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US Department of Justice files motion to block North Carolina’s enforcement of HB2’s “bathroom bill”

Transgender Rights

US Department of Justice building. Source: Wikipedia
US Department of Justice building. Source: Wikipedia
Buzzfeed has the story:

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on Tuesday asked a federal judge to halt implementation and enforcement of the anti-transgender provision of North Carolina’s HB 2 — the so-called “bathroom” provision of the bill.

“H.B. 2 is not merely a solution to a non-existent problem; it is state-sanctioned discrimination that is inflicting immediate and significant harm on transgender individuals,” Justice Department lawyers write.

The “bathroom” portion of the law prohibits people from using public restrooms that don’t correspond to their birth certificates, effectively barring many transgender people from using the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

Equality Case Files has the motion and memo in support.

There are at least five ongoing cases related to HB2.


  • 1. allan120102  |  July 6, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    190 marriages have took place in Chihuahua since the governor let couples marry since june of last year.

  • 2. allan120102  |  July 6, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Another amparo against Oaxaca.

  • 3. theperchybird  |  July 6, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Is this the fifth total?

  • 4. VIRick  |  July 6, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Yes, it is. That's the all-important amparo number 5 against Oaxaca.

    Pareja Gay Gana Amparo y Podrá Casarse en Tuxtepec; Cuatro Más se Motivan para Contraer Matrimonio

    Gay Couple Gain Amparo and Can Marry in Tuxtepec; Four More Are Motivated to Contract Marriage

    Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, 5 de julio 2016 – La pareja, ante la negativa de la autoridad tuxtepecana se amparó y ganó el caso, por lo que ahora la el Registro Civil está obligado a casarles. Patricia García Almanza, Oficial de Registro Civil, comenta que la negativa se debe a una respuesta de protocolo dado que en Oaxaca no hay una reforma legal que lo permita, lo cual lleva de inmediato a que se busque el amparo y se logre el cometido mediante la orden del juez.

    Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, 5 July 2016 – The couple, after the refusal of the Tuxtepec authority, sued and won their case, so that now the Civil Registry is obligated to marry them. Patricia García Almanza, Civil Registry Official, said that the refusal was due to the response protocol, given that in Oaxaca there is no legal reform that permits it, which thus led immediately to the amparo being sought and the task being achieved through the judge's order.

    Essentially, there are 4 additional couples waiting (who should no longer need to obtain an amparo judgment). The Civil Registry official seemed rather apologetic in her refusal, but she did follow the exact letter of the law, thus assuring that the state of Oaxaca does indeed have the needed 5 amparos before proceeding any further.

  • 5. Fortguy  |  July 6, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who faces multiple federal and state charges that have all ambulance-chasing lawyers questioning how low the ethical bar is that they must remain above, is now seeking a nationwide injunction against the Obama administration's transgender-inclusive school policies.

    Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune: Paxton Ramps Up Fight Against Transgender Policy

    Because the true threat of sexual assault and harassment for Texas women and girls is the Baylor Bears football team men wearing dresses and high heels, forking over outrageous amounts of money on their hairdos, and spending 20-30 minutes making sure their makeup is just right.

  • 6. Fortguy  |  July 6, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    As an aside, it seems to be a growing practice of Paxton to go judge-shopping. He has chosen to litigate against the administration with a judge in Wichita Falls, near the Oklahoma line, over school transgender policies. The administration's immigration policy that was recently overturned in a 4-4 tie in the SC was challenged in a federal court in Brownsville with a judge with a history of anti-immigrant rulings. Apparently, Paxton's associates must get used to having to spend days away from family and familiar surroundings because he refuses to file his lawsuits with the federal district court in the state's capital.

  • 7. allan120102  |  July 6, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    That means that this judge will probably rule against us, the interesting thing will be once the 5th circuit rules against us. There will be a circuit split with the 4th. Scotus would probably take the case if it happens.

  • 8. scream4ever  |  July 7, 2016 at 5:29 am

    We don't know if the 5th will for sure do that. They ruled in our favor for marriage remember.

  • 9. Zack12  |  July 7, 2016 at 8:10 am

    They never got a chance to rule before SCOTUS weighed in.
    And even though the panel we got looked like they were going to rule 2-1 in our favor, no way that ruling would have survived an en banc hearing with all of the judges on that circuit.
    With Obama being able to remake the 4th Circuit, the 5th is now the most conservative court in the country and one that won't do us any favors when it comes to LGBT rights, which is why SCOTUS is so important.

  • 10. allan120102  |  July 7, 2016 at 9:55 am

    To be honest I believe the 8th is the most conservative of all the court of appeals. Follow by the 5th. Those two are most draconian for lgbt rights. Like Zack said even if the vote in the 5th had been 2 to 1, the full panel would have stuck it down.

  • 11. scream4ever  |  July 7, 2016 at 11:49 am

    What about the 6th? Aren't they the most overturned of all the Circuit courts.

  • 12. Zack12  |  July 7, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    They are and they are another court W got to do a make over on.
    Bottom line, this issue will be going to SCOTUS because there is no way the bigots on those three circuit courts are going to allow a friendly LGBT ruling to stand on their watch.

  • 13. tx64jm  |  July 8, 2016 at 5:08 am

    The most overturned circuit was the 9th.

    Looking at the scorecard below, even though the 11th had a 100% reversal rate, they only had 3 cases.

    The 9th had 11 cases (the most) with an 80% reversal rate … so they had the most number of cases reversed.

  • 14. VIRick  |  July 8, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Dear Jim in Texas:

    Bless your heart, but somehow, you apparently failed to receive the memo that EoT is a site focused on LGBT rights and upon the court cases which have expanded such.

    As a mild understatement, the 5th, 6th, and 8th Circuit Courts have not been overly conducive to such expansion. As already mentioned by the several previous posters, one can reasonably debate which of those 3 is the worst. Thus, the actual question is this: Which circuit is the most bigoted? My vote goes to the two Ediths of the 5th, although others might rationally select Sutton/Cook of the 6th, or a panoply of retrogrades from the 8th. Those are the real choices.

    Regardless of some abstract "reversal rate," which actually covers every imaginable court-case subject under the sun, both the 9th and the 11th Circuit Courts have been progressively on our side in the fight to expand LGBT rights. If certain cases from those circuits have, in fact, been reversed by the Supreme Court, those matters involved other issues not directly pertinent to EoT.

    So, regardless of any comparative "reversal rate," it is rather self-evident to anyone who has been paying attention to the recent strides made in LGBT rights that most of the more intransigent bigots, homophobes, and retrogrades are still primarily bunched in the 5th, 6th, and 8th Circuit Courts. And it's that concentrated bunching together there which creates the problem, and thus, is the focus of our concern, not the odd strays still vainly holding on in several other circuits.

    In the meantime, don't attempt to distract the discussion with an extraneous side-issue that has little or no bearing on LGBT issues.

  • 15. tx64jm  |  July 9, 2016 at 3:29 am

    Astonishing Theory Professor!

  • 16. VIRick  |  July 9, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    I'm quite glad you like it.

  • 17. davepCA  |  July 7, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    …Just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the significance of the fact that the Justice department is actually taking the initiative to PROTECT the rights of our LGBT community, especially the 'T' portion which is so often subjected to discrimination. Compare this to the actions of our federal government just a relatively few years ago. Things do seem to be changing for the better.

  • 18. A_Jayne  |  July 7, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Eight years ago, when Pres Obama ran on a "hope and change" ticket, that's exactly the kind of stuff he meant. He didn't do it all in two years, so the disillusioned sat out the 2010 midterms, and much more change that could have occurred much faster got put on hold.

    But that didn't stop Obama. He has been working to change the basic culture of the federal government, and we are beginning to see the results of his efforts.

    He has made many more changes we will see come to fruition over the next few years – as long as we elect a government that is NOT dedicated to turning it all backward – but we need to stay behind the new administration and vote in the midterms as well this time.

    Is there any chance enough of us have learned that lesson? I am not confident of that, because we really screwed up again in 2014…

  • 19. JayJonson  |  July 7, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    I generally agree with your statement, but Obama wasted a historic opportunity during his first two years when he was trying to placate the Republicans. He became a great president after the "shellacking" he took in 2010 and he finally realized that if he did not decisively act in the lame duck Congress to get DADT enacted, it wasn't going to happen. (In an effort to placate Gates, he had agreed to yet another unnecessary study.) It was only after 2010 that he began using the Justice Department to further gay rights rather than impede them. Thank God for the activists who pushed him finally to embrace gay marriage. Otherwise, he probably would have lost the 2012 elections and Romney would have marshalled the resources of the Presidency against us. But yes, we must vote for Hillary and give her a supportive Congress.

  • 20. A_Jayne  |  July 7, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    During his first two years, Obama had no choice but to try to work with (R)s. The "filibuster-proof" Senate lasted all of 7 weeks – from the time Franken was finally sworn in until Kennedy died – and for three (or more?) of those weeks, the Senate was in recess.

    Yes, he pushed for the lame-duck session repeal of DADT, because, yes, he knew the new (R) House majority recently elected would never help with that.

    The only area where I believe Obama and (D)s in general failed was not calling out (R) obstruction and broadcasting defense of his policies, rebuttals to (R) lies, etc. Still, tho, he had to have at least one (R) voting for legislation if he was to get it passed, so I can see trying hard not to piss them off.

  • 21. JayJonson  |  July 7, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Obama was much too timid in his first two years. He allowed the Health Care Act to get away from him, and let the insurance companies write the bill. He had large majorities in both Houses, but did not effectively mobilize them. He allowed Gates to dictate terms for the repeal of DADT that were absurd. He went along with the lame duck repeal only when Pelosi and Reid told him that they were going ahead with it because they had the votes and if he did not get aboard, they would do it anyway and he would get no credit.

