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Open thread and news updates 8/13 UPDATED 8/15

Community/Meta

– This weekend, Lambda Legal filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the records of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the time he spent working in the White House. Senate Republicans have announced their intention to hold a hearing for his Supreme Court nomination on September 4.

UPDATES, 8/15: – Jack Phillips, the baker who recently won a case in the Supreme Court after refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, is back in the news, this time for refusing to make a cake for someone’s birthday because she’s transgender.

– In other news, Christine Hallquist, who is transgender, won the Democratic gubernatorial primary and will be the first transgender candidate for governor of a state.

This is an open thread and we’ll post any news updates.

80 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. ianbirmingham  |  August 13, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    POLITICO Florida Playbook (by Marc Caputo and Matt Dixon), 8/13/18 reports:

    WHERE'S THE BLUE WAVE? — Last week we wondered "where's the blue wave?" when Democratic absentee ballot returns weren't as proportionately high as they were at this time of the election in 2014, the last midterm. Today, we begin to wonder even more now that the state has released the final numbers of registered voters for the August 28 primaries. The numbers show that, as a share of the electorate, Democratic Party registrations have fallen about 2 percentage points since the 2016 election (to roughly 37 percent). Registered Republicans have held steady at 35 percent. And no-party-affiliation voters have increased about 3 points. True, Democrats have won four contested bellwethers this cycle in Florida. But so far, there's not a crush of people rushing to become Democrats. The big X-factor: independent voters.

    WHITE WALL? — After Hurricane Maria last year, Democrats hoped the sizable influx of Puerto Ricans who evacuated the island would help change the demographics of the Florida voter rolls, and therefore the 2018 elections and beyond. But so far, it hasn't appeared to happen. Looking at Hispanics overall (the voter file doesn't list island/nation of origin), the total numbers of Hispanic voters has increased by less than a point since 2016, and Hispanics remain 16 percent of the voter rolls. Meanwhile, whites remain a majority of voters in the state at 64 percent, a number that's essentially unchanged since 2016. (Where are they coming from? Think pickle ball.) Whites are proportionately leaving the Democratic Party. In 2016, the Democratic Party for the first time became majority nonwhite (51 percent). Now it's 52 percent nonwhite. The Republican Party is disproportionately white, 83 percent.

  • 2. VIRick  |  August 13, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Ecuador: Self-Identifying Gender Identity Policy Now in Force

    Per Diana Maldonado:

    Aquí, casuales, acompañando a Andrew en el Registro Civil (en Guayaquil) para que pueda hacer su cambio de nombre y género en su cédula de ciudadanía.
    https://twitter.com/DianaIMaldonado

    Here, casual, accompanying Andrew to the Civil Registry (in Guayaquil) so that he can change his name and gender on his citizenship card.

    This entry is accompanied by a photo of the signed/dated (13 August 2018) document, with certain specifics blacked out, as proof that the name/gender change was successful.

    We can now say for certain that Ecuador has caught up with most of its Latin neighbors, and is now ahead of Ohio, Tennessee, and Kansas (and Chile) on this matter. This further means that Ecuador is in compliance with that portion of the CIDH ruling concerning gender identity.

  • 3. VIRick  |  August 13, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    ‏Bolivia: Marriage Equality and the Revolutionary Front for Diversity

    Previously, I had thought that the transgender women of Bolivia (who may yet win marriage equality for us in Bolivia) were strident in their demands. Now, take a look at this:

    Per Luis Emilio A. M.:

    Per Frente Revolucionario de la Diversidad:

    SÍ… a la despenalización del aborto en Bolivia.
    SÍ… al Matrimonio Igualitario en Bolivia.
    SÍ… a la educación sexual integral en la curricula educativa en Bolivia.
    https://twitter.com/hashtag/FrenteRevolucionariod

    Per Revolutionary Front for Diversity:

    YES … to the decriminalization of abortion in Bolivia.
    YES … to Marriage Equality in Bolivia.
    YES … to integral sexual education within the educational curriculum of Bolivia.

    So, we now have the Bolivian Revolutionary Front facing off for marriage equality! Still, if that is what it takes to get people's attention in a revolutionary society, then so be it.

    Bolivia never ceases to amaze. At this very moment, Che Guevara must be rolling over in his grave.

  • 4. VIRick  |  August 13, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Costa Rica: When Is the 18-Month Wait for Marriage Equality to Begin?

    Per Enrique Sánchez, Diputado‏:

    Recién envié una comunicación al Presidente de la Sala Constitucional, solicitándole respetuosamente que nos aclare las fechas en que se publicará la sentencia completa de las "Acciones de Inconstitucionalidad" relacionadas al matrimonio igualitario.
    https://twitter.com/kike_sanchez/status/102909072

    I just sent a communication to the President of the Constitutional Chamber, respectfully requesting that he clarify for us the date on which the complete ruling of the "Action of Unconstitutionality" related to marriage equality is to be published.

    Per Diego González Fernández:

    *Conteo* A 6 días de dictado el fallo, la Sala Constitucional de Costa Rica no publicó la sentencia en el Boletín Judicial. No tendremos matrimonio igualitario antes del 14 de febrero de 2020 y (hasta entonces,) continuaremos en incumplimiento con la CIDH.
    https://twitter.com/Diego_gonfer

    * Counting * 6 days after the decision was rendered, the Constitutional Chamber of Costa Rica has not published its judgment in the Judicial Bulletin. We will not have marriage equality before 14 February 2020, and (until then,) we will continue to be in default with the CIDH.

  • 5. allan120102  |  August 13, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    I forgot to mention that Honduras last friday ban same sex adoption. Same sex adoption was already ban base on article 116 of our constitution. But to tranquilize or subdue the pressure of the church after the legalization of ssm in Costa rica they decide to include the ban on the civil code. What a disgrace and I hope they are sue for not following the ich ruling.

  • 6. psicotraducciones  |  August 13, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    wow, is Honduras really conservative?

  • 7. allan120102  |  August 13, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Yes. The church has really strong power im here asides that the north triangle . Our president is an openly evangelican man. That is why the church when the fraud happen didnt suppport hondurans when fighting against it because they didnt want to loose power. Since 2010 when taking power they have abolish many things like prohibiting sexual education and also trying to force public or private in following christianity teaching. The north triangle of central america. Guatemala honduras and El salvador are of the most conservatives countries in latin america and the world.

  • 8. Elihu_Bystander  |  August 13, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Interesting facts, but I'm not sure what you are trying to say.

  • 9. VIRick  |  August 14, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Up-date on "Conversion Therapy" Bans

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    There was a flurry of activity banning anti-LGBT "conversion therapy" in July 2018. Six county/city bans were passed: Bellefonte and Bethlehem PA; Ulster County, Albany County, and Rochester NY; and Madison WI.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._jurisd

    In addition, bills to ban "conversion therapy" on minors have been introduced or are pending in the legislatures of Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico, while H.4664 has already passed the Massachusetts House.

