A Landmark Step Toward Equality: Human Rights Campaign Celebrates Senate Passage of Bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act

Vote Passed 61-36, with Democrats and 12 Republicans Supporting;
Bill Expected to Be Adopted in House and Signed by President Biden

WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — today celebrated the bipartisan passage of the Respect for Marriage Act in the U.S. Senate. The bill passed 61 to 36, garnering a strong bipartisan vote with Senate Democrats and 12 Republicans voting in favor, marking a truly historic moment for LGBTQ+ equality as the biggest federal legislative win since the 2010 repeal of  “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. This legislation will guarantee the federal rights, benefits and obligations of marriages in the federal code for same-sex couples; repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA); and affirm that public acts, records and proceedings should be recognized by all states. It also codifies the same rights for interracial couples. The amended bill is expected to be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and signed by President Biden.

In response to the bill’s passage, HRC President Kelley Robinson issued the following statement:

“Today love won. This is a historic day, marking a much-needed victory for our community. The  LGBTQ+ community has faced ongoing deadly violence, legislative assaults and constant threats – including the deadly shooting in Colorado Springs barely one week ago. Today, with the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act in the Senate — a historic moment that marks the first federal legislative win for LGBTQ+ equality in over ten years, since the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell — the 568,000 same-sex married couples in this country can breathe a sigh of relief that their marriages will be protected from future attacks. The fact that this bill passed with strong bipartisan support — earning the votes of  12 Republicans — again demonstrates that marriage equality enjoys growing bipartisan backing, is supported by a wide swath of the American people and is not going anywhere. We are closing this discriminatory chapter of our history — marriage equality is here to stay. And this is just the beginning — we have more work to do to fight with and for our transgender community, , our BIPOC community, and our youngest community members with the same passion and energy that we brought to the fight for marriage equality.”

These 12 votes demonstrate that even Republican lawmakers know marriage equality is — and must remain — law of the land. It also proves that marriage equality — which the latest survey from Gallup shows seven in ten Americans (71%) support — enjoys bipartisan popular support as a fundamental right that cannot be rolled back and must be protected.

HRC worked tirelessly to engage our members and supporters in favor of this legislation. We mobilized 242 major businesses with over 8.5 million employees, a grassroots army of more than 3 million members, supporters and volunteers, and the nation’s 62 million “Equality Voters” to call on the Senate to pass the Respect for Marriage Act. HRC supporters made more than 30,400 calls and sent more than 58,000 letters to Senate offices in support of the RMA. To read personal stories of why marriage equality remains important to LGBTQ+ couples across the country, click here, and to watch a video featuring a D.C.-based couple, click here.

More Than Two-Thirds of People Support Marriage Equality

According to Gallup, 71% of Americans support marriage for same-sex couples. 55% of Republicans support same-sex marriage, along with 83% of Democrats and 73% of Independents. According to recent polling from HRC, 64% of people living in battleground states – AZ, CA, GA, MI, NV, PA, WI, FL, NH, NC, OH, TX, CO, and ME – support marriage equality, demonstrating the issue’s popularity even in politically divided states. The latest survey from PRRI this year found that support for marriage equality has increased by 14 percentage points since 2014 (54%). Today, majorities of most religious groups favor marriage equality. White evangelical Protestants (35%) and Latter-day Saints (46%) remain the only major religious groups with less than majority support for marriage equality. According to the last Census, about 58% (568,000) of couples in the nation’s 980,000 same-sex households were married and about 42% were unmarried partners.

Read More:

Washington Post Op-Ed from U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Susan Collins, R-Maine: The Senate must stand together on marriage equality

NBC Op-Ed from HRC President Joni Madison: Opponents of Marriage Equality Face an Uphill Battle

CNN Op-Ed from Match Group’s Jared Sine: Americans should be able to marry whoever they choose. But some senators don’t support protecting that right

Washington Post Editorial: The Respect for Marriage Act must pass — and Republicans should support it

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed: Congress Should Codify Same-Sex Marriage

Key Provisions of the Bill

The Respect for Marriage Act would ensure that marriage equality is protected nationally through several provisions:

  • Repealing the 1990s era Defense of Marriage Act. Passed in 1996, DOMA discriminated in two important ways. First, Section 2 of DOMA purported to allow states to refuse to recognize valid civil marriages of same-sex couples. Second, Section 3 of the law carved all same-sex couples, regardless of their marital status, out of all federal statutes, regulations and rulings applicable to all other married people — thereby denying them over 1,100 federal benefits and protections. DOMA was rendered unenforceable, in two stages, by the Supreme Court’s 2013 Windsor v. United States ruling (which invalidated Section 3) and the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling (which invalidated Section 2).
  • Establishing that “place of celebration” is the standard of recognition for federal benefits of a same-sex marriage. This provision ensures that the federal government will consider a couple to be married for federal purposes if the couple’s marriage was valid in the state where it was performed.
  • Affirming that marriage-related public acts, records and proceedings of one state must be recognized by all states. Marriages, adoption orders, divorce decrees and other public acts must be honored by all states consistent with the Full Faith and Credit clause of the US Constitution.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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NEW POST-ELECTION POLL: Equality Voters Stopped the Red Wave, Rejecting Extremism and Anti-LGBTQ+ Attacks

“Equality Voters” delivered huge margins to pro-equality Democrats up and down the ballot, pushing back against extremism and defying pre-election predictions of a massive “red wave”

WASHINGTON New polling released today by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — shows that the 2022 election defied pre-election predictions of a massive “red wave” in no small measure because Equality Voters pushed back against extremism and voted to protect commonly held values and our democracy.

