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Recent blog articles published by the Human Rights Campaign 2020-05-29T12:47:00-04:00
Updated: 2 hours 55 min ago

#AM_Equality: June 4, 2020

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 10:10

HRC RESPONDS TO ADDITIONAL CHARGES IN GEORGE FLOYD CASE: “For nearly nine minutes, Derek Chauvin had his knee pressed into George Floyd’s neck, while two other officers kneeled on Floyd’s body and a fourth stood by and watched,” said HRC President Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid). “These new charges filed by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison are a step toward justice -- both for George Floyd and his family. In order to combat racism and police brutality, it is imperative that our justice system hold these officers accountable for their repulsive actions and inactions, but we will not rest until we see convictions and actions to prevent future injustice. We will not rest until police stop taking Black lives away from our communities. We will not rest until we dismantle white supremacy’s chokehold on us all. Every one of us must show up for the Floyd family and all who are fighting for a future free from oppression.” More from HRC

TONIGHT -- HRC JOINS MOBIFEST FOR THEIR FREE VIRTUAL FESTIVAL FOR LGBTQ COMMUNITIES OF COLOR: More from HRC

Black LGBTQ people need to be seen, need to be heard and need a space for community now more than ever.

We’re so proud to join @Mobi_NYC for their free wellness festival tomorrow night. https://t.co/JvgPdkB0NK

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) June 3, 2020

THANKFUL THURSDAY -- YESTERDAY, HRC PARTICIPATED IN A TWITTER CHAT ON MENTAL HEALTH IN THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY: More here and from HRC

We’re live with @MentalHealthAm, @TrevorProject and many others as we have an honest conversation about mental health in the LGBTQ community and how to connect people to life-changing resources. #b4stage4chat https://t.co/a1HzQvsfYv

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) June 3, 2020

HRC PRESS SECRETARY ELLIOTT KOZUCH (@ElliottKozuch) SPEAKS WITH THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB ON HOW REPORTERS CAN COVER PRIDE DURING COVID-19: Read the full interview here

HRC ENDORSES…

SEVERAL CANDIDATES SEEKING TO EXPAND THE PRO-EQUALITY MAJORITY IN THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: “HRC is proud to endorse these pro-equality champions for the U.S. House of Representatives,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “In order to achieve real and lasting change, we must not only reelect a pro-equality majority, but expand and build upon that majority and ensure that the People’s House reflects the diversity of our nation's people. These candidates represent that opportunity and we look forward to working with them to advance equality for LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities.” Read more from HRC

  • Endorsed candidates include: Joyce Elliott (AR-2); Hiral Tipirneni (AZ-6); Kai Kahele (HI-2); Rita Hart (IA-2); Marie Newman (IL-3); Betsy Dirksen Londrigan (IL-13); Christina Hale (IN-5); Dan Feehan (MN-1); Jill Schupp (MO-2); Deborah Ross (NC-2); Kathy Manning (NC-6); Jackie Gordon (NY-2); Eugene DePasquale (PA-10); Wendy Davis (TX-21); Sri Preston Kulkarni (TX-22); and Carolyn Long (WA-3).

KRISTEN BROWDE FOR NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY: “I have worked closely with Kristen Browde to make progressive change in New York for many years and have come to know what Westchester is learning: Kristen is a powerhouse who will fight for what she knows is right,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “From working to pass GENDA, to her work as the board president of the LGBT Bar Association, Kristen has made positive change for our community at critical moments.” Read more from HRC

GET CULTURED - Entertainment, arts and sports news!

BD WONG (@wongbd) AND AMAZIN LETHI (@amazinlethi) SPEAK WITH THE ADVOCATE ON BEING LGBTQ AND ASIAN AND SPEAKING OUT DURING COVID-19, PRIDE MONTH: Read the full interview here

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break!

CNN reports that they will co-host a town hall on racism with “Sesame Street”; USA Today shares LGBTQ-focused shows to watch this Pride month

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


Black Lives Matter

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 17:21

This spring has been a stark and gut-wrenching reminder that racism, and its strategic objective, white supremacy, is as defining a characteristic of the American experience as those ideals upon which we claim to hold our democracy -- justice, equality, liberty.

In just the past few weeks, we saw footage of a Black man, George Floyd, violently killed by the police while saying he can’t breathe and calling for his mother. We saw a video of a Black gay man, Christian Cooper, threatened by a white woman in Central Park. We received reports alleging that a Black transgender man, Tony McDade, was killed by police. And, we heard the audio of the 9-1-1 call Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend made after plainclothes Louisville police kicked down the door of their home and shot her eight times as she slept in her bed.

We as a nation are continuously traumatized by horrific incidents of abuse that all too often result in the deaths of Black people. And while these incidents are horrifying, we also know that so many go unrecorded, unreported and unseen. We know that when our Black trans siblings lose their lives to an epidemic of violence, the tragedies of their deaths -- the beauty and resilience of the lives they lived -- do not make anyone’s front page. And as Black people in this country, we know that the next victim could be our children, our siblings, our parents. To put it plainly -- as a Black man in America, I live with the knowledge every single day that the next victim could be me. 

This cannot continue. We must all demand answers, we must all demand accountability and we must all demand change. That means changing the systems and structures. That means examining the ways that we, each of us -- knowingly or unintentionally -- support these systems of white supremacy through our actions, inactions, complicity, and indifference. And that means ensuring that we don’t get stuck in our own outrage, but are moved to action.  

That’s why the Human Rights Campaign, along with a growing list of more than 500 LGBTQ and civil rights organizations, released an open letter condemning racist violence and calling for change. Many of these organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, have made progress in adopting intersectionality as a core value and have committed to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. But this moment requires that we go further -- that we make explicit commitments to embrace anti-racism and end white supremacy, not as necessary corollaries to our mission, but as integral to the objective of full equality for LGBTQ people.

        View this post on Instagram                  

As we witness systemic racism and police brutality continue to take Black lives, it's not enough to just adopt intersectionality as a value. We must embrace anti-racism and end white supremacy to reaffirm that Black lives matter and achieve full equality. . . . #BlackLivesMatter #LGBT #LGBTQ #HumanRightsCampaign

A post shared by Human Rights Campaign (@humanrightscampaign) on May 29, 2020 at 10:28am PDT

The LGBTQ community knows about the work of resisting police brutality and violence. We celebrate June as Pride Month, because it commemorates, in part, our resisting police harassment and brutality at Stonewall in New York City, and earlier in California, when such violence was common and expected. We remember it as a breakthrough moment when we refused to accept humiliation and fear as the price of living fully, freely, and authentically. 

We understand what it means to rise up and push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don’t matter. We join together again to say #BlackLivesMatter and commit ourselves to the action those words require.


Human Rights Campaign Responds to Additional Charges in George Floyd Case

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 16:32

The Human Rights Campaign responded to changes and additional charges regarding the George Floyd case, including the upgrading of charges against Officer Derek Chauvin to felony second-degree murder and new charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder against officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane.

“For nearly nine minutes, Derek Chauvin had his knee pressed into George Floyd’s neck, while two other officers kneeled on Floyd’s body and a fourth stood by and watched,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “These new charges filed by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison are a step toward justice — both for George Floyd and his family. In order to combat racism and police brutality, it is imperative that our justice system hold these officers accountable for their repulsive actions and inactions, but we will not rest until we see convictions and actions to prevent future injustice. We will not rest until police stop taking Black lives away from our communities. We will not rest until we dismantle white supremacy’s chokehold on us all. Every one of us must show up for the Floyd family and all who are fighting for a future free from oppression.”


Human Rights Campaign Makes Endorsements to Expand the Pro-Equality Majority in Congress

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 10:24

Today, the Human Rights Campaign announced the endorsement of several candidates seeking to expand the pro-equality majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The full list of endorsements can be found below.

“HRC is proud to endorse these pro-equality champions for the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “In order to achieve real and lasting change, we must not only reelect a pro-equality majority, but build upon that majority and ensure that the People’s House reflects the diversity of our nation's people. These candidates represent that opportunity and we look forward to working with them to advance equality for LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities.”

In 2018, HRC was proud to support dozens of pro-equality congressional challengers who explicitly laid out their pro-equality positions in detail and in public.  These candidates largely ran against anti-equality incumbents in districts won by Donald Trump in 2016, but they understood the power of LGBTQ and Equality Voters and knew that support for LGBTQ equality is an asset as opposed to a wedge issue.  As a result of that election, not only do we have a pro-equality U.S. House majority, but we have younger, more racially diverse, more female House membership than ever before.  And in 2019 the U.S. House made history by passing the Equality Act – crucial federal legislation that would finally guarantee explicit protections for LGBTQ people under our nation's existing civil rights laws – for the first time. Never before had a comprehensive LGBTQ non-discrimination bill passed a chamber of the U.S. Congress.

