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Open thread


This is a new open thread. Apologies for not getting it posted sooner. Still dealing with medical issues.


  • 1. VIRick  |  April 13, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Pennsylvania Governor Signs Non-Discrimination Executive Orders

    Today, 13 April 2016, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed two executive orders banning anti-LGBT discrimination. The first order prohibits discrimination against state employees based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, HIV status, and other factors. The second mandate bans state contractors from discriminating against their LGBT employees.

    “The purpose of these executive orders is to establish policy, procedures, and responsibilities for the prohibition of discrimination, and affirmation of equal employment opportunity in the commonwealth,” said a press release that Wolf’s office issued today. “Agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction, employees, and applicants for employment in those agencies, as well as vendors, are affected by these executive orders.”

    – See more at:….

  • 2. VIRick  |  April 13, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Social Security Lifts Penalty on Overpayment for Same-Sex Couples

    Faced with a lawsuit seeking a change in policy, the Social Security Administration has lifted the penalty on same-sex couples who received overpayment of benefits after the 2013 Supreme Court ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act. GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, one of the organizations behind the lawsuit, announced the change in a statement on 13 April 2016, crediting members of Congress led by Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for pushing the change.

    The change affects individuals in same-sex marriages who received Supplemental Security Income benefits at a higher rate with DOMA in place because they were counted as single. If these individuals continued to receive those benefits erroneously at the same higher level after the 2013 ruling against the law, they won’t be forced to return the overpayment. Same-sex couples who received overpayment as a result of the error are now able to receive a waiver, or forgiveness of those overpayments between 16 March 2016 through16 March 2018, even without having to formally apply for relief in most cases. Local offices no longer have authority to deny a waiver and denials must first be reviewed by the Social Security Administration’s Central Office.

    The class-action lawsuit seeking the change, "Held v. Colvin," was filed last year by GLAD, Justice in Aging, and the DC-based law firm of Foley Hoag LLP against the Social Security Administration on behalf of same-sex couples forced to repay Social Security benefits — or those who will be forced to repay them.

    The case was pending before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals at the time the Social Security Administration announced the policy change.

    – See more at:….

  • 3. VIRick  |  April 13, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Louisiana: Governor Issues Executive Order Banning LGBT Discrimination

    Baton Rouge LA — On 13 April 2016, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued an executive order banning discrimination in state government based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Democratic governor also rescinded his Republican predecessor’s order offering protections to people who oppose same-sex marriage.

    Edwards’ LGBT protection order prohibits state agencies, boards, and contractors from harassment or discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, political affiliation, disability, or age. State contracts will be required to include a similar anti-discrimination provision.

    In Louisiana, the order includes an exemption for state contractors that are religious organizations. The provision affecting contractors takes effect on 1 July. The rest of the order starts immediately.

  • 4. allan120102  |  April 13, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    Colombia. Here is a first peek of what the new paper in favor of marriage equality is going to say. Its very clever of our friendly judge Alberto Rojas to address marriage for ss couples as a fundamental right. Meaning that deputies might not change nothing of the ruling. I can only wish one day I get a judge like him in my country supreme court.

  • 5. theperched  |  April 14, 2016 at 2:19 am

    There might be even more good news regarding Colombia's CC, Pretelt who is the most outspoken against lgbt cases and who wrote the marriage opinion that was defeated last week is fighting for his seat!

    He took a bribe from a large company and ruled in their favor in exchange for millions. He'll face Congress scrutiny and if convicted, he'll be barred for life from the Court. Right now is the first round where a committee of a couple deputies is examining the evidence and will release their opinion on whether to oust him or not. The end decision is up to the Senate plenary though.

    Since he is one of the most conservative magistrates, his removal would be a slam dunk for rights group, not just lgbt, since Pretelt has been really awful to a lot of people.

  • 6. F_Young  |  April 13, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    Tennessee: Hilton Hotels, Cigna join bathroom bill opposition

    While Tennessee lawmakers on Wednesday deferred taking action on a contentious bill that would require students to use the restroom that corresponds with their sex at birth, executives from a multitude of companies, including Cigna, Hilton Hotels, T-Mobile and Lyft, joined the fight to oppose the legislation.

    The announcement came as Human Rights Campaign Executive Director Chad Griffin, along with representatives from other organizations who have opposed the measure, visited the state Capitol to distribute a letter, which included signatures from 60 business executives, to House Speaker Beth Harwell and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey.

    Others to sign the letter include executives from Williams-Sonoma, Etsy, Airbnb, Tumblr and REI.

    Dow Chemical Co., Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Choice Hotels International and Alcoa Inc. — all of which had already voiced concern about the measure — also signed the letter.

    …..the state's federal Title IX funding, which is estimated to be $1.3 billion in next year's budget, could be in jeopardy — a point that Attorney General Herbert Slatery reiterated on Monday when he released an opinion on the matter.

    Read more, including the full text of the letter, at:

  • 7. F_Young  |  April 14, 2016 at 2:06 am

    North Carolina: N.C. brewers unite against anti-LGBT law

    Backlash over North Carolina's anti-LGBT law has spread to the state's craft brewers.

