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Post submitted by James Rector, Field Organizer HRC Arkansas

Last week a group of volunteers met in Little Rock with Michael Burke, Regional Membership Manager for Project One America, to discuss upcoming events and the importance of our members and supporters to the organization. Every day, HRC staff is on the ground across the nation working hard alongside volunteers, members and supporters to ensure full equality for the LGBTQ community. In addition to that work, we provide opportunities for members in the community to socialize and network.

The purpose of the HRC CONNECT community happy hours are to create opportunities for LGBTQ people and allies, including HRC staff, representatives from local LGBTQ groups and local LGBTQ and ally community members, to come together to socialize, network, have fun and learn about the work.

If you are a community organization in Arkansas who would like to partner on an HRC CONNECT event, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Set up an information table for your organization where you can pass out literature, promote events and sign people up;
  • Give a few remarks alongside HRC representatives during a short program;
  • Co-brand the event Facebook page with your organization’s name and/or logo.

After Michael's meeting in Little Rock he traveled to Fayetteville to meet with volunteers members and supporters in Northwest Arkansas. To find out more information on how to get involved contact us at hrcarkansas@hrc.org To renew your membership or consider becoming a partner visit http://bit.ly/1VOYrD8.


Author: HRC staff
Posted: July 25, 2016, 3:00 pm

Today, the Human Rights Campaign announced that HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride will speak at the DNC on Thursday -- marking the first time in history an openly transgender person will speak at a major party convention. HRC President Chad Griffin will also address the Democratic National Convention that evening.

“Hillary Clinton won’t be the only woman to make history this Thursday. When Sarah McBride takes the stage, she will become the first transgender person to speak at a national Democratic or Republican convention,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Sarah’s inclusion in Thursday’s program is a significant milestone for our community, and it sends a strong message that transgender people and their voices matter. I'm also honored to address a national convention where LGBTQ advocates will play such an integral and historic role. Next week’s Democratic National Convention will underscore the stark contrast between Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine’s vision for a more equal America and Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s agenda of hate and division.”

McBride currently serves as the National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign and on the steering committee of Trans United for Hillary, a volunteer effort dedicated to educating and mobilizing transgender people and their allies in support of Hillary Clinton. McBride was invited to speak on the main stage of the convention by the Congressional LGBT Caucus and her speech will follow remarks by Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, (D-NY).

“I’m honored for this opportunity to share my story and to be the first transgender person to speak at a major party convention,” said Sarah McBride, National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign. “People must understand that even as we face daily harassment, tragic violence, and an onslaught of anti-LGBTQ political attacks across the country, we are real people merely seeking to be treated with the dignity and respect every person deserves. I'm so proud to stand with the LGBT Caucus and speak out in support of Hillary Clinton, because we know she stands with us.”

Last week, the RNC adopted the most anti-LGBTQ platform in the Republican Party’s history, including an endorsement of so-called “conversion therapy” and dangerous, discriminatory laws like North Carolina’s HB2. A number of speakers at the Convention and related events also mocked and ridiculed transgender people.

A record number of LGBTQ delegates -- including a historic high of 27 transgender delegates -- will also be attending the Democratic convention.The party is slated to adopt the most inclusive and progressive platform ever on LGBTQ equality. That proposed platform includes planks endorsing comprehensive non-discrimination protections, opposing anti-LGBTQ bills, condemning violence against transgender people, and calling for LGBTQ equality to continue to be a part of U.S. foreign policy. Mara Keisling, veteran trans advocate, served on the platform committee.

The Human Rights Campaign endorsed Hillary Clinton in January 2016. With 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide, HRC is planning an unprecedented organizational effort to register and mobilize the nation’s pro-equality majority, and elect pro-LGBT candidates up and down the ballot. In 2016, HRC expects that the pro-equality vote will be larger, stronger, and more energized than at any point in history.

 
Paid for by Human Rights Campaign Equality Votes and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Author: Brandon Lorenz
Posted: July 24, 2016, 3:58 pm

Today, the National Council of La Raza adopted new policies in favor of reducing and preventing gun violence.