In 2020, the candidates HRC is endorsing today will expand the pro-equality majority, pass the Equality Act, ensure access to quality, affordable health care is protected and common sense gun safety legislation is considered, and advance voting rights.

In the 2018 midterms, HRC helped register more than 32,000 voters and recruited more than 4,200 volunteers, who worked over 8,500 shifts and clocked more than 30,000 volunteer hours. In the critical final four days of the campaign, HRC staff and volunteers in get-out-the-vote efforts alone knocked on more than 80,000 doors, and held 36,400 conversations with voters at their doors and by phone on behalf of our endorsed candidates. HRC's unprecedented grassroots mobilization worked to recruit volunteers, mobilize constituents, register voters and grow the organization's grassroots army in an all-out effort to pull the emergency brake on the hateful anti-LGBTQ agenda of the Trump-Pence administration and elect a Congress that would hold them accountable. In 2020, our engagement and mobilization efforts will only deepen. HRC will have at least 45 full-time staff in seven priority states (AZ, MI, NV, OH, PA, TX, and WI) and an additional 20 staff focused on a second tier of states and districts.

Candidates endorsed include:

  • Joyce Elliott (AR-2)
  • Hiral Tipirneni (AZ-6)
  • Kai Kahele (HI-2)
  • Rita Hart (IA-2)
  • Marie Newman (IL-3)
  • Betsy Dirksen Londrigan (IL-13)
  • Christina Hale (IN-5)
  • Dan Feehan (MN-1)
  • Jill Schupp (MO-2)
  • Deborah Ross (NC-2)
  • Kathy Manning (NC-6)
  • Jackie Gordon (NY-2)
  • Eugene DePasquale (PA-10)
  • Wendy Davis (TX-21)
  • Sri Preston Kulkarni (TX-22)
  • Carolyn Long (WA-3)

“My campaign is supported by a broad coalition made up of people of all backgrounds, sexual orientations, and gender identities,” said Joyce Elliott (AR-2). “We're working toward a common goal: cutting prescription drug costs, creating economic opportunity to recover from COVID-19, and ensuring dignified treatment for all under the law.”

“I’m honored to earn the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign,” said Hiral Tipirneni (AZ-6). “It is the inherent right of every human being to be treated with respect, dignity, and fairness. I will be proud to work alongside HRC to ensure equal treatment of our LGBTQ+ communities in the eyes of the law, in schools and the workplace, and in every other aspect of society. Today and every day, I stand with love.”

“Like my father, the late State Senator Gil Kahele, who fought hard for legalizing same-sex marriage and saw the successful passage of the Hawai‘i Marriage Equality Act in 2013, I believe all people are created equal, and discrimination of any kind must not be tolerated,” said Kai Kahele (HI-2). “Equality is engrained in the Native Hawaiian culture. Our LGBTQIA+ ancestors were fully embraced as an integral part of our communities and same-sex relationships were not only recognized but were part of the very fabric of Native Hawaiian society. While we have seen great strides toward equality for the LGBTQIA+ community in recent years, there is still much work to be done. I will strongly support the Equality Act as a member of the U.S. Congress.”

“I am grateful for the support of HRC,” said Rita Hart (IA-2). “Iowa has a proud history in the fight for equality and I look forward to working together to pass the Equality Act and ensure equal rights for all Iowans”

“I am proud to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign and to stand with them in the fight for equality, justice and the freedom to live and love freely,” said Marie Newman (IL-3). “In America, we value our freedom and the ability to pursue our dreams uninhibited. It's time that we guarantee that same freedom to all LGBTQ+ Americans by passing The Equality Act and securing protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. I am running for Congress to build an economy that works for everyone, and that means ensuring that every single American has a fair chance to succeed without fear of harrassment or discrimination."

“I am so proud to once again receive the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign and to join them in the fight for essential legislation like the Equality Act to ensure equal protection under the law,” said Betsy Dirksen Londrigan (IL-13).

“I'm honored to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign,” said Christina Hale (IN-5). “In Congress, I'll always stand as a fierce advocate for the LGBTQ community to ensure equality for all.”

“I am humbled to receive this endorsement, especially on this 50th anniversary of LGBTQIA+ Pride Month. HRC's commitment to, and advocacy for, civil rights is second to none,” said Dan Feehan (MN-1). “Throughout my time serving our country as a soldier, as a teacher, and as a policymaker at the Pentagon, ensuring equal rights for all people, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity is something I have fought tirelessly for. I will continue to be a champion and strong voice for equal treatment under the law when I get to Congress.”

“I've fought hard for equal rights for all Missourians, and I am proud to have the support of the Human Rights Campaign,” said Jill Schupp (MO-02). “Missourians deserve a representative who will stand up for them against discrimination wherever it arises. I will continue to protect the hard-fought gains we have made as a nation on LGBTQ equality, and will work towards those equality measures yet to be achieved.”

“I am honored to receive the Human Rights Campaign's endorsement,” said Deborah Ross (NC-2). “As the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, HRC strives to achieve fundamental fairness and end discrimination. Together, we must continue to promote equality by protecting people of all identities. As an attorney, civil rights advocate, and state legislator, I have spent my career fighting for equality, justice, and progress, and opposed laws that would take our state backward, including North Carolina's Amendment One and HB2. I look forward to advocating for these issues in Congress so our LGBTQ community can safely and proudly be themselves.”

“I'm proud to earn the endorsement of Human Rights Campaign and to stand for equality for all,” said Kathy Manning (NC-6). “In Congress, I'll support the Equality Act, fight for affordable healthcare, common-sense gun safety legislation, and voting rights. It's long past time that federal non-discrimination standards be enacted to guarantee permanent protections for LGBTQ people.”

“I am proud to have the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign, and I look forward to standing side by side with them as we fight to build a more inclusive Long Island,” said Jackie Gordon (NY-2). “I will always be a strong voice for the LGBTQ community in Congress as we continue to work towards a more equitable nation.”

“Throughout my career as a public servant, I have used my platform to speak up for and defend the rights of LGBTQ Pennsylvanians because no one should be denied life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness because of who they are or who they love,” said Eugene DePasquale (PA-10). “South Central Pennsylvanians value and celebrate the diversity of our region. I look forward to continuing the fight for full equality for the LGBTQ community and I am proud to have the support of the Human Rights Campaign in this race.”

“I am thrilled to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, TX chapter,” said Wendy Davis (TX-21) “The phrase “we the people” in the constitution refers to ALL of us. That’s why in Congress I will be a champion for human and civil rights, using my voice to protect and empower the LGBTQIA community.”

“We're honored to have HRC endorse our campaign to bring true representation to TX-22 and look forward to working with them to ensure the issues of TX-22's LGBTQ community are being heard and addressed,” said Sri Preston Kulkarni (TX-22). “Our LGBTQ community has suffered from blatant discrimination and deserves basic legal protections to protect them from blatant discrimination. In Congress, I won't stand down until equality is guaranteed for all.”

“The focus of my campaign is about building a better, stronger, more inclusive future for everyone in our communities,” said Carolyn Long (WA-3). “I’m honored to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign in this run for Congress and I look forward to working together to fight for the rights and equality of LGBTQ Americans.”

 

  Paid for by Human RightsCampaign PAC (www.hrc.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.     

#AM_Equality: June 3, 2020

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 10:04

YESTERDAY, HRC PRESIDENT ALPHONSO DAVID (@AlphonsoDavid) JOINED CHEDDAR’S PRIDE 2020 SPECIAL TO DISCUSS PRIDE AND ANTI-RACISM: Watch the full interview here.

“People of color have historically lived in a state of oppression. People are now fortunately waking up to see this reality.”@HRC President @AlphonsoDavid discusses #Pride and anti-racism. #CheddarLive pic.twitter.com/JTdfXvKDBQ

— Cheddar�� (@cheddar) June 2, 2020

HRC PRESIDENT ALPHONSO DAVID SPEAKS TO THE ADVOCATE ON RACIAL JUSTICE AND LGBTQ EQUALITY: In a wide-ranging interview, David discussed racial justice, HRC’s work to vote Trump out of office and how to celebrate Pride this year. “Racial justice should be core and central to our mission,” said David. Read more from Trudy Ring at The Advocate, and check back for David’s full Inside With The Advocate video interview soon.

