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Open Thread 1/25/2016


Here’s the open thread for the week of January 25th!


  • 1. VIRick  |  January 25, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Guanajuato: Se Realiza Primera Boda Gay en Irapuato

    Guanajuato: First Same-Sex Marriage Performed in Irapuato

    La primera boda gay pública entre dos mujeres en Irapuato se realizó la mañana del pasado 19 de enero en el Registro Civil, un importante triunfo de los derechos de la comunidad LGBT en el estado de Guanajuato. (Amparo #5 del estado)

    En punto de la 11:00 de la mañana, Tatiana Hernández, de 23 años de edad, y María ‘Mario’ Concepción Zavala Ramírez, de 30 años, fueron formalmente declarados como matrimonio ante la ley civil. La unión se formalizó después de un proceso que duró alrededor de un año y medio de trámites, durante este tiempo la pareja recibió apoyo psicológico para sobrellevar la discriminación de la cual fueron objeto.

    Por su parte, el presidente de la Asociación Desarrollo Humano y Sexualidad, Arturo Álvarez Martínez, indicó que existen otras dos parejas que solicitaron un amparo ante los Juzgados para poder contraer matrimonio, pero aún se está a la espera de la respuesta. Se trata de la pareja formada por María Candelaria y María del Carmen en cuyo caso el Juzgado Décimo de Distrito con sede en Irapuato emitió a mediados de Enero la sentencia de amparo 729/2015 para poder celebrarse el enlace matrimonial de esta pareja. (Amparo #7 del estado)….

    The first public same-sex wedding between two women in Irapuato was held on 19 January 2016 in the Civil Registry, a major victory for the rights of the LGBT community in the state of Guanajuato (Amparo #5 for the state).

    At exactly 11:00 AM, Tatiana Hernández, 23, and María 'Mario' Concepción Zavala Ramírez, 30, were formally declared married by civil law. The union was formalized after a process that lasted about a year and a half, during which time the couple received psychological support to cope with the discrimination to which they were subjected.

    For his part, the president of the Association of Human Development and Sexuality, Arturo Álvarez Martínez, said that two other couples have applied for an injunction before the Courts for marriage, but one is still awaiting the answer. The other is the pairing of María Candelaria and María del Carmen in whose case, in mid-January, the Tenth District Court based in Irapuato issued the judgment for Amparo 729/2015 to enable the celebration of the marriage of this couple (who have yet to marry) (Amparo #7 for the state).

    Amparos #1-4 were all granted in León. Amparo #6 was granted in Silao. Amparos #5 and #7 were granted in Irapuato.

    Marriage Equality is definitely a "de facto" reality now in Guanajuato. The Supreme Court has mandated (issued the jurisprudence with finality) that all judges at all levels must grant any/all amparo requests, so states (like Guanajuato) are realizing that it is a useless exercise to appeal the judgment, as any/all judges at the appellate level are equally bound to uphold the mandate, and would not be in a position to overturn the lower court judgment. From the states' perspective, Mexico's Supreme Court has, in effect, already entirely shut down the appeals process pertaining to marriage equality.

    It is now up to the CNDH to continue to pursue cases directed against recalcitrant states whose legislatures refuse to alter their state codes (and whose governors refuse to issue executive orders) to allow for marriage equality, just as they've already done against both Jalisco and Baja California.

  • 2. VIRick  |  January 25, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Portugal: President Vetoes Same-Sex Adoption Bill

    AFP reports:

    On Monday, 25 January 2016, conservative Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva vetoed a bill giving adoption rights to same-sex couples in one of his last political moves before newly-elected Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa takes the office. The law, allowing same-sex couples to adopt, passed through parliament on 18 December 2015, and was one of socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa’s campaign promises.

    “It is important that such a big change on a sensitive social topic is not entered into force without a broad public debate,” Cavaco Silva said in a statement. The 76-year-old, who served two terms as president, will be replaced on 9 March by centre-right TV pundit Rebelo de Sousa, who was elected on Sunday in the first round of presidential polls.

    Adoption is open to all individuals in Portugal, but the law allowing same-sex marriage, which was passed in February 2010, explicitly excludes the right to adopt.

    The ruling Socialist Party has already announced their intent to override the veto.….

  • 3. Christian0811  |  January 25, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    How likely is a veto-override? Do we know? Or is this something we'll have to wait for the either a new legislature or the constitutional tribunal to decide? :/

  • 4. allan120102  |  January 25, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Jalisco´s version of Nom is asking the deputies to do not follow the supreme court decision if their ban is struck down which is likely. Sad to see bigots fighting but at the end is fun seeing their faces when they are slap down.

  • 5. VIRick  |  January 25, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    OMG! These are the same old, tired, worn-out arguments already put forth multiple times, over and over, by the likes of NOM, the ADF, Liberty Counsel, and all the ranting, bigoted, bible-thumping preachers. Except, this time around, it's all in Spanish.

    So, instead of translating any of it back into English, I'll simply refer everyone to NOM, the ADF, and/or Liberty Counsel, and/or your "favorite" ass-hat preacher. It's the same shit, different language.

  • 6. 1grod  |  January 26, 2016 at 9:43 am

    V.L. v. E.L., the Alabama adoption case: No notice of a cert. decision during last Friday's conference. Next conference [relisting] is February 19.

  • 7. VIRick  |  January 26, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Panel Recommends Removing Oregon Judge Who Refused to Perform Same-Sex Marriages

    Salem OR — A state judicial fitness panel has recommended the removal of a Marion County judge who came under scrutiny last year for refusing to perform same-sex marriages based on his religious beliefs. The Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability filed its recommendation to the Oregon Supreme Court on Monday, 25 January 2016, accusing Marion County Judge Vance Day of discrimination based on sexual orientation and a myriad of other ethical violations.

    “His misconduct is not isolated. It is frequent and extensive,” the commission wrote in its recommendation, which followed an investigation and a weeks-long disciplinary hearing that concluded late last year. “Judge Day’s pattern of behavior includes misconduct for personal gain and misconduct amounting to criminal behavior … His misconduct is of such a nature as to impugn his honesty and integrity.”

    The commission is accusing Day of “willfully” violating 10 rules of the Code of Judicial Conduct, from threatening a youth-sports referee, to soliciting money from lawyers appearing before him, to allowing a convicted felon to handle a gun. But it was his refusal to perform same-sex marriages after it became legal in Oregon in May 2014, and nationwide a year later, that drew the most attention. The commission said that when a same-sex couple asked Day to perform their marriage, he told his staff to lie about his availability and direct them to another judge.

    “Day asserts that this system of discrimination ‘accommodated’ same sex couples … the idea that a discriminatory practice is a positive ‘accommodation’ to those being discriminated against shows a deplorable lack of understanding of the most basic concepts of impartiality,” the commission wrote in its recommendation. Despite the commission receiving dozens of complaints every year, one rarely results in a formal disciplinary proceeding. Day is now the sixth judge since 2007 to have been referred for sanctions to the Oregon Supreme Court, which will have the final say.

  • 8. VIRick  |  January 26, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Indiana's Religious Objections Law Cost Millions

    Indianapolis — Indiana may have lost as much as $60 million in hotel profits, tax revenue, and other economic benefits when a dozen groups decided against hosting conventions in Indianapolis last year due at least in part to the controversy surrounding the state’s religious objections law. A document prepared by the tourism group, Visit Indy, shows that 12 out-of-state groups were surveyed and all said that the state’s controversial law played a role in their decision to hold their events elsewhere. The document was obtained by the AP ahead of its formal release this Thursday, 28 January 2016.

    The Republican-backed law garnered quick and largely negative national backlash after it was signed by Gov. Mike Pence in March 2015, with critics saying it sanctioned discrimination against gay people on religious grounds. Lawmakers hastily made changes days later, after the NCAA, the gamer convention GenCon, and other business interests raised the possibility of moving events. But critics said the (revised) law still doesn’t go far enough to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination.

