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Holiday weekend open thread

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  • 1. VIRick  |  November 28, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    Baja California: Government Secretary Politely Brushes Off Anti-LGBT "Pro Life" Group

    Per Gobierno de BC:

    El Gobierno de Baja California es respetuoso de la libertad de ideas; señala Secretario-General de Gobierno el 28 de noviembre 2019 al Grupo "Pro Vida" quienes solicitan no se abra la posibilidad legal a matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo.
    https://www.facebook.com/notes/gobierno-baja-cali

    The Government of Baja California is very respectful of the freedom of ideas; so states the Secretary-General of the Government on 28 November 2019 to the "Pro Life" Group who requested that the legal possibility of same-sex marriage not be opened.

    Now, to "translate" the translation, while filling in some of the unstated nuances, one of which is the obvious "elephant in the room:" el Secretario-General de Gobierno, Amador Rodríguez Lozano, is precisely the same individual who has already issued the edict of 3 November 2017, in the name of the governor (a nombre del Gobernador del Estado, Jaime Bonilla Valdez), which provides for the legal work-around by which 4 of the 5 municipalities of Baja California have already been successfully able to legally marry same-sex couples by simply following Supreme Court jurisprudence. The fifth, Mexicali, could do likewise, but has refused to adhere to this edict.

    The full government-issued article is so filled with suave smoothness and politeness as to have made me laugh out loud, as never once did it ever mention the obvious "elephant in the room" connection, as cited above, but simply piled on how respectful the government was as to the "freedom of ideas." At the same time, not only did someone (probably the Government Secretary himself, or one of his aides, with his expressed consent) post this message to the official government website of Baja California, but then went on to post it on the thoroughly pro-LGBT website, "Matrimonio Igualitario:"
    https://twitter.com/hashtag/matrimonioigualitario

    So sorry, "Pro Vida," but the Government Secretary has no intention of changing his mind.

  • 2. VIRick  |  November 29, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    Morelos: Gender Identity Amparo Obtained for Trans Woman

    Per Isidro Anorve:

    El 29 de noviembre 2019, obtuvimos un amparo para que una mujer trans pudiera hacer su cambio de nombre y sexo en su acta de nacimiento en Morelos. Mientras el Congreso de Morelos no apruebe la iniciativa de identidad de género, tendremos que hacer valer los derechos de las personas trans ante los tribunales.
    https://twitter.com/IsidroAnorve

    On 29 November 2019, in Morelos, we obtained an amparo so that a trans woman could change her name and sex on her birth certificate. As long as the Morelos Congress does not approve the gender identity initiative, we will have to enforce the rights of trans people through the courts.

    Note: Despite that fact that the Supreme Court's gender identity jurisprudence has yet to be published, the march for obtaining amparos all over Mexico allowing transgender individuals to legally change their name/gender on their birth certificates has already begun in earnest. Federal judges no longer have any discretion. They must grant all such requests.

  • 3. VIRick  |  November 29, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    Hong Kong: Yet Another LGBT Equality Lawsuit (Same Couple, Different Challenge)

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 29 November 2019, a gay homeowner has challenged Hong Kong inheritance law over fears that his husband may not get the house if he dies. Edgar Ng Hon-lam has applied for judicial review over the marriage provisions in intestate and inheritance laws.

    Edgar Ng and his husband, Henry Li, were married in London in 2017.
    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime

    Note: This is the second lawsuit filed by the said same-sex couple against some aspect of current Hong Kong law. Previously, they sued the Hong Kong Housing Authority, in a case still pending:

    Hong Kong: Gay Homeowner Sues Housing Authority Barring Him from Living with Husband

    The homeowner in question has been barred from living with his husband under an ownership scheme of the Hong Kong Housing Authority. The couple, Henry Li and Edgar Hon Ng, were married in London in 2017.

    •The legal challenge was launched on 2 October 2019 against a rule stopping married same-sex partners from living together because they are not deemed to be family.
    •Said policy is discriminatory and deprives couples of their right to family life, Edgar Hon Ng says in the High Court filing.

  • 4. VIRick  |  November 29, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Costa Rica: Mandatory Compliance with Marriage Equality

    Per Costa Rica Hoy:‏

    La Presidencia ordenará “acatamiento obligatorio” de norma de matrimonio igualitario. No hay nada más que discutir.
    https://www.crhoy.com/nacionales/presidencia-orde

    The Presidency will order “mandatory compliance” with the marriage equality ruling. There is nothing more to discuss.