    I love Obama. He became one of the greatest presidents in history, but during his first two years, he was naive. He actually believed that if he gave Republicans things they would "compromise" with him. He underestimated their hatred and contempt of him. He simply assumed that they would work in the country's best interest and that they wanted to get things done.

    As people observed then, he wound up compromising with himself, presenting the Republicans their own proposals and even that was not enough for them. He also failed to impose much party discipline because he had a lot of "blue-dog" Democrats who were Democrats in Name Only, especially in the South.

    No wonder his base became very disillusioned, which led to the 2010 losses. Unfortunately, the Republicans capitalized on their gains, especially in the states, in 2010 and gerrymandered their House seats to such an extent that it will be difficult for Democrats to regain the House without an overwhelming victory in November.

    In any case, the greatest turnaround was when Obama and Holder quit using the Justice Department to defend DOMA (as it had also defended DADT). When they put the Justice Department on our side, they were able to accomplish great things.

  • 22. VIRick  |  July 7, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    North Carolina: Yet Another Transgender Federal Lawsuit

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Fayetteville NC – In "US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Bojangles Restaurants, Inc.," Civil Action No. 5:16-cv-00654-BO, Bojangles Restaurants, Inc., a North Carolina corporation operating a chain of fast-food restaurants in the Southeast, violated federal law by subjecting a transgender employee to a hostile work environment because of her gender identity, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a federal lawsuit filed today, 7 July 2016. The lawsuit also alleges that Bojangles illegally fired the employee in retaliation for reporting the sexual harassment.

    The Complaint is here:

    The EEOC press release is here:

  • 23. VIRick  |  July 7, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Maryland: Highest State Court Reverses Itself on Same-Sex Parental Rights

    From FreeState Justice and Equality Case Files:

    On 7 July 2016, in "Conover v. Conover," Maryland’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled in favor of our client, Michael Conover, holding unanimously that the parent-child relationships of de facto parents, who lack a biological or adoptive relationship with their children, must be given legal recognition. In the 36-page Court of Appeals opinion, written by Judge Sally Adkins, the court ruled that “de facto parenthood is a viable means to establish standing to contest custody or visitation.” The Court overruled its own contrary decision in the 2008 case "Janice M. v. Margaret K.," which had rejected the de facto parenthood doctrine, calling the 2008 decision “clearly wrong.”

    The case will now return to the Circuit Court for Washington County in Hagerstown, where we will seek visitation for our client, Michael Conover, with his son, as a legally-recognized de facto parent."

    The Court of Appeals’ decision is available here:….

    The FreeState Justice press release is here:

  • 24. VIRick  |  July 7, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    Colombia: Constitutional Court Decision Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Published

    The decision of Colombia's Constitutional Court of 28 April 2016, which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, has finally been publicly published today, 7 July 2016.

    That written decision, as presented by Alberto Rojas Ríos, (in Spanish) is here:

  • 25. Christian0811  |  July 8, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Was there anything about art 42 in there? I read they but my Spanish isn't great and I didn't see anything the first time around.

  • 26. VIRick  |  July 8, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Christian, not off-hand, but that ruling goes on forever, citing every nuance and detail from the very beginning right through to the absolute end. I did my best to read through it, but gave up part way through, once I ran into the obfuscation and droning counter-argument presented by the Inspector-General (which they subsequently destroyed).

    However, I enjoyed their summaries of the other countries which legalized same-sex marriage through judicial rulings, beginning with 8.1.1. Canadá, then South Africa, Israel, Mexico, Brasil, and the USA, with the heaviest emphasis on the latter 3, given that those 3 had declared it to be a "derecho fundamental" (fundamental right), as that appears to be the route taken by Colombia in the present instance. However, they further continue on to discuss in detail every country which has already legalized same-sex marriage legislatively, beginning with 8.2.1. Holanda, then Bélgica, España, Noruega, Suecia, Islandia, Portugal, Argentina, Dinamarca, Inglaterra y Gales, Francia, Uruguay, Escocia, Luxemburgo, and Finlandia, as that was the original method by which the Constitutional Court had suggested it be done in Colombia in their earlier, timed ruling back in June 2011.

    So, to briefly answer your point, it would appear that in Colombia a fundamental right trumps and over-rules anything written into their constitution which might possibly be interpreted as contrary to said fundamental rights.

  • 27. allan120102  |  July 8, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    Agree Rick you give in the bulls eye. Fundamental rights can trump anything that is in any code(Penal, civil , labor etc) including the constitution. If its contrary to human rights then the law will surely not survive. That is why I have hope that the ban on Ecuador will be struck down if Ecuador supreme court use the same reason as Colombia, Usa or other countries that have done the same. Human rights are fundamental because everyone have them. They are undeniable, impresindible and inviolable. Btw I believe you got confuse with Israel as it doesnt have ssm.

  • 28. VIRick  |  July 9, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Israel caught my attention, too, as I personally never would have considered it, either. But Israel is strangely unique.

    According to the Colombian Constitutional Court, based upon a judicial ruling of Israel's highest court, Israel duly recognizes and treats with equality any/all same-sex secular civil marriages within Israel if said marriages have been duly performed abroad (the same argument used when recognizing any/all hetero secular civil marriages performed abroad). Within Israel itself, only religious marriages may be performed. Yet, once performed, all 3 categories are recognized equally.

    Because most Israeli citizens do not wish to have a religious marriage (particularly secular Jews, as that locks them into the highly-rigid Orthodox tradition from that point on), the vast majority of hetero couples, and all same-sex couples, routinely marry abroad. About 80% of all marriages recorded in Israel were actually performed abroad.

    And I just realized, on the legislative side, they failed to cite New Zealand.

  • 29. Christian0811  |  July 9, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    That's interesting! Apparently the constitution wrote in the hierarchy of laws so that the law, no matter where written, can only be applied so long as it is just. So even if Article 42 is a ban on same sex marriage, it is unjust and therefore void. Article 5 asserts this explicitly.

    This makes more sense than merely having an implied but opaque power 😛

  • 30. VIRick  |  July 9, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Yes, Colombia's Constitutional Court appears to have used the broadest interpretation possible, including the complete citation of every other country which had previously legalized same-sex marriage ahead of them. For example, it was fascinating to read a complete dissertation of the "Obergefell" decision in Spanish, with the conclusion that, in terms of fundamental rights, it was pertinent to Colombia.

    The Colombia decision, with its own emphasis on fundamental rights, already appears to have its own direct influence on decisions being made in Chile. One hopes it will also have the same influence on pending court cases in Ecuador, Venezuela, and Costa Rica.

  • 31. allan120102  |  July 9, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Once Costa Rica s ban fall then Central America will see a big movement trying to overturned the remaining bans, The next one will probably be Panama, Nicaragua and El Salvador if we go by public support.

  • 32. F_Young  |  July 17, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Bolivia: A surprising move on LGBT rights from a 'macho' South American president

  • 33. Fortguy  |  July 7, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Here are the latest developments in Texas AG Ken Paxton's efforts to get a nationwide injunction against the administration's inclusive guidelines for transgender students. The federal government has agreed to Paxton's request for an expedited court schedule to resolve the injunction request before most school systems in the state begin their fall semesters in late August.

    Charles Kuffner, Off the Kuff: Paxton petitions for national injunction against transgender bathroom directive

    The federal judge hearing the case is Reed O'Connor, a W appointee, of the Northern District of Texas. The plaintiff the AG's office is representing in the suit is the Harrold Independent School District, a tiny district with only about 100 students northwest of Wichita Falls. The school district's superintendent, David Thweatt, acknowledges that his district doesn't have any transgender students that he is aware of. Paxton asked the Harrold district to file the suit after the much larger Wichita Falls ISD wisely rebuffed his requests. The city of WF has a little more than 100,000 inhabitants.

    The following states have joined in the AG's suit: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

    Thweatt has already made a small name for himself when his district became one of the first to authorize school faculty and staff to be concealed-carrying, pistol-packing gun holders after Newtown. For those unaware of the fetish, pistol-packing is an increasingly popular behavior among those in the ammosexual community. When performed on a concealed basis, think of it as a coworker who, unbeknownst to you, is wearing a butt plug except that the butt plug isn't loaded with live rounds that could harm you, the bearer, or others including children.

    Also since I last posted, Paxton has given a speech to the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC.

    Jamie Lovegrove, The Dallas Morning News: Paxton says Obama confusing sex and gender with trans bathroom edict

    Here are some of the words of wisdom gleaned from his speech:

    “Obama thinks that sex is the same as gender,” Paxton said. “But as Inigo Montoya told Vizzini in The Princess Bride, ‘You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.’ ”

    No matter, he follows with this:

    “I’ve had to learn a lot of new words,” Paxton said about his office’s foray into the thorny topic.

    Being as his holey bibble doesn't address the distinction either, I'm awestruck at how he justifies his position by elevating a modern fictitious cultural reference into a canonical dictate. He also doesn't define "sex". Is it the physical act between individuals? Is it merely the box checked on the birth certificate based upon genitalia at birth? Either way, it seems to me the president has a much more nuanced understanding of the difference between sex and gender while Paxton seems to believe that gender is the same as the family jewels you were born with. This is made clear when he follows with this:

    “How you feel about your gender does not change your sex at birth, and how the president feels about his authority to write laws cannot change the fact that the Constitution grants that power to Congress,” Paxton said. “As with our immigration case, we hope the courts will agree and uphold the Constitution.”

    Yes! Conservatives know that there is an entire article of the Constitution expressly dedicated to sex, gender, and bathrooms establishing an organic legal regime put in place by the Founding Fathers! If they could just get rid of liberal faculty and administrators, school kids could finally be taught this hidden constitutional law.

