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Open thread with SCOTUS news

Community/Meta Transgender Rights

The Supreme Court has relisted Gloucester County School Board v. GG for its October 28 conference. For the second time, the Court will consider whether to take up the case, involving a transgender teenager seeking to use his school’s bathroom, for argument and full review. There’s no time limit on a decision to grant or deny the case, but we could get an order as early as that day.

This is an open thread.

26 Comments

  • 1. VIRick  |  October 24, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    A Short History of Butt-Plugs

    Americans once used butt-plugs as a "miracle cure" device for everything from insomnia to bad breath, and from headaches to acne. Sold under the name, "Dr Young’s Ideal Rectal Dilators," early primitive forms of butt-plugs have been traced back to the late 1800s. Most forms of anal intercourse were illegal at the time under harsh sodomy laws, so of course they were "strictly" used for medical purposes, and definitely not for Ye Olde Bum Fun.

    Dr Young’s Ideal Rectal Dilators were made from jelly-like material, with one group of dilators coming in a set of four “torpedo-like” rods, from a little half-incher to a four-inch long and inch-wide version. Despite little evidence of a medical benefit, the devices caught on around the turn of the century, with one ad claiming they “may be used by any intelligent person” for treating piles or constipation. Writing in a 1893 medical journal, the eponymous Dr Young even touted the devices as a cure for insanity, insisting that it could cure 75% of people considered insane “in a few weeks’ time." The device grew in its alleged benefits the longer that it was on the market, benefiting from lax regulation on medical devices that permitted its sale as a "cure" for a range of maladies.

    However, Big Government eventually put a stop to all the fun with the 1938 Federal Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics Act, which introduced regulation for the first time, consequently clamping down on the sale of magic butt-plugs. According to court records, in 1940, just two years after the Act came into effect, Dr Young’s Ideal Rectal Dilators were banned outright. The court decision dryly noted: “The rectal dilator would be dangerous to health when used with the frequency and duration prescribed, recommended, or suggested in the labeling."

    Still, the same court order helpfully recounts the instructions accompanying the devices. These state: “Adults begin with No. 1 Dilator. First, warm dilator in warm water; then lubricate outside of dilator with Dr. Young’s Piloment (or if it is not available, with vaseline) and while in a squatting position—or while lying on the side with knees drawn up—gently insert in the rectum as far as the flange or rim. Hold in place a minute and the anal muscles will close and retain it. Sit or lie down and allow it to remain for half an hour or an hour to get the best results. Ten minutes will accomplish much. When ready to go to the next larger size, it is best first to use for a few minutes the same size you have been using, inserting and withdrawing it several times. This is very beneficial and should not be overlooked.”

    For additional information, including several illustrations of Dr. Young's Ideal Rectal Dilators, see:
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/10/24/butt-plugs-u

    As illustrated, one would think that at least one of those perfectly-preserved, boxed sets of Dr. Young's Ideal Rectal Dilators should be on display at one of the Smithsonian Museums, perhaps in an Americana exhibit, for "historic medical purposes," of course.

  • 2. VIRick  |  October 25, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Czech Government to Allow Gays to Adopt Partner’s Children

    Prague — The Czech government has approved a plan to allow gays and lesbians living in a registered partnership to adopt the children of their partners. Human Rights Minister Jiri Dienstbier says the move is meant to ensure the rights of the children. He estimated that up to 1,000 children in the country live with a biological parent in a same-sex partnership. Both chambers of Parliament still have to approve the plan.

