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Open thread and news update 7/31

Community/Meta Discrimination

– The Department of Justice has announced a “religious liberty” task force that could have a huge impact on the future of LGBT rights.

This is an open thread for news and discussion. We’ll post if anything new happens.

32 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. VIRick  |  August 1, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Costa Rica: New President of Constitutional Court

    Fernando Cruz, Elegido como Nuevo Presidente de la Corte Suprema de Justicia

    Este miércoles, 1° de agosto 2018, la Corte Suprema de Justicia eligió al magistrado Fernando Cruz, como su nuevo presidente. Los postulantes para el cargo fueron Orlando Aguirre de la Sala Segunda; Luis Guillermo Rivas Loáciga actual presidente de la Sala Primera; y los magistrados de la Sala Constitucional, Fernando Cruz Castro y Fernando Castillo Víquez.

    El pasado lunes, (23 de julio), la Corte Plena decidió adelantar la elección del nuevo Presidente de la Corte durante la sesión extraordinaria de este 1.° de agosto. La elección se dio tras la jubilación del exmagistrado Carlos Chinchilla Sandí, quien se acogió a la pensión cuatro días después de ser sancionados por una falta grave relacionada con el caso del cemento chino.
    https://www.elfinancierocr.com/economia-y-politic

    Fernando Cruz, Elected as the New President of the Supreme Court of Justice

    On Wednesday, 1 August 2018, the Supreme Court of Justice elected the justice, Fernando Cruz, as its new president. The applicants for the position were Orlando Aguirre of the Second Chamber; Luis Guillermo Rivas Loáciga, current president of the First Chamber; and the justices of the Constitutional Court, Fernando Cruz Castro and Fernando Castillo Víquez.

    Last Monday, (23 July), the Full Court decided to advance the election of the new President of the Court during the extraordinary session to 1 August. The election took place after the retirement of ex-justice Carlos Chinchilla Sandí, who took his pension four days after being sanctioned for a serious offense related to the Chinese cement case.

  • 2. VIRick  |  August 1, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Querétaro: Marriage Equality to Be Addressed

    Recula Connie Herrera: Afirma que se Atenderá Matrimonio Igualitario en la Próxima Legislatura

    Los temas de derechos humanos y la unión de personas del mismo sexo serán atendidos en la LIX Legislatura local (de Querétaro) pues los pensamientos u opiniones a título personal no deben imperar en la forma de legislar, aseguró Concepción Herrera Martínez, diputada local electa por la vía plurinominal.

    Luego de que Alicia Colchado, presidenta de la organización de Desarrollo Comunitario para Transformación Social A. C., a nombre del Frente Queretano por el Derecho y la No Discriminación y el Estado Laico señalara que Herrera Martínez debía retractarse de sus declaraciones (previas), la también presidenta del partido político local Querétaro Independiente subrayó que no se trata de retractarse, sino de poner en contexto su entrevista con el semanario universitario, "Tribuna de Querétaro."
    https://codiceinformativo.com/2018/07/recula-conn

    Connie Herrera Recants: Affirms that Marriage Equality Will Be Addressed in Next Legislature

    The issues of human rights and the union of same-sex couples will be addressed in the LIX State Legislature (of Querétaro) because the thoughts or opinions in a personal capacity should not prevail in the form of legislation, said Concepción Herrera Martínez, a state deputy elected through the multi-party system.

    After Alicia Colchado, president of the Community Development Organization for Social Transformation AC, on behalf of the Querétaro Front for Law and Non-Discrimination and the Secular State, pointed out that Herrera Martínez should retract her (previous) statements, the president of the local political party Querétaro Independiente stressed that it is not a matter of recanting, but of putting into context her interview with the university weekly, "Tribuna de Querétaro."

  • 3. VIRick  |  August 2, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    New York: Montgomery County Clerk Refuses Marriage License to Same-Sex Couple

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, among others, blasted the decision by a Montgomery County town clerk on 1 August 2018 to reject a marriage license for a same-sex couple. Dylan Toften and his partner were forced to travel to a neighboring jurisdiction to obtain their license after Montgomery clerk Laurel "Sherrie" Ericksen refused to grant them a license. A deputy clerk in Montgomery will grant licenses to same-sex couples, but that employee was not in the office when Toften and his partner came in. Montgomery town attorney Robert Subik told the "Daily Gazette" that same-sex couples must make appointments because they have a clerk, Ericksen, who refuses to grant them licenses; in other words, the onus is on same-sex couples to work around the clerk's bigotry.

