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Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denies en banc review in transgender student’s case

Transgender Rights

Fourth Circuit map
Fourth Circuit map
Today, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denied en banc review, with all Fourth Circuit judges, in GG v. Gloucester County Public School Board.

The case involves GG, a student who sued when the school board created a new policy designed to prevent students who are transgender from using the correct bathroom. He lost his case in district court, but a three-judge panel in the Fourth Circuit reversed, backing the Obama administration’s guidance on transgender bathroom use.

With the denial of en banc review, the school board has the option of asking the Supreme Court for review, and they will need to file that request within 90 days.

Currently the Court only has eight Justices, so it’s not clear whether they would have four votes to hear this case or not. If they deny review, the Fourth Circuit’s decision stands and it creates precedent only within that circuit.

North Carolina is within the Fourth Circuit, and the case could have an enormous impact on challenges to HB2.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. davepCA  |  May 31, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Excellent. If the losing side tries to appeal to SCOTUS, I suspect that SCOTUS will decline to hear the case and the precedent will be set for the 4th circuit.

  • 2. FredDorner  |  May 31, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Given that there's a somewhat adverse precedent in the 9th Circuit COA, SCOTUS might simply bump any appeal until they have a 9th justice.

  • 3. VIRick  |  May 31, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Mexico » Toluca, Edoméx – Aplazan Congreso de última Hora el Matrimonio Igualitario en Edoméx

    Mexico » Toluca, Edoméx – Congress, Expected to OK Same-Sex Marriage Today, but Hit Pause in Edoméx.

    Per Rex Wockner:

    A pesar de que la comunidad gay del Estado de México esperaba que en sesión extraordinaria, la Cámara de Diputados local avalara la iniciativa de ley para permitir las bodas entre personas del mismo sexo, dicha propuesta no apareció en la orden del día de este martes, 31 de mayo 2016.

    Actualmente, en el Estado de México se han casado cuatro parejas del mismo sexo luego de que la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) lo ordenara a un juez civil, y 12 parejas están en trámite de interponer amparos ante un Juez de Distrito y así poder contraer nupcias en esta entidad federativa.

    Although the LGBT community in the State of Mexico had hoped, during the extraordinary session of the local Congress, that the Congress would approve the bill to allow same-sex marriage, this proposal did not appear on today's agenda of Tuesday, 31 May 2016.

    Currently, in the State of Mexico, four same-sex couples have been married after the Supreme Court of Justice ordered it to a civil judge, plus 12 couples are in the process of filing amparo injunctions before a (federal) District Judge so that they can get married in this state.

    This second paragraph is a good up-dated summary of the current amparo situation in Edoméx (State of Mexico).

  • 4. guitaristbl  |  May 31, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Niemeyer went full "far right hack judge on influential bench" on this one. Disgusting but hardly surprising. I don't feel this case will be accepted by SCOTUS tbh as SCOTUS stands now. And if it does it will at worst lead to affirmance by an equally divided court.

  • 5. VIRick  |  May 31, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Ignore Niemeyer. Everyone else appears to be able to ignore him. As per Equality case Files, the key phrase in today's 4th Circuit Court decision of 31 May 2016 is this:

    "No judge having requested a poll under Fed. R. App. P. 35 on the petition for rehearing en banc, the petition is denied."

    So, no judge who may have had an objection to the decision rendered by the 3-member panel chose to follow the court rules and request a poll (a vote) on the petition for re-hearing. Instead, Niemeyer chose to write a symbolic dissent. In his written dissent, he even says that it is a symbolic dissent. However, such a symbolic dissent does not follow the court's own rules. He seems to acknowledge this basic point, but then, went and did it anyway.

    Even more interesting, from the original decision of the 3-member panel of 19 April 2016, we have this summary snippet, saved in my archives:

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

    My own feeling is that Niemeyer, given that he didn't get his way on the first round, and was even less successful on the second round, is well past his "sell-by" date, and probably ought to be seriously thinking about retirement from the bench.

  • 6. guitaristbl  |  June 1, 2016 at 5:47 am

    Niemeyer's dissent while he did not call for a vote seemed weird at first but it made sense when he said he wants to fastrack the case for SCOTUS. Although I am not sure what he is hoping for given the current condition of SCOTUS.

    He should retire alongside O'Scannlain of the 9th and Kelly of the 10th. They are way past their time.

  • 7. JayJonson  |  June 1, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Niemeyer is 75 years old. He probably should retire, not just because of his age but more importantly because he seems stuck in the past. He is the son of a Notre Dame philosophy professor and anti-communist crusader and seems determined to keep his father's dubious legacy relevant.

    He was placed on the district court bench by Reagan and elevated to the Appellate bench by George H.W. Bush. He dissented in the marriage case, where he argued that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage could pass a rational basis analysis. Glad to see that his position on the bathroom case is not supported by any other member of the 4th Circuit.

  • 8. davepCA  |  June 1, 2016 at 9:43 am

    '"…he argued that Virginia's ban on same sex marriage could pass rational basis analysis". Yes, and he had to throw in a whole steaming pile of bog-standard idiotic logic fallacies to do it, too. Everything from an appeal to tradition (relying on the fact that past rulings like Loving had not referenced marriage rights as including same sex couples) to slippery slope nonsense about how this would result in incestuous marriage. His writing skills are nice but his arguments were that of a garden variety bigot in a Youtube comment section.

  • 9. Zack12  |  June 1, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Folks will have to excuse far right bigot Paul Niemeyer, as he is still having a hard time adjusting to the fact he went from being an arch conservative on the most conservative court in the country to being an arch conservative on a court that has been transformed by Obama being able to appoint seven judges to it, thus making it much more liberal.
    His dissent yesterday is him having a temper tantrum and nothing more.
    As others have said, if he doesn't like it, he can step down and spare himself further moments of anger.

  • 10. tx64jm  |  June 1, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    But if “on the basis of sex” in Title IX includes “on the basis of gender identity,” the Department of Education’s 1975 regulation that recognizes that Title IX allows schools to “provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex” collapses into incoherence.

    If the majority and the Obama administration are right that a boy who identifies as female has a right under Title IX to use the girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and shower facilities, then it would be discrimination on the basis of gender identity to bar a boy who identifies as male from having the same access. After all, the difference between the two biological males is that they have different gender identities. How could one of the males be allowed to use the girls’ facilities and the other be barred from doing so if Title IX bars discrimination on the basis of gender identity?

  • 11. davepCA  |  June 1, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Specious word games are no substitute for a legitimate argument. Shoo, troll.

  • 12. tx64jm  |  June 1, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Ah … if only it were a legitimate argument.

  • 13. davepCA  |  June 1, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    That's right, you don't have one. All you have is your specious word game. Shoo, troll.

  • 14. tx64jm  |  June 2, 2016 at 3:39 am

    "If we take an individual’s self-declared gender identity as the sole necessary and sufficient condition for membership in a gender class, the result is that the meaning of the word “woman” is reduced to a subjective mental state, to a feeling in a person’s head. The only answer to the question “what is a woman?” becomes “a person who feels like a woman”. But this is an entirely circular definition that tells us nothing about what a woman is. The purpose of language is to convey shared social meanings. If a word means something different to every person who uses it, and they cannot explain to others what they mean when they use that word, then it means nothing. If the word woman is defined as “someone who thinks they are a woman”, then the word woman becomes meaningless, and can no longer be the name of anything. The political implication of that is that women as a class disappear.

    This also leads to absurd and profoundly objectionable conclusions such as the one of Simon in the image of point 21, where someone raised as male, living as male, presenting as male – in other words, a man – can suddenly insist he is a woman and be allowed to speak over and on behalf of those who have been living as women and been socialised as women since birth. By insisting that being a woman is nothing more than a feeling in a person’s head, the notion of gender identity erases and invalidates the experiences of both biologically female women and transsexual women. Both biologically female women and transsexual women should resist the idea that womanhood is nothing more than a state of mind, a feeling in a person’s head, evidenced only by a performative utterance, because such a position has the effect of eradicating the existence of women altogether."

