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There’s much to celebrate during Bisexual Awareness Week, also known as #BiWeek, which culminates on Saturday, September 23 with Bi Visibility Day, as a record number of public figures, including actors, athletes, musicians and other influencers, came out as members of the bisexual community. Here are nine public figures who decided to open up in hopes of inspiring others to live their truth since last year’s National Coming Out Day.

Sara Ramirez
Activist, actor and former “Grey’s Anatomy” star, Sara Ramirez came out as bisexual during a speech she gave to homeless LGBTQ youth in Los Angeles last year.

Ramirez used her platform to raise awareness on the issue, saying, “I am deeply invested in projects that allow our youth’s voices to be heard, and that support our youth in owning their own complex narratives so that we can show up for them in the ways they need us to.”

#40ToNoneSummit #SpeakingMyTruth! Will post full video of speech soon! #ThankYou @TrueColorsFund #WomanOfColor #Bisexual #Queer #Immigrant pic.twitter.com/1q8JmKih9I

— Sara Ramirez (@SaraRamirez) October 8, 2016

Cecil Brockman
North Carolina House Representative Cecil Brockman came out as bisexual following a vote by the state house to override the governor’s veto of a law that would allow judges to refuse performing same-sex marriages.

In a show of solidarity with LGBTQ community, Brockman courageously told local media, “I am one of the people you think you know so much about. I am one of the people who could face discrimination because of these laws.”  

Lauren Jauregui
Lauren Jauregui, a member of the music group Fifth Harmony, wrote an impassioned open-letter to Billboard following the 2016 presidential election on coming out and the importance of inclusion.

“I am a bisexual, Cuban-American woman, and I am so proud of it,” Jauregui wrote. “I am proud to be part of a community that only projects love and education and the support of one another.”

Nico Tortorella
Nico Tortorella, star of TV Land’s show “Younger,” proudly opened up about his bisexuality in an interview with the Vulture, where he candidly discussed his sexual orientation.

“The more I’m having these conversations, the more comfortable I am identifying as bisexual,” reflected Tortorella.

bi/pansexual. visibility. representation. respect. the future is non binary. @TheView @LGBTCenterNYC https://t.co/b6aKmuXkKD via @youtube

— Nico Tortorella (@NicoTortorella) July 25, 2017

Taylor Bennett
Chance the Rapper’s brother, Taylor Bennett, came out as bisexual in a series of tweets earlier this year. In an effort to raise awareness and uplift others, Bennett spoke openly and honestly about the obstacles many LGBTQ people face when coming out.

I do recognize myself as a bisexual male & do & have always openly supported the gay community & will keep doing so in 2017. #ThankYou ����

— Taylor Bennett (@_TaylorBennett) January 18, 2017

Anthony Bowens

Professional wrestler Anthony Bowens wrote a personal essay to OutSports about being bisexual following a video he posted with his boyfriend Michael Pavano on YouTube. For years, Bowens struggled with his own sexuality and feared telling others until he fell in love.

“Meeting Mike was a turning point in me being comfortable with myself in all settings,” he wrote.    

Eventually, Bowens announced to the world on Facebook he was bisexual.


Alia Shawkat
Actress Alia Shawkat, featured on hit shows like “Arrested Development” and “Broad City”, spoke to Out Magazine about her projects and being openly bisexual.

Shawkat addressed the importance of intersectionality and hopes to be an advocate for other marginalized communities: “I used to be less outspoken. But as a woman, an Arab-American, and a member of the LGBTQ community, I have to use whatever voice I have. There’s no more delicacy in being quiet.”

Shannon Purser
Shannon Purser of “Stranger Things” and “Riverdale”, took the brave step to come out as bisexual in April.

Purser wrote in an emotional Twitter message saying: “I’ve only just recently come out as bisexual to my family and friends. It’s something I am still processing and trying to understand and I don’t like talking about it too much.”

Keiynan Lonsdale
This past May, Keiynan Lonsdale, who plays Wally West on The CW’s “The Flash”, opened up about being bisexual on Instagram after spending years struggling to accept himself.