    The findings by Visit Indy are among the first to quantify the law’s financial effect, an impact that social conservatives have skeptically downplayed. Visit Indy also is among several prominent Indiana business voices advocating for statewide protections for anyone fired from a job, denied service, or evicted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

    In the group’s surveys, Indianapolis tourism officials asked the conventions why they chose to locate in other states, without specifically mentioning the controversial law. All 12 cited the law, and the backlash it provoked, as one reason for choosing another city, said Chris Gahl, vice president of marketing and communications for Visit Indy.

    “We’d say, ‘Why didn’t you select Indy?’ and they proactively cited (the law) as a reason they did not select Indianapolis,” Gahl said when asked about the document. “That is not news you want to hear when you are in the business of marketing a city.”

  • 9. 1grod  |  January 26, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Gov R Bentley of Alabama take note. You have between 12 -15 probate judges, including your most recent appointment Stephanie Kemmer of Centreville, together with your state Supreme Court Chief Judge who contribute to the impression of an lgbt unfriendly, indeed mean-spirited state. Not only does the attitude of officials in your state suck big time, but it cost your business & tourist community real, significant dollars when apparently there aren't sufficient nickles and pennies in the state coffers to rub together

  • 10. waxr  |  January 28, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    This is understandable. The groups planning the conventions need to know that all of the conventioneers will be welcome at the hotel set for them to stay in, plus in the restaurants and stores the conventioneers may want to do business in.

  • 11. allan120102  |  January 26, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Breaking same sex marriage is now legal in Jalisco the vote was 11-0 unanimously. Surprised but happy of this result.

  • 12. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  January 26, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    This was supposed to be a reply to the comment concerning Indianapolis above. Message system fail.

    I raised HECK when a large, international organization to which I belong used a picture of the Mormon-operated Salt Lake City Temple in promotional materials for one of its semi-annual conferences held in Salt Lake City. A politely worded response from the meeting planners stated (correctly) that the building is a well-recognized icon.

    In a politely worded response to their response, I reminded the planners that the building also was iconic of religion-motivated (i.e., irrational and deliberately deceptive) political activity designed to deny some members of said organization their constitutionally guaranteed rights, citing Hawaii's Future Today, Calif. Prop. 22, etc.

    I'm happy to see that some organizations have been sensitive to LGBTQ discrimination issues. Obviously, the organization to which I belong was not.

  • 13. Randolph_Finder  |  February 1, 2016 at 9:29 am

    There are quite a few places where the are LDS Temples where the temple is the most architecturally interesting building in the area. I'm in the County just north of Washington, DC and the Washington DC temple is definitely one of at *most* 3 or 4 architecturally interesting (and recognizable) buildings in the entire county. Set on a hill *just* outside the DC beltway, they even refer to it as part of the traffic reports. There are certainly more iconic buildings inside the Beltway (Washington Monument, White House, etc) but for my county…

  • 14. VIRick  |  January 26, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Florida's Comprehensive LGBT Anti-Discrimination Bill

    Today, 26 January 2016, the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee has begun its hearing on a comprehensive LGBT anti-discrimination bill. The chamber appears to be packed with both our supporters and our enemies.

    The committee will hear The Florida Competitive Workforce Act (SB 120) which would prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in employment, housing, and public accommodations. This the first time the legislation will be heard by legislators.

    “This is a huge breakthrough not only for Florida but for the South and the nation as the third most populous state takes up long overdue, basic protections.,” said Nadine Smith, Equality Florida’s Executive Director. “The Florida Competitive Workforce Act has bipartisan support in both chambers, the support of Fortune 500 Companies, over 400 small businesses and a strong majority of Floridians. It’s time for Florida to pass this common-sense legislation.”

    Currently 55% of Florida’s population, in 38 municipalities, are protected at the local level by nondiscrimination laws, but no uniform statewide law exists, leaving many vulnerable to discrimination. The bill would add sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to pre-existing nondiscrimination laws that already cover race, religion, disability, age, and other categories.

  • 15. VIRick  |  January 26, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Mexico: Same-Sex Marriage Legalized In Jalisco State After Unanimous Ruling By Supreme Court

    Today, 26 January 2016, in a unanimous 11-0 ruling, the Mexican Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in the state of Jalisco, home to the popular gay resort city of Puerto Vallarta, and to Guadalajara, the nation’s second-largest city, often considered to be the "heart" of Mexico.

    Same-sex marriage is legal and recognized in all of Mexico’s 31 states, but Jalisco becomes only the sixth state to allow same-sex marriages without a complex legal petitioning process that can take months and cost $1000 (as is still presently required in the remaining 25 states).

    Jalisco today joins the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Guerrero, Nayarit, Quintana Roo, the federal district of Mexico City, and the city of Santiago de Querétaro, capital of Querétaro state, in allowing marriages to take place free of the above-described procedure.

    From my account, up above, Guanajuato state also appears ready to join the "de facto" marriage equality list, while the travelling judge from Colima continues her never-ending task of marrying same-sex couples from all over Mexico, while registering those marriages in "de facto" marriage equality Colima.

  • 16. VIRick  |  January 26, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Technically speaking, the offending portions of Jalisco's Civil Code, Articles 258, 260, and 267 BIS, will be struck down once the ruling is officially published (probably in about 7-10 days), after which all the Civil Registries, statewide, will be ordered to marry all couples. At that point, same-sex marriages in Jalisco can actually begin.

  • 17. Fortguy  |  January 26, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Here's the link to the Jalisco state government's online Official Journal.

  • 18. VIRick  |  January 26, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Here's Rex Wockner's excellent in-depth analysis of what to anticipate for the rest of Mexico:

    A 3 June 2015, ruling by the First Chamber of Mexico's Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation requires judges to grant the injunctions (amparos),– to individual couples or to groups of couples who file together.

    Activists are rapidly implementing a court-based legal strategy, state by state, that will force the remaining 25 states, one by one, to clear the way for same-sex marriages without couples having to get a special order from a judge. It involves getting five injunctions per state from a federal collegiate court (there are 253 of those courts) or from the First Chamber of the federal Supreme Court,– which creates "jurisprudence" on same-sex marriage in a state,– which then can be used to force the state legislature to let same-sex couples marry the normal way.

    In the meantime, some states may throw in the towel legislatively prior to being forced,– and before that, some states may stop enforcing their ban on same-sex marriage administratively, as Chihuahua, Guerrero, Quintana Roo, and the capital city of Querétaro state have done.

    (In states or cities where marriage bans have been dropped administratively, a new governor or mayor could reverse the policy, so activists continue to push for law reform there, as well. Although in Quintana Roo, the change came after it was determined that the existing marriage law contained no gender restrictions.)

    Only one other state could see its ban struck down by federal Supreme Court order like Jalisco's was,– and that is Baja California, home to Tijuana. That's because an "action of unconstitutionality" can only be filed with the Supreme Court within 30 days of a law's taking effect, and that only happened with same-sex marriage bans in Baja California and Jalisco.

    For the rest of the states, activists may have to collect the requisite number of injunctions, achieve jurisprudence, then sue the state legislature to force the change.

    Equally likely, though, is that state legislatures will just vote to legalize same-sex marriage on their own. That's because when the Supreme Court's First Chamber issued the ruling that requires all judges to grant an injunction for any same-sex couple who wants to marry, it also unequivocally informed the states that all same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional.

    As a result, momentum for law reform continues to build among politicians, state and federal human-rights officials and commissions, and other voices of authority.

    To directly answer the question you may have: There exists no mechanism in Mexico for the Supreme Court's First Chamber or for the Full Court to issue a USA-style ruling ending all states' bans. One can collect amparos (injunctions) and achieve jurisprudence state-by-state. Or one can challenge a state's law with an "action of unconstitutionality" within 30 days of its coming into force.

