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#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: October 28, 2016

COUNTDOWN and #turnOUT: 11 days until Election Day and new polling shows Hillary Clinton pulling ahead with a strong lead in North Carolina and Virginia, and closing the gap in Georgia and Iowa. Helping make the difference: North Carolina has more than 255,800 LGBTQ voters, Virginia has 188,900, Georgia has 269,900 and Iowa has 67,100.

HILLARY CLINTON LAYS OUT BOLD PLAN TO COMBAT BULLYING IN SCHOOLS: Today, Hillary Clinton announced her “Better than Bullying” initiative, which aims to provide students, families and educators with resources to combat the epidemic of bullying in our nation’s schools. The effort calls for $500 million in funding for states and includes explicit policies protecting and providing resources for LGBTQ students and their families. LGBTQ students, and especially trans youth, disproportionately face bullying in schools, and Clinton’s plan calls for comprehensive measures to address bullying on the basis of  sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and religion. The plan allows states to tailor their policies and programs based upon local communities’ needs. More from HRC.

  • An HRC Foundation survey of 10,000 LGBTQ youth in 2012 found that three-quarters of transgender students feel unsafe in school settings. It also found that LGBTQ youth are about twice as likely as non-LGBTQ youth to be excluded for being different (48 percent), to be verbally harassed (51 percent) or physically attacked (17 percent) at school.

RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER EXCORIATES STATE OFFICIAL OVER  “PREPOSTEROUS” CLAIM THAT HB2 HASN’T HURT NC ECONOMY: In a blistering editorial yesterday, the Raleigh News & Observer suggests that state Commerce Secretary John Skvarla needs a reality check after asserting that the discriminatory HB2 law hasn’t led to job or economic losses. Characterizing Skvarla’s clearly political comments as among the most “preposterous, downright fanciful” of the election season, the N&O also noted the obvious: Governor Pat McCrory’s HB2 has “cost the state thousands of jobs and millions of dollars. And the losses of jobs and economic impact from huge events will continue until it is repealed.” Business leaders aren’t buying what McCrory sent Skvarla to sell, the editorial board said. Here’s the N&O’s reality check for McCrory and Skvarla: “HB2 isn’t just some political gaffe on the part of Republicans who apparently could care less what it’s done to the state’s reputation. It is a certifiable disaster and the consequences from it are only going to get worse.”

  • #turnOUT in North Carolina: Yesterday HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) joined HRC volunteers and gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper in Asheville to encourage supporters to vote early and rally #TurnOUT NC supporters in the Tar Heel State. He will continue to campaign today with Cooper, and for other pro-equality North Carolina candidates including State Senator Josh Stein, who is running for Attorney General. More from Asheville’s Citizen-Times.
  • Despicable – NC Republicans try to remove 100-year-old woman from voting rolls: The Nation’s Ari Berman (@AriBerman) reports that just before early voting began in North Carolina, Republicans tried to boot Grace Bell Hardison, a 100-year-old African-American woman and regular voter, off the voting rolls in the town where she’s lived all her life. The effort was dropped after an outcry over the GOP’s targeting of Hardison and other Black and Democratic voters. Read more here.

TRANS TEEN FIGHTING FOR HIS RIGHTS PENS OP-ED IN WAPO: In a powerful op-ed in The Washington Post, Gavin Grimm, the transgender teen who sued his Virginia School District over its refusal to grant him access to the boys’ restroom, shares his heartbreaking story of being discriminated against in his school, and humiliated by an institution where he should feel the most safe. The Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled in Grimm’s favor earlier this year. The school district has asked the Supreme Court to overturn the lower court’s ruling. The Supreme Court of the United States could announce they will hear the case shortly. Read the full piece here.

HILLARY CLINTON AND FLOTUS IN NC: Hillary Clinton continued to be a vocal champion of LGBTQ equality, telling supporters at a campaign rally with Michelle Obama in North Carolina yesterday that “if you believe everyone deserves to be treated equally no matter who they are or who they love, you’ve got to turn out.” At the same rally, First Lady Michelle Obama voiced her support for gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper — a pro-equality champion who would repeal the discriminatory HB2 — and issued a powerful call to #turnOUT and vote. Watch Clinton and FLOTUS here.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: Two former contestants on “Bachelor Australia” found love in a way the show didn’t intend — with each other. Megan Marx and Tiffany Scanlon confirmed their relationship this week by posting on Instagram. Cue the warm-fuzzies! More from BuzzFeed.

ORLANDO MAGIC CREATES HEARTWARMING TRIBUTE TO PULSE: This week, the Orlando Magic dedicated their 2016-17 season opener to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The tribute included a performance of the song “Forty-Nine Times” and the raising of a #49 banner inscribed with the names of those who lost their lives that terrible night. Get out your tissues and watch here.

WORLD BANK APPOINTS CLIFTON CORTEZ AS FIRST-EVER SENIOR ADVISOR ON SOGI ISSUES: The World Bank announced today that Clifton Cortez will serve as the organization’s first-ever Advisor on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) issues. In the newly- created senior position, Cortez will be responsible for promoting LGBTQ inclusion throughout the work of the World Bank. In a release, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said, “Discrimination against any group is not only morally wrong, it stands in the way of sustained, balanced, and inclusive economic growth.” More from HRC.

A CASE FOR THE “Q”: TIME’S Katy Steinmetz (@katysteinmetz) discusses the rise of the use of “LGBTQ” as opposed to “LGBT” by major advocacy and news organizations. “Queer” is a word with a complicated modern history — both used in a defiant chant originated by LGBTQ rights activists more than a quarter century ago to confront bigotry, and hijacked by hate-mongers doubling down on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. More from TIME.

WEDDING BELLS IN GIBRALTAR: The British territory of Gibraltar passed marriage equality with unanimous, cross-party support. Gibraltar is a largely Catholic country off the coast of Spain. More from Gay Star News.

READING RAINBOW

The Huffington Post talks to one trans woman about her reason for campaigning for Hillary Clinton… The New York Times reviewed a revived play with LGBTQ themes, and the progress since its original run… Steven Petrow (@StevenPetrow) writes for The Washington Post about Trump’s failing polling with LGBTQ voters…

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