 

I like to change my hair, I like to take risks with how I dress, I like girls, & I like guys (yes), I like growing, I like learning, I like who I am and I really like who I'm becoming. Spent way too many years hating myself, thinking I was less valuable because I was different.. which is just untrue. A couple years ago I was able to accept myself, & it saved my life, but now I've gotten to a new road block & I feel kind of lost. I gotta take the next step & actually embrace who I am, which is pretty exciting. Not faking shit anymore, not apologising for falling in love with people no matter their gender. I've become bored of being insecure, ashamed, scared... no one should feel like that about themselves, especially when there is so much good life to live. Ya know more & more I see so many young people being their best / truest selves, it's fucking inspiring... so what have I been waiting for!? Who knows. Everyone in their own time. I hope we can all learn to embrace who we are & not judge people who aren't exactly the same as us. The truth is we are all family, we're all one. Just love. Keiy. ❤

A post shared by ��❤️���� Keiynan Lonsdale �������� (@keiynanlonsdale) on

HRC hopes this list serves as a reminder the importance of bi visibility, and that whether it's for the first time ever or the first time today, the experience of coming out and living openly is a deeply personal and arduous journey. Visit HRC’s Coming Out Center or our bisexual resource page to learn more.


Author: Brian McBride
Posted: September 22, 2017, 7:20 pm

Today, HRC called on the Trump-Pence administration to withdraw its nomination of Jeff Mateer, an anti-LGBTQ extremist recently put forward for a district judge appointment in Texas.

“Judges are tasked with a sacred duty to enforce equal treatment for all people under our laws, which is why it is so alarming that Jeff Mateer has spent his career opposing anti-discrimination protections and attacking transgender children. Someone who publicly and unabashedly voices contempt for LGBTQ people has no place on the bench or in public office,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow.

HRC President Chad Griffin said, “The Trump-Pence administration either failed to vet Jeff Mateer or they knew his hateful, extremist views and nominated him anyway. In either case, they must withdraw the nomination of someone who viciously attacks transgender children, openly embraced Mike Pence’s license-to-discriminate law in Indiana, and has repeatedly opposed anti-discrimination protections throughout his career. If the White House won’t withdraw this nomination, it is incumbent on the Senate Judiciary Committee to block this attack on LGBTQ people and the civil rights of all Americans.”

In a 2015 speech titled “The Church and Homosexuality,” Mateer objected to a transgender student using the bathroom corresponding to her gender identity, saying “I mean it just really shows you how Satan's plan is working and the destruction that's going on.” As general counsel of the Liberty Institute -- now known as the First Liberty Institute -- he defended then-Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s ‘license-to-discriminate’ bill and objected to efforts to alter the legislation. Mateer also fought against non-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community of Plano, Texas and San Antonio, Texas. Mateer also supports the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy,” and claimed that marriage equality will lead to bestiality.

With his nomination, Mateer joins the likes of fellow Trump nominee Stephen Schwartz, who has a history of supporting anti-LGBTQ -- and especially anti-transgender -- causes, including the discriminatory HB2 law in North Carolina that attacked the rights of transgender people. He also joins Mark Green, whose record includes using slurs against the transgender community, describing former President Obama’s guidance protecting transgender students an example of “tyrannical government,” saying being transgender is a “disease,” and encouraging the state of Tennessee to defy federal law and deny marriage licenses to gay couples.


Author: Allison Turner
Posted: September 22, 2017, 6:28 pm

HRC field staff was thrilled to be in Phoenix, Arizona, to celebrate the ribbon cutting for the new home of one•n•ten. One•n•ten, an LGBTQ youth center, was set on fire in an arson attack in July.

HRC was honored to support one•n•ten’s journey to their new home.  It was an honor to be in Phoenix to celebrate the grand re-opening alongside the local community including Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, one•n•ten Executive Director Linda Elliott and HRC Youth Ambassador Justin Jones.

One•n•ten enhances the lives of LGBTQ young people in Phoenix by providing empowering social and service programs that promote self‐expression, self‐acceptance, leadership development and healthy life choices. 

One•n•ten’s work is vital for the local LGBTQ community. In far too many areas across the country, LGBTQ youth lack access to food, shelter, health services that are imperative to their sexual health and well-being. 

HRC launched HRC Rising, the largest grassroots expansion in its history that will include significant investments in Arizona ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Join the movement at hrc.org/resist.

