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The military’s ban on transgender soldiers has ended

Transgender Rights

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. Attribution:
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. Attribution:
UPDATE: The DOD website now has a lot more info: “Not later than October 1, 2016, DoD will create and distribute a commanders’ training handbook, medical protocol and guidance for changing a service member’s gender in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment System (DEERS). At this point, the services will be required to provide medically necessary care and treatment to transgender service members according to the medical protocol and guidance, and may begin changing gender markers in DEERS. Prior to October 1, 2016, requests for medical treatment will be handled on a case-by-case basis consistent with the spirit of the Directive Type Memorandum and the DoD Instruction issued today.

Over the course of the next year, the Department will finalize force training plans and implementation guidance, revise regulations and forms, and train the force, including commanders, human resources specialists, recruiters and service members. Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Peter Levine will work with the military services to monitor and oversee this effort.

At one year, the services will begin allowing transgender individuals to join the armed forces, assuming they meet accession standards. In addition, an otherwise-qualified individual’s gender identity will not be considered a bar to admission to a military service academy, or participation in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps or any other accession program if the individual meets the new criteria.

The full policy must be completely implemented no later than July 1, 2017.”

(In the announcement today, he made clear that even though there are some deadlines to meet, the ban ends today.)

There’s also a fact sheet with some details.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter is announcing right now that the military’s ban on transgender soldiers has ended effective today. They have issued an implementation guide to address several issues.

There will be some issues that will be implemented over time.

Here is a bit more info from the New York Times.

EqualityOnTrial will have much more once we have information.


  • 1. Sagesse  |  June 30, 2016 at 11:16 am

    The arc of the moral universe… bending.

  • 2. VIRick  |  June 30, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Bermuda: Same-Sex Couples Set for Court Fight

    Two same-sex couples are expected to apply to marry in Bermuda in the coming days and are likely to appeal directly to the courts if they are not given permission to marry. The couples, one female and one male, will be represented by former Attorney-General Mark Pettingill, the lawyer and MP who has vowed not to rest after last week’s referendum result until there are equal human rights for all.

    The marriage applications and the likely court proceedings that could follow may settle the same-sex marriage issue without legislators getting involved, as many have predicted. The referendum on 23 June 2016 failed to officially answer whether Bermudian voters were for or against same-sex marriage or civil unions, as the turnout was less than 50 per cent.

    Mr Pettingill told "The Royal Gazette" he could not comment on the “anticipated” marriage applications but said: “I have always believed that marriage is a legal issue and not a religious issue. I believe that in light of that, it’s a matter that will be best addressed by the courts. Consequently, I take the view that the Human Rights Act has primacy and that the Registrar[-General] must provide services in accordance with the Marriage Act.”

    The Marriage Act requires the Registrar-General to post notice of any intended marriage in the Registry-General for two weeks and to advertise the nuptials in a newspaper within three days of receiving notice of it. The two new couples to be represented by Mr Pettingill are not married and are likely to argue, if their cases come to court, that the Registrar-General is in breach of the Human Rights Act for denying them “goods, facilities or services” based on their sexual orientation.….

  • 3. scream4ever  |  June 30, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    I'm amazed that this hasn't received more coverage:

  • 4. FredDorner  |  June 30, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    I like how Peter Sprigg is described as a "national policy expert" rather than the employee of an anti-LGBT hate group.

  • 5. VIRick  |  June 30, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Indiana Federal Birth Certificate Case Finalized

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 30 June 2016, in "Henderson v. Adams," the federal challenge to the Indiana law as to presumptive parentage on birth certificates, the Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction have been entered. Indiana must recognize both mothers on a child's birth certificate when the child is born to a married same-sex couple.

    "Consistent with the Final Judgment entered this day, Dr. Jerome M. Adams in his official capacity as Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health and officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys of the State of Indiana, including political subdivisions of Indiana, and those acting in concert with them are:
    • ENJOINED from enforcing Indiana Code §§ 31-9-2-15, 31-9-2-16, and 31-14-7-1 in a manner that prevents the presumption of parenthood to be granted to female, same-sex spouses of birth mothers as to any child born during their marriage;
    • ENJOINED to recognize children born to a birth mother who is married to a same-sex spouse as a child born in wedlock;
    • ENJOINED to recognize each of the Plaintiff Children in this matter as a child born in wedlock; and
    • ENJOINED to recognize each of the Plaintiff Spouses in this matter as a parent to their respective Plaintiff Child and to identify both Plaintiff Spouses as parents on their respective Plaintiff Child’s birth certificate."

