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Equality news round-up: Good news from Alabama, North Carolina, and more

Transgender Rights

– Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is suing local, state, and federal agencies for enforcing the law regarding transgender bathroom use in an agreement with an Illinois school district.

– Oxford, Alabama, has repealed a citywide anti-transgender measure.

– Equality Case Files, in a post with several updates, notes that the US government has informed North Carolina that HB2, the anti-LGBT law with a specific focus on harming transgender people, violates federal law.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. 1grod  |  May 5, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Alabama's legislature fails to pass seven anti-LGBT bills during this year's scheduled legislative session which ended last evening.

  • 2. montezuma58  |  May 6, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    And Roy Moore gets suspended:

  • 3. VIRick  |  May 6, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    Roy Moore Suspended from Office as Chief Justice

    Roy Moore, the Chief Justice of Alabama's Supreme court, faces removal because of his stance on same-sex marriage. For the second time in his career, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore faces charges before the Alabama Court of the Judiciary and potential removal from office.

    Until that court hears and rules on those charges, Moore will be suspended with pay from his position atop the state's highest court. On Friday, 6 May 2016, the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission forwarded charges to the Court of the Judiciary, accusing the chief justice of violating judicial ethics in his opposition to same-sex marriage.

    Despite a ruling by a federal judge in Mobile making same-sex marriage legal in Alabama in February 2015, and in the face of a United States Supreme Court ruling in June 2015 making its legality the law of the land, Moore instructed probate judges throughout Alabama to ignore those higher courts and to refuse to issue licenses to same-sex couples. Moore's actions led the Southern Poverty Law Center to file complaints with the commission, which acts much in the same way as a grand jury. When it receives a complaint, the commission investigates and decides whether to forward charges to the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.

    The process remains secret unless charges are made, as happened this evening. Unless Moore reaches a settlement, he will be tried before that court, with the Alabama Attorney-General's Office prosecuting.

    On Friday evening, SPLC President Richard Cohen said that Moore has disgraced his office and should be removed. "He is such an egomaniac and such a religious zealot that he thinks he can ignore court orders with impunity," Cohen said. "For the sake of our state, he should be kicked out of office."

    This is the second time Moore has faced such charges. In 2003, the Court of the Judiciary removed Moore from office after he installed a washing machine-sized monument of the Ten Commandments in the state judicial building in Montgomery. Moore refused a federal court order to remove the monument, leading to his removal from the state's highest court. His obstinance this time, though, is worse, Cohen said.

  • 4. davepCA  |  May 6, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    Awesome!!! This is great news!!!

  • 5. Raga  |  May 7, 2016 at 12:08 am

    Well, he's going to go from CJ Moore to Governor Moore. Doubtless he'll use the suspension and forthcoming removal to fuel his gubernatorial campaign. One almost wonders if that was the plan all along!

  • 6. davepCA  |  May 7, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    I dunno about that. Even if every anti-gay bigot in Alabama liked what he did regarding his ignoring the Supreme Court ruling, a lot of them won't like his other shenanigans, like using his office and influence to keep his drug-addled repeat-offender criminal son out of jail and freely roaming the streets with impunity even after multiple arrests. Aside from his anti-gay stuff, there's plenty more to not like about that douchebag.

  • 7. Raga  |  May 8, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Oh yes – Rick read me right below… I wasn't literally suggesting that Moore would actually succeed in becoming Governor. That's neither here nor there.

  • 8. VIRick  |  May 7, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Yes, that's basically been his plan all along, to keep his name in the news, front-and-center before his bigoted base, as the last "defender" of whatever, while pretending to be sooooo "persecuted" by all the outside forces aligned against him, so that his bigoted base will all rush to vote for him, and his election as governor of Alabama will be a shoo-in.

    And Dave, we're not stating that Roy Moore's plan will succeed. Raga and I are merely suggesting what his plan appears to be

  • 9. 1grod  |  May 7, 2016 at 5:04 am

    Rick: a link to the 293 page complaint drafted by JIC which will be heard by the Court of Judiciary. Roy Moore's response also given May 6th is that his administrative orders are beyond the scope of the Judiciary Inquiry Commission's mandate. Same assertion as he made against the decisions of US District Court for the Southern District, the 11th Circuit Appeals Court, indeed in 2003 regarding an injunction of the US District Court which he refused to follow resulting in his being turfed. As part of the process, Moore gave testimony to the Commission. The facts and 6 charges are 32 pages. Its an easy read for those somewhat familiar to the circumstances in Alabama.

  • 10. 1grod  |  May 7, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    On March 17 delinquent Ben Bowden left the probate judge position in Covington Co to serve as a circuit court judge. On April 15 Stacy B. Brooks was sworn in in his place. If she has not already begun issuing marriage licenses, it is hoped that she pays particular attention to the thrust of the complaint against .Roy Moore: he gave or ought to have known he was giving 68 probate judge direction that ran contrary to the legal landscape 2015 in Alabama, indeed all USA states.

    In a statement to the Star News, Brooks said “I like dealing with the elderly people, conservatorships, estates, and mental commitments." “This is a position in which you can help the people who need the help the most.” She apparently made no mention of helping straight or non straight couples obtain marriage licenses. Does not Governor Bentley who makes these appointments, expect these civil servants to commit to individual civil rights? Brooks, a graduate of Troy State University and Jones School of Law, was admitted to the Bar Association in 2000, practiced laws in Andalusia ,had been an assistant district attorney and a municipal court judge in both River Falls and Gantt. Surely she understands the constitutional duty of her oath is to serve citizens of her county. If Roy Moore's May 6 suspension does not grab her attention, the May 5 failed legislative effort to abandon marriage licenses might. These events are a wake-up call to the other 13 wayward judges including Wes Allan and John Enslen.

  • 11. 1grod  |  May 8, 2016 at 10:57 am

    What is being said around the country about the suspended Chief Justice? I suggest to recalcitrant probate judges Johnny Rogers of Cleburne Co and Terry Mitchell of Lamar Co that particular attention be paid to what media says of their would-be hero.

  • 12. 1grod  |  May 8, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Stacy Brooks (Covington Co AL) is not the only Probate Judge to have been appointed since last June. Of those counties not issuing marriage licenses there also has been William Tate (Washington Co), Stephanie Kemmer (Geneva Co),and Richard M Deans (Coosa Co). On March 24 2016, Gov Bentley said of Deans: “You are a servant of the people of Alabama, and I trust that you will fulfill your duties and set a standard for others to follow.” Judge Deans assured Bentley that “no one will work harder than me and the job will be accomplished with the highest level of quality, integrity and honesty.” Can some one please tell us that includes his issuing marriage licenses, else one might conclude that the Governor is placing individuals in these positions with guidance not to do so. Scottie, you are there. Who is tracking the outcome of these appointments?

  • 13. TheVirginian722  |  May 8, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    1grod, William Tate is the Probate Judge of Crenshaw County. Washington County's Probate Judge is still the infamous Nick Williams, who is probably sobbing uncontrollably over the fate of his hero Moore.

  • 14. 1grod  |  May 8, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Item # 3 [page 2] of the published complaint against Roy Moore by the JIC states that "the vast majority of probate judges are not licensed to practice law". Is that so for probate judges who are not issuing licenses. Of the 15 identified judges, near half are lawyers. Could those with law licenses be disbarred for not adhering to their code of ethics/conduct? G

  • 15. FredDorner  |  May 8, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    I think that comment concerned the egregious nature of Moore's order to the probate judges who had no legal background to independently evaluate the fact that Moore's order violated the supremacy clause, because it would legally expose any probate judge who was dumb enough to follow it.

    However I think that there were only one or two counties which for a while resumed issuing licenses to opposite-sex couples while denying them to same-sex couples.

  • 16. 1grod  |  May 10, 2016 at 7:26 am

    What now for Mr. Roy Moore?:

  • 17. allan120102  |  May 5, 2016 at 11:27 am

    More news from Chiapas. In here is a list of amparos to be granted and the one that was granted to a women.
    51 couples are expecting the decision of the supreme court so they can marry. This is also from Chiapas.

  • 18. VIRick  |  May 5, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Chiapas: "Action of Unconstitutionality" Filed

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Hoy día, 4 de mayo 2016, activistas defensores de los derechos humanos en Chiapas, dieron a conocer el inició de una "Acción de Incostitucionalidad" en contra de Articulo 145 del Código Civil Estatal que impide la boda entre parejas del mismo sexo.

    En conferencia de prensa, miembros de la asociación civil Unidos Diferentes (UDAC) en Chiapas anunció el inicio del proceso legal mediante la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH) para que esta interponga de inmediato una “Acción de Inconstitucionalidad” ante la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) a fin de invalidar los artículos del Código Civil local que impiden aún el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo en la entidad.

    Today, 4 May 2016, human rights activists in Chiapas, unveiled the initiation of the "Action of Unconstitutionality" complaint against Article 145 of the State Civil Code which prevents marriage between same-sex couples.

    At a press conference, members of the civil association, Unidos Diferentes (UDAC) in Chiapas, announced the start of the legal process through the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH) for this immediate filing of an "Action of Unconstitutionality" directly before the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) to invalidate the articles of the local Civil Code that still impede same-sex marriage in the state.

    And for context, here's what I've already posted on this matter:

    The Congress of Chiapas state changed the marriage definition to another discriminatory clause in April 2016, so LGBT groups have used the 30-day window which followed to sue for an act of unconstitutionality. Human rights activists in Chiapas announced today, 4 May 2016, the start of an "Action of Unconstitutionality" against an article of the state civil code that blocks same-sex marriages.

    They indicated that the door to begin said action of unconstitutionality opened on 6 April 2016, after the approval and publication of the reforms applied by the Congress of Chiapas to the local civil code, that is, to Article 145 where the definition of marriage and the age of the contracting parties is codified in gender-specific terms.

    This challenge is to be immediately elevated to Mexico's Supreme Court.

  • 19. allan120102  |  May 5, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    When do you think the court will rule Rick? I believe they might do it in the last trimester of the year.

  • 20. theperched  |  May 6, 2016 at 5:45 am

    Since it's going straight to the Supremes, I think a few weeks.

    Let's hope Chiapas doesn't change the text again like Baja California did before the Court heard it. Sly, B.C., I was hoping my southern neighbor would get with the program *sigh* Their time will come.

