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News round-up and open thread 2/12

Discrimination Transgender Rights

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Attribution: Wikipedia
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Attribution: Wikipedia
– The Department of Education has announced that it won’t investigate complaints of transgender students who are banned from using the correct restroom.

– One of the attorneys for ProtectMarriage, the group supporting Prop 8 in California, was confirmed to a federal judgeship.

– The ACLU is suing Alabama because the state won’t provide the correct drivers’ license for people who are transgender.

57 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. VIRick  |  February 12, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    Perú: Congresswoman Huilca: "Same-Sex Marriage Must Be Implemented in Perú

    Perú: Congresista Huilca: “Matrimonio entre Personas del Mismo Sexo Debe Implementarse en el Perú”

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    La congresista de Nuevo Perú, Indira Huilca, dijo que el Estado Peruano tiene la obligación de garantizar los derechos de las personas LGBTI e iniciar reformas para reivindicar a estas poblaciones históricamente excluidas.

    “El matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo debe implementarse en el Perú. Así lo ha ratificado la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) en una opinión consultiva conocida recientemente,” opinó este domingo, 11 de febrero 2018. “Si bien es cierto que la adecuación no será automática, el Estado Peruano está obligado a comenzar un proceso de cambio a través de medidas legislativas, judiciales, y administrativas.”
    http://rpp.pe/politica/actualidad/huilca-matrimon….

    The congresswoman representing New Perú, Indira Huilca, said that the Peruvian State has the obligation to guarantee the rights of LGBTI persons and initiate reforms to include these historically-excluded populations.

    "Marriage between people of the same sex should be implemented in Perú. This has been ratified by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) in its recently-issued advisory opinion, " she said yesterday, 11 February 2018. "While it is true that the adjustment will not be automatic, the Peruvian State is obliged to begin a process of change through legislative, judicial, and administrative measures."

    Per "La República:"

    Peruvian TLGB Network Demands that the State Adapt to the Opinion of the IACHR and Recognize Marriage Equality

    Red Peruana TLGB Exigen al Estado Adecuarse a Opinión de la CIDH y Reconozca Matrimonio igualitario

    La Red Peruana TLGB recordó que la CIDH pide a los países miembros “reconocer y garantizar los derechos que se deriven de un vínculo familiar entre personas del mismo sexo.”
    http://larepublica.pe/sociedad/1192384-exigen-al-….

    The Peruvian TLGB Network reminds that the IACHR has asked member countries "to recognize and guarantee the rights derived from a family bond between people of the same sex."

  • 2. VIRick  |  February 12, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    LGTBIQ Dominicana Salutes IACHR Stance on Marriage Equality and Gender Identity

    LGTBIQ Dominicana Saluda Postura CIDH sobre Matrimonio Igualitario e Identidad de Género

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Hoy, el 12 de febrero 2018, cerca de 20 organizaciones de hombres gays, lesbianas, bisexuales, y personas trans de la República Dominicana saludaron la postura de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) sobre las obligaciones estatales en permitir el cambio de nombre para garantizar el derecho a la identidad de género, y los derechos que derivan del vínculo matrimonial entre parejas del mismo sexo, entendido como el matrimonio igualitario.

    "Significa otro paso de avance, no solo en visibilidad sino también para la construcción de legislaciones que favorezcan el ejercicio de la ciudadanía en calidad de igualdad para los ciudadanos y ciudadanas, libre de situaciones de estigma y discriminación, y en garantía plena de los derechos humanos."
    https://acento.com.do/2018/actualidad/8536445-lgt….

    Today, 12 February 2018, nearly 20 organizations of LGBT people from the Dominican Republic hailed the position of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) on state obligations in permitting name change in order to guarantee one's right to gender identity, as well as the rights that derive from the marriage bond between same-sex couples, understood to be marriage equality.

    "It means another step forward, not only in visibility but also for the construction of legislation that promotes the exercise of citizenship for all citizens as equals, free from situations of stigma and discrimination, and with a full guarantee of human rights."

    Note: The 19 LGBT organizations of the Dominican Republic which collectively issued this statement are listed individually at the bottom of the article.

    However, one group in particular puzzles me:

    8. Afirmación Mormones LGBT Familias y Amigos

    LGBT Mormons in the Dominican Republic???? Plus they signed the statement right after:

    7.Comunidad de Trans-Travestis Trabajadoras Sexuales Dominicanas (COTRAVED-RD)

    7. Community of Dominican (Female-Gendered) Trans-Transvestite Sex Workers

  • 3. Randolph_Finder  |  February 13, 2018 at 4:44 am

    The group is a spanish affiliate of Affirmation: LGBT Mormons, Families and Friends https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmation:_LGBT_Mhttps://affirmation.org

    Surprised that it exists there a chapter in the DR, but there is…

  • 4. VIRick  |  February 13, 2018 at 9:36 am

    UK/Cayman Islands: Bermuda Controversy Prompts Calls for Action on Same-Sex Marriage

    Per LGBT Marriage News and Rex Wockner:

    The UK government is facing a cross-party backlash for its failure to intervene as Bermuda became the first territory in the world to “repeal“ gay marriage rights. The governor of Bermuda, John Rankin, last week ratified a decision in the country’s legislature to replace same-sex marriage with “domestic partnerships.” The decision attracted international condemnation and calls for the UK to step in and make same-sex marriage legal across its territories.

    The furor over the Bermuda decision is also bringing fresh international attention to the rest of the UK’s Caribbean territories, where there are even fewer rights for same-sex couples. Bermuda is the only British territory in the region to have any formal framework for same-sex unions.

    The Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Turks and Caicos, and Montserrat do not recognize the rights of gay couples, though many legal experts believe the laws in those countries would not withstand a court challenge. Cayman Islands-based researcher and campaigner Leonardo Raznovich said the “appalling” decision in Bermuda set a terrible precedent that would do little to advance the cause of same-sex couples in Britain’s territories. He called on the UK government to take on the issue and bring an “Order in Council” to mandate equal marriage rights as it did in 2001 to force its territories to legalize homosexuality.

    James Austin-Smith, chairman of the Human Rights Commission in the Cayman Islands, told the "Cayman Compass" last month that Cayman’s position on same-sex unions was out of step with the European Convention on Human Rights and he believes any couple that brought a legal challenge would “definitely win.”

    Bermuda was forced to recognize the rights of gay couples to marry after a Supreme Court decision in May 2017. But politicians in the territory tweaked legislation to essentially ban gay marriage once again and introduce a new “Domestic Partnerships Bill,” which offers same-sex couples the right to civil unions, with many of the same rights.

    Raznovich, a former law professor at the Truman Bodden Law School in Grand Cayman, successfully forced a change in policy in 2016 to allow same-sex couples, married in other jurisdictions, to have their partnerships recognized for immigration purposes. He said the Bermuda decision, which walks back an order of the Supreme Court, showed a disregard for the rule of law and could be open to legal challenge. The UK’s endorsement of a law that removes established legal rights, verified by a court decision, is disturbing and unprecedented, he added.
    https://www.caymancompass.com/2018/02/12/bermuda-

  • 5. VIRick  |  February 13, 2018 at 10:20 am

    Massachusetts: Bill to Stop Businesses from Discriminating by Citing "Religion"

    Some Democratic lawmakers in Massachusetts are taking a stand to stop corporations from using religious objections to discriminate. State legislation sponsored by Rep. Michael Day and five other Democrats would work to close a loophole that has allowed corporations and retailers like Hobby Lobby to claim religious objections as they discriminate against employees and consumers.

