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Open Thread 2/29/2016


The last open thread for February 2016.


  • 1. VIRick  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    US Supreme Court Up-Date

    Per Equality Case Files:

    New orders were released today, 29 February 2016. In "Doe v. Christie, Governor of New Jersey," 15-195, the SCOTUS appeal of the case challenging the NJ ban on "conversion therapy" for minors, the Supreme Court denied certiorari, thus leaving in place the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals' decision upholding the New Jersey law.

    The Court again took no action in the Alabama adoption case, "V.L. v. E.L.," on appeal from the Alabama Supreme Court. We may see this petition relisted for a future conference.

    The full order from last Friday's conference, on 26 February 2016, is here:

  • 2. Raga  |  March 4, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Last month, the Court asked for and obtained the records from Alabama Supreme Court. This, plus the continued relisting have me believing that one or more justices are writing something in "V.L. v. E.L." Either a summary reversal with dissents, or a denial of certiorari with dissents. I sure hope it is the former. Granting certiorari would also be welcome, but it would take another year then for it to be resolved.

  • 3. Raga  |  March 7, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Ha! Per curiam summary reversal; no noted dissents:

  • 4. VIRick  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Why We're Leaving Georgia

    Excerpts from an open letter from the co-founder of the high-tech firm, 373K, Inc., presently based in Decatur GA:

    As I watched the debate preceding the vote, I sat there staring in disbelief that this Georgia House Bill 757 could even be debated. I opened another browser window and did a little research, and learned the bill started life as the Pastor Protection Act (in the House), another unnecessary piece of legislation, but nothing compared to the First Amendment Defense Act it had morphed into when it reached the Senate.

    At first, HB 757 was intended to protect pastors from lawsuits for refusing to marry people of the same sex due to their religious beliefs or church doctrines. It passed the House and went on to the Senate, where it became the most ugly piece of pro-discrimination legislation I’ve ever seen. When it passed the Senate, it enabled any individual or organization with “deeply held religious beliefs” to deny services to a person whose marriage, or lack thereof, goes against their “deeply held religious beliefs.”

    In case you missed it, this legislation that enables hate, officially the Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed the Senate by a vote of 37-15. At that moment, I sat speechless. During the debate, one of our Democratic senators, Emanuel Jones, actually asked the bill’s sponsor if it presented a problem to him that the Ku Klux Klan could classify itself as a faith-based organization. To which Republican, Sen. Greg Kirk, responded, “No.”

    After a few moments, I started thinking, I’m gay; one day I may get married. Employees of my company are gay or lesbian. With the exception of two employees, both white, conservative, heterosexual Christians, every single one of my other heterosexual employees could be discriminated against because they’re divorced, had children out of wedlock, are in an interracial relationship, or aren’t Christian. The fact of the matter is, we’re a high-tech company. We hire people based on their skill set and abilities; their genetic or religious makeup means nothing to us. And we’re in hiring mode. I asked myself, "If you didn’t live in Georgia, and you were offered a job, would you go?" And the answer was a definite, "Hell, no!" So after a brief chat with the rest of the team, we published this tweet, which apparently was heard around the world:

    "We are very saddened by the passage of HB757, also known as FADA. It's time to relocate."

    And we meant it. I instructed our president and general counsel to immediately find a new home for this corporation. Because under no circumstances would I want to stay domiciled in this state, paying taxes to this state, this state that has almost legalized hate. With the diverse group that we already have working together, and knowing that our next hire may not meet the requirements of someone’s “deeply held religious belief,” I was not going to take the chance of us not being able to attract the talent we need to keep this company growing.

    Kelvin Williams, Co-Founder of 373K, Inc., a telecommunications service provider currently based in Decatur GA

  • 5. VIRick  |  February 29, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Speaks During Oral Arguments for the First Time in a Decade

    With Scalia gone, Clarence Thomas finally finds his voice. "The Daily Beast" reports:

    The famously quiet Justice Clarence Thomas reportedly spoke up Monday morning, 29 February 2016, and asked questions during oral arguments in a case about gun ownership. Thomas has refrained from asking questions from the bench during Supreme Court hearings for the past ten years. According to a Bloomberg reporter, Thomas asked “if First Amendment rights could be abridged for misdemeanor rights, like Second Amendment Rights,” perhaps hinting at his opposition to the question at hand: whether domestic-violence offenders can be legally banned from owning firearms.

    Per the reporter, Kimberly Robinson, herself:

    "I lost count after seven questions. These are Thomas' first questions during oral argument in over 10 years."

  • 6. guitaristbl  |  February 29, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    was just coming to report on that. It was a whole exchange actually. He probably felt, with Scalia gone, he needed to have the strict textualist, gun loving voice heard.

  • 7. allan120102  |  February 29, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Bermuda may have a referendum if to allow ssm. I am not sure how this is going to result. It might be a total loss like in Slovenia or a partial win by a little majority like Switzerland. Not sure how this is going to end but I hope its good.

  • 8. theperched  |  February 29, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    I read the comments on another site and they claim that 50% participation is needed and even the people who don't support gay marriage are angry that other (non-rights) issues put on the island didn't get a vote. Looks like a cop out from the current coalition, hope it flops and they do too.

  • 9. VIRick  |  February 29, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Bermuda Plans Referendum on Same-Sex Marriage

    Hamilton, Bermuda — Premier Michael Dunkley says his One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) Government will take steps to hold a referendum on the controversial topic of same-sex marriage and civil unions in this British Overseas Territory. Dunkley, accompanied by Community and Culture Minister Patricia Gordon Pamplin, told a media conference on Monday, 29 February 2016, that a referendum bill will be put forth in the House of Assembly “this legislative session.”

    It came moments after Gordon-Pamplin also placed the Civil Union Bill 2016 for consultation in the House. She said the issue of same-sex marriage and civil unions is “at the forefront of our national conversation” because a Supreme Court ruling regarding the Bermuda Bred Company also took effect today, 29 February 2016.

    That landmark ruling by Chief Justice Ian Kawaley means that non-Bermudian same-sex partners of Bermudians, who are in permanent relationships, are entitled to live and work in Bermuda free of immigration control.

  • 10. VIRick  |  February 29, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Kim Davis Comes Out ……………………………………………

    Against Kentucky’s "Segregated" Marriage License Bill

    In February 2016, a Republican-backed bill was passed in the state Senate that would create separate marriage license forms for same-sex and hetero couples. The bill would strip the titles “bride/groom” from the licenses for same-sex couples, banning them from being "groom and groom" or "bride and bride," and instead simply state “first party” and “second party.” Licenses issued for hetero couples would maintain their "traditional" wording.

    However, according to Kentucky Senator Morgan McGarvey, Davis passionately spoke at a clerk’s meeting on the issue – against the segregation. Senator McGarvey, who submitted an amendment which would have maintained a single form for gay and straight couples, said that he was stunned to hear Davis speaking in favor of his amendment.

    He wrote: “I had no idea what to expect when discussing my proposed changes to the marriage license form with the vast majority of Kentucky’s clerks, especially when I noticed Davis, the Rowan County Clerk, sitting in the audience. SB 5 calls for the creation of two separate marriage license forms: one with spaces for "bride" and "groom," and the other with lines designated "first party" and "second party." I proposed reducing the headaches created by two forms by combing them into one form that allows the couple getting married to select whether they wish to be identified as the "bride," "groom," or "spouse." My own reasoning is simple. One form is easier to handle, less expensive, and puts everyone on equal footing.”

    He added: “After passing out sample forms and answering a multitude of questions and hypothetical scenarios, Kentucky’s clerks seemed to agree that one form is how we should proceed. Then Davis stood up to speak. We had never met, and I had no idea what to expect. To my pleasure, and admittedly, to my surprise, Davis agreed with my amendment and my approach."