  • 15. davepCA  |  June 2, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Not even close to a legitimate argument for justifying a law or regulation that requires transsexual women to use a men's public restroom simply because their birth certificate still says 'male'. Keep flailing, troll.

  • 16. tx64jm  |  June 2, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    The point is … who decides that transsexual women belong to the class called women?

    Earlier this year, Highwater attended a talk by Bindel about radical feminists who have been banned from public speaking due to accusations of transphobia. There she met one of the organizers, the provocative trans writer Miranda Yardley, who likewise rejects the ethos of the contemporary trans movement. Transitioning, Yardley tells me, improved her life immeasurably. It eliminated the gender dysphoria—the strong desire “to be treated as the other gender or to be rid of one’s sex characteristics,” in the words of the DSM-5—that once plagued her. But it didn’t, she says, make her female. “I’m male, I own it,” she tells me. Soon, Yardley and Highwater began dating. “We identify as a gay male couple,” Yardley says. “We don’t identify as lesbians.”

    "It is empirically unreasonable to expect that someone who has been socialized male, has undergone a male puberty, is in all sense of the word anatomically male, can simply say, ‘I’m now a woman,’ and have the world recalibrate all of its autonomic algorithms about sex and gender and say, ‘Yes, you’re a woman,’ ” says Aoife Assumpta Hart, a 41-year-old trans woman with a Ph.D. in gender and psychoanalysis who blogs at Gender Apostates. “Reality doesn’t work that way.”

  • 17. JayJonson  |  June 2, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Well, tx64jm, I hope you will have your birth certificate ready when someone challenges you to produce it in order to pee in a public facility.

  • 18. davepCA  |  June 2, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    You're still not offering any argument that even begins to address the legal issue.

    Look, you spent a long time commenting on this site as an anti-gay-marriage troll, spewing lies and rhetoric and made-up nonsense that never did anything to give you any argument to explain how laws could possibly deny the rights and protections of legal marriage to same sex couples without violating basic principles of our federal Constitution. You lost that issue, again and again, here in these comments and in the events that unfolded in society and in the courts.

    So now you're here again, shifting your petty prejudices to your new target – trans people. But your cover was already blown a long time ago, and you're not fooling anyone. You have no more legitimate rational viewpoint or arguments on this issue than you did on the previous issue of legal marriage for same sex couples. It's all a bunch of childish semantic games, logic fallacies, and false rhetoric, dressed up and trotted out to try to conceal the plain vanilla prejudice and pointless animosity that hide beneath. It's not anything that even remotely resembles a legitimate "argument" on this issue of what our laws can and cannot do to our citizens.

    And on this new issue, just like last time, you will find once again that our laws, our courts, our society and our Constitution will tell you loud and clear that there is no place in our nations laws for your petty prejudices. Giving views such as yours the force of law results in pointless laws that harm citizens for no valid reason and serve no useful purpose and violate the Constitution.

    I would encourage you to take good long look at why you feel the need to harbor your vindictive sociopathic prejudiced views about other citizens, and what you get out of seeing unnecessary harm done to others by unconstitutional laws, and do something about your bigotry. In short, grow up.

  • 19. tx64jm  |  June 2, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    How about those of the leadership of the ACLU?

    She said she’s had misgivings about the bathroom debate since her young daughters shared a restroom in Oakland, Calif. with three transgender women with deep voices.

    “My kids were visibly frightened. I was scared. And I was ill-prepared to answer their questions,” she said. “I’ve been asking those same questions, and now I want to raise an honest conversation about them.”

  • 20. davepCA  |  June 2, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    How about instead of your idiotic pretense of having a 'valid concern' as a threadbare excuse for advocating for pointless laws that would force trans people to be subjected to the potential for real harm when using a public bathroom, you grow up, get honest about your petty vindictive motives, and do something about your childish prejudices and bigotry?

  • 21. guitaristbl  |  June 2, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Wow deep voices huh ? Deeply traumatizing ! Many cis women have deep voices as well – many look masculine as well – more so than many trans women ! Let's kick those out as well !

    Look bigoted troll you got what you need again – attention. You have failed to make a point, you have failed to provide a single way to enforce all this heinous, unconstitutional transphobic legislation, you have failed to provide a single valid argument concerning gender identity.

    So it's a repetition of your anti-marriage equality nonsense – and the legal path will be the same. You will be left fuming while courts will take care of guarding trans' people's constitutional rights.

    Now get off and do something constructive with your sad life for once.

  • 22. marthajoy7  |  June 3, 2016 at 10:42 am

    For me, the decision to always use the Womens Restroom, came after having Cis-Gendered Women in a shopping mall, followed me one day into a mens restroom, thinking I was heading into the Ladies. I found, I was really accepted, and realized it was where I belonged. That happened way before Surgery. Now I had surgery over 20 years ago, and have never regretted it. Now I am scared for my life. Thinking that I may have to leave Washington State, if this stupid initiative goes through. Yes, I can get a Birth Certificate, but this proposed law goes so far as saying original birth certificate. How does one know if a birth certificate is original or not?

  • 23. ConcernedSenior  |  June 4, 2016 at 7:45 am

    In the 2 cases I am aware of, the person started showing characteristics of the opposite sex in toddlerhood. How you define this in legal terms I am not sure, but your assumption that a person simply decides one day is patently false. At some point we may have scientific ways to determine this (some exist now) but at this time childhood behavior gives a good indication.

  • 24. A_Jayne  |  June 4, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Society has always looked at birth genitals to determine gender, but for transgender people, that is not a factor, of course. Having grown up in the "older half" of a large family, helping to care for younger siblings, as a child, I never questioned the genitals=gender concept. Now I must.

    Recently, I had an online conversation with a trans woman who had been an only child. She had grown up wondering why her parents kept trying to make her be a boy. Having not been aware of how society assigns gender at birth, it was beyond her comprehension as a child that the penis she was born with had anything to do with her gender. Even when she figured it out as she got older, it couldn't dislodge her certainty that she was a girl.

  • 25. VIRick  |  June 4, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    And at this point, we haven't even really begun to discuss and understand those who are born Intersex, with incomplete and/or confused genitalia, nor those with the chromosomal composition of XXY, which places them squarely in the middle, halfway between male and female.

    The binary male/female simply does not apply to each and every last instance, and it is more than past time for governmental agencies to begin recognizing this elementary biological fact.

  • 26. JayJonson  |  June 1, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Turns out that the candidate neoCon Bill Kristol has been attempting to induce to run for the Presidency in order to thwart Donald Trump is David French, who is touted as a constitutional scholar who has worked with Alliance Defending Freedom. Viciously anti-gay and transphobic, French is, as Trump would say, a loser. Don't know what Kristol has been smoking, but it is ludicrous to think that this bozo has a chance of getting more than 1% of the vote should he even make it onto the ballot in more than one or two states.

  • 27. Randolph_Finder  |  June 6, 2016 at 7:46 am

    And he decided not to run…

  • 28. Elihu_Bystander  |  June 1, 2016 at 7:49 am

    G. G. v Gloucester County School Board

    IANAL, however, IMHO, some of the blog comments are assuming that the fourth circuit court of appeals order in ths case did more than it actually did.

    Judge Floyd’s majority opinion did the following:

    “Because we conclude the district court did not accord appropriate deference to the relevant Department of Education regulations, we reverse its dismissal of G.G.’s Title IX claim.

    “Because we conclude that the district court used the wrong evidentiary standard in assessing G.G.’s motion for a preliminary injunction, we vacate its denial and remand for consideration under the correct standard.

    We therefore reverse in part, vacate in part, and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”

    Senior Judge Davis’ separate concurrence would have actually granted the preliminary injunction.

    The district court has to essentially start over again and try to get it right. The district court hasn’t even gotten to the merits of the case yet.

