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Today, HRC called on Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló to veto a bill passed by the Senate on Sunday that could allow anyone who claims a religious exemption the right to discriminate against the Commonwealth’s LGBTQ community and visitors.

“This legislation would allow a dangerous license to discriminate, putting LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities directly in harm’s way,” said Sarah Warbelow, HRC Legal Director. “Leaders in Puerto Rico should focus on bringing its citizens together -- not on measures that would cause harm and discrimination.”

The bill, a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) similar to the bill Vice President Pence disastrously signed into law as governor of Indiana, would empower individuals to pick and choose which laws they want to follow and allow an individual to sue government actors, including teachers, firefighters and police officers, if that individual believes their religious rights were being violated by a government action. Recently, a for profit business owner in Michigan used a RFRA to justify firing a transgender woman when she informed her boss about her plans to transition.  This stands in stark contrast to Puerto Rico’s progress on LGBTQ equality in recent years, including laws banning anti-LGBTQ discrimination and adding gender identity and sexual orientation to statutes addressing  domestic violence,  as well as executive orders prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity in hospitals and allowing transgender persons to change their gender marker on driver’s licenses.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, currently focused on Hurricane Maria recovery efforts in her city, stated: "Discrimination--whatever it may be--disguises hatred, fear, and ignorance. There will never be a justification to hide it behind any law."

HRC notes that nearly half the 49 victims of the deadly Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016 were LGBTQ Puerto Ricans, and calls on all Americans to come together and help their fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.


Author: HRC staff
Posted: December 15, 2017, 3:30 pm

NEW HRC REPORT DETAILS HARMS OF WRITING DISCRIMINATION INTO CHILD WELFARE LAWS: The publication of Disregarding the Best Interest of the Child: License to Discriminate In Child Welfare Services comes as legislatures across the country prepare to reconvene in January, with many states poised to consider anti-LGBTQ bills. “Anti-LGBTQ discrimination has no place in our nation’s child welfare services,” said Cathryn Oakley, HRC’s State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel. “A taxpayer-funded license to discriminate against LGBTQ parents and, in some cases, children is cruel, harmful and unconstitutional. This new report details the the harms imposed -- at the taxpayers’ expense - upon children who are in the state’s care.” Seven states, including five in just the last three years, have passed laws granting a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people in foster care and adoption services. In 2017, the number of anti-LGBTQ child welfare-related bills nearly doubled, from four to seven. Laws like these allow agencies to refuse to work with LGBTQ people; some even allow them to refuse to provide certain types of medical treatment to LGBTQ children in their care. More from HRC.

.@HRC releases a guide for lawmakers and allies who want to learn more about discrimination in child welfare services. We must stand against discriminatory state laws, and make sure ALL children are receiving the best care possible. https://t.co/1gPWECguRN

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) December 14, 2017

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY -- SALLY RIDE TO BE ON USPS STAMP IN 2018: As a pioneering NASA astronaut and science education advocate, Sally Ride was both the first American woman and the youngest American to be launched into space. More from NewNowNext.

HRC MOURNS DEATH OF BRANDI SEALS, BLACK TRANSGENDER WOMAN MURDERED IN HOUSTON: Transgender rights advocate and blogger Monica Roberts reports that on Wednesday morning, Seals, 26, was found shot in front of a home under construction. Police are investigating but so far have no leads on a suspect. Multiple media outlets and law enforcement have misgendered Seals. Seals’ family described her as a “loving person” and “beautiful person.” Seals is now the 28th known trans person killed in the U.S. this year. Read more from HRC.

SAME-SEX PARENTAL CASE MAY BE FIRST TO REACH HAWAII SUPREME COURT: Tragically, a woman is seeking to sever her parental rights to a child her ex-wife gave birth to. More from The Associated Press.

DISGUSTING -- TRANS WOMAN ASSAULTED AT D.C. LGBTQ COMMUNITY CENTER: A suspect entered Casa Ruby, the capital’s only bilingual, multicultural LGBTQ community center, and punched and maced a client. Police are investigating the incident as a suspected hate crime. More from The Washington Blade.

