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Recent blog articles published by the Human Rights Campaign


Today, HRC and Equality North Carolina issued the following statements after Pat McCrory finally accepted defeat in the North Carolina governor’s race. With a stunning 66 percent of North Carolina voters reporting opposition to HB2 in exit polling, it’s clear that HB2 cost McCrory his re-election bid. According to polling commissioned by HRC and ENC and performed by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, 57 percent of voters put HB2 as the top reason “not to vote for Pat McCrory” -- exceeding any other issue by 17 points.

“Pat McCrory’s reign of discrimination is finally over. McCrory's stubborn and reckless support of HB2 cost him this election, and his defeat sends a powerful warning to lawmakers across the country that targeting LGBTQ people will not be tolerated,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “We look forward to working with Governor-elect Roy Cooper and fair-minded lawmakers to repeal HB2. It's way past time to repair the harm inflicted on North Carolina’s people, reputation and economy.”

"Governor McCrory has finally conceded, and now it is time for the state and people of North Carolina to get on with our business of rebuilding,” said Equality North Carolina Executive Director Chris Sgro. “Roy Cooper is a champion of equality and for North Carolina values, and he is the right person to lead our great state moving forward. This was a hard-fought election, but the people of North Carolina clearly know that Roy Cooper will be the best leader for our state. This is a proud day for especially LGBT North Carolinians, who can now celebrate a Governor who cares deeply about our community."

Between August and Election Day, TurnOUT NC -- a project of the Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina -- held more than 260 get-out-the-vote events in Charlotte and Raleigh on behalf of HRC and ENC endorsed candidates. TurnOUT NC communicated to members and supporters through targeted social media, door-knocking, phone calls, direct mail, text message alerts and email alerts. The TurnOUT NC program generated more than 24 million impressions online to members and supporters encouraging them to vote for pro-equality candidates. HRC and ENC also released a series of ads targeting pro-equality voters, including “Lennie & Pearl for Roy Cooper,” “Pat McCrory: Bad for Business,” and “North Carolina Mom for Roy Cooper.”

In 2012, Pat McCrory was elected with an 11 percent margin of victory. Not only did HB2 cost McCrory his re-election, it dragged down several state candidates. HRC and ENC endorsed Roy Cooper for Governor and Josh Stein for Attorney General, who both won, as well as four challenger races that also declared victory: Rep. Cynthia Ball (D), Chaz Beasley (D), Joe John (D) and Mary Belk (D).

Instead of accepting the fact that voters rejected his bid for re-election, McCrory launched an all-out effort to throw the integrity of the election into question by lodging baseless voter protests in more than half of the state’s 100 counties. The Republican-controlled State Board of Elections issued an order requiring dismissal of all 52 of those protests. McCrory’s tactics garnered widespread criticism. In a powerful editorial headlined, “McCrory will be remembered for this lack of grace,” The Charlotte Observer wrote that McCrory “and his fellow scaremongers have disrespected democracy…”


Author: Stephen Peters
Posted: December 5, 2016, 5:29 pm

HRC blasted President-Elect Donald Trump’s nomination of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, an outspoken opponent of LGBTQ equality, to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Carson, whose ugly rhetoric includes equating marriage equality with bestiality, also opposes laws that protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination and that ban the debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” He has has joked that same-sex couples might have their wedding cakes poisoned by anti-equality bakers, and asserted that being LGBTQ is a “choice.” He has also suggested that transgender people be required to use separate bathrooms.

“The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development is charged with enforcing the U.S. fair housing laws that could prove challenging given that Ben Carson doesn’t even believe LGBTQ people exist,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Throughout his failed presidential campaign, Carson ran on a platform on inequality, and, if nominated, his hateful views could have disastrous effects on LGBTQ people. As a community already faced with housing insecurity, we need an ally, not an agitator, who will protect every American’s right to a safe place to lie down each night.”

