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Open Thread 2/15/2016


Here’s your open thread for the week of 2/15/2016.


  • 1. theperched  |  February 15, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Costa Rica's Constitutional Court accepts two petitions against the law barring same-sex marriage and to gain partnerships. Any and all lower court action on the matter is on hold while the memos are being published to the lower judges. It's estimated that all the memos will be printed within 15 days and after that comes the real fun 🙂

    The first of the two combined suits is against the Family Code section with a heterosexual definition of marriage and the other wants to extend domestic partnerships (part of a law called Young Person's Law) to anyone of legal age and not just those under 35.

  • 2. VIRick  |  February 15, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    '…. la Ley de la Persona Joven que abre un portillo para las uniones de hecho entre personas homosexuales,"

    "The Law of Young People which opened the door for "de facto" civil unions between persons of the same-sex."

    Yes, but this law is actually gender-neutral, and applies equally to both hetero and same-sex couples. In these instances, once a couple has lived together for 3 years, and can show evidence of such before a court, their "union de hecho" is then recognized as valid by the government. As translated from Spanish, "After three years, this domestic partnership will henceforth be recognized by the state as legally binding, equally valid as a formal marriage."

    At the time of its passage, this law was being championed by then-President Laura Chinchilla, who signed it into law on 4 July 2013, and who saw it as a means of increasing women's rights, particularly among the lower classes who most frequently simply began to informally start living together, with the stay-at-home spouse having little or no protection. However, the bill's legislative sponsor, José María Villalta, also made certain that the text language was gender-neutral (as well as being quite impossibly obscure in order to assure its passage).

    A very literal translation into English of the key passage, reads as follows: "The right to recognition without discrimination contrary to human dignity, social and economic effects of domestic partnerships that constitute publicly, notoriously unique and stable, with legal capacity for marriage for more than three years."

  • 3. theperched  |  February 15, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Yes, I was reading it in a hurry and didn't post all the content thank you for expanding the explanation. Hablo español by the way 🙂

  • 4. allan120102  |  February 15, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    I sincerely doubt Costa Rica will bring marriage equality this early but if the court strikes down the law it will be magnitude. It will shake the remaining 4 countries in CA that declare independence at the same time of CR. Here in Honduras to strike down a law from the constitution, the constittuonal court need to vote 5-0 to declare a law nulled. I doubt it will happen but I have hope in CR being the most liberal country of CA.

  • 5. theperched  |  February 15, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    5-0? Ay 🙁

    Before 2020 I only see Colombia/Chile going all the way with marriage. Costa Rica right now I'll place in the maaaybe pile. The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights is going to be the one who keeps up the pressure in Latin America.

    Who else in the Americas has to join the party before the Inter-American Court sets a precedent? For the European one I say they are only waiting for Germany, for the Americas not sure, many of the most populous nations already have marriage equality.

  • 6. VIRick  |  February 15, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    As I see the situation, Colombia and Chile are immediate and quite close at-hand. Then Costa Rica. And then, somewhat further into the future, there are reasonable possibilities for both Venezuela (probably after Maduro is gone) and Cuba (after Fidel is gone). And even for Bolivia, likely after Morales is gone, where "anti-discrimination" has become quite a "buzz-word."

    In the meantime, in a very piece-meal fashion, I am expecting to see the after-effects of Bermuda spread into other British/ex-British Caribbean territories, mostly via the courts. In that arena, the Cayman Islands are next.

  • 7. theperched  |  February 15, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Will be interesting to see since Caymans and Anguilla are the only British Overseas Territories without anti-discrimination laws in place.

    Speaking of BOT, Gibraltar is next for marriage then Falkland Islands (… ) unless someone pulls a Pitcairns and surprises.

  • 8. allan120102  |  February 15, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    You are correct in the part of the Inter American court. It ruled that CR need to include IFV and the president is doing just that. I am not sure if that precedent is going to be used in all of the members though. As CR is the only one doing it.

  • 9. Christian0811  |  February 15, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    It will be interesting to see if this case overturns the 2006 ruling! If it does, that'll give me hope for places like Italy.

  • 10. theperched  |  February 15, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Michoacan's Civil Registry is asking those wanting a domestic partnership to wait since they expect Congress to change the Family Code this week that would modify the partnership law, among other things.

    The new Code will expand the Domestic Partnership Law to encompass any two people (even if they are not a couple) as opposed to just gay couples to avoid discrimination and include same-sex marriage. This goes with the previous articles saying that they are just waiting for the Pope's visit to be over, my prediction is maybe Thursday at the earliest is when the plenary votes. Finger's crossed Michoacan becomes the next state with marriage equality by week's end.

  • 11. VIRick  |  February 15, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Essentially, this is a status report from Blanca Arriaga Marín, the chief Civil Registrar for the Municipality of Zamora, the third-most-populous municipality in Michoacán state. Overall, she seemed quite up-beat that the change to allow marriage equality would be enacted quite soon, and that she was ready for it. However, she was also expressing some doubts and concern about the future prospects of the continuation of the "sociedades de convivencia," the current "separate but unequal" civil union category for same-sex couples, given that several couples who had requested such, also had wait-times stretching on until August 2016.

    It was obvious from the very beginning that this last-minute half-way measure, first enacted in October 2015, would complicate matters,– and it has. Colima up-graded theirs to full marriage after the Supreme Court said "No" to "separate but unequal."

    And yes, in "other" news, as the banner headline above this news article states, the pope is in Morelia, Michoacán, tomorrow, 16 February.

  • 12. theperched  |  February 15, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Bermuda's Government is currently answering the public's questions on the Civil Unions Act. Follow along here:

    Oh dear, according to one person:

    Discrimination: There already exists an unequal age of consent. Another has been introduced for #CivilUnions #Bermuda

  • 13. theperched  |  February 15, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    This website thinks the Durango vote may be tomorrow.

    They are very strict about copyright so I'll just make a summary instead of using actual lines:

    Conservatives in the state want the unions to be called something else and not marriage. LGBT in the state say they will also go for equal adoption.

  • 14. allan120102  |  February 15, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    What they are trying to say base on what I understand is that tomorrow is going to be decided if to used marriage or civil unions. In another day they might finally vote if to allow the figure they are going to decide tormorrow wether is marriage or civil unions.

  • 15. theperched  |  February 15, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Let's hope they learn from Colima/Michoacan that it's marriage or Supreme Court golpiza.

  • 16. allan120102  |  February 15, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Nuevo Leon , Mexico.
    LGBT couples are not taking a no and are asking the governor to issue an injuction against the ban in ssm like its Chihuhua counterpart did in June of last year. Being an independent governor he might be more open mind than other governors.

  • 17. theperched  |  February 15, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    In a little more than 3 weeks, the Constitutional Points Committee in Nuevo Leon will finish analyzing the marriage bill. They have several pending, including a civil union proposal. The Committee President said he wants to get through all of the pending bills by that time.

    Aguascalientes, Sinaloa and Nuevo Leon are the places where the conservatives filed alternative union bills to counteract the marriage bills.

  • 18. allan120102  |  February 15, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Well the president of my country have never give an opinion on ssm but he have now pronounce in favor of maintaining the ban on marriage and adoption for ss couples. This comes as they want to change the constitution. The last time a new one was done was in 1982.

  • 19. theperched  |  February 16, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Bermuda news:

    [youtube ujsfaRIEHvY youtube]

    MP Wayne Furbert brought a Bill to the House — the “Human Rights Amendment Act 2016″ — which seeks to amend the Act as it pertains to discrimination and marriage, with the Bill, in effect, seeking to ensure that marriage is between a male and female.

    Speaking outside the House on Friday, Mr Furbert told Bernews, “The Chief Justice made a ruling not too long ago, his whole ruling was around, basically, the supremacy of the Human Rights Act 1981, as far as discrimination is concerned, in regards to possibly same-sex marriage.

    “So, what we have laid today is an amendment to the Human Rights Act, Clause Two, where it talks about discrimination.

    “We put in there ‘Except For’, the idea that a male and female are the only ones who are able to get married in Bermuda. So, we will debate that Bill, hopefully, in the next couple weeks. I am confident that it will be passed by both parties.”

  • 20. Christian0811  |  February 17, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Sounds potentially unconstitutional in so far as it enshrines a ban on same sex nuptials, it's survival is definitely up for debate.

  • 21. theperched  |  February 16, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Activists storm the floor after a debate from the plenary on Durango's marriage bill is postponed. The congressman who submitted the bill said he'll work with a commission to set up a new date to send it for a vote:

  • 22. VIRick  |  February 16, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    South Dakota Anti-Trans Bathroom Bill

    Per the latest tweet at BuzzFeed:

    With a 20-15 vote in the South Dakota State Senate, South Dakota becomes first state legislature to pass an anti-trans student restroom bill.

    Now, it's on to the governor to see whether he will sign it or veto it.

    And if he does sign it, then apparently females in South Dakota will henceforth have to flash pu$$y in order to gain entrance into the ladies' room and males will have to flash dick before gaining entrance to the men's room.

  • 23. guitaristbl  |  February 17, 2016 at 8:42 am

    It contradicts federal guidelines and is unenforcable even if Dugaard signs it. Absolute waste of time and money.

  • 24. VIRick  |  February 17, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    The South Dakota governor's name is Dennis Daugaard, not to be confused with another set of raving, breeding, hyper-ventilating ass-hats in Arkansas named Duggar

  • 25. tx64jm  |  February 17, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Theyre just trying to prevent this:

    Man Undressing in Women's Room Cites Transgender Rule

    Seattle Parks and Recreation says a man wearing shorts entered the women's locker room at Evans Pool and took off his shirt. Women alerted staff, who told the man to leave, but he said, "the law has changed and I have a right to be here."

    Employees claim the man made no verbal or physical attempt to identify as a woman, yet he still cited a new rule that allows bathroom choice based on gender identification.

    The man later returned a second time while young girls were changing for swim practice. No arrests were made, according to the KING-TV report.

    A Seattle Parks spokesman says they're still working on the issue. At this time there's no specific protocol for how someone should demonstrate his or her gender in order to access a bathroom.

  • 26. davepCA  |  February 17, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    It was an intentional stunt, not something 'they were just trying to prevent'. Your comment simply reveals what happens when you rely on idiotic biased right wing "news' sources. Shoo, troll.

  • 27. VIRick  |  February 17, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Which is precisely what the ignorant ass-hats and haters have stirred up by viewing the world from the narrow perspective of leering, hetero men, given all their excessively graphic descriptions which solely focus on the most perverted angle of what they think/expect leering, hetero men must do (because that's exactly what they themselves would do). And of course, this article just fans those flames, assuming it contains even a single grain of truth as to the actual event.

    Trans-gender individuals have nothing to do with leering, hetero men. In the case you cited, the leering, hetero man did not identify as female, and made no pretense of identifying as female. As a result, he should have been thrown out on his ass, as he has no rights to be there. It was a stupid stunt. Nothing more.

    And from the comments posted below the article, I see they're also throwing pedophiles into the mix of leering, hetero men, while blaming the "libtards" for their own ignorance and twisted hate. Also, I've searched their entire site, and found no explanation for their use of the initials, CNS. Therefore, I can only conclude that those initials stand for Conservative Nut-job Symposium.

  • 28. tx64jm  |  February 18, 2016 at 4:59 am

    Actually the report cited in the blog post (it was not an article) came from KING channel 5 broadcast TV, which you will note is an NBC station.

  • 29. davepCA  |  February 18, 2016 at 9:13 am

    And there's a big difference between the hysterical inflammatory rhetoric in the right wing CNS 'news' link you posted, and the truth about this idiotic anti-trans stunt that is reported from those other sources. Shoo, troll.

  • 30. tx64jm  |  February 18, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    "hysterical inflammatory rhetoric in the right wing CNS 'news' link"

    I didnt post a news link … I posted a link to a blog.

    Cut and paste from the TV news station website is not "hysterical inflammatory rhetoric" …

  • 31. theperched  |  February 16, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    New date for discussion on Durango's bill is next Tuesday:

  • 32. allan120102  |  February 16, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Acapulco like other municipalities in Guerrero continue to be firm in not allowing ss couples to marry. You can see it in the last sentence.

  • 33. JayJonson  |  February 17, 2016 at 6:04 am

    Acapulco would seem to be quite vulnerable to a tourism boycott if it remains obdurate in discriminating against gay people.

  • 34. VIRick  |  February 17, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Oh absolutely, and on several grounds:

    1. Competitively speaking, a number of other major Mexican tourism destinations already have marriage equality, that is, Quintana Roo (Cancun, Cozumel, Maya Riviera), Nayarit (Nuevo Vallarta, San Blas), Jalisco (Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara), and of course, Mexico City itself.

    2. Acapulco's #1 tourism market is actually the domestic market for quick week-end get-aways, given its relative proximity to Mexico City. However, there hasn't been any need for residents of Mexico City to travel to Acapulco for anything concerning marriage for the past 6 years. Thus, business has already shifted, and will now continue to shift even more, given that Puerto Vallarta/Nuevo Vallarta are not that much further away from Mexico City.

  • 35. 1grod  |  February 17, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Marriage Equality in Alabama: 1st Anniversary sees work remaining to be done in a dozen or so counties. Probate Judge Terry Mitchell for Lamar Co (pop 14567) take note.

  • 36. Insurance Plans  |  May 23, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Marriage Equality in Alabama:

  • 37. theperched  |  February 17, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    The First Chamber of Mexico's Supreme Court declares Nuevo Leon's concubinage laws unconstitutional for not including sam-sex couples:

  • 38. allan120102  |  February 17, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    I hope the case where the yucatan ban was upheld comes next. I want that decision to be reversed asap.

