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#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: November 2, 2016

COUNTDOWN and #turnOUT: Six days until Election Day and  over 23 million ballots are already in. Early voter turnout has increased this year in states including Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Wisconsin and Utah compared to this point in the 2012 election.  

  • Congressman Mark  Takano, the first openly gay person of color to serve in the U.S. Congress, spells out all the ways Hillary Clinton will advocate for LGBTQ equality as president. More here.

“YOU KNOW WHO ELSE DOESN’T LIKE HB2? REPUBLICANS”: You really can’t make this stuff up: the North Carolina GOP is trying to shut down a nonpartisan forum The Charlotte Observer is hosting today to discuss HB2. Seems the NCGOP objects to the Observer’s effort to provide “an opportunity for leaders and the public to discuss an issue that — perhaps more than any other this year — has shaped this election and this state.” The Observer reports that in a “rather incredible” letter to the state Board of Elections, “NCGOP chairman Robin Hayes called for the state to stop people from talking bad about the law,” making the specious claim that the forum was tantamount to a Democratic campaign event and would violate election law. Hayes fails to note that the forum’s panel includes prominent Republicans, or that Governor Pat McCrory, who signed the discriminatory HB2 into law, was among Republican lawmakers who declined an invite. Instead, The Observer notes,  the NCGOP attempts to distract rather than participate in an honest look at HB2 – one that Republicans know is “not a good look for them at all.” Read more here.

  • WATCH: Andrew Johnson, a North Carolina businessman who voted for Pat McCrory in previous elections, explains why he won’t this year because of the disastrous effect HB2 has had on his state’s economy. “As a businessman, I see Governor McCrory really scaring away great opportunities to grow businesses here,” he says. Watch the HRC-supported ad here.

HRC CALLS FOR FULL TRANSPARENCY ON RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE IN U.S. ELECTION: Yesterday, HRC called for full transparency about ongoing investigations into the Donald Trump campaign ties to Russia. Several media reports offer conflicting information about potential connections between Trump and the Russian government, which has a history of anti-LGBTQ extremism. “The growing reports of suspicious communication between the Trump Organization and Russian leaders is deeply disturbing to any voter who believes in equality and freedom,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Throughout this campaign, Donald Trump has praised the strongman tactics of Vladimir Putin, a man who has routinely put LGBTQ people, journalists and political opponents in his cross-hairs. When LGBTQ advocates cannot even meet in Russia without being subject to government surveillance, we cannot afford a president who would take any cues from a brutal dictator like Vladimir Putin. With just one week to Election Day, the American people have a right to know the full extent of any collaboration between Donald Trump’s campaign and the authoritarian Russian regime of Vladimir Putin.”

WHAT WE’RE READING WEDNESDAY: Make time for a book by an LGBTQ author. Check out this list from NBC, which marked National Author’s Day yesterday by highlighting 11 openly LGBTQ authors, including Alison Bechdel, Leslie Feinberg, Audre Lorde, David Sedaris, Alice Walker and Oscar Wilde.

TRANSGENDER INCLUSION IN THE WORKPLACE: The HRC Foundation has released a new video toolkit to help employers provide a supportive environment for their transgender employees and applicants. It addresses topics including transitioning at work and providing inclusive benefits. More here.

GSAs COULD REDUCE BULLYING IN SCHOOLS: New research from the Greater Good Science Center shows that LGBTQ students at schools with gay-straight alliances (GSAs) were less likely to experience bullying in schools. More from The Huffington Post.

TANZANIA DANGEROUSLY SUSPENDS HIV PREVENTION PROGRAMS FOR MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN: Tanzania has suspended some HIV programs for men who have sex with men, but will continue to provide services to other groups. Earlier this year, the country threatened to ban any group that “promotes” LGBTQ people. Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Tanzania and punishable by up to 30 years in prison. More from Reuters.

READING RAINBOW

OutSports profiles a gay, Christian athlete struggling for acceptance… Palm Desert Patch shares details of a candlelight vigil for LGBTQ activist George Zander… HRC highlights Hillary Clinton’s commitment to LGBTQ youth and families in honor of National Adoption Month…

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