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w/ UPDATE Equality news round-up: Trump administration signals change in legal approach to LGBT rights, and more

Discrimination Right-wing Transgender Rights

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals– In two different cases, the Trump administration and a federal government agency issued differing filings regarding cases involving LGBT rights. In Texas v. US, which involves the Obama administration’s guidelines that require discrimination based on sex to apply to gender identity, and in which a federal judge issued an injunction blocking the administration from using those guidance letters nationwide, the government has asked the appeals court to withdraw the government’s request for a stay – which had been filed during the Obama administration. The government now suggests that it’s in discussion with the states over how to proceed with the appeal. This could mean that the Trump administration won’t be defending the Obama administration’s guidance letters in the future, maybe even including the case currently before the Supreme Court in Gloucester County School Board v. GG. As of this writing, the new administration hasn’t filed anything in the Court as to its future actions in the case. This case is in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a second case, the EEOC, using the same guidance letters, challenged a funeral home’s firing of a transgender woman. The lower court ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) applied in the case, allowing the funeral home to cite religious beliefs as an excuse to fire the woman. The case is on appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the EEOC is still defending the guidance letters in its opening brief in that case.

UPDATE: Several LGBT organizations are urging Education Secretary Betsy Devos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to uphold protections for transgender people.

– At the end of last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to issue a stay of a temporary restraining order that is currently blocking most aspects of the Trump administration’s immigration executive order/Muslim ban nationwide. We are following this because of anti-immigration policies’ impacts on LGBT rights, and other minority groups.

– In the Huffington Post, Michelangelo Signorile suggests that Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, should be asked about LGBT topics. Meanwhile, Gorsuch has released his answers to his nomination questionnaire. In it, as is typical of nominees, he lists all of his past writings. There are two pieces that are specifically anti-LGBT. One is a 2005 piece in the Natinal Review which I won’t link here but which is widely available, in which he criticizes “liberals” for fighting for issues in the courts rather than in the legislature; he specifically picks on people arguing for same-sex marriage. Note that this was 2005, when only a couple of state courts had taken up the issue. In an earlier piece, from 1987, he mocked activists for protesting Coors because of their then-homophobic policies.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for the use of the filings from their site


  • 1. VIRick  |  February 13, 2017 at 10:37 am

    Scottie, the first case cited, "Texas v. United States," the defendant, the United States, is being represented by the Dept. of Justice. The DOJ, under the new administration, has definitely shifted its entire thrust in the realm of civil rights/LGBT rights, and gives the appearance that it will no longer be defending justice.

    In the second case cited, "EEOC v. Harris Funeral Homes," the plaintiff, the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), is an independent commission of the federal government. Its policies can not be changed by the new administration until/if/whenever a vacancy occurs on the commission, and a new appointee is appointed. Thus, for some time on into the future, the EEOC ought to be able to operate as they have been operating, as there simply is no current vacancy on the commission waiting to be filled. No executive order can alter the function of the EEOC.

    The new administration (the so-called Christmas help) has yet to learn that there are specific, definite limits to its power already purposefully built into the entire federal system of government in a very complex web of checks and balances.

    The Christmas help were quite startled to realize (and are still fighting the notion) that even in matters regarding immigration and the issuance of visas that there are specific, definite limits as to what they can and can not do. Their stumbling "on-the-job training" is painfully embarrassing to monitor. On some levels, it's reminiscent to watching "Amateur Hour." However, on other levels (like gutting the Dept. of Justice), it's quite nefarious.

    In any event, we can no longer view the federal government as merely the federal government, a singular, unifying entity. Instead, we have to separate it into its component parts, with those under direct presidential appointment working against us (at least at the upper-most, appointed levels), while those which are independent, whether it be as commissions or as the judiciary, still working for us.

    Also, throughout the federal government, at the mid-level to lower-level, expect to see much foot-dragging, eye-rolling, and teeth-sucking from civil servants in terms of their implementation of any/all of the more nefarious reversals in policy. Simply put, from the point of view of the day-to-day employees, the Christmas help is toxic, and will be met with much stony resistance.

  • 2. VIRick  |  February 13, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Uruguay: 10 years Since First Amparo for Marriage Equality

    Per María José Lubertino:

    En 14 febrero, el Día de los Enamorados, celebraremos recordando 10 años desde el primer amparo para matrimonio igualitario en el Registro Civil de Uruguay #753.….

    On 14 February, Valentine's Day, we will celebrate 10 years remembering the first amparo for marriage equality in the Civil Registry of Uruguay #753.

