#AM_Equality Tipsheet: September 14, 2017

by Allison Turner

Congress must pass the DREAM Act to protect DACA recipients; Graham-Cassidy bill would cause millions to lose health care.

CONGRESS MUST PASS THE DREAM ACT TO PROTECT DACA RECIPIENTS: As Donald Trump continues erratic behavior and messaging on vital Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Congress must act to pass DREAM Act. The DACA program has allowed hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to the U.S. as minors to stay in the country, to continue their studies and to continue making positive contributions to our nation. It is estimated that approximately 75,000 of these “Dreamers” are LGBTQ, and HRC has endorsed the 2017 DREAM Act (H.R.3440/S.1615), which was introduced in Congress in July to explicitly authorize the government to stop the deportation of Dreamers. HRC has also signed on to a letter in support of Dreamers, which was signed by over 1,850 governors, state and municipal officials, civil organizations and faith leaders. More from The New York Times.

SO-CALLED “HEALTH CARE” BILL WOULD CAUSE MILLIONS TO LOSE COVERAGE: The legislation, introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) would take the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion funding and turn it into state block grants. This bill could force millions of people -- including countless LGBTQ and HIV-positive Americans -- to lose critical health coverage, potentially costing some their lives. HRC opposes any efforts to roll-back or dismantle the ACA. More from The Washington Post.

BIPARTISAN EFFORT TO #ProtectTransTroops IN THE U.S. SENATE: A bipartisan endeavor is progressing in the U.S. Senate to protect transgender troops on the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual must-pass defense bill. On Monday, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced an amendment opposing the Trump-Pence ban on transgender military service. “This bipartisan effort in support of transgender troops reflects the public's broad opposition to this president's cruel, reckless, and discriminatory policy,” said HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride. “We are grateful that Senators Gillibrand and Collins, who helped lead the successful effort in the Senate to end the discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in 2010, have joined together in defense of transgender service members.” More from HRC.

MORNING MUST READ FROM VANITA GUPTA ON DISCRIMINATORY CAKE BAKER: In a piece for SCOTUSblog, Gupta, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and former head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, details how legal precedent argues against giving a Colorado baker a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people. Writing about Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case before the Supreme Court involving a baker who in 2012 refused to provide a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, Gupta says, “[R]eligious liberty is not a talisman that confers absolute immunity from any personal constraints at all: At times, the free exercise of religion yields to other foundational values, including freedom from harm and from discrimination.” Read the full piece from SCOTUSblog.

  • New polling from PPRI shows that 56 percent Americans oppose allowing small businesses to deny services to LGBTQ people -- with 53 percent saying that providers of wedding services should be barred from discriminating against same-sex couples. The survey also found that 64 percent of Americans support having qualified transgender people serve in the military. Read the full study from PPRI.

THANKFUL THURSDAY: In a powerful Washington Post oped, named plaintiff in the landmark 2015 marriage equality case Obergefell v. Hodges, Jim Obergefell (@JimObergefell) honored and remembered Edith “Edie” Windsor, who passed away Tuesday. Windsor was the plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor, successfully challenging the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2013. Obergefell writes, “She became our hero because of her courage in fighting to have her lawful marriage to the person she loved treated as equal to opposite-sex marriages, even in a time of great personal loss. Edie is our hero because she moved the LGBT community a giant step closer to full equality as Americans.” Read the full piece from The Washington Post.

  • Check out this video from HRC honoring the life and legacy of Edie Windsor here.

HRC JOINS ORGANIZATIONS ASKING STATE DEPT. TO IMPOSE RESTRICTIONS ON FOREIGN HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATORS: By using the Global Magnitsky Act, President Trump could impose financial sanctions and visa restrictions on those who have committed human rights violations or acts of significant corruption including torture, murder, sexual assault, extortion, and bribery. This tool allows the United States to stand up to those attacking the human rights of people abroad, including members of the LGBTQ community. Read the full letter here.

SAME-SEX UTAH COUPLE CHALLENGES ANTI-LGBTQ PARENTING LAW: The two men, who wish to remain anonymous, were denied the ability to have a baby via surrogate due to a state law that only allows surrogacy when a “mother” is unable to conceive or carry a child. The case came before the state Supreme Court, which did not immediately rule following Tuesday’s hearing. The AP reports that Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes “won’t stand in the couple’s way,” noting that state lawyers did not appear at the hearing, and argued in court documents that the law should be read as gender neutral to include same-sex couples. More from The Associated Press and The Salt Lake Tribune.

ICYMI -- ASIA KATE DILLON TALKS NON-BINARY REPRESENTATION, ANTI-TRANS VIOLENCE AT HRC DINNER: Dillon, known for playing Brandy Epps in Orange is the New Black on Netflix and Taylor in Showtime’s Billions, was honored during Saturday’s 18th annual HRC Dinner in Seattle. Their powerful acceptance speech talks about the intersection of transphobia, sexism and racism and calls on the LGBTQ community to hold up those who are who are most targeted for violence within the LGBTQ community, transgender women of color. Watch here.

LOS ANGELES TO HOST SUMMER OLYMPICS, PARALYMPICS IN 2028: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) selected Los Angeles, one of the most LGBTQ-inclusive cities in the nation, as the host city for the 2028 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. Los Angeles has earned a score of 100 on every edition of HRC’s Municipal Equality Index, which assesses cities on their pro-equality laws, policies and services. The city’s selection affirms the importance of LGBTQ-inclusion during these coveted games. Just last year, the world saw a record number of out athletes participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, with more than 40 identifying as either lesbian, gay or bisexual. More from HRC.

NATIONAL BLACK JUSTICE COALITION (NBJC) NAMES DAVID JOHNS AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Johns, the former executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, will now lead the civil rights organization working for Black LGBTQ equality and equality for Black people living with HIV and AIDS. More from NBJC.

SHAMEFUL -- ANTI-LGBTQ THREATS DERAIL PLANS FOR ARKANSAS HOMELESS YOUTH SHELTER: Lucie’s Place, an LGBTQ organization, canceled a zoning hearing to build a shelter for homeless youth after receiving an email that threatened to lead a charge to reveal its location, which would expose young people staying there to potential violence. More from NewNowNext.

NETFLIX RELEASES TRAILER FOR DOCUMENTARY HONORING TRANS RIGHTS ICON MARSHA P. JOHNSON: David France’s documentary “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, looks back at the legendary transgender rights advocate. Johnson, with fellow trans advocate Sylvia Rivera, cofounded one of the first transgender advocacy groups in 1970. More from Entertainment Weekly.

MODEL TEDDY QUINLIVAN COMES OUT AS TRANSGENDER: The model, who has walked in New York Fashion Week, came out as a transgender woman, saying, “I think one of the ways we can help people in the trans community is to give them a platform. And I think the fashion industry plays a very crucial role in that… It's not just about who's walking fashion shows... it's about who's on every newsstand in the country. The transgender community needs more visibility. And with more visibility will come more acceptance.” More from CNN.


World Politics Review highlights Haiti’s LGBTQ advocates working for equality; HuffPost shares a piece from David Toussaint about the LGBTQ community and depression; Self lifts up Anita Green, Miss Montana USA’s first openly transgender contestant; Fresno Bee reports that as protests continue, a Fresno Unified school board trustee says the board  ‘cannot and will not’ punish School Board President Brooke Ashjian for anti-LGBTQ comments

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A.M. Equality