    Given what the circuit court actually did in its 19-April-16 opinion, it was way too premature for the defendants to request an en banc review. It was nothing more than a stalling move on their part. The fourth circuit did the right thing by not even considering the petition for review.

    The only president in the April-16 order is what standard the district courts in the fourth circuit are to use in evaluating the DOE’s interpretation of Title IX.

  • 29. JayJonson  |  June 1, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Interesting NYTimes article by Adam Liptak about the current 8-member SCOTUS and its divisions. He analyzes the recent decisions of the Court and finds the four members at the center are intent on creating a consensus, although in any case about 50% of the decisions are unanimous.

    Liptak places Roberts, Kennedy, Kagan, and Breyer at the center of the Court, with a conservative (or right-) wing consisting of Thomas and Alito, and a liberal (or left-wing) consisting of Ginsburg and Sotomayor.

  • 30. Zack12  |  June 1, 2016 at 11:57 am
    As I've said before if you want to see why elections matter, simply look at the 4th Circuit.
    Obama being able to appoint judges there to fill the vacancies on there instead of a McCain or Romney made all the difference in the world for us, it truly has.
    No way a ruling like this would have happened pre-Obama, no way at all.

  • 31. allan120102  |  June 1, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Mexico first chamber grant an amparo to two women who want to marry in Chihuahua and were denied. Looks like some places in Chihuhua are still not abiding by what the governor said.

  • 32. VIRick  |  June 1, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Ordena Corte a Autoridades de Chihuahua Registrar el Matrimonio de una Pareja de Mujeres

    Court Orders Chihuahua Authorities to Register the Marriage of a Same-Sex Couple

    This is at least amparo #34 against the state of Chihuahua, the highest number yet reached against any state anywhere in Mexico, as some civil registrar somewhere in the state has even attempted to go against the specific, direct Executive Order of the state governor, a state which has also been ordered by the Court to pay all plaintiffs' legal expenses, plus additional compensation, for each and every one of the amparos granted there.

    La Primera Sala de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación declaró la inconstitucionalidad de los Artículos 134 y 135 del Código Civil en Chihuahua, y ordenó a las autoridades de esa entidad registrar el matrimonio de dos mujeres, que reclamaron su derecho a hacerlo.

    El asunto se discutió en la sesión de este miércoles 1 de junio 2016, a propuesta del Ministro Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea. En su resolución, de acuerdo con un comunicado, la Primera Sala de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) reiteró su doctrina “en torno a la inconstitucionalidad de aquellas normas que limitan la institución del matrimonio a la unión de un hombre y una mujer y/o establezcan como fin imperioso del mismo la procreación o perpetuación de la especie."

    The First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice declared unconstitutional Articles 134 and 135 of the Civil Code of Chihuahua, and ordered the authorities of that state to register the marriage of two women who claimed their right to do so.

    The issue was discussed at the session on Wednesday, 1 June 2016, as proposed by Justice Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea. In its resolution, according to a statement, the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) reiterated its doctrine "about the unconstitutionality of those norms which limit the institution of marriage to the union of a man and a woman and/or which establish as an end in and of itself that of procreation or the perpetuation of the species."

  • 33. allan120102  |  June 1, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Not only was Chihuahua granted an amparo but Puebla too. This was granted to 30 people in Puebla. This time the vote in the first chamber was 3-2. Also the supreme court ignored compensations that the plaintiffs in Chihuahua were asking.This article is more complete than the other one. I am quite surprised about the 3-2 vote.

  • 34. VIRick  |  June 1, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Same-sex marriage has been legal (and in effect statewide) in the state of Chihuahua (and without further state obfuscation) ever since its governor, César Duarte Jáquez, issued his Executive Order of 11 June 2014, with effect from 12 June 2014, at a point in time when there were already 31 amparo rulings against the state.

    Two more rulings against the state were handed down in late December 2015. (amparos #32 and #33)

    Then, in my archives, dated 6 February 2016, I found this:

    Chihuahua: 8 Same-Sex Couples Registered for Collective Marriage Ceremony

    The state of Chihuahua became the fourth entity that legalized same-sex marriage, derived from a series of injunctions which were issued to generate the case law which allow couples to marry without having to interpose legal remedies (meaning no more amparos needed).

    These rights won by the gay and lesbian community in Chihuahua will also allow couples to access the program of collective marriages, so far, with eight registered same-sex couples reporting. The inclusion of same-sex couples in collective marriages is an achievement for the gay community.

    Notice that there's no mention of the governor's Executive Order (nor of amparos) in this article discussing the collective marriage ceremonies planned for Valentine's Day throughout the state of Chihuahua. That is because, Executive Order or not, the jurisprudence alone (attained when they reached 5 amparos) will continue to require the legalization of same-sex marriage in Chihuahua. A future governor can not rescind it, as one can not rescind the jurisprudence.

    Granted, the state is huge, the largest in area in Mexico, and contains 67 municipalities, some of which are remote. The civil registrar of one of them must not be in tune with the governor's program, either due to ignorance or obstinacy.

  • 35. allan120102  |  June 1, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Well I always count Chihuhua as a marriage state and more as most candidates for governors say they will continue to allow ssm in the state. Rick by that logic then states like Guerrero that have marriage equality defacto by the governor might see it overturn if the new governor rescind the order as Guerrero only have two or three amparos at most. Am I correct?

  • 36. VIRick  |  June 2, 2016 at 1:15 am

    Since Guerrero still does not yet have the 5 amparos needed to establish the jurisprudence, it is possible (but not overly likely) that the present governor, or some future governor, could rescind the Executive Order which legalized same-sex marriage in that state. So far, the present governor of Guerrero has very wisely kept his mouth shut, and has never spoken a single word on this subject, all the while retaining the previous governor's Executive Order in place.

    But in Chihuahua, which does have the jurisprudence by quite a margin, even if a future governor were to rescind the Executive Order, no one can rescind the jurisprudence. That is the whole meaning of jurisprudence: it is settled law. Chihuahua has marriage equality.

    In proof-reading my earlier post, I also wish to make a slight correction, as I mis-typed an incorrect year. The governor's Executive Order in Chihuahua was dated 11 June 2015, effective from the very next day, 12 June 2015. So, it has been in effect now for almost exactly one year (not 2 years).

    Plus, it is not a requirement that a given state first acquire 5 amparos before they change their law. The Campeche Congress legalized same-sex marriage there after only one amparo had been granted for that state (an amparo granted by the Supreme Court after declaring Campeche's prohibition unconstitutional).

    But once a state has had 5 amparos granted, the offending law is to be set aside and rendered null and void (a concept which appears to be extremely difficult to convey to many state officials who either do not understand, or who choose to ignore, the Judicial Reforms of 2011). Currently, there are at least 10 states in Mexico (11 assuming Sonora has, as well) which have hit or exceeded 5 amparos, but which have yet to change their law, and which still will not allow same-sex couples to proceed to marry without first obtaining an amparo (except for the city of Querétaro, which no longer requires an amparo).

  • 37. VIRick  |  June 1, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Another Amparo (#7) for 30 People Granted Against Puebla State by Supreme Court

    En la sesión de hoy, 1 de junio 2016, la Primera Sala amparó inicialmente a 30 personas homosexuales que impugnaron los Artículos 294 y 297 del Código Civil del Estado de Puebla que excluye a las parejas del mismo sexo de la posibilidad de vivir en matrimonio o concubinato.

    Con el voto en contra de los ministros Jorge Pardo Rebolledo y Norma Lucía Piña Hernández, quienes consideraron que el amparo en estos casos sólo procede cuando existe un acto de aplicación de por medio, la mayoría integrada por Arturo Zaldívar, José Ramón Cossío, y Alfredo Gutiérrez Ortiz Mena, consideró que las normas son discriminatorias, “porque las relaciones que entablan parejas homosexuales pueden adecuarse” a los de las parejas heterosexuales, por lo que es injustificada su exclusión de ambas instituciones.

