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Federal judge: University of North Carolina can’t enforce HB2’s bathroom law

Transgender Rights

Buzzfeed reports:

In a limited ruling on Friday afternoon, a federal judge barred the University of North Carolina from enforcing the “bathroom bill” provision of the state’s anti-LGBT HB 2 law against those transgender individuals who sued the state following the passage of the law.

In the ruling U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder noted, “Ultimately, the record reflects what counsel for Governor [Pat] McCrory candidly speculates was the status quo ante in North Carolina in recent years: some transgender individuals have been quietly using bathrooms and other facilities that match their gender identity, without public awareness or incident.”

The case was brought by the ACLU and Lambda Legal on behalf of several North Carolina residents, including professors and students at UNC schools.

This case is only one of many involving HB2, and the plaintiffs here only asked for a preliminary injunction against the “bathroom ban” portion of the law. However, other aspects of the sweeping anti-LGBT law will be under review.

The district court relied partly on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in GG v. Gloucester County School Board, in which a teenage high school student successfully challenged the school board’s anti-transgender bathroom policy. The Supreme Court is expected to be asked to hear that case soon – a filing is expected today,


  • 1. bayareajohn  |  August 29, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    The bad links in the RECENT COMMENTS column continue.
    They are malformed – using HTTPS:// instead of simple links. The "S" connection requires a current and accurate certificate, which apparently does not exist.
    So most browsers will reject the link and throw a warning about it being an UNSAFE and maybe DANGEROUS web link. This seems to happen here a couple times a year, and goes for weeks before anyone deals with it. Earth to webmaster, come in webmaster….

    "The owner of has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website."

  • 2. VIRick  |  August 29, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Here's the message I have been receiving for the past several weeks whenever I click on any of the "Jump to ->" buttons in the left-hand sidebar under Recent Comments:

    There is a problem with this website’s security certificate.
    The security certificate presented by this website was issued for a different website's address.
    Security certificate problems may indicate an attempt to fool you or intercept any data you send to the server.

    We recommend that you close this webpage and do not continue to this website.
    Recommended icon: Click here to close this webpage.
    Not recommended icon: Continue to this website (not recommended).

    To avoid this intimidating message, I simply ignore the sidebar completely, and click on the title heading of each topic thread, and then scroll down until I find any/all new posts. But yes, I can see where this warning would be enough to scare off many potential readers who might otherwise have something of value to share. Plus, if nothing else, it is also somewhat inconvenient to have to scroll down through a fairly lengthly thread until one finds the new posts (which are otherwise highlighted in the now-useless left-hand sidebar).

  • 3. VIRick  |  August 29, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Virginia Transgender Case to Supreme Court on Petition

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 29 August 2016, in "G.G. v. Gloucester County Public School Board," the case involving the right of a transgender student to use the appropriate bathroom, the School Board has filed its petition asking the Supreme Court to review the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision.

    The Petition for a Writ of Certiorari is linked here:

  • 4. VIRick  |  August 29, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Continuing from Scottie's main topic, up above:

    North Carolina: Plaintiffs Appeal Limited Preliminary Injunction Against HB2

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 29 August 2016, in "Carcaño v. McCrory," the case in which the ACLU/Lambda Legal are challenging North Carolina law HB2, the Plaintiffs have filed notice of appeal to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals "from an order entered in this action on 26 August 2016 (ECF No. 127), denying in part Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction."

    Per the plaintiffs' press release, the appeal is "to ask the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to extend that ruling more broadly in order to protect all transgender people in North Carolina from the harms imposed by HB2."

    The Notice of Appeal is linked here:

    The plaintiffs' press release is here:

    Basically put, on Friday, a district court judge blocked the University of North Carolina from enforcing the law against three transgender plaintiffs in the case and found that the challengers are likely to succeed in their argument that the law violates Title IX. In a notice of appeal filed today, the groups challenging the law announced plans to ask the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to extend that ruling more broadly in order to protect ALL transgender people in North Carolina from the harms imposed by HB2.

  • 5. VIRick  |  August 29, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Mexico: An Obituary: Juan Gabriel, Queer Mexican Icon

    El Divo de Juárez, 66, the "querida" super-star balladeer, died Sunday, 28 August 2016, in Santa Monica CA just hours before a scheduled performance in El Paso TX. His legacy as an LGBT Latino icon must not be forgotten. Juan Gabriel never "came out" as gay, at least not in the traditional way. But that doesn't make him any less of an icon for queer Latino fans who grew up adoring the ballad singer.

    El Divo de Juárez has been memorialized by the likes of President Obama, who called him "one of the greats of Latin music." Jorge Ramos, the Univision/Fusion anchor and journalist, took a moment to honor the singer, asking American media to respect that many Latinos are in mourning over one of Mexico's greatest talents.

