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EPIDEMIC OF VIOLENCE TARGETING TRANSGENDER PEOPLE WORSENS -- 2017 DEADLIEST YEAR ON RECORD: Today, HRC and the Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC) released A Time to Act: Fatal Violence Against Transgender People in America in 2017, a heartbreaking report documenting the often deadly violence faced by  transgender people and exploring factors that have made this year the deadliest on record for the transgender community. “The epidemic of violence against transgender people is an urgent crisis that demands the nation's immediate attention,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “The unique and tragic stories featured in this report reflect the obstacles that many transgender Americans -- especially trans women of color -- face in their daily lives. It is crucial that we know these stories in order to combat the transphobia, misogyny and racism fueling this violence so that we can end this epidemic before it takes any more lives.” The report comes in advance of Monday’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors transgender people who lost their lives during the previous year, and amidst reports of a surge in hate-based violence and harassment that began during Donald Trump’s campaign, and continues under the Trump-Pence administration. More from HRC and The Associated Press.

  • Horrifying: A Detroit-area transgender man was shot early this morning during a robbery. More from WXYZ Detroit.

.@HRC partnered with @TransPOCC to report on the epidemic of violence against #transgender people. #TDOR #TransWeek https://t.co/zt0BClJZWO

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) November 17, 2017

TRANSGENDER TRAILBLAZER GAVIN GRIMM TO ADDRESS CONFERENCE ON TRANS YOUTH HEALTH CARE: Grimm will speak at the groundbreaking Community In Action: Caring For Our Transgender Children and Youth Conference in Cincinnati on Saturday. “We’re excited to partner with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for this first-of-its-kind conference for transgender young people, their families, social workers and medical professionals, and to hear from inspiring leaders like Gavin Grimm and Chris Seelbach,” said Ellen Kahn, Director of HRC’s Children Youth and Families Program. “Whether at home, at school or at their doctor's office, every person has the right to feel safe and to be treated with dignity and respect.” Grimm is the inspiring teenager who took his fight to use the boy’s restroom in his Virginia school all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. More from HRC.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY -- MOTHER HEARS SON SING FOR FIRST TIME SINCE HIS TRANSITION: Joyce Arterberry drove five hours to see her transgender son, Tom Kennard, perform with the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. “I had a hard time accepting it,” Arterberry told KQED’s Chloe Veltman (@chloeveltman). “I realized after awhile that I loved my child, and that I didn't want to lose my child.” Read and listen to this beautiful reunion at NPR.

JURY CONVICTS MAN WHO TORTURED, KILLED GIRLFRIEND’S 8-YEAR-OLD SON BECAUSE HE THOUGHT THE CHILD WAS GAY: Isauro Aguirre admitted to the horrifying 2013 crime, and was found guilty of first-degree murder, with a special circumstance of torture. Prosecutors will begin presenting evidence in the penalty phase of the trial on Nov. 27. This development comes days after Giovanni Melton, a 14-year-old, was allegedly murdered by his father because Giovanni was gay. More from Los Angeles Times.

UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY UNANIMOUSLY PASSES OLYMPICS RESOLUTION THAT RETAINS NON-DISCRIMINATION LANGUAGE: The “Olympic Truce Resolution” includes a commitment that the Olympics will not discriminate -- including on the basis of sexual orientation. Egypt and Russia had attempted to remove the language because it references sexual orientation, but they were blocked by the U.S. and other nations. More from HRC.

Intolerance has no place in the Olympics. Thank you @UN for upholding the #OlympicSpirit and its commitment to inclusion by maintaining non-discrimination principles. https://t.co/Edl6t2lQnA

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) November 16, 2017

NEW VIDEO -- LGBTQ MILITARY AND VETERANS JOIN HRC AND OTHER ADVOCATES CALLING ON TRUMP TO HONOR ALL TROOPS: HRC and Lambda Legal joined former Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning (@ericfanning) and LGBTQ service members and veterans to call on Trump to honor and support all who serve and have served, and to recognize trans military personnel who defend our country. #ProtectTransTroops Watch here.

  • ABC’s Meghan Keneally (@mkeneally) and Jessica Hopper (@jesshop23) spoke to transgender service members and their families about how this ban is affecting them. More from ABC.

