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Post submitted by Jay Gilliam, HRC Global Senior Global Programs Officer

On December 10, HRC commemorates Human Rights Day, marking the date in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration was the first time the global community spelled out a set of inalienable rights everyone is entitled to have, including LGBTQ people.

In honor of the day, HRC and Human Rights First will present our third annual Advocates & Allies in the Global Equality Movement awards to outstanding LGBTQ advocates and allies from around the world. This year, we recognize an advocate from the Russian LGBT Network, a faith leader from Jamaica and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

2017 Advocate of the Year: Tatiana Vinnichenko, chair of the Russian LGBT Network
Tatiana Vinnichenko is a Russian human rights defender, LGBTQ activist and feminist. This year the Russian LGBT Network played a leading role in helping LGBTQ Chechens flee to countries that could provide safe harbor.

HRC and Human Rights First worked closely with Vinnichenko and her organization to help people escape the violence and to bring more attention to the atrocities in Chechnya through the #EyesOnChechnya campaign. Following reports from the Russian LGBT Network that visas to the U.S. were not being issued, HRC appealed to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to welcome gay Chechens to the U.S. through any means possible.

Tatiana Vinnichenko, chair of the Russian LGBT Network; Human Rights Day

2017 Ally of the Year Award: Father Sean Major-Campbell, Rector of Christ Church in Vineyard Town, Jamaica
Father Sean Major-Campbell has been bravely standing up for for LGBTQ people at his church, in his community and beyond. He formerly served as Rector of the Anglican Church in the Cayman Islands, where he advocated for people living with HIV as a member of the Cayman AIDS Foundation.

Most recently, he organized an international conference Intimate Conviction in October 2017 with prominent church leaders to examine the church and anti-sodomy laws in the British Commonwealth. The conference showed the importance of churches coming together in service of common humanity and broadening religious conversations around the repeal of laws affecting LGBTQ people.

About the conference and his work, Father Sean said, “It is hoped that everyone will hear perspectives that promote respectful dialogue on the rugged landscape of human sexuality and theological discourse.”

Father Sean Major-Campbell, Rector of Christ Church; Human Rights Day

Special recognition: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Since 2014, the IACHR has been supporting LGBTQ people in the Western Hemisphere. Particularly, the commission has been monitoring and reporting on LGBTQ human rights violations, taking on LGBTQ cases before the Inter-American Court, and providing technical assistance on LGBTQ issues to members of the Organization of American States. Under the leadership of past Rapporteur Tracy Robinson and current Rapporteur Francisco José Eguiguren Praeli, the IACHR continues to stand up for the human rights of LGBTQ people in the region. Learn more about the IACHR’s LGBTQ work here.

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; Rapporteur Francisco José Eguiguren Praeli
Rapporteur Francisco José Eguiguren Praeli

We look forward to continuing to build relationships with advocates and allies to help expand LGBTQ equality around the world. Learn more about HRC Global here.

HRC and Human Rights First are honored to recognize these outstanding advocates at an awards event on December 11 in Washington, D.C. Learn more about the event here.


Author: HRC staff
Posted: December 9, 2017, 2:33 pm

HRC RELEASES ANNUAL BUYER’S GUIDE JUST IN TIME FOR HOLIDAY SHOPPING: The Buying for Workplace Equality guide helps equality-minded shoppers stand with companies who stand with the LGBTQ community. It provides invaluable consumer information based on company scores reported in HRC’s annual Corporate Equality Index, as well as HRC-researched data on additional well-known companies and their brands. “Our annual Buying for Workplace Equality guide provides quick, user-friendly help in selecting everything from groceries to cars, allowing fair-minded consumers to use their wallets to resist attacks on the LGBTQ community by supporting brands committed to fully inclusive workplaces,” said Deena Fidas, Director of HRC Foundation’s Workplace Equality Program. “Every year we hear from members of the LGBTQ community and many other consumers who want to choose brands that align with their priorities of workplace fairness. Using the Buying for Workplace Equality guide this holiday season helps ensure that their dollars go to businesses that support equality.” More from HRC.

  • Using the CEI, South Florida Gay News compiled five LGBTQ-friendly businesses to support this holiday season. More here.

�� iPhone/Android app
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�� Downloadable PDF@HRC's Buying for Workplace Equality Guide helps ensure that the money you're spending goes to companies committed to workplace equality. #Buy4Equality https://t.co/JuAwEO6vVr

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) December 7, 2017

CHEF FOR EQUALITY DUFF GOLDMAN -- “BAKERS CHOOSE WHAT, NOT WHOM, TO SERVE”: In an oped for The Baltimore Sun, Charm City Cakes’ owner Duff Goldman (@duffgoldman) wrote: “Do we want a country where people can be turned away for their race, their religion, their sexual orientation or their gender identity? I don’t — and I don’t think most Americans do, either. We’ve had this national conversation before, and we shouldn’t have to force our LGBTQ friends and neighbors to relive it now. The bottom line is this: It’s my job to make my customers happy — not to tell them how they should be living their lives.” More from The Baltimore Sun.

  • Morning Must Read: “Discrimination tastes terrible, even with icing,” writes Jonathan Lovitz, senior vice president of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce in Whyy.