Consistent research shows that LGBTQ youth are over-represented among the homeless, comprising 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.

HRC has compiled a database of the anti-LGBTQ statements made by Carson here. Since Donald Trump was elected to office on November 8, he has named several members of his administration and transition team -- and amongst his White House hires and cabinet picks are four individuals with particularly troubling anti-LGBTQ records: Steve Bannon, Representative Tom Price, Betsy DeVos and Senator Jeff Sessions. For more on their records, visit HRC’s blog.


Author: HRC staff
Posted: December 5, 2016, 3:56 pm

A little over a year ago, I flew to Wisconsin to join the small community of Mt. Horeb as they hosted a public reading of the picture book I Am Jazz in solidarity with a first grade transgender girl in the community. The school and the girl’s family had planned their own reading of the book to help explain the girl’s identity to her classmates, but canceled the event once the anti-LGBTQ Liberty Counsel threatened a lawsuit against the school.

As the director of Welcoming Schools, an HRC project that trains educators in fostering safe and welcoming school environments, I regularly use the book I Am Jazz with educators. The book tells the story of living as a transgender child from the perspective of real-life transgender teenager and HRC Youth Ambassador Jazz Jennings, and explains what “transgender” means in words that children and adults can understand. Because we mention the book as a resource to educators across the country during our professional development training programs, HRC’s Welcoming Schools team knew we needed to support the mom planning the community reading.

Amy Lyle, a mother of two students at the school, organized the public reading in response to the school district canceling their own reading. Even though neither of her two children identify as transgender, Amy knew that her community supported LGBTQ youth, and that it was important to move forward with the reading in the community.

Upon my arrival in Mount Horeb that chilly December morning, I stopped at the high school to witness an inspiring reading of I Am Jazz organized by students in the school’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance.  

Energized by the high school students, Amy and I sat in the local coffee shop to discuss the evening’s reading event  planned for a community room at the local library. As Amy and I began to receive calls from reporters across the nation, I started to realize that this event wasn’t just important for the transgender student in this community, but that the big hearts in this small town were sending a message to transgender youth across the country: “We’ve got your back.”

Soon, Amy and I were joined by the co-author of I Am Jazz, Jessica Herthel, and we headed to the library.  Community members continued to file in, and we all moved to a much larger space than the small room we had planned on using. By the time we started the event, more than 600  adults and children of all ages, teachers, neighbors, and families from surrounding communities were sharing the same space and excitement over this historic reading supporting a young child. After a brief introduction, Jessica read the book aloud while the children, who had instinctively sat cross-legged in the front of the room, cheered along with their parents. The room was filled with love---not hate.

As our nation continues to move forward after the election, and as we learn of the stories of misguided hate occurring in our schools today, I am grateful to be celebrating the Mount Horeb one-year anniversary. The kind of ally behavior that Amy and her community showed in response to hate is exactly the model of courage and strength that is deeply needed in schools across the country in this moment.  Every community has the ability to say “no” to hate and fear and to stand in support of each and every student, with all of their differences, in our K-12 schools.   

Following the success of this event, HRC — through our Welcoming Schools program — created a guide to help organizers build more affirming and supportive spaces for transgender and gender-expansive children and youth across the country. At HRC Foundation’s Time to THRIVE Conference in April, we will acknowledge the bravery of the Mount Horeb community and grow on their success, coordinating with communities across the country to host their own I Am Jazz readings. Click here to register and attend Time to THRIVE.

HRC's Welcoming Schools is the nation's premier program dedicated to creating respectful and supportive elementary schools in embracing family diversity, creating LGBTQ-inclusive schools, preventing bias-based bullying, creating gender-expansive schools, and supporting transgender and non-binary students.


