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Open thread

Transgender Rights

Yesterday there was a hearing in a case challenging a Wisconsin school district’s anti-LGBT policies, including a policy requiring transgender students to wear an identifying wristband. Equality Case Files attended the hearing and reported on it.

This is an open thread.

73 Comments

  • 1. theperchybird  |  September 7, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Using google's 'translate from Icelandic' option and my small knowledge of Norwegian, I've pieced together news that Danish Parliament should begin the process of ratifying the Faroese marriage/adoption legislation this month. The Faroese LGBT group keeps posting articles with titles like "coming this year" or "can marry soon".

    Expect Guernsey and Jersey to wrap things up as well and choose a date for weddings while Gibraltar will vote on their bill very soon.

    With luck the Supreme Court Justice in Bermuda will keep up his pro-LGBT record and rule in favor of a couple and hopefully add the country to the 2016 list like the places posted above.

  • 2. VIRick  |  September 7, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Plus, in addition, we need to keep a watch on further legislative proceedings in Chile, the possibility of the Supreme Courts in both Ecuador and Venezuela issuing positive rulings on their respective marriage cases, the possibility of Mexico's Supreme Court handing down rulings on the several pending "Actions of Unconstitutionality," as well as issuing the final "jurisprudence" against both Sinaloa and Baja California, plus the possibility of one or more of Mexico's states legislatively enacting marriage equality on their own. And there's always Costa Rica.

  • 3. theperchybird  |  September 7, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Don't forget British Antarctic Territory and Falkland Islands.

    I think before 2020, Chile will have marriage rights, Venezuela even if the court case is lost will have civil unions and it seems Peru is submitting a new civil union bill. The biggest supporter of it says it all depends if the rightwing Fujimorista party allows a free vote because he know most in the opposition are in favor and some within the rightwing party would vote Yes. I hope this pressures Bolivia more…as for Paraguay…I hope they at least have anti-discrimination laws by then. The last vote in Paraguay for an anti-discrimination law was 4 or so shy of passing.

  • 4. scream4ever  |  September 7, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    How about Australia?!

  • 5. allan120102  |  September 8, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Australia might soon join the marriage equality bandwagon. I see them even closer than NI. Germany might have a probability as the party of Merkel continues to fall in elections.

  • 6. theperchybird  |  September 8, 2016 at 2:07 am

    Scream, in a few years or if a new election happens with more center-left gains/a new PM who doesn't bend to the far-right's commands is chosen and allows everyon to vote as they please. The best we can hope for right now is a temporary impasse if there are enough votes in the Senate to block the legislation needed to start the plebiscite process. I fear a Germany situation though where there's no free vote and everything's just stuck.

    Allan, we'll have to be very watchful with Germany, Merkel's being criticized by her own squad so we might actually get someone a lot more conservative in her place. I hope not. I just want some damn free votes in Germany and Australia.

    If I had to make a prediction about countries and their order it'd be Switzerland (could move down a spot if the referendum process takes too long), Austria (court case; might switch with the Swiss), Australia, Germany, Northern Ireland (after countless appeals) and way down the line in the new decade just to finish the German-speaking countries, Liechtenstein.

  • 7. allan120102  |  September 7, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    The supreme court of Mexico has accepted the petition of the Municipalities of Morelos to throw out the Amendment of the Constitution that allows ssm in the state. If the SC finds that really more municipalities had agree against ssm in Morelos then marriages will stop in the state. http://www.oem.com.mx/elsoldecuernavaca/notas/n42

  • 8. theperchybird  |  September 8, 2016 at 2:20 am

    This could go either way, the court unanimously approves of marriage rights, but also scrutinizes the process of things hence them always telling Baja California to get with the program but when the accion against BC came before them and the original legislation under fire changed, the lawsuit was thrown out and only Jalisco's case was successful. If they think something's amiss then I fear that Morelos will be removed from the marriage map.

  • 9. theperchybird  |  September 8, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    Great news, the marriage law is here to stay 🙂 Morelos is going to be okay.
    http://radioformulamorelos.com/suprema-corte-scjn

  • 10. theperchybird  |  September 7, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    News from Colombia. The nation's top prosecutor who has a history of being against all minority rights, especially with women's issues and LGBT, will not serve his full term. Ordonez is the other half of the team (along with suspended Constitutional Court Justice Pretelt) that caused cases to lag and was always filing appeals before getting shut down by the full Court. His reelection that was going to last until 2017 was annulled by the Council of State and he said goodbye. Good.
    http://www.eltiempo.com/politica/justicia/consejo

    Now for the Supreme Court to take care of Pretelt 🙂

  • 11. VIRick  |  September 7, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Mexico: Catholic Church Hierarchy Sued for Multiple Constitutional Violations

    In Mexico, according to Alex Alí Méndez Díaz, on 5 and 6 September 2016, multiple lawsuits were filed against assorted members of the Catholic Church hierarchy, specifically against la Arquidiócesis Primada de México, la Arquidiócesis de Puebla, la Arquidiócesis de Tijuana, and their various bishops, for having violated Articles 1, 6, 8, 24, and 40 of the Federal Constitution, as well as Articles 1, 3, 8, 25, 29, and 30 of the Ley de Asociaciones Religiosas y Culto Público, by blatantly interfering with matters pertaining solely to the secular state, given that said hierarchy has aided and abetted public demonstrations and marches against marriage equality.

    Alex has posted copies of the actual court filings on his website. https://twitter.com/alex_ali_md

    By the way, I love the name of this law, Ley de Asociaciones Religiosas y Culto Público, or Law of Religious Associations and Public Cult. Without naming names, the first portion of the title apparently refers to the Catholic Church, while the second portion refers to everything else. Still, to refer to the "everything else" in the singular, as "public cult," is precious.

