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Equality news round-up: Mississippi declines to appeal initial ruling in favor of same-sex adoption, and news from Alabama

Adoption Transgender Rights

Alabama state seal– A city in Alabama that recently passed the harshest anti-transgender bathroom ordinance in the country will possibly repeal it.

– Equality Case Files notes that the time to appeal the ruling striking down Mississippi’s anti-LGBT adoption ban has passed, meaning the preliminary injunction will go into effect. They caution, though, that the state could still potentially appeal any final ruling in the case.

– The Gloucester County School Board in Virginia has filed a request in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the case en banc, meaning with the full panel of Fourth Circuit judges. The appeals court had ruled in favor of the transgender student who wanted to be able to use the correct bathroom at school.

– The EEOC has issued important guidance on bathroom use by people who are transgender.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. Rick55845  |  May 4, 2016 at 8:34 am

    The EEOC fact sheet referenced above is worth reading. It explicitly interprets the prohibition on discrimination based on sex in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include gender identity and sexual orientation. They also say that State law to the contrary is not a defense for such discrimination under Title VII.

    My understanding is that this is an EEOC interpretation of a Federal law. Presumably, that interpretation could be challenged in court. Who would have standing to do so? Or am I asking that backwards? Would it be up to someone being discriminated against by virtue of a law or policy that is contrary to that interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to bring suit?

    Also, could the EEOC change their interpretation of the law in the future, say if a bigoted administration were in control of the Federal government?

  • 2. VIRick  |  May 4, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    "Would it be up to someone being discriminated against by virtue of a law or policy that is contrary to that interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to bring suit?"


    "Could the EEOC change their interpretation of the law in the future, say if a bigoted administration were in control of the Federal government?"

    Presumably, yes.

  • 3. scream4ever  |  May 4, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    And now this has happened:

  • 4. ianbirmingham  |  May 4, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    NC gets an $861M/year bill for its hate law! HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!

  • 5. Shmoozo  |  May 4, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    It might actually be more like $2.2 billion.

  • 6. F_Young  |  May 4, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    USA: In a gracious speech that is being broadcast live now, Kasich is thanking all the people who supported him, and is expected to withdraw his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president. Trump will now be the Republican nominee by default.

  • 7. VIRick  |  May 4, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Oxford AL Repeals Anti-Transgender Bill

    Today, 4 May 2016, a slim majority of city council members voted to repeal the law that would have imposed a $500 fine and jail time for any transgender person who used a bathroom that matched their gender identity. By a vote of 3-2, the city council of Oxford, Alabama, just repealed an anti-trans ordinance that has been denounced as “the nation’s most terrifying.”

    A spokesperson with the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Montgomery-based civil rights legal group, confirmed to The Advocate that the ordinance was struck down during a special meeting held this afternoon.

  • 8. montezuma58  |  May 4, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Reading between the lines it's not a dead issue. Sounds like they're open to the ADF or some such group to draft an ordinance that will weasel word around any "issues."

  • 9. VIRick  |  May 4, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    North Carolina: Official DOJ Notification that HB2 Violates Federal Law

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Raleigh NC – On Wednesday, 4 May 2016, US Justice Department officials notified Gov. Pat McCrory that HB 2 violates the US Civil Rights Act. The department gave state officials until Monday, 9 May 2016, to address the situation "by confirming that the State will not comply with or implement HB2."

    The letter says that HB2, which pre-empted Charlotte’s anti-discrimination ordinance, violates Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination in education based on sex and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employment discrimination.

    If that determination is upheld, North Carolina could lose millions in federal school funding. During the current school year, state public schools received $861 million in federal funding.

    Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor who has followed the HB2 legal issues, said the justice department letter was similar to one sent by the federal education department in the case of the Virginia transgender teen battling a bathroom ban in the Gloucester County school system.

    The official DOJ notification is here:

    The news article from the "Charlotte Observer" is here:

  • 10. scream4ever  |  May 4, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    I wonder what effect this may have on similar laws in Tennessee and Arkansas.

  • 11. davepCA  |  May 4, 2016 at 5:29 pm


  • 12. VIRick  |  May 4, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Illinois "Bathroom" Suit Filed in Federal Court

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 4 May 2016, the Alliance Defending Freedom, representing families in the Palatine IL area, filed suit against federal, state, and local agencies over an Illinois school district's decision to enter an agreement that comports with federal law as it applies to transgender students' equal access under Title IX.

    The case is "Students and Parents for Privacy, et al. v. U.S. Dept. of Education, et al.," filed in Illinois federal District Court. The plaintiffs are "Students and Parents for Privacy," a voluntary unincorporated association of 51 families (made up of both students and their parents) and "individually identified" plaintiffs (identified by initials only) consisting of 5 students (all minors) and 8 adult parent/guardians of these students.

    The defendants are federal agencies (Dept. of Education and DOJ), federal officials (Education Secretary, Attorney-General), the School Directors of Township High School District 21, Cook County, and the State of Illinois.

    The case has been assigned to District Court Judge Jorge L. Alonso, an Obama appointee.

    The Illinois ACLU calls the suit a publicity stunt. The news story is here:

    The complaint is here:

  • 13. allan120102  |  May 4, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Campeche to legalize ssm this month too.This might be the first time three Mexican states legalize ssm. Michoacan, Colima and Campeche.

  • 14. VIRick  |  May 4, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Allan, I know you already know this, but let me make a few comments regarding the almost-universal use of the Spanish language throughout Latin America.