  • 11. davepCA  |  March 2, 2016 at 9:13 am

    I wonder what's up with this? Seems unexpected.

  • 12. Sagesse  |  March 2, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Not sure, but by creating a separate SSM licence, it means she and her office have to explicitly sign a form that does NOTHING BUT enable a same sex marriage. From the point of view of religious objection, this is one step worse than extending the application of the existing form. Who knows how these people think.

  • 13. VIRick  |  March 2, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Dave, just like Kentucky's Senator McGarvey, I was totally taken aback by this latest stance of hers. Still, for once, we'd have to be in agreement with her, although it's undoubtedly best to not attempt to parse out her thought process as to how she came to the same conclusion. These hard-line, literalist, retrograde Mennonites (which is what the Apostolic Christian Church actually is) are an impossible breed, especially if they are recent, "saved" converts (which is what she actually is), trying to erase all their own multiple past transgressions and "sins."

    Alternatively, perhaps for once, this is what she directly thinks of the matter, all by her mentally-challenged self (one uniform application form with multiple choices is easier to handle than several separate forms), rather than that of her Liberty Counsel lawyers, using her as their mouthpiece and tool for their own twisted agenda.

    Remember, too, that she got fooled at least once by a trans-gender male (to her, he looked like a man, so she never questioned the couple) who successfully obtained a marriage license to marry his wife many months before this current extended brouhaha ever began. That couple then went public with their previous experience right at the height of the whole present ordeal, which to me (and many others) totally exposed the entire hypocracy of her current notoriety. That incident, and the public exposure of it after-the-fact, may have made her realize somewhat tardily that things aren't always what they appear to be, so just use one form to cover all contingencies.

  • 14. guitaristbl  |  March 2, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    I am extremely skeptical and hesitant when it comes to Davis's stance on this. I really doubt she spoke on it independently, without Staver behind her. I don't know yet what his agenda may be (because people with Davis's intelligent are always pawns as you pointed out) but I wouldn't trust her stance at this point.

  • 15. VIRick  |  March 1, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    EEOC Files First Suits Challenging Sexual Orientation Discrimination as Sex Discrimination

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In two separate lawsuits, the federal agency, EEOC, charges that a gay male employee and a lesbian employee were subjected to hostile work environments because of sex.

    Washington – The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today, 1 March 2016, that it has filed its first two sex discrimination cases based on sexual orientation. The federal agency's Philadelphia District Office filed suit in District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against Scott Medical Health Center, and, in a separate suit, in District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division, against Pallet Companies, dba IFCO Systems NA.

    Here are the Complaints:
    "EEOC v. Pallet Companies" (Maryland):
    "EEOC v. Scott Medical Health Center" (Pennsylvania):

  • 16. guitaristbl  |  March 1, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Governor Dugaard has vetoed the anti-trans bill in South Dakota !

  • 17. VIRick  |  March 1, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Court Denies Donald Trump’s Bid To Toss Trump University Fraud Lawsuit

    On Tuesday, 1 March 2016, a New York appeals court ruled against Donald Trump, and denied his bid to toss out a lawsuit filed by state Attorney-General Eric Schneiderman claiming fraud at the now-defunct Trump University. Trump’s lawyers claimed the lawsuit, filed in 2013, should be tossed because the statute of limitations on the case had expired. An appeals court said the attorney-general is “authorized to bring a cause of action for fraud.”

    “Today’s decision is a clear victory in our effort to hold Donald Trump and Trump University accountable for defrauding thousands of students,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “As the state’s chief law enforcement officer, my job is to see that perpetrators of fraud are brought to justice. We look forward to demonstrating in a court of law that Donald Trump and his sham for-profit college defrauded more than 5,000 consumers out of millions of dollars.”

  • 18. theperched  |  March 1, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Isle of Man's marriage bill moves out of the amendments round. Time for the final reading in the House of Keys before it's passed to the Legislative Council (other chamber).

    No appetite for 'de-railing' amendments

    A bill to allow same sex couples to marry has passed a major hurdle in the House of Keys today.

    The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill was carried through the clauses stage by its sponsor, Chief Minister Allan Bell.

    A controversial series of amendments tabled by North Douglas MHK John Houghton were thrown out, after winning support from only two members – Chris Robertshaw and Zac Hall.

    They would have granted registrars the right to refuse to conduct gay marriages, and teachers to opt out of teaching same sex marriage, and were described by Mr Bell as an attempt to de-rail the bill.

    Meanwhile, civil partnerships between opposite sex couples could become law in the Isle of Man.

  • 19. VIRick  |  March 1, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    In a tweet from MOVILH Chile, per Geraldina González de la Vega:

    Este miércoles, 2 de marzo 2016, será un día histórico para el matrimonio igualitario. Por primera vez, habrá alegatos en tribunales chilenos. Se viene!

    Wednesday, 2 March 2016, will be an historic day for marriage equality. For the first time, there will be challenges presented in Chilean courts. It is coming!

  • 20. VIRick  |  March 1, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Italian Court Recognizes Same-Sex Adoption

    A court in Italy has become the first in the country to allow a lesbian couple’s right to adopt each other’s biological daughters. The tribunal in Rome upheld two appeals from gay rights groups on behalf of the women, which means that they will both be regarded as parents of the children.

    The court said it had based its decision on “adoptions in special cases” and will allow the two girls to have the same double-barrelled surname, but not regard them as sisters. The case is the first of this nature to be heard since the Italian Parliament passed a civil unions bill last week.

    Francesca Quarato of Rete Lenford, one of the gay rights groups that represented the couple, said that the law “confers lesser guarantees to the minor when compared to the recognition of full, legitimate parenthood." Although the ruling means that the children will not have the same protections as a child of a heterosexual married couple would have been given, it does provide them with more than they had had.

    “In this way, each of the minors has a biological parent and a social parent, both of them with full and equal parenting capacities and responsibilities,” Ms Quarato explained. “The court considered the minors’ interest in having their relationship with their social mother recognized and protected.”

  • 21. Christian0811  |  March 1, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Now is this the same family from the case the CC rejected?

  • 22. VIRick  |  March 1, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    This case was heard before a tribunal in Rome, and appears to be a new case brought forward by rights groups in that jurisdiction.

    I am not familiar with the particulars of the case the CC rejected.

  • 23. Christian0811  |  March 1, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Thank you, the fact that it was heard by a court of appeal (in the capital, no less) could set important & persuasive jurisprudence constant for lower and other courts of appeal.

    It's not ideal, but it's something.

    If you're curious, the aforementioned case involved an Italian-American couple who had adopted in Washington state and moved to Bologna. The court sent the matter to the CC regarding the validity of the adoption. The President of the CC sent it back to the court as inadmissible because the law shouldn't have been interpreted as an adoption case but rather as a question of whether Italian law recognizes adoptions from out-of-country regardless if the adoption in question wouldn't be able to be performed in Italy itself.

    The president was pretty miffed, saying that the rejection wasn't a matter of civil rights "but about a judge that doesn't know how to do his job".

  • 24. VIRick  |  March 1, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    Christian, thanks for scratching the memory banks, as I now remember that earlier case quite clearly. That was a case from Bologna, regarding the in-country recognition of an out-of-country single-child adoption from the USA (involving two men?, thus both were seeking to be recognized as the adoptive parent, as neither were the biological father), whereas this is a case in Rome regarding the in-country recognition of the mutual adoption of two children involving two Italian women, (biologically, one child for each woman being adopted by the other).

