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Open thread


Seal of the U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd CircuitThis is an open thread for news and discussion. We’ll have more later.

Yesterday, the Second Circuit heard arguments in an employment case involving sexual orientation discrimination. Equality Case Files has the audio and other information.


  • 1. VIRick  |  January 23, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Japan: Gay Buddhist Monk, A Make-Up Artist to Trans People

    A gay Buddhist monk in Tokyo uses makeup to deliver his message. Kodo Nishimura, 26, got started by doing a friend’s makeup and seeing how happy she was with his work. He has now come out in a photo-shoot for "Out in Japan."

    “When I participated in the 'Out in Japan' photo shoot, I met a lot of transgender people. Many of them weren’t familiar with makeup, so I wished I could give them advice,” Nishimura said. He now has big-name clients like the Miss Universe Pageant.

    But he’s also an ordained Buddhist monk, and Buddhist monks in Japan usually dress in an austere fashion. However, Nishimura got advice from his mentor, who said, “It isn’t wrong if it helps you deliver your message to people.”

    At the bottom of the article, be sure to view the panel of portraits of Kodo, all expressing different make-up, with other accoutrements for accent.

  • 2. guitaristbl  |  January 23, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Three executive orders today, one typical anti-abortion one brought by Reagan and then every republican president. No action yet on either of Obama's executive orders concerning LGBTQ rights. I have no high hopes for any of them being retained, especially of course the one protecting trans students.

  • 3. allan120102  |  January 23, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Base on Scotusblog the shortlist and possibly nominees for the Vacant supreme court seat are William Pryor of the 11 circuit, Thomas Hardiman from the 3rd and judge Neil Gorsuch of the 8. I am not sure which one is better in terms of us if Pryor or Hardiman, I am pretty sure Neil Gorsuch will vote against us. Still whoever we get is not going to be pretty for us.

  • 4. guitaristbl  |  January 23, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    I did not know much about Hardiman, just looked him up a bit, seems pretty bad if first and second amendment cases are anything to go about. Gorsuch would be the worst out of the 3 indeed. Relieved Colloton is not on that list tbh and given it is on SCOTUSblog it must be credible enough.

    I think it will be Pryor personally but yeah it doesn't matter really. All are bad news for any LGBT related case. Although maybe not as bad as Scalia, we'll see.

    EDIT : This could be interesting though :

    "He wrote for the court in allowing a gender-stereotyping claim by a gay man who described himself as “effeminate” to go forward, reversing the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the company where the man worked, and which ultimately fired him. Hardiman explained that the plaintiff was “harassed because he did not conform to” the company’s “vision of how a man should look, speak, and act – rather than harassment based solely on his sexual orientation.” Hardiman agreed with the company that “every case of sexual orientation discrimination cannot translate into a triable case of gender stereotyping discrimination.” But at the same time, he observed, the company “cannot persuasively argue that because Prowel is homosexual, he is precluded from bringing a gender stereotyping claim.”"

    I wonder how would the sexual discrimination cases building up in the 7th and the 2nd circuits would resonate with Hardiman now. He does not seem willing to see sexual orientation as a protected class for sure but he seems open to a gender discrimination approach for certain cases.

  • 5. allan120102  |  January 23, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Yeah that is why I said Hardiman might not be the worst. That is what I want everyone to see. Like Pryor they seem more in favor in some cases but still I see them against marriage equality or letting lgbt protections stay in place. Better than Gorsuch though.

  • 6. guitaristbl  |  January 23, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    He insists on multiple points in the ruling in this case that title VII does not include sexual orientation and he is very emphatic about it although he is equally emphatic on the fact that gender stereotyping cannot be a more difficult claim to bring if the person brinnging it is homosexual.

    I think with Hardiman we get another Roberts more likely rather than Alito which is better than getting a Scalia so he seems like the preferable choice.

    We got to work with what we got here of course..

  • 7. VIRick  |  January 23, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Since most employees do not have gay sex on-the-job, let alone openly in front of their bosses, a flat change of sexual orientation discrimination can sometimes be difficult to prove.

    However, the argument about gender "stereotyping," that is, when narrowly defining how men or women ought to look, act, and/or dress, and then punishing someone who does not fit into this pre-approved stereotype on any or all of those points, can often times be more easily proved in court where one's supposed sexual proclivities are not even directly involved.

    Women who look, act, and/or dress like men, or vice versa, do not need to engage in any sexual activity (and may or may not even be actively gay) to be harassed by co-workers and/or bosses for "violating some pre-conceived stereotype" of how gender roles are perceived by the "enforcer's" narrow minds.

    Women moving into traditional "masculine" jobs can easily be perceived as butch lesbians, while men moving into more traditionally "feminine" positions can just as easily be targeted as "nelly queens." So, yes, at least Hardiman can recognize and see that this could be the case. And apparently, based on several recent decisions, so can Pryor.

  • 8. guitaristbl  |  January 23, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    My main point here that I did not expand on is whether Hardiman could fall for an argument that perceives having sexual/romantic relations with women a gender "stereotype" for men and that makes a man having sexual/romantic relations with men run afoul of that stereotype and thus can bring a "gender stereotyping" discrimination case.
    To put it another way, if a non-effiminate gay man that faces harassment at work and/or is fired under suspicious circumstances because of his sexual orientation could bring a claim of "gender stereotyping" that would survive Hardiman's scrutiny based on the aforementioned analysis I did.
    I severely doubt it since it is a very obvious attempt to circumvent title VII as he perceives it to bring a discrimination claim based on sexual orientation but one can hope..

  • 9. VIRick  |  January 23, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    I see your point, but do not have a definitive answer.

    Currently, the gender stereotyping argument works best for the "odd-ducks" who don't quack like all the other ducks, and who are then harassed and punished for not conforming to whatever narrow stereotype is already in place. And much of it is based on appearances, appearances which can be demonstrated and shown in court.

    I suppose, one "offensive" defense would be to practice being a "nelly queen" before appearing in court, perhaps not the most practical suggestion, but one that might have a better chance of succeeding, if facing a fairly hostile court. If it were me, I'd flamboyantly "swish" into court, all a-flutter, and smother them with lip-balm and mascara.

    Still, I see Hardiman's narrower point, at least to this degree: It's not the homosexual thing, per se, but the outwardly manifest "effeminacy" thing that triggers the stereotype.

  • 10. Fortguy  |  January 24, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Here is an analysis of the three candidates:

    Dylan Matthews and Dara Lind, Vox: Donald Trump’s Supreme Court shortlist is reportedly down to these 3 men

    The article does not mention the views or positions of Gorsuch and Hardiman on LGBT issues. It does, however, skewer Pryor severely for his anti-gay positions while his opinion that trans people deserve equal protection could be a deal-breaker for him with other conservatives.

  • 11. scream4ever  |  January 24, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    ^^^That and his recent ruling to strike down Alabama gerrymandering.

  • 12. VIRick  |  January 24, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Fortguy, for some unknown reason, the link takes me to "Page Not Found."

    Can you check that link, and fix it, please?

  • 13. Fortguy  |  January 25, 2017 at 12:46 am

    Sorry, must have been a copy-paste error. Here's the correct link:

  • 14. Zack12  |  January 25, 2017 at 12:13 am

    Gorsuch wrote an article for the National Review in 2005 basically stating that same sex couples had no business going to the courts for help on marriage bans and instead should focus on winning hearts and minds instead.
    And if they can't, that's the will of the people.
    Couldn't find anything on Hardiman but it's safe to say that other then Dennis Jacobs (wrote the 2nd circuit option striking down DOMA) any Federalist Society member isn't going to on our side.

  • 15. davepCA  |  January 25, 2017 at 10:30 am

    So he believes 'tyranny of the majority' should overrule the principles and mandates of the United States Constitution. He'll fit right in with the other idiots in the Trump cabinet.

  • 16. Zack12  |  January 25, 2017 at 10:49 am

    That is the theory of the entire Federalist Society for the most part, which is why anyone on our side who stayed home or voted third party was a fool.

  • 17. VIRick  |  January 25, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    That's also the same argument that Sutton (with Cook in agreement) threw at us in their mindless marriage ruling from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, essentially "green-lighting" tyranny of the majority, complete with some BS about winning "hearts and minds," a ruling subsequently shot down by the US Supreme Court.

    At least neither of those two names have appeared in the supposed "short list."

  • 18. Zack12  |  January 26, 2017 at 9:06 am

    The sad part is the names that have follow the same theory Sutton and Cook and every other bigoted judge that's ruled against us have.
    That is why this election was so important..something so many in our side failed to get.

  • 19. VIRick  |  January 23, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Day One: Top Legal, Ethics Scholars File First Major Federal Lawsuit Against Trump

    Washington — The first major federal lawsuit against President Trump’s alleged business conflicts was filed by some of the nation’s top legal and ethics scholars on Monday, 23 January 2017, at the District Court for the Southern District of New York. The lawsuit alleges that President Trump’s foreign business interests are leading to constitutional violations. “These violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause pose a grave threat to the United States and its citizens,” it claims.

    “Never before have the people of the United States elected a President with business interests as vast, complicated, and secret as those of Donald J. Trump,” the lawsuit filed on behalf of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) alleges, “creating countless conflicts of interest, as well as unprecedented influence by foreign governments.” Under the constitutional provision, “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.” The lawsuit asks the federal court to issue a declaratory judgment defining elements of the Foreign Emoluments Clause — specifically issuing a judgment that Trump’s business interests do or will violate the clause — and an injunction barring Trump from violating the clause.

    “As a direct result of [Trump]’s purposeful refusal to acknowledge that he is submerged in conflicts of interest and his purposeful refusal to take precautions necessary to avoid those conflicts,” the lawsuit alleges, “[he] is now committing and is poised to continue to commit many violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause — some documented, and others not yet apparent due to the complex and secretive nature of [Trump]’s business holdings — during the opening moments of his presidency and continually thereafter.”

    Specifically, the lawsuit points to the leases at Trump Tower in New York to the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, foreign diplomats’ stays and foreign embassies’ events at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, as well as investments or planned business dealings in 10 foreign countries, as leading to the alleged constitutional violations.

    On Friday, 20 January 2017, CREW also filed a letter with the General Services Administration asking it to immediately begin investigating whether Trump’s business had breached its lease of the Old Post Office building with the federal government.

    (to continue)

  • 20. VIRick  |  January 23, 2017 at 7:27 pm


    “We did not want to get to this point. It was our hope that President Trump would take the necessary steps to avoid violating the Constitution before he took office,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “He did not. His constitutional violations are immediate and serious, so we were forced to take legal action.”

    In addition to Bookbinder, the lawyers behind the lawsuit include prominent constitutional law professors Laurence Tribe and Erwin Chemerinsky, prior White House ethics lawyers Norm Eisen and Richard Painter (who are both now on the board of CREW), Zephyr Teachout, and Deepak Gupta.

    “Consistent with the Framers’ intent, the definition of a ‘present’ or ‘Emolument’ under the Foreign Emoluments Clause also is properly interpreted in a broad manner, to cover anything of value, monetary or nonmonetary,” the lawsuit argues. “The Foreign Emoluments Clause also explicitly prohibits the receipt of 'any present [or] Emolument … of any kind whatever,' emphasizing the breadth of the things of value covered under the provision.”

    The lawsuit also raises the possibility that Trump’s dealings “also likely cause [him] to run afoul of” another constitutional provision, “the ‘Domestic Emoluments Clause’” — which states that the president “shall not receive … any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them,” as in any of the individual states, while president.

    In the new lawsuit, CREW alleges that “violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause have required CREW to divert and expend its valuable resources specifically to counteract those violations, impairing CREW’s ability to accomplish its mission.” The lawsuit goes on to spend the next nine pages detailing the specifics of this alleged basis for a court to find that CREW has standing to bring the lawsuit.

    The entire court filing is attached to the bottom of the article here:

  • 21. VIRick  |  January 23, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    State Dept.'s Lavender Scare Apology Removed From Website

    Activists are alarmed that another web page related to LGBT rights has disappeared from a government website. The missing page is a statement from former Secretary of State John Kerry, who issued a formal apology this month to the LGBT goverment employees fired from their positions starting in the 1940s, when an anti-queer conspiracy known as the Lavender Scare rocked the State Department.

    "These actions were wrong then, just as they would be wrong today," Kerry said. "On behalf of the Department, I apologize to those who were impacted by the practices of the past and reaffirm the Department’s steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion for all our employees, including members of the LGBTI community."

    On Monday, 23 January 2017, this apology disappeared from the State Department's website, just days after Donald Trump was sworn in as president of the United States. The Wayback Machine, an internet archive, shows the statement still existing as late as Sunday, 22 January. Also missing was information related to the State Department’s special envoy for the human rights of LGBT persons and Pride month observances.

