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#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: December 1, 2016

VICTORY! NC GOV-ELECT ROY COOPER HITS CRUCIAL 10,000 VOTE MARGIN; GAME OVER FOR MCCRORY: HRC and Equality North Carolina are hailing Governor-Elect Roy Cooper’s victory — which crossed the crucial 10,000 vote mark Wednesday — and calling on Pat McCrory to immediately concede in the North Carolina gubernatorial race. With a stunning 66 percent of North Carolina voters reporting opposition to HB2 in Election Day exit polling, it’s clear that the discriminatory HB2 cost McCrory his re-election bid. According to polling by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, commissioned by HRC and ENC, 57 percent of voters put HB2 as the top reason “not to vote for Pat McCrory” — exceeding any other issue by 17 points. The latest tally shows McCrory 10,329 votes behind, and a recount of votes in Durham County, approved yesterday in a party-line vote by the State Board of Elections, is “not likely to change anything,” member  Judge James Baker, a Republican, said. Because Cooper has a 10,000-plus vote margin of victory, McCrory is no longer entitled to a statewide recount paid for by taxpayers; he may request one at his own expense. “North Carolina just sent a powerful message to the entire country: the days of preying on LGBTQ people for political gain are over,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “McCrory failed to listen to the majority of fair-minded North Carolinians who know that anti-LGBTQ hatred has no place in their state — and he lost big because of it. Roy Cooper is a powerful voice for equality and has vowed to work to overturn the hateful and discriminatory HB2. It’s long past time for McCrory to accept reality, concede and let Roy Cooper get on with the important job of actually working on behalf of every North Carolinian.” More from HRC.

The New York Times’ McCrory headline says it all, “North Carolina’s Sore Loser”: The Times here.

HRC JOINS WHITE HOUSE AND OTHER LGBTQ ORGS FOR WORLD AIDS DAY SUMMIT IN NEW ORLEANS: Today, the White House, in partnership with federal agencies and local LGBTQ organizations, will host its latest regional LGBT Summit in New Orleans. The regional LGBT Summits held across the nation highlight federal services available to the LGBTQ community, while also lifting up the work of local LGBTQ activists and allies, and creating an opportunity for advocates to connect and discuss ideas. Today’s event is open to the media from 11:00 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. CST and includes a  session featuring HRC President Chad Griffin and U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, which will also be streamed on Facebook LIVE starting at 12:15 p.m. CST. The event is co-hosted by Forum for Equality, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the White House Office of Public Engagement.

  • HRC HIV 360° Fellow Mardrequs Harris will introduce Griffin at the event. HRC sat down with Harris to discuss the program, his work, and his vision of an AIDS-free generation. HRC HIV & AIDS Project Manager Marvell Terry and HRC Board of Director Member Lester Perryman will also speak at the event.
  • Major Progress reported in effort to end HIV and AIDS epidemic: CDC
  • Noël Gordon, HRC’s Senior Program Specialist for HIV Prevention and Health Equity, gives the latest data on HIV in the United States, and shares HRC’s commitment to end the dual epidemics of HIV and HIV-related stigma. More from HRC.

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Congrats to Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) and Portia de Rossi (@PortiadeRossi), who are celebrating 12 years together. These two have not only captured America’s heart, but helped bring LGBTQ visibility to the world by being their true, authentic selves. Last week, Ellen was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, “the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

WH PRESS SECRETARY — “I DON’T THINK YOU GET CREDIT FOR DECIDING TO NOT DISCRIMINATE”: White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Wednesday that Republicans deserve no credit for nixing plans to attach to the National Defense Authorization Act an anti-civil rights provision that would have allowed religious organizations with federal contracts or grants to discriminate against their employees, including LGBTQ employees. “I don’t think you get credit for deciding not to discriminate against somebody,” Earnest said when asked about the so-called Russell Amendment. “I think that is behavior that we would expect of everybody in the country and particularly people who are elected to represent their fellow citizens in the United States Congress.” More from The Washington Blade.

REMEMBERING MATTHEW SHEPARD ON HIS 40TH BIRTHDAY: Today would have been Matthew Shepard’s 40th birthday. Matthew was brutally attacked in Laramie, Wyoming, in an anti-gay hate crime on October 6, 1998. He died from his injuries six days later. His parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard, successfully fought for a federal hate crimes law — President Obama signed The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA) into law in 2009.  They are fierce advocates for LGBTQ people and Judy Shepard is a member of HRC’s Board of Directors, as well as the founder and president of the Board of Directors for the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

  • 2015 Hate Crime Statistics show alarming spike in bias-motivated incidents based on gender identity: Since statistics on bias crimes based on gender identity were first collected by the FBI in 2013, the numbers have  increased from 31 reported to to 114 reported in 2015. The numbers may reflect an increase in incidents but also an increase in reported cases. Because reporting is not mandatory — and thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country do not submit data — it’s likely the number only represents a fraction of such cases. The data also shows a 3.5 percent increase in reports of bias-motivated incidents due to sexual orientation; 1,053 such incidents were reported in 2015. More from HRC.

FIRST SAME-SEX COUPLE TO WED IN GUAM ADOPT TRANS YOUTH: Throughout November, HRC is proud to celebrate National Adoption Month, a nationwide effort to raise awareness that more than 400,000 children and youth are waiting for a permanent family. HRC is highlighting the stories of adoptive families all around the country, including Deasia and Nikki Dismuke-Johnson. In 2015, Deasia and Nikki became the first same-sex couple to wed in Guam. After officially tying the knot, they decided to expand their family through foster care and then adoption, adopting a transgender youth. More from HRC.

ACTOR NICO TORTORELLA COMES OUT AS BISEXUAL: In an interview with Vulture, the star of TV Land’s Younger (@_NicoTortorella) says, “The more I’m having these conversations, the more comfortable I am identifying as bisexual.” More from Vulture.

LGBTI WORLD CONFERENCE IN BANGKOK: More than 500 delegates, including representatives from HRC, are participating in the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association’s (ILGA) world conference this week. More from India Live Today.

  • At the event, Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand, the UN’s  first-ever Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, called for a global partnership to end anti-LGBTQ violence and discrimination. More from UN News Center.

READING RAINBOW

Fox 59 reports on the heartbreaking story of a man barred from singing at his grandmother’s funeral because he is openly gay… Wired discusses Trump’s transition team’s connection to anti-LGBTQ pseudoscience… Quartz reviews a Harvard study confirming that LGBTQ people are more likely to come out in places with marriage equality…

Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to A.M. Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!