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Open thread and some Supreme Court news

Conversion therapy cases Transgender Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
– There’s a wave of new anti-transgender “bathroom bills” being filed in Texas, Kentucky, Virginia, and Minnesota.

Welch v. Brown, challenging California’s ban on so-called LGBT “conversion therapy” for minors is back at the Supreme Court, where the challengers to the law have asked them to review the Ninth Circuit’s rejections of the remaining claims in their case. The Supreme Court has previously rejected review of an earlier iteration.

– The US government filed its opening brief in US v. Texas, in which several states sued to block the administration’s transgender guidelines.

– Also in the Supreme Court, the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, in which a bakery was fined under a state anti-discrimination law for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex couple, the case will get its first conference on January 13. Originally scheduled for January 6, the Court rescheduled, giving no reason.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. allan120102  |  January 10, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Peru: Reniec will appeal the order that makes them recognize ssm in Peru. Saying that the law prevents them from registering that marriage.
    The National Registry of Identification and Civil Status – Reniec will appeal the decision of the 7th Constitutional Court of Lima, which orders to recognize and register the marriage of a gay couple celebrated in the country of Mexico.

    According to RPP Benito Portocarrero, manager of Institutional Image of Reniec, although the institution has not yet been notified, his attorney will appeal the resolution on the marriage between Óscar Ugarteche and Fidel Aroche after studying the case.

    In a previous interview in RPP, Portocarrero said that "most likely" was that the Reniec appealed the court order. "It does not depend on whether or not we agree with homosexual marriages," he said, adding that what would motivate the appeal is a legal issue.

    "Our Civil Code of 1984, says that marriage is the union voluntarily agreed by a woman and a male legally fit for her," said the official.

    "According to this code, that marriage is not possible," he insisted, and stated that the court that ordered the recognition of the union has taken into account considerations subsequent to that norm.

    However, he said that if after the appeal a higher instance insists on the order, "Reniec has no problem in making the inscription and complying with what the judge says."


    Portocarrero said Óscar Ugarteche is the only Peruvian who has made a formal request for the recognition of a gay marriage in our country and that the ruling would "open a door" for other cases.

    "It's like many years ago with the woman's vote. This is going towards that, but for now we have to follow the current procedures," he concluded.

  • 2. allan120102  |  January 10, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    North Dakota will not change its marriage laws to reflect the decision made by the supreme court overturning the ban on ssm. The senate vote 15-31 in leaving the ban on ssm even though its symbolic as ss couples have been getting married since june 26, 2015.

  • 3. davepCA  |  January 10, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Yeah, there were some states in the south that still had their bans on interracial marriage 'on the books' until just very recently, too. They served no purpose other than to reveal the views of bigoted administrations and to help let us know who our 'enemies' were.

  • 4. VIRick  |  January 10, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Texas’ sodomy law still remains on the books, 14 years after the Supreme Court case, "Lawrence v. Texas," struck it down. Called homosexual conduct, the section of the statute is headed with the disclaimer that it was ruled unconstitutional more than a decade ago.

    Eight other states also still have sodomy laws on the books. Three have sodomy laws with punishment that is less than the punishment for raping a woman. Georgia, Kansas, and Utah have two definitions for sodomy, with one being a separate definition for when it is forced. Georgia has the highest possible punishment for sodomy: one to 20 years in prison. According to criminal law in Kansas and Utah, sodomy could land someone up to six months in jail and a fine up to $1,000. All of these laws have been ruled unconstitutional.

    Five additional states have laws that define rape as vaginal intercourse, with separate definitions for sodomy. Offenses that are prefaced with the word “forced” or aggravated” carry the same punishment as rape. These states are Alabama, California, Kentucky, Missouri, and Virginia. All these laws are unconstitutional.

    Idaho and Mississippi also have highly questionable laws, where sodomy gets mixed in with rape. In Idaho, the law differentiates between rape of men and women by having a completely separate male rape law that defines the crime as oral or anal penetration from another man. In Mississippi, the state's rape law requires female victims to prove they were “previously of chaste character.” There is no such requirement for men.

    By some parameters, that gives us 11 states either with unconstitutional sodomy laws still on the books, or with laws which are of a highly questionable nature.

    At the time when "Lawrence" was struck down, there were 13 states with sodomy laws. Montana subsequently dumped theirs in its entirety, while Maryland "fixed" its language to eliminate the unconstitutional portions. But people were recently falsely arrested for "sodomy" in Louisiana, so do they still have something on the books there, too? Personally, I am doubting California's inclusion in this list, and am much more prone to think that Louisiana ought to be.

  • 5. JayJonson  |  January 11, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Yes, The Louisiana statute remains on the book.

  • 6. allan120102  |  January 10, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Ciudad de Mexico Mexico.
    The constitution of the the Mexican capital now includes same sex marriage. It is now in article 16 of the capital constitution. by a vote 68 to 11.

    The figure of civil marriage between people of the same sex was approved in the plenary of the Constituent Assembly, following a reservation presented by the PRD constituent and LGBTTI community rights defender, Lol Kin Castañeda, who obtained 68 votes in favor And 11 against.

    In article 16 that the Constitution, it was established that "LGBTTTI couples, with or without daughters or children, who are under the figure of civil marriage, concubinage, or some other union are recognized in equal rights. Civil, "Castañeda's change was to include the term 'civil marriage', as the original ruling only referred to 'marriage', but not civil.

    The Lol Kin reserve generated broad support from almost all parties, the PAN constituency, María Teresa Gómez Mont, requested the floor to say that the PANs were going to "vote in freedom … we had our internal debate on this issue, positions Were divided and we decided that we were going to vote in freedom. "

    Gómez Mont pointed out that there has been a fight against the issue of egalitarian civil marriage within national action "but we also recognize that within us there are people with this characteristic."

    Cynthia López, a PRI constituent, also requested the floor to announce that she joined the proposal of Lol Kin Castañeda, "I allow myself to subscribe to this reservation and express our support for the proposal."

    However, moments later, the same Cynthia Lopez asked the floor to clarify that "the vote is personal" not the entire parliamentary group of the PRI, and rose from her curul to give a hug to Lol Kin Castañeda, promoter of the Initiative .

    One of the few constituents who voted against Castañeda's initiative was Alejandro Bustos, of the PVEM, who just moments before had presented a reservation to eliminate the numerals that referred to the recognition of same-sex couples integrated in marriage, concubinage or Another form of union.

    Moments before Castañeda's initiative was voted on, he made a singular statement in which he said: "I want to make clear to the comrades on the left that we always vote in freedom … not against the convictions of our comrades, but for our Own convictions ".

  • 7. VIRick  |  January 10, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Air Force Grants Honorable Discharge to 91-Year-Old ‘Undesirable’ Gay Vet

    New Haven CT — A 91-year-old veteran who was dismissed from the US Air Force as “undesirable” in 1948 because he is gay has had that discharge status changed to “honorable.” The move by the Air Force comes in response to a lawsuit filed in November 2016 by H. Edward Spires of Norwalk CT who served from 1946 to 1948 as a chaplain’s assistant, earning the rank of sergeant.

    Spires was forced out of the military in 1948 after an investigation into his sexual orientation. Spires’ attorneys said he was originally denied the discharge upgrade after the repeal of the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy in 2010 because the Air Force said his records had likely been lost in a 1973 fire.

    The Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records informed Spires on Friday, 6 January 2017, that the honorable discharge had been approved by the Air Force Review Boards Agency. Spires’ attorneys have said he is in poor health and would like a military funeral, which the upgrade makes possible.

    “The idea that this man of faith who served dutifully as a chaplain’s assistant in the armed forces, who built a life and a career that has brought joy to those around him, would leave this earth considered undesirable in the eyes of his country, it’s unthinkable,” Spires’ husband, David Rosenberg, said during a briefing on the case at the Yale Law School in November.

  • 8. allan120102  |  January 10, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Israel. It looks like the high court of Israel does not believe the courts should be the ones to legalize ssm instead the senate should do it,so base on the hearing it looks like same sex marriage will continue to be ilegal until the KNESSET pass it.

  • 9. VIRick  |  January 10, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Israel's basic problem with marriage is this:

    When Israel's basic law was being written, they bowed to the ultra-orthodox religious right, and only allow religious wedding ceremonies to be performed within the boundaries of Israel. Even worse, for Jews, the ceremony must follow the precepts of Orthodox Judaism. But for Jews, once locked into the orthodox way of doing things, one can never disown them. As a result, most Jews are simply not interested.

