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Open thread and a couple news updates on the upcoming Trump administration

Community/Meta Right-wing Transgender Rights

This is an open thread.

Some news:

– We don’t yet know what’s going to happen to Gloucester County School Board v. GG, the transgender rights case in the Supreme Court. It hasn’t been set for argument, and it’s unclear how many Justices will be on the Court when it’s heard. The case can’t simply go away though, even if Trump rescinds the Obama administration’s guidance letters, because the Court also accepted the question of whether the pro-trans policy is lawful even without those guidelines. So we’re waiting to see what’s happening there.

– Trump today asked Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to be attorney general in his administration. Sessions has a long history of anti-LGBT views.

– Several LGBT legal orgs and writers are letting LGBT people know how to protect their rights regarding gender identity and sexual orientation, when policies start changing in the new administration.

– Eric Fanning, Secretary of the Army, is skeptical that the new administration would overturn transgender inclusion in the military. This is an area that people should watch closely to make sure the policy stays in place.


  • 1. guitaristbl  |  November 18, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Thomas and Alito paying their tributes to their ideological bosses (federalist society) and showing how they can't contain their happiness that they will get another far right hack to replace scalia :

    Thomas seems more than ready to overturn Obergefell…
    I cant believe a year and a half after this landmark victory something like this is actually one justice's death away from happening..

  • 2. scream4ever  |  November 18, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    We will NEVER allow it to happen, by any means necessary.

  • 3. Zack12  |  November 20, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Those who keep saying Thomas was a puppet of Scalia have done a disservice in that area as far as I'm concerned.
    If anything, he is even worse then Scalia and this speech (among others) proves it.

  • 4. bythesea66  |  November 25, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Agreed. He is far worse and far less competent believe it or not.

  • 5. VIRick  |  November 18, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Minnesota State Judge Overturns Ban on Transgender Insurance Coverage

    Transgender Minnesotans who receive public insurance now qualify for coverage of transition-related health care, after a Minnesota state judge on Monday, 14 November 2016, ruled the state’s 11-year ban on transgender coverage unconstitutional, the "Star Tribune" reports.

    With the help of ACLU of Minnesota and OutFront Minnesota, 64-year-old trans man, Evan Thomas, sued the Minnesota Department of Human Services for the right to have his top surgery covered by Medical Assistance. Not only did his doctor deem the double mastectomy medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria, Thomas’s efforts to alleviate the dysphoria by binding led to chest infections and acute bronchitis.

    The Department of Human Services said in a statement on 16 November 2016 that the decision will help bring Minnesota into compliance with the new Affordable Care Act regulation requiring states to cover surgeries by January. It had argued that the case was moot because of those very rules, but Judge William Leary noted that it is unclear whether those federal policies will remain.

    Ultimately, the ruling returns Minnesota to an earlier precedent. Think Progress notes that in 1977, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Medical Assistance must cover transition-related surgeries. After a decade of incomplete efforts, the legislature banned surgical coverage for transgender people in 2005. That legislative ban has now been overturned.

  • 6. Christian0811  |  November 28, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    And the 1977 ruling!

  • 7. VIRick  |  November 18, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Some Comments and Observtions:

    We seem to be living in a parallel universe, one in which the courts continue to render decisions based on current law, including the various administrative rules and regulations presently in place, while seemingly ignoring the looming elephant-in-the-room. At the barest minimum, for the next two months, the courts will continue to do so, precisely as they are continuing to do at this very moment, building and adding on as much precedent as is humanly possible in the same over-all direction we have been heading for the last number of years..

    In fact, once the new administration takes over, the courts ought to be able to continue functioning just as they presently are, continuing in that same over-all direction which the courts are currently following. The new administration can not even begin to have an influence over the courts until various nominations have been made, and those nominations have actually been approved and confirmed. In the meantime, ugly nominations must be delayed, blocked, tied up, filibustered, voted down, whatever it takes.

    Federally-appointed judges at all levels receive life-time appointments, so as a result, all sitting judges will remain in place, thus providing for certain level of assured continuity. And state judges are state judges, and will continue to reflect state policy.

    But over a period of time, federal rules and regulations can be eroded, even rescinded. And the Dept. of Justice may become less vigorous in its advocacy and enforcement of rights issues. That's where the ACLU, Lambda Legal, ADF, HRC, GLAAD, SPLC, NAACP, and other like-minded legal assistance groups then come into even greater play, taking on a much greater role as advocates in protecting human rights. Monetary donations to all of these rights groups have sky-rocketed, setting new dollar-amount records. Eventually, their collective job could prove to be a monumental task. But the build-up to reach that level of intensity will be slow, simply because the courts themselves tend to operate slowly and deliberately.

  • 8. scream4ever  |  November 18, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    You hit the nail right on the head. We will continue to see progress through the courts through Trump's administration, but we can no longer count on the federal government to advocate on our behalf. Keep in mind that Lawrence V Texas was decided during Bush's Presidency.

    As for Gloucester, I predict that the Supreme Court will toss out the first question as the issue is effectively moot with the new administration being likely to rescind the guidance letter. I do predict they will rule in our favor on the merits though.

  • 9. VIRick  |  November 18, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    Right at the time when the Supreme Court granted certiorari to "G.G.," most court-watchers were quite surprised that the Court did not wait on granting certiorari until after there had been an appeals court split, given that that's their normal procedure, and one to which they had faithfully adhered in the marriage equality cases.

    Thus, immediately after the granting of certiorari, the fully-revised court-watchers' consensus opinion deemed that the Court had signaled their desire to resolve the entire trans rights issue on the merits, and to do so with finality, sooner rather than later, and to be done with it, with precedent firmly set in our favor. Given the outcome of the subsequent presidential election results, the Court's decision to grant certiorari when it did already seems prescient. Given the Court's current composition, we are likely to see a favorable 5-3 decision by June 2017.

  • 10. VIRick  |  November 18, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Yikes! Higher up, I meant to state the ADL (Anti-Defamation League).

    Instead, I scrambled the alphabet soup, and said ADF, one of the more belligerent ass-hat legal groups which constantly fights us.

    And by the way, the ADL, which had not been overly active in most of the recent LGBT rights cases of major importance to us, have really stirred themselves into full-on "alarm" mode since the presidential election, in dreaded anticipation of an up-coming spate of challenging cases. The ADL, like the similarly-minded NAACP, of course, have their own particular reference point and base to defend, but certainly must be viewed as allied forces.

  • 11. allan120102  |  November 18, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Its not done until its done. Deputy from PRD intuit that deputies from PRI and PAN were going to throw out the initiative of Peña Nieto, so he put a proyect with the words and everything without changing anything. That means that it would need to be discussed in the senate.

  • 12. VIRick  |  November 18, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    A Resolution by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors

    On 17 November 2016, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved the following Resolution responding to the election of Donald Trump and reaffirming San Francisco’s commitment to the values his election threatens.

    WHEREAS, On November 8, 2016, American voters elected an erratic, ill-informed racist and misogynist as President; now, therefore, be it

    RESOLVED, That no matter the threats, San Francisco will remain a Sanctuary City. We will not turn our back on the men and women from other countries who help make this city great, and who represent over one third of our population. This is the Golden Gate—we build bridges, not walls; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That we will never back down on women’s rights, whether in healthcare, the workplace, or any other area threatened by a man who treats women as obstacles to be demeaned or objects to be assaulted. And just as
    important, we will ensure our young girls grow up with role models who show them they can be or do anything; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That there will be no conversion therapy, no withdrawal of
    rights in San Francisco. We began hosting gay weddings twelve years ago, and we are not stopping now. And to all the LGBTQ people all over the country who feel scared, bullied, or alone: You matter. You are seen; you are loved; and San Francisco will never stop fighting for you; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That we still believe in this nation’s founding principle of religious freedom. We do not ban people for their faith. And the only lists we keep are on invitations to come pray together; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That Black Lives Matter in San Francisco, even if they may not in the White House. And guided by President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, we will continue reforming our police department, and rebuilding trust between police and communities of color so all citizens feel safe in their neighborhoods; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That climate change is not a hoax, or a plot by the Chinese. In this city, surrounded by water on three sides, science matters. And we will continue our work on CleanPower, Zero Waste, and everything else we are doing to protect future generations; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That we have been providing universal health care in this city for nearly a decade, and if the new administration follows through on its callous promise to revoke health insurance from 20 million people, San Franciscans will be protected; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That we are the birthplace of the United Nations, a city made stronger by the thousands of international visitors we welcome every day. We will remain committed to internationalism and to our friends and allies around the world—whether the administration in Washington is or not; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That San Francisco will remain a Transit First city and will continue building Muni and BART systems we can all rely upon, whether this administration follows through on its platform to eliminate federal transit funding or not; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That California is the sixth largest economy in the world. The Bay Area is the innovation capital of the country. We will not be bullied by
    threats to revoke our federal funding, nor will we sacrifice our values or members of our community for your dollar; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That bigotry may have won an election, but it cannot change who we are, and it will never change our values. We argue, we campaign,
    we debate vigorously within San Francisco, but on these points we are 100% united. We will fight discrimination and recklessness in all its forms. We are one City. And we will move forward together.

  • 13. scream4ever  |  November 18, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    On a side note, NOM released their 2015 990 for the Educational Fund. A couple of points worth mentioning:

    -total revenue has barely declined from 2014. However, when looking at the 990 for the main political arm, they loaned a large sum to the Educational Fund.

    -like the main arm, grants and contributions to other organizations have all but ended, with them having reported just $500 ($2500 total when you combine both arms).

    Between the two arms, total revenue declined by more than 25% from 2014 to 2015. This is the third consecutive year in which revenue has declined. If their pathetic (not being announced until three weeks beforehand, having a fraction of past speakers and no media promotion, and only turning out a fraction of the crowd of past marches) March for Marriage this past June is any indication, they suffered from further declines in 2016. I doubt any increase in donations they may receive after Trump's victory will be enough for them to recover at this point.

  • 14. scream4ever  |  November 19, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Also of note, this did not appear to be reported in either of their 990s:

    Since the IRS requires that all contributions of $5000 or more are to be reported, this means that either they paid for just a fraction (or none) of the fine, or that it went unreported.

    In 2013, a similar situation occurred with the Maryland Marriage Alliance where NOM reimbursed them for $10000 for returning a donation from a known White Supremacist. The fact that they couldn't provide $5000 just two years later pants a dire picture for their future.

  • 15. VIRick  |  November 18, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    OMG! It's Going to Be a Long 4 Years

    Despite the fact that the coronation has yet to occur, the "Queen of England's" royal motorcade just absolutely had to travel from Trump Tower to his self-owned New Jersey country club right at 5 PM on a Friday afternoon, completely tying up traffic attempting to pass through the Lincoln Tunnel in both directions for well over an hour.

    And people thought that Christie's Bridgegate scandal at the George Washington Bridge was bad.

  • 16. ianbirmingham  |  November 19, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Take a look at President-elect Trump’s new chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Bannon is the same person who once said in a 2011 radio interview that feminists are “a bunch of dykes…” And as the head of the ultra-conservative website Breitbart News, he published articles with headlines like “Gay rights have made us dumber, it’s time to get back in the closet.” This is who Trump chose as White House senior strategist!

    Yesterday’s announcement — Trump’s selection of Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General — gives us all reason to double-down on our commitment for the fights ahead. In fact, Sessions was so extreme that he was a 2014 inductee into HRC’s Hall of Shame, and has consistently scored a 0 on our Congressional Scorecard. He even voted against hate crimes protections and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Now he stands poised to become our nation’s chief law enforcement officer.

    In addition to his record on LGBTQ issues, Sessions has also been one of the most anti-equality members of Congress.

    — He publicly opposes the Voting Rights Act – calling it “an act of intrusion;”
    — He voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act;
    — He stands firm against immigration reform; and
    — He has been on the wrong side of just about every civil rights issue during his long political career.

    In fact his racist views prevented him from being confirmed as a federal judge thirty years ago — imagine him as head of the United States Justice Department today.

    from Human Rights Campaign today

  • 17. VIRick  |  November 19, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Louisiana: Health Insurance on Hold in Dispute over LGBT-Rights Order

    Baton Rouge LA — Contracts to provide health insurance next year for 10,000 Louisiana state employees, retirees, and family members have become stalled because of the ongoing dispute over Gov. John Bel Edwards’ LGBT anti-discrimination order. House lawmakers allied with Attorney-General Jeff Landry refused to approve contracts for the Office of Group Benefits that contained LGBT-rights language required under an April executive order issued by Edwards.

    Landry, a Republican considered a possible rival for Edwards in the 2019 governor’s race, is challenging the constitutionality of the Democratic governor’s order that bans discrimination in state government and state contracts based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

    Lawmakers could get court guidance on 29 November, when a judge hears arguments in Landry’s lawsuit. But for now, the disagreement leaves the contracts in limbo. The House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee have to approve them, for the contracts to take effect. Without the deals, health plans that cover thousands of people could end on 1 January.

    Block, Edwards' counsel, said the Edwards administration doesn’t intend to renegotiate the three contracts with insurance companies Vantage Health Plan and Peoples Health to strip the anti-discrimination language. He accused the House lawmakers of trying to score “political points with people’s lives and health care. The governor is not altering his executive order, and his executive order requires this language to be in any contract. These [insurance companies] have voluntarily agreed,” he said.

    As soon as the joint Appropriations and Finance hearing on the three contract renewals began Friday afternoon, 18 November, it was clear that several House Republicans objected to the anti-discrimination language contained within the documents. House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, noted that previous versions of the contracts didn’t include the LGBT-rights clause. Rep. Rick Edmonds, R-Baton Rouge, said he wasn’t in favor of the anti-discrimination language unless Congress or the Louisiana Legislature enacts such protections into law.