  • 19. VIRick  |  January 27, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Scream4ever was surprised to learn that the capital city of Querétaro state, alternatively known as Santiago de Querétaro, Ciudad Querétaro, or simply as Querétaro, has been marrying same-sex couples without requiring them to obtain an amparo for the past 6 months. I re-posted the original commentary on last week's thread (where he asked the question), and am also re-posting it again here in an attempt to draw attention to what appears to be a relatively unknown reality (but one which has serious importance, given that this is a leading example, along with Colima, of how same-sex marriage will finally arrive to the majority of Mexico's remaining states, once each, in turn, has hit or exceeded the 5 amparo limit):

    Scream4ever, here's a complete transcript of my original posting on the subject of Querétaro and same-sex marriage, as posted here at EoT on 22 July 2015. You apparently weren't the only individual who missed this announcement, as absolutely everyone at Wikipedia did, as well (and/or ignored it while continuing to fail to understand that compliance with the Rule of 5 via the courts works just as well as forcing legislative change):

    From Rex Wockner via Geraldina Gonzalez de la Vega:

    En Querétaro, Parejas Homosexuales ya No Necesitan Amparo para Casarse
    (In Querétaro, Gay Couples No Longer Need an Amparo to Marry)

    English translation below, in two parts:

    Querétaro, 21 Julio 2015 – En lo que va del año en el Municipio de Querétaro se han realizado 3 bodas entre personas del mismo sexo y una está por casarse, comunicó Leonel Rojo Montes, titular del Registro Civil de este municipio, explicando que en total entre el año pasado y este suman 4 bodas concretadas.

    Mientras que a este número pudiera sumarse una solicitud más que ya se encuentra en trámite, derivada de otro amparo ganado el año pasado, en este contexto indicó no conoce el amparo colectivo ganado recientemente por 50 personas que lo tramitaron a título personal.

    (Querétaro, 21 July 2015 – So far, in the city of Querétaro, three weddings between same-sex couples have already occurred, and another is about to marry, reported Leonel Rojo Montes, head of the Civil Registry of the municipality, explaining that the total between last year and this year added up to four concretized weddings.

    Besides this number, more could join the pending request, derived from another win this year, that is, from the collective amparo recently won by 50 persons, but which will be processed on a personal basis. (the Big #5, was won this year, not last year, as reported))

    Recordó que después de haber realizado un análisis de lo dictaminado recientemente por la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación; por lo menos en el Registro Civil del Ayuntamiento de Querétaro, si alguna pareja homosexual desea contraer matrimonio ya no es necesario ampararse para poder realizar la unión. ("Estas parejas) ya podrían acudir a cualquier oficina del registro civil y solicitar matrimonio."

    (The registrar stated that after performing an analysis of recent rulings by the Supreme Court of Justice; at least in the Civil Registry of the City of Querétaro, if a same-sex couple wishes to marry, it is no longer necessary for them to rely on an amparo. ("These couples) could go to any registrar's office and apply for marriage.")….

    Whoever else here knows Spanish, please double-check on my translation, as this one proved difficult. There have been 5 successful amparos granted in Querétaro, the last of which was a collective amparo covering 55 couples (not 50 persons, as reported). The article, as written, is incorrectly focusing on the number of marriages, rather than on the number of successful amparos.

    Per Wikipedia itself, amparo #5 for 55 couples was granted on 23 April 2015. Ever since, Querétaro should have been colored dark blue. The article, quoted above, says why.

  • 20. VIRick  |  January 27, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Then, on 1 August 2015, as follow-up to the above, this commentary was posted here at EoT:

    México: Matrimonios Colectivos Abiertos a Parejas del Mismo Sexo en Querétaro
    (Mexico: Collective Marriages Open to Same-Sex Couples in Querétaro)

    En lo que resta de la campaña de matrimonios colectivos, podrán participar parejas del mismo sexo sin necesidad de tramitar un amparo, dio a conocer Leonel Rojo Montes, director del Registro Civil de Querétaro. En entrevista vía telefónica dijo que a la fecha y desde el inicio de la campaña no se ha llevado a cabo ningún matrimonio igualitario, aunque no se descarta que pudiera haber interesados.

    “El matrimonio colectivo va dirigido a todas las parejas y nosotros no tenemos restricción para casar alguna pareja de matrimonio igualitario que solicitara unirse en la campaña”, aseveró. Refirió que a la fecha se han celebrado cerca de 300 matrimonios como parte de la campaña, en la cual los interesados pagan menos de la mitad al unirse por la vía legal.

    (Same-sex couples may participate in the remainder of the campaign of collective marriages without having to process an injunction, as stated by Leonel Rojo Montes, director of the Civil Registry of Querétaro. In an interview by telephone he said that, to date and since the beginning of the campaign, he has not had any same-sex couples, although they would not be excluded if they were interested.

    "Collective marriage is aimed at all couples and we have no restriction to marry any couple who seek marriage equality to join in the campaign," he said. He added that to date there have been over 300 marriages, in which participants pay less than half the regular fees.)

    In effect, the civil registrar of Querétaro is inviting same-sex couples to participate in his collective marriage scheme, and that, additionally, they can do so without bothering any longer with obtaining an amparo. Just be there, and he'll marry one and all.….

  • 21. allan120102  |  January 27, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Queretaro and Colima so far have been letting same sex marriages since last year at least and still Wikipedia does not want to change them. I am not going to fight anymore.

  • 22. VIRick  |  January 27, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Having already attained 7 successful amparos, both Guanajuato state and at least one city in Morelos state, Cuautla (as announced, beginning from 14 February 2016) also appear ready to follow Colima's and Querétaro's lead to henceforth allow same-sex couples to begin marrying in the normal manner without going through the cumbersome judicial amparo process.

    According to the 2011 Judicial Reforms, once a given state has attained 5 successfully-granted amparos, the unconstitutional law is set aside, held in abeyance, and is no longer to be followed. Prior to the 2011 reform, the state legislatures were required to act to legalize the change by placing it in the state code before it could be implemented. This is no longer completely true, as there are now two possible methods, the old traditional legislative one, and the new judicial 5-amparo method. Unfortunately, many people still incorrectly think in pre-2011 terms (of legislative only), mainly because the judicial reforms were slow to be implemented and there haven't been many (if any) previous examples with which to compare it.

  • 23. Randolph_Finder  |  February 1, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Remember everything on Wikipedia is volunteers and that area just may not have any volunteer as interested in maintaining it as other places. Please Volunteer!

  • 24. allan120102  |  January 26, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Even though we won Jalisco the lawsuit against Baja California was thrown out sadly. I remember though I was posting in here a few days ago that this was the likely solution.

  • 25. VIRick  |  January 26, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    The Case Before the Supreme Court from Baja California

    Sin embargo, ante una reciente modificación en la Constitución baja californiana, las y los ministros consideraron que la acción de inconstitucionalidad ya no correspondía a la impugnación hecha, por lo que se descartó.

    However, following a recent amendment to the Baja California Constitution, the justices considered that the action of unconstitutionality no longer corresponded to the challenge made, so the case was dismissed.

  • 26. VIRick  |  January 26, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Per Geraldina Gonzalez de la Vega, who spent the afternoon doing a live vote count from the 11 justices, we have these enthusiastic tweets:

    Por unanimidad, el Pleno va a declarar la inconstitucionalidad del matrimonio exclusivamente heterosexual en Jalisco.

    Unanimously, the Full Court will declare the unconstitutionality of exclusively heterosexual marriage in Jalisco.

    Histórico: el Pleno de la SCJN está de acuerdo, por unanimidad, en que prohibir el matrimonio a parejas del mismo sexo, es inconstitucional.

    Historical: the Full Supreme Court agreed unanimously that the prohibition of marriage between same-sex couples is unconstitutional.

    ES OFICIAL. Por unanimidad, la SCJN declara inconstitucional articulos de Jalisco que prohibe matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo.

    IT'S OFFICIAL. Unanimously, the Full Supreme Court declared unconstitutional articles of Jalisco that prohibit same-sex marriage.

  • 27. allan120102  |  January 26, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    If you can check out this you will see what every judge said. Even the one that always vote against us. It was amazing reading some things some judges said. It make me feel happy for the lgbt families in Mexico. 😀

  • 28. VIRick  |  January 26, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Virginia Senate Committee Approves Two Anti-Discrimination Bills

    Members of a Virginia Senate committee on Monday, 25 January 2016, approved two anti-discrimination bills. Senate Bill 12, which would ban anti-LGBT discrimination against state employees, passed in the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee by a 9-4 vote margin.

