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This Friday, LGBTQ and allied communities around the globe will mark International Transgender Day of Visibility. This year poses new challenges for the rights of transgender people as President Trump and states across the country are aiming to roll back their rights. It’s critical -- now more than ever -- that we recognize the advocates and allies who are working tirelessly to bring trans issues to the forefront.

Ahead of the annual event, HRC wanted to highlight a growing group of visible trans and gender fluid youth advocates, as well as their families, who are helping change the hearts and minds of millions. Several on our list have already helped spark a national conversation around what it means to be transgender.

Last year, at just nine years old, Avery Jackson made history by becoming the first transgender person to appear on the cover of National Geographic, spurring conversations around gender identity in living rooms across the country. Throughout her journey, Avery has been supported by her mom Debi Jackson, a fierce advocate in her own right who made waves when a video of her speech advocating for her daughter before a mother’s association meeting went viral in 2014.

As more trans youth continue to live authentic lives, it’s more important than ever for their families to become vocal advocates as well. Parents like JR -- who is also a member of HRC’s Trans Equality Council -- became a staunch public ally for his daughter Ellie after she came out as transgender at four years old.

Trans youth need allies not only at home but in all areas of life, including school. HRC understands how crucial it is for trans students to have a safe and inclusive learning environment, which is why we initiated our Welcoming Schools program, so that transgender and gender-expansive youth know they’re supported in and outside of the classroom.

These types of programs are critical to LGBTQ young people as many lack crucial support from their families, and instead are rejected, leaving them at greater risk for homelessness, substance abuse, depression, and suicide. Up to 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ.

Thanks in large part to social media, the culture has begun to shift regarding issues of gender. Social platforms like Facebook and Tinder have dozens of options for users’ gender, a reality featured in the latest issue of TIME on the diversity of gender identities. Moreover, young people remain far more open minded to gender fluidity, with 20 percent of millennials compared to seven percent of baby boomers who say they are something other than cisgender, according to TIME.

Those changing attitudes have helped other notable trans youth like Gavin Grimm and Jazz Jennings to embrace their truest selves in the most public way possible.  

Jennings, 16, has captivated viewers by documenting her life on TLC’s GLAAD Award winning docu-series, I Am Jazz and appearing in TIME’s 25 Most Influential Teens -- twice. She is also an author of a self-title memoir, Being Jazz, and co-founded the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation, which helps assists trans youth.

Just a high school senior, Grimm’s fight to be respected and protected at school, including by using the restroom that corresponds with his gender identity, has catapulted his story across the national headlines. Grimm’s case was slated for the Supreme Court before it was sent back to the Fourth Circuit for further review -- it would’ve been the first time the nation’s highest court heard a case regarding transgender rights.

Even though the decision to vacate Grimm’s case to a lower court is a disappointing setback, his story has already resonated with millions about what’s at stake for transgender rights.  

To learn more about the resources available to transgender children and families, please visit, our coming out guide; Schools in Transition, a best practices guide for supporting transgender youth at school; or additional resources at

Author: Brian McBride
Posted: March 27, 2017, 9:19 pm

Post submitted by Diego Mora Bello, HRC Global Fellow

HIV in the Media” is part of a project Diego Mora Bello is working on as an HRC Global Fellow and a Next Generation Leader with The McCain Institute. HRC’s Global Fellows program seeks to identify outstanding established and emerging LGBTQ leaders from around the world and bring them to Washington, D.C. to work alongside HRC staff.

Stigma and discrimination continue to be common barriers for people living with HIV. Fortunately, the media can play an important role in helping to remove these and other barriers. In my own survey of Latin American news articles mentioning HIV and AIDS, and in meeting with media professionals and advocates, I found that Latin American Media has room to improve its use of correct and destigmatizing language when talking about people living with HIV. Covering HIV both correctly and responsibly is important, because doing so is an essential part of raising awareness, debunking common myths, and giving voice to an already marginalized group of people.

The importance of using correct and responsible language in journalistic coverage of HIV inspired me to research this topic and share my findings. The ultimate goal of HIV in the Media is to report on this subject in a scientifically accurate and responsible way that inspires others to follow suit.

Based on my research, here are the top three reasons why language is important when covering HIV and AIDS in the media.

