#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: November 3, 2016

COUNTDOWN and #turnOUT: Five days until Election Day, and Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both campaigning today in North Carolina, a crucial battleground state in this election. One major topic for both candidates has been the state’s disastrous and discriminatory HB2. Hillary Clinton has come out strongly against the anti-LGBTQ law, supporting pro-equality candidates like Roy Cooper, who, if elected governor, would work to repeal HB2. Donald Trump, however, offered his full-throated endorsement of the NC law and has been campaigning with Pat McCrory, who, as governor, signed HB2 into law. The 255,000 LGBTQ voters in North Carolina are highly motivated in this race, as are countless pro-equality voters who see HB2 as discriminatory, wrong and damaging to North Carolina’s economy.

BREAKING: REP. JOHN LEWIS TO JOIN HRC AND EQUALITY NC VOLUNTEERS TODAY, SPOTLIGHTING VOTER SUPPRESSION IN N.C. AND ELECTION’S IMPACT ON EQUALITY: Following the NC NAACP lawsuit in response to several North Carolina counties improperly striking voters from the rolls, Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) will join an HRC and Equality NC phone bank at 3 p.m. ET today in North Carolina to address civil rights and this election. Lewis knows the struggle for equality first hand and has been a longtime, outspoken advocate for LGBTQ civil rights. Speaking about the election at the 2016 HRC National Dinner Lewis said, “There are forces in America today who want to take us back. But we’ve come too far and we made too much progress and we’re not going back, we are going forward.” If you are a member of the press interested in covering the event, please contact for more details.

  • Late Tuesday, the Justice Department joined the NC NAACP in registering deep concerns that North Carolina counties may be violating the National Voting Rights Act. Speaking to the allegations, HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow said, “We are deeply disturbed by reports of attempts to further suppress the votes of black voters in North Carolina. Governor McCrory shamefully backed a voter suppression law that was struck down in a federal court because it was racially discriminatory. The Supreme Court rejected his attempts to keep the discriminatory law on the books. This latest attempt by counties to strike voters in predominantly African-American neighborhoods from the ballot compromises the fundamental principles of our democracy.  We applaud the NC NAACP and organizers who have worked tirelessly to ensure that every voter has their constitutional right to cast a vote this election.”

JUDY SHEPARD WARNS OF TERRIFYING CONSEQUENCES OF REMAINING SILENT AND COMPLACENT: Judy Shepard (@WyoJudyShepard), Matthew Shepard’s mother and a longtime member of HRC Foundation Board of Directors, spoke with The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) about her fears of a world fueled by hatred. Since her son’s brutal murder in 1998, Shepard has dedicated her life to combatting hatred. Recently, before honoring Capehart with the Matthew Shepard Foundation’s “Making a Difference” award, she linked the recent rise in hate crimes with  “the incivility of what’s going on in our political scene in the past few months.” As Capehart writes, “What’s going on in our political scene is a Republican presidential nominee who has run a racist, xenophobic, misogynistic and otherwise intolerant campaign for the White House.”  Donald Trump’s  rhetoric and policies threaten nearly every marginalized group, and panders to White nationalists. As Judy Shepard forcefully reminds, this fueling of hate is not without consequences. And this election, Capehart writes, is about who we are as a nation. More from The Washington Post.

  • In a video ad released by Priorities USA and HRC, Shepard warns of the consequences of Donald Trump’s hate-filled campaign.
  • Judy Shepard also penned a powerful joint op-ed with HRC President Chad Griffin encouraging the LGBTQ community to vote for those, like Matthew Shepard, who have been lost to hate, and those still suffering.

NC SEN. BURR BRAGS ABOUT NOT DOING HIS JOB: Today marks day 231 since the U.S. Senate received Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Yet North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, who will be facing voters next Tuesday, asserted yesterday that he has no intention of doing his job if he returns to the Senate. Burr says that “if Hillary becomes president, I’m going to do everything I can do to make sure that four years from now, we’re still going to have an opening on the Supreme Court.” HRC has endorsed Deborah Ross, Burr’s opponent, for his Senate seat — a public servant who will do her job. Burr’s shameful, obstructionist promise to subvert the U.S. judicial system by creating the longest U.S. Supreme Court vacancy in the nation’s history hits at the very core of our Republic. Burr’s boasting about the negligent politicizing of our nation’s justice system? Disgusting. More from HRC.

BLACK MISSISSIPPI CHURCH SET ON FIRE, VANDALIZED WITH PRO-TRUMP MESSAGING: The main sanctuary of the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Miss., was broken into and damaged by fire late Tuesday. “Vote Trump” was also spray-painted on the side of the church. The FBI told The Clarion-Ledger newspaper that it is is investigating to “determine if any civil rights crimes were committed.”

UNIQUE CHALLENGES FOR LGBTQ PEOPLE RECEIVING HEALTHCARE, OR CARING FOR OTHERS: Caring for a loved one is difficult and heartbreaking work no matter who you are. But the difficulty is exacerbated when a caregiver or a person receiving care is LGBTQ and working with healthcare professionals who lack knowledge about LGBTQ people, or perhaps even discriminate against them. Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act codified existing informal guidance from HHS interpreting this new provision to include protections from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sex stereotyping — including transgender individuals and people of non-binary genders. U.S. News and World Report shares the unique perspectives of five people who have been in this situation, including HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride). She cared for her husband during his battle with cancer that, tragically, ended his life. Read Sarah’s story and others here.

  • As many LGBTQ baby boomers seek health care as they age, they are forced to go back into the closet after fighting for decades for the rights they deserve. More from Valley Public Radio.

BURGLARIES AT CALIFORNIA LGBTQ CENTER INVESTIGATED AS HATE CRIME: The Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa has been broken into four times in the past two weeks, with thieves making away with computers, cash and credit cards, and scrawling homophobic slurs on the building. Police are treating the burglary as a hate crime. More from The Associated Press.

DANGEROUS AND DEBUNKED, NO MATTER WHAT YOU CALL IT: Zack Ford (@ZackFord) writes about a new gambit being employed by practitioners of the debunked practice of “conversion therapy” — just call it something else! A group going by the preposterous name “Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity,” has re-labeled the dangerous practice “Sexual Attraction Fluidity Exploration in Therapy,” or SAFE-T. Get it? Ford notes that it’s just the latest re-naming of practices falsely promoted as able to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and often used to target vulnerable youth. Read more here. HRC exposes the lies and dangers of so-called “conversion therapy” here.

HRC MOURNS LOSS OF TRANS WOMAN KILLED IN RUSSIA: HRC was saddened to learn of the brutal murder of Raina Aliev, a 25-year-old transgender woman whose mutilated body was recently found in the North Caucasus region of Russia. Aliev, killed only days after her wedding, faced severe backlash from her family. According to Daily Mail, her father called for her murder on a local television station.

HEARTBREAKING — LGBTQ UGANDANS TORTURED TO “PROVE” HOMOSEXUALITY: Uganda is one of 36 countries in Africa where same-sex sexual activity is illegal, and Human Rights Watch has evidence that the government uses forced anal examinations to substantiate claims. Reuters reporter Peter Lykke Lind (@PeterLind2) tells a heartbreaking story of a gay man in Uganda forced to endure this torturous “exam.” More from Reuters.


OutSports profiles the six openly LGBTQ athletes featured in OUT Magazine’s “OUT 100”… CBS New York details an anti-gay attack in Chelsea… The Proud Diplomat shares stories from openly LGBTQ diplomats and their families… Harvey Weinstein writes for Evening Standard about his efforts to bring justice to LGBTQ people punished in the United Kingdom for being who they are… 

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