    For Christians, only the ceremonies of the Greek Orthodox, Assyrian Orthodox, and Armenian Orthodox rites are allowed. The Armenian church is affiliated with the Roman Catholic. But no Protestant weddings, of any denomination, are allowed. On the other hand, one can get married as a Baha'i, a Druze, or a Muslim by following those specific traditions.

    Civil marriages of any kind are not allowed to be performed within Israel. For that, one must go abroad. But once married abroad, wherever that might be, whether hetero or same-sex, those same civil marriages are, in turn, then duly recognized and recorded in Israel. The majority of Israelis have always married in this fashion, particularly secular Jews who have no desire to become entrapped into the Orthodox tradition. For hetero couples wishing to have a civil marriage, Cyprus has always been a safe, near-by destination. Same-sex couples need to travel farther, with Spain, France, or Belgium being most popular.

    This basic law is a nightmare which the majority of Israelis would love to dump, but that ultra-right orthodox element throws a holy shit-fit at the least hint of it. I am certain that that is why the High Court side-stepped this issue by correctly pointing out that the Knesset desperately needs to change the basic law of Israel.

  • 10. Randolph_Finder  |  January 11, 2017 at 4:11 am

    Or to put it another way,
    A Jewish man trying to marry a Druze man is only slightly more impeded by current Israeli law than a Jewish man trying to marry a Druze woman.

  • 11. VIRick  |  January 11, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Thank you, as you just pointed out another impediment facing many couples in Israel. Only co-religionists can legally marry each other within Israel, a rule that even applies to non-Jews. So yes, only a Druze can marry another (hetero) Druze, and must do so by following whatever the approved Druze religious ritual is for marriage within that tradition. And a Greek Orthodox must marry a (hetero) Greek Orthodox in the same religious manner, etc., etc.

    Yet, co-called "inter-faith" marriages, whether hetero or same-sex, done abroad as civil marriages, are quite routinely recognized and recorded once the couple returns to Israel.

    But there's one more crazy twist. El Salvador, in Central America, allows for civil marriage "by proxy" (and there may be other countries which allow for this, as well). Israelis unable to travel abroad for a civil marriage, whether because of illness, a mobility issue, or from fear of being denied re-entry because of an immigration issue, or whatever, can arrange to have their marriage performed there in El Salvador by hiring another couple, two witnesses, and a lawyer. That party will then stand-in for the couple who actually wish to be married. When all the paper work has been completed, several months later, a marriage certificate will duly arrive in the mail back in Israel. And that marriage is then accepted as legal by the civil authorities in Israel.

    I understand that there's quite a business of (hetero) Israelis marrying each other in El Salvador by this fashion. Now, if only El Salvador were to allow same-sex marriage, and continue with the marriage "by proxy" proviso, they could increase their revenue generated by this additional source.

  • 12. allan120102  |  January 11, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Looks like Charlotte will not re-instate its lgbt ordinance as it might be only symbolic and might do more bad than good for now.
    Charlotte city leaders are mulling whether to reinstate the nondiscrimination ordinance that prompted House Bill 2 – a symbolic move that could alienate Republican leaders but reaffirm their commitment to protecting gay individuals.

    The City Council voted in December to repeal the ordinance as part of an unsuccessful deal with the General Assembly to repeal HB2, which had nullified the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance. Reinstating the ordinance would be only a symbolic effort because HB2 remains in place.

    But in an election year, council members may want to show the city’s gay and lesbian community that they are focused on giving them legal protections. The Washington-based Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT advocacy group that opposes HB2, said Tuesday it would welcome the city reinstating its protections for the LGBT community.

    The vote, however, could anger Republicans in Raleigh and hinder a second attempt at repealing the controversial state law.

    Amy Auth, a spokeswoman for Senate President Phil Berger, said a new ordinance would break the law.

    “If so, Mayor Roberts’ time would have been better spent trying to convince Senate Democrats to repeal HB2 in the clean, up-or-down vote rather than enacting symbolic pokes in the eye to the 16 Republican Senators who have already voted to repeal it,” she said in a statement.

    Council members have discussed the symbolic vote and are divided over the issue, according to interviews with several officials. One part of the discussion: When is the best time to take such a vote? Would it do more harm than good?

    Democrat Julie Eiselt, who voted for the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance in February, said she wants to find a way for the city to include legal protections for the LGBT community.

    But she’s not sure it would be helpful to pass an ordinance that wouldn’t be valid.

    “I don’t think anyone is willing to stop pursuing protections, but I want something meaningful,” she said. “My goal is to work for an enforceable ordinance.”

    Democrat Patsy Kinsey, who also supports the LGBT protections, said “there is chatter” about possibly restoring the ordinance, though she isn’t sure that’s the best move for the city.

    “I think right now the ball is in the General Assembly’s court,” she said. “We should respect that and let them mull it over. We have a new governor, and he’s the right person we should work with going forward.”

    After Charlotte expanded its ordinance in February, the state passed HB2, which nullified it.

    In May and September, the city turned down offers from legislative leaders to rescind its ordinance with the hopes that the General Assembly would repeal HB2.

    In December, after Democrat Roy Cooper defeated incumbent governor Pat McCrory, Roberts and council members agreed to rescind their ordinance. But the legislature failed to repeal HB2.
    A problem for Democrats is that the GOP leadership insisted on some kind of moratorium on N.C. municipalities passing new LGBT protections. The moratorium varied from six months to roughly nine months.

    Democrats said the legislature would likely continue lengthening the moratorium. Because of that, Senate Democrats voted against the repeal.

    Charlotte Chamber president Bob Morgan said Tuesday that he commends the council for repealing its ordinance, and he called on the legislature to repeal HB2.

    But he said it “would be extremely counterproductive for the council to restore its ordinance. This would only be a symbolic act that would not extend protections to anybody.”

    He added council members should work with legislators to repeal HB2.

    Read more here:

  • 13. allan120102  |  January 11, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Looks like its good that the case in Peru is appeal as now a court with greater jurisdiction will hear the case and its decision will be far reaching in all the country. The previous decision only allow one couple to register now it will be far reaching to all other couples if the court rules in our favor.
    The National Coordinator of Human Rights (CNDDHH) urged the National Registry of Identification and Civil Status (RENIEC) to immediately comply with the constitutional ruling that orders him to recognize and register the marriage of Peruvian Oscar Ugarteche and Mexican Fidel Aroche, held in Mexico in 2010 , As well as to apply its legal reasoning in other similar cases.

    Through a letter sent this morning to the National Head of RENIEC, the Executive Secretary of the CNDDHH Jorge Bracamonte and the lawyer of the couple Javier Mujica have expressed their surprise at the announcement that RENIEC would appeal the sentence insisting that the Penal Code defines In its article 234, marriage as "the union voluntarily concluded by a man and a woman," forgetting that this article must be interpreted in the light of higher standards such as the Constitution and the international treaties to which Peru is a party, which Establish the principle of non-discrimination under any term.

    The CNDDHH reminded RENIEC that the same Civil Code in which it invokes its refusal, states in its article 2050 that "any right regularly acquired under a foreign law, competent according to the Peruvian rules of private international law, has the same effectiveness in Peru, insofar as it is compatible with international public order and with good customs. " In that sense, while the marriage Ugarteche-Aroche was celebrated according to the laws in force in Mexico and does not violate any international and national norm, it must be recognized.

    "Failure to comply with this ruling constitutes denying the reality, pretending that the marriage of Oscar and Fidel does not exist every time they tread the national territory, which would obviously be absurd and would violate their fundamental rights, such as those derived from mutual social protection in the Framework of their relationship and family, "said the CNDDHH executive secretary Jorge Bracamonte.

    "A perverse understanding of the nature of the Attorney General has popularized the idea that it must always appeal to any decision that does not fit its initial understanding of the rules, but its role is to take care of the common good, and in this case the good Common is to protect all families, not leave any citizen in legal abandonment. That is, to inscribe this marriage. No law forces prosecutors to appeal, "said the lawyer of the couple, Javier Mujica.

    If the judgment is finally appealed by RENIEC, will be seen by a Superior Court whose ruling will be binding jurisprudence for other cases. If its reasoning is negative, the case can reach the Constitutional Court or even the Inter-American Human Rights System, which has already on several occasions expressed its support for the full recognition of all the human rights of lesbian, transgender, bisexual people And intersexual (LTGBI), so it is hoped that the registration of this egalitarian marriage will finally be given, although the couple should wait yet for some more years of legal battles.