1. Incorrect medical language can be misleading.

Latin American media continues to refer to HIV as a disease, when it should be described as an infection. Media in the region also erroneously use the terms “HIV” and “AIDS” interchangeably even though the two are not one and the same. Consider, for example, that all people who’ve been diagnosed with AIDS are necessarily living with HIV, but that not all people living with HIV have been diagnosed with AIDS.

"The incorrect treatment of the issue distances people from health services, in particular the diagnosis of HIV, and it can affect their social relationships and quality of life," said Miguel Angel Barriga, director of the Corporación Red Somos of Colombia.

2. Inaccurate reporting can perpetuate stigma and foster discrimination.

Latin American media falsely characterize people living with HIV as “infecting others” when a more neutral, far less  stigmatizing term would be to say one “transmits HIV”. When reporters and bloggers use words such as “sick,” “contagious” or “carrier,” which are not appropriate by many standards, they legitimate the use of such words in everyday life. In so doing, reporters help create and maintain the status quo, where in many people avoid getting tested or treated for HIV out of fear of violence, mistreatment, or harassment.

"In the case of HIV, the inappropriate use of language conspires against the goal to eliminate stigma and discrimination," said Leandro Cahn, director of communication and institutional development at the Fundación Huésped in Argentina.

3. Celebrity coverage can overshadow stories about people living with HIV.

Latin American media tends to focus its reporting on stories of celebrities who support, donate to or participate in HIV-related events or on celebrities who talk openly and honestly about their HIV status. These stories, while important, do not encapsulate the full range of topics that need to be discussed. The media would do well to include a diversity of stories about the current realities of HIV since the media represents one of the few places where everyday people in Latin America may hear about HIV. Other story ideas include HIV criminalization, the advent of treatment as prevention and PrEP.

"Talking about prevention and treatment can raise awareness among the population", said Alonso Castilla, a Telemundo Washington journalist.

Read more about this study here. For more about HRC’s work to end the HIV and AIDS epidemic, click here.

Author: Guest contributor
Posted: March 27, 2017, 2:27 pm

AP EXCLUSIVE THIS MORNING -  HB2 WILL COST NORTH CAROLINA $3.76 BILLION: In a jaw-dropping analysis published today, the AP reports that “despite Republican assurances” that the discriminatory HB2 law isn’t hurting North Carolina’s economy, it will cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years - and even that likely underestimates the damage. “Over the past year, North Carolina has suffered financial hits ranging from scuttled plans for a PayPal facility that would have added an estimated $2.66 billion to the state's economy to a canceled Ringo Starr concert that deprived a town's amphitheater of about $33,000 in revenue,” the AP’s Emery P. Dalesio (@EmeryDalesio) and Jonathan Drew (@JonLDrew) report. “The blows have landed in the state's biggest cities as well as towns surrounding its flagship university, and from the mountains to the coast.” The AP’s extensive analysis shows that the state could lose hundreds of millions more if lawmakers refuse to repeal the law, prompting the NCAA to pull championship events from the state through 2022. Read more about the AP’s analysis of the terrible cost of the anti-LGBTQ law The Associated Press.

  • ICYMI: The Washington Post’s Steven Petrow (@StevenPetrow) reviews the year of damage HB2 has caused North Carolina, and calls out attempts to “negotiate” on the issue when the lives of transgender North Carolinians are at risk. More from The Washington Post.

Jaw dropping @AP report: #HB2 to cost North Carolina $3.76 BILLION. #NCGA must act to fully repeal this hateful law.

— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) March 27, 2017

AHCA REPEAL DEFEATED ; THOUSANDS OF LGBTQ PEOPLE WILL RETAIN HEALTH CARE: On Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the American Health Care Act (AHCA) from consideration by the House of Representatives. The Congressional Budget Office projected that the legislation would result in 14 million Americans losing their health insurance by 2018, skyrocketing to 24 million by 2026. “Today is a win for the thousands of LGBTQ Americans who will retain live-saving health care under the Affordable Care Act. The Republican proposal would have ripped away care from millions of people, with a particularly devastating impact on low-income senior citizens, women, children, LGBTQ people, people living with HIV and others,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “This move is an example of the power of constituents and their stories, which weighed heavily on Members of Congress. Thankfully, Members did not turn their backs on the very people they represent.” The AHCA would have undermined core provisions of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a result of the ACA, thousands of low-income people living with HIV have been able to obtain health insurance through the Medicaid expansion. The AHCA’s drastic changes to Medicaid would have stripped these people, and other vulnerable populations, of essential healthcare coverage. More from HRC.

