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Open thread 9/5 HUGE UPDATE 9/6

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

UPDATE 9/6: India’s Supreme Court has decriminalized same-sex intimacy. India has more than 1.3 billion people. The ruling is here.

UPDATE 2: Judge Kavanaugh, in his confirmation hearing to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy in the Supreme Court, reportedly refused to say whether Obergefell v. Hodges, which struck down state bans on same-sex marriage, was correctly decided:

50 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. VIRick  |  September 5, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Chilean Senate Approves Trans Rights Bill

    On Tuesday, 4 September 2018, the Chilean Senate by a 26-14 vote margin gave its final approval to a bill, pending since 2013, that would allow transgender people to legally change their name and gender without surgery. The bill that lawmakers approved does not include Chileans who are under 14 years old.

    The bill now goes before the Chilean House of Deputies for a final vote. President Piñera, who supports the measure, then has 30 days to approve or veto it if it passes.
    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2018/09/05/chilea

  • 2. VIRick  |  September 5, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Coahuila: Ex-Governor Continues the Fight for LGBT Marriage Rights

    Per Luis Guzmán:

    Rubén Moreira como Gobernador de Coahuila apoyó el reconocimiento de derechos de personas LGBT, y ahora como diputado federal por Coahuila propone que se reforme la Constitución y que el matrimonio igualitario sea una realidad en todo el país.
    https://twitter.com/luisigg

    Rubén Moreira as Governor of Coahuila supported the recognition of rights of LGBT people, and now as a federal deputy for Coahuila proposes that the Constitution be reformed and that equal marriage be a reality throughout the country.

    Per Rubén Moreira:

    Hoy, 5 de septiembre 2018, suscribí una iniciativa en materia de matrimonio igualitario, les comparto algunas reflexiones al respecto.
    https://twitter.com/rubenmoreiravdz

    Today, 5 September 2018, I signed an initiative on the matter of marriage equality, I share some thoughts on this.

    Note: Coahuila was the very first state in Mexico to legalize same-sex marriage by the legislative method, and did so precisely 4 years ago. Rubén Ignacio Moreira Valdez was governor of Coahuila between 2011 and 2017, and thus was responsible for signing the Coahuila state marriage equality legislation into law.

  • 3. VIRick  |  September 5, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    India: Supreme Court to Pronounce Verdict on Decriminalization of Homosexuality

    Per Rex Wockner:

    The Indian Supreme Court ruling that would decriminalize about 18% of LGBT people on the planet is only a few hours away.

    The Supreme Court of India will be pronouncing its verdict on the constitutionality of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) tomorrow, 6 September 2018.
    https://barandbench.com/supreme-court-verdict-sec

    Since India is 10 1/2 hours ahead of EDT and 13 1/2 hours ahead of PDT in the USA, the announcement of the ruling from India could come later tonight, local time.

  • 4. VIRick  |  September 5, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Colorado: Transgender Job Discrimination Lawsuit in Federal Court

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 5 September 2018, in "EEOC v. A&E Tire," a Title VII federal lawsuit against a Colorado automotive chain which retracted a job offer and refused to hire a transgender man, Judge R. Brooke Jackson denied A&E Tire's motion to dismiss the complaint.

    The plaintiff's complaint relies on two theories in claiming he is protected under Title VII: (1) that of sex-stereotyping discrimination; and (2) that the Title VII prohibitions of discrimination “because of . . . sex” protect transgender individuals categorically.

    Judge Jackson declined to weigh in on whether transgender individuals constitute a protected class per se under Title VII, but concluded that there were sufficient allegations in the complaint to support a viable claim under a theory of sex-stereotyping.
    https://www.facebook.com/EqualityCaseFiles

  • 5. allan120102  |  September 5, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    At 10:30 local time indian supreme court is expect to issue its veredict in the consensual gay sex case.

  • 6. allan120102  |  September 5, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    India supreme court has made history. Section 377 is now abolish and 17% of the population may live freely no matter if gay or straight. Congrats to everyone that made this possible. https://www.firstpost.com/india/section-377-verdi

  • 7. ianbirmingham  |  September 5, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    India's Supreme Court Unanimously Decriminalizes Gay Sex

    The SC in its judgment said that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of Freedom of Expression. "Sexual orientation of an individual is natural and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of Freedom of Expression," the court said.

    https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/section-377

    https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/section-377-verdi

  • 8. VIRick  |  September 6, 2018 at 12:21 am

    This judgment decriminalizing gay sex in India by striking down Section 377 of the colonial era IPC, first adopted in 1864, is not only momentous for modern-day India, but also for all the modern nations in that part of the world which were once either directly part of the same British Raj or, by extension, part of the very extended British Empire that was ruled from the British Raj.

    As integral parts of the British Raj, both modern-day Pakistan and modern-day Bangladesh still have Section 377 of the IPC on their books as a direct colonial inheritance from that same era. If Section 377 has been struck down in India, one can anticipate that it thus ought to be struck down in both Pakistan and Bangladesh, as well. It is exactly the same law.

    Then, by extension, Section 377 was also adopted in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Burma (now Myanmar), Malaya (now Malaysia and Singapore), the assorted Gulf States (Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, Oman, Aden (now South Yemen), and British Somaliland), as well as in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika (now Tanzania)). Again, it is the same Section 377 law of the IPC, spread by zealous British overlords who preferred that their colonial rule be neatly uniform.

