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Open thread


Open thread for discussion.


  • 1. F_Young  |  April 28, 2016 at 11:26 am

    USA: The Secret Weapon Against Anti-LGBT Legislation
    By Lawana Mayfield

    I am quite serious when I say that LGBT people and people of color in this country are under attack.

    …..There are a few reasons why these bills get traction and become law in some states and die an embarrassing death in others. But one common thread I see is that the places where the bills are viable have very few or no openly LGBT lawmakers or true allies that support their LGBT family members who can fight to keep them from moving forward.

    ……There is something powerful about having LGBT colleagues present when lawmakers are debating these bills.

    …..I personally know this to be true. It was only six months after I was elected to the Charlotte City Council that we passed domestic partner benefits for all city employees — a change that had been attempted but failed for many years prior to me winning my seat.

    …..By contrast, in the span of less than 12 hours, statewide legislation was introduced and passed in the General Assembly during a special session that cost taxpayers $42,000…..Supporters of the hateful bill were clear that they pushed the law through in response to our Charlotte City Council passing a trans-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance that was to take effect April 1.

    …..A new report from Victory Fund shows that having openly LGBT people serving in state and local government has a huge impact on whether a state has LGBT equality laws on the books — and whether or not anti-equality bills will stand a chance of passage.

    Read more:

  • 2. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 28, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Extremists Brutally Murder LGBT Magazine Editor and Employee in Bangladesh

    “Two employees of Bangladesh’s first and only LGBTQ magazine, Roopbaan, have been brutally murdered in an apartment building in Dhaka, the country’s capital. The magazine’s editor Xulhaz Mannan, 35, and a colleague, Tanay Mojumdar, were hacked to death by a group of assailants. Mannan was an employee of USAID in Dhaka and a nephew of Bangladesh’s first female foreign minister.

    “According to the BBC, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina has until recently claimed that the group has no presence in the country. Additionally, CNN reported that a local affiliate of al Qaeda also claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that Manna and Mojumdar had been targeted because they were ‘pioneers of practicing and promoting homosexuality.’”

    Read more:

  • 3. F_Young  |  April 28, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    USA: NCAA Says Future Final Four Host Cities Must Have LGBT Inclusive Non-Discrimination Laws

    Today, HRC President Chad Griffin issued the following statement in response to the announcement that the NCAA will not host any future events – from Final Four championships to education conferences – in cities without LGBT inclusive non-discrimination laws.

    “The NCAA has sent a very clear message that unfair and unjust discrimination against LGBT people will not be tolerated by the association, and we hope lawmakers are listening,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “In order for cities to even qualify to host these major sporting events, they must now have commonsense, LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination protections. We commend the NCAA Board of Governors for taking this critically important stand in favor of fairness and equality.”

    Read more:

    I'm not sure whether cities like Charlotte that have anti-discrimination ordinances or policies would still be eligible for NCAA events even though their state mandates discrimination or voids municipal anti-discrimination efforts.

  • 4. allan120102  |  April 28, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Venezuela supreme court agrees to take the case asking them to rule against the ban on Gay marriage. I hope when they hear the case they take up the example of their neighbors Brazil and Colombia. Evem though the court is conservative thanks to all the supreme Maduro put.

  • 5. DevilWearsZrada  |  April 28, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Any thoughts on how soon the ruling can be made?

  • 6. allan120102  |  April 28, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Colombia new formats are ready. Hours after the decision was made the new formats where send to all notaries and are ready to be used. The law just need to take effect.

  • 7. F_Young  |  April 28, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Allan, I suspect you mean marriage forms, not formats..

  • 8. allan120102  |  April 28, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Yes . Sorry my computer crash and now am using the cel so its pretty hard for me writing by phone so I do the most I can to write less.

  • 9. F_Young  |  April 29, 2016 at 12:53 am

    No need to apologize. I understand.

  • 10. Bruno71  |  April 28, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    I'm not sure either, but I would guess a city wouldn't qualify if the non-discrimination law weren't enforceable. Also, if I'm not mistaken, Charlotte only passed the law regarding public accommodations, they still didn't have an ordinance that covered employment and housing.

  • 11. VIRick  |  April 28, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Colombia: Constitutional Court Formally Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

    On Thursday, 28 April 2016, Colombia’s highest court formally extended marriage rights to same-sex couples. Reports indicate the Colombian Constitutional Court’s 6-3 ruling in the landmark case states that the process for obtaining a marriage license will become identical for couples who are of the same-sex or of the opposite-sex. The decision also stipulates that judges and notaries cannot refuse to marry a gay or lesbian couple because of their religious beliefs.

    Thursday’s ruling comes in a case brought by six same-sex couples who are seeking marriage rights in Colombia. The court held a hearing on the issue in July 2015 in the Colombian capital of Bogotá. The Impact Litigation Project at American University, Washington College of Law in DC, the New York City Bar Association, and Freedom to Marry founder Evan Wolfson all submitted testimony in support of marriage rights for same-sex couples.

    The court ruled in 2011 that same-sex couples could register their relationships within two years if Colombian lawmakers did not pass a bill that would extend to them the same benefits heterosexuals receive through marriage. Instead, legislators subsequently defeated a same-sex marriage bill.

    A handful of gay and lesbian couples in Bogotá and other Colombian cities have exchanged vows since the court’s 2-year deadline passed in 2013. Inspector-General Alejandro Ordóñez Maldonado then challenged the rulings that allowed them to marry.

    In a separate decision announced earlier this month, the Court rejected a resolution that would have denied same-sex couples the right to call their unions a marriage. Reports indicate Thursday’s ruling also converts more than 70 “solemn unions” between same-sex couples that have taken place in Colombia since 2013 into marriages.

