Blog

#AM_Equality Tipsheet: June 5, 2017

IRELAND MAKES HISTORY — VARADKAR POISED TO BECOME FIRST OPENLY GAY PRIME MINISTER: Leo Varadkar was elected leader of Fine Gael, the largest party in Ireland’s ruling coalition, positioning him to be Ireland’s first openly gay head of government — and, at age 38, the youngest-ever to assume the position. Varadkar will be the world’s fourth-ever openly LGBTQ head of government and the second one currently in power, alongside Luxembourg’s prime minister Xavier Bettel. Additionally, Varadkar, whose father is an Indian immigrant and mother is Irish, will also be the country’s first-ever ethnic minority prime minister. More from HRC.

FEDERAL COURTS MOVING TO AFFIRM LGBTQ NONDISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS: In The Hill, Lydia Wheeler (@WheelerLydia) reports that in a number of recent rulings, district and circuit courts have held that anti-discrimination laws in education and employment extend protections to transgender people. HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow tells Wheeler, “There’s a very clear trend among federal courts that our nation’s laws that prohibit sex discrimination also prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. In employment and education, blocking people from accessing a bathroom is a clear violation of the law.” Cases such as these also influence others involving transgender students seeking protections under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. More from The Hill.

MUST WATCH MONDAY — #EYESONCHECHNYA:  In the Russian republic, gay and bisexual men are being rounded up, locked in secret prisons, tortured and even murdered by their own government. In a new piece for CNN, CodaStory.com Senior Editor Amy Mackinnon (@AK_Mack) urges the U.S. government to not forget these atrocities and to grant the victims asylum in the country, writing “While asylum is not a panacea for the plight of LGBT Chechens, it’s the least we can do until the law and culture shift in Chechnya.” HRC has called on the U.S. government to condemn these heinous crimes and take every possible step to help the victims to safety. More from CNN.

● One of the first Chechens to escape this violence spoke with AFP about his experience. He entered France on an “emergency humanitarian visa,” and will be applying for asylum. More from AFP.

NEW STUDY — ALARMING RATES OF ANTI-LGBTQ BULLYING IN SCHOOLS: The comprehensive study from RTI International has found that anti-LGBTQ bullying in schools are at “unprecedented highs.” HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools Director Johanna Eager told reporter Nico Lang (@Nico_Lang), “The reality is that when Donald Trump attacks LGBTQ students—in particular trans youth—he is modeling dangerous behavior that other people will imitate.” Read the full story from The Daily Beast.

GAY MAN TESTIFIES ABOUT ATTACKS BY MEMBERS OF HIS OWN CHURCH: In harrowing testimony during the assault and kidnaping trial of a North Carolina minister, Matthew Fenner recounted that he feared for his life when members of the Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, N.C., allegedly beat and choked him for more than two hours to “expel his homosexual demons.” Brooke Covington, the minister, who faces up to two years in prison if convicted, is the first of five church members to face trial in the case that stems from numerous alleged beating incidents.  An ongoing investigation by The Associated Press found that congregants were regularly “punched, smacked, choked, slammed to the floor or thrown through walls” to “purify” them. Read more from The Associated Press.

NETFLIX BUYS DOCUMENTARY HONORING MARSHA P. JOHNSON: David France’s documentary “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, looks back at the woman known as the “Rosa Parks of the LGBT movement,” Variety reports. Johnson is the legendary transgender rights advocate who, with fellow trans advocate Sylvia Rivera, cofounded one of the first transgender advocacy groups in 1970. More from Variety.

OHIO AWARDS FIRST-EVER LGBTQ CIVIL RIGHTS HISTORIC MARKER DURING PRIDE MONTH: The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland will be the first site in the state to receive the designation. More from WKSU.

● Do you know the orgins of LGBTQ Pride Month? Get a history lesson from USA Today.

● Small town, big PRIDE: Glen Rock, New Jersey honored the LGBTQ community by raising the rainbow flag and with a ceremony featuring former Congressman Barney Frank. More from NorthJersey.com.

● In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, Campbell has released a video honoring the LGBTQ community and highlighting its dedication to equality in the workplace and beyond.

BERMUDA REGISTERS ITS FIRST-EVER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Bermudian lawyer Julia Saltus and her fiancée, Judith Aidoo were married at the Registry-General last week following the country’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality in May. More from The Royal Gazette.

● And in Chile, President Michelle Bachelet announced her plans to bring marriage equality to the country in her final year in office. More from Channel NewsAsia.

● Dangerous and disgusting: The Malaysian government is offering cash prizes for best so-called “gay prevention” videos. More from The Guardian.

THURSDAY — TWITTER TOWN HALL WITH ALL 5 NORDIC U.S. AMBASSADORS: Join HRC and the U.S. ambassadors from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden on Twitter on June 8 from 1-2 p.m. ET to discuss LGBTQI equality. Participate on Twitter at #AskNordicAmbs. More from HRC.

RAMADAN — CREATING NEW TRADITIONS AT THE INTERSECTIONS: For the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, HRC Foundation is featuring stories of LGBTQ Muslims and their allies online. More from HRC.

READING RAINBOW

Vice shares the journey of transgender pop star Mia Camilla; OutSports highlights 32 LGBTQ college athletes; Myanmar Times assesses the state of LGBTQ equality in the country; Out Smart interviews HRC Board of Governors member Lou Weaver, the first transgender man selected as grand marshal of the Houston Pride Parade

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!