    Technically, too, these adoption proceedings in Rome are two cases in tandem, one for each woman seeking to be recognized as the adopting parent of the other woman's child. Both were approved simultaneously on 1 March 2016.

  • 25. allan120102  |  March 1, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    A brief summary of what is happening in Hidalgo and about a possibles amparos being granted soon. I need to remind that Hidalgo and Zacatecas are thee only states in Mexico where ssm is not occurring or amparo have been granted.

  • 26. VIRick  |  March 2, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    West Virginia Senate Guts Proposed RFRA Bill

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Charleston WV — The West Virginia Senate has put the brakes on the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration bill (HB4012), the so-called "license to discriminate" legislation, making significant language changes that bill supporters say guts the measure.

    The Senate, on a 23-11 vote Tuesday evening, 1 March 2016, approved an amendment by Sens. Corey Palumbo (D-Kanawha) and Ron Stollings (D-Boone) that said the RFRA law could not be used to invalidate anti-discrimination laws or ordinances. The Family Policy Council of West Virginia, which is pushing the bill, said the amendment essentially neutralizes the bill.

    The vote followed an emotional debate where Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson) argued in favor of Palumbo’s amendment, saying he feared an RFRA law could be used to discriminate against the LGBT community.

    Here is a link to the full language of the amendment:

  • 27. SethInMaryland  |  March 2, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Jane L. Kelly of the 8th circuit is being vetted as possible replacement of the supreme court. She well liked by Chuck Grassley ( well known in Iowa gives u a bonus with him) she's 52 years old (good age group)

  • 28. allan120102  |  March 2, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    If she enters the supreme court her seat will be vacant. I am sad that Obama have only appoint one judge in that court of appeals as its the most conservative in the nation.

  • 29. bythesea66  |  March 2, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Well at least Obama or his Democratic successor will get to fill that vacancy.

  • 30. guitaristbl  |  March 2, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    I am with allan on that. I don't think the 8th circuit can afford losing one of its few (and the youngest) liberal judge…

  • 31. allan120102  |  March 2, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Not even that Libera may I say. She is moderate. If a republican wins this election it will take a lot of time to change it to demecratic hold.

  • 32. allan120102  |  March 2, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Supreme court in Chile will need to resolve if to hear same sex marriage case. Lawyers in favor of equality have said that courts in Brazil, USA and to be Colombia have struck down the gay marriage bans of their nation when the legislative and executive body have not act or are being too slow.They said that is now their turn. If The Colombian supreme court really strikes down the ban that may boost Chile´s case.

  • 33. allan120102  |  March 2, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Civil registry in Mazatlan Sinaloa is preparing their staff when ssm becomes legal.

  • 34. VIRick  |  March 2, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Se Preparan en Sinaloa para Matrimonios Gay

    They Are Ready for Same-Sex Marriages in Sinaloa

    Mazatlán, Sinaloa.- La directora estatal del Registro Civil señala que están listos para realizar estas bodas cuando sean aprobadas por el Congreso local. Aunque no se ha reformado el Código Familiar en Sinaloa para que las personas del mismo sexo puedan casarse, el Registro Civil en la entidad está capacitado para cuando esta situación cambie, declaró la directora estatal de este departamento, Sol María Rodríguez Tiznado.

    Mazatlán, Sinaloa -The state director of the Civil Registry states that they are ready to perform these marriages once they are approved by the local Congress. Although the Sinaloa Family Code has not yet been reformed to allow same-sex couples to marry, the state Civil Registry has the capacity to do it whenever this situation changes, said the state director of this department, Sol María Rodríguez Tiznado.

  • 35. theperched  |  March 3, 2016 at 3:36 am

    The people behind the marriage equality movement say the Supreme Court will pull a Jalisco and issue an act of unconstitutionality once the fifth amparo process is complete in a few weeks. If Michoacan doesn't move then it looks like Sinaloa cut to the front of the line.

  • 36. VIRick  |  March 3, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Yes, I was quite intrigued as to how the head of the state's Civil Registry signaled that she and her staff located in the various civil registry offices throughout the state of Sinaloa are prepared for same-sex marriage, in effect, telling the local Congress to do their job and make the required changes to the state Family Code pronto pronto, before Mexico's Supreme Court has to step in (for a third time) and order it, as all marriage-related cases have now moved from the First Chamber to the Plena (the Full Court). As we've already seen in the case with Jalisco (and quite possibly yet again with Michoacán, if Michoacán continues to stall), when the Plena issues orders, those orders are immediately binding. At the present moment, given that Sinaloa was one of the earlier states to have hit the 5-amparo limit, it is at or near the top of the Plena's list.

  • 37. allan120102  |  March 2, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Good news coming from Africa nonetheless. Seychelles to legalize homosexuality. A step in the right direction.

  • 38. theperched  |  March 2, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    I remember Malawi promising to do the same, then relenting and now arresting people again *sigh*.

    Seychelles hasn't prosecuted anyone in decades, protects people from employment discrimination and was mulling same-sex unions in public forums so they're a lot more gay friendly than most of the continent, they only need to scrub the law from the books.

  • 39. allan120102  |  March 2, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Malawi was by court action, Seychelles is by their legislature and even the president is in favor so I am pretty confident it will legalize homosexuality. I am worried about Indonesia in Asia though things are becoming ugly to our lgbt people in there.

  • 40. theperched  |  March 2, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, only in a few weeks things have turned very ugly 🙁

    Belize has a court case, but no action and it's been years…
    Hoping for some good news from Jamaica's lawsuit.

    There are actually several countries (Botswana/Cook Islands) that have some anti-discrimination laws but an anti-sodomy piece in place. I predict they will be next to decriminalize after Seychelles if the Belizen/Jamaica court cases fail. Maybe Guyana will move to the front in the near future.

  • 41. VIRick  |  March 2, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Seychelles to Scrap Colonial-Era Law Banning Gay Sex

    The Seychelles is hoping to open its arms to LGBT people by moving forward with plans to scrap a law banning gay sex. Section 151 of the country’s Penal Code states that a man who has sex with a man “against the order of nature” can be jailed for up to fourteen years. The law is a hold-over from British colonial rule, and convictions are already very rare, but the Seychelles government this week renewed a push to scrap the law entirely.

    Tourism accounts for nearly 20% of GDP, and the industry employs 15 percent of the country’s workforce. However, the country has largely remained a ‘no-go’ area for LGBT tourism due to the penal code. According to the Seychelles News Agency, the government has put forward a bill this week to remove the anti-gay law.

    Attorney-General Ronny Govinden acknowledged that international pressure had been a factor in moving forward on the issue, saying: “It is a priority for the country because whenever the Seychelles is participating in an international convention… we face pressures from other countries who are asking us to remove this law.” He added: “This is a simple amendment to the penal Code which can be done by the National Assembly, and this avoids conflict.

  • 42. VIRick  |  March 2, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Colombia: Latest Gallup Poll Results Pertaining to Same-Sex Marriage

    Per Rodrigo Sandoval A.:

    In the annual Gallup poll done in Colombia on current social issues, in answer to this question:

    "Esta usted de acuerdo/desacuerdo con el matrimonio civil entre parejas homosexuales?"

    "Are you in agreement/disagreement with civil marriage for same-sex couples?"

    the new comparative results have just been released. Said survey has been conducted each February, with the following results shown for the years 2011, 2015, and 2016.

    Those against have shown a gradual 11% dropping off in their opposition, from 66% to 62% to 55%, now speeding downward to a new all-time low within the last year, while those in favor have risen by 10%, from 31% to 33% to 41% during the same time interval, rising rather quickly within the past year to a new all-time high at the present time.

