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Neil Gorsuch Senate Judiciary hearing thread


The live stream to watch the second day of Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing is here. We didn’t link it yesterday because he wasn’t expected to answer questions, but he is today.

SCOTUSBlog will also have a live blog here.

This is also an open thread for any breaking news.

UPDATE: Gorsuch was asked about same-sex marriage and said it’s settled law, but he said there’s still litigation about the scope.


  • 1. allan120102  |  March 21, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Sonora state sadly does not have same sex marriage because of her homophobic governor. Consider the queen of the North she fights equality for same sex couples with a firm hand. She is such a hypocrite she was crying when Juan Gabriel and she is a homopohobic no least.
    In September 2015, Claudia Pavlovich assumed the governorship of Sonora with the merit of having won her opponent by almost 7% difference. Since then, she is the only female governor of the country, the only one who sits in the Club de Toby de la Conago. However, Pavlovich's rise has not helped the gender agenda in Sonora. On the contrary, it has used its position to stop the advance of the rights of the LGBT community.

    Since taking power, the governor rules as a queen, as the true sultana of the North. It has control of the Congress, with 15 deputies of the PRI and its two allies of New Alliance, as well as the city council of Hermosillo, with the municipal president Manuel Acosta, also of the PRI. These supports have served the governor to prevent same-sex couples from marrying in Sonora, although jurisprudence was already obtained in that state in 2016.

    On May 11, 2016, Martha Julissa Bojórquez, the director of the Civil Registry, acknowledged that 12 couples had already won custody to get married in Sonora. Only 5 cases are needed to establish jurisprudence. Since then, the official announced at a press conference that couples wishing to contract civil marriage, with all rights and obligations, could go to the Civil Registry of the 72 state municipalities without the need for an amparo. The announcement came a few days before President Peña Nieto presented a federal law initiative to recognize equal marriage in Mexico as part of the national day against homophobia. Sonoran activists celebrated the announcement, but the party was short-lived.

    A day after the announcement of Peña Nieto, Pavlovich corrected the director of the Civil Registry and announced that only with amparo would allow so-called egalitarian marriages. The Queen of Sonora said bluntly that she respected the law and that only with amparos could marry same-sex couples.

    In effect, the Family Code of the State of Sonora defines the family in its article 2 as "the marriage or concubinage of a man and a woman", while the Civil Code of the state speaks in binary terms of marriage and Spouses or concubines, and excludes persons living with HIV / AIDS, persons with "active alcoholism, addiction to psychotropic or narcotic substances, persons with syphilis, mental alienation and chronic or incurable diseases" from the right to legal recognition. A whole range of discrimination in its article 248.

    Pavlovich's decision stopped the advance of recognition of equal marriage in Sonora without there being a single counterbalance by the State Commission on Human Rights and the Citizens' Council to Prevent Discrimination. Only the activists of the Sonora Pride organization complained and have since spoken to state lawmakers to see the possibility of a bill to reform the Family Code and the Civil Code, but without success, one of its members told me.

    Since Peña Nieto presented his initiative almost a year ago, the activism of the National Front for the Family, in alliance with the conservatism of the PRI, has halted the diffusion of legal recognition to same-sex couples. Seven years ago, Mexico City reformed the Civil Code with the so-called Razú Law, and since then a third of state legislatures have reformed their laws to recognize equal marriage, abiding by Supreme Court rulings in that regard.

    To date, it has been the personal will of state executives that the front door that LGBT activists have had to open to get legislative reforms. In Sonora, Claudia Pavlovich has the key to the lock of that door, but today she keeps it closed

  • 2. Fortguy  |  March 21, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Meet Bobby Brooks, the first-ever openly gay president of the student senate at Texas A&M University.

    Cassandra Pollock, The Texas Tribune: Texas A&M's first openly gay student body president to take office

    After his election, Brooks posted on his Facebook page, "To those of you who spoke poorly about me based upon my sexual orientation or personal religion (and talk gets around, my friends), I forgive you. I really do."