    Permanent Injunction is linked here:

    Entry on Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment is here:

    Final Judgment is here:

  • 6. theperchybird  |  June 30, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Latest Venezuela drama, LGBT related because its outcome could affect the marriage case:

    Maduro's party wants the Supreme Court to nullify Parliament because he's still mad the opposition got 2/3 while the opposition fought back and announced that they will replace Maduro's Supreme Court judges with their own picks.

    Going to be big drama next week.

  • 7. allan120102  |  June 30, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    If we get the opposition to stay and elected the new supreme court I can almost assure you that the ban on Same sex marriage in Venezuela will be struck down like it was in Colombia.

  • 8. theperchybird  |  June 30, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Hopefully we'll get that and Maduro ousted in a recall election. Opposition is working on the process to recall him and the public could sign the petition enough times to hold a vote very soon 🙂

  • 9. Randolph_Finder  |  July 1, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Unfortunately, I'm more concerned that Venezuela may end up so ugly that it may be a few years before there is a government stable enough that Marriage Equality will come up for consideration.

  • 10. theperchybird  |  July 1, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    It seems it's only a small coalition partner that wants to dissolve the Assembly. The Vice President said the main party distances itself from this notion and some question if it's even possible for anyone aside from the President to do that:

    I hope M.U.D. go through with replacing the Court so they can stop blocking some good bills they've tried to pass and so the recall election can continue its path forward.

  • 11. josejoram  |  July 2, 2016 at 8:03 am

    There is no such a ban on Venezuelan Constitution. There is a polítical manipulation of the intentionally obscure ruling by the supreme court.

  • 12. VIRick  |  June 30, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    First Anniversary of Marriage Equality in the Virgin Islands, 30 June 2016

    Or "How We Did It Through the Court Without Filing Suit and Without Publicly Announcing Every Move"

    As the sole US jurisdiction without ever having had a formal marriage lawsuit, we owe everything to my friend, the Presiding Judge of the VI Superior (territorial) Court, Michael Dunston, under whose purview the VI Marriage Bureau is situated, and who insisted he could single-handedly provide a satisfactory pro-marriage-equality outcome. He did not wish for anyone to file suit in federal court, as that would then remove the issue from his jurisdiction. We also had to keep quiet about much of what we knew, and simply let matters simultaneously proceed on two very separate, distinct levels, i.e., the public pronouncements of the executive and the private maneuverings of the territorial court.

    Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp and Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter held a joint press conference on 30 June 2015 to announce that the US Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage equality is clear and makes “null and void” local law that defines marriage as only a union between a man and woman. “The government of the Virgin Islands can no longer discriminate on marriages. They should arrive at full marriage equality. Persons of the same sex can be married in the US Virgin Islands," Gov. Mapp said. He further announced that, just as had already been done in Puerto Rico, he would soon be issuing an Executive Order to that effect.

    In the interim, it was publicly reported that while the VI Superior Court had made the necessary changes on marriage applications (and would accept an application from a same-sex couple, but would also temporarily put it on hold, pending further action), officials said it was up to the Legislature to fix provisions in the law to make it compliant with the ruling and, until then, no marriage licenses for same-sex couples would be issued (unless *someone* were to immediately file suit in territorial court, in which case a Summary Judgment would then be rendered).

    However, on that very same date, 30 June 2015, without any public fanfare whatsoever, Rick Weinstein, 68, and Tom Eggleston, 73, St. Thomas retirees living in Mahogany Run who had already been together for 44 years, quietly applied for their marriage license, immediately after the governor announced his intention to issue his executive order legalizing same-sex marriage in the territory.

    On 7 July 2015, a second same-sex couple, this time on St. Croix, also quietly applied for a marriage license.

    On 8 July 2015, following the 8-day waiting period, the license on St. Thomas was duly issued, and in a private wedding ceremony on that same date at Pretty Klip Point, officiated by Stuart Scott, the two men were married in the first same-sex ceremony in the territory.

    On 9 July 2015, the governor formally issued his Executive Order ostensibly legalizing same-sex marriage in the territory.

    On 13 July 2015, without giving any public hint that the measure was already a done-deal, the Presiding Judge of the Virgin Islands Superior Court, Michael Dunston stated, after acknowledging the license application in St. Croix, "It's my understanding that there's been an application in St. Thomas." Dunston said the applications were accepted and "once the eight-day period has passed, WE WILL ISSUE LICENSES."

    On 27 July 2015, the governor's Executive Order officially went into effect, after finally being publicly "attested to" by the Lt. Governor.

    On 28 July 2015, it was retroactively publicly acknowledged that the first legal same-sex marriage in the territory had actually occurred on 8 July, and that it had been based on the application filed with the Marriage Bureau of the territorial court on 30 June 2015.