  • 43. VIRick  |  March 2, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Arkansas: Judge Upholds Fayetteville’s LGBT Rights Law

    On Tuesday 1 March 2016, a state judge upheld a northwest Arkansas city’s ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, ruling that it doesn’t conflict with a state law aimed at blocking local protections for gays and lesbians. Washington County Circuit Judge Doug Martin ruled that the Fayetteville ordinance ratified by voters last year doesn’t run afoul of a state measure barring cities and counties from prohibiting discrimination on a basis not contained in state law.

    Arkansas’ civil rights law doesn’t include sexual orientation or gender identity. Martin sided with supporters of the Fayetteville ordinance who pointed to those protections being mentioned elsewhere in state law. “Clearly, the classifications of gender identity and sexual orientation were classifications of persons protected on bases contained in state law prior to the enactment of (Fayetteville’s ordinance),” Martin wrote.

    The case is expected to wind up before the Arkansas Supreme Court.

  • 44. Rick55845  |  March 3, 2016 at 4:54 am

    I'm a bit surprised, but pleased. I don't doubt that it'll end up at the Arkansas Supreme Court.

    I'd like to read the Judge's ruling. The news item from joemygod doesn't mention the name of the case or supply a link. Anyone know how to find it?

    I found the judge's order (PDF) linked to from the Fayetteville Flyer.

    The newspaper article:

    Basically, the judge found that the protected classifications in Fayetteville Ordinance 5781 do not violate the plain language of Act 137 (Ark. Code 14-1-401-403) because the classifications of gender identify and sexual orientation are classifications of persons protected on bases contained in state law prior to the enactment of the ordinance. The Antibullying policies statute includes gender identity and sexual orientation.

  • 45. theperched  |  March 2, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    Faroe Islands has more readings on bills scheduled for the next two weeks than usual. Last month votes were held once a week. The brown squares (readings) are blank now, but will be filled in with the respective bills later. From what I understood the marriage bill is almost done in the committee stages, hope all the scheduled meetings mean a vote on it.

  • 46. allan120102  |  March 3, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Breaking news from Morelos. A federal judge in Puebla have struck down the ban on ssm of Morelos and have ask the governor and the legislative body of Morelos to publish its decision in its local newspaper so it can take effect. It says the amparos are not always to nullify a ban but in special cases the judicial body can act so it can make human rights that are being denied take effect inmediately. So it looks that ssm will become legal soon in Morelos like in Jalisco. We need to remember that Morelos is just shy of one vote of the dictamen part of being approved so this might be the final push need it.!/noticias/exigen-al-

  • 47. VIRick  |  March 3, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Morelos, al No Reconocer Unión entre Gays, Los Discrimina: Juez

    Morelos, by Not Recognizing Marriage between Same-Sex Couples, Discriminates Against Them: Judge

    CIUDAD DE MÉXICO.- Carlos Alfredo Soto Morales, titular del Juzgado Sexto de Distrito del Centro Auxiliar de la Segunda Región en Puebla, declaró inconstitucional los artículos del Código Familiar y Constitución del estado de Morelos que reconocía el matrimonio y concubinato solo como la unión entre un hombre y una mujer.

    Al conceder un amparo para efectos, obligó además al gobernador Graco Ramírez y al Congreso del estado de Morelos a publicar la sentencia como medida para restituir, en la medida de lo posible, la dignidad de los agraviados que fueron discriminados y estigmatizados.

    El juez basó su decisión en la publicación de 19 de junio de 2015 de la jurisprudencia de la Primera Sala de la Suprema Corte que declara la inconstitucionalidad de cualquier ley que defina al matrimonio como la unión de un hombre y una mujer.

    Mexico City – Carlos Alfredo Soto Morales, head of the Sixth District Court of the Auxiliary Center of the Second Region in Puebla, declared unconstitutional the articles of the Family Code and Constitution of the state of Morelos which recognizes marriage and concubinage only as a union between a man and a woman.

    While granting this amparo into effect, he also ordered the governor, Graco Ramírez, and the Congress of Morelos state, to publish the judgment as a measure to restore, as far as possible, the dignity of the victims who were discriminated against and stigmatized.

    The judge based his decision on the publication of 19 June 2015 of the jurisprudence of the First Chamber of the Supreme Court declaring the unconstitutionality of any law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

  • 48. allan120102  |  March 3, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    What do you think Rick? Will Morelos surrender an marry ss couples? I actually dont see this state as conservative as others.

  • 49. theperched  |  March 3, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    I ran across an article some weeks ago that said the Government in Morelos was considering doing what Chihuahua did and issuing an executive order by March if the bill made no progress. Let's see if this changes anything in Congress or with the Governor.

  • 50. VIRick  |  March 3, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Yes, some months ago, Governor Graco Ramírez threatened to issue an executive order legalizing same-sex marriage if the local Congress did not act by March 2016. So, governor, let's do it. We know the order is already written, as you yourself said so when you issued your ultimatum to the local Congress. So now, in addition, your own self-imposed deadline has arrived, as the judge in Puebla just reminded you.

    Any/all governors of the various states in Mexico have this power to issue executive orders. I've been quite disappointed that, so far, only two have actually exercised it.

    Allan, Morelos is not as conservative as many other Mexican states. It's also over the amparo limit, and has been over that limit now for many months, as 6 amparos were issued in that state in 2015 alone, as noted by the officials in Cuautla.

  • 51. allan120102  |  March 3, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Yeah I believe I post that article in December or January. I am going to see if he issues an opinion or something today. Things are rapidly advancing in some states. I believe we might get the freedom to marry in Morelos, Michoacan, SLP and Sinaloa. We might also win Durango but that is a maybe.

  • 52. RobW303  |  March 4, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Apart from hastening the ability of couples to marry without amparos, I'm not sure the executive order path is good. Better to keep pressure on the legislatures to take action; an executive order relieves that pressure, while also allowing the order to be rescinded by the next governor (as we've seen done in the US with non-discrimination policies).

  • 53. allan120102  |  March 3, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Breaking news coming from Colombia too. Colombia is now recognizing same sex marriage perform out of the country as same sex marriage and not as civil union. This was thanks to a memo that was send to all registries in the country. Colombia is now coming close to full equality for ss couples. The thing missing is to perform marriages in the country.

  • 54. scream4ever  |  March 3, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Aren't we supposed to hear from Colombia today?

  • 55. allan120102  |  March 3, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    We were but the constitutional court continues to play and have changed again the discussion for next Thursday. I am pretty sure I have cross out like 5 thursdays in my calendar.

  • 56. VIRick  |  March 3, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Colombia: Same-sex couples married abroad can now register their marriages in Colombia and they are married there, too.

    Registran en Colombia Primer Matrimonio de Pareja del Mismo Sexo Celebrado en el Exterior

    First Same-Sex Marriage Celebrated Abroad Registered in Colombia as Marriage

    Julián Castro y Julián Artacho, una pareja binacional, registraron hoy, 3 de marzo 2016, en Colombia su matrimonio celebrado en España. Esta pareja sería la primera en hacer este tramite en el país, al que accedieron luego de conocer la Circular Número 36 del 2016 de la Registraduría Nacional donde se ordenan las instrucciones para la inscripción de matrimonios celebrados en el extranjero entre personas del mismo sexo. La circular fue enviada a notarías, registradurías, delegaciones departamentales y demás instituciones autorizadas para llevar las funciones de registro civil.

    A partir de ahora, las parejas del mismo sexo que deseen registrar su matrimonio celebrado en el exterior solo deben presentar en notarías, registradurías, o consulados, el registro civil de matrimonio apostillado, o legalizado equivalente, al registro civil en Colombia y las copias de sus documentos de identidad.

