Blog / Posts

Human Rights Campaign | Blog

Recent blog articles published by the Human Rights Campaign


Today, HRC blasted a federal lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and the extremist Becket Fund for Religious Liberty that seeks to overturn a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulation implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act which bars discrimination in health insurance and by health providers accepting federal funds.

In the lawsuit, Texas -- joined by Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska and Wisconsin -- asks the federal government to block enforcement of the rule, which clarifies that federal protections barring discrimination based on sex include an individual’s gender identity and covers reproductive health. This lawsuit marks the latest attempt by Paxton to discriminate against LGBTQ Texans because of who they are. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, who earlier this week ruled against the Departments of Justice and Education’s guidance on schools’ obligations to transgender students. In March of 2015, Judge O’Connor also sought to block Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) rights for legally married same-sex couples despite the Supreme Court of the United States' decision in United States v. Windsor (2013).

“Ken Paxton’s continued attacks on transgender Americans are politically motivated, designed to intimidate and simply beyond the pale,” said Jay Brown, HRC communications director. “After months of demonizing and targeting transgender students, it seems he has decided that all transgender people must be the target of his machination. We strongly oppose Paxton’s harmful lawsuit, and the courts should see it for what it is -- a shameful, cheap political attack.”

Paxton has led a sustained, targeted attack on LGBTQ Texans, most recently with his filing of a federal lawsuit on behalf of Texas and 10 other states challenging the Departments of Justice and Education’s guidance regarding schools’ obligations to transgender students. Paxton, who currently faces three felony fraud indictments for violating state securities laws and civil fraud charges, has continually attacked his LGBTQ constituents, all in an attempt to cater to his most extreme, anti-equality supporters.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty represented Hobby Lobby in the 2014 Supreme Court of the United States case, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, in which the Court determined that select for profit businesses could cite religious religious beliefs as a reason to deny contraception coverage. The case filed by Paxton challenging the Affordable Care Act regulation prohibiting discrimination against transgender people and discrimination in reproductive care makes claims under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and invokes the Hobby Lobby decision.


Author: Nick Morrow
Posted: August 23, 2016, 10:43 pm

Today, the HRC Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, and Whitman-Walker Health, a community health center with special expertise in LGBTQ and HIV-related care, released Safer Sex for Trans Bodies, a comprehensive sexual health guide for transgender and gender expansive people and their partners. The guide fills a significant gap in inclusive, publicly-available sexual health resources for transgender and gender expansive people.

“Transgender people are too often denied crucial and relevant guidance around sexual health that everyone needs to live healthy, safe and whole lives” said HRC Communications Director Jay Brown. “Transgender health issues, especially those related to sexual health, are all too often stigmatized or completely ignored. Safer Sex for Trans Bodies provides essential information that will help minimize health risks that can develop because of a lack of knowledge.”

This first-of-its kind resource was drafted by HRC and Whitman-Walker Health in consultation with Casa Ruby, Trans United Fund, and TransLatin@ Coalition. It was made possible with support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with HRC in creating this important resource for the community,” said Josh Riley, Director of Community Commitment at Whitman-Walker Health. “Too often in healthcare settings, if there is a focus on sexual health at all, it is only explored through the lens of pathology or dysfunction. Sexual health for trans bodies is even less recognized, rendered invisible because of ignorance or stigma.  This new guide emphasizes sexual health, wellness, and exploration, in addition to risk reduction, and will be a valuable tool for trans-identified individuals across the spectrum, as well as their healthcare providers and other allies.”

The guide is written by and for members of the transgender community and offers them a long-overdue resource on potentially life-saving and affirming practices, from respectful terminology and definitions to helpful practices for sexual health following transition-related care. It will be available online and at Whitman-Walker Health's locations in Washington, D.C. A Spanish-language will be released in the coming months. HRC and Whitman-Walker Health will also host a Facebook Live conversation about transgender health on Wednesday, August 23rd at 1 PM Eastern on the HRC Facebook page.

Ruby Corado of Casa Ruby, a bilingual, multicultural organization providing life-saving services and programs to LGBT people in the DC-area, offered her support of the guide. “This publication is critical to support informed decision-making in trans communities that lack access to many resources. Through this guide, providers will have ready access to culturally competent guidance,” Corado said.

