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Open thread 1/16 BREAKING update 1/17: Prop 8 trial video won’t be unsealed until at least August 2020


This is an open thread. We’ll post breaking news if it happens.

BREAKING UPDATE: A federal district court has ruled that the video of the Prop 8 trial won’t be unsealed until at least August 12, 2020. The Prop 8 proponents can still file a motion to extend the time before then.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings

45 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. VIRick  |  January 16, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Latin American Nations Urged to Abide by Landmark LGBT Rights Ruling

    LGBT advocacy groups across Latin America have urged their governments to abide by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ landmark ruling that recognizes same-sex marriage and transgender gender identity rights.

    On Monday, 15 January 2018, México Igualitario, Visibles in Guatemala, Comunicado y Capacitando a Mujeres Trans in El Salvador, Fundación Igualitos in Costa Rica, Fundación Iguales in Panama, the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MOVILH) in Chile, and more than two dozen other LGBT rights groups, signed a statement that notes the court “urges all the countries” that signed the American Convention on Human Rights “to embrace equality.”….

  • 2. VIRick  |  January 16, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Arturo Zaldívar, Supreme Court Justice of Mexico, has more to say:

    No hay un modelo de familia. La Constitución protege todos los tipos de familia. No hay familias de 1a y de 2a. Mi opinión, AI 2/2010, sesión 3 de agosto de 2010.

    There is no single family model. The Constitution protects all types of families. There are no 1st-class and 2nd-class families. My opinion, AI 2/2010, session 3 August 2010.

    Again, note the date: 2010.

  • 3. VIRick  |  January 16, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Nicaragua: The Court Said "Yes!"

    Nicaragua: ¡La Corte Dijo que Sí!

    La sede de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, ubicada en el hermano país de Costa Rica, fue el escenario de la histórica pronunciación a favor de la legalización del matrimonio entre parejas del mismo sexo. La Corte, organismo judicial de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) expresó a sus Estados miembros lo siguiente: “Deberán reconocer y garantizar todos los derechos que se derivan de un vinculo familiar entre personas del mismo sexo, incluyendo el matrimonio.”

    Como era de esperarse, y aunque la Corte está sirviendo de ejemplo para todos los países firmantes, su opinión no obliga a los miembros de dicho organismo, en cuya legislación es ilegal la unión civil entre parejas del mismo sexo, a que cambien sus leyes a favor sobre este tema de forma inmediato. Sin embargo, ahora existe un precedente legal a nivel internacional para exigir el cumplimiento de esos derechos.

    En Nicaragua, nuestra Constitución Política, en su artículo número 4, declara el compromiso del Estado de promover y garantizar los avances de carácter social y político para asegurar el bien común; asimismo el desarrollo humano de todos y cada uno de los nicaragüenses, protegiéndolos contra toda forma de explotación, discriminación, y exclusión. De igual manera el artículo número 5 de nuestra Constitución textualmente dice: “Nicaragua se adhiere a los principios que conforman el Derecho Internacional Americano reconocido y ratificado soberanamente."….

    The headquarters of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, located in neighboring Costa Rica, was the scene of the historic pronunciation in favor of the legalization of marriage between same-sex couples. The Court, the judicial body of the Organization of American States (OAS), expressed to its member states the following: "They must recognize and guarantee all rights derived from a family bond between persons of the same sex, including marriage."

    As was expected, and despite the fact the Court is serving as an example for all the signatory countries, its opinion does not obligate the members of said body, in whose legislation the civil union between same-sex couples is illegal, to change their laws to a favorable position on this subject immediately. However, there is now a legal precedent at the international level to demand compliance with those rights.

    In Nicaragua, our Political Constitution, in Article 4, declares the commitment of the State to promote and guarantee the advances of a social and political nature to ensure the common good; as well as the human development of each and every Nicaraguan, protecting them against all forms of exploitation, discrimination, and exclusion. In the same way, Article 5 of our Constitución textually states: "Nicaragua adheres to the principles that conform to American International Law recognized and ratified sovereignly."

    Note: The Spanish expression, "¡La Corte Dijo que Sí!" (The Court Said "Yes"), is quickly becoming a rallying point among LGBTI activists throughout Latin America.

  • 4. VIRick  |  January 16, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Bulgaria: Court Refuses to Recognize UK Marriage between Two Bulgarians

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Note: Originally written in Bulgarian, and then roughly translated, this article required heavy editing so as to present it in readable English.

