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9/3 open thread UPDATE 9/4

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

9/4 UPDATE: The Gloucester County School Board is appealing the district court decision in Gavin Grimm’s favor in his challenge to their anti-transgender restroom policies.

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  • 1. VIRick  |  September 3, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    Philippines Supreme Court Dismisses Same-Sex Marriage Appeal

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Philippines Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed a plea to legalize same-sex marriage in the country in a case in which it heard oral arguments in June 2018. The high court, in a statement issued Tuesday, 3 September 2019, said it rejected the petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by Atty. Jesus Falcis due to its "lack of standing" and for "failing to raise an actual, justiciable controversy."

    The court, despite acknowledging that the 1987 Constitution "does not define or restrict marriage on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression," said Congress should address the recognition of same-sex unions. While the court said it recognized the LGBTQI community's history of discrimination and marginalization, it clarified that it is only through actual facts and "real adversarial presentations" that the high court can fully weigh the implications and consequences of the plea's declarations.

    In 2015, Falcis filed the petition asking the Supreme Court to declare Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Code unconstitutional. The provisions of said measure limit marriage between a man and a woman. The lawyer also wanted to nullify Articles 46(4) and 55 (6) of the Family Code which includes homosexuality or lesbianism as legal grounds for annulment and legal separation.
    https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2019/9/3/same

  • 2. VIRick  |  September 3, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    Nicaragua: LGBTI Activist Arrested on Trumped-Up Charges

    On Sunday, 1 September 2019, police in Nicaragua arrested a well-known activist who helps LGBTI Nicaraguans in exile. A source with whom the "Washington Blade" spoke said that at around 9 AM local time police arrested Ulises Rivas in Comalapa, a town in Nicaragua’s Chontales department roughly 75 miles east of the country’s capital, Managua. The source said Rivas has been accused of robbing a woman.

    Rivas, who is also an environmental activist, fled to Costa Rica after protests against the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, began in April 2018. The protests started when Ortega announced cuts to Nicaragua’s social security benefits that he later rescinded. His government’s response to a fire at the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast also sparked widespread criticism. Hundreds of people have been killed since the protests began.

    Human rights activists and others in Nicaragua with whom the Blade has spoken say the government continues to arrest protesters on “trumped up criminal charges” such as those that have been brought against Rivas. Rivas helped to create la Asociación Hijos del Arco Iris LGBTI, a group in the Costa Rican capital of San José that helps LGBTI Nicaraguans who are in exile in the country. Rivas returned to Nicaragua last month after his father died, even though the country’s government and its supporters continue to target LGBTI people and others who have participated in the protests.
    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2019/09/02/well-k

  • 3. VIRick  |  September 3, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    Yet Another "Conversion Therapy" Founder/Advocate/Practicioner: I Am Gay

    A South Carolina man behind one of the largest "conversion therapy" ministries has come out as gay. The founder, McKrae Game of "Hope for Wholeness," a faith-based "conversion therapy" program and fraudulent "non-profit" headquartered at Rutledge House, 175 Alabama Street in Spartanburg SC, just came out of the closet, according to a newspaper interview he did which was published on Saturday, 31 August 2019, in "The Post and Courier" of Charleston. This was two years after the organization’s board of directors abruptly fired him, following two decades with the group.

    Speaking to "The Post and Courier," Game discussed disavowing his past practices and embracing the community he once beset. “Conversion therapy is not just a lie, but it’s very harmful,” he said. Game slammed the practice as “false advertising.” Not only did Game spend years attempting to "convert" queer people, he practiced his own principles on himself.

    Not only did he receive counselling from a therapist who said same-sex "attraction" can be overcome, but in billing himself as a leading voice in the "conversion therapy" movement, he tried to become its poster boy, too, by marrying a woman.
    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/09/03/the-man-who

    The "Hope for Wholeness" web-site, complete with the usual money-begs on every page, appears to be continuing, just as strong as ever, operating within its own bubble of obliviousness, despite its founder and chief advocate reneging on the whole deal:
    https://hopeforwholeness.org/

    Alternatively, one can phone them at 864-583-7606 and tell them to go suck dick.

