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Supreme Court will hear LGBT employment discrimination cases

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The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
This morning, the Supreme Court granted three cases involving discrimination against LGBT people in employment:

The court, in an unsigned order, said it would review all three cases on the matter, but ordered that two of the cases be combined into one argument.

The two merged cases asked whether discrimination over sexual orientation falls under Title VII of the Civil Rights act. The statue blocks discrimination in the workplace because of sex.

The court said it will also examine if the same federal statute protects transgender people in the workplace, based on their transgender identification.

The Court had relisted the cases over several conferences since January, so Court watchers weren’t sure what would ultimately happen. Typically when cases are heard over so many conferences, someone is writing a dissent from denial of review.

In the transgender discrimination case, the Court will also take up the question of whether discrimination against people who are transgender is also “sex stereotyping” under Court precedent in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins.

The Court won’t hear the cases until next term, with a decision likely sometime before June 2020.

55 Comments

  • 1. guitaristbl  |  April 22, 2019 at 8:46 am

    The sexual discrimination cases are dead in the water.
    The one about gender identity could have a slightly better chance for those who want to be very optimistic but realistically it is also dead in the water. I expect some extremely dehumanizing language against LGBT people in those majority opinions as all the 5 far right hacks have some inexplicable vicious hatred for LGBT people.

  • 2. JayJonson  |  April 22, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    I prefer not to be so pessimistic at this time. We have not even heard the arguments.

    In addition, we need to work toward taking control of the House, Senate, and presidency in the 2020 elections. With such control, it will be possible to pass the Equality Act.

  • 3. guitaristbl  |  April 22, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Arguments never change anything, they are just for show really. Getting the senate in 2020 will be hard if not impossible but the good thing is the negative decision here will put momentum behind passing the equality act.

  • 4. scream4ever  |  April 22, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    We can take back the Senate.

  • 5. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 22, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    Remember the old adage: One cannot win a case with good oral arguments, but one can certainly loose a case with poor oral arguments.

  • 6. VIRick  |  April 22, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    Nevada Now Allows Non-Binary People to Self-Identify on State-Issued IDs

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Nevada has become the 10th state to permit gender-neutral state IDs for transgender, nonbinary, and intersex residents. Starting Monday, 22 April 2019, residents of the Silver State can obtain “X” gender markers on driver's licenses and state ID cards, in addition to the traditional “M” and “F” markers for male and female.

    According to Alexandra Walden, public information officer at the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, the efforts have been years in the making. "The Nevada DMV staff have been working diligently for quite some time in order to offer the nonbinary or ‘gender X’ option to Nevadans," Walden told NBC News in a statement.

    Nevada also offers gender-neutral birth certificates for residents. The new state IDs come on the heels of a progressive policy change last June that allowed applicants to up-date their ID gender marker without a court order, doctor’s note, or corrected birth certificate proving their lived gender identity. That policy of allowing trans people to effectively self-identify their gender now applies to those seeking “X” gender markers, as Walden confirmed. The changes are the result of the efforts of advocacy and education organization Transgender Allies Group, which asked the DMV to consider a series of policy updates around IDs for trans people.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/gender-x-

  • 7. VIRick  |  April 22, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Durango: State Civil Registry Assures It Is Open to Complying with Marriage Equality

    Durango: Registro Civil del Estado Está Abierto a Matrimonio Igualitario, Aseguran

    Per "El Siglo de Durango" el 22 de abril 2019:

    La nueva directora del Registro Civil del Estado, Brenda Azucena Rosas Gamboa, enfatizó que no se les puede negar el matrimonio, aunque reconoció que, como no se ha presentado ningún caso, el sistema no ha cambiado.

    “Sin embargo, como ya lo tenemos tipificado a nivel federal, las personas del mismo sexo pueden tener acceso al matrimonio,” expuso. Agregó que, en cuanto se presente el primer caso, tendría que hacerse lo necesario para resolverlo. “Realmente hasta este momento no se ha presentado ni una sola pareja para pedirnos el matrimonio; sin embargo, en cuanto acudan con nosotros, veremos la manera de resolver la situación y, sobre todo, de responderles bajo el marco de la ley. No hemos tenido una solicitud ya de manera presencial, formal, en ninguna de nuestras oficialías, sin embargo, está abierto,” dijo.
    https://www.elsiglodedurango.com.mx/noticia/10440

    The new state director of the Civil Registry, Brenda Azucena Rosas Gamboa, emphasized that it is not possible for them to deny the marriage, although she recognized that, since no case has been presented, the system has not yet changed.

    "However, as we already have it typified at the federal level, people of the same sex can have access to marriage," she said. She added that, as soon as the first case is presented, they would have the need to resolve it. "Actually until now, not a single couple has come forward to ask us for marriage; however, as soon as they do come to us, we will see how to resolve the situation and, above all, to respond to them under the law. We have not yet had an application in person, formally, at any of our offices, however, we are open," she said.

    This move is a major breakthrough, as the new state director of the Durango Civil Registry, since her recent appointment, is now open and ready to accommodate the first same-sex couple wishing to marry within Durango state, without amparo, as per the jurisprudence set by the SCJN (while ignoring the irrelevant fact that the state congress has yet to change the state law).

  • 8. VIRick  |  April 22, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Perú: Reniec: 4 Marriage Cases; Urgent that Congress Legislate Marriage Equality

    Perú: Reniec: 4 Casos de Matrimonio; Urge que el Congreso Legisle el Matrimonio Igualitario

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Así como los casos de Óscar Ugarteche y Susel Paredes, existen otras dos parejas que buscan que se les reconozca su unión en el Perú. Reniec dice que va en contra de la ley. Por eso, todo está en manos del Parlamento.

    Por protección de datos personales, la Procuraduría Pública del Reniec no reveló los nombres de estos dos últimos casos, pero sí indicó que uno de ellos celebró su matrimonio en el extranjero, al igual que Ugarteche y Paredes. Ahora esta pareja pide su reconocimiento en el Perú a través de una demanda judicial que está en una segunda instancia, pendiente por resolver.

    El cuarto caso, según Reniec, es de otro peruano que pide casarse en el Perú con su pareja del mismo sexo. El proceso está en primera instancia en un juzgado de Lima y aún no hay sentencia. Ante ello, Nelly Paredes Rojas, procuradora pública del Reniec, remarcó que es necesario que el Congreso apruebe una ley que regule el matrimonio de personas del mismo sexo.
    https://larepublica.pe/sociedad/1454462-reniec-ur

    As well as the cases of Óscar Ugarteche and Susel Paredes, there are two other couples seeking recognition of their unions in Perú. Reniec says that it goes against the law. That is why everything is in the hands of Parliament.

    For personal data protection, Reniec Public Prosecutor's Office did not disclose the names of these last two cases, but it did indicate that one of them celebrated their marriage abroad, as did Ugarteche and Paredes. Now this couple is asking for recognition in Perú through a lawsuit that is in the second instance, pending resolution.

    The fourth case, according to Reniec, is from another Peruvian who is asking to marry with his same-sex partner in Perú. The trial is in first instance in a court in Lima and there is still no judgment. In response, Nelly Paredes Rojas, public prosecutor of Reniec, stressed that it is necessary for Congress to pass a law regulating the marriages of same-sex couples.

  • 9. VIRick  |  April 22, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Rules against Anti-Gay "License to Discriminate" in Foster Care

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In "Fulton v. City of Philadelphia," the city of Philadelphia was within its rights to end a contract with a foster care agency that refused to place children with LGBTQ people, and is not obligated to contract with a foster care agency that discriminates against LGBTQ people, a federal appeals court ruled today, 22 April 2019.