    In addition, bans against "conversion therapy" are already in place in 20 Florida counties/cities, with two more pending, Sarasota and St. Petersburg. It is also banned in 5 cities in Ohio, 7 cities in Pennsylvania, 2 cities/counties in New York, with Nassau and Westchester Counties pending, plus Pima County AZ, and Milwaukee, all in addition to the 14 states and DC which have banned the practice by law statewide (plus New York State which has banned it by Executive Order).

    The bill, when passed in Erie County NY, was named the "Prevention of Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment" or PENCE bill, after the national V-P.

  • 10. ianbirmingham  |  August 14, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    That post is a response to past comments like:

    2 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial – Open thread 7/24 UPDATED – scream4ever:

    The high youth registration after Parkland will likely be enough to get Nelson re-elected.

    and also to similar past comments regarding the political effects of the noteworthy post-hurricane migration of Puerto Rican people to Florida.

    If the election of Donald Trump proves anything, it proves that each and every liberal /and each and every progressive must take the civic duty of voting seriously; one can never indulge in the unaffordable luxury of not voting.

  • 11. psicotraducciones  |  August 14, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    What about your post about Peru?

  • 12. VIRick  |  August 14, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    The Case for Marriage Equality in Perú

    The Ugarteche case, presently before the Constitutional Tribunal of Perú, is a simple reciprocal recognition matter, one which need not even be decided based upon the ruling of the CIDH in order for it to be ruled upon favorably. Because of pre-existing international reciprocity agreements, it should be sufficient for the court to find that a legal marriage already registered in Mexico must to be legally-recognized and registered in Perú. Period. This is a very basic legal matter to which Latin nations routinely abide. Uruguay (and Argentina) have been quite strident in pressing this point regarding same-sex marriage recognition, as well as divorce recognition.

    However, in March 2018, the Fourth Civil Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of Lima annulled the judgment of the court of first instance that ordered Reniec to register said marriage, one which was celebrated in Mexico in October 2010.

    Therefore, Ugarteche filed a writ of amparo, which has reached the Constitutional Tribunal (TC), in order to dismiss the annulment executed by the Fourth Civil Chamber and ratify the ruling of the first instance. After the hearing held on 20 June 2018, the TC has a maximum period of 30 days to cast its vote.

    Óscar Ugarteche, a Peruvian citizen, legally married Fidel Aroche, a Mexican citizen, in Mexico City in 2010. Ugarteche is currently seeking recognition of his Mexican marriage by Perú within Perú. If successful, other same-sex Peruvian couples who have already married in foreign jurisdictions, like in Argentina and Uruguay, would also be able to register their marriages in Perú, as would those who have already obtained AUCs (civil unions) in Chile and Ecuador.

    The Peruvian Constitutional Tribunal is composed of seven members. Four of them are liberal, so the case is expected to be won. Besides, the Court has already voted in favor of the legal recognition of transgender individuals. Based upon the sentiment already expressed by Duberlí Rodríguez, the President of the Judiciary, regarding obligations of member states to rulings of the CIDH, one is thus hopeful for a broader ruling, covering the full scope of marriage equality. However, at minimum, one expects a ruling whereby Perú must begin to recognize the foreign marriages and AUCs of Peruvian citizens.

    There is no constitutional barrier to same-sex marriages being performed in Perú, only Reniec's point that Article 326 of the Civil Code and Article 1 of Law 30007 create a supposed impediment. If required, both can be struck down by the Constitutional Tribunal.

    In January 2017, a same-sex couple in la Municipalidad del Rímac was in the process of filing "una Acción de Amparo," thereby forcing the government of Perú to allow a same-sex marriage to occur within the boundaries of the Republic. Whatever became of this matter? Was a court case ever finally filed? And if so, at what stage of litigation is it within the court system?

  • 13. Fortguy  |  August 14, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Christine Hallquist has won the Democratic nomination for Vermont governor. She becomes the first ever transgender gubernatorial nominee. Besides Vermont, primaries were also held today in Connecticut, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

    Hallquist faces an uphill climb against incumbent Gov. Phil Scott, a moderate Republican who polls about 20 points more favorably among Democrats than he does with Republicans due to his GOP apostasy in signing three gun control bills.

  • 14. Fortguy  |  August 14, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Jahana Hayes wins the Dem nomination for Connecticut's 5th District and will be the first African-American woman to represent the state in Congress.

  • 15. Fortguy  |  August 14, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Ilhan Omar wins the Dem primary in Minnesota's 5th, another safely Dem district. She is the first Somali-American ever elected to a state legislature and will be the first to ever serve in Congress. She will also be the first Muslim woman in Congress.

  • 16. Fortguy  |  August 14, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    From last week's primary, Gov. Jeff Colyer has conceded defeat to Kris Kobach who is rabidly anti-immigrant as well as having spent years on a campaign to disenfranchise everyone except white conservative Republicans. His approval numbers are underwater in the state giving the Dems hope that they can pull off a win. Kansas may be traditionally Republican, but they did elect Kathleen Sebelius in 2002 and 2006.

  • 17. VIRick  |  August 14, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Ilhan Omar may be the first Somali-American in Congress, but she will likely be one of two Muslim women serving there. A week ago, Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, narrowly won the Democratic primary over Detroit City Council President, Brenda Jones, in another safe district, Michigan's 13th, John Conyers' old seat in Detroit.

  • 18. arturo547  |  August 15, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Rick, regarding your last question, I think you refer to the case of the lawyer Rafael Trujillo. In this case, the lawsuit seeks to legalise gay marriage in Peru.

    You can read the news article here: https://altavoz.pe/2012/02/21/20723/rafael-trujil

    As far as I'm concerned, the last news was that a court of first instance declared that the lawsuit was "improcedente" (non-proceeding?). He then appealed because the ruling was based on a outdated precedent from the TC which denied the rights of transgender individuals and stated that sex was chromosomical. However , that precedent was overturned by the same TC in 2016. Currently, we have no news regarding this case and unfortunately the lawyer has not published any document, so we cannot search the case on the web of the Judicial Branch of Peru.

    You can read the news here: https://altavoz.pe/2012/02/21/22690/matrimonio-ho

    The problem with this case is that it's already too late for it to reach the present Constitutional Court, as the licenses of 6 of the 7 judges expires next year in June. The horrible thing is that the conservative Fujimorismo party, which has 71 members in the 130-member parliament, is going to elect the next judges. This is something that really scares me.

    For this reason, the Ugarteche case is the only hope for the Peruvian LGBT community. A favourable ruling would make gay marriage constitutional, so no conservative judge would dare to say that it violates the constitution. Even though, our constitution doesn't define marriage and states that it should be dealt with by law, in the section of "de facto unions" it says:

    "The stable union between a man and a woman, free of any impediment to matrimony,
    who establishes a common-law marriage, creates community property subject to a
    marital assets regime, where applicable".

    Due to this constitutional article, some conservative judges dare to say that same-sex marriage requires a constitutional amendment. A similar situation occurs with other Latin American constitutions, such as Panama's: it doesn't define marriage, but de facto unions.