  • 34. VIRick  |  July 7, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Mississippi Governor To Appeal Order Halting Anti-LGBT HB 1523

    Per BuzzFeed:

    On Thursday, 7 July 2016, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant filed a notice that he will be appealing the federal judge’s ruling that stopped implementation and enforcement of the state’s recently passed anti-LGBT religious exemption law, HB 1523. Bryant also filed papers Thursday asking the judge, US District Court Judge Carlton Reeves, to put the preliminary injunction on hold during the appeal of the ruling.

    The filings are signed by Bryant’s chief counsel, Drew Snyder, who entered a formal appearance as Bryant’s counsel on the same date. The fillings suggest an apparent split with Mississippi Attorney-General Jim Hood, whose office, as recently as a Wednesday filing, 6 July 2016, had been representing the governor in the litigation. After Reeves’ ruling late on 30 June, Hood had suggested he was not inclined to appeal the ruling.

    Memorandum arguing in favor of a stay pending appeal is here:

    The BuzzFeed article is here:

  • 35. JayJonson  |  July 8, 2016 at 7:44 am

    It looks like Australia's (conservative) Liberal Coalition will hang on to form another government. They are now projected to win 75 seats. They need 76 to form a majority government. But at least two independents have pledged to “guarantee supply and confidence” in order to allow the Coalition to form a government. That is, they have pledged to vote with the Coalition on key bills authorizing the government to spend money and keep paying its staff. They will also vote to support the Coalition if a “no-confidence motion” is introduced by the Opposition.

    I suspect that the plan for the Plebiscite on same-sex marriage is now dead, but that is not certain. Nor is it certain that Turnbull will permit a conscience vote in Parliament on the question.

  • 36. theperchybird  |  July 8, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Plebiscite was dead on arrival in the Senate, it's whether the House would even bother that was the question.

    The two possible outcomes are now: nothing happens and marriage rights don't come to Australia for a few years or
    The regular marriage bill is forced to be voted on if enough MPs back the motion of sending it to the floor.

    According to the local marriage equality organization, more than 80 House MPs have told them that they are in favor of same-sex marriage and since only 76 are needed I suspect at least a handful of the Independent backers of Government will support the marriage bill as they don't want millions spent on a plebiscite and the Government is at their mercy, not the other way around.

  • 37. VIRick  |  July 8, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Nebraska Leads 10 States In Second Lawsuit Against Obama Pro-Transgender Policies

    Per BuzzFeed:

    A second multi-state lawsuit, "Nebraska v. United States," has been filed challenging the Obama administration’s moves, particularly in support of transgender students. Nebraska, joined by nine other states, filed the federal lawsuit on Friday, 8 July 2016, seeking to halt implementation and enforcement of the Obama administration’s policies providing transgender protections under current law.

    The new lawsuit echoes a lawsuit filed in May by several other states, led by Texas. The Nebraska-led lawsuit contains many of the same claims raised in the Texas-led lawsuit, often repeating the same exact language as appeared in the Texas complaint. Despite naming the same defendants as in the Texas-led lawsuit, however, the Nebraska-led lawsuit appears to focus on protections relating to transgender students which assert that students have the right under federal law to use a restroom in accordance with their gender identity. Nonetheless, it does name the Education, Justice, and Labor Departments, as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as defendants and asks for relief against all of those agencies’ transgender-inclusive policies.

    Nebraska’s attorney-general, Douglas Peterson, is joined in the suit against the Obama administration by the attorneys-general of Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The lawsuit has been assigned to be heard by US District Court Judge John Gerrard, nominated to the bench by President Obama in 2012. Gerrard previously had served as a justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court.

    The complaint claims that the Obama administration’s policies — finding that existing sex discrimination protections include protections against gender identity-based discrimination — were not implemented properly under the Administrative Procedure Act and, regardless of that, are “substantively unlawful” interpretations of existing law.

    The one argument advanced in the Texas-led lawsuit that is not found in the new filing led by Nebraska is a claim that the Obama administration policies violate the sovereign immunity of the states. Earlier this week, the 13 states involved in the Texas-led lawsuit filed a request in that case for the federal judge overseeing that case to issue a preliminary injunction halting enforcement of the policies in advance of the coming school year.

  • 38. guitaristbl  |  July 9, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Nebraska-led huh ? Smart. The district court may rule in favour of the administration but then it will go to the 8th and we all know how that's going to go.

  • 39. scream4ever  |  July 9, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Eh, as an Obama appointee I think he'll rule in our favor, but yah the 8th will rule against most likely.

  • 40. Zack12  |  July 9, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Eight out of the ten active judges on the 8th Circuit are Republicans with six of them being W appointees.
    The other two Republican judges are a St. Ronnie judge who is very conservative and a George Sr judge who wrote the 3-0 option in 2006 reversing the ruling that gave Nebraska marriage equality and instead stated marriage bans were fine and dandy.
    On the small chance we manage to get two Democrats on the same panel and they rule in our favor, an en banc ruling would quickly take care of that.
    Bottom line, the 8th is going to do us no favors when it comes to helping the cause of LGBT rights.

  • 41. FredDorner  |  July 9, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Note that the 2006 ruling in "Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning" was more about the ballot issue than marriage equality per se, and it did cite the Baker v Nelson precedent which no longer exists.

    I think it's very difficult to predict how the 8th COA would act today on transgender issues, but so far other circuits are siding with the Dept of Ed and the EEOC. The 5th COA however is almost certain to be adverse.

  • 42. scream4ever  |  July 10, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Well the 5th was poised to rule in our favor regarding SSM. The 8th on the other hand wouldn't even lift an uncontested stay in Missouri. Had the 6th ruled in our favor, I firmly believe that the 8th would've been the one to rule against us and create the circuit split, which would've delayed a nationwide ruling from the Supreme Court by a year (and resulted in even more states having SSM by the time they would've handed down a ruling).

  • 43. VIRick  |  July 8, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Massachusetts Governor Signs Transgender Public Accommodations Bill

    Per Advocate:

    Today, 8 July 2016, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed landmark legislation allowing transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity and banning discrimination in public accommodations based on gender identity.

    The House and Senate worked out differences between each chamber's versions of the legislation this week, with both approving a final version on Thursday, 7 July 2016, thus sending it on to Baker for his signature. Over the past several months, Baker, a moderate Republican, had been cagey about whether he would sign such a bill, but he eventually indicated he would approve it.

    The legislation provides, among other things: "Any public accommodation, including, without limitation, any entity that offers the provision of goods, services, or access to the public, that lawfully segregates or separates access to such public accommodation or other entity based on a person’s sex shall grant all persons admission to and the full enjoyment of such public accommodation or other entity consistent with the person’s gender identity."

    The legislation directs the Massachusetts Commission on Discrimination to develop policies and recommendations on when and how a person's gender identity would be established. It also directs the state attorney-general to develop regulations for prosecuting individuals who "assert gender identity for an improper purpose."

    So, on the very same date, while Nebraska and 9 other states sue, Massachusetts signs.

  • 44. theperchybird  |  July 8, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Bermudan couple's marriage application rejected as expected so now the marriage lawsuit can begin 🙂

    Bermudian Winston Godwin, 26, and his fiance Greg DeRoche, 29, who live in Toronto, filed notice of their intended marriage with Registrar-General Aubrey Pennyman on Monday.

    The application was accompanied by a letter from the couple’s lawyer Mark Pettingill, which asked Mr Pennyman to make clear his “intentions” within two days as to whether he would post notice of their marriage. The Royal Gazette understands that Mr Pennyman has written back to Mr Pettingill, telling him he is not prepared to post the marriage banns, in accordance with the Marriage Act. The Registrar’s letter is believed to cite the Matrimonial Causes Act, section 15 of which says a marriage is void if the parties are not male and female.

    The matter is now likely to go before the Supreme Court, with Mr Pettingill expected to seek a declaratory judgment to determine exactly what the position is in law. He will also probably apply for a court order which, if issued, would require Mr Pennyman to perform his statutory duties and allow the men to marry.

    Government backbencher Mr Pettingill, a former Attorney-General, has previously said that since the Human Rights Act bans discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and has primacy over all other laws, gay couples cannot be denied the service of marriage. Mr Pennyman’s letter, it is understood, made no reference to the Human Rights Act.

    Human Rights Commission representatives are due to meet with Mr Dunkley (the Premier) early next week to discuss how Bermuda will recognise same-sex relationships. Chairwoman Tawana Tannock told this newspaper the meeting would focus on “next steps”, adding: “Legislation is one of the things that we will be discussing.”

    “We have some suggestions,” she said. “Right now, we are trying to ascertain what the Government’s timeline is for ensuring that same-sex couples have legal recognition.”

    She said the HRC had, before and after the referendum, carried out its mandate to educate and raise awareness about equality issues.

    “Regardless of the referendum, we always have a mandate to ensure that rights are protected,” she said.

    “Our main goal always remains advancement for all rights issues. The result doesn’t change government’s legal obligation. Something needs to be implemented to reflect government’s legal obligation.”

  • 45. VIRick  |  July 8, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    The Latest Precious Quote from the Notorious RBG:

    "Whoever the next President is, SHE will have a few SCOTUS appointments to make." Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she doesn’t want to think about the possibility of Donald Trump winning the White House, and she predicts the next president — “whoever she will be” — will have a few appointments to make to the Supreme Court.

    In an interview Thursday, 7 July 2016, in her court office, the 83-year-old justice and leader of the court’s liberal wing, said she presumes Democrat Hillary Clinton will be the next president. Asked what if Republican Donald Trump won instead, she said, “I don’t want to think about that possibility, but if it should be, then everything is up for grabs.”

