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EOT on hiatus for a bit


Hi readers–just wanted to let you all know that Scottie’s not feeling too well, and that we’ll be on hiatus until he recovers. ย Our thoughts are with him. ย Wishing all of you happy holidays and a great new year!

–The EqualityOnTrial team


  • 1. JayJonson  |  December 18, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Glad to report from Facebook that Scottie came through surgery through this morning. He has a long road of recuperation ahead of him, but the prospects seem good. I know we all wish him well.

  • 2. davepCA  |  December 18, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Get well, Scottie.

  • 3. Sagesse  |  December 20, 2015 at 9:21 am

    What Dave said. Be well, Scottie, and I hope you get to enjoy some of the holidays.

  • 4. VIRick  |  December 18, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Per Rex Wockner:
    México – Aprueba el Congreso de Nayarit los Matrimonios Gay

    Mexico – Nayarit Congress Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage – state #5 of 31

    Tepic, Nayarit – El congreso local aprobó, durante la sesión de esta tarde, 17 diciembre 2015, los matrimonios igualitarios con una votación de 26 a favor, una abstención y un voto en contra. Con lo que las parejas del mismo sexo que deseen contraer matrimonio legalmente podrán hacerlo sin necesidad de un amparo.

    La propuesta fue hecha por el legislador perredista Luis Manuel Hernández Escobedo y luego de dos mesas de análisis con distintos sectores involucrados se logró sacar avante la iniciativa, una vez que se publique en el periódico oficial, será efectiva.

    Tepic, Nayarit – During the afternoon session on 17 December 2015, the local Congress approved marriage equality by a vote of 26 in favor, one abstention, and one vote against. Same-sex couples wishing to marry are now legally able to do so without an injunction.

    The proposal was made by the PRD legislator Luis Manuel Hernández Escobedo and after two months of analysis with different sectors, it was then possible to take the initiative forward. Once it is published in the official newspaper, it will become effective.

  • 5. VIRick  |  December 18, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    To up-date, in summary, in Mexico, same-sex marriage is now legal, either legislatively or by executive order, in the following 6 jurisdictions:

    Federal District, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Guerrero, Quintana Roo, Nayarit.

    Same-sex marriage is also legal, by having gained 5 or more judicial amparos, without opposition, in the following 3 states:

    Colima, Guanajuato, Querétaro.

    It ought to be legal by having gained 5 or more judicial amparos, but with opposition currently blocking, in the following 6 states:

    Baja California, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Sinaloa, Yucatán.

    In addition, 17 additional states have not yet gained 5 or more amparos, nor have they passed the legislative measure to legalize same-sex marriage.

  • 6. allan120102  |  December 18, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Yeah I post this yesterday like 4am local time and I was surprised that Nayarit legalize same sex marriage as nowhere in the news focus on this state. The majority were focusing in Morelos, san luis potosi and Mexico state as the closest states to legalize ssm. Anyways not sure if this is relevant but they are 3 jurisprudence now to same sex bans in the chambers on the court. Thanks God that the ban of Jalisco is going straight to the supreme court at the end of January were it will probably be decimate it for once and for all.

  • 7. VIRick  |  December 18, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Allan, the 2011 judicial reforms have never been fully implemented nor fully understood throughout all of Mexico, so we are left with a very uneven interpretation which still allows the obfuscators plenty of leeway to obfuscate. According to my understanding of said reforms, once 5 amparos are granted on the same matter in the same state, the offending law is held in abeyance, and no further amparos are necessary (nor does the legislature nor the governor have to act), a system which has been deliberately copied from the USA.

    This pattern of counting amparos is what was quietly being followed in Nayarit before the very recent legislative change, and which is still being followed in Colima and Querétaro, and now, is the pattern which appears to be what is occurring in Guanajuato. It ought to be the pattern which applies to the other 6 states which have hit or exceeded 5 amparos, but which, for various nefarious reasons, have not yet been followed there.

    Still, I agree that either Morelos, San Luis Potosí, or Baja California Sur will be next to legalize legislatively.

  • 8. allan120102  |  December 18, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    I am waiting for amparos to be granted to Tlaxcala and Zacatecas so all states in Mexico have at least one. The Hidalgo one should be given soon by the court. Anyways as Mexico legalize ssm state by state. Colombia should be given to us in the first months of 2016. I am betting the next countries to watch are CR,Venezuela and Chile in America. Chile though is expected to have marriage equality until the end of 2017. We could also win Bermuda next year.

  • 9. josejoram  |  December 19, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Why Venezuela?

  • 10. allan120102  |  December 19, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    since the opposition won, many have promise bills against lgbt discrimination. The lgbt candidates that won have promised to bring the marriage equality bill as soon as mid 2016 or the end of 2016 or early 2017. This looks really promising if only we can take Nicholas Maduro of power so progress can more faster.

  • 11. Fortguy  |  December 18, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Also I've found this news report which goes into more detail including the state governor's support of the legislation:

    Salvador Arellano Murillo, Milenio: Aprueba congreso de Nayarit matrimonios del mismo sexo

    I see Allan and others have done some editing to the article. I've edited the map now that it is so much easier. It took me less than a minute.

    The news article to which Allan and Rick linked said the law would take effect when published in the state's periódico oficial or official journal which is online here. As of this writing, it doesn't yet appear to be published.

  • 12. VIRick  |  December 18, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    Although I'm unable to do my usual copy/paste Spanish/English report from this particular news source, here, at least, is an English translation offering further details, particularly related to two of the amparos:

    For his part, the Governor of the State of Nayarit, Roberto Sandoval Castañeda endorsed the decision of the local Congress to legalize marriage equality.

    In the month of October, in the municipality of Ruiz to the north of the state, was conducted the first same-sex wedding. After a myriad of legal procedures, even resorting to the protection of the federal courts to assert their rights as citizens, María Guadalupe Cayeros Hermosillo and Zindhy De la Rosa Flores joined their lives in civil marriage. Maria Guadalupe and Zindhy had to sue the Congress of Nayarit, the Governor, and the official newspaper of the Government, for compliance of approval, promulgation, and publication of the reform of article 135 of the Civil Code of the State of Nayarit which did not (at that time) recognize marriage between same-sex couples.

    In another event which caused divided opinions between the Catholic Church and social groups, the Mayor of San Blas, Hilario Ramírez Villanueva, was the officiant at the wedding of Miguel and Salvador, the second gay couple who legalized their relationship with the Civil Registry after the resolution (of the issue) by the Supreme Court of Justice.

    Thus, Nayarit joins other States of the Republic to adopt marriage equality.

  • 13. Fortguy  |  December 18, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    Ah! Thanks for your post with the translation. You posted it just in time to keep me from making a clarifying edit. The article to which I referred that Allan and others edited was the Wikipedia article on SSM in Mexico.

  • 14. allan120102  |  December 18, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    Thanks. things are really moving faster in Mexico . I just read that the legislature of Queretaro was going to legalize ssm but they didnt because the previous coalition didnt present the papers they should have about the benefits of same sex couples marrying .a shame really but they are supposed to legalize it as soon as the conclusion is given. btw we need to update the amparos granted in the map. Rick you might be perferct for thaat as you have a list of how many have been given to each state.

  • 15. VIRick  |  December 19, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    These states all have 5 or more amparos granted, and need to be re-shaded gold on the Wikipedia map to show that heightened status:

    Guanajuato, Querétaro, Baja California, Sinaloa, and Morelos, plus Jalisco and Michoacán. The special same-sex "civil union" category (light blue) for the latter two has become extraneous to the entire situation, now that Mexico's Supreme Court has declared that that "separate but unequal" category is unconstitutional.

  • 16. Fortguy  |  December 19, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Let's begin. Of the states you've mentioned, pick one. Any one. I trust you enough that you are not pulling information out of your ass like a GOP politician, but instead can back up your five amparo counts with media reports or published government documents.

    Give me one state with citations, and we can update the Wikipedia article and map. Then we can move on to the next state on your list.

  • 17. VIRick  |  December 19, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Legislatura Pasada No Entregó Conclusión de Foros por Matrimonio Gay

    Past Legislature Did Not Provide Conclusion to the Forums for Same-Sex Marriage

    Querétaro , 18 de diciembre de 2015.- Los foros que realizaron las comisiones unidas de la pasada Legislatura local para analizar el llamado matrimonio igualitario, nunca presentaron conclusiones, denunció la diputada Leticia Mercado. Las comisiones unidas realizaron dos foros durante varios meses para supuestamente verificar la posibilidad de reformar distintas leyes para permitir las uniones civiles entre personas del mismo sexo.

    Estas comisiones se integraron por Administración y Procuración de Justicia; Derechos Humanos y Acceso a la Información; Grupos Vulnerables y Discriminados, así como de la Comisión de la Familia, pero nunca entregaron conclusiones a la Dirección de Asuntos Legislativos.

    Consideró que la actual Legislatura local no recurrirá a prácticas dilatorias en este tema porque deberá legislarse de manera inmediata sin tener en cuenta preferencias o intereses partidistas.

    Querétaro, 18 December 2015.- The forums that occurred for the united commission of the previous legislature to analyze same-sex marriage never presented their findings, reported Deputy Leticia Mercado. The commission held two forums during the past several months to verify the distinct possibility of reforming the law to allow civil marriage between same-sex couples.

    This commission was composed of Administration and Law Enforcement; Human Rights and Access to Information; Vulnerable and Discriminated Groups; as well as the Committee on the Family, but never delivered conclusions to the Legislative Affairs Directorate.

    She considered that the current Legislature will not resort to delaying tactics on this issue because legislation must be enacted immediately regardless of preferences or partisan interests (because Querétaro already has 5 amparos already granted, and thus, is compelled to change its law to allow for same-sex marriage).

  • 18. allan120102  |  December 18, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    So far the turnout between the three days in Slovenia have been of 2.73%. There need to be an exact turn out of 17.27 or more so the referendum can be valid, and I believe its almost surely its going to happen. I really hope though that more good people vote than haters.

  • 19. ArizonaLurker  |  December 18, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Actually turnout is 1.43% according to the Wiki article, which as itscold confirmed is very high for early voting in Slovenia. Also the "No" side has to get 20%, not total turnout. I was confused about that too. If total turnout is 30% or less, I'm pretty sure we are safe. If it is higher than 40%, I think that we have definitely lost. The question is if turnout is between 30-40% then it is anybody's guess.

  • 20. allan120102  |  December 18, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    Well I went to the wiki article you give us in the previous page and I went inside and sum the three days so unless I did something wrong it gave me that number. So please can you check it and see if I make a mistake please. will really appreciate it.

  • 21. guitaristbl  |  December 18, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    The wiki article's numbers are not to be added up I think, they are cumulative, meaning by Monday x % of people have votes, by tuesday y % of people etc

  • 22. SethInMaryland  |  December 18, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Again one thing have to remember polling has shown over half don't even plan to show up. We have no clue how that will effect the numbers. It's also the Christmas week , unlike the previous referendum we don't know how that will effect the turnout. Many people will be more interested in what plans they have with their family then some referendum.

  • 23. VIRick  |  December 18, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Idaho’s Legal Defense of Same-Sex Marriage Ban Totals $715,000

    Boise ID — Idaho‘s losing legal battle to defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage has cost taxpayers roughly $715,000, making it one of the more expensive failed cases compared with similar losses in nearby states. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and other top elected officials on Friday, 18 December 2015, unanimously approved paying $34,000 from the state’s Constitutional Defense Fund to cover the remaining attorney fees and court costs. The state has already paid $628,000 to attorneys representing the four lesbian couples who sued Idaho over the state’s same-sex marriage ban, plus another $53,000 to a private law firm hired to represent Idaho in the case.

    The amount is greater than what has been paid so far by surrounding states that were ordered to cover attorney fees and court costs after failing to uphold same-sex marriage bans. In 2014, Utah paid $95,000 and Oregon paid $133,000 to the winning plaintiffs. Nevada paid $615,000 in October, and Alaska shelled out $128,000 in April.

    Other states with higher bills than Idaho include Michigan, which was ordered to pay $1.9 million, and Ohio, which paid $1.3 million.

  • 24. bythesea66  |  December 19, 2015 at 1:24 am

    Get well soon! Thanks for all you do and hope you feel better.

  • 25. allan120102  |  December 19, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Breaking news from Austria. The court is expected to hand a ruling on Monday 21 after hearing cases against the ban in November. depending on how the court decide and how Slovenia's referendum result. we might end with two central European countries with marriage equality.

  • 26. VIRick  |  December 19, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Austria: 3 Days Before Christmas: Court to Deliver Judgment on Same-Sex Marriage

    Austrian children with two fathers or two mothers have to be compulsorily illegitimate because their parents are not allowed to marry each other. Five such children, together with their parents, have taken the federal government to court over their parents' marriage ban; to allow their parents to marry, and themselves to become legitimate children, just like their peers with one father and one mother. On 26 November 2015, the Vienna Administrative Court heard the first of these five cases. Already, on 21 December 2015 (11.30 am), three days before Christmas, the Court will deliver its judgment in public (Wien 19, Muthgasse 62, room B2.02 = court room 3).

    Austria grants the identical rights to found a family to same-gender couples as it does to opposite-gender couples, that is, it allows second-parent-adoption, joint adoption, medically-assisted procreation, automatic co-parenthood to registered lesbian couples, and recognition of motherhood to unregistered lesbian couples, just like recognition of fatherhood for illegitimate children.

    Nevertheless, their children have to be compulsorily illegitimate. As their parents, different than the parents of their peers, are banned from marrying just because these parents are two mothers or two fathers, instead of one mother and one father. Austria is the only state in the world with such a state of law. All other countries in the world, which grant same-gender couples full adopton rights, as a matter of course, let the parents of these children marry.

    In 2012, the Austrian Constitutional Court found the marriage-ban constitutional, arguing that civil marriage is "oriented towards the ability, in principle, to parent," which distinguishes it from "relationships of another kind." (VfGH 09.10.2012, B 121/11, B 137/11 Rz 32) This argument has lost its basis since then. Back in 2012, same-gender couples in Austria had no right whatsoever to found a family. Today, they have absolutely identical rights. Today, same-gender couples, under Austrian law, are equally "oriented towards the ability, in principle, to parent." The children in the five families now suing the government have two full and equal legal parents just as children with a father and a mother.

  • 27. scream4ever  |  December 19, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    My thoughts exactly. No matter what happens in Slovenia, we are likely to win in Austria.

  • 28. Christian0811  |  December 19, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    We lost in 2010, 2012, and 2014 at the Austrian CC, so I'm not holding my breath. That said I will be delighted if we do win

    And also wait a minute, this is being challenged at the administrative court? Why? Shouldn't the ban be pending before the CC? Or is like in France where the Supreme Court must refer a case to the CC after being vetted for technicalities?

  • 29. scream4ever  |  December 19, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Wasn't thus case different though since it dealt with the children of same-sex couples who couldn't get married?

  • 30. allan120102  |  December 19, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    I am just hoping we dont get double defeats coming from this two central Europe countries.

  • 31. RnL2008  |  December 19, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Our thoughts and positive energy are being sent to you Scottie and your family……..hopefully you get better real soon and back to yourself before the New Year.

    RnL2008 and family

  • 32. VIRick  |  December 19, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Ten Years Today Since Civil Partnerships Began in UK

    Today, 19 December 2015, marks the tenth anniversary of the UK’s first civil partnerships, which came into effect in 2005. The law, introduced by Tony Blair’s Labor government, allowed same-sex couples to register their unions through a system separate from marriage.

    The change was rolled out at different times across the UK, meaning the first couple to enter into a civil partnership under regular circumstances were Grainne Close and Sharon Sickles of Belfast, Northern Ireland, who ten years later are still together and still pioneering for equality. The pair are at the heart of a court case seeking to bring about same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, after the DUP blocked progress on the issue, leaving it isolated from the rest of the UK on the issue.

    However, civil partnerships themselves face a more uncertain future. Following the introduction of same-sex marriage in 2014, the number of new registered partnerships has collapsed, and many existing civil partners have opted to convert.

    The UK government and Scottish government have both consulted on the potential future of civil partnerships, while campaigners, including Peter Tatchell, continue to call for them to be opened up to heterosexual couples as a civil alternative to marriage. Others have suggested the law be phased out over time, closing off partnerships to new couples as interest naturally declines.

  • 33. VIRick  |  December 19, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Attorney Fees and Costs Settled in Second Arizona Marriage Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 17 December 2015, in "Majors v. Jeanes," the Lambda Legal Arizona marriage case, and the second of the two Arizona marriage cases to be finalized, the Court has approved a stipulation between the parties awarding the plaintiffs $302,140.11 in Attorneys' Fees and Costs.

    Here is the stipulation:

    In the first of the two Arizona marriage cases filed in federal court, "Connolly v. Roche," the Court previously awarded $200,000 in attorney fees and costs.

  • 34. 1grod  |  December 19, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    Rick – attorney's lives after same sex marriage victories not always smooth sailing – at least in Alabama. Comments provide more background than article on what might be going on behind the scene.

  • 35. VIRick  |  December 19, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Federal Appeals Court Upholds Conviction of Kidnapping in Custody Case

    On 16 December 2015, a US appeals court upheld the conviction of a Mennonite minister accused of helping a woman flee to Nicaragua with her daughter to evade court orders giving her former lesbian partner visitation rights. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld the conviction of Kenneth Miller, whose case drew widespread attention as gay rights and evangelical Christian groups took opposing sides in the legal battle over the daughter.

    Prosecutors said Miller helped orchestrate Lisa Miller’s flight to Canada and Nicaragua in 2009 with her daughter out of Christian solidarity with her decision to reject homosexuality and her former partner. The two Millers are not related. He was found guilty in 2012 by a federal jury in Burlington, Vermont, for aiding in international parental kidnapping, and was subsequently sentenced to 27 months in prison.

  • 36. itscoldoutside  |  December 20, 2015 at 12:17 am

    I've just returned from the ballot. It was just me and a bunch of extremely old people so you could guess the composition of that voting sample. I still can't believe they get to vote on my rights. Feels so, so wrong to the core.

    My view is already well known here: that this law has been dead from the day the CC allowed the referendum to happen. Of course I'll be more than happy to eat my hat tomorrow. Haven't had one in ages!

    Below is the website of the State Election Comission. At 19.00 CET (10am PST) it should light up like a Christmas tree and begin updating very rapidly with new data. Then it won't take long to see what the final result will look like.

  • 37. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2015 at 3:26 am

    We do not really care what the final result will look like
    What we care is whether the no vote will reach the 20 % of registeres voters. If it does not, they can win as big as they want, it wont matter.

  • 38. allan120102  |  December 20, 2015 at 3:34 am

    turnout is expected go be around 46% so it looks pretty easy imo that 20% of voters vote against the law. I hope this does not occur though.

  • 39. itscoldoutside  |  December 20, 2015 at 3:36 am

    Yes, of course, by final result I meant mostly the turnout. The first numbers for turnout by 11am should be out any time now.

  • 40. allan120102  |  December 20, 2015 at 3:38 am

    Its 9,3% not sure if that is good or bad. saw it in Delo.

  • 41. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2015 at 3:56 am

    Not particularly good I'd say but lets wait and see. Younger people have higher turnouts in the afternoon.

  • 42. ronbk  |  December 20, 2015 at 5:51 am

    AFP – Slovenians vote in gay marriage referendum

    Koper (Slovenia) (AFP) – Slovenians were on Sunday voting in a referendum on whether to allow the largely-Catholic EU member state to become Europe's first ex-communist country to allow same-sex marriage.

    Polling stations opened promptly at 7:00am (0600 GMT), although hardly anyone could be seen coming to vote in the first hour, an AFP correspondent in the southwestern port city of Koper said.

    More than 1.7 million people are registered to cast their ballots on the issue which has stoked heated debate in this former Yugoslav republic.

    In March, Slovenia's parliament approved legislation redefining marriage as a "union of two" instead of being a "union of a man and a woman", granting homosexual couples the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts, including the right to adopt children.

    But opponents immediately launched a campaign to reverse the changes, meaning the legislation never came into force and no same-sex couples were able to tie the knot.

    A group called "Children Are At Stake" managed to gather the 40,000 signatures necessary to force a referendum on the matter.

    "I voted yes. Love is love, regardless of everything," said a 24-year-old woman called Ida.

    Another voter said he was also in favour of the changes, but argued that putting the matter to a referendum was a waste of public money.

    "It should be experts or the government deciding about this. They should not leave it to us," said Vojko, a pensioner.

    "This is throwing money away. Of course I'm for it, but if it turns out to be a 'no', the world will laugh at us."

    But the issue has divided this country with a population of around two million. On the wall of a church centre near the polling, someone had scrawled a question.

    "Would you take a homosexual donor's blood to save your child?" it read.

    – 'Marriage yes, adoption no' –

    Another pensioner said that while gay couples should be given equality as far as marriage was concerned, that should not include the right to adopt children.

    "They are people like us, they should be given all rights, but not (the right to adopt) children," said a 76-year-old woman called Ema.

    "It has to end with a 'no'."

    Ahead of the vote debate has been heated, and even Pope Francis has waded in, urging Slovenians to stand up for traditional family values.

    Speaking to a group of pilgrims, he said he encouraged "everyone, especially those with public responsibility, to support the family, a structural reference point for the life of society."

    A final poll released by state television on Friday gave the "No" vote 55.5 percent support, with a projected turnout of 46 percent.

    In order for the result to be valid, the winning side must include at least 20 percent of eligible voters. Other surveys have indicated a tighter result, however.

    If the "No" vote prevails, then the civil code will be changed back, although existing legislation, which allows registered civil partnerships but not the adoption of children, will remain in force.

    This is not the first such referendum on the subject, with Slovenian voters rejecting gay marriage in an earlier plebiscite in 2012, although turnout was low.

    Polls close at 9:00 pm (2000 GMT), with preliminary results are expected shortly afterwards.

    – Genderless marriage? –

    Slovenia has long been ahead of its peers, joining the EU back in 2004 — nine years before neighbour Croatia — and the eurozone in 2007 as its first ex-communist member, but its society retains a strong traditionalist streak.

    President Borut Pahor and Prime Minister Miro Cerar's ruling Modern Centre Party (SMC) support the "Yes" camp, saying gay marriage would eliminate discrimination and grant equal rights to all citizens in the two-million-strong country.

    "At this referendum we're deciding what kind of Slovenia we want to live in," Nika Kovac, a coordinator from the "Cas je Za" (It's time For a Yes) campaign group, told AFP.

    "We'll decide whether we want to join the developed world."

    Janez Jansa, the former centre-right prime minister from the opposition Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), strongly disagreed.

    "Erasing the gender from the marriage (definition) gives ground to human rights' violations against our most precious — our children," Jansa said.

  • 43. SethInMaryland  |  December 20, 2015 at 7:28 am

    anything yet ?

  • 44. itscoldoutside  |  December 20, 2015 at 7:47 am

    The data on turnout by 4pm will be released shortly.

  • 45. itscoldoutside  |  December 20, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Turnout by 4pm: 24,99%

  • 46. ArizonaLurker  |  December 20, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Thanks! Now what do we make of that number? In the USA, where we vote on a weekday, we would say that there was still an "after work" rush coming. But in Slovenia, what are the turnout patterns like on a Sunday? Who knows?

  • 47. itscoldoutside  |  December 20, 2015 at 8:42 am

    The big mass starts at seven so yes, I expect a big rush before that.

    People are kind of used to the fact that elections and referenda take place on a Sunday so I have no basis to compare this turnout to that on any other day, really. At least in theory, this was meant to encourage people to go to the polls as they are free from work.

  • 48. scream4ever  |  December 20, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Indeed, that's one reason why the US has much lower turnout then the rest of the world, with our elections being held on a weekday.

  • 49. Christian0811  |  December 20, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Speaking of same sex adoption

    Here's a concise article about the history of it in New Hampshire:

    Apparently in 1987 a Florida-style ban was imposed and only repealed in 1999.

  • 50. scream4ever  |  December 20, 2015 at 10:03 am

    I never knew New Hampshire had one of these.

  • 51. Christian0811  |  December 21, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Yeah it's unfortunate :/ but at least it's been gone for a long time now

  • 52. itscoldoutside  |  December 20, 2015 at 10:01 am

    The polls have now closed.

    Again, if you have the nerves for this sort of thing (I don't!), this website has just fired up and will show all of the counted votes:

  • 53. scream4ever  |  December 20, 2015 at 10:08 am

    It looks like Yes is leading!

  • 54. ArizonaLurker  |  December 20, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Wow! If I read that site correctly, we actually won the early vote. (we're looking for a "za" vote, right?)

  • 55. itscoldoutside  |  December 20, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Yes, ZA means FOR. I wouldn't celebrate just yet as less than 25.000 votes have been counted as of now. We made the same mistake of celebrating too early three years ago.

  • 56. ArizonaLurker  |  December 20, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Oh, you misunderstand. I still think that we will lose the vote, but what I am paying more attention to is the turnout. If turnout is low (and Delo is reporting 25.7% but that can't be right) then the bigots have to beat us by a huge margin to get their 20%. If we actually won the early vote then that is a very good sign that we will be competitive and that they won't get the votes they need.