    Rather than rant, Mystery Brewing Company in Hillsborough, N.C., and Ponysaurus Brewing Company in Durham, N.C., are letting their craft do the talking with a special beer called "Don't Be Mean to People: A Golden Rule Saison.

    …..Any profits from the beer will go to advocacy group Equality NC and QORDS LGBT summer camp program.

    ….."What gets people's attention is what we have 35 to 40 breweries …. everybody in the state from tiny, little nanobreweries in really rural parts of the state all the way up to New Belgium Brewing Co. (the Fort Collins, Colo. brewer, which is opening a brewery in Asheville) which is one of the largest breweries in the United States and is internationally known," he said. "They all are on board here and we can all say this together."

    Read more at:

    North Carolina's furniture design and manufacturing industries might want to do something similar.

  • 8. F_Young  |  April 14, 2016 at 5:47 am

    North Carolina: ‘Bathroom law’ puts North Carolina governor in crossfire of GOP civil war

    …..The governor does not want evangelicals to think he caved to pressure from big business, but he also wants to convince his friends in the country-club wing of the party that he understands the law overreached.

    …..Polls show that McCrory is embroiled in a neck-and-neck race against his challenger, Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper.

    …..It is ironic that McCrory has become the face of HB2. In many respects, he was dragged to the center of the controversy by the state’s conservative, GOP-led legislature, which was swept into power in 2010 and has engineered a major shift to the right in a state with a long tradition of centrist politics.

    McCrory was reluctant to hold a special session to invalidate the Charlotte ordinance. After he declined to call for one, legislative leaders used a parliamentary tactic to call themselves back into session.

    Then, the legislature went further than his staff anticipated. Intended to be a “bathroom bill,” it wound up — among other things — preventing cities from setting a minimum wage higher than $7.25 an hour.

    Instead of trying to negotiate to water down the bill, McCrory signed it hours after it passed. He knew the legislature would probably override his veto anyway — as it did with the religious-exemption bill last year.

    Read more at:

  • 9. F_Young  |  April 14, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    North Carolina I'm a Transgender Man in North Carolina. Here's What the Bathroom Law Means for Me.

    "I'm most afraid to leave the bathroom and to be met by that woman's boyfriend or husband or an authority figure."

    Charlie Comero, a 35-year-old transgender man in Charlotte, North Carolina, was nervous about having to use women's bathrooms after his state enacted HB2, a sweeping anti-LGBT law that says you can only use public facilities that match the sex on your birth certificate. So he decided to prepare: He printed cards (see photo below) to hand out to the women he met inside. We asked him to share his story below, in his own words, edited for length and clarity.

    I grew up in Michigan, on a farm in a small town, and I moved to Charlotte almost four years ago to teach for a local high school. I was very nervous about moving to North Carolina—it's technically the "Bible Belt"—but the truth is that Charlotte is amazing, liberal. I fell in love with the city and have stayed ever since.

    …..Last night I reached out to two really close transgender women friends who are people of color, because I'm worried about them, and they are both scared—they feel unsafe. I'm scared, yeah, I'm at risk, yeah, but not as much as them. They were already at risk before this bill, they were already a target, and now it's multiplied. And that's the thing that really upsets me—that this bill gives people permission to be bigots.

    Read more at:

  • 10. F_Young  |  April 15, 2016 at 2:57 am

    North Carolina: Vandals steal, burn LGBT-pride flags outside Hillsborough church

    HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) – In one week, a Hillsborough church has had two incidents of vandalism where LGBT-pride flags were burnt or stolen.

    Pastor Jay Kennett, of Hillsborough United Church of Christ, says he put the flags up after HB2 in support of the LGBT community.

    …..Kennett says it hasn’t just been negative responses the church is receiving. He says several members of the local community have shown support by honking, clapping when they drive by, or saying they will keep an eye out on the church.

    I guess, for some people, it's only discrimination if it affects your own religion; otherwise, it's religious freedom..

  • 11. F_Young  |  April 16, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Cirque du Soleil cancels North Carolina shows to protest LGBT law

    …..Cirque du Soleil performances scheduled in Greensboro later this month, in Charlotte during July and Raleigh in June, have all been canceled. Customers who bought tickets online or over the phone will be automatically reimbursed, while those who bought tickets in person can return to vendors for refunds.

    Read more at:

  • 12. F_Young  |  April 18, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    North Carolina: Boston cancels North Carolina concerts because of LGBT law

    …..Boston founder Tom Scholz announced with "deep regret" the cancellation of three shows scheduled for North Carolina next month, noting that "human rights are more important."

    On his web site, Scholz said that he is canceling shows slated for Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh on May 4, 5 and 6, "in order to raise awareness, and protest in the strongest terms, the recent passage of HB2, the so-called 'North Carolina bathroom law.'"

    Read more at:

  • 13. F_Young  |  April 18, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Pearl Jam cancels North Carolina show to protest ‘despicable piece of legislation’

    Pearl Jam announced Monday that it’s cancelling a concert Wednesday in North Carolina in protest of the state’s new LGBT law.