    – See more at:

  • 12. VIRick  |  April 29, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Colombia: More about the Landmark Marriage Ruling

    Per Rex Wockner:

    The major Colombian newspaper, "El Tiempo," states that Alberto Rojas Ríos, the justice at the Constitutional Court who wrote the landmark marriage-equality ruling that was announced yesterday, 28 April 2016, confirms that it is in force now, 29 April 2016.

  • 13. F_Young  |  April 29, 2016 at 5:28 am

    Colombia: Testimony of José Miguel Vivanco, representative of Human Rights Watch, before the Constitutional Court about same-sex marriage, July 30, 2015

    The purpose of this testimony is to share with this Honorable Court a review of international human rights standards that we believe the Court should take into consideration when ruling on same-sex marriage in Colombia.

    Read the full presentation here:

  • 14. theperched  |  April 29, 2016 at 5:52 am

    Faroese marriage/adoption bill approved!

    It was 19-14 in favor and now will be sent to Denmark's Parliament for three readings and Royal Assent. The Danish part is all a formality so it should get approved quickly.

  • 15. SethInMaryland  |  April 29, 2016 at 6:31 am

    Congrats Faroe Islands. Way to go!!! I have to admit I got nervous somewhat with you

  • 16. theperched  |  April 29, 2016 at 6:45 am

    The first thing I read today was that one of the coalition members who kept holding up the bill was off the island on some business. I remember thinking oh no…Luckily, his stand-in was in the favor so the 19-14 tally was kept. The opposition still tried to use a referendum but that was defeated 17-16, thankfully.

  • 17. allan120102  |  April 29, 2016 at 7:19 am

    3/3 we did great this week.

  • 18. davepCA  |  April 29, 2016 at 9:55 am


  • 19. F_Young  |  April 29, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Indiana Governor Bans Boys from Wearing Clothes with ‘Gay’ Colors

    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed an executive order Wednesday that bans what he called “gay colors” to be worn by boys in public elementary and secondary schools in the state.

    Pence referred to pink, chartreuse, teal and magenta, in particular, as “gateway colors” for young boys who might have an inclination toward homosexuality.

    “Governor Pence believes that if boys wear clothes with colors traditionally worn by young girls, this can cause gender confusion for the boy,” said Hugh Strait, a spokesman for the governor.

    Read more comedy at:

    Keep quiet about this executive order, everyone. We don't want to give the other states any ideas. 😉

  • 20. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 29, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    When I went to elementary and high school in Saint Louis in the 40's & 50's, if boys wore green or yellow on Thursdays it was bait for the bullies to call you gay! Memories anyone?

  • 21. F_Young  |  April 29, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Yup, I remember the rumours in my French Canadian high school in the 70s.

  • 22. bythesea66  |  April 30, 2016 at 2:07 am

    Oh lawd. I see that snopes has had to debunk this story since some couldn't tell it was satire.

  • 23. montezuma58  |  April 29, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Tennessee governor signed the bill to allow mental health professionals to discriminate.

    I wouldn't consider a therapist or counselor who would turn down patients due to sexual orientation or identity to be a professional.

  • 24. davepCA  |  April 29, 2016 at 11:03 am

    There is no way that these types of laws will survive scrutiny for constitutional compliance when they start getting dragged through the courts. They will all fall like dominoes.

  • 25. sfbob  |  May 1, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    There's something both pathetic and absurd about crafting a law which says in effect "here is a list of the kinds of people one may discriminate against without fear of punishment and here are the reasons you can give for doing so." I cannot wait for this and similar laws to be challenged in court.

  • 26. F_Young  |  April 29, 2016 at 11:34 am

    USA: The predictable reason why anti-LGBT bills become law

    …..two separate reports from Victory Fund and Institute, an organization that recruits, trains and supports openly LGBT people for elected office, show that it’s no surprise in which states all this is happening. As you will see from the data points below from the report released Friday, it boils down to numbers.

    Nearly 80% of the states facing religious refusal bills have either 1 or no openly LGBT state legislators.

    In states that are facing anti-LGBT legislation, nearly 75% have only 1 or no openly LGBT state legislators.

    …..The business pushback is important and powerful. But as Moodie-Mills said, LGBT elected officials appear to be having an equally powerful impact. Here are two more data points to consider:

    Eighty-three percent of the states not facing a religious refusal bill have at least 2 openly LGBT state legislators.

    In the 20 states not facing anti-LGBT legislation, 85% have 2 or more openly LGBT state lawmakers.

    Read more at:

  • 27. bayareajohn  |  April 30, 2016 at 11:08 am

    I think this confuses the cause with the effect.

  • 28. F_Young  |  April 30, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    BayAreaJohn, I think the lack of open LGBT legislators and the anti-gay bills are both effects of homophobia, sexism, political opportunism, hostile media and religious fundamentalism.

    Remedying the first problem alone will not remedy the second one. All the issues need to be dealt with concurrently, but certainly it is important to be out, to vote and to channel money to suitable candidates (and plaintiffs) that have a decent chance of winning.

  • 29. VIRick  |  April 29, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Oklahoma High Court Rules Oral Sex Isn’t Rape if the Victim Is Drunk

    Oklahoma City — After Oklahoma‘s highest court dismissed a criminal charge against a 17-year-old boy accused of forcing a heavily intoxicated girl to perform oral sex, outraged lawmakers vowed Thursday, 28 April 2016, that they’ll move quickly to fix an apparent loophole in the state’s forcible sodomy law.

    The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals’ unanimous ruling, first reported by Oklahoma Watch, a nonprofit journalism corporation, said last month that while Oklahoma‘s rape law addresses unconscious or intoxicated victims, the forcible sodomy law does not. The court said it could not expand the “fair meaning” of the law to justify someone’s prosecution.

    “The Legislature’s inclusion of an intoxication circumstance for the crime of rape … is not found in the five very specific requirements of forcible sodomy,” the court wrote.

