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Supreme Court puts injunctions in trans military cases on hold pending appeal, potentially allowing ban to be implemented

Transgender Rights

This morning the Supreme Court granted the Trump administration’s request to put injunctions on hold in cases challenging the military’s ban on transgender servicemembers. The stays mean that the ban will likely be enforced soon. There’s still one case, out of Maryland, with an injunction against the ban still in place, but that might not stand given today’s order.

The injunctions are only on hold pending the outcome of the cases on appeal and on the Court’s decision whether to eventually grant review if the losing party in the court of appeals seeks review.

The Court declined to grant review in the government’s petitions for review before the appeals court rulings come down.

Unfortunately if the last injunction is stayed, the cases could continue on appeal and the ban could remain in place for a prolonged amount of time.

In other LGBT news, the Court has not yet taken any action in several LGBT employment cases the Justices are considering. At this point in the term, if a case is granted, it would be held over for the next term beginning in October.

UPDATE: The DOJ has informed the district court in Maryland about the SCOTUS order, and they note that they’ll file an order in the case as well attempting to have the injunction dissolved or stayed:


52 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. guitaristbl  |  January 22, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    I dont think there is a shadow of a doubt that today's decision means there is a clear extremist majority to rule definitavely in favour of this unconstitutional ban.

    2021 : impeach, impeach, impeach.

  • 2. VIRick  |  January 22, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    Mormon "Gay Cure Therapist" Comes Out as Gay, Now Looking for Boyfriend

    David Matheson, a notorious Mormon practitioner of "gay cure therapy," is now “pursuing life as a gay man.”

    The therapist was one of the best-known Mormon practitioners of conversion therapy, setting up the Journey into Manhood program in line with church teachings that direct gay people to repress their feelings and marry someone of the opposite sex. But Matheson, who trained under Joseph Nicolosi of National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), has now admitted that he is gay.

    Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out said: “If conversion therapy does not work for authors like David Matheson who write books on the discredited practice, it is naïve to expect it to work for those reading such deceptive publications.
    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/01/22/mormon-gay-

    One also wonders when Marcus Bachmann will give it up (although, at this stage, God knows who would want him) and join David Matheson in being truthful about himself.

  • 3. ianbirmingham  |  January 22, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    McConnell says blocking Merrick Garland was "the most consequential" thing he's ever done

    He was the Trump administration’s indispensable partner in seating two Supreme Court justices and 83 lower-court judges: a generational remaking of the courts that has made McConnell, “in my view, the most consequential majority leader, certainly, in modern history,” says Leonard Leo, the conservative legal activist who serves as executive vice president of the Federalist Society and as an adviser to the Trump administration on the court appointments. …

    The unprecedented number of conservative-approved judicial nominees McConnell has waved through the Senate — a process for which he laid the groundwork before Trump was elected — stands to shift much of the burden of conservative policymaking away from an increasingly paralyzed Senate. In the coming years, battles over voting rights, health care, abortion, regulation and campaign finance, among other areas, are less likely to be decided in Congress than in the nation’s courthouses. In effect, McConnell has become a master of the Senate by figuring out how to route the Republican agenda around it. …

    Under McConnell’s leadership, Republicans insisted on confirming Obama’s nominations individually, drawing out the process enough that, by the summer of 2010, there were 99 vacancies on the federal bench and 40 “judicial emergencies” had been declared by overburdened courts. … McConnell used other procedural moves to gum up Obama’s subsequent executive nominations, and by August 2014, the backlog stretched to more than 100 appointees. After McConnell became majority leader, following that November’s elections, judicial nominations all but ground to a halt, with McConnell confirming barely a quarter of Obama’s court picks. ….

    News of Scalia’s death first reached him on his iPhone at the airport in St. Thomas, in the Virgin Islands, where he and Chao had just begun a vacation. At the hotel, Chao recalls, McConnell sat quietly and watched the news on the TV. Within an hour, he had come to a decision: He would use his power as majority leader to block President Obama from filling Scalia’s seat. …

    But however unexpected Trump’s victory might have been to McConnell at the time, he has retrospectively — and plausibly — claimed credit for it. He was quick to point out that Trump won nearly as many registered Republicans as Mitt Romney did in 2012, and one exit poll showed that “the single biggest issue bringing them home,” he said, was the Supreme Court seat he had held open. “It was a real masterstroke, in my opinion, to keep that seat open in 2016,” Tom Cotton, the Republican senator from Arkansas, told me. “I doubt Donald Trump would have won if that seat was not open.”

    The seat, which would be filled a year later by Trump’s nominee, Neil Gorsuch, would be the centerpiece of McConnell’s broader court-remaking project — a bridge from his obstructionist past to his next act. “A day or two after the election, I was in the car with him,” Brian McGuire, at the time McConnell’s chief of staff, told me, “and he said, ‘We are going to move judges like they are on a conveyor belt.’ ” …

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/22/magazine/mccon

  • 4. ianbirmingham  |  January 22, 2019 at 2:49 pm


    McConnell, who had kept so many of Obama’s nominations from the bench, was busy mapping out a strategy to avoid the fate he had so recently meted out. He would take advantage of Harry Reid’s decision to eliminate the filibuster for lower-court judicial nominees and, when Senate Democrats tried to block Neil Gorsuch’s appointment, would lead Republicans in voting to extend it to the Supreme Court. McConnell instructed Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, that they were going to diminish the weight they assigned to “blue slips,” a procedural formality that allowed home-state senators, even from the minority party, an opportunity to say whether or not a judicial nominee should receive a hearing on the Judiciary Committee. Under recent committee chairpeople, this had been treated as an informal veto power, one that McConnell’s Republicans had used to great effect in the minority in the Obama years. Under the new interpretation, that would no longer be the case for circuit-court judges. And McConnell would prioritize judicial nominations before other kinds of nominations on the Senate schedule and fill the more influential circuit courts first. …

    The remaking of the judiciary is one of the few aspects of the Republican agenda that is unlikely to be slowed down by November’s congressional elections, which gave the Democrats a decisive majority in the House of Representatives, but also expanded the Republican majority that McConnell leads in the Senate by two seats. This means less time wasted on quixotic legislative efforts, like the Obamacare repeal effort, and more time for appointments. …

    “I think the most consequential call I made was before President Trump came to office.” I asked what he meant. “The decision not to fill the Scalia vacancy,” he said. “I think that’s the most consequential thing I’ve ever done.”

