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READ IT HERE: Plaintiffs’ brief in challenge to HB2 on appeal to Fourth Circuit w/ UPDATE

Transgender Rights

Fourth Circuit map
Fourth Circuit map
In CarcaƱo v. McCrory, the plaintiffs challenging North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law known as HB2 have filed their opening brief in a case involving the scope of the district court’s injunction. The district court also, while ruling in favor of the plaintiffs on their federal law claims, denied their Equal Protection Clause claims.

You can read the opening brief here. More on the case can be found here including a case history.

We’ll have more when we finish reading the filing.

UPDATE: Oral argument in the case is tentatively set for the week of January 24-27

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings

52 Comments

  • 1. 1grod  |  October 20, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    Off topic:
    Former Judge Roy Moore did not respond to request to remove his things in his office. Told AL.com that request to do so was meanspirited : http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2016/

  • 2. VIRick  |  October 20, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    DOJ Appeals Ruling against Trans Student Protections in "State of Texas v. United States"

    Late today, 20 October 2016, the US Justice Department appealed a federal court ruling in "State of Texas v. United States" against Obama administration guidance barring schools from discriminating against trans-gender students, including bathroom use. The issuance of the preliminary injunction, now under appeal, came down from US District Judge Reed O’Connor two months ago as the result of litigation Texas Attorney-General Ken Paxton filed against the guidance on behalf of 12 states.

    At the time of the ruling in August, the Justice Department did not immediately appeal the decision. Instead, the department sought clarification on whether the order applies nationwide and whether it applies to all administration work against anti-transgender discrimination.

    O’Connor issued his clarification on 18 October 2016, affirming the ruling applies nationwide, not just in the 12 states that filed the lawsuit. The Justice Department has now officially filed its notice of appeal of the matter. The two-page notice of appeal is signed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney-General for the Civil Division, Benjamin Mizer, as well as attorneys in the Justice Department.

    The federal court that handed down the order is located in Texas, so the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the appeal. The litigation is the result of 12 states suing the Obama administration over guidance issued in May warning schools that discriminating against transgender students, including denying them access to the restroom consistent with their gender identity, amounts to discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972.
    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/10/20/doj-app….

    The Notice of Appeal is here:
    http://files.eqcf.org/cases/716-cv-00054-88/

    Judge O'Connor's Order of 18 October 2016 is here:
    http://files.eqcf.org/cases/716-cv-00054-86/

  • 3. VIRick  |  October 20, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Whimpering and Whining, Roy Moore Refuses to Vacate Judicial Office

    But this is fun, as one reads through all the insane shit Roy Moore claims he has piled all over the place in his office. The ridiculous details are rather eye-opening:

    Moore's attorney, Mat Staver with the legal group, Liberty Counsel, last Friday night, 14 October 2016, filed a motion with the Alabama Supreme Court seeking an order countermanding the letter Acting Chief Justice Stuart sent to him on 11 October 2016. Moore also says in the same motion that his personal effects consist of quite a bit more than just a few personal papers and books that could easily be removed. (And now comes the hilariously exciting part, quoted verbatim:)

    "He has decorated the Chief Justice's suite to reflect the dignity of his position, including historic artwork and statuary that required a team of movers to install," according to the motion. "A massive grandfather clock stands outside the door to his private office. Large portraits of Lincoln and Washington adorn the walls. An impressive rendition of Peter Rothermel's 1851 painting of Patrick Henry's "Give Me Liberty" speech before the House of Burgesses fills a large wall space near the grandfather clock."

    "Ornately framed copies of John Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence" and of Howard Chandler Christy's "Scene at the Signing of the Constitution" fill the walls in the Chief Justice's conference room," the motion states. "Removal and storage of the framed artwork and other objects d'art from the office of the Chief Justice would be a significant task, one that is impractical to accomplish within the few days Justice Stuart has allotted."
    http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2016/

    NOTE: Almost perversely and rather peculiarly, no mention was made of any monumentally gross "Ten Commandments" statuary among the many treasured "objects d'art" quietly gathering dust in Roy's sanctuary. Plus, it is also quite difficult to imagine that any of Roy's faithful bible-beating followers have the slightest clue as to what the term, "objects d'art," might happen to mean.

