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#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: November 15, 2016

FBI REPORTS ALARMING SPIKE IN REPORTS OF HATE-FUELED VIOLENCE IN WAKE OF TRUMP ELECTION: Yesterday, the FBI reported that hate crimes against Muslim Americans have increased over the last year, driving a seven percent rise in all hate crimes reported. Attacks against transgender people also increased, the FBI says. These stories are terrifying, and add to the growing national alarm at Trump’s decision to name as his chief White House strategist the anti-LGBTQ white nationalist Steve Bannon. In the days since Donald Trump’s election, there has been a terrifying uptick in reports of hate-fueled crimes and harassment against people of color, as well as LGBTQ, Muslim and Jewish people. This weekend, Trump’s name and a swastika were painted on an LGBTQ affirming church in Indiana. BuzzFeed’s Tasneem Nashrulla (@TasneemN) has been reporting on a number of racist, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynistic and anti-LGBTQ attacks and instances of harassment, during which many of the perpetrators explicitly mentioned Trump as a way of justifying the hateful acts. And more from The New York Times and NPR.

  • New York Senator Chuck Schumer, poised to become Senate Minority Leader, pledges to protect hard-won LGBTQ rights during the Trump Administration. In a powerful piece published this morning in The Advocate citing Stonewall, Pulse and HB2, Schumer says he will “do all in my power to prevent any backsliding on hard-won rights and to push back against a national discourse that allows for anything less than a full measure of respect for all Americans and would-be Americans.” Read it here.

NORTH CAROLINA VOTERS REJECT PAT MCCRORY AND HIS DISCRIMINATORY HB2: When all votes are counted, it appears North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory will have lost on Election Day, running 63,000 votes behind his fellow Republican, Donald Trump, who won the state. North Carolina voters rejected McCrory in large part for his enthusiastic embrace of the anti-LGBTQ HB2 law, which has tarnished the state’s reputation and put countless LGBTQ residents — particularly transgender people — at risk, and resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in lost commerce, including dozens of canceled sporting events, concerts and conventions. Once the results are certified, Attorney General Roy Cooper’s victory will be confirmed. By electing Cooper their next governor, North Carolinians have sent a powerful message across their state and this country that the days of anti-LGBTQ politicians targeting our community for political gain are over. More from The Associated Press.

  • Three people accused of brutally attacking a transgender woman with a hatchet on Nov. 7th have been arrested in Charlotte, according to local reports. “I really felt like I was dying slow,” Ralayzia, the 24-year-old victim said in an interview with WSOC-Channel 9. The assailants, two 18-year-olds and a 15-year-old, chased Ralayzia into a Charlotte park around 10:30 a.m., stabbing and robbing her. Federal authorities are working with local police on the investigation. More here.
  • Federal trial over HB2 delayed until late summer. ABC News reports that the trial, supposed to begin Monday, has been delayed at the request of attorneys on both sides pending a decision in the Grimm case that is before the U.S. Supreme Court. More here.
  • Underscoring the reality that equality is not just the right thing to do, but good for business, Management Science reports that LGBTQ-friendly states are also leaders in innovation. Read more here.

TUESDAY TWEET: Google shares a heartwarming video about building inclusive businesses and communities for transgender people. Google is an ally in the fight for LGBTQ equality, earning a perfect score on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index.

VA WITHDRAWS PROPOSED RULE ALLOWING VETERANS TO ACCESS GENDER AFFIRMATION SURGERY: A proposed rule allowing veterans to access gender affirmation surgery through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was withdrawn over questions about funding. In a statement to Military.com, the VA says it will “continue to explore a regulatory change that would allow VA to perform [gender affirmation surgery] and a change in the medical benefits package, when appropriated funding is available.” The rule was first proposed in June of this year and listed in the department’s Fall 2016 Unified Agenda, but pulled after the Office of Management and Budget questioned how the VA would fund the change. More from HRC.

JOURNALIST AND TRAILBLAZER GWEN IFILL PASSES: HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) issued the following statement, upon the news of award-winning PBS anchor Gwen Ifill’s passing: “Gwen Ifill was a trailblazer and an unparalleled force for journalistic integrity. She was courageous and determined and tireless in using her considerable platform to hold political leaders accountable. Each and every week, Gwen informed the American public about Washington and the world. I had the honor of first meeting her when I was 18 years old, and that honor only grew as I came to know her and consider her a friend. I am deeply saddened by the news of her passing today, but hopeful that her decades of work have inspired countless journalists to live up to the example she set — every day — for decades to come.” More from HRC.

HRC’s PARENTS FOR TRANSGENDER EQUALITY SHARE PERSONAL STORIES AT LAUNCH OF GROUNDBREAKING COALITION: During Monday’s launch of HRC Foundation’s Parents for Transgender Equality, Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA) spoke about his experience as the grandfather of a transgender girl, and about founding Congress’ first-ever task force on transgender equality. His was among the deeply personal and inspiring stories shared by the parents who are part of the new coalition. After the event at HRC headquarters, they also met with members of Congress, including Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (D-FL), to discuss creating a more inclusive world for transgender children. Watch the Facebook Live stream of the launch event, including testimonials from several parents of transgender children, here. And read Emma Brown’s (@EmmersBrown) insightful piece about the parents in today’s Washington Post.

ANTI-EQUALITY BILLS FILED FOR 2017 TEXAS STATE LEGISLATIVE SESSION: Yesterday was the first day of pre-filing of bills for Texas’ upcoming legislative session, starting in May 2017. Texas State Senator Bob Hall filed an anti-equality bill preventing Texas cities from enforcing nondiscrimination laws that protect any class not already included in state law – such as sexual orientation or gender identity. This bill would nullify protections for nearly nine million Texans if it was passed into law More from The New Civil Rights Movement.

  • The Texas Observer reports that Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s “wish list” includes a discriminatory HB2-style bill couched in the phony, false language of women’s “safety.” See the list here.
  • Also in Texas: Two churches received letters from the Baptist General Convention of Texas stating they could be expelled because of their affirming position on LGBTQ people. Stand Strong, Wilshire Baptist in Dallas and First Baptist in Austin. More from The Houston Chronicle.

UNCONFIRMED REPORT OF ISIL MURDER OF GAY MAN: Shocking and terrifying photos have emerged of suspected ISIL members throwing a gay man to his death from a building in Iraq. HRC recently released a white paper providing background on the situation facing LGBTQ Iraqis and Syrians under ISIL control, and including recommendations for the U.S. government, the United Nations and others. The primary focus of those recommendations is helping LGBTQ people flee the most dangerous areas and find refuge in more LGBTQ-friendly places. More from The Gay UK.

READING RAINBOW

The Omaha World-Herald talks to David Burdge, a gay stand-up comic speaking to his own experience… POZ releases “The POZ 100,” celebrating Southern HIV and AIDS advocates, including HRC’s Leslie Hall… HRC interviews adoptive parents for National Adoption Month… San Diego LGBT Weekly reports that First Lady Michelle Obama has invited 12 community-based organizations to the White House today at 2 PM ET, including the nation’s longest running LGBTQ youth theater group… 

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!