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Georgia’s governor to veto anti-LGBT “religious freedom” bill

Discrimination

gaseal
BREAKING
:

Gov. Nathan Deal said he will veto the “religious liberty” bill that triggered a wave of criticism from gay rights groups and business leaders and presented him with one of the most consequential challenges he’s faced since his election to Georgia’s top office.

The measure “doesn’t reflect the character of our state or the character of its people,” the governor said Monday in prepared remarks. He said state legislators should leave freedom of religion and freedom of speech to the U.S. Constitution.

“Their efforts to purge this bill of any possibility that it would allow or encourage discrimination illustrates how difficult it is to legislate something that is best left to the broad protections of the First Amendment,” he said.

These bills, along with others targeting bathroom use, are being filed across the country.

110 Comments

  • 1. guitaristbl  |  March 28, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Money is the only language Republicans speak so hitting them there is bound to make them reconsider. Deal could not care less about discrimination against LGBT people but he does care about the precious cash from the movie industry. Great job in Georgia, well co ordinated and effective from LGBT rights groups and allies.
    Unlike NC, there was the proper time to build a coalition opposed to the bill that was effective enough to cause an impact. Unfortunately the NC cowards speedrun the whole thing in a day leaving little to no room for action. Such "back door legislation" seems to be the last resort for the GOP – any time between approval from the legislature and signing from the governor works in our favour to cast corporate pressure and hit them where it hurts. I hope McCrory gets the message and gets to fix the mess he created before the courts fix it for him. Any positive judicial development in the NC will have immediate impact on similar laws in Arkansas and Tennessee as well most probably so all eyes on there now. There is a looming heinous bill in Mississippi as well but there is time to hit that. And I am sure Texas wont go down without at least a 100 anti-LGBT bills submitted either.

  • 2. montezuma58  |  March 28, 2016 at 9:46 am

    What is the possibility of the legislature overriding the veto?

  • 3. montezuma58  |  March 28, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Found it.

    "Already, several conservative lawmakers have owed to call for a “veto session” to rebuke the governor if he rejects the measure. It takes a three-fifth majority in both chambers to call a special session, and a two-thirds majority in both chambers to override a veto — a threshold the bill failed to reach by one vote in the Senate and 16 in the House." http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2016/03/28/breaking-

  • 4. VIRick  |  March 28, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Guitar, and the problem with Mississippi has always been that there's nothing there.

    Whenever Georgia becomes stupid, I can always boycott Delta Airlines and its Atlanta hub, and whenever North Carolina tries to out-do Georgia in stupidity, I can always boycott American Airlines and its Charlotte hub,– and be serious and quite vocal about doing so.

    Plus, Atlanta and its spill-over influence into all the adjacent counties in every direction is a seriously important big-deal, unlike much of the rest of the state. And in North Carolina, there's Charlotte, Asheville, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, all of which are quite a bit more progressive than the rest of the state.

    But in comparison, Mississippi doesn't have any of that. There are no major metro cities in that state, nor are there any major corporations headquartered there worth talking about. They don't even have a major sports team of any sort. And certainly Mississippi is not presently known for hosting major conventions. They just do not have any of that infrastructure. So, how does one put pressure on a state that is missing all the key ingredients,– no corporations, no sports teams, no conventions, no serious tourism? The best that I can conjure is that the brand of eggs that I buy in the Virgin Islands come from a company that states it is located in Jackson MS.

    But, who even wants to go to Mississippi? Personally, I've never ever ventured into that state, and have no interest or desire to ever set foot there. And that's BEFORE they pass some heinously restricting and unwelcoming new law. The only other tactic I can think of is to blast Nina Simone's singular Civil Rights-era hit back at them: "Mississippi,– God-Damn!"

    And a note on Texas: Their part-time legislature will not be re-convening in regular session until sometime in the year 2017. That's why Texas is so quiet right now.

  • 5. Zack12  |  March 28, 2016 at 11:32 am

    The North Carolina lawsuit will be heard by a George W judge.
    Good think Obama was able to remake the 4th circuit, I have a feeling we'll be going there with a loss.

  • 6. scream4ever  |  March 28, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    I wouldn't say that yet. There were several George W appointees who ruled in favor of marriage equality.

  • 7. guitaristbl  |  March 28, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Which one ? If it is Osteen given his obstructionism and delays in the marriage cases I would not expect much indeed.
    I dont know anything yet about the other George W appointee.
    Update : Kansas uni and Notre Dame law school for Schroeder the other G W appointee…I would not expect much there either…

  • 8. VIRick  |  March 28, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    The case, "Carcaño v. McCrory," has been assigned to Judge Thomas D. Schroeder, a George W. Bush appointee, and a District Court Judge for the Middle District of North Carolina.

    By the time this North Carolina case, just filed on 28 March 2016, is ready for a ruling, it is very likely that the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals will have already issued its ruling in "G.G. v. Gloucester County Public School Board," a ruling in a Virginia trans-gender case that will have direct bearing on this new North Carolina case (given that both states are in the 4th Circuit), even before there's any thought of its having to be appealed. Judge Schroeder will have to take into account the pending ruling forthcoming in "G.G." and follow that precedent, particularly on the whole trans-gender bathroom issue in governmental facilities.

    It's for that reason that several of the individual plaintiffs associated with this lawsuit (in addition to the Rights Groups) are trans-gender employees/students/faculty at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and North Carolina Central University (Durham), respectively.

    The injunction sought will bar the enforcement of the entire law, HB2.

  • 9. weaverbear  |  March 28, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Hey folks,

    Sorry to be pushy, but fundraising on the YouCaring site for helping Scottie Thomaston with medical expenses, such as a new wheel chair and a hospital type bed for home, has stalled out at $3645. There's only been one donation in the past two weeks, towards a goal of $10k.

    I'm making another donation today towards his goal, and I'm asking any of you out there who can, to please do so as well. As I said when I posted about this a couple of weeks back, Scottie has done so much to further our rights as a community; it's time for us to help take care of one of our own.
    https://www.youcaring.com/scottie-thomaston-53820

  • 10. VIRick  |  March 28, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    New York State Bans Government Travel to North Carolina

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced his state will join at least three major cities (San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City) to ban government-sponsored travel to North Carolina over its recently-enacted anti-LGBT law. On Monday, 28 March 2016, Cuomo said in a statement that he has signed an executive order instituting the new policy, which requires New York state agencies to review all requests for state-funded travel to North Carolina, and bar any such travel not essential to the enforcement of state law or public health and safety.

    “In New York, we believe that all people, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, deserve the same rights and protections under the law,” Cuomo said. “From Stonewall to marriage equality, our state has been a beacon of hope and equality for the LGBT community, and we will not stand idly by as misguided legislation replicates the discrimination of the past. As long as there is a law in North Carolina that creates the grounds for discrimination against LGBT people, I am barring non-essential state travel to that state.” http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/03/28/n-y-joi

  • 11. VIRick  |  March 28, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Taiwan: Marriage Equality Up-Date (in Spanish)

    The following is a very extended and detailed article, dated 28 March 2016, which appears to have originally been written in English. However, I am unable to find the original. Can anyone help? In the briefest of summaries, as of this week (28 March 2016), all 6 of Taiwan's autonomous cities now permit same-sex couples to register their unions. The newly-elected president, Tsai Ing-wen, who is pro-LGBT and pro same-sex marriage, takes office on 20 May 2016. And according to the Ministry of Justice, 71% of the population are presently in favor of the immediate legalization of same-sex marriage.

    Taiwán ha dado un paso fundamental hacia el matrimonio igualitario. Desde esta semana, Kaohsiung, Nuevo Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, Taipei, y Taoyuan, las seis municipalidades especiales de Taiwán (ciudades con gran autonomía y un Parlamento propio) permiten registrar la unión entre personas del mismo sexo. Taoyuan ha sido la última en unirse al grupo. El pasado lunes el alcalde de esta ciudad, Cheng Wen-tsang, expresaba en su página de Facebook que “por respeto y entendimiento cualquier amor verdadero debe ser bendecido”. De esta manera, Cheng daba su visto bueno a la nueva normativa.

    A pesar del permiso en el registro, el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo en Taiwán sigue siendo ilegal. Pero los avances en esta materia durante los últimos años apuntan hacia un posible cambio de la ley tras el traspaso de poder entre el Kuomintang (Partido Nacionalista Chino, opuesto a la independencia) y el Partido Democrático Progresista (PDP), los dos partidos principales en la isla. La presidenta electa Tsai Ing-wen (PDP), que tomará posesión del cargo el próximo 20 de mayo, ha reiterado en numerosas ocasiones que “apoya el matrimonio igualitario”.