  • 3. VIRick  |  February 13, 2017 at 11:48 am

    The Impact of a Trump Presidency for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (Including LGBT Rights) in Latin America

    Per Geraldina González de la Vega:

    Outside of Mexico and Cuba, there's not yet been any impact, but the long-term prognosis is rather grim:….

  • 4. VIRick  |  February 13, 2017 at 11:51 am

    "Latin Lawyer" Announces Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award

    Datelined, 8th February 2017:

    "Latin Lawyer" is delighted to announce this year’s winner of the Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award: Alex Alí Méndez Díaz of México Igualitario, a campaign group for equal marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples in Mexico.….

  • 5. VIRick  |  February 13, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Venezuela: Gay Couple Sue for Marriage Recognition

    A bi-national gay couple is suing Venezuela for $10 million in order to have their marriage recognized by the state. Carlos Juan Holder Wendell, a Venezuelan citizen, and Patrick Holder Wendell, a US citizen, were married in Massachusetts in 2015, and since then, the two have been in a year-long court battle with the Republic of Venezuela over issues with having their marriage recognized.

    If the couple were to be successful with the lawsuit, theirs will be the first same-sex marriage to be recognized by Venezuela, potentially setting legal precedent for the future of LGBT rights.

    They began the process of having their marriage recognized at the Venezuelan Consulate in Boston, but were turned away when they were told they did not have the right paperwork. After obtaining another marriage license, they returned to the Consulate, and eventually met with Consul Omar Fernando Sierra.

    “He took our application and filed it as a formal petition to the government in Venezuela to allow him to register our marriage,” Patrick explained. Despite Consul Sierra’s promise, the two faced a period during which they heard nothing about their case, after which they decided they had no other choice but to sue, once Carlos began to run into issues with his US documents not matching his Venezuelan passport.

    The lack of recognition also means that Patrick cannot obtain permission to visit Venezuela and meet his husband's extended family and friends. They filed the lawsuit for $10 million, hoping that that would get the government’s attention. Patrick said: “We know that even if we receive a judgment of $10 million, we’ll never be able to collect. It’s more the principle of the thing to obtain a response out of the government, and they keep stalling.”

    The couple now face a waiting game with very few moves to play. They could file a default judgment order which would mean the couple received the payout, but US and Venezuela relations makes this move not overly attractive. “We see the diplomatic cooperation between the two countries only deteriorating,” Patrick said, “a point which is going to make the situation for us even worse.”

    This bi-national (USA/Venezuela) marriage recognition case in Venezuela is identical to the bi-national (Spain/Colombia) marriage recognition case won in Colombia prior the marriage equality ruling, is identical to the bi-national (Mexico/Perú) marriage recognition case recently won in Perú, and is identical to yet another bi-national (Britain/Panamá) marriage recognition case presently before the Supreme Court in Panamá.

  • 6. VIRick  |  February 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    As of today, 14 February 2017, the diplomatic relations between Venezuela and the USA were totally flushed down the toilet, as the USA has officially accused the vice-president of Venezuela of being a major drug lord, with smuggling operations into both Mexico and the USA, and as a result, has placed personal sanctions against him.

  • 7. VIRick  |  February 13, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Bolivia: Comment/Retort Re: The Homophobic President, Evo Morales

    El líder de las cooperativas de Bolivia, Agencia Fides (ANF), dice, "Queremos al Presidente por muchas décadas."

    Si tanto le gusta, que se case con él y que deje de joder a los demás matrimonio igualitario.….

    The leader of the cooperatives in Bolivia, Agencia Fides (ANF), said, "We want/desire the President for many more decades."

    If he likes him so much, let him marry him and stop fucking with others' marriage equality.

  • 8. VIRick  |  February 13, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Pete Buttigieg, A Leading DNC Chair Hopeful

    Pete Buttigieg, the 35-year-old, two-term gay mayor of South Bend IN has emerged from the pack of candidates seeking to become Democratic National Committee chair with a promise to make the party viable in America’s heartland, following the party’s 2016 election losses. “For a party that really needs to reconnect across our 50-plus states and territories, I think I’m in a better position than most to deliver on that based on my experience, based on my bread and butter, which is local government and political organizing,” Buttigieg said.

    Along with New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley, Buttigieg is one of two candidates in the mix who could become the first openly gay DNC chair. Buttigieg, however, downplayed that potential distinction. “I want to be, of course, a chair for everybody,” Buttigieg said. “I think that we’re a party that has stood up for fairness, has stood up for freedom and I think the LGBT community has seen a lot of the most urgent issues around that in the last few years.”