    In 2006, Parliament approved a law allowing same-sex partners to live in an officially registered partnership and have rights to inheritance and health care similar to those enjoyed by heterosexual married couples. That law, however, does not allow same-sex partners to marry.
    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/10/czech-governme

    But here's the real reason for the abrupt turn-about above:

    The Czech Constitutional Court has overturned a law which banned individual gays and lesbians living in a registered partnership from adopting children. In its ruling on 24 June 2016, the country's highest legal authority said that such a ban is discriminatory because individual gays and lesbians who don't live in official partnership were allowed to do so. However, the ruling still does not allow lesbian and gay pairs to adopt children as a couple.
    http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/czech-gay-

  • 3. VIRick  |  October 25, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Trump Employee Suing for Anti-Gay Harassment and Discrimination

    A former gay maintenance worker at New Jersey’s Trump National Golf Club has filed a lawsuit claiming he was the victim of extreme homophobic harassment and discrimination. Eleazar Andres worked at the private club in 2014 and told his co-workers he was gay. Soon they were calling him anti-gay slurs, both in English and Spanish, as well as regularly throwing golf balls and rocks at him, the suit alleges. One attacker threw a rock at his head so hard that it sent him to the hospital.

    When Andres told management what was happening things only got worse, he claims. According to the suit, his direct supervisor witnessed several incidents of name-calling and abuse and did nothing. He reported the abuse to the golf course’s managers who assured him they would take care of the issue, but did nothing. After the attack that sent him to the hospital, Andres asked for information about his attackers for a police report he intended to file. He says management refused to provide it. It was then that he informed his bosses that he did not feel safe coming to work, at which point he was fired.

    The case is currently in court-mandated mediation. New Jersey has an anti-discrimination law that includes protections for LGBTQ people. Andres is suing on the grounds that he experienced sexual orientation harassment, a hostile work environment based on sexual orientation, discrimination based on sexual orientation, unlawful retaliation, and assault and battery, Slate reports.

    He argues his employer is liable “for the acts constituting hostile work environment” and “sexual orientation harassment” as it “failed to properly address” the issue and “failed to implement any preventative or remedial measures to protect against unlawful harassment” and discrimination.

    Lawyers for the club deny all of the claims except that Andres was the victim of physical attacks from his coworkers, which they blame on the victim, saying his claim is barred by the Doctrine of Unclean Hands. This line of attack argues that Andres is “guilty of inequitable conduct” and “is a wrongdoer with respect to” his own lawsuit.

    The complete court filing is included at the bottom of the article:
    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/10/trump-employee

  • 4. VIRick  |  October 25, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Uruguay, Argentina Ranked Most LGBT-Friendly Latin American Countries

    A report that the Americas Society and the Council of the Americas released on Tuesday, 25 October 2016, indicates Uruguay and Argentina are Latin America’s most LGBT-friendly countries. The 2016 Social Inclusion Index notes Uruguay “has been a leader” in the LGBT rights movement that has gained traction throughout the region over the last decade. The report notes Uruguay in 2009 became the first country in Latin America to extend adoption rights to same-sex couples.

    Gays and lesbians have been able to legally marry in Argentina and Uruguay since 2010 and 2013 respectively. Both countries also allow transgender people to legally change their gender without undergoing surgery. Argentina and Uruguay are among the countries that contribute to the Global Equality Fund, a public-private partnership to promote LGBT rights around the world that the State Department manages with the U.S. Agency for International Development.

    Uruguay in July hosted the first global LGBT rights conference to have taken place in Latin America. Uruguayan Minister of Exterior Relations Rodolfo Nin Novoa, Special US Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons, Randy Berry, and more than 150 activists from around the world were among those who attended the gathering in the country’s capital of Montevideo.

    “The laws that the LGBTI social movements of Argentina and Uruguay have achieved over the last few years have allowed for an opening and social inclusion that has contributed to a climate of respect for sexual diversity,” LGBT Federation of Argentina Vice President, Esteban Paulón, told the "Washington Blade" in response to the report. “Public policies that have broken down barriers and extended equality to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and trans people have also been implemented in both countries,” he added. “The report reflects that this combination of legal framework and public policies has, without a doubt, improved the conditions in which the LGBTI community lives, and they are the correct path forward for effectively fighting discrimination.”
    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/10/25/uruguay

  • 5. VIRick  |  October 25, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    The 8 States with "No Promo Homo" School Curriculum Laws

    In a first-of-its-kind lawsuit, Equality Utah, in the case, "Equality Utah v. Utah State Board of Education," very recently filed on Friday night, 21 October 2016, has challenged the state Board of Education over the state school curriculum law that prohibits discussing homosexuality in a positive way.