  • 9. allan120102  |  September 6, 2018 at 12:35 am

    This judgement is one of the most progressive decisions I have ever seen and read. well fragments of it. This is a truly beautiful decision that brought tears to my eyes. http://www.newindianexpress.com/opinions/editoria

  • 10. allan120102  |  September 6, 2018 at 12:40 am

    Everyone should read this thread. Every piece is a punch against discrimination and bigotry. https://twitter.com/SFLCin/status/103759492530567

  • 11. FredDorner  |  September 6, 2018 at 11:44 am

    It's a very progressive ruling and includes language which should have been in Lawrence v Texas, things like "homosexuality is not a mental disorder", "history owes these people and their families an apology", "majoritarian views and popular views cannot dictate constitutional rights", "morality cannot be martyred at the alter of social morality, only Constitutional morality exists in our country", etc.

    The flipside is that while the spokesman for the Congress praised the ruling he also said that homosexuality is "unnatural"……a view which the ruling directly condemns. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/rss-on-sect

    So that aspect of how quickly societal attitudes change will be interesting to watch.

  • 12. ianbirmingham  |  September 6, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    VIRick, it wasn't just the British…

    … Spanish and French missionaries attempted to eradicate "devilish" practices, such as polygamy and cross-dressing, and condemned the "heathen friskiness" of the natives. … Indians resisted the efforts of Europeans to enforce Western sexual standards, particularly the imposition of monogamous marriage on those tribes that practiced polygamy. … Europeans accurately perceived that native American sexual customs differed from their own. For instance, most native peoples did not associate either nudity or sexuality with sin. Although sexuality might be embedded within a spiritual context—as in the case of puberty rituals, menstrual seclusion, or the visionary call to cross-dress—sexual intercourse and reproductive functions rarely evoked shame or guilt for Indian men or women. Many native American tribes accepted premarital intercourse, polygamy, or institutionalized homosexuality, all practices proscribed by European church and state. In certain tribes, women, like men, could exercise considerable choice in their selection of sexual partners, and children grew up with few restrictions on sexual experimentation, which might range from masturbation to sexual play between same-sex or opposite-sex partners.

    The existence of a category of men who dressed and lived as women, and more rarely of women who dressed and lived as men, astounded Europeans. Even more alarming was the realization that these berdache (from the French term for a sodomite) could be "as much esteem'd as the bravest and hailest men in the country." To the Europeans, the acceptance of men who practiced "the execrable, unnatural abuse of their bodies" and who performed women's tasks, led to "a corruption of morals past all expression."

    … the fact that Indians had so much personal choice in sexual matters disturbed Europeans greatly. … It distressed Englishmen like John Smith when young Indian women welcomed him to their tribe by offering to spend the night with him. Those Indians who converted to Christianity were urged to obey the Seventh Commandment, cover their bodies with European clothing, and partition their wigwams so that children could not easily observe "what nature is ashamed of."

    Catholic priests in New France and northern Mexico, as well as Protestant missionaries in New England, attempted to impose monogamous marriage, encountering strong resistance when they did. One Jesuit missionary told a Montagnais Indian that "it was not honorable for a woman to love any one else except her husband," for such sexual practices meant that a man "was not sure that his son … was his son." Unmoved by this argument, the man's reply suggested how larger cultural differences underlay the sexual conflict of Europeans and Indians. "You French people love only your own children," he explained, "but we all love all the children of our tribe."

    Excerpted from Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America, by John D'Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman:

    “The book John D’Emilio co-wrote with Estelle B. Freedman, Intimate Matters, was cited by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy when, writing for a majority of court on July 26, he and his colleagues struck down a Texas law criminalizing sodomy. The decision was widely hailed as a victory for gay rights—and it derived in part, according to Kennedy's written comments, from the information he gleaned from this book.” —Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune

    https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/intimate-matters

  • 13. DevilWearsZrada  |  September 6, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    The person quoted in that article is a spokesman of neither Indian National Congress political party nor of the Indian Parliament, but of a paramilitary organisation linked to the governing party.

  • 14. ianbirmingham  |  September 6, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Fred, that wasn't "the spokesman for the Congress". The Congress Party in India is the socially progressive party; it is in opposition to the socially conservative Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP):

    In 2013, the Supreme Court of India reinstated the controversial Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which, among other things, criminalises homosexuality. There was a popular outcry, although clerics, including Muslim religious leaders, stated that they supported the verdict. BJP president Rajnath Singh said that the party supported section 377, because it believed that homosexuality was unnatural, though its stand has softened after its victory in the 2014 general elections.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bharatiya_Janata_Pa
    ————————-
    Congress is a secular party whose social liberal platform is generally considered to be on the centre-left of Indian politics. Congress' social policy is based upon the Gandhian principle of Sarvodaya—the lifting up of all sections of society—which involves the improvement of the lives of economically underprivileged and socially marginalised people. The party primarily endorses social liberalism—seeking to balance individual liberty and social justice, and secularism—asserting the right to be free from religious rule and teachings.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_National_Con
    ————————-
    Quoting from the link you (Fred) provided: "The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has said that it agrees with the Supreme Court's verdict that gay sex is not a crime. However, it said it considers same-sex relations to be unnatural."