Trump’s discriminatory #transban must be stopped. We must support all who serve & have served our nation in the military. #TransWeek pic.twitter.com/jIV6Ho8upW

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) November 16, 2017

MICH. LAWMAKERS PUSH FOR HATE CRIMES BILL IN WAKE OF ANTI-LGBTQ ATTACK: State Senator Steve Bieda joined Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson to urge action on a measure that would add sexual orientation and gender identification to the state’s hate crime laws. Earlier this month, a Muskegon, Mich. LGBTQ young person was beaten because of his sexual orientation. More from Wood TV.

NEW REPORT ON LGBTQ YOUTH HOMELESSNESS: Missed Opportunities: National Estimates, issued by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, found that LGBTQ young adults had a 120 percent higher risk of reporting homelessness compared to youth who identified as heterosexual and cisgender. More from HRC.

TRANS WOMAN SUES STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS FOR BEING HELD IN MALE PRISON FACILITY: The woman alleges she was sexually assaulted and verbally harassed, and requests that her proper name and pronouns be used, and that she be moved to a women's facility. Said Jennifer L. Levi, director of the Transgender Rights Project at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, “In 2017, it is a total shame that this state -- with so much broader policy recognizing the humanity of transgender people -- doesn’t recognize that humanity in our correction system.” More from The Boston Globe.

MORMON APOSTLE DELIVERS SUPPORTIVE MESSAGE TO LGBTQ FAITHFUL: Church of Latter-Day Saints Apostle M. Russell Ballard, in a speech at Brigham Young University, said, “Any member has a place in God’s kingdom,” and that Mormon leaders and others  need to “listen to and understand what LGBT members are feeling and experiencing.” More from The Salt Lake Tribune.

BISEXUAL RAPPER LIL PEEP PASSES: The rapper, 21, came out as bisexual on Twitter earlier this year. More from The New York Times.

BISHOP AND ADVOCATE YAP KIM HAO PASSES: Reverend Yap Kim Hao, 88, was the first Asian bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore and Malaysia, where he championed LGBTQ equality in the church. More from The Straits Times.

READING RAINBOW

The Guardian reports on an Islamic boarding school in Indonesia for the transgender community

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: November 17, 2017, 2:46 pm

Today, HRC Foundation and the Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC) released A Time to Act: Fatal Violence Against Transgender People in America in 2017, a heartbreaking report documenting the often deadly violence faced by transgender people and exploring factors that have made this year the deadliest on record for the transgender community.

The report comes in advance of Monday’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors transgender people who lost their lives during the previous year, and amidst reports of a surge in hate-based violence and harassment that began during Donald Trump’s campaign, and continues under the Trump-Pence administration.

“The epidemic of violence against transgender people is an urgent crisis that demands the nation's immediate attention,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The unique and tragic stories featured in this report reflect the obstacles that many transgender Americans — especially trans women of color — face in their daily lives. It is crucial that we know these stories in order to combat the transphobia, misogyny and racism fueling this violence so that we can end this epidemic before it takes any more lives.”

Since the start of the year, at least 25 transgender people have been killed in the U.S., the most on record. Eighty-four percent were people of color, and 80 percent were women. Since January 2013, HRC has documented at least 102 transgender people who were victims of fatal violence; at least 87 were transgender people of color. And these disturbing numbers likely underreport deadly violence targeting transgender people, who may not be properly identified as transgender.

“Each of the stories featured in this report is unique, tragic and devastating,” said TPOCC Executive Director Kylar Broadus. “Unpacking these stories is a difficult but necessary process if we as a society want to protect the most vulnerable and address the root causes for their unjust and premature deaths.”

The report explores many of the factors that can contribute to or facilitate fatal violence. In many instances, the violence is fueled by anti-LGBTQ prejudice, racism, too-easy access to guns and increasing political attacks on the transgender community at both the state and federal level. There are a number of actions lawmakers can take to address the violence, including enhancing law enforcement response and training; improving data collection and reporting; passing non-discrimination protections; and adopting common-sense gun violence protections.

Since the election of Donald Trump and Mike Pence, there has been a notable increase in the vitriol and anti-transgender rhetoric -- from the top levels of government down through the rest of American society. Seventy percent of respondents to HRC’s post-2016 election youth survey reported witnessing bullying and harassment during or since the 2016 election, and almost half of LGBTQ youth said they have taken steps to hide who they are since the election. FBI data released earlier this week recorded an overall increase in hate crimes in 2016, including a rise in bias-motivated violence based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Today’s release of A Time to Act: Fatal Violence Against Transgender People in America 2017 marks the conclusion of HRC’s commemoration of Transgender Awareness Week, which is dedicated to the progress and unfinished work in the fight for transgender equality. Earlier this week, HRC announced that more than 1,400 parents of transgender young people have signed a National Declaration of Rights in response to continued attacks on transgender equality. Throughout the week, HRC has been highlighting areas of focus and continued challenges for the transgender community, from workplace equality to access to inclusive and respectful health care.

