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Open thread for discussion.


  • 1. allan120102  |  December 4, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Mexican news. First Lgbt couples are trying to struck Sinaloa´s ban on ss marriage by accumulating amparos so the supreme court can grant them and the civil code to be declare unconstitutional.
    Second a federal deputy have present an initiative to the federal deputies to legalize same sex marriage throught all of Mexico instead of going one state at the time.
    Third the governor of BCS have say that he have no problem with same sex marriage but with adoptions he say that there should be more study and that experts should determine if couples fare good with ss couples .
    Fourth LGBT groups that even if the supreme court declare unconstitutional Jalisco´s ban the only way that marriage would be easily granted if only the deputies vote to legalize it.

  • 2. VIRick  |  December 4, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    Buscan con Amparos Invalidar Código Familiar de Sinaloa

    Ante la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación se están tramitando seis amparos para que declare inconstitucional la definición de matrimonio del Código Familiar de Sinaloa y se permita la unión de parejas del mismo sexo, informó Alex Alí Méndez Díaz, Coordinador Nacional de Matrimonio Igualitario México.

    En reunión con diputados locales el abogado señaló que en Sinaloa hay dos pronunciamientos de la SCJN en los que han declarado que la definición de matrimonio contenido en el Código Civil del Estado es inconstitucional. Mencionó que estan en espera de la resolución de seis amparos para que se declare la inconstitucionalidad de la definición con el afán de avanzar hacia la reforma que se requiere en el Código.

    “El tema de fondo es un tema de discriminación, es un tema de rechazo a que en el sistema jurídico se integre la protección a las familias homoparentales. Yo creo que venimos en una inercia donde no solamente la población LGBT sino en general distintos sectores de la población han sido invisibilizados y discriminados, yo creo que todo eso hay de fondo una cultura de discriminación," dijo.

    De todo el país se están tramitando alrededor de 100 amparos en el Alto Tribunal, indicó. Manifestó que solemente los estados de Coahuila y el Distrito Federal legalizaron el matrimonio Igualitario sin que se tramitarán amparos. En Sinaloa y en el país se tiene que atender la directriz en materia de derechos humanos que estableció la SCJN que señala que toda norma que deginata matrimonio como la unión entre un hombre y una mujer es vilatoria de la Constitución, indicó.

    Looking with Amparos to Invalidate Family Code of Sinaloa

    There are six amparos being processed before Mexico's Supreme Court to declare the definition of marriage of the Family Code of Sinaloa unconstitutional, and to allow the union of same-sex couples, said Alex Alí Méndez Díaz, Coordinador Nacional de Matrimonio Igualitario México.

    In a meeting with local legislators (on 19 November 2015), he stated that there have already been two pronouncements of the Supreme Court in which they stated that the definition of marriage contained in the Civil Code of Sinaloa is unconstitutional. He said they are awaiting resolution of six more amparos, given the unconstitutionality of the definition, in an effort to move toward the reforms that are required to occur in the Code.

    "The theme is an issue of discrimination, it is a subject of rejection in the legal protection system to integrate same-sex families into it. I think we have been at a stop where not only the LGBT population, but generally, different sectors of the population, have been invisible and discriminated against, I think in all this background there is a culture of discrimination," he said.

    Across the country, about 100 amparos are being processed in the High Court, he said. Only Coahuila and the Federal District legalized same-sex marriage without amparos being processed. He said Sinaloa and the rest of the country have to meet the guidelines on human rights established by the Supreme Court which states that any rule that designates marriage as a union between a man and a woman is in violation of the Constitution.

  • 3. allan120102  |  December 4, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Btw not sure if this was posted but Brazil shows data that 4854 same sex marriages occur in 2014 that show an increase of 31.2 compare to 2013. Lets remember though that same sex marriage was not approve until May of 2013.

    Also they are news that Polonia and Hungary have blocked some norms that the EU want to establish in terms of ss marriage.