    By the way, I would like to know what would happen if a country says that same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. What would happen with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights' jurisprudence? Is it over a country's constitution? As far as I'm concerned a case like this (constitution vs. American Convention) occurred in Chile ("Última tentación de Cristo" case, 2001) and Argentina ("Fontevecchia y otros" case, 2011). In the case of Argentina, the Supreme Court stated that the IACHR cannot revoke a Supreme Court ruling. That's worrying because conservative judges are capable of this and more.

    By the way, here is a link with other judicial cases which are pending in the judiciary of Peru. Besides the Ugarteche and Trujillo cases, there are other cases, such as a children recognition and a de facto union case, and an action of unconstitutionality coming soon.
    https://www.forosperu.net/temas/enterate-de-estas

  • 19. VIRick  |  August 15, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Yes, my last questions were in regard to the case of the lawyer, Rafael Trujillo. So, he did file his lawsuit, but the court of first instance then ruled the matter "improcedente" (unfair, out-of-order, not permitted, "no permitido"). He then appealed. Thank you for this up-date, as I once had quite a bit of information on this case, but then it just seemed to vanish from view. Although you seem to have encountered the same disappearing act, you have still added some important information.

    The recognition of de facto unions (uniones de hecho) is a completely different subject from marriage, and traditionally, much of it has to do with differences in class. Marriage is a formal, pro-active, legal agreement between two parties, actively signed, witnessed, and registered in advance. On the other hand, a de facto union is an informal, passive, after-the-fact acknowledgement by the government that two parties have already been living together, usually for a specified minimum length of time (perhaps 2-3 years), but otherwise, in the interval, without much legal recourse. Traditionally, wealthy people married, as did those who imitated the wealthy, while everyone else simply began living together in what came to be called "de facto unions."

    We are not seeking de facto union (in any nation), as anyone and everyone can already do that, whether or not the government chooses to recognize said union as factual, or instead, simply chooses to ignore it. Restrictively defining de facto unions in a legal document like the constitution is both foolish and useless because people will do what people do, regardless.

    In one sense, we are lucky that Perú (like Panamá) has an old-fashioned constitution, unlike Ecuador or Bolivia, which have up-dated and "modernized" theirs, as neither the constitutions of Perú nor of Panamá restrictively define marriage, but rather, only what they selectively choose to recognize as de facto unions.

    To answer your question, at least within Latin America, so far, no national court has ruled that same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. As a result, the crisis to which you allude has yet to happen. One hopes that it never will occur, but in the meantime, it is impossible to predict what could happen if it did. In Costa Rica, their law states that CIDH rulings take precedence over any/all national law. But that is Costa Rica. I am uncertain as what the laws of the other Latin nations might state. However, most courts in those jurisdictions give precedence to international agreements/treaties over national law.

    Additionally, this appears to be one of the pending child recognition cases in Perú:

    In January 2017, Darling Yvone Delfin and Jenny Victoria Trujillo started a legal battle with Reniec, which does not recognize the relationship between them and their son, Dakari. The boy was born in August of 2014 in Mexico City, where Darling and Jenny had legally married. The Immigration office of our country (Perú) accepted his registration as a child of Peruvians born abroad, and recorded as an observation the names of the two mothers. However, Reniec has only accepted the surname of the biological mother on the ID of the child.

    As a summary of all the pending cases, this article, in particular, is excellent:
    https://www.forosperu.net/temas/enterate-de-estas

  • 20. DevilWearsZrada  |  August 15, 2018 at 11:53 am

    "In the case of Argentina, the Supreme Court stated that the IACHR cannot revoke a Supreme Court ruling. "
    Then the same logic can be dared to be applied in an opposite case: national courts cannot revoke (an earlier) IACHR ruling.

  • 21. ianbirmingham  |  August 15, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    Masterpiece Cakeshop owner sues after refusing to make a birthday cake for a trans woman; He does birthday cakes, but not "gender-transition cakes."

    Just two months after his narrow victory at the Supreme Court, Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, is back in the news for once again discriminating against an LGBTQ customer. This time, he refused to sell a birthday cake to a transgender person. Phillips, still represented by the anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), has come out swinging. He filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday night against officials in the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) and other state officials, arguing that the department “harbors hostility” against him and the discrimination complaint should be dismissed. Essentially, ADF believes the Supreme Court’s decision this summer immunizes Phillips from any future charges of discrimination.

    https://thinkprogress.org/masterpiece-cakeshop-tr

  • 22. ianbirmingham  |  August 15, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Support Hallquist here: https://www.christineforvermont.com/

  • 23. psicotraducciones  |  August 15, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    The Trujillo case has vanished from view, our best hope right now is the Ugarteche case. Even if they dont legalize full marriage equality and only recognize all same sex foreign marriages it would still be huge, as the momentum would mean that marriage equality is clearly on the horizon. Remember that in Peru there are no civil unions, so when the TC rules that foreign marriages are valid in the country then conservative forces will not be able to make us settle for civil unions, now that the door has been opened nothing less than marriage will do.

  • 24. psicotraducciones  |  August 15, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    By the way, the Fujimorista party now has only 62 members and is increasinly losing power, so its not like they will hand pick the judges, as 87 votes are needed to confirm them.

  • 25. VIRick  |  August 15, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Would that same ruling also apply to foreign AUCs (civil unions)? I have stated several times that I thought that it would, but have never heard the Peruvian point of view on this matter.

    From Chile, I remember reading reports from Arica that stated that as soon as Chile legalized AUCs (effective from 22 October 2015), the vast majority of same-sex AUCs recorded there were from Peruvian couples, rather than Chilean. And the same phenomenon also occurred in Ecuador, after they regularized and up-graded (from 15 September 2014) their AUCs to be "marriage-in-all-but-name."

  • 26. VIRick  |  August 15, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Absolutely. That reverse logic is abundantly clear: national courts (of any/all member states) cannot revoke (an earlier) CIDH ruling. Even Paraguay has conceded that point, that all CIDH rulings are binding (vinculante). However, since the CIDH did not issue a deadline date by which all member states must be in compliance, the only wriggle room for them comes in the form of their dragging their feet and not acting at all.

  • 27. VIRick  |  August 15, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Well, bless his heart.

    This is also why the ADF has been duly designated as a bona fide hate group by the SPLC, any noise from the current administration notwithstanding.

  • 28. VIRick  |  August 15, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    Haiti: Progress of Sorts Is Seen in Inaction

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The VOA reports that two anti-LGBT bills, including a same-sex marriage ban bill, which passed the Senate last year, have still not advanced in the lower house.

    Last year, Haiti's Senate passed two bills targeting LGBT Haitians. One would formalize a ban on same-sex marriage, and prohibit public demonstrations in favor of LGBT rights. The other would include gays among categories of people who could be denied a "certificate of good standing"' — a document required as part of many job applications.