Hope Errico Wisneski, Senior Regional Field Director, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and one•n•ten Executive Director Linda Elliott

From left to right: Hope Errico Wisneski, Senior Regional Field Director, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and one•n•ten Executive Director Linda Elliott.


Author: Hope Errico Wisneski
Posted: September 22, 2017, 5:19 pm

Today, HRC responded to Trump-Pence administration’s announcement that they will be rescinding Title IX guidance related to schools' obligations to address sexual harassment, including sexual violence.

“With today’s announcement, Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration have clearly drawn a line in the sand, stating that they prefer it be more difficult for survivors of sexual assault to receive justice,” said David Stacy, director of government affairs at the Human Rights Campaign. “LGBTQ Americans face disproportionate levels of sexual assault and violence. This unconscionable decision -- coupled with the decision to rescind guidance aimed at protecting transgender students -- sadly indicates that the Department of Education is no longer in the business of protecting students from harm.”

Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in any educational program or activity that receives federal funding. While historically known for its impact on women’s athletics admissions, Title IX’s prohibition on sex discrimination, as a matter of law, also requires schools to address sexual harassment, including sexual violence, as forms of sex discrimination. In addition, Title IX protects students from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, as evidenced by continuing case law, guidance previously issued by the Department of Education, and school district settlements to this effect.

LGBTQ people are disproportionately affected by sexual assault and harassment, and the stigma that many LGBTQ people face can make it more difficult for survivors to report. Studies suggest that nearly half of bisexual women have been raped and half of transgender people will experience sexual violence at some point in their lifetimes. According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a national survey of high school students, lesbian and bisexual women and gay and bisexual men experienced higher rates of sexual assault than their straight counterparts. In addition, a 2015 study by the Association of American Universities found that 60 percent of gay and lesbian students and nearly 70 percent of bisexual students report being sexually harassed on campus.

In February, DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions also withdrew important guidance that clarified schools’ obligations to protect transgender students from discrimination under Title IX.


Author: Nick Morrow
Posted: September 22, 2017, 4:14 pm

This year, HRC endorsed candidates in three critical Virginia races in the upcoming November 2017 election: Ralph Northam for Governor, Attorney General Mark Herring for re-election, and transgender candidate Danica Roem in her historic bid to represent Virginia’s House District 13.

This past weekend, a team of HRC volunteers piled into several cars and traveled down from our headquarters in Washington, D.C. HRC’s team joined the Virginia LGBT Democrats Caucus as they canvassed for Danica Roem in Manassas. Approximately 50 people knocked on more than 700 doors to identify dozens of new voters in District 13 who support Roem’s campaign for House of Delegates.

The HRC volunteers and other supporters crowded into Roem’s campaign headquarters and then split into groups of two or three. After we had each received our scripts, our lists of addresses, and pamphlets, we heard from Senator Adam Ebbin, representative of the 30th district in the Senate of Virginia. Then everyone piled into cars and we went door to door talking to voters about the critical election coming up on November 7.

“One reason why I think it is important to support candidates like Danica is her opponent, Republican incumbent, Delegate Bob Marshall, has been referred to as ‘Virginia’s most anti-LGBTQ lawmaker,’” Lee Clyne, an HRC volunteer who identifies as transgender, explained. “His disregard of Danica’s identity, and of the LGBTQ community is clear. In January 2017 Delegate Marshall proposed HB 1612, which would have prevented transgender people from using restrooms consistent with their gender identity in schools and government facilities.”

With an estimated 185,366 eligible LGBTQ voters and hundreds of thousands more allied voters in Virginia, HRC’s get-out-the-vote effort for these pro-equality candidates could make all the difference in the upcoming November 2017 election.

If you live in or near Virginia and want to help make a difference in the November elections, you can sign-up to volunteer here. For more information about HRC’s election work in Virginia, contact Ryan Wilson at ryan.wilson@hrc.org

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC. Authorized by Danica Roem, candidate for Virginia House of Delegates.