    The Sofia Administrative Court dismissed the complaint of a young woman with the initials of DK against Sofia City's refusal to recognize her marriage to another woman in the UK. On 8 January 2018, this dismissal was issued by Judge Snezhanka Kyoseva.

    The marriage between DK and Lilia Babulkova was signed on 15 November 2016. Several months later, she filed a request with the Sofia Municipality, the Lyulin District, asking for her marriage to be reflected on her personal registration card and to show her current marital status as "married." The institution refused, due to DK and her wife being of the same sex.

    According to the reasoning of the court, in order to be registered here, the marriage should have been concluded according to Bulgarian legislation, i.e., that it be between a man and a woman. Moreover, the court held that the recognition of marriage between the two Bulgarians would be contrary to the public order in Bulgaria.

    At the end of this news article from Bulgaria, there's this amazing caveat, underlined and in bold face (and unedited), but written by a different party with much better English, and using British spelling:

    We remind our readers that: The rights of same-sex spouses must be recognised by every member of the EU, even if a country’s government has not authorised gay marriage, the European Court of Justice has been advised.

    However, it does not state who advised the European Court of Justice of this violation. Court…

  • 5. allan120102  |  January 16, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Aguascalientes deputies have state thay they will not legalize ssm this year. Maybe next one as this year is an election year. Pan have already establish either way that they will vote against.

  • 6. allan120102  |  January 16, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Congress of Puebla continues to deny notifications to civil registries. Same sex marriage cannot start until congress do it. That means ss couples can not marry for the time being. Its outrageous that it has been 5 months since the ban was struck down by the supreme court and no marriages have taken place.

  • 7. scream4ever  |  January 16, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    If they don't budge, couples should go to the IACOHR for relief.

  • 8. allan120102  |  January 16, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    Panama vice president and chancellor has state just 10 minutes ago that Panama will abide by the ich ruling and that they have start notifying the supreme court congress and other goverment entities just like CR. This means that the race for being the first central american nation to legalize ssm has just become equal.

  • 9. VIRick  |  January 16, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Panamanian Government Welcomes Opinion of the IACHR on Same-Sex Marriage

    El Gobierno Panameño Acoge Opinión de la CIDH sobre Matrimonio Homosexual

    Panamá, 16 de enero 2018 (EFE) – La vicepresidenta y canciller panameña, Isabel de Saint Malo, dijo hoy que la opinión consultiva emitida por la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) a favor del matrimonio homosexual puede ayudar al Gobierno a "avanzar en la agenda de equidad y no discriminación."

    "La Constitución panameña es una constitución que establece no discriminación, como de hecho ha establecido ese fallo de la CIDH. Así, que estamos seguros de que con ello podremos seguir avanzando en la agenda de equidad y no discriminación en todos los frentes," afirmó en declaraciones a los periodistas.

    De Saint Malo reconoció también que "Panamá tiene todavía tareas pendientes para asegurar que no haya discriminación en ningún frente y este (los derechos de los homosexuales) es uno de ellos. Panamá forma parte de los mecanismos interamericanos. Nosotros hemos recibido la decisión de la corte y la estamos compartiendo con la Asamblea Nacional, la Corte Suprema de Justicia, el Tribunal Electoral, y con otras instancias del Órgano Ejecutivo, como por ejemplo el Ministerio de Gobierno," añadió de Saint Malo.

    Panamá, 16 January 2018 (EFE) – Panamanian Vice-President and Foreign Minister Isabel de Saint Malo said today that the advisory opinion issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) in favor of same-sex marriage can help the Government to "advance the agenda of equity and non-discrimination."

    "The Panamanian Constitution is a constitution that establishes non-discrimination, as was in fact established by that ruling of the Inter-American Court. So, we are sure that with this we can continue advancing the agenda of equity and non-discrimination on all fronts," she said in statements to journalists.

    De Saint Malo also acknowledged that "Panamá still has pending tasks to ensure that there is no discrimination on any front and this (the rights of homosexuals) is one of them. Panamá is part of the Inter-American system. We have received the decision of the court and we are sharing it with the National Assembly, the Supreme Court of Justice, the Electoral Tribunal, and with other departments of the Executive Branch, such as the Ministry of Government," added De Saint Malo.

