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US Supreme Court upholds Alabama same-sex couple’s adoption

Adoption

The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
In a short opinion without any noted dissent, the US Supreme Court has reversed the Alabama supreme court’s refusal to recognize a same-sex adoption that took place in Georgia.

V.L. and E.L. were in a relationship and raising three children together. The couple lived in Alabama but moved to Georgia to “facilitate the adoption” according to the decision, and that state’s courts allowed the adoption. Once they moved back to Alabama, that state refused to recognize the adoption. The state supreme court disagreed that they had to give “full faith and credit” to Georgia’s decision.

According to Buzzfeed, the Court ruled that Georgia had jurisdiction over the adoption:

The court issued the decision in a summary reversal on Monday morning, ruling in a brief, unsigned opinion that the Alabama Supreme Court had failed to give “full faith and credit” — a constitutional requirement — to a Georgia court’s decision granting the adoption.

“The Georgia judgment appears on its face to have been issued by a court with jurisdiction, and there is no established Georgia law to the contrary,” the court held. “It follows that the Alabama Supreme Court erred in refusing to grant that judgment full faith and credit.”

The case was being looked at by the Court in several conferences, where they could have decided to take up the case and allow both sides to brief and argue the case.

The Court instead issued this six-page opinion with no noted dissent.

The Court just last week disposed of another LGBT rights case, turning down a challenge to New Jersey’s ban on so-called “conversion therapy” for minors.

234 Comments

  • 1. VIRick  |  March 7, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Yay, Scottie's back, and appears to be operating at full steam, and thus, one would hope, has fully recovered.

  • 2. allan120102  |  March 7, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Veracruz does not legalize ssm thanks to Pri as it is saying it have a lot of pressure of the church . They cant even legalize cohabitation to ss couples. http://www.xeu.com.mx/nota.cfm?id=801904

  • 3. allan120102  |  March 7, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Morelos have now marriages licenses adequate for same sex couples, Its new licenses are neutral, now we just need the legislative body of the state to pass the law and approve marriage equality.

  • 4. allan120102  |  March 7, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Wisconsin supreme court justice ¨apologize¨for anti gay letters she wrote in 1992. Imo she is just saying that because she was discover, if she want to apologize she coul have done it a long time ago. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking

  • 5. VIRick  |  March 7, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Ricky Martin Aboga por Matrimonio Igualitario en Chile

    Ricky Martin Advocates for Marriage Equality in Chile

    El cantante portorriqueño Ricky Martin abogó por el matrimonio igualitario en los países latinoamericanos tras reunirse con representantes de la Fundación Iguales en Chile. Ricky Martin habló sobre los avances registrados en el último tiempo en países latinoamericanos en materia legislativa y los desafíos pendientes, como la necesidad de contar con una ley de matrimonio igualitario en toda Latinoamérica.

    El presidente ejecutivo de la fundación, Luis Larraín, declaró a la prensa que el cantante “es una figura de conocimiento global, lo que nos permite llegar con su mensaje de igualdad y no discriminación a un público mucho más masivo." Agregó que “esperamos que su testimonio como padre gay sirva para eliminar prejuicios a quienes todavía los tienen, y que el gobierno se dé cuenta de que no se debe seguir postergando el matrimonio igualitario con filiación." http://gaynewsmx.com/ricky-martin-pro-matrimonio-

    Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin advocated for equal marriage in Latin American countries after meeting with representatives of the Fundación Iguales en Chile. Ricky Martin spoke about the progress made in recent times in Latin American countries in legislation and of the remaining challenges, such as the need to have an equal marriage law throughout Latin America.

    The chief executive of the foundation, Luis Larraín, told reporters that the singer "is a figure of global reknown, which allows our message of equality and non-discrimination to reach a more mass audience." He added that "we hope that his testimony as a gay father serves to eliminate prejudices in those that still have them, and that the government realizes that they should not keep postponing marriage equality indefinitely."

  • 6. VIRick  |  March 7, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Jamaica: Newly-Elected Prime Minister Likely to Back National Referendum on Anti-LGBT “Buggery” Law

    This is not good news, from the leading pisant political party in one of the most scabrous pisant countries of the Caribbean, which can't even agree to utilize the Caribbean Court of Justice as its highest court, and instead, chooses to shove everything off onto uninformed referenda by the unwashed masses:

    Per the "Jamaica Gleaner:"

    The newly-elected Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), says the government will put key constitutional and social issues to a referendum. Holness made the commitment in his inauguration speech yesterday, 6 March 2016.

    However, at that time, he did not name the issues which would be put to a vote by Jamaicans. In the past, the JLP has strongly opposed Jamaica’s departure from the United Kingdom-based Privy Council to the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), as Jamaica’s highest court.

    The party has insisted that Jamaicans should have a say in the country’s final appellate court, and have maintained that the matter should be put to a referendum. Holness has also previously said that a JLP government would put the matter of Jamaica amending its buggery law to a referendum.

    During his campaign, Holness said this:

    “You will also know that when it comes time to determine whether or not we should make any changes to the Buggery Act, or to any other act that determines how Jamaicans see the family, you know that we are not going to take it up onto ourselves in Parliament to make that decision. We are going to come to you, the people of the country, to make that decision.” http://www.joemygod.com/2016/03/07/jamaica-newly-

    The JLP did this before, when they myopically instigated pro-Jamaica insular-based referenda to pull Jamaica out of the West Indies Federation, after which, they belatedly discovered that they then had no way to develop their island, given that all the natural resources needed to do so (oil and natural gas) were located in Trinidad and Barbados, the very islands they had just shunned. Since then, Jamaica has sunk into third-world status with a totally worthless currency no one wants, while the Eastern Caribbean continues to share in its own communal development (and never missed not having Jamaica attached to it). All of this, of course, is in addition to the hateful homophobia.

  • 7. allan120102  |  March 7, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Feel pretty bad for my lgbt friends in Jamaica, if a referendum is called then its almost surely the anti bigots will win, as most jamaicans opposed Homosexuality. This is the same situation in Malawi. Looks like no progress for Jamaica in the years to come if this referendum really happens :( .

  • 8. Zack12  |  March 7, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    She's "sorry" that she got caught and nothing more then that.

  • 9. allan120102  |  March 7, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Sinaloa might see a similar future as Jalisco as its ban its expect to be invalidated in a couple of months.It looks like this might be the only method to bring states in line. Jalisco who was order in January still can have consensus to change its invalid law. http://adnportal.mx/estado/en-cuestion-de-meses-p

  • 10. JayJonson  |  March 8, 2016 at 5:57 am

    The only way to change Jamaica is to halt American tourism and money going to the island.

  • 11. JayJonson  |  March 8, 2016 at 8:07 am

    At Towleroad, Ari Erza Waldman has an analysis of the Alabama adoption decision. He writes:

    "The Supreme Court of Alabama is losing its anti-gay crusade. Over the last few months, Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore has vowed to defy the United States Supreme Court‘s Obergefell v. Hodges decision and ordered all Alabama probate courts to continue to enforce marriage discrimination. More recently, his court denied the the adoption rights of a gay parent. Today, the Supreme Court slapped him down: Alabama cannot deny a valid adoption order from another state regardless of how much Chief Justice Moore may dislike gay people.

    The case — V.L. v. E.L. — has practical and doctrinal implications. As a practical matter, a woman who adopted and raised two children should now be able to see her kids again. As a doctrinal matter, the Supreme Court’s very quick, unsigned per curiam decision reinforces both the equality of the gay family and the Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause. It is not clear that this pro-equality decision has anything to do with the absence of the late-Justice Antonin Scalia; the decision was unanimous. But it does suggest that reactionaries like Roy Moore, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump are increasingly being marginalized by a growing consensus around equality."

    Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2016/03/supreme-court-ga

  • 12. Rick55845  |  March 8, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Lyle Denniston also has an article about it on Scotusblog: http://www.scotusblog.com/2016/03/court-restores-

    Waldman and Lyle Denniston both say that the decision was unanimous. But do we really know that to be true? It is per curiam, and there were no published dissents or concurrences. But does the lack of a published dissent mean the vote was unanimous?

    The fact that it was per curiam does not, by itself, mean that the decision was unanimous. Bush v Gore is an example of a per curiam decision that was clearly not unanimous, as there were four separate dissents written. https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/00-949.ZPC

    I also noticed in the full article on towelroad that Waldman once says that V.L. adopted and raised two children (as quoted above) and then later says that it was three children. The latter is correct.

  • 13. Elihu_Bystander  |  March 8, 2016 at 9:47 am

    The final paragraph of the SCOTUS per curium opinion and order says it all.

    "The petition for writ of certiorari is granted. The judgment of the Alabama Supreme Court is reversed, and the
    case is remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion."

    Chief justice Moore and his associates are going to have to eat crow. They have to rewrite their opinion and order in compliance with SCOTUS' per curium opinion.

  • 14. guitaristbl  |  March 8, 2016 at 10:11 am

    I would like us all to sent our thoughts and admiration to the Missouri senate democrats fillbustering the anti-LGBT bill there. They have already spoken for 18 hours in a row and keep going. Live audio :
    http://chamber.senate.mo.gov/SenateChamber

  • 15. SethInMaryland  |  March 8, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    IOWA: State Senate Adds Transgender Protections, passed 27-21, To Hate Crimes Act, Bill To Advance To State House passed

  • 16. allan120102  |  March 8, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Morelos legislature might vote down a same sex marriage bill next week. I am surprised this is happening and that the governor is not stepping up. I hope he does or marriages for same sex couples might still need amparo to do it. http://www.launion.com.mx/morelos/politica/notici

  • 17. theperched  |  March 8, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Stepchild adoption reform in Switzerland advances:

    In March 2015, the full Council of States voted 25 to 14 to approve it. The bill now goes to the National Council. There's a chance the naysayers may force another referendum though…

    Article (in German):
    http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/standard/Homo

  • 18. ebohlman  |  March 8, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Federal judge rules that Obergefell isn't binding on PR due to "unincorporated territory" status, upholds marriage ban: http://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/federal-judg

  • 19. VIRick  |  March 8, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Same Federal Judge in Puerto Rico Rules Against Marriage Equality a Second Time

    In "Conde Vidal v. Garcia Padilla," having been upheld at district court level, and appealed, but which had then been overturned by the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, and remanded back to the district court in Puerto Rico for final disposition, the district court judge handling the case, Juan Pérez-Giménez, has now rather belatedly and quite quixotically, on 8 March 2016, ruled to uphold the ban a second time.

    This situation is surreal, as those are NOT the instructions handed down by the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, given that it has already been deemed that "Obergefell" does automatically apply to 4 of the 5 unincorporated territories of the USA, namely to Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam, and Northern Marianas. Only American Samoa (due to some obscure point in the treaty of annexation) is exempt. All four have been in compliance with the "Obergefell" ruling since July 2015, with the governors of both Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands issuing Executive Orders to that effect, and with Guam acquiescing to its own federal court suit, taking Northern Marianas with it. The Government of Puerto Rico even stopped defending its suit at the 1st Circuit court of Appeals, months before the "Obergefell" ruling, and little or no obfuscation has been encountered since. Besides, our chief judge here in the USVI, at the territorial level, would strongly disagree with Pérez-Giménez on his interpretation, as he has unequivocally stated that this is settled law..

    Here's what Buzzfeed wrote:

    Puerto Rico’s marriage ban remains valid and the law of the territory, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday, 8 March 2016. Because Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory, the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex couples’ marriage rights does not automatically apply there, US District Court Judge Juan Pérez-Giménez ruled in a 10-page decision.

    The judge had previously upheld the marriage ban in Puerto Rico in October 2014, before the US Supreme Court struck down marriage bans nationwide in "Obergefell v. Hodges." http://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/federal-judg

    At the bottom of the article, there's a link to the full decision.

  • 20. allan120102  |  March 8, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    I imagine his ruling does not have effect as the first circuit have overturned the bans I imagine. I cant believe this bigot. He have always been a bigot, he is so against us that he prefer to break the law he promised to uphold than overturn the ruling he previously made which was also poorly decide by him.

  • 21. VIRick  |  March 8, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Puerto Rico: More on Federal Judge's Refusal to Comply with "Obergefell"

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Prior to "Obergefell," this federal judge in Puerto Rico, Juan Pérez-Giménez, was one of the few federal district court judges to uphold a marriage ban. His original ruling occurred in October 2014, after which the plaintiffs appealed this loss to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. Following the Supreme Court ruling in "Obergefell," the appeals court issued a brief order on 8 July 2015, "We vacate the district court's Judgment in this case and remand the matter for further consideration in light of 'Obergefell v. Hodges.' We agree with the parties' joint position (that is, with both the plaintiffs and the government defense) that the ban is unconstitutional. Mandate to issue forthwith."

    This order today, 8 March 2016, is the district court judge's response to the 1st Circuit order of 8 July 2015.

    Federal District Court judge, Juan Pérez-Giménez, finally issued an order in the Puerto Rico federal marriage case, concluding that "Obergefell" does not apply to Puerto Rico and denying the motion to enter judgment in favor of the plaintiffs.

    "The court concludes that the fundamental right to marry, as recognized by the Supreme Court in 'Obergefell,' has not been incorporated to the juridical reality of Puerto Rico. Thus, the court declines to hold that the marriage ban codified in Article 68 of the Civil Code violates the Due Process and the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment by denying same-sex couples in Puerto Rico the right to marry or to have marriages validly performed in another jurisdiction given full recognition. Therefore, the parties’ joint motion for entry of judgment (Docket No. 64) is hereby DENIED."

  • 22. VIRick  |  March 8, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Puerto Rico: Lambda Legal Issues Press Release Condemning Ruling, Will Appeal

    Excerpt per Equality Case Files:

    "Today, 8 March 2016, the US District Court of the District of Puerto Rico ruled that the historic US Supreme Court ruling in 'Obergefell v. Hodges' striking down discriminatory marriage bans nationwide did not apply to Puerto Rico because it is not a state, and denied a joint motion brought by Lambda Legal and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to halt enforcement of Puerto Rico’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. Lambda Legal will appeal the ruling."

    In addition, Omar González-Pagán, Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, said:

    The fundamental right to marriage applies across the United States, in states and territories alike. This aberrant and fundamentally flawed decision is out of step with the times and incongruent with the constitutional principles applicable to all persons in the United States, whether they live in a state or territory and whether they are straight or gay. The US Supreme Court has unequivocally stated that the constitutional promises of liberty and equality apply with equal force to residents of Puerto Rico, and the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit was clear when it stated that Puerto Rico’s marriage ban was unconstitutional. http://www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20160308_lambda-l

  • 23. scream4ever  |  March 8, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Going on 30 hours now!

  • 24. VIRick  |  March 8, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Reactions in Puerto Rico to Federal Judge's Ruling

    Comments per Gabriel La Borde from Puerto Rico, a commenter at Equality Case Files:

    So far only two state senators have reacted to the decision (plus Ricky Martin, all the way from Chile, but he's not an elected official). Both are the senators from San Juan and have backed marriage since before "Obergefell." Senator Ramón Luis Nieves said that the District Court for the District of Puerto Rico is making a fool of itself and Senator José R. Nadal Power called the decision "shameful."

    I imagine the governor and/or the Secretary of Justice will react soon, and both should be expected to condemn the decision. I imagine that marriage will continue to take place in Puerto Rico, as the Puerto Rico Supreme Court had ruled back in August 2015 in "Charbonier v. García Padilla" that "Obergefell" is applicable to Puerto Rico, a point that seems to be consistent with Pérez Giménez's decision today.

    My personal comment: Apparently the Federal judge in the case may have quite conveniently "forgot" about the ruling in "Charbonier v. Garcia Padilla," rendered by the Puerto Rico Supreme Court, which also overturned the marriage ban, clearly one of the "acceptable" ways according to Pérez Giménez's own picky, detailed criteria. This man has very flawed judgment if he is unable to recall recent rulings of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court.

  • 25. FredDorner  |  March 8, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Seems like a pretty clear case of judicial misconduct. Does anyone know what the consequences would be for a federal judge?

  • 26. VIRick  |  March 8, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    SSA Grants Spousal Benefits to Texas Widow in Lambda Legal Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 8 March 2016, in "Murphy v. Colvin," the federal case in which a Texas widow sued for Social Security spousal benefits, Lambda Legal has announced final resolution of this case. There is a notice of voluntary dismissal on the docket.

    In "Murphy v. Colvin," Lambda Legal announced the resolution of its federal lawsuit against the Social Security Administration (SSA) brought on behalf of Kathy Murphy, a Texas widow denied spousal benefits after the death of her wife (because at the time, Texas refused to recognize same-sex marriages), and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (the National Committee).

    Susan Sommer, National Director of Constitutional Litigation at Lambda Legal, said:

    The Social Security Administration has finally adjusted Kathy’s monthly SSA benefit to recognize the reality that she was married to her wife, Sara, and is a widow entitled to the same treatment as other survivors.

    We are also pleased to announce that the SSA has finally updated its instructions to its staff in accordance with the historic "Obergefell v. Hodges" ruling last June. SSA has also issued other guidance to staff to manage claims from the LGBT community. These instructions include important steps to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples from the date of their marriages, regardless of the state where the couple lived. http://www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20160308_victory-

  • 27. VIRick  |  March 8, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Missouri: Democratic Filibuster Against Proposed RFRA Now In 29th Hour!

    From the "St. Louis Post-Dispatch:"

    Missouri is grabbing national headlines as word of Senate Democrats’ day-long filibuster spreads. A proposal by Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake Saint Louis, is designed to protect wedding vendors and clergy from legal liability and government penalties if they decline to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies.

    Republicans are trying to put the question on the ballot this year in the form of a proposed constitutional amendment. To do so, the measure only needs approval from the House and Senate.