  • 14. VIRick  |  January 11, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Perú Takes One Step Toward Recognizing Same-Sex Marriage

    Lima, Perú — Perú has taken a small step toward recognizing same-sex marriage with a court’s recognition of the Mexican marriage between two men. Peruvian gay rights activist Oscar Ugarteche tried to register his marriage to his Mexican partner shortly after the two were married in Mexico City in 2010 so that he could change his marital status on his passport. When his request was denied, he sued.

    The historic court ruling was announced on Monday, 9 January 2017, but only pertains to marriages performed outside its borders. Perú lags many of its Latin American neighbors in recognizing same-sex marriages. The government agency charged with registering marriages, RENIEC (Registro Nacional de Identidad y Estado Civil), says it will appeal the decision.

  • 15. VIRick  |  January 11, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    So, RENIEC can appeal the court's decision if it so chooses. That maneuver will only delay the very likely outcome, a rather obvious outcome, too, based on the Court's thinking as expressed in a very recent Constitutional Court ruling on a closely-related matter:

    Perú: Constitutional Court Recognizes the Right to Gender Identity

    Perú: Tribunal Constitucional Reconoce Derecho a la Identidad de Género

    Per Matrimonio Igualitario Perú: ·

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

    In a stunning court decision, Perú, like Bolivia's recent legislation, just catapulted the recognition of gender identity way ahead of same-sex marriage.

    And now, just two months later, a lower constitutional court in Perú has ruled to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in Mexico (with application to all same-sex marriages legally enacted by Peruvians while abroad).

  • 16. Randolph_Finder  |  January 16, 2017 at 4:54 am

    Is it just me or does RENIEC and the bureaucrats running it seem like (to use a Dungeons & Dragons term) Lawful Neutral? There doesn't seem to be an opposition to Marriage Equality, they are rather appealing so that there will be consistency in the law rather than a single exception.

  • 17. VIRick  |  January 11, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Russian Prostitutes Ostensibly Misunderstood When Trump Said "You're an Eight"

    Yet, apparently,– the major difference between a lentil and a chickpea is that Trump wouldn't pay $1000 to have a lentil on his face.

    In the meantime, somewhere behind closed doors, an unfortunate staffer is having to awkwardly explain to Pence what a "Golden Shower" is.

    And we're to have four long years of this, of one insanity after the other, on top of the next tawdry exposé of some mindless perversion????????

  • 18. VIRick  |  January 11, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Italian Court Claims Gay Couple’s Twin Children Are Not Brothers

    A gay Italian couple were given the gift of twin baby boys with the help of "in vitro" fertilization and a surrogate mother in California, but then faced opposition as soon as they returned to Italy. Once in Milan with the newborns, a clerk at the registry office refused to transcribe the babies’ birth certificates, preventing them from claiming the boys as their legal children.

    Surrogacy is illegal in Italy, and issues with parents registering their children as their own when returning home after turning to a surrogate are not uncommon. But what happened in court after this couple sued was extremely unusual. Since both men used their own separate sperm to fertilize the eggs, a judge ruled that each of the men could register their biological son as their own. The babies could not be registered as children of the couple, and are not to be recognized as brothers, however, despite having the same mother.

    Not only is surrogacy illegal in Italy, but in vitro fertilization is also limited to heterosexual couples, who must use their own sperm and eggs. While same-sex civil unions were made legal last year in the country, same-sex marriage and adoption are still banned, meaning the men cannot even adopt their non-biological sons.

    Still, Famiglie Arcobaleno, a non-governmental organization advocating for the rights of same-sex parents and their children, helped the couple with their court case, and declared the ruling a “positive step.” “It’s the first time that an Italian court has established that a child’s best interest comes before [the legality of] how he or she was born,” said the group’s president, Marilena Grassadonia. “The children’s interest was to have a parent. Also, until now, the babies were only US citizens, but finally their fathers can pass their Italian citizenship to them.”

  • 19. Christian0811  |  January 12, 2017 at 10:06 am

    To the Constitutional Court we go

  • 20. VIRick  |  January 11, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Florida: State Reaches Settlement in Lawsuit Challenging Denial of Accurate Birth Certificates

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Tallahassee FL – Today, 11 January 2017, almost two years to the day after same-sex marriages became legal in Florida, the State has finally settled the lawsuit, "Chin v. Armstrong," filed against it by married same-sex couples who were denied accurate birth certificates for their children.

    On 13 August 2015, two couples, along with Equality Florida Institute, the largest organization representing LGBT Floridians, filed said lawsuit challenging Florida’s refusal to issue birth certificates listing both spouses as parents of their children. The plaintiffs are represented by the NCLR and Florida attorneys, Mary Meeks and Elizabeth Schwartz.

    Under the terms of the settlement, the Department of Vital Statistics agrees to treat same-sex spouses the same way it treats different-sex spouses for purposes of birth certificates, and will issue corrected birth certificates to married same-sex couples at no charge, including couples who were validly married in any other state at the time their children were born in Florida. The State also agreed to pay some attorneys’ fees to the couples’ attorneys.

    “The LGBTQ community can now celebrate a long-awaited victory,” said Hannah Willard, Public Policy Director for Equality Florida. “Married same-sex couples deserve to be treated fairly and equally before the law in all ways, including in the recognition of our families. Thanks to years of hard work by the NCLR and our local attorneys, the State of Florida has agreed to our terms so that we can put this discrimination behind us."

    “Through the course of this lawsuit, Florida took important steps to protect same-sex couples and their families and we are very happy that the State has now fully resolved the case,” said NCLR Senior Staff Attorney Amy Whelan. “Leaving children and families vulnerable in this way benefits no one and we hope other states will follow Florida’s example.”

    Not having an accurate birth certificate denies children with same-sex parents the dignity, legitimacy, security, support, and protections available upon birth to children of married different-sex parents. It also prevents parents from taking care of their children’s every day needs like obtaining healthcare, signing up for daycare, and enrolling in government programs and benefits. The resolution of this lawsuit has eliminated these problems and will ensure that these families are treated equally.

    For a complete time-line of the case history in "Chin v. Armstrong" see:

  • 21. VIRick  |  January 11, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    The Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution

    Per Geraldina González de la Vega:

    The Emoluments Clause is an ironclad prohibition against receiving gifts: “No Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

    A recent paper published by the Brookings Institution notes that President-elect Trump would be violating the US Constitution “whenever a foreign diplomat stays in a Trump hotel or hosts a reception in one; whenever foreign-owned banks offer loans to Trump’s businesses or pay rent for office space in his buildings; whenever projects are jump-started or expedited or licensed or otherwise advantaged because Trump is associated with them; whenever foreign prosecutors and regulators treat a Trump entity favorably; and whenever the Trump Organization makes a profit on a business transaction with any foreign state or foreign-owned entity.”

    And the remedy for violating the Emoluments Clause? Impeachment.

  • 22. Christian0811  |  January 12, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Great idea… President Mike Pence, because that would be so much better. Also, a republican congress impeaching a republican president? Reeeeeeeally don't see it happening.

    Wait out the 4 years, try to organize the center and left to be more palatable to the swing states and give it another go. Short of armed revolution or divine intervention, nothing is gonna change in the mean time.

  • 23. guitaristbl  |  January 13, 2017 at 8:01 am

    You forget one thing though : Many (if not the majority) of republicans despise Trump with passion. That does not make Trump a good guy by any stretch of imagination. But I bet they would LOVE to get rid of someone so blatantly unqualified that can smear the GOP brand for years to come and have someone more to their liking and control like Pence sitting on the high chair.

  • 24. VIRick  |  January 12, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    OK, but remember who I am really quoting here:

    Geraldina González de la Vega is a constitutional scholar at Universidad Ibero who has worked as a staff assistant to Justice Zaldívar in Mexico's Supreme Court. She's an expert on constitutional law, and she (and I, through her) are pointing out the most egregiously obvious constitutional impediment to Trump's presidency.

    On one level, Pence may be "worse" than Trump, but Pence at least backs down when challenged over his more extreme views, and seeks a "compromise" of some nature. Trump does not. In fact, Trump doubles down, mocking and ridiculing his "enemies" with a vengeance, a quality that's definitely not presidential, but one that's not necessarily impeachable.

    But the entanglement of his "businesses," his family, and all sorts of foreign operatives, will inevitably ensnare him into violating the Emoluments Clause.

    Of course, one could also read this somewhat differently: Mexico would be more than happy to impeach Trump for the USA, right now, this afternoon.

  • 25. Christian0811  |  January 12, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    I mean you're right, impeachment is the remedy but whether or not it gets applied at all, successfully or not, or results in any kind of a better outcome is very much up for debate . Afterall Pence is no less likely than Trump to sign tax breaks for the wealthy and so on.

