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HRC Celebrates Ralph Northam’s Swearing-In as Governor of Virginia

Today, HRC celebrated Ralph Northam’s swearing-in as governor of Virginia. HRC worked aggressively to ensure Northam and other pro-equality candidates claimed victory on Election Day.

“Ralph Northam consistently campaigned on a platform of equality for all Virginians,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “By electing Northam and other fair-minded candidates up and down the ballot, Virginians resoundingly rejected the Trump-Pence politics of hate, fear, and discrimination. There is so much work to do in Virginia, and we look forward to working closely with Governor Northam to advance LGBTQ equality across the commonwealth.”

HRC also worked to turn out the vote for Justin Fairfax for lieutenant governor, Mark Herring for attorney general, and Danica Roem to represent District 13 — all of whom claimed victory in their respective races. HRC’s get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts were strategically targeted and included voters in all of the 15 legislative districts that elected new pro-equality candidates. HRC’s efforts more broadly targeted an estimated 185,366 LGBTQ voters and hundreds of thousands more allied voters in the commonwealth. The organization engaged fair-minded Virginia voters through targeted social media, emails, text alerts, direct mail, phone calls, door-to-door canvassing, and other crucial efforts.

HRC’s work in Virginia is part of a bold, proactive grassroots expansion called HRC Rising — the largest grassroots expansion and earliest deployment of resources in its 37-year history. The campaign has already hired a dozen new staff to lead the effort, aimed at expanding and mobilizing its grassroots army of 3 million members to bolster pro-equality candidates and initiatives in key states across 2018. To get involved or learn more about HRC Rising, visit hrc.im/rising.

The HRC Foundation and the Equality Federation Institute designated Virginia as a “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality” in the 2017 State Equality Index, meaning it is a state where advocates must focus on raising support for basic equality for LGBTQ people, such as non-discrimination laws. The commonwealth is one of thirty-one states that still lacks explicit statewide non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people in employment, housing, and public accommodations. 

37 News Articles Trump and Pence Don’t Want You to See

Next week, Donald Trump will issue his own Fake News Awards, going to the “most corrupt & biased of the Mainstream Media.”

Ahead of Trump’s stunt attacking the press this week, HRC is sharing 37 stories Donald Trump probably hopes you’ve missed from 2017 — the stories that outline his disastrous, dangerous first year.

Why 37 you ask? Because it aligns perfectly with his record-low 37 percent approval rating.

1. Washington Post: After Trump bans words including ‘transgender’ at CDC, gay rights activists predict consequences for GOP

“Vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” The Trump administration banned these words from multiple divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services’ budget documents, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2. NBC News: 15 Attorneys General Oppose Trump Transgender Military Ban

The group, led by Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, filed a brief in federal court in support of transgender service members. The brief argues “that banning transgender individuals from the military is unconstitutional, against the interest of national defense and harms the transgender community.”

3. Wall Street Journal: Top General’s View of Transgender Troops Is at Odds With Trump’s

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford told the Senate Armed Services Committee he believes “that any individual who meets the physical and mental standards… should be afforded the opportunity to continue to serve.”

4. The Hill: Mattis appalled by Trump tweets announcing transgender ban: report

Defense Secretary “Mattis, who was on vacation at the time of Trump’s decision, only had one day’s worth of notice before Trump tweeted his announcement of the policy.”

5. Huffington Post: White House: States Should Get To Decide Whether To Discriminate Against LGBTQ Students

During a press conference, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer invoked “states’ rights” when questioned about whether the guidance on transgender students would be revoked. (Spoiler alert: It was revoked).

6. CNN: Tensions escalate after Tillerson calls Trump ‘moron’

An NBC News report in October found that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “moron” in a Pentagon meeting.

7. Washington Times: President Trump cancels sexual orientation questions on 2020 Census

The Census Bureau issued an alarming corrective statement, asserting it had  “inadvertently listed sexual orientation and gender identity as a proposed topic in the appendix” of a bureau report. The correction suggests that plans for data collection for the 2020 census had included LGBTQ people, but the Trump administration has removed them.

8. CNN: Proposed budget cuts for 2017 include AIDS, AmeriCorps programs

The proposed budget cut $292 million from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR.

9. USA Today: Trump’s Army secretary nominee withdraws over gay comments

Army Secretary Mark Green removed himself from consideration after HRC worked diligently to expose Mark Green’s shameful anti-LGBTQ record and rhetoric.

10. BuzzFeed: Why Didn’t Trump Mention Pride Month? We Asked 30 Times.

The Trump-Pence administration refused to acknowledge Pride Month, which previous presidents have embraced.

11. New York Times: Justice Department Says Rights Law Doesn’t Protect Gays

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions filed a brief seeking to undermine a growing legal consensus that LGBTQ  people are protected from discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

12. Politifact: Donald Trump had biggest inaugural crowd ever? Metrics don’t show it

Liar. Liar. Sean Spicer’s pants are on fire.