    Democrats charge that clergy are already protected under the First Amendment, and that the proposal does little more than codify discrimination against gays in the state constitution.

  • 28. theperched  |  March 9, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Wrote a piece on the Isle of Man, their marriage bill passed the first of two chambers :) and the Equality Bill which added lgbt anti-discrimination laws in goods and services had it first reading:

    This week, the Isle of Man’s Legislature advanced two proposals in favor of LGBT rights.

    Yesterday, the Isle of Man’s House of Keys approved the island’s same-sex marriage bill in its third reading. The bill now moves to the island’s upper house, the Legislative Council.

    In the Legislative Council, the Equality Bill, which aims to combine all existing anti-discrimination laws into one piece of legislation and add sexual orientation in goods and services for the first time, had its first reading on Tuesday as well. Usually, bills enter the House first, but the supporters of the Equality Bill sent it to the Council to prevent it from lapsing if it does not reach all the required stages before the general election in September of this year.

    The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Amendment) Bill 2016 would allow gay couples to marry on the island and convert their civil partnership to a marriage if they desire. It will also extend civil partnerships to heterosexual couples.

    The Equality Bill first came to the forefront after a case of a religious leading refusing to rent a house to a lesbian couple became big news on the island.

    The Isle of Man’s Chief Minister, Alan Bell, who announced that he is gay in an interview last year, is spearheading both bills. Bell’s plan is to have the first gay weddings performed in the summer.

    https://theperchybird.wordpress.com/2016/03/09/is

  • 29. F_Young  |  March 9, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Allan, not only will LGBTs not win, they will be subject to vile hate propaganda that will incite greater homophobia and violence, probably including fatalities. It could make California's anti-same-sex-marriage campaign look pacific by comparison.

  • 30. FredDorner  |  March 9, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Apparently the filibuster was just broken so now the measure will pass the Senate and proceed to the House.

    Assuming that the proposed constitutional amendment is passed by the voters, I suspect the Romer v Evans precedent will kill it.

  • 31. guitaristbl  |  March 9, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Yeah the filibuster is broken. But I also doubt Romer can do much in this case. This is a very sneaky one with the language included in it. First of all it puts in the forefront the pastor issue and hide behind the issue of refusal of service in public accomodations. Plus they claim (correctly) that the bill never mentions LGBT people – but of course we all know it is directed towards them.

    IMO human rights groups should bring to the forefront the language behind the "pastor protection" nonsense and fight it to the end. A presidential election is fertile ground due to high turnout to defeat this with proper campaigning even in Missouri.

  • 32. Rick55845  |  March 9, 2016 at 10:26 am

    The sponsors may claim that the bill isn't about discriminating against LGBT people, but they are lying. The proposed amendment repeatedly mentions "same sex marriage" and "same sex wedding". That is the same as mentioning LGBT people because nobody but LGBT people engage in same sex marriages. As Scalia famously said in Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic, "A tax on wearing yarmulkes is a tax on Jews".

  • 33. Christian0811  |  March 9, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Pacific?

  • 34. FredDorner  |  March 9, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Actually I suspect the sponsors realize that the amendment is flatly unconstitutional because of Romer, but they don't care because the real purpose to the bill is election year politics. They don't care that if the amendment is passed it will be enjoined and struck down shortly thereafter, and never go into effect.

    The good news is that the GOP is really shooting themselves in the foot with this on multiple levels, both in terms of public blowback against the dumb bigots who comprise the GOP and in terms of the ultimate result to public policy. It will also have an almost immediate adverse economic effect in the state (as happened to Indiana), which is why many companies like Monsanto have publicly condemned the amendment.
    But in the process it will revive the supreme court's attention to the issue of heightened scrutiny for sexual orientation and likely set a nationwide precedent. Right now heightened scrutiny is just implicit in several rulings but except for the 9th circuit hasn't been adopted as court doctrine.

  • 35. FredDorner  |  March 9, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I love when instances of unjust discrimination like that result in good laws being passed. My state of Wisconsin was the very first one to protect sexual orientation precisely because of a housing discrimination case like that.

  • 36. Zack12  |  March 9, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Time for the judge in the Puerto Rico marriage case to step aside or be forced out, as it's clear his rulings are motivated by anti-gay animus and nothing else.

  • 37. VIRick  |  March 9, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Reaction of Governor of Puerto Rico to Yesterday's Perverse Judicial Ruling

    Per Gabriel La Borde and Equality Case Files:

    In reaction to yesterday's judicial ruling in "Conde-Vidal v. Garcia-Padilla," the Puerto Rico marriage case still in federal court, the Governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, has issued a statement, today, 9 March 2016, which in Gabriel's words, states: "In short, he says he will ignore the ruling by Pérez Giménez, given that both the US Supreme Court and the First Circuit Court of Appeals have ruled that marriage equality is a right."

    The Governor's full statement in Spanish is available here: http://bit.ly/1UfdsfZ

  • 38. VIRick  |  March 9, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Scathing Reaction of Puerto Rico Dept. of Justice to Yesterday's Perverse Judicial Ruling

    Per Gabriel La Borde and Equality Case files:

    Justicia Reafirma Validez de Matrimonio Igualitario en Puerto Rico

    Puerto Rico Department of Justice Issues Statement Reaffirming Validity of Same-Sex Marriages

    The original, in Spanish, is linked here: http://www.justicia.pr.gov/justicia-reafirma-vali

    On 9 March 2016, the Secretary of the Department of Justice (DJ), César Miranda, said that equal or same-sex marriages are still valid, despite an order issued yesterday by Federal Judge Juan Pérez Giménez establishing the invalidity of such unions on the island.

    "The order of the Federal Court for the District of San Juan does not alter the validity of marriages in Puerto Rico between same-sex couples, and likewise does not impede the recognition of those marriages contracted in other jurisdictions. The DJ's interpretation is that the decision does not alter the rule of law established in Puerto Rico when the Federal Supreme Court decided the case of 'Obergefell v. Hodges' in which it was recognized, as a matter of federal constitutional law, that the right to marriage is a fundamental right, and therefore that constitutional right can not be denied to same-sex couples," said Miranda.

    The decision of the District Court in the case, "Conde Vidal v. Garcia Padilla," does not alter the mandate issued on 8 July 2015 by the First Circuit Court in this case. The First Circuit ruled that it agrees that Article 68 of the Civil Code is unconstitutional, and therefore remanded the case back to the District Court for final judgment.

    "The district court acted without authority by refusing to issue a final judgment in accordance with the decision of the First Circuit Court. Therefore, this opinion does not prevent the Executive from maintaining its position that Article 68 of the Civil Code is unconstitutional, and thus will not apply the same in Puerto Rico. As to litigation, we are evaluating the course to follow, but the guideline is that the Department of Health can continue issuing marriage licenses," he said.

    In particular, the order of the federal judge rejected a joint motion of the parties in the case to decide the appeal. Therefore, the document has not ordered the executive to take any action regarding these marriages nor ordered the enforcement of Article 68 of the Civil Code. "Simply, the order has the effect of maintaining the position of declining to issue final judgment, as the parties had requested, in accordance with the mandate of the First Circuit case," he concluded.

    On 26 June 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that marriage is a fundamental right for all citizens alike. On the occasion of the historic decision, Miranda said that it was "a basic recognition that all human beings are equal before the law."

  • 39. scream4ever  |  March 9, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Hasn't heightened scrutiny also been adopted in the 1st Circuit as well?

  • 40. VIRick  |  March 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Up-Date on the Florida Federal Marriage Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 2 March 2016, in "Brenner v. Scott," the Florida federal marriage case, the Brenner Plaintiffs have filed a motion for summary judgment.

    The motion for summary judgment is linked here: http://files.eqcf.org/cases/414-cv-00107-138/

    There is currently a preliminary injunction in place in Florida. For a reminder of the procedural history in this case, see "Relevant Procedural Background" beginning on page 2 of the motion.

  • 41. VIRick  |  March 9, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Up-Date on the Alabama Federal Class-Action Marriage Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 7 March 2016, in "Strawser v. Strange," the Alabama federal class-action marriage case, the Plaintiffs have submitted the recent order from the Alabama Supreme Court as supplemental authority in support of their motion for a permanent injunction.

    "The failure of the Alabama Supreme Court to clearly set aside its earlier mandamus order demonstrates the need for a permanent injunction in this case. Only this Court’s injunctions ensure that both the Attorney-General and probate court judges may no longer attempt to enforce the Alabama marriage ban that was declared unconstitutional by this Court."

    All 177 pages of the Plaintiffs' Notice of Supplemental Authority are linked here: http://files.eqcf.org/cases/114-cv-00424-174/

  • 42. VIRick  |  March 9, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Pennsylvania Man Sues to Overturn State Medicaid's Trans Exclusions

    A transgender man in Pennsylvania is taking on his state Medicaid program's exclusion of coverage for gender-affirming surgery, filing a lawsuit contending that the Affordable Care Act requires the state-funded health care provider to cover a hysterectomy the man's doctors have deemed medically necessary.

    Previously, a trans man in Minnesota won an historic victory in March 2015 when a federal court determined that health care providers and hospitals accepting federal Medicare or Medicaid funds are subject to the ACA's prohibition of discrimination based on sex, which extends to transgender individuals.

    Pennsylvania is one of several states that currently enforce coverage exclusions in Medicaid for transition-related care, though in September 2015, the federal government proposed rules (not yet implemented) that would ban such exclusions in nearly all plans nationwide.

    The lawyer for the Pennsylvania man, identified only as school teacher, John Doe, 30, said the state's ban on funding gender-affirming surgeries flies in the face of ACA regulations which prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity. “Under Obamacare, it’s got to be provided,” lawyer Julie Chovanes, a transgender woman who represents Doe and runs the Trans Resource Foundation, stated. “It can’t be discriminatorily not provided when medically necessary and prescribed by a doctor.” http://www.advocate.com/transgender/2016/3/09/pen

  • 43. VIRick  |  March 9, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Ex-USSR Republic of Georgia Considers Constitutional Marriage Equality Ban

    The government of ex-USSR Republic of Georgia has announced it plans to launch a campaign that would add a same-sex marriage ban to the constitution. Prime minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, has said that he wants to amend the document to ensure that marriage can only take place between a man and a woman. (The current constitutional language is gender-neutral. A separate law blocks marriage equality from already being legal)

    In a briefing on 7 March 2016, the prime minister stated that although he doesn’t believe discrimination is acceptable, he felt that “the defense of such an important value as marriage should be guaranteed at the level of the country’s constitution.”

    Members of the ruling coalition, which is socially conservative, used much harsher rhetoric in their support of the campaign. Chair of the Conservative party, Zviad Dzidziguri, said: “Those people and forces, who state that we will go over in this direction, that someone will force us to do something, will have every single foundation stripped out from under them.”

    Experts believe that with a majority in parliament, the coalition shouldn’t have any problems in passing the reform. That said, not everyone in the chamber agrees with the proposals. Speaker Davit Usupashvili, said it was “a step towards a political trap”. He said that although he doesn’t support marriage equality, it was not for politicians to define what it is and added that he didn’t think it was “in the national interest”.

    The nation’s Constitutional Court is currently considering a case by Giorgi Tatishvili, that calls on it to legalize marriage equality. http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/03/09/georgia-cons

  • 44. Christian0811  |  March 9, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Georgia needs NATO to look favorably upon it (keeping in mind that it was NATO that wrote Kosovo's gay friendly constitution and Georgia's dire straights with Russia), and the opposition could pulls some tricks like stalling it in committee or getting it pulled by leadership. Afterall, we managed to defeat such bills in many deeply troubled states like Indiana so it's not impossible.

    That said, we are truly doomed if it gets to the parliamentary floor.

    And there's no chance the Georgian CC is impartial and fair enough to rule in our favor, and even if it did the parliament would without a doubt enact a ban no matter what the opposition tried to do. Very dismal timing indeed.

    However, we can hope (perhaps against all reason) that if the ban passes then the CC rejects it by virtue of article 39 of te constitution. This may be unlikely for two reasons, however:
    1- Article 39 refers to *universally* recognized human rights. And currently 'Shalk & Kopf v Austria' (ECoHR, 2010) and 'Joslin v. New Zealand' (UNHRC, 1999) have held that homosexuals have no right to marry under international human rights law.

    2- Even if these precedents did not provide a barrier, it is likely that the CC judges themselves are prejudiced being in an orthodox social environment and a product thereof. This has been the case even in countries that are seemingly more western (i.e. Italy, Portugal, Chile, Costa Rica, and, poignantly, France). To expect Georgia's CC to buck the trend is almost fantasy.

  • 45. Shmoozo  |  March 9, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Dang it all! I really need to grow more thumbs to point upward!!

    :)

  • 46. allan120102  |  March 9, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    I imagine this was going to happen after the ban was brought to the CC to strike it down. I am pretty sure though that even without this Constitutional amendment they will uphold the prohibition of ss couples to marry. I cant even imagine Georgia being the first country in Asia to legalize ssm. It will not be stall as a lot of Georgians support the prohibition and it will be a sack out of your position in parlament if you support it.

    To be honest it was not the time for the Georgia law to be brought to the CC. They should have wait to at least get some rights like anti discrimination laws in Jobs or housing. Even wait for other Asian nations to legalize ssm as it might prepare the bigots that change was coming.

    That is happening right now Here in CA. Lgbt groups are waiting to see what the CR constituional Court says before bringing the other bans in CA to their respective supreme courts.

  • 47. theperched  |  March 9, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Yes, Georgia's drama is both an issue of bigotry ingrained by the Orthodox Church (who actually beat up protesters a few years ago before denouncing violence – too late) and a Parliamentary tactic. Pick something the mass majority is not keen on and capitalize it to punish your opponents who aren't as outspoken about it.

    The EU got them to pass some anti-discrimination laws, but they need to put their foot down on marriage bans. Too late for some ALREADY in the Union, but they should do everything to stop potential members OUTSIDE the Union from passing these things.

    On the topic of the Caucusus: Armenia bamboozled the EU in December according to local NGOs, they showed the Venice Commission one thing then inserted another clearly heterosexual-only matrimonial definition in the final draft that the public voted on when they rewrote large parts of the Constitution.

  • 48. allan120102  |  March 9, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Yeah Armenia ban Same sex marriage in December or something similar.I was surprised to see a lot of spanish News about Armenia banning ss marriage and almost none in English.

  • 49. DevilWearsZrada  |  March 9, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    EU can not require neighboring countries not to enforce constitutional marriage equality bans at least because this issue isn't resolved in the Union itself: 11 of 28 EU members have no marriage equality and 7 of them doesn't recognise same-sex unions at all. EU legislation doesn't require legalisation of same-sex marriage or at least partnerships, last year European Parliament passed a resolution that merely urged a further debate on the issue but did not recognised fundamental right to marry for gay couples. And there is little practical sense in requiring non-EU countries not to ban same-sex marriage constitutionally: this bans leave a lot of space to legalise partnerships/civil unions, and when local public will be concerned about separate-and-unequal nature of that unions then there will be the right time to repeal that ban. This proposed policy is also unwanted because "EU will force us to legalise gay marriage" is one of the scare stories used by anti-EU folks in the potential member states.
    Unfortunately we have to admit that supposedly gay-friendly wordings of constitutions in European and other countries with developing democracy and law systems were created just because gay rights and marriage equality were not a hot topic during writing that constitutions. If that countries are going to amend or adopt a new constitutions these days expressly anti-gay provisions are almost inevitable; marriage ban is the least hurtful one.

  • 50. FredDorner  |  March 9, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Thanks, I forgot about that. It was the 2nd circuit COA which used heightened scrutiny in the Windsor ruling. I'm pretty sure the 1st circuit has not done so yet.

  • 51. VIRick  |  March 10, 2016 at 12:05 am

    There's a long, drawn-out procedure of judicial investigation that could take forever.

    Instead, given that Pérez-Giménez was an appointment from the Carter administration, and has accumulated enough years' service to have become a semi-retired "senior" judge, he simply needs to take the next step and retire entirely. He is quite elderly and his ideas and judicial concepts are out-moded and hopelessly out-of-date. Even I know that the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution has been fully applicable to all US jurisdictions, whether state or territory, for years. His view on this matter appears to more reflective of the 1940s and 1950s, the era before the 1964 Civil Rights Act came into effect.

  • 52. theperched  |  March 10, 2016 at 7:15 am

    Another Thursday, another chance the Colombian Court could hear the marriage case (or not). This time it's FIRST on the Order of the Day so let's hope…
    http://caracol.com.co/radio/2016/03/10/judicial/1

  • 53. SethInMaryland  |  March 10, 2016 at 7:45 am

    I think it could be today with what happened last week by the gov. Maybe the gov had a hint already that the ruling was coming soon

  • 54. allan120102  |  March 10, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Still no decision was made. I am getting really anxious for a decision to be made. I am not sure what is taking them so long.

  • 55. VIRick  |  March 10, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Federal Court: No Constitutional Right to BDSM

    Today, 10 March 2016, a federal judge in Virginia has ruled that Americans do not have the constitutional right to engage in BDSM sex. In Judge T.S. Ellis’ decision in "John Doe v. The Rector & Visitors of George Mason University, et al," he cited and dismissed previous Supreme Court rulings on sodomy laws and same-sex marriage and instead used a case about physician-assisted suicide to bolster his ruling.

    “The decision in 'Doe v. George Mason University, et. al,' should be a clarion call for advocates of sexual freedom and personal autonomy, to join together and insist on our human right to consensual sexual expression—of any kind!” Ricci Levy, president and CEO of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, said in a statement. “The danger in advocating only for a specific type of sexual expression is that other forms of intimate sexual expression become neglected, resulting in decisions such as the recent ruling in Virginia. This ruling appears to directly contradict the Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in 'Lawrence v. Texas' which held that states could not criminalize consensual intimate activity between adults.”