    Today, 3 March 2016, Julián Castro and Julián Artacho, a binational couple, registered in Colombia their marriage which had been celebrated in Spain. This couple was the first to follow this process in the country, as detailed in Circular No. 36 of 2016 of the National Registry, where the instructions for the registration of marriages celebrated abroad between persons of the same sex are ordered. The circular was sent to notaries, registration offices, departmental offices, and other institutions authorized to perform the functions of civil registration.

    From now on, same-sex couples who wish to register their marriage celebrated abroad must only present from notaries, registration offices, or consulates, their original civil marriage registration, or legalized equivalent, to the civil registry in Colombia, along with copies of their identity documents.

  • 57. VIRick  |  March 3, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    South Dakota Anti-Transgender Bathroom Bill is Totally Dead

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 3 March 2016, the South Dakota House unsuccessfully attempted to override Governor Daugaard's recent veto of ‪‎HB1008, a veto which took place late in the day on 1 March 2016.‬ This latest measure failed, as 47 Yea votes were needed to override. The final vote was: Yea 36, Nay 29, Excused 5.

    This ignorant, bigoted bill had originally passed in the House in January by a vote of 58-10.

  • 58. allan120102  |  March 3, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    26 Same sex couples to get married in different municipalities of Chihuahua.
    Human right groups blast Colima in trying to put forums to consider Same sex marriage and abortion as they say that the majority shouldnt control minorities rights.

  • 59. VIRick  |  March 3, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Mexican Government: We’re Not Paying For Any Wall

    The Mexican government has made its first direct response to Trump’s pledge to build a wall along the two countries’ border — and make Mexico pay for it. Mexican Treasury Secretary Luis Videgaray says “emphatically and categorically” that his country isn’t going to foot the bill for the project proposed by the Republican presidential hopeful.

    Videgaray told Milenio television late Wednesday, 2 March 2016, that “Mexico will under no circumstance pay for the wall that Trump is proposing.” The wall proposal has been criticized widely and fiercely in Mexico, but the government itself has tried to avoid commenting directly on the issue until now.

    I will refrain from repeating what ex-president Vicente Fox had to say recently about Trump's plan, but he boldlly used the "F" word in describing what he thought of such a wall.

  • 60. theperched  |  March 4, 2016 at 12:50 am

    Any discussion on Michoacan is postponed until next week.

    It's the Domestic Partnership law that's holding up the process. Everyone who wants to have a say agrees on expanding marriage rights, but PRI/one of the two PRD members want to scrap the domestic partnership law while the other PRD member wants to keep it.

  • 61. Randolph_Finder  |  March 4, 2016 at 6:20 am

    Two quick questions on the Marriage Equality situation on Mexico…
    1) Right now, where in Mexico is farthest in travel time from a place where a Same Sex Couple could get married without going through an Amparo? Southern Chiapas? Southern Baja California Sur?
    2) Where are the "Kansas" and "Mississippi" of Mexico, the states likely to fight this to the bitter end and *then* some?

  • 62. allan120102  |  March 4, 2016 at 7:40 am

    So far the only complicated one that is marrying ss couples is Guerrero where some municipalities are marrying ss couples and others not, but the state is recognizing those marriages.

  • 63. allan120102  |  March 4, 2016 at 9:14 am

    States like Baja California Sur, Campeche, Yucatan and Baja California though are fighting tooth and nails to not marry same sex couples. Yucatan supreme court even upheld the ban. Zacatecas is other were some municipalities are asking for amparos to get exempt of marrying ss couples. Hidalgo civil registries are telling their lgbt couples that they can marry in Mexico City as its closer and more accepting. That is just an excuse to not marrying them.

  • 64. VIRick  |  March 4, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    That's a good summary of the worst of the worst of the states that are still continuing to fight marriage equality. To that, though, I would add that Sinaloa had been fighting it tooth-and-nails, but now that it has run out of options, seems to be on the verge of acceding.

    I would also not hold my breath waiting for Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Tabasco to comply (bearing in mind that I once lived quite near to all three, in the southern end of Veracruz state). In my opinion, Chiapas is the actual "Alabama" of Mexico, while Oaxaca is its "Mississippi," and Tabasco can double as the Florida panhandle. On the other hand, Guerrero is wily and unpredictable, and will do whatever it wants, sort of an inside-out version of Kansas, but crazily progressive when it wants to be so.

    As to the farthest point from which one would have to travel (and stay within Mexico) in order to reach a state with marriage equality, there's an old expression in Mexico that the country stretches from Tijuana to Tapachula. So, ironically enough, that expression also applies to this situation, as Tijuana BC (in the far north-west) and Tapachula CS (in the far south-east) are probably the furthest (but with the caveat that residents of BC possessing the correct border-crossing documents can enter California and be married in the USA). Additionally, residents at the southern tip of BCS are linked by ferry to Mazatlán, which in turn, is not overly-distant from Nayarit.

  • 65. RobW303  |  March 4, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Why is there no US or international crowdfunding campaign to raise money to assist Mexican couples to get the requisite five amparos in all states? There's already a judge who's been issuing amparos in recalcitrant states. If we could find one or two other judges willing to do the same thing, we could get the requisite number of amparos in all states and put additional pressure on the national legislature to pass a blanket law. Why is this not being organized? Considering how quickly much more money was amassed for the Ali Forney Center to (potentially) buy the Harlem hate church, fundraising for amparos should be a piece of cake–it's not like we're looking at the million-dollar appeals that had to occur here in the states; the highest court has already ruled repeatedly and the path is well laid out. Let's get with it and help our Mexican sisters and brothers!

  • 66. VIRick  |  March 4, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Rob, many of the "amparos colectivos" filed by local rights groups were done through collective donations and local fund-rising. In particular, in Tamaulipas state, ALL of the collective amparos filed in that state were done that way. The practice then quickly spread to Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, and Guanajuato, among others, all the way to Chiapas.

    Each amparo filing costs about 10,000 Mexican pesos.

    So far, to the best of my knowledge, in only one instance, that is, in regard to the 31 successful amparos filed in Chihuahua state, has Mexico's Supreme Court ordered the state to pay for the plaintiffs' legal expenses. But the precedent has already been set, so I am fully expecting the Supreme Court to make similar orders in due course vis-à-vis many of the remaining recalcitrant states.

  • 67. SethInMaryland  |  March 4, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Malta’s PM comes out in favour of equal marriage:Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said: “I am in favour of gay marriage and the country is ready for a debate about it

  • 68. montezuma58  |  March 4, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Alabama Supreme Court throws in the towel.

    The Alabama Supreme Court issued an order Friday dismissing current petitions objecting to the U.S. high court's legalization of same-sex marriages.

    The 170-page document dismisses petitions filed by the Alabama Policy Institute, Alabama Citizens Action Program, and John Enslen, Probate Judge for Elmore County, who fought to maintain that the state's earlier ban on same-sex marriages could still be enforced.

    The ruling said while the court may not agree with the Supreme Court's decision last spring, there is no legal way around it.

    In Friday's order, the court writes that "our decision today refuses to grant the relief requested and should not be construed to mean anything else."

    A decision by this court cannot stop the issuance of federally-mandated same-sex government-marriage licenses; as… previously expressed, this Court has never been in a position definitively to rule on whether Alabama's laws prohibiting [same-sex licenses] were constitutional….If anyone believes that this Court can issue a ruling on these requests that would allow our probate judges to legally continue Alabama's prohibition on the issuance of same-sex government-marriage licenses, such belief is refuted by 200 years of law and practice. We can express our well founded frustration at the unprecedented nature of [the U.S. Supreme Court order legalizing same-sex marriages nationwide], but we cannot stop its effect.
    The court's order Friday affirms the court cannot and will not do anything to allow state probate court judges to ignore a federal court injunction and a Supreme Court decision.