  • 5. arturo547  |  January 23, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Angola: New Penal Code has been approved, thus legalizing gay sex.

    Source: https://observador.pt/2019/01/23/parlamento-angol

  • 6. VIRick  |  January 23, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    Pennsylvania: Former Senator Harris Wofford Dies at 92

    Former US Senator Harris Wofford (D-PA) who came out late in life, died at a Washington DC hospital on Monday, 21 January 2019, after suffering a fall. He was 92.

    Wofford had a long career in civil rights activism before joining the Senate. He graduated from Howard University Law School, a historically black institution, and marched with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma AL. He served in the Kennedy administration as special assistant for civil rights and was instrumental in creating the Peace Corps before moving to academia where he served as a university president.

    Wofford was married to his wife Clare for 48 years before she died in 1996. They had three children. He recalled their romance in a 2016 "New York Times" essay, writing, “Our romance and adventure continued for five decades. When I was running for election to the Senate in 1991, Clare gave up her job to become an all-out campaigner, helping us win in a landslide. In my narrow losing re-election campaign of 1994, astute Pennsylvanians observed that if Clare had been the candidate, she would have won.”

    In that same essay, Wofford shared his coming out story. At age 75, he met Matthew Charlton, 50 years his junior, on a Fort Lauderdale beach. The two became close friends, eventually lovers, and married in 2016.

    Wofford was appointed to fill the Senate seat of John Heinz, who was killed in a 1991 plane crash. He later held the seat in a special election, defeating Richard Thornburgh. Three years later, Wofford was narrowly defeated in his re-election bid by Rick Santorum (who himself was never re-elected to any position whatsoever).
    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2019/01/23/former

  • 7. VIRick  |  January 23, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    Albania to Host LGBT Rights Workplace Workshop

    The Human Rights Campaign is co-sponsoring a workshop in Albania next week that will focus on ways to encourage the country’s businesses to support LGBTI rights. The workshop is scheduled to take place in Tirana, the Albanian capital, between 27-29 January 2019.

    Advocates from Albania, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, and Nigeria are expected to attend. Open Minds Spectrum Albania (OMSA), an Albanian LGBTI advocacy group, is hosting the workshop.

    Albania is a small, formerly Communist country in Southeast Europe that borders Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro. The country’s non-discrimination and hate crimes laws include both sexual orientation and gender identity, but Arber Kodra, OMSA's Executive Director, told the Blade these statutes are “often not enforced.” Homophobic and transphobic attitudes persist in Albania, even though the country’s advocacy groups have become more visible over the last decade.

    Activists from Argentina, Belize, Brasil, Colombia, Ecuador, Jamaica, and Peru attended HRC’s first workplace workshop that it held in the Peruvian capital of Lima in December 2018. Advocates from across Asia are expected to attend a similar workshop in Vietnam in February.
    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2019/01/23/hrc-co

  • 8. ianbirmingham  |  January 23, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    Mayor of Indonesian city is using the military to hunt down LGBTI people – When captured, they are subject to 'conversion therapies' and exorcisms

    Ansharullah also claims he is using the help of ulema – Islamic scholars – in order to perform ‘ruqyah’ – a form of exorcism – on the individuals. This stems from the belief that the existence of LGBTI people is caused by ‘jinns’ (genies or demons).

    Meanwhile, the city of Depok in West Java announced plans to create regulations to restrict the movement of LGBTI people. The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) said these plans are illegal.

    https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/mayor-padang-

  • 9. VIRick  |  January 23, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Diana Sánchez Barrios‏ Is Now Working for Marriage Equality in Guerrero

    Diana Sánchez Barrios‏, human rights activist, is the same individual who convinced the state authorities in Baja California in late 2017 to implement a plan by which the state would follow the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court in allowing marriage equality in the state despite the fact that the State Congress had yet to change the state law.

    Right now, 23 January 2019, she is present in Guerrero, working her extremely convincing magic before the Justice Commission of the State Congress in their deliberations over the pending law to legalize marriage equality within that state:

    Per Diana Sánchez Barrios‏:

    En la Comisión de Justicia del Congreso del Estado de Guerrero.
    ¡Matrimonio Igualitario ya!
    https://twitter.com/DianaSanchezBar

    In the photo, she is front and center, between the two rainbow flags, flanked by various supporters, presenting her argumentation.

  • 10. VIRick  |  January 23, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    Singapore: Second Legal Challenge Against Section 377A Filed

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    An LGBT rights advocate has filed a case against the Attorney-General, stating that Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalizes sex between men, is "inconsistent" with portions of Singapore's Constitution, and "is therefore void." Mr Choong Chee Hong, better known as Bryan Choong, originally filed it at the Supreme Court in November 2018.

    According to court documents, Mr Choong stated that Section 377A is inconsistent with Article 9 of the Constitution, which states: "No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with law." The two other portions deemed "inconsistent" are: Article 12, which states that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to its equal protection; and Article 14, which states that every citizen of Singapore has the right to freedom of speech and expression. Article 14 also states that all citizens of Singapore "have the right to assemble peaceably and without arms" and have the "right to form associations."

    On 10 September 2018, a disc jockey also filed a court challenge against Section 377A, arguing that the law is unconstitutional. Mr Johnson Ong Ming, then 43, who goes by the stage name DJ Big Kid, filed his challenge four days after India's Supreme Court struck down a similar law.

    Mr Choong's and Mr Ong's cases are still pending.
    https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-cri

  • 11. VIRick  |  January 23, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    The new penal code in Angola was approved by Parliament on 23 January 2019 with 155 votes in favor, 1 against, and 7 abstentions.

    Again, this article never mentions this fact about legalizing gay sex, mainly because that entire section in the new penal code has simply disappeared. Instead, it goes on at great length differentiating the multitude of changes made to other sections, illustrating the differences between the "before'"and the "after," while ignoring those sections that were finally quite quietly dropped after 133 years.
    https://observador.pt/2019/01/23/parlamento-angol

  • 12. VIRick  |  January 23, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    Malta: Civil Unions Have Become Out-Dated

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In 2018, only four couples opted for a civil union as a means of pledging themselves to one another, now that the marriage equality laws have made that 2014 legislation almost redundant. Of the four civil unions, one was between a man and a woman and the other three between same-sex couples, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told parliament on Tuesday evening, 22 January 2019. He was answering a parliamentary question by Labour MP and whip Byron Camilleri.