    Last year, the Philadelphia Department of Human Services ended its contract with Catholic Social Services after the agency refused to change its policy to comply with Philadelphia’s LGBTQ-inclusive anti-discrimination law. The Catholic group will not place children with LGBTQ parents. The Catholic agency sued, and last year a federal district court ruled that the city was within its rights to exclude organizations that discriminate. Today, a three-judge panel of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision, saying among other things that the Catholic group’s religious beliefs do not exempt it from the city’s anti-discrimination law, the Philadelphia "Daily News" reports.

    “The City’s non-discrimination policy is a neutral, generally applicable law, and the religious views of CSS do not entitle it to an exception from that policy. … [CSS] has failed to make a persuasive showing that the City targeted it for its religious beliefs, or is motivated by ill will against its religion, rather than sincere opposition to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” Judge Thomas L. Ambro wrote for the panel.

    The Becket Fund, an anti-LGBT, conservative, ultra right-wing legal group that represents Catholic Social Services, is reviewing whether to appeal the Third Circuit’s decision to the Supreme Court. However, the high court last year denied the Catholic group’s emergency petition to have its contract reinstated.

    Catholic Social Services has argued that by ending its contract, the city is losing a substantial pool of foster parents. But the city has pointed out that it contracts with 29 other agencies for child placement, and that in 2017, CSS was responsible for only 2 percent of placements.
    https://www.advocate.com/news/2019/4/22/court-rul

    The Opinion is here:
    http://files.eqcf.org/cases/18-2574-113217629/

    The Judgment is here:
    http://files.eqcf.org/cases/18-2574-113217632/

  • 10. JayJonson  |  April 23, 2019 at 11:42 am

    Michigan Christian foster agency has reversed its anti-gay policy in order to keep its contract with the state.

    A major faith-based foster care and adoption contractor for the state of Michigan said Monday it will place children in LGBTQ homes, reversing course following a recent legal settlement.

    Grand Rapids-based Bethany Christian Services is responsible for about 8 percent of Michigan’s more than 13,000 foster care and adoption cases involving children from troubled households.

    “We are disappointed with how this settlement agreement has been implemented by the state government. Nonetheless, Bethany will continue operations in Michigan, in compliance with our legal contract requirements,” the nonprofit said in a statement, confirming a policy change that was first reported by WGVU-FM.

    Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, announced the settlement last month with same-sex couples who had sued in 2017. It prevents faith-based agencies from refusing to place children in LGBTQ households for religious reasons if it has accepted them for referral from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

    Lansing-based St. Vincent Catholic Charities challenged the deal in federal court last week, alleging violations of the U.S. Constitution and the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

    Of the faith-based agencies known to not serve LGBTQ couples or individuals in Michigan, Bethany does the most work for the state. The nonprofit was handling 1,159 cases as of February. Catholic Charities had 404 cases, or 3 percent, while St. Vincent had 80, or less than 1 percent.

    State human services department spokesman Bob Wheaton said the agency was pleased it will “be able to continue its long-standing partnership with Bethany in providing services to children and families.”

    Nessel tweeted over the weekend that having more adoption agencies not discriminate results in “more children adopted into loving, nurturing ‘forever’ homes. Thank you to Bethany Christian Services.”

    As a private attorney, Nessel — who is a lesbian — successfully fought to overturn Michigan’s ban on gay marriage.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/michigan-

  • 11. VIRick  |  April 23, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    Taiwan: Appointments for Same-Sex Marriage Registration Begin in Taipei

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On Tuesday, 23 April 2019, household registration offices across Taipei began to accept appointments from local residents to register marriages between same-sex couples beginning from 24 May, the date the Constitutional Court has set for such marriages to be legalized, Taipei City government announced.

    In line with the Constitutional Court ruling in 2017, household registration offices in Taipei will take telephone and on-site appointments for marriage registration of same-sex couples, even though the central government has not yet completed the relevant legal amendments to make same-sex marriage legal, Taipei City Department of Civil Affairs said in a statement.

    Registration will begin at 8:30 AM and close at 8:00 PM on 24 May at all household registration offices in Taipei. On that day, those who register will receive updated household certificates and identification cards, which indicate the marriage has been registered.

    As of press time, no other cities or counties in Taiwan have announced a date on which they will start accepting appointments to register marriages between same-sex couples, as required by the Constitutional Court ruling.
    http://focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201904230019.aspx

  • 12. FredDorner  |  April 23, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    It's all about the benjamins, baby. The bigoted agency was free to deny service to LGBT folks if they didn't use public funds, but money Trumped their hateful ideology.

    And kudos to AG Nessel……she's done great work.

  • 13. VIRick  |  April 23, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    San Luis Potosí: Congressional Marriage Equality Vote Line-Up

    Per LGBT Marriage news:

    (De los 27 miembros del congreso), la decisión (sobre matrimonio igualitario) la tienen los partidos pequeños. La balanza está muy clara: Morena (6), que votar a favor junto con su coalición; el PAN (6), que va votar en contra; él PRI tiene cinco diputados, algunos están a favor, algunos otros no tienen una postura clara; pero los partidos minoritarios, que son el PRD (2), Conciencia Popular (1), Movimiento Ciudadano (1), Nueva Alianza (1), el Partido Verde (2), el PT (2), y Encuentro Social (1) son los que al final van a decidir cómo va a ser la votación en pleno," dijo Paul Ibarra Collazo, de Red Diversificadores Sociales.
    http://planoinformativo.com/655525/matrimonio-igu

    (Of the 27 members of congress), the decision (on marriage equality) will be made by the small parties. The balance is very clear: Morena (6), who will vote in favor with its coalition; PAN (6), who will vote against; the PRI has five deputies, some are in favor, some others do not have a clear position; but the minority parties, which are the PRD (2), Popular Conscience (1), Citizen Movement (1), New Alliance (1), the Green Party (2), the PT (2), and Social Encounter (1) are the ones who in the end are going to decide how the voting goes in the full congress," said Paul Ibarra Collazo, of Red Diversificadores Sociales.
    http://congresosanluis.gob.mx/conocenos/integrant

    Note: Of this, for a 14-vote majority, all we need is Morena (6), PRD (2), MC (1), Nueva Alianza (1), Verde (2), and PT (2). It is also highly likely that there could be as many as 12 votes against, PAN (6), PRI (5), and PES (1). This breakdown would match with the very recent vote on the same subject in Yucatán, where Morena and all the same "small" parties voted in favor, and where the majority PAN/PRI voted against. But here, in San Luis Potosí, PAN/PRI do not hold a majority. Plus, this article further mentions that several PRI members are in favor of marriage equality.

  • 14. VIRick  |  April 23, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    Canada's New $1 LGBT Equality Coin

    Canada has unveiled a new coin to mark 50 years since the decriminalisation of gay sex. The $1 coin depicts two overlapping faces with the word “equality” written in both English and French and also features an engraving of the years 1969 and 2019. It was unveiled at a special event in Toronto and will go into circulation today, 23 April 2019.

    Randy Boissonnault, special advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBT issues, said it was “an important day” for LGBT people in Canada. “It is an opportunity to reflect on a landmark event in our country’s history, and a reminder of the progress still to be made as we work toward inclusion and equality for all LGBTQ Canadians,” he said.

    One can see an image of the coin in question here:
    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/04/23/canada-equa

  • 15. VIRick  |  April 23, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Michigan: Bethany Christian Services "Reluctantly" Bows Out of LGBT Discrimination

    A Michigan adoption agency, one of two defendant agencies which had been indirectly sued in a federal lawsuit, "Dumont v. Gordon," has reversed course and announced that it will not shut down operations if required to serve same-sex couples. Said agency had fought a long legal battle to be able to continue discriminating against LGBTQ people, despite the best interests of the child.