Author: HRC staff
Posted: December 5, 2016, 3:25 pm

BREAKING: RECORD NUMBER OF TOP US COMPANIES EMBRACING INCLUSIVE POLICIES FOR LGBT WORKERS: The nation’s major companies and law firms are advancing in record numbers vital policies and practices to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers around the world, according to the 2017 Corporate Equality Index released today by the HRC Foundation. This year, a record-breaking 517 businesses earned the CEI’s top score of 100, up from 407 last year. That’s a single-year increase of more than 25 percent -- the largest jump in the 15-year history of the nation’s premiere benchmarking tool for LGBT workplace equality. Leadership demonstrated by these businesses, including speaking out against discriminatory laws like North Carolina's HB2, reflect more than a decade of work inside these companies to expand LGBT, and particularly transgender, workplace equality.  “Even in the face of relentless attempts to undermine equality, America’s leading companies and law firms remain steadfast and committed to supporting and defending the rights and dignity of LGBTQ people,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “The unprecedented expansion of inclusive workplaces across the country and around the globe not only reflects our progress, it helps drive it.  As we enter a new chapter in our fight for equality, support from the business community will be more critical than ever to protect our historic advancements over the last decade and to continue to push equality forward for workers, customers, and families around the world.” This year 887 companies and firms were officially rated and, in addition to the record number of companies receiving a perfect score of 100, progress continued across workplaces, including:

  • 93 percent of rated companies had adopted sexual orientation equal employment policies for U.S. and global operations and 92 percent had gender identity equal employment policies for U.S. and global operations.
  • Same-sex domestic partner or spousal benefits were provided by 98 percent of rated companies.
  • 73 percent of rated companies offer transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage, up from 60 percent from last year, the largest single year increase in trans-inclusive health benefits since the coverage was added to the CEI’s scoring criteria.
  • Bloomberg’s Jeff Green (@JeffAGreen) and Shannon Pettypiece (@spettypi) take an exclusive look at the new CEI, reporting that “companies from Apple Inc. to Xerox Corp. are pushing to protect employee rights and improve gender equality as some legislative efforts have stalled.” Deena Fidas, HRC’s Workplace Equality Project Director tells Bloomberg: "Corporate America has risen to the top in terms of being a high-impact influencer,” at the federal, state and judicial levels. Read it all here.

A record number of 887 businesses were officially rated in HRC's 2017 Corporate Equality Index. Learn more→ https://t.co/Z2Ih9PNqeS #CEI2017

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) December 5, 2016

TRUMP PICKS BEN CARSON TO HEAD HUD, ADDING YET ANOTHER CABINET NOMINEE WITH LONG ANTI-LGBTQ RECORD: According to morning news reports, President-elect Donald Trump is expected to nominate Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and outspoken opponent of LGBTQ equality, to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Carson, whose ugly rhetoric includes equating marriage equality with bestiality, also opposes laws that protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination and that ban the debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” He has has joked that same-sex couples might have their wedding cakes poisoned by anti-equality bakers, and asserted that being LGBTQ is a “choice.” He has also suggested that transgender people be required to use separate bathrooms. Read more about Carson’s horrific, dangerous record here.

HRC JOINS EQUALITY PARTNERS IN MEXICO FOR INTERNATIONAL CEI LAUNCH: Today at Dow Química Mexicana S.A. de C.V. in Mexico City, HRC, its partners in  HRC Equidad MX: Global Workplace Equality Program, and representatives from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico will celebrate the CEI launch and the growing international commitment to LGBT equality in the workplace. HRC Equidad MX, initiated earlier this year with equality partners on the ground in Mexico, seeks to increase the number of Mexican and Latin American businesses adopting LGBT-inclusive policies and practices. Also joining HRC Equidad MX at today’s event will be leaders from J.P. Morgan Chase, and PEMEX, the Mexican state-owned petroleum company. More from The Yucatan Times.

MONDAY MUST WATCH: North Carolina’s Durham County over the weekend recounted about half of the more than 94,000 votes cast on Election Day, with the recount expected to conclude sometime today.. So far, Cooper picked up three additional votes, and McCrory lost one. Get caught up on the latest at WRAL.