  • 12. allan120102  |  September 8, 2016 at 1:05 am

    Costa rica have a new high of people supporting some kind of recognition of ss couples. Right now its at 45. 48% are still oppose but it continues to fall. This give me hopes that soon marriage equality will reach the country.
    http://www.elmundo.cr/se-mantienen-actitudes-cons

  • 13. VIRick  |  September 8, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Bolivia: Trans Community Celebrates New ID Cards

    A new anti-discrimination law, which has recently gone into effect, now allows transgender people in this conservative South American nation to legally register and obtain their national identity cards displaying their authentic gender (rather than their birth gender).

    Pamela Valenzuela was the first Bolivian citizen to obtain a new photo ID showing her authentic gender, 30 years after transitioning. Many others have now quickly followed suit.

    According to the report, an estimated 150,000 Bolivians identify as LGBTI, although there was no breakdown as to how many of that overall number are trans.

    View the short video (with English language translation) here: http://www.advocate.com/transgender/2016/9/07/bol

    Bolivia has moved much further and faster on trans rights than they have on the issue of marriage equality.

  • 14. VIRick  |  September 8, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Illinois Supreme Court Asked for Rehearing of Property Settlement Suit

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 8 September 2016, Eileen Brewer, represented by the NCLR and Chicago attorney Angelika Kuehn, asked the Illinois Supreme Court to rehear its 18 August 2016 decision in "Blumenthal v. Brewer," a decision which barred former unmarried partners from enforcing property claims against one another when they break up. The case arose when Brewer brought claims against her former partner, Jane Blumenthal, seeking an equitable division of the property and other assets they had accumulated together during their 26-year relationship.

    The petition filed today for rehearing argues that the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision fails to address a central legal issue in the case — whether it violates the constitution to penalize same-sex couples for being unmarried even though they were legally unable to marry during the entire span of their relationship. According to the petition, the Court’s ruling punishes same-sex partners “for failing to enter into a relationship from which they were legally barred, based on laws that have now been recognized to be discriminatory and unfair.”

    See NCLR's press release here:
    http://www.nclrights.org/press-room/press-release

  • 15. theperchybird  |  September 8, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Showdown in Finnish Parliament today, there's a pending move to repeal the marriage law from the public. As long as citizens initiative are a thing, I suppose an issue can theoretically be examined more than once if enough signatures are collected. Hope this effort flops.

    Helsingin Sanomat starts this Thursday with a story about an unusual citizens’ initiative that will be heard on the Parliament floor today: a bid to repeal a legislative amendment that made gender-neutral marriage legal in Finland. Over 100,000 people have signed the initiative, indicating their support for the overturning of the changes to the Marriage Act. The country’s leading newspaper says that several MPs also believe the 2014 parliamentary decision to recognise gay marriage was a mistake, so they predict a heated debate.

    The citizens’ initiative is unique in that it seeks to negate a law change that itself began with a citizens' initiative. The composition of Parliament has changed since the first initiative was approved, but this does not mean that the push to repeal the earlier decision will be successful, the paper writes. As a candidate, Centre Party prime minister Juha Sipilä said before the 2015 parliamentary elections that the elected government would comply with previous Parliament’s intent.

    The ink had barely dried on the parliamentary decision when two citizens, Jukka-Pekka Rahkonen and Pasi Turunen, started a counter-initiative and founded the Aito avioliitto (Genuine Matrimony) association. The group seeks to undo the gender-neutral Marriage Act and keep legal marriage exclusively between a man and woman in Finland. The movement’s main justification is children’s right to both a mother and father. They also argue that procreation is dependent on both sexes and that “men and women complement each other”.
    http://yle.fi/uutiset/thursdays_papers_bid_to_ban

  • 16. VIRick  |  September 8, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Bi-lingual Finland is sub-divided into about 5 or so traditional ethnic/religious communities, each of whom once lived in their own separate, distinct zones within the country (and many still do, as follows: 1. Swedish-speaking Lutherans (along the west and south coasts)
    2. Finnish-speaking Lutherans (the majority, in the central heartland)
    3. Finnish-speaking Orthodox (in the east, abutting Russia)
    4. Lappish-speaking Laplanders, or Saamen (in the north, herding reindeer)
    5. Finnish-speaking gypsies (of Russian origin)

    The anti-marriage equality effort is concentrated among the 5% or so of Finland's population

    who still identify as Orthodox, clustered in the eastern part of the country. The Lutheran areas, of either language, are relatively progressive, emulating secular Scandinavia, while the traditional Lapps and the gypsies, who live in their own separate worlds, don't give a shit what the others do or don't do.

    When Finland was part of Russia, the orthodox were part and parcel of the Russian Orthodox Church. Following independence during the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the orthodox hierarchy in Finland have (at least in name) officially re-affiliated themselves with the Greek Orthodox Church. Nevertheless, all of the orthodox churches and cathedrals I've ever seen in Finland look like they've been dragged over the frontier from czarist, imperial Mother Russia.

    In addition, I wonder whether some of the ultra-nationalists, most of whom originally voted in favor of marriage equality for the sole purpose of pissing off the Russians, may now be having second thoughts.