  • 4. VIRick  |  December 4, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Northern Ireland: Belfast Court To Issue Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuit “After Christmas”

    The BBC reports on 4 December 2015:

    Judgement in a landmark legal case challenging Northern Ireland’s ban on same-sex marriage will be delivered after Christmas. The case has been taken by two same-sex couples who were the first people in the UK to enter civil partnerships in 2005. Their lawyer claimed they are suffering state discrimination as a result of the ban. Judgement was reserved after a two-day hearing at the High Court in Belfast.

    Grainne Close, Shannon Sickles, and Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kane challenged Stormont as the only UK administration to ban same-sex marriage. Belfast was the first place in the UK to host civil partnership ceremonies when the law was introduced 10 years ago, but now Northern Ireland is the last part of the UK and Ireland that has not legalized same-sex marriage. The judge heard the case in tandem with a separate bid by two men who want their marriage in England to be recognized in their native Northern Ireland. The judge said: “There are a lot of issues raised in this case and the other. I will give my judgement after Christmas.”

    In the comments section, a poster wrote:

    UK Judges are appointed on merit and I can't find anything in reports of the Judge's past rulings that make me anxious. Mr Justice John O'Hara seems capable of delivering a zinger or two.

  • 5. allan120102  |  December 4, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    so when he mean after Christmas it means after the 25 before the year ends and before next year or the decision will come next year? what do you mean by zinger?

  • 6. VIRick  |  December 4, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Zinger = a modern American slang invention.

    In this instance, it would mean that the judge is capable of issuing a decision, complete with a number of memorably quotable quotes, that would definitely put the intransigent politicians in their place, with the "zingers" being the memorably memorable quotes.

    Like Posner's "Go figure," after running Wisconsin's Attorney-General all the way around in a complete circle to irrefutably prove the total circularity of the reasoning in the state's argument.

    After Christmas means after Christmas. The judge was not more specific than that.

  • 7. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 5, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    December 29, 2015 is AFTER (Gregoian calendar) X-mas 2015 but January 4, 2016 is not AFTER X-mas?

    Please explain your reasoning on this. (Most people in the US and GB still have at least some X-mas decorations up in their home for a week or two after X-mas.) And Orthodox Xians won't celebrate X-mas until January 7, 2016.

    Did the court mean Protestant and Catholic X-mas or Orthodox X-mas? It didn't say, so which X-mas did it mean?

  • 8. VIRick  |  December 5, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Oh Mike!!!

    Just for fun, let us assume that Judge John O'Hara of Belfast is Irish.

    So, when is Irish Christmas? I would imagine that it shows up in the calendar about 12 weeks prior to St. Patrick's Day. In fact, I suspect that that's how they determine when to celebrate either event,– or both.

    OK, so I just did the math, and on Leap Years, it comes exactly 12 weeks prior!

  • 9. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 5, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    It just so happens that I am part Irish (along with Scottish, Dutch, English, French, German and Swiss, and maybe others). Since it was Pope Gregory XIII (a catholic) who reformed the calendar, most (but not all) Irish were catholic (my ancestors were Protestant), Ireland was a total English possession by Queen Elizabeth I's time, and that England 'converted' to the Gregorian calendar in 1750, it is not surprising that Northern Ireland (the extreme stronghold of English Protestantism and to this day a part of the UK) uses the Gregorian Calendar.

    There is no doubt, though, that January 4, 2016 is a date AFTER December 25, 2015, and the court didn't say 'the week after December 25, 2015', so even January 4, 2016 is 'in play', especially when considering January 1 is a holiday, thus a 'non-court' day (and making the 'court week' after [Gregorian calendar] December 25, 2015, a 4 day week), January 2 and 3 are the weekend, thus 'non-court' days, with January 4 the first 'court date' of 2016.

    (Oh, and the court didn't say 'X-mas 2015', so any X-mas is 'in play'. The implication is that it was X-mas 2015 being referenced, though.)

