#AM_Equality Tipsheet: December 21, 2016

TODAY AT 10 AM ET — NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO HOLD SPECIAL SESSION TO #REPEALHB2: Today, the North Carolina General Assembly will hold a special session where they are slated take up the repeal of the deeply discriminatory HB2, which targeted transgender people for discrimination in public schools and buildings, eliminated existing municiapl non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, and denied municipalities the ability to pass minimum wage ordinances. A broad range of voices have spoken out over the last 9 months about the need for HB2’s full and complete repeal. The economic fallout — including more than $600 million in lost business — has continued to grow as companies concerned with protecting their consumers and employees have moved conventions, trainings, operations, productions, and other events out of state. North Carolina polling released by HRC and Equality NC found that HB2 was the critical issue leading to Governor Pat McCrory’s defeat — the only incumbent governor from either party to lose on election day. The HRC and Equality NC survey of 500 North Carolina voters found them opposed to HB2 by a 62 to 30 percent margin. HB2 was also listed as the leading reason to vote against McCrory — with 57 percent citing HB2, 17 points above any other issue.More from HRC and The Associated Press.

As soon as HB2 was rammed into law in North Carolina, transgender advocates in the Tar Heel State were the first to condemn the discriminatory law. Tina Madison White, a member of HRC’s Board of Directors, used her voice to passionately speak out in the name of justice and against hate. Watch here.

TRUMP CONTINUES TO EXPLOIT PULSE MASSACRE TO SUPPORT ISLAMOPHOBIC VIEWS: On Friday, President-Elect Donald Trump again invoked the LGBTQ community to support his Islamophobic views. Reminder: LGBTQ people are also Muslim people, and Trump’s brand of nationalism harms LGBTQ people across races, religions and immigration statuses. Following the tragedy in Orlando, Trump bragged and congratulated himself, rather than offering sympathy or support for those who lost their loved ones. Just two months following the tragedy, Trump courted the votes of some of the most vehemently anti-LGBTQ pastors in America at a convening of anti-equality activists in Orlando. More from The Advocate.

WHAT WE’RE READING WEDNESDAY: Nathaniel Frank (@NFrankResearch) shares his biggest fear for Trump’s administration — LGBTQ people retreating back into the closet out of fear. He writes, “Now is the time to remind ourselves that there is no true liberty without insisting on the freedom to be, and express, who we really are.” Read the full piece from Vice.

MISSOURI COURT ORDERS NEW TRIAL FOR MAN SENTENCED FOR NOT DISCLOSING HIV STATUS: An appeals court in Missouri has granted a new trial to Michael Johnson, a 23-year-old Black gay man and former college wrestler, after he was sentenced to 30 years in prison under an outdated and discriminatory law that criminalizes people living with HIV for having sex without disclosing their status. These laws have little to no basis in modern science and fail to reflect what researchers do Qknow about preventing HIV.  Testing is critical to connecting people with the treatment they need and to preventing future transmission.  However, laws criminalizing people living with HIV — like the law in Missouri — serve as a chilling deterrent to testing. The White House Office of National AIDS Policy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization have all expressed concerns about laws criminalizing HIV transmission. More from BuzzFeed.

SLATE LAUNCHES SPECIAL ON LESBIAN ISSUES: Slate’s LGBTQ sidebar, Outward, has released a special issue focusing on lesbian issues. In its opening article, “What Does Lesbian Mean in 2016?,” author June Thomas (@JuneThomas) takes a personal journey through her own relationship with lesbian culture, and questions the direction of the culture in today’s world. More from Slate.

GEORGIA HOUSE MINORITY LEADER CALLS FOR STATEWIDE LGBTQ PROTECTIONS: State Rep. Stacey Abrams told WABE that she will fight to pass civil rights legislation that includes gender identity and sexual orientation , saying “[T]o refuse to take action when it comes to the LGBTQ community is dangerous and wrongheaded, and what it does is sends a signal that we do not believe that that community deserves the protection of our laws.” Listen to the full interview from WABE. [Comments begin at 22:40]

WHO INSPIRED US IN 2016: SURVIVORS OF PULSE NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING: On June 12, a horrific shooting at Pulse, an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, shook the nation to its core. Forty-nine innocent LGBTQ people and allies, mostly young and Latinx, were taken from their friends, families and our community far too soon. As we learned the names and stories of the 49 individuals who died in the tragedy, we also heard incredible stories about the heroes who helped save the lives of countless survivors of the attack. We heard about a war veteran who led dozens to safety, a man who silenced a fellow club-goer so the shooter would not hear her screams, and a mom who pushed her son out of harm’s way so that he would live. More on the inspiring lives of the Pulse survivors from HRC.


The Advocate profiles 21 LGBTQ Muslims who are changing the world… Minneapolis Star Tribune interviews a transgender advocate running for the Minneapolis City Council… Reuters highlights five global gains for the LGBTQ community… HRC reflects on the openly LGB Olympic athletes who made history in Rio this summer… Gay Star News shares heartwarming images of LGBTQ families preparing for the holidays…


A photo posted by Nick&Joi (@thejoiouslife) on Dec 9, 2016 at 5:49pm PST

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