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Equality news round-up

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Fourth Circuit map
– Equality Case Files has posted friend of the court briefs in favor of the transgender student forced to use the incorrect restroom at school. The case is in the Fourth Circuit.

– Art Leonard wrote about administrative action in employment discrimination cases.

Buzzfeed has a really good piece on the Clintons and their actions regarding the Defense of Marriage Act at the time it was being considered.


  • 1. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  October 30, 2015 at 9:34 am

    DOMA article. . . Unlike leopards, politicians can and often do change their spots. . . which is why I have more respect for leopards than politicians. Wink.

  • 2. bayareajohn  |  October 30, 2015 at 11:55 am

    While I agree philosophically, I think to disallow politicians growth and change when circumstances and public support change is a bad policy.

    Consider that the general population has shifted radically on ME and other issues. To imagine that a politician is below respect if they don't stay locked into whatever position they first espoused, maybe 30 years ago, is pretty disingenuous. We elect people to represent our positions. Shouldn't we expect their positions to change if we change ours? In fact, we require them to change, or we un-elect them.

    The distasteful re-imagining of politician's past motivations is almost a required act considering that the typical reaction to any stance change is met with jeers along the lines of "you didn't think that way 30 years ago, you hypocrite!"

  • 3. JayJonson  |  October 30, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Of course, politicians should be allowed to grow and evolve on issues, and I think the Clintons have done that. But they are not allowed to rewrite history and in fact it is not in their best interest to do so.

    What I find so puzzling is that in spinning DOMA the way she has, Hillary is feeding into the very stereotype of her that is most damaging and that may deprive her of the Presidency–i.e., that she is untrustworthy and doesn't tell the truth. She is getting bad advice.

    She should just say that in 1996, the country was different, and "we were afraid that Republicans would use same-sex marriage as a wedge issue, as they ultimately did so later. But as more and more states enacted marriage equality, the country learned that it was the right thing to do."

    Insofar as enacting DOMA was a defensive strategy in 1996, it was a strategy to reelect Bill Clinton, not to protect gay people from a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

  • 4. bayareajohn  |  October 30, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    While I completely agree with you, I seem to recall significant blowback (and even sarcastic meme-creation) around the "evolved" position on ME of President Obama. Damned either way….

  • 5. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  October 30, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    An "evolved" position on any issue would be easier to understand and accept if the individual explained in detail the reason for the change in her/his opinion. As stated previously, credibility can be a huge issue.

  • 6. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  October 30, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    The issue is NOT whether politicians should be able to change their opinions. The issue is putting a favorable spin on an earlier opinion when there is no documentation to support said spin. The issue is credibility.

    Of course, the paper trail of internal memos may not fully document what President (or Mrs.) Clinton was (were) thinking at the time; however, to claim that the support of DOMA was the lesser of two evils without any documentation to support said claim makes his/her/their statements difficult to believe.

  • 7. JayJonson  |  October 30, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance could “go down big” on Tuesday, according to one political scientist at the city’s Rice University.

    Other experts say the battle over LGBT protections in the nation’s fourth-largest city is still “too close to call.”

    But Rice’s Bob Stein said early voting numbers indicate major increases in turnout among Republicans and African-Americans, who are more likely to oppose the ordinance.

    “I’ve actually looked at the scenario, and think [HERO] could go down, and go down by a big margin,” Stein told The Texas Observer.

    Stein and others said HERO opponents have successfully employed the debunked transgender bathroom myth, making the debate about public safety rather than discrimination. They faulted HERO supporters for failing to adequately emphasize the negative economic impacts of repealing the ordinance, and for not mustering adequate star power early in the campaign.

    I am really disgusted by Houston Unites campaign. This shouldn't even be close.

  • 8. Christian0811  |  October 30, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    This is really distressing :/

    Why the hell is HU failing to rise to the challenge??

  • 9. Fortguy  |  October 30, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Also from the Texas Observer article:

    [Rice University political scientist Mark] Jones said a lack of Spanish-language outreach to Hispanic voters could also contribute to HERO’s possible demise, pointing to the pro-HERO campaign’s failure to advertise on Univision or Telemundo.

    Spanish-language media means everything in Texas GOTV efforts. This is a dumbfounding oversight considering:

    Brandon Rottinghaus, a University of Houston political scientist, said the rare ballot presence of a viable Republican mayoral candidate, Bill King, is driving up GOP turnout. Meanwhile, well-known Democratic state Representative Sylvester Turner, the mayoral frontrunner, is fueling an increase among African-American voters, who polls show as less likely to support HERO than whites, or Hispanic or Latino voters.

    It should be noted that Turner supports HERO and that not every local GOP leader is on the King bandwagon.


    Houston is the largest city in the US, and the only major city in Texas, that lacks an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance.