    And who exactly is the RSS? Take a close look…

    Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, abbreviated as RSS (Rāṣṭrīya Svayamsēvaka Saṅgha, IPA: [rɑːʂˈʈriːj(ə) swəjəmˈseːvək ˈsəŋɡʱ], lit. "National Volunteer Organisation" or "National Patriotic Organisation"), is an Indian right-wing, Hindu nationalist, paramilitary volunteer organisation that is widely regarded as the parent organisation of the ruling party of India, the Bharatiya Janata Party. [BJP]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashtriya_Swayamsev

  • 15. VIRick  |  September 6, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    The Supreme Court of India

    The full text of the 166-page judgment rendered on 6 September 2018 in "Johar v. Union of India," striking down Section 377 of the IPC and overturning "Koushal," is here:
    https://www.sci.gov.in/supremecourt/2016/14961/14

    Chief Justice Misra wrote the judgment for himself and for Khanwilkar. Nariman wrote a separate 96-page concurrence, which follows it. Then Chandrachud follows that with another 181-page concurrence, citing everything from Justice Kennedy in "Lawrence v. Texas" to cases from Ecuador, Colombia, Fiji, and South Africa, among others. Finally, Malhorta presents yet another 52-page concurrence. Altogether, that makes for 495 pages of detailed reading. Technically, the ruling was unanimous, but with three concurrences.

  • 16. guitaristbl  |  September 6, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    Why would Kavanaugh even pretend to try to answer the Obergefell question ? He hasn't answered anything 3 days now and he does not have to, he knows he will be confirmed. What a travesty. At a time when the president is on the shakiest grounds in terms of credibility to make a lifetime appointment to the highest bench of a man he nominated.

    Again come 2020 either pass legislation expanding the bench or introducing impeachment procedures for supreme court justices. There is no other way out of this hellhole.

  • 17. allan120102  |  September 6, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    It will not happen and what you are suggesting might be a double sword. Republicans might do the same when a democrat president appoints nominees. Even though I dislike trump with a passion America chose him. Now people need to do as much as they can to not let his nominee be appoint. If not senators who apppoint him need to be out in elections.

  • 18. VIRick  |  September 6, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Ian, my comments above were limited to the secular legal aspects pertaining to the British-imposed Section 377 of the IPC, whether directly imposed onto what then comprised the British Raj as of 1864, or indirectly imposed as later extensions which emanated from the same British Raj and which applied to any/all other British possessions with sea access from the Indian Ocean.

    As for the other portion of your commentary, but limiting it to the secular legal aspects, France decriminalized homosexuality in 1792 during the French Revolution and never looked back. As a result, since then, French colonies, territories, possessions, dependencies, and/or Overseas Departments never criminalized homosexuality. For example, Pondichéry, Karikal, Yanaon, Mahé, and Chandernagor, French India (Les Établissements Français dans l'Inde), despite being surrounded by the British Raj, and even after being taken over by the post-independence Union of India, retained their own law, and never criminalized homosexuality. Today's ruling by the Supreme Court of India simply brings the rest of India up to the long-established standard of Pondichéry.

    In the Hispanic world, at least within the Americas, the Dominican Republic (and El Salvador) decriminalized homosexuality in 1822, at the time of independence. Shortly thereafter (Brasil, 1831, Bolivia, 1832), and without exception, all of the other independent Hispanic republics of the Americas followed suit so that by the late 1890s, homosexuality had been decriminalized from Tijuana to Tierra del Fuego. Caveat: Although there have been some more-recent throwbacks, none are current.

  • 19. allan120102  |  September 6, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    We knew what was at stake in the 2016 elections and many didnt vote or just let it happen knowing full well that the supreme court was at stake. Conservatives move in action knowing full well what was going to happen loosing Scalia seat to a liberal. And it work they retain the seat. Even many liberals who couldnt vote for clinton should have done it for the supreme court. Many were assure that Kennedy wouldnt retire even in here many were really sure that Kennedy would stay in the court and not let a conservative takes its place knowing full well he is a republican. Many were more worried of Ginsburg because of her age. We loose Scalia , kennedy and I hope we dont loose either Ginsburg or Breyer seat because of there age

  • 20. VIRick  |  September 6, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Ian, as for a modern social commentary on the pinch-lipped Victorian standard still extant in the British Caribbean versus the wide-open, sexually-liberated French Caribbean (all of which are Overseas Departments of France), which gingerly co-exist cheek-to-jowl throughout the eastern Caribbean, I offer this personal experience:

    At the time when I lived in en-British Trinidad, I had occasion to visit Cayenne, Guyane Français. There, I was literally confronted, face-to-face, with the full-on culture clash between the two. At the hotel where I was staying, a door suddenly flew open, and there, before me, directly in my face, appeared the extra-ordinarily gross figure of this violently buxom, extremely obese, almost nude, matronly woman in a mini-tanga. In total shock, and without thinking, I gasped, and then exclaimed, "Mon Dieu, madame! Vous avez oublié votre soutien!" (My God, madam! You forgot your brassiere!). She gave me the ugliest look, but then proceeded on.

    Later, I endured similar experiences on nude beaches in both Martinique and St-Martin, but by then, I had learned to keep my remarks to myself.

  • 21. allan120102  |  September 6, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Breaking Tamaulipas 5th resolution has been issue in this article they explain amazing how resolutions works. Congress have 90 days to modify the law if not activist can file an action of unconstitutionality to the supreme court instead of waiting congress to modify the laws like In puebla or Chiapas. Activist have this way also of asking for an action of unconstitutionality. https://expreso.press/2018/09/06/impulsan-amparos

  • 22. VIRick  |  September 6, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Tamaulipas Civil Code Must Be Revised in Order to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage, Owing to 5 Amparos Being Admitted to Collegiate Courts

    El Código Civil de Tamaulipas tendría que ser reformado para reconocer el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo, debido a cinco amparos que fueron admitidos en tribunales colegiados.

    Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas – El Poder Judicial de la Federación (PJF) admitió cinco amparos para revisar el Código Civil de Tamaulipas, que no reconoce el derecho del matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo. Con ello se abre la posibilidad de la declaratoria de inconstitucionalidad de la ley tamaulipeca.

    El representante en el estado del movimiento, Matrimonio Igualitario, Mercurios Espinoza del Ángel, informó que las resoluciones de estos recursos, en caso de ser positivas para los promoventes, obligará a que el Congreso de Tamaulipas reforme a favor de la comunidad Lgbttti.

    Al 5 de septiembre de 2018, el PJF había amparado a 171 personas. El grupo en Tamaulipas ha interpuesto 3 juicios colectivos y 17 por parejas. Diecinueve parejas han contraído matrimonio en la entidad, tres en la oficina del Registro Civil en Ciudad Madero, uno en Altamira, uno en Matamoros, dos en Nuevo Laredo, otro par en Reynosa, siete en Tampico, y tres en Ciudad Victoria, de acuerdo con un informe de la Secretaría General de Gobierno (SGG).

    “Se requiere un total de cinco amparos en revisión resueltos de manera positiva, por unanimidad, en un tribunal colegiado, para que se inicie el proceso (por una declaratoria de inconstitucionalidad)," dijo Espinoza.

    El artículo 233 de la Ley de Amparo establece que los plenos de circuito, por mayoría de sus integrantes, podrán solicitar a la Suprema Corte (SCJN) que inicie el procedimiento de declaratoria general de inconstitucionalidad, cuando dentro de su circuito se haya emitido jurisprudencia derivada de amparos indirectos en revisión en la que se declare la inconstitucionalidad de una norma general.

    De acuerdo con el proceso legal de la declaratoria, en caso de que los amparos se resuelvan a favor de los promoventes, el Congreso tendrá 90 días naturales para modificar o derogar la norma declarada inconstitucional. En caso de negarse, el pleno de la Suprema Corte emitirá la declaratoria, siempre que hubiera sido aprobada por mayoría de cuando menos ocho votos.
    https://expreso.press/2018/09/06/impulsan-amparos

    (to continue in English)

  • 23. VIRick  |  September 6, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    (continued from above)

    Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas – The Judicial Branch of the Federation (PJF) has accepted five amparos in order to review the Civil Code of Tamaulipas, which does not recognize the right to same-sex marriage. This opens the possibility for the declaration of unconstitutionality of the Tamaulipas law.

    The state representative for the movement, Matrimonio Igualitario, Mercurios Espinoza del Ángel, reported that the resolutions of these filings, if positive for the plaintiffs, will force the Congress of Tamaulipas to reform in favor of the Lgbttti community.

    As of 5 September 2018, the PJF had issued amparos for 171 people. The group in Tamaulipas filed 3 collective amparos and 17 more for couples. Nineteen couples have married in the state, three at the Civil Registry office in Ciudad Madero, one in Altamira, one in Matamoros, two in Nuevo Laredo, another two in Reynosa, seven in Tampico, and three in Ciudad Victoria, according to a report from the General Secretariat of the Government (SGG).

    "A total of five amparos in review are required to be resolved positively, unanimously, in a collegiate court, so that the process can begin (for a declaration of unconstitutionality)," Espinoza said.

    Article 233 of the Amparo Law establishes that the circuit plenaries, by a majority of its members, may request the Supreme Court (SCJN) to initiate the general declaration of unconstitutionality procedure, when within its circuit, derivative case-law has been issued of indirect amparos in review in which the unconstitutionality of a general norm has been declared.

    In accordance with the legal process of the declaration, if amparos are resolved in favor of the plaintiffs, the state congress will have 90 calendar days to modify or repeal the law declared unconstitutional. In case of refusal, the plenary session of the Supreme Court shall issue the declaration, provided that it has been approved by a majority of at least eight votes.

  • 24. ianbirmingham  |  September 6, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    VIRick, the German "Free Body Culture" makes the French look positively British by comparison…

    You'll see naked Germans everywhere. Lying on the banks of the Isar River smack in the center of Munich. On the shores of the Havel on the outskirts of Berlin. In public parks. … Germans are a breed apart. They were on the cutting edge of organized nudity already in the early 20th century. German sociologist Heinrich Pudor — the so-called "Father of Nudism" — wrote a tract called "The Cult of the Nude" in the 1890s, and a certain Paul Zimmerman opened the first known nudist camp near Hamburg in 1903. … Freikörperkultur (free body culture) — still known as FKK today — got a further boost in the 1960s, with German students taking the bus to class completely in the buff. … whole families still go skinny dipping together in the country's numerous lakes and at the seaside.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/baring-it-all

    And as for social commentary I will say this: In the excerpt I quoted above outlining the cultural conflicts between Native Americans and Europeans regarding nudity and sexuality, the Native Americans are in every respect completely correct. Their cultural accomplishments in these areas were centuries ahead of the Europeans then, and sadly, that still remains the case today. The European and European-influenced cultures are very slowly making progress (at a glacial pace) but they all have much, much more to learn. Perhaps by 2600 there will be at least some European and European-influenced cultures that have finally reached the near-optimal level of development prevalent in these highly advanced Native American cultures of the 1600s…

  • 25. guitaristbl  |  September 7, 2018 at 5:03 am

    On the other hand I truly fear what the incoming Bolsanaro presidency could mean for LGBT rights in Brazil…

  • 26. VIRick  |  September 7, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Brasil: Presidential Frontrunner Jair Bolsarano Stabbed

    The far-right presidential front-runner, Jair Bolsonaro, is recovering in a hospital after being stabbed during a rally while campaigning weeks ahead of elections. An assailant stabbed Bolsonaro on Thursday, 6 September 2018, as the candidate was led through a crowd on the shoulders of supporters in Juiz de Fora, a city in the southern state of Minas Gerais. Video shows Bolsonaro grimacing in pain before being carried away.