  • 22. VIRick  |  January 23, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    7th Circuit Court of Appeals Reverses HIV Deportation Case (with Posner Again Being Posner)

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Chicago – A Honduran man will get a second shot at asylum after a divided Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled he cannot be forced to hide his HIV-positive status to protect himself from homophobia if he’s deported. Rigoberto Velasquez-Banegas entered the United States illegally in 2005 when he was 38 years old. Two years later, he discovered he was HIV positive.

    When the Department of Homeland Security initiated proceedings to have him deported in 2014, Velasquez-Banegas argued that he should be granted asylum because of the danger he would face in Honduras as an HIV-positive man. He presented evidence that many Hondurans believe that any man with HIV is also homosexual, many gay men have been killed in Honduras out of hatred, and police often refused to investigate these crimes. For similar cultural reasons, Velasquez-Banegas says he would have limited access to medical treatment for HIV and AIDS. In addition, Velasquez-Banegas has never married, further enhancing potential suspicions that he is gay. An immigration judge rejected Velasquez-Banegas’ arguments, suggesting that he could easily keep his HIV status a secret to stay out of danger.

    But a divided Seventh Circuit rejected this line of reasoning in a ruling issued Thursday, 19 January 2017, vacating the immigration judge’s ruling and remanding the case. “The immigration judge implies that the petitioner would be thought to be homosexual and for that reason persecuted unless he evaded his potential tormentors by pretending to be a very different person from what he actually is – a middle-aged HIV positive bachelor in a culture in which, should those characteristics be revealed, he would be in serious danger,” Judge Richard Posner said, writing for the panel’s majority.

    But the law does not require that an immigrant hide characteristics like religion, sexual orientation, or medical conditions like HIV, the 11-page opinion states. “Suppose a person if removed to his country of origin would be sure to be persecuted unless, by living in a cave, he avoided all contact with other persons. The next step would be to rule that no one can have a real fear of persecution because if persecution looms he can avoid it by committing suicide,” Posner continued. He further said Velasquez-Banegas could potentially also conceal his bachelor status, but “the law does not take a life of stealth as its starting point.” Posner said the immigration judge “made a hash of the record.”

  • 23. VIRick  |  January 24, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Indiana: State Appeals Ruling as to Presumptive Parentage on Birth Certificates

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In "Henderson v. Adams," the challenge to Indiana law as to the presumptive parentage on birth certificates, the state of Indiana has appealed the ruling in the plaintiffs' favor that requires the state to recognize both mothers on a child's birth certificate when the child is born to a married same-sex couple.

    The case has been docketed at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals as case number 17-1141.

    • Notice of Appeal is linked here:
    • Defendant-Appellant's docketing statement is here:
    • Briefing schedule is here:

    Note: On 11 January 2017, the State of Florida, in "Chin v. Armstrong," just settled an identical suit of this nature in the plaintiffs' favor.

  • 24. Elihu_Bystander  |  January 26, 2017 at 7:02 am

    Would it be appropriate for the 7th Circuit to issue a per curium ruling affirming the District Court's ruling based on Obergefell? Such a ruling would conserve the court's resources on an already settled matter.

  • 25. VIRick  |  January 26, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Yes, that would be the way to go.

    Originally, I was thinking that they could cite the Florida case, "Chin v. Armstrong," mentioned above, as it pertains to the identical issue. However, in that instance, the State of Florida finally "threw in the sponge," and settled with the plaintiffs, agreeing with them on every point, plus even agreeing to pay their attorneys' fees, prior to a definitive decision being rendered by the district court, jointly announcing their sudden agreement on 11 January 2017.

    Ironically, I am suspecting that the major reason behind the changed stance on the part of the State of Florida, knowing that these two cases were identical, came from their tardy realization that the district court judge in Indiana, in "Henderson v. Adams," had not only issued a permanent injunction and final judgment in favor of the plaintiffs on 30 June 2016, but when the Indiana State Commissioner of Health blindly pressed on with a "clarification" request, and then got "reamed new one" on 30 December 2016 when Judge Pratt hit him with an intense, strongly-worded, rebuking clarification, ending with my latest favorite quote, "The Order means what it says and says what it means," Blondi, all the way down in Florida, appears to have received the message, even if Pence's minions right there in Indiana obstinately turned a deaf ear.

    Or am I giving Blondi too much credit versus Pence's stubborn diehard minions? Still, the Florida case was suddenly settled less than two weeks later, after having already dragged on for about two years.

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

    Virginia: Senate Committee Approves Two Pro-LGBT Bills

    On Monday, 23 January 2017, the Virginia Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology approved state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria)’s Senate Bill 783, which would ban discrimination against state employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity, by a 12-3 vote margin. State Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-Loudoun County)’s Senate Bill 822, which would add LGBT-specific protections to the Virginia Fair Housing Law, passed by an 11-3 vote margin. Both bills will now go before the full Senate.

    “A person’s sexual orientation and gender identity have nothing to do with whether that person will be a good tenant or a competent employee,” said Lieutenant Gov. Ralph Northam in a statement. “No Virginian should be pushed out of their home or their job because of who they are or who they love. I applaud the Senate committee for advancing policies to ensure Virginia is open and welcoming to all.”

  • 27. VIRick  |  January 24, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Venezuela: Signing Campaign Continues in Maracaibo

    Demanda Popular de Nulidad por Inconstitucionalidad del Art. 44 del Código Civil

    Popular Demand for the Nullification by Unconstitutionality of Article 44 of the Civil Code

    Miércoles, 25 de enero 2017, Hora 9:00 AM
    Tribunales Civil de Municipio Maracaibo
    Av. 2 El Milagro, Maracaibo

    Wednesday, 25 January 2017, 9:00 AM
    Civil Court of Maracaibo Municipality
    Avenida 2 El Milagro, Maracaibo

  • 28. VIRick  |  January 24, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Latest Opinion Poll in Chile Appears Quite Favorable for Marriage Equality and Adoption

    In its public survey of 20 January 2017, CODEM asked two questions:

    Usted está de acuerdo o en desacuerdo con:
    Are you in agreement or disagreement with:

    Las parejas homosexuales tiene el derecho a casarse?
    Same-sex couples having the right to marry?

    Overall total population 64%
    Atheists/agnostics 71%
    Catholics 66%
    Evangelicals 41%

    Las parejas homosexuales tiene derecho a adoptar un hijo?
    Same-sex couples having the right to adopt a child?

    Overall total population 45%
    Atheists/agnostics 56%
    Catholics 45%
    Evangelicals 28%

    On the one extreme, Chile has yet to legalize abortion. On the other, they have elected a divorced female atheist as President of the Republic,– twice.

  • 29. VIRick  |  January 25, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    EEOC Sues Arizona Restaurant for Creating Hostile Anti-Gay Workplace

    On 20 January 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued a restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona, for creating a hostile work environment for a gay employee and an employee who was thought to be gay. The lawsuit alleges that the employees were called “faggot,” received lewd comments in front of coworkers, and were physically assaulted by coworkers at 5th & Wine Café. When they reported the treatment to supervisors, they were told not to complain, lost tables and therefore tips, and were ultimately fired.

    Even though no federal law bans sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace, in 2015 the EEOC started interpreting the ban on sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sexual orientation discrimination. The EEOC argues that discrimination based on preconceived notions about men and women is prohibited, and that those preconceived notions include sexual orientation.

    While the EEOC is an independent agency, its commission is appointed by the president. Donald Trump is expected to make at least two high-level appointments to the EEOC in his term.….

    Because the EEOC is an independent commission, it could move ahead of Obama in 2014-2015 — and it can do what it wants during the Trump administration now. In order to reverse its position, the five member commission would need to decide it holds a different view. Until that should happen, lawyers for the EEOC have held firm that discriminating against employees because they are gay — or are perceived to be gay — is illegal.

    The suit, filed on 20 January, alleges staff at the Scottsdale Wine Café engaged in lurid harassment of Wyatt Lupton (who is gay) and Jared Bahnick (who was perceived to be gay). According to the complaint, staff said Lupton “only likes big penises,” claimed he knows what feces taste like, and described him with gay slurs. Coworkers allegedly told Bahnick “we know you’re gay” and one colleague hit him in the penis.

    The entire court filing can be viewed at the bottom of the article here:….

  • 30. Elihu_Bystander  |  January 26, 2017 at 6:47 am

    The link to the filing does not work. Can you check it out and fix it? Thank you very much for all the valuable research you do for this site.

    I located the correct link.

    EEOC v 5th Wine Bar

  • 31. VIRick  |  January 25, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Trump Just Signed The Order To Build The Wall On The Mexico Border

    Today, 25 January 2017, President Donald Trump signed two executive orders at the Department of Homeland Security that will begin construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border and strip funding for sanctuary cities.

    The orders on immigration were among the main promises repeated by Trump on the campaign trail. State and city officials who support sanctuary cities, however, immediately pushed back on Trump’s orders, calling them unconstitutional and promising to fight the White House in court.

    The first order is to “build a large physical barrier on the southern border,” press secretary Sean Spicer said. “This will stem the flow of drugs, crime, illegal immigration into the United States and, yes, one way or another as the president has said before, Mexico will pay for it.”

    The Mexican president is scheduled to visit the US next week, but a person familiar with the matter told BuzzFeed News that President Peña Nieto is considering canceling the visit.

    There are also unsubstantiated reports that Peña Nieto is preparing to issue an Executive Order of his own in direct retaliation.

  • 32. VIRick  |  January 25, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Mexico City — Mexico's president is "considering" canceling next week's visit to Washington following President Donald Trump's order to begin construction of a wall between the two countries, a senior official said on Wednesday, 25 January 2017.

    The decision to rethink the visit comes amid growing outrage in Mexico, and a sense among many that President Enrique Peña Nieto has been too weak in the face of Trump's tough policy stance. The official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, told the AP the administration "is considering" scrapping the 31 January visit. "That's what I can tell you." It was not clear when a final decision may be made.

    Trump's order came the same day Mexico's foreign relations and economy secretaries arrived in Washington for talks with his administration, and its timing was seen by many in Mexico as a slap in the face. Critics of Peña Nieto — whose approval ratings were just 12 percent in a recent survey, the lowest for any Mexican president in the polling era — have hammered him for his perceived weakness on Trump. Opposition politicians urged him Wednesday to call off the trip.

    "The position is very clear," said Ricardo Anaya Cortes, president of the conservative opposition National Action Party (PAN). "Either one cancels the meeting with Donald Trump, or one attends it to say publicly and with absolute firmness that Mexico rejects the wall and we will not pay a single cent for it."

    On Tuesday, 24 January 2017, ahead of their trip to Washington, the economy and foreign relations secretaries suggested that Mexico could leave NAFTA if negotiations with Washington are unsatisfactory — though that would not be the first choice. Already Mexico is feeling the effects of the new tone from Washington. The Mexican peso has sharply devalued since Trump was elected, and several high-profile business ventures have been canceled amid threats to impose a border tax on goods made in Mexico and exported to the United States.

  • 33. VIRick  |  January 25, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Un Mensaje para Todos los Mexicanos de Enrique Peña Nieto:

    A Message for All Mexicans from Enrique Peña Nieto:

    This evening, 25 January 2017, the president of the United States of MÉXICO, Enrique Peña Nieto, has just ordered (by Executive Order) all 50 consulates and embassies of Mexico in the USA to become safe havens for immigrants, and in addition, will offer legal support to all Mexican nationals in need, as well as to any other immigrants in need.

    Y también, lo he dicho una y otra vez, "México NO pagará por ningún muro."

    And in addition, he said, once and for all, "Mexico will NOT pay for any wall."

    Also, in Spanish, the "Orange Cheeto" is to be known as "el Dorito Anaranjado."

  • 34. scream4ever  |  January 25, 2017 at 8:12 pm


  • 35. VIRick  |  January 25, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    From what I am understanding from Spanish-language sources, this Executive Order issued this evening was just for openers. But even so, it caught me by surprise, as I was led to expect an Executive Order on a different subject.

    In any case, the Mexican government has now officially sided with the growing "sanctuary cities" movement in the USA, and will utilize all of its own governmental resources and facilities to assist and protect undocumented workers resident in the USA from forced deportation. Many Mexican consular officials already present in the USA work on this aspect full-time.

    It is amazing to me to first see the right-wing PAN, through its spokesperson, ex-President Vicente Fox, scream and shout that Mexico isn't going to pay for any fucken wall, a sentiment now echoed by the party-in-power, PRI (minus the expletive). Somewhat oddly, the progressive socialists, the PRD, the party which has always championed marriage equality, has been much less vocal on the subject of the wall, possibly because they see that the electorate, shifting left in the face of the imminent threat of the bullying USA, is already heading straight into their camp, while the other two parties are forced to play "catch up."

    But expect more Executive Orders on a number of other subjects, as relations between the two countries are quickly being flushed down the toilet.

    In the meantime, yesterday, 24 January 2017, Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo, during an interview with the Televisa network, stated that Mexico is prepared to walk away from NAFTA if the terms are unfavorable during a possible renegotiation.