    The case in question didn’t actually argue that there is a constitutional right to engage in BDSM, but the judge made it a large part of his ruling. Instead, the case was about a college student, using the name John Doe for privacy reasons, seeking readmission to the university after being expelled for allegedly stalking his ex-girlfriend.

    Doe and his then girlfriend, listed as Jane Doe, frequently engaged in BDSM play during their relationship, but she alleges that he ignored their safe word and sexually assaulted her. He claims that she didn’t say the safe word and instead, when asked if she wanted to continue, replied with “I don’t know.” He said he took that as consent to continue.

    The couple broke up a few months later, but John Doe continued to email and text his ex, leading her to complain to the university. Following a hearing, where her allegations of sexual assault were revealed, the school expelled John Doe, prompting him to immediately sue for readmission, saying the school overlooked the BDSM aspect to their relationship. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/03/federal-court-

  • 56. theperched  |  March 10, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    They met and discussed the issue today for 3 hours which is a stark difference for the last few times where they didn't even get to marriage on the agenda. The media changed their rhetoric, now they think the vote will come next week rather than the simple act of debating.

    This site says they'll merely hold a session next Thursday to vote. The action begins at 9:15 AM Colombian time.
    http://www.rcnradio.com/nacional/dia-crucial-la-c

  • 57. JayJonson  |  March 10, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Well, there is no constitutional right to harm a sexual partner who withdraws consent. The plaintiff's invocation of Obergefell and Lawrence is found inappropriate. The judge otherwise ruled in favor of the plaintiff and ordered George Mason University to reconsider its expulsion of him for stalking and threatening his partner in bdsm activities.

  • 58. allan120102  |  March 10, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Oh God. I hope this is true and they really vote. They have play with my heart 7 times. I am pretty sure though that the decision will be in our favor.

  • 59. allan120102  |  March 10, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Tabasco Surrogacy discrimination law have been challenge but not just LGBT groups are challenging this law , women groups are also challenging this discriminative law. Surrogacy was made illegal for same sex couples , people who are not married and couples who are not from Mexico in Tabasco. http://www.oem.com.mx/elheraldodetabasco/notas/n4

  • 60. VIRick  |  March 11, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Virginia House Approves "Religious Freedom" Bill

    On Wednesday, 9 March 2016, the Virginia House of Delegates approved a "religious freedom" bill that critics contend would allow anti-LGBT discrimination. Senate Bill 41 passed by a 59-38 margin. The measure, which state Sen. Charles Carrico (R-Galax) introduced in December, would allow officials to refuse to officiate same-sex marriages because of their religious beliefs.

    The Virginia Senate narrowly approved SB 41 last month. Equality Virginia, a statewide LGBT advocacy group, described SB 41 as an “unnecessary bill.” Gov. Terry McAuliffe has said he would veto SB 41 if it were to reach his desk.

    – See more at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/03/10/va-hous

  • 61. VIRick  |  March 11, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Missouri Senate Advances "Religious Freedom" Measure to House

    The Missouri Senate officially voted on Thursday night, 10 March 2016, to send to the House legislation that would enable individuals and business to refuse services to LGBT people for religious reasons. The measure, known as Senate Joint Resolution 39, came to nationwide attention after Democrats engaged in a 39-hour filibuster earlier this week to stop the bill. Although the Republican-controlled Senate cast a vote which terminated debate on the bill on Wednesday, 9 March 2016, the chamber had to vote once again to formally approve the measure to allow the House to take it up. That vote, which was 23-7, took place on Thursday, but not until Democrats in the chamber filibustered again by spending nearly six hours reviewing and debating material in the official state record of the Senate.

    The measure is now before the Republican-controlled House, but it’s unknown when and if the measure will come up for a vote. If the House passes the measure, it would head to the ballot where voters would have the opportunity to ratify it, or to reject it, as a state constitutional amendment. It does not need the approval of the governor in order to be placed on the ballot.

    No LGBT protections are included in Missouri’s state non-discrimination law, but this new measure could undermine any future prohibitions on anti-LGBT discrimination, and/or undercut city ordinances prohibiting anti-LGBT bias.

    – See more at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/03/11/mo-sena

  • 62. VIRick  |  March 11, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Redundant Florida "Pastor Protection Bill" Signed into Law

    On Thursday, 10 March 2016, Florida's Republican Governor Rick Scott, signed a so-called "pastor protection bill," specifying that clergy don't have to marry same-sex couples in Florida — a protection they already had.

    Marriage equality advocates like Carlos Guillermo Smith of Equality Florida called the bill “totally unnecessary" and "motivated by a disapproval of same-sex couples.” Hours were spent debating the bill. “We had to go through this divisive exercise in political posturing that was a giant waste of time,” Smith said.

    Republicans claimed they sought to alleviate fears among religious leaders who were afraid "societal changes could force them to marry gay couples against their religious beliefs."

    On the other hand, Democratic lawmakers "questioned the motivations behind the measure, saying clergy already can choose not to marry any couple, gay or not." Since the bill did not add any new protections, some argued it was meant to make a political statement against marriage equality. http://www.advocate.com/marriage-equality/2016/3/

  • 63. allan120102  |  March 11, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    I have really bad news from Mexico, Pro families groups have gather 205,000 signatures double of what they need to make Mexican congress debate if to ban same sex marriages and adoptions, first they will need though to study the proposition. What worries me is that PAN and PRI have a majority and we know PAN is against us and PRI is in favor with marriage equality in some states and against in others. If they success in Reforming article 4 of the constitution not even their supreme court will be able to strike it unless congress again reform the article. I know it might not be like something right now but we need to be alert just in case. http://www.24-horas.mx/proponen-reforma-para-prot

  • 64. allan120102  |  March 11, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Looks like most Filipinos share the same sentiment as Pacquiao. http://thestandard.com.ph/news/-main-stories/top-

  • 65. VIRick  |  March 11, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Australian Senator Has Bold Plan to See Equal Marriage Passed Next Week

    Lobbying groups say there is currently a majority of MPs and Senators in favor of equal marriage, but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has declined to permit his party a free vote on the issue. Turnbull has instead put forth plans for a plebiscite, a public voting procedure which could potentially stall the issue until 2017 or beyond.

    However, one Senator is moving forward with a plan to circumvent the PM on the issue, and force a simple vote in Parliament. The lone Senator for the Liberal Democratic Party, David Leyonhjelm, is planning to intervene on Tuesday, 15 March 2016.

    As the Senate sets the timetable for upcoming debates and legislation, Senator Leyonhjelm will attempt to add a bill originally moved by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, putting marriage equality to an immediate Parliamentary vote instead of stalling for a plebiscite. The Lib Dem says that the vote could bring about equal marriage much sooner, and would also save the estimated $160 million which a plebiscite would cost.

    He said: “The question is whether the Greens will agree to the time management motion – this will be a bit of a test. I call on both the Greens and Mr Turnbull to demonstrate the courage of their convictions.” The Senator would need to unite equal marriage advocates from all parties if the plan is to succeed. http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/03/11/this-austral

  • 66. Christian0811  |  March 11, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    On the last point in particular, that is very true.

    There is one silver lining, if it can be called that, is that when these bans are enacted it causes debate. In the US many bans were enacted between 1973-2008, but they had the exact opposite intended effect as time drug on.

    Banning same sex marriage and adoption brought the issue into the limelight and, even though it took 40 years, they all got reversed.

    Given time, I believe even Uganda will get to the point of Marriage and Adoption equality (though it might take 100 years).

  • 67. allan120102  |  March 11, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I think it will take more time than that in places like Uganda and Saudi Arabia for example. I see it like the right to vote for women, it have take like 200 years for women to get the right to vote in most countries and still they are a lot of countries that do not let women vote, Saudi Arabia let them until last year. I believe that in the next 50 years Marriage equality might reach all Europe, America and most of Oceanica as well part of Asia. Africa will be tough and I imagine the next ones to legalize ssm will be Cape Verde, Mozambique or Madagascar. The Arabic Peninsula will also be a tough place to get marriage equality with the exception of Israel and maybe Lebanon.

  • 68. ianbirmingham  |  March 12, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Hillary Clinton lit her credibility on fire yesterday in an interview with Mrs. Alan Greenspan: “It may be hard for your viewers to remember how difficult it was for people to talk about H.I.V./AIDS back in the 1980s,” Mrs. Clinton, who was attending Mrs. Reagan’s funeral in Simi Valley, Calif., told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “And because of both President and Mrs. Reagan – in particular, Mrs. Reagan – we started a national conversation, when before nobody would talk about it. Nobody wanted anything to do with it.”

    … During these years the Reagans had ruled in Washington, presiding over the Return of the Billionaires. Greed was good. The country was in self-congratulatory mode, and the Reagan prosperity was heavily propagandized. But I knew — all of us knew — that Ronnie was ignoring our plague. He and his cronies laughed at our deaths. Liz Taylor shamed him into uttering the word “AIDS” only in 1985, after over 20,000 people had died. He didn’t give a speech on the subject — inadequate as it was — until May of 1987. Imagine if Barack Obama had presided over 7 years of an Ebola plague which killed over 40,000 Americans without giving a speech on it — even now. Research budgets were promised and cut. Rich people needed their tax cuts, after all. Nancy Reagan was commonly understood to be Ronnie’s Svengali, as everybody with eyes to see knew he was demented. We knew exactly where she stood. …

    http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/3/12/1500175

  • 69. allan120102  |  March 12, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Costa Rica attorney general have recommend the constitutional court to not strike down the gay marriage ban, In its filling it claims that the court have already ruled the same issue in 2006 and 2011 so there should not something different this time. http://www.ameliarueda.com/nota/matrimonio-gay-es

  • 70. Christian0811  |  March 12, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Really? They had this issue before them in 2011?

    I mean this technical argument is a fair one, but I still hope they reverse course :/

  • 71. VIRick  |  March 12, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    British Lesbian Loses Visa Battle to Live with Her Wife in Hong Kong

    A British lesbian will not be granted a spousal visa to allow her to live with her wife, after a court rejected her challenge. The woman, who is known only as "QT" for legal reasons, is married under UK law to "SS," with whom she first got a civil partnership in 2011.

    The pair found themselves facing discrimination when "SS" relocated to Hong Kong for work, a move which would usually allow "SS" to bring a husband on a spousal visa. But as they are a same-sex couple and their marriage is not recognized under Hong Kong law, immigration authorities in the former British colony repeatedly rejected "QT"’s spousal visa application. Without the correct visa to reside in the country, "QT" could only travel there on a tourist visa, which does not permit her to work.

    "QT" took her battle to the country’s High Court, and a number of major businesses backed the couple in their case. However, Justice Thomas Au Hing-cheung ruled that the concept of “spouse” in other countries is not necessarily valid in Hong Kong, where it is defined as between a man and woman.

    Vidler & Co. Solicitors, which represented the couple in the case, explained in a statement: “After a long nine month wait, the High Court has today, 11 March 2016, handed down a judgment against QT’s judicial review of the Immigration Department’s policy refusing to recognize foreign registered same-sex marriages. This decision, whilst disappointing, is not altogether unexpected. Experience has shown us with previous LGBTI cases that we often have to turn to the Court of Appeal or even the Court of Final Appeal for a correct judgment. QT intends to appeal.”
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/03/11/british-lesb

  • 72. ianbirmingham  |  March 12, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Clinton press release: Ooops!!

    Yesterday, at Nancy Reagan’s funeral, I said something inaccurate when speaking about the Reagans’ record on HIV and AIDS. Since then, I’ve heard from countless people who were devastated by the loss of friends and loved ones, and hurt and disappointed by what I said. … I made a mistake, plain and simple. … To be clear, the Reagans did not start a national conversation about HIV and AIDS. …

  • 73. Fortguy  |  March 13, 2016 at 1:48 am

    Judge Giménez's ruling is in complete contradiction to a decision of one of his federal court colleague's, Judge Gustavo Gelpí. In Consejo de Salud Playa Ponce v. Johnny Rullan, a 2008 lawsuit regarding Medicaid funding, Gelpí held that Congress had incrementally extended constitutional law within the territory to the point that Puerto Rico must now be considered a fully incorporated territory of the U.S.

    Judge Gelpí's decision has not been addressed by the First Circuit, but now we have a judicial conflict within Puerto Rico's district court. Should the First side with Gelpí, then Congress will be confronted with the realization that if the judiciary says that Puerto Rico looks like a state, walks like a state, and quacks like a state….

  • 74. ianbirmingham  |  March 13, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Would anyone care to explain why a) Clinton even chose to attend Nancy Reagan's funeral, and then b) why (as if that wasn't already bad enough) she would then go on camera and praise the deadly Reagan policies on HIV/AIDS, and then c) why she didn't backtrack her praise until after many thousands of people called her out on it?

  • 75. ianbirmingham  |  March 13, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Only a setback; the battle continues (despite the very misleading headline)!

  • 76. ianbirmingham  |  March 13, 2016 at 8:26 am

    While the Reagans were stigmatizing LGBT people, Bernie Sanders sponsored Burlington's first gay pride march in '85
    http://twitter.com/ZaidJilani/status/708399217295

  • 77. allan120102  |  March 13, 2016 at 11:16 am

    This week the constitutional court of Colombia is suppose to decide the marriage case for once and for all. It looks like marriage might not start inmediately as a new judge will need to write the decision in striking down the ban, as right now they are discussing a paper present by a judge against marriage equality. Once they defeat that paper the new one with the majority is to be written. http://www.eltiempo.com/politica/justicia/matrimo

  • 78. VIRick  |  March 13, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Fortguy, excellent point, and one which I had always assumed was well-established, binding judicial precedent, applicable more-or-less across-the board to all the territories, but especially to Puerto Rico (and Guam) in particular, and especially when it came to the 14th Amendment guarantees of Due Process and Equal Protection of the Law.

    When the USA seized and annexed Puerto Rico, Guam, (Cuba, and the Philippines) in 1899, there was no friendly treaty of transfer drawn up between the USA and Spain. Separate subsequent developments caused the USA to grant independence to both Cuba and the Philippines. Furthermore, by comparison to other US territories wherein which the USA is bound by certain treaty provisions established in the terms of transfer, namely for the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the former Canal Zone, there simply is nothing of this nature blocking the full integration of Puerto Rico (and Guam) into the USA, and thus, your conclusion about looking, walking, and quacking. Puerto Rico, judicially speaking, has been in this position since at least 2008, as you point out, if not from some years stretching back much earlier, with Guam right on its heels.

    However, even just handling the case at hand, "Conde Vidal v. Garcia Padilla," the Puerto Rico Dept. of Justice, in its statement immediately above (translated and quoted in its entirety) appears to have the matter fully under control, even without drawing upon the earlier 2008 ruling of Judge Gelpi. To quote César Miranda, the Secretary of that Dept., in the narrowest terms possible relative to the immediate matter at hand, "Simply, the order has the effect of maintaining the position of declining to issue final judgment, as the parties had requested, in accordance with the mandate of the First Circuit case."

    In addition, if our courts here in the US Virgin Islands have deemed that "Obergefell" is applicable (as they have done, even without a court case challenge, and as has been done in both Guam and the Northern Marianas, the latter also without a court case challenge), then "Obergefell" must certainly be applicable to Puerto Rico, the most judicially-advanced of the assorted territories

  • 79. allan120102  |  March 13, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Yeah, sadly but maybe they will reverse. If not it will be another ruling against us. I am confident though that in the next 5 to 7 years CR will have marriage equality.

  • 80. allan120102  |  March 13, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    The first chamber in Mexico have again grant another amparo to same sex couples against the civil code of BCS. 18 people got the amparo so I imagine 9 couples. Its in the second or third paragraph. https://canaljudicial.wordpress.com/2016/03/09/62

  • 81. VIRick  |  March 13, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    More Indiana Cities Adopting Sexual Orientation Protections

    More cities across Indiana are working toward adopting local ordinances that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity after a push for statewide protections failed in the Indiana General Assembly last month.

    In Kokomo, the city council voted 5-4 last week to give initial approval to a proposed ordinance after more than an hour of debate. In northwestern Indiana, Munster could have similar rules adopted next month, while an Evansville city commission has recently been given more authority to investigate and enforce its local anti-bias law.

    In addition to sexual orientation and gender identity, the Kokomo proposal would also add anti-discrimination protections related to a person’s marital status, age, and veteran status. The current city ordinance covers race, religion, gender, familial status, disability, national origin, and ancestry. The Kokomo ordinance, which was proposed by Democratic Mayor Greg Goodnight, could get final council approval on 14 March. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/03/more-indiana-c

  • 82. jpmassar  |  March 13, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Scottie has a YouCaring Site:

    Help Scottie Thomaston keep fighting the good fight!
    https://www.youcaring.com/scottie-thomaston-53820

  • 83. VIRick  |  March 13, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    This Compassionate Crowdfunding appeal absolutely and quite definitely needs to be read, studied, and digested by every member of EoT, as the information provided concerning the recent chain of events affecting Scottie may be rather eye-opening to many of us here. And then, act accordingly.

    And, thank you, JP Massar, for having noticed the youcaring.com appeal, and for having re-posted a link to it, immediately above.

  • 84. VIRick  |  March 13, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Amparo #4 Granted for Baja California Sur by Mexico's Supreme Court

    On the face of the judgment, and by my count, this amparo judgment should be viewed as amparo #4 granted for Baja California Sur. But there's a much deeper implication, as Mexico's Supreme Court continues to up the ante against the intransigence of many of the state governments. They are now beginning to assess "reparaciones" (an additional monetary judgment, requiring the state to pay the plaintiffs' legal expenses), and have set the precedent with this present judgment (something that one would have thought would have been done much sooner).