    However, New York State's 2011 marriage equality law does not allow clerks to reject same-sex couples. As a result, Gov Cuomo has directed that an investigation be undertaken into this incident to ensure that it never happens again.
    https://www.advocate.com/marriage-equality/2018/8

    Montgomery County lies in the Mohawk Valley, west of Schenectady. Its largest city is Amsterdam.

  • 4. Elihu_Bystander  |  August 2, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Ray v Himes Ohio Transgender Birth Certificate Case

    The Ohio defendants have elected to play hardball. In response to plaintiff’s complaint they have moved that the case be dismissed in its entirety with prejudice. They have miss applied the interpretation of several important president setting cases.

    You can read the motion to dismiss here.
    https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/ray-v-himes-m

    You can read the plaintiff’s opposition to the motion to dismiss here.
    https://www.lambdalegal.org/sites/default/files/l

  • 5. VIRick  |  August 2, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    New York: More on the Marriage License Refusal in Montgomery County

    A gay couple from upstate New York were denied a marriage license by the county clerk and now even the Governor is getting involved. Thomas Hurd and Dylan Toften from Root, New York, went to the local county courthouse expecting to walk away with a marriage license. County clerk Laurel Eriksen, however, turned them away.

    Toften posted on Facebook that Eriksen told them to make an appointment with a different clerk. Town Attorney Robert Subik originally claimed the lack of an appointment was part of the problem. Eriksen “didn’t process the two men’s marriage license application because they failed to make an appointment with her, as everyone is required by her office to do,” Subik told the Daily Gazette. Still, he admitted that her religious beliefs also played a major role in her refusal. “She has a religious objection and has referred the matter to her deputy clerk, who has no such objection and will issue the license when they make an appointment,” Subik said. “The clerks are both part-time and don’t man the office Monday through Friday. Of course, the two men are free to go to another jurisdiction to obtain their license.”

    Toften and Hurd obtained their license in a different county, but Toften says they won’t stop until they get justice. “She took an oath to uphold New York's laws. She can be let go for this at the state level and I plan on pursuing it to that.” Also, after being alerted that the clerk had refused the couple a license, Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the state Division of Human Rights to launch an investigation of the matter.
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/08/gay-couple-de

  • 6. VIRick  |  August 2, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    Tabasco: Another Same-Sex Marriage

    Per Jaime López Vela:

    Y ahora, dos mujeres de Tabasco se suman al matrimonio igualitario.
    https://twitter.com/JAIMELOPEZVELA

    And now, two women from Tabasco are joined in equal marriage.

  • 7. VIRick  |  August 2, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    Understated Comment-of-the-Day

    Per Barack Obama:

    What type of ID do we need to buy groceries? I'm at the store, and all I have on me is my birth certificate.
    http://www.joemygod.com/2018/08/02/top-trump-dono

  • 8. allan120102  |  August 3, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Costa Rica
    Most if not alll of Costa rica ex presidents have urge the court to strike the ssm ban and to follow the precedent establish by the ICH. https://www.google.hn/amp/s/amp.tn.com.ar/socieda

  • 9. VIRick  |  August 3, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    Uruguay: 5th Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    Per TeleSUR TV:

    Hace cinco años, el 3 de agosto 2013, entró en vigor la Ley de Matrimonio Igualitario en Uruguay.

    Desde que se aprobó el matrimonio igualitario en Uruguay, el 70% corresponde matrimonio entre hombres y 30% restante corresponde a las bodas entre mujeres.
    https://twitter.com/teleSURtv

    Five years ago, on 3 August 2013, the Marriage Equality Law in Uruguay came into force.

    Ever since marriage equality in Uruguay was approved, 70% of the marriages were between men and the remaining 30% corresponds to weddings between women.

  • 10. VIRick  |  August 3, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Federal Judge: Trump Admin Must Reinstate DACA Because No Rational Reason Given for Ending It

    On Friday, 3 August 2018, a federal judge said that the Trump administration must reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in its entirety because the Department of Homeland Security failed to "give a rational explanation for its decision" to end it. Judge John D. Bates, a senior judge for the District Court for the District of Columbia, who has been hearing the challenge brought by the NAACP and others to the administration's decision to end DACA, put his decision on hold for 20 days "to permit the government to determine whether it intends to appeal the Court’s decision and, if so, to seek a stay pending appeal."