    The bill would enshrine in state law that “the powers of a business corporation do not include assertion — based on the purported religious belief or moral conviction on the part of the corporation, its officers, or directors — of exemptions from, or claims or defenses against, federal or state law prohibiting discrimination.”

    “This bill is not a symbolic filing,” Day wrote in an email to "LGBTQ Nation." “H.767 takes a targeted and narrow approach to this problem by simply preventing for-profit business corporations from claiming moral convictions or religious beliefs to abuse a corporate exemption and violate our civil-rights laws.”

    In June 2014, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of Hobby Lobby as it cited religious objections in denying employees no-cost access to contraception benefits. In describing the bill, Day specifically cited the Hobby Lobby decision and the federal case, "Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission." A Colorado baker has claimed his Christian faith allowed him to refuse to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. The case, argued before the US Supreme Court in December 2017, has the potential to allow businesses to cite religious objections to deny goods and services to LGBTQ people.

    Day’s legislation would apply only to for-profit corporations in Massachusetts, with no effect on non-profits, he said. “This bill shuts the door in Massachusetts to tactics that seek to use a legal creation to perpetuate discriminatory acts,” Day said. “If we pass this, we will affirm that, if you violate our civil rights laws here, you will be held responsible for your actions.”
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/02/one-state-try

  • 6. VIRick  |  February 13, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Pakistan: Progressive Law Passed Allowing Transgenders to Be Their Gender without Medical Approval

    Legislators in Pakistan have approved a major reform to improve the lives of trans people.The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights passed a string of proposed amendments to ‘The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2017′ on Monday, 12 February 2018. 

    Trans people will now be recognized as their gender without requiring consent from a medical board. They will also now have the same protections to dignity and security as other citizens of Pakistan. Transgender people in Pakistan will now be defined as “any person whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the society norms and cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at the time of their birth."

    The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) was consulted about the Bill, who also agreed that a medical board was not needed to determine a person’s gender identity. In 2009, the country became one of the first in the world to legally recognize a third gender when they handed out gender-neutral identity cards.
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/02/13/pakistan-has

    It is truly amazing to witness how far nations in South Asia have moved on the matter of transgender rights, especially when compared to the retrogressive attitudes expressed toward the same in the Arab Gulf states, Indonesia, Malaysia, and even the USA.

  • 7. VIRick  |  February 13, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Mr Gay Chile Has a Message

    Per "La Revista Diversa"‏ del Perú:

    Mr Gay Chile, Rene Rivera, y su novio en el Perú, desea que el matrimonio igualitario sea una realidad en Chile y todo el mundo.
    https://twitter.com/DiversaRevista/status/9633937

    Mr Gay Chile, Rene Rivera, and his boyfriend in Perú, desire that marriage equality be a reality in Chile and throughout the world.

    Note: The pair posed for a whole series of photos for "La Revista Diversa." I especially like the one in front of the slogan, "Deja el Miedo en el Closet" (Leave Fear in the Closet).

  • 8. VIRick  |  February 13, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Second Federal Court Blocks Trump From Ending DACA

    Per Reuters and Joe.My.God:

    On Tuesday, 13 February 2018, a second US federal judge blocked Trump’s decision to end a program that protects immigrants from deportation who were brought to the United States illegally as children. US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, cannot end in March as planned, a victory for the state attorneys-general and immigrants who sued the Republican administration.

    The decision is similar to the 9 January 2018 injunction issued by a federal judge in San Francisco that DACA must remain in place while litigation over Trump’s decision unfolds. The legal battle over DACA could complicate a debate currently underway in Congress on whether to change the nation’s immigration laws. On Friday, 16 February 2018, the Supreme Court is due to consider whether to take up the administration’s appeal of the San Francisco ruling. The court could announce as soon as Friday afternoon whether it is hearing the case.
    http://www.joemygod.com/2018/02/13/second-court-b

    In the current decision, a federal judge in New York found the Trump administration failed to provide "legally adequate reasons" for ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, and became the second judge to order the administration to resume accepting renewal applications.
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/zoetillman/a-federal-jud

  • 9. VIRick  |  February 13, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Bermuda: No Return after Same Sex Marriage Ban

    Per Letter to Editor, "Royal Gazette" of 13 February 2018:

    Dear Sir,
    We enjoy travelling to Bermuda and have been many times since our first trip there 30 years ago. I still remember the first time I saw a rosemary hedge there taller than I. But we will be unable to return for either leisure or business until the rather odious walk-back of same-sex marriage rights is itself walked back.

    While many Bermuda residents are conservative, and are free to follow their beliefs and preferences, actually removing previously granted rights for a single class of citizen is entirely too inappropriate for these times, and is odious and noxious in the extreme.

    Only last week I had proposed to my wife a return to Bermuda this spring. That is clearly off the table now. We are both very disappointed in a nation that we have always regarded as universally progressive and friendly. And I would suggest that far more non-gay people will shift their leisure travel elsewhere than gay people.

    Michael and Rachel Connelly
    Brunswick, Maine
    http://www.royalgazette.com/letters-to-the-editor

  • 10. VIRick  |  February 14, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Japan: Fukuoka to Become 7th Municipality to Recognize LGBT Partnerships

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On Wednesday, 14 February 2017, the city of Fukuoka (pop. 1.5 million) said it will start recognizing partnerships of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender couples in April, becoming the seventh Japanese municipality to do so despite the absence of such a system at the national level.

    Under the new plan, the city will issue papers authenticating partnership oaths submitted by sexual minority couples. Unlike official marriages, the recognition does not entail legal rights or obligations but is expected to be used when couples rent city-run housing or undergo medical treatment requiring the consent of a family member at city hospitals.

    Tokyo’s Shibuya and Setagaya wards became the first local governments in the nation to recognize same-sex partnerships in 2015 followed by the cities of Iga, Takarazuka, and Naha. Sapporo followed suit June 2017.

    Sapporo and Fukuoka also recognize opposite sex couples on the official family registry where one, or even both, person’s gender identity does not match their sex at birth.
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/02/14/nati

  • 11. VIRick  |  February 14, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Pastor Caught in Car with Naked, Tied-Up Man

    A pastor in Homestead PA has an interestingly unusual explanation as to why he was caught in a car with a naked man who was tied-up with nylon rope in the front seat.

    “I was counseling a young man with a drug problem, okay?” Pastor George Gregory, of Waterfront Christian Community Church, told a reporter with the local CBS affiliate, KDKA. “It did turn strange, but it wasn’t my doing, okay? And I was adamant that I’m not participating in that way. And so that’s when the police pulled up, and they assume things, but I’m standing by my story. It’s not true.”

    “I won’t deny that he began to take his clothes off and propositioned me, but I will deny, on a stack of Bibles with God as my witness, that I did nothing,” he added. However, despite the protestations, he didn’t address how the man managed to find himself tied-up. Immaculate BDSM?
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/02/pastor-caught

  • 12. VIRick  |  February 14, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Costa Rica: Candidates Tied in Presidential Second Round, according to Survey

    Costa Rica: Empate entre Candidatos a la Segunda Ronda, según Encuesta

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    El predicador evangélico Fabricio Alvarado y el exministro del PAC Carlos Alvarado parten en una situación de empate técnico para la segunda ronda de elecciones presidenciales del 1 de abril en Costa Rica, según una encuesta divulgada este miércoles, el 14 de febrero 2018.

    La consulta del Centro de Investigación y Estudios Políticos (CIEP) de la Universidad de Costa Rica, publicada en el Semanario Universidad, indica que el exdiputado evangélico tiene el 45% de las intenciones de voto entre quienes están decididos a votar, frente al 42% de su rival.