  • 4. VIRick  |  October 21, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Romanian President Urges Tolerance for Gay Couples as Court Mulls Marriage Case

    Bucharest, Romania — On Wednesday, 19 October 2016, Romania’s president called for “tolerance and acceptance” of minorities as the nation’s highest court considers whether to legally recognize a same-sex marriage between a US citizen and a Romanian man. Klaus Iohannis, an ethnic German and a Lutheran, noted that he belonged to two minorities. “Tolerance and acceptance of others are vital. These are the values I believe in,” he said. In unusually outspoken comments to foreign news organizations, Iohannis said “religious fanaticism does not help society. If being a Christian leans toward fanaticism…. it sends a wrong signal.”

    The Constitutional Court will rule next week on a petition to recognize the couple’s union, which is currently invalid in Romania. The influential Romanian Orthodox Church opposes the petition.

    Claibourn Robert Hamilton, an American graphic designer and Adrian Coman, a rights activist, have petitioned the court to recognize their marriage. They married in Belgium in 2010, where same-sex marriages are legal, and live in the United States. They launched a legal fight to get their marriage sanctioned in Romania in 2012 after their plans to relocate for work were shelved due to a refusal by immigration authorities to recognize their union. The court has twice delayed making a decision in their case.

    Religious groups connected to the Orthodox Church want the constitution amended to state that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. The constitution currently says that marriage is a union between spouses.
    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/10/romanian-presi

  • 5. VIRick  |  October 21, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Louisiana Attorney-General Challenges LGBT-Rights Order

    Baton Rouge LA — On Thursday, 20 October 2016, Louisiana‘s Republican attorney-general asked a judge to block the Democratic governor’s order banning discrimination in state government against LGBT people, in an escalating dispute over the protection language. In his court challenge, Attorney-General Jeff Landry says Gov. John Bel Edwards’ anti-discrimination order violates state law and exceeds the governor’s authority. He’s seeking to have the order declared unconstitutional.

    Landry said he filed the petition “so the court may decide if the governor can circumvent the Legislature to create his own law. The governor continues to violate his duty to faithfully execute the laws by legislating through executive fiat,” the attorney general said in a statement.

    Edwards responded by accusing Landry of putting “his own political interests ahead of the needs of our state. He maintains only businesses that reserve the right to discriminate are eligible for a state contract, and that’s just wrong,” the governor said in a statement. “New opportunities arise for our state every day because we will not discriminate, including having the 2017 NBA All-Star Game relocate to New Orleans.” The NBA moved the game from North Carolina because that state has a law that restricts the rights of LGBT people.

    Louisiana’s governor and attorney-general have clashed repeatedly over the anti-discrimination order Edwards issued in April, which prohibits discrimination in government and state contracts based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The order includes an exception for contractors that are religious organizations.

    Landry’s office issued an opinion in May saying the order has “no binding legal effect” because it seeks to establish a new protected class of people that doesn’t exist in law and that lawmakers have refused to add. The attorney general has blocked dozens of contracts to let state agencies hire outside lawyers that contain the anti-discrimination clause.

    Edwards has said he won’t rescind the order, and he sued Landry over the attorney general’s refusal to approve the legal contracts containing the LGBT-rights language. A judge ruled against Edwards this week, suggesting the attorney general has discretion in how his office reviews the legal contracts. But the judge wasn’t asked about and didn’t rule on whether the governor’s executive order is legal — so Landry’s seeking a decision on that, making the same arguments his office asserted in its previous opinion on the executive order.

    The order “unreasonably and unnecessarily exposes the state of Louisiana to liability” in employment relationships and contracting “by purporting to create a new protected class and requiring mandatory language in the award and execution of contracts,” Landry’s petition says. The attorney-general is asking for a preliminary injunction, prohibiting the Edwards administration from enforcing the order, and ultimately for the order to be declared unconstitutional and voided.

    Edwards’ anti-discrimination order is similar to orders enacted by two former Louisiana Democratic governors — but he added language protecting against discrimination based on gender identity, a provision that protects transgender people. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/10/louisiana-atto

  • 6. scream4ever  |  October 21, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    He will lose this. As the article mentions, similar orders have been in effect for years.

  • 7. VIRick  |  October 21, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Britain to Pardon Thousands of Men Convicted under Anti-Gay Laws

    London — Thousands of men who were convicted under now-abolished British laws against homosexuality are to receive posthumous pardons, the government announced on Thursday, 20 October 2016. Those who are still alive will be eligible to have their criminal records wiped clean under an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill, a substitute to the so-called "Alan Turing Law."