    That small number represents a significant drop from previous years. In April 2017, Equality Minister Helena Dalli had said that 163 couples had opted for civil unions since they were introduced into Maltese law in April 2014 – an average of 54 every year.

    Marriage equality commenced in Malta from 1 September 2017. At the same time, a 2017 amendment to the Civil Unions Act allows couples who joined in a civil union before the marriage equality laws came into force to convert their union to a full-fledged marriage, provided they do so by 2022.
    https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/201901

  • 13. VIRick  |  January 24, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Sapporo, Japan: Second Lawsuit for Marriage Equality Filed

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Sapporo –Two gay women here plan to sue in a nationwide campaign to seek recognition of same-sex marriages if the city office refuses to accept their marriage certificate which was submitted today, 23 January 2019. The women, one in her 20s and the other in her 30s, submitted the paper to Sapporo’s Chuo Ward office, but expect it to be rejected as there are no legal provisions for same-sex marriages in Japan. The pair state that same-sex couples being denied marriage violates the constitutional principle of equality under the law.

    At least 13 same-sex couples across Japan, including the Sapporo women, plan to file damage suits against the central government on 14 February 2019. Experts said that these will be the first lawsuits in Japan seeking recognition of same-sex marriages.

    According to Takeharu Kato, a lawyer representing the couple, their certificate is likely to be rejected because the current civil code and family registration law is based on marriage between men and women. “It's unfair that same-sex couples are not able to enjoy the rights given to heterosexual couples," he said. “Marriage is a fundamental right under the Constitution, and this should be applied to same-sex couples.”

    Sapporo city has a partnership system for same-sex couples, which the women have made use of, but it has no legal authority.
    http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201901240078….

    Note: The first marriage equality case in Japan involves an international couple who filed their German marriage certificate with city authorities seeking recognition of it in Yokohama on 16 January 2019. If rejected, they too plan to sue the national government for damages on the same 14 February date.

  • 14. VIRick  |  January 24, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Chile: House Commission Approves Reform Establishing Homoparental Adoption

    Chile: Comisión en la Cámara Despachó Reforma que Establece Adopción Homoparental

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Con el despacho, la ley queda lista para su votación en el pleno de la Cámara, tras lo cual será analizada por el Senado.

    La Comisión de Familia y del Adulto Mayor despachó la reforma a la ley de adopciones que entrega todas las parejas, sea cual sea su orientación sexual, los mismos deberes y derechos para la crianza de menores, avance festejado por el Movilh.

    Además, la comisión aprobó el procedimiento para que los convivientes civiles puedan adoptar a los hijos biológicos de sus parejas.
    https://www.eldinamo.cl/nacional/2019/01/24/comis

    With this approval, the bill is now ready for a vote in the full House, after which it will be analyzed by the Senate.

    The Family and Adult Senior Commission has approved a reform to the adoption law that gives all couples, whatever their sexual orientation, the same duties and rights for the upbringing of children, an advance celebrated by Movilh.

    In addition, the commission approved the procedure for civil cohabitants to be able to adopt the biological children of their partners.

  • 15. arturo547  |  January 24, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Rick, so only two more votes are pending? D:

  • 16. VIRick  |  January 24, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    Most likely, 3 more votes,– the full House, the Senate commission, and the full Senate,– but I refuse to speculate on any time reference, given how matters can be dragged out for what seems like forever within the legislative process of Chile. (And even after it finally passes and is signed into law by the President, there's an additional 6-month wait, as standard procedure, before it can be implemented.)

    But at least it is on its way, seemingly tied together with a second measure to allow civil cohabitants to adopt the biological children of their partners, a matter which may help with its ultimate passage.

  • 17. allan120102  |  January 24, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    Chile will likely have ss adoption first and then ssm. This will be like a similar situation with Austria. As long as Piñera do not veto any of this bills then ssm will be a reality in Chile even though it will be a slow process as it takes a long time to approve laws in Chile more so when the government does not fight for the bills. If by any case ssm if veto by Piñera there will not be enough votes to override so I hope and expect he doesnt do it asides from his personal views.

  • 18. VIRick  |  January 24, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    Brasil: Openly Gay Federal Deputy Gives Up His Seat

    Brasil: Deputado Federal Abertamente Gay Dá O Seu Assento

    Com medo de ameaças, Jean Wyllys, do PSOL, desiste de mandato e deixa o Brasil. "Quero cuidar de mim e me manter vivo," afirma deputado federal eleito pelo Rio. Eleito pela terceira vez consecutiva deputado federal pelo PSOL do Rio de Janeiro, Jean Wyllys, 44, vai abrir mão do novo mandato.

    Em entrevista exclusiva à "Folha," o parlamentar, eleito com 24.295 votos e que está fora do país, de férias, revelou que não pretende voltar ao Brasil e que vai se dedicar à carreira acadêmica.

    O presidente nacional do PSOL, Juliano Medeiros, confirmou que a vaga de Wyllys deve ser ocupada pelo suplente, David Miranda (PSOL-RJ), que atualmente é vereador no Rio de Janeiro.
    https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/amp/poder/2019/01/c

    Afraid of threats, Jean Wyllys, from PSOL, gives up his seat and leaves Brasil. "I want to take care of myself and keep myself alive," says a federal deputy elected from Rio. Elected for the third consecutive time as a federal deputy by the PSOL for Rio de Janeiro, Jean Wyllys, 44, will give up the new mandate.

    In an exclusive interview with "Folha," the congressman, elected with 24,295 votes, and now out of the country, on vacation, revealed that he does not intend to return to Brasil and that he will dedicate himself to an academic career.

    PSOL's national president, Juliano Medeiros, confirmed that the Wyllys vacancy will be filled by a substitute, David Miranda (PSOL-RJ), who is currently a councilor in Rio de Janeiro.

  • 19. Mechatron12  |  January 24, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    Ugh. Sad that he had to leave due to the death threats, but even sadder that David Miranda, who is the husband of Putin-loving scumbag Glenn Greenwald is moving up in politics.