    The attack on Bolsonaro, notorious for making racist, sexist, and homophobic remarks, has ratcheted up tensions weeks ahead of the October elections. A pro-gun congressman since 1991, he has cast himself as a political outsider, a firebrand attracting millions of supporters who believe he can shake up the corruption-marred political class in Brasil.

    Recent polls estimate that Bolsonaro is the favorite to win the election, with a 10% lead over his nearest rival, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/06/americas/brazil-pr

    Personal comment: If Bolsonaro is hated that much that he could be stabbed in the heartland of the most Portuguese, ethnically-uniform, light-skinned states in all of Brasil, I am not at all certain as to who his rabid supporters might be. Furthermore, Portuguese people do not make racially-charged comments, but rather, politely and quite carefully tip-toe around the entire issue. In fact, when I lived there, the official government position on the matter was that the "ideal" citizen was a blend of all three major races/ethnicities, Euro, Afro, and Indigenous, and that statistics dividing the population into such categories were not kept. However, using one's eyes as a guide, at least 4 states in the northeast have Afro majorities, while any number more to the interior have Indigenous majorities. Brasil has also calmly absorbed several million Angolans (of a variety of skin hues, but mostly darker) who fled the post-independence civil war there, and continues to absorb untold thousands more fleeing the chaos in the Middle East.

    The state of Minas Gerais covers a huge swath of territory, inland from Rio de Janeiro, north of São Paulo, and east of Brasilia. Its state capital, Belo Horizonte, is one of the most progressive major cities in the entire country. Juiz de Fora itself is a pleasant locale, a very Portuguese community just north of the Rio de Janeiro state line. I once talked my way out of receiving a speeding ticket from the federal police in Juiz de Fora, and always bought gasoline (and bolas de queijo, their typical cheese) there whenever I had to travel between Rio and Belo.

  • 27. VIRick  |  September 7, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    8th Circuit Court of Appeals Denies South Dakota Death Sentence Appeal

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 7 September 2018, in "Rhines v. Young," the case wherein which an individual in South Dakota was sentenced to death rather than receive a life sentence based on apparent anti-gay bias, in a split decision, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Charles Rhines' application to be allowed to appeal this sentence based upon new evidence that "some of the jurors who voted to impose the death penalty on Mr. Rhines did so because they thought the alternative – a life sentence in a men’s prison – was something he would enjoy as a gay man."

    Judge Jane Kelly would have granted the application.

    The Order is here:
    http://files.eqcf.org/cases/18-2376-03554917/

    Kathleen has quoted the entire press release on today's Order here:
    https://www.facebook.com/EqualityCaseFiles

  • 28. VIRick  |  September 7, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Singapore in the Aftermath of Supreme Court of India Striking Down Section 377

    A veteran diplomat has urged Singapore’s LGBT+ community to challenge the law prohibiting gay sex after India’s Supreme Court struck down that country’s ban on 6 September 2018. Tommy Koh, Singapore’s former UN ambassador, called for a class-action suit to change Singapore’s Section 377A law, which, like India’s now-defunct legislation, was put in place under British colonial rule.
    
    Singapore’s Law and Home Affairs Minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam has also raised the possibility of repealing the law, which carries a sentence of up to two years in prison and predates Singapore’s independence in 1965 by decades.
    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/09/07/india-singa

  • 29. ianbirmingham  |  September 7, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Kavanaugh could destroy Kennedy’s LGBTQ legacy

    You’ll notice that there is no such talk from the Trump-Pence administration or conservatives that Kavanaugh would be in the “mold of Anthony Kennedy.” Likely because they understand that a Justice Brett Kavanaugh would not be a justice who affirms the rights of LGBTQ people, but one who has already worked to limit the legal rights of LGBTQ Americans in the past.

    http://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rights/405569-ka

  • 30. VIRick  |  September 9, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Brasil: Jair Bolsonaro Up-Date

    The knifing of Jair Bolsonaro, the ultra right-wing presidential candidate, was much worse than initially reported, as he suffered puncture wounds to his lungs, stomach, and intestines. He lost about 40% of his blood, continues to be hospitalized, is using a colostomy bag, and will be unable to appear in any further televised debates.

    The federal deputy from Rio de Janeiro, who lives in the very up-scale area of Barra da Tijuca, has garnered significant support among conservatives in Brasil, unnerved by repeated corruption scandals and rising violent crime, with his calls for looser gun laws, impunity for police who kill criminals, chemical castration for rapists, attacks on the left, and praise for the brutal 1964-85 military dictatorship. Born in Campinas in São Paulo state, this 17-year career military officer is a graduate of the Academia Militar das Agulhas Negras, the main military academy in Brasil. Simultaneously, this "family values" man has had 5 children with 3 different wives, has stated that he would rather his son be dead than gay, and is virulently anti-immigrant, despite the fact that his own parents were both Italian. Quite tellingly, though, in his attacks, he has specifically targeted immigrants from Angola, the Middle East, and Haiti. Little-known fact outside Brasil: France has quietly allowed thousands of citizens of Haiti (and Viet Nam) to re-settle in Guyane Français which directly abuts Amapá, the very remote state north of the mouth of the Amazon. At the same time, he has not criticized the recent influx of untold thousands of Venezuelans pouring into the equally remote northwestern state of Roraima, absolutely overwhelming the limited aid/re-settlement facilities available there.

