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Open thread w/ UPDATE


This is an open thread for news and discussion. As usual, we’ll report if anything happens today.

UPDATE: The ACLU reports that President Obama has commuted their client Chelsea Manning’s 35-year sentence for leaking US secret documents. She will be freed in May of this year after serving seven years in a male prison (she is transgender) and attempting suicide twice, as well as being subjected to solitary confinement. The New York Times noted that most people who have been convicted of leaks were only sentenced to a few years in prison.


  • 1. VIRick  |  January 17, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    The Paths Leading to Marriage Equality in Perú by Gio Infante

    Los Caminos Rumbo al Matrimonio Igualitario en el Perú por Gio Infante

    This very extended essay, in Spanish, well worth reading in its entirety by any/all Spanish-speakers, lists three main paths to marriage equality in order for it to become a reality in Perú, the first two of which are actually feasible, with both of them involving the courts:

    Camino 1: Inscripción de Matrimonios Celebrados en el Extranjero

    Path 1: Registration of Marriages Celebrated Abroad

    In effect, continuing to follow the recently-announced court decision in the Uragteche case, which recognizes his same-sex marriage in Mexico, as issued by the 7th Constitutional Court in Lima, but applied nationwide (as will occur in due course).

    Camino 2: Acciones de Amparo por Discriminación

    Path 2: Filing "Acciones de Amparo" for Discrimination

    In effect, requesting court protection from discrimination, thus allowing for a same-sex couple, having already requested civil marriage by the authorities, but having then been denied such a request, to still proceed to marry in Perú, under court protection, almost identical to the process already used repeatedly with so much success in Mexico. Path 2 has just been launched. We should be hearing a LOT more on this point in the near future, as the first test challenge is in process of being filed in la Municipalidad del Rímac.

    Camino 3: Leyes de Reconocimiento de Derechos

    Path 3: Laws of Recognition of Rights

    Ideally, passing a law to allow for marriage equality ought to be feasible. However, in this section, the author basically points out the conservative, right-leaning nature of the present legislature, and therefore, why it will be extremely unlikely/nearly impossible to gain the requested marriage rights in Perú by this legislative method under current conditions.

    The author also points out several already discarded paths, including Constitutional reform, as well as the modification of the Civil Code by referendum, given that both are even less tenable and more complex than the unlikely legislative path.

  • 2. VIRick  |  January 18, 2017 at 12:28 am

    We are right on the cutting edge here with the situation in Perú. So to begin, I want to thank a Peruvian attorney, Andrés Dulanto Tello, for his frequent posts at the Mexican site, Matrimonio Igualitario, which are providing the necessary links that are keeping us abreast of some very fast-moving action.

    His latest link provides detailed documentation concerning a second Peruvian attorney, Rafael Trujillo, the individual who is filing the "Acción de Amparo" for discrimination, as he is seeking to marry his long-term same-sex partner there in Perú, is fed up waiting while the politicians procrastinate, and is prepared to take his case to court to force the issue.

    This article gives us much more detail on the entire matter:

    It is late tonight. I will have more on this tomorrow. Stay tuned.

  • 3. VIRick  |  January 18, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Perú: Congresswoman to Present Multi-Party Bill on Marriage Equality

    Per "Diario La República:"

    La congresista del Frente Amplio, Indira Huilca, anunció que próximamente presentarán un proyecto multipartidario sobre el matrimonio igualitario. Argumentó que la iniciativa se da en un contexto de mayor tolerancia a la igualdad de género, y previsto presentar el planteamiento el 14 de febrero.

    Frente Amplio congresswoman, Indira Huilca, announced that she will soon present a multi-party proposal on marriage equality. She stated that this initiative takes place within the context of greater tolerance for gender equality, and is expected to present the proposed legislation on 14 February.

  • 4. allan120102  |  January 18, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Commision of human rights in Aguascalientes are not playing. They are fighting tooth and nail against the goverment of the state to legalize ssm. They are using all methods to see which one comes first so weddings are legalize in the state. Not only they have the action of unconstitutionality but now I see they are waiting for two resolutions against the civil code of the state After they are grant they will filed the other 3. Once the 5 resolutions are issue against the state. The articles that prohibit same sex marriages become void. This is the method that is being use against Sinaloa and NL to get marriage equality. I am not sure but I think Sinaloa has surpass its 5 resolutions or are at the brink of it.

    Aguascalientes, Ags.- The State Commission for Human Rights in Aguascalientes will insist that legalization of links between persons of the same sex be promoted, so that it promotes protection so that once and for all the law is modified in the entity and the same are allowed .

    This is acknowledged by the ombudsman Jesus Eduardo Martín Jáuregui, who questioned the refusal of some local legislators to introduce him to the theme of egalitarian marriages, by preferences or personal thoughts, said: "We think that there are actions that should not only remain in the Suggest or propose, but we have to take more steps, more effective for the defense of the rights of people. "

    He revealed that: "we are in some way sponsoring, counseling or advising and monitoring two procedures, two resolution procedures; We are going to present others more, so that we have more than five to have jurisprudence. "

    He explained that these are "amparos against laws, the amparos that have been presented until now have been amparos against the provision of the Civil Registry not to marry, 'I do not authorize you to marry if you are a person of the same sex' and the Court has Said the dogs, so the federal judges have said husbands and have fulfilled, married them, we are going beyond, we are promoting protection against laws.

    Martín Jáuregui added: "on the one hand as an orderer to the Congress and as a clerk to the governor of the state; And as executor to the director of the Civil Registry, then what we are looking for is that the judgment of the federal courts also condemns the State Congress to amend the Civil Code.

    This is due to the fact that: "what Congress had said 'is that jurisprudence or what they say does not oblige me', but when we raise a specific sentence and when the district judge or the collegiate court in due time Modify the code will have no alternative, they will have to comply with that.….

  • 5. allan120102  |  January 18, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Meanwhile Tlaxcala has its second same sex marriage in the state and the 1st to be public. Happy for the ssc. Now I am waiting to see if the state human rights did their job and had filed an action of unconstitutionality against the state civil code after they modified it last year without legalizing same sex marriage.
    he state of Tlaxcala registered the second marriage between persons of the same sex, ceremony that was realized between two men in the State Commission of Human Rights (CEDH).

    It is the pairing between Horacio López Muñoz from Tetla de la Solidaridad, and Jorge Salvador Rubio Nieto, originally from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon.

    The union between both people was derived from the amparo trial 1009/2016 filed before the federal court that granted the reason to the promoters, who argued the refusal of the State Coordination of the Civil Registry to grant the matrimonial right.

    In this regard, the interim president of the ECHR, María Angélica Temoltzin Durante, stressed that the free development of personality is one of the most important challenges of the commission, in this case, through marriage between same sex.

    He considered that the definition of marriage established in the local Civil Code, a document that denotes marriage as the union between a man and a woman, discriminates against the State Commission on Human Rights.

    For their part, the marriage contractors stressed that the union represents an achievement not only legal but in terms of equality between people.
    The ceremony was legally formalized by Officer Number 2 of the Civil Registry, Fortino Altamirano Sosa.

    At the ceremony held in the premises of the ECHR came friends and relatives of the contracting parties.

    Also attending was former local deputy Errendira Jiménez Montiel, who has served as promoter of respect for the human rights of the community Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transvestite, and Intersexual (LGBTTI).

  • 6. allan120102  |  January 18, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Peru.I hope that the higher court of Peru rules in our favor so all same sex marriages that have occur abroad can be recognized in the states,As because of now only the marriage of Activist Ugacharte will be recognize by the government. This is some insight of how is living in Peru.
    To counter a ministry of education curriculum promoting sex education and gender equality, some people launched a NIMBY-ish movement, Con Mis Hijos No Te Metas ("Don't Mess With My Children"), to fight against "gender ideology" and teachings that they think promotes homosexuality.

    This staunchly conservative, Catholic nation is in the middle of a fight about its moral core.

    For the decade and change I lived in Peru — from my birth through primary school — homosexuality was presented to me as a sin. A shameful, mockable perversion I should hope to never catch.