  • 30. allan120102  |  April 29, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Guanajuato Municipality voted in favor of helping ss couples in court get their amparo, and criticize the government of the state for being to slow in legalizing ssm.

  • 31. F_Young  |  April 30, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Off-topic: Scientists Destroy Anti-Gay Arguments About “Choice”

    Researchers say evidence suggests homosexuality is more "nature" than "nurture"

    …..a team of leading sex scientists has reviewed decades of cross-cultural research and concluded that there is scant evidence to support the theory that homosexuality is a result of social influence or, you know, recruitment by “the gays.”

    Instead, they say, it’s much more likely that non-hetero orientations are a result of “nonsocial” factors. In other words: nature rather than nurture.

    The more than 50-page paper, published in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, covers the evidence on everything from the prevalence of homosexuality to theories on sexual fluidity in women.

    Read more at:

  • 32. allan120102  |  April 30, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Michoacan to legalize ssm on Wednesday.

  • 33. guitaristbl  |  May 1, 2016 at 3:04 am

    Are there any updates from Jersey and Guernsey ? There was a vote in Guernsey a will ago and went pretty good but havent heard anything since..If all the 3 crown dependencies on the isles approve ME as well the pressure on NI will increase even more.

  • 34. scream4ever  |  May 1, 2016 at 4:57 am

    I thought for those two it would take another vote next year to be approved.

  • 35. theperched  |  May 1, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Jersey and Guernsey like Finland/Estonia and a few others for example, approve a law in priniciple then revisit the issue later. The final legislation has to be drafted and voted on, Jersey wants the draft presented by January at the latest.

    Guernsey recently had elections and luckily most candidates have said publicly that they are in favor.

  • 36. F_Young  |  May 1, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Denying Transgender People Bathroom Access Is linked to Suicide

    …..Of 2,316 of those respondents to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey in 2008 and 2009, 46.5 percent said they had attempted suicide. That rate is significantly higher than the self-reported rate for the general population in the United States, which as of 2006 was 4.6 percent.

    …..transgender people who were denied access were 1.45 times as likely to have attempted suicide as those who had not been denied access.

    …..“What people have said when I’ve done interviews with trans folks is that this is an issue that occurs across their life, not just in a college setting,” Seelman says. “There’s a lot of anxiety and stress about finding bathrooms where they won’t encounter harassment or questioning by people, let alone assault or being thrown out. It’s something that consistently is on their minds and creates a lot of distress in their day-to-day lives.”

    Seelman’s study also found an association between transgender people who said they had been denied gender-appropriate housing on campus (20.8 percent of respondents) and reported suicide attempts. Of those who reported housing issues, 60.6 percent said they attempted suicide, versus 41.8 percent of those who did not report having been denied appropriate housing.

    Read more:

  • 37. bayareajohn  |  May 1, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Sadly, this information will bolster some bigots to emulate Scrooge and applaud this as reducing the surplus trans population.

  • 38. F_Young  |  May 2, 2016 at 10:00 am

    USA: Anti-LGBT Activists 'Testing' Target By Sending Men Into Women's Rooms

    It turns out that anti-LGBT activists are right that men are taking advantage of a transgender-inclusive policy at Target to go into women’s restrooms — and those men are anti-LGBT activists.

    In an interview this morning with “Breitbart News Daily,” the American Family Association's director of governmental affairs, Sandy Rios, said that activists have been “testing” Target’s policy by sending men into women’s rooms at the retail chain.

    Read more:

  • 39. A_Jayne  |  May 2, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Witnesses to this should introduce themselves, get the names, take the photos, confirm they are both anti-trans (anti-LGBT) and pretending to be trans – then broadcast all that info widely…

  • 40. bayareajohn  |  May 2, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    So let's be clear, the only documented cases of anyone abusing the gender definitions are by those who fear that the definitions might be abused.

  • 41. F_Young  |  May 2, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    USA: 'Active shooter' at Target was just 'disturbance' about transgender restrooms: Cops

    A call of an “active shooter” Monday afternoon at a Target store in Bradley, Ill., turned out to be a Bradley man causing a disturbance inside the store protesting the company’s policy on transgender people’s use of restrooms, police said Monday.

    Michael L. Merichko, 39, was charged with disorderly conduct after the incident just before 1 p.m. at the Target, 1650 N. Illinois Highway 50 in Bradley, according to a release from Bradley police. Police determined there was “no reason to believe he threatened anyone,” and are now trying to figure out why the emergency call came over as an active shooter, said Lt. Mike Johnston, a police spokesman.

    …..“Merichko’s actions provoked a breach of the peace causing panic among store employees and customers,” according to the release.

    But no one was injured, and no shots were fired in the disturbance, Johnston said.

    Read more:

    Calling the police about an active shooter is not the way to handle such disturbances when there is no shooting going on. It could have led to an actual shooting and death, and may yet lead to criminal charges against the caller, who I hope is an accomplice of the s__t disturber..

  • 42. F_Young  |  May 3, 2016 at 5:25 am

    USA: Bible-Bearing Anti-LGBT ‘Christians’ are Entering Target Stores and Terrorizing Customers: WATCH

    Anti-LGBT Bible-bearing Christians entered Target stores in Tennessee, Illinois, and Oregon this week telling customers they need to repent for shopping there because of the transgender bathroom policy.

    Here’s a video from Portland, in which the Bible beater parades around the Target store screaming at people.

    ….In Bradley, Illinois one of these “Christians” put a mall on lockdown and prompted a massive police response because store shoppers thought the man was an “active shooter”, NBC Chicago reports:

    ….And here’s another in Tennessee.

