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#AM_Equality Tipsheet: February 1, 2017

GORSUCH’S LONG AND TROUBLING RECORD OPPOSING CIVIL RIGHTS SPURS HRC OPPOSITION: Last night, in an extraordinary first for the organization, HRC opposed a U.S. Supreme Court nominee prior to their confirmation hearing. Shortly after President Trump announced he intended to nominate the Heritage Foundation-backed Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) said: “The Supreme Court has played a central role in advancing the promise of equality for LGBTQ Americans, and Judge Gorsuch’s anti-equality record — from opposing crucial medical treatment for a transgender person to supporting a license to discriminate for private corporations — make him unfit to sit on the nation’s highest court. We cannot afford a justice who will roll back our rights, or who will be a rubber stamp for Donald Trump’s unconstitutional actions. And America cannot afford to have Judge Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. We oppose this nomination.” Gorsuch has a long and troubling career opposing civil rights, including for LGBTQ people. More from HRC.

  • Last night on MSNBC, Griffin joined The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell along with Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s Alencia Johnson (@AlenciaJohnson) to discuss the nomination and what’s at stake for the LGBTQ community. Watch here.

ICYMI: ANTI-LGBTQ EXTREMIST TONY PERKINS CONFIDENT ANTI-EQUALITY EO COMING: Last night, Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council — an anti-LGBTQ hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center — visited the White House. He told CNBC that he is confident that President Trump will take executive action on an executive order which could allow for rampant anti-LGBTQ discrimination. More from CNBC.

MEANWHILE, IN WASHINGTON BROAD COALITION JOINS HRC TO WARN AGAINST ANY ANTI-LGBTQ ACTIONS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yesterday, HRC and other civil rights leaders held a press conference in Washington, D.C., to address persisting rumors of a Trump executive order that could extend a broad license to discriminate, as well as recent Trump actions that directly impact LGBTQ women, Muslims, immigrants and other communities he has already specifically targeted.  As HRC President Chad Griffin said, “Put simply, claiming ally status for not overturning the progress of your predecessor is a rather low bar. LGBTQ refugees, immigrants, Muslims and women are scared today, and with good reason. Donald Trump has done nothing but undermine equality since he set foot in the White House.” Watch the press conference footage and get a list of speakers from HRC and more from Teen Vogue and The Washington Post.

TRUMP’S ANTI-MUSLIM EXECUTIVE ORDER A DEATH SENTENCE FOR LGBTQ REFUGEES: President Trump’s discriminatory executive order attacking refugees could be a death sentence for the LGBTQ community. In a new oped for CNN, HRC Global Director Ty Cobb and Becca Heller, the director and co-founder of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) at the Urban Justice Center, highlight how LGBTQ refugees could be turned away from the United States, only to return to a country that persecutes citizens for being LGBTQ. Read the full piece from CNN.

WHAT WE’RE READING WEDNESDAY: TIME sat down with Kristie Maldonado, the New Jersey mom who worked tirelessly to get the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to change its policies and allow her transgender son to join. The previous BSA policy restricted membership to boys who were listed as male on their birth certificate; the Boy Scouts will now admit any boy whose gender is listed as male on the application parents are asked to fill out. This significant policy shift allows transgender boys whose parents cannot or have not changed their son’s gender on their birth certificate to join the Boy Scouts. Maldonado told reporter Melissa Chan (@MelissaLChan), “I’m ecstatic for everyone that they don’t have to go through what my child went through.” #HeroMom Read the full piece here.

HRC AND WILLIAMS-SONOMA INC. PARTNER TO CREATE “LOVE IS LOVE” MUG IN SUPPORT OF LGBTQ EQUALITY: HRC has joined forces with the Williams-Sonoma family of brands on a unique “Love Is Love” mug that will help advance efforts to achieve full equality for LGBTQ people. Half of the proceeds from the sale of the mug — available in stores and online at West Elm, Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn — will benefit HRC’s work protecting the historic gains the LGBTQ community has made in recent years, fighting discriminatory laws and practices, and mobilizing members and supporters to advance equality. More from HRC.

KENTUCKY HOUSE SPEAKER — ANTI-TRANS LEG “NOT ON OUR RADAR”: At an event earlier this week, Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover noted that anti-transgender legislation is “not on [their] radar” for the upcoming legislative session. The Kentucky General Assembly is scheduled to convene on February 7. More from The Courier-Journal.

POST-INAUGURATION, TRANS COMMUNITY RUSHES TO CHANGE LEGAL DOCUMENTS: Fearful of what anti-transgender actions may come during Trump’s presidency, many transgender people are rushing to correct their legal records — including birth certificates, drivers licenses and passports — to reflect their gender. More from C

TEXAS MAYOR COMES OUT AS TRANSGENDER: Jess Herbst is likely the first openly transgender elected official in Texas’ history. In a letter to the residents of New Hope, the town she governs, she wrote simply, “As your Mayor I must tell you about something that has been with me since my earliest memories. I am Transgender.” More from The Texas Observer.

GLAAD ANNOUNCES MEDIA AWARD NOMINEES: The awards, given on May 6, honor film, television, music, journalism and books who “set the bar for media representations of LGBTQ people.” More from The Hollywood Reporter

BRITAIN TO PARDON THOUSANDS CONVICTED OF THE “CRIME” OF BEING GAY: Decades after homosexuality was decriminalized in Britain, the government has posthumously pardoned thousands of gay and bisexual men who were convicted under the law. More from The Guardian.

READING RAINBOW
BuzzFeed looks at the dangerous practice of so-called “conversion therapy” in Australia… NPR interviews an author inspired to write by her transgender daughter…

Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!