    The House Appropriations Committee voted 14-6 to strip the language from one of the contracts. Senate Finance Chairman Eric LaFleur questioned whether that approach was legal, and senators didn’t vote on the issue at all.

    At the 29 November court hearing, Landry is seeking a court injunction blocking enforcement of Edwards’ order, saying it seeks to establish a new protected class of people that doesn’t exist in law and that lawmakers have refused to add. Edwards accuses Landry of repeatedly exceeding his authority, and wants the judge to set parameters around the attorney general’s power in office.

    On top of all of this, we also need to remember that Louisiana will be holding its run-off election on 9 December to fill its open US Senate seat. The two candidates in this run-off are: John Kennedy, R, and Foster Campbell, D, with the latter having been endorsed by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

  • 18. VIRick  |  November 19, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Meanwhile, back in civilization:

    Canada: Justin Trudeau Appoints LGBT Advisor

    On 15 November 2016, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named Randy Boissonnault as Special Advisor on LGBTQ2 (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two spirited) Issues. The MP from Edmonton Center will develop and coordinate the Canadian government’s LGBT agenda.

    “It is an honor and a privilege to be named to this role,” said Boissonnault in a statement. “I will work hard with the prime minister and the LGBTQ2 community to advance and protect their rights and address historical injustices they have endured.”

    His appointment came just a day after the Liberal government announced its intentions to repeal Section 159 of the Criminal Code. At present, anal sex is illegal below the age of 18, unless it is between a man and his wife. With the age of consent for sexual activity is 16, many see this law as discriminatory.

    “We have made great strides in securing legal rights for the LGBTQ2 community in Canada, from enshrining equality rights in the Charter to the passage of the Civil Marriage Act,” Trudeau said in a statement.

    May 2016 saw the tabling of Bill C-16, which recognizes and reduces the vulnerability of trans and other gender-diverse persons to discrimination, hate propaganda, and hate crimes.

    Boissonnault will be working with LGBT organizations, including Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, to promote equality for the LGBT community. Egale Canada, a national advocacy group promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans human rights, in June released “The Just Society Report” describing the types of discrimination faced by Canada’s LGBT community. Much of Boissonnault’s role will be in response to that report.

  • 19. VIRick  |  November 19, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    91-Year-Old Gay Veteran Sues to Update Discharge to ‘Honorable’

    A 91-year-old veteran discharged from the Air Force in 1948 for being gay has filed a federal lawsuit to upgrade his discharge status from “undesirable” to honorable.

    The lawsuit, filed Friday, 18 November 2016, on behalf of H. Edward Spires by law student interns at the New Haven CT-based Yale Law School Veterans Legal Services Clinic, contends the service’s refusal to change the “undesirable” designation violates the Administrative Procedure Act and the right to due process under the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

    “For nearly seventy years, the United States Air Force has denied Plaintiff H. Edward Spires the dignity of an honorable discharge because he is gay,” the complaint says. “At age 91, Mr. Spires asks the military to upgrade his discharge from ‘Undesirable’ for reason of ‘homosexuality’ to ‘Honorable,’ to reflect his faithful service to his country and his equality in the eyes of the country he served.”

    Spires enlisted in the Air Force in 1946, and was discharged in 1948, after being accused of being gay by his commander. Under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” upgrade of discharges for homosexuality was prohibited, but after the law was changed, the Pentagon initiated a process to upgrade the discharges. Since that time, the lawsuit says, Spires has submitted two discharge upgrade applications to the Air Force board, one in 2014 and another in 2016.

    But the Air Force denied both applications, the complaint says, on the grounds it cannot locate his records due to a 1973 fire. In fall 2016, the Air Force apparently elected to reconsider its most recent denial, the complaint says, but the service hasn’t indicated by when it will complete that process.

  • 20. VIRick  |  November 19, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    North Carolina: Democrat's Lead Over Anti-Gay Governor Grows

    Democratic challenger Roy Cooper has upped his lead over Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in the North Carolina governor’s race, where votes were still being counted 10 days after the election. Cooper’s lead was nearly 7,600 votes as of Friday afternoon, 18 November 2016, according to the Human Rights Campaign. McCrory, however, is challenging the vote in several counties and refuses to concede.

    Cooper led McCrory by about 5,000 votes on election night, and the margin has only grown since then. Friday, 18 November 2016, was the deadline for counties to certify their vote totals, making election results official, but officials in some counties say they wouldn't be able to meet it because of McCrory’s challenges, reports TV station WKTR, located in neighboring Virginia.

    He has filed challenges in 52 counties out of the state’s 100, alleging that votes were cast by dead people and convicted felons. But election boards in some counties, including Wake, Durham, Orange, and Halifax, have dismissed his complaints.

  • 21. guitaristbl  |  November 20, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    McCrory acts like such an immature child right now..In an election where NC went more red than expected and re elected a GOP senator he failed to carry that tide. He will have to live with that and the damage he has done to the state.

  • 22. VIRick  |  November 21, 2016 at 11:27 am

    North Carolina: Drama Continues as Governor-Elect Cooper Picks Transition Team

    With Election Day going on two weeks behind us, the North Carolina governor’s race drags on, with incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory trailing Attorney-General Roy Cooper by about 7,600 out of nearly 4.7 million votes cast.

    Today, 21 November 2016, Cooper announced the co-chairs of his transition team, Kristi Jones and Jim Phillips, sending a clear message that he has no intention of waiting around for McCrory to concede.

    McCrory’s campaign is supporting allegations of voter fraud in over half of the state’s 100 counties.

    The elections board in Durham County rejected McCrory’s call for a hand recount of 94,000 early ballots, and two other counties, Wake and Halifax, rejected complaints that included an allegation that computer issues had created improper voting conditions, WFAE reports.

  • 23. VIRick  |  November 22, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Another Up-Date on the North Carolina Governor's Race

    According to a phone call made last night to someone who knows, a number of McCrory's challenges about "dead people" voting turned out to be this:

    A certain handful of terminally-ill people voted in the early voting process while still alive, but then subsequently died just before the general election date. However, no one knows how any one specific individual may have voted. So, for all we can determine, they may have actually voted for Mc Crory,– or not voted for the governor's slot at all. There's no guarantee they voted for Cooper.

    Thus, even the Republican county election officials have grown exceedingly weary of these multiple challenges on very specious grounds. As a result, most all of the challenges have been dismissed unanimously, given that such nit-picking challenges attack their own personal integrity.

    At the present moment in North Carolina, each county's Board of Elections consists of two Republicans and one Democrat.

  • 24. VIRick  |  November 19, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    New Jersey: Federal Court Challenge Against Trans Surgery Requirement

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 18 November 2016, a new lawsuit, "Doe v. Arrisi," was filed in New Jersey federal court challenging the state's requirement that transgender people must undergo surgery in order to receive an amended birth certificate with an updated gender marker. The suit challenges New Jersey law, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 14th Amendment guarantees of Due Process and Equal Protection.

    Governor Chris Christie has previously vetoed legislation that would have removed the surgery requirement.

    The Complaint is here:

  • 25. ianbirmingham  |  November 19, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Alito outlines Trump-inspired conservative agenda for SCOTUS

  • 26. guitaristbl  |  November 20, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Terrifying that another person with this mindset will soon be sitting on SCOTUS.

  • 27. scream4ever  |  November 20, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Obama needs to just appoint Merrick Garland. Constitutional scholars say it will likely be upheld even if the Senate doesn't have him confirmed.

  • 28. Zack12  |  November 20, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Indeed, he'll have time to do it and since the Senate clearly waived its consent, he should just go ahead and do it.

  • 29. guitaristbl  |  November 20, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Can something like this be done ?
    I doubt he will do it and at this point it would only cause further turmoil..

  • 30. bayareajohn  |  November 20, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Yet this is exactly what Trump would do in this case. Turmoil-R-Us.

  • 31. JayJonson  |  November 20, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Some silver linings in the election.

  • 32. VIRick  |  November 20, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Iran and Transgender Rights

    Iran, an Islamic theocracy that criminalizes consensual same-sex relations, forces women to adhere to a strict and modest dress code in public, and has zero-tolerance for dissidents’ freedom of expression, presents a surprisingly lenient attitude on trans issues. On the surface, the Iranian government seems supportive of the trans community. Official reports reveal that gender confirmation surgery for trans individuals is subsidized by the state. Trans activists are also legally allowed to organize and register an advocacy group and benefit from public assistance, such as access to free office space provided by Tehran’s Municipality.

    In reality however, while the trans community in Iran enjoys more rights than in any other Muslim country in the region, pervasive social discrimination and legal abuse against trans individuals remains a constant fact of life.

    Over the past decade, the Iranian State Welfare Organization has provided consistent, though limited, support to trans individuals in need of medical, psychological, or financial assistance. Iranian universities, notoriously monitored and controlled by the government, organize conferences and research projects on the social status and medical needs of the trans community. Even pro-government Shiite religious leaders speak in defense of the trans community in sermons, books and articles, and media appearances.

    Iranian authorities firmly root trans experiences in pathological explanations, believing that it is a psychosexual disease. In Iran, trans individuals are officially referred to as people with a “gender identity disorder” (GID). This goes against global trends of declassifying trans identity as a disorder. But, in line with the narrow medicalized understanding of trans experiences, the Iranian government only recognizes the gender identity of trans people who have undergone complete gender confirmation surgery.

    These strict requirements are prohibitive. Not all trans individuals are willing, able, or allowed to surgically change their anatomy, as the right to access gender confirmation surgery is not guaranteed. The Iranian government has set up an elaborate legal and medical system to evaluate each and every sex reassignment application. Only those who successfully pass a long medical evaluation and are officially diagnosed with GID can obtain the government-issued license to start the gender reassignment process, and hopefully obtain their new legal national ID card, which reflects their gender identity.

  • 33. VIRick  |  November 20, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Melania Won’t Move To The White House So Son Can Continue Attending School In Manhattan (and color me totally unsurprised, but for multiple other reasons)

    "The New York Post" reports:

    Future First Lady Melania Trump and son Barron will not be moving to the White House after Donald Trump’s inauguration in January, "The Post" has learned. The president-elect’s 46-year-old wife and their 10-year-old son are staying put at the family’s glitzy Trump Tower penthouse so that Barron can continue attending his Upper West Side private school, sources told "The Post."….

    And in other news, the "Queen of England" is to be invited to Britain to visit the actual Queen of England in June 2017. This should go well. (huge eyeroll)

    The "Telegraph" reports:

    Donald Trump will receive an invitation to meet with the Queen in the summer of next year, according to reports. Ministers believe the Queen is their “secret weapon” and Theresa May will use the state visit to help strengthen the “special relationship” between Britain and the United States. The US president-elect reportedly told the Prime Minister during a phone call last week that his late Scottish mother was a “big fan” of the Queen.….

    Reality has totally overwhelmed me. I couldn't make this shit up, no matter how hard I might try. But placing these two announcements together, side-by-side, both made on the same day, tells us what kind of absentee figurehead we can expect, as the White House represents real work, whereas a visit to see the Queen represents twiddle. And twiddle will rule (along with late-night tweets), with everything else being rubber-stamped, at best.

  • 34. guitaristbl  |  November 21, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    In France, with Fillon having a commanding lead to win the nomination for the republican party there and their candidate being the most likely winner of the presidential election, adoption rights for same sex couples are in real danger.
    He is the only mainstream politician to support "Manif pour tous" and said he would repeal adoption rights for same sex couples.

  • 35. Christian0811  |  November 21, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    I doubt that'll be repealed, most people in France support it and even Le Pen has refused to address the issue any further. What's more is that it'd be forced to the Constitutional Council by either parliamentary referral or by QPC and it's fairly unlikely they would allow the ban to be reinstated with the current state of jurisprudence and social change regarding sexual orientation.

    And also let's remember the Socialists have gotten to appoint new members since the anti-marriage decision 5 years ago. I think the council is in our favor now

  • 36. Christian0811  |  November 21, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Most current members were appointed by the socialists

  • 37. theperchybird  |  November 21, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    True and it was likely liberals who give him and Juppe the edge in the first round. They think Sarkozy is the only one who could lose against Le Pen so an estimated 15% of people from the Left switched to be able to vote in the primary and punch out was seen as the biggest liability. A large part of them will also likely bite their tongue in the final round and vote for any center-right candidate just to stop Marine.

    Now THAT is choosing between the lesser of two evils and not Hillary *sigh*

  • 38. guitaristbl  |  November 22, 2016 at 12:12 am

    I mean if they are to get a Le Pen lite with Fillon whats the point for liberals ? Probably just the pro EU stance ?

  • 39. guitaristbl  |  November 22, 2016 at 12:11 am

    I do hope this means they are more inclined to rule for LGBT rights though. I dont know if french courts showcase the ideological divide US courts do.

  • 40. Christian0811  |  November 22, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Mme. Marine LePen isn't all that bad, I myself don't trust the EU (albeit I have some faith in the ECHR). We shouldn't confuse her with her vile father Jean-Marie with whom she's had a major falling out.

    That said, the socialists have the best track record on LGBT rights thus far

    Anyways, French courts aren't the same as US courts particularly when it comes to ideology. Can't say the same of the Constitutional Council but they aren't a court, they're a court branch of the government and a political, rather than judicial, body. They also don't do dissenting opinions.

  • 41. allan120102  |  November 21, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Good news coming from the united nations African nations were defeated for now i. Blocking the lgbt embassador.

