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Open thread


This is an open thread for discussion. We’ll post news if something breaks.


  • 1. VIRick  |  November 7, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    OT/Australia: CU in the NT

    The Top End. Different from the Bottom End.

    The graphics for this new ad campaign for tourism to Australia's Northern Territory are beyond belief, given that it successfully out-trumps Trump, while still remaining almost PC:

  • 2. VIRick  |  November 7, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Australia: Government's Plebiscite Plan Officially Defeated

    A bill to take same-sex marriage to a public vote in Australia has been shot down in the Senate, leaving the future of equality still an open question. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had attempted to avoid a rift with his own ultra-conservative MPs by bringing forward plans to take same-sex marriage to the public in a non-binding plebiscite.

    However, opposition parties rallied against the plans, today blocking progress in the Senate with the support of the country’s main LGBT groups. In a late-night Senate vote on 7 November 2016, the plebiscite bill was voted down by 33 votes to 29.

  • 3. VIRick  |  November 7, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Ricky Martin for Marriage Equality in Mexico

    Ahead of Wednesday's discussion and possible vote on the national marriage equality legislation before the Federal Chamber of Deputies in Mexico, we have Ricky Martin's latest quote, via Moviimex:

    "Dame a mí ese derecho de que si algo me pasa, mi pareja pueda tomar decisiones por mí."

    "Give me this right that if something happens to me, my spouse can make decisions for me."

    Within the past several years, Ricky Martin has been truly amazing, utterly and totally laying it all out there, quite publicly campaigning for marriage equality in very personal terms, seemingly non-stop, first in Puerto Rico, then in Colombia, then in Chile, and now, in Mexico.

  • 4. VIRick  |  November 8, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Jordanian Air: Fly To America Now, Just In Case

    NBC News reports:

    As the world waited on Tuesday, 8 November 2016, for Americans to choose their new president, a Middle Eastern airline launched an advertising campaign that took a swipe at Donald Trump’s original plan to ban Muslims from the USA. Royal Jordanian Airlines posted a promotion on social media urging customers: “Just in case he wins… travel to the USA while you’re still allowed to do so!”

    The airline, which flies from Muslim-majority Jordan to New York, Chicago, and Detroit, launched the campaign as millions went to the polls across the USA to choose between Trump and Hillary Clinton.

    NOTE: tickets must be purchased before 17/11/16 for travel by 31/03/17.
    Chicago JOD 650, Detroit JOD 870, New York JOD 650, economy class.

  • 5. VIRick  |  November 8, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Canada: Federal Government Offers First Gender-Neutral Travel Document

    Visitors flying into, or through, Canada will be able to choose 'other' on their application. Canada's new Electronic Travel Authorizations, or eTAs, which become mandatory for visitors to Canada starting Thursday, 10 November 2016, for the first time allow travellers a third choice on the online application form under gender: other.

    Until now, applicants had to choose between male or female, which prevented some potential visitors from completing the form — an issue that was noted in an internal report obtained under the Access to Information Act. "The system cannot finalize applications when the client indicates that they are of a third-sex designation," says the May troubleshooting document from the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. A spokeswoman for the department confirmed the application has since been altered to allow foreign visitors who have a third-sex designation on their passports to enter "other" as their gender.

    At least seven countries — Australia, Bangladesh, Germany, India, Nepal, New Zealand, and Pakistan — permit citizens to choose an option other than male or female on their passports.

  • 6. guitaristbl  |  November 8, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Well…McCrory may have been defeated..But HB2 will get a federal version soon along with the first amendment act so thats little comfort..

  • 7. scream4ever  |  November 9, 2016 at 12:08 am

    Fortunately, Democrats can filibuster it in The Senate.

  • 8. guitaristbl  |  November 9, 2016 at 12:58 am

    Can they block new Scalia's from SCOTUS though ? I dont know how are Ginsburg, Breyer and Kennedt health-wise but they d better hold on now !!?

  • 9. bayareajohn  |  November 9, 2016 at 12:01 am

    Is the world over now?

  • 10. Christian0811  |  November 9, 2016 at 12:07 am

    Between the civil war and watergate, I think we'll live lmao

  • 11. Sagesse  |  November 9, 2016 at 4:06 am

    I"m numb, speechless.

    This can't be undone. Republicans control the White House, the Senate, the House, and soon, the Supreme Court for the next 30 years.

    I"m Canadian, I didn't vote. But this is not a world in which I want to live.

  • 12. guitaristbl  |  November 9, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    All that has to happen is for Ginsburg and Breyer to hold on for 2 years. I doubt it will take more for his failures to be seen and hopefully flip the senate.

  • 13. ianbirmingham  |  November 10, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    If Democrats don't retake the Senate majority this year, they face the prospect of a long winter in the minority, because the 2018 map puts them at a severe disadvantage that could leave them even further from the majority and any pick-up opportunities for the foreseeable future. Just as this year's Senate field offers ample opportunity for Democrats to pick up seats, the next election is stacked for the Republicans, and the one that follows has limited possibilities for Democratic gains. … 2018 is virtually a mirror image of this year's political map, with Democrats defending 25 seats and Republicans eight.

    See more at:

  • 14. VIRick  |  November 9, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    A Message from the EQCF Board of Directors Regarding Yesterday’s Election

    Equality Case Files, as a 501(c)(3) organization, refrains from partisan advocacy of any kind and has thus had little to say about the election throughout the campaign. However, with the election behind us, it is impossible to ignore the implications of the outcome on the work we do here. As an organization providing information on litigation and legislation impacting the lives of LGBTQI people, we know that under a Trump/Pence administration our work is going to become more difficult.

