#AM_Equality Tipsheet: September 15, 2017

by Allison Turner

Remembering Edith ‘Edie’ Windsor; Senate GOP leadership block votes on NDAA amendment protecting trans troops.

REMEMBERING EDITH ‘EDIE’ WINDSOR: Today, Edie Windsor’s family, friends, fellow advocates and others she inspired will gather at Temple Emanu-El in New York City to honor her trailblazing life. Windsor, plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor, successfully challenged and defeated the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2013. Her case was argued by Roberta Kaplan, and helped pave the way for the 2015 Supreme Court decision that granted nationwide marriage equality, Obergefell v. Hodges. As a leader and icon in the fight for marriage equality, Edie Windsor became a hero to millions and her advocacy continued well beyond the Supreme Court. Watch a stream of the funeral, which begins at 12:30 p.m. EST, here.

  • Read more in Edie’s lasting impact on the LGBTQ equality movement from The New York Times.

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP BLOCKS VOTES ON NDAA AMENDMENT PROTECTING TRANS TROOPS: Despite Senate Committee on Armed Services Chairman John McCain indicating his support of the amendment, yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republican Leadership blocked a widely supported bipartisan effort to protect transgender troops on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the annual must-pass defense bill. On Monday, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced a bipartisan amendment opposing the Trump-Pence ban on transgender military service. Thousands of HRC member spoke out asking their senators to do the right thing and vote for this amendment.

LAMBDA LEGAL AND OUTSERVE-SLDN FILE FOR IMMEDIATE HALT OF TRUMP’S TRANS MILITARY TROOPS BAN: Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN today asked the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington to immediately halt all steps taken to implement the Trump Administration’s discriminatory plan to ban transgender individuals from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Services. The motion asks the court to preliminarily enjoin the government from taking actions inconsistent with the military policy that existed before July 26, under which transgender service members were allowed to serve openly, and transgender Americans seeking to join the military had a path forward for doing so. HRC is a co-plaintiff in this lawsuit. The White House directive interferes in Department of Defense personnel policy by pushing forward President Trump’s and Vice President Pence’s dangerous transgender military ban. The directive bans at least some medically necessary transition-related health care and extends the ban on transgender people enlisting or commissioning into the military. The long term issue of currently serving transgender troops’ continued service remains unresolved. More from Metro Weekly.

  • The ACLU also filed for a preliminary injunction to halt Trump’s Troop ban yesterday. More from The Hill.

AHEAD OF TRUMP’S U.N. SPEECH, JOE BIDEN CALLS FOR AMERICAN VALUES IN GLOBAL AFFAIRS: Former Vice President Joe Biden reminded Trump, scheduled to speak at the U.N. on Tuesday, of America’s role in global democracy, writing in The New York Times, “Reclaiming our values starts with standing up for them at home -- inclusivity, tolerance, diversity, respect for the rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of the press. If these are the democratic principles we wish to see around the world, America must be the first to model them.” Read the full piece from NYT.

COSMO GOES INSIDE DANICA ROEM’S CAMPAIGN TO BE THE FIRST OPENLY TRANS PERSON SERVING IN A STATE LEGISLATURE: Writer Rebecca Nelson (@RebeccaNelson) joins Roem on the campaign trail in Virginia, where she is challenging anti-LGBTQ incumbent Delegate Bob Marshall in the November election -- and could make history as the first openly transgender person seated in a state legislature. HRC-endorsed Roem, who figures she’s knocked on 26,000 doors, told Nelson she knows that her gender identity is bringing her attention, but that she’s focused on the broader needs of her potential Northern Virginia constituents -- with traffic issues topping the list. Roem has pledged to fight to pass non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, improve affordable access to health care, update the Virginia Human Rights Act to include gender identity and sexual orientation, and remove outdated, unconstitutional language on marriage equality that still exists in the Virginia code. More from Cosmopolitan.

  • Why are there so few LGBTQ women in Congress? Nathan Gonzales (@nathanlgonzales) takes a interesting, and sobering, look at the issue in Roll Call.

OHIO PRO-EQUALITY BUSINESS GROUP SURPASSES 200 MEMBERS: Ohio Business Competes, a nonpartisan coalition supporting efforts to add gender identity and sexual orientation to the state’s non-discrimination laws, has surpassed 200 businesses. Yesterday, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof joined a press conference to announce this milestone. More from Lakewood Patch and WKSU.

HRC MOURNS DERRICKA BANNER, TRANS WOMAN MURDERED IN CHARLOTTE: Banner, a transgender woman, was found shot to death Tuesday morning in Charlotte, N.C. Local LGBTQ publication qnotes reports that Banner, 26, was discovered in a vehicle early Tuesday. Montavious Sanchez Berry was arrested by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police in connection with the killing and has been charged with murder, armed robbery and shooting into an occupied vehicle. Friends described Banner on social media as a “playful spirit” and “go-getter” who enjoyed life. Her death marks the 20th known case of a transgender person killed this year. Nearly all victims have been women of color. More from HRC.

‘LOVE IS LOVE’ -- DEBRA MESSING SPEAKS OUT IN SUPPORT OF AUSTRALIAN MARRIAGE EQUALITY: The longtime LGBTQ advocate, ally and star of Will & Grace, said “I just can't imagine why anyone would begrudge someone's happiness.” More from Stuff New Zealand.

  • And mark your calendars, because the Will & Grace comeback premieres in just two weeks! More from Washington Blade.

NEW SURVEY -- 3 OUT OF 4 TRANS STUDENTS IN ARIZONA EXPERIENCE MISTREATMENT: The National Center for Transgender Equality released Arizona-specific data for its groundbreaking U.S. Transgender Survey. Read more findings from KJZZ.

SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION AWARENESS MONTH: According to a 2016 study published in LGBT Health, family rejection increases the odds of substance misuse and suicide attempts in transgender and gender non-conforming people. The Family Acceptance Project has found that LGBTQ youth whose families affirm their gender identity and sexual orientation are almost 50 percent less likely to attempt suicide than young people whose families are unsupportive. More from HRC.

TED CRUZ POLLSTER BEHIND DESPICABLE ANTI-MARRIAGE EQUALITY ROBOCALLS IN AUSTRALIA: WPA Intelligence, used by Cruz during his failed presidential campaign, is spreading anti-LGBTQ drivel in Australia under the guise of a survey on the country’s postal survey on marriage equality. More from Advocate.

  • Read how same-sex parents are becoming the face of Australian marriage equality in The New York Times.

BELGRADE IS CELEBRATING PRIDE WEEK: The festivities end with a parade on Sunday in the Serbian capital. Despite recently confirming its first openly LGBTQ and first woman prime minister, Serbia’s LGBTQ community still faces disproportionately high rates of discrimination, according to a new report from the United Nations Development Program. More from Eurativ.


Washington Blade explores the fight for transgender rights in Latin America; Elle interviews five women about their coming out stories;

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A.M. Equality