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HRC staff this week joined other advocates at the White House complex for the Obama administration’s second annual Bisexual Community Briefing. The event was held in conjunction with Bisexual Awareness Week, also known as #BiWeek, which culminated on Friday with Celebrate Bisexuality Day.

HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools Project Coordinator Charles Girard spoke on a panel about Bisexual, Pansexual, Fluid and Bi+ Communities, and HRC Membership Outreach Coordinator Laya Monarez spoke on a panel about Bisexual People of Color Communities. Other HRC staff, including, Helen Parshall, HRC Diversity & Inclusion Assistant, and Lisbeth M Meléndez Rivera, HRC Director of Latino/a and Catholic Initiatives, also attended.

“As a Latina Bisexual Transgender Woman I have faced a lot of oppression and discrimination,” Monarez said. “Being able to speak about these issues and be a part of such a strong community that was being celebrated at the White House felt very validating. My whole life I've been taught that my identities will keep me from success, yet I can now say I'm the first of my family to ever speak for my communities at the White House.”

As bisexual people continue to gain visibility and awareness, there are a variety of issues that plague their community. Compared to other groups in the LGBTQ community, bisexuals face striking rates of poor health outcomes, ranging from cancer and obesity to sexually transmitted infections to mental health problems. Additionally, bisexual youth face a unique set of challenges that affect their ability to flourish in their families, schools and communities.

“As a young bisexual woman, it was a privilege to be invited to the White House for this event,” Parshall said. “It was a celebration of the breadth of our community, an examination of the intersections of our identities, and a recommitment to continue to strive for greater inclusion. It was incredibly powerful to stand up in a room of bi+ identified activists​ across the generations​ and ​to ​share in the commitment to continue to grow this work and stand together at the intersections of oppression.”

President Obama’s legacy of progress for the LGBTQ community is unmatched in history. HRC applauds the White House for hosting the events and thanks the Obama Administration for including HRC in this vital conversation.


Author: Hayley Miller
Posted: September 28, 2016, 9:45 pm

This election year, everything we've fought for is on the line. We have seen so much progress for the LGBTQ community under the leadership of President Barack Obama, and it all could be reversed by a Donald Trump presidency. Trump has attacked, belittled and maligned anyone and everyone he considers different.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has made LGBTQ equality a cornerstone of her campaign, proving herself a champion for LGBTQ rights both at home and abroad. From military inclusion, to advocating for inclusive non-discrimination policies, to supporting transgender youth, to combating violence, it is clear that Hillary Clinton stands on the right side of history with HRC.

Here’s where the candidates stand on marriage equality:

Donald Trump has been a consistent opponent of marriage equality. He said that he opposed it because he was a “traditional” guy, choosing to support domestic partnership benefits instead. Trump later reversed himself and said he also opposed civil unions. Despite a brief flirtation with “evolving” in 2013, Trump has consistently maintained his opposition to marriage equality, sometimes by citing polling and making an analogy to his dislike of long golf putters. After the Supreme Court ruling, Trump said the court had made its decision and, although he disagreed with the ruling, he did not support a constitutional amendment that would allow states to re-ban marriage equality. He later said he would appoint Supreme Court judges who would be committed to overturning the ruling.

In 2013, Hillary Clinton announced her support for marriage equality in an exclusive video for the Human Rights Campaign.

“LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones – and they are full and equal citizens, and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage,” Clinton said in the video. “That’s why I support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law, embedded in a broader effort to advance equality and opportunity for LGBT Americans and for all Americans. […] To deny the opportunity to any of our daughters and sons solely on the basis of who they are and who they love is to deny them the chance to live up to their God given potential.” - Hillary Clinton

In 2004 and again in 2006, then-Senator Clinton voted against the discriminatory Federal Marriage Amendment. The following year, in response to California’s decision overturning Proposition 8, Clinton said LGBTQ couples should have the “same rights and responsibilities as all Americans.”