This incident at @CasaRubyDC is horrific & underscores the plight that too many #LGBTQ people - particularly trans people of color - still encounter across the country.https://t.co/9RBYK0dkWu

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) December 14, 2017

TWO DETROIT MEN TO STAND TRIAL FOR SHOOTING TRANSGENDER WOMAN: Charles Marion Brown and Jujuan Alexon Williams are charged with shooting  Sharita Maxwell, who described the horrors in court, reports Oralandar Brand-Williams of the Detroit News. The assault left Maxwell paralyzed. More from The Detroit News.

REMEMBERING CASSIDY KARAKORN, BELOVED HRC COLLEAGUE, FRIEND AND ADVOCATE: The Washington Post Magazine’s Britt Peterson spoke to Cassidy’s brother and sister -- John and Kim -- about her life, talents and passions. Over her 17-year career at HRC, Cassidy tirelessly championed civil rights for the LGBTQ community. As director of consumer marketing, Cassidy's eye for fashion and art made a transformative impact on HRC and helped us reach more people than ever before. Our hearts go out to her  family and many friends grieving her loss. More from The Washington Post.

NEW REPORT -- TRUMP-PENCE ADMINISTRATION HARMS LGBTQ PEOPLE IN HEALTH CARE: The Fenway Institute looks at the harm the Trump-Pence Administration’s actions have on LGBTQ people trying to access healthcare, and their experiences with social service providers, private businesses, and government officials. More from Augusta Free Press.

REMEMBER THE DAD OUTSIDE THE ROY MOORE RALLY WHO SPOKE MOVINGLY ABOUT HIS LESBIAN DAUGHTER WHO COMMITTED SUICIDE? Nathan Mathis told The Daily Beast’s Tim Teeman (@TimTeeman) that “I believe Patti would have appreciated what I did. I believe had Patti still been alive, she would have been out there holding up that sign herself.” More from The Daily Beast.

LGBTQ COMMUNITY CENTER IN CLEVELAND BREAKS GROUND: The new facility will have a community drop-in space, meeting rooms and event space. More from ABC 5 Cleveland.

DANICA ROEM -- “YOUNG TRANS KIDS DESERVE REPRESENTATION, TOO”: Roem, speaking at an event in San Francisco, encouraged people to volunteer for the candidates they believe in. More from The Bay Area Reporter.

#METOO -- THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY AND SEXUAL ASSAULT: Forty-seven percent of trans people report being sexually assaulted at some point in their lives. Forty-six percent of bisexual women have been raped, with 48 percent of them experiencing that sexual assault between the ages of 11 and 17; and 26 percent of gay men and 37 percent of bisexual men have experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner. More from Bustle.

SAME-SEX UK COUPLE DENIED ACCESS TO FUNDED IVF TREATMENT: They were told by the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group they would have to spend £6,000 on an interim procedure that a different-sex couple would not be required to undergo before starting IVF. More from Telegraph.

AUSTRALIAN BARBER REFUSED TO CUT TRANS MAN’S HAIR: The Kingsmen Hair barber shop has been reported to the Anti-Discrimination Board for refusing to serve and verbally harassing Casey Franklin. More from The Daily Telegraph.

READING RAINBOW

The Standard speaks to an openly gay Australian dairy farmer on his reaction when learning about marriage equality; HBO reviews 15: A Quinceañera Story, a documentary including a transgender girl coming of age; India Today shares the story of Manpreet Singh Virk, a transgender Sikh man; NBC dives into the story of three openly gay men competing to be on the U.S. Olympic team; ABC interviews LGBTQ people in Paraguay about the discrimination they face; Billboard highlights five times Christina Aguilera advocated for LGBTQ equality


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: December 15, 2017, 2:45 pm

Forty-four years ago today, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) -- the largest psychiatric organization in the world -- made history by issuing a resolution stating that homosexuality was not a mental illness or sickness. This declaration helped shift public opinion, marking a major milestone for LGBTQ equality.

The resolution stated, “We will no longer insist on a label of sickness for individuals who insist that they are well and demonstrate no generalized impairment in social effectiveness.” The statement continued to say the APA supports “civil rights legislation at local, state, and Federal levels that would insure homosexual citizens the same protections now guaranteed to others.”

Now, more than 40 years later, LGBTQ advocates are still fighting to achieve that reality. Despite significant steps forward, 31 states still lack clear, fully-inclusive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, meaning that LGBTQ people are at risk of being fired, denied housing, and denied services for who they are or whom they love.

That’s why HRC is fighting to pass The Equality Act, which would provide consistent and explicit federal non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs and jury service.

