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Open thread w/ UPDATE


This is an open thread.

BREAKING: The Fourth Circuit has just ruled that schools receiving federal funds have to let transgender people use the restroom matching their gender identity.


  • 1. jpmassar  |  April 19, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed he intends to call an election for 2 July.

    I haven't seen anything on how this will affect if or when a same-sex marriage referendum will take place, but presumably it speeds up the timetable.

  • 2. F_Young  |  April 19, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Off-topic: 'No differences' between children of same-sex and opposite-sex parents

    …..the new study finds the children of same-sex parents are just as healthy emotionally and physically as the children of different-sex parents.

    Dr. Nanette Gartrell, one of the study's authors, said the aim was to do a real population-based, apples to apples comparison. "It is the only study to compare same-sex and different-sex parent households with stable, continuously coupled parents and their biological offspring," said Gartrell.

    …..Gartrell and her colleagues matched 95 same-sex female parent households to 95 different-sex parent based on the following characteristics:

    …..The study found that there were no differences in the children when it came to their general health, their emotional difficulties, their coping behaviors and their learning behaviors. What the study found to be more indicative predictors of these behaviors were the relationships between the parents, the parents and child, and parenting stress.

    The study did note that lesbian parents seem to exhibit higher levels of parenting stress, which Gartell attributed to perceived homophobia. "Parents feel pressured to justify the quality of their parenting more than their heterosexual counterparts.

    …..The current study only looked at lesbian households, because when households were finally matched and controlled for continuous relationships, there were too few male same-sex households.

    Read more at:

  • 3. VIRick  |  April 19, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Gender Identity Triumphs at the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals

    Today, 19 April 2016, in "G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board," the transgender student's appeal to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals of the district court decision denying the preliminary injunction and dismissing the Title IX claim, the 4th Circuit has issued its opinion, overturning the lower court in its totality:

    "Because we conclude the district court did not accord appropriate deference to the relevant Department of Education regulations, we reverse its dismissal of G.G.’s Title IX claim. Because we conclude that the district court used the wrong evidentiary standard in assessing G.G.’s motion for a preliminary injunction, we vacate its denial and remand for consideration under the correct standard. We therefore reverse in part, vacate in part, and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

    Judge Floyd wrote the opinion, in which Senior Judge Davis joined. Senior Judge Davis wrote a separate concurring opinion. Judge Niemeyer wrote a separate opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.

    Plaintiff also requested reassignment to a different judge. The Court denied that request (see pp 34-36). In part:
    "Reassignment is an unusual step at this early stage of litigation. Although the district court did express opinions about medical facts and skepticism of G.G.’s claims, the record does not clearly indicate that the district judge would refuse to consider and credit sound contrary evidence. Further, although the district court has a distinct way of proceeding in court, the hearing record and the district court’s written order in the case do not raise in our minds a question about the fundamental fairness of the proceedings, however idiosyncratic. The conduct of the district judge does not at this point satisfy the Guglielmi standard. We deny G.G.’s request for reassignment to a different district judge on remand."

    The full opinion is here:

  • 4. guitaristbl  |  April 19, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    I doubt the district court judge will do what the appeals court told him given the bigoted opinion he wrote so the issue will have to go back again to the 4th. We got a long way to go here..

  • 5. VIRick  |  April 19, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Guitar, if he doesn't behave and rule in accordance with instructions handed down by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, we have the very recent precedent of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals re-assigning the Puerto Rico marriage case to a different judge on the second go-round.

    Perhaps this district court judge will also remember that precedent, as well.

  • 6. guitaristbl  |  April 19, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    My point is exactly based on the Puerto Rico situation..I can see a judge who wrote such an opinion to find a way not to grant an injuction even if advised to review the case under the interpretation of title IX offered by the Department of Education. It will just prolong the case but I can't put it below him to act in such a way.

  • 7. VIRick  |  April 19, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Virginia: 4th Circuit Rules for Transgender Student in Restroom Access Case

    Richmond VA – On 19 April 2016, a federal court of appeals ruled in favor of transgender male student Gavin Grimm in his challenge to Gloucester High School’s discriminatory restroom policy that segregates transgender students from their peers by requiring them to use “alternative, private” facilities.

    The ruling from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals marks the first time that a federal appeals court has determined that Title IX protects the rights of transgender students to use sex segregated facilities that are consistent with their gender identity. The 4th Circuit remanded the case for the district court to reevaluate Gavin’s request for a preliminary injunction under the proper legal standard.

    The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Virginia brought the case in June 2015 seeking a preliminary injunction so that Gavin could use the boys’ restroom when school resumed for his junior year. In September 2015, District Court Judge Robert Doumar ruled against Gavin by dismissing his Title IX claim but allowed his case, under the Equal Protection claim, to proceed.

    The ACLU's press release on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in "G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board" is here:

  • 8. VIRick  |  April 19, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Ramifications for North Carolina in Light of "G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board"

    The "birth certificate bathroom" portions of North Carolina's HB2 can henceforth be considered unenforceable and all-but-dead, given that today's decision, issued on 19 April 2016, has circuit-wide applicability throughout the 4th Circuit (a circuit which covers Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina).

    However, today's 4th Circuit decision does not affect two other major portions of North Carolina's notoriously ignorant HB2:

    1. The stripping way of municipal initiative in passing local non-discrimination laws, laws or ordinances which would bar discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations (basically, all the other LGBT protections other than the "bathroom" gender identity issue).

    2. The stripping way of municipal initiative in passing laws increasing the minimum wage to a higher minimum dollar amount than that dictated by the state-wide minimum wage.

  • 9. guitaristbl  |  April 19, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Also the ruling has no immediate effect on restrooms and locker rooms outside schools, it's narrow in its nature. So other governmental buildings can still deny access to the proper bathroom to trans people.

  • 10. tx64jm  |  April 19, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    It doesnt even apply to locker rooms, only to restrooms.

  • 11. VIRick  |  April 19, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Title IX protects the rights of transgender students to use sex segregated facilities that are consistent with their gender identity.

  • 12. Sagesse  |  April 20, 2016 at 6:01 am

    Although the ruling itself only affects access to restrooms in schools, the effect should be broader. It makes little sense to allow open access in schools, while claiming it's somehow offensive everywhere else. Combine that with the backlash, one can hope the ruling will eventually have the effect of overturning/constraining bathroom bills in the 4th circuit states and beyond.

  • 13. scream4ever  |  April 19, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    It'll be interesting to see if NC officials even enforce those prohibitions, since they all seem to claim that it doesn't really have that effect.

  • 14. VIRick  |  April 19, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Perhaps I jumped ahead a bit on the "birth certificate bathroom" issue, fully anticipating the next ruling in federal court.

    The pending federal lawsuit in district court for the Middle District of North Carolina, "Carcaño v. McCrory," using today's ruling in "G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board" as precedent, can then expand that ruling to cover several additional allied situations, as it deliberately includes as plaintiffs all of the following:

    Trans-gender employees /students /faculty at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and North Carolina Central University (Durham), respectively, all state-operated facilities.

    Still, the injunction sought, if totally successful, will bar the enforcement of the entire notoriously ignorant North Carolina law, HB2.

    For additional commentary on the implications from today's 4th Circuit Court ruling, including its immediate bearing on North Carolina and HB2, see:

    For even more commentary on the implications, also see:

  • 15. VIRick  |  April 19, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Ramifications for South Carolina in Light of "G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board"

    Any legislative attempt (with several bills festering and brewing) to pass a "birth certificate bathroom" bill a la North Carolina can now be considered "dead on arrival."

    Although to be fair, Gov. Nikki Haley did threaten to veto any "birth certificate bathroom" bill that might arrive on her desk, even before the court ruling.

  • 16. guitaristbl  |  April 19, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Dead on arrival for 4th circuit states..States in circuits under the jurisdiction of more conservative courts of appeal (5th,6th,8th) may feel more safe. At least until (and if) SCOTUS weighs in.

  • 17. theperched  |  April 19, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Italy's House has finished going through all the amendments. All that's left is a scheduled final vote; Renzi may have to gamble his coalition again to secure votes, but he has more friends in the House than Senate so here's to a swift victory in the second week of May.

    Finally, Italy will join the party and without a second Olliari verdict.

  • 18. VIRick  |  April 19, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Tijuana: Yuuuuge Anti-Trump Mural Appears on Existing Border Fence

    When Donald Trump promised to erect a "beautiful wall" on the US-Mexico border, this probably wasn't what he meant. In Tijuana, the existing border fence now sports an extended mural of the Republican presidential candidate.

    He looks as he often does — head cocked, hair swept forward, index finger jabbing. But wedged in his mouth is a ball gag, and the words "!RAPE TRUMP!" have been painted above his head.

    A collective of US artists who call themselves "indecline" spray-painted the image last fall, after Trump characterized Mexican migrants in the United States as criminals and rapists. Found on a dirt road in working-class Colonia Libertad, the mural has recently become a tourist attraction.

  • 19. 1grod  |  April 20, 2016 at 5:38 am

    Alabama's legislative Bill to end issuing marriage licenses, which has passed the Senate, on April 20 is before the House Judiciary Committee, and could be voted on by the full House during one of the seven remaining days of this session of the legislature. William Tate (Washington Co) and John Enslen (Clarke Co) as well as other resistant probate judges will be happy. Their Association takes no position on the bill. Given there are 108 marriages per day in the state [2010] there will be a lot of confused couples as there would be no need for a wedding ceremony.

  • 20. 1grod  |  April 20, 2016 at 6:18 am

    On April 13, Alabama's House committee advanced HB158, a bill that would allow taxpayer-funded adoption & foster care agencies to use religion as a reason to turn away capable and loving parents, including those who are LGBT. The Senate version of this bill, S.B. 204, advanced out of the Senate Education and Youth Affairs Committee last month, and could be voted on by the full Senate before the end of the session. A letter from American Adoptive organizations such as the Child Welfare League of America did not influence the outcome http://hrc-assets.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws…. ….

  • 21. F_Young  |  April 20, 2016 at 7:09 am

    igrod: "…turn away capable and loving parents…"

    More importantly, the bill would allow the agencies to turn away needy children from the best or only families willing to take them, contrary to their best interest, because religion..

  • 22. sfbob  |  April 20, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Allow religion to be an excuse for one form of discrimination and we can look forward to religion's being invoked to permit other forms of discrimination as well.