    From paragraphs 4 and 5:

    En otro tema, en 9 de marzo 2016, esta Sala resolvió una solicitud de reasunción de competencia, en la que dieciocho personas de Baja California Sur impugnaron artículos del Código Civil del Estado que restringen el matrimonio a la unión de un hombre y una mujer, especialmente por lo que hace a las medidas de reparación. (Solicitud reasunción de competencia 102/2015).

    La importancia del caso radica en que su resolución implicaría pronunciarse respecto de la procedencia de medidas de reparación que deben otorgarse en una sentencia de amparo en caso de violación a los derechos de igualdad y no discriminación. https://canaljudicial.wordpress.com/2016/03/09/62

    English translation:

    On another issue, on 9 March 2016, this Court decided a request for resumption of competency, in which eighteen people from Baja California Sur challenged articles of the Civil Code of the State restricting marriage to the union of a man and a woman, especially with regard to the reparation measures. (Application for resumption of competency 102/2015).

    The importance of the case is that its resolution would imply a rule on the admissibility of remedies of reparation that should be granted in an amparo judgment in the case of a violation of the rights of equality and non-discrimination.

    In effect, from this case forward, all future amparo judgments, from whichever state, will be subject to being assessed "reparaciones." And, by the way, if intransigence continues (and it might), the next step will be to make the judgment on the enforceability of "reparaciones" retro-active. And then watch the poorer states suddenly start to cry, as they will then be forced to re-imburse all of the plaintiffs' legal expenses for each amparo ever granted throughout all of Mexico. Until now, only the state of Chihuahua has been hit with retro-active "reparaciones," but each and every one of them could be subject to this same penalty. Many of the plaintiffs, and the varous rights groups who assisted them, are counting on re-couping their legal expenses, especially in some of the long, drawn-out early cases that went on for 3 or 4 years.

  • 85. allan120102  |  March 13, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    Not sure if I had post this before but the first chamber have in its hand Chiapas´s ban on Same sex marriage and concubinato, what is weird is that none of them ask the civil registry to married them, they just want to have the amparo when they decide to marry. Anyways it will be a big win and like BCS if Oaxaca loose they will need to pay all legal fees and issue an apology. http://www.internet2.scjn.gob.mx/red2/comunicados

  • 86. VIRick  |  March 13, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Two Gays, Lesbian Elected as Delegates at DC GOP Convention

    Two gay men and one lesbian won election Saturday as delegates to the Republican National Convention during a DC Republican Party convention that also served as the city’s GOP presidential primary. Lesbian GOP activist Rachael Hoff won as a delegate candidate supporting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Rubio beat Ohio Gov. John Kasich by a margin of 37.30 percent to 36.54 percent in a hotly contested DC presidential preference primary held at the Loews Madison Hotel.

    Gay Republican activist Christian Berle, who ran as a delegate candidate committed to Kasich, and gay GOP activist Tim Costa, who ran as a Rubio supporter, also won one of the 16 elected delegate positions allocated to DC. According to the DC Republican officials, the three won in a delegate election in which 2,839 registered Republicans turned out for the combined presidential primary and delegate election.

    In a development considered unique to DC, the three top Republican leaders in the city — DC GOP Chair Jose Cunningham, DC Republican National Committeeman Robert Kabel, and DC Republican National Committeewoman Jill Homan – are gay or lesbian. Under Republican Party rules, they become automatic delegates. That brings DC’s ‘gay’ contingent to the Republican National Convention in July to six out of a total of 19 delegates.

    DC's delegate contingent will be almost evenly split between Rubio and Kasich. Neither Trump nor Cruz exceeded the minimum threshold of 15% of the vote, and thus, neither will receive any delegates.

    – See more at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/03/13/two-gay

    These are the primary results that the Republicans expected to see carried out nationwide.

  • 87. VIRick  |  March 14, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Tennessee Attorney-General Says Fight against Marriage Equality Cost too Much

    Nashville TN — A group of lawyers seeking $2.3 million for their work overturning Tennessee‘s ban on same-sex marriage are overbilling taxpayers, according to Tennessee Attorney-General Herbert Slatery. Slatery says they only deserve $1.1 million. "The Tennessean" reports that a court document unsealed last week shows Slatery arguing that lawyers who worked in other states involved in the historic civil rights case asked for less money.

    In the court document unsealed on 7 March 2016, the state further argues that the lawyers’ documentation of time spent working on the case is vague, and alleges they duplicated work and charged for things they should not have, such as attending press conferences. The filing from the state says the legal team “ballooned to 19 attorneys, billing a total of nearly 6,000 hours.” The plaintiffs' group argues that the large legal force was necessary because the state continued to vigorously defend the ban. US District Judge Aleta Trauger will determine the amount of fees the lawyers should receive.

    In Ohio, lawyers representing same-sex couples were paid $1.3 million in a settlement. In Kentucky, lawyers got $1.1 million; in Michigan, $1.9 million, according to court records. The lawyers who worked for the same-sex couples in Tennessee note in court filings they’re already giving the state a $1 million discount by not charging for more than 400 additional hours of work. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/03/tennessee-atto

  • 88. davepCA  |  March 14, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Well ya can't have it both ways Tennessee – If you're going to drag out a legal fight as long as possible, even long after it is clear that you have lost, you're going to end up needlessly increasing the amount of work for everyone and the amount of legal debt that you ultimately owe to the plaintiffs. Duh. What did they THINK was going to happen?

  • 89. theperched  |  March 14, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Checked the Faroe Islands Parliament website, a second reading on the marriage bill is scheduled for Wednesday :)

    The numbers pertaining to the marriage laws are 19-21, 19 & 20 discuss different aspects, such as adopting some Danish elements into the island's codes, and 21 is to change the law to let them marry in the local church. 19 is what is going to be discussed in two days and probably bears the brunt of the marriage legislation.

    It's coming :)

    Bonus: adoption is also mentioned.

    Parts of the legislation are taken from Danish which can be translated easily, but some are hard since even Icelandic that is the closest language to Faroese doesn't always give a desired google translate result – anyway from what I gathered, they want to avoid not having Danish Parliamentary Votes/Royal Assent in time (like Greenland) so they changed the day of taking effect from July 1 to December 1 if the bills pass.

  • 90. allan120102  |  March 14, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    I cant believe I am going to write this but good news coming from Russia! Looks like bigots in Russia will need to pay compensation for denying a gay right activist a license to permit lgbt marches. I just cant believe a judge vote for us and not against us. :) https://www.rt.com/politics/335530-lgbt-activist-

  • 91. allan120102  |  March 14, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Morelos. PRD is not stopping with its idea to legalize ssm. To the law to pass it need 21 votes if it cannot be passed theyhave an amazing idea.
    MatrimonioIgualitarioEnMorelos If the bill Equal Marriage in Morelos is not approved , it will go before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation , warned the presiding national PRD Augustine Basave , the PRD of Morelos, Rodrigo Gayosso , and secretary of Sexual Diversity of that party, Antonio Medina Trejo.
    It is necessary that 21 of the 30 local legislators vote for the official recognition of same-sex marriage .
    "What we want is to build rights," Medina Trejo at a conference in the PRD in the afternoon.
    The leader of Sol Azteca in Morelos said if not approved the initiative, they will seek the state governor, Graco Ramirez, to interpose the legal instrument called " constitutional controversy " for the Supreme Court decides , the governor, the presiding tes city or Human Rights commissions are empowered to do so .
    Looks like marriage equality will come to Morelos no matter what. From what I understand the governor can order marriage equality if the state have surpass the 5 amparos necessary. Maybe that is why The order that was made by Guerrero´s governor at that time does not have the same power as this one. As Guerrero didnt have the 5 amparos necessary. https://www.facebook.com/EnCriSzis/posts/84214083

  • 92. allan120102  |  March 14, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    4 people were fired in one civil registry in Queretaro for not marrying a couple who got an amparo. I believe Rick and I put links about this couple being denied. It looks like it was true even though the head of the civil registry denied the accusations. https://queretaro.quadratin.com.mx/Sustituyen-ofi

  • 93. VIRick  |  March 14, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    The latest note, just sent, from Geraldina González de la Vega, a clerk at Mexico's Supreme Court, my wonderfully informed inside source as to the upcoming rulings pertaining to same-sex marriage emanating from that venue:

    Geraldina GV ‏@geraldinasplace

    Hoy fue mi ùltimo día como secretaria auxiliar en la ponencia del Ministerio Zaldívar. Enorme experiencia, grandes colegas, y mucho aprendizaje. Vuelvo a la consultoría.

    Today was my last day as assistant secretary in the presentations of Justice Zaldívar. Great experience, great colleagues, and a lot of learning. Back to consulting.

  • 94. VIRick  |  March 14, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Sustituyen a Oficial del Registro Civil por Negar Matrimonio Gay

    QUERÉTARO, 8 de marzo de 2016.- Regidores de la capital autorizaron este martes, en sesión de Cabildo, las designaciones de cuatro nuevos oficiales del Registro Civil; una de las razones de sustitución responde a que uno de los anteriores funcionarios negó el enlace matrimonial entre dos personas del mismo sexo, aseguró el alcalde Marcos Aguilar.

    El 14 de enero de este año, dos personas del mismo sexo denunciaron que al presentar su documentación para contraer matrimonio uno de los oficiales del registro civil negó concretar su enlace, a lo que la directora del Registro Civil María Guadalupe Yáñez Alanís negó tal hecho. https://queretaro.quadratin.com.mx/Sustituyen-ofi

    Replacement of Official at Civil Registry for Denying Same-Sex Marriage

    QUERÉTARO, 8 March 2016.- This Tuesday, aldermen in the capital, in executive session, authorized the appointment of four new officers to the Civil Registry; one of the reasons for the substitution is in response to one of the former officials having denied the marriage bond between two people of the same sex, said Mayor Marcos Aguilar.

    On 14 January 2016, a same-sex couple reported that after submitting documentation to marry, one of the civil registry officials refused to complete the registration, a fact the director of the Civil Registry, María Guadalupe Yáñez Alanis, denied had happened.

    (Note: The couple in question, with amparo in hand, were actually married later the same day. And now, in the aftermath, some heads have rolled because of this refusal, mixed with personal intransigence and impudence over this whole matter.)

  • 95. allan120102  |  March 14, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Thatr means she will not work more in the supreme court ?? Please tell me I am mistaken she is of great help in marriage equality cases in twitter. Rick do you know which are the upcoming same sex marriage cases?

  • 96. allan120102  |  March 14, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    This should have happen to Kim davis, the clerk in Texas and all Alabama judges denying marriage licenses to same sex couples.

  • 97. SethInMaryland  |  March 14, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    That will complete the kingdom of Denmark

  • 98. VIRick  |  March 14, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Oklahoma’s 27 Anti-LGBT Bills Are All Dead

    Anti-LGBT lawmakers in Oklahoma introduced a record number of hateful bills this year, but equality advocates have quashed every single one of them. Freedom Oklahoma, the statewide LGBT equality group, announced in a Facebook post on 10 March 2016 that the record-breaking 27 pieces of anti-LGBT legislation introduced this session had all been defeated.

    Oklahoma had the dishonorable distinction of introducing the most anti-LGBT bills in a single session of any state legislature to date, reports Zack Ford at ThinkProgress. Much of the legislation was championed by noted antigay Republican Rep. Sally Kern, who has previously equated gay people with terrorists and who last session introduced three anti-LGBT bills all on her own. Ford has a comprehensive accounting of the more than two dozen bills introduced, including so-called religious freedom bills that opponents branded a “license to discriminate,” anti-trans “bathroom bills,” and what Ford calls “a novel attack on youth.” http://www.advocate.com/politics/2016/3/14/oklaho

  • 99. VIRick  |  March 15, 2016 at 12:22 am

    I almost cried when I received the news, but Geraldina's stint at the Supreme Court, working for Justice Zaldívar, has come to an end. However, upcoming marriage cases are as follows:

    1. Yucatán, an appeal by plaintiffs to overturn the Yucatán state Supreme Court's negative ruling
    2. Sinaloa, amparo review, on appeal by the state (three amparos)
    3. Baja California, amparo review, on appeal by the state (all amparos)
    4. Sinaloa, a challenge of obfuscation filed by Alex Alí Méndez Díaz against the state
    5. Oaxaca, a challenge of obfuscation filed by Alex Alí Méndez Díaz against the state
    6. Michoacán, an "action of unconstitutionality" pertaining to "sociedades de convivencia" filed by the CEDH
    7. Hidalgo, amparo appeal by plaintiffs
    8. Chiapas, amparo appeal by plaintiffs

    Guard this list, as Geraldina will no longer be able to provide us with a running commentary from inside the courtroom whenever one of these cases does come up for review. Unfortunately,– at least for now,– and not in the same manner as before. However, she still lives in Mexico City, and will continue to be active in monitoring the marriage case situation from a short distance.

  • 100. guitaristbl  |  March 15, 2016 at 6:43 am

    I always wondered how each one of those anti-LGBT bills can be defeated in a state as red as Oklahoma tbh.

  • 101. guitaristbl  |  March 15, 2016 at 6:45 am

    Pam Bondi has endorsed Donald Trump :
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/03/15/floridas-ant

    A person with the high moral standards of multiple times married Bondi opposing marriage equality and the fiscal responsibility of persuing fruitless appeals of the marriage cases on taxpayers' money could only endorse an equally responsible person I guess.

  • 102. Sagesse  |  March 15, 2016 at 7:18 am

    Why elections matter.

    Public support for LGBT people and rights is growing in every state in the South [Williams Institute]

    "Thirty-five percent of the LGBT population in the United States lives in the South, where they are more likely to lack employment protections, earn less than $24,000 a year, and report that they cannot afford food or healthcare.

    "More new HIV infections among men who have sex with men come from the South than any other region in the country. Southern LGBT individuals are also less likely to have insurance than than anywhere else in the country.
    http://us6.campaign-archive2.com/?u=a8e9cc5aaf2be

  • 103. theperched  |  March 15, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Ja!

    Nordics done hopefully 😉

    The islands in the European Atlantic will all be done this year, now it's up to the mainland to complete the marriage equality map.

  • 104. theperched  |  March 15, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Okay, so don't know if the plenary votes tomorrow, just the committee or both but tomorrow is a VERY important day on Faroe Islands. The locals are all PERCHED. In 2014, the government locked everyone in a NO vote regarding the marriage bill. This time more people will be allowed a free vote.

    If it's a plenary vote then we will know exactly how many are in favor. It's 33 MPs total, 15 are a guarantee according to sources, 12 are a definite no, it just depends on how many more say Yes or obstain.

    I asked a Faroese rights group how many more readings are needed. When they respond I'll let you guys know. I hope tomorrow is the final say even if a mirrored vote is required later. I just want to know how many support the bill. I'll go out with a friend to San Diego tomorrow, but will tweet: @theperched if you guys want an answer from me, I'll tweet the vote tally then write an article later.

  • 105. SethInMaryland  |  March 15, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Estonia is not Nordic?

  • 106. Randolph_Finder  |  March 15, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Nope, The Baltic Nations are observers in groups like the Nordic Council,

  • 107. theperched  |  March 15, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    TOMORROW is the day. Both committee and plenary!

    C'mon Faroe Islands!

  • 108. SethInMaryland  |  March 15, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Yay go Faroe Islands :) I don't think they would take the vote unless they were sure

  • 109. VIRick  |  March 15, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Guitar, I suspect there are two factors involved:

    1. Whenever Sally Kern gives her blessing to a measure, most other legislators, including many die-hard Republicans, run the other way. She's just that notorious.

    2. Oklahoma's state Supreme Court is relatively sensible, and regularly issues rulings that are moderate-to-liberal. And they all know it. So, rather than attempt to score points chasing after useless, extreme causes right to the bitter end, they make a half-hearted attempt, and then quietly let the matter die. That way, they can claim they "tried." Notice that none of the 27 measures were ever in serious "danger" of actually passing.

  • 110. VIRick  |  March 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Actually, her current liaison, liaison #3, was done as a commitment ceremony in the Cayman Islands, a type of ceremony from a jurisdiction which is not recognized as valid by the wonderful State of Florida. But apparently, as the elected Attorney-General for the State of Florida, its laws simply don't apply to such high-ranking office-holders. Still, to quote from the righteous Right, even though they're the ones who voted for her, and even re-elected her, "She's living in 'sin.'"

  • 111. VIRick  |  March 15, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Kentucky Senate Passes ‘License to Discriminate’ Bill

    Today, 15 March 2016, the Kentucky Senate approved a bill that would expand the state’s religious freedom bill. Senate Bill 180, which critics have dubbed the “License to Discriminate” bill, passed by a 22-16 vote margin.

    The Human Rights Campaign last month described SB 180 as an “outrageous bill that could allow individuals and businesses in the state to pick and choose which laws they follow in order to be able to discriminate against the LGBT community.” Critics also contend the measure would nullify LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances in Lexington, Louisville, and six other Kentucky cities. The Fairness Campaign, which opposes SB 180, urged members of the Kentucky House of Representatives to oppose the measure.