  • 13. allan120102  |  June 30, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Good news. The only deputy that voted against ssm in Campeche have been expelled from Morena's party after her homophobic declarations against the lgbt community. A great day for justice in Campeche.

  • 14. VIRick  |  June 30, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Per Soy Homosensual:

    Un día como hoy del 2005, (30 de junio 2005), hace once años, las Cortes Generales de España aprueban la ley de matrimonio igualitario.

    On this day in 2005, (30 June 2005), eleven years ago, the Parliament of Spain approved the law on marriage equality.

  • 15. VIRick  |  June 30, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Mississippi HB 1523 Is Dead, Mere Hours Before Taking Effect

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Late on 30 June 2016, in "Barber v. Bryant," Judge Reeves issued a late-night order granting the preliminary injunction:

    "Religious freedom was one of the building blocks of this great nation, and after the nation was torn apart, the guarantee of equal protection under law was used to stitch it back together. But HB 1523 does not honor that tradition of religion freedom, nor does it respect the equal dignity of all of Mississippi’s citizens. It must be enjoined.

    "The motions are granted.

    "IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the defendants; their officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys; and any other persons who are in active concert or participation with the defendants or their officers, agents, servants, employees, or attorneys; are hereby preliminarily enjoined from enacting or enforcing HB 1523.

    "SO ORDERED, this the 30th day of June, 2016

    page 2:

    "HB 1523 grants special rights to citizens who hold one of three “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions” reflecting disapproval of lesbian, gay, transgender, and unmarried persons. Miss. Laws 2016, HB 1523 § 2 (eff. July 1, 2016). That violates both the guarantee of religious neutrality and the promise of equal protection of the laws.

    "The Establishment Clause is violated because persons who hold contrary religious beliefs are unprotected – the State has put its thumb on the scale to favor some religious beliefs over others. Showing such favor tells “nonadherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and . . . adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.” Santa Fe Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290, 309-10 (2000) (quotation marks and citation omitted). And the Equal Protection Clause is violated by HB 1523’s authorization of arbitrary discrimination against lesbian, gay, transgender, and unmarried persons."

    The Memorandum Opinion and Order is here:

  • 16. scream4ever  |  July 1, 2016 at 8:42 am

    I'm hoping this will bode well for the challenges to North Carolina's law.

  • 17. Rick55845  |  July 1, 2016 at 9:37 am

    I just read Judge Reeves' 60 page long Memorandum Order and Opinion. I think it is well worth reading for anyone who would like a better understanding of how HB 1523 and similar statutes violate the establishment clause of the first amendment. He lays it out very clearly with many citations, and a relative economy of words. Of course, he also discusses the 14th amendment issues with HB1523, but he devotes much more attention to the 1st amendment.

  • 18. davepCA  |  July 1, 2016 at 10:45 am

    This is excellent news. I knew that these idiotic 'bathroom laws' and 'religious exemption laws' would eventually have to go through the courts to get resolved, much like the path that overturned all of the marriage bans, but it's really encouraging to see the dominoes starting to fall this quickly. This mess may be behind us a lot sooner than I had been expecting.

  • 19. sfbob  |  July 1, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Read the decision. It's a masterpiece.

  • 20. davepCA  |  July 1, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    … just finished reading the whole thing. Excellent!

  • 21. guitaristbl  |  July 1, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Have to concur that this opinion is a piece of judicial art. The parallels between the segregationists' arguments and reactions, the pointy criticism towards the governor, legislative leaders, the heinous mississippi supreme court dissenters…Truly remarkable.

  • 22. 1grod  |  July 2, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Rick I would suggest that Alabama's Probate Judge Richard Dean of Coosa Co read the Opinion and Order. While not a lawyer, Dean was appointed by Gov Bentley in March of this year. On the occasion of his appointment Bentley said, “You are a servant of the people of Alabama, and I trust that you will fulfill your duties and set a standard for others to follow.” Dean assured Bentley that “no one will work harder than me and the job will be accomplished with the highest level of quality, integrity and honesty.” Does it seem that Dean is setting a standard for other PJs to follow, or that he is hard at work fixing the 'technical difficulties' that prevent this county from issuing marriage licenses to non-straight couples, while continuing to issue them to straight couples? Its been a year that this same excuse has been used! He does bring a "can fix it" background. For five and a half years before the appointment, he was the chief executive officer of the Air Force Sergeants' Association. Prior to that position, he retired after 24 years with the US Air Force as chief master sergeant, his final assignment having been Vice Commandant, College for Enlisted Professional Military Education at Gunter Annex, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. Honestly, how soon will Judge Dean be able to publicly state when the 'difficulties' will be fixed? He been on the job for over three months. On the half-full side, the county with the 3rd smallest population, is not overtly saying No.