  • 39. VIRick  |  February 17, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Well, the Nuevo León case had an earlier filing date than that from Yucatán, and Mexico's Supreme Court almost always takes the cases in chronological order by their precise date of filing.

    Still, given the heightened importance of the Yucatán matter following upon the fact that the Yucatán State Supreme Court actually upheld Yucatán's discriminatory provisions, I too am somewhat surprised that they didn't "skip" this case forward. Regardless, it ought to now be next, then Hidalgo, Durango, repeat appeals from Sinaloa and Baja California, plus an "act of unconstitutionality" from Michoacán, filed directly within the 30-day window following the enactment of the "sociedades de convivencia." And then, Alex Alí Méndez Díaz has also filed something directly with the Supreme Court against both Sinaloa and Oaxaca.

  • 40. Christian0811  |  February 17, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    How much longer with Mexico? This system of constitutional review is more cumbersome and absurd than it is under a system of parliamentary sovereignty…

  • 41. allan120102  |  February 17, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Well its not that bad, it actually protect the states from being forced by the judicial system. If the supreme court would want a ban to be invalidated they will need to do what happen in Jalisco. All 11 should vote not just one chamber. In our case its actually bad because it slow equality but for other issues it prevent states from loosing their rights.

  • 42. Christian0811  |  February 17, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    I suppose I see the reason in that, but it's cases just like this that require more broad judicial powers imo

  • 43. theperched  |  February 17, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Oaxaca really doesn't get it, doesn't it? It was the state that began the amparo situation years ago. I want to contact someone about Aguascaliente's new Civil Code reform, if the bill is signed and did what I think it did then it's eligible for an act of unconstitutionality.

  • 44. VIRick  |  February 17, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    For Aguascalientes, definitely contact Julián Elizalde Peña, presidente de SerGay A.C. on Twitter at @juliansergay

    Also try the favorably-disposed deputy in the Aguascalientes state congress, Cuauhtemoc Escobedo Tejada (PRD) at He represents el Municipio de Pabellón de Arteaga.

    Oh wait! I see I've scrambled my languages, but you know what I'm saying.

  • 45. VIRick  |  February 18, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Nuevo León: Reconoce SCJN Concubinato Gay en el Estado

    Nuevo León: Supreme Court Recognizes Same-Sex Cohabitation in the State

    La Suprema Corte de Justicia declaró inconstitucional la definición legal de concubinato en Nuevo León que sólo reconoce a parejas heterosexuales. Esto trascendió luego de que en el gobierno anterior, el ahora ex-gobernador Rodrigo Medina de la Cruz y el Congreso local impugnaran el fallo de un juez que amparó a una pareja homosexual que deseaba casarse.

    La Primera Sala de la Corte concedió este miércoles, 17 de febrero 2016, un amparo contra el Artículo 291 Bis del Código Civil estatal, que define al concubinato como la unión de un hombre y una mujer que, libres de matrimonio, realizan vida marital durante al menos dos años. Por lo tanto la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) ordenó al gobernador de Nuevo León, Jaime Rodríguez Calderón, reconocer el concubinato entre parejas del mismo sexo.

    Se trata de la primera sentencia de la Corte sobre parejas del mismo sexo en Nuevo León, luego que la Sala ha concedido amparos contra la definición de matrimonio en entidades como Oaxaca, Baja California y Querétaro, y de concubinato en Sinaloa.

    The Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the legal definition of cohabitation in Nuevo León which only recognizes heterosexual couples. This transpired as a result of the previous government of now ex-governor Rodrigo Medina de la Cruz and the local Congress filing appeals challenging the ruling of a judge who upheld a same-sex couple who wanted to marry.

    On Wednesday, 17 February 2016, the First Chamber of the Court granted an injunction against Article 291 Bis of the state Civil Code, which defines cohabitation as the union of a man and a woman, free from marriage, but living a marital existence for at least two years. Therefore, the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) ordered the governor of Nuevo León, Jaime Rodríguez Calderón, to recognize cohabitation between same-sex couples.

    This is the first judgment of the Court regarding same-sex couples in Nuevo León, after the Chamber has granted appeals against the definition of marriage in states such as Oaxaca, Baja California, and Querétaro, and that of cohabitation in Sinaloa.

  • 46. theperched  |  February 17, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Michoacan's next move is scheduled for Monday. The members of the Justice and Human Rights committees tried to discuss the Family Code today, but couldn't agree on anything.

  • 47. theperched  |  February 17, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Turns out everyone wanted to submit their own proposal on how to modify the Family Code. They need to pick one option and quick, tick tock.

  • 48. VIRick  |  February 17, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Michoacán: Dictaminan a Favor de Bodas Gay

    Michoacán: Ruling/Opinion in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage

    But look what happened, late in the day on 17 de febrero 2016, especially given that it contains that word I like, "dictamen:"

    Por mayoría de votos, las comisiones del Congreso local dictaminaron a favor de los matrimonios “igualitarios” en Michoacán, es decir, las bodas reconocidas por el Estado ya no se restringirán a la unión legal entre hombre y mujer con fines de procreación.

    Los diputados reescribieron el matrimonio como la unión legítima de dos personas para procurarse ayuda mutua, guardarse fidelidad, perpetuar la especie, y crear una comunidad de vida permanente.

    Los legisladores definieron a las sociedades de convivencia (conocidas popularmente como bodas gay) como la unión de dos personas mayores de edad para establecer un hogar común con voluntad de permanencia y de ayuda mutua.

    Con dicho dictamen, las comisiones dan cumplimiento a la recomendación general emitida por la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CEDH) para eliminar toda forma discriminación por preferencias sexuales en el Código Familiar del Estado.

    By majority vote, the commissions of the local Congress ruled in favor of marriage equality in Michoacan, that is, marriages recognized by the State are no longer restricted to the legal union between man and woman for the purpose of procreation.

    Members rewrote marriage as the lawful union of two persons to procure mutual aid, to remain faithful, to perpetuate the species, and to create a community of permanent life.

    Lawmakers defined a domestic partnership (popularly known as gay marriage) as the union of two people of legal age to establish a common household with willing permanency and mutual aid.

    With this directive, the committees give effect to the general recommendation made by the National Commission on Human Rights (ECHR) to eliminate all forms of sexual orientation discrimination in the state's Family Code.

  • 49. theperched  |  February 17, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Great. I was afraid this "let me do it, no me" was going to delay the process. Now that the Pope officially got on his plane out of the country, I hope this means a final vote 😉

  • 50. VIRick  |  February 17, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Yes, the pope has departed, and the final vote of the full congress still needs to be taken.

    However, almost immediately after I posted that news item, something caught my attention:

    Will this new language really pass muster with the CNDH? The new definition of marriage will still include "perpetuar la especie" (to perpetuate the species), while no mention of such is contained in the parallel "sociedades de convivencia." Or will these three words be broadly interpreted to give same-sex couples adoption rights as a means for them to assist in perpetuating the species?

  • 51. theperched  |  February 17, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Mexico is the king of piecemeal so I don't think adoption will be included, I hope to be proven wrong.

  • 52. VIRick  |  February 17, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Still, they must have been quite busy today. They even approved a third category, informal "de facto" unions (concubinato):

    En forma paralela, las comisiones legislativas de justicia y derechos humanos del Congreso también redactaron una nueva definición de concubinato para quedar como la unión de dos personas, sin impedimentos para matrimoniarse, por vivir en común por un mínimo de dos años o por haber concebido un hijo en común.

    At the same time, the legislative commissions of justice and of human rights of the local congress also drafted a new definition of concubinage to remain as the union of two persons, without impediments to marry, by either living together for at least two years or by having conceived a child together.

  • 53. allan120102  |  February 17, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    I hope that once Michoacan law goes into effect that promp Colima to change its law as I know marriages are happening but it would be cool to see it in its civil code. Michoacan closeness to Guerrero might also help change the mind of the legislators of that state. the bill to allow ssm in Guerrero have been since June of last year. If approved those municipalities not marrying ss couples will have no excuse to not married ss couples. Guerrero and Colima are the last two southwestern states where the civil code have not been change or invalidate by the supreme court.

  • 54. allan120102  |  February 17, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    When is the president of Portugal suppose to sign the adoption bill? By my count it should be tomorrow but I am not sure.

  • 55. Christian0811  |  February 17, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    That's how it looks, but the constitution is silent on what happens if the president doesn't sign a bill after his veto is overridden. It only says he is obliged to sign the bill in question.

  • 56. theperched  |  February 17, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    That's what one news site predicted. Wouldn't surprise me if it drags on until next week…good thing the new President won't be inaugurated until March 9th.

  • 57. VIRick  |  February 17, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Italy: Lawmakers’ Vote on Same-Sex Civil Unions Stalls

    Rome — The Italian Senate began voting Tuesday afternoon, 16 February 2016, on a contentious bill that for the first time would allow civil unions for same-sex couples. The parliamentary debate was suspended after a raucous three-hour discussion during which tempers flared and lawmakers hurled insults.

    “We won’t permit stadium chants,” said Pietro Grasso, the president of the Senate, who adjourned discussion until Wednesday morning, 17 February 2016, on the request of several senators. Tuesday’s discussion got bogged down over the admission of a government amendment that would effectively quash other proposed amendments to the bill.

  • 58. Christian0811  |  February 17, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    What are the odds the Italian CC will get fed up with Parliament and overturn it's 138/2010 ruling? That's the only way it can really impose recognition of same sex couples

    And how good are out chances of getting a Austria-style ruling invalidating the adoption-prohibition?

  • 59. theperched  |  February 17, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    It's M5S and social media is trashing them for not backing a "kangaroo" move to skip most of the amendments. Social media got over 30 of the 35 in the Senate to publicly declare their opinion on stepchild adoption some days ago and it looks like they're heading for a second lashing from the public.

  • 60. VIRick  |  February 17, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Finland: Marriage Equality Law Finalized and Approved

    Today, 17 February 2016, Finland’s parliament finalized the details of the marriage equality law which goes into effect in March 2017. Parliament has approved legal changes that will allow same-sex couples now in registered partnerships to convert their legal status to ‘married’ by notifying the authorities. MPs voted in favor of this legislation by 106 votes to 42.

    The move also eliminates registered partnerships for couples seeking to get hitched. Henceforth, they will only have the option to get married. Transgender people will no longer be required to be single, that is, not in a marriage or a registered partnership, when their gender switch is recognized.

    The changes approved today were a follow-up to the already-approved law on same-sex marriage, which made legislation covering marriage gender-neutral. All changes will come into force in March 2017.

  • 61. allan120102  |  February 17, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    People Pay attention to Colombia Diversa in twitter tomorrow as The supreme court might strike down the ban on gay marriage as soon as tomorrow. Sadly I will be in lab so I am not going to know until 5pm local time.

  • 62. SethInMaryland  |  February 17, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Anything about Colombia tomorrow ?

  • 63. theperched  |  February 18, 2016 at 9:19 am

    The news sites are really excited. I type marriage into google and get pure results on what they expect from Colombia's Court.

    First they expect the written opinion to not label the current unions as marriage to be voted down. Then a pro-lgbt judge will submit his counter-opinion to have marriage be legalized and that should be upheld by the Court majority.

  • 64. SethInMaryland  |  February 18, 2016 at 9:22 am

    All right Yay 🙂 on to Chile, any news about Chile's progress?

  • 65. theperched  |  February 18, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Activists want a marriage bill discussed this year while the Government wants to wait until next year. There's a pending lawsuit before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and the Government has had friendly talks with the activists so it can dropped. The final signatures on the agreement to drop the suit are still pending so maybe the rights groups can use that as leverage.

  • 66. SethInMaryland  |  February 18, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Anything yet?

  • 67. theperched  |  February 18, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    It's been delayed – again *sigh*

  • 68. SethInMaryland  |  February 18, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    What why do they keep doing this? I don't understand their reasoning for delaying.

  • 69. theperched  |  February 18, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    They've already held like 2 meetings on it and have postponed 3 other times. NO idea why 🙁

  • 70. Christian0811  |  February 18, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Article 42 of the constitution, it's a constitutional ban on same sex marriage and nobody seems to realize this.

    I think the constitutional court wants to legalize from the standpoint of natural rights but can't reconcile the language of article 42.

    Imo, the court will eventually hold that marriage is prohibited but that couples are entitled to all the other rights and benefits thereof.

  • 71. VIRick  |  February 18, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    First, we must remember that the decision will not be unanimous, and the negative side goes first, in what must undoubtedly be a passionate last-ditch "defense" of the status quo. Justice Pretelt, who we know for certainty is hostile, has to present his conflated argument against marriage equality, as does the equally-noxious Inquisitor-General (in the form of the current Inspector-General). Who knows how long either or both are taking, by droning on and on, to finish up with their impassioned appeals. Once all of that is voted down, then another justice from the majority has to present the alternate, positive proposal, presumably to legalize same-sex marriage with finality.

  • 72. theperched  |  February 18, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Correct. Votes should be 6 in both cases.

    The Court already ruled on adoption which is a more contentious issue so I don't know think they would give 90% of the main lgbt rights only.

    Which reminds me, I hope the Court decides soon in Austria.

  • 73. allan120102  |  February 18, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    In Latin America is quite different than Europe. Most European in Italy for example support ssm, but not adoption. In Latin America most people dont support ssm and the same amout or a little more dont support adoption. Quite a contrast to Europe where support of ssm and adoptions are not proportionate.

  • 74. VIRick  |  February 18, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    Also, the movement for marriage equality began in the most Euro-centric areas of Latin America,– but has rapidly been spreading right across cultural/ethnic lines, and is no longer limited to just those Euro-centric locales.

