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Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation released its 10th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), reflecting a decade of progress in LGBTQ-inclusive healthcare. A record 590 healthcare facilities actively participated in the 2017 HEI survey, committing to LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices. In addition, the HRC Foundation proactively researched the key policies at more than 900 additional non-participating hospitals. Of facilities surveyed for the HEI, 303 earned HRC’s coveted “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation.

This year also marks the first time the HEI has awarded numerical scores -- and three quarters of the healthcare facilities actively participating in the survey scored 80 points or above.

“The 2017 HEI reminds us again that though we have made tremendous gains over the past decade, there is still much more work left for us to do. With some of our biggest battles still ahead of us, it is crucial that institutions continue to demonstrate that the march toward full equality is not slowing down,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The 590 participants in this year’s HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBTQ community. For the past decade, the HEI has been the roadmap to closing the gap in ensuring equal care to LGBTQ patients and their families, and we urge every healthcare facility to join us in this continuing effort to provide inclusive care to all.”

This year’s HEI highlights the groundbreaking work taking place at two transgender youth clinics -- GENECIS at Children’s Health in Dallas, and the Center for Child and Adolescent Gender Care at Duke Children’s Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. Legislative attacks on the transgender communities in both of those states underscore the importance of the care and affirmation these clinics are providing transgender youth. In Texas, SB6, a bill targeting transgender people’s access to public facilities, passed out of committee and is up for a vote by the full state senate. And in North Carolina, the negative effects of HB2, which, like SB6, targets the state’s transgender community for discrimination, continues to significantly damage North Carolina’s reputation and economy.

The 10th edition of the HEI includes new criteria that raises the bar on what it takes to earn HRC’s “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation. For the first time, HEI participants are awarded numerical scores for their implementation of LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices in four areas; LGBTQ patient-centered care, LGBTQ patient services and support, fully-inclusive employee benefits and policies, and LGBTQ patient and community engagement. Participants receiving the maximum score in each section, for a total score of 100, earn the coveted status of “2017 Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.”

In the 2017 report, an impressive 303 facilities -- 51 percent of those actively participating in the survey -- met this year’s more challenging criteria to earn the Leader designation. Another 144 facilities earned a “Top Performer” designation for scoring between 80 and 95 points. With three quarters of actively-participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, it is clear that healthcare facilities are going beyond the basics in adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.

In addition to the positive scoring criteria, the 2017 HEI includes a fifth section focusing on responsible citizenship, and calling out activity that would undermine LGBTQ equality or inclusive patient care. Healthcare facilities may have 25 points deducted from their score for a large-scale official or public anti-LGBTQ blemish on their recent records. This year, Johns Hopkins Hospital became the first and only facility to receive this deduction.

Of the hospitals who did not participate in the 2017 HEI but were scored based on HRC’s research, only 61 percent have nondiscrimination policies that include both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” and only 52 percent were found to have an LGBTQ-inclusive employment non-discrimination policy. However, 95 percent of these facilities are committed to equal visitation, close to the rate of the facilities that actively participated in the survey.


Author: Allison Turner
Posted: March 29, 2017, 1:00 pm

At a recent seminar on LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace, a man in his 60’s who works in human resources (HR) came up to me and shared that the first transgender person he ever met was on the job 34 years ago. The coworker wanted to transition and asked the HR department to help support the process. This was on an oil drilling platform. He noted:

“If we figured it out then - and there - certainly we can figure it out anywhere. I just don’t see what the fuss is. And, you know, she still works for us.”

Driven by the desire to attract, retain and engage the very best workforce, workplaces have facilitated successful on-the-job gender transitions for decades and continue to lead the way in creating inclusive workplaces for all, including transgender and gender non-conforming people. By committing to non-discrimination protections based on gender identity, equal benefits for transgender workers including coverage for transition-related care, and internal policies and practices that support transgender workers, America’s leading companies create the necessary foundation for transgender and gender non-conforming people to thrive at work.

