LOUISIANA JUDGE STRIKES DOWN GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE ORDER PROTECTING LGBTQ STATE WORKERS: HRC and Forum for Equality issued the following statements in response to a ruling yesterday by the 19th Judicial District Court striking down Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards’ executive order protecting LGBTQ state workers and contractors from discrimination: “This is a setback with serious consequences for LGBTQ state employees and contractors throughout Louisiana,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “No one should face unfair and unjust discrimination simply because of who they are or whom they love. Upon appeal, we are hopeful that justice will ultimately prevail and these important non-discrimination protections will be restored.” Forum for Equality Executive Director Sarah Jane Brady added, “Forum for Equality is confident that the Governor will continue to fight for the rights of the LGBT community in this state. It is important at this time to be able to send a message to all people and businesses that Louisiana is moving forward and standing on the right side of history.” More from HRC and The Times-Picayune.
●Meanwhile, many states taking steps to protect LGBTQ people: Will Greenberg (@WRGree) of Mother Jones reports on HRC’s new State Equality Index showing that despite a slew anti-LGBTQ bills raised in 2016, the community also saw a number of wins. “There has definitely been some good to come out of the last 12 months,” HRC Regional Field Director Lynne Bowman tells Greenberg. More here.
●In North Carolina, during yet another special session, lawmakers continue to betray North Carolinians by refusing to fully repeal HB2 and instead working to undermine the governor’s authority. Pro-equality Roy Cooper nailed it with his response on Twitter. More from NYT.
#NCGA should focus on higher teacher pay, better wages for working North Carolinians and repealing HB 2.
— Roy Cooper (@RoyCooperNC) December 15, 2016
ROY MOORE’S DESPERATE ATTEMPT TO UNDO HIS SUSPENSION FROM THE ALABAMA SUPREME COURT: Yesterday, HRC slammed suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore for his last-ditch appeal to the Alabama Court of the Judiciary to restore his salary and ability to participate in legal decisions. “This is the desperate final act of Roy Moore’s failed campaign to restore his position on the Alabama Supreme Court after flagrantly and willfully attempting to block marriage equality at every turn,” said Eva Kendrick, state manager for the Human Rights Campaign Alabama. “Roy Moore is wasting the court’s time and Alabama taxpayer money, and we urge members of the Court of the Judiciary to stand by their decision.” In September, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary suspended Moore from the bench for the remainder of his term, due to his unethical and extralegal actions surrounding marriage equality. Moore’s term is up in 2018, and he will be unable to run for the office of Supreme Court justice again in Alabama as he will be past the office’s age restriction. The nine-member Court of the Judiciary found Moore unanimously guilty of all six charges brought against him. Earlier this year, HRC Alabama initiated the #NoMoore campaign to remove Moore from the Alabama Supreme Court for his blatant legal and ethical failings.
THROWBACK THURSDAY: On December 15, 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) issued a resolution stating that homosexuality was not a mental illness or sickness. This declaration helped shift public opinion, marking a major milestone for LGBTQ equality. In recent years, the APA has continued to stand up for LGBTQ people, including forcefully opposing the dangerous practice of so-called “conversion therapy. ” Read the original article in The New York Times.
RUSSIA PRESSURES U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL TO REMOVE “LGBT” REFERENCE IN TRIBUTE TO OUTGOING SEC-GEN BAN KI-MOON: Edith Lederer (@EdithLedererAP) of The Associated Press reports that, at Russia’s insistence, the U.N. Security Council, in a statement Wednesday honoring outgoing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, eliminated one of his signature achievements — support for LGBTQ rights. Lederer writes that the original statement said that, thanks to Ban, “women, young people, and the LGBT community have been heard and assisted, and today their voices sound louder and stronger in (U.N.) headquarters and around the world.” But the final statement contained no LGBTQ reference. Read more here.
FIVE OF TRUMP’S ANTI-LGBTQ PICKS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT: Since Donald Trump’s election, he has assembled a group of anti-LGBTQ officials as his top picks for his administration. While cabinet members are all subject to Congressional approval, every appointee must be thoroughly vetted. His cabinet picks include three individuals with particularly troubling anti-LGBTQ records: Senator Jeff Sessions, Rep. Tom Price and Ben Carson. More from HRC.
●A troubling new Gallup poll shows that the percentage of LGBTQ adults who rate their lives as “thriving” has gone down 10 percentage points since Trump’s election. Full results here.
NEIGHBORS OF THE YEAR: After a same-sex couple in Natick, Massachusetts, had their rainbow flag stolen, their neighbors stood up in a big way — by putting up their own rainbow flags in a beautiful gesture of solidarity. The loving neighbors are being recognized for their support with an honorable mention in the annual Bostonians of the Year award. More from The Boston Globe.
HOME COOKED MEALS FOR NYC’s LGBTQ COMMUNITY: In the wake of the presidential election, Kristen Adorian of New York has turned her passion for cooking and nutrition into action by cooking and donating meals to members of the LGBTQ community in need. More on her story from NPR.
2016 MILESTONES — ONE BILLION PEOPLE LIVE IN PLACES WITH MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Yesterday, the World Economic Forum tweeted that one billion people across the globe now live in a place that has legalized marriage equality. Tony Pitman, an Australian LGBTQ advocate, noted that the world hit this equality milestone this summer, when nine Mexican states and Mexico City adopted marriage equality measures. More from Times Live.
Broadly takes a look at Singapore’s only shelter for transgender people engage in sex work… Seeker looks at the dark history behind so-called “conversion therapy”… The Associated Press explores how Major League Baseball’s new anti-hazing policy protects its LGBTQ players…