    It hit me in the face when I took a good look at recent developments in Bolivia. There, President Morales has championed Indigenous rights (as well as he should be doing, given that the oppressed Indigenous people are a clear majority, and where "non-discrimination" of every sort has become a major political theme).

    But, oh wait, Señor Presidente, what about the rights of gay Indigenous people? After he used some slurs directed against gays and lesbians, a whole coterie of gay Indigenous folks have been "dogging" his every move, and are quite noisy and persistent in their demands.

    And the trans-genders! OMG!! They're quite a scene, all decked out in the traditional Indigenous costuming, complete with the very distinctive headgear.

  • 75. VIRick  |  February 18, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    I do not see where the Court has a lot of options. They will have to strike down with finality whatever clause or clauses of the Colombian Constitution have been deemed to be in violation of human rights. The legislature missed their own court-imposed deadline (back in 2013) to change those unconstitutional portions of Colombian law (previously deemed to be unconstitutional), so now, it is totally up to the Court (with the blanket approval of both the President of Colombia and the Justice Ministry) to do whatever they have to do to fulfill their own mandate regarding those unconstitutional clauses.

  • 76. Christian0811  |  February 18, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Does the court have the authority to strike down parts of the constitution?

  • 77. allan120102  |  February 18, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    Well in Honduras like I explained that is why we have a constitutional court. They struck down the part where re election was prohibited to the president but the vote need to be 5-0. Yeah I think its similar in Colombia where the supreme court can strike an amendment or article if they deem the article to be harming the citizens in some way. In this case would be lgbt couples.

  • 78. allan120102  |  February 18, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Not really, I doubt that is the decision. The court in Colombia is quite liberal, even more liberal than the Brazilian court which ruled in our favor. Most justice have expressed their support for ssm. So Like Rick said below that is the process of how is the decision taken. Most local news of Colombia are already anticipating a 6-3 ruling where justice Pretelt ponence will be defeat. The same amout of votes is expect to a ruling legalizing ssm in the country.

  • 79. VIRick  |  February 18, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Per the tweet from The City Paper ‏@citypaperbogota

    Colombia's Constitutional Court has put off making a decision on same-sex marriage for the third time.

    And another tweet from Alejandro Michells ‏@ALEJOMICHELLS

    Aplazada nuevamente la decisión sobre Matrimonio Igualitario en la Corte Constitucional. Seguimos esperando con optimism.

    The Constitutional Court again postponed the decision on equal marriage. We are still waiting with optimism.

  • 80. Christian0811  |  February 18, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    From what I've read article 93 may help mitigate the effect of article 42 as international human rights instruments which form part of the constitutional law could either supersede article 42 or work in conjunction with it.

    So if that's the case then they may be within rights to read article 42 out of the constitution.

  • 81. 1grod  |  February 18, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Alabama Equality Index: Comparitive Information for 2015
    Full report here http://hrc-assets.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws….
    Washington Co Probate Judge William Tate, appointed by Gov Bentley last June take note of this 75 page report by HRC

  • 82. VIRick  |  February 18, 2016 at 11:22 am

    California Instructs Employers to Allow Trans Workers Bathroom Access

    The California agency charged with enforcing the state’s civil rights law on Wednesday, 17 February 2016, made public new guidance to make clear employers are required to allow trans workers to use restroom facilities consistent with their gender identity. In addition to stipulating employers must let transgender employees have access in correspondence with their gender identity to restroom, shower, locker room and other such facilities, the guidance — published by the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing — suggests providing individual or unisex restrooms to enhance privacy for all employees.

    – See more at:

  • 83. VIRick  |  February 18, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Yet Another Florida Class-Action Marriage-Related Lawsuit

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In "Birchfield v. Armstrong," the Florida class-action suit filed in federal court for retroactive recognition of spouses on death certificates, the state Defendants’ have filed their Answer to the Complaint, linked here:

    For reference, the original complaint is here:

    Hey Bondi! Have you ever read the actual particulars of "Obergefell?" I believe it had something to do with retroactive recognition of spouses on death certificates.

    Plus, one also has to wonder whether she's ever heard of Arlene Goldberg of Naples FL? She was the widowed plaintiff (along with four same-sex couples seeking to marry) in one of Florida's original federal marriage lawsuits, "Grimsley v. Scott," who successfully sued to be legally-recognized on her same-sex partner's death certificate (and to obtain the accrued spousal benefits from the deceased's former state job) . How can others in the same state still continue to be denied this same benefit?

  • 84. VIRick  |  February 18, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Up-Date on Challenge to North Carolina's "Magistrate Recusal" Law

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In "Ansley v. North Carolina," the challenge to the state's "magistrate recusal" law filed in federal court, the state has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, based on assertions of the state's sovereign immunity, that the federal court lacks jurisdiction, and that the plaintiffs lack standing to sue.

    State’s Motion to Dismiss:
    Memo in support:

    There are also two pending motions by parties who ask to intervene to defend the law. Proposed intervenors have also filed motions to dismiss:

    • Phil Berger, President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina Senate, and Tim Moore, Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, on behalf of the North Carolina General Assembly, represented by ADF attorneys
    – Berger and Moore Motion to Intervene:
    – Brief in support of Motion:
    – Motion to Dismiss with brief in support of motion attached:

    • Magistrate Judge Brenda Bumgarner, "individually and on behalf of a proposed class of similarly situated Magistrates”
    – Magistrate Bumgarner's Motion to intervene with memo in support attached:
    – Motion to dismiss with memo in support attached:

  • 85. VIRick  |  February 18, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Philippines: Leading Presidential Candidate Rodrigo Duterte Expresses Openness To Same-Sex Marriage

    CNN Philippines reports:

    Should he win the national elections, presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte said he would consider legalizing same-sex marriage if a proposal is presented to him. “If it reaches me in whatever capacity, I’ll consider it,” Duterte said on Thursday, 18 February 2016.

    The Davao City mayor said the law mandates that marriage is between man and woman. Duterte, who stressed he is against harrassment and bigotry, also believes members of the LGBT community should be welcome to join the military.

    The election is 9 May 2016. It’s unclear how a same-sex marriage bill might fare in the Filipino Congress. The Liberal Party bloc does hold a substantial majority in the Filipino House, although Duterte’s PDP-Laban Party holds no seats there and only one seat in the Filipino Senate.

    No Asian country has yet legalized same-sex marriage, although things have recently looked promising in Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

  • 86. VIRick  |  February 18, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Canadian Island Welcomes US Refugees From Trump

    From Canada’s National Post:

    The creator of a cheeky website that encourages Americans to move to Cape Breton before Donald Trump can be elected president says he’s been shocked by the response. The site, called “Cape Breton if Donald Trump Wins,” was set up Monday by radio announcer Rob Calabrese to poke fun at the bombastic Republican and, more importantly, to spread the word about the island’s many charms.

    However, Calabrese says he’s been stunned by the reaction, saying he’s received hundreds of emails from Americans, virtually all of them making serious inquiries about moving to Nova Scotia. “I’m in disbelief,” Calabrese said in an interview Wednesday from Sydney, the largest community in Cape Breton. “I wish everyone from Cape Breton could read them because they really make you proud of living here.”

    The site is reportedly getting thousands of hits per hour. From its message:

    Women can get abortions, Muslim people can roam freely, and the only ‘walls’ are holding up the roofs of our extremely affordable houses.

    We are an island about the same size as the Hawaiian Big Island, on the East Coast of Canada. We always rank high on travel magazine lists of beautiful islands. But we are experiencing a bit of a population problem at the moment. We need people. We need you!

    This is not a joke! See for yourself, you belong here with us on Cape Breton Island, where health care is free, you know your neighbours and they look out for you, and nobody has a hand gun!

  • 87. 1grod  |  February 19, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Rick: Calabrese neglected to mention that the effective income tax rate (fed and provincial for Nova Scotia) is for example 43% for incomes between $90,000 and $120,000. The rate reflects the cost of the provision of health case, which is not free but is derived from tax revenue, analogous to Bernie Sanders' ideas on health care – with all citizens having access. Equal before and under the law includes sex orientation/gender inclusion under the Charter of Rights. Your participation in the Island's Pride Week would be welcome as the value today is $1 US = 1.38 Canadian. Jobs in CB -oopse! Unemployment rate 14%.

    Note Rob has received a couple of hundred inquiries. Not a rush to immigrate Canada does not consider individuals from the USA, seeking to live here as refugees. However we have admitted 21, 673 Syrians refugees since November, some going to Sydney, Cape Breton <a href="http://.” target=”_blank”>.

  • 88. Randolph_Finder  |  February 19, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    If the US had the same percentage of Refugees that Syria does, Canada would be *completely* overwhelmed. (Of course, so would Mexico, Cuba, and Hispanola)

  • 89. theperched  |  February 18, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Colombia's discussion has been changed to next week. Exact day coming soon.

  • 90. theperched  |  February 18, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Colombia Diversa says that the difference between this issue and others is that it's several lawsuits and unlike previous lgbt ones there's no set deadline on when the judges must rule.

    They stress that having the case on the order of the day doesn't automatically equal a verdict like in past cases.

  • 91. allan120102  |  February 18, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    They are always Thursday. I have been expecting a ruling from them since November. Quite dissapointed on them.

  • 92. allan120102  |  February 18, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Tabasco to make reforms in its civil code at least 15 of them. The thing is that is not including ss couples. That may promp Lgbt activist to file a lawsuit against the civil code of that state like in Jalisco.

  • 93. theperched  |  February 18, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    So if it's approved by the plenary then we might add it to the pile of possible suits along with Aguascalientes. No aprenden. I'm looking for the text of these bills, I want to make sure it said man-woman etc before writing to organizations to have them pull a Jalisco.

  • 94. theperched  |  February 18, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    VIRick, news coming out of Michoacan is confusing me all the time. So they did do a dictamen yet each party wants to submit their own counterproposal in the end? The other article said they wouldn't then I found this. Which article came first?

    El día de mañana 19 de febrero, seguramente las fracciones presentaran sus propuestas, aunque a saber de la Comisión de Puntos Constitucionales ya se tiene un dictamen relacionado con el tema.

    Tomorrow the 19th of February, surely the different parties will present their proposals, even though it's known that the Constitutional Points Committee already has a dictamen done on that issue.

  • 95. theperched  |  February 18, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    On the order of the day, three proposals will be presented before the plenary tomorrow:

    They'll be reviewed in committees then narrowed down to one.

    Just looks like one big mess to me.

  • 96. VIRick  |  February 18, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    "…. it's known that the Constitutional Points Committee already has a dictamen done on that issue."

    That's your answer right there.

    The joint legislative commissions/committees of Justice and of Human Rights have, by a majority vote of the combined membership, approved a single, uniform dictamen (in this instance, a completed, final draft) covering all matters under discussion relative to marriage equality. As a result, this edition would have to be considered the one and only official legislative completed draft, ready for a final vote before the full Congress.

    The other two proposals would have to be viewed as unvetted, outside, unofficial floor proposals from non-committee members who either have an axe to grind as a last-minute delaying tactic, or who, alternately, want to falsely claim some of the glory for finally passing some sort of marriage equality legislation. In any case, only the committee-approved dictamen has been discussed, vetted, edited, revised, reviewed, and then discussed some more, and for which, a modicum of agreement has already been reached and voted upon. Those were the two committees assigned the task, and they have completed their job.

    If one or both of the other outside proposals have been submitted by PAN and/or by disgruntled members of PRI, I would be highly suspicious of their motives and intentions.

    Besides, we need to win Michoacán with finality for one very simple personal reason. I have relatives who live there.

  • 97. theperched  |  February 19, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    No adoption

    Las iniciativa que solo toca el tema de los matrimonios gay, y no la adopción de bebés entre las parejas homosexuales.

    Looks like everyone just wants to steal the shine from each other.

  • 98. VIRick  |  February 19, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    At the moment, same-sex couples who wish to adopt can already do so by applying through the state agency in Coahuila state.

    Although Coahuila state does give some preference to its own local residents, there are, otherwise, no restrictions there on adoption. Thus, same-sex couples from all over Mexico (even from the Federal District) are successfully applying there.

    On the other hand, if a same-sex couple wants to go the surrogate route, then Tabasco state is the place to apply.

  • 99. allan120102  |  February 19, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    I am pretty sure I posted that Tabasco ban surrogacy to homosexual couples a while ago.

  • 100. theperched  |  February 18, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    Jalisco's PAN is being stubborn. They want a new partnership law instead of codifying the Civil Code with marriage:

  • 101. SoCal_Dave  |  February 18, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    I didn't see this posted about yet – apologies if I missed it.
    Kentucky has decided to go with "separate but equal" in their latest boneheaded legislation.

  • 102. VIRick  |  February 18, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Japanese Tech Giant Panasonic to ‘Recognize’ Same-Sex Marriages Despite Lack of Legal Status

    Japanese tech giant Panasonic has made a bold statement by extending employment rights to its gay and lesbian employees, despite a lack of government recognition. Though homosexuality has long been legal in Japan, the country does not formally recognize same-sex partnerships, and households headed by same-sex couples are ineligible for legal protections and employment benefits.

    Panasonic, one of the country’s most prominent businesses, this week sent a strong message to the country’s government by extending same-sex partner benefits to its own employees. The Japanese electronics giant, which has over 250,000 employees, announced today, 18 February 2016, that it would change its rules to recognize same-sex marriages and partnerships.

  • 103. theperched  |  February 19, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Russia's dubbed "ban on coming out gay in public" bill flops in the Duma today.