    Lo que sería una doble discriminación, porque se priva a las parejas del mismo sexo de los beneficios “expresivos” que implica una relación, además de que los afecta en materia de cuestiones fiscales, solidaridad, causa de muerte, propiedad, y asuntos migratorios.

    In today's session, 1 June 2016, the First Chamber upheld an amparo for 30 gay people who challenged Articles 294 and 297 of the Civil Code of the State of Puebla that excludes same-sex couples from the possibility to live in marriage or cohabitation.

    With two votes against, that of Justices Jorge Pardo Rebolledo and Norma Lucia Piña Hernández, who considered that an amparo in these cases to be appropriate only when there is a complete act of application, but the majority, comprised of Arturo Zaldívar, José Ramón Cossío, and Alfredo Gutiérrez Ortiz Mena, considered the norms to be discriminatory, "because relationships consisting of homosexual couples can adapt themselves" to those of heterosexual couples, so it is unjustified exclusion from both institutions.

    In addition, it would be double discrimination because it deprives same-sex couples of the "expressed" benefits implied by a relationship, plus it materially affects fiscal issues, solidarity, cause of death, property, and immigration matters.

    Allan, I suspect that the two Justices who voted against granting this particular amparo did so because the challenge came from 30 individuals seeking the abstract right to marry, rather than from any specific number of actual couples seeking to marry each other.

    Still, the amparo petition was granted, so those 30 individuals can now marry whoever they please. Although several amparos were previously granted in Tamaulipas state to groups of individuals to allow them to marry whoever they pleased (thus extending the amparo protection to an equal number of unknown second parties), it would appear that this is the first instance wherein which Mexico's Supreme Court has agreed with the principle to grant this much broader amparo coverage to unknown second parties.

  • 38. VIRick  |  June 1, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Massachusetts: State #18 with Full LGBT Protections in Employment, Housing, Public Accommodations.

    Per Rex Wockner, slyly:

    (And bathrooms!)

    Per Kasey Suffredini, co-chair of Freedom Massachusetts:

    Tonight, 1 June 2016, having previously passed the Senate, the Massachusetts Trans Bill, HB735, passes the House, 116-36, bipartisan, and veto-proof. The arc of the universe is more bent, all of us are more free.

    Republican Gov. Charlie Baker told the "Boston Globe" earlier this week that he will sign the trans rights bill.

    – See more at:

    Note: Massachusetts (like New York) was a very early state in passing complete LGB protections, because that was what was felt could be attained at the time. In short, they left the Ts behind. Since then, most states have wisely done LGBT protections all together as a complete package. In retrospect, it has been exceedingly difficult to pass T protection legislation as a stand-alone measure. Massachusetts has finally corrected that. New York still has not (although the governor's Executive Order covers the matter in the interim).

  • 39. FredDorner  |  June 2, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    The final version requires the AG to issue guidance on when and how action can be taken against people who assert gender identity for “an improper purpose.” While I don't think that was necessary for anything other than to secure passage, it could be used to take action against some of these dimwitted anti-trans protesters invading the restrooms at Target.

  • 40. VIRick  |  June 2, 2016 at 12:01 am

    Mississippi: Gov. Bryant "Would Rather Die on the Cross" than Repeal Anti-LGBT Law

    Well, bless his heart!

  • 41. guitaristbl  |  June 2, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Christian victimhood nonsense in full force. The only " legitimate" argument extremists are able to perpetuate is how persecuted they are because of LGBT people getting civil equality. The martyr status fits the idiosynchrasy of the crowd they cater to anyway (see the Kim Davis saga).

  • 42. VIRick  |  June 2, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Kim Davis Redux, "Miller v. Davis" Up-Date

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In "Miller v. Davis," the intransigently ridiculous Kentucky clerk's Consolidated appeals at the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Oral Argument before a 3-judge panel of the 6th Circuit Court is set for 28 July 2016 at 9 AM in Cincinnati. Each side is allotted 15 minutes. The names of the judges on the panel will be posted two weeks prior to argument.

  • 43. guitaristbl  |  June 2, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    What's the point, who is still pursuing this case ? Davis and her "lawyer" or the couples who sued her ? I think its moot.

  • 44. VIRick  |  June 2, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Florida’s Bill For Opposing Same-Sex Marriage: Nearly $500,000, and Climbing

    Florida taxpayers are going to pay nearly $500,000 for the state’s losing battle to keep intact a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. State officials have now reached settlements with two separate groups of attorneys representing same-sex couples who challenged the state’s ban, first with the plaintiffs' attorneys in "Grimsley v. Scott" at $213,000, and now, with those in "Brenner v. Scott" at $280,000. Attorney-General Pam Bondi’s office reached a final settlement on Wednesday, 1 June 2016, that brought the total to $493,000.

    Earlier this year, US District Judge Robert Hinkle ordered the state to pay the fees of attorneys who filed federal lawsuits challenging the ban.

  • 45. SethInMaryland  |  June 3, 2016 at 9:57 am

    The Democratic Party of the Virgin Islands is holding Caucuses on June 4. How do u expect this to go VIRick? I hope Hillary crushes Sanders. He needs to drop out.

  • 46. VIRick  |  June 3, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    In the Virgin Islands, the Democratic Party fairly well runs the entire show, to the point where two candidates vying for the same position are both Democrats, with no one else from any other party seeking the position. I'm not currently in the territory so will not be able to participate in the Democratic caucus for president, but am assuming it will be a Clinton landslide tomorrow. (For a clue, note the strategically-placed ad right in the middle of the linked article.)

    However, in the meantime, here's the official list of candidates running for political office in the territory, so you can see for yourself how heavily Democratic we are:

    Notice that not a single Republican is running for a Senate seat from St. Thomas (7 are elected), only 1 is running from St. Croix (7 are elected), while 2 Democrats are fighting for the at-large seat to represent St. John (1 is elected). Plus, 2 Democrats are running against each other to be the VI Delegate to the US Congress.

    Ironically, the Republicans are pro-statehood, while the Democrats don't care, yet if we were to become a state, we would be able to guarantee 2 more Democratic Senators to the US Senate.

    But the chaotic side-show shit-show occurred in the Republican caucus for President, after outside mainland Trumpeteers showed up, and attempted to take over the shell of a party from the other nut-jobs. At last report, if the two competing delegations don't kill each other off first, I understand they plan to do so in Cleveland while physically fighting for the same seats. Seriously, the local nut-jobs in St. Croix (overwhelmingly Hispanic) showed up with drawn guns to clear the outside mainland Trumpeteers out of party HQ just before the caucus vote. To say the least, the concept of a wall is not appreciated locally, even among our Republican nut-jobs.

  • 47. Fortguy  |  June 4, 2016 at 12:28 am


    Ironically, the Republicans are pro-statehood, while the Democrats don't care, yet if we were to become a state, we would be able to guarantee 2 more Democratic Senators to the US Senate.


    It's easy to make claims about something that will never happen during your political career. I challenge the VI gov't to actually petition Congress for statehood and see whether GOP congressmen put their money where their platform is.

    The current financial crisis in your neighbor, Puerto Rico, is all of the GOP Congress' making. They have refused to allow citizens in the commonwealth the same social security, medicare, or medicaid entitlement benefits that their stateside relatives enjoy. Furthermore, I believe it was a sneaky act of the late racist Sen. Strom Thurmond that stripped PR of the same bankruptcy protections that every U.S. state (and subdivision such as Detroit) are able to avail themselves.

    In doing so, PR's hope is for Congress to create a neocolonialist overseeing agency to manage PR's local finances in order to keep hospitals and the power grid running. Meanwhile Wall Street hedge-fund managers, the same people responsible for the Great Recession, have flooded the news channels with commercials saying if Congress gives PR a break, then debt-ridden states like Illinois will be next. It's disingenuous at best, since PR had only before been asking to be treated as any other state in regard to benefit, tax, and trade policies.