HRC’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) tracks and guides the progress of America’s leading employers in creating equitable policies, practices and benefits for LGBTQ people. The 2017 CEI reveals the progress:

  • A full 82 percent of the Fortune 500 have gender identity protections enumerated in their non-discrimination policies and 96 percent of the entire CEI universe of businesses offer explicit gender identity non-discrimination protections in the U.S.
  • Fifty percent of the Fortune 500 and nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of the CEI universe of businesses offer transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage, up from zero in 2002 and over six times as many businesses as five years ago. With 136 new employers offering this coverage in the 2017 report, this represents the greatest increase in a single year of employers offering transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits.
  • Nearly four-hundred (387) major businesses have adopted gender transition guidelines for employees and their teams to establish best practices in transgender inclusion.

But this all starts with transgender people coming out and being visible. Transgender and gender non-conforming people suiting up and showing up as their authentic selves each and every day help advance transgender equality. Behind every policy change and discussion of transgender-inclusive benefits, there is an employee who saw a path to bringing their full self to work, an executive who could put a human face to the need for full equality and an ally who could proudly display a show of support for their transgender colleagues and friends.

Want to help make your workplace more inclusive and supportive of transgender and gender nonconforming people? Check out HRC’s Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace: A Toolkit for Employers. This comprehensive toolkit includes video introductions to guidance on inclusive policies., practices and benefits as well as scenario-based learning. Find it all at www.hrc.org/transtoolkit


Author: Beck Bailey
Posted: March 29, 2017, 12:43 pm

Equality North Carolina and the Human Rights Campaign strongly condemned a Republican-led proposal that would double down on some of the most discriminatory provisions of North Carolina’s HB2 and add a “super RFRA” to the discriminatory law. Rather than focusing on repealing HB2, Republicans Phil Berger and Tim Moore attempted tonight to mislead the people of North Carolina, continuing their quest to shift the political blame they alone bear for the discriminatory legislation they hastily passed. With Thursday’s impending NCAA deadline, Moore and Berger are engaging in bizarre political theater instead of repealing HB2.

The radical new proposal being pushed by Berger and Moore attempts to double down on discrimination by continuing to prevent local municipalities from passing meaningful non-discrimination protections ensuring that transgender people have appropriate access to restrooms, and allowing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity to continue. Their egregious proposal would also provide a broad license to discriminate against LGBTQ people that is even more extreme than the Indiana law that sparked a national outcry and an economic backlash.

“This is not a repeal proposal, and it’s not going to do anything to address the discrimination contained in HB2 or bring the NCAA and business back to our fine state. This is the most blatantly transparent attempt they’ve made yet to shift the blame to anyone other than themselves,” said Chris Sgro, Executive Director of Equality NC. “Tonight’s political stunt by Phil Berger and Tim Moore is yet another unfortunate example that North Carolina voters deserve more from their leaders.”

“Phil Berger and Tim Moore are fighting fire with gasoline. This proposal masquerading as a solution is really an extreme license to discriminate -- the last thing that North Carolina needs,” said Cathryn Oakley, HRC Senior Legislative Counsel. “They are literally proposing to pile a ‘super RFRA’ on top of some of the most egregious parts of HB2. It’s outrageous, poorly conceived, and a divisive distraction from the matter at hand – that Republican leadership is refusing to allow the full and unequivocal repeal of HB2.”

So-called Religious Refusal Restoration Acts (RFRAs) are generally known as “License to Discriminate” bills, and this particular proposal would be especially egregious. It is more extreme than the law that brought Mike Pence down in Indiana, it is more extreme than the bill vetoed in Arizona, and it is more extreme than the federal RFRA which has been invoked in one legal challenge after another in recent years – largely in relation to the rights of women and LGBTQ people.

The last thing that North Carolina needs is additional reputational damage because of one more divisive, costly, outrageous law. The voters of Indiana overwhelmingly felt that the state was on the wrong track after its RFRA debacle in 2015 – and that law was amended after just a week of national outcry. After a year of devastating financial losses for North Carolina, the last thing the state needs is another embarrassment on the national stage.


Author: Stephen Peters
Posted: March 29, 2017, 12:17 am

Post submitted by Kaiden O'Suilleabhain, ArTEC Social Committee

The first Little Rock Name and Gender Marker Clinic in 2017 was a success. The clinic was held on March 18 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock. The event was organized by Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition (ArTEC) members Colin Robinson and Kris Avery, in conjunction with Michael V. Lauro Jr. of Lauro Law, PLLC. HRC Arkansas graciously provided refreshments and other support.