    The case dates from 2017, when two lesbian couples claimed their applications to adopt a child were denied by both Catholic Charities and by Bethany Christian Services because of their sexual orientation. The couples were later joined in the ACLU suit by a woman who spent her teenage years in the foster care system. Originally, Bethany Christian Services had threatened to close their doors if they could not continue discriminating, despite handling over 1000 cases per year for the state.

    As part of a settlement in the lawsuit, Attorney-General Dana Nessel nixed a four-year-old law allowing adoption and foster care centers to discriminate in the name of their “religious beliefs.” Her office announced the decision in a statement calling anti-LGBTQ bias on the part of child-placing agencies “illegal.” “Limiting the opportunity for a child to be adopted or fostered by a loving home not only goes against the state’s goal of finding a home for every child, it is a direct violation of the contract every child-placing agency enters into with the state,” Nessel said.

    “We are disappointed with how this settlement agreement has been implemented by the state government. Nonetheless, Bethany will continue operations in Michigan, in compliance with our legal contract requirements,” Bethany Christian Services said in a statement.

    Nine states still have laws on the books giving adoption agencies a license to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples: Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia.
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2019/04/adoption-agen

    Note: Lansing-based St. Vincent Catholic Charities, which last week filed a counter-suit against this settlement, was not part of the original discrimination suit, "Dumont v. Gordon," as that suit was directed against the state and the state practice of contracting with agencies which discriminated against LGBT couples, specifically with both Grand Rapids-based Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Charities. Instead, Lansing-based St. Vincent Catholic Charities was an intervenor-defendant, that is, one which inserted itself into an on-going lawsuit, and one which had not even been named as a discriminating agency by either lesbian couple in the original complaint. Because "Dumont v. Gordon" was settled in an out-of-court settlement, it can not be appealed. Thus, despite handling less than 1% of state child-placement cases per year, St. Vincent's brand-new counter-suit, "Buck v. Gordon" appears, "miraculously" funded by the ultra-right-wing Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

  • 16. VIRick  |  April 24, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    India: Madras High Court Orders Tamil Nadu Government to Ban Sex Reassignment Surgeries on Intersex Infants/Children

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On Monday, 22 April 2019, in an order that recognizes the human rights of intersex persons, the Madras High Court directed the Tamil Nadu government to issue a Government Order banning sex reassignment surgeries on intersex infants and children. Intersex persons are born with variations in sex characteristics – like chromosomes, hormones, and genitals – that do not fit into typical definitions of ‘male’ and ‘female’. In numerous cases, doctors and parents decide to perform surgeries on intersex infants and children to make their bodies conform to the male-female binary.

    “When a child is born, it is usually endowed with male genitalia or female genitalia. But there are children who are born with a genitalia that belongs to neither category. They are known as intersex children. They must be given their time and space to find their true gender identity,” Justice GR Swaminathan said, adding that "consent of the parent cannot be considered as the consent of the child."

    The state's Health and Family Welfare Department has also been directed to file a compliance report before the court within a period of eight weeks.
    https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/ban-sex-rea

  • 17. VIRick  |  April 24, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    National Guard Leaders in 5 States Defy Trump Trans Military Ban

    Four additional states announced this past week that they will join California in not imposing the transgender military ban on their National Guards. Two months ago, the assistant adjutant-general for the California National Guard told a legislative committee that they will not remove transgender people. “Nobody’s going to kick you out,” said Major General Matthew Beevers.

    Now the governors of New Mexico, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington State have said that they will do the same.

    This past weekend, New Mexico announced that it would not kick anyone out of its National Guard for being transgender. “We are not going to discharge any transgender individual from serving in our state National Guard, nor would this state ever discriminate against someone based on their gender identity,” said a spokesperson for New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D).

    Out Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D) said that she was “appalled” by the Supreme Court decision that allowed the transgender military ban to go forward while still being argued in court. “I will use every option available to ensure that every eligible Oregonian, regardless of gender identity, can serve their state and country,” Brown said.

    A spokesperson for 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D) said that he “stands in solidarity with transgender Americans across the country.” Until the ban is overturned, “we will continue to welcome transgender service members to the greatest extent possible under the rules. It’s our understanding that is what New Mexico is doing as well.”

    A spokesperson for Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak (D) said, “The State of Nevada does not discriminate against anyone, including and especially service members, based on gender identity or expression. Governor Sisolak believes the only criteria to serve in the Nevada National Guard is one’s readiness to serve.”
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2019/04/national-guar

  • 18. VIRick  |  April 24, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    Tampa FL: Out Lesbian Wins Mayoral Race

    Lesbian candidate Jane Castor won big Tuesday night, 23 April 2019, in Tampa FL when she achieved victory in the race to become the city’s next mayor, making her the first out person elected mayor of a top-100 city in the Southeast. Castor, the city’s former police chief, won 72.5 percent of the vote against her opponent, philanthropist David Straz, who only won 27.5 percent of the vote, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

    Annise Parker, CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund and the first openly lesbian mayor of Houston, commended Castor in a statement for her victory, saying “a lavender ceiling was shattered in Florida Tuesday night. Both LGBTQ people and women face tremendous obstacles in running for public office, but Jane’s victory shows lesbian candidates can win citywide office with a strong record of public service and policy priorities that align with their constituents,” Parker said. “While voters chose Jane because of her vision for Tampa, her willingness to be open and honest about her life lent her an authenticity that voters are drawn to not just in Tampa, but across the nation.”

    “Both LGBTQ people and women face tremendous obstacles in running for public office, but Jane’s victory shows lesbian candidates can win citywide office with a strong record of public service and policy priorities that align with their constituents,” Parker said. “While voters chose Jane because of her vision for Tampa, her willingness to be open and honest about her life lent her an authenticity that voters are drawn to not just in Tampa, but across the nation.”

    Castor is the third out lesbian to win a big city mayoral race this year. Both Lori Lightfoot of Chicago and Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison WI also won mayoral elections earlier this month.
    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2019/04/23/lesbia

  • 19. VIRick  |  April 24, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Pakistan: Sindh Provincial Police to Welcome Transgender Officers

    The police force in Pakistan’s Sindh province has announced that they will now allow transgender people to serve as regular duty police officers. The police chief said that it was time to offer more opportunities to transgender people, who are often relegated to “menial jobs” in Pakistan, according to NBC News.
    
    “We will make them part of the Sindh police,” Syed Kaleem Imam, Inspector General of the Sindh police told Reuters today. “They are good God-gifted people. Citizens like us. We should stand by them,” he added.

    Transgender activists in the region say the decision will be a significant step for the community. Transgender people in Pakistan were granted rights equal to other citizens in 2009 by the country’s Supreme Court. Despite this, transgender people in Pakistan continue to face persecution and transphobia.
    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/04/24/police-paki

    Sindh Province encompasses Karachi, and swaths eastward to the border with India, and northward along the Indus River valley.

  • 20. VIRick  |  April 24, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Tennessee: Federal Suit Filed Challenging Anti-Trans Birth Certificate Policy

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Nashville, 23 April 2019 — Today, Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit, "Gore v. Lee," challenging Tennessee’s policy prohibiting transgender people born in Tennessee from correcting the gender marker on their birth certificates. Tennessee is one of just three remaining states, including Kansas and Ohio, where Lambda Legal already has similar lawsuits currently pending in federal district court, to still have such a discriminatory policy.