Durham County recount ain't doing much good for @PatMcCroryNC so far. https://t.co/D15ElT8SGw #ncpol pic.twitter.com/0z8vNNpWeR

— Colin Campbell (@RaleighReporter) December 5, 2016

GAMBIA REJECTS ANTI-LGBTQ PRESIDENT YAHYA JAMMEH IN HISTORIC ELECTION: In a stunning turn of events, longtime Gambian president Yahya Jammeh, who repeatedly attacked LGBTQ people during his more than 22-year reign, has lost his re-election bid.  The head of the Gambian Electoral Commission reports that Jammeh has conceded defeat to Adama Barrow. "This is a truly momentous day for all Gambians," said Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global. "This is an historic opportunity for The Gambia to turn a new page on human rights for all people, including LGBTQ people." Jammeh has called LGBTQ people "vermin" and publicly declared he would "slit the throats" of gay men in his country. HRC and other human rights groups have called on the U.S. and other bodies to sanction Jammeh over reports of torture and violence directed at vulnerable groups and political opponents. HRC honored Jammeh’s nephew in 2015 for his bravery in publicly criticizing his uncle's attacks on LGBTQ people. More from HRC.

CHECK OUT MAINE BASKETBALL PLAYERS PROTESTING NC’S ANTI-LGBTQ HB2 LAW BEFORE GAME WITH DUKE: According to Bleacher Report,  Maine head coach Bob Walsh said that the team’s rainbow warmups statement on Saturday “was about promoting inclusion and promoting equality and our guys understanding that they can make an impact."

Shout out to @BlackBearMBB for taking a stand against hate, discrimination & North Carolina's anti-LGBTQ #HB2 bill! https://t.co/SWTpb6q0o8

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) December 2, 2016

MANDY MOORE TALKS ABOUT MOTHER, TWO BROTHERS WHO ARE LGBTQ: The singer and actress recently revealed that her mother and both of her brothers are LGBTQ, and that everyone in her family is “exactly where they should be. Everyone’s so much happier, richer, and more fulfilled, being their authentic selves.” In an interview with Byrdie, the This Is Us star was asked if she ever felt pressure to lead a traditional family life. “No,” she said. More from HRC.

MISS MISSOURI’S MESSAGE TO LGBTQ YOUTH: Erin O’Flaherty made history this summer as the first openly LGBTQ contestant to compete for the title of Miss America. Her platform, suicide prevention, has been a passion of hers, and she is using her position as Miss Missouri to raise awareness about this critical issue, particularly among LGBTQ youth. Read HRC’s interview with Erin here.

.@HRC sat down with @MissAmericaMO to discuss her commitment to suicide prevention & her message for #LGBTQ youth https://t.co/nBeT57OoBz

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) December 4, 2016

FLORIDA MAN ARRESTED FOR MAKING ‘PULSE-LIKE’ THREATS AGAINST LGBTQ-FRIENDLY CHURCH: A Miami man is in custody after making threats on social media toward an LGBTQ-friendly church, saying, “Orlando will look small to what is coming to Miami Beach, specifically the Miami Beach Community Church.” More from The Washington Post.

TRANSGENDER-FRIENDLY MOSQUE IN PAKISTAN: LGBTQ advocates in Pakistan are drawing up plans for a new fully-inclusive mosque to serve the community. More from The Independent.

READING RAINBOW

BuzzFeed shares powerful photos taken during the height of the AIDS epidemic… Instinct Magazine celebrates five milestones for the LGBTQ community...

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


Author: HRC staff
Posted: December 5, 2016, 2:50 pm

The nation’s major companies and law firms are advancing in record numbers vital policies and practices to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workers around the world, according to the 2017 Corporate Equality Index released today by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization.