  • 17. theperchybird  |  September 8, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Some news that may relax us a bit. It's headed to the committee stage, but today representatives from the different parties had a say during Question Time and only the ones from Christian Democrats and True Finns spoke against same-sex marriage. Together they are 42 of the 200 seats. The Center Party is the largest with 49 and is the PM's party. I think there will be a split within it, abstentions possible. As long as everyone's allowed a free vote, which seems likely given the strength of some of the words and the acceptance of "we already passed it so just let it be" I doubt the 124-strong governing coalition will stop same-sex marriage.

    Those who spoke in favor of equal marriage: The National Coalition Party (part of governing coalition) is center-right and might be split or have some of their 37 abstain while the remaining 76 seats made up of the Greens, Left Alliance, Social Democratic Party, Swedish People's Party are looking pretty unanimous.

    This article is optimistic about the marriage law surviving (click google translate) http://yle.fi/uutiset/eduskunta_kiivaili_taas_avi

    I predict the repeal fails on a vote similar to the marriage law itself: the liberal opinion is the majority and there are lots of abstentions.

  • 18. VIRick  |  September 8, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    There, you've just answered my musings. The True Finn Party are the ultra-nationalists, who weirdly enough, seem to cater mainly to the orthodox. So, now that they've finished making their point about pissing off the Russians, they are, indeed, having second thoughts regarding the intent of their original vote.

    In the meantime, they can continue to send letters (written in Finnish, of course), to various and sundry Russian officials, all franked with the banned-in-Russia Finnish "Tom of Finland" postage stamps, which is about as close to being gay as most would want to be (given that they have to lick the back of the stamps). But in true Pavlovian style, their gesture pisses off the Russians.

    And by the way, the "Tom of Finland" postage stamp series has set all-time sales records for the Finnish Post Office. In an amazingly pro-LGBT gesture, each postage stamp illustrates one of his original drawings (but specially selected, without any exposed dick).

  • 19. theperchybird  |  September 8, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Every time I saw a Tom of Finland sketch, my first thought was always THOSE NIPPLES hahaha

  • 20. VIRick  |  September 8, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    And I've always gotten a much bigger jolt from all the exposed dick.

    Here's a sample, illustrating some of the "Tom of Finland" postage stamps:
    http://www.measurection.com/fbbuploads/1398452564

    They were released for sale on 24 April 2014. Here is a portion of the press announcement issued by the Finnish Post Office in conjunction:

    "Touko Laaksonen, best known by his pseudonym, Tom of Finland (8 May 1920 – 7 November 1991), was a Finnish artist notable for his stylized homoerotic fetish art and his influence on late twentieth century gay culture. He has been called the 'most influential creator of gay pornographic images' by cultural historian Joseph W. Slade. Over the course of four decades, he produced some 3500 illustrations, mostly featuring men with exaggerated primary and secondary sex traits with tight or partially removed clothing."

    The stamp with the second dude (apparently, a self-portrait of Tom himself) seductively peeking through under the first dude's finely-etched, naked crotch, viewed from behind, is the preferred item the True Finn nationalists utilize on their missives sent to various Russian authorities.

    On the other hand, I understand the Germans get more excited while viewing the postage stamp featuring the naked sub with incredible nipples being ridden by the clothed dom.

  • 21. 1grod  |  September 8, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Transgender rights acknowledged in Ontario Sports http://www.citynews.ca/2016/09/08/transgender-pol

  • 22. theperchybird  |  September 8, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    BREAKING: Just some minutes ago, Aruba approved their gender-neutral civil union bill.

    Marriages performed in the Dutch Kingdom (Netherlands and a few Caribbean islands) are recognized in all jurisdictions, but only some perform them. Aruba doesn't and even with marriage recognition, the rights afforded to couples are uneven across the islands. The author of this bill wanted same-sex marriage too, but the votes didn't seem to be there. It passed by 11 votes to 5. Seraching for an article (in any language) I link in the Wikipedia page.

  • 23. VIRick  |  September 9, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Minnesota: ADF Files Yet Another Federal "Bathroom" Suit

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Alliance Defending Freedom has filed yet another lawsuit over accommodations provided for transgender public school students – this time in Minnesota. Plaintiffs are something called "Privacy Matters, a voluntary unincorporated association," supposedly made up of students (and parents of students) who attend or previously attended schools in Minnesota's Virginia Public School District, and "Parent A," the mysteriously anonymous president of Privacy Matters.

    Defendants are federal officials and agencies, plus Minnesota's Virginia Public School District (Independent School District Number 706). The case has been assigned to Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright with referral to Magistrate Judge Leo I. Brisbois.

    The complaint alleges violations of:
    (1) the Administrative Procedure Act, in issuing the Title IX guidelines,
    (2) Title IX,
    (3) constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right to privacy,
    (4) parents' constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children,
    (5) right of free excercise of religion,
    (6) Minnesota Constitution, art. 1, §16 [freedom of religion],
    (7) Religious Freedom Restoration Act ["RFRA"]

    See filing for much more blather here: http://files.eqcf.org/cases/016-cv-03015-1/

    If anyone can figure out how "religion" has anything to do with bathroom use, please feel free to provide all of us with that explanation.

  • 24. Fortguy  |  September 9, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    I think it's funny that, since Lawrence struck down all the nation's sodomy bans, right-wingers suddenly find an appreciation for a "constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right to privacy".

  • 25. VIRick  |  September 9, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    I purposely copied the alleged violations exactly as submitted to the court by the ADF, spelling and grammar errors included, like:

    (2) Title IX (OK, but Title IX of what??)
    (5) right of free excercise of religion (Is "excercise" actually a word?? Of course not, but my auto-correct keeps correcting it for me, even though I don't want it to engage. Apparently, they neither know the correct spelling nor use spell-check or auto-correct.)

