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Open thread with updates in pending cases

Transgender Rights

This is an open thread.

The Gloucester County School Board has responded to Gavin Grimm’s lawyers’ request to expedite briefing in the Fourth Circuit and hold argument during its May sitting. The school board agrees partially: they are fine with submitting briefs at the same time on the remaining questions in the case. They ask the appeals court, though, to issue a briefing schedule that is not expedited, along with an argument date during the September sitting. They argue that the Trump administration should be allowed time to file a brief in the case if they’d like to participate, and they claim that the judges on the panel won’t have time to “digest” all the briefs if the case is fast-tracked. If their plan is considered, the supplemental briefs would be due May 1, with amicus briefs due June 1, and responses by July 3.

UPDATE: Gavin Grimm’s lawyers’ reply in support of their request points out that under Supreme Court precedent, a new interpretation of the regulations at issue would not receive deference, since the new interpretation would depart from the old one. The lawyers argue there’s no other reason to wait so long for resolution of the case.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings

66 Comments

  • 1. 1grod  |  March 14, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    While only indirectly related to LGBTQ equality matters, still worthy to note that Alabama's Special Supreme Court dispenses with April 26 trial of R Moore. Will make the determination on the bases of the record. http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2017/

  • 2. VIRick  |  March 14, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Activist Threatened for Challenging Trinidad/Tobago Sodomy Law

    Port of Spain, Trinidad — A Caribbean LGBT activist has received almost 50 death threats following his lawsuit against the Attorney-General of Trinidad and Tobago to remove the country’s anti-gay sodomy laws. Trinidad and Tobago is among the 74 countries around the world that have discriminatory laws against same-sex consensual adults.

    Jason Jones, who has been an activist in both Trinidad and Tobago and in the UK for 28 years, filed a claim against the state on 23 February 2017 contesting Sections 13 and 16 of the country’s Sexual Offenses Act (SOA). The first section criminalizes sodomy between consensual adults, while the second prohibits "serious indecency," which is defined as a sexual act outside of intercourse involving genitals.

    These clauses in the SOA were originally created while Trinidad and Tobago was a British colony. Directly following independence in 1962, a saving clause was written into the law to preserve any pre-independence law, making it difficult for private citizens to challenge these colonial laws in court. As a result, any law predating independence can only be changed by the Trinidad Parliament. However, Jones and his legal team said they have discovered a loophole to challenge these laws.

    Since he has filed his case, Jones has been harassed online by people threatening to hurt and kill him. Since the death threats, Jones has moved out of the home where he was staying in order to protect his roommate, and has hired personal body guards to protect him around the clock. He said he found his hotel room ransacked when he returned after speaking with the "Washington Blade."

    Along with the legal proceedings, Jones is conducting community-based advocacy programs around the country to educate and build LGBT support systems in Trinidad and Tobago. He intends to take his activism to other Caribbean islands, particularly those that have little LGBT activism.

    Jones said he is not making any claim against the state. It is not a civil matter, but a constitutional one to change the laws, and as such, he is not seeking to gain money from the state. Jones is funding this legal venture on his own, with his lawyers working pro bono. His aim is to receive equality under Trinidad and Tobago’s laws for all citizens. This includes marriage equality and protection under the country’s Equal Opportunity Act, which explicitly excludes sexual orientation.
    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/03/14/activis

    Note: Trinidad is one of the many countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean in which I have lived.

  • 3. VIRick  |  March 14, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Malta Prime Minister to Commonwealth Countries: Drop Colonial Anti-Gay Laws

    On 14 March 2017, the Prime Minister of Malta urged Commonwealth countries to throw out their archaic Colonial-era anti-LGBT laws. Malta’s PM Joseph Muscat was speaking at the Service of Celebration for Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey, attended by the Queen and a number of other world leaders.

    In his address, Muscat, currently the Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth, alluded to the high number of Commonwealth countries that continue to enforce penal codes that were introduced under the British Empire and were never repealed. In total, 40 out of the 53 Commonwealth member states still criminalize homosexuality, from India to Barbados, Sri Lanka to Tonga.

    Speaking about the need for tolerance, Muscat said: “I want to single out the respect for LGBTIQ persons, or rather, the lack of it. The remarkable number of our countries with anti-LGBT laws is, arguably, a considerable blot on our 'Family of Nations’' standing. I have had conversations and am aware that there are leaders who know that things must change, but are wary of how society will react to their first move. To them, I said and I say, that the Commonwealth will be with them to help make their first steps. History, I am sure, will judge them positively when they do so.”

    More than a billion people are still living under British colonial anti-gay laws.

    However, Malta itself has made a number of progressive reforms on LGBT issues in recent years, outlawing ‘gay cure’ therapy and passing progressive reforms for transgender and intersex people. The country, once seen as conservative, has also wholeheartedly embraced same-sex civil unions, while plans for marriage equality are also under discussion, with Muscat’s support.
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/03/14/malta-pm-urg

  • 4. VIRick  |  March 14, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Nevada: Bill Introduced to Ban "Gay Cure" Therapy

    An out, gay Nevada state legislator wants to ban licensed therapists from ‘gay cure’ therapy. Senator David Parks of Las Vegas has introduced a bill to outlaw the widely condemned practice.

    Senate Bill 201 would concern psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, family therapists and other licensed clinical counsellors. It would stop short of banning unlicensed religious ‘counsellors,’ like pastors, from attempting to ‘cure’ the sexual orientation of a person. Hearings on the bill were held on Monday, 13 March 2017, and along the lines of many major medical bodies, Senator Parks argued that the practice is harmful to recipients.

    Five US states have already banned the practice, California, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia. Cincinnati is the only city to specifically ban the practice, recently joined by Seattle in November 2016. Hawaii also introduced legislation to ban the practice in 2016, while a bill in the New Mexico state legislature is close to final passage.
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/03/14/nevada-polit

  • 5. allan120102  |  March 14, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    I am not sure why Wikipedia has NY as having ban conversion therapy. I am confused honestly.

  • 6. scream4ever  |  March 14, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Governor Cuomo banned it by executive order through the allocation of funds.

