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Open thread and quick news item

Community/Meta Discrimination

– Today, the Supreme Court denied review in the challenge to Mississippi’s anti-LGBT law known as HB 1523. The law allows government workers and businesses to deny services if they have religious objections. The denial of review means the law can go into effect but it doesn’t set a nationwide precedent.

This is an open thread. We’ll post any breaking news.

107 Comments

  • 1. JayJonson  |  January 8, 2018 at 10:03 am

    If confirmed by the legislature, Associate Justice Andrew McDonald will become Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. He will be the first openly gay man to serve as Chief Justice of a state Supreme Court.

    "McDonald, who must be confirmed by the legislature, thanked his family, teachers, colleagues and husband Charles Gray during Monday's announcement with [Governor Dannel P.] Malloy.

    "When I was born here in Connecticut a little more than 50 years ago, loving relationships like the one Charles and I cherish were criminal in 49 states including Connecticut," he said.

    "When I came out in the early 1990s, I had family members who loved me deeply but still counseled me against pursuing either a career in law or in public service because of the deeply ingrained prejudices held by some people at that time," he said. "But now, because of changes brought about by evolving understanding of people, new statutes passed by legislators and important court cases — indeed by the rule of law — this day was made possible."

    Malloy called McDonald a long-time friend who "has proven himself to be a consummate, revered jurist who has an exceptional ability to understand, analyze, research, and evaluate legal issues."

    http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Nominee-w

  • 2. VIRick  |  January 8, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Chile: A Surprise Senatorial Vote in Favor of Gender Identity and Marriage Equality

    Esta semana se llevó a cabo la votación de la comisión de Derechos Humanos sobre la Ley de Identidad de Género, y la sorpresa fue el voto a favor de Felipe Kast.
    https://www.elperiscopio.cl/2018/01/07/projas/la-

    This week, a vote was taken by the Human Rights Commission on the Gender Identity Law, and the surprise was the vote in favor by Felipe Kast.

    Senator Felipe Kast unsuccessfully ran for the presidency as the head of Evópoli, one of the right-leaning political parties in the Chile Vamos coalition which supports the incoming presidential winner, Sebastián Piñera. Senator Kast has also just declared that he will be voting in favor of the Marriage Equality bill, as well.
    https://twitter.com/LGBTMarriage

  • 3. allan120102  |  January 8, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Dont expect a vote this Wednesday as conservative senators have say that they will not debate this bill as the Pope is going to be there in Chile on Wednesday and it would be disrespectful.
    The decision of the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Fidel Espinoza (PS), to delay the discussion of the draft Gender Identity Law for the visit of Pope Francis, between January 15 and 18, brought him a series of criticisms .

    Product that the Government put great urgency to the processing of this initiative, had to be discussed and voted in the lower house on January 16, however, Espinoza decided to postpone it as a "controversial issue."

    "I'm not going to lend myself, as president (of the Chamber of Deputies), to put a topic in the controversy with the Pope's visit, I'm not going to lend myself to put a theme that is highly sensitive for the Church," he said. Espinoza to Radio Biobío.

    From the Iguales Foundation rejected their statements and the institution's executive president, Juan Enrique Pi, said: "It is unacceptable that the table of the Chamber of Deputies is defined according to the sensitivities of the visit of a head of State and the Catholic Church We have almost 100 years of separation between the State and the Church, and yet, the Human Rights of trans people are once again postponed by the Pope's visit, and we call on the Government to enforce the respective emergencies in the Legislative Power. "

    In as much, from the Movement of Integration and Homosexual Liberation (Movilh) their indignation before the position of Espinoza was shown. The president of the organization, Ramón Gómez, said that "the only person who is making a controversy is Espinoza, who has linked the Pope's visit with the vote on the Gender Identity Law, by the deputy José Antonio Kast, nobody else has seen problems in that regard. "

    "Here there is a tremendous hypocrisy on the part of Espinoza, who says he does not want to raise polemics with the Pope, while announcing that as president of the House he intends to hand over a document of protest from the Osorno laity. If there is something that complicates the Pope, it is what happens in Osorno, which is controversial, not the Gender Identity Law, "Gómez added.

    Finally, the leader said: "We live in a secular state and Espinoza must be the first to respect it, and even more, January 16 is not a holiday in Valparaíso, and what Espinoza must do is work."

    "IT SEEMS TO ME A LITTLE PROVOCATIVE"

    Fidel Espinoza faced the criticisms he has received through social networks. He said that "I have never said that it will not be discussed, just to do it on the same day the Pope begins his official visit to Chile seems a bit provocative, because we all know it is a complex issue. always is". http://www.ahoranoticias.cl/noticias/politica/213

  • 4. VIRick  |  January 8, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Australia: Marriage Equality Now Legal Nationwide without Restriction

    Per Rex Wockner:

    As of 12:01 AM on 9 January 2018, Australian time, the new marriage equality law became effective nationwide without restriction. The law was passed on 7 December 2017, and received the Royal Assent on 8 December, after which couples could then file their 30-day notices of intent to marry, (noting that a few couples received exemptions from the 30-day wait and married in mid-to-late December).

    But from today, everyone could marry, and did they ever:

    At a minute past midnight, with the gathered guests counting down the time, Diana and Deanne Ribeiro made their marriage official in the Melbourne suburb of Balaclava.

    Athletes Craig Burns and Luke Sullivan also timed their wedding in Tweed Heads, New South Wales, so that their marriage would become official just minutes after midnight on Tuesday morning.

    Also wanting to be part of history, Rebecca Hickson will marry her partner of nine years, Sarah Turnbull, becoming one of the first couples to do so, in a morning ceremony in Newcastle.
    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/just-magical-first-sa

    As I am posting this link, at 6:00 PM local time in the VI on 8 January, it is already 9:00 AM on 9 January 2018 in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, and Hobart, 8:30 AM in Adelaide and Darwin, and 7:00 AM in Perth.

  • 5. VIRick  |  January 8, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Ginsburg and Kennedy Hire Full Slates of Law Clerks

    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has hired a full slate of law clerks through 2020, in a clear signal to the Assh-Ole-in-Charge that she isn’t planning on stepping down anytime soon. At 84, Ginsburg is the oldest member of the court. If she planned on retiring before 2020, it is unlikely that she would have made these hires.

    Her new hires for 2018 are as follows: Katie Barber (UVA 2015 / Brinkema (E.D. Va.) / Owens), Rachel Bayefsky (Yale 2015 / Rakoff (S.D.N.Y.) / Katzmann), Rebecca Lee (Yale 2016 / Wilkinson / Moss (D.D.C.), and Matt Rubenstein (Yale 2014 / Gwin (N.D. Oh.) / Tatel).

    Her 2019 hires are listed as: Alyssa Barnard (Columbia 2015 / Nathan (S.D.N.Y.) / Katzmann), Marco Basile (Harvard 2015 / Watford / Barron), Susan Pelletier (Harvard 2016 / Garland), and Michael Qian (Stanford 2016 / Garland / Bristow Fellow).

    Justice Anthony Kennedy, 81, who also voted in favor of marriage equality and is often described as the court’s swing vote, has also hired clerks for 2018, although not for 2019. Rumors were swirling that he would retire, but has said that he won’t retire for “at least” another year.

    His hires are: Aimee Brown (Chicago 2014 / Griffith), Alex Kazam (Yale 2016 / Kethledge / Sullivan (S.D.N.Y.), Clayton Kozinski (Yale 2017 / Kavanaugh), and Conrad Scott (Yale 2015 / Watford / Garaufis (E.D.N.Y.).
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/01/ruth-bader-gi

  • 6. scream4ever  |  January 8, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    I'm thinking Kennedy will make his decision based on if Democrats retake the US Senate.

  • 7. VIRick  |  January 8, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    India: Supreme Court to Review Law Criminalizing Homosexuality

    On 8 January 2018, the Supreme Court of India said it would review a four-year-old ruling upholding the constitutional validity of Section 377 criminalizing homosexuality. A three-judge bench consisting of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud said “the case requires reconsideration.”

    A 2013 ruling found that Section 377, which criminalizes gay sex, “does not suffer from the vice of unconstitutionality.” That ruling overturned an earlier ruling from the New Delhi High Court which stated that the law was unconstitutional.

    Today’s decision said “a section of people or individuals who exercise their choice should never remain in a state of fear” and “determination of the order of nature is not a constant phenomenon. Societal morality also changes from age to age.”

    “What is natural to one may not be natural to the other,” the judges wrote. “But the said natural and sexual orientation and choice cannot be allowed to cross boundaries of law, but confines of law cannot trample or curtail the inherent right embedded in an individual under Article 21 of the Constitution.”

    The matter will now go to a larger bench consisting of 5 Supreme Court justices.
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/01/08/indias-supre

  • 8. scream4ever  |  January 8, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Given the ruling earlier this year which said gays and lesbians have a right to privacy, I fully expect for them to rule in our favor. I also think they could rule in favor of same-sex marriage by 2030 or so.

  • 9. VIRick  |  January 8, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    Kennedy appears a bit more tentative than Ginsburg.

    Ostensibly, Ginsburg will never retire, but Kennedy appears to be weighing the politics of the situation, and will eventually decide accordingly. But for now, he's holding on.

    These hires that they have just made are for the respective Court terms. That for 2018 will officially begin in October 2018 and will terminate at the end of June 2019. That for 2019 will commence in October 2019 and terminate in June 2020. However, one surmises that the individual clerks in question will need some months' lead time prior to the start of the term in order to prepare for the term itself.