    I hope that Obama or Hillary very soon calls for another PR status plebiscite. I think the GOP's colonial policies in the current crisis will convince most Puerto Ricans to finally and unambiguously opt for statehood. When that happens, watch the GOPers in Congress to scream bloody murder about having to admit a new Dem state with two senators and enough representatives to outvote Alaska, both Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming combined as well as enough electoral votes to equal any two of those. Then we'll see whether they really give a damn about their traditional pro-statehood platform plank.

    The Dems have always supported PR "self-determination" meaning if they want to become a state, we'll support them. Of course, we also support DC statehood. As far as the USVI goes, y'all are probably too small to expect statehood any time soon. However, I fully support having Congress declare the VI to be a fully incorporated territory where everyone has full expectations of rights under the Constitution.

  • 48. VIRick  |  June 4, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Virgin Islands Democratic Caucus Results

    Of the 7 pledged delegates allotted to the territory, Clinton will receive 7 (86.5% of the vote), while Sanders will have 0 (12.3% of the vote). Sanders did not reach the minimum viability threshold of 15% of the vote territory-wide. There are 5 additional unpledged delegates, of which Clinton already has 3, while 2 are uncommitted.

    Today, Sunday, 5 June, in Puerto Rico's Democratic Party primary, expect Clinton to immediately garner at least 40 of its 60 pledged delegates, as there are 40 territorial Senate districts, and the winner in each receives the delegate. The remaining 20 are distributed proportionally. There are an additional 7 unpledged delegates, of which Clinton already has 6, while 1 is uncommitted. This will predictably be another Clinton blow-out, pushing her to within a handful of delegates of clinching the nomination.

    As soon as the results in New Jersey are announced on Tuesday, 7 June, she will have definitively clinched the nomination, well before the results are known from any of the western states which are voting on the same day.

    Puerto Rico up-date, after the primary results: Clinton has a total of 42 delegates, Sanders has 24, while one remains uncommitted.

  • 49. allan120102  |  June 3, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    I am not sure why Chiapas is still blue in wiki when its clear that no same sex marriage bill was approve. Rex Wockner also confirms what I am saying in its new post about marriage equality in Mexico. If someone change the map please put gold to Aguascalientes and Veracruz. Thanks in advance.

  • 50. allan120102  |  June 3, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Romanian lgbt community needs our backing . Looks lke religious zealouts want to win and big.

  • 51. Christian0811  |  June 3, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Honestly the only hope is the CC, even if we donated $100 million dollars and got the groups to unite they'd still lose at this time. We could, and should, help! But the best thing to do is to appeal to the Venice Commision and get it to pressure the CC. And in the mean time, liaisons from our HRC and other state LGBT organizations should help them organize and receive funding. God forbid they get advice from the Slovene rights groups….

  • 52. allan120102  |  June 3, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    The part of slovene make me laugh a little but this is not laughing matter. We need to train lgbt activist in Eastern Europe to be more fierce in terms of campaign against conservative groups or they will always see their rights in danger. Yesterday I saw an article of lgbt Moldovans celebrating that they could march 5 street before hate groups stop them. I really thought Honduras was not ok in lgbt rights but comparing them to countries like Moldova, Belarus and Armenia which are in Europe, we are more advance.

  • 53. VIRick  |  June 3, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Mississippi: Ministers File New Federal Lawsuit Against Anti-LGBT Law, HB1523

    A new federal lawsuit, "Barber v. Bryant," was filed today, 3 June 2016, by a group of ministers and religious leaders in Mississippi asserting that the "religious freedom" view touted in the bill passed by the state violates their own religious freedom, given that their own views differ from that established by the state, which, in effect, as the complaint alleges, renders the state law in violation of the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution.

    The complaint is here:

    The 14-page complaint, filed on Friday, 3 June 2016, by Jackson-based civil rights attorney Rob McDuff and the Mississippi Center for Justice, alleges House Bill 1523, signed into law in April by Gov. Phil Bryant, violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

    Beth Orlansky, advocacy director for the Mississippi Center for Justice, said in a statement that HB 1523 amounts to affording special rights to religious groups who oppose same-sex marriage. “Ensuring that government maintains neutrality on religious beliefs and respects religious diversity is part of our commitment to Mississippi as a social justice state,” Orlansky said. “Granting special protections to one set of religious views would allow legalized discrimination to put at risk decades of progress to secure full rights for all Mississippians.”

    McDuff said in a statement that the “religious freedom” law is unconstitutional because the religious leaders he represents don’t adhere to the religious views espoused under HB 1523. “The people bringing this lawsuit, like thousands of people in Mississippi, do not subscribe to the religious views set forth in the bill, and do not believe the government should be interfering in religion by choosing some religious views over others,” McDuff said.

    The law prohibits the state from taking action against religious organizations that decline employment, housing or services to same-sex couples; families who’ve adopted a foster child and wish to act in opposition to same-sex marriage; and individuals who offer wedding services and decline to facilitate a same-sex wedding. Additionally, the bill allows individuals working in medical services to decline to afford a transgender person gender reassignment surgery. The bill also allows state government employees who facilitate marriages the option to opt out of issuing licenses to same-sex couples, but the person must issue prior written notice to the state government and a clerk’s office must not delay in the issuing of licenses.

    Alleging a law seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination is unconstitutional on the basis it contravenes freedom of religion is unusual because these lawsuits against anti-LGBT statutes typically argue that such statutes violate the right to Equal Protection and Due Process. But the argument isn’t unprecedented; the United Church of Christ, which for years has allowed same-sex marriages to be performed in its churches, filed a lawsuit against North Carolina’s same-sex marriage ban in 2013, "General Synod of the United Church of Christ vs. Cooper," based on the doctrine of "separation of church and state," before courts struck down the prohibition on the basis of the 14th Amendment clauses.

    Plaintiffs in the present case include civil rights advocates Rims Barber and Carol Burnett, who are ordained ministers; retired Millsaps chaplain Don Fortenberry, also an ordained minister; the Joshua Generation Metropolitan Community Church in Hattiesburg, its pastor Brandiilyne Magnum-Dear, its director of worship Susan Magnum; Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson; Founding Director Susan Glisson of the Winter Institute at the University of Mississippi; therapist and activist Joan Bailey; artist and activist Katherine Day; as well as community activists Dorothy Triplett, Renick Taylor, and Anthony Lane Boyette.

    The lawsuit comes on the heels of earlier litigation filed by the ACLU, in "Alford v. Moulder," challenging HB 1523 on the basis that it violates the rights to Equal Protection and Due Process under the 14th Amendment. Additionally, Roberta Kaplan, the New York-based attorney who successfully argued against the Defense of Marriage Act before the US Supreme Court, along with the Campaign for Southern Equality, are seeking to reopen litigation in "CSE v. Bryant," a case that had sought to bring marriage equality to Mississippi, in order to challenge the state’s “religious freedom” law. The ACLU lawsuit, the CSE lawsuit, and the lawsuit filed today by religious leaders, all called on the US District Court of the Southern District of Mississippi, Northern Division, to issue an injunction against HB 1523 before it takes effect on 1 July.

    – See more at:

  • 54. VIRick  |  June 4, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    In "Barber v. Bryant," as mentioned in the quoted article above, a motion for a Preliminary Injunction was also filed by the plaintiffs on 3 June 2016.

    Here's the link to the plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction:

  • 55. VIRick  |  June 3, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    Prominent LGBT Activist Murdered in Honduras

    "La Prensa," a Honduran newspaper, reported Rene Martínez’s family reported him missing on Wednesday, 1 June 2016, after he left his home in the city of San Pedro Sula’s Chamelecón neighborhood and got into someone’s car. "La Prensa" reported that Martínez’s relatives identified his body at San Pedro Sula’s morgue on Friday, 3 June 2016. The newspaper said it appears that Martínez was strangled to death.

    Martínez, 40, was ‘brilliant LGBT political leader’ who was president of Comunidad Gay Sampredrana, a San Pedro Sula-based LGBT advocacy group that worked throughout northern Honduras. He also ran an outreach center in Chamelecón through Youth Alliance Honduras, an organization that is part of an anti-violence program the US Agency for International Development helped to develop.