  • 7. Fortguy  |  March 14, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    SB 6, the Potty Bill, hit the floor of the Texas Senate for second reading Tuesday. After the reading, 22 floor amendments were submitted for consideration of which only one was offered by a Republican. That amendment, plus two others offered by Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. (D-Brownsville) passed while all of the other proposed Democratic amendments seeking to weaken the bill failed including some others offered by Lucio. Other than Lucio who occasionally voted with his fellow Dems but usually voted with the GOP, every other senator voted on a strict party-line split.

    When the Senate was finished considering amendments, the bill passed a preliminary party-line vote 21-10 with the exception of Lucio who voted with the GOPers. Tuesday's action on the bill is recorded in pages 9-33 of the day's Senate Journal. Sen. José Rodríguez (D-El Paso), who represents my district, posted his very powerful expression of opposition to the bill into the journal beginning at page 31.

    The third reading of the bill is scheduled early on Wednesday's agenda. The bill will be debated and then held to a vote after which it will likely be sent to the House. Let's hope it languishes and grows cob webs in the House's committees.

    Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune: Texas Senate tentatively approves "bathroom bill"

  • 8. Fortguy  |  March 14, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Meanwhile, SB 4, the Sanctuary Cities Bill, has a hearing Wednesday in the House State Affairs Committee. That hearing is expected to draw a huge crowd wanting to offer testimony, much of which will undoubtedly be emotional and disturbing. As dealing with one item of Gov. Greg Abbott's emergency agenda, SB 4 was fast-tracked and therefore has already passed the Senate.

  • 9. VIRick  |  March 15, 2017 at 1:27 am

    Yes, effectively, through executive order, "gay cure" therapy is also banned in New York State, as well. In the meantime, the state legislature there still needs to act on the passage of a bill.

  • 10. Fortguy  |  March 15, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    More than 630 people registered to testify at the House State Affairs Committee hearing on SB 4 today, and only about a dozen of those supported the bill.

    Julián Aguilar, The Texas Tribune: House committee makes changes to anti-"sanctuary" bill

    The committee made significant changes to the bill generally weakening the Senate-approved version. More committee hearings and amendments are expected; however, there is not yet any timetable for those.

  • 11. Fortguy  |  March 15, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    As expected, SB 6 received final Senate approval today in a 21-10 vote. Lucio again defied the rest of his Democratic colleagues and joined all the Republicans in supporting the measure.

    Lauren McGaughy, The Dallas Morning News: Texas Senate passes bill curbing bathroom access based on 'biological sex'

    The bill now passes to the much more skeptical House.

  • 12. VIRick  |  March 15, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Hawaii: Federal Judge Blocks Second Trump Travel Ban Order

    On 15 March 2017, in "Hawaii v. Trump," US District Judge Derrick Watson halted enforcement of the travel and refugee bans of Executive Order 13780 less than six hours before they were due to go into effect. The temporary restraining order, which applies nationwide, blocks the Trump administration from enforcing sections 2 and 6 of the new executive order, that is, the travel and refugee portions of the order.

    US District Judge Derrick Watson, who made clear from the start of oral arguments this morning in Hawaii that he was focused on the constitutional claims, found that the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on their claim that the executive order violates the Establishment Clause — because it discriminates against Muslims. “Any reasonable, objective observer would conclude, as does the Court for purposes of the instant Motion for TRO, that the stated secular purpose of the Executive Order is, at the very least, ‘secondary to a religious objective’ of temporarily suspending the entry of Muslims,” Watson wrote in granting the TRO.

    Watson noted in his order that he was not issuing a stay of the TRO, even if the Justice Department filed an emergency appeal. The decision means that, for now, only a stay of the TRO from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals or the US Supreme Court would allow the Trump administration to enforce the new executive order.
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/zoetillman/federal-court

  • 13. Fortguy  |  March 15, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    Netherlands Election: It appears that Dutch PM Mark Rutte will win decisively over extremist candidate Geert Wilders.

    Thomas Escritt and Toby Sterling, Reuters: Dutch PM Rutte on course for big victory over far-right Wilders

  • 14. Christian0811  |  March 16, 2017 at 12:53 am

    "extremist", "far right". If I rolled my eyes any harder I'd go blind. Many of his positions are downright socialist. I personally wouldn't vote for the man, given that I disagree with him on direct democracy and the lengths to which the state may interfere with the practice of religion (i.e. Advocating the banning of the Koran) but I can certainly empathize on why he would believe such measures necessary. The Islamic world is no friend to liberal democracy, and to that end LGBT rights (save for perhaps with few exceptions for transsexuals, such as in Iran)
    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpGOpvoiiO-… (one could skip to 2:00 but the whole video is worth watching)

  • 15. VIRick  |  March 16, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Florida: State Supreme Court Defines "Sexual Intercourse" to Include Same-Sex Couples

    Tallahassee FL — The Florida Supreme Court has determined that “sexual intercourse” is not just the vanilla whatever between a man and a woman. The question arose during a case in which a man was charged with a third-degree felony for failing to reveal to his male partner that he was HIV-positive.

    In February 2015, his lawyer argued before the state’s Supreme Court that Florida laws were so narrowly defined that “sexual intercourse” did not apply to sexual activity between same-sex partners, nor to any sexual activity beyond traditional vanilla sex.

    On Thursday, 16 March 2017, the court rejected that argument, ruling that the Legislature’s goal was clearly to reduce the spread of human immunodeficiency virus when it enacted the law, even if it did not clearly spell out what it meant by “sexual intercourse.”
    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2017/03/florida-court-

    Given the context of the ruling, one can also presume that the legislature did not deem it necessary to draw diagrams, nor did it see fit to include illustrations. However, given the lengthly, 2-year time-interval between oral arguments and the issuance of the ruling, one wonders whether the court itself may have needed such additional guidance.

  • 16. Christian0811  |  March 16, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Hope his lawyer didn't pull his arm out of the socket making that reach lmao

  • 17. VIRick  |  March 16, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    It's strange. I remember when that "sexual intercourse" case was first argued, right after the numerous same-sex marriage cases in both state and federal court, coupled with Bondi's endless appeals, and her grasping for "stays," plus the nail-biting finish, given the 90-day count-down. However, afterward, the courts then seemed to become pre-occupied with the "presumed parentage" cases, given the state's refusal to recognize same-sex couples on birth certificates, along with assorted other cases involving the state's reluctance to issue up-dated retroactive documentation.

    In the meantime, this "sexual intercourse" case had appeared to have been forgotten.