Across the country, election deniers and right-wing extremists lost winnable elections because they advocated views that are out-of-touch with average voters, particularly the huge number of Equality Voters who made the critical difference up and down the ballot. Equality Voters are a group of voters modeled to support LGBTQ+ equality, numbering 62 million nationwide. They represented 39 percent of the 2022 electorate—a number that reflects the growing political strength of this voting bloc—and tend to be younger and more racially diverse than the electorate as a whole.

“Republicans lost because they nominated extreme candidates, conspiracy theorists, and far-right radicals who advocated extreme positions, including attacks on an LGBTQ+ community that grows more politically powerful every election cycle,” said Joni Madison, Human Rights Campaign Interim President. “As Sen. Mitch McConnell said earlier this week, Republicans’ negativity and excessive attacks were rejected by independent and moderate Republican voters. They didn’t generate the landslide they were betting on, thanks to the historic turnout of pro-equality, pro-democracy, and pro-choice voters who showed up to the polls in record numbers to reject extremism and deliver a series of victories for pro-equality candidates, including historic victories for LGBTQ+ candidates, women, and candidates of color.”

Equality Voters delivered huge margins to Democrats at every level of the ballot.

  • At the U.S. House level, 81 percent of Equality Voters supported the Democratic candidate. Equality Voters delivered similar margins for Democratic U.S. Senate candidates and Democratic candidates for governor.
  • This number is comparable to the level of support Equality Voters gave Joe Biden two years ago (also 81 percent) and nearly matches the level of support Black voters delivered this cycle (87 percent).
  • Among self-identified LGBTQ+ voters, who made up a midterm record 7 percent of the 2022 electorate, fully 80 percent supported U.S. House Democrats. LGBTQ+ voters delivered similar margins for Democratic U.S. Senate candidates and Democratic candidates for governor.

Dobbs and Trump defined Republican extremism for many voters, but anti-equality issues and attacks on marginalized people also defined right-wing radicalism this year.

  • Among voters who voted against Republicans, a majority identify either abortion, support for Trump and election denial as the most important reason for doing so.
  • Attacks on people of color and LGBTQ+ people rank next on this list.

As predicted, right-wing efforts to spread propaganda about and attack transgender people failed.

  • In this survey, we asked voters which specific issues motivated them to vote this year. Inflation (52 percent) and abortion (29 percent) rank first and second on this list.
  • Less than 5 percent identify gender affirming care for transgender youth or transgender participation in sports as issues motivating them to vote, last on this list.
  • This confirms extensive research prior to the election that found anti-transgender attacks were only effective in riling up extreme members of the conservative base, which is why the attacks were so prominent in paid media during Republican primaries.
  • While the attacks were ineffective with the general electorate and in fact repelled swing voters, they still caused harm, including increasing stigma, discrimination, and violence against the transgender community.

Voters will tolerate no retreat on marriage.

  • With this week’s pivotal U.S. Senate votes on marriage equality underway, a convincing 61 percent of 2022 voters in this fairly conservative, midterm electorate support Congress passing a law to protect the federal right to same-sex marriage.
  • This majority includes 67 percent of Independent voters, 54 percent of voters over age 50, 62 percent of non-college women, and, of course, a resounding 81 percent of Equality Voters.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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History Made: More LGBTQ+ People Elected to Congress Than Ever Before

Washington, DC – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — hailed the victory of at least 10  pro-equality, openly LGBTQ+ members of the House of Representatives Equality Caucus, a record.  Those members are Becca Balint (VT-1), David Cicilline (RI-1),  Angie Craig (MN-2), Sharice Davids (KS-3), Robert Garcia (CA-42), Chris Pappas (NH-1), Mark Pocan (WI-2), Eric Sorensen (IL-17), Mark Takano (CA-39), and Ritchie Torres (NY-15). When the new congressional term begins in January, these House members will join openly LGBTQ+ Senators Tammy Baldwin and Kyrsten Sinema in Congress. Votes are still being counted in CA-41 and OR-5, where openly LGBTQ+ Will Rollins and Jamie McLeod-Skinner are in close races.

Openly LGBTQ+ members play key roles in promoting, advancing, and eventually passing critical legislation, like the Equality Act and the Respect for Marriage Act during the 117th Congress. Their fight to expand civil rights at the federal level and prevent our progress from being rolled back comes at a time when state legislators across the country have introduced more than 350 anti-LGBTQ+ bills.