"We're not going to give up on destroying the healthcare system for the American people." --Paul Ryan (yes, really)

— Bob Cesca (@bobcesca_go) March 24, 2017

And HRC won’t stop fighting to protect it.

TRUMP APPOINTS RADICAL ANTI-LGBTQ ACTIVIST TO LEAD HHS CIVIL RIGHTS OFFICE: Last week President Trump quietly appointed anti-LGBTQ activist Roger Severino to lead the division charged with enforcing civil rights law at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). “I could not think of a more dangerous person to head up the Office of Civil Rights at HHS,” said JoDee Winterhof, Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs of HRC. “Once again, Donald Trump is declaring war against our community by appointing anti-LGBTQ people at all levels of his administration. Mr. Severino takes pride in being a stark opponent of the LGBTQ community and has made it clear that his number one priority is to vilify and degrade us. We will fight tooth and nail against any attempts to roll back civil rights including access to healthcare.” Until this week, Severino served as Director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society for the Heritage Foundation where he wrote scathing opinions on transgender issues, abortion rights, and gay marriage. He repeatedly denounced and worked to oppose OCR’s implementation of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which provides critical non-discrimination protections based on gender identity and sex stereotyping in federally-funded health programs. He also referred to the Obama Administration's guidance to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matched their gender identity as a “radical social experiment.” More from HRC, Pink News and Washington Blade.

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY: On Saturday, LeAnn Rimes was awarded the Ally for Equality Award at the HRC Nashville Equality Dinner for consistently speaking out for LGBTQ equality. At the event, she shared how her experience with illness spoke to a larger theme of having to hide who you are, saying, “This is so hard to say, once you hide a part of you, you start to hide all of you and I know you guys know that all too well,” she said. More from WRCB and News Channel 5.

TEXAS HOUSE SPEAKER ON ANTI-TRANS SB6 -- “COUNT ME AS A NO”: At an event at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus spoke out against SB6 -- a radical anti-transgender bill being considered by the Texas legislature, saying:“I oppose it … I’d never even heard about [this issue] until a year or two ago … Count me as a no.” SB 6 aims to make it illegal for transgender people in Texas to access facilities consistent with their gender identity and exposes Texas to tremendous risk of the kind of financial, legal, and political blowback that North Carolina has continued to reckon with after the passage of HB2.​ More from The Texas Observer.

BUSINESS LEADER TO SD GOV -- WE’LL TAKE OUR BUSINESS ELSEWHERE: In an open letter to South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, Randy Horton, the managing principal of 94 Westbound Consulting, noted he will be urging the businesses he consults with to stay out of the state because of its recently passed anti-LGBTQ law. Earlier this month, Daugaard shamefully signed into law SB 149, a bill that enshrines taxpayer-funded discrimination into state law by allowing state-funded adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ youth in their care and to reject qualified prospective LGBTQ adoptive or foster parents based on the agency’s purported religious beliefs. Read the full letter from Argus Leader.

In an open letter to @SDGovDaugaard, a business leader highlights the economic cost of discrimination.

— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) March 24, 2017

LIVING AT THE INTERSECTION OF BEING LGBTQ AND UNDOCUMENTED: The Williams Institute estimates that there are 267,000 undocumented LGBTQ adults living in the United States. Melissa Pandika (@MMPandika) and Diana Clock interviewed several community organizers and artists about being undocumented and queer. More from Fusion.

UKRAINIAN LGBT ADVOCATES VISIT HRC: Seven leading LGBTQ advocates from Ukraine visited HRC earlier this week to share their stories and learn about our work. The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation and Open World Leadership Center organized the program. More from HRC and Washington Blade.

SAMIRA WILEY AND LAUREN MORELLI MARRY: Over the weekend, Orange is the New Black star Samira Wiley and show writer Lauren Morelli married in Palm Springs. Wiley and Morelli are both HRC supporters; Wiley received the HRC Visibility Award in 2015. More from People.