  • 57. itscoldoutside  |  December 20, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Oh, I see. Yes, the turnout of 25.7% looks *very* suspicious to me as it usually goes up by 10% between 4 and 7pm.

  • 58. ArizonaLurker  |  December 20, 2015 at 10:29 am

    You are right – that is an adjustment of the 4pm turnout number. Still, 10% in the last three hours is a lot of voters coming in late. Oh well, we'll find out soon enough. Certainly the numbers we have now must at least make you feel a TINY bit better, right?

  • 59. itscoldoutside  |  December 20, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Honestly, I was opening the champagne in 2012 so this time around I won't allow myself to get emotional over the result until it's absolutely clear that the quorum won't be reached.

    And in the following days the required quorum will actually change as those people will be added who came to vote but were left out of the register by mistake. Also, thanks to the request (the first of its kind!) by the haters, all of those who have died between the composition of the register and today will be purged.

  • 60. ArizonaLurker  |  December 20, 2015 at 10:46 am

    And unfortunately now the vote has swung heavily against us. Maybe I should find something else to do for a couple of hours, as I have learned that Slovenia voters don't act like American voters at all…. In the USA early voting numbers are usually not THAT different from election day numbers sigh….

  • 61. allan120102  |  December 20, 2015 at 10:49 am

    I believe the results will be at 9pm local time, not sure if the 27% its the real turnout. I just sincerely hope we do not loose.

  • 62. ArizonaLurker  |  December 20, 2015 at 10:53 am

    They are compiling final turnout as they are counting the vote. I am nervous as hell, but people in other places are saying that there is no way the bigots are going to get the turnout they need, even though we are going to lose the vote today. I hope they are right.

  • 63. allan120102  |  December 20, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Pink e news is reporting this. "With nearly a third of the 441,598 votes counted, so far the country has recorded 56,490 Yes votes (40%) in favour of equal marriage, and 87,038 No votes (60%) opposed." Gosh can{t believe they are many y bigots.

  • 64. scream4ever  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:01 am

    What was the number that the other side needed to break to win?

  • 65. itscoldoutside  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:02 am

    343,000 votes.

  • 66. allan120102  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:04 am


  • 67. scream4ever  |  December 20, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Regardless, it looks like this will be very close, and turnout could even come to near 40% and our side could still win even if PROTI wins by up to 55% or so.

  • 68. ArizonaLurker  |  December 20, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Turnout at 4pm Slovenia time was only 25%, and their polls closed at 7pm. Do THAT many people vote in the last three hours? Who knows.

  • 69. allan120102  |  December 20, 2015 at 10:34 am

    I believe the turnout will be like around 37-38%. I think we might loose the vote but imo turnout might be our only chance. I just hope we win so bad.

  • 70. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:02 am

    I would advise against looking at percentages. Look at the NO votes – If they get over 300k then we have a problem.

  • 71. scream4ever  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Very true.

    On a side note, the government website appears to have crashed.

  • 72. itscoldoutside  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:15 am

    It's now back up again.

  • 73. SethInMaryland  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Those 5 soviet justices should removed from office

  • 74. itscoldoutside  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:14 am

    The turnout is now estimated to be 30.52% and 62% are against so they'll probably manage to reach the quorum (65% against are needed at that participation).

  • 75. allan120102  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:20 am

    We are loosing pretty bad, I am pretty sad right now. I thought Slovene people would vote for equality.

  • 76. itscoldoutside  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:21 am

    As I've said, a decade too soon. Unfortunately.

  • 77. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:25 am

    No matter the percentages, the number of votes matter and there they are quite a distance from the 340k+ they need ! Its going good imo !

  • 78. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:21 am

    According to pinknews, with most votes counted the opponents need more than 100k votes currently to win ! We may win this !

  • 79. SethInMaryland  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:24 am

    I think they have 281.691 right now

  • 80. itscoldoutside  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:24 am

    They just need 60k votes with 80% of votes now counted.

  • 81. SethInMaryland  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Do u have an idea of what of the country need to be counted?

  • 82. itscoldoutside  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:28 am

    87.82% counted and they only need less than 20k votes. It's dead.

  • 83. ArizonaLurker  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Man, I really thought we could do it. Slovenia, you're a complete f*cking sh*thole. Congratulations.

  • 84. itscoldoutside  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:31 am

    I never thought we could do it. For reasons that you have just stated.

    This really isn't Ireland.

  • 85. SethInMaryland  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:29 am

    If yes could get fire some here they might just might keep from that number they need

  • 86. allan120102  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:29 am

    The No vote have reach 324.009 against the for vote 190.382

  • 87. SethInMaryland  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:32 am

    20 k is still a good climb lets wait and see

  • 88. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:34 am

    It is quite a bit imo. Even if it is a loss it will be very marginal with yet again a very low turnout (Under 35 %). And I suppose the challenges to the constitutional court must be ready already, law by law marriage equality will come anyway soon. I dont suppose these judgements will take long.

  • 89. allan120102  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:36 am

    They won they got 354,000. so sad right now, Cant believe it that people play with the happiness of others.

  • 90. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Oh well very marginal..! Now to the constitutional courr fast and lets get these laws striked down fast ๐Ÿ™‚ ! I am betting Slovenia will have marriage equality by the end of 2016 if activists move fast enough ! The real battle starts now and I am very optimistic these laws wont hold much water ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 91. SethInMaryland  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:41 am

    After the court put this put up for a ref I don't see happening. Those 5 thugs are still living soviet era

  • 92. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:46 am

    I believe the judgement of the ECHR against Italy will help here plus we had a ruling based on a technicality, so we dont know how they would rule on the merits. Plus even if this court would rule againsf ME, the composition of courts changes.

    Its really not time for sentimentalisms, they got a marginal victory here and ME never was an issue for the ballots. This will be settled in courts and soon imo ๐Ÿ™‚ Slovene same sex couples should get their marriage plans going for Christmas 2016. Justice delayed may be justice denied for some but hey its the best that can be done now.

    Now I hope they are quick to file these challenges with the support of the government hopefully.

  • 93. Christian0811  |  December 20, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    The CC only ruled that the National Assembly didn't have the right to block referenda, it said nothing about the constitutionality of the referendum or the marriage ban.

  • 94. allan120102  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Not that marginal, I may say I like freaking pissed right now, I dont even lived there and I feel awful.

  • 95. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Oh who cares about percentages ? They got marginally more votes than those they needed to block equality, they would not get there in a couple of years. It was very marginal.

  • 96. ArizonaLurker  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:46 am

    You really think the court is going to be that eager to slap a clear majority of voters in the face? I was at least hoping for it to be closer to give us a stronger case to make.

    So what have we learned:
    1. Slovenia sucks
    2. Slovenian bigots vote very, very late and in large numbers.
    3. No polling on gay rights in Slovenia can be trusted a single iota.
    4 Slovenia sucks (seriously I would boycott their products if I could think of a damn thing they make)

    Itscold, now I wish I could give you two hugs, and I'm sorry for the people here who attacked you. Apparently you were right about your country after all.

  • 97. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:53 am

    The court must make a constitutional judgment not one based on a marginal plurality of a less than 35 % turnout. That's nonsense. It was very close anyway. They needed 343k and got just a few above that, big deal.

    If pessimist like itscold did something more than just standing around whining and got people on the ballot, this could even win percentage-wise. I dont feel sorry for him the least, karma gives you what you expect to get.

    Now, as I said the route is : Instant filing of challenges to constitutional court and equality by the end of 2016 the latest. Bam.

  • 98. allan120102  |  December 20, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    They got a lot and I believe the votes are still being count. 380.149 that is 37,000 more than they need. We only got 220.478.So yeah I dont believe its that marginal.

  • 99. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Then I guess we will vastly disagree since anything below 400k for them is a marginal victory, easily overturned on the ballot in a year or two. But that wont be needed as I said
    Their marginal victory will be lying in shambles in a year anyway through a constitutional judgment. Now, no more whining, LGBT activists in Slovenia must start the real work and file these challenges. What has to be realized is that the actual battle begins today, and it begins where it should have been decides in first place : the constitutional court.

    Lets do these Slovene LGBT people ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 100. itscoldoutside  |  December 20, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Yes, I'm sure it's not the vicious propaganda of the Catholic Church based on photos from the US pride events that made this result a reality. Of course it's the little sad me who is to blame. Because I just couldn't be bothered to prevent a fifth of the electorate not to vote against the law!

    And please don't feel sad for me in the slightest. I'm on my way out anyway.

  • 101. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    You are sad that's for sure. You have proven that throughout these months here anyway. Oh and leave the country, you did not offer anything constructive anyway. Its easy to stand behind and state the obvious : that thr vicious catholic church is bigoted. The catholic church could not get 65 % to get out and vote though. 10 % (not even above 50 %) more if it turned out and voted this could be different tonight. Its not personal. You are just part of the problem imo which is concetrated on pessimism and apathy.

    Those who fought this and will continue fighting will send you their wedding invitations in a year !

  • 102. allan120102  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:55 am

    I will not believe in any poll now, Not even the ones in here that says15 to 18 percent believe in equality. Yeah I thought of Slovenia better as it is the most liberal of the slavic countries,well that is why I thought. ItsCold,I am pretty sorry I dont believe its right for others to vote on your rights, but justice will prevail someday. I could give you a lot of hugs right now, I dont lived there and I want to cry. I cant even get how you are feeling. So sorry.

  • 103. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    It was natural that in a country with traditionally low turnout at referendums and elections, the majority that would turn up to vote would be bigots. The hope was that they would not get the 20 % to vote against. They got marginally abive that. Big deal. No one should cry over that. This was always an issue for legislatures and courts. The slovenian legislature did its part, the courts are taking on now and I am very optimistic it will be a victory for marriage equality. Unless Austria gets it first tomorrow, Slovenia will be the first central european country with ME in a year. But these challenges must be filed tomorrow if possible for the process to start !

    Personally I am very excited as the real path to equality opens now to Slovenia ๐Ÿ™‚ !

  • 104. Christian0811  |  December 20, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Austria shouldn't get it tomorrow…only the CC can repeal the ban and the current case is before the Supreme Administrative Court.

  • 105. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Well it will be a first step of there is a positive judgment, enough to encourage their slovene counterparts to bring those challenges faster !

  • 106. Christian0811  |  December 20, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Indeed. I'm also hoping the Austrian CC's decision to strike the adoption ban will play heavily into the decisions of the Austrian Admin Court and the Slovene CC.

    Optimism should be tempered but there's still reason to hope.

  • 107. SethInMaryland  |  December 20, 2015 at 11:37 am

    they got what they needed. Slovenia still needs a lot better work and justices who will uphold human rights

  • 108. SethInMaryland  |  December 20, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    No one forget Northern Ireland. I expect we getting in a few days

  • 109. scream4ever  |  December 21, 2015 at 12:40 am

    Austria too, although the ruling may not be final.

  • 110. SethInMaryland  |  December 21, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Does anyone think if the courts in Austria rule in our favor the government just decides not appeal? I think its possible the government may not appeal

  • 111. guitaristbl  |  December 20, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Also lets not forget that we are not yet at the stage where every single law has to be challenged at the constitutional court : The court has yet to weigh in on the actual question of whether the referendum was constitutional or whether it was about human rights thus forbidden. It has only said that the legislature does not have the authority to make a judgement on its constituionality. Marriage equality can come very quick to Slovenia if the constitutional court decides the referendum was indeed about an issue concerning basic human rights. It could be a matter of a couple of months after all !

  • 112. Christian0811  |  December 20, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    This is what I've been saying all along! The sooner the local activists initiate a suit on those very grounds the better.

  • 113. VIRick  |  December 20, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Slovenia: Voters Repeal Same-Sex Marriage

    Preliminary referendum results have shown that Slovenians have rejected a same-sex marriage law. The results released on Sunday, 20 December 2015, by authorities show about 63 percent voted against a bill that defines marriage as a union of two adults, while around 37 percent were in favor. The results are still incomplete, but are unlikely to change significantly in the final tally. Parliament introduced marriage equality in March, along with the legalization of adoption for same-sex couples, but conservative groups, backed by the Catholic Church, have pushed through a popular vote on the issues.

    In order for the issues to be conclusively defeated, at least 20% of the total electorate (and not just of those voting) must vote against it. Given this factor, the "No' side needed 343,104 votes in order to have gained more than 20% of the total electorate of 1,715,520. That side received 380,149 votes, that is, 63.3% of those voting or 22.16% of the total electorate. Those in favor of marriage equality numbered 220,478 or 36.7% of those voting.

    I want to thank Allan for providing the number for the total electorate, as well as the total number voting "Yes" and "No." From those figures, I was then able to work out the rest of the math.

    However, having just completed and posted those figures, I see that Pink News is currently showing these revised numbers:

    With nearly alll of the 620,261 votes now counted, the country has recorded 225,428 "Yes" votes (36.5%) in favor of equal marriage, and 391,818 "No" votes (63.5%) opposed.

    A preliminary estimate of turnout suggests that 36.15% of eligible voters made it to the polls, with 22.84% of the total electorate voting "No."

    Due to the turnout, campaigners had hoped that the opposition to equal marriage would not pass the threshold of 20% of the total electorate needed to block the law, but the result now appears to be decisive.

  • 114. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  December 20, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Hard to believe that a modern European country is more regressive than HATU—the Bass Ackwards State. On the other hand, the influence of former Soviet block pensioners and the Catholic organization (and one must assume other conservative groups) suggests that the two geopolitical regions have a lot in common, and none of it good.

  • 115. VIRick  |  December 20, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    How Two Hawai‘i Women Ignited National Movement For Same-Sex Marriage

    Twenty-five years ago, Genora Dancel and Ninia Baehr were thrust into the center of a controversial Hawai‘i case. It was an audacious idea at the time. No country in the world recognized gay marriage; Denmark had just legalized domestic partnership for same-sex couples, but not marriage. Otherwise, worldwide, that was it.

    On the morning of 17 December 1990, Dancel and Baehr, along with two other same-sex couples, walked into the state Department of Health in Honolulu to apply for marriage licenses. Their request, which was denied, laid the foundation for "Baehr v. Lewin (Miike)," the case that triggered a 23-year battle for same-sex marriage in Hawai‘i and transformed the landscape for gay rights in America. The case also had a transformative effect on Dancel, catapulting this “accidental activist” from anonymity to national fame and leading her to find her voice. Her story is emblematic of how the movement sprang from the courage and tenacity of everyday people, who ultimately convinced America that love and equality were values worth fighting for.

  • 116. Steve27516  |  December 21, 2015 at 6:56 am

    Scottie, I don't know if you'll see this, but I'm sending you best wishes for a speedy recuperation!

  • 117. JayJonson  |  December 21, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Important federal district court ruling that sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination. The case involves involves two women plaintiffs, Haley Videckis and Layana White who are suing Pepperdine University, a private Christian college in California. They contend they were subjected to ongoing and repeated harassment and forced from the school's basketball team, lost their scholarships, and ultimately withdrew from the school altogether.

    In his ruling last week, U.S. District Court Judge Dean Pregerson writes,

    "This Court, in its prior order … stated that 'the line between discrimination based on gender stereotyping and discrimination based on sexual orientation is blurry, at best.' After further briefing and argument, the Court concludes that the distinction is illusory and artificial, and that sexual orientation discrimination is not a category distinct from sex or gender discrimination. Thus, claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation are covered by Title VII and IX, but not as a category of independent claims separate from sex and gender stereotype. Rather, claims of sexual orientation discrimination are gender stereotype or sex discrimination claims."

    Judge Pregerson also writes that "the Court finds that sexual orientation discrimination is a form of sex or gender discrimination, and that the 'actual' orientation of the victim is irrelevant. It is impossible to categorically separate 'sexual orientation discrimination' from discrimination on the basis of sex or from gender stereotypes; to do so would result in a false choice. Simply put, to allege discrimination on the basis of sexuality is to state a Title IX claim on the basis of sex or gender."

  • 118. ronbk  |  December 21, 2015 at 11:26 am

    FDA overturns 30-year-old ban on blood donations by gays, but only if no sex for 1 year

  • 119. Christian0811  |  December 21, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    So basically it's a de-facto life ban…I am severely underwhelmed

  • 120. W. Kevin Vicklund  |  December 23, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    While it's disappointing that they are still discriminating, it at least opens blood donations by people like me: a straight man sexually assaulted at the age of 11 by a boy of age 14. More than 25 years ago. And now you know the reason (as if anyone should need one) I first started fighting for gay rights.

  • 121. allan120102  |  December 21, 2015 at 11:43 am

    The CNDH is asking all governors and Legislatures to overturn their gay marriage bans asap. It says that all states have at least one amparo except Tlaxcala and Zacatecas.

  • 122. JayJonson  |  December 21, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Austria's Administrative Court has ruled against same-sex marriage, rejecting the argument of children of same-sex couples that they are disadvantaged by their parents not being able to marry. The Court said in part that children of unwed parents no longer face much social criticism. The lawsuit was not supported by HOSI Wien, Austria’s main LGBT rights group, which is advocating for a broad reform of Austrian marriage laws in general before tackling same-sex marriage. The plaintiffs can now appeal in the federal court system.

  • 123. ArizonaLurker  |  December 21, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Boy, when it rains, it pours… I have never understood the fantasyland that some around here live in where the courts in Europe are going to give us marriage on a silver platter. That works in North and South America. In Europe it seems that the courts have slapped us at every turn on marriage, except maybe the ECHR and that court seems to be pretty toothless. I don't know how the hell we're going to crack Germany/Austria/Switzerland, but we'd better figure it out pretty damned quick or we aren't going to make any more progress in Europe.

  • 124. allan120102  |  December 21, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Yeah its pretty surprising how we loose in Europe a liberal continent we at least the western part. compare to America that is usually more conservative. We have won Mexico Usa Brazil and probably Colombia on the near future. I am just surprise how we are winning by courts in here. CR may come to play too in the near future. If we loose Austria we are not going to win Slovenia by court. Austria is even more open and liberal than Slovenia. Germany will get marriage once Merkel is out. 21 countries as of now have marriage.

  • 125. ronbk  |  December 21, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    New in vitro gametogenesis method for same-sex reproduction

  • 126. allan120102  |  December 21, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Also PRD is saying as ssm was legalized in Nayarit, other entities are soon to follow. Their next on the list are Tlaxcala, Colima, and Mexico state.

  • 127. ianbirmingham  |  December 21, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    The South Florida Water Management District, which has about 1,500 employees, has announced that it is prohibiting transgender workers from being harassed and discriminated against based on both "sexual orientation" and "gender identity or expression." Executive Director Peter Antonacci says that LGBT employees are protected whether they work in a jurisdiction that has LGBT-inclusive rights or not.

    "This news has statewide implications," Palm Beach County Human Rights Council President Rand Hoch tells New Times. … "Since the South Florida Water Management District is not only the largest of Florida's five water management districts but also is one of the largest water management systems in the world, this news is extremely significant, " says Hoch. "We have been working with the South Florida Water Management District on LGBT issues since 2006 and it is reassuring to know that all of the District's LGBT employees are protected."

    According to Hoch, Florida's four other water management districts — Northwest Florida Water Management District, Suwannee River Water Management District, St. Johns River Water Management District, and Southwest Florida Water Management District — do not provide any protection for their LGBT employees.

  • 128. allan120102  |  December 21, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Malawi reaffirms that it would put a stop to lgbt citizens being persecuted by the sodomy law pending a challenge to the law that is being analyze by their supreme court. I seriously want the court to strike down those laws.

  • 129. VIRick  |  December 21, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Florida: New Federal Class-Action Suit Filed over Death Certificates

    "Today, 21 December 2015, Lambda Legal filed a federal class action complaint, "Birchfield v. Armstrong," on behalf of Hal Birchfield, Paul Mocko, and all surviving same-sex spouses whose spouses died before Florida’s marriage ban was struck down and whose marriages were not recognized by the state of Florida on their spouses’ death certificates. The complaint says the state of Florida’s refusal to issue amended death certificates to Birchfield, Mocko, and other surviving same sex spouses deprives these widows and widowers of the same protections different-sex widows and widowers receive and compounds the discrimination they have already faced at the hands of the State. This refusal is a violation of the due process and equal protection clauses of the US Constitution."

    The court filing is here:

    The press release is here:

  • 130. VIRick  |  December 21, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    China: Gay Man Sues For Marriage Rights

    Radio Free Asia reports:

    A gay man in the central Chinese province of Hunan has filed a lawsuit against the government for refusing his application to marry his male partner, in a move that has been hailed as a major test case for LGBT rights in the country, his lawyer told RFA on Monday, 21 December 2015.

    Sun Wenlin, 26, filed the complaint against the Furong district civil affairs bureau in Hunan’s provincial capital, Changsha, earlier this month, challenging the bureau’s refusal to allow the couple to register their marriage. Sun is arguing that current Chinese marriage law refers to the union of “husband and wife,” but without specifying the gender of either party to the marriage. The argument rests on the idea that a person can identify as a husband or a wife without reference to their gender.

    The complaint was filed at the Furong District People’s Court, which has until 23 December 2015 to decide if it will accept the case. Sun told the Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time blog: “We just hope that we can legally become each other’s family in our own country someday in our lifetime.”

  • 131. VIRick  |  December 21, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Cuban Advocates Launch Same-Sex Marriage Campaign

    Cuban LGBT rights advocates have launched a campaign to spur lawmakers to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. The campaign, known as “We Also Love” or “Nosotros También Amamos” in Spanish, that will last six months, encourages Cubans to sign a petition in support of the issue.

    The advocates who work independently of Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban President, Raúl Castro, who publicly spearheads LGBT-specific issues on the Communist island, hope to present the petition with signatures to members of the Cuban Parliament. They also told the Washington Blade they would like to work with the National Center for Sexual Education, the group known by the Spanish acronym CENESEX that Mariela Castro directs.

    “Now is the time to talk about marriage in Cuba,” said Navid Fernández Cabrera, a Havana-based advocate who is one of those spearheading the campaign. Fernández told the Blade the campaign’s official launch in Havana took place on 1 December at a nightclub that LGBT Cubans frequent.

    Advocacy groups in the provinces of Pinar del Río, Artemisa, Villa Clara, and Santiago de Cuba in recent weeks have also held campaign launch events in their respective regions. The Cuban Foundation for LGBTI Rights on 26 December will hold what Nelson Gandulla Díaz, the group’s president, described as an “open-air gala” in the city of Cienfuegos with drag queens and art.

    – See more at:

  • 132. VIRick  |  December 21, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    Couple Prepare to Become the First Trans Parents in South America

    A trans couple from Ecuador are set to make history when they become parents next year. Diane Rodriguez, a prominent LGBT activist, recently shared the exciting news that her boyfriend Fernando Machado is pregnant with their son.

    Ms Rodriguez and Mr Machado, who have been a couple since 2013, believe their first pregnancy is the first of its kind in South America. The couple announced their pregnancy online, announcing that Mr Machado is now four months pregnant.

    “This was the wish of both of us and there was nothing biological or legal to stop us, so we decided to do it,” Ms Rodriguez told local media. “We live as man and woman. I’m a transfeminine woman and Fernando is a transmasculine man. The process to get here was complex for each of us,” she added. “Knowing it’s our right, we decided to add another member to our family.”

    Ms Rodriguez first made headlines in her native country in 2013, when she became the he first Ecuadorian trans candidate to run for Congress. She has previously campaigned for trans rights across South America, after recounting her own struggles after she came out.

  • 133. guitaristbl  |  December 22, 2015 at 3:39 am

    Well it hasnt been a good couple of days (although I hope the Austrian Constitutional Court may not agree with the ruling of the administrative court. Anyway that should not discourage the activists in Slovenia from filing with their constitutional court immediately to finally get a ruling on the constitutionality of the referendum.

    On some kind of positive news, the greek parliament is discussing and is expected to approve civil unions today. The whole discussion is of course in greek but here is a link to the parliament's webtv anyway for anyone interested :

  • 134. MNWordPressDev  |  December 22, 2015 at 5:05 am

    Best wish Scottie! Hope to see you feel well soon.

  • 135. VIRick  |  December 22, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Virginia: Liberty Counsel Sues County School Board For Protecting LGBT Students From Discrimination

    Today, 22 December 2015, Liberty Counsel filed a lawsuit against the School Board of Fairfax County, Virginia, for (in their words) illegally changing its nondiscrimination policy so that it conflicts with the state’s policy. According to their allegation, Virginia law explicitly prohibits local governing bodies from adding to, or removing protected classes from, the state’s nondiscrimination policy. In direct defiance (according to their estimation), Fairfax has added new groups to its policy twice now. The board added “sexual orientation” on 6 November 2014, and again added “gender identity” on 7 May 2015, of which the school failed to even define its intended meaning. After attempts failed to convince the school board to follow Virginia law, Liberty Counsel is asking for a declaratory judgment from the state Circuit Court of Fairfax County. Liberty Counsel has also requested a preliminary injunction to stop the implementation of this improper policy. (In their opinion), the school board’s actions are unequivocally prohibited by Virginia Code §§1-248, 15.2-965 and under Dillon’s Rule, which prevents local governing bodies, including school boards, from including groups beyond what has been defined as a protected class by the General Assembly. The school board’s law should be automatically found void and reversed.