    In the lawsuit, "Gore v. Lee," Lambda Legal argues that denying transgender people in Tennessee the ability to obtain accurate birth certificates violates the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the US Constitution. The lawsuit also argues that forcing transgender people through their birth certificates to identify with a sex that is not who they are violates their free speech rights under the First Amendment.

    • The Complaint is here:
    http://files.eqcf.org/cases/319-cv-00328-1/

    The Lambda Legal press release is here:
    https://www.lambdalegal.org/news/tn_20190423_lamb

  • 21. VIRick  |  April 24, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    Wisconsin: Transgender Health Care Case Becomes a Class-Action Suit

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 23 April 2019, in "Flack v. Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services," the federal suit challenging a state regulation that prohibits Medicaid beneficiaries from obtaining medically-necessary treatments for gender dysphoria, the plaintiffs' motions for class certification and for expansion of the preliminary injunction are granted. The case is now a class-action on behalf of, "“All transgender individuals who are or will be enrolled in Wisconsin Medicaid, have or will have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and who are seeking or will seek surgical or medical treatments or services to treat gender dysphoria.”

    Additionally, the original preliminary injunction, which covered only the two originally-named plaintiffs, is expanded to prohibit the state from enforcing the "Challenged Exclusion" while the lawsuit continues.

    The Opinion and Order is here:
    http://files.eqcf.org/cases/318-cv-00309-150/

  • 22. VIRick  |  April 25, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    8th Circuit Court of Appeals: Title VII Employment Discrimination Case on Hold

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 25 April 2019, in "Horton v. Midwest Geriatric Management," the case wherein which a gay man is appealing to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals a district court ruling dismissing his Title VII employment discrimination claim, the 8th Circuit Court is holding this case in abeyance, pending the Supreme Court's decision in the Title VII cases which they have just agreed to take up.

    The appeal before the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals panel was argued on 17 April 2019.

    The Order is here:
    http://files.eqcf.org/cases/18-1104-13717917/

  • 23. VIRick  |  April 25, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    Italy: Supreme Court of Cassation Rules in Favor of Gay Man Seeking Asylum

    The Italian Supreme Court of Cassation has ruled in favor of a gay refugee who was denied asylum in Italy. His case will now be referred to another appeals court for a final decision. If they decide that he has a legitimate claim for asylum, he will be allowed to stay in Italy, according to Info Migrants.
    
    He told the Supreme Court that he faced "disrespect and accusations" when his wife and father found out that he is gay and having a sexual relationship with another man. The man, Bakayoko Aboubakar S, is Muslim and is from the Ivory Coast. He was married and had two children in his home country.

    Aboubakar S said he was forced to flee the country when his male partner died “in unknown circumstances.” He told the court that he believes his father was responsible for his partner’s death. He was initially denied asylum in Italy despite his precarious situation in the Ivory Coast, with the Italian territorial commission stating: “In the Ivory Coast, in contrast to other African countries, homosexuality is not considered a crime, and the state does not have a condition of armed conflict nor of widespread violence.”

    However, per the ruling, they must also ensure that there is “adequate protection” for gay people in their home countries before sending them back. The judges ruled in his favor and said that the reasons for denying his application for refuge were inadequate. “To this end, it does not appear sufficient that in his country of origin, the Ivory Coast, homosexuality is not considered a crime, given that verification is needed to ascertain adequate protection by the state in the face of the very serious threats by private individuals,” the judges said.
    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/04/25/italy-supre

  • 24. VIRick  |  April 25, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    Hidalgo Congress Approves Self-Identifying Gender Identity Bill

    Per Gloria V. Davenport‏, transgender activist, Mexico City:

    El 25 de abril 2019, aprueba el Congreso de Hidalgo el reconocimiento de identidad (de género) de personas travéstis, transgénero, y transexuales. Fracción parlamentaria Morena impulsa con 29 votos a favor, 0 en contra, 0 abstención.
    https://twitter.com/GloriaDaveport

    On 25 April 2019, the Congress of Hidalgo approved gender identity recognition for transgender and transsexual persons. The parliamentary grouping for Morena promoted the measure with 29 votes in favor, 0 against, 0 abstentions.

    Per Dionisio Reyes, from Hidalgo:‏

    Las reformas aprobadas por el Congreso de Hidalgo permitirán que personas LGBT puedan rectificar su acta de nacimiento en los rubros de nombre y sexo para que su identidad de género sea reconocida legalmente.
    https://twitter.com/DionisioReyes

    The reforms approved by the Hidalgo Congress will allow LGBT persons to be able to rectify their birth certificates with regard to their names and sex so that their correct gender identity is legally recognized.

    Previously, only a handful of other Mexican jurisdictions, namely CDMX, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Coahuila, had passed the same sweeping, self-identifying gender identity measure. Now, for Hidalgo, with its Morena majority, to go forward with marriage equality with the same unanimity.

    For further confirmation regarding Hidalgo's new gender identity law, to go into effect in 180 days (on 22 October 2019), see:
    https://www.eluniversal.com.mx/estados/diputados-

  • 25. Randolph_Finder  |  April 26, 2019 at 2:32 am

    Will this mean that Taiwan should be counted as of 24 May as having Marriage Equality?

  • 26. VIRick  |  April 26, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    Kansas Supreme Court: State Constitution Protects Right to Abortion

    On Friday, 26 April 2019, in "Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt," the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the state's constitution protects a woman's right to an abortion, ending a years-long legal battle over a 2015 ban on a commonly-used second-trimester abortion procedure.

    According to the state's highest court, "the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights affords protection of the right of personal autonomy." The ruling goes on to state that "this right allows a woman to make her own decisions regarding her body, health, family formation, and family life — decisions that can include whether to continue a pregnancy."

    The state's Supreme Court ruling marked a major victory for abortion rights activists, as the decision ensures abortion would remain legal in Kansas even if the federal law that establishes a national right to abortion — "Roe v. Wade" — were ever overturned by the US Supreme Court.

    The Judgment is attached to the bottom of the news article here:
    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/maryanngeorg

  • 27. VIRick  |  April 26, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Yucatán: MC Deputy Files Official Complaint with CNDH to Intervene in Favor of Marriage Equality

    Per Mily Romero (MC), Diputada del Congreso de Yucatán:

    Hoy, 26 de abril 2019, se presentó la queja que se enviará a la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH), para que intervenga en el tema del matrimonio igualitario.

    En Movimiento Ciudadano Yucatán (MC), continuamos por la lucha de los derechos iguales para nuestros ciudadanos.
    https://twitter.com/MilyRomeroYuc

    Today, 26 April 2019, the complaint was submitted to the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), so as to intervene on the issue of marriage equality.

    In Movimiento Ciudadano Yucatán (MC), we continue to fight for equal rights for our citizens.

    Per Sumario Yucatán:

    A través de organizaciones civiles, activistas, y un partido político, la CNDH envió al Congreso de Yucatán un oficio para que revean el matrimonio igualitario, el cual fue rechazado por el pleno de diputados.
    https://twitter.com/sumario_yucatan

    Through civil organizations, activists, and one political party, the CNDH has sent an official to the Yucatán Congress so as to review marriage equality, one which was rejected by the full congress.

  • 28. VIRick  |  April 26, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    Yucatán: MC to Prod Congress to Re-Vote on Marriage Equality

    Las diputadas de Movimiento Ciudadano, Silvia América López Escoffié y Milagros Romero Bastarrachea, presentaron, en conjunto con diversas agrupaciones civiles, una queja ante la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH) para que ésta investigue si existió alguna violación de parte del Congreso del Estado de Yucatán por su accionar respecto de la iniciativa de matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo.