    That includes the future of the high court itself, on which she is the oldest justice. Two justices, Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer, are in their late 70s. “It’s likely that the next president, whoever she will be, will have a few appointments to make,” Ginsburg said, smiling.

    She didn’t sound as though she is preparing to step down soon and shows no signs of slowing down. Ginsburg said she has been catching up on sleep since the court finished its work last week before a busy summer of travel that will take her to Europe and, as is her custom, to see as much opera as she can fit in (despite the fact that Scalia is still dead).

  • 46. davepCA  |  July 8, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    : ) Made my day.

  • 47. Zack12  |  July 9, 2016 at 8:26 am

    I think this is a not so subtle warning to Democrats that she, Breyer and Kennedy don't have much longer and unless they want to see what happened with Clarence Thomas happen three more times to get off their butts and vote this fall.

  • 48. scream4ever  |  July 9, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Plus Thomas has said he's considering retiring soon.

  • 49. JayJonson  |  July 9, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Alas, Thomas's wife has said that that quotation was not accurate and that Thomas has no intention to retire. I am not surprised. It is a cushy job.

  • 50. allan120102  |  July 8, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    The government of Chile recognize that prohibiting same sex marriage is a violation of Human rights.

  • 51. davepCA  |  July 8, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    …. and this made the day even better!

  • 52. allan120102  |  July 8, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    Yes, its always lovely when a country accepts they are doing things wrong to the population and they will try their hardest to correct the situation.

  • 53. VIRick  |  July 8, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Ooooh, higher up in this thread, I just answered Christian regarding this same point, as emphasized in the very recently-published written decision of the Constitutional Court of Colombia, to the effect that fundamental rights are fundamental rights, and can not be denied, regardless of whatever might be interpreted as having been written into their constitution.

    It would appear that the Government of Chile has now reached the same conclusion.

  • 54. VIRick  |  July 9, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Chile Regulará el Matrimonio Igualitario y la Adopción Homoparental

    Chile to Regularize Marriage Equality and Same-Sex Adoption

    Chile se comprometió ante la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) a legislar sobre el matrimonio igualitario, la adopción homoparental, y otros temas que involucran a la diversidad sexual.

    "Amar a otros es un derecho, independiente de su condición sexual. En ese sentido, las leyes fijan las reglas del juego, pero también buscan cambiar nuestros patrones culturales," señaló el portavoz del Gobierno, Marcelo Díaz, en una ceremonia realizada en el Puente de los Enamorados de Santiago. "La diversidad nos potencia, nos dinamiza, y nos hace ser una mejor sociedad. Acá, no hay que resolver un problema, sino avanzar en la expansión como país," remarcó Díaz.

    En ese sentido, el Gobierno de Michelle Bachelet anunció que ingresará al Parlamento un proyecto de ley que permita el matrimonio entre dos personas del mismo sexo en el primer semestre de 2017, y que actualmente se encuentra en una "mesa de discusión."

    Chile has promised the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) to legislate on marriage equality, same-sex adoption, and other issues involving sexual diversity.

    "Loving others is a right, independent of one's sexual orientation. In that sense, the laws set the rules of the game, but also seek to change our cultural patterns," said government spokesman, Marcelo Díaz, in a ceremony held at Lovers' Bridge in Santiago. "Diversity powers us, energizes us, and makes us a better society. Here, there is a problem to resolve in order to expand our advancement as a country," Díaz remarked.

    In this regard, the government of Michelle Bachelet announced that it will place a draft law before parliament allowing marriage between two persons of the same sex in the first half of 2017, one which is currently in a "roundtable discussion."

  • 55. allan120102  |  July 8, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    PRD looking to legalize ssm in Guerrero ,Tlaxcala queretaro and Guanajuato. We have seen that Tlaxcala might legalize ssm on August after declarations made to the press.

  • 56. VIRick  |  July 8, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    North Carolina: Major Corporate Amicus Brief Filed Against HB 2

    Today, 8 July 2016, in "United States v. North Carolina," the DOJ suing the state and North Carolina officials over HB2, 68 Major Companies including Apple, Ebay, General Electric, Hilton, IBM, and Microsoft filed an amicus brief opposing HB 2 and in support of granting a preliminary injunction. Said amicus brief was prepared and written by Ted Olsen.

    The attached includes a motion for permission to file the brief. The Amicus Brief begins on pdf pg 13. The list of all the companies signing onto the brief is on pp 5-8.

    The link to the filing is here:

  • 57. theperchybird  |  July 9, 2016 at 1:20 am

    Never a dull moment in Mexico, these past days Campeche's been the scene to some novela:

    First, MORENA sacrificed itself in Congress to kick out the member who voted against same-sex marriage and she was quite smug about the whole thing. As 3 members are needed for a party to be taken seriously, I commend them for expelling her. It seems for the remaining two will act more like Independents now.

    The people against marriage rights filed an injunction to stop the law, claiming that it was rushed and blah blah and the judge ruled in their favor to issue a stay, but Congress stood firm and announced that the injunction only bars the plaintiffs from getting gay-married haha can you believe it?! 🙂 The high-ups say couples can keep going to the Civil Registry to pick marriage certificates like normal:

  • 58. VIRick  |  July 9, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    "Congress stood firm and announced that the injunction only bars the plaintiffs from getting gay-married."

    OMG! That rare "novela" tidbit qualifies as the "Quote of the Week!"

    I definitely do not want any of the anti-marriage ass-hats even being allowed to be gay-married, even if it were to turn out, in retrospect, that they truly liked it.

    Still, the Campeche Congress is correct: The injunction only bars the ass-holish, anti-gay, anti-marriage plaintiffs from being "forced" into being gay-married, thus leaving the same assorted foolish plaintiffs still able to answer the rather basic question, "Quantos anos tiene?" in the purely virginal singular.

  • 59. scream4ever  |  July 9, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Looks like threats from the MBA may force NC to repeal HB 2 in a special session:

  • 60. Randolph_Finder  |  July 10, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Masters of Business Administration?

  • 61. scream4ever  |  July 10, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    LOL NBA. Thanks for pointing that out!

  • 62. theperchybird  |  July 9, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Mess in Bermuda. A bill to make the Human Rights Act give LGBT equality except when it comes to the Matrimonial Act was passed. It's the Government's way of trying to stop same-sex marriage from reaching the island as they can now attempt to use the excuse that the courts shouldn't side with gays as the HRA is clear about marriage with this new law. It hasn't been promulgated but if it is then activists will sue the state for this new legislation alongside suing for the right to marry:

  • 63. allan120102  |  July 9, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Yeah was going to post it. Things in Bermuda got ugly for two hours. Bigots are using the referendum as an excuse to block ssm. Not sure if the court will want to overturn the marriage ban after that referendum. I am hopeful they do because rights are not to be decided by the majority.

  • 64. allan120102  |  July 9, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Sadly it looks like the coalition will win 76 or 77 seats. That means that the marriage plebiscite might happen after all.

  • 65. theperchybird  |  July 9, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    That's the House. The Senate will stop it.

  • 66. scream4ever  |  July 9, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Yah, there are at least 80 confirmed votes in favor of marriage equality in the House, enough to force it to the floor for a vote. It may not move quite as swiftly as it would have if Labor had one, but I expect Australia will have it sometime next year.

  • 67. theperchybird  |  July 10, 2016 at 1:15 am


    With the main Anglophone countries out of the way, we can focus on the territories which might prove to have passed it a lot more swiftly and easily 🙂

    Speaking of language groups, in the German-speaking world I predict that sometime next year Switzerland will really have a plan and a possible referendum stage will be crossed: Parliament voting Yes on the language/date of the marriage question. I think 2017 will see at least that with early 2018 holding the possible public vote. In a way I want it to happen already, but at the same time I don't blindly trust polls so the longer Swiss LGBT have to educate the public to its significance the better. I wish the public's stamp of approval wasn't required at all, but c'est la vie.

    Austria should fall via the Court, but it remains to be seen when they'll pick up a case and Germany will be in limbo as long as Merkel digs in her heels. They'll need a new PM or for the actual Leftist minor coalition partner to show some balls and vote against her stance and give the marriage bill its needed Yes votes. I really do hope Germany gets it before 2020…

  • 68. VIRick  |  July 9, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Proving it is never a dull moment in Mexico, we continue with the "novela" theme, turning away from Campeche for a moment, and now focusing attention onto Culiacán, Sinaloa:

    Alza la Voz Sacerdote Sinaloense a Favor del Matrimonio Igualitario

    Sinaloan Priest Raises His Voice in Favor of Marriage Equality

    El presbítero, Jaime Marvin Quintero Corrales, se declaró a favor del matrimonio igualitario. Ante esto, anunció su decisión de emanciparse de la Diócesis de Culiacán y anunció con esta fecha la fundación de la Iglesia Católica Divergente.

    El sacerdote, conocido como “padre Jimmy,” dijo que en esta Iglesia Divergente se eliminará el celibato, considerando que los sacerdotes tienen derecho a formar una familia, además se pronunció en contra de la homofobia y a favor de los matrimonios del mismo sexo.

    Por su parte, la Diócesis de Culiacán emitió un comunicado de prensa donde se deslinda del despido del padre Jaime como sacerdote, afirmando que fue él mismo quien decidió separarse, por lo que agregan que ya no se encuentra en sus facultades de practicar la eucaristía (celebrar misa), ni está a cargo de ninguna parroquia.

    The priest, Jaime Marvin Quintero Corrales, declared himself in favor of marriage equality. Before this, he had announced his decision to emancipate himself from the Diocese of Culiacán, and from this date, announced the founding of the Divergent Catholic Church.

    The priest, known as "Father Jimmy," said that in this Divergent Church celibacy is eliminated, so that priests have the right to form a family. In addition, he spoke out against homophobia and in favor of same-sex marriage.