In recent years, the APA has continued to advocate for LGBTQ people, including forcefully opposing the dangerous practice of so-called “conversion therapy” and opposing the Trump-Pence Administration’s ban on qualified transgender people serving in the military.


Author: Allison Turner
Posted: December 15, 2017, 12:00 pm

HRC mourns the tragic loss of Brandi Seals, a 26-year-old Black transgender woman who was found shot to death in Houston, Texas.

Transgender rights advocate and blogger Monica Roberts reports that on Wednesday morning, Seals’ was found in front of a home under construction. Witnesses were reported hearing several gunshots before her body was discovered.

Police are still investigating but so far have turned up no leads on a suspect. Multiple media outlets and law enforcement have misgendered Seals.

Seals’ family described her as a “loving person” and a “beautiful person.”

Seals is now the 28th known trans person killed in the U.S. this year.

Her death comes after the HRC Foundation and the Trans People of Color Coalition released a report documenting the often deadly violence faced by transgender people -- and particularly trans women of color -- and exploring factors that have made 2017 the deadliest on record for the transgender community.

To learn more about HRC’s transgender justice work, and the epidemic of violence against transgender people, visit hrc.org/Transgender.


Author: Brian McBride
Posted: December 14, 2017, 10:28 pm

Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation released Disregarding the Best Interest of the Child: License to Discriminate In Child Welfare Services, a report detailing the harms of efforts to write anti-LGBTQ discrimination by child welfare agencies into law. The publication of the comprehensive resource comes as legislatures across the country prepare to reconvene in January, with many states poised to consider anti-LGBTQ bills.

“Anti-LGBTQ discrimination has no place in our nation’s child welfare services,” said Cathryn Oakley, HRC’s State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel. “A taxpayer-funded license to discriminate against LGBTQ parents and, in some cases, children is cruel, harmful and unconstitutional. This new report details the the harms imposed - at the taxpayers’ expense - upon children who are in the state’s care.”  

Seven states, including five in just the last three years, have passed laws granting a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people in foster care and adoption services. In 2017, the number of anti-LGBTQ child welfare-related bills nearly doubled, from four to seven.  Laws like these allow agencies to refuse to work with LGBTQ people; some even allow them to refuse to provide certain types of medical treatment to LGBTQ children in their care. The guide outlines several false assumptions which are often relied upon to justify these bills, and explains that these bills artificially limit the pool of potential foster and adoptive parents at a time when more parents are desperately needed, and that they funnel taxpayer funds to agencies that are perpetuating discrimination.

Statistics suggest that 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.

In Congress, there is legislation that would create license to discriminate bills impacting child welfare services — the deceptively named First Amendment Defense Act and the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act. The report explains how these, and an Executive Order issued in May and followed by  guidance from the Office of the Attorney General in October, could perpetrate similar harms on the federal level.  It also details the legislation that would prevent such discrimination - including the Equality Act and the Every Child Deserves a Family Act.

HRC is on the frontlines of expanding access and inclusion within America’s child welfare services, from combatting license to discriminate laws at the state and federal levels to working with youth-serving professionals on the ground. HRC's All Children – All Families (ACAF) 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.

To read the new guide, visit Disregarding the Best Interest of the Child: License to Discriminate In Child Welfare Services.


Author: Sarah McBride
Posted: December 14, 2017, 5:37 pm

Efe Songun, the newest HRC Global Fellow, is the founder of Harup, a project space that combines LGBTQ advocacy and arts that he started in 2016. As a Global Fellow, Songun is working alongside HRC staff in Washington, D.C. for the next year. HRC’s Global Fellows program brings established and emerging LGBTQ leaders to the nation’s capital for professional development opportunities to build leadership capacity.

HRC sat down with Songun to discuss Turkey, his goals and the fight for LGBTQ rights.

How did you become an LGBTQ advocate?

I first became politically aware in the LGBTQ movement in 2011. As an openly LGBTQ individual in Turkey, I realized there was hypocrisy in the daily political language on human and LGBTQ rights and people’s freedom of expression--regardless of their racial, political or sexual orientation--was being suppressed. In May 2013 with the Gezi Protests in Istanbul, I started to become more politically involved within the LGBTQ movement. Ever since then, I try to live a life that tries to find a way to advocate, find allies and express freedom of expression in Turkey.

What is it like to be an LGBTQ advocate in Turkey?