  • 36. Fortguy  |  January 25, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    Here's a very caustic indictment of how Enrique Peña Nieto has been a complete sell out and why he has unprecedentedly poor polling numbers:

    John Mill Ackerman, The Atlantic: How Mexico's President Laid the Foundation for a Wall

    Ever since the PRI's one-party hegemony has ended (longer than the Communist Party's rule over the Soviet Union!), the party has been wandering in the wilderness. The PRD has long since stolen the PRI's progressive and nationalistic founding vision of "Making Mexico Great Again", while the pro-American PAN is now just as incredulous at Trump's blatant rebuffs at bi-national relations.

    The PRI has tried to market itself as a new party led by a new generation with new ideas whatever the hell they may be since it no longer seems to have any national ideology or sense of purpose other than dreaming of its former days of grandeur. As the song goes, it you can't stand for something, then you don't stand for anything at all.

    As far as facilitating the extradition of El Chapo to the US, yes it looks ugly. It also would have looked even uglier if El Chapo escaped from federal prison for a third time given his influence and the corruption in the judicial system, so Peña Nieto was between a rock and a hard place on that one. At least, Chapo won't come back to bite him.

    Peña Nieto will not be eligible for reelection in 2018 due to Mexico's constitutional term limit ban, so he has to start dressing that PRI pig successor in lipstick and high heels in the short time he has left. Unless he goes for the money and sells his party out in his lame-duck years while he can.

  • 37. allan120102  |  January 25, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    The president of the human rights commision of Tlaxcala said that they are waiting for two more amparos against the state civil code, and 4 of transgender people that want to change papers to reflect there gender identity, She said nothing of a possible action of unconstitutionality.
    he head of the Office of the President of the State Commission on Human Rights (ECHR), Angélica Temoltzi Durante, reported that two amparos of equal number of same-sex couples are still pending civil marriage in Tlaxcala, as well as four trials Of transgender people who seek the change of gender identity.

    The above, he released after the celebration of the second equal marriage between Horacio and Jorge that took place this day in the court of the ECHR, where he said that in total the autonomous body accompanied four cases of amparo before the federal court .

    "It is about to be solved one more in relation to marriage union, and another is pending; And seven people in terms of gender change, of which three have proceeded to safeguard the original act and deliver a new act, "he said.

    Among the advances that exist in the entity to assert the rights of people with sexual preferences other than heterosexual, the person in charge of the ECHR recalled that on December 29, 2016, the LXI Local Legislature passed the Law on Societies of Coexistence Solidaria, which aims to protect the relationships of people of the same or different sex, without the need to specify civil marriage.

    However, he said that legally the Law of Societies of Coexistence and Egalitarian Marriage are legally different terms, so it is up to Congress to legislate to allow civil liaison between persons of the same sex with the reform of the local Civil Code which does not explicitly contemplate the Civil union between persons of the same sex, since it establishes that the marriage must be carried out between a man and a woman.

    "It is already on the part of the Supreme Court of the Nation, it is already exhorted to all the Congress of the states that request" to reform the Civil Code in relation to egalitarian marriage.

  • 38. VIRick  |  January 25, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Tim Kaine Married a Lesbian Couple on Night of Trump’s Inauguration

    Hillary Clinton‘s former running mate Senator Tim Kaine officiated his first same-sex wedding on the same day Trump was sworn in as president.

    Kaine joined Dea Jones and Sharon McLeod, who are 64 and 61 respectively, in marriage on 20 January 2017, with the Kentucky couple rushing to “make it legal” due to concerns over what a Trump administration might mean for same-sex marriage rights.

  • 39. VIRick  |  January 25, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Idaho Tax Bill Advances Despite Same-Sex Marriage Objections by Republicans

    Boise — On Tuesday, 24 January 2017, the Idaho House Revenue and Taxation Committee voted to bring the state’s tax code in line with federal rules, despite facing objections from two lawmakers who argued the state should not be recognizing same-sex marriages.

    The Idaho Legislature usually syncs the state’s tax code with the federal version each year to make it easier for residents and businesses to do their taxes, as well as avoid having to keep separate accounting books to track the different rules. The Idaho Tax Commission makes the conformity request at the beginning of Idaho’s legislative session to ensure Idaho’s definition of adjusted gross income matches the Internal Revenue Code.

    This is the second consecutive year that the annual IRS conformity bill, generally a mundane update, has caused conflict inside the House chamber because of the same-sex marriage compliance section. The legislation only passed last year because House GOP leadership drafted two paragraphs into the bill that noted that Idaho still had a same-sex marriage ban in its state Constitution, but one that has since been invalidated.

  • 40. Christian0811  |  January 25, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Perhaps the answer is obvious, but has the bill been given a provision that would repeal the statutory ban?

  • 41. VIRick  |  January 25, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Christian, No, it has not. The Idaho statutory ban, as well as the Idaho state constitutional ban, are both still "on the books," but with notations that they have been subsequently invalidated and rendered unenforceable.

    It's the same thing, for example, as with the Texas sodomy law (and that of 11 other states, including Idaho), a law which steadfastly remains "on the books," with the same notation, despite the fact that it was invalidated and rendered unenforceable in 2003.

  • 42. theperchybird  |  January 25, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    According to the media, there's an internal Chilean Government proposal that adds full adoption rights to marriage. One big up in the air question was whether the Govt agreed to only expand marriage rights or give people the full perks like adoption.

    President Bachelet is saying her coalition is working hard and seems optimistic about having the votes (just in general), but this recent update says the some chambers within the coalition are a bit iffy about adoption now and there are several members not happy with having to deal with adoption:

    We'll have to wait and see if the internal document really is the final draft that will be published and voted on and if the votes are there. I think for marriage it won't be too hard, but adoption will need more muscle from the inside.

  • 43. Christian0811  |  January 25, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    In indirectly related foreign news, Fillon is under investigation.

    "French investigators on Wednesday launched a preliminary probe into claims the wife of presidential candidate Francois Fillon earned 500,000 euros ($538,000) for a suspected fake job as his parliamentary aide.

    The investigation for 'misuse of public money' was triggered by a report in the Canard Enchainé newspaper, which claimed that British-born Penelope Fillon was paid from money available to her husband as an MP for the northern Sarthe region." (…)

    This has the potential to derail his campaign but we will have to wait and see what happens.

    Fillon has been an opponent to the equality of same sex couples while his rival Le Pen has taken a more laissez-fairs attitude.

  • 44. guitaristbl  |  January 27, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Macron has been closing in on Fillon in polls recently and I can hope that such a scandal will make the election very contentious. A choice between Fillon and LePen is no real choice especially for LGBT people. And tbh with Fillon in the second round LePen has better chances, Fillon is very close to her idelogoically to motivate people to vote for him in order to vote against her. Macron has what it takes to mobilize the majority against LePen and is progressive. Fingers crossed.

  • 45. allan120102  |  January 25, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Sinaloa was granted another amparo against its civil code. This was granted to a couple north of the state.

  • 46. VIRick  |  January 25, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Gay Couple Receive Amparo to Marry in Sinaloa

    Pareja Gay Recibe Amparo para Casarse en Sinaloa

    Although not wise nor recommended, I enjoyed the fact that this couple eagerly "jumped the gun" and celebrated their wedding two days before receiving their amparo permitting them to do so.

    Se trata de la primer boda igualitaria en El Fuerte, Sinaloa. El amparo interpuesto por Dolores Enrique Gil Flores y Heriberto Amarillas Rodríguez llegará hoy, 9 de enero 2017, a El Fuerte para permitirles a la pareja su unión legal. Sin embargo, antier en la noche (7 de enero 2017) festejaron su unión.

    This is the first same-sex wedding in El Fuerte, Sinaloa. The amparo filed by Dolores Enrique Gil Flores and Heriberto Amarillas Rodríguez will arrive today, 9 January 2017, at El Fuerte to allow the couple their legal union. However, the day before yesterday, on the night of 7 January 2017, they celebrated their union.

  • 47. VIRick  |  January 25, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Venezuela: Signing Campaign Continues in Falcon

    Demanda Popular de Nulidad por Inconstitucionalidad del Art. 44 del Código Civil

    Popular Demand for the Nullification by Unconstitutionality of Article 44 of the Civil Code

    Viernes, 27 de enero 2017, 8 AM
    Tribunales de Coro
    Paseo Alameda, Coro

    Thursday, 27 January 2017, 8 AM
    Tribunal of Coro
    Paseo Alameda, Coro

  • 48. allan120102  |  January 26, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Jalisco. After one year the supreme court of Mexico struck down the ban on ssm of the state. Jalisco is still resisting to implement the decision. Many municipalities and civil registries are still not marrying couples of the same sex putting a lot of excuses.
    Jalisco 26ENE2017.- A year after the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) issued a ruling in favor of same-sex marriage in the state of Jalisco, the authorities have not complied with that order completely.
    On January 26, 2016, the SCJN said that preventing same-sex marriage was an act of discrimination and therefore violated the Constitution.
    However to date the municipalities outside the metropolitan areas of Guadalajara, Ocotlán and Puerto Vallarta, still require an update in their documents.
    In some municipalities, they fail to comply with the observations of the Supreme Court, such as having the record sheet for homosexual marriages.
    The Unión Diversa de Jalisco association reported that in some civil registry offices, they make excuses, such as those that have not been updated, that they are waiting for the state registration to send them the forms, that they lack the approval of the local Congress or that the General direction has not sent the formats, etc.
    We demand that the judgment of the Supreme Court be complied with and have access to the marriage if they have or have not requested same-sex couples in the 125 municipalities that make up the state and be feasible in all offices of civil registries of the municipalities " , Says a press release from Union Diversa de Jalisco.
    The municipalities must comply with the principles of equality and non-discrimination, as they are part of the federation, human rights defenders explained.
    They also request the governor Aristotle Sandoval and the newly formed State Council to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination in the State of Jalisco, enforce and comply with the ruling on equal marriage of the SCJN.
    On January 26, 2016, the ministers of the SCJN unanimously voted in favor of a ruling declaring "unconstitutional" Article 260 of the Civil Code of Jalisco and paragraphs 258 and 267 BIS, which said that the marriage is only between one Man and woman.
    This action of unconstitutionality was presented by the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH) against the Legislative and Executive powers of Jalisco.

  • 49. allan120102  |  January 26, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Colombia constitutional court will not revisit its ruling that legalize ssm in the country. The court rejected ex attorney general Alejandro Ordoñez appeal against ssm.
    The Plenary Chamber of the Constitutional Court rejected the appeal of nullity filed by then Attorney General Alejandro Ordóñez Maldonado against the ruling that allowed the union of same sex couples in Colombia.In the resource studied it was stated that the high court had incurred an overstepping of its functions.

  • 50. VIRick  |  January 26, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Colombia: Constitutional Court Rejects Appeal of Alejandro Ordóñez Against Marriage Equality

    Colombia: Corte Constitucional Rechazó Recurso de Alejandro Ordóñez Contra el Matrimonio Igualitario

    El Matrimonio Igualitario está en firme tras decidir en 26 de enero 2017 contra la nulidad interpuesta por Alejandro Ordóñez contra el fallo de la Corte Constitucional.

    Marriage equality is firm after (the Court's) decision on 26 January 2017 rejecting the nullification filed by Alejandro Ordóñez against the ruling of the Constitutional Court.

  • 51. allan120102  |  January 26, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Estonia becomes the latest country to recognize ssm from other countries after a court force the state to do it,
    An appeals court in Estonia has overturned the ruling of a first-tier court and ordered the Harju County Government to enter a marriage concluded between two men in Sweden into the national population register, gay rights nonprofit MTÜ SEKY said on Tuesday.
    In 2015, the county government refused to enter into Estonia's central population register the marriage of Ats Joorits, a Swedish national residing in Estonia, to another man concluded in Sweden. The county government refused on the grounds that Estonian laws do not recognize same-sex marriage and that applying the law of another country would manifestly run counter to the general principles of Estonian law and public order, the nonprofit said.

    Joorits then turned to the first-tier Tallinn Administrative Court, which upheld the stance of the county government.

    Following Joorits' appeal to Tallinn Circuit Court, however, the appeals court ruled that all marriages concluded in another country must be entered into the Estonian population register when a person takes up residence in Estonia or is granted Estonian citizenship.

    "That Estonian law does not provide for this kind of marriage does not mean that Swedish law must be deemed as being in contradiction with public order," it stands in the circuit court's decision. "A contradiction with substantial principles of Estonian law or public order would arise first and foremost if the application of the law of a foreign country brought with it a contradiction with the general principles of the Estonian Constitution or norms of penal law or resulted in the infringement of fundamental rights. Recognition of marriages of persons living in another country that are consistent with that country's laws is not indicative of any of these cases."