  • 21. allan120102  |  May 5, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Venezuela. 12 thousand couples will benefit if the supreme court strikes down the ban on same sex marriage. I need to remind that before Colombia, Venezuela,Ecuador and Panama were a sole country so their constitutions are pretty similiar in many ways so now that the supreme court of Colombia have say that marriage for ss couples is in the constitution there is nothing that should prevent the supreme courts of the other 3 countries to struck down their gay marriage bans. Ecuador is also seeing a lot of lgbt movement and I will be surprised if its ban its challenge soon.

  • 22. VIRick  |  May 5, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Two Cases Currently Pending Before Ecuador's Highest Court

    From my archives:

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

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

    These are the two (earliest) cases now before Ecuador's highest court, and both are quite over-due for a ruling. Now that Colombia has definitively struck down its same-sex marriage ban, I fully expect Ecuador to be next, followed by Venezuela, with Chile possibly in between.

  • 23. Christian0811  |  May 5, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    What article in the Ecuadorean constitution would allow the CC to strike down a part of the constitution itself? I saw a few vague articles about the supremacy of human rights in the Colombian constitution (even then authority to do so was not made clear), but I don't really see anything about when human rights treaties are in conflict with the constitution in Ecuador.

  • 24. allan120102  |  May 5, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Rick I believe Venezuela might be first. Ecuador will also see its ban challenge again as a ss couple will go and ask for a marriage license too and its surely they are going to be denied so they are going to challege the ban.
    Christian I imagine that you are from the states and in there clauses or amendments cant be struck down by the supreme court. In Some countries in Latin America the supreme courts are divide in separate chambers. One of them is the constitutional court and they have the power to strike down any article or amendment in there constitutions
    . That is what happen in Colombia. Their supreme court is also their constitutional court so they can strike articles of the constitution if they see they violate human rights or discriminate agaisnt certain groups. I imagine Venezuela and Ecuador have similar types of courts than can strike down amendments if they want.
    In Honduras our supreme court is divide in 4 chambers and one of those is the constitutional court which is the most important as its the only one that can strike amendments or other stuff of our constitution.

  • 25. VIRick  |  May 6, 2016 at 12:40 am

    Text of Article 68 of Ecuador's Constitution:

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

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

    So, if de facto couples (whether same-sex or hetero) have the same rights and obligations as those who are married, then that supposed "equalness," as stressed in that portion, would appear to be in conflict with the remainder of Article 68:

    "La adopción corresponderá sólo a parejas de distinto sexo."

    "Adoption will pertain only to couples of different sexes."

    as well as with all of Article 67 which defines "marriage" as a union between a man and a woman. So, there are two contradictions within the constitution itself which must be resolved. Equal rights and obligations means equal rights and obligations. It does not mean equal rights, but no adoption, and must not be called "marriage."

    Since 2009, Ecuador's constitution has already been interpreted as allowing for same-sex "uniones de hecho," or civil unions, after the couple has been together for 2 years.

  • 26. Christian0811  |  May 7, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Yeah I don't know if the Ecuadorean court is going to be much help at all unless they reeeeeally go beyond their powers and even though I believe marriage is a natural right I don't like the idea of fudging the system to get there.

    Give it 20-30 years and the people will eventually repeal those discriminatory articles on their own.

  • 27. VIRick  |  May 7, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Christian, but Pamela Troya in Ecuador, like Karen Atala in Chile (see additional comments below), will not be deterred. Both are extremely determined and quite intransigent to see marriage equality come to pass in their respective countries. Neither of them are afraid of filing lawsuits, as both have already done so, while simultaneously working non-stop to organize the LGBT communities in those two countries.

    There's a special "rule" applicable to male-dominated Latin America, where marriage equality has become intertwined with the push for increasing women's rights. This so-called "rule" was very obvious to me in the presence of Ada Conde Vidal, the lead plaintiff in the Puerto Rico marriage case.

    Basically put, in a male-dominated setting, "Do not piss off the hard-core lesbians, or you will soon come to regret it." As seen now multiple times, they will not only present a clear case for marriage equality, but when faced with any sort of push-back on that level, they will then slam you with the "women's card."

  • 28. allan120102  |  May 7, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    If the laws are unconstitutional and the legislative body does not act and modify the discriminative laws in their constitutions then the judicial body should do it. That is what happen in Colombia and what should happen in Venezuela and Ecuador. This might also apply to Chile if they dont comply with the agreement.
    I dont support the las part where you imply that people might repeal those laws after voting. They shouldnt vote. Human rights are not to be vote on. The courts in some american countries have the authority to strike down laws in the constitution and I believe the ecudorian court have that power.

  • 29. Christian0811  |  May 8, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    I agree that human rights shouldn't be voted on, but I also like the rule of law. It's hard to reconcile sometimes. I certainly don't want the CC to act Ultra Vires though because that would make us look bad too.

    As for the constitution, I just want to see the exact article that say the CC can strike down parts of the constitution itself like it can in Honduras as you say. I ask just so I can know for fact that we at least have standing in court

  • 30. allan120102  |  May 9, 2016 at 12:39 am

    In here is the constitution of Honduras you can see that article 184 and 185 give the power to the suprme court to strike any article of the constitution that interfere with the rights of people. Article 316 says that once the law is invalidated by the constitutional court the ruling will have inmediate effect.So if the constitutional court invalidates articles 112 and 116. Same sex marriage,civil unions and adoption of ss couples will have inmediate enforcement. The last two links you can see the effects when court declares invalid an article.

  • 31. Christian0811  |  May 9, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Unfortunately, at least according to the English translation, those articles only refer to standard laws below the constitutional level. So if we are relying on those articles we are SoL and will have to wait the 30-40 years until it's repealed by the legislature. Maybe the Spanish version says something different and the case law reflects this?

  • 32. allan120102  |  May 9, 2016 at 11:54 am

    You will need 86 votes to repealed the ban on marriage and civil unions in Honduras. Do not worry once CR and panama legalize ssm you will see how the ban is challenge and if the court is not really religous they will strike the ban. Religion in the court have always been a problem it reminds me of Alabama supreme court. Those articles can be challenge. I have friends who are lawyers in the university and they have repeatly told me we can challenge those articles. Once the time is right we will.

  • 33. Christian0811  |  May 9, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Well if it can be done that way all the better, just bothers me some that there's no article saying that the SC can do just that explicitly. That said, I yield to your lawyer friends' superior knowledge 😛

  • 34. VIRick  |  May 9, 2016 at 12:11 am

    Christian, here's an article by Dra. Maria Elena Moreira, entitled "Human Rights in Ecuador's New Constitution," referencing Ecuador's constitution of 1998, which seems to indicate that Art.18 does allow for international instruments to be judicially applied.

    Furthermore, Art. 37 establishes full equality between civil marriage and common-law marriage (uniones de hecho), the latter now also having been interpreted (since 2009) as including same-sex couples.

    See also: III.5. The Constitutional Tribunal

    Note the amendment which allows individuals to file the appeals directly before the Constitutional Tribunal in case of negative resolution, as has already been done in the two marriage cases presently before them.

    And here's the complete constitution in English (2008 edition):

  • 35. Christian0811  |  May 9, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Article 18 of the repealed constitution would still apply? Seems odd that it would continue to have any further relevance after 2008. And article 37 very clearly states that same-sex couples are unequal in every important aspect why should that have any bearing on what appears to be a lost-cause of a case?

    I hate to be negative but the authors of the constitutions and constitutional amendments in Ecuador and Honduras seem to have known what they were doing.

    I do agree that Ecuadors constitutional tribunal can apply the ratified human rights instruments but there's nothing to suggest that these can legitimately contradict the constitution.

  • 36. VIRick  |  May 9, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    In Latin America, constitutions have a habit of "carrying over" any number of continuing provisions from one constitution to the next, as they constantly continue to re-invent themselves with ever-expanding rights with each new constitution that comes along.

    So, nothing really is ever repealed, but rather, is simply re-cycled and expanded upon.

  • 37. Christian0811  |  May 10, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    I need to take a class on South American constitutional law, it seems very interesting and not at all what I'm familiar with as a student of American and European constitutions which seem much more rigid in comparison.

    So is this act of striking down constitutional articles a common phenomenon?

  • 38. VIRick  |  May 7, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Oh look! A low-brow Americanized version:

    Roy Moore has pissed off the wrong drag queen. This will not end well.

    Per Rex Wockner:

    A Dothan entertainer has found herself in Roy Moore's crosshairs after the state's Chief Justice was suspended Friday night, 6 May 2016, on charges he instructed probate judges throughout Alabama to ignore high court rulings legalizing same-sex marriage. Ambrosia Starling, "a professed transvestite" and "other gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, as well as organizations that support their agenda," are behind the efforts to have him removed from office, Moore said.

    "Every bully always picks on the weakest kid in the room, and he thought that was going to be the drag queen," Starling said Saturday. "A lot of people make that mistake."

    Moore was suspended following an Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission investigation into whether he violated judicial ethics by ordering probate judges throughout the state not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite a US Supreme Court ruling. The suit was filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, People for the American Way, the Human Rights Campaign, Starling, and other LGBT rights activists.

    Moore now faces a hearing before the Alabama Court of the Judiciary and potential removal from office.

    Who is Ambrosia Starling?

    In her Facebook profile, Starling describes herself as an "entertainer, an advocate for equality, a defender of my community, and a damned good cook!" A lifelong resident of Dothan, Starling has participated in and hosted anti-Moore protests, including a rally earlier this year in Montgomery where she was among several speakers urging the ouster of the chief justice.

    "The message that I would personally like to send to Roy Moore today is that bullying and discrimination are not ministerial duties. Taking people's civil rights is not a ministerial duty," Starling said after a January protest. "It is the duty of a judge to treat all citizens of their state and their nation equally and fairly." The Chief Justice had first mentioned Starling's name in April when he responded to the initial filing.

    "This person (Starling) and some of the people around her, would have been said to have a mental disorder, specifically a gender identity disorder according to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association," Moore said last month. However, being called crazy by Moore doesn't seem to have bothered her.

    "I am crazy for democracy," she said. "I'm insane for civil rights and better behavior. I am out of my mind when I see people losing their manners and disrespecting people they don't know."