    Durante una rueda de prensa, la coordinadora de la fracción parlamentaria de MC, López Escoffié, explicó que en cuanto inicie (en septiembre) el tercer periodo ordinario de sesiones (del congreso) volverá a turnar esa propuesta para legalizar dicha figura en Yucatán, de la cual espera que ésta vez sea votada y aprobada en el pleno.

    López Escoffié expuso que, de 2013 a la fecha, ya se realizaron en el estado 91 matrimonios igualitarios a través de amparos para obtener este derecho, por lo que es necesario que vuelva a analizarse en el pleno y que se apruebe de manera inmediata.
    https://www.lajornadamaya.mx/2019-04-26/Volvera-a

    In conjunction with various civil groups, the deputies of Movimiento Ciudadano, Silvia América López Escoffié and Milagros Romero Bastarrachea, presented a complaint before the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) to investigate if there were any violations by the Congress of Yucatán for its actions regarding the marriage equality initiative.

    During a press conference, the coordinator of the MC parliamentary faction, López Escoffié, explained that as soon as the third regular session (of congress) begins (in September), she will return to that proposal to legalize marriage equality in Yucatán, which she hopes this time will be voted upon and approved by the full congress.

    López Escoffié explained that, from 2013 to date, 91 equal marriages have already occurred in the state by means of amparos to obtain this right, so it is necessary that it be re-analyzed in the full congress and that it be approved immediately.

    Note: Yucatán state, without marriage equality, but to date, with 91 equal marriages via amparo, has the highest number of same-sex marriages of any of the recalcitrant states still without marriage equality, far surpassing Guanajuato, in second place, as of most-recent report, with about 65 equal marriages.

  • 29. VIRick  |  April 27, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    Minnesota: GOP Fighting to Keep Ex-Gay "Conversion Therapy" Legal

    On Thursday, 25 April 2019, the Democratic-led Minnesota House approved HF12, a bill that would ban so-called ex-gay conversion therapy for minors. But the Senate version of the bill, SF83, could die thanks to the Republican-led majority there. Openly gay Minnesota Democratic representative Hunter Cantrell sponsored the House version of the "ex-gay therapy" ban.

    Said bill would forbid any state-licensed mental health professionals from administering anything “that seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender” on people under the age of 18.

    However, as "Pioneer Press" reports, several Minnesota Senate Republicans have voiced opposition to the bill over concerns of “religious freedom” and worries that the bill would “deny people the right to pursue therapy if they want to.” This is a disingenuous argument because the bill doesn’t prohibit religious officials or others from counseling against being LGBTQ — minors will still be able to seek that counseling from other sources, if they choose. The real issue is that many minors don’t choose to pursue "ex-gay therapy" but are forced into it by their unaccepting parents.

    If approved and signed by the state’s Democratic governor, Minnesota would become the 18th state to ban the practice.
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2019/04/minnesota-rep

  • 30. VIRick  |  April 27, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    San Luis Potosí Congress and its Dynamic Deputy, "El Mijis"

    "El Mijis," Pedro César Carrizales Becerra (PT), newly-elected state deputy to the San Luis Potosí Congress and President of the legislative Human Rights Commission (Presidente de la Comisión legislativa de Derechos Humanos), the very vocal, very dynamic, widely-quoted, totally self-assured pro-marriage-equality deputy, is our best hope of convincing a majority of the 27 state deputies to vote favorably in the upcoming marriage equality vote before the full state congress. And he is brand-new (to the congress, but otherwise, is insatiably street-wise).

    Here are some comments he posted on his twitter account within the past several days:

    Cuando alguien (un tercero) se casa con una persona de su mismos sexo: ¿cómo afecta tu vida y tus derechos?

    When someone (a third party) marries a person of the same sex, how does it affect your life and your rights?

    Yo jamás dije que el matrimonio igualitario es suicidio político; yo dije que hay que legislar por los derechos humanos y no por los votos de las próximas elecciones.

    I never said that marriage equality is political suicide; I said that we must legislate for human rights and not for votes in the next elections.

    El matrimonio igualitario es una decisión personal; no podemos limitar las libertades ajenas, para cumplir el capricho de quienes se sienten "afectados" y "ofendidos."

    Equal marriage is a personal decision; We can not limit the freedoms of others so as to fulfill the whims of those who might feel "affected" and "offended."
    https://twitter.com/mijisoficial

    Also, to show how dynamic a personality this individual possesses, I simply typed in "el mijis san luis potosí" into a google search, and it brought up everything I needed. Until then, I did not even know his full given name, as everyone simply calls him El Mijis.

    Like this, per today's "Las Noticias Puebla," which got him quoted on television in Puebla:

    El Diputado de SLP, El Mijis, exhorta a homólogos de Puebla a legislar sobre aborto y el matrimonio igualitario.
    https://twitter.com/NTelevisaPuebla

    The deputy from SLP, El Mijis, exhorts his fellow deputies in Puebla to legislate on abortion and marriage equality (the implied, suggestive play on words in Spanish, "homólogos/homófobos," simply can not be duplicated in English).

    Note: As a "cholo," El Mijis is very much "of the barrio." In somewhat better language, a "cholo" is an individual belonging to an urban tribe/grouping that traditionally lives in marginalized neighborhoods and is heir to the Chicano culture of the north of the country. (Un “cholo” es un individuo perteneciente a una tribu urbana que tradicionalmente vive en barrios marginados y es heredera de la cultura chicana del norte del país.) Politically, he also appears to be Mexico's answer to AOC.
    https://verne.elpais.com/verne/2018/07/05/mexico/

  • 31. VIRick  |  April 28, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    Chihuahua: Federal Judge Orders Modification of Birth Certificate of Transgender Person

    Chihuahua: Juez Federal Ordena Modificar Acta de Nacimiento de Persona Transgénero

    El 25 de abril 2019, un juez federal ordenó al Registro Civil de Chihuahua modificar inmediatamente (dentro de 24 horas) el acta de nacimiento de una persona transgénero, a quien le había sido negado el cambio de nombre. La decisión, que sentará un precedente para el resto de los estados, se dio luego de que el Gobierno estatal se negara a modificar dicho documento.

    Esta decisión genera un precedente relevante porque, desde la suspensión y en un lapso de 24 horas, se hace efectivo el ejercicio de los derechos antes referidos, toda vez que en varias entidades federativas se tienen disposiciones, como la de Chihuahua, que impiden a los gobernados obtener la modificación de su acta de nacimiento, tratándose de reasignación de género.
    https://elfinanciero.com.mx/nacional/juez-ordena-

    On April 25, 2019, a federal judge ordered the Chihuahua Civil Registry to immediately (within 24 hours) modify the birth certificate of a transgender person who had been denied the name change. The decision, which will set a precedent for the rest of the states, occurred after the state government refused to modify said document.

    This decision generates a relevant precedent because, since its suspension, and after the lapse of 24 hours, the exercise of the aforementioned rights become effective, given that any number of other states have provisions, like that of Chihuahua, that prevent citizens from obtaining modifications to their birth certificate, such as would be the case in gender reassignment.

    Note: This is the second ruling against Chihuahua on this matter. Tamaulipas is already under similar orders. The present ruling implies that its precedent will also apply to all the remaining states which refuse to modify birth certificates. By my count, there are still 27 (of 32 jurisdictions) which refuse to make the changes. Only CDMX, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Coahuila already have laws in effect to allow it, while Hidalgo just passed its new gender identity law on 25 April 2019, to become effective in 6 months.

    The first judicial case from Chihuahua, plus that from Tamaulipas, both overturning the state's refusal to modify birth certificates, are already before the Supreme Court, in clear juxtaposition with a third judicial case from Guanajuato, upholding that state's refusal.