  • 42. guitaristbl  |  November 22, 2016 at 12:16 am

    Hmmm I am afraid that with the US joining the african nations on LGBT issues soon such initiatives will face a hard time in the future.

  • 43. VIRick  |  November 22, 2016 at 11:30 am

    A Positive Ruling in the Intersex US Passport Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 22 November 2016, in "Zzyym v. Kerry," the federal case in District Court in Colorado involving an intersex person challenging the male/female, binary-only gender marker policy for US passports, Judge Jackson has issued his Order:

    "I find that the administrative record, as supplemented by the Fellows declaration, does not show that the decision-making process that resulted in the policy in question was rational. That is not to say that it can’t be done, but the Department’s first effort to get over the arbitrary and capricious hump was not convincing. The Court remands the matter to the Department (of State) for reconsideration. The Court will not address the constitutional issues unless and until it needs to."

    The Order is here:

    Lambda Legal's statement following today's decision is here:

    Lambda Legal is urging the State Department to issue accurate passports for non-binary people. This comes after a judge found that the State Department violated federal law in denying a passport to Lambda Legal client, Dana Zzyym, a US citizen and Navy veteran who is intersex. The State Department denied Dana’s application because Dana could not accurately choose either male or female on the form, which does not provide any other gender marker designation.

  • 44. VIRick  |  November 22, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    North Carolina: Multiple Up-Dates on Federal Cases Challenging HB2

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 21 November 2016, in both "Carcaño v. McCrory," the ACLU/Lambda Legal case challenging the North Carolina law, HB2, and in "United States v. North Carolina," the DOJ suing state and NC officials over HB2, the parties have filed a joint motion to stay these cases, pending the Supreme Court outcome in "Gloucester County School Board v. G.G.," EXCEPT as to the Federal Plaintiffs’ pending motion for a preliminary injunction in "USA v. NC."

    The motion for a stay is linked here:

    This is a request only as to proceedings in the district court (and excluding the DOJ preliminary injunction motion). The "Carcaño" plaintiffs’ appeal to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, as to the limited scope of the preliminary injunction issued in their case, is ongoing.

    In addition to this motion, parties responded to a 15 November Order in which Magistrate Judge Peake asked parties to submit position statements addressing the following:
    — In "Carcaño," state position as to the pending Motion for Preliminary Injunction on the due process claim, including the position they are taking in the district court and in the 4th Circuit appeal.
    — In "USA v. NC:" Whether or how the Supreme Court’s granting of certiorari in "G.G" should be considered with respect to the DOJ’s pending Motion for a Preliminary Injunction.

    Here are the parties' responses:
    • Carcaño Plaintiffs:
    • USA Plaintiffs:
    • UNC Defendants:
    • NC State Defendants and Intervenors Berger/Moore:

    On the same date, the "Carcaño" plaintiffs’ 3rd Amended Complaint has also been filed:

    The parties remain the same in the 3rd amended complaint. The primary difference is the inclusion of Count V, Violation of Title VII, as to Mr. Carcaño (pg 55), and factual statements to support that claim (pg 14). This reflects recent developments regarding Mr. Carcaño’s complaint filed with the EEOC in April.

  • 45. Fortguy  |  November 22, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    A Texas state senator has filed a bill that would force schools to out LGBT kids to their parents.

    CBS News: New Texas bill would force school to out gay students to their parents, critics say

    Sen. Konni Burton, a Tea Party wingnut, was first elected two years ago to fill the seat vacated by Wendy Davis when Davis ran unsuccessfully for governor.

  • 46. FredDorner  |  November 22, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    That's a mind-bogglingly stupid bill which threatens the lives and safety of at-risk kids. I suspect it also violates federal guidelines but I doubt the Trump admin would lift a finger to stop it.

  • 47. Christian0811  |  November 22, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Trump said in 2000 that he'd support a bill to add sexual orientation to the Civil Roghts Act, I worry that the rest of Congress doesn't share that mentality :/ If conservatives had to win, I'd rather that they be more libertarian in that respect at the very least

  • 48. guitaristbl  |  November 24, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Trump has said a billion things and not even since 2000 but in the last few months.

    Everyone has to realize at some point that Trump is just an ideologically void narcissist who only cares about himself and awards those who glorify him regardless of their ideology.
    Trump will not be forming the agenda. The agenda will be formed by Pence primarily and the republican congress secondarily – which is why this administration is so scary. Because the president elect is the least important and influential person in it.

  • 49. VIRick  |  November 22, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Texas: Judge Suspended After Telling New Citizens To Find Another Country If They Don’t Like Trump

    The San Antonio "Express-News" reports:

    A federal judge under fire for reportedly telling newly sworn-in US citizens last week that Donald Trump is “your president, and if you don’t like that, you need to go to another country,” was suspended on Monday, 21 November 2016, from overseeing further citizenship ceremonies. US Magistrate Judge John Primomo said he was not trying to tell the new Americans to leave if they didn’t like Trump.

    Despite his assurances, the US district judges at San Antonio’s federal courthouse — who appoint and oversee federal magistrate judges — issued a statement saying they “have determined that he will no longer be handling citizenship ceremonies, and the judges are meeting with him to see how this matter can be resolved and concluded.”

  • 50. allan120102  |  November 22, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Three deputies in Chile are asking an appeals court to stop the agreement that the government of Chile made to stop a lawsuit that three ss couples made to the interamerican court of justice. Saying that it should not be the power of the executive to do this things without a vote of the senate and that the senate should be the one to approve ss marriage.

  • 51. allan120102  |  November 22, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    The Executive's treatment with the organization aimed to promote a series of regulations that included the recognition of same-sex marriage, which in turn deactivated the lawsuit against the state before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. For the deputies who entered the writing, this should not be resolved via an invalid agreement for them, but all these changes to the law should be discussed in the congress.
    It was on June 11 of this year that the director of Human Rights of the Movimiento de Liberación y Integración Homosexual (Movilh), Rolando Jiménez, announced that the government had reached an agreement with the aforementioned organization to terminate its claim against the Chilean State The Inter-American Court of Human Rights
    The motive for this libel was that in Chile there is still no equal marriage, and it was generated from a requirement of three same-sex couples, who could not marry in the Civil Registry, or could not enforce their marriage in the Foreign. This was finally rejected by the various judicial bodies in Chile, precisely because there was no legislation at that time that would make such unions valid. That is why the legal presentation was made to the international human rights organization.
    The agreement reached by the Movilh with the government deactivated the legal offensive, and by the way established a series of commitments for the Executive, which included, among other things, a modification to the Zamudio Law, recognition of egalitarian marriage, recognition of Children of same-sex couples, and to promote the law of gender identity, among other things.

    In the opinion of UDI deputies Arturo Squella and Juan Antonio Coloma, together with the independent legislator, Jose Antonio Kast, the aforementioned agreement would be contrary to law, reason why they entered a brief to the Comptroller General of the Republic to declare Illegal "Friendly Settlement Agreement Case P 946-12".

  • 52. allan120102  |  November 22, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    "When one sees the friendly settlement agreement, he realizes that the State passes a judgment of the Court of Appeals, the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court, which are required by a request from three homosexual couples who Civil Registry to marry them, resorted to protection for that, "says the dynamo Deputy Jose Antonio Kast, for whom the agreement reached with the Movilh, to defuse the lawsuit," is the reflection that Human Rights In Chile they look from the party point of view and not institutional ".
    Kast specifies, as stated in the brief filed this morning to the Comptroller, that the said agreement, as an administrative act emanated from the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, General Secretariat of Government, Education, Women and Gender Equity, Health, Justice and Human Rights, together with a director of the Human Rights Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "They do not have the authority to reach that kind of transaction. So what we are proposing to the Comptroller, as these ministers did not have powers to reach this agreement, the administrative act has no value. And if the government wants to do something along those lines, it has to go to Congress. No problem sending adoption law for homosexual marriages, or promoting gay marriage, but that is the institutional way that they can not skip. "

    In the opinion of Kast, with this agreement they are passed to take the laws of Chile. "The State should defend itself before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and this happened before the substance of the matter was discussed. The state surrendered, let itself be won. And I, what I always see, like the State Defense Council, is that Chile is not allowed to win, and at the international level it should not be allowed to win. That is, what would happen with the Chile-Bolivia issue, if the ministers decide to deliver the Silala to Bolivia? It's the same ", according to the parliamentarian.

  • 53. VIRick  |  November 23, 2016 at 11:33 am

    North Carolina: Case Challenging Magistrates Recusal Law Appealed

    On 21 November 2016, in "Ansley v. Warren," the case challenging North Carolina's magistrates recusal law, the plaintiffs have filed an appeal of the District Court's Dismissal for Lack of Jurisdiction to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Per Equality Case Files:

    The Plaintiffs-Appellants' Opening Brief:

    "[D]espite its expressed view that Plaintiffs-Appellants should have standing to challenge this elevation of religious belief above the judicial oath and its concerns about SB2’s confidentiality provision, the district court granted Defendant-Appellee’s Motion to Dismiss on 21 September 2016, erroneously holding that Plaintiffs- Appellants lacked taxpayer standing … to challenge SB2."

    "Plaintiffs-Appellants have standing challenge to SB2 squarely under 'Flast v. Cohen.' As in 'Flast,' Plaintiffs-Appellants challenge a legislative enactment that spends taxpayer funds in furtherance of a single religious view—the religious objection to the recognition and exercise of the constitutionally-protected right to marry."

    " … this Court should REVERSE the District Court’s order granting Defendant-Appellee’s Motion to Dismiss, and REMAND for further proceedings."

  • 54. VIRick  |  November 23, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Hillary Clinton’s Popular Vote Lead Now Surpasses 2 MILLION

    As of early Wednesday, 23 November 206, Clinton has a total of 64,223,958 votes, compared to Trump’s 62,206,395 votes. And they're not done counting.

  • 55. tx64jm  |  November 23, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Gary Johnson got over 3 million votes. Thus, Clinton has only won a plurality. The Constitution says that in a plurality, the House decides the winner, which means that Trump still wins.

  • 56. VIRick  |  November 23, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Are you back again to harangue and harass with off-topic rejoinders and tidbits of mis-informtion? Since your last questionable appearance some months ago, your absence has not been missed.

    In fact, I figured that Dave's repeated admonishments to you, "Shoo, troll," had finally worked,– although, even at that, it felt as if it took exceedingly long for that simple, two-word message to sink in.

    I believe that the point regarding "plurality" only applies in the event there were to be a plurality of the Electoral College vote (a situation requiring at least 3 candidates receiving some votes, or a 269/269 tie), not to a plurality of the popular vote. The Constitution does not address the popular vote, solely focusing its attention upon the Electoral College and what to do if no candidate obtains a majority vote in the Electoral College.

  • 57. tx64jm  |  November 24, 2016 at 4:17 am

    The article you quoted says that Boxer has introduced a bill in Congress to replace the Electoral College with the popular vote:

    “Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Democratic lawmaker who supported Clinton, introduced legislation last week to abolish the Electoral College."

    In the event that the Electoral College were to be replaced with the popular vote, Clinton only has a plurality. Thus, the Constitution says that the House decides the President and the Senate decides the Vice President. So Trump/Pence still would have won.

    IOW, regardless of her vote count, Clinton still loses, which is the best thing that could have happened in this election.

  • 58. TheVirginian722  |  November 24, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Nope. Clinton would win under Senator Boxer's proposed constitutional amendment.

    Had you bothered to read her Senate Joint Resolution 41 (not "a bill"), you would know that it substitutes the popular vote for the Electoral College in its entirety. There would be no residual provision for the House or Senate being involved if no candidate received a majority. Finish first, and you win … period.

    (Interestingly, the proposal also extends the right to vote for President to voters in the United States territories.)

    Five times the candidate who led in the popular vote has lost in the Electoral College, and each time the disadvantaged candidate was the Democratic nominee. So one can't blame the Democratic Party for wanting to abolish the Electoral College, but neither Senator Boxer's proposal nor any other amendment like it has any chance of being adopted.

  • 59. tx64jm  |  November 24, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Nothing about SJR 41 says finish first and you win.

    Here's why:

    “Section 2. Congress may determine the time, place, and manner of holding the election, the entitlement to inclusion on the ballot, and the manner in which the results of the election shall be ascertained and declared.”.

    Do you really think Congress is going to say most votes wins for every election?

  • 60. TheVirginian722  |  November 24, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Of course. What other possible meaning could be ascribed to the "direct election" required by Section 1? If there were legitimate concern about the possibility of election by a mere plurality, runoffs (as in France) or ranked-choice voting (as just approved by Maine voters) could be considered.

    But under no circumstances would the House or Senate be entitled to usurp authority from the voters in the event of a first-place finisher lacking a majority of the vote.

  • 61. tx64jm  |  November 25, 2016 at 12:07 am

    It doesn't say "direct election". It says "direct vote".

    Big difference.

    Section 1 says "the people get to vote directly" and Section 2 says "Congress gets to determine how those direct votes are applied".

  • 62. VIRick  |  November 23, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Texas: Court Won’t Stay Decision Against Trans Student Protections

    On Tuesday, 22 November 2016, in Texas v. USA, despite a request from the US Justice Department for a stay pending appeal, District Judge Reed O’Connor declined to stay his decision against guidance from the Obama administration prohibiting schools from discriminating against transgender students.

    In a six-page decision, O’Connor ruled he won’t grant a stay on his ruling against the guidance, which also requires schools to allow transgender students to use the restroom consistent with their gender identity, on the basis the Obama administration is unlikely to succeed on appeal and won’t suffer irreparable injury.