    This lawsuit names the school board in its official capacity and is brought on behalf of Andrea Lafferty, President of Traditional Values Coalition, who is a resident and taxpayer of Fairfax, and also an anonymous family who are taxpayers in Fairfax County and have a minor who is a student in the Fairfax school district. (Because the ass-hats in question are such "persecuted" fools), these clients requested anonymity out of fear of retaliation from pro-homosexual activists, which is commonly experienced in these cases.

    On the other hand, the Fairfax County school board has been the target of Christian hate groups for over a year, with this suit being the latest example. This is what happened in their election last month:

    The Fairfax County School Board will retain a pro-LGBT majority following Tuesday’s elections, which saw 7 of 8 incumbents who had voted for trans-inclusive nondiscrimination protections re-elected. The only incumbent to lose was Ted Velkoff, who was defeated by Jeanette Hough. Hough had been endorsed by the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), which strenuously objected to the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in Fairfax’s nondiscrimination policy.

    Another TVC-backed candidate, Tom Wilson, picked up an open seat in the the Sully District. Together with incumbent Elizabeth Schultz (Springfield), who had no opposition, TVC and similar conservative groups managed a net gain of one seat, while pro-LGBT incumbents and challengers retained control of the board by a 9-3 margin.

  • 136. VIRick  |  December 22, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    DADT Repeal Was Signed Five Years Ago Today

    It was five years ago today (on 22 December 2010) that President Obama signed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” into law. It was five years ago, and every day since then, the haters have screamed and screamed, while gay soldiers and sailors got married right on their base and held joyous public reunions with their significant others upon return from overseas deployments.

    It was five years ago, and we’ve now got an openly lesbian Army general, and US Armed Forces color guards march in pride parades to wild ovations from the crowds. It was five years ago, and before we reach the sixth anniversary, we’ll also have openly transgender service members.

  • 137. VIRick  |  December 22, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Kentucky Governor Strips Clerk Names From Marriage License Form

    Today, 22 December 2015, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin issued an executive order removing county clerk's names from marriage licenses. Bevin's decision comes in light of a lengthy legal battle surrounding Kim Davis, a Rowan County clerk, who declined to issue same-sex marriage licenses for religious reasons after the Supreme Court effectively legalized such partnerships with a ruling in June.

    The ACLU of Kentucky filed a motion against Davis over the summer for her refusal to uphold the new law. Despite a court order, Davis continued refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. As a result, she spent almost a week in jail.

    Judge David Bunning released Davis from jail in early September after marriage licenses in Rowan County were altered to remove her name and replace it with the county's name. Though the removal of her name was a quick fix, controversy arose about whether or not the licenses would be legal without her name.

    Bevin's executive order (supposedly) resolves this matter, as the nameless licenses are now the standard statewide. His statement reads as such:

    "To ensure that the sincerely-held religious beliefs of all Kentuckians are honored, Executive Order 2015-048 directs the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives to issue a revised marriage license form to the offices of all Kentucky County Clerks. The name of the County Clerk is no longer required to appear on the form."

    The ACLU offered this statement on the governor's decision:

    “Governor Bevin’s executive action has added to the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over marriage licensing in Kentucky. The requirement that the county clerk’s name appear on marriage licenses is prescribed by Kentucky law and is not subject to unilateral change by the governor, conceded by the previous administration in court filings. Today, however, a new administration claims to have that authority. The ACLU continues to work with loving couples who hold marriage licenses of questionable validity and for those who are waiting to legalize their unions until this is resolved. And the ACLU will continue to challenge government officials who disregard the law in favor of promoting their own personal beliefs to the detriment of the rights of others. Government officials, from the highest to the lowest, have a duty and responsibility to impartially administer the laws that exist, not the laws as they wish them to be.”

  • 138. JayJonson  |  December 25, 2015 at 7:36 am

    David Cary Hart at this Slowly Boiled Frog blog points out that despite the headlines about the executive order removing the clerk's name from "marriage licenses," the order actually only covers the application for a marriage license. The Clerk's name must still be on the Marriage Certificate itself. Interesting observation. Stay tuned for more developments in the continuing saga of Kim Davis's martyrdom.

  • 139. GregInTN  |  December 25, 2015 at 11:30 am

    For those interested in seeing the actual form contained in the Governor's Executive Order, here's a link:

    Where the previous form said:
    …in the office of (name),(county) County Clerk, (city), Kentucky by (recorder's name),(title)

    It now says:
    …pursuant to KRS Chapter 402 in (county name) County (city) Kentucky by (name of issuing official),(title of issuing official)

    And, as pointed out by Slowly Boiled Frog, the certificate still says:
    …in the office of (name)(county name) County Clerk

    where the completed certificate is recorded.

    I'm afraid I don't understand how it can be such a significant violation of a clerk's religious freedom to have their name and/or office on a Marriage License while not being a violation of their religious freedom to have their name and office on a Marriage Certificate.

    I also wonder whether she will allow her deputy clerks to show their title as Deputy Clerk on the new Marriage License instead of Notary Public as she has been making them use.

  • 140. VIRick  |  December 25, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Thus, I fully suspect that the completed Marriage Certificate itself is the actual legal document, as specified by Kentucky state law, whereas the application for a "marriage license" is merely a preliminary, state-provided form. This latter can be changed by executive order, or whatever, but under law, the former can not.

    The new governor, Bevin, is simply doing a "smoke and mirrors" political ploy to pander to and pacify his base, and to "prove" he is doing something, knowing full well (but without saying so) that he can not alter state law by executive order.

    Essentially, this mind game only buttresses the concept that Bevin is a jerk, but is not a stupid jerk, one who will humor this recalcitrant clerk up to a point in an attempt to make her go away.

    Within Kentucky, reactions varied widely:

    Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins, whose office serves the state’s second largest city, Lexington, said he believes Bevin exceeded his authority. He sees marriage licenses as a civil transaction and believes the clerk’s names should remain on them for the historical record, he said.

    “Hundreds of years from now, these licenses will be used by genealogists and researchers. Having the names of all the parties involves is very important when you’re talking about a permanent record, for purely practical purposes,” he said. “I’m not pleased at all by this. This has gotten out of hand.”

    Greg Stumbo, the Democratic speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives, applauded Bevin for “finding a way to balance the law and the concerns (of) county clerks.”

  • 141. GregInTN  |  December 25, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Here's a link to the Kentucky statute:

    Both the Marriage License and the Marriage Certificate are covered by the statute. However, the wording is slightly different.

    The Marriage License provides for the entering of:
    "The date and place the license is issued, and the signature of the county clerk
    or deputy clerk issuing the license"

    The Marriage Certificate provides for the entering of:
    "A signed statement by the county clerk or a deputy county clerk of the county
    in which the marriage license was issued that the marriage certificate was
    recorded. The statement shall indicate the name of the county and the date the
    marriage certificate was recorded"

    I guess it comes down to how specific "place" needs to be specified. Is the clerk's office the "place" where the license is issued or is the "county" the place where the license is issued?

  • 142. VIRick  |  December 25, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Greg, the recording of the marriage certificates, in effect, becomes the official, permanent record, and thus, must be certified as such by the proper authority, who, in this specific instance, just happens to be the county clerk.

    Obviously, even the new governor does not want to mess with the final, official recording aspects of marriages which have already occurred.

  • 143. GregInTN  |  December 26, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Equality Case files has the filing made to the Federal District Court in which Davis informs the court of the new executive order and essentially claims victory.

  • 144. RnL2008  |  December 26, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Not sure how Davis can claim victory…….all the Governor has done is NOTHING except pander to his base……..he has NO authority to remove the names of the County Clerk off of the Official State Marriage License……ONLY the legislators have that authority and I DON'T believe they will actually do it…… allows those who have certain religious beliefs rights to essentially discriminate against others and we have NO room for ANY allowable form of Discrimination in our laws!!!

  • 145. GregInTN  |  December 26, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Here's the text of the law for the license part of the form:
    402.100 Marriage license –Marriage certificate –Confidentiality of Social
    Security numbers.
    Each county clerk shall use the form prescribed by the Department for Libraries and Archives when issuing a marriage license. This form shall provide for the entering of all of the information required in this section, and may also provide for the entering of additional information prescribed by the Department for Libraries and Archives. The form shall consist of:
    (1) A marriage license which provides for the entering of:
    (a) An authorization statement of the county clerk issuing the license for any
    person or religious society authorized to perform marriage ceremonies to unite
    in marriage the persons named;
    (b)Vital information for each party, including the full name, date of birth, place
    of birth, race, condition (single, widowed, or divorced), number of previous
    marriages, occupation, current residence, relationship to the other party, and
    full names of parents; and
    (c) The date and place the license is issued, and the signature of the county clerk or deputy clerk issuing the license.
    It appears to me that the new Governor is taking advantage of (c) which provides for the signature of the county clerk OR deputy clerk to say that when the license is issued by a Deputy Clerk, the County Clerk's name is not required by the law as well as saying that the form which calls for the County Clerk's office to be entered as the place of issue can be modified to only reference the city and county where the license is issued since the law only requires the somewhat vague "place" of issue to be recorded.

    I think the point of contention may be with respect to sub paragraph (a) where it says that an authorization statement of the County Clerk must be entered. There is no mention of a Deputy Clerk in this sub paragraph. It appears that the Department of Libraries and Archives originally implemented this sub paragraph by having the form call for the name of the County Clerk to be filled in on the license. I guess the first question is whether the Department of Libraries and Archives will challenge the Governor's executive order.

    An issue which has been lost in all of the wrangling over the form is the question of whether members of the public can be turned away from receiving a license if everybody in an office has religious objections to issuing one to them. The Governor's order attempts to resolve the specific instance personified by Kim Davis where the Clerk had religious objections to doing her job but at least one of her deputies did not. His order doesn't cover the situation where an entire office objects.

  • 146. FredDorner  |  December 26, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Note that deputy clerk Brian Mason was never opposed to issuing licenses to all couples, but Davis prohibited any of her deputies from doing so.

    In other words she already had the accommodation she sought but refused to avail herself of it because her real goal was to harm gay couples.

  • 147. GregInTN  |  December 26, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    True. But her stated reason was that both her name and the name of her office appeared on the licenses. Presumably, now that she has been "accommodated" she would no longer prohibit her deputies from issuing licenses (but I'm pretty sure she would allow them to opt out if they didn't want to issue them).

  • 148. guitaristbl  |  December 22, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    The counting is still going on but Greece has approved civil unions by what seems a large margin. Although it has to be said that 51 out of 300 MPs were absent, including the former prime ministers Samaras and Karamanlis from center right New Democracy. Many MPs of the center right opposition were absent – such cowardice. Also many MPs of the Communist Party were absent, most likely because they wanted to vote for it and are not allowed to go against party lines.

    So yeah approved – with loads of cowardice.

    UPDATE : 194 out of 249 present MPs voted for civl unions. The big embarassment was for New Democracy : 19 MPs voted for, 29 MPs against and 27 MPs absent.

  • 149. SethInMaryland  |  December 22, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Congrats I know this isn't marriage but its a start of many more positive wins to come in Greece.

  • 150. allan120102  |  December 22, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Looks like Zacatecas might soon as next year get its first amparo granted.

  • 151. SethInMaryland  |  December 22, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Breaking News: Australia marriage equality now says it just 5 votes short

  • 152. scream4ever  |  December 22, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    In the House or Senate?

  • 153. SethInMaryland  |  December 22, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    house. I'm almost positive they are already good in the senate

  • 154. KryptonKid  |  December 22, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Seth, do you have a link for that? I'd love to read it.

  • 155. SethInMaryland  |  December 22, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    from their facebook page: Only 5 votes to go. Bring on 2016!

    Across the nation MPs are listening to the personal stories of their constituents and realising why marriage equality matters. With Qld MP Shayne Neumann's support we are now only five votes short of a majority.

    A vote in parliament will be quicker and cheaper than a plebiscite and we hope to have the numbers to achieve marriage equality in 2016

    And here is their media response to the Mp's announcement

  • 156. KryptonKid  |  December 22, 2015 at 10:23 pm


  • 157. Zack12  |  December 23, 2015 at 12:03 am

    Some news from my neck of the woods, Richard Hanna, one of the few Republicans to actually be an LGBT ally, is retiring from Congress.
    While I didn't agree with him on many issues, no one can question whether he was an ally, he was and he didn't need a family member coming out to become one.
    He also supported abortion rights among other things.
    But he is a Republican of another era where you could be conservative on fiscal issues and liberal on social ones and not be called a RINO or face a primary.
    I believe he retired because he has had it with how Congress is these days and didn't want to go through another primary challenge.
    Sad to say but all the Republicans running to replace him are of the anti-gay mode we've all come to know and love.

  • 158. JayJonson  |  December 23, 2015 at 6:37 am

    I was very sad to hear the news that Major Adrianna Vorderbruggen was among the six U.S. troops killed Monday in Afghanistan. She spent years working to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”

    She is survived by her wife Heather and their son Jacob.

    When her son was born, Vorderbruggen, still restrained by “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” could not tell anyone about his impending birth. She had to guess when to take time off to coincide with the birth. To the military at the time, she was not married; at best, she had a partner.

    On Wednesday, Heather and Jacob can go to Dover Air Force Base and watch the solemn ceremony welcoming of their war hero, not in the shadows in which they lived through much of her career, but openly, as her family.

    Her death comes just weeks after the U.S. military opened all combat positions to women. It is hard to say definitively that Vorderbruggen was the first openly gay servicewoman to be killed in action as the military does not keep such statistics. Moreover, it is hard to define what is open service, as several members of the military have died open to their friends and comrades—but not to their commanding officers.

    But Vorderbruggen is believed to be the first-active duty, openly gay, female service member to die in combat. She also is first the first openly gay Air Force officer to die in combat. At least two openly gay female members of the National Guard have died while serving.

  • 159. JayJonson  |  December 23, 2015 at 6:59 am

    Also this from AfterEllen:

    In 2013, Heather’s mother wrote a piece for 3200 stories about her daughter being married to an officer, called “The Case for Empathy.”

    "My daughter is now married to an Air Force officer. Two years ago when Heather was giving birth to my grandson, her wife (then her partner) had to lie to request leave to help “a friend” who was having a baby. Adrianna couldn’t share their good news, because if she had, her career could have been destroyed. . . . .

    I have a photo in my cubicle of two women walking on the beach with a little boy in a striped shirt between them. Their backs are to the camera. The evening shadows stretch past them, towards the water. You can see from their ruffled hair that there is a light breeze blowing. Those women could be anyone. They could be strangers; they could be your sisters; your friends; or your neighbors. In fact, they are my dearly beloved daughter, grandson and daughter-in-law."

    Rest in peace, Adrianna. Thank you for everything.

  • 160. JayJonson  |  December 23, 2015 at 6:41 am

    I'll never forget the drama of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, including the disgraceful antics of John McCain, who was practically apoplectic with anger when the authorizing legislation finally passed on December 18, 2010..

    President Obama signed the authorization to repeal on December 22, 2010. But that bill did not itself repeal the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Act. Rather, it authorized repeal, contingent on the certification of the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs that ending the policy would not negatively affect military readiness. Once that certification was issued, the law authorized the Pentagon to put in place any necessary regulations to ensure an orderly transition, with repeal occurring 60 days later.

    The actual repeal did not come until September 20, 2011. On July 22, 2011, the White House announced that President Obama, Secretary of Defense Panetta, and Chair of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mullen had certified that the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell would not
    negatively affect military readiness or unit cohesion. The repeal officially went into effect 60 days later.

    However, the real drama took place in December 2010. The Republicans had won control of the House in the congressional elections in November, and it was apparent that if the repeal did not pass in the lame-duck session, it was dead, at least in terms of Congressional action.

    On December 2 and 3, the Senate Armed Services Committee held hearings on the policy. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen again indicated their support for repeal, especially since they feared that the policy would be overturned by the courts abruptly, giving them little time to prepare for the repeal.

    Two of the service chiefs were less enthusiastic about repeal, though they all said that were the law changed they would implement the new policy.

    Although Senator Joseph Lieberman announced that there were 60 senators in favor of repealing DADT, it was unclear whether there were sufficient votes in the Senate to defeat a filibuster led by Senator McCain.

    On December 9, 2010, an attempt to invoke cloture in order to debate the Defense Authorization bill, which contained the DADT repeal as an amendment, was again defeated, on a 57-40 vote, with Senator Susan Collins the sole Republican voting in favor of cloture and Senator Joe Manchin the sole Democrat voting against cloture.

    After the defeat, Senators Lieberman, Mark Udall, and Collins announced that they would introduce a stand-alone bill to repeal DADT. Subsequently, Representatives Patrick Murphy and Steny Hoyer introduced a companion bill in the House.

    On December 15, 2010, the House of Representatives passed the bill authorizing repeal of DADT by a vote of 250 to 175.

    On December 18, 2010, the Senate finally invoked cloture to cut off debate on the bill and end the filibuster. The vote was 63 to 33, with 57 Democrats (including two independents who caucus with the Democrats) joined by 6 Republicans to invoke cloture.

    The final Senate vote on the bill authorizing repeal took place later on December 18. It passed on a vote of 65 to 31, with 57 Democrats and 8 Republicans voting in favor and 31 Republicans voting against repeal.

    The bill was then sent to the President for his signature.

    Soon after the vote to invoke cloture, President Obama issued the following statement: "By ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' no longer will our nation be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans forced to leave the military, despite years of exemplary performance, because they happen to be gay. And no longer will many thousands more be asked to live a lie in order to serve the country they love."

    On December 22, 2010, at an elaborate ceremony to which many gay activists and servicemembers who had been discharged under DADT were invited, President Obama signed into law the bill authorizing legislation.

  • 161. RnL2008  |  December 24, 2015 at 4:23 am

    It was a long process that FINALLY is gone and the families of many fine Service members can get the same rewards and benefits that they SHOULD have always had.

    Even after SCOTUS ruled in our favor in Windsor, it still took the Department of Veteran's Affairs almost ANOTHER 2 years before they added my wife on to by Disability benefits and it took them ANOTHER 4 months to actually retroactive my pay for that time frame!!!

    Merry Christmas Jay to you and yours ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 162. JayJonson  |  December 24, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Merry Christmas to you and your wife and other family members, Rose.

    My husband and I are planning a quiet celebration at home. It is a relief not to have to travel this year. Be safe if you do have to hit the road.

  • 163. RnL2008  |  December 24, 2015 at 11:35 am

    We are also at home and looking at a heavy dropping of snow and rain……..cold…..Brrrrrr!!!

    Hugs to you and your husband:-)

  • 164. Zack12  |  December 29, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Five years later, none of the evil, horrible things that were supposed to happen if DADT have yet to occur.
    The ban was about bigotry and nothing more.

  • 165. VIRick  |  December 23, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Per Matrimonio Igualitario México:

    Preparatoria en Hidalgo es declarada culpable por discriminar por su orientación sexual a uno de sus alumnos

    A secondary school in Hidalgo state has been declared culpable of discriminating against one of its students because of their sexual orientation.

    Al resolver el juicio de amapro 449/2015, el Juzgado Quarto del Districto con residencia en el estado de Hidalgo, ortogó un amparo a un adolescente que en abril de 2015 denunció a la Preparatoria por actos de descriminación cometidos en su contra por motivo de su orientación sexual.

    In resolving the judgment of amparo 449/2015, the Fourth District Court residing in the state of Hidalgo, granted an injunction to a teen who in April 2015 had denounced the Preparatory school for acts of discrimination committed against him because of his sexual orientation.

  • 166. VIRick  |  December 23, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    LGBT Rights in Cambodia

    The Cambodian government has urged the media to “stop mocking” the LGBT community. The Ministry of Information sent a letter on Monday, 21 December 2015, suggesting that entertainers and presenters had been making “jokes” about the LGBT community in order to gain popularity. According to reports on the letter, it said making such “jokes” is unfair and discriminatory.

    “This kind of commentary and/or performance is an act of looking down on LGBT people. It degrades the honor and rights of LGBT people who are also protected by the state’s law as well as other citizens,” the letter read. In addition, the letter went on to say the country needs to be rid of anti-LGBT discrimination.

    The letter comes after a local LGBT organization, Rainbow Community Kampuchea, published a report saying that 70 percent of people admitted to making anti-LGBT comments. Out of 1,563 people interviewed for the report across 11 provinces of Cambodia, 478 identified as LGBT, but that many had been open about their sexual orientation or gender identity and so had been victims of discrimination.

    Sun Yun, from Rainbow Community Kampuchea, said she was happy to have heard about the support from the government. “By working with the UN, I know that the rights of LGBT people are more and more respected in Cambodia. In my case, I could ask the local authority to get married to my partner without any problem,” she explained. “They didn’t say anything; they don’t care much about same-sex marriage. However, I wish we had a law allowing same-sex marriage,” continued Yun.

  • 167. VIRick  |  December 24, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Up-Date on Marriage Equality in Sinaloa

    Per Alex Alí Méndez Díaz in a tweet from Lupita Díaz Silva of Culiacán, Sinaloa, dated 23 December 2015:

    Recibe Comisión Permanente recomendación de CNDH sobre matrimonio igualitario.

    Received the recommendation of the Permanent Commission of the CNDH on marriage equality.

    The CNDH (Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos) is the federally-appointed agency overseeing the change in the various state laws to bring them into conformity with the jurisprudence of Mexico's Supreme Court.

    Although I don't have the time at the moment to sort through the substance of the CNDH's recommendation, we can safely assume that it follows along the lines of "change the law and change it now,– and here is how." The federal CNDH (comparable to the US Dept. of Justice) is rapidly closing in on Sinaloa, as Sinaloa has been in violation ever since Mexico's Supreme Court struck down their marriage ban well over a year ago (on 24 September 2014, as #3 to be struck down).

    Lupita also re-tweeted the report from the CNDH on to the CEDH (Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos de Sinaloa), as well as to the Governor of Sinaloa.

  • 168. VIRick  |  December 25, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    And now, per Geraldina Gonzalez de la Vega, we have the entire 22-page CNDH document (in Spanish) on marriage equality:


    Here's how to do it: Simply state "dos personas" (two persons). Three examples, from the Federal District, Coahuila, and Quintana Roo, expressed in full on pages 7 and 8, are then cited:

    El artículo 146 de Código Civil para el Distrito Federal contempla lo siguiente: “Matrimonio es la unión libre de dos personas para realizar la comunidad de vida, en donde ambas se procuran respeto, igualdad, y ayuda mutual."

    "Marriage is the free union of two persons to realize a common life, where both seek respect, equality, and mutual assistance."

    El artículo 253 del Código Civil para el Estado de Coahuila señala que: “El matrimonio es la unión libre y con el pleno consentimiento de dos personas, que tiene como objeto realizar la comunidad de vida, en donde ambas se procuran respeto, igualdad y ayuda mutua, y toman de manera libre, responsable, voluntaria e informada, las decisiones reproductivas que se ajustan a su proyecto de vida, incluida la posibilidad de procrear o adopter."

    "Marriage is the free union, and with full consent, of two people, which has as its object to make a common life, where both seek respect, equality, and mutual assistance, and which has been taken in a free, responsible, voluntary, and informed manner, including reproductive decisions that fit their life plan, plus the ability to procreate or adopt."

    El artículo 680 del Código Civil para el Estado de Quintana Roo expone que: “Las personas que pretendan contraer matrimonio presentarán un escrito al oficial del Registro Civil, ante el cual celebrarán el contrato respectivo, que exprese:
    I.- Los nombres, apellidos, edad, ocupación, nacionalidad y domicilio, tanto de los pretendientes como de sus padres, si éstos fueren conocidos. Cuando alguno de los pretendientes o los dos hayan sido casados, se expresará también el nombre de la persona con quien se celebró el anterior matrimonio, la causa de su disolución y la fecha de ésta;
    II.- Que no tiene impedimento legal para casarse; y
    III.- Que es su voluntad unirse en matrimonio.”

    "People who intend to get married must submit a letter to the official of the Civil Registry, before which they can celebrate their respective contract, to state:
    I. The names, age, occupation, nationality, and address of both applicants and their parents, if they are known. When either applicant or both have been married, they must also express the name of the person with whom they were previously married, the cause of its dissolution, and its date;
    II That they have no legal impediment to marry; and
    III That it is their wish to unite in marriage."

  • 169. allan120102  |  December 24, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Merry Christmas to all. I Wish you all an amazing day. I hope you have a good time. scottie I hope you have a fast recuperation. You have been miss. Happy Holidays everyone.

  • 170. VIRick  |  December 24, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Oklahoma Now Has One City Where LGBT Rights Are Protected

    Norman OK is the first city in the state to offer non-discrimination protections in employment, housing, and public spaces, covering both sexual orientation and gender identity, reports Oklahoma City TV station KWTV. By a unanimous vote, the City Council in Norman on Tuesday night, 22 December 2015, approved the redefinition of the word “sex” in the city’s existing Human Rights Ordinance to include gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.

    Norman is home to the University of Oklahoma, a factor that may make it more liberal than the rest of the state. The vote delighted local LGBT leaders, including Kay Holladay, PFLAG regional director: “I thank the Norman City Council for ensuring the rights of all Norman citizens. Their leadership in making this public action sends the clear message to our LGBT friends that Norman is truly an inclusive community.”