  • 10. VIRick  |  January 8, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Scream, for India, I am hoping for such a ruling in favor of marriage equality much sooner than that. For one, it's the current imposed, hold-over British colonial law which is the impediment, not the traditional customs and practices. In fact, given the general unpopularity of the entire British colonial system within India, I am startled that more has not been done to rid India of these left-over, foreign hindrances and impositions.

    The Hindu religion, the dominant one in India, is very much a belief system of "live and let live," with the promise of re-incarnation as a higher being for having done so. Its form of worship is quite contemplative in an extremely personal way, so much so that people have little individual shrines in their homes where they do their own individual thing, rather than rely on any central authority or centralized houses of worship. One will never find Hindu temples. There is no attempt to convert. Nor does one need to conform. Ask the sadhu, the naked wandering aesthetics who have given up all their worldly possessions, about conforming.

    The Jains carry this "live and let live" concept to extremes, insisting that every creature is sacred, whereby they literally never even kill a fly, while those of the Vedic tradition never kill any animals (not just the sacred cows) and are thus total vegetarians.

    In addition, the concept of the hijra as a third gender is deeply ingrained in traditional culture throughout the entire sub-continent, regardless of current religious belief, and covers a very broad region which includes India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and on through to Malaysia and Indonesia.

    Note: Having lived in Trinidad, another former British colony with a large Hindu population, I have never understood how the British never understood the basic Hindu concept of "live and let live." So, when a herd of wandering sacred cows would suddenly decide to cross the busy freeway during the height of morning rush, it was highly recommended to the nth degree that one stop one's vehicle, post haste, and allow the animals to safely cross. I saw such processions practically every day.

  • 11. Randolph_Finder  |  January 9, 2018 at 9:11 am

    While the concept of hirja as a third gender may be more common in South Asia, I simply don't see it as *that* helpful in regards to progress in the predominantly Muslim countries listed (Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia). I think progress in India will help push Nepal over the edge (to where it should have been 8 years ago) and *maybe* Sri Lanka,

  • 12. VIRick  |  January 9, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    India, being the largest, most populous, and most central country in the grouping, must absolutely take the lead in asserting a more open, more positive "live and let live" approach to LGBT rights all across the board, not just on the subject of the hijra, where they are already relatively advanced.

    Culturally and politically, India probably has the most influence over both Nepal and Sri Lanka, both of which are predominately Hindu/Buddhist. But there's an underlying pre-Muslim cultural influence that percolates through the others which moderates and deflects the hard-line Arabic approach.

    One sees that conflict in Pakistan where the secular government has already recognized the hijra as a third gender on passports, in the census count, and in its defending of transgender Pakistanis who may have relocated to the Gulf States for employment. Singapore has also had to defend its transgender citizens in the same Gulf region.

    I do not see India influencing Pakistan as much as I see Pakistan influencing other Muslim countries with its less rigid approach, despite local opposition from hard-liners even within Pakistan.

  • 13. VIRick  |  January 9, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Utah Supreme Court Faces Gender Identity Issue

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On Monday, 8 January 2018, in a double-case bought before the Utah Supreme Court, the question to be answered by the justices following the hearing is: "Does a judge have the authority to change a person’s gender identity under existing state law?"

    In 2016, an Ogden judge said "No" to that question. Following appeals, the matter is presently before the Utah Supreme Court, which has been asked to overturn rulings by 2nd District Judge Noel Hyde that left Angie Rice and Sean Childers-Gray in a mismatched legal limbo in which their driver licenses and other documents still list the sex designations assigned to them at birth.

    Hyde allowed for name changes, but he said a lack of clarity in state law precludes him from granting gender identity changes. He’s wrong, contends Christopher Wharton, the attorney who represents Rice and Childers-Gray. State laws that reference sex changes, name changes, and gender identity, along with the inherent discretion that judges posses, leave more than enough room for granting the petitions, he said.

    No one appeared to argue against Wharton’s position. The Utah Attorney-General’s office was specifically asked by the justices in September to provide an opinion in the case, but the office declined, Wharton noted. In court papers, the state explained its refusal, saying the case does not challenge the constitutionality of relevant Utah law, or propose a reading of state law that would require sex reassignment surgery, and introduce an equal-protection problem. A brief from the office could only address a hypothetical, court papers say, and delay the proceedings.

    Hyde’s rulings were followed in 2017 with a similar decision by 3rd District Judge Bruce Lubeck, who denied a petition filed by the parents of a then-17-year-old transgender girl. An appeal in that case is on hold until after a ruling from Utah’s high court in the Rice/Childers-Gray case.
    https://www.sltrib.com/news/2018/01/09/utah-supre

  • 14. allan120102  |  January 9, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Breaking news coming from Latin america
    The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CorteIDH) urged to recognize same-sex marriage and extend the same rights that are granted to heterosexual couples, in a decision released Tuesday.

    The Inter-American Court of Human Rights responded to a Costa Rican consultation on the subject, pointing out that sexual orientation and gender identity are categories protected by the American Convention on Human Rights.

    The continental court based in San Jose determined that "all property rights derived from the family bond of same-sex couples must be protected, without any discrimination with respect to heterosexual couples."

    He added that this protection goes beyond patrimonial issues and includes all the rights recognized to heterosexual couples in the domestic legislation of each State.

    For this reason, the organization considered inadmissible the creation of a separate legal figure to recognize homosexual marriages, because "a distinction based on the sexual orientation of the people would be configured, which would be discriminatory."

    The court acknowledged that some states must overcome institutional difficulties to extend homosexual couples the right to marriage, and pointed out that opposition to that union is often based on religious criteria.

    However, he stressed that "in democratic societies there must be mutually peaceful coexistence between the secular and the religious," without one sphere interfering with the other.

    Costa Rica raised its request to the Inter-American Court in May 2016 for the court to decide on the right of the transgender population to legally change their identity and on the rights of homosexual couples.

    Costa Rican legislation currently does not recognize marriages between people of the same sex, although it has made progress in recognizing their economic rights. https://www.elpais.com.uy/mundo/corte-interameric

  • 15. allan120102  |  January 9, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Costa Rica will abide the ruling made by the IDH says the vice president.
    San José, Jan 9 (elmundo.cr) – The Vice President of the Republic, Ana Helena Chacón, said today in a press conference that "the State will abide by and recognize the decision of the Inter-American Court."

    He added that it is a historic day for the region in terms of human rights. "Today the Court has said that human dignity is one and equality of rights is indisputable."

    Also present were Monserrat Solano, defender of the inhabitants and Marvin Carvajal, legal director of the Presidential House.
    "The State has the obligation to recognize the rights of same-sex couples," said Chacón.

    The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Inter-American Court of Human Rights) notified, on Tuesday, the response to the request for an advisory opinion submitted by Costa Rica, on whether the American Convention protects the right to gender identity and the economic rights derived from de facto unions. of homosexual couples.

    The current Administration proposed a consultation on May 18, 2016, in order to determine if it is possible to guarantee rights protected by the American Convention, without the need for legal reforms arising from Parliament, as was the case with the start-up of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

    Thus, the State consulted whether the Convention protects the recognition of the change of name of the persons according to the gender identity of each one, without having to go to the judicial office as at present is established in article 54 of the Civil Code; and if the Convention protects the recognition of economic rights derived from a link between persons of the same sex.

    The Government will study the 150 pages of the opinion of the Court and the separate votes "in order to develop the necessary measures to guarantee human rights in consultation. These measures may involve the approval of bills, issuance of regulatory standards, guidelines, among others. " https://www.elmundo.cr/ana-helena-chacon-estado-a

  • 16. VIRick  |  January 9, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Costa Rica: CIDH Orders Marriage Equality and Gender Identity Change

    Per LGBT Marriage news:

    This is the same court which ruled against Chile several years ago.

    On 9 January 2018, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) ordered Costa Rica to allow same-sex marriage, as well as legal gender identity change. In addition, the ruling extends throughout the 23 countries within the IACHR (CIDH) system.

    The IACHR has also told Costa Rica to immediately protect LGBT rights and equality during the transition period as new laws are drafted and passed.

    To be clear, the IACHR ruling is an advisory opinion. It is calling on Costa Rica to revise its laws, after the government asked the court to clarify its obligations. The opinion is also strong guidance to all the other countries within the IACHR (CIDH) system.

    Those 19 countries adhering to the authority of the IACHR (CIDH) are: Argentina*, Bolivia, Brazil*, Chile, Colombia*, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay*, and Venezuela. It further appears that the IACHR marriage equality ruling is binding on all 23 (or 24) countries that signed the American Convention on Human Rights; so it may also apply to Barbados, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Jamaica. Having once joined, Venezuela apparently has subsequently denounced IACHR (CIDH) authority.

    Those countries marked * already have marriage equality, so today's ruling does not directly affect them.
    https://twitter.com/LGBTMarriage

  • 17. allan120102  |  January 9, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    Venezuela is no longer part of the scope of the court but It will sure push there supreme court to legalize it. Hoping for a similar action by the Panamian supreme court.

  • 18. VIRick  |  January 9, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Jersey: Marriage Equality Vote Scheduled

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Jersey States Assembly is to vote on the marriage equality bill on 30 January 2018.