    Bates initially ruled against the administration in April, but put his ruling on hold to give the government a chance to provide a rational for its decision. In today's ruling, Bates found that "the Court sees no reason to change its earlier determination that DACA’s rescission was arbitrary and capricious."

    In response to Bates' initial ruling, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen issued a memorandum in June that aimed at providing "amplification" of the government's decision to end DACA last year, as had been explained in a memo issued by then-Acting DHS Sec. Elaine Duke. Today, Bates found, first, that the administration's decision to end DACA was reviewable — a point on which DOJ had fought the challengers — because, the judge ruled, DHS's explanation for the rescission of DACA is an issue of law, not policy.

    As to the substantive question of whether the Nielsen memo showed that the decision to end DACA was not "arbitrary and capricious," Bates wrote, "Most glaringly, the Nielsen Memo provides almost no meaningful elaboration on the Duke Memo’s assertion that DACA is unlawful." Bates added that, even if one of the reasons provided by the government to justify ending DACA was sufficient, the Nielsen memo "fails to engage meaningfully with the reliance interests and other countervailing factors that weigh against ending the program."

    In his conclusion, Bates appeared to make an effort to preempt criticism from Trump, Attorney-General Sessions, and Trump's supporters. "The Court did not hold in its prior opinion, and it does not hold today, that DHS lacks the statutory or constitutional authority to rescind the DACA program. Rather, the Court simply holds that if DHS wishes to rescind the program—or to take any other action, for that matter—it must give a rational explanation for its decision," he wrote. "A conclusory assertion that a prior policy is illegal, accompanied by a hodgepodge of illogical or post hoc policy assertions, simply will not do."
    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/chrisgeidner

  • 11. VIRick  |  August 3, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Christian Pornographer Refuses To Film Sex Tape For Gay Couple

    ATLANTA—Saying it would violate his deeply-held religious beliefs, area pornographer Chet Kirkendall, a 57-year-old Christian who frequently films explicit amateur videos for his clients, confirmed Friday he had denied service to a gay male couple who wished to hire him to direct their sex tape.

    “I’ve been in this business 25 years, and I strongly believe rim jobs, facials, and other hardcore sex acts should only take place between one man and one woman, or one man and two women, or in some cases five men taking turns with one woman—but never two men,” said Kirkendall, who told reporters that after a career directing hundreds of gang bangs, scenes of “barely legal” teenagers, and a variety of stepmother-themed material, he wasn’t about to violate his traditional Christian values by filming man-on-man action. “I take my work very seriously and am always proud to capture on video the sacred union of a man thrusting deep inside a woman and then cumming on her tits, or sometimes her face. God condones such sucking and fucking, but in His eyes, filming homosexual men bringing each other to orgasm through anal sex or vigorous fisting would be an abomination. It’s right there in the Book of Leviticus.”

    Asked whether he also would have denied service to a lesbian couple, Kirkendall refused to give a definitive answer, saying it might be permissible to accept such a job “as long as it was two hot chicks.”
    https://local.theonion.com/christian-pornographer

  • 12. davepCA  |  August 3, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    God bless 'The Onion'.

  • 13. VIRick  |  August 3, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    Indiana: Transgender Boy Wins "Bathroom" Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 3 August 2018, in "J.A.W. v. Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp," a federal case involving a transgender boy being denied access to the boys' restroom at his Indiana high school, Judge Lawerence has granted the transgender student's motion for a preliminary injunction. "EVSC shall permit J.A.W. to use the boys’ restrooms within the schools and other buildings of EVSC."

    Entry on Motion for Preliminary Injunction is here:
    http://files.eqcf.org/cases/318-cv-00037-68/

  • 14. bayareajohn  |  August 3, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    Rick…. I'm neither humorless nor a killjoy… but presenting this with the only hint that it isn't real being the word ONION in the URL is just… not… helping. In my opinion.
    This is the sort of thing that gets PIZZAGATE and "Michelle Obama is really a trans" and other "funny" stories into the minds of the wackos.
    I hate to read "satire" articles sprinkled straight-faced in with news and serious diaries on KOS for the same reasons. People read 2 paragraphs, then go and quote it and say they read it on KOS… or EQUALITY ON TRIAL…. which they trust.