    And being female? That came with a full package of body shaming and wolf whistles, the wandering hands of old men a constant danger, young as I was.

    Still, I was lucky. I'm fairly straight, and the worst harassment I ever endured was a Peeping Tom. Besides, I left. And that might be why I'm surprised by the progressive gender initiatives underway.

    When the March for Heterosexual Pride event appeared on Facebook — the original has been deleted due to all the trolling, leaving only this smaller event made for people to leave more "trolly" remarks — Congressman Alberto de Belaunde commented: "Hello. I'm confused by the event date. I thought every day was heterosexual pride day."

    De Belaunde is a proponent of civil unions for same-sex couples in Peru. This late 2016 proposal would grant same-sex couples "rights and responsibilities within the code of law," but not allow for marriage nor adoption.

    Recently, a court ruled to recognize the marriage of activist Oscar Ugarteche, who married his partner in Mexico and sued for it to be considered valid in his native Peru. Religious and conservative leaders were shaken by the ruling, but the court's reasoning was based in civil law. The court also cited social changes throughout the world expanding access to same-sex unions.

    But same-sex marriage is still not legal in Peru. So far, only Ugarteche's marriage will be recognized.

    That ruling, along with abortion-rights protests and the ministry of education's new curriculum — which the government says advances gender equality, teaching children about reproductive rights and sexual identity — would have been unthinkable when I was growing up in Peru.

    The opposition to these things — that seems like a more familiar Peru to me.

    But as fellow ex-pat Gabriela Wiener wrote in The New York Times last year, something has changed. Wiener wrote specifically about women, who last year gathered by the thousands in Lima and other major cities to denounce their domestic abusers, their rapists.

    "It is historic, it is painful," she wrote, "but it also fills you with hope to see how thousands of Peruvian women lost their fear and decided to unite."

    That loss of fear may not be the same force driving efforts toward civil unions or gender equality in classrooms. But that all this has happened in the last year signals a shift in the political and social climate of the country.

    The machismo that drives so much of our social norms is meeting its match.

  • 7. VIRick  |  January 18, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Merrick Garland Returns to the Bench at the DC Circuit Court of Appeals

    Washington DC — Judge Merrick Garland was back on the bench on Wednesday, 18 January 2017, donning his black robe and hearing arguments for the first time since his ultimately unsuccessful nomination to the US Supreme Court was announced in March 2016.

    There was no acknowledgment of Garland’s nomination and the political maelstrom that blocked him from confirmation as he entered the courtroom this morning at the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, the court he’s served on since 1997. He walked in, surveyed the room, and sat down. Without a word, he signaled for the lawyer arguing the first case to begin. From there, it was business as usual. Known as an active questioner on the bench, Garland dove in as lawyers argued three cases over the next three hours.

    Garland stopped hearing cases after President Obama nominated him to the Supreme Court on 16 March 2016 to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. There isn’t a legal requirement that sitting judges give up their dockets once they become Supreme Court nominees, but it has been the custom for years. The court announced shortly after Garland’s nomination that he would not handle any cases while his nomination was pending.

  • 8. VIRick  |  January 18, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Sri Lanka Takes a Baby Half-Step Regarding Homosexuality

    The Sri Lanka cabinet met yesterday, 17 January 2017, to discuss proposals to decriminalize same-sex acts. Currently, same-sex acts by a person of any gender are illegal under Sri Lankan law. Households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for any of the protections given to married couples. Some private clinics in Sri Lanka even claim to be able to “cure” patients of their homosexuality, despite the fact that it is widely recognized that same-sex thoughts can not be changed by therapy.

    Sri Lanka’s "Daily Mirror" reports that cabinet members decided to reject plans to decriminalize same-sex acts, and that instead, agreed to place a provision in their new Human Rights Action Plan which says that it will seek to stop discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, many have been cynical of this plan, pointing out that with all LGBT rights continuing to remain illegal, a point which, by itself, is clearly discriminatory, that other individuals are unlikely to respect LGBT people when the law doesn’t indicate otherwise.

  • 9. VIRick  |  January 18, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    North Dakota: Bill Banning Sexual Orientation Discrimination

    Bismarck ND — For the fourth time in eight years, the North Dakota Legislature will consider legislation that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Previous attempts at passing such legislation occurred in 2009, 2013, and 2015.

    The bipartisan legislation re-introduced this session would add sexual orientation to the list of classes of individuals who are specifically protected against discrimination.

  • 10. VIRick  |  January 18, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Venezuela: By Popular Demand before the Supreme Tribunal

    Tomorrow morning, gay rights activists are having a signing event at Venezuela's Supreme Court:

    Demanda Popular de Nulidad por Inconstitucionalidad del Art. 44 del Código Civil
    Jueves 19 Enero 10 AM
    Tribunal Supremo de Justicia
    Sala Constitucional, Piso 5
    Avenida Baralt, Esquina Dos Pilitas, Caracas

    Popular Demand for the Nullification by Unconstitutionality of Art. 44 of the Civil Code
    Thursday 19 January 10 AM
    Supreme Court of Justice
    Constitutional Hall, 5th Floor
    Avenida Baralt, Corner of Dos Pilitas, Caracas

    An identical event is scheduled for Barquisimeto on Friday, 20 January:

    Viernes 20 Enero 1 PM
    Tribunales de Barquisimeto
    Carrera 17 entre Calles 24 y 25

    At a third event in Maracay on 17 January, signatures have already been gathered.

  • 11. VIRick  |  January 18, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Mexico: Supreme Court Declares Baja California Sur's Civil Code Provisions on Marriage Unconstitutional

    Per Alex Alí Méndez Díaz:

    Hoy, 18 de enero 2017, la SCJN concede un amparo colectivo sobre matrimonio igualitario, y simultaneamente declaró inconstitucional la definición de matrimonio y concubinato del Código Civil de Baja California Sur.

    Today, 18 January 2017, Mexico's Supreme Court granted a collective amparo for marriage equality, and simultaneously declared the definition of marriage and co-habitation in the Civil Code of Baja California Sur to be unconstitutional.

    Although Baja California Sur has previously had a number of massive collective amparos granted, I believe that this is the first time the Supreme Court has done likewise for this state, while simultaneously declaring their Civil Code provisions unconstitutional.

  • 12. allan120102  |  January 18, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Is this a resolution or a normal amparo?

  • 13. VIRick  |  January 18, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Allan, so far, all I have is that tweet from Alex, and he does not explicitly state. However, since amparo judgments can no longer be appealed, at this stage, the only items which could reach the Supreme Court are those which would result in resolutions. Thus, this ought to make this matter the first "resolution" against BCS.

  • 14. Fortguy  |  January 18, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    The 85th Texas Legislature convened last week on Jan. 10 in regular session for its unmercifully long 140-day run until it adjourns sine die on May 29 for this biennium. If you're surprised you haven't heard any really scary stories from Austin lately, there is a reason for that. Currently, both chambers of the Lege are busy dealing with routine matters germane to the beginning of the session such as committee assignments and rules for each house. Pre-filing of bills began in mid-November and will continue until the session's 60th day, March 10. Until that deadline, no bill may be reported out of committee to the floor for consideration unless it addresses a matter on the governor's emergency agenda. So far, Gov. Greg Abbott has not declared any emergency items.

    The Lege as a whole will be very quiet until mid-March, even if individual members will continue to show they don't know how to STFU, and then will chug faster and faster like a choo-choo train until May when legislators will be hair-pulling and back-stabbing each other to get their pet bills passed before time runs out. Enjoy the golden silence while it lasts.

    Among the bills filed thus far, these are the ones over the next four months you will want to watch:

    *HB 428 by Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) would provide religious student organizations at public higher education institutions an exemption from non-discrimination policies due to sincerely held religious beliefs.

    *SB 6 by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) is the much-talked-about potty bill championed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

    *SB 89 by Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) would disallow state officials from enforcing any federal law that violates the state constitution such as same-sex marriage.

    *SB 92 by Hall would disallow local non-discrimination protections broader than those afforded under state law such as employment or housing protection and appropriate bathroom use.