    Personally, I am still stunned by the fact that on 28 April 2016, TWO monumental events occurred simultaneously in Spanish-speaking America:

    1. Colombia's Constitutional Court formally struck down the ban on same-sex marriage in a landmark ruling which had immediate nationwide effect.

    2. Venezuela's Supreme Court finally agreed to hear the pending case challenging the legal ban on same-sex marriage in that country. And speculation from those who understand the court's composition have already agreed that the ban there will be struck down.

    In the meantime, court challenges have been moving forward in Chile, putting additional pressure on the Chilean legislature to complete the process and legalize same-sex marriage there (a point which is inevitable), while ALL of the remaining states in Mexico, following their own Supreme Court's ruling, are under mounting pressure to simply finish the inevitable process there and be done. Plus, there are cases awaiting adjudication in both Ecuador and Costa Rica.

    And word of all these rapid-fire events spreads much more quickly when it does not need to be translated, especially through the commonly-shared media, whether it be television, radio, or even on-line or via newspapers, as events in one country (or state) have a direct, obvious effect on the neighbors.

  • 15. allan120102  |  May 4, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    I agree Panama is also seeing more movement in the lgbt community since Colombia's ban was struck down. They are now pressuring the government of passing civil unions. They are waiting also of the decision in a case in Costa Rica. Peru is also seeing a lot of movement as more of its neighbors pass civil unions or marriage. Its a domino effect.

  • 16. theperched  |  May 4, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    Chiapas did their homework. They're going to pull a Jalisco and file for unconstitutionality.

    Their Congress changed the marriage definition to another discriminatory clause in April so the lgbt groups used the 30-day window to sue.

    Activistas defensores de los derechos humanos en Chiapas, dieron a conocer el inició de una acción de incostitucionalidad en contra de un articulado del Código Civil Estatal que impide la boda enntre parejas del mismo sexo.

    [Human rights activists in Chiapas announced the start of an action of unconstitutionality against an article of the state civil code that blocks same-sex marriages]

    …Señalaron que la puerta para promover dicha acción de inconstitucionalidad se abrió el pasado 6 de abril tras la aprobación y publicación de las reformas aplicadas por el Congreso de Chiapas al Código Civil local, justo en el artículo 145 donde se conceptualiza la figura del matrimonio, en términos del género y edad entre los contrayentes.

    [They signaled that the door to promote said action of inconstitutionality opened last April 6 after the approval and publication of the reforms applied by the Congress of Chiapas in the local civil code, in article 145 where the figure of marriage is coded in gender terms and the age of the contracting parties]

    Acero Galindo, comentó que desde ese momento se abrió un plazo de 30 días hábiles para la posible impugnación del artículo referido y los consecuentes, mediante recursos legales como amparos contra leyes o acciones de inconstitucionalidad como las recurridas en este caso por la agrupación civil Unidos Diferentes.

    [Acero Galindo commented that since that moment the 30 day limit for the possible lawsuit against the referred article and its consequences through legal recourses like amparos against laws or actions of inconstitutionality like the one in the case from the Unidos Diferentes civil group]

  • 17. VIRick  |  May 4, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Colombia's Constitutional Court Explains its Landmark Ruling of 28 April 2016 which Immediately Legalized Same-Sex Marriage Nationwide

    Per Rex Wockner:

    The entire explanation is in Spanish, but this is the complete ruling, as written by Alberto Rojas Ríos, and presented on the Constitutional Court's official governmental website. It contains 14 pages of dense legalese text, which will take me quite a while to find the most pertinent portions and then attempt to translate them.

    Still, in summary, as of today, 4 May 2016, everyone can consider the ruling to have been officially published.

  • 18. allan120102  |  May 4, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Well, supreme court justice Alberto Rojas is not happy with the decision as the court didnt include the part where marriage is a fundamental right and that notaries can use religious objections to not marry ss couples. :/

  • 19. VIRick  |  May 4, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    MEXICO » Campeche state Congress will legalize same-sex marriage this month, says Congress' board president, Ramón Méndez Lanz.

    Per Rex Wockner:

    MEXICO » Este mes, parejas del mismo sexo podrán unirse legalmente en Campeche. En el transcurso de este mes, el Congreso del estado avalará legalmente la unión entre personas del mismo sexo, dejó en claro el presidente de la Junta de Administración, Ramón Méndez Lanz.

  • 20. allan120102  |  May 4, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    More news from Mexico. Another amparo to be granted against Sinaloa. This will be given to a couple in Nogales.Sinaloa just need to surrender.

  • 21. VIRick  |  May 5, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Wait! Nogales is in SONORA state, and sits directly on the US border, opposite Nogales AZ.

    In any case, this should be amparo #4 for Sonora state. The Civil Registrar in Nogales, Vicente González Terán, is ready, and has scheduled the ceremony for the first same-sex civil marriage for Nogales to take place on 28 May 2016.

    In the meantime, and quite separately, I agree with you that Sinaloa state should just surrender to the inevitable, as they've already had their ban declared unconstitutional by Mexico's Supreme Court three times and are well over the amparo limit.

  • 22. allan120102  |  May 5, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Yeah sorry. I got confuse. Its in Sonora. sometimes I get confuse with the states. I look for Nogales and yeah it was in Sonora, not sure why I put Sinaloa. Yes and You are correct its the 4 amparo. we need one more.

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