    Taipei y Kaohsiung fueron las primeras ciudades en Taiwán que permitieron el registro de parejas homosexuales. Con la adopción de la nueva normativa por parte de Taoyuan, las grandes urbes de la isla se unen en lo que parece ser un clamor entre su población, la legalización del matrimonio gay. Un 71% de los taiwaneses aprueba la legalización inmediata de la unión civil entre parejas del mismo sexo, según una encuesta del año pasado llevada a cabo por el Ministerio de Justicia taiwanés. http://www.boy4me.net/taiwan-sigue-avanzando-en-e

  • 12. allan120102  |  March 29, 2016 at 12:16 am

    Marriage equality is going to become a reality in Venezuela promise Deputy Tamara Adrian first trangendered chosen in the legislative body of that country. The problem she says is that the supreme court of Venezuela have said that marriage is only permit in that country if its between a man and a women so that ruling should be overturn so they can act and vote on a propose that have been pending since 2013 or 2014. http://www.talcualdigital.com/Nota/124593/tamara-

  • 13. Fortguy  |  March 29, 2016 at 1:36 am

    From guitarisbl:

    I am sure Texas wont go down without at least a 100 anti-LGBT bills submitted either.

    And from VIRick:

    And a note on Texas: Their part-time legislature will not be re-convening in regular session until sometime in the year 2017. That's why Texas is so quiet right now.

    All I have to say about this is:

    Bring. It. On.

    Here's why. Last year, more than 20 anti-LGBT bills were submitted and not a single one passed. The only thing the haters could take credit for was a "Pastor Protection Act" that was so benign that it only affirmed everything everyone believes about the First Amendment and was supported by both of the Lege's two openly LGBT members (Rep. Mary Gonzales (D-El Paso), Rep. Celia Israel (D-Austin)). The business lobby is the bread and butter of GOP campaign contributions, and the lobby does not want this black eye happening to the state as it has elsewhere.

    The Lege has never been a two-party confrontational body, because for most of the state's history it has been dominated by a single party. Instead, it has always functioned as a tripartite body with the majority being so factionalized that the minority has been able to take advantage of that. In the pre-civil rights bad old days, the GOP used to side with Lib Dems, usually unsuccessfully, to try to counterbalance the Con Dems that used to run the state. They may have not agreed on the size and role of government, but they did agree on civil rights, election reform, and scandal investigations that would pose challenges to the Con Dems.

    During the 80's and 90's, all the white Con Dems have switched parties, and the former Lib Dems, now just the Dems, actually have more power than they ever did under the Dem majorities of the past. The Lege is now roughly one-third Dem, one-third Tea Party flame throwers, and one-third GOP adults who, despite their conservatism, recognize that schools, transportation, and health are not just expenditures that you can just wish would go away in such a rapidly growing state. As a result, GOP House Speaker Joe Straus has once again easily defeated the Tea Partiers' latest attempt to primary him, and the House will again re-elect him in January with 100% Dem support. The Tea Party will once again scream bloody murder because Straus, as a Jew, doesn't adequately reflect their "Judeo-Christian Values" such as denying people healthcare, while instead giving culture war issues such as LGBT discrimination a low priority. He was elected with heavy Dem and adult GOP support. He knows what side his bread is buttered on.

    Also, there are structural issues in state law and Lege rules to our benefit. After the November election and any recounts/challenges that may occur, our new Lege will convene and be sworn in January. The Texas system discourage b.s. bills from being considered. The Lege will be in session for only 140 days meaning they will adjourn in May and will not meet in regular session again until 2019. Furthermore, no bill will come to the floor of either house during the first 60 days unless the governor declares the matter an emergency item. Filing 100+ anti-LGBT bills is all the more reason for Gov. Abbott to not declare hate as an emergency with the national media ready to pounce is to our favor. If the oil economy continues in its current bust cycle, the GOP grownups won't appreciate that headache.

    We've got several potential issues in state and federal courts that could potentially cause a special session between now and then including redistricting, voter ID, and school finance. The school issue is the true sword of Damocles as we are waiting on a SCOTX ruling any day now. The governor must call the Lege into a special session, and such a session can only last no more than 30 days and only consider matters the governor places on the agenda. If the governor wants to deal with culture war issues that may force a second or third special because they're distracted from the true emergency in an election year, well good luck with that.

  • 14. F_Young  |  March 29, 2016 at 3:42 am

    Wow, Texas is really different, in unexpected ways. Thanks for that analysis, Fortguy.

  • 15. gay_avenger  |  March 29, 2016 at 4:37 am

    I have donated but looking at the donor list I do not see any donations from the Courage Campaign which is the parent of this website and similar websites. These type of orgs are highly profitable for their operators. And considering all the money they've raised I can't help but wonder why that organization hasn't stepped in for Scottie.

  • 16. JayJonson  |  March 29, 2016 at 6:39 am

    Ari Ezra Waldman analyzes the North Carolina law at Joe.My.God. He is confident that it will be struck down as unconstitutional, and explains its absurdity: http://www.towleroad.com/2016/03/north-carolina-l

  • 17. JayJonson  |  March 29, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Breaking news: Attorney General Cooper announced that he will not defend the North Carolina law.

    Minutes ago Buzzfeed News reported that Democratic North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper will not defend the constitutionality of his state’s newly-enacted anti-LGBT law. Cooper is running for governor against incumbent Pat McCrory, who has issued lie-filled statements in support of the law, which excludes LGBT citizens from all discrimination protections. Story developing.

    See also: http://www.twcnews.com/nc/triangle-sandhills/news

  • 18. montezuma58  |  March 29, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Senate Leader Phil Berger responded to Cooper’s announcement, calling for him to resign immediately:

    “Roy Cooper’s refusal to defend the law makes clear he wants the ACLU to win by default in federal court what they can’t win at the ballot box and allow men to walk into locker rooms at YMCAs across our country and undress in front of young girls,” said Berger. “His zeal for pandering for the extreme left’s money and agenda in his race for governor is making it impossible for him to fulfill his duties as attorney general – and he should resign immediately."

    Ironic considering this bill was passed as a reaction to a legitimately passed local ordinance. I thought the mantra of the "states' rights" crowd was that the government closest to the people should be making such decisions. This is just proof it's about power and control not about who best represents the people.

    As far as the rest of the legislators, they must have trouble keeping their eyes forward at the urinal. I've never seen another person's junk in a public restroom.

  • 19. VIRick  |  March 29, 2016 at 11:40 am

    North Carolina: Attorney-General Refuses to Defend Anti-LGBT Law

    North Carolina Attorney-General Roy Cooper announced Tuesday, 29 March 2016, that he would not defend a recently-passed state law that nullified local LGBT rights ordinances, HB2, saying it was unconstitutional. On Monday, 28 March 2016, a collection of state and national LGBT and anti-discrimination groups filed the lawsuit against the state, arguing that the recently-passed law, part of which restricts transgender people’s access to public restrooms that correspond with their gender identity, singled out LGBT people for “disfavored treatment” and “explicitly writes discrimination against transgender people into state law.”

    Speaking at a press conference in Raleigh, Cooper called the law a “national embarrassment,” and argued that it was not only “unconstitutional” but a drain on North Carolina’s economy, due to the increased litigation that will be waged against the state, as well as to the negative effects on businesses. “Over the last 15 years our office has defended state officials and agencies when they have been sued,” the Democratic attorney-general said. “We will continue to do this, but we will not defend the constitutionality of this bill.”

    Cooper explained that on top of the prior reasons listed for not supporting the bill, it also went directly against a non-discrimination policy that was instated in his office in 2001. “I made a promise,” Cooper said about the policy, “that any employee who gets the job done here should be welcome without fear of discrimination. HB2 is in direct conflict with our own policy.” http://www.buzzfeed.com/emaoconnor/north-carolina

    Previously, Attorney-General Cooper had also stopped defending North Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage, long before it was struck down in federal court, and furthermore, once it was finally struck down, then refused to appeal that decision.

  • 20. klubkar  |  March 29, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Larry Craig saw lots of 'em. tap tap tap
    ha ha ha

  • 21. DACiowan  |  March 29, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Glad to hear we might not have to wait on a full district court hearing/ruling/appeal cycle to get this law tossed.

  • 22. VIRick  |  March 29, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Dominicans See LGBT Rights Advancing Thanks to Gay US Diplomat

    Santo Domingo DR — Deivis Ventura is still just a candidate for the Dominican Republic’s Chamber of Deputies, but he feels like he’s already scored a victory. The 42-year-old former private school teacher, the first openly gay person to run for his country’s Congress, is delighted his campaign has not encountered overt hostility as it likely would have in the past. “It’s an important moment for our country,” Ventura said one recent afternoon during a break from campaigning with a transgender friend. “The fact that we have openly LGBT candidates in an important political party speaks of change.”

    Another openly gay man, Yimbert Telemin, is running in the May election for city council in La Romana, an area of famed beach resorts on the southeastern coast.

    That they can run openly as homosexuals is the sign of a cultural shift that activists say has been helped by the presence of US Ambassador James “Wally” Brewster, the first openly gay top diplomat the United States has posted to a Latin American country. Brewster’s appointment angered some religious leaders and their followers in the Dominican Republic, but it was an important move for people who’ve long felt marginalized in the conservative Caribbean country. “Wally has become an iconic figure in the LGBT movement because the movement does have strong local figures,” said prominent activist Alexander Mundary.