    State Sens. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) and A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico County) introduced the bill that would codify into law Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s 2014 executive order banning discrimination against state employees based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

    The committee on Monday, 25 January 2016, also approved Senate Bill 67, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Virginia Fair Housing Act. The measure, which Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-Loudoun County) introduced, passed by a 10-4 vote margin.

    – See more at:

  • 29. VIRick  |  January 29, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Virginia Senate Approves Two Anti-Discrimination Bills

    On Friday, 29 January 2016, the Virginia Senate approved two bills that would ban anti-LGBT discrimination in the commonwealth. Lawmakers by a 25-15 vote margin approved Senate Bill 12, which would ban discrimination against state employees based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. State Sens. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) and A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico County) introduced SB 12 last month. The measure would codify into law Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s 2014 executive order that bans anti-LGBT discrimination against state employees.

    The Virginia Senate by a 25-15 vote margin also approved Senate Bill 67, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Virginia Housing Law. State Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-Loudoun County) introduced SB 67 last month.

    – See more at:

  • 30. TheVirginian722  |  January 30, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    The 25 affirmative votes for these two anti-discrimination bills came from all 19 of the Senate's Democrats and 6 of the 21 Republicans. The six Republicans included the Majority Leader (Thomas Norment of Williamsburg) and four of the five GOP freshmen just elected in November 2015 (William DeSteph of Virginia Beach, Siobhan Dunnavant and Glen Sturtevant of the Richmond area, and David Suetterlein of the Roanoke area).

    If the bills can get out of committee and to a vote by the House of Delegates, and the same percentage of House Republicans support them, the bills would pass 51-49!

  • 31. JayJonson  |  January 30, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    It will be interesting to see how Delegate Morefield votes.

  • 32. VIRick  |  January 30, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Zing!! Indeed, it will be extremely interesting to see how the as-yet "un-named" anti-LGBT Republican member of the Virginia House of Delegates, who was recently caught cruising on Grindr, actually votes. I wonder if he'll call in "sick?"

    For yet another sordid "adventure," see my comment, further down in this thread, about the two anti-LGBT Republican homocon members of the Iowa House, with one of them now denying they're in a "homosexual relationship." Of course, what he did not deny was that he's an anti-LGBT homosexual.

  • 33. VIRick  |  January 26, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Kentucky: Openly Gay Lexington Mayor Jim Gray To Challenge Rand Paul For US Senate

    The Lexington "Herald-Leader" reports:

    Lexington Mayor Jim Gray will file to run for the US Senate Tuesday morning, 26 January 2016, as a Democrat, declaring his candidacy to unseat Republican US Sen. Rand Paul on the day of Kentucky’s filing deadline.

    On Monday, Gray, 62, told the "Herald-Leader" that he decided to challenge Paul last week, and he “absolutely” believes he can win despite the state’s rightward lurch and widespread disapproval of President Barack Obama. “I feel like that there’s an environment in Washington that’s toxic, and people across the country, and including Kentucky, are looking for alternatives,” Gray said.

    The chairman of Gray Construction, a successful family business, Gray is in his second term as mayor. He said both experiences have taught him “that leading isn’t just about talking — you’ve got to listen as well.”

    Four other relatively unknown Democrats have already declared their candidacies. If successful, Gray would become the second openly gay member of the US Senate after Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin. One may recall that last year Rand Paul succeeded in pushing through a Kentucky rule change which allows him to simultaneously run for the Senate and the presidency.

  • 34. VIRick  |  January 26, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In the appeal of "G.G. v. Gloucester County Public School Board," the transgender student's case before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, challenging the district court decision denying a preliminary injunction and dismissing the Title IX claim, oral arguments will be heard on Wednesday, 27 January 2016, at the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond VA. EQCF's Kathleen Perrin will be attending oral arguments and will report back later in the day.

    The 4th Circuit doesn't announce the composition of its panels ahead of the argument, so we won't know which judges will hear the case until court day. Arguments for the day's calendar begin at 9:30 AM. At present, this case is scheduled as the first case on the day's calendar for "Panel II," but changes in order can occur up until the time of argument. Each side is allocated 20 minutes, i.e, 40 minutes total argument time. More on the Court's procedures for oral argument is available here:

    ACLU's Case Page is linked here:

    Parties' Briefs filed at the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals:
    • Plaintiff's [Corrected] Opening Brief:
    • Defendant's Response Brief:
    • Plaintiff's Reply Brief:

    Parties' Joint Appendix:
    NOTE: The Appendix includes significant filings in the district court, including complaint, motion for preliminary injunction, order denying injunction, and transcript of the 27 July 2015 hearing.

  • 35. VIRick  |  January 27, 2016 at 8:23 am

    Per Equality Case Files:

    The 3-member panel at the 4th Circuit Court who heard today's arguments in "G.G. v. Gloucester County Public School Board" were Neimeyer, Floyd, and Davis.

  • 36. guitaristbl  |  January 28, 2016 at 4:35 am

    We all know which way Neimeyer will vote – but I am hopeful about the other 2.

  • 37. ianbirmingham  |  January 27, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Topless Women Force Florida University To Reverse Censorship Of Gay Newspaper

  • 38. allan120102  |  January 27, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    WTH why do the legislature of Jalisco still need to change the civil code? I thought it was no longer necessary. Anyways the Governor said that he will abide the ruling.

  • 39. allan120102  |  January 27, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    For the first time in Colombia two women could register their daughter as they were let by the civil registry. This happen after the supreme court ruling in November.

  • 40. VIRick  |  January 27, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Indiana Senate Panel Kills Religious Objections Proposal

    An Indiana Senate committee has killed a bill that would have thrown out the state’s contentious religious objections law and replaced it with even more robust protections for the rights of worship, speech, and bearing arms. State Sen. Mike Young, an Indianapolis Republican, said Wednesday, 27 January 2016, that critics who “demagogue” and “fear monger” had mischaracterized his proposal.

    It’s an awkward time for GOP lawmakers, who are under pressure to adopt LGBTQ civil rights protections after an uproar last spring over the religious-objections law. Critics said the law would permit discrimination against gays.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee did not vote on Young’s bill, and public testimony was not taken. The Senate is set to take up separate proposals Wednesday afternoon (today, 27 January 2016) that would extend civil rights protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

  • 41. allan120102  |  January 27, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Breaking news from Mexico.
    Michoacan is preparing to become the next state to legalize ssm this is another populous state.
    Zacatecas, one of the two holdouts to not have granted an amparo along with Hidalgo may be forced soon to give one to a gay couple who bring their family to confirm they were gay. I imagine this is a reason why ss couples were not getting married in this state. The Gay couple have now file a complain to the human rights comission of Zacatecas. We know that sexual orientation is protected in Mexico constitution so we are almost sure the ruling will be positive and that zacatecas may be force to pay fees and granted the amparo.

  • 42. VIRick  |  January 27, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Due to entrenched judicial ineptness, Zacatecas was the very last state in Mexico to even begin adopting the 2011 judicial reforms. As a result, they may also very well be the last state to begin and then proceed through the amparo process to implement same-sex marriage.

    However, as a major bonus, the gay couple there in Zacatecas who are suing the state, Rodolfo Flores and Francisco Domínguez, (with the assistance of the CEDH), are adorably cute.

  • 43. ianbirmingham  |  January 27, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Rainbow "Pride" Flag To Be Permanently Flown Over Wilton Manors, Florida

  • 44. 1grod  |  January 28, 2016 at 10:53 am

    AL politician suggest in AL.COM that religious affiliation influences views on
    marriage equality.
    On the episcopalian stance:
    and <a

  • 45. allan120102  |  January 27, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Base on this article they are supposedly 180millions of lgbt people in the world. Do you believe in this estimate??? Latin American have only 12 million though.

  • 46. VIRick  |  January 28, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Allan, this is a Mexican publication, and the article is focused more on Jalisco being in a prime location to capitalize on a huge influx of LGBT tourism, given that, according to the federal tourism authority's surveys, Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara are already two of the four most-recognized destinations within Mexico among LGBT travelers (with the other two being Mexico City and Cancun, all four of which now have marriage equality). For domestic marketing purposes, the article is not counting Mexico as being part of Latin America. Notice that they are also citing the presence of another 15 million LGBT citizens in the USA, plus an additional 5.8 million within Mexico itself, undoubtedly their two largest tourism markets.

