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#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: September 26, 2016

WHEN THE VP CANDIDATE PLANS TO WATCH THE DEBATE WITH YOU smile 

Tonight, vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine will join Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin and Orlando-area supporters to watch the highly anticipated presidential debates. It’s been less than a month since Senator Kaine addressed more than 3,600 LGBTQ advocates and allies at HRC’s National Dinner. There, he shared his and Hillary Clinton’s devotion to LGBTQ equality and rebuked Donald Trump’s attempts to pander to the LGBTQ community — pandering that started in the wake of the tragedy in Orlando. When it comes to LGBTQ equality, there couldn’t be more stark contrasts between a Trump-Pence and Clinton-Kain administration — with all the progress made in the last 8 years at risk.  Follow HRC on Twitter for live-debate reaction.

  • Florida’s LGBTQ voters are crucial to Election Day results … LGBTQ voters can have an impact up and down the ticket in Florida. Today, there are an estimated 709,500 LGBTQ adults living in Florida — a substantial population given that the state was won in the last three presidential elections by an average of just 230,579 votes.
  • #turnOUT 2016: There are only 42 days until Nov. 8 and HRC’s Chad Griffin is on the road for equality. Last week, he was in Phoenix and Minneapolis. Says Griffin, “With everything on the line for our community, mobilizing the equality vote is crucial.” More from HRC.
  • #ASKTHEGAYS: New NBC polling released on Friday shows that a large majority (72 percent) of registered LGBTQ voters support Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. If you’re wondering why that might be… see above. Also, a new Associated Press-GfK poll shows that more than half the country fears a Trump presidency.

TOMORROW IN ORLANDO, HRC’S CHAD GRIFFIN JOINS GABBY GIFFORDS AND MARK KELLY FOR KICK-OFF OF COMMONSENSE GUN SAFETY TOUR: On the heels of the presidential debate, HRC President Chad Griffin will join Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly to urge the majority of Americans who support common-sense gun violence prevention laws to vote in November. The event marks the kick-off of a 14-state tour by Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC — which Congresswoman Giffords and Kelly co-founded. Four days after the devastating attack on Pulse, the Human Rights Campaign’s board of directors passed a resolution endorsing common-sense gun violence prevention policy measures. The Tuesday event will also feature Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.; Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla.; Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.; Angel Colon, survivor of the Pulse shooting; Stephanie Murphy, candidate for Florida’s 7th District; Val Demings, candidate for Florida’s 10th District; and Carlos Guillermo Smith, candidate for Florida’s 49th District. More from USA Today.

TRUMP ADDS RICK SANTORUM AS ADVISER: In case you missed it, Donald Trump once again doubled down on his anti-equality agenda, hiring notoriously anti-LGBTQ politician Rick Santorum as an adviser. Santorum is infamous for his anti-LGBTQ positions. Let’s take a minute to review a few of his stances on the LGBTQ community:

  • Santorum said that discussing transgender youth in schools would promote “dangerous confusion.”
  • Santorum has literally said “I don’t believe in hate crimes.”
  • Santorum considers being LGBTQ to be a “lifestyle choice.”
  • Santorum supports the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy.”
  • Santorum compared same-sex marriage to the September 11 terrorist attacks, beastiality and phedophilia.

More on Santorum and the rest of Trump’s associates from HRC.

ALSO IN HIS ANTI-LGBTQ CREW: Ted Cruz. Cruz endorsed Trump, saying the decision came from “prayers and searching [his] own conscience.” Cruz has consistently opposed equality for LGBTQ Americans. And he’s gone even further, attacking fellow Republicans for marching in pride parades, warning of the threat of “mandatory gay marriage” and calling 2016 the “religious liberty election.” He also vowed to make his opposition to LGBTQ equality a centerpiece of his presidential campaign prior to dropping out. More from HRC.

MONDAY MUST WATCH: On Sunday morning, equality activist Cleve Jones talked to the TODAY Show about the historic roots of the LGBTQ rights movement in San Francisco’s Castro District. HRC’s San Francisco action center and store is located in the former home of civil rights legend Harvey Milk. In his interview Cleve said, “These stories matter.” We couldn’t agree more. Watch here.

POTENTIAL HATE CRIME CHARGES FOR MURDER OF TRANS WOMAN: Mercedes Williamson’s murder may become the first federal hate crime prosecution involving a transgender person. Josh Vallum, who is serving a life sentence for the crime, may be charged with a hate crime — the first time in U.S. history the killer of a transgender person would be prosecuted under federal hate crime law. More from The Miami Herald.

HRC TAKES ACTION ON INJECTABLE ESTROGEN SHORTAGE: HRC has reached out to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials to express concern about the potential impact of a shortage of injectable estrogen on transgender women and others who utilize the drug. This shortage exist for both Delestrogen and its generic counterpart estradiol valerate. Because hormone therapy is such a critical component of many transgender individual’s gender affirmation process, lack of access to these vital medications has the potential to pose a serious health threat to transgender women. More from The Guardian.

LOL NOM: Perhaps it’s time for the National Organization for Marriage to change their name — at a planned protest of Mexican marriage-equality last week, the “national” organization drew an outstanding crowd in the single-digits. More from HRC.

LGBTQ RIGHTS AT THE UN: Last week, the United Nations held its highest-ever meeting on LGBTQ rights. During the event, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the advancements the U.N. has made since his appointment as Secretary-General, including the launch of U.N. Free and Equal and the Human Rights Council’s recent vote to create the first-ever position of a U.N. Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. More from HRC.

PRIDE-GOERS BLOCKED BY UGANDAN POLICE: This weekend, more than 100 LGBTQ people attempted to attend a pride parade in Uganda, but many were blocked by police. Uganda is one of over 70 countries where same-sex relationships is illegal. More from BBC.

READING RAINBOW

The Washington Blade interviews global LGBTQ advocates, including HRC Global Innovator Tarek Zeidan, about Donald Trump… The New York Times shares six locations significant to Britain’s LGBTQ history… The Advocate highlights the LGBTQ stories shared at the Smithsonian’s African-American Museum… BuzzFeed highlights historic bisexual women in a new comic… Hillary Clinton’s campaign released a powerful ad highlighting Trump’s terrible anti-women rhetoric… and The New York Times shares one professor’s take on asking students about their pronouns…

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!