On Monday, transgender people and their allies will gather in communities across the country to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance. For more information on Transgender Awareness Week and HRC’s work on transgender equality, visit: http://www.hrc.org/explore/topic/transgender.


Author: Sarah McBride
Posted: November 17, 2017, 2:32 pm

Every year during the holiday season, HRC receives many calls and emails from LGBTQ people asking us how to handle situations with family and loved ones when difficult conversations arise about sexual orientation and gender identity, particularly around the subject of religion. Whether or not you are out to your family, their negative beliefs and judgments about LGBTQ people can create a toxic environment.

And we know from experience that these situations often occur unexpectedly -- when you’re gathered around the television watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or a football game, in the kitchen  putting the finishing touches on the holiday meal, or between bites of turkey and pumpkin pie.

While these conversations can be hurtful and unsettling, to say the least, we cannot expect to change hearts and minds in the moment. But our experience over the years has taught us that there are effective strategies for navigating minefields LGBTQ people face when spending time over the holidays with friends and family who may not be supportive.

  • To prepare for questions regarding LGBTQ people and scriptural teachings, check out HRC’s “Coming Home” series of guides focusing on Catholicism, Judaism, Mormonism, Islam and general Christianity. These guides will help you craft answers to some of the more common questions, and might inspire you to start a conversation about moving toward a more accepting theology. Also take a look at HRC’s “A la Familia” conversation guide.
  • Avoid conversations in which scripture about a vengeful God are cited. Religion and faith are much more than scriptures. Remind people that God lives in all of us and loves each and every one of their creations. You may want to share our newest publication, Just As They Are, a resource to help parents recognize when and how conversion therapy is promoted, provides information about the dangers of the practice, and offers guidance to parents regarding practices that promote their child’s health and well-being.
  • If you are anxious about potential confrontations with family members, make a plan to stay safe. If you are traveling to visit family and can afford it, stay in a hotel, or with friends so you have a refuge if needed.
  • If you are not out to family and friends, HRC’s “Coming Out” resources provide valuable information, including how to make a decision that factors in your safety.
  • Remember, you don’t have to spend the entire week or weekend with your family. Sometimes a shorter visit is best for all. It’s okay if you choose to spend time with your family of choice where you know you can feel accepted and affirmed for who you are.

These tips aren’t just for Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, New Year's or Thanksgiving, but for all holidays and time spent with family, whether it be during Ramadan, Easter, Fourth of July or Passover.

Please remember that you are loved and your community is here to support you. If you need other resources do not hesitate to call The Trevor Project’s hotline at (866) 488-7386. You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800) 273-8255 or the Trans Lifeline at (877) 565-8860.


Author: Lisbeth Melendez Rivera
Posted: November 16, 2017, 8:21 pm

HRC will host transgender young people, parents, medical professionals and other youth-serving professionals at the groundbreaking Community In Action: Caring For Our Transgender Children and Youth Conference in Cincinnati on Saturday.  

Co-sponsored by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the day-long conference will feature a keynote address by Gavin Grimm, the inspiring transgender teenager who took his fight to use the boy’s restroom in his Virginia school all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. Cincinnati City Councilmember Chris Seelbach, the city’s first openly LGBTQ council member and a tireless advocate for LGBTQ equality, will also speak during the conference.

“We’re excited to partner with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for this first-of-its-kind conference for transgender young people, their families, social workers and medical professionals, and to hear from inspiring leaders like Gavin Grimm and Chris Seelbach,” said Ellen Kahn, Director of HRC’s Children Youth and Families Program. “Whether at home, at school or at their doctor's office, every person has the right to feel safe and to be treated with dignity and respect. We are confident that participants will leave the conference inspired to renew their commitment to addressing the disparities transgender young people face every day.”

Saturday’s
 conference will offer an array of professional workshops, discussions and presentations on best practices for working with transgender youth, as well as information on opportunities for increased advocacy and support of transgender young people.