    “The federal statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of ‘sex’ — the scope and meaning of which Defendants claim now includes gender identity — were promulgated more than forty years ago,” O’Connor writes. “The federal government did not articulate, much less enforce, the Guidelines’ interpretation of sex as including gender identity for nearly fifty years after Title VII was passed in 1964 and the Court views this delay as strong evidence that Defendants will suffer no irreparable injury if a stay is denied and enforcement of the Guidelines delayed until their legality is established.”

    The George W. Bush-appointed judge issued the nationwide injunction against the guidance as a result of litigation filed by Texas Attorney-General Ken Paxton on behalf of 12 states and two school districts. The Justice Department has already appealed the order to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

  • 63. scream4ever  |  November 23, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    It'll be interesting to see how this proceeds under the new administration.

  • 64. VIRick  |  November 23, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    One would think that the decision in the following case, already granted certiorari by the Supreme Court, would set the precedent governing transgender rights, especially in regard to their answer to question #3:

    Today, 28 October 2016, in "Gloucester County School Board v. G.G.," the school board's Supreme Court appeal of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in favor of the Virginia transgender high school student, the Supreme Court has agreed to take the case.

    The Court will be limiting itself to these two questions:

    2. If "Auer" is retained, should deference extend to an unpublished agency letter that, among other things, does not carry the force of law and was adopted in the context of the very dispute in which deference is sought?

    3. With or without deference to the agency, should the Department’s specific interpretation of Title IX and 34 C.F.R. § 106.33 be given effect?

    In light of this, too, one would think that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals (now that the instant case has moved away from Judge O'Connor in Texas) would place "Texas v. USA" on hold, pending the decision in "G.G." That would follow the pattern, already evolving in a number of other circuits, whereby the courts have been placing pending transgender cases on "hold" and will rule later, once "G.G." has been decided with finality.

  • 65. VIRick  |  November 25, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Precisely as anticipated, from immediately above:

    Nebraska: Court Grants Stay in Transgender Rights Case

    On 23 November 2016, in "Nebraska v. United States," the case involving assorted states challenging the inclusion of gender identity in the meaning of "sex" in Titles VII and IX, the parties asked for and were granted a stay of proceedings, pending the Supreme Court ruling in "Gloucester County School Board v. G.G."

    The order is here:

    As an interesting note, the US Magistrate Judge hearing this case, Cheryl R. Zwart, set a case management deadline of 17 July 2017 for the clerk to check on whether this case is ready for further progression. In other words, she has already determined that the decision in "G.G." will have been handed down at least 14 days prior to that date.

    Of further note, this case, "Nebraska v. USA," is identical to that of "Texas v. USA" in that they are both challenging the same point of law, but for a different combination of states. The Nebraska case (in the 8th Circuit) is now stayed, pending "G.G.," while Judge O'Connor in Texas, just one day prior, pointedly refused to do likewise. Thus, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will have to do his job for him (hopefully, while issuing him a strong reprimand).

    Judge O'Connor's homophobia is clearly showing, while his judicial restraint is not. On the other hand, Magistrate Judge Zwart in Nebraska followed the correct procedure, a matter which further highlights O'Connor's prejudice and antipathy even more.

  • 66. allan120102  |  November 24, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Of the 21 choices Trump gave for supreme court nominee which one is the most lenient in lgbt causes? He said that he will only choose from that list but Mitch MCconnell said he would also give some choices to Trump. Of all the names in there the most good for our cause would be Kelly Ayote but I doubt he choose her. If he choose Cruz its almost a re scalia so nothing would change, and I have a feeling Ginsburg might go out during his presidency as most presidents are reelect a second term.

  • 67. VIRick  |  November 24, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Since he seems to like to keep things within the "family," Trump should nominate his sister, who, believe it or not, is already a sitting federal judge and a Clinton appointee.

    From Wikipedia:

    Maryanne Trump Barry (formerly Desmond; born April 5, 1937) is a senior judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (Philadelphia). Her younger brother is businessman and President-elect of the United States, Donald Trump.

    As a conciliatory alternate, if he wants to show how magnanimous he can be, he should re-nominate Merrick Garland.

    Both are actually qualified to sit as a Supreme Court Justice.

  • 68. scream4ever  |  November 24, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    If Trump and Pence are as bad as I expect, they will definitely not win a second term.

  • 69. guitaristbl  |  November 24, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    I expecr either Pryor Jr or Colloton personally. Both reincarnations of Scalia and even worse probably

  • 70. scream4ever  |  November 24, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Pryor at least did rule in our favor in 2011 while on the 11th Circuit. The case involved a trans woman who was fired from her job in the Georgia Legislature. He joined onto the majority and said that trans discrimination was sex discrimination.

  • 71. VIRick  |  November 25, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    The precedent-setting case in question is "Glenn v. Brumby:"

    Vandy Beth Glenn worked for two years in the Georgia General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Counsel as an editor and proofreader of bill language. Glenn loved her job but privately struggled through years of unrelenting distress as a male. She was diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder (GID), a serious medical condition, and she prepared to undergo a course of professionally-guided treatment that included gender transition. In 2007, Glenn informed her immediate supervisor, Beth Yinger, that she planned to proceed with her transition from male to female. Yinger passed the information on to the General Assembly’s Legislative Counsel, Sewell Brumby, who is the head of the office in which Glenn worked. After confirming that Glenn intended to transition, Brumby fired her on the spot. On July 22, 2008, Lambda Legal brought a federal lawsuit against Georgia General Assembly officials on behalf of Glenn, asserting that her firing violated the Constitution’s equal protection guarantee because it treated her differently due to the nonconformity with gender stereotypes that she evidenced by her determination to live in accordance with her female gender identity. In addition, General Assembly officials disregarded Glenn’s GID and her needed treatment—also an equal protection violation.

    On 6 December 2011, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court ruling that the Georgia General Assembly discriminated against Glenn.

    This ruling established that within the 11th Circuit, transgender discrimination is sex discrimination and that gender stereotyping (for everyone) is discriminatory. The judges were Barkett, Pryor, and Kravitch. Barkett wrote the decision to which Pryor agreed.

    More detail can be found here:

  • 72. guitaristbl  |  November 24, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Also I seriously doubt he will be re elected. Populist goverments fall quickly under the burden of their unattainable promises.
    Dont put it past Ginsburg to stay even for 8 years thougb. She sais recently she feels good and her recent message to Trump, by wearing her dissent colar after the election shows she is not willing to go down withour a fight. Ginsburg is 83 she will be 91 in 8 years. She can do it.

  • 73. VIRick  |  November 24, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    There will not be any second term for this scary mess. In fact, I doubt they'll finish the first term. I am already envisioning a Gerald Ford redux scenario, whereby Paul Ryan ends up as President for an interval (and I am sure he does, too), but then gets clobbered in the next general election.

    Once the coronation has occurred, and the luster has faded, Trump will likely quit, resign, be thrown out, or croak, after he finally realizes that being president is a never-ending task and actually involves doing a lot of work, and equally importantly, because of the inherent conflict of interest, that he can not continue running his businesses and making his "deals" while sitting in the Oval Office. And ditto for Ivanka. She can not be running his businesses while still being some sort of hand-holding presidential advisor.

    Hopefully, before Trump becomes bored with being President, some insanely lurid scandal from Indiana, like serial gay sex with multiple interns, or something involving Pence's many past underhanded manipulations, like the Ivy Tech mess, the RFRA debacle and its aftermath, and/or his e-mails with the Texas A-G, will quickly oust Pence. And voila! We have Ryan.

  • 74. allan120102  |  November 24, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    I honestly prefer Trump than Pence. Pence is such a bastard, I almost cry not because of Trump winning but because of his choice as VP. South Carolina governor would have been much better imo, Vrick dont be sure he will not be elect a 2nd term look almost everyone in here was sure he was not going to be elect and look he win even democrat states like Michigan and Wisconsin that supposedly were safe democrats so never be sure of something.

  • 75. scream4ever  |  November 24, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Him getting elected was more due to a dislike of Hillary. Don't get me wrong I love her, but the other side has been out to get her for 30 years and she couldn't overcome it. Any other candidate with less baggage could've beaten him IMO.

  • 76. scream4ever  |  November 24, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    And Democrats will sweep it in 2018 and 2020, just in time for redistricting!!!

  • 77. VIRick  |  November 24, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Jill Stein Just Raised $2.5 Million To Start Recounts In 3 States

    The Green Party candidate began the crowdsourced campaign after some experts said they believed voting in three swing states may have been manipulated or hacked.

    Stein reached her $2.5 million goal in less than 24 hours after starting the fundraiser and ahead of the Friday deadline (25 November 2016) to cover filing fees for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — swing states that went to Donald Trump in the presidential election. Had those states been declared for Hillary Clinton, she would have passed the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the presidency.

    Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2 million, but Trump secured 290 electoral votes to take the presidency. The margins were especially close in Michigan, where the secretary of state said on Wednesday, 23 November 2016, that Trump led by 10,704 votes. In Wisconsin, he won by about 27,000.

    On Tuesday, "New York" magazine reported that a group of academics and election lawyers believed election results in the states could have been manipulated or hacked — by enough of a margin that Clinton could have won. Though there was no proof of a hack, the group lobbied the Clinton campaign to seek a recount and independent review, "New York" magazine reported.

    The Clinton campaign has not commented on the matter, and other election experts have been skeptical that a recount would show different results. But on Wednesday, 23 November 2016, the campaign of Green Party candidate Jill Stein launched a fundraising effort to review the integrity of the election, particularly where machine-counted voting machines were used.

    As of 1:45 a.m. CT Thursday morning, 24 November 2016, the campaign had raised $2.5 million and was still growing steadily. The campaign set a deadline of 4 p.m. CT on Friday, 25 November 2016, to raise the $1.1 million filing fee for a Wisconsin recount, $500,000 for Pennsylvania, and $600,000 for Michigan. Because donations were going through a campaign, donors are limited to giving $2,700 each. These are just the fees to start the filing process. There will still be additional costs for lawyers and others to see the recount through.

  • 78. VIRick  |  November 24, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    As of 10 PM EST on 24 November 2016, Jill Stein's campaign has collected $4.4 million dollars toward the recount effort. The deadlines for filing such recount requests are:

    Wisconsin, 4 PM CST, Friday, 25 November 2016
    Pennsylvania, 4 PM EST, Monday, 28 November 2016
    Michigan, 4 PM EST, Wednesday, 30 November 2016

    The head of elections in Wisconsin says that the state is preparing itself for a recount.

    And in Michigan, the electors are being withheld, due to the closeness of the count.

  • 79. scream4ever  |  November 24, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    If I was not recently unemployed I would donate BIG to this cause. If you can please chip in a few dollars. The future of our nation depends on it!!!

  • 80. VIRick  |  November 25, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    As of now (6 PM EST on 25 November 2016), in the Presidential election count in the 3 states for which Jill Stein is seeking a re-count and audit, the margins of the Republican vote over the Democratic vote are:

    Michigan 13,107
    Pennsylvania 57,588
    Wisconsin 27,506

  • 81. scream4ever  |  November 25, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Even if we just get one or two of these it will put a dent in Trump's margin and push more members of the Electoral College to not vote for him.

  • 82. VIRick  |  November 25, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Jill Stein Successfully Files For A Presidential Vote Recount In Wisconsin

    The petition was turned in shortly before the deadline of 4 PM CST on Friday, 25 November 2016, and the full cost, $2.5 million, has been paid.

    Her total fundraising effort has now exceeded $4.8 million.

  • 83. VIRick  |  November 26, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Trump Lead in Wisconsin Shrinks, Even Before Recount

    In Wisconsin, even before the recount begins, Donald Trump's vote totals have dropped by almost 5,000 votes (4931 votes) as errors are corrected. Meanwhile Hillary's totals have only dropped thus far by 199 votes. Trump's lead in Wisconsin has now dropped from 27,257 to only 22,525 votes according the the sources below. We were able to confirm the numbers by comparing the vote totals on 9 November that are still posted on CNN to the constantly updated totals on David Wasserman's national popular vote tracker. Trump truly has already lost almost 5,000 of his Wisconsin vote lead, and this involves only 3 of Wisconsin's 72 counties. And again, this is before the recount even begins.

    See article for more detail:

  • 84. scream4ever  |  November 26, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Hopefully this is a great sign of things to come.

  • 85. VIRick  |  November 24, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Brasil: Some Same-Sex Marriage Statistics

    La tasa de crecimiento de los matrimonios homosexuales en Brasil el año pasado fue cinco veces superior a la de los casamientos heterosexuales con respecto a 2014, según datos del Registro Civil divulgados hoy, 24 de noviembre 2016, por el Gobierno. Mientras que las uniones de parejas del mismo sexo en el Registro Civil aumentaron 15,7% en 2015, las de parejas de sexo diferente sólo crecieron 2,7%, de acuerdo con las estadísticas publicadas por el Instituto Brasileño de Geografía y Estadísticas (IBGE).

    En números absolutos, sin embargo, la cifra de casamientos entre homosexuales tan sólo representó el 0,5% del total en 2015. El año pasado fueron registrados 1.131.707 casamientos heterosexuales y 5.614 homosexuales. El número de uniones entre parejas del mismo sexo en 2015 saltó 51,7% en comparación con 2013, año en que el Gobierno aprobó la resolución que obliga a notarios y oficinas del registro civil a celebrar casamientos civiles entre parejas del mismo sexo y a convertir las Uniones Estables de homosexuales en casamientos.