    Here's the original newspaper interview, exposing the fraudulent practice for what it is: a blatant fraud:
    https://www.postandcourier.com/hope-for-wholeness

    South Carolina has never introduced legislation to curb or end conversion therapy. In fact, the state is home to one of the nation’s most expansive networks of ex-gay ministries and counseling practices. Over the course of seven months, "The Post and Courier" identified 22 of these ministries, churches, and practitioners across the Southeast. At least nine of these groups operate in South Carolina. And they go on, exposing Bob Jones University in the process, as well:
    https://www.postandcourier.com/news/taught-to-hat

  • 4. VIRick  |  September 3, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    A Same-Sex Marriage Performed in Ciudad Madero Is Twenty-Ninth in Tamaulipas

    Se Realiza en Ciudad Madero Matrimonio Igualitario, el Vigesimo Noveno en Tamaulipas

    Tras siete años de relación y luego de obtener un amparo, Rosa Angélica y Juana Inés se dieron el anhelado "sí, acepto" ante un juez del registro civil, convirtiendose así en la pareja número 29 en contraer matrimonio igualitario en el estado. Fue el pasado fin de semana, el 31 de agosto 2019, cuando se celebró el enlace matrimonial, que posteriormente dio paso a una fiesta que reunió a sus familiares y amigos.

    Cabe señalar que el primer matrimonial igualitario en Tamaulipas fue en el 2015, cuando en Tampico, Paola y Jéssica legalizaron su unión.
    http://noticias24siete.com/se-realiza-en-ciudad-m

    After a seven-year relationship and after obtaining an amparo, Rosa Angélica and Juana Inés gave themselves the longed for "yes, I accept" before a judge of the civil registry, thus becoming the 29th couple to enter into equal marriage in the state. It was last weekend, 31 August 2019, when the marriage ceremony was held, which subsequently gave way to a party that brought together family and friends.

    It should be noted that the first equal marriage in Tamaulipas was in 2015, when in Tampico, Paola and Jéssica legalized their union.

  • 5. ianbirmingham  |  September 4, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    Owner of Mississippi wedding venue apologizes for rejecting interracial couple on 'Christian belief'

    Boone's Camp Event Hall took down its Facebook page and its owner penned a lengthy apology, which, in part, chronicled her realization that "biracial relationships were NEVER mentioned in The Bible!" "To all of those offended, hurt or felt condemn by my statement I truly apologize to you for my ignorance in not knowing the truth about this," the now-deleted apology read.

    On social media, the woman in Welch's video sparked intense criticism, even prompting a response from the City of Booneville. "The City of Booneville, Mayor, and Board of Aldermen do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status," officials said in a statement posted to Facebook on Monday. "Furthermore, the City of Booneville, Mayor, and Board of Aldermen do not condone or approve these types of discriminatory policies."

    In her apology, the event hall's owner attempted to explain why she believed the Bible supported her views on interracial marriages, describing how she only recently discovered that wasn't the case. She began by writing that as "a child growing up in Mississippi" it was an unspoken understanding that people stayed "with your own race." But then on Saturday, when her husband asked her to point to relevant sections of the Bible, she couldn't. After spending hours scouring the text and sitting down with her pastor, the owner wrote that she finally concluded that the reasoning behind her decision to turn away Welch's brother and his fiancee was "incorrect."

    "As my bible reads, there are 2 requirements for marriage and race has nothing to do with either!" the Facebook post read. "All of my years I had 'assumed' in my mind that I was correct, but have never taken the opportunity to research and find whether this was correct or incorrect until now." She later added: "If I have learned anything from this it would be to know what you're talking about before you open your mouth! Again . . . my sincerest apologies to all!"