More than 20 people participated, creating a fun and lively atmosphere while the volunteer professionals got to work helping attendees. With the help of lawyers and a physician, a dozen people received legal counsel and assistance in filling out the necessary paperwork to have their name and gender marker legally changed. The event was a great experience for both volunteers and those receiving the free services.

“It was great that Dr. Janet Cathey was there, and the paperwork she filled out helped get my insurance issues sorted,”Asher, an attendee, recalled.

ArTEC is grateful to everyone who helped to make the event a reality, and we are honored to have HRC as an ally in helping the transgender community in Arkansas live more authentically. 


Author: Guest contributor
Posted: March 28, 2017, 9:10 pm

Content note: This post discusses abuse and violence, including sexual violence, against transgender people. It does not describe specific acts of violence.

Each November, transgender people and our allies come together to mourn those transgender people lost to murder during the past year for Transgender Day of Remembrance. The victims we honor are a stark reminder that transgender people—and, at a far disproportionate rate, transgender women of color—face stunning and unacceptable rates of violence.

The importance of mourning murder victims, and commemorating their lives, cannot be overstated. It’s also vitally important to remember that an even greater number of transgender people experience nonfatal violence every year. The National Center for Transgender Equality’s U.S. Trans Survey, the largest-ever study of transgender adults, gives us a sense of just how common these experiences are. Among nearly 28,000 adults who completed the survey, nine percent had been physically attacked due to their transgender identity in the past year alone. One in 10 had been sexually assaulted in the past year, and almost half had been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives.

When we think of violence against transgender people, we often think of attacks by strangers—a real concern, particularly with anti-transgender sentiment stirred up by laws like North Carolina’s HB 2. But transgender people often also experience violence from their own relatives and even their partners. In the U.S. Trans Survey, one in 10 participants who was out to their family had experienced violence from one or more family members, and more than half had experienced intimate partner violence. When it comes to sexual assault, the most common perpetrators are friends and acquaintances, followed by partners and strangers.

The risk for different types of violence seems to be based in part on a person’s other identities. In the U.S. Trans Survey, non-binary people and transgender men were most likely to experience sexual assault at some point in their lives, while transgender women of color were particularly likely to have been attacked in public by strangers, or to have been attacked with a gun. Stunning results from undocumented participants included a 24 percent rate of being physically attacked in the past year, and a 68 percent lifetime rate of intimate partner violence. These findings echo HRC’s Post-Election Survey of Teens, where young transgender and LGBQ people described harassment and fears of violence based not only on their LGBTQ identities but also on their race, immigration status, religion and other characteristics.

The factors that put transgender people at risk for physical attack, partner abuse and sexual violence are similar to those that increase the risk of murder: exclusion from economic opportunities; being pushed out of school; and perpetrators’ belief that transgender victims will not be taken seriously. HRC and the Trans People of Color Coalition’s 2016 report on anti-transgender violence, A Matter of Life and Death, explains how we can begin to address some of these root causes.

While key supports for violence survivors (including domestic violence shelters) too often fail to serve transgender survivors adequately, trans survivors have some protections under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA funds many programs for people who have experienced sexual assault, intimate partner violence, domestic violence or stalking. These programs must provide equal services to everyone regardless of their gender or transgender status. They also cannot require transgender survivors to hide their gender identity in order to receive services. The National Center for Transgender Equality and National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs have more information on these rights.

Many services across the U.S., including a number of LGBTQ-specific programs, are already well-prepared to support transgender survivors. One such group is FORGE, which offers online self-help resources, a support network, and referrals to trans-affirming therapists. Local members of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs may also be able to help.

To learn more about HRC’s work to end violence against transgender people, read “A Matter of Life and Death,” a 2016 report co-published with the Trans People of Color Coalition.