Author: Ryan Wilson
Posted: September 22, 2017, 3:43 pm

ALABAMA SENATE CANDIDATE THINKS ‘HOMOSEXUAL CONDUCT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL’: In a 2005 C-SPAN interview uncovered by CNN’s Nathan McDermott (@NathanMcDermott) and Andrew Kaczynski (@KFILE), disgraced former Alabama Supreme Court Justice and current Senatorial candidate Roy Moore said “homosexual conduct should be illegal.” The statement, in response to the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, is one item in a long line of attacks against the LGBTQ community. “Roy Moore has made a career in Alabama out of attacking the LGBTQ community, and it’s one of the many reasons he is unfit for office,” said HRC Alabama State Director Eva Kendrick. “His statements have been dangerous and bigoted for years, which is why, this year, people who value fairness have to reject Roy Moore at the ballot box.” More from CNN.

This is a Senate candidate saying he would criminalize people based on who they are. He is unfit and unhinged. https://t.co/TbEvwnlPm4

— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) September 21, 2017

AIR FORCE TOP ENLISTED LEADER PLEDGES SUPPORT AND RESPECT FOR TRANS TROOPS: At the Air Force Association’s Air Space Cyber Conference on Wednesday, Chief Master Sergeant Kaleth Wright affirmed that trans troops in the US Air Force will be treated with dignity and respect, invoking the end of racial segregation in the military. “There was a time when I couldn‘t serve in our United States Air Force,” Wright said. “There was a time when my wife, who is retired, couldn’t serve in our United States Air Force, because [the military] thought it would be too disruptive. So as long as they are in uniform and considered airmen in our United States Air Force, we treat them with the same level of dignity and respect we would treat any other airmen.” More from Air Force Times.

KB HOME CEO GOES ON ANTI-LGBTQ, ANTI-WOMEN TIRADE: The tirade by Jeffrey Mezger, caught on camera, focused on Kathy Griffin. KB Home’s board of directors has responded by cutting his bonus. “Jeffrey Mezger's hateful comments are unacceptable. Hate speech -- including homophobia, misogyny, transphobia, and racism -- is never acceptable. It's especially troubling for the leader of a major corporation to stoop so low,” said HRC Communications Director Chris Sgro. “It is hard to imagine, with these words and actions coming from Mezger, that the LGBTQ and allied employees of KB Home will feel welcome in their workplace. A terse apology from Mezger cannot undo the harm he has done or the hatred he has validated to others.” More from The Washington Post.

HRC MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS MADE OVER 13,000 CALLS IN ONE DAY ALONE CONCERNING CASSIDY-GRAHAM ‘HEALTH CARE’ BILL: The proposal, concocted behind closed doors without any public input, is yet another effort by President Trump and some Senate Republicans to take away health care from millions of Americans. It has yet to have a hearing or receive a score from the Congressional Budget Office, and would allow states to charge higher premiums for people with preexisting conditions, gut the essential health benefits guaranteed by the ACA and cut billions of dollars in funding for Medicaid -- leaving states to make up huge budget shortfalls.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: On Thursday, as a part of the film series “Our Stories, Our Reality, #Our100Days,” Firelight and Field of Vision have partnered on a documentary about Gavin Grimm (@GavinGrimmVA) and the months leading up to what would have been his Supreme Court case. In the documentary, Gavin makes it clear that although the case didn’t go the way he hoped, his fight is far from over. Read more from Teen Vogue.

OFFICER WHO KILLED TRANS PERSON WAS NOT TRAINED IN CRISIS INTERVENTION: HRC mourns the loss of LGBTQ activist Scout Schultz, who was shot and killed by Georgia Tech campus police over the weekend. The family attorney, Chris Stewart, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he believed Schultz was having a mental breakdown and that Georgia Tech police overreacted by using deadly force. “Scout was holding a closed multipurpose tool,” Stewart said in the statement. “[Schultz's] cry for help was met with a bullet.”  The officer who shot and killed Schultz had not taken crisis intervention training. While the investigation continues to unfold, Scout’s death underscores the serious need for law enforcement to be trained on de-escalation techniques and interacting with individuals experiencing mental health issues. More from Newsweek.

ANTI-TRANS BATHROOM BALLOT INITIATIVE IN MONTANA SUFFERS SETBACK: The Montana Supreme Court has ordered the state attorney general to rewrite unclear language in a discriminatory anti-trans ballot initiative that would prevent transgender people from using public restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. More from The Associated Press.