  • 26. allan120102  |  January 12, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Another amparo have been granted against Aguascalientes.
    In August 2016 a couple of the same sex makes their application to the civil registry to be able to marry, this in accordance with the eighth article of the constitution, which is the right of petition, however, with answer to the request they inform that it is not possible To meet this demand, this based on Article 143 of the Civil Code of the State of Aguascalientes, where it says that marriage is between a "man and a woman" and, based on this four-line response is that we request amparo And protection of federal justice, says Paulina Díaz Guzmán, a lawyer at the Observatory for Social and Gender Violence in Aguascalientes (Ovsga).

    The Observatory is aware of the case from the refusal of civil registration in September 2016, so within 15 working days an amparo is filed before a district court arguing the unconstitutionality of both article 143 and 144 Of the Civil Code of the State, by violating the rights of the applicants. In the amparo, explains the lawyer of the Observatory, several articles of the constitution were claimed, for example, articles 1, 4, 14, 16, some of the American Convention on Human Rights, some of the International Covenant on Civil Rights And Political and some of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

    Once the amparo was filed, the authorities argue that their rights are not being violated; Nevertheless, on December 1, the sentence that protects and protects is communicated, that is, it says that articles 143 and 144 of the Civil Code for the State of Aguascalientes are unconstitutional, this because it contains a distinction that unjustifiably excludes homosexual couples from Access to marriage, so it is proceeded to the protection and protection of the justice of the requested union, comments Paulina Díaz Guzmán.

    This judgment is final as long as it was not contested, that is, there is an executory cause, which requires that for the applicant couple do not apply articles 143 and 144, which refer only to heterosexual unions or for purposes of procreation, in addition to To issue a new office, complying with the guidelines of the constitutional ruling, ie, there is an affirmative response from the civil registry to the request for marriage of the requesting couple.

    Consuelo Díaz Guzmán, an Ovsga lawyer, said that as an organization, it is an advance in the recognition of rights, equality and access to justice, where there are laws that violate and deprive of rights, it is necessary to show that they are unconstitutional , Awaiting the necessary legislative reform.

    The work of the Observatory allows setting precedents, accumulate sentences so that later it is not through the amparo, but there is a legislative reform, so that all have access to justice, finished the lawyer.

    The Ovsga coordinator, Mariana Ávila Montejano, says that with this exercise through the work of the lawyers and the lawyer of the organization, they join other organizations that have been working on the subject; "We will not be silent and we will continue to fight because the rights of all people are respected equally," he said.

  • 27. allan120102  |  January 12, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    4.6% of USA population identify as lgbt or 10 million americans. That means it have increased by 1.75million people compared to 2012. The expanding of lgbt rights especially same sex marriage and anti discriminations laws help people feel more comfortable with themselves. Still 4.6% is lower than most latin American countries. just in my country the last sample said that a staggering 9% identify as a lgbt Brazil has cities with 11 to 15 % identifying as lgbt. If you see in demographics Hispanics is the group with most lgbt at 5.4%. I also see Europeans have lower percentages too even though most countries there are more friendly than here.
    About 10 million Americans — or 4.6 percent of the U.S. population — identified as LGBT in 2016.

    A new Gallup poll released the findings, which show a rise in 1.75 million people since 2012. To determine these numbers, pollsters conducted interviews with random sample of 1.6 million U.S. adults (over age 18) for the past five years, asking, "Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender?" Nearly 50,000 responded in the affirmative.

    The report claimed self-identification is only one way to measure the nation's LGBT population. It noted how "direct assessments of same-sex sexual behavior or attraction yield very different (and often larger) population estimates."

    Here are some of the other significant findings. Young people born between 1980-1998 were twice as likely as other age demographics to identify as LGBT. Although they account for only 32 percent of the adult population, millennials comprised 58 percent of the total number of self-identified LGBT Americans. Gallup attributes this to a decline in stigma.

    "It's likely that millennials are the first generation in the U.S. to grow up in an environment where social acceptance of the LGBT community markedly increased," the report noted. "This may be an important factor in explaining their greater willingness to identify as LGBT."

    "They may not have experienced the levels of discrimination and stigma experienced by their older counterparts," it added. "The perceived risks associated with publicly identifying as LGBT might also be lower in millennials than among other generations."

    In addition, women (4.4 percent) were more likely than men (3.7 percent) to identify as LGBT; the former group also accounted for a greater increase since 2012.

    In terms of race and ethnicity, polled demographics were white (3.6 percent), black (4.6 percent), Hispanic (5.4 percent), Asian (4.9 percent), and other (6.3 percent). Asian-Americans, which tallied 3.5 percent in 2012, saw the largest increase in numbers. According to Gallup, this means that 40 percent of self-identified LGBT adults are people of color, an increase from 33 percent in 2012.

    Gallup measured other factors. For example, LGBT adults in the survey were more likely be non-religious (56 percent) than straight people (32 percent). The poll also examined education attainment and annual household income.

    "In a span of only five years, the demographic composition of Americans who identify as LGBT has markedly changed," the report stated. "It has become larger, younger, more female and less religious. These demographic traits are of interest to a wide range of constituencies."

    These constituencies range from the National Institute of Health, which analyzes health disparities in vulnerable communities, to corporate America, which has courted LGBT customers through boycotts like in North Carolina .

  • 28. VIRick  |  January 12, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Map of Latin America Showing Same-Sex Marital Status

    Earlier today, 12 January 2017, Salud en Casa from Perú, copied by Matrimonio Igualitario from Mexico, shows an excellently accurate, up-dated map of Latin America, color-coded to show 4 different LGBT marital statuses:

    Same-Sex Marriage Legalized (dark blue):

    Mexico (Federal District) – 4 marzo 2010 (spreading to 10 states)
    Argentina – 22 julio 2010
    Netherlands Antilles (Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius) – 2012
    Brasil – 16 mayo 2013
    Guayana Francesa y Las Islas Francesas del Caribe – 28 mayo 2013
    Uruguay – 5 agosto 2013
    Colombia – 28 abril 2016
    Note: The Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, and Colombia do not marry non-citizen couples; the others do.

    Same-Sex Civil Unions Legalized (pink):

    Chile – 13 abril 2015
    Ecuador – 21 abril 2015
    Costa Rica – 17 mayo 2015
    Aruba – 8 septiembre 2016
    Mérida State, Venezuela –

    Same-Sex Marriages Recognized from Other Countries (light blue):

    Mexico – 10 agosto 2010 (the remaining 21 states)
    Netherlands Antilles (Curaçao, Sint Maarten) – 2012
    Perú – 2017

    Without Same-Sex Unions nor Recognition (grey):

    The remainder

  • 29. 1grod  |  January 13, 2017 at 7:06 am

    Alabama's Roy Moore's Advocacy Recognized.
    Roy Moore's stand on the significance of the Tenth Amendment has earned him the 2016 Bill of Rights Award from the Bill of Rights Bicentennial Committee of [the unincorporated village of] Concordville, Pennsylvania. Moore is sited for giving emphasis to the "rights of states". He has argued that states, not the federal government, have the right to define marriage.
    Note: that the township of Concord, to which the village is a part has a population of 17,231 [as reported on its website] the vast majority of whom reside in nearby Glen Mills, the site of the municipal offices ,

  • 30. Shmoozo  |  January 16, 2017 at 6:26 am

    The group in question seems to be one of those tiny little 'groups' that have more words in their highfaluting name than they have members. Needless to say, they have no official standing and their interests seem to run more in the direction of extreme socially conservative causes than in supporting the Bill of Rights.

  • 31. VIRick  |  January 13, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Virginia: Attorney-General Herring Launches Initiative to Fight Hate Crimes

    On Friday, 13 January 2017, Virginia Attorney-General Mark Herring announced an initiative designed to combat hate crimes in the state. Currently, Virginia’s hate crimes law is not LGBT-inclusive. State Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington County), state Del. Rip Sullivan (D-Fairfax County), and Herring announced a bill that would add sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability to the statute.

    The press announcement that Herring’s office released says, “This more inclusive definition will more closely match the federal definition” of a hate crime, which has included sexual orientation and gender identity since President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009. It also noted the bill would provide the Virginia State Police with a “more complete set of hate crimes to be tracked annually,” allow prosecutors to seek enhanced penalties against those who are charged with committing hate crimes, and enable their victims to sue them.