    Kouraj and other advocacy groups, as well as some foreign diplomats and international organizations, voiced opposition to both bills, which have not advanced in Parliament's lower house. Charlot Jeudy, president of Kouraj, Haiti's leading LGBT-rights group, founded in 2011, attributes much of the anti-LGBT animosity to the influence of Haiti's Catholic and Protestant churches. The main exception, Jeudy said, is the Vodun religion, which is more welcoming to LGBT people in keeping with its tradition as a spiritual home for marginalized communities.

    Yaisah Val, who is now 46, started her gender transition at age 29 in Haiti and completed it five years later with sex-reassignment surgery in Philadelphia. She and her husband, Richecarde, are now seeking to raise funds to open a first-of-its-kind shelter for transgender Haitians that would help them pursue an education and get appropriate health care.
    https://www.voanews.com/a/in-haiti-slight-progres

    There is no mention in this article that Haiti, as a member nation of the CIDH, is bound by the recent marriage equality/gender identity ruling of the CIDH. However, it did mention that unlike many of its Anglophone neighbors in the Caribbean, same-sex sexual activity is not illegal in Haiti.

  • 29. VIRick  |  August 15, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Germany: Plans Approved to Legally Recognize Third Gender

    Germany’s government cabinet has approved plans to introduce a third gender on official forms. In November 2017, the highest court in the country ruled in favor of an intersex person and ordered the Parliament to legally recognize a third gender from birth or remove gender from documents.
    
    Germany was the first European nation to introduce the option for parents to select a blank option on birth forms, rather than "male" or "female," taking the step in 2013. The latest move, which will replace the blank choice with an option called “diverse,” still needs parliamentary approval.

    Franziska Giffey, the centre-left Minister for Family Affairs, said the cabinet’s approval was “an important step toward the legal recognition of people whose gender identity is neither male nor female.”
    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/08/15/germany-has

  • 30. VIRick  |  August 15, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    Gay Venezuelans Are Marrying Foreigners Abroad

    In Uruguay:

    Ellos son Michael Uzcátegui (venezolano) en Uruguay y Federico (uruguayo), casados en Montevideo el 1 de agosto 2018 en el Registro Civil de esa ciudad.
    https://twitter.com/VE_Igualitaria

    They are Michael Uzcátegui (Venezuelan) in Uruguay and Federico (Uruguayan), married in Montevideo on 1 August 2018 in the Civil Registry of that city.

    In Germany:

    El 21 de julio 2018 contrajeron nupcias oficialmente una pareja de varones gays en Alemania. Se trata de nuestro activista José Contreras Quintero (venezolano) y su pareja Karsten (alemán).
    https://twitter.com/VE_Igualitaria/status/1028338

    On 21 July 2018, a couple of gay men officially married in Germany. This would be our activist José Contreras Quintero (Venezuelan) and his partner Karsten (German).

    In a separate recent report, I have noted the claim that an estimated 2.3 million Venezuelans have now departed the country, with well over 800,000 of them having crossed the border into Colombia alone.

  • 31. psicotraducciones  |  August 15, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    Unfortunately, Haiti will probably be the last country to abide by that ruling

  • 32. VIRick  |  August 15, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    I visited Haiti,– once. And while still there, I swore that if I were ever to safely escape, that that would be first, last, and only time I ever set foot in that miserable country. Because of the usual, ongoing insular antagonism between the two neighbors, the land border, Haiti-RD, was closed, forcing us to fly round-trip, Santo Domingo-Port-au-Prince, on an aircraft of the Companía Dominicana de Aviación. On departure from Haiti, they first boarded the US citizens, then the Dominicans, then the Haitians. By this time, all the seats were occupied. Still, more people boarded. These were the Haitians being forcefully evicted from their own country. They were all made to sit on the floor, up and down the aisle.

    Fortunately for us, despite a woefully overloaded aircraft, we successfully took off and then safely landed in Santo Domingo. You have no idea how happy I was, at that very moment, to be back in the Dominican Republic. Two weeks later, that same overloaded CDA aircraft crashed on take-off from Port-au-Prince, killing all on board.

  • 33. KryptonKid  |  August 15, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    Why is it that the poorest countries are the least likely to change? That's counter-intuitive.

  • 34. allan120102  |  August 16, 2018 at 12:03 am

    because the poorer is a country the most ignorant it is, and more easily for them to be control, either by the government or by the church, Haiti and the northern triangle of Central america will be hard to changes its idea as they are really poor and many dont receive education, that is a big problem in Honduras but the government just want to fund defense and nothing more.

  • 35. guitaristbl  |  August 16, 2018 at 4:17 am

    It was bound to happen at some point. If Kennedy was still on the bench I d say this time he would have a very hard time winning this as he is becoming more careless the more ADF feeds him falsehoods. But with Kavanaugh on the bench and an incoming ruling in the flower shop lawsuit from washington effectively invalidating anti-discrimination laws he is likely to succeed.

  • 36. guitaristbl  |  August 16, 2018 at 4:24 am

    In latest poll by republican pollster Trafalgar group Donelly is leading Braun by 12 points in the senate race :
    https://www.trafalgarstrategy.com/news/in-senate-

    Donnelly's re-election chances are heavily boosted, according to the poll, if he votes AGAINST Kavanaugh.

    Its still early but given how close the hearings are for Kavanaugh these polls could be important for those red state democratic senators. Heitkamp, Jones, Manchin, Donelly, McCaskill and Nelson should pay attention.

  • 37. JayJonson  |  August 16, 2018 at 6:10 am

    OMG. Always nice to hear about your personal life, Rick, but I am now beginning to think that it is not only exciting, but also charmed. So happy your flight out of Haiti made it to safety.

  • 38. Elihu_Bystander  |  August 16, 2018 at 6:38 am

    "Jack Phillips, the baker who recently won a case in the Supreme Court after refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, is back in the news, this time for refusing to make a cake for someone’s birthday because she’s transgender."

    You can read the complaint here:
    http://www.adfmedia.org/files/MasterpieceCakeshop

  • 39. Elihu_Bystander  |  August 16, 2018 at 6:50 am

    Here is the alt-right first paragraph of the complaint.

    "1. The U.S. Constitution stands as a bulwark against state officials who target
    people—and seek to ruin their lives—because of the government’s anti-religious animus. For over six years now, Colorado has been on a crusade to crush Plaintiff Jack Phillips (“Phillips”) because its officials despise what he believes and how he practices his faith. After Phillips defended himself all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won, he thought Colorado’s hostility toward his faith was over. He was wrong. Colorado has renewed its war against him by embarking on another attempt to prosecute him, in direct conflict with the Supreme Court’s ruling in his favor. This lawsuit is necessary to stop Colorado’s continuing persecution of Phillips."

  • 40. DevilWearsZrada  |  August 16, 2018 at 8:21 am

    Jack Phillips is being persecuted? Well, I hope that in the worst case the poor guy at least will get asylum somewhere. In Russia, for example.