NBC talks to Sean and Terry Torrington, founders of SlayTV, a network for the Black LGBTQ community… Vice explores the complicated experiences LGBTQ African refugees experience as they escape violence in their own countries only to be discriminated against in refugee camps… Teen Vogue profiles nine bisexual women making history…

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

Author: HRC staff
Posted: March 27, 2017, 2:25 pm

Submitted by Field Organizer Harry Hawkins

Earlier this month, HRC hosted its first Lobby Day at the Mississippi State Capitol for members and supporters to engage with their elected leaders around issues that affect the LGBTQ community in Mississippi.

After attending House and Senate convenings, our team hosted a bipartisan roundtable lunch with legislators to discuss LGBTQ issues in our state. We spoke about the ongoing legal battle surrounding anti-LGBTQ HB 1523, which passed in the 2016 legislative session. HB1523, deceptively titled “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,” enables almost any individual or organization to discriminate against LGBTQ Mississippians at work, at school and in their communities. Although the law has been blocked from implementation due to legal proceedings scheduled for next month at the Fifth Circuit, it continues to be a threat to the LGBTQ community until it is permanently eliminated. 

For many legislators, this was the first time to sit down with members of an LGBTQ advocacy organization. We hope that it won’t be the last, as HRC plans to continue these conversations with legislators and other elected leaders.

With continued engagement, we believe that these conversations will encourage legislators to make Mississippi a place where all people, no matter who they are or who they love, can feel safe and welcome.

Author: HRC staff
Posted: March 27, 2017, 1:00 pm

While the outcome in the 2016 Presidential race was devastating for many in the LGBTQ community, the election wasn’t all bad news. In down ballot races, the election proved that pro-equality women can still come out on top. Hillary Clinton didn’t break the highest and hardest glass ceiling, but four incredible women made history in their own right by winning U.S. Senate seats: Catherine Cortez Masto, Tammy Duckworth, Maggie Hassan and Kamala Harris.

This Women's History Month, we're honoring these female advocates who made U.S. Senate history: Cortez Masto is the country’s first-ever Latina senator; Duckworth is the first-ever Thai American senator, and the first woman senator to serve in a combat role in the U.S. Army; and Harris is the country’s first Indian American senator, and California’s first African American senator.

The 115th U.S. Senate has more women members than ever before -- a record-breaking 21 -- including Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, who is the nation's first openly-lesbian U.S. Senator.

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)

As Nevada’s Senator, Cortez Masto is committed to working with HRC to ensure that historic LGBTQ equality gains are protected and to fight LGBTQ discrimination. She has said, “It is outrageous that in 2016 people can still be at risk of losing their jobs in this country because of whom they love.. in the Senate I will focus on ensuring LGBT people are treated equally under the law by working to end discrimination.”

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

Seantor-Elect Tammy Duckworth has been a strong LGBTQ ally in the House of Representatives. Duckworth received a perfect score on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard for both of her terms in the House of Representatives. She is a cosponsor of the Equality Act and the Global Respect Act, which would provide a means to prevent individuals who violate the human rights of LGBTQ people from entry into the United States.

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the landmark marriage equality case, Obergefell v. Hodges, she said, “I am so proud that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of love, commitment and equality today. The LGBT community is entitled to the same rights afforded to everyone else and our nation has taken an enormous step towards being more fair and just.”

Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH)

Throughout her career, Maggie Hassan has fought for the rights of all citizens to participate fully in the civic and economic life of their communities. As a state senator, she worked tirelessly to achieve marriage equality, helping make New Hampshire one of the first states to pass legislation ensuring access to legal marriage for all. Last year, as Governor of New Hampshire, she took a bold and historic step by issuing an executive order extending vitally important non-discrimination protections to transgender people in New Hampshire with respect to government employment, contracts and programs.

.@SenatorHassan tells our @HRC board members that #LGBTQ rights are at the core of our country's values.

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) March 10, 2017

Hassan’s commitment to LGBTQ equality is illustrated in a digital ad HRC released in support of Hassan, “Raymond Braun Reflects on Why He Came Out to Maggie Hassan.” “I've known Maggie Hassan for more than 10 years,” Braun said, “and I've seen firsthand what a great champion she is for equality. Maggie was one of the first people I came out to, and I am honored to be able to share my experiences with the great people of New Hampshire.”