  • 23. GregInTN  |  July 2, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    I'll concur with those who have recommended reading this opinion. I particularly enjoyed his history lesson where he discusses the original purpose of the Establishment Clause was to protect Christians from other Christians.

    I will nitpick on one point of his discussion of recent history though. He says that the flurry of actions by the states to pass constitutional amendments against marriage equality was in response to Lawrence v. Texas in 2003. I think the primary impetus was the marriage equality decision in Massachusetts in the same year.

  • 24. VIRick  |  July 2, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    "…. the primary impetus was the marriage equality decision in Massachusetts in 2004."

    Yes, the state court's marriage equality decision in Massachusetts followed behind the Supreme Court decision in "Lawrence v. Texas," and it was the implication inherent in the Massachusetts decision that marriage equality would then almost inevitably spread from Massachusetts to the rest of the states that caused all the Chicken Littles to enact the flurry of state constitutional amendments "redefining" marriage to suit their own peculiar narrow-mindedness.

  • 25. JayJonson  |  July 3, 2016 at 6:28 am

    I would refine that further. The primary impetus for the early state DOMAs was the same that prompted the federal DOMA: the Hawaii case, Baehr v. Levin, in 1993, when the Hawaii Supreme Court said there was no constitutional support for a ban on same-sex couples. (The ruling was rendered moot when Hawaii voters adopted a DOMA at the ballot box, but it frightened conservatives, who pushed for the federal DOMA in 1996 and several state DOMAs. )

    Republican strategists in the presidential election years of 2000, 2004, and 2008 placed state DOMAs on ballots in a cynical (and successful) attempt to use same-sex marriage as a "wedge issue" to motivate their conservative base. (However, their attempt to pass a DOMA in Minnesota in 2012 backfired and actually led to marriage equality–a sign that the tide had dramatically turned.)

    But Judge Reeves is not wrong to also credit Lawrence v. Texas, particularly when viewing the question from a judicial perspective. Lawrence undoubtedly had some influence on the promulgation of state DOMAs because of Scalia's ugly dissent in which he warned that if states could not use moral disapproval as a reason for passing laws, then there was no reason that same-sex marriage could be averted. Indeed, his dissent could be seen as a rallying cry for conservatives to oppose same-sex marriage notwithstanding the majority's studious disavowal of the implications of their decision for the question of marriage.

  • 26. allan120102  |  July 1, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Chile. Legislative process to legalize ssm in Chile will start in September of this year. The president in its previous decision was to discuss marriage equality in Sept of 2017 but in a reunion it have change its mind and this will be discuss a whole year earlier.

  • 27. theperchybird  |  July 1, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    Even better, the Church won't be allowed to join the public discussions planned all around the country. They also changed things from holding public forums to only detailing information on the Government's plan to the public.

  • 28. VIRick  |  July 1, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    NH Governor Issues Executive Order Against Transgender Discrimination

    On 30 June 2016, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan issued an executive order banning discrimination in state government based on gender identity or gender expression.

    The executive order says that all state agencies must review and revise their policies to reflect a non-discriminatory policy, that the Department of Justice and the Department of Administrative Service review state contract language to include protections, and that the Personnel Division provide guidance so state agencies will implement the executive order by 15 September.

    While the state’s anti-discrimination policy previously protected employees from discrimination on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, race, color, marital status, physical or mental disability, religious creed, or national origin, Hassan’s order explicitly protects trans state employees.

  • 29. theperchybird  |  July 1, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Apologies if any of these have been repeated.

    Germany is also mulling changing their lifetime ban on MSM blood to a new 12-month deferral. Representatives from all 16 regions voted in favor of asking the organization in charge to change their blood donation rules:

    Ireland's already set on a 12-month deferral, the finalization should be soon:

    With Norway, Switzerland announcing their plans it looks like just Iceland, Belgium, Austria, Liechtenstein, Malta and Denmark will remain the holdouts in Western Europe. Denmark should be the first I believe and Iceland's government will be more liberal so them after.

  • 30. theperchybird  |  July 1, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    According to this Tlaxcala may be the next Mexican state to approve a marriage bill. Supposedly, Congress agreed on recognizing that right "soon". Soon in Mexican Congress terms can range from weeks to never materializing 😛 Let's hope it's the first 🙂

  • 31. theperchybird  |  July 1, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    On the subject of High Court seats that could make a difference in LGBT matters: Slovenia's President will replace two Constitutional Court justices as early as next year. Every time the Court let a referendum happen it was 5-4, let's hope both choices block any future public vote.