  • 23. F_Young  |  April 20, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Agree, sfbob. No taxation without representation.

  • 24. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 20, 2016 at 8:40 am

    HB 158 & SB 204 are clearly violations of the anti-disestablishment clause of the US Constitution.

    The problem with these kinds of bills when they pass and are signed into law, it takes litigation by plaintiff's who have standing to get them declared unconstitutional.

  • 25. sfbob  |  April 20, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    On the other hand by going out of their way to discriminate the rule-breakers end up in a worse position. Court rulings on violations of basic civil rights tend to be more all-encompassing than legislation would be.

    BTW it's the Establishment Clause. 🙂

  • 26. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 20, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Thanks for the correction.

  • 27. F_Young  |  April 20, 2016 at 7:56 am

    North Carolina: Repeal North Carolina Law Limiting LGBT Rights, AAP Says

    The national organization, representing 64,000 pediatricians, and its North Carolina chapter, representing 2000 pediatric care professionals in the state, issued a joint statement yesterday calling for the repeal.

    ….This issue warranted a national statement, Dr Ainsworth said, because leaders saw a trend of discriminatory legislation being proposed elsewhere.

    …..It's not the first such political action supporting LGBT people by the AAP. In February, the academy joined several other leading health and welfare organizations, including the National Association of School Psychologists and the American Counseling Association, in a letter urging governors to oppose discriminatory legislation against transgender people.

    Read more:

  • 28. F_Young  |  April 21, 2016 at 11:17 am

    North Carolina: Donald Trump Thinks North Carolina Got It Wrong On Anti-LGBT Bathroom Bill

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Thursday that transgender people should be allowed to use whichever bathroom they prefer.

    During a town hall on NBC, Trump said North Carolina’s anti-LGBT bathroom measure, which has hurt the state economically, wasn’t necessary and sought to address a problem that wasn’t really a big issue.

    …..“North Carolina did something that was very strong and they’re paying a big price. There’s a lot of problems,” Trump said. “You leave it the way it is. There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom they feel is appropriate, there has been so little trouble, and the problem with what happened in North Carolina is the strife, and the economic punishment that they’re taking.”

    …..As Trump pointed out, the suggestion that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom they want will jeopardize the safety of other people is a myth.

    Trump’s position is a clear break from his rival for the Republican nomination, Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), who has called the North Carolina bill a “perfectly reasonable determination for the people to make.”

    “Men should not be going to the bathroom with little girls,” he said in an MSNBC town hall earlier this month.

    Cruz repeated that position in response to Trump on Thursday and accused him of bending to political correctness.

    “Donald Trump is no different from politically correct leftist elites. Today, he joined them in calling for grown men to be allowed to use little girls’ public restrooms,” Cruz said in a statement. “As the dad of young daughters, I dread what this will mean for our daughters – and for our sisters and our wives. It is a reckless policy that will endanger our loved ones.”

    Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is also seeking the Republican nomination, has said he would not have signed the North Carolina law.

    …..Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

    Read a bit more at:

    I wonder what political calculus came into this, and why Trump didn't state his position before the crucial New York primary earlier this week.

  • 29. davepCA  |  April 21, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day. It's kinda telling when a little bit of rational thought coming from the guy seems so unusual and remarkable.

    Just another reminder to vote, vote, vote. We need to keep all of these horrible Republican candidates out of the White House.

  • 30. A_Jayne  |  April 21, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    We need to keep all of these horrible Republican candidates out of every elected office, municipal, state, and federal. To do that, we need everyone to vote in every election.

  • 31. guitaristbl  |  April 21, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Although I have every reason to believe Trump will change his position in a week given he is a flip-flopping opportunist with no real views on anything, it is encouraging that 4 out of 5 presidential.candidates are against such legislation. And it also helps everyone short out the most dangerous of the bunch : Cruz is a true religious lunatic. Everyone is raving about Trump but Trump does not believe a single thing of what he says, he has no belief system, no views or positions other than whatever can make him claim power. Cruz believes everything he says and he is more than ready to turn the US into a full blown theocracy full of fear and propaganda villification politics.
    It may sound extreme but Cruz is the most dangerous man in the US political scene right now and needs to be stopped at ANY cost.

  • 32. F_Young  |  April 21, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    guitarist: "It may sound extreme but Cruz is the most dangerous man in the US political scene right now…"

    I agree. Trump is a demagogue who will compromise anything to get in power and stay there, Cruz, on the other hand, is an uncompromising religious radical bent on subverting democracy. He's also more dangerous than Trump because he is electable, unlike Trump.

  • 33. allan120102  |  April 21, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    I am latino but between the three republican candidates I feel safer with Kasich or Trump in terms of lgbt rights. I can imagine if Cruz win he will be voting for a supreme court justice that will rolled back every milestone we have reach. If republican wins the house and I really hope not the best option would be Kasich but I doubt he will be the nominnee so I say trump.

  • 34. F_Young  |  April 22, 2016 at 4:25 am

    Off-topic: Donald Trump Aides Try to Reassure the GOP Elite

    …..Manafort focused his remarks on how Trump will reposition himself for the general election, saying Trump would take steps to recast himself as a more serious candidate, beginning with a foreign policy speech next week. Acknowledging many reservations among Republican National Committee members about Trump’s temperament, Manafort cast it as an act.

    “When he’s talking about the kind of things he’s talking about on the stump, he’s projecting an image that’s for that purpose,” Manafort said, according to notes prepared by an attendee and verified by multiple attendees, saying Trump understands he has to soften the edges. “He gets it. The part that he’s been playing is evolving.”

    Read more at:

  • 35. F_Young  |  April 24, 2016 at 3:42 am

    USA: Donald Trump Foundation Donated $20K to Public School LGBT Activist Group GLSEN

    …..A form 990 available for public viewing online shows the GOP frontrunner made the donation to GLSEN and also donated $10,000 to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis.

    …..The group creates printed resources for teachers to use in the K-12 classrooms and urges schools to celebrate LGBT History Month and LGBT Pride Month. Reading materials and lesson plans for children include the books Heather Has Two Mommies, It’s OK to Be Different, and Tango Makes Three.

    ….In February, Christian News reported that Trump told New Hampshire lesbian publisher Susan O’Connell that Americans will see “more forward motion” on “gay equality” under a Trump administration, pointing to such an effort as part of his plan to bring Americans together.

    …..“When President Trump is in office can we look for more forward motion on equality for gays and lesbians?” O’Connell asked.

    “Well, you can,” Trump replied. “And look, again, we’re going to bring people together. And that’s your thing and other people have their thing. We have to bring all people together, and if we don’t we’re not going to have a country anymore. It’s going to be a total mess. It’s a mess right now, and it’s going to be worse.” [my irony meter just exploded]

    …..“He will be the most gay-friendly Republican nominee for president ever,” said Gregory T. Angelo, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group that supports gay rights.

    Read more at:

    Trump the chameleon.

  • 36. montezuma58  |  April 24, 2016 at 4:27 am

    Breitbart has a raging hate on for trump. They're just trying to scare republican voters away from trump. This isn't going to shift any votes to trump unless the other candidates do something completely insane like publicly killing puppies in Satanic rituals.

  • 37. VIRick  |  April 24, 2016 at 11:42 am

    "…. do something completely insane like publicly killing puppies in Satanic rituals."

    That imagery is priceless. I can actually picture Rafael Cruz, the elder, confusing himself, and doing precisely that, right in the middle of the pedestrianized roadway directly in front of the White House, on the same spot where Geraldo Rivera once stumbled over my feet.

    Of course, if Rafael were to substitute a mess of squawking chickens about to get their heads chopped off, in place of the puppies, then it would be more like Santeria or Vodun, which somehow seems even more appropriate.

  • 38. F_Young  |  April 21, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    North Carolina: NBA’s Silver: LGBT law must change to keep 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte

    NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday that if North Carolina’s LGBT law remains unchanged, the 2017 All-Star Game would have to be moved from Charlotte.

    Silver’s comments on the state’s controversial House Bill 2 came at the Associated Press Sports Editors’ commissioner meetings Thursday, according to attendees. Earlier in the day, Silver again called the law “problematic” for the league as it stands, but he said he’s confident state lawmakers will “do the right thing.”

    “We’ve been, I think, crystal clear a change in the law is necessary for us to play in the kind of environment that we think is appropriate for a celebratory NBA event,” Silver said at the APSE event.

    And speaking on ESPN’s Mike & Mike morning radio show, Silver said the NBA is more interested in working with local businesses and governments to effect change in the law, rather than in setting ultimatums about the 2017 All-Star Game, which is to take place in Charlotte.

    …..Silver said he faced a conundrum because the NBA has a team in North Carolina and is hosting playoff games in Charlotte.

    “I’m not sure what statement we would have been making by pulling the All-Star Game but saying we’re absolutely fine playing our playoff game in Charlotte,” Silver said.

    Read more at:

  • 39. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 20, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Same-Sex Spouses Approved to Accompany US Troops to South Korea.

    "Same-sex spouses will now be able to accompany U.S. service members on overseas tours to South Korea, according to Defense Department documents.
    The paperwork was obtained and released by the American Military Partners Association, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that advocates on behalf of gay military families."

    Read more:

  • 40. F_Young  |  April 20, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    USA: Foreign Office issues new advice for British LGBT people travelling to US

    'LGBT travellers may be affected by legislations passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi'

    Read more at:

  • 41. F_Young  |  April 23, 2016 at 5:20 am

    USA Why Bay Area firms are standing tall against anti-LGBT forces

    …..Tech giants like Salesforce who have committed to fighting anti-LGBT legislation, experts said, may soon end up taking on nearly half the country. Similar laws are being considered in 19 other states.

    Experts say it’s unlikely they’ll back away from the fight, though. Leaning on states to block these measures isn’t just an affirmation of the companies’ values — it also makes good business sense.

    ….LGBT groups have long relied on corporate partners, but in 2008 — the same year that Proposition 8 temporarily banned same-sex marriages in California — something changed.

    Companies began wading into the fight for LGBT rights in unprecedented numbers, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

    …..Last week, an unnamed tech company that was considering moving 1,000 jobs to Wake County, N.C., also scrapped the deal, according to the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

    …..The issue, Manley said, is multifold for businesses: They want to appear progressive and forward-thinking to an increasingly youthful customer base and also demonstrate to their employees that they’ve got their backs.