    Only 101 of the 226 needed votes were in favor 🙂

  • 104. Christian0811  |  February 19, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Russia is so unpredictable and bizarre

  • 105. theperched  |  February 19, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    I hope nothing new comes about and someday that terrible propaganda law is axed.

  • 106. theperched  |  February 19, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    ACLU South Dakota ‏@ACLUSD 39m39 minutes ago
    VICTORY! HB1209, the anti-trans birth certificate bill, has been tabled by the prime sponsor and won't become law! #SDLeg

  • 107. theperched  |  February 19, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Journey over. Portugal's adoption bill was promulgated by the President! 😀

  • 108. allan120102  |  February 19, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    PRD wants the human rights commision to intervine in a case about a homophobic deputy who declare she didnt want gays to exist.

  • 109. VIRick  |  February 19, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Kentucky Supreme Court Unanimously Affirms Lesbian Mother’s Right to Custody Petition

    Per Lambda Legal:

    Today, 18 February 2016, in a unanimous decision, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that Lambda Legal client, Amy H., a lesbian mother, will have her day in court to petition for joint custody of her daughter.

    Despite lots of noisy political posturing on the part of assorted politicos within the state, the Kentucky state court system appears to be quite pro-actively engaged in maintaining equality within Kentucky.

  • 110. allan120102  |  February 19, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Georgia senate agrees to religious bill, now goes to the house.

  • 111. allan120102  |  February 19, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Here is how Tabasco end surrogacy for gay and foreign couples.

  • 112. allan120102  |  February 19, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Thank you was looking for it. Now countries that have marriage equality nationalwide have adoption for same sex couples. 😀

  • 113. VIRick  |  February 19, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Up-Date on Irion County TX Clerk

    Irion County TX clerk, Molly Criner, still hasn't had any same-sex couples apply there for a marriage license (the county only has 1500 residents), but if and when they do, she's totally prepared to be the next anointed Christian "martyr."

    Of course, she's also a clueless idiot, "praying" feverishly for her own 15 minutes worth of fame, glory, and cash donations, positions which, so far, have completely eluded her.

    But the "Christian Reporter News" just had to go there and interview her, to tout her "strong stand," despite the fact that everyone else is simply ignoring her. Read more here:

    Of the 254 Texas county clerks, even many months ago, after several other clerks resigned their positions, and right after the Hood County clerk caved, leaving Hood County stuck paying for the legal settlement, Molly Criner was the sole remaining hold-out. She's still out there in the vast Texas emptiness, holding out,– and praying to be the next Christian "martyr."

  • 114. guitaristbl  |  February 19, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    She won't be the next Kim Davis superstar – someone has to inform her though. She simply prays for that first same sex couple to come in and ask for a license so that the photographers will follow. I can almost see her standing at the door waiting..!

  • 115. VIRick  |  February 19, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Chilean Officials: Conversion Therapy is a ‘Grave Threat’

    Per Agence France-Presse:

    On Thursday, 18 February 2016, Chilean health officials for the first time expressed their opposition to so-called conversion therapy. The Chilean Ministry of Health made the statement to the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MOVILH), an LGBT advocacy group in the South American country.

    “We consider that the practices known as ‘reparative therapies’ or ‘conversion’ of homosexuality represent a grave threat to health and well-being, including the life, of the people who are affected,” said the Chilean Ministry of Health

    – See more at:

  • 116. VIRick  |  February 19, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    North Korean Gay Defector Becomes LGBT Activist

    "It is a tragedy to live without knowing that you are gay," Jang Yeong-jin told The Guardian when asked to discuss his life in North Korea before he fled south. Yeong-jin made a daring escape to South Korea almost 20 years ago, after his claustrophobic life in the North made him feel he had no other alternative. “I thought if I die, I die. I was that desperate,” said Yeong-jin. “Life without hope is not worth living, I thought.”

    Yeong-jin joined the military before he turned 20, spent a decade mainly in the company of other men in military service, and married a woman soon thereafter. But he knew something was missing, he just didn't know what. About two years after arriving in South Korea, Yeong-jin happened upon a picture of two men kissing in a magazine. At age 40, he finally figured out the missing piece of his life: he is, and has always been, gay. It was something he simply never knew existed—that is just how removed North Korean society can be.

    He is now 57 years old.

  • 117. VIRick  |  February 19, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Applesauce and Broccoli Left at Supreme Court in Memory of Scalia’s Obamacare Dissents

    Jars of applesauce and bouquets of broccoli were left on the steps of the Supreme Court on Friday, 19 February 2016, as part of a makeshift memorial for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. The unusual items became symbols of the ObamaCare debate following colorful comments from Scalia, who was the court’s leading conservative.

    In his dissenting opinion last year in "King v. Burwell," Scalia called the majority’s reasoning for upholding ObamaCare subsidies “pure applesauce.” And in 2012, during oral arguments in the first case challenging the healthcare law, Scalia questioned whether the administration could force people to buy broccoli if it required people to have health insurance.

    Unfortunately, it was not possible to dump a pile of "jiggery-pokery" or a load of "argle-bargle" there alongside the apple sauce and broccoli, nor could anyone conjure up any "haruspices" or the entrails through which they were required to sift for inspiration in their decision-making.

    However, as consolation, someone else did note that lots of fortune cookies and multiple paper bags (just a guess, but with dog turds inside???) managed to be included within the display along with the jars of apple sauce and the many bouquets of broccoli.

  • 118. guitaristbl  |  February 19, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    One side of me thinks this was well deserved, the other has some ethical reservations about it being proper and whether our side should be keeping a high moral ground here.

  • 119. VIRick  |  February 19, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    First off, we are. I'm probably deliberately over-playing the significance of the display, given my penchant for an overly-dramatic writing style.

    Secondly, lots of people for many different reasons totally separated from LGBT rights intensely disliked this individual, and simply used some of his more colorfully insane, arrogant comments in his many dissents to express their final opinion.

    For example, the applesauce and broccoli jabs did not come from LGBT people, but rather, from a wide cross-section of others who apparently did not appreciate his low regard for the provisions included within the Affordable Care Act, ordinary people, perhaps, who had been previously denied any form of health insurance coverage due to their "previously existing medical condition."

    On the other hand, as I just learned from my all-knowing DC friend who strolled over to view the entire performance today at the Supreme Court and who proceeded to give me a first-hand accounting (and who clearly already knew the significance of the fortune cookies), that mess of fortune cookies that were scattered on the steps (still in their clear plastic wrappers) were directly due to Scalia's snidely-phrased comment in his written dissent which compared the majority decision in "Obergefell" to something one might find by reading the message inside the average fortune cookie.

    My friend had no comment as to what one might have found inside those paper bags. Perhaps they were filled with "jiggery-pokery" and/or "argle-bargle." Or entrails for the "haruspices." Or steaming dog turds.

    The family obviously knows there's a problem. He's being buried in a closely-guarded, undisclosed location.

  • 120. Sagesse  |  February 20, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Watching Scalia's funeral on CNN. I will probably never be able to reconcile how a brilliant, educated man could be equally enthralled with what is essentially mythology. His dismissive, insulting view of African-Americans and the LGBT community and others he believed were 'born wrong' are absolutely chilling. Trying not to speak ill of the dead, but the man in life spoke an astonishing amount of ill about other people from a seat of power.

    The funeral mass will be celebrated by his son Father Paul Scalie, a priest with a side interest in Courage, the Catholic church's equivalent of conversion therapy (no one is talking about that today).

    Watching the ceremony unfold will be unnerviing, in a 'want to look away, but can't' sort of way.

  • 121. JayJonson  |  February 20, 2016 at 6:34 am

    Interesting kerfuffle at Georgetown University Law School, whose dean sent out an email that fulsomely praised Scalia. A professor answered by pointing out that Scalia was "a defender of privilege, oppression and bigotry, one whose intellectual positions were not brilliant but simplistic and formalistic."

    Read about it at Inside Higher Education:

  • 122. VIRick  |  February 20, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    To add to the significance of the kerfuffle at the Georgetown University Law School, for better or for worse, Scalia pursued his undergraduate law studies there.

    The Georgetown Law Center is not located on the main university campus in Georgetown, but rather, in its own separate facility fairly close to Capitol Hill, about midway between the Supreme Court and Chinatown (perhaps the source of all those fortune cookies dumped on the Supreme Court steps???).

    And to say the least, a number of current faculty members at Georgetown Law took exception to the praiseworthy spoutings of the dean, given that quite a few of them would rather have totally forgotten that Scalia had ever been a student there.

  • 123. 1grod  |  February 20, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Feb 17: Rally at the Alabama's State House for LGBTQ inclusive sex education classes. Currently, curriculum teaches that any homosexual relationship is "socially unacceptable."….

  • 124. 1grod  |  February 26, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Feb 25 Southern Baptist Convention to meet in Montgomery, Alabama. Christians don't have the authority to revise our biblical based views on sexuality says Churches spokesman in response to question on marriage equality :

  • 125. theperched  |  February 20, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    Australia: Victoria will recognize overseas marriages as partnerships:

    The [Human Rights] Commission acknowledges the passing of the Relationship Amendment Bill 2015 in Victorian Parliament on Wednesday 10 February.

    The Bill provides for the recognition of same-sex couples who have been married overseas, as well as allowing official ceremonies to acknowledge this recognition.

  • 126. allan120102  |  February 21, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    First same sex couple that marry after the ban on Jalisco was struck down.

  • 127. VIRick  |  February 21, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    In a copyrighted article from which we're not able to do the usual copy/paste, but which is date-lined Guadalajara, 20 February 2016, Roberto Jesús married Jorge Fabián in the first same-sex marriage to occur in Jalisco state since the Mexican Supreme Court ruled against Jalisco and its discriminatory Civil Code.

  • 128. VIRick  |  February 21, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Alabama: Haters File Complaint Against State Supreme Court Over Inaction On Blocking "Obergefell"

    Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and the rest of the his court are being attacked from the right. Per the press release and complaint, filed this past week:

    Marriage activists in Alabama have filed complaints with the state Judicial Inquiry Commission against the nine members of the state Supreme Court because they have failed to rule on the application of the US Supreme Court’s decision in favor of same-sex “marriage.”

    The case has been pending in the state court since the nation’s high court ruled last year that the Constitution allows same-sex couples to marry.

    Now the complaints, on behalf of Barbour County Tea Party, Alabama Patriots, Rainy Day Patriots, Conservative Christians of Alabama, Common Sense Campaign, Christian Development and Renewal Ministries, and several ministers have been filed against Chief Justice Roy Moore and justices Michael Bolin, Tommy Bryan, Greg Shaw, Glenn Murdock, Tom Parker, Kelli Wise, Allen Main, and Lyn Stuart.

    The state case originally was brought on behalf of the Alabama Policy Institute and others. It came after US District Judge Callie Granada, prior to the US Supreme Court’s ruling, ordered the creation of same-sex “marriage” in the state.

    “Failure of the Alabama Supreme Court to rule expeditiously in API – despite their own request for briefs, an emergency petition, and a petition for declaratory order in a critical time of legal conflict, suggests nothing less than a dereliction of duty to constituents and other elected officials who are looking to the court for direction. Canon 3 (Canons of Judicial Ethics) was no doubt established to prevent this this kind of extended silence and the negative effect such silence has had in the State of Alabama,” the complaints read.

    In a statement released by the parties filing the complaints, Terry Batton said the case is not only about God’s institution of marriage, but “the future of our country, the rule of law, and the preservation of our Constitution and separation of powers.”

    Danny Joyner, commander of Alabama Patriots, added: “Never have our families and our faith been attacked so vehemently by so many evil and immoral forces. One day everyone will stand before God and be judged whether they stood and glorified Him or chose to remain mute and by so doing deny Him. It is time to decide whether to be on The Lord’s side or not.”

    The complaint demands that Alabama only accept "Obergefell" as binding on the plaintiffs named in the case.

  • 129. davepCA  |  February 21, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Well bless their hearts.

    BTW I was wondering about the odd 'tone' of the article and was curious about things like the "scare quotes" around the word 'marriage'. Then I noticed that the original source was not JoeMyGod, but the right-wing-nut-rantfest "World Net Daily". That explains it.

  • 130. VIRick  |  February 21, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Indeed, but I refused to type in that name, as I normally wouldn't pay them any attention, and deliberately did not want to give them any "undue" credit.

    But this ultra-right-wing attack against Roy Moore and his cohorts is too good to pass up. Of course, Roy Moore originally stirred them up by ever accepting that API case in the first place. And then later added in his several pompous declarations. Since then, we haven't heard anything more from him. Nor have they.

    So, apparently, these right-wing nut-jobs are tired of waiting, and are now going after him, telling him, in effect, to either shit or get off the pot. At first, and ignoring the "scare quotes," their complaint sounds semi-reasonable, especially where they're capsulizing prior events, but after about the fifth paragraph, where they get down into the "god" thing, the argument totally degenerates.

    By the way, what sort of organization do you suppose the "Alabama Patriots" and/or the "Rainy Day Patriots" really are?

  • 131. Zack12  |  February 21, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Roy Moore failed to learn from Frankenstein in that if you create a monster, it will eventually destroy you.

  • 132. davepCA  |  February 21, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    The whole situation reminds me of all the recent news stories about how the Westboro Baptist Cult is protesting against some ultra-right-wing-nutjob person or group for not being ultra-right-wing-nutjob enough to suit their preferences. I like it.

