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#AM_Equality Tipsheet: June 8, 2017

WELL, SECRETARY TILLERSON, IT’S A START: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statement of recognition of Pride Month is encouraging, including his affirmation of “solidarity with the human rights defenders and civil society organizations working around the world to uphold the fundamental freedoms of LGBTI persons to live with dignity and freedom.” It also stands in stark contrast to the silence from the White House as the LGBTQ community celebrates Pride Month. But while Tillerson’s words are welcome, actions speak louder. We continue to call on Secretary Tillerson to:

● Reverse his plan to de-emphasize human rights (he has said the U.S. should not use them as “leverage”), and restore the U.S. as a beacon of hope to people worldwide seeking human rights and dignity.

● Allow those fleeing violence in Chechnya — including gay and bisexual men — access to U.S. visas, as HRC President Chad Griffin in a letter has urged Tillerson to do.

● Speak out against persecution targeting LGBTQ people around the world, including the recent arrests in Chechnya, Indonesia, and Bangladesh.

SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED FOR EQUALITY MARCH IN DC: They include HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride), HRC Senior Program Specialist for HIV Prevention and health Equity Noël Gordon (@NoelGordon09) and HRC Youth Ambassador Javier Cifuentes. The rally stage will be on 3rd St NW between Jefferson and Madison, and a press conference area on 16th St NW and I St NW. The press check in is at Farragut Square. A map of the march route can be found here.

● As we celebrate National LGBTQ Pride Month, a wide world of companies are joining the celebration to support LGBTQ equality. More from HRC.

THANKFUL THURSDAY — TRANS WOMAN WRITES LOVE LETTER TO HER BODY: In a powerfully honest video, Sabel Samone-Loreca, an HIV-positive, black transgender woman, reads a letter to her body expressing her journey to self love and acceptance. “I tried many times to kill him,” she says, “but I didn’t want her to die.” Watch at The Scene.

RETIRED GENERALS WRITE TO SEC DEF MATTIS — DON’T DELAY ACCEPTING TRANS RECRUITS: Retired Army Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy, retired Army Major Gen. Gale Pollock and retired Army Brig. Gen. Clara Adams-Ender in a letter encourage Defense Secretary James Mattis to move forward with final regulations to accept openly transgender recruits. More from The Hill.

TODAY — 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 today from 1-2 p.m. ET to discuss LGBTQI equality. Participate on Twitter at #AskNordicAmbs. More from HRC and The Huffington Post.

NEW REPORT — BIPARTISAN EXPERTS SUPPORT PAID FAMILY LEAVE: Economists from the American Enterprise Institute and Brookings Institution say that the U.S. should join other advanced countries and adopt a national paid leave policy. Read their five-point compromise plan for achieving that much-needed goal here. More from HRC.

U.S. MAN WHO HELPED WRITE UGANDA’S ANTI-LGBTQ MEASURES VIOLATED INTERNATIONAL LAW, BUT CAN’T BE SUED HERE: Notorious anti-LGBTQ exporter of hate Scott Lively violated international law by “aiding and abetting efforts to demonize, intimidate, and injure LGBTI people in Uganda,” a U.S. federal court has found. But, as BuzzFeed’s J. Lester Feder (@jlfeder) reports, Lively can’t be sued in U.S. courts, so the case against him brought by Sexual Minorities Uganda was dismissed this week.  More from HRC and BuzzFeed.

ILLINOIS TO SIMPLIFY BIRTH CERTIFICATE CHANGES FOR TRANS PEOPLE: State senators joined their House colleagues in approving a measure that reduces barriers to  changing the gender markers on birth certificates. More from The Associated Press.

“A BIG APPLE A DAY” — NYC LAUNCHES LGBTQ HEALTHCARE “BILL OF RIGHTS”: It details the healthcare protections LGBTQ New Yorkers deserve — and notes the sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination laws healthcare providers must abide by. More from CBS New York.

U.N. EXPERT REPORTS ON LGBTQ RIGHTS IN GENEVA: Vitit Muntarbhorn, the United Nations Independent Expert for the protection of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, delivered his first report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. More from HRC and Voice of America.

DJ GRiZ COMES OUT AS GAY: In a powerful piece for The Huffington Post, DJ and producer GRiZ  writes, “Instead of giving into that fear and sadness, we need to shine. Shine so brightly that it inspires your community to do the same. It won’t always be easy, but the battle is worth it. Never ever give up on yourself.” More from The Huffington Post.

LAVERNE COX BLAZES THE TRAIL FOR BLACK TRANSGENDER WOMEN: Transgender advocate and Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox talks to Channel 4’s Fatima Manji (@FatimaManji) about the importance of transgender visibility during a Trump presidency. More from Channel 4 News.

READING RAINBOW 

Madison Magazine reports on local businesses adopting LGBTQ-friendly policies; The Newseum announcing an exhibit that will explore the history of the LGBTQ equality movement; Buzzfeed makes us all say “aww” with photos of dogs showing their pride; The Boston Globe interviews Asa Sevelius, a school principal who recently came out as a trans man;

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!