    La diferencia de tres puntos es inferior al margen de error de la encuesta, de 3,6 puntos, según el CIEP.
    https://www.lateja.cr/nacional/empate-entre-candi

    Anti-marriage-equality evangelical preacher Fabricio Alvarado and pro-marriage-equality former PAC minister Carlos Alvarado are in a technical tie for the second round of the 1 April presidential elections in Costa Rica, according to a survey released on Wednesday, 14 February 2018.

    The report by the Center for Research and Political Studies (CIEP) of the University of Costa Rica, published in the University Weekly, indicates that the evangelical former deputy has 45% of the likely votes among those who have been determined will vote, compared to 42% for his rival.

    The difference of three points is lower than the 3.6 points margin of error of the survey, according to the CIEP.

  • 13. allan120102  |  February 14, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Guerrero Mexico
    At least we know the marriages that occur in 2015 were valid.
    CHILPANCINGO, Gro., February 14, 2018.- The coordinator of the Civil Registry María Inés Huerta Pegueros pointed out that the State Congress has not legislated for equal marriages to be legal in Guerrero, for which reason they can not be carried out or made massive as is the case with heterosexual couples. Interviewed regarding the fact that the issue continues in detention, after the boom that it had with the massive wedding held in 2015, Huerta Pegueros said that those who have the answer and the matter in their hands regarding this reform are the deputies of the Congress . "The issue has not been touched, it seems that he was buried and finally the couples who married in 2015 turned out to be valid marriages," he added. On the other hand, said that since 2017 child marriage, up to 16 years, is legally prohibited in the state. He recalled that previously there were offices where they found cases of 13-year-old girls getting married, and instead, now in case of carrying out improper actions they could remove the key. https://guerrero.quadratin.com.mx/sepulta-congres

  • 14. VIRick  |  February 15, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Mass Symbolic Same-Sex Weddings in Perú

    Per Wayka.pe:

    Ayer, 14 de febrero 2018, la Red Peruana TLGB, en el Parque del Amor de Miraflores, congregó a más de 20 parejas del mismo sexo para unirlos en bodas simbólicas, mientras continúan en su lucha por la legalización del matrimonio igualitario en el Perú.
    https://wayka.pe/amor-no-discrimina-2018/

    Yesterday, 14 February 2018, the Peruvian LGBT Network brought together in el Parque del Amor in Miraflores more than 20 same-sex couples to join them in symbolic weddings, while continuing their struggle for the legalization of marriage equality in Perú.

    See the web-article for an extended series of photos taken at the event.

  • 15. VIRick  |  February 15, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Costa Rica: Some Recent Marriage Statistics

    Per INEC Costa Rica:

    En el primer semestre de 2017 en el país, se casaron 11,945 parejas. De ese total, 3,233 (27%) contrajeron nupcias por la Iglesia Católica, y 8,712 (73%) por lo civil.
    https://twitter.com/INECCR/status/963918275859005

    In Costa Rica, in the first half of 2017, 11,945 couples were married. Of that total, 3,233 (27%) contracted their nuptials in the Catholic Church, and 8,712 (73%) did so civilly.

    Note: Despite Costa Rica being nominally "catholic," these figures, indicating that the vast majority of (hetero) couples simply legally-registered their marriages by civil means, without any (optional) church performance whatsoever, are actually quite typical of the modern reality throughout all of Latin America. Some of this is motivated by lack of financial means to put forth a showy, public wedding, while in other instances, it is due to the couples' complete lack of interest in matters of "church." Needless to say, these figures do not account for the many couples who simply begin living together in a "de facto" (de hecho) arrangement, with neither civil nor church recognition. Still, in Costa Rica, the "de facto" (de hecho) arrangement can be civilly-recognized, if requested, after a stable 3-year interval of time.

  • 16. VIRick  |  February 15, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    4th Circuit Court of Appeals: Trump Travel Ban Unconstitutional for Discriminating against Muslims

    On Thursday, 15 February 2018, a federal appeals court ruled that Trump's third travel ban targeting people from six Muslim-majority countries violates the US Constitution by discriminating on the basis of religion, in another legal setback for the policy.

    The Richmond-based 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, on a 9-4 vote, in a decision written by Chief Judge Roger Gregory, became the second federal appeals court to rule against the ban, which was put in place by Trump with a presidential proclamation in September 2017. The US Supreme Court has allowed the ban to go into effect while litigation challenging it continues.

    The 4th Circuit Court ruling went further than the earlier decision by the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which found the ban violated federal immigration law, but did not address the question of whether it violated the Constitution.

    The Supreme Court already has said it will consider both issues in deciding the legality of the ban in the coming months. In April, the justices are due to hear arguments over the ban and issue a ruling by the end of June.
    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/us-court-says-tr
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/zoetillman/a-federal-app

  • 17. VIRick  |  February 15, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    I Was Born in Bermuda. I Won't Be Going Back

    Per Kirkland Hamill:

    The island of Bermuda, the place where I spent most of my childhood, recently earned the dubious distinction of becoming the first national territory to repeal marriage equality. I wish I could say I was surprised.

    It took me 14 years of living away from the island before I felt safe enough to admit (even to myself) that I was gay. There is darkness beneath the island’s beauty. It is nestled beneath the colorful bonnets of the old ladies arriving at church every Sunday to sermons preaching the so-called word of God. It’s in the esoteric masculinity of men in lime-green shorts and gray knee socks greeting each other on the street, cheerfully using some variation on the word ‘sissy’ to solidify their bonds. It’s part of a system that continues to allow racial resentments between the island’s black and white populations to fester and grow, with little public dialogue to heal the breach.

    My mother was Bermudian-born and -raised. She reared my two brothers and me as a single parent, exhibiting the trademark island ferocity, pride, and stubbornness that helped us get by as a poor family living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. When I was 12 years old, and my pale blond hair started peaking in a dainty cowlick, my mother called me by my new nickname — Faggity Fag — for the first time. She said it playfully but pointedly for weeks until I learned to take my hand off my hip and float a little closer to the ground.

    Bermuda is an isolated country, 700 miles from the US mainland in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean (and 800 miles due north of the US Virgin Islands). We rely on rain, caught on our roofs and collected in underground tanks, for drinking water. We live with the constant threat of hurricanes battering our shores, with no option for evacuation. We are a self-sufficient lot, buoyed by faith and comforted by tradition.

    When I turned 16, I went away to boarding school in the United States on a scholarship after begging my mother to let me go. I returned to live in Bermuda only once more, for a year after my freshman year of college, after my life had started to fall apart. I went to see a community counselor sponsored by the island’s only hospital and confessed for the first time my deepest fear — that I might be gay. The counselor, a woman, scowled almost imperceptibly and said simply, “I’ve met gay people, and you look nothing like them.” It took me until the age of 30 to realize she was wrong, that a gay person could be anyone — could be me. From the time I was very young, I couldn’t even see myself because where I grew up there wasn’t an acknowledgment that who I was existed.

    My partner of seven years, Dave, and I were planning on returning to Bermuda this spring to celebrate the Bermuda Supreme Court’s May 2017 decision legalizing same-sex marriage. We have canceled our trip. Because no matter how beautiful the beaches, how polite the people, and how sparkling blue the water, I will only be able to see the ugliness underneath it all until this legislation is overturned.
    https://www.advocate.com/commentary/2018/2/15/i-w

  • 18. VIRick  |  February 15, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    South Africa: New Pro-LGBT President Sworn In

    Today, 15 February 2018, South Africa’s new President Cyril Ramaphosa has taken office after the departure of the anti-LGBT, embattled Jacob Zuma. Ramaphosa, who had already been named head of the African National Congress, was sworn in as President after the dramatic departure of Zuma, who finally resigned in the face of corruption allegations. 