Author: Gabe Murchison
Posted: March 28, 2017, 4:40 pm

Por Diego Mora Bello, becario del Departamento Global de HRC

"VIH en los Medios" es parte del proyecto en el que Diego Mora Bello está trabajando como Becario Global de HRC y Next Generation Leader del Instituto McCain. El programa de Global Fellows de HRC busca identificar destacados líderes LGBTQ establecidos y emergentes de todo el mundo y llevarlos a Washington D.C., para que trabajen junto al personal de HRC.

El estigma y la discriminación continúan siendo barreras comunes para las personas que viven con VIH. Afortunadamente, los medios de comunicación pueden desempeñar un papel importante para ayudar a eliminar estas y otras barreras. En mi investigación sobre noticias que mencionan el VIH y el sida en medios de América Latina y el Caribe, y al reunirme con profesionales y defensores de los medios de comunicación, encontré que los medios tienen espacio para mejorar el uso del lenguaje correcto y sin estigma al hablar de personas que viven con el virus. Cubrir el VIH de manera correcta y responsable es importante porque es una parte esencial de la sensibilización, desacredita mitos comunes y da voz a un grupo de personas ya marginadas.

La importancia de usar un lenguaje correcto y responsable en la cobertura periodística del VIH me inspiró a investigar este tema y compartir mis descubrimientos. El objetivo final de VIH en los Medios es informar sobre este tema de una manera científicamente precisa y responsable que inspire a otros a seguir su ejemplo.

Sobre la base de mi investigación, aquí están las tres principales razones por las cuales el lenguaje es importante cuando se cubre el VIH y el sida en los medios de comunicación.

  1. El lenguaje médico incorrecto puede ser engañoso.

Los medios de comunicación latinoamericanos siguen refiriéndose al VIH como una enfermedad, cuando debe ser descrito como una infección. Los medios de comunicación de la región también usan erróneamente los términos "VIH" y "sida" de manera intercambiable, aunque los dos no sean uno, ni lo mismo. Considerando, por ejemplo, que todas las personas que han sido diagnosticadas con sida viven necesariamente con el VIH, pero que no todas las personas que viven con VIH han sido diagnosticadas con sida.

"El tratamiento incorrecto del tema distancia a las personas de los servicios de salud, en particular al diagnóstico del VIH, y puede afectar sus relaciones sociales y la calidad de vida", dijo Miguel Ángel Barriga, director de la Corporación Red Somos de Colombia.

2. El cubrimiento inapropiado puede perpetuar el estigma y fomentar la discriminación.

Los medios de América Latina y el Caribe caracterizan erróneamente a las personas que viven con el VIH como "infectando a otros" cuando un término neutro y menos estigmatizante sería decir "transmite el VIH". Los periodistas y bloggers usan palabras como "enfermo", "contagioso" o "portador", que no son apropiadas según muchas guías, legitimando su uso en la vida cotidiana. Al hacerlo, ayudan a crear y mantener el estado, donde muchas personas evitan la prueba o el tratamiento de VIH por miedo a la violencia, el maltrato o el acoso.

"En el caso del VIH, el uso inadecuado del lenguaje conspira contra la meta de eliminar el estigma y la discriminación", dijo Leandro Cahn, director de comunicación y desarrollo institucional de la Fundación Huésped en Argentina.

3. La cobertura de las celebridades puede eclipsar historias sobre personas que viven con el VIH.

Los medios de América Latina y el Caribe tienden a enfocar su cubrimiento en historias de celebridades que apoyan, donan o participan en eventos relacionados con VIH o en celebridades que hablan abiertamente y honestamente sobre su estado de VIH. Estas historias, si bien son importantes, no encapsulan toda la gama de temas que deben ser discutidos. Los medios harían bien en incluir una diversidad de historias sobre las realidades actuales del VIH, ya que los medios representan uno de los pocos lugares donde la gente común en América Latina puede oír hablar del tema. Otras ideas de la historia incluyen la criminalización del VIH, el advenimiento del tratamiento como prevención y la PrEP.

"Hablar de prevención y tratamiento puede sensibilizar a la población", dijo Alonso Castilla, periodista de Telemundo Washington.

Lea más sobre este estudio aquí. Para más información sobre el trabajo de HRC para poner fin a la epidemia de VIH y sida, haga clic aquí.