REMEMBERING TYLER CLEMENTI ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF HIS DEATH: Tyler Clementi was an LGBTQ freshman at Rutgers University. After being harassed for his sexuality, Clementi tragically ended his life on September 22, 2010. After his death, Clementi’s parents founded the Tyler Clementi Foundation to combat bullying and harassment and promote safe and inclusive environments for LGBTQ youth. In April, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) reintroduced the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, which would require colleges and universities to have comprehensive anti-harassment policies that include LGBTQ young people. Read more on the act from HRC.

WE’VE GOT YOUR WEEKEND PLANS RIGHT HERE: This weekend, not one -- but TWO -- fantastic pieces of LGBTQ media premiere. The groundbreaking show Transparent returns to Amazon Prime, and Battle of the Sexes -- a biopic of openly lesbian tennis icon Billie Jean King -- will premiere in theatres. More from HRC.

  • Jill Soloway (@JillSoloway), creator of Transparent, spoke to The Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon (@KPFallon) about the premiere and efforts by Donald Trump and Mike Pence to ban qualified transgender people from serving in the military. More from The Daily Beast.

SATURDAY IS BI VISIBILITY DAY: Bisexual Awareness Week, also known as #BiWeek, culminates on September 23, with Bi Visibility Day. Follow HRC’s blog to learn more about how we honored Bisexual Awareness Week and check out hrc.org/bisexual for more information about the community and the issues they face. More from HRC.

ICYMI -- CATHOLIC SUPPORT FOR FATHER MARTIN GROWS AFTER LECTURE CANCELLATIONS: The recent decision by Catholic University’s seminary and two other Catholic institutions to cancel speeches by the Rev. James Martin, a prominent Jesuit priest and author of a book encouraging the Catholic Church to open dialogue with the LGBTQ faithful, has again highlighted the deep gulf between the church’s priests and its conservative leaders. More from HRC.

RUSSIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST TO FACE TRIAL FOR “PROMOTING HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA”: HRC is alarmed that Evdokia Romanova, a human rights activist in Russia, has been charged with and is awaiting trial for “promoting homosexual propaganda.” Russia is one of three countries in the world that criminalizes LGBTQ-affirming speech. Romanova works at the Samara Regional Public LGBT Movement and is a member of the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights. On July 26, she was called to the local police station to serve as a witness and testify for a different case, but was immediately put under investigation and charged with promoting “homosexual propaganda,” according to Collective Evolution. More from HRC.

READING RAINBOW

GLAAD profiles 10 bi+ Youtubers to watch during #BiWeek; The Daily Beast interviews Emmy Award-winning actor and writer Lena Waithe (@LenaWaithe);

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!


Author: Allison Turner
Posted: September 22, 2017, 1:40 pm

HRC is alarmed that Evdokia Romanova, a human rights activist in Russia, has been charged with and is awaiting trial for “promoting homosexual propaganda.” Russia is one of three countries in the world that criminalizes so-called “propaganda” supporting LGBTQ rights.  

Romanova works at the Samara Regional Public LGBT Movement and is a member of the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR). On July 26, she was called to the local police station to serve as a witness and testify for a different case, but was immediately put under investigation and charged with promoting “homosexual propaganda,” according to Collective Evolution. Romanova shared pro-LGBTQ links on Facebook and through the YCSRR from 2015 to 2016. One post was of an article from BuzzFeed News on a Saint Petersburg photo exhibit of Russian LGBTQ youth.

According to Collective Evolution, Romanova has now received death threats on social networks including comments on how she should be murdered.

The law that Romanova has presumably broken was passed in 2013 and punishes people that promote “non-traditional sexual traditions.” HRC and many international human rights organizations have expressed their concern for this discriminatory law that violates the freedom of expression and have called for its repeal. Also in the Russian Federation, horrific atrocities against the LGBTQ community have been ongoing in Chechnya and HRC members have been raising their voices through our  #EyesOnChechnya campaign.

Romanova was to appear in court on September 18, but was told her court appearance has been postponed. The case is likely to be heard within two weeks.

HRC is urging our members and supporters to take action and condemn this human rights violation. Take action now and express your concerns through our partner Amnesty International here.


Author: HRC staff
Posted: September 21, 2017, 5:25 pm

Looking for some LGBTQ-focused content to watch this weekend? Not one, but two fantastic pieces of LGBTQ media are slated for release this week.