    The growth rate of same-sex marriages in Brasil in 2015 was five times higher than that of heterosexual marriages compared to 2014, according to data from the Civil Registry released today, 24 November 2016, by the Government. While unions of same-sex couples at the Civil Registry increased by 15.7% in 2015, unions of different-sex couples grew only 2.7%, according to statistics published by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

    In absolute numbers, however, the number of same-sex marriages only accounted for 0.5% of the total in 2015, when 1,131,707 heterosexual marriages and 5,614 same-sex marriages were registered. The number of unions between same-sex couples in 2015 jumped 51.7% compared to 2013, when the government passed the resolution requiring notaries and civil registry offices to celebrate same-sex civil marriage and to convert Stable Unions of homosexuals into marriages.

  • 86. VIRick  |  November 25, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    New York Lawmaker Introduces Bill Banning Conversion Therapy, Trolling Pence

    Erie County NY Legislator Patrick Burke is trolling the vice-president-elect by introducing a bill banning conversion therapy under his name. Known as the Prevention of Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment — or PENCE for short — the legislation, if passed, would make the New York county just one of a few municipalities to block the practice. Currently, five states and DC prohibit the use of conversion therapy outright.

    The name is a direct jab at Mike Pence’s 2000 campaign website, which openly supported the harmful practice of attempting to “change” the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT minors.

    Burke told WBFO, Buffalo’s local NPR affiliate, that given Pence’s impending role in the White House, raising awareness about his anti-gay history is important.

    “Mike Pence is probably going to have the most power of any vice-president in the history of our country and he has openly advocated for conversion therapy,” he said. “I want that to sink into people. I want them to realize it’s a serious issue of abuse of children flatly, whether they are gay or not, it’s abuse, then you have a man who is going to have enormous power over all of us, who advocates for it.”

    Last year, New York State introduced a law that would block conversion therapy, but it stalled in the Senate, which is controlled by the GOP. Burke’s bill will be debated next year.

  • 87. scream4ever  |  November 25, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Governor Cuomo has already taken a huge step by directing state funds to not contribute to conversion therapy.

  • 88. VIRick  |  November 25, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Louisiana Lawmaker Investigated by FBI for Sexting Teen Boy Says He's Not Gay

    Mike Yenni, 40, a Republican, and President of Jefferson Parish LA, was revealed as sending the explicit texts to a 17-year-old earlier in the year. He admitted to sending the messages, but insisted he has no idea why, because “I’m not gay.”

    According to print-outs of text messages between them, Yenni allegedly told the teen he wanted him naked, would perform a sex act on him, and proposed a three-way with the older teen who put them in contact in the first place.

    The teenager claimed the pair met in a bathroom when the two kissed, and Yenni gave him designer underwear as a gift.

    Louisiana is just soooooo special in this regard. No other state, not even Alabama, can touch it when it comes to uncovering yet another lurid political sex scandal,– with or without prostitutes and/or wild-eyed, bible-beating preachers being involved.

  • 89. VIRick  |  November 25, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Mexico: Sinaloa: General Declaration of Unconstitutionality to Be Issued

    (freehand translation of breaking news for which I am unable to copy-and-paste)

    Per Tiago Ventura at the Comité de la Diversidad, Sinaloa, with a long communication from the Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos, issued late today, 25 November 2016, via Matrimonio Igualitario:

    Now that the 5th "amparo en revisión" before Mexico's Supreme Court from Sinaloa has been resolved in favor of marriage equality, they are in the process of notifying the state governor and state legislature of this resolution. Once they have received the certified copies of all five "amparos en revisión," the "General Declaration of Unconstitutionality" against Sinaloa will be issued by Mexico's Supreme Court.

    At long last, expect Sinaloa, as jurisdiction #12, to have marriage equality within days.

    Next on the list for a General Declaration of Unconstitutionality will be Baja California, followed by the "Actions of Unconstitutionality" already filed by rights groups against Aguascalientes, Puebla, and Chiapas.

  • 90. allan120102  |  November 25, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    They can fight all they want, but they are not going to win. At the end marriage equality will be the law of the land throught all of Mexico.
    Coming with bad news SLP vote 20 to 3 against legalizing ssm in the entity saying that every federal entity should decide how marriage should be, saying that there is nothing in the constitution that force marriage to ss couples,with how I am seeing things. SLP would be need to be forced by the supreme court to get marriage equality.

  • 91. allan120102  |  November 25, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    Good news from Australia, looks like South Australia would pass 4 bills in favor of lgbt rights the most far reaching is the one giving the rights to adopt to same sex couples. This will leave the northern territory as the only place in Australia were ss couples cant adopt. Now if only marriage could be approve Australia would be super cool more than its already is.

  • 92. Fortguy  |  November 26, 2016 at 12:21 am

    Fidel Castro has died at age 90.

  • 93. VIRick  |  November 26, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Since early January 1959, we've waited 57 years, 10 months, 23 days, and some hours for this singular event to occur.

  • 94. SethInMaryland  |  November 26, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Cuba may now have better chance at civil unions soon? I believe his bother supports civil union.

  • 95. scream4ever  |  November 26, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    His daughter is also a huge ally.

  • 96. VIRick  |  November 26, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Now that Fidel has gone, one has hopes that Mariela Castro, the head of Cuba's Center for Sex Education and the daughter of the current president of Cuba, Raul Castro, will finally be able to provide some concrete, tangible improvements in LGBT rights in Cuba, beyond certain staged marches she has recently managed.

  • 97. allan120102  |  November 26, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    I am not sure why Cuba cant advance in lgbt rights because compare to the other greater antilles acceptance of lgbt looks pretty good compare to the others with the exception of PR. Not sure what is holding back Cuba as Mariela Castro looks to be a really important political figure and she could easily convince some other legislators to approve civil unions.

  • 98. scream4ever  |  November 27, 2016 at 12:07 am

    Trump didn't get a mandate, and a recount is underway. We may be able to get out yet.

    No matter what, we are all in this together to the bitter end. I don't know about you all, but I'm ready to die for this.

  • 99. Phoenix_12  |  November 27, 2016 at 5:28 am

    Initiative to ban same-sex marriage in the canton of Zurich in Switzerland failed overwhelmingly. 19.09% Yes, 80.91% No

  • 100. theperchybird  |  November 27, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Not sure why they tried Zurich of all places, it's probably the most liberal canton and the reason why conservatives knew they lost the national marriage referendum as Zurich's votes were last and they fell behind and conceded before the canton was done counting.

  • 101. allan120102  |  November 27, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Lgbt groups should push for a referendum so switzerland might get marriage equality sooner than later.

  • 102. theperchybird  |  November 27, 2016 at 9:46 am

    They have to wait until the current bill is reviewed by both chambers of Parliament. Then the referendum will happen whether Parliament said Yes or No.

  • 103. JayJonson  |  November 27, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Interesting essay on the "Trump-induced mental health crisis" we are facing, especially lgbt youth. We must reassure young people that our movement is resilient and have bounced back from setbacks before.

  • 104. VIRick  |  November 27, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Nicolas, calm down some, try to ignore most of the scarier angles to the current politics, and become extremely focused on regularizing your own US citizenship as soon as you can. At the barest minimum, we've still got about two months before anything could even possibly begin to change. However, the current US citizenship application forms and processing procedures have not been revised or up-dated since the 1950s. It will take a massive bipartisan effort to make the many needed changes, but that's something which we can not realistically expect to see happen, no matter who is in charge. So, do not wait on it. There's a lot of clueless bluster and hateful noise coming from the top-most levels of what I assume will be the incoming administration, but the lower-level personnel and the antiquated forms and procedures they're stuck with, will not be changing.

    Under current immigration law, now that you are 18, and on your own as an adult for immigration purposes, your safest and surest bet would be to marry someone who is already a US citizen (and be absolutely certain that they already are). Then, immediately turn around and file for US citizenship for yourself, claiming the high-priority category of being the spouse of a US citizen. Still, the sooner you can do this, the better.

  • 105. theperchybird  |  November 27, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Fillon won 70% of the Republican primary in France. He'll easily sail to the final runoff of France's Presidential race and likely beat Le Pen who people predict to be his final opponent.

  • 106. Christian0811  |  November 27, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Yeah based on polling from May, she needs to close the gap by about 10%. I hope she does, but we'll see

  • 107. scream4ever  |  November 27, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    I thought we didn't want Le Pen to win though?

  • 108. SethInMaryland  |  November 27, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Well….. Maybe Fillion has found a way to out worse Le Pen? I don't know. Le Pen has tried to make some inroads lately with the lgbt community. Still they're a very xenophobic, anti Eu party

    I guess Le Pen is trying to form some weird coalition against Muslims and immigrants

  • 109. theperchybird  |  November 27, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    They're trying that route that Milo tries, to turn the community into people who feed off populism.

  • 110. Christian0811  |  November 27, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    I personally am anti-EU and empathize with her on immigration. I read in polling after several homophobic acts of violence by Muslims in Bordeaux and elsewhere almost a quarter of French gay men voted for FN in regional elections last year, so it's not surprising that she's gaining popularity while the left struggles to come up with a more coherent platform.

    In French law you can't take formal statistics on race, religion, or sexuality. At least last I knew.

    Perhaps Juppé will get past the failures of Hollande and get to the second round of elections in May 2017, but it's looking like Le Pen will face off with Fillion and we will want her to win if we want to keep our right to a family.

  • 111. theperchybird  |  November 28, 2016 at 5:39 am

    Juppe already lost his chance to win a primary. He's basically out.

    If anyone can come top 3 aside from Le Pen and Fillion, it's Macron who's seen as an outsider.

  • 112. Christian0811  |  November 28, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    lol unpopular opinion, oh well anyways…

    IMO Juppé will do more good as the President of the Constitutional Council as a political counterbalance. If she did let a more regressive law through I'd like to believe the CC, with him at the helm, would reject it. She's still a conservative and I have my concerns as a result.

    Another concern I have is that Juppé might continue the tradition of the CC "exercising judicial restraint". That's partly why the 2011 decision came through alongside the burqa ban. Both of which I regarded as clear contraventions of the constitution. So I hope he's at least a bit more interventionist during his tenure.

    What I'm hoping for is for a de-facto political balance if Le Pen is elected, I genuinely think she's the more moderate of the two (regarding Fillion).

    Is Macron the disowned former economy minister?

  • 113. guitaristbl  |  November 28, 2016 at 6:29 am

    It's a choice between a rock and a hard place for LGBT french people and liberal people in general. Same sex couples with children especially or those who plan to adopt will most likely have a choice between who they want to take their rights away. Fillon and Le Pen are more close ideologically than most people think.

  • 114. VIRick  |  November 27, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Coahuila: Seven Same-Sex Couples Marry in Saltillo

    Coahuila: Se Casan Siete Parejas Gays en Saltillo

    En 26 de noviembre 2016, siete parejas del mismo sexo participaron en una boda comunitaria celebrada en la Casa del Artesano, la ceremonia tuvo como testigos a familiares y amigos de las parejas. Al término del evento, el presidente de la comunidad San Elredo pidió a más parejas que se unan en matrimonio para ejercer sus derechos.

    En total fueron cuatro parejas de mujeres, dos de hombres y una mujer transexual quienes participaron en la ceremonia oficiada por Víctor Dávalos de la Oficialía Segunda del Registro Civil, quien dio la bienvenida por parte del Estado a las nuevas parejas unidas en matrimonio.

    Con dos bodas comunitarias más en puerta, el 10 y 17 de diciembre, este año se ha establecido un nuevo récord al rebasar por mucho las 120 uniones entre personas del mismo sexo (en Coahuila) en 2015.

    On 26 November 2016, seven same-sex couples participated in a communal marriage service held at the Casa del Artesano, with the ceremony being witnessed by relatives and friends of the couples. At the end of the event, the president of San Elredo community asked more couples to join in marriage in order to exercise their rights.

    In total, four female couples, two male couples, and one transsexual woman participated in the ceremony officiated by Victor Dávalos of the Second Civil Registry Office, who on behalf of the state, welcomed the new couples united in marriage.

    With two more communal marriage events planned for 10 and 17 December, this year has already set a new record, by far exceeding the 120 unions recorded between same-sex couples (in Coahuila) in 2015.

    Reminder: All couples from anywhere in Mexico can be married in Coahuila, with its capital city, Saltillo, making a big splash of it with these regularly-scheduled communal marriage ceremonies almost every Saturday. Any and all such civil marriages performed in Coahuila must be recognized for all purposes in all the other states of Mexico, their own laws on the subject notwithstanding.

  • 115. SethInMaryland  |  November 27, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Hopefully Italy votes in favor of Renzi's referendum to reduce the size senate cutting off those small conservative parties that cause problems

  • 116. guitaristbl  |  November 28, 2016 at 4:21 am

    It won't happen – Renzi has turned this into a referendum on him and his government and italians like all europeans and american trump voters are riding the "anti-establishment" wave meaning they are going to vote against Renzi mainly in this referendum. It's going to be rejected.

  • 117. theperchybird  |  November 28, 2016 at 5:45 am

    My pro-Yes friend is already anticipating the referendum to flop and M5S to be empowered which is bad for any adoption rights or most other advancements since they claim not to have anything against the community regarding civil unions (still against expanding adoption though), but remained obstructionists when it came time to vote on union bills. It's why Renzi had to use his vote of confidence (risk his entire government) in each round of voting.

    As long as there's a member of the ruling coalition at the top who's seen as too Pro-Renzi if Renzi himself leaves in the future, there's no guarantee M5S will play along.

  • 118. guitaristbl  |  November 28, 2016 at 6:31 am

    M5S started as socially liberal but then as it grew it ended up as a deplorable big tent of all kinds of homophobic lunatics – although it varies on the region. Rome's mayor for example seems ok and a strong proponent of LGBT rights for the most part.