“Our announcement today comes as we hold our Annual Conference in Orlando, the site of the largest mass shooting in our nation’s history, which took the lives of 49 innocent people, most of whom were Latino,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía said in a statement. “The tragic event at Pulse nightclub changed Orlando and it has changed NCLR. Today, by formally adopting this position, we join with the vast majority of Americans calling for an end to gun violence and we will urge policymakers to adopt common-sense measures to reduce mass shootings and gun violence, saving countless lives.”

Last month, HRC’s board adopted a resolution that addresses both the epidemic of hate that has fueled anti-LGBTQ-motivated murder, assault and discrimination as well as common-sense gun violence prevention policies that would help keep the LGBTQ community safe. The tragic killing of 49 innocent people on Latin Night at Pulse nightclub in Orlando — young lives taken solely because of who they were — has affected us all.

“As a society, we must hold accountable lawmakers, religious leaders and other public officials who put a target on the backs of LGBTQ people through hateful rhetoric and legislation, because they are complicit in the violence fueled by their words and actions,” HRC President Chad Griffin said. “The safety of the LGBTQ community depends on our ability to end both the hatred toward our community and the epidemic of gun violence that has spiraled out of control.”

Following the Orlando tragedy, it's on all of us to keep the victims’ memories alive, and to ensure part of their legacy becomes meaningful action to end hate violence. Join HRC’s Stop the Hate campaign and urge your legislator to support legislation that will ensure LGBTQ people are safe and equal in every community and find out how to support the survivors and families of the Orlando victims.


Author: Hayley Miller
Posted: July 23, 2016, 5:21 pm

The Human Rights Campaign hailed Hillary Clinton’s selection of Tim Kaine -- who has a solid commitment to LGBTQ equality -- as her running mate. Secretary Clinton’s selection of Tim Kaine contrasts starkly with Donald Trump’s running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, who has one of the most anti-LGBTQ records of any vice presidential candidate.

“While Donald Trump doubled down on discrimination by picking Mike Pence, Hillary Clinton has bolstered her campaign's historic commitment to LGBTQ equality by choosing Tim Kaine,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Having proven time and time again that they have the experience, determination, and leadership needed to move equality forward for all Americans, we are confident Clinton and Kaine will tear down the walls of discrimination that hold all of us back. The stakes for LGBTQ people in this election couldn’t be higher, and the choice for pro-equality voters couldn’t be clearer.”

In addition to supporting marriage equality, Kaine is an original co-sponsor of the Equality Act -- federal legislation that would finally guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBTQ people under our existing civil rights laws. One of Kaine’s first actions as Virginia Governor in 2006 was to sign an executive order adding sexual orientation protections to the non-discrimination policy for state workers. Kaine also recently signed onto an amicus brief in the 2nd Circuit case, Christiansen v Omnicom Group Inc., arguing that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination are prohibited under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He has voted in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA).

In addition to her long record as a champion for LGBTQ rights both in the U.S. and around the globe, Hillary Clinton has proposed the most robust pro-LGBTQ equality agenda of any presidential candidate in history. She has called the Equality Act her “highest priority,” and her detailed LGBTQ policy platform specifically calls for outlawing dangerous “conversion therapy” for minors, ending the epidemic of transgender violence, and supporting HIV prevention and affordable treatment, among other proposals that would advance equality and support the LGBTQ community.

Trump-Pence’s positions on LGBTQ equality stand in stark contrast with the presumptive Democratic ticket. Trump’s false claims about his own support for LGBTQ equality are belied by his own long record of opposing it. He has vowed to rescind marriage equality and pledged to appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices who would overturn last year’s historic Obergefell ruling. He has pledged to sign the so-called First Amendment Defense Act, which could allow individuals, many businesses, and nonprofit organizations to circumvent critical federal protections and blatantly discriminate against LGBTQ families. Trump has pledged to repeal President Obama’s executive orders, which include protections for LGBTQ employees of federal contractors, and he has verbally attacked women, immigrants, Muslims, people of color, people living with disabilities, asylum seekers, and others for political gain. In recent weeks, Trump has reaffirmed his opposition to transgender equality, appeared alongside Tony Perkins -- leader of SPLC-designated hate group the Family Research Council, and delusionally bragged about fictional support from the LGBTQ community in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Visit www.hrc.org/dumptrump to learn more about Donald Trump’s anti-LGBTQ positions.