DOUG JONES -- A SENATOR WHO WILL REPRESENT ALABAMA’S 60,000 LGBTQ PEOPLE: HRC has proudly endorsed Dong Jones, who is running against Roy Moore for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat. “Throughout this campaign, HRC organized phone banks, canvasses and community events to encourage Alabamians to make their voices heard and defeat Roy Moore, arguably the most anti-LGBTQ Senate candidate in modern history,” HRC Press Secretary Nick Morrow (@NRMorrow) told Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson (@chrisjohnson82). “HRC also ramped up a public education campaign that included yard signs, online ads, direct mail to educate voters about their choices in this year’s election.” More from Washington Blade.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY -- IN MASSIVE DISPLAY OF SUPPORT FOR TRANS AND NON-BINARY YOUTH, NEARLY 400 COMMUNITIES JOIN NATIONAL I AM JAZZ DAY OF READINGS: HRC and the National Education Association, inspired by a small Wisconsin town that stood up for a transgender child and rejected anti-LGBTQ bigotry and censorship, sponsored yesterday readings of the children’s book by transgender teen trailblazer and HRC Youth Ambassador Jazz Jennings (@JazzJennings__). The unprecedented demonstration of support for trans and non-binary youth across the nation -- from grassroots events in libraries, schools and community centers to readings on Capitol Hill -- comes after a year of significant attacks on the rights of transgender people. More from WMTV and The Cap Times.

  • Amy Lyle, the Mt. Horeb, Wis., mom who organized the first “I Am Jazz” reading: "I wish that people better understood that trans and gender expansive children are all of our children, and all children are deserving of love and support, without exception." Read more at a plus.

At Schenk Elementary in Madison with @HRC's Welcoming Schools program for our National 'I Am Jazz' Day of Readings and to talk with Schenk's students! We've been joining classes throughout the morning for readings of this wonderful children's book! #IAmJazz pic.twitter.com/RqVLrlmFL0

— Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride) December 7, 2017

MEXICAN MEDIA MOGUL EMPHASIZES IMPORTANCE OF LGBTQ ALLYSHIP AT HRC EQUIDAD LAUNCH: Martha Debayle (@marthadebayle), renowned Mexican entrepreneur and radio host said: “Coming out of the closet should not be a hell. Sitting down and telling your mom that you are gay should not be a scary thing.” More from MarthaDebayle.

LÍDER DE MEDIOS HABLA SOBRE EL APOYO A LA COMUNIDAD LGBT EN EL LANZAMIENTO DE HRC EQUIDAD MX: Martha Debayle (@marthadebayle), una renombrada empresaria y presentadora mexicana expresó: “Salir del clóset no debe ser un infierno. Y que sentarte y decirle a tu familia: 'mamá soy gay', tampoco sea una razón de miedo. Más de MarthaDebayle.

WE NEED, OH, ABOUT 21,307 MORE OPENLY LGBTQ ELECTED OFFICIALS TO ACCURATELY REFLECT THE NATION’S POPULATION: According to a report from the Victory Institute, the U.S. only has 448 openly LGBTQ elected officials. More from The Daily Beast.

CLAIR FARLEY NAMED SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR’S OFFICE SENIOR ADVISER ON TRANSGENDER INITIATIVES: Farley, current director of economic development at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, will replace Theresa Sparks, who is retiring. More from The Bay Area Reporter.

LENA WAITHE TO DEBUT SHOW ON SHOWTIME: The Chi is set to debut on January 7. The lesbian actor and writer made history this year as the first Black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing for her work on a powerful “Master of None” episode on coming out in which she also starred. Waithe (@LenaWaithe) will host an viewing of The Chi in January at New York City’s 92Y.

GREG BERLANTI AND ROBBIE ROGERS MARRY IN MALIBU: Berlanti (@GBerlanti), a producer, and Rogers (@robbierogers), former LA Galaxy soccer player, shared photos of their nuptials on Instagram. More from Advocate.

TWO TORONTO MEN WITH TIES TO LGBTQ COMMUNITY MISSING FOR SIX MONTHS: Police are investigating the disappearance of Selim Esen and Andrew Kinsman. More from CTV.

PAKISTANI TRANS COMMUNITY RALLIES AGAINST VIOLENCE: Last month, two transgender women were murdered in the Peshawar, the Pakistani capital. More from The Express Tribune.

SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARENTS GROUP ADVOCATES FOR ANTI-BULLYING LEGISLATION: The legislation would require public schools to teach about stopping anti-LGBTQ bullying. More from The Scotsman and The Herald.

READING RAINBOW

The Guardian is seeking stories on LGBTQ life in Russia; Khmer Times reports on the ILGA Asia conference held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Japan Times looks at the fight for marriage equality in the country; Advocate interviews gay Mexican screenwriter Jorge Molina (@colormejorge); San Francisco Chronicle reviews ‘¡Cuéntamelo! Oral Histories by LGBT Latino Immigrants’; Diversidad CDMX habló con Deena Fidas, directora de HRC Equidad MX y el Programa de Igualdad en el Centro Laboral, sobre el programa HRC Equidad MX que promueve la igualdad LGBTQ en los centros laborales.