  • 18. VIRick  |  March 16, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Oklahoma: Married Republican Senator Caught in Motel Room with Teenage Boy

    Today, 16 March 2017, a married Republican lawmaker has surrendered himself to police after he was caught in a motel with a teenage boy. Oklahoma state Senator Ralph Shortey, a senior member of Trump’s primary campaign team in the state, was placed under investigation over the incident at a Super 8 Motel, details of which emerged yesterday.

    The Republican politician, who is married with children, had booked a room at the motel shortly after midnight on 9 March. Responding to concerns less than half an hour later, police discovered Shortey in the room with a 17-year-old boy. According to authorities, messages between the pair suggest Shortey hired the boy as a prostitute. The age of consent in Oklahoma is 16, but the state’s child prostitution law applies to people under 18.

    Appearing at Cleveland County OK District Court, he was charged with engaging in child prostitution, engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church, and transporting a minor for prostitution. His bail was set at $100,000. According to "The Oklahoman," the teenager told police he had met Shortey through a personal encounter ad on Craigslist and had known him for about a year.
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/03/16/married-repu

    Such sordid, tasteless, Trump-supporting, Republican lives,– just a cheap, roadside Super 8 Motel without sound-proofing,– next to a Bible-belt church?????

  • 19. VIRick  |  March 16, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    21 LGBT Groups Urge Senate to Question Gorsuch Rigorously

    A total of 21 LGBT groups who oppose the confirmation of Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court are calling for rigorous questions for the nominee during his confirmation hearing. In an eight-page letter sent to Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) of the Senate Judiciary Committee, LGBT groups underscore the need to “demand complete answers” from Gorsuch because it’s the only way to “reveal the extent to which his nomination jeopardizes rights and liberties that many Americans believe are secure.”

    “The American people have a right to know how the appointment of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court would impact the rights of LGBT Americans, people living with HIV, and other at-risk communities who are entitled to rely upon the Constitution’s guarantees of equality, liberty, dignity, and justice under the law,” the letter says.

    The letter identifies four keys areas in which LGBT groups urge questioning for Gorsuch — the extent to which he subscribes to the judicial philosophy of originalism, fundamental rights, equal protection, and the role of the courts — each of which, the LGBT groups say, is important to LGBT people and people with HIV. “Judge Gorsuch’s articulated judicial philosophy is far outside the legal and social mainstream, and would significantly disrupt Americans’ expectations about the rights that they enjoy under the Constitution. His views should be as frightening to others as they are to the LGBT community. The Committee should require Judge Gorsuch to explain what he means when he describes himself as an ‘originalist.'”

    In the aftermath of lamdmark rulings such "Lawrence v. Texas" and "Obergefell v. Hodges," the letter calls on senators to question Gorsuch on whether the Constitution guarantees a fundamental right to privacy that protects consensual adult sexual relationships, as well as the fundamental right to marry as applied to same-sex couples.

    Other identified areas of concern are approaches to statutory construction, such as whether anti-LGBT discrimination is prohibited under current civil rights law, religious exemptions under the law, the relevance of science to legal decision-making, and employer defenses to claims of discrimination.

    The confirmation hearings for Gorsuch are set to begin before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, 20 March 2017.

    Initial signatories of the letter, which was led by Lambda Legal, include the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the LGBT labor group Pride at Work and the LGBT military group OutServe-SLDN.
    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/03/16/21-lgbt

  • 20. Fortguy  |  March 16, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Unless you're the middle of a pasture or a farm somewhere, you can't do anything in Oklahoma without being within 1,000 feet of a church.

  • 21. VIRick  |  March 16, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    More Sordid Lives, Trump Supporter Style, from Oklahoma:

    Cop Charged With “Outraging Public Decency” For Being Drunk And Naked Except For Trump MAGA Hat

    Oklahoma City’s ABC affiliate reports:

    An Edmond OK police officer has been charged with "Outraging Public Decency," a misdemeanor, and placed on paid administrative leave after being accused of being drunk and nude while at Arcadia Lake in July. Police were called to investigate after receiving reports that a man, identified as Colter Morey, got drunk on 23 July 2016 while on a boat with friends, according to court documents. Witnesses said Morey was wearing only a “Make America Great Again” hat and caused problems on someone else’s boat when he climbed aboard.

    Edmond Police Department statement: "We immediately opened a criminal investigation and presented charges to the Oklahoma County DA’s office. Officer Colter Sterns Morey was charged this afternoon (16 March 2017) with Outraging Public Decency by the DA."
    http://www.joemygod.com/2017/03/16/maga-cop-charg

    Apparently, as one consolation for Officer Morey, he was not within 1000 feet of a church while putting on his drunken performance show-n-tell in the middle of Arcadia Lake. Still, some of the details of this case are quite lurid. Earlier, he had been seen wearing a female barely-there bikini bottom, which then disappeared somewhere in the lake. But after that, his big mistake was climbing back into the wrong boat.

    Next question: Since the earlier Oklahoma report concerned Senator Shortey, while this one deals with Officer Morey, do Oklahoma Trump supporters always carry such anatomically-descriptive surnames?

  • 22. VIRick  |  March 16, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Texas Teabagger, ex-US Rep. Stockman, Dragged Away In Handcuffs For Embezzlement

    Houston’s NBC affiliate reports:

    Steve Stockman, who served two stints in the US House of Representatives, and a Tea Party favorite who courted controversy thorough those two congressional terms, was brought into federal court on Thursday, 16 March 2017, shackled and handcuffed.

    He is accused of conspiring to violate federal election laws during his last term in office. It’s a felony that could send him to federal prison if he’s convicted. As Stockman stood before the judge this afternoon, prosecutors alleged that the former Congressman had conspired with two former employees to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to his personal use.

    According to the complaint, in 2011 Stockman set up a non-profit called Life Without Limits in Las Vegas. A single contributor donated $350,000 to the charity, which Stockman then allegedly funneled back to himself through donations made by his employees.
    http://www.joemygod.com/2017/03/16/texas-teabagge

  • 23. VIRick  |  March 16, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    Texans Receive First Notices of Land Condemnation for Trump’s Border Wall

    The week before Donald Trump’s inauguration, Yvette Salinas received a letter she had been dreading for years: legal notice that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wants to build a border wall on her family’s land in Los Ebanos. The 21-page document, entitled a “Declaration of Taking,” is addressed to her ailing mother, Maria Flores, who owns the property with her siblings. The letter offers Flores $2,900 for 1.2 acres near the Rio Grande. If she chooses not to accept the offer, the land could be seized through eminent domain. “It’s scary when you read it,” Salinas says. “You feel like you have to sign.”

