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Recent blog articles published by the Human Rights Campaign


Today, HRC announced it has endorsed Democratic candidate Justin Fairfax for lieutenant governor of Virginia. With an estimated 185,366 LGBTQ eligible voters and hundreds of thousands more allied voters in the commonwealth, HRC has also endorsed Ralph Northam for governor and Mark Herring for attorney general.

“Justin Fairfax is the clear choice for Virginia voters who believe in justice, fairness, and equality,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “Fairfax is committed to LGBTQ equality, and we’re proud to endorse him for lieutenant governor. With so much at stake in this election, it’s crucial that fair-minded voters turn out on November 7 for pro-equality candidates Justin Fairfax, Ralph Northam, and Mark Herring.”

“I'm proud to receive the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign. They recognize that there is no question which candidate for Lt. Governor will be the stronger advocate for issues that matter to HRC's members,” said Justin Fairfax. “I look forward to working together with the Human Rights Campaign to fight for equality and opportunity for all Virginians. It is through equality and inclusion that we will continue to create a stronger Virginia economy and a stronger and more just Commonwealth.”

Justin Fairfax is committed to advancing equality for LGBTQ Virginians. The HRC Foundation designated Virginia as a “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality” in the organization’s 2016 State Equality Index. The commonwealth is one of thirty-one states that still lacks basic non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

Fairfax is also committed to reducing gun violence through commonsense gun safety legislation and protecting civil rights, workers, and the environment. He is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and has served as Deputy Coordinator of the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force. If elected, he would become only the second African-American lieutenant governor in Virginia’s history.

HRC recently announced a bold, proactive grassroots expansion with the launch of HRC Rising — a campaign to accelerate progress in states from coast-to-coast, resist the politics of hate, fight anti-LGBTQ legislation, and fuel pro-equality candidates and initiatives. The expansion is the biggest strategic investment in the organization’s 37-year history.

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC. Authorized by Justin Fairfax, candidate for Lieutenant Governor.

Author: Stephen Peters
Posted: October 18, 2017, 4:12 pm

Post submitted by Danielle Samaniego, Levi Strauss & Co. Corporate Affairs

As Julie Rose tells it, it wasn’t the time off so much as the support of her colleagues that made the biggest impact on her during one of the most incredibly difficult times of her life.

Rose, an executive recruiting specialist with our Talent Acquisition team, was just 20 weeks pregnant when she left the office one afternoon for a routine check-up, a half-completed expense report still open on her laptop pending her return.

“I was not expecting to be told ‘You are not going back to work,’” she recalled. Due to a complication, Rose was put on immediate bed rest, and just five weeks later she gave birth to her daughter, who was born at 25 weeks weighing a mere 1-pound, 9-ounces. For Rose and her wife, Lynda, the three months that followed would involve extensive trips to the NICU and more time away from work than they had fathomed. But thanks to the paid parental leave policy in place here at Levi Strauss & Co., that time away was never an issue or concern for Rose, her family or her team.

We recognize how critical it is for all parents – including same-sex couples and single parents – to have adequate time to bond with their newest family additions. Last year, we expanded that parental leave policy, offering all hourly and salaried U.S. employees with benefits eight weeks of paid time off. Our policy covers parents of all genders at the time of a child’s birth, adoption or placement of a foster child in an employee’s care.

The U.S. currently ranks last among developed countries when it comes to paid parental leave allowances, making the financial consequences of taking unpaid time off unrealistic for many new parents. In fact, it’s been widely reported that 25 percent of mothers return to work less than two weeks after giving birth, because they simply can’t afford the time off. Yet, we know that welcoming a child after a birth, an adoption or the commitment to foster is a seismic event for any family. New bonds need to be formed and there are so many immediate needs that require a parent’s undivided attention. That time is essential to all families, and it shouldn’t be marred by fears of not making ends meet in the meantime. 

Our company’s leave policy matches our belief that bonding time with a new child is critical for all parents and all families. It’s the right thing to do and the smart thing for business.

For Rose, the smartest thing she could do for her family was to carve out the time she needed to be there for them – something she was able to do with the support of her company. And today, her daughter is 7 years old – and thriving.

She’s also proud of Levi Strauss & Co.’s commitment to LGBTQ equality – both in how it supports employees and its advocacy supporting equality and nondiscrimination.

“We have such an amazing legacy when it comes to supporting the LGBTQ community, from our support of issues like marriage equality to our efforts around Pride,” says Rose. She also lauds our inclusive employee benefits that allow her to have her wife, a stay-at-home mom, on her insurance. “This company really does put its employees – all employees – first.”

In 1992, Levi Strauss & Co. was the first Fortune 500 company to offer benefits to same sex couples and in 2007 it was the only California business to file an amicus brief with the state Supreme Court supporting same-sex marriage. In 2013, LS&Co. joined the “friend of the court” briefs for both the United States v. Windsor case on the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the Hollingsworth v. Perry case on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8.

We are proud to be at the forefront of the U.S. apparel industry with respect to LGBTQ rights as well as paid parental leave for all, and we welcome this opportunity to reset the standard and inspire others to follow.


Author: Guest contributor
Posted: October 18, 2017, 2:18 pm

Delta State University (DSU) recently hosted its first ever LGBTQ History Month celebration at its Cleveland, Mississippi, campus.  Titled “Okra OUT Front,” a reference to their mascot, the Fighting Okra, this celebration included music and various speakers in a festive outdoor event held in front of the university’s library.