WHAT WE’LL BE WATCHING WEDNESDAY -- TONIGHT AT 6 P.M., HRC PRESIDENT ALPHONSO DAVID JOINS EQUALITY FLORIDA FOR AN LGBTQ #BLACKLIVESMATTER TOWN HALL: The virtual town hall is being hosted by Equality Florida, and comes as Pride Month begins and as the past several months have seen a rash of horrific incidents of racial violence and profiling in Minneapolis, Georgia, Louisville, New York City and more. RSVP to virtually attend the town hall here. HRC will also stream the event to its social channels (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube). More information is available here.

.@HRC President @AlphonsoDavid will join @equalityfl on Wednesday, June 3 for an LGBTQ #BlackLivesMatter town hall. Join him and fellow civil rights leaders as they discuss how the LGBTQ community can combat racial violence and white supremacy. ⤵️ https://t.co/Z4o6i71VLn

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) June 2, 2020

HRC RESPONDS TO ENACTMENT OF PUERTO RICO CIVIL CODE REVISIONS: HRC criticized leaders’ failure to explicitly include vital comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ residents, and condemned the legislature's amendment process, which was rushed through during a pandemic and did not allow sufficient opportunity for civic participation. “The government has failed to carry out its primary duty of ensuring the safety and well-being of all Puerto Ricans, including LGBTQ Puerto Ricans,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “This year, there has been an alarming uptick in killings of LGBTQ people on the island. The government should be doubling down on passing legal protections for the LGBTQ community and sending a clear message that LGBTQ people’s lives are worthy of equal dignity and respect.” Read more from HRC in English and Español, and from the Washington Blade and El Nuevo Día.

  • HRC has also been speaking out in response to the recent dramatic uptick in violent killings of LGBTQ people in Puerto Rico, and David gave remarks at a televised virtual vigil last month that honored the lives of 10 LGBTQ people who have been killed in the past 15 months in Puerto Rico.

HRC RELIGION & FAITH PROGRAM DIRECTOR MICHAEL VAZQUEZ ON TRUMP’S USE OF RELIGIOUS SITES AS POLITICAL TOOLS: “I was on the front lines when Donald Trump ordered the police to attack peaceful protesters last night in Washington D.C., all for a staged photo op in front of St. John’s Church. As a protester, advocate and theologian, it was the most horrific experience of my life,” said Vazquez (@mvsebastian). “Religion is not a political tool for tyranny but a medium for advancing justice, liberation, and equity. The Gospel of Luke records Mary, mother of God, singing that God will bring down the mighty from their thrones -- that work of the Divine in the world is the work of facilitating justice. We will continue to advocate, resist, and fight for this country and the freedoms so many have died for -- in our cries as we protest in the streets, and in our voices that will be heard on Election Day.” Read more here.

  • HRC President Alphonso David also responded to Trump’s Rose Garden speech and police strike against peaceful protestors on Monday. Read more from HRC.

SUNDAY -- 14-YEAR-OLD HRC YOUTH AMBASSADOR TO HOST ‘PRIDE DRIVE’ IN BUFFALO GROVE, IL: On Sunday, June 7 at noon, HRC Youth Ambassador Molly Pinta and her fellow Buffalo Grove community members will celebrate LGBTQ pride from the safety of their yards and cars with a “Pride Drive.” Attendees are encouraged to visit the event in their car or to walk by wearing masks and practicing safe six feet social distancing. Please reach out if you’re interested in interviewing Molly and her family, or would like to receive photos of the event. Route information can be found here.

IN THE STATES

NYC-BASED THE OKRA PROJECT LAUNCHES TWO MENTAL HEALTH RECOVERY FUNDS FOR BLACK TRANS PEOPLE: The funds will be used to pay for therapy sessions for Black trans people. More from them..

GET CULTURED - Entertainment, arts and sports news!

WARNER BROTHERS MAKES JUST MERCY AVAILABLE FOR FREE ONLINE: More from Entertainment Weekly.

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

FRENCH OLYMPIC MEDALIST GUILLAUME CIZERON COMES OUT AS GAY: More from PinkNews.

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break!

USA Today covers ten books to read this Pride month; “Good Morning America” covers virtual Pride events taking place this month

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


Human Rights Campaign Endorses Kristen Browde for NY State Assembly

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 09:30

HRC announced the endorsement of Kristen Browde in her bid for New York’s ninety-third assembly district. 

Kristen Browde has spent decades as a TV journalist, lawyer and LGBTQ activist. She was a crucial member of the coalition to pass GENDA, New York’s comprehensive LGBTQ non-discrimination law.  She serves in key leadership posts as the board president of the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York and co-chair of the National Trans Bar Association. If elected, Browde would become New York’s first out transgender state legislator.

“I have worked closely with Kristen Browde to make progressive change in New York for many years and have come to know what Westchester is learning: Kristen is a powerhouse who will fight for what she knows is right,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “From working to pass GENDA, to her work as the board president of the LGBT Bar Association, Kristen has made positive change for our community at critical moments. The Human Rights Campaign is proud to endorse Kristen and look forward to working to ensure that New York has an accomplished advocate for the transgender community in the New York State Legislature.”

“I’m truly honored to have the support of the nation’s largest pro-equality organization, one that has been at the forefront of so many advances and one that has as its singular focus ensuring that true equality is achieved sooner rather than later,” said Kristen Browde. “Together we can – and will – continue the progress, no matter how the administration in Washington tries to block it.”

In the 2018 midterms, HRC helped register more than 32,000 voters and recruited more than 4,200 volunteers, who worked over 8,500 shifts and clocked more than 30,000 volunteer hours. In the critical final four days of the campaign, HRC staff and volunteers in get-out-the-vote efforts alone knocked on more than 80,000 doors, and held 36,400 conversations with voters at their doors and by phone on behalf of our endorsed candidates. HRC's unprecedented grassroots mobilization worked to recruit volunteers, mobilize constituents, register voters and grow the organization's grassroots army in an all-out effort to pull the emergency brake on the hateful anti-LGBTQ agenda of the Trump-Pence administration and elect a Congress that would hold them accountable. In 2020, our engagement and mobilization efforts will only deepen. HRC will have at least 45 full-time staff in seven priority states (Az, MI, NV, OH, PA, TX, and WI) and an additional 20 staff focused on a second tier of states and districts.

 

 Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC (www.hrc.org) and not authorized by any federal candidate or federal candidate’s committee.

Human Rights Campaign Responds to Enactment of Puerto Rico Civil Code Revisions

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 07:42

The Human Rights Campaign responded to the enactment of Puerto Rico’s revised civil code by criticizing leaders’ failure to explicitly include vital comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ residents. HRC also condemns the legislature's amendment process, which was rushed through during a pandemic and did not allow sufficient opportunity for civic participation.

“Puerto Rico’s governor signed into law significant revisions to the island’s civil codes that shamefully ignore the urgent calls of local advocates to explicitly include vital, comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ residents,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “The government has failed to carry out its primary duty of ensuring the safety and well-being of all Puerto Ricans, including LGBTQ Puerto Ricans. This year, there has been an alarming uptick in killings of LGBTQ people on the island. The government should be doubling down on passing legal protections for the LGBTQ community and sending a clear message that LGBTQ people’s lives are worthy of equal dignity and respect. Additionally, the legislature did not allow Puerto Ricans ample time to meaningfully participate in the democratic process by rushing it through during a pandemic. It is altogether disappointing, disrespectful and unacceptable.”


HRC responde a la promulgación de revisiones del Código Civil de Puerto Rico

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 07:05

La Campaña de Derechos Humanos respondió a la promulgación del código civil revisado de Puerto Rico criticando el fracaso de los líderes al excluir explícitamente protecciones integrales vitales de antidiscriminación para los residentes LGBTQ. HRC también condena el proceso de enmienda de la legislatura, que se precipitó durante una pandemia y no permitió la oportunidad suficiente para la participación cívica.

"El gobernador de Puerto Rico firmó importantes revisiones de los códigos civiles de la isla que ignoran vergonzosamente los llamados urgentes de los defensores locales para incluir explícitamente protecciones vitales y completas de antidiscriminación para los residentes LGBTQ", dijo el presidente de HRC, Alphonso David. "El gobierno no ha cumplido con su deber principal de garantizar la seguridad y el bienestar de todos los puertorriqueños, incluyendo los puertorriqueños LGBTQ. Este año, ha habido un incremento alarmante de asesinatos de personas LGBTQ en la isla. El gobierno debería estar duplicando las protecciones legales aprobadas para la comunidad LGBTQ y enviando una clara declaración de que la vida de las personas LGBTQ es digna de igual dignidad y respeto. Además, la legislatura no permitió a los puertorriqueños tiempo suficiente para participar significativamente en el proceso democrático, apresurándolo durante una pandemia. Es totalmente decepcionante, irrespetuoso e inaceptable".