    Representing Millennials in the race for DNC chair, Buttigieg was once a dark horse candidate, but has quickly risen to prominence and won a significant boost after a recent endorsement from former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. Among his credentials are an education at Harvard University, studying at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and service in the Afghanistan in the Navy Reserve. Buttigieg came out as gay in 2015 in an essay published in the South Bend Tribune days before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled for marriage equality nationwide.

    Buttigieg was serving as mayor during outrage and intense media coverage after then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence — now vice-president of the United States — signed into law a “religious freedom” bill that enabled anti-LGBT discrimination. “The thing about Mike Pence is, he’s a super-nice guy, who just genuinely believes this stuff,” Buttigieg said. “He operates from a different reality than the rest of us operate from. He’s written that cigarettes don’t kill, he thinks climate change is made up. He must assume that people get up in the morning one day and decide to be gay.”

    As for Trump, and the nightmare over his immigration policies, Buttigieg said, "No one who specializes in harming vulnerable groups can be regarded as a friend to the LGBT community even if we’re not the group he’s harming at the moment. And I would also say I do not believe that he cares about the LGBT community because I do not believe that he cares about anything at all.”

    Chris Hillman, chair of the New Jersey LGBT Democratic Caucus, is among Buttigieg’s supporters and said being a Democratic mayor from a “red” state makes him “a great choice to lead our party.” “He is someone from outside Washington with a different set of ideas and connections to real people and knows what they need to hear from Democratic candidates,” Hillman said. “His being a gay soldier who speaks seven languages and won re-election with 80 percent of the vote just makes his all around package even more impressive. As we get closer to the vote in Atlanta I think more people will see that we don’t need a rerun of the Hillary versus Bernie campaign. We need a fresh start from the next generation of political leaders and it’s time for the DNC to embrace the future.”

    One can read the complete "Washington Blade" interview here:

  • 9. allan120102  |  February 13, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Looks like Morelos marriage law is still not 100% safe. Still I am sure the supreme court will not overturn the law. They are fighting an uphill battle.
    Cuernavaca, Morelos .- The Plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) will resolve the appeal filed by 15 municipalities against the dismissal of the constitutional controversy with which they sought to combat the constitutional reform that regulates egalitarian marriages.
    On August 30, 2016, the Constitutional Court decided to dismiss the controversy 90/2016, jointly promoted by the municipalities of Amacuzac, Coatlán del Río, Miacatlán, Tepoztlán, Zacatepec, Jojutla, Tlalnepantla, Ocuituco, Temoac, Mazatepec, Tepalcingo, Atlatlahuacan, Tetela Of the Volcano and Zacualpan de Amilpas.
    The main argument of the rejection is that the law does not allow that the resource of controversy is presented by two or more complainants and that, therefore, the municipalities had to present individually its controversy. In addition, as the appeal was filed within the time limit, there was no time for the town councils to promote their appeal.
    In disagreements, the municipalities promoted the appeal of claim 74/2016 to challenge the dismissal of the controversy, through which they sought to combat the declaration that amended article 120 of the local Constitution and amended provisions of the Family Code and Of the Family Procedural Code, for the regulation of same-sex marriage, which came into force on July 5 of last year.
    On February 8, the Second Chamber of the SCJN ruled that because of the transcendence and controversy of the case, the matter should be filed to the Plenary for its resolution.
    "In compliance with what was agreed in the session held by the Second Chamber of this High Court, the present means of challenge is filed in plenary and the file is returned to the Minister-Rapporteur," was estimated in the agreement issued.

  • 10. VIRick  |  February 13, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Mexico: Puebla: Marriage Equality Pushed with Weddings inside the State Congress

    Mexico: Puebla: Impulsan Matrimonio Igualitario con Bodas en el Congreso

    Cobijados por la diputada perredista Socorro Quezada, 12 parejas del mismo sexo se unieron simbólicamente en el Congreso de Puebla. La Secretaría de Diversidad Sexual del Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) realizó 12 bodas simbólicas de parejas homosexuales en el Congreso del Estado, con el objetivo de promover la aceptación de este grupo entre la sociedad y con ello el matrimonio igualitario.

    En el evento, encabezado por el secretario de Diversidad Sexual de Puebla, Alejandro Pérez y la diputada Socorro Quezada Tiempo, se informó que las parejas homosexuales ya pueden contraer matrimonio en un municipio del estado, aunque no precisaron cuál. Más tarde, las parejas mencionaron que se trata de San Pedro Cholula.