    – See more at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/03/15/kentuck

    Moments ago the Kentucky Senate voted 22-16 to approve a bill which would overturn all local LGBT rights laws in the state. Cities with LGBT protections include Covington, Danville, Frankfort, Lexington, Louisville, Midway, Morehead, and Vicco. Democrats have a slim 53-47 majority in the Kentucky House, but if the bill passes there, anti-gay Gov. Matt Bevin will surely sign it. http://www.joemygod.com/2016/03/15/breaking-kentu

    More reaction:

    "Senate Bill 180 is not good for the hospitality industry in Louisville or the entire Commonwealth. Its passage would send a negative message to visitors and major conventions and cause a decrease in tourism business." Karen Williams, President & CEO, Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

  • 112. VIRick  |  March 15, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Ohio Supreme Court Drops ‘Husband/Wife’ for Gender Neutral Terms

    Columbus OH — The Ohio Supreme Court is adopting the use of gender-neutral references in family court cases in place of words such as husband and wife, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage across the country. The Ohio order also includes father, mother, parent, and spouse in its description of terms expressing familial relationships.

    The updates to the Ohio high court rules and forms take effect from today, 15 March 2016. The order covers the areas of divorce, child support, guardianships, adoption, domestic relations and domestic violence. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/03/ohio-supreme-c

  • 113. VIRick  |  March 15, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Alabama: Senate Votes To Eliminate Marriage Licenses

    Two weeks ago the Alabama Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to "Obergefell: with a ruling that Chief Justice Roy Moore bizarrely contends actually upholds his state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Today, 15 March 2016, the state Senate continued to ride the crazy train. The AP reports:

    Today, the Alabama Senate has voted to do away with state-issued marriage licenses following the US Supreme Court ruling that effectively legalized same-sex marriage. Senators approved the bill 23-3. It would require couples to file a form recording their marriage rather than have county probate offices issue licenses.

    Republican Sen. Greg Albritton of Range, the sponsor of the legislation, says the change would end controversy over marriage licenses, while ensuring that people can marry whomever they choose. About a dozen Alabama probate judges have stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether to avoid giving them to same-sex couples.

    Rep. Patricia Todd is the only openly gay legislator in the state, and she calls the bill unnecessary. Todd says probate judges should do their job and issue licenses.

    The bill now goes to the Alabama House. http://www.joemygod.com/2016/03/15/alabama-senate

  • 114. davepCA  |  March 15, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Hilarious! 'Shut down all the schools to keep the races from mixing!' 'Stop issuing all marriage licences to keep those gays from marrying!'. 'Close down all of the voting booths! Too many scary minority people are voting against the wishes of the fat old white republikkkans!' That state deserves even more sink holes than it already has.

  • 115. SethInMaryland  |  March 15, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    I'm beginning to wonder if Obama might just might get this nominee spot approved by the GOP. With the growing possibility that Trump is going to be the republican nominee and Hillary beats him in Nov. The Gop might just might agree to approve Obama's pick as they might think it would be a better deal for them then a Hillary pick

  • 116. theperched  |  March 15, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    Faroe Islands is at 10 am local time which is 2am Pacific Time so I won't miss the action after all :)

    Going to be a bit hard to follow, but since the lgbt rights group wrote to me before I even remembered to write to them then I think the news on the vote will be out in no time. Cross your fingers everyone! I'll keep the conversation on this to this post, don't want to keep yapping and just stick to posting directly under one text :)

  • 117. guitaristbl  |  March 16, 2016 at 2:39 am

    I was under the impression that Sally Kern was a representative sample of the GOP legislators in Oklahoma. Good to know I am wrong.
    I am aware of the surprisingly moderate/sometimes liberal orientation of the Oklahoma Supreme Court but still I wouldn't think GOP legislators would avoid a big grandstanding even if they knew the bill would be shot down in court.

  • 118. theperched  |  March 16, 2016 at 4:04 am

    They're discussing it now! 😀 Vote soon.

  • 119. guitaristbl  |  March 16, 2016 at 4:10 am

    Obama to announce SCOTUS nominee at 11:00 a.m. eastern :
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/17/us/politics/oba

    The short list includes three judges : Merrick Garland (Chief Justice of DC Cir.), Paul Watford (9th Cir.) and Sri Srinivasan (DC Cir.)

    I am hoping for either Watford or Srinivasan. Garland is too old imo and the court needs young justices.

  • 120. JayJonson  |  March 16, 2016 at 7:02 am

    CNN and MSNBC are reporting that Merrick Garland is the choice.

    I am not disappointed that he will not be confirmed. He is "moderate," which really means in this context conservative. He upheld on at least two occasions Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Not sure of any other gay rights rulings.

  • 121. guitaristbl  |  March 16, 2016 at 7:35 am

    Plus a 63 year old on the bench of SCOTUS shows simply Obama does not get the message yet imo. A younger person needs to be nominated imo.

  • 122. Sagesse  |  March 16, 2016 at 8:41 am

    This nomination is a punt. Garland is a fine nominee. But, reading the writing on the wall, Obama has not wasted a strong liberal candidate so that the Republicans can treat him like a 'pinata', or refuse to deal with him at all. A failed process would taint Sri Srinivasan, perhaps fatally, from being successfully nominated in future.

    All that said, it's disheartening to see a 63 year old white man as the 'best' nominee.

  • 123. SethInMaryland  |  March 16, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Good news Grassley has said he won't even allow a vote. I'm glad. I'm in no way in support of this nominee.

  • 124. SethInMaryland  |  March 16, 2016 at 8:46 am

    I think our best hope is to wait till after Nov with Hillary likely being president. We can make sure Sri gets on the court. The senate will be looking favorable for dems.

  • 125. SethInMaryland  |  March 16, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Any news on the Faroe Islands ?

  • 126. guitaristbl  |  March 16, 2016 at 10:31 am

    If he is indeed a moderate or whatever I expect this to backfire even more on GOP's face. If they do not lose the senate now with their attitude on the SCOTUS nomination and having Trump as their presidential candidate to be their face on this election, I don't know when they will lose it.

    P.S. NYT say that : "According to a measure of judicial ideology developed by four political scientists and considered a "reasonably good predictor of voting on the Supreme Court," Garland is close to Justice Elena Kagan."" :
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/03/16/us/

    I can live with someone close to Kagan on the court. But around her age or younger as well.

  • 127. VIRick  |  March 16, 2016 at 11:34 am

    In total counter-point, one day later, per Gary Wright at Equality Case Files:

    Today, 16 March 2016, a new bill has been introduced into the Alabama House. Not a chance HB427 is gonna survive, but bless you, Representative Givan, for trying!

    "This bill would specify that a person legally married to another person of the same sex would have the same rights and privileges under Alabama state law as any other married person. " Even though these bills seem hopeless, it's always nice if they ever make it to a vote. If we can't change things, at least we can get the votes of the people responsible recorded into the history books for posterity.

  • 128. allan120102  |  March 16, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Pri now supports ssm in Colima. This might be the last push need to the law to be reform this year. That means 2/3 of the big parties now support ssm. http://colimanoticias.com/pri-cambia-su-postura-y
    More amparos have been grant in Puebla and more to come. This means Puebla have push its limit. http://www.poblanerias.com/2016/03/cuatro-parejas
    Tabasco have their third wedding today. http://tabascohoy.com/nota/302652/por-fin-hoy-se-

  • 129. allan120102  |  March 16, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    OMG Breaking news. Base on various reports from different tv stations in Colombia like Noticias Caracol and various citizens in twitter. The decision of the Colombian supreme court have been made and the ponencia of Judge Pretelt have been defeated by 6-3. Noticias Caracol in twitter announce that the information was given by a civil right jurist. This will make Colombia the 4/12 South American country with marriage equality. Everyone in twitter is going crazy. https://twitter.com/NoticiasCaracol/status/710264

  • 130. VIRick  |  March 16, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    Puebla: Amparo #5 Granted, Amparo #6 in Process

    Cuatro Parejas Más de Mujeres Poblanas Ganan Amparo y Podrán Casarse

    Ante la opacidad mostrada por el Poder Legislativo por dar apertura al debate y aprobación de los matrimonios igualitarios, en Puebla, el Observatorio de Derechos Sexuales, seguirá con la estrategia jurídica sustentada en la tramitación de amparos.

    Hasta ahora se han interpuesto cerca de 30 recursos de este tipo, aunados a cuatro presentados ante la autoridad judicial (Amparos #2-5), lo que ha dado paso a que cuatro parejas de personas homosexuales, en este caso mujeres, tienen ya la autorización y el mandato legal para poder contraer nupcias en Puebla.

    Antes de que concluya el primer semestre del año, el amparo colectivo tendrá una favorable resolución y serán 60 los presentados ante el Poder Judicial, dijo Brahim Zamora Salazar, director de Comunicación, Planeación y Capacitación de ese organismo.

    En este sentido, mencionó que hace unos días, entre diciembre del 2015 y febrero de 2016, se emitieron cuatro amparos más a parejas, éxito que se obtuvo a través de una estrategia diferenciada al amparo colectivo que sigue en proceso.

    Dijo que ha habido algunos recursos de revisión, hecho que ha tardado el proceso (Amparo #6). Sin embargo, esperan que en poco tiempo obtengan una resolución favorable y que a su vez planteará un escenario nuevo para Puebla, sobre todo en términos legislativos, es decir, lo que se verá es que la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) va a ordenar al Congreso poblano a modificar el Código Civil.

    La primera boda homosexual celebrada en Puebla ocurrió en agosto de 2015 (Amparo #1), cuando Lucero Méndez y Guadalupe Gómez Tetetla se casaron tras el fallo a su favor por parte del Segundo Tribunal Colegiado http://www.poblanerias.com/2016/03/cuatro-parejas

    Four More Same-Sex Female Couples Granted Amparos and Can Marry

    Given the opacity shown by the Puebla Legislature to open the debate and approve equal marriage, el Observatorio de Derechos Sexuales, continue with their legal strategy based on the processing of court orders.

    So far, they have brought about 30 requests of this type, in addition to the four filed with the judicial authority (Amparos #2-5), which have led to four same-sex couples, in this case women, to already have the authorization and the legal mandate to get married in Puebla.

    Before the end of the first half of this year, they expect a favorable resolution to the amparo colectivo for 30 couples already presented to the Judiciary, said Brahim Zamora Salazar, Director of Communications, Planning and Training of that organization.

    In this regard, he mentioned that between December 2015 and February 2016 for four couples, success was obtained through a different strategy from the collective amparo, still in process (Amparo #6). He said there have been some appeals for review, a fact that has delyed the process. However, they hope that they will soon get a favorable resolution and that, in turn, will pose a new scenario for Puebla, especially in legislative terms, ie, what one will see is that the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) will order the Poblano Congress to amend the Puebla Civil Code.

    Separately, the first same-sex wedding in Puebla occurred on 1 August 2015 (Amparo #1), when Lucero Méndez and Guadalupe Gómez Tetetla married after a ruling in their favor by the Second Collegiate Court.

  • 131. 1grod  |  March 16, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    An Alabama Three-Way. Likely harder to cancel than a divorce! http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/03/alaba

  • 132. VIRick  |  March 16, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Tabasco: Amparo #3 Granted

    The civil wedding ceremony between Liliana and Alexia will take place on Wednesday, 16 March 2016, at 1 PM, at the Administrative Office No. 7, located in Villa del Rosario Payas.

    For Tabasco, this would be the third same-sex couple (with Amparo #3) to go before a civil registry to formalize their relationship.

    The first same-sex marriage (Amparo #1) occurred in Tabasco on 13 February 2015, over a year ago, after a legal appeal to Mexico's Supreme Court. I have no record of the second same-sex marriage in that state (Amparo #2), other than to note that the current news article states that today's same-sex marriage ceremony was the third one in Tabasco. http://tabascohoy.com/nota/302652/por-fin-hoy-se-

  • 133. VIRick  |  March 16, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    For anyone who knows how to do it, the Wikipedia same-sex marriage map for Mexico continues to need some serious up-dating.

    The following states need to be up-colored to gold (5 or more amparos granted): Guanajuato, Morelos, Sinaloa, and now Puebla.

    In addition, Jalisco needs to be up-colored to dark blue (same-sex marriage legalized).

  • 134. allan120102  |  March 16, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Btw Puebla first couple got a divorce last month. I will also argue that they strip Guerrero between Dark blue and Brown as not all counties or municipalities are issuing and they have not exceed the 5amparo limit.

  • 135. allan120102  |  March 16, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    More info coming from Colombia. http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/judicial/pro

    Caracol News revealed a 20-page document of Constitutional Court judge Alberto Rojas would be the door to endorse marriage between same-sex couples in Colombia. Rojas would be responsible for drafting a new paper in case the magistrate Jorge Pretelt, which are asked not to give free rein to equal marriage, was defeated.

    What is known so far is that within the Constitutional Court's vote Pretelt the presentation of this six votes against and three in favor. That is, most judges agree to endorse marriage between same-sex couples. In its document, the magistrate Rojas makes a strong defense of the rights to equality and critical position Pretelt.

    "Men and women are part of the human race, equality means giving equal treatment to which they are equal (…) Every human being, by virtue of being, he has the fundamental right to marry without any kind of discrimination (…) the proposed decision is a missed opportunity to remedy a situation of secular discrimination against sexual minorities in Colombia, in terms of human dignity, freedom and equality for marriage under the same conditions that usually celebrate it straight couples "are the arguments Rojas.

    The judge indicated that Colombia can not continue to perpetuate these forms of discrimination. Also recounted countries already gave free reign to marriage between same-sex couples: Netherlands approved in September 2000; Belgium in June 2003; Canada in June 2005; Spain in July 2005; South Africa in November 2006; Norway in June 2008; Sweden in May 2009; Mexico in December 2009; Argentina in July 2010; Denmark in June 2012 and Uruguay in April 2013.

    Although morning on the agenda of the Constitutional Court is the discussion of marriage between same-sex couples, sources consulted by El Espectador assured that will not leave until after Easter.

  • 136. SethInMaryland  |  March 16, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    So we won in Colombia?

  • 137. allan120102  |  March 16, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Yessssss. Now they will throw out the decision of the bigot judge tomorrow, and the favorable judge may issue his decision tomorrow or after Easter.

  • 138. VIRick  |  March 16, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Seth, the short answer is "Yes, we won."

    The long answer is this:

    All along, for months now, the justices have been discussing and discussing, arguing, stalling and delaying, over the presentation and argument made by Justice Jorge Ignacio Pretelt Chaljub who is vehemently in favor of upholding the marriage ban for same-sex couples, and who simply would not shut up and give his argument a rest. Today, 16 March 2016, the justices finally had a chance to vote on his presentation and argument, and voted 6-3 to dismiss it.

    From Mónica Rodríguez at Matrimonio Igualitario, we have this tweet:

    Ponencia de magistrado Pretelt contra matrimonio gay sería derrotada. Noticias Caracol conoció (otro) documento de un jurista en defensa de igualdad.

    The presentation by Justice Pretelt against same-sex marriage was defeated. Noticias Caracol is aware of a (second) document by a jurist in defense of equality.

    Now, a second presentation and argument will be made by Justice Alberto Rojas Ríos, this time in favor of marriage equality. Although this second presentation has not yet been made, let alone finalized and voted upon to render a decisive ruling, given the previous vote, we already know with certainty that they will eventually vote 6-3 in favor of marriage equality, and will do so sometime between tomorrow, 17 March 2016, and the Easter holiday recess.

    Marriage equality in Colombia is now a given nationwide (if not yet quite in effect). Still, all along, we knew that the vote would eventually come down to a 6-3 ruling in favor of marriage equality. It was just a matter of time, but waiting and waiting while the slow wheels of justice turned has been difficult.

  • 139. SethInMaryland  |  March 16, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    Does anyone know what happened in Faroe Islands ? I still haven't heard anything

  • 140. SethInMaryland  |  March 16, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    SIgh I just found out the news in the Faroe Islands. So here what happened The second reading of the bill was on 16 March 2016. There was not a majority for the proposal, as two members from the coalition: Kristin Michelsen and Heðin Mortensen from the Social Democratic Party said that they could not vote yes for the proposal at that point, they suggested that the proposal was sent back to the Welfare committee. They and several other members of the Løgting were afraid that the proposal would mean that the same-sex married couples would have a right to get their marriage blessed in the church and they could not accept that. There was a proposal from Kári P. Højgaard, Kaj Leo Johannesen and Kristin Michelsen that the law proposal should go back to the Welfare committee. After a short break the Lagting voted for the suggestion to send the proposal back to the committee and 26 members voted yes, 2 no and 5 voted blank. The members of Sambandsflokkurin said that they would vote yes if it was for sure that the law did not enter the church, and that they felt it was not ready yet Several members from the opposition and some from the coalition had concerns regarding § 14, 1 in the Danish law which says that the married couples can get their marriage blessed in one of churches. They did not want that. Several members who have been against civil union now said that they were in favour of civil unions for same-sex couples but against same-sex marriage.

  • 141. theperched  |  March 16, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    Something happened. 19 (the brunt of the marriage legislation) is now in a committee stage and 20 was listed on the order of the day today instead. No date on a future reading of the marriage bill so far…I hope that doesn't mean that it flopped/will be watered down…

  • 142. theperched  |  March 16, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Elections in Faroe Islands always result in tight government coalitions. This one is only 1 seat above the opposition…shame on Kristin and Hedin for holding up the process. They'd better vote Yes to marriage in the end and hell no, they'd better not devolve the law to civil unions. The Danish text is already written, they only have to vote to adopt it, it's not a long process like UK for example.

  • 143. SethInMaryland  |  March 16, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    It looks supporter are going to have to be forced amend the bill to say that marriage of same-sex couples cannot take place in the church. That's what is holding up the it looks like

  • 144. theperched  |  March 16, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Yeah, in Greenland they kept the Danish clause. They copied things almost verbatim from Denmark. Faroe Islands' Left wanted the same, but the place is a lot more conservative – sigh. As long as it passes, I suppose. It's both marriage and adoption mentioned in the bill so its approval will really make a difference on the island.

