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#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: December 20, 2016

NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY MUST IMMEDIATELY #REPEALHB2: Yesterday, the Charlotte City Council voted to withdraw the city’s non-discrimination ordinance pending the North Carolina General Assembly’s vote to fully repeal the state’s deeply discriminatory HB2. This should not have had to happen.  HB2 should have never been signed into law, and Charlotte did the right thing by passing commonsense non-discrimination protections in the first place — 19 states and more than 100 cities have those protections on the books. But there’s no question that a full and complete repeal of HB2 would allow us all — under the leadership of Governor Cooper, Mayor Roberts and other pro-equality officials across the state — to get on with the business of actually protecting North Carolinians. GOP leaders in Raleigh have had every chance to repeal HB2, and their outrageous power-grabs last week further highlight how little they can be trusted. But now they are telling Governor-elect Cooper that they’ll move to take action. HB2 must be repealed — in its entirety — and Charlotte’s non-discrimination protections must be restored, and ultimately passed across North Carolina. HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) said, “HB2 is precisely why North Carolinians went to the polls and ousted Governor McCrory last month. It’s time to chart a new course guided by the state’s values of dignity and respect, not discrimination and hate — and to ensure non-discrimination protections exist in cities, towns and across the state of North Carolina. It’s been 272 days since the shameful and archaic HB2 was first passed, and the entire country has witnessed its devastating impact.  It’s time for state lawmakers to repeal HB2 and begin repairing the harm this bill has done to people and the damage it has done to North Carolina’s reputation and economy.” More from HRC and The New York Times.

ATTEMPT TO TORPEDO UN’S FIRST LGBTQ RIGHTS WATCHDOG FAILS: Yesterday, an effort to that could have abolished the newly-created United Nations watchdog on LGBTQ rights failed for a second time in a vote by the UN’s full membership. The US was among the 84 countries that voted against the motion, which was similar to one rejected last month by the UN. Seventy-seven countries backed it, while 16 countries abstained from the vote. The vote came about when a number of African countries demanded that the U.N. suspend the appointment of Thai law professor Vitit Muntarbhorn as the independent expert on LGBTQ rights. at the recent LGBTI World Conference in Bangkok, Muntarbhorn called for a global partnership to end anti-LGBTQ violence and discrimination. More from The Washington Blade.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power delivered a powerful speech opposing the proposal, saying, “If you believe that people should not be discriminated against, or harassed, or attacked, or killed for who they are and for who they love, please join the United States in voting against this amendment.” Ambassador Power also referenced the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando earlier this year that took the lives of 49 LGBTQ people and allies. “Tell me, why would any Member State stand in the way of trying to prevent violence like the attack at the Orlando nightclub?” she said. Read her full remarks here.

TUESDAY TWEET: When Jessica Rodriguez and Chelsea Miller became engaged in Chicago on Saturday, they weren’t the only ones overcome with emotion, The Washington Blade reports. Check out the adorable viral photo shared by Rodriguez’s brother, featuring a bystander who was happily shocked by the engagement.

MERYL STREEP TO BE HONORED WITH HRC’S ALLY FOR EQUALITY AWARD: HRC will honor critically-acclaimed, multi-award-winning actress Meryl Streep with the organization’s Ally for Equality Award at the 2017 HRC Greater New York Gala on February 11, 2017. “Throughout her phenomenal career, Meryl Streep has used her voice to stand up for the LGBTQ community,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Whether through her iconic roles that raised the visibility of LGBTQ people, or by boldly speaking out for equality, Meryl Streep embodies the very nature of what it means to be an ally to our community.” The HRC Ally for Equality Award recognizes the outstanding efforts of those who use their voice to publicly stand-up for the LGBTQ community. Streep credits childhood music teachers for helping to open her eyes to LGBTQ acceptance, including her gay piano teacher and his partner, and a transgender music teacher. Streep told Between the Line News that her role in Angels in America — HBO’s 2003 groundbreaking miniseries about the HIV and AIDS crisis — was one of the most important in her career. Streep won one of her eight Golden Globe Awards for that role, and during her acceptance speech in 2004, she also famously spoke out for marriage equality. More from HRC and The Hollywood Reporter.

TEGAN AND SARA LAUNCH FOUNDATION FOR LGBTQ GIRLS AND WOMAN: Canadian indie-pop duo and LGBTQ advcates Tegan and Sarah have launched a foundation for to support the work of organizations fighting for LGBTQ and women’s rights. In their inaugural statement, they say the foundation will “fight against the repressive legislation of the incoming Trump administration” and “against regressive homophobic, transphobic, and misogynistic legislation.” Tegan and Sara are longtime supporters of HRC, joining HRC’s Equality Rocks program in 2013. More from Paper Magazine.

TWO TUNISIAN MEN TO STAND TRIAL AFTER ACCUSATIONS OF BEING LGBTQ: Earlier this month, the men were arrested by police under suspicion of being LGBTQ; they will stand trial on January 6. Same-sex sexual activity is punishable by up to three years in prison in the conservative North African country. More from Erasing 76 Crimes.

DOZENS GATHER FOR MONTENEGRO’S LGBTQ PRIDE EVENT: This weekend, the conservative country of Montenegro celebrated an LGBTQ Pride event. More from The Associated Press.

READING RAINBOW

Steven Petrow (@StevenPetrow) gives a refresher in The Washington Post on the best ways to address transgender and gender-expansive people in writing and in person… HRC sits down with Nicole Elinoff, HRC 2016 HIV 360° Fellow, to discuss her vision of an AIDS-free generation… BuzzFeed talks to an ACLU staff attorney about legally changing gender markers on identification documents…

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