    In notoriously competitive industries like tech, this can make the difference between losing and retaining talented workers who won’t tolerate discrimination or work in states where they feel targeted, experts said.

    Read more at:

  • 42. allan120102  |  April 20, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    61% of the population in Malta in favor of same sex marriage and changing civil unions to marriage.

  • 43. VIRick  |  April 20, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Greedy Alabama Mother-in-Law Loses Again on Appeal at 11th Circuit Court

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 20 April 2016, in "Hard v. Fancher," the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the district court decision awarding Paul Hard his spousal share of the wrongful death suit proceeds. The 11th Circuit Court issued its opinion, affirming the district court decisions that awarded Paul Hard his spousal share of the settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit.

    See the opinion and order for a summary of the procedural history that led to this appeal by Paul Hard's mother-in-law, Pat Fancher. However, in short, Paul Hard is entitled to a share of the settlement as David Fancher's legal spouse, and David's mother, Pat Fancher, will have to settle for the portion that comes to her as the parent of a married son.

    "Pat Fancher appealed the dismissal of this case and the distribution of proceeds from a wrongful death settlement from her son’s estate to his spouse, Paul Hard. She argued that, because the State of Alabama declined to recognize her son’s marriage to Hard at the time of her son’s death, she is entitled to the remaining portions of the wrongful death settlement under Alabama law of intestate succession."

    "We affirm the district court’s final judgment and orders dismissing the case, denying the motion to set aside the dismissal, and directing the disbursement of funds."

    The full opinion and order is here:

    NOTE: The greedy mother-in-law's cluelessly-misguided counsel in this hopeless appeal was none other than Roy Moore's infamous "christian non-profit," currently run by his strangely compliant wife, Kayla Moore, while he pompously sits as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

  • 44. theperched  |  April 21, 2016 at 12:47 am

    Remember that couples started marrying in Jalisco even before the court ruling was posted online? It finally appeared in Mexico's Federal Gazette 🙂 The Wikimap has been navy blue for weeks, but now we can get rid of the asterisks 😀

  • 45. theperched  |  April 21, 2016 at 1:43 am

    Colima: PRI and PAN both say that they will listen to the Court and approve marriage bills.

    21/25 Congressmembers belong to those parties. PAN has 13 of the 21 and this is their stance below:

    El coordinador de la bancada del PAN, Luis Ladino Ochoa, adelantó que votarán a favor de legalizar los matrimonios igualitarios porque ya existen resoluciones de la Suprema Corte de Justicia del Estado (SCJN) al respecto.

    [The coordinator of the PAN party, Luis Ochoa, revealed that they will vote in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage because Supreme Court rulings in that respect already exist]

    En entrevista, el legislador panista detalló que los “matrimonios igualitarios es un mandato, y nosotros somos respetuosos de la ley”.

    [In an interview, the PAN legislator said that "equal marriages are an order and we will be respectful of the law"]

    Sobre para cuándo se estará llevando a discusión y votación al pleno del Congreso ambos temas, Luis Ladino dijo que no hay fecha definida, pero que será este año, donde indicó que si buscarán que haya un intenso debate y discusión entre las fracciones que integra la legislatura.

    [On when the discussion and vote in the Congress plenary will start on both topics (this article talks about their position on abortion as well) will start, Luis said there is no defined date, but it will be this year and indicated that they will seek an intense debate and discussion between the different parties that make up the Legislature]

  • 46. allan120102  |  April 21, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Today was going to be the vote for marriage equality but thanks to the homophobic judge it was post poned to next week. The final ruling is expected on the 28 of April.

  • 47. F_Young  |  April 21, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    Massachusetts: Baker sends signals he won’t veto transgender bill

    …..For months, Baker has refused to say where he stands on the controversial bill that would prohibit discrimination against transgender people in restaurants, malls, and other public accommodations.

    …..Asked what Baker, a Republican, thought of Trump’s remarks on NBC, a spokeswoman for the governor replied in an email.

    “The governor supports 2011 transgender protections and believes no one should be discriminated against based on their gender identity, and looks forward to reviewing a bill should the Legislature act,” Lizzy Guyton said, echoing previous administration statements.

    She added: “Governor Baker believes people should use the restroom facility they feel comfortable using.”

    …..Speaking on “Boston Public Radio” to Braude and co-host Margery Eagan, Baker recalled what he told the LGBT networking event, hosted by Boston Spirit magazine, where he was booed.

    “One of the things that I said to the folks at that Boston Spirit event was that they should continue to make their case,” he said.

    “I mean the folks that I’ve met with and the folks that the people on my team have met with are really compelling. And I said that. They’re compelling, they’re affecting, and their stories are moving. And I said they should continue to make their case, because,” he said, “I believe it’s a strong one.”

    Read more at:

  • 48. theperched  |  April 21, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Luxembourg wants to retroactively recognize foreign marriages conducted before January 1 2015 when their marriage law came into effect.

    The bill passed 50-3 and is going to the Council of State:

  • 49. F_Young  |  April 21, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    theperched, I don't understand the scope of this bill. Would one of the spouses have to be a citizen of Luxembourg? Would foreign same-sex marriages be recognized even if they occurred before Luxembourg recognized same-sex marriages domestically?

  • 50. theperched  |  April 21, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    The bill's in French, I'm having a friend tell me the details.

    I only noticed it because of a Wikipedia edit with the link to the parliamentary page.

  • 51. theperched  |  April 21, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Slovenia's partnership bill passed, haven't got the numbers and the only English article is one of those pay to read.

    It fixes deficiencies like pensions, but no full adoption or equal in-vitro rights (or else referendums will be a threat).

    No marriage bills can be submitted to Parliament for a year after a referendum and as long as the makeup of the Constitutional Court is the same, marriage will remain in the backburner since each time it passes, conservatives can just call a referendum that won't be blocked by the Court.

  • 52. Christian0811  |  April 21, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    This is a nauseating "victory", we were so close and I'm still just as bitter as I was in September last year.

    I think we could still win at the CC but anyways

  • 53. VIRick  |  April 22, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Slovenia: Same-Sex Partnership Act Passed

    Via Rex Wockner:

    Ljubljana, 21 April 2016 – Today, the National Assembly passed a bill that provides formal equality to same-sex couples, except for the word "marriage," adoptions, or in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

    In any event, that's the English-language headline from the free portion of a Slovenian pay-to-use site:

    Here's my own feelings on the matter. Sometimes, in certain locations, it's better to take what we can, whether it be called "civil unions," "civil partnerships," or a deal where it's everything-except-the-word "marriage." In time, this evolution often proves to be a several-step, incremental process, as we're seeing in places as diverse as Chile and Malta,– or even Austria.

    Some recognition is better than no recognition, and some acceptance is better than no acceptance. Neither position is perfect, of course, but neither position is necessarily static.

  • 54. allan120102  |  April 22, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Agree with you Rick. I will prefer marriage but I will be happy even with civil partnerships. Its not equality but its something. You cannot go straight to marriage its better that people warm to to the idea so we get more support That is what happen in Sweden, Norway Luxembourg and others. We need to remember that progress is slow. I compare our fights to the fights that women did to get the right to vote and that they are still doing.

  • 55. theperched  |  April 23, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Here's my article detailing that it's the third try. As long as the CC is what it is, they will always vote 5-4 to let a referendum on same-sex union issues happen and conservatives already threatened to only stay quiet if the government excludes any mention of joint adoption/in-vitro/marriage. Slovenia has no 50% quorum like Slovakia so as long as 30% of the voting public casts a ballot, the result is binding and no new bills on marriage can even be submitted until a year later (at the earliest). Since the partnership bill is watered down to what seems to be the conservatives' liking, it may not be repealed like the rest:

    On Thursday, Slovenia’s National Assembly approved a same-sex partnership bill that will fix several deficiencies found in the country’s existing partnership legislation.

    Back in 2009, the Constitutional Court of Slovenia ordered Parliament to upgrade their 2006 partnership law, especially in regards to pensions. Two attempts resulted in conservatives collecting enough signatures to force referendums that defeated the proposals by large margins. This third try may finally close some gaps found in same-sex unions.

    In 2011, the Government attempted to make same-sex unions equal to marriage in all but full adoption rights, but the law was repealed after the public voted 54.5-44.5% against the proposal in 2012. Although most provisions of the law were rolled back to their 2006 state, a stepchild adoption clause that allows a person to adopt their partner’s child was retained.

    A new coalition approved a change to the Family Code in 2015 that would make marriage gender-neutral and grant all couples joint adoption rights, but once again, conservative groups collected signatures to hold a referendum that resulted in the law’s defeat when voters rejected the law by a margin of 63-37%. Like 2012, last year’s vote had a very low turnout.

    Following the 2015 referendum result, an Independent member of Parliament presented a partnership bill that would fulfill the Constitutional Court’s order and grant same-sex couples all of the benefits of marriage barring joint adoption and equal in-vitro rights, two legal provisions that conservative groups promised to collect signatures against if Parliament tried to approve them.

    Slovenia’s National Assembly approved the new bill this week on a vote of 54-15. The bill now heads to the National Council who has seven days to decide if the Assembly must vote on it again.

  • 56. Christian0811  |  April 25, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Keep in mind that the CC only ruled that the National Assembly didn't have the authority to stop the referendum, not that the referendum itself was unconstitutional. It's exclusively and entirely the fault of the human rights organizations in Slovenia that referendum occurred, as the CC may have blocked it on Article 90 grounds and they failed to sue both before, during, and after the referendum.

    I'm more mad at the human rights leaders than I am at the conservatives to be honest. They are very weak, and if not weak then they are manipulative because they know once adoption and marriage are attained the public support they currently receive in media attention and donations will decrease significantly as it did in America and they will have to reduce their salaries and work hours. I strongly suspect that they simply let the referendum succeed for the sake of job security because their performance was so pitiful.

    Then again, I hope they aren't greedy and are simply blitheringly stupid and/or are lazy.

    Either way, I hope that an individual application, not a class action brought by the ever-frail rights groups, to the CC will see that the adoption and marriage bans struck down and thus put beyond the reach of the unwashed masses.

  • 57. VIRick  |  April 21, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    More Plaintiffs Added to Federal Suit Challenging North Carolina's HB2

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 21 April 2016, in "Carcaño v. McCrory," the federal lawsuit challenging North Carolina's HB2, the bigoted anti-LGBT law, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, and ACLU of North Carolina, joined by counsel from the law firm of Jenner & Block, have announced that they have added three new plaintiffs – a transgender student and a married lesbian couple.