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)

As California Attorney General, Kamala Harris stood up for LGBTQ rights. She led the team that helped bring down California’s Proposition 8 at the U.S. Supreme Court, and in 2015, worked to  stop an abhorrent and unconstitutional proposed ballot initiative that could have criminalized same-sex relationships, potentially threatening those convicted with death. She advanced a robust platform for LGBTQ equality in her Senate campaign, fighting for LGBTQ youth, and vowing to work to include essential protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In 2014, Harris spoke at HRC’s Los Angeles Gala, where she shared her experience fighting for marriage equality in California and across the United States. She said, “Let us stand together on the side of fighting for justice and equality,” and called for LGBTQ equality, reproductive health rights, immigration reform and voting rights.

Despite the uphill climb for this congress to advance legislation protecting and defending the rights of the LGBTQ community, members of Congress plan to reintroduce the Equality Act during this legislative session -- proving that these remarkable women will continue to stand on the right side of history. 

Author: Brian McBride
Posted: March 26, 2017, 1:00 pm

This year for the season of Lent, HRC Foundation launched a campaign that aims to tell the stories of LGBTQ people of faith. The Lenten season marks the days which lead up to Jesus' crucifixion and subsequent resurrection.

For Christians, the resurrection is both a reminder and celebration of life, yet people continue to suffer, including members of the LGBTQ community.

“A central and inspiring part of my ministry has been working to make sure the institutional church -- and religion in general -- is affirming and inclusive of LGBTQ persons,” said the Reverend Dr. J. Edwin Bacon, author and reverend in the Episcopal Church. “I am a more joyful and faithful priest because of that part of my work.”

We hope the meditations offered every day from Ash Wednesday to Easter on April 16, will bless souls, revive spirits, renew minds and strengthen bodies. These stories will be hosted on the HRC website and on Twitter and Facebook.

The Lenten Devotional is a faith-filled resource that compiles meditations written by 47 faith leaders from across the United States. This project and other public education work with faith leaders in HRC Alabama, HRC Arkansas and HRC Mississippi is made possible in part by the generous support of the  E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

The culture we live in defines everybody.

And they define everybody for us.

They tell us what thoughts to think about people. They provoke the emotions we should feel about them. In many cases, society even dictates how we relate to them, live in relationship to them.

This includes us.

Elements of our being have been categorized as positive or negative by popular culture. Whether or not we want to be, we are exposed to society’s opinion of us. Some days there is ease in combating the tendency to believe those opinions because we know better. Then, there are those days where we question our worth and wonder, are they right?

What do you think? What is your opinion of yourself?

Deeper than that, what is God’s opinion of you?

The psalmist reminds us:

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my

mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully

made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My

frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,

intricately woven in the depths of the earth (Psalms 139:13-14).

These days, we are called to look ourselves in the mirror and make sure the loudest voice we hear is our own…reflecting God's love for us. We cannot forget that God values us. Therefore, we cannot misappropriate the value we have of ourselves either.

We must not equate our love of self with the way others devalue or look down upon us. Instead, it we must see God in ourselves and in one another and honor that in our interactions.

It is up to us to stand in solidarity with each other in a way that creates a new culture, a culture that has the potential to transform lives. We do that by radically loving one another no matter who we are, where we come from or what our situation is.

Let our love reflect God's love so that the virtue of our being promotes togetherness and healing.

God loves us all.

Let us love one another. 

To the immigrant who has been told "you don't belong here,"  you are God's creation, made with a purpose.

You will always belong. (Jeremiah 29:11)

To the LGBTQ community whose love and life have been invalidated.

You are a child of God, and God is love. (1 John 4:8)

To the indigenous peoples who have experienced disrespect, devastation and/or loss, God is your refuge. (Psalm 147:3)

To the poor often overlooked, God sees you, and God cares. (Matthew 10:30-31)

To the differently abled, people underestimate you. Don’t believe them. Focus on whatever you want and do it.