    – See more at:

  • 56. Fortguy  |  June 3, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Unfortunately, San Pedro Sula has a well deserved reputation of being one of the most dangerous cities in the world. It's not surprising that LGBT people would be especially vulnerable in a city where drug and gang violence–all with origins of deported youths from U.S. affiliated drug gangs–have taken over and cause all well-meaning citizens to fear for their lives on a daily basis.

  • 57. allan120102  |  June 4, 2016 at 12:04 am

    It sad That one leader die he was great influence in SPS and Chamelecon. SPS is one of the most liberal city in Honduras and more accepting than even the capital being the industrial machine of the country Coming into second place is Bay islands they are pretty acepting too.

    I am quite dumbfound why Rene though support the national Party. They are the strongest party and are really against us. Our president even though support changing the constitution is against changing the amendments prohibiting Same sex marriage,civil unions and same sex adoptions, so I dont understand how can someone so influential in our community support a party that its against us.

    Anyways I feel sorry for him and all our lgbt brothers and sisters that have been murder in the country. I believe they are more than 250 since 2009. Being gay in conservative municipaities its pretty hard. I am always grateful that my nuclear family is pretty accepting. some of my friends too.

  • 58. allan120102  |  June 4, 2016 at 12:06 am

    Inside a gay bar in Mongolia. A little history of the lgbt movement in the country,

  • 59. allan120102  |  June 4, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Interesting article about marriage in Morelos. In contrast of this deputy who wants the municipalities to vote I hope they dont vote and let the law take effect as some of them are against the reform legalizing ssm.

  • 60. VIRick  |  June 4, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Morelos: 30 Days to Approve Constitutional Amendment for Same-Sex Marriage

    Here's the interesting portion of that article on Morelos, containing an important stipulation I just learned regarding the peculiar process of approving state constitutional amendments, thanks to Edwin Brito Brito:

    Refirió que, en todo caso, si los ayuntamientos no atienden la minuta que les envió el Congreso local, la reforma podría aprobarse por afirmativa ficta (silencio de la autoridad respecto de una petición, en este caso reforma del Congreso), como ha sucedido con otras reformas constitucionales.

    "Recordemos que tenemos el tema de la afirmativa ficta, que en caso de que no se dé una resolución por parte de los cabildos, ante la imposibilidad de poder celebrar este tipo de sesiones, daríamos pie a la reforma a través de la afirmativa ficta, cumpliendo el término de los 30 días, para que se tome como que fue aprobada," he stated.

    He said that, in any case, if the municipalities do not address the bill sent to them by the local Congress, the reform could be approved by constructive assent (afirmativa ficta) (silence from the authority with respect to a request, in this case, the reform from Congress), as has happened with other constitutional reforms.

    "Remember that we have the issue of constructive assent, that if a decision by the councils were not given, due to the inability to hold such sessions, we would rise to the reform through constructive assent, upon completing the term of 30 days, so that it is taken as if it were approved," he said.

    In other words, a municipal council can vote "Yes" to approve the measure, "No" to disapprove it, or take no action, and it will be assumed to be a "Yes" vote due to the rule of "afirmativa ficta" at the end of the 30-day period in which to take action. Morelos has 33 municipalities, so we need "Yes" votes from 17 of them (by one means or the other), and they have through 25 June 2016 to decide. If no decision is taken by a given municipal council by that date, it will be decided for them as a "Yes" vote.

  • 61. Fortguy  |  June 5, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    The latest pronouncement from Texas' most entertainingly idiotic far-right congressman, Louie the Loon Gohmert:

    Jason Koebler, Vice Motherboard: Texas Congressman Says US Should Not Make Gay Space Colonies

  • 62. davepCA  |  June 5, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Brilliant! His plan of sending only heterosexual couples into space will assure that those couples will all have only heterosexual children…. oh… wait….. uh….

  • 63. FredDorner  |  June 5, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Texas would be far better off if they just launched anyone who voted for Gohmert into space.

  • 64. Fortguy  |  June 6, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Stephen Colbert had a really funny piece on his show tonight making fun of Louie the Loon's concerns about gay space colonists.

  • 65. davepCA  |  June 7, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    HA!!!! I just saw this. Frikken hilarious! Thank you for mentioning this!

    For anyone who hasn't seen it, here's the YT link:

  • 66. VIRick  |  June 5, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Chile: CIDH Cita al Estado Chileno por Matrimonio Igualitario y Busca una “Solución Amistosa” con el MOVILH

    Chile: IACHR Cites the Chilean State for Marriage Equality and Seeks a "Friendly Settlement" with MOVILH

    El gobierno deberá acudir a negociar una solución amistosa con el MOVILH por matrimonio igualitario y se realizarán foros sobre la situación de la libertad de expresión en la región.

    No es habitual que en medio de un período de sesiones se cite al país anfitrión. Sin embargo, la CIDH (Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos de la OEA) citó al Estado Chileno para que busque una “solución amistosa” ante querellas presentadas en 2012 por tres parejas a las que se les denegó el matrimonio igualitario, las que son patrocinadas por el MOVILH. La reunión se realizará el sábado, 11 de junio, en el hotel Plaza San Francisco (en Santiago) y se negociará el retiro de la demanda del CIDH bajo el compromiso de que el Gobierno indique una fecha para presentar un proyecto de ley de matrimonio igualitario.

    The government must plan to negotiate an amicable solution with MOVILH for equal marriage, and must make discussions concerning the situation of freedom of expression in the region.

    It is unusual in the middle of a session to cite the host country. However, the IACHR (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the OAS) cited the Chilean government to seek a "friendly solution" to complaints filed in 2012 by three couples who were denied marriage equality, and who are represented by MOVILH. The meeting will be held on Saturday, 11 June 2016, at the hotel Plaza San Francisco (in Santiago), and they will negotiate the withdrawal of the commission's demand once the government has committed to indicate a date when it will present a bill for marriage equality.

  • 67. scream4ever  |  June 5, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Great to hear!

  • 68. F_Young  |  June 6, 2016 at 3:19 am

    These traditional Indian parents threw their son a big gay Hindu wedding

    This story of how a traditional Indian couple embraced their son’s sexuality and threw him a fabulous big gay Hindu wedding has inspired Indian families worldwide.

    …..When he finally came out to his parents Vijay and Sushma Agarwal in 2004, the news came as a huge shock. ‘We both were stunned,’ recalls Vijay, 68. Rishi’s mum Sushma, 61, was initially devastated by the news.

    But, instead of rejecting him, Rishi’s parents spent the next 72 hours learning as much as they could about the LGBT community. They started attending regular meetings of the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays chapter in Toronto.

    When Rishi asked them if they wanted him to move out of the family home, his father told him: ‘Absolutely not. You’re still our son and we love you.’ Instead, they blamed their own ‘ignorance’ for their initial reaction. ‘This is strictly our baggage, what we bring from India,’ said Sushma.

    Don't miss the photos and video.

    Read more:

  • 69. Sagesse  |  June 6, 2016 at 5:18 am

    Solicitor General Donald Verilli is stepping down. Excellent article describing his contribution to the DOMA and Obergefell cases.

    Obama’s Supreme Court Lawyer Helped Take Down DOMA And End Marriage Bans [Buzzfeed]

  • 70. allan120102  |  June 6, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Omg, good news coming from Nigeria. I am surprised that ex president goodluck have change his stance on human rights. He now is in favor of revisiting the ban he approve in 2014. Imo he is just saying this to appease the EU and the states but still an advance.

  • 71. bayareajohn  |  June 6, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    It's worth taking that link just to read the "news" stories linked below. The Nigerian versions of "One crazy tip…." and such… are plainly scary!

  • 72. VIRick  |  June 6, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Mexican President Reiterates Same-Sex Marriage Support

    Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has reiterated his support of marriage rights for same-sex couples throughout the country. Peña wrote in the Huffington Post on 2 June 2016 that he had announced “a series of initiatives that promote equality” last month during the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. These include a proposed amendment to the Mexican constitution that would allow gays and lesbians to marry.