    Dr. Victor Terrero, director of the National Council on HIV and AIDS, noted that Brewster and his husband have been guests of President Danilo Medina and the ambassador has hosted many of the country’s notable figures. “The presence of the ambassador has contributed to the breaking of much of the stigma,” Terrero said. “It has shown in a way that (homosexuality) is not a sin, nor is it something to get crazy about.” http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/03/dominicans-see

    From my own personal experience and encounters, it should be noted that there is a pocket of population in the eastern part of the Dominican Republic with the world's highest-known concentration of an inherited chromosomal abnormality (XXY). Those born with this condition are technically inter-sex (and sterile); without hormonal intervention, they never quite complete puberty. However, they most often exhibit male genitalia, yet otherwise have feminine attitudinal/female physical characteristics. For anyone drawn to such tendencies and proclivities, they give new meaning to the term, "hot twinks." One such friend of mine in the VI (originally from the DR) goes by the Spanglish pseudonym, "Twinquito."

    Furthermore, the general population of the Dominican Republic is very well-aware of the presence of the "hot twinks," and for that society to pretend otherwise is a personal affront which I find totally disgusting.

  • 23. F_Young  |  March 29, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Over 80 tech executives oppose North Carolina's anti-LGBT law in open letter

    The CEOs of Facebook, Apple, Lyft, Google, Dropbox, and Tumblr joined more than 80 other company executives in urging Pat McCrory, the governor of North Carolina, to repeal a law that allows for discrimination against LGBT people. In the letter sent today, the CEOs write that they are "disappointed" in the state’s decision to enact the law, which they believe will cause North Carolina to face a brain drain, as its best professional talent moves to other states because of the legislation. "Discrimination is wrong, and we believe it has no place in North Carolina or anywhere in our country," the letter says.

    The law, which is known as HB 2 and was passed last week, bars transgender people from bathrooms and locker rooms that do not match the gender on their birth certificates. It also supersedes ordinances protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination, The New York Times reports. Gay rights advocates challenged the law's legality in a federal lawsuit filed yesterday.

    Today's letter follows a similar situation in Georgia. A controversial bill in that state would have allowed businesses to deny services to LGBT people as a means of preserving religious freedom. A group of tech and entertainment companies, including Netflix and Time Warner, spoke out against the bill following its introduction. The dissenting voices ultimately led Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to veto the bill yesterday.

    http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/29/11327036/north-

  • 24. VIRick  |  March 29, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Louisiana Governor to Rescind Jindal’s ‘Religious Freedom’ Order

    In the aftermath of the Georgia governor vetoing a “religious freedom” bill seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has announced today, 29 March 2016, that he’ll rescind an executive order in his state intended to allow anti-LGBT bias in the name of “religious liberty.” Edwards, a Democrat, intends to undo the executive order signed by former Republican presidential candidate and former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, in addition to issuing a new executive order barring anti-LGBT discrimination in state employment.

    “Gov. Edwards will issue the executive order, but it is in the drafting stage,” Edwards spokesperson Shauna Sanford is quoted as saying. “As far as Jindal’s religious liberty order, the governor intends to rescind it in the near future.” The governor had already announced he intends to sign an LGBT non-discrimination order after his upset win in the November election. Sanford said she doesn’t have an exact time for when the changes would be handed down.

    Jindal signed the order after legislation that would have allowed anti-LGBT discrimination in Louisiana in the name of “religious freedom” failed in legislative committee. Amid consternation among LGBT advocates and businesses, the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the order, which remains pending in court.

    Matthew Patterson, managing director for Equality Louisiana, said Edwards’ decision to undo Jindal’s executive order isn’t a surprise given that Edwards, in May 2015, spoke out against the rejected “religious freedom” legislation in committee. “Rescinding the order is the right choice,” Patterson said. “To the extent that it did anything (and it’s not clear whether it actually had any actual force), it was discriminatory and bad policy. The ACLU filed a lawsuit shortly after the order was issued, which is actually still pending in court; by far the best (and cheapest) way to resolve that is to rescind the order and render it moot.”

    – See more at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/03/29/louisia

  • 25. allan120102  |  March 29, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Colombia bigots gather 2 million signatures to overturn a decision of the supreme court to legalize same sex adoptions it need to be approve by two/thirds of the senate and then approve by the supreme court so I doubt they are going to let this referendum be allow but still we need to watch out. Colombia along with Austria are the only two countries worldwide that alows same sex adoptions but not marriage. http://cnnespanol.cnn.com/2016/03/29/mas-de-2-mil

  • 26. VIRick  |  March 29, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Per Rex Wockner:

    From today, 29 March 2016, Vermont's Governor Shumlin has banned official state travel to North Carolina. Period. No exceptions.

    And this, from a reporter, Katie Peralta, at the "Charlotte Observer:"

    "I have reached out to McCrory's office 5 times to ask about the "many" businesses they've spoken with who support HB2. No response." http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-go

  • 27. VIRick  |  March 29, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Guam: Attorney Fees in Marriage Case Awarded

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In an order dated 16 March 2016, in "Aguero v. Calvo," the Guam marriage case, Federal District Judge Tydingco-Gatewood has awarded the plaintiffs' attorneys $85,417.67 in fees and costs ($82,842.50 in fees and $2,575.17 in costs).

    The order is here: http://files.eqcf.org/cases/115-cv-00009-60/

  • 28. VIRick  |  March 30, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Illinois: Bed & Breakfast Fined $80K for Refusing to Host Gay Couple's Civil Union Ceremony

    The "Springfield News-Gazette" reports:

    On 29 March 2016, a bed-and-breakfast near Paxton IL that turned down a same-sex couple’s request to hold a civil-union ceremony there in 2011 has been ordered to pay $30,000 in damages to the couple, to pay $50,000 to their attorneys, and to stop violating the Illinois Human Rights Act.

    Michael R. Robinson, an administrative law judge appointed by the Illinois Human Rights Commission, entered a “recommended order and decision” awarding the damages to Todd and Mark Wathen of Tuscola.

    “We are very happy that no other couple will have to experience what we experienced by being turned away and belittled and criticized for who we are,” Todd Wathen said. “In addition, the monetary award represents a recognition by the judge that Mark and I suffered a real harm — that we were embarrassed and humiliated.”

    In September 2015, Robinson ruled that Jim Walder violated the civil rights of the Wathens when he denied them the opportunity to hold their civil-union ceremony at the B&B he co-owns with his wife, the TimberCreek Bed-and-Breakfast west of Paxton. http://www.joemygod.com/2016/03/29/illinois-bed-b

  • 29. Elihu_Bystander  |  March 30, 2016 at 5:27 am

    If your interested in the ACLU of Louisiana complaint here it is.

    ACLU Foundation of LA v Jindal
    http://media.nola.com/politics/other/ACLU%20.pdf

    It was filed in State District Court

  • 30. Elihu_Bystander  |  March 30, 2016 at 5:43 am

    "US Ambassador James “Wally” Brewster, the first openly gay top diplomat the United States has posted to a Latin American country. Brewster’s appointment angered some religious leaders and their followers in the Dominican Republic."

    The religious abuse of Brewster is ongoing primarily from the Roman Catholic hierarchy but also from a Protistant Evangelical group.
    https://newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com/

  • 31. guitaristbl  |  March 30, 2016 at 6:44 am

    I had no idea the Friedrichs case SCOTUS tied 4-4 yesterday had a marriage equality background :
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/03/30/supreme-cour

  • 32. theperched  |  March 30, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Virginian religious freedom bill vetoed by Governor. Can't be overturned as one chamber has a 21-19 Dem/GOP split :)
    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/03/30/mcaulif

  • 33. VIRick  |  March 30, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Virginia: Governor Vetoes "Religious Freedom" Bill

    Today, 30 March 2016, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed a "religious freedom" bill that critics said would have allowed anti-LGBT discrimination. McAuliffe said in a statement that SB41 is “nothing more than an attempt to stigmatize.”

    “This legislation is also bad for business and creates roadblocks as we try to build the new Virginia economy,” he said. “Businesses and job creators do not want to locate or do business in states that appear more concerned with demonizing people than with creating a strong business climate. Legislation that immunizes the discriminatory actions of certain people and institutions at the expense of same-sex couples would damage Virginia’s reputation for common-sense, pro-business government,” added McAuliffe. “We need only look at the damage these types of laws are doing in other states to understand the harm this bill could bring to our Commonwealth and its economy.”

    State Sen. Charles Carrico (R-Galax) introduced SB 41 that received final legislative approval earlier this month.

    James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia, a statewide LGBT advocacy group, in a statement applauded McAuliffe for “fulfilling his promise to veto this discriminatory and destructive bill.”

    A veto over-ride is extremely unlikely as the Virginia Senate is a closely-divided split, 21-19, between Democrats and Republicans, and the required over-ride votes in that chamber simply are not there. http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/03/30/mcaulif

  • 34. Sagesse  |  March 30, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Interesting… he also vetoed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. A good day for civil rights in Virginia.

  • 35. weaverbear  |  March 30, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    And I sent them an email asking THEM why. It would be really helpful I think if more of us did.

  • 36. VIRick  |  March 30, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Mississippi Scheduled For Final Vote On Anti-LGBT "Religious Freedom" Bill

    The Mississippi state Senate is scheduled to vote today, 30 March 2016, on HB1523, a bill which would protect people who act based on "religious beliefs" against same-sex couples or transgender people. Mississippi lawmakers are scheduled to take a final vote on what critics believe is the most sweeping anti-LGBT legislation in the United States.