    The new President, who served as Zuma’s deputy from 2014 until this week, has a broadly positive record on LGBT rights. As chairperson of the country’s Constitutional Assembly in the 1990s, Ramaphosa was a key player in the decision to extend constitutional protection to gay people – a world first at the time.

    The South African Constitution states: “The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language, and birth. No person may unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds [above].”

    He has also served as chair of the South African National AIDS Council, which has pioneered outreach to the LGBT community to tackle HIV/AIDS.
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/02/15/south-africa

  • 19. ianbirmingham  |  February 15, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Oh Look, Another One Of Trump’s Court Picks Is Really Anti-Gay

    Yet another one of President Donald Trump’s picks for a lifetime federal court seat has a record of being vehemently anti-gay. Gordon Giampietro, Trump’s nominee to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, called marriage equality “an assault on nature” and “against God’s plan” in newly surfaced recordings of radio interviews he gave in recent years. … Giampietro, … also called it “irrefutable” that children are better off being raised by a heterosexual couple. (This is not true. Gay parents may be the best of all.) …

    Giampietro’s nomination fits into a broader pattern of anti-LGBTQ court picks from Trump. Some of his now-confirmed circuit court judges include John Bush, who compared abortion to slavery and said he strongly disagrees with same-sex marriage, and Leonard Steven Grasz, who proposed amending the Omaha City Charter to let employers discriminate against LGBTQ people.

    “One in three of Trump’s judicial nominees have an explicit anti-LGBT record,” said Sharon McGowan, director of strategy at LGBTQ civil rights organization Lambda Legal. “The vitriolic and incendiary anti-LGBT rhetoric from Giampietro captured in this recording, while shocking and disturbing, is unfortunately par for the course with respect to many of the judicial nominees coming out of this White House.” … “Even compared to the anti-LGBT record of so many other Trump judicial nominees, Giampietro’s comments are appalling,” said Marge Baker of People For the American Way. “There’s no way that members of the LGBT community could expect fair treatment in a courtroom presided over by this nominee.”

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-judici

  • 20. allan120102  |  February 15, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    Tamaulipas Mexico
    ALTAMIRA, Tam.- In 2018 there are six women couples waiting to get approval to get equal marriage in Altamira.

    Mercurios Espinoza, representative of the Asociación Igualitario México, informed that they undertook the application in the office of the Civil Registry in the industrial municipality to begin with the procedure.

    As a result, he adds that the petitions were rejected, so that the procedure is legal so that the amparo promoted through the organization he heads is recognized.

    Thus, he says that Saúl Serratos, director of the Equality and Gender Office in the City of Altamira reported that 57 amparos extended for citizens of Tamaulipas to benefit from the decision to allow marriage between people of the same sex.

    "There are 57 shelters that were signed in 2015, when the first applications were issued to request approval in Tamaulipas.

    The amparos, adds that allow citizens who obtained the 'license' of a higher justice authority, request the possibility of getting married.

    People interested in joining legally with someone of the same sex, says they have to go to the Civil Registry to start the process, then go to the Institute for Women in Tamaulipas, where they receive prematrionial talk and present the document before the dependence.

    On February 22, 2017, article 124 of the Civil Code for the State of Tamaulipas was declared unconstitutional, which limited marriage and concubinage to the union between a man and a woman. https://expreso.press/2018/02/15/esperan-seis-par

  • 21. allan120102  |  February 15, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    Baja California
    TIJUANA, Baja California (GH)
    A total of 24 couples of the same sex have applied for marriage in the current municipal administration, however, only four will be able to marry them until now.

    The official 01 of the Civil Registry, Maria Eugenia Soler Carmona, reported that the couples who will marry is because the State Commission for Human Rights (CEDH) has intervened.

    He recalled that a few weeks ago the ECHR issued a recommendation to the Secretary of State Government for having denied marriage to a couple of two women.

    Once this recommendation was accepted, instructions were given to marry them, for what they have tentative date on March 3; another is scheduled in April and the remaining two do not have a date yet.

    The municipal official clarified that in order to marry same-sex couples, a recommendation of the ECHR or recourse to the amparo procedure is required.

    In the current administration, six homosexual couples have contracted marriage.

    Hundreds of couples are given the 'yes'
    Meanwhile, yesterday 650 thousand couples gave their "yes" in the massive wedding held by the City Council in the framework of "Valentine's Day" in the city's palenque.

    This figure exceeded the amount recorded last year, when 1,227 couples attended.

    Soler Carmona said that the interested parties submitted documentation from the end of January until February 8, most of them are young people between 18 and 35 years old, however, married couples of older adults.

    The requirements that were given were birth certificate, official identification, prenuptial exams and the CURP, paying only 151 pesos for the marriage certificate.

    Last year there were over 6 thousand marriages in the city and another 4 thousand divorces were registered http://www.frontera.info/EdicionEnLinea/Notas/Not

  • 22. VIRick  |  February 15, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    Allan, wait!

    "Meanwhile, yesterday 650 thousand couples gave their "Yes" …. "

    However, in Spanish, the article says:

    En tanto, el día de ayer, mil 650 parejas se dieron el “Sí” …., which means:

    Meanwhile, yesterday, 1650 couples gave their "Yes" ….
    http://www.frontera.info/EdicionEnLinea/Notas/Not

    Note: In Mexico, it is traditional for the various state governments to host state-sponsored, "free" mass wedding ceremonies on Valentine's Day as a means of allowing and encouraging couples with somewhat limited financial means of civilly registering and legalizing their "de facto" unions.

    Still, 1650 couples marrying on a single day in the singular city of Tijuana is quite impressive, as that is equal to 51% of the grand total who married in the Catholic Church in the entire nation of Costa Rica during the full year of 2017.

  • 23. allan120102  |  February 16, 2018 at 5:15 am

    Breaking. Bermuda domestic partnership law which replace ssm has been challenge in court. http://mobile.royalgazette.com/same-sex-marriage/

  • 24. scream4ever  |  February 16, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Perry v Brown all over again, which I sincerely hope is brought up during the trial.

  • 25. VIRick  |  February 16, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Bermuda: Lawsuit Launched over Same-Sex Marriage

    Per Rex Wockner:

    A gay Bermudian who hopes to marry one day in his home country has launched a legal challenge against the Attorney-General for revoking his right to do so and subjecting him to “inhuman or degrading treatment.” Lawyers for Rod Ferguson, a single man who lives in the United States, filed a lawsuit yesterday afternoon, 15 February 2018, with the Supreme Court, claiming that the new Domestic Partnership Act was unconstitutional.

    The Act, which replaces same-sex marriage with civil unions, was approved by Parliament in December and given the Royal Assent by John Rankin, the Governor, on 7 February 2018. It reverses a Supreme Court decision from May 2017 that enabled same-sex couples to marry, a judgment won after gay couple Winston Godwin and Greg De Roche litigated against the Registrar-General for refusing to post their wedding banns.

    Ferguson, 38, is represented by Mark Pettingill, the former Attorney-General, who also represented Godwin and De Roche. Pettingill, of Chancery Legal law firm, told "The Royal Gazette" last night: “The crux of it is that the protection of law that existed under the Human Rights Act as a result of the judgment in May has been removed. This man’s, and many other people’s, fundamental rights and protections under the law have been usurped.”

    The aim of the civil claim filed on behalf of Ferguson is to have the Domestic Partnership Act declared void by the court, on the basis that it is inconsistent with his fundamental rights as set out in the Constitution. Those rights include the protection of law, freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of association with other persons, creed, and certain property rights.