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: December 8, 2017, 2:46 pm

As the holiday shopping season kicks off, equality-minded shoppers can stand with companies who stand with the LGBTQ community by using the new HRC Foundation’s popular consumer guide to hundreds of American companies to choose brands and retail outlets committed to LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies and practices.

The Buying for Workplace Equality guide, released today by the HRC Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s LGBTQ civil rights organization, was first issued more than a decade ago. It provides invaluable consumer information based on company scores reported in HRC’s annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI), as well as HRC-researched data on additional well-known companies and their brands.

“Our annual Buying for Workplace Equality guide provides quick, user-friendly help in selecting everything from groceries to cars, allowing fair-minded consumers to use their wallets to resist attacks on the LGBTQ community by supporting brands committed to fully inclusive workplaces,” said Deena Fidas, Director of HRC Foundation’s Workplace Equality Program. “ Every year we hear from members of the LGBTQ community and many other consumers who want to choose brands that align with their priorities of workplace fairness. Using the Buying for Workplace Equality guide this holiday season helps ensure that their dollars go to businesses that support equality.”

Through the CEI, the HRC Foundation proactively rates more than 1,000 Fortune 500 companies and top law firms on LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies and practices. The new guide includes more than 750 companies, 600 of them rated in the CEI, and an additional 140 independently researched by the HRC Foundation. A total 5,600 affiliated businesses and brands are featured in this year’s report.

The Buying for Workplace Equality guide sorts businesses by sectors, assigning them a score ranging from zero to 100 based on LGBTQ workplace equality, as measured by the CEI and HRC-researched data.

Businesses and their products are divided based on their CEI rating into red, yellow and green categories so that consumers can easily determine which brands support LGBTQ workplace equality:

  • Green (80-100): Businesses/brands with the highest workplace equality scores.
  • Yellow (46-79): Businesses/brands that have taken steps toward a fair-minded workplace and receive a moderate workplace equality score.
  • Red (0-45): Businesses/brands that receive our lowest workplace equality scores

Now more than ever, it is important to support businesses that support equality. For more information on the Buying for Workplace Equality guide and to search by company category, go online to www.hrc.org/buyersguide.


Author: Allison Turner
Posted: December 7, 2017, 4:58 pm

LOVE WINS! AUSTRALIA PASSES MARRIAGE EQUALITY: HRC joins the world in celebrating the Australian House of Representatives’ overwhelming vote earlier today in favor of marriage equality legislation. The measure passed with only four opposing votes. The Australian Senate previously passed the measure by a vote of 43 to 12. “We welcome Australia into the growing family of freedom-loving nations that ensure marriage equality for all couples,” said Ty Cobb (@tywesleycobb), Director of HRC Global. “The overwhelming support for marriage equality Down Under is a testament to the hard work of Australia’s LGBTQ advocates and allies who fought tirelessly to make today a reality. We congratulate them on this incredibly important victory.” Australia will become the 25th country to recognize same-sex couples’ right to marry. #LoveWins Read more at The New York Times and HRC.

  • Rates of anti-LGBTQ violence increased during non-binding postal vote on marriage equality this year. More from Pink News.
  • The Masterpiece case here in the U.S. is fueling discussion in Australia. Conservatives are already conspiring on how to discriminate against LGBTQ people using religion and freedom of speech as foils. More from The Associated Press.
  • The Sydney Harbour Bridge will set off rainbow fireworks on New Year’s Eve to commemorate the fight for marriage equality. Cheers, queers! More from PinkNews.

#LoveWins! Australia’s Parliament passes #MarriageEquality legislation. #LoveIsLove ❤️������������ https://t.co/3lvVyLmqKE pic.twitter.com/fMjQaJrMrW

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) December 7, 2017

HRC JOINS ALLIES TO DEMAND A CLEAN DREAM ACT: HRC joined Dreamers from across the nation on Capitol Hill yesterday to demand that Congress pass a clean DREAM Act and protect dreamers and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. “Thousands of lives are already at risk and if Congress fails to act, many more dreamers -- including more than 75,000 LGBTQ dreamers -- will also be forced to face the real and dangerous threat of deportation,” said Alejandro Avilés, HRC’s Director of Outreach and Engagement. “It is unacceptable to use these young people as political pawns and Congress must act this year to pass a clean DREAM Act and address this problem created by the Trump-Pence administration. HRC is proud to join forces with United We Dream, Center for Community Change, SEIU and many others to stand with all Dreamers and calls on Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act.”  More from HRC.

  • This week, HRC joined with 127 LGBTQ and allied organizations in a letter calling on Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act before the end of the year.

Ending #DACA would be cruel and dangerous. We must protect #DREAMers. #DreamActNow https://t.co/GqgkRUNv19 pic.twitter.com/lJnDwfd4h3

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) December 6, 2017

U.S. HOUSE PASSES NRA PET PROJECT GUN BILL: HRC called for a  “no” vote on H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. The dangerous bill would allow people who are prohibited from getting a concealed carry permit in a state with strong gun laws to apply for a permit in a state with weaker laws. This includes convicted stalkers, domestic abusers, people convicted of violent crimes and people with no training or experience firing a gun. “Congress should be putting forward legislation that addresses the epidemic of gun violence not pandering to long-standing pet projects of the NRA,” said David Stacy, HRC Government Affairs Director. “This ill-conceived bill would undermine state laws and greatly weaken local law enforcement’s ability to serve their community.” More from HRC.