    A&M is the largest university and the oldest public university in the state. The Texas Aggies, despite being a member of the Association of American Universities which only grants membership to academically elite, very high research institutions, has always been a stodgy, conservative campus reluctant to let go of traditions in order to foster inclusiveness.

    *A&M didn't enroll African-American students until 1964.

    *A&M didn't make membership in the Corps of Cadets voluntary until 1965. Before that, A&M was a military school similar to The Citadel or the Virginia Military Institute.

    *It wasn't until that same year A&M began universally accepting qualified women applicants.

    *Women were not allowed to join the Corps until 1974. Even then, they served in segregated units and could not participate in leadership or elite Corps units including the Aggie marching band.

    *In 1976, the university denied recognition to a gay student organization resulting in a lawsuit that would reach SCOTUS as Gay Student Services v. Texas A&M University. The Supremes refused to hear the case in 1985 upholding a 5th Circuit ruling against the university.

    *Corps leadership and elite squads were opened to women in 1985 due to a federal class-action lawsuit from a female cadet.

    *Gay Student Services also set precedent forcing A&M to allow social fraternities and sororities.

    *The Corps finally eliminated female-only units in 1990.

    *A&M, as a formerly all-male school, has five student-elected Yell Leaders rather than cheerleaders, although the school does now have a secondary pom-pom squad. The Aggies did not elect an African-American Yell Leader until the 1990s, and still has never elected a female Yell Leader.

    So, Gig 'em Aggies and congratulations to Brooks for his election overcoming the "traditions" he was up against.

  • 3. Fortguy  |  March 21, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    In doing my research for the post above, I've not been able to determine if the pom-pom squad would allow Rick's gay gogo boys to perform and even less determination of whether the squad may perform in truly kinky boots. This should be allowed. Very expensive, high-calved boots are an endurable Corps treasure.

  • 4. VIRick  |  March 21, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    "In doing my research for …. Rick's gay gogo boys to perform …. "

    So, where were you doing all this serious "research" of yours?

    Oh wait! Never mind.

    Bless your heart, but you went beyond the "archives" section, didn't you? Did you find the part where they'd fight over the mascara?

    And lest anyone else get too excited, the x-rated pics of the naked, gay dancing boys have been removed quite some time ago. But comments persist.

  • 5. Fortguy  |  March 21, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Oh, dear Rick, your heart is sooo much more blessed than mine! I only need to follow legislative bill filings, news sources (or dismiss them because they're all fake news), and Twitter comments of influential Aggie alumni, their hated Longhorn rivals, or other grandstanding politicos to know that.

    I know Texas and somewhat know Aggie culture (I'm not personally an Aggie, but I grew up among other family in that world). I even respect Aggie culture more than that of UT which, comparatively, I think is relatively lame.

    If the Aggies chose to be that inclusive, don't you think we would have heard from Rick Perry by now? If there was such a threat to the school's institutions, he would have rejected the Energy Department assignment and demanded Gov. Greg Abbott appoint him a university regent.

    Of course, you and I both know that the humor of the sub-post would not be possible without the archive.

  • 6. JayJonson  |  March 23, 2017 at 6:58 am

    Unbelievable (or maybe all too believable) that former Aggie Cheerleader Perry has accused Bobby Brooks of stealing the election because his opponent, who received a few more votes in the election, was disqualified for cheating. The opponent, not surprisingly, is the son of a Republican donor. Perry whines that it isn't fair. We all know about Perry's notion of fairness.

  • 7. VIRick  |  March 21, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    Same-Sex Custody Case to Include Staver, Liberty Counsel, Liberty U., as Defendants

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Here's a splendid update in "Jenkins v. Miller," the on-going federal case from Vermont in which the custodial parent is suing her former partner and other parties for conspiracy to kidnap the couple’s child and keep her in hiding in Nicaragua.

    In an Order and Opinion issued yesterday, 20 March 2017, Judge Wm. Sessions III granted the SPLC motion to lift the stay and amend the complaint to include additional defendants, including Mat Staver.