    For Starling, manners are important — something her grandmother taught her when she was a child. Manners are free, she said, and a lack of manners is what causes every war. "Manners is a lot more than 'please' and 'thank you' and what fork you use at a fancy dinner," she said. "At the core of it all, manners is about respecting each other, in any society, in any country." And Moore is a man without manners.

    While the suit against Moore was filed by multiple groups and people, Starling appears to have taken the brunt of this Chief Justice's ire. Starling worries that Moore's fixation on her denies credit to others who filed complaints with the Judicial Inquiry Commission and who spoke at the rally earlier this year.

  • 39. allan120102  |  May 5, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Mexican supreme court to grant another amparo against Puebla´s civil code.

  • 40. VIRick  |  May 5, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    With this Amparo en Revisión, 48/2016, just granted on 5 May 2016, in a case which had originated from San Andrés Cholula, Puebla, on 20 October 2014, and which was subsequently appealed, Mexico's Supreme Court has overturned the original decision which denied the couple's request for marriage, and has now granted that marriage request to the plaintiff couple. At the same time, Mexico's Supreme Court again declared Articles 294 and 297 of Puebla's Civil Code to be unconstitutional, two articles which denied marriage rights to same-sex couples.

    By my count, this is now Amparo #6 for Puebla, and is the second time that Mexico's Supreme court has had to declare the offending articles in Puebla's Civil Code to be unconstitutional.

    This case pre-dates the jurisprudence disallowing judges from denying amparo requests for marriage by same-sex couples. Ever since the jurisprudence went into effect, judges can no longer deny an amparo request for marriage by a same-sex couple. In addition, such judicial grants can no longer be appealed by anyone. However, there are still a number of cases pending before the Supreme Court, like this one from Puebla and a similar one from Hidalgo, which had been denied and/or appealed when it was still possible to do so.

    Note: Recently, on 10 April 2016, a different male same-sex couple was legally married before the civil registrar of near-by San Pedro Cholula, and were accommodated without the need for their obtaining an amparo beforehand.

  • 41. allan120102  |  May 5, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Chile. The path and process for marriage equality in the country have start. The first is that they will invite many member of the cabinet, supreme court and other important senators to hear about this proposal. Consultations to the people about this topic will also start soon in all the regions of chile. The proposal of this law is suppose to be present on the senate on July 30 of 2017 when all is done. The worrisome thing is that the law might not be approve until late 2017 or 2018 and in that year our supporter Michelle Bachelet might not be in office and a conservative might take the power and not approve the law.

  • 42. theperched  |  May 6, 2016 at 6:02 am

    The fact that they're having regional consultations that will take ages is causing a lot of controversy. Rights groups are angry and MOVILH even threatened to reignite their lawsuit in the Inter-American Commission. Apparently, the Govt will meet with the groups to calm them down; maybe a faster deal will be struck.

  • 43. VIRick  |  May 6, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    For Chile, remember the name, Karen Atala, as she is doubly important in Chile's LGBT rights movement.

    Currently, Karen Atala is the head of Iguales Chile, the group which, in tandem with the Faculty of Law at the Universidad de Chile, went through Chile's entire code, line by line, noting every offending gender-specific reference, and then made precise recommendations/requests as to how each can be modified/changed into gender-neutral language. Their entire treatise has recently been accepted by Chile's Supreme Court, who in turn will rule on the constitutionality of the joint proposal prior to its enactment.

    Karen Atala is also the very same person who initiated the lawsuit against the government of Chile at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. She only agreed to drop this lawsuit after the government had agreed to enact marriage equality. If I recall the terms of the agreement correctly, the deadline for governmental enactment of marriage equality is the end of 2016. Otherwise, her lawsuit will be re-instated. So, the government has a very strict time-line within which to act.

    At the presidential/cabinet level, Chile is currently quite pro-marriage equality. But, at the legislative level, there appears to be some attempt to drag out the process.

    And yes, MOVILH is the somewhat more radical, impatient rights group in Chile, but never ignore/under-estimate Karen Atala.

  • 44. Christian0811  |  May 8, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    Ah Chile…the country who's Constitutional Tribunal not only twice upheld the marriage ban and once upheld the ban on the right to custody of a lesbian mother's biological children, but even upheld the constitutionality of the unequal age of consent 🙂

    Oh and the penal code has STILL not be revised even though an amendment to correct the unjust articles was introduced in like 2012.

    I have even less hope for Chike than I do for Italy. Colombia's constituional court has, for 20 years, been a very pleasant exception to then generally very bleak rule. Though I suspect even Saudis Arabia, given time, will come to embrace equality I don't think much has changed in Chile since 2011.

  • 45. VIRick  |  May 9, 2016 at 12:38 am

    " I don't think much has changed in Chile since 2011."

    Then you haven't been paying attention. I've lived there. It has become the most progressively dynamic country in South America.

    Same-sex civil unions came into force legislatively in 2015, after having been deemed constitutional by Chile's Constitutional Court.

  • 46. Christian0811  |  May 9, 2016 at 11:40 am

    And you believe that in the intervening 5 years there's been an injection of new socially-liberal blood into the parliament and CC? After all they're the ones who make decisions. From outside observation, Chile resembles Italy in many respects on this issue.

    And that's pretty high praise regarding Chile being "the most progressively dynamic", but I have to give the award for social progress and economic growth to Brazil. Then again I might be biased as some of my best friends have come from there and being a (partial) Lusophone ;P and also they got marriage equality before Chile because their judiciary wasn't crammed with the Vatican's cronies.

  • 47. allan120102  |  May 5, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Good news in Guerrero as the head of the civil registry Ines Huerta Pegueros won the right to continue in this position. She is our best helper in spreading ss marriage throught the state and have fight all the municipalities who have object in marrying ss couple. She give a scolding to Acapulco civil registry as he continue to denied ss couple the right to marry and is making the state loose money. In my second article you can see that many are looking other destinations.

  • 48. allan120102  |  May 6, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    GTO. They are 13 amparos waiting in guanajuato and the civil registry said that they have already married 9 couples. That means that GTO will soon exceed its amparo limit if they havent done so already.….

  • 49. VIRick  |  May 8, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Guanajuato: En Trámite, 13 Amparos de Parejas Gay para Casarse

    Guanajuato: Pending, 13 Amparos for Same-Sex Couples to Marry

    Guanajuato, Gto., 20 de abril 2016 – Actualmente, en el Estado de Guanajuato, hay 13 juicios de amparo pendientes que fueron promovidos por parejas del mismo sexo en contra de diversas oficinas del Registro Civil, para contraer matrimonio con la finalidad de obtener certeza jurídica. Así lo dio a conocer Rito Padilla García, titular de la Dirección General del Registro Civil en el Estado, quien dio a conocer que hasta el momento ya se han realizado nueve enlaces civiles entre parejas del mismo sexo (aprobado en el estado de Guanajuato).

    El funcionario señaló que de los casos que se han promovido recientemente, dos de ellos ya recibieron el veredicto a favor, por lo que podrán contraer matrimonio en cualquier momento que lo decidan. Aseguró que la mayoría de los casos han sido promovidos en León, además de Irapuato y Silao.….

    Guanajuato, Gto., 20 April 2016 – Currently, in the state of Guanajuato, there are 13 lawsuits pending protection that were filed by same-sex couples against various offices of the Civil Registry in order to obtain legal certainty for marriage. This is according to Rito Padilla García, head of the Directorate General of the State Civil Registry, who also announced that so far there have already been nine civil marriages between same-sex couples (approved in Guanajuato state).

    The official stated that of the cases that have recently been filed, two have already received a favorable decision, so those couples can marry any time they decide. He also stated that the majority of cases have been approved in León, besides those in Irapuato and Silao.

    According to the previous count for Guanajuato state, there had already been SEVEN amparos approved and SEVEN civil marriage ceremonies completed, which by municipal location, are as follows: León, León, León, León, Irapuato, Silao, Irapuato (thus, the majority in León). Now, based on this up-dated report, two more amparos have just been approved for Guanajuato state, bringing their total approved amparo count up to NINE, with five being one more than what is needed.

  • 50. theperched  |  May 6, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Colima unanimously repealed their partnership law last night. The article has been axed. The dictamen acknowledged that the old Congress was wrong to pass such a discriminatory law.

    This site says they'll vote on marriage next week.

    The state already lost the "separate but equal case" before the Supreme Court last year and phased the partnerships out months ago. A rights group recently began helping couples who contracted the unions upgrade to marriages.

  • 51. allan120102  |  May 6, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Well it will be a race between Campeche, Colima and Michoacan to be the first state to legalize ssm in may of this year as the three are suppose to legalize gay marriage in the upcoming weeks.

  • 52. theperched  |  May 7, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    I saw a graph and several Mexican states have constitutions that limit marriage, but they were written ages before same-sex unions were even fathomed. Anyway, with the repeal of Colima's article, Yucatan remains the only one to purposely ban same-sex marriage constitutionally. Can't wait for that lawsuit to reach the Supremes, since even their highest local court didn't kill it.

  • 53. VIRick  |  May 7, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    MEXICO » Colima State Congress Repeals Civil-Unions Law, Prepares to Pass Marriage Equality

    MEXICO » Colima: Adiós Enlaces Conyugales, Hola Matrimonio Igualitario

    Per Rex Wockner:

    El Congreso del Estado dejó sin efectos la reforma al artículo 147 constitucional mediante el cual se aprobaba la “figura jurídica de enlaces conyugales”, en acatamiento al dictamen de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) que declaró inconstitucional dicha figura y será en el curso de la próxima semana cuando se realicen las reformas necesarias al Código Civil del Estado “para permitir los matrimonios entre parejas del mismo sexo”.

    Durante la sesión de la LVIII Legislatura del estado, celebrada ayer, 5 de Mayo 2016, los diputados votaron por unanimidad la derogación de Decreto número 142 publicado en fecha 3 de agosto del 2013 en el Periódico Oficial del Estado de Colima, mediante el cual se reformó el artículo 147.

    La reforma establecía que “el matrimonio era la unión de un hombre y de una mujer” resultando evidentemente, y por tanto discriminatoria, en cuanto atiende a una razón de diferenciación sexo-genérica entre los contrayentes como uno de los requisitos básicos para el acceso al mismo.