  • 26. FredDorner  |  September 12, 2016 at 11:26 am

    And who "excercises" their religion in the potty anyway?
    Maybe they meant exorcise?

  • 27. Fortguy  |  September 9, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    After a three-year legal fight, the Texas Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge to Houston's policy of extending benefits to same-sex spouses of municipal employees.

    Charles Kuffner, Off the Kuff: State Supreme Court declines to hear lawsuit over city’s same-sex partner benefits

  • 28. Fortguy  |  September 9, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Where else would bigots be shamelessly espousing their bigotry on billboards for all to see what bigots they are? Well, in Jerusalem-On-The-Brazos of course!

    Claire Ballor, The Dallas Morning News: 'Ex-gay' billboards have popped up in Waco and people aren't happy about it

    To be fair, Waco has somewhat of a sin city reputation outside of the comfy confines of the Baylor University campus. One 19th Century Waco newspaper publisher, indignant of the school's hypocrisy and sense of moral superiority, once proclaimed that he didn't have anything against Baptists. He just didn't think they were held under long enough.

  • 29. Fortguy  |  September 9, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    The situation is looking worse for BYU's Big 12 Conference expansion bid.

    Jake Trotter, ESPN: Iowa State student senate against BYU inclusion in Big 12

    Specifically, the ISU student senate rejects BYU's honor code that upholds the university's homophobic discrimination policy as somehow honorable.

    The Big 12 has announced that they are considering inviting either two or four new members. Most reporters in the sports media believe that ultimately the conference will choose two at this time. Initially, there were in the neighborhood of 20 schools seeking membership as this is a rare opportunity for a school outside of the Power 5 conferences to upgrade. The Big 12 has whittled the list down to 11 schools remaining under consideration.

    The Big 12 currently consists of ten schools: Baylor, Iowa St., Kansas, Kansas St., Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, and West Virginia. Sports media reporters seem to agree that the leading contenders for expansion are BYU, Cincinnati, and Houston. Should the conference expand by four, the fourth spot is wide open but this is now considered unlikely by most. Interviews with the schools are ongoing, and the conference is expected to make recommendations to member presidents before their October 17 meeting.

    Houston has all but guaranteed their invitation due to their new football stadium, their announced new basketball arena, and acquisition of top-tier Carnegie classification. Oh, and it helps that, after finishing last season 13-1 with a Peach Bowl victory over defending national champs Florida St., they opened this season Saturday by bitch-slapping the #3 Oklahoma Sooners, the preseason Big 12 favorite, up and down the field on offense, defense, and special teams. If the Big 12 doesn't invite them, then their teams should begin every game for the rest of the season after the opening kickoff with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty for cowardice in the face of refusing to play and recruit against a demonstrably worthy team.

    Outside of BYU and Houston, Cincy is the best out there. They've upgraded their stadium, their football is among the best in the Group of 5 conferences, and their basketball program is awesome. Furthermore, Ohio St. head coach Urban Meyer, a Cincy alumnus, has endorsed their inclusion despite their being in his home-state recruiting turf.

    In other words, please reject BYU, Big 12. What they bring to the table does not measure up to the abundance already before you despite their pedigree. A national championship in the '80s doesn't compare with discrimination in the '10s.

  • 30. VIRick  |  September 9, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Mexico: PRD Presents Federal Proposal on Marriage Equality

    Per Servicio De Agencia:

    Ayer, 8 de septembre 2016, en el Senado Federal, el PRD Mexico presentó su propuesta sobre matrimonio igualitario.

    Yesterday, 8 September 2016, the PRD Mexico presented its proposal on marriage equality in the Federal Senate.
    https://twitter.com/ServicioAgencia

  • 31. Fortguy  |  September 9, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    Oddly, Mexico is not a country where I want legislators offered a free vote. If all members of the PRI were coerced by their party to support President Peña's position along with the PRD, we would win. Otherwise, I think too many PRIistas would vote against their own leader against us.

  • 32. allan120102  |  September 10, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Hundreds of thousands march across all corners of Mexico against ssm. All the way from Baja california to Yucatan and QR.Just in Queretaro city they were 40,000 people. Many opposition members are declaring this a success. Looks like many people in Mexico still live in caves. I was not that shock though of seeing those people marching against my rights. It dissapointa me though. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/sep

  • 33. davepCA  |  September 10, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Meh. Remember that they did that in California a few years ago too. Look what good it did for them. They had nothing to show for it except sunburns, tired feet, and frustration at all of the laws that were giving legal force to their bigotry being ruled unconstitutional and all being overturned. Serves them right.

  • 34. VIRick  |  September 10, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Allan, this was a one-time co-ordinated shot today, organized by the bigots to herd the sheep and the ignorant into making some form of "protest," despite the fact that they already know that they have lost, even if they are still in denial of this basic fact.

    This is also why the multiple lawsuits were filed against the Catholic Church hierarchy a few days ago for their hand in "masterminding" this whole present "protest" demonstration. In addition, according to a report by "Noticias Oaxaca NVI," the ultra-right organization, El Yunque, many of whose leaders are militant PAN supporters, was the principal orchestrator of today's marches, Saturday, 10 September 2016:
    http://www.nvinoticias.com/nota/30654/el-yunque-d

    As a counter-point, this is also why the PRD Mexico introduced their proposal into the Federal Senate a few days ago for the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage.