    Read more at:

  • 14. F_Young  |  April 19, 2016 at 11:26 am

    North Carolina: Tourism agency puts dollar figure on losses from N.C. anti-gay law

    RALEIGH, N.C.- The agency that promotes tourism in Raleigh says losses have reached $3 million because of cancellations prompted by the protests ofNorth Carolina's law on LGBT rights.

    The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau told local media Monday the economic losses from the law have quadrupled in the past week.

    …..The biggest cancellation is $1.7 million from the Community Transportation Association of America. It planned to bring 1,000 people in June 2018. The Washington, D.C., association says it will hold the event in Baltimore instead.

    Read more at:

  • 15. F_Young  |  April 14, 2016 at 2:16 am

    USA: Obama ‘won’t rule out’ cutting off federal funds over state anti-LGBT laws

    …..Josh Earnest, Mr Obama’s Press Secretary, was asked to confirm whether Tennessee’s law “could result in loss of federal funding for the state”.

    He said: “This is a question that individual agencies have been considering after previous states have passed these bills into law.

    …..Of when the reviews of North Carolina and Mississippi’s laws will conclude, he said: “I don’t have an expectation for that. You’ll have to talk to the individual agencies about that.

    “They’re obviously coordinating their activities among themselves, and they’re obviously doing this work in conjunction with the Department of Justice, because there are important legal questions that have to be resolved.”

    Read more at:

  • 16. F_Young  |  April 14, 2016 at 2:43 am

    Massachusetts: Activists boo Baker during speech at LGBT event

    Governor Charlie Baker’s speech to LGBT executives and activists Wednesday night was met with a cascade of boos after he refused to voice support for a bill to prevent bias against transgender people in public spaces.

    Baker’s reluctance to take a stand on the bill prompted many in the crowd at the Marriott hotel to boo and loudly chant “sign the bill!” before he walked off stage about 20 minutes into his highly anticipated remarks.

    …..More than 1,000 business leaders packed the hotel ballroom for the 10th Annual Boston Spirit LGBT Executive Networking Night, hosted by Boston Spirit magazine, in the hopes of hearing Baker either declare support for the transgender bill or at least pledge not to veto the measure if it reaches his desk.

    …..His speech came less than a week after the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce rescinded its invitation to have him speak at a gala in Washington, D.C., later this month.

    The chamber was angered over Baker’s decision to attend the Republican Jewish Coalition’s spring meeting last weekend in Las Vegas, which included staunch conservatives such as Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Pastor John Hagee, who vociferously opposes gay marriage.

    Read more at:

  • 17. F_Young  |  April 14, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Raleigh LGBT center sees troubling effect from HB2 North Carolina

    RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Amid the battle over House Bill 2, the head of the LGBT Center of Raleigh is seeing a troubling effect.

    Executive director James Miller says the call volume has increased by about eight times what it normally would be.

    While some calls are from people curious about what effect HB2 has on them, that also includes an increase in calls from people considering hurting themselves or committing suicide.

    Miller says the language surrounding the debate over HB2 is having an impact.

    “Having to hear their identities essentially pushed to the side and told that you’re less than human almost,” he said. “This has been a trigger for many individuals in the community. It’s a reminder to individuals in the greater community that words matter.”

    Read more at:

    The LGBT Center of Raleigh has created a web page for people looking for help with mental health issues.

  • 18. theperched  |  April 14, 2016 at 9:57 am

    [email protected] empezó el estudio de la nueva ponencia que avala el matrimonio entre las parejas del mismo sexo #VocesySonidos

    "CC started the study of the new verdict that legalizes same-sex marriage"

    From BluRadioColombia's twitter an hour ago.


  • 19. theperched  |  April 14, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Colombia ruling wasn't today 🙁

    We'll just have to be watchful on Thursdays.

  • 20. allan120102  |  April 14, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Dont expect a ruling that soon.Remember how long it took for the court to throw out the paper of the bigot judge. It might take the same or a little bit less time than that. We should be watchful of all Thursday from now on.

  • 21. F_Young  |  April 14, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Mississippi Law on Serving Gays Proves Divisive

    To hear some supporters tell it, a measure signed into law last week in Mississippi does little more than let bakers reject wedding cake orders from same-sex couples.

    …..An examination of the bill by Columbia Law School, however, found that it created a number of specific potential harms to gay, transgender and other people in schools, workplaces and government settings.

    Among the scenarios described in the report, which was signed by 10 law professors:

    • A school mental health counselor could refuse to work with a transgender student
    • A government agency manager could require female employees to wear skirts or dresses
    • A religious university could fire a single mother working in the cafeteria

    …..Several legal experts have predicted that the law, which goes into effect July 1, would not survive judicial scrutiny in part because its elevation of specific religious beliefs violates the First Amendment’s establishment clause, which bars an official endorsement of one particular religion.

    Read more at:

  • 22. F_Young  |  April 14, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Off-topic Sexual transmission of Zika seen between gay men for first time

    …..While gay men who want to avoid Zika infection should take note, the lesson here applies to both men and women: Zika infection can be contracted through unprotected anal sex.

    …..Osterholm, who was not an author of the report on the Dallas case, noted it’s still not clear if the virus can be transmitted through kissing or oral sex, though the virus is found in both saliva and semen.