    Perhaps the most interesting line of the ruling seems to be a swipe at Chief Justice Roy Moore on page 159, saying, "if a judge finds that he or she cannot abide by a controlling decision from a higher court, that judge should resign from office."

    You can read the full document here (PDF).

    Link to the ruling:

  • 69. montezuma58  |  March 4, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Better link for the ruling/opinion:

    I haven't read through it yet. But I can't imagine why they'd need 170 pages for this.

  • 70. Randolph_Finder  |  March 4, 2016 at 10:19 am

    First 12 are Moore explaining why he *isn't* recusing himself. And then you get his 90 page opinion where he spends lots of time explaining why the minority at the SC were *right* and then finally concurs (basically because he has no choice). Writings by anyone *other* than Moore start on page 107!

  • 71. Rick55845  |  March 4, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I'm glad the Alabama Supreme Court has wisely chosen not to fight the US Supreme Court.

    The author of that article, WAFF 48 Digital Staff (weird name), seemed to think that the line quoted from the ruling saying "if a judge finds that he or she cannot abide by a controlling decision from a higher court, that judge should resign from office" was a swipe at Judge Roy Moore. I would read it simply as an admonition to the state's Probate Judges who are responsible for issuing and recording marriage licenses in the state. That would make a lot more sense than imagining that some members of the Alabama Supreme Court are taking a swipe at their Chief.

  • 72. montezuma58  |  March 4, 2016 at 10:15 am

    I don't know who wrote that. I could see Justice Shaw taking a swipe at Moore. He's been the only one with common sense through this mess.

    Also interesting about the timing of the release of this ruling is Tom Parker just won his primary for his seat on the court. The primary was in effect the general election as the Democrats aren't bothering to run anyone. If you don't know Parker he's as much of a bible thumping theocrat as Moore.

  • 73. VIRick  |  March 4, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 4 March 2016, in "Policy Institute v. King," the Mandamus Petition in the Alabama Supreme Court, the Court issued its ORDER dismissing all pending motions and petitions. This 170 page order includes multiple concurring opinions making for some "interesting" reading:

    1140460 ORDER

    Alabama Policy Institute v. King (Mandamus Petition in Alabama Supreme Court)

    Order Dismissing all pending motions and petitions, including the following opinions:
    MOORE, Chief Justice: statement of nonrecusal: pp 2-12
    MOORE, Chief Justice, concurring specially: pp 13-106
    STUART, Justice, concurring specially: pg 107
    BOLIN, Justice, concurring specially: pp 108-125
    PARKER, Justice, concurring specially: pp 126-138
    MURDOCK, Justice, concurring specially: pp 139-145
    SHAW, Justice, concurring specially: pp 146-170

    One can also read the full order here:

    As per Gary Wright, the rights activist in Huntsville, who regularly posts comments at Equality Case Files, we have this guidance:

    If you can't stomach the 100 pages of Constitutional ramblings of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, try starting with Justice Shaw on page 146. Shaw was the only justice to dissent in the original order. In his original dissent he lays out every reason why this case was illegal.

  • 74. davepCA  |  March 4, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    I hope they enjoyed their little temper tantrum. With this document, they have really made themselves look like the petty hate-filled bigots that they are. I hope their frustration and anger over this issue causes them plenty of misery. They deserve all of it. And very soon, none of us will be having even a single thought about any of them. They will have receded into the past and their views will have become completely irrelevant to everyone, just like NOM.

  • 75. allan120102  |  March 4, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    I hope the remaining Probate judges start marrying ss couples. I doubt though those bible trumpers are going to do that unless they are sued.

  • 76. VIRick  |  March 4, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    And speaking of lawsuits, we have this notice from NCLR, issued this afternoon, shortly after the Alabama Supreme Court announced their orders:

    Per Rex Wockner:

    If you or anyone you know is denied a marriage license in Alabama, please email us at [email protected]

  • 77. 1grod  |  March 6, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Allan – as noted by Shaw: " No probate judge in this state is complying with API or the Chief Judge’s January 6 administrative order and issuing government issued marriage licenses to opposite sex couples but not to same sex couples." (162) Let me re-phrase your hope: that the remaining probate judges start issuing marriage licenses" .It is also my hope that John Enslen, probate judge of Elmore Co also reads the sentence that comes before: When our probate court judges are faced with conflicting federal and state orders – a federal injunction issued to # 1983 and directed to parties in that case vs this court’s writ of mandamus, the federal order controls.

  • 78. guitaristbl  |  March 4, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    I won't make myself read that piece of garbage. I am just glad they did not go for grandstanding here and showed, even on the very last moment, some judicial responsibility.

  • 79. 1grod  |  March 4, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    guitar: As was the case a year ago Judge Greg Shaw's opinion is worthy of a read. IMO he has a fine mind and manner of writing. He dismisses Moore and others' line of reasoning as Silly, If you are inclined to read through all the opinions, still read his first [starts at p 146], as it provides an useful perspective to reflect on the others. G

  • 80. JayJonson  |  March 4, 2016 at 11:47 am

    The Alabama Supreme Court document is sickening in all sorts of ways. One wonders what sort of law school (some of) these judges attended. At least one of them notes that 5 trumps 4 when SCOTUS speaks, not that one would know that from their fervent embrace of the dissents in Obergefell. The contempt most of these yahoos express for gay people and for the majority in Obergefell is shocking. The contempt of all decent people really deserves to be directed at themselves. They woefully misunderstand the Constitution of the United States.

    Thankfully, a couple of the justices take swipes at Moore and pointedly say that they do not want to be associated with his rantings. And even the majority of these yahoos know that they do not have a snowball's chance in hell of stopping a federal court's enforcement of the law established by Obergefell.

  • 81. FredDorner  |  March 4, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Judge Shaw's concurrence is good and deserves to be read. From what I can tell he's the only sane and ethical judge on the ALSC.

    The other concurrences represent the best of sharia law and Jim Crow reasoning.

  • 82. JayJonson  |  March 5, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Yes, Judge Shaw's opinion is delightful to read. It is a breath of fresh air after slogging through 146 pages of hatred, deceit, and insanity. His footnote 52–in which he observes that it is strange for Moore et al. to cite Abraham Lincoln as a proponent of the notion that states can rebel against the federal government–is especially delicious.

  • 83. 1grod  |  March 6, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Fred – giving the AL Supreme Court's March 4 2016 action, what the legal coverage do the remaining judges [members of a class action] have to avoid complying with Strawser as affirmed by the 11 Circuit Appeals Court last autumn? Maybe the may issue language found in legislation

  • 84. VIRick  |  March 6, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Graeme, they have no legal cover.

    The phrasing, "They may issue marriage licenses …." is an antiquated, polite, Southern way of speaking which actually means, "They are allowed the authority to issue marriage licenses." Nowhere in the original intent did it mean that they have the authority to unilaterally shut down the entire function of issuing any/all marriage licenses. They are hanging onto a straw, using a modern re-interpretation, falsely contrasting the word "may" with "must," by inventively claiming that since it doesn't state they "must do it," but rather, that they "may do it if they so choose," and thus, in their own self-proclaimed re-interpretation, they choose not to. However, the law does not state that they "may not." It only states that they "may." They're inventing discretion for themselves, where none was ever intended, as the law does not allow for choice.

  • 85. allan120102  |  March 6, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Still I am surprised that between 11-15 counties are not issuing and not of them have been sue. I am quite shock to be honest.

  • 86. tx64jm  |  March 7, 2016 at 5:19 am

    "They're inventing discretion for themselves, where none was ever intended, as the law does not allow for choice."