    The bill passed in the state House in February, and opponents had hoped to kill it in the Senate by delaying a possible vote until after today's midnight deadline. But Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, the most powerful person in the state Senate, supports the bill, his spokesman Laura Hipp told BuzzFeed News. “It should be heard today,” she said, "Wednesday around lunchtime. There are pastors who have been concerned about same-sex marriage, and that is why this bill is moving forward in the senate.”

    The bill covers more than pastors, however. House Bill 1523 would protect individuals, certain businesses, and religious organizations that take actions based on a “sincerely held” religious opposition — and believe sex should be restricted to married straight couples. It would also cover those opposed to recognizing the gender identity of transgender people. The government also could not penalize a religious organization for denying housing, employment, or services.

    “This is probably the worst 'religious freedom' bill to date,” said Ben Needham, director of Project One America, an LGBT advocacy group in the Deep South. He told BuzzFeed News the bill would allow discrimination in a wide range of public accommodations by letting companies and employees refuse services or deny entry specifically to LGBT people.

    The Mississippi bill moved ahead a week after North Carolina passed a law that targets LGBT rights, and the same week that both Georgia’s governor and Virginia's governor vetoed bills under pressure from corporations threatening to pull business from their states.

    If passed, the Mississippi legislation would combine elements of lightning-rod Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (which restrict government from burdening exercise of faith) and First Amendment Defense Acts (which protect people opposed to same-sex couples marrying). It would also protect those who believe “sexual relations are properly reserved” to opposite-sex marriages, and that being male or female is “objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.”

    Specifically, the 13-page measure prohibits the government from “discriminating” against individuals and certain organizations for acting on their religious convictions. It defines “person” broadly — including “sole proprietorship, or closely-held company, partnership, association, organization, firm, corporation, co-operative, trust, society, or other closely-held entity.”

    In defining “discriminating,” the bill says government could not fine, withhold loans, give bad grades, refuse to hire, or take dozens of other retaliatory acts against individuals acting on their faith. The measure would protect, among others, people who deny services at a business, refuse marriage-related goods, and refuse non-emergency medical services to transgender people.

    “It is very broad and very dangerous,” said Erik Fleming, the director of advocacy and policy for the ACLU of Mississippi, who also served for 11 years in the state House. “It basically sanctions religious discrimination. It is reminiscent of what happened 50 or 60 years ago in this same state,” Fleming told BuzzFeed News. “People say that it is just religious, but there were people who had a religious belief that black and white people should be segregated. And you’re opening that Pandora’s box again.”

    Still, he said, “There is appetite to do this because Republicans have a supermajority, and the house speaker introduced the bill.” http://www.buzzfeed.com/dominicholden/mississippi

  • 37. VIRick  |  March 30, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Vermont and Washington Are Latest States to Ban Travel to North Carolina

    Vermont and Washington have become the latest states to join the protest against North Carolina.

    In a statement released Tuesday, 29 March 2016, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin announced that the Green Mountain State would be halting “official state travel to North Carolina.”

    “The law passed in North Carolina is an absolute disgrace,” said Shumlin. “Vermont has a proud tradition of protecting the rights of LGBT individuals. I’m making this decision in that tradition.”

    In an interview Wednesday morning, 30 March 2016, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee explained that his decision to boycott North Carolina is “consistent with our state's approach to tolerance, fairness, and a lack of discrimination.” http://www.advocate.com/religion/2016/3/30/vermon

    And later today, the city of Boston also banned government-paid travel to North Carolina by city officials.

  • 38. VIRick  |  March 30, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Arkansas Appealing Ruling on City’s LGBTQ Protections

    Little Rock AR — Arkansas’ attorney-general is appealing a judge’s ruling that a city ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity does not conflict with a state law aimed at blocking local protections for gays and lesbians. On Wednesday, 30 March 2016, Attorney-General Leslie Rutledge filed notice that she was appealing a ruling by Washington County Circuit Judge Doug Martin earlier this month upholding Fayetteville’s anti-discrimination ordinance.

    Martin ruled that the ordinance, ratified by voters in late 2015, does not run afoul of a state measure barring cities and counties from prohibiting discrimination on a basis not contained in state law. Arkansas’ civil rights law does not include sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Fayetteville is among several Arkansas cities that have passed anti-discrimination measures aimed at challenging that law, which legislators approved early in 2015. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/03/arkansas-appea

  • 39. VIRick  |  March 30, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Wisconsin: City Approves Pro-Trans Ordinance

    Janesville WI — Lawmakers in the hometown of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have approved a non-discrimination ordinance that includes gender identity. Media reports indicate that members of the Janesville City Council approved the measure, which would allow people to use public restrooms that are consistent with their gender identity, by a 6-1 margin.

    “The Janesville Council members did the right thing by passing protections that ensure none of their constituents can be denied a job or refused services because of who they are,” said Freedom for All Americans Executive Director Matt McTighe in a statement.

    Wisconsin’s statewide non-discrimination law includes sexual orientation, but not gender identity. A bill that would have banned trans children from using school facilities consistent with their gender identity was before state lawmakers during their 2016 legislative session. They adjourned without considering it. http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/03/30/ryans-h

  • 40. VIRick  |  March 30, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Mississippi Senate Votes For Sweeping Anti-LGBT Religious Freedom Bill

    •Late this afternoon, 30 March 2016, the Mississippi Senate voted along party lines, 31-17, to pass what critics say is the most sweeping anti-LGBT legislation in the USA.
    •Immediately after the vote, a Democrat proposed a motion to reconsider the measure, thereby requiring another vote later this week that is widely considered a procedural formality.
    •Although the bill already passed the House in February, the version approved by the Senate differed slightly; thus the House must then concur. http://www.buzzfeed.com/dominicholden/mississippi

  • 41. Fortguy  |  March 30, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    As if the Sandra Bland death wasn't sufficient national media scrutiny on this town and university, we now have this:

    Dan Solomon, Texas Monthly: Prairie View A&M Fired Its Women’s Basketball Coach For Suspending Two Players Who Were Dating

    Last week, Prairie View A&M fired its women’s basketball coach. Dawn Brown, who had stepped into the role full-time in 2014 after serving on an interim basis, led the Panthers to a 13-15 record this year—but it wasn’t her record that will keep her from coaching Prairie View next season. Rather, it’s a potential Title IX violation that’s cooled the school on Brown’s leadership.

    Specifically, Brown suspended two players on her team for being in a relationship. The two filed a Title IX complaint, which prevents discrimination on the basis of gender—a law that’s been applied, in recent years, to prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation because the gender of the people involved tends to cause the issue.

    Brown claims that the suspension wasn’t because the two players dating were both women, though—she says that it’s because the team’s rules stated that “Players may not have nonprofessional relationships with other players, coaches, managers trainers or any other persons affiliated” with the program. She told USA Today that she plans to appeal the firing:

    Brown said she instituted the rule after an assistant coach was fired for having an inappropriate relationship with a player. Brown said she “collaborated with my Title IX office in drafting” the rule. Brown said the two former players were suspended indefinitely but retained their scholarships and remain at the school. Brown also said the former players were punished for breaking other team rules that she declined to specify.

    Brown said the decision to remove the players “was extremely difficult for me but was made with consultation, encouragement and approval” of the athletics director.

    Brown’s agent, Garry Rosenfield, said the school gave his client a choice to resign or be terminated for cause. “We definitely think this is a case of scapegoating,” he said.

    The situation obviously presents a challenge. Policies that prevent teammates from dating, by default, target gay, lesbian, and bisexual students on single-gender teams. If the policy was drafted in collaboration with the Title IX coordinator at Prairie View A&M, and Brown is the only one facing a discipline, it’s understandable why she’s upset. The idea that it’s a distraction when players are involved in interpersonal relationships with people connected with the program isn’t an uncommon theory—but at the same time, female basketball players who are gay have reason to be suspicious of policies that seem to target them.

    Brittney Griner, the Phoenix Mercury center who played college ball at Baylor, told ESPN in 2013 that coach Kim Mulkey took steps to challenge the perception that the women on the team were lesbians. (Griner married her partner, Dallas Wings forward Glory Johnson, last year, but asked for an annulment 28 days into the marriage.)

    More recently, two players at Pepperdine University sued the school for discrimination after coach Ryan Weisenberg told the team that “Lesbianism is not tolerated on this team. Lesbianism is a big concern in women’s basketball.” In 2007, Penn State coach Rene Portland resigned amid allegations that she forced gay players off of the team.

    Ultimately, there could be a number of justifications for a rule that prevents players on the same team from dating, and we won’t assume that Brown’s institution of the rule was aimed at targeting gay players. But in practical terms, that’s who the rule effects, and in a time when Title IX is being more aggressively enforced, that’s something that Prairie View A&M shouldn’t be involved in. We’ll learn more if Brown appeals about who exactly helped shape the policy, but whatever we find out, it seems to be a policy that violated Title IX.

    Prairie View A&M University competes at the NCAA Division I level as a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). All SWAC schools are historically African-American Southern institutions.

  • 42. Steve27516  |  March 31, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Thank you for the reminder. I'll contribute right now. Wishing Scottie the best.

