DON’T SELL US OUT — LGBTQ ADVOCATES CALL ON ALLIES TO REJECT UNCONSTITUTIONAL MEASURE COOKED UP IN BACKROOM DEAL ON HB2: HRC, Equality NC and the National Center for Transgender Equality are urging North Carolina lawmakers to reject an unconstitutional backroom “deal” on HB2 that would no doubt subject the state to years of costly litigation in a shameful effort to enshrine anti-LGBTQ discrimination into state law. The “compromise” would continue the harms of the discriminatory HB2 law and push the possibility of full repeal further out of reach. It would specifically prohibit cities from passing protections ensuring that transgender people are able to access facilities in accordance with their gender identity indefinitely, and further prohibit municipalities from passing laws or regulations related to employment — including LGBTQ non-discrimination protections — through 2020. “The rumored HB2 ‘deal’ does nothing more than double-down on discrimination and would ensure North Carolina remains the worst state in the nation for LGBTQ people,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “The consequences of this hateful law will only continue without full repeal of HB2. Sellouts cave under pressure. Leaders fight for what’s right.” This means that North Carolina would continue to be the only state in the nation to have shamefully funneled anti-transgender animus into a law regulating restroom access. The proposal would also prevent cities in North Carolina from establishing non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people for at least three years, undermining efforts by cities like Charlotte to attract top talent, major businesses, and other economic opportunities. More from HRC, The Charlotte Observer and The New York Times.
- Huge national outcry: Major civil right organizations like HRC, Equality North Carolina, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the ACLU, the American Federation of Teachers, The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; corporations including Salesforce, Dow and Levi’s; and celebrities like Ellen Page, Tegan and Sara, Montel Williams, Martina Navratilova and Raymond Braun have all called out this rotten deal.
- History Lesson // Is this proposal unconstitutional?: The new legislation would further prohibit municipalities from passing other employment provisions, including LGBTQ non-discrimination protections, through 2020. This provision is motivated by the same animus that resulted in a Colorado law being declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in Romer v. Evans (1996) — which barred states from forbidding nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people under the Constitution’s Equal Protection clause.
WARNING: The rumored #HB2 “deal” doubles down on discrimination and would ensure NC remains the worst state in the nation for LGBTQ people.
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) March 29, 2017
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) March 29, 2017
#CantEraseUs — HRC SEEKS INFORMATION ON TRUMP ADMIN EXCLUSION OF LGBTQ DATA FROM CENSUS COLLECTION: Yesterday, HRC filed a Freedom Of Information Act request with the Department of Commerce for communications related to the Trump Administration’s exclusion of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” recommendations regarding data collection in the American Community Survey. Materials produced from this request will help determine how this shameful decision was made. HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) said, “The Trump Administration has launched a deliberate campaign to erase LGBTQ people from federal data used to inform budgets and policies across the government. Their intent is clear: by denying we exist, the Trump Administration hopes to deny us equality. It won’t work. Today, we’re resolved to be louder and fight even harder, because Donald Trump and Mike Pence #CantEraseUs.” The Census Bureau issued a statement correcting an earlier version of a report to Congress in which they stated, “inadvertently listed sexual orientation and gender identity as a proposed topic in the appendix.” The correction suggests that the draft report included LGBTQ data collection recommendations or plans. Many federal agencies, including the Census Bureau, have been collecting or planning to collect similar data. More from HRC and The Associated Press.
THROWBACK THURSDAY — SECOND LADY PENCE RAILS AGAINST NEWSPAPER FOR ARTICLE THAT “ENCOURAGES CHILDREN TO THINK THEY’RE GAY OR LESBIAN”: In a 1991 letter to the editor uncovered by The Washington Post, Second Lady Karen Pence railed against the Indianapolis Star after the paper published a piece about sexual orientation. She wrote, “[y]our story unfortunately encourages children to think they’re gay or lesbian… no wonder our youth are confused.” HRC has found more than a quarter of LGBTQ youth who participated in a post-election survey earlier this year said they have been personally bullied or harassed since Election Day — compared to 14 percent of non-LGBTQ youth — with transgender young people most frequently targeted. Almost half of LGBTQ youth surveyed said they have taken steps to hide who they are by delaying coming out, dressing differently or questioning their plans for the future. Read the Karen Pence’s shameful letter to the editor at The Washington Post.