    …..Since the Zika outbreaks in the Americas began, seven cases of sexual transmission of the virus have been observed in the United States. And five other countries — Argentina, Chile, France, Italy, and New Zealand — have reported sexual transmission cases.

    Read more at:

  • 23. davepCA  |  April 14, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Oh great. Just what we all need.

    Gay or straight, use a frikken condom, ya knuckleheads.

  • 24. VIRick  |  April 14, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Kansas Still Fighting Marriage Equality Any Way It Can

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 13 April 2016, in "Marie v. Moser," the Kansas marriage case in federal court, the state Defendants brought to the Court's attention a recent decision from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of their argument that the district court for Kansas should not issue a permanent injunction, and that this case, instead, should have been dismissed as moot. The Defendants' notice of supplemental authority, with the 10th Circuit Court's decision attached, is linked here:

    On 10 August 2015, the federal judge in this Kansas marriage case, Judge Crabtree, previously issued an order granting declaratory relief (i.e., declaring the challenged laws unconstitutional), but has not yet made a decision on the plaintiffs' request for a permanent injunction.

  • 25. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 15, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Interesting, The eighth circuit court of appeals (a most conservative court)–the only circuit to rule on marriage equality mootness–disagrees. The eight circuit remanded all of its cases on appeal back to the district courts for declaratory judgement. In fact judge Hinkle in Florida cited the eight circuit order in his denial to moot the combined case before him Brenner v Scott.

  • 26. VIRick  |  April 14, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    There Might Be Some Hope for Tennessee After All

    Per BuzzFeed News:

    Nashville TN — Today, 14 April 2016, Tennessee's governor vetoed the bill to make the Bible the official state book.

    In vetoing the measure, Governor Haslam stated, "In addition to the constitutional issues with the bill, my personal feeling is that this bill trivializes the Bible, which I believe is a sacred text.”

  • 27. GregInTN  |  April 15, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    The General Assembly plans to try to override the Governor's veto. To override the veto it only takes the same simple majority in both houses as was used to pass it in the first place.

  • 28. theperched  |  April 14, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Sinaloa's Congress claims that it will change the parts of the Family Code barring same-sex marriage, but it hasn't said when:

    El Congreso del Estado sí modificará los artículos 40 y 165 del Código Familiar de Sinaloa con los cuales se estarían autorizando las uniones legales entre personas del mismo sexo y no se esperará a que la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación haga una declaratoria general de inconstitucionalidad por no hacerlo, aseguró el presidente de la Junta de Coordinación Política, Jesús Enrique Hernández Chávez.

    [State Congress will modify articles 40 and 165 of the Family Code of Sinaloa that will authorize same-sex unions and will not wait for the Supreme Court of Justice to issue a general declaration of inconstitutionality for not doing so, assured president of the crossparty commitee, Jesus Chavez]

    Sin embargo, informó que esto se hará hasta que Poder Legislativo indique cuál es el momento apropiado, sin aclarar qué criterios se tomarán para ponerle fecha a la discusión.

    [Although, he informed that this will not be done until the Legislature indicates the appropriate time, without specifying the criteria that will be used to set aside a time for the debate]

  • 29. allan120102  |  April 14, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    In other words. They are not going to do it soon. I see them legalizing ssm just one case before the supreme court strikes down their ban.

  • 30. theperched  |  April 15, 2016 at 1:56 am

    I found another article also written yesterday suggesting that they could take even longer than that and just let the Court legalize it on their own:

    Second paragraph.

  • 31. theperched  |  April 14, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    So on my radar: Michoacan, Campeche, Sinaloa, Morelos, San Luis Potosi, Mexico State.

    Am I missing anyone that seems to have made progress/put out press releases?

  • 32. allan120102  |  April 15, 2016 at 12:48 am

    I believe Aguascaliente and Colima. Colima is closer than Mexico State to legalize ssm imo.

  • 33. theperched  |  April 15, 2016 at 12:51 am

    Why Aguascalientes again?

    I'm waiting for bills to be submitted in Sonora, Hidalgo (probably last of all states to submit a proposal)…who else haven't even taken that step?

  • 34. allan120102  |  April 15, 2016 at 11:24 am

    PRD and other small groups have say that they will push for the proposals in congress to be approve after elections take place in that state. I believe elections are in June not sure.

  • 35. theperched  |  April 15, 2016 at 11:37 am

    OK. Since it's election season, press release statements have gotten ugly. PRI's Gubernatorial candidate in Ags already said she's against marriage :/ I found an article on posititons, as usual it's PRD/Morena being the most open and most of the others saying "we respect sexual orientation and weddings that already happened but couples can just use amparos to marry blah blah". I'll post it a little later.

  • 36. allan120102  |  April 15, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Yeah dont worry I read the same when I was looking for this article. Pri is a toss up. In many states they approve of ssm and it others not. We need them in many states because they are a majority in congress. I dont even count PAN as it is always against us or most of the time.

  • 37. theperched  |  April 15, 2016 at 2:02 am

    Good news, the Isle of Man's bill got out of the amendment stage this week. I thought they might've waited until their break in the Legislative Council was over at the end of the month.