    Note: A second report covering the same De Saint Malo press conference carried much the same verbiage, but did contain this one extra, cautionary sentence:

    Sin embargo, De Saint Malo no respondió si Panamá permitiría de inmediato las bodas entre personas del mismo sexo.

    However, De Saint Malo did not respond as to whether Panamá would immediately permit marriages between same-sex couples.

    Still, the race to be first in Central America does appear to be on: The Costa Rican government sent out its official notices to its various governmental departments and branches on Friday, 12 January 2018, while that of Panamá did likewise on Tuesday, 16 January 2018.

  • 10. scream4ever  |  January 16, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    Should we expect it'll be legal in both nations by the end of the month!?

  • 11. VIRick  |  January 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    If the person who wrote that extremely well-phrased analysis on Nicaragua, already posted here higher up, were to turn out to have been the President of Nicaragua, or someone well-placed in the higher levels of government, I would then say that Nicaragua is next, and that we would then have a three-way race. Instead, that analysis was prepared in Nicaragua by an extremely well-informed blogger named Melissa Morales.

    But to answer your immediate question, I am not certain in either case as to how long this official notification process takes. However, what I do know is that procedures are procedures, and government bureaux all up and down the line must be duly notified of any official changes so that everyone, even to include the very last clerk, are properly informed. Thus, once notified (as they just were), each department head, in turn, will then inform their subordinates. In Mexico, this official notification process can drag on and take months. However, neither Costa Rica nor Panamá are anywhere near as insane as Mexico.

  • 12. VIRick  |  January 16, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Ecuador: Pamela Troya to Hold Press Conference Tomorrow at 10 AM

    Per Pamela Troya:

    Mañana, 17 de enero 2018, 10h00, en el Colegio de Abogados de Pichincha, el Dr. Ramiro García Falconí, Presidente del Colegio y abogado patrocinador de la causa; el Dr. Mauricio AIarcón-Salvador, especialista en el Sistema Interamericana de Derechos Humanos; y yo (Pamela Troya), daremos una rueda de prensa sobre las implicaciones de Opinión Consultiva OC-24/7 de la CIDH en derechos LGBTI; luego iremos a la Corte Constitucional del Ecuador a dejar un oficio para que atienda Matrimonio Igualitario.

    Tomorrow, 17 January 2018, 10 AM, at the Pichincha Bar Association, Dr. Ramiro García Falconí, President of the association and legal sponsor of the case, Dr. Mauricio AIarcón-Salvador, specialist in the Inter-American Human Rights System , and I (Pamela Troya), will give a press conference on the implications of Advisory Opinion OC-24/7 of the IACHR on LGBTI rights; then we will go to the Constitutional Court of Ecuador to leave notice (for them) to attend to Marriage Equality.

    She goes on to explain that the Constitutional Court will be hearing the so-called "Satya" case tomorrow, a case involving another female same-sex couple, and their daughter who was conceived by artificial insemination, but for whom the courts have refused to recognize as legal parents.

  • 13. VIRick  |  January 16, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    Wait! Here we go!

    Costa Rica: First Same-Sex Marriage Scheduled for Saturday, 20 January 2018

    Per Mario Arturo Arias:

    Vieras que Roberto Castillo y yo (Mario Arturo Arias) queremos contarles una historia. Hoy,16 de enero 2018, con mucho miedo, vinimos a reunirnos con la notaria. Y decidimos la fecha de la boda con un 99,9% de seguridad será el sábado, 20 de enero 2018.

    You can see that Roberto Castillo and I (Mario Arturo Arias) want to tell you a story. Today, January 16, 2018, with much fear, we came to meet with the notary. And we decided our marriage date with 99.9% security will be Saturday, 20 January 2018.

  • 14. allan120102  |  January 16, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    You just post it a minute before me. And yes they are expect to be the first same sex couple to marry in CR. If the marriage happens then all same sex couples will be able to marry in CR as there will not be excuse why this notary could marry a ss couples and other dont.

  • 15. VIRick  |  January 16, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Allan, here's an additional thought:

    One of them is a Costa Rican, while the other is a Venezuelan resident in Costa Rica. So, after they are married, perhaps they can think about travelling to Venezuela to demand that Venezuela recognize their marriage.