    *SB 242 by Sen. Konni Burton (R-Colleyville) would force school officials, including counselors, nurses, and teachers, to out LGBT kids to their parents.

    So far, things look much better than last session, although there are still nearly two months to go for haters to file bills, and we still haven't heard a peep out of Rep. Cecil Bell (R-Magnolia) yet. On the plus side, there are at least 19 pro-LGBT bills that have been filed that may some day become law when Donald Trump takes a vow of silence to enable scholarly study.

    To learn about all of these bills, pro and con, and to receive alerts and action notices, follow Equality Texas.

  • 15. VIRick  |  January 18, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Fortguy, wait! Today, one of your real "faves," Timothy Tinfoil (R – Arlington), just introduced a real honey of a bill, HB 948, the "Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act," to make abortion a felony in Texas.

    In 2015, the five-times-married Tinfoil filed a federal complaint against a local judge who had performed a same-sex marriage. However, ever-alert and ever-adept, he managed to file the complaint against the wrong judge.

  • 16. Fortguy  |  January 18, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    I wrote my list to address LGBT issues. A description of each and every anti-abortion or non-LGBT-specific issue regarding women's health and equality would be way too long to list as it would be in any session. Yes, I do expect the usual suspects to eventually file their bile against us. Tiny Tim, like Cecil (a Buford T. Justice wannabe), still has yet to do so.

  • 17. Fortguy  |  January 18, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    The town of Dripping Springs is located outside of Austin and is the source of this must-read, heartwarming story.

    John Wright, Texas Observer: Haters Get Flushed: Texas Town Comes Together to Fight Transgender Bathroom Regulations

    As a reminder, Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz will work until his last dying breath to try to make the world as miserable as possible for LGBT people ever since his first wife left him for another woman. No, not even picking a fight with a 9-year-old is beneath his dignity in his lifelong quest.

  • 18. Fortguy  |  January 18, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Here is why we should be hopeful regarding this session of the Texas Lege:

    R.G. Ratcliffe, Texas Monthly: Straus Says Bathroom Bill Might Harm Economy

    Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune: Joe Straus: Legislators need to be careful when it comes to "bathroom bill"

    From Ratcliffe:

    In a speech to the leading business group opposing Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s transgender bathroom bill today, Speaker Joe Straus warned that such legislation could harm the Texas economy.

    “I want to say from the outset that I believe those who supporting legislation relating to bathrooms are sincere,” Straus told the Texas Association of Business legislative conference. “The competition for jobs among the states and even countries is intense. Usually Texas competes pretty well. Entrepreneurs appreciate our pro-growth business climate here, and the people they employ appreciate our quality of life.”

    Patrick’s bill, which he calls the privacy act, would prevent transgender people from using a gender-specific public restroom that does not match their sex at birth. Patrick said the bill is needed to prevent male sexual predators from entering women’s restrooms by claiming they are female. Opponents have labeled the effort discrimination against transgender Texans. Similar legislation in North Carolina led businesses to halt expansion plans and to cancel concerts and professional and collegiate sports events in the state. Straus’s hometown of San Antonio is supposed to host the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four in 2018.

    Straus said such legislation is a threat to economic growth in Texas. “Our economy is modern and diverse and dynamic. … Contrary to popular myth, it is not a miracle. And we want to continue that success. … One way to maintain our economic edge is to send the right signals about who we are.”

    San Antonio officials estimate the Final Four will generate $234 million in local economic activity. “It’s not just about basketball tournaments or conventions. Many people where I’m from are concerned about anything that could slow down overall job creation.” His constituents see the North Carolina blowback and are “not enthusiastic about getting that type of attention,” Straus said. “We should be very careful about doing something that would make Texas less competitive for investments, jobs, and the highly skilled workforce needed to compete.”


  • 19. Fortguy  |  January 18, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    …from above

    From Svitek:

    While Patrick has been outspoken about the legislation, Gov. Greg Abbott has not commented on it since its release. Straus applied some pressure on Abbott to weigh in, saying his view could make a "big difference."

    "If you are concerned — I know many of you are — now is the time to speak up," Straus told TAB members.

    Speaking with reporters after his remarks, Straus was asked if he intended to "bottle up" the bill in the House. He only said he was hoping for a "big conversation" among members on the proposals as well as the thousands of others that get filed every session. He also told reporters he has had "very little" communication with Abbott and Patrick about the legislation, though he noted the session is just beginning.

    The reason that nearly all of the anti-LGBT bills filed so far are originating in the Senate is because Lt. Gov. Patrick is cheerleading the culture wars there. The Lege is divided on factional, not partisan lines, and Speaker Straus was reelected with the vote of every Dem representative. Unlike the last session, when 19 Tea Baggers voted against the speaker, all of his few opponents saw the futility of going against him and no one challenged him.

    I'm sure Straus will allow robust debate, as he promises, as long as it's in committee (which he appoints). If these bills ever see the floor of the House, they will do so in the final days of the session when the bills' sponsors are getting ugly glares from colleagues to pull their bills to let crucial legislation funding schools, highways, water infrastructure, and tax reform pass.

    Also, that $234 million San Antonio projects to lose if the 2018 Final Four is yanked from the city? Yup, Straus' district is in the San Antonio metro.

  • 20. Zack12  |  January 19, 2017 at 5:24 am

    Wanted to say hi after being gone for a while.
    Wish I was dropping in on a happier note but with Trump coming into office, I have a feeling this site will becoming a lot more active.. and not for good news either.

  • 21. VIRick  |  January 19, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Welcome back, Zack. If nothing else, perhaps we can hold it together with unrelenting, non-stop mockery:

    Scientists Name Moth with Golden Hair and Tiny Penis after Trump

    Scientists have discovered a new type of moth, notable for its golden hair and remarkably tiny penis. The new-found creature comes with a head of bright yellow scales, which the moth develops in adulthood, described as orange-yellow in coloration. Its body is white and the wings are generally brown or greyish.

    One of its most identifiable features, though, is its very small genitalia. Evolutionary biologist Vazrick Nazari said the creature’s genitals are “comparatively smaller” than that of the Neopalpa neonata, its close relative. It’s to now be known as Neopalpa donaldtrumpi.

    The Neopalpa donaldtrumpi has a range from Mexico (where else would you have expected it to be??) on up into California. Let's hope that the wall doesn't keep all of the donaldtrumpi out during their next migration.

  • 22. theperchybird  |  January 19, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    I'm pretty sure Tlaxcala's civil union law was published in December in the gazette and came into effect on the 31st:

    That means they have until the 30th of this month to file a lawsuit, if they haven't already. Allan/Rick did you email anyone?

  • 23. allan120102  |  January 19, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Sadly no, the perchy, and I havent found anything that tells me that a lawsuit have been file against the state.

  • 24. theperchybird  |  January 19, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Reading the full paper today, not sure if civil unions was included in that publication upon further inspection, but Article 46's discriminatory reiteration of man-woman marriage in the link should be the state's undoing if the lawsuit is filed. Anyone want to ring up the Commission soon?

  • 25. VIRick  |  January 19, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    As found in my archives, I have this:

    Tlaxcala: Congress Raises Marriage Age, Refuses Marriage Equality

    On 28 December 2016, the age for those wishing to marry was increased. At the national level, it had been considered unconstitutional that in Tlaxcala one could become husband and wife at age 16. Therefore, this dawn they increased the age limit to 18 years old, the age of majority, when one can marry.

    "Article 46.- "The man and the woman who have reached the age of eighteen may enter into marriage…., " as stated in the approved reform.

    No. That retained wording is unconstitutional. In the very same sentence where "16" becomes "18," the words, "the man and the woman," are still there. That point must be challenged.

    And never mind that the Ley de Sociedades de Convivencia Solidaria was passed on 31 December 2016, as that still is not marriage, even if same-sex couples can participate in it. But, this extra, add-on law should not be challenged. Instead, everything must be focused on the earlier legislation, passed on 28 December.

    Wait! Article 46 must be challenged in Spanish:

    “Artículo 46.- Podrán contraer matrimonio el hombre y la mujer que hayan cumplido dieciocho años de edad…,” refiere la reforma aprobada.