    If passed, would also make Humanist weddings legal in Jersey.
    Read more at https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2018/01/08/isl

  • 19. VIRick  |  January 9, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Perú: CIDH Ruling against Costa Rica Is Today's Major Headline News

    Corte IDH Ordena a Costa Rica Garantizar Matrimonio Igualitario

    El fallo de la Corte IDH es obligatorio y extensivo a todos los países suscritos al Pacto de San José, como el Perú.
    http://www.americatv.com.pe/noticias/internaciona

    Inter-American Court of Human Rights Orders Costa Rica to Guarantee Equal Marriage

    The ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights is obligatory and extends to all the countries subscribed to the Pact of San José, such as Perú.

  • 20. VIRick  |  January 9, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Details of the CIDH Ruling against Costa Rica

    Por unanimidad, la Corte IDH resolvió: "El Estado debe reconocer y garantizar todos los derechos que se deriven de un vínculo familiar entre personas del mismo sexo de conformidad con lo establecido en los artículos 11.2 y 17.1 de la Convención Americana de Derechos Humanos y en los términos establecidos en los párrafos a 200 a 218".

    Y, con seis votos contra uno, advirtió además: "Es necesario que los Estados garanticen el acceso a todas las figuras ya existentes en los ordenamientos jurídicos internos, incluyendo el derecho al matrimonio, para asegurar la protección de todos los derechos de las familias conformadas por parejas del mismo sexo, sin discriminación con respecto a las que están constituidas con parejas heterosexuales".

    Los jueces interamericanos afirmaron también que, mientras se emprenden reformas formales, el país igualmente tiene el deber de garantizar estos derechos de manera transitoria, sin discriminación alguna.
    http://www.americatv.com.pe/noticias/internaciona

    Unanimously, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled: "The State must recognize and guarantee all rights deriving from a family bond between persons of the same sex, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 11.2 and 17.1 of the American Convention on Human Rights and in the terms established in paragraphs 200 to 218."

    And, with six votes to one, they also warned: "It is necessary for States to guarantee access to all existing norms in domestic legal systems, including the right to marriage, to ensure the protection of all the rights of families formed by same-sex couples, without discrimination with respect to those that are constituted with heterosexual couples."

    The inter-American judges also affirmed that, while formal reforms are being undertaken, the country also has the duty to guarantee these rights in a transitory manner, without any discrimination.

  • 21. VIRick  |  January 9, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Allan, they're wide-eyed in Perú over today's CIDH ruling against Costa Rica, given the several pending court cases currently on appeal in that country, as well. See further commentary several posts below for the view from Perú.

  • 22. VIRick  |  January 9, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Costa Rica: Anti-LGBT Presidential Candidate Apoplectic over CIDH Ruling

    An Anti-LGBT presidential candidate, Fabricio Alvarado, became apoplectic over today's marriage equality ruling from the CIDH, yet claims he intends to respect said ruling:
    https://www.elmundo.cr/fabricio-alvarado-afirma-h

    The current government of Costa Rica is not stupid. They deliberately requested guidance on these matters of marriage equality and gender identity from the international court to which they play host in order to head off the opposition from the likes of someone as closed-minded as Fabricio Alvarado.

    The fact that the ruling also has application to all the other member states is a bonus for Costa Rica which relishes its perceived role as an exemplary progressive Latin nation, small in size, but a leader among them, not just in Central America, but throughout all the Americas.

  • 23. guitaristbl  |  January 9, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    I don't understand the importance of this, excuse my ignorance. You stated in previous comment that the ruling is an advisory opinion but this comment states it is obligatory ? What's the case and what are the ramifications for countries not willing to abide by it ?

  • 24. allan120102  |  January 9, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Costa Rica is almost done now. Same sex marriage will probably start this year in the country.

  • 25. allan120102  |  January 9, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    This is all because of article 7 of the costa rican constitution which states that international rulings and treaties are superior over there country law. The most the homophobes can do is stall a bill to modify the country civil code in its congress, like Puebla is doing, at the end this will be futile.

  • 26. guitaristbl  |  January 9, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    Presidential election apparent frontrunner Juan Castro is ok with it and said it should be decided from the legislature OR a CIDH ruling as in-vitro fertilization was :
    https://www.larepublica.net/noticia/castro-no-tie

    The Presidential election is in less than a month.

  • 27. davepCA  |  January 9, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Yes, please do clarify if possible! We're talking about a LOT of countries, including places like Haiti and Jamaica ( ! ) so any pro-ssm ruling that would be "binding" on these places would be huge news.

  • 28. allan120102  |  January 9, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    That will depend on the constitution of each country,for Example like I mention above Costa Rican constitution allow international rulings and treaties above its constitution because of article 7.
    Art. 7 Public treaties, international agreements and concordats duly approved by the Legislative Assembly shall have, since their enactment or from the day they designate, superior authority to the laws.
    Chile will also find this advisory binding because of a previous agreements. And even though its an advisory supreme courts or state courts might use them to invalidate there bans on ssm. The case of Atala is frequently use in Mexico and Colombia when treating with sexual orientation discrimination.
    Another important fact is that the court explicit says that they will rule in favor of sexual orientation as is a protected class, that means that lgbt people now may sue and almost surely will win there case. Like it happen with Chile with Atala and Colombia with a ss couple.

  • 29. guitaristbl  |  January 9, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    I am sorry I am still confused here…So international rulings in Costa Rica are superior authority to laws per their constitution thus same-sex marriage is now legal in Costa Rica because of that ruling ? If Costa Rica continues to refuse the recognition of same sex marriages is there a penalty of some kind ?

    Also you say :

    "the court explicit says that they will rule in favor of sexual orientation as is a protected class, that means that lgbt people now may sue and almost surely will win there case."

    And if they win it their state has to abide by it ? E.g. a couple from El Salvador can now sue its government for not recognizing their marriage in CIDH and since they will certainly succeed per today's opinion El Salvador has to allow same sex marriage or…what ? State courts are bound by this ruling ?

  • 30. VIRick  |  January 9, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Guitar, I see your confusion, and it has everything to do with linguistics, and some sleight-of-hand and double-meaning involving the Spanish language itself which may not be fully evident in the English translation. Or perhaps I took a short-cut and assumed everyone would understand.

    In the ruling itself, the court is using very forceful Spanish: The State must recognize; It is necessary; Must guarantee. At least that is the way I have translated those phrases into English.

    But stepping back away from the words of the ruling itself, we must realize that any and all rulings from the IACHR (CIDH) are advisory.

    However, in Latin America, a part of the world which has suffered more than its fair share of military dictatorships, the rule of law is highly regarded. The nations in question signed an international agreement to abide by and adhere to all rulings issued by the IACHR. So, in that sense, these advisory rulings thus become obligatory because the nations which signed the accord obligated themselves to adhere to these advisory rulings. Does that explain it?

    Courts in the member states will definitely use the IACHR advisory rulings to declare as unconstitutional those laws which violate said IACHR advisory rulings. And legislative lawmakers can do the same in arguing their case for change, even citing the very forceful language of the IACHR rulings themselves when doing so.

    Many of these nations will balk at making the required changes necessary to adhere to the ruling. But their own courts will remember. The advisory ruling against Chile has been repeatedly cited ever since it was made several years ago. Now, they will do the same with this ruling against Costa Rica.

  • 31. scream4ever  |  January 9, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    The only question now is if Panama will beat them too it. Also, this will definitely serve as a warning to the incoming Chilean President if he tries to delay marriage equality and the gender identity bill (that is, if they don't pass Parliament before he's seated).

  • 32. guitaristbl  |  January 9, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    So the ruling itself has no actual authority but it is expected to give a large momentum to the process of legalization then I suppose. I suppose if LGBT groups and activists are aware and organized enough in all these countries we will see an avalanche of lawsuits in state courts arguing in favour of marriage equality based on this ruling and those state courts are more than likely to rule in their favour after that ? I think there are some ongoing cases already in some of them…? For example what leeway does the Panama Supreme Court have now since it is the one expected to rule the soonest on the matter ?

    I fear given how controversial the issue is, especially for carribean nations that have not even legalized same sex sexual activity, this will probably cause withdrawals from its jurisdiction rather than respect for the ruling.

    I do not know much about the integrity of the judicial system in most of those nations but I find it tough to imagine e.g. a haitian court willing to abide by this ruling.

  • 33. allan120102  |  January 9, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    No, same sex marriage will only be legal in CR by three methods, if the executive orders the agencies and provinces to start recognizing ssm. That a couple sues the state and the country supreme court strikes down the ban international opinions have a lot of regards in latin American courts, there is a recognition case pending and base on this I am pretty sure it will be in favor of the couple, or that the legislative body modifies the civil code, this one is the most difficult route to do it imo,

    I see this case like with Mexico, the court might not force the states to legalize it but they better do it because every case against lgbt discrimination will be against the country and in favor of petitioners if discrimination can be prove, If prove the countries will be paying a lot so instead of doing that they should abide but they can also do it like some Mexico states which fight until the end. Dont expect ssm to be recognize or perform in many countries because many will fight tooth and nail until the end like my country.

    Also just because the court rules in our favor does not means that El Salvador for example will recognize a ssm they might rule in favor of the couple but El Salvador might just pay monetary damage or do an agreement like it happen with Chile. My guess is that many countries will surrender when they start seeing the bill of there denial to recognize lgbt rights.

    Costa Rica looks poise to legalize ssm because they no longer wants to fight and there executive looks poise to let couples marry like what it happen with Baja California in November.