    The lawyer said the case had the potential to end up in Europe’s highest courts. The argument there, he said, would not be about whether Bermuda legally had to allow same-sex couples to marry, but about those couples being allowed to marry and then having the right taken away from them.

    According to the Registry-General, ten same-sex couples have married in Bermuda since the ruling in May. As of 25 January 2018, there had also been four same-sex marriages performed on board Bermuda-registered ships. An article in "The New York Times" on Wednesday, 14 February, said two marriages previously approved by Bermuda on board Princess Cruises ships would be allowed to proceed in March.
    http://www.royalgazette.com/same-sex-marriage/art

  • 26. VIRick  |  February 16, 2018 at 11:49 am

    China: Trans Man Wins Landmark Illegal Dismissal Case

    A trans man in China has successfully won a landmark illegal dismissal case, after his employer fired him for wearing men’s clothes. The man, known as Mr Chen, was fired only a week after starting a new job at a health centre in the town of Guizhou, south-west China. 

    In a legal challenge filed in December 2017, the first of its kind, Chen alleged that he had been illegally dismissed by his employer, because of anti-trans discrimination. A judge from the Guiyang Yunyan District People’s Court found in Mr Chen’s favor, ordering his employers at the Ciming Health Check-up Centre to pay him compensation of 2,000 yuan (£234), a month’s wages. However, the judge declined to make the company apologise, and stopped short of ruling that Chen’s dismissal was due to discrimination against his gender identity, despite a manager at the health centre seemingly confirming that the dismissal was because Chen is trans. “Chen’s appearance really did not fit our standards”, a staff member at the health centre told a local newspaper at the time.

    Unsatisfied with the lack of apology, Chen vowed to continue fighting a legal battle, and now, a higher court has ruled that trans workers should not be discriminated against based on their identity. This month’s ruling (in February 2018), from the Guiyang Intermediate People’s Court, says that “An individual’s gender identity and gender expression falls within the protection of general personality rights, [everyone] should respect others’ rights to gender identity and expression”. It adds: “Workers should not experience differential treatment based on their gender identity and expression.”

    This is the first time that a Chinese court has expressed an opinion on the legality of discriminating against transgender employees and may set a precedent for future Supreme Court rulings. The appeals court also increased the amount of compensation received to 4000 yuan.
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/02/15/trans-man-wi

  • 27. VIRick  |  February 16, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Panamá: Today's Broadcast Thought on Marriage Equality

    Per Radio Panamá:

    “Para la ley, el matrimonio es un contrato y parejas del mismo sexo no pueden ni comprar una casa por no tener ese documento. La ley debe buscar cómo resolver.”
    https://twitter.com/radiopanama

    "For the law, marriage is a contract and same-sex couples can not even buy a house because they do not have that document. The law must look to resolve it."

  • 28. scream4ever  |  February 16, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    I wish a couple wanting to marry immediately would join onto the lawsuit as it would strengthen the urgency.

  • 29. VIRick  |  February 16, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    Agreed. However, according to Atty. Pettingill, at the present moment, several other couples who would be better-qualified (per your suggestion), also wish to remain anonymous. Ferguson, on the other hand, stepped forward, and was quite willing to be the named plaintiff in the suit just filed. Pettingill stated he needed at least one named individual who could be identified as the "injured party" in order to press the suit.

  • 30. allan120102  |  February 16, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Breaking. Panama supreme court to take in account the ICH opinion in its decision. This is huge as it looks like the new decision will be review with the two pro equality judges who are to be confirm by the panama senate. If you look the last paragraph it says that the lawyer who defends the tradidtional sense of marriage is angry thay they will take in account the Ich opinion and waiting the two new magistrates. http://laestrella.com.pa/panama/nacional/grupos-ghttps://www.tvn-2.com/nacionales/Discusion-matrim

  • 31. VIRick  |  February 16, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    Panamá: Negative Draft Ruling against Marriage Equality Withdrawn

    Per Rex Wockner y "La Estrella de Panamá:"

    Yesterday, 15 February 2018, a judge's draft ruling rejecting marriage equality that had been under consideration by the Supreme Court of Justice of Panamá was withdrawn, a result of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) marriage-equality ruling.

    Grupos Gays Toman Oxígeno

    Luis Ramón Fábrega, el author del propuesta, ordena retirar proyecto que negaba el matrimonio igualitario para ponderar opinión de la CIDH, “a fin de realizar las adecuaciones necesarias a dicho proyecto en lectura, de acuerdo a la opinión consultiva del 24 de noviembre de 2017, solicitada por Costa Rica y otras jurisdicciones," y que avala el matrimonio igualitario.
    http://laestrella.com.pa/panama/nacional/grupos-g

    Gay Groups Breathe Relief

    Luis Ramón Fábrega, the author of the proposal, ordered the withdrawal of the draft which rejected marriage equality in light of the opinion of the IACHR, "in order to make the necessary adjustments to said draft in writing, according to the advisory opinion of 24 November 2017, requested by Costa Rica and other jurisdictions," and that supports marriage equality.

    Case closed. We just won in Panamá.

  • 32. allan120102  |  February 16, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Agree Panama is done, we just need to see when they issue an opinion. This is the same with Venezuela. Both courts are expect to strike down there gay marriage bans this year, if they do we will get two more countries, we should see which other will follow, I am betting Peru once the federal appeals courts rule in the recognition case.

  • 33. allan120102  |  February 16, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    More in Panama as homophobes are worried of an incoming por lbgt decision
    Magistrate Luis Ramón Fábrega requested to withdraw a draft judgment that established the constitutionality of articles 26 and 34 of the Family Code, which deal with marriage between a man and a woman.

    The purpose of the judge is to weigh an advisory opinion of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH), of November 24, 2017, requested by Costa Rica and other jurisdictions, which urges to endorse the equal matrimonium.

    The IACHR's decision establishes that same-sex couples have the same rights as a heterosexual marriage.

    The battle to achieve legalization of same-sex marriage in this country seemed a loss before the magistrate's decision to withdraw this draft judgment, which responded to a lawsuit filed by the Morgan & Morgan firm, as agents of Enrique Jelenszky and John Winstanle.

    The lawsuit established that preventing two people of the same sex from marrying was a discriminatory act and violates international commitments signed by the country.

    Ernesto Cedeño, a lawyer and defender of heterosexual marriage, fears that the withdrawal of the file will be to adapt it to the advisory opinion of the IACHR. 'This generates suspicion. Suddenly he will endorse the advisory opinion ', concludes the lawyer.

    Despite the conflict over the scope of the American Convention on Human Rights, "as long as there is no internal law allowing equal marriage, neither judges nor notaries can carry them out," said internationalist Juan Carlos Araúz.

    Judge Oydén Ortega, in a ruling of November 27, 2014, establishes that Article 4 of the Constitution dictates that Panama must abide by the norms of international law. The ruling indicates that the principle of sanctity of treaties must be applied, and that once ratified, they must be complied with in good faith by the signatory states.

  • 34. VIRick  |  February 17, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Boycott of Cunard Line over Bermuda Same-Sex Marriage Issue

    Per "BuzzFeed News:"

    The world’s largest leisure travel company is facing a boycott for refusing to pull its fleets out of Bermuda, after it became the first jurisdiction in the world to repeal same-sex marriage. The criticism began when Cunard Line, which runs the Queen Mary 2, the world’s largest ocean liner, told a gay couple who had cancelled their trip in protest that they would not receive a refund on their deposit, and ignored calls to register the ship elsewhere and change its flag.