  • 119. theperchybird  |  November 28, 2016 at 7:00 am

    Yes, she's fine, although some are after her for vetoing the Olympic bid.

  • 120. VIRick  |  November 28, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Presidential Vote Recount Up-Date

    As of 11:30 PM on 27 November 2016, Jill Stein had raised $6,203,887.00 for the presidential vote recount, while all day, from late last night and continuing, Trump has been absolutely shitting himself over the prospects.

  • 121. guitaristbl  |  November 28, 2016 at 4:24 am

    Isn't there some electoral commission body that can demand the president elect to provide evidence of his accusations of wide spread voter fraud or face legal consequences ?
    If he is questioning the integrity of the election he won just because he did not win the popular vote, he must bring evidence. This is no longer election period to just spout nonsense. I am sure his voters adore him and agree with him on this as well since they are not a crowd known for sticking to facts but he is no longer just a candidate – he, and his people, have to realize that at some point.

  • 122. Fortguy  |  November 28, 2016 at 9:45 am

    The Federal Election Commission is itself a useless quagmire of partisan bickering. Here's a lighter-side look at the commission from The Daily Show:

    The Federal Election Commission: An Enormously Dysfunctional Agency

  • 123. bayareajohn  |  November 28, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    So far in the coverage of the Trump Fraud accusations, I haven't seen a clear exposition statement embracing why this matters so much – Trump -MUST- call for an investigation if he has any evidence of mass fraud that jeopardizes the election system. If he "lets it go" or discourages a recount/investigation, he is ENDORSING fraud as acceptable in this and future elections. He is asking us to "trust him" that the MASSIVE fraud went against him but he prevailed anyway. Worse, if he withholds evidence of federal crime, he becomes a co-conspirator after the fact. If he leaves it to the states to figure it out, all he has done is throw invisible red meat to the GOP disenfranchisers who will repeat the fraud mantra while removing every democrat they can from the rolls… as if there were a relationship there… and they were curing it.

    This could be the straw that breaks the back of the Electoral College. Electors "ought to" be outraged and refuse to install Trump as president if he withholds this evidence, or is found to have no such evidence and is exposed as a monumental liar, inventing enemy felonies to deliberately undermine the justice and electoral systems for his benefit. (Still, again…)

    The millions of votes he knows about were likely cast by those cheering crowds of terrorist aliens he witnessed in Jersey on 9/11.

    A rejection (or even a delay while investigation continues) by the Electoral College will be painted as an illegal coup and it will be anyone's guess if the military (or the public) will rally to Trump or Obama…

  • 124. VIRick  |  November 28, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Pennsylvania: Jill Stein Files Recount Demand

    On 28 November 2016, in Pennsylvania, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein filed for a recount of votes, one of three battleground states where President-elect Donald Trump won in his Electoral College victory.

    A statement released on behalf of Stein, and circulated on Twitter today, stated that recounts could begin in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, another state where the candidate has filed, as soon as this week.

    “Americans deserve a voting system we can trust,” Stein said in the statement, released by the public relations firm Berlin Rosen. “After a presidential election tarnished by the use of outdated and unreliable machines and accusations of irregularities and hacks, people of all political persuasions are asking if our election results are reliable.”

    It continued: “We must recount the votes so we can build trust in our election system. We need to verify the vote in this and every election so that Americans of all parties can be sure we have a fair, secure, and accurate voting system,” Stein wrote.

    Last week, Stein launched an initiative to raise $7 million to fund the recount fees in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. As of 1:30 PM this afternoon, Stein had raised $6,307,020.00. Per the team’s statement, 137,000 supporters gave an average of $46 per donation.

    Footnote: At this moment, in Michigan, the third state deemed for a recount, Trump is ahead in that state's tally by a mere 10,704 votes, the closest of the three.

    In Wisconsin, over 5,000 votes there have been tossed as fraudulent (or discarded as non-existant) by a number of counties re-doing their math, even before the recount has begun. The Wisconsin Elections Commission has unanimously approved the Wisconsin recount timeline, urging county clerks to submit results by 8 PM on 12 December. The Clinton campaign has now officially begun to request volunteers to assist with the recount.

  • 125. Fortguy  |  November 28, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Debuting tonight on HBO at 9 pm ET is the documentary Mariela Castro's March: Cuba's LGBT Revolution

  • 126. VIRick  |  November 28, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Chile: Government Initiates Process to Legislate Marriage Equality

    Per Fundación Iguales:

    Este lunes, 28 de noviembre 2016, el Gobierno inicia el proceso pre-legislativo del matrimonio igualitario con este seminario internacional junto a Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de Chile, Santiago.

    Today, 28 November 2016, the Government initiated the pre-legislative process toward marriage equality with an international seminar, together with the Law Faculty, University of Chile, Santiago.

    On Friday, 2 December 2016, the same program will be held at the University of Chile's campus in Valdivia.

    And as Karen Atala Riffo reminds us, as one of the more important participants, this process is part of the compromise worked out with the government, whereby she dropped her lawsuit before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, assuming the Government were to legislate marriage equality.

  • 127. Christian0811  |  November 28, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Speed doesn't seem to be key to say the least 😛 anyways, gift horses and all that I suppose

  • 128. Fortguy  |  November 28, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    A Texas presidential elector is resigning rather than voting for Trump.

    Ken Herman, Austin American Statesman: Texas Electoral College member quits over Donald Trump vote

    To my knowledge, this is unprecedented. History is littered with faithless electors who have either voted for someone other than their party's nominee or abstained altogether, but I don't think anyone has ever resigned before. According to the article, the Electoral College may select his replacement, and I'm sure both parties have designated alternates. However, since the electors meet in their respective state capitols (plus the DC delegation), this would be a logistical nightmare. Texas electors would not be able to vote for president and vice-president until every other delegation communicates their vote on the replacement elector.

  • 129. VIRick  |  November 28, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Good! Donnie simply can not cope with the fact that not everyone can tolerate his orangeness.

    His campaign did a totally shit job in being organized at the local/state level. Obviously, being more a one-man personality cult, they were amateurs who were clueless as to how real politics operates, whether "insider," "elite," or not. As a result, many of the "party-faithful" Republican electors, in fact, actually supported (and still support) one of the other Republican primary contenders who got pushed aside. In Texas, I suspect that that means they are (still) Cruz loyalists. After the nomination, Donnie never bothered to vet the electors,– and probably never understood or concerned himself with these sorts of details. You know, "What's the Electoral College?"

    Still, no one actually voted for (or against) him. We all voted instead for a slate of electors.

  • 130. bayareajohn  |  November 28, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Whether he understood the Electoral College, a few years back he was against it, favoring a popular vote.

  • 131. tx64jm  |  November 28, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    No, thats not how it works.

    Texas Election Code 192.006. MEETING OF ELECTORS. (a) The electors shall convene at the State Capitol at 2 p.m. on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December following their election and shall perform their duties as prescribed by federal law.
    (c): If an elector is absent at the time for convening the meeting, the electors may declare the elector position vacant by a majority vote of those present at the meeting.

    Texas Election Code 192.007: REPLACEMENT AFTER ELECTION. (a) The electors meeting to vote for president and vice-president may appoint a replacement elector by a majority vote of the qualified electors present if:
    (1) the vacancy occurred before presidential election day and a replacement was not chosen under Section 192.004;
    (2) on or after presidential election day, an elector is declared ineligible or dies; or
    (3) the vacancy is declared under Section 192.006(c).
    (b) The chair of the electors shall notify the secretary of state of the name and residence address of a replacement elector immediately on the replacement's appointment.

    So basically, the dude doesn't show up on the required day, the other electors declare his position vacant, and a new dude/gal shows up to vote.

  • 132. VIRick  |  November 28, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    North Carolina: Governor's Race Up-Date

    Cooper’s lead presently is at 9,716 votes, as of 4:48 PM this afternoon, 28 November 2016. If it hits 10,000 by the end of vote counts, McCrory isn't entitled to a recount.

    Cooper, D, 2,306,809
    McCrory, R, 2,297,093

  • 133. theperchybird  |  November 29, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Big news, Romania's CC has deferred the question of the lawsuit to the Court of Justice of the Eureopean Union. This is HUGE since it could have continental implications:

    As news of the referral reached Brussels, ILGA-Europe Advocacy Director Katrin Hugendubel commented “We know this isn’t the end of the journey for Adrian and his family – but we are edging ever closer to what could be a momentous day for them. Many couples, whose right to freely move and reside within the European Union have been limited by similar domestic restrictions, will also be eagerly awaiting the outcome of this case.”

    ILGA-Europe, one of a group of five NGO third parties who have intervened in Coman, Hamilton & Association Accept, are very encouraged by the Constitutional Court’s decision. We are hopeful that the CJEU will use this occasion and, with their judgment, affirm core principles of the European Union, in particular freedom of movement and residence, also for same-sex couples.

    The decision to submit a request for a preliminary ruling to the CJEU means that the couple at the centre of the Coman case will soon have a definitive answer – one that could be valuable for many other couples across Europe in a similar situation, guaranteeing legal certainty by the uniform application of EU law.

    The Constitutional Court will seek clarification on whether a same-sex couple, married overseas, can be recognised as spouses under Romanian law by way of application of the EU law on family reunification with a EU citizen. This is the first time that the Court has referred questions to the CJEU.

  • 134. Christian0811  |  November 29, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    So this posed as a question of EU law not human rights law (at this stage anyways)?

  • 135. allan120102  |  November 29, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    I just hope the EU rules for us instead of saying that each state has sovereign of there marriage laws. So far almost every European court of every country have ruled against us. That includes Austria, Croacia, and Slovenia to name a few. btw the next hearing is on March 20. I am just worried that the constitutional court of Romania is taking its time so bigots can ban ssm before they need to hand a decision.

  • 136. theperchybird  |  November 29, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    The only thing that could save Romanians and Georgians is the threshold of MPs required. 2/3 and 3/4 respectively.

    Parliaments, though conservative, are split if the Civil Codes are enough. It's the public that is pouncing on a chance to vote Yes on a constitutional ban so the walls in Parliament might not be enough…we'll know soon enough.

  • 137. theperchybird  |  November 29, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    I believe it was always a recognition case.

    Could someone tell me if it was both a recognition and performing marriages case (the whole shebang)?

  • 138. VIRick  |  November 29, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    The "Coman" case before Romania's Constitutional Court is a recognition case, that is, it seeks the recognition in Romania of a marriage of a same-sex couple already performed in Belgium, in combination with the EU concepts of the free movement of people within the borders of the European Union, as well as that of the reunification of family members within the EU.

    With the Belgian marriage not being recognized in Romania, the Romanian government refused to issue a residence permit to the non-Romanian spouse. Instead, the couple wants recognition of their marriage so that the non-Romanian can work/live there and they can remain together as couple.

    The case does not seek to legalize the performance of marriage of same-sex couples within Romania itself, as the couple in question is already married.

  • 139. VIRick  |  November 30, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Venezuela: Long Up-Date on Lawsuit for Marriage Equality before Supreme Court (TSJ)

    Per Venezuela Igualitaria:

    Desde de 29 de noviembre 2016, en el Tribunal Suprema de Justicia, estamos retirando el "Cartel de Emplazamiento" en el caso de la Omisión Legislativa del Proyecto de Ley para Matrimonio Igualitario.

    From 29 November 2016, in the Supreme Court of Justice, we are withdrawing the "Placement Filing" in the case of the Legislative Omission to the Marriage Equality Bill.

    The entire filing (in Spanish) is here:

    but I am unable to copy-and-paste, and am not completely certain as to the significance of this latest move. Ah! The answer from Venezuela Igualitaria:

    Significa que las partes interesadas y terceros son convocadas a comparecer ante el TSJ para que se tome una decisión.

    It means that interested parties and third parties are summoned to appear before the TSJ in order for a decision to be made.

    As noted previously, in addition to Henry Ramos Allup, the president of the legislative assembly, the following individuals have also been called upon by the Supreme Court to answer for their inaction: la fiscal general de la República, Luisa Ortega Díaz; el defensor del Pueblo, Tarek William Saab; and el procurador encargado de la República, Reinaldo Múñoz.

    Reading between the lines, and noting the similar situation which recently occurred in Colombia, whose legal system is almost identical to that of Venezuela, it would appear that the Venezuela Supreme Court is now in the process of determining that the legislative time-frame for action (as in Colombia) has already elapsed, and thus, once such determination has definitively been made, would clear the way for the Supreme Court to act to strike down the constitutional provision whose modification has never yet been debated in the legislature.

    Still, that leads to more questions:

    Y esa decisión pudiera ser que el TSJ determine que el matrimonio igualitario es legal? De ser así, cuanto duraría?

    And that decision could be that the TSJ determines that marriage equality is legal? If so, how long would it take?

    In the meantime, rather than wait any longer for answers to questions which have no specific answer, same-sex couples from Venezuela are busy marrying (or civil unioning) each other all over the place (abroad). Here are 3 very recent examples indicating unions performed in Italy, Ecuador, and the USA:

    Edinson y Jesús, jóvenes venezolanos unidos civilmente en Italia el 18/10.

    Esteban y Wilkhender venezolanos que el 22/11 se unieron civilmente en Quito.

    Este 28 de noviembre en EEUU (en Las Vegas), los venezolanos José y Enmanuel, se unieron en matrimonio luego de 8 años de relación.

  • 140. VIRick  |  December 1, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Pence’s New Neighbors Hang Pride Flags on Their Homes to Protest Homophobia

    Mike Pence is set to become the most anti-gay incoming Vice-President in modern history, and according to station WJLA, his new DC neighbors aren’t keen on having a known homophobe on their block.

