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#AM_Equality Tipsheet: July 19, 2017

ALL EYES ON TEXAS AS SPECIAL SESSION IS UNDERWAY: Yesterday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and other Texas politicians began a 30-day special session that includes anti-transgender legislation as part of the agenda. HRC, along with 15 other organizations representing diverse voices across the Lone Star State, denounced the extreme politics driving the legislative agenda. In Austin yesterday, groups gathered at the Texas Capitol with hundreds of Texans to oppose the discriminatory agenda of the special session. Among the bills already filed, three target protections for transgender people. HB46, HB50 and SB23 would prohibit entities like cities and school districts from protecting LGBTQ people in restrooms, locker rooms, and other changing facilities. HRC is on the ground — follow @HRC and @NRMorrow for the latest.

  • Two transgender Republicans wrote an oped for Houston Chronicle explaining how anti-transgender laws are contrary to Republican values. More from Houston Chronicle.
  • The Williams Institute released new data showing that there are an estimated 13,800 transgender youth in Texas — youth who will be negatively affected by these bills. More from The Williams Institute.
  • 53 percent of Texans oppose bills barring transgender people from using bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity, according to a new PRRI poll.

KREMLIN CALLS CHECHEN PRESIDENT’S ANTI-LGBTQ COMMETNS ‘NOTHING OUT OF THE UNUSUAL’: In a chilling interview with HBO, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said he does not believe that there are LGBTQ people in Chechnya, and that any who are there are “devils” and “not real people.” In response — a spokesperson for the Kremlin claimed the comments were “nothing out of the unusual.” HUH?! Since news first broke in April, more than 100 gay and bisexual Chechen men have been arrested and detained without charge. While some have been freed, reports indicate that many remain in detention, where they have been beaten, tortured and killed. More from New York Daily News.

  • Why is the State Department not speaking out? Washington Blade’s Michael Lavers (@mklavers81) spoke to a State Department official yesterday, who dodged the question of why Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has yet to publicly condemned Chechnya’s actions. More from Washington Blade.

HRC OPPOSES TRUMP’S ANTI-LGBTQ JUDICIAL NOMINEE: Yesterday, HRC sent a letter to senators calling on them to oppose one of President Trump’s federal judicial nominees, John K. Bush, who has made deeply alarming comments against significant LGBTQ court decisions. Bush, who was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Six Circuit, has criticized rulings striking down laws against same-sex sexual relationships. Bush’s confirmation vote is happening TODAY. More from HRC.

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING WEDNESDAY: A new short film from NCAA athlete Ryan Beene shows the struggle of a gay college athlete coming out and falling in love. Beene– an openly gay tennis player at Texas Lutheran University — created the film for under $300. More from OutSports.

THIS BILL WOULD HELP FEDERAL AGENCIES COLLECT BETTER DATA ON THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY: Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the LGBT Data Inclusion Act, a bill that would greatly expand and improve data collection and analysis of LGBTQ people. The bicameral legislation is co-sponsored by 94 Members of Congress. This bill is essential for better understanding issues impacting the LGBTQ community. While some federal data on LGBTQ communities is currently collected, this bill would address the lack of a central requirement prioritizing the collection of LGBTQ-inclusive data in federal surveys. More from HRC.

  • A FOIA request from NPR found that at least four federal agencies asked the Census Bureau to add questions about sexual orientation and gender identity to the American Community Survey — but the bureau concluded there were “no federal data need” to do so. More from NPR.

FIERCE PARENTS FIGHT FOR THE RIGHTS OF THEIR TRANS KIDS: Transgender young people have been thrust into the center of the national debate on transgender equality. Increasingly, parents of transgender children and young people have played an integral role in educating the country and pushing back against hateful, anti-transgender efforts in communities and states across the country. Meet some of the brave parents taking on this fight from Vogue.

CIVIL RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS CALL ON STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENTS TO PROTECT TRANS STUDENTS: Yesterday, a broad coalition of civil rights organizations — including HRC — sent letters to all 50 state education departments urging them to uphold Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and protect transgender students. More from The Daily Beast.

“THE GRAYING OF GAY”: Too many LGBTQ people are forced to go back into the closet as they age — a study shows that 40 percent of LGBTQ elders report mistreatment in long-term care facilities, including retirement communities and nursing homes. More from Southwest Florida NPR.

J. LO NABS ‘BEST AUNT OF THE YEAR’ AWARD: In an Instagram post reaching nearly 68 million people — J. Lo (@JLo) showed love for her sister’s child, respecting their pronouns and sending a message of support across the internet. More from Vivala.

DESPITE ODDS, HONDURAS CELEBRATES ITS PRIDE: Hundreds of LGBTQ people celebrated Pride in San Pedro Sula this week despite anti-equality extremists shooting guns into the sky to scare the LGBTQ community. More from Los Angeles Blade.

READING RAINBOW 

Popsugar interviews trans trailblazer Janet Mock (@JanetMock) about the importance of sharing your story; Berkeley News shares that their University Health Services will add new services for trans students; NewNowNext reports that LGBTQ home ownership is on the rise since marriage equality; Paper celebrates 7 LGBTQ social media stars

MISSED YESTERDAY’S #AM_EQUALITY? Catch up by watching HRC’s new video report, Daily Equality with Allison Turner (@amturner1993)! Check it out here.

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!