#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: October 4, 2016

VP DEBATE PUTS LGBTQ RIGHTS FRONT AND CENTER: Ahead of tomorrow’svice presidential debate, HRC is spotlighting the stark contrast on LGBTQ equality between Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, who was widely criticized last year for signing a discriminatory anti-LGBTQ law in Indiana that harmed Hoosiers and cost his state millions. But Pence’s “license to discriminate” bill wasn’t the first time he targeted LGBTQ people with political attacks. Well before last year’s shameful anti-LGBTQ legislation cost Indiana more than $60 million, Pence established a track record that included opposing hate crimes legislation and the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and backing anti-LGBTQ activists. He even supported offsetting funding for HIV prevention with financing for the dangerous, debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” Meanwhile, Tim Kaine has advanced LGBTQ equality as Governor, Senator and now as a vice presidential candidate, pushing the most aggressive platform for LGBTQ equality in U.S. history. More from HRC.

  • What we’re watching — how faith guides the candidates: Gov. Pence uses a faith argument to deny the dignity and equality of LGBTQ people; Sen. Kaine talks about his faith as providing a path to embracing LGBTQ equality. More on the faith issue from The New York Times.

TUESDAY TWEETUP — #ASKTHEGAYS: Today at 7 p.m. ET, HRC is hosting a tweetup to tell Donald Trump’s notoriously anti-LGBTQ running mate Mike Pence what the LGBTQ community really thinks about the Trump-Pence record of discrimination. Follow and tweet along by using the hashtag #AskTheGays. Follow HRC’s #VPDebate coverage here.

AS SCOTUS RETURNS, “JUSTICE IS ON THE LINE” FOR LGBTQ PEOPLE: In an op/ed for NBC NewsHRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) writes about the central role the U.S. Supreme Court has played in advancing LGBTQ equality, and warns of the dangers of a Donald Trump presidency — including anti-LGBTQ nominees he would make to the high court. “There are many cases working their way through the federal courts right now that could have serious repercussions for LGBTQ equality,”Griffin writes. “Among these are cases that challenge whether gender identity and sexual orientation can be considered forms of sex discrimination, the application of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to non-discrimination laws, and the ability of states to strip away municipal LGBT non-discrimination laws.” The court could also hear soon the case of Gavin Grimm, a transgender student who filed a lawsuit against a Virginia school district for refusing to allow him to use the restroom consistent with his gender identity. “We must remember the central role the Supreme Court has played in advancing equality. And we must use that knowledge to work harder and dig deeper to elect Hillary Clinton as our next pro-equality champion in the White House,” Griffin writes. More here.

SHAME — TRUMP REFUSES TO SUPPORT TRANS TROOPS: At an event yesterday to discuss national security, Donald Trump refused to support the Obama Administration’s decision to finally end the discriminatory ban on transgender Americans serving openly in our military. When asked about transgender military service Trump said, “We’re going to get away from political correctness.” HRC Communications Director Jay Brown (@JayBrownHRC) had this response: “Allowing transgender people to serve their country isn’t about politics, it’s about extending them the respect and dignity every service member deserves. This is yet another example of the grave threat that Donald Trump and Mike Pence pose to LGBTQ Americans.” In addition to the United States, 18 other nations, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Israel, allow transgender people to serve openly in their militaries. More from HRC.

ICYMI — NY LOITERING LAWS TARGET TRANS WOMEN: In a sharp and insightful piece, New York Times writer Ginia Bellafante (@GiniaNYT) shines a bright light on a 40-year-old statute New York City police often use to target and arrest transgender women of color. She focuses on the experiences of Natasha Martin, who has been a victim of the law that allows police to arrest anyone thought to be loitering for the purpose of engaging in prostitution. Bellafante writes that the law, which the Legal Aid Society of New York is challenging, frequently targets racial minorities, the poor, and transgender women. More from The New York Times.

REMEMBERING TRANS ICON CHERYL COURTNEY-EVANS: Cheryl Courtney-Evans was a giant — not only in Atlanta’s transgender community, but across the nation. At HRC and other organizations, news of her passing early Sunday morning was met with both deep sadness and gratitude for all she’d done. Read HRC Director Ames Simmons’ touching tribute to Cheryl here.

CANADIAN ARCHBISHOP TO BLESS SAME-SEX UNIONS DESPITE CHURCH RULING: Anglican Church Archbishop Colin Johnson will defy the Anglican Church of Canada by blessing same-sex marriages, reports The Associated Press.

NEW STUDY — THE “BRINK OF AN HIV CURE”?: A new study conducted by a team of British scientists found that HIV reached undetectable levels in a participant who underwent an intensive treatment regimen designed to reduce the number of HIV-infected cells in the body. The scientists believe this approach could be the “brink of an HIV cure.” Others believe more proof is needed before such a claim can be made. More from NAM.

ISLE OF MAN POISED TO PARDON MEN CONVICTED OF SAME-SEX ACTIVITY: The Isle of Man, which introduced marriage equality earlier this year, will begin to pardon more than 49,000 men who were convicted of same-sex sexual activity in England and Wales in 1967. More from Pink News.

NBC discusses “leveling the economic playing field” for LGBTQ people… Marie J. Kuda, noted historian of Chicago LGBTQ culture, is remembered by the Chicago Sun-Times here… BuzzFeed profiles a young transgender girl and her journey to live authentically… South China Morning Postdiscusses the relationship between Japan’s businesses and the LGBTQ community… The Huffington Post takes a sneak peek at a new documentary about the lives of a family with a transgender parent… Steven Petrow (@StevenPetrow) writes in The Washington Post about the degrading experiences LGBTQ people often experience at the doctor’s office…