Hillary Clinton understands what is at stake in this election and has made it clear she is committed to appointing justices to the Supreme Court “who will protect the constitutional principles of liberty and equality for all, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or political viewpoint” and said that the Obergefell ruling “was a clear reminder of what any court can do: stand for equality or against it; make America a fairer place, or roll back the progress we’ve worked so hard to achieve.”

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. 

Author: Hayley Miller
Posted: September 28, 2016, 9:21 pm

Today, HRC held a public policy roundtable for corporate leaders engaged in supporting basic civil rights for LGBTQ people. These businesses lead the way on LGBTQ equality under the law through public engagement and support of basic civil rights protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity as well as through public opposition of anti-LGBTQ legislation.

Gathering at HRC’s office in Washington, D.C., representatives from government affairs, public policy and community relations of leading corporations heard firsthand from HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof as well as David Stacy, Director Government Affairs, Sarah Warbelow, Legal Director and Jeremy Pittman, Deputy Field Director. The HRC team reviewed the landscape of LGBTQ-related legislative matters including the Equality Act, current LGBTQ-related litigation and state legislative action anticipated for 2017.

Companies committed to full inclusion are driven by business imperatives to attract and retain top talent, fully engage LGBTQ workers and to have access to fair-minded consumers and investors. These leaders are active in opposing anti-LGBTQ legislation across the states. Currently, over 200 business leaders continue to call for the full repeal of North Carolina’s discriminatory House Bill 2 and earlier this year businesses were active in helping to defeat anti-LGBTQ legislation in Georgia and Missouri.

Attendees heard more about HRC’s growing Business Coalition for the Equality Act, a group of 84 leading U.S. employers that support the Equality Act, federal legislation that would provide the same basic protections to LGBTQ people as are provided to other protected groups under federal law. The Equality Act creates clear, consistent protections to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment ensuring that LGBTQ employees are hired, fired, and promoted based on their performance. In addition, the bill provides protections from discrimination for LGBTQ people in housing, credit and jury service. The bill would also prohibit discrimination in public accommodations and federal funding on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Through their thoughtful engagement on state legislation, support of LGBTQ-inclusive federal-level civil rights protections and commitment to LGBTQ inclusion around the globe, leading American businesses continue to communicate that LGBTQ diversity and inclusion is not only a sound business practice but truly a market imperative.


Author: Beck Bailey
Posted: September 28, 2016, 9:03 pm

This week marks Ally Week, which is an opportunity to amplify the conversation about how to be a better ally to LGBTQ youth.

Ally Week is organized by GLSEN, which describes allyship as being “about more than broadly supporting LGBTQ people; it's an active, ongoing process of advocating for LGBTQ youth (and other marginalized groups) without speaking for them or over them. During #AllyWeek, we challenge one another to think critically about what allyship means, how we are allies to others, and what kind of allies we seek out for ourselves.”

An ally is a term used to describe someone who is supportive of LGBTQ people. It encompasses non-LGBTQ allies as well as those within the LGBTQ community who support each other, e.g. a lesbian who is an ally to the bisexual community.

Ally Week focuses on LGBTQ youth, who are subject to pervasive discrimination, including harassment, bullying, intimidation and violence. According to Growing Up LGBT In America, HRC Foundation’s 2012 survey of more than 10,000 LGBTQ young people, LGBTQ youth in the U.S. still face unique challenges. Only half of LGBTQ youth surveyed say that they “fit in” in their community; LGBTQ youth are more than twice as likely to be verbally harassed at school; and 63 percent of LGBTQ youth say they will need to move to another part of the country to feel accepted.

GLSEN offers an action plan for how to be a better ally, and offers a guide for educators who are looking to support students during Ally Week.

HRC also has resources on how allies can help make the world more understanding and supportive for the LGBTQ community. Don’t miss out on An Ally’s Guide to Issues Facing LGBTQ Americans, Coming Out as a Supporter, and more.