  • 20. VIRick  |  January 24, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    David Michael dos Santos Miranda, 33, is a journalist and politician in Brasil. He is a Rio de Janeiro City Council member affiliated with the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL). He is married to US journalist Glenn Greenwald. He is to assume office as a federal deputy from Rio de Janeiro from 1 February 2019.

    He met Glenn Greenwald in 2005. The two have been married for 13 years. In 2017, they adopted two siblings.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Miranda_(poli

    He self-describes as: "Negro, gay, e favelado." (Black, gay, and from a favela.)

    But then, so too did Marielle Franco, another Rio de Janeiro City Council member who was hunted down and murdered last year, as does Jean Wyllys Real, the federal deputy from Rio who has just decided, for his own personal safety, to remain outside of Brasil.

    Note: Under the proportional representation system in place in Brasil, once Jean Wyllys had resigned, his seat automatically passes to the next-highest vote-getter in the recent election from the same political party within the same state. In this instance, that happens to be David Miranda.

  • 21. VIRick  |  January 24, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    This post which first drew me to the "Folha" interview, now leaves me quite puzzled:

    Per Glenn Greenwald:

    Holy shit – the only LGBT member of the Brazilian Congress, who has been frequently targeted by the Bolsonaro movement, Jean Wyllys, just said in an interview with "Folha" that's he's leaving the country and giving up his term because of threats.
    https://twitter.com/ggreenwald

  • 22. VIRick  |  January 24, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    Jean Wyllys to Receive CIDH Protection

    Per CIDH:

    The IACHR (CIDH) laments the resignation of Brazilian legislator Jean Wyllys Real, who had to flee the country due to threats. The only LGBTI legislator in the country, he is a beneficiary of precautionary measures of the IACHR to protect his life and integrity.
    https://twitter.com/CIDH

    This is the first instance to my knowledge whereby the CIDH has extended protected status to a specific individual. I am also uncertain as to what specific precautionary measures the CIDH would be in a position to afford to said individual.

  • 23. VIRick  |  January 24, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    South Carolina: HHS Grants Non-Discrimination Waiver to Federally-Funded Child Welfare Agency

    The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Trump has taken the unusual and alarming step of waiving anti-discrimination requirements for a federally-funded child welfare agency in South Carolina. The move opens the door for discrimination of non-Christian and LGBTQ people who may be seeking to foster or adopt, and sets a precedent for future waivers in other states and for other reasons.

    The move comes after South Carolina’s Republican governor, Henry McMaster, invoked the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to seek a government waiver on behalf of a so-called "christian faith-based" adoption and foster care agency. That organization, known as Miracle Hill Ministries, refuses to place children in households that do not fit with their religious standards. Miracle Hill Ministries recruits nearly 15% of South Carolina’s foster families.

    Miracle Hill Ministries has been under fire for some time over its discriminatory policies that disallow gay couples to adopt foster children. They also turn away people who do not agree with their statement of faith, including those who are Jewish.
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2019/01/trump-gives-s

    Note: On the exact same date, 23 January 2019, in a pending federal lawsuit, the state of Michigan took the precise opposite position to that of South Carolina. See below for Michigan post.

  • 24. VIRick  |  January 24, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    Venezuela: National Assembly President Declared President of Republic

    Per El Duque:

    The man who has declared himself the true president of Venezuela over Nicolas Maduro is asked on Twitter if he is a faggot ("marico"). His response? "No! But I have great respect for the LGBT community. And you should not use the word 'marico' as an insult. Greetings."
    https://twitter.com/Blabbeando

    Per Juan Guaidó‏

    No! Pero respeto mucho a la comunidad LGBTI. No utilice la palabra 'Marico' como peyorativa. Saludos.
    https://twitter.com/jguaido/status/79067032491225

    Juan Guaidó‏ es Presidente de la Asamblea venezolana y de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela, apegado a los Art. 233/333 CRBV Servidor Público. Ingeniero. En todo amar y servir.

    Since Wednesday, 23 January 2019, Venezuela has had two people claiming the presidency, when opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the 35-year-old head of the country’s National Assembly, declared that he was assuming the role of interim president, and took his oath of office. Guaidó was recognized almost immediately by the United States, Canada, Brasil, Colombia, Perú, and 7 other countries.

    In addition to international support, Guaidó appears to have the support of the majority of the population, which has been impoverished by the years-long economic and social collapse of Venezuela. Tens of thousands of people turned out Wednesday to take part in the biggest protests the country has seen since 2017. But he does not appear to have the support of the country’s army — which remains loyal to Maduro — despite outreach aimed at lower-ranking officials.

    The Brazilian generals who spoke with BuzzFeed News ruled out any intervention by the Brazilian Armed Forces in Venezuela — other than in a humanitarian capacity — and said they hoped for a quick solution to the crisis, since a lengthy crisis could lead to even greater suffering among civilians.
    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/severinomott

    Under Article 233 of Venezuela's current constitution, the National Assembly does have the power to declare a vacancy in the presidency, which it did on 15 January 2019. According to the law, the head of the legislative body acts as interim president until elections can be held. It's under that provision that Guaidó, head of the Popular Will Party, made his announcement, a move which would have been unthinkable in years past.
    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/hayesbrown/v

  • 25. VIRick  |  January 24, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    Angola Parliament Approves New Penal Code

    Angola has abolished a colonial-era law widely interpreted as banning same-sex relations. The southern African country’s parliament also declared it unlawful to discriminate against anyone on the basis of their sexual orientation, instituting a two-year jail term for violating it.

    Angola joins two other Portuguese-speaking African countries — São Tomé e Príncipe in 2012 and Cabo Verde in 2004, respectively — to decriminalize same-sex conduct.
    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/tamerragriff

  • 26. Fortguy  |  January 24, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    FiveThirtyEight has posted a good rundown on the longshot candidacy of Pete Buttigieg, the only openly gay candidate so far to announce a presidential bid to challenge Trump.

    Gus Wezerek, FiveThirtyEight: How Pete Buttigieg Could Win The 2020 Democratic Nomination

  • 27. VIRick  |  January 25, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Michigan: AG Nessel Enters Lawsuit against Same-Sex Adoption Ban

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Michigan Attorney-General Dana Nessel was part of the legal team that overturned Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage and now she is taking action against a state law that she says discriminates against gays and lesbians. Nessel, a Democrat, is entering the settlement talks in a lawsuit filed by same-sex couples who say their rights have been violated by faith-based adoption agencies who may refuse to place foster children with same-sex couples.

