Human Rights Campaign Announces First Slate of Pro-Equality Champions for Arizona Legislature

Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, announced its endorsement of four pro-equality candidates in the Arizona State Legislature. 

Arizona is one of 29 states that lack explicit state-level protections for all LGBTQ people. Of the four endorsed candidates, three are people of color and two identify as LGBTQ. 

“Right now, over 240,000 LGBTQ Arizonans live in a patchwork of protections,” said HRC Arizona State Director Bridget Sharpe. “Driving from Yuma to Flagstaff, an LGBTQ person would have different rights in every town, city or county they drove through. That must change, and while the Bostock ruling has provided some workplace protections, LGBTQ Arizonans are still at risk of discrimination in a variety of areas including seeking basic services offered to the public, such as transportation and retail services. In the coming weeks, HRC will mobilize the over one million Equality Voters across the state to ensure we have the strongest slate of pro-equality candidates to elect in November as possible.”

Today’s endorsements include:

  • Felicia French (SD-06)

  • Rep. Daniel Hernandez III (HD-02)

  • Coral Evans (HD-06)

  • Rep. Cesar Chavez (HD-29)

In the closing weeks of the 2018 election, HRC had 18 staff on the ground organizing Equality Voters in  Arizona. In the midterm elections, HRC members and supporters completed over 1,149 volunteer shifts. In the final four days of GOTV alone, our staff and volunteers knocked on over 13,625 doors. HRC hosted over 130 volunteer events and six Equality Action Academy trainings to give HRC members and supporters the tools they need to take action locally in legislative advocacy and in support of pro-equality candidates. In 2018, HRC’s unprecedented grassroots mobilization worked to recruit volunteers, mobilize constituents, register voters and grow the organization’s grassroots army in an all-out effort to pull the emergency brake on the hateful anti-LGBTQ agenda of the Trump-Pence administration and elect a Congress that would hold them accountable. In 2020, our engagement and mobilization efforts will only deepen. HRC will have at least 45 full-time staff in seven priority states (AZ, MI, NV, OH, PA, TX, and WI) and an additional 20 staff focused on a second tier of states and districts.

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC (www.hrc.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

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100 Days Out: Trump v. Biden on LGBTQ Equality in Health Care

Over the coming days, HRC will be highlighting the key attacks from the Trump-Pence administration and the commitments from the Biden administration to undo those attacks and build a better future for LGBTQ people. These are Trump’s attacks on and Biden’s record and plans for LGBTQ equality in health care:

TRUMP’S ATTACKS

  1. Undermine Section 1557 of the ACA: HHS published a major change to the administrative rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to remove explicit protections for LGBTQ people in healthcare programs and activities, undermining protections for  LGBTQ people from discrimination based on sex stereotyping and gender identity.
  2. Advocated for the elimination of the entire Affordable Care Act: The Justice Department issued a legal filing arguing that the entirety of the Affordable Care Act should be overturned. This move would have jeopardized health care for over 130 million people with preexisting conditions like HIV and eliminate non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.
  3. Created a Religious Discrimination Division: HHS created a new office whose sole purpose would be to defend physicians and other medical professionals who decide to refuse care, including to LGBTQ patients.
  4. Proposed cutting over $1.35 billion from PEPFAR budget: In his proposed FY 2019 budget, Trump cut $1.35 billion from or 29% of PEPFAR’s budget. PEPFAR is the U.S. government program that fights AIDS abroad.
  5. Issued a “conscience rule”: Trump’s HHS Department issued rules designed to allow health care providers to refuse to treat a patient on religious or moral grounds, significantly impacting LGBTQ people who still deal with widespread discrimination in health care.
  6. Fired the HIV/AIDS Advisory Council: Trump fired the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS after half a dozen members resigned in protest to the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine LGBTQ people’s access to health care.