  • 133. VIRick  |  February 21, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Dave, speaking of that off-the-wall group, do you realize that about a dozen Westboro Baptist ass-hats actually showed up outside the Catholic Cathedral in DC this past Saturday right during Scalia's funeral, covered as expected, in garish signs, to protest against their usual pet themes, like "fag marriage" and who "god was sending straight to hell," while blaming Scalia, in the process, for not being "strong" enough in his many over-the-top rants?!!

    And as if Scalia were going to rise up from the dead and suddenly do something about it, too.

    And Guitar thought that the display of broccoli bouquets, jars of applesauce, and endless quantities of fortune cookies left on the steps of the Supreme Court building the day before may have been "pushing it."

  • 134. davepCA  |  February 21, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Hilarious!!! They never fail to amuse.

  • 135. theperched  |  February 21, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Renzi is threatening a confidence vote to stop the stalling of the civil unions bill. Big risk since losing it would mean new elections. His party would still be on top with voters, but the bill may have to start completely over and we saw how long it took from the time it was presented to the first Senate debate…

    M5S is to blame for their sudden stubbornness, their own supporters are angry with the M5S members in the Senate.

  • 136. VIRick  |  February 21, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Liberty Counsel Lawsuit Against Virginia School District Dismissed

    On Friday, 19 February 2016, a Virginia judge dismissed a lawsuit against the Fairfax County School District’s nondiscrimination policy that includes sexual orientation and gender identity. The lawsuit alleged that members of the Fairfax County School Board violated Virginia law when they added sexual orientation and gender identity to the district’s nondiscrimination policy in November 2014 and May 2015, respectively.

    The Liberty Counsel (read as Mat Staver) on Friday said it plans to appeal the judge’s ruling. Virginia Attorney-General Mark Herring last March said state law allows local school boards to include sexual orientation and gender identity in their nondiscrimination policies. The opinion overturned then-Attorney-General Jerry Kilgore’s 2012 position that said officials cannot add such provisions, unless the General Assembly were to pass a law allowing them to do so.

    The Virginia House of Delegates General Laws Committee in early February killed state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County)’s bill that would have prevented municipalities from enacting measures against anti-LGBT discrimination.

    – See more at:

  • 137. VIRick  |  February 21, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Malta: Prime Minister Says Gay "Cure" Therapy Is from "Dark Ages"

    The Prime Minister of Malta has made scathing comments about the idea that homosexuality can be “cured." Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the idea that sexual orientation can be altered by medication or by therapy is an idea from the “dark ages."

    Speaking to Labour supporters, Muscat was discussing a bill to outlaw gay "conversion" therapy, and said that it “had nothing to do with prayers," but rather, wanted to cement the fact that sexual orientation is not a condition to be “cured."

    “We strongly believe in the progress we are making … it’s not a question of imitating other countries, but because I will never accept a mentality that harms gay people.”

  • 138. theperched  |  February 22, 2016 at 11:36 am

    First LGBT groups protested in Durango to force Congress to put the marriage bill on the order of the day for the 23rd, but now conservative groups are claiming that they got assurance from the high ups that tomorrow's debate has been postponed and that now forums will be held to hear from everyone. Sigh. Every time a state wants forums you can bet any decision is staved off for months, if there is even a decision made at all.

  • 139. theperched  |  February 22, 2016 at 11:42 am

    The Mexican Senate sent out a memo urging 25 state congresses to raise the marrying age to 18. If they all start doing that while keeping heterosexual definitions of marriage in their Civil/Family Codes then that will make it easy for activists to sue them and have a Jalisco result.

  • 140. theperched  |  February 22, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Chiapas says it will make it a priority to change the marriageable age. One state to keep my eye on.

  • 141. theperched  |  February 22, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    This site says a group to study the different proposals for Michoacan's Family Code has been formed

    While this one predicts that Wednesday's the day when the plenary votes on reforming the Family Code to legalize same-sex marriage in the state

    Exciting 🙂

  • 142. VIRick  |  February 22, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Up-Date on Alabama Class-Action Marriage Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 22 February 2016, in "Strawser v. Strange," the Alabama class-action marriage case in federal court, the plaintiffs have filed notice of the Nebraska final judgment in "Waters v. Ricketts" in support of their motion for a permanent injunction and final judgment in this, the "Strawser" case.

    The supplemental filing is here:

  • 143. FredDorner  |  February 23, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    It amazes me that the Strawser case is still dragging on, but then I remember that it took Alabama over 3 years to allow mixed-race marriages after the Loving ruling.

  • 144. VIRick  |  February 22, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    The Latest on the Latest Hate Bill in Georgia

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On Friday,19 February 2016, the Georgia Senate approved HB757. HB757 was once called the "Pastor Protection Act," but HB757 is unworthy of the name in its current form. Indeed, after the Senate hijacked HB757 by inserting into it the so-called "First Amendment Defense Act," the "Pastor Protection Act" morphed into an entirely different animal. What started as a consensus-driven bill to reassure clergy and religious institutions that they did not have to facilitate marriages inconsistent with their faith, is now a divisive bill that smacks of an older South.

    Also, see this article by Seth Persily:

    Georgia Businesses Brace for Crushing Boycott

    One of the most anti-gay pieces of legislation the country has ever seen swept the Georgia Senate by a whopping 38-14 margin on Friday, 19 February 2016, sending Georgia-based businesses into a defensive frenzy. The business community, along with LGBT, African-American and Jewish leaders, are trying to stop the bill in the House before it becomes law. Business leaders are desperate to avert an economic boycott reminiscent of Indiana’s stumble on the same issue only one year ago.

  • 145. VIRick  |  February 22, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Charlotte Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Passes

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Charlotte NC – Late this evening, 22 February 2016, the LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance was passed by the Charlotte City Council by a vote of 7-4.

    It adds sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression to the commerce, public accommodations, and vehicles-for-hire ordinances.

  • 146. VIRick  |  February 22, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Mexico: Supreme Court: Retroactivity of Jurisprudence

    Per Geraldina González de la Vega:

    Hoy, 22 de febrero 2016, el Pleno revisa una CT interesante: retroactividad de la jurisprudencia.

    Today, 22 February 2016, the Full Court (of Mexico's Supreme Court) revises an interesting CT: retroactivity of their jurisprudence.

    We need to find out what the initials "CT" stand for in Mexican Spanish court language, and then find out what the actual revision has to say about this point: retroactivity of their jurisprudence. Because it was done by the Full Court, whatever revision was made is now binding.

  • 147. allan120102  |  February 23, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    CT means contradictory thesis.

  • 148. theperched  |  February 23, 2016 at 12:19 am

    I emailed Aguascalientes LGBT group about looking into Aguascalientes' new Civil Code to see if they could sue and they said they're working on it 🙂

  • 149. allan120102  |  February 23, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    They better hurry up or they will have no standing.

  • 150. VIRick  |  February 23, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Lesbian Confirmed as Next Puerto Rico Chief Justice

    The Puerto Rico Senate on Monday, 22 February 2016, confirmed a lesbian woman to become the next chief justice of the U.S. commonwealth’s highest court. Senators approved Maite Oronoz Rodríguez’s nomination by a 14-12 vote margin. Rodríguez has been a member of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court since 2014.

    She will become the first openly LGBT chief justice in the USA. “The confirmation of Maite Oronoz Rodríguez as the first openly LGBT chief justice in Puerto Rico and the United States makes history, breaks barriers, and marks a momentous step towards achieving a judiciary that reflects full and rich diversity of our country,” Omar Gonzalez-Pagan of Lambda Legal told the Washington Blade in a statement. “A diverse judiciary serves not only to improve the quality of justice, it boosts public confidence in the courts.”

    – See more at:

  • 151. VIRick  |  February 23, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    New York: ADF Surrenders, No More Appeals For Anti-Gay Wedding Venue

    Last month the appellate division of the New York Supreme Court told Alliance Defending Freedom to take a hike when they affirmed New York’s public accommodations laws in the case of an upstate wedding venue that had been fined for turning away a same-sex couple. Today, 23 February 2016, the ADF announced that they are surrendering. The AP reports:

    "The owners of an upstate wedding venue fined $13,000 for refusing to host a lesbian wedding say they will not appeal a court ruling affirming that they violated New York’s anti-discrimination law. Robert and Cynthia Gifford cited their conservative Christian beliefs in refusing to host the 2013 wedding of Melisa and Jennie McCarthy at Liberty Ridge Farm, north of Albany. A state appeals court in January rejected the Gifford’s argument that their rights were being violated and upheld a ruling from the state’s Division of Human Rights."

  • 152. montezuma58  |  February 23, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Alabama legislature considering green lighting discrimination in adoptions.

    Faith-based adoption agencies should be able to stick to their religious principles without fear of repercussions, says a state representative sponsoring a bill he says would protect those agencies.

    Those principles include choosing not to place children in the homes of same-sex couples, said the bill sponsor, Rep. Rich Wingo, R-Tuscaloosa..

  • 153. allan120102  |  February 23, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Same sex marriage is legal in Chihuhua as state in this article thanks to the governor but same sex marriage will depend on the head of state at the time, as the civil code have not been modify. If the next governor as this year its election year in chihuahua an ati gay governor is chosen he may rescind the executive action of its predecesor an ban same sex marriage again.

  • 154. allan120102  |  February 23, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Same sex marriage is legal in Chihuhua as state in this article thanks to the governor but same sex marriage will depend on the head of state at the time, as the civil code have not been modify. If the next governor as this year its election year in chihuahua an ati gay governor is chosen he may rescind the executive action of its predecesor an ban same sex marriage again. This is why its important to change the civil codes in each state.

  • 155. theperched  |  February 23, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    The author of Durango's gay marriage bill says that it will be voted on in March. The goal is to get it approved before elections:

  • 156. theperched  |  February 23, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Bolivia said NO to letting Evo Morales to run for a 4th time. He's made some…strange comments about LGBT in the past.

  • 157. theperched  |  February 23, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    Renzi gave up on stepchild adoption in Italy. So sad.

    He'll use a confidence vote by Friday to a watered-down bill.

    Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Tuesday called on his Democratic Party (PD) to water down a hotly contested bill on gay civil unions by stripping out all provisions on adoption rights.

    Renzi said his decision was the only way to push the bill quickly through parliament, according to PD senators who adopted their leader's proposal at a meeting.

    Gay rights organizations were angered by the move, which Renzi said was forced by divisions in his left-right coalition and hundreds of amendments tabled by the opposition.

  • 158. allan120102  |  February 23, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    It its sad but it was that or nothing at all. If Italy is having trouble approving civil unions now I can se why the marriage referendum was such a letdown in Slovenia.

  • 159. Christian0811  |  February 23, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Definitely gonna go back to the CC…that is it should.

    If Renzi has had the opportunity, he will have appointed new and more liberal judges to the court.

    However, from what I see in both Slovenia and Italy it won't matter. The pro-LGBT activist groups are wearing holes into their shoes from dragging their feet so much. I'd like them to go back to their respective CCs but from what I can tell litigation won't be forthcoming anytime soon.

    We can easily expect this half-hearted support coupled with discriminatory and humiliating treatment for another 5-10 years in this matter.

    Imo, let this bill die it's now that it's next to worthless.

  • 160. theperched  |  February 24, 2016 at 10:42 am

    So interesting story coming out of Italy. An Italian gave me the scoop in English. Looks like someone is accused of getting cold feet at the last minute and ruining the chances of stepchild adoption passing. He denies killing anything so there's been a back and forth, really messy.

    This should be a text message sent from Alberto Airola, the Movement 5 Stars (M5S) Senate Speaker, to Monicà Cirinnà, member of the Democratic Party (PD) and drafter of the civil union bill. The text says that the M5S would have voted the bill (known as Cirinnà bill) entirely (except for 2/3 members). Moreover, according to Cirinnà, the text proves that M5S would have voted the bill without the discussion of the 500 amendments introduced by minorities parties to prevent the vote on the bill. The press renamed this procedure "kangaroo amendment" . The Democratic Party introduced this "kangaroo amendment" in order to approve the bill in its entirety, without Parliament discussion of any other amendments. On Febraury 16, during the Senate debate, M5S decided not to vote the "kangaroo amendment" and the discussion was stopped and postponed.

    The Civil Union bill was introduced in the Senate because the majority has less chance to get a positive vote. Among the PD senators there many who don't want the stepchild adoption meassure (30 catholics the "leftovers" of communism and femminist senators who say that we will recognize commercial surrogacy if approved), among the M5S only 3. If we count them we don't have enough vote to secure the bill to pass (153 vote against 162). If we remove the stepchild measure we will count on 185 votes (even form Berlusconi party, even three members of this party will vote the bill even with the stepchild measure).

    Seems Renzi had his doubts and the sudden M5S pull out was the nail on the coffin for the full bill.

  • 161. theperched  |  February 24, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Blocking same-sex couples from obtaining residence permits for family reunification purposes purely because of their sexual orientation is discriminatory – that is the message of equality coming from Strasbourg.

    This afternoon (23 February 2016), the European Court of Human Rights held that there had been a violation of Article 14 (non-discrimination) in conjunction with Article 8 (private and family life) in the case of Pajić v Croatia. It is the first ruling by the Court on family reunification of same-sex couples.

    The unanimous Chamber judgment finds that the domestic Aliens Act excluded all same-sex couples from the possibility of obtaining family reunification. The Croatian authorities had not justified this exclusion or provided any convincing reason why same-sex couples were treated differently to different-sex couples. As a result, the ECtHR found that Croatia had violated Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8.

  • 162. allan120102  |  February 24, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Durango to post pone vote for marriage equality at least for 6 months. Thanks to conservatives senators forums are going to start in March and if the bill is vote it wouldnt be until August or September. Pretty sad. Durango being a conservative state I have my is going to approved it.