    Now it heads to the FINAL reading as in one vote and it's off to Royal Assent! 😀

    Unless Faroes suddenly pulls an upset or the Isle takes longer than Colombia, we have our next marriage equality area 🙂

  • 38. theperched  |  April 15, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Just looked up the process of passing laws and it says that the island's Legislative Council meets on Tuesdays, except for the third Tuesday of the month so my guess is the earliest the bill will be approved is April 26.

  • 39. F_Young  |  April 15, 2016 at 5:17 am

    Connecticut Luring Businesses With Open Stance On LGBT Community

    …..The state has long been touted for its educated workforce, proximity to Northeast markets and its well-established network of manufacturing and financial service companies.

    Those benefits are still important in pitches to out-of-state companies, but Connecticut officials have added a pitch based on a favorable comparison with North Carolina and Mississippi. Both states recently enacted legislation criticized as hostile to the LGBT community.

    "Our strategy in reaching out to companies is strategic, but opportunistically strategic," said Catherine Smith, commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development.

    ….."I was surprised by some of the employers," she said. "They take this very seriously. They know they can't recruit in an area that doesn't share their values."

    Read more at:

  • 40. theperched  |  April 15, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Case to decriminalise gay sex filed in Kenya's High Court

    A gay rights campaigner filed a case in Kenya's High Court on Friday calling for the decriminalization of gay sex, which is punishable by 14 years in jail in the conservative east African nation.

    Eric Gitari, who heads the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, asked the court to strike out sections of the Penal Code criminalizing gay sex because, he says, they violate constitutional rights to equality, dignity and privacy.

    The law makes "carnal knowledge… against the order of nature" a crime attracting a 14 year sentence while "gross indecency with another male" is punishable by five years in jail.

    "Those laws degrade the inherent dignity of affected individuals by outlawing their most private and intimate means of self-expression," the petition said.

    Gitari won the right in court in 2015 to register his group but the government has refused to do so.

    He is also involved in a case challenging the government's use of forced anal tests to prove that two men in the city of Mombasa were having sex.

    The petition will be heard in October, he said.

  • 41. VIRick  |  April 15, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    OPM Issues Final Same-Sex Spouse Rule

    On 14 April 2016, the US Office of Personnel Management announced that it has revised the definition of the term “spouse” in federal regulations to strengthen an earlier policy change allowing federal employees with same-sex spouses to use the Family and Medical Leave Act. In a statement, OPM said that in an action that took effect on 7 April 2016, the new definition replaces language from the Defense of Marriage Act that defined spouse as a “legal union between one man and one woman.”

    The statement notes that in October 2013, OPM issued a memorandum to all federal agencies requiring that they comply with a US Supreme Court ruling handed down four months earlier overturning DOMA. The memorandum said that, among other things, the term spouse would be defined as a “partner in any legally-recognized marriage” and federal employees with same-sex married spouses could take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The latest change "codifies the new definition in federal law,” the OPM statement says.

    – See more at:

  • 42. allan120102  |  April 15, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Sinaloa. PAN is going to wait until the supreme court invalidates the gay marriage ban to make changes in the civil code. Well I guess Sinaloa will not be that soon as I expected. PAN is always causing trouble for us. I am not sure if they are a majority in the congress of Sinaloa but its a shame that they will wait until the SC acts. Pretty sure many states are going to be the same.

  • 43. theperched  |  April 15, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    PAN has 9/40 seats while PRI has 22. PRD is 1.

  • 44. VIRick  |  April 15, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Mississippi Governor Signs Guns-In-Church Bill

    Praise the lord and pass the ammunition. Literally. From the Jackson "Clarion-Ledger:"

    On 15 April 2016, Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law the Mississippi Church Protection Act to allow churches to legally have armed security if they choose. Bryant said in a Twitter post he signed the bill because “churches deserve protection from those who would harm worshippers.”

    State Rep. Andy Gipson, who authored the bill and is a minister, has said. “I wish we lived in a world where this bill wouldn’t be necessary.”

    During debate in the House, state Rep. John Hines, D-Greenville, said the bill isn’t needed. He said it has the potential to create more of a problem, asking rhetorically what would happen if a child took a toy gun to church and a security person mistook it for a weapon and hurt the child?

    The Mississippi Police Chiefs Association has express concerns about the bill, saying it will do away with a license to carry a concealed handgun in public and would put law enforcement and all Mississippians in harm’s way. The Police Chiefs Association says the bill would lower the bar for who can carry a concealed, loaded gun in public to include violent criminals, some severely mentally ill people, and chronic alcoholics.

  • 45. jcmeiners  |  April 16, 2016 at 5:25 am

    What would Jesus pack?

  • 46. guitaristbl  |  April 16, 2016 at 8:30 am

    A bill combining churches and guns. Sounds like a conservative's wet dream. Cant think of a bill more close to the stereotypical image the rest of the world has for the US.

    I honestly feel sorry for all reasonable citizens living in the bible belt. Its painful to co exist with such stupidity in what is supposed to be the most powerful nation in the western world.