  • 10. VIRick  |  December 4, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Trucker Wins $2.2 Million Lawsuit after Boss Allegedly Sexually Harasses Him

    A trucker from New York just got a major pay day in court. Raymond Rosas was awarded 2.2 million dollars this week in a lawsuit against his former employer, Balter Sales Co., a restaurant supply company headquartered in Manhattan.

    The settlement came after Rosas accused his former manager, Barry Rosenberg, of making unwanted sexual advances towards him in the workplace. According to Rosas’ lawsuit, Rosenberg “would repeatedly stick his tongue out” and, oddly enough, try to lick Rosas’ face. He would also “repeatedly try and grab Rosas’ buttocks” at work. (Apparently, he was being a bit too literal in wanting Rosas to "deliver the goods.") In addition to that, he would allegedly draw penises on Rosas’ paychecks almost every week.

    When Rosas finally went to supervisor, Mark Balter, to complain about the harassment, he claims Balter accused him of having “a Latin attitude,” then fired him a few months later. According to Balter, Rosas was fired for stealing $700 worth of restaurant equipment, a charge the driver denies. He claims the termination was as a result of his ethnicity and sex, and was retribution for speaking out against Rosenberg.

    In the end, the jury sided with Rosas. “The jury was absolutely right,” Rosas’ lawyer lawyer, Derek Smith, said. “The jury was angered at the way Mark Balter treated his employee.”

  • 11. VIRick  |  December 4, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Justice Scalia’s Majoritarian Theocracy

    By RICHARD A. POSNER and ERIC J. SEGALL, 2 December 2015

    THE Supreme Court has decided four major cases furthering gay rights. Justice Antonin Scalia has written a bitter dissent from each. In "Lawrence v. Texas," for example, where the court invalidated Texas’ ban on homosexual relations between consenting adults, Justice Scalia complained that: “Today’s opinion is the product of a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct.”

    He added: “Many Americans do not want persons who openly engage in homosexual conduct as partners in their business, as scoutmasters for their children, as teachers in their children’s schools, or as boarders in their home. They view this as protecting themselves and their families from a lifestyle that they believe to be immoral and destructive. The Court views it as ‘discrimination’ which it is the function of our judgments to deter. So imbued is the Court with the law profession’s anti-anti-homosexual culture, that it is seemingly unaware that the attitudes of that culture are not obviously ‘mainstream.’”

    Justice Scalia made these remarks 12 years ago — and predicted in his dissent that the court would eventually rule that the Constitution protects the right to same-sex marriage. This June, Justice Scalia’s prediction came true in "Obergefell v. Hodges." He has vented even more than his usual anger over this decision. It has become apparent that his colleagues’ gay rights decisions have driven him to an extreme position concerning the role of the Supreme Court.

    In a recent speech to law students at Georgetown, he argued that there is no principled basis for distinguishing child molesters from homosexuals, since both are minorities and, further, that the protection of minorities should be the responsibility of legislatures, not courts. After all, he remarked sarcastically, child abusers are also a “deserving minority,” and added, “nobody loves them.”

    Not content with throwing minorities under the bus, Justice Scalia has declared that "Obergefell" marks the end of democracy in the United States, stating in his dissent that “a system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.”

    The logic of his position is that the Supreme Court should get out of the business of enforcing the Constitution altogether, for enforcing it overrides legislation, which is the product of elected officials, and hence of democracy. The model he appears to be embracing is that of the traditional British Constitution; until recently, Parliament was deemed to be Britain’s “supreme court.” It could overrule judicial decisions, but courts could not invalidate parliamentary legislation.

    We doubt that Justice Scalia would go that far, for he has repeatedly voted to strike down statutes that he believes violate the First Amendment and various federalism provisions of the Constitution, as well as affirmative action measures that he thinks are in conflict with the 14th Amendment.

    But who knows? Maybe he’ll now cease voting to strike down statutes under any provision of the Constitution, as otherwise he might be thought of as one of those “unelected lawyers” who so threaten our democracy. Not only an unelected lawyer, but — a patrician. (Allan, this is a Posner zinger) For he said in his "Obergefell" dissent that “to allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation.”