The fundamental issue for LGBTQ rights is to get acknowledgement from the state in order to advocate for other basic rights, such as freedom of expression. Recent developments starkly highlight the issues the LGBTQ community faces. Since 2016, the government has banned Istanbul Pride Parade, and it has now expanded that ban to any public activities held any time of the year. With a local government shutting down a popular LGBTQ Film Festival, this has tightened advocates’ freedom of expression. In the long run, this can sabotage efforts of the LGBTQ community to advocate at the state level.

What does Harup do?

I founded Harup in 2016 as a project that collects, documents and exhibits oral histories of LGBTQ individuals. Since freedom of expression was diminishing with each positive step of the movement, I found it crucial to share the stories of LGBTQ artists and individuals.

How did you hear about HRC?

It was almost 10 years ago when I was an exchange student for a year in Wisconsin. That’s when I first came out. The first reaction from my support system was to introduce me to the Gay Straight Alliance at my high school, take me to a PFLAG meeting so that I would be prepared to come out to my parents and buy me an HRC shirt.

Only years later, once I became more politically active, did I learn more about HRC.

What will you be doing as a Global Fellow?

This year, I would like to concentrate on expanding Harup’s vision. My goal is to build its strategy and communicate with possible partners and like-minded institutions to work with so that after the fellowship I have a stronger platform for LGBTQ voices to be heard globally.


Author: HRC staff
Posted: December 14, 2017, 5:33 pm

ROY MOORE’S DEFEAT IS A WATERSHED MOMENT IN THE FIGHT FOR LGBTQ EQUALITY: Said William Thomas, an Alabama native: “I think [Jones’ victory] proves that even in a conservative place like Alabama, that when there is an existential threat to LGBTQ people we will fight back and we will organize -- we will get boots on the ground and we will go out and defeat people like [Moore]... I think it’s becoming clearer and clearer that we’re here to stay and that the people that are trying to eliminate us and silence us, that they’re dying off and their message isn’t getting out there and it’s not resonating with people outside of their group.” More from HuffPost.

  • Morning Must Read: “‘Bigotry did not win’: LGBTQ advocates celebrate Roy Moore’s defeat in Alabama,” by Julie Moreau (@JEMoreau) of NBC.
  • Last night, HRC’s headquarters lit up with an enormous projected message celebrating the election of civil rights prosecutor Doug Jones, and the political power of the LGBTQ movement and our partners including the NAACP in helping to drive his win in Alabama over the bigoted, anti-LGBTQ Roy Moore.

A message to anyone who runs on a platform of division and hate: You won’t win. #NoMoore pic.twitter.com/7eJBMI5EYc

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) December 14, 2017

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Forty-four years ago, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) -- the largest psychiatric organization in the world -- made history by issuing a resolution stating that homosexuality was not a mental illness or sickness. This declaration helped shift public opinion, marking a major milestone for LGBTQ equality. The APA has continued to advocate for LGBTQ people, including forcefully opposing the dangerous practice of so-called “conversion therapy” and opposing the Trump-Pence Administration’s ban on qualified transgender people serving in the military.

#STOPJEFFMATEER -- ANTI-LGBTQ JUDICIAL NOM WON’T BE CONFIRMED FOLLOWING MONTHS OF OPPOSITION FROM HRC: HRC has claimed victory as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley announced that Mateer, a radical anti-LGBTQ judicial nominee, would not be confirmed for a seat on the federal bench. “Jeff Mateer’s extreme rhetoric and hateful comments are disqualifying for any public official and should have prevented Donald Trump from nominating him to begin with,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “We thank the Senators who expressed concern about this dangerous nominee and the many supporters who joined us to #StopJeffMateer. We will continue to fight back against the Trump-Pence administration’s attempt to appoint extremists across our judicial system and roll back our progress towards equality.” More from The Associated Press, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News and HRC.

FIVE YEARS AFTER SANDY HOOK, TIME FOR GUN SAFETY REFORM: HRC President Chad Griffin issued the following statement on the fifth anniversary of the horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut: “Five years ago today, 26 innocent people -- including 20 children -- were taken at Sandy Hook Elementary School in a horrific act of violence that shook the nation and the world. HRC remembers the lives lost that day and we hold their families in our thoughts and prayers. Whether in a school, a church, or a nightclub, gun violence affects every community across America and demands the attention of our lawmakers. On this solemn day, HRC stands with Giffords and Everytown for Gun Safety, as well as other gun safety advocates, in demanding Congress pass common-sense gun safety reform to curb the tide of hate violence.” More from HRC.