#AM_Equality: June 2, 2020

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 10:12

HRC RESPONDS TO TRUMP’S ROSE GARDEN SPEECH & POLICE STRIKE AGAINST PEACEFUL PROTESTORS: Yesterday evening, moments before a Rose Garden speech, Trump dispatched heavily armed police and military forces against peaceful protestors. In response, HRC President Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) said, “What we heard from the Rose Garden tonight could have come from Bull Connor or George Wallace. Instead, they were the words of Donald Trump. As a reminder, Mr. President, we have a Constitution. We have the right to peacefully protest, even if it interferes with your photo op. We have the right to free speech, even if you don’t like it. We have the rule of law, even if you continue to try to thwart it and deny its application to all. We have the right to liberty and justice for all. You cannot silence us, Mr. President, because you don’t like the message or the speaker. This country is not governed by authoritarian rule, despite your best efforts. We are going to advocate and fight for our country and the freedoms our forebearers died for. You will hear us — tonight, tomorrow and on Election Day.” More from HRC

Our Constitution and our democracy are under attack. We have the right to peacefully protest. We have the right to free speech. You cannot silence us, @realdonaldtrump, because you don’t like our message or the messenger. We are stronger.

— Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) June 1, 2020

TOMORROW AT 6 P.M. -- HRC PRESIDENT ALPHONSO DAVID JOINS EQUALITY FLORIDA FOR AN LGBTQ #BLACKLIVESMATTER TOWN HALL: The virtual town hall is being hosted by Equality Florida. Additional speakers include Andrea Jenkins (@annapoetic), Minneapolis City Council Vice President; Michele Rayner (@micheleforfl), Civil Rights Attorney; Imani Rupert-Gordon (@ImaniRG), National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director; and Nadine Smith (@1NadineSmith), Equality Florida Executive Director. The town hall comes as Pride Month begins and as the past several months have seen a rash of horrific incidents of racial violence and profiling in Minneapolis, Georgia, Louisville, New York City and more. RSVP to virtually attend the town hall here

HRC RESPONDS TO TRUMP AND PENCE’S FAILURE TO RECOGNIZE PRIDE MONTH: While Trump and Pence acknowledged Global Coptic Day, they failed to recognize Pride Month. In response, HRC President Alphonso David said, “In a global pandemic and national crisis highlighting ongoing racial violence and police brutality across the country -- violence that particularly targets Black lives -- Trump and his administration have stoked division, hate and anger with continued attacks on LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants and other vulnerable communities. The first pride started with protest. LGBTQ people -- led in large part by transgender women of color -- resisted police brutality and violence at Stonewall, the Black Cat and Compton’s Cafeteria, among others. In this moment, we must unite like never before and take action, combat racism in all its forms and end white supremacy, not as necessary corollaries to our mission, but as integral to the objective of full equality.” 

TUESDAY TWEET -- ICYMI -- REP. SCHIFF HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR NON-DISCRIMINATORY BLOOD DONATION GUIDELINES: Yesterday, Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Deb Haaland (D-NM) and Katherine Clark (D-MA) introduced a resolution underscoring the need for policies governing blood and blood product donation to be grounded in science and based on individual risk factors. Said HRC President Alphonso David, “As the global pandemic wears on, we must continue to push the federal government to change this policy, which is not only discriminatory but undermines efforts to support and protect our communities.” Read more here and from HRC

Federal policy for donating blood should be based on science, not fear & bias. Thank you to these leaders for introducing this resolution calling for blood donation policies that are equitable & do not unfairly single out any group. https://t.co/8O8iNRnrGE

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) June 1, 2020

ICYMI -- HRC CLOSED OUT MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH WITH NEW RESOURCES FOR THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY: Read more from HRC

IN THE STATES

NEW STUDY SHOWS MARRIAGE EQUALITY HAS CONTRIBUTED $3.8 BILLION TO U.S. ECONOMY: More from LGBTQ Nation

GET CULTURED - Entertainment, arts and sports news!

VICE NEWS & SHOWTIME BRING TO LIGHT THE ADDITIONAL DIFFICULTIES FACED BY UNDOCUMENTED TRANSGENDER LATINX WOMEN DURING COVID-19: Read more and watch a clip from the episode from The Advocate

ACTOR MARCIA GAY HARDEN (@MGH_8) SPEAKS ON FIGHTING FOR LGBTQ EQUALITY: More from Variety

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

MALAYSIA LAUNCHES LANDMARK CASE TO CHALLENGE SAME-SEX RELATIONS BAN IN COUNTRY: More from Reuters and Business Times.

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break!

them. shares Out Now Live, a virtual Pride event featuring Hayley Kiyoko (@HayleyKiyoko), RuPaul Drag Race’s Shangela (@itsSHANGELA) and more; Glassdoor shares how orgs are celebrating Pride virtually this month; Hulu’s Love, Victor announces it will stream all episodes starting June 19

LGBTQ youth deserve to see themselves and their stories on screens of all sizes. �� We’re counting down the days until we can binge @LoveVictorHulu! #LoveVictor @Hulu https://t.co/tNWK6trA6p

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) May 27, 2020

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


HRC Responds to Trump’s Rose Garden Speech & Police Strike Against Peaceful Protestors

Mon, 06/01/2020 - 20:00

This evening, moments before a Rose Garden speech, Trump dispatched heavily armed police and military forces against peaceful protestors. In response, Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David issued the following statement:

“What we heard from the Rose Garden tonight could have come from Bull Connor or George Wallace. Instead, they were the words of Donald Trump. As a reminder, Mr. President, we have a Constitution. We have the right to peacefully protest, even if it interferes with your photo op. We have the right to free speech, even if you don’t like it. We have the rule of law, even if you continue to try to thwart it and deny its application to all. We have the right to liberty and justice for all.

“You cannot silence us, Mr. President, because you don’t like the message or the speaker. This country is not governed by authoritarian rule, despite your best efforts. We are going to advocate and fight for our country and the freedoms our forebearers died for. You will hear us — tonight, tomorrow and on Election Day.”


HRC President Alphonso David on the Launch of Pride Month and Anti-Racism

Mon, 06/01/2020 - 11:56

Today, Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David released the below video statement on the first day of Pride Month 2020, recognizing both the importance of celebrating Pride and reacting to the recent rash of racial violence. Click here to watch the full video and find a transcript below.

“Pride in our community means pride in our resilience -- and our resistance.

Pride started with protest. LGBTQ people -- led in large part by transgender women of color -- resisted police brutality and violence at flashpoints like Stonewall, the Black Cat, and Compton’s Cafeteria. We as a community refused to accept humiliation and fear as the price of living as our true selves. Our community understands what it means to rise up and push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don't matter.

All these years later, Black people and the most marginalized across this nation are still facing brutality, are still facing injustice, are still facing  indifference. Yes, we have won major victories in expanding civil rights for historically marginalized groups. But what good are civil rights without the freedom to enjoy them?

This moment requires that we make explicit commitments and take action to embrace anti-racism and end white supremacy, not as necessary corollaries to our mission, but as integral to the objective of full equality for LGBTQ people.

We know from the best legacies of our leaders then and now -- the LGBTQ luminaries and the footsoldiers for justice -- none of us will be free until all of us are free.

So as we celebrate Pride Month, let us carry the work forward with greater intentionality to affect change for all of us, not some of us. Because while we may not be able to celebrate Pride in person this year, there is nothing to stop us from taking action.

I want you to be proud.

I want you to be proud at work, at school, and in your communities.

I want you to be proud at the ballot box.

I want you to be proud -- and loud -- in demanding full equality, racial justice, gender justice, and the true liberation of all people.

I want you to be proud of all the change that you have helped achieve and all the beauty and possibility that our community holds.

Because of you, I believe a better world is possible, and I know we will get there, together. Happy Pride.”

As Pride Month begins, the past several months have seen a rash of horrific incidents of racial violence and profiling in Minneapolis, Georgia, Louisville, New York City and more. As an initial matter, HRC joined with more than 100 LGBTQ and civil rights organizations in authoring an open letter condemning the racist violence of the past few months, and committing to make anti-racism the core to their missions of full equality. HRC has also requested federal investigations into these incidents and endorsed a Congressional resolution condemning police violence and urging Congress to take immediate action to pass legislation that will address these systemic issues. 