    All the other pending "Acciones de Inconstitucionalidad" before Mexico's Supreme Court are focusing on those words, "el hombre y la mujer."

  • 26. VIRick  |  January 19, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    The two most-recent "Acciones de Inconstitucionalidad" listed before the Pleno from the two target states, but for other unrelated matters, are these:

    107/2016 against Veracruz, as published in the Official Gazette of 9 November 2016.

    108/2016 against Tlaxcala as published in the official local periodical of 15 November 2016.

    The most-recent of all, 113/2016, shows an official publication date on it of 22 November 2016. Anything filed more recently than that is still not listed, as there's a preliminary processing and acceptance procedure which must be followed.

  • 27. allan120102  |  January 19, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    I guess by February or March we will see if States human right commisions of Tlaxcala and Veracruz did there job and filed actions of unconstitutionality against there respective articles. I am more inclined to believe that Tlaxcala did as I see there lgbt groups more actives than the ones in Veracruz.

  • 28. allan120102  |  January 19, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Venezuela on the cusp to have marriage equality. If all goes well Marriage equality may be a reality in the country as soon as this year.
    The organization Venezuela Igualitaria called on all to support the lawsuit against Article 44 of the Civil Code of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, without which equal marriage could be a reality.

    Since January 2014, the civil association Venezuela Igualitaria has brought to the Constitutional Chamber of the Venezuelan Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) a popular claim of nullity for unconstitutionality of article 22 of the Civil Code. This article, as the same organization describes it, is the "only legal instrument" that stands in the access to this right since it establishes the marriage as the union between a man and a woman. After two years of struggle, the complaint against this article that prevents equal marriage in the country was admitted last March of 2016 by the TSJ, and on December 15, the cartel was released for third parties, Which was also recorded before the Constitutional Chamber on 10 January.

    Effective January 10, Venezuela Equality had a period of 10 working days to gather and mobilize all persons, same-sex couples or couples of different sex, organizations, public and private institutions, among other things, and present their According to the lawsuit filed in 2014. The organization has until 31 January to submit all accessions to this popular demand and to show before the Court that, as Giovanni Piermattei, president of Venezuela Igualitaria explains, "the request is not a whim And / or craving of the diverse sex population to access the marriage institution […] is part of a social, structural and basic need that allows access to justice, human rights, and constitutional guarantees that have all and All Venezuelans without distinction. "

    For this demand to be truly heard and reviewed by the TSJ, it is necessary that a significant number of people, organizations, groups, among others, adhere to this and show their support for equal marriage in Venezuela. For this reason, the organization Venezuela Igualitaria has launched a communiqué in which a form is shared that those interested in joining this initiative have to fill in order to support this initiative, in addition to the procedure they have to follow to formalize their support for the demand.

    On January 20, the association will attend the National Building so that, with the assistance of lawyer Mariana Angulo, they can process all the accessions they have received so far. However, in case there is a person who wants to join this petition after January 20, or who is outside of Caracas, you can simply fill out the form with the information stipulated therein, and deliver it to a Judicial Circuit Court of Your locality.

    If enough people, organizations and institutions in favor of egalitarian marriage are collected before January 31, this demand could become a revolutionary step for the LGBT + struggle in Venezuela, and could even serve as an example to other countries Latin Americans so that they begin to legislate in favor of egalitarian marriage.

  • 29. VIRick  |  January 19, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    President Obama Pardons Ex-Soldier Convicted in 1989 of Having Gay Sex

    On Tuesday, 17 January 2017, Obama pardoned a former Army captain who was convicted of a felony after being found in a relationship with another man in 1989. The Georgia resident, Peter Heidgerd, 56, was convicted of “conduct unbecoming an officer” and served a year in prison after his relationship with another man was discovered. He was discharged from the Army and had to find employment with a felony on his record.

    “When he came back to Georgia to find a job, he could not get one because no one would hire him with a felony on his record and a less than honorable discharge,” his attorney told the Atlanta "Journal-Constitution." "Now, with the presidential pardon, it’s as if he had never been convicted" (except for the 28-year gap in time, the year spent in prison, and all the related hassle caused by these events).

    In the 1980’s, "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" was not yet federal law, but same-sex relationships were banned by the Department of Defense under the policy that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service.” The policy cited “discipline, good order, morale, and preventing breaches of security.”

  • 30. VIRick  |  January 19, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Virginia House Subcommittee Kills "Old Fart's" Bathroom Bill

    On Thursday, 19 January 2017, a Virginia House of Delegates subcommittee killed a bill that would have banned transgender people from using public bathrooms based on their gender identity. Members of the Republican-controlled House General Laws Subcommittee rejected House Bill 1612, which would have prohibited people from entering “a restroom or other facility designed for use by members of the opposite sex,” by a voice vote. The measure that state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) introduced earlier this month would have also required public school principals to notify a parent or guardian within 24 hours if their child “requests to be recognized or treated as the opposite sex, to use a name or pronoun inconsistent with the child’s sex, or to use a restroom or other facility designated for the opposite sex.”

    Note 1: As a result of his obstinacy and idiocy, Marshall will be facing a trans-gender opponent in the up-coming Virginia election for House of Delegates.

    Note 2: Even members of his own conservative political party can not abide the tone-deaf Marshall, and wasted no time in killing off his "pet" bill at their very first opportunity, just like the previous 41 attempts he has made at promoting retrogressive socially-oriented legislation of some sort.

  • 31. VIRick  |  January 19, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Chile: Government Signs MOVILH Accord for Marriage Equality, 20 January 2017, 9 AM

    (timed to perfection for the Spanish-speaking world, an event totally upstaging some other non-event happening somewhere else at that same moment in time)

    From MOVILH Chile:

    Viernes, 20 de enero 2017. Día histórico para los derechos humanos de las lesbianas, gays, bisexuales, transexuales, e intersexuales de Chile.

    Este viernes, acto por el matrimonio igualitario con todos los poderes del estado, en el marco del acuerdo firmado por el Estado y el MOVILH con la mediación de la CIDH.

    Friday, 20 January 2017. Historic day for the human rights of LGBTIs of Chile.

    This Friday, an act of marriage equality with all the powers of the state, within the framework of the agreement signed by the State and MOVILH with the mediation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

    Per "La Tercera:"

    La Presidenta Bachelet lidera acto que marca el inicio del proceso para el matrimonio igualitario.

    President Bachelet leads the act that marks the beginning of the process for marriage equality.

    Per "Tele 13:"

    El salón Montt Varas del Palacio de La Moneda será el lugar donde mañana, a las 9:00 horas, la Presidenta Michelle Bachelet encabezará un inédito acto reparatorio del Estado Chileno a un grupo de parejas del mismo sexo a las que se le negó la posibilidad de contraer matrimonio y que iniciaron, a través del Movilh, una demanda ante la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos.

    "Michelle Bachelet, presidenta de la República, tiene el agrado de invitar a usted al acto que da cumplimiento a acuerdo de solución amistosa alcanzado entre el Estado de Chile y el Movilh celebrado ante la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos", señala la misiva que comenzó a ser distribuida a autoridades de los tres poderes del Estado, además de organizaciones de la sociedad civil.

    Dentro de los cerca de 130 invitados estará Gil Botero, comisionado de la CIDH que ha seguido en detalle las tratativas.

    The Montt Varas room of the Moneda Palace will be the place where tomorrow, at 9:00 AM, President Michelle Bachelet will lead an unprecedented act of reparation of the Chilean State to a group of same-sex couples who were denied the possibility of marriage, and for which they initiated, through Movilh, an application to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

    "Michelle Bachelet, President of the Republic, is pleased to invite you to the act that gives effect to a friendly settlement reached between the State of Chile and the Movilh, held before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights," said the letter that began to be distributed to authorities of the three branches of government, as well as civil society organizations.

    Among the nearly 130 guests will be Gil Botero, commissioner of the IACHR who has followed the negotiations in detail.

    Jorge Cerda, half of the first same-sex couple to be "civil unioned" in the Valparaíso region, stated that they will be happy to be at the Palacio la Moneda tomorrow morning.