Transgender people frequently experience significant barriers to inclusive and competent care.  Last year, the HRC Foundation released a guide for transgender people navigating insurance plans, which often exclude coverage for medically necessary transition-related care. The annual Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), the HRC Foundation’s national benchmarking tool that evaluates health care facilities’ LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices, measures services and treatment of transgender patients.  

To learn more about how HRC’s work on transgender equality, visit http://www.hrc.org/transgender.


Author: Sarah McBride
Posted: August 23, 2016, 7:11 pm

On August 16, Ingalls Shipbuilding hosted the first annual Gulf Coast Diversity Conference. Participants included representatives from Ingalls, Chevron Refinery, Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, Mississippi Power and many others. For its first ever event, Ingalls invited the Human Rights Campaign to participate in this important gathering.

During the day-long meeting, I was honored to present HRC’s the Cost of the Closet and the Rewards of Inclusion. This presentation includes recent data regarding the workplace experiences of LGBTQ people while also offering tools and best practices for creating an inclusive atmosphere for LGBTQ employees.

“We want to make sure that our employees bring their authentic selves to work each day,” remarked one representative present from Chevron.

This was especially important to hear since survey data indicates that despite recent gains in acceptance, more than half of LGBTQ employees nationwide hide who they are at work.

It’s clear from our research that the workplace environment matters.  Creating inclusive work spaces is not only good for LGBTQ employees, but it’s good for employers as productivity is higher among employees who are able to be themselves.  It also helps when recruiting top talent and retaining top talent.

I’m grateful to Ingalls Shipbuilding and their commitment to providing a safe work environment for all of their workers, and I’m grateful to each company present who share that same commitment. 


Author: Rob Hill
Posted: August 23, 2016, 6:00 pm

MAT STAVER & NC GOV. PAT MCCRORY PRAISE DANGEROUS DECISION PUTTING 1000s OF SCHOOL CHILDREN AT RISK: Yesterday, a federal judge issued an injunction against guidance provided to school districts by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice regarding the civil rights of transgender students. In his latest harmful remarks, notoriously anti-LGBTQ Liberty Counsel Founder Mat Staver praised the decision while once again peddling the myth that transgender people are somehow a threat to public safety. NC Governor Pat McCrory also released a statement pronouncing himself “pleased” with the decision. Unsurprisingly Staver and McCrory -- who signed into law the state’s discriminatory HB2 that targets transgender people -- are aligning themselves with the same judge who also sought to block Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) rights for legally married same-sex couples despite the Supreme Court of the United States' decision in United States v. Windsor (2013). The company you keep. More from Towleroad.

NO SURPRISE -- MORE HATEFUL RHETORIC OUT OF A HATEFUL CAMPAIGN: Last week, reports emerged that Trump’s new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway had ties to the National Organization for Marriage, while new Trump CEO Steve Bannon has a history of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, including smearing transgender people. Now The AP reports more troubling rhetoric from rank and file Trump staff: “Donald Trump's paid campaign staffers have declared on their personal social media that Muslims are unfit to be U.S. citizens, ridiculed Mexican accents, called for Secretary of State John Kerry to be hanged and stated their readiness for a possible civil war, according to a review by The Associated Press of their postings.” More on the ugly rhetoric from Team Trump here.

GO JUNEAU! LGBTQ-INCLUSIVE NON-DISCRIMINATION ORDINANCE OVERWHELMINGLY PASSED: Late last night, the Juneau Assembly voted 8 to 1 to pass a non-discrimination ordinance covering employment, housing, and public accommodations. The measure prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, as well as race, color, age, religion, sex, familial status, disability or national origin. Juneau joins Anchorage and more than 100 cities nationwide and 19 states with similar protections. HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse said, “All Alaskans, including LGBTQ people, deserve to be able to live their lives and raise their families free from unjust and unfair discrimination. We are incredibly proud to have worked side-by-side with local advocates in Juneau to pass these crucially important non-discrimination protections into law.”  More from HRC.