  • 16. allan120102  |  January 16, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Rick, My problem is that even though we can expect a favorable ruling from the Venezuelan supreme court they are slow not as slow as Ecuador but the judicial courts in those countries take a lot of time, look Peru The judge rule in January of last year and I am not even sure there court of appeals have hear the case when it was appeal.
    I believe your think is that Venezuela should recognize there marriage asap if they went to that country but I am guessing they would be denied and expect to sue. The supreme court is expect to rule this year in the marriage case so I believe that instead of waiting and doing something that will cost them a lot of money they should just wait the court to issue the ruling.

  • 17. Randolph_Finder  |  January 16, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Also, Venezuela in some ways has bigger issues going on…

  • 18. VIRick  |  January 16, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Randolph, perhaps that is why the Venezuelan half of this couple is now resident in Costa Rica, rather than still be in Venezuela.

    At last report, there were an estimated 460,000 Venezuelans domiciled in Colombia (most without visas or work permits), and many more in Ecuador (which does not require visas) and other near-by Latin nations, like Panamá and Costa Rica.

    At the same time, there's an embargo between us (Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands) and Venezuela,– no trade, no communications, no flights, nada. Only a few years go, Venezuela was our most important foreign investment source (and neighbor). Now, nothing.

  • 19. scream4ever  |  January 16, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    Well that was quick lol

  • 20. allan120102  |  January 17, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Ecuador supreme court was expect to decide a case about a girl having 2 moms. The case has been since 2012. The homophobic supreme court as expect it didnt rule in the case and the sesion was suspend. Couples really need to take there case to the ich as if we expect the ecuador supreme court to rule we will die of waiting.

  • 21. allan120102  |  January 17, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    I am sorry but the US should not interfere with the ICH ruling. Senator Lee I believe from Utah has expressed distate of the rulimg and have express worrisome for religious liberty. I am not sure how the church is in the US but at least in here they have a lot of power.In my country when fraud happen they suppprt it because the conservative candidate is againt ssm and abortion. The USA should mind there own business.

  • 22. davepCA  |  January 17, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Agreed, but don't be too concerned about this Utah Senator. Keep in mind the U.S. has already made it abundantly clear that our own Constitution does not tolerate laws that deny equal civil marriage rights to same sex couples, and thus, believes the same for any other nation which also values the concepts of rights and freedoms of the individual citizen (as opposed to some nation that has no such Constitution and thinks of citizens as something like 'property of the state'). He's just a badly outnumbered babbling religious zealot pandering to his ignorant voter base, the last gasps of a dying breed, all noise, no significance.

  • 23. allan120102  |  January 17, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Costa Rica. 11 transgender individuals wants to have there legal papers modify plus more same sex marriage in CR are going to the civil registry to see when they can get married.

  • 24. JayJonson  |  January 17, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    Is the LDS Church powerful in Costa Rica? Lee is practically a spokesman for the LDS Church. Conversely, he may simply may be posturing for his Mormon constituents in Utah.

  • 25. GregInTN  |  January 17, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    For those who have been waiting for the Prop 8 trial tapes, the District Court has just issued the following order:

    ORDER ON [852] MOTION TO UNSEAL VIDEOTAPED TRIAL RECORDS by Judge William H. Orrick. The recordings shall be released to movants on August 12, 2020, absent further order from this Court. Proponents shall file any motion to continue the sealing no later than 4/1/2020. [863] Motion to File Amicus Curiae Brief is GRANTED. (jmdS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/17/2018)

    which sounds like about 10 years after Judge Walker's decision.

  • 26. guitaristbl  |  January 18, 2018 at 4:38 am

    Lee is a religious extremist, which says nothing because that is the governing faction now within the GOP. He is mad because marriage equality not being implemented as part of court rulings in other places of the world was one of the last major arguments social conservatives had and tried to use deference to international law (as always, whenever it suits them) to make their case based on those grounds. The ICH ruling ruins one of their last narratives. Don't forget that they are fighting hard to undermine, and ultimately overturn, Obergefell and they are only 1 vote away from being able to do that on SCOTUS.

  • 27. guitaristbl  |  January 18, 2018 at 4:39 am

    I would hardly call him badly outnumbered, at least within the GOP, right now. Whether the GOP voting base is dying as a whole that's another issue.

  • 28. Randolph_Finder  |  January 18, 2018 at 4:59 am

    Yes. Still feels like Venezeula is slowly moving to complete Civil War. Which feels like it will give Trump one more thing to screw up.