    LGBT advocates say if HERO is repealed, it could have far-reaching consequences, with HERO opponents’ strategy being replicated in other campaigns across the country. The HERO vote is the nation’s most significant referendum on LGBT equality since the United States Supreme Court’s June ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.

    According to Rottinghaus, it’s also about the future of state politics.

    “How much can the Democrats push Texas to be more liberal?” he said, pointing to an anti-HERO TV ad from GOP Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. “The fact that he’s put his own money behind this shows there’s a growing concern amongst Republicans that as the demographics in Texas change, that some of the politics will change, and the Republicans need to find ways to counteract this progressive movement before it starts.”

    Nevertheless, it ain't over till it's over, and that won't be until 7 pm Tuesday local time. Until then,

    Kevin Nix, a spokesman for Houston Unites, was more blunt: “Maybe we could wait until Wednesday to do all this Monday morning quarterbacking.”

    I'll point out that early voting numbers are up statewide, not just in Houston, and the percentage of voters voting early has been rising ever since state law has permitted excuse-free early voting. This trend makes using past results problematic in making predictions.

    I'm a poll worker election day, but my county will only be voting on the state's cringe-worthy constitutional amendment proposals. Once I'm home, I'll watch the Houston returns on the edge of my seat.

  • 10. RnL2008  |  November 1, 2015 at 1:45 am

    This unfortunately was how Prop 8 got passed. Several organizations on our side opted NOT to show the human side of why marriage was important in the first place to Gays and Lesbians plus their families, which allowed Frank Schubert and those against us to basically OUTRIGHT lie, especially using the "CHILDREN" as a weapon against us. This is essentially what our side appears to be doing in Houston as well…..NOTHING!!!

    We SHOULDN'T have to fight for the same protections that others get and I'm sick of folks making it seem as though ANY man can pretend to be a woman and terrorize women and young girls in the restroom. Again, this SHOULDN'T be happening, but anit-gay folks will do ANYTHING to win…….even if it means lying, manipulating and just being a slim ball!!!

  • 11. Zack12  |  November 1, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Indeed, sad to say but this group has not learned anything from our failures and successes at these things.
    The anti-gay side will lie, lie and lie some more to push their bigotry and I don't see anything being done here to stop those lies.

  • 12. RnL2008  |  November 1, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    That's truly UNFORTUNATE……..hopefully in time we will have Federal protection like one's religion does…..but I DON'T see that happening UNTIL we toss the idiots in Washington our like Paul and the rest of the LOSER Republicans!!!

  • 13. VIRick  |  October 30, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Irish Same-Sex Marriage Law Formally Signed

    On Thursday, 29 October 2015, the Irish Presidential Commission formally signed a law, the Marriage Bill 2015, that extends marriage rights to same-sex couples. The "Journal," an Irish newspaper, reported the commission signed the measure because President Michael Higgins is currently in the USA. The publication said gays and lesbians will be able to legally marry in Ireland by mid-November.

    Marriages between same-sex couples that took place outside of Ireland will now be recognized under Irish law.

    Couples already in civil partnerships, which were introduced in Ireland in 2011, will be able to marry within weeks.

    – See more at:


  • 14. VIRick  |  October 31, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    First Same-Sex Marriages Will Take Place in Ireland in Two Weeks!

    ….. all that is needed now is a commencement order from the justice minister. When Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, signs the commencement order, it will give effect to the new Marriage Act 2015. The first marriages will take place after 16 November.

  • 15. VIRick  |  October 30, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    In addition to Ireland, here's a complete world-wide list of all the countries, territories, and oddments which currently allow for same-sex marriage:

    Same-sex couples can legally marry in the USA, Canada, Mexico City and 8 additional Mexican states, Brasil, Uruguay, Argentina, Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, Wales, England, France, Spain (including Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Melilla y Ceuta), Portugal (including Madeira and Azores), Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, South Africa, and New Zealand. Gays and lesbians are also able to marry in Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba, Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, St. Pierre et Miquelon, Mayotte, Reunion, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Pitcairn Island, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and Wallis et Futuna.

    Same-sex marriage has also been approved in Finland from 2017.

    – See more at:

  • 16. VIRick  |  October 30, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Power Bottom Appreciation Day

    I am quite proud to announce that today, 30 October, is Power Bottom Appreciation Day… or at least some people on the internet, including myself, say it is.

    I mean, seriously, where would the rest of the world be if all the wonderful power bottoms didn't fully, and quite eagerly, exercise their best, well-honed asset???

    See more at:

  • 17. Fortguy  |  October 30, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    How is it that this commemorative day isn't printed on my Hallmark calendar?

  • 18. VIRick  |  October 30, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Apparently, Hallmark needs a referral to Pink News' full list of all 32 LGBT holidays, special days, commemorative weeks, and celebratory months.