Speaker Gavin Grimm made history after suing his school district over its discriminatory policy that barred him from using the boy’s restroom, alleging that the district violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. His case was scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court of the United States, but was sent back to a lower court after the Trump administration withdrew the Obama Administration’s policy guidance clarifying protections for transgender students. Grimm has since graduated from high school, but he continues to be an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ equality.

Councilmember Seelbach was instrumental in the passage of the city’s ban on the discredited and dangerous practice of “conversion therapy” on LGBTQ youth. Under his leadership, Cincinnati has also received a perfect 100-point score on HRC’s Municipal Equality Index, the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law, policy and services. There is no state law in Ohio outlawing “conversion therapy,” and no statewide LGBTQ non-discrimination protections in employment, housing, or places of public accommodation. There is also currently no mechanism for transgender Ohioans to change the gender marker on their birth certificates.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center earned the “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” distinction in HRC’s 2017 Health Equality Index (HEI), an annual survey that promotes and encourages inclusive care for LGBTQ people in healthcare facilities across the U.S. A record 590 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2017 survey, with 303 of the respondents (51 percent) scoring 100 and achieving the coveted  “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” distinction.


Author: Ianthe Metzger
Posted: November 16, 2017, 8:02 pm

The government of Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic, is seeking to repeal marriage equality and replace it with a domestic partnership arrangement.  Bermuda achieved marriage equality through a Supreme Court ruling in May this year.  

The effort to repeal marriage equality is being led by the 38-year-old premier E. David Burt and his Progressive Labour Party government, which took power in July.  The Royal Gazette quoted Home Minister Walton Brown saying “...same-sex couples should have all the legal rights of heterosexual couples, save for marriage,” thus excluding loving same-sex couples from a right established by the Bermuda Supreme Court and effectively making them second-class citizens.

The draft bill for domestic partnerships was open for a two-week public consultation that ended yesterday.  The government is now expected to bring the bill to a vote and enact domestic partnerships and effectively abolish marriage equality.  Same-sex couples who are already married will not have their marriages voided.

The Supreme Court had ruled in May on a case brought by Bermudian Winston Godwin and his Canadian partner Greg DeRoche when the Registrar-General rejected their application to marry.  In a message to HRC, plaintiff Winston Godwin commented, “I think it's very upsetting that once again we find ourselves having to fight for rights. This bill is discriminatory, it takes Bermuda a step in the wrong direction.”  His husband Greg DeRoche added, “Introducing this bill strips a choice from the LGBT community,” warning that it “can have major repercussions for Bermuda's tourism, cultural and community relationships.”

According to Grant Spurling, a lawyer who represented the couple  in the marriage equality case, “the (Bermuda Supreme) Court is bound by legislation” under Bermuda’s legal system unlike in the U.S. where courts can overturn legislation or policies that violate the Constitution, thus Bermuda’s legislature has primacy over the courts in many instances.

The marriage equality victory followed a major setback in June 2016 when Bermudans by large margins rejected both marriage equality and same-sex civil unions in a referendum. Fortunately, the referendum was invalid as turnout did not meet the required 50 percent threshold.  Bermuda has made advances on LGBTQ rights in recent years, such as the decriminalization of consensual sex between men in 1994.

“For the new ‘Progressive’ Labor Party Government to overturn equality is shameful and despicable,” said Tony Brannon of Same Love Bermuda, an advocacy group that fought for marriage equality. “Please allow the Supreme Court of Bermuda ruling to stand and do the right thing for humanity.”

HRC will continue to follow developments in Bermuda.  Read more about our work here.


Author: Saurav Jung Thapa
Posted: November 16, 2017, 2:59 pm

WORST OF THE WORST -- HRC HONES IN ON FIVE OF MOST DANGEROUS OF TRUMP-PENCE’S ANTI-LGBTQ JUDICIAL NOMINEES (AND THAT’S SAYING SOMETHING): Jeff Mateer, Damien Schiff, Leonard Steven Grasz, Mark Norris, and Stephen Schwartz could seriously threaten the future of LGBTQ equality in America. “In their crusade against the LGBTQ community, Donald Trump and Mike Pence are doing everything they can to stack our federal courts and all agencies of the government with anti-LGBTQ nominees and appointments,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “This is a deliberate attempt to undermine the progress we’ve made and weave discrimination into every part of our government. There are scores of under-qualified nominees with terrible anti-equality records, and Jeff Mateer, Damien Schiff, Leonard Steven Grasz, Mark Norris, and Stephen Schwartz are among the worst of the worst. The Senate must reject their nominations to lifetime appointments to the federal bench.” More from HRC, The Daily Beast, LGBTQ Nation and Metro Weekly.