    “This is a historic day, not only for Norman, but for the entire state of Oklahoma,” added Troy Stevenson, executive director of Freedom Oklahoma, a statewide organization fighting for LGBT equality in Oklahoma. “As the first city in our great state to fully protect all of its residents, Norman has set a precedent for every municipality in Oklahoma, and a challenge to our state legislature to follow suit.”

  • 171. ianbirmingham  |  December 25, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Positive social experiences generate empathy

    We can learn to empathize with strangers. Surprisingly positive experiences with people from another group trigger a learning effect in the brain, which increases empathy. As researchers from the University of Zurich reveal, only a handful of positive learning experiences already suffice for a person to be-come more empathic.

    Conflicts between people from different nationalities and cultures often stem from a lack of empathy or compassion for 'the stranger'. More empathy for members of other groups could thus encourage peaceful coexistence. A study conducted by the University of Zurich examined whether empathy with strangers can be learned and how positive experiences with others influence empathic brain responses.

    Empathy-driven behavior has been observed in rats who will free trapped companions from restrainers. This behavior also extends toward strangers, but requires prior, positive social interactions with the type (strain) of the unfamiliar individual, report scientists from the University of Chicago in the open access journal eLife, on Jan. 14.

    The findings suggest that social experiences, not genetics or kin selection, determine whether an individual will help strangers out of empathy. The importance of social experience extends even to rats of the same strain — a rat fostered and raised with a strain different than itself will not help strangers of its own kind.

    "Pro-social behavior appears to be determined only by social experience," said Inbal Bartal, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago and lead author of the study "It takes diverse social interactions during development or adulthood to expand helping behavior to more groups of unfamiliar individuals. Even in humans, studies have shown that exposure to diverse environments reduces social bias and increases pro-social behavior."

  • 172. VIRick  |  December 26, 2015 at 11:31 am

    "Queen Panti" Issues Holiday Message

    Yesterday Queen Elizabeth issued her holiday message. Today, 26 December 2015, we get a holiday message from Ireland’s reigning monarch, "Queen Panti Bliss," which was delivered via the national broadcaster, RTE. The "Independent" reports:

    The "Queen of Ireland," Panti Bliss, has delivered a rousing alternative Christmas Day Message to rival the Queen of England’s annual message. Panti’s ten minute speech called on the nation to extend the impulse for change which preceded the "Yes" vote in the marriage referendum to other segments of society which require support.

    Speaking about the referendum in May this year, Panti said, “For some of us, me included, we were being asked to finally decide, forty years after a few brave men and women first asked, whether or not LGBT people are full and equal members of this society and deserving of the same respect as everyone else. But others didn’t see it that way. They felt we were being asked to change a fundamental social institution that they cherish and admire, and they worried that changing it might weaken or even ruin it.”

  • 173. VIRick  |  December 26, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Another Japanese City to Recognize Same-Sex Relationships

    On 26 December 2015, the city of Iga in Mie Prefecture announced plans to start issuing certificates recognizing same-sex partnerships as being equivalent to marriage. The city will become the fourth district in Japan to strengthen its LGBT rights. The certificates will be issued from April 2016, in a bid to address discrimination against the LGBT community, Iga Mayor Sakae Okamoto said in a statement.

    The city will follow Shibuya and Setagaya wards in Tokyo, which became Japan’s first and second local governments to introduce the system last month. As of Friday, 25 December 2015, a total of 16 same-sex couples have received papers from the two wards.

    The city of Takarazuka, meanwhile, has said it will start issuing papers authenticating partnership oaths by same-sex couples by summer 2016. Okamoto said he instructed city officials to visit Takarazuka to learn about its plan and compile guidelines by the end of March on issuing partnership certificates.

    Iga officials added that they are planning to issue laws ensuring the equal treatment of same-sex and heterosexual couples at hospitals and apartments run by the municipal government. They will also ask for the cooperation of private companies, such as real estate agencies. Okamoto referred to an online survey conducted in April that found 7.6 percent, or one in every 13, of some 70,000 people polled identified themselves as a member of Japan’s LGBT community.

    “In Iga with a population of about 95,000, more than 6,000 people belong to the LGBT community”, the mayor said. “It is our role to create a society in which sexual minorities can proudly live.” However, they will not be recognized outside the wards, as the Japanese constitution still states that “marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes.”

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has previously voiced his unwillingness to allow same-sex marriages in the country because it would be ‘difficult’ under the constitution as it stands. Same-sex marriages are not legally allowed in Japan and such couples say they face disadvantages, such as inability to inherit property from partners without a will nor to benefit from income tax deductions for spouses. According to a new poll carried out in the country recently, the majority of people support changing the country’s laws to allow same-sex marriage.

  • 174. Sagesse  |  December 27, 2015 at 7:22 am

    And the beat goes on….

    Robert Spitzer, Psychiatrist Who Set Rigorous Standards for Diagnosis, Dies at 83 [New York Times]

    "One of the first behaviors he scrutinized was homosexuality, which at the time was listed in the manual as a mental disorder. Dr. Spitzer, after meeting with gay advocates, began re-examining homosexuality based on whether it caused any measurable distress. The issue was extremely contentious, but in 1973, Dr. Spitzer engineered a deal by which the diagnosis was replaced by “sexual orientation disturbance,” to describe people whose sexual orientation, gay or straight, caused them distress.

    "Gay groups immediately recognized the change as a historic one….

    "He clashed with Freudian analysts, researchers, journalists and, late in his career, gay advocates and psychiatrists, who helped discredit a study he had done purporting to support “reparative” therapy to alter homosexual behavior.

    "Dr. Spitzer publicly apologized for that study in 2012, calling it the only thing in his career that he regretted."

  • 175. VIRick  |  December 27, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Kentucky’s Governor Owes $2M for Marriage Equality Fight

    Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin could be ordered to pay more than $2 million to the team of attorneys who represented the same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry in the state’s cases that went all the way to the US Supreme Court. The "Courier-Journal" reports that as the state’s top lawmaker, Bevin has inherited a bill of $2,091,297 from the nine-lawyer team that successfully argued for the dissolution of Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage in "Bourke v. Beshear" and "Love v. Beshear."

    Former Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat who hired outside counsel to defend the state’s ban on appeal when his own attorney-general refused to do so, had been negotiating with the pro-equality attorneys about the precise amount owed them before Bevin was elected. In November, Beshear offered to settle with the attorneys for “barely more than a quarter of what they were seeking,” reports the "Courier-Journal." Pro-equality attorney Laura Landenwich called Beshear’s settlement offer of $581,000 “infuriating.”

    The "Courier-Journal" notes that federal law requires the losing side in such a civil rights case to pay the winning side’s “legal fees in an amount the courts decide is reasonable.” But what constitutes a “reasonable” amount has been hotly contested, even before the far-right Bevin took office and promptly removed all county clerks’s names from marriage licenses, in a move the anti-LGBT Liberty Counsel called “a wonderful Christmas gift to Kim Davis.”

    The pro-equality attorneys contend that they argued an “exceedingly novel and complex” case, according to the "Courier-Journal," and as such, are entitled to a 75 percent “bonus” on top of the $1,125,929 they requested in direct legal fees.

    The Kentucky cases were ultimately consolidated with several others to become "Obergefell v. Hodges," which resulted in June’s landmark Supreme Court ruling declaring same-sex couples nationwide have a constitutional right to marry. Half of the four states whose marriage equality challenges made it to the Supreme Court this year have already settled with the attorneys who successfully struck down those bans. The case out of Ohio, which provided the namesake for the consolidated cases, resulted in a $1.3 million payment to pro-equality attorneys, according to the "Courier-Journal." Michigan’s Republican governor was ordered to pay $1.9 million to the winning attorneys who challenged his state’s ban on marriage equality. The lead counsel representing gay and lesbian plaintiffs in Tennessee has asked the state to pay $2.3 million in attorney fees.

  • 176. VIRick  |  December 27, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Up-Date on Compendium of Legal Expenses for Same-Sex Marriage Cases

    The grand total paid-out or requested so far is $15,649,364. For a state-by-state break-down, we have:

    AL – $545,000 (ETA: 10/3/15 – Plaintiffs' attorneys requesting $200k being contested by AL AG. State’s lawyers have presented a bill for $354k).

    AR – $85,950 (ETA: From 12/5/15 – 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.

    Maples requested $15,900 plus $511.47 in costs. Wagoner asked for $49,754.

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

    AZ – $500,000 (ETA: 12/18/15 – US District Court Judge John Sedgwick ruled this week the state must pay $300,000 in attorneys fees for the plaintiffs in the Majors v. Horne case. The attorneys for that case included Phoenix law firm Perkins Coie and the national gay-rights legal organization Lambda Legal. Perkins Coie is donating its share of the money to Lambda Legal.

    That order follows an October order from the same judge that the state pay $200,000 in Arizona's other lawsuit challenging the law, Connolly v. Roche.

    CO – $90,000

    FL – $700,000 (ETA: Being contested by FL Attorney General. ETA: As of 11/16/15, a nine-lawyer team from Jacksonville, headed by civil rights attorney William Sheppard, represented two gay couples from Florida's Panhandle in that case.

    On Nov. 2, Sheppard filed paperwork with Hinkle, asking that his team be paid $456,000 for 808 hours of work. The most senior members of his team should be paid $500 an hour, he wrote, and the least experienced $175. Still to come is a request for payment from six lawyers with the ACLU, who represented eight same-sex couples and a widow in a case that was consolidated with Sheppard's. The ACLU's lead attorney, Daniel Tilley, of Miami, would not say how much they would request.

    ID – $1,400,000 (ETA: Includes state legislature's Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee approved $1M to defend Idaho's constitutional ban on gay marriage, as requested by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter. 11/25/15 – The state has already paid $628,000 to attorneys for four lesbian couples who sued Idaho over the state's ban on same-sex marriage, plus another $53,000 paid to a private law firm hired to represent Idaho in the case. The Idaho Board of Examiners has approved spending about $34,500 from the state's Constitutional Defense Fund to pay attorney fees and court costs involving the state's losing legal battle over a ban on same-sex marriage.)

    KY – $2,360,000 (ETA: Includes $260,000 Gov. Beshear spent for private attorneys to fight for the state).

    MI – $2,144,000 (ETA: Includes $1.9M to winning lawyers, $96k for atty hired by State and $148k for Conservative economists and social science experts).

    ND – $58,000.

    NV – $615,000 (ETA: Original amount requested $615,037).

    OH – $1,500,000 (ETA: On 11/2/15 Cincinnati federal judge Timothy Black approved an agreement Monday between the Ohio Department of Health and Cincinnati law firm Gerhardstein and Branch Co).

    OK – $298,000.

    OR – $260,741 (ETA: Includes $128,741 in separate Rummell v. Kitzhaber case).

    PA – $1,500,000.

    SC – $215,000.

    SD – $242,000 (ETA: Amount approved 9/25 – Original request was $300k).

    TX – $605,673 (ETA: Texas Observer 12/4/15 – 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).

    UT – $1,200,000 (ETA: $24k paid by State in Roe vs. Patton, $500,000 for contract attorneys, $624,200 for other expenses, office attorneys and staff – 10/20/15).

    VA – $580,000.

    WI – $1,050,000.

    WV – $99,804.

    Total so far – $15,649,364.

    These figures are courtesy of a commentator at Joe.My.God.

    This listing is good, but may not be 100% complete, as I noted that they missed WV, which I added in myself.

  • 177. VIRick  |  December 27, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Up-Date on Compendium of Legal Expenses for Same-Sex Marriage Cases

    The grand total paid-out or requested so far is $15,649,364. For a state-by-state break-down, we have:

    AK – $362,000.

    AL – $545,000 (ETA: 10/3/15 – Plaintiffs' attorneys requesting $200k being contested by AL AG. State’s lawyers have presented a bill for $354k).

    AR – $85,950 (ETA: From 12/5/15 – 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.

    Maples requested $15,900 plus $511.47 in costs. Wagoner asked for $49,754.

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

    AZ – $500,000 (ETA: 12/18/15 – US District Court Judge John Sedgwick ruled this week the state must pay $300,000 in attorneys fees for the plaintiffs in the Majors v. Horne case. The attorneys for that case included Phoenix law firm Perkins Coie and the national gay-rights legal organization Lambda Legal. Perkins Coie is donating its share of the money to Lambda Legal.

    That order follows an October order from the same judge that the state pay $200,000 in Arizona's other lawsuit challenging the law, Connolly v. Roche.

    CO – $90,000

    FL – $700,000 (ETA: Being contested by FL Attorney General. ETA: As of 11/16/15, a nine-lawyer team from Jacksonville, headed by civil rights attorney William Sheppard, represented two gay couples from Florida's Panhandle in that case.

    On Nov. 2, Sheppard filed paperwork with Hinkle, asking that his team be paid $456,000 for 808 hours of work. The most senior members of his team should be paid $500 an hour, he wrote, and the least experienced $175. Still to come is a request for payment from six lawyers with the ACLU, who represented eight same-sex couples and a widow in a case that was consolidated with Sheppard's. The ACLU's lead attorney, Daniel Tilley, of Miami, would not say how much they would request.

    GA – No cash, in exchange for definitive judgment striking down ban.

    ID – $1,400,000 (ETA: Includes state legislature's Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee approved $1M to defend Idaho's constitutional ban on gay marriage, as requested by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter. 11/25/15 – The state has already paid $628,000 to attorneys for four lesbian couples who sued Idaho over the state's ban on same-sex marriage, plus another $53,000 paid to a private law firm hired to represent Idaho in the case. The Idaho Board of Examiners has approved spending about $34,500 from the state's Constitutional Defense Fund to pay attorney fees and court costs involving the state's losing legal battle over a ban on same-sex marriage.)

    IN – $1,400,000, five cases.

    KY – $2,360,000 (ETA: Includes $260,000 Gov. Beshear spent for private attorneys to fight for the state).

    MI – $2,144,000 (ETA: Includes $1.9M to winning lawyers, $96k for atty hired by State and $148k for Conservative economists and social science experts).

    ND – $58,000 and $57,351, two cases.

    NV – $615,000 (ETA: Original amount requested $615,037).

    OH – $1,300,000 (ETA: On 11/2/15 Cincinnati federal judge Timothy Black approved an agreement Monday between the Ohio Department of Health and Cincinnati law firm Gerhardstein and Branch Co).

    OK – $298,000.

    OR – $260,741 (ETA: Includes $128,741 in separate Rummell v. Kitzhaber case).

    PA – $1,500,000.

    SC – $215,000 and $130,000, two cases.

    SD – $242,000 (ETA: Amount approved 9/25 – Original request was $300k).

    TN – $2,300,000 request.

    TX – $605,673 (ETA: Texas Observer 12/4/15 – 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).

    UT – $1,243,000 (ETA: $24k paid by State in Roe vs. Patton, $500,000 for contract attorneys, $624,200 for other expenses, office attorneys and staff – 10/20/15) ($95,000 paid in "Kitchen v. Herbert).

    VA – $580,000.

    WI – $1,050,000.

    WV – $99,804.

    These figures are courtesy of a commentator at Joe.My.God.

    This listing is good, but may not be 100% complete, as I noted that they missed AK, IN, WV, and the second SC case, all of which I added in myself.

    Thus, the amended grand total, with the additional add-ins included is $17,741,168.

  • 178. VIRick  |  December 28, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Needless to say, this listing is quite preliminary, as it includes a number of monetary requests which have not yet been finalized, as well as a number of partial settlements. Plus, there's still not yet been any accounting from the following 8 states and 2 territories, several of which, like KS and NE, are states where the cases themselves have yet to be finalized:

    LA – All cases
    MO – All cases
    NC – All cases

  • 179. FredDorner  |  December 28, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Note that the Kentucky total doesn't include the various lawsuits against Kim Davis…..and the odds are high that she's personally on the hook for all the costs.

  • 180. VIRick  |  December 28, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Correct. The current monetary figures under consideration for Kentucky only include the attorney fees and costs associated with the two (consolidated) cases that went before the US Supreme Court, "Bourke v. Beshear" and "Love v. Beshear."

    It does not include any dollar amount for the several additional cases that have been adjudicated in state court, nor anything whatsoever regarding the endless Kim Davis saga.

  • 181. VIRick  |  December 28, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Utah Ruling Recognizes Same-Sex Common Law Marriage

    Utah is one of a minority of states that recognizes common law marriages. In what attorney Christopher Wharton believes to be a first in the state, a judge has ruled that a same-sex couple's eight year relationship is to be recognized as a common law marriage. The ruling allowed Nicki Bidlack to secure a new birth certificate on 24 December 2015 for their son, which names both women as his parents. The amended birth certificate was issued as part of a 4 December 2015 order in state court from 2nd District Judge Ernest Jones that recognized the couple's eight-year relationship as a common-law marriage.

    "Because Bidlack and Clow had not married, and legally could not in Utah until two years ago, when Sara Clow died, her estate and death benefits were out of reach, even for the couple's son, who is biologically Clow's. The ruling will allow Bidlack to access critical benefits for the son she's now raising alone," Wharton added.

  • 182. FredDorner  |  December 28, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Note that it was a bench ruling. I think these cases are increasingly easy for the courts even in a place like Utah.

  • 183. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  December 28, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Nothing in HATU—The Bass Ackwards State—is ever easy unless one is a card-carrying member of the One and Only True Green Jell-O Fan Club. Guffaw.

  • 184. VIRick  |  December 28, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Taiwan: 3 Cities Now Offer Same-Sex Registered Partnerships

    Life for gay couples just got a little bit easier in Taiwan as the country’s two largest cities have teamed up on same-sex partnership registration. Taipei and Kaohsiung will share information on their registered partnerships from 1 January 2016. This will mean couples registered in one city will not need to register in the other if they relocate.

    The process of obtaining official letters, or cancelling partnership registrations, will also be easier as a result of the change “to give more same-sex couples spiritual comfort, and to ensure that the promises they made to each other regarding their lives can be carried out,” the Department of Civil Affairs said. The change intends to “implement gender diversity practices and promote the rights of same-sex couples.”

    Kaohsiung began allowing same-sex registered partnerships in May 2015, and was the first in Taiwan. Then, Taipei was the second, allowing registrations for cohabiting same-sex couples from 17 June. As of November, 44 couples there had done so. A third city, Taichung, also enabled same-sex couples to register their partnerships starting in October 2015.

    Although the registered partnerships do not afford same-sex couples equal rights to hetero married couples, it allows them some rights. Couples can sign medical contracts for one another, for example.

  • 185. VIRick  |  December 28, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    New Mexico: Ex-Student's Homophobic Federal Lawsuit Dismissed

    Albuquerque NM — A federal judge has already dismissed a former University of New Mexico student’s lawsuit alleging she was ostracized by professors for anti-gay remarks made in an essay, federal court documents revealed. Still, on 28 December 2015, Monica Pompeo and her attorney, Bob Gorence, filed an appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver and a hearing on the matter is set for next month, according to court records.

    Pompeo claimed the university violated her First Amendment right to free speech and kicked her out of a class in 2012 for describing lesbianism as “perverse” in a critique of a lesbian romance film. The "Albuquerque Journal" reported that the lawsuit alleges the teacher violated her own syllabus, which called for “open minds” to examine “representations of a plethora of genders and sexualities.” Instead, Pompeo says, she was accused of resorting to “hate speech,” and the professor refused to grade her paper. Pompeo alleged the professor also made it clear that it would be in Pompeo’s best interests not to return to the class. The lawsuit filed in 2013 drew national attention.

    Chief US District Judge M. Christina Armijo initially found in September that Pompeo’s claims were enough to make a plausible case that the university violated her First Amendment rights. Initial court documents filed showed that several civil rights and free speech advocates had also sided with the student.

    However, Armijo wrote that further investigation revealed that Pompeo’s professors gave her several opportunities to rewrite her essay to follow academic standards. It also stated Hinkley and other professors explained to Pompeo that she hadn’t substantiated her opinions with critical analysis. Armijo wrote that professor Hinkley and her boss, Susan Dever, communicated with Pompeo repeatedly about editing her essay. The professors’ attempts to get Pompeo to rewrite her paper were within the realm of teaching, the judge ruled.

  • 186. VIRick  |  December 28, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Washington State Attorney-General Takes on "Martyred" Antigay Florist

    On 23 December 2015, Washington State Attorney-General Bob Ferguson asked the state’s Supreme Court to uphold a lower court’s decision finding that a local florist violated the state’s anti-discrimination law when she refused to provide flowers for a longtime customer’s wedding to his same-sex partner in 2013. “As the Superior Court recognized, it is illegal in Washington for a business to offer services to opposite-sex couples yet refuse those same services to same-sex partners,” Ferguson said in a statement on 24 December. “My office will not stand for discrimination, and I am confident that the Supreme Court will agree.”

    The case arose after Barronelle Stutzmann, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland WA, refused to provide flowers for longtime customer Robert Ingersoll’s wedding to another man in March 2013, saying she couldn’t provide floral arrangements for her customer of nine years’ wedding “because of [her] relationship with Jesus Christ.”

    On behalf of the state, Ferguson filed a lawsuit in April 2013, contending that Stutzman violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act, which declares it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Although Stutzman filed a counter-suit in May of that year claiming she had a “right to discriminate,” the Benton County Superior Court ultimately sided with the state, ordering Stutzman to stop discriminating, and pay a fine of $1,000 for breaking the law, along with an additional $1 to cover the state’s legal fees, as requested by Ferguson.

    But now, Stutzman, who is being represented pro-bono by the right-wing, anti-LGBT Alliance Defending Freedom, has appealed the ruling to the Washington Supreme Court, according to the "Tri-City Herald." The florist declined a proposed settlement earlier this year, and her supporters have raised more than $92,000 through a since-closed GoFundMe campaign, notes the newspaper. Meanwhile, Stutzman and her attorneys have made the rounds on conservative media, contending that the state-imposed fine of $1,001 will bankrupt the elderly woman and force her to close her business and lose her home.

    Ferguson filed a 64-page brief asking the state’s high court to uphold the ruling against Stutzman. The brief is meticulous in its description of how Stutzman violated state law, explaining that if all business-owners were allowed to deny service based on their personal beliefs, discrimination on many counts would run rampant.

  • 187. sfbob  |  December 28, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    I highly recommend reading the brief. It's a masterpiece and should definitely be used as a template in future cases.

  • 188. FredDorner  |  December 29, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Ditto on the brief. Very comprehensive and well written.

  • 189. RnL2008  |  December 29, 2015 at 10:26 am

    How is $1001.00 actually going to bankrupt this woman when over $92,000 was raised for

    These countless lies by the anti-gay is why they will continue to lose these battles………they know that their clients religious beliefs have NO bearing on a PUBLIC business serving ALL of the public!!!

    As far as I'm concern, her fine should have been more…… me this will teach her NOTHING!!!

  • 190. VIRick  |  December 29, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Rose, agreed. You know, Richland WA is not that far from the Oregon state line. She should have been slammed with a $135,000 fine, like the Oregon bakers, for having committed the same discriminatory action, rather than get gently slapped on the wrist with a piddling fine of $1001. Then she'd have something to discuss with herself, rather than attempting to organize a pity party over her "woe-is-me" pseudo-martyred status. Even now, she seems to be utterly clueless.

  • 191. RnL2008  |  December 29, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Oh, I so agree with you…….and the way she handled someone who had been a long time customer is just so despicable…….at least in my opinion!!!

  • 192. Zack12  |  December 29, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    I agree with you.
    If nothing else, I'm sick of her and others thinking there is a "nice" way to tell someone they aren't worthy of getting the same service as other people.

  • 193. RnL2008  |  December 29, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Again, I have to totally agree with ya…… say that someone or some couple DOESN'T deserve flowers, that by the way she sold them for other events like birthdays and anniversaries, but NOT for their wedding or some couple is NOT deserving of a cake just because you have issues with them is strictly wrong and we NEED to stop coddling these folks…..they were sued NOT because of their religious beliefs, which by the way have NOT changed……..they were sued for VIOLATING the law and NOTHING else!!!

  • 194. VIRick  |  December 28, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Oregon: Anti-Gay Bakery Finally Pays Up

    Until today, 28 December 2015, despite having raised over $500K via Christian crowdfunding campaigns, Oregon’s anti-gay bakery refused to pay its fine. The co-owners of the Gresham OR bakery that refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple finally delivered a $136,927 check that covers the couple’s damages (with interest) following the January 2013 incident.

    Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, refused to bake a cake for Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer, saying it would infringe on their religious beliefs. In July 2015, Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian ordered the Kleins to pay $135,000 for emotional damages suffered by the couple. “This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage. It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal,” the bureau’s final order states.

    The state will hold the check until the appeals process is exhausted.

  • 195. ianbirmingham  |  December 29, 2015 at 2:19 am

    News article with pictures here, including both bakery owners at a Ted Cruz rally…

    Oregon bakery owners finally pay $144K damages after they would not make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple – six months after they refused to pay
    * Aaron Klein, co-owner of Sweets Cakes by Melissa, paid $136,927.07 on Monday to the Bureau of Labor and Industries in Oregon
    * They also paid $7,000 earlier in the month
    * The payments come six months after Aaron Klein said that the state 'picked the wrong Christian' and he intended to fight the order
    * Klein and wife Melissa were found to have discriminated against the lesbian couple by refusing to make them a wedding cake in January 2013
    * Melissa and Aaron Klein had been ordered to pay fine they said would 'ruin' them
    * Aaron Klein says their Christian views were being silenced after the ruling
    * The lesbian couple said they suffered emotional distress from case, which prompted death threats
    * Fundraising page for bakery raised $100,000 towards the damages before it was shut down

    Read more:

  • 196. RnL2008  |  December 29, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Any news on the Baker out of Colorado and his current appeal?