  • 163. allan120102  |  February 24, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Two municipalities in Zacatecas are asking the supreme court to struck down its previos ruling against an amparo that was granted. Imo they are asking the court to think again about its ruling in June of last week. Even though we know its futile was thing two municipalites are asking.

  • 164. Fortguy  |  February 24, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Keri Blakinger, New York Daily News: Meet Donald Tramp, Trump’s stripper alter ego in Texas

    Donald Tramp is Texas State University-San Marcos student Kristoffer Ian Celera. As the article notes, a lot of weirdness has been going on lately at Texas State, LBJ's alma mater. San Marcos is only about 30 miles from Austin along I-35 toward San Antonio and is not the type of place where a protest such as UT-Austin's Cocks Not Glocks movement would raise many eyebrows.

  • 165. Fortguy  |  February 24, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Harper Neidig, The Hill: Cruz pulls merch created by controversial street artist

    Be forewarned that the article contains references to the N-word without obfuscation. Is anyone really surprised that a rabidly racist artist would design campaign merchandise and be an enthusiastic supporter of Carnival Cruz? Didn't anyone on the Cruz Ship consider that the artist's repulsive views would get vetted in the media?

  • 166. VIRick  |  February 24, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Texas Baker Denies Same-Sex Couple a Wedding Cake

    A Kilgore TX couple was denied a wedding cake after their favorite baker told them that making a cake for a same-sex wedding would violate her faith. According to a report by the Longview "News-Journal," Ben Valenica and Luis Marmolejo walked into Kerns Bake Shop last week (mid-February 2016) to inquire about pricing a cake for their March 2016 nuptials, but when asked by business owner Edie Delorme who the cake was for, the two were met with a not-so-sweet response.

    “When they said it was them, I said, ‘Sorry. We don’t provide cakes for homosexual marriages,’” Delorme told the "News-Journal."

    Texas doesn't have laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination, so there's little that can be done legally in response to Delorme’s and the bakery’s actions.

  • 167. VIRick  |  February 24, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Virginia: Gay Conversion Therapy Group Targeted In Historic Consumer Fraud Complaint

    Per Equality Case Files:

    "A group of civil rights organizations filed an historic consumer fraud complaint with the federal government today, 24 February 2016, charging that a group purporting to change people's sexual orientation or gender identity is engaging in deceptive business practices.

    "The Federal Trade Commission complaint comes from the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, and it goes after the Virginia-based ex-gay torture group, People Can Change. These so-called 'conversion therapy' businesses try to make people 'free from the constant pull of homosexual desires,' as the PCC website says."

    The complaint is available here:

    See also this detailed account, and more:

    Among the programs offered by People Can Change is their much-ridiculed “Journey Into Manhood” retreats. In 2010 a straight reporter went undercover to one of these events. An excerpt of his account is below.

    At one point, the staff members all sang out in unison, their voices filling the high walls of the camp lodge. Somewhere in the room, a man sobbed over the sound of the music. It was the first night of “Journey into Manhood,” a 48-hour weekend retreat designed to help gay men become straight. In that room, about fifty men — some thirty “Journeyers” and fifteen staff members — sat on the carpeted floor of a ranch lodge two hours outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Most of the men, except for a few of the staff members, struggled to overcome their attraction to other men. Sometime during all that holding and touching and singing, while I was cradled in the Motorcycle position, I felt it: the unmistakable bulge pressing through his tight jeans. It was the first time in my life I had a felt another man’s erection.

  • 168. VIRick  |  February 24, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    President Obama Pens Guest Column For SCOTUSblog

    Today, 24 February 2016, President Obama penned a column for SCOTUSblog. It begins:

    The Constitution vests in the President the power to appoint judges to the Supreme Court. It’s a duty that I take seriously, and one that I will fulfill in the weeks ahead.

    It’s also one of the most important decisions that a President will make. Rulings handed down by the Supreme Court directly affect our economy, our security, our rights, and our daily lives.

    Needless to say, this isn’t something I take lightly. It’s a decision to which I devote considerable time, deep reflection, careful deliberation, and serious consultation with legal experts, members of both political parties, and people across the political spectrum. And with thanks to SCOTUSblog for allowing me to guest post today, I thought I’d share some spoiler-free insights into what I think about before appointing the person who will be our next Supreme Court Justice.

    First and foremost, the person I appoint will be eminently qualified. He or she will have an independent mind, rigorous intellect, impeccable credentials, and a record of excellence and integrity. I’m looking for a mastery of the law, with an ability to hone in on the key issues before the Court, and provide clear answers to complex legal questions.

    Second, the person I appoint will be someone who recognizes the limits of the judiciary’s role; who understands that a judge’s job is to interpret the law, not make the law. I seek judges who approach decisions without any particular ideology or agenda, but rather a commitment to impartial justice, a respect for precedent, and a determination to faithfully apply the law to the facts at hand.

    But I’m also mindful that there will be cases that reach the Supreme Court in which the law is not clear. There will be cases in which a judge’s analysis necessarily will be shaped by his or her own perspective, ethics, and judgment. That’s why the third quality I seek in a judge is a keen understanding that justice is not about abstract legal theory, nor some footnote in a dusty casebook. It’s the kind of life experience earned outside the classroom and the courtroom; experience that suggests he or she views the law not only as an intellectual exercise, but also grasps the way it affects the daily reality of people’s lives in a big, complicated democracy, and in rapidly changing times. That, I believe, is an essential element for arriving at just decisions and fair outcomes.

    A sterling record. A deep respect for the judiciary’s role. An understanding of the way the world really works. That’s what I’m considering as I fulfill my constitutional duty to appoint a judge to our highest court. And as Senators prepare to fulfill their constitutional responsibility to consider the person I appoint, I hope they’ll move quickly to debate and then confirm this nominee so that the Court can continue to serve the American people at full strength.

    Read the entre article here:

  • 169. VIRick  |  February 24, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Germany: First Major LGBT Refugee Center Opens

    LGBT refugees from Syria and other nations continue to face abuse and violence in Europe’s burgeoning refugee centers. Authorities in Germany did something about it. Via The Local:

    On Tuesday, 24 February 2016, Germany opened a shelter for homosexual refugees with space for more than 120 people, the association behind the project said. Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Marcel de Groot, who runs the Schwulenberatung advisory centre which is responsible for the project, said the Berlin shelter will house gay, lesbian, and transsexual migrants.

    Many gay asylum seekers come from countries where their sexual orientation “is considered a crime,” de Groot said. The discrimination, with verbal and physical violence, often continues in Germany as they are targeted by other refugees or even security personnel, he said.

    “There are stories of violence in shelters in Berlin,” which are often crowded and offer little privacy, he said, stressing that people must be able to “live without fear of violence or discrimination”.

    A much smaller eight-bed shelter for LGBT refugees opened in Nuremberg earlier this month.

  • 170. theperched  |  February 24, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Aguascalientes can't be sued. They did raise the age but they kept an old man-woman definition of marriage. Jalisco was sued because it put in a new discriminatory definition.

  • 171. theperched  |  February 24, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    Maltese opposition party says it will support the ban on gay conversion. Hopefully a unanimous vote in Parliament.

  • 172. theperched  |  February 24, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Italy's Senate vote is today! Renzi will use the confidence vote so he really believes the support is there to move the bill along and have smooth sailing in the Chamber of Deputies.

  • 173. Christian0811  |  February 25, 2016 at 12:04 am

    A bill that recognizes only the very basic, most dried out, and unremarkable cohabitation rights.

    I suppose it's good for those in unmarried couples without inheritance rights and who are on the verge of death (eg the family Obergefell) but from what I can tell this bill will barely even recognize the right to visit your romantic partner in the hospital or determine end-of-life decisions much less afford any sort of significant degree of equality that marriage and joint adoption rights would.

    May it pass with no fanfare or celebration, for it deserves little to none.

  • 174. Christian0811  |  February 25, 2016 at 12:13 am

    Also regarding Italy:

    Italian CC held that a judial-referral to it on the topic of joint-adoptions was inadmissible based on the fact that the family court tribunal made a technical error. The CC held that the case shouldn't be regarded as one regarding the right of foreign nationals in a same sex relationship to adopt children, or rather in this case be recognized as their existing and lawful parents, but instead that the case centered on the recognition of a foreign court's ruling (the adoption was OK'd in the state of Washington).

    The matter of joint adoptions is thus punted to a future, as yet determined, date for the CC to settle…

  • 175. Christian0811  |  February 25, 2016 at 12:26 am

    Historical: Unfortunately, despite it being five years since the Italian CC ruled in Case 138/2010 that same sex couples are inferior to heterosexual (but somehow also deserving of equal statutory privileges equal to marriage????), the court has not changed its mind. The most recent case was ruled upon in February last year.

    One ray of hope may be found in the fact that the judges may have turnover soon (their terms only last 5 years) and the president, as well as the courts, will have the opportunity to elect 10 new judges within the next 2 years. Parliament recently elected its candidates (in 2014 and 2015, one remains from 2009), and it has been a bulwark of the Vatican's corruption as we've seen.

  • 176. allan120102  |  February 25, 2016 at 3:47 am

    European courts have ruled against us most of the time.ex Slovenia,Italy and Portugal etc I can understand why groups are not challenging their laws. I am not sure though why courts in Europe are more conservative than Americans courts in extending marriage rights to ss couples.

  • 177. Christian0811  |  February 25, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    I wonder why that is too, I think it's because the judiciaries there tend to be more insular and older. Often selecting judges from among themselves as a way to preserve judicial independence. As a result they hesitate to go against the unjust mores of the Vatican, given their generation as a whole tends strongly to be more religiously conservative. When they were educated, individual freedom was just barely becoming a concept in general. For example, in the 50s and 60s the European Court of Human Rights upheld sodomy laws and into the 90s held that unequal ages of consent were legal.

    The current courts will need another decade or more of turnover before a generation that grew up being aware that same sex couples are not some mysterious, looming threat to heterosexual society

  • 178. Christian0811  |  February 25, 2016 at 12:49 am

    A pre-Oliari academic essay on the German Constitution and Same Sex Marriage

  • 179. theperched  |  February 25, 2016 at 2:24 am

    4 more amparos filed in Tamaulipas

  • 180. theperched  |  February 25, 2016 at 4:55 am

    Once again it's time to see if the Colombian Court will actually hold their latest debate on the marriage case. PLEASE let them at least discuss the issue today.

  • 181. allan120102  |  February 25, 2016 at 5:25 am

    Colombia to legalize ssm today as there is no excuse to do it because the last judge is to exposed his point today. After he finish the vote will take place.

  • 182. JayJonson  |  February 25, 2016 at 6:20 am

    When Scalia's body was found dead at the remote Texas ranch, I wondered who else was there. Turns out that he was probably there to attend a meeting of high-ranking members of an elite Roman Catholic hunting society, the International Order of St. Hubertus, who believe that the best way to honor God's creatures is to slaughter them. That probably explains Scalia's judicial philosophy far better than the inane claims of "originalism" or "plain text" analysis that he pretended to practice.

    From the Washington Post:

    "When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died 11 days ago at a West Texas ranch, he was among high-ranking members of an exclusive fraternity for hunters called the International Order of St. Hubertus, an Austrian society that dates back to the 1600s.

    After Scalia’s death Feb. 13, the names of the 35 other guests at the remote resort, along with details about Scalia’s connection to the hunters, have remained largely unknown. A review of public records shows that some of the men who were with Scalia at the ranch are connected through the International Order of St. Hubertus, whose members gathered at least once before at the same ranch for a celebratory weekend."

    And, shades of Armistead Maupin, "The society’s U.S. chapter launched in 1966 at the famous Bohemian Club in San Francisco, which is associated with the all-male Bohemian Grove — one of the most well-known secret societies in the country."

    Read more:

  • 183. guitaristbl  |  February 26, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    These secret societies always intrigued me..I am not surprised Scalia had such connections tbh..

  • 184. davepCA  |  February 26, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Yeah. These weird 'secret societies' conjure images of scenes from "Eyes Wide Shut". Or maybe the party scene from "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls". Eeww.

  • 185. montezuma58  |  February 25, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Alabama attorney files feral lawsuit against the majority justices in the Obergefell decision.

    I'm sure such suits have happened in the past and were summarily dismissed.

    Here's a copy of the complaint:

  • 186. davepCA  |  February 25, 2016 at 9:29 am

    It's hilarious! This guy is a completely delusional nut case. He goes on and on about how the court 're-wrote the 14th amendment', but unlike other crazy right-wingers who leave it at vague rhetoric, he actually spells out this "new" version of the 14th amendment that he is accusing the court of creating, when obviously it does not exist anywhere except in his own head and his own complaint. And then he goes on to use this made-up nonexistent 'new' 14th amendment as proof that he has standing, because this nonexistent change has 'deprived him of the ability' to offer his services as an attorney. Oh yeah and he wants money for "mental anguish". Hilarious!!

  • 187. FredDorner  |  February 26, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    No surprise that he's a Mormon.

  • 188. SethInMaryland  |  February 25, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Italy Senate is now voting

  • 189. guitaristbl  |  February 25, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Well it will pass now that it was gutted. Who cares ?

  • 190. SethInMaryland  |  February 25, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Don't get me wrong I'm not happy after all they did too it but at least they got something.

  • 191. Christian0811  |  February 26, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    I suppose it is ….something. But don't expect me to pop any champagne bottles for so little gained only by giving too much

  • 192. allan120102  |  February 26, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    You all may think this is little for them but its at least something. Millions of couples around the globe still have nothing me include. I would die for at least getting something they get but I am betting that until the mid 2020s I would get something at least like this . They didnt get the step adoptions but its a step in the right direction.