    Led by the PRD deputy Socorro Quezada, 12 same-sex couples symbolically joined themselves together inside the state Congress of Puebla. The Secretariat of Sexual Diversity of the PRD held the 12 symbolic weddings of same-sex couples inside the State Congress, with the aim of promoting the acceptance of this group within society and through it, marriage equality.

    At the event, led by the Secretary of Sexual Diversity of Puebla, Alejandro Pérez and Deputy Socorro Quezada Tiempo, it was reported that same-sex couples can already be married in one municipality of the state, but did not specify which one. Later, the couples mentioned that it happens to be San Pedro Cholula

  • 11. allan120102  |  February 13, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Durango lgbt groups to file an action of unconstitutionality it wll be ready in a month to be filed. An a resolution from the supreme court is expected in 8 months from the moment the action is filed. I need to clarify that even though it sounds as an amparo its an action of unconstitutionality what is going to be filed as an amparo cant force a state to have ssm only 5 resoultions or an act of unconstitutionality can do it .
    Egalitarian marriage activists wanted the vote to happen, regardless of the outcome, as this gives them a chance to go to the Supreme Court of Justice and seek an amparo to protect their rights. According to them, state laws must be in line with the Court's ruling in 2012 on the subject.

    The amparo is in development. It is expected that within a month will be presented and in about eight months have a resolution that could open the way to the legalization of equal marriage in one of the most conservative states in Mexico.

  • 12. VIRick  |  February 13, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Suddenly, that recent vote of the Durango Congress on the marriage equality bill makes sense, even though the outcome was negative, as rights groups now have ample grounds for carrying their case to Mexico's Supreme Court as an "Action of Unconstitutionality" in order to have the court issue a definitive ruling in their favor.

  • 13. allan120102  |  February 13, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    LGBT groups in SLP should had done the same when a vote even though negative took place in November.

  • 14. VIRick  |  February 13, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Colombia: In 2016, 117 Same-Sex Couples Were Married in the Country

    Colombia: En 2016 se Casaron 117 Parejas del Mismo Sexo en el País

    A partir de la fecha en abril de 2016, después de la Corte Constitucional confirmara que jueces y notarios están obligados a casarlos, hasta el pasado 31 de diciembre, fueron 117 las parejas del mismo sexo las que tomaron la decisión de unir sus vidas ante un notario, de acuerdo del superintendente de Notariado y Registro, Jorge Enrique Vélez García.

    De los matrimonios entre parejas del mismo sexo realizados en Colombia en 2016 ante notarías, el 30,8% corresponde a mujeres entre los 26 y 35 años. Los departamentos donde más matrimonios entre parejas del mismo sexo hubo fueron en Antioquia (37), Bogotá (26), Valle del Cauca (20), Risaralda (15), y Atlántico (3).

    Por otra parte, de acuerdo con la entidad, hasta el momento en Colombia se han registrado 373 uniones maritales entre parejas del mismo sexo registrados ante notario. Bogotá tiene una de las cifras más alta de uniones, con una participación del 35%, que equivale a 131 vínculos. Le siguen Antioquia (100), Valle del Cauca (43), Risaralda (35), y Atlántico (11).

    From the date in April 2016 on which the Constitutional Court confirmed that judges and notaries are required to marry them, until 31 December 2016, 117 same-sex couples made the decision to unite their lives before a Notary, according to the superintendent of Notaries and Registry, Jorge Enrique Vélez García.

    Of the marriages between same-sex couples made before notaries in Colombia in 2016, 30.8% correspond to women between 26 and 35 years. The departments where the most marriages between same-sex couples occurred were Antioquia (37), Bogotá (26), Valle del Cauca (20), Risaralda (15), and Atlántico (3).

    On the other hand, according to the same authority, up to now in Colombia a total of 373 marital unions between same-sex couples have been registered before a notary. Bogotá has the highest numbers of unions, with a 35% share, equaling 131 unions. They are followed by Antioquia (100), Valle del Cauca (43), Risaralda (35), and Atlántico (11).

    By inference, 256 same-sex couples had already gotten married before a notary or a judge in Colombia prior to the Constitutional Court's marriage affirmation decision.

  • 15. VIRick  |  February 13, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Perú: Marriage Equality Bill to be Introduced into Congress Tomorrow

    Per MatrimIgualitario PE

    Mañana, 14 de febrero 2017, a las 10:30 AM será la presentación del proyecto de ley de Matrimonio Igualitario en el Congreso, míralo en vivo en nuestras redes.