    He is polling behind former leftist president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for the 7 October initial vote – but Lula is serving a 12-year jail sentence for corruption and money laundering, and has been ruled ineligible for the contest by the top electoral court in Brasil. Lula is appealing against his ban, but is expected to pass the baton to his vice-presidential candidate, former São Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad, who interestingly enough, happens to be of Middle Eastern descent (of Assyrian Greek Orthodox tradition).

    Bolsonaro leads in some polling scenarios where Lula is not included, but a survey last week showed him losing to three other candidates in the 28 October run-off vote, should the first round be inconclusive, and should he draw level with Haddad.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/09/jai

  • 31. ianbirmingham  |  September 9, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    65,000 people sign petition calling on Singapore to keep law banning gay sex

    A petition calling on the government in Singapore to retain a colonial-era law banning gay sex has received 65,000 signatures after it was launched less than 24 hours ago.

    The petition was launched in the aftermath of the Indian Supreme Court’s decision to decriminalise gay sex last Thursday. …

    The country’s former UN ambassador, Tommy Koh, called for a class action suit to change the law after India’s decision.

    Similarly, Singapore’s Law and Home Affairs Minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam, has also raised the possibility of repealing the law, which predates Singapore’s independence in 1965 by a decade.

    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/09/09/singapore-g

  • 32. VIRick  |  September 9, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Mexico: ISSSTE Grants Social Security to Same-Sex Couples

    Mexico: ISSSTE Otorga Seguridad Social a las Parejas del Mismo Sexo

    La Paz, Baja California Sur – El ISSSTE fue la primera institución en México en dar acceso a los beneficios de la seguridad social a parejas del mismo sexo. A la fecha, se han registrado 380 en las 35 delegaciones del país, quienes, de manera igualitaria y sin distinción, gozan de las 21 seguros, servicios, y prestaciones que el Instituto otorga a sus derecho-habientes, señaló su titular, Florentino Castro López.

    Puntualizó que el Instituto se ha caracterizado por ofrecer un trato con calidad y con calidez sin exclusiones por motivo de edad, sexo, raza, condición socioeconómica, o preferencia sexual; el cual vela por el respeto y garantía de los derechos humanos.

    Recordó que a partir del 20 de mayo de 2013, inició el registro de estas parejas, luego de que el Consejo Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación (CONAPRED) lo solicitó mediante resolución por Disposición 2/2011.
    https://www.elsudcaliforniano.com.mx/bcs/issste-o

    La Paz, Baja California Sur – The ISSSTE was the first institution in Mexico to give access to the benefits of social security to same-sex couples. To date, 380 have registered in the 35 delegations within the country, who, equally and without distinction, enjoy the 21 insurance, services, and benefits that the Institute provides to its beneficiaries, said its head, Florentino Castro López.

    He pointed out that the Institute has been characterized by offering a quality, warm treatment without exclusion because of age, sex, race, socio-economic status, or sexual preference; one which watches over the respect and guarantee of human rights.

    He recalled that as of 20 May 2013, they began the registration of these couples, after the National Council to Prevent Discrimination (CONAPRED) requested it through resolution of Disposition 2/2011.

    Note: ISSSTE provides health insurance/social security benefits to federal government employees in Mexico.

  • 33. VIRick  |  September 9, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    Some Statistics on Same-Sex Marriage in Spain

    This is a long statistical article (in Spanish) giving a break-down by numbers and percentages, showing the quantity and proportions of same-sex couples who have married in Spain ever since its legalization in mid-2005 through to and including 2016. During that entire time interval, a grand total of 39,643 same-sex couples were married nationwide, of which 6947 occurred in Madrid, the largest number of any province, 4570 between men and 2377 between women. For some unexplained reason, this 2:1 imbalanced ratio favoring men marrying each other is typical throughout most of Spain, particularly immediately after legalization and continuing through 2010.

    However, Barcelona, with 32.2 same-sex marriages per thousand marriages, had the highest marriage rate for same-sex couples (meaning that Barcelona is gayer, a point we already knew from first-hand experience). Other provinces with a same-sex marriage rate of 20 or more per thousand were: Madrid, Guadalajara, Alicante, Valencia, Baleares, Las Palmas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Málaga, y Girona, in that order. On the other end of the scale, the province of Zamora only had a same-sex marriage rate of 3.6 per thousand.