    It is without argument that he was one of the most talented songwriters ever, period. Not just in Mexico; not just in Spanish. His influence transcends genre. That is exemplified by a look at those who are paying homage to the Mexican star: indie singer Carla Morrison, poet Eduardo C. Corral, singer Marco Antonio Solis, artist Rafael Esparza, singer Vicente Fernandez, out pop star Ricky Martin, artist Julio Salgado, and actor Gael Garcia Bernal, among others.

    But to queer Latinos, El Divo de Juárez symbolized that it is possible to exist outside of the confining expectations of gender and sexuality. Juan Gabriel never tamed his feminine appearance nor his flamboyant dancing, despite the gay rumors throughout his career. And he will be remembered as much for his classic hits as for the outfits he wore while performing them.

    Gabriel's music was the soundtrack at weddings, birthday parties, and even funerals. "Amor Eterno," a ballad he wrote in honor of his mother's passing, became an anthem for mourning families. JuanGa will not have a single legacy. He is not simply a Mexican singer-songwriter. His queer fans have much to be grateful for, yet much of the mainstream media coverage of his death has glossed over one of the most important parts of JuanGa's legacy: his queerness.

    It was an open secret that would reveal itself when people would make homophobic jokes about his shiny outfits or his effeminate voice. El Divo was famously confronted during a sit-down television interview by Univision anchor Fernando del Rincón, who asked him directly, "Is Juan Gabriel gay?"

    "Hijo, no se pregunta lo que ya sabes" ("You don't ask what you already know, son"), replied the singer. JuanGa's coy answer doesn't make him any less of an LGBT icon for Latinos. If anything, that could be interpreted as a "coming out," on JuanGa's own terms.

  • 6. theperchybird  |  August 29, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    I would've answered Fernando the same way, honestly. He must've been rolling his eyes inside since that's all they wanted to talk about and that line became iconic 🙂

    Like RuPaul said once, I never came out because I was never in 😀

    My mom was devastated and I almost cried listening to this since now both JuanGa and Rocio are gone.

    My sister wanted to see him, she lives close to where he passed and my cousin wanted to take her mom to his show later this year.

  • 7. VIRick  |  August 29, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    To me, JuanGa's iconic line, "Hijo, no se pregunta lo que ya sabes," is the one I will always remember, if for no other reason than that line has been repeated hundreds, if not thousands of times all over queer Latin America, ever since, as a subtle way of not disclaiming anything. In English, we might be more apt to say, "Don't ask the obvious," but once JuanGa said what he did, his words have become the mantra.

  • 8. VIRick  |  August 29, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Here are some additional comments, posted at Joe.My.God regarding the sudden passing of El Divo de Juárez, while thousands gather outside his home in Juárez, holding a vigil, mourning his passing, and singing his songs:

    Juan Gabriel falleció ayer. Fue el cantante más extravagante y famoso en el mundo hispano. Nunca se casó y nadie habló de su homosexualidad porque tenía cuatro hijos con su mejor amiga. Es el tema principal entre los canales de noticias españolas hoy.

    (Juan Gabriel died yesterday. He was the most extravagant and famous singer in the Hispanic world. He never married, and no one spoke of his homosexuality because he had four children with his best (female) friend. Today, this is the main topic among the Spanish language news channels.)

    A gentleman, El Divo de Juárez. Grew up in an orphanage. Sold tortillas on the street as a child. Wrote his first song at 13, "No Tengo Dinero," (I Have No Money) but I have your love.

    And this tweet today, from Genaro Lozano, says it all:

    El mejor homenaje a Juan Gabriel es aprobar matrimonio igualitario.

    The best homage to Juan Gabriel is to pass marriage equality.

  • 9. JayJonson  |  August 30, 2016 at 6:00 am

    Many thanks to all of you posting about this remarkable singer/songwriter. I now want to learn much more about him and his career.

  • 10. Fortguy  |  August 30, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Although many of JuanGa's songs have a contemporary, pop music vibe, I think he was his best when he did songs in more traditionally Mexican genres such as Mariachis and Rancheras. My favorite song of his was "Inocente Pobre Amigo" from his 1980 album Juan Gabriel con Mariachi.

    From YouTube: Juan Gabriel con Mariachi

    "Inocente Pobre Amigo" is the very first song on the album.

  • 11. JayJonson  |  August 31, 2016 at 11:04 am


  • 12. VIRick  |  August 31, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    The original "Por Mi Orgullo" with mariachi is here:

    "Hoy Que Tu Ya No Estás" with mariachi, plus the high-pitched falsetto, is here:

    And the original of "Hoy Que Tu Ya No Estás," with more mariachi but no falsetto, from when he was at his absolute cutest, is here:

  • 13. VIRick  |  August 30, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    In the strangest manner, JuanGa (unintentionally) sang his own requiem in "Hoy Que Tu Ya No Estas" (Now That You Are Not Here).

    Plus, in retrospect, I also like the subtle double-entendre in "Por Mi Orgullo," (For My Pride) as he begins in a tentative, soft half-whisper, building to a crescendo, and ending in an all-out full-throttle, in effect, proclaiming his pride to the world.