    Hunter Schafer is a seventeen year-old woman and high school junior at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts High School in Winston-Salem.

    Beverly Newell, 45, a realtor, and Kelly Trent, 39, a registered nurse, are a married lesbian couple who live in Charlotte. As alleged in the amended complaint, Beverly and Kelly recently experienced discrimination first-hand, when a fertility clinic where they had scheduled an appointment called the couple to cancel the appointment saying that they do not serve same-sex couples.

    The other plaintiffs already in this case are: Joaquín Carcaño, 27, a UNC-Chapel Hill employee from Carrboro; Payton McGarry, 20, a UNC-Greensboro student who was born and raised in Wilson; and Angela Gilmore, 52, a North Carolina Central University law professor. The ACLU of North Carolina is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

    The Amended Complaint is here:

    Lambda Legal's press release is here:

  • 58. 1grod  |  April 21, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Alabama's legislative move to abolish the requirement for a marriage license and wedding ceremony as necessary aspects of getting married was approved by the Judiciary Committee of the House, now needing to be voted on by the full House. The session end is five days. If approved the Governor would sign it. No doubt probate judge Ben Bowden of Bibb Co and the other AL delinquent judges will be pleased with this potential outcome.

  • 59. theperched  |  April 21, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Finally. Faroe Islands' second vote is scheduled for next Tuesday. This could be it, guys 🙂

    Also, Tuesday the 26th will be the day the Manx marriage bill receives its final reading.

    Next week is going to be a big explosion of yay if Faroes, IoM, Colombia all pull through.

  • 60. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 22, 2016 at 4:49 am

    Theologians: Catholics Have “Civil Rights Imperative” to Seek LGBT Protections
    “Two theologians from Creighton University have called for Catholics to support LGBT non-discrimination protections in a new essay published in the National Catholic Reporter. In it, they specifically target the ill-founded opposition of U.S. bishops to such protections.

    “Todd A. Salzman and Michael G. Lawler provide an in-depth response to Catholic bishops’ repeated claims at local, state, and federal levels that expanding LGBT protections will infringe on religious liberty. The theologians disprove these claims and conclude further:”

    “‘[L]egislation protecting LGBT people from discrimination is a civil rights imperative that the Catholic church is obligated to support in a pluralist society.’”

    “How did they arrive at this conclusion?

    “Salzman and Lawler point out theological implications of new sociological data. Specifically, they cite the facts that 73% of U.S. Catholics support LGBT protections and that there is ‘a growing disconnect between what the Catholic faithful believe about sexual morality and official Catholic moral teaching,’

    “’To present official Catholic teaching on sexual ethical issues as if it were the only morally legitimate perspective, to use that teaching to claim violation of religious liberty if and when legislation conflicts with it, and to discount those Catholic perspectives that disagree with official teaching as manifestations of relativism discount also the rich diversity of the Catholic tradition and the contemporary sensus fidelium.’

    “Such a dismissal by church leaders threatens ecclesial and societal peace and thereby the common good…

    “Salzman and Lawler explain that when marriage equality became legalized in 2015, there needed to be “a corresponding shift in the perception of religious freedom in relation to this evolution” by the church.

    “Citing Catholic moral principles, Salzman and Lawler also clarify that a moral end, such as protecting religious liberty, can never justify an immoral means, the discrimination of LGBT people…

    “Such principles are cited to reveal why Catholic support for ENDA is not only permissible, but should be encouraged. Yet Salzman and Lawler do not stop there, writing that a “more fundamental response…challenges the very claim that homosexual activity is intrinsically immoral and destructive of human dignity.” They continue, acknowledging Catholics’ widespread disagreement with the bishops over matters of sexuality:

    “‘The burden of proof is on the church to demonstrate that homosexual acts are destructive of human dignity and cannot serve ‘the good of the person or society.’ So far, it has not offered a compelling argument. An unproven assertion should not be advanced as the basis for an abusive use of religious freedom aimed at preventing or repealing nondiscrimination legislation and imposing the church’s morally questionable doctrine on the broader society.’

    “In short, the bishops ‘do not have the right to impose their moral teachings legislatively in a pluralistic society.’

    “Their essay is well argued and grounded in reality, worth reading in full which you can do.
    And there is one final note with which Salzman and Lawler, and now this post, conclude:

    “‘The bishops should be ashamed of themselves for citing Martin Luther King Jr., the genuine and undisputed ‘conscience of the state’ for civil rights, to trample on the equal civil rights of homosexual, bisexual and transgender citizens.’”

    –Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry

    From Bondings 2.0:

  • 61. F_Young  |  April 22, 2016 at 4:53 am

    Russia: Schoolgirl lovers film final embrace before walking in front of train in 'suicide pact'

    …..Harrowing pictures of them walking on the tracks moments before their deaths have since emerged on social media.

    "Finally I met my soulmate and finally I am happy," wrote Nadia in the caption to a heart-wrenching video posted on Instagram.

    The footage shows them in an embrace as the train steams towards them.

    Neither of their parents knew about their relationship which the pair had kept a secret, according to reports.

    …..The incident has baffled friends and family who had no idea they had become a couple.

    Read more at:

    Putin, the Russian Orthodox Church and the rest of his mob, with the help of Scott Lively; don't let them win, Russian LGBTs.

    International suicide crisis lines:

    American state suicide crisis lines:

    American national crisis line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

  • 62. davepCA  |  April 22, 2016 at 9:41 am

    I think you have the wrong "read more at" link about this suicide story. It links to the Trump story.

  • 63. F_Young  |  April 22, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Thanks, davepCA.

    Here's the correct link:

    By the way, this story does not give details such as the date and exact location and apparently has not been reported by mainstream media.

  • 64. F_Young  |  April 22, 2016 at 7:58 am

    North Carolina and Mississippi See Tourist Backlash After L.G.B.T. Laws

    The reaction has been swift.

    The singer Bryan Adams canceled his concert in Mississippi in protest against what he called an “anti-L.G.B.T.” law, and the actress Sharon Stone decided not to film a movie there. In North Carolina, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Pearl Jam and Ani DiFranco have canceled shows in response to a law regulating transgender bathroom access.

    While the celebrity response is drawing considerable attention, the travel industry in each state is more concerned about lower-profile visitors: the everyday tourists who have already begun canceling trips or planning vacations elsewhere.

    Both states have been hit by hotel cancellations from tourists who spend a combined tens of billions of dollars annually, and though the effect is difficult to quantify so early on, local hotels, tourist boards, industry associations and government officials fear that a boycott will continue to dampen business.

    Read more at:

  • 65. VIRick  |  April 22, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Virginia School Board Seeks Court Review of Transgender Bathroom Ruling

    Richmond VA — A Virginia school board will ask the full 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to review the court’s ruling in "G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board" that a high school discriminated against a transgender teen by forbidding him from using the boys’ restroom. In a statement presented at the Gloucester County School Board meeting Thursday night, 21 April 2016, Chairman Troy Andersen said the board decided unanimously to file a petition for an en banc hearing before the court.

    A three-judge panel ruled Tuesday, 19 April 2016, that the policy is discriminatory. Earlier, a district court judge had rejected a sex discrimination claim by Gloucester High School student Gavin Grimm, who was born female but identifies as male. After (outside non-student)complaints, the school board adopted a policy requiring students to use public restrooms corresponding with their biological gender.

  • 66. Rick55845  |  April 22, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Will the petition for an en banc hearing by the 4th Circuit cause a delay at the district court level to reconsider (due to remand) the original petition for a preliminary injunction?

  • 67. tx64jm  |  April 22, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    The petition for re-hearing will cause a delay in the issuance of mandate. The district court cannot proceed until it gets the mandate from the 4th circuit.

  • 68. guitaristbl  |  April 22, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Given the composition of the 4th it is unlikely imo they will care to hear the case en banc. Delay tactics. They know they will have to petition SCOTUS eventually – which, without Scalia, can do little damage even if Kennedy rules against the student.

  • 69. bythesea66  |  April 22, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Yes, and I think that Kennedy would not anyway.

  • 70. VIRick  |  April 22, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    It's also quite unlikely that SCOTUS will grant certiorari to hear the appeal (assuming the case goes that far), given that SCOTUS tends to only hear matters wherein which there has been a circuit split.

    So far, only the 4th Circuit has issued a ruling on this subject. None of the other circuits have yet issued any sort of ruling on this particular "birth certificate bathroom" issue. Thus, there is no circuit split.

  • 71. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 23, 2016 at 10:04 am

    From the AP article: "A three-judge panel ruled Tuesday that the policy is discriminatory."

    The three judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals did no such thing. Among other actions, the panel did rule that the district court erred in the method that it used to determine if Title IX differences applied to the case and remanded the process back to the district court with instructions. At this early stage in the proceedings it's unlikely that the 4th circuit would consider an en banc hearing.

  • 72. VIRick  |  April 23, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Correct. From the opinion itself, here's what the court did say:

    Floyd, Circuit Judge:

    "Because we conclude the district court did not accord appropriate deference to the relevant Department of Education regulations, we reverse its dismissal of G.G.’s Title IX claim. Because we conclude that the district court used the wrong evidentiary standard in assessing G.G.’s motion for a preliminary injunction, we vacate its denial and remand for consideration under the correct standard. We therefore reverse in part, vacate in part, and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

    So yes, at this moment, an appeal for an en banc review of a remand with instructions would seem premature.

    It might also be worth noting that despite the announcement of its intention, the Gloucester County School Board has not yet filed its petition for en banc review with the Court. Thus, they still have the opportunity to change their minds. In spite of their own unanimous vote to immediately seek an en banc review, perhaps they first ought to seek further legal counsel on this matter.

  • 73. VIRick  |  April 22, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Virginia Senate Fails to Override "Religious Freedom" Bill Veto

    On Thursday, 21 April 2016, the Virginia Senate failed to override Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s veto of a "religious freedom" bill that critics said would have allowed anti-LGBT discrimination. GayRVA reported that state Sen. Charles Carrico (R-Galax), who introduced Senate Bill 41, defended his measure before the vote.

    McAuliffe vetoed SB 41 on 30 March. The governor in a statement described the bill as “nothing more than an attempt to stigmatize.”

