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#AM_Equality Tipsheet: March 14, 2017

24 MILLION PEOPLE WOULD LOSE HEALTH COVERAGE, LGBTQ PEOPLE HARMED UNDER DISASTER-IN-MAKING GOP PLAN: In a devastating analysis, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would result in 14 million people losing their health care coverage next year, and 24 million by 2026. The Republican plan would place in jeopardy coverage for thousands of low-income people living with HIV who have been able to obtain health insurance through the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. It would also cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which could endanger the ability of clinics to deliver preventive health services, including HIV testing and transition-related care, and would eliminate ACA’s public health and prevention fund that invests in the nation’s public health infrastructure — disproportionately affecting people living in rural and isolated areas. Last week, HRC sent a letter to Congress opposing the GOP’s unconscionable plan. More from The Washington Post.

RECENT ATTACKS ON LGBTQ COMMUNITY CENTERS HIGHLIGHT DISTURBING UPTICK IN BIAS-MOTIVATED VIOLENCE: Last weekend’s vandalism at Casa Ruby in Washington, D.C., is the latest in a troubling string of attacks on LGBTQ community centers across the country. Equality Florida’s offices in Orlando, the Equality Center in Tulsa, Okla., and the headquarters of Garden State Equality in New Jersey have all been recent targets. Last week, HRC joined 155 other civil and human rights organizations in calling on the Trump Administration to more strongly respond to bias-motivated acts of violence and intimidation. The letter calls out President Trump for his slow response to hate incidents and emphasizes that the President and his surrogates “have too frequently used rhetoric and proposed and enacted policies that have fostered a hostile environment toward many, including African Americans, Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim, and immigrant and refugee communities.” More from Advocate.

CONGRESS MEMBERS ASK AG SESSIONS TO INVESTIGATE ANTI-TRANS VIOLENCE: A group of U.S. members of Congress are calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the epidemic of violence against Black transgender women. In a letter to Sessions, they write, “It is incumbent upon the Department of Justice to enforce the federal laws that govern such clear examples of anti-transgender violence, especially because most states lack similar hate crime protections for transgender people.” The letter is signed by Reps. Keith Ellison, Raul Grijalva, Mark Pocan, Barbara Lee, Joe Kennedy and Jackie Speier. More from Advocate.

TUESDAY TWEET: At yesterday’s White House press briefing, spokesperson Sean Spicer failed to see the connection of anti-LGBTQ bias-motivated crime and the anti-LGBTQ actions taken by the Trump administration. More from The Washington Blade.

NC GOV. COOPER REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO FULLY REPEAL HB2 IN STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS: Yesterday, HRC hailed North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper for reaffirming his commitment to fully repeal HB2. The deeply discriminatory HB2 was passed almost one year ago and has since wreaked havoc on the state’s economy and its people. Attempts to repeal during a special session last year were  thwarted by Republican leadership, and now time is running out for full repeal: the NCAA is nearing a decision that could move all NCAA championship games and events out of North Carolina until 2022 if HB2 remains in effect. “It is clear that Gov. Cooper, like the majority of North Carolinians, is ready to put the nightmare of HB2 in the rearview mirror by repealing this harmful legislation,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs. “Since day one, HB2 has been nothing but trouble for North Carolina, and the blame for that lies squarely at the feet of the legislators who refuse to take any meaningful action to repeal it. Gov. Cooper is ready to move forward from this debacle; Republican leaders in the General Assembly and the Senate must follow suit.” More from HRC.

GREENSBORO COLISEUM STANDS TO LOSE $118M OVER HB2: The Greensboro Coliseum Complex predicts that it could lose up to $118 million if the NCAA decides to move its tournaments and events out of North Carolina through 2022 because of the state’s discriminatory HB2.  Coliseum officials note that, to date, they have already suffered a $23.5 million loss as concerts, performances, conventions and sports tournaments move their events to states that will protect their LGBTQ employees and fans. That includes about a half million dollars in losses from regional NCAA men’s basketball tournament games originally scheduled for March 17-19. Instead of the games, the Coliseum Complex is hosting the North Carolina Rabbit Breeders Association’s annual rabbit show. More from The Washington Post.

  • Cue world’s tiniest violin – former NC Gov Pat McCrory tells podcast, “People are reluctant to hire me, because, ‘oh my gosh, he’s a bigot’”… Too bad he didn’t think about that before hopping on the discriminatory HB2 train. Somebody sign that man up for Monster.com. More from The News & Observer.

ALABAMA’S HB24 PUTS VULNERABLE CHILDREN AT RISK: Betsy and Leslie Allen know first-hand the struggles of adopting as a same-sex couple in Alabama, having grappled with discrimination during their journey to parenthood. Now, a House Bill 24 and its Senate counterpart would make that process even more difficult by enshrining taxpayer-funded discrimination into Alabama law. It would allow state-funded adoption and foster care agencies to reject qualified prospective LGBTQ adoptive or foster parents based on the agency’s purported religious beliefs. Read more about Betsy and Leslie at AL.com.

COLTON HAYNES AND JEFF LEATHAM ENGAGED! Congrats to actor Colton Haynes and celebrity florist and art director Jeff Leatham who got engaged last weekend with the help of none other than pop superstar Cher. The icon sang a line of her classic “I Got You Babe” via video just before Leatham popped the question. Since coming out, Haynes has been a strong advocate for LGBTQ rights, and was honored by HRC last year. More from The Hollywood Reporter.

LGBTQ REFUGEE’S LIFE IN LIMBO FOLLOWING TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION EXECUTIVE ORDER: Ramtin Zigorat escaped Iran as a refugee after being sentenced to deat for being gay and advocating for LGBTQ rights. Now, his dream of starting a new life in the United States is at risk because of President Trump’s executive order barring immigration from six Muslim-majority countries. More from CNN.

  • ICYMI: Texan Paul Harrison, in a moving new HRC video, tells the story of meeting his fiancé two years ago in Iran, where same-sex sexual activity is illegal, and the fear and hardship President Trump’s unconscionable Muslim travel ban has caused the couple. More from BuzzFeed.

READING RAINBOW

Erasing 76 Crimes interviews an Ugandan LGBTQ refugee in Kenya awaiting permanent relocation to the United States… HRC shares seven things you may not know about bisexual health…

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