    “Wicked. Wicked. It’s time to repent,” he yells. “Rip up your target cards. It’s time to get rid of the rainbow. The rainbow belongs to God, not to you. Target is the lowlife of places to work. You need to repent. Homosexuals shall not inherit the kingdom of God!”

    …..And here’s another sicko (I believe he’s in St. Louis):

    Read more:

  • 43. F_Young  |  May 1, 2016 at 10:43 am

    Northern Ireland: The LGBT Campaigners Trying to Push Homophobia Out of Northern Ireland

    …..the Democratic Unionist Party have been the main obstacle to moving the marriage equality debate forward in Northern Ireland," gay rights activist Stephen Donnan tells VICE.

    This month Donnan launched the #VoteProudly2016 campaign, aiming to "empower LGBT+ people and our allies to find the information they need on which candidates in their constituencies support marriage equality," Stephen says. Basically, Vote Proudly is setting out to use tactical voting to squeeze out the DUP and a veto loophole that the party's used for years to boost moralistic conservatism—but more on those specifics in a bit.

    …..Just six months after the Republic of Ireland's May vote on marriage equality by referendum, Northern Ireland's Assembly voted through same-sex marriage in majority for the first time. But because the DUP controversially deployed what's known as a "petition of concern," they were able to veto the democratically approved proposal.

    …..An Ipsos/MORI survey in July 2015 showed that 68 percent of adults in Northern Ireland and just under half of DUP's electorate supported same-sex marriage. The data indicated that massive 89 percent of young adults, aged between 16 and 24, were in favor.

    …..Other parties, including the Greens and nationalists Sinn Fein, have voiced total support to marriage equality (though they haven't been immune to abusing the petition themselves). As the second largest party in the Assembly, Sinn Fein launched their election manifesto on Thursday, April 28, pledging commitment to bringing forward marriage equality legislation again.

    Read more:

  • 44. F_Young  |  May 1, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Dominican Republic: Bishop accuses US envoy of pushing pro-LGBT agenda

    …..Bishop Victor Masalles, auxiliary bishop of Santo Domingo, believes that Ambassador James Brewster is engaging in a vintage example of what Pope Francis has called “ideological colonization,” meaning Western nations using their money and power to try to force developing societies to abandon their traditional values. [Wow, from the Catholic Church no less, that's rich!]

    Brewster, an openly gay man who, in 2013, married his partner of 25 years, Bob Satawake, has reportedly threatened Dominicans who don’t agree with amending the constitution to enshrine LGBT rights, a position which he claims comes from the Obama administration, with having their U.S. visas revoked. [Has this been reported by any credible source, or is this pure fabrication?]

    …..Massalle also accused Brewster of even using the embassy’s official social media accounts to advance his position, showing “an inability to distinguish his activism with his role as an ambassador.”

    On April 25 the Twitter handle @EmbajadaUSAenRD published a series of tweets regarding the murder of two gay activists in India by Al-Qaeda.

    “For any person who believes that it’s fine to condemn and hate others, these are the kind of atrocities you have perpetuated in your country and others,” two tweets read.

    “For those in the Dominican Republic or the United States who want to continue talking from the political or religious pulpit, promoting hatred towards the LGBT or any other marginalized group, [you] should be ashamed.” [So, the Catholic Church says it's improper for an ambassador to condemn religiously motivated murders and hate? How very Christian!]

    Read more:

  • 45. VIRick  |  May 1, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Zimbabwe: Opposition Leader Says, "I Won’t Persecute Gays"

    Zimbabwe’s opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has said he will not persecute gay people if his party wins the upcoming election. The Movement for Democratic Change leader said that although he doesn’t accept homosexuality, he will not interfere with the freedom to be gay. In a briefing to journalists on Friday, 29 April 2016, he said that the freedom to identify as LGB was enshrined in the constitution.

    “I will not stand to persecute gays,” he told journalists. “I know that in our society gays are shunned and as far as I am concerned I am not gay, I don’t support gays. I only want to say that I will not persecute or prosecute gays because in the constitution they are given that right."

    Previously, the current president, and 90-year-old insane homophobe, Robert Mugabe, said (among a host of other unquotable vileness) that he would not accept any aid deal if it meant that his country had to accept gay rights.

  • 46. theperched  |  May 1, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    According to Copenhagen Post, the Faroese marriage bill will become law in December:

    Same-sex marriages will come into effect in December, after the bill has made its way through the Danish parliament and been sent off for Royal Assent.

    I'm hopeful the date will be moved up once Denmark has a fixed schedule for the bill. They just want to prevent a Greenland where delays caused the date to never happen. Greenland's bill was originally approved in May in Greenland then had its first reading in Denmark in June with the goal of October 1st (4 months) before it completely lapsed, while this bill has 8 months as a provisional date.

  • 47. JayJonson  |  May 2, 2016 at 6:09 am

    I am confused. Greenland's same-sex marriage bill went into effect a couple of months ago, didn't it? I remember a wonderful video of two Greenlander women in native costumes being wed.

  • 48. VIRick  |  May 2, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Jay, yes. Per my archives:

    Greenland’s same-sex marriage law went into effect on 1 April 2016. The marriage bill, which is an adoption of Denmark’s matrimonial laws, was passed unanimously by both the Greenlandic Parliament and Danish Parliament in May 2015.

    It took two years for the bill to be approved. The same-sex marriage bill was originally presented in 2014, but put on hold because Greenland’s ex-Prime Minister had to step down. After new elections, the marriage bill was finally approved by the Greenlandic Parliament on a vote of 27-0.

  • 49. JayJonson  |  May 2, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Thanks for the explanation. I was confused by this sentence, "They just want to prevent a Greenland where delays caused the date to never happen," which seems to say that marriage equality has not arrived in Greenland.