    – See more at:

  • 74. davepCA  |  April 22, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Excellent! Although I must say, after reading the article, that it is extremely irresponsible 'journalism' for the article to offer blatantly false statements (LIES) from Senator Carrico without following up his remarks with the correct facts about what that bill really would and would not do.

  • 75. VIRick  |  April 22, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    That's why I edited the article to remove all of Carrico's long-winded blather, and simply presented the basic facts that he was unable to muster a sufficient number of votes in the Virginia Senate to override the governor's previous veto. However, I did leave the governor's crisp, 7-word summation of what he thought of the bill when he vetoed it, as being "nothing more than an attempt to stigmatize."

    It might also be worth noting that when it comes to LGBT news from Virginia (particularly from the state capital in Richmond) that the "Washington Blade" tends to copy the report from "GayRVA." And "GayRVA" has a history of thoroughly drilling new assh-les in multiple locations to totally expose the bigots and the hypocrites in Virginia politics by quoting their hogwash verbatim, thus removing any and all doubts as to their positions.

    For example, on Grindr, several months ago, one of the writers for "GayRVA" happened to encounter a bored, lonely, closeted, Republican anti-LGBT member of the Virginia House of Delegates from the western part of the state who was staying in a downtown hotel in Richmond for the weekend, and who was simultaneously looking for a hook-up. Enough of a description was provided so that any number of us were able to correctly identify said closeted hypocrite whose votes on LGBT issues are now being extremely carefully monitored by all and sundry.

  • 76. VIRick  |  April 22, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    NASCAR Calls For Repeal Of North Carolina’s Hate Law

    From the "Raleigh News & Observer:"

    As opposition to North Carolina’s HB2 grows, NASCAR has joined the chorus of companies calling for the law to be overturned. According to, a site that covers racing news, NASCAR Chairman Brian France made the announcement at a meeting on 22 April 2016 with Associated Press sports editors.

  • 77. theperched  |  April 23, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Saw a tweet that said: You know you've f'ed up when even NASCAR denounces you. Made me giggle a bit.

  • 78. VIRick  |  April 22, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    On the Spanish-language site, Matrimonio Igualitario, a site which has a wide readership throughout all of Latin America, I am enjoying the near-constant reminders as to when other countries obtained marriage equality.

    On 17 April, this anniversary note was posted:

    Un día como hoy del año 2013, el Parlamento de Nueva Zelanda legaliza el matrimonio igualitario.

    On today's date in 2013, the New Zealand Parliament legalized same-sex marriage.

    And then, on 21 April, we have this reflection:

    11 años ya desde que se aprobó el matrimonio igualitario en España.

    It has now been 11 years since marriage equality was approved in Spain.

  • 79. F_Young  |  April 23, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    This Methodist Church Is Marrying Two Gay Men In An Act Of Civil Disobedience

    The pastor and bishop performing the ceremony risk being defrocked. The wedding comes weeks before church officials decide whether to repeal a ban on same-sex weddings.

    …..Delegates at the international church’s General Conference shot down petitions to change church policy in 2008 and in 2012. But now, with the U.S. Supreme Court having ruled in favor of same-sex marriage rights, Talbert, Rosenquist, and the couple getting married — Jim Wilborne and John Romano — all told BuzzFeed News that this wedding could help persuade delegates at a critical moment for the church.

    ….Talbert — who was arrested with Martin Luther King Jr. in the Atlanta sit-ins in 1960 — linked the wedding to civil rights protests, saying the service “is an act of civil disobedience. The only difference is we are giving it another name in calling it biblical obedience.”

    …..With about 7 million members in the United States, the United Methodist Church (UMC) is the largest mainline Protestant Christian denomination. But unlike several other leading denominations, such as the Episcopal Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the UMC has not repealed its ban on same-sex weddings.

    That is due, in part, to its makeup. The voting bodies of other mainline denominations that have repealed anti-LGBT policies represent just U.S. churches. But the United Methodist Church is governed internationally. That includes African delegations that have joined with conservative American delegates to oppose same-sex marriage in the past.

    …..Matt Berryman, the executive director of Reconciling Ministries Network, an LGBT advocacy coalition leading the charge for reforming Methodist policy on sexual orientation, said passing the proposals this year is not a “slam dunk.”.

    Read more at:

  • 80. VIRick  |  April 24, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Michelle Obama Criticizes Mississippi "Religious Freedom" Law

    On Saturday, 23 April 2016, first lady Michelle Obama criticized Mississippi’s controversial "religious freedom" law that critics contend allows anti-LGBT discrimination in the state. She said during the commencement speech she delivered at Jackson State University, a historically black college in Jackson MS, that the country saw “how swiftly progress can hurdle backwards” when Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed HB1523 into law on 5 April.

    “We’ve got to stand side by side with all our neighbors — straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender; Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu, immigrant, Native American — because the march for civil rights isn’t just about African-Americans, it’s about all Americans,” she said. “It’s about making things more just, more equal, more free for all our kids and grandkids. That’s the story you all have the opportunity to write. That’s what this historic university has prepared you to do.”

    The first lady’s speech comes a day after President Obama said during a London press conference that HB1523 and North Carolina’s HB2, which prohibits transgender people from using public restrooms that are consistent with their gender identity and bans local municipalities from enacting anti-LGBT nondiscrimination, “should be overturned.”

    The British Foreign Office earlier this week issued an advisory that warns LGBT travelers about Mississippi’s HB1523 and North Carolina’s HB2.

    – See more at:

  • 81. F_Young  |  April 25, 2016 at 6:47 am

    Change of heart on gay issues possible

    by Michael Cohen

    …..It’s something I came to realize as my new book, Epiphany: A Christian’s Change of Heart and Mind Over Same-Sex Marriage, is published this week. For years, I was known in Canada as an opponent of the LGBTQ community, and while I was never deliberately hateful, I know I caused pain — and for that, I am immensely sorry. My reversal on the issue came about two years ago after a series of events and experiences left me with no option.

    ….I spoke out on television and in print about the grotesque persecution of gay people in Uganda and Russia and confidently expected conservative Christians, my community, to support me. Instead, I was criticized, even condemned. The culture I had championed seemed to unwrap before my eyes, and instead of love, I saw the contrary.

    ….As one of the media’s go-to guys for criticism of same-sex marriage I was suddenly looking through the tunnel from the other end and saw a startlingly different image. It was as if my vision was suddenly clear, a metaphorical 20/20 without the aid of an optician. Moral conservative to social liberal, a hero of the Christian right to someone invited to speak at Toronto’s Metropolitan Community Church, what is, to a large extent, the city’s gay church.

    ….In the weeks and months after my decision became public I was subject to a series of firings and dismissals and a campaign of lies about my character and falsehoods about my family I did not think possible in a civilized, polite society.

    But I survived, just as we all survive change even though we might fear it, are scared of its newness and strangeness and prefer the cosiness of what was to the crisp shock of what might be. This fear, this anxiety, is what leads us to attempt to silence other opinions and to feel threatened by people and ideas that challenge comfort zones and long-held beliefs.

    Read more:

  • 82. FredDorner  |  April 25, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Bad link. This one works:

  • 83. gay_avenger  |  April 25, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Bangladesh LGBT editor hacked to death… “The US ambassador to Bangladesh condemned the killing of Xulhaz Mannan, who also worked at the US embassy. Another person was also injured when the attackers entered a Dhaka flat. Since February last year suspected militants have killed several secular or atheist writers and members of religious minority groups. The two men were murdered two days after a university teacher was hacked to death by suspected Islamist militants. So-called Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility – but the Bangladeshi government insists there is no IS presence in the country. BBC reporting, full story at

  • 84. VIRick  |  April 25, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    North Carolina: Legislative Move to Repeal HB2 in its Entirety

    Per Equality Case Files:

    "Representatives Darren Jackson, Graig Meyer, Susi Hamilton, and Grier Martin filed a bill Monday morning, 25 April 2016, to repeal House Bill 2 (Public Facilities Privacy Act) in its entirety."

    Rep. Grier Martin tweeted out, "We’ll see what happens."

    Here is the bill, as filed:

    As of 7 PM this evening, 25 April 2016, the North Carolina Legislature will be back in session.

  • 85. VIRick  |  April 25, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Colorado Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Masterpiece Cakeshop Appeal

    Per Equality Case Files:

    "Denver, 25 April 2016 – The Colorado Supreme Court will not hear the case of a cake shop owner who refused to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples.

    "That means the appellate court ruling stands that Masterpiece Cakeshop violated Colorado’s anti-discrimination law and must change its policy."

    Here is the ACLU press release:

    In 2012, Colorado residents David Mullins and Charlie Craig, along with Charlie’s mother Deborah Munn, visited Masterpiece Cakeshop to order a wedding cake. Mullins and Craig planned to marry in Massachusetts and then celebrate with family and friends back home. Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips informed the couple that, because of his religious beliefs, it was his standard business practice to refuse to provide cakes to customers for same-sex weddings. Phillips has turned away several other couples for the same reason.

    Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits businesses, such as Masterpiece Cakeshop, from refusing service based on factors including race, sex, national origin, or sexual orientation. The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Colorado filed suit on behalf of Mullins and Craig in 2013. In December 2013, an administrative judge ruled that the bakery had illegally discriminated against the couple. In 2014, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission affirmed that ruling. Masterpiece Cakeshop appealed. In a unanimous decision issued on 15 August 2015, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that the bakery unlawfully discriminated against David Mullins and Charlie Craig by refusing to sell them a cake for their wedding reception. That Court of Appeals ruling will now stand.

    And here's a complete report (from an exceedingly annoying site) with full case background leading up to today's announcement, for which I seem to be unable to do a copy/paste:

    It's worth noting that the losing defense counsel was the ineptly mis-named Alliance Defending Freedom.

  • 86. guitaristbl  |  April 25, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    They will go to SCOTUS. I doubt they will accept the case though.

  • 87. VIRick  |  April 25, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Portland ME Introduces Travel Ban Due to Discriminatory Laws

    Portland ME — Officials in Portland ME are going to officially introduce a plan to restrict travel to states that enact legislation that discriminates against the gay and transsexual communities. Portland’s mayor and City Council back the resolution and will introduce it today, 25 April 2016.

    It recommends the city manager not spend public money on non-essential travel to any state with a law in effect that sanctions discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The city specifically mentions North Carolina and Mississippi in a statement about the proposal.