Author: HRC staff
Posted: March 28, 2017, 4:00 pm

Today, HRC released an open letter from major child welfare organizations — including the Child Welfare League of America, The Donaldson Adoption Institute, FosterClub, North American Council on Adoptable Children, and Voice for Adoption — urging Georgia lawmakers to reject a discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ amendment to an adoption-related bill, HB 159, currently under consideration in the state legislature.

The shameful amendment puts discrimination ahead of the best interests of children in Georgia by granting a special license to discriminate based on an adoption agency’s “mission” — even if the agency receives public funds. The term “mission” is dangerously broad without limitation, and would mean that any belief or practice, religious or otherwise, must be accommodated. For example, in addition to being used to discriminate against LGBTQ people, an agency could turn away prospective families for children because those families are of a different religion than the agency, one of the prospective parents is remarried, or anything else about them that the agency deems to be out of sync with its mission.

“Georgia lawmakers should heed the warning of these major child welfare organizations and put the best interest of the child over discrimination,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “With thousands of children in Georgia in desperate need of permanent, loving homes, all qualified adults who have the room in their hearts and homes to adopt a child should be permitted to do so and treated fairly in the process. Lawmakers must reject this dangerously broad amendment that could swing the door wide open to taxpayer-funded discrimination.”

In the letter, which was sent to the chair and vice chair of the Senate rules committee, as well as the lieutenant governor, the national child welfare organizations state:

The undersigned nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations are dedicated to ensuring the safety, permanency and wellbeing for children and families that are connected to adoption and foster care. This includes providing leadership and education that improves laws, policies and practices through sound research, analysis and advocacy. Eliminating policy and practice barriers for children in foster care awaiting permanent homes is one of our priorities.

We are writing today to request that you take action to remove the recent amendment added to HB 159. Simply put, the amendment puts discrimination ahead of the best interests of children in Georgia who are waiting for a loving home. The amendment would significantly limit opportunities for the more than 2500 Georgia children waiting in foster care for permanent, adoptive homes. Additionally, the amendment sanctions discrimination against LGBTQ children in care. The amendment allows a foster or adoption agency to deny a placement based on that agency's “mission.” The term “mission” is dangerously broad without limitation – any belief or practice, religious or otherwise, must be accommodated, even if the agency receives public funds. For example, an agency could turn away prospective families for children because those families are of a different religion than the agency, or anything else about them that the agency deems to be out of sync with its mission. Further, an agency would face no consequence if they forced LGBTQ children to engage in religious based counseling, or even subjected them to the discredited practice of ‘conversion therapy,’ if these actions were tied to the agency’s mission.

The amendment to HB 159 stands in opposition to the robust base of professional knowledge that highlights the critical need for the largest possible pool of potentially qualified parents to adopt children languishing in the child welfare system, and the harm to children that results from excluding any class of potentially qualified parents (such as gay and lesbian couples) from that pool. The best interest of children should be the state’s primary goal and no one’s interest is being served when discriminatory practices are endorsed by the state, even allowing taxpayer-funded organizations to insert their personal religious beliefs into their professional mandate to ensure the wellbeing of children.

The reality is, a quarter century of research has found that children raised by lesbian and gay parents fare just as well as those reared by heterosexual parents. Major professional groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association, as well as national and state child welfare organizations, overwhelmingly support adoptions by qualified same-sex parents.

According to a study published in 2013 by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, among same-sex couples with children under the age of 18 in the home, 13% have an adopted child, compared to only 3% of opposite-sex couples. Studies have also documented that lesbian and gay adults are willing to adopt the very children most in need of homes and those who wait in temporary foster care the longest – those who are older and who may have special needs – and these families also do so at a higher rate than heterosexual adults.

There are all too many children in temporary living situations.  In Georgia, the most recent statistics from FY 2015 indicate there are 10,935 children in foster care with more than 2500 children waiting in care for a permanent adoptive family. During FY 2015, more than 17,400 children were served by foster care. Nationally, the most recent statistics indicate that more than 21,000 children aged out of foster care without a permanent family structure. The outcomes facing youth who exit foster care on their own as opposed to being placed with a permanent family are staggering; these young people are more likely to flounder in society with higher rates of homelessness and unemployment compared to their peers who are adopted. These numbers illustrate the critical need for the largest possible pool of potentially qualified parents to adopt children from the child welfare system.