13. NJ.com: Senate panel dumps Trump nominee Scott Garrett

The Senate Banking Committee rejected Scott Garrett’s nomination on a bipartisan vote of 10-13.

14. Huffington Post: Trump Judicial Nominee Drops Out After Embarrassing Hearing

Matthew Petersen dropped out after a video of him failing to answer basic law questions went viral.

15. New York Times Editorial: Mr. Trump’s Paper Towels Aren’t Helping Puerto Rico

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16. ThinkProgress: Meet the 8 transgender candidates who won elections on Tuesday

In an incredible turnout of pro-equality voters, Americans across the country elected at least eight out transgender people to office in November.

17. NBC: Obamacare Repeal Fails: Three GOP Senators Rebel in 49-51 Vote

The Trump-Pence-McConnell plan would have caused insurance premiums to drastically rise and leave millions of Americans uninsured, with a particularly devastating impact on low-income senior citizens, women, children, LGBTQ people and people living with HIV.

18. The Atlantic: Trump Defends White-Nationalist Protesters: ‘Some Very Fine People on Both Sides’

Trump proved once again that he stands with “alt-right” racists and anti-Semites.

19. The New Yorker: Trump Abandons the Human-Rights Agenda

Just months into his presidency, it was clear that Trump was abandoning America’s long-standing legacy of defending and promoting human rights around the globe.

20. CNN: Women detail sexual allegations against Trump

Several woman publicly accused Trump of sexual harassment and assault.

21. US News: Trump Administration Rescinds Obama-Era Campus Sexual Assault Guidance

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos rescinded Obama-era Title IX guidance related to schools’ obligations to address sexual harassment, including sexual violence–a move that will disproportionately impact LGBTQ people.

22. New York Times: Suburbs Rebel Against Trump, Threatening Republicans in Congress

Victories on Election Day 2017 spell trouble for Republicans.

23. Los Angeles Times: Military poised to accept transgender troops, despite Trump tweets, as courts block ban

Qualified transgender people who want to serve their country in the military were finally allowed to sign up openly after the Department of Justice decided not to appeal federal court rulings blocking Trump’s discriminatory transgender military ban.

24. CNN Analysis: Trump’s Russia defense in disarray

“President Donald Trump’s legal defense against Robert Mueller’s unrelenting special counsel investigation is beginning to look as chaotic as his early days in the White House.”

25. The Hill: Trump watches up to eight hours of TV per day: report

Who needs eight hours of work when you can watch eight hours of TV instead?

26. NBC: Trump’s Presidency Is Bad for Business — His Own

Trump’s presidency isn’t working out too well for his businesses around the globe.

27. Washington Post: Trump celebrates solar eclipse by looking up without special viewing glasses

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28. New York Times: Trump Attacks Warriors’ Curry. LeBron James’s Retort: ‘U Bum.’

Trump used the power of his office to advocate for the suppression of voices of those fighting systemic racial injustice and inequality.

29. NBC: Manafort Notes From Russian Meet Refer to Political Contributions

“Paul Manafort’s notes from a controversial Trump Tower meeting with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign included a mention of political contributions near a reference to the Republican National Committee.”

30. NPR: The ‘Missed Opportunity’ Of Trump’s Asia Trip

According to David Shambaugh, a professor of political science and international affairs at the Elliott School at George Washington University, “”It was all fluff.”

31. CNN: Trump nominee Sam Clovis: ‘As far as we know’ homosexuality’s a choice, ‘logical’ LGBT protections could lead to legalization of pedophilia

Sam Clovis withdrew from consideration to serve as chief scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

32. New York Times: Republican Shadow Campaign for 2020 Takes Shape as Trump Doubts Grow

“In interviews with more than 75 Republicans at every level of the party, elected officials, donors and strategists expressed widespread uncertainty about whether Mr. Trump would be on the ballot in 2020 and little doubt that others in the party are engaged in barely veiled contingency planning.”

33. Washington Post: Three former Trump campaign officials charged by special counsel

Rick Gates. Paul Manafort. George Papadopoulos. Remember those names.

34. CNN: Trump says he considered ‘this Russia thing’ before firing FBI Director Comey

“The president’s interview with Lester Holt exposed White House obfuscation, unethical interactions with James Comey, and circumstantial evidence that the FBI director’s termination was improper.”

35. The Atlantic: Donald Trump’s Own Words Become ‘Exhibit A’ Against Him

Trump shared in detail about the process of firing FBI Director James Comey in an interview with NBC.

36. Texas Tribune: Report: Trump’s judicial nominee from Texas called transgender kids part of “Satan’s plan”

Jeff Mateer objected to a transgender student using a restroom consistent with her gender identity, saying “I mean it just really shows you how Satan’s plan is working and the destruction that’s going on.”