    After separating those two categories, then 12 million LGBT citizens in (the rest of) Latin America seems more reasonable. Eventually, it was obvious (to me) that someone with a keen tourism marketing sense along the west coast of Mexico would start focusing on the multiple economic benefits of LGBT tourism. This is the beginning of it, as Jalisco starts advertising itself. Tourism marketing is very cut-throat. Watch the other states along the west coast suddenly realize that a lot of their current business will be shifting to Jalisco, specifically to Puerto Vallarta (and away from Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, Acapulco, etc.).

  • 47. allan120102  |  January 28, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Breaking. India supreme court to reconsider the ruling that ban homosexuality in 2013. I really hope they reversed that bad ruling as lgbt people need to live in peace and not be scared that they are going to be arrest.

  • 48. VIRick  |  January 28, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    India’s Supreme Court to Revisit Homosexuality Ruling Next Week

    India’s Supreme Court has scheduled a new hearing in the challenge to the country’s law criminalizing homosexuality, a member of the legal team challenging the law confirmed on Thursday, 28 January 2016. The lawyer, who declined to comment on the record, said the team had been notified by the court’s registrar the hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, 2 February.

    This new hearing is on what is known as a “curative petition,” a motion to reconsider a Supreme Court judgment that has already been issued. A panel of judges will consider reversing the decision issued in December 2013 that reinstated the country’s colonial-era sodomy law, known as Section 377, which had been suspended for four years following a 2009 lower court ruling. This curative petition is the final appeal available to have the 2013 ruling reversed.

    Nearly 600 people were reportedly arrested under the provision in the year after it came back into effect, according to statistics from India’s Home Ministry. LGBT activists have been concerned the law would primarily serve as a pretense for police harassment or extortion.

    Though a previous motion to reverse the 2013 ruling was unsuccessful, LGBT activists have been hopeful that a strong ruling supporting transgender rights issued in 2014 would provide a basis for revisiting the question. The judges in that case did not comment directly on the 2013 ruling, but they wrote, “Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, therefore, impairs equality before the law and equal protection of the law.”

  • 49. scream4ever  |  January 28, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Good. I'm hopeful they will overturn the previous ruling, especially considering that one of the justices who upheld the law two years ago has stepped down.

  • 50. Raga  |  January 29, 2016 at 3:15 am

    Both have retired now 🙂

  • 51. Raga  |  January 29, 2016 at 3:38 am

    Thanks Rick. I want to add a few more details about what's about to happen here next week. Statistically, curative petitions are doomed to be dismissed – the top court has only admitted two in history. But statistics is not everything. This case is special; a major conflicting decision was handed down months after this one (by a different bench of the Court), as pointed out by the Buzzfeed article. That alone should be sufficient grounds for a rehearing. Moreover, this curative petition has been scheduled for a hearing in open court, which is unprecedented – they are generally discussed privately in a Justice's chambers.

    India's Supreme Court currently has 26 sitting Justices. Unlike the US Supreme Court, due to the sheer mountain of case-load, the full Court doesn't hear every case. Most cases are heard by "benches" (the equivalent of panels) of two Justices. The losing party in such cases can submit a review petition asking them to reconsider their decision. However, since the same bench that took on the case also decides the review petition, these are typically unsuccessful. Following an unsuccessful review petition, the last resort is what is known as a curative petition, the purpose of which is to cure gross miscarriage of justice. Such petitions are reviewed by a larger bench consisting of the three senior-most Justices (which includes the Chief Justice) and the two Justices that served on the bench that delivered the original verdict. In this case, both the Justices who decided the case in December 2013 have now retired, so those two positions will be filled by others – as yet unknown, but will be revealed on Monday. I really hope the currently sitting Justice who was part of the bench that issued the conflicting judgement in favor of transgender rights is invited to sit on this bench!

    After the curative petition is heard, it will be decided by this 5-Justice bench. (They can take as long as they want.) If they decide to admit the petition, then the earlier decision is wiped out, and a special 5-Justice Constitutional Bench is set up, notice issued to the parties, and dates set for rehearing, followed by a final decision. This process can take a few years. (The original verdict was issued in December 2013, four years after the appeal from the 2009 judgment that read down the law to exclude sex between consenting adults in private.)

  • 52. Steve27516  |  January 29, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Thank you for the excellent explanation, Raga. I'll be hoping for the best. It's great to see you here – I hope you are well and thriving these days. Warm regards – Steve in North Carolina

  • 53. Raga  |  February 2, 2016 at 2:28 am

    Thanks Steve! I'm doing well 🙂

  • 54. allan120102  |  January 28, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    I feel the same in Honduras, is not the time for marriage.

  • 55. VIRick  |  January 28, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Gays in Ex-USSR Georgia Do Not Want Legalized Same-Sex Marriage Right Now

    Ex-USSR Georgia isn’t Russia, but it’s not the UK, France, or Spain either. So as one gay lawyer calls on the Georgian Constitutional Court to legalize same-sex marriage in this Eastern European country, others in the LGBTI community are more concerned about not being assaulted in the street on a daily basis.

    Giorgi Tatishvili has filed an appeal with Georgia’s Constitutional Court. He believes the Civil Code, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, is not consistent with the Georgian Constitution that defines marriage in gender-neutral terms. He says "he has started the fight for the legalization of same-sex marriages and expects a positive decision by the Constitutional Court of Georgia."

    Georgia is a country where Pride parades fall victim to thousands of homophobic thugs rallying to attack LGBTI people thanks to the homophobic and powerful Orthodox Church. The former Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has threatened twice to amend the constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

    The wider LGBTI rights community believe Tatishvili could be something like a maverick, operating outside of the community, and is unaware of the wider implications of fighting for same-sex marriage in a country where 91.5% of the public believe homosexuality is "completely unacceptable."

    Natia Gvianishili, a lesbian member of the LGBTI rights group, Women’s Initiative Support Group, has said both threats from the former Prime Minister came when same-sex marriage was not an actual issue, but was only obliquely mentioned. "When [Garibashvili] threatened to ban same-sex marriage, it calmed all the homophobes down. Banning LGBTI rights is always a popular way of mobilizing the electorate and any campaign for marriage could result in further restrictions on the community," she told Gay Star News.

    Gvianishili believes LGBTI Georgians need to concentrate on working with the police to tackle hate crime, allowing trans people to get a gender recognition certificate and other practical issues. She hopes Georgia can continue moving towards the West and away from Russia, as is the current trend.

  • 56. allan120102  |  January 28, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    They are still some parts of Queretaro that are denying the freedom to marry to ssc that won an amparo. They were 55 couples who won the amparo in 2014.

  • 57. VIRick  |  January 28, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    The collective amparo in question, #5 for Querétaro, filed in late 2014, was granted on 23 April 2015. Marriage equality in that state began shortly after that latter date. Some of those same 55 couples from that amparo are still in the process of getting married. The particular couple in question, where there appeared to have been a denial, were actually married later the same day, on Thursday, 14 January 2016.

    However, we need to note this:

    De acuerdo de la activista, Saúl Hernández, el abogado del Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida (GIRE), "Es cuestión de la nueva administración. Con la administración anterior, se había logrado dar trámite incluso sin amparo, varias parejas contrajeron matrimonio sin amparo, porque se acató la jurisprudencia y los tratados internacionales, entrando esta administración

    Advirtió también que se mantendrán las acciones para exigir el reconocimiento de los derechos de las parejas del mismo sexo hasta lograr que se modifique el código civil local.

    According to the activist, Saúl Hernández, the lawyer for GIRE, "It's about the new administration. Whereas with the previous administration, they had managed the process even without an amparo, and married various couples without amparo, because they complied with established jurisprudence and international treaties. Now enter this administration.

    He also warned that action will remain to demand the recognition of the rights of same-sex couples until the local civil code has been changed.