    In her campaign last fall, Nessel said she would not defend a 2015 law signed by then-Governor Rick Snyder. That law states that child placement agencies are not required to provide services that conflict with their own "religious" beliefs. The ACLU filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the two couples from Dimondale and Detroit who were rejected by agencies who did not want to work with gays and lesbians.

    Nessel replaced the state attorneys on the case on Wednesday, 23 January. And on 24 January, a federal judge granted a 30-day timeout so Nessel’s office could discuss a settlement with the ACLU.
    https://www.wilx.com/content/news/Michigan-AG-to-

    Note: Basically put, under Nessel, the state is no longer contesting the unconstitutionality of said discriminatory Michigan law. Her stance is essentially the same as that taken by a number of state AGs in 2014, like that of Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Oregon, when they stopped contesting the unconstitutionality of their states' bans on same-sex marriage.

  • 28. ianbirmingham  |  January 25, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    Nearly one in 50 US teen students see themselves as transgender, CDC says

    Nearly one in 50 US high school students considers themself transgender, and more than a third of those say they attempted suicide in the previous year, according to the first study of its kind by a government agency released on Thursday.

    Those transgender students are the frequent victims of violence and bullying, threatened at school and on their way to and from home…

    Thirty-five percent of the transgender students said they had attempted suicide in the previous year, compared with about 7 percent of those who did not see themselves as transgender, the CDC found.

    Those findings were similar to an analysis released last fall in JAMA Pediatrics, an influential journal, showing transgender youth were nearly six times as likely to attempt suicide as their heterosexual peers.

    The CDC said twice as many reported being bullied and roughly four times as many said they had been threatened or injured with a weapon at school and felt unsafe on their way to and from school. …

    The CDC said it added transgender-related questions in its most recent survey, conducted in 2017 among high school students in 10 states and nine large urban school districts. …

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-662997

  • 29. VIRick  |  January 25, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Gay Arizona Legislator: Trump Immigration Policy Mostly a Dog Whistle

    On Tuesday, 22 January 2019, an Arizona lawmaker whose district borders Mexico sharply criticized Trump’s immigration policy that includes demands for a border wall. “It’s mostly a dog whistle to try and gin up his very extreme base,” Arizona state Rep. Daniel Hernández (D-Tucson) told the Washington Blade during an interview at the Arizona Capitol.

    “As someone who’s lived in southern Arizona my entire life, I’ve never felt unsafe going to the border, but it’s really easy to turn the border and Mexico into the boogeyman and rile up some of the more extremist elements,” he added. “When the president started off his campaign by talking about Mexicans being murderers and rapists and drug mules, it’s not going to get better from there.”

    Hernández, 29, has represented Arizona’s 2nd Legislative District, a majority Latino area that includes the border city of Nogales in Santa Cruz County and portions of Tucson in neighboring Pima County, since 2017. Hernández is one of four openly gay members of the state House. He is also credited with saving then-Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ life after she was shot during a 2011 campaign event at a Tucson shopping center.
    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2019/01/25/ariz-l

  • 30. VIRick  |  January 25, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    New York: Governor Cuomo Signs Two LGBT Bills into Law

    On Friday, 25 January 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law two LGBT bills, one banning the widely discredited “ex-gay conversion therapy" for youth, and the second banning anti-transgender discrimination. The governor penned his name to the legislation at a signing ceremony at the New York City LGBT Community Center with a US flag, a New York state flag, a rainbow Pride flag, and a transgender flag in the background.

    The two pieces of legislation became law thanks to new Democratic control in the New York State Senate. Democrats took control of the chamber for the first time in a decade in the 2018 “blue” wave election, one which allowed the bills to pass that chamber earlier this month for the first time.

    The ban on anti-transgender discrimination, known as the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, or GENDA, amends the New York Human Rights Law to ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity in employment, housing, public spaces, and education. The fight to enact GENDA in New York was a 16-year battle. Previously, GENDA was repeatedly passed in the New York Assembly, but never was approved in the Senate. This year, after the Assembly had approved it a total of 11 times, the Democratic-controlled Senate finally passed the transgender protections.

    New York becomes the 20th state in the country with explicit statewide protections barring discrimination both on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The state previously had the distinction of being one of two states with a law on the books banning sexual-orientation discrimination, but not gender-identity discrimination. Now that GENDA is law, Wisconsin is the only state left with that distinction (other than the remaining 30 states which refuse to afford their citizens either protection).

    The ban on conversion therapy for youth also representative an achievement after years of effort. New York becomes the 15th state to enact such a measure. Other jurisdictions that have enacted similar laws are Connecticut, California, Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, District of Columbia, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Washington State, Maryland, Hawaii, and New Hampshire.
    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2019/01/25/breaki

  • 31. VIRick  |  January 25, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    South Dakota Senators Kill Anti-Transgender Bill

    South Dakota Senators have dealt a death blow to SB 49, a bill that would have barred transgender athletes from competing in school sports with others of their gender. On 25 January 2019, in a 5-2 vote, SB 49 was deferred by the Senate Education Committee until the 41st legislative day of the current session. However, the session doesn’t last 41 days, meaning that SB 49 has effectively been killed for the session.

    The bill would have voided the existing procedure endorsed by the South Dakota High School Activities Association. In it, transgender students are allowed to participate in sports congruent with their gender. SB 49 would have restricted them to competing as the gender on their birth certificate.
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2019/01/south-dakota-

  • 32. VIRick  |  January 25, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    Arizona: Federal Class Action Suit Filed against State Employees' Health Insurance Plan

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 23 January 2019, the ACLU filed a class-action federal lawsuit, "Toomey v. State of Arizona," challenging the categorical exclusion of transition-related surgery in the Arizona state employees' heath insurance plan. The case has been assigned to Magistrate Judge Lynnette C Kimmins.

    The complaint, with all attachments, is here:
    http://bit.ly/2S7ND8f

  • 33. VIRick  |  January 25, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    New York: Two Transgender Discrimination Cases in State Court

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 22 January 2019, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) filed a lawsuit on behalf of a transgender woman who was arrested and charged with “false personation” after she provided officers with both her previous and current legal names and explained that she changed her name to align with her gender identity.