  • 145. SethInMaryland  |  March 16, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Next up the Isle of Man? Jersey? Guernsey? Chile? , whenever the Faroe Islands agrees to whatever amendments it needs?, Australia vote sometime this year or next ? Switzerland? I'm guessing Isle of Man is next

  • 146. theperched  |  March 16, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Colombia's legal opinion is written, but no vote to enforce it until after Holy week.

    Isle of Man will go through the first reading of the other chamber next week (22nd). If they keep the pace of the House then it will take a month plus Royal Assent.

    Faroe Islands on the other hand needs a formality of three Danish readings Royal Assent.

    Guernsey/Jersey both have to write the legislation and vote on it Royal Assent. Jersey's deadline is January 2017 so it may still be a way's off.

    Swiss Govt wouldn't want too many votes on the same issue in one year so at the earliest possible, a referendum on marriage may happen 2017. Maybe even later.

    Australia will get it before 2017 is out, hopefully that means in 2016.

    The one to finish first from the islands is Faroes (if we count only local action) first one to finish EVERYTHING first is probably Isle of Man.

  • 147. SethInMaryland  |  March 16, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    It sad it has to happen but they should be able to redraw it out quickly with the new amendment in it

  • 148. theperched  |  March 16, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Found an in-depth article in Danish (that can be google translated and make sense)
    http://www.dr.dk/nyheder/udland/faeroesk-lagting-

    Looks like the committee has another month to decide what to do, they can quickly make an adjustment – 4 are all in favor and may see eye to eye and advance the bill as early as Friday, but for now there won't be any readings planned until changes are made. Bjort (co-author) says this is a delay tactic used over and over.

  • 149. sglaser2  |  March 17, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Pope fires Vatican ambassador to U.S. over Kim Davis

    Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is a staunch conservative and was vocally opposed to same-sex marriage throughout his five-year tenure as the Vatican’s nuncio (ambassador) to the United States.

    He also sent an anonymous invite to Ms. Kim Davis, of anti-equality fame, to the Pope’s DC visit. While people, here and elsewhere, initially thought this was a coup for Davis and bigotry, Pope Francis turned the other cheek.

    And now word comes that the incident is prompting The Vatican to replace Vigano. A friend of the Pope’s claimed he was blindsided by the meeting, and the move caused the Vatican to distance itself from Viganò, leading many to believe the Pope would quietly replace him as his “statutory retirement age” was approaching. Viganò turned 75 in January; when bishops and archbishops reach that age, they are required to submit a letter of resignation to the Vatican.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/03/16/1502183/

  • 150. 1grod  |  March 17, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Who gains? Alabama's proposed pre-nuptial agreements advantage lawyers and ties up the courts with post-nuptial amendments while making it harder for abused women: http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/03/anti-

  • 151. 1grod  |  March 17, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Same old, same old. . Legislative bill authorizing all Alabama's probate judges not to issue marriage licenses had also been considered in 2015 and died. In the meantime Alfred Booth of Autauga Co does his own thing. http://truthinmedia.com/alabama-senate-approves-b

  • 152. Sagesse  |  March 17, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    An aside, really… but Vigano was one of the highest ranking clergy at Antonin Scalia's funeral mass. I wonder how often that happens… the papal nuncio (the Vatican ambassador to the US) participates in a funeral mass…?

    In context, Scalia was one of the most prominent Catholics in the US. Also, a commentator observed at the time, at a funeral for a priest's family member (Fr Paul Scalia officiated) 'the church turns out'. There were a ridiculous number of priests, bishops and cardinals in attendance… something like 300, if memory serves.

  • 153. weaverbear  |  March 17, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Dear friends all,

    Forgive me for pushing this, but it's time for us to step up an take care of one of our own. Most of you are aware that Scottie Thomaston has been ill, seriously so. He has done so much to further the needs of us as a community, and frankly, I believe it's high time for us to return that favor. I've made a donation to help raise the money needed for his care and I challenge everyone reading this to please match my efforts.

    YouCaring is a crowdfunding site, but what you donate for Scottie, will go to Scottie. You get to decide what, if anything, you wish to give to YouCaring above what you wish to earmark for Scottie, to help them cover their overhead. (Note that the YouCaring site is a bit different accessed with your smartphone, than on your computer. What you choose to give to them for their overhead is much clearer when accessed on a computer)
    https://www.youcaring.com/scottie-thomaston-53820….

  • 154. theperched  |  March 17, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Tomorrow it heads back to the committee so we'll see what step is taken.

  • 155. F_Young  |  March 17, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    That URL dioes not work for me. The following URL works: https://www.youcaring.com/scottie-thomaston-53820

  • 156. theperched  |  March 17, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    It's the first thing on the schedule for tomorrow, so I hope by morning our time the Wiki page with the full recount of what happens is up :)

  • 157. theperched  |  March 17, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Three proposals in the works for San Marino's new partnership law, with a possible fourth! They have unregistered cohabitation now with VERY limited rights. EU Commission has been on their backs in recent months about minority rights.

    Main party says no adoption/surrogacy though. Their proposal is said to come out of nowhere, elections are this year so that probably had a hand it it:

    "The Christian Democrats will present its proposal to standardize the coexistence of two people beyond their gender. But it will not be the only proposal on the table. In recent days also Labdem presented a draft law in a public evening while on Thursday the United Left was to illustrate to the press his own. "Who says we are a conservative party makes a mistake – says the adviser to SMTV Dc Manuel Ciavatta – we are tied to the reality of the facts." On the parenting Democrats say they are unwilling to come to terms: the children must have a father and a mother. We not therefore speak of adoptions for gay couples. So as they say strongly opposed to surrogacy."
    https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&…

    The United Left's bill has adoption rights included while the center-left junior coalition partner has said it's open to discussing same-sex parenting and may bring the stepchild adoption topic to the forefront.

  • 158. SethInMaryland  |  March 17, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Yea maybe they can get it back amended to where it was quickly

  • 159. theperched  |  March 18, 2016 at 1:54 am

    Seems April is off the the plan and by mid-May is when Renzi wants the bill approved in the Chamber of Deputies.
    He'll also use a confidence vote again if necessary.
    http://www.gay.it/news/Unioni-civili-forte-rischi

    Got an email from a local contact, M5S are still causing some headches…

    "March 31 is the deadline for amendments. M5S said that the law should change beacuse of its 'uncostitutionality'. They contend that a measure which introduces alimony rights/duties for cohabitang couples is against the Constitution."

  • 160. Sagesse  |  March 18, 2016 at 6:12 am

    Made my dontation.

    Can folks here help me better understand US healthcare. I am Canadian, where we have universal healthcare; it is completely foreign to us (pun intended) that anyone would have to pay $10,000 toward their own treatment. Is it something about the way Alabama has implemented Obamacare, or just a function of the compromises that were made to get a national heathcare regime at all?

  • 161. Sagesse  |  March 18, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Deja vu all over again. The GOP platform committee is a sandbox to let Tony Perkins and his ilk do their worst. No candidate is obligated to espouse the party platform, or legislate it.

    Tony Perkins Revives Role as GOP's Hate-Whisperer [The Advocate]
    http://www.advocate.com/politics/2016/3/17/tony-p

  • 162. Christian0811  |  March 18, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Oh how funny

    I, too, believe this bill is unconstitutional but for wholly different reasons!

  • 163. scream4ever  |  March 18, 2016 at 8:56 am

    The public option was not approved in the final bill, and Alabama has not adopted the Medicaid expansion under it, although there is some talk of them doing it I hear.

  • 164. weaverbear  |  March 18, 2016 at 10:17 am

    I'm not sure why its not working. when I open in Firefox it takes me right to it, but Internet Explorer takes me to another fundraiser. If this is happening to you, in the upper right hand corner of the page is a search tab. Just put Scottie's name there and it will take you to his page.

    As of this morning we are a little over one third to the $10,000 goal. The bulk of this was raised in the first 24 hours, and we are now 5 days in today.

  • 165. weaverbear  |  March 18, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Healthcare costs in the US are awful for many. I'm insured with decent coverage, but yesterday I went to the pharmacy to pick up an asthma inhaler (I've got the cold from hell, which is making me wheeze,) and even with my coverage, I still had a $51 copay on a medication that's been on the market for 30 years.

  • 166. theperched  |  March 18, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Meeting bumped back to the 29th. Easter week looks pretty blank so far on the calendar…it's more than eggs and chocolate to them, though :p

    Ugh. I hope they wrap things up within a month.

  • 167. VIRick  |  March 18, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Sagesse, the Westboro Baptist Church nut-jobs, completely decorated with their usual collection of obnoxious signage, were also there (outside the cathedral, on the sidewalk, picketing) claiming that Scalia wasn't ridiculous enough in his insane decisions against us. And for that, according to them, he's going straight to hell.

    So, apparently Scalia's funeral did, indeed, attract quite a bit of flotsam and jetsam, given the notoriety of the deceased in several different departments.

  • 168. allan120102  |  March 18, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Mexico news update
    Marriage in Morelos might come directly from the supreme court as 50 couples have ask for a collective amparo. https://www.facebook.com/edgar.marquezo/posts/528
    9 same sex couples have been able to marry in Sonora thanks to amparos and more are to come as more new couples look for their right to marry daily. http://proyectopuente.com.mx/2016/03/16/sonora-re
    Another big amparo have been granted for 10 couples in Baja California. This is the second collective amparo in that state. This time it was granted in the municipality of Ensena. https://twitter.com/TodoMejoraMx/status/710836374
    Two moms register their son in Chihuahua. As many now Same sex marriage and adoption is legal in that state. https://twitter.com/DhiaAc/status/710945034338570

  • 169. theperched  |  March 18, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    After the marriage referendum fallout, the Slovenian govt backs a bill to beef up civil unions. This was actually plan A, but they decided to go with marriage and adoption instead before everything went sour…

    Some years ago, the Constitutional Court told Parliament that the existing partnership law doesn't go far enough but every time they try to enhance the rights of gay couples, conservatives collect signatures and hold referendums that kill off any progress.

    Let's hope this one doesn't suffer the same fate as the last two attempts. The Court order still hasn't been fulfilled because they keep being hit back to zero. There's another bill submitted by conservatives, but I don't trust it, probably the skimmest of milks.

    The Govt-endorsed law will allow most things, but no joint adoption or in-vitro
    https://english.sta.si/2240721/govt-endorses-gay-

  • 170. 1grod  |  March 18, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Weaver: Donation made as well. Picked up today 6 prescriptions, total value $317, paid $7.32. Ontario government picked up the rest regardless of seniors' ability to pay. Seems many Americans are tired of being told they have the best 'collective' benefits in the world, when, as Sagesse obviously, they're not. G

  • 171. SethInMaryland  |  March 18, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Slovenia shouldn't even have a referendum process. Religious extremist there use it to there advantage

  • 172. VIRick  |  March 18, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    US Appeals Court Hears Pride Nudity Case

    On 11 March 2016, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments for a case in which a gay man is suing the San Diego Police Department for allegedly targeting him for stricter enforcement of the city’s ban on public nudity at San Diego’s 2011 LGBT Pride festival. Will Walters, 34, charges in court papers that San Diego police violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution by arresting him on a charge of public nudity for wearing a leather gladiator kilt over a thong that exposed only the sides of his upper thighs and buttocks.

    Police escorted Walters out of the Pride festival in handcuffs and took him to jail, where he spent the night, after he refused to put on more clothing to completely cover his buttocks and after he refused to sign a citation that police refused to allow him to read, according to court records. Court records show that the city attorney’s office decided not to prosecute the case the following day and dropped the charge against Walters. His lawsuit says his arrest followed a decision by a police official to reinterpret the city’s anti-nudity law to require people to “fully cover their buttocks.”

    At the same time and over the next year, the lawsuit says, the stated change in policy was not enforced at beaches, parks, and other public places in which women and men routinely wore skimpy bikinis and thongs that exposed far more of their buttocks’ than the kilt that Walters wore at the Pride festival. “There was absolutely no tangible evidence that this new policy was enforced anywhere other than at the Pride event,” according to a legal brief filed by Walters’ attorney before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena. “There were no tickets, no citations, and no arrests for anybody wearing a thong,” it says. “The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits invidious discrimination in all its forms, including against homosexuals,” the brief declares.

    The brief reiterates a request in Walters’ original lawsuit filed in 2012 for a court injunction to prevent the police from unequally enforcing the anti-nudity law by appearing to require participants of the LGBT Pride festival to fully cover their buttocks while not enforcing that requirement for others, including sunbathers at San Diego’s popular beaches.

    Attorney Christopher Morris filed the brief in September 2015, nearly two years after a District Court judge sided with the police and the City Attorney by granting their motion to dismiss the case on summary judgment on grounds that it lacked sufficient merit to advance to a full trial.

    – See more at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/03/17/u-s-app

    "More," in this instance, includes a seriously hot pic of Will Walters wearing the costume under contention, which from my point of view as a fellow hot (ex)-twink, scored an A-plus, 5-star rating.

  • 173. VIRick  |  March 19, 2016 at 12:00 am

    Georgia Legislature Sends ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill to Governor

    The Georgia Legislature has approved a “religious freedom” bill that would enable anti-LGBT discrimination in the state, leaving a signature from Gov. Nathan Deal the only thing remaining before the measure becomes law. Without significant prior notice, both chambers of the legislature on Wednesday, 16 March 2016, approved the measure, known as the First Amendment Defense Act, or HB 757.

    A narrower version of the bill had been pending before the state legislature, but lawmakers approved a different bill that further expands the capacity for anti-LGBT discrimination in the name of religious freedom. The new version was passed by a 104-65 vote in the House, then a 37-18 vote in the Senate.

    When the bill was first introduced early this year, it would have simply enabled pastors to decline to perform same-sex marriages, which is already their right under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. But the Senate expanded the bill to allow faith-based organizations — churches, religious schools, or associations — to discriminate and refuse services to same-sex couples.

    On Wednesday, the House, and then the Senate, passed a bill that was expanded further by dropping references to same-sex marriages in favor of more generally allowing faith-based organizations to deny services “that violate such faith-based organization’s sincerely-held religious beliefs.” The bill also would allow faith-based organizations to refuse to rent or afford its facilities for events they find “objectionable.” Additionally, faith-based organizations under the bill wouldn’t be forced to hire or retain employees whose “religious beliefs or practices, or lack of either, are not in accord with the faith-based organization’s sincerely-held religious belief.”

    Finally, the measure now includes a provision along the lines of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, enabling businesses and individuals to refuse services to LGBT people in the name of religion. However, the bill says it can’t be invoked for “discrimination on any grounds prohibited by federal or state law." LGBT advocates called on Deal to veto the legislation, which they say contains the same anti-LGBT elements found in a measure that ignited a firestorm last year in Indiana.

    – See more at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/03/16/georgia

  • 174. guitaristbl  |  March 19, 2016 at 4:08 am

    The part where it says it cannot be invoked for discrimination on any grounds prohibited by federal or state law must be the most offensive and vulgar provision in this bill truly. Basically it encodes even further that an atheist cannot deny service to a christian, a racist to a person of colour etc leaving effectively solely sexual orientation and gender identity as suspect classes one can discriminate against. Disgusting trickery.

  • 175. JayJonson  |  March 19, 2016 at 6:17 am

    Many Americans are so stupid that they actually do believe that they have the best benefits in the world and are eager to repeal Obamacare because, well, they have been told over and over by Republicans that it gives something free to poor people. They are gullible enough to believe that Trump is going to repeal Obamacare and replace it with "something better."

  • 176. theperched  |  March 19, 2016 at 8:50 am

    The NFL is doing a repeat of Arizona and threatening to pull out if the Governor signs it. Both big business and the Super Bowl are against this, if he still signs…

    PLEASE veto it.

  • 177. theperched  |  March 19, 2016 at 8:55 am

    From the Faroese LGBT rights group:

    "the bill was sent back to the committee tonight. They want to check some technical details before it heads back for the actual vote….hopefully after Easter."

    When I asked how many could support it out of 33:

    "if it all goes well we would get 21 in favor but worst case scenario it will not pass. But then we'll just try again in the fall."

    Also it seems that people who were against civil unions a few years ago are now magically for them, but the LGBT there are saying "Not that, we want marriage!" :)

  • 178. scream4ever  |  March 19, 2016 at 10:07 am

    A similar event happened in New Hampshire in 2009 when their bill was being debated. It ended up passing, so I have hope that it will here as well.

  • 179. theperched  |  March 19, 2016 at 11:01 am

    They have 15 who supported the bill as is. 2 who supposedly only had an objection to one clause so that's 17.

    Everyone's working hard to court over more people to ensure that it's not as split down the middle as much. When I asked if the opposition parties allowed a free vote:

    Me: Do the opposition parties allow a free vote or are they telling their members to all vote the same way?

    Faroese group: Officially they are free but not in reality. But there is a lot of lobby work going on at the moment to convince the finale few people needed to get this passed.

  • 180. Christian0811  |  March 19, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    This is insane, what is taking the LGBT groups there so long to go to the CC?? Even if they got their claim rejected, they could say they made a valiant effort like they have now *twice* in Italy.

    Getting the referendum tossed worked in CR and it's no worse than Slovenia (probably CR is much worse just from looking at its laws), they could AT LEAST try that much.

    It's 2016, not 1990. And we're talking about a western European and secular country, not some po-dunk rural ex-Soviet state (even though it was part of Yugoslavia). Civil unions are nothing but a very small step , I don't understand why the activists there can't get it in gear. It's pathetic really.

    Theyre either blitheringly incompetent or they want to linger on the issue and continue sucking up the donations.