HRC was honored to be present and given the opportunity to share our work in Mississippi and interact with students, faculty and members of the administration, including the university’s president, who participated in this important inaugural event.

Colleges and universities across our state recognize the importance of embracing diversity and inclusion in order that students and staff feel safe and welcome.  Delta State University is certainly no exception as evidenced by this event.

HRC Mississippi looks forward to continue working with DSU and other educational institutions in Mississippi by offering our aid and resources as they strive to become beacons of hospitality and acceptance.

As young people push to attain the goals of the queer community on their campuses, HRC is working to provide tools, facilitate connections with other LGBTQ student activists across the country and empower youth to fight for LGBTQ equality on campus and beyond. Learn more here.


Author: Rob Hill
Posted: October 18, 2017, 2:11 pm

HAPPENING IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS -- HRC TO RELEASE ANNUAL SURVEY OF LGBTQ INCLUSION IN HUNDREDS OF CITIES ACROSS THE NATION: HRC’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI) is the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policy. The more than 500 cities rated in the MEI are assessed on their LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices, including non-discrimination laws; municipal employment policies, including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage and non-discrimination requirements for contractors; inclusiveness of city services; law enforcement, including hate crimes reporting; and municipal leadership on matters of equality. Watch for it tomorrow and see what our nation’s cities are doing at a time when LGBTQ equality is under unprecedented attack by Trump-Pence and others holding the highest offices in the nation. And, in the meantime, check out the results of last year’s MEI here.

#METOO -- HRC’S SARAH MCBRIDE ON SEXUAL ASSAULT IN THE TRANS COMMUNITY: McBride (@SarahEMcBride) bravely revealed her own experience with sexual assault -- and her unique struggle sharing her story due to anti-transgender discrimination. “I stayed silent because I feared that any story that ‘sexualized’ me would undermine my voice as a woman and as a trans advocate,” McBride tweeted. “I stayed silent because I worried that when people hear ‘trans person’ and ‘sexual assault’ in the same story, their minds would pass over the reality and immediately go to the dangerous myth of the ‘trans bathroom predator.’” Studies suggest that around half of transgender people will experience sexual violence at some point in their lifetimes. Learn more about sexual assault and the LGBTQ community here.

THREAD: @HRC's @SarahEMcBride opens up about sexual assault and anti-transgender violence. #MeToo https://t.co/FD9WElMB6c

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) October 16, 2017

THREE STRIKES, YOU’RE OUT! TRUMP’S #MUSLIMBAN BLOCKED FOR A THIRD TIME: Trump’s xenophobic actions extending his Muslim travel ban issued earlier this year was largely struck down in federal court yesterday. The far-reaching travel ban expanded his last executive order to apply to eight countries and is to be kept in place indefinitely. This travel ban poses a serious threat to individuals trying to get to the United States in order to claim asylum -- including LGBTQ Muslims and immigrants seeking to escape violence and persecution. More from The Washington Post.

Yet another defeat for the politics of hate and fear. https://t.co/DWNu7ZiyBS

— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) October 17, 2017

WHAT WE’RE READING WEDNESDAY: In a piece for The Washington Post, “Trump wants me out of the military because I’m transgender. But I won’t abandon my country,” Teagan Gilbert writes powerfully about her 13 years in the U.S. Navy, her family’s military legacy, and the Trump-Pence move to ban qualified trans people from serving. “... the day that I saw the tweet from Trump invalidating my lifelong career broke my heart and my dreams,” Gilbert writes. “All my work, and my 13 years of faithful service, would come to nothing.” But Gilbert is not giving up. “I will continue to serve until that ax drops, or I am given a reprieve. I can only hope that Congress and the courts will act once again to grant transgender service members the dignity to continue to fight with honor, courage and commitment.” Read the full piece from WaPo.

ICYMI -- TRUMP “JOKED” ABOUT WANTING TO HANG LGBTQ PEOPLE: “It's disturbing and sickening that Donald Trump would 'joke' about Mike Pence wanting to 'hang them all' in reference to LGBTQ people,” Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) said. “Hate violence is tragically still a fact of life for LGBTQ people across this country, even without Donald Trump and Mike Pence helping to fan the flames. Mike Pence has spent his career attacking LGBTQ people in Congress, in the governor's mansion, and now in the White House. Donald Trump's remark lays open the depth of their hostility and animosity toward LGBTQ people, and just how deeply they believe we should be treated as second-class citizens in our own country. That's not funny, that's dangerous and un-American.” More from The Washington Post.

  • And in a speech last night, Trump praised the anti-LGBTQ, ultra conservative Heritage Foundation. Read more from the Washington Blade.

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN SIGNS BILL PROTECTING TRANSGENDER INMATES: In addition to signing a bill to officially recognize non-binary genders on all state-issued identity documents, Brown signed a bill allowing transgender inmates in state prisons and county jails to petition courts for name and gender marker changes. More from KPCC.

HORRIFYING -- MAN TORTURES, KILLS GIRLFRIEND’S EIGHT-YEAR-OLD SON BECAUSE HE THOUGHT THE CHILD WAS GAY: Isauro Aguirre admitted to the despicable crime and has been charged with murder with a special circumstance of torture. The boy’s mother, Pearl Fernandez, also faces trial. “The evidence will show that the defendant is nothing more than a bully,” said Los Angeles Prosecutor Jon Hatami. “He was a security guard who intentionally tortured and abused a helpless and innocent little boy.” More from Tribune Media Wire and Daily Mail.