  • 5. VIRick  |  November 30, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    Latin America: Why LGBT Rights Are Still Tied to Women's Rights

    Yesterday, 29 November 2019, there were massive, co-ordinated, simultaneous demonstrations throughout the Hispanic world in favor of women's rights, in a movement which began in Chile as an outgrowth of the continuing demonstrations there against the current misogynistic Piñera administration, an administration which has managed to scratch and re-ignite the ugly memories concerning the "desaparecidos" (the "missing") during the dictatorship (through some very homophobic and truly horrific "detentions" of numerous LGBT individuals), but which then almost instantaneously spread everywhere else within Latin America. For the past 24 hours, on the Colombian website, Noticias LGBT, people have been posting videos of the mass women's rights demonstrations which took place in their cities, all using the chant, "El estado opresor es un macho violador. Y la culpa no era mía, ni dónde estaba ni cómo vestía," (The oppressor state is a macho rapist. And the fault was not mine, neither where I was nor how I dressed).

    Here is a partial list of where said mass demonstrations occurred (with a near-constant stream of new reports), gleaned from just this one site alone:

    Santiago (Plaza de Armas)
    Santiago (Plaza de la Dignidad)
    Santiago (frente a la Moneda)
    Santiago (Escuela Militar)
    Valparaíso
    Iquique (frente al Regimiento Carampangue)
    Antofagasta (en la Plaza de la Revolución)
    Maipú
    Talca
    Concepción
    Temuco
    Osorno
    Valdivia (con lluvia)
    Punta Arenas
    Montevideo
    La Paz, Bolivia
    Lima (frente al Palacio de Justicia)
    Miraflores
    Torres San Borja
    Guayaquil
    Bogotá
    Medellín
    Universidad Nacional de Colombia
    San José, Costa Rica
    Guatemala (frente al Palacio de Justicia)
    Ciudad de México (en el Zócalo)
    Toluca
    Oaxaca
    República Dominicana
    San Juan, Puerto Rico (frente al Capitolio)
    Madrid
    Barcelona
    New York (i.e., Niuyor o Nueva Iorque)
    London (frente a embajada de Chile)
    París (frente a la Torre Eiffel)
    Toulouse
    Berlin
    https://twitter.com/NoticiasLGBT

  • 6. VIRick  |  December 1, 2019 at 10:33 am

    Querétaro Marriage Equality Up-Date

    Per Frente Queretano:

    Sin amparo, sólo tres matrimonios igualitarios se hicieron durante la actual administración municipal de Querétaro de Luis Nava Guerrero (PAN), así lo dio a conocer el titular del registro civil, José Luis Romero Montes.

    Romero Montes especificó que, por parte de la Dirección estatal del Registro Civil, se han recibido 38 oficios de notificación de resoluciones de amparo en materia de matrimonios igualitarios (en total, en todo el estado).
    http://www.eluniversalqueretaro.mx/sociedad/sin-a

    Without amparo, only three equal marriages have been made during the current municipal administration of Querétaro under Luis Nava Guerrero (PAN), as announced by the head of the civil registry, José Luis Romero Montes.

    Romero Montes specified that, through the State Directorate of the Civil Registry, they have received 38 notifications of amparo resolutions regarding equal marriages (in total, statewide).

    Otherwise, according to Frente Queretano:

    Sólo uno matrimonio igualitario se ha realizado con amparo en lo que va la actual administración. (Sin amparo,) las y los Queretanos son obligados a casarse fuera de su estado!
    https://twitter.com/FrenteQueretano/status/120117

    Only one equal marriage with amparo has been carried out under the current administration. (Without amparo,) same-sex Queretanos are obligated to marry out-of-state!

    Note: The 3 same-sex marriages without amparo, mentioned in the first paragraph, were carry-overs already scheduled and programmed during the previous administration.

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

    Missouri: Up-Date on St. Louis County Gay Discrimination Case

    Desperate to avoid paying out a $20 million dollar verdict, with interest and fees, new lawyers are trying any tactic to get the judgment set aside. Over a month after a jury determined that St. Louis County and their Police Department had discriminated against a police sergeant due to his sexuality, the jurisdiction is fighting back.

    According to reports based on information from "The St. Louis Dispatch," the county has contracted new lawyers for the appeal, who have asked for a new trial to be ordered and for the verdict to be set aside, one which has St. Louis County on the hook for almost $20 million dollars. Their reasoning – the Missouri Human Rights Act should not cover sexual orientation, and so discrimination against gay people or any other sexuality should be legal.

    Missouri law requires that half of punitive damages in lawsuits go to the state’s Tort Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund, so Wildhaber will go home with over 11 million – $8.5 million punitively, and the additional $2.8 million, not including the $700,000 his lawyers are receiving in fees due to the “frustration” the county’s attorneys caused them over the nearly 3-year legal battle. In addition, beginning from Friday, 29 November 2019, the county now owes interest on the verdict for every day the case is not finalized.
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2019/12/update-st-lou

  • 8. VIRick  |  December 2, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    Sint Eustatius, Dutch Caribbean: First Public Same-Sex Marriage

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The first public same-sex wedding ceremony in Sint Eustatius took place at Vincent A. Lopes Legislative Hall on Friday afternoon, 29 November 2019. Cheryle Dorset and Sharon Berkel of the Civil Registry performed the ceremony during which Sint Eustatius Monuments Director and historian Walter Hellebrand and writer/photographer Christopher Russell joined in marriage.