  • 34. guitaristbl  |  January 9, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Sorry for the spam of comments but this seems important.

    I suppose this ruling all but guarantees that Panama, Costa Rica and Chile will have marriage equality this year (on paper at least) right ? (given the ongoing processes in these countries already)
    Any other country in the region that may be rattled any time soon ?

  • 35. allan120102  |  January 9, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    Venezuela might see its ban struck ths year, even though they are no longer part of the ICH they will probably be persuade by it, even though base on the recent positive rulings on lgbt rights and the confidence that Venezuela igualitaria had, I guess the supreme court would have struck it down without this opinion.

    Panama Supreme court if they had an adverse ruling they will probably be persuade to change it to a possible ruling.

    Péru has a case of recognition in which a lower court issue a ruling in favor of the couple, that was appeal to an appeallate court and after that one it will be going to the supreme court, They might be persuade to use this ruling to force Peru to recognize ssm, but we need to know that Peru is one of the most sceptical members of the ICH and in the past has try to leave it, Not sure if this will be The drop that spilled the glass but we will see.

  • 36. allan120102  |  January 9, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    Costa Rica looking mechanisms so same sex marriage can start as soon as possible
    the Government is already studying the mechanisms to make effective the historic criterion issued on Tuesday by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which requires Costa Rica and 25 countries to guarantee equal marriage and gender identity.

    This was explained by Marvin Carvajal, legal director of the Presidential House, who stated that, whatever the mechanisms, they will be adopted by the Executive Power, which sent the consultation on May 18, 2016.

    In the case of gender identity, Carvajal said that it is being studied whether it should be the responsibility of the Executive Power or the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

    "We have a complex path to see which are the most agile mechanisms to implement and make effective the opinion of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights," said Carvajal.

    According to the legal director, which aspects require regulation through executive decree, however, he stressed that the obligation is for all State institutions.

    Carvajal was accompanied by Ana Helena Chacón, vice president of the Republic and the most visible face of the Solís Rivera administration in favor of the LGBTI population.
    Loving is a human condition that deserves the same recognition from the State. Today, our State reaffirms the inescapable commitment to respect and abide by this criterion of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Today is a hopeful day for future generations of LGBTI people to grow up without fear, "said Chacón.

    On the other hand, Montserrat Carboni, defender of the inhabitants, reaffirmed the importance of the opinion of the Court, and affirmed that "whoever is the next president of the Republic, will have to abide by the criteria of the Inter-American Court".

    "This is the result of the bullying that you have received from a society that has wanted to consider them as second-class citizens, today they claim that pain and struggle," Carboni told a group of LGBTI people and activists who attended Casa Presidential this afternoon.

    The defender affirmed that they will resume eight cases in which the State had been denounced for denying gender identity to trans people.

    https://semanariouniversidad.com/ultima-hora/gobi

  • 37. VIRick  |  January 9, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    I agree that finding a Haitian court willing to abide by this ruling will be difficult. The same could be said for a number of the English-speaking Caribbean countries.

    However, in keeping closer within the Hispanic world, that's why everyone in Perú is wide-eyed tonight, as they suddenly realize that they could well be next, just as soon as their own court there in Perú finally rules on the several pending marriage equality appeals,– unless, of course, the Supreme Court of Panama rules first.

    This is also why I have previously argued that the Spanish-speaking nations of the Americas, dragging Paraguay along, kicking and screaming, at the very bitter tail end, will beat the last of the English-speaking nations of the Americas in obtaining marriage equality.

  • 38. guitaristbl  |  January 9, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    There is also the case in Ecuador if I remember correctly..

  • 39. guitaristbl  |  January 9, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Venezuela has many issues to tackle right now, I don't know if marriage equality is among their priorities..Yes I read Peru wanted to leave but did not do the process right the first time around. Let's see what will happen after that.

    I see you study astrophysics btw, I am a student in Particle physics :)

  • 40. allan120102  |  January 9, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Paraguay and I think Nicaragua will be the most difficults to achieve marriage equality. They will be kicking and screaming until the end,, and after it becomes legal too.

  • 41. guitaristbl  |  January 9, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Bolivia has the most restrictive constitution though as far as I remember..

  • 42. allan120102  |  January 9, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Thanks, I am happy to see another physicist in here, amazing branch of study. And for your question Yes Ecuador has a case pending since 2013 but its homophobic court havent issue a ruling because imo I am pretty sure they know they will need to issue in favor of lgbt couples, something that will hurt them do in it.

  • 43. allan120102  |  January 9, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    the constitution of my country is pretty restrictive in terms of marriage and adoption, but the people in Bolivia even though traditionals are more accepting of lgbt people than other countries in America especially trans rights, something its supreme court did not learn.

  • 44. VIRick  |  January 9, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    The push for LGBT rights, especially trans rights, has primarily come from a persistant, noisy Indigenous highland element of the population, most of whom are Quechua-speakers who still wear their traditional garb. As a result, in Bolivia, trans rights in particular has become inter-woven with Indigenous rights.

    On the other hand, Bolivia's modern constitution, although guaranteeing many rights, is too specific about defining marriage, a point which should not even be mentioned in a national constitution.

  • 45. davepCA  |  January 10, 2018 at 11:01 am

    I"m seeing that this pro-ssm ruling from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights is getting considerable coverage in the mainstream press. This is encouraging and it reminds me of the time around 2014 here in the U.S. when the dominoes started to fall in court case after court case, faster and faster. I understand that it will likely not happen quite that quickly in these countries but this still pretty exciting stuff.

  • 46. scream4ever  |  January 10, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Indeed. Hopefully the European Court of Human rights will rule the same way with the Romania case.

  • 47. ianbirmingham  |  January 10, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    Apparently, a Yale law degree is the primo ticket for those who want to be a SCOTUS law clerk!

  • 48. JayJonson  |  January 11, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Following the unanimous ruling by a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals panel in favor of Ash Whitaker, a transgender student who was horribly mistreated by a Wisconsin School District, the district has agreed to pay Whitaker, now a student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, $800,000 and to drop its appeal to the Supreme Court.

    Congratulations to a brave young man!

    Read more here: http://www.towleroad.com/2018/01/transgender-stud

  • 49. scream4ever  |  January 11, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    I really wish/hope we can get a case on this issue before the Supreme Court ASAP though.

  • 50. allan120102  |  January 11, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Civil registry in Costa rica just waiting for the executive to order them to start issuing same sex marriage licenses. If this happen CR will become the 27 country to have ssm. http://www.nacion.com/el-pais/gobierno/registro-c

  • 51. scream4ever  |  January 12, 2018 at 9:10 am

    A strong indicator that we will win this case:
    http://www.ontopmag.com/article/36231/All_EU_Nati

    A European Court of Justice advocate general has advised that European Union member states must recognize the rights of same-sex spouses, even if a country has not extended marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples.

    According to The Guardian, Melchior Wathelet, a Belgian advocate general in the Luxembourg court, said that all EU members must recognize the rights of gay spouses.

    Such opinions are non-binding but are normally followed by the court, the paper wrote.

    The Luxembourg court is currently deliberating in the case of a Romanian national, Adrian Coman, whose American husband, Claibourn Robert Hamilton, was refused residence in Romania based on the couple's 2010 marriage in Brussels. A decision is expected in the coming months.

    Romania is one of the six EU member states that do not recognize the unions of gay couples. The other nations include Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Latvia.

  • 52. allan120102  |  January 12, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Costa Rica chancellor has send the ruling to all institutions including there supreme court and civil registry to study the ruling so they can implement it. https://m.larepublica.net/noticia/cancilleria-ini

  • 53. scream4ever  |  January 12, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Unless if Panama and/or Chile beat them to it, Costa Rica will become the next country with the freedom to marry!!!

  • 54. guitaristbl  |  January 12, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Unless the Supreme Court throws a curveball saying legislation is required (I don't think its likely) if Costa Rica continues on this path of implementation under instructions from the executive branch of the government it will be hard to beat – unless the supreme court in Panama rules like tomorrow.

  • 55. allan120102  |  January 12, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Well I guess CR might be first unless the Panamian supreme court opinion is issue first. Anyhow the attorney general of the people of Panama has state that each country will abide by its own rhythym but Panama will do it asap. https://www.tvn-2.com/nacionales/Defensoria-Puebl

  • 56. allan120102  |  January 12, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    I am really hoping its implement Asap because general elections in CR are pretty soon I believe in 2 weeks and 4 of the candidates have express they will put a break to the implementation. The church is now expressing support for this candidates and telling the people to support them.

  • 57. guitaristbl  |  January 12, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    I suppose you refer to the 4 candidates of the minor conservative parties ? Alvarado F., Campos, Lopez and Redondo ? Meh even if the church has influence, any vote transferred has the potential to be split among those 4 and be ineffective. The current likely top 2 has expressed support for the ruling so I am not too worried.

  • 58. allan120102  |  January 12, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Paraguay lgbt groups to sue so that they can get married. They expect to go to the civil registry and be denied and they they can expect the process to begin. Paraguay will be tough to win and you could see in the comments left in the article why is consider the most conservative country is SA http://www.hoy.com.py/nacionales/lgtbi-anuncia-pr

  • 59. scream4ever  |  January 12, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    Even if they're not a part of the Inter-American Union, the victory with said Court of Human Rights will still prove beneficial to all nations in the Western Hemisphere.