  • 47. VIRick  |  April 15, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Texas Loses Ridiculous Court Battle to Un-Marry Lesbian Couple

    A lesbian couple has been allowed to keep their marriage, which they entered four months before it was legal across the US. The decision by the Texas Supreme Court, in "Goodfriend v. DeBeauvoir," issued on 15 April 2016, was to dismiss the state’s attempts to overturn the lesbian couple’s marriage.

    Suzanne Bryant and Sarah Goodfriend got married before the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across all 50 states, and while Texas still banned same-sex marriage. Following an Austin TX state court decision, the couple was allowed to marry for medical reasons, and a rabbi presided over the ceremony after the marriage license was issued.

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In appealing the case, Texas Attorney-General Paxton argued that the marriage was invalid because it was based on an improper order by state District Judge David Wahlberg. But a unanimous Texas Supreme Court dismissed Paxton’s challenge as moot because the US Supreme Court has struck down states' prohibitions on same-sex marriage.

    Three of the most conservative judges on the all-Republican Texas court, however, in two concurring opinions, lambasted Wahlberg, a Democrat, and the couple’s lawyer, Chuck Herring, for “intentionally and illegitimately” gaming the legal system to circumvent the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, which was still in force at the time.

    • From the Texas Supreme Court Docket, of 04/15/16, the following:

    – Petition for Writ of Mandamus disposed.
    – Filing dismissed as moot.
    – Stay order issued on 19 February 2015 is lifted.

    The two concurring opinions (that criticize the proceedings) are here:
    – Justice Willett, joined by Justice Devine:
    – Justice Brown, again joined by Justice Devine:

    The Texas Attorney-General Ken Paton, filled with dramatic hyperbole normally reserved for true-blue Drama Queens, had argued that the marriage, which was allowed under a one-time agreement, could lead to “legal chaos."

  • 48. theperched  |  April 15, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Inter-American Court Victory. Colombian lawyers argued that a change in the law remedied things, but to no avail:

    Colombia violated a gay citizen's rights to non-discrimination and equality by refusing him the pension from his partner who died in 2001, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled.
    The judges on the court, which sits in the Costa Rican capital San Jose, gave their verdict in favor of the Colombian man with the last name Duque in a 4-2 decision.

    But the court, which examines human rights decisions for the Organization of American States, found that Duque had suffered discrimination before that legislative change.
    It ordered Bogota to make reparations, including by restoring to him his partner's pension, and to pay damages and legal costs.

    Full recap in Spanish:

    LOVING this part: La Corte recordó que ninguna norma, decisión o práctica de derecho interno, sea por parte de autoridades estatales o por particulares, puede disminuir o restringir,
    de modo alguno, los derechos de una persona a partir de su orientación sexual.

    [The Court reminded them that no norm, decision or practice of an internal right, be it on behalf of the state authorities or others, may diminish or restrict, in any way, the rights of a person due to their sexual orientation]

    Asimismo, reiteró que la orientación sexual era una categoría protegida por la

    [As such, the court reiterated that sexual orientation is a protected class by the Convention]

  • 49. F_Young  |  April 16, 2016 at 10:20 am

    USA: Everything You Need To Know About The Wave Of 100+ Anti-LGBT Bills Pending In States

    …..There are more than 100 active bills like this right now, across 22 states. They fall into a handful of categories — some are bathroom bills, some let judges refuse to marry same-sex couples, some let businesses deny services to LGBT people — but they all have the same goal: legalizing discrimination against queer people.

    While it might seem like this onslaught of legislation came out of nowhere, religious conservatives have been working toward this kind of full-blown assault for years. They’ve been test-driving various anti-LGBT bills at local levels, anticipating the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision on marriage equality and preparing ways to weaken it.

    …..At the 2014 Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., they talked about plans for using the same tactics the anti-abortion movement used, post-Roe vs. Wade, if the Supreme Court ruled for marriage equality. Frank Schubert, the strategist behind California’s Proposition 8, and National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown described a strategy of incrementally eroding LGBT rights. Schubert even floated the idea of modeling his efforts on a partial-birth abortion campaign, which resonated with the public even if it was distorted.

    …..Here’s a snapshot of all the anti-LGBT bills currently active in state legislatures (or at least the bulk of them, thanks to the exhaustive efforts of the American Civil Liberties Union).

    Read more at:

  • 50. theperched  |  April 16, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Second marriage case in Austria fails *sigh*

    Judge determined that there is no ground for the case, there is no constitutional issue. It's up to the legislature to decide the legal status of opposite-sex & same-sex couples

    Ruling in German:

  • 51. Christian0811  |  April 16, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    It's Kopf that's the hang up, and the wording of Article 12 of the ECoHR frankly. Until it's reversed, I think we can expect it to remain "good" case law for a while.

  • 52. theperched  |  April 16, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    If only the Constitutional Court already released a ruling in favor and ended this.

    Does a country have to exhaust all local legal branches before they can file with the ECHR or can these Austrians just file directly?

  • 53. Christian0811  |  April 16, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Yes, all local legal recourse must be exhausted. They're gonna have to do the same song and dance they did in 2008-2009.

    And Oliari basically showed their hand, they won't make such a ruling until places like Poland, Estonia, and Germany fall into line. I say Poland because it's a big EU player and would pretty much leave the EU at this point rather than stay in a convention granting more than the minimum of rights to much hated homosexuals.