  • 197. VIRick  |  December 29, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Rose, wasn't that a "reverse" case, where some ass-hat of a pretend customer wanted a bakery to make a cake with hate messages on it? Yes, the bakery would bake him a perfectly lovely cake, and then provide him with all the necessary ingredients and tools to decorate the stupid cake himself with whatever miserable hatefulness he wanted to place on it. I believe his initial "complaint" has been dismissed as being phony-baloney, particularly because he refused to place an advance deposit down, and thus never finalized any actual transaction. Did he appeal? If so, he can't win, as he has no proof, given that the transaction was never completed.

  • 198. RnL2008  |  December 29, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    No, there is a pending case in Colorado regarding Jack Phillips, one of the owners of Masterpiece Cakeshop:

    The case you are thinking of is by one anti-gay person who went through like 13 different bakers in Colorado and opted to pick on one who actually was willing to bake the cakes for him and then provide the customer with all of the necessary equipment to put the offensive words on…….he sued and lost his first round. Here is the case you are thinking of:

  • 199. Sagesse  |  December 29, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Didn't see that one coming. The arc of history… bending…

    National Catholic Reporter Chooses Gay Couple As 'Persons Of The Year' [NCRM]

  • 200. VIRick  |  December 29, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Greg Bourke and Michael Deleon were the lead plaintiffs in "Bourke v. Beshear," the earlier of the two cases in which Judge John Heyburn struck down the marriage ban in Kentucky, leaving us with one of marriage equality's more memorable quotes:

    "These arguments are not those of serious people," Heyburn wrote, referring to the state's argument. "Excluding same-sex couples from marriage does not change the number of heterosexual couples who choose to get married, the number who choose to have children, or the number of children they have."

    Given all of the more-recent noisy hoo-ha from Kentucky, I especially like the added nuances that, of all the plaintiffs in the many marriage cases, they selected the couple from Kentucky in which Judge Heyburn's signature ruling was vindicated with finality by the US Supreme Court (as Judge Heyburn himself never lived long enough to see his own ruling vindicated, but did live long enough to be aware that the anally-oriented ass-hats at the 6th Circuit, Sutton and Cook, had overturned his decision on extremely specious grounds).

  • 201. 1grod  |  December 31, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Rev Sal Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, and the US Conference of Bishops's chair on Marriage, take note! G

  • 202. scream4ever  |  December 31, 2015 at 10:29 am

    He'll have to put down the booze first.

  • 203. 1grod  |  January 1, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    4Ever: You have a point of Sal being too seasonally distracted by Kavalan Single Malt. Ok I'd like to recommend the article to AL probate judge Stephanie Kemmer of Bibb Co [pop 22,597]. She apparently was appointed by Gov R. Bentley in September 2015, and surely would have known the implications of the Obergefell decision on her office, and the oath taken. What's her excuse?

  • 204. VIRick  |  December 29, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Turkish Football Association Forced to Pay Compensation to Sacked Gay Referee

    The Turkish Football Federation was ordered by an Istanbul court to pay 23,000 lira to Halil Ibrahim Dincdag. The referee had his licence revoked for being gay, reports the Dogan news agency. Dincdag’s lawyers had asked for 110,000 lira in the case.

    According to reports, the TFF had ascertained that the referee was unfit to fulfill the role because he was exempt from military service. He had been a referee in Trabzon, but was sacked in 2009 after he publicly came out as gay. The country has a strict policy on exemptions from military service, as those allowed exemption must be sick, disabled, or gay.

  • 205. bayareajohn  |  December 30, 2015 at 10:44 am

    That's less than $8,000 US$, And it took nearly 7 years?

  • 206. VIRick  |  December 30, 2015 at 11:40 am

    John, remember, it's Turkey. Baby steps. At least the court finally ruled in his favor, and forced some sort of compensation in his direction from a major Turkish institution in what has to be considered a ground-breaking case for this country.

    And appallingly enough, Turkey is farther along than most of Orthodox Eastern Europe including Russia, all of the rest of the Middle East and South Asia, and practically all of Africa, a point which graphically highlights just how much more work still needs to be done.

    Within the last several years, out of sheer desperation and with nowhere else to turn, thousands of LGBT citizens from both Syria and Iraq have been flocking to Turkey seeking refuge. And unlike certain noisy, uncouth right-wing politicians currently ranting in the USA, Turkey has accepted every last one.

  • 207. allan120102  |  December 29, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    It looks that as soon as January 15 couples in SLP will not need an amparo or action of their legislature to get married. It looks like it will hit the thereshold of amparos need to strike down the marriage ban

  • 208. allan120102  |  December 30, 2015 at 12:36 am

    Same sex couples might now get married in Nayarit as the law is now in the constitution of that state. someonw might want to update wikipedia.

  • 209. VIRick  |  December 30, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Hawai'i: Same-Sex Destination Weddings

    Despite its longtime leadership on issues such as anti-discrimination laws, civil unions, and marriage equality, Hawai'i has been shy about using that street credibility to leverage more same-sex destination-wedding tourism. Until now.

    The Hawai'i Visitors and Convention Bureau, the private, nonprofit marketing organization for the tourism industry, released an emotional video on Monday, 28 December 2015, featuring the surprise wedding of Christian Alarid and Shayne Barnes, an Oahu couple whose family and friends traveled to Honolulu to see the two men tie the knot. The video and teasers for it quickly went viral, with more than 6.5 million total views on social media by the next afternoon.

    Now known as the Alarids, the two had gotten engaged last June. They had been planning a 2016 wedding, and had agreed to be models in an HVCB wedding photo-shoot last August on the Big Island, after which HVCB staffers then had a brainstorm. What if the bureau surprised the couple by organizing a picture-perfect surprise ceremony in Honolulu?

    Christian serves in the Air Force and Shayne just completed his enlistment with the Marine Corps.

  • 210. davepCA  |  December 30, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this. What a wonderful way to wrap up 2015!

  • 211. Zack12  |  January 2, 2016 at 4:57 am

    I'm surprised Hawaii is still standing.
    After all, according to the bigots, it was going to be wiped off the face of the earth by a "loving" god.

  • 212. VIRick  |  December 31, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Michigan: Approval of LGBT Constitutional Amendment Language

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In a 4-0 vote on 29 December 2015, the state Board of Canvassers approved the form and language of a ballot initiative to amend the Michigan constitution to protect the LGBT community from discrimination.

    The proposal would amend the state constitution to include gender identity, sexual orientation, gender and sex as protected classes. The move would eliminate the 2004 state constitutional marriage amendment, and is being taken as an end run around the state legislature which has consistently failed to act on amending the state's Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act ever since legislation to amend that law was first introduced in 1981.

  • 213. scream4ever  |  December 31, 2015 at 11:37 am

    I think other states should do this too. It'll put more pressure on Congress to pass the Equality Act.

  • 214. JayJonson  |  December 31, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    The leading gay rights organizations in Michigan are opposed to this ploy. In addition to believing that basic rights should not be put up for a vote, they are dubious as to the chances of winning the ballot initiative, especially after the experience in Houston. I can see the initiative winning, but only if our side is well-finance, smart, and willing to attack the crazies.

  • 215. Christian0811  |  December 31, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Which we aren't therefore this initiative is likely DOA.

    Plus they need something like $1 million dollars just to get enough signatures, actual campaign funding aside. There's little money, low support, and historically terrible pro-LGBT political leadership. Not to mention there's no home field advantage, Michigan is still deeply conservative…libertarian at best.

    I could see this winning in the pacific states or New England but Michigan is a poor choice.

  • 216. allan120102  |  December 31, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Michigan is a toss up. It usually its a democratic safe for presidential elections so, Democrats may support this in election. It also say that it covers gender and sex not only sexual orientation so women may be more likely to vote in favor.

  • 217. Christian0811  |  December 31, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Unfortunately sex is already covered under federal law so opponents are likely to say those provisions are redundant (and they would be right on that point to an extent).

    As we've seen in past elections, the liberal base is very fickle and untrustworthy in most states that aren't otherwise solidly liberal. Even then Prop 8 showed us not to count our eggs before they hatch even in left-leaning strongholds

    Believe me I would love to see the homophobic laws formally repealed and constitutions modernized to include expanded non-discrimination amendments, but some places just aren't electorally ready for that.

  • 218. VIRick  |  December 31, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    "Unfortunately sex is already covered under federal law so opponents …."

    Ummm, Christian, please don't be giving them any ideas.

    Instead, at the present moment, gender and sex are NOT covered classes in the Michigan state constitution. As we have learned in Latin America, and ought to have learned in the USA, by tying gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender and sex all together into one neat package, one can automatically cover a majority of citizens, and therefore, as one would hope, cover the best interests of a majority of voters. And seriously push the whole package to appeal to women.

  • 219. Christian0811  |  January 1, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Isn't that what we tried in Houston? And Houstons civil rights law included all that AND race!

    The trick didn't work there and I don't see any reason why it should work in a well populated and right-leaning state. In any case, the focus will shift exclusively into sexual orientation and gender identity AND repealing the marriage amendment. The other stuff won't matter on the campaign trail.

  • 220. JayJonson  |  January 1, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    No, VIRICK, the tactic of pretending that HERO was really about everything that it wasn't did not work in Houston and it will not work in Michigan. Women and racial minorities and veterans and a whole host of other vulnerable classes already enjoy equal rights under the law in Michigan. Gender Identity may also have limited protection, at least according to recent interpretations of employment law.

    What is not clear is whether sexual orientation enjoys any protection outside of the municipalities and counties that have enacted nondiscrimination laws that specificially cover gay people. That is why specific legislation is needed.

    We fool no one by pretending that women, veterans, the disabled, and racial minorities are not already covered by state and federal law. To argue that the purpose of the referendum is to protect everyone (inspead of specially glbt people) is to invite suspicion of our integrity.

    Whenever this tactic has been tried, we have lost at the ballot box, and we also lost an opportunity to educate the voters. We have to be honest about the need for protections on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity and we have to be fierce in calling out the bigots that lie and appeal to homophobia and transphobia.

  • 221. allan120102  |  December 31, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    I agree.In some sense I no longer trust polls after the big fail that Happen in Slovenia. I am going to be cautious now.

  • 222. allan120102  |  December 31, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    First of all Happy New Year everyone, I hope your wishes come true and you all have an amazing start this upcoming year. I hope we have more victories. More countries and territories legalizing ssm, approving anti discrimination laws, and also I hope the trans Community can have more acceptance. Thanks for everyone that have make this an amazing. I have learn a lot in here. I am hopeful that we win NI in January. having my fingers cross. May we all can celebrate with love,and acceptance.

  • 223. VIRick  |  December 31, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Scotland Celebrates One Year Since First Same-Sex Marriages

    Equality came to Scotland last year later than in England and Wales, with the first couples beginning to marry at 00:01 on 31 December 2014. Despite the delay, the country has been praised for its progressive marriage laws, laws which permit a wider range of groups, like Humanists, to conduct weddings, unlike in England and Wales.

    Among the first couples to marry were Susan and Gerrie Douglas-Scott, with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie serving as the pair’s witnesses for the ceremony.

    Figures up to September show that so far, more than 1700 same-sex couples have taken advantage of the new laws, with 573 new marriages, while 1137 couples converted civil partnerships to marriages.

  • 224. VIRick  |  December 31, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Anti-Gay NOM Declares Funding ’Emergency’ as Donations Dry Up

    The National Organisation for Marriage failed to stop same-sex marriage becoming law in all 50 states, but still attracts a huge amount of support from Republicans. President Brian Brown has claimed that people will realise the “lie” of same-sex marriage “as they witness the reality of children suffering," as he fights a largely futile, aggressive campaign to try to re-ban same-sex marriage.

    However, it appears that even for NOM’s shadowy donors, there’s a point where enough is enough, and the group has now repeatedly warned of a critical donation shortfall. NOM has sent no less than twelve messages to all supporters soliciting funding in the past two weeks, begging for help as it falls short of targets.

  • 225. RnL2008  |  January 1, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Darn, it must be sad that one CAN'T actually prosper ANY longer from the lies they have told…….NOM needs a GOING out of Business sign…….lol!!!

  • 226. scream4ever  |  January 1, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    I wouldn't be surprised if they close up shop at the end of 2016, assuming that Hillary Clinton wins the presidency of course.

  • 227. RnL2008  |  January 1, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    We can truly ONLY hope so…….these idiots need to get a life and a clue that their version of hate is NO longer acceptable!!!

  • 228. Zack12  |  January 2, 2016 at 4:58 am

    Sad to say other hate groups are still making $$$ or have someone willing to back them.
    NOM is a different animal though, which is why I suspected Maggie the bigot jumped ship when she saw the writing on the wall and left Brian Brown holding the bag.

  • 229. bayareajohn  |  January 2, 2016 at 12:45 am

    Although the "contributions" they were soliciting may not be the whole of the income, they didn't make the $200K they wanted by last year's end in order to trigger matching contributions they said would occur. As of today, they are at $140K total in the drive.

    Compare with 2014's reported 4 million contributions (more than 25% of which when to salaries for the staff). So $140K probably won't even pay Brian's salary this year.

    I like this.

  • 230. davepCA  |  December 31, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Aaaah, sweet, sweet schadenfreude. Happy frikken New Year, NOM. Heh heh.

  • 231. allan120102  |  December 31, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    Interesting article as to why the constitutional court didnt give a ruling of the ssm case, but it looks that Colombia will get marriage equality in the first months of 2016. Hopefully.

  • 232. Christian0811  |  January 1, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Happy New Years to Austria! The law prohibiting same sex couples from adoption is formally struck down and out-of-force as of today (courtesy of the Constitutional Court)!

  • 233. VIRick  |  January 2, 2016 at 10:13 am

    OK, something happened to all the comments already posted on this thread. Today, 2 January 2016, it currently states that there are "zero" comments on a thread which was begun on 18 December 2015. Last night, when I last previously checked, there were over 225 comments posted here.

    All of my own comments have been saved in my archives on another site. In addition, I also happened to have made and saved summaries of several other posters' commentaries on various topics, specifically those of Jay, Allan, Christian, and Guitar. So, what do we do now?

  • 234. Sagesse  |  January 2, 2016 at 10:35 am

    How odd. At other times, comments have flipped over onto a second page, but never disappeared. Can't jump to the 'recent comments' prior to this one, either.

  • 235. VIRick  |  January 2, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Indeed! Prior to your reply, I was in the process of copying all the "Recent Comments." The buttons on each currently do not jump to anything. However, I do remember seeing Rose's comment last night (in its original state, in reference to NOM's funding drying up). In any case, here they are, before we lose them, as well:

    The "Recent Comments" side-bar still shows that RnL2008 posted:

    We can truly ONLY hope so…….these idiots need to get a life and a clue that their version of hate…

    » 11 hours ago

    Then bayareajohn posted:

    Although the "contributions" they were soliciting may not be the whole of the income, they…

    » 9 hours ago

    Then Zack12 posted:

    I'm surprised Hawaii is still standing.
    After all, according to the bigots, it was going to be…

    » 5 hours ago

    And most recently, Zack12 again posted:

    Sad to say other hate groups are still making $$$ or have someone willing to back them.
    NOM is a d…

    » 5 hours ago

    Something happened to this thread between Zack's comment, 5 hours ago, when everything apparently was normal, and the present moment, when we suddenly and rather mysteriously encountered "zero" comments here.

  • 236. Sagesse  |  January 2, 2016 at 10:55 am

    AND I am now receiving email notifications for new comments, which ordinarily stop after the first 50 comments.

  • 237. VIRick  |  January 2, 2016 at 11:04 am

    In other words, the email notification system is reacting as if this were a brand-new thread which was just begun less than an hour ago, and currently only has 4 (now 5) replies???

  • 238. ianbirmingham  |  January 2, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    When reloading the home page, this thread initially shows "241 comments" but that quickly changes to "Comments (9)" – which to me indicates that all of the 200+ comments are likely still there, but due to a programming glitch many of them are not being displayed.

  • 239. VIRick  |  January 2, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    Yes, in effect, page 1 of this thread, which constitutes all 232 posts made prior to mid-day on 2 January 2016, is presently not visible nor accessible to regular EoT members. I just refreshed the Home page, as you suggested, and it very briefly showed that there are now 246 posts (because you and I, in the interim, have now added 5 more).

    Only page 2 of the current thread, which constitutes the handful of posts made since then, is being displayed.

  • 240. VIRick  |  January 2, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Las Vegas: County and Businesses Celebrate 5000th Same-Sex Marriage with Gifts for Surprised Couple

    The AP reports:

    Clark County partnered with the Las Vegas business community to mark a local gay marriage milestone on New Year’s Eve. According to the county, Phoenix residents Ronald Bauman and Dumitru Alexeev received the 5,000th marriage license issued to a same-sex couple in Clark County since the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of same-sex marriage in the state.

    The county says the couple planned to marry Friday, 1 January 2016, in Las Vegas. They were offered a number of gifts by local businesses, including a basic wedding package at Luxor Wedding Chapel, stays at Circus Circus Las Vegas and Mandalay Bay, and tickets to the “Michael Jackson One” show and the High Roller.

    Nevada began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in October 2014. The 5,000 licenses represents $275,000 into the coffers of the county/state.

  • 241. VIRick  |  January 2, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    This point is somewhat retro, but is new news to me, and is posted as a comment at Joe.My.God:

    Canada's already had to amend the law in 2013 for foreigners who want to divorce after their Canadian marriage.

    Canada Scraps Residency Requirement For Same-Sex Divorce

    "Prior to this legislation a married couple could divorce in Canada only if at least one spouse resided in Canada for at least one full, continuous year."

  • 242. 1grod  |  January 2, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Rich: you amaze me with your knowledge of situations in states and nations. Way to Go.
    Prior to January 2012, the Canadian Federal Government said marriages performed in Canada are legal only if they are accepted as such in the home country of the marriage partners. That month the Minister of Justice said "The confusion and pain resulting from this gap is completely unfair to those who are affected. I want to make it clear that, in my government’s view, those marriages should be valid.”
    Although the Civil Marriage Act (2005) amended the Divorce Act to permit same-sex divorce,
    a gap in the divorce law was also addressed: Prior to 2012, straight or gay divorcing couples could only file for divorce if at least one spouse was then residing in Canada and had been for at least one full-year when the divorce was being filed. The Civil Marriage of Non-residents Act, declared not only non-residents marriages here to be legal but also divorces from these marriages if prohibited from doing so in their home jurisdictions. Introduced in the Lower House in February 2012, it passed final reading in the Lower and Upper House in June 2013, receiving Royal Assent on June 26. G

  • 243. JayJonson  |  January 3, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Yes, VIRick's knowledge of gay rights around the world is amazing. I remember the Canadian situation very well. It sparked concerns that the Harper government was attempting to declare foreign same-sex marriages null and void. That would have caused great pain to the couples, but would also have seriously damaged the Canadian "marriage tourism" industry that had developed when Canada was one of few countries in which gay couples could marry, and by far the most popular one for US couples. Luckily, the backlash was strong and swift and Harper himself quickly disavowed the idea that the foreign marriages were not valid and promised to fix the divorce law.

  • 244. VIRick  |  January 3, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Guys, remember, I have a whole archives of gay rights/same-sex marriage litigation saved on another website which I constantly draw upon, and about which I have been particularly anal in recording specific detail like case-names, dates, major players, chief arguments, and quotable judgments. Over there, I also have it sorted by state/country so I can easily trace continuing developments within a given jurisdiction.

    Of note, the most complex challenges have been (and still are) Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, and Mexico.

  • 245. allan120102  |  January 3, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Honestly, The problem with Kansas is his governor. No surprise he won the award of the worst governor in the 50 states. Even the governor of Alabama was following the law and Alabama is more conservative than Kansas. Hell, even some Mexico states are more liberal. Btw I am seeing, we might win as 5 new states in Mexico thanks to the supreme court and the PRD.

  • 246. JayJonson  |  January 3, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Rick, please add a link to the other website.

  • 247. VIRick  |  January 3, 2016 at 11:38 am

    But just a word of caution. Although all of my posts on gay rights/same-sex marriage litigation are neatly grouped in this one section of the site, is a dick site, but with a serious purpose. Still, it's considered an "adult" site, and thus may not be appropriate for accessing from work, even if nothing is readily visible. It's run by a friend of mine who has given me free reign to utilize its archiving potential, as you will quickly see.

  • 248. VIRick  |  January 2, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Estonia: Same-Sex Partnership Law Comes into Effect Amid Legal Confusion

    The law allowing same-sex partnerships took effect in Estonia on Friday, 1 January 2016, but same-sex couples are being advised to hold off on getting married until a series of legal issues have been worked out.

    In October 2014, Estonia became the first former Soviet republic to approve same-sex civil unions, but Parliament has not yet adopted laws required to implement that decision. So, while couples can enter into unions, the Estonian Chamber of Notaries says there are legal uncertainties related to divorce, inheritance, and other practical matters. Thus, for that reason, the chamber has advised same-sex couples to consider waiting until the rules become clearer.

    Still, since yesterday, same-sex civil unions are now legal in Estonia, even if all the wrinkles have yet to be worked out with the yet-to-be-passed companion legislation.

  • 249. ianbirmingham  |  January 2, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Great article over at Daily Kos on the "Log Cabin Republicans" crowd…

    View from the left—will ‘pro-gay’ GOP donors finally face down their anti-LGBT candidates in 2016?

    Among the many uncomfortable truths that emerged for establishment Republicans in 2015 was the fact that nearly all of their candidates have denounced same-sex marriage as something akin to “an attack” on religion or, worse yet, a miscarriage of constitutional principles.

    Sure, we all expected a parade of derisive insults from the likes of Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee, but Marco Rubio has been equally as outspoken—the guy who is quickly becoming the establishment’s last great hope as Jeb Bush continues his slow death march into steadily declining single digits.

    In fact, Jeb’s dismal outlook along with Donald Trump’s sustained dominance led billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer to place his bets on Rubio in late October, just after Jeb turned in yet another lackluster debate performance. In a letter to his substantial donor circle, Singer hailed Rubio as the only candidate left who could “navigate” the GOP primary and still be “in a position to defeat” Hillary Clinton come the general election. Singer, a staunch pro-Israel supporter, also touted Rubio’s foreign policy credentials which, although thin, still out-muscle most of his GOP rivals.

    What wasn’t mentioned by Singer—who has dropped more than $20 million over the last decade on advancing the freedom to marry—is Rubio’s incongruously retro marriage stance. The youthful senator kicked off this historic year for marriage equality by proclaiming, “I’m against it. I don’t agree with it,” as same-sex marriages commenced in Florida. He’s been nothing but a regressive whiny wretch on the topic ever since.

    On the June day when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down same-sex marriage bans nationwide, Rubio asserted that the next president must make it “a priority” to nominate Supreme Court justices who would apply “the Constitution as written and originally understood.” In November, he told Christian enthusiast David Brody that the Supreme Court court ruling wasn’t “settled law” because it conflicted with “God rules” and “God’s rules always win.” And just in time for the holidays, Rubio promised that he would, in fact, be the guy to roll back the freedom to marry. “Any future Supreme Court can change it. And ultimately, I will appoint Supreme Court justices that will interpret the Constitution as originally constructed," Rubio said.

    None of this appears to be troubling Singer, whose gay son married his partner in Massachusetts in 2009. In fact, just last month Rubio flat-out denied that he’s heard so much as a peep about it from the very donor who threw him a fundraising lifeline. Rubio received an enthusiastic response when he met with the Iowa pastors group Nov. 24 and answered questions about his faith and his connections to Singer, the donor known for his support of same-sex marriage. “When someone cooperates with my campaign, they are buying into my agenda. I am not buying into their agenda,” Rubio said, according to a video recording by the Christian Broadcasting Network. The candidate said he is allied with Singer on national security issues and support for Israel but has never discussed marriage. (Continued in next post)

  • 250. ianbirmingham  |  January 2, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    (Continued from prior post) Now this is where the rubber meets the road for any donor who wants to advance Freedom For All Americans, per the name of a Singer-backed pro-LGBT group. Singer clearly has competing ambitions—some financial, some foreign policy, some of which we may not know. The question for him and other likeminded conservative donors is, even as they begin pouring more money into advancing LGBT nondiscrimination protections across the country, at what point will they actually prioritize such rights with their candidates? Because, as LGBT author and activist Mike Signorile has pointed out repeatedly, you can’t actively push people like Iowa’s Joni Ernst—who backs a federal ban on same-sex marriage—into office and still say you’re promoting LGBT equality.

    Competing goals are nothing new for the donor class, be it progressive or conservative. What pro-LGBT Democratic donors eventually found is that, at some point, you have take a stand—your candidates have to understand that you’ll cut them off at the knees if they profess one thing behind closed doors but say and do another publicly.