    For 2016, the most-recent year available, the nationwide numbers were: 2132 marriages between females and 2188 between males, indicating that the earlier imbalanced ratio has finally levelled off. However, this survey does not break down the proportion of marriages between Spanish citizens versus those of foreigners, remembering that the Baleares, Las Palmas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and Málaga are all popular tourist wedding destinations.
    https://www.eldiario.es/nidos/graficos-explican_0

  • 34. allan120102  |  September 10, 2018 at 8:17 am

    Nuevo Leon could legalize ssm soon they already have 17 votes base on the new makeup of the state congress. They just need 5 more votes. PAN have already said and they have majorities so all will depend on the 8 votes of PRI.
    Last time the letter named storm was retired https://www.reporteindigo.com/reporte/matrimonio-

  • 35. VIRick  |  September 10, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Ecuador: Appeals Court Accepts Appeal, Revokes Marriage Equality Decision

    Per Vicente Solano, Profesor de Derecho, Universidad Católica de Cuenca:

    Lamentable la decisión de los jueces de la Sala de lo Laboral de la Corte Provincial de Justicia del Azuay, que hoy día, 9 de septiembre 2018, aceptan el recurso de apelación y revocan el fallo sobre el matrimonio igualitario. Pero no todo está dicho.
    https://twitter.com/vsolanop

    Regrettable decision of the judges of the Labor Chamber of the Provincial Court of Justice of Azuay, which accepted the appeal and revoked the ruling on equal marriage. But not everything has been said.

    The above tweet includes a copy of the relevant portions of today's appeals court ruling, showing the exact wording, as does the one below from Red LGBTI del Azuay.

    Per Jorge Alejandro B.:

    Sala de la Corte Provincial del Azuay acepta recurso de apelación y revoca el fallo de primera instancia que reconoció matrimonio igualitario.
    https://twitter.com/jalejandro_bs

    The Provincial Court of Azuay accepts the appeal and revokes the first instance decision that recognized an equal marriage.

    Per Red LGBTI del Azuay:

    Lamentamos fallo de la Sala de lo Laboral de la Corte Provincial de Justicia del Azuay, misma que revoca decisión que daba paso a matrimonio igualitario. ¡Seguimos en pie de lucha!
    https://twitter.com/REDLGBTIAZUAY1

    We regret the ruling of the Labor Chamber of the Provincial Court of Justice of Azuay, which revokes the decision that gave way to equal marriage. We are still fighting!

    So, now we are on to the Constitutional Court of Ecuador with an appeal of today's ruling from our side.

  • 36. Mechatron12  |  September 10, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Sigh. I hope we'll win in the end but… why does Latin America ALWAYS seem like it's one step forward, two steps back?

  • 37. VIRick  |  September 10, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Romania: October Referendum on Definition of "Family"

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Romania will vote on a referendum on 7 October 2018 that changes the constitution from saying family is based on marriage of spouses to saying family is based on marriage of a man and woman.

    Question: Does that new language ban marriage equality or merely change the definition of what constitutes a "family?"

    Referendum privind redefinirea familiei în Constituţie, pe 7 octombrie

    Referendumul privind redefinirea familiei în Constituţie va avea loc în 7 octombrie, a anunţat, sâmbătă seară, la Neptun, liderul PSD, Liviu Dragnea.

    The full article, in Romanian, is here:
    https://www.digi24.ro/stiri/actualitate/politica/

  • 38. Mechatron12  |  September 10, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    I really, really hope that by October we have some good news from Czechia or some other country to counterbalance this. Not that it will change anything one way or another in that sh*thole, but Romania is going to be a bloodbath. Frankly if we get 20% it will be some kind of miracle.

  • 39. VIRick  |  September 10, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    Jammu and Kashmir: Supreme Court of India Ruling Striking Down Section 377

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Supreme Court’s verdict was in reference to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which does not automatically get extended to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, governed by its own Constitution and criminal law, the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC). The state has a one-of-a-kind autonomy under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

    The RPC, framed along the lines of the IPC during British colonial rule, under its own Section 377, also criminalizes sexual intercourse other than that between adult heterosexuals.
    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/section

    Under the British Raj, Jammu and Kashmir was one of the many princely states which was indirectly governed by the British through the respective princely families already in power. At the time of independence, all of the others acceded to the Union of India (or to Pakistan). However, Jammu and Kashmir, with a Muslim majority but with a Hindu (Sikh) princely family, and sitting on the dividing line between India and Pakistan, was in dispute, and continues to be in dispute. Thus, apparently, it retained its own Constitution and criminal law, including its own Section 377.

    Within the former princely state, once governed by the Rajah of Jammu, predominately Hindu (Sikh) Jammu and about half of Muslim Kashmir, as well as Buddhist-dominated Ladakh, remain under Indian control, while most of the Muslim remainder, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, is under Pakistani control. Some very sparsely-inhabited high altitude areas are occupied by China. The population on the Indian side is 12.5 million, while that on the Pakistani side is 5.8 million.

  • 40. VIRick  |  September 11, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Ecuador: Provincial Court of Justice of Azuay Rejects Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Ecuador: Corte Provincial de Justicia del Azuay Rechaza Matrimonio Igualitario

    El Tribunal concluyó que, para que se dé el matrimonio de personas del mismo sexo, “corresponde a la Asamblea Nacional adecuar las leyes. Asimismo, la Corte Constitucional tiene como una de sus atribuciones ser la máxima instancia de interpretación de la Constitución, y de los Tratados Internacionales de Derechos Humanos.”

    El pedido de matrimonio igualitario se dio a raíz de una opinión consultiva de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH), que sostiene que los países de la región deben aplicar en su legislación la apertura de todos los derechos a la población LGBTI, incluido el matrimonio.

    Los abogados de la pareja sostienen que se ha dado una regresión de derechos y analizan apelar ante la Corte Constitucional.
    https://www.eltelegrafo.com.ec/noticias/judicial/

    The Court concluded that, for the marriage of same-sex couples to take place, "it requires the National Assembly to adapt the laws. Likewise, the Constitutional Court has as one of its attributions to be the highest court for the interpretation of the Constitution and of International Human Rights Treaties."