    The complaint, filed on behalf Linda Dominguez in New York state court in the Bronx, is here:
    http://bit.ly/2S5lRcs

    Also in New York state court:

    Following a police incident in September 2017, DeAnna LeTray, a transgender woman and resident of Watertown, filed a complaint with the state Division of Human Rights over abuse and discrimination she experienced from the Watertown City Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. The state human rights agency rejected the complaint on the grounds that they did not have jurisdiction to investigate because police and corrections agencies are not public accommodations. The NYCLU lawsuit, filed on 3 December 2018 in Jefferson County, argues that DHR has both the power and the obligation to investigate discrimination complaints against local police and corrections agencies.

    The Verified Petition in this case is here:
    https://www.nyclu.org/sites/default/files/field_d

    The Memorandum of Law in Support is here:
    https://www.nyclu.org/sites/default/files/field_d

  • 34. Fortguy  |  January 25, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    Voters in predominantly Muslim areas of the island of Mindanao in the Philippines have ratified the creation of a new autonomous region intended to end the long-running insurgency by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front against the government and stifle the influence of foreign IS fighters and their local allies. An additional referendum on Feb. 6 will ask voters in nearby areas whether they wish to join the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

    Associated Press: Filipino Muslims approve new autonomous region in referendum

    According to the region's Wikipedia page, implementation of Sharia law by the region's new legislature will not be binding upon Christian residents and non-Muslim indigenous peoples. However, I would think that LGBT-Muslims have plenty of reasons to be fearful, and non-Muslims best not be hoping for any sort of nondiscrimination protections anytime soon.

  • 35. Fortguy  |  January 25, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press: Japan court upholds sterilization to register gender change

    TOKYO (AP) — Human rights and LGBT activists on Friday denounced a ruling by Japan’s Supreme Court upholding a law that effectively requires transgender people to be sterilized before they can have their gender changed on official documents.

    The court said the law is constitutional because it was meant to reduce confusion in families and society. But it acknowledged that it restricts freedom and could become out of step with changing social values.

    The 2004 law states that people wishing to register a gender change must have their original reproductive organs, including testes or ovaries, removed and have a body that “appears to have parts that resemble the genital organs” of the gender they want to register.

    More than 7,800 Japanese have had their genders officially changed, according to Justice Ministry statistics cited by public broadcaster NHK.

    The unanimous decision by a four-judge panel, published Thursday, rejected an appeal by Takakito Usui, a transgender man who said forced sterilization violates the right to self-determination and is unconstitutional.

    Usui, 45, appealed to the top court after he unsuccessfully requested that lower courts grant him legal recognition as male without having his female reproductive glands surgically removed.

    Despite the unanimous decision, presiding justice Mamoru Miura joined another justice in saying that while the law may not violate the constitution, “doubts are undeniably emerging,” according to Usui’s lawyer, Tomoyasu Oyama.

    The two judges proposed regular reviews of the law and appropriate measures “from the viewpoint of respect for personality and individuality,” according to Japanese media reports.

    Japan is one of many countries with a sterilization requirement. In 2017, the European Court of Human Rights said 22 of the countries under its jurisdiction still required sterilization as part of a legal gender change, and it ordered them to end the practice.

    Maria Sjodin, deputy executive director of OutRight Action International, which monitors LGBT rights issues worldwide, said she was unsure if all 22 of those countries have fully implemented the court’s order. She noted that Sweden, which did away with the requirement in 2013, later became the first country to pay damages to anyone forced to undergo sterilization as a requirement for gender change.

    The Japanese Supreme Court decision ends Usui’s legal battle, but he and his lawyer said the opinions in the ruling left them with hope.

    “I think the ruling could lead to a next step,” Usui told a news conference.

    Human Rights Watch said the Supreme Court ruling was “incompatible with international human rights standards, goes against the times and deviates far from best global practices.” The New York-based group said the ruling tolerates grave human rights violations against transgender people.

    The ruling was also criticized by Japan’s LGBT community.

    A transgender activist and writer, Tomato Hatakeno, tweeted that the decision shows that society’s interests still come before an individual’s right to freedom regarding one’s body.

    “The ruling suggests that reproductive health is not recognized as a basic human right,” she said.

  • 36. ianbirmingham  |  January 26, 2019 at 10:15 am

    Muslims are not necessarily hostile to LGBTs. Take a look at the Twitter page of the Rasan Organization, located in Suleymaniyeh (Iraqi Kurdistan), and from there visit their Facebook page and their website, viewing all the photographs… https://twitter.com/Rasan_Org

    Having said that, if I were a resident of the 80-plus% Catholic, 10-plus% Muslim Phillippines, I would certainly have GTFO'ed the very moment Rodrigo Duterte became President, and I would immediately GTFO now if I had for some reason been unable to exit any earlier.

  • 37. VIRick  |  January 26, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Utah: The Second Legislative LGBT Hate Bill for 2019 Attacking Gender Identity

    Some Utah lawmakers want to make it impossible to change the gender on a birth certificate. House Bill 153, to be considered in the legislative session that begins from 28 January 2019, defines gender as “the innate and immutable characteristics established at conception,” according to the report in the "Salt Lake Tribune."

    Females, it states, have ovaries and “external anatomical characteristics that appear to have the purpose of performing the natural reproductive function of providing eggs and receiving sperm from a male donor.” Males are people with testes and the “reproductive function of providing and delivering sperm to a female recipient.”

    The current law on birth certificate gender changes is murky, and the Utah Supreme Court is reviewing it. Meanwhile, “government agencies have applied their own, and often inconsistent, interpretations, and judges have pinballed between granting and denying requests,” the "Tribune" reports.

    LGBTQ rights advocates called the new bill unconstitutional and discriminatory. Its definitions of gender are deeply problematic, said Sean Childers-Gray, a transgender man involved in a state Supreme Court case focusing on whether a judge has the authority to approve gender changes on birth certificates. “What if you’re not born with ovaries? What if you can’t have children?” he told the Tribune. “Not everyone can do that. I’m sure this will be ripped apart by many, many lawyers.”