Pence, in a now notorious interview with ABC last year, refused to answer eight separate times when asked whether businesses should be able to discriminate against LGBTQ people. Pence became a national disgrace in 2015 for his “license to discriminate” bill -- which threatened to allow businesses to deny service to LGBTQ people -- and for subsequently defending the bill after an outcry from the business community and a majority of Hoosier voters.

This week, the Republican Party passed the most overtly anti-LGBTQ platform in history, with a slew of anti-equality provisions, including attacks on transgender people and a commitment to overturn nationwide marriage equality. Speakers at the Republican National Convention launched a slew of attacks on LGBTQ people, including attacks on transgender people by retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn and Ben Carson. And yesterday, Trump pandered to equality voters -- calling out hateful ideology while refusing to admit his own anti-LGBTQ agenda.

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign Equality Votes and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Author: Stephen Peters
Posted: July 23, 2016, 12:12 am

Post submitted by Eva Kendrick, HRC Alabama State Manager

This August, HRC will host two lunch-and-learn opportunities for healthcare administrators across the state to learn more about participation in the Healthcare Equality Index 2017 survey. These events will be held in Birmingham on Wednesday, August 24, and Huntsville on Thursday, August 25.

The Healthcare Equality Index - an annual survey implemented by the HRC Foundation - is used by inpatient and outpatient healthcare organizations nationwide to strengthen the care they offer LGBTQ patients, as well as the support and protections offered to LGBTQ healthcare staff. Healthcare facilities participating in the 2017 HEI survey will be scored in four key areas of LGBTQ inclusion: Non-Discrimination and Staff Training, Patient Services and Support, Patient and Community Engagement and Employee Benefits and Policies. Facilities that score high by having a number of policies and best practices in place will be recognized as top performers and those that score 100 in the survey will receive the designation of Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, Cooper Green Mercy Health Services, Medical West Health Centers, and the VA Medical Centers in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Montgomery all achieved this key “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” status in the 2016 survey.

While these six medical centers represent incredible improvement in LGBTQ patient-centered care in Alabama, the fact that nearly fifty percent of LGBTQ Alabamians do not consider their doctor to be LGBTQ friendly while many more LGBTQ patients still face discrimination or harassment from healthcare providers and healthcare facility staff proves that recruiting more hospitals to participate in the 2017 HEI survey is a critical next step to ensuring fully-inclusive and competent healthcare for all Alabamians.

HRC’s August HEI Lunch-and-Learn series will be an opportunity for healthcare administrators to learn more about implementing LGBTQ patient-centered best practices through case studies offered by local healthcare administrators whose hospitals have participated in previous HEI surveys, as well as an opportunity to connect directly with Tari Hanneman, Director of HRC’s Health Equality Project. Registration for the lunch-and-learns is free with lunch included in each registration.

For more information on August’s HEI Lunch-and-Learns, please contact Eva Kendrick at eva.kendrick@hrc.org.