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/owner-of-miss-w

  • 6. VIRick  |  September 4, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    West Virginia: Transgender Bathroom Suit Filed in State Court

    On 28 August 2019, the ACLU of West Virginia and Teresa Toriseva of Toriseva Law in Wheeling filed a lawsuit in Harrison County Circuit Court, "M.C. v. Harrison County Board of Education," over the abusive treatment of a transgender high school student, and following the school system’s continued failure to follow its own policies regarding the matter. The lawsuit comes ten months after a school administrator bullied and harassed 15-year-old Michael Critchfield for using the boys' restroom after school. The administrator followed Michael into the restroom, blocked the doorway, and continued to berate him for using the boys' room, even telling him to "come out here and use the urinal" to prove he is a boy. All allegations contained in the lawsuit occurred at Liberty High School in Harrison County, Clarksburg WV.

    The lawsuit is filed in state court, and in addition to damages for Michael and his family, ACLU-WV is seeking injunctive relief so as to keep the abusive administrator from having further contact of any kind with the Critchfields.

    The complaint is here:
    https://www.acluwv.org/sites/default/files/field_

  • 7. VIRick  |  September 4, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    France to Ban and Criminalize the Practice of "Conversion Therapy"

    French MPs have proposed a law to outlaw the discredited practice of "conversion therapy" that would threaten practitioners with up to two years in prison. According to France24, MP Laurence Vanceunebrock-Mialon from President Emmanuel Macron’s ruling La République En Marche party is working with Bastien Lachaud from the left-wing France Unbowed on the plan. Their plan, which will go before the National Assembly in early 2020, would make conversion therapy punishable by up to two years in prison and a €30,000 fine.

    In 2018, the European Parliament adopted a non-binding text that called on EU members to ban the practice, but so far only Malta and some Spanish regions have done so. In Germany, plans to outlaw gay "cure therapy" have also been proposed.
    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/09/04/french-mps-

  • 8. ianbirmingham  |  September 4, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    Excerpt from oral argument:

    I would concede that I do not have a partner and that even if I do have a partner, it is not automatic that my partner might want to marry me. And so, your Honors, I did not apply or I could not apply for a marriage license.

    https://dochot.net/document/falcis-iii-v-civil-re

  • 9. VIRick  |  September 4, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    Italy: Far-Right Coalition Has Been Dumped, New Center-Left Coalition Forming

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    As of 4 September 2019, the current far-right government coalition in Italy has been dumped in favor of a new center-left coalition. It is still too early to say what effect this will have, longer term, but the biggest homophobes are suddenly out of the government, while both of the new governing parties have spoken in favor of marriage equality in the past. The 5-Star Movement has approved a pact with their former political foes, the Democratic Party, with this new ruling coalition still in the process of taking shape.
    https://www.euronews.com/2019/09/04/italy-s-new-c

  • 10. VIRick  |  September 4, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    Sinaloa: Citizen Initiative on Marriage Equality to Be Introduced to State Congress

    Per LGBT Mariage News:

    A citizen initiative on marriage equality is to be filed in the Sinaloa state congress after deputies there voted it down in June. Meanwhile, those deputies who voted against the measure are to be taken to court.

    El Comité de la Diversidad en Sinaloa presentara de nueva cuenta una iniciativa ciudadana que buscará, en el mismo sentido que la anterior, el hacer realidad el ideal de muchas familias LGBT en el estado: el reconocimiento legal entre parejas del mismo sexo para poder acceder sin obstáculos a todo tipo de derechos y responsabilidades que conlleva el matrimonio. Esperan que la iniciativa sea votada a favor en un futuro próximo, tras la presentación que se realizará este jueves, 5 de septiembre 2019, a las 11 AM, en el Congreso del Estado.
    http://revistaespejo.com/2019/09/por-que-presenta

    The Diversity Committee in Sinaloa will again present a citizen initiative that will seek, in the same sense as the previous one, to realize the ideal for many LGBT families in the state: legal recognition between same-sex couples so as to be able to access without obstacle all of the rights and responsibilities that marriage entails. They hope that the initiative will be favorably voted upon in the near future, after the presentation is made this Thursday, 5 September 2019, at 11 AM, in the State Congress.