    The 16-acre property has been in the family for so long that none of them can remember the year it was acquired. Salinas only knows they’ve had it for five generations. Her uncle runs a few head of cattle on the property, which lies not far from Los Ebanos’ most famous attraction, a hand-drawn ferry that shuttles cars and their passengers across the river to Mexico.

    This is not the first time the federal government has wanted to seize the land for a border wall. In the wake of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, the Bush administration put up 110 miles of border fencing, much of it on private land in Texas. In 2008, Salinas’ family received a condemnation notice offering them the same low, low price of $2,900. Others in Los Ebanos were mailed similar notices.

    But nature and time were on their side. Los Ebanos is squeezed into a bend in the Rio Grande, and lies entirely in the river’s floodplain. A treaty between the United States and Mexico forbids building any structures in the floodplain that could push floodwaters into surrounding communities.

    But Los Ebanos appears to be a prime target for the Trump administration. The surveying and planning work has already been done, and the Secure Fence Act authorizes more border fencing to be built. And in 2012, the US half of the International Boundary and Water Commission, a binational organization tasked with managing the US-Mexico water treaty, capitulated to lobbying by DHS and agreed to a wall in the floodplain.
    https://www.texasobserver.org/texas-border-wall-m

    Note: If one Googles "los ebanos TX map," one can clearly see how the Rio Grande twists and turns through that area on the southwest corner of Hidalgo County, and how the current flow of the river no longer perfectly aligns with the international boundary.

  • 24. JayJonson  |  March 17, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Utah's legislature has overwhelmingly approved the bill repealing the law that prohibits positive discussions of homosexuality in public schools. Lest one think that Utah has become more gay-friendly, the legislature acted only after a lawsuit filed by NCLR and Utah Equality challenged the law on constitutional grounds.

    While the new bill may not be evidence that the legislature (which is controlled by the LDS Church) has suddenly become pro-gay, it may be evidence that it has finally decided that they are tired of wasting money defending obviously unconstitutional laws. And that is progress.

    Presumably Utah's governor will sign the bill and that will render the lawsuit moot.

    http://www.towleroad.com/2017/03/utah-repeal/

  • 25. Randolph_Finder  |  March 17, 2017 at 10:11 am

    It isn't that the LDS Church has gotten significantly more gay friendly, it is that for public laws, they seem to be pulling back on anything not directly tied to marriage or their own internal services. So, a law saying that a local hardware store can't fire a gay man just because he's gay, that's fine. OTOH, If it looks like the "banning conversion therapy" is going to go anywhere near "LDS Family Services", expect Prop 8 level funding.

    Also, oddly enough, the LDS church might be looking to get *completely* out of public marriages. There are three ways for an LDS couple to get married:
    1) Local Justice of the Peace (equivalent)
    2) By the local clergy
    3) In a Temple.

    In the United States, ideal is #3, where the church "sealers" in the Temple Ceremony are the ones who have both legal and religious authority to marry. In countries like France and Brazil where only civil marriages are legal, the expectation is to go to the Local JP Equivalent and then go through the temple sealing within a few days. In a country where the church "sealers" *have* civil authority like the US, there is expected to be a year between the civil marriage (either by JP or by local church leader) and the sealing.

    The church to encourage sealings is discouraging couples from getting married by a local clergyman and may actually get to the point where local clergy are not allowed to perform marriages (unless they are actually employed as JPs, etc). Note, the Church does *not* allow local clergy to accept money to perform marriages, so as I understand it, this is a case where the law would require them to perform marriages for anyone other than who they choose to.

    TL;DR (LDS Church appears to be moving toward, "you want a religious marriage ceremony, the Temple is *that-a-way*")

  • 26. Fortguy  |  March 17, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    To add insult to injury, Los Ebanos is located in Starr County in the Valley which used to have the unwelcome distinction of having the highest poverty rate of any US county not including an Indian reservation. It's overall ranking has improved somewhat, but remains one of the poorest counties in the US.

  • 27. allan120102  |  March 17, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Good news coming from Arkansas something rare nowadays
    The Arkansas House on Wednesday rejected a bill that calls for a constitutional convention to ban same-sex marriage throughout the United States.

    According to the Arkansas News Bureau, Arkansas' Republican-controlled House rejected Senate Joint Resolution 7 by a 29-41 vote, roughly two weeks after it cleared the Senate.

    Introduced by Senator Jason Rapert, SJR7 calls for a constitutional convention “for the purpose of proposing an amendment prohibiting the United States Constitution or the Constitution or Laws of any state from defining or construing the definition of 'marriage' to mean anything other than the union of one man and one woman http://www.ontopmag.com/article/27096/Arkansas_Ho

  • 28. VIRick  |  March 17, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    "Presumably Utah's governor will sign the bill and that will render the lawsuit moot."

    According to the temporary settlement terms of the lawsuit itself, this Equality Utah suit will likely be rendered moot once the bill has finally been enacted into law:

    "On 22 February 2017, in "Equality Utah v. Utah State Board of Education", the federal case in which Equality Utah and 3 students are challenging state laws that ban positive speech about LGBT people in Utah public schools, Judge Benson has granted the parties' joint request to put this case on hold, pending the Utah State Legislature’s consideration of SB 196, which would repeal the law at issue."

  • 29. theperchybird  |  March 17, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Guernsey's MPs scheduled a vote on a commencement act on April 26th, if they stick to the agenda and vote Yes (very likely), then same-sex marriages can begin on May 2nd. We just have to wait for Jersey to finalize their own legislation and set a date and we'll be done with the British Crown Dependencies.

  • 30. davepCA  |  March 17, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Heh. Grasping at straws. When every straw is already long gone, for nearly two years now…

  • 31. VIRick  |  March 17, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Feds Announce Plans to Continue Defending Travel Ban

    Washington DC — On Friday afternoon, 17 March 2017, the Justice Department filed notice that it would be appealing the preliminary injunction halting enforcement of the travel ban in President Trump’s second executive order on the topic. The appeal of the preliminary injunction, issued in "IRAP v. Trump," by US District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland on 16 March 2017, will go to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. The executive order is aimed at temporarily stopping the refugee program and travel from six majority-Muslim nations and was issued on 6 March after the first attempt faced significant pushback from federal courts.