  • 58. allan120102  |  January 28, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Yeah so far the new administrations that have took control in Queretaro and Guerrero suck. Anyway not even the legislators in Jalisco know when marriage equality is going to happen in the state. There is discrepancy with the members in the legislature.

  • 59. JayJonson  |  January 28, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Panel investigating Oregon judge who refused to marry a same-sex couple has recommended that he be removed from office. Complaints against him included numerous violations of judicial ethics. The decision to remove or not will be made by the Oregon Supreme Court.

  • 60. ianbirmingham  |  January 28, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Florida Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Pastor Protection Act, But Postpones Workforce Equality Bill

  • 61. VIRick  |  January 28, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    Italy’s Senate Begins Debate on Civil Unions Bill

    Today, 28 January 2016, the bill for civil unions, introduced by Premier Matteo Renzi’s Government began being debated in the Senate. Italy’s Parliament is expected to vote on the measure by next Tuesday, 2 February. Although it faces fierce opposition in the Catholic country, it is expected to pass.

    However supporters of measures for civil unions, or same-sex marriage, say they fear amendments will be added to sabotage or water down the legislation. Italy remains as the last Western European country which has no legal recognition for cohabiting same-sex couples. Justice Minister Andrea Orlando has said Italy must introduce same-sex civil unions to be compliant with the Strasbourg court.

    Nearly a hundred towns reported planned protests across Italy for Saturday, 30 January 2016. However, some same-sex marriage supporters have said that the civil unions bill is the “bare minimum” for Italy.

  • 62. VIRick  |  January 28, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Chile: Pareja Gay Presenta Recurso contra Registro Civil por Prohibición de Matrimonio Igualitario

    Chile: Gay Couple Files Injunction against Civil Registrar for Prohibiting Equal Marriage

    Acción fue presentada hoy, 28 de enero 2016, a un año exacta de que el Congreso Nacional aprobara la Unión Civil. Con el respaldo del Movimiento de Integración y Liberación Homosexual (Movilh), una pareja gay con 16 años de relación, Ramón Gómez y Gonzalo Velásquez, presentó un recurso de protección contra el Registro Civil, luego de que dicha instancia les negara una hora para contraer matrimonio igualitario.

    “Nuestro sueño siempre ha sido casarnos, no unirnos civilmente. Luchamos por nuestra dignidad y por la de los hijos que queremos adoptar. Se trata de dotar de igualdad de derecho a nuestra familia, la que amamos," indicó la pareja.

    En el escrito, patrocinado por el abogado Jaime Silva, la pareja alega que al prohibírsele el matrimonio se vulneran sus derechos a la igualdad ante ley, a la dignidad, a la protección de la familia y a la seguridad social, garantizados en la Constitución.

    El recurso precisó que también se vulneran los derechos a contraer matrimonio, a conformar una familia y la no discriminación garantizados en la Declaración Americana de Derechos Humanos, en la Declaración Universal de Derechos Humanos, en el Pacto Internacional de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales y en el Pacto Internacional de Derechos Civiles y Políticos. La prohibición del matrimonio igualitario “es un acto arbitrario e ilegal, toda vez que se funda en normas legales (Código Civil) que infringen otras disposiciones de mayor rango, como son las normas constitucionales," explicó Silva.

    The action was brought today, 28 January 2016, exactly a year after the Chilean National Congress passed the Civil Unions legislation. Backed by MOVIHL, a gay couple with a 16-year relationship, Ramón Gómez and Gonzalo Velásquez, filed an injunction against the Civil Registry, after having been denied the ability to contract for an equal marriage.

    "Our dream has always been to be married, not civilly united. We fight for our dignity and that of the children we want to adopt. We want to provide equal rights to our family who we love," said the couple.

    In the filing, sponsored by lawyer Jaime Silva, the couple alleged that by prohibiting their marriage, it violated their rights to equality before the law, and the dignity and protection of family and social security, as guaranteed by the Constitution.

    The appeal stated that the right to marry, to form a family and non-discrimination is guaranteed in the American Declaration of Human Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, The ban on gay marriage "is an arbitrary and illegal act, since it is based on legislation (Civil Code) that violate other provisions of higher rank, such as constitutional norms," ​​said Silva.

  • 63. JayJonson  |  January 29, 2016 at 6:13 am

    From Sydney Morning News:

    "Parliamentary support for same-sex marriage reform appears to have reached critical mass and for the first time could pass in both houses, placing renewed pressure on Malcolm Turnbull to grant a free vote, rather than spend millions of dollars organising a non-binding public plebiscite."

    Read more:
    Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook

  • 64. VIRick  |  January 29, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Justice Dept. Brief: Anti-Gay Discrimination May Already Be Illegal

    In reference to the case, "Baldwin v. Foxx," filed in District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the US Department of Justice has made a move toward establishing that discrimination based on sexual orientation is sex discrimination, already banned by federal law.

    The move, BuzzFeed reports, came in response to a lawsuit filed by a former Federal Aviation Administration employee who alleges he suffered discrimination for being gay. The Justice Department, tasked with defending the FAA, did not seek to have the suit dismissed by contending such discrimination is not illegal. Instead, it filed a response to the suit Thursday, 28 January 2016, focusing on the facts of the case — whether the FAA and the employee’s colleagues actually engaged in discriminatory behavior, which the Justice Department says they did not.

    Former FAA employee David Baldwin sued in US District Court in Florida in October 2015, claiming that when he worked in the control tower at Miami International Airport, he was passed over for promotions and subjected to a hostile environment because he’s gay. Baldwin had filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last summer, resulting in the commission’s ruling that discrimination based on sexual orientation is a type of sex discrimination banned under Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964. It gave Baldwin 90 days to sue in federal court.

    With his lawsuit, Baldwin hopes to expand the scope of the EEOC ruling, which is binding only on federal agencies and may be interpreted in different ways by various courts regarding other employers. The Justice Department’s response is a signal that President Obama’s administration endorses the EEOC decision, according to BuzzFeed.

    “The Justice Department made the correct call by defending this case on the facts rather than making the outdated and conservative legal argument that the Civil Rights Act does not protect gays and lesbians from workplace discrimination,” Tico Almeida, a civil rights attorney and founder of Freedom to Work, told the site.

    With LGBT-inclusive antidiscrimination legislation stalled in the Republican-controlled Congress, activists have made the argument that anti-LGBT discrimination is already illegal under the Civil Rights Act’s ban on sex discrimination. The EEOC and the Justice Department have already taken the position that the sex discrimination ban covers anti-transgender discrimination, and with this move the Justice Department appears to be in agreement with the EEOC’s view on anti-LGB bias as well, BuzzFeed notes.

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In "Baldwin v. Foxx," wherein which a former FAA employee is suing for sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII:

    Federal defendants' answer to the complaint is here:
    Here is the complaint, for reference:

    Chris Geidner's article that puts the Justice Department's response in context is here:

  • 65. VIRick  |  January 29, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Utah: Hate Crimes Bill Unveiled in State Legislature

    A new bill in the legislature would add "disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity" to the state's hate crimes law.

  • 66. allan120102  |  January 29, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Same sex couples now can get married in Guadalajara after the president of the municipality order the civil registry to let same sex couples get married.
    Updating as it looks that Zapopan another municipality of Jalisco is now letting sscouples get married.

  • 67. VIRick  |  January 29, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Jalisco Marriage Up-Date

    Two announcements on Twitter:

    Acatan Resolución: Anuncia Enrique Alfaro Ramírez, Presidente Municipal de Guadalajara, que registros civiles permitirán Matrimonio Igualitario en Guadalajara.

    Abiding by the resolution, Enrique Alfaro Ramírez, Municipal President of Guadalajara, announces that the civil registries will permit marriage equality in Guadalajara.

    Parejas de Zapopán que quieran casarse también podrán hacerlo desde hoy, anuncia Pablo Lemus Navarro, Presidente Municipal de Zapopán. En Zapopán vamos a cumplir la ley.

    Zapopán couples who wish to marry can also do so from today, announced Pablo Lemus Navarro, Municipal President of Zapopán. In Zapopán, we will follow the law.