    Sinaloa: Marriage Equality Legislation Re-Introduced to State Congress

    Hoy, el 5 de septiembre 2019, integrantes del Comité de la Diversidad Sexual en Sinaloa y cinco diputadas de Morena, Flora Emilia Guerra Mena, Yeraldine Bonilla Valverde, Cecilia Covarrubias, Francisca Abelló Jordá, y Merary Villegas, presentaron tres iniciativas para reformar el Código Familiar.
    https://lineadirectaportal.com/sinaloa/no-desisti

    Today, 5 September 2019, members of the Sexual Diversity Committee in Sinaloa and five Morena deputies, Flora Emilia Guerra Mena, Yeraldine Bonilla Valverde, Cecilia Covarrubias, Francisca Abelló Jordá, and Merary Villegas, presented three initiatives to reform the Family Code.

  • 11. VIRick  |  September 4, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    Philippines Marriage Equality Suit Was Dismissed without Prejudice

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The instant suit was dismissed without prejudice, meaning that the matter could once again come before the court.

    "The ruling did not resolve anything about same-sex marriage, the opinions expressed there will not be controlling," says Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin. "We just voted to dismiss the case because there is no case," he stated to reporters on Wednesday, 4 September 2019, saying that the petitioner, Jesus Falcis, could not sue the Civil Registrar-General for denying marriage licenses to members of the LGBTQ community if he himself had not yet applied for a marriage license.

    The pronouncement of the ruling, penned by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, would also provide an opening for marriage equality, as it said the Constitution does not explicitly ban same-sex marriage. "From its plain text, the Constitution does not define, or restrict, marriage on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression," said the ruling, as quoted by SC Spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka.

    "That case did not resolve anything about same sex marriage, the opinions expressed there will not be controlling, wala pa kaming matatawag na precedent (we can't call any as a precedent)," Bersamin said.

    The Family Code was passed in 1987, but Bersamin said that would not stop the Supreme Court from reviewing the constitutionality of those provisions. "Basta labag sa Constitution, kahit kasing tanda ni Adan 'yung batas," said Bersamin. (As long as it violates the Constitution, it won't matter even if it's as old as Adam.)

    The Supreme Court has yet to release a copy of the decision which was only voted upon on Tuesday, 3 September 2019.
    https://www.rappler.com/nation/239305-fight-for-s

  • 12. VIRick  |  September 5, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Japan: Two New Marriage Equality Lawsuits

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Married Bi-National US/Japanese Couple Seeks Recognition/Residency

    An American in a same-sex marriage recognized in the United States plans to file a lawsuit to obtain a residence status that will allow him to continue living in Japan with his Japanese partner. Andrew High says his current status as a “temporary visitor” is unfair, given his situation, and prevents him from planning for the future with his partner. The two were legally married in the USA after 2015 and now live in Tokyo.

    His lawsuit is also expected to highlight “absurdities” in the Japanese legal system concerning same-sex marriages. Under Japanese law, a foreign national in a heterosexual marriage to a Japanese national is granted spouse status upon entering Japan. However, foreign partners are ineligible for this status if they are in same-sex marriages, which the Japanese government does not recognize. High said that rule represents discrimination based on sexual orientation and violates the constitutional guarantee of equality under the law.

    Another peculiarity of Japan’s immigration control law is that gay foreigners who have legally married and come from nations that both recognize same-sex marriages are often granted the residence status of “designated activities” when they enter Japan. High and his Japanese partner do not qualify for this status.
    http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201909050061….

    Fukuoka Couple Files Constitutional Challenge/Damages Suit

    On 5 September 2019, in Fukuoka, a same-sex couple filed a lawsuit seeking damages from the Japanese government for the non-recognition of legal marriage between same-sex couples, which they argue is unconstitutional. Suits questioning the law's stance on same-sex marriages were filed simultaneously on 14 February 2019 by 13 same-sex couples, including bi-national couples, at four district courts, in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Sapporo. But this action, lodged at the Fukuoka District Court, is the first time such a case has been launched in the Kyushu and Yamaguchi areas of western Japan.

