Jan 2, 2020

LGBTQ rights group identifies first violent death of a transgender person in 2020

Activists rally in support of transgender people at New York City Hall in 2018. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Dustin Parker, a 25-year-old transgender man fatally shot at work in McAlester, Oklahoma on New Year's Day, is believed to be the first transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2020 to be violently killed, according to the advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.

The big picture: Transgender people, as part of the LGBTQ+ community, have faced multiple legal challenges from the Trump administration to weaken protections against workplace and health care discrimination.

Background: The American Medical Association called 2019's surge of transgender murders an "epidemic" last September. The HRC found that at least 25 transgender and gender non-conforming people were fatally shot or violently killed in 2019.

  • At least 22 transgender people were killed in the U.S. in 2018, per the HRC, and at least 25 in 2017. At least 21 were killed in 2016 and 2015.

What they're saying:

“Dustin was a steadfast friend, an amazing husband and father and generous to a fault. He loved fiercely, worked tirelessly and took on life with so much hope and enthusiasm that his presence brightened all of our lives.”
— Dustin Parker’s employer, Rover Taxi, in a statement, per HRC

Go deeper: Trump administration argues civil rights law doesn't cover LGBTQ workers

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Exclusive: Bloomberg unveils LGBTQ equality plan

Bloomberg campaigns in Minneapolis on Jan. 23. Photo: Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg is releasing his LGBTQ equality plan on Tuesday, aligning with other Democratic presidential candidates' calls to return to Obama-era protections that President Trump has moved to undo.

Why it matters: One aspect of the platform shared with Axios — calling for law enforcement training to protected transgender people of color — may have particular resonance given Bloomberg's past support of "stop and frisk" policing, which hindered his early standing with minority voters.

Go deeperArrowJan 28, 2020

Trump administration threatens to cut California health care funding over abortion law

President Trump walks away after speaking at the 47th March For Life rally on the National Mall, Jan. 24, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Trump administration on Friday issued a "notice of violation" to California, threatening to cut the state's federal health care funding if it continues to require that insurance plans cover abortion.

The big picture: The Department of Health and Human Services said the requirement violates a law that bans the federal government from giving funding to states or other entities that discriminate against health care providers that object to providing abortions.

Go deeperArrowJan 24, 2020

Virginia General Assembly passes Equal Rights Amendment

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The two chambers of Virginia's General Assembly approved the proposed Equal Rights Amendment with bipartisan support on Wednesday in an overwhelming win for gender equality advocates.

Why it matters: Virginia is now poised to become the crucial 38th state to approve the ERA, which would prohibit discrimination on the basis on sex. Three-quarters of all state assemblies and legislatures must approve the measure for it to be added to the U.S. Constitution, the Washington Post notes.

Go deeperArrowJan 15, 2020