Author: Hayley Miller
Posted: September 28, 2016, 7:39 pm

Post submitted by Dr. Denise Donnell, MDiv, Senior Faith Organizer, HRC Arkansas

Earlier this month, HRC Arkansas teamed up with Skillz Barbershop, which is located in the heart of the African-American community in Little Rock, Arkansas, to help get out the vote in support of LGBTQ equality this election season.

Gary Ellison, owner of Skillz Barbershop, worked with HRC Arkansas to conduct a two-tiered site campaign for three consecutive days to register people to vote and to create positive relationships and awareness within the LGBTQ and allied community.

So much is at stake for millions of LGBTQ Americans this year. The 2016 election will be critical for protecting the progress we've made on equality and continuing to promote pro-LGBTQ legislative priorities. Early voting begins in Arkansas on Monday, October 24, and to learn more about supporting LGBTQ equality this election season, visit www.hrc.org/VoteEquality.

Register to vote in minutes, regardless of your home state, at www.hrc.org/vote.


Author: HRC staff
Posted: September 28, 2016, 7:32 pm

Last week, HRC volunteers came together at a phone bank in Phoenix with HRC President Chad Griffin to mobilize voters for pro-equality candidates. Volunteers talked about HRC’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton for President, Ann Kirpatick for Senate and other pro-equality candidates.

The event was part of Griffin’s “Road for Equality” tour to #turnOUT the pro-equality vote in this year’s critical election. Griffin spoke to volunteers about HRC’s work to elect the most pro-equality ticket in history. He also discussed what’s at stake in this election and how HRC is working across the country to mobilize pro-equality voters in key races up and down the ballot.

HRC has aggressive plans to mobilize our members and supporters this fall and there is an important role for you in our effort. If you’re interested in being a part of HRC’s elections work in Arizona contact Alec Thomson at alec.thomson@hrc.org for more information.  

 

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. 

Author: Alec Thomson
Posted: September 28, 2016, 6:30 pm

Today, HRC joined with the Treatment Action Group (TAG) and the Fair Pricing Coalition (FPC) in launching #FairDrugPricesNow, a public education and outreach campaign to mobilize LGBTQ people and their allies to address the alarming rise of prescription drug prices in the United States.

The campaign launches as public debate and outrage is increasing around the costs of prescription drugs and the dire and sometimes deadly health consequences that can follow when vital medicines become too expensive for many patients who desperately need them. The centerpiece of the campaign is a video that lays out the unfair system of drug pricing in the United States and the disproportionate effect it has on LGBTQ people, those living with and affected by HIV, and, in particular, individuals at the intersection of those identities.

“No family should have to choose between paying for medicine or putting food on their table, but, more and more, patients and consumers are being priced out of lifesaving and necessary care,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC’s Senior Vice President for Programs, Research, and Training. “We are proud to join with the Treatment Action Group and Fair Pricing Coalition to mobilize our communities in support of common-sense reforms to ensure that every person can access the care they need to live and thrive. Our outrage at needlessly inflated drug prices must be channeled into calls for change and a desire for action that reflects the urgent reality faced by so many families.”

The #FairDrugPricesNow campaign is made possible with generous support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation

“Over the years, we have seen HIV and hepatitis drug prices rise to unsustainable levels. There have been numerous Congressional investigations and a comprehensive report issued by the Senate Finance Committee on this issue, but nothing has really changed to date,” said Lynda Dee, FPC Co-Chair. “Thus, there is a need to raise awareness and mobilize the LGBTQ community to address this continuing crisis. We have a long and successful history of self-education and activism. Now is the time to turn our attention to unsustainable drug pricing and price increases.”

"Rapidly escalating drug pricing trends cannot continue,” said Tim Horn, HIV Project Director of TAG and an FPC member. ”In 2016, federal spending on HIV and AIDS care and treatment will be in the ballpark of $26.4 billion. Our National HIV and AIDS Strategy aims to increase the percentage of people diagnosed with HIV who are on antiretroviral regimens and virally suppressed to at least 80 percent. Nationally, we’re only halfway there. If we’re to end HIV as an epidemic in the U.S., some things are going to need to change—runaway drug pricing being at the top of the list.”