    Meanwhile, the Diocese of Culiacán issued a press release where they detail the dismissal of Father Jimmy as a priest, affirming it was he who decided to separate, adding that he no longer has the power to practice the eucharist (celebrate Mass), nor is he responsible for any parish.

  • 69. allan120102  |  July 9, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Puebla will soon get marriage equality wether they want it or not.

  • 70. theperchybird  |  July 10, 2016 at 2:48 am

    Isle of Man is just an inch away from enacting their marriage bill. The Chief Minister clarified that the delay wasn't because of some conservative (who did still set up a complaint) but that the bill was always going to be delayed because of the Brexit vote. It'll be promulgated any day now and could come into effect as soon as the 22nd:

    The Chief Minister says he's disappointed at recent confusion over the status of the same sex marriage bill.

    Allan Bell was speaking amid claims royal assent for the bill had been delayed, after outspoken critic Methodist preacher Peter Murcott wrote to the UK Ministry of Justice.

    As a result it's expected assent will be granted by the Privy Council rather than by the Island's Lieutenant Governor.

    Mr Bell has confirmed all hurdles should be passed in time for Tynwald to sign-off the bill later this month, to become effective from 22 July.

  • 71. VIRick  |  July 10, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    North Carolina: Motions to Intervene in Magistrates' Recusal Challenge Denied

    Raleigh NC — In "Ansley v. North Carolina," the federal case originally filed on 17 December 2015 challenging the magistrates' recusal law, a federal judge has rejected claims by GOP leaders that North Carolina‘s attorney-general, a Democrat running for governor, won’t adequately defend the state law that lets magistrates refuse to perform same-sex marriages based on their "religious" beliefs.

    Attorney-General Roy Cooper’s role in defending laws passed by the state’s Republican-led legislature has been a thorny issue in his campaign to unseat Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, perhaps the country’s most closely-watched gubernatorial race.

    North Carolina has been at the center of a national debate over LGBT rights since it enacted another law this year requiring transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate, a measure Cooper denounced and declined to defend in court.

    Cooper’s office, however, is fighting in court to uphold the 2015 law that allows local magistrates to decline to perform same-sex marriages. The case represents a political quandary for Cooper, who has spoken against that law, too.

    Still, US Magistrate Judge Dennis Howell wrote Thursday, 7 July 2016, that Cooper has “zealously” and “aggressively” fought for the the law by seeking dismissal of plaintiffs’ claims that the measure is unconstitutional. Howell’s order denied an effort by state House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger, both Republicans, to intervene with private attorneys.

    “Currently, the N.C. Department of Justice is zealously defending this case on behalf of the State,” Howell wrote, referring to Cooper’s office. The judge added that he saw “no benefit” from letting others in government positions intervene in the case using outside counsel. Howell also denied motions to intervene by three current or former magistrates who either opted for recusal or resigned because they were unwilling to perform same-sex marriages.

  • 72. JayJonson  |  July 10, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Background on Mississippi Judge Carlton Reeves, who struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage and, more recently, the state's "Religious Accommodations" law.

  • 73. bayareajohn  |  July 10, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Thanks for the link, it was an inspiring read!
    I hope this man gets on the short list for a future Supreme Court appointment.

  • 74. JayJonson  |  July 11, 2016 at 8:09 am

    I agree entirely. Judge Reeves is youngish, so he could serve a long time; and he is absolutely well qualified. His rulings on the marriage and religious liberty cases are magnificent.

  • 75. Zack12  |  July 11, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Not to mention his sentencing of three white men who killed a black man.
    That should be required reading for everyone.

  • 76. VIRick  |  July 10, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Republican Party Platform; Same Old Intransigence, Same Old Obfuscation

    The Republican Party is preparing to approve a new party platform, as they do every four years, and tensions are high around proposed language regarding LGBTQ issues, including marriage and access to public accommodations.

    The "New York Times" reports that despite an increasing number of platform committee members advocating for more moderate positions, many of the current cultural wedge issues seem likely to remain:

    The draft has not been publicly released, but committee members said in interviews that they expected to see language condemning the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, embracing the contested “religious liberty” laws that allow people to deny services to gay and lesbian couples, and supporting state efforts to stop transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice.

  • 77. VIRick  |  July 10, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Democrats Enhance Platform Language on International LGBT Rights

    Democrats over the weekend enhanced a platform already hailed as the “most LGBTQ-inclusive in history” with the addition of language making clear the party believes LGBT human rights should be part of US foreign policy.

    During a meeting in Orlando, the Democratic platform committee approved the amendment late Saturday, 9 July 2016, by a unanimous vote as committee co-chair and former Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy presided.

    The new plank in favor of international LGBT human rights draws on 2011 a speech presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made as Secretary of State. At the time, Clinton declared, “gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights,” a now often-expressed sentiment from the Obama administration.

    Late Saturday evening, the committee approved the entire draft platform by voice vote. The next step in the process is ratification by delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia during the final week of July.

  • 78. VIRick  |  July 10, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Mexico: First Same-Sex Marriage Request in Morelos (After Legalization in State Constitution)

    In a tweet from PorLaIgualdad, 3 hours ago:

    Solicitan en Tlaltizapán Morelos Primer Matrimonio Igualitario

    First Same-Sex Marriage Requested in Tlaltizapán, Morelos

    And from the "Diario de Morelos" of 9 July 2016, we have:

    Cuernavaca, Morelos – Fue en la Oficialía del Registro Civil del municipio de Tlaltizapán, donde se presentó la primera solicitud de matrimonio igualitario, tras la regularización de este derecho en la Constitución Política local.

    El director del Registro Civil del Gobierno del Estado, Erick Maya Ortiz, informó que hasta ayer viernes, 8 de julio 2016, es el único trámite que se ha iniciado para la unión legal en matrimonio de dos personas de un mismo sexo sin que medie, como había venido sucediendo, un juicio de amparo.

    El Congreso de Morelos hizo la declaratoria de la reforma, la madrugada del miércoles, 29 de junio, fecha en la que adquirió vigencia.

    Cuernavaca, Morelos – It was at the Administrative Office of the Civil Registry of the municipality of Tlaltizapán, where the first application for marriage was filed by a same-sex couple after the legaliization of this right was promulgated in the state Constitution.

    The director of the Civil Registry of Morelos State, Erick Maya Ortiz, said that as of yesterday, 8 July 2016, this is the only application that has been initiated for the legal union in marriage of two people of the same sex without there being an amparo judgment, as had been previously happening.

    The Congress of Morelos made the declaration of reform early on Wednesday, 29 June 2016, the date upon which it acquired force.

  • 79. allan120102  |  July 10, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    Sorry if someone already post but Naha in Okinawa became the 5th municipality in Japan to extend lgbt partnerships. Even though symbolic is a good gesture.

  • 80. allan120102  |  July 11, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    The first couple to win the amparo in Zacatecas marry today, They are also saying they will try adoption in the upcoming weeks.

  • 81. VIRick  |  July 11, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Mexico: First Same-Sex Couple Married in Zacatecas

    Se casan por la vía civil Rodolfo y Francisco; es el primer matrimonio igualitario en Zacatecas.

    Después de 10 meses de solicitudes burocráticas y luego de un amparo, esta mañana, 11 de julio 2016, Rodolfo Eduardo Flores Nava y Francisco Domínguez Galindo contrajeron matrimonio en el Registro Civil de la capital de Zacatecas.

    Rodolfo and Francisco marry in a civil ceremony; It is the first same-sex marriage in Zacatecas.

    After 10 months of bureaucracy and following an amparo judgment, this morning, 11 July 2016, Rodolfo Eduardo Flores Nava and Francisco Domínguez Galindo married in the Civil Registry office of the capital of Zacatecas.

  • 82. allan120102  |  July 11, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    A slap to the people, religious people say in Morelos. They are pretty angry and will do anything in there power to throw out Pri and PRD candidates who vote for ssm.

  • 83. davepCA  |  July 11, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    What a bunch of pearl-clutching melodramatic whiners. Sheesh, they act as if the change is somehow requiring them to marry someone of the same sex. Idiots.

  • 84. VIRick  |  July 11, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    "…a bunch of pearl-clutching melodramatic whiners."

    Dave, I know what you're saying here, of course, but I think we can invent a slightly different simile to express the cultural difference. Try this:

    Son un grupo triste en peregrinación, gimiendo, gritando, y llorando, mientras que en sus rodillas, esperando contra toda esperanza de un milagro.

    They are a sad group on pilgrimage, whining, moaning, and crying, while on their knees, hoping against all hope for a miracle.

    It's more like a mixture of Don Quixote tilting at windmills, and the beggars beseeching before Our Lady of Guadeloupe.

  • 85. davepCA  |  July 11, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    I like it! In the immortal words of Auntie Mame: "How vivid!"

  • 86. VIRick  |  July 11, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    For those with some extra time on their hands, we now have this dissertation to peruse and ponder:

    Per Geraldina González de la Vega:

    Protections of Equal Rights Across Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: An Analysis of 191 National Constitutions

    Several tidbits:

    Of the eight countries that constitutionally prohibited discrimination or guaranteed equal rights on the basis of sexual orientation, three are in the Americas (Bolivia, Ecuador, and Mexico).

    Among these, Bolivia, Ecuador, and the United Kingdom additionally prohibited discrimination based on gender identity.

    Both Bolivia and Ecuador, two countries which have recently "reinvented" themselves, have modern, forward-thinking constitutions with a host of non-discrimination protections, yet ironically, neither yet has marriage equality. One would hope that these constitutional protections will eventually lead to the overturning of their current marriage bans. On the other hand, Mexico's Supreme Court, much further along in the day-to-day process, has been adamant in enforcing their constitutional non-discrimination protection guaranteeing equality based on sexual orientation. Still, Bolivia has been leading all of its neighbors in enforcing its constitutional transgender protections.

