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#AM_Equality Tipsheet: March 16, 2017

TX SENATE ADVANCES SHAMEFUL, ANTI-TRANSGENDER SB6: Yesterday, the Texas Senate advanced SB 6, a bill expressly intended to discriminate against and block facility access for transgender Texans by a vote of 21-10. It would overturn non-discrimination ordinances currently providing critical protections in several major Texas cities and force state agencies, municipalities, public schools and public universities to discriminate against transgender people. SB 6 now moves to the Texas House. The anti-LGBTQ bill has been condemned by hundreds of businesses and several Texas chambers of commerce, celebrities and performers, tourism groups and events and sports organizations including the NBA, the NFL and the NCAA, which this week reaffirmed its commitment to “maintaining a college sports experience that is inclusive and fair for all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.” “This measure is another product of Dan Patrick’s anti-LGBTQ agenda, and it’s troubling that lawmakers in the Senate cannot see it for what it truly is: an attack on their transgender neighbors, coworkers and friends who deserve the same dignity and rights as anyone else,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs. More from HRC.

TRUMP MUST RESPOND TO HORRIFYING UPTICK IN HATE-MOTIVATED CRIME: In the wake of a troubling string of anti-LGBTQ attacks in recent weeks, including last weekend’s vandalism at Casa Ruby in Washington, D.C., Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC Senior Vice President for Programs, Research and Training, called on the Trump administration to respond more quickly and forcefully to hate-motivated attacks. Writing in The Advocate, Maxwell also noted recent attacks targeting Jewish, Sikh, Muslim, and immigrant communities. “We believe diversity is what makes our nation great, and these incidents are an affront to values we all share. The mosques, synagogues, shelters, and centers that have been targeted are places of sanctuary and solidarity,” Maxwell said. “These actions are intended to instill fear and to intimidate. But if we stand together — as LGBTQ people, Muslims, women, people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and those living at the intersection of those identities — we will beat back evil and hate in all their ugly forms.” More from Advocate.

#ProtectTransKids — MOTHER DELIVERS TEARFUL PLEA FOR TRANSGENDER DAUGHTER’S SAFETY: DeShanna Neal, a member of HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality National Council, spoke to HRC volunteers last weekend about her fears and dreams for her daughter, Trinity. Her powerful words brought the audience to tears, and to their feet.

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Tomorrow marks the birthday in 1912 of Bayard Rustin — the openly gay organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. While he was a key strategist who greatly influenced Martin Luther King Jr., he is not frequently enough mentioned in history. Throughout his lifetime, he worked to promote economic justice, labor rights and civil rights for African Americans and LGBTQ people. Rustin died in 1987.

CITIES AND TOWNS STAND UP FOR LGBTQ RIGHTS — EVEN WHEN THEIR STATES WON’T: At a time when many states have failed to affirm LGBTQ-inclusive laws and policies, cities around the country are stepping up to ensure that all citizens are treated equally. Since 2015, nearly 50 U.S. municipalities in 15 different states have added nondiscrimination protections for people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. More from Reuters.

BREAKING – HRC CALLS ON SEC. TILLERSON TO RESCIND APPOINTMENTS OF ANTI-LGBTQ EXTREMISTS TO UN WOMEN’S RIGHTS MEETING: Today, HRC strongly condemned the appointment of two individuals from anti-LGBTQ organizations to the U.S. delegation to the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which is currently being held at the United Nations in New York. In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, HRC called on Secretary Tillerson to immediately rescind the appointments of Lisa Correnti of the Center for Family & Human Rights (C-FAM) and Grace Melton of the Heritage Foundation.

“It’s appalling and completely unacceptable that individuals from organizations peddling hatred against LGBTQ people and their families have been appointed to an extremely important commission on women’s rights,” said Ty Cobb, Director of HRC Global. “To be clear, these individuals and the organizations they represent do not serve the best interests of women — including lesbian, bisexual,  transgender and queer women — in the United States and around the globe.” More from HRC.

Tillerson, in letter to HRC, suggests US may pull out of UN Human Rights Council: Last month, HRC joined a group of human rights organizations urging Tillerson to continue U.S. engagement with the Human Rights Council. The Council in recent years has taken up an increasing number of initiatives aimed at protecting the human rights of LGBTQ people.

ΑXΩ LIVES UP TO ITS MOTTO, ACCEPTS ALL REAL, STRONG WOMEN TO THE SISTERHOOD: When the Alpha Chi Omega sorority announced it would allow transgender women to join the sisterhood, there were mixed reactions. Teen Vogue shares a personal essay from one member who once felt shunned because she was attracted to more than one gender, and her emotional reaction to the news that her sorority is beginning a journey toward LGBTQ acceptance. More from Teen Vogue.

WEDDING BELLS FOR MAMA RU: Yesterday on Hollywood Today Live, drag superstar and LGBTQ advocate RuPaul revealed that he secretly married his partner of 23 years, Georges LeBar. More from People.

READING RAINBOW

ESPN reports that the National Women’s Hockey League’s first openly transgender player, Harrison Browne (@HBrowne24), plans to retire after this season… The Huffington Post profiles an openly gay refugee lawyer who’s fighting Trump’s executive order on immigration… iNews sares tips for LGBTQ parents…

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