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4/27 SCOTUS update

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This morning, the Supreme Court issued more decisions in argued cases. The Court did not issue its decisions in the Title VII LGBT employment discrimination cases. There are no more opinion release days this week, so we’ll have to wait until at least May to find out the Court’s ruling.

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  • 1. VIRick  |  April 28, 2020 at 10:21 am

    Tunisia Recognizes French Marriage of a Same-Sex Couple

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The LGBT advocacy group SHAMS reports that the government of Tunisia has recognized a marriage between a male French citizen and a male Tunisian citizen on a Tunisian child's birth certificate.
    https://twitter.com/LGBTMarriage

    Per North Africa Post, 27 April 2020:

    The recent announcement by an association advocating for the decriminalization of homosexuality in Tunisia claims that the North African country has validated a same-sex marriage, a point which has triggered controversy.

    According to Shams, a Tunisian LGBT rights association, a marriage settlement between a French citizen and a Tunisian citizen, signed in France, has been recognized in Tunisia, making the North African country the first Arab state to approve such a marriage, which is otherwise illegal across the Arab world.

    For Shams, this is an achievement for which it has been advocating in order to concretize the right of the free will of the citizen, the principle of equality, and the principle of non-discrimination.

    Although the formality does not mean that Tunisia has allowed same-sex marriage, it did not take long for Tunisian Internet users to denounce the news, some noting that even talking about it is a heresy. Several others have strongly condemned the media coverage, amidst insults and homophobic remarks.

    The Tunisian state has not made any comments about the alleged approval. Marriages between same-sex couples remain illegal in Tunisia and homosexuals have been victims of harassment. In addition, same-sex sexual acts remain illegal, punishable with up to 3 years in prison.
    https://northafricapost.com/40373-tunisia-alleged

    This report is an edited consolidation from several different sources. The original report was written in Arabic, and was then translated into French. From there, the report has been re-translated into English. All of the alleged "dispute" occurs in Arabic on social media, with much of it citing "religious" objection, including heresy and the supposed "no-no" on discussing such controversial matters during Ramadan.

    Many LGBT-oriented sites have since picked up on this report, touting an opposing angle about Tunisia now being the first majority-Islamic nation to recognize a same-sex marriage. In the longer run, however, it would seem far wiser to down-play this particular "religious" angle entirely and to allow secular Tunisia to be Tunisia, and to thus follow its own secular law.

    Note: In contrast, two posts down, there is a second news article from Spain (in Spanish) regarding the marriage of a same-sex couple from Morocco (Marruecos) who married in Spain in late 2019. At no point in that article does it mention any "religious" preference or heritage, if any, on the part of said couple.

  • 2. VIRick  |  April 28, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Japan: NGO to Begin Offering LGBT Partnership Certificates Nationwide

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    A Japanese NGO will begin offering partnership certificates to LGBT couples nationwide, and 20 leading Japanese private-sector companies have already announced that they will recognize said certificates for company-provided benefits.
    https://twitter.com/LGBTMarriage

    Per Japan Times:

    On Saturday, 25 April 2020, people familiar with the matter stated that from 1 July, about 20 companies in Japan will start accepting partnership certificates, issued to same-sex couples by a non-governmental organization, as a way of providing employees with spousal and familial benefits already available to straight, married couples. Mizuho Financial Group Inc. is among companies participating in the initiative, with certificates to be created by Famiee Project. The program is expected to raise awareness of the difficulties LGBT couples face in a country where same-sex marriage is not legally recognized. “We want to start changing where we can through the private sector, so that families of same-sex couples can be recognized as normal,” said Famiee founder Koki Uchiyama.

    Meanwhile, local authorities have also started issuing partnership certificates in an attempt to smooth the path, as much as possible, for sexual minorities who face obstacles in gaining equal access to public housing or in making medical decisions for their partners. However, municipal partnership certificates are not legally binding and only apply to residents within their respective municipalities, leaving many lesbian and gay couples unable to offer proof of their relationship status. That leaves businesses struggling to verify the status of those without municipal certificates, even when company rules include benefits for same-sex couples.

    Mizuho, for example, has offered spousal and familial benefits to employees in same-sex relationships since 2016, such as for family care leave and for monetary wedding gifts. But the firm has had difficulty providing the benefits to those unable to prove their relationship status.