HRC RELEASES FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND GUIDE ON ENGAGING PROSPECTIVE TRANSGENDER AND NON-BINARY FOSTER AND ADOPTIVE PARENTS: The groundbreaking guide, Promising Practices for Serving Transgender & Non-Binary Foster & Adoptive Parents, is designed to help foster care and adoption agencies recruit, certify and support qualified transgender and non-binary adults to become resource parents for young people who need safe, welcoming homes.   “With more than 100,000 young people awaiting adoption across the country, it is urgent for all prospective foster and adoptive parents, including trans and non-binary adults, to feel safe and welcomed in our nation’s foster care system,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC’s Senior Vice President for Programs, Research, and Training. “All parents, no matter their gender identity, deserve the same opportunities to welcome youth into their families, and this detailed resource provides agencies with the information and tools they need to make that a reality.” More from HRC.

THANKFUL THURSDAY -- MEMBERS OF CONGRESS FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE SPEAK OUT DURING #TRANSWEEK: To mark Transgender Awareness Week (#TransWeek), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) spoke out in support of the transgender community, calling for non-discrimination protections and condemning Trump’s dangerous ban on transgender service members.

On @HouseFloor in honor of #Transgender Awareness Week: we must seek to be more inclusive + protect all individuals pic.twitter.com/EANapQY1P0

— Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (@RosLehtinen) November 14, 2017

SLEAZY SENATE GOP TAX “REFORM” PLAN IS BAD FOR LGBTQ PEOPLE: Senate Republican leadership says they will add repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate to their tax “reform” bill, which would strip health insurance away from MILLIONS -- including countless LGBTQ people -- while providing BILLIONS in tax cuts to the top one percent.

The #GOPTaxPlan aims to repeal #ACA's individual mandate, resulting in:
Insurers fleeing the markets.��
13 MILLION Americans losing health care.��
Premiums skyrocketing. ��
All to help pay for tax cuts for our nation's millionaires & corporations.��
Let that sink in.

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) November 15, 2017

ACA OPEN ENROLLMENT: Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues until December 15. Check out some frequently asked questions about enrolling at HRC.

  • Health care and the bisexual community: Check out this article, “7+ Reasons Why Bisexual, Pansexual, Fluid, And Queer People Need to Sign Up For Health Insurance This Month,” from HuffPost.

It’s time to sign up for coverage through the #ACA. Still have questions? Learn more here before you #GetCovered: https://t.co/zfTjBxglM3

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) November 16, 2017

WEST VIRGINIA LGBTQ ADVOCATES CALL ON CITY COUNCIL TO PASS INCLUSIVE NON-DISCRIM ORDINANCE: Wearing shirts referencing Parkersburg’s low score on HRC’s Municipal Equality Index, a group of advocates demanded the city council pass a nondiscrimination ordinance that includes gender identity and sexual orientation. More from The Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

CHILDREN’S MAG HIGHLIGHTS TO (FINALLY) INCLUDE LGBTQ FAMILIES: The magazine, criticized for not showcasing diverse families, will now feature imagines of LGBTQ families. More from Advocate.

THIS IS TORTURE -- HORRIFYING STORIES OF LGBTQ PEOPLE IN CHINA SUBJECTED TO SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY”: Many LGBTQ Chinese have been subjected to electroshock, harassment, involuntary confinement and forced medication. More from CBS.

DAY AFTER AUSTRALIA POSTAL SURVEY, SENATOR STARTS MARRIAGE EQUALITY DEBATE: Dean Smith, a gay Australian senator, introduced a bill to limit who could refuse to serve a same-sex couple seeking marriage, in order to safeguard a future marriage equality bill. More from ABC.

PRINCE HARRY HONORS ENGLAND’S HIV TESTING WEEK: The Prince attended the launch of a pop-up shop in London to help hand out free HIV self-testing kits. More from People.

READING RAINBOW

Refinery29 imagines a world without gendered award shows

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: November 16, 2017, 2:29 pm

Today, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago released a new report on youth homelessness, Missed Opportunities: National Estimates, which found that LGBTQ young adults had a 120 percent higher risk of reporting homelessness compared to youth who identified as heterosexual and cisgender. The report also found that one in 30 youth ages 13-17 experienced a form of homelessness over a 12-month period and one in 10 young adults ages 18-25 experienced a form of homelessness over a 12-month period.