LESBIAN METHODIST MINISTER FORCED TO RESIGN: After bravely coming out to her congregation earlier this year, openly lesbian Methodist Minister Cynthia Meyer is resigning to avoid a church trial. The Methodist Church officially condemns homosexuality. Read more at The Huffington Post and get faith positions on LGBTQ issues here.

ALMOST HALF OF OUT OLYMPIANS MEDAL AT OLYMPICS: The Washington Blade reports that, of the 53 out Olympians competing in Rio, nearly half took home a medal in their event. More from OutSports.

  • Out Olympian Tom Daley got a magical shout out on Twitter when “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling called out a homophobic tweet by a so-called “Christian” group targeting the British diver.

THE FIFTEEN MOST LGBTQ-FRIENDLY COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES: Just in time for college application season, Campus Pride has published its annual index of the most LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. Cornell, Rutgers, UCLA and Tufts lead the list. See them all here.

  • Back to school tips: BuzzFeed polled members of the LGBTQ community about tips for LGBTQ high schoolers (get out your tissues). More here.

 

READING RAINBOW

Towleroad profiles Ellen Page’s LGBTQ advocacy on and off screen… The Times of Northwest Indiana reports on a new coalition in Indiana devoted to LGBTQ rights and reducing gun violence… Erasing 76 Crimes shares a podcast featuring three musicians fighting for LGBTQ rights in Africa… Houstonia Magazine interviews the first openly transgender candidate to win a primary in Texas… and The Advocate gives a brief LGBTQ history of Saturday Night Live…

 

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


Author: HRC staff
Posted: August 23, 2016, 2:01 pm

Juneau is the second major city in Alaska to pass a non-discrimination ordinance protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people, following the Anchorage Assembly’s passage of similar protections in September 2015. Juneau now joins more than 100 cities nationwide and 19 states with similar LGBTQ non-discrimination protections.

LGBTQ equality organizations involved in passing the measure released the following statements:

“This is truly a historic night for Juneau,” said Jenny Jahn, chair of the Southeast Alaska Gay and Lesbian Alliance (SEAGLA). “Our Assembly, lead by Deputy Mayor Jesse Kiehl, made a bold statement supporting equality and fairness in our community. This sends a clear message to Juneau residents, visitors, and those who are considering moving here: in Juneau, you will find a community that respects and values diversity, where you can attain whatever you dream, and where you will be judged based on your character, your behavior and work ethic, not on the color of your skin, your age, or who you love.”

“All Alaskans, including LGBTQ people, deserve to be able to live their lives and raise their families free from unjust and unfair discrimination,” said Marty Rouse, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) National Field Director. “We are incredibly proud to have worked side-by-side with local advocates in Juneau to pass these crucially important non-discrimination protections into law. The incredibly positive and robust discussion proves that Juneau is a welcoming and inclusive community. We are also very thankful for Deputy Mayor Kiehl’s thoughtful leadership in sponsoring this ordinance.”

“Tonight’s vote once again shows that fairness is a Juneau value,” said Joshua A. Decker, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska. “Treating others as we all want to be treated is what Alaska is about. With this strong and fair nondiscrimination ordinance, everyone in Juneau will be able to earn a living and support their families. We were proud to help make this ordinance a reality and were thrilled to be in the Assembly Chambers for tonight’s vote. We heartily congratulate the Assembly and everyone in Juneau.”

At the public hearing for the city ordinance last month, voters expressed nearly unanimous support for the measure. There are no explicit statewide sexual orientation or gender identity non-discrimination protections in Alaska.

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. 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 31 states still lack fully-inclusive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.

The existing patchwork of legal protections for LGBTQ people in the United States as a whole leaves millions subject to uncertainty and at risk of discrimination. That’s why advocates are working with lawmakers to pass the Equality Act in Congress, as well as strong non-discrimination protections at the state and local levels. The Equality Act would finally guarantee explicit protections for LGBTQ people under our nation’s existing civil rights laws. It would provide clear, permanent, and equal protections under federal law for all Americans in vital areas of life, including employment, access to public spaces, housing, credit, education, jury service, and federally-funded programs.

 


Author: Stephen Peters
Posted: August 23, 2016, 12:58 pm

Post submitted by Ryan Wilson, Senior Regional Field Organizer for the Southern U.S.

