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#AM_Equality Tipsheet: February 21, 2017

HRC RESPONDS TO REPORTS THAT TRUMP ADMIN PLANS TO RESCIND TRANS STUDENT GUIDANCE: In response to media reports that the Trump Administration plans to rescind Obama Administration guidance to ensure that transgender students are being treated fairly and with dignity in public and federally funded schools, HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) said: “Transgender young people face tragically high rates of discrimination and bullying, and they need a government that will stand up for them — not attack them. It’s shocking that this kind of harm would even be a subject of debate for the president. We call on Trump to immediately and permanently affirm the Obama Administration’s guidance and protect transgender students.” In 2016, the Departments of Justice and Education issued the comprehensive guidance regarding schools’ obligations to transgender students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, including ensuring equal access to sex-segregated facilities, such as restrooms and locker rooms, that are consistent with their gender identity. Thirteen anti-equality state attorneys general, led by the notoriously anti-LGBTQ Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, filed suit challenging the guidance. After a Texas federal judge issued a nationwide hold on enforcement of the guidance, the Obama Administration responded by requesting the court limit the hold to the 13 states filing suit. A little more than a week ago, just 48 hours after Jeff Sessions was confirmed as AG, the DOJ moved to eliminate the Obama Administration’s challenge to a nationwide injunction against enforcement of the guidance, allowing the nationwide hold to continue. More from HRC.

VIRGINIA LEG SENDS DEEPLY DISCRIMINATORY BILL TO GOVERNOR’S DESK: Over the holiday weekend, the Virginia House of Representative passed HB 2025 — discriminatory legislation seeking to give taxpayer-funded agencies and service providers a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people under the guise of religion. The proposal now heads to Governor Terry McAuliffe (@GovernorVA), who has promised to veto the discriminatory bill. “Let’s be clear, HB 2025 is nothing more than a thinly veiled legislative assault on LGBTQ Virginians and visitors to the state,” said HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof. “The measure has nothing to do with the right to practice one’s religion — which is already firmly protected in the U.S. Constitution — and everything to do with enshrining taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBTQ people into law. Just as we saw in North Carolina, HB 2025 would no doubt inflict profound harm on Virginia’s people, reputation, and economy. Governor McAuliffe must follow through on his promise to veto this repulsive proposal.” More from HRC.

NBA TO BOX OUT TEXAS IF IT PASSES FOUL ANTI-LGBTQ BILL: HRC hailed comments from the National Basketball Association warning Texas lawmakers that any legislative attack on LGBTQ people would factor into the league’s decisions about where future big-ticket games would be played. The NBA joins the NFL, which has already cautioned that anti-LGBTQ legislation like Texas’ SB 6 could affect the state’s future bids for the Super Bowl. “The NBA’s commitment to the safety, dignity and worth of its players, employees and fans is clear. It’s time for Texas to make the same commitment,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “We hope that Texas lawmakers will heed this warning better than their North Carolinian counterparts did. Bills such as SB 6 are discriminatory, costly and wrong, and we are glad to see that the NBA and the NFL continue to stand on the side of equality and fairness.” The city of New Orleans this past weekend celebrated All-Star Weekend, which the NBA moved from Charlotte, N.C., because of the state’s discriminatory HB2 law. More from HRC and The Dallas Morning News.

  • ICYMI: The NBA also gave NC several warnings before moving the the All-Star game to New Orleans, a city with non-discrimination protections that explicitly protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination in public and private employment, housing, and public accommodations. More from HRC.

TUESDAY TWEET — MILO YIANNOPOULOS AND HIS (DESERVEDLY) NO GOOD, VERY BAD WEEKEND: This weekend, transphobic, Islamophobic, “alt-right” harasser and inarguably awful human Milo Yiannopoulos was kicked to the curb by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC),  which disinvited him from speaking at its annual gathering, and Simon and Schuster, which cancelled plans to publish his book. How awful is he? Even his employer, the white nationalist Breitbart News, is considering whether to show him the door.  

STUDY SHOWS LGB TEENS IN STATES WITH MARRIAGE EQUALITY HAD DRAMATICALLY LOWER SUICIDE RATES: A 17-year study found that, on average, states that embraced marriage equality before it became the law of the land reported 134,000 fewer teen suicides a year — with the biggest decreases seen among gay, lesbian and bisexual  youth. Lead author Julia Raifman, a researcher at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, told The Associated Press that laws that have the greatest impact on LGBTQ adults may make LGBTQ young people feel “more hopeful for the future.” The researchers analyzed data on more than 700,000 public high school students — including 230,000 LGB respondents — who participated in government surveys on risky youth behavior from 1999 through 2015, the year the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. In 32 states that enacted marriage equality during the study, suicide attempts dropped 14 percent among LGB youth after the laws were passed — double the decrease for the overall survey population. There was no change in suicide attempts in states without marriage equality prior to 2015. Note: the survey did not specifically ask about transgender status. More from AP and Forbes.

LGBTQ YOUTH CHANGING THE WORLD: The HRC Foundation’s Youth Well-Being Project has announced its 2017 class of HRC Youth Ambassadors: Weston Alexander, Roddy Biggs, Daniella Carter, Javier Cifuentes Monzón, Alex Cooper, Tyler Eilts, Adriana Ibanez, Jazz Jennings, Justin Jones, Brendan Jordan, Zachary Mallory, Lucas Segal, Paolo Veloso, Val Weisler and Tyler Yun. These LGBTQ advocates will represent the HRC Foundation, adding their voices and experiences to raise awareness about the most pressing concerns facing LGBTQ youth, and HRC programs that promote well-being for LGBTQ youth, including All Children, All Families; Welcoming Schools; Youth and Campus Engagement; as well as the HRC’s annual Time to THRIVE Conference in April. More from HRC.

US HOUSE HOLDS HEARING ON “LICENSE TO DISCRIMINATE” BILL: Only eight weeks into the 115th Congress, House Republicans are already pushing for special licenses to discriminate against LGBTQ people under the guise of religion. The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice held a so-called hearing on “the State of Religious Liberty in America” that featured anti-LGBTQ witnesses. More from HRC.

EDUCATION GROUP MOVES CONFERENCE OUT OF NC, CITING HB2 AS REASON: iNACOL, the International Association for Online Learning, released a statement that they will hold their annual conference in Orlando instead of Charlotte because of North Carolina’s infamous anti-LGBTQ law. More from The News & Observer.

MORNING MUST WATCH: A new ad from the ACLU of Texas, the nonprofit Legacy Community Health, and director Richard Linklater against Texas’ anti-transgender bill, SB6, humorously calls out the discriminatory bill — invoking the known consequences of similar bills by saying “we damn sure ain’t going to end up like North Carolina.” More from The Huffington Post.

AN UNFORGETTABLE FIRST DATE: Last week, nearly 50 HRC members and supporters in Arkansas gathered for a unique Valentine’s Day event — “speed dating” with a dozen local legislators. More from HRC.

PRESSURE MOUNTS FOR SRI LANKA TO DECRIMINALIZE SAME-SEX SEXUAL ACTIVITY: Efforts to decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual activity in Sri Lanka, an island state off the southern coast of India, appear to be gaining steam as the country negotiates a preferential trade deal with the European Union (EU). Sri Lanka is one of 72 countries around the world that criminalize same-sex acts. More from HRC.

READING RAINBOW

BuzzFeed takes a look at a LGBTQ fairytale released to benefit the survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting…  As part of the new #LoveYourNeighbor video series, HRC shares the story of a Mississippi gay man nearly forced out of his job because of bigotry… The Orlando Sentinel interviews a transgender professor about tolerance in the classroom…

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