    The State Congress repealed the amendment to Article 147 of the state Constitution whereby (the separate) "legal form of spousal bonds" had been approved (for same-sex couples), in compliance with the opinion of the Supreme Court of Justice, which declared unconstitutional this terminology, and will in the course of next week, when the necessary reforms to the Civil Code of the State are made, "to allow marriages between same-sex couples."

    During the session of the LVIII Legislature of the state, held yesterday, 5 May 2016, the legislators voted unanimously to repeal Decree No. 142 published on 3 August 2013 in the Official Gazette of the State of Colima, in which Article 147 was originally amended.

    That reform (also) established that "marriage was the union of a man and a woman" resulting obviously, and therefore discriminatorily, as attending a gender-generic differentiation between the contracting parties as one of the basic requirements for access to same.

  • 54. Christian0811  |  May 9, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Can Mexico's Federal congress legislate to enforce the Supreme Court's (now numerous) rulings on marriage and adoption? Or does the federal system preclude that?

  • 55. VIRick  |  May 9, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Mexico's federal Congress can certainly legislate a national law to enforce their Supreme Court's multiple rulings on both same-sex marriage and adoption. In fact, that would be the easy answer to this entire morass of each state separately fighting its way through.

    Unfortunately, there seems to be as little political incentive to do so there in the federal legislature as there is in the multiple states' legislatures

  • 56. 1grod  |  May 6, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Associated Press: A [Alabama] bill that would have done away with marriage licenses signed by probate judges did not win final approval. The bill was pushed after some probate judges stopped issuing marriage licenses to anyone in the wake of the US Supreme Court ruling effectively legalizing same sex marriage. ( # 22 of 26)

  • 57. allan120102  |  May 6, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    OMG BREAKING. Roy moore suspend of the Alabama supreme court. I am so happy. That bigot should had been gone since a long time.probate judges refusing to marry ss couples should take this as a warning.

  • 58. guitaristbl  |  May 7, 2016 at 7:40 am

    About time ! Good riddance !

  • 59. VIRick  |  May 7, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Mississippi Officially Concedes on Adoption Issue

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In the case, "Campaign for Southern Equality v. Mississippi Department of Human Services," the challenge to the state's adoption ban for same-sex couples, Mississippi really has conceded the case. This is the state defendant's motion of 5 May 2016 to have the preliminary injunction converted into a permanent injunction and final judgment in favor of the plaintiffs:

    "Executive Director Davis requests that the Court (1) enter a final order adopting all of its factual findings and legal conclusions contained in the 31 March 2016 Order, and awarding the remaining Plaintiffs a permanent injunction consistent with the 31 March 2016 Order providing that the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services is permanently enjoined from enforcing Mississippi Code section 93-17-3(5), and (2) enter a final judgment consistent with its order."

    Respectfully submitted, JOHN DAVIS, in his official capacity as Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services

    The link to the filing of 5 May 2016 is here:

  • 60. VIRick  |  May 7, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    Italy: Civil Unions Bill Nears Final Vote

    The "Local" reports:

    The justice committee of Italy’s lower house of parliament on Wednesday, 5 May 2016, approved the Senate version of a hotly-contested same-sex unions bill, paving the way for the lower house to begin examining the bill’s full text on 9 May.

    The bill, which Prime Minister Matteo Renzi put his government on the line for, after resorting to a confidence vote, passed its first major hurdle in late February when it was approved by the Senate, but only after a clause allowing stepchild adoption was removed.

    A triumphant Renzi said “this story has gone on for too long” after the committee gave the bill their approval on Wednesday. The lower house of parliament will vote on the bill on 12 May.

  • 61. theperched  |  May 8, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    He'll probably have to hold a second confidence vote. If the bill passes as is it'll be streamlined to the President so he can sign it. Then published. All will only take a few days, the question is when they could be able to start registering their unions.

  • 62. theperched  |  May 8, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Update from an Italian contact:

    Italian PM said that he will call a confidence vote. On Thursday we expect the final vote.

  • 63. Christian0811  |  May 9, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Last I read on PinkNews the gay rights groups stopped supporting this law after the adoption clauses were dropped, that still the case?

  • 64. Zack12  |  May 7, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    Glad to see Roy Moore got the boot but as he is retiring in two years, this will likely only help his run for governor.
    And as long as his fellow theocrat Tom Parker stays on the bench, justice truly won't be done here.

  • 65. ianbirmingham  |  May 8, 2016 at 1:31 am

    Trump Surrounds Himself With Fervent Homophobes

    Read more:

  • 66. allan120102  |  May 8, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Same sex marriage will become legal officially in Jalisco on Thursday 12 2016. Once the supreme court notify the congress of its final decision. A change by the deputies of the state constitution is no longer need.

  • 67. theperched  |  May 9, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Here's a summary of what to expect this week. Please feel free to fill in anything I missed:

    Monday-Thursday: Italy's debate/vote on civil unions
    Wednesday – Michoacan's vote on marriage bill
    Thursday – Colima's vote on marriage bill/Jalisco receives the final Court order

  • 68. guitaristbl  |  May 9, 2016 at 7:49 am

    North Carolina sues US DoJ :…

    It seems McCrory justs wants to keep the bill rising and include more legal expenses to it. Such a generous man..If only it wasn't done with taxpayers' money.

  • 69. Sagesse  |  May 9, 2016 at 8:21 am

    The North Carolina AG has refused to defend the law. It will be interesting to see who is acting for the Governor in this lawsuit. No link yet to the filing that I can find.

  • 70. Sagesse  |  May 10, 2016 at 5:34 am

    Good article on the lawyers representing McGrory and the judge. Subscription site, but they allow 5 free articles a month. Hope the link works for you.

    North Carolina Turns to Prominent Conservative Lawyer to Defend 'Bathroom' Law [National Law Journal]

    Judge assigned to the case is a Reagan appointee whose nomination to the Fourth Circuit stalled amid Democratic opposition.

  • 71. Raga  |  May 9, 2016 at 11:54 am

    The case has been assigned to this judge:

  • 72. guitaristbl  |  May 9, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Not good news. But the 4th's preliminary ruling on the issue may control here..We'll see..

  • 73. JayJonson  |  May 9, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    This man, who was a legislative assistant to Jesse Helms, has the dubious honor of having been blocked twice from a seat on the Fourth Circuit. He no doubt is quite bitter and will do the bidding of his Republican masters. But at the Fourth Circuit, any ruling he issues is likely to be thrown out.

  • 74. Zack12  |  May 9, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Indeed, this man is going to do us no favors at all.

  • 75. sglaser2  |  May 9, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    He's in the Eastern District. The DOJ suit was filed in the Middle District. Unless the DOJ suit gets moved, it will get a different judge, Not sure what the rules are for moving between districts (or even if that's possible or common).

  • 76. allan120102  |  May 9, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    The judge we got was a GB appointee and her name is Louise Wood Flanagan so I am not sure she will be better. maybe she will better than the one we got with NC suing but being appoint by a republican does not make me have high hopes.

  • 77. scream4ever  |  May 9, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Many Republican appointees were favorable to us on the marriage cases. Just recently, the judge who ruled in our favor in the Mississippi adoption case was a GWB appointee

  • 78. VIRick  |  May 10, 2016 at 12:41 am

    It's possible, but not very common.

    The consolidated Florida marriage case combined "Grimsley v. Scott" from the Southern District of Florida with that of "Brenner v. Scott" from the Northern District of Florida. However, in this instance, both plaintiff parties were suing the state of Florida in an effort to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage.

    In effect, today's filings, "McCrory v. DOJ" and "United States v. North Carolina" are counter-suits.

  • 79. Raga  |  May 9, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Politico predicts that the Obama administration will countersue:

  • 80. guitaristbl  |  May 9, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    And it did countersue indeed :

  • 81. montezuma58  |  May 9, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Ironically McCory is complaining that the Feds did not give him enough time to respond. The bill was rushed through a special session in less than a day and McCory signed the bill before the ink was dry. The legislative process was done in a way that gave opposition no time to respond.

  • 82. VIRick  |  May 9, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Plus, HB2 went into immediate effect upon the governor's signing it.

    So, the bill was introduced, "debated," passed, sent to the other chamber of the legislature, where it was again introduced, "debated," passed, and then sent to the governor's office, whereupon he immediately signed it into law, after which said law took immediate effect, all within one 12-hour time-interval.

  • 83. F_Young  |  May 12, 2016 at 6:34 am

    North Carolina: N.C. Police Will Not Enforce Anti-LGBT House Bill 2 

    Police in several major North Carolina cities told NPR they will not penalize nor arrest a trans person for using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. 

    While legal battles rage on over North Carolina's anti-LGBT law known asHouse Bill 2, law enforcement officers in the state won't be arresting any restroom deviants any time soon. 

    Damien Graham, a spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department, told NPR on Tuesday that his department will not enforce the sweeping law, which requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that do not match their gender identity, because "the bill doesn't speak to enforcement nor penalty."

    ….NPR confirmed with several local police departments that there has not been a single complaint filed about transgender people using restrooms in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, or Asheville. This tracks with overwhelming evidence nationwide that proves there has never been a single verified report of a transgender person assaulting a cisgender (nontrans) person in a bathroom or locker room, nor has there ever been a confirmed instance of someone "pretending" to be transgender to gain access to sex-segregated spaces for nefarious purposes. 

    Read more:

  • 84. JayJonson  |  May 12, 2016 at 6:51 am

    So the bathroom part of "HB2" turns out to be merely symbolic? How can you have a law that contains no method of enforcement or penalty for violating it?

    Likely, the real intent of the bill was to repeal the local laws protecting lgbt people from discrimination and forbidding their enactment by other localities, as well as to prevent cities from adopting ordinances that increase the minimum wage. The "bathroom section" was added simply to give cover to the other parts and to create the illusion that they legislature was responding to a real threat. Delicious how it is that part that has blown up in their faces.

  • 85. A_Jayne  |  May 12, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Unfortunately, for the fearful, no enforcement is required. Simply arm the populace and scare them into seeing "men in dresses" as a dire threat in public bathrooms – enforcement takes care of itself – and the "self-protection" claim is backed up by the law those "offenders" were "breaking." It's only a matter of time…

  • 86. allan120102  |  May 9, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Campeche will legalize ssm next week.

