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Supreme Court sets transgender rights case for October 14 conference

Transgender Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
The Supreme Court has distributed Gloucester County School Board v. GG for its private conference on October 14. At the conference, the Justices will decide whether or not to take the case up for full review.

It takes only four votes to grant review in a case, and there are only eight Justices on the Court at the moment because of Justice Scalia’s death.

The Court doesn’t have to make a decision on the case at the conference – the Justices can re-distribute the case for a later one if they want to. In recent years, it’s been the practice to distribute cases to at least two conferences before making a decision.

It seems less likely the Court might review the case at this time: the case is in its initial stages, not final review, and there’s no disagreement in the appeals courts yet on the issue. However, the question of whether “sex” is the same as “gender identity” for purposes of federal law and regulations is important and is being reviewed by several federal courts.

If the Court were to grant the case, we’d likely see an argument next year and a decision by June. If they deny the case, their stay on the Fourth Circuit’s ruling would dissolve, and GG would be allowed to use the restroom at school; the regulations would also apply throughout all the states in the Fourth Circuit, including North Carolina, where the anti-LGBT law HB2 is being challenged on similar grounds.


  • 1. F_Young  |  September 28, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    California Blocks Travel to North Carolina Over Anti-LGBT Law

    California has banned non-essential, state-funded travel to North Carolina.

    …..Along with banning travel to North Carolina, it also bans travel to any state that allows discrimination against the LGBT community. The California bill could also restrict travel by college sports teams to North Carolina, as the decision applies to the California State University System and University of California.

    This would be a huge blow to the state after the NCAA, NBA, and ACC all pulled upcoming games from the embattled state. The Southern Conference — which includes colleges like Samford University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Mercer University, and The Citadel — is expected to follow suit.

    Read more:

  • 2. VIRick  |  September 28, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Kansas: Opposing Same-Sex Marriage Will Cost the State $295,000

    Topeka KS — In "Marie v. Moser," a federal judge has directed Kansas to pay $295,000 to the attorneys who successfully challenged the state’s ban on marriage between same-sex couples. On Tuesday, 27 September 2016, District Judge Daniel Crabtree approved the request from ACLU lawyers and Kansas City-area attorney Mark Johnson. The state did not contest the amount.

    The lawsuit was originally filed in 2014 by five gay and lesbian couples against state officials in agencies that issue driver’s licenses and maintain marriage and birth records. Kansas law and the state constitution had prohibited same-sex marriage, but in June 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that such bans violate the federal constitution.

    Crabtree issued an order in July 2015 barring the state from treating same-sex couples differently than opposite-sex couples in allowing them to marry and/or in extending other benefits to them.

    In addition, per Equality Case Files:

    It looks as if the parties agreed to resolve some remaining differences. The defendants agreed to not contest the amount of the attorney fee award on condition that defendants Douglas Hamilton (Douglas County Clerk) and Bernie Lumbreras (Sedgwick County Clerk) are dismissed from the case and the court grants a modified judgment excluding these two parties.

    – The parties' joint motion to amend the judgment is here:

    – Plaintiffs' conditionally unopposed motion for fees and costs is here:

  • 3. allan120102  |  September 28, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Mexico supreme court have granted amparos against the civil codes of Chiapas, Nuevo Leon and for the first time they have granted one against Hidalgo were the amparo decided by the judge was appeal by the state. We need to remember that Chiapas along with Puebla are the next ones to see their ban invalidate by the supreme court like they did with Jalisco. Rulings are expected by November in the two cases.

  • 4. VIRick  |  September 28, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Definition of Marriage Unconstitutional in Nuevo León, Chiapas, Hidalgo

    Inconstitucional la definición de matrimonio en Nuevo León, Chiapas, e Hidalgo. SCJN reitera la inconstitucionalidad de la definición tradicional de matrimonio en los Códigos Civiles de Nuevo León, Chiapas e Hidalgo. Niega la SCJN que el amparo sea la vía idónea para reparaciones integrales por violaciones a los derechos humanos.

    En la sesión pública celebrada el 28 de septiembre de 2016, la Primera Sala de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación reitero la inconstitucionalidad de la definición tradicional de la figura del matrimonio contenida en los Códigos Civiles de los Estados de Chiapas (amparo indirecto 582/2016) y Nuevo León (1266/2015), así como de la Ley para la Familia del Estado de Hidalgo (amparo indirecto 207/2016).