    Reimo Mets, the lawyer for MTÜ SEKY who represented Joorits in both tiers of court, said that while Estonian authorities had thus far refused to register same-sex marriages on the grounds that Estonia's laws did not allow for it and it was technically not possible, the circuit court's decision now makes it mandatory for the Estonian state to do it.

    The county government did not contest the court's decision and it became final on Dec. 28 of last year. On Tuesday, the Harju County Government entered Joorits' marriage into the population register, spokespeople for the nonprofit said.

  • 52. VIRick  |  January 26, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Harjumaa (or Harju County) is the most populous of the 15 counties of Estonia, is situated in northern Estonia directly facing Finland across the Gulf, and includes the national capital, Tallinn.

    While placing this report of the Estonian Court's decision to recognize a same-sex marriage performed abroad (and by inference, henceforth within Estonia, all same-sex marriages performed abroad) into my archives, I was reminded that there's also a similar recognition case still pending in neighboring Latvia. As a refresher for everyone:

    Latvia's Supreme Court on Friday, 27 May 2016, overturned an administrative court decision to refuse an application to register a same-sex marriage.

    Supreme Court press spokeswoman Baiba Kataja said that the court agrees with the administrative court decision that current regulations do not allow registering same-sex marriages in Latvia. However, the matter should have been considered in a context not of marriage, but of registering familial partnership, and it should be established whether the refusal does not contravene the Latvian Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.

    That means, continues the Supreme Court, that it's impossible to conclude whether the applicants' rights weren't violated unless their claim is accepted and reviewed in a proper manner (which, of course, is being done, and is still under way).

  • 53. Randolph_Finder  |  January 30, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Does this functionally allow two Estonians of the Same Sex to go to Sweden, get marriage and then have the Estonian Government accept it?

    I know there are advantages to slow and steady like Finland is working through, but still nice to year about Estonia.

  • 54. VIRick  |  January 30, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    I suspect it does.

    So far, in the one case that was decided, a same-sex couple resident in Estonia, went to Sweden to marry, and afterward, returned home. Subsequently, through court action, they forced the Estonian government to recognize their Swedish marriage as valid in Estonia. This court decision, recently rendered, is stated to now be mandatory nationwide in Estonia.

    Of course, the one twist to this first case is that one person in the twosome happens to also be a Swedish citizen. Still, if the ruling is mandatory, one ought to assume that the same would apply if both parties were Estonian citizens, or for that matter, if one were Estonian and the other were Russian, for example. Apparently, all Swedish marriages have been deemed to be valid in Estonia.

  • 55. theperchybird  |  January 30, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Wasn't it just the county that decided not to appeal to a higher court?

  • 56. DevilWearsZrada  |  January 31, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    I can't understand whether this ruling orders to recognize all the rights and responsibilities of marriage for this couple or to merely enter a record of their marriage into the population registry without anything else.

  • 57. VIRick  |  January 31, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Court Orders Entry of Same-Sex Marriage into Estonian Register

    Per (Estonian Public Broadcasting):

    Following Joorits' appeal to Tallinn Circuit Court, however, the appeals court ruled that all marriages concluded in another country must be entered into the Estonian population register when a person takes up residence in Estonia or is granted Estonian citizenship.

    Estonia has also legalized Registered Partnerships for same-sex couples.

    So, at the bare minimum, besides registering a same-sex marriage, duly performed abroad, into their population registry, they would also have to provide the couple all the rights and benefits associated with Registered Partnerships.

    This news source, given that it is the government's public broadcasting system, would have to be deemed to be fairly reliable in terms of accurately providing the government's point of view, and did so by providing us with an English language translation.

    In my archives, I found this:

    The law allowing same-sex partnerships took effect in Estonia on Friday, 1 January 2016, but same-sex couples are being advised to hold off on getting married until a series of legal issues have been worked out.

    In October 2014, Estonia became the first former Soviet republic to approve same-sex civil unions, but Parliament has not yet adopted laws required to implement that decision. So, while couples can enter into unions, the Estonian Chamber of Notaries says there are legal uncertainties related to divorce, inheritance, and other practical matters. Thus, for that reason, the chamber has advised same-sex couples to consider waiting until the rules become clearer.

    Dated 11 July 2016, from the same source, I found this:

    The ministry (of the Interior) is concerned first and foremost by the fact that due to the lack of implementing legislation, it is not currently possible to enter either partnership agreements concluded by notaries based on the Registered Partnership Act or adoption decisions made on the basis of these agreements into the country’s national population register.

    "Issues with the Estonian residency applications of reigstered partners who are foreign citizens have also caught the public’s attention," Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur wrote in his letter.

    According to the Ministry of the Interior’s information, judicial decisions have been handed down on five separate occasions already involving same-sex partership agreements and applications for internal adoption based on the provisions of the Family Law Act and the Registered Partnership Act.

    In one of these court decisions, the courts concluded that not a single current law prevented a child from being registered in the population register with two same-sex parents. Three court decisions provided that amendments to individuals’ population register records and the entry of the second legal parent [into the register] must be completed after the implementing legislation of the Registered Partnership Act enters into force.

    The Ministry of the Interior has received two challenges in which the individuals demanded that the marital authority submit an entry regarding the second registered partner as a parent on the basis of the court’s adoption decision. One of the ministry’s decisions on the challenge has also been appealed in the Tallinn Administrative Court, where the appellant has demanded the reversal of the decision and for the Ministry of the Interior to be required to enter data concerning the second parent into the population register.

  • 58. allan120102  |  January 26, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Polonia´s president said that same sex marriage will never occur in the country. I am confused as how Poland being neighbor of Germany can be so distant when it comes to lgbt acceptance. As much as 70% of germany supports ssm compare to 28% of Poland….I know it was occupy by the soviet union but that was years before. Its nieghbors should had affected how Poland views are, like Finland with Estonia.

  • 59. guitaristbl  |  January 27, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Poland's history with communism has left it extremely anti-left and extremely religious. It is the only country in Europe where the first three parties in parliament are right wing populist, center-right and far right (and more shades of right follow). The PiS ruling party is one of the most extreme, if not THE most extreme anti-LGBT party in a governing position in Europe right now. They oppose the very notion of LGBT rights. One could say it is miraculous that LGBT rights have not seen a regression in Poland these days but in all honesty other than EU mandatory basic anti discrimination protections there are no other rights legislated for LGBT people. A thought for a russian style propaganda law has been entertained though.

  • 60. VIRick  |  January 26, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    California: Bill Introduced for Non-Binary Gender

    Per Equality Case Files:

    California state Senators Toni Atkins and Scott Wiener have introduced a bill that would allow people to choose "non-binary" as the gender on their birth certificates and other documents. Senate Bill 179 – the Gender Recognition Act of 2017 – would also streamline the process people use to update their gender and names on documents. One change would be that people would no longer need a letter from their doctor attesting to medical treatment.

    The bill, which Atkins (D-San Diego) and Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced on Tuesday, 24 January 2017, would go into effect on 1 January 2018, if approved by the Legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown. The state would thus become the first in the country to have a third-gender marker for non-binary people.

    Here is a link to the bill:

  • 61. VIRick  |  January 26, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    These LGBT Refugees May Be Trapped By Trump Immigration Plan

    This is a long, exposing article concerning mostly Iranian LGBT refugees, to the tune of about 1,500 people, who may well be trapped in Turkey by the pull-back in the US acceptance of refugees from the "war-torn" Middle East, despite the fact that there is no war in Iran, just an ugly, intolerantly hostile regime:

  • 62. allan120102  |  January 26, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Sinaloa. Looks like marriage equality will not come as fast as many of us thought in Sinaloa as the state government is doing everything it can to slow it.

    Culiacán, Sin.- The complaint filed before the State Commission on Human Rights (ECHR) by representatives of the committee of diversity in Sinaloa related to equal marriage shows no progress.

    The representative of the community of diversity in the state, Tiago Ventura, assures that the nonconformity remains in the same process since the investigation began.

    What he expects from the ECHR is that of a stronger pronouncement to the Congress of the State for the violation of these human rights because they are enough omissions that exist.

    Nuria Alejandra González Elizalde, the CWH's general visitator, said that they had requested a report on the initiatives that were presented on the reform of the family code to allow same-sex marriage.

    The visitadora general affirmed that the ECHR issued a pronouncement so that the corresponding legal systems that place people as the fundamental axis for the enjoyment of rights and freedoms in the case the right to decide with whom to join free of discrimination And in a true culture of peace.

  • 63. VIRick  |  January 26, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Venezuela: First Double Maternal Birth Certificate Issued

    Per Venezuela Igualitaria:

    CNE emite primera acta de nacimiento con doble maternidad por Sentencia 1187 del TSJ que valida doble filiación materna.

    CNE issues first birth certificate with double maternity per TSJ Judgment 1187 validating double maternal affiliation.

    En 25 de enero 2017, cumplimiento de la sentencia número 1.187 de la Sala Constitucional de Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ), el Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) emitió un acta de nacimiento con doble maternidad correspondiente a un niño (cuya identidad se omite de conformidad con la Ley), hijo de Giniveth Soto (fallecida) y Migdelis Miranda, ambas venezolanas, para garantizar su nacionalidad como venezolano y así pueda efectuar todas sus diligencias registrales y obtener sus documentos con plena legalidad.

    On 25 January 2017, in compliance with Judgment No. 1187 of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), the National Electoral Council (CNE) issued a double motherhood birth certificate corresponding to a child (whose identity is omitted in accordance with the Law), son of Giniveth Soto (deceased) and Migdelis Miranda, both Venezuelans, to guarantee his nationality as Venezuelan, and thus can carry out all his registration procedures to obtain his documents with full legality.

    Having already recognized "double maternity" on a birth certificate, an act now completed, it would seem that the TSJ is readying itself to legalize same-sex marriage in Venezuela, as indirectly, they had to recognize some sort of bonded union between these two women in order to issue the judgment in this instance, now fulfilled.

    So, at this precise moment in time, Venezuela has just jumped ahead of the State of Indiana on this exact matter.

  • 64. allan120102  |  January 26, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    With decision after decision of the Venezuelan supreme court I am pretty confident they will extend marriage equality in the upcoming months. This was the same method the Colombian supreme court do. Granting rights after rights to our community until giving marriage equality.

  • 65. VIRick  |  January 26, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    Mexico: Enrique Peña Nieto Cancels Official Visit to USA 

    Esta mañana, 26 de enero 2017, hemos informado a la Casa Blanca que no asistiré a la reunión de trabajo programada para el próximo martes, 31 de enero, con el POTUS.

    This morning, 26 January 2017, we have informed the White House that we will not be attending a meeting scheduled for next Tuesday, 31 January, with POTUS.

    And from Vicente Fox Quesada, the former President of Mexico, we have this missive, as a follow-up response, mostly in English, except for the good parts:

    Paisanos, @realDonaldTrump's reaction is one of fear. He's seen that México stands together and it's strong. Don't mess with us! ¡Viva México, coño! (Long live Mexico, pussy!)

  • 66. Zack12  |  January 27, 2017 at 9:20 am
    They aren't even pretending this lawsuit is anything but an attempt to overturn the rights we've gained the past couple of years.
    The only "good" thing is that when we lose in state court, it will go straight to SCOTUS for an appeal and bypass the awful 5th Circuit.
    Let's just hope our five allies are still on the court when it gets there.

  • 67. VIRick  |  January 27, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    South Dakota Governor Vows to Veto Anti-Trans Bathroom Bill a Second Time

    The Governor of South Dakota has vowed to once again veto a bill which would restrict the bathroom rights of transgender students. Legislators in the state are considering the bill, which was introduced on Wednesday, 25 January 2017.

    It would mean public school students would have to use locker, shower rooms, and changing facilities corresponding to their sex assigned at birth. A similar bill was vetoed by Governor Dennis Daugaard last year, and he has said that he would veto any bill, similar to last year’s, if it reaches his desk.

    He expressed concerns over North Carolina’s bathroom bill HB2, which has been condemned around the world, and which has left the state with a number of issues including loss of business, sporting events, and high profile music concerts.

  • 68. guitaristbl  |  January 28, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Some good news coming out of the US finally..I thought they have become extinct.

  • 69. VIRick  |  January 27, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Aguascalientes: Same-Sex Couple Gain an Amparo in Order to Marry

    Aguascalientes: Pareja Homosexual Gana Amparo para Contraer Matrimonio

    El pasado 25 de enero, el Juzgado Cuarto de Distrito local, otorgó un amparo para que dos mujeres de Aguascalientes se pudieran casar por el civil en la entidad; dicho amparo presentado fue contra las leyes, explicó el ombudsman, Jesús Eduardo Marín Jáuregui, quien celebró que en este amparo se declaró inconstitucional el artículo 143 del Código Civil de Aguascalientes,el cual dice que “el matrimonio es la unión de un solo hombre con una mujer, con el propósito de perpetuar la especie."