  • 193. SethInMaryland  |  February 25, 2016 at 9:36 am

    passes 173 yes, 71 no, 0 abstentions

  • 194. VIRick  |  February 27, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Italian Senate Approves Civil Unions Bill

    The Italian Senate on Thursday, 25 February 2016, approved a bill that would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions. ANSA, an Italian news agency, reported the measure passed by a 173-71 vote margin with zero abstentions.

    “This day will remain in the chronicle of this legislature and in the history of our country,” wrote Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on his Facebook page. Senators approved the bill a day after members of Renzi’s Democratic Party agreed to remove provisions that would have extended second-parent adoption rights to same-sex couples and required them to remain faithful to each other.

    ANSA reported that Sen. Monica Cirinnà, who introduced the measure, described Thursday’s vote as a “victory with a hollow heart.” “This is a very important measure, but I am also thinking of the children of so many friends,” she said, according to ANSA. LGBT News Italia Director Andrea Miluzzo also expressed disappointment over the vote.

    The bill will now go before the lower house of the Italian Parliament.
    – See more at:

  • 195. Christian0811  |  February 27, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    I hope the lower house restores the gutted provisions :/ obviously marriage is what is needed but some progress will help the ball get rolling.

    I wonder if the bill can be referred to the constitutional court to see if it complies with what the CC had in mind or it falls short? They've said that while the constitution doesn't confer the title of marriage, it requires same sex couples to receive the exact same rights otherwise (a dubious assertion but whatever).

    I do know they can't coerce the parliament or enforce constitutional mandates beyond repealing unconstitutional laws, but if they reject the bill for falling short or condemn parliament for failing its mandate that would add some pressure at least.

  • 196. SethInMaryland  |  February 25, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Any news in Colombia yet ?

  • 197. theperched  |  February 25, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    It was the third thing on the Order of the Day and some reporters say the Court hasn't wrapped up the first two issues so it's been postponed for another week…

  • 198. allan120102  |  February 25, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Yeah….. again and again so tired of their game. We already even know how they are going to vote, they just need to man up and issue their decision today. From local news this case is going to be put for next Thursday.

  • 199. theperched  |  February 25, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Taiwanese marriage referendum proposal flops

    A referendum proposal to “protect the family” put forward by the anti-gay-marriage Faith and Hope League, was rejected yesterday by the Cabinet’s Referendum Review Committee on the grounds that it failed to meet requirements.
    The committee voted 10-1 against the proposal, which would have asked voters if they agreed that Civil Code “family’ items regarding husband-and-wife relationships, consanguinity and the principles of human relations cannot be amended unless the public agrees via a referendum.

    It was more on technical issues and they can try again later, but still I can imagine their faces.

  • 200. allan120102  |  February 25, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Tamaulipas have just recognized a trans man identity.

  • 201. allan120102  |  February 25, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Third same sex marriage have took place in Veracruz. Veracruz is the second most populous state in Mexico but it appears that amparos are more expensive than average in here and that is why people are not marrying.

  • 202. VIRick  |  February 26, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    Allan, and this article from Coatzacoalcos, carrying the title of:

    Costo de Amparo Frena Bodas Gay

    Cost of an Amparo Slows Same-Sex Weddings

    an interview with Luis Geovani Perez, an LGBT activist, and dated the same day, 25 February 2016, mentions the fourth same-sex marriage in the state of Veracruz:

    Although it does not actually specify that the amparo process is more expensive in Veracruz than in other states, it does state in general terms that it costs at least 10,000 pesos, just for the amparo cost alone, not including other expenses generated around it, plus the six months to one-year wait.

  • 203. allan120102  |  February 25, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Chihuhua should be purple in the adoption pic in wiki as it is legal to adopt in there.

  • 204. theperched  |  February 26, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    There hasn't been a specific law talking about allowing gay adoption, that's why it's not purple.

    Guyana's head of Adoption Agency also says that it accepts all couples, but without a law in particular it doesn't get colored purple.

  • 205. VIRick  |  February 26, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Michigan: Booted Anti-Gay Teabaggers Face Felony Perjury Charges For Lying About Their Affair

    The former Michigan Tea Party legislators whose affair exploded into national news thanks to a bizarre cover story will face criminal charges for lying to investigators. Shortly before their affair was exposed, the pair had introduced a trio of bills intended to block same-sex marriage from being enacted in Michigan. "Click On Detroit" reports:

    The Michigan Attorney-General Bill Schuette announced Friday, 26 February 2016, that criminal charges are being filed against former state representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat. Courser and Gamrat were expelled from the House during the summer of 2015 after it was revealed the two were having an affair. Moreover, Courser was accused of trying to cover up the affair with an elaborate story. His former aides said Courser enlisted their help in the cover-up.

    An investigation has been ongoing since the state officials were expelled. Schuette said Courser will face four felony charges including felony perjury for lying under oath while testifying before the House Select Committee. If convicted, Courser could face up to 15 years in prison for the perjury charge. He also faces three counts of misconduct. Schuette said Courser’s law license could be put under review. Gamrat is charged with two counts of misconduct in office. She could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

    Courser had attempted to throw the press off the track of his affair by using an aide to plant a counter-story about him having been caught in an alley with a male prostitute. At that time, his Michigan House campaign site proclaimed these words: “One man, one woman, for life!”

  • 206. allan120102  |  February 26, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Oregon have voted to change its statue that prohibit ssm. It was overturned by a federal judge in 2014 now the senate and the house have voted to modiify that defunct statue. I am not sure if it will go to voters though.

  • 207. Christian0811  |  February 26, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    It's just a normal statute law, so it won't go to referendum. They'll still have to repeal the constitutional amendment against marriage equality. The same thing happened here in California in 2014. We repealed the statutory marriage ban but we still haven't repealed prop 8.

    But this is weird bc I read this already happened last year???

    That bill already repealed the obsolete language in the statute books? Why is this bill necessary then I wonder?

  • 208. VIRick  |  February 26, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Switzerland: Marriage Discrimination Disguised as Vote on Tax Reform

    On 28 February 2016, the Swiss will vote on a popular initiative (Swiss form of referendum) on tax for couples. The initiative also aims at changing the definition of marriage as “between a man and a woman” in the Federal Constitution, therefore barring marriage for same-sex couples in the future. Currently, Article 14 of the Swiss Constitution guarantees the right to marriage and a family in gender-neutral terms. The proposed new article would read:

    “Marriage is the sustainable and regulated union between a man and a woman."

  • 209. Christian0811  |  February 26, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    The good news is that the constitution is essentially meaninngless, courts can't perform constitutional review. It's more like the human rights act in the UK, laws should be read in conformance but if it can't be read conformably the law stands as is.

    Still would be nice to defeat the referendum

  • 210. SethInMaryland  |  February 26, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    I'm surprised the Swiss gov would make a amend like this . I thought the Swiss were more progressive then this.

  • 211. davepCA  |  February 26, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    I was thinking the same thing. WTF is up with the Swiss??

  • 212. theperched  |  February 26, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    The referendum proposal first entered Parliament in 2011. Then over the years, the Legislature began having second thoughts. In the end, the only party still supporting this is the Christian Party and even their youth wing in Zurich (most populous canton) is rebelling and urging people to vote NO. So it's basically the Christian Party and Church vs everyone else.

    This initiative is going to be more difficult to pass as a constitutional change requires at least 51% of all the Swiss voting in favor and at least half of the numerous cantons voting in favor. Since referendums tend to fail at reaching both requirements and since so many are coming out against this, I think it will flop. We'lll have to wait and see.

  • 213. ronbk  |  February 27, 2016 at 10:14 am

    There's been a theme in some of the media, and certainly among some gay Republicans — as I focused on a few weeks ago — that implies Donald Trump isn't so bad on equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, or is at least better than most of the other GOP candidates. It's absolutely false — he's as extreme as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and will do nothing for LGBT rights — and it's time to disabuse the media and everyone else of this notion once and for all. …

  • 214. SethInMaryland  |  February 27, 2016 at 10:41 am

    I want Trump to win the primary. I'm actually tempted somewhat to help his campaign win the primary because it will be easy for Hillary to win in November. Rubio worries me if he's on the ticket however if Trump is on the ticket Hillary and the dems will be able to dig up so much on Trump plus Hillary will be able to run ads in Spanish in the Hispanic areas that will drive that vote up.

  • 215. ronbk  |  February 27, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Bernie Sanders is way stronger vs. Trump & will defeat him, but Hillary may well lose.

  • 216. SethInMaryland  |  February 27, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    On my road to November there are three states to the white house Florida, Colorado , and Nevada. If Trumps wins the primary, the democratic party will hit these states with Spanish ads (doesn't matter who our nominee is ) It will bring those people big time against Trump. The democratic nominee doesn't need Ohio. Winning Colorado and Florida will be enough

  • 217. VIRick  |  February 27, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    "Bernie Sanders is way stronger vs. Trump & will defeat him,…."

    This is a personal opinion of yours which may be applicable to New Hampshire and Vermont, but outside of that small portion of the USA, we will have a much clearer picture of the over-all situation after "Super Tuesday" (1 March 2016), once the primaries in those 12 states will have taken place. Bernie has a chance of winning in Massachusetts, but Clinton is all-but-certain of winning the other 11 states.

    I have no idea who you are or where you live. For all anyone knows, you could easily be a troll for the Republicans, as many in that party see Sanders as someone they can really slam against the wall in a head-to-head contest in the general election. They prefer Sanders as the Democratic nominee, as they seriously believe he is more-easily defeated by any one of their own ass-hat nominees. And if you're not a troll for the Republicans, then you're simply naïve, with little understanding of the politics within the "Red States" or the "Purple States," especially the "Purple States," where it is essential to work to the center.

    Nebulous polls are meaningless, as the presidency is not won based on the over-all popular vote, nor on the "favorability/unfavorability" ratings of two candidates within the same party, which at this stage is probably more reflective of simple name recognition. Instead, one must focus on the issue, state by state, computing each state's Electoral College vote in the process.

  • 218. ianbirmingham  |  February 27, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Democrats need to seriously and pragmatically assess their strategy for defeating Trump. A Clinton run would be disastrous

    Every one of Clinton’s (considerable) weaknesses plays to every one of Trump’s strengths, whereas every one of Trump’s (few) weaknesses plays to every one of Sanders’s strengths. From a purely pragmatic standpoint, running Clinton against Trump is a disastrous, suicidal proposition.

  • 219. bythesea66  |  February 27, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    That's all BS. I like Sanders, but he won't be the nominee, and if he were he would NOT be more electable in reality (as most analyst recognize whoever they support). I will support the Democratic nominee regardless, but it will almost certainly be Hillary and either will defeat Trump in any case.

  • 220. VIRick  |  February 27, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    "…. gay Republicans …."

    suck dick. They're total apologists for their masters, and are an absolutely useless guide for divining what miniscule crumbs the Republicans might deem plausible to toss toward LGBTs, assuming any of them (and this is a major assumption) have any desire in tossing any crumbs whatsoever. For multiple reasons, all of their remaining potential nominees are equally distressing.

  • 221. montezuma58  |  February 28, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Trump happily accepted Jeff Session's endorsement today. That should dissuade any illusion that Trump cares any at all about LBGT issues.

  • 222. Rakihi  |  February 27, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Free Speech or No?

    "Students' anti-gay badges spark anger at Shadow Hills"

    A handful of students wearing anti-gay symbols on their school ID badges at Shadow Hills High School in Indio have sparked anger and worry among students and staff on campus, but administrators said they cannot ask the students to remove the symbols in the interest of protecting freedom of speech rights.


    I would argue that the students' actions crosses the line from free speech to harassment, intimidation, and bullying given that their targeting a specific class of students based on their identity.

    Placing one of those anti-gay symbols on the door of the Gay Straight Alliance coordinator's classroom is particularly damning evidence. A Jewish teacher said that it was little different from placing a Swastika on her window, though I think a better comparison would be if someone placed a symbol of the Star of David within the red circle with a line going across it.

  • 223. VIRick  |  February 27, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    South Dakota: Sioux Falls Joins Veto Push

    As Governor Dennis Daugaard considers the fate of a transgender “bathroom bill” that critics call discriminatory and potentially damaging to South Dakota, his stated strategy is to downplay opinions from outside the state. But what about backlash from South Dakota’s largest city?

    From Mayor Mike Huether to major employers such as Sanford Health, Citibank, and First Premier Bank, there is concern about how Sioux Falls could be impacted by legislation that puts the state on the firing line of national debate over lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights. “When it comes to the potential economic impact, many groups in Sioux Falls are watching this like a hawk,” Huether said. “There is little doubt it will have an impact on all kinds of fronts.”

    That includes the NCAA, set to hold its Division I women’s basketball regional finals next month at the Denny Sanford Premier Center, in addition to seven Division II national championships slated for Sioux Falls between now and 2018. The athletic association has weighed in on discriminatory legislation at other sites and is keeping tabs on the South Dakota situation, according to public relations director Stacey Osburn.

    “Our commitment to the fair treatment of individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, has not changed and is at the core of what we believe,” the NCAA said in a statement released to Argus Leader Media. “We’ll continue to monitor current events in all cities bidding on NCAA events, as well as cities that have already been named as future host sites.”

    Daugaard has until Tuesday, 1 March 2016, to decide whether to veto HB 1008, which would ban transgender students in public schools from using bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender with which they identify. Transgender students who don't want to use restrooms based on their biological sex would be required to submit a request for a “reasonable accommodation.”