The #FairDrugPricesNow campaign calls for several steps to combat rising prescription drug prices. They include increasing transparency by requiring drug companies to disclose pricing for government-funded programs including Medicare and Medicaid, and to reveal the actual cost of research and development of particular drugs.

Last fall, Martin Shkreli, then-CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, came under intense public scrutiny when his company increased the price of Daraprim, a crucial and often life-saving drug frequently used by people living with HIV and pregnant people, by more than 5000% overnight. HRC slammed Shkreli and called for a Congressional investigation into Turing’s price gouging.  Several other pharmaceutical companies have faced similar controversy, including Mylan for a recent six-fold price increase for its essential EpiPen.

To learn more about the #FairDrugPricesNow campaign, visit http://www.hrc.org/campaigns/fairdrugpricesnow.


Author: Sarah McBride
Posted: September 28, 2016, 6:05 pm

Through October 15, HRC will be recognizing National Hispanic Heritage Month, which celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Over the past several years, HRC has extended its reach to the Hispanic/Latinx community. While members of the LGBTQ community share much in common, it’s important to recognize the differences that shape our unique experiences.

The hub of HRC’s Hispanic/Latinx resources can be found at Being Latino/a & LGBTQ: An Introduction. There you can find links to HRC’s Spanish-language resources, including Guía de Recursos Para Salir Del Clóset and La Guía de Sexo Más Seguro. Our English-language resources, found on the same page, cover topics ranging from coming out to religion to youth.

Additionally, HRC’s A La Familia is a bilingual program promoting inclusion of LGBTQ people within communidades Latinas. It was created por comunidades Latinas, para comunidades Latinas, knowing that an effective conversation about LGBTQ inclusion must address faith. A La Familia fully engages faith and religion in a way that is both deeply respectful and theologically sound.

The horrific Orlando shooting at Pulse nightclub underscored the intersection of Hispanic/Latinx and LGBTQ community. The attack, which took 49 innocent lives, occurred during "La Noche Latina" and most of the victims were Latinx as well as LGBTQ.

Roxy Santiago, a volunteer at Orlando’s LGBTQ Center, spoke to HRC’s Equality Magazine about maintaining a dialogue between the LGBTQ and Latinx communities.

“We need to have more conversations, partner with each other at events and personally invite the Latinx community to our LGTBQ events. As Latinx, we are prone to socialize with other Latinx, to hold specifically Latin themed events,” she said. “But I also notice that most LGBTQ events are not held in communities known to be Latinx communities. Both sides will need to take steps to bring each other together — we owe it to the ones we lost and to the future children of America. The tragedy has brought people together from all backgrounds in support of the LGBTQ and Latinx communities. It has also created solidarity of love and support between the two. Together, we will be even more of a force to be reckoned with, when it comes to laws about equality, about our lives and who we love.”

HRC is committed to building and expanding our relationship with the Latinx community and working to address the challenges that they may face, including violence and harassment, language barriers and access, HIV and health inequity, and more. 


Author: Carolyn Simon
Posted: September 28, 2016, 5:30 pm

Updated September 28 at 3:30 P.M. EST: There was no decision in Roy Moore's trial today. A decision is expected within the next 10 days.

This post originally appeared on www.al.com

By Paul Hard, a licensed counselor and a counselor educator at AUM. He filed a lawsuit in Alabama seeking recognition for his marriage after the death of his husband. 

In the name of God, they mocked the death of a good man.

On August 8th in front of the Alabama Supreme Court, I was sharing my story about how I lost my husband in a tragic accident, and a group of Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore's supporters laughed at me. A man jeered, tauntingly, over my words: "you can't have a husband!" This heckler, who opposes my rights because he claims to be "Christian," was there to support Roy Moore, who from the highest court in the state has consistently tried to tell LGBTQ Alabamians the same thing: you can't be married; that's not for you.