    Until they can feel like the EU, at the very least, won't fracture because of such a ruling, they won't rule in our favour.

  • 54. VIRick  |  April 16, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Los Angeles Bans Official Travel to North Carolina, Mississippi

    Los Angeles has joined the chorus of cities banning official travel to North Carolina in protest of that state’s anti-LGBT law, and the L.A. measure adds Mississippi as well.

    The Los Angeles City Council unanimously adopted a resolution, 12-0, to this effect on Friday, 15 April 2016, and Mayor Eric Garcetti will sign it next week, the mayor’s office announced.

  • 55. ianbirmingham  |  April 17, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Gay couple receive horrific hate-filled RSVP to their wedding – 10:24 EST, 17 April 2016

    The typed, unsigned letter read: 'Just wanted to let you both know, you have sent an invitation to the wrong people.

    'You thought we supported you as a couple, well boys you were so wrong!

    'Your invitations were forwarded to an anti-gay group in Canton-Akron area, they will be attending your wedding. Protesters will be there.'

    The letter goes on to call gay marriage 'not normal' and 'a sin' and promised that some of their friends would only attend the wedding to protest.

    'Like it or not, this is going to happen,' the letter continued. 'This day is going to be ruined for you.

    'This is going to be a fun show to watch. You both are going to get what you deserve. See you at the anti-gay show!' …

    Thankfully, they've received much support from friends, family and even strangers since their story broke.

    And now a church in Canton is inviting people to send the men letters and cards of congratulations.

    Good wishes can be sent for the attention of Chad and Keith to New Vision United Church of Christ, 3129 Market Ave North, Canton, Ohio 44714.

    This, Chad says, is why the haters aren't putting a stop to the wedding. 'Love will win in the end, that's what it comes down to,' he said.

  • 56. F_Young  |  April 17, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    USA: Everything You Need To Know About The Wave Of 100+ Anti-LGBT Bills Pending In States

    …..While it might seem like this onslaught of legislation came out of nowhere, religious conservatives have been working toward this kind of full-blown assault for years. They’ve been test-driving various anti-LGBT bills at local levels, anticipating the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision on marriage equality and preparing ways to weaken it.

    …..At the 2014 Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., they talked about plans for using the same tactics the anti-abortion movement used, post-Roe vs. Wade, if the Supreme Court ruled for marriage equality. Frank Schubert, the strategist behind California’s Proposition 8, and National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown described a strategy of incrementally eroding LGBT rights. Schubert even floated the idea of modeling his efforts on a partial-birth abortion campaign, which resonated with the public even if it was distorted.

    That appears to be the tactic they used in Houston last year, and it worked.

    …..But religious conservatives overwhelmingly defeated it, and they did it by running television ads that demonized transgender women and suggested the ordinance would allow male sex predators entry into women’s rest rooms.

    When HERO went down, conservatives saw a strategy that worked, and soon bathroom bills began popping up all over the country. They have since moved on to test-drive other discriminatory measures.

    …..Here’s a snapshot of all the anti-LGBT bills currently active in state legislatures (or at least the bulk of them, thanks to the exhaustive efforts of the American Civil Liberties Union). You can see which ones conservatives think have the best shot of becoming law, given the spike in those kinds of bills in different states.

    Read more at:

  • 57. VIRick  |  April 17, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    I always have a problem with articles of this type, for although the point they are making is accurate, the language used to do so is far too mild, and thus creates a false air of legitimacy to blatant bigotry and hatred. So, instead, I tend to edit the contents to substitute the correct terminology, so that:

    "…. But religious conservatives overwhelmingly defeated it …."


    "…. But closed-minded bigots and ignorant haters, egged on by scheming, focused, professional, strategizing nut-jobs, defeated it …."

    Those who defeated the measure are neither "religious" nor "conservative," and should not be referred to as such. The second paragraph tells us everything we need to know as to who is actually behind this nefariousness. These evil manipulators should not even be given the cover of those otherwise meaningless code words.

  • 58. F_Young  |  April 17, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Off-topic: Feds Probe Georgia's Treatment of LGBT Prisoners

    It's the first Justice Department investigation to focus on this population.

    …..The U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Georgia are jointly conducting the probe into institutions operated by the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Georgia Voice reports. This is the first Justice Department investigation to focus on the situation of LGBT prisoners.

    “Essentially we’re looking at potential violations of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, which deals with the constitutional rights of prisoners in institutions like prisons,” U.S. Attorney John Horn told the Voice.

    Read more at:

  • 59. F_Young  |  April 17, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Off-topic: LGBT companies are beating the stock market

    Companies that have boards with more female or LGBT senior staff outperform those that do not, according to a Credit Suisse report.

    …..The bank took 270 companies with openly LGBT staff as leaders or senior managers and compared their performance to a stock index tracking North America, Europe and Australia, because most of the LGBT companies Credit Suisse could identify were in one of these three regions.

    …..Nearly 60 percent of the LGBT index Credit Suisse tracked come from one of three sectors: information technology, financials and consumer staples. There are far more than 270 companies with LGBT executives, of course. But, according to the report, most of them have not come out publicly.