  • 41. VIRick  |  August 16, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Michigan Judge: "Gender" in Hate Crimes Law Includes Transgender People

    The case concerns an attack caught on video this past July in Detroit. Deonton Rogers was harassing Kimora Steuball at a gas station convenience store. They got into an argument and she told him that she’s transgender. The argument escalated and Rogers pulled out a gun and shot her in the shoulder.

    “This was a hate crime – this man attacked another individual because she was transgender,” said assistant prosecutor Jaimie Powell-Horowitz. Michigan’s hate crimes law does not include sexual orientation and gender identity, but it does include “race, color, religion, gender, or national origin.”

    “There are no protections unfortunately for people in the LGBTQ community,” said Judge Willam McConico. McConico then ruled that a charge of ethnic intimidation based on gender could be applied in this case because Steuball was targeted for being transgender.
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/08/judge-rules-g

  • 42. VIRick  |  August 16, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Masterpiece Cakeshop, Round II

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 14 August 2018, in a 78-page filing in federal court, Phillips, as "aggrieved" plaintiff, is suing the Director of the Colorado Civil Rights Division, all the members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Attorney-General of Colorado, as well as the state's governor.

    His complaint goes on and on, re-hashing old news, crying as to why he thinks he is being "persecuted" for his beliefs. Despite the fact that he is actually the plaintiff, the entire mess is written much more as if he were the defendant. Amazingly enough, I am up to page 34, and he's still complaining about his persecution. And now, on page 36, he claims that his future as a "cake artist" is threatened, and that someone wanted a red-and-black cake to celebrate Satan's birthday. The customer described it as "religious in theme" and reminded Phillips that "religion is a protected class."

    Next, on page 37, he then claims he also had this special request:

    "I'm thinking a three-tiered white cake. Cheesecake frosting. And the topper should be a large figure of Satan, licking a 9" black dildo. I would like the dildo to be an actual working model, that can be turned on before we unveil the cake. I can provide it for you, if you don't have the means to procure one yourself."

    Then, from page 48, in his "Prayer for Relief," he is seeking immunity to continue discriminating. He wants 4 preliminary/permanent injunctions, 4 declarations, compensatory damages, plus $100,000 in punitive damages, attorneys' fees, and several more orders.
    http://files.eqcf.org/cases/118-cv-02074-1/

    Tellingly, in all of that, he never once addresses the matter wherein which he refused to make a blue/pink cake for a transgender person's birthday, the one matter for which he has been accused.

  • 43. ianbirmingham  |  August 16, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    2018's Best Cakeshop Customer :)

  • 44. VIRick  |  August 16, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    Although this has nothing to do with his own discriminatory behavior, Phillips is apparently attempting to prove that the same individual who wanted the black-and-red cake to celebrate Satan's birthday is the one and the same who later requested the 3-tier cake sporting the 9" working model black dildo simply because it also involved a figure of Satan.

    I have no idea why any of that needs to be detailed in a federal court filing,– but it did make for some fun reading.

  • 45. DevilWearsZrada  |  August 17, 2018 at 1:23 am

    It's strange that he didn't also sue all the members of the legislature who voted in favor of the antidiscrimination law.

  • 46. VIRick  |  August 17, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    California: LGBTQI Inmates Win $1 Million Lawsuit

    In California, approximately 600 LGBTQI inmates at the San Bernardino County Jail who were forced into the county’s co-called “Alternative Lifestyle Isolation Tank” have won a 2014 lawsuit and are now expected to split up to $1 million in settlement money.

    The case, spearheaded by the ACLU, asserted that LGBTQI inmates were held in their cells for up to 23 hours per day without access to specialized programming, social interaction, or other outside activities. Specifically, prisoners in this group were denied access to job training, educational, drug rehabilitation, religious, and community re-entry programs.

    While prisons have an obligation to keep all inmates safe, they also have the duty of providing equal access to opportunities while in confinement. “The [San Bernardino County] jail maintains the discrimination folks experienced was for their own safety,” ACLU Southern California attorney Brendan Hamme told San Bernardino newspaper The Sun. “No one should be led to choose between their safety and their equal rights.”

    The 2014 case was initiated by former sheriff’s deputy Dan McKibben, who was an out gay man. McKibben died in 2016, but said he’d witnessed LGBTQ inmates being discriminated against, beaten, verbally harassed, and called derogatory names.

    The agreement is pending approval by the US District Court in Riverside. Once fully approved, prisoners held in the Alternative Lifestyle Tank from 2012-2018 are expected to receive the settlement, minus attorney’s fees. Prison staff will also be ordered to undergo specialized training.
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/08/lgbtq-prisone

  • 47. DevilWearsZrada  |  August 17, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    So, no matter how liberal and progressive California is, it still sucks to be gay there if you are being incarcerated?

  • 48. VIRick  |  August 17, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    San Bernardino County, reputedly the largest county in area in the entire USA, covers an enormous expanse, much of it desert, extending to both Nevada and Arizona. The city of San Bernardino was founded by Mormons, and the area contains the state's first Mormon temple, plus 5 other Mormon churches, as well as the county's Central Detention Center. For this very reason, I would hesitate to classify it as typical of liberal, progressive California as a whole.

    Still, over 2 million people live within the county, mostly in the very southwestern edge. According to Wikipedia, it is the 12th most populous county in the USA.

    Here's the Corrections and Detentions Bureau website:
    http://wp.sbcounty.gov/sheriff/corrections/

    And here's a map showing the excess number of Mormon churches:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=san+bernardino+ld

  • 49. Elihu_Bystander  |  August 17, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    "…contains the sole Mormon temple in the state…"

    Did you mean the first Morman Temple in California?

    "California currently has 7 temples in operation. Los Angeles California Temple. San Diego California Temple. Fresno California Temple. 116. Redlands California Temple. 122. Newport Beach California Temple. 123. Sacramento California Temple." Source Wicipedia

    The Morman Temple in San Bernadino is actually in Redlands

  • 50. davepCA  |  August 17, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    San Bernardino County is mostly just trailer parks, meth labs and pickup trucks with gun racks and faded "Yes on 8" bumper stickers. Bleh.

  • 51. VIRick  |  August 17, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Dave, I have been patiently waiting for your succinct, yet truly insightful comment/reaction.

    Now, I see that my patience has finally been duly rewarded with what must be the singular comment-of-the-day. However, if I can offer a critique, I believe you may have been somewhat too complimentary, given that the county includes both Barstow and Victorville. Oh,– and Loma Linda, of the 7th Day Adventists.

    During the Depression-era "Dust Bowl," many of those who headed west on Route 66 to California in their broken-down vehicles permanently parked themselves somewhere in San Bernardino County, the first county they encountered on arrival.

    The county covers all or most of at least 3 different congressional districts. The 8th, covering the desert and part of the city, is R. However, the 31st and 35th, in the southwest valley (Fontana and Pomona), both voted D.

  • 52. VIRick  |  August 17, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    Elihu, lest anyone be confused by your question, it would appear that I caught, and then corrected my mistake during the time that you were composing your reply regarding that error.