    Per Rex Wockner and NCLRights, we can now identify the other 7 states with similar/identical state-mandated school curriculum law prohibitions. They are: AL, AZ, LA, MS, OK, SC, and TX.

  • 6. VIRick  |  October 25, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Taiwan: DPP and NPP Start Push for Same-Sex Marriages

    Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday, 24 October 2016, pledged to renew a push to amend the Civil Code to legalize same-sex marriage, while the New Power Party (NPP) unveiled similar draft legislation. “While many local governments accept household registrations from same-sex couples, it is just an executive measure that does not give them full legal rights,” DPP Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) told a news conference at the legislature in Taipei.

    A dozen DPP lawmakers in rainbow caps waved rainbow flags while shouting their support for gay marriage during the news conference. Yu, who was one of the sponsors of an amendment to revise the Civil Code in the previous legislative session, said a new amendment has been submitted with the support of 40 lawmakers, including Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Jason Hsu (許毓仁).

    The proposal would legalize same-sex marriage by changing the law’s definition of the constituents of a marriage from a “man and woman” to “two sides.” “Many people have been asking why no amendment has been submitted and the reason is that details are important, and we have been putting a lot of thought into what should be covered,” Yu said. “This time we want an overall rule added: Gays and heterosexuals will have the right to equally enjoy the benefits of marriage, including parental authority over children and freedom from discrimination in adoption cases. There is also a need for a partnership law, but it should apply equally to heterosexuals and gays,” Yu added, referring to a draft bill proposed by the Ministry of Justice.

    DPP Legislator Lin Ching-yi (林靜儀), cosponsor of the proposed amendment, avoided the question whether it was supported by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), calling for the public to pay attention to Tsai’s actions and promises. The Chinese-language Liberty Times, the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper, said that Tsai would issue a public statement this week on same-sex marriage ahead of the first national gay pride parade during her administration.

    The NPP draped its office building with a rainbow banner to show its support for same-sex marriage, as its caucus detailed its proposed amendments. Amendments to the Family Act (家事事件法) are being proposed as the first step of what NPP Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said would be an extensive revision of related laws, such as those governing benefits afforded to relatives of government employees. http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2

  • 7. VIRick  |  October 25, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    An Historic Love Story from Spain, Marcela y Elisa

    Las pioneras del matrimonio gay en España fueron dos maestras que en 1901 burlaron las leyes divinas y humanas para normalizar su amor. Para lograrlo, una se disfrazó de hombre, hasta que el clero engrasó su maquinaria de represión y tuvieron que huir. A Coruña les rinde ahora homenaje con una calle les dedicará.

    Amar puede ser un acto revolucionario. Marcela y Elisa se querían al abrigo de la noche, pero decidieron poner a dios por testigo de su pasión. Fueron las primeras mujeres que se casaron en España y las únicas que lo hicieron por la Iglesia. La boda religiosa se celebró un siglo antes de la aprobación del matrimonio homosexual y lo pagaron muy caro: sufrieron la ira del pueblo, la burla de la prensa y la persecución de las autoridades. Hoy, sin embargo, la comunidad gay las considera unas heroínas, los medios las presentan como unas pioneras y los políticos reivindican su causa, que sigue siendo la de tantas personas sometidas a la doma de una sociedad machista. http://www.publico.es/sociedad/marcela-elisa-matr

    The pioneers of gay marriage in Spain were two teachers, who in 1901, out-maneuvered divine and human laws to normalize their love. To achieve this, one disguised as a man, until the clergy oiled its machinery of repression and they had to flee. Now, the city of La Coruña pays them tribute by naming a street after them.