  • 32. JayJonson  |  January 20, 2017 at 6:14 am

    Not certain exactly what this means. Please explain. Has marriage equality come to Chile? Or is this simply the beginning of a legislative maneuver that we hope will conclude with marriage equality? What exactly does "invite you to the act that gives effect to a friendly settlement reached between the State of Clhile and the Movilh, held before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights?"

    Can same-sex couples marry in Chile beginning today?

  • 33. VIRick  |  January 20, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Jay, this appears to be a maneuver on the part of the Executive, gathering high-level members of the Chilean government, including the President, together with members of MOVILH, the CIDH, and assorted LGBT activists to witness a public signing ceremony of the accord all three parties had previously agreed to, while spelling out precisely what those terms must include.

    At first, I thought that the President intended to sign an Executive decree, legalizing same-sex marriage, right on the spot, as the early indications seemed to point in that direction. But not quite.

    In retrospect, the ceremonial event would appear to be breathlessly over-blown and overly dramatic, but no doubt, was done so on purpose to draw the public's attention to the Executive's firm resolve on this matter, and to clearly show that there isn't much alternate choice and very little leeway.

    Now, it is up to the Chilean Legislature to do its part. The Executive and the Courts (at least internationally, which Chile allowed to occur) have spoken, have pushed to the maximum, have reached an accord, and have spelled out precisely what the legislation now must include (specifically, total equality in every aspect, in the same vein as Argentina, Uruguay, and Mexico), including specific time-frames and definitive deadlines. And quite frankly, all any Latin nation needs to do is to copy Uruguay's comprehensive legislation, word for word.

  • 34. allan120102  |  January 20, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Chile. Lgbt groups are hopeful that a same sex marriage bill is filed in the senate before June 30, so it can start being debate in the second semester of the year and probably vote on early 2018. That means that as of now same sex marriage looks closer in Venezuela than Chile.
    Chile. Lgbt groups are hopeful that a same sex marriage bill is filed in the senate before June 30, so it can start being debate in the second semester of the year and probably vote on early 2018. That means that as of now same sex marriage looks closer in Venezuela than Chile.
    Santiago, Chile, Jan. 20 (EFE) .- President Michelle Bachelet today pledged to promote a debate in Chile that will allow an agreement to be reached to legalize equal marriage in the southern country.

    "We commit ourselves as a state to promote a public, participatory and open discussion that allows the country to generate a satisfactory project of equal marriage, recognizing all people the same rights," Bachelet said during a public ceremony.

    The purpose of the act was the fulfillment, by the Chilean State, of a friendly settlement agreement with the Movement for Integration and Homosexual Liberation (Movilh), the main group of sexual minorities in the country, held before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights IACHR).

    This, after the Movilh demanded the State in that instance because of the legal impediment for same-sex couples to marry in Chile.

    In that context, she called on state powers and civil society to concretize "the next goal, which is egalitarian marriage," noting that there is an "important" consensus in Chile to achieve that goal.

    He also highlighted the progress in discrimination that has been achieved with the Civil Union Agreement (AUC), which was signed by his Government to regulate coexistence, rights and duties of unmarried couples, including those of same sex.

    He also announced the next dispatch to Parliament of a project to perfect the so-called "Zamudio Law" against discrimination, which was approved after the murder of a young man in a brutal homophobic attack a few years ago.

    The new project, said Bachelet, seeks to "promote equality, sanction discrimination and incitement to hatred against a person or a group of people based on their social origin, belief, nationality, sex, sexual orientation or ethnicity."

    From the homosexual community, its leaders emphasized as historic the announcement of the president, but warned that the law will not do anything if it does not include filiation and the right to adoption to marriages between people of the same sex.

  • 35. allan120102  |  January 20, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Chile continue of the above post
    The announcement "is a relevant landmark … Today this no longer depends on the governments in turn, it becomes a commitment of the State," said Rolando Jiménez, historic leader and spokesman of Movilh.

    He warned, however in that context, that the agreement reached at the IACHR included the amendment of the law on adoptions, the law on gender identity and public policies on health, social and reproductive health, and education.

    According to Jiménez, the Special Rapporteur of the IACHR, Enrique Gil Botero, has stated that "it is not understood egalitarian marriage if it does not contemplate adoption and filiation and therefore those who make an absurd distinction regarding marriage without adoption, are tremendously mistaken , Because it is a substantial part of the agreement ".

    Luis Larraín, president of the Equals Foundation, another group of homosexuals, said that "we will be waiting to see what happens in these months of government, if the commitment is fulfilled before June 30 is sent the project Law to Congress ".

    Larrain agreed with Jimenez that the project included filiation. "Without affiliation is not egalitarian, but is a Civil Union 2.0, which does not meet the main demand, which are children, who are unprotected when they have two parents or two mothers and also abandoned children who can not access a home" , He said.

  • 36. allan120102  |  January 20, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Texas supreme court caved to GOP pressure and will take same sex marriage case.

    In a rare reversal, the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court accepted a gay marriage case Friday after pressure from state GOP leaders and grass-roots activists.

    The state’s highest civil court had rejected the case 8-1 in September, prompting a concerted effort to revive a lawsuit that sought to abolish benefits the city of Houston provides to married same-sex couples. Opponents believe the Houston case provides an opportunity for a ruling that limits the impact of the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

    Gay marriage opponents asked the court to reconsider by filing a rarely granted motion to rehear the case that the court accepted, without comment, on Friday.

    Oral arguments will be heard March 1.

    The motion to rehear urged the court to reject the “ideology of the sexual revolution” embraced by federal judges who found a constitutional right to gay marriage, overturned Texas abortion regulations and struck down a Mississippi law that would have allowed individuals and businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples based on religious objections to gay marriage.

    A separate friend-of-the-court brief, signed by 70 Republican politicians, conservative leaders and Christian pastors, urged the court to stand up to “federal tyranny” and warned that failure to accept the appeal would deny voters “an opportunity to hear what their duly elected high court justices have to say on such an important issue.”

    Ratcheting up the pressure, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and state Attorney General Ken Paxton, all Republicans, filed a brief telling the court that the Houston lawsuit provides an opportunity to limit the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage.

    Opponents of same-sex marriage, spurred by religious and social conservative leaders, also barraged the court with emails asking justices to strike down the Houston benefits or face a voter backlash in future Republican primaries.

    Lawyers for the City of Houston, however, say gay-marriage opponents are beating a dead horse.

    The city’s benefits policy, they told the court, is protected by the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which said state laws are unconstitutional if they exclude same-sex couples from marriage “on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples.”

    “It requires that same-sex spouses be treated equally to opposite-sex spouses, ” Houston’s lawyers argued. “Therefore, if the city offers employee benefits to spouses, it must offer them to all spouses, regardless of gender.”

    Tellingly, they added, state agencies began offering employee benefits to same-sex couples shortly after the ruling – “the very act” gay-marriage opponents are seeking to stop in Houston.

  • 37. scream4ever  |  January 20, 2017 at 8:47 am

    And this is why you don't elect judges.

  • 38. tx64jm  |  January 20, 2017 at 10:21 am

    All judges should answer to the people.

  • 39. sglaser2  |  January 20, 2017 at 11:42 am


    All judges should answer to the law and to justice. It's critical that they NOT answer to the people if that conflicts with the law or with justice.

    Making law is what the leglature and the constitution are for (and to executive rule making when permitted by law).

  • 40. tx64jm  |  January 20, 2017 at 11:48 am

    "Sec. 2. INHERENT POLITICAL POWER; REPUBLICAN FORM OF GOVERNMENT. All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit. The faith of the people of Texas stands pledged to the preservation of a republican form of government, and, subject to this limitation only, they have at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient."

    Thats why the judges answer to the people in elections. The people are the ultimate government, which is how it should be.

  • 41. allan120102  |  January 20, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Looks like the new administration have removed from the white house page the lgbt, health care and climate change sections. The first day and we are already loosing small victories. My heart is for all the lgbt people that might be affected in this new administration, and not only them.Studying astrophysics and meteorology my heart also is for NASA and NOAA who protect and promote scientific discoveries that benefit humanity and that Trump administration promised to cut fundings from them.