  • 32. VIRick  |  April 28, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    Yucatán: CNDH Exhorts Congress to Reopen Discussion on Marriage Equality

    La CNDH envió un oficio al Congreso de Yucatán, exhortándolo a reabrir la discusión para legalizar el matrimonio igualitario, argumentando que su prohibición “vulnera el principio de igualdad y no discriminación” que establece la Constitución (federal).
    https://twitter.com/revistatodes

    The CNDH has sent an official letter to the Yucatán Congress, exhorting it to reopen the discussion to legalize equal marriage, arguing that its prohibition "violates the principle of equality and non-discrimination" established by the (federal) Constitution.

    Yucatán: Two Lawsuits Filed against Yucatán Congress

    Per Carlos Escoffié:‏

    Desde el Colectivo PTF Yucatán, presentamos dos demandas en contra del Congreso de Yucatan por rechazar el matrimonio igualitario:

    Amparo contra la votación secreta.
    Amparo contra la violación al Pacto Federal (al no adecuar la Constitución local).
    https://twitter.com/kalycho

    From the PTF Yucatán Collective, we present two lawsuits against the Yucatán Congress for rejecting equal marriage:

    Amparo against the secret vote.
    Amparo against the violation of the Federal Pact (by not adapting the state Constitution).

    Note: Carlos Escoffié is the legal counsel for the group which filed the lawsuits.

  • 33. VIRick  |  April 29, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Bangladesh Gives Voting Rights to Hijra Community

    Bangladesh will allow parts of the transgender community to vote under their proper gender identity. Officials have introduced "hijra" as a third gender option on voting forms for the first time.
    
    “From now onward, a third gender individual can be a voter with their own identity, as a hijra,” said Abdul Baten, the director of national identity registration, according to "The Telegraph." “The press has already been ordered to print the new forms. Now they can identify themselves as hijras on the national voters list.”

    The Bangladeshi hijra community gained legal recognition in 2013, but many continue to be shunned by their families and by the wider society. While hijra has been an option on passports since then, the announcement today, 29 April 2019, marks the first time the community will be able to present themselves at the ballots with voting forms recognizing their gender identity.
    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/04/29/bangladesh-

    Note: In the Bengali language, "hijra" refers to transgender women.

  • 34. VIRick  |  April 29, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    Hong Kong Judge Rules that Marriage Equality Is Legal Issue, Not a Religious One

    A Hong Kong judge has ruled against the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong joining the debate around marriage equality, citing the issue as being a legal one, not a religious one. The Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong had attempted to enter a legal suit, arguing they would provide a “rounded picture” of Christian-defined marriage, but Judge Chow Ka-ming ruled against them.

    In the ruling, Judge Chow Ka-ming said: “It needs to be emphasized the court cannot arbitrate on social, moral, religious, or theological issues, and does not decide cases based on such a consideration. The court’s only proper rules… is to determine the application based strictly on legal considerations.”

    The case the Diocese attempted to enter concerns a lesbian known only as MK. She is arguing that being unable to form a civil union with her partner infringes on her right to privacy and equality, and that this violates the city’s mini-constitution. Her case is due to be heard from 28 May 2019.

    The city does not currently recognize same-sex marriages, although following a Supreme Court decision last year, it does respect same-sex spousal visas.
    https://www.gaytimes.co.uk/community/121698/hong-

  • 35. VIRick  |  April 30, 2019 at 11:36 am

    Chile: Appeals Court Rejects Marriage Equality Case; Matter Now to Supreme Court

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    El 29 de abril 2019, la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago rechazó el recurso de protección interpuesto en contra del Servicio de Registro Civil por el periodista Ramón Alberto Gómez Roa (43) y el diseñador Gonzalo Velásquez Velásquez (37), a quienes se le negó hora para contraer matrimonio.

    En fallo unánime, la Octava Sala del tribunal de alzada – integrada por los ministros Juan Cristóbal Mera, Mireya López, y la abogada Paola Herrera – descartó el actuar arbitrario del servicio recurrido al negar la solicitud efectuada por los quejosos.

    "Las normas sobre estado civil vigentes en nuestra legislación nacional, son de orden público, de manera que no puede disponerse por voluntad de las personas ni tampoco puede existir una interpretación extensiva de ellas," sostiene el fallo.
    https://thetimes.cl/noticia/5332/corte-rechaza-re

    On 29 April 2019, the Court of Appeals of Santiago rejected the remedy of protection filed against the Civil Registry Service by the journalist Ramón Alberto Gómez Roa (43) and the designer Gonzalo Velásquez Velásquez (37), who were denied time to get married.

    In a unanimous decision, the Eighth Chamber of the Court of Appeals – comprised of the judges Juan Cristóbal Mera, Mireya López, and the lawyer Paola Herrera – ruled upon the appealed arbitrary action of the service by denying the request made by the complainants.

    "The rules on civil status in force in our national legislation are for public order, so that they can not be disposed of by the will of the people nor can there be an extensive interpretation of them," the ruling holds.

    Note: Because of a probable constitutional violation, the Supreme Court had already referred this case back to the appeals court to reconsider said matter on constitutional grounds. Now that the appeals court has rejected that reconsideration, the Supreme Court itself will have to actually rule constitutionally on the matter with finality.

  • 36. FredDorner  |  April 30, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    It's funny that more courts don't understand that simple fact. Otherwise it's like saying that a secular government should be allowed to decide negatively on whether black folks or women should be allowed to take communion in the RCC, or whether baptisms should be allowed at all……because that is in fact the argument the dumb bigots in the RCC are making – that marriage is a religious issue and that the courts should weigh in and side with the RCC's anti-LGBT doctrine. Not very long ago the Southern Baptists were asking the courts to side with their racist doctrine on the issue of mixed-race marriage….I wonder how many people today would think it appropriate for the courts to agree?

    It's a shame that our courts don't explicitly and publicly reject such religious arguments made in amicus briefs, they usually just ignore them. But now we have the Masterpiece precedent which says that you CAN'T explicitly reject them despite their complete irrelevancy. A shame that even judges must tread so lightly when it comes to nutty, unethical and bigoted Bronze-age superstitions.

  • 37. FredDorner  |  April 30, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Sounds like the appeals court simply ignored the instructions from the supreme court. I wonder if there are consequences for doing that?

  • 38. VIRick  |  April 30, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Hidalgo: Likely "Action of Unconstitutionality" to Be Filed

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Pachuca, Hidalgo – Tras las modificaciones que diputados locales realizaron a la Ley para la Familia estatal el 25 de abril 2019, a través de la cual una pareja podrá decidir el orden de los apellidos al momento de registrar a sus hijos, la organización Matrimonio Igualitario Hidalgo, pidió que la iniciativa sea vetada por el gobernador Omar Fayad.

    Según Yolanda Molina Reyes, titular de esta organización, que depende de México Igualitario, la reforma presentada por la diputada panista Claudia Lilia Luna Islas, para permitir que las parejas puedan elegir el orden de los apellidos de sus hijos y no se imponga el primer apellido paterno, y luego el materno, resulta discriminatoria para las familias LGBT.

    Molina explicó que las familias lesbomaternales y homoparentales que busquen el registro de sus hijos en Hidalgo no podrán obtener un acta con los apellidos de sus dos madres o dos padres, pues no se consideró esta posibilidad.
    http://www.el-mexicano.com.mx/informacion/noticia

    Pachuca, Hidalgo – Following the modifications that the state deputies made to the state Law on the Family on 25 April 2019, through which a couple can decide the order of surnames at the time of registering their children, the organization Matrimonio Igualitario Hidalgo, asked that the initiative be vetoed by Governor Omar Fayad.