    Peña noted the Mexican Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that laws banning same-sex marriage were “indeed discriminatory,” and thus unconstitutional. Peña last month also announced proposed changes to the country’s national legal code that would address discrimination against LGBT Mexicans.

    “It was thus a suitable time to announce these initiatives, which arose out of my government’s and my own personal conviction, to advance toward a more inclusive society,” said Peña. “The overall goal is to achieve a society of rights in which all Mexicans are guaranteed equal rights under the law.”

    – See more at:

  • 73. allan120102  |  June 6, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Bad news Mexico. PAN won 7 states and making Pri loose in states that were typical for Pri as Quintana Roo Veracruz and Durango. Chihuahua was also lost. This might make things harder for marriage equality in Mexico in the long run.

  • 74. VIRick  |  June 6, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Quote of the Day:

    Texas Dem US House Rep. Filemon Vela To Trump: You Can Take Your Racist Border Wall And Shove It Up Your Ass

    "The Hill" reports:

    An Hispanic House Democrat who represents a Texas district bordering Mexico tore into Donald Trump’s attacks on a Mexican-American judge, calling them blatantly racist. Rep. Filemon Vela didn’t mince words in a lengthy open letter to the presumptive GOP presidential nominee on Monday, 6 June 2016: “Mr. Trump, you’re a racist and you can take your border wall and shove it up your ass,” Vela wrote.

    Vela begins the letter noting that he agrees with Trump that Mexico should do more to deter violence from drug cartels and that felons in the US illegally should be deported. But he then excoriates the real estate mogul over his rhetoric about Hispanics, including Trump’s assertion that an American-born federal judge of Mexican descent won’t be impartial in a lawsuit against Trump University.

    From the letter:
    "Before you dismiss me as just another 'Mexican,' let me point out that my great-great grandfather came to this country in 1857, well before your own grandfather. His grandchildren (my grandfather and his brothers) all served our country in World War I and World War II. His great-grandson, my father, served in the U.S. Army and, coincidentally, was one of the first 'Mexican' federal judges ever appointed to the federal bench," Vela wrote.

  • 75. davepCA  |  June 6, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Oh hell yes. Bravo!

  • 76. VIRick  |  June 6, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Up-Date on Indiana Employee Fired for Refusing to Issue Marriage Licenses

    On 3 June 2016, in "Summers v. Whitis," the federal discrimination lawsuit claim by a former Harrison County IN employee who was fired for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the aftermath of Indiana having legalized same-sex marriage, the defendants, head clerk Sally Witis and Harrison County IN, have filed a motion for summary judgment in their favor.

    • Motion is here:

    • Brief in Support of Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment is here:

    On the same date, the Plaintiff also filed a motion for summary judgment in her favor. See here:

    When "Summers v. Whitis and Harrison County," was first filed in federal District Court for Southern Indiana in New Albany IN in July 2015, the plaintiff, Summers, quoted from Leviticus as part of her so-called "defense" for her insane religious beliefs.

  • 77. VIRick  |  June 7, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    US Government Says Los Angeles Gay Couple’s 1975 Marriage Is Valid

    Per Equality Case Files:

    "The United States federal government has recognized as legally-valid the April 1975 same-sex marriage of Richard Adams and Anthony Sullivan, approving the “green card” petition that Adams filed in 1975 for his husband, an Australian citizen. After Adams died in December 2012, Sullivan sought to have the Immigration Service recognize their marriage and grant a green card to him as the widower of a US citizen.

    "The green card, granting Anthony permanent resident status in the United States, was issued on the 41st anniversary of his Boulder CO marriage to Richard, a same-sex marriage that remained in the record and which was never invalidated by Colorado officials.

    "The green card was recently delivered to the Hollywood apartment Richard and Anthony shared for nearly four decades."

  • 78. davepCA  |  June 7, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    VIRick, thank you for posting this. What an amazing and inspiring story. Tragic in many ways, too, but ultimately inspiring. Just when I thought I was all done getting emotional over stories like this one…

  • 79. DevilWearsZrada  |  June 7, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    So if Jack Baker and Michael McConnell won't have their 1971 marriage certificate recognized this same-sex marriage is the first legally recognized one in the world, years before it was legalized anywhere either by court or legislature!

  • 80. FredDorner  |  June 7, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    The Baker & McConnell marriage is presumably valid.

  • 81. davepCA  |  June 7, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the issue with Baker was that the couple was DENIED a marriage license, the issue was not that they got one and that their legal marriage was subsequently not recognized, as was the case with Richard Adams and Anthony Sullivan.

  • 82. VIRick  |  June 8, 2016 at 12:37 am

    Dave, if I remember correctly, Baker and Mc Connell were originally denied a marriage license from the Minnesota county from which the infamous "Baker v. Nelson" lawsuit arose. But subsequently, they turned around and successfully obtained a marriage license from a different Minnesota county (about a year later), and were then duly married shortly thereafter.

    Presumably, that marriage, with the license obtained from the second Minnesota county, is still legally-valid.

    And by the way, I was quite impressed that you got all fuzzy and emotional over the outcome of the Los Angeles "green card" story, 41 years in the making. At the moment, that would be the earliest same-sex marriage verifiably recognized as such by the US Government, with legal documentation in hand as proof. It's an amazing story of perseverance and determination.

  • 83. FredDorner  |  June 8, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    That's correct. I don't know if they ever filed joint taxes or otherwise claimed the various rights of marriage, but it's a fact that the license which was issued is valid.

    The couple, though, did not give up. With some sleight of hand involving a legal change to a gender-neutral name, they obtained a marriage license in another county, and in 1971, in white bell-bottom pantsuits and macramé headbands, they exchanged vows before a Methodist pastor and a dozen guests in a friend’s apartment. Their three-tiered wedding cake was topped by two plastic grooms, which a friend supplied by splitting two bride-and-groom figurines.

    Ever since, they have maintained that theirs was the country’s first lawful same-sex wedding. The state and federal governments have yet to grant recognition, but the pastor, Roger W. Lynn, 76, calls theirs “one of my more successful marriages.”

    “They are still happily married, and they love each other,” Mr. Lynn said.

  • 84. davepCA  |  June 8, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Ah-ha! I did not know that later they successfully got a marriage license from a different county. Seems to me like they are indeed due some official recognition for that 'first'.

  • 85. VIRick  |  June 7, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Defendants in Transgender Virginia Case to Seek US Supreme Court Review

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 7 June 2016, in "G.G. v. Gloucester County Public School Board," the transgender student's 4th Circuit Court appeal of the district court decision denying the preliminary injunction and dismissing the Title IX claim, the Defendant Gloucester County School Board has notified the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that it intends to seek Supreme Court review of the decision in this case and has asked the appeals court to delay issuing its mandate until the Supreme Court's final disposition of the case.

    In way of explanation, the "mandate" is the order from the appeals court to the lower court to follow its ruling, i.e., the mandate is the formality that implements the ruling and judgment in the case. In concrete terms, this means that the favorable ruling Gavin received from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals does not take effect until the mandate issues.

    As noted in the School Board's motion, the ACLU opposes the request.

    The Appellee’s Motion for Stay of Mandate Pending Filing of Petition for Writ of Certiorari is here:

  • 86. FredDorner  |  June 7, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    I'd be surprised if SCOTUS takes this case before another justice is seated, but I think Kennedy isn't a reliable vote on this given his dissent in Price Waterhouse v Hopkins. Or they may grant cert but bump the case until at least the Spring of 2017.

  • 87. JayJonson  |  June 8, 2016 at 8:43 am

    I also doubt that SCOTUS will grant cert in this case, at least not before another justice is confirmed. But I don't think Kennedy's dissent in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins gives any cause for worry. That dissent had to do with evidence in employment considerations. The question in GG v. Goucester County Public School Board is much more straightforward and, as far as I know, does not involve any disputed facts. Justice Kennedy's repeatedly demonstrated concern with human dignity is likely to make him very sympathetic to the plaintiff in this case.