Author: HRC staff
Posted: July 22, 2016, 5:32 pm

TRUMP & PENCE CLOSE OUT WEEK OF ATTACKS ON LGBTQ EQUALITY AT RNC: The Republican National Convention drew to a close last night, with Donald Trump and Mike Pence wrapping up a week during which the GOP adopted the most anti-LGBTQ platform in its history and featured a parade of anti-LGBTQ speakers. In his speech accepting the party’s nomination last night, Trump appallingly pandered to LGBTQ people while he  and running mate have opposed equality at every turn. Yesterday, HRC released a new microsite highlighting how Trump and Pence threaten historic gains the LGBTQ community has made in the last eight years. “Donald Trump and Mike Pence are now leading the most antiquated, anti-LGBTQ ticket in recent memory,” said HRC Communications Director Jay Brown. “Together, Donald Trump and Mike Pence threaten everything we've gained -- from marriage equality to worker protections -- and Trump has vowed to sign hateful federal legislation that would open LGBTQ people to Kim Davis-style discrimination across the country. This week has also shown, sadly, just how far the GOP has left to go, as they doubled down on the most anti-LGBTQ platform in history. This is clearly a ticket that will ‘Take America Backward Again’.”

  • The RNC platform committee passed a slew of anti-equality provisions, including attacks on transgender people and a commitment to overturn nationwide marriage equality.
  • Featured speakers launched attacks on LGBTQ people; retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn even attacked transgender people serving our country in the military.
  • Former GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson compared transgender people to someone who “woke up… after seeing a movie about Afghanistan and saying ‘you know what? I’m Afghanistani [sic].”
  • Meanwhile, five LGBTQ-supportive Republicans were among those skipping the convention -  Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, Illinois Rep. Bob Dold, and Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Read about their pro-equality records here.

ON ANNIVERSARY OF EQUALITY ACT INTRODUCTION, HRC ANNOUNCES SUPPORT OF MORE THAN 80 MAJOR CORPORATIONS: Today, ahead of the one-year anniversary of the introduction of the Equality Act, HRC announced that Adobe Systems Inc., Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Alcoa Inc., Automatic Data Processing Inc., Bank of America Corp., Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Cargill Inc., Chevron Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Darden Restaurants Inc., Delhaize America Inc., InterContinental Hotels Group Americas, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Kenneth Cole Productions Inc., Pure Storage Inc., TIAA, Uber Technologies Inc., WhiteWave Foods Co., Williams-Sonoma Inc., Xerox Corp., and Office Depot Inc. have joined HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act. “These leading companies are joining a bipartisan chorus in Congress and the vast majority of Americans who support ending unfair and unjust discrimination against LGBTQ people,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “They are stepping forward to say that all Americans should be able to live free from fear of discrimination and have a fair chance to earn a living. Momentum is on our side, and we will not rest until the Equality Act is the law of the land.” Read more here.

CITING HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT CREATED BY HB2, NBA MOVES 2017 ALL-STAR GAME OUT OF NC: Yesterday the NBA announced that it is standing up for LGBTQ equality and pulling its 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, NC. Despite the NBA’s repeated warnings that it would consider moving the high-profile game out of the state if the anti-LGBTQ HB2 law was not repealed, the state’s General Assembly shamefully adjourned after 100 days of inaction earlier this month. HRC President Chad Griffin hailed the news saying, “Today the NBA and Commissioner Silver sent a clear message that they won’t stand for discrimination against LGBTQ employees, players or fans. The NBA repeatedly warned state lawmakers that their hateful HB2 law created an inhospitable environment for their 2017 All-Star Game and other events. Nevertheless, Governor McCrory, Senator Berger and Speaker Moore doubled down on HB2 and refused to undo their discriminatory and costly error in judgment. Every day that HB2 remains on the books, people across North Carolina are at risk of real harm. We appreciate the leadership of the NBA in standing up for equality and call once again on lawmakers to repeal this vile HB2 law.” More from USA Today.

  • The Charlotte Observer Editorial Board: “We’re falling behind, North Carolina. It cost us deeply this week. It will continue to hurt us.” More here.
  • This isn’t the first time the NBA has made a bold move for equality, according to Charlotte Magazine’s Adam Rhew. In 1958, the NBA pulled games from Charlotte because of its discriminatory Jim Crow laws.
  • Our favorite headlines: From The New York Daily News, The Charlotte Observer and Mother Jones
  • Meanwhile, the Greensboro, NC-based ACC is taking wait and see approach: The collegiate athletic league, scheduled to hold championship games in NC through 2019, released a statement saying it is waiting to see how things “evolve.” More from CBS Sports.