    ….."41 percent of U.S. LGBT workers and 72 percent of senior LGBT executives say they have not come out openly at work."

    ….."Tim Cook at Apple is the only openly gay CEO," the report said.

    Read more at:

  • 60. theperched  |  April 17, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    So here's my perch list for next week:

    Tuesday: See whether the Isle of Man's final marriage bill reading happens or scheduled for another Tuesday.

    Thursday: The final pro-marriage vote in Colombia's has been bumped up to the first thing on the agenda, but with their history of taking their time and the fact that two other cases have a time limit to receive a ruling, the chances of it all being over in a few days is low; hope to be proven wrong.

    Also on Thursday: Second reading is reserved for something on the Faroes' Parliamentary page, I REALLY hope it's the marriage bill. We'll know very soon.

  • 61. SethInMaryland  |  April 17, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    I really think Isle of Man may happen this Tuesday. Seems like a simple formality now. Everything looks to be set in stone. We know there is a strong majority in support of marriage equality. Why not just go ahead and finish it while you have the chance

  • 62. theperched  |  April 17, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Yeah, at best only 3 are against it. Glad they'll reach their goal of summer weddings and not having to worry about elections later this year.

  • 63. theperched  |  April 17, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Zacatecas, one of the very few places in Mexico that hasn't seen a same-sex wedding yet, is proving to be one of the most difficult states. This article both saddens and infuriates me. Let me post a summary:

    Civil Registries in the state have gotten questions from gay couples, but many have decided to get married in Coahuila instead to save time/money that would be spent on an amparo and for fear of being outed.

    One male couple that wants to get married in Zacatecas still hasn't seen any success in their amparo or their lawsuit against one member of Congress who forced them to "prove" their sexuality before they could marry. She even had the nerve to question their loved ones by asking things like if they knew if the couple had sexual relations with each other. Really awful.

    The lawsuit against that senadora has to be resolved by the end of the month or else it will expire and the Human Rights Commission of Zacatecas has been mum so far on their investigation/verdict.

    Let's hope both cases are sorted out so the couple can get married soon.

  • 64. allan120102  |  April 18, 2016 at 6:50 am

    They are also two civil registries who have ask for amparo to not marry ss couples. Zacatecas will be the hardest imo as there is not even one amparo against them

  • 65. F_Young  |  April 18, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Off-topic: Africa’s New Gay-Bashing ‘Islamic Republic’

    Declaring little Gambia an ‘Islamic Republic’ is a cynical ploy by President Jammeh, but the consequences for his people are huge, and for LGBT Gambians, horrific.

    …..After decades as a weirdly mystical president—and a blood-curdling homophobe who threatened last fall to slit the throats of gays—Jammeh made his big announcement on Dec. 12, and life in The Gambia (also called, simply, Gambia) has gotten uglier ever since.

    …..Persecution of homosexuals had come as a sort of prelude to this latest move. In recent years they have been the target of new discriminatory legislation, arbitrary detention, and mistreatment in The Gambia. After an “aggravated homosexuality” law was passed in October 2014, imposing a life sentence for several offenses, dozens of LGBT people fled the country.

    …..Many in the formerly secular nation see the president’s actions as aimed at attracting voters while he prepares to seek a fifth term in office in the next presidential election scheduled for December this year.

    Read more at:

  • 66. F_Young  |  April 18, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Off-topic: U.S. Department of State Releases 2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

    On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of State released the 2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which once again included extensive information about the human rights of LGBT people worldwide. A compilation of the information from the report regarding sexual orientation and gender identity can be found here, which includes information about new anti-LGBT legislation as well as the ongoing persecution and violence facing LGBT people around the world.

    Read more at:

  • 67. montezuma58  |  April 18, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    For some comic relief, Saturday Night Live mocks "religious freedom" laws and God Is Not Dead 2 (yes they actually made a sequel of that comically bad movie). You can also see the official trailer for the movie at the link. The "real" trailer looks like it is satire too.

  • 68. VIRick  |  April 18, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Tennessee Flushes Latest "Bathroom Bill"

    Tennessee’s anti-transgender “bathroom bill” has gone down the drain again — and it will apparently stay there for at least a year. Today, 18 April 2016, its sponsor in the House of Representatives, Susan Lynn, said she would withdraw the bill until next year, reports the Nashville newspaper, "The Tennessean."

    The measure, House Bill 2414, and its companion legislation, Senate Bill 2387, would have barred transgender students in public elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities from using the restrooms, locker rooms, and other sex-segregated facilities that correspond with their gender identity.

  • 69. guitaristbl  |  April 19, 2016 at 10:55 am

    BUT :

    "McCormick received applause on the House floor on Tuesday for suggesting that lawmakers should consider limiting tax incentives and grants to those companies in the future.

    In McCormick’s words: “All these companies who tried to blackmail us for this thing, when they come for their corporate welfare checks next year, we need to have a list out and keep an eye on them.”"

    Republicans are pro-free market..except when they are not. Apparently only christians can vote with their wallet and feet – companies that disagree with them must be punished. Gotta love them.

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