    And this is his signature, "Amor Eterno," with everything, mariachi, emotional full throttle lyrics, amazing outfit, and all:

  • 14. JayJonson  |  August 31, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Amazing performance. And so obviously adored by his audience. No wonder he was known as El Divo. I will look for Querida

  • 15. theperchybird  |  August 31, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Adding to JuanGa's special touch, aside from writing and singing his heart out, he loved to bask in the atmosphere of the venue. Living up to his Divo name, his last concerts were held with a golden throne where he'd rest after each song, drink wine and chit chat in between. He really knew how to work the crowds. Here's a photo from his final set of performances:

  • 16. VIRick  |  August 31, 2016 at 11:53 am

    This is a very recent studio re-make of "Querida," a duet with Juanes:–uirA?list=RD0O4CLgXvbjU&a

    And here's the original, when El Divo was at his absolute prime, totally hot, and never hiding any of it, complete with his "come and get it" gestures:

    And here's yet another version of "Querida," done as a duet with Juanes, in concert in Mexico City last fall to an absolutely packed house, and still as outrageously out as ever, in his pink and white outfit:

    And yet another version, done in concert at the Festival de Viña in Viña del Mar, Chile, in 1997, to yet another packed house, just to prove that everyone in Latin America, from north to south, loved the amazingly androgynous El Divo, sporting yet another signature outfit:

    If doing any biographical research on Juan Gabriel, his real given name was actually Alberto Aguilera Valadez. He had one child with his "great friend," Laura Elena Salas. The other three were adopted.

    This local news article from Chihuahua of today's date, sheds some factual biographic insight:

    And here's another, in concert, doing "El Noa Noa," in yet another singular outfit, from the Auditorio Alberto Aguilera (now that you know his real name):

  • 17. Fortguy  |  August 31, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    El Noa Noa was the name of a Juárez bar he worked at when he was a teenager.

  • 18. VIRick  |  August 31, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Here's Rocio Durcal's version of Juan Gabriel's "Amor Eterno" from Ecuador:

  • 19. theperchybird  |  August 31, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    JuanGa and Rocio were THE dream team.

  • 20. VIRick  |  August 31, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Here's Shaila Dúrcal's version, in a duet with her mother's pre-recorded image, both doing "Amor Eterno" together for TVE in Spain. This signature song of JuanGa seems destined to live forever.

  • 21. VIRick  |  August 30, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Perhaps one can see JuanGa's gayness more clearly in his later duets with Rocío Dúrcal, given the soft, effeminate voice, the excess gestures, and most especially, the exuberantly extravagant outfits.

    Or certainly in "Querida," one of his earlier signature hits, but much less so in the original "No Tengo Dinero," (but with great street shots of Juárez, circa 1972).

    Still, I'm certain what touches me the most about El Divo de Juárez was my growing up gay in a similar environment near-by, playful (like not being able to choose between two gay identical twins), with my first endless string of gorgeously cute boyfriends, while looking up to JuanGa, adonis that he was, as he belted out some of his earlier hits, like "Querida." In fact, I can clearly remember singing that song, which means "Desired," while teasingly trying to choose between the twins.

  • 22. VIRick  |  August 31, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    A Tribute to El Divo de Juárez:

    From Enrique Peña Nieto, El Presidente de la República Mexicana:

    "Una voz y un talento que representaban a México. Su música, un legado para el mundo. Se ha ido muy pronto. Que descanse en Paz."

    "A voice and a talent which represented Mexico. His music, a legacy for the world. He has gone very quickly. May he rest in Peace."

  • 23. VIRick  |  August 31, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Special cuteness note to Rex Wockner:

    Indeed, I "fixed" the spelling of Peña for you. Plus, I'm aware that:

    "Quantos anos tiene?" (How many anuses do you have?)

    is not quite the same as:

    "Quantos años tiene?" (How old are you? or really, How many years do you have?)

    There. I'm done.

  • 24. theperchybird  |  August 29, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Aruba's debate postponed for lack of quorum. The new date is September 8th.

  • 25. theperchybird  |  August 31, 2016 at 4:51 am

    While Australia's at a standoff over the marriage plebiscite in the Federal Parliament, territorial parliaments are looking to change their adoption laws.

    Queensland already said they want to equalize adoption laws for all couples and just this week the Northern Territory had a clean sweep of Labor (center-left) MPs topple the center-right in a landslide. I expect them to get on board with equal adoption rights as well.

    That would leave only Southern Australia as the place without equal adoption, but even they mentioned something about it a while back.

    If those three update their laws and the marriage standoff doesn't end then Australia will join Austria, Jersey, Gibraltar, Malta, Bermuda and Israel as the places that have full adoption rights without marriage.

  • 26. scream4ever  |  August 31, 2016 at 10:35 am

    I believe Andorra has full adoption as well, and that them and Austria are the only countries to offer all the rights of marriage without the title.

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