    "Obergefell" seems to obsess him. In a speech at Rhodes College in Memphis, he said that the decision represents the “furthest imaginable extension of the Supreme Court doing whatever it wants,” and that “saying that the Constitution requires that practice” — same-sex marriage — “which is contrary to the religious beliefs of many of our citizens, I don’t know how you can get more extreme than that.” The decision, he said, “had nothing to do with the law.”

  • 12. VIRick  |  December 4, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    The suggestion that the Constitution cannot override the religious beliefs of many American citizens is radical. It would imply, contrary to the provision that forbids religious tests for public office, that religious majorities are special wards of the Constitution. Justice Scalia seems to want to turn the Constitution upside down when it comes to government and religion; his political ideal verges on majoritarian theocracy.

    In a talk last month at the Union League in Philadelphia, he criticized the court’s interpretations of the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from “establishing” a religion. He did so, according to the moderator, Robert P. George, a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton, on the ground that “there is no textual or historical basis for the Court’s claim that laws and policies must be neutral not only between different religions, but also between religion and non-religion.” The implication is that if a majority of Americans reject same-sex marriage on religious grounds, the Supreme Court must bow.

    It comes as no surprise that Justice Scalia also said that state and local officials who are not actual parties to Supreme Court cases have no obligation to obey judicial rulings that those officials think lack a warrant in the text or original understanding of the Constitution.

    He cited Abraham Lincoln’s remark concerning the infamous Dred Scott ruling that decisions by the Supreme Court are formally binding only on the parties to the case. That’s technically true, but few Americans will agree with Justice Scalia that "Obergefell," which conferred rights on millions of Americans, is comparable to "Dred Scott," which denied rights to millions by ruling that slaves were not citizens and could not sue in federal courts.

    And can Justice Scalia want his own decisions to have diminished and perhaps negligible force until separate lawsuits are brought in each state to enforce them? That implies that state and local officials are free to ignore his gun-friendly decision in "District of Columbia v. Heller" (holding that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own a gun). Perhaps a few state and local officials will take Justice Scalia up on that offer.

  • 13. VIRick  |  December 5, 2015 at 11:39 am

    And this is why it is so important for everyone to read "Posner on Scalia" directly in Posner's own words, as Posner consistently nails Scalia's number, point by point, and illustrates the ramifications and dangers of Scalia's position, while simultaneously turning Scalia's position right around on him to show the unbridled bigotry inherent in such position.

    Because of its length, it took me two posts to present the latest article in its entirety, as Posner, in typical Posner fashion, goes on and on in great detail to berate Scalia, slicing him to ribbons in the process.

  • 14. Zack12  |  December 9, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Indeed, and keep in mind Posner is no bleeding heart liberal, just a judge that actually views it as his job to look at the facts in cases and not simply enforce his own conservative viewpoints, something that is unheard of with today's judges.

  • 15. tx64jm  |  December 5, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    1. In his dissent in Obergefell, Scalia writes, “A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.” Quoting this passage, Posner contends that the “logic” of Scalia’s position “is that the Supreme Court should get out of the business of enforcing the Constitution altogether.” But Scalia, in his Obergefell dissent, makes crystal-clear that he is not contesting the Court’s authority to enforce rights that actually are in the Constitution. (See, e.g., slip op. at 3.) What he objects to is that the Obergefell majority is making “a naked judicial claim” to unconstrained power to concoct any new liberty it favors, no matter how untethered to—indeed, contrary to—the Constitution’s text and our constitutional tradition. One might, of course, disagree with Scalia’s assessment of the majority opinion (though one would be wrong to do so.) But for present purposes the relevant point is that no competent legal mind could fairly extract from Scalia’s dissent the proposition that Posner derives and attacks.