    Also present for the ceremony were Netherlands Institute for Human Rights President Adriana van Dooijeweert, her policy advisor Vlada Burmistrova, Deputy Government Commissioner of Sint Eustatius Mervyn Stegers, and many family members and friends of the couple. This was not the first same-sex marriage in Statia, as several other same-sex couples have married before, but previously, each preferred that their weddings remain private.
    https://www.curacaochronicle.com/post/local/first

  • 9. VIRick  |  December 2, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Eswatini (Swaziland): LGBT Group Sues Government for Recognition

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    About 59 per cent of the LGBTIQ community in Eswatini have been treated with disrespect and insulted in public health facilities. This is according to a study undertaken by Associate Professor Alexandra Muller who is under the Department of Pathology in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

    The study was attached as an affidavit to court papers presented by Eswatini Sexual and Gender Minorities wherein they are now challenging the decision of the Registrar of Companies for the registration of their association, one which was rejected in September 2019.

    In essence, the LGBTIQ community is now challenging the Eswatini Government after its refusal to register their association. Other applicants in the matter are Sanele Mdluli, Mbali Nokwanda Dlamini, Thuthu Magagula, Mary Pais Da Silva, and Thandeka Maziya who also want the court to review and set aside the decision of the Registrar of Companies in refusing to register their association, Eswatini Sexual and Gender Minorities.

    The LGBTIQ community thus wants the High Court to declare that the registration of the association that seeks to promote their interests in Eswatini is not unlawful.
    http://www.times.co.sz/news/126257-59-of-lgbtiqs-

  • 10. VIRick  |  December 2, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    Zambia: Two Gay Men Sentenced to 15 Years Imprisonment

    The US ambassador to Zambia has sharply criticized the sentencing of two men to 15 years in prison under the country’s colonial-era sodomy law.

    "I was personally horrified to read yesterday about the sentencing of two men, who had a consensual relationship, which hurt absolutely no one, to 15 years imprisonment for ‘crimes against the order of nature," said Daniel Foote in a statement that Rights Africa published on its website on 29 November 2019. "Meanwhile, government officials can steal millions of public dollars without prosecution, political cadres can beat innocent citizens for expressing their opinions with no consequences, or poachers/traffickers can kill numerous elephants, barbarically chainsaw and sell their tusks and face a maximum of only five years imprisonment in Zambia."

    On 28 November, the "Zambia Daily News" reported the couple "were caught having sex at a lodge" in Kapiri Mposhi, a town that is located roughly 120 miles north of the Zambian capital of Lusaka. The "Zambia Daily News" noted Lusaka High Court Charles Zulu sentenced the men.

    "Decisions like this oppressive sentencing do untold damage to Zambia’s international reputation by demonstrating that human rights in Zambia is not a universal guarantee,” said Foote in his statement. “They perpetuate persecution against disenfranchised groups and minorities, such as people from other tribes or political affiliations, albinos, the disabled, our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) brothers and sisters, and everyone who is deemed ‘different.'”
    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2019/12/02/us-amb

  • 11. bayareajohn  |  December 2, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    I wonder why, in "crimes against nature", we don't wait for Nature to bring charges. It should be a question of standing….

  • 12. VIRick  |  December 2, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    The US ambassador to Zambia has condemned the jailing of a gay couple in the African nation, and now he has received threats on social media because of it.

    Japhet Chataba and Steven Samba were sentenced last week to 15 years in prison for what Zambian law calls “crimes against the order of nature” — that is, gay sex, Sky News reports. Ambassador Daniel Foote said he was “horrified” by the sentence, noting that the men “had a consensual relationship, which hurt absolutely no one.”
    https://www.advocate.com/world/2019/12/02/us-amba

    That is what is so insane about these British colonial-era holdover laws, as they are couched in euphemistic, dated language that does not state precisely what is meant. It requires some sort of further explanation, as Sky News needed to spell out. In today's language, "the order of nature" would indicate that mere human beings need not interfere with it. So yes, let nature take its course, and decide for itself.

    Furthermore, attempting to translate that phrase into a different language renders strange, unanticipated, contrary results. For example, in Spanish, "crimes against the order of nature" becomes "delitos contra el orden de la naturaleza," with the definition of "naturaleza" being:

    Conjunto de las cosas que existen en el mundo o que se producen o modifican sin intervención del ser humano.