    On 25 January 2017, the local Fourth District Court granted an amparo so that two women from Aguascalientes could civilly marry in the state; the ombudsman, Jesus Eduardo Marín Jáuregui, explained that said amparo was presented against Article 143 of the Civil Code of Aguascalientes, which was declared unconstitutional, as it states that "marriage is the union of a single man with a woman, for the purpose of perpetuating the species. "

    Technically, that provision of the Aguascalientes Civil Code is unconstitutional on two separate grounds, first for limiting marriage to "one man, one woman," and secondly for proclaiming that marriage is limited to "perpetuating the species."

  • 70. allan120102  |  January 27, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    It says that Aguascalientes will recieve its second resolution on Tuesday February 1. That means that 3 more resolutions and Aguascaliente´s civil code will be nullify completely.

    It should be noted that, with this, the State Commission for Human Rights (ECHR) seeks to set an agenda for the State Congress. Martín Jáuregui, reported that on February 1, another amparo resolution will be issued for the same situation, so that there are only three similar cases to be declared unconstitutional in the state of Aguascalientes Article 143, which says that "marriage is The union of a single man with a woman, for the purpose of perpetuating the species. "

    Roberto Reyes, Assistant Visitor of the ECHR, explained that "the effects of the amparo are telling Congress and the governor that this part of the article is unconstitutional; The second part, is to specifically tell the director of the Civil Registry who was the one who had the first act of application of the law to complainants, to leave his office where he refused, to dictate a new agreement where he does not take in Article 143 ".

    Finally, the ombudsman indicated that both the governor, Martín Orozco Sandoval, were already notified; As the director of the Civil Registry, Carmen Lucia Franco Ruiz Esparza and the State Congress, also said that two lawsuits have already been filed by same-sex couples, for damages and prejudices against the state government.

  • 71. VIRick  |  January 27, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    So, this particular amparo was amparo #8 against Aguascalientes, as well as being "Resolution" #1, with amparo #9 as "Resolution" #2 to quickly follow behind it on 1 February.

    Jesus Eduardo Marín Jáuregui, as the state's ombudsman and director of CEDHA, continues to be quite vocally pro-active in pursuing every possible angle to obtain marriage equality in Aguascalientes as quickly as possible.

  • 72. allan120102  |  January 27, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Rick what do you think of the jurisprudence establish by the Mexican supreme court first chamber today?Its suppose to take effect on Monday.

  • 73. VIRick  |  January 27, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    The publication today, 27 January 2017, effective from Monday, 30 January 2017, of the Constitutional Jurisprudence from the First Chamber of Mexico's Supreme Court cements the nationwide right of all same-sex couples in Mexico to establish and maintain a family life, whether through pro-creation, adoption, or other means derived from scientific advances.

    So the jurisprudence covers more than just guaranteeing the right for all same-sex couples who wish to do so, their right to adopt. It also guarantees their right to access reproduction by scientific means.

    And at first glance, the third choice, pro-creation, may seem like an odd choice to even mention, but we must remember that two women who marry each other sometimes bring children with them from a previous marriage, or sometimes, as I have known here, might even have a friendly third-party "volunteer" impregnate one of them the old-fashioned way, if everyone is in accord with such an arrangement.

    In fact, in Argentina, at least, the third-party "volunteer" can even be listed on the birth certificate as a third parent, if everyone is in agreement with the arrangement.

  • 74. allan120102  |  January 27, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Jurisprudence has occur in Mexico I think its in terms for same sex couples to adopt but I am not sure. After 5 rulings from the first chamber of the supreme court jurisprudence has occur and its expected to take effect on January 30. We will probably know more about this ruling on Monday.

    Base on what I am seeing and reading the first chambers said that same sex couples have a right to a family and live a normal life and have the same rights and benefits as straight couples have.

  • 75. VIRick  |  January 27, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Durango Congress to Vote on Marriage Equality

    Per Daniel Berezowsky:

    El Congreso de Durango votará el matrimonio igualitario la próxima semana. Súmate para exigir a las y los legisladores que digan Sí Acepto.

    The Durango Congress will vote on marriage equality next week. Get ready to demand that lawmakers say, "Yes, I accept it."

    Reflecting on "The Wall," Daniel says:

    When they go high, we go low (while showing a cartoon of diggers burrowing a tunnel beneath the wall, while armed guards are standing behind the wall immediately above).

    And on the border tax, Daniel says:

    Amigos de EEUU, les cuento un pequeño secreto: un impuesto a las importaciones, lo van a terminar pagando también ustedes como consumidores.

    Friends in the USA, I will tell you a little secret: as an import tax, you will end up paying it yourselves as consumers.

  • 76. allan120102  |  January 27, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    First same sex marriage in a prison in Playa del Carmen Quintana Roo.
    We need to remember that same sex marriage have been legal in QR since 2012 I think but this is the first time a marriage occurs in a prison. Aside from that new formats have been used in the state since August 28 2016. The new formats now says spouses instead of women or men,

  • 77. VIRick  |  January 27, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Judge William A Norris, Gay Rights Ally Decades before Gay Marriage, Dies at 89

    Former federal appeals court judge, William A Norris of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, died on 21 January 2017, at age 89. He was a judge who fought for gay rights years before same-sex marriage was on the horizon of US politics. After a brief hospitalization, he died of congestive heart failure.

    Norris, while serving on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, wrote an opinion stating that gay people should be recognized and protected in the same way racial minorities are.

    The mandatory discharge from the US Army of Staff Sergeant Perry J Watkins was overturned by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a case wherein which Watkins had been discharged for coming out as gay. This case, and Norris’ ruling in it, are often cited as the first time equal protection analysis was used in the context of gay rights. The ruling, in 1988, came 27 years before same-sex marriage was legalized by the US Supreme Court in 2015.

  • 78. VIRick  |  January 27, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Belize Activist Honored for Overturning Anti-Gay Law

    On 26 January 2017, this year’s David Kato Vision and Voice Award was presented to an activist who successfully battled to overturn Belize’s anti-gay laws, an award presented every year in memory of murdered Ugandan LGBT campaigner David Kato. Veteran actor and LGBT activist Sir Ian McKellen made the presentation at the annual fundraising gala dinner of the Kaleidoscope Trust, which campaigns for equality for LGBT people around the world.

    Belizean activist Caleb Orozco was recognized with the honor, winning from a shortlist of five activists from Iraq, Nigeria, Kenya, and Kyrgyzstan. In 2006, Caleb Orozco co-founded Belize’s only LGBT-led campaign group, the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), which brought legal action to challenge the country’s anti-gay sodomy law. After a battle spanning several years, the colonial-era law was finally struck down in 2016, after a ruling from Belize’s Supreme Court.

  • 79. VIRick  |  January 28, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Mexico to Hold Presidential Elections in 2018

    Already, with the Mexican electorate showing definite momentum toward the left, the leading candidate for the next presidency of Mexico is Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the PRD candidate who narrowly lost in the two previous presidential elections of 2006 and 2012. A native of Tabasco state, he rose to national prominence defending indigenous rights in the face of the oil monopoly. Between 2000-2005, he served as the elected head of the Federal District (CDMX).

    AMLO is considered to be a left-wing populist, with strong appeal among the many indigenous people of Mexico. For us, of course, the PRD has always been the party which has championed and voted in favor of same-sex marriage. Thus, by 2018, one should expect any/all remaining recalcitrant states to approve marriage equality shortly after his election. Additionally, expect him to be quite nationalistic, extremely vociferous in defending Mexico's dignity, and very trenchant on supporting immigrants' rights of Mexican nationals already present in the USA. Here's what he had to say on 25 January 2017 on the subject of the wall and the international court:

    Andrés Manuel López Obrador:

    Presidente Trump: Su muro nos agrede y deja la Estatua de la Libertad como leyenda. Iremos a tribunales internacionales. Viva la fraternidad.

    President Trump: Your wall assaults us and leaves the Statue of Liberty as a legend. We will go to the international courts. Long live fraternity.

    Karla Zabludovsky, a prominent Mexican journalist cited here in the link, is the niece of the late Jacobo Zabludovsky, THE leading Mexican journalist for as far back in time as I can recall.

  • 80. VIRick  |  January 28, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Pakistan's Trans Community Holds Rare Party Under Police Guard

    The liberated women hosted a "birthday" party celebrating mid-life in the city of Peshawar. The party signifies a celebration of their reaching the middle of their life, unlike the traditional idea of celebrating the day of birth. The event was dedicated to celebrating 40-year-old Shakeela, marking the middle of her life. Guests will often bring gifts of money to such an event to help the person fund a project, business, or idea.

    “It’s the first time in a decade that we have openly hosted such a function,” said Farzana Jan, a leader of Trans Action Pakistan.

    Just last month, following a recent court ruling, Pakistan announced that it would include trans-identifying people within the up-coming census to be undertaken in March 2017. Transgender citizens were granted equal rights in 2012 by the Supreme Court, but that has proved to have done very little for the community, as continued reports of violence and discrimination are made.

    You can watch the video filmed at the party here. It is quite eye-opening:

  • 81. VIRick  |  January 28, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Sweden to Stop Classifying Transgender People as ‘Mentally Ill’

    The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare announced the decision following the World Health Organisations’ decision to scrap trans identity as a mental health issue. Sweden follows closely behind Denmark in eliminating this classification.

    The head of the Swedish board, Kristina Bränd Persson, stated, “This is a completely reasonable change,” she added. “Many divisions and categories are obsolete. For us, the decision is uncontroversial. We tend to follow the changes the WHO makes.” Before the change, trans people would be automatically classified as having “gender dysphoria."

    Until 2013, Sweden made sterilization for transgender people compulsory before the state would recognize their gender. That law specified that those wishing to change gender had to “lack the ability to procreate.” This meant that hundreds of transgender people were forced to undergo surgery to prevent them from ever having children.

    More than 160 victims of the policy brought a claim against the government over the practice – and after a long political battle lasting years, the Swedish government confirmed it would settle the case and pay out compensation. The government has since paid out compensation to those who were “forcibly sterilized" of approximately SEK 300,000 each.

  • 82. VIRick  |  January 28, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Guatemala: Marriage Equality/Divorce Equality Linked Together

    Per Cesar Galindo Arandi:

    Matrimonio igualitario y divorcio igualitario vienen juntos. Ambos son un derecho. No se pueden excluír. Ambos urgen en Guatemala.

    Marriage equality and divorce equality come together as a package. Both are a right. One can not exclude the other. Both are needed in Guatemala.

    So, there's an idea, tying marriage equality together with a revamping of the entire family/marriage code, as undoubtedly, in a country like Guatemala, a liberalization of the divorce code would have a broader appeal within the general population.

  • 83. VIRick  |  January 28, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    USA!!! Holy Shit!!! There's Still Some Hope, Whether LGBT or Not!!

    Per 11:00 PM tip (local time here) from Geraldina González de la Vega:

    "Darweesh v. Trump" – Filing, Decision, and Order All in One Day

    Late this evening, Saturday, 28 January 2017, an amazingly heartening emergency decision in "Darweesh v. Trump" was handed down in the federal court in Brooklyn for the Eastern District of New York.

    I seemingly can not do a copy-and-paste from the ACLU's website, but this decision is massive, and must be read, re-read, and then slowly absorbed to begin to understand its far-reaching impact, as the entire Executive Order of 27 January 2017, which abruptly up-ended the on-going refugee/visa/immigration processing and its targeting of the seven named majority-Muslim countries, has been summarily overturned as being in violation of Due Process and Equal Protection as guaranteed by the US Constitution:

    So, perhaps the 1500 LGBT Iranians in Turkey, many of whom were in process of entering the USA, may not be stranded there after all.

  • 84. ianbirmingham  |  January 29, 2017 at 11:32 am

    As a longtime card-carrying member of the ACLU, I helped to bring you this "Holy Shit!!!" result plus many more. I hope everyone here will join me in card-carrying membership in the ACLU:

  • 85. davepCA  |  January 29, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Already in there with you, Ian! And yes, ACLU membership is now more important than ever.

  • 86. VIRick  |  January 28, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    ACLU Press Release Re: "Darweesh v. Trump"

    New York — 28 January 2017 – A federal judge tonight granted the ACLU’s request for a nationwide temporary injunction that will block the deportation of all people stranded in US airports under President Trump’s new Muslim ban. The ACLU and other legal organizations filed a lawsuit on behalf of individuals who were subject to the ban. The lead plaintiffs have been detained by the US government and threatened with deportation even though they have valid visas to enter the United States.

    Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project who argued the case, said: “This ruling preserves the status quo and ensures that people who have been granted permission to be in this country are not illegally removed off US soil.”

    ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero, had this reaction to the ruling: “Clearly the judge understood the possibility for irreparable harm to hundreds of immigrants and lawful visitors to this country. Our courts today worked as they should as bulwarks against government abuse or unconstitutional policies and orders. On week one, Donald Trump suffered his first loss in court.”