ADF-INGERPRINTS ALL OVER MISSISSIPPI’S H.B. 1523: Yesterday, The Washington Post reported that for nearly a year, the anti-LGBTQ legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) coordinated with state officials in Mississippi to introduce, support and defend the discriminatory H.B. 1523. HRC Mississippi state director Rob Hill said in the Post: “Wherever hateful anti-LGBTQ legislation pops up, the Alliance Defending Freedom is usually not far behind. HB 1523 never reflected the true values of Mississippians, so it's no surprise that Governor Bryant, Lt. Governor Reeves and Speaker Gunn enlisted ADF when crafting one of the most overtly discriminatory laws in the United States.” Read the full story here. Need a refresher on ADF? Check out HRC’s explainer.

OFFICE OF MINORITY HEALTH RELEASES REPORT ON LGB OLDER ADULTS: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Office of Minority Health has released its first ever report comparing the health of LGB and heterosexual older adults. More from HRC.

  • Justice in Aging also released a report highlighting the unique legal needs of LGBTQ seniors. More from Huffington Post.
  • The Austin Chronicle interviewed several HIV+ Austin residents about their experiences during the HIV & AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. More here.

AFT PASSES RESOLUTION SUPPORTING LGBTQ STUDENTS AND STAFF: Earlier this week, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) at its biennial convention passed a landmark resolution supporting of LGBTQ students and staff. More from HRC.

READING RAINBOW

CNN shares Charlize Theron’s speech highlighting the effects racism, sexism and homophobia have on HIV & AIDS advocacy… Huffington Post speaks to Republicans who want to move on from the party’s anti-LGBTQ agenda… The Atlantic details why California schools are teaching students about the LGBTQ community… NPR shares the story of teens taking PrEP to prevent HIV… WSOC Charlotte shares how HB2 is affecting a local LGBTQ leadership camp… and The Associated Press looks at how the Nevada Department of Corrections is changing their policies to stop discriminating against HIV positive inmates…


Author: HRC staff
Posted: July 22, 2016, 5:00 pm

Today, ahead of the one-year anniversary of the introduction of the Equality Act, HRC announced that Adobe Systems Inc., Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Alcoa Inc., Automatic Data Processing Inc., Bank of America Corp., Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Cargill Inc., Chevron Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Darden Restaurants Inc., Delhaize America Inc., InterContinental Hotels Group Americas, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Kenneth Cole Productions Inc., Pure Storage Inc., TIAA, Uber Technologies Inc., WhiteWave Foods Co., Williams-Sonoma Inc., Xerox Corp., and Office Depot Inc. have joined HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act. Now including more than 80 major employers, the complete list of coalition members that have officially endorsed the bipartisan Equality Act can be found below.

Introduced one year ago tomorrow -- one month after the historic Supreme Court marriage equality ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges --  the Equality Act would finally guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBTQ people under our existing civil rights laws. It would provide clear, permanent, and equal protections under federal law for all Americans in vital areas of life, like employment, access to public spaces, housing, credit, education, jury service, and federally-funded programs.

“These leading companies are joining a bipartisan chorus in Congress and the vast majority of Americans who support ending unfair and unjust discrimination against LGBTQ people,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “They are stepping forward to say that all Americans should be able to live free from fear of discrimination and have a fair chance to earn a living. Momentum is on our side, and we will not rest until the Equality Act is the law of the land.”

Discrimination is a real and persistent problem for too many LGBTQ Americans. HRC polling has found that nearly two-thirds of self-identified LGBTQ Americans report experiencing discrimination -- including people like Carter Brown, a transgender man who lost his job after he was outed by his colleagues. Currently, 50 percent of LGBTQ Americans live in states where they are at risk of being fired, denied housing, or refused service because of who they are. There is no federal law explicitly protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination, and thirty-one states still lack fully-inclusive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.