  • 43. 1grod  |  March 31, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Enough of this Alabama License Charade http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/opinion… Check out the comments and https://www.facebook.com/equalityalabama/

  • 44. VIRick  |  March 31, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Mississippi Senate Votes Again to Approve HB1523

    Today, 31 March 2016, the Mississippi senate again voted, 28-18, in the last procedural act to advance the anti-LGBT bill, HB1523. The House now needs only to vote once to concur, after which the bill will then be sent to the governor. http://www.buzzfeed.com/news

  • 45. VIRick  |  March 31, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Chicago Joins North Carolina Travel Ban

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel is issuing an executive order banning official city travel to North Carolina. And, seeking to gain from a flap over the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people there, Emanuel says he’ll be contacting North Carolina companies that might be interested in relocating to a “more inclusive” Chicago. http://www.joemygod.com/2016/03/31/chicago-joins-

  • 46. VIRick  |  March 31, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Querétaro: Subirán Bodas Gay a la Agenda Legislativa

    Querétaro: Same-Sex Marriage Advances on Legislative Agenda

    Es irreversible adecuar el Código Civil para incorporar la figura de los matrimonios del mismo sexo, aseveró el diputado del PAN Eric Salas, al señalar que se trata de uno de los pendientes que habrá de sacar la Legislatura local en los próximos meses.

    En entrevista para Capital Noticias, el presidente de la Mesa Directiva del Congreso queretano sostuvo que sobre el tema ha existido un malentendido de lo que se debe hacer en Querétaro. “No se trata de aprobar ni rechazar nada —dijo— se trata de adecuar la Ley, en este caso el Código Civil, para permitir la realización de estos matrimonios, como lo ordena la Suprema Corte de Justicia”, precisó el legislador panista. http://www.capitalqueretaro.com.mx/queretaro/subi

    It is irreversible that the Civil Code must be adapted to incorporate same-sex marriages, said PAN deputy Eric Salas, noting that it is one of the issues that will taken up by the local legislature in the coming months.

    In an interview with Capital Noticias, the president of the Querétaro Congress indicated that there has been a misunderstanding as to what to do in Querétaro. "This is not to approve or reject anything, but to adapt the law, in this case the Civil Code, to enable the realization of these marriages, as ordered by the Supreme Court," said the PAN legislator.

    Good. It sounds as if the right-wing panistas have finally given up the fight in Querétaro, as they're now resigned to "adapting," rather than having to concern themselves with "approving" or "rejecting."

  • 47. allan120102  |  March 31, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Venezuela to make legal in a month and half or two months from here civil unions to same sex couples and heterosexual couples. Base on the comments that Tamara Adrian gave in national TV a majority of deputies are in favor of this new law. Marriage is not in the case because they need to overturn a decision made by their supreme court in 2008. http://sinetiquetas.org/2016/03/30/uniones-de-hec

  • 48. allan120102  |  March 31, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Puerto Rico Secretary of Justice Joins Lawyer Ada del Conde who challenge the ban and which was upheld by a bigot federal judge, in asking the first court of appeals to affirm that obergefell is controlling in PR even if its not a state.
    On the note side all US territories have marriage equality with the exception of American Samoa which I am still not sure why it differs from the others. http://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/tribunales/not

  • 49. allan120102  |  March 31, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Nuevo Leon will debate and analyze if to allw ssm next tuesday. In this day legislators will be with lawyers, representatives of the judicial power and with civil registries workers. Nuevo Leon is trying to pass an anti discrimination law and this include ssm. NL might become one of the next state to legalize ssm. Michoacan for a reason have stop in debating the marriage bill for the moment. So NL might be next . http://www.publimetro.com.mx/noticias/nuevo-leon-

  • 50. allan120102  |  March 31, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Mississippi´s ban on same sex adoption have finally fallen. A great day for equality and finally good news from mississippi. Coming from a George Bush appointee nonetheless. http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/03/31/court-s

  • 51. 1grod  |  March 31, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Allan finally fallen. Today Prince Edward Island finally acknowledged a woman's right to access abortion. Individuals could go off Island to procure the medical procedure, and the province would pay for it. The province has resisted providing this medical service for residents since an 1988 Supreme Court of Canada decision [R. v. Morgentaler]. I'm sure those who favoured access right would also say today the ban has finally fallen in the last holdout province. In short, much is owed to those who have dedicated their lives to civil rights. G

  • 52. VIRick  |  March 31, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Federal Court Overturns Mississippi's Same-Sex Adoption Ban

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In the case, "Campaign for Southern Equality v. Mississippi Department of Human Services," the federal suit challenging Mississippi's adoption ban for married, same-sex couples, a preliminary injunction has been issued today, 31 March 2016, in favor of the plaintiffs and against the state defendants:

    Order GRANTING Preliminary Injunction

    "Plaintiffs seek a declaration that Mississippi Code section 93-17-3(5)—which prohibits adoption by married gay couples—violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the United States Constitution. They named as defendants the Mississippi Department of Human Services (“DHS”), DHS’s Executive Director, three chancery courts, nine chancellors from those three courts, and Mississippi’s Governor and Attorney-General.

    "Defendants have offered a tepid defense of the statute itself, focusing instead on Plaintiffs’ right to sue them. They argue that even assuming section 93-17-3(5) is unconstitutional, Plaintiffs lack Article III standing and cannot overcome Eleventh Amendment immunity. The Governor, Attorney General, and Executive Director further contend that there is no injury because those Defendants either lack authority to enforce the ban or would not enforce it to impede an otherwise valid gay adoption. For the reasons that follow, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have standing as to DHS’s Executive Director but no other defendant. And finding a justiciable claim, Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction is granted."

    "Conclusion:

    "For the reasons stated, the Court grants the Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction and Failure to State a Claim [52] filed by Defendants the Tenth, Fourteenth, and Twentieth District Chancery Courts and Judges Dawn Beam, M. Ronald Doleac, Deborah J. Gambrell, Johnny L. Williams, Kenneth M. Burns, Dorothy W. Colom, Jim Davidson, John Grant, and John C. McLaurin, Jr. The following motions are granted in part: (1) the Motion for Preliminary Injunction [13] as to Defendant Davis; and (2) the Motions to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction [15, 55] as to Plaintiffs Brittany Rowell and Jessica Harbuck and Defendants DHS, Governor Phil Bryant, and Attorney-General Jim Hood.

    "The Executive Director of DHS is hereby preliminarily enjoined from enforcing Mississippi Code section 93-17-3(5). SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED this the 31st day of March, 2016."

    Daniel P. Jordan III
    United States District Judge

    The complete order granting the preliminary injunction is here: http://files.eqcf.org/cases/315-cv-00578-67/

  • 53. VIRick  |  March 31, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    Summary Judgment Issued in Consolidated Florida Marriage Cases

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 30 March 2016, in "Brenner/Grimsley v. Scott," the consolidated Florida federal marriage cases, the Order for summary judgment has been granted for the plaintiffs. The state had argued that this case was moot; this order says it is not.

    The Order also addresses the issue of birth certificates issued to same-sex parents: "… in circumstances in which the Surgeon-General lists on a birth certificate an opposite-sex spouse who is not a biological parent, the Surgeon-General must list a same-sex spouse who is not a biological parent."

    A few particularly pointed sections of the order (full order linked below):

    On mootness:
    "As these cases make clear, a government ordinarily cannot establish mootness just by promising to sin no more. The defendants in this case emphasize the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in 'Jacksonville Property Rights,' but an important difference in that case is that the defendant city affirmatively repealed the challenged ordinance. Here the Florida Legislature has refused to budge; the challenged statutes remain on the books. That result is fully consistent with the defendants’ approach to this case all along. There has been nothing voluntary about the defendants’ change of tack.

    "The state defendants defended this case from the outset with vigor. They gave no sway to the United States Supreme Court’s decision in 'United States v. Windsor,' 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013). When 18 successive federal decisions in district and circuit courts said that, under 'Windsor,' states could not ban same-sex marriage, the defendants were undeterred. My order granting a preliminary injunction was the 19th federal decision in a then-unbroken progression.

    "The United States Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals had stayed similar rulings in other cases. I stayed the preliminary injunction while those stays were in effect and for 91 more days — long enough to allow the defendants to seek a further stay in the Eleventh Circuit and, if unsuccessful there, in the United States Supreme Court. The defendants did that. They lost. The United States Supreme Court vacated its stays in other cases and allowed the preliminary injunction in this case to take effect.

    "Still the defendants resisted."

    On birth certificates:
    "The Surgeon-General filed in this court a motion to clarify, essentially asserting that if he does what 'Obergefell' plainly requires with respect to birth certificates, he will be violating a different state statute — a statute that has not explicitly been struck down. Thus the Surgeon-General has filed a motion 'to clarify.' The motion asks whether, under the preliminary injunction and 'Obergefell,' he must issue birth certificates to married same-sex parents, even though Florida Statutes § 382.013(2)(a) requires that if a mother is married at the time of a birth, the name of the 'father' must be entered on the birth certificate. According to the Surgeon-General, this still-extant statute precludes some same-sex parents from being listed on the birth certificate.

