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#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: December 17, 2015 | LGBTPost

#AM_Equality Tip Sheet: December 17, 2015

SHKRELI ARRESTED FOR FRAUD: Bloomberg reports that Martin Shkreli — the former hedge fund manager turned pharmaceutical executive who notoriously increased the price of a lifesaving HIV treatment by 5,000 percent earlier this fall — was arrested at his Manhattan home this morning on securities fraud charges for allegedly paying off personal debts by “plundering” a firm he started. Shkreli earned widespread enmity and provoked bipartisan furor earlier this year when he hiked the price of Daraprim, a life-saving pill used to treat those with compromised immune systems–including pregnant women and people living with HIV–from $13.60 per pill to $750. At HRC’s urging, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman began investigating whether Turing Pharmaceuticals may have violated antitrust laws by limiting distribution of the drug. HRC also sent letters to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chair of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce; and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, seeking an investigation into the unconscionable action of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Today, prosecutors have charged Shkreli with “illegally taking stock from Retrophin Inc.,” Bloomberg reported, and using it to pay off debts unrelated to the business. Read more here: http://bloom.bg/1QOICJb

SOUTH FLORIDA GAY NEWS GIVES RUBIO’S NEW AD TWO THUMBS DOWN: South Florida Gay News looks at Marco Rubio’s latest ad and isn’t impressed. “Marco Rubio hasn’t run an ad with him posing next to Kim Davis, but don’t put it past him. The anti-gay Christian persecution complex is in full display in a recent ad for GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio, who is apparently hoping to snag some of the anti-gay evangelical vote away from contenders Ted Cruz and Ben Carson.” We’ve previously highlighted Rubio’s shift rightward on LGBT issues in recent weeks, from saying last weekend he has an anti-LGBT litmus test for Supreme Court judges, to his pledge to repeal President Obama’s LGBT executive orders, to telling CBN he would “never change” on marriage equality. More of Rubio’s record here:http://bit.ly/1BAoAgD and if you missed it yesterday, more from Slate on Rubio’s opposition to allowing same-sex couples to adopt here: http://slate.me/1NTfpfe

NCAA THROWS ITS WEIGHT BEHIND INDIANA LGBT NON-DISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS: The NCAA is using its considerable influence to support the efforts to pass a statewide law in Indiana protecting LGBT Hoosiers and visitors from discrimination. Headquartered in Indianapolis, yesterday, it officially joined a pro-equality group of businesses called Indiana Competes to push for the change — including hundreds of businesses both large and small. This includes Eli Lilly, Cummins, and AT&T, among others. As the AP reports, “Indiana Competes has been warning that inaction on the matter by Republican Gov. Mike Pence and the GOP-controlled Legislature will harm the state’s ability to attract talent and business to the state.” The Indy Star reports that 70% of Hoosiers support LGBT protections. More here: http://goo.gl/UCC4b9  

FACEBOOK TAKES POSITIVE STEP ON NAME-CHANGE POLICY: Facebook announced that the company is testing a process that would allow people to use a pseudonym if disclosing their real identity could put them at risk of abuse or discrimination. Facebook pursued the change in order to benefit transgender people who have recently transitioned and lack legal documents legitimizing their new identity. HRC Foundation Director of Research and Public Education Jay Brown told US News & World Report, "When you think about a 15-year-old who may be transitioning [to a new sexuality or gender] Facebook is an enormous platform for them to be seen authentically; for them to be who are they really are… Facebook has expressed commitment and we will work with them to make sure the site is a safe space for everyone." The new process will require that those requesting to use pseudonyms provide detail about how using their legal name could make them targets. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1NUZ7ma


POPE WEIGHS IN ON MARRIAGE REFERENDUM IN SLOVENIA: As Slovenians head to the polls to vote on marriage equality, opponents have received some words of support from Pope Francis. The Pope told “everyone, especially those with public responsibility, to support the family, a structural reference point for the life of society.” The referendum, whose results will be announced on Sunday, will only be considered valid if 20% of the population turns out to vote. All eyes will turn to Slovenia, as it strives to become the first former Communist Bloc country to establish marriage equality. http://bit.ly/1RqUQtd

THIRD-GENDER CANDIDATE MAKES HISTORY IN BANGLADESH: Dithi, who identifies as part of the hijra community in Bangladesh, has made history by announcing her candidacy in Bangladesh’s upcoming municipal elections for the reserved female ward councillor in Kolaroa Municipality. She is the first transgender person to do so in the nation’s history. More here: http://bit.ly/1RTXBCA


The Washington Post shares a map of where transgender and gender variant people have run for office in 31 countries since 1977 … the Advocate gives an in-depth account of what took place at Jacksonville’s final community meeting… ThinkProgress chronicles what led one of the most prominent conversion therapy clinics in Canada to close down…

Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.orgClick here to subscribe to A.M. Equality, and follow @HRC for all latest news and updates. Thanks for reading!

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