These findings are consistent with other research that also shows that LGBTQ youth are overrepresented among the homeless. Estimates show that LGBTQ youth comprise up to 40 percent of the total unaccompanied homeless youth population, even though they make up five to 10 percent of the overall youth population. Earlier this year, HRC Youth Ambassador Justin Jones discussed his experience as a homeless LGBTQ youth with HRC.

LGBTQ youth aren’t the only population that disproportionately experience homelessness, according to the data released today. Other young adult populations experiencing disproportionate rates of homelessness include Black and African American youth, Hispanic non-white youth, unmarried parenting youth, youth with less than a high school diploma or GED certificate and youth reporting annual household income of less than $24,000.

The consequences of homelessness, particularly for LGBTQ youth, are far reaching and can last a lifetime. Homelessness is harmful to mental and physical health, and youth who are homeless are at an increased risk for sexual abuse and exploitation, chemical and alcohol dependency, social stigma and discrimination. These youth also experience lower levels of long-term educational attainment—placing them at an even greater disadvantage when they enter the job market. Growing up without the critical family and social safety nets so many young people rely on results in catastrophic consequences for economic stability, educational attainment and life expectancy.

Little support exists at the federal level to provide funding for programs that improve family relationships and reduce homelessness among LGBTQ youth. As a result, homeless youth, particularly LGBTQ youth, continue to face severe obstacles in their emotional and professional development.

That is why HRC endorsed the bipartisan Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (RHYTPA), which would reauthorize essential Runaway and Homeless Youth Act programs, including prevention, emergency shelters, street outreach, transitional living and assistance in rural areas. Notably, RHYTPA includes much needed updates to the current Runaway and Homeless Youth Act programs, including an explicit non-discrimination provision that would prohibit any provider of these services from discriminating against youth based on their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.


Author: Jordan Dashow
Posted: November 15, 2017, 7:54 pm

Today, HRC Foundation released Promising Practices for Serving Transgender & Non-Binary Foster & Adoptive Parents, a groundbreaking new guide designed to help foster care and adoption agencies recruit, certify and support qualified transgender and non-binary adults to become resource parents for young people who need safe, welcoming homes.  

“With more than 100,000 young people awaiting adoption across the country, it is urgent for all prospective foster and adoptive parents, including trans and non-binary adults, to feel safe and welcomed in our nation’s foster care system,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC’s Senior Vice President for Programs, Research, and Training. “Discrimination and disrespectful treatment too often create significant barriers for transgender and non-binary people wishing to become resource parents. All parents, no matter their gender identity, deserve the same opportunities to welcome youth into their families, and this detailed resource provides agencies with the information and tools they need to make that a reality.”

The guide offers information on inclusive policies, practices, terminology, and the current legal landscape for LGBTQ prospective parents. It also provides safe and affirming techniques for trans-inclusive data collection, recruitment, and training for agency staff and volunteers. It’s release coincides with National Adoption Month, which is marked every November.

“From Florida to California, foster care and adoption agencies have been reaching out to us, seeking more information on including and supporting both transgender and non-binary parents and youth,” said Alison Delpercio, Deputy Director of HRC’s Children, Youth and Families Program. “Through trainings, the implementation of inclusive policies, and the information contained in this guide, practitioners will gain a fuller perspective on the challenges facing transgender and non-binary adults and learn best practices on how to better welcome them.”

Delpercio continued, “Transgender and non-binary people are fully equipped to be loving and caring resource parents and many bring unique strengths to supporting children and youth with experiences in the foster care system. We just need to create the structures to support these parents.”

The guide also features the personal accounts of transgender and non-binary adoptive parents across the country. A transgender foster dad from California shares the fears he had before becoming a foster parent:  “I was afraid of the process because I was certain I would have been humiliated for being transgender. In the past, I had to endure a lot of negative attitudes and verbal harassment simply for being transgender, and I was afraid of disclosing my gender history to my case manager for similar reasons. Since there were no other visible transgender and non-binary foster parents, I wasn’t sure what I was going to encounter.”

An estimated two million LGBTQ adults in the U.S. are interested in adoption, but the LGBTQ community often remains an untapped resource when it comes to finding families for children and youth in foster care. This guide will help agencies increase their pool of prospective foster and adoptive parents by ensuring they have the policies and practices in place to welcome and support LGBTQ resource families.

