#AM_Equality Tipsheet: September 26, 2017

by Allison Turner

Equality Act reaches more than 100 corporate cosponsors; HRC condemns Trump’s xenophobic expanded Muslim ban

#EQUALITYFORWARD -- EQUALITY ACT REACHES MORE THAN 100 CORPORATE COSPONSORS: HRC announced it has recruited 104 top businesses -- employing more than 5.8 million people -- as corporate co-sponsors of the Equality Act. By joining HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act, these companies have stepped up to support full federal equality for LGBTQ people through the landmark federal legislation that would provide the same basic nondiscrimination protections to LGBTQ people as other protected groups under federal law. “The more than 100 businesses that have joined HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act are sending a loud and clear message that the time has come for full federal equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “This is a milestone in corporate support for the Equality Act, and we urge Congress to listen to this growing chorus of American businesses and protect all LGBTQ people from discrimination.” More from HRC, The Detroit News and Crain’s Detroit Business.

  • HRC joined Equality Michigan, The Dow Chemical Company, Cargill and the Detroit LGBT Chamber to announce this milestone in business support for the Equality Act and prove that equality is good for business. Watch the event here.

HRC CONDEMNS TRUMP’S EXPANDED MUSLIM BAN: HRC condemned Donald Trump’s xenophobic actions extending his Muslim travel ban issued earlier this year. The far-reaching travel ban expands his last executive order to apply to eight countries and is to be kept in place indefinitely. “Donald Trump’s travel ban poses a serious threat to individuals trying to get to the United States in order to claim asylum -- including LGBTQ Muslims and immigrants seeking to escape violence and persecution,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “Trump is recklessly putting lives in jeopardy by blocking them from reaching safety in the United States. HRC will continue to stand up against all forms of Islamophobia and call out the danger this travel ban creates for LGBTQ people abroad.” More from HRC.

#DoNoHarm -- SUPPORT FOR GRAHAM-CASSIDY ‘HEALTH CARE’ BILL FADES, BUT ADVOCATES REMAIN VIGILANT: Over 14,500 HRC members and supporters have called their senators to oppose this bill. The initial proposal, concocted behind closed doors without any public input, is yet another effort by President Trump and some Senate Republicans to take away health care from millions of Americans. It would allow states to charge higher premiums for people with preexisting conditions, gut the essential health benefits guaranteed by the ACA and cut billions of dollars in funding for Medicaid -- leaving states to make up huge budget shortfalls.

  • Check out four reasons why the bill is dangerous to the LGBTQ community here.

TODAY -- ALABAMA REPUBLICAN PRIMARY FOR THE U.S. SENATE: In this election, Alabama Republican primary voters are given no viable choice when it comes to a politician who will treat all Alabamians with respect. HRC PAC has launched ads opposing the candidacies of both Roy Moore and Luther Strange alongside a direct mail campaign. When it comes to Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, the choice between Strange and Moore represent “bad” to “worse.” Roy Moore has made his mark as one of the most anti-LGBTQ politicians in the United States. Recently, he took his extremism one step further by saying that he and Vladimir Putin may be “more akin... than [he] knows,” specifically citing both of their views on LGBTQ equality. The winner of today's primary will face a general election on December 12.

TUESDAY TWEET -- #TakeAKnee: In a dangerous move over the weekend, President Trump used the power of his office to advocate for the suppression of voices of those fighting systemic racial injustice and inequality by tweeting out that the National Football League (NFL) should fire or suspend those who choose to take a knee during the national anthem in protest. Trump’s actions are attempts to suppress, intimidate and silence free speech. Civil rights advocates and icons like Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) DeRay McKesson, Eric Holder and Sherrilyn Ifill; celebrities like John Legend; fellow athletes like Lebron James, Elena Delle Donne and Billie Jean King; as well as organizations like the NAACP, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Athlete Ally are all using Twitter to speak out against Trump and racial injustice, using the #TakeAKnee hashtag.

  • San Francisco 49ers player Eric Reid penned a powerful piece in The New York Times titled, “Why Colin Kaepernick and I Decided to Take a Knee.” More from NYT.

HRC MOURNS THE LOSS OF ALLY STEINFELD, TRANS TEEN MURDERED IN MISSOURI: HRC is shocked and saddened to learn about the horrific death of Ally Steinfeld, a Missouri teen who went missing in early September. On Thursday, Andrew Vrba, Isis Schauer and Briana Calderas were charged with first degree murder, according to the Houston Herald. Multiple news outlets have misgendered Steinfeld and according to KY3, Steinfeld “sometimes” identified as female on social media. Police believe she was killed just days before her 18th birthday. Steinfeld’s death marks the 21st known case of a trans person killed this year. More from HRC.

TODAY IS NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY: Electing pro-equality candidates is a vital part of making sure LGBTQ Americans are treated equally and fairly under the law. We count on pro-equality legislators to pass crucial legislation to protect LGBTQ people and set an example for other leaders nationwide. Voting is the single most important action you can take to advance the movement for LGBTQ civil rights, and with the 2018 primaries around the corner, now is the time to register to vote. Click here to register to vote.

#BeInTheKnow -- TOMORROW IS NATIONAL GAY MEN’S HIV & AIDS AWARENESS DAY: Tomorrow marks National Gay Men’s HIV & AIDS Awareness Day, an opportunity to focus our attention on the impact of HIV and AIDS on gay and bisexual men. Learn more about HRC’s work to achieve an HIV-free generation here.

ACTOR GORDON THOMSON COMES OUT AS GAY: Thomson, famous for his role as Adam Carrington in Dynasty, came out as gay in an exclusive with The Daily Beast. The 72-year-old said “When I was growing up it [homosexuality] was a crime, and then classified as a mental illness... so you’re dealing with that,” he added. “And the shame, the breathtaking lack of self-esteem, has only just begun to seep out of my soul.” More from The Daily Beast.

LGBTQ PEOPLE TORTURED IN AZERBAIJAN: NewNowNext reports that anti-LGBTQ raids have focused on gay men and transgender women. Local police claim the arrests are part of an “anti-prostitution campaign,” but advocates in the area say the arrests are part of a larger anti-LGBTQ crackdown leaving dozens beaten and humiliated. “The reports of LGBTQ people in Azerbaijan being arrested and abused by authorities are deeply disturbing, much like the atrocities occurring against gay and bisexual men in nearby Chechnya,” said HRC Global Director Ty Cobb. “It's absolutely crucial that the Trump administration and the international community demand human rights abuses against LGBTQ people in the region immediately cease and those responsible be held accountable.” More from NewNowNext.

LANDMARK DECISION AS HONG KONG GRANTS SPOUSAL VISA TO SAME-SEX COUPLE: The Hong Kong appeals court granted a spousal visa to a British woman whose female partner works in Hong Kong. The couple entered a civil partnership while living in England. More from Reuters.

MONTENEGRO HOLDS LGBTQ PRIDE EVENT: Over the weekend, nearly 200 people gathered in Podgorica, Montenegro, for a Pride event. More from The Associated Press.


Upworthy takes a look inside an LGBTQ senior home; HRC lists public figures who have recently come out as bisexual; Advocate reviews Chavela, a documentary about lesbian Ranchera singer Chavela Vargas (@ChavelaVargas); Variety covers a powerful speech by Shonda Rhimes (@ShondaRhimes) at the Los Angeles LGBT Center Gala Vanguard awards; Bustle speaks to eight LGBTQ Mormons about their faith

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