  • 60. allan120102  |  January 12, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Actually Paraguay is part of it, the only two spanish countries in LA who are not part are Cuba and Venezuela plus Dominican Republic that is on an ambiguos setting right now after a state supreme court order which declare invalid its admission as it was not done in the right way. Anyhow I agree that even if not part the courts will find it very persuasive. In the plus side the majority of the people in Cuba are in favor of ssm.

  • 61. scream4ever  |  January 12, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Plus Venezuela is poised to rule in favor this year.

  • 62. VIRick  |  January 13, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    "Marvin Carvajal, legal advisor to the president, was accompanied by Ana Helena Chacón, vice president of the Republic and the most visible face of the Solís Rivera administration in favor of the LGBTI population."

    These two individuals within the current Costa Rican government, Carvajal and Chacón, deserve to be duly recognized as the two individuals most instrumental in taking the matters of marriage equality and gender identity to the IACHR (CIDH) seeking an advisory opinion from the court in the first instance. Not only did they receive an extremely favorable ruling for both marriage equality and gender identity for Costa Rica, but further obtained a ruling on these same two points that extends much further to include all of the other Latin nations that have signed the international accord obligating themselves to recognize the authority of the IACHR (CIDH).

    It was an absolutely brilliant strategy on their part, one that deserves its own individualized notice, particularly because both Carvajal and Chacón are relatively low-key and do not run around blustering and crowing about their own personal achievements.

    In addition to everything else, one must also note:

    La Vicepresidenta Ana Helena Chacón celebrando el fallo de la Corte IDH en el histórico bar gay, La Avispa.
    https://twitter.com/fran89d/status/95166225776683

    Vice-President Ana Helena Chacón celebrated the ruling of the Inter-American Court in the historic gay bar, La Avispa.

  • 63. VIRick  |  January 13, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    Another Virgin Islands Post-Hurricane Up-Date

    Right in the midst of the fall-out from the IACHR (CIDH) court ruling against Costa Rica, our make-do, temporary Wi-Fi internet service crashed again, with the resulting black-out persisting for 3 days. Still, I suppose that's an "improvement" of sorts, as the previous black-out from the earlier crash lasted for 4 days.

    On Wednesday, I will be flying from here, via Puerto Rico and Dulles, to Phoenix, and then on to El Paso, to visit friends/family in both Arizona and New Mexico for the next 3 weeks, after which I will once again return. For now, I have done all of my most immediate personal catch-up business which required me to be here for an interval. It is time to leave again and allow more time to pass, while hoping for further improvements to occur while I am gone. Even the replacement windshield for the SUV which I ordered some time ago has finally arrived, and ought to be installed this coming Monday.

    Up-date for Monday, 15 January 2018: Today, we endured another all-day electrical power black-out, which in addition, caused me to be unable to access the internet during the outage. For "good news," the long-awaited replacement windshield for the SUV has been successfully installed.

    Note: On this trip, I will be flying in to Puerto Rico on a 10-passenger Cessna operated by Cape Air, and ought to have an excellent bird's-eye view of the extensive damage to the San Juan Metro area. I have already been advised that it is a sea of blue FEMA tarps, much like the East End of St. Thomas, but given the massive size of that metro area, involves thousands upon thousands more structures.

    Also, even though at times I will be very close to the international border during this sojourn, I do not expect to visit either Sonora or Chihuahua.

  • 64. VIRick  |  January 13, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Costa Rica: Executive Branch Begins Notification of Institutions about Marriage Equality

    Costa Rica: Cancillería Inicio Notificación a Instituciones sobre Matrimonio Igualitario

    La Cancillería inició esta mañana (12 de enero 2018) el proceso de notificación a las instituciones públicas sobre la resolución de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos en favor del matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo.

    En el transcurso del día las notificaciones llegarán al Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones, al Poder Judicial, a la Procuraduría General de la República y a la Asamblea Legislativa.
    https://www.larepublica.net/noticia/cancilleria-i

    This morning (12 January 2018), the Executive Branch began the process of notifying public institutions about the decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) in favor of marriage between persons of the same sex.

    During the day, the notifications will reach the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the Judicial Power, the Attorney General's Office, and the Legislative Assembly.

    Note: The IACHR (CIDH) court ruling of 9 January 2018 against Costa Rica is immediate and final. Thus, on 12 January 2018, the government of Costa Rica has begun the legal notification process with the full intention of complying with said ruling. Within days, we can definitively count Costa Rica as nation #26 with marriage equality actually implemented. Unlike the court rulings in Austria or Taiwan, in the case of Costa Rica, there will be no time delays.

  • 65. VIRick  |  January 13, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    Costa Rica: Gay Couple Ready to Say "Yes" Following Criterion of the IACHR (CIDH)

    Costa Rica: Pareja Gay se Alista para Dar el ‘Sí’ Tras Criterio de la Corte IDH

    Un tico y un venezolano planean casarse ante notaria la próxima semana. Roberto Castillo y Mario Arias podrían convertirse en una de las primeras parejas del mismo sexo en casarse en Costa Rica, luego de que el país recibiera la orden de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos para aplicar el matrimonio igualitario.

    La pareja se reunirá el próximo martes (16 de enero 2018) con una notaria para que les informe si ya es posible inscribir estos matrimonios ante el Registro Civil. De ser así, ese mismo día fijarían para el próximo fin de semana su boda.
    http://www.nacion.com/el-pais/gobierno/pareja-gay

    A Costa Rican and a Venezuelan plan to get married before a notary next week. Roberto Castillo and Mario Arias could become one of the first same-sex couples to marry in Costa Rica, after the country received the order from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to apply marriage equality.

    The couple will meet next Tuesday (16 January 2018) with a notary in order to be informed if it is already possible to register their marriage before the Civil Registry. If so, that same day they would fix their wedding date for the following weekend.

    "Tico" is the familiar, affectionate term for a person from Costa Rica. The correct, formal terms are "costarricense" or "costarriqueño," which generally prove to be too much of a mouthful.

  • 66. VIRick  |  January 13, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Paraguay Must Adapt Laws to Marriage Equality, According to Expert

    Paraguay Debe Adecuar Leyes para Matrimonio Igualitario, Según Experto

    El experto internacional en Derechos Humanos Claudio Nash sostuvo que Paraguay debe cambiar su ley y aceptar la implementación del matrimonio igualitario. Sostuvo que el país se debe adecuar a la recomendación de la CIDH. "La Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) podría obligar a Paraguay a cambiar su normativa para implementar el matrimonio igualitario, y eso no sería una invasión a la soberanía del Estado, pues el país resolvió sumarse al Tratado de organismo," explicó Nash.

    Agregó que Paraguay no debería esperar una sentencia por parte de la CIDH que obligue al país a cumplir con la recomendación, sino comenzar a discutir cómo implementarlo. El organismo internacional instó a los países a legalizar el matrimonio homosexual, y anunció la presentación de los casos a la Corte Suprema de Justicia de Paraguay, de manera de exigir el cumplimiento del criterio del bloque.

    Por su parte, la organización SomosGay, mediante un comunicado difundido en la tarde de este jueves, señaló que la Constitución Nacional no tiene ninguna limitación para que el país se acoja a las recomendaciones en este caso en específico.
    http://www.ultimahora.com/paraguay-debe-adecuar-l

    International human rights expert Claudio Nash said that Paraguay must change its law and accept the implementation of marriage equality. He argued that the country must adapt to the recommendation of the IACHR. "The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) could force Paraguay to change its regulations to implement marriage equality and that would not be an invasion of state sovereignty, because the country chose to add itself by Treaty to the body," explained Nash.

    He added that Paraguay should not wait for a ruling by the IACHR (CIDH) to force the country to comply with the recommendation, but instead, begin to discuss how to implement it. The international body urged countries to legalize same-sex marriage, and announced the submission of cases to the Supreme Court of Justice of Paraguay in order to demand compliance with the criterion of the court.

    For its part, the organization SomosGay, through a statement released on Thursday afternoon (11 January 2018), noted that the National Constitution has no limitations (on it) in order for the country to be able to accept the recommendations in this specific case.

  • 67. VIRick  |  January 13, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    What does it mean for the Dominican Republic that the IACHR ruled in favor of same-sex marriage? A jurist answers.

    ¿Qué implica para República Dominicana que la CIDH fallara a favor de matrimonio gay? Jurista responde.

    El abogado constitucionalista Namphi Rodríguez advirtió hoy (11 de enero 2018) que la decisión de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) que aprobó el matrimonio homosexual plantea un desafío al Congreso y al Tribunal Constitucional de la República Dominicana, que tendrán que interpretar el artículo 55 de la Constitución que (hasta al momento) define el matrimonio como la unión de un hombre y una mujer.

    Rodríguez dijo que la Corte Interamericana ha utilizado el control de convencionalidad del derecho interno de los países con la Convención Americana de Derechos Humanos para impulsar la reinterpretación de las normas constitucionales y legales de las naciones sujetas a la jurisdicción de la CIDH.

    “Es una decisión histórica, pues hasta el momento la Corte se había mantenido al margen del debate y sólo la Comisión Interamericana propugnaba por el reconocimiento de los derechos de los grupos de Lesbianas, Gay y Transexuales (LGBTI); no se trata de una reforma constitucional ni legal inmediata, pero esos colectivos ahora tienen un amparo en el criterio de la Corte,” dijo.
    http://hoy.com.do/que-implica-para-republica-domi

    Constitutional lawyer Namphi Rodríguez warned today (11 January 2018) that the decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) that approved same-sex marriage poses a challenge to the Congress and the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic, which will have to re-interpret Article 55 of the Constitution that (currently) defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

    Rodríguez said that the Inter-American Court has used control of the conventional law of the countries within the American Convention on Human Rights to promote the reinterpretation of the constitutional and legal norms of the nations subject to the jurisdiction of the IACHR.