  • 53. Fortguy  |  August 17, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    Technically, San Bernadino is the largest county in the lower 49. Although Alaska calls its first-order subdivisions "boroughs" instead of "counties", they are administered similarly to their equivalents in the rest of the states. (Louisiana has functionally equivalent "parishes", the only other state that doesn't use the term "counties".) Five of Alaska's 19 organized boroughs are larger than San Bernadino, while nearly half of the state is comprised of the Unorganized Borough, an area larger than every other state from which organized boroughs haven't been carved out yet and consequently is directly administered by the state or by tribal authorities or the very few municipal governments within.

  • 54. VIRick  |  August 17, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    Ecuador: The Case of Two Mothers, Final Chapter

    Per Maykel González Vivero‏:

    Después de seis años de luchar contra el prejuicio en uno de los países más conservadores de América Latina, una pareja de inglesas logró inscribir legalmente en Ecuador a sus dos hijos con el apellido de ambas. Helen Bicknell y Nicola Rothon no paran de sonreír.

    Finalmente, sus pequeños Satya, de seis años, y Arundel, de 2, ya tienen los documentos que los identifican plenamente como hijos de una unión de lesbianas. En las cédulas de Satya y Arundel, se lee "Padre: xxx" y en seguida, aparecen los nombres de las mujeres en el espacio tradicionalmente reservado al dato de la madre.

    "¡Por fin!", exclama Bicknell al abandonar la oficina del Registro Civil en Quito este jueves, 16 de agosto 2018. Fue allí mismo donde hace seis años y medio, les negaron la inscripción de Satya.
    http://www.france24.com/es/20180816-lesbianas-log

    After six years of fighting against prejudice in one of the most conservative countries in Latin America, a pair of English women were able to legally register their two children in Ecuador with both of their surnames. Helen Bicknell and Nicola Rothon can not stop smiling.

    Finally, their little Satya, six, and Arundel, 2, now have the documents that identify them fully as children of a lesbian union. On the documents for Satya and Arundel, it reads, "Father: xxx," and following that, the names of the two women appear in the space traditionally reserved for the data of the mother.

    "At last!" exclaims Bicknell when leaving the office of the Civil Registry in Quito this past Thursday, 16 August 2018. It was there, six and a half years ago, that they were first denied the registration of Satya.

    Note: It "only" took a ruling from the Constitutional Court of Ecuador, issued on 29 May 2018, in order for this to happen. Even still, notice the 2 1/2 month time-lag (79 days) since the court issued its ruling.

  • 55. Fortguy  |  August 18, 2018 at 12:02 am

    Also, there is the peculiar case of Honolulu County in Hawai'i. Although the area of the county is not particularly impressive, its extent at nearly 1,500 mi. certainly is. The county consists of the island of Oahu plus all of the unpopulated islands northwest of Kaua'i and Ni'ihau (both Kaua'i County) extending to Kure Atoll with the exception of the Midway Territory.

  • 56. allan120102  |  August 18, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    Honduras same sex adoption ban has come into effect https://www.google.hn/amp/www.elnuevodiario.com.n

  • 57. VIRick  |  August 18, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Yucatán State Governor Sends Marriage Equality Bill to Legislature

    Per LGBT Marriage News and Rex Wockner:

    With time quickly running out on his administration, some time ago, Gov. Rolando Zapato Bello quietly sent lawmakers a bill to establish marriage equality in Yucatán. The bill could be approved before the current legislature concludes in fewer than 15 days, according to New Alliance (Panal) party members.

    Earlier this week, a commission met behind closed doors to take the initiative to two committees. After news of the session was leaked to the media, a congressional press office said that the bill modifies both the Family Code and the Political Constitution of the state to allow for same-sex partners to marry.

    Thus, in a surprise move (and despite earlier reports to the contrary), Yucatán could become the 13th LGBT marriage state in Mexico if the legislation passes before the end of the session within 15 days.

    Currently, same-sex marriage is lawful in Mexico City (DF or CDMX) and in the states of Baja California, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Puebla, and Quintana Roo, as well as in most municipalities in Querétaro.
    https://yucatanexpatlife.com/yucatans-governor-se

  • 58. VIRick  |  August 18, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Nicaraguan News Report Condemns Honduras Same-Sex Adoption Ban

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    El jueves, 16 de agoto 2018, el Parlamento hondureño aprobó varios artículos de la nueva Ley de Adopción, incluido uno que "prohíbe" que parejas del mismo sexo puedan adoptar menores en el país.

    El artículo 22 de la Ley de Adopción dice textualmente: "Se prohíbe dar en adopción a niños o niñas a matrimonios o uniones de hecho conformados por personas del mismo sexo."
    https://www.elnuevodiario.com.ni/internacionales/

    On Thursday, August 16, 2018, the Honduran Parliament approved several articles of the new Adoption Law, including one that "prohibits" same-sex couples from adopting children in the country.

    Article 22 of the Adoption Act says verbatim: "It is forbidden to give children in adoption to marriages or de facto unions comprised of persons of the same sex."

    It is quite interesting to note that this news report from Nicaragua thoroughly condemns the Honduras legislature on its recent passage of a bill banning same-sex couples from adopting in Honduras, even mockingly using quotation marks around certain words in their report to highlight their disagreement. The same report then continues on to provide recent positive information concerning marriage equality developments in both Cuba and Costa Rica. It even includes this observation:

    Aseguró que el fallo que emitiera la Sala Constitucional de Costa Rica a favor del matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo es visto como una "amenaza" por los grupos fundamentalistas en Honduras.

    He said that the ruling issued by the Constitutional Chamber of Costa Rica in favor of same-sex marriage is seen as a "threat" by fundamentalist groups in Honduras.

    However, the report is absolutely silent with regard to the situation within Nicaragua. Thus, for Nicaragua, the best I can say is this: Their own government has not addressed the matter of same-sex marriage in any form whatsoever, neither positively nor negatively, and has yet to react to the recent CIDH ruling in favor of marriage equality/gender identity. However, as this report indicates, people in Nicaragua are very aware of developments around them, as they continue to watch and wait.

  • 59. allan120102  |  August 18, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    The worst thing is that now I could not adopt even if I want to because in the past gay men could adopt if they werent in a relationship or in other words if you were a single man and if the adoption agency you went werent bigots who could discriminate you because you were gay.

    The problem is that the law approve will make a commission to see who adopt children and one of the prohibitions is that gay people are ban from adoption. If they discover you are gay you will be inmediately ban. If you are single and want to adopt to assure you are not gay they will interview people who knows you or work with you. This is a sad development but not unexpect it as the religious people in Honduras are shock that CR legalize ssm and want to prevent it as much as they can from happening in Honduras.

  • 60. psicotraducciones  |  August 18, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    Unfortunately it seems like CR positive outcome has scared some of its conservative neighbours

  • 61. ianbirmingham  |  August 18, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Transgender students asked Betsy DeVos for help. Here's what happened.