    This is also why there have been so many pro-marriage-equality TV programs of recent date being broadcast from Mexico City, a locale which has had marriage equality for over 6 years, and one which is quite proud of its leadership role in dragging the rest of the country, kicking and screaming, along behind it. For an example, see Genaro Lozano's 3-minute spot on FORO-TV here: https://twitter.com/hashtag/MatrimonioIgualitario

    This is also why our side recently held the first truly national LGBTI conference in Cuernavaca in order to better co-ordinate our efforts. As an example, counter-demonstrators carried these pious-looking "signs of the cross:" https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CsCyFJgUMAAc9p3.jpg:l

    Translated into English, the sign reads:

    If you don't like gay marriage, don't marry with gays.
    If you don't like abortion, don't abort.
    If you don't like sex, don't have any.
    If you don't like porno, don't look at it.
    If you don't like to lose your rights, simply don't remove them from others.

    In Yucatán, for example, the number of organized counter-demonstrators in the group, Besatón Mérida, was quite impressive.

  • 35. FredDorner  |  September 12, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    I suspect the anti-equality demonstrations are all about election politics just like they are here, even though the bigots have already lost on this issue in both countries.

  • 36. guitaristbl  |  September 11, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Meh who cares really ? This federal proposal suceeding would be good but they cant do nothing in the longterm on the progress made on judicial level. It may take years given Mexico's chaotic judicial proceedings but it is inevitable.

  • 37. allan120102  |  September 11, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Here is more info about the marches against ssm. Including how many attend in some states and the upcoming battle between religious groups and lgbt organizations. And you are right guitar may take as 3- 5 years before most if not all states in Mexico have marriage equality. I hope that Central America takes note as we might follow if marriage equality continues to extend across America. I hope Cuba legalize it soon too. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/ultimas/2016/09/10/ini

  • 38. VIRick  |  September 11, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    And today, 11 September 2016, just one day after the ass-hats marched against same-sex marriage, thousands of counter-demonstrators all over Mexico marched in the streets in the continuing campaign against homophobia. The counter-demonstrations in Mexico City, Puebla, and Guadalajara were particularly impressive.

    This is Puebla: https://youtu.be/AEf0Z4K07wo?t=20

  • 39. VIRick  |  September 11, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Aruba Parliament Approves Civil Unions for Same-Sex Couples

    Oranjestad, Aruba — Lawmakers in Aruba have voted to grant same-sex couples the right to register their unions and receive benefits granted to married people on the Dutch Caribbean island.

    Parliament voted 11-5 with four abstentions late Thursday, 8 September 2016, to amend civil code regulations related to marriage to cover same-sex unions. Those articles include such things as the right to a spouse’s pension in case of death or to make emergency medical decisions.

    Aruba is one of the constituent countries that make up the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Same-sex couples previously could marry in the Netherlands and return to have their marriage certificate recognized under a law obligating recognition of official documents throughout the kingdom.
    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/09/aruba-parliame

  • 40. allan120102  |  September 11, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    26 amparos have been filed against Sonora civil code and 16 have been granted so far. We need to remember that marriage equality was briefly legalize on the state until the homophobic governor stop them. Couple will continue to file amparos until ssm is legal in the state. Julisa Bojórquez the head of the civil registry the one that allow ssm briefly in May said that only hererosexual marriage will be allow as they are following the civil code of the state. I imagine the homophobic governor told her to stop marriage equality or she could be fired. http://www.critica.com.mx/vernoticias.php?artid=6

  • 41. VIRick  |  September 11, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    "26 amparos have been filed against Sonora civil code and 16 have been granted so far."

    Good. I had certainly suspected as much (and was certain that Sonora had hit or surpassed the required 5) ever since Julisa Bojórquez, the head of the state civil registry in Sonora, issued her directive allowing same-sex marriage to proceed in Sonora without the need of an amparo (a directive that was subsequently overridden by the governor).

    Now, without question, Sonora needs to be upgraded to gold on the Wikipedia map to reflect this newly-confirmed, recently-acquired status.

    At the moment, this leaves only 9 remaining states in Mexico which have not yet hit or exceeded the required 5 amparos granted. Nationwide, when requested, federal judges must grant said amparos to enable the petitioning same-sex couple(s) to marry. Federal judges no longer have any discretion in the matter. And once issued, no state authority has the ability to appeal any such decision. Judicial discretion and the ability to appeal have both been removed from the realm of possibility ever since the Supreme Court established their jurisprudence on this issue.

  • 42. Randolph_Finder  |  September 12, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Any other color changes?

  • 43. VIRick  |  September 12, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    No, not at the moment. Once Sonora is up-graded to gold on the Wikipedia map (along with the companion sentence of explanation in the text, plus with the citation), everything should be correct.

    Just copy my two-paragraph English translation (immediately below), along with the "Critica" citation, as that translation tells us everything we need to know regarding the number of amparos already granted in Sonora in summary form.

  • 44. Randolph_Finder  |  September 16, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Any suggestions on what to do with the statement by the Governor?

  • 45. VIRick  |  September 16, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Randolph, as politely as I can phrase it, ignore the governor.

    Julisa Bojórquez, the head of the state civil registry, is attempting to follow the precise letter of the law, based on the 2011 judicial reforms, as both she and I understand the current law and as how the Sonora federal judiciary presumably understands the same law, given the large number of amparos very recently granted by them within Sonora state. (And ditto for the amazingly large number recently granted in Baja California Sur state, obviously for the same reason).

    Those who actually understand the law in Mexico, fully realize that the restrictions in the marriage equality ballgame are over. Our side won. The judiciary must approve all petitioners' applications. There is no appeal. Thus, 5 amparos granted in each state renders the marriage restriction in that particular state void and unenforceable. That's the whole reason we're keeping track of the number of amparos granted, and why we're trying to keep up with the Wikipedia map for Mexico, as whoever set it up, allowing for the 5-plus category, also fully understands current Mexican law.