Last week, HRC’s Equality Votes campaign kicked off a nationwide tour holding workshops in local communities where staff equip and empower local volunteers with the tools needed to join fellow HRC members across the country to organize on behalf of pro-LGBTQ candidates for the November 2016 elections.

Members of HRC’s volunteer-led Steering Committee in Greater New York and other local HRC members participated in two trainings, one held in Manhattan and one on Long Island, which trained more than 30 local advocates who are passionate about the upcoming election. The participants learned what is at stake in this election as well as important skills needed for volunteer recruitment and voter mobilization at upcoming phonebanks and other efforts to contact pro-equality voters.

This year, HRC is undertaking an unprecedented effort to mobilize pro-equality voters in key races up and down the ballot. Beginning with intensive work in four key early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina in support of Hillary Clinton for President of the Unites States, and now shifting to look at critical races in key battleground states in the November general election, HRC is focused on engaging our millions of members and supporters on why they can not sit out this critical election.

At HRC we know that elections matter. We’ve come too far to go back now and the stakes could not be higher for the LGBTQ community this election. That's why we have aggressive plans to mobilize our members and supporters this fall and there is an important role for you in our effort. Click here to learn more about upcoming workshops in cities across the country.

For more information about our HRC Equality Votes workshops or volunteer opportunities in Greater New York or beyond, contact HRC’s Ryan Wilson at ryan.wilson@hrc.org.

Vote Equality

Vote Equality

 

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


Author: HRC staff
Posted: August 22, 2016, 8:00 pm

JUDGE BLOCKS FED GUIDANCE ON TRANS STUDENTS, PUTS 1000s AT RISK AS THEY RETURN TO SCHOOL: On Sunday, a federal judge issued an injunction against guidance provided to school districts by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice regarding the civil rights of transgender students. In Texas v. United States, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor blocked the Department of Justice from enforcing the guidance that clarifies transgender students have a right to be free from discrimination in schools, including a right to use restrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity. HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow said, “Despite this judge’s decision, schools are not barred from following the federal guidance, and school administrators still have a responsibility to ensure that the civil rights of all students are respected and that transgender students have access to facilities consistent with their gender identity. As lawsuits on the scope of Title IX proceed, we believe that justice will prevail as courts continue to recognize that discrimination against transgender students is a form of sex discrimination.” In March of 2015, Judge O’Connor also sought to block Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) rights for legally married same-sex couples despite the Supreme Court of the United States' decision in United States v. Windsor (2013). More from Bloomberg.

  • Reminder: Donald Trump opposes treating transgender students with dignity. In addition to supporting North Carolina’s vile HB2, here’s a reminder that Donald Trump would rescind the Departments of Justice and Education’s guidance regarding the civil rights of transgender students. The Washington Post reported in May, “Donald Trump vowed Monday that if elected president he would rescind the Obama administration's new directives aimed at protecting transgender people against discrimination in schools and health-care coverage.” More here.

RECORD CROWDS ESTIMATED AT 200,000 ATTEND CHARLOTTE, NC, PRIDE, CALL OUT HB2: This past weekend, hundreds of thousands of people turned out to celebrate LGBTQ equality at Charlotte Pride parade and festival, using the annual event to call for the repeal of the state’s discriminatory HB2 law. The Charlotte Observer reports that a record number of faith groups joined the parade to publicly signal their opposition to the anti-LGBTQ HB2. “Those street preachers screaming hate get so much attention from the media, but there are more churches out here showing their support for LGBT people. You don’t hear enough about us, and we outnumber them,” said Steve Knight of Missiongathering Charlotte.

  • Professor Barbara Riseman, writing in The News & Observer, suggests embracing the trans-inclusive future that millennials are already shaping. “Just follow the kids,” she says. Read the full op-ed here.

GOP VEEP NOMINEE MIKE PENCE OPPOSED LGBTQ EQUALITY ABROAD WHILE IN CONGRESS: While Donald Trump attempts to pander to the LGBTQ community, The Washington Blade looks back at how his running mate dangerously worked to undermine the State Department's push for LGBTQ equality abroad during his time in Congress. Pence ludicrously claimed a bill would, “...tie the hands of American diplomats by mandating that they make sexual orientation a foreign policy priority regardless of other national security considerations.” The Blade noted the contrast with Hillary Clinton, reporting, “The promotion of LGBT rights abroad has been a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy since then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered her landmark “gay rights are human rights” speech in Geneva in 2011.” More here.