    The stay order is at:

  • 87. VIRick  |  January 28, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    "Aziz v. Trump," Second Temporary Restraining Order from Federal Court in Virginia

    A second temporary restraining order has just been issued, around midnight, in a second case, "Aziz v. Trump," filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. US District Judge Leonie Brinkema has ordered federal officials to provide lawyers access to “all legal permanent residents being detained at Dulles International Airport” and barred officials from deporting any such people for the next seven days.

    However, the earlier order from New York had an open-ended time-frame, and applied nationwide. Both orders can now be found here:

  • 88. VIRick  |  January 28, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Canada Urging All Citizens to Stay Home

    There were 35,000 Canadians who shared citizenship with Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, or Yemen in 2011, according to Statistics Canada data, including Canada's Immigration Minister, an elected MP, Ahmed Hussen, who was born in Somalia. Another 75,000 people born in those countries live in Canada but are not full Canadian citizens.

    Those numbers all come from the 2011 census and would all-but-certainly be higher today. The 2016 census data will start to be released next month.

    At the same time, both the Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan have offered to accept anyone stranded by the US ban.

    At 10:30 PM, this evening, Jason Kenney, the former Conservative Immigration Minister, issued a brutal assessment:

    The Government of Canada should immediately facilitate temporary residency for bona fide travelers stranded by the (US) EO. "This is not about national security,” Kenney tweeted. “It is a brutal, ham-fisted act of demagogic political theatre. Now we are hopelessly polarized between the false choice of open-border naïveté and xenophobia.”

  • 89. VIRick  |  January 28, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Australia, Too.

    Here's a long account of Australians negatively impacted by Trump's ill-conceived Muslim ban, including someone who is Kurdish and who has lived in Australia since 1993:

  • 90. VIRick  |  January 28, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    Syrian Woman with Green Card Rescued off Flight to Qatar Minutes before Take-Off

    So, one happy ending to a nightmare. But the damage has been done, as no one seems to have any idea how many others may have been put on earlier flights departing JFK and deported before the Federal order came down from the court.

    And others are still being detained. And there's still tomorrow's flights and next week, etc.

    Plus, there are reports that immigration officials at LAX, IAH, IAD, and even JFK are ignoring the court order. This entire episode is so shameful and disgusting, and is utterly counter-productive.

    I've been pissed about the rhetoric directed against Mexico since the very beginning, but this mindless blanket ban BS directed against refugees, visa holders, and green card holders is much worse. Both are causing serious permanent damage and deep bitterness, but the ban is having some sweeping reverberations and lots of unintended consequences that might never be overcome.

  • 91. VIRick  |  January 28, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Iran Retaliates With Ban On US Citizens

    Reuters reports:

    Iran said on Saturday, 28 January 2017, it would stop US citizens from entering Iran in retaliation to Washington’s visa ban against Tehran and six other majority-Muslim countries, as announced by new US President Donald Trump.

    “While respecting the American people, and distinguishing between them and the hostile policies of the US government, Iran will implement the principle of reciprocity until the offensive US limitations against Iranian nationals are lifted,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.

    “The restrictions against travel by Muslims to America… are an open affront against the Muslim world, and the Iranian nation in particular, and will be known as a great gift to extremists,” said the statement, carried by state media.

    The US ban will make it virtually impossible for relatives and friends of an estimated one million Iranian-Americans to visit the United States.

  • 92. VIRick  |  January 29, 2017 at 12:32 am

    Iraq Mulls Retaliatory Ban on Issuing Visas to US Citizens

    Per Borzou Daragahi:

    Iraqi parliament to discuss retaliatory blocking of visas for all Americans, including contractors and journalists.

  • 93. guitaristbl  |  January 29, 2017 at 5:43 am

    This man has been in office for a week and has already ruined US relations with almost 10 countries including Mexico..It's scary.

  • 94. allan120102  |  January 29, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Federal judge in Tamaulipas is not playing she is ordering the state senate to modify the civil code of the state or she will fine each deputy for 100 days if they do not comply with the ruling. This is the type of judge I like.

    CIUDAD VICTORIA, Tamaulipas.- The Thirteenth District Court in Madero ordered a fine to be imposed on the 36 local deputies in Tamaulipas for one hundred days according to the daily value of the Unit of Measure and Update (UMA), if they do not comply with the sentence of Amparo 270/2016 to amend article 43 of the Regulatory Law of the Offices of the Civil Registry of the State and that speaks about the declaration of marriage contractors, but for the consideration of those affected there is discrimination by not allowing weddings between persons of the same sex.


    The verdict of the 270/2016 trial granted Víctor Manuel Cervantes Martínez and others against the State Congress for the approval, promulgation and publication of regulations, which have to do with Article 43 of the Regulatory Law of Offices Of the Civil Registry of the State, previous to the last reform applied in the Official Newspaper of the State on the 26th.

  • 95. VIRick  |  January 29, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    At Least 4 Federal Judges in 4 Jurisdictions Block Muslim Ban

    As of early Sunday, 29 January 2017, federal judges in Brooklyn, Massachusetts, Eastern Virginia, and Washington State have issued orders blocking implementation of the Muslim ban from the seven named countries, with all four judges issuing rulings in quick succession, blunting the effect of Trump’s order and calling its constitutionality into question, less than 36 hours after it was signed.

    The moves against the order started on Saturday evening, 28 January 2017, when federal judge Ann Donnelly, in Brooklyn, granted a nationwide stay of removal — preventing deportation — for those people affected by the order. “Nobody is to be removed,” she told the government lawyers.

    Several hours later, after a late-night hearing in a federal courthouse in Boston, US District Judge Allison Burroughs and Magistrate Judge Judith Dein issued an order that — as the petitioners’ lawyers had requested — went further, barring federal officials from detaining, in addition to removing, the same group covered by Donnelly’s order and adding those same protections, explicitly, to lawful permanent residents (green card holders).

    In addition to those two blanket rulings, two more localized rulings came from federal courts in Virginia and Washington State. The first of these, in US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, ordered federal officials to provide lawyers access to “all legal permanent residents being detained at Dulles International Airport.” The second, in Washington state, barred the federal government from deporting two unnamed individuals from the US. In that instance, Judge Zilly set a hearing for 3 February “to determine whether to lift the stay.”

    However, ever since the Syrian green card holder was discovered to have been placed on board that Etihad Airways flight to Qatar, and was rescued only minutes before its imminent departure, one must seriously question whether others, similarly-situated, might have already been illegally deported. Green card holders are Permanent Residents of the USA who have already been legally admitted at some point in time within the last 5 years, and are awaiting citizenship.

  • 96. Christian0811  |  January 29, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    "Muslim Ban"? I didn't vote for the man, but that's just a bit of sophistry. Interesting that a temporary visa ban on a handful of countries, which albeit are majority Muslim, countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia (and see how they treat gay people and non-Muslims for reference) are omitted from said "Muslim ban" (despite major contributions from individuals within their citizenry in the 9/11 attacks).

    And anyways, the "bans" will last a maximum of 90-120 days.

    Visas are privileges, not rights. No one is losing their right to religion. No one is getting sent to death camps.

    And don't forget Obama signed off on this in December of 2015 with the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act. Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iran, Syria, Sudan, and Iraq were all on a restricted list previously.

    Im not even arguing whether or not, or even how, to admit refugees. All I'm saying is to avoid titles and articles with misleading statements.

  • 97. VIRick  |  January 29, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    I gave it that heading when I edited to up-date. The original heading is:

    Federal Judges Push Back against Trump’s Order

    Still, it is a Muslim ban, even if El Dorito Anaranjado "forgot" to include his "good friends" sitting on all the oil money, and where he has business interests.

    Permanent Residents of the USA should not and ought not be deported upon an attempted re-entry for no reason and without forewarning. They belong in the USA. And airline personnel operating on board a flight ought not be turned back, as they already have special visas for that purpose.

  • 98. Christian0811  |  January 29, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Is the temporary ban retroactive? I haven't heard of permanent residents, not criminally charged, threatened with deportation.

    From what I saw, it's the most war torn countries with a deeply ingrained problem with religious radicalism that are targeted. This is a pretty common practice in international politics.

    So far, 109 people have been inconvenienced but it's not the end of the world nor the beginning of the holocaust. And I agree that 'El Dorito' has been brash and alarming, his actual actions seem much more nuanced and in the exact same vein as what the Obama administration was doing albeit with more inflammatory rhetoric which hasn't helped his case.

    And yeah, Saudi Arabia has both parties by the balls. It's no surprised they were left out I'll grant you that

  • 99. tx64jm  |  January 29, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    No… and it only applies to those already on US Soil when it was issued. Anyone on foreign soil is still subject to the travel ban.

  • 100. VIRick  |  January 29, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Christian, the Syrian woman rescued off the Etihad Airways flight within minutes of its departure out of JFK, bound for Qatar, was a Permanent Resident of the USA. She was in extremely imminent danger of deportation. She lives in the USA. She had no connection or association with Qatar, but rather, was simply thrown on the next flight headed in that general direction.

  • 101. Christian0811  |  January 29, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    I'm not arguing that these incidents aren't a result of Trump's ill-conceived order, I'm just arguing the semantics of whether or not it's a "Muslim ban".

  • 102. VIRick  |  January 29, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    And now there's this: These people, immediate relatives of US citizens, were summarily deported.

    A Christian Orthodox Family Was Sent Back To The Middle East

    Two Syrian brothers and their families were forced to board a flight to Qatar, less than two hours after arriving at Philadelphia International Airport, on Saturday, 28 January 2017, a lawyer for the ACLU Pennsylvania told BuzzFeed News.

    Two Syrian couples — two brothers and their wives — as well as the teenage children of one couple boarded a flight from Lebanon to Qatar and then to Philadelphia on F-4 visas, which are given to people with family members who are US citizens. Once they arrived in Philadelphia, though, they were detained and denied entry into the country.

    On Friday, President Donald Trump suspended the entire US refugee program for 120 days — refugees from war-torn Syria being banned indefinitely. Trump’s executive order also blocks all people from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days.

    While the order does not mention Muslims or Islam, during his signing ceremony at the Pentagon Friday, Trump said he is establishing “new vetting measures” to keep “radical Islamic terrorists” out of the US. This Syrian family is Christian Orthodox. Part of Trump’s executive order gives refugees who are part of a religious minority — meaning, in many cases Christians — priority admission into the United States.

    “These particular family members were not refugees,” Molly Tack-Hooper, a staff attorney for the ACLU Pennsylvania told BuzzFeed News, adding that they had secured visas. “Their religion did not affect them. They were banned just because they’re Syrian.”

    The family — who are not native English speakers — were not given access to lawyers or allowed to call their relatives from the Philadelphia airport, Tack-Hooper said. They also had to pay for their plane tickets back to Qatar.

    While the six family members were detained, their relatives, who already live in Pennsylvania, were en route from Allentown to pick them up from the airport, Sarah Assali, the niece of the two brothers told BuzzFeed News. The US-based relatives had long been planning for their family’s arrival. They bought them a house in Allentown, remodeled it, and fully furnished it, Assali said.

    ACLU lawyers were also unable to contact the family until they were on the plane back to Qatar.

  • 103. Christian0811  |  January 29, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    So, indeed, this is not a "Muslim ban" seeing that it is clearly based on nationality rather than religion or color as this example goes to show.

  • 104. VIRick  |  January 29, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    And there's this:

    Elderly Iraqi Woman Released at JFK after 30 Hours Detention

    Per Geraldina González de la Vega:

    This evening, 29 January 2017, an elderly Iraqi woman (who appears to have some difficulty even walking), the mother of an active-duty US soldier, was finally released from detention at JFK Airport after having been held for over 30 hours, during which time she was handcuffed and mistreated. Her son who was present there at JFK the entire time, attempting to secure her release, needless to say, is quite perturbed. For a photo of the pair upon her release, see:

    Christian, so to answer your question more directly, it is not merely an unfortunate "inconvenience" directed toward a handful of people; but rather, it is a complete clusterfuck of ignorance and incompetence at every major international airport in the USA, apparently ham-handedly hatched to "discredit" the visa-issuing and processing system, as done under the auspices of the previous administration. However, people in the past have immigrated to the USA. Then, when they are able, they petition/sponsor to have family members join them. And so far, this new "process" has only snagged trailing family members attempting to reunite with their US relatives.

    Note: Over the years, in my line of work, I have been detained/threatened with detention by various and sundry authorities in a variety of different countries. I do not much care for it, but I could, as a result, provide you with a comparative analysis.

  • 105. VIRick  |  January 29, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Even Airline Personnel Have Been Banned

    Per Reuters:

    Emirates Airline has changed pilot and flight attendant rosters on flights to the United States following the sudden US travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, highlighting the challenges facing airlines dealing with the new rules. The world's largest long-haul carrier, which flies daily to 11 US cities, has made "the necessary adjustments to our crewing, to comply with the latest requirements," an Emirates spokeswoman told Reuters by email from Dubai on Sunday, 29 January 2017. She added US flights continue to operate to schedule.