    Howe filed a complaint with federal civil rights officials at the Department of Education, hoping to ease the way for other transgender students at his school to use the bathrooms of their choice. But an examination of federal records by POLITICO shows that his complaint is one of at least five involving transgender students denied bathroom access that was thrown out by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has halted such investigations. … In addition to changing the way that bathroom complaints are handled, the Trump administration removed resources from an Education Department website aimed at helping transgender students fight for access to bathrooms of their choice.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/18/transge

  • 62. VIRick  |  August 18, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Yet, in Nicaragua, the government, at any level whatsoever, has not reacted to either the CIDH marriage equality/gender identity ruling, nor to the positive ruling in favor of same-sex marriage in neighboring Costa Rica. Although a lot of its citizens are quite aware, watching and waiting (and appear to be favorably inclined), the government itself seems oblivious to outside happenings.

    If same-sex marriage were "contagious," one would think that Nicaragua would be more susceptible to "catching" it, rather than Honduras. Or perhaps they are, and it is just a matter of time. Still, I am frustrated by the Nicaraguan government's lack of transparency.

  • 63. VIRick  |  August 18, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    Allan, I have an awkward question for you. In the full Spanish-language report from Nicaragua condemning the Honduran legislative decision to ban same-sex adoption, linked up above, how much of it is straight, plain news, and how much of it is a politically-motivated mocking of Honduran "panic" over the entire same-sex marriage "threat?"

    I see quite a bit of mocking in the full Spanish-language version, but can not judge how much of it may be politically-motivated.

  • 64. VIRick  |  August 19, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    "Twinks4Trump" Founder Loses His Job

    "Twinks4Trump" founder Lucian Wintrich has been fired as Gateway Pundit White House Press Correspondent, after appearing on a podcast hosted by a self-described white supremacist. He also lost his White House credentials.
    https://www.gaytimes.co.uk/news/112139/twinks-4-t

  • 65. allan120102  |  August 19, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    I see they interview a Honduran lgbt activist but at the same time I see from were you are going but you are correct there is a lot of satire in there. The governments in Nicaragua and Honduras have been hitting each other hard and many are in control of local newspapers so many in them use them to ridicule or laugh about the other countries. Remember that both countries are living in dictatorships just one being a right dictatorship while the other a left dictatorship, So news from Nicaragua and Honduras try to say bad things or laugh about the other country to show why there government is good and the other is bad. So Nicaraguans may try to say in this newspapers that Hondurans are homophobic people while Nicaragua doesnt treat minorities like that. While at the same time not mentioning there own inaction in following the ich ruling just like you mention. Honduras is having problems with its neighbors especially Nicaragua and El Salvador as both are left governments while Guatemala and Honduras are from the right. You may see Guatemala follow suit of Honduras as they have a conservative majority in every of powers. Legislative, Executive and Judicial.

  • 66. ianbirmingham  |  August 19, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    The opponent of Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) in November will be State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Milwaukee County).

    If Vukmir succeeds in the general election against Baldwin — an outcome that would defy polls, but not impossible amid considerable Koch brother spending in the race — the Republican will have succeeded in ousting a longtime champion of LGBT rights and the first openly gay person elected the U.S. Senate.

    Cast by LGBT rights groups as an anti-LGBTQ extremist, Vukmir has a history of votes in nearly 16 years in office in the Wisconsin legislature against LGBT rights.

    Top among them is her opposition to a measure against anti-LGBT bullying added to an education omnibus bill in 2010.

    According to an article at the time from the progressive Wisconsin Gazette, Vukmir voted against the measure in committee and on the floor one day for the National Day of Silence, a student-initiated annual event that seeks to bring attention to anti-LGBT harassment in schools.

    The Wisconsin Gazette reported prior to the votes in an email exchange on Feb. 12, 2010, Vukmir consulted with the Wisconsin Family Council, an anti-LGBT group, in seeking to defeat the measure.

    After telling Vukmir the anti-bullying measure is “dangerous” and “promoted by the pro-gay group GLSEN and others,” Julaine Appling, head of the Wisconsin Family Council, gave Vukmir “alternative language” for the measure. Vukmir told the anti-LGBT group she was “open to your suggestions.”

    According to a 2006 report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Vukmir supported a constitutional amendment on the ballot approved 59 percent by voters that banned same-sex marriage in the state. The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals later overturned the measure as unconstitutional.

    Unlike other politicians who evolved on the issue, Vukmir has never articulated support for same-sex marriage. In fact, in 2014, Vukmir voted against a resolution to remove from the books the state provision that only marriages of one man and one woman be recognized, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

    According to the Human Rights Campaign, Vukmir has also declined to co-sponsor pro-LGBT bills, including a measure barring widely discredited “ex-gay” conversion therapy for youth, a measure to add gender as a protected class to the state hate crimes law and and a bill to allow same-sex couples to file a joint state tax return in same way that permitted for different-sex couples. …

    Among those heaping praise on Vukmir is President Trump, who on the morning after the primary congratulated the Republican on Twitter. Without naming Baldwin, Trump ridiculed the lesbian senator for having “done very little” despite her record for LGBT rights and distinction of being the first openly gay person elected to Congress. …

    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2018/08/15/leah-v

  • 67. VIRick  |  August 19, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    Thank you, Allan, that is what I had suspected. Your explanation is perfect.

    "Honduras is having problems with its neighbors especially Nicaragua and El Salvador . . . "

    Costa Rica has its own tense, on-going problems with Nicaragua. Here's an example, which gives a hint as to why I have never been to Nicaragua:

    A few years ago, I had occasion to visit some Costa Rican friends who live well north of Liberia, right off the Carretera Interamericana, practically on the Nicaraguan border. In order to complete my visit to this hyper-sensitive area which was otherwise off-limits to non-residents, I needed:

    1. Written, dated, signed verification of invitation/authorization
    2. Photo ID (passport)
    3. Complete vehicular information/registration/insurance

    all of which had to be shown multiple times at various police checkpoints as I approached the border. At the final checkpoint, I then needed an armed police escort for the last distance. The police were pleasant, but extremely dutiful, armed to the teeth, and very much on-guard. They warned me not to stray, as we were within shooting distance of the border, and that there had been recent "incidents."

    Needless to say, on the return trip back from the Nicaraguan border, I again had to pass through all of the security checkpoints a second time. And coming from the border, they were even more thorough in their inspections.

    Note: Costa Rica does not have a military. However, like in Panamá, the National Police seem to have assumed the duties one would expect that the military would otherwise carry out.

  • 68. psicotraducciones  |  August 20, 2018 at 2:51 am

    I talked to Ugarteche´s lawyer today. He expects a ruling soon since one of the judges told him weeks ago they were already writing it and he is confident we will win.

  • 69. davepCA  |  August 20, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Good grief what a disturbed dude. He reminds me of the adolescent anti-Christ from the second film in the "Omen" trilogy.