A LOOK BACK AT OUT OLYMPIANS: With a record number of out athletes at the Olympics this year, it’s clear that LGBTQ visibility has increased in the sports world. However, these wins have come from hard fought battles and brave visibility from athletes in the past, and much more to fight. While there were more out Olympians participating in the 2016 Olympic Games than ever before, no openly transgender athletes competed. As the games come to a close, we cannot forget those who’ve paved the way for these athletes to live openly and authentically. These Olympians proudly spoke out about who they are, both on and off the field of competition, setting an example for LGBTQ youth and people around the globe. Check out Olympians who made history at HRC.

  • For your daily dose of “d’aww,” here are the Olympic moments that warmed our hearts.

LESBIAN EMPLOYEE IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE SUES CATHOLIC SCHOOL OVER FIRING: A lesbian woman in a same-sex marriage is suing a New Jersey Roman Catholic school, alleging officials violated state employment law by firing her as a school dean -- a job that never included religious instruction -- because she married a woman. New Jersey’s employment non-discrimination law includes protections for gender identity and sexual orientation. More from The Associated Press.

  • A group of openly gay Church of England clergy are taking a different approach, calling on church leaders to change the church’s official position on marriage equality. More from The Guardian.

ANTI-LGBTQ ATTACK IN ALABAMA: A man in Tuscaloosa, Ala., was attacked last weekend by three men who repeatedly asked him if he was gay. One suspect has been arrested, and police are searching for the other two men. More from WIAT.

  • The incident is one of several recent reports of disturbing -- and often deadly -- acts of violence against LGBTQ people. These attacks disproportionately affect transgender women of color. More from HRC.

  • Hundreds of LGBTQ advocates in Istanbul rallied for justice for the murder of Turkish trans activist Hande Kader this weekend. More from The Mirror.

MILITARY TO COVER SOME TRANS-RELATED HEALTHCARE FOR FAMILIES OF SERVICEMEMBERS: The U.S. Military’s Tricare healthcare plan will begin to cover some transition-related healthcare for military family members starting Oct. 1. However, the new policy still won’t cover gender confirmation surgery for military dependents. More from Military.com.

SOUTH CAROLINA MAY HAVE ITS FIRST WOMAN, LGBTQ SHERIFF: Crystal Moore of Latta, S.C., is running to become the state’s first female sheriff -- as well as its first openly LGBTQ sheriff. Moore is running just two years after being fired by the mayor for being openly lesbian. She was reinstated through a special election. More from The Associated Press.

READING RAINBOW

The New Civil Rights Movement profiles six openly gay US Ambassadors… Jamaica Observer interviews one of the original discoverers of HIV… PBS NewsHour discusses the U.S. blood donation policy requiring gay and bisexual men to abstain from sex for one year before donating… TV New Zealand shares a video highlighting a local medical school’s effort to teach established doctors about LGBTQ health… The Washington Post profiles Jim Gray, an openly gay Democratic candidate running to unseat Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)... Bloomberg reports that Australia will likely push back its vote for marriage equality… and Windy City Times announces the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame 2016 inductions.

 

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


Author: HRC staff
Posted: August 22, 2016, 4:06 pm

Today, HRC responded to a federal judge’s decision to issue an injunction on guidance provided to school districts by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice regarding the civil rights of transgender students. In Texas v. United States, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor blocked the Department of Justice from enforcing the guidance that clarifies transgender students have a right to be free from discrimination in schools, including a right to use restrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity.

“Judge O’Connor’s decision to bar the Department of Justice from enforcing this important guidance puts thousands of transgender students at even greater risk of marginalization, harassment, and discrimination as they return to school this fall,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “All students, regardless of their gender identity, deserve to be able to learn in an environment free from discrimination. Despite this judge’s decision, schools are not barred from following the federal guidance, and school administrators still have a responsibility to ensure that the civil rights of all students are respected and that transgender students have access to facilities consistent with their gender identity. As lawsuits on the scope of Title IX proceed, we believe that justice will prevail as courts continue to recognize that discrimination against transgender students is a form of sex discrimination."