  • 87. allan120102  |  May 9, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Oklahoma should celebrate big as one of the most bigot women I had ever seen leaves office. Thank God of term limits.

  • 88. VIRick  |  May 9, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Mississippi: ACLU Sues to Challenge Unconstitutional Anti-LGBT Law, HB1523

    Per Equality Case Files:

    This new lawsuit, "Alford v. Moulder," filed today, 9 May 2016, in federal court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Jackson Division, by the ACLU on behalf of a Mississippi gay couple, and which targets the Registrar of Vital Records for the state of Mississippi, is a pre-enforcement challenge intended to stop HB1523 before that law goes into effect on 1 July 2016.

    The complaint (complete with all attachments) is here:

    Simultaneously, on the same date, and in the same suit, a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction was also filed.

    The Motion is here:

    See also the "Washington Blade" article entitled, "Gay Couple Files Lawsuit against Mississippi 'Religious Freedom' Law:"

  • 89. VIRick  |  May 9, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Governor of North Carolina Sues the DOJ over HB2

    Per Equality Case Files:

    This new lawsuit, "McCrory v. DOJ," filed today, 9 May 2016, in federal court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Western Division, is a complaint for a declaratory judgment. The case has been assigned to District Court Judge Terrence W. Boyle, a former legislative assistant to Jesse Helms.

    It is all about the trans-gender bathrooms issue and federal "over-reach," and includes, as a co-plaintiff, Frank Perry, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. It goes on to claim that the state is in compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and with the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.

    The complaint is here:

    ACLU and Lambda Legal Statement on North Carolina’s Lawsuit Against Federal Government:

  • 90. VIRick  |  May 9, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    The United States Sues North Carolina over HB2

    Per Equality Case Files:

    This new lawsuit, "United States v. State of North Carolina; Patrick McCrory, in his official capacity as Governor of North Carolina; North Carolina Department of Public Safety; University Of North Carolina; and the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina," filed today, 9 May 2016, in federal court for the Middle District of North Carolina, directly challenges the constitutionality of North Carolina's HB2 as being in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as being in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations.

    The complaint is here:

    See more at the "Washington Blade," including this comment from Attorney-General Loretta Lynch:

    “While the lawsuit currently seeks declaratory relief, I want to note that we retain the option of curtailing federal funding to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and the University of North Carolina as this case proceeds,” said Lynch.

    – See more at:

  • 91. VIRick  |  May 9, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Transgender Woman Elected to Philippine Congress

    Today, 9 May 2016, a transgender woman became the first openly LGBT person elected to the Philippine Congress. With nearly 90 percent of the votes tallied, Geraldine Roman defeated Danny Malana by a 96,004 – 59,428 vote margin in the race to represent the Bataan Second Legislative District in the Philippine House of Representatives. Roman is a member of the center-left Liberal Party.

    In the same election, and for their new national President, it would also appear that Philippine voters have elected the pro-marriage equality candidate, Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who is a member of PDP-Laban party of which Roman is a part.

    – See more at:

  • 92. Fortguy  |  May 9, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Interesting article about transgender Philippines. One industry responsible for improving transgender lives in the Philippines is the customer service call industry.

    Meredith Talusan, Buzzfeed: Answering the Call

    According to the article, Philippine call center workers, due to the islands' long colonial association with the U.S., are able to speak to U.S. customers in a more American-sounding accent causing their industry to surpass that of their rivals in formerly British India. Transgender women have an inherently long practice of speaking in a way to sound like cisgender women, and the audio-only nature of their relationships with their customers ensures that their customers are none the wiser regarding their appearance. Customers tend to respond more politely and favorably to women's voices than to those of men.

  • 93. allan120102  |  May 9, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    lgbt activist are no longer playing in Mexico state. They are expecting to marry ss couples in each of the 125 municipalities this state has. They say they will promote this series of amparos because the legislature have show its opposition to change the civil code so they will force them to do it. Imo its an excellent move and other activists in other states should follow suit.

  • 94. Fortguy  |  May 9, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is calling for the resignation of Kent Scribner, the superintendent of the Fort Worth Independent School District, because the district has recently adopted policies affirming the gender identities of its students.

    Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune: Patrick Wants Fort Worth Superintendent to Resign

    It should be noted that Patrick, the politician and not the reporter, is a carnival barker who, as a former conservative talk radio host in Houston, underwent a vasectomy while on air during his radio show.

    More detailed info from a more local news source:

    Yamil Berard, Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Patrick calls for Fort Worth leader’s resignation in wake of ‘bathroom policy’ for transgender students

    I should also add that Fort Worth is a marginally blue city in otherwise marginally red Tarrant County. The city has had an aggressive annexation policy over the past 3 or 4 decades or so extending the city into adjacent counties. However, school district boundaries are largely set in stone. Not quite half of the high schools within the city's corporate limits are not within the FWISD but instead in neighboring districts. Most of the FWISD is within central city blue neighborhoods that voted against Patrick and his fellow GOP cohorts in recent elections.

    The FWISD school board is scheduled to meet Tuesday night. Patrick is expected to attend in order to fill the room with his stinky farts.

  • 95. F_Young  |  May 10, 2016 at 12:33 am

    Kenya Could Become the Next Country in Africa to Legalize Homosexuality

    … of Kenya's leading LGBT rights organizations, the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC), is working on a case currently filed in the country's high court that could remove criminal punishment for adults who engage in homosexual activity altogether.

    …..It is the first time that anyone has directly challenged the ban, with lawyer and NGLHRC leader Eric Gitari saying he closed the office after filing the case over fears of a backlash from members of the public, but returned ten days later to find no threats or violence had taken place.

    …..This week a court heard a petition from the two men challenging the use of anal exams, the outcome of which is expected in the coming months.

    ….."There is a lot of political will. We have seen consistency by the political class to refrain from legal matters when it comes to human rights," he said.

    That will has already been demonstrated through the country's courts, following the landmark decision in 2014 to allow Kenyan transgender rights activist Audrey Mbugua to change her gender on her school records.

    "Kenya could be a regional leader in gay rights, it's an exciting time" said Gitari.</i

    Read more:

  • 96. Adrian06306  |  May 10, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Next Tuesday: City of Brisbane is set to become the 39th local government area in Australia (and 1st in Queensland) to support marriage equality.

  • 97. theperched  |  May 10, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Only found articles in Slovenian, but Slovenia's new partnership law was promulgated and published yesterday. Here's the wikipedia summary:

    On 21 April, it was approved by the Assembly, in a 54-15 vote.[92][93] The National Council did not require the Assembly to vote on the bill again.

    On 28 April, the union of migrant workers SDMS filed a motion, with required 2,500 signatures, in order to be allowed to proceed with the petition for referendum.[94][95][96] However, on 5 May, the Speaker of the National Assembly Milan Brglez refused to set a thirty-five-day deadline during which the proposers could collect 40,000 valid signatures to force the referendum, arguing that this and several other SDMS referendum initiatives constitutes an abuse of the referendum laws.[97][98] He sent the bill for promulgation the next day.[99][100] It was promulgated by President Borut Pahor and published in the official journal on 9 May 2016.[101][102]

    On 10 May, SDMS challenged the Brglez's decision to the Constitutional Court.[103]

    They just won't stop…

    One difference here is the law was signed, while the President didn't want to sign the marriage bill because of the referendum hubub.

    Every time the government tries to pass a new law, it's to fulfill the 2009 Court ruling saying that existing legislation didn't go far enough. If this goes to the polls and it flops again, the Court should just make up its mind about how to go about fixing the civil partnerships available now…

  • 98. Christian0811  |  May 10, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Slovenia is gonna give me a brain tumor I stfg

  • 99. allan120102  |  May 10, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Breaking news . Camepeche legalize ssm 34-1 . This is a breaking news update….

  • 100. davepCA  |  May 10, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Hey! 43 to 1 is pretty nice!

  • 101. VIRick  |  May 10, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Mexico: Campeche State Congress Votes to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

    Per Rex Wockner, retweeted from Diversidad PRD:

    México: Campeche es el séptimo estado mexicano con matrimonio igualitario. El voto hoy día, 10 de mayo 2016, del Congreso fue 34-1. Con 34 votos a favor y uno en contra, aprueba el Congreso de Campeche a matrimonio igualitario.

    MEXICO » Campeche is state #7 in Mexico with full marriage equality. Today, 10 May 2016, the Campeche state Congress voted 34-1 in favor of approving the measure for marriage equality.

    And from Carmen no Discrimina:

    Se aprueba con 34 votos a favor 1 en contra a la iniciativa de matrimonio igualitario en Campeche.

    With 34 votes in favor and one against, the initiative for marriage equality in Campeche was approved.

  • 102. theperched  |  May 10, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    The lone dissenter is from Morena despite her co-Morenans voting in favor, interesting…

  • 103. VIRick  |  May 10, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    And here's the video from Congreso Campeche as each member of the legislature, in turn, stands, raises their right hand, and then verbally votes "Sí" in favor of marriage equality.

  • 104. VIRick  |  May 10, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Mississippi: Second Federal Lawsuit Against HB1523 (Old Case Reopened)

    Roberta Kaplan, the plaintiffs' attorney in this case, as well as having been Edie Windsor's attorney who effectively overturned DOMA before the US Supreme Court, does not play with fools.

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 10 May 2016, in the original successful federal Mississippi marriage case, "Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant," and in direct response to the "recusal" section for Mississippi state officials in the soon-to-be-implemented Mississippi law, HB 1523, to be effective from 1 July 2016, the Plaintiffs have filed a motion to reopen the judgment and modify the permanent injunction "so as to prevent Defendants from impeding or delaying Plaintiffs’ exercise of the fundamental right to marry."

    The Motion to Reopen Judgment, File Supplemental Pleading, and Modify the Permanent Injunction is linked here:

    For more background, see Chris Geidner's report here:

  • 105. VIRick  |  May 10, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    North Carolina: But Speaking of Fools and Their Federal Lawsuits

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 10 May 2016, not to be left out of the mad lawsuit frenzy, General Assembly leaders Phil Berger and Tim Moore also sued the feds over North Carolina's HB2. This totally redundant case was filed in the same district court as McCrory's, that is, in the Eastern District of North Carolina, Western Division, and appears to have been filed about 7 hours later.