    The Ministry of Justice said the pardons apply to men convicted for consensual same-sex sexual relations before homosexuality was decriminalized several decades ago. Men living with convictions can apply to the government to have their names cleared.
    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/10/britain-will-p
    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/10/21/alan-tu

  • 8. VIRick  |  October 21, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Oral Arguments Scheduled in North Carolina HB2 Appeal

    Per Equality Case Files (and as per Scottie's lead story on this thread):

    In "Carcaño v. McCrory," the case in which the plaintiffs are appealing the narrow scope of the preliminary injunction against North Carolina HB2, as well as the denial of their Equal Protection claims, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has tentatively scheduled oral argument in this appeal for the week of 24-27 January 2017.

    The Tentative Calendar Order is linked here:
    http://files.eqcf.org/cases/16-1989-52/

  • 9. Sagesse  |  October 21, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Following the link, it also appears that Judge Moore's law clerks have been fired, even thought he is appealing.

    Schadenfreude is sweet… tho perhaps not so much for the unfortunate clerks.

  • 10. VIRick  |  October 21, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Nepal: First-in-Asia to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

    From a Nepalese news article prepared by the Nepalese rights organization, Pahichan, in an article where even the year dates correspond to an alternate universe, and which is an obvious translation from an extremely different language, but complete with quaint British parliamentary jargon, neither of which is understood, I can only grasp the meaning of these two sentences:

    Kathmandu, 21 October 2016 – Same-sex marriage is all set to gain legal status in Nepal. Ministry of Women, Children, and Social Welfare has constituted a committee for the purpose of preparing a draft law on the same issue.
    http://pahichan.com/all-set-to-get-legal-status/

    Even stranger, Ricardo Baruch first drew my attention to this development via the Spanish-language website, Matrimonio Igualitario, with this comment:

    Nepal podría ser el próximo país en legislar el matrimonio igualitario. Su constitución ya protege a personas LGBTI.

    Nepal could be the next country to legislate marriage equality. Its constitution already protects LGBTI persons.

  • 11. scream4ever  |  October 21, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Wonderful news, even though it's taken WAY too long considering the Supreme Court ruled in favor of it 8 years ago.

  • 12. allan120102  |  October 21, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Meanwhile after a lawsuit was filed aginst than ban on same sex marriage in Panama. The church have now ask people to go and march like in Mexico in protest against same sex marriage. The lawsuit is in power of magistrate Luis Ramon Fabregas. He will be the judge in charge of admitting the case or not. If he does then the 9 supreme court justices will hear the case. http://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/Alianza-Evang
    http://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/Alianza-Evang

    In this Article below it shows that Panama´s constitution only mentions that the state will protect marriage, maternity and family it doesnt even mention Paternity nor how marriages or families need to be. In my opinion if I was a judge it would be easier to strike down the article than the one in Colombia, but Panama being a conservative country we will see.
    Imo Costa Rica or Panama are going to be the first two countries in CA to legalize gay marriage after that it would reach the other 4 spanish country . http://www.tvn-2.com/nacionales/matrimonio-hombre

  • 13. VIRick  |  October 21, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    One also must remember that, like both Ecuador and Venezuela, Panamá was part of Gran Colombia (Nueva Granada) during the entire Spanish colonial era. Even after independence from Spain, and after the other two split off, Panamá remained a state within independent Colombia, only gaining its own independence from Colombia in 1903. As a result, all of Panamá's basic laws are a direct inheritance from Colombia, including the very vague constitutional mention of marriage.

    And western Panamá may indeed be rather conservative, especially the Azuero Peninsula, but the conservatism there is more than counter-balanced by the very international, multi-cultural, multi-lingual Canal area, and especially including the capital city and name-sake of the country, Panamá, República de Panamá. In that zone, the USA probably has more influence, culturally/linguistically/politically, than in any other specific area in all of Latin America (with the possible exceptions of Puerto Rico and the USVI). It would also seem unlikely that the Catholic Church (threatening marches against the prospect of same-sex marriage, as they recently did in Mexico) would have any influence over Panamá's extremely large Chinese population, nor much influence over its Afro-Caribbean population. Nor would Panamá's Jewish or Muslim communities pay it any mind, while the Indigenous people of San Blas and Darien would continue to live in a world of their own.