    The request for equal marriage was made following the advisory opinion of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), which states that the countries of the region must apply in their legislation the opening of all rights to the LGBTI population, including that of marriage.

    The couple's lawyers argue that there has been a regression of rights and are analyzing for an appeal before the Constitutional Court.

  • 41. VIRick  |  September 11, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    South Korea: Constitutional Court Nominee Defends Same-Sex Marriage

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 10 September 2018, Constitutional Court nominee Lee Seok-tae faced tough questions and homophobia from lawmakers as he defended LGBTI rights in South Korea’s National Assembly.

    "We should not look at the matter in terms of for and against, but as basic rights," Lee reportedly said of same-sex marriage on Monday. He said homosexuals were a minority and noted that other countries had been legalizing same-sex marriage. "It won’t be easy in the short run, but we have to understand and face it," he said to lawmakers.

    Lee faced a number of homophobic responses and questions from lawmakers. One lawmaker asked if he was homosexual. Another said that Lee equating homosexuals to left-handed people (as a minority) would make left-handed people angry.

    Homosexuality is legal in South Korea (other than in the military), but currently, there is no anti-discrimination legislation to protect LGBTI people. Same-sex marriage is illegal.
    https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/south-koreas-

  • 42. VIRick  |  September 11, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    India: First Transgender Civil Servant in Odisha Plans to Marry in Wake of Section 377 Ruling

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Aishwarya, formerly named Ratikanta Pradhan, was successful in the Odisha Public Service Commission's Financial Service examination in 2010. She is now posted as the Commercial Tax Officer (CTO) in Paradip.

    Bolstered by the Supreme Court ruling that consensual gay sex is not a crime, Odisha's first gazetted government officer from the transgender community plans to marry her live-in partner.
    https://deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affair

    Note: Odisha (formerly Orissa), one of 29 states in India, is located in eastern India on the Bay of Bengal, west of West Bengal and northeast of Andhra Pradesh.

  • 43. allan120102  |  September 11, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    They better appeal if not it will serve as legal precedent for the province. Conservatives in Ecuador are pretty happy about this saying that Ecuador will not follow the ICH advisory opinion as its an opinion and not a ruling.

  • 44. ianbirmingham  |  September 11, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Democrat Chris Pappas wins primary; 1st openly gay congressional candidate from New Hampshire

    https://twitter.com/nhpr/status/10396801180531056

  • 45. allan120102  |  September 12, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Today chile house of representative you might call it is going to vote in the trans bill. Hoping for success.

  • 46. allan120102  |  September 12, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Breaking chile house of deputies have approve its transgeder bill in a 95 to 46 vote.

  • 47. VIRick  |  September 12, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    This is a specious argument on the part of conservatives, as the CIDH only ever issues opinions, referred to in Spanish as "opiniones consultivas." However, what makes this opinion binding, or "vinculante," comes from the fact that the 20 nations which agreed to follow the opinions of the CIDH did so voluntarily, by volunteering to make such opinions binding upon themselves, at the time when they signed the accord to adhere to the opinions of the CIDH in the first instance. So, they did it to themselves, and it is now too late for any of these 20 nations to withdraw from the CIDH (not that any of the 20 have claimed that they intend to withdraw).

    For the remaining 16 nations not currently in compliance with the legalization of same-sex marriage, the only outstanding question is not "if," but "when."

  • 48. Fortguy  |  September 12, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    The GOP candidate in that contest is seeking to become New Hampshire's first African-American congressional representative. I don't know what the state's specific demographics are, but I suspect New Hampshire is one of the very few states where the LGBT community outnumbers African-Americans.

  • 49. ianbirmingham  |  September 12, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    New Hampshire's demographics as of 2010:

    93.9% white
    2.2% asian
    1.6% multiracial
    1.1% black

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Hampshire#Popul

    Gay population of New Hampshire:

    an estimated 0.36% of New Hampshire residents is gay

    https://www.roadsnacks.net/gayest-places-in-new-h

    If this statistic is accurate, then the gay population is less than 1/3 of the African-American population.

    However, another source gives a much larger figure of 4.6% for the LGBT population of New Hampshire, and that would be more than quadruple the African-American population:

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/257601/americ

    Either way, though, both populations are so small that the far more numerous votes of non-LGBTs and non-African-Americans will certainly be the deciding factor.

  • 50. Fortguy  |  September 12, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    0.36% sounds ridiculously low. I really doubt that there is something in the local water that suppresses LGBT identities there compared to everywhere else. Even the 4.6% figure seems a little low, but is not too surprising. In a mostly rural state with no very large urban centers, many sexual minorities, especially older people, feel uncomfortable outing themselves to anyone other than trusted friends and family. This habit carries over to answering pollster questions.

    Polling brings up another problem. Sample sizes can never truly be as accurate as the overall population as measured by the Census which has never directly asked about gender orientation or identity. While race and ethnicity can be accurately determined by the Census–an infant born of African-American parents is also African-American even if too young to express such–there is no good way to make such determinations for LGBT people.

    Hence, we end up with the quandary that most polls only ask adults about LGBT identities even though younger people are more comfortable answering affirmatively. Polls of minor-aged children are rare, and must be conducted in a manner assuring respondents that their answers are confidential and won't be shared with intolerant parents or teachers. The youngest children, even if old enough to be verbal, likely haven't been exposed to the language needed to even consider the question.

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