    “Hate crimes against gay and transgender individuals are a pervasive issue and make people fear to live in their own communities,” said Parrish in a statement. “Expanding hate crime laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity sends a message that violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people isn’t okay.”

    Favola, state Del. Lamont Bagby (D-Henrico County) and Herring on Friday, 13 January 2017, also announced a bill that would allow him to investigate and prosecute hate crime cases through Virginia’s multi-jurisdictional grand jury network.

  • 32. VIRick  |  January 13, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Indiana: Bill Introduced to Ban Birth Certificate Changes

    On Thursday, 12 January 2017, a cheesy Elvis impersonator, whose day-job is doubling as a member of the Indiana state legislature, has introduced an anti-transgender bill which would ban transgender Hoosiers from making changes to their birth certificate to match their authentic gender, potentially leading to discrimination and other problems, according to Freedom Indiana. State Rep. Bruce Borders, a Republican, is the author of the bill, House Bill 1361. He is also an Elvis impersonator (seriously??).

    Indiana’s Division of Vital Statistics will currently correct gender markers on a birth certificate, provided a court order is issued. But that would be outlawed by HB 1361, which states: “Provides that, subject to certain exceptions, the gender listed on an individual’s birth certificate, and permanent records made from the birth certificate, may not be changed.” (The bill is also poorly-written. Despite this being a quote, I had to make two grammar changes in that single sentence in order to render it readable.)

    Freedom Indiana sent an email blast to its members and supporters, calling for action to stop the bill before it moves forward. “Having a birth certificate that matches a person’s gender is an important step that is needed before obtaining a correct driver’s license, identification card, Social Security card, passport, and other documents that are used in everyday life,” said Chris Paulsen. “House Bill 1361 also creates a permanent record, that could be used to target transgender individuals for discrimination and harassment.”

    One can read more on the "Elvis Impersonator" angle here, complete with a video of the creepy performance:

    OMG! You have to watch the video! And then we can discuss this guy's real "problem." By the second song, if you can stand watching that long, the word, "closeted" comes leaping to mind.

    On the other hand, one would think that the Indiana state legislature's time could be better spent fashioning a bill to ban the public display of Elvis impersonations.

    Bruce Borders represents House District 45 which includes all of Sullivan County and portions of Vigo, Greene, Knox, and Daviess Counties. Per his online biography, nationally renowned, Bruce is known for his outstanding Elvis Presley impersonation, which was featured on ‘Late Night with David Letterman’, ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’, ‘The Joan Rivers Show,’ ‘Entertainment Tonight,' and much more. He's also a member of the First Assembly of God Church in Jasonville IN.

  • 33. Fortguy  |  January 13, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Don't expect to see Michael Landon along this Highway to Hell.

    Ken Herman, Austin American-Statesman: Should highway be named for preacher who said gays go to hell?

    Interstate 20 is the most southerly freeway connecting Dallas and Fort Worth, and it runs along the edge of southern Dallas, the historically minority half of the city that has always been treated by city hall as the city's neglected stepchild. St. Rep. Yvonne Davis (D-Dallas) is the sponsor of HB 768 and should know better.

  • 34. VIRick  |  January 13, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    A Brief History of Muxe, Mexico's Third Gender

    In small town and rural, indigenous Mexico there exists a third gender, known as muxe (sometimes spelled muxhe) amongst the Zapotec peoples. Considered neither male nor female, rather somewhere in between like the hijras of India, muxes are (broadly speaking) biologically male but dress and act in ways typically associated with females. Here’s a brief history of Mexico’s third gender:

    Believed to have originated from the Spanish word for woman (mujer), muxes are predominantly found in communities around the Isthmus of Oaxaca (Tehuantepec) where tolerance towards people identifying with this third gender is generally higher than in many other parts of Mexico. Contrary to popular belief, discrimination is still sadly alive and kicking though. In other regions, muxes are sometimes known by other names like biza’ah.

    Like Indian hijras, muxe is thought to be an ancient concept, although many of the current features associated with being muxe only date back some 60 years. One of these relates to how to present as muxe – either by wearing female clothes (vestidas), or wearing male clothes but with makeup (pintadas). Nowadays, most muxes choose to be vestidas. Some muxes also have families, and while many choose male partners, others choose female ones. When a muxe has a male partner, it’s not taken as a given that that man is himself homosexual. Instead, they are known as mayates, although many consider mayates to be men who simply exercise their repressed homosexual desires in a more socially acceptable way. Even so, leaving home is not always common for muxes, as they tend to become the primary caregiver for their elderly parents.

    One key festivity during which muxe culture is celebrated is in late November when the town of Juchitán de Zaragoza (in Oaxaca, at the southern end of the trans-isthmus highway) plays host to its annual three-day long Vela de las Intrépidas party.

    The Zapoteca people are also one of the primary indigenous groupings just south of the Tuxtla region of southen Veracruz state where I used to live, although most live further south into Oaxaca. Just to their north, the Olmeca people then take over.

  • 35. Fortguy  |  January 13, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Interesting. Among Mexican-Americans in the Southwest, the term mayate or mayata is used to describe someone who is black.

  • 36. VIRick  |  January 14, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Maryland: Tentative Settlement Reached in Lesbian Trooper’s Federal Bias Suit

    Baltimore — Maryland State Police and a lesbian trooper say they have reached a tentative settlement of her federal lawsuit alleging discrimination based on her gender and sexual orientation, in a lawsuit filed in US District Court in Baltimore in May 2016.

    Lawyers for the state and Trooper Chelsea Raley filed a joint motion Wednesday, 11 January 2017, in District Court in Baltimore, seeking to stay proceedings pending finalization of what they call a “settlement in principle.” State police spokeswoman Elena Russo and Robert Udowitz, a spokesman for Raley’s lawyers, said Friday, 13 January 2017, they can’t discuss the deal because it’s not final.

    Raley, of the Cumberland barracks (in western Maryland, right on the West Virginia state line), also contends she’s been subjected to retaliation and a hostile work environment. Her lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages

  • 37. VIRick  |  January 14, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    DC: Refugee Ball to Take Place at Sixth and I

    As another "alternative" inaugural event, the Refugee Ball will be held at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue (600 I St., NW) on Tuesday, 17 January 2017, from 5-9 PM.

    The ball was organized by a group of asylum lawyers, non-profit organizations, mental health professionals, and academics as an alternative inaugural ball. Refugees, asylum seekers, their family members and supporters are welcome. The event will include food, music, art, and free legal services. Tickets are now sold out.

    DC's Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, located just one block north of Chinatown, is one of DC's true architectural "secret" treasures (see photo in article), one that I have marveled at on multiple occasions whenever I visit there. I love the five red-tiled domes and the overall symmetrically-balanced, clean design.

  • 38. VIRick  |  January 14, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    CEDH: Government of BC Violated Rights of Newborn in Tijuana

    CEDH: Gobierno de BC Violó Derechos de Recién Nacida en Tijuana

    Mexicali – La negativa a reconocer el nacimiento de la hija de un matrimonio entre mujeres trajo consigo una recomendación de la CEDH de Baja California contra el gobierno de Francisco Vega de Lamadrid. De acuerdo de la recomendación 1/2017, por un acto de autoridad se violaron los derechos a la seguridad jurídica, legalidad, igualdad y al trato digno en agravio la niña, Renee, y de sus madres, Karina y Veronica.

    Después de una década de relación de pareja, señala el expediente, decidieron consolidar su familia y tener un hijo mediante un embarazo a través de la fertilización asistida. El 4 de agosto de 2015 les notificaron el éxito del tratamiento médico y seis meses después contrajeron matrimonio en el municipio de Cuauhtémoc, Colima, documento oficial con fecha del 28 de febrero de 2016. Si hija nació el 25 de abril de 2016 en el Hospital General Regional 1 del Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social de Tijuana, según certificado de nacimiento de la Secretaría de Salud del Estado y declaración de nacimiento del IMSS que contienen nombres de la niña y de sus madres.

    Los problemas empezaron el 27 de mayo de 2016 cuando acudieron a la Oficialía del Registro Civil 2 de La Mesa donde les entregarían el acta de nacimiento. La oficial Silvia Angelica García les informó que necesitaba 10 días por carecer de un formato especial que debían enviar de la Dirección General de Registro Civil de Mexicali por ser “el primer caso de registro de una hija con dos mamás.”

    Mexicali – The refusal to recognize the birth of the daughter of two married women brought with it a recommendation from the State Commission for Human Rights (CEDH) of Baja California against the government of Francisco Vega de Lamadrid. According to Recommendation 1/2017, in an act of authority, the rights to legal certainty, legality, equality, and the dignified treatment of the child, Renee, and their mothers, Karina and Veronica, were violated.