    The couple behind the suit, Kosuke, 30, and Masahiro, 31, said, "We want to make same-sex marriage in Japan a reality, and reduce the number of people who will be concerned by these same issues in the future." Both plaintiffs are company employees, and they have refrained from releasing their surnames or the spelling of their names using kanji characters. They became a couple in May 2017, and the following month they started living together.

    In July 2019, they attempted to file a marriage registration at a ward office in the city of Fukuoka, but they were told that a marriage application in which the relevant parties were both men was not legal, and their request was turned down. The Constitution of Japan guarantees freedom of marriage and equality under the law. Among its arguments, their suit maintains that the inability for same-sex couples to marry is unconstitutional and the National Diet has unreasonably neglected its legislative duty to enable them to marry. Both seek compensation of 1 million yen each for their mental suffering.

    In April 2018, the Fukuoka Municipal Government introduced the "partnership oath system" that recognizes LGBT couples as partners, and the pair began using the system from June 2018. But it does not bestow the legal rights and obligations arising from marriage, nor does it allow for inheritance or joint ownership when taking out loans to buy a house, thereby blocking couples from advantages available to heterosexual couples.
    https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190905/p2a

  • 13. VIRick  |  September 5, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Gibraltar: Government to Delete Opt-Out Clause in Marriage Act

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Today, 5 September 2019, the Gibraltar Government has published a Bill to delete the section from the Marriage Act that gives the option for a Deputy Registrar to opt-out from performing the marriage of a same-sex couple. In a statement, the Government explained that in the three years since the landmark legislation was passed, there has never been a single objection by a Deputy Registrar. “It is therefore felt that this statutory protection in the Marriage Act is no longer necessary,” the Government said.
    https://www.chronicle.gi/govt-publishes-bill-to-d

  • 14. VIRick  |  September 5, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    Baja California: Fracas Inside State Congress, Marriage Equality Proponents v. Assh-Oles

    Baja California: Perturbación dentro del Congreso del Estado, Proponentes del Matrimonio Igualitario v. Culos y Idiotas

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Mexicali, Baja California — Today, 5 September 2019, marriage-equality and erstwhile "pro-life" groups faced off inside the state Congress, following reports that legislators would vote on marriage equality. The ensuing fracas caused the session to be canceled.

    Colectivos en defensa del matrimonio igualitario, del derecho de la mujer a abortar, y sus contrapartes identificados como “pro-vida,” protestaron en las instalaciones del Congreso del Estado, lo que provocó que la sesión programada para este jueves, 5 de septiembre 2019, fuera cancelada.

    Todo se originó tras un supuesto intento de diputados de Morena por votar una reforma al Código Civil de Baja California que permitiría el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo, lo que provocó el activismo de grupos "religiosos" (y otros culos y idiotas) de diversos puntos del estado.
    https://zetatijuana.com/2019/09/provida-y-lgbt-pr

    Groups in defense of marriage equality, the right of women to abort, and their counterparts identified as “pro-life,” protested at the State Congress facilities, which caused the session scheduled for this Thursday, 5 September 2019, to be canceled.

    Everything originated after an alleged attempt by Morena deputies to vote on a reform to the Civil Code of Baja California that would allow for same-sex marriage, which led to the activism of "religious" groups (and other culos and idiots) from various parts of the state.

    Some commentators who were present today at the Baja California State Congress in Mexicali further report that the nut-job rumor-mill falsely claimed that the full congress was going to suddenly vote to legalize marriage equality, homoparental adoption, and abortion, all in one massive move during today's session. In actual fact, nothing whatsoever was to be voted upon, as the new congress' session has only begun. In addition, only the marriage equality initiative was even to be introduced. The other two matters were not under consideration. Here's one version, per Eddie Arredondo:
    https://twitter.com/ed_arredondo20

    Also, when was the last time anyone heard of a same-sex couple having an abortion? In what way are these two separate issues even tangentially related?

    Note: The cancelled session of 5 September has been rescheduled for 12 September.

