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#AM_Equality Tipsheet: December 16, 2016

TRANSGENDER YOUNG PEOPLE FEATURED IN NATGEO SPECIAL EDITION:  Avery Jackson, a transgender girl featured in HRC’s Moms for Transgender Equality video series, is on the cover of National Geographic’s new special issue on the “Gender Revolution.” “The best thing about being a girl is, now I don’t have to pretend to be a boy,” Avery says, in a quote on the cover. Avery’s mother, Debi Jackson (@transgirl_mom), is the subject of one of HRC’s Moms for Transgender Equality videos and a member of HRC’s groundbreaking Parents for Transgender Equality Council. The issue shares the stories of transgender and gender-expansive young people, as well as the impact their families, friends and communities have had on their transition. National Geographic visited 80 homes on more than four continents to collect these vital stories. The issue also features Trinity Neal, whose mother, DeShanna Neal, is another member of HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council. As is customary with many subscription magazines, there are two covers of the special issue. The issue being mailed to subscribers features Avery, and the one on newsstands features a group photo. Both contain the same content inside the magazine. The digital copy of the magazine will be available on January 3. More from HRC.

HRC HAILS APPOINTMENT OF EQUALITY CHAMPIONS CATHERINE LHAMON AND DEBO ADEGBILE TO U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS: Yesterday, President Obama appointed Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon and attorney Debo P. Adegbile to six-year terms on the bipartisan, independent U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. “Catherine Lhamon and Debo Adegbile have dedicated their careers to defending and strengthening our civil rights laws,” said Sarah Warbelow, HRC’s Legal Director. “As the Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights, Catherine Lhamon worked with educators and administrators across the country to ensure that transgender students were granted equal protection from discrimination in our nation’s schools and colleges. And from advocacy to litigation, Debo Adegbile has fought to protect the promise of our civil and voting rights laws in courthouses, at the Supreme Court, and on Capitol Hill.” Recently, the Commission endorsed efforts by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice ensuring that transgender students are treated with dignity in public and federally-funded schools, and this month issued a statement expressing deep concern over the troubling increase in hate crimes in the U.S. More from HRC.

NC GOVERNOR-ELECT ROY COOPER SLAMS NC GOP’S “OMINOUS” POWER GRAB: In a video statement released yesterday, North Carolina’s pro-equality Governor-Elect Roy Cooper condemned the actions of the Republican-controlled General Assembly for continuing to betray the state’s residents by refusing to fully repeal HB2 and instead engaging in specious actions to undermine the in-coming governor’s authority. “We don’t look good to our people here in North Carolina or to the rest of the country when laws are passed hastily with little discussion in the middle of the night … witness the disaster of House Bill 2 which was passed in the same way,” Cooper said. “This has got to stop. I will use every tool in the Governor’s office to fight for everyday North Carolinians, including the courts if necessary.” Watch the full statement here.

In Louisiana yesterday, the legislature’s two budget committees approved state employee health insurance contracts — but only after protections for LGBTQ people had been removed, reports The Times-Picayune. A federal court on Wednesday struck down Governor John Bel Edwards’ executive order protecting LGBTQ state workers and contractors from discrimination; Edwards is appealing the decision. Read more here.

FUNNY FRIDAY: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee brilliantly and hilariously takes down the notion that Hillary Clinton and other Democrats lost the election because of “identity politics,” focusing on the defeat of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and Attorney General candidate Buck Newton, both of whom embraced anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and actions. “You know what happens when Democrats stand up for transgender rights? They win.” We agree with the Bee.

APPEALS COURT TO DECIDE SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION CASE: A federal appeals court in Atlanta will decide a case where a woman at a local hospital was allegedly harassed and fired due to her sexual orientation. The court is asked to determine if Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation. The plaintiff, Jameka Evans, is represented by Lambda Legal. More from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

16 INSPIRATIONAL VOICES FOR LGBTQ EQUALITY IN 2016: As 2016 comes to a close, there is no doubt that this year was difficult for many in the LGBTQ and allied community. After celebration and momentous progress in 2015, 2016 was a shocking wake-up call to many about the realities that LGBTQ people face. From the rise in anti-LGBTQ legislation to the horrific shooting at Pulse, from the incidents of anti-transgender violence to the election of a presidential ticket that threatens to undermine equality and justice, we know that our job is more important now than ever before. Follow HRC’s blog in the coming days as we recognize the people who inspired us and gave us hope, courage and strength in 2016.

A highlight of 2016 was watching HRC’s own National Press Secretary Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride) take the stage at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in July. McBride made history as the first transgender person to address a major political party’s convention. More from HRC.

READING RAINBOW

Brightest Young Things shares DC’s top food moments of the year, including HRC’s Chefs for Equality… The Washington Blade covers the anniversary of Jamaica’s leading LGBTQ organization… Upworthy tells the beautiful story of a LGBTQ-supportive family using their holiday decorations to stand up for equality…

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!