  • 14. ianbirmingham  |  October 22, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Log Cabin Republicans board votes against endorsing Trump
    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/donald-trum

  • 15. VIRick  |  October 22, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Equality Utah Sues State Education Dept. over Anti-LGBT Curriculum Law

    Equality Utah filed a first-of-its-kind federal lawsuit on Friday, 21 October 2016, against the state’s education office, challenging a curriculum law that prohibits discussing homosexuality in a positive way, the "Salt Lake City Tribune" reports. The suit argues that the law violates First Amendment free speech protections as well the 14th Amendment right to Equal Protection.

    Utah is one of eight states with so-called “no promo homo” laws, but so far, the only one where such legislation has been challenged in court. “The anti-gay school laws were enacted in order to express moral disapproval of ‘homosexuality’ and of LGBT persons,” court papers say. “They do not serve any legitimate state interest.”

    “It could set the precedent for the striking down these laws nationally,” Chris Stoll, attorney for the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), told the "Tribune." The lawsuit is being brought by NCLR on behalf of Equality Utah and three students — a gender non-conforming 7-year-old who got beaten up and harassed by kindergarten classmates for wearing a dress, a gay high school student who has suffered ongoing bullying, and a lesbian student who was punished for holding hands with a girl.
    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/10/equality-utah-

    The lawsuit, "Equality Utah v. Utah State Board of Education," was filed Friday night, 21 October 2016, in federal court against the Utah State Board of Education and several school districts by the LGBT rights groups, Equality Utah and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, on behalf of students in public schools identified in court documents only as “John Doe,” “James Doe” and “Jessie Doe.”
    http://fox13now.com/2016/10/21/lgbt-groups-file-l

    The entire complaint can be found here:
    https://www.scribd.com/document/328456404/Equalit

  • 16. VIRick  |  October 22, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Chile: First Anniversary of Same-Sex Civil Unions

    Per Esteban Guzmán, vocero de Movilh, and Rex Wockner:

    Aniversario: Hoy, 22 de octubre, cumplimos un año de Unión Civil. Más felices que nunca y trabajando para conseguir matrimonio igualitario en Chile.

    Anniversary: Today, 22 October, we complete one year of Civil Unions. Happier than ever and working to secure marriage equality in Chile.

  • 17. VIRick  |  October 22, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Mexico: Guanajuato: Same-Sex Marriage #24

    En 29 de octubre 2016, la pareja conformada por Luz Gabriela Solano y Érika María González se convertirá en la segunda pareja LGBT este mes en tener una unión legal en la ciudad de Guanajuato, Guanajuato. Esto fue posible gracias a que, en mayo de este año, el juez federal Günther Demián Hernández Núñez, les concedió un amparo a estas mujeres, alegando que el artículo 144 del Código Civil y el artículo 72 del Reglamento del Registro Civil eran inconstitucionales al violar “los derechos humanos de igualdad y no discriminación (….) en los artículos 1° y 4° constitucionales." http://www.soyhomosensual.com/noticias/segunda-un

    On 29 October 2016, the couple formed by Luz Gabriela Solano and Érika María González will become the second LGBT couple this month to have a legal union in the city of Guanajuato, Guanajuato. This was possible because, in May of this year, the federal judge, Günther Demián Hernández Núñez, granted these women an amparo, arguing that Article 144 of the Civil Code, as well as Article 72 of the Civil Registry Regulations, were unconstitutional for violating "the human rights of equality and non-discrimination (….) as found in Articles 1 and 4 of the federal Constitution."

  • 18. VIRick  |  October 22, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Arkansas Supreme Court: Fayetteville LGBT Ordinance

    Little Rock AR — An Arkansas city says its ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity does not violate a state law that was intended to prevent such local protections, and argues that the state’s highest court does not need to weigh in on the law’s constitutionality. On Friday, 21 October 2016, attorneys for the city of Fayetteville told the state Supreme Court that a judge who upheld the ordinance did not rule on the constitutionality of a 2015 state law preventing cities and counties from adopting anti-discrimination ordinances that go beyond what the state protects. Arkansas civil rights law doesn’t include sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Instead, Fayetteville said (as per the judge's ruling) that those protections are laid out in other state laws, so the ordinance is allowed. Attorney-General Leslie Rutledge has asked the court to strike down Fayetteville’s ordinance.
    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/10/arkansas-city-

  • 19. scream4ever  |  October 22, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Eh, they could always start a Kickstarter campaign LOL

  • 20. scream4ever  |  October 22, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    I'm not sure I understand this logic, but the state supreme court should strike down the ban, a la Romer v Evans.