Stability and security are vital for children’s healthy development.  Allowing agencies that serve waiting children to discriminate against potentially qualified parents limits opportunities for children. It is also essential that children are supported in developing a healthy identity; subjecting children to discredited and abusive therapeutic techniques on the grounds of moral convictions does not serve their best interest. If we truly wish to act in good conscience towards children in care, we must not enshrine discriminatory practices into the law.

Sincerely,

Child Welfare League of America
The Donaldson Adoption Institute
FosterClub
North American Council on Adoptable Children
Voice for Adoption

The attack on fairness and equality in Georgia is part of an onslaught of anti-LGBTQ bills being pushed in 2017 by activists around the country. HRC is currently tracking more than 120 anti-LGBTQ legislative proposals in 30 states. For more information, visit http://hrc.im/2017legislature.


Author: Stephen Peters
Posted: March 28, 2017, 3:15 pm

“HB2 IS A $3.7 BILLION-DOLLAR BOONDOGGLE”: The Raleigh (NC) News & Observer, in a scathing editorial today, excoriated state Republican leaders for failing to repeal the discriminatory HB2 -- even as an exclusive report by the AP detailed the billions in lost business the state has suffered under the law. “Basically, Republicans are standing behind their horrendous mistake 1. because they can and 2. because HB2’s financial impact has affected mainly urban areas, which Republicans see as strongholds for Democrats,” writes the N&O editorial board. “It’s as if they care little about the damage this ridiculous law has done to North Carolina’s progressive reputation, something that was, by the way, good for business.” As conservative businesses execs like Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan continue to warn about companies moving to other states because of the law, it remains a “tragic irony that leaders who have touted their ability to create jobs and run the economy have done so much damage to it,” the N&O writes. “ They are hurting people who need work, families who need a living. And all to advance an ideological agenda as they try to make a discriminatory law the centerpiece, the symbol, of that agenda.” Read the full piece here.

  • Here’s how the AP calculated the nearly $4B cost of HB2: After its blockbuster report yesterday that “despite Republican assurances” to the contrary, the discriminatory HB2 law is hurting North Carolina’s economy -- to the tune of more than $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years -- the AP detailed how is arrived at its numbers. (Which, it reports, likely underestimates the damage.) The financial hits range from scuttled plans for a PayPal facility that would have added an estimated $2.66 billion to the state's economy to a canceled Ringo Starr concert that deprived a town's amphitheater of about $33,000 in revenue, the AP reports. The state could lose hundreds of millions more if the NCAA pulls championship events from the state through 2022 because of the law. For more on how the AP calculated this jaw-dropping number, click here.

Jaw-dropping: @AP reports North Carolina's anti-#LGBTQ #HB2 law will cost the state $3.76 billion #ncleg #RepealHB2https://t.co/8zV3Y1QOgw pic.twitter.com/8rQuEnzDUS

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) March 27, 2017

RICK PERRY LASHED OUT AT OPENLY GAY TEXAS A&M STUDENT BODY PREZ -- NOW BOBBY BROOKS WANTS TO MEET: Last week must have been a real slow one for Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry-- who in an oped for The Houston Chronicle lashed out at Bobby Brooks, Texas A&M’s newly-elected student body president for...becoming the university’s first openly gay student body president. Now, Brooks has graciously reached out to Perry, inviting him to discuss the oped. “I sincerely appreciate your ongoing and committed interest in this University we both love so much,” Brooks writes, adding that he would be “happy to… speak about the important issues you raised in your oped. ” Read the full letter from The Battalion and more in The Dallas Morning News.

  • Meanwhile, HRC has sent a FOIA request to the Department of Energy, seeking information to determine whether Perry produced his specious oped on the taxpayers’ dime. Read the full letter here.