    "The issue is not well presented in this case; so far as shown by this record, none of the plaintiffs are yet in this situation. See Order on the Scope of the Preliminary Injunction, ECF No. 109. But the answer should be easy. The statutory reference to 'husband' cannot prevent equal treatment of a same-sex spouse. So, for example, in circumstances in which the Surgeon-General lists on a birth certificate an opposite-sex spouse who is not a biological parent, the Surgeon-General must list a same-sex spouse who is not a biological parent.

    "The Surgeon-General apparently is still not issuing birth certificates as required by 'Obergefell.' Two other lawsuits raising this issue are now pending in this court. The Surgeon-General’s approach casts doubt on whether the State of Florida has voluntarily brought itself into compliance with 'Obergefell'. Indeed, 'Obergefell' did not explicitly address any Florida statute. If the Surgeon-General believes, as suggested by his motion to clarify, that he must comply with Florida same-sex marriage laws until explicitly struck down, then dismissal of this case as moot would leave him free to go back to where he was before the lawsuit was filed. The same is true for the Secretary of the Department of Management Services: there are many requirements affecting state employment that turn on marital status, and many of those have not been explicitly addressed, either in 'Obergefell' or even in this case."

    Robert L. Hinkle
    United States District Judge

    The full order granting summaryjudgment is here: https://www.facebook.com/EqualityCaseFiles/posts/

    Judge Hinkle even re-iterated my favorite quote from his Preliminary Injunction, "The defendants did that. They lost."

  • 54. theperched  |  March 31, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Michoacan may be next week, likely Wednesday. This is an article written three days ago:

    [Michoacan] foresees same-sex marriage advancing

    Esta semana quedará aprobado el dictamen que contempla las modificaciones al Código Familiar en materia de matrimonios igualitarios, señaló en entrevista el diputado presidente de la Comisión de Justicia, Juan Bernardo Corona Martínez.

    [This week the Family Code's dictamen regarding same-sex marriage will be approved, says the President of the Justice Committee, Juan Bernardo Corona Martinez, in an interview]

    Agregó que las comisiones unidas de Derechos Humanos y Justicia han concluido el dictamen de matrimonios igualitarios, el cual se encuentra sometido a firmas de las integrantes ambas comisiones. En este sentido dio a conocer que esperan que la propuesta se pueda presentar ante el pleno a más tardar la próxima semana.

    [He added that the united Justice and Human Rights committees have finished the same-sex marriage dictamen which will be sent for the signatures of the committee members. He stated that they expect the proposal to be presented to the plenary by next week at the latest]

    No obstante, el diputado dijo que de reunir todas las firmas a tiempo, se presentará a la Junta de Coordinación Política del Congreso, para que sea incluido en la orden del día de la sesión del próximo miércoles: “Está aprobado el dictamen, se sometió a firma, en esto días lo tendríamos, si tenemos la firma correspondiente se estaría sometiendo a la Junta de Coordinación Política”, declaró.

    [The congressman said that upon collecting signatures on time, the dictamen will be presented to Congress' Crossparty Comission so it can be included in next Wednesday's order of the day. The dictamen is approved, it's gone for signatures, we'll have it ready soon and if we have the corresponding signatures it will be submitted to the Commission]

    Respecto al tema de sociedades de convivencia, que fue el punto en el que en estaba atorada la discusión, Corona Martínez informó que finalmente se logró el acuerdo de que la figura se mantenga, con la diferencia de que no tiene relación con el origen discriminatorio que se atribuía a este contrato civil, ya que ahora “se reconocerá a través de esta figura otras relaciones personales”.

    [Regarding the subject of domestic partnerships which was holding up the debate, Corona Martinez said that they finally reached an agreement on keeping them, but they will no longer belong to the discriminatory origin that was attached to this civil contract now that "it will be recognized through other personal relationships".] (In other words, partnerships will be for any two people and not just gay couples)
    http://www.capitalmichoacan.com.mx/michoacan/prev

  • 55. theperched  |  March 31, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    From the Greenlandic govt website. They are celebrating the arrival of the same-sex marriage law tomorrow. Starting April 1st people can marry on the island and the local Church is gladly going to offer its blessings to any couple who asks.
    http://naalakkersuisut.gl/da/Naalakkersuisut/Nyhe

    On 01 April 2016 shall enter the last change of Marriage Act in force for Greenland. The change makes it possible for homosexuals to get married – civil or ecclesiastical.

    Naalakkersuisoq for Church Nivi Olsen says: "We have waited long for this day. To have the opportunity to enter into marriage means a lot to many couples regardless of the gender of one's partner. I am therefore pleased that a united Inatsisartut adopted in 2010, finally realized. "

    The Department for Education, Science, Culture and Church Affairs, in collaboration with the bishop's office prepared the practical implications of the amendment, and Thursday, March 31 has Naalakkersuisoq for Church officially authorized the new rituals for the gay marriages in the church.

    The Government welcomes this new opportunity warm welcome and rejoice national church that we are ready for the new era.

    Inussiarnersumik inuulluaqqusillunga

    Yours sincerely

    Naalakkersuisoq of Education, Culture, Research and Church

    Nivi Olsen

  • 56. VIRick  |  March 31, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Justicia se Une a Apelación de Ada Conde Vidal por el Matrimonio Gay

    Puerto Rico Justice Dept. Joins Ada Conde Vidal's Same-Sex Marriage Appeal

    El secretario de Justicia, César Miranda, informó hoy, jueves, 31 de marzo 2016, que el gobierno se unió un recurso presentado ante la consideración del Primer Circuito de Apelaciones de Boston para que se emita una determinación final que reconozca los matrimonios igualitarios en la Isla.

    El reclamo fue presentado por la licenciada Ada Conde al apelar una decisión que emitió el juez federal Juan Pérez Giménez en la que no reconoce el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo en la Isla, a pesar de que el mismo ya fue reconocido por el Tribunal Supremo de Estados Unidos. "Nos estamos uniendo a esa petición", señaló Miranda en conferencia de prensa. http://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/tribunales/not

    The Justice Secretary, César Miranda, stated Thursday, 31 March 2016, that the government has joined an appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston in order to have issued a final judgment that recognizes marriage equality on the island.

    The complaint was filed by the lawyer, Ada Conde Vidal (the original plaintiff), to appeal a decision issued by Federal Judge Juan Pérez Giménez in which he does not recognize same-sex marriage on the island, even though it was already recognized by the US Supreme Court. "We are joining that request," Miranda said at a news conference.

  • 57. FredDorner  |  March 31, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    The bottom of pg 23 through mid pg 26 has some interesting comments about Obergefell being more than a rational basis review for equal protection purposes, and it notes that the ruling bundled all the corollary rights of marriage which are intertwined with marriage. Adoption is one of those rights (duh, particularly given the DeBoer plaintiffs).

  • 58. VIRick  |  March 31, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    Fred, also note how Judge Hinkle, in rendering his Summary Judgment in the long drawn-out consolidated Florida marriage cases, detailed in the post immediately below, also discusses at great length another one of those obvious corollary rights of marriage, that is, of having both parents' names listed on their children's birth certificates.

    In effect, by having done so, Judge Hinkle thereby ruled on those several additional pending lawsuits, as well, by very pointedly discussing how his own umbrella ruling covers those matters. Still, my favorite part is the manner in which Judge Hinkle manages to explicitly tell Florida officials to get off their high-horses, and do their jobs because, in the bluntest of summations, "They lost."

  • 59. F_Young  |  April 1, 2016 at 2:05 am

    At long last, Greenland is navy blue on the Wikipedia world map. So nice to see the addition of such a huge patch of blue.

    Now, if Australia went navy; that would be another big patch. It must be so embarrassing for Australians; they may well be beat by Colombia.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage#/

  • 60. scream4ever  |  April 1, 2016 at 5:03 am

    They will be, as Colombia will have it likely when the court meets next.

  • 61. F_Young  |  April 1, 2016 at 7:15 am

    The cunning trick in North Carolina’s radical new anti-LGBT law
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/

    A good article worth reading.

  • 62. VIRick  |  April 1, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Still, Colombia so deserves the honor, as they have worked so hard and so diligently for so long to turn their country into an openly progressive, forward-thinking, liberal-left democracy. They have had to fight everything from hard-core, entrenched conservatives to ruthless narco-trafficers to several do-or-die guerrilla movements, all the while enduring an endless string of bloody assassinations and repeated kidnappings of prominent political figures and foreigners, many held for years on preposterous ransom demands.

    Personally, all I can say is this: I survived Colombia, although at one point I did have to be rescued by the Spanish ambassador.

  • 63. F_Young  |  April 1, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Yes. I'll gladly take Colombia. It's a pretty big country, actually, and they deserve it

  • 64. JayJonson  |  April 1, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Judge Hinkle is not happy with the intransigence of the Florida defendants. In addition, he does not trust them a bit. Good for him.

  • 65. scream4ever  |  April 1, 2016 at 9:57 am

    I'd love to hear your story Rick!!!

  • 66. scream4ever  |  April 1, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Plus it has a much higher population then Australia.