We have also seen that the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately impacting the LGBTQ and other marginalized populations. HRC has released issue briefs showing that LGBTQ people are at higher risk of both the health and economic impact of the pandemic, with LGBTQ people of color at even higher risk:“The Lives and Livelihoods of Many in the LGBTQ Community are at Risk Amidst COVID-19 Crisis,” “The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ Community” and “The Impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQ Communities of Color.”

In order to help the LGBTQ community and its allies celebrate Pride Month in this moment, HRC is today officially launching its #PrideInside toolkit, a series of resources to help HRC members, the LGBTQ community and its allies celebrate Pride. The toolkit, which can be found at HRC.org/pride, will help people celebrate as they attend local virtual Pride events being held across the country, ensuring that LGBTQ people still feel a sense of community even while socially distanced. It includes Pride playlists from Betty Who and Shea Diamond, virtual goodies to celebrate Pride remotely like Zoom backgrounds and HRC t-shirts for your Animal Crossing island, and videos and tutorials on how to make Pride crowns, pennants or boas at home.

To stay connected, please share your Pride photos and videos throughout June and this summer using the #PrideInside hashtag and visit www.HRC.org/pride.


#AM_Equality: June 1, 2020

Mon, 06/01/2020 - 11:25

HRC PRESIDENT ALPHONSO DAVID ON THE LAUNCH OF PRIDE MONTH AND ANTI-RACISM: “Pride started with protest. LGBTQ people -- led in large part by transgender women of color -- resisted police brutality and violence at flashpoints like Stonewall, the Black Cat and Compton’s Cafeteria. We as a community refused to accept humiliation and fear as the price of living as our true selves. Our community understands what it means to rise up and push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don't matter… So as we celebrate Pride Month, let us carry the work forward with greater intentionality to affect change for all of us, not some of us. Because while we may not be able to celebrate in person this year, there is nothing to stop us from taking action.” Watch here

  • In order to help the LGBTQ community and its allies celebrate Pride Month in this moment, HRC is today officially launching its #PrideInside toolkit, a series of resources to help HRC members, the LGBTQ community and its allies celebrate Pride. The toolkit can be found at HRC.org/pride

As we celebrate #PrideMonth, let us remember that Pride started as a protest. In this moment, we must take action to embrace anti-racism and end white supremacy, not as necessary corollaries to our mission, but as integral to the objective of full equality. pic.twitter.com/5bO6b5iT8J

— Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) June 1, 2020

HRC RESPONDS TO TRUMP ADMIN ATTACKING TRANSGENDER YOUTH: In a ruling issued May 15, 2020, but made public Thursday, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) ruled, in conflict with previous wide-spread interpretation of the law, that a Connecticut policy that allows transgender athletes to compete in sports that align with their gender identity violates Title IX. “The Trump-Pence administration’s latest decision to attack transgender athletes is unacceptable and offensive,” said HRC President Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid). “Transgender athletes have every right to play sports and participate in athletic activities in accordance with their gender identity.” More from HRC.

HRC MOURNS TONY MCDADE, BLACK TRANS MAN KILLED IN FLORIDA: His death is believed to be the at least 12th violent death of a transgender or gender non-conforming person this year in the U.S. McDade was allegedly killed by police -- which could make it the third officer-involved shooting in just under two months involving the Tallahassee Police Department. “The Human Rights Campaign and the entire transgender and non-binary community demand accountability and answers for Tony’s death -- and countless violent deaths of trans people, Black people and, disproportionately, Black transgender people. While these deaths are visible due to recordings and social media, we know far too many go completely ignored,” said Tori Cooper, HRC director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative. More from HRC

MUST-WATCH MONDAY -- HRC PRESIDENT ALPHONSO DAVID ON MSNBC’S “MORNING JOE”: David joined the show this morning to discuss the beginning of Pride month, the rash of racial violence against Black and transgender people and HRC’s commitment to anti-racism. Watch here

HRC MOURNS THE LOSS OF DR. RON SIMMONS, LGBTQ ACADEMIC, ADVOCATE & PUBLIC HEALTH LEADER: “Dr. Ron Simmons was a leader who showed so many in our movement that the fight for full equality does not begin or end with one aspect of our lives, but requires us to support each other fully and holistically,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “Dr. Simmons made combating the HIV epidemic his life’s calling, and he was tireless in his efforts to demand justice and equity for Black and Brown communities who tragically continue to be the most impacted by HIV -- especially Black gay and bi+ men, and Black transgender women. We join Dr. Simmons’ loved ones in mourning, while we celebrate his invaluable legacy that will no doubt inspire and guide generations of activists and advocates to come.” More from HRC

HRC ENDORSES... 

U.S. HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER STENY HOYER: “Leader Hoyer is a true ally that our movement would be worse off without,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “His leadership and stewardship of pro-equality legislation like the Equality Act and repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ have made a true difference in the lives of LGBTQ people across America. We must work to ensure we not only maintain the pro-equality majority in the House but elect pro-equality partners in the Senate and White House to bring the change LGBTQ people need across this country.” More from HRC

U.S. HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP JIM CLYBURN: “Whip Clyburn has been a consistent ally for our community,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “As Whip, Congressman Clyburn has ensured the passage of pro-equality legislation, like the Equality Act, to provide crucial protections and rights for the LGBTQ community. The Human Rights Campaign is proud to endorse Whip Clyburn and look forward to working with him to protect and advance civil rights for all.” More from HRC

SARA STAPLETON BARRERA FOR TEXAS STATE SENATE: “Sara Stapleton Barrera is a true champion for the LGBTQ community,” said HRC Texas State Director Rebecca Marques (@RebeccaMarques). “By electing Sara, Texas-27 can turn the page and work toward giving more than 850,000 LGBTQ Texans the protections they deserve -- protections that 70% of Texans support." More from HRC

MORE THAN 100 CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS CALL ON HHS TO INCLUDE LGBTQ PEOPLE IN ITS DATA COLLECTION: More from HRC

More than 100 bicameral leaders are calling on HHS to include LGBTQ people in its data collection on the impact of COVID-19 on our nation.

Thank you @SenatorMenendez, @SenatorBaldwin and @RepRaulGrijalva for leading on this important effort. https://t.co/NBiMmP3KfN pic.twitter.com/KLSfs0cbpe

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) May 28, 2020

ICYMI -- NEW HRC FOUNDATION REPORT SHOWS CHILD WELFARE AGENCIES WORKING TOWARD FULLY INCLUSIVE CARE FOR LGBTQ YOUTH: More from August Free Press

  • Check out the report Change-Makers in Child Welfare 2020, highlighting All Children-All Families program’s partnership with 100 organizations across the country, working to improve the services they provide to LGBTQ youth.

DETROIT ARCHDIOCESE ENDS TIES WITH FORTUNATE FAMILIES, AN LGBTQ-AFFIRMING ORGANIZATION FOR FAMILIES & FRIENDS OF LGBTQ CATHOLICS: More from National Catholic Reporter.

IN THE STATES

TEXAS LAWMAKERS TO PUSH LGBTQ ANTI-DISCRIMINATION BILL IN UPCOMING SESSION: State legislators have announced plans to file a bill that would bar discrimination against LGBTQ Texans in housing, employment and public spaces. More from the Houston Chronicle

GET CULTURED - Entertainment, arts and sports news!

ACTOR AND PRODUCER EUGENE LEE YANG ON COMING TOGETHER AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH: “Like many Asian and Pacific Islanders (APIs) in the LGBTQ community, I am living at the intersection of two identities that experience senses of ‘otherness,’” said Yang (@EugeneLeeYang). “I’m constantly looking from the outside in at myself, unable to make sense of these sometimes at-odds parts of me.” More from HRC

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break!

Refinery29 highlights how LGBTQ activists are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic; Fast Company shares its first-ever list of LGBTQ women and non-binary innovators in business and tech

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


Human Rights Campaign Endorses House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn

Mon, 06/01/2020 - 07:00

The Human Rights Campaign announced the endorsement of House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn.

Last year, with the crucial support of House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, the U.S. House passed the Equality Act, historic and crucial federal legislation that would finally guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBTQ people under our nation's existing civil rights laws. But rather than giving LGBTQ people a fair shot, Sen. McConnell has blocked the bill from coming up for a vote. Reelecting a pro-equality House will be absolutely crucial to not only pass the Equality Act, but ensure access to quality, affordable health care is protected, common sense gun safety legislation can be considered and voting rights can be advanced.

“Whip Clyburn has been a consistent ally for our community,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “As Whip, Congressman Clyburn has ensured the passage of pro-equality legislation, like the Equality Act, to provide crucial protections and rights for the LGBTQ community. The Human Rights Campaign is proud to endorse Whip Clyburn and look forward to working with him to protect and advance civil rights for all.”