Knowing God is with you; you will succeed! (Philippians 4:13)

To women who have not been honored fully, God loves you and delights in everything you do and all that you are! (Isaiah 43:4a)

To the veteran who has fully known war but struggles to live in peace, God will be your strength! (2 Corinthians 12:9)

To native Africans, now known as African-Americans whose people continuously experience oppression, suppression and depression in many forms, redemption is yet at hand!  (Isaiah 41:10)

No matter what we've been through in our lives, let us never forget that we are loved, valued and cared for.  After all, we are STILL God's very own!

The Reverend Carissa Rodgers, Pastor

Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church

Little Rock, Arkansas

Author: HRC staff
Posted: March 26, 2017, 11:00 am

Nayyef Hrebid and Btoo Al Lami, who are slated to speak at HRC Foundation’s fourth annual Time to THRIVE Conference in April, have been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for their documentary film Out of Iraq, which aired on Logo TV in June 2016.

The documentary, which has been nominated for Daytime Emmy - Outstanding Special Class Special, features Hrebid and Al Lami, both of whom were enlisted in Iraq, Al Lami as an Iraqi soldier and Hrebid as a translator. After falling in love, the duo was forced to flee the country separately after being targeted for homosexuality.

“Through thousands of miles, they fight to stay connected and to be reunited,” Logo TV reads.

Hrebid and Al Lami will address the audience and bravely share their powerful and emotional journey at Time to THRIVE. The inspiring couple also appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show where they were presented with a surprise donation from Shutterfly and its “Celebrating Everyday heroes” campaign.

Other special guests at Time to THRIVE include Katie Couric, executive producer of National Geographic’s Gender Revolution, New York Times op-ed columnist Charles Blow and transgender youth advocate Jazz Jennings.

HRCF’s fourth annual Time to THRIVE Conference is the premier national convening of educators and youth-serving professionals to build awareness and cultural competency, learn current and emerging practices and gather resources from leading experts and national organizations in the field. Time to THRIVE will take place April 28-30 in Washington, D.C., with Toyota and AT&T as the presenting sponsors. Register now at

View the entire list of nominees for the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards here.

Author: Emily Roberts
Posted: March 24, 2017, 9:00 pm

HRC released the following statement after Speaker of the House Paul Ryan pulled the American Health Care Act (AHCA) from consideration by the House of Representatives. The Congressional Budget Office projected that the provisions of the legislation would result in 14 million Americans losing their health insurance by 2018, and skyrocketing to 24 million by 2026.

“Today is a win for the thousands of LGBTQ Americans who will retain life-saving health care under the Affordable Care Act. The Republican proposal would have ripped away care from millions of people, with a particularly devastating impact on low-income senior citizens, women, children, LGBTQ people, people living with HIV and others,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “This move is an example of the power of constituents and their stories, which weighed heavily on Members of Congress. Thankfully, Members did not turn their backs on the very people they represent.”

The AHCA would have undermined core provisions of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a result of the ACA, thousands of low-income people living with HIV have been able to obtain health insurance through the Medicaid expansion. This critical coverage ensures that people living with HIV have access to lifesaving treatments. The AHCA’s drastic changes to Medicaid would have stripped these people, and other vulnerable populations, of essential healthcare coverage.

The tax credit structure embedded in the proposed health care act would have left thousands of low-income individuals and families without coverage due to cost increases. Systemic discrimination of LGBTQ Americans has historically contributed to the community having some of the lowest rates of insurance coverage in the nation. This trend is reversing as a result of the Affordable Care Act. The LGBTQ community has benefitted from the ACA’s tax credit structure and the Medicaid expansion, and the rescission of both of these critical components would have had devastating consequences for a community already facing significant health care disparities.

Beyond repealing these key provisions of the ACA, the AHCA would have also cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which could jeopardize the ability of clinics to deliver preventive health services critical for the LGBTQ community, including HIV testing and transition-related care. The ACA’s public health and prevention fund, established to expand investments in the nation’s public health infrastructure, would also be repealed. Health centers, like those operated by Planned Parenthood, often offer the only culturally competent healthcare available, especially in rural and isolated areas.

In considering the ACA in 2009 and 2010, the House held 79 hearings over the course of a year, heard from 181 witnesses and accepted 121 amendments. The current House leadership moved this unacceptable repeal and replacement legislation through the House in a matter of weeks with no hearings or meaningful debate. The Senate adopted the ACA only after approximately 100 hearings, roundtables, walkthroughs and other meetings, and after 25 consecutive days in continuous session debating the bill.