    The application and verification process for Famiee certificates is to be done digitally, with couples using a smartphone app provided by the NGO. Famiee then verifies the couple’s identity in much the same way a bank does when one is opening a bank account online. Couples must also show copies of their family registry to prove that they are both still legally “single.” Famiee hopes that the digital certificates can be successfully used by the network of partners it is building among large corporations and providers, a network currently comprised of insurance companies, banks, hospitals, and others that share its mission.
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/04/27/nati

  • 3. VIRick  |  April 28, 2020 at 6:05 pm

    Morocco and El Salvador: More Same-Sex Couples Marry in Spain

    Éstas son las historias de migrantes LGTBI:

    Ahmed y su marido se casaron en España en 2019 tras huir de Marruecos por amarse.

    Beatriz y Marta darán el "sí, quiero" en España en 2021 tras huir de El Salvador en 2018, un país que las trataban de "enfermas."
    https://twitter.com/Kifkif_iguales/status/1254818

    These are some personal histories of LGTBI immigrants/asylum-seekers:

    Ahmed and his husband married in Spain in 2019 after fleeing Morocco for loving each other.

    Beatriz and Marta will say "Yes, I do" in Spain in 2021 after fleeing El Salvador in 2018, a country that treated them as "sick."

    Note: Unlike the English language, the Spanish language does not distinguish between "migrant" and "immigrant." Instead, both concepts are covered with the singular word, "migrante," but with heavier emphasis on the second concept, as noted in "Migración," the Office of Immigration Control. In reality, however, both couples are asylum-seekers who successfully sought permanent refuge in Spain. Their full stories, in Spanish, are here:
    https://kifkif.info/la-realidad-de-migrantes-lgtb

    Kifkif is a Spanish organization specifically created and maintained to assist LGBT asylum-seekers in search of safe haven. In Arabic, "kifkif" means "suficiente para ti" (enough for you).

  • 4. VIRick  |  April 29, 2020 at 11:59 am

    Argentina: 10th Anniversary of Marriage Equality (Legislative Passage of the Law)

    Per Esteban Paulón:

    El próximo lunes, el 4 de mayo 2020, se cumplen 10 años de la aprobación del matrimonio igualitario en la Cámara de Diputados de Argentina.
    https://twitter.com/epaulonlgbt/status/1255490640

    Next Monday, 4 May 2020, will mark the 10th anniversary since the approval of marriage equality by the Chamber of Deputies of Argentina.

  • 5. VIRick  |  April 29, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    Ohio: Democratic Primary Results: Lesbian Defeats Sheriff Who Fired Her

    A lesbian candidate who is suing the sheriff of Hamilton County OH over her firing, has beaten him in the Democratic primary for the office. On Tuesday, 28 April 2020, Charmaine McGuffey, a former Hamilton County deputy sheriff, defeated Jim Neil by winning nearly 70 percent of the vote, "The Enquirer of Cincinnati" reports. She will succeed him in the office if she wins the November general election.

    In November, McGuffey will face Bruce Hoffbauer, a Cincinnati police lieutenant who was the only candidate in the Republican primary. Cincinnati is the seat of Hamilton County, the third-most populous county in Ohio. McGuffey would be the first Ohio sheriff from the LGBTQ community and one of only a few ever elected in the nation. She was endorsed by the LGBTQ Victory Fund.
    https://www.advocate.com/politics/2020/4/29/lesbi

  • 6. VIRick  |  April 30, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    Tunisia: Recognition of a Marriage of a Same-Sex Couple an "Administrative Mistake"

    A government minister in Tunisia said that a same-sex marriage that was noted on a Tunisian man’s birth certificate was a mistake, saying that the marriage would not be recognized in the country. The LGBTQ organization Shams announced on Facebook last Friday, 24 April 2020, that a French man and a Tunisian man who married in France had had their marriage noted on the Tunisian man’s birth certificate, as is the custom for heterosexual marriages in the country.

    But on Tuesday, 28 April 2020, Tunisia’s Minister of Local Affairs Lofti Zitoun said in parliament that the marriage has not been recognized in the country. “No marriage contract between homosexuals has been recognized in Tunisia,” he said, as reported by "L’Economiste Maghrébin." He continued: “That’s because it’s against the provisions of the Tunisian Code of Civil Procedure. The contract is considered null and void. It can be canceled by a judicial procedure.” Zitoun went on to say that the Tunisian man in the marriage “has, himself, asked via his attorney that the mention of the marriage on his birth certificate be removed.”

    In an email to LGBTQ Nation, the Tunisian LGBTQ organization Mawjoudin said, “This news (of the recognition of same-sex marriage in Tunisia) is false, as the reality of what happened is nothing more than an administrative mistake. Mawjoudin also denounces the sharing of such news which consequently contributes to the manipulation of public opinion at such sensitive times. This has led to a wave of queerphobic speech, attacks, and bullying directed upon the queer community which has put many of them in compromised and dangerous positions while they are in confinement.”