  • 19. Fortguy  |  October 30, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    We must let the people at Fox New know right away about Hallmark's War on Bottoms! Now that the holiday season begins this weekend with Halloween parades and the gay festivities that follow, Gretchen Carlson will be outraged that she can't take her children to public squares to learn about the love and commitment power bottoms offer to humanity, but will instead see those public places displaying empty, meaningless anachronisms such as Festivus poles and nativity scenes.

  • 20. Tony MinasTirith  |  November 1, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    There should also be a Power Bottom of the year award, and call it the Joey Stefano.
    I'll even nominate you every year. 🙂

  • 21. VIRick  |  November 1, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Tony, and speaking of which, to politicize the point somewhat, there's a gay Italian porn performer who goes by the name of Marco Rubi.

    Still, by crossing the concept of "power bottom" with religious preference, my all-time favorite in the gay porn department, by name alone, is Christian Power.

    For once, though, I'll refrain from posting links, but take it from me, Christian Power is quite the champ at it!

  • 22. allan120102  |  October 31, 2015 at 12:25 am… They are at least 5200 same sex couples in Tamaulipas and at least 1750 have children. Hundreds of couples are waiting for their legislature to allow same sex marriage as the SC of Mexico already found those laws unconstitutional.

  • 23. 1grod  |  October 31, 2015 at 7:11 am

    First presidential candidate to endorse Equality Bill, Democrat M O'Malley's speech at Iowa Spirit Awards, Des Moines, October 30. Alabama probate judges including Bibb Co's Stephanie Kemmer, it worth your time to read:

  • 24. guitaristbl  |  October 31, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    I would not indulge into the temptation to read too much into the early voting analysis on HERO – I expect more liberal voters to go on the ballot on electiom day tbh. Yes it may be close but I believe, I have to believe it will pass. It has to pass or else the consequences will be very serious around the country and any momentum anti discrimination laws may have had will end abruptly. We will even have to defend existing ordinances in more conservative states.
    The bathroom fallacy has to be defeated here and now.

  • 25. VIRick  |  October 31, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Channel Islands: Guernsey Recommends Introducing Same-Sex Marriage

    Proposals have been set out recommending the introduction of same-sex marriage in Guernsey. The Balliwicks of Jersey and Guernsey (the Channel Islands) – which have a population of just 165,000 – are crown dependencies, and retain autonomy from the United Kingdom. Both Guernsey and Jersey continue to ban same-sex marriages.

    In September, the Jersey States overwhelmingly accepted proposals that begin to bring Jersey into line with England, Wales, and Scotland, by permitting same-sex couples to marry. Today, 30 October 2015, the Guernsey States also laid out proposals in a States Report to introduce same-sex marriage.

    According to the LGBT rights group, Liberate, the report recommends the island’s government agree to the introduction of same-sex marriage, and to direct the preparation of legislation on the issue. It follows a 6-week consultation period in June this year in which 90% of respondents (1,200 out of 1,337 responses) agreed or strongly agreed with the principle that Guernsey should be seeking to achieve “a non-discriminatory equitable system for the legal recognition of committed couples."

    Liberate Chair Martin Gavet said: “We very much welcome the States Report published by the Policy Council today, which seeks to address a fundamental inequality in the way our island treats its citizens under existing law and policy in terms of their dignity and rights. It has taken Guernsey since 2006 to get this far and it is our earnest wish that any new law on equal marriage is brought before the Assembly by 2017, as in Jersey."

    Proposals are now underway in Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man – but all progress continues to be blocked in Northern Ireland.

  • 26. VIRick  |  October 31, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Isle of Man to Begin Consultations on Same-Sex Marriage

    On 2 October 2015, the chief minister of the Isle of Man announced a public consultation on same-sex marriage, which will begin later this month. A same-sex marriage bill is expected to be introduced to the Tynwald (legislature) next year, 2016, depending on the results of this consultation. This marks definite progress in the crown dependency’s move towards marriage equality, especially given that it was last part of the UK to legalize homosexuality in 1992.

    Allan Bell, the Isle of Man’s Chief Minister, told ITV of this new development: Holding a public consultation on same sex marriage marks the continuation of a 25-year journey. “The Isle of Man has come a long way since the dark days of the 1990s and embracing this legislation would reflect our position as a progressive society that takes seriously the rights of vulnerable people and minorities. I recognize that same sex marriage legislation may generate some strong and polarized views. However, I believe that values of fairness and tolerance are shared by the overwhelming majority of people in our Island.”

    Earlier in the year, Bell had indicated his support for a same-sex marriage bill saying: “I don’t know if we’ll be able to get it in or not… but I hope at the very least we’ll have set the foundations to move in this direction before the end of this term.”