    The case against the state for blocking the referendum signature process (not just with lgbt bills) is currently under review. The Parliamentarian who issued the blockage says the Right is taking way too many things to the polls and abusing the system. One of the bills that they want collect signatures against is an upgrade to their 2006 civil union law, so a Court block would be nice for once.

  • 32. allan120102  |  July 2, 2016 at 12:04 am

    Well, I hope the two supreme court justices he appoint will be to change the ones that always vote against us. Slovenia was so close to having marriage equality before it was ripped by bigots judges.

  • 33. scream4ever  |  July 2, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    The President is left-leaning correct?

  • 34. allan120102  |  July 2, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Yes. One of a few I might say in Central Europe after Austria new president was not sworn in because of a ruling of the supreme court mentioning irregularities. We need to win marriage equality now in Slovenia before a conservaitve wins.

  • 35. scream4ever  |  July 2, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Indeed. I hope our side launches a challenge to the referendum soon.

  • 36. Christian0811  |  July 2, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    This time they should just leave the referendum be, I'dve loved to see it be challenge last year but if they now challenge the ban itself that'd be more direct and would assure Article 90 protection.

  • 37. allan120102  |  July 2, 2016 at 12:21 am

    The last municipality have voted against ssm in Morelos. Meanwhile tomorrow there is going to be a multidinary manifestation against ssm and base on what I have seen they will ask the state congress again to check all notifications of each municipality. Ocuitico municipality vote base on the majority of the population feelings against ssm.

  • 38. allan120102  |  July 2, 2016 at 12:25 am

    More news coming from Venezuela.

  • 39. VIRick  |  July 2, 2016 at 10:29 am

    NC Lawmakers Approve $500K in Disaster Funds to Defend ‘Bathroom Bill’

    Raleigh NC — A law limiting protections for LGBT people emerged largely unchanged after North Carolina lawmakers revisited it during their yearly legislative session. After days of closed-door meetings to discuss possible changes, the North Carolina General Assembly voted Friday, 1 July 2016, to restore workers’ right to use state law to sue over employment discrimination. But the change won’t enhance workplace protections on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, nor does it affect other provisions decried by gay rights advocates, business leaders, and other high-profile critics.

    The revision heads to the desk of Gov. Pat McCrory, who pushed for the change to the law that was enacted after a special session earlier this year. McCrory spokesman Josh Ellis said by email late Friday the governor “is pleased the General Assembly has acted on his request.”

    There was no appetite among Republican lawmakers to undo a requirement that transgender people must use restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates in many public buildings. That provision of the law, HB 2, lies at the heart of two legal challenges and has raised some of the biggest objections from equality advocates. The law also excludes gender identity and sexual orientation from statewide anti-discrimination protections. Democrats complained during floor debate that the most onerous provisions of the law weren’t addressed.

    Rep. Chris Sgro of Guilford County, who serves as executive director of Equality North Carolina, said: “While this is important, it doesn’t go nearly far enough.”

    Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said the change on workplace lawsuits answered requests from McCrory and business leaders. But he reiterated his belief that the bathroom access provisions remaining in the law protect public safety.

    Pressure to change the law has come from business leaders, entertainers, and the NBA, which has been weighing whether to keep the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte. Commissioner Adam Silver said this month that progress was needed toward changing the law this summer to ensure the event stays in the city.

    On Friday, the legislature also approved giving Gov. Pat McCrory’s office $500,000 to defend the law, HB 2, in court, by transferring that money from a disaster relief fund, set up to protect the state against future hurricane damage. The move drew jibes from gay rights advocates.

  • 40. allan120102  |  July 2, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Good news coming in the advancement of lgbt rights in Chile by the supreme court.

  • 41. VIRick  |  July 2, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    Chile: Corte Suprema: Hombre Podrá Decidir Donde Sepultar a su Pareja Gay en Los Ángeles

    Chile: Supreme Court: Man Can Decide Where to Bury His Gay Partner in Los Ángeles

    En un hecho sin precedentes, la Corte Suprema de Chile dictó sentencia favorable a los derechos de un homosexual sobre los restos de su pareja gay fallecida en 2014, en detrimento de la familia del fallecido, en reconocimiento a la unión de hecho que por 12 años mantuvo la pareja.

    El fallo, difundido este jueves, 30 de junio 2016, en Santiago, reconoce los derechos de los convivientes pese a que no había vínculo legal entre ellos, ya que la ley de Unión Civil se aprobó en Chile en 2015.

    In an unprecedented decision, the Supreme Court of Chile ruled in favor of the rights of a gay man over the remains of his partner who died in 2014, to the detriment of the family of the deceased, in recognition of their de-facto union of 12 years' duration.