    This election will almost certainly impact the balance of the Supreme Court and the composition of the lower federal courts. Where the Department of Justice and federal agencies like the EEOC under an Obama administration in recent years have often been allies in advancing protections for our community, we’ll likely have some tough fights ahead under this new adminstration.

    And while this means much of our work is going to become more difficult, it also means that it has become even more important. We know that real people are at the heart of every court case, that the outcome impacts not just the quality of our lives but, at times, our very survival.

    We’ve never done this work because it’s easy; we do it because it’s necessary, despite how difficult it can seem at times. We’ve always known there is much work to do. The fact that some of that work is going to become more difficult does not shake our resolve. We will carry on – not as though nothing has happened, but with a renewed sense of the importance of what we do.

    In fact, on January 20, 2017, the very day Donald Trump is due to be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, we plan to be in a courtroom in New York City keeping you informed as LGBT legal advocates present arguments to a panel of judges for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals that sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes a prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

    We are ready. We are as determined as ever. We hope you will join us. We are all in this together.

    And on a very personal level, thank you, Kathleen, for all you do for all of us.

  • 15. guitaristbl  |  November 9, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Still trying to find silver linings..I hope Murkowski and Collins (fingers crossed Ayotte is defeated at least !) will work with democrats to prevent overtly anti-LGBT measures…one can hope right ?

  • 16. scream4ever  |  November 9, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Keep in mind that Democrats can fillibuster as well.

  • 17. JayJonson  |  November 10, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Don't be surprised if the Republican Senate caucus votes to deny the right to filibuster Supreme Court nominees.

  • 18. Rick55845  |  November 10, 2016 at 9:32 am

    Under current rules, they'd need 3/5ths (60 out of 100) to end a filibuster against a Supreme Court nominee. I doubt they'll change that, as it'll work against them the next time Democrats control the Senate while a Democrat sits in office.

  • 19. guitaristbl  |  November 10, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I think they will take that risk. Losing the senate to democrats next election is a changing situation. Appointing a far right hack on the supreme court is a lifetime investment.

  • 20. ianbirmingham  |  November 12, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Conservatives pressure McConnell to go 'nuclear'

  • 21. bayareajohn  |  November 9, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    And repubs aren't the only ones who can impeach. If the fraud and other potentially criminal (taxes?!??!) charges get real, we can…

    Oh damn. We can get Pence, the Trump firewall.

  • 22. allan120102  |  November 9, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Hate continues to win as Mexico deputies from most party including PRI vote to throw out the initiative of legalizing ssm throught all of Mexico, They said that each state shoud decide if to allow ssm. Mentioning the 9(QR, coahuila, Chihuahua, Michoacan, Colima, Morelos, Jalisco,Campeche and Nayarit) that already have + the federal district. The vote to throw out the initiative was 8 in favor and 19 against. Looks like it will take years to win all of Mexico. sighs.

  • 23. VIRick  |  November 9, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Mexican Lawmakers Reject Same-Sex Marriage Proposal (For Now)

    On Wednesday, 9 November 2016, Mexican lawmakers rejected a federal proposal that would have extended marriage rights to same-sex couples across the country.

    Members of a Chamber of Deputies committee rejected President Enrique Peña Nieto’s proposal by a 19-8 vote margin, with one abstention. The PRD and Morena backed the proposal, while the other political parties, including the PRI and PAN, did not. The vote took place nearly five months after Peña Nieto proposed the constitutional amendment.

    But this is definitely not the end of the matter, as both PRD and Morena have promised to put forth their own proposals in the near future. These two political parties have been, and will continue to be, extremely supportive of LGBT rights.

  • 24. VIRick  |  November 9, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    North Carolina: Gov. McCrory Appears Defeated but Won’t Concede to Roy Cooper

    The North Carolina gubernatorial race between Gov. Pat McCrory and Attorney-General Roy Cooper is still too close to call, with less than five thousand votes separating them. Cooper is in the lead and has declared victory, but McCrory is not admitting defeat, asking that all provisional ballots be counted before it is called.

    McCrory has seen his approval rating plummet amid the loss of millions of dollars in lost revenue and thousands of jobs due to boycotting of the anti-LGBTQ law, HB2, he signed into law. HB2 invalidated non-discrimination ordinances across the state, requires trans people to use bathrooms and locker rooms according to the gender on their birth certificates in government-owned buildings, and also capped the state’s minimum wage.

    The race has been neck and neck throughout the campaign, with HB2 at the center of it. Cooper opposes the law, and as Attorney-General, has refused to defend it.

    Under state law, counties will complete a canvass of all their votes on 18 November. In addition, also under state law, candidates can ask for a recount when the election is decided by less than 0.5 percent of the total vote. With almost 5 million total ballots cast, the race as it stands now is subject to a recount.

    The Attorney-General race in the state is in a similar position, as Democrat Josh Stein has declared victory over Republican Buck Newton, who is not conceding. He too is waiting for all provisional ballots to be counted. Newton made headlines when, speaking at a pro-HB2 rally, he encouraged supporters to “Keep North Carolina straight.”

  • 25. guitaristbl  |  November 10, 2016 at 11:55 am

    It will be a decent sinver lining if McCrory is defeated but with little actual impact given that a federal version of HB2 is more than possible in the near future..

  • 26. VIRick  |  November 10, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Do not under-estimate a Cooper win for governor, coupled in tandem with a Stein win for Attorney-General.

    Update: Per the North Carolina State Board of Elections, today, 11 November 2016, Josh Stein has been declared the winner for Attorney-General, beating his opponent, Buck Newton, an avid defender of HB2, by 20,793 votes.