    Complex combination of things that exist in the world or that produce or modify themselves without intervention from human beings.

  • 13. VIRick  |  December 2, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    China: Over 200,000 Sign Petitions for Marriage Equality

    Equality activists in China will make a legal push for state recognition of same-sex marriage. It comes in a nation that doesn’t legally ban such unions, but where state regulators have defined marriage as between a man and woman.

    China remains in the process of reviewing its civil laws and has received over 200,000 petitions appealing for recognition of same-sex marriage, according to the "South China Morning Post." In August, LGBTQ activists held a press conference announcing a push for recognition, but as the government enters the last stage of drafting new law, there’s been little acknowledgment of the effort by the state.

    “We know that it’s already the third draft and they will probably not include same-sex marriage, but at least we want to let lawmakers hear there’s a need among the LGBT community,” said Yanzi, director of Guangzhou-based LGBT Rights Advocacy China. The organization reports it had set a goal of 100,000 petitions to the government, but achieved that within days. Individuals in non-recognized unions and many of those citizens’ parents have been the primary signatories.

    Zang Tiewei, spokesman of the Legislative Affairs Commission of China’s top legislative body, told press three months ago that regulators’ interpretation that marriage certificates should only be issued to male-female couples was in line with Chinese customs and tradition, even if no statute expressly said marriage should be limited to heterosexual couples.
    https://www.advocate.com/world/2019/12/02/over-20

  • 14. VIRick  |  December 3, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Texas Judge Officially Rebuked for Refusing to Marry LGBT Couples

    Texas Justice of the Peace Dianne Hensley is finally facing repercussions for refusing to marry same-sex couples, over four years after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. On Monday, 2 December 2019, the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct issued a rare public comdemnation of Hensley, the "Houston Chronicle" reports. Hensley has served as judge and justice of the peace in McClennan County in central Texas since 2014.

    After the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationally in June 2015, Hensley continued to marry opposite-sex couples but refused to accommodate same-sex couples, instead handing them a document that read, "I'm sorry, but Judge Hensley has a sincerely-held religious belief as a Christian, and will not be able to perform any same-sex weddings." Since the paper included a list of other officials who would officiate same-sex weddings, Hensley believed she was not violating anyone's rights.

    The Texas Commission of Judicial Conduct did not weigh in on whether Hensley's actions were unconstitutional, but in their public rebuke of her, the officials said her actions cast doubt on her impartiality on matters involving LGBT people. "Based upon the record before it and the factual findings recited above, the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct has determined that the Honorable Judge Dianne Hensley, Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1, Place 1, in Waco, McLennan County, Texas, should be publicly warned for casting doubt on her capacity to act impartially to persons appearing before her as a judge due to the person's sexual orientation, in violation of Canon 4A(l) of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct," read the conclusion of the commission's statement.

    Hensley previously told the commission she would recuse herself from any cases involving LGBT people since it's clear to many she is biased against them. Hensley has 30 days to appeal the commission's sanction.
    https://www.advocate.com/politics/2019/12/03/texa

  • 15. VIRick  |  December 3, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Poland Is Intervening to Stop UK Gay Couple from Adopting

    The Polish government announced that it will intervene to prevent a child from being adopted by a gay couple in the UK. Deputy Minister of Justice Michał Wójcik said that the Polish government will try to prevent the British government from allowing a boy to be adopted by a same-sex couple. “We will take all measures to make sure this child, if it must be adopted, is adopted by a woman and a man,” Wójcik said.

    The case involves a boy named Harry. His mother, Aneta Zrobczyńska, is from Poland and lives in the UK. She lost custody of Harry when she left him in the care of his 13-year-old sister and he badly burned himself. Zrobczyńska, who suffers from depression and epilepsy, later found out from a social worker that Harry was going to be adopted by a same-sex couple. “I do not want to agree to this,” she told "Wirtualna Polska." “I would prefer him to be brought up by my mother and dad, and not by two fathers.”

    Harry’s father, who is a UK citizen, agreed to the adoption, but Zrobczyńska tried to stop it by going to the Polish consulate for help. Consul Paweł Nowakwas wrote her back, saying she must “respect the laws of the country where you have lived for several years.” Adoption by same-sex couples is legal in the UK.

    But her case got significant attention in right-wing Polish media. The Polish government does not recognize same-sex relationships and same-sex couples are not allowed to adopt.

    “Starting tomorrow we will be taking action,” Deputy Minister Wójcik told dziennik.pl, referring to Harry’s case. “If this is true, then the child is also a Polish citizen, so we will take all measures to make sure this child, if it must be adopted, is adopted by a woman and a man.” Wójcik added that he would prefer the child be raised by a Polish family.
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2019/12/poland-interv

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