  • 88. theperched  |  April 25, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    So last week Slovenian Assembly approved the beefing up of its civil partnership law and also beefed up their 90s anti-discrimination laws to include gender identity and expression on a 50-17 vote.

    Looks like everything in their law books can improve except marriage and adoption that are being held hostage by groups that collect signatures *sigh*

  • 89. VIRick  |  April 25, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Chile: Proposal for Marriage Equality before Supreme Court

    Per Matrimonio Igualitario:

    Three tweets, back to back, confirm that a joint proposal for marriage equality, as presented to the President of the Supreme Court of Chile, was made today, 25 April 2016, by the Faculty of Law of the Universidad de Chile and the rights group, Iguales Chile.

    The first was from the Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de Chile, Las Condes, Chile:

    Profesores de Derecho e Iguales Chile presentaron proyecto de matrimonio igualitario a Presidente de la Corte Suprema.

    Law professors and Iguales Chile have presented a proposal for equal marriage to the President of the Supreme Court.

    The second came from Karen Atala Riffo, the director of Iguales Chile:

    Presentado proyecto matrimonio igualitario a Presidente Corte Suprema. Trabajo conjunto Iguales Chile y Derecho U Chile.

    Equal marriage project presented to the President of the Supreme Court. It was the joint work of Iguales Chile and the Faculty of Law at the Universidad de Chile.

    The third was from José Mardones, and included a link to the proposal in its entirety.

    One can read this proposal (in Spanish) here:

  • 90. davepCA  |  April 25, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    I don't know anything about Chile's process for these matters of law, but it sounds like it is quite different from the process here in the USA (and I don;t speak Spanish, so I can't read the pdf at that link). Can anyone who knows about these things chime in with info about what this "proposal" is and how this process works in Chile?

  • 91. VIRick  |  April 25, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Dave, indeed, Chile's legal process is quite different than that of the USA,– or even many other countries in Latin America.

    Basically put, Chile is one of those countries where proposed laws are submitted to the Supreme Court BEFORE their enactment so that the Supreme Court can rule on their constitutionality beforehand, and thus give their approval (or disapproval) as to whether or not said measure is constitutional. If said proposal does pass muster with the Supreme Court, then such proposal can be legislatively enacted.

    So, the Faculty of Law at the Universidad de Chile and the rights group, Iguales Chile, jointly went through Chile's entire system of codified law, and has made line-by-line proposals (pages 5-31) as to which words/phrases need to be altered, and with substitute language provided, so as to render their entire code gender-neutral. They're actually following a relatively similar procedure (line-by-line through the code) as was done in Uruguay several years ago, just prior to their enactment of marriage equality.

    It will now be up to the Supreme Court of Chile to render a judgment on the constitutionality of the entire gender-neutral proposal. Once that has been done, the legislation can be passed, and Chile will have marriage equality 90 days after its publication in El Diario Oficial. Foreign marriages (remembering that a lot of Chilean same-sex couples have already gotten married in Argentina) will be retroactively recognized as marriage from the original date of their celebration.

  • 92. davepCA  |  April 25, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Thanks. So does the court attempt to determine if their Constitution MUST REQUIRE the proposed change in legislation? Or just that the Constitution COULD ALLOW the change? And if it's the latter, and the Constitution could allow it, but doesn't require it, what finally determines whether the change happens or not?

  • 93. VIRick  |  April 25, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    Dave, if one remembers correctly from the Civil Unions legislation, the Supreme Court of Chile ruled beforehand that the Constitution COULD ALLOW for the change and issued their ruling on 6 April 2015. The legislature (both chambers) had already passed the proposed legislation on 28 January 2015. However, in this instance, the President of Chile waited, and then duly signed it into law on 13 April 2015, after the Supreme Court of Chile had ruled.

    However, Karen Atala of Iguales Chile is currently involved in this latest effort, and given that the entire introduction to the current proposal cites fundamental rights (pages 1-2), non-discrimination, and precedent, both internationally and within Chile, one can see a strong element of MUST REQUIRE (her doing) interwoven into the basic argument. She dropped her own lawsuit against the government of Chile at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights only after the government agreed to enact marriage equality. Still, the Supreme Court of Chile could rule either way.

    If they rule that the Constitution COULD ALLOW, then it would be up to the legislature to follow through and finally enact the proposal (which was originally introduced into the Chilean House of Deputies on 6 December 2014, even before the Civil Unions measure had received final approval). The President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, is firmly pro-marriage equality and will definitely sign such legislation into law.

  • 94. theperched  |  April 26, 2016 at 1:31 am

    If I remember correctly, the Court leans conservative so we'll have to wait and see. I hope they at least it's okay for Congress to pass it.

  • 95. VIRick  |  April 26, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Yes, the Supreme Court of Chile does lean somewhat conservative which is why I'm expecting that they will rule that the Constitution COULD ALLOW rather than MUST REQUIRE.

    However, there are pluses and minuses both ways. Historically, Chile tends to be a left-leaning, Euro-centric, progressive nation which simultaneously claims to be socially conservative. Psychologically, it is still reeling from the lingering after-effects of the horrors of the right-wing Pinochet dictatorship. Still, the leading party in the current governing coalition is the Socialist Party of Chile, a coalition which includes the president of Chile. As an indication of the thinking within the legislative bodies, the recent Civil Unions legislation was passed by huge majorities (86 to 23 with 2 abstentions in the House of Representatives and 28 to 6 in the Chilean Senate).

    The government is also under pressure to pass marriage equality from several additional sources. Firstly, all of its other Euro-centric neighbors (Argentina, Uruguay, and Brasil) already have marriage equality. As a result, many Chilean same-sex couples have already gotten married in Argentina/Uruguay. Internally, the government has already agreed to the marriage equality proposal of Karen Atala as part of the deal for her to drop her lawsuit filed with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, a court recognized by the government of Chile.

    "Non-discrimination" has become a major theme within Chilean politics, as the country has been rocked by a series of ugly, gay-bashing hate crimes. The Ley de Zamudio, named for Daniel Zamudio who was murdered for being gay, and which now makes gay-bashing a hate crime, is simply not enough to erase the inequalities.

  • 96. F_Young  |  April 26, 2016 at 12:25 am

    USA: Is Anti-LGBT Legislation the New Southern Strategy?

    …..Anti-gay bigotry seems to be the new “Southern Strategy” for the Republican Party, and they are poised to continue to include opposition to same-sex marriage in their Party Platform -—as they have since 1992.

    …..Opposition to marriage rights is crystallized by commitments to Biblical literalism, while it is generally undermined by the belief that the Bible is a “book of fables.”

    In the 2014 GSS data presented above, what’s notable is that vehement opposition—very opposed vs. opposed—is substantially higher in the South regardless of religious beliefs or identifications.

    …..Overall, 17.3% of Southerners would fire a college professor for being gay or lesbian, compared to 8% of non-Southerners.

    …..ignoring the fact that these bills are easily passing through state legislatures in spite of heated corporate opposition fails to make sense of their genesis. The religious right is not dead, and it dominates the South and even influences non-religious Southerners.

    Read more:

  • 97. theperched  |  April 26, 2016 at 1:58 am

    Isle of Man and Faroe Islands today (marriage bills). Not sleepy/excited so I'll keep an eye out, Parliaments are currently in session 🙂

  • 98. theperched  |  April 26, 2016 at 3:17 am

    Listening to the debate, I think that's it. Lower House approved Isle of Man's marriage bill 17-3 in March and now the Legislative Council 6-3 today.

    The bill will be signed in Tynwald Court then sent for Royal Assent! 😀

  • 99. SethInMaryland  |  April 26, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Congrats to the Isle of Man for being the next country to move forward. Way to go. Now we wait for Faroe Islands news

  • 100. theperched  |  April 26, 2016 at 7:58 am

    There seems to be another hold up in Faroes. Looks like we went from 2 dissenters pre-committee text changes to 1…the government holds a 17/33 majority so every vote counts. Waiting on the local LGBT group to give me the full scoop; I fear this is going to cause some major lagging…

  • 101. theperched  |  April 26, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Okay, so no decisions made yet in Faroes. Debate's on now and it's going to be LONG. Voting in a few hours.

  • 102. SethInMaryland  |  April 26, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Lets hope we can capture some opposition votes

  • 103. theperched  |  April 26, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    So no news on what's going on, maybe they are voting/have voted, but I pinpointed the delay: someone actually proposed a referendum and that added to the debate *sigh*

  • 104. VIRick  |  April 26, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Isle of Man Finally Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill

    Today, 26 April 2016, the Manx Legislative Council passed its Marriage and Civil Partnership (Amendment) Bill, with six votes in favor and three against. The bill amends marriage laws to allow same-sex couples to marry, as they can in Scotland, England, Wales, and the Republic of Ireland.

    Same-sex marriage proposals have been greenlit in both Jersey and Guernsey, meaning that Northern Ireland is the only remaining part of the British Isles where marriage equality continues to be blocked.

  • 105. ianbirmingham  |  April 26, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Gay couple win custody of their one-year-old daughter from Thai surrogate mom who fought to keep the baby when she found out the child would be raised by two dads
    Spanish-American couple Gordon Lake and Manuel Santos won custody of their one-year-old daughter Carmen on Tuesday in Bangkok, Thailand.

    Read more:

  • 106. allan120102  |  April 26, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Panama will see marriage equality sooner or later and they are at least 400,000 lgbt people in Panama base on what an lgbt activist said that means 10% of the population. I believe the same as 10% of the population in Honduras is lgbt too.

  • 107. VIRick  |  April 26, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Mississippi HB1523 and Its Possible Threat to Marriage Equality

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Roberta Kaplan, who represented plaintiffs in "CSE v. Bryant" in the challenge to the Mississippi marriage laws, has written a letter to Mississippi state officials asking for information to ascertain ways in which the newly-enacted law HB1523 may threaten compliance with the federal judge's permanent injunction in the marriage case.

    Roberta A. Kaplan letter to Mississippi Governor Bryant, et al., re HB 1523:
    "…HB 1523 is absolutely silent as to how the right of all Mississippians who seek to legally marry, including gay men and lesbians, will be protected under this new 'recusal' system.