  • 87. F_Young  |  July 12, 2016 at 4:20 am

    Civil unions in Italy: Do you guys know a good source of info in English on the situation of binational couples where one person lives in Italy and the other lives in a non-European country?

    If they register as a civil union in Italy (without being legally married anywhere), is that enough for the Italian to sponsor his partner to join him in Italy and get medical benefits there?

    If they become legally married in a country that recognizes same-sex marriages, like Canada, can the Italian sponsor his partner to become a resident of Italy and get medical benefits there?

  • 88. theperchybird  |  July 13, 2016 at 1:06 am

    I asked an Italian contact who studies law and he told me:

    A civil union grants the same rights of civil marriage excluding adoptions.

    Including of course the right to residence permit for the foreign same sex partner and the right to Health insurance which is free for everyone in Italy and all across Europe.

    No deep-read sites in English, but for a full breakdown and second opinion I suggest you write to an embassy 🙂

  • 89. F_Young  |  July 13, 2016 at 2:56 am

    Thanks, theperchybird!

    I'm impressed. I don't think there's anywhere else I could have got that answer in English!

  • 90. Sagesse  |  July 12, 2016 at 5:35 am

    Deja vu all over again. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and his wingnut cronies have control of the GOP platform committee again this year, and the result is unpleasant. Every four years the political parties refresh the official party platform, which is a statement of party policies that binds no one. The GOP usually hands the exercise over to its extremists who go nuts with off-the-wall borderline hate speech in an exercise that doesn't really affect anything.

    GOP Platform Contemplates Anti-Porn Provision, Embrace of ‘Conversion Therapy’

    The RNC presented a moderate first draft, and clause by clause, the platform committee wrote the anti-LGBT provisions back in. There was debate at each step, but the majority prevailed repeatedly. You should read the back and forth.

    See also:

    GOP Platform Committee Bucks 21st Century, Reaffirms Anti-LGBT Stance
    Talk about beating a dead horse.

  • 91. davepCA  |  July 12, 2016 at 10:19 am

    All of the GOP rhetoric about smaller and less intrusive and more efficient government, focusing on the economy, etc…., and the truth is made obvious when they give control of the GOP platform committee to far-right social extremists and religious zealots instead of, oh I don't know, maybe some experts on business and the economy…. What the heck are they thinking??

  • 92. allan120102  |  July 12, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Colombia s constitutional court have send bigots a strong message. Marriage equality is here to stay. They refuse to change their ruling after a conservative group petion them to do it. Saying that only congress might change marriage to allow same sex couples to marry.

  • 93. F_Young  |  July 12, 2016 at 11:39 am

    The Latest Gay Parenting Study Is a Dishonest, Gratuitous Assault on LGBTQ Families

    …..The latest is from Catholic University scholar Donald Paul Sullins, a Catholic priest who already has under his belt several studies that make related claims. Sullins’ most recent study was published in an Egyptian-based open access journal that requires authors to pay for publication, creating a conflict of interest since publishers who ought to perform quality control have a financial incentive to accept papers, regardless of quality. The journal’s publisher has been criticized for a lax peer-review process that isn't even overseen by a real editor.

    …..Sullins found 20 cases of what he calls “adolescents with same-sex parents.” Yet we know nothing about how long these subjects lived with a same-sex couple, much less whether they were “raised” by one. In fact, we know from other research (and common sense, mixed with a dose of history) that the majority of individuals with a gay parent were born into families that were not headed by same-sex parents, but by either single parents or a different-sex couple.

    Despite such admissions, their legions of foot soldiers have taken to the airwaves once again to profess their own blind faith in the power of fake science. “The Data on Children in Same-Sex Households Get More Depressing,” blares one dishonest headline.

    Read more:

  • 94. F_Young  |  July 12, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Canada: Anglicans in Canada reject gay marriage by a single vote

    …..In order for the resolution to have passed, it required two-thirds support from each of three orders – the lay, clergy and bishops.

    The bishops voted 68.42 percent in favor of the resolution, and the lay delegates voted 72.22 percent in favor. However, the clergy voted 66.23 percent, just missing the percentage needed by a single vote.

    ….The U.S. Episcopal Church, the Anglican body in the United States, is alone among Anglican bodies in approving gay marriage and has faced a backlash for its support of same-sex unions. Earlier this year, Anglican leaders temporarily restricted the role of the U.S. Episcopal Church in their global fellowship as a sanction over the American church’s acceptance of gay marriage.

    Other Anglican national churches in Brazil, South Africa, New Zealand and Scotland have taken steps toward accepting same-sex relationships.

    Read more:

  • 95. F_Young  |  July 12, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Canada: Anglicans to allow same-sex marriage after vote recount

    A voting error was discovered after the resolution was narrowly rejected on Monday night

    …..To pass, the resolution required two-thirds of each of three orders — lay, clergy and bishops. The clergy failed to reach that threshold by one vote that was apparently not counted because it was counted in the lay order.

    …..The resolution still needs affirmation by the next synod in 2019 before it becomes church law.

    On Tuesday, several bishops said they planned to go ahead with same-sex marriages regardless. They leaned on a statement from the chancellor of the general synod, who said the current marriage canon does not specifically ban solemnizing same-sex marriages.

    Read More:

  • 96. allan120102  |  July 12, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Marriage a matter of time in SLP even though society its not prepare for it. Btw there is a good summary of many weddings, amparoshave been approve and many more are to be approve. 15 more amparos to be decided against the civil code of SLP.

  • 97. VIRick  |  July 12, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Mexico: Anticipan Que el Matrimonio Gay Será Aprobado en San Luis Potosí

    Mexico: Anticipated That Same-Sex Marriage Will Be Approved in San Luis Potosí

    Per "El Exprés," 9 July 2016:

    Con excepción de la Iglesia, los diferentes sectores de la sociedad potosina anticipan en que el matrimonio entre parejas del mismo sexo será una realidad en San Luis Potosí y podría ser legalizado durante la actual legislatura.

    Paul Ibarra Collazo, activista y presidente de Red Diversificadores Sociales, explicó que es un tema bastante analizado en el estado, que deberá salir de una vez por todas en la actual legislatura y coincidió en que deberá armonizarse con los lineamientos que establece la SCJN.

    Red de Diversificadores Sociales informó a "El Exprés" que a pesar de que la ley no lo permite de manera oficial, se han realizado ya 12 bodas en el estado entre personas del mismo sexo, esto gracias a los amparos presentados para que dicha acción se lleve a cabo. La organización también informó que hay 15 amparos más en trámite de resolución y 40 que ya se han ganado, sin embargo, estos últimos aún no concretan los papeleos finales para casarse. El activista Paul Ibarra señaló que en el 98% de los casos no han tenido problemas con los oficiales que realizan estos matrimonio y sólo en Rio Verde una juez se negó a relizar el enlace.

    With the exception of the Church, the different sectors of society in San Luis Potosí anticipate that marriage between same-sex couples will be a reality there and that it could be legalized during the current legislature.

    Paul Ibarra Collazo, activist and president of Red de Diversificadores Sociales, explained that it is a matter sufficiently analyzed in the state, one which must be passed once and for all by the current legislature, and agreed that the issue must be brought into line with the guidelines established by the Supreme Court.

    Red de Diversificadores Sociales informed "The Express" that even though the law does not allow it officially, there have already been 12 marriages in the state between same sex couples, this thanks to the legal amparo actions filed for such marriages to be carried out . The organization also reported that there are 15 more pending court-ordered resolutions and that 40 have already been won; however, the latter still have not completed the final paperwork to get married. The activist Paul Ibarra said that 98% of cases have not had any problems with officers who perform these marriages; and that only one judge in Rio Verde refused to perform the ceremony.

  • 98. VIRick  |  July 12, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Transgender Pop Band Taking India by Storm

    India’s first trans pop group is confronting the country’s prejudices one hit song at a time. 6 Pack Band have a story similar to many of today’s popular singing groups; they auditioned and came together on a talent show.

    However, the group is revolutionizing India’s pop music scene more than any band that has come before them because 6 Pack Band is made up of six trans women. Bhavika Patil, Fida Khan, Chandrika Suvarnakar, Asha Jagtap, Ravina Jagtap, and Komal Jagtap are bringing visibility to a community that has only just recently seen improvements to their way of life.

    It has been two years since the Indian Supreme Court ruled that trans people had equal rights under the law, but most in the community still face an immense amount of stigma, alienation, and discrimination.

  • 99. VIRick  |  July 12, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Virginia Federal Transgender Case, Déjà-Vu

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In "G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board," the School Board's appeal to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals of the District Court's preliminary injunction already granted in favor of the transgender student, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals today, 12 July 2016, issued the ORDER denying the stay (for the second time) pending appeal. Judge Niemeyer dissented (for the second time), as he would have granted the stay.

    The defendant School Board has already indicated its intention to take the case to SCOTUS, including a request that the Supreme Court stay the preliminary injunction while considering whether to hear the case.

    The Order from the 4th Circuit Court Denying the Present Stay Request is here:

  • 100. VIRick  |  July 12, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    North Carolina: United States (in Proper Legalese) Curtly Tells Gov. McCrory to Stuff It

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 12 July 2016, in "McCrory v. United States," the federal case in which North Carolina has pre-emptively sued the Federal Government over HB2, the United States (as Defendants) has filed a Motion to Dismiss.

    Note: This case is the only case of the five North Carolina lawsuits to remain in the Eastern District Court with Judge Boyle. The other four are all now in the Middle District Court, presided over by Judge Schroeder.