The Corporate Equality Index (CEI), launched in 2002 to assess LGBT-inclusive policies and practices at Fortune 500 companies, also highlights how corporate leaders are increasingly stepping up to play a leading role in opposing anti-equality legislation -- from statehouses to the U.S. Capitol. Through their actions, taken as LGBTQ workers and customers have been facing a record number of anti-LGBTQ bills in state legislatures across the country, business leaders are building on their longstanding commitment to expanding workplace equality for LGBTQ people.

This year, a record-breaking 517 businesses earned the CEI’s top score of 100, up from 407 last year. That’s a single-year increase of more than 25 percent -- the largest jump in the 15-year history of the nation’s premiere benchmarking tool for LGBT workplace equality. Leadership demonstrated by these businesses, including speaking out against discriminatory laws like North Carolina's HB2, reflect more than a decade of work inside these companies to expand LGBT, and particularly transgender, workplace equality. 

“Even in the face of relentless attempts to undermine equality, America’s leading companies and law firms remain steadfast and committed to supporting and defending the rights and dignity of LGBTQ people,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The unprecedented expansion of inclusive workplaces across the country and around the globe not only reflects our progress, it helps drive it.  As we enter a new chapter in our fight for equality, support from the business community will be more critical than ever to protect our historic advancements over the last decade and to continue to push equality forward for workers, customers, and families around the world.”

Over the last several years, CEI-rated companies have dramatically expanded their support for transgender workers. When the CEI launched, just three percent of Fortune 500 companies had non-discrimination protections that included gender identity. Today, that number is 82 percent.  In a historic display of support for transgender equality, 68 companies joined HRC to file an amicus brief earlier this year supporting the U.S. Department of Justice’s effort to block some of the most egregious anti-transgender aspects of North Carolina’s HB2 law. And more than 200 business leaders signed on to an open letter urging North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and the state’s General Assembly to repeal the harmful law.

The record number of companies earning a score of 100 in the most rigorous evaluation in the history of the CEI, reflects their commitment to sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination protections -- at home and around the world -- as well as to adopting LGBT-inclusive practices and benefits such as establishing employee resource groups and offering trans-inclusive health benefits.

“Through 15 editions of the annual Corporate Equality Index, major private sector employers have demonstrated over and over that inclusion is not just the right thing to do, it makes for a stronger, more successful business,” said Deena Fidas, Director of HRC’s Workplace Equality Program. “From centuries-old companies to those that have existed for just a few years, major employers have adopted LGBT-inclusive policies and benefits at rates that continue to outpace lawmakers and lead the way forward.”

Last year, the CEI for the first time expanded its benchmarks for inclusion to include global policies, recognizing the worldwide impact of many Fortune 500 companies. The community has responded, and this year 92 percent of CEI-rated companies include both sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination protections that apply to workers domestically and internationally.

This fall  HRC Equidad MX: Global Workplace Equality Program was launched: it is a formal program with partners on the ground to grow the number of Mexican and Latin American businesses adopting LGBT-inclusive policies and practices. The launch event is later today at The Dow Chemical Company in Mexico City. In addition to The Dow Chemical Company, HRC Equidad MX staff will be joined by leaders from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, J.P. Morgan Chase, and PEMEX, the Mexican state-owned petroleum company to celebrate and mark the importance of full LGBT inclusion in their respective organizations.

The CEI rates companies and top law firms on detailed criteria falling under five broad categories:

  • Non-discrimination policies
  • Employment benefits
  • Demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBT diversity and inclusion
  • Public commitment to LGBT equality
  • Responsible citizenship

This year 887 companies and firms were officially rated and, in addition to the record number of companies receiving a perfect score of 100, progress continued across workplaces, including:

  • 93 percent of rated companies had adopted sexual orientation equal employment policies for U.S. and global operations and 92 percent had gender identity equal employment policies for U.S. and global operations.
  • Same-sex domestic partner or spousal benefits were provided by 98 percent of rated companies.
  • 73 percent of rated companies offer transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage, up from 60 percent from last year, the largest single year increase in trans-inclusive health benefits since the coverage was added to the CEI.