HAPPENING TODAY: IN MASSIVE DISPLAY OF SUPPORT FOR TRANS AND NON-BINARY YOUTH, NEARLY 400 COMMUNITIES JOIN NATIONAL I AM JAZZ DAY OF READINGS: HRC and the National Education Association, inspired by a small Wisconsin town that stood up for a transgender child and rejected anti-LGBTQ bigotry and censorship, are sponsoring today’s readings of the children’s book by transgender teen trailblazer and HRC Youth Ambassador Jazz Jennings (@JazzJennings__). The unprecedented demonstration of support for trans and non-binary youth across the nation - from grassroots events in libraries, schools and community centers to readings on Capitol Hill - comes after a year of significant attacks on the rights of transgender people. “Transgender and non-binary youth deserve to know that their communities, neighbors and educators see them, love them and affirm them,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC’s Senior Vice President for Research, Programs and Training. “What started as a simple act of inclusion by a parent in Mt. Horeb, Wisc., in 2015 has transformed into an annual nationwide day of action and underscores the power of even one voice to spark a movement and effect positive change.” More from HRC.

PENTAGON PREPARING TO ACCEPT TRANSGENDER RECRUITS ON JAN. 1: In an email to the Washington Examiner, Pentagon spokesman Maj. Dave Eastburn wrote, “While reviewing legal options with the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense is taking steps to be prepared to initiate accessions of transgender applicants for military service on January 1, 2018, per recent court orders.” Last week, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly clarified a preliminary injunction that blocked portions of the Trump-Pence discriminatory ban on transgender groups, including ruling that the Pentagon must move forward with previously developed plans to allow qualified trans people to enlist or commission into the military starting in January. The Justice Department is asking for the decision to be put on hold. More from The Washington Post and The Associated Press.

HRC ENDORSES SENATOR TAMMY BALDWIN (D-WI) FOR RE-ELECTION: “We were proud to stand with Senator Baldwin when she made history in 2012, and today we are thrilled to enthusiastically endorse her bid for a second term in the U.S. Senate,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “A true trailblazer, Senator Baldwin has been at the center of every battle for full equality, fighting tirelessly on behalf of Wisconsin and the American people. Her leadership and voice remain crucial in the effort to advance equality and we look forward to continuing to work with her in the U.S. Senate.” Baldwin is the first openly gay U.S. senator and the first woman elected to the chamber from Wisconsin. She was a leader in the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” an early supporter of marriage equality, a champion for federal hate crimes protections, and co-author of the Equality Act, crucial legislation that would extend comprehensive federal protections to LGBTQ Americans. More from HRC.

.@HRC is proud to endorse @tammybaldwin for her re-election as senator of #Wisconsin. We look forward to working with her to bring equality to all Americans. ���� #LGBTQ #HRCRising https://t.co/5TvxIwNWRX pic.twitter.com/Uq8piq3M6h

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) December 6, 2017

UPDATE -- HE’S DOING IT!! GAY MAN DENIED A MARRIAGE LICENSE BY NOTORIOUS KY COUNTY CLERK KIM DAVIS WILL RUN AGAINST HER: David Ermold, whose heated exchange with Davis after she denied him and his partner a marriage license went viral, returned to the courthouse yesterday, sat across from Davis, and officially filed to run against her. More from The Associated Press.

A gay man who was denied a marriage license by Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis will seek to unseat her in 2018. https://t.co/usoGS3WVF5 pic.twitter.com/ELNKzH51Nk

— AP South U.S. Region (@APSouthRegion) December 6, 2017

NEW STUDY -- KNOWING A TRANS PERSON INFLUENCES YOUR OPINION ON EQUALITY: The University of Kansas study found that people who personally knew a transgender person, or saw positive depictions of transgender people in the media, are more likely to support transgender equality. More from Phys.org.

PHILLY EXHIBIT PRESERVES HISTORY FROM THE 80s AIDS EPIDEMIC: The William Way LGBT Community Center assembled artifacts from that era for the exhibit, “Still Fighting for Our Lives.”  More from WHYY.

PA GOP STATE REP DARYL METCALFE HAS HOMOPHOBIC MELTDOWN OVER….COLLEAGUE TOUCHING HIS ARM?? The lawmaker interrupted Democratic state Rep. Matt Bradford, who touched Metcalfe’s forearm, saying, “Look, I'm a heterosexual. I have a wife, I love my wife, I don't like men -- as you might... If you want to touch somebody, you have people on your side of the aisle who might like it.” More from The Washington Post.

SOUTH BEACH MAN FACES CHARGES IN ALLEGED ANTI-LGBTQ HATE CRIME: Wade Rutledge was charged in connection to a crime last month where a same-sex couple was harassed and mugged. More from The Orange County Register.

ANTI-LGBTQ LIBERTY COUNSEL FILES SUIT IN TAMPA CHALLENGING PROTECTIONS AGAINST SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY”: The city banned the debunked and dangerous practice earlier this year. More from Orlando Weekly.