BIDEN’S RECORD AND PLANS 

  1. Promised to overturn Trump’s decimation of the ACA Section 1557 regulation: Biden has committed to restoring the regulation implementing section 1557 of the ACA to ensure protections for LGBTQ people from discrimination by health care and insurance providers. The Trump-Pence administration has radically revised the rule, encouraging health care providers to refuse service and discriminate against LGBTQ patients.
  2. Promised to ensure HIV medication and testing is covered by health insurance: Biden has dedicated his administration to fighting price gouging for HIV prevention medication like PrEP and treatments like PEP. He has also committed to federal health plans to provide coverage for these life-saving medications.
  3. Committed to update and implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy: Biden has committed to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2025 and will update the nation’s comprehensive strategy to aggressively reduce new HIV cases and increasing access to treatment.
  4. Fight for truly science-based FDA blood donor regulations: Biden has committed to working with the FDA to implement blood donor rules that are based in science and risk factors rather than identity.
  5. Restore funding to Planned Parenthood: Planned Parenthood provides critical health care to millions of LGBTQ people across the country. Biden has committed to protecting Planned Parenthood and restoring funding to the critical health care they provide.

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Leading LGBTQ Rights Orgs Call on DOJ to Enforce SCOTUS’ Bostock Decision

Post also submitted by Tom Warnke, Lambda Legal, and Gillian Branstette, National Women’s Law Center

Today, several leading national advocacy organizations dedicated to achieving LGBTQ equality and ending sex discrimination sent a letter to the Department of Justice in regards to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the consolidated cases Bostock v. Clayton County, Altitude Express v. Zarda and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC and urge the full implementation of this decision, including by instructing its departments and other federal agencies to withdraw any guidance or instruction that is inconsistent with the Court’s holding that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and transgender status is unlawful sex discrimination.

Signers include:
American Civil Liberties Union
Human Rights Campaign
Lambda Legal
National Women’s Law Center
Center for American Progress
Family Equality
Freedom for All Americans
GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD)
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National LGBTQ Task Force
PFLAG National
SAGE: Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders
Transgender Law Center

The full letter and list of signatories can be found here.

“The Department of Justice is not only appropriately positioned to coordinate implementation of the Bostock decision across the federal government, but has historically undertaken this role,” reads the letter. “It is imperative that the Department accept this responsibility and ensure that enforcement of this decision, as to the definition of sex discrimination through federal civil rights laws and regulations, is uniform across the federal government.”

On June 15, in a landmark ruling in the consolidated cases of Bostock v. Clayton County, Altitude Express v. Zarda and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed that based on the text of our federal civil rights statutes, sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination are prohibited sex discrimination.

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John Lewis

Human Rights Campaign Remembers Civil Rights Icon Congressman John Lewis

HRC responded to the tragic news that U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-GA) has passed away at the age of 80.

“Congressman John Lewis is a hero and civil rights icon who pushed our country closer to the promise of a more perfect union,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “Future generations will learn how he faced down discrimination with courage and defiance, boldly challenging the United States to envision a future where every person, no matter their race, sexual orientation or gender identity, has an equal chance at the American Dream. His legacy will live on in the work we do every day to further his mission and continue to get into ‘good trouble’ in the name of equality and justice. We join the nation in mourning the loss of this giant, and share our deepest condolences with Congressman Lewis’ family and loved ones.”

In addition to his decades of service to the American people as a civil rights leader and U.S. Congressman, Congressman Lewis has been a long time, outspoken advocate for LGBTQ equality.Speaking at HRC’s 2016 National Dinner, he said of the LGBTQ community: “You and I are partners. We are part of an ongoing struggle to redeem the soul of America, to help people in this country and around the world come to grips with one simple truth: we are one people. We are one family. We are the human family.”

Congressman Lewis worked closely with Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) during the drafting of the Equality Act and was a lead sponsor of the legislation — a bipartisan bill which would finally add clear, comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people to our nation’s civil rights laws. He has a perfect 100 rating on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard and, among other things, was also the lead sponsor of the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which would prohibit federally funded child welfare service providers from discriminating against children, families and individuals based on religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status.

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