  • 21. VIRick  |  October 22, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    I had to look back to the original judicial ruling, and this is what I found:

    On Tuesday, 1 March 2016, a state judge upheld a northwest Arkansas city’s ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, ruling that it doesn’t conflict with a state law aimed at blocking local protections for gays and lesbians. Washington County Circuit Judge Doug Martin ruled that the Fayetteville ordinance ratified by voters last year doesn’t 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 doesn’t include sexual orientation or gender identity. But Martin sided with supporters of the Fayetteville ordinance who pointed to those protections being mentioned elsewhere in state law. “Clearly, the classifications of gender identity and sexual orientation were classifications of persons protected on bases contained in state law prior to the enactment of (Fayetteville’s ordinance),” Martin wrote.

    So, he's using other (unspecified) state law to uphold the ordinance.

  • 22. VIRick  |  October 22, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    The Alabama Supreme Court could auction off all the precious, unclaimed "objects d'art" they find in Roy's office, and then magnanimously donate the proceeds to the "Roy Moore unemployed law clerks" fund.

  • 23. FredDorner  |  October 22, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    That's correct. The more general issue of these state laws which prohibit localities from passing more comprehensive protections is yet to be litigated, although I think it's pretty clear that they were enacted in order to avoid the Romer precedent by not targeting a specific group for discrimination. I think HB2 is the first such law to be considered after Romer and it's clear to me that it plainly violates that precedent, even if Charlotte's ordinance never went into effect.

  • 24. scream4ever  |  October 22, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Gotcha. An excellent interpretation. It's kind of like how they're now trying to get protections from those that already exist in the Civil Rights Act based on how the term "sex" is defined.

  • 25. allan120102  |  October 23, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Aguascalientes legislature sinks proposal to legalize ssm. Deputies in favor said they didnt have a majority for the law to be discussed and it will probably be another 3 years of waiting as PAN will have a majority in the next legislatures. So unless the supreme court declares the articles unconstitutional we would wait at least 3 years until the next state elections to see if we got more deputies in favor. Sad http://metropolitanoags.blogspot.mx/2016/10/entie

  • 26. JayJonson  |  October 23, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    More on employment discrimination: http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/claude_s

  • 27. VIRick  |  October 23, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Ohio: Judge Stands Firm in Supporting Transgender Student

    Columbus OH — A federal judge has rejected an Ohio school district’s request to put a ruling involving transgender bathrooms on hold during an appeal. Judge Algenon Marbley ordered Highland local schools in Morrow County last month to treat an 11-year-old student who was assigned male at birth but identifies as female “as the girl she is.” That includes calling the student by a female name and female pronouns and giving the student access to the girls’ restroom.

    Highland wants to block enforcement of a federal directive that public schools let students use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identities. The school district asked Marbley to delay his order while the district appealed. On Thursday, 20 October 2016, Marbley turned that request down, saying the girl’s sex discrimination and equal protection claims would likely succeed on appeal. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/10/judge-stands-f

  • 28. allan120102  |  October 23, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Colombia have only 47 same sex marriage since same sex couples could start marrying in late May,With a population of 48 millions I see it too low even though lgbt activist say lgbt couples prefer civil unions. Another thing is that it might be because of discrimination against lgbt. http://hsbnoticias.com/noticias/nacional/luego-de

  • 29. ebohlman  |  October 23, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Keep in mind that people do take time to plan weddings and the like; since ME in Colombia is final, there's no need for a mad scramble to marry before the right might be taken away.

  • 30. A_Jayne  |  October 23, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but OH is in the 6th Circuit – the only circuit in which an appellate panel upheld marriage inequality until SCOTUS handed them their Obergefell defeat – yet Judge Marbley says the school district is likely to lose on appeal.

    Does the Judge know something the rest of us don't about the 6th Circuit? Has the makeup of the 6th Circuit changed significantly in the last 2 years?