  • 15. Elihu_Bystander  |  August 4, 2018 at 3:18 am

    Here is the memorandum opinion in NAACP v Trump consolidated cases.
    https://www.naacp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/

  • 16. JayJonson  |  August 4, 2018 at 5:47 am

    I agree with bayareajohn. I am so grateful for the work Rick does in keeping us up to date on marriage and other equality issues, but this kind of cold post of satire is not appropriate here.

    Perhaps a better way to call attention to a satirical article like this one would be simply to post the link with a brief into like this: "For a satirical account of the "religious liberty" arguments re photographers refusing to serve gay couples, see the Onion."

  • 17. ianbirmingham  |  August 4, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Photo of Kissing Gay Couple Sparks Controversy at One of Brazil’s Most Important and Iconic Tourist Sites

    EVERY YEAR, CLOSE to 2 million people visit Rio de Janeiro’s Sugar Loaf Mountain, making it the city’s second-most frequented tourist site after Christ the Redeemer. Since 1912, families have traveled from all over the world, and from within Brazil, to ride the storied cable cars to the mountain’s peaks and enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views of one of the planet’s greatest and most beautiful cities. But now, beyond majestic vistas, the throngs of visitors to Sugar Loaf see something else, strategically placed in one of the site’s most prominent spaces: a photograph of two men kissing. …

    Lotti said that seeing how fearful gay couples were to do what comes naturally to heterosexual couples — show affection for a vacation photo — made him determined to create an environment where LGBT couples could feel safe to show affection. “Whenever I saw a couple I thought might be gay, I asked, ‘Are you a couple?’ If they said yes, I told them, ‘If you want to hold hands or kiss for the photo, you should.'” When the couple in the photo — two Brazilian men in a long-term relationship, visiting from Minas Gerais, a state just north of Rio de Janeiro — took their photo, Lotti printed it out and immediately asked for authorization to display it at the counter. The couple consented, and Lotti purposely chose the most conspicuous spot for the photo, where it is virtually impossible not to see it. Ever since, Lotti and his employees have navigated a constant stream of anger and grievance. … "We get complaints every day. They typically complain, specifically, that the photo is in the line of vision for children, and are angry that their kids specifically have seen the photo.” The parents usually object “that it’s not necessary to put a photo like this in a place where kids will see it.” Lotti noted that the store’s display of photos almost always includes heterosexual couples who are kissing. But, he said, “nobody ever complained about those.”

    Lotti said that, occasionally, the photo has generated inspiring interactions between parents and children. Sometimes, he said, children ask their parents about the photo with curiosity, and some parents respond, “That’s love.” Lotti said that “this does not have happen often. It’s not common. But it makes me happy when I see parents speaking openly and with tranquility about it, because the kids never have a problem at first.” “The problem,” Lotti said, “is always with the parents, not the kids. Depending on how the parents respond, that determines whether the kids react positively or negatively.” It is parents, he said, who impart to their children this kind of “crazy prejudice.” …

    https://theintercept.com/2018/07/30/photo-of-kiss

  • 18. JayJonson  |  August 4, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Happy ending for a young man whose religious parents refused to send him to college after he came out. Not only did a GoFundMe account established by one of his teachers raise $129,000 but Georgetown University has offered him a full scholarship.

    "Seth Owen, a high school valedictorian from Florida whose parents ostracized him because of his sexuality, has reportedly been offered a full-ride scholarship to attend Georgetown University in the fall.

    Owen, who graduated from First Coast High School in Jacksonville with a 4.16 GPA, captured headlines late last month after one of his teachers set up a fundraising page to raise money for his first year's tuition at Georgetown. The page, which initially set a fundraising goal of $20,000, surpassed $129,000.

    But now, Owen says, Georgetown has decided to offer him a full scholarship.

    “While the campaign has been ongoing, the professionals at the Office of Student Financial Services have continued to work with me to make my dream a reality,” Owen said on Friday in a statement sent to NBC News. “Due to their efforts and attention, they were able to adjust my aid package even further, my expected contribution is now $0. With these new adjustments, I will be able to attend Georgetown University this fall.”

    Owen's story picked up traction on social media after he told NBC News last month that his parents discovered he was gay during his sophomore year of high school. Shortly after that, he said they sent him to conversion therapy.

    Earlier this year, Owen said he asked his parents to allow him to stop attending their church over teachings and rhetoric he said were anti-LGBTQ. He said he was later given choice by his parents to either stay in the church or leave home.

