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#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: October 17, 2016

NEW HRC INDEX SHOWS CITIES IN BOTH BLUE AND RED STATES LEADING THE WAY IN LGBTQ EQUALITY: Today, HRC and the Equality Federation Institute, released their fifth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI), the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policy. The 2016 MEI reveals that cities across the nation are not waiting for their states to extend vital protections to the LGBTQ community, nor are they intimidated by some state elected officials threatening to deny cities the ability to extend fully-inclusive protections to their residents and workers. Instead, municipalities in red states and blue states alike are boldly enacting laws and policies prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ people in employment, housing and public accommodations, and working to ensure that everyone is guaranteed the same access to city services. Read more here from TIME magazine’s Katy Steinmetz (@katysteinmetz). Some key findings:

  • This year, 60 cities earned perfect scores for advancing fully-inclusive policies and practices — up from 47 in 2015 and 11 in 2012, the first year of the MEI.
  • Since the MEI’s debut in 2012, the number of cities earning perfect scores has more than quintupled, and today at least 24 million people now live in cities that have more comprehensive, transgender-inclusive non-discrimination laws than their state.
  • 87 cities from states without nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ people scored above the overall nationwide mean of 55 points. These cities averaged 80-point scores; 22 scored a perfect 100.
  • Cities continue to excel even in the absence of state laws: 37 “All Star” cities in states lacking comprehensive non-discrimination laws scored above 85 points, up from 31 last year, 15 in 2014, eight in 2013, and just two in 2012.

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 25 YEARS, THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER DOES NOT ENDORSE PAT MCCRORY: Citing North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s disastrous HB2 law, The Charlotte Observer Editorial Board chose not to endorse McCrory for the first time in a quarter century. Before this, the Observer had endorsed McCrory for two city council races, seven mayoral races and two gubernatorial races. Instead, the board endorsed Attorney General Roy Cooper for North Carolina Governor. Cooper, also endorsed by HRC, has said he will not defend the discriminatory HB2 in court and has vowed to repeal the bill if elected governor. Read the full endorsement at The Charlotte Observer.

  • Responding to reports that a county GOP office in North Carolina firebombed, HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) tweeted: “Violence has no place in our politics, period. Relieved that no one was injured & hope we can all work together to #StopTheHate.”
  • ICYMI: Following The Charlotte Observer’s  powerful and heartbreaking series, Permission to Hate, documenting anti-LGBTQ crime and discrimination in North Carolina, Executive Editor Rick Thames issued an urgent call to action,  “Let’s put a stop LGBTQ cruelty in our state,” offering a behind-the-scenes account of the series and announcing plans for a public forum to discuss what can be done  to “protect members of the LGBTQ community and to calm fears that triggered HB2.”
  • The Duke (University) Chronicle interviews transgender advocate and HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride) at a recent Hillary Clinton campaign event in Raleigh. Read the Q&A here.
  • HB2 U, Pat! Today, on McCrory’s 60th birthday, North Carolina’s most celebrated writers and artists, including John Grisham, marked the occasion with a full-page advertisement in the Raleigh News & Observer urging voters to support candidates who will repeal the discriminatory HB2:

HRC ENDORSES IN NC LT. GOVERNOR AND ATTORNEY GENERAL RACE: On Friday, announced its endorsement of Josh Stein for the office of North Carolina Attorney General, which is being vacated by Roy Cooper. Stein’s opponent, Buck Newton, has been an outspoken defender of the vile and dangerous HB2. While defending the law in April, Newton notoriously told a crowd, “Go home, tell your friends and family who had to work today what this is all about and how hard we must fight to keep our state straight.” More from HRC.

MONDAY MUST WATCH: This weekend, Donald Trump actually claimed that the satirical comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live was “rigging the election.” Check out a few of Saturday’s election-themed clips here and here.

OBAMACARE KID GROWS INTO HER OWN: The Washington Post catches up with “The Obamacare Kid,” who came out as transgender earlier this year. Marci, 17, still passionate about healthcare, now also advocates for the LGBTQ community and is learning and growing as a musician. She shares her journey of coming out, and how the Affordable Care Act helps transgender people to medically transition. Read the full profile at The Washington Post.

COMING OUT AS TRANS IN THE WORKPLACE: In the latest installment of The Des Moines Register’s ambitious and illuminating series, “Trans in Iowa: Fighting for Visibility,” reporter Courtney Crowder (@CourtneyCare) explores what it’s like to come out as transgender in the workplace. Read the full piece (and read the previous installments) here.

HBD, PLANNED PARENTHOOD! Yesterday Planned Parenthood marked its 100th birthday, celebrating a  century of providing vital healthcare to marginalized communities, including the LGBTQ community, and protecting everyone’s right to make their own decisions about their bodies and their health. More from The Advocate.

FOR OUR COMMUNITY, HIV IS TOO IMPORTANT TO IGNORE: Saturday marked National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day, and Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC’s senior vice president for research, training and programs, and Brent A. Wilkes, the national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, penned a piece for The Advocate to draw attention to the impact of HIV & AIDS on Latinx communities.

READING RAINBOW

BuzzFeed shares tips for parents of LGBTQ children… USA Today asks the question “What does it mean to identify as LGBT?”…  The Huffington Post takes a look at the LGBTQ-affirming children’s show “Steven Universe”… PinkNews shares a heartwarming letter from Hillary Clinton’s gay “nephew”…  BuzzFeed explains how puberty blockers work…

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!