    "Accordingly, in order to ensure that the Court's permanent injunction is fully complied with, we request that you immediately provide us with: (1) notices for any individual who has filed recusal notices pursuant to HB 1523; (2) a full and complete explanation of all steps that each individual seeking recusal (or any person acting on behalf of that individual, including in a supervisory capacity) will take to ensure that gay and lesbian couples are not impeded or delayed when seeking to marry in the relevant county; and (3) whether the individual seeking recusal intends to continue issuing marriage licenses to straight couples, while at the same time refusing to participate in issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples. We further request that you agree to provide us with this same information in connection with any clerks who seek to recuse themselves in the future within one (1) week after such information becomes available."

    "Please let us know no later than 2 May 2016 whether you will comply with the above request, either in whole or in part, so we can be in a position to evaluate whether we will need to seek further relief from the Court."

    The full letter is here:

  • 108. davepCA  |  April 26, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Awesome. See what she is doing here? Roberta Kaplan kicks ass.

  • 109. montezuma58  |  April 26, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Roy Moore wants to make sure the world doesn't forget how unhinged he is. He is having a press conference tomorrow to address the judicial ethics complaints against him.

    Accompanying Moore will be Matt Staver and Phillip Jauregui, president and founder of Judicial Action Group.

  • 110. davepCA  |  April 26, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Heh. Well bless his heart.

  • 111. theperched  |  April 26, 2016 at 5:11 pm


    So proposal for a referendum was withdrawn and the marriage bill was approved in the second reading 19-14. The final reading which will have a similar outcome will be on Thursday!

    Looks like it's 3/3 with IoM, Colombia, Faroes this week.

  • 112. F_Young  |  April 26, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Alabama: A View from the Panel: LGBTQ Conversation with Leadership Birmingham

    Earlier this month, I had the privilege to participate in a panel with fellow leaders in Birmingham’s LGBTQ and allied community as a part of the Leadership Birmingham Class of 2016’s “One Community Day.”

    Each year, Leadership Birmingham brings together 50 Birmingham-area leaders from diverse backgrounds to engage in a series of monthly programs exploring issues and exchanging ideas about challenges and current issues in the Birmingham region.

    …..The Magic City Wellness Center, Alabama’s first LGBTQ health clinic, hosted the Leadership Birmingham class for the LGBTQ pieces of the day’s conversations. In addition to the “LGBTQ in Birmingham” panel, participants joined in conversation on “Corporate America and the LGBTQ Community,” the “Family Matters” art exhibit and the new documentary, “State and Union: Lesbian Families of the Deep South.”

    Panel participants included representatives from PFLAG and Magic City Acceptance Project, as well as a local transgender advocate. The panel conversation allowed participants to ask questions of the LGBTQ ambassadors around marriage equality, gender identity and expression, non-discrimination protections and the recent increase in anti-LGBT legislation introduced and passed this legislative session. As panel participants, we not only shared our expert knowledge on these subjects but also shared our personal stories about our various experiences as Alabama LGBTQ persons and allies, emphasizing to participants that we are proud to call this state home.

    As HRC's representative, I emphasized the value of the business and corporate communities in advancing conversations on LGBTQ equality, highlighting the 2015 HRC Alabama Workplace Inclusion Summit and HRC's Corporate Equality Index and Buyer's Guide. I also spoke about opportunities for healthcare industry leaders to join hospitals that are leading LGBTQ-inclusive healthcare equality efforts through partnerships with HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index.

    Read more:

  • 113. VIRick  |  April 26, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Montgomery MD County Council Bans Official Travel to NC, MS

    On Tuesday, 26 April 2016, members of the suburban Maryland Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a resolution that calls for a ban on official travel to all jurisdictions, like North Carolina and Mississippi, with anti-LGBT laws.

    “As a place that stands for equality and respect, Montgomery County should not support jurisdictions that have enacted laws that perpetuate hate, fear, and bigotry,” reads the resolution.

    – See more at:

  • 114. Randolph_Finder  |  April 27, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Montgomery County is my home county. The entire Council is Democratic, according to Wikipedia, the last Republican was defeated in 2006. , Also, the entire State Legislature contingent from the county is Democratic, If there is an elected Republican in the county, they are probably one of the elected judges in the non-partisan races…

  • 115. theperched  |  April 27, 2016 at 2:50 am

    Correction: Faroe Islands' final vote is Friday. It's now on the calendar as the first item on the agenda 🙂

    The fun starts at 5 AM Eastern/2 AM here 😉

  • 116. theperched  |  April 27, 2016 at 3:14 am

    Michoacan will vote in the first week of May. All parties in favor of same-sex marriage, even PAN. The final draft is ready and waiting.

    …Aunque el dictamen no se ha turnado al Pleno del Congreso de Michoacán, el diputado perredista Juan Bernardo Corona Martínez, presidente de la Comisión de Justicia, precisó que el documento ya está elaborado, que fue suscrito de forma unánime por todos los integrantes del citado grupo de legisladores, a saber prisitas y panistas, y que se le dará trámite la primera semana de mayo.

    [Although the final draft hasn't been turned over to the plenary of Michoacan's Congress, the PRDer Juan Martinez, President of the Justice Committee, explained that the document is ready, was backed unanimously by all members present from the different parties, PRI and PAN, and that it will be reviewed in the first week of May]

  • 117. VIRick  |  April 27, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Missouri: "Religious Freedom" Constitutional Amendment Proposal FAILS

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Senate Joint Resolution 39 FAILS in the Missouri House Emerging Issues Committee on a tie 6-6 vote. The resolution, which the ACLU describes as "a broad religious exemptions constitutional amendment that would allow religiously-affiliated organizations receiving state funds, businesses, and individuals to discriminate against same-sex couples, children of same-sex couples, LGBT youth, and more," came to a vote today, 27 April 2016, in the Missouri House Emerging Issues Committee and failed on a 6-6 vote.

    Also from the "St. Louis Post-Dispatch," we have this report:

    Jefferson City MO – Missourians will not vote on the controversial Senate Joint Resolution 39 after the House Emerging Issues Committee killed the bill on a split vote Wednesday, 27 April 2016.

    Republican Reps. Anne Zerr of St. Charles, Caleb Rowden of Columbia, and Jim Hansen of Frankford joined with the committee's three Democrats. With a tie 6-6 vote, the "religious freedom" constitutional amendment measure's tumultuous journey through the Missouri Legislature is over.

  • 118. allan120102  |  April 27, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Puebla MX.
    Puebla municipality tired of waiting for the congress to act and legalized ssm took it by its hands and its now issuing ssm licenses for ss couples. Other municipalites might do the same as they are already three judgement against the state and a fourth is to be issued. This is the first time a marriage is granted in Puebla without the need of an amparo.

  • 119. VIRick  |  April 27, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    ¿Qué Está Pasando con el Matrimonio Igualitario en Puebla?

    El pasado domingo, 10 de abril, el colectivo LGBTI se apuntó otro tanto en la batalla por el matrimonio igualitario en Puebla, cuando, sin necesidad de recurrir a un amparo, y a pesar de la negativa del Congreso del Estado por legislar a favor de estas uniones, una pareja conformada por dos hombres contrajo nupcias en el municipio de San Pedro Cholula.

    Aunque éste no fue el primer enlace legal de una pareja homosexual registrado en el estado, sí se trata de un caso inédito pues es el primero que se consigue sin recurrir a un juicio de amparo, y gracias a la voluntad política de una autoridad local.

    “Cualquier autoridad, en este caso un juez, puede autorizarla la solicitud de matrimonio basándose en el Artículo 1o. de la Constitución Mexicana y en los tratados internacionales; ambos están por encima del Código Civil del Estado” explica la abogada Guadalupe Tetetla, quien en agosto del año pasado hizo historia al protagonizar el primer matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo en Puebla.

    "Parece ser que va a tener que ser la Corte quien nos invalide el Código ya de manera muy tajante como sucedió en Jalisco,” opinó la diputada perredista (con licencia) Socorro Quezada quien además declaró que “ni este (gobierno) ni los anteriores se han caracterizado por la defensa de los derechos humanos."

    Actualmente en Puebla existen tres sentencias para llevar a cabo el matrimonio de igual número de parejas del mismo sexo y una más que se encuentra en proceso de revisión en un juzgado de distrito debido la impugnación promovida por el propio Congreso local.

    What Is Happening with Marriage Equality in Puebla?

    On Sunday, 10 April 2016, the LGBTI community noted another milestone in the battle for marriage equality in Puebla, when, without recourse to an injunction, and despite the refusal of the State Congress to legislate in favor of such unions, a male same-sex couple was married in the municipality of San Pedro Cholula.

    Although this was not the first legal marriage of a same-sex couple registered with the state, it is an unusual case because it is the first to be achieved without resorting to an amparo, thanks to the political will of the local authority.

    "Any authority, in this case a judge, may authorize the application for marriage based on the First Article of the Mexican Constitution and on international treaties, both of which are above the State Civil Code," explains Guadalupe Tetetla, the lawyer who in August 2015 made history by staging the first same-sex marriage in Puebla (when, with amparo #1 for Puebla in hand, she married her female partner).

    "It appears that it will have to be the Supreme Court which invalidates our Code, and in a very emphatic manner, as in Jalisco," said the PRD deputy (and licensed lawyer) Socorro Quezada, who also stated that "neither this (government) or any previous have been characterized by the defense of human rights."

    Currently in Puebla, there have been three judgments to perform the marriages for an equal number of same-sex couples, and one more is under review in a district court because of the challenge against it by the local Congress.

  • 120. VIRick  |  April 27, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Peeing in Alabama Has Now Become a Criminal Offense

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On Tuesday night, 26 April 2016, the City Council of Oxford AL unanimously approved a new ordinance that will punish individuals for using restrooms that do not match their biological sex as stated on their birth certificate. The policy is a direct response to Target indicating that trans people are welcome and will be respected in their stores.

    According to the text of the ordinance, “citizens have a right to quite [sic] solicitude [sic] and to be secure from embarrassment and unwanted intrusion into their privacy while utilizing multiple occupancy bathroom or changing facilities by members of the opposite biological sex.”

    It also warns that “single sex public facilities are places of increased venerability [sic] and present the potential for crimes against individuals utilizing those facilities which may include, but not limited to, voyeurism, exhibitionism, molestation, and assault and battery.”

    Each individual violation will result in a $500 fine or up to six months in jail.

    Oxford AL is a city of 21,000 people (near Anniston) straddling the Talladega/Calhoun county line along I-20. It actually boasts a Target store within its municipal boundaries.

