HRC HIGHLIGHTS INNOVATIVE WORK OF LGBTQ ADVOCATES TO MARK INTERNATIONAL DAY CELEBRATING EQUALITY: Today is the 13th annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). To mark the day, HRC has launched of a video series highlighting global innovators in the fight for LGBTQ equality, and shining a spotlight on the need for continued U.S. engagement on protecting the human rights of LGBTQ individuals around the world — especially in Chechnya where gay and bisexual men are being targeted for abuse and torture by their own government. More from HRC.
“While the global LGBTQ community is filled with innovative advocates advancing equality around the world, we are still combatting horrendous violence in the U.S. and beyond — as we have seen most recently with the detention, torture and murder of gay men in Chechnya,” said HRC Global Director Ty Cobb. “It is disturbing that the White House is trying to build a wall around our country as LGBTQ people and others are trying to find refuge from extreme violence and persecution in places like Syria and Chechnya. Equally disturbing is the violence transgender women of color are experiencing in the United States. We call on world leaders to do more — not less — to protect the human rights of all people around the world. If we turn a blind eye when human rights are violated, we all the suffer consequences of living in a world of violence and instability.”
- Former Vice President Joe Biden called for action in the face of international human rights abuses — asking governments and multinational businesses to condemn anti-LGBTQ sentiment abroad. He also vowed to continue his work promoting LGBTQ equality through The Biden Foudnation. Read his full oped in The Washington Post.
THE FACTS ON GLOBAL LGBTQ EQUALITY: Despite the work of innovative LGBTQ advocates from around the world, discrimination and social stigma continue to have negative, often tragic, consequences for LGBTQ people. The situation for LGBTQ people around the world varies widely. As some countries embrace equality, in others, LGBTQ people continue to suffer from discrimination, persecution and violence.
- Anti-LGBTQ discrimination continues to put lives at real risk. Seventy-two countries currently criminalize same-sex relationships. More than 2,300 transgender people were reported murdered between 2008 and 2016, according to data from the Trans Murder Monitoring project;
- In up to 10 countries, same-sex conduct may be punishable by death;
- Governments in Lithuania, Nigeria and Russia are silencing equality advocates and organizations with so-called “anti-propaganda” laws — a disturbing trend that leads to human rights violations;
- Same-sex marriage licenses are being issued nationwide in 20 countries, and in some jurisdictions of Mexico and the United Kingdom.
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) May 17, 2017
WHAT WE’RE READING WEDNESDAY: Matthew Shepard Foundation founder and HRC Foundation Board of Directors member Judy Shepard (@WyoJudyShepard) condemns hate groups like Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) for funding efforts to discriminate against LGBTQ people — especially transgender children. She writes, “They’re just kids — kids being bullied by an international, multimillion-dollar anti-LGBTQ hate group.” ADF is one of the nation’s most dangerous organizations working to prevent equality for LGBTQ people, and was named an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Read the full piece from TIME.
ASTOUNDING — NC GOV COOPER CALLS FOR LGBTQ PROTECTIONS… AFTER SIGNING A LAW BANNING THEM: At the Center For American Progress’ 2017 Ideas Conference, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper claimed that he is fighting for statewide LGBTQ protections. So strange coming from the person who betrayed the LGBTQ community by signing the discriminatory HB142 into law less than two months ago. Cooper’s law bans local LGBTQ non-discrimination protections statewide through 2020, and forbids state agencies, public universities, primary and secondary schools, and cities from adopting policies ensuring transgender people have access to restrooms consistent with their gender identity.
— Olivia Alair Dalton (@OliviaAlair) May 16, 2017
NOTRE DAME STUDENTS PLAN WALKOUT OF PENCE’S COMMENCEMENT SPEECH OVER HIS ANTI-LGBTQ VIEWS: This morning, The Washington Post reported that students at the University of Notre Dame are planning to protest Mike Pence’s commencement speech by walking out of the ceremony. More from The Washington Post.
NATIONAL COALITION OF LATINX ADVOCACY ORGS OPPOSE TEXAS’ ANTI-LGBTQ LEGISLATION: The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of 45 Latinx advocacy organizations, put out a statement opposing the slate of anti-LGBTQ proposed legislation in the legislature, saying they “[oppose] legislative efforts in Texas to discriminate against the state’s LGBTQ population, which would negatively impact LGBTQ Latinos living in Texas who are already subject to various forms of discrimination, including the recently signed “Show me your papers” law, SB 4, which is expected to increase racial-profiling against Latinos by law enforcement.” Read the full release here.
TOMORROW — TEACHERS, COMMUNITIES TO SUPPORT TRANS YOUTH BY READING I AM JAZZ: On Thursday, HRC’s Welcoming Schools program and the National Education Association (NEA) will hold the second annual National I Am Jazz School and Community Readings. Hosting a reading is one of many ways that teachers, principals, PTAs and local community members can show transgender students that they aren’t alone. More from HRC.
- In Dallas, Councilman Adam Medrano will host a reading in partnership with a local youth organization. More from The Dallas Voice.
AS TRUMP ADMIN ADVANCES DISCRIMINATION, A GROWING MAJORITY OF AMERICANS SUPPORT LGBTQ EQUALITY: This week, Gallup released new findings showing that 64 percent of U.S. adults favor marriage equality — the highest support recorded since the polling firm began tracking the issue. Against the backdrop of unprecedented support for the LGBTQ community in the U.S., the Trump Administration continues to fall further out of touch with the people it was elected to serve. More from HRC.
TODAY — CHELSEA MANNING TO BE RELEASED FROM MILITARY PRISON: As Reuters’ Daniel Trotta (@DaneilJTrotta) writes, she will return to a society that has a much better understanding of transgender identity than when she was sentenced. In January, President Obama commuted much of her 35-year sentence. More from Reuters.
HUNDREDS OF LGBTQ SERVICEMEMBERS ATTEND AMPA GALA: Over the weekend, more than 400 LGBTQ service members, military spouses, veterans, and allies attended the Fourth Annual American Military Partner Association (AMPA) Gala. With the strength of more than 50,000 members and supporters, AMPA, founded by HRC National Press Secretary Stephen Peters (@StephenPeters2), is the nation’s largest non-profit organization of LGBTQ military and veteran families. More from HRC.
INDIAN CITY TRANSIT RESERVES JOBS FOR TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY: The Kochi Metro Rail in the Indian state of Kerala has hired 23 transgender women, and reserved a total of 60 jobs for the local transgender community. More from Reuters.
The New York Times previews the Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ latest concert exploring issues faced by marginalized groups; Gay San Diego interviews HRC’s Vinnie Pompei about his work at HRC’s Time to THRIVE conference; The New York Times shares author Susan Faludi’s photographs of her transgender parent;