Hey @SecretaryPerry, saw you weighed in on Texas A&M's student gov elections. Can't wait to see how you found the time! pic.twitter.com/kCB6LgsdlI

— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) March 27, 2017

TUESDAY TWEET --WELCOME TO THE WORLD, ODETTE ELLIOTT: Supernatural star Jared Padalecki (@JarPad) and his wife Genevieve Padalecki (@realGpad) welcomed their third child, Odette Elliott, last week. They are using the occasion to raise money for HRC and Planned Parenthood through a collaboration with accessory brand Pop & Suki. More from Daily Mail and Refinery29.

Introducing baby Odette Elliott Padalecki!! ������ I collaborated w/ @popandsuki to raise funds for @PPact + @HRC! https://t.co/35rfOnseUU pic.twitter.com/g4BtotAqCU

— Genevieve Padalecki (@realGpad) March 27, 2017

MONTANA LEGISLATIVE PANEL REJECTS ANTI-TRANS BILL: The Montana House Judiciary Committee voted against a bill that would force transgender people to use facilities inconsistant with their gender identity. The bill could return to the legislature at a later date. More from The Associated Press.

ARKANSAS HOUSE CONSIDERING VILE ANTI-TRANS HB 1986: Earlier this month, the Arkansas House of Representatives advanced HB 1986, an anti-transgender bill, to the Senate. The bill clearly intends to discriminate against transgender Arkansans by making it criminal for a transgender person to access a sex-segregated space consistent with their gender identity. The measure would make it a crime for transgender Arkansans to use some facilities that correspond to their gender identity, and would impose a criminal record on a transgender person who use locker rooms or similar facilities that are consistent with their gender identity. More from NBC.

COLUMBUS CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO BAN SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY”: Yesterday, the Columbus (Ohio) City Council voted to protect LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and abusive practice of “conversion therapy.” Advocates from HRC and Equality Ohio worked closely to ensure its passage. More from The Associated Press.

HRC TIME TO THRIVE SPECIAL GUESTS NOMINATED FOR DAYTIME EMMY AWARD: Nayyef Hrebid and Btoo Al Lami, who are slated to speak at HRC Foundation’s fourth annual Time to THRIVE Conference in April, have been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for their documentary film Out of Iraq. The documentary features Hrebid and Al Lami, both of whom served in Iraq  -- Al Lami as an Iraqi soldier and Hrebid as a translator. After falling in love, they were forced to flee the country separately after being targeted for their sexual orientation. More from HRC.

HONORING PRO-EQUALITY WOMEN SENATORS FOR WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH: On Election Day, four incredible women made history in their own right by winning U.S. Senate seats: Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Kamala Harris of California. During Women's History Month, HRC is honoring these women for making US Senate history: the 115th U.S. Senate has more women members than ever before -- a record-breaking 21. More from HRC.

IN INDIA, CATHOLIC CHURCH TEAMS WITH TRANS ADVOCATES TO IMPROVE COMMUNITY: In a heavily Catholic Indian town, local nuns helped transgender advocates open the first school where members of the transgender community can take classes and participate in vocational training -- all in the name of the Catholic principles of community and service. More from The Atlantic.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOTHER MONSTER: Today is Lady Gaga’s 31st birthday! The openly bisexual pop star has always put the LGBTQ community front and center in her work, from advocating for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to simply letting her fans know “you’re on the right track baby -- you  were born this way.” #HappyBirthdayLadyGaga

READING RAINBOW

The Associated Press stylebook announces guidance on the use of “they” as a singular pronoun, and updates guidance on the use of “LGBTQ”… HRC Global Fellow shares media tips for covering HIV and AIDS… Pink News reports on the first Brazilian transit station named after an LGBTQ person, equality advocate Carlos Jáuregui… The Virginian-Pilot reports on a photography project highlighting LGBTQ families...

Happy Birthday -- to us! On this day in 2014, we sent our very first edition of #AM_Equality. Thank you for making us one of your morning must-reads.

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: HRC staff
Posted: March 28, 2017, 1:50 pm

Earlier this month, HRC Arkansas curated a diverse patient panel for 170 second-year medical students at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).  The panel consisted of Arkansas Transgender Equality board members Krys Stephens and Michelle Palumbo, the Arkansas Department of Health LGBT Liaison, Kevin Holmes, and Part of the Solution Coordinator, Tonya Estell.  The presentation was a new addition to the diverse patient curriculum, which aims to expose medical students to the broad variety of patients that may encounter in day-to-day practice.  