    Love can be a revolutionary act. Marcela and Elisa wanted the cover of night, but decided to put God to witness their passion. They were the first women who were married in Spain and the only one made by the Church. The religious wedding was celebrated over a century before the approval of gay marriage and they paid dearly: they suffered the wrath of the people, the derision of the press, and the persecution of the authorities. Today, however, the gay community considers them heroines, the media present them as pioneers, and politicians claim their cause, which remains subject to so many people taming a macho society.

    One can see their posed wedding photo here:
    https://twitter.com/NoticiasLGBT/status/790997407

  • 8. allan120102  |  October 25, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    More info why the low marriage in Colombia. Discrimination being a key issue, but other reasons that other bloggers mention in the thread below. http://www.eltiempo.com/colombia/otras-ciudades/m

  • 9. allan120102  |  October 25, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Things moving forward for ss couples in Czech republic. In terms of adopting the child of your partner. http://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/governme

  • 10. allan120102  |  October 25, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Some party forces in Chiapas are doing everything they can to stop the action of inconstitutionality that was filed by lgbt and human rights groups. They know that once the court issue their decision there will be nothing that would stop ssm from taking place in the state. Supposedly the decision could come as soon as November base on local news. lol what I find ironic is that the governor of Chiapas is suppose to be gay even though he married a female pop star and is part of green ecology party which is the party that is trying to stop the supreme court from overturning the ban of chiapas.
    They warn of attempted boycott against equal marriage in Chiapas
    October 25, 2016 in Chiapas, Main Leave a comment

    The National Secretariat for Sexual Diversity PRD legislators denounced the actions of the Green in cahoots with conservative groups for the rights of the LGBTI community are not recognized

    Drafting
    The National Secretariat for Sexual Diversity Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD SNDS) remains attentive to the political scene that takes place in the state of Chiapas, about legislative changes that will lead to legal recognition of equal civil marriage.
    Civil society organizations have warned of attempts by some lawmakers Ecologist Green Party of Mexico, in alliance with conservative groups to curb the scope of action of unconstitutionality 32/2016 promoted by the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH) against articles 144 and 145 of the Civil Code of Chiapas, for its discriminatory content by not recognizing marriage between same-sex couples.
    Opponents to progress in the recognition of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) group, argue that the action brought by the national ombudsman Luis Raúl González Pérez, was extemporaneously, ie, seek to curb the court stating that there are no reasons warranting the action of justice process.
    For SNDS-PRD, in the process of building democracy, full respect for the legal proceedings initiated by LGBTI citizens of Chiapas who were denied the right to marry is essential.
    The action of unconstitutionality 32/2016 was promoted by the National Commission at the request of the civil association Different States before the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) in order to declare laws in Chiapas deny civil marriage unconstitutional not heterosexual couples.
    At its public meeting on September 28, the First Chamber of the Supreme Court reaffirmed the constitutionality of the traditional definition of marriage in the Chiapas Civil Code, thanks 582/2016 under 56 brought by people who felt violated their right to marry.
    With this determination, the Court imposed the state the obligation not to deny the right to marry couples formed by persons of the same sex.
    Despite this, the SNDS-PRD has learned in Chiapas try to leave nullity action of unconstitutionality promoted by the CNDH, which follows the same route and process the case of Jalisco I-promoted by the action of unconstitutionality 28/2016, which won last January that the Court ruled in their favor and declared the unconstitutionality of Article 260 of the civil Code that entity-, and as in the case of Jalisco, force the authorities to recognize the equal civil marriage without the need to resort under.

  • 11. allan120102  |  October 25, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    2nd part of the Chiapas case. Sorry but it was too long for one alone.