    "It is an historic decision, because so far the Court had stayed out of the debate, and only the Inter-American Commission advocated for the recognition of the rights of the Lesbian, Gay and Transgender (LGBTI) groups; It is not an immediate legal or constitutional reform, but these groups will now be able to file an amparo within the criterion of the Court," he said.

  • 68. VIRick  |  January 13, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    Honduras: LGBT Community Asks to Evaluate IACHR Recommendation on Same-Sex Marriages

    Honduras: Comunidad LGBT Pide Valorar Recomendación de CIDH sobre Matrimonios Gay

    La opinión consultiva de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos le da a Costa Rica “luz verde” al matrimonio gay, sostuvo la directora de la Asociación de Derechos Humanos Transexual, Rihanna Ferrera, pero la misma no abarca a Honduras (directamente).

    Señaló que las leyes en ambos países son distintas, pero la consulta que Costa Rica hizo deja un antecedente histórico en la región.
    http://www.latribuna.hn/2018/01/11/comunidad-lgtb

    The advisory opinion of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights gives Costa Rica the "green light" to same-sex marriage, said the director of the Transsexual Human Rights Association, Rihanna Ferrera, but it does not (directly) cover Honduras.

    She pointed out that the laws in both countries are different, but the consultation that Costa Rica made left an historic precedent for the region.

    Note: This news source, in order to obtain a more legally-grounded opinion within Honduras on the major constitutional import of the IACHR ruling against Costa Rica, needs to ask the same question to an acknowledged constitutional lawyer in Honduras, rather than to an oppressed, locally-based trans activist.

  • 69. VIRick  |  January 13, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Nicaragua LGBTI Community Requests More Laws to Avoid Discrimination

    Comunidad LGBTI Nicaragua Pidió Más Leyes para Evitar la Discriminación

    La comunidad LGBTI de Nicaragua aplaudió la opinión de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CorteIDH) de garantizar el matrimonio homosexual en Costa Rica.

    Para Ludwica Vega, presidente de la Asociación Nicaragüense Trans (Anit), la actitud de la CorteIDH es motivo de alegría porque son logros y porque además el matrimonio es un derecho humano. No obstante, señaló que en el caso de Nicaragua hay que enfocarse en la mejora a la Ley de Salud para que no haya discriminación, así como en el acceso a la educación y la identidad de género.
    http://segundoenfoque.com/comunidad-lgbti-nicarag

    The LGBTI community of Nicaragua applauded the opinion of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CorteIDH) to guarantee same-sex marriage in Costa Rica.

    For Ludwica Vega, president of the Nicaraguan Trans Association (Anit), the action of the Inter-American Court is cause for joy because these are achievements and because marriage is also a human right. However, she pointed out that in the case of Nicaragua it is necessary to focus on improving the Health Law so that there will not be discrimination, as well as in access to education and gender identity.

    Note: This news source, in order to obtain a more legally-grounded opinion within Nicaragua on the major constitutional import of the IACHR ruling against Costa Rica, needs to ask the same question to an acknowledged constitutional lawyer in Nicaragua, rather than to an oppressed, locally-based trans activist.

  • 70. VIRick  |  January 13, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    IACHR Issues Opinion that Commits Panamá to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage

    Corte IDH Emite Opinión que Comprometería a Panamá a Reconocer Matrimonio Gay

    La orden consultiva del organismo responde a una consulta del gobierno de Costa Rica, e impacta todo el Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos.

    (A consecuencia), la Alianza Pro Igualdad pidió a la Corte Suprema de Justicia (de Panamá) a reconocer oficialmente en el país el derecho de personas del mismo género a poder contraer matrimonio, luego de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos ordenara a 20 países del continente dar los mismos derechos a las parejas del mismo sexo que a las heterosexuales, incluido el derecho al matrimonio.
    http://www.critica.com.pa/nacional/corte-idh-emit

    The advisory order of the organization responds to a query from the government of Costa Rica, and impacts the entire Inter-American Human Rights System.

    (As a result), the Alianza Pro Igualdad asked the Supreme Court of Justice (of Panamá) to officially recognize the right of people of the same gender to be able to marry in Panamá, after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered 20 countries of the continent to give the same rights to same-sex couples as to heterosexuals, including the right to marriage.

  • 71. VIRick  |  January 13, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    Dave: Yes, this is amazingly exciting stuff.

    Even though technically the ruling went against them, the current government administration of Costa Rica pulled off a sensational legal coup (precisely as it had planned) in favor of the rights of same-sex couples, as well as for the rights of transgender individuals, throughout all of the Americas, by going the route it chose to go, knowing full well that they were legally-bound to follow the opinion of the Court, not only for Costa Rica itself, but also for all the other nations which have also signed the international accord granting authority to the IACHR (CIDH).

    See below for various constitutional experts' opinions that the laws from the Dominican Republic to Paraguay, and sundry points in between, must change in order for the countries in question to remain in accord with the ruling of the IACHR (CIDH).

    One fully expects the European Court of Human Rights to now rule similarly.

  • 72. VIRick  |  January 13, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    States Which Have Ratified American Convention of the IACHR

    Per the IACHR (CIDH) itself:

    Los Estados que han ratificado la Convención Americana son: Argentina*, Barbados, Bolivia, Brasil*, Chile, Colombia*, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haití, Honduras, Jamaica, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, República Dominicana, Suriname, y Uruguay*.

    Venezuela presentó el 10 de septiembre de 2012 un instrumento de denuncia de la Convención Americana sobre Derechos Humanos al Secretario General de la Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA). La denuncia surtió efecto a partir del 10 de septiembre de 2013.

    Trinidad y Tobago presentó el 26 de mayo de 1998 una denuncia ante el Secretario de la OEA. La denuncia surtió efecto a partir del 28 de mayo de 1999.
    http://www.corteidh.or.cr/tablas/abccorte/abc/fil

    The ruling is legally binding in Argentina*, Barbados, Bolivia, Brasil*, Chile, Colombia*, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Uruguay*. Dominica, Grenada, and Jamaica, although having ratified the convention, are in a grey area as to whether they are legally bound to implement the ruling.

    States marked * already had mariage equality fully implemented nationwide prior to the IACHR court ruling.

  • 73. scream4ever  |  January 13, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    I added up the populations of all these countries, and it will eventually result in around 230 million more people living in nations with same-sex marriage.

  • 74. VIRick  |  January 14, 2018 at 12:08 am

    Per the several media articles pertaining to the ramifications of the IACHR ruling against Costa Rica in favor of marriage equality and gender identity, here are the most important points I have gleaned from the several quoted constitutional legal experts:

    Per Claudio Nash, international human rights expert, in regard to Paraguay:

    "Announce the submission of cases to the Supreme Court of Justice of Paraguay in order to demand compliance with the criterion of the IACHR ruling."

    Per Namphi Rodríguez, constitutional lawyer in the Dominican Republic:

    "LGBT groups will now be able to file an amparo (with the court) within the criterion of the IACHR," he said.

    And in Panamá, Alianza Pro Igualdad has already done just that when they asked the Supreme Court of Justice (of Panamá) to officially recognize the right of people of the same gender to be able to marry in Panamá, vis-a-vis the pending marriage equality cases already before them.

  • 75. guitaristbl  |  January 14, 2018 at 11:12 am

    So the ruling has no applicability whatsoever to Saint Kitts, Saint Vincent, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and the Bahamas ?

  • 76. scream4ever  |  January 14, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Yup, in addition to Belize, Cuba, Guyana, Venezuela, and many other Caribbean island nations.

  • 77. allan120102  |  January 14, 2018 at 11:50 am

    No to them no. Its in the most part for all spanish countries in America with the exception of Cuba and Venezuela. I have speak to some people and some tell me that this consultation does not apply the same way to Jamaica Grenada and Dominica like it does the rest, it might not be binding to them.

  • 78. VIRick  |  January 14, 2018 at 11:54 am

    Guitar, a full list of the so-called independent ex-British countries not mentioned at all in the IACHR listings would include: Antigua/Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Guyana, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent/Grenadines, Trinidad/Tobago.

    However, we are now dealing with unanswered questions in untested waters, where court jurisdictions appear to be somewhat overlapping and a bit scrambled. Take for example the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court:

    The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the superior court of record for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), which includes six independent states: Antigua/Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent/Grenadines, and 3 British Overseas Territories (Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, and Montserrat). It has unlimited jurisdiction in each member State.

    So, this St. Lucia-based court includes 2 states mentioned in the IACHR lists, 4 which are not mentioned, and 3 more which are still British.

    Then, there's the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice with authority over the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad/Tobago, plus Suriname and Haiti, with overlapping authority with the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court over Antigua/Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent/Grenadines.

    Of these nations within the CCJ, 6 are mentioned in the IACHR lists, and 8 are not.

    We should be pleased to note that Barbados made the IACHR definitive list, as did Suriname and Haiti, while Dominica, Grenada, and Jamaica made the "maybe" list. As a result, one can foresee an eventual chain-reaction or domino effect just because of the overlapping jurisdictions of the several courts in question.

