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#AM_Equality Tipsheet: June 23, 2017

HRC OPPOSES SENATE REPUBLICANS’ SHAMEFUL, SECRETIVE PROPOSAL TO RIP HEALTH COVERAGE FROM MILLIONS OF AMERICANS: The Human Rights Campaign strongly condemns the Senate Republicans’ hatched-in-secret proposal to gut the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and undermine access to health care for as many as 23 million Americans. If it passes, this bill will have a disproportionately negative impact on LGBTQ people. “If the Trump-McConnell health care bill becomes law, it will threaten the lives of countless Americans,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “For LGBTQ people, who already face health care disparities, this proposal is downright dangerous. Both the House and Senate versions of the bill gut core provisions of the Affordable Care Act and cut off tens of millions of Americans from life-saving health care coverage while increasing out-of-pocket costs. This unconscionable proposal — drafted behind closed doors, without public input — is a disturbingly harmful bill that Senators must reject.” Read more from HRC.

TODAY — HRC AND PLANNED PARENTHOOD JOIN FORCES FOR A DIGITAL DAY OF ACTION: As Trump, Pence and McConnell plot the destruction of health care and the “defunding” of Planned Parenthood by blocking patients on Medicaid from receiving care at PPFA clinics — HRC and Planned Parenthood are joining forces on a “Digital Day of Action” to highlight how catastrophic this would be for the LGBTQ community. Planned Parenthood is a crucial health care provider for the LGBTQ community, from birth control to resources for LGBTQ youth to preventive care services — like the nearly 700,000 HIV tests PPFA administers each year. Planned Parenthood is also one of the largest providers of care to transgender people across the United States. Today, HRC and PPFA launched a new video — WATCH HERE — and will be holding a “Twitter Swap” featuring HRC President Chad Griffin & Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards from 2-3pm ET.  Follow along @HRC @PPACT and tweet with us using hashtag #Unite4TheFight !

#HATEWATCH — TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ENDORSES EXTREMIST ANTI-LGBTQ ORGANIZATION: At 1pm ET, Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to speak on behalf of the administration at the anniversary celebration of Focus on the Family, an organization dedicated to undermining LGBTQ people and families. Focus on the Family promotes the dangerous and abusive practice of ‘conversion therapy,’ lobbies against allowing LGBTQ people to adopt children who need homes, and opposes anti-bullying efforts in schools. Their views are not just antiquated — they are dangerous and wrong. And for the Vice President of the United States to lend credibility to them is beyond shocking. More from HRC.

THE WORST ANTI-LGBTQ LAW IN THE NATION — MISSISSIPPI’S “LICENSE TO DISCRIMINATE” ANTI-LGBTQ LAW CLEARED TO GO INTO EFFECT: Mississippi’s HB 1523, a law that allows almost any individual or organization to justify discrimination against LGBTQ people, single mothers, unwed couples and others, can go into effect, a panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. Rob Hill, Mississippi Director for the Human Rights Campaign, said of HB 1523 and the Court’s decision: “It targets the LGBTQ community and it is a deliberate attempt to undermine marriage equality and the dignity of LGBTQ Mississippians who lawmakers have sworn to serve and protect. We will continue to fight tooth and nail against HB 1523 until it no longer threatens our community.” Read more from HRC, US News & World Report, and The Clarion-Ledger.

● Meanwhile, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced yesterday that four states are being added to the state-sponsored travel ban because of efforts to enshrine discrimination against LGBTQ people into law. He condemned the “scourge of discrimination” against LGBT individuals in Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas. Mississippi is already on the list, along with Kansas, North Carolina and Tennessee. Read more at SFGate.

TODAY, ON 45TH ANNIVERSARY OF TITLE IX, HRC CALLS ON SEC OF ED BETSY DEVOS TO COMMIT TO ENFORCING IT: In a powerful op-ed for The Advocate, Jordan Dashow, Policy Coordinator at HRC, speaks as a survivor of sexual assault about the essential protections guaranteed by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. The law requires colleges and universities to respond to cases of sexual violence — including when the survivor is LGBTQ. Jordan tells his story, and underscores the importance of not just the law, but also the Department of Education’s commitment to enforcing it — a commitment that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is placing in jeopardy. Read his op-ed at The Advocate.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: Transitioning Together: Great Big Story profiles Corey Maison and her mother, Eric Maison.  Corey came out as a transgender girl when she was around 10 years old, and a few years later, her mother, Eric, came out as a transgender man. Today, Corey and Eric are fully embracing life as their authentic selves, and supporting each other every step of the way. Watch the video here.

TIME TO APOLOGIZE FOR “LAVENDER SCARE”: Senator Ben Cardin, (D-MD), and 18 cosponsors have introduced legislation that would issue a formal Congressional apology to LGBTQ employees of the U.S. State Department who were targeted, harassed and fired as part of the infamous “Lavender Scare” witch hunt in the 1950s and 1960s. Read more from HRC.

“MY CREDENTIALS FOR THIS OFFICE ARE NOT BASED ON MY GENDER”: The Washington Blade’s Michael K. Lavers (@mklavers81) profiles Virginia House of Delegates candidate Danica Roem, who, if elected, would become the first transgender person to hold office in any state legislature in the country. She is running against anti-LGBTQ House of Delegates member Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County), and stresses that her gender identity is not the focus of her campaign — she cares about local issues and “champions the things [people] believe in.” More from Washington Blade.

ONE MONTH LATER, REFLECTIONS ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN TAIWAN: On May 24, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court approved marriage equality in a first for Asia, ruling that same-sex couples have a “freedom of marriage” that must be protected. In a piece for The Daily Beast, HRC Global Innovator Darius Zheng writes about the landmark nature of the ruling, exploring how the decision could help advance the future of LGBTQ rights in Asia. “I remain hopeful that the human right to love who we want will one day become a reality throughout the continent,” Zheng says.  Read the entire piece at The Daily Beast.

INDIAN WORKPLACES ARE BECOMING MORE TRANSGENDER-INCLUSIVE: Companies in India, including Kochi Metro Rail, the first government-owned company to actively recruit staff from the transgender community, are changing dress codes, bathroom signage, and other policies to make their workplaces more welcoming and inclusive for employees who identify as transgender. More from Reuters.

DOCTORS IN TEXAS WORKING TO PROTECT TRANSGENDER PATIENTS FROM HIV: The Kind Clinic in Austin not only offers hormone therapy to transgender patients, it aims to earn the trust of the transgender population, writes Alexandra Zavis (@alexzavis) in the Los Angeles Times. In doing so, it hopes that the clinic’s healthcare professionals will be able to persuade those at high risk of contracting HIV of the importance of taking PrEP, the HIV-prevention regimen. More from Los Angeles Times.

MTV HAS #EYESONCHECHNYA: In a video released Thursday, MTV News takes us through what we know about the horrible situation in Chechnya, where gay and bisexual men are being rounded up, locked in secret prisons, tortured and even murdered by their own government. Read more from HRC, and watch the video here.

READING RAINBOW

SFGate reports that support is pouring in for ex-NFL player Ryan O’Callaghan, who recently came out….Boston Globe profiles Nikos Giannopoulos, the teacher of the year from Beacon Charter High School for the Arts who posed with a fan for his picture in the Oval Office; NBC Out features writer Gabby Rivera, who is bringing LGBTQ superheros and heroines to life in comic books;

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!