    Here in Texas, our legislature got tired of our courts construing words in the way they were not intended, and so they enacted Chapter 311 of the Texas Government Code, which tells our courts what words in the laws mean.

    Here is the definition of "may", from the Texas Code Construction Act:

    (1) "May" creates discretionary authority or grants permission or a power.

    So, in fact, the word "may" in a statute does in fact create discretionary authority, and it is not merely a genteel way of speaking.

  • 87. guitaristbl  |  March 4, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Indeed judge Shaw's concurrence is the only thing worth reading :

    "Conjuring up specious arguments to contend that the courts of this State suddenly do not have to follow the Supreme Court–despite doing so for nearly 200 years–is embarrassing. It does nothing but injure public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary." (p.157)

    "If a judge finds that he or she cannot abide by a controlling decision of a higher court, then that judge should resign from office. He or she should not indulge in the pretense that rebelling against a superior court's decision is an accepted judicial response. Such conduct does not show respect for or comply with the law; it does not promote public confidence in the integrity or impartiality of the judiciary. Instead, I believe that defiance would bring the judicial office into disrepute." (p.159)

    "Chief Justice Moore and Justice Parker have assumed for themselves the mantle of authority to declare a decision of the Supreme Court of the United States an illegitimate nullity. Justice Parker goes further to declare that the rule of law is dead. These are bold declarations from "two lawyers" sitting on a court subject to the decisions of that higher court. To me, the irony of doing this while failing to address this Court's own lack of jurisdiction and its failure to follow its own well established rules of review is inescapable." (p.164-165)

    He is really pissed off with Moore and all the judicially disgraceful actions taken by that "court".

  • 88. VIRick  |  March 4, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Ecuador: First Symbolic LGBT Marriage Registry Established

    Ciudad de Cuenca, Provincia de Azuay

    City of Cuenca, Azuay Province

    Per Paul Carrasco C.:

    Official Notice is Hereby Given (English translation below):

    Dispositión transitoria única – Mientras en el Ecuador no se reconozca el matrimonio civil entre las personas del mismo sexo, el Gobierno Provincial de Azuay como mecanismo simbólico de apoyo y exigibilidad de derechos, creará el Registro Azuayo de Matrimonios LGBTI, para que las parejas que asi lo requieran registren su union. La Unidad Administrativo de Equidad y Género será la responsable a mantener el Registro y realizar todos los procesos administrativos previos incluso el matrimonio simbólico.

    Disposición Final – La presente ordenanza es de aplicación obligatoria y entrará en vigencia a partir de su aprobación por parte de Consejo Provincial de Azuay, sin perjuicio de su publicación en la gaceta official de la entidad provincial.

    Dado en la ciudad de Cuenca, capital de la provincia de Azuay

    Transitory Disposition Only – Despite the fact that Ecuador does not recognize civil marriage between same-sex couples, the Provincial Government of Azuay, as a symbolic mechanism to support the enforceability of rights, will create the Azuay Registry of Marriages LGBTI in order for those couples who require it to register their unions. The Administrative Unit for Equality and Gender will be responsible for maintaining the registry and will perform all previous administrative processes, including symbolic marriages.

    Final disposition – This ordinance is mandatory and comes into effect after its approval by the Provincial Council of Azuay, without prejudice to its publication in the official gazette of the provincial entity.

    Given in the city of Cuenca, capital of Azuay province

    Cuenca is Ecuador's third-largest city, with a population of 700,000 in its metro area.

  • 89. Christian0811  |  March 5, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Does Ecuador recognizes adoptions conducted out of country? I know they constitutionally ban marriage equality and adoption for same sex couples, but I wonder if the question on adoption could be subject to nuanced interpretation?

  • 90. VIRick  |  March 5, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    The Government of Ecuador constitutionally recognizes "de facto" civil unions (uniones civiles de hecho), whether hetero or same-sex, after the couple has lived together for two years. At the time of its adoption, on 21 October 2008, Ecuador's new constitution was considered quite advanced and progressive. Civil unions first began to be registered from August 2009.

    Text of Article 68 of Ecuador's Constitution:

    In Spanish: Art. 68.- "La unión estable y monogámica entre dos personas libres de vínculo matrimonial que formen un hogar de hecho, por el lapso y bajo las condiciones y circunstancias que señale la ley, generará los mismos derechos y obligaciones que tienen las familias constituidas mediante matrimonio. La adopción corresponderá sólo a parejas de distinto sexo."

    That is: "The stable and monogamous union between two persons, free of matrimonial bond, who form a de facto couple, for the duration and under the conditions and circumstances that the law provides, will generate the same rights and obligations as held by families built through marriage. Adoption will pertain only to couples of different sexes."

    However, same-sex marriage is constitutionally banned in Ecuador. Immediately preceding, Article 67 reads, "Marriage is the union between man and woman based on the free consent of the parties and their equal rights, obligations and legal capacity. "

    Despite the formal marriage prohibition, Azuay province appears to be pushing one step further around the outside edges, by establishing a formal registry for couples in civil unions who wish have their civil union officially recorded, complete with a symbolic marriage ceremony (if desired). Given that Cuenca is one of Ecuador's major cities, this additional push seems fairly significant.

  • 91. allan120102  |  March 5, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Yes its ban in the Constitution just like Honduras. adoption by ss couples is prohibit.

  • 92. VIRick  |  March 5, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Still, Ecuador seems to be so much more progressive, even further along than Costa Rica, given that it had a significant head-start. (Laura Chinchilla, in Costa Rica, basically copied what Ecuador already had for gender-neutral "de facto" civil unions, but made it 3 years duration, instead of Ecuador's 2 years.) Here's some additional recent Ecuadorian LGBT history, taken from my archives:

    On 5 August 2013, LGBT rights groups started a nationwide campaign under the name Matrimonio Civil Igualitario (Equal Civil Marriage) that seeks to legalize same-sex marriage in the country. The campaign was launched with a marriage petition made by activist Pamela Troya and her partner in the Civil Registry of Quito. The petition was rejected days later, citing the country's Constitution and its Civil Code as the reasons behind the negative. The couple announced on 8 August 2013 that they were filing a lawsuit in order to have a judge order the Civil Registry to marry them. The lawsuit was filed on 13 August 2013 and its resolution continues pending.

    On 26 August 2013, a second couple went to the Civil Registry asking to be married, this time in Guayaquil. The couple, formed by Santiago Vinces and Fernando Saltos, walked through the city streets with a convoy of activists and supporters, including noted actress Érika Vélez, until they arrived to the Civil Registry. However, three days later their marriage petition was denied, citing the same reasons given to the first couple.

    These are the two cases now before Ecuador's highest court.

  • 93. VIRick  |  March 5, 2016 at 12:10 am

    Cyprus: First Public Same-Sex Wedding (Civil Union) Ceremony

    A same-sex couple has become the first to openly take advantage of the country’s new civil unions law, speaking out for equality as they tied the knot. The Eastern Orthodox Church is strongly influential in Cyprus, and homosexuality was only legalized there in 1998. However, the country has made large strides in equality in recent years, despite a continuing taboo.

    Cyprus passed a civil unions bill in November 2015, with a huge majority in the Cypriot Parliament voting in favor. The law took effect in December 2015, but no Cypriot couple has come forward to publicly wed (in a civil union) until now.

    This week, gay couple, Marios Frixou and Fanos Eleftheriades, bravely spoke to the media about their decision to marry as they tied the knot in the capital, Nicosia. Their union is not the first in the country, as at least one other couple has chosen to anonymously register their union without being named.