Polling released this year by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that support for a bill like the Equality Act topped 70 percent nationally, including a majority of Democrats, Republicans and Independents. PRRI’s groundbreaking survey included 42,000 interviews in 50 states and found majority support for the Equality Act in all 50 states.

Hillary Clinton has called the Equality Act her “highest priority,” while in contrast, Donald Trump has pledged to sign a bill that would put LGBTQ people at even greater risk of discrimination nationwide.

Now co-sponsored by 218 members of Congress, the Equality Act was introduced last year by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Cory Booker (D-NJ); and Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI) and John Lewis (D-GA). The measure also has bipartisan support, including from Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Representative Bob Dold (R-IL).

HRC first launched the Business Coalition for the Equality Act in March of this year. With combined operations in all 50 states, headquarters spanning 23 states, and $2.6 trillion in revenue, the companies that now make up the coalition employ over 5.6 million people in the United States.

Members of HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act:
Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
Accenture
Adobe Systems Inc.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
Airbnb Inc.
Alcoa Inc.
Amazon.com Inc.
American Airlines
American Eagle Outfitters Inc.
Apple Inc.
Automatic Data Processing Inc.
Bank of America Corp.
Best Buy Co. Inc.
Biogen
Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corp.
Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.
Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc.
Brown-Forman Corp.
CA Technologies Inc.
Caesars Entertainment Corp.
Capital One Financial Corp.
Cardinal Health Inc.
Cargill Inc.
Chevron Corp.
Choice Hotels International Inc.
Cisco Systems Inc.
Coca-Cola Co., The
Corning Inc.
CVS Health Corp.
Darden Restaurants Inc.
Delhaize America Inc.
Diageo North America
Dow Chemical Co., The
Dropbox Inc.
EMC Corp.
Facebook Inc.
Gap Inc.
General Electric Co.
General Mills Inc.
Google Inc.
Hershey Co., The
Hilton Worldwide Inc.
HP Inc.
Hyatt Hotels Corp.
IBM Corp.
Intel Corp.
InterContinental Hotels Group Americas
Johnson & Johnson
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Kellogg Co.
Kenneth Cole Productions Inc.
Levi Strauss & Co.
Marriott International Inc.
MasterCard Inc.
McGraw Hill Financial
Microsoft Corp.
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Monsanto Co.
Moody's Corp.
Nike Inc.
Office Depot Inc.
Oracle Corp.
Orbitz Worldwide Inc.
PepsiCo Inc.
Pure Storage Inc.
QUALCOMM Inc.
Replacements Ltd.
Salesforce
Sodexo Inc.
Symantec Corp.
Target Corp.
Tech Data Corp.
TIAA
T-Mobile USA Inc.
Twitter Inc.
Uber Technologies Inc.
Unilever
WeddingWire Inc.
WhiteWave Foods Co., The
Williams-Sonoma Inc.
Xerox Corp.


Author: Stephen Peters
Posted: July 22, 2016, 4:00 pm

Post submitted by Tori Wolfe-Sisson, HRC Alabama Field Organizer

With four months until the general election, HRC Alabama is co-hosting pre-election mini trainings to educate voters before they head to the polls. Ahead of National Voter Registration Day on September 27, HRC is partnering with National Voter Registration Day, AIDS Alabama, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU of Alabama to train volunteers to help register voters in Montgomery, Birmingham, Huntsville and Mobile in August.

Our organizations are filled with members from all walks of life, many of who would not have been able to vote in Alabama 50 years ago. We recognize that barriers to the polls still exist and it is our responsibility to ensure that all people who desire the opportunity to vote can easily make their voices heard.

As we have learned time and time again, every vote counts. For example, disgraced Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice RoyMoore, who urged state probate court judges to not follow federal courts’ rulings on marriage equality, was elected to office twice. It is our vote that can truly make all the difference.

Dates and locations for the voter registration mini trainings are:

August 6- Montgomery

August 13- Birmingham

August 20- Huntsville and Mobile

To learn more information about how you can attend a mini-training please contact Tori at tori.wolfe-sisson@hrc.org.