    Here's the report from Buck Newton's home-town newspaper:

  • 27. VIRick  |  November 10, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Taiwan Likely to Become the First Asian Country to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

    Taiwanese lawmakers are currently working on three bills in support of marriage equality, one of which is already listed for review and could be passed within months. Same-sex marriage also has the prominent support of President Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s first female head of state.

    About 80 percent of Taiwanese between ages 20 and 29 support same-sex marriage, said Tseng Yen-jung, spokeswoman for the group, Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy, citing local university studies. Taiwan’s United Daily News found in a survey taken four years ago that 55 percent of the public supported same-sex marriage, with 37 percent opposed.

    That’s seen as a reflection of Taiwan’s ready acceptance of multi-party democracy and other inclusive attitudes, as well as the fact that Taiwan’s 23 million people largely follow Buddhism and traditional Chinese religions that take no strong positions on sexual orientation or same-sex marriage.

    Gay and lesbian relationships began to find wide acceptance in the 1990s, aided by the already well-established feminist movement, said Jens Damm, associate Professor in the Graduate Institute of Taiwan Studies at Chang Jung University in Taiwan.

    “It’s a big step forward for the history of human rights,” said Yu Mei-nu, a ruling Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker who is sponsoring the same-sex marriage bill now in line for parliamentary debate. “If Taiwan can get this passed … it will give other Asian countries a model.”

    Taiwan’s Justice Ministry has not backed a specific bill, but pledged on its website last month to maintain an “attitude of openness” toward same-sex marriage. President Tsai said as recently as October that she supports same-sex marriage.

  • 28. VIRick  |  November 10, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Totally-Not-Gay ex-Congressman Aaron Schock Indicted on 24 Criminal Counts

    Peoria IL -€” The Illinois congressman who resigned amid scrutiny of lavish spending, including remodeling his Capitol Hill office in the style of the television series “Downton Abbey,”€” was indicted Thursday, 10 November 2016, on 24 federal counts, including wire fraud and theft of funds.

    The 52-page indictment charges Aaron Schock with nine counts of wire fraud, five of falsification of election commission filings, six of filing false federal income tax returns, two of making false statements, and one each of mail fraud and theft of government funds. A conviction on just one count of wire fraud alone carries a maximum 20 year prison sentence.

    The indictment did not directly mention the continuing presence of the male companion, blissfully claimed to be "his personal photographer," but a fair amount of the lavish expenses addressed in the indictment were incurred because of that singular presence.

  • 29. guitaristbl  |  November 10, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Ok with Ayotte unseated that makes it 51-48 and if we take a republican victory as certain in Louisiana it is a 52-48. With proper action and lobbying I think it is possible to get Murkowski, Collins and Portman to be able and willing to stop overtly anti-LGBT measures. Portman comes from a big victory even after voicing support for marriage equality so that may help to get him to stop some things like FADA hopefully.

  • 30. VIRick  |  November 10, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Please remember, too, that Portman had a major, sincere "conversion" on the subject of LGBT rights when his own college-age son revealed himself to be gay. Portman accepted and embraced his son's gayness, and the two continue to work together, quite publicly, on a very practical level, very unlike the miserably homophobic governor of Mississippi, Bryant, who practically disowned his own gay son.

    But I like your count, with Portman, Collins, and Murkowski, in effect, on our side. Collins has had previous issues and run-ins with the governor of her own state, Le Page, including on assorted LGBT issues, while Murkowski has been a free spirit ever since she won her previous election as a write-in.

    Oh, and what about Lindsey-belle, SC? Can we count on him for anything? He made a big flourish (like Kasich, governor of Ohio) of publicly stating that he did not vote for Trump.

    Still, we need to be leery of Manchin, WV, as he's already voiced the possibility of jumping to the other side.

    On the other hand, Maggie Hassan, NH, as a very qualified replacement for Ayotte, will be a true trooper for the cause. As governor, she signed New Hampshire's marriage equality legislation into law.

  • 31. guitaristbl  |  November 11, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Manchin is a reason to worry especially since he is up for re election in 2018.
    Unfortunately I cant think of other republican senators who would be on our side…McCain has somewhat moves to more moderate positions but I doubt he would vote down anti-LGBT measures.
    Then there are others like Sasse from Nebraska who just worry that Trump is not anti LGBT enough.

  • 32. scream4ever  |  November 11, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    There's also Pat Toomey, who has been pro-LGBT on various votes. Richard Burr may also be inclined to vote against such a bill, given that it likely cost Pat McCory the governorship of North Carolina.

  • 33. VIRick  |  November 10, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Plus, McTurtle to the rescue (to a degree):

    One Possible Reason to be Somewhat Hopeful in the Age of Trump

    Donald Trump is about to find out that he cannot steamroll his proposals into reality during his first 100 days. Three were already shot down by the ego and bluster of Mitch McConnell (term limits, infrastructure, and the wall), as the Senate leader pissed on the President-elect’s post.

    On Wednesday, 9 November 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell mostly made nice with Trump but also shot down or expressed little enthusiasm in some of his plans. On Trump’s proposal to impose term limits on Congress, McConnell said bluntly, “It will not be on the agenda in the Senate.” McConnell has been a long-standing opponent of term limits, as NPR’s Susan Davis reports. “I would say we have term limits now — they’re called elections.”

    McConnell also threw some cold water on Trump’s infrastructure plans, calling it "Not a top priority." And he has flat-out rejected the wall.

    Ouch. Someone’s ring needs kissing, and it isn’t Donald J. Trump’s.

    Also, unspoken, we need to remember that McConnell and his wife are of two different races. As a result, one can surmise that any Trump proposal that smacks of racism "will also not be on the agenda in the Senate."