  • 50. theperched  |  May 2, 2016 at 9:18 am

    I meant to write "original date", sorry 🙂

  • 51. VIRick  |  May 1, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Venezuela: Lawsuit Challenging Same-Sex Marriage Ban Accepted by Supreme Court

    Venezuela: Sala Constitucional del Tribunal Supremo de Justicia Admite Demanda por Inconstitucionalidad del Art. 44 del Código Civil

    Venezuela: Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court Accepts Request for Unconstitutionality of Art. 44 of the Civil Code

    Hoy 28 de abril de 2016 en la pagina del Tribunal Supremo de Justicia se ve publicada la Decisión No. 313 de la Sala Constitucional dándole Admisión a la Demanda de Nulidad por Inconstitucionalidad del Articulo 44 del Código Civil que estaba en manos de la Magistrada Gladys María Gutiérrez Alvarado, Presidenta del máximo organismo judicial venezolano.

    La demanda interpuesta el 29 de enero de 2015 por AC Venezuela Igualitaria de la mano del Abogado José Manuel Simons y su Presidente Giovanni Piermattei, y la cual fue motivo de varias adhesiones de movimientos sociales, ONGs, y particulares durante los meses subsecuentes busca anular parcialmente el Artículo 44 del Código Civil venezolano (cuya ultima modificación data de 1982) el cual consideramos es el único instrumento jurídico que prohíbe expresamente el matrimonio entre personas de igual sexo y/o género, lo que significaría la apertura definitiva para una Ley de Matrimonio Civil Igualitario.

    Cabe destacar que al cierre del petitorio de este recurso se pide claramente que se "Declare la constitucionalidad del derecho a acceder a la institución del matrimonio así como a las uniones estables de hecho a las parejas conformadas por personas del mismo sexo y/o género."

    Según el procedimiento contemplado en la Ley Orgánica del Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, se ordenó notificar a la Asamblea Nacional, a la Fiscalía General de la República, a la Procuraduría General de la República, a la Defensoría del Pueblo y a los terceros interesados, para que presenten su informe sobre la controversia. De esta manera, inicia el estudio por parte de máximo tribunal sobre el derecho al matrimonio civil de las parejas del mismo sexo en Venezuela.….

    Today, 28 April 2016, on the website of the Supreme Court was published Decision 313 of the Constitutional Court giving admission to the Request for Annulment by Unconstitutionality of Article 44 of the Civil Code that was in the hands of Justice Gladys María Gutiérrez Alvarado, President of Venezuela's highest judicial body.

    The lawsuit was filed on 29 January 2015 by AC Venezuela Igualitaria Attorney José Manuel Simons and its President, Giovanni Piermattei, and which was the subject of several accessions from social movements, NGOs, and private parties during the subsequent months seeking partial annulment of Article 44 of the Venezuelan Civil Code (as last amended in 1982), which one believes is the only legal instrument that expressly prohibits marriage between persons of the same sex and/or gender, and which would mean the definitive opening for a Law of Civil Marriage Equality.

    It should be noted that at the end of the request of this filing it clearly calls for "the declaration of the constitutionality of the right to access the institution of marriage, as well as to the stable de facto unions of couples (uniones de hecho) formed by persons of the same sex and/or gender."

    According to the procedure laid down in the Organic Law of the Supreme Court, they must notify the National Assembly, the Prosecutor-General's Office, the Attorney-General of the Republic, the Ombudsman, and interested third parties, so that (all who wish) can submit their responses on the dispute. Thus has begun the study by the highest court on the right to civil marriage for same-sex couples in Venezuela.

  • 52. F_Young  |  May 2, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Russia: LGBT activists banned from Russian May Day parade, but not neo-Nazis

    Russian gay-rights activists were arrested Sunday for demonstrating during a May Day parade in St. Petersburg, while a neo-Nazi group reportedly participated in the event without incident.

    About 20 members of St. Petersburg’s LGBT community were detained during Sunday’s march after they unfurled a rainbow flag on the city’s main thoroughfare, reported FlashNord, a Russian news agency headquartered in the country’s former capital.

    …..Two groups that were authorized to march — Free Trade Unions and Green Activists — ultimately told gay rights activists that they could join their ranks during Sunday’s parade as long as no rainbow flags or LGBT banners were used, organizers wrote on VKontakte. Fontanka, an online newspaper based in Russia, reported that the activists agreed, but eventually unfurled rainbow flags and were promptly arrested.

    …..About 600 demonstrators marched with LGBT groups during last year’s event, and organizers expected more than 1,000 at Sunday’s parade before their application to participate was rejected by authorities, organizers with the gay-rights group Rainbow MayDay wrote on VKontakte.

    Read more:

    You'd think, with the millions of Russian casualties (including about a million from starvation in Saint Pertersburg) that resulted from Nazi imperialism, that Neo-Nazis would be anathema in Russia.

    You'd be wrong.

    Real Neo-Nazis are welcome and LGBTs are anathema.

    Putin even has the gall to rebrand LGBTs as Neo-Nazis even though they are actually the strongest anti-Nazis in Russia and Eastern Europe.

    Things seem to be getting from bad to worse in Russia and the satellite countries of the new Russian empire. Local LGBTs are incredibly courageous and patriotic.

  • 53. F_Young  |  May 2, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    North Carolina: Pro-LGBT group launches ad dismantling North Carolina's heinous HB2 law

    A national pro-LGBT group has finally produced an ad humanizing both transgender Americans and the appalling effect of laws like North Carolina’s HB2 on them. The group, Freedom For All Americans (more on them below), is pushing the ad through a $100,000 mostly online ad buy before deciding whether to put it on cable TV or double the online component, according to FFAA executive director Matt McTighe.