    2. In a recent speech, Scalia stated (according to this account) that “Saying that the Constitution requires [same-sex marriage], which is contrary to the religious beliefs of many of our citizens, I don’t know how you can get more extreme than that.” Posner somehow extracts from this statement the “suggestion that the Constitution cannot override the religious beliefs of many American citizens,” and charges that Scalia holds a “political ideal [that] verges on majoritarian theocracy.” What nonsense. Like many unscripted remarks, Scalia’s statement is (at least in isolation from its fuller context) not a model of clarity. But his phrase “contrary to the religious beliefs of many of our citizens” is susceptible to either or both of two sensible readings. First, Scalia might be referring to the many “serious questions about religious liberty” that the Chief Justice’s dissent (which Scalia joined) explains that Obergefell creates. Second, he may be objecting to the Obergefell majority’s position that citizens with religious beliefs about marriage are somehow disentitled to support laws that accord with the moral propositions that their beliefs inform. By contrast, there is nothing in Scalia’s long record that remotely supports the notion that he believes that “the Constitution cannot override the religious beliefs of many American citizens.” Posner’s claim to the contrary—which is the centerpiece of his op-ed (which is why it’s titled “Justice Scalia’s Majoritarian Theocracy”)—is scurrilous.

    3. Posner complains that recent remarks by Scalia that read the Establishment Clause to require that laws be neutral between different religions but not between religion and irreligion somehow support the “implication” that “if a majority of Americans reject same-sex marriage on religious grounds, the Supreme Court must bow.” Well, Scalia is either right or wrong about what the Establishment Clause requires (I think he’s right), but his proposition obviously has no reach beyond the Establishment Clause. Does Posner mean to suggest that he (Posner) holds the crazy position that laws that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman violate the Establishment Clause if they’re supported by some quantum of Americans whose support for such laws is informed by their religious beliefs? If so, laws against murder also violate the Establishment Clause.

    Read more at:

  • 16. tx64jm  |  December 5, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    4. Posner contends that Scalia recently “argued that there is no principled basis for distinguishing child molesters from homosexuals” as minorities deserving of protection. But what Posner elides is that Scalia actually argued that there is no principled basis in the Constitution for courts to confer rights on the latter but not the former. That’s exactly the point that he made in his 2003 dissent in Lawrence v. Texas.

    5. Posner faults Scalia for pointing out that (in Posner’s paraphrase) “state and local officials who are not actual parties to Supreme Court cases have no obligation to obey judicial rulings that those officials think lack a warrant in the text or original understanding of the Constitution.” Posner concedes that what Scalia says is “technically true.” But noting that Scalia cited Lincoln on Dred Scott, Posner observes that “few Americans will agree with Justice Scalia that Obergefell, which conferred rights on millions of Americans, is comparable to Dred Scott, which denied right to millions by ruling that slaves were not citizens and could not sue in federal courts.” Posner’s observation is a smear and a distraction. Scalia has never contended that the effect of Obergefell is “comparable” to the effect of Dred Scott. On the contrary, his Obergefell dissent minimizes the “adverse social effects” of same-sex marriage as “no more adverse than the effects of many other controversial laws (as Posner would know if he made it through the second paragraph of the dissent). In citing Lincoln on Dred Scott, Scalia is simply invoking the most famous instance of the principle that he is advancing. Posner also suggests that Scalia would not want his own decisions to be ignored by state and local officials. That’s surely true, but it says nothing about the merits of the principle that Scalia is advancing. Further, it’s entirely coherent for Scalia to believe that the propriety of such action by state and local officials turns on the soundness of their constitutional judgments. In sum: yet another contemptible performance by Posner.