    However, the obfuscators (like the governor of Sonora) insist that the state legislature must first change the provisions in the state code before marriage equality becomes legal. That was the system before the 2011 judicial reforms were enacted. It is no longer the law. I wish the obfuscators would stop attempting to rely on a concept which is no longer the actual law, dreaming and pretending that the old system is still the way one must operate.

  • 46. allan120102  |  September 17, 2016 at 9:08 am

    The problem Rick is that I am not seeing anyone fighting this homophobic people. They are supppose to follow the law they promise to uphold. The governors who are stopping marriage equality should be sue like this one but I havent seen any lgbt organization in Sonora or Mexico do it. Why then of Sonora and other states already pass there limit? is something I dont get.

  • 47. VIRick  |  September 17, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    I do not know why the various state governors simply sit on their hands, pretending that only the state legislators can change the state code, as we know that the governors of both Chihuahua and Guerrero changed the law in their respective states by executive decree. The rest can do the same, thus quickly bringing their state into compliance with the court orders.

    Plus, the fact that Julisa Bojórquez, the head of the Sonora state civil registry, was contradicted and over-ruled by the state governor, when in fact the state civil registry was actually complying with court orders, hurts me personally, as that is the very state where I "came of age," so to speak.

  • 48. Randolph_Finder  |  September 19, 2016 at 7:43 am

    I didn't mean that, I meant in terms of phrasing to be used in the article, along the lines of "However, …" The Governors comment does have a reference, a reference is needed that basically says that he is full of it.

  • 49. VIRick  |  September 19, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    She. The newly-elected governor of Sonora, 2015-present, is Claudia Pavlovich Arellano, the first female governor of the state. Her father is a descendant of Serbian immigrants, and her mother was a big-wig politico in the PRI.

    I didn't quote that portion of the article from "Critica," and the link no longer takes one to the article in question. But basically,

    "The governor stated that same-sex couples wishing to marry will still need to continue to obtain amparos until the state legislature changes the state code to allow same-sex couples to marry."

  • 50. allan120102  |  September 19, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    The irony being that she is one of the most homophobic governors in Mexico base on lgbt organization and she wrote a tweet lamenting about Juan Gabriel death and how he was a star in Mexico and how Mexico will miss him being she the one denying the rights lawfully obtained by people that JG represent.

  • 51. VIRick  |  September 11, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Wait! Actually all 26 amparos in Sonora have already been granted.

    3 September 2016

    Hermosillo, Sonora- Este año, 2016, un total de 26 parejas del mismo sexo han solicitado amparos para celebrar matrimonios en Sonora, de los cuáles 16 ya se han celebrado, informó la dirección del Registro Civil del Estado de Sonora.

    Además, las 10 parejas que están próximas a casarse ya han ganado sus amparos y sólo esperan que programen la fecha de su unión. De los que han solicitado, 20 han sido parejas de mujeres y las restantes de hombres. http://www.critica.com.mx/vernoticias.php?artid=6

    Hermosillo, Sonora – This year, 2016, a total of 26 same-sex couples have sought injunctions to celebrate their marriage in Sonora, of which 16 have already been held, the head of the Civil Registry of Sonora reported.

    In addition, the 10 couples who are next to marry have already won their court orders and are just waiting to schedule the date of their marriage. Of those who have applied, 20 were female couples and the remaining were men.

  • 52. allan120102  |  September 11, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Gay couples in Tamaulipas will no longer ask for massive amparos they are now going to be file individually. As massive amparos even though granted are not used by a majority. I imagine they plan to file individually so the government of the state feel more pressure. Not sure if Tamaulipas has surpass the numbers of amparos need though. http://segundoenfoque.com/comunidad-gay-espera-quhttp://expreso.press/2016/09/09/pocas-parejas-gay

  • 53. VIRick  |  September 11, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    In Tamaulipas, amparo #5 was issued to an individual lesbian same-sex couple in Nuevo Laredo several months ago.

  • 54. allan120102  |  September 11, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Thanks Rick I went to see and forgot to delete that part of my comment.

  • 55. TomPHL  |  September 12, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Isn't Nuevo Laredo in Nuevo Leon?

  • 56. Fortguy  |  September 12, 2016 at 11:58 am

    No, Nuevo Laredo is in Tamaulipas. Tamaulipas is a mostly Gulf Coast state but with a long "panhandle" extending inland along the Rio Grande. Nuevo León does have a small strip of land bordering the U.S. to the northwest of Nvo. Laredo that was ceded by Coahuila in 1933 in order to give the state border access, and there is an international bridge there with a road linking directly to Monterrey avoiding Nvo. Laredo with a toll road on the Texas side connecting to Interstate 35 north of Laredo.

  • 57. TomPHL  |  September 12, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Thanks. I had missed that sliver along the Rio Grande. To think I've lived for the last 50 years in ignorance of the fact that I have actually been in Tamaulipas.

  • 58. VIRick  |  September 12, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Yes, if you've been to Nuevo Laredo (in all its glory), then you've been to Tamaulipas.

    Another (historical) explanation behind the long westward strip extending inland along the Rio Grande is due to the fact that Tamaulipas once controlled both sides of the river that far inland, and continuing north to the Rio Nueces, from a time period before Tejas became Texas, and then subsequently, a part of the USA.

    If you recall, the entire excuse for the Mexican-American War revolved around the point as to whether the Rio Nueces or the Rio Grande was supposed to be the border between Tejas and Tamaulipas, with the Mexicans claiming the Rio Nueces, and the Tejanos (and thus, the USA) claiming the Rio Grande.