  • 31. F_Young  |  October 23, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Scotland Embraces Gay Politicians in a Profound Cultural Shift

    …..Today, in addition to the leaders of three of the five major political parties in Scotland, four ministers in the Scottish government are openly gay, as is the secretary of state for Scotland in Britain’s Conservative government. The one elected representative of the right-wing U.K. Independence Party in Scotland is gay, too.

    Of the 129 members of the Scottish Parliament, a legislative assembly with far-reaching autonomy from London, 10, or nearly 8 percent, identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual, by one tally the highest known proportion for a national legislature anywhere.

    …..By contrast, the United States Congress, representing a population 60 times Scotland’s, has six elected House members and one senator who are openly gay, lesbian or bisexual.

    …..One of the first things lawmakers did after the creation of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 was to repeal legislation barring schools from “promoting homosexuality,” a law that had effectively muffled any discussion of L.G.B.T. issues in schools.

    …..Since then, Scotland has legalized civil partnerships, gay adoption and, in 2014, same-sex marriage (known in Scotland as “equal marriage” because it allows for entirely gender-neutral ceremonies). Scottish hate-crime law, which explicitly includes prejudice against transgender and intersex people, is considered one of the most robust in the world. And now the government is considering changing its gender recognition law to accommodate those with a “nonbinary” identity, which is neither female nor male.

    Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/23/world/europe/sc

  • 32. scream4ever  |  October 23, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    The 6th Circuit previously ruled in our favor in a similar case, so it has been binding precedent. That was explicitly stated when a judge ruled against a gay man in Michigan recently.

  • 33. VIRick  |  October 23, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Nothing has changed at the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. It's just that Judge Marbley is being positive and pro-active in denying the stay, as he wants his ruling to remain in effect. If he were to have granted the stay, pending appeal, then the school district gets its way, and the child is denied their rights.

    Morrow County is north of Columbus, south of Mansfield, and west of hyper-Amish Holmes County. And like Holmes County, it is a mostly rural county, with a lot of Amish, but with a total population of just 35,000. Its only town of any consequence is Mount Gilead, a town outfitted with horse-and-buggy parking. Highland Local School District covers a large swath east of there, and includes Chesterville, the center of the county's Amish community. It also operates schools in Sparta and Marengo. I doubt if that local rural school district has a huge budget for legal expenses, and may not really be able to afford much of an appeal. And just to be clear, the Amish do not send their kids to state-operated schools, so they would not be involved in this. I only mentioned them to give the flavor of the area. It's their non-Amish neighbors on the school board who apparently have the problem with an 11-year-old transgender child in their midst.

    I also clearly remember when the federal judge in Tennessee, which is also in the 6th Circuit, in the marriage case that arose in that state several years ago, denied the state defendants a stay, declaring that the plaintiffs would likely succeed on appeal. Again, she was being positive and pro-active. And despite the fact that the state spent $1.4 million in a futile defense, in the long-term, of course, she was correct. In the intermediate term, though, not-so-much.

  • 34. scream4ever  |  October 23, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Plus haven't there already been several weddings prior to the ruling?

  • 35. A_Jayne  |  October 23, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Thank you. I missed that case somehow.

  • 36. VIRick  |  October 23, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Here's what the state of Michigan has to say on the issue of trans-gender rights in the state's public schools:

    Michigan Public Schools Set New Inclusive Policy for Transgender Students

    On Wednesday, 13 September 2016, Michigan’s State Board of Education voted 6-2 in favor of guidance aimed at creating an inclusive environment for LGBTQ students after receiving additional public comments. Although the guidelines are voluntary, they have sparked criticism from conservative lawmakers and parents, particularly over the policies that direct how schools should accommodate transgender students in bathrooms, locker rooms, shower facilities, and sports teams.

    The proposed recommendations suggest school leaders make good faith efforts to address students by their chosen name and pronouns. The guidance also urges schools to let transgender students use those bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity.

    To the best of my understanding, there have not been any lawsuits filed in Michigan challenging this statewide policy.

  • 37. VIRick  |  October 23, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Scream4ever, it this the recent case? It's a workplace trans-gender rights issue which is directly involved here:

    Michigan: EEOC Appeals Ruling Enabling Anti-Trans Bias

    The EEOC has appealed a ruling enabling a funeral home to discriminate in the name of “religious freedom.” In the aftermath of a federal court ruling allowing a Michigan funeral home to discriminate against a transgender worker in the name of “religious freedom,” the US agency representing the worker has appealed the decision to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case, "EEOC v. RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes."