    If HB 153 were to become law, it would primarily affect transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex people. But its chief sponsors deny that they’re motivated by prejudice. Still, it should be noted, to no one's surprise, that one of its chief sponsors, Rep. Merrill Nelson (R), works for a law firm which represents the Mormon Church.
    https://www.advocate.com/politics/2019/1/26/utah-

  • 38. Fortguy  |  January 26, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    To me it seems that religion is not a unifying underpinning of Kurdish identity. Although most Kurds are Sunni, a significant minority are also Shia with some pockets of various Eastern rite Christian sects among them that have managed to retain their religious practices over hundreds of years. Rather, Kurds are united by their language, cultural heritage, and resistance to subjugation by neighboring Arabs, Persians, and Turks, all mostly Muslim peoples, over centuries. The Kurds also have learned the value of alliances with Assyrians, Turkmen, and Yazidi groups that are not numerous enough to threaten them, but with whom they share territory and a shared experience of persecution. Together, these factors have encouraged religious and ethnic tolerance among the Kurds.

    In the Philippines, on the other hand, a decades-long religiously inspired insurgency combined with the associated civilian violence provides the ideal climate to foster fundamentalist and intolerant religious expression and distrust of secularism.

  • 39. Fortguy  |  January 27, 2019 at 1:00 am

    I'll add that the new autonomous region is supposed to include smaller islands to the southwest of Mindanao that, although being Muslim, don't culturally identify with the Mindanao Muslims. Among these is the province of Sulu which includes the island of Jolo and smaller surrounding isles. Sulu rejected joining the autonomous region but is nevertheless expected to be part of the new region once established in 2022. And now we have these headlines from Jolo:

    Associated Press: 20 dead as bombs target Sunday Mass in Philippine cathedral

    Martin Petty, Enrico Dela Cruz, Reuters: Philippines vows to crush 'terrorists' after church bombs kill 27

  • 40. VIRick  |  January 27, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    Indiana: Third Legislative Anti-LGBT Hate Bill for 2019, A "Bathroom" Bill

    A Republican lawmaker in Indiana has introduced a bill that would force trans students to use facilities matching their chromosomes and sex at birth. Representative Bruce Borders authored House Bill 1525, which seeks to define students’ access to sports activities and facilities such as locker rooms and bathrooms on the basis of their “biological sexual identity.” He submitted the proposed legislation on 17 January 2019.

    The language used in the bill is similar to the one featured in the Department of Health and Human Services memo leaked in October 2018, which defined sex as “immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth” and “genetic evidence.” Borders’ bill describes “biological sexual identity” as “the physical condition of being male or female, as determined by an individual’s chromosomes and identified at birth by the individual’s anatomy.”
    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/01/27/indiana-bil

  • 41. ianbirmingham  |  January 27, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    78% of Japanese people in their 20s to 50s favor legal gay marriages

    http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201901280009….

  • 42. arturo547  |  January 27, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Ecuador: New judges for the Constitutional Court of Ecuador have been known

    Source: https://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2019/01/26/no

    Pamela Troya, an Ecuadorian LGBT activist, said on Facebook that she personally knows most of the new judges and that she knows their positions on marriage equality and their human rights records. I’d like to share the post but her Facebook account is not public any more.

    So this means that the new court is liberal. That would be great for LGBT rights in Ecuador

  • 43. allan120102  |  January 27, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    Even the court before had a 6-3 to 5-4 majority what I am angry is that so far I know the lgbt groups in Ecuador havent appeal the unfavorable ruling from the court of appeals to the supreme court. We know how this cases take time for example the Colombian and Panama case were schedule again and again until a ruling was issue well for Colombia not Panama who will probably get a ruling until the general elections end to not cause the same problem as CR.

  • 44. arturo547  |  January 27, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    Allan, actually I read on the Twitter of an LGBT organization from Ecuador that the case had been taken before the Inter-American Comission, as there was no constitutional court by the time the Azuay court rejected the marriage equality case. The Inter-American Comission can take up to a year to accept cases; however, now that there is a new court, maybe the Comission won’t accept the case because it could be taken before the new constituted Constitutional Court.

    We need a marriage equality case before the Inter-American Comission, which might take the case later to the Inter-American Court if their recommendations are ignored by a state. One might cite the case of Chile, however it seems that their parliament will pass a law on LGBT marriage sooner or later, so the IACHR won’t need to intervene.

  • 45. VIRick  |  January 28, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    In the case of Chile, "sooner" has disappeared into the archives of history some time ago, leaving us to ponder just exactly how late "later" will finally arrive upon the scene.

    In the case of Ecuador, the LGBT activist, Pamela Troya of Quito, is primarily a firebrand and does not have the legal training to be her own lawyer. Her main claim is due to the fact that she, along with Gabriella Correa, filed the first suit for marriage equality back in 2013, a case which is still pending, much to everyone's annoyance.

    Still, I would suggest we pay more attention to Silvia Buendía, the leading LGBT activist in Guayaquil, who is quite level-headed, has the necessary legal training, and seems to know everything, and/or to la Red LGBTI del Azuay, the local LGBT rights organization in Cuenca where the cases originated, and/or to Sylvia Bonilla y Elsa Guerra, the two couples' legal team from el Colectivo Jurídico Feminista who have handled the Cuenca cases directly right from the beginning, and/or to Vicente Solano, Profesor de Derecho, Universidad Católica de Cuenca, who was there in court at the time of the rulings, and/or to Diane Rodríguez, la presidenta de la Federación Ecuatoriana de Organizaciones LGTBI and a member of the Ecuadorian congress, and/or to INREDH, La Fundación Regional de Asesoría en Derechos Humanos de Ecuador (The Regional Human Rights Advisory Foundation of Ecuador), who filed an amicus curiae brief in favor of marriage equality at the time of the appeals court hearing of the Cuenca cases.
    .
    La Red LGBTI del Azuay is the organization threatening/promising to carry this matter to the CIDH if the Constitutional Court of Ecuador does not rule on the Cuenca cases in a timely fashion. The 9 members of the new Constitutional Court of Ecuador were announced a month ago, in mid-December 2018.