    That’s what led progressive donors like Tim Gill, Jon Stryker, and Jonathan Lewis to invest tens of thousands of dollars in Fight Back New York, a PAC designed to unseat any New York State senator who had voted against marriage equality in 2009. Eight Democrats went the wrong way on that December vote, and Fight Back New York claimed its first scalp—Queens Democrat Hiram Monserrate—during a special election in March 2010. They eventually toppled two more senators—one a Democrat and one a Republican—before Empire State lawmakers passed a marriage equality bill in 2011.

    If Singer and his fellow conservatives want to be taken seriously as pro-LGBT advocates, they will have to make Republican candidates scared to cross them on that issue, and that issue alone. Funding their campaigns regardless of what message candidates broadcast publicly will never accomplish the fear factor necessary to tame the GOP’s longstanding homophobic impulses.

    Ultimately, conservative donors will have to make the same evolution that progressive donors did to realize that a candidate’s wink behind closed doors is nothing but a tease. And if they don’t complete that journey, we’ll simply be relegated to waiting for the generational shift to finally deliver equity under the law.

  • 251. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  January 2, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Neither the Log Cabin Republicans nor the Stonewall Democrats in Utah were enthusiastic supporters of pro-marriage-equality activities. In my never-humble opinion, both groups feared a backlash from the card-carrying members of the Locally Dominant Sect.

  • 252. ianbirmingham  |  January 3, 2016 at 6:07 am

    Scalia: 'Don't cram' religious neutrality 'down throats of American people'

  • 253. VIRick  |  January 3, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Scalia appears to have a peculiarly obvious oral fetish pertaining to cramming things down one's throat, doesn't he?

  • 254. FredDorner  |  January 3, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Scalia needs to read Torcaso v Watkins from 1961.

  • 255. RnL2008  |  January 4, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    I guess it's ONLY okay when Scalia does it,right? He should follow his own advice and keep his religious beliefs to himself….NOT in the Courtroom or his dissents!!!

  • 256. 1grod  |  January 4, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Equality top Alabama-wide Newsstory of 2015 says Associated Press.:

  • 257. 1grod  |  January 6, 2016 at 9:10 am

    There is reference to some AL counties opting out of offering any marriage license and the possibility of court action. Do we know what [which] number of counties are continuing to opt out. I'd be disappointed if when Governor Bentley appointed Stephanie Kemmer Bibb Co probate judge, it was not understood that marriage licenses would be offered. Mrs Kemmer J. D. [Samford] was the senior partner in Kemmer & Kemmer, Centreville, specialists in family & divorce law. She has 20 years of legal experience including personal injury, social security and real estate. .

  • 258. 1grod  |  January 9, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Note: Alabama's Bibb County is issuing licenses to all <a href="http://.” target=”_blank”>. Ignoring this recent brief dust-up that bring to 7 know resistors: Wes Allen ( Pike Co – pop 32899), Michael Armistead (Choctaw – 13633), Alfred Booth (Autauga – 55514), Valerie Bradford-Davis (Clarke – 25161), Fred Hamic (Geneva – 26760), Ryan Robertson (Cleburne – 14832) and Nick Williams (Washington -17581): 3% of the state population

  • 259. 1grod  |  January 9, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Ok while I've identified 7 probate judges, this recent article suggest a dozen:
    Just which other counties are not issuing licenses?

  • 260. allan120102  |  January 9, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Chambers county is the 8th county that is not issuing since marriage equality became law . Marengo, Walker and Elmore stopped issuing after Moore decision. not sure if they are now issuing again.

  • 261. 1grod  |  January 10, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Allen: Chambers Co's resistor Brandy Easlick has been the probate judge since 2012 when she defeated (53%) Judge Cary Baldwin to begin a six year term. Between 1999 and her election, she was a lawyer, who had her own practice in Valley. Regarding the three other counties you mentioned, they would have received a memorandum the morning of January 7 from the Alabama County Commissions Association’s attorney regarding Judge Moore’s administrative order. In the memorandum, probate judges across the state were encouraged to continue to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples “in the same manner and pursuant to the same requirements as applied to traditional couples.”

  • 262. allan120102  |  January 10, 2016 at 11:19 am

    I will try to look tomorrow if the other three probate judges will start issuing licenses. If they do that will mean 59/67 counties will be issuing marriage licenses.I just hope that Aclu Alabama find some plaintiffs soon to sue this remaining holdouts.

  • 263. allan120102  |  January 10, 2016 at 11:54 am

    1Grod Convington county is also not issuing since June 26 2015. That would make 9 counties that stopped since Obergefell. That means 58/ 67 had marriage equality before Moore orders.

  • 264. 1grod  |  January 10, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Allan: It is indeed surprising that plaintiffs can not be found when you consider that the usual number of straight marriage in the 9 AL counties had been 2,130 – by government account…. It would be interesting to get and post a copy of the Memorandum mentioned above…. It is not surprising that Elmore Co's probate judge is not issuing licenses. He's been looking for a way to not to do so as illustrated by three examples: John Enslen's February 2015 petition was the excuse that the Alabama Supreme Court used in Ex parte State of Alabama ex rel. Alabama Policy Institute and Alabama Citizens Action Program v A King to attempt to stop marriage license being issued effective last March 3:
    and his July 6 brief to the ALSupreme Court on impact of Obergefell:
    as well as his October 6 request to the AL Supremes that the federal government issue marriage licenses:…. G.

  • 265. allan120102  |  January 10, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    I will have a lot of respect to the plaintiffs in this case. If I lived in one of those counties and was going to get married. I would do it without a doubt. Even though I am pretty sure that even if a federal judge force them to issue marriage licenses. some will take the stance of kim davis. Pike and Washington I imagine. I am not even sure why Autauga stop as it was issuing and then stopped.

  • 266. 1grod  |  January 11, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Allan: Mary Pons, chief in-house lawyer for the Association of County Commissions of Alabama, which sent the memorandum; and Webb & Eley, a Montgomery-based law firm serving as outside counsel for the Association both say Moore’s order changes nothing. The memo reads “the Alabama Attorney General has conceded on behalf of the State that the Obergefell ruling is ‘the law of the land and is binding’ on the State of Alabama.” Pons also clarified that “County officials and probate judges are not obligated to follow the Association’s advice, The memo equates to a recommendation. Indeed, Probate Judge Greg Norris of Monroe Co. as head of the Alabama Probate Judges Association said his association would not offer any guidance on the issue. “Every county is their own jurisdiction. They’ve got to get with their attorneys and do what’s best for them.”

  • 267. 1grod  |  January 11, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Rally: January 12, at 12:00 PM CST, at Alabama Supreme Court Building, 300 Dexter Ave, Montgomery :
    Judge Roy Moore has struck out. Moore has once again supported bigotry in giving misleading, erronous direction. Join us at the steps of the Alabama Supreme Court to demand Roy Moore be disbarred from the practice of law. HRC

  • 268. VIRick  |  January 4, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Lesbian Widow’s Lawsuit Seeking Benefits from FedEx to Proceed

    A federal judge has allowed a gay benefits case, "Schuett v. FedEx," to proceed against FedEx. A federal court in California has ruled the lawsuit can proceed against shipping giant FedEx for withholding pension benefits to the same-sex partner of a deceased worker. US District Judge Phyllis Hamilton, a Clinton appointee, refused on Monday, 4 January 2016, to throw out the case in a 19-page decision despite objections from the shipping company that withholding the benefits is justified because the Defense of Marriage Act was in effect at the time the employee died.

    “The court finds that plaintiff has adequately alleged that FedEx has violated Title I of ERISA by acting contrary to applicable federal law and failing to provide plaintiff with a benefit mandated by ERISA, and that she is entitled to pursue equitable relief to remedy that violation,” Hamilton wrote. “The court is not persuaded at this stage of the case and under the facts alleged in the complaint that there is any basis for denying retroactive application of Windsor.”

    The lawsuit was filed in January 2014 by Stacey Schuett, who was told by FedEx she wouldn’t be eligible for company survivor benefits after her partner, Lesly Taboada-Hall, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Taboada-Hall had been a FedEx employee for 26 years and was fully vested in her pension. The company plan on benefits comported with the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited federal recognition of same-sex marriage before it was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013.

    The couple, who had been together 30 years, married on 19 June 2013 in their Sebastopol CA home before their two children, close family, and friends. Taboada-Hall died one day later on 20 June. The US Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of DOMA in an historic decision six days after that, on 26 June 2013, but that wasn’t enough for FedEx to afford the benefits to Schuett.

    Of the three claims made in the lawsuit, the claim that succeeded relied on the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, which the Labor Department interpreted after the DOMA decision to grant same-sex spouses access to pension benefits. Because Edith Windsor, the plaintiff in the DOMA case, retroactively received her refund of $363,000 in estate taxes following the Supreme Court decision against DOMA, the judge reasoned ERISA benefits should be retroactively applied as well.

    Representing Scheutt was the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Berkley-based Feinberg Jackson Worthman & Wasow, the Berkley-based Civil Rights Education & Enforcement Center and the Sebastopol-based Birnie Law Office.

    – See more at:

  • 269. RnL2008  |  January 4, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Thank you for posting this and I believe the woman will prevail, or at least she should prevail…..not just for herself, but for her children as well.

    Shame on ANY company who tries to NOT do the right thing…….especially when this person is ALREADY under a great deal of emotional stress. I know what it's like dealing with the loss of a loved one…….my partner passed in 2002 and even though we were not married or even in a domestic partnership, I still tried to do the right thing by notifying her creditors letting them know she passed and all they cared about was getting money, even though there was NO money to get………damn vultures!!!

  • 270. FredDorner  |  January 5, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    This sounds similar to the "Cozen O’Connor, P.C. v. Jennifer Tobits" case in PA, which was ruled favorably for the plaintiff due to the Windsor precedent.

  • 271. VIRick  |  January 4, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Sweeping LGBT Rights Legislation Coming to Virginia

    Gay Virginia Delegate-Elect Mark Levine (D-Alexandria) says he plans to introduce legislation during the week he takes office on 13 January 2016, calling for prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations. Levine won election in November to the Virginia House of Delegates' 45th District, which includes the city of Alexandria and parts of Arlington and Fairfax counties.

    He said he’s in the final stage of drafting his LGBT rights legislation and will soon decide whether the non-discrimination protections covering employment, housing, and public accommodations should be combined in one bill or divided into two separate bills. “It’s a very technical question and I want to do it right,” said Levine, an attorney and past legislative counsel to former US Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). “But I’m definitely introducing it.”

    Under current Virginia law, it’s legal for private employers to fire or refuse to hire someone solely because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. It’s also legal for landlords to evict or refuse to rent an apartment to someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, and for a restaurant or other business to refuse service to people because they’re LGBT.

    Virginia State Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), who became the first openly gay member of the Virginia Legislature in 2004, said he would consider introducing a companion version of Levine’s bill in the Senate. “I’m happy to consider good ideas like Mark’s if he would like a Senate version of the bill – absolutely,” said Ebbin.

    Ebbin notes that he has introduced nearly every year since he first won election to the House of Delegates in 2003, and since winning election to the State Senate in 2011, a bill that would ban LGBT-related employment discrimination in state government jobs. He said the bill has twice passed in the Senate but was killed in the House of Delegates each year.

    – See more at:

  • 272. 1grod  |  January 5, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Oklahoma City bans housing discrimination on sexual orientation and gender identity grounds effective February 4th

  • 273. VIRick  |  January 5, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    In Close Vote, Oklahoma City Bans LGBT Discrimination in Housing

    After an hour of public debate on Tuesday, 5 January 2016, the Oklahoma City Council narrowly voted to ban LGBT discrimination in the housing sector.

    By a 5-4 vote, the council included sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes in the housing market. The new protections will take effect from 4 February 2016.

    According to the "Oklahoman," existing Oklahoma City personnel policies prohibit discrimination in city hiring and employment based on sexual orientation, but ordinances otherwise are silent with regard to housing (until now), employment, and public accommodations, such as hotels and restaurants.

    Just two weeks ago, Norman OK was the first (and so far, the only) city in Oklahoma to pass across-the-board LGBT protections.

  • 274. VIRick  |  January 4, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Mexico News per Matrimonio Igualitario:

    On 24 December 2015, the legislation legalizing marriage equality in Nayarit state was published, thus placing the law into effect there from that date.

    Over 6200 same-sex couples from all over Mexico have been married in Mexico's Federal District in the 6 years since marriage equality was legalized there (2010-2015).

    Primer Boda Gay Celebrada en Chiapas en 26 Diciembre 2015

    On 26 December 2015, the First Same-Sex Wedding was Celebrated in Chiapas

    Note to Allan: This latter headline actually made my mouth drop. Much to my surprise, Chiapas was not the very last state in Mexico to allow a same-sex marriage to occur. Instead, the dubious-distinction award for "dead-last" will now have to be fought over between Tlaxcala and Zacatecas, as the other 30 jurisdictions have all had at least one same-sex marriage, mostly by way of the amparo process.

  • 275. allan120102  |  January 5, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Thanks Rick, in twitter Alex Mendez tweet that the civil code of Chihuahua was again declared uncunstitutional and not one sentence but two. I am tired of those deputies in Chihuhua. There is already marriage equality on their state not sure why dragging the issue instedad of finish it. btw Weird I really thought that marriage already had occur on Chiapas instead I thought it was Hidalgo that didnt. I am not surprise of Tlaxcala and Zacatecas, even though they are not as conservartive as other states. They are close to capital , so they decide to go their instead of waiting the long process of an amparo being granted. well that is what I read a while a go.

  • 276. VIRick  |  January 5, 2016 at 10:50 am

    "…. the civil code of Chihuahua was again declared unconstitutional, and not one sentence, but two."

    Yes, in late December 2015, the civil code of Chihuahua has again been declared unconstitutional by the courts two more times, for a grand total of well over 30 rulings against the state. Recently, the courts even upped the ante by declaring that the state is now required to pay for all the legal fees for the 31 plaintiff same-sex couples who had individually brought suit within the state.

    Marriage equality has now been a fact in Chihuahua (by executive order of the governor, César Duarte Jáquez) since 12 June 2015, yet the legislature has still not acted to change the civil code to conform with the multiple (and continuing) court rulings. Pending legislation, copied word for word from Coahuila state, has been stalled in the Chihuahua legislature for months.

  • 277. Fortguy  |  January 6, 2016 at 12:52 am

    I believe this is the posting in the Official Journal of the Nayarit government:

  • 278. VIRick  |  January 7, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Yes. Perfect. That is it, as published in the "Periodico Official" of 24 December 2015.

    Notice, too, how this constitutional reform is grandly issued in the form of a "decreto" (decree), as directed by the local congress, announcing the change to all of the inhabitants, and as promulgated under the name and signature of the Governor of Nayarit state, ROBERTO SANDOVAL CASTAÑEDA.

    In due course, all of the remaining states in Mexico will have to follow this exact same procedure.

  • 279. Fortguy  |  January 7, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    It's my understanding that this is merely a revision of the state's statutory Civil Code, not a "constitutional reform". Apparently, the writers of the state's constitution never imagined marriage between couples of the same sex, and therefore didn't anticipate a need to prohibit it in the first place.

  • 280. VIRick  |  January 5, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Utah Judge Retires after Criticism in Gay Foster Parent Case

    Salt Lake City — A Utah judge who had ordered a baby girl taken away from her lesbian foster parents and placed with a heterosexual couple has retired. Court officials announced Monday, 4 January 2016, that juvenile court Judge Scott Johansen retired on 1 January.

    Johansen faced widespread criticism and calls for his impeachment after he ordered a 9-month-old baby taken from the home of April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce on 10 November 2015. He later reversed the ruling and recused himself.

    He was appointed in 1992 to the bench in Price, about 120 miles south of Salt Lake City.

  • 281. davepCA  |  January 5, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Good riddance. He should have been tossed down the front steps of the courthouse long ago.

  • 282. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  January 7, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Bigotry runs deep in HATU—The Bass Ackwards State—because members of the Locally Dominant Sect are taught (from an absurdly early age) never to question their leaders.

  • 283. VIRick  |  January 5, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    New Washington State Rule Opens Bathroom Use to Transgender People

    Olympia WA — A new rule in Washington state created by the Washington State Human Rights Commission requires buildings open to the public to allow transgender people to use restrooms and locker rooms of the gender they identify with, officials said Tuesday, 5 January 2016. The policy took effect on 26 December, commission Executive Director Sharon Ortiz said.

    A prior draft of the rule said schools must “assess the use of locker rooms by transgendered students on a case-by-case basis.” The final policy approved last month removed the separate standard for schools.

    The commission, created by Washington’s Legislature, is responsible for administering and enforcing the Washington Law Against Discrimination, said Ortiz, who was appointed executive director in 2009. The commission began considering the new policy in 2012, Ortiz said. Under the state’s anti-discrimination law, sexual orientation is a protected class, like race, which includes “gender expression or identity,” Ortiz said. Ortiz and Margaret Chen, a staff attorney at the ACLU, said the policy clarifies law that already existed under that anti-discrimination law.

  • 284. GregInTN  |  January 6, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Tennessee Judge Reprimanded

    From the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

    Board reprimands judge who cited gay marriage ruling in refusal to grant divorce

    The Hamilton County judge who refused to grant a Signal Mountain couple's divorce petition because of the U.S. Supreme Court's gay marriage decision has been publicly reprimanded by the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct.

    When Chancellor Jeffrey Atherton ordered on Aug. 31, 2015, that Tennessee courts could not hear contested divorces because the Supreme Court ruling invalidated their jurisdiction, he violated two codes: compliance with the law and promoting confidence in the judiciary, according to the board.

  • 285. montezuma58  |  January 6, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Roy Moore still at it.

    AL Chief Justice issues administrative order on marriage licenses
    Posted: Jan 06, 2016 11:53 AM CST
    Updated: Jan 06, 2016 11:59 AM CST
    By Kaitlin ChappellCONNECT

    Chief Justice Roy Moore issued an administrative order on marriage licenses on Wednesday morning.

    The order states that until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect.

    Moore ordered a halt to same-sex marriage licensing in Feb. of 2015.

    "Is there such a thing as morality anymore?" Moore asked from the pulpit of a church in June of 2015.

    He said Christians are going to be persecuted when speaking on same-sex marriage.

  • 286. allan120102  |  January 6, 2016 at 10:50 am

    I am sorry but he needs to be out asap. I am tired of that man. I am pretty sure some probate judges are going to stop issuing licenses asap even though that order is not binding. Pretty sure that the Alabama supreme court will issue an order that Alabama probate judges need to stop issuing licenses. I am pretty pissed right now with that man.

  • 287. ianbirmingham  |  January 6, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    That's already been tried. Roy Moore was unanimously removed from his position as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary in November 2003 for refusing to follow the order of a federal judge. The voters of Alabama then re-elected him.

  • 288. allan120102  |  January 6, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Then they better ban him of serving such an impotant role as being a judge. He should be removed as he is not objective on cases. He always put religion first. Tired of bigots like him.

  • 289. montezuma58  |  January 6, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    At least as it stands now he'll be to old to run for the Supreme Court after his term is over. During the last session of the legislature an amendment was proposed to up the age limit but fortunately that died.

  • 290. RnL2008  |  January 7, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Here's another article on Moore's ASININE stunt:

    And my thoughts on it:
    If ANY Same-Sex couple is denied a marriage license in Alabama because of Chief Justice Moore's interference in the ruling from SCOTUS, the couples should file an IMMEDIATE lawsuit NOT only against Moore, but the entire State of Alabama for trampling on their FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT to marry!!!

    Moore needs to be TOSSED off the bench again and HELD in contempt of a SCOTUS Court ruling!!!

  • 291. GregInTN  |  January 8, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Roy Moore is the subject of Clay Bennett's editorial cartoon in today's Chattanooga Times Free Press:

  • 292. RnL2008  |  January 8, 2016 at 9:39 am

    That's to funny!!!

  • 293. 1grod  |  January 8, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Monte: Judge Moore's administrative order may well have moved matters beyond his control, as it is not an order of the State Supreme Court. And probate judges who are following his order are only helping in forcing the federal courts hands. It is hard to understand what has taken the 11th circuit so long to move of Seacy v Strange and Strawser v Strange. IMO the Southern District Federal Court (Granade) has been waiting the Strawser class-action 11th circuit Appeal before issuing a permanent injunction and final judgment. Not sure why the 11 Circuit's affirmation of the validity of the preliminary injunction [October 20 pg 3 ] is not enough:.

  • 294. 1grod  |  January 9, 2016 at 10:26 am

    From the 11 Circuit's October 20 affirmation of the validly of Judge C Granade's preliminary injunction which came into effect July 1st 2015:
    "In light of the record and Obergefell, the district court's May 21, 2015 order granting a preliminary injunction requiring the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples is SUMMARILY AFFIRMED."
    Also, in another appeal in this case – this one filed by Tim Russell and Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis asking the appeals court to review the order that certified the defendant class (all Alabama Probate Judges) – the Court declined to take up the appeal"
    "Petitioners have failed to show that interlocutory review of the district court's order certifying the defendant class is warranted. Accordingly, their petition for a permissive appeal is hereby DENIED." That 1 pg order is here:

    Which begs the question what is Judge C Granade waiting for to issue a permanent injunction and final judgment?
    Good summary of cases:

  • 295. slcprof  |  January 6, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Updates here:

  • 296. RnL2008  |  January 7, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    If the Probate Judges want to risk Contempt of Court charges and possible jail time……then they will get EXACTLY what they deserve, as for Roy Moore, he NEEDS to be thrown off the bench again and this time TOSSED in jail for VIOLATING a ruling from SCOTUS…….this man is NOTHING more than a HOMOPHOBIC bigot and he needs to face criminal charges!!!

  • 297. 1grod  |  January 8, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Rose: is there a mechanism to stay or appeal his administrative order? Who can do so? G

  • 298. RnL2008  |  January 8, 2016 at 9:42 am

    That I'm NOT sure, though it has been stated that his order is a "DEAD" order to begin with!!!

  • 299. Zack12  |  January 6, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    It is time to get Roy Moore off the bench and disbarred.
    Enough is enough with this crap.

  • 300. 1grod  |  January 8, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Zach, I laud your assertion It is time. However there were complaints about his actions in 2015 as early as February, which have yet to be acted on. But when you become aware that Gov Bentley last September appointed Stephanie Kemmer DJ, a Centreville lawyer with 20 years practice as the probate judge for Bibb Co, and no known subsequent action on issuing marriage licenses in that county (pop 22600), you realize there are other key AL players who are resisting as well.

  • 301. davepCA  |  January 6, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    At this point, his shenanigans seems kind of quaint. It makes me think 'awww, look who is trying to stir up some drama because he misses being in the spotlight". He needs a big gay hug.

  • 302. 1grod  |  January 8, 2016 at 8:04 am

    dave: if your definition of big gay hug includes a knee to the groin, I would agree. There ought to be recourse for those who would use the system for their own gain/amusement.

  • 303. guitaristbl  |  January 6, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    I believe the latest move by Moore only helps the case of his permanent hopefully impeachment.

  • 304. allan120102  |  January 6, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I knew it thanks to that a** of Roy Moore two counties have stopped issuing marriage licenses those are Mobile and Madison county. I expect more too follow. I knew some states would be difficult but I really thought Mississippi would have been more difficult. Thanks Alabama you win the prize with the most bigot judge. Well imo he is not a judge .

  • 305. guitaristbl  |  January 6, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    What's going to happen now ? Does this have to go to the supreme court ?

  • 306. JayJonson  |  January 6, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Obviously, Judge Granade needs to step in and start fining the probate judges who disobey her order. She has a whole arsenal at her disposal.

  • 307. allan120102  |  January 6, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    I am waiting for her to tell probate judges to issue icenses and give the final ruling,but at the same I don´t want to, because I am pretty sure that AL supreme court will want to overrule her when their ruling is hand down. She should just remind the judges right now of Obergefell and once the AL hand their ruling she hands there to overrule them.

  • 308. 1grod  |  January 8, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Allen: Judge Granade's hand would be strengthened if the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals would act on the appeal of the class-action case Strawser v Strange. Does not Judge Moore's administrative order 1) rely on the AL Supreme Court March 3 2015 Mandamus Order 2) ignores Judge C Granade May 21 2015 ruling in Strawser II v Strange [ certification order and which in effect overrules the Mandamus order ]?

  • 309. 1grod  |  January 12, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Allan: You likely saw this opinion of the federal prosecutors, and two law professors:

  • 310. sfbob  |  January 6, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    It's settled law. Any district court judge can toss Moore's order. And it'll NEVER make it to the Supreme Court.

  • 311. JayJonson  |  January 6, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    While some Alabama probate judges made the decision to temporarily cease issuing marriage licenses to all couples today, others quietly announced they would continue to follow the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell and issue licenses to all couples. The ACLU reminded the probate judges that federal District Judge Granade's ruling is in effect and they could face contempt charges.

    One probate judge has had enough of Roy Moore's antics, and said so.

    Judge Steven Reed of Montgomery County posted this tweet, calling Moore's order a "charade," and "sad & pathetic."

    And then he went one step further.

    Saying he thinks Chief Justice Moore "has jumped the shark at this point," Judge Reed, as reports, "said he doesn't know if Moore's order today was an attempt by Moore to 'get on Donald Trumps radar,' or generate publicity for some other reason."