    Tomorrow, 14 February 2017, at 10:30 AM will be the presentation of the Marriage Equality bill in Congress, look at it live on our networks.

    Alberto de Belaunde added:

    Hoy firmé el histórico proyecto de ley de matrimonio igualitario. Lo he hecho a título personal, pues el consenso en mi bancada es por la Union Civil.

    Today I signed the historic bill for marriage equality. I have done it personally, because the consensus on my bench is for Civil Unions.

    Y Marisa Glave, otra Congresista de la República del Perú, añadó:

    Mañana presentamos el proyecto de ley de Matrimonio Igualitario junto con Indira Huilca.

    Tomorrow we will present the marriage equality bill together with Indira Huilca.

  • 16. VIRick  |  February 14, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Perú: Groups Hold Symbolic Weddings in Miraflores

    Perú: Colectivos Realizan Bodas Simbólicas en Miraflores

    Luego de que representantes de Frente Amplio presentaran el proyecto de ley del matrimonio igualitario en el Congreso Peruano, la Red Peruana TLGB anunció la boda simbólica de diez parejas en el Parque del Amor. Bajo el lema “El amor no discrimina,” dicho colectivo anunció el casamiento de parejas lesbianas, gays, y transexuales.

    Eduardo Juárez, secretario de Incidencia Política de la Red Peruana de Trans, Lesbianas, Gays y Bisexuales, explicó que se trata de una manifestación en contra del Estado por no legalizar este tipo de uniones. “Es una manifestación contra un Estado que no legaliza las uniones homosexuales como lo hace con las heterosexuales,” señaló. “Sea con besatones o casamientos simbólicos, tenemos la misión de irrumpir en el espacio público,” agregó, como plan de acción.

    El proyecto de ley presentado por Indira Huilca y Marisa Glave busca formalizar la unión de personas del mismo sexo. Huilca pidió a la mayoría parlamentaria analizar y votar “a consciencia."

    After representatives of Frente Amplio presented the marriage equality bill in the Peruvian Congress, the Peruvian TLGB Network announced the symbolic wedding of ten couples in the Park of Love. Under the motto "Love does not discriminate," the group announced the marriages of lesbian, gay, and transgender couples.

    Eduardo Juárez, Secretary of Political Incidence of the Peruvian TLGB Network explained that this effort is a manifestation against the State for not legalizing these types of unions. "It is a demonstration against a state that does not legalize homosexual unions as it does with heterosexuals," he said. "Whether it be with symbolic weddings or marriages, we have the mission to break into public space," he added, as a plan of action.

    The bill submitted by Indira Huilca and Marisa Glave seeks to formalize the unions of same-sex couples.. Huilca asked the parliamentary majority to analyze and vote "conscientiously."

  • 17. VIRick  |  February 13, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Virginia: Yet Another Federal Judge Blocks Travel Ban EO

    On 13 February 2017, in Alexandria VA, in "Aziz v. Trump, US District Judge Leonie Brinkema issued a strongly-worded preliminary injunction, finding a “likelihood that the Commonwealth will prevail on the merits of its Establishment Clause claim,” and halting enforcement of the visa portion of the executive order against Virginia residents affected by the ban.

    Brinkema pointed to Trump’s campaign statements calling for a ban on Muslim immigration and more recent statements by Trump adviser Rudolph Giuliani about being asked to help craft such a ban as evidence that the executive order was not motivated by “rational national security concerns.”

    “The Commonwealth has produced unrebutted evidence supporting its position that it is likely to succeed on an Establishment Clause claim,” Brinkema wrote. “The ‘Muslim ban’ was a centerpiece of the president’s campaign for months, and the press release calling for it was still available on his website as of the day this Memorandum Opinion is being entered.”

    Brinkema went on to say in a footnote that she gave “little weight” to statements from administration officials that the travel ban was not targeted at Muslims, since they were made after legal challenges were filed. Like the Ninth Circuit, Brinkema rejected the Justice Department’s argument that the court lacked jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of the executive order.

    “Maximum power does not mean absolute power,” Brinkema wrote. “Every presidential action must still comply with the limits set by Congress’ delegation of power and the constraints of the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights.”