Author: HRC staff
Posted: July 22, 2016, 2:21 pm

HRC today released the following statement at the conclusion of the Republican National Convention, during which the party adopted the most anti-LGBTQ platform in its history and featured a parade of anti-LGBTQ speakers. Earlier today, HRC released a new microsite highlighting how Donald Trump and Mike Pence threaten historic gains the LGBTQ community has made in the last eight years.

“Donald Trump and Mike Pence are now leading the most antiquated, anti-LGBTQ ticket in recent memory,” said HRC Communications Director Jay Brown. “Together, Donald Trump and Mike Pence threaten everything we've gained -- from marriage equality to worker protections -- and Trump has vowed to sign hateful federal legislation that would open LGBTQ people to Kim Davis-style discrimination across the country. This week has also shown, sadly, just how far the GOP has left to go, as they doubled down on the most anti-LGBTQ platform in history. This is clearly a ticket that will ‘Take America Backward Again.’”

This week, the platform committee passed a slew of anti-equality provisions, including attacks on transgender people and a commitment to overturn nationwide marriage equality. Meanwhile, speakers at the Republican National Convention launched a slew of attacks on LGBTQ people. Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn attacked transgender people serving in our military during his speech Monday. Meanwhile, former GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson, speaking at the Florida delegation breakfast, compared transgender people to someone who “woke up… after seeing a movie about Afghanistan and saying ‘you know what? I’m Afghanistani [sic].”

In his speech tonight, Donald Trump appallingly feigned support for LGBTQ people after opposing equality at every turn. In addition to his anti-LGBTQ agenda, in recent weeks, he has spoken out against transgender equality, appeared alongside Tony Perkins -- leader of SPLC-designated hate group the Family Research Council,  and delusionally bragged about fictional support from the LGBTQ community in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.

Trump has also doubled down on his anti-LGBTQ agenda by putting Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on the ticket. Pence became a national disgrace in 2015, for his “license to discriminate” bill that could have allowed businesses to deny service to LGBTQ people -- and for subsequently defending the bill after an outcry from the business community and a majority of Hoosier voters. In a now notorious interview with ABC last year, Pence refused to answer eight separate times when asked whether businesses should be able to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Pence’s discriminatory bill had enormous consequences for the business and economic health of Indiana after a flood of companies spoke out against the measure. Indianapolis’s nonprofit tourism agency estimated that in their city alone, Pence’s anti-LGBTQ bill cost up to 12 conventions and $60 million in lost revenue. Polling conducted by HRC after the 2015 fight found that 75 percent of Hoosiers said the debate was bad for the state’s economy and 70 percent of those surveyed said they opposed the law.

Here’s a snapshot of how Donald Trump has been threatening to roll back LGBTQ equality:

  • Vowed to rescind marriage equality and, with a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court,  pledged to appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices who would overturn last year’s historic Obergefell ruling;
  • Vowed to sign the so-called “First Amendment Defense Act,” which could allow individuals, many businesses and nonprofit organizations to circumvent critical federal protections and blatantly discriminate against LGBTQ families;
  • Would support anti-LGBTQ governors like North Carolina’s Pat McCrory and Indiana’s Mike Pence when they write discrimination into state law;
  • Pledged to repeal President Obama’s executive orders, which include protections for LGBTQ employees of federal contractors;
  • Has verbally attacked women, immigrants, Muslims, people of color, people living with disabilities, asylum seekers and others for political gain.

Visit www.hrc.org/dumptrump to learn more about why Donald Trump is unfit for the presidency.

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign Equality Votes and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. 

Author: Brandon Lorenz
Posted: July 22, 2016, 1:28 pm

Today, HRC and Equality NC, the statewide organization working to secure equal rights and justice for LGBTQ North Carolinians, hailed the NBA’s decision to stand up to North Carolina lawmakers who refused to repeal HB2 by pulling its 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, NC. Despite the NBA’s repeated warnings that it would have to consider moving the high-profile game out of the state if the anti-LGBTQ law was not repealed, the state’s General Assembly shamefully adjourned after 100 days of inaction earlier this month.