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a notice of appeal on Thursday, 13 October 2016, before District Judge Sean Cox, an appointee of GW Bush, who ruled in August that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act allows RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes to discriminate against Amiee Stephens. The funeral home terminated her after she announced her plans to transition.

    The EEOC had argued the prohibition on gender discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits the funeral home from discriminating against Stephens for being transgender. But in a decision based on the US Supreme Court 2014 decision in the "Hobby Lobby" case, Cox determined that requiring the funeral home to employ Stephens “would impose a substantial burden on its ability to conduct business in accordance with its sincerely-held religious beliefs.” The majority owner of the funeral home, Thomas Rost, asserted his Christian faith prohibits him from paying for and permitting employees to dress as members of the opposite sex, as he put it. Representing Rost before the federal court was the anti-LGBT Alliance Defending Freedom.

  • 38. VIRick  |  October 23, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    Yes, there were actually quite a few, perhaps close to 100, or possibly even more, prior to the Constitutional Court's announcement of its ruling. Early on, many same-sex couples, if successful in marrying, attempted to stay quiet about it so as to avoid attracting the attention of the Inspector-General (now fired) who dragnetted the country looking for cases he could attempt to squash and/or appeal. There must have been 35 cases he found and appealed, one of the reasons the proceedings went on for as long as they did.

    Also, there was a big spurt in the number of marriages in the last several months leading up to the Court's announcement, from mid-November 2015 on, once it became clear to almost everyone as to how the Constitutional Court intended to rule.

    This is an abbreviated account, written in July 2014, and concerns the two "centerpiece" cases which the Inspector-General appealed:

    A handful of same-sex couples have exchanged vows in the country since the Constitutional Court’s deadline passed in June 2013. Ordóñez, the Inspector-General, has petitioned the tribunal to overturn rulings that allowed them to marry.

    Rodríguez and Soto in June 2013 applied for a marriage license in Cali, but a notary rejected it on the grounds he did not have the authority to allow same-sex couples to marry. A judge subsequently ruled in favor of the men, but Ordóñez challenged the decision.

    A Bogotá judge in July 2013 married Cantor and Castro after a court in the Colombian capital granted them a marriage license. Ordóñez two months later petitioned the Constitutional Court to block the union.

    By mid-November 2015, after Pretelt's minority position was rejected, it was evident to almost everyone as to what the Court's ruling was going to be. The Court subsequently approved its majority decision on 7 April 2016, and publicly announced it on 28 April 2016. The first post-ruling same-sex marriage occurred in Cali on 24 May 2016.

    Alberto Rojas Ríos' written decision, which definitively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, was publicly published on 7 July 2016.

    Pretelt, after having been found guilty of extortion in several other unrelated court cases, was summarily booted off the Court in disgrace on 24 August 2016.

  • 39. A_Jayne  |  October 24, 2016 at 12:11 am

    Thank you for that additional info.

  • 40. scream4ever  |  October 24, 2016 at 1:26 am

    Yup that's it.

  • 41. F_Young  |  October 24, 2016 at 3:08 am

    Australia: Liberal senator breaks Coalition ranks to call for parliamentary vote on marriage equality

    Dean Smith, who opposes the plebiscite, says if parliament tested the issue again it could pass same-sex marriage through a private members’ bill

    The Liberal senator Dean Smith has said the parliament should consider a vote on a same-sex marriage bill this term, in contrast to conservative colleagues’ view that no vote should be held without a plebiscite.

    Smith, who opposes the government’s proposed plebiscite, is the first Coalition MP to call for a parliamentary vote, which Malcolm Turnbull has not ruled out if the Senate blocks the plebiscite bill as is expected.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/o

  • 42. F_Young  |  October 24, 2016 at 3:14 am

    Very good article.

  • 43. scream4ever  |  October 24, 2016 at 9:14 am

    The cracks are starting to form as expected!

  • 44. davepCA  |  October 24, 2016 at 11:23 am

    I've been out of the country for about three weeks, traveling with no computer and almost zero internet access. And I gotta say it's great to come back and see all of this recent good news!