    Per the filing:

    "The Court should exercise its discretion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ declaratory claims. This is a textbook case for doing so. Plaintiffs rushed to the courthouse on the eve of an enforcement action against them. Their declaratory claims assert nothing more than their anticipated defenses, which they have also raised – both as defenses and as counterclaims – in the enforcement action. And their declaratory claims raise only a subset of the issues in the United States’ enforcement action, threatening a piecemeal resolution of the underlying controversy.

    "Pre-enforcement actions exist to clarify legal relations that will otherwise remain uncertain, not to give the subjects of enforcement actions a second forum in which to litigate their defenses, on a duplicative parallel track, when those defenses can just as easily be raised – and, here, have already been raised – in the enforcement action itself. Entertaining this lawsuit would waste litigant and judicial resources, and it would risk inconsistent judgments, because all the parties to this action are also parties to the United States’ enforcement action. Sound judicial administration requires that Plaintiffs’ Complaint be dismissed."

    Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, as well as the Memorandum in Support, are here:

  • 101. VIRick  |  July 13, 2016 at 10:49 am

    6th Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Judy Find Kim Davis Still Contemptible

    Yes, for real. Kim Davis got Judge Judy, an Obama appointee, on the 3-member panel.

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 13 July 2016, in "Miller v. Davis," the Kentucky clerk's consolidated appeals to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals have been dismissed as moot. As to the orders Davis was appealing, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has directed the district court to vacate the preliminary injunction of 12 August 2015, as well as its order of 3 September 2015 modifying that injunction, but NOT the order of 3 September 2015 holding Davis in contempt of court.

    "The district court’s 3 September 2015 order holding Davis in contempt of court [DE 75] does not meet the requirements for vacatur … and it is therefore not vacated."

    This matter came before Batchelder and Kethledge, Circuit Judges, and Levy, District Judge. Levy is the Hon. Judith E. Levy, US District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, sitting by designation.

    This case now goes back to district court for further proceedings.

    The Order is here:

    OK, so it was not Judge Judy Sheindlin, the retired Manhattan family court judge, but still.

  • 102. JayJonson  |  July 13, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Judge Judith Levy is an openly lesbian judge. After law school at the University of Michigan, she clerked for Judge Bernard Friedman, who struck down Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage after a trial in which the horrible Regnerus testified. In Judge Friedman's opinion, Regnerus was exposed as the fraud he is. Of course, the Sixth Circuit reversed, at least until it was reversed by SCOTUS in Obergefell.

    No wonder Judge Judy found Kim Davis contemptible.

  • 103. VIRick  |  July 13, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Jay, prior to the release of today's ruling by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, I was not aware of the intended composition of the 3-judge panel, nor was I aware that Judith E. Levy had been assigned by designation to even be presently sitting on the 6th Circuit Court bench. Thus, when the decision was released, I was doubly stunned to see that our Judge Judy was a member of said panel.

    So, yes, given the accurate account you've presented as background from the Michigan marriage case, "DeBoer v. Snyder," re Judge Friedman and his clerk, the fact that Kim Davis' fate lay in Judge Judy's hands is pure poetic justice, with a heady mix of karma-in-action, as what goes around, quickly comes around.

    Side-note to Kimmy: That Contempt ruling just will not go away, will it? And rightly so. Plus, now you've got nothing more to pad around it, either.

  • 104. VIRick  |  July 13, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Up-Date on Virginia Transgender Bathroom Case in Federal Court

    Here's the latest up-date on the endless saga, "G.G. v. Gloucester County Public School Board," the federal case involving the right of the transgender student to use the appropriate bathroom:

    The Gloucester County School Board has turned to the Supreme Court for an application for a stay of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling that led to the district court's preliminary injunction in Gavin's favor. The Board also asks for a stay of said preliminary injunction.

    Per Supreme Court's procedural rules, requests in cases from the 4th Circuit Court are addressed to Chief Justice Roberts. Justice Roberts has the option of ruling on this on his own or referring the application to the full court.

    "Applicant Gloucester County School Board (“Board”) respectfully requests a recall and stay of the Fourth Circuit’s mandate, pending this Court’s disposition of the Board’s forthcoming certiorari petition. Additionally—because it is necessary in aid of this Court’s jurisdiction and to prevent irreparable harm to the Board and its students—the Board respectfully requests a stay of the district court’s injunction, which was immediately entered following issuance of the Fourth Circuit’s mandate."

    Petitioner’s Application for Recall and Stay of the 4th Circuit Court’s Mandate Pending Petition for Certiorari is here:

    Lyle Denniston's post, giving background and context, is here:

  • 105. VIRick  |  July 13, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Cleveland City Council Votes "Yes" on Transgender Rights Ordinance

    The "Cleveland Plain Dealer" reports:

    Today, 13 July 2016, the Cleveland City Council unanimously approved trans restroom rights, just days ahead of the GOP Convention. The legislation empowers transgender people to choose whichever restroom, shower or locker room aligns with their gender identity, without fear of discrimination.

    The measure, 1446-13, was introduced in 2013 as part of a package of ordinances that update the city’s existing anti-discrimination laws to include the transgender community. The new legislation removes a passage from the existing non-discrimination ordinance that allowed for owners of private business with “public accommodations” to discriminate based on a person’s gender identity or expression and dictate which bathroom a person should use, “provided reasonable access to adequate facilities is available.”

    The Human Rights Campaign reacts:

    “While national Republican leaders are doing everything possible to relegate LGBTQ people to second-class citizens, the Cleveland City Council is standing up and sending the world a different message: that Cleveland is a welcoming city and won’t tolerate discrimination against transgender people,” said HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof. “We commend City Council members for setting a pro-equality example for other cities and states by soundly rejecting the dangerous, fear-mongering rhetoric many anti-equality activists are peddling across the country.”

    “This action by the City Council delivers on the promise of the Gay Games,” said Alana Jochum, Executive Director of Equality Ohio. “Cleveland is now a world class city with laws that foster a culture of inclusion. When the world is watching Cleveland on television, whether it’s the NBA Finals or the Republican National Convention, they’re seeing a city that is welcoming of LGBTQ people.”

    Cleveland now joins 19 states and more than 100 cities that have explicit non-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations, housing, and employment. Columbus and Cincinnati also have similar protections in place.

  • 106. theperchybird  |  July 13, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Conservative groups in the country of Georgia want a plebiscite on same-sex marriage.

    In Georgia, the initiative group has collected 200 thousand signatures for a referendum banning gay marriage. On Wednesday, July 13, according to Sputnik with reference to one of the initiators of the plebiscite Sandro Bregadze.

    The question for the referendum is: “do you Agree that marriage is a Union between a man and a woman to create family?” After the notarization of the signature will be transferred to the Central election Commission of the Republic, which shall transmit them to the President together with the requirement of holding a plebiscite.

    This is the second attempt to initiate in Georgia to vote against the legalization of gay marriage. For the first time, the election Commission rejected the initiative because of the poorly worded question: “do you Agree that the Constitution was amended that marriage is a Union between a man and a woman to create family?” According to the legislation of the Republic, the referendum can not be held for adoption or abolition of the law.

    It's non-binding which is a relief, but Parliament still has to vote on their own attempt to constitutionally ban it in the Fall. What may save LGBT Georgians is the super high threshold of 3/4 rather than 2/3 MPs needed for it to be approved. There are several Georgian MPs who aren't in favor of same-sex marriage, but think a ban is too far and then there are those who don't want to upset the EU. Hopefully it flops.

    There's also a case pending before the Constitutional Court to attempt to legalize same-sex marriage, but the worst that will a negative ruling will do is just keep things as the status quo – no ban, no endorsement, believe.

  • 107. allan120102  |  July 13, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Chile has finally start discussing and addressing topics of same sex marriage in the senate. Imo Chile might have marriage equality a year form here and even before Australia.

  • 108. Christian0811  |  July 13, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Never mind marriage! Apparently they don't have an equal age of consent >=[

  • 109. theperchybird  |  July 14, 2016 at 1:38 am

    It's a package of reforms that the Chilean Government agreed to legislate by next year. Consent age, easier gender change, marriage, adoption rights for married couples and those in civil unions, tougher anti-discrimination laws 🙂 Some of these are further along the process than the discussion on marriage itself (which barely began) so all in good time.

  • 110. theperchybird  |  July 14, 2016 at 1:41 am

    Things are going to HEATED in Sinaloa!

    The Governor and Congress have been sued for discrimination before the State Commission of Human Rights. The argument is that they have taken too long to pass a marriage bill despite the Mexican Supreme Court already issuing several injunctions in favor of couples there and the Court's own warning to the state that a jurisprudence has been set and they may axe the ban themselves in time if Congress fails to act.

    The best part is that the Commission will take up the case and really look into the complaint 😉

  • 111. davepCA  |  July 14, 2016 at 12:16 pm


  • 112. theperchybird  |  July 14, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Bermuda: Senate Hearing on Marriage-Blocking Bill happening now.

    The bill wants heterosexual marriage laws to overrule the island's existing anti-discrimination laws; it's the conservative way of trying to convince the court not to use the Human Rights Act to rule in favor of same-sex plaintiffs.

    You can listen here:

  • 113. davepCA  |  July 14, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Ah yes, the old 'everyone is equal and deserves equal rights, but some of us are more equal than others' type of reasoning. I wish George Orwell had not been so correct about these aspects of humanity.