  • 29. Randolph_Finder  |  January 18, 2018 at 5:06 am

    In terms of percentage of the Population that is LDS, it is actually the lowest in Central America at just under 1%. The US and El Salvador are just over 2%. Highest in Latin America is Chile at 3.3% and lowest in Mainland South America is Colombia at .4%.

  • 30. Randolph_Finder  |  January 18, 2018 at 5:08 am

    I actually disagree on this. I don't think CJ Roberts would vote in favor of a *complete* reversal of Obergefell. The other three of the Conservative wing, in a heartbeat.

  • 31. guitaristbl  |  January 18, 2018 at 5:46 am

    We always try to underplay Roberts's conservatism I think. Let's not forget that, to date, Obergefell is the only case he felt so strong about dissenting that he read his dissent from the bench. And he has been on the bench for more than a decade now.

  • 32. JayJonson  |  January 18, 2018 at 7:30 am

    I agree with guitaristbl that we tend to underestimate Roberts's conservativism in general and his anti-gay animus in particular. Roberts has NEVER ruled in favor of gay rights.

    (Apparently, however, he counted the votes on the Court in favor of same-sex marriage and refused to follow Thomas and Scalia in imposing stays on the Appellate and then district decisions in favor of ssm so that by the time Obergefell was decided a majority of the states had achieved marriage equality. I think he did so in the interest of preparing the country for a ruling that he had determined to be well-nigh inevitable.)

    I would not be at all surprised were he to join four other justices to overturn Obergefell despite the disruption and heartache that would cause. He is no friend of gay people and, as he said in his dissent to Obergefell, does not believe that the Constitution requires same-sex marriage. He does, however, seem to be an "institutionalist" and would be concerned about stare decisis and the impact on the reputation of the Court that a reversal of Obergefell would entail, especially now that over 60% of the country is in favor of marriage equality.

    I hope that the Democrats take control of the Senate in 2018 and block any appointment that Trump may make to SCOTUS, so that we do not have to rely on the tender mercies of Roberts to save Obergefell.

  • 33. Randolph_Finder  |  January 18, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Exactly. It isn't that he supports Marriage Equality, it is that he is concerned about stare decisis *and* returning to the patchwork of laws involving Marriage Equality that occured prior to Obergefell.

  • 34. ianbirmingham  |  January 18, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    ECHR: Lesbians have no right to paternity leave – The European Court of Human Rights has dismissed a case brought by a French woman in a same-sex partnership who was denied paternity leave. The court said the leave was only intended for biological fathers.

  • 35. allan120102  |  January 19, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Breaking Costa Rica
    Notaries are prohibit to registers same sex marriages until the law is modify by the legislature or struck down by the supreme court

  • 36. guitaristbl  |  January 19, 2018 at 8:45 am

    I'd say the second is most likely but it will take some time I guess regardless.

  • 37. allan120102  |  January 19, 2018 at 9:07 am

    The second is the only option imo. The legislature in CR has a mechanism similar to NI and conservatives have use it repeatly to stop advances to lgbt rights.

  • 38. allan120102  |  January 19, 2018 at 10:24 am

    After the general elections the TSE will issue what to do with marriage wquality in CR. In other words until february CR will probably see action in marriage equality

  • 39. davepCA  |  January 19, 2018 at 10:31 am

    ….so adoptive fathers have no right to maternity leave, according to the ECHR? Only the biological father, who may not the one living with the mother and raising the child?

    EDIT: Apparently, that WAS the case before 2012 but that law has been changed to address this.

  • 40. scream4ever  |  January 19, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Northern Ireland may see same-sex marriage referendum:

    I expect it would pass overwhelmingly.

  • 41. guitaristbl  |  January 19, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    I detest the idea of making referendum processes to legislate for marriage equality mainstream but it seems in the NI situation it may be the only solution…

  • 42. allan120102  |  January 19, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    I doubt thar the Dup will allow it but in NI it will only be the way to achieve marriage equality. I hope its put into a vote soon. As it looks that even if England takes control of NI it will not push marriage equality.

  • 43. scream4ever  |  January 19, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    I think they will allow it, if nothing else to settle this issue (the same with abortion).

  • 44. ianbirmingham  |  January 20, 2018 at 11:45 pm

    Legislators want laws, executive order protecting LGBT rights in Florida

  • 45. scream4ever  |  January 21, 2018 at 12:55 am

    Washington State Senate votes to ban conversion therapy

    A recent switch to Democratic control of upper chamber ensures a vote — and victory — for LGBTQ advocates

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