  • 59. Fortguy  |  September 12, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    This is true. The Nueces River runs roughly parallel to the Rio Grande and empties into Corpus Christi Bay. The city of Corpus Christi is on the south side of the bay and hence was in the disputed zone. Before Texas gained its independence in 1836, Texas was part of a Mexican state then known as Coahuila y Tejas. The then larger, but much less populous northern portion of Tamaulipas bordered Coahuila on the west and on the north, while now it seems strange to envision very desert-like Coahuila as once being a Gulf Coast state extending eastward to Arkansas and Louisiana.

    And then there was also the short-lived Republic of the Rio Grande with its capital in Laredo that existed for much of 1840.

  • 60. allan120102  |  September 11, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    This boy has more cojones than I do. He stood in front of thousand of people that were marching against ssm. He brought the ire of conservative groups, but he maintain his stand. http://www.zocalo.com.mx/seccion/articulo/nino-en

  • 61. VIRick  |  September 11, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    That is quite a traffic-stopping maneuver on the part of one single individual, literally holding up the entire parade of ass-hat homophobes. Just for the record, this incident occurred on 10 September in Celaya, Guanajuato.

  • 62. scream4ever  |  September 11, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    That's a powerful picture. Perhaps it could become an iconic symbol of standing up to homophobia!

  • 63. F_Young  |  September 12, 2016 at 9:33 am

    USA: The Most Detailed Map of Gay Marriage in America

    …..By linking the tax returns of same-sex couples who filed jointly in 2014 with their Social Security records, researchers are able to give us the most accurate picture of same-sex marriages to date. And their estimate is this: In 2014 there were 183,355 same-sex marriages in America, roughly a third of 1 percent of all marriages.

    …..Pretax household income of same-sex married couples is higher than that of heterosexual married couples. Most of that is driven by the average earnings of male same-sex couples: $176,000. On average, they make $52,000 more than married lesbian couples and $63,000 more than married straight couples.

    …..The tax data shows same-sex married couples clustering along the coasts, and in urban pockets across the United States. These are regions that also tend to have higher wages. In fact, heterosexual couples actually earn more than same-sex female ones when you compare married couples who live in the same three-digit ZIP code region.

    …..There is one group whose incomes are far above the rest: same-sex married men with children. Their income is roughly $275,000, more than double the pretax income for heterosexual couples and same-sex married female couples with children. This is a select group of people for whom the cost of children is particularly high. Using a surrogate can cost $250,000, and adoptions can cost upward of $30,000.

    The data also reveals another, more subtle geographical difference in male vs. female same-sex married couples. The top 20 cities for male same-sex married couples are more likely to include dense city centers like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, while the top 20 cities for female same-sex married couples tend to include smaller and medium-size cities like Springfield, Mass.; Madison, Wis.; and Burlington, Vt.

    Read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/upshot/the-most

  • 64. VIRick  |  September 12, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    NCAA Pulls 7 Games from North Carolina over Anti-LGBT Law

    Seven collegiate championship games previously awarded to North Carolina are now pulled as a result of the anti-LGBT law the state enacted earlier this year, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced today, 12 September 2016. Mark Emmert, NCAA president, said in statement the board of directors decided to move the previously-scheduled events out of North Carolina because NCAA events must promote an inclusive atmosphere for college athletes, coaches, administrators, and fans.

    “Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships,” Emmert said. “We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships.” The NCCA cites as the reason for pulling the event HB 2, which nullified city pro-LGBT non-discrimination ordinances in the state, including one recently enacted in North Carolina, and prohibits transgender people from using the restroom. Also cited as reasons are the five states and many cities that have put in place bans on state-sponsored travel to North Carolina as result of the law.

    The championship games pulled cover a variety of both women's and men's sports, spanning from December 2016 through June 2017. http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/09/12/ncaa-pu

  • 65. Fortguy  |  September 12, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Actually, its much more than seven games since these are tournament events including multiple teams from around the country whose teams and fans will not be spending their money in NC. These events are:

    *First and second round games of the opening weekend of "March Madness", the Div. I men's basketball championship tourney in Greensboro. That one has the biggest impact with eight teams competing with thousands of fans traveling to their tournament regional with national TV exposure.

    *The Div. I women's soccer national championship tourney in Cary, just outside of the state capital Raleigh to be held in December.

    *Div. I women's golf regional championship tourney in Greenville to be held in May.

    *Div. I women's lacrosse national championship tourney in Cary to be held in May.

    *Div. II baseball national championship tourney in Cary to be held in late May, early June.

    *Div. III men's and women's soccer national championship tourneys in Greensboro to be held in December.

    *Div. III men's and women's tennis championship tourneys in Cary to be held in May.

    In addition to this NCAA announcement, Albany's men's basketball team refuses to play a game scheduled at Duke while Vermont's women's basketball team will not play UNC due to their states' travel bans to NC.

    The NBA has already announced it has moved the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte to New Orleans.

    No word yet on where all these tourneys are moving to, but it's a safe bet they aren't going to Provo, UT or Lynchburg, VA.

  • 66. Fortguy  |  September 12, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Predictably, the NC GOP is now throwing a hissy fit about the NCAA relocations, and they're pointing fingers at Baylor.

    Adam Grosbard, The Dallas Morning News: After NCAA moves tournaments from North Carolina, state GOP asks where this concern is for Baylor rape victims

    What happened at Baylor is truly terrible, inexcusable, and can in no way be justified. But GOP politicos in NC need to see the huge difference between the two scandals and stop trying to paint a false-equivalency here.