    After a decade of relationship, the record states, the couple decided to consolidate their family and have a child through assisted fertilization. On 4 August 2015, they were notified of the success of the medical treatment, and six months later they married in the municipality of Cuauhtémoc, Colima, according to the official document dated 28 February 2016. Their daughter was born on 25 April 2016 at Regional General Hospital 1 of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) of Tijuana, according to the birth certificate of the Secretary of Health of the State and birth declaration of the IMSS containing the names of the infant and its mothers.

    Their problems began on 27 May 2016 when they went to the Office of Civil Registry 2 of La Mesa where they would be given the birth certificate. The official, Silvia Angelica García, informed them that she needed 10 days, as she lacked a special format that had to be sent from the General Directorate of the Civil Registry of Mexicali, given this was "the first case of registration of a daughter with two mothers."

    (to continue)

  • 39. VIRick  |  January 14, 2017 at 6:35 pm


    El 18 de junio les dijeron que "por indicaciones de su superior, les solicitaba tramitaran la legalización de su acta de matrimonio” o registraran a la niña como hija de madre soltera. De manera oficiosa, se difundió en medios de comunicación la negativa del registro y expedición del acta de nacimiento a la hija de una pareja homoparental, por lo que las víctimas presentaron una queja ante la Sindicatura Social del Ayuntamiento de Tijuana, entonces gobernado por el alcalde priista Jorge Astiazarán, y el 10 de agosto ante la CEDHBC.

    La Comisión Estatal de los Derechos Humanos solicitó al Secretario General de Gobierno del Estado, Francisco Rueda, atender los 12 puntos de la recomendación que consisten en brindar atención psicológica a las víctimas y reparar el daño integral que incluya una compensación económica, realice el registro del nacimiento considerando el interés superior de la niña, y los servidores públicos responsables hagan una disculpa pública a las madres y a la hija.

    On 18 June, the couple was told that "by indications from their superior, they were asked to proceed with the legalization of their marriage certificate" or to register the child as the daughter of a single mother. Unofficially, the refusal to register and issue the birth certificate to the daughter of a homoparental couple was reported in the media, so the victims filed a complaint with the Social Union of the City of Tijuana, then ruled by the mayor PRI Jorge Astiazarán, and on 10 August, before the CEDHBC.

    The State Commission on Human Rights (CEDH) requested the Secretary General of State Government, Francisco Rueda, to address the 12 points of the recommendation that they provide psychological care to the victims, provide comprehensive damage that includes financial compensation, register the birth in the best interest of the child, and that responsible public servants make a public apology to the mothers and daughter.

    Note: This couple was married in Cuauhtémoc, Colima, by the so-called "travelling judge of Colima" who has issued hundreds upon hundreds of amparos to same-sex couples from all over Mexico so that they could marry, often times then travelling back with the couple to their home town to perform the marriage ceremony there (usually for the second time) before friends and family. I lost count when the number surpassed 300.

  • 40. VIRick  |  January 15, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    DC: Businesses Pledge Inauguration Weekend Profits to LGBTQ Causes

    Dozens of restaurants, bars, and other businesses are pledging to donate some of the profits from Inauguration weekend to local organizations serving the community. Organized by a group of service industry workers called All In Service, the campaign seeks to counter the divisiveness and fear sparked by the presidential campaign by giving back to those most likely to suffer under President-elect Donald Trump‘s administration — including women and LGBTQ people.

    Creating inclusive spaces, the group says, is a fundamental of hospitality. “Inauguration weekend is always an incredible event with hundreds of thousands of visitors,” All in Service representative Sarah Massey said. “So we looked at how we could take this opportunity, while we’re in the national spotlight, to showcase our community and what a great, diverse service industry we have.”

    Patronage of participating businesses will support organizations including The Trevor Project, The DC Center for LGBTQ Community, Human Rights Campaign, Whitman-Walker Health, Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU, among many others. The list of participants is growing an can be searched by neighborhood. Each listing indicates which nonprofit the business plans to support.

    Note: So-called "Inauguration" weekend includes the pro-LGBT Women's March on Washington, a counter-protest event, slated to be held on Saturday, 21 January 2017, and an event which is anticipated to be drawing three times the number of participants versus the actual swearing-in performance the day prior.

  • 41. VIRick  |  January 15, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    DC: The GAG Ball Is 20 January 2017 at Cobalt

    In yet another "alternative" inauguration event, Gays Against Guns DC hosts the GAG Ball at Cobalt (1639 R St., NW) on Friday, 20 January 2017 from 10 PM-4 AM.

    There will be scary dancers dressed as President-Elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, plus lots of go-go boys. Communist-inspired artwork will be featured, as well as gun violence prevention-themed games. Tickets are $10. Proceeds go towards Gays Against Guns DC’s 2017 advocacy efforts.

  • 42. VIRick  |  January 15, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Taiwan Poised to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

    Taiwan is one step closer to becoming the first Asian country to allow equal marriage. An amendment to include same-sex marriage in the country’s Civil Code passed a preliminary review by the Committee of the Legislative Yuan (Taiwan’s Parliament) on 26 December 2016. The process began last October when a group of Democratic Progressive Party legislators in Taipei pledged to legalize same-sex marriage. They worked with a coalition of LGBT-friendly groups, including the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights and Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBT) Hotline Association to develop the amendment.

    Same-sex couples can legally register their partnerships in 11 of Taiwan’s cities and counties that account for 80 percent of the country’s population. But under the current legal system, there are as many as 498 exclusive rights related to marriage that include property rights, social welfare, and medical care.

    “The current household registration cannot be viewed as an alternative of marriage,” Victoria Hsu, president of the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, told the Washington Blade. She does, however, believe household registration has “exerted pressures on the central government to speed up reforms.”

    As well as the legalization of same-sex marriage, these reforms also include two other proposed amendments to Taiwan’s Civil Code. One is a civil partnership between two persons regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The other would allow two or more cohabiting and non-blood related people to register as family members.

    The marriage equality movement is not only about the fight for the specific rights related to marriage but also for the entitlement to be treated as ‘normal people/equal citizens’ by the laws of the state,” Hsu said.

  • 43. VIRick  |  January 15, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Scotland: Trump’s Inauguration Mercilessly Trolled By Newspaper’s TV Guide

    Per Scotland's "Sunday Herald:"

    President Trump: The Inauguration (4pm, BBC One/STV)

    After a long absence, The Twilight Zone returns with one of its most ambitious, expensive, and controversial productions in broadcast history. Sci-fi writers have dabbled often with alternative history stories – among the most common is the “What If The Nazis Had Won The Second World War” setting – but this huge interactive virtual reality project, which will unfold on TV, in the press, and on Twitter over the next four years, sets out to build an ongoing alternative present. The story begins in a nightmarish version of 2017 in which huge sections of the US electorate have somehow been duped into voting to make Donald Trump president. It sounds far-fetched, and it is, but as it goes on, it becomes more and more chillingly plausible. Today’s feature-length opener concentrates on the gaudy inauguration of President Trump, and the stirrings of protest and despair surrounding the ceremony, while pundits speculate gravely on what lies ahead. It’s a flawed piece, but a disturbing glimpse of the horrors we could stumble into, if we’re not careful.

  • 44. VIRick  |  January 15, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Georgia: Anti-Gay Pastor Eddie Long, Accused of Sex Abuse, Dead at 63

    Eddie Long, the anti-gay Georgia mega-church pastor once accused of sexually abusing young men in his congregation, has died at age 63. Long died Sunday, 15 January 2017, of “an aggressive form of cancer,” said a statement released by his church to "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution."

    Long, who held the title of bishop, was senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, a suburb of Atlanta. In 2010, four men who had been members of the church filed a lawsuit alleging that Long had coerced them into sexual relationships, enticing them with money, trips, and expensive gifts. A court dismissed the suit, and the men reached a settlement with Long in 2011.

    The bishop did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement, and he always denied the allegations, but even after the settlement, his accusers maintained they were telling the truth. Long’s public stance was also consistently anti-gay; he preached against homosexuality, offered counseling to “cure” people of being gay, and opposed marriage equality.