  • 42. allan120102  |  January 20, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Federal judge declared Chihuhua´s ban unconstitutional. It looks like some municipalities in Chihuahua are still discriminating same sex couples. Even though after reading the article it says 152/2013 so I guess this action was filed before the governor of Chihuhua legalize ssm in the state. Stll not sure tbh.Though I am surprised it took 4 years for this declared the ban unconstitutional.

  • 43. VIRick  |  January 20, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Pennsylvania: Legislation Reintroduced to Ban Conversion Therapy

    Today, 20 January 2017, out gay Rep. Brian Sims of Philadelphia reintroduced a bill to ban conversion therapy statewide. Referring to the discredited practice, Sims explained, "This isn't science, it's science fiction."

  • 44. ianbirmingham  |  January 20, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    The White House's LGBT Rights Page Has Disappeared

  • 45. VIRick  |  January 21, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    More of Trump's Stupid Pettiness at the White House Website

    Per Geraldina González de la Vega:

    Trump ha eliminado la versión en español de la web de la Casa Blanca.

    Trump has removed the Spanish version of the White House website.

    In English, it now says:
    "Sorry, the page you're looking for can't be found."

    This petty move is already pissing off people all over Latin America, to say nothing of Hispanics in the USA. I hope his Cuban supporters in Florida, and elsewhere, are enjoying their just "reward."

  • 46. VIRick  |  January 20, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    Sexual Orientation Discrimination Case at 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals

    Today, 20 January 2017, at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, the oral arguments were heard in "Christiansen v. Omnicom Group," the employee's appeal of the order dismissing his claim of sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII.

    The 3-judge panel is comprised of: Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann, Judge Debra Ann Livingston, and US District Judge Margo K. Brodie.

    The case history is here:

  • 47. scream4ever  |  January 20, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    I truly hope these reach the Supreme Court ASAP.

  • 48. Zack12  |  January 21, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    Yes before one of Trump's anti gay picks takes his or her seat.

  • 49. VIRick  |  January 20, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Chile's Government Website Regarding Today's Formal Accord on Marriage Equality

    20 Enero 2017, Presidenta: “En una sociedad democrática los Estados deben garantizar la igualdad y seguridad de todas las personas.”

    Durante el acto de acuerdo de solución amistosa alcanzado entre el Estado de Chile y representantes de grupos reivindicatorios de los derechos LGBT, la Mandataria se refirió al Acuerdo de Unión Civil, donde “Chile logró, por fin, dar reconocimiento jurídico, protección y dignidad a las familias formadas por parejas que conviven sin estar casadas, sean del mismo o de distinto sexo”.

    La Jefa de Estado, Michelle Bachelet, junto a los ministros de Relaciones Exteriores, Heraldo Muñoz; de la Secretaría General de la Presidencia, Paula Narváez; de la Mujer y Equidad de Género, Claudia Pascual; de Educación, Adriana Delpiano; y de Justicia y de los Derechos Humanos, Jaime Campos, participó en el acto en que se dio cumplimiento al acuerdo de solución amistosa alcanzado entre el Estado de Chile y representantes de grupos reivindicatorios de los derechos LGBT, celebrado ante la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos.

    “Chile reconoce así, formalmente, la necesidad que tenemos como país de seguir perfeccionando las bases institucionales y nuestra normativa para evitar todo tipo de discriminación en contra de las personas lesbianas, gays, bisexuales, transexuales e intersexuales. Y nos comprometemos, como Estado, a impulsar una discusión pública participativa y abierta, que permita al país generar un proyecto satisfactorio de Matrimonio Igualitario, reconociendo a todas las personas los mismos derechos”, señaló la máxima autoridad del país, al comienzo de su intervención."

    El acuerdo contempla que el Estado de Chile adopte medidas de índole legislativa y administrativa vinculadas a los ministerios Secretaría General de Gobierno, Justicia, Educación, Salud y Desarrollo Social, siendo una de las más importantes el inicio de un proceso de diálogo participativo, el que concluiría con la presentación de un Proyecto de Ley que reconozca el matrimonio igualitario.

    January 20, 2017, President: "In a democratic society, States must guarantee the equality and security of all people."

    During the act of friendly settlement reached between the State of Chile and representatives of groups supporting LGBT rights, the mandate referred to the Civil Union Agreement, where "Chile finally managed to give legal recognition, protection, and dignity to families formed by couples who live together without being married, be they of the same or different sex.

    The Head of State, Michelle Bachelet, together with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Heraldo Muñoz; of the General Secretariat of the Presidency, Paula Narváez; of Women and Gender Equity, Claudia Pascual; of Education, Adriana Delpiano; and of Justice and Human Rights, Jaime Campos, participated in the act in which the friendly settlement agreement reached between the State of Chile and representatives of groups supporting LGBT rights, was held before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights .

    "Chile thus formally recognizes the need that we have as a country to further refine the institutional bases and our regulations to avoid all types of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and intersex people. And we commit ourselves, as a State, to promoting a participatory and open public discussion, which allows the country to generate a satisfactory law on Marriage Equality, recognizing all people have the same rights," said the country's top authority, at the beginning of her intervention.

  • 50. VIRick  |  January 20, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    The final paragraph to the above post is:

    The agreement contemplates that the State of Chile adopt legislative and administrative measures related to the Secretaries-General of Government, Justice, Education, Health and Social Development, and being one of the most important, the beginning of a process of participatory dialogue, which would conclude with the presentation of a bill that recognizes marriage equality.

    However, the latest commentary now states that the Executive's complete bill on marriage equality will be ready for presentation to the legislative Senate quite soon, possibly by the end of the current month.

    Here's the press release from the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

    And most encouragingly, from the website of the Cámara de Diputados de Chile, we have this press release:

    Presidente de la Cámara, Osvaldo Andrade, valora inicio de discusión para formular un proyecto de matrimonio igualitario:

    "La Presidenta de la República encabezó el acto de cumplimiento del acuerdo de solución amistosa entre el Estado de Chile y representantes de grupos reivindicatorios de los derechos LGBT, celebrado ante la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH). Se anunció además el inicio de la discusión pública para un proyecto de ley de matrimonio igualitario."

    The President of the Chamber, Osvaldo Andrade, assesses the start of discussion to formulate a marriage equality bill:

    "The President of the Republic led the act of compliance with the friendly settlement agreement between the State of Chile and representatives of groups supporting LGBT rights, held before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). She also announced the start of the public discussion for a marriage equality bill."

  • 51. VIRick  |  January 21, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Georgia: Transgender Men Win Right to Change Their Names

    Atlanta— On Friday, 20 January 2017, two transgender men may now legally change their names as a result of a Georgia appeals court ruling overturning a judge’s orders that said the name changes could be confusing and considered a type of fraud.

    Columbia County Superior Court (Evans) Judge J. David Roper abused his discretion when he denied the name change petitions, the Georgia Court of Appeals decision said. The appeals court sent the two cases back to Roper and directed him to enter an order changing the names. It said it would only affirm the denial of a name change petition when there is evidence that the petitioner has an “improper motive,” including “intentionally assuming another person’s name for the purpose of embarrassing that person or avoiding the petitioner’s own criminal past.”

    LGBT rights group Lambda Legal last year filed appeals on behalf of Rowan Elizabeth Feldhaus and Andrew Norman Baumert. Lambda Legal attorney Beth Littrell called the unanimous decision an “unequivocal win” and a great precedent.

  • 52. Fortguy  |  January 21, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Add to the list in my post above anti-LGBT bill #6 filed on Thursday in, of course, Lt. Gov. Pottyman Patrick's Texas Senate.

    SB 522 by Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) and Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) would allow county clerks to opt-out of issuing same-sex marriage licenses if doing so would violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.

    From John Wright, Texas Observer: Texas GOP Still Trying to Chip Away at Gay Marriage Ruling:

    Under SB 522, clerks could instead delegate the duty of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples to deputy clerks, judges or magistrates. County commissioners could also appoint a “certifying official” — another employee or a contractor — to issue the licenses if no deputy clerks, judges or magistrates are available.