    According to Yolanda Molina Reyes, head of this organization, a branch of México Igualitario, the reform presented by the PAN deputy Claudia Lilia Luna Islas, to allow couples to choose the order of their children's surnames, and not impose the paternal surname first, followed by the maternal, is discriminatory for LGBT families.

    Molina explained that lesbian and homoparental families that seek the registration of their children in Hidalgo will not be able to obtain a record with the surnames of their two mothers or their two fathers, since this possibility was not considered.

    Note: If the governor does NOT veto this legislation and it becomes law, within a 30-day window thereafter, there will be sufficient grounds for the filing of an "Action of Unconstitutionality" in favor of marriage equality against the state of Hidalgo.

  • 39. VIRick  |  April 30, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Virginia: 4 School Districts File Briefs in Support of Gavin Grimm

    On Monday, 29 April 2019, the "Washington Post" reported that the Fairfax County, Arlington County, Falls Church, and Alexandria School Boards filed legal briefs in March 2019 in support of Gavin Grimm, a transgender man who challenged his school district’s bathroom policy.

    Grimm was a student at Gloucester County High School in Gloucester VA in 2015 when he filed a federal lawsuit against the Gloucester County School District’s policy that prohibits students from using bathrooms and locker rooms that do not correspond with their “biological gender.” Grimm and his lawyers with the ACLU allege the policy violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

    The US Supreme Court was scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case in 2017, but the justices remanded it back to the 4th Circuit of Appeals after Trump rescinded the guidance to public schools that stated that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 required them to allow trans students to use restrooms corresponding to their gender identity.

    Grimm graduated from Gloucester County High School in 2017. Still, a trial in the Grimm case is scheduled to take place in the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in July 2019.
    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2019/04/30/four-v

  • 40. VIRick  |  April 30, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    Costa Rica: Gender Identity of Foreign Residents Now in Effect

    Per Hivos América Latina:‏

    Este lunes, el 29 de abril 2019, nuestro colega Jess acaba de recibir su cédula de residencia. Él es la primera persona trans migrante en tener el reconocimiento de su identidad en Costa Rica.
    https://twitter.com/HivosAmLatina

    This Monday, 29 April 2019, our colleague Jess has just received his residency card. He is the first transgender immigrant to obtain recognition of his gender identity in Costa Rica.

  • 41. arturo547  |  April 30, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    Peru: Lima Metropolitan city passes anti-discrimination ordinance.

    This is awesome!

    Source: https://peru21.pe/lima/municipalidad-lima-aprobo-

  • 42. VIRick  |  April 30, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    Municipality of Lima Approves Metropolitan Ordinance Against All Forms of Discrimination

    Municipalidad de Lima Aprobó Ordenanza Metropolitana contra Toda Forma de Discriminación

    La Municipalidad de Lima, encabezada por Jorge Muñoz, aprobó el esperado documento, que fue promesa electoral de la exalcaldesa de Lima, Susana Villarán, hace más de ocho años. Esta normativa surge con el propósito de promover el respeto a la diversidad y sancionar prácticas discriminatorias por género, orientación sexual, y raza en la ciudad.
    https://peru21.pe/lima/municipalidad-lima-aprobo-

    The Municipality of Lima, headed by Jorge Muñoz, approved the anticipated ordinance, which was the electoral promise of the former mayor of Lima, Susana Villarán, from more than eight years ago. This regulation has the purpose of promoting respect for diversity and for disallowing discriminatory practices based on gender, sexual orientation, and race in the city.

  • 43. VIRick  |  April 30, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    The consequences: The case just cleared all lower court referrals and appeals, and can now be appealed cleanly and directly to the Supreme Court for a final constitutional ruling on the merits.

    Based on the language within the previous referral, it would appear that the Supreme Court of Chile is leaning quite heavily toward a ruling in our favor, and can cite both the earlier MOVILH accord and the later CIDH ruling (OC-24/17) as added weight in their decision. Plus, as precedent within its own rulings, the Supreme Court of Chile quite recently ruled that "Marriage is a right" (Matrimonio es un derecho) in a case involving a male Chilean citizen who was denied by the Civil Registry from marrying a women who was in the country illegally without the proper identity card for residency. In that case, the court ruled that the marriage could not be denied because "marriage is a right."

    Said ruling in the present case, once issued, will also short-circuit the extremely cumbersome legislative process.

  • 44. ianbirmingham  |  April 30, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    Democrats' hopes of Senate takeover damaged by candidate recruiting whiffs

    Democrats have to win a net three seats to flip the Senate if they win the presidency — and four if they don’t. Only two incumbent Republicans are running in states Hillary Clinton carried in 2016, and Democrats are defending two seats in states President Donald Trump won, including in solidly Republican Alabama. That means Democrats will have to win multiple races in red states to win the chamber.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/30/senate-

  • 45. JayJonson  |  May 1, 2019 at 6:40 am

    Tennessee anti-gay adoption bill withdrawn, presumably because of pressure from Amazon and the NFL and other businesses.

    From the Associated Press:

    Tennessee lawmakers on Tuesday spiked a proposal that would have allowed faith-based adoption agencies to refuse to place children with gay parents and other families because of their religious beliefs.

    The bill had been scheduled to be debated by the GOP-dominant Senate. However, at the last minute, the sponsor quietly asked for the proposal to be taken up next legislative session — essentially killing it for the year. There was no debate or explanation why the bill with withdrawn.

    Supporters had argued the bill was needed to protect against potential lawsuits hostile to an adoption group’s religious beliefs. However, opponents countered the measure would give adoption agencies free reign to discriminate against LGBT families, single parents and non-Christians.

    Tuesday’s developments came as national advocates have raised concerns about a series of Tennessee bills this session that they argue discriminate against LGBTQ individuals, including the adoption proposal and another to prevent government agencies from considering a business’s nondiscrimination policies when selecting a contract.

    Notably, Amazon joined a growing a list of major companies urging the Tennessee General Assembly to avoid bills that negatively impact LGBTQ individuals. Over the weekend, the Tennessee Titans announced they also opposed the slate of bills facing national scrutiny, warning that Nashville could risk hosting another NFL Draft — like the one held recently — if the measures were to become law.

    Meanwhile, music superstar Taylor Swift donated $113,000 to the Tennessee Equality Project to fight the bills critics say discriminate against LGBTQ people. In a handwritten letter explaining the donation, Swift praised religious leaders who had opposed the anti-LGBTQ bills and were “standing up against the ‘Slate of Hate’ in our state legislature.”

    While the Senate pulled back the adoption bill, the chamber did advance a watered-down proposal to spell out that Tennessee’s public indecency law applies to single-sex, multiperson bathrooms and changing rooms. While the bill had been significantly amended, critics argues there’s still risk the bill could be misused to arrest transgender people.
    https://apnews.com/e1fc63c4a8f14d4982f49f87a31933

  • 46. VIRick  |  May 1, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    USA: The Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2019

    New federal legislation would extend housing protections to LGBTQ individuals nationwide. On Tuesday, 30 April 2019, US Rep. Brad Schneider, an Illinois Democrat, introduced legislation to extend consistent non-discrimination rules. The Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2019 would cover sexual orientation and gender identity, the same as race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, or disability.

    “No American should face discrimination finding a home because of who they are or who they love,” Schneider said in a press release. The bill already boasts bipartisan support, with US Reps. Susan Brooks of Indiana and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, both Republicans, offering support from across the aisle.
    https://www.advocate.com/politics/2019/5/01/bipar

  • 47. VIRick  |  May 1, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    Iowa: Anti-Trans Health Care Bill Passes State Legislature

    In March 2019, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the state’s Medicaid program had to pay for gender-affirming health care. But a bill passed just before the current legislative session ended would allow any state agency – including Medicaid – to refuse to cover gender-affirming health care.