  • 15. VIRick  |  September 5, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    Aguascalientes: Marriage Equality Is Now in Official Legal Effect

    The Mexican Supreme Court ruling of 2 April 2019 against the state of Aguascalientes was finally published in the "Diario Oficial de la Federación" (Official Gazette of the Federation) on 16 August 2019, thus putting it into official legal effect as of this latter date.

    Here is the entire ruling, as published (in Spanish):
    http://dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5568261

  • 16. allan120102  |  September 5, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Unless something drastically change Sonora will not legalize ssm either. https://www.infoson.com.mx/vernoticias/11418/2/no

  • 17. JayJonson  |  September 6, 2019 at 6:26 am

    Someone told them that they would lose any lawsuit that challenged their invocation of Mississippi's religious liberty law if they discriminated on the basis of race.

  • 18. JayJonson  |  September 6, 2019 at 6:42 am

    The treatment to which this kid was subjected is harrowing.

  • 19. JayJonson  |  September 6, 2019 at 6:55 am

    Poor Mike Pence. Not only did he have to endure lunch with the openly gay Prime Minister of Ireland and his partner, but on his stop in Iceland, Icelanders threw shade on him by displaying rainbow flags and by wearing rainbow bracelets, as did the President of Iceland when he greeted him. Pence is far better known for his homophobia than for any other characteristic except perhaps his adoring gaze at the chosen one.

    The Icelandic response reminds me that Iceland adopted marriage equality by a unanimous vote in their parliament and that the then-president soon took advantage of the new law by marrying her long-time partner.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/05/mik

  • 20. bayareajohn  |  September 6, 2019 at 9:57 am

    But I'm sure her research yielded new certainty in her rejection of shellfish, mixing fabrics, and other clearly defined sins in that infallible book (which translation, again?).

  • 21. VIRick  |  September 6, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    Detestable Arch Homophobe Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is Dead

    Former Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe, an ex-guerrilla chief who took power when the African country shook off white minority rule, and who presided for decades while economic turmoil and human rights violations eroded its early promise, has died in Singapore. He was 95.
    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-lon

    Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe since the country’s independence from the UK in 1980 until the country’s military ousted him from power in 2017. Mugabe’s successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, announced his death on Friday, 6 September 2019.
    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2019/09/06/former

  • 22. VIRick  |  September 6, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Sonora will be a close vote. In addition, there is some disagreement as to the number of deputies per party. As per the official web-site of el Congreso del Estado de Sonora, we ought to be able to round up the required 17 votes, assuming we have PT on our side, as follows:

    13 definitely in favor (plus 4 more who ought to be in favor):

    12 Morena
    01 MC
    04 PT (in coalition with Morena)

    8 likely against:

    05 PES (theoretically in coalition with Morena, but …. )
    02 Nueva Alianza
    01 Verde

    8 definitely against:

    05 PRI
    03 PAN
    http://www.congresoson.gob.mx/Legislatura/Diputad

  • 23. allan120102  |  September 6, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    The thing is PT has already state they will vote against. That leaves only 13 votes.

  • 24. VIRick  |  September 6, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    I do not understand why the PT spokesperson would be against the measure. PT was the impetus for marriage equality in SLP. Still, she only spoke for herself and 2 others who she claimed were also against. She never mentioned the 4th PT member, Orlando Salido Rivera, and how he would vote, probably because he intends to vote in favor, as he represents Ciudad Obregón, the #2 city.

    On the other hand, the PRI spokesperson was decidedly non-committal, not only for himself, but also for the other 4 members, never mentioning how anyone would vote. As a result, unlike the person who wrote the article you quoted, I am reversing my thoughts, and am not rushing to claim that PRI is voting against. Instead, they could all abstain,– or be absent on the day of the vote. I dislike having to rely on PRI, but in Oaxaca, 4 of the 6 PRI deputies actually voted in favor.