    Ken Upton, Dallas senior counsel for the LGBT civil rights group Lambda Legal, said the proposal could run afoul of the high court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges depending on how it’s applied, especially in smaller counties.

    “The bottom line is the process can’t be different for same-sex couples,” Upton told the Observer. “The law can contemplate identifying a different employee within the clerk’s office to handle the application, but you can’t give gay people a list of ‘certifying officials’ and send them someplace else. That won’t work.”

  • 53. VIRick  |  January 21, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    "…. clerks to opt-out of issuing same-sex marriage licenses …."

    One needs to watch out for the haters' twisted use of language. If the proposed legislation truly states those words in that form, then, on the face of it, it is unconstitutional (besides being stupid), as there's no such thing as a "same-sex marriage license." There are only marriage licenses, one category for everyone.

    Presumably, what they meant to state is:
    "…. clerks to opt out of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples …."

    Actually, let's hope they've messed up the phrasing and don't notice the clumsiness of it until after it is too late to make any alteration.

    Yesterday, our resident troll from Texas also quoted something sounding even more officiously official, but which also made no sense. I refrained from replying to him there, but the grammar in his high-sounding quote was equally clumsy, resulting in a statement which was just as deplorably nonsensical, if not more so:

    "The faith ….. stands pledged to the preservation of …."

    In Texas, could "faith" be some sort of animated being which might actually be able to stand, let alone be an animated being which, while standing, could then pledge to preserve something? Or do certain people in Texas simply have an affliction over their usage of the English language? Is grammar not taught in Texas schools? Or could this affliction be brought on by too much home-schooling?

  • 54. Fortguy  |  January 21, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    I went and read the bill (to which I linked), and the language never uses the words "same-sex". Instead, it addresses clerks due to sincerely held religious beliefs unwilling to certify "an application" for "a marriage license", administer "the oath", or issue "the license". The bill throughout uses such singular language always using "a" or "an", never "any", "some", or "all". The bill then continues with this gem:

    CERTIFYING OFFICIAL. (a) If a county clerk has a sincerely held
    religious belief that conflicts with the clerk's ability to fulfill
    the clerk's duties with regard to certifying an application for a
    marriage license, administering the oath for a marriage license,
    and issuing the license, the clerk shall notify the commissioners
    court of the county of that belief in writing.
    (b) A county clerk may not be required to certify an
    application for a marriage license, administer the oath, or issue
    the license if the clerk has made the notification under Subsection
    (c) On receipt of a notification under Subsection (a), the
    commissioners court shall:
    (1) ensure that a deputy clerk or other certifying
    official is available in that county to certify an application for a
    marriage license, administer the oath, and issue the license; or
    (2) if there is an insufficient number of certifying
    officials willing or available in that county, provide for one or
    more certifying officials under Section 81.035, Local Government

    This section states that county commissioners must be notified by writing in advance of any application refusal, and that therefore the clerk must also express under what circumstances the clerk would refuse including the specific belief the clerk holds. If the clerk's notification to commissioners court is worded less than artfully, that would certainly subject the clerk and the county to liability in a lawsuit. The liability would be much greater if the couple would be forced to rely on fax or email to work with a "certifying official" from another county.

    On your second point, it's definitely the home-schooling combined with families who pull their kids out of public schools because of all of that "book-larnin'" and enroll them in year-long Vacation Bible School instead.

  • 55. tx64jm  |  January 21, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    What I quoted was the Texas Constitution, Bill of Rights, Article 1, Section 2.

    Yes, the Texas Constitution has a bill of rights in it. The language quoted was written in 1876.

  • 56. VIRick  |  January 21, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    McCrory Chased Down DC Alley by Critics Shouting, "Shame!"

    Former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory is not too popular in his home state these days, after costing the state millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs due to boycotts over the anti-LGBTQ law he signed while in office.

    House Bill 2 (HB2) nullified non-discrimination ordinances across the state, forced transgender people to use the bathrooms and locker rooms matching the gender on their birth certificate in government-owned buildings, capped the minimum wage at a paltry $7.25 an hour, and took away the right to sue in state court for discrimination. The right to sue in state court was later reinstated by executive order, but the rest of HB2 has remained in effect. The state failed to repeal HB2 after calling a special session with the consideration for repeal being the only issue on the docket.

    It turns out McCrory is unpopular outside of his state as well, as a video posted by Facebook user Udai Basavaraj shows. The video, tagged as filmed at the Capitol Hilton in DC, finds the former governor, accompanied by conservative pundit Lou Dobbs, doing his best to avoid a group of people shouting, “Shame!” and calling him an anti-gay bigot.

    “We got you now!” one person said as McCrory huddled in the alley, vainly waiting for someone to let him into a back entrance of the building. Eventually, the police came to McCrory’s aid, pushing the crowd back. Enjoy the video here:

  • 57. Elihu_Bystander  |  January 23, 2017 at 7:01 am

    As delicious a story as this is to read. When we see stories like "McCory chased down DC alley," that is not collaborated by any other source, we should be very suspicious of the truth of the story. In an era where any person can create a false news story, I suspect this is most likely false news.

    Those of you familiar with the Capitol Hilton know it is about two blocks from west lawn of the capitol. This would have put in the highest security area of the ceremonies, Protesters would most likely not been allowed access to inauguration site.

    Additionally, McCory would have had no reason not to enter the hotel lobby from the usual street access.

  • 58. JayJonson  |  January 23, 2017 at 10:58 am

    What do you mean, "not collaborated by any other source"? The video speaks for itself. There is no reason to doubt it. McCrory has not denied it (and the story has appeared in most North Carolina papers). The event happened at 3:08 p.m., after the inauguration ceremony was over. McCrory and Dobbs were supposed to appear at a Chamber of Commerce event in the Washington Hilton. When they saw the crowd they went down an alley to enter the hotel via an alternative entrance only to find that the door was locked. They were thus at the mercy of the crowd until the hotel security force an a policeman arrived.

    Are we entering the world where we are supposed not to believe our own lying eyes when Trump et al. says that his inauguration was the biggest in history?

  • 59. Elihu_Bystander  |  January 23, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Thank you for the correction. I was unaware of the coverage by NC papers.

  • 60. VIRick  |  January 23, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    This running-down-the-alley event occurred at the Capital Hilton Hotel, located at 1001 16 St., NW (at K St., NW), a few blocks north of the White House. There's an alley behind that building, but McCrory's pass-key was unable to unlock the back entrance door, thus trapping them at the mercy of the protesters, who apparently were pre-positioned, waiting in ambush, already blocking the main entrance prior to their arrival. The Washington Hilton Hotel, is further out, at 1919 Connecticut Ave., NW (at Du Pont Circle). There is no alley behind that building.

    In total, there are 9 different Hilton brand hotels of some flavor within DC, but there is no such hotel known as the Capitol Hilton near the US Capitol.

    The closest hotels on the north side of the US Capitol (and the area with which I am most familiar) would be on New Jersey Ave., NW, neither of which are a Hilton brand:

    The Liaison Capitol Hill, 415 New Jersey Ave., NW.
    Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Ave., NW

    On the other hand, on the south side of the US Capitol, near the House Office Buildings, we have the very similar-sounding:

    Capitol Hill Hotel, 200 C St., SE

  • 61. guitaristbl  |  January 22, 2017 at 7:10 am

    It's the 2nd day of the dark ages and so far the new president is threatening media who did not report the, according to him "largest ever crowd in an inauguration" and has purged the white house website of any reference to climate change, LGBT rights and civil rights in general.

    The only positive aspect of all that is that the progressive or moderate people who thought any kind of progress is irreversible and stayed home and apathetic during the election may now finally realize regression is very, very easy and wake up.

  • 62. Fortguy  |  January 22, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    At least there is one horrible politician who won't be inaugurated. Hideously homophobic Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh has fled the Gambia for Equatorial Guinea as forces from a coalition of West African countries was poised to enter the capital Banjul to ensure his ouster and allow Adama Barrow, who defeated Jammeh in a recent election, to rightfully assume the presidency.