Human Rights Campaign Interim President Joni Madison released the following statement:

“The election of a record number of openly LGBTQ+ pro-equality members of the U.S. House Equality Caucus is historic and meaningful because these members represent the diversity of America and are role models to LGBTQ+ people of all ages who aspire to positions of leadership. They are not only advocates advancing the rights of the LGBTQ+ community they are also serving their constituents with honesty, integrity, hard work and courage. Each will make our country better and advance equality for women, people of color, and other marginalized communities.  The Human Rights Campaign  salutes voters for their wise choice electing these public servants and is proud to stand with such strong leaders in our work to advance LGBTQ+ equality over the next two years.”

HRC-Endorsed Openly LGBTQ+ Candidates Winning Seats in the House

Becca Balint, VT – 1

David Cicilline, RI -1

Angie Craig, MN – 2

Sharice Davids, KS – 3

Robert Garcia, CA – 42

Chris Pappas, NH -1

Mark Pocan, WI – 2

Eric Sorensen, IL – 17

Mark Takano, CA-39

Ritchie Torres, NY – 15

HRC-Endorsed Openly LGTBQ+ Candidates in the House Where Vote Counting is Underway

Jamie McLeod-Skinner, OR – 5

Will Rollins, CA – 41

Italics denotes incumbent

HRC’s Commitment to Mobilizing Equality Voters

Equality Voters are a voting bloc of demographically and geographically diverse Americans who are united by the advancement of LGBTQ+ equality. Equality Voters are younger, more racially diverse, and more female than the general electorate, they recognize and trust the HRC brand, and they are more likely to identify with issue-specific organizations than candidates or political parties.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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UnitedHealthcare Donates $500,000 to Nonprofits in Nevada

Funding is part of UnitedHealthcare’s $11 million in Empowering Health grants focused on expanding access to care and addressing the social determinants of health for people in underserved communities

united-healthcareLAS VEGAS (Aug. 10, 2022) — UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is awarding $500,000 in Empowering Health grants to four community-based organizations in Nevada to expand access to care and address the social determinants of health for uninsured individuals and underserved communities.

In total, UnitedHealthcare is donating $11 million in grants through its Empowering Health program across 11 states. The grants will assist individuals and families experiencing challenges from food insecurity, social isolation and behavioral health issues, and support local health promotion and health literacy efforts.

Grant recipients in Nevada include:

  • EMPOWERED, Las Vegas – $150,000 to provide care coordination, individual therapy and group therapy for pregnant and postpartum women with substance or opioid use disorder, and to support the household-centered home visitation program that addresses social determinants of health for the entire family.
  • Happy Mama Healthy Baby Alliance in partnership with Heluna Health, Las Vegas – $150,000 to support doulas from multicultural backgrounds in providing underserved and Medicaid-eligible families, adolescents, LBGTQIA+ families, immigrants, refugees and others with birthing services including labor support, postpartum care, childbirth education classes, breastfeeding help, and support groups for mothers and fathers.
  • The Center, Las Vegas – $100,000 to create “Thrive: a LGBTQ+ Youth focused Affirmative Counseling program that will provide access to therapy, social/emotional support services, and wellness education for LGBTQ+ identified youth, their families and loved ones.
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), School of Public Health, Las Vegas – $100,000 to introduce a new tele-home visiting pilot program through Prevent Child Abuse Nevada, housed within the school, to check in with new parents two to four weeks after discharge from the hospital and provide additional support and engagement in mental and behavioral health services.

“Social and economic factors have a profound impact on achieving and maintaining good health,” said Kelly Simonson, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Nevada. “Through our Empowering Health grants and local outreach efforts from UnitedHealthcare, we’re working with local organizations in the state to provide Nevada residents with an interconnected system of clinical and social services that can produce better health outcomes and make the health system work better for everyone.”

According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, approximately 80% of what influences a person’s health relates to nonmedical issues, such as food, housing, transportation and the financial means to pay for basic daily needs. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused additional social and economic challenges that continue to affect healthy behaviors and exacerbate health disparities.

More than a third of members screened by UnitedHealthcare for social-related needs experience at least one social determinant of health. UnitedHealthcare leverages the company’s data to identify health disparities according to race, ethnicity, gender, geography and education level.

Since launching its Empowering Health commitment in 2018, UnitedHealthcare has now invested more than $51 million in Empowering Health grants reaching more than 8 million people through partnerships with community-based organizations in 30 states and the District of Columbia.

UnitedHealth Group, including UnitedHealthcare and Optum, and its affiliated companies, is dedicated to advancing health equity and building healthier communities by supporting programs to improve access to care and address key determinants of health. In Nevada this includes more than $7.6 million in contributions from 2019-2021 representing its businesses, foundations and employees.

Additionally, UnitedHealth Group has invested more than $800 million in affordable housing communities since 2011, partnered with food banks and meal-delivery services, and in 2019 joined with the American Medical Association to standardize how social determinants of health data is collected and used to create more holistic care plans. In June, the United Health Foundation, the philanthropic foundation of UnitedHealth Group, made a $100 million commitment over 10 years to advance health equity, furthering its efforts to eliminate health disparities. This was the largest single philanthropic commitment ever made by the United Health Foundation.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.5 million physicians and care professionals, and more than 6,700 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people through owned and operated health care facilities in South America. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @UHC on Twitter.