    North Carolina finds itself in the bind that it is in because its legislators passed, and its governor signed, a law that discriminates against and causes harm to broad classes of its citizens even if local communities through their city councils disagree and choose to provide legal protection. Moreover, HB 2 is a clear violation of Title IX federal education policy. HB 2 was steamrolled through committee in a special session and brought to a floor vote without debate before anyone could read it or know what hit them. Had they allowed debate, they would have heard, not just from Dems, but from business owners that the law would result in the shunning they're experiencing. No, North Carolina is not the victim here. The citizens there chose at the ballot box to elect complete morons with the consequences of their reactionary ideologies foreseeable. If the morons in government are taken to the woodshed by the voters, they deserve it. If their constituents and contributors suffer economic loss from these cancellations, they deserve it. Their self-induced victimization in no way compares to the horrific violations the women at Baylor endured.

    By contrast, legislators in Texas did not pass, nor did the governor sign, any legislation requiring student-athletes at Baylor or any other school to rape anyone nor instructing staff and administration to obfuscate any investigation into those crimes. Instead, the university president, athletic director, and football coach have been duly fired. Several former players are now serving prison terms or are under indictment. Other innocent players have been granted waivers to play elsewhere away from the stench which will impact the school's athletic recruiting and team success for years to come. While what happened at Baylor was in serious breach of Title IX, they didn't break any NCAA rules since the NCAA doesn't generally feel the need to parrot federal and state criminal and civil statutes in its rule book. Furthermore, despite its transgressions and in accordance to Big 12 Conference policy, Baylor still upholds Title IX in principle, unlike most Southern Baptist schools, and does not seek a federal religious exemption as a license for sexist or LGBT discrimination from Title IX such as Big 12 wannabe BYU holds.

  • 67. JayJonson  |  September 13, 2016 at 5:58 am

    Still, it is amusing that the good Baptists in North Carolina are willing to throw Baylor under the bus in order to protect their beloved HB2.

  • 68. Fortguy  |  September 13, 2016 at 12:39 am

    Meanwhile, none of these NCAA relocations apply to football including the state's bowl game (Belk Bowl in Charlotte), or Atlantic Coast Conference championship game in Charlotte.

    Andy Katz, ESPN via Twitter: ACC commissioner John Swofford had this key statement tonight on NC HB2: "On a personal note, it's time for this bill to be repealed as it's counter to basic human rights." He added the ACC council of presidents will review the matter at its upcoming meeting.

    David M. Hale, ESPN via Twitter: ACC John Swofford says it is "premature" to comment on moving ACC championship game from North Carolina due to HB2. After the NCAA announced it would relocate all championship games from the state. "The league's longstanding commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion will continue to be a central theme to our discussions," Swofford said. "On a personal note, it's time for this bill to be repealed as it's counter to basic human rights."

    Of the ACC's 14 football members, four are in NC: Duke, UNC, NC-State, and Wake Forrest. East Carolina is also an FBS-division school in the American Athletic Conference.

  • 69. VIRick  |  September 12, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Finnish Parliament Considers Overturning Equal Marriage after Anti-LGBT Citizen’s Initiative

    Finland’s Parliament discussed a new bid to block marriage equality, after a string of citizen’s initiatives on the issue. Back in November 2014, the Finnish Parliament finally passed a citizens’ initiative on gender-neutral marriage by a tight vote of 105-92, after a number of previous defeats. The country’s President, Sauli Niinistö, signed the marriage legislation into law a few months later, paving the way for same-sex marriages to begin on 1 March 2017.

    But the law, which came about as a result of a public Citizen’s Initiative petition signed by over 167,000 voters, is now under threat from a rival initiative signed by opponents of same-sex marriage. The issue headed back to Parliament, as MPs discussed whether to repeal the law. The country’s Parliament last week heard the case for blocking marriage after the "Genuine Matrimony Association" succeeded in filing an initiative to keep marriage “between a man and woman.”

    The "Helsinki Times" reported that members of the right-wing Finns Party rallied against the law, with MP Mika Niikko suggesting the debate over the issue of gender-neutral marriage has focused excessively on the rights of adults, not those of children.

    As a candidate in 2015, Centre Party Prime Minister, Juha Sipilä, indicated their party would not seek to undo the measure. Although the initiative may yet return to the chamber for a vote, same-sex marriage is still set to go into effect on 1 March 2017.
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/09/12/finnish-parl

  • 70. allan120102  |  September 12, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Breaking news coming from Belize. Looks like the government will appeal the part of adding sexual orientation or interpreting sexual orientation as being protected in the sex category. The church can now appeal the ruling and is expected to appeal the ruling as a whole. Looks like we will not need Jamaica to have a profound ruling. If this happen I expect the remaining bans to be struck down by the CCJ. http://www.caribbean360.com/news/belize-governmen

  • 71. DevilWearsZrada  |  September 12, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    It's not good news unless we are sure that Caribbean Court of Justice will issue a pro-equality ruling. But why should it be so if the court's judges are from the states that still have sodomy laws?

  • 72. allan120102  |  September 12, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    VRick explain it on two or three threads why it would be a good case for us, even though now that Belize have appeal part of the ruling and the other part will probably be appeal by the church not sure if its still precedent on the region.

  • 73. theperchybird  |  September 12, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Chile's Gender Identity Law Moves Out of Senate Committee to Senate Vote

    It was stuck there for three years. One very important aspect approved today was that a married person will not have their marriage annulled if they change gender.
    http://www.adprensa.cl/politica/comision-de-ddhh-

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