    Se trata de tres juicios de amparo promovidos por personas homosexuales y lesbianas residentes en dichos Estados, en los que se reclamó que las leyes de esas entidades federativas resultan discriminatorias al establecer la definición de matrimonio como la unión de un hombre y una mujer, excluyendo con ello la posibilidad del matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo.

    En el caso de los juicios iniciados en Chiapas y Nuevo León, las personas que promovieron el amparo ya habían sido amparadas por un Juez Federal, pero solicitaron a la SCJN que revisara la sentencia a efecto de acumular los precedentes que se requieren para iniciar el procedimiento de Declaratoria General de Inconstitucionalidad en contra del Congreso por negarse a modificar normas discriminatorias.

    En cuanto a la demanda del Estado de Hidalgo, el Juez de Distrito de esa entidad había negado el amparo por considerar que no se habían acreditado los requisitos procesales. Sobre este asunto la SCJN revocó la sentencia y ordenó otorgar el amparo.

    The Supreme Court of Mexico reaffirms the unconstitutionality of the traditional definition of marriage in the Civil Codes of Nuevo León, Chiapas, and Hidalgo. At the same time, the Supreme Court rejected the idea that the amparo process is the ideal way to request comprehensive reparations for human rights violations.

    At their public session held on 28 September 2016, the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice reiterated the unconstitutionality of the traditional definition of marriage as contained in the Civil Codes of the states of Chiapas (indirect protection 582/2016) and Nuevo León, (1266/2015), and in the Family Law of the State of Hidalgo (indirect amparo 207/2016).

    These three cases were brought by gay and lesbian residents from those states in which they claimed that the laws are discriminatory by their establishing the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, thus excluding the possibility of same-sex marriage. In the case of the demands initiated in Chiapas and Nuevo León, those who appealed the amparo had already been granted it by a federal judge. Instead, they asked the Supreme Court to review the judgment in order to accumulate the 5 precedents that are required to initiate a General Declaration of Unconstitutionality against their state Congresses for refusing to amend discriminatory laws in a timely manner.

    As for the demand from the state of Hidalgo, the District Judge there had denied the amparo on the grounds that the procedural requirements had not been established. On this matter, the Supreme Court overturned the judgment, and ordered the judge to grant the amparo.

  • 5. VIRick  |  September 28, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    NOTE: This is now the second "resolution," of 5 needed, declared against the code of Chiapas, and also the second declared against the code of Nuevo León, both issued together on 28 September 2016.

  • 6. VIRick  |  September 28, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    These Gay Men Love Juan Gabriel So Much They Pretend to Be Him

    Two JuanGa impersonators honor the LGBT legacy of the late Mexican singer, el Divo de Juárez, at Mariscos Puente Escondido in east Los Angeles.

    See the video here:

    Interspersed, there are two brief snippets of the real JuanGa, the gorgeous man, with total control, in those amazingly impeccable outfits.

    Every time I think of JuanGa and his music, from the era when he was at his absolute hottest, it takes me back to that brief moment in time of seemingly endless dreamy nights, out doors, on the roof tops, with a gentle breeze wafting, under the clear, starlit desert skies of Sonora, bedded down with a select, precious group of fellow university students,– doing whatever. Of course, we had our own special understanding of the term, as expressed by the title of his then-current smash hit, "Amor Eterno" (Eternal Love).….

  • 7. VIRick  |  September 28, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    A Note from Peru:

    David y Martín se casarán por el matrimonio igualitario en España y le contaron a Diversa Revista su bonita historia.

    David and Martin (from Peru) will marry according to the equal marriage law in Spain and recount their story to Diversa Revista magazine.

    There's been very little movement toward marriage equality in Peru of late. However, in the meantime, same-sex couples from Peru (with financial means) are among the top clients marrying in such countries as Spain, Argentina, and Uruguay. The problem, though, is that their marriages are not presently recognized back home in Peru. But that may change. Here's how:

    In reciprocal agreements among Latin countries, Uruguay is particularly adamant in demanding that the others recognize Uruguayan law. Some years ago, Uruguay forced a number of others (Peru included) to recognize Uruguayan divorces, and this from an era when almost anyone could obtain a quick, uncontested divorce in Uruguay, yet when such a divorce was a near-impossibility in most of the rest of Latin America. Having already successfully forced this issue of recognition with divorce, Uruguay is now demanding reciprocity (and thus, recognition) on marriage law, and is particularly targeting Peru.

  • 8. VIRick  |  September 28, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Alabama: Today, 28 September 2016, Was Chief Justice Roy Moore's Ethics Trial

    Per Equality Case Files:

    UPDATE: Court is adjourned, no decision from the bench. Per the rules of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary, the Court must deliver a decision within 10 days, or he is acquitted: "A failure to convict within ten days after the conclusion of the hearing shall constitute an acquittal."