  • 67. allan120102  |  April 1, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Colombia might be next if the court meet next Thursday. We might get 14% of the world population wit marriage equality with the addition of Colombia

  • 68. VIRick  |  April 1, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    DC Bans Government Travel to North Carolina

    DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Friday, 1 April 2016, that she has issued an executive order banning official travel by city employees to North Carolina as a protest against the state’s approval in March of a controversial anti-LGBT law. Bowser’s order follows a series of statements condemning the law by LGBT activists, mainline US civil rights organizations, and prominent businesses such as American Airlines, since North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed the law on 24 March 2016. Some are calling for an economic boycott of the state.

    “We stand with the LGBTQ community and against discrimination,” Bowser said in a brief statement accompanying her order. The law to which Bowser says she’s objecting, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, blocks local governments in North Carolina from passing anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBT people.

    – See more at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/04/01/bowser-

  • 69. theperched  |  April 1, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Here's an article in Danish about Greenland, it has photos!!! That's always my favorite part about reading something with marriage news :) The women who married were dressed in national outfits.
    http://knr.gl/da/nyheder/f%C3%B8rste-homoseksuell

  • 70. theperched  |  April 1, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Video of the happy couple :)

    [youtube _h3MSNBxbEc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h3MSNBxbEc youtube]

  • 71. montezuma58  |  April 1, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Mississippi governor won't say if he'll sign the bill. At least he's not showing the same zeal as North Carolina's governor for signing it. I don't know if it's really a sign of hope though.
    http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2016/04/miss_gov

  • 72. VIRick  |  April 1, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    In this instance, in Mexican legalese, the word "dictamen" refers to the official final written draft of the pending legislation. It only needs to be signed by the assorted parties.

  • 73. theperched  |  April 2, 2016 at 3:31 am

    Yup. Since this was published days ago, I hope they got everything they need for a plenary vote.

  • 74. theperched  |  April 2, 2016 at 3:42 am

    Faroe Islands on the other hand is cutting it close, not only in numbers but time before a big break.

    Their Committee has scheduled two Tuesdays so far to talk about the marriage law.

    IF what I tried to interpret was correct, the Legislature goes on a break April 25th, hope it was incorrect or at least that the plenary gets to it before then. Will you keep you all posted.

  • 75. JayJonson  |  April 2, 2016 at 5:55 am

    I would be very surprised if he didn't sign it. He is all for "Mississippi values," by which he means discrimination, hatred, and bigotry. There are very few national companies in Mississippi and most of their tourism comes from neighboring states that share those Mississippi values, so I doubt that he is subject to much pressure.

  • 76. theperched  |  April 2, 2016 at 6:00 am

    I think he'll sign it and sadly it will be upheld by the 5th Circuit Appeals Court, at least the full court…

  • 77. theperched  |  April 2, 2016 at 6:31 am

    Colombia's order of the day is out: http://www.corteconstitucional.gov.co/ordendeldia

    Thursday may be the day (hopefully).

    The first thing on the agenda is the marriage case.

    Having marriage equality this Thursday depends on three things:

    1. They actually hold the meeting on the topic :p
    2. They actually vote No on the conservatives judge's opinion, the votes are there so they'd better get to it.
    3. They cast a Yes to equal marriage the same day; the media says it might issue two votes on two different days – we'll have to wait and see.

  • 78. allan120102  |  April 2, 2016 at 9:01 am

    I believe it will be three. Anyways it they cast the vote yes on the same date they might also put a dateline on when ot will take effect.

  • 79. theperched  |  April 2, 2016 at 9:55 am

    I hope so. I hope the same for Austria as well. In the end I expect both governments to just let the rulings go into effect. Would be nice to have the verdicts codified into a bill and passed through the Legislature afterward, but oh well, as long as couples can marry soon after the lawsuit is done I'll be happy.

  • 80. guitaristbl  |  April 2, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Although I keep little to no hope that a GOP Mississippi governor wont sign the heinous bill before him even if the signs of financial retaliation are imminent, I will keep hoping for some sense in the poorest and most backwards state in the US.

  • 81. VIRick  |  April 2, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Today, every time I attempted to make a new post, I received a message telling me:
    "This comment has been deleted by the Administrator."

    If I tried to edit an old one, I received a message to the effect that I could not edit a comment which was currently "subject to moderation."

    If anyone else has run into this new glitch, re-do your e-mail verification process, then log back in to Intense Debate. Once re-verified, then log back in to EoT. That three-step maneuver just worked for me.

    PLEASE NOTE: This same problem has occurred before. It is NOT Scottie's doing. No one at EoT is attempting to run any commentators away. More properly, I suspect this to be a glitch at Intense Debate.

  • 82. VIRick  |  April 2, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    The same glitch has returned, only this time I'm leaving the footprint. I've only made one post since going through that three-step process.

  • 83. allan120102  |  April 2, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Its a closed tie with neighboring Alabama.

  • 84. allan120102  |  April 2, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Great analysis on why it will be hard to get marriage equality in CR without a ruling of the constitutional court. If they by miracle struck down the ban then marriage equality will be the law because liberals deputy might do the same trick conservatives deputies have been doing to not vote on a proposed law that have been pending. So if conservatives want to ban ssm in case the court strike the law liberals might block their attempt in overturning a positive ruling which I doubt it will happen soon. Maybe in the next 5 years. http://www.ticotimes.net/2016/04/01/costa-rica-ga

  • 85. scream4ever  |  April 2, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    Malta also grants everything but the title.

  • 86. VIRick  |  April 3, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    Massachusetts Court to Hear Same-Sex Parental Rights Case

    Boston — The same state court that paved the way for same-sex marriage in the United States is now being asked to decide a complicated case about the parental rights of a once-partnered but unmarried same-sex couple. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, the state that more than a decade ago became the first to allow same-sex marriage, will hear arguments Tuesday, 5 April 2016. The case seeks to determine whether Karen Partanen, whose former partner, Julie Gallagher, gave birth to two children through artificial insemination, should have the same parental rights as Gallagher.

    Partanen helped raise the children, now 7 and 4. She and Gallagher split in 2013. Gallagher acknowledges Partanen has been a good parent, and the kids spend half their time with Partanen under a shared custody order.

    But Gallagher is challenging Partanen’s bid to be declared a full legal parent, which would allow Partanen to share in virtually every decision made about the children, including where they go to school, what doctors they see and what religion they practice. “I am a biological mother. I wanted to have children. They’re my world, and it’s my right to make legal decisions for them,” Gallagher said in a recent interview.

    A judge dismissed a complaint Partanen filed in family court, finding she did not meet the requirements for legal parentage because she and Gallagher were not married when the children were born, and Partanen is not a biological parent. Partanen appealed, and the state’s highest court agreed to hear the case.

    The extent of Partanen’s parental rights is being disputed under two Massachusetts laws. One law says that any child born to a “married woman” as a result of artificial insemination with the consent of “her husband” is considered the legitimate child of the mother and husband. The other law says children born out of wedlock are entitled to the same rights and protections as children born to married couples. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/04/massachusetts-

  • 87. F_Young  |  April 4, 2016 at 5:54 am

    Gay Pride and Prejudice in Dominican Republic

    …..During a news conference in June 2013, Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, the archbishop of Santo Domingo, said he was appalled that Washington would be represented by a “maricón,” a slur term for gay men…..
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/04/opinion/gay-pri

    The above article contains a link to the following shocking article:

    For Nuncio Accused of Abuse, Dominicans Want Justice at Home, Not Abroad
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/24/world/americas/

    …which includes the fascinating excerpt:

    Mr. Wesolowski, 66, was ordained at 23 in Krakow by Archbishop Karol Józef Wojtyla, who later became Pope John Paul II. In 1999, he was appointed papal nuncio to Bolivia, and in 2002, he was reassigned to Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
    In 2008, he was sent to the Dominican Republic.

    …which begs the question why he was demoted to the Dominican Republic. Oh, wait, I think we know the answer.

    The rest of this sordid story, according to Wikipedia:

    …..Wesołowski was indicted in June 2015 by a Vatican prosecutor for possessing child pornography, with a trial date set for 11 July.[24] The trial was postponed on 11 July because of an 'unexpected illness' which put him into intensive care.[25]
    Wesołowski was found dead in his residence in the Vatican on 27 August 2015. A Vatican statement said that he likely died of natural causes.[26] An initial autopsy by a team of doctors identified the cause of death as a heart attack…..[27]

    And the church has the chutzpah to say that the ambassador should stay home “…since he is the wife of a man."

  • 88. VIRick  |  April 4, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Maryland Appeals Court to Hear Same-Sex Parental Rights Case

    Maryland’s Court of Appeals will hear arguments in an appeal that tests whether Maryland law will give full recognition to the families of LGBT people. Maryland’s parental recognition law has remained unsettled for same-sex couples, even as Maryland established civil marriage equality for same-sex couples in 2012 and the US Supreme Court ruled last summer in favor of marriage equality nationwide.

    In the case being argued on Tuesday, 5 April 2016, "Conover v. Conover," lower courts ruled that Michael Conover, who is a transgender man, is not legally a parent of his son. Before Conover’s gender transition, he and his female partner had a child by artificial insemination of his partner. They married after marriage equality became legally-recognized for same-sex couples, but the lower courts have ruled that Conover is a legal stranger to the child he raised from birth.