    The Complaint, such as it is, can be found here:

  • 106. sfbob  |  May 10, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    "Such as it is indeed." It's basically a bunch of whining combined with the now-typical excuse that the law addresses a problem (which of course has never existed).

  • 107. VIRick  |  May 10, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Wyoming Judge Facing Ouster over Stance on Same-Sex Marriage

    Cheyenne WY — Some current and former Wyoming lawmakers, as well as national religious groups, are supporting a municipal judge who faces a dismissal petition before the Wyoming Supreme Court for saying she would not preside over same-sex marriages.

    On 10 May 2016, the Wyoming Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics recommended the court remove Municipal Judge and Circuit Court Magistrate Ruth Neely of Pinedale. The commission started investigating Neely after she told a reporter in 2014 she would not perform marriages for same-sex couples because of her religious beliefs.

    Attempts to reach Neely and her attorneys, including the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona religious advocacy law firm, were not successful. Neely is fighting removal, arguing she has a constitutional right to voice her opinion. Her lawyers have said no same-sex couples have asked her to preside over their marriage ceremonies.

  • 108. allan120102  |  May 10, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Russia. A lot if lgbt russians supports president Vladimir Putin even with his anti lgbt legislation. Here are some examples. They remind me of gay republicans who support Ted Cruz.

  • 109. davepCA  |  May 10, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Well, yeah, sure. I don't find it at all surprising that a lot of LGBT people in Russia might exhibit symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome, self-loathing, and a sense of resignation that this is as good as things can ever be, so why 'rock the boat' with protests and activism and risk angering the bigots even more, etc. All of that was not so uncommon here in the USA just a relatively few years ago.

  • 110. Christian0811  |  May 10, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Russians are extremely patriotic, and they don't view the world like we do.

    As for Putin, he's not as overtly homophobic compared to his Polish, Kazakh, and other ex-Soviet counterparts. I'd say he's no worse than, say, Napoleon I. So he's enlightened for a 19th century despot! Which is more than I can say than for most in the Duma.

    I don't necessarily find it suprising that many gay and bisexual Russians support him, considering there's a *sliiight* dirth of pro-LGBT politicians in Russia.

  • 111. allan120102  |  May 10, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    I agree he is not the worst. tbh I will vote for him before I vote for Ted Cruz or Huckabee. I thought though that Dmitry Medvedev was less homophobic than Putin but I am not sure because during his period as president there wasnt any anti lgbt legislation that I know for.

  • 112. Christian0811  |  May 11, 2016 at 12:04 am

    Indeed, there's republicans like Rick Sanrorum who have argued that homosexuality ought to be recriminalized which Putin has indicated that he has no interest in doing. Even one of his spokesmen in an interview said that they don't intend on allowing homosexuality to become a crime once more.

    That said, Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine is more enlightened even going so far as to see the law banning criminal and economic discrimination against gay people as an agreeable thing. He is probably the most enlightened politician east of the czech republic.

  • 113. JayJonson  |  May 11, 2016 at 6:20 am

    I suspect that Poroshenko appears more enlightened because he is so dependent on the West. Without the support from the West, Ukraine would by now have been made into a Russian puppet state.

  • 114. Christian0811  |  May 11, 2016 at 8:24 am

    That's entirely possible, but I'd like to think its not.

    As for Ukraine being a puppet state, EuroMaidan showed the world that the Ukrainians have zero interest in that. They truly want to reform and shirk their soviet past. They clearly and violently rejected Russian politics and organized crime. Just because they're not ready for equal marriage or even general acceptance of gay people, many are tolerant (at least) and want the social freedoms to at least allow social liberals to make their case to the people without fear of conservatives starting a mob.

    The people and activists of the Maidan Movement may not have had gay rights in mind, but they do support free expression. So long as that remains a dominating factor in Ukrainian politics, we stand a better chance there than we do in long time EU bastions like Hungary and Poland.

    Wasn't there a video that conducted a social experiment in Moscow and Kiev in seeing how people reacted to men holding hands? If I recall, people in Kiev had a much healthier (if still prejudiced) mentality than their Russian counterparts. I think that's telling.

  • 115. F_Young  |  May 11, 2016 at 10:02 am

    JayJohnson: “Without the support from the West, Ukraine would by now have been made into a Russian puppet state.”

    I agree with Jay Johnson, though I don’t necessarily disagree with Christian0811.

    No matter how anti-Russian, pro-independence and pro-free-speech many Ukrainians may be, what is left of Ukraine only survives because Russia does not want to provoke open warfare with NATO and is content to annex Ukraine slowly, by supporting mercenaries and Russian minorities (e.g. dual citizenship, tax evasion, espionage, treason) and through Cold War and asymmetric warfare such as assassinations, economic warfare (gas embargoes, trade embargoes), propaganda, psychological warfare and cyberwarfare.

    While Ukrainians may not yet be as anti-gay as Russians have now become, Ukrainian homophobia has been weaponized by the Russians, who use it to blackmail closeted gays, smear non-gays and provoke dissent, with the complicity of the Orthodox Church.

  • 116. Christian0811  |  May 11, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    And that's part of the reason there's the civil war, they're fighting tooth and nail to take back their country.

    And even if Russia tried to invade outright, it still wouldn't be easy going. The Ukrainians are updating their arsenal and training with western assistance, disbanded traitorous army units and are retraining. And part of the nice thing they have as being descended from the soviet military is that they can operate with subpar equipment and in a radio blackout which is useful when your opponent has the technological upper hand.

    A war with Ukraine may not look the same as it did when Russia fought Georgia in 2008 (with a paltry 200 total casualties on both sides). Even then Russia could not and did not try to annex them. They haven't even succeeded in making Georgia a puppet again. I suspect a country like the Ukraine would put up comparatively implacable resistance to annexation or subjugation especially after EuroMaidan.

    Just look at the war in Donbass, the government reclaimed like 90% of previously lost territory even though the Rebels have been directly assisted by Moscow.

    The weaponization of homophobia is only partially successful, if at all, in 2014 Russian infiltrators tried to pretend to be gay activists at maidan only to be decried by the crowds as frauds and run off back to the safety of the Berkyut Lines. At least that is according to one source I read.

    It's true that said tolerance only goes so far, especially during times of crisis but the Ukrainians have proven themselves *somewhat* reaistant to moral panic.

  • 117. F_Young  |  May 11, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    I hope that you're right, Christian0811, and that Putin thinks like you.

    My impression is that Ukraine is an economic basket case that cannot defend itself, that homophobia is sharply increasing there and LGBT activists are now worse off than before Maidan.

    To save central and western Ukraine, NATO or EU would need to post troops there and implement a type of Marshall Plan, but I don't see that happening.

    I don't live there; so, let's hope I'm wrong.

  • 118. Christian0811  |  May 11, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    I hope you mean that Putin and I see the situation the same way, I'm certainly no fan of his 😛

    It's getting better, as it switches to the general European market and French energy supply and reverses the Russo-centric policies of past presidencies. If Kiev can win the civil war, it can pull itself out of poverty and focus on social and economic development.

    My impression is that his whole experience has been cathartic for Ukraine. But like you, I can't say for sure as I don't live there either lol

  • 119. F_Young  |  May 11, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Yes, I meant that I hope that Putin thinks that central and western Ukraine will put up such a fight (and provoke NATO into escalating its defences) that it would be too costly and risky for Putin to try to do another Croatia there. However, I think Putin estimates that he can annex eastern Ukraine and Moldova (or at least make it a Russian puppet state).

  • 120. Christian0811  |  May 11, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    I do think that that is a reasonable worst case scenario 😛

  • 121. allan120102  |  May 10, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Marriage equality continues to be denied in most of Guerrero unless you get an amparo. This man explain in twitter how his marriage application was denied and he marry in the capital instead.The head of civil registry cannot force municipalities to marry ss couples as the civil code havent been change. He took his time because many are saying that they are 7 mexican states where ssm is legal. and that its not the case in Guerrero.

  • 122. VIRick  |  May 10, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Allan, ever since the Governor of Guerrero signed the executive order legalizing same-sex marriage, such has been legal in Guerrero at the state level, with the State Director of Civil Registries in accord.. Only certain civil registrars in certain municipalities have refused to comply, and apparently, continue to refuse to comply. However, their refusal does not negate the state-wide legalization. Couples who have been refused in those recalcitrant municipalities have been repeatedly urged to come to the state capital, Chilpancingo, and be duly married there.

  • 123. allan120102  |  May 10, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    My problem is that the state is not doing anything to force this municipalities in complying. They are just saying to go to another one. That is what was happening in Kansas last year. The only difference is that guerrero is recognizing those marriages. Imo is a slap on the face that the authorities are not doing anything. Is like they tell me I cannot marry in my municipality but in sps or in Tegucigalpa yes . Its unnaceptable

  • 124. VIRick  |  May 10, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Allan, it has always been difficult for me to accept Guerrero, as Guerrero never follows the accepted rules,– ever,– on any subject, with same-sex marriage being no exception. (Remember, at an earlier stage, unlike the rest of Mexico, no one in Guerrero ever bothered with amparos, either.)

    So, to me, if the governor himself unilaterally says "Yes," and the State Director of Civil Registries, Ines Huerta Pegueros, says "Yes," and will personally oversee the entire procedure, including the ceremony itself (and will even re-imburse the round-trip bus fare), then I say, grab your partner, hop on the bus, and head there immediately for a wonderfully memorable week-end in Chilpancingo.

    I understand your complaint. But things involving change are always messy in Mexico. And Guerrero is the messiest of them all. Still, it is further ahead than many.

  • 125. allan120102  |  May 10, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Yeah thanks Rick. You always know what to say. I just hope this game ends soon for all the lgbt people in the state . The new governor(Héctor Astudillo Flores) have not say anything so far on this topic and frustrate me. Ines Pegueros is doing more of a good job than him and I can understand that small municipalities where ss couples are not common are not issuing but a municipality as big as Acapulco isnt just blow my mind as they are hundreds of lgbt people living in there.

    Once Michoacan and Colima legalize ssm this week or the next this state will be the only with a complex situation in all the southwestern coast of Mexico. Imo this will end once the lazy and uncooperative lesgislature modify its civil code.

    I imagine states like Zacatecas, Hidalgo and other conservative states might want to put a similar game if the governor acts without their legislatures modifying their civil codes.