    France has recognized marriage equality since 2013, but France’s treaty with Tunisia requires that marriages performed in France be legal in Tunisia as well. SOS Homophobie, an LGBTQ organization in France, says that French administrative law allows for same-sex marriages to be performed as long as one member of the marriage is from a country that recognizes marriage equality.
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2020/04/tunisias-firs

  • 7. DevilWearsZrada  |  May 1, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    Well, such a conclusion to the story was quite predictable. And that reaction by the local LGBT community is not surprising at all. A similar story from Russia concluded much worse, I'd say https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-arr

  • 8. VIRick  |  May 1, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    Ohio: Republican Primary Results: Fanatical Anti-LGBT Nut-Job Defeated

    Candice Keller (R), the two-term, anti-LGBT state representative from Butler County who was running for a state senate seat in the 4th Senate District was resoundingly defeated by the state party-endorsed candidate, George Lang (R), who by default, was the more moderate candidate, given her outrageous preposterousness. The state Republican leadership had even attempted to force her resignation from her current position, but she refused, claiming that the voters should decide. And they did. Overwhelmingly.

    Among other idiocy, in addition to the ever-present MAGA hat, while out-trumping the Trump, she had blamed the recent Dayton mass shooting on same-sex marriage, the drag queens' story hour, and Obama. Butler County is the more-westerly of the two counties situated between Dayton and Cincinnati, and abuts the Indiana state line.

    Lang will go on to face Democrat Kathy Wyenandt in the November general election. The two faced off in 2018 in a race for the Ohio House of Representatives seat Lang currently occupies. He won that contest by more than 9,000 votes.

    Ohio's primary election was originally supposed to wrap up with in-person voting on 17 March, but a last-minute order by Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health, closing polls amid concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, resulted in an extension of absentee voting until 28 April.
    https://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-heard/archiv

  • 9. ianbirmingham  |  May 2, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    Treaties, as defined by the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, are a primary source of international law. If there is a conflict between a treaty and domestic law, international law will always prevail. Per the above article, Tunisia has now breached the treaty between itself and France by refusing to recognize a marriage which was legally performed in France. France must now respond to Tunisia's breach of the treaty. Hence, this story is far from being concluded.

  • 10. VIRick  |  May 2, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    Taiwan: Marriage Equality Up-Date, First 10 Months

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Data released by the Ministry of the Interior on Friday, 1 May 20020, showed a total of 3,553 gay couples had registered their marriages in Taiwan for the 10 months between the date when marriage equality took effect, 24 May 2019, and the end of March 2020. During this time period, New Taipei City recorded the largest number of marriages between same-sex couples, with 722. Taipei came in second, with 582 gay couples in the city registering their marriages, ahead of Kaohsiung City with 473, Taichung 423, Taoyuan 347, and Tainan 234, accounting for Taiwan's six largest cities.

    Outside of these major cities, Pingtung County took first place, registering 110 gay couples as of the end of March, followed by Hsinchu City with 85, and Hsinchu County and Hualien County, each with 84. Three outlying counties were at the bottom of the rankings in same-sex couple registration, with Lienchiang County on Matsu Islands having only one gay couple, below both Penghu and Kinmen, which had 10 each.

    Of the 3,553 same-sex marriages registered in Taiwan, 1,122 were between male couples, while 2,431 were between female. On the other hand, a total of 188 divorces of same-sex couples were registered: 114 between female couples and 74 between male.
    https://focustaiwan.tw/society/202005010022

  • 11. ianbirmingham  |  May 3, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    Appeals court strikes down Jacksonville [FL]’s anti-discrimination gay-rights law

    A Duval County law protecting LGBT rights to public accommodations, employment, and housing suffered a potentially fatal legal setback Friday.

    Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal reversed a decision by a Duval County court to dismiss a challenge to the city’s expansion of its so-called Human Rights Ordinance.

    https://floridapolitics.com/archives/330752-appea

  • 12. JayJonson  |  May 4, 2020 at 6:57 am

    The problem with the ordinance was the way in which it was adopted. "The only way to ensure clear, accurate, understandable, and uniform notice of proposed changes to a law or an ordinance is to put them in writing before enacting or adopting them—in full text, in context, complete as if for immediate enforcement. Without all of that, an amendment is just an idea. Ideas alone are not enforceable, which is why an amendment that fails to comply with these requirements is void."

    These deficiencies should be able to be remedied if the ordinance is still supported by a veto-proof majority of the Council. (The make-up of the Council has changed since the ordinance was originally adopted.)

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