On Friday, the groundbreaking show "Transparent" returns to Amazon Prime for its fourth season. The show revolves around a Los Angeles family grappling with the transition of their transgender parent.  

Emmy award winning director Jill Soloway, creator of Transparent, is the child of a transgender parent and is an outspoken advocate for the transgender community. Soloway also identifies as non-binary. The show has also made huge gains in LGBTQ visibility in television with HRC supporter Bradley Whitford becoming the first actor to win an Emmy for playing a trans character. Other HRC supporters in the show include Judith Light, Alexandra Billings, Kathryn Hahn and Amy Landecker.

“Battle of the Sexes,” a timely biopic of openly lesbian tennis icon and HRC supporter Billie Jean King and her match with Bobby Riggs, premieres in theatres this weekend.

The film’s release comes on the heels of the 44th anniversary of the famous “Battle of the Sexes” tennis tournament, which captured the nation and sparked a national conversation on gender roles in America. It solidified King’s status as a barrier breaking tennis pro and a pioneer in the feminist movement.

King is a longtime HRC supporter and received the National Equality Award at our 10th annual National Dinner. The tennis legend and social activist has long been a champion for social change, spearheading the women’s movement in her sport and cementing her legacy as a lifelong advocate for equality.

Both of these powerful pieces exemplify the importance of LGBTQ representation in television and film. They not only increase visibility of LGBTQ people, but help change hearts and minds around the globe.


Author: Brian McBride
Posted: September 21, 2017, 3:31 pm

ANTI-LGBTQ TRUMP JUDICIAL NOMINEE THINKS TRANS CHILDREN ARE PART OF ‘SATAN’S PLAN’: Yes, seriously. Jeff Mateer, Donald Trump’s nominee for a federal judgeship in Texas, believes that transgender children are evidence of “Satan’s plan,”  supports the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy,” and thinks marriage equality will lead to bestiality. A jarring piece from CNN’s Chris Massie (@ChrisMassie) and Andrew Kaczynski (@KFILE) is the latest in a series of terrifying revelations of Trump’s anti-LGBTQ nominees. Mateer joins the likes of Stephen Schwartz, who has a history of supporting anti-LGBTQ -- and especially anti-transgender -- causes, including the discriminatory HB2 law in North Carolina that attacked the rights of transgender people. He also joins Mark Green, whose record includes using slurs against the transgender community, describing former President Obama’s guidance protecting transgender students an example of “tyrannical government,” saying being transgender is a “disease,” and encouraging the state of Tennessee to defy federal law and deny marriage licenses to gay couples. More from CNN.

This is horrific. Someone who attacks children in this way has no place on the federal bench or in public office. https://t.co/z9CBtDtye0

— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) September 20, 2017

MORNING MUST WATCH -- JIMMY KIMMEL SLAMS CASSIDY-GRAHAM “HEALTH CARE” PROPOSAL: Kimmel’s emotional monologue focuses on his newborn son, Billy, who was born with a heart defect. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) then shamefully made the untrue case that the proposal would pass the “Jimmy Kimmel test” meaning a child born with heart problems would be able to get appropriate health care in his or her first year. The proposal, concocted behind closed doors without any public input, is yet another effort by President Trump and some Senate Republicans to take away health care from millions of Americans. It has yet to have a hearing or receive a score from the Congressional Budget Office, and would allow states to charge higher premiums for people with preexisting conditions, gut the essential health benefits guaranteed by the ACA and cut billions of dollars in funding for Medicaid -- leaving states to make up huge budget shortfalls. More from The Washington Post.

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) plans to put this disastrous bill on the Senate floor as early as next week. More from The Washington Post.

NEW VIDEO FROM HRC DETAILS HOMOPHOBIC ATTACK IN GEORGIA: HRC -- in coalition with 10 partner organizations -- has sent a letter to the Georgian Ambassador, urging his government to protect the human rights of LGBTQ people in the Eastern European nation. The letter focuses on a recent attack on Levan Berianidze and Tornike Kusiani -- two LGBTQ Georgians in the city of Batumi. HRC sat down with Berianidze to talk about being LGBTQ in Georgia, the attack, and what the community is calling on the government to do to prevent hate-motivated crime. More from HRC.