  • 46. VIRick  |  January 28, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    Texas: The Fourth Legislative Across-the-Board Anti-LGBT Hate Bill for 2019

    Texas state representative Bill Zedler (R-Arlington), is making his second attempt at legalizing discrimination against LGBTQ people in the Lone Star State. He first introduced a “Free to Believe Act” in 2017, but it failed to pass. Essentially, he has re-introduced the same measure in 2019 as HB-1035, but for added insanity, has combined it with the failed Kolkorst "bathroom" bill.

    In the interim, in late 2017, Texas also failed to pass the hotly-contested "bathroom" bill, leaving many members less interested in such proposals. In that fight, which led to a 30-day special session primarily to pass SB-6, the Texas senate adjourned without passing the bill. Afterward, SB-6’s author, Lois Kolkhorst, also found herself out of a job following the 2018 midterms.

    “Rep. Zedler missed the message voters sent last fall, when they sent home the author of 2017’s notorious bathroom bill,” said Interim Executive Director of Equality Texas, Samantha Smoot, via a press release.

    HB 1035 would make it illegal for any number of “government entities,” including the state of Texas, its supreme court, or even a private citizen who sues in order to enforce a law enacted by the state, to take any “discriminatory action” against a religious organization or private citizens whose “sincerely-held religious beliefs or moral convictions” cause them to discriminate against LGBTQ people. The two “sincerely-held religious beliefs or moral convictions” spelled out in the bill are that marriage should only be between one man and one woman, and that man and woman “refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex determined by anatomy and genetics at the time of birth.”

    In short, the bill allows same-sex couples to be denied services over the course of their marriage, as well as cutting transgender people off entirely from goods and services appropriate to their gender. This would allow for discrimination against LGBTQ people throughout the state, in everything from health care to housing. Plus, the bill further re-introduces the same anti-LGBT bathroom regulations that Kolkhorst was seeking prior to her election defeat.
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2019/01/texas-republi

  • 47. Mechatron12  |  January 28, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    You would think a gay website like lgbtqnation would at least try and get their facts straight. Lois Kolkhorst is unfortunately still very much a state senator from Texas. She wasn't up for re-election last year. Two sponsors of the bill lost, one of them a female named Konni Burton who I guess they were getting confused with Ms. Kolkhorst.

    Still I think/hope that this nonsense will go down hard.

  • 48. Fortguy  |  January 28, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    Correct, Kolkhorst won't face reelection until 2020. Konni Burton of Tarrant County and Don Huffines of Dallas County were two of 17 "co-authors" of the bill who were defeated in the last election. These 18 authors and co-authors were among the 20 Republicans in the 31-member Senate during the previous session.

    Burton only served one term in office before her defeat. She was targeted by Democrats from the beginning as she succeeded Wendy Davis who gave up the seat to run for governor as a Democrat in 2014.

    The difference between HB 1035 and the previous session's SB 6 is that HB 1035 is primarily a bill to protect discrimination against LGBT people due to religious beliefs while SB 6 was concerned only with mandating transgender discrimination in bathrooms and changing rooms of schools and government buildings. HB 1035 does not require transgender discrimination. It does, however, protect school officials, municipal authorities, and state department heads if they implement anti-trans bathroom or dress code policies.

    Of course, HB 1035 also wants to protect public employees who refuse to do their jobs when same-sex couples seek to license or solemnize a marriage.

    It will be interesting to see how Speaker Bonnen's House deals with this bill or whether Zedler has a senator introducing a companion Senate bill.

    A statement from Equality Texas can be seen here:

    Action Alert: Extremists are on the move!

  • 49. VIRick  |  January 28, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    "Lois Kolkhorst is unfortunately still very much a state senator from Texas."

    Thanks for the correction, as I simply quoted from LGBTQ Nation's article, and assumed that they knew what they were discussing when referencing her defeat. Next time, perhaps I should leave the subject of the antics and maneuverings of the Texas legislature to you or to Fortguy.

    I almost instinctively do that anyway, as Fortguy's periodic in-depth reports, coupled with his unique style and flourish, along with all the apropos "pet" names for the endless cabal of clowns, makes for an extremely enjoyable diversion.

  • 50. Elihu_Bystander  |  January 29, 2019 at 4:45 am

    I will second that.

  • 51. Mechatron12  |  January 29, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Oh no, I hope that wasn't coming off as anything negative towards you! I have no idea what we would do without your in-depth knowledge of Latin America and other areas. I pretty much take it for granted that when I see your username I'm going to learn something I didn't know before about the struggle for equality.

    I was just being critical of the gay website for printing that without fact-checking. Maybe I should cut them some slack, we know that all bigots look alike anyway, right?

  • 52. VIRick  |  January 29, 2019 at 10:26 am

    "I was just being critical of the gay website for printing that without fact-checking."

    In general, in the past, I have not had much issue with LGBTQ Nation mis-stating the actual facts, so I am glad that you caught this error and drew it to everyone's attention.

    ". . . we know that all bigots look alike anyway, right?"

    Not really. To borrow from Fortguy's colorful vocabulary, "Who could ever confuse the continuous creepiness of Carnival Cruz with the ludicrous lunacy of Loonie Louie, or for that matter, with peevish pettiness of Pottie Patrick?" And eye bleach will never remove the stain of seeing "family values" Rep. Joe Barton's rotund nude on-line selfies.

    However, while we're still on the subject of certified clowns from Texas, and noting that this latest anti-LGBT hate bill, HB-1035, is sponsored by Bill Zedler (R-Arlington), whatever has become of Tiny Tim Tinderholt (R-Arlington), the loud anti-LGBT, anti-abortion, serial-marriage guy? Is it even possible that Arlington sent TWO egotistic misfits to the Texas state House as reps? Or is Tinderholt too busy working on a sixth/seventh marriage to bother? To paraphrase the highlights of his failed lowlife, one-upping even Kim Davis in the process, from Wikipedia we have:

    Tinderholt, now 48, by age 39, had already been married five times, twice to his first wife. His current wife, Bethany Tyler, is a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Tinderholt married Kimberly Ann Johnson in 1990, and she divorced him in 1994; they remarried in 1995, and she quickly divorced him again in 1996. Undaunted, Tinderholt then married Tammy J. Land in 1996 who also later filed for divorce. By 2002, Tinderholt, still continuing to shop around, married Tamara Dawn Levan who then also proceeded to divorce him. He married the trophy wife/cheerleader, Bethany Tyler, in 2009.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Tinderholt

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