    The injunction by Chuang was the second, and more limited, order issued that halted enforcement of parts of the president’s travel ban nationwide. The first, a temporary restraining order issued by US District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii in "Hawaii v. Trump," covers all of sections 2 and 6 of the new executive order — the travel and refugee bans. Chuang’s order, on the other hand, only covers section 2c — the specific section halting travel from the six countries for 90 days.

    The decision to appeal the injunction in Maryland — while only at this time planning to seek “clarification” on the TRO out of Hawaii — is a result of the types of orders issued by the courts earlier this week — but it also appears to be a strategic move by the administration.

    A TRO is a limited order that a judge issues until a decision can be made on the request for a preliminary injunction, which in turn remains in place until a court rules on the merits of a case — generally a request that would include a permanent injunction. TROs can be issued without even including both parties to the lawsuit in a hearing (although that was not the case in Hawaii), and they also are not generally appealable. Preliminary injunctions, on the other hand, can be appealed. So, in one sense, it makes procedural sense that the Justice Department would appeal Chuang’s preliminary injunction but not Watson’s TRO.

    The fact that Watson’s TRO covers all of sections 2 and 6 of the new EO, however, means that winning a stay of — or even an appeal of — Chuang’s injunction would not enable the Trump administration to enforce the new executive order.

    Late today, 17 March 2017, in Washington State in "Ali v. Trump," Judge Robart STAYS the request for a TRO, given the existing Hawaii TRO (which is broader in scope anyway) against the second EO. This case, "Ali v. Trump," is a separate case from "Washington State v. Trump."

    IRAP = International Refugee Assistance Project

    The ruling in "IRAP v. Trump" can be found at the bottom of this article:
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/feds-to-app

  • 32. VIRick  |  March 17, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    ACLU Report on Gorsuch Nomination

    The 36-page report covers a range of civil liberties issues, including Freedom of Speech and Press, Reproductive Rights, Religious Liberty, Race Discrimination, Gender Discrimination, LGBT Rights, Voting Rights, Immigration, National Security, Disability Rights, Criminal Law, Prisoners' Rights, and the Death Penalty.

    Here's the portion on LGBT Rights:

    Judge Gorsuch has joined in only two cases addressing LGBT equality, both involving transgender rights. On the one hand, they suggest that Judge Gorsuch recognized that discrimination against transgender individuals is a form of sex discrimination. On the other hand, in both cases he ultimately voted to uphold the challenged government actions against transgender individuals.

    Kastl v. Maricopa Cty. Cmty. Coll. Dist., 325 F. App x 492 (9th Cir. 2009).

    As a visiting judge sitting on a Ninth Circuit panel, Judge Gorsuch joined a decision about transgender rights. The decision held that a transgender woman excluded from the women’s restroom by her employer stated “a prima facie case of gender discrimination under Title VII on the theory that impermissible gender stereotypes were a motivating factor” for the exclusion. Id. at 493. The panel further held, however, that the employer banned her from the restrooms “for safety reasons,” and those reasons were not sufficiently rebutted by Kastl.

    While the court’s recognition that the plaintiff set out a prima facie case of sex discrimination is encouraging, its conclusion that safety concerns justified excluding her from restrooms was insufficiently supported, and contrary to experience, in which transgender people customarily use restrooms associated with their gender identity without any safety issues.

    Druley v. Patton, 601 F. App’x 632 (10th Cir. 2015)

    Judge Gorsuch joined an opinion rejecting arguments made by a transgender female prisoner that the Oklahoma Department of Corrections violated her Eighth Amendment rights by denying her medically necessary hormone treatment and feminine clothing. The decision does not adequately appreciate that transgender people face a serious medical need for hormone therapy, a point several other federal courts have recognized.

    One can read the full report here:
    https://www.aclu.org/other/aclu-report-nomination

  • 33. VIRick  |  March 17, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Venezuela: Marriage Case Reaches Next Stage at the Supreme Court

    Per Venezuela Igualitaria:

    En 9 de marzo 2017, se introdujo las Pruebas en la Sala Constitucional del TSJ en el Caso de la Omisión Legislativa del Proyecto de Ley sobre Matrimonio Igualitario.

    On March 9, 2017, the Tests were introduced into the Constitutional Chamber of the TSJ in the Case of the Legislative Omission of the Bill on Marriage Equality.
    https://twitter.com/hashtag/matrimonioigualitario

  • 34. VIRick  |  March 17, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    I like this: An Obama quote in Spanish:

    Per Zárate Diversa (Argentina):

    Todas las personas deberían ser tratadas de igual manera, sin importar quiénes son o a quién aman.

    Everyone must be treated in an equal manner, no matter who they are or who they love.
    https://twitter.com/ZarateDiversa

  • 35. VIRick  |  March 17, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    Japan: Transgender Man Elected to Public Office

    Japan has become the first country in the world to elect a transgender man to public office. The country made the landmark step with the election of Tomoya Hosoda as a council member for the city of Iruma.

    Japan elected its first trans politician in 2003, Kamikawa Aya. However, New Zealand was the first country to have an openly transgender member of parliament, Georgina Beyer, who was elected in 1999.

    The 25-year-old Hosoda came out as trans while he was a student at the Teikyo University studying medical sciences, and began his transition in 2015.
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/03/17/japan-just-b

  • 36. scream4ever  |  March 17, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Then we'll just need Northern Ireland.

  • 37. scream4ever  |  March 17, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Further proof that this issue is and will forever be settled.

  • 38. VIRick  |  March 17, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Actually, we need more than that. To begin, the Commonwealth nations are a truly dreadful lot, most of which Britain let go without first having revoked their colonially-imposed anti-gay laws. We have 10 such here in the Caribbean alone, still with their British-imposed sodomy laws on the books (Antigua/Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent/Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago),– and 30 more similarly recalcitrant in other parts of the world, the most populous of which is India. We need to remember that, as Britain is NOT off the hook if/whenever Northern Ireland finally gets marriage equality. Here in the Caribbean, only the Bahamas and Belize have dumped their anti-gay sodomy bans, but neither has gone any further than that.

    Let me re-quote from the post about the Malta PM, in his address to the Commonwealth nations, higher up in this same thread:

    "More than a billion people are still living under British colonial anti-gay laws."