    Btw if Ines Huerta Pegueros have a twitter or facebook I will ask her how many municipalities and which ones are complying with the law. I hope she does.

  • 126. VIRick  |  May 10, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    The American Counseling Association Will Not Hold Its Annual Conference & Expo in Tennessee

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Tennessee became the latest state to sign into law discriminatory "religious freedom" legislation targeting the counseling profession and the LGBTQ community, permitting counselors to deny services and refer clients based on the provider’s "strongly-held principles," a clear violation of the American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics.

    In light of the passage of SB1556/HB1840, ACA members have been very vocal about their opinions on the location of the 2017 Conference & Expo, originally scheduled for Nashville TN. After careful consideration, and taking those comments into account, in an announcement issued today, 10 May 2016, the ACA has decided that the 2017 annual meeting will not be held in Tennessee.

  • 127. VIRick  |  May 10, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Arkansas Judge Gave Male Defendants Reduced Sentences for Sexual Favors

    Today, 10 May 2016, Judge Joseph Boeckmann resigned from his position after the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission issued its report. Here are some of the more sordid details, as per "LGBTQ Nation:"

    An Arkansas judge has been running a risqué and morally reprehensible side-business, trading sex with vulnerable young male criminals for more lenient sentencing. Joseph Boeckmann served as a district judge in Cross County AR for six years. He publicly presented himself as the embodiment of the moral high ground, deciding the fates of those who passed through his courtroom.

    But now Boeckmann stands accused of a crime himself: reducing the sentences of young men, at least one of whom is under 18, who helped him with “personal work,” a euphemism if there ever was one. According to the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, Boeckmann requested that young males contact him at his home to complete “community sentences” like trash pickup. But when they arrived at the house, they were asked for all sorts of sexual favors in order to have their court fines reduced or thrown out altogether.

    Boeckmann also photographed many of the men nude, and hundreds of those pictures have been recovered off his hard drive. According to the Commission, the pictures “depict young men, many naked, who are in various poses inside the judge’s home and outside in his yard.” The report adds “there are numerous photos of naked young men bending over after an apparent paddling.”

    In one case, Boeckmann reduced a traffic fine, and asked the defendant to bring three bags of cans to his house. The judge offered a drink to the defendant, referred to as W.M. Then, “Boeckmann informed W.M. that he needed W.M. to pull 2 cans from the bags and bend over as if he were picking up the cans.” The judge then coached him “on how to pose and spread his legs farther apart.”

    The report further claims that “Boeckmann has engaged in a consistent pattern of seeking out young Caucasian male litigants for the purpose of forming personal, sexual relations with the litigants, thus creating a self-imposed conflict of interest for himself.”

    The judge has stepped down from his position, and has agreed that he will never again seek employment as a local, county, or state employee.

  • 128. Christian0811  |  May 11, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Pregunta, if there's evidence of this why hasn't he been arrested and charged?

  • 129. VIRick  |  May 12, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    State officials in Arkansas can not be removed from office. They have to be forced to resign.

    To this end, this judge's resignation was finally accomplished when the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission publicly issued its scathing report on 10 May 2016. Apparently, as part of the "deal" in their accepting his resignation, he agreed not to ever seek employment as a local, county, or state employee in Arkansas.

    The next stage would be for one of his victims to come forward and sue him for civil damages, like the guy who he photographed after he made him bend over and spread his legs. On the other hand, the one who he showered with gifts (regardless of whatever else he did) might prefer to remain quiet and simply keep the gifts.

    However, there might still be cause for criminal proceedings in the case of the one who was under 18.

  • 130. Fortguy  |  May 10, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    As I posted earlier, the Fort Worth Independent School District held a board meeting Tuesday. Although the district's new policy regarding transgender students was not on the agenda, the crowd of people wanting to attend snaked around the block because of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's call for Superintendent Kent Scribner to resign as a result of his implementation of the new policy.

    FWISD: Transgender Student Guidelines

    Kiah Collier and Madlin Mekelburg, The Texas Tribune: Patrick Draws Fire for "Fake Outrage" Over FW Bathroom Policy

    Dan Solomon, Texas Monthly: Dan Patrick Signals That Restrooms Will Become A Statewide Issue

    Diane Smith and Lee Williams, Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Fort Worth superintendent not a ‘social engineer,’ Patrick says

    Marjorie Owens and Jim Douglas, WFAA (ABC affiliate): Former FW council member calls Lt. Gov. Patrick a 'bully'

    Yes, that last article is about former city council member Joel Burns, who is totally awesome, and promises to be among the vanguard of LGBT leaders in the state once the GOP stranglehold over state politics comes to an end from the party's internal bickering and systemic corruption.

    Normally, the city benefits from the state's prevailing westerly winds that keep the toxic pollution emanating from Austin, Dallas, and Houston from defiling its environs. Unfortunately, Patrick has now huffed up all the poison he can and belched it out over the fair city. It is up to the community to organize cleanup crews to extricate his vile bile.

    On a more optimistic note, Superintendent Scribner received a standing ovation from his fellow citizens when he entered the board meeting. There is also no evidence that the board will seriously entertain a proposal to reverse the new policy in the future. Indeed, the city as a whole already provides protections against transgender discrimination in its municipal code as do Austin, Dallas, El Paso, and San Antonio. Of the state's big-six cities, only Houston does not provide those protections since HERO was defeated last November.

  • 131. Fortguy  |  May 11, 2016 at 12:11 am

    The Texas GOP Convention will meet from Thursday through Saturday in Dallas! Woo-Hoo!

    They will be dealing with the following issues:

    *Choosing delegates to the national GOP convention. As a result of the primary, an overwhelming majority of these will be pledged to Carnival Cruz who is no longer campaigning.

    *They will consider proposed party platform planks including these according to Anna M. Tinsley of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Should Texas businesses be able to deny service based on conscience?

    Proposals reviewed and approved by subcommittees this week included urging lawmakers to legalize constitutional carry, remove gun-free zones, call for an Article V convention, ban red-light cameras and defund sanctuary cities.

    *Most importantly, as Tinsley tells us they will consider a platform plank regarding "freedom of conscience" stated as follows:

    That legislation at the state and federal level be passed that concretely defines public accommodations as originally defined and understood in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that it prohibit any expansion of that legal definition by any federal, state or local law to expand government control to restrict any First Amendment rights; and to proscribe any law that requires any private business or individual to create or provide a custom product or service, or any kind of expressive work, or enter into a contract, or be coerced into any speech that is not their own.

    *Now the fun part! From Gromer Jeffers Jr., The Dallas Morning News: Controversial mailer claims Texas GOP chairman promotes ‘disgusting homosexual agenda’:

    The race for chairman of the Texas Republican Party has spawned charges that the party’s current leader, Tom Mechler, supports a “disgusting homosexual agenda.”

    A supporter of Jared Woodfill, a Houston lawyer and former chairman of the Harris County Republican Party, has sent out campaign mailers blasting Mechler for allowing a gay and lesbian GOP group to have a booth at the upcoming state convention and not doing enough to move the event out of Dallas, which they call a “homosexual-friendly location.”

    Why did the anti-gay conversion therapy movement spend so much money torturing people for weeks on end when their gay conversion opponents need only set up a table in the foyer of a convention hall and just hand out pamphlets?

    Of course, Woodfill was defeated in his bid to remain Harris County chairman because he was too extreme for the Republicans in the Houston area. Too bad that relieving him of his former party duties freed up his time to invest his energies into defeating HERO.

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

    Italy legalize ss unions. Becoming the last one in western Europe. Imo Italy is in Central Europe but whatever. A bittersweet victory nonetheless.

  • 133. VIRick  |  May 11, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Italy Finally Approves Same-Sex Civil Unions

    Today, 11 May 2016, the lower house of Italy’s Parliament voted overwhelmingly to enact a bill to create a civil union status for same-sex couples, "La Repubblica" reported, a vote that will finally end Italy’s status as the last country in Western Europe which does not provide any legal recognition for gay and lesbian relationships.

    The Senate endorsed the legislation after a bitter debate in February in a vote that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi secured after agreeing to cut key provisions from the bill. The most significant was dropping a section that would have allowed for adopting a partner’s child, which a coalition of LGBT rights groups condemned as a deep betrayal.

    The path in the lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, was smoother thanks to Renzi’s Democratic Party holding a much larger majority. The bill was adopted by a vote of 372 to 51 with 99 abstentions this evening.

  • 134. Christian0811  |  May 12, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Though I don't suspect the CC to strike the civil unions bill down in favor of full marriage anytime soon, and I do think it will be the CC that eventually does it, it will be interesting to see if the court gets to evaluate the bill as to its compliance to the original mandate issued in Ruling 138/2010. And of course they're yet to address joint or even step-adoption as a constitutional matter.

  • 135. allan120102  |  May 11, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Sonora tecnically legalize ssm as they are marrying ss couples without amparo the same as Chihuahua. They have surrender as it looks.

  • 136. VIRick  |  May 11, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Mexico: Sonora: Same-Sex Marriage Legally in Effect Statewide

    Per Rex Wockner:

    MEXICO » Parece que desde hoy, 11 de mayo 2016, Sonora es el octavo estado con matrimonio igualitario sin amparo. Da Registro Civil (del Estado) apertura a matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo.

    Mexico: It appears that from today, 11 May 2016, Sonora is the 8th state with marriage equality without amparo. The (State) Civil Registry has begun to allow marriage between same-sex couples.

    MEXICO » Report: The head of the Sonora State Civil Registry says no need for amparo, come get same-sex married at any office.

    According to the Director of the State Civil Registry, Martha Julisa Bojórquez Castillo, to date, there have already been 12 marriages between same-sex couples in Sonora state, all with amparo. One was between two men, while the rest were between two women, and these civil marriages have taken place in San Luis Rio Colorado, Agua Prieta, and Hermosillo (with another upcoming in Nogales).

    She goes on to state that since the beginning of May, (since 2 May 2016), but in a policy change only publicly announced today, 11 May 2016, that it is no longer necessary for same-sex couples to seek an amparo in order to marry within the state.

  • 137. VIRick  |  May 11, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    The Director of the State Civil Registry in Sonora does not explicitly explain why the sudden policy change regarding same-sex marriage, but it would appear that she has taken it upon herself to implement the change now that at least 5 or 6 amparos have been issued to same-sex couples allowing them to marry in Sonora.