    In this instance, if we get the 4th PT vote and 3 of the 5 PRI votes, the measure will pass. Or with a minor miracle, we could be surprised by the 2 Nueva Alianza and the 1 Verde voting in favor. Or any combination in which we obtain 4 of the 9 votes in question. Or hope for a variety of abstentions and absences, which would alter the number of favorable votes needed for passage.

    Here is another thought: All of the PT and PES members represent specific districts (and narrower interests), whereas all of the PRI, Nueva Alianza, and Verde members are statewide proportional representatives, and should be representing the state as a whole.

    These state votes can be very difficult to predict. We won in both SLP and BCS where it was not at all clear we had a majority until it happened. And lost in Sinaloa where it was much clearer that we should have had a majority.

  • 25. ianbirmingham  |  September 7, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    The mayor of Rio de Janeiro ordered law enforcement agents to raid the city's International Book Fair and seize copies of a comic book that featured 2 men kissing

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/07/world/americas

  • 26. ianbirmingham  |  September 7, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    A Brazilian judge has blocked attempts by the mayor of Rio de Janeiro to ban a Marvel comic showing two men kissing.

    Copies of the comic book, Avengers: The Children's Crusade, quickly sold out after the mayor's intervention.

    The illustration that upset that mayor was also printed on the front page of Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo on Saturday.

    The picture depicts two male characters, Wiccan and Hulkling, kissing while fully clothed. In the storyline, they are portrayed as being in a committed relationship.

    Brazil's largest literary event "gives voice to all audiences, without distinction, as it should be in a democracy", the book fair's organisers told AFP news agency.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-4962

  • 27. VIRick  |  September 8, 2019 at 12:40 am

    "The illustration that upset that mayor was also printed on the front page of Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo on Saturday (7 September 2019)."

    Oh, indeed it was,– along with quite a collection of additional cartoons and illustrations that carried the theme past the point of no return. It should also be noted that "Folha de São Paulo" is the leading newspaper of Brasil, with the widest circulation of any in the entire country.

    Here's their complete story concerning the pathetic attempt at censorship:
    https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/ilustrada/2019/09/g

    However, what is actually illustrated here is a goofy cartoon in reaction to the polemics of the "gay kiss" na Bienal do Livro no Rio by the cartoonist Jean Galvão. However, if one uses the link posted below, and clicks on through, you will see that there are actually 17 different illustrations, all on this same theme of the "gay kiss:"
    https://fotografia.folha.uol.com.br/galerias/1643

    Number 3 is fairly explicit, and number 6 is amazing, outdoing the original by quite a bit, while number 15 is beyond hope, even showing an exposed penis (as does number 5, along with boobs, or whatever, as a naked "love" jumps over backwardness, homophobia, ignorance, hatred, and pre-conceptions). I hope the mayor enjoyed the entire show. These cartoons and illustrations, in reaction, are far more explicit than the original Marvel comic book kiss, especially when taken together as an assembled collection.

    In number 2, the comic strip character, in perfectly summarizing the situation for all of Latin America, says: Os homossexuais ameaçam nosso principal direito. Que direito? O direito de se meter na vida dos outros. (The homosexuals are threatening our principal right. What right? The right to insert ourselves into the life of others.)

    All of the above is from Saturday's on-line edition. The "gay kiss" actually appeared on the front page of the print edition of Saturday's newspaper, and in a much larger format than the original, as one can see here:
    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/09/08/brazil-news

    According to the artist, Jim Cheung, the comic in question is almost a decade old.

  • 28. guitaristbl  |  September 8, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    Shoutout to this amazing guy, Felipe Neto, one of Brazil's most popular youtubers, who bought 14000+ LGBT themed books and distributed them for free :
    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/09/07/brazilian-y

  • 29. VIRick  |  September 8, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    Chile: Marriage Equality Bill Moves Forward a Few Precious Inches

    Per Fundación Iguales:

    Senador Felipe Harboe (PPD) anuncia que pondrá proyecto de ley de matrimonio igualitario en tabla este martes, el 10 de septiembre 2019. Es fundamental votar la idea de legislar en esa sesión, para pasar cuanto antes a la sala y avanzar en su tramitación legislativa.
    https://twitter.com/IgualesChile

    Senator Felipe Harboe announces that he will put the marriage equality bill on the committee agenda for debate this Tuesday, 10 September 2019. It is essential to vote on the idea of legislating in this session, so as to move it as soon as possible to the full Senate and to advance it in the legislative process.