    However, there are still an assortment of small overseas British territories over which Britain has considerable influence. Here in the Caribbean area alone, there are 6; namely, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Montserrat, Anguilla, and the one I'm looking at out the view,– the British Virgin Islands. Of the 6, only Bermuda has shown some progress on its own. Britain has done little to nothing to push the remainder,– but it could.

    And if we shop around, we can find some more overseas British territories. In the South Atlantic, there are the Falkland Islands, plus St. Helena/Ascension,– both of which also show some promise.

    However, in comparative colonialism in terms of LGBT rights, neither the French, Dutch, nor Portuguese legacies are anywhere near the retrogressive legacy of that of the British. And looked at slightly differently, of all the jurisdictions within the Americas, the only ones which still criminalize homosexuality are all ex-British colonies.

  • 39. JayJonson  |  March 18, 2017 at 6:17 am

    The bill will be enacted into law once the Governor signs it. Thus, the lawsuit will be rendered moot.

  • 40. scream4ever  |  March 18, 2017 at 9:49 am

    That's largely due to the fact that Britain severed full rule from its commonwealth dependencies AFTER they themselves repealed their sodomy bans. France, Portugal, the Netherlands, etc. it was the other way around.

  • 41. VIRick  |  March 18, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Good point, and true enough. Britain was not only much, much slower at removing its sodomy bans for itself, but was also much quicker (overall) at turning many of its colonies loose. And notice for Spain that many of its ex-colonies were way ahead of it.

    Decriminalization of homosexual acts:

    1791 – France
    1811 – Netherlands
    1830 – Brasil
    1852 – Portugal (until 1886)
    1863 – Britain (penalty reduced from Hanging to Imprisonment)
    1871 – Mexico, Guatemala
    1886 – Argentina
    1924 – Panama, Paraguay, Peru
    1934 – Uruguay
    1944 – Suriname
    1945 – Portugal (2nd time)
    1962 – Illinois (1st in USA)
    1967 – England, Wales
    1969 – Canada
    1971 – Costa Rica
    1979 – Spain, Cuba
    1980 – Scotland
    1981 – Colombia
    1982 – Northern Ireland
    1983 – Guernsey
    1983 – Portugal (3rd time)
    1990 – Jersey
    1992 – Isle of Man
    1993 – Irish Republic
    http://ethics.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline:Sodomy

  • 42. allan120102  |  March 18, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Nicaragua was the last one in Latin America because it was put again in 1991 or some year close to it, by conservative president Violeta Chamorro, before it Nicaragua was consider one of the most lgbt friendlycountries in CA, after the ban on homosexuality was put again hatred against lgbt people grew. The ban was repealed in 2008 I believe.

  • 43. VIRick  |  March 18, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Homosexuality was re-criminalized in Nicaragua between 1992-2008.

    Belize first de-criminalized homosexuality in 1988, but then re-criminalized it between 2003-2016.

    In 2001, homosexuality was de-criminalized in all remaining British territories which had not yet become independent by that date (which is the actual answer I had been searching for all along, as that explains why so many ex-British colonies still have their sodomy bans in place).

  • 44. VIRick  |  March 18, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Here are some more early ones I just found:

    early 1800s – El Salvador
    1822 – Dominican Republic
    1899 – Honduras
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_the_

    In fact, based on the dating in this reference, it's entirely possible that either El Salvador or the Dominican Republic was the first independent jurisdiction in the Americas to legalize homosexuality, bearing in mind that France's law, from 1791, also applied to all French possessions worldwide, while the Dutch law of 1811 was also applicable to the Dutch Caribbean islands.

  • 45. VIRick  |  March 18, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    Nebraska Drops Lawsuit over Obama Guidance on Transgender Students

    Lincoln NE — Nebraska has asked to drop a 10-state federal lawsuit it led, "Nebraska v. United States," challenging the Obama administration’s guidance on locker room and bathroom use by transgender students, after the Trump administration ended the protection.

    The Nebraska attorney-general’s office filed the request on Thursday, 17 March 2017. Chief Deputy Attorney-General David Bydalek said the US Departments of Justice and Education withdrew the guidance last month, according to the "Lincoln Journal Star."

    Nebraska filed the federal court challenge in July 2016. It was joined by Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2017/03/nebraska-drop-

  • 46. VIRick  |  March 18, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Tampa to Ban Gay Conversion Therapy

    Councilman Guido Maniscalco proposed the ban on gay conversion therapy earlier this month. The measure would punish licensed mental health professionals who offer conversion therapy to minors with fines of up to $5000. The rules apply to psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors, osteopaths, social workers, therapists, and licensed counselors. The ban exempts members of the clergy who are still free to ruin lives.

    The proposed ordinance had its first reading on Thursday, 16 March 2017, after a hearing on the matter. The Tampa city council then voted unanimously in favor of the ban. A second reading is scheduled for April.
    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2017/03/city-moves-ban

  • 47. VIRick  |  March 18, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Baja California Sur: Another Same-Sex Marriage

    En 16 de marzo 2017, Elizabeth y Gabriela se casaron en Baja California Sur, donde no hay ley de matrimonio igualitario, gracias a un amparo.
    https://twitter.com/hashtag/MatrimonioIgualitario

    On 16 March 2017, Elizabeth and Gabriela were married in Baja California Sur, where there is no marriage equality law, thanks to an amparo.

  • 48. VIRick  |  March 18, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    Guanajuato: Third Anniversary of First Same-Sex Marriage in the State

    Per Diaggo Arias:

    Hoy, 18 de marzo 2017, se cumplen 3 años del primer matrimonio igualitario en Guanajuato, en un estado gobernado por el PAN y de los más conservadores/Católicos del país. A día de hoy aún son necesarios los amparos, por el reglamento del Registro Civil.
    https://www.facebook.com/diaggoarias/posts/101551

    Today, 18 March 2017, marks the third anniversary of the first same-sex marriage in Guanajuato, in a state ruled by PAN and the most conservative/Catholic in the country. To this day still, amparos are necessary, per regulation of the Civil Registry.