LOUISIANA GOVERNOR APPEALS RULING ON EO PROTECTING LGBTQ WORKERS: Last month, a three-judge panel of Louisiana’s First Circuit Court of Appeal upheld a District Court decision striking down Governor John Bel Edwards’ executive order protecting LGBTQ state workers and contractors from discrimination. More from The National Law Review.

BERMUDA SENATE VOTES TO REPEAL MARRIAGE EQUALITY: HRC is urging the Governor of Bermuda to veto legislation passed by the Bermuda Parliament repealing marriage equality. If Governor John Rankin signs the measure into law, the British overseas territory will become the first territory in the world to take away the existing right of same-sex couples to marry. The Bermuda Tourism Authority warned of severe consequences if the measure becomes law. “Bermuda’s international reputation will no doubt be severely harmed if Governor Rankin signs this measure into law, making the island the first territory in the world to take away the right of loving and committed same-sex couples to marry,” said Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global (@tywesleycobb). More from HRC.

If signed into law, #Bermuda would become the first territory in the world to take away the right of loving and committed same-sex couples to marry. Bermuda’s Governor must veto this legislation repealing #MarriageEquality. https://t.co/wduO5z6TnK

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) December 13, 2017

SAG AWARD NOMINEES INCLUDE LGBTQ AND ALLIED ACTORS, TV SHOWS AND MOVIES: They include Ryan Murphy’s Feud: Bette & Joan; Sean Hayes (@SeanHayes) of Will & Grace; Jane Fonda (@JaneFonda) and Lily Tomlin (@LilyTomlin) of Grace and Frankie; Uzo Aduba (@UzoAduba), Lea Delaria (@realleadelaria), Asia Kate Dillon (@AsiaKateDillon), Natasha Lyonne (@nlyonne), Taylor Schilling (@TaySchilling) and Yael Stone (@YaelStone) of Orange is the New Black; and Allison Janney (@AllisonBJanney) of I, Tonya. More from Variety.

FAITH LEADERS SHARE HOLIDAY STORIES TO INSPIRE LGBTQ AND ALLIED FAITH COMMUNITIES: This season, we celebrate with great joy the stories of Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. To celebrate our shared traditions, HRC’s Religion and Faith Program asked four esteemed faith leaders, Rabbi Haim Ovadia, Rosa Manriquez, Rev. Darlene Garner and Rev. Candy Holmes, to contribute holiday stories as a gift of reflection and inspiration to the LGBTQ faith community and our allies. More form HRC.

BRAZIL IS FIRST LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRY TO ADOPT PrEP TO CURB RISE IN HIV: From 2006 to 2015, the rates of young men with AIDS in Brazil nearly tripped in 15-19 year olds and nearly doubled in 20-24 year olds. More from The New York Times.

INDONESIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REJECTS ATTEMPT TO CRIMINALIZE SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIPS: The decision to reject the arguments brought by a conservative group was 5-4. More from The Associated Press.

MEET ONE OF THE FIRST SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY IN AUSTRALIA: Megan Stapleton and Stephanie Dyball have been together for six years, and began planning a beautiful winter wedding long before knowing that their home country would allow the event to be legally binding. More from BuzzFeed.

TRANS WOMAN RUNNING FOR COLOMBIAN SENATE: Tatiana Piñeros could become the first openly transgender person elected to the Colombian congress. More from Washington Blade.

HARROWING STATISTICS -- ONLY 63 PERCENT OF AMERICAN SOCCER FANS WOULD BE COMFORTABLE IF A PLAYER WERE GAY OR BISEXUAL: The poll was conducted by the British LGBTQ organization Stonewall. By contrast, 80 percent of British soccer fans and 47 percent of Russian fans would be comfortable. The poll did not ask about transgender players. More from Forbes.