    Oxford AL is not to be confused with Oxford MS, the home of the University of Mississippi.

    By the way, the strategic mis-use of high-sounding words in the ordinance is astounding. Who else is interested in "quite" performing some "solicitude" so as to increase the "venerability" within single-sex facilities in Oxford AL? It makes me think that the author has a sincerely-held religious belief that he wants his cock sucked.

  • 121. Fortguy  |  April 28, 2016 at 1:26 am

    You just know that this is how that most likely happened:

    *The author of the ordinance, having written it by hand in crayon as his young kid's school supplies were the only writing implements available in the home, asked a municipal clerk to print up proper copies for other council members and the media.

    *The city clerk chose to be naughty knowing that no one on the council had any knowledge of the unabridged English dictionary for which their town was eponymous. The clerk then proceeded to disable MS Word's spell-check and auto-complete features. Of course, none of the members of the council knew that was even possible even though they could have asked Clippy the Office Assistant how since they didn't know how to even disable Clippy.

    *A member of the council, highly esteemed by his colleagues for his uncharacteristic level of book-larnin', confronted the clerk questioning the spelling. The naughty clerk responded by saying that the spelling was consistent with the King James Bible.

    *Everyone on the council was willing to concur because none of them, despite many attempts, had ever been able to read the scriptures beyond the Book of Leviticus. The original Christians, like Adam and Abraham, spoke so weirdly back then. So many letters! So many words! It always caused their minds to ache. And it kept repeating the really big five-syllable word abomination. It was all so confusing. If eating at Red Lobster was wrong, why were so many people from their churches there unapologetic? When they suggested to their womenfolk that they should sequester themselves alone in a room during their unclean time of the month, why did the ladies storm out in an angry huff leaving the councilmen by their lonesomes instead? Is it okay to wear clothing of mixed-fibers if one of the fibers is polyester?

    *Despite their heads swimming from the meaning of it all, they made their decision based upon the experience of one colleague who told them about the wise words of his grandpappy. It's just wrong for men to lay down with men or dress up and act like women, grandpappy said as he was backing in and out of his heifer.

  • 122. F_Young  |  April 27, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Off-topic: Can the World Bank Take Pride in its Defense of the LGBT Community?

    …..on April 11th, 2016 World Bank President Jim Yong Kim met with activists from 17 countries to discuss how LGBT individuals can fully benefit from World Bank projects and programs in light of the severe discrimination they experience in their countries.

    …..He announced that the Bank would hire its first ever SOGIE Advisor, a senior position to coordinate Bank work on SOGIE and to facilitate the relationship with the LGBT community worldwide. He also announced that the Bank would fund 3 new studies to analyze the cost of homophobia in Brazil, Chile, and Venezuela. The total cost of the studies is predicted to be $750,000.

    …..Dr. Kim committed to partnering with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to prepare a funding proposal for a July meeting of SOGIE donors in Uruguay. He also promised to make his most efforts to meet with members of the LGBT community when he travels, for instance in his upcoming visits to India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

    …..Finally, the President noted the difficulty in passing a safeguard policy on SOGIE due to strong opposition from countries including Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kuwait and many African countries. He did commit to vigorously support a nondiscrimination clause in the updated safeguards — set to be finalized this year — that would specifically identify the LGBT community.

    Read more:

  • 123. F_Young  |  April 27, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    USA: How other stores are handling transgender bathroom policies

    …..Retailers are weighing in on the question of transgender rights as momentum builds against Target, whose stance on which bathroom transgender customers and employees can use in stores has sparked major backlash from customers who say they're going to stop shopping there.

    Starbucks, Hudson's Bay Co. — parent company to Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue — and Barnes & Noble all told USA TODAY that employees and customers in their stores are welcome to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.

    …..Sears Holdings, which operates Sears and Kmart stores, did not directly address the issue of bathroom use, but it expressed support for customer rights in general.

    …..Other retailers did not respond to requests for comment, including Starbucks, Walmart, Macy's, Whole Foods and Simon Property Group, which operates malls across the country. Starbucks and Whole Foods, as well as Barnes & Noble, are among businesses whose executives signed on to a Human Rights Campaign open letter calling for the repeal of a North Carolina law that requires individuals using public restrooms to use the one that corresponds with the sex listed on their birth certificate.

    …..Target has stood by its policy. Snyder declined to comment on whether stores have seen a decline in traffic or sales, citing company policy not to comment on performance outside of earnings announcements.

    Read more:

  • 124. F_Young  |  April 27, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Off-topic: Young gay, bisexual men six times more likely to attempt suicide than older counterparts

    …..They were also twice as likely to be depressed or anxious.

    …..Age, ethnicity, income and education were all found to have a large impact on mental health.

    Black gay and bisexual men were twice as likely to be depressed and five times more likely to have attempted suicide than the white majority. Men in the lower wage bracket were more likely to be depressed, anxious, attempt suicide or self-harm. Those with lower levels of education were twice as likely to experience one of those issues compared to those with degree level education, only in part due to earning a lower wage.

    Although more research is needed, the authors suggest older men are able to cope better with homophobia and that homophobia is more prevalent in the lives of younger men.

    "…..This is possibly because men are better able to cope with homophobia the older they are, or if they are relatively privileged in other areas of their lives."

    The researchers also discovered cohabitation is key for positive mental health, with men who are living with a male partner 50% less likely to suffer from depression compared to gay and bisexual men living alone.

    …..The authors note that their findings may be limited because survey participants were not a random sample of the population and were therefore unlikely to be representative of all UK gay and bisexual men.

    Read more:

    Another potential explanation for the apparently lower incidence of suicide attempts among older gay men was not mentioned here, the grim possibility that many young gay men who are depressed and attempt suicide don't live long enough to become old.

  • 125. VIRick  |  April 27, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    OMG! Roy Moore Again Proves He Is Totally Unhinged

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Report on Roy Moore's press conference today:

    Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore on Wednesday, 27 April 2016, accused several groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center and 'atheists, homosexuals, and transgender individuals' of bringing a politically-motivated complaint about his administrative order to probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples to the Judicial Inquiry Commission of Alabama.

    And the inane blather continues non-stop. One can read a lot more of it here:

  • 126. davepCA  |  April 27, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    I'm loving the comments under that article.

  • 127. montezuma58  |  April 27, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    The Judicial Action Group, one of the other organizations participating in Morre's "press conference" is a pretty abhorrent bunch.

    It would be comical if they weren't serious. For fun I suggest getting a bottle of your favorite liquor and peruse their web site. Every time you see the term "legislate (or legislating) from the bench" take a swig. You'll be trashed in no time.

  • 128. F_Young  |  April 27, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Hmm, "Judicial Action Group"

    So, they admit they're judicial activists!

  • 129. montezuma58  |  April 27, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    And isn't it ironic… don't you think?

  • 130. montezuma58  |  April 27, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    What's funny is that if impeachment proceedings against the good Christian family man Governor Boob Man Bentley move forward, Roy Moore will preside over the impeachment trial.

    For those not familiar with the current shenanigans in Montgomery:

  • 131. guitaristbl  |  April 28, 2016 at 3:22 am

    Here is the best argument against elected judges in all its glory. And this mentally disturbed individual will be presiding over cases concerning LGBT people or non christian people seeking justice.

    With this press conference he only adds to the pile of arguments for permanent impeachment.

  • 132. VIRick  |  April 27, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Oregon Bakers Appeal Fine

    As anticipated, the Gresham bakers who made national headlines after refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding are fighting back against Oregon regulators.

    In a brief filed in the Oregon Court of Appeals this week, Aaron and Melissa Klein say the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries violated state and federal laws by forcing them to pay $135,000 in damages to the lesbian couple.

    There is a link to the brief in this article:

    Warning: The brief is NOT brief. It goes on and on for a ghastly 615 pages.

  • 133. montezuma58  |  April 27, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    615 pages. If you can't blind them with brilliance, baffle them with bull shit.

  • 134. theperched  |  April 28, 2016 at 4:23 am

    If anyone's interested, here's a first look at the shenanigans that went on in the Faroe Islands this week. It's from someone's personal account so it's got some sass.

    The MPs voted after midnight and expect just as much of a debate on the final reading Friday:

    Our Faroese politicians are doing something far more strange than a Filibuster.
    In 2005 they voted against civil partnerships for gay couples.
    In 2015 some members of our new coalition submitted a proposal to change the marriage law to also include gay marriages. That proposal has then been sent back and forth from the parliament to a committee for several months now.

    Today they were finally supposed to vote on it. Now they're claiming that the proposal hasn't been sufficiently investigated, and the opposition suddenly and coincidentally has an alternative civil partnership proposal in the works, which they apparently have been in favour of all along despite voting against it. Oh, and surprise! One of the MPs in the coalition who says he's in favour of marriage equality, but has been doing everything he can to oppose it, submitted a proposal today that the marriage equality proposal should be sent out to a citizen's vote.

    So now not only have our MPs had to debate today whether marriage equality should be implemented, they've also had to debate whether it should be sent out to a citizen's vote.

    Meanwhile the opposition is all in favour of a citizen's vote for the marriage equality proposal while at the same time arguing that the MPs should vote no on that proposal AND at the same time arguing for their alternative civil partnership proposal, which nobody has even seen yet.

    Meanwhile there's a genuine uncertainty whether a citizen's vote would even be legally binding according to our laws or whether it would just end back in the parliament.
    They've been arguing since 16:00 today. We're on the same time zone as England. They declared a 20 minute break an hour ago.

    That doesn't even cover all of the clusterfuck. It's just the highlights.

    16 for, 17 against sending the proposal back to committee.
    16 for, 17 against sending the proposal out to a citizen's vote.
    17 for, 16 against the committees changes to the proposal.

    19 for, 14 against. Proposal's second discussion has been approved, it now proceeds to third discussion.

    Now they only need one more discussion and then the the prime minister or the kingdom's ombudsman will confirm and announce the result!

  • 135. davepCA  |  April 28, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Hey, a little 'sas' in the reporting has always been welcome around here. Thanks.

  • 136. theperched  |  April 28, 2016 at 10:20 am

    COLOMBIA DONE. 6-3 as expected.

    The Constitutional Court found that marriage is a fundamental right and that no notary or judge can turn away same-sex couples.

    The verdict will be published within 10 days and after its publication, weddings can start.

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