ANTI-LGBTQ FLYERS LITTER CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS: University President Ronald Berkman was criticised for focusing on free speech, instead of the horrifying flyers, which used anti-LGBTQ slurs and encouraged suicide. In response, Berkman issues a second statement denouncing the flyers, calling them “reprehensible,” and announced an opportunity for campus community members to share their concerns directly with him today. More from ABC 15 and the Cleveland Scene.

TO BOLDLY GO WHERE NO STAR TREK SHOW HAS GONE BEFORE: Star Trek: Discovery has introduced its first-ever relationship between two men -- Lt. Paul Stamets and Dr. Hugh Culbert. More from Advocate.

CASTING SOCIETY OF AMERICA HOLDS OPEN CALL FOR TRANS ACTORS: The effort is part of an initiative to increase transgender visibility in television and film. More from Deadline.

THE UNSUNG GAY AND BISEXUAL INFLUENCERS ON CLASSIC ROCK: From Brian Epstein to Jann Wenner, gay and bisexual people have had a major role in the music, images and reporting of the world’s most famous rock acts -- including The Beatles, The Who and The Doors. More from The New York Times.

READING RAINBOW

NBC looks at how LGBTQ gamers connect online; Teen Vogue shares statistics regarding LGBTQ incarcerated youth; The Guardian reviews “Love Song to Lavender Menace,” a play with LGBTQ themes;
Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!


Author: Allison Turner
Posted: October 18, 2017, 1:52 pm

TODAY -- TRUMP TO ADDRESS AN ANTI-LGBTQ GROUP, AGAIN: It’s becoming a thing with this president -- today at 7:30 p.m. ET, Trump is scheduled to speak to members of the Heritage Foundation, an organization that asserts that laws protecting LGBTQ people are not “necessary” and “weaken the marriage culture and the freedom of citizens and their associations to affirm their religious or moral convictions…”  Last week, Trump became the first sitting president to speak at the Values Voters Summit, an annual gathering of the nation’s most extreme anti-LGBTQ politicians, candidates and activists. More from Chris Johnson (@ChrisJohnson82) in The Washington Blade.

TRUMP FAILS TO DISAVOW ROY MOORE’S ANTI-LGBTQ, ANTI-MUSLIM EXTREMISM: Just hours after The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer reported that Trump “joked” that Vice President Mike Pence wants to hang all gay people, Trump declined to disavow the anti-LGBTQ, anti-Muslim rhetoric of Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.  During a White House press conference, Trump dodged the question about Moore’s clear lack of fitness to serve, saying only, “I'll be meeting with him next week.” In 2016, Moore was removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing to implement a ruling that brought marriage equality to Alabama. Despite his assertion that he was only opposing marriage equality as a legal matter, his subsequent comments about the LGBTQ community have revealed a deep, underlying animus toward LGBTQ Alabamians. Recently, he took his extremism one step further by saying that he and Vladimir Putin may be “more akin... than [he] knows,” specifically citing both of their views on LGBTQ rights. More at The Washington Blade.

Shameful. @realDonaldTrump refuses to say whether being gay should be illegal. Roy Moore and Trump are dangerous for #LGBTQ people. pic.twitter.com/1xOHIh9PTM

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) October 17, 2017

HRC PRESIDENT CHAD GRIFFIN RESPONDS TO THE NEW YORKER REPORT THAT TRUMP “JOKED” ABOUT WANTING TO HANG LGBTQ PEOPLE: "It's disturbing and sickening that Donald Trump would 'joke' about Mike Pence wanting to 'hang them all' in reference to LGBTQ people,” Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) said. “Hate violence is tragically still a fact of life for LGBTQ people across this country, even without Donald Trump and Mike Pence helping to fan the flames. Mike Pence has spent his career attacking LGBTQ people in Congress, in the governor's mansion, and now in the White House. Donald Trump's remark lays open the depth of their hostility and animosity toward LGBTQ people, and just how deeply they believe we should be treated as second-class citizens in our own country. That's not funny, that's dangerous and un-American.” More from HRC.

HRC JOINS LETTER TO SENATORS TO #StopJeffMateer: The letter, spearheaded by Lambda Legal, is signed by 36 groups and calls on senators to demand that Mateer’s nomination be withdrawn. In a 2015 speech titled “The Church and Homosexuality,” Mateer objected to a transgender student using the bathroom corresponding to her gender identity, saying “I mean it just really shows you how Satan's plan is working and the destruction that's going on.” As general counsel of the Liberty Institute -- now known as the First Liberty Institute -- he defended then-Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s ‘license-to-discriminate’ bill and objected to efforts to alter the legislation. Mateer also fought against non-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community of Plano, Texas and San Antonio, Texas. Mateer also supports the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy,” and claimed that marriage equality will lead to bestiality. Read the full letter here.

15 ATTORNEYS GENERAL OPPOSE TRUMP’S BAN ON TRANSGENDER TROOPS: The group, led by Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, filed a brief in federal court yesterday 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.” After Trump in July unexpectedly and callously announced via Twitter that he would impose a discriminatory ban on transgender military service, elected officials from both sides of the aisle spoke out forcefully against it. A clear majority of Americans believe anyone who is willing and able to serve in our nation’s military should be allowed to do so. More from The Associated Press.

TUESDAY TWEET: Jackie Shane is an elusive transgender soul singer who made a name for herself in the 1960s before abandoning the spotlight. Now, she’s granted The New York Times’ Reggie Ugwu (@Uugwuu) an exclusive interview, sharing her story publicly for the first time in decades. More from NYT.