The full report is available online at hrc.im/CEIReport


Author: Sarah McBride
Posted: December 5, 2016, 12:29 pm

Erin O’Flaherty made history this past summer as the first openly LGBTQ contestant to compete for the title of Miss America. Her platform, suicide prevention, has been a passion of hers for several years and she has used her prominence as Miss Missouri to raise awareness about this critical issue, particularly among LGBTQ youth.

O’Flaherty, who was crowned Miss Missouri in June, came out as a lesbian a few years ago to a supportive family, but recognizes that acceptance is unfortunately something not everyone experiences during their coming out journey. She works with organizations such as The Trevor Project and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to help those who are contemplating suicide and encourages people to focus on mental health and self-care.

HRC had the opportunity to talk with O’Flaherty about her work with these important organizations and what she hopes to achieve as a role model for LGBTQ youth. Read our exclusive one-on-one with O’Flaherty below:

Tell us about your commitment to suicide prevention and how you got involved with such an important issue.
My initial commitment to suicide prevention began after I lost one of my best friends to suicide when I was 13. As I navigated the grieving process, I learned that there were warning signs and risk factors associated with an individual contemplating suicide. I wondered what might have been if I had been educated beforehand. Would I have been able to save my friend

Losing a loved one to suicide is so tragic - there is not much closure, if any. It became therapeutic for me to spread the word that suicide can be prevented. Initially, I became familiar with the QPR Institute and the AFSP. I learned so much from the educational resources that they provide. As I struggled with my own sexuality and eventually coming out, I found my passion in The Trevor Project - suicide prevention dedicated to the LGBT community.

What type of work do you do with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and The Trevor Project? Do you focus on both mental health as well as bullying?
AFSP and The Trevor Project are allies in much of what they do. While I work very closely with The Trevor Project as an ambassador, so to speak, some of the national educational materials and research are done through the AFSP. The mission of each organization, ultimately, is to prevent suicide. As Miss Missouri, I travel my state speaking to schools, clubs, and organizations about the lifesaving resources that The Trevor Project offers and I offer my own story to audiences along the way. Much of that focuses on mental health and self-care and my personal struggles with both. I want to connect with those I meet on a personal level and give them hope.

Since the presidential election, The Trevor Project has experienced a surge in calls, texts, and chats. This is coupled with the seasonal surge that often comes with the holidays and LGBTQ youth feeling alone. Many are feeling very scared about what their future might look like right now, and through the The Trevor Project, we are able to provide lifesaving resources to help mitigate those fears. It's my job to spread awareness about these important resources so that others are enabled to act and help, too.

You came out as a lesbian a few years ago. How did you make the brave decision and how has that changed your life since?
My coming out was very slow, in my mind. I never had an "aha!" moment that propelled me out of the closet. It took living through my teenage years filled with confusion and struggle to slowly realize and admit to myself that I was gay. Once I accepted it for myself, my coming out just felt natural from there. There is no denying that coming out is nothing less than awkward. For some, it is even filled with hatred and bullying from peers and, in some cases, strangers. However, I can't imagine living my life without being open about who I am. It has changed my life and outlook for the better in every way. It is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it was by far the most rewarding, as well.

As the first openly LGBTQ contestant to compete in Miss America, what did that mean to you in terms of LGBTQ visibility?
I can't put into words what it meant to me! I grew up as a very feminine girl who struggled with her sexuality - if I had been able to witness someone competing for Miss America that I perceived to be "like me," I wonder if it wouldn't have taken me so long to accept that it is 100 percent possible to be both feminine and lesbian. Being the first means I might get to serve as that reference point for someone else, and that means the world to me. All I want out of this is to be a positive influence in someone else's life and hopefully help someone through what can be a scary time in life.