    …..Christopoulos drives the point home, noting he could be “thrown in jail” for using the men’s room. His colleagues add that the law not only took away protections for gay and transgender citizens but also for people based on “race and gender,” and now it’s also taking jobs with it

    …..The ad is primarily funded by Equality North Carolina and the pro-LGBT conservative groups Freedom For All Americans (FFAA) and the American Unity Fund. Hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer is central to both conservative entities (I reported at length on the formation of FFAA here and also tried to contextualize the group amid the larger LGBT movement here).

    Progressives along with many LGBTQ activists are not fans of Singer because even though he has funneled tens of millions of dollars toward pro-LGBT causes over the last decade, he and his company, Elliott Management Corporation, continue to back conservative politicians who fixate on anti-LGBT messaging to gain support. Elliott Management is a primary funder of the Republican Governor’s Association which backs North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory for re-election, for instance, and Singer was a key backer of Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign even as Rubio promised to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn marriage equality (something for which I have criticized Singer and other conservative donors).

    Read more:

  • 54. 1grod  |  May 2, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Alabama: There are two days left in this year's legislative session: Tuesday and Wednesday. Will replacing marriage licenses come to a vote. There might be other priorities including assigning the judiciary committee of the House to consider impeaching the governor,

  • 55. montezuma58  |  May 2, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    I don't know if the governor has expressed any opinion on the marriage license bill. I would suspect he would be inclined to not sign the bill. He was the only high up state official to accept the Obergeffel decision as the final word on the issue.

    With the session ending in a couple of days if the bill did get approved by the legislature the governor could definitively kill it by not signing it.

  • 56. guitaristbl  |  May 4, 2016 at 7:04 am

    Bentley has other worries in his head right now imo. I think he would sign anything the legislature brought before him in order to appease them a little.

  • 57. montezuma58  |  May 4, 2016 at 8:16 am

    He had already blown any goodwill with the legislature before any of the current scandal hit the news. He's effectively an independent now. I believe he's going to do what he wants not what the party or legislature wants.

  • 58. montezuma58  |  May 4, 2016 at 9:11 am

    I didn't see the marriage license bill listed on the proposed special order calendar for today. That doesn't mean the bill can't come up for a vote. But it is unlikely it will.

  • 59. 1grod  |  May 4, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Monte: While screwing with marriage licenses is not explicitly anti-LGBT piece of legislation, its motivation surely is. "HRC Alabama staff expect that all anti-LGBT pieces of legislation will fail to pass this session."
    Thanks for following up of this. It has astounded me that straight [and gay] citizens would accept this substantial inconvenience in their lives. Or state administrators in this or other states would not resist the complexity of dealing with couples coming into the state, or leaving the state with different proofs of a marriage. G

  • 60. VIRick  |  May 2, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Kansas "Bathroom Bills" Dead for This Year

    Two anti-transgender “bathroom bills” that would have provided rewards for those who reported violations are now dead in the water in Kansas, where the legislature adjourned for the year this morning, 2 May 2016, without taking action on either.

    “While Senate Bill 513 was killed a month ago, the identical House Bill 2737 could have potentially been brought up at any time and passed as an emergency measure,” LGBT rights group Equality Kansas reports on its website. But after several late nights working on the state budget and other matters, the legislature finished its session at 3:30 a.m. today, 2 May 2016, without taking up either bill. The work of activists across the state helped keep the bills from becoming law, according to Equality Kansas.

    The bills would have barred trans students in public K-12 schools, as well as state colleges and universities, from using the sex-segregated facilities that correspond with their gender identity, including restrooms, showers, and locker rooms. The bills would have provided $2,500 in damages to any student “aggrieved” by witnessing a trans student in the prohibited facilities.

  • 61. F_Young  |  May 3, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Off-topic: I'm starting to get worried about Trump. It now looks very likely that the election will be Trump vs Clinton.

    While almost all national opinion polls show Clinton leading Trump, I'm concerned that the Electoral College is not selected according to national popularity. Has anyone seen a recent Trump vs Clinton analysis of likely voters in the swing states that generally decide the presidency as well as the majority in the House and Senate?

  • 62. JayJonson  |  May 3, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Trump is worrisome, but the electoral college actually favors Clinton. Democrats begin with an advantage in the electoral college in terms of solid and likely blue states versus solid and likely red states. As usual the election will be decided in the toss-up states, but it is likely that they will trend toward Clinton this year because they have lots of minority (including Latino) voters, as well as women voters.

    Trump is worrisome because he has all the instincts of a bully and a demogogue. He is unpredictable and has a nose for sniffing out his opponent's weaknesses. He is a better campaigner than Clinton, but Clinton will have a better campaign operation. We shouldn't be overconfident, but the odds favor Clinton.

  • 63. F_Young  |  May 3, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Thanks, Jay.

    I looked around, and I found The Cook Political Report, which looks like what I am looking for:

    According to the above chart, it looks good for Clinton.

    However the following charts show that the Republicans are likely to retain control of both the House and Senate:

  • 64. JayJonson  |  May 3, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    I think we have a good shot at retaking the Senate, especially if Trump leads to a meltdown of the Republican Party. The Republicans have a number of vulnerable Senators up for reelection. They were elected in traditionally blue states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New Hampshire in 2010. The electorate during a presidential year will be very different than the electorate in 2010. We are likely to win back most of those seats, and perhaps even oust Iowa Senator Grassley. I think we only need to win 5 or 6 to take control of the Senate. Our prospects in the House are less good, largely thanks to gerrymandering .

  • 65. Randolph_Finder  |  May 4, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Right now it is functionally 54-46 (54 R, 44 elected as D, Sanders (who says he'll run for Re-election as a D and Angus King , who conferences with the D). So we need 4 to get to a tie in which case it depends on the VP. The four most likely for us to pick-up IMO are WI, IL, FL & NH with OH and PA also being reasonable.

    Beyond that, the next group is IA, NC, AZ, IN & MO.