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    A sólo 5 días de que Ejecutivo ratificara que no van a impulsar el matrimonio igualitario, la Comisión de Constitución, Legislación, Justicia, y Reglamento del Senado, puso en tabla para este martes, el 10 de septiembre 2019, la iniciativa que busca modificar diversos cuerpos legales, entre ellos, el Código Civil, para permitir el matrimonio de parejas del mismo sexo. Iniciativa, que se presentó a través de un mensaje de la expresidenta de la República, Michelle Bachelet (en 2017), y que busca modificar diversos cuerpos legales, entre ellos el Código Civil, para regular en igualdad de condiciones, el matrimonio de parejas del mismo sexo.

    El senador del Partido Por la Democracia (PPD) y presidente de dicha comisión, Felipe Harboe, mencionó que usarán sus facultades como congresistas y discutirán la iniciativa. Además, Harboe sostuvo que no se dejará pautear por la línea valórica que tiene el Gobierno de Sebastián Piñera.
    https://www.biobiochile.cl/noticias/nacional/chil

    Only 5 days after the Executive confirmed that they will not promote nor push for marriage equality, the Constitution, Legislation, Justice, and Regulations Committee of the Senate, put the initiative that seeks to modify various legal documents, including the Civil Code, to allow for same-sex marriage, on its agenda for debate for this Tuesday, 10 September 2019. Said initiative, which was presented through a message from the former President of the Republic, Michelle Bachelet (in 2017), seeks to modify various legal entities, including the Civil Code, so as to regulate, on equal terms, the marriage of same-sex couples.

    The senator of the Party for Democracy (PPD) and chairman of said committee, Felipe Harboe, mentioned that they will use their powers as congressmen and will discuss the initiative. In addition, Harboe said he will not be allowed to be guided by the value line taken by the Government of Sebastián Piñera.

  • 30. VIRick  |  September 9, 2019 at 6:28 am

    Bahamas: Summary of Recent Devastating Hurricanes

    Hurricane Dorian is the strongest hurricane to ever make landfall in the Bahamas, slamming through the Abacos and Grand Bahama with sustained wind speeds of 185 mph, and with gusts to 200 mph, for 3 days, between 2-4 September 2019. Complicating matters, too, is the fact that a number of localities, like the town of New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay (lying to the east, offshore of Great Abaco) and the village on Sweetings Cay (lying to the southeast of Grand Bahama), are completely cut off, even from the next devastated island. Ferries and cruise ships from Florida have been able to access Grand Bahama, and have begun evacuating thousands.

    Hurricane Irma, as a Category 5, had 155 mph winds when it made landfall on Little Inagua and South Acklins Islands in the southern Bahamas on 8 September 2017. (Odd note: Since Irma ripped through here with the same wind speeds several days prior, with its eye directly crossing over Tortola BVI and passing within 30 miles to our north, cutting off all our communications for a month, until now, I had no idea that Irma had also impacted the Bahamas.)

    Hurricane Matthew caused widespread damage in New Providence and other islands in the Bahamas in October 2016. Hurricane Joaquin was a Category 4 storm when it struck the southern Bahamas in October 2015.
    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2019/09/08/bahama

    Note: The vast bulk of the Bahamas population live in the northern islands: Grand Bahama, the Abacos, New Providence, Eleuthera, Great Exuma, and Andros. The fact that Dorian destroyed the first several, along with their numerous surrounding inhabited cays, further complicates recovery. We have just rescued a teacher from the Bahamas who will now be teaching here instead.

  • 31. ianbirmingham  |  September 9, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    For more than you ever wanted to know about hurricane season, check out FLhurricane.com:

    http://flhurricane.com/cyclone/showflat.php?Cat=0

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