How does it feel to be a role model and example for LGBTQ youth to be proud of who they are?
I can only hope that I'm setting that example! It's not easy to be subjected to so many opinions so frequently and in the public eye, but it certainly makes it easier knowing there are so many people who do support me and do see me as someone who can set a good example for others. I've had to learn self-love and self-care, but at the end of the day I truly am proud to be who I am and I wouldn't change it even if I could. Now more than ever, it will be important for the LGBTQ community to come together as a collective and be proud of who we are.

What is the most valuable thing you have experienced or learned since competing in Miss America?
The biggest, most abundantly clear message I have learned in life, both through Miss America and outside of the pageant world completely, is that it will never be possible to please absolutely everyone. All you can do is be yourself and tune out negativity. That will be more than enough for so many people that DO support and love you.

O’Flaherty will attend HRC Foundation’s fourth annual Time to THRIVE Conference, promoting safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ youth. Register now for Time to THRIVE, which will be held from Friday, April 18 - Sunday, April 30, 2017 in Washington, D.C.


Author: Emily Roberts
Posted: December 4, 2016, 5:01 pm

To welcome Vice President-elect Mike Pence to Washington D.C. his new neighbors are displaying rainbow flags on their porches and lawns to send a message of equality to the soon-to-be former Indiana governor to counter his extensive anti-LGBTQ record as an elected official . 

Several rainbow flags have been displayed around his home in Chevy Chase, which is only temporary until he can move into the vice president’s residence at the Naval Observatory.

"A respectful message showing, in my case, my disagreement with some of his thinking," Ilse Heintzen, one of the neighbors, told WJLA. "I have no idea what (the vice president elect) will think about, but I hope he will change his mind," she added.

As Governor, Pence underscored his anti-LGBTQ record in 2015 with his “license to discriminate” bill that could have allowed businesses to deny service to LGBTQ people -- and subsequently defending the bill over an outcry from the business community and a majority of Hoosier voters. In a now notorious interview with ABC last year, Pence refused to answer eight separate times when asked whether businesses should be able to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Pence also opposes marriage equality and Department of Education guidelines supporting transgender students. When serving in Congress, he voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, calling it a “radical social agenda.”  

For more information on Pence’s anti-LGBTQ record, click here


Author: Hayley Miller
Posted: December 2, 2016, 9:31 pm

Today, HRC released the following statement on the revelation that Senator Jeff Sessions -- President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for U.S. Attorney General -- led a campaign to block an LGBTQ student group from holding a conference at a public university while he was Alabama Attorney General.  The news unearthed by CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski is just the latest evidence of Session’s long record of opposition to LGBTQ equality.

Yesterday, HRC and nearly 150 civil and human rights organizations sent a letter to U.S. Senators opposing the nomination of Sessions as U.S. Attorney General, and detailing his alarming record.

“As the chief law enforcement officer of the state of Alabama, Jeff Sessions unconscionably targeted LGBTQ students to deny them their First Amendment rights. The job of the U.S. Attorney General is to ensure and protect the freedom of all Americans. Senator Sessions is unfit to serve,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “As a senator, Sessions earned a perfect 0 on our Congressional Scorecard, and he voted against hate crimes protections, against open military service and against marriage rights. Now we learn he's attacked the rights of LGBTQ students. Nobody with such a clear record against equal rights for so many Americans should be entrusted with running the very system of justice designed to protect us all.”

In his 1996 campaign to block an LGBTQ student group from holding a conference at a public university, Sessions spoke out publicly and wrote to the University President in failed attempts to thwart the conference at the University of Alabama, which included workshops on HIV prevention, interfaith issues, and coming out. Claiming a state law compelled him to do so, Sessions sent a letter to the University President, demanding he, or the university's board of trustees, cancel the conference, saying, "I intend to do everything I can to stop that conference." A U.S. District Judge ruled otherwise, saying there was "an open effort by the State Legislature to limit the sexuality discussion in institutions of higher learning to only one viewpoint: that of heterosexual people. This viewpoint limitation violates the first amendment."