    Any action against Moore, other than removal, requires a vote of 6 of the 9 members. Removal requires all 9 votes.

    Rules are here:

  • 9. 1grod  |  September 29, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Hate: No Laughing Matter

  • 10. VIRick  |  September 29, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Italy: Two Ex-Nuns Just Got Civil-Unioned Yesterday

    Two former nuns who met in a convent have been joined in a civil union in a ceremony in a small town in northern Italy. The Italian news agency ANSA said the women, who were identified in Italian media only by first names, were supposed to have had the ceremony in Pinerolo city hall on Thursday, 29 September 2016, but because of concern there would be a media storm after the Turin newspaper, "La Stampa," reported their plans, the ceremony was held a day earlier, on 28 September, by Mayor Luca Salvai.

    Italian lawmakers earlier this year legalized civil unions, angering the Vatican. Italy does not (yet) have same-sex marriage.

    ANSA said the women, one from southern Italy and the other of South American origin, fell in love while working at a rehabilitation center for drug addicts, and renounced being nuns.

  • 11. VIRick  |  September 29, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    The Established Legal Doctrine at Stake in the Transgender "Bathroom" Appeal

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Beneath the fight over the rights of transgender students is a legal doctrine loathed by opponents of big government. Critics of the so-called administrative state see the bathroom access cases as an opportunity to overturn the Supreme Court’s 1997 decision in "Auer v. Robbins," which established that courts must consider a federal agency’s interpretation of its own regulations to be controlling unless the interpretation is plainly wrong.

    "Auer" came into play in the transgender bathroom litigation because the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said its ruling in the "Gloucester" case was controlled by the Department of Education’s interpretation of Title IX, which bars gender discrimination in schools that receive federal funding. The agency first articulated its policy – that federally-funded schools must generally treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity – in an opinion letter from its Office of Civil Rights in January 2015, after Gavin Grimm had sued the Gloucester school board. The Department reiterated its position as an amicus at the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Grimm’s case, and, after the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decided its interpretation is entitled to deference, sent out a notification letter to all federally-funded schools, explaining how schools should comply with the department’s policy.

    See further discussion and more detail here:

  • 12. allan120102  |  September 29, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    Chihuahua try to pass a resolution against ssm in which they argue that the ban on ssm is still in effect and muncipalities would need to enforce the ban,, thankfully there was no time as other topic took its priority but legislators are promising to pass the resolution early next year as there is now a Pan majority. If they do that same sex marriage will be illegal again in the state and as we know the governor that help us achieve it is leaving this year. That is why I dont like this method of achieving marriage equality because just a small change in the senate and they could block marriage equality, the same may happen in Guerrero were they are some municipalities issuing while other dont. Chihuhaua may need to see its ban invalidate once and for all if deputies dont modify the code. As not only Pan but Pri is in favor of leaving ssm ban,

  • 13. theperchybird  |  September 30, 2016 at 2:16 am

    It's one of the most sued states and if they passed an updated ban and didn't watch their wording like a few others, they could get the Jalisco treatment. Although, I hope they don't pass anything because Court cases aren't solved over night and couples wouldn't be able to marry for quite a while.

  • 14. allan120102  |  September 29, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Also Supreme court justice Jose Ramon Cosso said that marriage equality in Mexico might change if the court rules another way. Just because the supreme court right now is friendly does not mean that other minister might be and the jurisprudence might change.

    MEXICO CITY Minister of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (Supreme Court) José Ramón Cossío, acknowledged that the constitutionality of marriages between same sex can change.

    In an interview with Milenio, Cossio Diaz, said that the only thing holding the right of same-sex marriages in Mexico is the judgment of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (Supreme Court) but it would be "naive to think that because ever the Court said something that was written in stone ".

    The minister explained that at any time can change the legislative majority in the Congress, and the integration of the Court and if the majority of ministers considered that the right to marry same-sex couples is not an acceptable criterion, from an interpretation of Article 4 of the Constitution, that right may collapse.

    "And yes it is true what is said (by the organizations opposed to the marriages of same-sex couples), the right is not immutable, if they change the majorities in Congress (EU) if they change the majorities in the Supreme Court, effectively the criteria can change, "he admitted.

    Cossio reiterated its position in favor of same-sex marriages, but considered naive to think that because once the Supreme Court said this was something written in stone, "this is not so."