  • 114. theperchybird  |  July 14, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Good news…the bill failed there 🙂 Senate said NO! 😀 6-5 way too close though…

    It either has to be amended before it can return to the Senate or be left as is but one year must pass before the next step can be taken:

  • 115. VIRick  |  July 14, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Guyana Court to Address Ongoing Arrests of Crossdressers

    Georgetown, Guyana — A court in the South American country of Guyana has agreed to hear an appeal from gay and lesbian organizations on whether police have the right to arrest crossdressers. The organizations said Thursday, 14 July 2016, that police are still arresting and harassing crossdressers despite a 2013 court ruling stating it is only a crime if done for an “improper purpose” such as prostitution. The ruling was issued after transgender litigants challenged an 1893 law under which they were arrested for wearing female attire, apparently while waiting for taxis.

    Justice officials say Guyana’s second-highest court will hear the case on 17 October 2016 in an attempt to clarify the 2013 ruling. Activists say they’ll take the case to a regional court if they are not satisfied with the upcoming ruling.

    Note: Just to indicate how far out-of-touch Guyana is in relation to the bulk of the other countries in the Americas, they're still referring to transgender individuals as crossdressers. I deliberately left that wording as-is. In addition, about 70% of South America's population already has marriage equality, while in Guyana, they're still arresting "crossdressers" for just existing.

  • 116. allan120102  |  July 14, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Sinaloa. The president of congress in the state of Sinaloa says they are resistence of some deputies to allow same sex marriage and that is why marriage have not been approve in the state. He lament this and says he expect this to be discussed before this legislature ends in September 30.If not the supreme court might invalidate their ban like they did with Jalisco. It might be discussed but there is nothing that says that it will be approved by deputies.

  • 117. VIRick  |  July 14, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Per the latest tweet from el Gobierno de Morelos, 4 hours ago:

    Hoy día, 14 de julio 2016, se efectuó el primer matrimonio igualitario en Morelos (desde la reforma constitucional se hizo efectiva). Aquí todos tenemos los mismos derechos.

    Today, 14 July 2016, the first same-sex marriage took place in Morelos (since the state constitutional guarantee went into effect). Here, everyone has the same rights.

  • 118. guitaristbl  |  July 15, 2016 at 10:28 am

    On other news, Trump choosing a governor like Pence after his ridicule last year over their RFRA makes no sense to me. The man does nothing to attract voters other than Trump's far right following already.

  • 119. VIRick  |  July 15, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Mississippi Attorney-General Refuses to Join Court Appeal of HB 1523

    Mississippi‘s Democratic attorney-general said Wednesday, 13 July 2016, that he won’t join the Republican governor in appealing a federal judge’s ruling that blocked a state law on religious objections to same-sex marriage. Attorney-General Jim Hood said a continued legal fight would be “divisive and expensive” in a state that’s already struggling with a tight budget.

    “Simply stated, all HB 1523 has done is tarnish Mississippi’s image while distracting us from the more pressing issues of decaying roads and bridges, underfunding of public education, the plight of the mentally ill and the need to solve our state’s financial mess,” Hood said in a statement.

    Amid lobbying from Baptist and Pentecostal groups, the Republican-led Legislature passed House Bill 1523 this spring in response to last summer’s US Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. US District Judge Carlton Reeves blocked the measure moments before it was to become law on 1 July. Gov. Phil Bryant last week asked Reeves to reconsider the ruling and to let the law take effect while Bryant appeals to a higher court.

    The law sought to protect three beliefs: That marriage is only between a man and a woman; that sex should only take place in such a marriage; and that a person’s gender is determined at birth and cannot be altered.

    It would allow clerks to cite religious objections to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and would protect merchants who refuse services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people. It could affect adoptions and foster care, business practices, and school bathroom policies. Reeves found that it unconstitutionally establishes preferred beliefs and creates unequal treatment for gay people.

  • 120. VIRick  |  July 15, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Uruguay Hosts Global LGBT Rights Conference

    More than 150 activists from around the world gathered in Uruguay this week for the first global LGBT rights conference to have taken place in Latin America. On Tuesday, 12 July 2016, Uruguayan Minister of the Exterior, Rodolfo Nin Novoa, spoke at the opening of the conference that is taking place in his country’s capital of Montevideo.

    “We are gathered together for the purpose of effecting very significant cultural changes for our countries, keeping in mind the universality of human rights and fundamental liberties that are inherent to each person without exception,” he said.

    Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders spoke at the conference, which his country co-organized with Uruguay, on Wednesday, 13 July 2016. “Human rights apply to all human beings,” he said. “The choice to exclude certain groups from protection endangers not just these groups, but society as a whole.”

  • 121. VIRick  |  July 15, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    6th Anniversary of Marriage Equality in Argentina

    Today, MatrimonioIgualitario is filled with congratulatory tweets regarding Argentina, like this:

    Per Enrique Torre Molina, 4 hours ago:

    Hoy se cumplen 6 años de la aprobación de matrimonio igualitario en Argentina (desde 15 de julio 2010, Ley 26.618).

    Today marks 6 years since the approval of marriage equality in Argentina (from 15 July 2010, Law 26.618).

    And tonight, per Subse Dchos Humanos:

    La Casa de Gobierno (de la Argentina) se iluminó con colores de la diversidad celebramos 6° aniversario Ley de Matrimonio Igualitario.

    Government House (of Argentina) was illuminated in the diversity colors as we celebrate the 6th anniversary of the marriage equality law.

    And this reminder, from Felipe Parada:

    Hoy se cumplen 6 años del matrimonio igualitario en Argentina, espero que en Chile pronto sea una realidad.

    Today completes 6 years of marriage equality in Argentina, I hope that in Chile it will soon be a reality.

  • 122. JayJonson  |  July 16, 2016 at 5:26 am

    Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission Recommends the Immediate Removal of Roy Moore.

    The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission on Friday responded to suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's efforts to have the judicial ethics charges against him dismissed.

    Instead of dismissing the charges, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary should issue a summary judgment in its favor and remove Moore now from the bench, the JIC states in its response.

    "This court (COJ) can conclude this matter now, deny the Chief Justice's motion for summary judgment, enter judgment as a matter of law in favor of the commission (JIC), remove the Chief Justice from judicial office, and reaffirm Alabama's fidelity to the rule of law," the JIC motion states.

    Read more here:

  • 123. Randolph_Finder  |  July 18, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Just curious, presuming he does get removed, when can he be re-elected into the position again?

  • 124. FredDorner  |  July 18, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Moore is too old to run again for the SC but he can and probably will run for governor. There's a good chance all his pandering to the bible-babblers on the marriage issue was really about his political prospects as much as it was about grifting for his Christian sharia law foundation.

  • 125. Randolph_Finder  |  July 18, 2016 at 10:43 am

    OK, went looking on Wikipedia. The Supreme Court Justices can't run after they hit 70, and Moore is 69 (turns 70 in February 2017), but the Chief's position, like the others is a 6 year term, so the next election is in 2019 which means that he can't be elected again. *but* I haven't been able to find out when Moore is removed whether Governor Bentley could (out of his choices to replace Moore) choose to appoint Moore back to his old position…

  • 126. FredDorner  |  July 18, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    There's no way he'll be appointed to fill the vacancy (and I don't know if a special election would be required). While the GOP leadership in Alabama certainly shares his anti-gay bigotry, they hate Moore and didn't want him to run last time. He only won by a fluke.

  • 127. montezuma58  |  July 18, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    The governor appoints a justice to fill out the remainder of the term. There's a good chance that Bently will be impeached. Also there is a grand jury probing him. I don't think he would appoint Moore anyways. Bently was the only high state official to not react insanely to the Obergeffel decision.

    The legislature was kicking around the idea of proposing an amendment that would increase the age at which judges could start a term. That obvious attempt to benifit Moore didn't get very far.

    BTW, the speaker of the house was recently convicted and thus automatically removed from office. The state is working on a trifecta of top officials from each branch of the government getting booted from their job.

  • 128. scream4ever  |  July 16, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    August 1st court date set for hearing regarding injunction to North Carolina HB2 bill:

    If the judge doesn't grant it, the Fourth Circuit most certainly will, and I expect the Supreme Court to comply as well.

  • 129. guitaristbl  |  July 17, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    I ve been reading about all the progress or at least processes all over south america but does anybody now if there has been any progress on LGBT rights in Paraguay over the last years or if there has been any mobility to any direction at all ?

  • 130. allan120102  |  July 17, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Well as you may know , Paraguay can be consider the most conservative along with Peru in SA not counting the english countries like Suriname and Guyana. The heavy influence of the catholic and evangelic church makes it harder for lgbt people to be open about their sexuality. The level of acceptance for ssm is the same as many countries in central america. Even Costa Rica is more open about this topic. The church prevent in 2014 anti discrimination laws from being enact. I found you a link explaining why the low tolerance to lgbt people. One of the main reason was the dictatiorship that the country suffer for several years and where lgbt were prosecuted. Sentiments of the issue are still prevalescent even today.

  • 131. VIRick  |  July 17, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    "…. if there has been any progress on LGBT rights in Paraguay ….?"

    No. Nothing. Zero. Nada. Ninguno. Nenhum.

    Basically, Paraguay is a moribund hell-hole, regardless of subject-matter, quite in contrast with its immediate neighbors, Argentina on one side, and Brasil on the other. In fact, the more those two progress, adapt, and develop, in their own competitive way, the more ridiculously entrenched Paraguay becomes in its own knee-jerk, die-hard reaction. So-called "progress" in Paraguay meant, for example, that they allowed for the mass importation of the strictest, most regressive Mennonites, world-wide, complete with all their throw-back 19th century trappings.

  • 132. Randolph_Finder  |  July 18, 2016 at 10:02 am

    So Paraguay against Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. Didn't work out so well 150 years ago.

  • 133. JayJonson  |  July 18, 2016 at 5:56 am

    Some of you might appreciate this essay on Joseph Epstein (of the infamous Harper's essay in 1970 in which he wishes homosexuality off the face of the earth). By Claude Summers, the essay documents how he has lied about the essay all these years.

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