    Recently, I had concluded that the amparo just granted in Nogales was amparo #4 for the state. However, in the meantime, I had completely missed the earlier one granted in Agua Prieta (as mentioned in the article, immediately above, and possibly also a third one already granted in Hermosillo).

    The Director is following the precise interpretation of the Judicial Reforms of 2011, whereby amparo #5, granted on the same matter in the same state, automatically sets the offending provision of the code in abeyance, thus rendering it null and void, and no longer enforceable. She quietly allowed for this process to occur, and then bided her time before making any public pronouncement to this effect, thus out-maneuvering everyone, including the Sonora Congress and the Governor of Sonora, neither of which, in any event, any longer have the ability to appeal an amparo decision.

    The revised amparo count for Sonora would be as follows:
    1. San Luis Rio Colorado (1 couple)
    2. Hermosillo (1 couple)
    3. Agua Prieta (1 couple)
    4. Hermosillo (6 couples)
    5. Nogales (1 couple)

    Thus, there would have to have been at least one more amparo granted (for good measure) for 3 more couples in order to account for the 12 marriages cited, since the male couple in Nogales has not yet married.

  • 138. allan120102  |  May 11, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    I Also need to add that adoption for ss couples is now legal in the state and also in Campeche. I love the decision that Sonora took instead of resisting the inevitable. I hope others states see and abide the supreme court rulings.

  • 139. scream4ever  |  May 11, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    I predict that all Mexican states will have marriage equality by the end of 2016.

  • 140. allan120102  |  May 11, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    No, I doubt it. I know states like Zacatecas, Hidalgo, Baja California and others are going to fight tooth and nail. Some are really Conservative.

  • 141. theperched  |  May 11, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Hidalgo will wrap up their first amparo at the end of the year. They filed one collective amparo and four individual ones to try to get the jurisprudence:

  • 142. allan120102  |  May 11, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    More info of Sonora. The head of civil registry said that marriage of ss couples have been occuring since last week and the municipalities are bound to marry ss couples. Another one bite the dust.

  • 143. VIRick  |  May 11, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Hateful Alabama Mother-in-Law Absolutely Refuses to Quit, Because Jeeezzus

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 11 May 2016, in "Hard v. Fancher," the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decision awarding Paul Hard his spousal share of the wrongful death proceeds, the repellant appellant, Pat Fancher, has petitioned to have the case reheard before the entire 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (rehearing en banc).

    Last month, a 3-member panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court decision that awarded Paul Hard his spousal share of the settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit.

    The Petition for Rehearing En Banc is here:

    Fancher's attorney is Matthew Kidd of the so-called Foundation for Moral Law, a supposed "non-profit." Judge Roy Moore is the President Emeritus of the Foundation for Moral Law, and his wife Kayla Moore is its current president.

  • 144. JayJonson  |  May 11, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    I'd rather have the so-called Foundation for Moral Law spend the money it has scammed from the gullible on impossible motions like this than on anything that is likely to be successful for them.

  • 145. allan120102  |  May 11, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Michoacan to legalize ssm next wednesday after the catholic church ask for more time saying that this is a huge and trascendental topic.Campeche and Sonora have legalize ssm in May and with Colima and Michoacan to do it this month this might be the best month for marriage equality in Mexico.

  • 146. theperched  |  May 11, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    Sinaloa contemplating if they should approve the bill or let the court axe the current heterosexual-only law, either way they admit that the days of the current marriage laws are limited so they'll be one of the next. If Oaxaca would hurry up we could have a line from border to border. I'm irked that the amparo process in all of Mexico began in Oaxaca yet they haven't done anything to fix their laws.

  • 147. allan120102  |  May 11, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    Chiapas might see their ban struck this year by the supreme court and SLP, Puebla,Morelos and Aguascalientes are seeing action. I am waiting also for the Baja Californias to act too so we can get all the western coast of Mexico.

  • 148. theperched  |  May 12, 2016 at 12:15 am

    Somehow I get the feeling that Baja California Sur will beat Baja California to getting it done.

  • 149. VIRick  |  May 12, 2016 at 1:34 am

    Following the example just set in Sonora, all of the following states in Mexico have hit or exceeded the 5-amparo limit, and do not have any cases pending appeal. Under those circumstances, if the Director of the State Civil Registry so chose, they could simply issue a directive to all municipal civil registries statewide, to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as early as tomorrow morning:

    Colima, Guanajuato, Querétaro, Michoacán, Morelos, Puebla, and Sinaloa, with Michoacán under direct court orders to do just that since September 2015.

    Independently, on their own initiative, municipal civil registrars in both Ciudad Querétaro and in San Pedro Cholula in Puebla state have issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples without amparo, while a number of municipal authorities in Morelos have given voice to doing likewise (and could and should, as the 5-amparo limit has already been exceeded, thus rendering the ban null and void in all 7 of those jurisdictions listed above).

    Both Baja California and Yucatán have also exceeded the 5-amparo limit, but both still also have cases under appeal, which complicates matters legally.

    For comparison's sake, Campeche, for Campeche, did the change correctly, as only one amparo had ever been granted to a same-sex couple to marry in that state. Thus, in order to remain in compliance with Mexico's Supreme Court, they needed to make the change the old-fashioned, traditional way, by having the state congress pass a law legalizing same-sex marriage (and raising the marital age of consent to a uniform age of 18).

    The following states, all presently with fewer than 5 amparos granted, would have to follow Campeche in making the change the old fashioned way, that is, via legislative action through their state congresses (unless their state governors were to suddenly issue an executive order mandating the change, or unless they were to suddenly hit the 5-amparo limit):

    Baja California Sur, Durango, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, Hidalgo, Estado de México, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Tabasco, and Oaxaca.

    A third way, as being followed in Chiapas (and as was done in Jalisco), is to file an "Action of Unconstitutionality" directly with Mexico's Supreme Court.

    A fourth way, as was done in Chihuahua and Guerrero, is for the state governor to simply issue an executive order mandating the legality of same-sex marriage statewide. All state governors have this power to act unilaterally.

  • 150. VIRick  |  May 11, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    North Carolina: A Fifth Lawsuit over HB2, as the ADF Joins the Fray

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today's totally redundant federal suit, "North Carolinians for Privacy v. DOJ," filed on 11 May 2016 in the Eastern District of North Carolina, Western Division, is one brought by the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Arizona-based hate group, pretending to be a "non-profit" legal advocacy group, while representing some sort of plaintiffs in something called "North Carolinians for Privacy," an unincorporated non-profit association headquartered in Raleigh. Per the complaint, "North Carolinians for Privacy exists to advocate for, and protect, bodily privacy in the State of North Carolina and to ensure their members need not give up their right to privacy in order to access educational opportunities at elementary, middle, and high schools throughout North Carolina and at colleges within the University system."

    The suit names as defendants the US Dept. of Justice, US Attorney-General Loretta Lynch, US Dept. of Education, and US Secretary of Education John King, Jr.

    The complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, such as it is, can be found here:

    More on this suit from Zack Ford at Think Progress:

    Recall that last week, ADF brought a similar federal suit in Illinois. Apparently, they can barely constrain themselves, jumping all over this artificially-concocted "bathroom" issue, as if it were the latest and greatest cause since forever..

  • 151. allan120102  |  May 11, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Colima to legalize ssm tomorrow if all goes well. If not it will be this month.

  • 152. Iggy_Schiller  |  May 12, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Have you guys heard about Armel v. Virginia?

    It asks the Supreme Court to extend the scope of Lawrence v. Texas: "Issue: Whether the Virginia Supreme Court committed error by denying petitioner’s appeal, implicitly holding the Virginia anti-sodomy statute to be constitutional as applied".

    The petition is here:

  • 153. allan120102  |  May 12, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Not all civil registies in Sonora are going to marry ss couples without an amparo. This judge should be put in place .

  • 154. VIRick  |  May 12, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    The Civil Registrar for the municipality of Navojoa, in southern Sonora, Manuel Raymundo Valdez Dominguez, is simply presenting an out-of-date argument that same-sex couples still need to obtain an amparo in order to be married before him. He incorrectly claims that because the Sonora state congress has not yet changed the law, such an amparo must still be necessary. However, he is totally ignoring the 5-amparo judicial rule put in place by the Judicial Reforms of 2011, which, in the interim, has placed the marriage ban in abeyance in Sonora, statewide, as per the directive issued yesterday, 11 May 2016, by the Director of the State Civil Registry in Sonora, Martha Julisa Bojórquez Castillo.

  • 155. VIRick  |  May 12, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Massachusetts Senate Approves Transgender Rights Bill

    Today, 12 May 2016, the Massachusetts Senate approved a bill that would ban discrimination based on gender identity in public accommodations. Senate Bill 735 — which would expand a 2011 law that prohibits anti-trans discrimination in employment and housing — passed by a 33-4 vote margin.

    “Today’s historic passage of the transgender protections bill in the Massachusetts Senate sends a message the transgender community has longed for decades to hear — that we are truly welcome and valued in our commonwealth, and that our contributions are a part of the fabric that allows Massachusetts to thrive and prosper,” said Kasey Suffredini, co-chair of Freedom Massachusetts, which campaigned in support of SB 735.

    The Massachusetts House of Representatives is expected to pass the measure.

    With Massachusetts included, there would be 18 states and DC which ban anti-trans discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

    – See more at:

  • 156. SethInMaryland  |  May 12, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Bermuda has set the date of June 23 as the day of the referendum. What are the chances if any that will pass.?I really hope it does pass but I have feeling Bermuda isn't ready for a referendum

  • 157. allan120102  |  May 12, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    I seriously want to say that yes they will pass marriage equality but I seriously doubt it. I believe Bermuda is not ready. More than Jamaica and Bahamas yes but I believe a majority of the population is not ready.

  • 158. O.S.I.  |  May 16, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    I do not see why these southern states of the U.S.A. have such a problem. After all Jesus had two fathers, and that seemed to turn out alright for them. The fact that it has become a national story of where people Sh!t in U.S. America is an International Joke. WTF? I travel all over the world, and have to make excuses for why Americans are so dumb. Hell I could be in Auckland New Zealand with me mates playing Kiwi Golf.

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