“Our nation’s vision is embodied in our Pledge of Allegiance with 'liberty and justice for all', and, for too long, that promise has not been realized by too many Americans," Congressman Clyburn said.  "It has been my mission in Congress to stand up for those who have been marginalized, disenfranchised and discriminated against because of their race, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.  I am honored to receive this endorsement and look forward to continuing my work with the Human Rights Campaign to make the vision of America accessible and applicable to all people."

In the 2018 midterms, HRC helped register more than 32,000 voters and recruited more than 4,200 volunteers, who worked over 8,500 shifts and clocked more than 30,000 volunteer hours. In the critical final four days of the campaign, HRC staff and volunteers in get-out-the-vote efforts alone knocked on more than 80,000 doors, and held 36,400 conversations with voters at their doors and by phone on behalf of our endorsed candidates. HRC's unprecedented grassroots mobilization worked to recruit volunteers, mobilize constituents, register voters and grow the organization's grassroots army in an all-out effort to pull the emergency brake on the hateful anti-LGBTQ agenda of the Trump-Pence administration and elect a Congress that would hold them accountable. In 2020, our engagement and mobilization efforts will only deepen.  HRC will have at least 45 full-time staff in seven priority states and an additional 20 staff focused on a second tier of states and districts.

 

 Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC (www.hrc.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. 

Human Rights Campaign Endorses House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer

Sat, 05/30/2020 - 12:36

HRC announced the endorsement of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. 

Last year, with the crucial support of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the U.S. House passed the Equality Act, historic and crucial federal legislation that would finally guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBTQ people under our nation's existing civil rights laws. But rather than giving LGBTQ people a fair shot, Sen. McConnell has blocked the bill from coming up for a vote. Reelecting a pro-equality House will be absolutely crucial to not only pass the Equality Act, but ensure access to quality, affordable health care is protected, common sense gun safety legislation can be considered and voting rights can be advanced.

“Leader Hoyer is a true ally that our movement would be worse off without,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “His leadership and stewardship of pro-equality legislation like the Equality Act and repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” have made a true difference in the lives of LGBTQ people across America. We must work to ensure we not only maintain the pro-equality majority in the House but elect pro-equality partners in the Senate and White House to bring the change LGBTQ people need across this country. The Human Rights Campaign is proud to endorse true champions of our community like Leader Hoyer and Whip Clyburn.”’

"I am honored to receive the Human Rights Campaign's endorsement," said Congressman Hoyer. "As we approach Pride Month, it's critically important that we continue working to achieve justice and equality for all Marylanders. I've been proud to work with the Human Rights Campaign for many years to end discrimination against LGBTQ Americans, and I look forward to our continued partnership as we keep fighting against the Trump Administration's hateful anti-LGBTQ policies." 

In the 2018 midterms, HRC helped register more than 32,000 voters and recruited more than 4,200 volunteers, who worked over 8,500 shifts and clocked more than 30,000 volunteer hours. In the critical final four days of the campaign, HRC staff and volunteers in get-out-the-vote efforts alone knocked on more than 80,000 doors, and held 36,400 conversations with voters at their doors and by phone on behalf of our endorsed candidates. HRC's unprecedented grassroots mobilization worked to recruit volunteers, mobilize constituents, register voters and grow the organization's grassroots army in an all-out effort to pull the emergency brake on the hateful anti-LGBTQ agenda of the Trump-Pence administration and elect a Congress that would hold them accountable. In 2020, our engagement and mobilization efforts will only deepen. HRC will have at least 45 full-time staff in seven priority states and an additional 20 staff focused on a second tier of states and districts.

 Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC (www.hrc.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.  

HRC Mourns the Loss of Dr. Ron Simmons, LGBTQ Academic, Advocate & Public Health Leader

Fri, 05/29/2020 - 15:51

Today, the Human Rights Campaign released the following statement in response to the passing of Dr. Ron Simmons.

“Dr. Ron Simmons was a leader who showed so many in our movement that the fight for full equality does not begin or end with one aspect of our lives, but requires us to support each other fully and holistically,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. “Dr. Simmons made combating the HIV epidemic his life’s calling, and he was tireless in his efforts to demand justice and equity for Black and Brown communities who tragically continue to be the most impacted by HIV -- especially Black gay and bi+ men, and Black transgender women. We join Dr. Simmons’ loved ones in mourning, while we celebrate his invaluable legacy that will no doubt inspire and guide generations of activists and advocates to come.”

“Dr. Simmons was a visionary who believed in training for leadership,” said Human Rights Campaign Director of HIV & Health Equity J. Maurice McCants-Pearsall. “He was single-handedly responsible for providing many of the nation's leading HIV advocates with their first job. His leadership not only changed the lives of countless Black gay and bisexual men, but his vision transformed the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, D.C., by expanding access to vital HIV prevention and care services.”

In 1992, after a distinguished career at Howard University, Dr. Simmons joined Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc., as Executive Director. Along with the Board of Directors, Dr. Simmons transformed Us Helping Us into the first and only African American founded, community-based AIDS service organization for Black gay and bi+ men in Washington, D.C. After a long and productive career, Dr. Simmons retired from Us Helping Us in 2016.

In addition to his work on the front lines of the fight to end the HIV epidemic, Dr. Simmons was a storied author and scholar. Dr. Simmons’ published works include: “Some Thoughts on the Challenges Facing Black Gay Intellectuals” in Brother To Brother: New Writings By Black Gay Men; “Sexuality, Television and Death: A Black Gay Dialogue On Malcolm X” in Malcolm X: In Our Own Image; “Baraka’s Dilemma: To Be Or Not To Be” in Black Men on Race, Gender and Sexuality; “The Voice” in For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough; and “Joe, Essex, Marlon, and Me” in Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam’s Call.


The Human Rights Campaign and 75 LGBTQ Organizations Release Open Letter Condemning Racist Violence

Fri, 05/29/2020 - 12:47

Today, the Human Rights Campaign released a letter, joined by prominent LGBTQ and civil rights organizations, condemning racism, racist violence and police brutality while calling for action to combat these scourges. The letter is signed by 75 leaders of the nation’s most prominent LGBTQ and civil rights organizations.

The full list of signers can be found below and here.

“The racist violence that has filled our television, computer and phone screens this spring is a stark reminder of how far we still must go to ensure that the promise of America is not dependent on the color of one’s skin,” said Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “When we see injustice, we must speak out as strongly as we can. Otherwise, we are complicit in oppression. And we have seen a lot of injustice lately. From George Floyd, to Ahmaud Arbery, to Breonna Taylor, to Christian Cooper, to Nina Pop. The LGBTQ community is familiar with fighting against systems of power that are set up to serve the privileged few. And we are united to fight the systems that target our Black and brown siblings, today and always.”

The letter reads, in full:

LGBTQ Organizations Unite to Combat Racial Violence

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Those words, written over 30 years ago by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, remind us that indifference can never bridge the divide of hate. And, today, they should serve as a call to action to all of us, and to the Movement for LGBTQ equality.

This spring has been a stark and stinging reminder that racism, and its strategic objective, white supremacy, is as defining a characteristic of the American experience as those ideals upon which we claim to hold our democracy — justice, equality, liberty. 

  • We listened to the haunting pleas of George Floyd for the most basic of human needs — simply, breath — as a Minneapolis police officer kneeled with cruel indifference on his neck.
  • We felt the pain of Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend as he called 9-1-1 after plainclothes Louisville police kicked down the door of their home and shot her eight times as she slept in her bed.
  • We watched the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery by white vigilantes in Brunswick, GA, aware that they evaded the consequence of their actions until the video surfaced and sparked national outrage.
  • We saw the weaponizing of race by a white woman who pantomimed fear in calling the police on Christian Cooper, a Black gay man bird-watching in Central Park.
  • We have heard and read about the killings of transgender people -- Black transgender women in particular — with such regularity, it is no exaggeration to describe it as a epidemic of violence. This year alone, we have lost at least 12 members of our community: Dustin Parker, Neulisa Luciano Ruiz, Yampi Méndez Arocho, Monika Diamond, Lexi, Johanna Metzger, Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos, Layla Pelaez Sánchez, Penélope Díaz Ramírez, Nina Pop, Helle Jae O’Regan, and Tony McDade.

All of these incidents are stark reminders of why we must speak out when hate, violence, and systemic racism claim — too often with impunity — Black Lives.

The LGBTQ Movement’s work has earned significant victories in expanding the civil rights of LGBTQ people. But what good are civil rights without the freedom to enjoy them?