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ICYMI: Human Rights Campaign Responds to New Gallup Poll Confirming the Growing Support of Marriage Equality

WASHINGTON—Today, Gallup released a new poll that showed a growing percentage of people (71%) in the U.S. support same-sex marriage. In response, Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow released the following statement:

“This new data not only shows the continuing growth of support for same-sex marriage but also underscores what we have long known—anti-LGBTQ+ politicians and activists attacking marriage equality do not reflect the beliefs of the nation and are working contrary to public opinion,” said Sarah Warbelow, Human Rights Campaign Legal Director. “Notably, the Supreme Court doesn’t take public opinion into account when makings its decision; the Court will override decades of precedent if it strikes down Roe, despite the fact that a majority of Americans support access to abortion care. If that does indeed happen, it will likely embolden state legislatures – who have already been introducing and passing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation at a record pace – to continue to test the limits of court recognized LGBTQ+ equality. ”

Key Points from the poll:

  • Today, results from a 2022 Gallup poll were released that showed the estimate of Americans that support same-sex marriage has risen to 71%, an increase of more than 44 percentage points from the initial recording in 1996.
    • In 2011, support for same-sex marriage reached the majority level of Americans.
    • In 2015, one month before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, public support for legalizing same-sex marriage reached the 60% level.

Gallup: Same-Sex Marriage Support Inches Up to New High of 71%

By: Justin McCarthy

Seventy-one percent of Americans say they support legal same-sex marriage, which exceeds the previous high of 70% recorded in 2021 by one percentage point.

When Gallup first polled about same-sex marriage in 1996, barely a quarter of the public (27%) supported legalizing such unions. It would take another 15 years, until 2011, for support to reach the majority level.

Then in 2015, just one month before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, public support for legalizing gay marriage cracked the 60% level, and last year it reached the 70% mark for the first time.

Read More.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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Tasty Bites for June From the Venetian Resort Las Vegas

Pride, Father’s Day and National Steak Month

LINK TO PHOTOS

LAS VEGAS (May 17, 2022) – The Venetian® Resort Las Vegas is giving its guests plenty of reasons to celebrate the month of June with tasty bites for Pride Month, Father’s Day and everything in between.

PRIDE

The Venetian Resort was born from love and celebrates inclusivity and love for all— all year long. To recognize the LGBTQIA+ community and honor Pride Month, guests will find an array of treats from cakes to cocktails, special Pride-themed apparel and the resort tower signs will display the colors of the Pride flag on June 1.

BLACK TAP CRAFT BURGERS & BEER

Celebrate Pride all month-long starting June 1 at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer with a Vanilla Rainbow CrazyShake®. This must-share-on-Instagram vanilla shake features a vanilla frosted rim covered in Nerds, topped with a rainbow donut from the famous Las Vegas Donut Bar and garnished with a rainbow unicorn pop, sour rainbow gummy rope and whipped cream. A specialty Pride-themed cocktail will also be available. The best part? Sales of the cocktail benefit The Pride Tree to support the non-profit’s mission in providing LGBTQ+ youth in Las Vegas after school and summer programming.

THE COCKTAIL COLLECTIVE

Throughout June, the trio of bars known as The Cocktail Collective will be offering a special Pride Month cocktail at each venue.

  • The Dorsey Cocktail Bar will be serving up LOVE IS LOVE created by lead bartender Evan Hosaka. The main spirit is vodka with blanc vermouth, lemon, simple syrup, egg whites and strawberries.
  • Say YASSS, QUEEN! at Electra Cocktail Club. This royal cocktail, crafted by lead bartender Daniel Yang, combines rum, Aperol, orgeat, lime, Peychaud bitters and is served over crushed ice and garnished with a mint sprig and Pride flag.
  • Time to show your Pride with the SHOW YOUR TRUE COLORS cocktail by Lewis Caputa at Rosina Cocktail Lounge. This beverage is gin based with lemon, simple syrup, muddled berries, crushed ice and a rainbow sugar rim— served in a rocks glass and garnished with a Pride flag.

BOUCHON BAKERY

In honor of Pride Month, Bouchon Bakery is bringing back its Rainbow Cake. Pastry chef Nicholas Bonamico created the dessert in honor of the Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage. The dessert has seven layers of multicolored almond cake with apricot and raspberry jams alternately layered between each color. A rich dark chocolate glaze covers the top and it’s finished with a glimmering luster dust. Bouchon Bakery’s Rainbow Cake is available by the slice or can be pre-ordered as a full cake.

CARLO’S BAKERY

Dessert and rainbows— it’s the only way to celebrate Pride Month. Carlo’s Bakery has crafted six layers of colorful, delicious cake. Each layer is separated by a generous amount of icing – available in vanilla, chocolate or strawberry. Rainbow sprinkles cover the entire outside of the cake for additional pops of color. This can be purchased by the slice or as a 6- or 10-inch cake.