On May 13, 2016, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released the guidance because schools and districts requested clarification on their obligations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination in education programs based on sex. Clarifying how schools can safeguard transgender students’ rights to privacy and safety, the guidance makes clear that transgender students have the right to be free from discrimination, including the ability to use gender-separated facilities (such as restrooms and locker rooms) that match their gender identity. The guidance follows similar policies in states and school districts across the country, including many that have been treating transgender students with dignity and respect for more than a decade.

In March of 2015, Judge O’Connor also sought to block Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) rights for legally married same-sex couples despite the Supreme Court of the United States' decision in United States v. Windsor (2013).


Author: Stephen Peters
Posted: August 22, 2016, 3:25 pm

Post submitted by Dr. Denise Donnell, HRC Arkansas Faith Organizer

Earlier this month, HRC Arkansas participated in the Community Talks Conference: Building Safe Spaces for the Transgender Community hosted by The McElroy House. Located in Dardanelle, Arkansas, the McElroy House is a grassroots organization that provides garden space and a roof where people can reach across racial, economic and religious divides and other boundaries to stand in solidarity with others through the inter-relatedness of our lived experiences. Living Room Conversations--the umbrella term for this event--seeks to bring community members together for dialogue and to gather resources for fighting discrimination.

The conference design included two formats: 1) a panel discussion, and 2) breakout sessions. During the conference, members of the transgender community and their allies discussed the barriers that directly impact the quality of life for people who are transgender and ways to obliterate them.

One such barrier is anti-transgender violence. In partnership with Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC), HRC released a report that reveals the realities that conspire to put people who are transgender at risk and challenges policymakers, advocates and both public and private sector leaders to pursue identified solutions.

In 2015, 21 transgender women were killed, the majority of whom were women of color. In the first eight months of 2016, already 17 people who are transgender have been killed with most of the victims being people of color.

The conference allowed HRC Arkansas to share more broadly its concern for the transgender community and HRC’s willingness to stand in solidarity and fight trans antagonism.

More information about how HRC’s work with TPOCC, access Addressing Anti-Transgender Violence: Exploring Realities, Challenges and Solutions.


Author: HRC staff
Posted: August 22, 2016, 2:38 pm

From August 8-11, HRC staff was in Chicago to attend the National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Summit. An annual conference open to state legislators of all political parties, the NCSL Legislative Summit provides an opportunity for legislators to network, share best practices, and learn about current issues impacting states. As we have for many years, HRC staff maintained a booth in the trade and vendor area where we shared information about current state laws, the Municipal Equality Index, the State Equality Index, and other resources available to help legislators who are supportive of LGBTQ equality.

On the final evening of the conference, HRC hosted an open reception for legislators and others who were in attendance during the week. This year, we chose to recognize the outstanding advocacy of the eight Senate Democrats from Missouri. In early March, in the midst of a national legislative environment that saw over 200 anti-LGBT bills introduced, the Senate Democratic Caucus staged an historic thirty-nine hour filibuster against SJR39. The Joint Resolution, were it to have passed, would have placed on the November 2016 ballot a constitutional amendment allowing people to refuse services based on religious belief. While the filibuster was ultimately unsuccessful and the bill passed the Senate, the filibuster significantly delayed movement on the bill and brought national attention to the what was happening in the Show Me State. Thankfully SJR39 died in House Committee, as did all of the other anti-LGBT bills under consideration in Missouri this cycle.

Senator Gina Walsh, Minority Leader of the Missouri Senate, was on-hand at the reception to accept the recognition on behalf of her colleagues. Thanks to lawmakers like Senator Walsh and the Missouri Senate Democrats who stand up and speak out against anti-LGBTQ efforts, only three percent of the more than 200 anti-LGBT bills introduced since January were enacted this year. We appreciate what they do, what they stand for, and their commitment to equality for all LGBTQ people in their state.

Missouri Senate Gina Walsh
Senator Gina Walsh, Minority Leader of the Missouri Senate


Author: Lynne Bowman
Posted: August 22, 2016, 10:00 am

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