    The ruling, released Thursday, 30 June 2016, in Santiago, recognizes the rights of cohabiting couples, despite the fact that there was no legal link between them, since the Civil Union Act was only passed in Chile in 2015.

    Note, in this specific instance, Los Ángeles is a city in south-central Chile, the capital of Biobío province, not its more-famous name-sake in California.

  • 42. JayJonson  |  July 3, 2016 at 6:36 am

    The Australian general election is still too close to call, but the ruling Liberal (i.e., conservative) coalition has lost ground. Several opponents of same-sex marriage have been defeated. Gay marriage supporters think they can force (and win) a conscience vote on same-sex marriage even if Turnbull is able to cobble together another coalition. They are, of course, hopeful that the Labor Party will take power and quickly bring marriage equality to the country.

    Australian Marriage Equality director Rodney Croome told Fairfax Media the election was a victory for same-sex marriage, with at least 81 lower house MPs now in support.

    "It's clear that the Coalition doesn't have a mandate to proceed with the plebiscite," he said.

    With about 80% of the votes counted, the Labor Party (i.e., current opposition) has won 67 seats, while the Liberal Party has won 65; other parties have won 5 seats and 13 are in doubt. It takes 76 seats to form a majority.

    Of the 13 seats in doubt, Labor candidates lead in ten, so it is possible that Labor will win an outright majority.

    The final count is not expected until Tuesday.

  • 43. Randolph_Finder  |  July 3, 2016 at 10:24 am

    I take it that a Labor Government will quickly give Marriage Equality?

  • 44. JayJonson  |  July 3, 2016 at 10:43 am

    Yes, the Labor Party is in favor of a vote in Parliament and against the Prime Minister's promise of a plebiscite on the issue. The leading gay groups in Australia strongly oppose a plebiscite on the grounds that fundamental rights should not be put to a vote (although polls suggest that a sizable majority of Australians are in favor of same-sex marriage).

  • 45. theperchybird  |  July 3, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Even if the Liberal Coalition win in the House, they're already behind in the Senate. The Greens-Labor (and others) seats outnumber them there so the plebiscite has a chance of being blocked already.

  • 46. JayJonson  |  July 3, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    A thorough retrospective on Proposition 8, both the litigation and the activism it inspired, by Claude Summers at The New Civil Rights Movement.

  • 47. Zack12  |  July 5, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    As bad as Prop H8 was, there WERE many important lessons learned from it which helped us achieve victory over it and has better prepared us for the fights that still have to be done.

  • 48. allan120102  |  July 3, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    More news from Venezuela. Lgbt rights and proposes for more rights will be discuss on August.

  • 49. theperchybird  |  July 3, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Marriage is definitely not coming to Puebla on its own. There was a march against same-sex and members of PAN and PRI participated. PAN says they'll consider an alternative to marriage…not legislating for marriage is already the cause of the current lawsuits against the state, passing civil unions would give activists even more lawsuits to file. Boy are they daft.

    Can't wait for the action of unconstitutionality to be ruled upon so the state can join the others in letting couples marry.

  • 50. allan120102  |  July 3, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Pueblas pri is against ssm and the representatives at federal level too . If some Pri members at federal level vote against ssm then its unlikely we will have marriage equality at a whole in Mexico.

  • 51. theperchybird  |  July 3, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    I dare Puebla and Aguascalientes to pass a civil union law, the unconstitutionality lawsuits (a second one for Puebla) will come so fast their heads will spin.

  • 52. allan120102  |  July 3, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    That lawsuits will help declare them(civil unions) unconstitutional but will not bring marriage equality to Aguascalientes like Colima who didnt get marriage until congress of the state act. Aguascalientes need to modify the text where they talk about marriage like Jalisco, Chiapas and Puebla did to get a ruling of unconstitutionality.

  • 53. theperchybird  |  July 4, 2016 at 12:16 am


    Ugh, it gets worse, now the PRIista who marched said that he thinks a referendum should decide if the law changes.

    The best we've gotten of that state is another PRIista saying that she believes in marriage, but not adoption *sigh*

  • 54. theperchybird  |  July 4, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Bosnia & Herzegovina now has a national hate crime code covering orientation and gender identity; before it was only regional:

    Today, the Federation of BiH has finally adopted hate crime regulation into its Criminal Code. This means that now all three administrative units in BiH (Republika Srpska, Brčko District and Federation of BiH) have hate crimes regulated within their own criminal codes. The newly adopted regulation includes both sexual orientation and gender identity as protected ground.
    Congrats to our Bosnian colleagues who have worked hard for this!
    Bosnia&Herzegovina is climbing up on our Rainbow Europe ranking, and is now on a 25th place out of 49 countries with 32% percent.