This is not the first time my marriage was demeaned and belittled. And, this was not the first time that it was done so in the name of Roy Moore.

That hot August day, I had arrived at the courthouse steps with the Human Rights Campaign and other LGBTQ rights groups to witness Roy Moore's ethics trial. Moore was suspended from the bench this spring, after judicial ethics charges were brought against him due to his actions around marriage equality in Alabama. It was there that a group of Moore's most radical supporters – mostly holding aloft religious signs and preaching eternal damnation – had gathered. It was there that people preaching about the sanctity of life were denying the dignity of LGBTQ lives. These people were assembled to cheer on Roy Moore's discriminatory actions.

By now you know the story: since 2015, Moore has used every possible tactic available to him as the head of the Alabama Supreme Court in order to block marriage equality. He did it deliberately, he did it consistently and he did it because of his own personal agenda.

For proof of his radical agenda, look no further than the group he enlisted to help him fight his ethics charges: the Liberty Counsel. This group, headed by Mat Staver, has defended Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis and champions anti-LGBTQ discrimination around the world. It is infamous for fighting against the rights of people like me.

The rhetoric and legal tactics of people like Roy Moore and the Liberty Counsel can have disastrous real-world effects.

I legally married my late husband David Fancher in Massachusetts in 2011, but he was killed in an accident in Alabama just over two months later. Because my marriage was not recognized as valid in Alabama, I was not able to be recognized as a surviving spouse, and I was unable to collect damages from a wrongful death lawsuit because we were legal strangers according to Alabama law.

I was not recognized as David's surviving spouse until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a constitutional right to marriage for all. This ruling came four excruciating years after my late husband's death, and many months after U.S. District Judge Callie Granade ruled that Alabama must offer marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Throughout my struggle with recognition, the last person in Alabama holding up the recognition of my marriage was Roy Moore.

On August 8th, Moore and his supporters held a press conference following the conclusion of the hearing, which set another trial date for September 28th. As Moore, a man who has made my life more difficult, spoke, our group of LGBTQ Alabamians and allies waited quietly to say our piece.

As we began to hold our own press conference, Moore's supporters wandered over and began to shout us down: heckling, booing, laughing at us. These so-called Christians spewed venom at us, and did so in the name of God, and in the name of Roy Moore.

The God I know would not condone laughter at another man's pain, and He certainly wouldn't support cruelty in His name.

Today, September 28th, I will be at the Alabama Supreme Court again, to hear the final decision on Moore's fate. Moore's supporters will likely be there, too, but if there's one thing I've learned in the last five years, it's to not back down from a bully who says I am anything less than equal.

Roy Moore has used his position of power to bully LGBTQ Alabamians. His words have emboldened his fanatical supporters, and his actions have harmed those who he was sworn to protect. He is unethical, and unfit to serve our state. 

It's time for Roy Moore to be dismissed, and I'll be there to send him off.


Author: Guest contributor
Posted: September 28, 2016, 4:20 pm

The OneOrlandoFund, established after the gun tragedy in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub took the lives of 49 innocent people, announced this week that it will begin distributing nearly $30 million to survivors of the June crime.  

The average age of the victims was 29, and almost every one of them was Latinx. They were  “brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors, husbands and wives. But above all, they were human beings,” HRC President Chad Griffin said yesterday in Orlando at the launch of the 2016 Vocal Majority Tour urging voters supporting commonsense gun violence prevention laws to vote in November..

Following the Pulse tragedy, the city of Orlando, Equality Florida and the LGBT Community Center of Central Florida established the OneOrlando Fund to help those affected by the deadly attack..

According to The Washington Post, the fund received donations from 150,000 individuals and companies in more than 120 countries.

“In total, $29.5 million was donated to the OneOrlando Fund,” the OneOrlando Fund reported. “Today, the Board approved the allocation of funds to 299 claimants in four categories – deceased, injured with hospitalization, injured with outpatient treatment and present inside Pulse.”

