This week read about the Human Rights Campaign investigating Alphonso David, and Michigan's hate crime law including transgender people.
Human Rights Campaign Board Investigates President
One of the country’s largest LGBT advocacy groups has announced that it will be investigating its president’s involvement in aiding New York Governor Andrew Cuomo response to sexual harassment allegations. The allegations led to Cuomo's resignation Aug. 10.
Alphonso David, who has led the Human Rights Campaign since August 2019, was the first person of color to lead the organization since its founding in 1980. His name was referenced in a report that detailed response efforts Cuomo took to deny claims of sexual harassment.
Board chairs for HRC and the HRC Foundation Morgan Cox and Jodie Patterson said in a statement, “the investigation will include consideration of whether Alphonso David's actions aligned with HRC's mission and values, as well as with professional and ethical standards. This board-led investigation, with which David is cooperating, will take no longer than 30 days, and will help shed light on the events that unfolded and guide the Boards on any necessary next steps. This investigation will in no way hinder the organizations’ continued pursuit of the critical work necessary to bring equity and liberation to the LGBTQ+ community.”
Hate Crime Law Covers Trans Individuals
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After Michigan’s Circuit Court dismissed intimidation charges against a man who harassed, assaulted, and shot a transgender woman at a gas station. The Michigan Court of Appeals has unanimously upheld that transgender individuals are protected under the state’s Ethnic Intimidation Act, which address crimes based on race, color, religion, gender, or national origin.
The court based its decision in part from the U.S. Supreme Court case of Bostock v. Clayton Co., and wrote, “the Bostock Court acknowledged that “homosexuality and transgender status are distinct concepts from sex,” but that “discrimination based on homosexuality or transgender status necessarily entails discrimination based on sex; the first cannot happen without the second.”
State Attorney General Dana Nessel, who filed a brief in the case, told M Live, “The transgender community is at heightened risk for intimidation and bias-based crimes, and I applaud the court for making clear that gender intimidation includes intimidation based on a person being transgender.”
The ethnic intimidation charges were reinstated and sent back to the lower court. There has been no new court date set for the defendant.