“Today the NBA and Commissioner Silver sent a clear message that they won’t stand for discrimination against LGBTQ employees, players or fans,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The NBA repeatedly warned state lawmakers that their hateful HB2 law created an inhospitable environment for their 2017 All-Star Game and other events. Nevertheless, Governor McCrory, Senator Berger and Speaker Moore doubled down on HB2 and refused to undo their discriminatory and costly error in judgment. Every day that HB2 remains on the books, people across North Carolina are at risk of real harm. We appreciate the leadership of the NBA in standing up for equality and call once again on lawmakers to repeal this vile HB2 law.”

"North Carolina General Assembly leadership and Governor McCrory repeatedly ignored the warning bells as businesses, conferences and entertainers left the state. From the beginning, NBA leadership has been clear that HB2 creates an untenable situation and jeopardizes the safety and comfort of their fans. The withdraw of the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte came as the NBA took a principled stand against the discriminatory HB2 and the failure to repeal HB2 by Senate Leader Berger, Speaker Moore and Governor McCrory," said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro. "When the City of Charlotte passed vital LGBT protections from discrimination last year, they made themselves a more competitive city for events like the All-Star Game. McCrory, Berger, and Moore have continued to put North Carolina in economic harm's way with the worst anti-LGBT bill in the nation, despite the best efforts of Charlotte city leaders to keep the game. We applaud the NBA for its commitment to all fans, and hope that North Carolina's leadership will heed this wakeup call and repeal HB2 before we suffer even more as a state."

The North Carolina General Assembly adjourned its short session earlier this month after refusing to repeal HB2, and it is not scheduled to reconvene until January -- leaving tens of thousands of people at risk for discrimination and harm over the months to come. Lawmakers made only one tweak to the deeply discriminatory law, restoring the right to sue in state court based on the limited number of characteristics that already were protected by state law. Despite widespread opposition to HB2, the General Assembly has been unwilling to even consider repealing the substance of the discriminatory law, including its ban on transgender people accessing restrooms consistent with their gender identity in government offices and schools, and its removal of municipalities’ ability to pass LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination laws and minimum wage ordinances.

The economic fallout from HB2 has also continued, as companies concerned with protecting their consumers and employees have moved conventions, trainings, operations, and productions out of state. Just yesterday, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski called the bill “embarrassing” and North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried said it “appalled” and “embarrassed” him.

In the nearly four months since Governor McCrory and state lawmakers rammed HB2 into law, the outcry has continued to grow:

  • More than 200 major CEOs and business leaders signed an open letter calling for full repeal of HB2 -- including many of North Carolina’s largest employers.
  • Major film studios and corporations, from PayPal to Deutsche Bank, have stopped investments in the state because of the new law’s threat to employees and consumers. Conventions have withdrawn from the state, taking substantial revenue with them. Since the law has been in effect, the Tar Heel State has already taken a hit of at least $329.9 million in lost business, and in taxpayer money used to defend the measure -- including funding Gov. Pat McCrory’s road trips to explain why he signed discrimination into law.
  • Artists including Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, Dead & Company, and Cyndi Lauper have spoken out.
  • Under HB2, North Carolina cities also no longer qualify to host NCAA events because the organization announced it will no longer hold its events, including the Final Four, in cities that do not have LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination laws. And following the spirit of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order banning publicly funded, non-essential travel to North Carolina, Albany cancelled their Nov. 12 game against Duke.
  • In May, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed suit in federal court, stating that HB2’s state-mandated discrimination against transgender people, including government workers and students, violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Violence Against Women Act of 2011.
  • Joined by 68 major companies, HRC filed an amicus brief in support of DOJ’s effort to block some of the most egregious and discriminatory components of HB2.

Author: Stephen Peters
Posted: July 21, 2016, 9:30 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