    "I think to say that can not happen, think that it can happen for everyone to take the position in this context is most appropriate to their interests," said Jose Ramon Cossio in an interview with Milenio.

    It is recalled that in August 2010, the Supreme Court endorsed for the first time marriages between same sex when he discussed the reform promoted by the Legislative Assembly of the Federal District and was approved in 2009; it was challenged by the Attorney General's Office (PGR).

  • 15. guitaristbl  |  September 30, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Roy Moore SUSPENDED for the rest of his term :

    Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has been suspended from the bench for telling probate judges to defy federal orders regarding gay marriage.

    The Alabama Court of the Judiciary (COJ) issued the order Friday suspending Moore from the bench for the remainder of his term.

    "For these violations, Chief Justice Moore is hereby suspended from office without pay for the remainder of his term. This suspension is effective immediately," the order stated.

    The court found him guilty of all six charges of violation of canon of judicial ethics. Moore's term is to end in 2019. Gov. Robert Bentley will name a replacement for Moore.

    In its order, the COJ wanted to make sure people understood what Moore's case was and was not about.

    "At the outset, this court emphasizes that this case is concerned only with alleged violations of the Canons of Jucial Ethics," the COJ states. "This case is not about whether same-sex marriage should be permitted: indeed, we recognize that a majority of voters in Alabama adopted a constitutional amendment in 2006 banning same-sex marriage, as did a majority of states over the last 15 years."

    The COJ also stated it is also not a case to review or to editorialize about the United States Supreme Court's split decision to declare same-sex marriage legal nationwide.

    Moore was tried Wednesday before the COJ on the six charges that claimed he violated canons of judicial ethics regarding a Jan. 6 administrative order to the state's 68 probate judges.

    Prosecutors said Moore's order sought to have probate judges defy the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that declared gay marriage legal nationwide and halt the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Moore and one of his attorneys said at the trial that the order was just a status report on the state of a petition that had been pending before the Alabama Supreme Court and did not tell the probate judges to defy federal orders.

    The nine-member Court of the Judiciary thought otherwise and issued the sanction. The nine member court had several options – acquit Moore, remove him from the bench, suspend him without pay, or issue a statement of censure expressing disapproval. Removal from the bench required a unanimous decision and any of the other sanctions require a minimum 6-3 vote.

    Moore can appeal the ruling to the Alabama Supreme Court.

  • 16. Sagesse  |  September 30, 2016 at 9:29 am

    There was speculation that Moore wanted to be removed from the bench so that he could begin his run for governor. Curious to see what happens next.

  • 17. guitaristbl  |  September 30, 2016 at 9:37 am

    He will be elected if he runs unfortunately – and then Bentley will look like RuPaul then in comparison and Alabama as it is now as San Francisco..But it's Alabama. Things can't go much worse and he can do nothing to reverse marriage equality.

  • 18. Zack12  |  September 30, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    He will likely win reelection easily but you're right in that marriage equality is law in Alabama, and he won't be able to do a darn thing about it.

  • 19. bayareajohn  |  September 30, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    RE-election to Governor?
    He wasn't Governor, though he lost in primaries twice for that office, and he can't run again for Chief Justice. So no RE in Roy's election futures…

  • 20. Zack12  |  September 30, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Realized my mistake but couldn't fix it in time.
    Meant to say if he runs for governor, he would likely win.
    Let's hope he decides not to and just goes away.

  • 21. VIRick  |  September 30, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    California Adopts Groundbreaking All-Gender Restroom Access Law

    Beginning in March 2017, all single-occupancy public restrooms in the state must be open to all genders. Today, 30 September 2016, California became the first state in the nation to adopt legislation requiring that all single-occupancy restrooms in California businesses, government buildings, and other places of public accommodation, be open to all genders.

    Today, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the legislation, Assembly Bill 1732, into law, as it had been approved by both the state Assembly and Senate. It will take effect on 1 March, giving the Golden State “the nation’s most progressive restroom access law,” notes a press release from the Transgender Law Center.

    Several cities already have such laws, according to the legal group, including Philadelphia, Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, New York City, Washington DC, and Santa Fe NM. Many colleges and universities, including the University of California system, also have similar policies, and some private businesses have put inclusive measures in place — management of the Sacramento Kings NBA team recently announced that the team’s new stadium, the Golden 1 Center, will include all-gender restrooms, and Target is putting gender-neutral facilities in all its stores. But California has the first statewide law.

    Businesses and governments also won’t have to spend much to implement the law. All they really will have to do is change their signage, estimated to cost about $40 per restroom.

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