  • 45. F_Young  |  October 24, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Northern Ireland: Christian Bakers in Northern Ireland Lose Appeal In ‘Gay Cake’ Ruling

    Appeal court judges bakery's refusal to make cake as "direct discrimination"

    A bakery in Northern Ireland has failed in its appeal to overturn a ruling that it had discriminated against a gay customer by refusing to bake a cake with a slogan in support of same-sex marriage.

    Read more: http://time.com/4542276/christian-bakers-gay-cake

  • 46. VIRick  |  October 24, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Northern Ireland: Baker Loses Discrimination Appeal

    Belfast, Northern Ireland — On Monday, 24 October 2016, a Belfast bakery lost its appeal of a ruling that it discriminated against a gay customer by refusing to bake a cake decorated with a message supporting same-sex marriage. The judgment against Ashers Baking Co. found that the family-run chain was wrong to treat gay customers any differently from heterosexuals. The Ashers directors argued they were happy to bake goods for anyone but could not put messages on their products at odds with their Christian beliefs.

    The Northern Ireland Equality Commission pursued the lawsuit against Ashers on behalf of the spurned customer, who had ordered the cake for a gay rights event. Monday’s judgment by the three-judge Court of Appeal found that the bakery had discriminated against the customer and violated British human rights law.

    Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan rejected the bakery’s central argument that it would be endorsing gay marriage by making the cake. “The fact that a baker provides a cake for a particular (sports) team, or portrays witches on a Halloween cake, does not indicate any support for either,” he said during his 30-minute reading of the full ruling. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/10/baker-loses-ap

  • 47. VIRick  |  October 24, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Legisladores en Taiwán Proponen Ley de Matrimonio Homosexual

    Taiwan Legislators Propose Same-Sex Marriage Law

    Los cambios permitirán a los homosexuales casarse, disfrutar de los derechos matrimoniales, y adoptar hijos. Legisladores del gobernante Partido Demócrata Progresista (PDP) de Taiwán anunciaron hoy, 24 de octubre 2016, la propuesta de una enmienda al Código Civil para legalizar el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo.

    La promotora de la enmienda en el PDP, Yu Mei-nu, presidenta del Comité de Judicatura, Estatutos, y Leyes Orgánicas del Parlamento isleño, dijo en rueda de prensa que los cambios permitirán a los homosexuales casarse, disfrutar de los derechos matrimoniales y adoptar hijos. Más de 30 legisladores del partido ya han expresado su apoyo a la enmienda, que se ha presentado al Comité de Procedimientos y deberá pasar por el Parlamento en pleno antes de ser enviada al comité específico para su revisión, agregó Yu.

    El Partido Nuevo Poder (PNP), que cuenta con cinco escaños, también expresó hoy su apoyo al matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo y anunció que presentará igualmente una enmienda al respecto.
    http://elsiglo.com/internacional/legisladores-tai

    The changes will allow same-sex couples to marry, enjoy marriage rights, and adopt children. Today, 24 October 2016, lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (PDP) in Taiwan announced the proposal of an amendment to the Civil Code to legalize marriage between couples of the same sex.

    The sponsor of the amendment in the PDP, Yu Mei-nu, chair of the Committee on the Judiciary, Statutes, and Organic Laws of the island's parliament, said at a news conference that the changes will allow same-sex couples to marry, enjoy marriage rights, and adopt children. More than 30 party lawmakers have already expressed support for the amendment, which has been submitted to the Committee on Procedures and must pass through the full Parliament before being sent to a specific committee for review, said Yu.

    The New Power Party (PNP), which has five seats, today also expressed their support for same-sex marriage and announced that they will also present an amendment on the matter.

  • 48. VIRick  |  October 24, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    And during that interval, your supreme hotness was sorely missed!!

  • 49. davepCA  |  October 24, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Aw shucks (blush).

  • 50. scream4ever  |  October 24, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    The race is on as to whether it will be Taiwan or Nepal as the first Asian nation with marriage equality!!!

  • 51. allan120102  |  October 24, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Imo the first will be Taiwan follow by Nepal or Vietnam. Thalind, Japan or Israel after them. Little by little the map will turn blue.

  • 52. SethInMaryland  |  October 25, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Taiwan will beat Nepal likely because it seems that lawmakers in Taiwan already have a bill drawn up and will likely start the process very soon so I think it be Taiwan :) First country in East to legalize marriage equality

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