FATHER’S DAY – JUNE 19

YARDBIRD

Yardbird is beefing up its menu for Father’s Day with a 42 oz. tomahawk ribeye, roasted heirloom potatoes and shitake gravy, fish and chips with truffle parmesan fries, as well as a spiced double-cut lamb chop.

MAJORDŌMO MEAT & FISH

Celebrate dad with a Father’s Day dinner fit for a king at Majordōmo Meat & Fish by David Chang. Enjoy a three-course feast starting with beef and spot prawn tartare, followed by 16 oz. Wagyu chateaubriand and chocolate Tres leche for dessert. This special sharable menu is available June 17 – 19 for $118 per person.

CHICA

CHICA is offering a three-course dinner for Father’s Day that’s sure to put a smile on dad’s face. The menu starts with smoked octopus carpaccio and is followed by a 10 oz. rib cap topped with crab meat and Huancaina sauce. For the finale, guests can choose from Tres leches or The Corn, a strawberry flan cheesecake with graham cracker, chili crumble and raspberry Tajin.

NATIONAL STEAK MONTH

CUT BY WOLFGANG PUCK

One of the most famous steakhouses in the United States, CUT offers a contemporary twist on the classic. The menu highlights various cuts of the finest beef from regions across the globe— cooked simply and presented beautifully.

Featuring everything from USDA Prime Nebraska corn-fed, 35-day dry-aged steaks to American Wagyu Beef from Snake River Farms, to an extensive array of Japanese Wagyu from different areas in Japan, there’s a cut of steak on the menu for everyone.

Pair the steak with a glass of wine from CUT’s carefully crafted wine list which offers a broad international list of more than 500 selections focusing mainly on wines from the United States, France, Italy, Spain and Australia.

MAJORDŌMO MEAT & FISH

Guests can celebrate National Steak Month any day of the year at Majordōmo Meat & Fish by David Chang with its custom trolleys and tableside steak presentations.

“The prime rib I love because it’s this whole tradition,” said David Chang. “This whole piece being wheeled out, being carved— and you’re just getting something that’s so tender. It has different pockets of flavor.”

The smoked, whole-plate short rib starts with a dry-aged Creekstone prime rib beef that’s cured for 24 hours in savory seasoned salt. Then, it’s smoked for five hours before being carved and plated tableside.

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BREAKING: Human Rights Campaign Commends Republican Gov. Spencer Cox for Vetoing Anti-Trans Sports Ban

Salt Lake City, Utah – Today, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox vetoed House Bill 11 – a bill that would have prevented transgender students from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. With the governor’s veto of the bill, Utah became the second state this year to reject such a discriminatory ban approved by the legislature.

Republican Gov. Cox had pledged to veto the bill – which was hastily pushed through the Senate and heavily amended on the last night of Utah’s legislative session. The governor’s pledge was met with resounding praise and appreciation for standing up on behalf of transgender student-athletes who the governor addressed by saying, “I just want them to know that it’s gonna be okay.”  In a letter explaining his veto, Gov. Cox said, “Rarely has so much fear and anger been directed at so few. I don’t understand what they are going through or why they feel the way they do. But I want them to live.”

Gov. Cox is the second Republican governor to veto an anti-trans sports ban in as many days; Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb vetoed a similar bill in his state yesterday.

Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley released the following statement in reaction to Gov. Cox vetoing HB 11:

“Gov. Cox heard the voices of transgender students and their families, medical experts, the business community, and advocates for fairness in sports, all of whom oppose discriminatory legislation like HB 11. He’s shown that he sees the humanity of the transgender youth targeted by this legislation – something governors in states like South Dakota and Iowa have refused to do.

Transgender kids across Utah, whether they want to play school sports or not, will be better off because of Gov. Cox’s decision today, and the Human Rights Campaign appreciates his veto. We urge lawmakers to uphold the Governor’s veto because all children in Utah deserve better than being treated as political pawns – what they deserve is to be able to have fun with their friends, exercise, and learn how to be part of a team.”

In February 2021, Gov. Cox said he would not sign a bill then making its way through the Utah Legislature that would have banned transgender girls from participating in girl’s K-12 sports. Cox reflected on the hardships facing transgender youth saying, “These kids are … they’re just trying to stay alive.”At the same time, legislators in states across the country have continued an unprecedented assault on transgender youth. A record number of anti-transgender bills were filed in 2021, largely focused on denying transgender youth the ability to receive gender-affirming care and participate in school athletics programs. Even more anti-transgender legislation is on track to be filed in 2022. There are more than 320 anti-LGBTQ+ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of those, at least 130 directly target transgender people and approximately half of those (70+ bills) would ban trans youth from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity.

Caught in the crosshairs of anti-LGBTQ+ elected officials’ divisive political strategy are kids who are simply trying to navigate their adolescence. Transgender youth, like all youth, gain benefits from participating in school athletics: leadership opportunities, better physical and mental health outcomes, self-discipline, self-confidence, teamwork, and, of course, fun – and they shouldn’t be prevented from participating in school athletics because of who they are.