HRC's All Children – All Families project promotes LGBTQ cultural competency among child welfare agencies through innovative resources, including an online agency self-assessment tool, comprehensive staff training, free technical assistance and more. Agencies across the country recognize the importance of this work and use ACAF resources to improve practice with LGBTQ youth and families.

Click here to read the report. On Thursday, November 16th at 2 PM ET, All Children - All Families will host a 60-minute webinar previewing this new resource guide. Click here to register for the webinar.

To learn more about HRC’s All Children-All Families Program, visit https://www.hrc.org/campaigns/all-children-all-families.


Author: Sarah McBride
Posted: November 15, 2017, 7:30 pm

Today, HRC aimed a bright spotlight on five federal judicial nominees — Jeff Mateer, Damien Schiff, Leonard Steven Grasz, Mark Norris, and Stephen Schwartz. If confirmed by the Senate, the nominees could seriously threaten the future of LGBTQ equality in America. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Grasz and Norris on Thursday.

“In their crusade against the LGBTQ community, Donald Trump and Mike Pence are doing everything they can to stack our federal courts and all agencies of the government with anti-LGBTQ nominees and appointments,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “This is a deliberate attempt to undermine the progress we’ve made and weave discrimination into every part of our government. There are scores of under-qualified nominees with terrible anti-equality records, and Jeff Mateer, Damien Schiff, Leonard Steven Grasz, Mark Norris, and Stephen Schwartz are among the worst of the worst. The Senate must reject their nominations to lifetime appointments to the federal bench.”

In less than one year, the Trump-Pence Administration has unleashed a torrent of attacks on the LGBTQ community and undermined the rights of millions of Americans. Through rollbacks, rescissions, and re-interpretations, Donald Trump and Mike Pence have systematically and meticulously eroded years of progress and protections. What’s more, Trump and Pence have appointed and nominated scores of extreme and unqualified anti-LGBTQ officials to crucial agencies and court benches — some of whom will serve lifetime appointments.

Jeff Mateer has been nominated to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. In a 2015 speech titled “The Church and Homosexuality,” Jeff Mateer objected to a transgender student using a restroom consistent with her gender identity, saying “I mean it just really shows you how Satan's plan is working and the destruction that's going on.” He defended then-Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s ‘license-to-discriminate’ bill and objected to efforts to alter the legislation. Mateer fought against non-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community in Plano and San Antonio, Texas, and he even supports the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” Mateer also claimed that marriage equality will lead to bestiality.

Damien Schiff, nominated to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, has been unabashed in his anti-LGBTQ views. He called Anthony Kennedy a “judicial prostitute,” opposed anti-bullying policies, opposed the decriminalization of same-sex relationships, and has been a longtime critic of marriage equality. In his writings, Schiff has encouraged parents to opt out of public schools in response to new curriculum that discouraged LGBTQ bullying and normalized families with same-sex parents; opposed the Supreme Court ruling decriminalizing same-sex relationships; defended supporters of Prop 8, falsely claiming same-sex couples had the same legal benefits as married opposite-sex couples before Prop 8.

L. Steven Grasz, nominated for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, served on the board of a non-profit that backed the abusive practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ minors and was unwilling to clarify his own views during his confirmation hearing. Grasz said that language protecting people on the basis of “sexual orientation” opened the door for protections for pedophiles and argued Nebraska should not recognize marriage equality in other states. Grasz also opposed allowing same-sex parents to adopt. The American Bar Association has deemed Grasz unqualified to serve in the position Trump has nominated him for.

Mark S. Norris has been nominated to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Currently the Senate Majority Leader of the Tennessee General Assembly, Norris has voted to support legislation giving business a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people and supported a state law preventing local municipalities from passing LGBTQ non-discrmination protections. Among a host of other positions supporting discrimination, Norris opposed federal guidance from the Obama administration helping to protect transgender students from discrimination and harassment in public schools.  

Stephen Schwartz, nominated to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, has a demonstrable anti-LGBTQ record. HRC joined in an opposition letter with 27 LGBTQ groups, including Lambda Legal and the National Center for Transgender Equality, opposing Schwartz. His work opposing equality includes defending North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2. He also notably served as co-counsel to the Gloucester County School Board in Virginia after it was sued by transgender student Gavin Grimm for discrimination. Grimm challenged the school board in court for denying him use of the boy’s restroom.


Author: Stephen Peters
Posted: November 15, 2017, 3:44 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