    My original thoughts on this matter were that the Bermuda High Court ruling in favor of marriage equality would be precedent for next snagging the other 5 remaining British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean, namely Anguilla, the BVI, Montserrat, Cayman Islands, and Turks/Caicos Islands. Following that, with 3 of those BOTs being members of the ECSC, we would then snag the remaining members of the ECSC.

    However, following the positive ruling by the IACHR in favor of both marriage equality and gender identity, it may now be wisest to file suit in Barbados, seeking both, and let the chain-reaction occur from that direction, via the remaining CCJ members, and then on to the ECSC. Either way, they are all doomed, but it may take quite a bit longer for the very slowly-paced British-based courts to issue their rulings. On the other hand, the IACHR appears to be much more quicker-paced, and extremely forceful.

    However, other than Barbados, and the totally untested Suriname and Haiti, the IACHR is almost exclusively Hispanic, with emphasis on the word, "Latin," in Latin America. As Allan has already mentioned, the IACHR currently has jurisdiction over every Latin American nation with the exception of Cuba and Venezuela.

  • 79. VIRick  |  January 14, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Perú: President of Supreme Court: Perú Must Abide by CIDH Ruling

    Per LGBT Marriage news:

    El presidente del Poder Judicial, Duberlí Rodríguez, dijo que el Estado Peruano debe respetar la decisión de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) a favor del matrimonio de personas del mismo sexo.

    "El Perú es parte del sistema interamericano, y el organismo que tutela y protege esos derechos se llama Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, y si la corte ha tomado una decisión, yo creo que todas las partes están llamadas a respetarla", señaló, según cita la agencia EFE.
    http://rpp.pe/peru/actualidad/duberli-rodriguez-p

    The President of the Judiciary, Duberlí Rodríguez, said that the Peruvian State must respect the decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) in favor of same-sex marriage.

    "Peru is part of the inter-American system, and the body that guards and protects those rights is called the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and if the court has made a decision, I believe that all parties are called to respect it," he said, according to a quote from EFE.

    At the same moment, this very well-written, extended news article in "El Comercio" provides extended details comparing the court ruling of the IACHR on both gender identity and marriage equality with what the current law in Perú happens to state, and thus, what changes need to be made to Peruvian law on both subjects in order to bring the country up to the standard set by the IACHR:
    https://elcomercio.pe/peru/peru-evalua-acata-pedi

  • 80. VIRick  |  January 14, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Ecuador: If Constitutional Court Does Not Rule Now, Case Moves to CIDH

    Per Rex Wockner:

    A marriage-equality case is pending before Ecuador's Constitutional Court and the ruling, by law, is years overdue. Given the Inter-American Court marriage ruling, if the Ecuador ruling doesn't come now, the plaintiffs are moving the matter to the Inter-American court system.

    ¿Qué Significa la Opinión de la Corte Interamericana para el Matrimonio en Ecuador?

    El 5 de agosto de 2013 Pamela Troya y Gabriela Correa acudieron al Registro Civil a fin de obtener turno para casarse y se les negó. Interpusieron una acción de protección que les fue negada, al igual que la apelación. En junio de 2014, presentaron una acción extraordinaria de protección, y pese a que la Ley da a la Corte Constitucional 30 días para despacharla, han pasado 3 años. El día en que Troya se enteró del estándar de la CIDH, lloró, “Es una decisión histórica.”

    Troya anuncia acciones, junto a su abogado, Ramiro García: “Con la Opinión Consultiva ya hay una base jurídica que nos permite darle más fuerza a la temática. Sabemos que los Estados no son muy cumplidos con lo que deben hacer, si es que la Corte Constitucional sigue haciéndose de la vista gorda, nos va a tocar ir al Sistema Interamericano.”
    https://lahora.com.ec/noticia/1102128466/que-sign

    What does the Opinion of the Inter-American Court Mean for Marriage in Ecuador?

    On 5 August 2013, Pamela Troya and Gabriela Correa went to the Civil Registry in order to apply to be married and were denied. They filed a protection action that was denied, as was the appeal. In June 2014, they filed an extraordinary protection action, and despite the fact that the Law gives the Constitutional Court 30 days to clear it, 3 years have passed. The day that Troya learned about the IACHR standard, she cried, "It's an historic decision."

    Troya announces actions, along with her lawyer, Ramiro García: "With the Advisory Opinion, there is already a legal basis that allows us to give more strength to this subject. We know that the States are not very satisfied with what they must do (following the CIDH ruling), so if the Constitutional Court continues to turn a blind eye, we will have to go to the Inter-American System."

  • 81. scream4ever  |  January 14, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    I hope Chile does the same thing if their Parliament/President fails to pass their marriage bill.

  • 82. guitaristbl  |  January 14, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    This is the most significant reaction so far given the authority that states it. It essentially gives to activists the green light to press on with marriage cases all the way up to the Supreme Court. Great news !

  • 83. guitaristbl  |  January 14, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Things seem to fast track in almost all of South America. We could see a larger amount of nations enacting marriage equality in 2018, concentrated in that geographical region mainly, than in 2017.

    Hopefully this IACHR ruling will provide at least some hesitation to a future composition of SCOTUS to overturn Obergefell.

  • 84. scream4ever  |  January 14, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    I'm confident Obergefell will never be overturned. I'm hoping this will further push the European Court of Human rights to issue a similar ruling.

  • 85. guitaristbl  |  January 14, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    We have at least 3 SCOTUS justices right now who could not even concur in Pavan v Smith. As I have said in the past, I do not share this confidence. Federalist society and its members are determined to get rid of Obergefell and Roe at any social cost.

  • 86. VIRick  |  January 14, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    I also believe that Perú is the largest, most populous country in the IACHR list which does not have marriage equality, not even civil unions, much less non-discrimination protections, currently in place. Except for transgender rights (all done through the courts), and the numerous pending marriage equality cases also before the courts, Perú has not made much of a move on any of these matters,– until now. At the same moment, Perú, with its old-fashioned constitution, does not have any constitutional prohibition banning same-sex marriage.

  • 87. allan120102  |  January 14, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    So far in my opinion recognition will come first as there is a case already waiting on the recognition of marriages I have already read comments in other pages and said that they expect a favoring ruling base on the precedent of the ICH ruling. Later when a lawsuit is file for the performance of marriage then the courts will order the state to perform them.

  • 88. allan120102  |  January 14, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    I am guessing Suriname will be easy to abide if its marriage law is challenge, I dont see them fighting a lost cause. Anyhow its neighbors Brazil and French guyana already have marriage equality. Only Guyana does not. Haiti will be more difficult as I there court pretty objectful and conservative.

  • 89. allan120102  |  January 14, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    Homophobic ecuador supreme court should have issue a ruling even before the Colombian supreme court but its ideals does not let them. Hopefully this push them to do it.

  • 90. scream4ever  |  January 14, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    Yes, but public opinion on marriage continues to grow, while Roe has remained largely the same. There may be some slight undermining of it if they manage to take over the court at worst, which is why Democrats must retake the Senate in November.

  • 91. allan120102  |  January 14, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    I hope the European court issue its ruling fast as many people who object the latin american ruling always use of excuse a ruling they issue in 2016 of a french case I think

  • 92. VIRick  |  January 14, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Ecuador and the CIDH, a Legal View

    Per Silvia Buendía, Ecuadorian Lawyer and noted defender of minorities:

    La Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos acaba de notificar su Opinión Consultiva respecto a la identidad de género y a la no discriminación de parejas del mismo sexo. En esta decisión, la Corte reiteró algo que venía diciendo desde hace años: que orientación sexual e identidad de género son categorías protegidas por la Convención Americana.

    Lo novedoso es que además expresó que la falta de consenso al interior de algunos países sobre qué es el respeto pleno de los derechos de los gais, lesbianas, bisexuales, transgénero, transexuales, travestis e intersex (LGBTI) no puede ser considerado un argumento para negarles o restringirles sus derechos. Y que estos países deben vencer obstáculos institucionales y adecuar su legislación a los siguientes estándares:

    Sobre protección de personas trans, los Estados deben garantizarles el cambio de su nombre, la adecuación de su imagen, así como la rectificación de su sexo en los registros y documentos de identidad correspondientes. No se podrá exigir para estos cambios ni certificaciones médicas o psicológicas que resulten patologizantes; ni que las personas trans se hayan realizado operaciones quirúrgicas, o tratamientos hormonales. Además, este procedimiento debe ser expedito y gratuito en la medida de lo posible.

    Sobre protección a los vínculos de parejas del mismo sexo, la Corte señaló que la Convención Americana no protege un único y determinado modelo de familia. Que las familias constituidas por parejas del mismo sexo también son familias, y para garantizar sus derechos no es necesario inventarse nuevos términos. Basta con que los Estados garanticen el acceso a las parejas del mismo sexo a todas las figuras jurídicas ya existentes en los ordenamientos legales, incluyendo el derecho al matrimonio.

    Es un buen momento para recordar que una sentencia de la Corte Constitucional (del Ecuador) – que comparte los mismos criterios que la Corte Interamericana – le dio a la Asamblea (ecuatoriana) hasta el 19 de mayo de 2018 para adoptar las normas legales que regulen el cambio de sexo de personas trans. Y que en el tema de matrimonio igualitario, la Corte Constitucional tiene pendiente desde 2014 resolver sobre la demanda de Pamela Troya y Gaby Correa.
    https://www.eltelegrafo.com.ec/noticias/punto-de-

    (to continue)

  • 93. VIRick  |  January 14, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    (continued)

    The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has just issued its Advisory Opinion regarding gender identity and the non-discrimination of same-sex couples. In this decision, the Court reiterated something that it had been saying for years: that sexual orientation and gender identity are categories protected by the American Convention.