READING RAINBOW

KCUR interviews Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes, plaintiffs on the case that overturned Texas’ ban on marriage equality; Brit + Co reviews a bridal magazine for LGBTQ people

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: December 14, 2017, 2:40 pm

Today, the Human Rights Campaign issued the following statement from President Chad Griffin on the fifth anniversary of the horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut:

“Five years ago today, 26 innocent people — including 20 children — were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in a horrific act of violence that shook the nation and the world. HRC remembers the lives lost that day and we honor them with action. Whether in a school, a church, or a nightclub, gun violence affects every community across America and demands the attention of our lawmakers. HRC stands with Giffords and Everytown for Gun Safety, as well as other gun safety advocates, in demanding Congress pass common-sense gun safety reform to curb the tide of hate violence.” 

In 2016, after a gunman killed 49 people - most of them LGBTQ and Latinx - in Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub, HRC’s Board of Directors adopted a resolution that addresses both the epidemic of hate that has fueled anti-LGBTQ-motivated murder, assault and discrimination as well as common-sense gun violence prevention policies that would help keep the LGBTQ community safe. The resolution established HRC’s organizational position that the safety of LGBTQ people in the United States requires the adoption of common-sense gun violence prevention measures, including limiting access to assault-style rifles, expanding background checks, and limiting the ability for suspected terrorists--and those with a history of violence against women--to access guns.

Last week, HRC opposed H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. The bill, which has been identified as high priority legislation by the National Rifle Association, would allow people who are prohibited from getting a concealed carry permit in a state with strong gun laws to apply for a permit in a state with weaker laws. This includes convicted stalkers, domestic abusers, people convicted of violent crimes, and people with no training or experience firing a gun.


Author: Aaron Rodriguez
Posted: December 14, 2017, 2:13 pm

Today, HRC urged the Governor of Bermuda — John Rankin — to veto legislation passed by the Bermuda Parliament repealing marriage equality. If the measure becomes law, the British overseas territory will become the first territory in the world to take away the right of same-sex couples to marry. The Bermuda Tourism Authority has warned of severe consequences if the measure becomes law.

“If Governor Rankin signs this measure into law, it will rip away the right of loving same-sex couples in Bermuda to marry. That’s unconscionable,” said Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global. “With international business and tourism as its major industries, Bermuda’s people, international reputation, and economy would all be harmed by this legislation. It is crucial that Governor Rankin reject this assault on equality.”

Under the guise of passing domestic partnership benefits, the bill seeks to strip loving same-sex Bermudan couples of the right to marry. The effort is being led by the Progressive Labour Party, which took power in July. Passed by the Bermuda Senate today, the legislation was also approved by the Bermuda House of Assembly late last week. It now goes to Governor Rankin — who is the representative of the British monarch — for consideration.

In a letter to Senators, the Bermuda Tourism Authority warned of consequences for the tourism industry if the measure becomes law, citing economic fallout over anti-LGBTQ measures in North Carolina and Indiana. The letter states, “Significantly, it’s not only LGBT travelers that care about equal rights based on sexual orientation. Our research indicates many companies, consumers and travelers, including the overwhelming majority of the younger visitors powering Bermuda’s growth, care about this issue. It’s why the fallout in North Carolina and Indiana has proven so detrimental.”

Bermuda achieved marriage equality through a Supreme Court ruling in May this year. In the case brought by Bermudian Winston Godwin and his Canadian partner Greg DeRoche, the couple challenged the Registrar-General’s rejection of their application to marry. 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 United States where courts can overturn legislation or policies that violate the Constitution. Thus, Bermuda’s legislature has primacy over the courts in many instances.


Author: Stephen Peters
Posted: December 13, 2017, 10:14 pm

Today, HRC claimed victory as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley announced that Jeff Mateer, a radical anti-LGBTQ judicial nominee, would not be confirmed for a seat on the federal bench. Since the day the Trump-Pence administration announced their intent to nominate Mateer to a lifetime judicial appointment, HRC worked diligently to expose his shameful anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and the danger his nomination posed to our judicial system.

“Jeff Mateer’s extreme rhetoric and hateful comments are disqualifying for any public official and should have prevented Donald Trump from nominating him to begin with,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “We thank the Senators who expressed concern about this dangerous nominee and the many supporters who joined us to #StopJeffMateer. We will continue to fight back against the Trump-Pence administration’s attempt to appoint extremists across our judicial system and roll back our progress towards equality.”

Trump nominated Jeff Mateer to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. In a 2015 speech titled “The Church and Homosexuality,” 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.

HRC lead a robust campaign to #StopJeffMateer and expose his shameful history of attacking LGBTQ people:


Author: Aaron Rodriguez
Posted: December 13, 2017, 9:32 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