  • 181. SethInMaryland  |  March 19, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    It comes down to that coalition party who will join in supporting the marriage bill if allowing church weddings is removed

  • 182. 1grod  |  March 19, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Impact of Alabama's move to replace marriage licenses with completion of a couple-initiated form/affidavit: http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2016/03/would_ab

  • 183. allan120102  |  March 19, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    I dont think they will put it on the ballot this time as it does not include adoption nor the word marriage. If they put in a referendum I think we might win but at the same time if we loose it will be by less than the defeat we suffer on December of last year.

  • 184. allan120102  |  March 19, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    I dont think is that easy as you are implying. I give you kuddos for your optimism but even Italy that is more liberal the court dont want to act. Slovenia and Croatia are more conservative so I doubt their court will do anything. If the Slovenian court want to grant married rights then they would have stop the referendum.

  • 185. theperched  |  March 19, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    You never know with those conservative groups, they might put it on the ballot to spite the Government for not choosing their (probably inferior) bill. I hope not, not only is it a pain in the butt but it's also costly. If they really care about families they would donate all that time and money to schools, hospitals, orphanages etc but they're just hypocrites in my opinion.

  • 186. theperched  |  March 19, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Also depends on the number of abstentions if there are members in favor, but locked in a No vote by the party leaders.

  • 187. SethInMaryland  |  March 19, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    I think it wil pass once they amend it

  • 188. theperched  |  March 19, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    I do too. Good thing they have Sonja (first gay MP) to keep pressing the issue. She actually said who she would marry if it passed. Very touching.

  • 189. theperched  |  March 19, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Caucusus: Georgia has started the process of the constitutional ban on marriage. They'll set up a committee then take public opinions for a month before proceeding. The backlash against the Constitutional Court case has started…

    Parliament has launched formal procedures for Georgian Dream ruling coalition-proposed draft of constitutional charges that would define marriage as union of a man and a woman.

    Parliament endorsed on March 18 with 81 votes setting up of a 15-member commission, which will lead a month long public discussions of the proposed constitutional amendment – a formal process required for any constitutional change before it is debated in the Parliament and then put on vote in the legislative body.

    The constitutional amendment was initiated by 80 lawmakers – most of them MPs from the GD parliamentary majority group, as well 7 out of the Free Democrats opposition party’s 8 lawmakers. The Republican Party, a member of the GD ruling coalition, “distanced” itself from the process of initiating of the proposal, but two of its lawmakers – Malkhaz Tsereteli and Pridon Sakvarelidze – put their signatures on initiation of the bill.

    Article 36 of the Georgian constitution currently reads: “Marriage shall be based upon equality of rights and free will of spouses.”

    Proposal to amend the constitution offers the following wording: “Marriage, which is a voluntary union of a woman and a man with the purpose of creating a family, shall be based on equal rights of spouses.”

    Georgia’s civil code already specifies that marriage is a “voluntary union of man and woman”, effectively banning same-sex marriage.

    According to the explanatory note, attached to the bill, that defining marriage explicitly in the constitution that marriage is union between a man and a woman is needed to remove “questions and concerns within a large part of the society.”

    VERY WEIRD ACCUSATIONS: LGBT rights groups immediately distanced themselves from this lawsuit, saying that it was counterproductive and of a lower priority issue in the country where gay people face much more pressing problems such as “physical, psychological and verbal abuse and violence”.

    Activists suspect that some political forces, which try to instrumentalize LGBT issues for political gains, as well as the Georgian Orthodox Church, might be actually behind this “provocative” constitutional lawsuit to use it as a pretext for justifying a need for introducing constitutional bar to same-sex marriage.

    Support of at least 113 lawmakers in 150-member Parliament is needed for passing of a constitutional amendment. It has to be adopted with three hearings during two separate sessions with an interval of at least three months, which means that even if the proposal on setting constitutional bar to same-sex marriage is adopted before parliament’s summer recess, it should then again be put on vote in Autumn just before the October parliamentary elections, otherwise the issue will move in hands of the next parliament, elected in October polls.
    http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=29049

    So there are people who aren't for same-sex marriage, but still don't want this because it'll make the EU angry and say the country should align more with them not be like Russia and the paranoia about LGBT there. Our only hope is that Parliament doesn't reach that 2/3 threshold vote…

  • 190. Christian0811  |  March 19, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    Which is exactly why they should have challenged the referendum months ago. This failure to act is utterly stupid.

    What's so hard? They clearly had enough funds to make a piss-poor showing during the referendum itself, what's so hard about paying a lawyer to fill out paper work and show up to a hearing at the CC!

  • 191. theperched  |  March 19, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    The CC narrowly ruled that the Parliament's act of vetoing a public vote was illegal, they never said anything about the provisions of the Family Code 2015 Act.

    "On 22 October 2015, the Court officially published its decision, which permitted the referendum to proceed.

    However, the ruling did not address article 90 making a new challenge to the referendum possible. The ruling solely regarded the ability of the National Assembly to declare a referendum unconstitutional."

    Maybe the judges know something that we don't.

  • 192. VIRick  |  March 19, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Tech CEO Threatens to Pull 15,000 Person Convention out of Georgia if Governor Signs Anti-LGBT Law
    By Tom Boggioni – RawStory.com – 18 March 2016

    The CEO of one America’s largest tech marketing firms gave the governor of Georgia an ultimatum on Thursday, 17 March 2016: sign an anti-LGBT bill sitting on your desk and I’ll pull my May convention in Atlanta and take it elsewhere, reports On Top magazine. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff had already expressed his displeasure with the impending passage of HB 757, which would allow groups to deny service to members of the LGBT community due to “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

    While the bill specifically defines faith-based organizations as churches, religious schools, and mission groups, critics of the legislation fear the language is vague enough to also cover businesses, hospitals and adoption centers. Georgia lawmakers did make a slight change to the legislation — by replacing direct references to same-sex marriages in the law before sending it off to GOP Governor Nathan Deal —but that wasn’t good enough for Benioff, who is demanding the governor veto the bill outright.

    Back In February, Benioff tweeted a poll asking followers if Salesforce should move their Connections 2016 event out of the state if the bill passed. About 80 percent of respondents said “Yes.”

    Thursday, Salesforce issued a statement saying the company would not only pull the conference but proceed with moving business out of Georgia if the bill was signed. (Currently, the company's headquarters is based in Atlanta.) “Salesforce is calling on Governor Deal to veto HB 757 because the legislation creates an environment of discrimination and makes the state of Georgia seem unwelcoming to same-sex couples and the LGBTQ community,” the statement read. “If HB 757 is not vetoed and instead becomes law, Salesforce will have to reduce investments in Georgia, including moving the Salesforce Connections conference to a state that provides a more welcoming environment for the LGBTQ community.” The Connections 2016 conference, slated for early May, is expected to be attended by over 15,000 participants.

  • 193. FredDorner  |  March 19, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Given that just 3 years ago Eastern Orthodox priests led a violent mob of 20,000 rabid Christians in an effort to stone to death 50 gay rights activists, I can see why LGBT rights groups are concerned about the politics behind a marriage equality ban right now.

    Here's a video: http://americablog.com/2013/05/priests-led-violen

    This article reveals that the government did nothing about the violence, even though they knew the names of many of the perpetrators and the leaders: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/20/world/europe/ge

  • 194. VIRick  |  March 19, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Ganamos el Segundo Amparo Colectivo en Baja California a Favor del Matrimonio Igualitario

    Baja California: Second Collective Amparo in Favor of Marriage Equality Won

    En 18 de marzo 2016, COCUT AC, Comunidad LGBT Ensenada y el incondicional apoyo de Lic Alex Ali Mendez Diaz, tienen el placer de comunicarles que se ha ganado el segundo amparo colectivo en Baja California (amparo #7 en total), esta vez en el municipio de Ensenada BC. Los benificiados en esta occasion fueron 20 personas de esta ciudad.
    https://twitter.com/hashtag/MatrimonioIgualitario

    On 18 March 2016, COCUT AC and Comunidad LGBT Ensenada, with the unconditional help of Alex Ali Mendez Diaz, have the pleasure in communicating that we have won the second collective amparo in Baja California (amparo #7 in total), this time in the municipality of Ensenada. The beneficiaries on this occasion were 20 persons from that city.

    According to my archives, this was the first of two collective amparos, covering a total of 40 same-sex couples, which were filed in Ensenada in September 2015. The second, when granted, will be amparo #8 for Baja California. As best as I can determine, marriages between same-sex couples are now rather routinely being performed (with amparo) in both Tijuana and Ensenada. Amparo #6, the first collective amparo in BC, was granted in Tijuana on 30 November 2015, and covered 44 people (22 couples). The hold-out is Mexicali, the state capital.

  • 195. Christian0811  |  March 19, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Perhaps but the failure to directly address the matter still peeves the bejesus outta me

  • 196. VIRick  |  March 19, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Sonora Up-Date on Same-Sex Marriage

    Un total de nueve matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo se han logrado concretar en Sonora, informó la directora de Derechos Sexuales de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos (CEDH). María Alatorre Castañeda agregó que estos casos se dieron en distintos municipios, pero en su mayoría son de Hermosillo.

    “Del año pasado a la fecha, en marzo 2016, se han logrado nueve matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo, y diariamente recibimos a parejas que quieren formalizar su union," expuso. Alatorre mencionó que hasta el momento las autoridades del Registro Civil han mostrado apertura a las parejas del mismo sexo, quienes por medio de un amparo buscan casarse ante esta instancia, ya que acatan la orden del juez.

    Sin embargo, afirmó que seguirán luchando porque los diputados modifiquen en Código Civil de Sonora que declara como matrimonio únicamente la unión de un hombre y una mujer http://proyectopuente.com.mx/2016/03/16/sonora-re

    A total of nine marriages between same-sex couples have occured in Sonora, the director of Sexual Rights of the Commission on Human Rights (CEDH) reported. Maria Alatorre Castañeda added that these instances occurred in different municipalities, but most were in Hermosillo.

    "From last year (2015) until now, March 2016, we have achieved nine marriages between same-sex couples, and daily we receive (inquiries from) couples who want to formalize their union," she explained. Alatorre said that so far the Civil Registry authorities have shown openness to same-sex couples, who in this instance can obtain an amparo to marry, and thus they abide by the judge's order.

    However, she said that they will continue to fight until the legislative deputies change the Civil Code in Sonora which states that marriage is only the union of a man and a woman.

    Unfortunately, from this account, it is not possible to determine the exact number of amparos already granted in Sonora, but at minimum, the number granted so far is 4, with the maximum (one per each couple) being 9. However, my records (which mathematically can cover 9 marriages) indicate:

    Amparo #1 granted October 2014 in San Luis Rio Colorado (1 couple)
    Amparo #2 granted February 2015 in Hermosillo (1 couple)
    Amparo #3 granted late 2015 in Hermosillo (6 couples)
    Amparo #4 granted late 2015 in Nogales (4 couples)

  • 197. Christian0811  |  March 19, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    They know the amendment will piss off the like of Western Europe, but also know they won't do much….we can only hope that it gets delayed in committee.

    As for the Christians…I hope we schism again. (My username not correlating to my religious preference :P)

  • 198. allan120102  |  March 19, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    I am not sure how they can stop Georgia if they couldnt stop Armenia. I am hoping for a miracle.

  • 199. ianbirmingham  |  March 20, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Good news, but consider this from Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov:

    ——-
    http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_

    Sergey Lavrov’s article "Russia’s Foreign Policy: Historical Background"
    for "Russia in Global Affairs" magazine, March 3, 2016

    There are many examples of Eastern societies modernising without the radical breakdown of their traditions. This is all the more typical of Russia that is essentially a branch of European civilisation. …

    We believe that human solidarity must have a moral basis formed by traditional values ​​that are largely shared by the world's leading religions. In this connection, I would like to draw your attention to the joint statement by Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis, in which, among other things, they have expressed support for the family as a natural centre of life of individuals and society. …

    I repeat, we are not seeking confrontation with the United States, or the European Union, or NATO. On the contrary, Russia is open to the widest possible cooperation with its Western partners. We continue to believe that the best way to ensure the interests of the peoples living in Europe is to form a common economic and humanitarian space from the Atlantic to the Pacific, so that the newly formed Eurasian Economic Union could be an integrating link between Europe and Asia Pacific. We strive to do our best to overcome obstacles on that way, including the settlement of the Ukraine crisis caused by the coup in Kiev in February 2014, on the basis of the Minsk Agreements. …
    ——-

    As Christian0811 noted earlier: currently 'Shalk & Kopf v Austria' (ECoHR, 2010) and 'Joslin v. New Zealand' (UNHRC, 1999) have held that homosexuals have no right to marry under international human rights law.

    Moreover, DevilWearsZrada pointed out: EU can not require neighboring countries not to enforce constitutional marriage equality bans at least because this issue isn't resolved in the Union itself: 11 of 28 EU members have no marriage equality and 7 of them doesn't recognise same-sex unions at all. EU legislation doesn't require legalisation of same-sex marriage or at least partnerships, last year European Parliament passed a resolution that merely urged a further debate on the issue but did not recognised fundamental right to marry for gay couples.

    Russia sees itself as a European country, takes a religiously conservative position on LGBTQ, and does not see this as inconsistent with being European.

    Despite great progress in certain parts of Europe (Netherlands, etc.), Europe as a whole still fails to recognize LGBTQ as first-class citizens.

    We need to fix that yuuuge problem ASAP!

  • 200. DevilWearsZrada  |  March 20, 2016 at 11:35 am

    That is not a huge problem but a natural process. Europe is not a single country (neither is EU) and LGBT rights is not a binary all-or-nothing topic, it consists of many legal issues. In no country either the whole society or LGBT community discovered or implemented all the needed measures to protect LGBT rights at once, they are taken step by step during the course of history. That's why there is the same situation at international scale. In Europe EU and Council of Europe provide two major areas for building consensus on LGBT rights in the region, and it is constantly growing (of course the progress is faster in EU as it is formed by a fewer number of members). Reaching consensus and respecting the rule of law is the only way because there is no pan-European police to force every government to be gay-friendly. In regard of human rights protection and advocacy (including LGBT rights) European regional structures are the best of their kind in the world so I don't see a reason for concern. Europe is already having progress.

  • 201. DevilWearsZrada  |  March 20, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    In Armenia it was done by a referendum where the minimum required voter turnout was 25%. In Georgia it should pass with a large supermajority. So there is space for hope.

  • 202. ianbirmingham  |  March 20, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    In USA we do have a multi-state system to force every state government to be LGBT-friendly – the US Supreme Court imposes its decisions on unevolved states like Alabama and forces them to accept same-sex marriage, in accordance with the Constitution which creates a federal form of organization along with the federal enforcement of fundamental human rights. It is unfortunate that the ECoHR instead has this insane concept of a "margin of appreciation" which disrespects the truly fundamental nature of the human rights of individuals.

    Since the US Supreme Court has strictly and repeatedly enforced the Constitutional right to marry against all of the United States, while the ECoHR has instead shamefully capitulated to bigotry while wretchedly displaying all the strength and firmness of a wet noodle, I can't agree at all with your claim that "European regional structures are the best of their kind in the world". European regional structures are a pathetic, ineffectual joke, riddled with opt-outs and fragility.

    There was no "consensus" in the United States concerning same-sex marriage. If the US had to wait for "consensus" (i.e., 100% agreement of every state) then IT WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED. Europe needs to recognize that human rights are fundamental and create a NON-CONSENSUAL enforcement mechanism to ensure that human rights are fully respected.

  • 203. VIRick  |  March 20, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Business Leaders Oppose Missouri Religious Objections Bill

    St. Louis — Top executives from some of the St. Louis area’s largest companies said Friday, 18 March 2016, that Missouri‘s proposed religious freedom law could have a devastating impact on the state’s economy. Leaders from Monsanto, MasterCard, and dozens of other firms, joined Gov. Jay Nixon to express opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment, which would create legal protections for religious business owners who refuse to provide services for same-sex weddings.

    The bill survived a 37-hour filibuster by Senate Democrats, moving it to the Republican-controlled House. If approved by lawmakers, the proposal would bypass the Democratic governor and go directly to voters.

    About 100 leaders of St. Louis-area firms, from tech startups to companies that employ thousands of people, gathered at the headquarters of the St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce, which also opposes the measure, as does the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. They say the bill would allow discrimination against gay and lesbian individuals in addition to damaging the economy.

    “MasterCard condemns any legislation that has the potential to allow for discrimination in any form,” said Rob Reeg, president of MasterCard Technologies, which employs nearly 3,000 people in the St. Louis region. “We welcome, foster, and embrace diversity and believe that it’s key to MasterCard’s success.”

    The proposed ballot measure would amend the Missouri Constitution to prohibit government penalties for photographers, florists, and other professionals who cite religious beliefs while declining to provide wedding-related services of “expressional or artistic creation” to same-sex couples. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/03/business-leade

  • 204. VIRick  |  March 20, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    The USA is also a federal republic, which in terms of the governmental structure and its authority, is more easily compared with other federal republics, like Mexico (Estados Unidos Mexicanos) or Brasil (Estados Unidos do Brasil). The EU, in and of itself, is not a federal republic. In fact, of its 28 constituent elements, if I'm not mistaken, the only federal republic within the EU is the Federal Republic of Germany.

  • 205. allan120102  |  March 20, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    Even in Mexico that is a federal republic its supreme court cannot force the states to apply same sex marriage inmediately like the USA or Brasil. So I dont agree that the EcoHR forcing all member states to accept marriage equality. If that happened many countries that are making small progress in lgbt like Italy, Greece, Estonia and Cyprus are going too see their efforts halt because no one wants things being shove. They are many of those places that do not protect minorities from being fired for their sexual orientation. We should also focus on passing laws educating members , and passing more friendly laws.
    Conservatives would play the pity and outrageous card that the EU shove marriage equality to countries where it was not even think. I could see them making marches like in France and Italy. Imo we should go one by one like it was done in the USA until they were enough states to no see a big backlash. I could see countries like Ukraine, Poland Russia ignoring a plea or a ruling by the EcoHR demanding for marriage equality.

