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Equality news round-up: News from Mississippi, North Carolina, and more

Right-wing Transgender Rights

– Equality Case Files has updated its page on all the legal challenges to North Carolina’s HB2 which, among other things, prevents transgender people from using the correct bathroom.

– EQCF also posted a page on all the legal challenges to Mississippi’s HB 1523, a so-called religious liberty law.

– Last week, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its mandate in the case of the transgender student who sued a school district in Virginia when they made a new policy which barred him from using the correct bathroom. The mandate is the final order in the appeal, so the ruling, which was favorable to the student, took effect immediately. The appeals court had earlier refused to issue a stay of the mandate pending the school district’s filing of a petition for review in the Supreme Court. The school board has not filed that petition yet.

– Schools in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district are going to allow transgender students to use the correct bathroom.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  June 21, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Hateful Alabama Mother-in-Law's Petition for En Banc Review DENIED by 11th Circuit Court

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 21 June 2016, in "Hard v. Fancher," the 11th Circuit Court appeal of the decision awarding Paul Hard his spousal share of the wrongful death suit proceeds, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied Pat Fancher's request to reconsider the Court's decision that confirmed Paul's right to his spousal share of the proceeds. No judge even asked for a vote to consider Fancher's petition.

    The Order on Petition for Rehearing and Petition for Rehearing En Banc is here:

  • 2. FredDorner  |  June 21, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Such a nasty woman. Hopefully marriage equality means that money-grubbing homophobic relatives will no longer have any traction in these tragic cases.

  • 3. VIRick  |  June 21, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Hateful Kentucky Clerk Now Wants to Drop Her Appeal

    On 21 June 2016, in "Miller v. Davis," the Kentucky clerk's consolidated appeals to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Kim Davis is asking the 6th Circuit Court to dismiss her appeals and to vacate (i.e., wipe out) the district court orders that are the subject of these appeals.

    According to her latest filing:

    "On July 14, 2016—only two weeks before this case is now scheduled for oral argument—Kentucky Senate Bill 216 (“SB 216”) will take effect, modifying Kentucky law regarding the issuance and authorization of marriage licenses and, as a result, moot Davis’ consolidated appeals. SB 216 amends key provisions of the Kentucky marriage licensing scheme at issue here."

    "Because Davis’ appeals are rendered moot by this recent legislative enactment before the merits of her appeals have been decided, this Court, in dismissing the appeals, should also follow its normal course of vacating the district court’s orders on appeal. The mootness of Davis’ appeals is the result of a change in the law at issue, motivated by actions and circumstances beyond Davis’ control. Without vacatur, Davis, through no fault of her own or voluntary action, will be prevented from obtaining a review of the adverse rulings against her, even as the law now undeniably recognizes the simple accommodation she sought."

    Appellant Kim Davis’s Motion to Dismiss Consolidated Appeals for Lack of Jurisdiction and to Vacate Orders on Appeal is here:

  • 4. FredDorner  |  June 21, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Sounds like she's really trying to avoid financial liability for the plaintiffs' legal costs in all of the cases which were filed against her. I hope the court doesn't allow Davis to get away with that since she was in the wrong every step of the way.

  • 5. GregInTN  |  June 21, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    According to Huffington Post:

    Notably, the legal team for the same-sex couples who were turned away by Davis — they were seeking licenses after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide — will not oppose the clerk’s latest move.

  • 6. VIRick  |  June 21, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Quick Review of the Remaining Essentials in the Kim Davis Drama

    Per Equality Case Files:

    As a matter of quick review, there were 3 appeals. One appeal (3) involved Davis's complaint against state defendants. That appeal was dismissed earlier. The remaining two are appeals of (1) the preliminary injunction and (2) the order holding Davis in contempt.

    As to what effect the new law has on the case, Davis is essentially saying that there wouldn't have been any conflict if this law had been in place all along, and now that it is, there's no "case or controversy" remaining between the parties. She argues, therefore, that the appeals should be dismissed AND the lower court orders (the injunction and contempt order) should be vacated.

    Even if this is granted, it isn't necessarily the end of the case. Recall that the original complaint included these Requests for Relief:
    4) Judgment finding the Defendants violated Plaintiffs’ rights under the United States Constitution;
    5) Judgment for damages, including punitive damages, in an amount to be proven by the evidence against Defendant Davis for violating the named Plaintiffs’ rights under the United States Constitution.
    6) and, of course, attorneys' fees.