JIM GRAY RUNNING TO BE KENTUCKY’S FIRST OPENLY GAY CONGRESSMAN: The Lexington Mayor will run for U.S. Congress against incumbent Representative Andy Barr (R-KY), who received a score of zero on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard for the 114th and 113th Congresses. More from HuffPost.

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE CHARACTER COMES OUT AS BISEXUAL: In the show’s 99th episode, Rosa Diaz came out as bisexual, marking an important move for bisexual representation in television. Stephanie Beatriz (@iamstephbeatz), who plays Diaz and is bisexual and queer, pushed for this important character development. More from Variety.

LGBTQ AND ALLIED ACTORS, DIRECTORS NOMINATED FOR CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS: Those nominated include Asia Kate Dillon (@AsiaKateDillon), Tituss Burgess (@TitussBurgess), Allison Janney (@AllisonBJanney), Sean Hayes (@SeanHayes), Dee Rees and Ryan Murphy. More from The Hollywood Reporter.

N.C. SERVER FIRED FOR CALLING OUT ANTI-GAY ABUSE FROM CUSTOMER: The server had posted online a photo of a receipt on which a customer had written a homophobic slur.  The Hickory Tavern said the employee violated its  “confidentiality policy,” but has since said he could return to his job. More from The Charlotte Observer.

READING RAINBOW

HuffPost reviews a new art show in Los Angeles with LGBTQ themes; The New York Times shines a light on Moogfest, a music festival highlighting LGBTQ and women artists; Washington Blade reports that the Ali Forney Center in New York will dedicate its new LGBTQ youth homeless residence to the late Bea Arthur

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: December 7, 2017, 3:21 pm

Today, in up to 400 communities across the country, thousands of parents, educators and allies will stand in solidarity with transgender and non-binary youth by hosting school and community readings of "I Am Jazz," a children’s book by transgender teen trailblazer and HRC Youth Ambassador Jazz Jennings. The unprecedented demonstration of support for trans and non-binary youth - from grassroots events in libraries, schools and community centers to readings on Capitol Hill - comes after a year of significant attacks on the rights of transgender people.

“Transgender and non-binary youth deserve to know that their communities, neighbors and educators see them, love them and affirm them,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC’s Senior Vice President for Research, Programs and Training. “These grassroots readings demonstrate the breadth and depth of support for trans and non-binary students that exists in big cities and small towns throughout the nation. What started as a simple act of inclusion by a parent in Mt. Horeb, Wisc., in 2015 has transformed into an annual nationwide day of action and underscores the power of even one voice to spark a movement and effect positive change.”

“I am honored to join more than 200 communities across the nation as we stand with transgender and non-binary youth in National "I Am Jazz" Day of Readings,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “Now more than ever—what with the fear, humiliation, and discriminatory policies coming from the Trump administration—we take this opportunity for educators, schools and communities to send a powerful message of love, support and affirmation for transgender and non-binary students. As this administration threatens our students and our values, we will double-down on our efforts to protect our most vulnerable citizens.”

The national day of readings was inspired by the more than 600 residents of tiny Mount Horeb, Wisc., who in 2015 unequivocally supported a young transgender student and her family and rebuked bigotry and censorship by showing up for a public reading of the book. The reading was organized by a caring local parent after legal threats by an outside anti-LGBTQ hate group forced the transgender student’s school to cancel plans to support her by reading the book in class.

Over the last year, the transgender community has come under attack from anti-equality activists and politicians. In one of their first major acts, the Trump-Pence Administration’s Departments of Justice and Education rescinded lifesaving guidance promoting the protection of transgender students. This past summer, the President announced he would  reinstate a ban on qualified transgender people serving openly in the military. Meanwhile, over the past three years, more than 500 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced in roughly 38 states around the nation, many targeting transgender youth and, increasingly, anti-LGBTQ groups are also targeting schools and local districts seeking to welcome all students with inclusive policies and practices.

The nationwide act of solidarity is sponsored by the HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools program and the NEA. It unites in action youth, educators, and allies who are hosting readings of "I Am Jazz" in hundreds of schools, churches, bookstores, homes, and community centers in states across the country.

HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools is the nation’s premier professional development program providing training to elementary school educators to welcome diverse families, create LGBTQ and gender-inclusive schools, prevent bias-based bullying, and support transgender and gender expansive students. HRC’s Welcoming Schools has created this guide to help organizers of "I Am Jazz" reading events build more affirming and supportive spaces for transgender and non-binary youth.

For more information visit, hrc.org/IAmJazz


Author: Sarah McBride
Posted: December 7, 2017, 1:58 pm

HRC celebrates the Australian House of Representatives’ overwhelming vote in favor of marriage equality legislation. The measure passed with only four votes against it. The Australian Senate previously passed the measure by a vote of 43 to 12.

“We welcome Australia into the growing family of freedom loving nations that ensure marriage equality for all couples,” said Ty Cobb, Director of HRC Global. “The overwhelming support for marriage equality Down Under is a testament to the hard work of Australia’s LGBTQ advocates and allies who fought tirelessly to make today a reality. We congratulate them on this incredibly important victory.”