Additionally, LGBTQ leaders in Orlando came together to form The LGBTQ Alliance and partnered to create The Heal Orlando Project. HRC encourages everyone to visit http://healorlando.org/ to access support or lend a hand to Pulse survivors and victims’ families.

For too long, a toxic combination of anti-LGBTQ hate and easy access to guns has put LGBTQ people at disproportionate risk of violence and murder. The tragic killing of 49 innocent people on Latin Night at Pulse nightclub in Orlando — young lives taken solely because of who they were — has rocked our nation to its core. It’s time to stop the hate. Learn more here.


Author: Hayley Miller
Posted: September 28, 2016, 3:43 pm

Posts – LDS Family Fellowship

Family is Everytning

Fighting The LGBT Community’s Invisibility | In many ways, the history of the LGBT community is a history of battling invisibility. Since the dawn of time, society has tried to make us invisible. We gained strength as a community only by shedding that invisibility, coming out, and proudly saying who we are. Source: Fighting The […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 8, 2016, 3:10 am
Mama Dragons Try To Prevent Suicides Among Mormon-LGBT Children Source: Mama Dragons Try To Prevent Suicides Among Mormon-LGBT Children : NPR
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 8, 2016, 2:45 am
Is Utah’s youth suicide rate linked to Utah’s culture surrounding LGBT? BY HEIDI HATCH WEDNESDAY, JULY 6TH 2016   Is Utah’s youth suicide rate linked to Utah’s religious culture surrounding LGBT? VIEW PHOTO GALLERY 8 photos 201 shares tweet now! (KUTV) The number one killer of Utah’s kids is suicide according to new numbers from […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 7, 2016, 2:32 am
 Is The Recent Rise In Utah Youth Suicides Really Such A Mystery? 07/05/2016 02:08 pm ET | Updated 1 day ago 390 Benjamin Knoll John Marshall Harlan Associate Professor of Politics, Centre College The Salt Lake Tribune recently reported that “Utah health officials are grappling with a rising youth suicide rate that’s nearly tripled since […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 7, 2016, 2:28 am
LGBT Pride Month Highlights Deepening Divide Between Mormon Leadership and Members Mitch Mayne | Posted 06.11.2016 | Queer Voices Read More: LGBT Mormons, LGBT Mormon Children, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mormons, Gay Mormons, Mitch Mayne Gay Mormon, LGBT Pride Month, LGBT Pride, Lgbt Pride Parade, Mexico Marriage Equality, Proposition 8, Queer […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 22, 2016, 4:42 am
Diversity: Pride in science The sciences can be a sanctuary for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, but biases may still discourage many from coming out. Source: Diversity: Pride in science : Nature News & Comment
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 22, 2016, 4:14 am
Silence Is Killing Your LGBT Relatives 06/21/2016 06:32 pm ET | Updated 4 hours ago Mark O’Connell, L.C.S.W. Psychotherapist in private practice, author of Modern Brides & Modern Grooms LGBT Pride Month 2016 will always be remembered for the worst mass shooting in American history to date, one which took 49 lives at an Orlando, […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 22, 2016, 4:03 am
The Orlando Massacre: A Reminder of the Dangers LGBT People Live With Every Day There have been scores of attacks on LGBT spaces, some of which received more attention than others. 06/12/2016 10:46 am ET | Updated 5 minutes ago Michelangelo Signorile, Editor-at-Large, HuffPost Queer Voices Queer Voices Editor-at-Large, The Huffington Post STEVE NESIUS / […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 12, 2016, 8:17 pm
Deadliest Mass Shooting In U.S. History Leaves More Than 50 Dead At Gay Orlando Nightclub “We are investigating this from all points of perspective as an act of terrorism.” 06/12/2016 09:28 am ET | Updated 5 minutes ago Nina Golgowski Trends reporter, The Huffington Post Sebastian Murdock Reporter, The Huffington Post Andy Campbell Reporter, The […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 12, 2016, 8:00 pm
Read the article here.
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 26, 2015, 11:16 pm