  • 7. VIRick  |  June 21, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Charlotte's New Progressive Transgender School Regulations

    Per Equality Case Files:

    "On 20 June 2016, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools sent a message to all principals: When school opens in August, transgender students will be called by the name and pronoun they choose. That chosen gender identity will be honored in restrooms, locker rooms, yearbooks, and graduation ceremonies, according to a new regulation released Monday.

    "Superintendent Ann Clark said CMS has been working on the regulation for a year, but the political furor over North Carolina’s House Bill 2 left principals and teachers confused and wary. “This is about courage, understanding and compassion,' Clark said. 'These are our children. These are the community’s children.'”

    "Clark and CMS attorney George Battle III said the regulation follows the guidance of a federal appeals court ruling and was not designed as an act of defiance against HB2, which, among other things, requires students to use public school restrooms and locker rooms based on the gender on their birth certificates."

    See more here:

  • 8. VIRick  |  June 21, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Mississippi: Hearing in "CSE I" on HB 1523

    On 20 June 2016, a hearing was held in "Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant," (otherwise known as "CSE I"), the original Mississippi marriage case, on the Motion to Reopen Judgment, File Supplemental Pleading, and Modify the Permanent Injunction to challenge the recusal section of Mississippi HB 1523.

    The transcript of the hearing held Monday, 20 June 2016, on the Motion to Reopen and Modify Judgment, is linked here:

  • 9. VIRick  |  June 21, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    More on the Pulse Nightclub Victims and the Impact on the LGBT Latino Community

    Pedro Julio Serrano, founder of Puerto Rico Para [email protected], a Puerto Rican LGBT advocacy group, told the Washington Blade on Monday, 20 June 2016, that 23 of the 49 people who died inside the Orlando nightclub on 12 June were LGBT Puerto Ricans. Serrano said he attended funerals for three of the victims that took place in Puerto Rico on Monday.

    A vigil took place in the Puerto Rican city of Mayagüez the same day. The Puerto Rican Bar Association is scheduled to hold a separate vigil on Tuesday, 21 June, while a third will take place in Boquerón on Wednesday, 22 June. (And for those who are unfamiliar with Puerto Rico, Boquerón is a special place on the south-west corner of the island frequented by LGBT week-enders.) “We are hurting,” Serrano told the Blade. “Our collective heart is in pieces, but we will come out of this stronger.”

    Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla issued a statement on 12 June in which he expressed “our solidarity and prayer with the Puerto Rican victims and survivors and their families.” He also said “hate and terror have no place in our society. All marginalized communities have in me an ally who will continue the struggle for equal rights,” said García.

    San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz last week put forth a resolution that repudiated homophobia and expressed solidarity with the victims’ families. Ricky Martin is among those from the U.S. commonwealth who also condemned the massacre that took place during the Pulse Nightclub’s Latino night.

    Three Dominicans and two Cubans were also among those who died inside the Pulse Nightclub, as were victims from Mexico, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Venezuela.

    Gay US Ambassador to the Dominican Republic James “Wally” Brewster and his husband, Bob Satawake, were among the hundreds of people who attended a candlelight vigil for the three Dominican victims on 14 June that took place in Santo Domingo’s Duarte Park.

    In addition to the 36 LGBT Latinos killed in the attack, there were also 10 non-Latino blacks, several of whom appear to be of British Caribbean background, and 3 non-Latino whites. Also, just for the record, all of the victims at Pulse were not necessarily LGBT. Earlier that evening, the club had hosted a drag show, and from my experience attending drag shows at gay clubs in Florida, a goodly chunk of the audience attracted to view such performances are actually hetero couples.

  • 10. Fortguy  |  June 21, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Contrary to popular opinion, not all assault weapon owners share the Donald's "tiny" physical characteristics. Some are motivated by much more personal considerations.

  • 11. VIRick  |  June 21, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Position #3 looks positively painful.

  • 12. Fortguy  |  June 21, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    This is a tale of two Benjamins. Neither is a colloquialism for a currency note, but both are incalculably more valuable and precious.

    First, meet Benjamin Elder, a 10-year-old attending Landolt Elementary School of the Clear Creek Independent School District in the suburban community of Friendswood southeast of Houston. I'm happy he has teachers and administrators who are enlightened and working in his best interests.

    Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune: For Transgender Boy, Bathroom Fight Just Silly

    Then, meet Benjamin Juan, an 18-year-old who just graduated from Arlington Heights High School in the Fort Worth Independent School District. The FWISD just passed transgender-affirming guidelines that have drawn the ire of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick who feels compelled to remind evangelical Christians just how straight he is. On a geographical note, FW's Arlington Heights neighborhood is located on the city's near west side and is unrelated to the city of Arlington immediately east of FW.

    Diane Smith, Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Becoming Benjamin: A teen’s transition from girl to young man

  • 13. TheVirginian722  |  June 22, 2016 at 12:29 am

    " …guidelines that have drawn the ire of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst… "

    I think you mean Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. David Dewhurst is a former Lieutenant Governor. And Dan Patrick did indeed threaten the Fort Worth Superintendent and demand his resignation.

  • 14. theperchybird  |  June 22, 2016 at 3:02 am

    The head of the Constitutional Points Committee in Mexico's Congress said that the Federal marriage bill will begin its debates within the committee in the second week of September:!/noticias/iniciativa

    He said that over 47,000 signatures were sent expressing opposition to same-sex marriage yet they weren't signed *rolls eyes*

    This Fall should be interesting 🙂

  • 15. theperchybird  |  June 22, 2016 at 3:09 am

    Sometimes I don't remember where I read something, here or from a friend so forgive me if this has been posted; Belize's Supreme Court will reveal their verdict on the lawsuit challenging the laws against homosexual relations on the 27th!

    I hope they don't leave LGBT out to dry just because the government claims that the law is unenforced.

  • 16. allan120102  |  June 22, 2016 at 5:13 am

    I hope they strike it down so all of central america can finally be without bans on homosexual realationships

  • 17. theperchybird  |  June 22, 2016 at 6:04 am

    Since an adoption bill is stuck in Parliament (boo), this is a good first step as the new civil union law says that the Government will honor any court ruling on parentage.

    Italian High Court Makes Gay Adoption Easier, Not Automatic

    Italy's highest court has made it easier for gays to adopt a partner's biological child but the decision does not give long-sought automatic recognition to the families of same-sex couples.

    A Cassation Court ruling on Wednesday confirmed a lower-court decision permitting the so-called "step-child" adoption in cases where the family bond is well-established. The gay rights group Famiglie Arcobaleno (Rainbow Families) called the decision a step forward but said it falls short of its goal of having immediate recognition at birth of both parents in same-sex unions.

    Going to be ages before a bill is passed, but maybe this will offer supportive MPs a bit of reassurance that it could come sooner than later.

  • 18. Christian0811  |  June 22, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Or maybe we will get lucky and we will get a CC ruling (eventually) like we did in Austria 😛

  • 19. F_Young  |  June 22, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Bermuda to hold referendum on same-sex marriage tomorrow

    Bermuda is set to hold a non-binding public vote on equal marriage tomorrow.

    …..The ballot paper on June 23 will ask voters to answer two questions: ‘Are you in favour of same sex marriage in Bermuda?’ and ‘Are you in favour of same sex civil unions in Bermuda?

    Read more:

  • 20. Fortguy  |  June 22, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    Also, same date, polls have opened in the UK for the Brexit vote.

  • 21. theperchybird  |  June 23, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Past polling showed an overwhelming support for civil unions, but not marriage.

    We'll have to wait and see. Polls close in 7 hours.

  • 22. allan120102  |  June 23, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Imho Civil unions will be approve but marriage will not.

  • 23. davepCA  |  June 23, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Well, yeah. All kinds of unjust things can happen when a question of recognition of rights for a minority is subjected to majority vote.

  • 24. VIRick  |  June 22, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Here's an excellent article summarizing the remaining pockets of defiance to the marriage equality ruling in the USA, all located in the South, namely in Alabama, North Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, and Kentucky, and all of which should be more-than-familiar to us:

    One Year after Marriage Ruling, Pockets of Defiance Remain

  • 25. allan120102  |  June 22, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    I am not even sure why it have been so hard for ACLU or other human rights organizations sue the remaining probate judges in Alabama to comply with the supreme court ruling in Obergefell.I mean how can they not find a couple who wants to marry in their county and cant. I am even angrier with Coosa as what they are doing is blatant unconstitutional. Alabama is such a headache. I am even thinking that the organizations who sue in the state supreme court should ask scotus to rule against the bad ruling the Alabama supreme court made a while back like it happen with the adoption case,so they can shut up the wife of Roy Moore who said that the decision of the federal judge who rule against Alabama only applies to the southern district. The irony that most judges in that part are not complying is astounding.