    While the resolution made by the Court on September 28 is of great importance in the struggle for equal rights, only it benefited the 56 people who took refuge. The action of unconstitutionality promoted by the CNDH generate general effects because Articles 144 and 145 of the Civil Code be declared invalid Chiapas, which would create a loophole that would force the local Congress to legislate to correct the statement by the Court.
    For this secretariat and the Party of the Democratic Revolution as a whole, it is concerned about the politicization of the issue of human rights that limit, without doubt, the rights and freedoms of individuals, to the detriment of democratic progress in Mexico.
    For these reasons, the SNDS-PRD remains pending events in Chiapas and condemns all political and legal strategy to hinder the irreversible advancement of human rights in that state in southeastern Mexico.
    http://aquinoticias.mx/advierten-intentos-boicot-

  • 12. Christian0811  |  October 25, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Aw I was hoping they would legalize adoption outright after the CC ruled in our favor 😛

  • 13. Christian0811  |  October 25, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Wasn't there a male couple married in Burgos in the 1100s by a monk?

  • 14. VIRick  |  October 25, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Christian, that may well be true, but I'm simply not aware of it.

    The 1901 story of Marcela y Elisa is currently in the news because local LGBT rights activists there have recently been successful in their bid to have the authorities in the city of La Coruña re-name a prominent street there in the couple's honor, the very city where the couple lived and married,– and then had to flee. The Spanish-language account goes on in great detail. I only translated two paragraphs of it.

    Plus, we have that historically preserved, posed wedding portrait as additional proof as to the authenticity of the over-all love story.

  • 15. scream4ever  |  October 25, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Yah, this will be an open and shut case to say the least LOL

  • 16. scream4ever  |  October 25, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Sounds like it will pass without much drama!

  • 17. allan120102  |  October 25, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Like Chiapas, Puebla have ask the supreme court an amparo protecting its law banning ssm from being overturn. We know they are going to rule in our favor as they have already rule against the the states over and over again. http://www.soyhomosensual.com/comunidad/congreso-

  • 18. JayJonson  |  October 26, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Gibraltar's Parliament passes marriage equality unanimously.
    http://www.joemygod.com/2016/10/26/gibraltar-same

  • 19. VIRick  |  October 26, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Gibraltar: Same-Sex Marriage Bill Approved Unanimously

    This morning, 26 October 2016, a tweet from HM Government of Gibraltar confirms:

    Historic Civil Marriage Amendment Bill 2016 is passed unanimously.

    Fabian Picardo, the head of the Equal Rights Group of Gibraltar, stated: "This is a landmark day for Gibraltar and this Parliament."

    He added, "There is concern among some members of the community regarding a Conscience Clause in the Bill which will allow Deputy Registrars who may have religious objections regarding same-sex marriage to be able to opt out of their employment duties. Government will be required, however, to provide a replacement celebrant. We understand the concern and the principle in question, the implications of which reach much beyond LGBT marriage."

    Gibraltar, with a population 30,000, is one of 14 British Overseas Territories, and is the fourth one to legalize same-sex marriage. Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands have constitutional bans still in place.
    (Tipped by JMG reader Luis)
    http://www.joemygod.com/2016/10/26/gibraltar-same

  • 20. VIRick  |  October 26, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    North Carolina Hit With Another $250 Million Job Loss Over Anti-LGBT Law, HB2

    North Carolina is being dealt a quarter-billion dollar blow to its local economy after yet another company has opted not to do business with the ailing state over HB2. CoStar Group, a Washington DC-based real estate analytics firm, has opted against opening a new operations center in Charlotte, one that would have added 730 jobs to the local economy. The move would have reportedly meant a $250 million investment in the city, but CoStar announced plans on Monday, 24 October 2016, to move to Richmond VA instead. Atlanta and Kansas City MO had also been in the running for the contract.

    CoStar’s commercial real estate broker, David Dorsch, told the "Charlotte Business Journal" that the company didn’t want to be associated with discrimination. “The primary reason they chose Richmond over Charlotte was HB2,” he said.
    http://www.advocate.com/politics/2016/10/26/nc-hi

  • 21. allan120102  |  October 26, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    More bad news for our lgbt brothers and sisters in Indonesia, and not only them but also the unmarried couples living together. I hope the court does the good thing but seeing how conservative Indonesia is becoming it might be a wish. The only thing that might stop a bad ruling is that the court will recognize that it might put in a bad position to other countries were human rights are respected. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific

  • 22. VIRick  |  October 26, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Iowa: ADF Dismisses Its Own Spurious Non-Discrimination Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In the federal suit, "Fort Des Moines Church of Christ v. Jackson," a case wherein which the Church was suing the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and the City of Des Moines over their non-discrimination laws, earlier this month, Federal District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose denied the Church's motion for a preliminary injunction, but also denied the Defendants' motions to dismiss.