  • 18. VIRick  |  February 13, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Washington State: "Washington v. Trump" to Proceed

    At a conference at the district court in Seattle in the "Washington v. Trump" case that has led to the halted enforcement of the travel ban EO, US District Judge James Robart decided on Monday, 13 February 2017, that the underlying lawsuit by the states of Washington and Minnesota can proceed while the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals addresses questions relating to his initial order.

    Reuters reported that Robart said “he was ‘surprised’ the Justice Department would seek a delay given Trump’s angry tweets over the 9th Circuit Court's ruling.”

  • 19. VIRick  |  February 13, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Rep. Dominicana: Newspaper "Accidentally" Printed Photo of Alec Baldwin instead of 45

    On Friday, 10 February 2017, the leading newspaper in the Dominican Republic, "El Nacional," ran a photo of Alec Baldwin in his pouting Saturday Night Live impersonation look, but labelled it, "Donald Trump presidente de EEUU," as if it were the real thing.

    Later, the newspaper issued this statement: “El Nacional apologises to its readers and anyone who felt affected." Still, most readers assumed the "mix-up" to have been coyly intentional, as the photo, as run, given the very recent chaos regarding immigration, tends to reflect the general world view of many Dominican citizens regarding 45.

  • 20. davepCA  |  February 14, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Wow, you can't make this stuff up! That's hilarious! I think that issue should be a collector's edition : )

  • 21. VIRick  |  February 14, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Dave, in the link I provided, one can view multiple photocopies of the actual newspaper page, along with a collection of Twitter comments, retorts, and assorted snideness.

  • 22. davepCA  |  February 14, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Oh yes, I checked out the PinkNews link – it's awesome!

  • 23. JayJonson  |  February 14, 2017 at 10:55 am

    The first English-language interview with the man who has emerged as the leading candidate to defeat Le Pen in the race for President of France. He talks about how Russian hackers have been attempting to interfere in the election, in part by spreading rumors that he is gay and leading a secret life. A banker, he has emerged as an unlikely "rock star" and as the last hope for liberalism in France. He is pro-Europe while Le Pen wants to destroy (or at least neuter) the European Union.

  • 24. VIRick  |  February 14, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Northern Ireland: Sinn Fein Vows to Continue Fighting for Marriage Equality

    Today, 14 February 2017, Sinn Fein has reiterated its pledge to campaign for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. Members Gerry Kelly, Caral Ni Chuilin and Megan Fearon said there was an increasing demand for marriage equality, and signed a pledge to legislate to pass same-sex marriage, as well as to actively campaign to have it legalized.

    The party has in the past attempted to legislate for equal marriage on several occasions in the Stormont assembly. But the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has continually blocked attempts to bring equality under the law.

    Northern Ireland is the last remaining place in the UK where same-sex marriage continues to be blocked, as the governing Democratic Unionist Party employs Petitions of Concern – a power designed to ensure cross-community power sharing – to veto marriage bills despite a Parliamentary majority in favor.

  • 25. VIRick  |  February 14, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Argentina: 10 Years Since First Amparo for Marriage Equality

    Per Inhala Exhala Radio y María José Lubertino:

    Hoy se cumplen 10 años del primero amparo por el matrimonio igualitario, por lo que hablamos con Adrian Urrutia, Director de Diversidad de Neuquén.

    Today marks the 10th anniversary of the first equal marriage protection, so we spoke about it with Adrian Urrutia, Director of Diversity of Neuquén.

    Actually, today is a double anniversary, as the very first amparos for marriage equality were issued in both Argentina and Uruguay on precisely the same date: 14 February 2007. For Argentina, is was issued in the southern province of Neuquén.

  • 26. scream4ever  |  February 14, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Jacksonville becomes latest city to adopt an anti-discrimination ordinance. Behind Houston, it was the largest city in the country to not have one:

  • 27. VIRick  |  February 14, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Florida: Jacksonville City Council Adds LGBTs to Human Rights Ordinance

    On 14 February 2017, the Jacksonville City Council voted to expand the city's Human Rights Ordinance. The measure passed 12-6, with Councilwoman Katrina Brown being absent. She was expected to vote "yes." The bill, sponsored by council member Aaron Bowman, Tommy Hazouri, and Jim Love, added the words "sexual orientation and gender identity" to the pre-existing HRO which already prohibits discrimination in public accommodations, employment, and housing.

    Mayor Lenny Curry returned the bill without a signature, thus making the HRO expansion law.

    Previously, and excluding the confused state of affairs with the Houston non-discrimination ordinance, Jacksonville had been the most-populous city in the USA to not include the LGBT community within their non-discrimination protections.

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