  • 68. VIRick  |  January 30, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    And today, 30 January 2016, here's a Tweet from the Governor of Jalisco state, Aristóteles Sandoval:

    Reconozco a GuadalajaraGob y ZapopanGob en facilitar MatrimonioIgualitario. Invito a más ayuntamientos a sumarse.

    I recognize the Governments of Guadalajara and Zapopán in facilitating marriage equality. I invite more municipalities to add themselves.

    In addition, he boldly added the shield of Jalisco state, now emblazoned in rainbow colors. Yay for the Governor!!

  • 69. VIRick  |  January 30, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    The entire state of Jalisco contains about 8 million people, making it the most populous state, so far, to obtain marriage equality. Over half of the state's population live in the sprawling Guadalajara metro area, with 1.5 million of that number living within the Municipality itself, making Guadalajara the second-largest city in Mexico. A goodly chunk of the remaining urban sprawl has spread westward into Zapopán, with 1.1 million residents, the second-largest city in the state and #7 in population in Mexico.

  • 70. allan120102  |  January 29, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Tijuana. Looks like couples are going to look for sanctions against the staff in the civil registry that dont let them marry.

  • 71. allan120102  |  January 29, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Homophobia in Russia continues to act in the weirdest ways.

  • 72. F_Young  |  January 29, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    The letter argued that the “positive” exposure given to the “non-traditional co-habitation” of two male animals was “an intrusion into the private lives of underage citizens and covert gay propaganda, as well as an active imposition of homosexuality.”

    I wonder if this lawyer's letter might be a clever tactic to expose the silliness of the law?

  • 73. allan120102  |  January 30, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Colombian supreme court to continue debating marriage equality on Feb 4 2016.If I am correct February is the only month where there hasn´t been a country or state that legalize same sex marriage. So I hope the court issue that decision on that month.

  • 74. allan120102  |  January 30, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Guerrero important news.
    After an exhausting investigation, 2hours in google etc. I have found that same sex marriage in Guerrero is legal in some municipalities like Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. That will depend on the civil registry of individual municipalities if to allow ssm or not. Acapulco let same sex marriages to occur but were declare null and void by the head of the civil registry of that municipality. If we let Guerrero be a full marriage equality state then Guanajuato and Morelos will need to be consider full marriage equality states as some municipalities are issuing or will start issuing like in the case of Morelos in Feb 14 in one of its municipalities.
    Taxco Guerrero is another municipality that is issuing marriage licenses. Another thing the
    The president of the Bar of Acapulco Salome Gutierrez Aguirre said during a meeting with lawyers that marriage certificates that were given to 20 couples during the mass wedding for homosexuals held in the port Friday afternoon , are "illegal " .
    So that is why I said a couple of days ago why Guerrero shouldnt be count as a full marriage equality state and if we do we should count Morelos, Guanajuato, Queretaro and others were individual civil registry are marrying couples.
    Btw supposedly the topics concerning lgbt topics in the state is being ignore by the government .

  • 75. VIRick  |  January 30, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    " I have found that same-sex marriage in Guerrero is legal in some municipalities like Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo…..Taxco is another municipality that is issuing marriage licenses."

    By Executive Order of the Governor of Guerrero state, same-sex marriage was legalized statewide. It is reassuring to know that certain municipalities, like Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and Taxco, continue to abide by the governor's order. As best as I understand, that order continues to remain in effect. Thus, ALL municipalities in Guerrero ought to be abiding by it, including, of course, Acapulco. The current, petty "food fight" there is seriously damaging Acapulco's reputation.

    Here's how I read the mess in Acapulco: In a short-sighted attempt to score political "points" for a different political party, someone at a lower level of authority (think civil registry) is unhappy that the governor stepped onto their little closely-guarded turf when he "ignored" them, issued his executive order, and then proceeded to personally marry the 20 couples himself in a public, mass wedding, right in the middle of downtown Acapulco.

    Mexico is always messy, but the courts are fully backing same-sex marriage. We now seem to be at a stage where, in many states with a sufficient number of amparos, officials who are in favor of marriage equality can openly begin to marry same-sex couples. This is the tipping point, and our opponents know it. They are desperately attempting to block it, here and there, but in the end, they are on the losing side. The courts have no intention of reversing themselves. The unanimous decision just rendered against Jalisco state says it all.

  • 76. allan120102  |  January 30, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    I agree things are becoming really messy in Mexico as civil registries in many states that still havent change their civl codes are issuing same sex marriages licenses by their own call.Btw marriage equality looks poised to become legal in Michoacan so that might force Colima and Guerrero to legalize same sex as they are sister states and might boost econmy.
    So far in Guerrero they are 86 municipalities and only like 4 or 5 I have found information that they are following that executive order. Remeber though Guerrero voted a new governor and it looks like he is no pro lgbt like the one before him or like the one in Jalisco. Even Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo only start issuing until this month by their call and its well late when the previous governor issued that executive order in July. Taxco was abiding in July but cant find more info.

  • 77. VIRick  |  January 30, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Anti-Gay Iowa Republican Legislator: I'm Not in a 'Homosexual Relationship'

    Methinks the homocon doth protesteth too strongly,– while totally outing himself in the process. Just so it turns up in a Google Search (although it's all over the web), his name is Rep. Bobby Kaufmann. His alleged romantic interest is another anti-LGBT Republican house member, Rep. Greg Heartsill. (Sorry Greg, but your boyfriend blew your cover when he got so angry. He should have been more careful who he appointed to "investigate" a pro-LGBT group, Iowa Safe Schools, a group which does NOT receive state funding).

    One can read more here:

    Still, there's yet another staunchly anti-LGBT Republican legislator in the House of Delegates in Virginia who, having gotten caught cruising on Grindr last weekend, is about to be outed if he votes against the two up-coming pro-LGBT bills which just passed the Virginia Senate, and which are now due for approval in the Virginia House.

  • 78. allan120102  |  January 30, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    This is a card like thanking Judge Norma Piña for her words in the chamber when they were discussing striking down the ban on Jalisco. Here is also a list of some amparos that have been granted in some Mexican states and the next to be revised in the first chamber. An amparo is expect to be granted in Tamaulipas in Feb 3 and if I am not confused Hidalgo could be next. The court is also reviewing a case of Yucatan that I believe is the one the state supreme court upheld the ban on ssm. Need to reiterate that this is amparos of some states not all.

  • 79. Fortguy  |  January 31, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is the kind of info I've been begging from you and Rick all along.

    I've updated the map to show BC above the 5-amparo limit. The webpage you cited shows Sinaloa with 5 amparos but with 2 under appeal, so I didn't change that.

    I can change any other state provided either of you can specify the state's amparos, when they occurred, which judge or court authorized them, and ideally who the couple was (although I realize that not every couple welcomes becoming a public spectacle). I'm happy if you can just provide a link to an online local newspaper article. As Sinaloa suggests, knowing whether a successful amparo is challenged through appeal is helpful even though we know appeals stand no chance in the federal judiciary.

  • 80. VIRick  |  January 31, 2016 at 1:23 am

    Fortguy, if one reads the Wikipedia entry for Querétaro very carefully, all 5 amparos are already listed there, and have been listed there all along. The civil registrar of Ciudad Querétaro would never have started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, especially to couples without an amparo (from late July 2015), had this count not been correct. It's just that no one ever followed up in changing the map color to reflect this.

    For Guanajuato, Wikipedia only lists the first two, of the first four, all granted in León. Still, three more have been recently granted (within the last two months), in Irapuato #5 (on 12 December 2015, amparo 802/2015), in Silao #6 (on 8 January 2016), and again in Irapuato #7 (in mid-January, amparo 729/2015). The two granted in Irapuato are both cited in the very first post on this thread. The one granted in Silao was posted here at EoT on 10 January 2016.

    For Morelos, a single article states that 6 amparos were granted in that state in 2015 alone (in addition to the three earlier ones already listed in Wikipedia). Said article, dated 23 January 2016, was posted here at EoT in the thread dated 18 January 2016. Again, this count must be accurate, or the municipal authorities in Cuautla would not be planning to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples from 14 February 2016. Michoacán is at 26, and counting, and since 26 October 2015, has been in contempt of court.