  • 88. Elihu_Bystander  |  June 8, 2016 at 11:44 am

    The SCOTUS is not going to grant cert concerning a remand by the 4th circuit back to the district court for further proceedings. I would believe SCOTUS has never granted cert on a case that hasn't yet gotten to the merits of the case at the district lever. At this stage, this case simply doesn't establish a serious and important matter for SCOTUS to consider.

    This is nothing more than than a stalling by the defense. So what else is new? I guess one can present as many motions as one likes. I doubt that the 4th circuit will stay the mandate especially since it is a remand back to the district court.

  • 89. VIRick  |  June 7, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Up-Date on Original Mississippi Federal Marriage Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 6 June 2016, in "Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant," the original Mississippi federal marriage case, re its Motion to Reopen Judgment, to File Supplemental Pleading, and to Modify the Permanent Injunction to challenge the "recusal" section of Mississippi HB 1523, the judge in the case, Judge Reeves, has issued an Order for Supplemental Briefing.

    Judge Reeves requests supplemental briefing from both sides on these questions:

    1. Under existing state and federal law, does the Permanent Injunction apply to (county) circuit clerks outside of Hinds County?
    2. Is the Registrar of Vital Records an agent, officer, employee, or subsidiary of the State of Mississippi?

    Briefs are due on Wednesday, 8 June 2016, at 4:00 PM CT.

    The Order is here:

    Of course, the answers to those two rather basic questions will force the State of Mississippi to be required to state, "Yes," in both instances, thereby, in effect, rendering Mississippi HB1523 unconstitutional by their own admission.

  • 90. VIRick  |  June 7, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    North Carolina: Up-Date on Court Action Regarding HB2

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In "McCrory v. United States," the federal case in which the state of North Carolina is suing the US Government over HB2, the judge assigned to the case, Terrence Boyle, has issued an Order Denying Motion to Transfer Venue from the Eastern District to the Middle District of North Carolina.

    The judge's reasoning is interesting. He states that the Eastern District encompasses Raleigh, the state capital, and can more directly deal with HB2 itself, as that is where it was enacted, whereas, the Middle District encompasses the main campus of the University of North Carolina, and can more directly deal with the separate Title IX claim.

    The Order is here:

    I read this denial as a partial defeat for Mc Crory, as he is now forced to defend the questionable constitutionality of HB2 of and by itself, without the ability to attach it to the separate Title IX "bathroom" claim, and thus obfuscate some of the other fairly obvious unconstitutional aspects inherent in HB2.

  • 91. JayJonson  |  June 7, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Not sure how this is a defeat for McCrory. He gets his case decided by a Jesse Helms aide, appointed to the bench by Reagan, and blocked by Democrats from an Appellate bench. Am I missing something?

    And why would McCrory want to transfer venue to the Middle District in the first place?

  • 92. FredDorner  |  June 7, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Yeah, it's a "win" for McCrory, at least in the sense that the plaintiff's motion was defeated. As you note it won't make any difference in the end.

  • 93. VIRick  |  June 7, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Jay, but Mc Crory and Frank Perry (Secretary, North Carolina Dept. of Public Safety) ARE the plaintiffs in "Mc Crory v. United States," and they are the party who requested the change of venue from the Eastern District to the Middle District, not the DOJ, a change which has just been denied.

    I understand your reasoning (and fully agree with it, particularly in terms of the judge's background), but for some unclear reason, Mc Crory wanted this case moved to the Middle District, presumably so as to dovetail it with the on-going Title IX case, "Carcaño v. Mc Crory," already being heard in that other court.

    Since the judge in the Eastern District said, "No," to this request from Mc Crory, I take that to be a partial defeat, as that keeps the cases separated, and renders the case against HB2 as a complete stand-alone, independent of the Title IX question in "Carcaño." Even if the judge eventually rules in Mc Crory's favor in "Mc Crory v. United States," rest assured that the matter will be appealed to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, where it stands a good chance of being overturned.

  • 94. DevilWearsZrada  |  June 7, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Belarus: Homophobic Attack Case Will Be Reconsidered Notwithstanding Attacker’s Conviction

    MINSK – On June 7 it was confirmed by Belarusian Investigative Committee spokeswoman that a new criminal case is initiated against a person who brutally beat a gay man in 2014. The decision to reverse the previous conviction and to reconsider it was made after Mikhail Pishchevsky, a victim, died in late 2015 and forensics proved the cause between the death and the attack.

    Mikhail was beaten after leaving a gay party in May 2014. Dmitri Lukashevich, the attacker and formerly a physical education teacher, used a sort of a “gay panic defense” claiming in court that he felt threatened by his vctim. In October 2014 he was sentenced to 2 years and 8 months imprisonment on hooliganism and “negligent infliction of serious bodily harm” charges. The victim’s family appealed but in January 2015 the imprisonment sentence was kept the same though the monetary damages awarded to the victim and his family were increased to 213 million Belarusian rubles (near $14000 at that moment).

    After the attack doctors removed 20% of Mikhail’s brain, almost all the time he spent in the hospital unconscious. On October 27, 2015 he died. Just three weeks before his death his attacker was released due to the amnesty law, thus serving only 11 out of the 32 months of imprisonment.

    Now the new case is going to be referred to Minsk court, Dmitri Lukashevich has already got a house arrest and charges on hooliganism and involuntary manslaughter. If the court imposes a sentence on both that charges and consider the homophobic motivation of the crime as an aggravated circumstance (what is possible by Belarusian law and for the first time was tested in 2016) he will be able to get up to 4.5 years prison sentence though the already served 11 months will be counted.

    More reports (in Russian):

  • 95. VIRick  |  June 7, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    "Here You Pee Again:" Dolly Parton Sounds Off on ‘Bathroom Bills’

    Longtime LGBTQ ally Dolly Parton was able to shut down those opposed to allowing transgender people to use the bathroom matching their gender identity with just one soundbite a mere 14 seconds long, as in 9+5, an ironic number since one of her hit songs is “9 to 5.”

    ““I think everybody should be treated with respect,” Parton told CNN Money, in a video posted to its Facebook page on Friday. “I don’t judge people. I try not to get too caught up in the controversy of things. I hope that everybody gets a chance to be who and what they are. I just know if I have to pee, I’m going to pee, I don’t care where it’s going to be.”

  • 96. VIRick  |  June 8, 2016 at 1:34 am

    Quote of the Day:

    Per Rex Wockner:

    BCS Deputies Are "A Bunch of Chicken-Shits" for Not Approving Marriage Equality: Activist

    Diputados de BCS Son "Una Bola de Miedosos” por No Aprobar Matrimonio Igualitario: Activista

    La Paz, Baja California Sur, 7 de junio 2016 – La abogada y activista pro derechos de la comunidad LGBT, Nolzuly Almodovar Gracia, declaró que los diputados del Congreso de Baja California Sur son “una bola de miedosos” ya que ninguno tiene el valor de aprobar o rechazar la ley que autoriza a las personas del mismo sexo poder contraer matrimonio en los registros civiles del estado, manteniendo la iniciativa en la congeladora.

    La Paz, Baja California Sur, 7 June 2016 – Lawyer and LGBT rights activist, Nolzuly Almodovar Gracia, declared that the deputies of the Congress of Baja California Sur are "a bunch of frightened cowards" because none has the courage to approve or reject the law authorizing same-sex couples to marry at the state civil registries, maintaining the initiative in the freezer.

    The translation of "Una Bola de Miedosos" requires the use of some free-style vernacular, as "miedo" literally means "fear," while the "osos" on the end of it enlarges that to the nth degree, and turns it into a plural noun. So, literally, it means "a ball of wimpy fear-ers." Somewhat more politely used, it can mean "a bunch of frightened cowards," but most often carries a more vulgar, taunting meaning, akin to "a ball of chicken-shit" or a "bunch of chicken-shits." In any event, it is never complimentary.

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