#AM_Equality Tipsheet: October 24, 2017

by Allison Turner

Hillary Clinton, Jeff Bezos, others join #HRCNationalDinner lineup; Pathetic stunt by DeVos & FLOTUS amid attacks on LGBTQ students

HILLARY CLINTON & AMAZON CEO JEFF BEZOS TO BE AMONG SPECIAL GUESTS AT HRC NATIONAL DINNER: They will join trailblazing activist and athlete Billie Jean King, multi-platinum selling band DNCE, Gold Star father Khizr Khan and many more at the 21st annual HRC National Dinner on Saturday in Washington, D.C. The event raises crucial funds for the the fight for LGBTQ equality. As previously announced, two-time Emmy Award-winning actress Uzo Aduba will be honored and U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris will speak at the event. "Hillary Clinton has spent a lifetime fighting for the vulnerable, marginalized, and oppressed -- and she’s not about to back down now," said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). "As we confront powerful political forces built on hate and fear, Hillary -- and the majority of American voters who backed her -- have continued to champion the values that truly make America great. We are grateful to Hillary Clinton for being our steadfast champion each and every day." HRC will honor Jeff Bezos with the HRC National Equality Award, which recognizes the outstanding efforts of those who publicly stand up for the LGBTQ community. More from HRC and The Washington Blade.

TUESDAY TWEET -- PATHETIC STUNT BY DEVOS AND FLOTUS COMES IN WAKE OF ATTACKS ON STUDENTS: After rescinding guidelines regarding LGBTQ students, students with disabilities and sexual assault survivors, Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos joined First Lady Melania Trump in a Michigan classroom to "observe and participate in lessons about respecting others, kindness and inclusion." A post-election youth survey by HRC found that 70 percent of respondents reported witnessing bullying, hate messages or harassment during or since Donald Trump was elected. Of those, 79 percent said such behaviors have been occurring more frequently since the onset of the presidential campaign. These harrowing statistics, combined with the Trump-Pence administration’s attacks on students -- especially LGBTQ students -- lays bare the reality, and terrible irony, of the DeVos-Trump publicity stunt. More from USA Today.

HRC ENDORSES PHIL MURPHY FOR NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: "Phil Murphy’s commitment to LGBTQ equality makes him the clear choice for fair-minded New Jerseyans," said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. "Murphy has made advancing LGBTQ equality a key component of his vision for the future of the Garden State, and it’s absolutely crucial that pro-equality voters Murphy strongly believes that no one in New Jersey -- from military veterans to small business owners to aspiring parents -- should be treated differently because of who they are or whom they love. He is committed to vigorously expanding and enforcing anti-bullying and LGBTQ non-discrimination protections, and recently spoke out strongly against President Trump’s unconscionable transgender military ban -- calling it "simply disgusting." HRC estimates there are approximately 2.3 million pro-equality LGBTQ and allied voters in the state. More from HRC.

MOTHER OF SLAIN GENDERFLUID IOWA TEEN -- DOJ MUST DO MORE: Katrina Johnson, the mother of murdered genderfluid teen Kadarie Johnson, is calling on the Trump administration to do more to protect the LGBTQ community, saying "[I]t shouldn’t have taken for a child to lose his life, and for everybody to think it was a hate crime, for them to step up and do something. They need to continue to do something, even after this case is over." One week after Attorney General Jeff Sessions changed Department of Justice (DOJ) policy by refusing to protect transgender people under Title VII and launched a sweeping license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, he took credit for directing a DOJ lawyer to help prosecute a Johnson’s hate crime case. More from HuffPost.

PA. LAWMAKER GO AFTER TRANS YOUTH WITH CHIP AMENDMENT: Last week, Pa. State Senator Don White tacked on an anti-transgender amendment to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) renewal legislation that would bar coverage of any transition-related services. The proposed amendment states, "The benefit package for eligible children may not include reimbursement for gender or sex reassignment surgery or gender or sex transition services, including, but not limited to, physician’s services, inpatient and outpatient hospital services, prescribed drugs or counseling services related to such surgery or services." The measure has passed the State Senate Appropriations Committee and is now up for consideration on the Senate floor. Pennsylvania is one of 31 states without explicit non-discrimination protections for transgender Americans. More from WSKG.

PA. GOVERNOR TOM WOLF URGES GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO PASS LGBTQ NONDISCRIM LAW: "For years, citizens, regardless of who they love or their gender identity or expression, along with hundreds of businesses, mayors and universities, have called on the General Assembly to simply create fairness under state law for employment, housing and other services," said Governor Wolf in a statement. "Despite broad, bipartisan support, these bills have been blocked from a vote... Yet across our commonwealth, a Pennsylvanian can be fired, evicted or denied service because of their sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity. This is simply wrong and it hurts our economy and our future by closing the door to new businesses and residents. It is time for the PA Fairness Act to get a vote and remove this black-eye from our commonwealth's laws." More from Gant News and PA Homepage.

CRAWFORD, PA., ADVOCATES URGE LAWMAKERS TO BAN SO-CALLED "CONVERSION THERAPY": Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Allentown have local ordinances banning the dangerous and debunked practice -- and advocates want a similar one in Crawford County. More from YourErie.

SINGER SAM SMITH SHARES GENDER IDENTITY IN INTERVIEW WITH THE SUNDAY TIMES: "I don’t know what the title would be, but I feel just as much woman as I am man," Smith said in the exclusive. More from People.

SHAMEFUL -- TANZANIA ARRESTS 13 HIV ADVOCATES: Police raided a legal meeting of advocates and lawyers planning a case against Tanzania’s ban on drop-in HIV centers. More from Gay Star News.


LGBTQ DATING APPS PROVIDE EXTRA SAFETY TIPS TO EGYPTIAN USERS: This move by Grindr and Hornet are a result of a prolonged and continuing anti-LGBTQ crackdown. Authorities are reportedly using dating apps to entrap LGBTQ people. More from Reuters and Haaretz.


The Guardian reviews "Of Kith and Kin," a new play about LGBTQ parenting; LGBTQ Nation lists six LGBTQ YouTubers fighting for equality;
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