    Owen said he decided to leave for his own sake. After he received his financial aid package from Georgetown, he was hit with the reality that he might not be able to afford to attend.

    Now, the 18-year-old said he plans to use the funds raised by the GoFundMe page to cover additional expenses he may have while attending the prestigious Washington, D.C., school, in addition to using it to start a scholarship fund for other students.

    “At the moment, I am in process of exploring the establishment of a scholarship to help LGBTQ+ scholars who find themselves in the circumstance I was in earlier this year,” Owen said. “I am looking forward to utilizing the resources of Georgetown to help with this effort.”
    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/

  • 19. DevilWearsZrada  |  August 4, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Good for him, but will this stop bigoted parents from disowning their gay children?

  • 20. FredDorner  |  August 4, 2018 at 11:06 am

    That's what I really like about this story, the fact that the bigoted parents were exposed because the kid went public. That needs to happen far more often.

  • 21. VIRick  |  August 4, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    John, "The Onion" is 100% satire. Dave caught that point almost immediately, and highlighted the source with his comment, "God bless 'The Onion.'" I would have expected that everyone here reading "Equality on Trial" would have the depth of perception to know and understand that "The Onion" is, in fact, 100% satire. In addition, I would not expect that the conspiracy-theory "wackos" of the ilk you describe would be patrolling these pages, actively looking for rim jobs, facials, and other hard-core sex acts, with or without their usual "christianist" hypocrisy.

    On the other hand, I am not totally convinced that "The Onion" article here is overly exaggerated, given the "persecution complex" of the "religious liberty task force" nut-jobs.

    But seriously, though, when was the last time (before this) that you encountered the two words, "Christian Pornographer," used together in a title to an article?

  • 22. Fortguy  |  August 4, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Now if only bishops and priests throughout the country would follow the example of Georgetown, a Jesuit school.

  • 23. VIRick  |  August 4, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Rio de Janeiro has two iconic viewpoints, the narrow, crowded, cramped base surrounding the "sacred" mountaintop statue, Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor), and the broad, open, relatively flat top of Sugar Loaf (Pão de Açúcar). The latter is quite secular and somewhat carnaval-like, and hosts a wide assortment of souvenir stands, eating places, even musical events.

    The photo in question, along with a collection of many others, is posted on one of these souvenir stands, Fotográfica, managed by Pedro Lotti, who further claims that 70% of his employees are gay, and which beseeches visitors to have their photos professionally taken as a souvenir of their visit to the "top of the world."

    One can see the photo of the kissing couple from Minas Gerais here:
    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/08/03/gay-couple-

    Note: In the photo, in addition, Cristo Redentor is in the upper left, while Botafogo is below. Copacabana is out-of-view further to the left, downtown Rio is out-of-view to the right, while Niterói (with its own mini "Sugar Loaf") is behind the photographer. All are visible from the broad top of Pão de Açúcar, not but simultaneously.

  • 24. ianbirmingham  |  August 4, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    This sets up a very good test for the pernicious wacko group which goes by the name of "Log Cabin Republicans"… if they do patrol these pages, then we should soon see them guilelessly repeating VIRick's tale of the Christian Pornographer just as they did with Donald Trump's extremely cynical pre-election satire:

    [Trump] sought to draw a contrast with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, portraying himself as the "real friend" of the gay community. … Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, blasted Trump's speech … Gregory Angelo, the president of the Log Cabin Republicans, which represents LGBT Republicans, praised Trump's comments as "historic" and said his outreach showed true leadership. … "Donald Trump here is showing leadership on LGBT issues … given his statements… and his actions, there is every indication to believe that Mr. Trump would do no harm on LGBT equality and might actually advance LGBT equality under his presidency."

    https://www.cnn.com/2016/06/13/politics/donald-tr

  • 25. VIRick  |  August 4, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Costa Rica: National Declaration in Support of LGBTI Rights

    Per Carlos Alvarado Quesada, Presidente de Costa Rica:

    180 personalidades del ámbito nacional suscriben la declaración por la igualdad a personas del mismo sexo, entre ellos los expresidentes Oscar Arias, Abel Pacheco, Laura Chinchilla, y Luis Guillermo Solís.
    https://twitter.com/CarlosAlvQ/status/10254714662

    180 personalities of national scope subscribe to the declaration for equality of same sex couples, among them the ex-presidents, Oscar Arias, Abel Pacheco, Laura Chinchilla, and Luis Guillermo Solís.