    And just to be perfectly clear, I am not a fan of McTurtle. He's an annoying obstructionist, and has been this way his entire political career. But perhaps, just this once, some of his in-bred obstructionism will be directed in a different direction.

  • 34. VIRick  |  November 10, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Louisiana: It's Not Over Until It's Over

    Louisiana: US Senate Results for Open Seat:
    John Kennedy, R, and Foster Campbell, D, Headed to Runoff on 9 December 2016

    John Kennedy, Republican, 482,380, 25.0%

    Foster Campbell, Democrat, 337,682, 17.5%

    Charles Boustany, Republican, 297,744, 15.4%

    Caroline Fayard, Democrat, 240,748, 12.5%

    John Fleming, Republican, 203,959, 10.6%

    Others, 369,968, 19.1%

    Louisiana holds its wide-open primary on the same date as the general election everywhere else. If one candidate does not singly-handedly garner over 50% of the popular vote, then there's a run-off between the top two vote-getters. In the current instance, one is a Republican and one is a Democrat.

  • 35. guitaristbl  |  November 11, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Yeah I dont see any hope there I am afraid. Unless the louisiana republicans feel less enthusiastic now that they got Trump in and democrats and independents turn out in large numbers to try to keep checks and balances.

  • 36. VIRick  |  November 11, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    We can hope. Louisiana Republicans are horribly split, with more tales of more prostitution scandals, and even one whereby one of the Republican candidates has accused another of being an accessory to murder. Louisiana can be quite "special" like that.

    On the other hand, the Democrats are fairly united. Foster Campbell has long been endorsed by Gov. John Bel Edwards who himself recently won statewide office as a Democrat.

  • 37. VIRick  |  November 10, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Papal Nuncio to Mexico Tells Catholics to Stop Marching

    Per Rex Wockner:

    En 8 de noviembre 2016, el Nuncio Apostólico en México, Franco Coppola, llamó a los católicos dejar de realizar marchas contra el matrimonio igualitario en el país. "No hay que tratar estos temas con los ojos de una ideología.”

    On 8 November 2016, the Vatican's Papal Nuncio to Mexico, Franco Coppola, called upon Catholics to stop marching against marriage equality in the country. "Do not view these matters with the eyes of one ideology."

  • 38. VIRick  |  November 10, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Continues to Continue

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 10 November 2016, in the on-going case, "Whitaker v. Kenosha Unified School District," the Defendants' 7th Circuit Court appeal of the order granting the transgender student's preliminary injunction, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals DENIES the School District's motion to stay the preliminary injunction pending appeal.

    This means that the injunction Judge Pepper issued protecting Ash's right to use the boys' restroom remains in place.

    The Order is here:

  • 39. VIRick  |  November 14, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    7th Circuit Court of Appeals Continues to Slap Down ADF

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 14 November 2016, in "Kenosha Unified School District No. 1 v. Whitaker," the school district's Petition to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for permission to appeal the order denying its motion to dismiss, the 7th Circuit Court denied the School District's request to appeal the denial of its motion to dismiss the case.

    The School District's appeal of the preliminary injunction in favor of plaintiff, Ash Whitaker, remains active, but their motion to dismiss the case is now beyond dead.

    Today's Decision is here:

  • 40. VIRick  |  November 10, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Judge Urges Settlement In Trump University Lawsuit

    A federal judge on Thursday, 10 November 2016, encouraged both sides in a lawsuit against Donald Trump and his now-defunct Trump University to enter settlement talks weeks before the president-elect takes office. The class action lawsuit filed in 2010 is set to go to trial on 28 November 2016. The case was brought on behalf of former customers who claim Trump University was not an accredited school and that they were pressured to spend thousands on “worthless gimmickry.”

    Trump’s attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, told the court in San Diego that his client was “all ears” regarding settlement talks, but said he plans to file a request to delay the trial until next year due to his client’s need to transition into the White House. Citing the election, Judge Gonzalo Curiel — who was accused of being biased by Trump because of his Mexican heritage despite actually being born in Indiana — also said the president-elect could testify via video should the case go to trial. “We’re in uncharted territory,” he said.

    Also on Thursday, Curiel tentatively ruled that information about Trump that came out during the presidential campaign could be used in court. That would apply to his tweets, as well as to his vulgar comments regarding women that were caught on an old Access Hollywood tape. Among other evidence he indicated would be allowed is testimony by Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus, who says Trump tried to have him fired after he wrote about attending a free 90-minute preview of Trump University. Trump’s attorney had argued that allowing campaign-related material could prejudice or confuse jurors in the case, and jeopardize his right to a fair trial.

  • 41. allan120102  |  November 10, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    Federal deputy from Mexico comes out of the closet after disclosing that he is gay and one of the reasons he vote in favor of the proposal. He was one of the 6 in favor and only one of two PRI senators who cast there votes in favor.

  • 42. VIRick  |  November 10, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Thank you, Allan, as that explains this comment at Matrimonio Igualitario which I did not fully appreciate when I first saw it:

    Que bueno que Benjamin Medran Quezada votó por el Matrimonio Igualitario, pero también que padre que salió del closet. Mejor afuera, siempre.

    How wonderful that Benjamin Medran Quezada voted for marriage equality, but also that the man came out of the closet. Better out, always.

    So, yes, of the 8 "Yes" votes, there were two federal deputies who are members of PRI who voted in favor, one from Zacacetas, Benjamin Medran Quezada, who, in explaining his vote, announced he was gay, and another member from Yucatán, Ivonne Aracelly Ortega Pacheco.

    I also feel we will be hearing a lot more from the President of the Constitutional Points Commission, Guadalupe Acosta Naranjo, a member of the PRD from Nayarit, a state which legalized same-sex marriage without the least bit of fuss or controversy.