After the Governor-General gives the legislation official approval in a formality known as “Royal Assent,” marriage equality will become the law of the land. Australia will become the 25th country to recognize same-sex couples’ right to marry.

The legislation followed a voluntary postal survey that showed a clear majority of Australian voters endorse equality. The postal survey came after years of stalled efforts to bring marriage equality to Australia. After the country’s governing party refused to allow a conscience vote on the issue in parliament, it undertook the controversial and expensive survey in an attempt to settle the issue. The survey was widely criticized for delaying the arrival of marriage equality.

HRC is proud to have supported the efforts of Australian LGBTQ advocates and allies to achieve marriage equality in their country and partnered with Australian Marriage Equality (AME) — a prominent national organization leading on the issue. HRC Global visited Australia in 2015 and 2016 to share strategic advice from the successful campaign for marriage equality in the United States.

Earlier this week in Europe, Austria’s Constitutional Court ruled that marriage equality will become the law of the land in that country by January 2019.

Learn more about HRC Global’s work around the world here.


Author: Stephen Peters
Posted: December 7, 2017, 12:47 pm

Today, HRC announced its endorsement of Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin in her bid for re-election.

“We were proud to stand with Senator Baldwin when she made history in 2012, and today we are thrilled to enthusiastically endorse her bid for a second term in the U.S. Senate,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “A true trailblazer, Senator Baldwin has been at the center of every battle for full equality, fighting tirelessly on behalf of Wisconsin and the American people. Her leadership and voice remain crucial in the effort to advance equality and we look forward to continuing to work with her in the U.S. Senate.”

“I am honored to have HRC’s endorsement and proud to be their long standing partner in this fight,” said Senator Baldwin. “Every Wisconsinite and every American, no matter who they are, should be able to have a fair chance to earn a living, provide for their families, and live free from fear of discrimination. I will continue fighting for these ideals every day as a U.S. Senator and work to ensure full federal equality for everyone.”  

Baldwin is the first openly gay U.S. senator and the first woman elected to the chamber from Wisconsin. Throughout her public service, she has been a pioneer for equality: Senator Baldwin was a leader in the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” an early supporter of marriage equality, a champion for federal hate crimes protections, and co-author of the Equality Act, crucial legislation that would extend comprehensive federal protections to LGBTQ Americans. In addition to Baldwin’s strong civil rights record, she has been a voice for middle class Wisconsinites, leading the fight for quality, affordable health care access and an economy that works for everyone. She has defended the Affordable Care Act and is a leader of Buy American reforms to fuel job growth in the United States.

In July, HRC announced the earliest, largest grassroots expansion in its 37-year history ahead of 2018 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. HRC has thus far announced six priority states, which include Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, HRC has identified more than 560,000 Wisconsinites as likely “Equality Voters” — those who are strong supporters of policies that advance LGBTQ equality, including marriage equality and other measures prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. HRC engaged Catalist, a data and analytics firm, to create a voter equality model that predicts every registered voters’ likelihood to support LGBTQ equality.  This model has allowed HRC to identify and direct outreach to millions of  “Equality Voters” in crucial battleground states, moving them to action in support of pro-equality issues and legislation, as well as our endorsed candidates.

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC and authorized by Tammy Baldwin for Senate 

 


Author: Ianthe Metzger
Posted: December 6, 2017, 9:11 pm

HRC urged Members of Congress to vote “no” on H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. The bill, which has been identified as high priority legislation by the National Rifle Association (NRA), would allow people who are prohibited from getting a concealed carry permit in a state with strong gun laws to apply for a permit in a state with weaker laws. This includes convicted stalkers, domestic abusers, people convicted of violent crimes, and people with no training or experience firing a gun.

“Congress should be putting forward legislation that addresses the epidemic of gun violence not pandering to long-standing pet projects of the NRA,” said David Stacy, HRC Government Affairs Director. “States have taken the important step of passing common-sense gun policies in the face of inaction by Congress. This ill-conceived bill would undermine state laws and greatly weaken local law enforcement’s ability to serve their community. HRC is proud to join gun safety advocates in opposing this dangerous proposal.”

Last year, 49 people -- most of them LGBTQ and Latinx -- were killed in a mass shooting in Orlando. While this incident gained national attention, the LGBTQ community is consistently the target of bias-motivated violence, as evidenced by the FBI’s recent release of hate crimes statistics for 2016. The volatile combination of animosity towards the LGBTQ community and lack of strong laws to prevent gun violence exacerbates the dangers faced by LGBTQ people. Reasonable gun violence prevention measures are part of the solution to bias-motivated violence.

Following the tragedy in Orlando, HRC’s Board of Directors adopted a resolution recommended by HRC President Chad Griffin 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 resolution established HRC’s organizational position that the safety of LGBTQ people in the United States requires the adoption of common-sense gun violence prevention measures, including limiting access to assault-style rifles, expanding background checks, and limiting the ability for suspected terrorists, and those with a history of domestic abuse to access guns.