    Per Fundación Iguales de Panamá:

    Ex-presidentes, diputados, y más de 180 líderes políticos y sociales en Costa Rica firmaron una Declaración que reitera la urgencia de garantizar los Derechos Humanos de personas LGBTI. Su Sala Constitucional pronto decidirá sobre Identidad de Género y Matrimonio Igualitario.
    https://twitter.com/figualespanama/status/1025529

    Former presidents, deputies, and more than 180 political and social leaders in Costa Rica signed a Declaration that reiterates the urgency of guaranteeing the Human Rights of LGBTI people. Its Constitutional Chamber will soon decide on Gender Identity and Marriage Equality.

    Here is the entire official press release of 3 August 2018 pertinent to this declaration, "Declaración por la igualdad y no discriminación a parejas del mismo sexo,” (Declaration for the equality and non-discrimination of same-sex couples), as issued from the Office of the President of the Republic:
    https://presidencia.go.cr/comunicados/2018/08/per

  • 26. VIRick  |  August 5, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    US Census Equality Act

    In the wake of the current administration’s decision not to allow Americans to identify as LGBT on the US Census, two Democratic senators have introduced legislation that would require those questions in major federal surveys. On Tuesday, 31 July 2018, Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Tom Carper (D-DE) announced they had introduced into the US Senate the Census Equality Act, which would begin the process of adding questions allowing respondents to identify their sexual orientation and gender identity in both the decennial US Census and the annual American Community Survey.

    Harris said in a statement the legislation is necessary because “the spirit of the census is that no one should go uncounted and no one should be invisible. We must expand data collections efforts to ensure the LGBTQ community is not only seen, but fully accounted for in terms of government resources provided,” Harris said. “This information can also provide us with better tools to enforce civil rights protections for a community that is too often discriminated against.”

    Traditionally, the decennial US Census has been a more streamlined questionnaire that seeks primarily to ascertain sheer numbers of the US population. The annual American Community Survey, on the other hand, is longer, has more detailed questions and has been the focus of LGBT groups efforts to include LGBT questions on federal surveys.

    The Census Equality Act would require the Secretary of Commerce to expand data collection efforts of the Census Bureau to include collection of data collection on the sexual orientation and gender identity of Americans.
    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2018/07/31/harris-

  • 27. VIRick  |  August 5, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    ICE: 14 Transgender Women Released from Custody

    US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has released from its custody 14 transgender women who are seeking asylum in the US. In a 31 July 2018 press release, the ACLU of Massachusettst announced the trans women’s release and said they had been detained at the Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan NM.

    The press release, notes the ACLU of Massachusetts’ Immigrant Protection Project, 18 lawyers and two law students in June petitioned ICE through a New Mexico organization to release 20 trans women who were seeking asylum in the US. The ACLU of Massachusetts says the trans women left El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala and arrived at the US-Mexico border in May. The press release notes ICE detained them once they entered California.

    “The women suffered harm because of their gender identity in their home country, and were found by federal immigration officials to be at serious risk of persecution if they were returned to their home country,” reads the press release. “We kept fighting and we won,” said ACLU of Massachusetts’ Immigrant Protection Project Coordinator Javier Luengo-Garrido in the press release. “This victory has changed the lives of 14 women, and has energized us to continue fighting for people’s basic human rights."
    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2018/08/03/ice-rel

  • 28. VIRick  |  August 5, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Veracruz: First Trans Woman Celebrates Her Marriage

    Veracruz: Celebran la Primera Boda de Mujer Trans

    Danna Paola se casó legalmente este sábado, 4 de agosto 2018, con el estadounidense Martín en Veracruz. Ella es transexual.

    En las oficinas del Registro Civil del puerto de Veracruz, la pareja de la comunidad LGBT logró casarse legalmente gracias a un amparo de la justicia federal. De esta manera, Danna Paola, de 42 años, se convirtió en la primera mujer trans en celebrar su matrimonio en este estado.

    En Veracruz, al menos medio centenar de parejas de la comunidad gay han logrado ser casadas por la vía legal gracias a un amparo de la justicia federal, mediante el cual se obliga a los jueces de lo civil a realizar la ceremonia.
    https://www.excelsior.com.mx/nacional/celebran-la

    Danna Paola was legally married this Saturday, 4 August 2018, with the American, Martin, in Veracruz. She is transsexual.