  • 49. ianbirmingham  |  March 18, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    Bigot Stomps On US Rep. Alan Lowenthal's Rainbow Flag

    http://www.rollcall.com/news/hoh/rainbow-flag-out

  • 50. ianbirmingham  |  March 18, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    The defendant argued that the definition of "sexual intercourse" used in Florida's incest law (which defines it to be penis-in-vagina only) should also be used for the law banning failure to disclose HIV status. The Florida Supreme Court ruled that the PIV definition applied only to the incest law and that the HIV status disclosure law used the broader definition which also includes both oral and anal sex. So consensual adult incest seems to be legal in Florida (as is also the case in New Jersey and a few other states), but only for gays and lesbians. A remarkable situation – straight sex is illegal, but similarly situated gay/lesbian sex is perfectly legal. And all six Supreme Court judges were in full agreement in this decision; there were no dissenters…

    http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2017

  • 51. VIRick  |  March 19, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    If Elected, Raymond Meza to Be First Openly Gay Latino Congressman

    One way or another, the special election for California‘s 34th congressional district, vacated when its current Representative became the state’s new attorney-general, is likely to add a Democrat to Congress. The district, which includes much of diverse downtown Los Angeles, has nearly always gone blue.

    But that doesn’t mean each of the 23 candidates vying in the primary on 4 April are one in the same. Among them is a candidate who, if elected to office, would be the first openly gay Latino congressman. Raymond Meza, an SEIU labor organizer, grew up in the district and came out at age 14. Meza, who worked on the successful "Fight for $15" campaign to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, has been organizing around economic justice since he was in college.
    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2017/03/elected-raymon

  • 52. VIRick  |  March 19, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Douglas Chin, Hawaii's Attorney-General, states that for him, the legal fight against the revised travel ban is personal,– his parents emigrated from China in 1957, at a time when there were still strict ethnic/racial US immigration quotas in place.
    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2017/03/fighting-trump

  • 53. allan120102  |  March 19, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    15 same sex couples have married inYucatan this year and its just to be April in comparison last year they were only 16 same sex weddings. I believe he meaned 32 same sex weddings and not 32 people but oh well. Yucatan even though its not that populous it marry three times more people than Veracruz that is the second most populous state of Mexico. All of the marriages have occur in Merida.
    http://tribunacampeche.com/yucatan/2017/03/17/per

  • 54. VIRick  |  March 20, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Chile: Prominent LGBT Activist to Run for Congress

    A prominent LGBT rights advocate in Chile has announced he is running for a seat in the country’s congress. Luis Larraín, who is the co-founder and former president of Fundación Iguales, declared his candidacy for the Chilean House of Deputies in an interview that "La Tercera," a Chilean newspaper, published on 12 March 2017. He formally stepped down from Fundación Iguales last month in order to announce his candidacy.

    Larraín, 36, is a member of Ciudadanos, a centrist party that former Finance Minister Andrés Velasco founded in 2013. Larraín would represent the Providencia, Ñuñoa, Macul, San Joaquín and La Granja areas of the Chilean capital of Santiago if he is elected.

    Claudio Arriagada, who was the mayor of La Granja from 1992-2002, in 2013 became the first openly gay person elected to the Chilean congress when he won a seat in the House of Deputies.

    Larraín told the "Washington Blade" on 16 March during a telephone interview from Santiago that having another openly gay person in congress can spur further debate on marriage equality and the trans rights bill. He added he can also use his experience as the former president of Fundación Iguales to advance these issues. “It is not only important to have alliances in Congress,” said Larraín. “We must be in congress.”

    National elections will take place on 19 November 2017. A runoff will take place on 17 December if none of the presidential candidates receive a majority of votes in the first round.
    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/03/19/promine

    It should also be noted that Luis is the same person who I (and the folks at the "Washington Blade") have most frequently quoted in regard to developments, events, and happenings in Chile pertinent to marriage equality. In addition, Luis and his rights organization, Fundación Iguales, is the same group who Ricky Martin assisted when he went to Chile to successfully push for the passage of the same-sex civil unions bill in 2015.

    In the meantime, Karen Atala Riffo, the "Lady with the Lawsuit," is the other "big gun" in the Fundación Iguales, and is equally vociferous in her efforts to secure marriage equality in Chile, so the organization will remain in good hands.

  • 55. VIRick  |  March 20, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Philippines: President Breaks Same-Sex Marriage Promise, Denies Validity of Trans People

    Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, has rejected the idea of same-sex marriages, turning his back on a promise he made to the LGBT community when running for the presidency. In a speech transcript released today, 20 March 2017, he also refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of trans people, saying: “Wherever God has placed you, stay there.”

    However, at a forum in January 2016, during the run-up to the presidential election, he said he would push for legislation to allow same-sex marriage. Duterte added that there seemed to be an “error in the Bible,” referring to passages where it states that marriage is between a man and a woman.

    The Philippines is one of the most LGBT-friendly countries in Asia, with a 2014 poll finding that 73 percent of Filipinos believe homosexuality should be accepted. However, there has been little in the way of progress. There are no national LGBT anti-discrimination laws, no recognition of same-sex marriage, and the Family Code of the Philippines defines marriage as “a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman."
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/03/20/philippines-

  • 56. VIRick  |  March 20, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Uruguay: A Pertinent Same-Sex Marriage Fact or Two

    Per Sextaradio:

    Sabías que la primera legisladora transgénero electa en las Américas (electada en 2014) es la Abogada Michelle Suárez, redactora de Ley de Matrimonio Igualitario en Uruguay?
    https://twitter.com/hashtag/matrimonioigualitario

    Did you know that the first transgender legislator elected in the Americas (elected in 2014) is Attorney Michelle Suárez, the writer/editor of the Marriage Equality Law in Uruguay?

    Note: She was elected to the Uruguayan Congress AFTER the successful passage of the re-codified marriage equality reforms had taken place in 2013. At the time of its passage, and for a number of years prior, she was a member of the Uruguayan legislative staff.

    However, the package of reforms was so well researched and so firmly grounded legally that it has become a model that could easily be copied/pasted into the reform package for marriage equality for any other nation adhering to the Spanish codified legal system (which essentially means the rest of Latin America).