  • 55. theperchybird  |  July 4, 2016 at 9:49 am

    India's case with celebrities fighting against the sodomy law has been moved to the Chief Justice who will decide if the case will be heard. It's now on the same road as the other case filed years ago. The first case is already on a road to a 5-member appeal bench which is one of the highest if not the highest position an appeal can go in the country. They're now deciding if the two cases can be heard together in the constitutional bench or be dismissed:

  • 56. theperchybird  |  July 4, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Morelos' Governor promulgated the constitutional marriage reform today in a special gathering with CONAPRED (Mexican Government's anti-discrimination agency). Just waiting on news for a date when couples can start marrying 🙂

  • 57. theperchybird  |  July 4, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    It's up! Couples can start getting married TOMORROW 😀

  • 58. davepCA  |  July 4, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Yeah!!! : )

  • 59. VIRick  |  July 4, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    In a tweet on 4 July 2016 from Gobierno de Morelos:

    Per Rex Wockner:

    El CONAPRED celebra que Morelos es el primero estado en México que eleva a rango constitucional matrimonio igualitario.

    CONAPRED celebrates that Morelos is the first state in Mexico to elevate marriage equality to the constitutional level.

    So yes, marriage equality in Morelos should begin from 5 July 2016.

  • 60. VIRick  |  July 4, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    Pope Francis Accepts Anti-LGBT Dominican Cardinal’s Resignation

    The Vatican announced on Monday, 4 July 2016, that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez of the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo. The Holy See said in a statement that the pontiff has already named Monsignor Francisco Ozoria Acosta of the Diocese of San Pedro de Macorís as López’s successor.

    López has repeatedly used homophobic slurs to describe gay US Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, James “Wally” Brewster. The Vatican announced López’s resignation a day after Brewster and thousands of others took part in Santo Domingo’s annual Pride celebration.

  • 61. theperchybird  |  July 5, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Isle of Man's bill is ready and signed, they just need to read it out as tradition in English and Manx Gaelic, but that's been delayed a week. Weddings will start very very soon.

  • 62. Randolph_Finder  |  July 5, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Great. Sounds like a delay that doesn't have anything to do with the subject of the bill…

  • 63. theperchybird  |  July 5, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    It's some opponent sending it to a council for a final review. He's been a pain since day 1…

  • 64. SethInMaryland  |  July 5, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Taiwan marriage bill is gaining movement. Looks the very well could be next and will be the first Asian country in the world to do so

  • 65. scream4ever  |  July 5, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Cool. Is there a link to any updates?

  • 66. theperchybird  |  July 5, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Japan approves LGBT anti-discrimination in employment laws. They'll go into effect on January 1st:

  • 67. JayJonson  |  July 5, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    The Australian election is still too close to call. They are now counting postal votes, which has been trending toward the ruling Liberal (i.e., conservative) Coalition, which has inched ahead with 70 seats to Labor's 67, but it is doubtful that either will win a majority.

    Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Turnbull said he was increasingly confident he would be able to form a majority government, as more results come in, but Australian Broadcasting Company's election analyst Antony Green cast doubt over that claim.

    "There are still seats leaning one way or the other and I think we're getting up to 70-70 with five others, which means if the Coalition wants to get to majority, if those numbers hold up they can't get there," he said.

    To form a majority government, a party would need 76 votes.

    There is some speculation that Turnbull will immediately call another election if he gets the chance.

  • 68. scream4ever  |  July 5, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    That's messed up that he can do that.

  • 69. theperchybird  |  July 5, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    The President of the Committee where Tlaxcala's marriage bill is currently being discussed stated that the reform may be here as early as this month 🙂 Unless there are some surprises, it's now a fight between them and San Luis Potosi as the next states to pass a bill.

  • 70. VIRick  |  July 5, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Kentucky: State Attorney-General’s Office Says Kim Davis Illegally Withheld Requested Public Documents

    Per "The Lexington Herald-Leader:"

    Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis violated the Kentucky Open Records Act by refusing to produce documents related to her legal battle last year against same-sex marriage, the state Office of the Attorney-General said in an opinion released Tuesday, 5 July 2016.

    The Campaign for Accountability, a Washington non-profit that says it works “to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life,” emailed Davis a records request on 1 March 2016 for retainer agreements and attorney-client engagement agreements between herself and Liberty Counsel, the religious advocacy group that represented her after she was sued for refusing to issue marriage licenses.

