#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: October 24, 2016

COUNTDOWN and #TurnOUT: 15 days until Election Day and all eyes are on Florida where HRC is working throughout the state and in targeted districts — like those in Orlando. Nearly 566,000 LGBTQ voters call this crucial swing state home. For context, the margin of victory for Florida in the last presidential election was 74,309. Recent polling by CBS has Clinton leading by three points. More about the power of Florida’s LGBTQ vote here.

HRC RELEASES FLORIDA AD FEATURING PULSE SURVIVOR AS EARLY VOTING BEGINS IN SUNSHINE STATE: The new digital ad, “Ricardo,” released in both Spanish and English, features Ricardo Negron-Almodovar, an Orlando resident and survivor of the tragic June attack on the Pulse nightclub, who emphasizes the importance of voting to make real change. Today is the first day of in-person early voting in Florida. Ricardo, who will cast his first-ever vote in a presidential election this November, talks about what it means for him to participate in the political process: “You have to vote. Let your voice be heard. Every issue that we face has a root at the political level. We are a force to be reckoned with if we organize.” See the ad in English here, and the Spanish version here. In this longer version of the ad, Ricardo movingly shares the horror he experienced during the Pulse nightclub shooting that left 49 people dead and 53 wounded, and how it underscored the importance of political participation by Latinx and LGBTQ people.

#turnOUT IN THE SUNSHINE STATE: Ricardo is among Pulse survivors who joined HRC President Chad Griffin this morning in Orlando to kick off early voting in Florida.

  • Also today in Orlando, Griffin will meet with LGBTQ students and allies at University of Central Florida, stop by an HRC get-out-the-vote event with Florida State House candidate Carlos Guillermo Smith, and kick off an HRC phone bank for Hillary Clinton, Senate candidate Patrick Murphy and other pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot.

SHE’S GOT THE EYE OF THE TIGER — AND YOU’RE GOING TO HEAR HER ROAR (FOR HILLARY): Katy Perry was on hand Saturday at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas to help HRC volunteers kick off canvassing for Hillary Clinton. The pop superstar has been a vocal supporter of Hillary Clinton, performing at the Democratic National Convention earlier this year.

WATCH: NBC HIGHLIGHTS HOW OPPOSITION TO HB2 IS DRIVING EARLY VOTING IN NORTH CAROLINA: NBC’S Steve Patterson traveled to North Carolina to look at how the discriminatory HB2 was affecting turnout on the first day of early in-person voting in North Carolina. TurnOUT NC — a project of the Human Rights Campaign PAC and Equality North Carolina Action Fund PAC — is working to elect pro-equality candidates up and down the ticket in North Carolina. More here.

IN BLISTERING TAKEDOWN OF PAT MCCRORY, RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER ENDORSES ROY COOPER FOR NC GOVERNOR: In an no-holds-barred editorial on Saturday, The Raleigh News & Observer endorsed North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper for governor, asserting that he will “come to the governor’s office with something (Governor Pat) McCrory has never had: A clear set of goals.” Cooper, the editorial notes, “offers an abundance of what McCrory lacks. He has served in the legislature and led the Department of Justice for 15 years, he stands by his principles and he knows how to get things done in state government.” In an epic takedown, the N&O details McCrory’s “non-stop stumbles” as governor, culminating in his embrace of the discriminatory HB2 law, which is causing incalculable damage to the state’s economy and reputation. Just last week The Charlotte Observer also endorsed Cooper, noting that it was the first time in a quarter century it declined to back McCrory. Read the N&O endorsement here.

TRUMP OUTLINES A DANGEROUS AND GRIM FIRST 100 DAYS IN OFFICE: During a speech at the storied Gettysburg battleground — scene of President Abraham Lincoln’s historic address advocating for the end of slavery and unification of the nation — Trump threatened to use his presidency to silence the media, bring about Draconian immigration laws, and take legal action against women survivors of his predatory behavior. Not unlike a certain Russian dictator. Read more here.

MONDAY MUST WATCH: If you need an election season pick-me-up, check out this video of Noreen Elnady, an HRC and Equality NC field organizer who moved to North Carolina from Egypt when she was in high school. This weekend, she cast her first vote as an American citizen for Hillary Clinton, Roy Cooper and pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot. See her  “I’m about to vote for the first time” happy dance here.


@noreeniebeenie is an HRC and @equalitync Field Organizer who moved to North Carolina from Egypt when she was in high school. Yesterday she cast her first vote as an American citizen for @hillaryclinton, @roycoopernc and pro-#equality candidates up and down the ballot. Check out her “I’m about to vote for the first time” happy dance! “Going out there and early voting yesterday morning was incredible, not only because it was my first time voting, but also because I’m so invested in this election. Having my voice heard made it so much better! I’m supporting Hilary Clinton and other pro-#LGBTQ candidates because we need to send a message across the nation that equality is the only way to go, and if you are not with us on these important issues, then you will not be in office after this election!” – Noreen Elnady #turnOUT #gotv #imwithher #election2016 #vote

A video posted by Human Rights Campaign (@humanrightscampaign) on Oct 21, 2016 at 4:29pm PDT

BUZZFEED LAUNCHES SERIES ON TRANSGENDER RIGHTS IN THE U.S.: BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) opens the series with the stories behind legal progress for transgender people, including that of Mia Macy, who was initially told she could not bring a discrimination claim under Title VII’s sex discrimination prohibition because she is transgender. Her pursuit of justice, Geidner writes, changed the course of transgender history. Read the fascinating piece here.

KNOW YOUR HISTORY: LGBTQ history is often forgotten — or ignored — in today’s classrooms. But faculty at the University of Texas are trying to change that, working to incorporate LGBTQ history into their classes. More from Daily Texan.

THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY NEEDS BRIDGES — NOT WALLS: Donald Trump has created a campaign rooted in a terrifying vision of closed borders, stoked by Islamophobia and fear of refugees, and has been making ridiculous assertions that his plan will somehow protect LGBTQ people. However, many refugees are LGBTQ people seeking safe havens from places in the world that persecute, or execute, LGBTQ people. LGBTQ organizations have joined the fight to protect refugees. More from US News & World Report.

Business Insider reports that Norway will be the first country to offer PrEP free to its citizens… BuzzFeed shares a comedian’s take about being trans in the military… Advocate discusses interpersonal violence within the LGBTQ community… Wall Street Journal looks at New York City’s growing LGBTQ film festival…