Jackie Shane was born in 1940, black and transgender at a time when either meant a life of constriction https://t.co/q7x82h1ZCp pic.twitter.com/hU7p5c2yUN

— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 15, 2017

JAPANESE COMPANIES WORK TOWARD LGBTQ INCLUSION: Jonathan Soble (@jonathan_soble‏) of The New York Times writes: “It is a striking trend in a country where departures from the norm, sexual or otherwise, have long been something to keep hidden -- especially at work. Being openly gay was something for niche transgressive pop stars; for the average gray-suited ‘salaryman,’ it was all but unthinkable. And when it comes to the government, marriage for same-sex couples remains off limits.” A combination of evolving social attitudes and competition for talent, Soble writes, is forcing Japanese businesses to adapt at home and abroad. Last week, HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) spoke at the 5th annual Work with Pride summit in Tokyo, which drew a crowd of over 500 LGBTQ advocates from multinationals and Japanese companies. More from The Japan Times and NYT.

  • The United Nations has launched standards aimed to help businesses fight anti-LGBTQ discrimination. More from Advocate.

CALIFORNIA GOV. BROWN SIGNS BILL RECOGNIZING NON-BINARY IDENTITY: California becomes the first state in the nation to officially recognize non-binary genders on all state-issued identity documents. More from BuzzFeed.

MORNING MUST WATCH: In the cold opening for this weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live, the cast sheds light on the Trump-Pence Administration’s attacks on the LGBTQ community. In the sketch, Trump, played by Alec Baldwin, calls Pence, played by Beck Bennett, and orders him to walk out of a same-sex wedding -- similar to the stunt the administration pulled at a recent NFL game. More from NewNowNext.

#EYESONCHECHNYA -- MARCHERS IN NYC DEMAND ACTION: Hundreds walked from the Stonewall Inn to Trump Tower in an effort organized by Voices4Chechnya to draw attention to atrocities occurring in the Russian republic. Since early this year, Chechen authorities have rounded up and detained more than 100 men in secret prisons, under suspicion that they are gay or bisexual. There are numerous verified reports of torture, and at least three and possibly as many as 20 men have been killed. Chechen officials have also reportedly encouraged families to murder relatives they suspect might be gay, something that at least one family reportedly acted on. Chechen leaders have denied these accusations, going so far as to deny the very existence of LGBTQ people in Chechnya. More from W Magazine.

  • “I thought they would kill me no matter what happened”: One victim of these vicious attacks is Maxim Lapunov, who is sharing his gruesome story to raise awareness and demand justice. More from The Washington Post.

KEEPING LATINX LGBTQ HISTORY ALIVE: José Gutiérrez has been working as an LGBTQ rights and AIDS activist for nearly his entire adult life. Gutiérrez, who founded the Latino GLBT History Project and organized the first DC Latino Pride, reflects on the need to preserve the history of the Latinx community, and its importance to the broader LGBTQ fight for equality in the country. More from HRC.

PRESERVANDO LA HISTORIA LGBTQ LATINX: José Gutiérrez ha dedicado la mayor parte de su vida a la defensa de derechos LGBTQ y de personas que viven con sida y VIH. Gutiérrez es el fundador de la organización sin fines de lucro, Latino GLBT History Project, y organizador del primer desfile de Orgullo Latino de D.C. La labor de Gutiérrez acentúa la necesidad de preservar la historia de la comunidad latinx y su importancia en la amplia lucha LGBTQ del país. Más de HRC.

GAY CINCINNATI PASTOR FIGHTS TO CONTINUE LEADING CONGREGATION: Since marrying his husband, Reverend David Meredith has received complaints -- despite serving his church for six years. On Sunday, the United Methodist Church's Committee on Investigation heard his case and will soon decide if Meredith will be allowed to remain in the post he’s held for six years. More from WLWT.

MALAYSIAN AIDS COUNCIL SAYS ANTI-LGBTQ EFFORTS ARE HAMPERING AIDS PREVENTION EFFORTS: “There is enough evidence to prove that in settings where LGBT people are targeted, discriminated against, and persecuted, the AIDS epidemic thrives,” the council said. “If we are serious about ending AIDS by 2030, we must not allow homophobia, transphobia, and anti-LGBT sentiments to pervade HIV and AIDS discourse in our society.” More from The Malaysian Insight, Gay Star News and Malay Mail Online.

MILESTONE MOMENT -- BRITAIN'S TOP ORGANIZATION FOR PSYCHIATRISTS ACKNOWLEDGES TERRIBLE HARM DONE BY SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY”: The Royal College of Psychiatrists, Britain’s main body for psychiatrists, issued a historic statement expressing “profound regret” at the damage such therapy has inflicted on people. Wrote the group’s president, Professor Wendy Burn: “There are no words that can repair the damage done to anyone who has ever been deemed ‘mentally unwell’ simply for loving a person of the same sex. For those who were then ‘treated’ using non-evidence based procedures by mental health professionals up until as late as the 1970s, the trauma of such experiences can never be erased.” More from BuzzFeed.

READING RAINBOW

The Associated Press interviews African LGBTQ advocates about their worries during the Trump administration; HRC Welcoming Schools recommends three books for bullying prevention; The New York Times highlights a ball for older LGBTQ people coming out after being forced back into the closet

Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!


Author: Allison Turner
Posted: October 17, 2017, 1:37 pm

Today, the Human Rights Campaign responded to a report that Donald Trump “joked” about Mike Pence wanting to hang LGBTQ people.