  • 57. allan120102  |  March 20, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Breaking Osage nation legalize ssm in a 52 to 48% vote. I am quite surprising seeing this coming from one of the reddest state in the nation.
    PAWHUSKA — The Osage Nation is changing its legal code to allow its judiciary to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
    According to a special election’s unofficial results announced Monday night, 52 percent of Osage voters approved a referendum amending the definition of marriage listed in the tribe’s legal code to include same-sex couples.
    The tribe’s legislature approved a law in 2016 to allow its judiciary to recognize same-sex marriages established by other jurisdictions, such as a state. However, language that would have allowed Osage courts to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples was removed from that legislation.
    Congresswoman Alice Buffalohead, the referendum’s author, was among supporters gathered at the tribal complex to hear the results Monday night.
    “It’s humbling,” she said. “I know that for a lot of people it was a controversial issue, but for me it was not.
    “It was just about equality and guaranteeing that we all have equal rights under the law.”
    Monday’s vote was largely determined by absentee ballots, with 1,117 absentee ballots — more than half of all requested — returned to the Osage Nation Election Board’s post office box. By comparison, 1,032 absentee ballots were returned for the tribe’s June midterm election.
    Only 347 votes were cast in person. The tribe has about 15,000 eligible registered voters, thus putting the total voter turnout at less than 10 percent.
    As sovereign entities, nationwide only a few dozen tribes conduct or recognize same-sex marriages.
    In December, the Tahlequah-based Cherokee Nation’s attorney general declared a 2004 law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples to be unconstitutional. However, the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council has a committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday morning to consider referring the issue to voters.
    With more than 82 percent voting yes, Osage voters also approved the other measure on Monday’s ballot, a constitutional amendment concerning the tribe’s budgeting process. http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/elections/osage-na

  • 58. allan120102  |  March 20, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Honduras. Good news coming from my country too. 1st trans candidate to participate in general election to PARLACEN http://www.elheraldo.hn/pais/1053278-466/honduras

  • 59. theperchybird  |  March 21, 2017 at 5:31 am

    8 candidates for the Chilean Presidency (Bachelet's term is up this year), have signed the same agreement she did. Two others (ex-Presidents) are supposedly in consideration.

    The agreement calls for same-sex marriage and adoption rights as well as gender identity topics, inclusive sexual education and many other things.

    8 who signed: José Miguel Insulza, Alejandro Guillier, Fernando Atria, Nicolás Larraín, Marco Enríquez Ominami, Carola Canelo, Ricardo Lagos, Alberto Mayol.

    The 2 former Presidents: Sebastian Pinera, Carolina Goic.
    http://www.biobiochile.cl/noticias/nacional/chile

  • 60. scream4ever  |  March 21, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Hopefully the bill will pass by that point anyways.

  • 61. Randolph_Finder  |  March 21, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Do those 8 candidates include the most likely to be elected, or do we have a candidate on the right who didn't sign and is likely to win?

  • 62. theperchybird  |  March 21, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Right now the media is saying it's between Guillier who already signed and former President Pinera who's iffy on the issue so far – he was the one before Bachelet who fought against the same-sex marriage case which ended up before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights.

  • 63. VIRick  |  March 21, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    We do NOT want Sebastián Piñera,– and for the very reason as mentioned by Perchy,– given that Piñera has a definite history, during his previous presidency (2010-14), of being loudly against same-sex marriage. So yes, that's the candidate on the right who will likely not sign.

    Guillier would certainly be preferable. Alejandro Guillier Álvarez is a journalist/radio/TV personality turned senator, currently representing Antofagasta in the bone-dry far north, an area which tends to the left. Ricardo Lagos Weber is the current majority (coalition) leader in the Senate and would seem to be even better. He is the son of Ricardo Lagos Escobar, the President of Chile before Bachelet's first term. Marco Antonio Enríquez-Ominami is a Socialist deputy in the lower house, and a previous (unsuccessful) presidential candidate. All five, Guillier, Lagos, Lagos, Enríquez-Ominami, and Bachelet, are from the same coalition. José Miguel Insulza Salinas is more the elder statesman/diplomat type, having been the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States for many years. Still, Insulza, having survived the dictatorship through exile-in-Mexico (his wife is Mexican), is extremely pro-rights across-the-board. Carolina Goić Boroević, of Croatian immigrant stock, is a current senator from Magallanes y Antártica at the extreme southern end. She represents the Christian Democratic party, which ostensibly is also in the majority coalition, but leans to the right. She is not an ex-president, but served in Ricardo Lagos' administration when he was president. Fernando Atria Lemaitre, born in Queens, New York, is a professor at the Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Chile, and represents the left wing of the Socialist Party. Nicolás Larraín de Toro is a TV personality, representing Todos. Alberto Mayol Miranda is a professor at the Facultad de Administración y Economía de la Universidad de Santiago and represents the Frente Amplio, another splinter. Carola Canelo is an independent candidate.

    Currently, the difficulty in Chile, with excess numbers of splintered political parties, an over-reaction to the Pinochet dictatorship (as Chile NEVER wants a return to that), is caused by elections being determined by proportionality. Unlike the USA, where winner takes all, in Chile, seats are allocated based on the percentage of the total vote each obtains. One can see that complexity, as illustrated by the House of Representatives seating chart, here:
    https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congreso_Nacional_d

    As a result, even though Bachelet won the presidency, her political party is only #4 in the total number of Senators/Representatives in the Legislature. Thus, coalitions must be cobbled together, with complex, shifting alliances depending on the issue at hand.

  • 64. Fortguy  |  March 21, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    This strong tendency between multiple, splintered parties in proportionally elected legislatures and legislatures dominated by two-parties when chosen by first-past-the-post district elections is called Duverger's law. Even in the UK which seemingly has a dominant three-party system in the London parliament, the Lib-Dems generally end up with far fewer representatives than their vote share, and have never had a prime minister of their own party.

  • 65. VIRick  |  March 21, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    For the Chilean Senate, they've invented yet another peculiarity. For that, the country is divided into 19 Senate Districts, with each district electing 2 senators,– literally. The top 2 vote-getters both win. Goić won her seat with just 37% of the vote, and one of her opponents, as runner-up, also (narrowly) won with just 27% in the same vote. Thus, 64% of the voters (since voters can only vote for one candidate) chose a winning candidate.

    By the way, I'm patiently waiting for some snide comment from *someone* wondering how many penguins in Antarctica voted for her. Other countries refuse to recognize their claim, but both Chile and Argentina still insist that their quadrants of Antarctica are integral parts of their national territory, a point reflected in the name of her district, Magallanes y Antártica.

  • 66. guitaristbl  |  April 26, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Oh look ! Here you are defending another neo nazi, Wilders :) I will try to act surprised but I will most probably fail…

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