  • 66. Randolph_Finder  |  May 3, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Basically if Clinton wins every state that the Democrats have held in every election from 1992 onward (HI,CA,OR,WA, MN, WI,IL, MI, MD,DE,PA, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, VT & ME) that is 242 of the Electoral Votes needed. So either FL or (OH+VA) or (OH+CO+NM) or (OH+CO+NV) or a number of other combinations are possible.

  • 67. JayJonson  |  May 3, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Yes, I think I remember reading that we begin with 241 (Maine is one of two states that splits their electoral college votes, and the Republicans sometimes win one of their votes) and the Republicans begin with something like 190. So usually there are really only 107 electoral votes at play. It would not be surprising if Hillary won Iowa, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. Indiana and Missouri are less likely, but possible. If so, she would approach the 2008 Obama numbers.

    In 2012, Obama defeated Romney in the Electoral College 332-206. In 2008, Obama defeated McCain 365 to 173.

  • 68. guitaristbl  |  May 4, 2016 at 7:02 am

    NM is a lock in for Clinton gives the racial composition of its population. CO and NV should also be easy to grab. IMO Clinton is in with a chance to win Utah as well who despises Trump with passion. Not many electoral votes but symbolic nevertheless.

  • 69. Randolph_Finder  |  May 4, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Agreed on NM, CO and NV.

    I have a bet with my wife (who is LDS) over Utah. She thinks Trump will win Utah, I think there will be *just* enough voters in Utah who can't bear to pull the 'D' lever in the booth that Trump will win. However *both* of us think that it will be the best showing for a 'D' in Utah in a Presidential election since LBJ won it. (Of course the bar isn't that high, she needs 37% to get that)

    If I'd spent the last 8 years in the lab *trying* to create a Republican Nominee *less* appealing to Mormons than Trump, I'm not sure I could have done any better.

  • 70. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  May 4, 2016 at 8:35 am

    A former president of the LDS club famously said that it would be easier for a person who supports a Democratic Party candidate to pass through the eye of a Singer sewing machine needle than get through the Mormon equivalent of the Pearly Gates into Mormon Heaven (or something to that effect). Utahns have a predilection for pushing the huge red "R" button when they vote irrespective of the candidate, the candidate's positions on the issues, or the other names on the ballot. Unless the fifteen old white men who run the LDS club tell the club members not to support Trump, the huge red "R" presidential candidate will win.

    As Ron White famously says, "You can't fix stupid."

    (The author famously. . . umm. . . formerly was known as David from Midvale UT.)

  • 71. Randolph_Finder  |  May 4, 2016 at 9:21 am

    The fact that the last General Women's Conference was so heavily based around helping Refugees including those from the ISIL attacked areas was, I think, a clue. But I think more clues will come from the Sept/Oct Gen conference..

    I know Utah Mormons who fit check *all* the boxes for being Republicans who are actively opposing Trump (and not just for the Primary).

    I don't expect either candidate to campaign there in the General, but Arizona and Nevada, definitely.

  • 72. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  May 4, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Utahns have been brainwashed for at least two generations to abhor Democratic Party candidates (because of ETB and his ilk) and will push the huge red "R" button on their ballot machines regardless of the candidates on the ballot or the issues (or demagoguery) supported by (or spewed by) said candidates.

  • 73. Randolph_Finder  |  May 4, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Too bad that ETB's boss Eisenhower isn't on the TIcket…

  • 74. VIRick  |  May 3, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Mississippi: State Elects to Not Appeal Same-Sex Adoption Decision

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In "Campaign for Southern Equality v. Mississippi Department of Human Services," the successful challenge to the state's (last-in-the-nation) adoption ban for same-sex couples, the deadline for the state to file an appeal of the order granting the preliminary injunction passed at midnight last night, 2 May 2016. The state had 30 days to file a notice of appeal of the 31 March 2016 order.

    However, because the 30th day fell on Saturday, the deadline had been extended through Monday, 2 May. The state could still choose to appeal Judge Jordan's final ruling when that is issued. However, the decision not to appeal the preliminary injunction would seem to indicate that the state is going to allow this decision to stand.

    Also see the BuzzFeed article here:

  • 75. VIRick  |  May 3, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Virginia: Gloucester County School Board Appeals 4th Circuit Court's Ruling

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 3 May 2016, in "G.G. v. Gloucester County Public School Board," the transgender student's 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling overturning the district court decision which denied the preliminary injunction and dismissed the Title IX claim, the Gloucester County School Board has filed the petition asking that this case be reheard en banc (i.e., to be reconsidered by all the judges of the 4th Circuit Court).

    The Petition for rehearing en banc is here:

  • 76. F_Young  |  May 3, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    Virginia: A School Board’s Defense Of Its Anti-LGBT Bathroom Rules Could Backfire Hilariously

    ….. last month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit handed down a decision ruling against a Virginia school board that tried to exclude transgender students from bathrooms that align with their gender identity. Yet, while the decision was an important victory for trans rights that is likely to have widespread implications — North Carolina, in particular, should be very nervous about its anti-trans policies after this decision — the court’s opinion itself is actually quite modest.

    Rather than offering a sweeping pronouncement about the rights of trans people under federal civil rights law, Judge Henry Franklin Floyd’s opinion relies on the Obama administration’s interpretation of an Education Department regulation implementing a civil rights law. This distinction matters because it means that the trans community’s victory in G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board could be swept away pretty easily by a more conservative president. Had Judge Floyd written that the underlying law itself prevents anti-trans discrimination, then this civil rights victory would be much harder to displace.

    Floyd, rather than deciding this broader legal question, handed down a more restrained opinion that primarily focused on how much deference the court owes to the administration’s interpretations of federal regulations. The Fourth Circuit panel’s opinion was a loss for the school board, but it wasn’t a sweeping, crushing defeat.