HRC President Chad Griffin said of the New Yorker anecdote, "It's disturbing and sickening that Donald Trump would 'joke' about Mike Pence wanting to 'hang them all' in reference to LGBTQ people. Hate violence is tragically still a fact of life for LGBTQ people across this country, even without Donald Trump and Mike Pence helping to fan the flames. Mike Pence has spent his career attacking LGBTQ people in Congress, in the governor's mansion, and now in the White House. Donald Trump's remark lays open the depth of their hostility and animosity toward LGBTQ people, and just how deeply they believe we should be treated as second-class citizens in our own country. That's not funny, that's dangerous and un-American."

The Trump-Pence administration’s hositility towards LGBTQ people does not exist in a vacuum. In January, the HRC Foundation released the results of a groundbreaking post-election survey of more than 50,000 young people ages 13-18 revealing the deeply damaging fallout the November election has had on youth across the United States.

The online survey, believed to be the largest ever of its kind, found that 70 percent of respondents have witnessed bullying, hate messages or harassment since the election, with racial bias the most common motive cited. More than a quarter of LGBTQ youth 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.

In 2016, advocates tracked at least 23 deaths of transgender people in the United States due to fatal violence, the most ever recorded. These victims were killed by acquaintances, partners and strangers, some of whom have been arrested and charged, while others have yet to be identified. Some of these cases involve clear anti-transgender bias. In others, the victim’s transgender status may have put them at risk in other ways, such as forcing them into homelessness.


Author: Aaron Rodriguez
Posted: October 16, 2017, 8:31 pm

Post submitted by Kimmie Fink, Welcoming Schools Consultant

At Welcoming Schools, we believe that books can not only provide students with mirrors of their own lives and windows into those of others, but can be used as teaching tools to build empathy and encourage ally behavior. This National Bullying Prevention Month, we invite you to take a look at our recommended book lists to prevent bias-based bullying.

Our team carefully reviewed each book for its quality, grade level appropriateness, diversity of characters and authors, and themes of inclusivity. In addition to our list of books to engage students on bias and bullying, we’ve cultivated lists specifically on bullying as it relates to skin color, immigration status, LGBTQ topics and gender. We also have a number of books that highlight the power of allies.

Need a place to start? Consider these Welcoming Schools staff favorites:

1) One: Hothead red picks on quiet color Blue. The other colors don’t know what to do until One shows them how to stand up and stick together.

2) Each Kindness: Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually she stops coming to school. When Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship.

3) Wonder: Auggie was born with a facial anomaly that prevented him from attending a mainstream school until 5th grade. Wonder, told from multiple perspectives, highlights different character’s struggles with empathy and acceptance.

Books have the power to teach, transport and nourish. By sharing books that spark discussion about diversity and respect and promote empowered allyship, teachers can harness the transformative power of literature to the benefit of all the students in their care.

HRC's Welcoming Schools is the nation's premier program dedicated to creating respectful and supportive elementary schools by embracing family diversity, creating LGBTQ- and gender-inclusive schools, preventing bias-based bullying, and supporting transgender and non-binary students.
 


Author: HRC staff
Posted: October 16, 2017, 4:14 pm

DEFINITION OF HYPOCRISY -- AFTER LAUNCHING UNPRECEDENTED ATTACKS ON LGBTQ PEOPLE, AG SESSIONS SEEKS CREDIT FOR ATTENTION TO IOWA HATE CRIME: “One week after Jeff Sessions changed Department of Justice policy by refusing to protect transgender people under Title VII and launched a sweeping license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, he’s seeking credit for prosecuting a hate crime? We believe Americans deserve an Attorney General willing to address systemic discrimination and enforce policies and laws that prevent hate violence in the first place,” said Sarah Warbelow, HRC Legal Director. HRC issued the statement in response to reports that Sessions is taking credit for directing a Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyer to help prosecute a hate crime case in Iowa. One week ago, at Session’s direction, the DOJ rescinded a memo issued by the Obama Administration and replaced it with a discriminatory memo arguing that anti-discrimination protections under Title VII do not apply to transgender people. The very next day, Sessions launched a sweeping “license to discriminate” that puts millions of LGBTQ Americans at risk of discrimination. Read the full statement at HRC.

  • The editorial board of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch slammed Sessions' actions against the LGBTQ and Black communities, writing “By limiting LGBT protections, Sessions fulfills one of Trump’s campaign pledges to religious conservatives. By inventing the black identity extremist — the FBI uses the acronym BIE as if it were a real thing -- the Justice Department creates a faux analog to the white supremacist movement.” Read the full piece from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • TOMORROW AT 7:30 PM ET -- Trump will address the anti-LGBTQ Heritage Foundation, reports Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson (@ChrisJohnson82). More from Washington Blade.

BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN US HOUSE TO PROTECT TRANS SERVICE MEMBERS: HRC praised the introduction of the measure to protect currently-serving transgender service members from being discharged due to Trump’s transgender military ban. The legislation was introduced by Representatives Jackie Speier (D-CA), Charlie Dent (R-PA), Susan Davis (D-CA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Adam Smith (D-WA), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). “Transgender troops serve this nation with distinction and honor, and President Trump’s unpatriotic attack on their service is unconscionable,” said Stephen Peters, HRC National Press Secretary and Marine Corps veteran. “Qualified Americans who are willing to put their lives on the line for their fellow citizens should be allowed to do so — regardless of their gender identity.” The Senate version of the legislation was introduced last month by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Susan Collins (R-ME), John McCain (R-AZ), and Jack Reed (D-RI). Read more at HRC.