  • 17. Fortguy  |  December 4, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    News roundup, Lone Star edition:

    Marriage really isn't much help for gay couples if one of the spouses is seeking legal residency.
    Alana Rocha and Justin Dehn, The Texas Tribune: Video: Same-Sex Couples Navigate Immigration Benefits

    In last month's HERO referendum, HERO received 93% support in the precinct containing Rice University, and 70% support from U. of H.'s precinct. The article didn't say how the Houston Baptist U. or Texas Southern U. precincts voted. These would be interesting to see how much they differ from their parents–especially at TSU, one of the state's two public historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
    Charles Kuffner, Off the Kuff: Precinct analysis: “Extreme” voters

    U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia has awarded $585,470 in fees and $20,203 in costs to the plaintiffs' attorneys in the DeLeon SSM challenge.
    John Wright, Texas Observer: Texas to Pick Up $605,000 Tab in Same-Sex Marriage Case

    If you thought such a large judgement would deter AG Ken Paxton from trying to revoke the Feb. 12 marriage license ordered by a state judge to a lesbian couple who have been together over 30 years, and one of whom has ovarian cancer, you'd be wrong. Haters just gotta keep on hatin'.
    John Wright, Texas Observer: Ken Paxton’s Still Trying to Unmarry Austin Lesbian Couple

    In suburban Williamson County north of Austin, county commissioners seeking to appoint a precinct constable until the next election cycle ends illegally asked potential appointees their religious affiliations, views regarding abortion and SSM, and which party's candidates they generally support.
    John Wright, Texas Observer: WilCo Candidate Won’t Settle ‘Religious Test’ Lawsuit

    Best news all week! Loopy Louie is running for reelection and has his first GOP primary opponent in over a decade. Pull out the big platter, y'all! They're gonna be serving up a heapin' helpin' of turkey-sized cuckoo before this one's over.
    Staff, Longview News-Journal: U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert files for re-election

    Finally! Bipartisan agreement in Washington! Everyone agrees that to know Carnival Cruz is to loath him. Well, maybe not everyone. Loopy Louie likes him.
    Frank Bruni, The New York Times: Anyone but Ted Cruz
    Trevor Noah, The Daily Show: Nobody Likes Ted Cruz

  • 18. FredDorner  |  December 4, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Very nice to see the plaintiffs' attorneys in the Texas marriage equality case get properly compensated. Unfortunately some other attorneys in Michigan just got screwed because Obergefell was decided before their case was resolved.

  • 19. VIRick  |  December 4, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Texas to Pay $605,000 Tab in Same-Sex Marriage Case

    On 4 December 2015, the state has been ordered to pay more than $605,000 in court and attorneys’ fees to attorneys for the plaintiffs in a same-sex marriage lawsuit, following a federal judge’s ruling Monday, 30 November 2015. US District Judge Orlando Garcia awarded $585,470 in fees and $20,203 in costs to attorneys from Akin Gump Straus Hauer & Feld, the San Antonio firm that represented two same-sex couples in "DeLeon v. Perry." ($605,673)

    Following the Supreme Court’s decision in "Obergefell v. Hodges," on 7 July 2015, Garcia ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, couples Cleopatra DeLeon and Nicole Dimetman, and Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes. Under federal law, prevailing parties in civil rights cases are typically eligible for fees and costs.

    “It was important, at the end of the day, once we prevailed, to require the state to pay something for having made our clients go through this process,” Akin Gump’s Neel Lane told the Observer. “You really need to discourage, where you can, violations of constitutional rights, and the way you do that is you hold the state accountable.”

    The plaintiffs’ attorneys had requested more than $735,000 in fees and costs, but the state argued Garcia should award only $383,000. In his 10-page order, Garcia lowered hourly rates for attorneys who worked on the case, but rejected the state’s argument that the number of hours billed was excessive. Garcia also praised the plaintiffs’ attorneys for “excellent and commendable skill in prosecuting the case.”

    Akin Gump originally filed the lawsuit in October 2013. In February 2014, Garcia struck down Texas’ same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional (in a preliminary injunction), but stayed his own decision pending an appeal. The AG’s office then appealed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard oral arguments in January but didn’t rule until after "Obergefell."