Many of our organizations have made progress in adopting intersectionality as a core value and have committed to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. But this moment requires that we go further — that we make explicit commitments to embrace anti-racism and end white supremacy, not as necessary corollaries to our mission, but as integral to the objective of full equality for LGBTQ people.

We, the undersigned, recognize we cannot remain neutral, nor will awareness substitute for action. The LGBTQ community knows about the work of resisting police brutality and violence. We celebrate June as Pride Month, because it commemorates, in part, our resisting police harassment and brutality at Stonewall in New York City, and earlier in California, when such violence was common and expected. We remember it as a breakthrough moment when we refused to accept humiliation and fear as the price of living fully, freely, and authentically.

We understand what it means to rise up and push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don't matter. Today, we join together again to say #BlackLivesMatter and commit ourselves to the action those words require.

Affirmations, Dave Garcia, Executive Director

AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Aisha N. Davis, Director of Policy

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director

Arkansas Transgender Equity Collaborative, Tonya Estell, Board of Directors

Campaign for Southern Equality, Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director

Cathedral Of Hope UCC, Rev. Dr. Neil G Thomas, Senior Pastor

Center on Halsted, Modesto Valle, CEO

Equality Arizona, Michael Soto, Executive Director

Equality California, Rick Chavez Zbur, Executive Director

Equality Delaware, Mark Purpura and Lisa Goodman, Board Chairs

Equality Federation, Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director

Equality Florida, Nadine Smith, Executive Director

Equality Illinois, Brian Johnson, CEO

Equality New Mexico, Adrian N. Carver, Executive Director

Equality New York, Amanda Babine, Executive Director

Equality North Carolina, Kendra R Johnson, Executive Director

Equality Ohio, Grant Stancliff, Communications Director

Equality Texas, Ricardo Martinez, CEO

Fair Wisconsin, Megin McDonell, Executive Director

Fairness Campaign, Tamara Russell, Board Member

Family Equality, Denise Brogan-Kator, Chief Policy Officer

Freedom for All Americans, Kasey Suffredini, CEO & National Campaign Director

FreeState Justice, Mark Procopio, Executive Director

Gay City: Seattle's LGBTQ Center, Fred Swanson, Executive Director

Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), Kelsey Louie, CEO

Georgia Equality, Jeff Graham, Executive Director

GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Janson Wu, Executive Director

GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality, Hector Vargas, Executive Director

GLSEN, Eliza Byard, Executive Director

GSAFE, Brian Juchems, Co-Director

Human Rights Campaign, Alphonso David, President

Immigration Equality, Aaron C. Morris, Executive Director

Ingersoll Gender Center, Karter Booher, Executive Director

Lambda Legal, Kevin Jennings, CEO

LGBT Community Center of the Desert, Mike Thompson, CEO

LGBT Life Center, Stacie Walls, CEO

Louisiana Trans Advocates, Peyton Rose Michelle, Director of Operations

Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, Tre'Andre Valentine, Executive Director

MassEquality, Tanya V. Neslusan, Executive Director

Movement Advancement Project, Ineke Mushovic, Executive Director

National Black Justice Coalition, David Johns, Executive Director

National Center for Lesbian Rights, Imani Rupert-Gordon, Executive Director

National Center for Transgender Equality, Mara Keisling, Executive Director

National LGBTQ Task Force, Rea Carey, Executive Director

NMAC, Paul Kawata, Executive Director

Oakland LGBTQ Community Center, Joe Hawkins, CEO 

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, Erin Uritus, CEO

One Colorado, Daniel Ramos, Executive Director

One Iowa, Courtney Reyes, Executive Director

OutFront Minnesota, Monica Meyer, Executive Director

OutNebraska, Abbi Swatsworth, Executive Director

Pacific Center for Human Growth, Michelle Gonzalez, Executive Director

PFLAG National, Brian K. Bond, Executive Director

PRC, Brett Andrews, CEO

Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County, Kiku Johnson, Executive Director

Resource Center, Cece Cox, CEO

Sacramento LGBT Community Center, David Heitstuman, CEO

San Francisco Community Health Center, Lance Toma, CEO

SF LGBT Center, Rebecca Rolfe, Executive Director 

SAGE, Michael Adams, CEO

San Diego LGBT Community Center, Cara Dessert, CEO

Silver State Equality, André C. Wade, State Director

Tennessee Equality Project, Chris Sanders, Executive Director

The Diversity Center, Sharon E Papo, Executive Director

The Gala Pride and Diversity Center, Michelle Call, Executive Director

The Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, Glennda Testone, Executive Director

The LGBTQ Center, Long Beach, Porter Gilberg, Executive Director

The LGBTQ Center, NYC, Reg Calcagno, Senior Director of Government Affairs

The Trevor Project, Amit Paley, CEO

Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT), Emmett Schelling, Executive Director

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), Andy Marra, Executive Director

TransOhio, James Knapp, Chair & Executive Director

Uptown Gay & Lesbian Alliance (UGLA), Carl Matthes, President

Wyoming Equality, Sara Burlingame, Executive Director


HRC Mourns Tony McDade, Black Trans Man Killed in Florida

Fri, 05/29/2020 - 11:23

The Human Rights Campaign is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Tony McDade, a Black transgender man killed in Tallahassee, Florida, on May 27. His death is believed to be the at least 12th violent death of a transgender or gender non-conforming person this year in the U.S. McDade was allegedly killed by police -- which could make it the third officer-involved shooting in just under two months involving the Tallahassee Police Department. According to reports, several people recorded the event, where you can hear one person scream: “Let’s go in peace. No need for anyone else to get hurt.”

McDade used the nickname “Tony the Tiger” with friends. He was a Gemini. His loved ones are mourning his death online, saying “You have such a big heart... Just your energy would lift my spirits.” Another friend said, “The bond that we all held from the #Feds2TheFree some people will never understand but when you tired you tired. I can only thank god for letting us hear your voice one last time and you saying you love us.”

“The Human Rights Campaign and the entire transgender and non-binary community demand accountability and answers for Tony’s death -- and countless violent deaths of trans people, Black people and, disproportionately, Black transgender people. While these deaths are visible due to recordings and social media, we know far too many go completely ignored,” said Tori Cooper, HRC director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative. “Black people, LGBTQ people, and especially all LGBTQ people of color are at greater risk for violence every day in this country. This must end. Our hearts are heavy as we mourn with Tony’s family and friends.”

On Wednesday, June 3 at 6 p.m. ET, HRC President Alphonso David will join Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith and others for a #BlackLivesMatter virtual town hall to discuss McDade’s death, the countless attacks on Black lives throughout the country -- and to call on supporters of LGBTQ civil rights to take action. Other panelists to be announced. The event will be streamed to Equality Florida’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel.

In an injustice compounding this tragedy, McDade was misgendered in some media reports. Anti-transgender stigma is exacerbated by callous or disrespectful treatment too often seen from media, law enforcement and our highest elected officials. In the pursuit of greater accuracy and respect, HRC offers guidelines for journalists and others who report on transgender people.

In November 2019, ahead of Transgender Day of Remembrance, HRC Foundation released “A National Epidemic: Fatal Anti-Transgender Violence in America in 2019,” a heartbreaking report honoring the trans people killed and detailing the contributing and motivating factors that lead to this tragic violence -- a toxic mix of transphobia, racism and misogyny. Sadly, 2019 saw at least 26 transgender or gender non-conforming people fatally shot or killed by other violent means. We say at least because too often these stories go unreported -- or misreported.

There are currently very few explicit federal legal protections for transgender or gender-expansive people. At the state level, transgender and gender non-conforming people in Florida are not explicitly protected in employment, housing or in public spaces. They are also not covered under the state’s hate crimes legislation. Nationally, despite some marginal gains in state and local policies that support and affirm transgender people, recent years have been marked by anti-LGBTQ attacks at all levels of government.

We must demand better from our elected officials and reject harmful anti-transgender legislation appearing at the local, state and federal levels because it is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color. The intersections of racism, transphobia, sexism, biphobia and homophobia conspire to deprive them of necessities to live and thrive.

This epidemic of violence that disproportionately targets transgender people of color -- particularly Black transgender women -- must cease.

For more information about HRC’s transgender justice work, visit hrc.org/Transgender.


HRC Responds to the Trump Administration’s Decision to Attack Transgender Youth

Thu, 05/28/2020 - 17:00

HRC responded to the Trump-Pence administration’s latest actions attacking transgender athletes. In a ruling issued May 15, 2020, but made public today, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) ruled, in conflict with previous wide-spread interpretation of the law, that a Connecticut policy that allows transgender athletes to compete in sports that align with their gender identity violates Title IX. It had previously been the position of OCR that transgender students were entitled to the full protections offered by Title IX, including participation in sports consistent with a student’s gender identity. This is the first public incidence of the Department of Education claiming that transgender inclusion violates Title IX. 