    The political antipathy currently being expressed against Trump in Mexico on all levels can not be adequately measured, as it is totally off-the-charts. The PAN, the political party which views itself, in terms of the USA, as conservative, pro-business, open borders, free trade, and as Mexico's version of the Republican Party (including being anti-LGBT and anti-same-sex marriage), may well be on the verge of collapse, given all the accumulated venom hurled at Mexico and its citizens during the Trump campaign, including the entire "build the wall" thing. Trump even attacked Carlos Slim, Mexico's Warren Buffet. PAN's strongest appeal has always come from the northern-most tier of states, the most affluent section of Mexico outside of Mexico City itself, but the area that would be most negatively impacted by closed borders, the trashing of NAFTA, and mass deportations.

    If any of the above were to occur, Mexico will retaliate in ways which have not yet been fully determined. In the meantime, PAN's appeal (for attempting to create its version of the next USA directly along the border) will plummet in states like Chihuahua, Sonora, and Baja California, paving the way for the much more progressive, pro-LGBT, pro-same-sex marriage, leftist PRD. The same may also be set to occur in the next tier, in states like San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Guanajuato, and Aguascalientes, pro-business areas that have seen heavy continuing Japanese and Korean investment, much like South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. But quite unlike the USA, whenever Mexico feels threatened or under duress, its instinctive collective reaction is to go Left.

  • 43. VIRick  |  November 11, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Do These Things NOW!

    Per Lambda Legal and Equality Case Files:

    There is a lot of understandable concern in our community about what specific ways this new administration could threaten rights we've gained in recent years. Lambda Legal has put together some helpful information, broken into categories, including: Don’t Worry (Too Much); Do These Things Now; If You Need Help.

    Note, in particular, the "Do These Things Now" category.

    "If you are transgender and your identity documents don’t reflect who you are, it is a good idea to update your documents — including any state-issued IDs, passport, and Social Security record — before the new administration takes office. We have a whole "Know Your Rights" section on this topic:

    "If you are a same-sex couple raising children, it’s important that both parents have secure legal ties to your children. If you have not done a second-parent adoption or a joint adoption, that may be an important step to take now if it’s possible in your state. A formal adoption judgment from a court can give important security — even if both parents’ names are already on each child’s birth certificate — because court judgments must be respected state-to-state and by the federal government. If you are not married, and if your state does not permit a formal adoption judgment for unmarried parents, we suggest you seek a parentage order in states where that is possible. Other suggestions include making sure that each child’s Social Security number record lists both parents as the child’s legal parents, and obtaining a passport for each child that lists both parents as the child’s legal parents.

    "Get your life planning documents in place. Create or update your medical power of attorney or health care proxy and living will. The hospital visitation policy put in place by the Obama administration is consistent with state laws and should remain in place under a Trump administration. No change in federal policy can undermine these documents. It is important to have these legally enforceable written documents stating your wishes about medical care and decision-making, and about who may visit you."

  • 44. allan120102  |  November 11, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    I am not sure if its another lawsuit than the previous one but a new challenge was file today against the constitutional court of El Salvador to overturn the same sex marriage ban. Like I said before movement is being feel in CA even if we probably loose this lawsuits.

  • 45. VIRick  |  November 11, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    El Salvador: Second Court Challenge Seeking Marriage Equality

    Allan, this is a second, new request for an "Action of Unconstitutionality" just filed today, 11 November 2016, with El Salvador's Constitutional Court by the attorney, Herman Duarte Iraheta, against Articles 11, 14.6, 90.3, and 118 of the Family Code.

    The first "Action of Unconstitutionality" was filed on 17 August 2016 by the attorney, Herbert Danilo Vega Cruz, against Article 11 of the Family Code, as well as against Article 32 of the Constitution of the Republic.

    El abogado Herman Duarte Iraheta presentó esta mañana, 11 de noviembre 2016, una demanda ante la Sala de lo Constitucional de la Corte Suprema de Justicia (CSJ) en la cual solicitó que se reinterprete la legislación nacional y se saquen del ordenamiento jurídico algunos aspectos contenidos en el Código de Familia que impiden el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo.

    A juicio del abogado, en cuatro artículos del Código de Familia “el legislador salvadoreño cometió un acto de discriminación injustificada en contra de las parejas del mismo sexo que buscan un reconocimiento constitucional de su unión de pareja. Pido que reinterprete para que, donde dice hombre y mujer, se entienda como dos personas, para que se rompa ese binomio … Estoy pidiendo que expulsen dos normas del ordenamiento jurídico, que son las que dicen que es prohibido el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo."

    Duarte concluyó que el impedir un matrimonio de personas del mismo sexo viola 12 derechos fundamentales, además que es una privación de 26 garantías que tienen las personas casadas. El jurista aclaró que no está buscando una resolución “discriminatoria” en el que se coloquen nuevos mecanismos ad hoc a las parejas homosexuales, sino más bien que queda abierta la opción de la institución matrimonial equitativa para todas las personas.

    The lawyer, Herman Duarte Iraheta, filed a complaint with the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) this morning, 11 November 2016, in which he requested that national legislation be reinterpreted and that certain aspects contained in the Family Code be removed from the legal system which prevent marriage between persons of the same sex.

    According to the lawyer, in four articles of the Family Code, "the Salvadoran legislation committed an act of unjustified discrimination against same-sex couples seeking a constitutional recognition of their marriage. I ask you to reinterpret it so that, wherever you say man and woman, you understand it to be two people … I am asking you to expel two rules of the legal system, which are those that say that marriage between people of the same sex is prohibited."