Author: Stephen Peters
Posted: March 24, 2017, 8:50 pm

Last week, the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association, a leading Taiwanese LGBTI organization, partnered with Open Society Foundations to host a panel discussion on the marriage equality movement in Taiwan. If marriage equality legislation passes or one of several ongoing court cases succeeds, Taiwan could become the first place in Asia to have full marriage equality.

Jennifer Lu and Sean Sih-Cheng Du, senior staff at the Hotline, led the panel. Lu participated in HRC’s inaugural Global Innovative Advocacy Summit last year where she was able to present on her recent campaign for a seat in the Taiwanese Parliament and the importance of LGBTQ leaders becoming involved in politics and the political process. Sih-Cheng Du will attend this year’s Summit in April to discuss his innovative use of crowdfunding to advance the LGBTQ movement in Taiwan.

During the panel, Lu and Sih-Cheng Du provided an update on current legislation and various court cases related to marriage equality that are moving forward. They explained that while advocates have been fighting for marriage equality for the past three decades, the movement gained momentum recently following the death of a well-known openly gay professor, Jacques Picoux. The suspected suicide of Picoux, a man who had been denied inheritance rights to the property he shared with his late partner of 35 years, rallied the LGBTQ community of Taiwan and increased pressure on the government to move forward with marriage equality legislation.

Though same-sex couples can legally register their partnerships in 11 cities and counties in Taiwan, these partnerships lack many of the same rights afforded by marriage. Advocates are pushing for the proposed bill, which would amend the existing Civil Code, rather than adopting a separate policy which would provide equal benefits to same-sex couples.

In October 2016, legislators from three leading parties introduced parliamentary bills that would amend the Civil Code and legalize marriage equality. The bills passed the first reading in November and were combined into one version during committee review and revisions in December. A separate bill proposed at the same time also passed committee review and revision. There are two more readings before the bills can become law. It is likely that this process will continue after the release of the opinion of the Constitutional Court in May of this year.

Marriage equality is being considered in a number of ongoing court cases as well. One such case is being reviewed by the Constitutional Court, which is weighing whether or not it is unconstitutional to continue denying same-sex couples the right to marry.

Conservative groups, including Christian fundamentalists, have launched a campaign motivated by fear and hatred in a desperate attempt to halt the forward momentum of equality in Taiwan, but LGBTQ organizations like the Hotline are working to combat these negative campaigns based on misinformation. Both President Tsai Ing-wen and over 50 percent of Taiwanese people support marriage equality. Unlikely allies have recently made headlines, including an HSBC Taiwan CEO who agreed to walk his lesbian employee down the aisle after her father refused.  

HRC Global will continue to support Taiwanese LGBTQ activists and monitor the situation. We also look forward to welcoming Sih-Cheng Du and nearly 30 other activist to Washington, D.C. for our Global Summit in April.

Author: Ashley Fowler
Posted: March 24, 2017, 8:00 pm

Post submitted by Daniel G. Ball, Mississippi HRC Faith and Outreach Organizer

HRC Mississippi recently took part in Jackson station WPBQ’s morning talk show to discuss faith and religion. Jim Carstensen, who is also Chair of The Mississippi Religious Leadership Council, hosted the dialogue, which was titled, “Why Millennials are Leaving the Church.” 

According to the National Pew Review, millennials’ affiliation with organized religion has declined by more than 5 percent over the past year. I discussed how faith communities who advocate for anti-LGBTQ legislation and promote efforts to limit equal rights for diverse groups of people have an impact on how younger generations view organized religion. Though there are many other factors that have caused this decrease, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric from faith leaders and religiously affiliated organizations have a large impact on what drives people away from religion.

HRC Mississippi is very grateful to have had an opportunity of this magnitude to discuss the roles of our faith communities and ways in which they can stand up and speak out against social and civil injustices in order to gain the confidence and trust of millennials. HRC Mississippi would like to thank WPBQ for the opportunity to engage in dialogue around this issue. We are committed to continuing discussions such as these so that we can help build a state in which everyone feels welcomed and valued.

Author: HRC staff
Posted: March 24, 2017, 6:00 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
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Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 26, 2015, 11:16 pm