Even when anti-transgender legislation does not become law, politicians are culpable for the harm they cause to LGBTQ+ people’s wellbeing simply by being subjected to continual legislative attacks on their dignity and humanity.  As we saw earlier this month, there are real consequences to the discrimination perpetrated upon LGBTQ+ people, particularly transgender youth.

Anti-Transgender Attacks As A Political Talking Point

Legislators in a record 34 states introduced 147 anti-transgender bills in 2021, focusing on discriminatory anti-equality measures to drive a wedge between their constituents and score short-term political points. In 2021, legislators in twelve states enacted anti-LGBTQ+ bills despite failing to provide examples of what exactly they were legislating against.

Merely introducing anti-transgender bills and peddling anti-transgender rhetoric has already had a damaging impact, leading to LGBTQ+ youth resources being surreptitiously removed from a government website, 11-year old kids literally having trouble sleeping, and a school district banning graphic novels with a transgender character after a parent’s complaint. 2021 and 2020 were the deadliest and second deadliest years on record for trans & gender non-conforming people respectively, with the Human Rights Campaign tracking at least 50 violent deaths in 2021 alone. A new Trevor Project survey shows that a startling 85% of transgender or gender non-binary youth say their mental health has been negatively affected by these legislative attacks.

Anti-transgender content on social media is also a radicalizing issue all by itself. This is in large part because transgender young people are among the most marginalized, voiceless, and defenseless communities in America, and because right-wing arguments play on long-standing misogynistic, racist, and sexist tropes about gender roles.

Anti-Equality Forces Are Spending Big

These bills are the result of a concerted effort by right-wing organizations that have been battling against LGBTQ+ progress for years. Across recent elections, one of the key anti-equality groups working to turn back decades of LGBTQ+ progress has been the American Principles Project (APP). APP and its chief underwriter Sam Fieler have invested millions of dollars in support of anti-LGBTQ+ candidates. In 2020, APP spent more than $2.6 million in ad spending in support of anti-equality candidates. In Virginia in 2021, APP spent at least $300,000 on digital advertising in support of Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial campaign.

Restoration PAC, run and funded by major anti-LGBTQ+ bankroller Dick Uihlein, spent at least $1.9 million in advertising across Virginia in support of Youngkin and donated $942,000 to the political arm of anti-abortion group Women Speak Out Virginia. Anti-equality group Free to Learn Action launched a $1 million ad campaign spreading widely debunked anti-transgender misinformation in support of Youngkin’s campaign.

Businesses, Advocacy Groups, and Athletes Oppose Anti-Trans Legislation

More than 150 major U.S. corporations have stood up and spoken out to oppose anti-transgender legislation being proposed in states across the country. Companies like Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, AT&T, AirBnB, Dell, Dow, Google, IBM, Lyft, Marriott, Microsoft, Nike, and Paypal have objected to these bills. Four of the largest U.S. food companies also condemned “dangerous, discriminatory legislation that serves as an attack on LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly transgender and nonbinary people,” and the Walton Family Foundation issued a statement expressing “alarm” at the trend of anti-transgender legislation that recently became law in Arkansas.

Many are rightly protective of the legacy of women’s sports in this country, and a robust Title IX is central to that legacy. Importantly, advocates for women and girls in sports – such as the National Women’s Law Center, the Women’s Sports Foundation, Women Leaders in College Sports, and others – support trans-inclusive policies and oppose efforts to exclude transgender students from participating in sports. So do prominent female athletes including Billie Jean King, Megan Rapinoe, and Cheryl Reeve. That’s because while there are real issues facing women’s sports, including a lack of resources devoted to supporting them, transgender participation in athletics is not one of them.

The nation’s leading child health and welfare groups representing more than 7 million youth-serving professionals and more than 1,000 child welfare organizations released an open letter calling for lawmakers in states across the country to oppose dozens of bills that target LGBTQ+ people, and transgender children in particular.

Nearly 550 college athletes have stood up to anti-transgender legislation by demanding the NCAA pull championships from states that have enacted anti-trans sports laws.

Trans Equality Is Popular Across All Demographics

The reality is that however sensational and polarizing this issue may seem, public opinion polling across the country show strong support for trans-inclusive and pro-equality policies:

Recent PRRI data shows a large majority of Americans (82%) favor laws that protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing, and majorities of Republicans (67%), independents (85%), and Democrats (92%) favor nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ Americans.

A PBS/NPR/Marist poll states that 67% of Americans, including 66% of Republicans, oppose the anti-transgender sports ban legislation proliferating across 30 states.

In a 10-swing-state poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group in 2020 showed:

  • At least 60% of Trump voters across each of the 10 swing states say transgender people should be able to live freely and openly.
  • At least 87% of respondents across each of the 10 swing states say transgender people should have equal access to medical care, with many states breaking 90% support
  • When respondents were asked about how they prioritized the importance of banning transgender people from participating in sports as compared to other policy issues, the issue came in dead last, with between 1% and 3% prioritizing the issue.