    Duarte concluded that preventing a marriage between persons of the same sex violates 12 fundamental rights, in addition to it being a deprivation of 26 guarantees that married couples have. The jurist clarified that he is not looking for a "discriminatory" resolution in which new ad hoc mechanisms are placed on homosexual couples, but rather that the option of an equal marriage institution for all people be opened.

  • 46. allan120102  |  November 11, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    Thanks Rick, you are the best in this things. I was not sure if it was the same case and the newspaper was until now mentioning it, so I was careful of posting the same info. Thanks for clarifying that it was indeed a second challenge and from a different lawyer.

  • 47. allan120102  |  November 11, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Andddd again the SLP ban was declare unconstitutional by an appeals court after a a judge denied an amparo against this articles. I am not sure why judges are still being stubborn when the supreme court already rule the bans were unconstitutional and would be struck down again and again.

  • 48. VIRick  |  November 12, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    At the bare minimum, this would be amparo #4 granted to a same-sex couple to marry in San Luis Potosí.

    On 9 November 2016, a 3-judge federal appeals court overturned the denial of amparo 157/2016 by a federal district judge from 10 March 2016. In doing so, the First Appeals Court for Civil and Administrative Matters simultaneously declared Article 15 of the Family Code of San Luis Potosí unconstitutional for defining marriage as "between one man and one woman."

    I also do not understand how the district court judge could have originally denied the amparo almost 9 months after the Supreme Court of Mexico declared its jurisprudence, binding all federal judges to grant such amparos to same-sex couples.

  • 49. 1grod  |  November 12, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Ian or others may have posted this, but on the off chance that it was missed this October article references the recalcitrant Alabama county probate judges who continue to not issue marriage licenses: The 8 counties represent 6% of the state population. The county with the largest populated – Elmore – has 79,303 citizens. The median population is 25,161.

  • 50. 1grod  |  November 12, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    To be clear, the hold-out countries are: Autauga (pop 55,514), Choctaw (13,633), Clarke ( 24,161), Cleburne (14,832), Covington (37955), Elmore (79,303), Pike (32,899) and Washington (17,581) counties

  • 51. allan120102  |  November 12, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Geneva is also a holdout. They are 9 instead of 8 not issuing.

  • 52. scream4ever  |  November 12, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Geneva is not issuing just to same-sex couples correct?

  • 53. allan120102  |  November 12, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Geneva is not issuing to anyone nor same sex or heterosexual couples.

  • 54. VIRick  |  November 12, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Mexico: Nueva Alianza, in Favor of the Approval of Marriage Equality

    Nueva Alianza, a Favor de la Aprobación del Matrimonio Igualitario

    Ciudad de México, 10 de noviembre de 2016 (Agencia ANA)

    Nueva Alianza está a favor de garantizar el derecho al matrimonio igualitario, actualmente negado para un grupo de la población y que debe ser reconocido en la legislación constitucional.

    El voto turquesa emitido ayer en la sesión de la Comisión de Puntos Constitucionales de la Cámara de Diputados, no fue en contra de la unión entre personas del mismo sexo, sino a favor de garantizar las condiciones óptimas para obtener su aprobación en el Pleno camaral.

    Al respecto, el presidente del Comité de Dirección Nacional de Nueva Alianza, Luis Castro Obregón, aseguró que es claro que la propuesta sobre el matrimonio igualitario del Ejecutivo federal pretende ser congruente con el precepto planteado en el Artículo 4° constitucional, y que el partido turquesa ha defendido en todos los ámbitos.

    Nueva Alianza is in favor of guaranteeing the right to equal marriage, currently denied for a group of the population, and which must be recognized in federal constitutional legislation.

    The turquoise vote (Nueva Alianza) issued yesterday, 9 November 2016, at the Chamber of Deputies Commission on Constitutional Points was not against the union of persons of the same sex, but in favor of guaranteeing the optimal conditions to obtain its approval in the full session.

    In this regard, Luis Castro Obregón, president of the Nueva Alianza National Committee, said that it is clear that the proposal on equal marriage from the Federal Executive intends to be consistent with the precept set forth in Article 4 of the Constitution, and that Nueva Alianza has defended it in all areas.

    Nueva Alianza is a splinter political party which broke away from the predominant, middle ground PRI. However, it has become the main party in Nuevo León, and has been vociferously anti-Trump ever since he first announced his candidacy. The special appeal of Nueva Alianza there is simple. Given the situation of its capital and main city, Monterrey, as the combined Pittsburgh and Detroit of Mexico, that state is quite in favor of very open borders, NAFTA, and free trade (like right-wing PAN, but much more adamantly noisy in their total disgust with Trump and his endless venom directed toward Mexico). But Nueva Alianza does not take a right-wing business view on social issues, like PAN does. Instead, it agrees with the left-leaning PRD, and thus, is pro-marriage equality.

    A friend of mine recently sent me this pic as a summary of what I'm expressing:

  • 55. allan120102  |  November 12, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Marriages will occur in Queretaro city without the need of an amparo said the president of the municipality after the secretary of government of the state prevent couples from getting married in the municipality. Rick you have state that ssm could occur in QTR city but looks like bigots prevent couples from succeeding unless they got an amparo, but this is now over. The president of the municipality have state that if judges in the municipality ask ss couples for amparos he will personally fired them as QR city is an inclusive place.

  • 56. VIRick  |  November 12, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Querétaro: Same-Sex Marriage Legal Since Mid-2015

    Here's what the civil registrar for Ciudad Querétaro had to say back in May 2016, before any interference:

    Querétaro, Querétaro, 18 May 2016.- In the municipality of Querétaro, there have been 12 same-sex marriages without the necessity of filing for an amparo, said Guadalupe Yáñez Alanís, director of the Civil Registry.