    Reed "said the order is an embarrassment to Alabama and to the Alabama Supreme Court. 'I think it sets a bad example when the chief justice behaves like this,' Reed said."

    And then he called for Moore to quit.

    "We don't get to pick and choose what laws we follow," he said. "If he (Moore) can't follow those laws he ought to step down."

  • 312. montezuma58  |  January 6, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Link to Moore's "administrative" order:

  • 313. VIRick  |  January 6, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Alabama Probate Judges Must Enforce Same-Sex Marriage Ban

    On 6 January 2016, Chief Justice Roy Moore issued an order insisting that last March’s ruling issued by the Alabama Supreme Court remains in effect, warning that probate judges “have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage licenses” contrary to Alabama‘s law and constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

    According to, a four-page administrative order by Moore argues that the ongoing conflict between the state court ruling and the US Supreme Court‘s landmark June ruling has resulted in “confusion and uncertainty” among probate judges. Moore said he took it upon himself to issue the order in his role as administrative head of the state court system. The administrative order quotes a state law that empowers the chief justice to “take affirmative and appropriate action to correct or alleviate any condition or situation adversely affecting the administration of justice within the state.”

    Moore claims that ever since the US Supreme Court ruling, several Alabama probate judges are issuing licenses to same-sex couples, while other ones are only issuing licenses to opposite-sex couples, or not issuing licenses whatsoever. He says that this “disparity affects the administration of justice in this state.”

    In January 2015, a federal judge in Mobile, Judge Ginny Granade, ruled that Alabama‘s ban on same-sex marriage violated the US Constitution. The Alabama Supreme Court then issued its order in March 2015, following requests from two conservative groups — the Alabama Citizens Action Program and the Alabama Policy Institute — as well as Elmore County Probate Judge John Enslen. Contrary to Alabama law, that order enjoined probate judges from issuing licenses.

  • 314. RnL2008  |  January 7, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Umm, didn't SCOTUS combine ALL of the appeals together from the various states and Circuit Court of Appeals, which became Obergefell? Wasn't Kentucky, Nebraska, Alabama and Kansas included from their respective Circuit Court of Appeals? If what I think happened, did in fact happen……how can Moore claim that the Obergefell ruling is NOT binding on his State? Did he also forget about Judge Grande's ruling regarding the ban on one's right to marry as well?

    By the way, Moore is an IDIOT and NEEDS to face the consequences of his actions as does ANY Probate Judge who follows this order!!!

  • 315. allan120102  |  January 8, 2016 at 12:26 am

    Not really Scotus didnt hear those that werent of the sixth circuit so individual appeals court need to strike down the bans as a formality because Scotus already say they were uncunstitutional. Even then some states played by their own like Kansas. Marriage equality is the law of the land but what he says in some sense is true there is an injuction but not the final judgement.The same in Kansas, we need to have a final judgement. Judge Granade havent issue a final judgement so that a** of moore say the ban is still there. Even though we know how is going to end. I believe judge Granade knew the intention of this man and now she may act or wait a final judgement of AL Supreme court. Btw the 11th circuit havent rule on the bans actually.

  • 316. VIRick  |  January 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Roy Moore’s Son Pleads Not Guilty To Drug Charges

    According to an AP report of 5 January 2016:

    The son of Alabama’s chief justice has pleaded not guilty to drug charges. Court documents show Caleb Moore pleaded not guilty on 21 December 2015 to two counts. Moore, who is 25, faces charges of felony possession of the prescription medication alprazolam and misdemeanor marijuana possession.

    Caleb Moore was arrested in March 2015 in Troy AL. Police, responding to a possible break-in, said they reported smelling marijuana and finding Xanax. Caleb Moore pleaded guilty in 2013 and 2014 to separate misdemeanor charges of possession of drug paraphernalia.

    Caleb Moore has been arrested seven times since 2011.

  • 317. davepCA  |  January 6, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Ah, delicious. Ya gotta love those Moore family values.

  • 318. VIRick  |  January 6, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    China: Court Accepts Same-Sex Marriage Case

    Today, 6 January 2016, Voice Of America reports:

    A Chinese court has accepted the country’s first same-sex marriage case, filed by a gay man in Hunan province against the government for refusing his application to marry his 36-year-old male partner. The decision is being hailed as a step forward for gay rights and as a major test case for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in China, his lawyer told Radio Free Asia. While homosexuality is not illegal in China, same-sex marriage is not legal and same-sex couples do not have legal protections.

    Sun Wenlin, 26, filed a lawsuit on 16 December 2015 against the Furong district civil affairs bureau in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province in central China. His lawsuit challenged the bureau’s refusal to allow the couple to register their marriage. Sun is arguing that current Chinese marriage law refers to the union of “husband and wife,” but without specifying the gender of either party to the marriage. The argument rests on the idea that a person can identify as a husband or a wife without reference to their gender, RFA reported.

  • 319. Christian0811  |  January 6, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Kind of a flimsy argument isn't it? Plus what would be the point? As a civil law country (in the traditional sense) any positive ruling would only bind to the party at hand.

  • 320. Fortguy  |  January 6, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    Depends. Although the words in the Chinese statute may loosely or conveniently most easily be translated into "husband" and "wife", words from completely different cultural traditions don't always reliably map so easily into English or other Western languages without qualification. The words may hold different denotative and connotative understandings, as well as regional differences in a multi-lingual land such as China where people who hold different spoken languages are somewhat united by a non-phonetic written language.

  • 321. JayJonson  |  January 7, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Alabama's federal prosecutors have warned the probate judges that they must obey the law and ignore Moore's grandstanding. I hope the probate judges understand the possible consequences of disobeying the law. As of yet, no same-sex couple has been denied a license.

    From Two federal prosecutors in Alabama say that Alabama probate judges are not free to disobey the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage and deny gay couples marriage licenses, despite an order from Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.

    "The Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court has issued an administrative order, directing probate judges that they may not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, despite the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last year on marriage equality," according to a statement issued Wednesday night by U.S. Attorneys Joyce White Vance of the Northern District of Alabama and Kenyen Brown of the Southern District of Alabama.

    "We have grave concerns about this order, which directs Alabama probate judges to disobey the ruling of the Supreme Court," Vance and Brown stated. "Government officials are free to disagree with the law, but not to disobey it. This issue has been decided by the highest court in the land and Alabama must follow that law."

  • 322. VIRick  |  January 7, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Stray thoughts:

    Racially segregated schools are still mandated by the Alabama state constitution, only 61 years after the Supreme Court ruling in "Brown v. Board of Education."

    Following the "Loving" decision, it only took 33 years (to 2000) before voters approved the language removing the ban on inter-racial marriage from the Alabama state constitution.

    In Mississippi, it only took that state's legislature 148 years (in 2013) to ratify the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution, the amendment which banned slavery.

    According to some wonderful friends from Georgia, the sole reason for Alabama's existence is so that they have somewhere to pee while en route to/from Mardi Gras.

  • 323. Fortguy  |  January 7, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Ironically, roadside rest areas are few and far between in Alabama. They represent excessive state spending and inappropriate societal mixing. I feel sorry for civic volunteers in that state participating in their "Adopt-A-Highway" program.

  • 324. Randolph_Finder  |  January 7, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Still no clue whether the "may issue" means that the Alabama Probate Judges who completely stop issuing Marriage Licenses are protected.

  • 325. Eric  |  January 7, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    If Alabama had a mechanism to recognize one's fundamental right to marry, without the issuance of a license, then they would be protected. As it stands now, their behavior is no different than stopping voter registration, because they don't like some of the voters that register.

  • 326. sfbob  |  January 7, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    As I understand it the wording of the law was changed from "shall issue" to "may issue" precisely in order to give probate judges a pretext for ignoring Loving vs Virginia.

  • 327. VIRick  |  January 7, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Utah: Republican Lawmaker to Introduce Repeal of Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

    Same-sex marriage bans are still on the books in many states. In Utah, Republican state Rep. Kraig Powell wants to do something about that. As Ben Winslow reported for Salt Lake City’s Fox affiliate, Powell stated in an interview on 6 January 2016: “My proposal is simply to remove that from the Utah Constitution so that it is no longer on the books."

    In 2004, voters in Utah overwhelmingly approved what became known as Amendment 3, which declared marriage as between one man and one woman and did not recognize anything else. Nearly a decade later, three same-sex couples sued the state, and in 2014, a federal judge declared Utah’s marriage ban unconstitutional. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld that ruling, and (after a further appeal by the state was denied certiorari by the US Supreme Court), same-sex marriage became legal in Utah.

    Powell said his legislation is still being drafted, but he is running it to reflect the reality of the US Supreme Court ruling last year that made same-sex marriage legal nationwide. He said legislators need to be out in front of it. “If we simply throw up our hands and say, ‘Well, the judges are doing everything now, we’re going to stay out of it,’ we’re abdicating our responsibility,” he told FOX 13.

    Powell says he will also introduce a bill to amend marriage licenses to say “spouse” instead of “husband” and “wife.”

  • 328. DevilWearsZrada  |  January 8, 2016 at 12:19 am

    But it seems that such an amendment will require a popular vote again, won't it? Are the Utahns to vote for it? Remember, we have the example of Alabama where the constitutional ban on interracial marriage was repealed 33 years after Loving.
    Though they are struck down the same-sex marriage bans are still included in a lot of states' constitutions. Why not to start repealing them from the most liberal states such as California? Do LGBT activists plan starting a ballot campaign to finally repeal Prop8 or it will have to wait for another 30 years?

  • 329. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  January 8, 2016 at 7:31 am

    In HATU—The Bass Ackwards State, the voters will do whatever the leaders of the Locally Dominant Sect tell them to do (at least some of the time). Poll numbers before the vote in 2004 on Utah Constitutional Amendment 3 suggested that the amendment would not pass. In a move that fell short of being a direct order to support Amendment 3, LDS leaders reminded Utah voters that marriage equality was not part of God's eternal plan. After that "reminder," Amendment 3 passed by a wide margin.

  • 330. allan120102  |  January 7, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Walker and Marengo have stop issuing marriage licenses. meanwhile coosa say they are having "technical issues"

  • 331. VIRick  |  January 7, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Lawrence and Jackson counties have also stopped issuing marriage licenses to everyone, while Madison county is only stopping the issuance to same-sex couples (although they can still apply).

  • 332. allan120102  |  January 7, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Madison and Lawrence are issuing now base on I imagine the same for Jackson. am beyond Piss with Moore. It was so difficult to win some probate judges like Marengo and Coosa and now all that work have been undone.

  • 333. VIRick  |  January 7, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Up-Date on Alabama's Class-Action Marriage Suit in Federal Court

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 7 January 2016, in "Strawser v. Strange," the Alabama class-action marriage case in federal court, the Plaintiffs filed a Notice of Supplemental Authority in support of their motion for a permanent injunction and final judgment:

    "In light of ongoing attempts by Chief Justice Moore to direct probate court judges to continue to adhere to Alabama law that this Court has declared unconstitutional, Plaintiffs submit the Administrative Order as supplemental authority in support of the need for a permanent injunction and final judgment against all defendants."

    The Plaintiffs" Notice of Supplemental Authority, complete with a full copy of Roy Moore's "Administrative Order" attached, is here:

  • 334. sfbob  |  January 7, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    This seems quite appropriate and the best thing about it is that shows there's no need to wait until a specific couple is refused a marriage license and has to file yet another suit which will have to make its way through the courts.

    I do wonder what will happen should the AL Supreme Court issue a final ruling upholding (on whatever cockamamie basis) all of its previous rulings in support of Moore, as seems entirely plausible. The state supreme court will have in effect acted in violation of the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution.

  • 335. RnL2008  |  January 7, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Happy New Year Bob to you and yours…….it's folks like Moore who are making a mockery of the ENTIRE Justice system and somehow that is wrong on many levels………the other issue I have with someone like Moore being on the bench is the fact that he DOESN'T give certain defendant's a FAIR trial…….the amount of money in retrying criminal cases that Moore has sat on and violated the rights of the defendant is going to possibly SINK the Justice system in Alabama!!!

  • 336. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  January 8, 2016 at 7:39 am

    I hope the voters who returned Moore to office enjoy watching their tax dollars being thrown down that rat hole.

  • 337. 1grod  |  January 13, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Rick, could it be anticipated that the Southern District Federal Court's Judge Granade would ask the defendant -class's proxy Probate Judge Tim Russell to respond or for AG Strange to do so. It will be recalled that Russell's three appeals were dismissed or declined on October 20 and the decision to the creation of a class: probate judges was affirmed on that same day and
    A good summary to the appeals and decisions is found here:

  • 338. VIRick  |  January 7, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Sexual Orientation Discrimination Is Sex Discrimination

    In the appeal of "Burrows v. College of Central Florida:"

    In a filing at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, 6 January 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission wrote that 'sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination, and such sex discrimination violates Title VII.'

    In supporting the appeal of Barbara Burrows, whose lawsuit against the College of Central Florida was tossed out by a trial court judge, the EEOC wrote, “The district court’s treatment of sexual orientation discrimination as distinct from sex discrimination is untenable and based on a fundamentally flawed premise.”

    In explaining its argument in Burrows’s case, the commission wrote Wednesday that there are three reasons that sexual orientation discrimination should be covered by existing laws against sex discrimination.

    First, the EEOC argues, sexual orientation discrimination necessarily involves gender stereotyping, which the Supreme Court has repeatedly said is banned under Title VII. “[A]n employer who discriminates because of an employee’s homosexuality necessarily discriminates because of that employee’s failure to conform to a gender-based stereotype: the stereotype of opposite-sex attraction,” the EEOC’s lawyers write.

    Second, it argues, sexual orientation discrimination is a type of associational discrimination, which also violates Title VII. “If a plaintiff is in a relationship with someone of the same sex, and an adverse employment consequence results from that relationship, discrimination has occurred ‘because of [the plaintiff’s] … sex,’ in violation of Title VII,” the EEOC lawyers argue in the brief.

    Finally, and most basically, the EEOC argues that sexual orientation discrimination is, definitionally, a type of sex discrimination. “[S]exual orientation discrimination is also inherently sex-based discrimination because sexual orientation cannot be understood without reference to an individual’s sex (in conjunction with the sex of those to whom the individual is physically and/or emotionally attracted).”

    As the commission lawyers conclude, “[S]exual orientation discrimination necessarily requires impermissible consideration of sex. It should therefore be held illegal under Title VII.”

  • 339. VIRick  |  January 7, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Another Amparo Granted in Baja California Sur

    Realizará Registro Civil de Cabo San Lucas Primera Boda Gay

    Cabo San Lucas.- Mónica Zetina Ramírez, oficial 02 del Registro Civil en este puerto, manifestó que el próximo fin de semana (9 de enero 2016) se llevará a cabo la primera boda gay en el municipio, pues aunque no hay una legislación que permita este tipo de contratos matrimoniales, un amparo federal solicitado por las interesadas concretó el sueño de ambas.

    The Civil Registry of Cabo San Lucas Will Host Its First Same-Sex Wedding

    Cabo San Lucas.- Mónica Zetina Ramírez, 02 Civil Registry official at the port, said that next weekend (on 9 January 2016) the first same-sex wedding in the city will be held, because although there is no legislation that allows for this type of marriage contract, a federal injunction granted to the interested parties will materialize the dreams of both.

    This article is in reference to amparo #3 for Baja California Sur.

    Side note: All of the posts to this extended thread are still here. A few moments ago, the system flipped into cell-phone mode, thus making all 308 posts visible on my computer screen. (In regular PC mode, we can only see and reply to the most-recent 78).

  • 340. VIRick  |  January 7, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Colima Presenta Iniciativa para Legalizar el Matrimonio Igualitario

    Martha Zepeda del Toro, candidata a gobernadora por el PRD en Colima, informó que en caso de resultar favorecida en los resultados electorales de la elección extraordinaria el próximo 17 de enero, está preparada para presentar una iniciativa de ley sobre matrimonio igualitario.

    En Colima desde 2013 existe una figura jurídica que reconoce las uniones civiles entre personas del mismo sexo, se llama “Enlace Conyugal” pero no es equiparable al matrimonio.

    “Queremos que se garantice este derecho (el del matrimonio para parejas homosexuales) por medio de la modificación al Código Civil y a la propia Constitución, que se regule en la ley el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo”, explicó.

    La ex Oficial del Registro Civil, Martha Zepeda del Toro, contó que mientras se desempeñó en ese cargo, registró la unión de muchas parejas de gays y lesbianas, tanto locales como de otros estados, entre ellos Jalisco o Michoacán, y hasta parejas de extranjeros, actualmente más de 200 parejas de este tipo se han casado en ese estado del Pacífico mexicano.

    Colima Presents Initiative to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

    Martha Zepeda del Toro, the gubernatorial candidate for the PRD in Colima, said that in the event she is elected to that position in the special election to be held on 17 January 2016, she is prepared to present a legal initiative on marriage equality.

    In Colima, since 2013, there is a legal concept that recognizes civil unions between same-sex couples, called "Conjugal Link," but which is not comparable to marriage.

    "We want to ensure that this right (the marriage of same-sex couples) is promulgated through the amendment to the Civil Code and the state Constitution itself, which regulates the law on same-sex marriage," she said.

    Martha Zepeda del Toro, as a former officer of the Civil Registry, said that while she served in that post, she registered the unions of many same-sex couples, both local and from other states, including Jalisco and Michoacán, and even foreign couples. Currently, more than 200 such couples have married in Colima state.

    Note carefully this last sentence, as Colima, for the past several years, has had "de facto" marriage equality, in no small part, due to Martha Zepeda del Toro, who has been registering hundreds of marriages of same-sex couples from all over Mexico, many of whom were married by the travelling judge from Colima. And if elected in 10 days' time, she will immediately change the law in Colima to this reflect reality.

    In addition, have fun with this site, Boy4ME, where one can, while we await the election results, check out the "Chico del Dia."

  • 341. allan120102  |  January 7, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Yeah was reading that two days ago and was going to show it to you but I guess I forgot to put it in here. I was pretty surprised when they used the term marriage, even though I am not sure if she means civil unions as Colima had a civil union law. And if they are marriages as I think now did they occur only in her municipality or all others of Colima???

  • 342. VIRick  |  January 7, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Geographically speaking, Colima is quite small, and only contains 10 municipalities within the entire state. In addition, the capital city for Colima state is also named Colima. I believe the present PRD candidate for Governor of Colima is from the city of Colima.

    However, the travelling judge from Colima is the Judge of the Civil Registry of Cuauhtémoc, Colima, María del Rosario Silva, the other half of the duo.

  • 343. allan120102  |  January 7, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Colima will probably get marriage equality this year as now the PRD have a majority in the chamber the same in Tlaxcala. Imo this will be a big year in marriage equality in Mexico. I see at least three states that will probably change their civil codes.

  • 344. scream4ever  |  January 8, 2016 at 2:59 am

    Plus tons more that will get it via litigation.

  • 345. allan120102  |  January 7, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Mobile will start issuing marriage licenses tomorrow. That leaves the 9 judges that have been denying marriage licenses throught the past half year and Marengo, Elmore, walker and probably Coosa.

  • 346. JayJonson  |  January 8, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Davis is no doubt feeling the heat. His office turned away a gay couple yesterday; they were accompanied by one of the lawyers who won marriage equality in Alabama. His intransigence could well (and certainly should) earn him a hefty fine, as well as punitive damages if the couple sues him.

  • 347. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  January 8, 2016 at 7:45 am

    As an electronic resource, EOT seems to be doing okay. Any thoughts on when we might start seeing regular news updates?

  • 348. bayareajohn  |  January 8, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Pretty clearly, resources for this site dried up immediately after the Supreme Court appeared to have ended the legality fight. It may be that the sources that funded this site thought the battle was over enough to stop… and/or the donations were specific in what triggered the end of support.

    We're down to only Scotty, who can be sidelined for weeks with a laptop issue (!) and longer with health issues… and the result is we are on autopilot, probably until someone doesn't renew the DNS and it's just gone.

    Without the remarkable tenacity of Rick, we'd probably all have drifted away by now…

  • 349. JayJonson  |  January 8, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Some Mobile County Commissioners are getting nervous about throwing good money after bad as Davis's legal bills are now approaching $300,000 with no end in sight and no real chance of stopping same-sex marriage.

  • 350. waxr  |  January 8, 2016 at 11:48 am

    When this board opened, there was little certainty about the outcome, and numerous disappointments.

    Less than a year ago, there was still concern on this board about how the Supreme Court would rule on same-sex marriage, and how it might hurt the cause we have been working for.

    Today, we still hear about judges refusing to grant marriage licenses, a judge in Utah taking a child away from its mother, and even more ranting from Roy Moore, but the posters on EoT are optimistic and confident. This will be another good year.

  • 351. VIRick  |  January 8, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Fox News Host Utterly Demolishes Anti-Gay NOM Head

    Brian Brown, head of the vociferously anti-LGBT group, National Organization for Marriage, has usually found a warm welcome on Fox News, but his appearance on "The Kelly File" on 6 January 2016 didn’t quite go as he expected. Following Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore’s illegal instructions to state probate judges to ignore the Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality, Brown quickly ran to the media to defend the renegade judge’s decision. Moore noted that the Alabama Supreme Court still hasn’t lifted their 3 March 2015 order that prohibited probate judges from issuing licenses to same-sex couples.

    Moore’s actions drew quick condemnation from civil rights groups, legal organizations, and federal prosecutors who clarified that the US Supreme Court’s decision trumped the state court’s. Moore, who was previously removed from the bench for violating a federal court order, is currently facing multiple ethics complaints surrounding his judicial activism surrounding same-sex marriage.

    Brown’s appearance started off on the wrong foot when he claimed that the Supreme Court’s decision wasn’t binding on state courts. Host Megyn Kelly tried to explain the legal concepts already decided in "Marbury v. Madison," but Brown refused to listen to reason. Instead, Brown attempted to tell Kelly, a former attorney turned talking head, that she doesn’t understand one of America’s most basic legal concepts.

  • 352. Christian0811  |  January 8, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Keep your eyes on the Czech Constrituional Court! It will be delivering an opinion in the right of same sex couples to apply for adoption, a suit was filed last year on the issue so hope for an Austiran-style victory!

  • 353. JayJonson  |  January 8, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Wonderful editorial in, which calls Moore "delusional" and "a two-bit politician wrapped in judicial robes, a grasper and attention-seeker with delusions of grandeur, a man who desperately wants to be Alabama's governor and who has seriously considered himself as qualified to be president of these United States."

    "Roy Moore is delusional about Roy Moore. The only bad thing that has happened since Alabama acquiesced to the ruling of America's Supreme Court is that Moore hasn't got enough attention, so once again he has "ordered" probate judges to not issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Over the past several months, meantime, hundreds of Alabamians have quietly married and continued happy lives together, assured that they will be legally recognized as spouses, not having to worry whether one could care for the other in sickness or that they could share a full, equal life in health."

    "Moore's latest salvo will pass quickly, as will his attempts to garner attention. Already many counties are ignoring him, as he deserves, and U.S. attorneys are rightly putting his "order" in context as irrelevant but for its mischief value."

    "It is time Roy Moore realized that he is wrong. He is wrong on this issue, he is wrong in thinking he might ever be governor of Alabama, he is wrong in seeing himself as of presidential timber, he is wrong in thinking that he matters."

    "Already, there are citizen calls for his impeachment. He will soon go into retirement and be remembered as a bigot, disrespectful of the law and of his fellow human beings. That might be the only memory he has earned in his time in public office. And, hopefully, Alabama's citizens will be remembered as the ones who showed him the door."

    I wish I were as confident as the editorial board is that the people of Alabama will show Moore the door.

  • 354. 1grod  |  January 11, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Moore's administrative order worse that his Ten Commandments Order: says SPLC

  • 355. FredDorner  |  January 11, 2016 at 11:49 am

    I think only one county (if that) is actually following Moore's order now (and thus has legal exposure under the federal court order). The others talked to their attorneys and flipped off Moore. However I think there are still about a dozen counties which aren't issuing licenses to anyone.

  • 356. 1grod  |  January 11, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Fred – pre-Moore's order there were 9 probate judges who weren't issuing marriage licenses: Alfred Booth – Autauga Co., Brandy Easlick – Chambers, Michael Armistead – Choctaw, Valarie Bradford Davis – Clarke, Ryan Robertson – Cleburne, Ben Bowden – Covington, Fred Hamic – Geneva, Wes Allen – Pike, and Nick Williams – Washington Co..
    Could it be that this mini-rebellion weakened the hand of the AL Supreme Court and in particular its chief justice; and strengthened the hand of the federal courts and federal prosecutors. Not withstanding what Moore asserted, there are three favorable rulings of the 11 Circuit Appeals Court, and the refusal of a stay by the Supreme Court all related to Alabama. As well, the AL governor and the attorney general have stated that Obergefell is settled law in Alabama.

  • 357. allan120102  |  January 11, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    Actually 10. I just found a page that says that Bibb have been not issuing since June. Those 10 plus Walker,Elmore and Marengo. Make 13 counties not issuing.