    Ilse Heintzen lives just down the street from the house where Pence is currently staying, as he waits to move into the Vice-President’s mansion on the grounds of the Naval Observatory. After learning that Pence was moving into the neighborhood, she and some of her neighbors decided to take a stand against it by hanging colorful rainbow flags outside their houses.

    In case anyone needs a brief recap: Not only did Pence pass that awful RFRA law in Indiana allowing businesses to legally discriminate against LGBTQ people on religious grounds, but he also supports gay conversion therapy and, of course, is very opposed to gay marriage.

    According to the news station, there are about a dozen rainbow flags flying in the immediate vicinity up and down the block, and more are said to be coming.

  • 141. VIRick  |  December 1, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Posner and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals En Banc Hearing in "Hively v. Ivy Tech"

    Chicago — A rare full-court session of a US appeals court in Chicago heard arguments Wednesday, 30 November 2016, on whether protections under the 1964 Civil Rights Act should be expanded to cover workplace discrimination against LGBT employees, as hopes dim among some gay rights activists that the question will be resolved in their favor non-judicially, following Republican election victories.

    Several of the 11 judges at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals signaled they are ready to enter what would be a historic ruling broadening the scope the 52-year-old landmark law, with the court directing the toughest questions during the hour-long hearing at a lawyer who argued only Congress could extend the protections. Judge Richard Posner repeatedly interrupted the lawyer representing the Indiana community college that was sued by a lesbian for alleged discrimination and at one point asked: “Who will be hurt if gays and lesbians have a little more job protection?” When attorney John Maley said he couldn’t think of anyone who would be harmed, Posner shot back, “So, what’s the big deal?”

    Even if the 7th Circuit Court becomes the first US appellate court to rule that the law covers sex-orientation bias, legal experts say the issue is likely to land before the Supreme Court. Chances of a majority of justices agreeing that workplace protections should include LGBT workers will be slimmer if President-elect Trump fills a high court vacancy with a social conservative.

    However, President Barack Obama‘s administration has taken the position that the law already prohibits discrimination of LGBT workers. It has criticized courts for a reluctance to reach the same conclusion.

    The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided in October to rehear the case of teacher Kimberly Hively, who claimed Ivy Tech Community College didn’t hire her full-time because she is a lesbian. The full court vacated the July finding by three of its own judges that the civil rights law doesn’t cover sexual-orientation bias. A new ruling is expected within several weeks.

    The 30 November hearing focused on the meaning of the word ‘sex’ in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the provision that bans workplace bias based on race, religion, national origin, or sex. Multiple court rulings back Maley’s contention that Congress meant for the word to refer only to whether a worker was male or female. Given that, he said it would be wrong to stretch the meaning of ‘sex’ in the statute to also include sexual orientation. The school’s lawyer conceded the law is imprecise, but added: “That makes it an issue for Congress.”

    Several judges challenged him for arguing it’s not a federal court’s place to mandate that a law do something lawmakers didn’t originally intend for it to do. “You seem to think the meaning of the statute was frozen on the day it passed,” Posner said to Maley. “That, of course, is false.” And the judge added: “Are we bound by what people thought in 1964?”

    He and other judges pointed to bans on interracial marriage as examples of laws that changed or were expanded by courts as societal norms changed.

    The case history in "Hively v. Ivy Tech" is here:

  • 142. scream4ever  |  December 1, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    I hope the Supreme Court hears this in the spring. I kinda think they will if them granting cert in Gloucester is any indication.

  • 143. VIRick  |  December 1, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    North Carolina: Anti-LGBT Governor Still Losing Hotly-Contested Race

    Democrat Roy Cooper passed a crucial 10,000-vote threshold on Wednesday, 30 November 2016, that will block a statewide recount in the still-undecided North Carolina gubernatorial race, results for which have been challenged by Gov. McCrory.

    The bitterly fought contest in North Carolina has proven the “closest governor’s race in the country in a dozen years,” as Politico reports. Currently, Cooper leads his Republican opponent by 10,329 votes, which is over the threshold by which McCrory can order that ballots be recounted by hand. Should the margin between gubernatorial hopefuls be greater than 10,000 votes or .5 percent, politicians who demand statewide re-tabulation must pay out of pocket.

    If the GOP hopes to overturn the results of the election, they scored a key victory this week when the Republican-controlled State Board of Elections ordered a recount of 94,000 votes in Durham County that conservatives believe were tainted by faulty voting machines. On Wednesday, they voted 3 to 2, along party lines, to manually recount the ballots.

    But the Durham County Board of Elections, which is also controlled by Republicans, already rejected a request for a recount from Gov. McCrory, citing insufficient evidence of its necessity. As board chairman William Brian told Politico, the “burden of proof is on the complainant in these cases.”

  • 144. VIRick  |  December 1, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Michigan: Trump Forces Postponement Of Recount By Filing Complaint With State Bureau Of Elections

    "Law Newz" reports:

    President-elect Donald Trump filed an objection with the Michigan Bureau of Elections on Thursday, 1 December 2016, regarding the vote recount initiated by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. According to a statement from Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, recount activities will be postponed pending a decision on the objection by the Board of State Canvassers.

    The Board is scheduled to consider Trump’s objection on Friday, 2 December, and will have five days to make a decision. The recount was supposed to begin in two counties tomorrow, and in other counties over the weekend.

    Trump’s objection states that Stein is not an “aggrieved” party because she came in fourth place in the election, and “is therefore not entitled to a recount.” Trump also argues that a recount would not be finished in time for the Electoral College to place their votes.

    Should the Board of State Canvassers side with Trump, the recount will end. If they rule against Trump, the recount will continue on the second business day following their decision.

  • 145. bayareajohn  |  December 1, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    I presume the Stein people are clever enough to argue that any citizen is an "aggrieved" party to election fraud. And Trump's argument that a recount will delay things should not in itself be allowed to add delay to make that come true.

    Trump's own assertion of "millions" of fraudulent vote certainly makes his position against assuring the proper count pretty obviously hypocritical.

  • 146. theperchybird  |  December 2, 2016 at 10:08 am

    The Trump camp has also sued in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to stop the recount. That's all 3 states. Hmmm.

  • 147. VIRick  |  December 2, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Greek Parliament Votes for Bill to Expand LGBT Rights

    Today, 2 December 2016, the Greek Parliament passed the controversial bill which will expand the rights of same-sex couples in Greece, as well as ensure equality in the workplace regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or religion.

    The bill was approved by 201 members of parliament and rejected by 21, while five abstained.. An additional 73 members from across different parties were absent in a house with a total membership of 300.

    Joint adoption for same-sex couples is still not legal. Neither is same-sex marriage nor IVF treatment for lesbian couples.

    However, same-sex civil partnerships were legalized in December 2015 in response to the European Court of Human Rights condemning Greece for anti-gay discrimination. With this new legislation, in addition to the workplace guarantees, laws regarding the prohibition of hate speech, as well as acts considered to be hate crimes, are now said to be some of the most rigid in Europe.

  • 148. theperchybird  |  December 2, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    For people wondering about Fillon in France, I found an analysis of his stances from the economy to social issues. Here's the bit on LGBT:

    The family, gay rights, abortion: Although he voted against the Socialists' gay marriage law, Fillon has said that it is not realistic to repeal it becaus "we're not going to demarry people". But he does want to make adoption by gay couples conditional on a judge's decision in the light of "the child's interests". He wants to reinstate family allowances for the well-off, a measure that was axed by the Socialist government, and opposes access to fertility treatment for single women and lesbian couples. He and his Welsh wife have five children and, as a Catholic, he is against abortion but says he will not change the law. His traditionalist stance has won him support of a number of hard-right websites and groups, including leaders of the Sens commun group born after the demonstrations against gay marriage and former Sarkozy adviser Patrick Buisson.

    Still not getting claps from me and that comment on French colonialism rubs me the wrong way.

  • 149. Christian0811  |  December 2, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Sounds like Sarkozy or advisers from LR talked him down to ease up the rhetoric, like you I still don't support him. That said, he could be worse and I'm glad he's not.

  • 150. VIRick  |  December 2, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Mexico: Supreme Court Rules that Social Security Law Excluding Same-Sex Couples is Unconstitutional

    Mexico: SCJN Determina que la Ley del ISSSTE que Excluye a las Parejas del Mismo Sexo es Inconstitucional

    Ciudad de México – La Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) determinó por unanimidad la inconstitucionalidad de seis artículos de la Ley del Instituto de Seguridad y Servicios Sociales de los Trabajadores del Estado (ISSSTE) por considerar que son discriminatorios para las parejas del mismo sexo.

    En la sesión del 30 de noviembre 2016, la Segunda Sala de la Corte encontró que la redacción de los artículos 6, 39, 40, 131, y 135, fracciones I y II, de la Ley del ISSSTE vulneran los derechos de las parejas homosexuales la afiliarse como beneficiarios del Instituto, lo cual violenta el principio de igualdad y no discrimación establecido en los artículos primero y 123 de la Constitución Federal.

    Mexico City – The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) unanimously determined the unconstitutionality of six articles of the Law of the Institute of Social Security and Social Services of State Workers (ISSSTE) as discriminating against same-sex couples.

    At the session on 30 November 2016, the Second Chamber of the Court found that the wording of articles 6, 39, 40, 131, and 135, sections I and II, of the ISSSTE Act violated the rights of same-sex couples to affiliate as beneficiaries of the Institute, and thus, those articles violate the principle of equality and non-discrimination established in Articles 1 and 123 of the Federal Constitution.

  • 151. Christian0811  |  December 2, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    So if the SCoJ strikes down a federal law is it completely nullified or does it still have to go through the convoluted amaparo system?

  • 152. VIRick  |  December 2, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    No, that's the end of it because the federal government of Mexico, and its various institutes like Social Security, does not try to ignore and obfuscate Mexico's Supreme Court. As a result, this ruling ought to have immediate nationwide application. In fact, I had understood that the ISSSTE was already recognizing spouses in same-sex marriages as beneficiaries, despite the fact that these offending Articles apparently had yet to be struck down as unconstitutional. For specific examples, I can distinctly recall a number of early cases which granted recognition some years ago (at least since 2012) in Quintana Roo, Puebla, and Sonora. Still, such recognition may have been hit-and-miss, rather than being uniformly and equally applied.

    By contrast, the problem in the marriage equality issue in Mexico is that, at present, and since forever, marriage law has always been deemed to be an individual state matter rather than a federal one.

  • 153. allan120102  |  December 2, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    Rick was spot on, Like the Obama administration was in favor of us the Peña administration is in favor of us, so even if it was just an amparo to a couple the federal government would it be issue to be follow nationwide. The social security was suppose to be treating ss couple the same as heterosexual in QR looks like it was uneven for states that allow and didnt allow ssm. Anyways a good win for us. Now we need the whole supreme court to invalidate the civil codes of the 4 states that have there issue in front of them. I need to add this was just the second chamber so to invalidate the law it will be need to be the whole supreme court like what happen with Jalisco in January.

  • 154. VIRick  |  December 2, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Walmart Settles Anti-LGBT Bias Class-Action Suit, Will Pay $7.5 Million To Employees Denied Spousal Benefits

    The "New York Times" reports:

    Walmart announced on Friday, 2 December 2016, that it had settled a federal class-action lawsuit in Boston, "Cote et al. v. Walmart Stores, Inc.," that accused the company of discriminating against gay and lesbian employees when it denied health insurance benefits to same-sex spouses. Under the deal, Walmart will set aside $7.5 million, mostly to compensate employees affected by the denial of spousal benefits during the three years (2011-2013) before 1 January 2014, when the company changed its policy. More than 1,000 people may be eligible.

    But the agreement also signals how legal doctrine on discrimination against gays and lesbians is rapidly changing, making it increasingly likely to be considered a form of sex discrimination. Such a doctrine would generally make it easier for gay and lesbian plaintiffs to prevail in court, as federal civil rights laws prohibit sex discrimination.

    Some background to the case:

    New Bedford MA — The wife of a Massachusetts woman who filed a federal class-action lawsuit accusing Wal-Mart of wrongly denying employee benefits for same-sex spouses has died. GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders says New Bedford resident Dee Smithson died Friday, 18 March 2016, of ovarian cancer.

    In July 2015, Smithson’s wife, Jacqueline Cote, sued in District Court in Boston seeking damages for the couple and any other Wal-Mart employees whose same-sex spouses were denied medical insurance. Cote says Wal-Mart repeatedly denied insurance for Smithson before 2014, when it finally started offering benefits for same-sex spouses.

    The couple married in Massachusetts in 2004, ten years earlier. They incurred at least $150,000 in medical costs after Smithson was diagnosed with cancer in 2012. Smithson's death should not affect the case.

  • 155. VIRick  |  December 2, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Michigan: Board OKs Stein’s Recount Despite Trump Court Filing

    Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers deadlocked along party lines Friday, 2 December 2016, over Donald Trump’s objection to Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s recount effort, green lighting the vote audit slated to start next week.

    Trump filed his objection the day prior, calling Stein’s lawful filing a “lawless, insulting request.” Trump said Stein was “disenfranchising Michigan citizens” by making “residents endure an expensive, time-consuming recount, and the scrutiny and hardship that comes with it.”

    The Board of State Canvassers’ non-decision means the recount will go ahead, though a lawsuit filed today by Michigan Attorney-General Bill Schuett threatens the effort. The "Detroit Free Press" reports the Trump campaign similarly filed an injection late today against the board.

    With the decision split among party lines, Democrat Jule Matuzak told the board, “If someone alleges impropriety and pays the fee, they get a recount.”