  • 20. VIRick  |  December 5, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Judge Awards Attorney Fees in Arkansas Federal Marriage Case

    Little Rock AR — A judge has approved attorney fees that are significantly lower than requested in the federal lawsuit, "Jernigan v. Crane," that overturned Arkansas’ same-sex marriage ban. On Friday, 4 December 2015, US District Judge Kristine Baker awarded attorney Cheryl Maples $1,590 and attorney Jack Wagoner and attorneys in his law firm a total of $18,360, for a piddling grand total of just $19,950.

    Maples requested $15,900 plus $511.47 in costs. Wagoner asked for $49,754. The combined grand total requested had been $66,165.47.

    Baker noted that Maples and Wagoner were earlier awarded a total of $66,000 for work on a parallel lawsuit in state court, "Wright v. Arkansas," and said the case appears “overlawyered” with attorneys spending more time than was needed.

    Maples receives $100 per hour for 15.9 hours work rather than $250 per hour for the 63.6 hours she requested. Wagoner’s firm receives $100 per hour for 183.6 hours, down from $150 to $275 per hour for the 306 hours requested.

  • 21. VIRick  |  December 5, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Per Geraldina Gonzalez de la Vega:

    Tres años cumplen hoy los primeros tres amparos de Matrimonio Igualitario de Oaxaca. Hoy, ya tenemos jurisprudencia.

    Three years ago today, (on 5 December 2012), the first three amparos for Marriage Equality (were granted) in Oaxaca, (the very first granted anywhere in Mexico). Today, we already have the jurisprudence.

  • 22. VIRick  |  December 5, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    India: Catholic Cardinal Says India Should Decriminalize Homosexuality

    A Catholic Cardinal in Mumbai has spoken out to say India should seek to decriminalize homosexuality. The Indian Parliament will soon debate the issue of repealing Section 377 of the Penal Code, (a holdover from the British colonial era), which criminalizes homosexuality.

    Homosexuality was re-criminalized in Indian in 2013, when Section 377 of the country’s Penal Code was reinstated (after India's High Court upheld the provision).

    Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Mumbai, spoke out at India’s National Conference of Catholic Bishops to say being gay should not be illegal. He told "The Hindu:" “I had been reflecting on the question of whether the church should be more welcoming towards members of the LGBT community for some time. I met some groups and associations of LGBTs, and I had an understanding for them. I don’t want them to feel ostracized. That’s why I came out publicly some time back saying I was in favor of decriminalization of Section 377.”

    He went on to say: “personally, I feel that it should not be criminalized. For me it’s a question of understanding that it’s an orientation … I know there is still research being done whether it’s a matter of choice or matter of orientation, and there are two opinions on this matter. But I believe maybe people have this orientation that God has given them, and for this reason they should not be ostracized from society.”

  • 23. Mike_Baltimore  |  December 6, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    Some info about the cardinal not in the article:

    In 2007, he was created a cardinal-priest by Pope Benedict XVI, and

    He was born October 24, 1944 (71 years old now), thus eligible to elect future Popes until he is age 80, or until late October 2024. I'm fairly certain there will be a Papal conclave prior to then. I would be very surprised to see a pro-GLBT Pope by then, but at least Cardinal Gracias is available for GLBT advocacy at any time he meets with other members of the Latin Rite Catholic Church.

  • 24. VIRick  |  December 6, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Catholics of any description are a distinct minority within India, yet rather surprisingly, there are five cardinals representing that country within the papal conclave. One is the afore-mentioned Cardinal Gracias who is the head of the Latin-rite church, which is primarily a heritage of Portuguese influence (Goa, Damao, Diu) along the western coast in both directions from Mumbai. Two others are the heads of non-European eastern-rite denominations primarily based in Kerala state (Trivandrum), both the Syro-Malabar rite and the Syro-Malankara rite, near the southwest tip. The remaining two cardinals are also Latin rite, one being an emeritus in Mumbai, and the other representing the Bengal area.

    All 5 cardinals, along with a wide assortment of bishops and archbishops representing all 3 rites, jointly participate in India's National Conference of Catholic Bishops. There are more Catholics in India than in any other country in Asia outside the Philippines.