    She explained that although they have not changed local (i.e., state) laws to include marriages between same-sex couples, civil registry officials are obliged to abide by the law as adopted by the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of Justice, one that respects the human rights of all people.

    "Since last year (2015), following the pronouncement of the Supreme Court which has already caused the jurisprudence, in the city of Querétaro, on instructions from the mayor, we have adhered to the law and have respected human rights, so we do not ask for injunctions," said the official of the Civil Registry.

    Quite recently, the secretary of the municipal government, Manuel Velázquez Pegueros, apparently briefly attempted to assert otherwise. The mayor of Ciudad Querétaro, Marcos Aguilar Vega, then re-asserted their inclusive policy of non-discrimination for same-sex couples wishing to marry,– no amparo needed, and any judge who demands one will be fired.

    Mexico's Supreme Court has not issued any specific ruling directed against Querétaro (neither city nor state), and they couldn't, even if they wanted, as no case from Querétaro was ever appealed by anyone (and in any event, it is now too way late). Instead, the Civil Registrar for Querétaro is taking a progressive, forward-thinking, long term view that the Supreme Court has issued its jurisprudence, and that they, in Querétaro, are abiding by it. The 5 amparos for Querétaro have been granted, and that was all that was needed.

  • 57. ianbirmingham  |  November 12, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    The Mike Pence (Donald Trump) Assault On LGBTQ Equality Is Already Underway
    It’s only a matter of time before we know the full magnitude.

  • 58. Rick55845  |  November 14, 2016 at 6:44 am

    This is the most depressing thing I've read since the disastrous election.

    It was hard enough to fight anti-LGBTQ forces when a more-or-less friendly administration was in control of the White House. How is it even possible to fight when Republicans have the votes in both houses to pass any law they like?

    If Obergefell is overturned, Texas (where my husband and I live) and many other states will stop recognizing our marriage. I don't want to go back to that state of affairs. I'm really worried.

  • 59. VIRick  |  November 12, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Perú: Constitutional Court Recognizes the Right to Gender Identity

    Perú: Tribunal Constitucional Reconoce Derecho a la Identidad de Género

    Per Matrimonio Igualitario Perú: ·

    Today, 8 November 2016, the Constitutional Court of Perú has changed its position with regard to transsexualism, and acknowledged in a new judgment just published that people are not only defined by their biological sex, but that one must also take into consideration their psychic and social reality. So, the Court now recognizes the right of transgender persons to their gender identity. With this decision, trans people throughout Perú may apply for the modification of their data in their identity documents before the judges in charge who must now follow the new criteria of this judgment.

    In a stunning, unexpected court decision, Perú, like Bolivia's recent legislation, just catapulted the recognition of gender identity way ahead of same-sex marriage. One can now be hopeful that the Constitutional Court of Perú will continue to finish the job and recognize same-sex marriage, just as it has with gender identity. Unlike Bolivia or Ecuador, there is nothing in the written constitution of Perú that would block them from doing so. And Perú's Constitutional Court works like the one in Colombia,– one definitive decision, and it automatically has nationwide effect.

    And to say the least, this was not the only stunningly unexpected decision to have occurred somewhere in this world on 8 November.

  • 60. allan120102  |  November 13, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Yucatan the only state in the Yucatan Peninsula( Yucatan,along with QR and Campeche form the Peninsula) who does not have same sex marriage continues to buckle the trend even though its one of the states that have most same sex couples getting married. Amparos are being grated right and forth with the countdown reaching near 50 or more and still the governor and legislators continue to denied the modificaition of their civil code. More same sex couples are expected to get married . Lawyers continue to pressure the state to legalize ssm but it looks like its falling in deaf ears.

  • 61. allan120102  |  November 13, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Incredible but Costa Ricans are more in favor of ss adoption than marriage. Opposition continues to drop and acceptance continues to grow. Almost every political party is in favor of ss couples adoption except one. Other 2 say they have no opinion and the rest are in favor. Many are believing than in mid term Costa rica will legalize ssm . This thinking is in favor 45% against 49%. Meanwhile a poll in this newspaper base on vote result in 45% in favor of same sex marriage against 55%. This is remarkable for CR even if its the most liberal country in CA. Once this ban falls there would be no turning back for the rest.

  • 62. theperchybird  |  November 13, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Happened all the time with European governments. From Scandinavia to Great Britain and some overseas UK territories, adoption rights were available for years before same-sex marriage was.

  • 63. guitaristbl  |  November 14, 2016 at 1:30 am

    Trump says its "irrelevant" whether he supports same sex marriage, its "settled",but Roe v. Wade has to be overturned :

    And of course fails to properly answer the counter question about his appointees being opposed to marriage equality as well, not only abortion (since those 2 go hand in hand).

    Ginsburg Breyer and Kennedy better hold on for 4 years or its going to be bad.

  • 64. JayJonson  |  November 14, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Sober analysis of how Trump/Pence will roll back our gains.

  • 65. guitaristbl  |  November 14, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    That's a milder analysis than what I am used to these days..This seems like a best case scenario..

  • 66. VIRick  |  November 14, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Indonesia: Secret Pageant Defies Islamic Hardliners to Crown Miss Indonesia Transgender

    Transgender people and gay activists from across Indonesia have defied a wave of hatred against sexual minorities to crown a Miss Transgender at a national pageant held in absolute secrecy. A handful of journalists were notified just a few hours in advance of the location of the event, held in the capital, Jakarta, to prevent any attempts by Islamic hard-liners to shut down the pageant. And because of the risk of discovery and violence, organizers asked those present not to post anything on social media during the contest.