Another poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group revealed that, with respect to transgender youth participation in sports, the public’s strong inclination is on the side of fairness and equality for transgender student-athletes. 73% of voters agree that “sports are important in young people’s lives. Young transgender people should be allowed opportunities to participate in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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The Human Rights Campaign Foundation Releases 20th Corporate Equality Index & Announces New, Robust Criteria

CEI2022

Marking 20 years of progress through the Corporate Equality Index, a record 842 companies achieved a top-score for LGBTQ+ inclusive workplace policies

WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released its 2022 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which is celebrating 20 years of being the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring company policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality. This year, a record-breaking 842 businesses employing 14.3 million workers earned the CEI’s top score of 100, up from only 13 in its inaugural year—demonstrating the incredible impact the CEI has had on the business world over its 20-year life.

Throughout the CEI’s two decade history, new criteria have been periodically introduced to ensure more robust, inclusive policies for LGBTQ+ workers—this year marks the next chapter in the tool’s evolution. HRC Foundation’s newly created CEI criteria will focus on expanding gender-affirming healthcare and workplace policies, ensuring equality in LGBTQ+ family formation benefit offerings, centering LGBTQ+ intersectionality through training and data collection best practices, and more—setting a new standard for LGBTQ+ equality in the workplace.

When the Human Rights Campaign Foundation created the Corporate Equality Index 20 years ago, we dreamed that LGBTQ+ workers—from the factory floor to corporate headquarters, in big cities and small towns—could have access to the policies and benefits needed to thrive and live life authentically. We are proud that the Corporate Equality Index paved the way to that reality for countless LGBTQ+ workers in America and abroad. But there is still more to do, which is why we are raising the bar yet again and ensuring our ‘Best Places to Work’ label continues to be the gold standard. Evolving the CEI’s criteria to mirror society is imperative to create more equitable workplaces and a better tomorrow for LGBTQ+ workers everywhere.”

Jay Brown, Human Rights Campaign Senior Vice President of Programs, Research and Training

The first year of the CEI included 319 participants, and the 2022 CEI now includes 1,271 participants; further demonstrating the tremendous trajectory of the CEI, a record-breaking 1,268 businesses have non-discrimination protections specific to gender identity, up from 17 in 2002. These critical non-discrimination protections cover 40.7 million employees in the U.S. and around the globe.

Other key findings revealed in the 2022 CEI include:

  • 379 of Fortune 500 businesses have official CEI ratings based on submitted surveys, as compared to 366 last year—with actively participating Fortune 500 companies having an average score of 94 percent, up from 92 last year.

  • 71 percent of the Fortune 500 and 91 percent of all CEI-rated businesses offer transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage, up from 0 in 2002, and 14 times as many businesses as ten years ago.

  • 56 percent of the Fortune 500 and 77 percent of all CEI-rated companies offer comprehensive domestic partnership benefits, up from 69 percent of companies in 2002, which at that time only required same-sex partner benefits.

The CEI criteria are reviewed annually and are periodically updated, this year HRC Foundation is releasing several criteria changes that will go into effect for the 2023 CEI. The new criterion is outlined below:

  • The minimum requirements for transgender-inclusive healthcare policies have been increased.

  • A new category has been created centering on family formation that works to ensure equitable access to family benefits for same and different sex legal spouses and domestic partners.

  • An ease of access to benefits information is now required for transgender healthcare benefits, family formation and HIV/AIDS health benefits coverage.

  • At least one employee training integrating concepts of intersectionality will be required.

  • Employers will be required to implement at least one self-ID data collection practice—for example, confidential surveys, human resource systems, or a mechanism for board members to self-ID.

  • Gender transition guidelines are required as well as implementing at least one additional transgender-inclusion best practices, such as gender-neutral restrooms and inclusive dress codes.

The 2022 CEI criteria are its 5th iteration and fall under four central pillars: non-discrimination policies across business entities; equitable benefits for LGBTQ+ workers and their families; supporting an inclusive culture; and corporate social responsibility. Companies rated in the CEI include Fortune magazine’s 500 largest publicly traded businesses, American Lawyer magazine’s top 200 revenue-grossing law firms (AmLaw 200), and hundreds of publicly and privately held mid- to large-sized businesses.

The full report is available online at www.hrc.org/cei.

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With Pride Month Underway, Rep. Titus and Senator Markey Introduce Legislation to Establish U.S. as Global Advocate for LGBTQI Rights

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Washington, D.C. – Today Representative Dina Titus of Nevada’s First Congressional District, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joined with Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to introduce the Greater Leadership Overseas for the Benefit of Equality (GLOBE) Act.

The GLOBE Act, H.R. 3800, would establish equality and justice as key components of U.S. foreign policy; affirm that discrimination, hatred, and violence against LGBTQI persons will not be tolerated by the United States; and assert that the United States government will treat LGBTQI rights as human rights throughout its foreign policy, development assistance, and immigration programs. The bill would also establish a permanent Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTQI Persons at the State Department.