  • 156. VIRick  |  December 2, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    US Presidential Popular Vote and Further Up-Date on Recount

    As of 2 December 2016, the total number of votes cast for president nationwide stands at:

    Clinton 65,250,299
    Trump 62,686,023

    Trump’s lead in the crucial battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania has shrunk to merely 79,646 votes after the tallies were updated to include a slew of absentee ballots cast in the state of Pennsylvania. Hillary Clinton made a dramatic gain of 23,700 votes in the updated tally in Pennsylvania, shrinking Donald Trump’s lead from the previously reported 70,638 votes to a mere 46,938 votes.

    These updated numbers came BEFORE the recounts, which are either set to begin, or as in Wisconsin, have already begun, in all three states. The revised numbers offer a significant development as the three states’ 46 collective electoral college votes (16 for Michigan, 10 for Wisconsin, and 20 for Pennsylvania) are decisive in awarding Donald Trump a victory in the electoral college. 270 electoral votes are needed to win the presidency in the Electoral College. Trump currently has 306 electoral college votes to Clinton’s 232 electoral college votes

    A petition has now been circulating among Stein forces to add North Carolina, Arizona, and Florida to the recount list. Independently, a DC-based non-profit, "Protect Our Elections," filed suit today, 2 December, seeking a recount in Florida. In Florida, ostensibly, Trump has 4,617,886 votes to Clinton's 4,504,975, a lead of just under 113,000.

  • 157. scream4ever  |  December 3, 2016 at 1:10 am

    I wonder if this process could affect Senate races, especially in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

  • 158. VIRick  |  December 3, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Green Party Decided on 3 December 2016 to End Pennsylvania Statewide Recount Effort

    A Pennsylvania court on Saturday, 3 December 2016, accepted the Green Party’s request to end its case seeking a statewide recount, a move that ends any remaining doubt, however slight, about whether Donald Trump is the victor in the 2016 presidential race.

    Most, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign, expected Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s recount efforts in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin not to change the result in any of those states. The reality, however, was that the election results would not have changed unless the recounts shifted the states to Clinton in all of those states.

    With Pennsylvania off the table, even a flip in the Michigan and Wisconsin results would still leave Trump at 280 electoral votes, 10 above the 270 necessary to become the next president.

    Lawyers for the Green Party told the Associated Press that they would not be able to meet the Monday, 5 December deadline for a $1 million bond that the Pennsylvania court had ordered in the case.

    Earlier, Stein stated on her recount fundraising page that Wisconsin officials initially had estimated $1.1 million would be needed for the Wisconsin part of the recount, but that officials later required $3.5 million. That change led her to increase the amount she was seeking in donations from $6.5 million to $9.5 million. As of Saturday evening, 3 December 2016, she had not yet hit $7 million in donations, a fact that likely led to the decision to drop the Pennsylvania statewide recount case.

    The Pennsylvania state court order can be found here at the bottom of the article:

  • 159. scream4ever  |  December 3, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    So apparently she's going to make an announcement tomorrow, and it likely will involved doing a county-by-county recount, which apparently is far less costly.

  • 160. VIRick  |  December 4, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Jill Stein Takes Pennsylvania Recount Bid to Federal Court

    Harrisburg PA — Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is taking her bid for a statewide recount of Pennsylvania‘s 8 November presidential election to federal court. After announcing Stein and recount supporters were dropping their case in state court, lawyer Jonathan Abady said they will seek an emergency federal court order on Monday, 5 December 2016.

    “Make no mistake — the Stein campaign will continue to fight for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania,” Abady said in a statement Saturday night, 3 December. “We are committed to this fight to protect the civil and voting rights of all Americans.” He said barriers to a recount in Pennsylvania are pervasive and the state court system is ill-equipped to address the problem.

    Stein has spearheaded a recount effort in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, three states with a history of backing Democrats for president that were narrowly and unexpectedly won by Republican Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

    Stein has framed the campaign as an effort to explore whether voting machines and systems had been hacked and the election result manipulated. Stein’s lawyers, however, have offered no evidence of hacking in Pennsylvania’s election, and the state Republican Party and Trump had asked the court to dismiss the state court case.

    The recount-campaign decision came two days before a state court hearing was scheduled in the case. Saturday’s court filing to withdraw the case said the Green Party-backed voters who filed it “are regular citizens of ordinary means” and cannot afford the $1 million bond ordered by the court by 5 PM Monday, 5 December.

    Meanwhile, Green Party-backed efforts to force recounts and analyze election software in scattered precincts were continuing. A recount began Thursday, 1 December, in Wisconsin, while a recount could begin this week in Michigan.

    Trump’s victory in Pennsylvania was particularly stunning: the state’s fifth-most electoral votes are a key stepping stone to the White House, and no Republican presidential candidate had captured the state since 1988.

    In seeking the recount, Stein has noted hackers’ probing of election targets in other states and hackers’ accessing the emails of the Democratic National Committee and several Clinton staffers. US security officials have said they believe Russian hackers orchestrated the email hacks, something Russia has denied.

  • 161. VIRick  |  December 3, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    North Carolina: Durham County Begins Recount

    The "Raleigh News & Observer" reports:

    Durham County will begin recounting ballots on Saturday afternoon, 3 December 2016, moving the date from Sunday to comply with an order from state elections officials to complete the task by Monday night, 5 December.

    The Durham County Board of Elections scheduled an emergency meeting for 11 AM Saturday and planned to begin the recount at 1 PM. After the State Board of Elections set a 7 PM, Monday deadline, Durham officials asked for an extension to complete the recount but the state board denied the request.

    The state board voted 3-2 along party lines Wednesday, 30 November, to order a machine recount of votes cast during early voting and at several precincts in Durham County, backing a request from Republicans and Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign.

    The three Republicans on the board voted for the recount, saying that the late addition of about 90,000 votes to the statewide tally on election night constituted an “irregularity.” The state board’s decision overturned the Durham County Board of Elections, also controlled by Republicans, which had rejected the recount request as baseless.

    Earlier this week McCrory declared that he will drop his demand for a statewide recount if Durham County’s recount produces no change.

  • 162. VIRick  |  December 4, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Austria: Hofer Concedes Defeat to Van der Bellen for Presidency

    Per AFP News Agency:

    Date-stamped at noon EST on Sunday, 4 December 2016:

    Austria's ultra far-right Freedom Party concedes defeat in its bid to elect Europe's first far-right president.

    Far-right candidate Norbert Hofer has lost the race for the Austrian presidency and has conceded defeat as the first results emerged.

    As the polls closed at 4 PM UK time, exit surveys indicated left-leaning candidate Alexander Van der Bellen has taken an unbeatable lead in the election with more than 53 per cent of the vote.

    Hofer would have been the first far-right politician elected to national office in Europe since World War 2.

  • 163. guitaristbl  |  December 4, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    In Europe multiple analyses have already started calling this the "reverse Trump" effect. Many were expecting after Trump's "victory" (always in quotes given the popular vote) and the Brexit vote for far right populism to gain momentum but the austrian election may be an indication of the opposite : it seems to have made far right populists complacent and overtly confident (Everyone was virtually certain Hofer would win at this point) while it has energized progressives. Thus these results in Austria tonight.

    It's unfortunate the US had to take a serious blow of regression for Europe to show signs that it resists the nationalist dangers..

    P.S. Let's wait for the results of the italian referendum as well. I am less confident about that one going the right way tbh..

  • 164. scream4ever  |  December 4, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    I wonder if this may push Austria to legalize same-sex marriage now.

  • 165. guitaristbl  |  December 4, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    No, I woulnd't go that far. The role of the president is mostly ceremonial – he can dissolve the parliament though and that's what it was feared Hofer would do given that his party is well ahead in polls.

    The current coalition has no intention of going there and the one that will come after the election consisting most probably of the far right FPO as big partner and the center right OVP as junior partner will be even more unlikely to proceed that way – there may even be regression.

  • 166. theperchybird  |  December 4, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Not likely, Germany and Austria suffer from the same problem which is that the top 2 parties are both left and right and when they join coalitions, the Left abides by the rules not to support things like marriage rights and they vote No along with the Right.

    The only way Austria could get it in the near future is a successful lawsuit before the CC. In Germany, the Left is already talking about ignoring Merkel's party and forming their own alliance which would be like Portugal's situation: a conservative minority government with a bigger liberal opposition that calls the shots. It's how adoption was passed in Portugal recently.

  • 167. theperchybird  |  December 4, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    I read that Van Der Bellen's 30,000 lead in the first vote increased tenfold today.

    What I had also read back in the first vote stage is that the youth voted for him and the elderly as well since the majority drew comparisons of the opponent's rhetoric to WWII.

    It's people in between who tended to vote for Hofer.

  • 168. VIRick  |  December 4, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Swedish Far-Right Party Leader Escorted Out of Gay Club During Bar Brawl

    Sweden’s far-right party leader Jimmie Åkesson had to be escorted out from a gay club on Thursday, 1 December 2016, after guests became upset that he was there. Åkesson, head of Swedish Democrats (SD), was at the Secret Garden club in Stockholm when other guests at the club grew angry at his presence.

    The Swedish newspaper, "Aftonbladet," reported that some people left in protest and others attempted to get to the leader to talk to or physically harm him. A guest said “everyone was shocked” and the atmosphere because increasingly “threatening” after an hour of his presence. The paper reported that one man became angry and shouted “f*cking racist” before trying to attack him.

    The negative response to Åkesson’s presence at the club led to his own bodyguards and security at the club escorting the politician out. When Åkesson was trying to leave, "Aftonbladet" reported that a brawl broke out and the police were contacted to help.

    The SD party is a right-wing populist group with a nationalist foundation that is currently gaining popularity in the country. Jimmie Åkesson has led the party since 2005, and in 2010 they crossed the 4 percent threshold required for parliamentary representation. In 2014, they took 49 seats with a 14% share, but remain isolated because other parties refuse to cooperate with them.

  • 169. VIRick  |  December 4, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Closing Arguments Filed in Dispute over Louisiana LGBT-Rights Order

    Baton Rouge LA — Lawyers for Louisiana‘s governor and attorney-general submitted their closing arguments on Friday, 2 December 2016, to a state judge trying to decide whether Gov. John Bel Edwards’ LGBTQ-rights protection order is unconstitutional. Both sides wrote in their legal briefs that their opponents did not present evidence or witness testimony to back up their positions at a hearing this week.

    Republican Attorney-General Jeff Landry wants to block Edwards, a Democrat, from enforcing his executive order prohibiting discrimination in government and state contracts based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Edwards is asking the judge to spell out the boundaries of Landry’s authority.

    “The bulk of the attorney-general’s evidence did not address the issues in the case — the relative constitutional and statutory powers of the governor and the attorney general — but instead focused on whether Edwards’ executive order is a good idea as a matter of policy,” wrote the governor’s lawyer, Matthew Block.

    Block wrote that Landry’s lawyers did not show any problems that could develop because of the language in the executive order, like a vendor wishing to contract with the state who objects to the non-discrimination clause. Instead, he said the attorney general’s office presented witness testimony that described “hypothetical concerns."

    Judge Todd Hernandez said earlier this week that he hoped to make a decision quickly after getting the final written arguments. According to testimony presented on 29 November, as many as 100 contracts for state agencies and boards to pay outside lawyers are stalled because of the disagreement, including a contract in which Landry wants to hire an outside lawyer to defend seven state abortion laws.

  • 170. scream4ever  |  December 4, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    I expect this will go in our favor. States have been doing this for years with no problem.

  • 171. guitaristbl  |  December 4, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    True but these are state courts. In Louisiana nevertheless.

  • 172. scream4ever  |  December 4, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    True, but it could be Alabama LOL

  • 173. allan120102  |  December 4, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Even if he rules in our favor Louisiana supreme court might overturn it. They are not really into lgbt rights. But we will see.

  • 174. VIRick  |  December 4, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    At least once before, in recent history, a Democratic governor of Louisiana has issued Executive Orders protecting LGBT rights, particularly covering state government employees and state contracts, Executive Orders that went unchallenged during their administration.

    Such was issued by Kathleen Babineaux Blanco who was Governor of Louisiana from January 2004 to January 2008. A member of the Democratic Party, she is also the first woman to have been elected as governor of Louisiana. Her successor, Jindal rescinded her orders when he took office. In effect, the current governor can be said to have re-instated Kathleen Blanco's orders.

  • 175. scream4ever  |  December 4, 2016 at 4:47 pm


  • 176. allan120102  |  December 4, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    One Ally of us in Italy Matteo Renzi will resign after the defeat in his referendum, he was an ally of us in passing the civil union law in Italy.

  • 177. allan120102  |  December 5, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Alex Ali Mendez said in its twitter that more amparos are ready and that the fights are until the end. He also mention that some authorities would be in big problem. I imagine that some states would see there ban struck down. I hope he is referring of the bans of Chiapas, Puebla and Aguascalientes being struck down, if is not that then I guess another state have reach its 5 amparo limit.

  • 178. theperchybird  |  December 5, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    It's likely to be the two Bajas as well. The only states lagging are the ones in central Mexico without an action of unconstitutionality. The coastal and border states will likely fall soon.

  • 179. allan120102  |  December 5, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Here is a summary of how many amparos and marriages have been reach in Tamaulipas. Two of the amparos were granted to a collective of couples.
    Here is the one obtain in the new administration by two men.

  • 180. theperchybird  |  December 5, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Faroese bill ran behind schedule, but it will be ratified by the Danes this month. The second reading is scheduled for next Monday and the final reading next Thursday. Once it receives Royal Assent following ratification, weddings can begin on the isles.

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