    It should be noted that Allan Bell, the Chief Minister of the Isle of Man, is openly gay.

  • 27. ianbirmingham  |  October 31, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    Tens of thousands marched in Taiwan's capital Saturday in Asia's biggest gay pride parade, with many hoping presidential elections next year bring to power a pro-gay government that will legalise same-sex marriage. About 78,000 people took part in the 13th Taiwan LGBT Pride event, with supporters waving rainbow flags and handmade placards calling for marriage equality as they circled downtown Taipei. …

  • 28. VIRick  |  November 1, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Ballot Proposal Would Add LGBT Protections to Michigan Human Rights Act

    Lansing MI — LGBT rights advocates in Michigan have launched a ballot initiate to amend the state’s constitution to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The group, Fair Michigan, led by Dana Nessel, the Michigan attorney who took Michigan‘s same-sex marriage challenge to the Supreme Court, hopes to begin gathering petition signatures for the ballot proposal early next year, reports the Detroit "Free Press."

    Gov. Rick Snyder, and many in the business community, have previously called on lawmakers to add the LGBT community to the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in hiring and housing, but the issue never even made it out of a legislative committee.

    “The fact is that the Michigan Legislature has ignored efforts to protect people, so it’s time we gave Michigan voters the power,” said Nessel. The group still has to submit language to the Secretary of State and then collect 315,654 signatures of registered voters in the state to qualify for the 2016 ballot. Nessel said she expects a broad coalition of supporters to help with the effort.

  • 29. VIRick  |  November 1, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Israel: Activists Petition Israeli Supreme Court for Marriage Equality

    Today, 1 November 2015, Israel’s National LGBT Task Force, also known as The Aguda, filed a same-sex marriage petition with the Israeli Supreme Court. The petition, a first for the group, declares that if rabbinical courts continue to refuse to authorize same-sex marriages, the Supreme Court has the authority to order civil courts to do so. The "Times Of Israel" reports:

    Israeli marriages are performed under laws inherited from Ottoman times that grant each Israeli religious community’s state-recognized leadership sole jurisdiction over marriage. These Ottoman religious communal structures, called millets, were continued by the British mandate. After Israel’s 1948 independence, Israel too maintained the system, citing among other considerations its obligations to the country’s minorities. As a consequence, marriages in Israel are performed only through religious institutions. Jewish couples must marry through the Chief Rabbinate, and Catholics, Druze, and Muslims all marry through their own state-sanctioned, and publicly-funded, religious legal systems. In that light, while same-sex marriage is not actually illegal in Israel, there simply isn’t any institution empowered to perform such marriages.

    More from the "Jerusalem Post:"

    Oded Fried, executive director of The National LGBT Task Force, said that the group submitted the petition because the right to marriage is a fundamental right and should be available to everyone, and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited and must be stopped. “The reality we live in is absurd; on the one hand, the rabbinical courts do not recognize same-sex marriages, and on the other hand, are reluctant to give up the exclusive jurisdiction to recognize them. It’s time for members of the LGBT community to be citizens with equal rights,” he said. “We demand that the state provide the basic and fundamental right to exercise our love for whomever we choose, and require legislation to allow gay marriage in Israel,” they said.

    The Aguda says that if their petition is denied, they will then work towards abolishing Article 1 of the rabbinical courts, which outlaws civil marriage. The top-linked story notes that 70% of Israelis backed same-sex marriage in a 2013 poll.

    Read more here:

  • 30. VIRick  |  November 1, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Church of Norway Says "Yes" to Same-Sex Weddings in Its Churches

    The Church of Norway (Lutheran) has approved a measure to allow same-sex couples to marry in its churches. The church’s General Synod voted on the issue this past week. Now all churches in Norway will be able to offer marriage to same-sex couples, and can immediately begin preparations to do so. As with many religious organizations, the Church has allowed priests and other staff to refuse to participate, should they wish.

    The announcement was made today, 1 November 2015, in a press release from Church of Norway bishops. Åpen Folkekirke, which has fought for same-sex marriage in churches, hailed the decision. Sturla Stålsett, the organization’s chair, said the move was “historic." The Prime Minster of Norway last year offered her support to allowing same-sex couples to marry in churches.

    Norway legalized same-sex marriage in 2008. Earlier this year, the government in Norway proposed extending to children the right of its citizens to change their legal gender.

  • 31. JayJonson  |  November 2, 2015 at 6:24 am

    Northern Ireland's Stormont's Assembly has voted narrowly (53-52) in favor of same-sex marriage. However, the bill has been vetoed by the governing party, the Democratic Unionists Party, which has filed a "petition of concern" in response to an open letter from the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference. This was the fifth time the Assembly has considered the issue, and the first time a majority voted in favor of same-sex marriage.

    Read more here:

    And here:

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