    Trump on Friday temporarily suspended the entry of people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The decision caught airlines off guard, according to the International Air Transport Association. "I cannot think of anything comparable. This brings a mix of administrative confusion, impact and uncertainty for many travelers, as well as practical operational headaches and complexities for airlines in planning their flight program," independent aviation consultant John Strickland told Reuters.

    The ban applies to pilots and flight attendants from the seven countries, even though all flight crew who are not US citizens already need a special visa to enter the country.

  • 106. VIRick  |  January 29, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Sixteen Attorneys-General Blast Refugee Order as "Unconstitutional, Un-American, Unlawful"

    New York Attorney-General Eric Schneiderman and 15 other state attorneys-general on Sunday, 29 January 2017, condemned Trump’s executive order on immigration and predicted it would be struck down by the courts. In a joint statement, the16 officials blasted the order as “unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful. Religious liberty has been, and always will be, a bedrock principle of our country and no president can change that truth,” the attorneys-general said.

    The statement was issued on the behalf of attorneys-general from New York, California, Pennsylvania, Washington, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Virginia, Oregon, DC, Connecticut, Vermont, Illinois, New Mexico, Iowa, Maine, and Maryland. These attorneys-generals are all Democratic.

    “In the meantime, we are committed to working to ensure that as few people as possible suffer from the chaotic situation that it has created,” they said, as massive protests continue non-stop for a second day running.

  • 107. tx64jm  |  January 29, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    8 USC 1182(f):

    "Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate."

    BTW, that law was enacted in 1952 … by the democrats.

  • 108. VIRick  |  January 29, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Permanent Residents of the USA are not aliens. They are Permanent Residents of the United States and are legally entitled to permanent residency within its boundaries.

    See next post, already posted several hours ago, immediately below, as El Dorito Anaranjado has already backed down due to his own personal ignorance and error on this exact point.

  • 109. tx64jm  |  January 30, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Permanent Resident Alien

    An alien admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident. Permanent residents are also commonly referred to as immigrants; however, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) broadly defines an immigrant as any alien in the United States, except one legally admitted under specific nonimmigrant categories (INA section 101(a)(15)). An illegal alien who entered the United States without inspection, for example, would be strictly defined as an immigrant under the INA but is not a permanent resident alien. Lawful permanent residents are legally accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States. They may be issued immigrant visas by the Department of State overseas or adjusted to permanent resident status by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the United States.

  • 110. VIRick  |  January 29, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Trump Backs Down on Green Card Holders

    Late this afternoon, 29 January 2017, in a major reversal, a top Trump Administration official said legal permanent residents will continue to be permitted to travel.

    “In applying the provisions of the president’s executive order, I hereby deem the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest,” Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in a statement. “Accordingly, absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations.”

    Among the most radical elements of Trump’s original move was including green card holders, whose status has long been relatively secure in the US immigration system. Trump aide Steve Bannon, who has played a central role in his young administration, reportedly fought to include green card holders, within the ban, most of all whom have lived in the United States for many years, given the current mandatory 5-year wait as a Permanent Resident (green card holder) before one can finally apply for US citizenship.

    An individual holding a green card, which indicates that they have legal Permanent Residence within the USA, by law, should be able to pass through US immigration procedures, unhindered, and with the same ease as a US citizen.

  • 111. Christian0811  |  January 29, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Sounds like a much more reasonable policy. No reason to derail people already being processed.

  • 112. VIRick  |  January 30, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    No, it's not. Permanent Residents of the USA should never have been included. That should go without saying, but unfortunately, as a very basic point, needs to be said.

    But having now excluded one group who never should have been included does NOT make the remainder of the so-called "policy" any more reasonable.

    People with F-4 visas, with sponsored family reunion, were deported. That's NOT reasonable. In fact, that's not even legal.

    Elderly Iraqi females being detained for over 30 hours at JFK for no reason is NOT reasonable (a second case of this has just come to light today, when another elderly Iraqi woman was released to her daughter).

    Today, the focus shifts overseas. An Iranian-American US Citizen being held back at Copenhagen Airport and denied boarding onto a US-bound flight is NOT reasonable. Again, that's not even legal.

    Most of the earliest examples occurred on arrival into the USA, as the order went into effect immediately, without warning, while passengers were already airborne. That's NOT reasonable, considering there was no emergency. Now, the same is happening overseas, even to US citizens, who are discovering that they can not get back to the USA.

    There are over a million Iranian-American US citizens peacefully living in the USA, and there has NEVER been a single terrorist attack committed by any one of them within the USA. Why? Because these are the very people who fled Iran (and continue to flee) in direct opposition to the creation of the Islamic Republic there.

    In any case, I see where you found that number of 109. I do not know in what country you live, or anything about your background or experience, but 109, apparently, was only on the first day,– or more probably, was a random number el Dorito Anaranjado pulled out of his a$$, and which you quickly sucked up.

    Repercussions from that first day are still on-going and are continuing, and will soon increase to thousands or even millions, as the ripple effects expand. People in Mexico are watching with very wide eyes. People all over Latin America are aghast. Canada has strongly urged all of its citizens to stay home.

    US State Department officials and diplomats are in open revolt, given that they were not informed (let alone had any input), and, in effect, had their professional assessments overturned and thrown out the window. They're ashamed, embarrassed, and angry. How can one be a US Diplomat under these circumstances? Meanwhile, all the US ambassadors were summarily fired.

    In any case, I am done with discussing this matter with you, as you seem to be rather myopically trollish about it.

  • 113. VIRick  |  January 29, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    Guatemala: It is Time to Act in Favor of the Migrants

    Guatemala: Es la Hora de Actuar a Favor de los Migrantes

    Per tip from Michael Lavers at "Washington Blade:"

    Full page ad in the Guatemalan newspaper, "La Hora," on 29 January 2017:

    Tras el anuncio de Trump para arrancar la construcción de un muro fronterizo entre Mexico y los EEUU, el panorama se vuelve sombrio para los migrantes guatemaltecos.

    Ya se habla de establecer un impuesto a las remesas familiares, además a incrementar los deportaciones.

    En Guatemala no hay una politica de Estado de atender la crisis que se avecina, como no la hay absolutamente nada, y cuando muere esa gallina, se sufrirán las consecuencias.

    Following the announcement by Trump to start construction of a border wall between Mexico and the US, the picture becomes bleak for Guatemalan migrants.

    There is already talk of establishing a tax on family remittances, in addition to increasing deportations.

    In Guatemala there is no State policy to address the looming crisis, as there is absolutely nothing (planned as an alternative), and when that chicken dies, the consequences from it will be suffered.

    Note: In the past, I have personally worked with Guatemalan migrants in Mexico on sundry civil rights matters.

  • 114. allan120102  |  January 29, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    Even though SLP is denying same sex couples to marry because the civil code havent been harmonize once an amparo has been granted the civil registry marries the couple without problem like other states that resist. That has save SLP from paying economic sanctions.
    20 amparos has been granted againt the state.+1 collective amparo involving 25 couples for a total of 21 amparos.

  • 115. VIRick  |  January 29, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    San Luis Potosí Exceeds 5 Amparos

    That's an excellent summary report indicating a major step forward for San Luis Potosí, as by my last amparo count, some months ago, there had only been 4 amparos granted in that state. Suddenly, the count has jumped to about 20 having been granted for the same number of couples, plus the big amparo colectivo for an additional 25 couples. At least 16-17 of these amparos have been very recently been decided. From that grand total, around 20 same-sex couples have already married in the state.

    Apparently, we missed the moment when #5 was granted in San Luis Potosí, as sometimes couples refuse the publicity. In any event, since that point in time, the procedure appears to have become rather streamlined, and the previous obfuscation and delay on the part of the civil registrars, at least in the state capital of the same name, as well as in Río Verde, has melted away. Good.

    Now, it's time to re-color the Wikipedia map gold to show that San Luis Potosí has received the required 5 amparos in order to proceed further in terms of it obtaining "resolutions."

  • 116. allan120102  |  January 29, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    I am actually more surprised honestly in the action that a federal judge took in Tamaulipas. Its was quite extreme the action she took against the state but I am not complaining. You saw my post above right Rick?

  • 117. VIRick  |  January 29, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    I still have to take a good look at the latest ruling from the judge in Tamaulipas state, particularly regarding the punitive monetary damages she assessed against the state congress members. Yes, that's radical, but needed. It can and should be done, and all the officials fear it. Notice, too, how the civil registrar from San Luis Potosí repeated multiple times how, to date, no monetary damages have yet been assessed against her:

    "Hasta el momento, no ha enfrentado ninguna penalización económica …."

    I also looked up amparo #4 for San Luis Potosí, an amparo which was granted just 2 1/2 months ago:

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

    So somewhere around 16-17 more have been granted in very rapid succession quickly thereafter.

  • 118. VIRick  |  January 29, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Mexico: Boycott of US Brand Products Underway

    In an ad hoc protest campaign, Mexican citizens have begun to boycott well-known US-owned retailers, businesses, and brand-name products. Just days after the Trump Administration said it was considering taxing Mexican imports into the USA to pay for a border wall, Mexican consumers have vowed to stop buying US products.

    Mexico is teeming with US-owned restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores, and consumer products. Walmart’s Mexico division, for example, is the largest outside the US with 2,379 stores, including 256 Walmart Supercenters. Starbucks and McDonald’s have more than 500 stores each across Mexico. Per capita, Mexicans are also the number one consumers of Coca-Cola in the world, according to the SMI Group. And there are 117 big-box Home Depot stores nationwide, literally from Tijuana to Tapachula, and from Reynosa to Chetumal.

    Consumers are rallying support for Mexican counterparts of American goods, while advertisers are playing to the increasingly nationalistic sentiment. In Spanish, a Mexican-owned restaurant chain, Pollo Feliz, asks “Why with the wall aren’t the losers them and not us?” Behind the smiling Pollo Feliz (Happy Chicken) character, there's a cartoon photo of Trump, KFC’s Colonel Sanders, and McDonald’s Ronald McDonald all sadly peering over a high brick wall.

    Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, an actual billionaire and Trump critic who controls the Mexican telecommunications company America Movil, called for “national unity” and encouraged consumers to support Mexican business and “buy what is produced in Mexico.”

    And more stridently, there are the Mexican-owned businesses sporting "Hecho en Mexico" banners, and on-line, there's the "Adiós Productos Gringos" hashtag. The banners state:

    "Declaró mi guerra comercial: Solo compraré productos hecho en Mexico."

    "I have declared my commercial war: I will only buy products made in Mexico."

  • 119. Zack12  |  January 30, 2017 at 4:29 am

    Trump may announce his SCOTUS pick today to get everyone to talk about something other then his giant mess he made over the weekend.
    Bottom line, whomever he picks will be no ally of ours and will gladly overturn marriage equality if another case (like the in Texas) reaches them.

  • 120. JayJonson  |  January 30, 2017 at 11:15 am

    When he was arguing against allowing a hearing on Merrick Garland, Ted Cruz said that SCOTUS could get along fine with only 8 members. Maybe we should test his theory.

  • 121. allan120102  |  January 30, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Everything is ready for Durango to be the next state were same sex couples could get married. Legislators are expected to discuss this tomorrow and on Feburary 7. A vote is expected on February 7. I believe it might pass as this is a proposal surprisingly from PAN. It also will prohibit marriage before the age of 18 another requirement the SC has order the states to comply. Intead of having an act of unconstitutionality filed against them Durango will do it the easy way.

    Durango congress prepares gay marriage approval
    Durango 30ENE2017.- Last Wednesday the Justice Commission of the Durango State Congress approved an equal marriage initiative, which allows for the civil union of homosexual couples, with all rights and obligations. The initiative will be taken to the plenary discussion.
    This Tuesday 31 January and next 7 February, deputies will discuss the legalization of marriages between people of the same sex in the entity.
    In an interview with Japii MX, human rights defender Ezequiel García reported that 14 votes are needed in favor of the 25 available for homosexual couples to have the same rights as heterosexuals (male-female).
    We hope that this moment is historical for the Duranguenses as we are one step closer to achieving equality of conditions, "said Garcia, who belongs to the association Gay Community Durango.
    This is an initiative presented by the PAN, which also establishes a change in the legal age for marriage. Currently young people of 14 and 16 years of age can legally marry, it seeks to raise the minimum requirement to 18 years of age.
    Garcia explained that the whole negotiation is being done with the deputies, almost one by one. The PAN and the PRI are expected to vote in favor.

  • 122. theperchybird  |  January 30, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Let's hope they remember that when you change marriage definitions you risk the wrath of the Supreme Court if it doesn't include same-sex couples. Fingers crossed.