    However, Mr Eleftheriades and his husband say they want to put their heads above the parapets rather than hide who they are, to send a message to others. Mr Frixou told the AP: “We wanted to give courage to other couples and to all gay and transgender people to accept themselves and not to be ashamed of who they are.” He added, "We’ve gotten scores of messages from people telling us how much courage we’ve given them.”

    The law in Cyprus is far from perfect. Same-sex adoption is still not legal in Cyprus, there is no recognition of trans rights, gay people remain banned from serving in the military, and gay sex is still technically a punishable offense under the law.

  • 94. theperched  |  March 5, 2016 at 6:00 am

    The gay sex part is off. The North had it after 1998, but then took off the British colonial law in 2014 and inserted anti-discrimination laws.

  • 95. VIRick  |  March 5, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Thanks for the clarification, as that aspect did seem to be out-dated. I need to be careful whenever quoting from an article from pinknews, because they have been previously known to have inserted out-dated information in other articles, just like they did here. As it is, I did quite a bit of editing to that article, and re-wrote the entire headline in an attempt to be more accurate.

  • 96. theperched  |  March 5, 2016 at 5:28 am

    Malta may be next EU country to get marriage equality:

    Gay marriage consensus should prompt immediate drafting of bill – MGRM

    Welcoming the common position of Joseph Muscat and Simon Busuttil, the gay rights movement urges parliamentarians to put forward a bill without delay

    MGRM coordinator Gabi Calleja welcomed the cross-party consensus on gay marriages after both Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Opposition leader Simon Busuttil came out in favour of the matter.

    “MGRM welcomes the support expressed for marriage equality from both the Prime Minister the Leader of the,” Calleja said.

    “Given that there seems to be consensus on the issue MGRM urges for a bill to be put forward opening up marriage to all couples irrespective of gender without delay.”

    Muscat concurred that the time had come for a national debate on the issue, saying that “it might be a question of terminology, but why not?”

    “Although some people might think that the public isn’t ready for gay marriage, I think that the country requires leadership,” he said. “We must continuously keep looking forward.”

    The current legislation, introduced by the Labour government, puts civil unions on a par with marriage.

    In a reaction, Busuttil confirmed that he would support the “change of name to marriages, since the civil unions legislation already gives couples the same rights and duties as those invoked by civil marriages”.

  • 97. theperched  |  March 5, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    The island is really stepping it up. They're also willing to ban "gay conversion therapy" as well.

    They were number 1 in the Rainbox Index and I remember many complaining that they didn't have marriage, but now they could cross that out soon and maintain their lead on the index 🙂

  • 98. F_Young  |  March 5, 2016 at 5:46 am

    China bans depictions of gay people on television

    This is huge, due to the millions of people it affects. In practice. It is akin to the laws prohibiting positive depictions of LGBTs in the former Soviet Union, though China's new policy is more broadly focused and less maliciously motivated. It is strange inasmuch as China is secular, has a long homosexual tradition, and faces a baby boom as the one-child policy is phased out. It will make it very difficult to progress to same-sex marriage despite the high costs mandatory heterosexual marriage inflicts on both gays and straights.

  • 99. theperched  |  March 5, 2016 at 9:17 am

    A person in China wrote this: It is a non-binding document that is not issued by an authority and moreover, this is not a LAW.

    They claim it's a media misunderstanding. I'm looking for articles (even in Chinese) to back up the claims.

  • 100. F_Young  |  March 5, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Yes, more information would be helpful, theperched. So far, this new policy seems to be implemented at least as effectively as a law, in fact more effectively than a lot of laws in a lot of countries.

  • 101. VIRick  |  March 5, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    The now "out and proud" pop singer, Ricky Martin, is presently at the Fundación Iguales de Chile, assisting them in their current push for marriage equality in that country (as is the US ambassador to Chile, Mike Hammer).

  • 102. allan120102  |  March 5, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Coalition promise plebiscite this year if the win elections. This means ssm might become legal in Australia as soon as 2017. Not sure if this is going to happen or if the parlament decides to vote on the issue before it happens.

  • 103. VIRick  |  March 5, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    LGBT Chamber of Commerce Launches in Dominican Republic

    A beginning:

    The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce this week officially launched its latest international affiliate in the Dominican Republic. Gay US Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, James “Wally” Brewster, and his husband, Bob Satawake, were among the officials who attended the formal launch of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of the Dominican Republic that took place at a hotel in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo on Wednesday, 2 March 2016.

    LGBT Chamber of Commerce of the Dominican Republic President Francisco Castillo told the Washington Blade from the city of Punta Cana in which he lives that he and a group of other business owners last year began to talk about the “creation of a business space that would be inclusive and would focus on working with entrepreneurs and business owners from the country’s LGBT community.” The organization now has more than 50 members.

    – See more at:

  • 104. VIRick  |  March 6, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Utah: Same-Sex Wedding Expo

    Salt Lake City — Hundreds of people are expected Sunday, 6 March 2016, at a wedding expo in Salt Lake City aimed at connecting same-sex couples with businesses who won’t refuse to work on gay weddings. A denial is a common occurrence in a state where florists, bakers, and photographers have a legal right to refuse to serve a gay couple.

    The Human Rights Campaign says Utah is one of 29 states where it is legal for businesses to refuse services to same-sex couples. A proposal to change that law died last week in Utah’s Republican-controlled legislature.

    Michael Aaron, the show organizer and publisher of the QSalt Lake magazine, says about 40 LGBT-friendly businesses will be at the expo. Aaron says the Salt Lake City expo will be the first in Utah since the same-sex marriage ban was struck down by a federal court in that state on 20 December 2013.

  • 105. VIRick  |  March 6, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Nancy Reagan Dies at Age 94.

  • 106. allan120102  |  March 6, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Queen Elizabeth is suppose to be against marriage equality.

  • 107. Iggy_Schiller  |  March 7, 2016 at 6:49 am

    SCOTUSblog: "In the same – sex adoption case, V.L. v. E. L., the Court reversed the Alabama Supreme Court by summary disposition in a per curiam decision"

    The order is here:


  • 108. 1grod  |  March 7, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Iggy: Thank you. For ease of finding go to pg 52-58 of 66 pages of a collection of cases. The Alabama Supreme Court's March 4 order re the implication of Obergefell and now this decision suggests that court needs to do more than superficial reflection. How timely to remind Judges Moore and Parker that the judgments of superior courts is controlling precedent in lower courts, as Judge G Shaw sought to observe in his opinion. He also called their assertion that Court orders/findings only bind the parties to the case 'unconvincing', indeed 'just silly' (p 156). He reminds Moore that the March 2015 API decision and his January 2016 'administrative order' were in themselves legally irregular. G

  • 109. Bruno71  |  March 7, 2016 at 10:17 am

    It's good there's one sane justice on that court. Moore and Parker are what happens when an extremely bigoted and uneducated electorate is allowed to elect the personnel to their high court.

  • 110. 1grod  |  March 7, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Bruno – don't disagree, however prior to being elected to the Alabama Supreme Court in 2004, and reelected in 2010, Justice Parker was the Deputy Administrative Director of the Court. He had been an Assistant Attorney General, he handled death penalty cases, criminal appeals, and constitutional litigation. On February 24, 2016 Tom announced that he will seek a third term , entering into the March primaries

  • 111. VIRick  |  March 7, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    So, despite all of his education and his many judicially-related past "qualifications," he's still an ignorant bigot, reflective of the majority of voters in Alabama.

  • 112. allan120102  |  March 7, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    He will probably be re-elected by seeing how conservative Alabama is .

  • 113. JayJonson  |  March 7, 2016 at 7:17 am

    Wonderful that SCOTUS is finally enforcing the Full Faith and Credit Clause, when it is mischievously misinterpreted by states like Alabama.

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