    The Court of Appeals, which hears arguments in Annapolis, is Maryland’s highest court. Its seven judges decide appeals from courts throughout Maryland in cases raising important and unresolved legal issues. The court agreed to hear the Conover case in December 2015. A decision in the case is expected before the end of the Court’s current term in August. http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/04/04/md-appe

  • 89. VIRick  |  April 4, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    This comment has been deleted by the administrator.

    Let's see if I can make this error message stick, as it needs attention and correction, as it has been plaguing us for the past 3 days.

    And this one, when one attempts to edit anything:

    You can't edit a comment that has been deleted or is in moderation.

  • 90. theperched  |  April 4, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Campeche's Governor has presented a same-sex marriage bill to Congress.

    So that makes it Guerrero, Mexico State and Morelos where a state leader has done that.
    http://telemarcampeche.com/2016/04/04/amc-present

  • 91. VIRick  |  April 4, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    By June 2015, the Chief Justice of the Baja California Sur state Supreme Court, as well as the Governor of Aguascalientes, had also submitted same-sex marriage bills to their respective states' Congresses.

  • 92. F_Young  |  April 4, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Rick, I wonder if it could be a software rule that automatically sends subsequent comments to moderation if someone presses the report button once. (BTW I didn't). I was downvoted for using the f word, but have not had any problems posting.

  • 93. allan120102  |  April 4, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    He was clever in including prohibiting child marriage so legislators can turn down that propose law.

  • 94. VIRick  |  April 4, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    I reported my own post, when instead of it being the substantive comment I had intended it to be (for about the 6th time), it kept being instantly replaced by this automated message:

    "This comment has been deleted by the administrator."

    For the past three days, the system appears to have an annoying, intermittent glitch, most likely originating from Intense Debate. From the number of up-votes I've already received when I finally managed to make that error message stick, and from the dearth of new comments, I'm suspecting this glitch is also adversely affecting others' ability to post comments.

  • 95. theperched  |  April 4, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    Actually, states are being pressured to elevate the marriageable age across the nation, even more so than getting rid of discrimination for gay couples.

    At least 22/32 places have the age at 18 with no exceptions and the number is expected to grow this year.

  • 96. theperched  |  April 4, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    Gracias. A friendly Congressman in Edomex admitted that people are dragging their feet in that state even though the Governor's proposals are usually rubberstamped in no time. There are very few pending bills submitted by the Governor left to vote on and the marriage one was sent to the freezer for now.

  • 97. theperched  |  April 5, 2016 at 12:15 am

    San Luis Potosi: Congressman says marriage equality is only weeks away.

    Luckily, they got rid of the ridiculous idea to form a special committee to review the bill. They wouldn't even have been able to vote on a final draft and send it to the plenary so it would've just resulted in useless bureaucracy upon bureaucracy so I'm glad it was ditched.

    My mouse can't copy and paste the text so let me put in my own summary/translation:

    The Human Rights Committee has to approve the bill and many agree that it should pass, PAN is not in favor. This is something that we can't ignore since the Supreme Court already ruled on axing discrimination between couples, says the congressman.

    They hope that in less than three weeks the final draft will be ready and out of the Human Rights Committee so it can be sent to the Constitutional Points Committee then the plenary.

    There might also be a plan to have a united committee (one that combines the two named above) to approve it so it can become a reality faster.
    http://pulsoslp.com.mx/2016/04/03/en-semanas-apro

  • 98. theperched  |  April 5, 2016 at 4:05 am

    EU Parliament cranking up the pressure on EU Commission for Lithuania to scrap their current LGBT propaganda law:

    On 4th of April, 2016 the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights addressed the European Comission urging to spead up the investigation regarding LGL’s appeal under the EU Directive Infringement Process. The European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights requests a report on European Comission’s findings regarding the compatibility of the Lithuanian law on the ‘Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information’ and its application with the European values as enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaties and the right to freedom of expression and information as enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights expresses its deep concern regarding a potential violation of fundamental rights and EU law and by apparent lack of urgency on the side of the Comission.

    On 13th of July, 2015 the National LGBT* rights organization LGL received an official notification from the European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology, stating that the Commission began investigation regarding LGL’s appeal under the European Union (EU) directive infringement process.

    A formal complaint, prepared in collaboration with the European LGBTI organization “ILGA-Europe”, states that the Lithuanian authorities have violated the EU Treaty, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) while disproportionately limiting the LGBT* community’s right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression. This right is guaranteed to every European citizen, regardless of, inter alia, sexual orientation, and the protection of minors cannot constitute a disproportionate infringement of this principle.
    http://www.lgl.lt/en/?p=12717

    EU Parliament has been trying to get Lithuania to scrap the law for ages.

  • 99. JayJonson  |  April 5, 2016 at 6:02 am

    The "pressure" is meaningless unless the EU acts forcefully to expel Lithuania from the union.

  • 100. theperched  |  April 5, 2016 at 6:51 am

    As much as they try to pass hateful bills (several pending), I think the risk of having Russia breathing on their neck is enough to get them to relent with enough pressure from the EU. The Commission is the part of the EU with real power, the EU Parliament is by far the weaker branch so having the Commission finally address the issue will possibly result in something positive.

    I don't understand who in the Baltics (even the conservatives) would want to leave when it's scared of being invaded by a "big bad wolf"; I think that fear that the government has in a way is the saving grace for LGBT in those countries.

  • 101. montezuma58  |  April 5, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Mississippi governor signs the discrimination bill.
    http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2016/04/mississi

  • 102. F_Young  |  April 5, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Mississippi’s Anti-LGBT Bill Is Just Bigotry Disguised As Faith
    http://time.com/4281258/mississippi-anti-lgbt-bil

  • 103. JayJonson  |  April 5, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Good analysis. Hope that the fear of Russia will make the Lithuanians do the right thing. If they won't, I am happy to leave them to the tender mercies of Putin. Membership in the EU should entail something more than economic benefit and protection from the Russians.

  • 104. guitaristbl  |  April 5, 2016 at 11:30 am

    It was to be expected. Even reading what this bill does gives me the chills. It's a true monstrosity that cannot in any way pass judicial scrutiny, especially the part concerning governmental employees. I hope a lawsuit comes soon in federal court. I don't expect much from district court or the 5th but it could get to SCOTUS and finally put an end to all this nonsense.

  • 105. Christian0811  |  April 5, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    The truly silly thing about the Lituanian law is that prohibits the "promotion" of ANY sexual orientation other than that in the constitution, including heterosexual *unmarried* couples. So it's a truly bizarre bit of work

    The original homophobic legislation was amended to be far more dilute and less vitriolic.

    Currently, I am not aware of any instance where the law as it is now has been enforced. It's menacing, but I think it remains largely unenforced because of its nuance.

    And let's not throw all of Lithuania under the bus, it's still many many times better than Russia. Sure the marriage amendment is egregious, but you can be openly queer and feel safe in public at the very least.

  • 106. theperched  |  April 5, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Books are rated R as we would say in the US despite only talking about homosexuality and not sex itself. I read one ad for a support group was only allowed to be played at night, the same as 'adult-leaning content'. Other promo is simply blocked from public broadcast hence the Commission looking into the law.

  • 107. VIRick  |  April 5, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    In defining the geo-political situation of the three small Baltic countries that had once been absorbed into the USSR, but which have subsequently become independent, we must remember that all three have direct, undefended land borders with Russia. For purposes of intimidation, and because of the porous nature of the unmarked borders, Russian agents have in the recent past successfully abducted Baltic citizens and taken them to Russia.

    The safest, and thus the most liberal and progressive, Estonia, due to strong cultural, linguistic, and religious affinity, has always looked to Finland for guidance and direction. Finland has graciously offered them protection and a lot of financial assistance, while at the same time, its own long land border with Russia continues to remain the most heavily-guarded, hostile, left-over Cold War frontier in all of Europe. Civilians can not approach closer than 1 km. to the very precisely-defined Russo-Finnish demarcation line. It is not a tourist destination.

    The next-safest, and the wealthiest and most westernized, Latvia, due to long-established historic and religious affinity, has always looked to Sweden for guidance and protection. Sweden has reciprocated with a lot of additional financial assistance and help.

    The least safe, the poorest, and the most rural, Lithuania, again due to long-establish historic and religious affinity, has always looked to Poland for guidance and protection. Its present-day capital, Vilnius (Wilno), and the surrounding area of Central Lithuania, was actually part of Poland (not Russia) until fairly-recent times. Unfortunately for Lithuania, Poland is not of much help at the present time, as it needs assistance itself. Also remember that Lithuania has TWO frontiers with Russia, one on either end, and must allow Russians transit access between the main part of Russia and the detached Kaliningrad area (the northern half of the former German territory of East Prussia). Kaliningrad is one hostile, armed camp, sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland, designed to intimidate both countries.

  • 108. allan120102  |  April 5, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    Poland in recent times have become really conservative too. So I feel sad for minorities in Lithuania and Poland.

  • 109. F_Young  |  April 6, 2016 at 12:36 am

    VIRick: "In defining the geo-political situation of the three small Baltic countries…"

    Thanks, Rick. That's very helpful in understanding the situation there.

  • 110. Insurance Plans  |  May 23, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    Thanks Mate.

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