IN BLOCKBUSTER NEW YORKER PIECE, TRUMP “JOKES” PENCE WANTS TO HANG LGBTQ PEOPLE: In a stunning new piece, Jane Mayer (@JaneMayerNYer) profiles Vice President Pence and his long anti-LGBTQ history, writing: “Two sources also recalled Trump needling Pence about his views on abortion and homosexuality. During a meeting with a legal scholar, Trump belittled Pence’s determination to overturn Roe v. Wade. The legal scholar had said that, if the Supreme Court did so, many states would likely legalize abortion on their own. ‘You see?’ Trump asked Pence. ‘You’ve wasted all this time and energy on it, and it’s not going to end abortion anyway.’ When the conversation turned to gay rights, Trump motioned toward Pence and joked, ‘Don’t ask that guy -- he wants to hang them all!’ Read the full shocking piece from The New Yorker.

U.S. SEN. KAMALA HARRIS TO SPEAK, EMMY-WINNING ACTRESS UZO ADUBA TO BE HONORED AT 21st ANNUAL HRC NATIONAL DINNER: HRC announced that U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris will speak and two-time Emmy Award-winning actress Uzo Aduba will be honored at the 21st annual HRC National Dinner on October 28 in Washington. “Senator Kamala Harris is a champion of equality who is committed to helping us fight back against the Trump-Pence administration’s all-out war against the LGBTQ community,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Throughout her career in public life, Senator Harris has fought for the equal dignity of the LGBTQ community, and she is a national leader in the resistance against the politics of hate and fear. We look forward to welcoming Senator Harris to this year’s HRC National Dinner.” Continued Griffin: “Using her incredible talent to help change countless hearts and minds, Uzo Aduba is a powerful and compelling voice for justice, fairness, and equality. Aduba is unwavering in her commitment to helping advance equality for LGBTQ people around the globe. We are proud to honor her with the HRC Ally for Equality Award.” More from HRC.

We are honored & excited to have @SenKamalaHarris & 2x Emmy winner @UzoAduba at this year’s #HRCNationalDinner! https://t.co/nwEVTt6uLH

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) October 15, 2017

HRC ON THE GROUND IN VIRGINIA TO ADVOCATE FOR PRO-EQUALITY CANDIDATES: This weekend, HRC members and supporters canvassed on behalf of a slate of HRC-endorsed, pro-equality candidates working to move the Old Dominion State forward. With an estimated 185,366 eligible LGBTQ voters and hundreds of thousands more allied voters in Virginia, HRC’s get-out-the-vote effort for the pro-equality candidates could make all the difference in the next election. In Virginia, HRC has endorsed Ralph Northam for governor, Attorney General Mark Herring for re-election and Danica Roem for state delegate.

.@HRC members & supporters are canvassing in Virginia to help elect pro-equality candidates @RalphNortham, @MarkHerringVA and @pwcdanica. pic.twitter.com/icQERbyCJs

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) October 14, 2017

FROM DAHLIA LITHWICK IN SLATE -- LAWYERS V. WHITE SUPREMACISTS: Attorneys Robbie Kaplan, who represented Edie Windsor in the 2013 case that successfully challenged the Defense of Marriage Act, and Karen Dunn filed this suit on behalf of 11 plaintiffs who suffered as a result of the violence of known neo-Nazi Richard Spencer and his white supremacist followers -- particularly the Black, LGBTQ and Jewish victims of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.  “The whole point of this lawsuit is to make it clear that this kind of conduct -- inciting and then engaging in violence based on racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism -- has no place in our country,” Kaplan told Lithwick (@DahliaLithwick). “We are a nation of laws, dedicated to the principle that all people are created equal. On behalf of our very brave clients, we are using those laws to prevent these defendants and others like them from being able to repeat what happened in Charlottesville ever again.” More from Slate.

DESPICABLE -- GOP CANDIDATE FOR CHARLOTTE, N.C. MAYOR WON’T RULE OUT VETOING LGBTQ NON-DISCRIM PROTECTIONS: Kenny Smith, the Republican candidate for Charlotte’s mayor against HRC-endorsee Vi Lyles, told The Charlotte Observer that he “doesn’t know whether he would veto a council ordinance that gave legal protections to the LGBT community.” Smith voted against these protections twice while on the city council. More from The Charlotte Observer.

FOUR LGBTQ LAWMAKERS CREATE FIRST LGBTQ CAUCUS IN AZ LEGISLATURE: They made the announcement on National Coming Out Day last week. The group will work to ensure that issues affecting LGBTQ Arizonans will be seen by the governor and lawmakers. More from AZ Central.

PHILADELPHIA LOOKS TO PROTECT LGBTQ SENIORS: The city is considering a bill of rights for LGBTQ seniors that would help ensure they are not discriminated against by care providers. The bill is based on a similar law in California that was passed earlier this month. More from Instinct Magazine.

IN PEORIA, ILL., PLANNED PARENTHOOD FILLS THE HEALTH CARE GAP FOR TRANS COMMUNITY: Peoria Public Radio sat down with Dana Garber of Peoria Planned Parenthood, who describes how clinic serves the transgender community and her own efforts to help other area hospitals support the trans community. More from Peoria Public Radio.