TRUMP PROPOSES $300M SLASH IN HIV AND AIDS FUNDING — PUTS PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD AT RISK: The Trump Administration has proposed slashing $1.23 billion from the National Institute of Health, including a $300 million cut to the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) — the federal government’s chief initiative to help save the lives of those living with and affected by HIV and AIDS around the world. In 2016, PEPFAR reported that they supported life-saving treatment for 11.5 million people, prevented nearly 2 million children from being born with HIV and increased the number of children on antiretroviral treatment by 97 percent since 2014. More from Bloomberg.
$300 million in cuts by Trump admin would set us back in the fight to achieve an AIDS-free generation. https://t.co/ac23a2QCMy
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) March 29, 2017
TX LT. GOV DAN PATRICK ENLISTS ANTI-LGBTQ GROUPS IN HIS ANTI-TRANS CRUSADE: Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick — who alongside State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst introduced SB 6, a discriminatory anti-trans bill — has enlisted prominent anti-LGBTQ voices to help prop up the bill, all while claiming that the bill has nothing to do with discrimination. Patrick has created a “campaign” with the help Rick Scarborough’s Vision America and Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council, organizations whose aforementioned leaders have, as the Dallas Morning News notes, called transgender people “confused” and “sinful.” As Patrick and Kolkhorst continue to claim SB 6 is not discriminatory and doesn’t target trans Texans — despite declining every amendment in the Senate that would have removed the parts that discriminate — it is clear that by enlisting these anti-LGBTQ groups, their real intention is to discriminate against transgender people. More from the Dallas Morning News.
TX & NC HOSPITALS STAND UP FOR LGBTQ EQUALITY IN FACE OF LEGISLATIVE ATTACKS: The 10th edition of HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index highlights the groundbreaking work taking place at two transgender youth clinics — GENECIS at Children’s Health in Dallas, and the Center for Child and Adolescent Gender Care at Duke Children’s Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. Legislative attacks on the transgender communities in both of those states underscore the importance of the care and affirmation these clinics are providing transgender youth. In Texas, SB6, a bill targeting transgender people’s access to public facilities, passed out of committee and is up for a vote by the full state senate. And in North Carolina, the negative effects of HB2, which, like SB6, targets the state’s transgender community for discrimination, continues to significantly damage North Carolina’s reputation and economy. More on GENECIS here and the Center for Child and Adolescent Gender Care here.
TOMORROW — TRANSGENDER DAY OF VISIBILITY: Tomorrow marks Transgender Day of Visibility, a day to celebrate the transgender community and raise awareness of the struggles they face. HRC is using this week to highlight trans youth making a difference, to praise workplaces supporting transgender employees and to mourn the loss of the transgender people — mostly transgender women of color — murdered in an epidemic of violence we must end.
LGBTQ YOUTH HOMELESSNESS AND THE JOURNEY PARENTS TAKE TO ACCEPT THEIR LGBTQ CHILDREN: In a piece for the Washington Post, Jaimie Seaton (@JaimieSeaton) interviews parents of LGBTQ children about their journey to accept their children and the harrowing statistics about LGBTQ youth homelessness. In 2012, The Williams Institute released study findings that 40 percent of all homeless youth are LGBTQ. More from The Washington Post.
NewNowNext takes a look at Snickers limited edition pro-equality packaging and their new collaboration to highlight stories of the LGBTQ community; YouthRadio interviews Bobby Brooks, Texas A&M’s first openly gay student body president