    Completely divorced from anything happening within the Catholic Church, India (and all surrounding countries like Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangla Desh) has an ancient cultural tradition of accepting the "hijra" (trans-sexual females) as a third gender, a concept which also seems to be fairly widely-accepted in southeast Asia (Thailand, Vietnam).

  • 25. allan120102  |  December 6, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Good news from Morelos. The governor is becoming tired of waiting for the legislature to allow ss marriage so it looks like he would allow same sex marriages if the legislature does not act in the first trimester of 2016.

  • 26. VIRick  |  December 6, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Morelos: Por decreto, avalarían matrimonio igualitario

    El Poder Ejecutivo de Morelos analiza emitir un decreto con el que se aprueben los matrimonios igualitarios en el estado, en caso de que el Congreso se tarde en aprobar la iniciativa de Ley, que desde el mes de julio mandó el mandatario Graco Ramírez, así lo dio a conocer el director de Atención a la Diversidad Sexual de la secretaría de Gobierno, Édgar Márquez Ortega.

    En entrevista en los pasillos de Casa Morelos, el funcionario estatal sostuvo que en caso de seguir la iniciativa como hasta hoy, congelada en comisiones legislativas y no pase, "sería durante el primer trimestre del próximo año cuando se emitiría dicho decreto, que aprobaría la unión entre personas del mismo sexo en el estado de Morelos, como una acción estratégica."

    Márquez Ortega manifestó que como Ejecutivo "se hizo lo que nos toca, a través de la iniciativa que se presentó por parte del Gobernador en julio pasado, que propone una reforma al artículo 120 de la Constitución, estableciendo que el matrimonio es la unión voluntaria de dos personas, con igualdad de derechos y obligaciones," mientras se agota el procedimiento legislativo de la iniciativa, dijo, "estamos analizando con la Consejería Jurídica y otras áreas del Ejecutivo y organizaciones de la sociedad civil, para que se dé el matrimonio igualitario en Morelos."

    Puntualizó que a la par de la iniciativa de ley, existe un amparo colectivo promovido ante la justicia federal por al menos 100 personas de la diversidad sexual, en la que solicitan cambios a la ley para aprobar los matrimonios igualitarios, por lo que se está a la espera de lo que el juzgado determine.

    Morelos: By Decree, to Endorse Marriage Equality

    (In a news article from Cuernavaca, dated 5 December 2015), the executive branch of Morelos state is analyzing the idea to issue a decree that would approve marriage equality, if the state Congress takes too long to approve the proposed law which, since July, Governor Graco Ramírez had sent to them, as was announced by the director of Atención a la Diversidad Sexual of the Government Secretariat, Édgar Márquez Ortega.

    In an interview in the halls of Casa Morelos, the state official said that if the initiative continues as today, frozen in legislative committees and does not pass, "it would be during the first quarter of next year (2016) when the decree would be issued to approve the unions between persons of the same sex in the state of Morelos, as a strategic action."

    Márquez Ortega said that as the Executive "has developed what we have, through the initiative that was presented by the Governor last July, as a proposal for an amendment to article 120 of the Constitution, which would state that marriage is a voluntary union of two people with equal rights and obligations," and that while the legislative process of this initiative might seem exhausted, added, "We are discussing with the Legal Department and other areas of Government and civil society to authorize marriage equality in Morelos."

    He noted that on par with the legislative iniative, there is a collective amparo already filed in federal court (in Morelos) by at least 100 people of sexual diversity, which seeks changes to the law to approve marriage equality, and which is waiting for whatever the court determines.

  • 27. allan120102  |  December 6, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Breaking news from Venezuela. For the first time in history the venezuelan people have elected a transgendered women in the national assembly. And for the the first time since 1998 the opposition have won in Venezuela and they are pro lgbt so my hope is that things start becoming better for our lgbt brothers and sisters in there.

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