    Tim Cocks and Diadie Ba, Reuters: West African troops enter Gambia capital to cheers after Jammeh flees

  • 63. Randolph_Finder  |  January 23, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Any information on where Barrow is on the issue of Gay Rights? (my expectations are pretty low)

  • 64. Fortguy  |  January 23, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    Barrow has been silent on the issue of LGBT rights. However, there is a general feeling that the Gambian LGBT community will benefit, if not in the recognition of greater freedoms, at least from a broad improvement in human rights in general such as no longer being subject indiscriminate arrests and torture while in police custody or no longer being scapegoated for all of society's ills. Jammeh certainly set a very low bar to clear there.

    Melanie Nathan, O-blog-dee-o-blog-da: Anti-Gay Gambian President Ousted

  • 65. VIRick  |  January 23, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    My eyes are hurting. I just mis-read the title of that attribution as:

    "Anti-Gay Gambian President Outed"

  • 66. VIRick  |  January 22, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    DC: Women’s March Drew Three Times as Many As Inauguration, Second-Highest Metro Ridership Ever

    Per "Washington Post:"

    As one aspect, just focusing on the Metro ridership:

    For Friday, 20 January 2017, Metro ridership was the lowest in at least two presidential inaugurations, and also was lower than that of an average weekday, the agency said Saturday. Metro said 570,557 people took trips in the system between its early 4 AM Friday opening through its midnight closing (remembering that is was also a normal working day for many non-governmental employees).

    The figures are significantly lower than those from the 2009 and 2013 inaugurations of President Barack Obama; 1.1 million trips in 2009 and 782,000 in 2013, according to Metro. The numbers were also significantly lower than Saturday, when thousands of people overwhelmed the rail system to get to and from the Women’s March on Washington.

    By 11 AM Saturday, 275,000 people had taken Metro, about 82,000 more than at the same time Friday. By mid-afternoon Saturday, ridership was approaching the half-million mark, officials said. By the end of the day, Saturday, 21 January 2017, Metrorail ridership totaled 1,001,616, making it the second-busiest day ever.

    By 11 AM the day Obama was sworn in for his first term in 2009, about 513,000 Metro trips had been taken — and the day’s ridership totaled about 1.1 million, making it the transit system’s busiest day ever.

    Further note: Many people at Saturday's march rode the Metro without tickets because they were ushered through the gates due to overcrowding. It's entirely possible that ridership was actually higher than for Obama's first inauguration.

  • 67. guitaristbl  |  January 23, 2017 at 6:20 am

    Ok these are the facts but what about the alternative facts ? According to those it was the most attended inauguration ever.

  • 68. VIRick  |  January 23, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    I purposefully selected the DC Metro tabulations on ridership on the given dates because the DC Metro system has nothing to do with the federal government. Instead, it is operated and controlled by the DC government, but because the various Metro lines cross jurisdictional borders into both Maryland and Virginia (with some lines even starting in Maryland, passing through DC, and terminating in Virginia, and vice versa), there is a strict tripartite accounting process in place due to the revenue sharing agreements between the three. It is even conceivable that certain riders would take the Metro from Maryland to Maryland, from DC to DC, as well as from Virginia to Virginia, all of which adds additional complexity to the revenue accounting process.

    In addition, the system is highly automated, even automatically charging higher fares during peak demand, and can closely track passenger flow, so that extra trains can be added to handle special events (Believe me, DC has more than its fair share of special events. Bigly. Trust me. And if you don't. Sad.)

    But if ridership numbers were to be artificially inflated in order to placate some narcissist's inflated ego, when the real ridership numbers tell us that most people in the area viewed the inauguration as a non-event, with fewer riders than on an ordinary average work day, and that extra trains did not need to be added to handle any massive surge in passenger flow, then at the very minimum, the additional revenue for the ghost riders would have to have been donated to the system,– and on Friday, 20 January 2017, that extra revenue simply was not there, not even as an under-the-table ego boost.

    At some point, this new administration will have to learn that it is operating in "enemy" territory, and that the governments of DC, Maryland, and that part of Virginia are not willing nor able to provide the ego-enhancing "alternate facts." In fact, these new arrivals also seriously need to realize that the ordinary residents and the lower-to-middle range of federal government civil service employees, the ones who do all the day-to-day work, view this administration as merely the "Christmas help."

  • 69. TheVirginian722  |  January 23, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    A bit of correction, if I may.

    The Metro system that serves the DC metropolitan area is, fortunately, not run by the District of Columbia government. It is run by WMATA, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, created in 1966 by Congress. The WMATA governing board has four members each from the Federal government, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Each of those jurisdictions designates two of their representatives as voting members of the board and two as alternate members.

  • 70. VIRick  |  January 23, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Thank you, as any/all corrections from "The Virginian" are highly welcome, particularly because your correction buttresses my argument even more. Thus, the DC Metro system is not just a tripartite system, but rather, a quad-partite system with federal oversight. I should have looked that up, but know where their HQ building is located in downtown DC, and just took it from there, knowing the area it serves, the facts about the revenue sharing, and the resulting futility with "cooking the books" to placate some whining ego who, at the very least, should have put his money where his mouth is, and paid for all those ghost riders, if indeed, the total volume of the "Look at me" types was so important to him.

    Still, the crux of the matter is this: On Friday, 20 January 2017, as per the DC Metro ridership tabulation, "there were fewer riders than on an ordinary average work day."

  • 71. bayareajohn  |  January 23, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Republicans don't use public transportation. Their driver circles the block until their appointments end. BAM!

  • 72. VIRick  |  January 22, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Mexico: Miracle! Panistas Defend Marriage Equality

    Mexico: ¡Milagro! Panistas Defienden Matrimonio Igualitario

    Ernesto Cordero, ex-secretario de Hacienda, y actual senador del PAN, declaró que los diputados constituyentes de su partido (en CDMX) que dieron el sí en la Asamblea a los matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo, no pueden ser expulsados de Acción Nacional. Cordero defendió la pluralidad de pensamiento e incluso la presencia de la comunidad gay entre sus filas, de acuerdo a una entrevista publicada hoy, 18 de enero 2017.

    Ernesto Cordero, former secretary of the Treasury and current senator of PAN, declared that the constituent deputies of his party (in CDMX) who voted "Yes" in the Assembly to approve marriage between same-sex couples, can not be expelled from PAN. Cordero defended the plurality of thought and even the presence of the gay community among their ranks, according to an interview published today, 18 January 2017.

    PAN is the pseudo-Republican right wing political party in Mexico, which until now, has been generally rather negative about voting for marriage equality. However, PAN, which traditionally has obtained its greatest support from the northern tier of states along the border with the USA, given their pro-business vision of creating the next USA on their side of the border, is now running for its life, given all the negativity hurled at Mexico by Trump during the recent US election, and continuing. As a result of Trump, the Mexican electorate is in the process of making a dramatic shift to the left. PAN is also aware of this process, and for survival, is also beginning to shift somewhat more to the left. It will still be the right-wing party, but much less so than in the recent past. And a concrete sign of that change is their dropping their obfuscation to marriage equality, as we need (some of) their votes in the remaining states in order to finish the job.

  • 73. scream4ever  |  January 23, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Wonderful! We're beginning to see the backlash from Trump!

    Hopefully this will allow for a bill to pass in the national Congress.

  • 74. VIRick  |  January 22, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    Chile: Commentary from Luis Larrain, Presidente de Iguales Chile

    In Chile, the current governing party is the Socialist Party of Michelle Bachelet, a government which has just signed the three-party accord for Marriage Equality, so we fairly well know how members of this party will be voting when the measure is presented in the Legislature.

    More revealing, there's a major split on the right. The Liberal right, represented by a group called Evópoli (Evolución Política), and which represents an increasing number of voters, have a leadership which are about 77% in favor of marriage equality, while the other three parties, far more conservative, PRI, RN, and UDI, show favorability of 38%, 18%, and 13%, respectively. Felipe Kast, the potential presidential candidate for Evópoli, is in favor of marriage equality.

    The study was done by the Universidad Andrés Bello and contains lots more statistics. It can be viewed in its entirety here:

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