TRUMP TAPS ANTI-CIVIL RIGHTS SEN. JEFF SESSIONS FOR AG — HE OPPOSES MARRIAGE EQUALITY, VOTING RIGHTS, AND ONCE SPOKE ADMIRINGLY OF THE KKK: Donald Trump today will reportedly announce as his choice for U.S. Attorney General Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), one of the most virulently anti-LGBTQ politicians in America, and someone who has voted for a Constitutional ban on marriage equality, opposed the Voting Rights Act, has spoken admiringly of the KKK, voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, and been on the wrong side of every civil rights issue in his long, hateful political career. He also opposes immigration reform, and voted against expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation, gender and disability. Sessions received a zero on HRC’s congressional scorecard, and the ACLU characterizes his voting record as anti-civil rights. The New York Times this morning reminds that Session’s nomination for a federal judgeship in 1986 was rejected by the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee because of racially charged comments and actions; at the time, Sessions was one of two judicial nominees whose selections were halted by the panel in nearly 50 years. Reports the Times: “In testimony before the committee, former colleagues said that Mr. Sessions had referred to the N.A.A.C.P., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and other civil rights groups as ‘un-American’ and ‘Communist-inspired.’ An African-American federal prosecutor then, Thomas H. Figures, said Mr. Sessions had referred to him as ‘boy’ and testified that Mr. Sessions said the Ku Klux Klan was fine ‘until I found out they smoked pot.’” More from The New York Times.
- Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, Trump pick for National Security Advisor, has history of animus toward LGBTQ people — at the 2016 Republican Convention, he used his prime time appearance to launch a vile attack on transgender people. Watch it here.
IN NC, GOV.-ELECT ROY COOPER INCREASES VICTORY MARGIN TO 6,000-PLUS VOTES, WHILE DESPERATE PAT MCCRORY TRIES TO STEAL ELECTION WITH BOGUS CHALLENGES: North Carolina Governor-elect Roy Cooper’s victory margin has climbed to more than 6,000 votes, on his way to serving the people of his state who last week soundly rejected Governor Pat McCrory. Meanwhile, McCrory is launching an all-out effort to steal the election by lodging bogus challenges in more than half of the state’s 100 counties. Cooper spokesperson Ford Porter notes that McCrory, ousted by voters in large part because the discriminatory HB2 he signed into law, is challenging an election process he and his cronies themselves established. “Gov. McCrory has set a new standard for desperation in his attempts to undermine the results of an election he lost. The truth is this election was administered by Republicans appointed by Gov. McCrory himself,” Porter said. McCrory has a history of attempting to deny voters their voice, and in July, a federal court struck down a law he signed to suppress votes in predominately African-American neighborhoods. Now his campaign is attempting to undo votes already cast. Read more at The Charlotte Observer.
A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH: FATAL VIOLENCE AGAINST TRANSGENDER PEOPLE IN AMERICA 2016: Today, HRC and the Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC) released A Matter of Life and Death: Fatal Violence Against Transgender People in America 2016, a new, heartbreaking report documenting the often deadly violence faced by the transgender community and exploring the factors that fuel these tragic attacks. The report comes ahead of Transgender Day of Remembrance and amidst reports of a surge in hate-based violence and harassment following last week’s election. The report recounts the stories of the at least 21 transgender people who have been murdered since the beginning of 2016; 96 percent were people of color and 85 percent were transgender women. “Violence against transgender people – particularly transgender women of color – remains an urgent, heartbreaking crisis,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “Behind these harrowing statistics are real people who were worthy of safety, dignity, and life. This epidemic of violence serves as a powerful reminder that lives literally depend on each and every one of us to stand up against hate and violence wherever it occurs.” The report includes steps lawmakers can take to address the reality of violence faced by many in the transgender community. More from HRC and TIME.
- Violence against transgender sex workers is pervasive, and not fully captured by police reports. Jasper Scherer (@JaspScherer) of The Washington Post looks at efforts in Washington, D.C., to combat violence against this vulnerable community. More from WaPo.
- Access to healthcare is a critical issue in the transgender community:Sixty percent of trans people lack employer-based health insurance, 50 percent have to educate their providers about their needs and 19 percent have been denied healthcare. More from Renee McLaughlin for HRC.
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) November 18, 2016
FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: This week, HRC was honored with a Shorty Social Good Award for Best Video for HRC’s Moms for Transgender Equality campaign. Last year, one day before Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), HRC released our first Moms for Transgender Equality video. The videos have been viewed than 7.3 million times and had over 200,000 interactions on Facebook alone, reaching millions more around the globe. The videos provides faces and names to the issues facing transgender children, creating a dialogue around how to better support and advocate for transgender youth and their families. More from HRC.
- Dads for Transgender Equality: Earlier this year, HRC launched a Dads for Transgender Equality campaign, featuring some of the spectacular dads of transgender boys and girls of all ages who have become vocal advocates for transgender equality. These videos also highlight the fear and hurt their families face due to anti-transgender prejudice and policies.
SHOCKING REPORT OF TRUMP-MOTIVATED ANTI-LGBTQ HARASSMENT IN TENNESSEE: Yesterday, media reported that two men in Tennessee had their home vandalized by having an anti-LGBTQ slur pinned to their home with a knife bearing the likeness of President-elect Donald Trump. The incident comes the same day that the FBI released Hate Crime Statistics for 2015. The data shows bias-motivated incidents based on gender identity have increased from 31 reported to the FBI in 2013 to 114 in 2015 and a 3.5 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents due to sexual orientation — 1,053 incidents in 2015. More from HRC.
- In Colorado, a transgender woman’s car was vandalized with anti-LGBTQ, pro-Trump hate speech. The woman woke up to find her care covered in anti-LGBTQ slurs, threats and Nazi imagery. More from ABC Denver.
NEW STUDY RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT VA’S DECISION TO DENY GENDER AFFIRMATION SURGERY OVER COST: The Palm Center has released a study questioning the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)’s decision to withdraw a proposed rule allowing veterans to access gender affirmation surgery over questions about funding. The study reveals that the cost of implementing this rule would cost approximately one one-hundredth of one percent of the VA’s annual budget. The study was conducted in December 2014 as the VA considered implementing this rule, but was not released publicly until yesterday. More from The American Military Partner Association.
SEN. TAMMY BALDWIN BECOMES FIRST OPENLY LGBTQ SENATOR ELECTED TO CAUCUS LEADERSHIP: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) was named the secretary of the Senate Democrat conference, making her the first-ever openly LGBTQ senator elected to caucus leadership. She is also the first and only openly LGBTQ senator. More from The Wisconsin State Journal.
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) November 17, 2016
The Huffington Post talks to a survivor of so-called “conversion therapy,” a dangerous and debunked practice supported by Vice President-Elect Mike Pence… AdWeek shares Google’s new video series celebrating transgender stories…