  • 26. scream4ever  |  June 23, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Indeed, although after Grande issued her latest ruling, they all now should be complying.

    On a plus side, it looks like Kentucky is now in full compliance. As far as Irion County in Texas, it has a population of only 1,500, so it could be years before a same-sex couple even wants to get married there. Overall, this has been much more smooth they I thought it would be even just a few years ago, and certainly much more so then what's resulted from major civil rights cases in the past.

  • 27. 1grod  |  June 30, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Not Confident AL's Permanent Injunction& Final Order will make a difference!
    Allan and Scream: Alabama Department of Public Health indicated that there were 1391 same-gender marriages since Obergefell. DPH breaks out marriages by counties. When these figures becomes available, there ought to be a better appreciation of the extent of the demand for licenses year over year. There's got to be some explanation why straight and non-straight couples in the 12 delinquent counties; Autauga [pop 55,514], Bibb [22597], Choctaw [13633], Clarke [25161], Cleburne [14832], Coosa [10966], Covington[37955], Elmore [ 79303], Geneva [ 26760], Marengo [21027], Pike [ 32899} and Washington [17581] are content to leave unchallenged the lack of a basic service. For a year, Coosa Co has been marry straight couples but not same sex couples because of technical difficulties.

  • 28. allan120102  |  June 22, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Michoacan marriage equality law takes effect today June 23. Congrats to all couples that are to be marry or want to get marry.

  • 29. Randolph_Finder  |  June 23, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Second location in Africa to get Marriage Equality!

    Ascension Island (which is part of the British Overseas Territory of "Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha") has passed an ordinance allowing for Same Sex marriage. See… . (Total Population of Ascension Island is about 1500)

  • 30. theperchybird  |  June 23, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    The first wedding in Hidalgo will be in October. The couple already got their injunction approved.

    That's it, every Mexican state will have at least one wedding performed 🙂 The Wiki map has been changed:

    So happy to see that Hidalgo is not that annoying pink blot anymore 🙂

  • 31. allan120102  |  June 23, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Well, the last part is interesting. that means that Hidalgo had a wedding in December but the couple didnt want to make it public. Tecnically then Zacatecas was the last place to register a ss wedding. Well the map needs update for Veracruz and aguascaliente as they have surpass their amparo limit.

  • 32. VIRick  |  June 23, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Important note: This headline is inaccurate, as it is announcing the first publicly-acknowledged same-sex marriage in Hidalgo state. The first, as noted in the last paragraph of the article, actually occurred in December 2015, but by request of the parties involved, was kept quiet, and was not publicly announced.

    Date for the First Same-Sex Marriage in Hidalgo (Actually the Second)

    Ya Hay Fecha para el Primer Matrimonio Gay en Hidalgo (Actualmente el Segundo)

    Pachuca, Hidalgo, 23 de junio 2016 – El registro del estado familiar otorgó fecha para la realización del primer matrimonio igualitario en Hidalgo, a una pareja de hombres, quienes celebrarán esta ceremonia en el mes de octubre, informó Yolanda Molina Reyes, abogada de los futuros contrayentes.

    Tras promover un amparo en septiembre del año pasado, luego de la negativa de la dependencia, la cual argumentó que el matrimonio en la entidad sólo es permitido entre un hombre y una mujer, se interpuso este amparo en el juzgado federal del poder judicial, por lo que después de meses se litigio, se obtuvo una resolución favorable.

    Precisó que en diciembre 2015 ya se había logrado ganar otro amparo de una pareja de mujeres, quienes pidieron no se hiciera pública la resolución, por lo que con éste ya serían dos (amparos concedidos ahora en Hidalgo).

    Pachuca, Hidalgo, 23 June 2016 – The civil registrar authorized the date for the completion of the first (actually second) same-sex marriage in Hidalgo, a pair of men who will hold this ceremony in October 2016, said Yolanda Molina Reyes, attorney for the future spouses.

    After applying for an injunction in September 2015, following the negative response from the authorities, who argued that marriage in Hidalgo is only allowed between a man and a woman, this amparo was then filed with the federal court, so that after months of litigation, a favorable resolution was finally obtained.

    She said that in December 2015, she had already managed to win another amparo for a pair of women who asked that that resolution not be made public, so with that, it would be two (amparos now granted in Hidalgo).

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