In Congress, he voted for a Constitutional ban on marriage equality; spoke in opposition of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell; voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA); is a co-sponsor of the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), legislation that could allow Kim Davis-style discrimination against LGBTQ people across the nation; voted against repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”; and voted against both the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation, gender identity, gender and disability. Sessions also opposed the Voting Rights Act, has voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, opposes immigration reform, and has been on the wrong side of every civil rights issue in his long political career. Sessions received a zero on HRC’s congressional scorecard.

In 1986, Sessions’ nomination for a federal judgeship was rejected by the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee because of racially charged comments and actions; at the time, Sessions was one of two judicial nominees whose selections were halted by the panel in nearly 50 years. Now, 30 years later, Sessions will face a confirmation hearing from the same legislative body that denied him a federal judgeship.


Author: HRC staff
Posted: December 2, 2016, 7:35 pm

Singer and actress Mandy Moore recently revealed that her mother and both of her brothers are LGBTQ, and that everyone is more fulfilled living their truths.

In an interview with Byrdie, the This Is Us star, who plays a dedicated mother of triplets in the hit series, was asked if she ever felt pressure to lead a traditional family life.

“No,” Moore declared without hesitation. “I’ve never really talked about this, but my parents are divorced. My mother left my father for a woman. And both of my two brothers are gay.”

Moore said growing up her nuclear family was unfractured and that her parents did an incredible job raising her and her siblings. And today, the family is “exactly where they should be.”

“Everyone’s so much happier, richer, and more fulfilled being their authentic selves,” she said.

Moore voiced her support for HRC and marriage equality when she helped turn the internet red with HRC’s iconic red logo in 2013, as well as ahead of the Supreme Court’s nationwide marriage equality decision in 2015.

Coming out – whether it is as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or allied – matters. When people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support equality under the law. Beyond that, our stories can be powerful to each other.

Whether it's for the first time ever or the first time today, the experience of coming out and living openly covers the full spectrum of human emotion -- from fear to euphoria, and is a deeply personal journey for each individual. Learn more at HRC’s Coming Out Center.


Author: Emily Roberts
Posted: December 2, 2016, 6:30 pm

In a stunning turn of events, longtime Gambian president Yahya Jammeh, who repeatedly attacked LGBTQ people in his more than 22-year reign, has lost his re-election bid and has conceded defeat (according to the head of the Gambian Electoral Commission) to his opponent, Adama Barrow. 

"This is a truly momentous day for all Gambians," said Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global. "This is an historic opportunity for The Gambia to turn a new page on human rights for all people, including LGBTQ people."

Jammeh has targeted LGBTQ people for a number of years, calling them "vermin" and publicly declaring he would "slit the throats" of any gay men in his country. HRC and other human rights groups have called on the U.S. and other bodies to sanction Jammeh over reports of torture and violence directed at vulnerable groups and political opponents. HRC honored Jammeh’s nephew in 2015 for having publicly criticized his uncle's attacks on LGBTQ people. 

Jammeh has held on to power in his small West African nation since a coup in 1994 through a combination of violence, intimidation and a divided opposition that had been unable to unify around a single candidate. This year, however, proved different as Gambians took to the streets to protest and call for democratic reforms. In April, Jammeh's authorities arrested a number of protestors, and one died in detention shortly after the arrests. HRC joined a number of groups in calling attention to the violence in a letter to the U.S. State Department in May

The U.S. Government has taken a number of steps against the Jammeh government including removing them from eligibility for the African Growth and Opportunity Act in 2014 and releasing a White House statement in 2015. 

This year, unlike past years, the Gambian opposition was able to unify around Barrow's candidacy and he soundly defeated Jammeh 45 percent to 37 percent. While Barrow has called for the release of political prisoners, his views on LGBTQ people are not publicly known.

HRC will update this blog post as more information becomes available. 


Author: Jeremy Kadden
Posted: December 2, 2016, 5:41 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