U.N. RIGHTS EXPERT RAISES ALARM OVER LGBTQ PEOPLE TORTURED IN AZERBAIJAN: One man described being abducted, detained and threatened while walking down the street. Local police claim the arrests are part of an “anti-prostitution campaign,” but advocates in the area say the arrests are part of a larger anti-LGBTQ crackdown leaving dozens beaten and humiliated. More from RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty.

READING RAINBOW

NBC Out recommends 11 books to read during LGBTQ history month; Outsports interviews out All-American swimmer Joe Hladik (@NotSoAverageIV); PinkNews reports that Prince Harry accepted a posthumous award from gay magazine Attitude on behalf of his mother; HRC lists global LGBTQ advocates you need to know; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Atlanta Pride likely set an attendance record;
Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!


Author: Allison Turner
Posted: October 16, 2017, 2:06 pm

Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, issued a statement in response to reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is taking credit for directing a Department of Justice lawyer to help prosecute a hate crime case in Iowa.

Sarah Warbelow, HRC Legal Director said:

“One week after Jeff Sessions changed DOJ policy by refusing to protect transgender people under Title VII and launched a sweeping license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, he’s seeking credit for prosecuting a hate crime? We believe Americans deserve an Attorney General willing to address systemic discrimination and enforce policies and laws that prevent hate violence in the first place.”

One week ago, at the direction of Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice (DOJ) rescinded a memo issued by the Obama Administration and replaced it with a discriminatory memo arguing that anti-discrimination protections under Title VII do not apply to transgender people. DOJ instructed all U.S. attorneys to adopt this dangerous position in all pending and future matters. The very next day, Sessions launched a sweeping “license to discriminate” that puts millions of LGBTQ Americans at risk of discrimination.

A preliminary analysis of the Trump-Pence administration’s license to discriminate indicates that LGBTQ people and women will be at risk in some of the following ways:

  • A Social Security Administration employee could refuse to accept or process spousal or survivor benefits paperwork for a surviving same-sex spouse.
  • A federal contractor could refuse to provide services to LGBTQ people, including in emergencies, without risk of losing federal contracts.
  • Organizations that had previously been prohibited from requiring all of their employees from following the tenets of the organization’s faith could now possibly discriminate against LGBTQ people in the provision of benefits and overall employment status.
  • Agencies receiving federal funding, and even their individual staff members, could refuse to provide services to LGBTQ children in crisis, or to place adoptive or foster children with a same-sex couple or transgender couple simply because of who they are.

Author: Aaron Rodriguez
Posted: October 15, 2017, 9:41 pm

Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN today filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Trump administration’s ban on military service by transgender individuals. The lawsuit—brought in response to President Trump’s formal issuance of directions to military authorities late Friday—was filed on behalf of two individuals who seek to join the military; one current service member who seeks appointment as an officer; the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization; and Gender Justice League, a gender and sexuality civil and human rights organization, headquartered in Seattle.

“This ban not only wrongfully prevents patriotic, talented Americans from serving, it also compromises the safety and security of our country,” Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Peter Renn said. “Thousands of current service members are transgender, and many have been serving openly, courageously and successfully in the U.S. military for more than a year—not to mention the previous decades when many were forced to serve in silence. Once again attacking a vulnerable population based on bias, political opportunism and demonstrably untrue ‘alternative facts,’ President Trump is denying brave men and women the opportunity to serve our country without any legitimate justification whatsoever.”

“We promised that we would sue if the president took this action. The law is on our side; justice is on our side," said Peter Perkowski, Legal Director for OutServe-SLDN. "And we are on the side of every single transgender service member and those who want to serve. The nation’s courts exist to protect the people whom tyrants would otherwise abuse. Trump can’t tweet his way out of this one.”

Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filed the lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The individual plaintiffs, all of whom are transgender, include: Ryan Karnoski, a 22-year-old Seattle man who currently works as a social worker and wishes to become an officer doing social work for the military; Staff Sergeant Cathrine (“Katie”) Schmid, a 33-year-old woman and 12-year member of the U.S. Army currently serving in Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington, who has applied to become an Army Warrant Officer; and Drew Layne, a high-school student from Corpus Christi, Texas, who is about to turn 17 and, with parental support, wants to join the Air Force. HRC and Gender Justice League have joined the lawsuit on behalf of their transgender members who are harmed by the ban.

“Our military is stronger when any qualified American willing to defend our country is able to serve, regardless of their gender identity,” said HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride. “It is an unconscionable and unconstitutional breach of trust for the president to single out brave transgender service members and able recruits for discrimination. The harm that this administration is causing to both these courageous Americans and our national security must be stopped. We are proud to be a plaintiff on behalf of our transgender members currently serving or wishing to enlist or commission, but who find their careers and their future under attack - and we thank all of the plaintiffs, Lambda Legal and Outserve-SLDN for their leadership in challenging this dangerous directive."

“Gender Justice League has been fighting on behalf of transgender people for the dignity that all people deserve. At a time when transgender people are facing alarming rates of discrimination, violence and lack of access to housing and medical care, this blatantly discriminatory ban is a slap in the face to our members,” said Danni Askini, Executive Director of Gender Justice League. “We have made strides in Washington state to put this kind of government sanctioned discrimination behind us. This ban stands against our state’s values that all Washingtonians deserve the same rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution.”

On July 26, President Trump posted a series of tweets in the early morning hours announcing that, “The United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” The tweeted ban was swiftly and widely condemned by more than 56 retired generals and admirals and a large percentage of Republican and Democratic U.S. senators and representatives.