“The Trump-Pence administration’s latest decision to attack transgender athletes is unacceptable and offensive,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “Transgender athletes have every right to play sports and participate in athletic activities in accordance with their gender identity. Any suggestion otherwise is a blatant attempt to discriminate. Amid a global pandemic — which is already disproportionately affecting the LGBTQ community — the Trump administration continues to work overtime to undermine the rights of LGBTQ people. Shame on Trump and his administration. We will fight this policy and fight to elect a pro-equality President who represents all of us.”

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights determined that the Connecticut policy allowing transgender athletes to compete in sports that align with their gender identity violates Title IX, federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded educational programs and activities, including sports. OCR misgenders the transgender athletes throughout its ruling, and this ruling is one of several steps to take administrative action against the athletic association and schools involved, including that OCR may seek to withhold federal funding from the athletic association and schools over the policy. 

Earlier this year amid a global pandemic, Idaho Governor Brad Little prioritized and signed two discriminatory anti-transgender laws, commonly referred to as HB 500 and HB 509. HB 500 will bar transgender women and girls from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity.

HRC is grateful to the leadership of groups and advocates on the ground that have been fighting for LGBTQ-inclusive policies around the country, including the ACLU, which is representing trans athletes in Connecticut and Idaho.


Human Rights Campaign Endorses Sara Stapleton Barrera for Texas State Senate

Thu, 05/28/2020 - 13:11

Today, the Human Rights Campaign announced the endorsement of Sara Stapleton Barrera in her bid to unseat anti-equality lawmaker state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr.

As a constitutional lawyer, Sara Stapleton Barrera has been in the trenches defending those whose constitutional rights are violated. Stapleton Barrera has seen firsthand how the system is rigged against working families, women, immigrants, the LGBTQ community and other minorities. She has committed to voting against any anti-LGBTQ legislation and also supports proactive measures like statewide nondiscrimination protections – something her opponent has long refused to do. She also is committed to protecting reproductive rights, immigrant rights and public education.

“Sara Stapleton Barrera is a true champion for the LGBTQ community,” said Rebecca Marques, Texas State Director for the Human Rights Campaign. “Time and again, Sen. Eddie Lucio has dehumanized and attacked our community. By electing Sara, Texas-27 can turn the page and work toward giving more than 850,000 LGBTQ Texans the protections they deserve – protections that 70% of Texans support. Texas deserves better than Eddie Lucio."

"I'm honored to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, and joining their effort to bring about justice to the LGBTQ community,” said Sara Stapleton Barrera. “For too long politicians like Gregg Abbott, Dan Patrick, and Senator Lucio have targeted the LGBTQ community - pitting Texans against each other. As a result, the LGBTQ community has been at the receiving end of draconian policies that undermine their humanity, and put them at higher risk of hate crimes. I look forward in working alongside the Human Rights Campaign on anti-discrimination legislation to protect Texans all across the state. "

Texas state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. is one of the Texas Senate’s loudest anti-LGBTQ voices. He is referred to as “Dan Patrick’s favorite Democrat” often for standing by his anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice crusades. Years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled for marriage equality, Lucio still refers to it as “the end of the family.” During the fight around the so-called “bathroom bill,” Lucio played a key role in attacking activists, particularly transgender activists, who testified against the discriminatory bill.

In the closing weeks of the 2018 election, HRC had 17 staff on the ground organizing Equality Voters in  Texas. In the midterm elections, HRC members and supporters completed over 1,480 volunteer shifts. In the final four days of GOTV alone, our staff and volunteers knocked on over 11,300 doors. Members and supporters also sent over 52,000 text messages to voters in the final weeks with voting resources. Since 2018, we've helped over 1,500 Texans register to vote by mail, online, and at in-person events. HRC hosted 22 Equality Action Academy trainings to give HRC members and supporters the tools they need to take action locally in legislative advocacy and in support of pro-equality candidates.

In the 2018 midterms, HRC helped register more than 32,000 voters and recruited more than 4,200 volunteers, who worked over 8,500 shifts and clocked more than 30,000 volunteer hours. In the critical final four days of the campaign, HRC staff and volunteers in get-out-the-vote efforts alone knocked on more than 80,000 doors, and held 36,400 conversations with voters at their doors and by phone on behalf of our endorsed candidates. HRC's unprecedented grassroots mobilization worked to recruit volunteers, mobilize constituents, register voters and grow the organization's grassroots army in an all-out effort to pull the emergency brake on the hateful anti-LGBTQ agenda of the Trump-Pence administration and elect a Congress that would hold them accountable. In 2020, our engagement and mobilization efforts will only deepen.  HRC will have at least 45 full-time staff in seven priority states and an additional 20 staff focused on a second tier of states and districts.

 Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC (www.hrc.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.  

#AM_Equality: May 28, 2020

Thu, 05/28/2020 - 09:55

NEW REPORT SHOWS 40% INCREASE IN CHILD WELFARE AGENCIES WORKING WITH HRC FOUNDATION TOWARD FULLY LGBTQ-INCLUSIVE & AFFIRMING CARE: Today, HRC Foundation released Change-Makers in Child Welfare 2020 -- a report highlighting the Foundation’s All Children -- All Families (ACAF) program’s partnership with 100 organizations across the country working to improve the services they provide to the LGBTQ community, including children in foster care and prospective foster and adoptive parents. “Today, children in foster care are facing a national crisis on top of a personal crisis. Our work to end anti-LGBTQ discrimination in child welfare is more important than ever,” said HRC President Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid). “The organizations highlighted in this report are working with the Human Rights Campaign to ensure anti-LGBTQ bias does not get in the way of life-saving services for children and families.” More from HRC

THURSDAY FEATURE -- HRC MOURNS THE LOST OF LEGENDARY ADVOCATE LARRY KRAMER: “At the beginning of the HIV and AIDS crisis -- when thousands of LGBTQ people and people of color were dying -- Larry Kramer spoke up when our government was silent,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “Larry’s unending courage and tireless efforts helped awaken a nation to the urgent crisis of HIV and AIDS and brought us closer to a cure than ever before. Through his life and work, Larry Kramer inspired generations of advocates, many of whom are alive today because he dared to speak out and act up.” More from New York Daily News and HRC

Larry Kramer acted up, spoke out and awakened a nation to the urgent crisis of HIV&AIDS. As we mourn his loss, we must rededicate ourselves to finally ending the HIV&AIDS epidemic, which continues to largely impact people of color. https://t.co/lUCiURAmOb

— Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) May 27, 2020

HRC LAUNCHES VOTE EQUAL, VOTE SAFE INITIATIVE: “In the upcoming months, the Human Rights Campaign will work with leaders across the country to educate voters about how they can safely make their voices heard at the ballot box,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “The Vote Equal, Vote Safe initiative will build on our proven relationships across the country to advocate for the increased funding and new regulations needed to ensure safe and flexible voting options.” More from Washington Blade and HRC

HRC ENDORSES...

PRO-EQUALITY LEADERS ACROSS CALIFORNIA: “LGBTQ people are facing severe economic consequences from the ongoing pandemic, working with fewer protections and dealing with disproportionate consequences compared to non-LGBTQ workers,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “Now more than ever, we must work to ensure every American, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, has the opportunity to operate from a level playing field.” Read the full endorsement list from HRC

REP. DINA TITUS FOR RE-ELECTION: “Last year, Rep. Dina Titus, and the pro-equality majority made history -- passing federal protections for LGBTQ people for the first time,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “We must ensure we maintain the pro-equality House majority and reelecting a true-ally like Rep. Dina Titus is absolutely crucial to that.” More from HRC

STUDY SHOWS MORE THAN TWO-THIRDS OF THE MILITARY SUPPORTS TRANSGENDER SERVICEMEMBERS: More from LAist.

IN THE STATES

TENNESSEE HOUSE RETURNS, CONTINUES WORK TO ADVANCE ANTI-LGBTQ BILLS: More from WDEF and Out & About Nashville.

GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS

FRANCE ELECTS MARIE CAU AS ITS FIRST TRANSGENDER MAYOR: More from BBC and NBC

CANADIAN CITY BANS SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY” TO PROTECT LGBTQ YOUTH: Calgary is the latest Canadian municipality to ban so-called “conversion therapy,” but a federal ban on the discredited practice has yet to be debated in the House of Commons. More from HuffPost

READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break!

TV Guide shares nine LGBTQ shows to watch for Pride Month

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


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