Panelists afforded audience members a safe space to ask questions regarding their past experiences in healthcare, correct terminology, medically transitioning, pronoun usage and name changes.  Estell urged the medical students to see the whole person during treatment, rather than reducing someone from the LGBTQ community to a letter. “There have been times that I sought treatment for one ailment and my physician has tied a totally unrelated medical issue to my sexuality,” she said. The speakers represented a broad array of personal medical histories and experiences as health advocates, including HIV, bipolar disorder, heart disease and leukemia.

UAMS was designated a Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality in the HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index 2016 (HEI). The HEI is the national LGBTQ benchmarking tool that evaluates the policies and practices of healthcare facilities as they relate to the equity and inclusion of LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees.

To learn more about the HEI, click here. To learn more about HRC’s work in Arkansas, click here.


Author: Kendra Johnson
Posted: March 28, 2017, 1:07 pm

This Friday, LGBTQ and allied communities around the globe will mark International Transgender Day of Visibility. This year poses new challenges for the rights of transgender people as President Trump and states across the country are aiming to roll back their rights. It’s critical -- now more than ever -- that we recognize the advocates and allies who are working tirelessly to bring trans issues to the forefront.

Ahead of the annual event, HRC wanted to highlight a growing group of visible trans and gender fluid youth advocates, as well as their families, who are helping change the hearts and minds of millions. Several on our list have already helped spark a national conversation around what it means to be transgender.

Last year, at just nine years old, Avery Jackson made history by becoming the first transgender person to appear on the cover of National Geographic, spurring conversations around gender identity in living rooms across the country. Throughout her journey, Avery has been supported by her mom Debi Jackson, a fierce advocate in her own right who made waves when a video of her speech advocating for her daughter before a mother’s association meeting went viral in 2014.

As more trans youth continue to live authentic lives, it’s more important than ever for their families to become vocal advocates as well. Parents like JR -- who is also a member of HRC’s Trans Equality Council -- became a staunch public ally for his daughter Ellie after she came out as transgender at four years old.

Trans youth need allies not only at home but in all areas of life, including school. HRC understands how crucial it is for trans students to have a safe and inclusive learning environment, which is why we initiated our Welcoming Schools program, so that transgender and gender-expansive youth know they’re supported in and outside of the classroom.

These types of programs are critical to LGBTQ young people as many lack crucial support from their families, and instead are rejected, leaving them at greater risk for homelessness, substance abuse, depression, and suicide. Up to 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ.

Thanks in large part to social media, the culture has begun to shift regarding issues of gender. Social platforms like Facebook and Tinder have dozens of options for users’ gender, a reality featured in the latest issue of TIME on the diversity of gender identities. Moreover, young people remain far more open minded to gender fluidity, with 20 percent of millennials compared to seven percent of baby boomers who say they are something other than cisgender, according to TIME.

Those changing attitudes have helped other notable trans youth like Gavin Grimm and Jazz Jennings to embrace their truest selves in the most public way possible.  

Jennings, 16, has captivated viewers by documenting her life on TLC’s GLAAD Award winning docu-series, I Am Jazz and appearing in TIME’s 25 Most Influential Teens -- twice. She is also an author of a self-title memoir, Being Jazz, and co-founded the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation, which helps assists trans youth.

Just a high school senior, Grimm’s fight to be respected and protected at school, including by using the restroom that corresponds with his gender identity, has catapulted his story across the national headlines. Grimm’s case was slated for the Supreme Court before it was sent back to the Fourth Circuit for further review -- it would’ve been the first time the nation’s highest court heard a case regarding transgender rights.

Even though the decision to vacate Grimm’s case to a lower court is a disappointing setback, his story has already resonated with millions about what’s at stake for transgender rights.  

To learn more about the resources available to transgender children and families, please visit, our coming out guide; Schools in Transition, a best practices guide for supporting transgender youth at school; or additional resources at hrc.org/trans-youth.


Author: Brian McBride
Posted: March 27, 2017, 9:19 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