37. Vox: The political lesson of 2017: resistance works

Despite the Trump-Pence’s administration hateful and bigoted policies, we mobilized against their discriminatory agenda to ensure full equality and justice is achieved for everyone, everywhere.

HRC lamenta la muerte de Viccky Gutierrez, primera mujer transgénero Latinx asesinada en 2018

HRC lamenta enterarse de la muerte de Viccky Gutiérrez, una mujer transgénero de Honduras asesinada en lo que las autoridades califican como un “incendio sospechoso” en su casa de Los Ángeles, la madrugada del miércoles.

El Departamento de Bomberos de Los Ángeles está investigando el incidente que ocurrió en el vecindario de Pico-Union, según los informes. Si bien los restos de la víctima no han sido identificados oficialmente por el Departamento de Policía de Los Ángeles, la fundadora de TransLatin@ Coalition, Bamby Salcedo, confirmó que Gutiérrez murió en el incendio en una emotiva publicación de Facebook ela noche del miércoles.

Personas cercanas a la víctima tomaron las redes sociales para lamentar la muerte de Gutiérrez, describiéndola como “una joven inmigrante translatina cuya sonrisa cálida alegraba a todos”. Esta noche, la comunidad transgénero de Los Ángeles y sus aliados se reunirán para honrar a Gutiérrez y exigir el fin de la epidemia de violencia dirigida a personas transgénero.

Gutiérrez es la primera mujer transgénero de color y la segunda persona transgénero fallecida este año a causa de la violencia. Las mujeres transgénero de color representan un porcentaje alarmante de víctimas de homicidio transgénero.

El año pasado, la Fundación HRC y la Coalición de Personas Transgénero de Color dieron a conocer un informe que documenta los actos de violencia sin sentido que convirtieron 2017 en el año más mortífero registrado para personas transgénero, particularmente para mujeres transgénero de color.

Para obtener más información sobre el trabajo de justicia para personas transgénero de HRC y la epidemia de violencia contra personas transgénero, visite hrc.org/Transgender.

HRC Mourns Viccky Gutierrez, First Transgender Woman of Color Reportedly Killed in 2018

HRC was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Viccky Gutierrez, a transgender woman from Honduras killed in what officials are calling a “suspicious” fire in her Los Angeles home early Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Fire Department is investigating the incident, which occurred in the Pico-Union neighborhood, according to reports. While the victim’s remains have not officially been identified by the Los Angeles Police Department, TransLatin@ Coalition founder Bamby Salcedo in an emotional Facebook post Wednesday night confirmed that Gutierrez died in the fire.

Friends took to social media to mourn Gutierrez’s death, describing her as “a young trans Latina immigrant woman whose warm smile would give anyone comfort.” Tonight, the Los Angeles transgender community and allies will gather to honor Gutierrez and demand an end to the epidemic of violence targeting transgender people.

Gutierrez’s is the first transgender woman of color and the second transgender person known to have died this year as a result of violence. Transgender women of color make up a horrific percentage of reported transgender murder victims.

Last year, the HRC Foundation and the Trans People of Color Coalition released a report documenting the senseless acts of violence that made 2017 the deadliest year on record for transgender people, particularly for trans women of color.

To learn more about HRC’s transgender justice work, and the epidemic of violence against transgender people, visit hrc.org/Transgender.

HRC: Puerto Rico Gov. Rossello Must Veto Anti-LGBTQ Bill

Today, HRC called on Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló to veto a bill passed by the Senate on Sunday that could allow anyone who claims a religious exemption the right to discriminate against the Commonwealth’s LGBTQ community and visitors.

“This legislation would allow a dangerous license to discriminate, putting LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities directly in harm’s way,” said Sarah Warbelow, HRC Legal Director. “Leaders in Puerto Rico should focus on bringing its citizens together — not on measures that would cause harm and discrimination.”

The bill, a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) similar to the bill Vice President Pence disastrously signed into law as governor of Indiana, would empower individuals to pick and choose which laws they want to follow and allow an individual to sue government actors, including teachers, firefighters and police officers, if that individual believes their religious rights were being violated by a government action. Recently, a for profit business owner in Michigan used a RFRA to justify firing a transgender woman when she informed her boss about her plans to transition.  This stands in stark contrast to Puerto Rico’s progress on LGBTQ equality in recent years, including laws banning anti-LGBTQ discrimination and adding gender identity and sexual orientation to statutes addressing  domestic violence,  as well as executive orders prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity in hospitals and allowing transgender persons to change their gender marker on driver’s licenses.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, currently focused on Hurricane Maria recovery efforts in her city, stated: “Discrimination–whatever it may be–disguises hatred, fear, and ignorance. There will never be a justification to hide it behind any law.”

HRC notes that nearly half the 49 victims of the deadly Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016 were LGBTQ Puerto Ricans, and calls on all Americans to come together and help their fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.