“No person should suffer from discrimination because of who they are or whom they love,” said Congresswoman Titus (NV-1). “Under the leadership of President Biden and Secretary Blinken, the United States has the opportunity to set an example for the rest of the world by protecting the rights of LGBTQI people at home and abroad. The GLOBE Act equips the federal government with the tools and personnel it needs to promote LGBTQI rights around the world and punish regimes that persecute people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. I’m grateful to Senators Markey, Shaheen, and Merkley for their partnership on this important legislation.”

“Today, millions of people can once again see the Pride flag fly outside of U.S. embassies around the world, affirming the United States’ commitment to protecting LGBTQI rights everywhere,” said Senator Markey (D-MA). “LGBTQI rights are human rights, and we must take further steps to ensure that equality, justice, and non-discrimination policies are embedded throughout our foreign policy. President Biden and Secretary Blinken have committed to making the protection of human rights a key pillar of our work abroad, and I look forward to working with them to ensure these rights are extended to all people, no matter who they are or who they love, first and foremost by a swift appointment of the Special Envoy for LGBTQI Rights. I thank Senator Shaheen and Merkley, and Representative Titus for their leadership on this legislation and their commitment to upholding LGBQTI rights around the world.”

“As the U.S. restores its role as the global leader in promoting human rights, LGBTQI+ rights must be a top priority. We must double down on our commitment to protect the right for people to love freely and express their truest gender identity – regardless of where they live in  the world,” said Senator Shaheen (D-NH). “I’m encouraged by the Biden administration’s efforts to ensure LGBTQI+ rights are integrated within our foreign policy goals, and I look forward to working with them to ensure this bill’s passage to establish a dedicated Special Envoy. We must not back down on our push for equality and justice on the global stage.”

“We are living in a moment where governments around the world continue to make dangerous threats to our LGBTQ family, friends, and neighbors,” said Senator Merkley (D-OR). “America cannot remain silent in the face of that discrimination and abuse. Every person—regardless of who they are, whom they love, or where they live—has the right to be treated with decency and respect. That’s why I’m urging my colleagues to join us in passing the GLOBE Act, to send a clear message that the United States is committed to defending those rights for the American people and for people around the world.”

“The GLOBE Act is landmark legislation that provides legal, diplomatic, and financial tools to advance human rights for LGBTQI persons globally,” said Council for Global Equality Chair Mark Bromley. “It honors the Biden Administration’s foreign policy commitments and allows U.S. embassies to offer targeted support for some of the most marginalized communities around the world.”

“President Biden and this Congress continue to make progress on protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination at home and abroad, reversing the worst actions of the previous administration,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. “The GLOBE Act to Protect LGBTI Rights Worldwide is a critical step in combating bigotry and prejudice worldwide. This legislation sends a clear message: the United States is redoubling its commitment to advancing human rights around the globe. We thank Senator Markey for his leadership and advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ people.”

“We applaud Senators Markey, Shaheen and Merkley and Representative Titus for introducing legislation that promotes a vision of justice for LGBTQI+ people who have been marginalized and criminalized by their governments,” said American Jewish World Service Director of U.S. Advocacy Rori Kramer. “For too long, U.S. foreign policy has not centered the rights of LGBTQI+ people – the GLOBE Act will change that. Addressing the wide-ranging nature of LGBTQI+ rights from foreign aid, to asylum and immigration, to global health, the GLOBE Act would ensure that the United States leads the fight to protect and promote LGBTQI+ rights around the world.”

Specifically, the GLOBE Act:

  • Codifies the State Department Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTQI Persons in law;
  • Requires the State Department to document human rights abuses and discrimination against LGBTQI people around the world;
  • Restricts entry into the United States for foreign individuals responsible for abuse and murder of LGBTQI populations;
  • Ensures fair access to asylum and refugee programs for LGBTQI individuals;
  • Requires engagement with international organizations, including the United Nations and the World Bank, to protect international LGBTQI rights; and
  • Protects the rights of U.S. LGBTQI citizens serving their countries overseas at diplomatic and consular posts.

In the House, The GLOBE Act is co-sponsored by Representatives David Cicilline (RI-01), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Raul M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Mark Takano (CA-41), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Karen Bass (CA-37), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (IL-04), Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-00), Brad Sherman (CA-30), Andy Levin (MI-09), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Jim McGovern (MA-02), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Stephen Lynch (MA-08), Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Darren Soto (FL-09), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Frank Pallone (NJ-06), Judy Chu (CA-27), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Edward Case (HI-01), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Jake Auchincloss (MA-04), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Donald McEachin (VA-04), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Bill Keating (MA-09), Lois Frankel (FL-21), Steven Horsford (NV-04), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Adam Smith (WA-09), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (FL-23), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Madeline Dean (PA-04), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Brad Schneider (IL-10), Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07), Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Dan Kildee (MI-05), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Tom Suozzi (NY-03), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Marie Newman (IL-03), Grace Meng (NY-06), Peter Welch (VT-AL), Al Green (TX-09), John Larson (CT-01), Andre’ Carson (IN-07), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Jerry Nadler (NY-10), Angie Craig (MN-02), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Kathleen Rice (NY-04), Jim Costa (CA-16), Gregory Meeks (NY-05), Danny Davis (IL-07), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Jim Himes (CT-04).

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