    The couple from the LGBT community were legally married in the offices of the Civil Registry of the port of Veracruz, thanks to an amparo from the federal judicial system. In this way, Danna Paola, 42, became the first trans woman to celebrate her marriage in this state.

    In Veracruz, at least fifty couples of the LGBT community have been legally married thanks to an amparo from the federal judicial system, by which said civil judges are under obligation to grant.

  • 29. VIRick  |  August 5, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    DC Metro Union: No Trains for Nazis

    Per "Washington Post:"

    The DC Metro is no longer considering running separate trains for protesters participating in the 12 August “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally in the District, the transit agency’s board chairman said Saturday, 4 August. “Metro will not be providing a special train or special car for anyone next Sunday,” Jack Evans, Metro Board Chairman, said.

    Per "Think Progress:"

    The Metro’s largest union leaked alternate, possible plans to the press and then vowed not to be involved in any effort to accommodate protest groups preaching intolerance. “More than 80% of Local 689’s membership are people of color, the very people that the Ku Klux Klan and other white nationalist groups have killed, harassed, and violated. The union has declared that it will not play a role in their special accommodation.”
    http://www.joemygod.com/2018/08/05/dc-metro-no-lo

    Actually, in reaction to the white nationalists' impending presence, the transit union has threatened a one-day strike/job action, so there well may not be any trains running whatsoever. In other words, the white nationalists can figure out their own way to get to wherever they're going.

  • 30. Randolph_Finder  |  August 5, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Not a huge surprise, wouldn't be all that surprised if this was a deliberate leak to the Union on the part of a Metro Board member. Even with Federal Representation, at least half the board represents DC or Maryland and while any of the "states" involved could veto, this is easier. :)

    And Jack Evans whose "day job" is being the longest serving member of the DC Council and was one of the co-sponsors of the Marriage Equality bill in DC (as well as many other LGBT supportive bill) *may* have leaked it himself! (Better to have Congress mad at the Union 689 than the Metro Board)

  • 31. davepCA  |  August 6, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    It would be great if all the DC area Uber & Lyft drivers also voluntarily decided not to offer rides in that part of the city on that day. Good luck getting a cab, bigots.

  • 32. VIRick  |  August 6, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    According to what I understand, the white nationalists are planning to first gather in Vienna VA, and then take the Metro from there to the Foggy Bottom station, at 23rd and I, NW, in the middle of the campus of George Washington University. From that station, they are then supposed to march to La Fayette Square, at 16th and H, NW, opposite the White House, presumably using a portion of Pennsylvania Avenue en route.

    They are not driving themselves in to DC, nor are they planning to take taxis or Ubers. Instead, they think it "safer" (for themselves) to all show up en masse in a mob. That is why shutting down the Metro is a critical counter-tactic. In fact, the entire counter-protest is already being called, "Shut It Down, DC." And obviously, DC is an extremely hostile, urban environment for white nationalist idiots to be waving the Confederate flag or for wearing Nazi insignia, and the rest of their paraphernalia, including the tiki torches.

    The last time I visited La Fayette Park (looking for the gay Van Steuben statue, complete with two of his boyfriends, referred to as his "aides" on the statuary), the Black Power people were there in full force, providing all sorts of lectures and exhortations to anyone willing to listen. In addition, I can imagine that the Black Israelites, who normally accost passers-by with their own peculiar pseudo-religious, high-volume message right outside the Metro entrance in Chinatown, can easily shift over to the Metro entrance at Foggy Bottom, to waylay and accost them there. The Black Israelites are themselves quite nasty and vulgar, being both anti-Semitic and vociferously anti-gay.

    In any case, Charlottesville denied the white nationalists any sort of permit for holding any kind of rally/march/commemoration in Charlottesville for the "first anniversary" of their original riot. But the National Park Service gave them a permit to hold a 2-hour whatever at La Fayette Park, opposite the White House. However, they still have to figure out how to get there, as the DC Police have not issued them any permit for any sort of march down any city street, even assuming they get as far as the Foggy Bottom Metro station.
    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/one-year-after-c

    I also sincerely hope that the authorities in Vienna VA, in Fairfax County, take their own pro-active measures, as the white nationalists may well not reach any further than the Metro station parking lot in that suburban city.

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