Despite that criticism, the White House proceeded to issue a memorandum directing the military to continue the ban on enlistment by those they learn are transgender, even though our armed forces currently are facing recruitment challenges, including in high demand positions like linguists, health care providers, social workers and aviators. The enlistment ban also bars transgender members of the military currently serving openly, such as Staff Sergeant Schmid, from obtaining appointments as officers. The memorandum further orders the return to past anti-transgender policies affecting continued service and medical care of those known to be transgender after the development of an implementation plan by the Secretary of Defense. Today’s lawsuit against President Trump, the United States of America, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the U.S. Department of Defense is based on the Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection, due process and free speech for all.

Staff Sergeant Schmid said, “I love serving my country, which I’ve been doing for more than 12 years. Since the ban on open service by transgender men and women was lifted, I’ve been able to live and serve as my authentic self, which has allowed me to form stronger bonds with my fellow service members.”

“This ban is disrespectful and dishonorable to the thousands of transgender men and women who are boldly and bravely serving our country,” added Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Sasha Buchert, herself a transgender military veteran. “It deprives our armed forces of those wanting to serve at a time when the military is already facing threats on multiple fronts. It also is disrespectful to the leadership at the Department of Defense who worked to develop and implement the current policy allowing open service, which has been operating successfully for more than a year.”

The government-commissioned RAND study released in May 2016 determined that the cost of providing transition-related care is exceedingly small relative to U.S. Armed Forces overall health care expenditures, that there are no readiness implications that prevent transgender members from serving openly, and that numerous foreign militaries have successfully permitted open service without a negative effect on effectiveness, readiness or unit cohesion. Based on that study, the Pentagon lifted the ban on open service by transgender men and women in July 2016.

The lawsuit is Karnoski v. Trump. Read a copy of the complaint here: https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/karnoski_us_20170828_complaint

The Lambda Legal attorneys working on the case are: Peter Renn, Jon W. Davidson, Camilla B. Taylor, Tara Borelli, Natalie Nardecchia, Sasha Buchert, Kara Ingelhart, and Carl Charles. They are joined by co-counsel Peter Perkowski of OutServe-SLDN. Also on the legal team are pro-bono co-counsel at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Newman Du Wors LLP.


Author: Guest contributor
Posted: August 28, 2017, 1:03 pm

Posts – LDS Family Fellowship

Family is Everytning

Fighting The LGBT Community’s Invisibility | In many ways, the history of the LGBT community is a history of battling invisibility. Since the dawn of time, society has tried to make us invisible. We gained strength as a community only by shedding that invisibility, coming out, and proudly saying who we are. Source: Fighting The […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 8, 2016, 3:10 am
Mama Dragons Try To Prevent Suicides Among Mormon-LGBT Children Source: Mama Dragons Try To Prevent Suicides Among Mormon-LGBT Children : NPR
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 8, 2016, 2:45 am
Is Utah’s youth suicide rate linked to Utah’s culture surrounding LGBT? BY HEIDI HATCH WEDNESDAY, JULY 6TH 2016   Is Utah’s youth suicide rate linked to Utah’s religious culture surrounding LGBT? VIEW PHOTO GALLERY 8 photos 201 shares tweet now! (KUTV) The number one killer of Utah’s kids is suicide according to new numbers from […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 7, 2016, 2:32 am
 Is The Recent Rise In Utah Youth Suicides Really Such A Mystery? 07/05/2016 02:08 pm ET | Updated 1 day ago 390 Benjamin Knoll John Marshall Harlan Associate Professor of Politics, Centre College The Salt Lake Tribune recently reported that “Utah health officials are grappling with a rising youth suicide rate that’s nearly tripled since […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 7, 2016, 2:28 am
LGBT Pride Month Highlights Deepening Divide Between Mormon Leadership and Members Mitch Mayne | Posted 06.11.2016 | Queer Voices Read More: LGBT Mormons, LGBT Mormon Children, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mormons, Gay Mormons, Mitch Mayne Gay Mormon, LGBT Pride Month, LGBT Pride, Lgbt Pride Parade, Mexico Marriage Equality, Proposition 8, Queer […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 22, 2016, 4:42 am
Diversity: Pride in science The sciences can be a sanctuary for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, but biases may still discourage many from coming out. Source: Diversity: Pride in science : Nature News & Comment
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 22, 2016, 4:14 am
Silence Is Killing Your LGBT Relatives 06/21/2016 06:32 pm ET | Updated 4 hours ago Mark O’Connell, L.C.S.W. Psychotherapist in private practice, author of Modern Brides & Modern Grooms LGBT Pride Month 2016 will always be remembered for the worst mass shooting in American history to date, one which took 49 lives at an Orlando, […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 22, 2016, 4:03 am
The Orlando Massacre: A Reminder of the Dangers LGBT People Live With Every Day There have been scores of attacks on LGBT spaces, some of which received more attention than others. 06/12/2016 10:46 am ET | Updated 5 minutes ago Michelangelo Signorile, Editor-at-Large, HuffPost Queer Voices Queer Voices Editor-at-Large, The Huffington Post STEVE NESIUS / […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 12, 2016, 8:17 pm
Deadliest Mass Shooting In U.S. History Leaves More Than 50 Dead At Gay Orlando Nightclub “We are investigating this from all points of perspective as an act of terrorism.” 06/12/2016 09:28 am ET | Updated 5 minutes ago Nina Golgowski Trends reporter, The Huffington Post Sebastian Murdock Reporter, The Huffington Post Andy Campbell Reporter, The […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 12, 2016, 8:00 pm
Read the article here.
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 26, 2015, 11:16 pm