    Anne Weismann, the Campaign for Accountability’s executive director, said Tuesday that she wants to learn more about Liberty Counsel, which inserted itself into debates over same-sex marriage and transgender bathroom use in several states by volunteering to represent public officials. Responding for Davis, Liberty Counsel refused to comply with the records request. Among the legal exemptions it cited, Liberty Counsel said the documents requested are preliminary and therefore do not have to be disclosed, and they are private rather than public.

    The Campaign for Accountability appealed to the Attorney-General, whose rulings on the Open Records Act carry the weight of law in Kentucky. Liberty Counsel has not yet decided if they will appeal. The report doesn’t say what the penalty for non-compliance might be.

  • 71. allan120102  |  July 5, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Mexico news
    Couples in Tamaulipas are getting married in other states because the state doesnt marry them without amparos. At least 20 couples have gone to other states to do it.

    5 couples looking to adopt children in Chihuahua as there civil code does not specify gender of the couples. So by default like the QR marriage law same sex couples can adopt in Chihuhua.

    SLP. At least 20 couples have married in the states thanks to the amparos they have filed against the civil code of the state.

  • 72. VIRick  |  July 5, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    North Carolina: DOJ Requests Preliminary Injunction Against HB 2

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 5 July 2016, in "United States v. North Carolina," the federal case in which the DOJ is suing the state and North Carolina officials over HB2, the United States filed a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction to stop the defendants from complying with or implementing Section 1.3 of HB2, the so-called "bathroom" provision in the law.

    Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction is here:

    Memo of Law in Support (with all supporting exhibits attached) is here:

    Chris Geidner's extended report at BuzzFeed is here:

    The Justice Department sued the state in federal court after the passage of the law earlier this year, alleging that the provision violates federal non-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Violence Against Women Act. As to Title VII and Title IX, the department argues that the sex discrimination bans in those laws include a ban on anti-transgender discrimination because, they say, gender identity-based discrimination is a type of sex discrimination.

  • 73. JayJonson  |  July 6, 2016 at 5:51 am

    Update on Australia's election. All the votes have been counted except for the postal votes. Unfortunately, the postal votes seem to be trending Liberal Coalition, the conservative anti-gay marriage party. The Coalition now has 72 seats; the pro gay marriage Labor Party 66. The pro-gay Greens have 2, and other parties 3. There are 7 undecided seats and the Labor Party leads in all of them, but since the postal votes are trending Liberal Coalition, it is possible that they may pick off a couple of them. It is possible that the final vote may be 74 Liberal Coalition, 71 Labor, 2 Greens, and 3 others.

    The Coalition may be able to make a deal to stay in power, but it is unlikely that they will have support for a plebiscite on same-sex marriage.

  • 74. scream4ever  |  July 6, 2016 at 11:20 am

    I thought just one Green was elected to the House?

    Also, Labor could form a majority coalition if they can get all five of the outside party members to join them.

  • 75. theperchybird  |  July 6, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    That's still a possibility if Liberals don't nick too many seats in the end.

    Greens won't join them, others don't like how the far-right has taken over the party and a few hate the idea of millions spent on ridiculous stances like the plebiscite.

    The Senate could pass a bill regularly, the numbers are already there, it's the House that may be a pain and have this scorched Earth policy where they decide not to lift a finger in any direction (no free vote/no plebiscite) if Liberals get their way.

  • 76. scream4ever  |  July 6, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    From what I hear, even if the Coalition wins a majority, they likely don't have the votes for a plebiscite, while Labor will have enough support to force the bill to the floor for a vote.

  • 77. Zack12  |  July 6, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    The biggest thing about the plebiscite is that it isn't binding so even if a majority of Australians voted yes on the issue bigoted members of parliment can still vote no, and several of them have said they'll do just that.
    That reason (among many others) is why it should be a floor vote or nothing.

  • 78. allan120102  |  July 6, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Even though the Full supreme court of Mexico invalidated Jalico s ban on ssm Pan is saying they will vote against ssm . Saying that not even the Supreme court will make them change the already derogate articles. They also are taking process to not make ss adoption legal.

  • 79. VIRick  |  July 6, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Draft DC Constitution Now Bans Anti-LGBT Ballot Measures

    A panel of lawyers appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser to prepare a draft DC Statehood Constitution revised the draft last week to ensure that a voter referendum could not be used to repeal non-discrimination protections, including LGBT rights protections.

    Nick Nartowicz, an attorney and member of the Legal Advisory Committee of the New Columbia Statehood Commission, which drafted the constitution, said the committee revised the referendum language along with other provisions in the draft in response to input from the public and other interested parties.

    He said a final draft of the constitution was expected to be presented to the DC Council for a vote later this month. Under plans approved by the Statehood Commission, the constitution and a proposal for DC to petition Congress for statehood in January 2017 will be put before the city’s voters in a ballot measure in November.

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