    The bill runs counter to federal Title IX law as outlined by the US Department of Justice, as does proposed legislation to deny transgender students from participating in sports teams aligning with their gender identity. Potential backlash is a source of consternation in Sioux Falls, where the perception of social intolerance could keep employers or events away and create friction for those already here.

    “We need to worry about unintended consequences,” says First Premier chief executive officer Dana Dykhouse, a member of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce board of directors. “This is a big world now, not just South Dakota, and there are consequences to our actions. When you try to legislate morality, it can become a slippery slope.”

    The Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce publicly opposed a “religious liberty” bill that drew fire for potentially allowing discrimination against same-sex couples, unmarried pregnant women, and transgender people. That bill was tabled by sponsor Rep. Scott Craig, R-Rapid City, on Thursday, 25 February 2016, despite passing the House on a 46-10 vote.

  • 224. VIRick  |  February 27, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Indiana: Evansville Officials Vote to Bolster LGBT Protections

    An Evansville IN commission will have the authority to investigate claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and enforce a city anti-bias ordinance under a step approved by the City Council. The council voted 7-2 this week to give the additional authority to the Human Relations Commission after nearly three hours of public discussion, the "Evansville Courier & Press" reported.

    Sexual orientation and gender identity have been included in the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance the past four years, but investigations were voluntary, meaning a case would be closed if the accused party didn’t comply with an investigation. The changes give the city commission authority to investigate such discrimination claims as it does for those involving race, gender, age, religion, disability, national origin or ancestry.

  • 225. Christian0811  |  February 27, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Three days ago, a new President of the Italian CC was elected. He has since authored an opinion allowing new mosques to be built in Lombardy and is quoted as saying that the CC "is the guarantor of fundamental freedoms". As a result, one might derive that he is more liberal than his predecessors and thus the stage is set for the death of the ban on marriages and adoption. Of course, that may be rushing to conclusions but one can hope 😛

    He also rejected a step-child adoption claim on technical grounds, so his influence and legal opinion on same-sex couples rights remains a factual mystery and will be subject to speculation until such time as he is, inevitably, faced with such questions.

  • 226. theperched  |  February 28, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Swiss gay marriage ban defeated, but it was very close.

    Yes (on ban) was 49.2% vs NO 50.8%–feb

    According to my German-speaking contact, a lot of the public wasn't sure how to vote which is what the Party that wanted a constitutional ban was probably aiming for (but in their favor).

  • 227. SethInMaryland  |  February 28, 2016 at 9:47 am

    YES!!!! Way to go Swiss. Nice try church but the Swiss people saw through your lies. I count this as a win for marriage equality.

  • 228. guitaristbl  |  February 28, 2016 at 10:00 am

    The YES got a cantonal majority though..Again the urban and most populated areas saved the day. Food for thought on the effects of gerrymandering in the US imo.

  • 229. SethInMaryland  |  February 28, 2016 at 10:14 am

    The Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga in charge of the Federal Department of Justice and Police also stated she hoped personally that gay and lesbian couples would soon be allowed to marry.

  • 230. theperched  |  February 28, 2016 at 10:20 am

    I think she wants marriage-marriage.

    As for the Government, they want PACs, basically marriage in all but name.

    In the end, a refendum will be needed on further rights. Marriage and looks like stepchild adoption too. That's what happens with direct democracy, you get enough signatures and then it's off to the polls.

  • 231. SethInMaryland  |  February 28, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Why can't the Swiss gov just pass a law legalizing marriage equality?

  • 232. theperched  |  February 28, 2016 at 10:47 am

    If the opponents receive enough signatures, they can put it to a referendum.

    I think in the end it'll always be a referendum issue since the Swiss Federal Constitution doesn't talk about gender at all so it neither bans it nor endorses it and the public vote to change the language and make it more specific (like saying of the same gender) is required.

  • 233. SethInMaryland  |  February 28, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Well then it looks they are going to have to get support higher . There may be a majority who support marriage equality but the yes won a majority of cantonals. The marriage equality support side will not only have to win a majority but win a majority of Cantonals which I'm not sure is there right now

  • 234. theperched  |  February 28, 2016 at 11:20 am

    But this initiative was a tax break (looks tasty) wrapped with malice. Some Swiss say their loved ones didn't know about the sneaky tactic. Luckily, enough information was shown to expose the trojan horse today. I think many don't know that the current Federal Constitution is gender-neutral on the marriage clause and assume the definition is already man-woman.

    "Marriage is the stable long-term and statutory cohabitation of a man and a woman. It constitutes a tax point of an economic community. It must not be disadvantaged in comparison to other lifestyles, especially not regarding taxes and social security."

    That was the referendum wording. The first sentence would've killed gay marriage, but it doesn't outright say do you want to ban gay marriage. Looks like groups have gotten more clever/sneakier with time.

    The gay marriage initiative by the Green Liberal Party ONLY says if the Swiss want gay marriage, there'll be no room for confusion. I don't think the government wants two votes so close together so I think probably in two years at the earliest the public will head to the polls again.

  • 235. VIRick  |  February 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Switzerland is such a complex mix of four languages and two major traditional religions, scrambled together, united only by the fact that the nation is a staunch non-monarchical republic, heavily into direct democracy, replete with endless referenda. As a confederation, the federal government is quite weak, with most power reserved for the 24 cantons, two of which are further split into half-cantons (Appenzell and Unterwalden), so for some purposes, there are 26, and sometimes, for other purposes, monarchical Liechtenstein is included, stretching it to 27. Many are replete with multiple detached enclaves (at least several dozen extant), with one canton completely surrounding a piece of another. Here's a rough break-down by language/traditional religion:

    3 French Protestant (Genève, Vaud, Neuchâtel)
    1 French Catholic (Jura)
    2 evenly split French/German Catholic (Fribourg, Valais/Wallis)
    1 majority split German/French Protestant (Bern/Berne)
    5 1/2 German Protestant (Basel-Stadt, Basel-Land, Zürich, Glarus, Schaffhausen, Appenzell Ausser-Rhoden)
    3 evenly split German Protestant/Catholic (Aargau, Solothurn, Thurgau)
    6 1/2 German Catholic (Schwyz, Uri, Unterwalden, Luzern, Zug, St. Gallen, Appenzell Inner-Rhoden)
    1 majority split German/Italian/Romansh Protestant/Catholic (Graubünden/Grigioni)
    1 Italian Catholic (Ticino)

  • 236. VIRick  |  February 28, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Swiss Voters Narrowly Reject Anti-Same-Sex Marriage Proposal

    On Sunday, 28 February 2016, Swiss voters narrowly rejected a proposal that would have prevented same-sex couples from receiving marriage rights. Election officials indicate the initiative failed by a 51-49 percent margin. The Christian Democratic People’s Party of Switzerland originally proposed the initiative, titled “For the Couple and the Family — No to the Marriage Penalty," in 2012 as a way to address tax “inequality” among married couples. The initiative also sought to amend the Swiss Federal Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

    “Marriage is the sustainable and regulated union between a man and a woman,” reads the proposed amendment, according to ILGA-Europe. “From a fiscal point of view, marriage constitutes an economic community. It cannot be discriminated against other ways of living, in particular in terms of tax and social insurance.”

    “This initiative was anti-LGBTI sentiment masquerading as tax reform,” said Joyce Hamilton, co-chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board, in a statement on Sunday. “The Swiss public saw through the proposal and said they didn’t want to be part of it.”

    Switzerland has legally recognized same-sex relationships under its Partnership Act since 2007. The country’s highest court later ruled that gays and lesbians in long-term relationships were entitled to receive the same death benefits from their partner’s pensions that heterosexuals do.

    In February 2015, members of the Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council, which is the lower house of the Swiss Federal Assembly, overwhelmingly recommended that the country extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. In September 2015, the Legal Affairs Committee of the Council of States, which is the upper house of the Swiss Federal Assembly, approved the proposal by a 7-5 vote margin. The Swiss Federal Assembly later this year is expected to debate the issue.

    About 70 percent of the Swiss people support marriage rights for same-sex couples. On 8 March 2016, the Council of States is scheduled to vote on a bill that would extend second-parent adoption rights to LGBT couples.
    – See more at:

    The 7 1/2 cantons which appear to have voted in our favor are: Genève, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Bern, Basel-Land, Zürich, and Graubünden, plus Appenzell Ausser-Rhoden. Whether French or German-speaking, all are of the predominantly Protestant tradition, and include 4 of the 6 most-populous cantons.

  • 237. F_Young  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:39 am

    VIRick: "Whether French or German-speaking, all are of the predominantly Protestant tradition, and include 4 of the 6 most-populous cantons."

    I wonder if gay activists should focus on how the Catholic church's involvement constitutes foreign and religious interference in Switzerland's domestic secular democracy.

  • 238. VIRick  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:40 am

    Alternatively, I see 6 additional cantons (all German-speaking) which are either predominately Protestant (Basel-Stadt, Glarus, Schaffhausen), or evenly split Protestant/Catholic (Solothurn, Aargau, Thurgau) which might be more easily swung over to our side, thus giving us a majority of cantons in favor of marriage equality (assuming the 7 1/2 which just voted to defeat the marriage ban remain committed). Most are in the more modern, urban, industrial portion of the country.

    The bulk of those heavily Catholic cantons in central/southern Switzerland are rather rural and quite set in their ways.

  • 239. VIRick  |  February 28, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    GLAD Changes its Name

    Boston – On 23 February 206, a New England-based LGBT legal advocacy group announced that it has changed its name. Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, which formed in 1978 in response to an anti-gay police sting at the Boston Public Library, is now GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders. The new name ensures that the organization will still be known by the acronym GLAD.
    – See more at:

  • 240. VIRick  |  February 28, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    In a tweet from Gdl Tolerante:

    En 27 de febrero 2016, ya se llevó a cabo el primer Matrimonio Igualitario en Zapopan (Jalisco). Una pareja de mujeres fueron las contrayentes.

    Today, 27 February 2016, the first same-sex marriage just occurred in Zapopan (Jalisco). A pair of women were the spouses.

  • 241. allan120102  |  February 28, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Another law in adoption to be put in Italy. So it might not be a total lost after all but I really doubt it will be approved. Even for the bigots favor the majority of Italians are against adoption laws for ss couples.

  • 242. Christian0811  |  February 28, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    No chance it passes, sadly.

    Adoption will *only*, ONLY, come if/when the CC orders it. We saw what it was like just getting bare minimum protections from parliament, full marriage and adoption will be the exclusive domain of the CC if it ever is to be legalized.

    More likely the new bill will actually codify discrimination.

    That said, I appreciate the sentiment. Throwing it back into the bigots faces is indeed satisfying

  • 243. theperched  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:40 am

    Everything would sail through the Chamber of Deputies, but how is it going to pass the Senate is what I'm wondering.

    M5S really shook up the whole process. Almost all said yes on stepchild adoption after a twitter campaign to get them to publicly state their stance, I think only three still opposed it in the end, but then they vote against using the "kangaroo" option with the civil unions bill to skip the amendments round. I think the bulk of the party wants to vote Yes but the party leaders' unpredictability is too much of a risk for Renzi…let's see if M5S votes on its approval or if they don't want it then I want to see what their excuses are this time to hold up the law.

  • 244. allan120102  |  February 28, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    50 amparos have been filed in Puebla so far only 4 have been granted.

  • 245. allan120102  |  February 28, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Head of civil registry in Veracruz have ask the state senate to legalize same sex marriage after 4 amparos have been granted 3 in the port of veracurz and one in Xalapa.

  • 246. VIRick  |  February 28, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Utah: Mormon Church Threatens Same-Sex Couples

    A Utah lesbian couple say they’ve been harassed by local Mormon leaders who wanted to bring them before a church court, and some other same-sex couples are coming forward with similar stories. Mormon leaders are even reportedly seeking out couples who haven't been active in the church for years.

    Leisha and Amanda LaCrone, a married couple with five children in Mount Pleasant UT say they’ve had several bizarre and unwelcome encounters with church representatives, Salt Lake City TV station KTSU reports. Both attended the Mormon Church, formally known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as children, but they have not been involved with the church for years.

    Leisha LaCrone said a hardware store employee tried to talk to her about the church a couple of times, and after she declined, the couple started receiving phone calls asking them to meet with the local Mormon bishop. They also turned down those requests. The topper, they told the station, was when church members hand-delivered a letter saying a disciplinary council — a church court hearing — was being held for Leisha because she had been reported to “have participated in conduct unbecoming a member of the Church.” She posted a picture of the letter on Facebook.

    The disciplinary council was scheduled for last Tuesday, 23 February 2016, but the women did not attend. They assume they were targeted because of their relationship, but they wonder why the church, which last year strengthened its stance against same-sex unions, is coming after them now. Leisha, for one, told KTSU she received a letter of excommunication (expulsion from the church) 15 years ago.

  • 247. theperched  |  February 29, 2016 at 2:33 am

    Colombia's marriage case is now the second item on the Order of the Day for this Thursday.

    I usually post about it in depth, but I'm not going to until I actually see some action.

  • 248. theperched  |  February 29, 2016 at 2:38 am

    Isle of Man's Chief Minister denounces the amendments proposed by the 4 that don't want the marriage bill as delaying tactics. One amendment wants registrars to opt-out if they don't want to marry gay couples and the other wants to have parents be able to take children out of courses that teach about gay marriage. Since only 4 voted against the bill in the first reading and 1 is now a disgraced politician for copying a speech, I highly doubt any of these changes will even come close to passing.

    Unless Colombia gets their act together, I think the next place with marriage equality will be either Isle of Man or the Faroe Islands who might be wrapping up their committee stages soon.

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