TAIWAN HIGH COURT APPROVES MARRIAGE EQUALITY — A FIRST IN ASIA: Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled that same-sex couples have a “freedom of marriage” that must be protected. The decision comes in a marriage equality case brought by a veteran LGBTQ activist with support from authorities in the capital city, Taipei, and after decades of work by activists across Asia. Two HRC Global Innovators — Jennifer Lu, from the inaugural HRC’s Global Innovative Advocacy Summit class in 2016, and Sean Sih-Cheng Du, from this year’s class — have been working with the Marriage Equality Coalition in Taiwan. The National Yuan, or legislature, must now enact legislation or reconcile an existing bill to facilitate the decision in the next two years. Lu, Du and the Marriage Equality Coalition plan to launch a campaign to press the National Yuan for swift action to carry out the letter and spirit of the ruling. Read the decision here. More from BBC.
TRUMP CLAIMS HE WON’T ‘LECTURE’ ON HUMAN RIGHTS — WHILE IN A COUNTRY THAT MURDERS LGBTQ PEOPLE: During a speech in Saudi Arabia — one of at least 10 countries where same-sex sexual activity is punishable by death — President Trump downplayed human rights, claiming he will not “lecture.” His comments mirror previous statements by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has implied that his State Department will de-emphasize human rights, saying the U.S. should not use them as “leverage”. These sentiments diminish the importance of the U.S. role as a beacon of hope to people worldwide seeking human rights and dignity. More from The Washington Post.
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) May 23, 2017
TEXAS SENATE TRYING TO MAKE LEGISLATION EVEN WORSE: The Dallas Morning News reports that the Texas Senate will not accept an anti-transgender student amendment passed by the Texas House on Sunday night, due to the fact that they want to add even broader discriminatory language. The House added a harmful amendment to an otherwise unrelated education bill, SB 2078, that makes classifications on the basis of “biological sex” — designed to alienate transgender students from their peers. Dallas Morning News reporter Lauren McGaughy (@lmcgaughy) reports that that the original Senate sponsor of the anti-transgender student bill plans to kill this new legislation out of retribution. “The Texas Senate announced plans to reject the anti-transgender amendment added to SB 2078 by the House to pursue even more broader harmful, anti-transgender language,” said HRC Press Secretary Nick Morrow (@NRMorrow). “As these far-right extremists in the legislature continue to put politics before people and threaten a special session simply to discriminate against LGBTQ Texans, we have to ask: how much discrimination will be enough?” Read the full piece from The Dallas Morning News.
- Additionally, overnight the Texas Senate doubled down on the discriminatory SB6, adding anti-transgender amendments to an otherwise unrelated bill, HB 4180. The bill will have to go back to the Texas House for concurrence, where the whole bill may now be in jeopardy now that these discriminatory amendments have been piled on. More from The Dallas Morning News.
- Wendy Davis to former colleagues — stop attacking trans youth: In a compelling piece for TIME, former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis excoriates Texas legislators who have been attacking transgender youth. Read the full piece from TIME.
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING WEDNESDAY: The United Nation’s Free & Equal campaign for LGBTQ equality has released a new video showing a genderqueer youth bonding with his father at a local soccer game. The video, ‘Culture,’ highlights the ways tradition and culture can bridge differences and bring people together. Watch here.