NC GOV-ELECT ROY COOPER EXPANDS LEAD TO NEARLY 10,000 VOTES — IT’S TIME TO #MOVEONMCCRORY: Yesterday, HRC and Equality North Carolina once again called on Pat McCrory to accept the will of the voters, drop his baseless protests and concede the gubernatorial race to Governor-elect Roy Cooper. In a powerful editorial headlined, “McCrory will be remembered for this lack of grace,” The Charlotte Observer writes that McCrory “and his fellow scaremongers have disrespected democracy and honest election workers of both parties while slandering innocent North Carolina citizens by recklessly accusing them of felonies.” Earlier this week, the Republican-controlled State Board of Elections issued an order requiring dismissal of all 52 of McCrory’s desperate protests. And yesterday even the North Carolina GOP said it expects the race to be formally resolved “within days.” The latest vote tallies show that Cooper’s margin of victory continues to grow, with McCrory now running nearly 10,000 votes behind. “Governor-elect Roy Cooper is the clear winner of this race, and it’s far past time for Pat McCrory to stop his desperate attempts to undermine the will of the voters,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “Enough is enough. Move on, McCrory.” With a stunning 66 percent of North Carolina voters voicing opposition to HB2 in exit polling, it’s clear that the discriminatory measure McCrory signed into law cost him his re-election bid and dragged down several state candidates. More from HRC.
We’re up to a 9,730 vote lead. Stay up-to-date at https://t.co/CgqcGJIDAf
— Roy Cooper (@RoyCooperNC) November 29, 2016
- Meanwhile, a federal court on Tuesday ordered a special NC legislative election next year to address unconstitutional racial gerrymandering in 28 House and Senate districts, The Charlotte Observer reports. “While special elections have costs,” the three-judge panel wrote, “those costs pale in comparison to the injury caused by allowing citizens to continue to be represented by legislators elected pursuant to a racial gerrymander.” Legislators have until March 15 to redraw the unconstitutional map, with elections in the fall. Read more here.
LAME DUCK MUST-DO? PASSING A DEFENSE BILL THAT DOESN’T UNDERMINE LGBTQ PROTECTIONS ✅: With just a few short weeks left in the 114th Congress, we are close to passing a crucial must-do item — drafting a defense bill that doesn’t undermine civil rights protections. The Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson (@ChrisJohnson82) reports that the Russell Amendment, an anti-civil rights provision that would have allowed religious organizations with federal contracts or grants to discriminate against their employees, including LGBTQ employees, has been stripped from the National Defense Authorization Act. This would have not only undermined President Obama’s executive order banning LGBTQ discrimination by federal contractors, but also allowed sweeping taxpayer funded discrimination across the federal government. The Russell Amendment is one of the most significant threats to LGBTQ people, women, religious minorities, and others we have seen in Congress in years. More from The Washington Blade.
WHAT WE’RE READING WEDNESDAY: The New York Times’ Editorial Board discusses Taiwan’s fight for marriage equality, and the potential for the country to become the first in Asia to allow same-sex couples to marry. The country’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, supports marriage equality, and there are several bills before in the country’s legislative body with support from all major parties. The Times writes, “Taiwan should become another nation to recognize that love is love, regardless of sexual orientation.” Read the full piece here.
SEVENTH CIRCUIT COURT COULD DETERMINE THAT SEXUAL ORIENTATION EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION VIOLATES FEDERAL LAW: Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Illinois will hear oral arguments en banc about whether existing civil rights law should be interpreted to include protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation. The case involves Kimberly Hively, who claims she was denied promotions and the opportunity to work full time because she is openly lesbian. The initial, unfavorable decision of a three judge panel of the court said she could not sue under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it does not cover sexual orientation. The en banc hearing could result in the prior decision being overruled. More from Reuters.
PITTSBURGH CITY COUNCIL MAY BAN SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY”: Pittsburgh City Council President Bruce Kraus and Councilmember Dan Gilman introduced legislation that would ban the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy” in the city, reports The Incline. The final vote on this bill will likely take place December 13.
NY GOVERNOR DOUBLES DOWN AGAINST HATE CRIMES: Following the recent uptick in hate crimes across the nation, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced several actions to protect the civil rights of New Yorkers, including those in the LGBTQ community. Cuomo plans on creating a State Police unit to investigate reports of hate crimes, working to pass legislation to expand New York’s human rights law to protect more students and establishing a new legal defense fund for immigrants. More from HRC.
MEDICAL ASSOCIATIONS JOIN TO OPPOSE ANTI-LGBTQ LEGISLATION: The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), HIV Medical Association (HIVMA) and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) joined to publicly denounce laws and policies that harm members of the LGBTQ community and impede efforts to bring about an end to the HIV and AIDS epidemic. More from HRC.