From the Desk of HRC President, Alphonso David.
The global movement for LGBTQ equality took another step forward as marriage equality became law in Northern Ireland. Unlike much of the United Kingdom, same-sex couples in Northern Ireland had been denied the right to marriage equality. With this victory in the region, momentum for marriage equality continues around the world as Northern Ireland joins Austria, Taiwan and Ecuador and several other countries who have enacted marriage equality in 2019.
The overwhelming support and tireless efforts of advocates and allies have made this day a reality. We congratulate them on this milestone for LGBTQ equality, and we look forward to continuing to work with these and other leaders around the world to advance critical protections and move progress forward.
The Human Rights Campaign staff also met with our #EquidadMX Business Council — allies and champions in the fight for LGBTQ workplace inclusion. These leaders are driving changes that are making workplaces in Mexico and the region more welcoming and productive places for all. Our third annual #EquidadMX workplace inclusion survey results will be released in December.
But while we celebrate this progress, we also recognize that LGBTQ people around the globe continue to face violence, discrimination and even death while many seeking asylum in the United States are being denied refuge at our borders. This Wednesday, we co-sponsored a Center Global briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss the experiences of LGBTQ asylum seekers and how Congress can take steps to support them. We also raised a number of questions about the U.S. State Department’s new “Commission on Unalienable Rights” as it held its first meeting Wednesday. We and other human rights advocates — and members of Congress — have raised concerns since the commission was originally announced, none of which have been satisfactorily addressed.
In order to better address global injustices, this month, we also announced a major initiative to pursue strategic litigation in countries where litigation can make a difference. We will work with in-country partners and top-tier international law firms to thoughtfully identify change opportunities and support impact litigation efforts.
In addition to strategic litigation, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Global program will continue to work with organizations on topics ranging from designing advocacy campaigns, challenging discriminatory laws and policies, engaging allies and changing societal institutions to be more inclusive, and to engage our global alumni network to support this work. This week, we welcomed a new HRC Global Fellow from Albania, expanding our network even more.
We’re committed to deepening and expanding our global justice work, because equality does not stop at our own borders. We are part of a global equality movement, and as the world’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, it is imperative we stand with and uplift our partners no matter what country they call home.
Protect The Bench. The Trump-McConnell machine has muscled more than 150 federal judges into lifetime appointments on the federal bench, many of whom lack a commitment to fundamental fairness. And next week, the Senate Judiciary Committee is poised to consider another Trump nominee, Steven Menashi, whose devotion to radical, anti-LGBTQ punditry and exclusionary, racist ideology signals a new low, even for this administration.
As our Associate Legal Director Robin Maril made clear in an op-ed for the Advocate, a judge must have a demonstrated commitment to fairness and equality. Menashi falls far short of this basic threshold, and he has no place deciding the fates of people whose very personhood he will not protect. It is particularly outrageous that Menashi was nominated to fill the seat once held by Thurgood Marshall on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, a court one step below the Supreme Court. The Senate must reject this unfit nominee, and together, we must elect a pro-equality Senate and president in 2020 who will turn the tide on this dangerous assault on our judiciary.
Living Authentically. The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance and Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Coming Out as LGBTQ Asian and Pacific Islander Americans resource is designed to aid LGBTQ API Americans in navigating the intersectional challenges when coming out. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance released a Hindi-translated version of this resource.