  • 45. VIRick  |  January 15, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    CDMX: Marriage Equality Raised to Constitutional Level

    CDMX: Matrimonio Igualitario: Constitucional

    Here's the full text of the pertinent part of the new constitution of Mexico's Federal District (CDMX), approved by the Constituent Assembly on 10 January 2017:

    Constitución de CDMX, Artículo 16, Inciso H

    1. Esta Constitución reconoce y protege los derechos de las personas lesbianas, gays, bisexuales, trans-género, travestis, transexuales, e intersexual es, para tener una vida libre de violencia y discriminación.
    2. Se reconoce en igualdad de derechos a las familias formadas por parejas de personas LGBTTTI, con o sin hijas e hijos, que estén bajo la figura de matrimonio civil, concubinato o alguna otra unión civil.
    3. Las autoridades establecerán políticas públicas y adoptarán las medidas necesarias para la atención y erradicación de conductas y actitudes de exclusión o discriminación por orientación sexual, preferencia sexual, identidad de género, y expresión de género o características sexuales.”

    1. This Constitution recognizes and protects the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transvestite, transsexual, and intersexual people to live a life free of violence and discrimination.
    2. Families of LGBTTTI couples, with or without children, who are joined in civil marriage, co-habitation, or other civil union, are recognized with equal rights.
    3. The authorities shall establish public policies and adopt the necessary measures for the attention and eradication of conduct and attitudes of exclusion or discrimination based on sexual orientation, sexual preference, gender identity, and expression of gender or sexual characteristics."

  • 46. VIRick  |  January 15, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Austria: Prospects of Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

    A leading political figure in Austria had pledged to legalize marriage equality if re-elected. Christian Kern, the current Chancellor of Austria, representing the Social Democratic Party of Austria, is in good position to win the next election.

    He announced plans to begin a “reform” in the country this coming week under "Plan A," a plan which will promote diversity by establishing equal rights for the LGBT community. The main aim under the plan is to establish same-sex marriage. The paper, which sets out the plan, also promises a stronger economy from legalization. Other discrimination laws will also be re-examined and improved.

    Currently, LGBT people are protected in the workplace, but in private spaces they can still be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. “Someone looking to rent a flat cannot be discriminated against because of their gender or the color of their skin,” the plan states. “But if someone doesn’t get a rental contract because of their sexual orientation, that’s not forbidden.”

    Kern faces the next election in 2018, and it is unlikely marriage equality will be passed before then. Votes have been repeatedly struck down in the Austrian parliament in the past, mainly because of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) who reject the notion of equality for the LGBT community.

    Kern has said that the only party with whom he would enter a coalition government would be the ÖVP, but stipulates that that would only happen (the next time) if marriage equality were explicitly written into the coalition agreement.

  • 47. theperchybird  |  January 15, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    I really hope they stick to the statement that coalitions will only be approved with lgbt rights in the cards.

    SDP is also the name of the German center-left coalition partner and their silence on lgbt issues lately despite being a big backer on paper has left German lgbt ticked off.

    Going by personal opinions of MPs, there ARE enough votes already in both countries' Parliaments to pass bills, the problem is the coalition agreement and MPs too chicken to rebel even if it means their seat – but you know, don't say you're for something then sit on your hands. I wish they would rebel now, but everything big is on hold until the next election and even then we have to wait and see…

    Unless a surprise happens, I believe Switzerland will beat these two to the punch as in theory the only thing standing in the way is a referendum date since a Yay or Nay to a marriage bill could be overruled by a public vote. I'm pretty sure we'll see a Swiss referendum late 2017 or some time in 2018. The Government is slowly peeling off layers of discrimination, and unlike the other German speaking countries, the public can do as they please and rush the process so lgbt groups are already getting ready by teaching/getting more allies on their side in case of a referendum.

  • 48. guitaristbl  |  January 16, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Highly unlikely for a number of reasons imo.

    "Christian Kern, the current Chancellor of Austria, representing the Social Democratic Party of Austria, is in good position to win the next election."

    This is quite false and I wonder where they got it from. The far right, extremely homophobic FPO is leading the polls. Yes, the social democratic party has managed to close the gap between them to about 6-7 percent but still FPO holds a decisive lead.

    Second, OVP is currently very torn on who to make an alliance with after the election. If FPO wins as expected, there is vast pressure from the more right wing members of the party to form a coalition with them. Already the OVP has been adopting (as many right-wing parties in europe) the xenophobic agenda of FPO in order to attract its voters.
    Add to that any pressure from Kern to include the legalization of same sex marriage to a coalition agreement and that really distances SDP from OVP and brings it closer to a coalition with FPO.
    SVP in order to avoid having FPO in the government will make many concessions to OVP if they start coalition talks, especially if FPO gets a plurality of seats in the parliament.
    At most I can see some expansion of LGBT discrimination protections to private businesses under a coalition agreement between the SVP and the OVP.

    Marriage equality is very far from Austria imo (on a legislative level at least) as long as OVP holds this socially conservative position and FPO holds so much influence electorally.

  • 49. VIRick  |  January 15, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Atlanta Paper Blasts Trump’s Attack On John Lewis

    From the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution:"

    Atlantans responded with an incredulous “How dare you!” Saturday, 14 January 2017, after President-elect Donald Trump kicked off the MLK holiday weekend with a twitter rant saying most of Atlanta is in “horrible shape and falling apart” and describing Georgia’s US Rep. John Lewis — a civil rights icon — as “All talk, talk, talk — no action or results.”

    A stunned Atlanta, along with admirers of John Lewis from across the country, took to social media to harshly criticize the remarks. They characterized Trump as clueless about everything from Atlanta’s thriving intown neighborhoods to the beating Lewis took years ago as he marched in Alabama for voting rights. Brushing off the accomplishments of Lewis, who is widely revered by many Americans well beyond Georgia, went too far, they said.

    The district that Trump described as in “horrible shape” includes Emory University and Morehouse College, as well as Spelman College and Georgia Tech. The Coca-Cola headquarters is just one of that district’s many, high-profile corporate residents. Lewis represents Midtown’s shiny residential high-rises and the pricey Intown neighborhoods filled with renovated homes, the Beltline, and Ponce City Market.

    The typical cost of a house in the most sought-after neighborhoods within Georgia’s 5th Congressional District range from over $500,000 to $1 million, said Bill Adams, whose real estate company has operated in the district’s neighborhoods for years. “Certainly there are major pockets of poverty, but the central core of Atlanta is flourishing — big time,” Adams said. “He’s thinking about a different Atlanta than the one I live and work in.”

    In direct reaction to Trump's idiotically clueless attack, John Lewis' books jumped to #1, #2, and #5 on Amazon, two of which also temporarily sold-out.

  • 50. allan120102  |  January 15, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    President of Peru said he is not in favor of ssm as he is a religious person but supports civil union. what I see is that even though he do not agree with ssm he would not stop it if the courts overturn the gay marriage ban. Sadly the majority in Peru is extremely conservative and I in the recent weeks I have seen the comments they leave in topics of the recent decision to recognize a ssm.

  • 51. theperchybird  |  January 15, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    The President needs to watch out, some conservative forces already want Congress, which is ruled by more rightwing seats, to repeal the Governmental Decree which abolished anti-lgbt discrimination and added lgbt to hate crime laws.

    In regards to South America, I believe we'll be seeing a lot of activity from Peru and Chile this year.

  • 52. VIRick  |  January 15, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    In Perú, the courts, already well ahead of everyone else, will have the last say, as the legislature continues to dodge the issue, and now, the President is even backing off from his previous commitment.

    The Constitutional Tribunal has already ruled to recognize full trans-gender rights in Perú, and the 7th Constitutional Court in Lima has already ruled to recognize a same-sex marriage legally-performed in Mexico (with potential nationwide application to all same-sex marriages already legally-performed abroad, or to be performed abroad at some future date). Additionally, Ugarteche's case is not unique, but is merely the first of many to be ruled upon, setting the precedent for the rest.

    Perú has a strong judiciary with a fairly liberal bend, and thus, should be counted upon to finish the job.

    In the meantime, many same-sex couples are crossing the border to the north into Ecuador to be "civil unioned" there, or are crossing the border to the south into Chile to be "civil unioned" there, while wealthier couples are flying off to Argentina, Uruguay, or Mexico (or other places even further afield) to be married there. As a result, the recognition issue in Perú has become quite acute.

  • 53. VIRick  |  January 16, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Perú: The Filing of "Una Acción de Amparo" to Force Government's Hand

    In a move very reminiscent of Mexico, where hundreds and hundreds of same-sex couples have won the right to marry by successfully obtaining a court-ordered amparo judgment allowing them to do so, in Perú, a same-sex couple in la Municipalidad del Rímac are in the process of filing "una Acción de Amparo" for the same purpose, thereby forcing the government of Perú to allow a same-sex marriage to occur within the boundaries of the Republic.