    In the order (available here: http://bit.ly/2eHrSpo), the Court concluded, based on the Church's pleadings, that the Church is not likely to be subject to the ordinances it is challenging. The Court gave the Church permission to amend its complaint to include a fact essential to its claim, noting that if it did not amend by 28 October, "the Court may dismiss Plaintiff’s Verified Complaint."

    Today, 26 October 2016, the Church, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, (and apparently unable to produce a single fact essential to its claim) has now filed a notice that it is voluntarily dismissing its own complaint. That Notice is linked here:
    http://files.eqcf.org/cases/416-cv-00403-38/

  • 23. davepCA  |  October 26, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    So basically the court told the church and the ADF to knock off their silly sky-is-falling histrionics and stop wasting everybody's time. Good.

  • 24. VIRick  |  October 26, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Yes, worded a different way, because of Freedom of Religion, churches with closed-minded attitudes are free to discriminate, if they so choose to be bigotted, and are not subject to the City of Des Moines' non-discrimination laws nor to the Iowa Civil Rights Commission's rules and regulations (points which, for better or for worse, are already well-established). Still, the anti-LGBT ADF, of course, was pompously and quite vainly attempting to overturn both.

    But I love the subtle, singular wording in the Court Order, giving them until 28 October to provide "a fact essential to their claim." Multiple facts are not necessary here. Even two facts are not required. Just one single fact will do.

    And hilariously enough, neither the church nor the ADF were able to provide a single fact essential to their claim, and were thus reduced to requesting a Voluntary Dismissal of their own case. The judge was clever in twisting them around to force them into that position. Now, she can order the case dismissed at plaintiffs' request, and thus there are no grounds for any appeal, as there is no case.

  • 25. Fortguy  |  October 26, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    The situation in the British Overseas Territories is more complicated than the article would seem:

    *ME is unambiguously the law in the British Antarctic Territory, the Pitcairn Islands, and soon in Gibraltar once the legal niceties have run their course.

    *In the territory of Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha, Ascension has approved ME while ME is under consideration in Saint Helena. There is currently no proposal to extend ME to Tristan. Despite being classified as a single territory, each of the islands enjoys some level of local autonomy and jurisdiction from the others.

    *UK military personnel may marry in Akrotiri and Dhekelia, a territory comprising two military bases on the Greek side of Cyprus. The Cypriot civilian community within the territory is approximately as large as the UK military presence, but the UK administration must treat the civilian community in accordance with Cypriot law by treaty. It is unclear if a Cypriot civilian may legally marry a UK service member if the couple should subsequently choose to live in the UK. Their marriage will not be recognized locally should they remain in Cyprus (and most likely within the territory) after the UK service member is discharged from service.

    *The South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands territory could benefit by precedent the decision of the Antarctic territory in that both have no permanent populations and are staffed only by scientific researchers. South Georgia has a former settlement with a pretty church that would be ideal for weddings should the territory approve ME.

    *The British Indian Ocean Territory may benefit from the precedent of the Cypriot territory. Controversially, the native population has been long removed either to the UK or other Commonwealth countries in east Africa, so there is no local indigenous law to respect. Within the territory, US military forces outnumber UK forces by a two-to-one ratio, but it is not clear whether same-sex US service members may marry each other or UK service members within the territory without UK legal establishment for ME.

  • 26. MichGuy  |  October 27, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    I'm looking forward to following this case and I hope more of these states are put to task. This is a problem at the local school board level also who often have input on whats taught (or not allowed to be taught) in schools.

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