    The novelty is that they also expressed the point that the lack of consensus within some countries on what is the full respect of the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, transsexuals, transvestites, and intersex (LGBTI) can not be considered an argument for denying or restricting their rights. And that these countries must overcome institutional obstacles and adapt their legislation to the following standards:

    On the protection of trans people, the States must guarantee the change of name, the adequacy of their image, as well as the rectification of their sex in the corresponding registers and identity documents. One can not demand for these changes neither medical certifications nor psychological exams that are pathologizing; nor that trans people must undergo surgical operations, or hormonal treatments. In addition, this procedure must be expeditious and free as far as possible.

    Regarding the protection of the unions of same-sex couples, the Court pointed out that the American Convention does not protect a single and specific family model. That families constituted by same-sex couples are also families, and that to guarantee their rights it is not necessary to invent new terms. It is enough for States to guarantee access for same-sex couples to all legal entities already existing in the legal systems, including the right to marriage.

    It is a good moment to remember that a ruling of the Constitutional Court (of Ecuador) – which shares the same criteria as the Inter-American Court – gave the (Ecuadorian) Assembly until 19 May 2018 to adopt the legal norms that regulate the sex change of transgender people. And that on the issue of marriage equality, the Constitutional Court has pending since 2014 the resolution of the claim from Pamela Troya and Gaby Correa.

  • 94. guitaristbl  |  January 14, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Why didn't they rule outright against the applicants all these years then ? Their stance really perplexes me.

  • 95. VIRick  |  January 14, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Paraguay: SomosGay Asks the Court to Recognize Marriage Equality

    Paraguay: SomosGay Pide a la Corte Reconocer Matrimonio Igualitario

    Per Rex Wockner:

    SomosGay celebró la decisión de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) de instar a los países a legalizar el matrimonio homosexual y (en el 11 de enero 2018) anunció la presentación de dos casos a la Corte Suprema de Justicia de Paraguay, de manera a exigir el cumplimiento del criterio de la CIDH.
    http://www.ultimahora.com/somosgay-pide-la-corte-

    SomosGay welcomed the decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) to urge countries to legalize same-sex marriage and (on 11 January 2018) announced the presentation of two cases to the Supreme Court of Justice of Paraguay, in order to demand compliance with the criteria of the IACHR.

    As a first step, these two suits seek recognition of two marriages of same-sex couples who married abroad. If that fails, SomosGay said it will advance to the Inter-American legal system.

  • 96. allan120102  |  January 14, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    Venezuela. This is an excellent analysis of what actions the supreme court could take and the expectancy of an almost certainly positive ruling. Either the court let the couples marry inmediately or give a time for the legislative body to act and legalize ssm like it happen with Taiwan. Sorry for not translating but my computer broke and I am by cellphone. http://www.noticierodigital.com/2018/01/organizac

  • 97. VIRick  |  January 14, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    St. Helena: Same-Sex Marriage Ordinance Granted Royal Assent

    For St. Helena, the same-sex marriage ordinance was granted the Royal Assent on 20 December 2017, so marriage equality has been legal throughout that British Overseas Territory since that date.
    http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/wp-content/uploads/… …

  • 98. VIRick  |  January 15, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Guyana: Caribbean Activists Welcome Inter-American Court Opinion on LGBTI Rights

    THE Caribbean Forum for Liberation and Acceptance of Genders and Sexualities (CariFLAGS) celebrates the recent advisory opinion by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) which referred to its constant case law, whereby sexual orientation and gender identity are protected categories against discrimination under the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights. It stated that any discriminatory rule, act, or practice based on these characteristics of an individual are prohibited.

    The release noted that the right to gender and sexual identity is tied to the concept of freedom and the capacity of human beings for self-determination and to freely choose the options and circumstances that make sense of their existence, according to each person’s choices and beliefs. It spoke boldly to the right to legal recognition of one’s gender identity and name-change procedures, and affirmed that “the recognition of gender identity by the state is key to guaranteeing the full enjoyment of human rights by trans people.” It also spoke to equal marriage, noting that countries “must recognise and guarantee the rights that are derived from a family bond between people of the same sex”. The court held that the way in which the convention addresses discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation cannot be conditional upon religious or philosophical beliefs.

    The court’s advisory is timely, particularly in light of the current concerted efforts of activists globally, in the Caribbean, and at national levels, to end stigma and discrimination that adversely impact the enjoyment of basic human rights. Although only binding in the jurisdictions that are parties to the convention, the advisory’s importance and historic significance must not go unnoticed by the Region. We urge our governments, all people of the Caribbean, as well as our key partners in development, to continue to and scale up all efforts to ensure that our societies are constructed on the principles of social justice, equality, mutual respect, inclusion, and participation

    The CariFLAGS secretariat is based at the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) in Georgetown, Guyana. (Dane Lewis, CariFLAGS Regional Programme Manager)
    http://guyanachronicle.com/2018/01/15/caribbean-a

    Note: Guyanese (and Surinamese) do not think of themselves as South American, but rather as Caribbean, despite living on the north-east shoulder of the South American continent, some distance east of the Caribbean Sea.

  • 99. VIRick  |  January 15, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Rex Wockner's Up-Dated Country-by-Country Marriage Equality Listings

    In light of the recent IACHR (CIDH) court ruling against Costa Rica pertaining to both marriage equality and gender identity, as of 15 January 2018, Rex has just up-dated his several country-by-country marriage equality lists, as follows:

    Places where favorable marriage-equality court rulings are now final: Austria, Costa Rica, Taiwan.

    Places currently on the marriage-equality "Watch List:" Chile, Ecuador, Northern Ireland, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Venezuela.
    https://wockner.blogspot.com/

    In addition, there are 6 more Latin nations, all signatories to the accord by which they have obligated themselves to adhere to all IACHR (CIDH) rulings. They are: Bolivia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, plus Barbados, Haiti, and Suriname, all of which (so far) have shown little-to-no momentum on this issue.

  • 100. scream4ever  |  January 15, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    I'd also say the rest of Mexico, since the ruling adds even more momentum towards to push for a nationwide law.

  • 101. allan120102  |  January 15, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Chile, if same sex marriage is approve it will be with the new administration speaker of Bachelet says as there is no longer time it could be discussed.

    The Government justified the Executive's decision to give immediate discussion in Congress to the draft Gender Identity Law, which Chile Vamos would reject in the next administration.

    According to the Minister General of the Presidency, Paula Narváez, the determination "has to do with the conviction of guaranteeing rights to people" and maintained that "emergencies are legislative techniques."

    "The discussion has taken place in an extensive and profound way," said the spokesperson, and after four years only "the parliamentary gentlemen manifest themselves with their vote".

    On equal marriage, Narváez acknowledged that by the legislative time its processing will "transcend" the administration of Michelle Bachelet. http://www.adnradio.cl/noticias/politica/gobierno

  • 102. scream4ever  |  January 15, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Well now there's the cushion of the IACOHR ruling, so if the new administration tries to stop it, they can just go to them.

  • 103. VIRick  |  January 15, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Namibia: Court Grants Same-Sex Spouse Residency Pending Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In early January 2018, a South African man won a court petition to allow him to enter Namibia to be with his husband and son. Namibia, which shares a border with South Africa, does not recognize same-sex marriage. Sexual relations between men is also outlawed.

    But Johann Potgie­ter, a Namibian citizen, filed an urgent application against the government in a Namibian court in December 2017, alongside his South African husband, Daniel Digashu. The pair wanted the right to live together in Namibia.

    When Digashu’s temporary work permit expired in early January, he faced having to leave Namibia. But the High Court of Namibia has ruled that Digashu would not be stopped from entering the country on a visitor’s visa while the court reviewed their case.

    The men’s petition also called for the court to recognize their marriage, and to recognize that they are the adopted parents of an eight-year-old boy. The adoption process of the boy, whose mother died in 2014, is happening in South Africa.

    This government recognition of their relationship will help Digashu enter the country as often as he likes without needing to apply for a permit every time. https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/namibia-lets-

  • 104. VIRick  |  January 15, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    Mexico: Timely Reminder on Marriage Equality from a Supreme Court Justice

    Per Arturo Zaldívar, Ministro de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación:

    Primer precedente SCJN que establece que normas que prohíben Matrimonio Igualitario son discriminatorias. Comparto además mi voto concurrente, el primer pronunciamiento sobre la inconstitucionalidad de esas normas. AR 581/2012
    https://twitter.com/ArturoZaldivarL

    First SCJN precedent that establishes that norms that prohibit Marriage Equality are discriminatory. I also share my concurring vote, the first pronouncement on the unconstitutionality of those norms. AR 581/2012

    Note the date: 2012.

  • 105. scream4ever  |  January 15, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    A good sign of things to come.

  • 106. scream4ever  |  January 15, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    Hopefully the recent ruling from IACOHR will move things along faster.

  • 107. guitaristbl  |  January 15, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    The whole concept of legalizing through court action same-sex marriage while homosexuality is still illegal (even if the ban is not enforced) is very novel imo.

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