    Customer Jamison Firestone, who had booked a transatlantic crossing on the liner for himself and his husband, e-mailed Cunard calling on it to register elsewhere and asking for his £600 deposit back. The company ignored his plea to re-flag and re-register the vessel in solidarity with the LGBT community, and refused to give his money back.

    A Cunard employee told him via email that the company was unable to refund him “due solely to any personal opinion of the independent laws of Bermuda” and because “a cancellation for this particular reason would not constitute a significant alteration to the package as booked." Firestone, a human rights lawyer from London, told BuzzFeed News that in fact this did represent a significant alteration of what he had booked.

    Cunard owns the Queen Mary 2, the Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria cruise ships, all registered in Bermuda, and is in turn owned by the multibillion-dollar Carnival Corporation & plc, the largest leisure travel company in the world. Carnival has 10 cruise line brands, including P&O, which has eight ships registered to Bermuda, and Princess, which has 13 ships registered in the jurisdiction. Bermuda is heavily dependent on tourism, and earns tens of thousands of dollars annually for each ship registered there.

    Firestone said there would be no legal way for Cunard ships to hold same-sex weddings on board for as long as they fly the Bermudan flag. As such, staying with the jurisdiction while taking money from LGBT passengers and refusing to return it to those who object was unacceptable, he said.
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/patrickstrudwick/this-ma

  • 35. GregInTN  |  February 17, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    The District Court's order on the planned release of the Prop 8 Trial video in 2020 is being appealed to the 9th Circuit.

    NOTICE OF APPEAL to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals filed by Martin F. Gutierrez, Dennis Hollingsworth, Mark A. Jansson, Gail J. Knight. Appeal of Order on Motion to Unseal Document,, Order on Motion to File Amicus Curiae Brief, [878] (Appeal fee of $505 receipt number 0971-12120657 paid.) (Cooper, Charles) (Filed on 2/16/2018)

    What is Mr. Cooper afraid of?

  • 36. VIRick  |  February 18, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Supreme Court of Panamá: The Next Steps toward Marriage Equality

    Per "Latin On-Line" de Panamá:

    Para incorporar comentarios a la opinión consultiva de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH), y fallos de otras jurisdicciones, fue puesto en "pausa" el proyecto de las demandas conocido como matrimonio igualitario. La decisión fue tomada por el magistrado Luis Ramón Fábrega.

    El magistrado, quien es ponente de una advertencia de inconstitucionalidad promovida por la firma Morgan y Morgan en representación de Enrique Raúl Jelenszky Carvajal y John Winstanley, retornó a su puesto el jueves, el 15 de febrero 2018, luego que el 30 de noviembre 2017 fuera sometido a una operación cardiovascular.

    Aunque quisieron manejar el asunto con “reserva y discreción,” la Corte Suprema de Justicia no contó con que la propuesta se filtraría a los medios de la comunicación, por lo cual se pudo conocer que la postura del ponente era contraria a quienes solicitaban la inconstitucionalidad. Fábrega deberá presentar un nuevo proyecto que se pondrá a circular, y de ser necesario, se llevará a discusión a reunión ordinaria del Pleno.

    Mientras que el abogado Ítalo Antinori manifiesta que la intención es clara: declarar inconstitucional los artículos del Código de la Familia y reconocer el matrimonio homosexual en Panamá por la vía de un fallo de la Corte.
    http://www.latinol.com/vidasocial/corte-mantiene-

    In order to incorporate comments from the advisory opinion of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH), as well as judgments from other jurisdictions, the legal challenge concerning marriage equality has been put on "pause." This decision was taken by justice Luis Ramón Fábrega.

    The justice, who has been assigned to write the opinion to the challenge of unconstitutionality put forth by the firm Morgan and Morgan on behalf of Enrique Raúl Jelenszky Carvajal and John Winstanley, returned to his post on Thursday, 15 February 2018, after having undergone a cardiovascular operation on 30 November 2017.

    Although they wanted to handle the matter with "reserve and discretion," the Supreme Court of Justice did not count on the draft proposal being leaked to the media, from which it became known that the position of the author was contrary to those who had requested its unconstitutionality. Fábrega must present a new draft that will be circulated and, if necessary, a discussion will be held at the ordinary meeting of the Full Court.

    Meanwhile, the lawyer Ítalo Antinori states that the intention is clear: to declare the articles of the Family Code unconstitutional and to recognize same-sex marriage in Panamá by way of a Court ruling.

    Note: We will be forever grateful to the unknown individual, most likely one of the clerks of the court, or even one of the other justices, who leaked the original contrary draft proposal to the press, as its existence (now withdrawn) caused a massive uproar and delayed proceedings until after the CIDH had issued its landmark ruling. So, of course, did Fábrega's cardiovascular operation, a matter which was not revealed until now.

  • 37. VIRick  |  February 18, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    "Judge Oydén Ortega, in a ruling of 27 November 2014, establishes that Article 4 of the Constitution dictates that Panamá must abide by the norms of international law. The ruling indicates that the principle of sanctity of treaties must be applied, and that once ratified, they must be complied with in good faith by the signatory states."

    Obviously, this ruling by Judge Ortega (on other matters) clearly establishes the precedent by which Panamá is now obligated to follow when dealing with issues pertaining to international law, thus ensuring, as a signatory nation to the CIDH, that the recent CIDH ruling pertaining to marriage equality and gender identity must be adhered to.

  • 38. VIRick  |  February 18, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    Mexico: Survey Results Show Majority Approve Marriage Equality

    Per Gabinete Mex:

    In the latest state-by-state survey on marriage equality in Mexico, nationwide, a growing majority, or 50.5%, agree with its legalization, while a diminishing minority, or 45.8%, disapprove. By individual jurisdiction, we have these results:

    Percent In Favor / Percent Against
    63.4% Ciudad de México 32.0%*
    59.2% Edomex 37.4%
    58.8% Baja California Sur 36.0%
    56.8% Sinaloa 39.0%
    55.8% Quintana Roo 37.5%*
    54.3% Quéretaro 42.9%*
    52.7% Baja California 42.7%*
    51.4% Guanajuato 45.8%
    51.2% Morelos 44.9%*
    51.1% Hidalgo 45.7%
    51.0% Tlaxcala 44.8%
    50.4% Guerrero 45.8%*
    49.9% Nayarit 45.6%*
    49.8% Aguascalientes 45.1%
    49.8% San Luis Potosí 46.1%
    49.6% Sonora 46.1%
    48.7% Veracruz 46.1%
    48.5% Puebla 48.0%*
    48.3% Michoacán 49.0%*
    47.9% Nuevo León 49.3%
    46.7% Colima 46.9%*
    46.7% Durango 50.4%
    46.5% Zacatecas 51.3%
    45.9% Yucatán 49.3%
    45.4% Chihuahua 52.5%*
    45.0% Tamaulipas 51.5%
    44.2% Coahuila 50.6%*
    43.2% Oaxaca 54.6%
    42.4% Campeche 54.6%*
    42.1% Jalisco 53.8%*
    39.0% Chiapas 58.4%*
    36.1% Tabasco 61.1%
    https://twitter.com/hashtag/EN2017MX?src=hash

    Those marked (*) already have marriage equality. Quéretaro has it in most municipalities. Guerrero did have it statewide, but it is presently suspended.

    Note: In all instances, the remaining balances to reach 100% either "Do not know," "Are unsure," or "Refuse to answer."