    I know the Carribean and Central America will ignore a ruling that makes marriage equality in the region. Maybe Places like Cuba, CR and Panama will abide but not the others. We should go slow but steady. There is a lot of work to be done but I know first need to be antidiscrimination laws and laws criminalizing homosexuality should be drop before looking for Marriage.

  • 206. Christian0811  |  March 20, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    You are right right, I hate to say it but until countries like Poland, Hungary, Romania, Italy, and Greece fall into line we won't likely see a mandate for marriage in Europe for some time. A positive marriage or adoption ruling now would only upset the delicate balance of power and progress. It would cause too much of a backlash in many of the more aggressive states.

    Same here in the Americas :/

    This particularly sucks because I'd like to believe that human rights shouldn't depend on the outcome of any election or the popular will, but we also know that's often the case

  • 207. DevilWearsZrada  |  March 20, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    What's your point? The USA is a federal republic and there is no federal republic for all of Europe and no plans to create such a one. Of all the international organisations dealing with human rights European ones are one of the most effective if one doesn't cherry-pick the issues they resolves. Actually there is a way to force European states to comply with the Court's ruling as it was done in 1998 when the CoE's Council of Ministers set deadline for Cyprus to repeal it's sodomy law or be expelled from the organisation. At that time it was earlier established consensus (what I didn't define as a complete unanimity in opinion) in CoE that sodomy laws wrong while they were perfectly OK according to SCOTUS. And the doctrine of a margin of appreciation was never meant that any state can choose to ignore any Court's ruling. It seems that you are just trying to present the US as the best country in the world and Europe as a bunch of losers and retrogrades (because marriage equality wasn't legalised in every part of the continent?). That is not wise especially when the former country after its civil war had for the sake of unity to preserve and enforce many kinds of bigotry that, for a long time, were supported by courts which at that time could as well be called a pathetic and ineffectual joke, and there are people who can state the same at this time. So far the US doesn't participate in any human rights treaty that allows citizens to seek remedy for wrongdoings of their governments (is the US government a Pope and can't do wrong?).
    This world is a complex thing and there can be several solutions to the same problems. Just, please, don't sermon in the spirit of 'civilizing the savages' and embrace the diversity (pun not intended) of different part of the world in its ways of reaching the same standards of human rights protection.

  • 208. theperched  |  March 20, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    Armenia tricked the Venice Commission with the marriage language and it was voted on as constitutional package rather than just that one article.

    The fact that most Parliaments require a 2/3 majority for a constitutional amendment while Georgia requires 3/4(!) gives me some hope.

  • 209. DevilWearsZrada  |  March 20, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    Armenian referendum was designated as a one on amendments to the existing constitution, though after amending there are almost twice more articles and the order of the previously existed ones was changed. So it seems that the government did one more trick and adopted a new constitution. Though it wasn't solely about marriage (the actual wording is still ambiguous) but about shifting powers from president to parliament.

  • 210. theperched  |  March 21, 2016 at 12:15 am

    Yup. The whole referendum process was just shady from start to finish, even if we take out the marriage bit…

    The marriage ban I'm afraid of right now is Romania. That one looks like it might have enough support. It's already gathered millions of signatures.

  • 211. Fortguy  |  March 21, 2016 at 1:35 am

    Also, remember that the notion of federalism differs from one country to another.

    The Russian Federation is nominally a federal republic, but the powers of local governments have been drastically taken over by Putin's national authority.

    Australia's Capital Territory (ACT) tried to legalize SSM, but the national government ruled that marriage laws were a national matter not to be considered by the various federal entities.

    Similarly in Germany, if their respective states had the authority, don't you think that gay couples would have legally married in Berlin or Hamburg by now?

    I'm actually surprised that Mexico is taking so long. In most other matters, Mexican states are much more subservient to the federal government than their U.S. counterparts.

    Similarly, in the U.K., Northern Ireland, despite being a constituent country of the realm, still does not have SSM. Furthermore, it is more likely that the crown dependencies will extend marriage equality before they do despite the crown colonies having rural, insular, and isolated populations. Among the overseas dependencies, even Pitcairn, and soon Bermuda, have or will beat Northern Ireland.

  • 212. ianbirmingham  |  March 21, 2016 at 5:51 am

    Here is my point exactly, in the words of the US Supreme Court:

    The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Virginia_State

    Now DWZ, you know that I have consistently praised your comments in the past. And I will grant you now that certain parts of Europe (Amsterdam, Berlin, etc.) are truly awesome places and quite possibly the very best places in the world as of today. From Dublin to Vladivostok, European science and culture is certainly world-class. Losers and retrogrades would be places like Uganda under Idi Amin, Cambodia under Pol Pot, North Korea under Kim Jong-Un, etc. and Europe is nowhere near being in that category.

    This is constructive criticism of Europe. What I am arguing here is that the way the US is structured generally leads to faster progress where human rights are concerned. 323 million people are governed by a Constitution which contains a list of fundamental human rights that the Government may not interfere with. At the same time, the federalism enables human rights to be recognized, respected and enforced locally as well. Thus the right to marry was being enforced in several states before the federal Supreme Court imposed this enforcement upon all states (whether they agreed with it or not). We get beneficial results both ways (bottom up AND top down).

    Yes, there are criticisms to be made of the US system as well. The courts can be slow to recognize and deal with important problems, or can issue wrongheaded decisions. And the Constitutional list of fundamental human rights is less than complete as well. We know that.

    So here is what should happen: Europe should take the American model, add well-conceived improvements to it, make it work better than the American version, and then criticize the US for having a creaky, outdated system for enforcing fundamental rights which works nowhere near as well as the newly redesigned European system.

    There should be a friendly rivalry between the US and Europe as to who can create the very best system for enforcing fundamental human rights. The 739 million people of Europe deserve no less, and the entire world will benefit from the instructive examples created as these two regions compete to create the very best systems of human rights enforcement.

    http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/eur

    http://www.worldometers.info/population/countries

  • 213. DevilWearsZrada  |  March 21, 2016 at 10:35 am

    I mostly agree with you here. Though I think that during the recent decades Europe made a lot of smaller and bigger positive steps towards progress and it was enough in order to contribute to even more progress in the future. One important detail that is important not just for Europe but for every part of the world is respect for rule of law and the courts that should uphold it. As for taking the American model, I think the major useful borrowing would be the courts powerful enough to always be able to undo state's wrongs. I really wish there could be ones in every country of Europe.

  • 214. JayJonson  |  March 21, 2016 at 10:58 am

    I think you paint too rosy a picture of the U.S. At one point, the U.S. constitution was imitated all over the world by emerging nations. Now, it is not. Justice Ginsburg shocked some people when she said that when asked by citizens of other nations whether the U.S. Constitution should be emulated, she now tells them it should not. The problem is that our system of checks and balances is premised on the assumption that all actors have the good of the country, as opposed to their partisan good, at heart and will act constructively to make a cumbersome system work. The gridlock we see in Congress right now makes the point that the system no longer works. When a party refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the President and refuses to confirm (or even act) on his appointees and nominees, and when a filibustering Senator can shut down the government, it is clear that our system is not as effective as it should be.

  • 215. VIRick  |  March 21, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Petition for Writ of Mandamus Filed in Puerto Rico Marriage Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 21 March 2016, in "Conde-Vidal v. Rius-Armendariz," the Puerto Rico Marriage case, Lambda Legal has filed a petition for a writ of mandamus with the First Circuit Court of Appeals. The petition asks the appeals court to make it clear that the Supreme Court's "Obergefell" decision applies to Puerto Rico and to order the district court to enter judgment in favor of the plaintiffs. The petition also asks the Court to reassign the case to a different district court judge within the Puerto Rico federal District Court.

    The full mandamus petition, "In Re Ada Mercedes Conde-Vidal," is linked here: http://files.eqcf.org/cases/in-re-ada-mercedes-co

    Lambda Legal's press release is here: http://www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20160321_puerto-r

  • 216. theperched  |  March 21, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Another Austrian marriage equality case was heard in Linz today. This judge seemed sympathetic and may not toss the case like last time, but still had questions about how to go about it. They said the written opinion will be released soon.

    It's probably going to go all the way up to the Constitutional Court again. Let's hope it's a repeat of joint adoption: a Yes verdict with a deadline for the Government.

    The main argument is that Austrians enjoy every right granted to married couples except marriage itself (the only nation to do this):

    Judge's response: This time the judge was for the arguments Graupner [lesbian couples attorney] more receptive: "I share their view yes, but how do you think that you could interpret the law unconstitutional? Since you will need an application to the Constitutional Court, right? " He said to the lawyer of the Rainbow Family.

    Possible outcomes: The Regional Administrative Court may now ask the Constitutional Court the application to set aside the "prohibition of marriage", or it may confirm the decision of the registry office, that the applicants may not marry. A third is that while it considers the current regime as constitutional and consistent with fundamental rights, but the registry office instructs to trust the women – about reasons of child welfare. The decision shall be in writing in a few weeks.
    http://www.ggg.at/index.php?id=62&tx_ttnews%5

  • 217. guitaristbl  |  March 21, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    What exactly is a writ of mandamus ?

  • 218. VIRick  |  March 21, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    In the simplest of legal language, it is a formal request to the court for a specific clarification/correction of orders, as outlined in sentences 2 and 3 in the original post.

    According to the petition itself, on page 1, it states:

    "A writ of mandamus is necessary to correct the district court's departure from both this Court's mandate (that is, from the mandate of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals) and from settled constitutional law."

    If one looks down the list of cases cited as precedent, one will encounter everything from "Aguero v. Calvo," the Guam marriage case in federal court (8 June 2015), to "Charbonier Laureano v. Garcia Padilla," the Puerto Rico marriage case in the Puerto Rico Supreme Court (16 July 2015). They also cite the Guam Marriage Equality Act of 2015, the Puerto Rico Executive Order of 26 June 2015, and the Virgin Islands Executive Order of 28 July 2015.

    In Puerto Rican street language, a "writ of mandamus" means "Don't fuck with Ada." She's not only the lead plaintiff in this case, but she's also an attorney in her own right, having originally filed this suit as a "pro se" case (meaning for/by herself), and continues to remain the attorney-of-record in this matter for her own wife.

  • 219. theperched  |  March 21, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Blank calendar week for Faroes, the 29th is when the real action will come in the committee (hopefully).

    Tomorrow the Isle Of Man's bill gets its first reading in chamber 2 of 2.

    Can we just skip over this week to get to Faroes/Colombia :)

  • 220. ianbirmingham  |  March 21, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    A (writ of) mandamus is an order from a court to an inferior government official ordering the government official to properly fulfill their official duties or correct an abuse of discretion.

  • 221. allan120102  |  March 21, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Yes no action is expected this Thursday in Colombia all the region are celebrating holly week. Next week the supreme court justice Alberto in Colombia might finally give its opinion in striking down Colombia´s ban.

  • 222. ianbirmingham  |  March 21, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    My argument relates only to the concept of enforceable Constitutional rights. This concept is highly portable and can easily be applied to parliamentary systems and to many other types of systems.

    As for the new (unrelated) subject you now raise, dysfunctional politicians are a major problem worldwide. Thailand is experimenting with a possible solution to this problem in the form of a National Anti-Corruption Commission which has the power to sanction wayward politicians with substantial penalties, and other Southeast Asian countries are using this method as well. In fact, the former Prime Minister of Thailand is now on trial, facing charges of corruption.

    http://www.transparency.org/news/feature/fighting

    https://www.nacc.go.th/main.php?filename=index_en

    http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Yingluck

  • 223. theperched  |  March 21, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Hasta que por fin :)

    Is it me or has Mexico been a bit quiet the last two or three days?

  • 224. VIRick  |  March 21, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    What can one say? It's Holy Week, and in ALL Hispanic countries, including Mexico, that means nothing else gets done. Personally, I've just flown up to the States (to DC) to escape the dreadfulness of it all, given that I'm quite certain that it's inevitably "the same shit, different year." That ritual never changes.

  • 225. theperched  |  March 21, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    US must be one of the few places where it's just one Sunday to get eggs and chocolates. Most of the world grinds to a halt.

    Typical us being different from the pack haha

  • 226. allan120102  |  March 21, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    Hahaah here in Honduras we go to the beach all week and Friday to Sunday most go to church. I believe its the same in all hispanic countries. Most people are in vacations even members of Congress , supreme court justices etc.

  • 227. VIRick  |  March 21, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    I can remember, as a child, rooting for Jesus, hoping that this time around, like some mythical super-hero, he would finally escape to some undisclosed locale and not be found, and the cross would remain empty. But it never happened. Eventually, I gave up rooting for Jesus, as I found the whole literal pageantry spectacle of it far too graphic and quite disturbingly gory.

    Of course, we also used to watch old US-made "cowboy and Indians" movies, and would always root for the Indians (or the Mexicans, whichever). My favorite character was Tonto, but needless to say, we also knew what that word meant, as well as his usual reply, "Que no sabe."

  • 228. theperched  |  March 22, 2016 at 1:01 am

    Made an article for yesterday's Austrian case. Sometimes it's hard to find English links, at least for the first few days. A lot of points made in court, they're trying to go at this from every angle:

    In December of last year, a case against the current same-sex marriage ban in Austria was dismissed by a Viennese Administrative Court. The same legal team took another case to the Regional Administrative Court of Upper Austria in Linz today.

    Using the argument that Austria is the only nation in the world that affords same-sex couples all the adoption and IVF rights of marriage, but not marriage itself, the attorney made his case.

    He stressed that the children of the couples suffer most because not all countries recognize non-marital partnerships, such as Austria’s, or at least do not give unmarried couples from abroad the same rights as those who already married.

    The attorney expressed concern that the parental rights of both parents over children in same-sex households may not always be properly recognized inside and outside of Austria and cause problems for the families.

    In Austria, only couples in civil partnerships can be automatically registered as co-parents. The couple mentioned in the lawsuit is neither married nor in a partnership and fears for the recognition of their child if they are not allowed to wed in the future.

    The suit also highlights the 32 differences between the country’s civil partnership law and marriage with one of the most prominent being the fact that couples in partnerships are not allowed to choose their own surname. This restriction can discourage several couples from applying for a civil partnership as it may come at the expense of their privacy.

    The surname clause in the country’s civil partnership legislation is sometimes nicknamed the “Pink Triangle”, an allusion to WWII, since many claim that having to register with a specific legal name essentially outs them to others when they file any paperwork.

    The Legislature had been asked some time ago by the Constitutional Court to fix all the deficiencies in the existing civil partnership law, but a bill in the conservative-leaning Parliament has stalled.

    According to reports, the Linz judge seemed very empathetic to the plaintiffs’ plight, but still had some questions for the legal team:

    "I share their view yes, but how do you think that you could interpret the law unconstitutional? Since you will need an application to the Constitutional Court, right?"

    Diepresse states that three possible outcomes may occur: the lower court could ask the Constitutional Court to review the case and settle the marriage issue, it could side with the Civil Registry’s argument that the couple may not marry, or it could back the current matrimonial laws that are in place but instruct the Registry to help the couple with regards to child welfare.

    The written verdict is expected to be released in a few weeks.

    https://theperchybird.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/se

    Liechtenstein also has that ridiculous family name clause and there's a bill to repeal it there as well.

  • 229. DevilWearsZrada  |  March 22, 2016 at 1:27 am

    Please explain the surname clause. Does it mean that two persons who are going to enter into partnership should NOT use their real, officially recorded surname but some kind of a pseudonym? Or they have no right to change their real surnames after being partnered?

  • 230. theperched  |  March 22, 2016 at 1:48 am

    It was very confusing in German, I asked someone to clarify. Basically, I think it's a sort of combination of different surnames that makes it obvious you are in a partnership. You go from your own last name to what the government greenlights.

    Other legal deficiencies, they're not allowed the same kind of ceremony as married couples. Adoption rights are all this has going for it because the law is in massive need of a reboot if it's supposed to be a placeholder.

  • 231. VIRick  |  March 22, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Traditionally, in almost all Germanic countries, one was required to select a surname from an officially-approved list. In many instances (not necessarily having anything to do with same-sex couples), these restrictions ended up self-identifing individuals. For example, in Denmark, the approved list was so restrictive that almost everyone ended up with a surname incorporating their father's name followed by "sen." Even now, the add-on "sen" is still a symbol in Denmark of one's "Danishness." Likewise, one's "Swedishness" is asserted by an equal number of similar surnames ending in "sson." Negatively, German Jews were required to select multi-syllabic compound nouns for a surname, so that to this day, there are still many so-called "Jewish-sounding" surnames in existence. In addition, "foreign-sounding" surnames were required to be Germanicized. In Finland, for example, it has now become a "thing" to dump a difficult-to-pronounce "foreign" Finnish name (first and last) and replace it with its Swedish counterpart,– as long as the names that are selected come from the approved list, backed up by a court order.

    So, following along in this same restrictive, self-identifying naming tradition, Austria has an officially-approved list of "Pink triangle" surnames for same-sex couples in civil partnerships?

  • 232. DevilWearsZrada  |  March 22, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    But before applying for partnership both persons already have names (first and last). Do Austrian laws force people not to keep their current names in order to enter into marriage/partnership?

  • 233. theperched  |  March 22, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Isle of Man's marriage bill had it first reading in the second of two chambers. I expect the second one to be next Tuesday then the amendments round and finally the last reading in April/early May before it's sent for Royal Assent.

    Their anti-discrimination bill in goods and services also received received a second reading in that chamber. Since that one's in the beginning stages, it should be over with by maybe autumn.

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