Author: Aaron Rodriguez
Posted: December 6, 2017, 8:36 pm

Today, HRC joins Dreamers from across the nation on Capitol Hill to demand that Congress pass a clean DREAM Act and protect thousands of dreamers and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

“Thousands of lives are already at risk and if Congress fails to act, many more dreamers -- including more than 75,000 LGBTQ dreamers -- will also be forced to face the real and dangerous threat of deportation,” said Alejandro Avilés, HRC’s Director of Outreach and Engagement. “It is unacceptable to use these young people as political pawns and Congress must act this year to pass a clean DREAM Act and address this problem created by the Trump-Pence administration. Today and everyday, HRC is proud to join forces with United We Dream, Center for Community Change, SEIU and many others to stand with all Dreamers and calls on Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act.”

HRC President Chad Griffin said: “HRC continues to stand with more than 800,000 of our neighbors, friends, and family members whose livelihoods are being threatened by the Trump-Pence administration’s open assault on Dreamers and immigrants. In this country, we share a belief that a person’s circumstances at birth, or where their life takes them as a child, shouldn’t determine their ability to pursue the American dream. We urge Congress to protect these innocent Dreamers from the Trump-Pence administration’s heartless and cruel attacks.”

This year, the Trump-Pence administration announced the cruel decision to end DACA and created an arbitrary deadline for Congress to impose a legislative fix. The announcement is ending a five-year-old program that has allowed hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to the U.S. as minors to stay in the only country they’ve ever known. Every day, more and more dreamers are having their DACA status expire.

This week, HRC joined with 127 LGBTQ and allied organizations in a letter calling on Congress to pass a clean Dream Act before the end of the year. The organizations made clear that Dreamers are a part of the American family and help make our communities vibrant.

Over 75,000 Dreamers identify as LGBTQ and over 36,000 of them have benefited from DACA. For these young people, the threat of deportation can hold an additional element of uncertainty, since they may be sent to countries with poor LGBTQ human rights records. For example, in El Salvador, transgender women have faced such a tremendous upsurge in violence that the United Nations called for an investigation into the situation.


Author: Aaron Rodriguez
Posted: December 6, 2017, 6:50 pm

HAPPENING TODAY -- RALLY AT CAPITOL URGING CONGRESS TO PASS A CLEAN DREAM ACT NOW: Dreamers will converge on the Capitol to urge lawmakers to protect them from attacks by the Trump-Pence Administration. Dreamers are recipients of DACA, created by the Obama administration in 2012 to protect 800,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. as children. Thanks to DACA, Dreamers who meet certain guidelines are able to attend college, obtain driver's licenses and work permits to support their families. Among those who would be affected by DACA’s rollback -- 36,000 LGBTQ DACA recipients. With every day they delay, lawmakers are putting more and more people at risk of deportation. HRC continues to pressure Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act and protect Dreamers, including the thousands who are LGBTQ. More from The Washington Post.

  • Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and John Cornyn (R-TX) have introduced a partisan bill on DACA. The real solution to keeping Dreamers in the U.S. -- the only home many of them have only known -- is to pass a clean Dream Act Now. We are disappointed that Grassley and Cornyn are playing partisan games instead of supporting the bipartisan bill that has the votes to pass. More from The Hill.
  • “Deportation to the countries of birth might mean a death sentence to LGBTQ DACA recipients,” Luis F. Gomez, a California-based Dreamer, told KPCC.

#Dreamers are part of our #LGBTQ family. We are with you.” - @HRC President @ChadHGriffin urges Congress to pass a clean #DreamActNow. pic.twitter.com/ndpSeQ1rWc

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) December 6, 2017

SCOTUS HEARS ARGUMENTS IN MASTERPIECE, CASE OF BUSINESS THAT TURNED AWAY SAME-SEX COUPLE: The case, which will be decided by next June, will either protect the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people -- or it could set a dangerous precedent giving businesses a license to discriminate. The case involves Jack Phillips, a baker who refused to serve a gay couple in violation of Colorado’s statewide non-discrimination law. Represented by the SPLC-designated hate group Alliance Defending Freedom, Phillips -- who lost before the Colorado Supreme Court -- was granted the Supreme Court hearing to make a claim that he should be able to discriminate against LGBTQ people on religious freedom and freedom of speech grounds. The Trump-Pence Administration has also entered this case to back the baker’s claim. Masterpiece Cakeshop is one of the most significant Supreme Court cases of the year, and the outcome could have sweeping consequences for every single LGBTQ American and millions of others. More from HRC and Pink News.

  • #OpenToAll: HRC is a proud member of the “Open To All” coalition. As a nation, we decided a long time ago that when a business opens its doors to the public, it should be open to everyone, on the same terms. Learn more here.
  • An online survey notes that 60 percent of Americans believe that wedding professionals should be required to serve same-sex couples, and millennials are more likely than other generational groups to oppose service refusal. Check out the full findings here.
  • “The kind of discrimination we’re looking at here is not only dangerous to the economic and personal well-being of the LGBT community, but to the health and prosperity of all minorities in America,” writes Justin Nelson (@NGLCCJustin) and Chance Mitchell, cofounders of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce in The Advocate.
  • Trump OK with businesses hanging anti-LGBTQ signs, says White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders. See her comments at the Advocate.
  • Must reads: From WaPo’s Dana Milbank (@Milbank), “The Supreme Court cake case has an easy answer;” and from the ACLU’s Ria Tabacco Mar in NYT, “The Colorado Cake Case Is as Easy as Pie.”