    Also of interest:

    Per Bodas LGBTTTI Expo:

    Desde 2010 a le fecha, en la Ciudad de México se han concretado ocho mil 639 matrimonios entre la población LGBTTTI.
    https://twitter.com/BodaLGBTTTIExpo/status/965382

    From 2010 to date, in Mexico City, there have been 8639 marriages among the LGBTTTI population.

  • 39. ianbirmingham  |  February 18, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    Mexican states nearest California are the most pro-SSM; those nearest Guatemala and Texas are the most anti-SSM…

  • 40. allan120102  |  February 18, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    I beg to differ not all of them as Coahuila , Chihuahua and Tamaulipas all who border the USA are the ones who have the least support of ssm while Quintana Roo who is closer to Belize and guatemala has one of the highest support

  • 41. VIRick  |  February 18, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    Indeed, plus Mexico City and its immediate environs are also heavily pro-marriage equality.

    Also, whether or not a given state has marriage equality seems to bear little or no direct relationship to public opinion on the matter. Edomex, Baja California Sur, and Sinaloa are very near the top of the list in favor, yet none of them have legalized it, with officials in both Edomex and Sinaloa being particularly surly in their obfuscation. On the other hand, Chiapas, Campeche, and Coahuila are near the bottom of the list in approval, yet all 3 have legalized it, the latter two, fairly early on, by their own legislatures with almost no opposition.

  • 42. VIRick  |  February 18, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    Allan, there are only 3 Mexican states directly bordering Guatemala, namely, Chiapas, Tabasco, and Campeche. They comprise 3 of the 4 states with the least public support for marriage equality.

    Both Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur are special cases, atypical of much of the rest of the country, given that the government of Mexico has focused a lot of its tourism development resources on both. As a result, a huge influx of people from all over Mexico have descended on those two, mostly young, dynamic, forward-thinking individuals who are more open to accepting same-sex marriage. Plus, in general, a lot of gay people work in the tourism industry.

    As for Texas, I have to agree with Ian that there's a "toxic air" which seems to drift over the border from that direction, much of it in the form of evangelical preachers (whether in person or via the airwaves), a factor which has depressed the favorability of same-sex marriage in that area, despite the over-all economic development of the entire northern tier. By comparison, California's influence in north-west Mexico is much more positive.

  • 43. ianbirmingham  |  February 19, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Trump administration dismantles LGBT-friendly policies

    The nation's health department is taking steps to dismantle LGBT health initiatives, as political appointees have halted or rolled back regulations intended to protect LGBT workers and patients, removed LGBT-friendly language from documents and reassigned the senior adviser dedicated to LGBT health. … The Trump administration soon after taking office also moved to change the agency's LGBT-related health data collection, a window into health status and discrimination. Last month it established a new religious liberty division to defend health workers who have religious objections to treating LGBT patients.

    The changes at the Department of Health and Human Services represent "rapid destruction of so much of the progress on LGBT health," said Kellan Baker, a researcher at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health who worked with HHS on LGBT issues for nearly a decade. “It’s only a matter of time before all the gains made under the Obama administration are reversed under the Trump administration, for purposes that have nothing to do with public health and have everything to do with politics.”

    The policy reversals also come after President Donald Trump repeatedly pledged during his campaign that he would support LGBT causes. "Thank you to the LGBT community!" Trump tweeted in June 2016. "I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs."

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/19/trump-l

  • 44. VIRick  |  February 19, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    El Salvador: ARENA Again Attempts to Block Marriage Equality

    Per "Revista Factum:"

    Este día, 19 de febrero 2018, Ricardo Velásquez Parker, el diputado de ARENA fracción, presentó una iniciativa constitucional para blindar el matrimonio entre "un hombre y una mujer así nacidos," y por ende prohibir el matrimonio igualitario. El 31 de enero 2018, la Sala Constitucional de El Salvador impidió ratificar una reforma en ese mismo sentido.
    https://twitter.com/ARENAfraccion/status/96566499

    Today, 19 February 2018, Ricardo Velásquez Parker, deputy of the ARENA party, presented a constitutional initiative to define marriage as between "a man and a woman thus born," and therefore prohibit marriage equality. On 31 January 2018, the Constitutional Court of El Salvador prevented just such a ratification of a similar reform.

  • 45. VIRick  |  February 19, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Trump's Worst Nightmare: Marichuy

    María de Jesús Patricio Martínez, also known as Marichuy, is a Mexican Nahua indigenous individual (whose spoken language is called Nahuatl, and who are the modern-day descendants of the Aztecs), a traditional medicine healer, and human rights activist. She was chosen as a "representative indigenous spokesperson" by the Concejo Indígena de Gobierno (National Indigenous Congress) for the 2018 Mexican presidential general election. She is sometimes referred to as the Zapatista candidate, in reference to Emiliano Zapata Salazar, a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution, the main leader of the peasant revolution in Morelos, and the inspiration for the communal agrarian reform movement called Zapatismo.

    Marichuy has already obtained the required number of signatures to be on the ballot in Chiapas and Nayarit, and is close to doing the same in CDMX and Zacatecas. In addition, she is well on her way in Morelos, Colima, and Jalisco.

    Because the numerous indigenous groups in Mexico mostly live communally (in distinct, separate municipalities) in agrarian collectives called ejidos, their demands, almost by definition, are ultra-left.
    https://twitter.com/suvozesmivoz

    Traditionally, ever since the Mexican Revolution, the Zapatistas always supported the PRI, the current governing party. But not this time, as the Zapatistas have already put forth their own prominent indigenous female candidate.

    The Nahua live primarily in Guerrero, Oaxaca, Morelos, Edomex, Puebla, Tlaxcala, San Luis Potosí, and Veracruz states, and comprise the largest indigenous grouping in Mexico.

  • 46. ianbirmingham  |  February 19, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Malaysia newspaper publishes 'how to spot gays' list

    According to the article in Sinar Harian, gay men are "fond of growing facial hair and wearing branded clothes". Other distinctive qualities include a love of going to the gym – not for exercise, but to check out other men. Their eyes light up when they see handsome men, the article said. Lesbians on the other hand, "despised and belittled men, preferred to be alone, tend to hug each other and hold hands when walking," …

    Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia, where laws criminalising 'sodomy' can result in imprisonment, corporal punishment and fines. Last year, Disney indefinitely postponed the opening of its film Beauty and the Beast in Malaysia after censors in the Muslim-majority nation reportedly cut out a 'gay moment' in the movie. That same year, the country's Health Ministry launched a contest titled 'The National Creative Video Competition on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health' with an aim to 'prevent' homosexuality and transgenderism. Another article on the health ministry's website titled, "Why would a person be lesbian?" outlined the reason women are gay is based on their decision to pursue their careers and their belief that only women would understand their choices.

    Neighbouring country Indonesia, also finds itself in the midst of rising anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. As part of a sweeping criminal law overhaul, Indonesian parliament is pushing forward a clamp down on gay and pre-marital sex. Officials have been using the country's strict anti-pornography laws in a string of raids against the LGBT community, and last month, Google pulled one of the world's largest gay dating apps from the Indonesian version of its online store in response to government demands. Indonesian police hit the headlines after they forcibly cut the hair of a group of transgender women, forced them to wear male clothes and told them to speak in a masculine voice.

    https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/blog/2018/2/14/

  • 47. allan120102  |  February 19, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    Bermuda decision to ban same sex marriage and legalize ss partnership will also be consider in the Panama decision. Thanks a lot Bermuda(not). http://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/Decision-Berm

  • 48. scream4ever  |  February 19, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    I'm not concerned for two reasons:

    -what happened with Bermuda was because of the legislature, not the courts, and it's in fact now back in the courts.

    -Panama is bound by the IACHR ruling, while Bermuda is not.