    Note: only the upper portion of the copied document is visible, while the entire right-hand portion is not readable.

    This is a developing situation, about which I am quite hopeful we will be hearing a lot more. At the moment, they're laying the necessary groundwork,– requesting to be married, being refused, petitioning for redress, etc., basically following the exact same procedure which has been so successful in Mexico. Currently, they're at the point of petitioning for redress.

    The municipality of Rímac, an urban district within Metro Lima, is situated immediately north of, and adjacent to, the historic city-center of Lima.

  • 54. VIRick  |  January 16, 2017 at 12:30 am

    As a counter-point reminder of what Perú is facing, here's a summary of the current rights already in effect for same-sex couples in neighboring Ecuador:

    Text of Article 68 of Ecuador's Constitution

    "La unión estable y monogámica entre dos personas libres de vínculo matrimonial que formen un hogar de hecho, por el lapso y bajo las condiciones y circunstancias que señale la ley, generará los mismos derechos y obligaciones que tienen las familias constituidas mediante matrimonio. La adopción corresponderá sólo a parejas de distinto sexo."

    "The stable and monogamous union between two persons, free of matrimonial bond, who form a de facto couple, for the duration and under the conditions and circumstances that the law provides, will generate the same rights and obligations as held by families built through marriage. Adoption will pertain only to couples of different sexes."

    On 21 April 2015, based on Article 68 of Ecuador's Constitution, the National Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of a bill to amend the country's Civil Code to expand the definition above and allow for across-the-board civil unions. The bill was passed 89 to 1. President Rafael Correa signed the bill into law on 19 June 2015.

    "El Comercio," an Ecuadorian newspaper, reported the measure would allow LGBT couples to receive “the same rights and obligations of a marriage” in terms of pensions, purchasing a home together, and other benefits. It would also eliminate the requirements that couples must wait two years before entering into a (de facto) civil union, as well as demonstrate that they had lived together during this same two-year period. The measure applies equally to same-sex couples, as well as to unmarried straight couples.

    In addition to having eliminated the waiting period, while granting all the rights of marriage, in Ecuador, there are no citizenship or residency requirements which must be met in order for couples to be "civil unioned" there, nor does Ecuador enforce visa requirements. As a result, even Cuban citizens are being "civil unioned" there.

  • 55. allan120102  |  January 16, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Amparos in Sonora have been stopped. I guess its because of the homophobic governor.Lgbt groups in Mexico classified Sonora´s governor as one of the most homophobic governors in Mexico right now. She even stop marriage equality when the head of civil registry of the state gave a go to couples to marry. At least 50 amparos are waiting resolutions but everything has been stopped since four months ago.

  • 56. VIRick  |  January 16, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    DC: Women's March to Include LGBT Contingents

    At least three national LGBT rights organizations and a large number of LGBT supporters will join tens of thousands of people expected to turn out for a Women’s March on Washington scheduled for 21 January, one day after the orange cheato's "coronation."

    The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) are among 158 mostly progressive organizations listed as partners of the march.

    Jackie Savage, one of the coordinators of a group organizing participation in the march from the DC area, said the local coordinators have been reaching out to the LGBT community among other communities in the area to encourage their participation. “Absolutely everyone” in support of the cause of women’s rights is welcome to join the march, including men and LGBT people, Savage said. HRC announced on Wednesday, 11 January, that it is organizing a contingent of HRC staff, members, and volunteers to participate in the march.

    The Women’s March on Washington is scheduled to kick off at 10 AM, Saturday, 21 January, at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street, SW, near the American Indian Museum and the US Capitol.

    Special Note: The Beagle will definitely be marching in the Women's March so that his owner can provide us with a first-hand report. The last time we heard from the Beagle, he was barking quite vociferously at NOM's last pathetic "non-march" march.

  • 57. Elihu_Bystander  |  January 16, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Off Topic:

    Does anyone know the the current SCOTUS briefing schedule for

  • 58. VIRick  |  January 18, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    The Petitioner's (School Board's) brief on the merits was filed on 3 January 2017:

    The Respondent's (G.G.'s) brief is due on 23 February, and the Reply brief will be filed in due course.

    I am hoping that oral arguments will be scheduled for the first week of April, but the date for this has yet to be announced..

  • 59. scream4ever  |  January 18, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Given the schedule, I expect a ruling at the end of June. Hopefully it'll be a positive one to make Pride that much more exciting!

  • 60. Zack12  |  January 18, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    We'll need positive news given the horrible remake of the courts that is about to happen.

  • 61. VIRick  |  January 18, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Yes, and anticipated to be announced on Equality Day, 26 June 2017!

  • 62. VIRick  |  January 16, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Venezuela: Marriage Equality Advances in Supreme Court

    Avanza el Matrimonio Igualitario en Venezuela en el Tribunal Supremo

    Official Notice, as published in "El Nacional" of 22 December 2016:

    Hoy publicamos el Cartel de Emplazamiento emitido por la Sala Constitucional del TSJ referente al Caso: Demanda de Nulidad por Inconstitucionalidad del Articulo 44 del Código Civil, que es el primero de los 4 recursos que AC Venezuela Igualitaria ha interpuesto ante la Máxima Sala de Justicia del país en función de garantizar los mismos derechos con los mismos nombres para todas las familias y todas las personas sin discriminación por su orientación sexual, identidad de género y/o expresión de género.

    Es importante recordar que esta demanda, llevada el 29 de enero de 2015 al TSJ, pide modificar parcialmente el Articulo 44 del Código Civil por incurrir en vicios de inconstitucionalidad, de manera tal que las parejas del mismo sexo y/o género puedan contraer nupcias y brindar protección a quienes conforman sus familias al igual que las familias tradicionales pueden hacerlo.

    Today we publish the Placement Notice issued by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court regarding the Case: Application for Invalidity of Article 44 of the Civil Code, which is the first of the four appeals that AC Venezuela Igualitaria has filed before the Maximum Court of Justice of the country in order to guarantee the same rights on the same terms for all families and all people without discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression.

    It is important to remember that this demand, brought on 29 January 2015 to the TSJ, requests to partially modify Article 44 of the Civil Code because of its unconstitutionality, so that same-sex and/or gender couples can contract marriage and provide protection to those who make up their families, equal to traditional families.

  • 63. SethInMaryland  |  January 17, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Some interesting news has just happened in Northern Ireland. The DUP, the party blocking gay marriage in Northern Ireland is in hot water over a dodgy heating scheme that has lost millions of pounds. The deputy first minister resigned and Sinn Fein haven't put anyone forward to replace him, They will have a early election in March. Hopefully Dup will lose many seats

  • 64. theperchybird  |  January 17, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    I hope, that petition of concern is SO annoying.

    The shots could end up being called from England if the two sides bicker after the election:

    Sinn Fein and the DUP are expected to remain the two largest parties following the election, meaning they will still have to hammer out a power-sharing arrangement.

    If they fail to agree terms after three weeks, UK PM Theresa May could be forced to suspend devolution and reinstate direct rule from Westminster.

  • 65. allan120102  |  January 17, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    I really hope northern Ireland get marriage equality this year. Its so annoying seeing almost all of the United Kingdom with ssm but imcomplete because of NI. I am still waiting for the court to act and strike down the ban,but I have seen nothing that shows me that it will act soon. I am not sure how are polls right now but I hope the people vote for a pro lgbt government this time around.

  • 66. theperchybird  |  January 17, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Even all the British Crown Dependencies will have weddings soon. PLEASE let the nightmare in NI be over.

  • 67. VinaHost  |  June 16, 2017 at 2:39 am

    Think belive this

  • 68. guitaristbl  |  January 17, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    The politics of northern Ireland are a very complicated matter in general given the whole unionists/nationalists divide.
    DUP has strong unionist roots in the north and north west of NI. I am not sure how much a scandal can rattle that. Hopefully the UUP drains som of its votes. It's not a super-pro equality party but its more moderate.

  • 69. theperchybird  |  January 17, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Some kind of hold up in Faroese legislation, on top of Denmark taking its sweet time to ratify it seems that there's a big question mark these days since Greenland copied Danish marriage law (mentions church weddings) exactly while the Faroese Church will have a clause put in place that explicitly bans church weddings. That tweak seems to be causing some hubbub these days. There's a meeting for an article of the current marriage law on Thursday in Faroese Parliament. Let's see what they say.

  • 70. VPS Vietnam  |  April 27, 2017 at 2:09 am

    As a result, even Cuban citizens are being "civil unioned" there.

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