  • 358. VIRick  |  January 8, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Florida Marks Marriage Equality Anniversary

    Miami — The date, 5 January, marked one year since marriage for same-sex couples became legal in Florida. Cathy Pareto and Karla Arguello, one of the six plaintiff couples in "Pareto v. Ruvin," one of the many lawsuits that challenged the state’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, exchanged vows in the Miami-Dade County courtroom immediately after Judge Zabel lifted the stay on the Miami-based state case on 5 January 2015. Arguello gave birth to the couple’s twins in August.

    Soon thereafter, also in August 2015, the NCLR again filed a second federal lawsuit, "Chin v. Armstrong," still on-going, on behalf of Pareto and Arguello and two other married lesbian couples that alleges that the state does not allow hospitals to list the names of both same-sex parents on their children’s birth certificates.

    Todd and Jeff Delmay of Hollywood also exchanged vows on the same day as Pareto and Arguello. Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz later invited the two men to attend President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address.

    – See more at:

    And then, at the stroke of midnight, my hot, cute "boyfriend," Aaron Huntsman, the lead plaintiff in the Monroe County state suit, "Huntsman v. Heavilin," the very first case which actually struck down Florida's ban, got married to someone else in a live-streamed video broadcast from Key West. And I cried.

    Early the next morning, 6 January 2015, Jim Brenner, an EoT member and the lead plaintiff in the lead federal case, "Brenner v. Scott," totally owned the day as he supervised the start-up of the many same-sex marriages at the Leon County Courthouse in Tallahassee, in a grand performance that completely up-staged the tired, worthless re-inauguration ceremony of Governor Rick Scott and the ass-hat Bondi that simultaneously, and quite ironically, took place immediately across the street from the courthouse on the front steps of the old statehouse.

    And let's not forget the two eager hotties who drove all night from Georgia to be first-in-line to get married at the Nassau County courthouse in Yulee. Or the buff motorcycle guys from Mississippi who were first-in-line in Escambia County (Pensacola). Or the elegant, gracious 80-year-old southern belles who were first-to-marry in Putnam County (Palatka). Or the loud, buxom matrons in Pasco County, who between them, already had 10 grown kids, and several dozen grand-kids, all of whom attended, and as a united team, helped force the issue to change the reluctant clerk's mind to issue the marriage license. Or the vacationing couple from Arkansas who, by complete happenstance, were first-to-line in Lake County. Or the adorable dreamboats who were first-to-marry in Lee County.

    Plus, all the public, mass ceremonies in Kissimmee, Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, and on and on. In the first two days of marriage legalization in Florida, about 1400 same-sex couples obtained marriage licenses in the 28 most-populous counties in the state, as state #36, thanks to Judge Hinkle and his stealth count-down, his sharply-worded clarification, and his even sharper clarification of the clarification, the last state to gain marriage equality prior to the SCOTUS ruling.

    We'd be remiss if we didn't quote from Judge Hinkle's "Orders of Clarification:"

    "I stayed the ruling in this case while those stays were in effect and for 91 more days—long enough to allow the defendants to seek a further stay in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and, if unsuccessful there, in the United States Supreme Court. The defendants did that. They lost."

  • 359. allan120102  |  January 9, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Thanks for all the info Rick. Really make me smile. wow 2400 marriages in two days .I Will look how many have marry in a year. I actually count Florida as the 35th state because Kansas was not recognizing the marriage licenses they were issuing and only half were issuing not all the state.

  • 360. allan120102  |  January 8, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    CR. Lgbt groups are taking two ways to achieve marriage equality in CR. one by the legislative body and the other by their constitutional court. Unless CR legalize ssm, Ssm will probably be hard to get in the rest of CA. I am hoping for the best but I am pretty optimistic

  • 361. Shmoozo  |  January 8, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    I don't know if it is considered appropriate to say so here, but I'm growing increasingly worried about Scottie's ongoing absence.

    I have no idea what is happening with him, but I just wanted to say that with each passing day I hope to hear some good news.

    My thoughts are with you, Scottie. Please know that you are missed.

  • 362. sfbob  |  January 8, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Based on his Facebook page it appears he's still facing some challenges but he's hanging tough.

  • 363. Shmoozo  |  January 8, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

  • 364. SamCO  |  January 8, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    I just found Equality on Trial and hope I can get some opinions about my case.

    I reside in a common law state and have been living as a married couple for several years, satisfying all of the common-law marriage requirements here. The only difference is our gender.

    With the 2015 Supreme Court decision but no case law, what are the chances that my marriage would be recognized by family court? I have asked a few attorneys and got different answers. I hope to get some here.

    Thanks for your help.

  • 365. sfbob  |  January 8, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Not many states left that still recognize common-law marriage so the knowledge base isn't going to be great, but I believe Utah (of all places) recently recognized a common-law marriage involving a lesbian couple. So there is at least some precedent.

  • 366. VIRick  |  January 8, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Texas is another where common-law marriage is still current.

    See "In Re Powell," Travis County court, Texas, settlement approved by Probate Judge Guy Herman, on 15 September 2015:

    Although they weren’t legally married, Sonemaly Phrasavath sought to have her eight-year relationship with Stella Powell recognized as a common-law marriage, and it otherwise appears to meet the criteria. Powell’s siblings were trying to exclude Phrasavath from her estate, which her attorney, Brian Thompson, said totals roughly $700,000. The siblings lost.

    SamCO: more specific detail would help, like name of state, length of relationship, public awareness of such (commitment ceremony, photographs, written legal agreements), and reason for seeking recognition, like probate or child custody.

    In Pennsylvania, one would have to prove that one has been in a continuing relationship from 2005 or earlier, i.e., prior to that state's abolition of common-law marriage. "Several years" is too vague and would not work there.

  • 367. tx64jm  |  January 9, 2016 at 5:44 am

    Presuming you're in colorado….

  • 368. sfbob  |  January 9, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Just to save a step and provide a comment:

    "A common-law marriage in Colorado is valid for all purposes, the same as a ceremonial marriage. Only death or divorce can terminate it. The common-law elements of a valid marriage are that the couples (1) are free to contract a valid ceremonial marriage, i.e., they are not already married to someone else; (2) hold themselves out as husband and wife; (3) consent to the marriage; (4) live together; and (5) have the reputation in the community as being married. The single most important element under the common law was the mutual consent of a couple presently to be husband and wife. All the rest were considered evidence of this consent or exchange of promises. No time requirement exists other than the time necessary to establish these circumstances. When proof of common law marriage is required, such as by an insurance company, a signed affidavit can be presented. For a sample affidavit, click here.

    "Common-law marriage is a term used to describe a marriage that has not complied with the statutory requirements most states have enacted as necessary for a ceremonial marriage. The name came from the fact that these marriages were recognized as valid under the common law of England. In 1877, the United States Supreme Court stated, in an action that questioned the validity of a nonceremonial marriage, that marriages that were valid under common law were still valid unless the state passed a statute specifically forbidding them. Meisher v. Moore, 96 U.S. 76 (1877). Since the Colorado legislature has never enacted such a statute, Colorado is part of the minority of states that recognize the validity of common-law marriages.

    "If you desire a legal opinion relating to a specific situation, you should consult your own attorney."

    Interesting that, where appropriate, the expression still reads "husband and wife." I assume that, per Obergefell, this same language should now be read to include same-sex couples.

  • 369. allan120102  |  January 8, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    This is regarding the Phillippines lawsuit

  • 370. SamCO  |  January 9, 2016 at 6:22 am

    First, thanks for the replies. There is a lot of outdated information out there which is mostly what I've run into.

    I am in Colorado and we were together 16 years. We have worked together in a successful company that is in his name.

    We had a wedding ceremony five years ago. It was covered in the press and published twice in a national magazine. There is also additional press referencing us as "husbands", as we are known in the community.

    My ex is fighting and taking the position that he could not possibly have intended to legally marry me when there was a legal ban on gay marriage in Colorado at the time.

    We do not have children. I am seeking recognition for the purpose of dividing assets as three years ago, I developed a physical disability that will impact my future ability to earn a living.

  • 371. allan120102  |  January 9, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Really interesting article of the japan constitution in terms of marriage. you should all check it out.

  • 372. sfbob  |  January 9, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    That really IS interesting. Thanks for providing the link.

  • 373. VIRick  |  January 9, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Japan: Different-Names Ruling May Allow Possibility of Same-Sex Marriages

    In December 2015, the Japanese Supreme Court handed down its verdict on a lawsuit filed by people who objected to the Civil Code requirement that married couples be registered under one surname. The majority of the 15 judges ruled that the plaintiffs’ rights were not being violated by the law, and the media debate that followed pivoted on the question of constitutionality versus culture, or the assumption that Japan had some unusual social need for couples and their children to be identified by one name only.

    Within this discussion, Sota Kimura, an associate professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University and presently one of the most in-demand media pundits when it comes to constitutional matters, brought up the wording the judges used in their decision. On various media, Kimura pointed out that this is the first time the Supreme Court has ruled on a case concerning Article 24, which defines marriage as a legally binding union between two people who mutually agree to enter into that union. Although English translations of the Constitution typically describe marriage as involving “both sexes,” the word ryลsei can also be interpreted to mean “two parties,” and Kimura believes it was this interpretation the judges were stressing. While the court said there is nothing unconstitutional about compelling married couples to register under one name, they didn’t expressly limit marriage to a man and a woman.

    According to Kimura, if a same-sex couple someday sues the state to have their marriage legally recognized, lawyers can use this ruling as a precedent to claim that such a union is guaranteed by the Constitution. He is certainly aware of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s remark that the Constitution would have to be revised before same-sex marriages can be permitted in Japan, but the Constitution does not use the word danjo (men and women), so it is not manifestly apparent that the two “parties” have to be of different genders.

  • 374. guitaristbl  |  January 10, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Extremely interesting and I would wish for some quick reflexes from the japanese LGBT community here.

  • 375. RnL2008  |  January 9, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Here's an interesting article about Justice Scalia:

  • 376. JayJonson  |  January 9, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks for the link, Rose. What I find interesting about the report on his speech at a Catholic high school in Metaire, LA (a suburb of New Orleans, which has represented in Congress by the likes of Bobby Jindal and David Vitter) is how it highlights the poverty of his imagination.

    "God has been very good to us,” Scalia said. “That we won the revolution was extraordinary. The Battle of Midway was extraordinary. I think one of the reasons God has been good to us is that we have done Him honor. Unlike the other countries of the world that do not even invoke His name we do Him honor, in presidential addresses, in Thanksgiving proclamations, and in many other ways.”

    What a small view he has of God. And how ignorant he is of other countries, many of which have state religions, a practice our founders specifically prohibited.

    The real mystery is how anyone could think this man has much of an intellect. Argle bargle, indeed. His bigotry is no doubt part and parcel of his straitened imagination.

  • 377. A_Jayne  |  January 9, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    Scalia also has little regard for our soldiers – any of them in any war, apparently – for what really won the war(s) was religiosity, not human effort, strategy, skill, or weapons. The MIC should fear for their profits from future of wars then, if all that is needed to win is piety throughout the country…

  • 378. VIRick  |  January 9, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Marriage License Issuance Resumed in Madison County, Alabama

    Today, 9 January 2016, Gary Wright of Madison County, Alabama, a major commentator at Equality Case Files, and an activist in the local Huntsville rights group, Free2Be, married his long-term boyfriend, Brandon.

    Just for shits and giggles, they had invited Roy Moore, but he failed to show.

    Here's what Gary posted yesterday as a wedding announcement:

    "Thank you to our awesome legal team at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the ACLU of Alabama, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Heather Fann ! Without y'all, ol Roy Moore would have stopped all of the gay wedding bells in Alabama a year ago. He ain't stopping these gay wedding bells! If y'all can't make it to the wedding, then at 1PM tomorrow: honk your horn, holler out loud, flush your toilet, whatever, but make some noise to celebrate marriage equality in Alabama with us!"

    Gary and his partner, Brandon, along with their phalanx of rights lawyers, were the couple who prevailed upon the Madison County Probate Judge to resume issuing marriage licenses to everyone, effective from the morning of 7 January 2016. And they, of course, were the first to receive one immediately after the resumption.

  • 379. VIRick  |  January 9, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Mexico: Amparo #6 for Guanajuato State and "De Facto" Marriage Equality

    Per Matrimonio Igualitario:

    Primer pareja en acceder al derecho del matrimonio igualitario en Silao, Guanajuato.

    First couple to gain access to marriage equality in Silao, Guanajuato.

    In Guanajuato state, amparos #1-4 were granted in the state capital, León. Then, #5 was granted in Irapuato on 12 December 2015. And now, on 8 January 2016, we have #6, granted in the city of Silao.

    Most importantly, after the amparo was granted in Irapuato, the paperwork was filed so that henceforward, in Guanajuato state, any/all further same-sex couples can directly apply for a marriage license, without an amparo, just as any other couple in the state (as has been the on-going practice which is still being followed in Colima state and which has also been adopted in Querétaro state). The states of Baja California, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Sinaloa, and Yucatán have also hit or exceeded the 5 amparo limit, but due to excess obfuscation and dithering in each, those states have yet to adopt the correct procedure, as is presently being pursued in Guanajuato.

  • 380. VIRick  |  January 9, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Virginia Court Makes Landmark Ruling in Lesbian Custody Case

    On 8 January 2016, Virginia Beach Circuit Court Judge Steven Frucci ruled that the estranged wife of a woman who gave birth to their child has equal parental rights.

    Karen and Lauren Poole were legally married in Maryland in 2013, and had their child in 2014. They conceived using artificial insemination, and Karen gave birth to the baby. They used the sperm of a mutual friend to conceive. He left the US, and has no legal claim as a parent to the child. After the couple, who are still married, decided to separate, the judge ruled that both women have parental rights.

    Karen had taken out a protective order against Lauren, which is to expire in a month. Judge Frucci said he intended to allow Lauren visitation rights, but that he would wait until the end of this month in order to allow the attorney for the baby time to weigh in. The couple’s attorneys both said they thought the ruling, the first of its kind in Virginia, could set precedent.

  • 381. JayJonson  |  January 11, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Glad to learn that the First Lady has invited Jim Obergefell to sit in her box during the President's State of the Union Address.

    He is one of several guests chosen to represent progress in the country since President Obama delivered his first speech before a joint session of Congress seven years ago, a White House official said. “Their stories — of struggle and success — highlight where we have been and where America is going in the future, building on the best of what our country has to offer,” the official said.

    “The guests personify President Obama’s time in office and most importantly, they represent who we are as Americans: Inclusive and compassionate, innovative and courageous.”

  • 382. ianbirmingham  |  January 11, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    [Mormon] Apostle Russell M. Nelson, head of the religion's governing body and next in line for the Mormon presidency, said President Thomas S. Monson received instructions regarding same-sex marriage directly from God. It was the first explanation given for the controversial move, which was first announced in November.

    According to Nelson, God led the church to consider gay marriage a sin worthy of expulsion and forbid children of such couples from becoming members of the church. Those children can become Mormons once they are 18 if they renounce same-sex marriage to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Nelson, a 91-year-old apostle, described how church leaders arrived at the decisions during a live-streamed speech from the campus of church-owned Brigham Young University-Hawaii. 'Each of us during that sacred moment felt a spiritual confirmation,' Nelson said. 'It was our privilege as apostles to sustain what had been revealed to President Monson.' …

  • 383. VIRick  |  January 12, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Alabama Adoption Case to US Supreme Court Conference

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In the matter of "V. L. v. E.L. and Guardian ad Litem," wherein which the adoptive mother is appealing the Alabama Supreme Court decision voiding a Georgia adoption, this case has been distributed for the Supreme Court’s conference of 15 January 2016, at which time the justices will discuss whether or not to take up this case. As previously reported, on 14 December 2015, the Supreme Court stayed the effect of the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision, pending resolution of this case.

    From Petitioner V.L.’s Reply Brief:

    "The Court should grant certiorari and reverse the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision. The decision below calls into question the parental rights of thousands of adoptive parents if they ever travel or move to Alabama. And it does so based on an application of the Full Faith and Credit Clause that is irreconcilable with long-settled teachings of this Court and lower courts. A decision carrying such serious practical and jurisprudential implications warrants this Court’s review."

  • 384. VIRick  |  January 12, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Louisiana: Jindal Out, Governor Edwards In, 100,000 Residents To Gain Access To Medicaid

    Via "Daily News Bin:"

    Democratic Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards was sworn in on 11 January 2016, and as Jindal has now departed, things will immediately get better for the state’s impoverished families.

    Edwards says that he’s signing the state onto Medicaid expansion today, 12 January. That means at least 100,000 low-income residents of Louisiana will gain access to health care immediately. The Affordable Care Act of 2009 provided federal funding for expanding Medicaid to those who are as much as 38% over the poverty line, but the Supreme Court subsequently ruled that individual states could decline the funds. Jindal was among the Republican governors who chose politics over the health of their own residents. But that now ends immediately.

  • 385. tx64jm  |  January 12, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Problem is there are no doctors to see them that will take Medicaid.

  • 386. VIRick  |  January 12, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Kentucky: Bevin Notifies Feds He Will Begin Dismantling State Insurance Exchange

    The Frankfort "Courier-Journal" reports:

    Following through on a campaign pledge, Governor Bevin has notified federal authorities he plans to dismantle kynect, Kentucky’s health insurance exchange created under the Affordable Care Act. The decision drew immediate fire from health care advocates, including Bill Wagner, executive director of the Family Health Centers, a network of public health clinics in Louisville. “It’s a great disappointment,” Wagner said. “It’s an unwelcome setback in our efforts to reach the number of uninsured people and improve access to health care in Kentucky.”

    Kentucky’s health insurance exchange had been considered one of the nation’s most successful.

  • 387. JayJonson  |  January 13, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    When these people who voted for Bevin because of Kim Davis and Jesus lose their health insurance, they will probably blame Obama.

  • 388. allan120102  |  January 12, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Nayarit. not even one same sex couple have married since the law took effect on December 22 of last year.
    In Guanajuato all judges are bind to give favorable rulings to same sex couples. This make it easier and faster to get an amparo than in other states. Because even if judges across Mexico are bind to give favorable rulings sometimes it can takes months before the process is complete

  • 389. VIRick  |  January 12, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    "De Facto" Marriage Equality in Guanajuato State

    En enero de 2015, la entonces Alcaldesa de León, Bárbara Botello, impidió que una pareja de hombres se casara en una plaza pública, situación que originó un decretó en el que los jueces de Guanajuato están obligados a otorgar amparos para que la comunidad LGBT tenga acceso al matrimonio, a pesar de que no exista una reforma al Código Civil.

    Dicha iniciativa está sustentado por el Presidente del Supremo Tribunal de Justicia del Estado, Miguel Valadez Reyes, y el año pasado, la Suprema Corte consideró inconstitucionales los códigos civiles que prohíben las uniones homosexuales.

    "Para nosotros los jueces ya no sería necesaria la reforma, ya con reforma o sin reforma la jurisprudencia es vinculatoria y los matrimonios se tienen que acatar", dijo Valadez Reyes.

    A year ago, in January 2015, the then mayor of León, Bárbara Botello, prevented a male couple from marrying in the public square, a situation that caused a court order in which the judges of Guanajuato are now obliged to provide amparos for the LGBT community to allow access to marriage, despite the fact that there does not exist an amendment to the Civil Code.

    This initiative is supported by the Chief Justice of the State Court, Miguel Valadez Reyes, and then in June 2015, the Mexican Supreme Court found unconstitutional civil codes that prohibit same-sex unions.

    "For us judges, (legislative) reform is no longer necessary because with or without this reform, jurisprudence is linked and cumulative, and marriages have to comply with it," said Valadez Reyes.

    Thank you, Allan, as you found the specific reference explaining in precise detail as to why Guanajuato state now has "de facto" marriage equality (in addition to, and in combination with, the fact that 6 amparos have been granted).

    In Nayarit state, the lack of a "rush" by same-sex couples to marry, following legalization through the amendment to the code, can be explained by several different factors:

    1. Nayarit state already had "de facto" marriage equality for a year (since January 2015); thus the code change was viewed as a legal formality.

    2. Local media has not publicized the legal change to any great extent (Plus, unlike Colima, they also did not advertise their previous status of "de facto" marriage equality. Thus, same-sex couples from the massively populous neighboring states of Jalisco and Michoacán continue to go to the "known" location, Colima, to marry, rather than venture to the "unknown," Nayarit).

    3. Nayarit itself is a low-population state without any major urban center.

  • 390. VIRick  |  January 12, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Fiji Prime Minister Accused of Criminal Action against LGBT Community

    The Prime Minister of Fiji has been accused of criminal action against the LGBT community. Last week, Frank Bainimarama said Fiji would not get same-sex marriage. The Prime Minister then went on to say that women who want to marry women should go to Iceland to marry and not return.

    Lawyer and LGBT activist Aman Ravindra-Singh suggested that the PM had breached Section 26 of the country’s consitution by inciting hatred towards the LGBT community. He said the Prime Minister could be charged under the criminal code. “Under section 65, there is a particular offence called inciting communal antagonism. This issue has now flared within our community and in our society as a whole. The prime minister has breached section 65 in that his action has incited communal antagonism and he should be investigated and charged,” he said.

    Ravindra-Singh said members of the LGBT community have felt a backlash after the Prime Minister made his comments. “One thing I can say with certainty is these comments have inflamed members of our society against the gay, LGBTI community and comments by the prime minister have directly incited this communal antagonism.”

    As well as saying the Prime Minister is guilty of offenses against the community as a whole, Ravindra-Singh also said there was at least one person interested in filing an individual police complaint. The lawyer said things will only get worse, and Fiji needs to introduce same-sex marriage in order to show acceptance.The PM denies that the Constitution of Fiji applies to LGBT people when it uses the term “equality."

  • 391. Christian0811  |  January 12, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Is there any news at all on Slovenia? Why are LGBT advocacy groups dragging their heels on going to the Constitutional Court?

  • 392. bayareajohn  |  January 13, 2016 at 12:56 am

    Going to page 3 now, lost all of page 1 and 2.

    Is there no one left in power here who bothers to look in at us?

  • 393. bayareajohn  |  January 13, 2016 at 1:10 am

    I've directly emailed Jacob asking for the site to be fixed.

  • 394. mizellero  |  January 13, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Get well soon, Scottie!

  • 395. VIRick  |  January 13, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Attorney Fees Awarded in the Kentucky Marriage Cases

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 13 January 2016, in "Bourke/Love v. Beshear," the consolidated Kentucky marriage cases that went before the US Supreme Court, Judge Charles R. Simpson, Senior Judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Kentucky at Louisville, issued an award of $1,115,632.96 in plaintiffs' attorney fees and costs.

    As summarized in the Memo Opinion linked below, the plaintiffs had requested attorney fees in the amount of $1,126,664.27, costs in the amount of $32,727.86, and enhancement to their requested attorney fees by a factor of 75% above their services for which they billed.

    The court granted:
    – Attorney fees in the amount of $1,082,905.10
    – Costs in the amount of $32,727.86.
    – Declined to award an enhancement

    "The Court declines to award Plaintiffs a fee enhancement because awarding legal fees in excess of the fees actually earned and documented would be unwarranted in this case. The requested attorney fees without an enhancement already account for the attorneys’ skill, experience, labor, and success."

    • Memo is here:
    • Order is here:

    Cited in the decision:

    "Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress …" — 42 U.S.C. § 1983

  • 396. sfbob  |  January 13, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    The memo was an interesting read (I know; I'm weird). Overall the court found for the plaintiffs' attorneys' actual costs with a few very minor adjustments. The court found that a 75% enhancement wasn't warranted. As much as I'd love to see the courts stick it to the states that insisted on defending indefensible laws, the court noted that circumstances which would warrant an enhancement were lacking. The cases weren't novel; it wasn't difficult for the plaintiffs to find attorneys willing to take their cases and the attorneys weren't threatened with the possibility of losing future business for having taken the cases on. The court noted, as has been noted elsewhere (including here on this site), that it was difficult for states that needed additional legal support in defending the marriage bans to find willing, much less competent, counsel to take on their cases. In short it seemed that the consensus within the legal community was that our arguments had merit while the arguments of the opposing side didn't. That's a tribute to our success and we should probably be grateful. It wasn't that long ago that very few reputable attorneys would defend a gay person in court for any reason.

    I hope nobody here or elsewhere will compare the court's very reasonable conclusion regarding the fee enhancement with the arguments some of our opponents have made that we can't possibly receive suspect class status because we're "so successful" at winning in court. Not only is that a very different matter from obtaining the results we want via the legislative process it's also irrelevant to the fact that we are and always will be a relatively small minority and that we have had and may always have lots of powerful enemies. Women are a numerical majority in the United States and yet it is entirely appropriate that that laws which discriminate on the basis of sex or gender be subject to heightened scrutiny.

  • 397. 1grod  |  January 14, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Legal analysts dismiss Judge Moore's January 6 bid to block gay marriage as nonsense

  • 398. 1grod  |  January 16, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Dismiss the order as you might as nonsense, if the number of counties withholding licenses to all has increased, if even by one or two, then by Moore's bigoted design, he's achieved a measure of success. Sad, as this order is the second one in a year IMO that he has taken the wind out of the sails of the LGBT Alabama community. And the straight couples also wishing to marry tolerate it. It's beyond the pale.

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