    Qienabh Tappii, a 28-year-old representing Jakarta who wore a figure-hugging, iridescent metallic gown, triumphed over more than 30 other contestants Friday night, 11 November 2016, to be crowned Miss Waria Indonesia 2016. She will represent Indonesia at an international pageant to be held in Thailand next year. “Waria” is the Indonesian word for transgender, a term for people whose sense of their gender is different from their sex at birth.

  • 67. VIRick  |  November 14, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Provo UT: LGBTQ Center Opening Directly Across from Mormon Temple

    The conservative town of Provo UT is about to get its first LGBTQ community resource center and it will be directly across the street from the Mormon temple.

    “For LGBT youth who grow up in the Mormon Church, there can easily be a feeling of resentment or anger towards the church for not making them feel welcome, safe, or accepted,” volunteer Trevor Johnson told NPR. “Like my own story, I think anybody who is gay and is struggling to come out – loneliness is, I think, the biggest and most destructive piece.”

  • 68. bayareajohn  |  November 14, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Maybe it's just me, but if I were an anxious adolescent raised in a strict homophobic religion, I'd be pretty reluctant to attend a the LGBTQ community center across the street from where all my family and friends worship.

  • 69. VIRick  |  November 14, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    On the other hand, there is some deep karmic symbolism in proudly being situated "on the other side of the street." The article does not say, but perhaps the LGBTQ Center will have thoughtfully installed a second entrance on one side of their building that can not be surveilled from the Mormon temple for those too shy to enter from the street.

    One further notes that the awe-inspiring Rainbow Gay House in Topeka KS also sits directly across the street from the WBC.

  • 70. VIRick  |  November 14, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Malta: Same-Sex Civil Unions Up-Date

    To date, in total, 153 couples have taken advantage of Malta’s 2014 law which legalized same-sex civil partnerships. The law was introduced in April 2014, and legalized civil unions and adoption for same-sex couples. It also meant recognition for marriages entered into abroad as civil unions, and recognition of foreign civil unions.

    A parliamentary question answered today, 14 November 2016, by civil liberties minister Helena Dalli revealed that 120 couples have entered civil unions in Malta since 2014. It also showed that 15 couples entered into civil unions abroad, returning to register their status in Malta. A further 18 couples entered into same-sex marriages abroad, and then registered as civilly-partnered in Malta.

    Four same-sex couples have applied for and been approved for adoption in the country, and one couple had already adopted.

  • 71. VIRick  |  November 14, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Canada: PM Trudeau Promises Anal Sex Equality

    Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to change the law to equalize the age of consent for anal sex. At present, in Canada, the federal age of consent is 16; but, for anal intercourse outside of marriage, the age of consent is 18.

    Canada also still technically criminalizes anal intercourse if more than two people are present, unlike other forms of sexual activity where no such restriction applies. The law affects couples both straight and gay. However, it indirectly discriminates against same-sex couples, as a gay male couple cannot have vaginal sex.

  • 72. VIRick  |  November 14, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Mexico: Guanajuato: Another Same-Sex Marriage, #25 and Counting

    Irapuato, Guanajuato – Irapuato encabeza la lista en el estado con más matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo. El dirigente de Organización de Base Comunitaria, Raúl Ruiz Valtierra, dijo que le siguen los municipios de León, Salamanca y Cortázar.

    Reconoció que esa apertura ha generado interés en otras parejas del mismo sexo en unirse por la vía civil. Sin embargo reconoció que se trata de un proceso complicado y que puede demorar.

    Este lunes, 14 de noviembre 2016, dos mujeres se unieron en matrimonio en el registro civil de Benito Juárez (en Irapuato). Tras un proceso que tuvo que llegar al amparo, este día Karen Ramírez y María Guadalupe Hernández Vázquez se unieron en matrimonio. Esta pareja tardó cinco meses en poder obtener el amparo de la justicia para que celebraran su unión.

    Irapuato, Guanajuato.- Irapuato heads the list in the state with the most marriages between same-sex couples. The director of Organización de Base Comunitaria, Raúl Ruiz Valtierra, said it is followed by the municipalities of León, Silao, Salamanca, and Cortázar.

    He acknowledged that this opening has generated interest from other same-sex couples in being joined by civil marriage. However, he acknowledged that it is a complicated process that can take time.

    Today, 14 November 2016, two women joined in marriage in the civil registry of Benito Juárez (in Irapuato). After a process that required the granting of an amparo, this day Karen Ramírez and María Guadalupe Hernández Vázquez were joined in marriage. This couple waited five months to obtain the amparo in order to celebrate their union.

    NOTE: Guanajuato is the state where, within the past several months, judges have begun issuing amparos to same-sex couples practically upon request, as a mere 5-month wait is considered quite speedy under Mexican procedures. Amparo #10 was only issued in mid-August 2016, and it took the courts there 3 years to get to that number. Since then, in less than 3 months, they are suddenly at #25.

  • 73. VIRick  |  November 14, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Vice President-Elect Mike Pence Sues To Hide His Emails

    Politico reports:

    Vice President-elect Mike Pence is seeking to keep secret the contents of an email relating to Indiana’s participation, at his behest, in a lawsuit to block President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

    Pence’s administration brought in an outside law firm to join the litigation, which was spearheaded by Texas Gov. Greg Abbot. The move prompted one Indianapolis lawyer to request documents related to the decision to bring in outside counsel.

    The effort to shield an email from public scrutiny follows an election in which Hillary Clinton’s campaign was hounded by her use of a private email server while serving at the State Department — a move that was criticized as both a security risk and a blow against transparency.

    The decision was appealed, and the Indiana Court of Appeals is set to hear oral arguments in Indianapolis on 21 November. Pence’s office did not immediately respond to POLITICO’s request for comment.

  • 74. davepCA  |  November 14, 2016 at 11:21 pm


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