Shocking: In 2017, @realdonaldtrump's solicitor general is arguing we return to an era when stores post signs indicating who they will and will not serve. Businesses can choose what they serve, not who they serve. We won't go back. pic.twitter.com/neqdYUFN3x

— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) December 5, 2017

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING WEDNESDAY: Last week, former President Barack Obama addressed a town hall in New Delhi, where a transgender advocate asked his advice on overturning the country’s anti-LGBTQ law. Obama responded, “It begins with what you just did, which is to find your voice, and articulate your views, your experiences and tell your story. And that's true of any group that is marginalized, stigmatized. Finding that voice and being able to tell a story so that the perceptions that somehow you are different are changed... people start recognizing their own experiences in you, they see your humanity.” More from Refinery29.

MORNING MUST READ FROM HRC’S SARAH MCBRIDE -- TRUMP WANTS MILLENNIALS TO FORGET ABOUT THE ACA’S DEADLINE: McBride (@SarahEMcBride) shared the harrowing story of losing her husband, Andy, to cancer, and the privilege he had to be insured through the process. “The vast majority of people our age will thankfully never have to face what Andy endured, but for many that will be because they took the steps to take care of their health and signed up for health insurance,” McBride writes. “Before he passed, Andy urged our fellow LGBTQ community members to educate themselves on the plans offered under the ACA and, if possible, to sign up for insurance before they potentially needed it most.” More from The Advocate.

SUPPORT TRANS YOUTH BY HOSTING AN I AM JAZZ READING DECEMBER 7: I Am Jazz author Jessica Herthel (@jessicaherthel) reflects on how communities can stand up for transgender children amid attacks by the Trump-Pence administration and some state legislatures: “We are not powerless in this moment. Far from it. Inspired by the residents of Mount Horeb and organized by the Human Rights Campaign, thousands of people will convene across our nation on December 7, in schools and libraries, churches and living rooms, to again read I Am Jazz in an inspiring show of solidarity with our transgender youth, and a public repudiation of hate.” More from Bustle.

IN RUSSIA, MISINFORMATION & STIGMA ARE RESULTING IN TRAGIC CONSEQUENCES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST HIV: Local media and blogs have spread the lie that HIV and AIDS are fake diseases thought up by American pharmaceutical companies. This has had devastating consequences, with HIV diagnoses in Russia soaring.  Officials at the Irkutsk AIDS Center told reporter Anna Nemtsova (@annanemtsova) that only a third of people living in HIV in the region are receiving treatment -- and many believe the virus is a hoax. More from The Daily Beast.

VIRAL LGBTQ SHORT FILM IN A HEART BEAT SHORTLISTED FOR OSCAR NOM: The animated short film follows a closeted boy falling in love with another boy. More from The Hollywood Reporter.

#LOVEWINS -- AUSTRIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT LEGALIZES MARRIAGE EQUALITY: The country’s highest court ruled that the country must allow same-sex couples to marry by 2019. More from The Associated Press.

#LoveWins! Austria's Constitutional Court rules in favor of #marriageequality. Congrats to the advocates and plaintiffs in this historic case! https://t.co/C5WHhU0ZYt pic.twitter.com/UsK2MRx16j

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) December 5, 2017

PROMINENT CHICAGO LGBTQ ADVOCATE MARTY ENRIGHT DIES AT 85: He owned the local LGBTQ restaurant “Buddies,” which supported Equality Illinois, the Illinois Gay Rodeo Association, LesBiGay Radio, Chicago's LGBT Hall of Fame and sponsored numerous men's and women's LGBTQ softball teams. More from Windy City Times.

SHAMEFUL -- PRO-EQUALITY SIGN DEFACED BY ANTI-LGBTQ, WHITE SUPREMECIST MESSAGES: The vandals drew swastikas, as well as other anti-LGBTQ, white supremecist messages on a pro-equality Kathy Hill’s yard sign Geneva, Ill. Last month, a local church was also targeted with anti-LGBTQ messages. More from The Beacon-News.

GUATEMALA CONGRESS INTRODUCES BILL TO RECOGNIZE GENDER MARKER CHANGES ON OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS: More from The Washington Blade.

HORRIFYING -- TWO MEN ARRESTED AND TORTURED IN UZBEKISTAN: They face up to three years in prison under the country’s anti-LGBTQ laws criminalizing same-sex intimate relations. More from Gay Star News.

LONDON TEENAGER ATTACKED ON TUBE, TWO ARRESTED: After being assaulted and threatened, the 19-year-old was forced to apologize for being gay. More from NewsTalk

READING RAINBOW

HuffPost shares a first-person narrative on growing up Black and gay in the South; New York Post previews ‘Will & Grace’s’ upcoming holiday episode; Vice interviews five LGBTQ people about the word ‘femme’; The Washington Post reviews “Draw the Circle,” a new solo show with transgender themes; PinkNews highlights 11 bisexual celebrities and advocates; TIME announces that The Silence Breakers -- those who bravely came forward with accounts of sexual assault and harassment as part of the #MeToo movement -- are Person of the Year.

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: December 6, 2017, 3:02 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