  • 49. allan120102  |  February 19, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    You will be surprise of how homophobic judges may act, remember that some judges in Panama supreme court are against ssm and that is why the lgbt groups file for recusal of one a little bit ago, Fabregas is against ssm but he is bound by the IACHR court opinion and if the court issue a bad ruling it will be overturn by the IACHR but I am mentioning this as homophobes will use every excuse to stop ssm. Even as you mention that Bermuda is not part of our system.

  • 50. VIRick  |  February 20, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Labour MP to Launch Northern Ireland Marriage Equality Bill in UK Parliament

    A Labour MP plans to legislate in the UK’s Parliament for marriage equality in Northern Ireland, after the UK government signaled it may not block the move. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK without marriage equality due to opposition from the hardline Democratic Unionist Party. 

    The issue has been blocked by the DUP in the Northern Ireland Assembly for years, but following the collapse of power-sharing in the region, Northern Irish LGBT activists have called on UK Prime Minister Theresa May to intervene through direct rule. In a major concession this week, the UK Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley signaled the government would not block such a move, saying: “In accordance with the Belfast Agreement, this is a devolved matter which should be addressed in the NI Assembly; but the power of the Westminster Parliament to legislate remains unaffected. If this issue were to be raised in Westminster, the Government’s policy is to allow a free vote on matters of conscience such as equal marriage.”

    Following the statement, a Labour MP, Conor McGinn, the Northern Ireland-born MP for St. Helens North, says he plans to submit equal marriage legislation to the UK Parliament.
    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/02/20/labour-mp-p

  • 51. VIRick  |  February 20, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Texas: Lesbian Couple Sues Trump Administration after Being Banned from Fostering Refugee Children

    On 20 February 2018, a married Texas lesbian couple filed suit against the Trump administration in federal court after they were banned from fostering refugee children because they did not "mirror the Holy Family." Fatma Marouf and Bryn Esplin have begun legal proceedings against the US Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

    The pair claim that the decision by Catholic Charities to reject their ability to foster vulnerable children violated their constitutional rights. According to the couple, administrators of Catholic Charities Fort Worth invited Fatma to learn more about the charity’s work in fostering refugee children, but then rejected the couple, once it became clear they were a same-sex couple.

    In 2017, Texas passed a so-called "religious freedom" law, HB 3859, euphemistically called the "Freedom to Serve Children Act," that allowed state-funded adoption agencies to discriminate against couples based on the agency's religious belief.

    However, the couple claim that this law does not apply to their case, as the fostering and adoption of refugee children is managed by the federal government through the Department of Health and Human Services, rather than the state of Texas. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops, one of the defendants in the case, is one of the two main agencies that resettle refugee children on behalf of the federal government. In Texas, this group is represented by Catholic Charities. A federal agency, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, is responsible for the funding of these local groups which receive millions of dollars nationwide from the federal government.

    Fatma and Bryn’s lawsuit states that the federal government and the organisations involved in the process broke the Establishment, Equal Protection, and Due Process Clauses of the Constitution by imposing a particular religious belief upon them.
    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/02/20/lesbian-cou

  • 52. allan120102  |  February 20, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Breaking Mexico supreme court has accept an an action of unconstitutionality against NL civil code after reforms were made and legislators didnt legalize ssm as was expect from the 2015 jurisprudence. This action of unconstitutionality was file by human right commissions.
    The ban is expect to have a similar fate as the ones in Jalisco, Puebla and Chiapas. https://mobile.twitter.com/emtdf/status/966045028

  • 53. allan120102  |  February 20, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Mexico supreme court is really piss at the legislature of NL for ignoring all of there previous resolutions they have issue against there civil code. Instead of waiting for the magical 5 resolution. The human right comission saw gold when reforms were made to the marriage articles without taking in consideration the supreme court resolutions. Now the court want the legislature to send copies that they did get the resolutions when they were emit. http://m.milenio.com/policia/suprema-corte-reform

  • 54. VIRick  |  February 20, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    Colombia: First Same-Sex Marriage in La Guajira Department

    Per Alejandro Michells:

    El 19 de febrero 2018, un patrullero de la Policía Colombia adscrito al ESMAD de Riohacha, en el departamiento de La Guajira, se casa uniformado con su pareja.

    For a photo of the happy couple, see:
    https://twitter.com/NoticiasLGBT

    On 19 February 2018, a patrolman of the Colombian Police assigned to ESMAD of Riohacha, in the department of La Guajira, in uniform, marries with his partner.

    In an earlier department by department summary re-cap on same-sex marriages in Colombia, its northernmost department, La Guajira, projecting out into the Caribbean on a peninsula of the same name, had tallied zero. As a result, the marriage noted above which just took place in Riohacha appears to be its first since legalization.

  • 55. VIRick  |  February 20, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Mexico: Jalisco Same-Sex Marriage Summary Up-Date

    Per Gayristegui:

    Tuvo Jalisco 492 matrimonios igualitarios en 2017, de que se realizó 251 (o 51%) de las dichas ceremonias en Guadalajara, según Registro Civil estatal.
    https://twitter.com/NoticiasLGBT

    Jalisco had 492 same-sex marriages in 2017, of which 251 (or 51%) of said ceremonies were performed in Guadalajara, according to the State Civil Registry.

  • 56. VIRick  |  February 20, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Supreme Court of Mexico: Action of Unconstitutionality Accepted against Nuevo León

    Per Eduardo Murillo:‏

    El 9 de febrero 2018, la SCJN admitió a trámite la Acción de Inconstitucionalidad (29/2018) de la CNDH en contra de las reformas al Código Civil de Nuevo León, promulgadas por el gobernador, Jaime Rodríguez Calderón (El Bronco), y publicadas el 8 de enero 2018, que prohíben el matrimonio igualitario.
    https://twitter.com/emtdf/status/9660450283627397

    On 9 February 2018, the Supreme Court of Justice admitted the Action of Unconstitutionality (29/2018) of the CNDH against the reforms to the Civil Code of Nuevo León, promulgated by the governor, Jaime Rodríguez Calderón (El Bronco), and published on 8 January 2018, prohibiting marriage equality.

    Another state goes down, as the CNDH will win this case, just as it did in Jalisco, but with the added documented animus of the governor as additional ammunition. El Bronco, in words he thought were clever, reputedly told same-sex couples "to go to Coahuila" if they wanted to marry. Coahuila, in retort, then waived the fees for any same-sex couples from Nuevo León who came there to marry.

    Note: El Bronco resigned as governor of Nuevo León on 31 December 2017, immediately after signing this legislation, in order to run as an independent in the 2018 Mexican presidential general election.

    On the web-site of the SCJN, in the "Índice de Acciones de Inconstitucionalidad pendientes de resolver al 20 de febrero de 2018," we find expediente #2, 29/2018, to be heard before the Full Court (Pleno):

    “Artículos 140 y 148 en la porción normativa ‘el hombre y la mujer’, del Código Civil para el Estado de Nuevo León, reformados mediante Decreto número 317, publicado en el Periódico Oficial del Gobierno Constitucional del Estado Libre y Soberano de Nuevo León, el día 8 de enero de 2018.”
    http://www2.scjn.gob.mx/IndicesCCAI/Controversias….

    "Articles 140 and 148 in the normative portion 'the man and the woman,' of the Civil Code for the State of Nuevo León, reformed by Decree number 317, published in the Official Newspaper of the Constitutional Government of the Free and Sovereign State of Nuevo León, on 8 January 2018."

  • 57. scream4ever  |  February 20, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    I actually think this may be successful, as even many members of the DUP want to move on from the issue.

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