THROWBACK THURSDAY -- BILLIE JEAN KING AND ‘THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES’: Yesterday marked the 44th anniversary of the famous ‘Battle of the Sexes’ -- the tennis match where Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) beat Bobby Riggs. King, who later came out as lesbian, is known for her LGBTQ and women’s advocacy. More from ESPN.

ARIZONA SUPREME COURT -- SAME-SEX PARENTS DESERVE EQUAL PARENTAL RIGHTS: The case involved two divorced women, and the ruling determined that each parent had equal parental rights, even if only one parent gave birth to the child. The decision drew on the Supreme Court of the United States assertion in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex couples are to receive the same “constellation of benefits” attendant to marriage -- including in parentage issues -- as different-sex married couples. More from HRC, Courthouse News Service and Slate.

NYC’S FIRST LADY LAUNCHES LGBTQ OUTREACH PROJECT: New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray will spearhead a new effort by the city to deliver services to LGBTQ youth. The NYC Unity Project will streamline the LGBTQ work done by 16 different city agencies. More from New York Daily News and AM New York.

  • New data from the New York City Department of Health found that a quarter of LGBTQ youth experience bullying in school, and are at higher risk for poor mental health outcomes. More here.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, WILL & GRACE!: HRC is celebrating the long- anticipated return of NBC’s Will & Grace on September 28. The series was critical to changing hearts, minds and American culture. The show aired while we battled for marriage equality state by state, took on anti-LGBTQ legislation and worked to teach our neighbors, friends and family that love is love. Check out this behind-the-scenes footage of the show’s journey from HRC.

TIFFANY PALMER TO LEAD THE LGBT FAMILY LAW INSTITUTE: Palmer, a Philadelphian practicing family law, will lead the joint venture of the National LGBT Bar Association and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The institute is a networking platform for lawyers who focus on LGBTQ family issues. More from Delaware Law Weekly.

DISGRACEFUL -- BRAZILIAN JUDGE GIVES PRO- ‘CONVERSION THERAPY’ RULING: Sparking national outrage, Waldemar de Carvalho, a federal judge in Brazil’s capital, overruled a 18-year-old decision by the Federal Council of Psychology banning the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” The Federal Council of Psychology has vowed to contest the decision, saying it “opens the dangerous possibility of the use of sexual reversion therapies.” More from The Guardian, HuffPost and BBC.

LIAM HEMSWORTH COMES OUT IN SUPPORT OF AUSTRALIAN MARRIAGE EQUALITY: “I personally do not believe that same sex marriage should come down to a vote. I believe it's a HUMAN RIGHT to be able to marry the person you love regardless of gender,” the Australian actor posted on Instagram. “To all the Australians that care about equality and human rights please say YES to same sex marriage.” Australian voters have until November 7 to mail in their postal survey ballots voting ‘yes’ to support marriage equality. More from Refinery29.

READING RAINBOW 

Teen Vogue shares a new hashtag the LGBTQ community is using to promote visibility; The Texas Tribune chronicles how the fight against anti-trans legislation has inspired some trans Texans to run for office; LGBTQ Nation writer Sarah Stumpf (@dani_library) recommends 10 books that every person should read for #BiWeek.

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!


Author: Allison Turner
Posted: September 21, 2017, 1:42 pm

Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN today filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Trump administration’s ban on military service by transgender individuals. The lawsuit—brought in response to President Trump’s formal issuance of directions to military authorities late Friday—was filed on behalf of two individuals who seek to join the military; one current service member who seeks appointment as an officer; the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization; and Gender Justice League, a gender and sexuality civil and human rights organization, headquartered in Seattle.

“This ban not only wrongfully prevents patriotic, talented Americans from serving, it also compromises the safety and security of our country,” Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Peter Renn said. “Thousands of current service members are transgender, and many have been serving openly, courageously and successfully in the U.S. military for more than a year—not to mention the previous decades when many were forced to serve in silence. Once again attacking a vulnerable population based on bias, political opportunism and demonstrably untrue ‘alternative facts,’ President Trump is denying brave men and women the opportunity to serve our country without any legitimate justification whatsoever.”

“We promised that we would sue if the president took this action. The law is on our side; justice is on our side," said Peter Perkowski, Legal Director for OutServe-SLDN. "And we are on the side of every single transgender service member and those who want to serve. The nation’s courts exist to protect the people whom tyrants would otherwise abuse. Trump can’t tweet his way out of this one.”

Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filed the lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The individual plaintiffs, all of whom are transgender, include: Ryan Karnoski, a 22-year-old Seattle man who currently works as a social worker and wishes to become an officer doing social work for the military; Staff Sergeant Cathrine (“Katie”) Schmid, a 33-year-old woman and 12-year member of the U.S. Army currently serving in Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington, who has applied to become an Army Warrant Officer; and Drew Layne, a high-school student from Corpus Christi, Texas, who is about to turn 17 and, with parental support, wants to join the Air Force. HRC and Gender Justice League have joined the lawsuit on behalf of their transgender members who are harmed by the ban.

“Our military is stronger when any qualified American willing to defend our country is able to serve, regardless of their gender identity,” said HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride. “It is an unconscionable and unconstitutional breach of trust for the president to single out brave transgender service members and able recruits for discrimination. The harm that this administration is causing to both these courageous Americans and our national security must be stopped. We are proud to be a plaintiff on behalf of our transgender members currently serving or wishing to enlist or commission, but who find their careers and their future under attack - and we thank all of the plaintiffs, Lambda Legal and Outserve-SLDN for their leadership in challenging this dangerous directive."

“Gender Justice League has been fighting on behalf of transgender people for the dignity that all people deserve. At a time when transgender people are facing alarming rates of discrimination, violence and lack of access to housing and medical care, this blatantly discriminatory ban is a slap in the face to our members,” said Danni Askini, Executive Director of Gender Justice League. “We have made strides in Washington state to put this kind of government sanctioned discrimination behind us. This ban stands against our state’s values that all Washingtonians deserve the same rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution.”

On July 26, President Trump posted a series of tweets in the early morning hours announcing that, “The United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” The tweeted ban was swiftly and widely condemned by more than 56 retired generals and admirals and a large percentage of Republican and Democratic U.S. senators and representatives.

Despite that criticism, the White House proceeded to issue a memorandum directing the military to continue the ban on enlistment by those they learn are transgender, even though our armed forces currently are facing recruitment challenges, including in high demand positions like linguists, health care providers, social workers and aviators. The enlistment ban also bars transgender members of the military currently serving openly, such as Staff Sergeant Schmid, from obtaining appointments as officers. The memorandum further orders the return to past anti-transgender policies affecting continued service and medical care of those known to be transgender after the development of an implementation plan by the Secretary of Defense. Today’s lawsuit against President Trump, the United States of America, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the U.S. Department of Defense is based on the Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection, due process and free speech for all.

Staff Sergeant Schmid said, “I love serving my country, which I’ve been doing for more than 12 years. Since the ban on open service by transgender men and women was lifted, I’ve been able to live and serve as my authentic self, which has allowed me to form stronger bonds with my fellow service members.”

“This ban is disrespectful and dishonorable to the thousands of transgender men and women who are boldly and bravely serving our country,” added Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Sasha Buchert, herself a transgender military veteran. “It deprives our armed forces of those wanting to serve at a time when the military is already facing threats on multiple fronts. It also is disrespectful to the leadership at the Department of Defense who worked to develop and implement the current policy allowing open service, which has been operating successfully for more than a year.”

The government-commissioned RAND study released in May 2016 determined that the cost of providing transition-related care is exceedingly small relative to U.S. Armed Forces overall health care expenditures, that there are no readiness implications that prevent transgender members from serving openly, and that numerous foreign militaries have successfully permitted open service without a negative effect on effectiveness, readiness or unit cohesion. Based on that study, the Pentagon lifted the ban on open service by transgender men and women in July 2016.

The lawsuit is Karnoski v. Trump. Read a copy of the complaint here: https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/karnoski_us_20170828_complaint

The Lambda Legal attorneys working on the case are: Peter Renn, Jon W. Davidson, Camilla B. Taylor, Tara Borelli, Natalie Nardecchia, Sasha Buchert, Kara Ingelhart, and Carl Charles. They are joined by co-counsel Peter Perkowski of OutServe-SLDN. Also on the legal team are pro-bono co-counsel at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Newman Du Wors LLP.


Author: Guest contributor
Posted: August 28, 2017, 1:03 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
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Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 26, 2015, 11:16 pm