    Baja California has had 7 amparos granted, while Sinaloa has had 5. Both still have outstanding appeals, but both states have had all previous appeals denied by Mexico's Supreme Court,– twice already for each.

    Also, when would it be appropriate to up-grade Jalisco to dark blue? On 29 January 2016, the two largest cities in the state, accounting for one-third of the state's population (2.6 million of 7.8 million) both announced that they would begin processing marriage applications from same-sex couples. The next day, the Governor of Jalisco gave his approval, and encouraged other municipalities to follow suit.

  • 81. allan120102  |  January 31, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Jalisco without a doubt should be blue. This is a very important thing Leonardo Espinoza said he is director Cohesion Diversities for Sustainability , AC ( Codise )

    For Espinoza , Guadalajara and Zapopan to have open to this kind of civil links is good news , but it must had taken effect months ago when the Supreme Court of Justice ( SCJ ) issued jurisprudence warning that violates a human rights limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.

    "We know that municipalities can do this forever because it is a decision of the mayor 's order the owner of the Civil Registry to interpret the law or comply with the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court," said the director of Codise .

    Like I said yesterday it depends of the civil registry to open or not marriage equality to ssc if there havent been a change in the civil codes that is why marriage equality can be happening in Guanajuato and Morelos etc.

  • 82. Fortguy  |  February 1, 2016 at 12:20 am

    Querétaro: I have updated the map. As you pointed out, the Wikipedia article does list sufficient amparos. I'm surprised no one else has corrected it long before I.

    Jalisco: This state will undoubtedly be updated soon enough, probably this week. Publication of the SC's order in the state's Official Journal will be the definitive nail in the coffin for the state's SSM ban.

    Guanajuato, Michoacán, and Morelos: Once I gather enough external references to defend such edits to other Wikipedia editors, I will gladly update those states as well.

  • 83. F_Young  |  January 31, 2016 at 3:43 am

    Fortguy: I've updated the map…”

    Thanks for updating the Wikipedia map.

    By the way, it would be helpful if the map showed the names of the states, since most people outside Mexico would not know.

  • 84. Fortguy  |  February 1, 2016 at 12:48 am

    I agree it would be helpful, but it would also be inconsistent with the usage of other similar maps on Wikipedia. Maps such as the one showing the status of SSM in the various federal entities of Mexico are typically displayed in Wikipedia "infoboxes" where the map appears too small to show text annotations. Even small states such as Morelos and Tlaxcala are barely discernible at the resolution in which they are usually presented in the articles that include them.

    Within the first sentence of the relevant articles is a link to the overall Mexico article which, of course, includes a labeled map of Mexico's federal entities on a larger, more readable scale.

    Oddly, the HTML and XHTML title="some text" attribute is not widely supported in SVG, the preferred format for maps on Wikipedia. Such attribute support would allow you to mouse over a state and have the state's name appear as tool tip text. The functionality can be supplied through scripting, but script uploads are forbidden in most cases on Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons for various reasons including accessibility and security.

  • 85. F_Young  |  February 1, 2016 at 4:07 am

    Thanks for the explanation, Fortguy.By the way, I hope to make it down your way this year.  I hear there are a lot of cowboys in Fort Worth!

  • 86. allan120102  |  January 31, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    We have a gay hypocrite in Peru. People like him disgust me. They hurt more than help the community. He should have stay in the closet.

  • 87. Fortguy  |  February 1, 2016 at 1:16 am

    You're surprised by that? In the U.S., we're used to these creeps. Google Marcus Bachmann, Larry Craig, Terry Dolan, Mark Foley, Ted Haggard, Dennis Hastert, …

  • 88. VIRick  |  February 1, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    "…. Larry Craig …."

    After he had been arrested during one of his performances in a men's room at the Minneapolis Airport, we participated in the unofficial dedication of the Larry Craig Memorial Men's Room, in the lower level of DC's Union Station, the location where he spent years honing his tapping skills between committee meetings and vote calls while a member of the nearby US Senate.

  • 89. Fortguy  |  February 1, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Notice that my incomplete Hall of Shame nominations are listed in alphabetical order by surname. Note also that the majority of letters of the alphabet are not even listed.

  • 90. allan120102  |  January 31, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Incredible only 11 sscouples have adopted in Mexico.
    same sex couples prefer not getting married in Mexico
    It looks like 30% of the population in Tijuana is lgbt
    Lgbt people continues to win rights thanks to the Colombian supreme court, The only thing waiting is marriage equality.

  • 91. VIRick  |  January 31, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Allan, hetero couples in Mexico are not rushing to get married, either. That's why so many municipalities sponsor these public, mass, communal wedding ceremonies, paid for by the city as part of their "Wedding Campaign," often in conjunction with Valentine's Day, 14 February.

    But for those same-sex couples who ARE getting married, here's the deal, per Francisco Robledo, director de Matrimonios LGBT México:

    First off, Nayarit is so low-key, and sooooo Mexican in its quiet, low-key way. It's not advertising itself (and never has), but eventually, once the word gets out, one can expect it to see a major surge in the same-sex marriage business. Already, in the first month, at least 10 same-sex, out-of-state couples have applied for marriage licenses there, from Jalisco (3), Sinaloa (4), Michoacán, Colima, and DF. Read on (English translation is below), and you'll see why:

    En el caso de Coahuila y Quintana Roo, el Registro Civil no exige comprobante de domicilio, así que resulta más fácil. En Nayarit sí piden el documento, pero no importa que no coincida con un domicilio en ese estado, y en la Ciudad de México piden que el comprobante de domicilio de al menos uno de los miembros de la pareja coincida con un domicilio capitalino.

    Robledo explicó que en su experiencia, y paradójicamente, el proceso de matrimonio más largo se da en la capital del país, pues toma de 10 a 15 días hasta tener en sus manos copia certificada del acta de matrimonio, y también es el más caro, ya que cuesta unos mil 50 pesos.

    Nayarit es el lugar más amigable para que las parejas gays de otros estados se casen, destacó, por tiempos y costos. En menos de una semana y por 850 pesos queda sellado el trato.

    Luego está la cuestión de “turismo de boda gay.” Quintana Roo ha aprovechado la interpretación de la ley y cobran hasta 5 mil pesos sólo de impuestos a las parejas de extranjeros que llegan a sus destinos para contraer matrimonio con el fondo del mar Caribe. Para parejas en las que alguien sea de nacionalidad mexicana, el costo se reduce hasta mil 536 pesos.

    In the case of Coahuila, and Quintana Roo, the Civil Registry does not require proof of residency, so it is easy (as anyone can get married there). In Nayarit, they do ask for the residency document, but never mind (pero no importa), if it does not match with an address in that state. Mexico City requests that the proof of address of at least one of the registering partners match with an address in the capital.

    Robledo said that in his experience, and paradoxically, the process of marriage takes longest in the nation's capital, as it takes 10 to 15 days for the couple to get their hands on a certified copy of the marriage certificate, and is also the most expensive, since it costs about 1050 pesos.

    Nayarit is the most friendly place for gay couples from other states to get married, he said, by time and cost. In less than a week and for 850 pesos, the deal is sealed.

    Then there is the issue of "Gay Wedding tourism." Quintana Roo has taken the interpretation of the law and charges as much as 5,000 pesos tax to foreign couples who arrive at their destination to marry along the Caribbean Sea. For couples in which someone is a Mexican citizen (but not resident of Quintana Roo), the cost is reduced to 1536 pesos. (Quintana Roo residents pay half that latter amount, about 750 pesos, and proof of local residency is required).

  • 92. VIRick  |  January 31, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Colombia: Para Heredar la Pensión de una Pareja del Mismo Sexo

    Colombia: To Inherit the Pension of a Same-Sex Partner

    En 29 de enero 2016, la Corte Suprema de Justicia amplió el derecho a la pensión de sobreviviente de parejas homosexuales. Dice que el derecho debe recaer sobre las uniones anteriores al fallo que abrió esa puerta.

    On 29 January 2016, the Colombian Supreme Court extended the right of survivorship to the pensions of same-sex couples. They stated that the right must fall back retroactively to include the unions prior to the ruling that opened this door.

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