  • 123. theperchybird  |  January 30, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    The Church of Norway passed the last vote to allow same-sex weddings on their premises. The new liturgy was approved this week on a vote of 83-39 and parishes want to make it easy for couples so if someone refuses then a substitute in the same parish will be found instead of making couples drive somewhere else 🙂 Weddings are already planned in several cities and will begin on the 1st.

    That just leaves Finland and Faroe Islands where Nordic citizens can't have ceremonies in the local Church. Sweden/Denmark/Norway/Iceland/Greenland all allow same-sex church weddings which were tied into their laws on civil marriage.

  • 124. VIRick  |  January 30, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Perchy, I have a question:

    Does "church weddings being tied into their laws on civil marriage" only apply to the state church, that is, to the Lutheran church? I believe that that is the case, but am not certain.

    Some time ago, when I was visiting Denmark (since we here always view the Lutheran Church as the "Danish" church), I was surprised to learn that there are, in fact, several hundred Catholic parishes scattered all over the nation, many with services conducted in either Spanish or Portuguese,– or even Polish. Although it would be nice, I have a difficult time imagining them hosting a same-sex wedding in one of the Catholic churches.

    Note: Finland's law will not include church weddings. The Orthodox, even though only comprising about 5% of the population, would have flipped over that provision, had it been included. As it was, they were noisily negative over same-sex civil marriage, right to the bitter end. On the right-wing, only the secular, nationalistic anti-Russian ones voted in favor. Again, although it would be nice, I can not envision a same-sex wedding being hosted at the venerable, Russian-built Uspansky Cathedral in Old Helsinki, nor at the grandiosely czarist Kotka Cathedral.

  • 125. theperchybird  |  January 30, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Yes, Lutheran for the most part.

    Denmark's marriage law failed the first time, it would've joined Sweden and Norway (in civil marriage) in 2009/2010 if some conservatives didn't have reservations about the Church clause and narrowly made the Danish bill fail. That's why NOR/SWE/ICE all held weddings within months of each other and the Danes had to wait until 2012.

  • 126. ianbirmingham  |  January 30, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Executive Order To Roll Back Federal Protections For LGBT Employees Is Coming Soon

  • 127. ianbirmingham  |  January 30, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    ACLU Receives Weekend Donations Totalling $24 Million; Over 1 Million Americans Are Now Card-Carrying Members Of The ACLU

  • 128. VIRick  |  January 30, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Acting Attorney-General Orders Justice Department Not to Defend Trump Travel Ban

    Washington — On Monday, 30 January 2017, Acting Attorney-General Sally Yates ordered Justice Department attorneys not to defend Trump’s executive order limiting immigration and temporarily halting the refugee program.

    “[F]or as long as I am the Acting Attorney-General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the Executive Order,” she wrote, detailing that she is “not convinced” that defending the order met with her responsibilities as head of the Justice Department “to always seek justice and stand for what is right.”

    The striking move, which follows five district court rulings over the weekend halting enforcement of parts of the order, comes the evening before the Senate Judiciary Committee is due to vote on Trump’s nominee for attorney-general, Sen. Jeff Sessions.

    An additional lawsuit against the executive order was filed by the Council on American–Islamic Relations today, with yet another announced by Washington state Attorney-General Bob Ferguson.

    Yates took over as acting attorney-general upon former Attorney-General Loretta Lynch’s departure from the job. She previously had been confirmed by the Senate as deputy attorney-general in 2015.

    Although Trump could fire Yates, questions were quickly raised about whether any other Justice Department official would be eligible under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to sign foreign surveillance warrants. It also was not immediately clear who would take over as acting attorney-general, although it appeared from an initial review of a succession order signed by President Obama before leaving office that Zachary Fardon, the US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, would be the next Senate-confirmed individual in the line of succession.

    A little more than an hour after the first report on the news from CNN, Trump did respond, shooting off his mouth on Twitter, without any further input, declaring that Democrats’ delaying confirmation of Trump’s cabinet picks means, “Now have an Obama A.G.”

    However, Yates has worked for the Justice Department for nearly 30 years, beginning as a federal prosecutor in Georgia. When nominated for the deputy attorney-general post in 2015, Republican Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal endorsed Yates’ nomination.

    Yates' entire message, and Deal's endorsement of her appointment, appear at the bottom of this article, as does a message from Eric Holder:

    In practically the same breath, Trump also lambasted Delta Air Lines, seemingly for not jumping high enough, fast enough, and/or far enough in following his travel order. Today must have been "I love Georgia" day.

  • 129. VIRick  |  January 30, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Trump Fires Acting Attorney-General Yates

    Per "New York Times," 10 minutes ago:

    Washington — President Trump fired his acting attorney-general on Monday evening, 30 January 2017, after she defiantly refused to defend his immigration executive order, accusing the Democratic holdover of trying to obstruct his agenda for political reasons. Taking action in an escalating crisis for his 10-day-old administration, Mr. Trump declared that Sally Q. Yates had “betrayed” the administration.

    The president appointed Dana J. Boente, United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to serve as acting attorney-general until Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama is confirmed.

    Ms. Yates’s decision confronted the president with a stinging challenge to his authority and laid bare a deep divide at the Justice Department, within the diplomatic corps, and elsewhere in the government, over the wisdom of his order.

  • 130. VIRick  |  January 30, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Senate Democrats to Filibuster Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee

    It will be only the second time in modern history that the Senate has mounted a filibuster against a Supreme Court nominee. Senate Democrats are going to try to bring down President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick no matter who the president chooses to fill the current vacancy.

    With Trump prepared to announce his nominee on Tuesday evening, 31 January 2017, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said in an interview on Monday morning, 30 January 2017, that he will filibuster any pick that is not Merrick Garland and that the vast majority of his caucus will oppose Trump’s nomination. That means Trump's nominee will need 60 votes to be confirmed by the Senate.

    “This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,” Merkley said in an interview. “We will use every lever in our power to stop this.”

    It’s a move that will prompt a massive partisan battle over Trump’s nominee and could lead to an unraveling of the Senate rules if Merkley is able to get 41 Democrats to join him in a filibuster. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) also reminded her Twitter followers on Sunday night, 29 January 2017, that Supreme Court nominees can still be blocked by the Senate minority, unlike all other executive and judicial nominees.

    Any senator can object to swift approval of a nominee and require a supermajority. Asked directly whether he would do that, Merkley replied: “I will definitely object to a simple majority” vote.

  • 131. scream4ever  |  January 30, 2017 at 8:48 pm


  • 132. ianbirmingham  |  January 30, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Transgender Boys Now Welcomed By Boy Scouts

  • 133. scream4ever  |  January 30, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Very surprised they caved this easily. It's about time we had some good news!

  • 134. VIRick  |  January 30, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Court Order #5 against Trump Travel Ban

    On Sunday, 29 January 2017, a federal judge in California ordered the US federal government to return a person deported under the Trump ban back to the USA.

    Court Order #1, issued on Saturday, 28 January 2017, specifically stated, “Nobody is to be removed.”

    Thus, on Sunday afternoon, in California, US District Judge Dolly Gee issued a potentially ground-shifting order — requiring the federal government to return Ali Khoshbakhti Vayeghan, who had been deported and slated to be returned to Iran under Trump’s order, back to the USA.

    Now I understand why yesterday Geraldina mentioned that 4 of the 5 judges issuing orders to block the Trump Muslim ban were female. I never doubted her; I simply could not immediately locate a detailed reference, providing particulars, to order #5.

    Philadelphia, it is now your turn. We need the Syrian Christian Orthodox family of 6, destined for Allentown, immediately returned. At last report, they were sent to chaotic Damascus, even though they began their journey from relatively secure Beirut. Oh, and they need to be reimbursed the cost of the tickets they were forced to pay to be illegally sent back,– plus at least $10 million dollars each for the pain, aggravation, and suffering they endured as the result of an unthinking and uncaring egotistical lunatic attempting to have his way at their personal inconvenience.

    Also, Etihad Airways of Qatar needs to be boycotted due to their over-enthusiastic efforts to please this administration. Instead, fly Delta. Delta did something to cause el Dorito Anaranjado to lambaste them with criticism. And definitely have all your immigrating relatives fly Delta, as apparently they are protecting ALL their passengers from undue harm.

  • 135. VIRick  |  January 30, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Terrified LGBT Iranian Green Card Holder Detained in Florida after Gay Cruise

    Maysam Sodagari, a passenger on an annual gay cruise with stops in Mexico and Haiti, was detained at the port at the end of the cruise in (Ft. Lauderdale) by US CPB officials on Sunday morning, 29 January 2017.

    Jaime Alejandro, Executive Director of the OUT Miami Foundation, posted on Facebook that Sodagari was told that he would be sent back to Iran, where homosexuality is punishable with whippings and death.

    The chemical engineer, who lives in San Francisco and has a green card, began to worry about being sent to Iran while he was on the cruise, according to the "Miami Herald." His friends tweeted at members of Congress, and he posted messages on Facebook when they learned about Trump’s executive order barring citizens of several mostly-Muslim countries from entering the US.

    While Sodagari has a valid green card to live in the US, there was confusion this weekend regarding green card holders. At first, the Department of Homeland Security interpreted the executive order as not applicable to green card holders, but was then overruled by the White House. A judge then issued an injunction blocking removals of people who hold valid visas.

    Currently, green card holders are allowed to re-enter the US but must undergo a secondary screening upon arrival.

    At 9:30 AM Sunday morning, 29 January 2017, Sodagari posted on Facebook that he was being taken to the office of Customs and Border Protection. Three hours later, he posted, “I am free to go back home" (meaning San Francisco, not Iran).

    For an interval, I was fearing I was heading off-topic with too much about the Muslim ban, but with this incident, the aftermath of a Gay Cruise, the two have indeed converged, while the next account, immediately below, completely slams us in the face.

  • 136. davepCA  |  January 30, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    It was inevitable, and of course there's a good chance that he's not the only gay person among all of those who have been affected by this and who were threatened with being sent to these countries with extreme anti-gay laws instead of being allowed to return to their homes here in the U.S. The fact that he was returning from a gay cruise revealed his orientation in his particular case, but there could be many others who chose to hide that fact while being detained throughout the weekend, under fear that they would, in fact, be sent to one of these countries and that the information about their orientation could also be revealed to authorities at the other end.

  • 137. VIRick  |  January 30, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    Gay Iranian Refugee Unable to Resettle in USA

    A gay man from Iran is currently unable to resettle in the US because of President Trump’s executive order that suspended the US Refugee Admissions Program.

    Pedram, who asked the Washington Blade not to publish his last name, said on Monday, 30 January 2017, during a Skype interview from the Turkish city of Yalova that he chose to resettle in the US because his sister, who has a green card, lives in Houston with her family. He also told the Blade he would be able to work as an industrial designer in this country.

    Pedram had been waiting for his final interview with the International Catholic Migration Commission, an organization with which the UN Refugee Agency works. Pedram told the Blade that he was expecting to travel to the US in April or May.

    The executive order that Trump signed on 27 January suspends the US Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days and indefinitely bans Syrian refugees from entering the country. It also suspends the issuance of visas to citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya for three months.

    “We are running from other bad regimes like the Islamic Republic (of Iran),” said Pedram. “But now Trump bans us from going (to the US).” Pedram also noted refugees who want to resettle in the US already undergo a lengthy screening and vetting process that can take years to complete.

    Pedram also told the Blade that he was fired from the factory at which he worked as an industrial designer because managers “understood that I’m gay.” He said he was unable to find another job because his ID card contained a reference to his psychological exemption to military service that applies to gay men. Pedram left Tehran and fled to Turkey two years ago.

    He told the Blade there are more than 100 LGBT Iranian refugees in Yalova, which is roughly two hours south of Istanbul on the Sea of Marmara. Pedram said there are also more than 500 Christian Iranians in the city who are also seeking refuge.

    Pedram told the Blade he knows refugees who were scheduled to travel to the US over the past weekend. He said they were unable to board their flights at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport. Pedram told the Blade many of them sold their homes and left their jobs in Iran in order to flee to Turkey. “They don’t have anything in Turkey right now: No home, no job, nothing,” he said. “They suddenly got surprised. This is a great problem.”

  • 138. guitaristbl  |  January 31, 2017 at 2:15 am

    Trump to keep Obama's executive order protecting LGBT rights (for now) :

    This feels like a smokescreen and I feel like it will work as grounds of a supposed "compromise" so that he signs FADA into law.

    On other news Sen. Markey (D-OR) said he will try to mount a fillibuster against any Trump nominee arguing that the seat was stolen by Merrick Garland.

  • 139. guitaristbl  |  January 31, 2017 at 4:26 am

    The Women's March facebook page has identified 4 GOP senators that could vote against DeVos's confirmation and is calling for its supporters to call their offices and mail them :

    Burr (R-NC)
    Scott (R-SC)
    Murkowski (R-AK)
    Collins (R-ME)

    Contact information in the post :

    It's worth a try I guess..

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