HORRIFYING -- ANTI-LGBTQ KIM DAVIS GOES GLOBAL: Davis will join the Liberty Counsel, a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated anti-LGBTQ hate group, to spread bigotry across Romania in the lead up to its referendum to ban marriage equality. More from Edge Media Network.

LGBTQ INDONESIANS LIVING IN FEAR AMID GROWING POLICE VIOLENCE: Earlier this year, almost 150 men were arrested during a raid in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta and two gay men were caned in the Indonesian province of Aceh. More from Australian Broadcasting Corp.

GREEK PARLIAMENT PASSES LAW ALLOWING PEOPLE TO CHANGE GENDER ON IDENTITY CARDS AND OTHER OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS: The law passed with 171 votes in the 300-member parliament, and affects all Greek citizens over the age of 15. More from The Associated Press.

PRINCE HARRY WELCOMES TRANS CHILDREN CHARITY AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE: Mermaids, a British charity supporting transgender youth, was invited “to acknowledge the contribution of those working in the mental health sector in the U.K.” More from Pink News.

KOSOVO HOLDS LGBTQ PRIDE PARADE: The parade took place in the country’s capital, Pristina, and is the first in the country to be announced in advance. While anonymous threats were reported before the parade, Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj attended one of the Pride events last week. More from RadioFreeEurope / RadioLiberty.


The Washington Post shares a powerful first-person coming out story; The Daily Beast reviews Carmilla, an upcoming film with LGBTQ themes;
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