    Passed as an amendment to a health budget bill, the legislation says that any local government or agency can refuse to cover “sex reassignment surgery” or “any other cosmetic reconstructive or plastic surgery procedure related to transsexualism, hermaphroditism, gender identity disorder, or body dysmorphic disorder.”

    Both the state house and the state senate have approved the bill, but Governor Kim Reynolds (R) has not yet signed it. She could use a line-item veto to remove the provision, but she has not commented on it.

    In the court case, the Iowa Department of Human Services, which is responsible for administering Medicaid, argued that transgender care is cosmetic. The court disagreed, citing medical research showing that gender-affirming care is therapeutic.
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2019/05/iowa-may-soon

  • 48. VIRick  |  May 1, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    Tennessee: "Slate of Hate" Summary Up-Date

    The anti-LGBT adoption bill is dead. This bill would have allowed adoption agencies to refuse to place children in homes that violate the agencies’ religious beliefs, and had been scheduled for debate in the state Senate. However, without explanation, on 30 April 2019, the bill’s sponsor pulled the bill, and asked that the measure be taken up, instead, during the next legislative session.

    However, the state Senate did approve HB 1151, a bill that says that facilities like locker rooms and restrooms are subject to the state’s indecent exposure laws. While the bill now does not contain any references to gender dysphoria, Chris Sanders of the Tennessee Equality Project said that there is “no reason to proceed with the bill, especially if there is the possibility that it could lead to harassment of transgender people.” Still, HB 1151, already passed by the state House, is now going to the governor for his signature.

    In the meantime, yesterday, 30 April 2019, HB1274 was passed by the Tennessee House. This bill encourages school districts to develop policies that prevent transgender students from using the facilities that correspond to their gender identities. The bill also contains a provision that requires the state attorney-general to defend it in court, possibly a reference to how, in 2016, North Carolina’s then-attorney-general Roy Cooper refused to defend HB2, the notoriously insane, anti-LGBTQ law in that state. The Tennessee Senate is expected to take up similar legislation to HB1274 later today, 1 May 2019.

    A fourth bill, the Natural Marriage Defense Act, would ban marriage equality in the state and claims that the 2015 Supreme Court "Obergefell" decision does not apply. This bill is currently stalled, and is not expected to advance.
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2019/05/tennessee-mov….

  • 49. VIRick  |  May 1, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    USA : The Equality Act Up-Date

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 30 April 2019, the Equality Act passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on a favorable vote of 22-10.

    On 1 May, beginning at 10 am ET, the House Judiciary Committee will meet to mark-up several bills, including the Equality Act. This is the process by which committee members introduce/recommend amendments ahead of introducing a bill to the full House.

    Text of the Equality Act, HR 5, is here:
    https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/hous

  • 50. VIRick  |  May 1, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    Oklahoma: Up-Date on Transgender Employment Appeal to 10th Circuit Court of Appeals

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 22 April 2019, in "Tudor v. Southeast Oklahoma State University," the cross-appeals in the case of Dr. Rachel Tudor, a transgender woman who was unlawfully denied tenure, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals had cancelled the oral argument that had been scheduled for 7 May, and then placed these cross-appeals on hold "pending the outcome of the Supreme Court proceedings" in the three Title VII employment discrimination cases. That order is here:
    http://files.eqcf.org/cases/18-6102-110157667/

    Today, 1 May 2019, Dr. Tudor filed a motion asking to lift the hold and move forward with argument: "Ultimately, this Court may decide Tudor’s appeal on the merits without even reaching the issues [in the Supreme Court cases]. Given this, the Court need not hold these proceedings in abeyance."

    That motion is linked here:
    http://files.eqcf.org/cases/18-6102-110162446/

  • 51. VIRick  |  May 1, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    Jay, look at the numbers again and then edit your comment, after which I will delete mine. There are 39 members of the committee. The 22 Democrats all voted in favor, while 10 Republicans voted against. Seven other Rs did not vote.

  • 52. VIRick  |  May 1, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    St. Lucia Quarantines Scientology Ship "Freewinds" Due to Measles on Board

    On Monday, 29 April 2019, the Caribbean island of St. Lucia quarantined the Scientology ship, "Freewinds," to prevent the spread of measles, a public health official said. The country's chief medical officer, Dr. Merlene Fredericks-James, said in a video message that St. Lucia authorities learned early Monday of a case of measles on the ship. After discussions with other regional health authorities, Fredericks-James said St. Lucia ordered passengers and crew members to remain on the docked ship because of the highly contagious nature of the disease.

    "Because of the risk of potential infection, not just from the confirmed measles case but from other persons who may be on the boat at this time, we made the decision to not allow anyone to disembark," Fredericks-James said. As of late today, 1 May, the ship remains docked in Castries, in quarantine.

    The ship, "Freewinds," which flies the flag of Panamá, is owned and operated by the "Church" of Scientology, and according to their website, is the home to "the highest level of Scientology spiritual counselling." Many prominent members of this secretive cult are rabid anti-vaxxers.
    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/claudiakoern

    Reality: As left-overs from the 19th century epidemics, all of the Caribbean islands have decrepit, dungeon-like, abandoned Quarantine Stations, usually on some remote off-island location where people were carted off to die. Even if we agree that the islands' sexual activity and marriage laws are antiquated, their draconian quarantine laws will actually shock. It would be an understatement to say that it is not wise to bring contagious disease to any of the Caribbean islands.

  • 53. JayJonson  |  May 2, 2019 at 7:06 am

    Thanks, Rick, for correcting my arithmetic. I am relieved that all the Democrats voted in favor. I am interested in knowing which Republicans abstained from the vote and why.

  • 54. Fortguy  |  May 2, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Actually, it would be an understatement to say that it would be very sound public policy to give every Scientologist with exposure to a contagious disease a free ticket to a Caribbean cruise and to encourage other Scientologists to embark on the same ships. Ideally, those already showing the skin rash should be handing out the water or serving the salad.

    Such a policy could be easily funded be revoking their undeserved tax exemption. Since Scientologists are so fond of getting audited, the IRS should give them a particularly thorough one.

  • 55. VIRick  |  May 2, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    Of all the islands, St. Lucia was a particularly poor choice for anti-vaxxers to be visiting, as it has had to battle against both schistosomiasis (bilharzia) and elephantiasis (lymphatic filariasis), even into the modern era. Both are truly dreadful.

    Schistosomiasis, also known as snail fever or bilharzia, is a disease caused by parasitic flatworms called schistosomes that live in fresh-water snails.The parasites penetrate human skin to enter the bloodstream and migrate to the liver, intestines, and other organs. The urinary tract or the intestines may be infected. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stool, or blood in the urine. It causes liver damage, kidney failure, infertility, increased learning disability, and/or bladder cancer. (St. Lucia is the only Caribbean island with this horror.)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schistosomiasis

    Elephantiasis or filariasis, spread by mosquitoes, is the enlargement and hardening of limbs or other body parts due to tissue swelling. It is characterized by oedema, hypertrophy, and fibrosis of skin and subcutaneous tissues, due to obstruction of lymphatic vessels. It may also affect the genitalia, causing gross enlargement of the testicles. (St. Lucia is one of several Caribbean islands with this particular horror.)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephantiasis

    So, if we are fortunate, and the shipload of quarantined Scientologists catch both diseases, they will all become infertile, while hauling their balls about in a wheelbarrow.

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