  • 70. VIRick  |  August 20, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Missouri: Same-Sex Couple File Suit over Senior Housing Discrimination

    Mary Walsh and her wife Beverly Nance applied for housing at Friendship Village Sunset Hills, a faith-based non-denominational non-profit facility just outside of St. Louis, and were denied – even though they are legally married and have been in a committed relationship for 40 years. As a result, last month, Walsh and Nance filed a federal lawsuit to bring charges against the facility on the basis of sex discrimination in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act and the Missouri Human Rights Act.

    “Mary and Bev were denied housing for one reason and one reason only – because they were married to each other rather than to men. This is exactly the type of sex discrimination the Fair Housing Act prohibits,” said National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Senior Staff Attorney Julie Wilensky.

    “Friendship Village maintains and enforces a written policy rejecting all same-sex couples who apply for admission. This is discrimination, plain and simple. and harms the many same-sex senior couples living in the St. Louis Metro area,” said local St. Louis attorney Arlene Zarembka.
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/08/retirement-st

  • 71. VIRick  |  August 20, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Oklahoma: Airline Pilot Suspended from Job for Threatening Transgender Student

    Frontier Airlines has now suspended one of its employees, Kevin Bickerstaff, after they were accused of threatening a 12-year-old transgender girl. Last week, it was revealed that a trans girl in Oklahoma was threatened with castration and beatings for using the girls’ bathroom at her school. Maddie was called “it,” “this thing,” “half-baked maggot” and “the transgender” on a Facebook group for parents of students in Achille, Oklahoma. The school in question was then shut down for two days because of the threats.

    Her family are now fundraising to be able to get out of the town, which has a population of around 500, and settle closer to the rest of their relatives in Houston TX.
    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/08/20/pilot-suspe

    An up-date, naming names, is here:
    http://www.newson6.com/story/38917205/frontier-ai

    Achille is in Bryan County OK, in the southeastern part of the state, directly abutting the Texas state line. Its county seat is Durant which twice before figured in marriage equality/transgender issues.

    Because Oklahoma gained marriage equality before Texas, Durant welcomed many same-sex couples from Texas who immediately requested to have their marriages recorded there. Durant is also home to Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and in the federal suit, "Tudor v. Southeastern Oklahoma State University," Rachel Tudor, a transgender professor, was awarded $60,000 in back pay plus $1.165 million in damages due to discrimination.

  • 72. VIRick  |  August 20, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Sometimes, I don't know what to do with comments like this:

    Per José Chavarria S. of Chiriquí, Panamá:

    Que incongruentes son los ticos se jactan de ser un país de avanzada al aprobar el matrimonio igualitario, pero aborrecen a morir a los Nicas que huyen hacia Costa Rica por el problema en su país. Pésimo y doble discurso.
    https://twitter.com/Jchavarria05

    How incongruous are the Ticos who boast of being an advanced country in approving marriage equality, but hate to death the Nicas who flee to Costa Rica because of problems in their own country. Terrible double-talk.

    Note: Since the time of Nicaragua's civil war, Costa Rica has absorbed over 500,000 Nicaraguan refugees.

  • 73. VIRick  |  August 20, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Russia: Teen's "Gay Propaganda" Ruling Appealed

    Maxim Neverov, 16, who was fined 50,000 rubles (about $750) for saving a photo of two men hugging to an album on social media, has filed an appeal, reports Reuters.

    The teen, who was found guilty of “promoting non-traditional sexual relationships among minors,” denies that the picture he saved on the social network VKontakte was gay propaganda, which is banned by a law Russia enacted in 2013. He was the first minor charged under the law, and was convicted by a commission who hears cases involving juveniles.

    “Yesterday, we mailed our appeal [to the authorities]. It should be considered and ruled on within two months,” Neverov’s lawyer, Artyom Lapov, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on Monday, 20 August 2018.

    The law, which has been used to halt LGBTQ Pride marches and detain gay rights activists, is one of the many ways in which Russia seeks to silence queer people and others.

    “All people’s rights are being violated in Russia, not just LGBT people’s,” the 16-year-old said in an interview Sunday. “And I believe LGBT are just people, so there is no reason to fight for LGBT rights separately from everyone else’s.”
    https://www.advocate.com/world/2018/8/20/russia-t

  • 74. VIRick  |  August 20, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    UNC Chapel Hill: Confederate Statue Toppled

    A contentious Confederate statue on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was torn down by a group of protesters Monday night, 20 August 2018.

    Around 300 protesters marched through Franklin Street, a prominent thoroughfare in Chapel Hill, at times blocking the road to traffic, before eventually gathering around the base of the "Silent Sam" statue on the UNC quad, chanting "stand up, fight back" and "hey, hey, ho, ho, this racist statue has got to go," according to WRAL.

    By 9:30 PM, the statue had been torn down and protesters buried its head in dirt. ABC11 reported that a small group used a rope to bring the statue crashing down.

    The Silent Sam statue was erected in 1913 as a monument to the more than 300 alumni of the school who died during the Civil War and to the more than a 1,000 who joined the Confederate States Army.
    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/mbvd/protest

  • 75. allan120102  |  August 21, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Same sex marriage will not be legalize in Yucatan in this legislature probably next https://www.yucatanalamano.com/destacado/matrimon

  • 76. VIRick  |  August 21, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Venezuela: New Marriage Recognition Case

    Per Venezuela Igualitaria:

    Keiber y Marielvys son una pareja como muchas que están juntas desde el año 2008, con un bebé nacido en 2012, y se casadas en Rosario, Argentina, en 2014. Hoy, 20 de agosto2018, emprenden una causa para que se aplique la sentencia, 1187/2016 de la Sala Constitucional del TSJ Venezuela.
    https://twitter.com/VE_Igualitaria

    Keiber and Marielvys are a couple like many who have been together since 2008, with a baby born in 2012, and married in Rosario, Argentina, in 2014. Today, 20 August 2018, they take up a case to apply the sentence, 1187/2016 of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Venezuela.

  • 77. psicotraducciones  |  August 21, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    One would think that the Chavista government would want to show an LGBT friendly face to mask the fact that the country is in an effective dictatorship, but it looks like they dont care about appearances anymore

  • 78. VIRick  |  August 21, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    The Venezuela reference above is actually to a homoparental child recognition case, wherein which the two married same-sex parents are seeking co-equal, dual recognition as parents of the child.

    The cited number, 1187/2016, refers to an earlier decision from 15 December 2016, in which the Tribunal Suprema de Justicia of Venezuela ruled that children can have both surnames of their parents whether the children are biological or not (in effect, in this instance, recognizing the two women as co-equal parents, and indirectly recognizing their marriage).

  • 79. josejoram  |  August 21, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    When you see Pedro "Louis Vuitton" Carreño in his own prívate gym, published by himself on Instagram!, you may imagine that they even care in keeping up apperances. Pedro Carreño is a former military, one of the most outspoken and fanatic supporters of Chavismo, who years ago was brought out into the open in his hypocricy by a journalist who signaled him his wearing of a Louis Vuitton necktie while referring her to the endless benefits chavismo and Socialism would bring to Venezuela.

  • 80. josejoram  |  August 21, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    Despite that we still await for a ruling by the chavista Supreme Court on marriage equality.

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