    Now, however, the school board’s lawyers appear to be asking the court to reopen the case — in order to decide whether to hand the school board a sweeping, crushing defeat.

    …..To be sure, en banc petitions are rarely granted, so the most likely outcome is that the Fourth Circuit simply decides to let the panel’s decision stand.

    Read more:

  • 77. VIRick  |  May 3, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Virginia Supreme Court Rules Law on Cohabitation Also Applies to Unmarried Same-Sex Couples

    Per Equality Case Files and the "Washington Post:"

    On 28 April 2016, the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled in favor of a Fairfax County man seeking to stop paying spousal support after learning that his former wife was now living with and engaged to another woman. Justice William C. Mims issued the ruling in the case of Michael Luttrell, a Fairfax County man who had requested to stop paying spousal support to his ex-wife, Samantha Cucco. In effect, the Supreme Court's ruling has overturned a 1997 Virginia state law that said “cohabitation” could only occur between a man and a woman.

    Question: If a married man and woman get divorced, and the woman then gets engaged to another woman, does the man still have to pay spousal support? If the woman had gotten engaged to another man, the answer would clearly be “No.” But since she took up with a woman, both a Fairfax County judge and the Virginia Court of Appeals ruled “Yes, the man must still pay spousal support."

    The Virginia Supreme Court has now reversed that view: a same-sex couple can be legally considered to have “a relationship analogous to marriage,” and if they’ve been in one for a year, the person paying spousal support no longer has to do so.

    The ACLU press release is here:

    A link to the ruling is here:

    The "Washington Post" article is here:

    Also see the "Washington Blade" article here:

  • 78. 1grod  |  May 3, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    All Alabama's anti-LGBT legislation is not expected to pass when the legislative session ends tomorrow evening!

  • 79. Fortguy  |  May 3, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    The city of Rockwall, Texas is the county seat of suburban Rockwall County northeast of Dallas.

    Monday night at a city council meeting, Mayor Jim Pruitt submitted a proposed anti-trans bathroom ordinance. The council rejected his ordinance, not by voting it down, but because not a single member of the council was willing to second his motion to bring the proposal to a vote.

    Christopher Connelly, KERA News (PBS affiliate): Rockwall City Council Rejects Proposed Restrictions On Public Bathrooms

    Ray Leszcynski, The Dallas Morning News: Rockwall ordinance on bathroom use by person’s sex at birth fails

    Speaking in support of the proposal was Rockwall County District Attorney Kenda Culpepper, Mayor Pruitt's wife, who said, "This is about sexual predators who will use this issue or these policies of businesses encouraging people to use whatever restroom they feel like using that day to get into the bathroom and possibly assault children." Unfortunately, DA Culpepper is not up for reelection this cycle.

    First off, let me congratulate the Rockwall City Council for standing for common sense. Second, I have a few questions regarding DA Culpepper's understanding of the law, her competency, and her motivation:

    1.) Does the DA, who I'm presuming to have graduated from law school and hold state board certification, somehow not realize that cities in the state have no authority to pass felony statutes? Violation of a municipal ordinance may be charged merely as a misdemeanor subject to a fine and no prison time. Refusal to pay the fine may result in time spent in county jail, but certainly not in state prison.

    2.) Does the DA not grasp the idea that the state has long-standing laws against sexual assault? These laws have teeth that bite hard. The accused face potentially years of surrendering their freedom to state prison. These laws don't care whether the assault occurred in the bathroom or the bedroom, the office or the boardroom, or even in the great outdoors. They also don't care whether or not the perpetrator was wearing a dress, lipstick, or high heels.

    3.) Would the DA intend, or understand that her successors may intend, to use such an ordinance as an opportunity to make a plea agreement with a defendant such that a DA could wash his or her hands of the case, kick it off the district court's docket, and shove it into the hands of a municipal attorney and municipal judge empowered with nothing further than enforcing a slap-on-the-wrist fine?

    Keeping a class of innocent people from peeing in public restrooms doesn't prevent sexual assault. Demonstrating that sexual assault will result in certain and severe consequences will. She and the mayor are on the wrong side of this debate.

  • 80. allan120102  |  May 4, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Colima to legalize ssm if all goes well.

  • 81. JayJonson  |  May 4, 2016 at 6:36 am

    The most interesting result from the Indiana Republican primary is how Cruz's blatant appeal to bigotry through his touting of North Carolina's "bathroom bill" backfired on him. He even lost the Evangelical vote. Indianians, at least, are mighty tired of the anti-gay, anti-transgender culture wars after last year's debacle re their RFRA. If I were Governor McCrory of North Carolina, and the Republican legislators who push through the bathroom bill, I'd be concerned. . . .

    More on Cruz's meltdown in Indiana: Eleveld

  • 82. guitaristbl  |  May 4, 2016 at 7:11 am

    With evil Ted finally out of the race there is not a single presidential candidate out of the remaining 4 that supports the anti-trans legislations popping out accross the country (that assumes Trump is a normal candidate that stands by his position and does not change it tomorrow – which is of course a far fetched assumption).

    The possibility of a Trump presidency is scary but dare I say, LGBT people have avoided the worst in this presidential cycle ?

  • 83. scream4ever  |  May 4, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Indeed. Also, with Cruz gone, NOM has lost their final candidate who supported their agenda.

  • 84. guitaristbl  |  May 4, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Well Trump has vowed to appoint SCOTUS justices who will overturn ME so I can see NOM getting all cozy with him. I am also pretty sure the GOP establishment will now try to groom him to their liking sooner than later and given what a feeble human he is, I expect him to become a good student. We'll see.

  • 85. Randolph_Finder  |  May 4, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Just curious, I was going to post from their *horrified* opinions on Kasich and Donald Trump, but as soon as I saved, It apparently autodeleted. Any suggestions?

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