    From the order:
    "Plaintiffs have moved to join additional defendants connected to the legal representation of Jenkins’ former same-sex partner, Lisa Miller. In particular, they seek to join attorneys Rena Lindevaldsen, Esq., and Mathew Staver, Esq., as well as Liberty Counsel, a Christian law firm with which they were affiliated when they began to represent Miller. In addition, they seek to join Liberty University, an institution that the Court had previously dismissed from the case for lack of personal jurisdiction, arguing that the evidence adduced at Zodhiates’ trial and in discovery so far provides new grounds for a different jurisdictional ruling."

    "For the reasons outlined below, the Court grants Plaintiffs’ motion to lift the stay of this civil case. Moreover, the Court grants Plaintiffs’ motion to amend the complaint so as to join Lindevaldsen, Staver, Liberty Counsel and Liberty University. Finally, the Court finds that it has jurisdiction over Defendant RUL, and thereby denies RUL’s pending motion to dismiss on this ground."

    The Opinion and Order is here:

    Jenkins filed a lawsuit in 2012 against Miller and others who had conspired to assist in the kidnapping, but the (civil) case was put on hold in favor of criminal prosecutions against some of the conspirators. This past fall, Jenkins, represented by Sarah Star, Esq. as well as attorneys from the Southern Poverty Law Center and Langrock Sperry & Wool, LLP, asked the federal court in Vermont to lift the stay, and, in light of new evidence adduced through the criminal prosecutions, to permit them to name Liberty Counsel, Liberty University, as well as Liberty Counsel lawyers Mat Staver and Rena Lindevaldsen, as defendants. On Monday, the court issued a 61-page order granting that request and lifting the stay.

    SPLC post on the ruling is here:

  • 8. VIRick  |  March 22, 2017 at 1:06 am

    Japan: Another Large City to Recognize Same-Sex Relationships

    From June 2017, nearly two million more people will be able to have their LGBT relationships legally recognized. Sapporo, the largest city on the northern island of Hokkaido, has finished the public consultation which led to an overwhelming 1,500 people writing in to support the proposal.

    Japan does not recognize same-sex marriage on a national basis, but the new law will confer more rights on LGBT couples. Any couple over 20 years old who both live in the city of Sapporo will be allowed to ask for a “partnership vow,” which will enable them to be recipients of each other’s life insurance payouts. The official recognition will also provide couples with the opportunity to use family discounts on commercial products, such as phone contracts.

    In April 2015, Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward became the first district in the country to recognize same-sex partnerships as equivalent to marriage. Several other municipalities have since followed Shibuya, with support for same-sex relationships growing steadily in Japan over recent years. A poll in 2015 suggested the majority of people were now in favor of marriage equality.

    Many private businesses in Japan, such as Panasonic, have also adopted policies recognizing same-sex partners for benefits such as health insurance and pensions.

  • 9. guitaristbl  |  March 22, 2017 at 2:37 am

    Gorsuch's answer is terrifying truly. It could expand from him being willing to gut marital benefits (e.g. like the texas supreme court is considering doing) to hindering process on trans issues. Extremely worrying, truly frightening..

  • 10. scream4ever  |  March 22, 2017 at 4:04 am

    At least we can take comfort in knowing that unless and additional justice from the majority opinion dies/retires, nothing is likely to change though. As for the Texas case, most of the judges on the state supreme court seemed to highly doubt the validity of the claims from the other side. I suspect they granted cert just to shut up the opposition.

  • 11. VIRick  |  March 22, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Germany to Quash Thousands of Historic Homosexuality Convictions

    Germany is set to rescind the convictions of 50,000 men sentenced for homosexuality under a Nazi-era law. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is expected to pass the law today, 22 March 2017, which will set aside 30 million euros to compensate an estimated 5,000 convicted men who are still alive. “We can never completely erase the travesty of justice, but we want to rehabilitate the victims,” Justice Minister Heiko Maas told AFP.

    Paragraph 175 was part of Germany’s criminal code until 1994 and made sex between men illegal. More than 140,000 men were convicted under this paragraph, and 50,000 were prosecuted. Germany initially banned gay sex in 1871, when a penal code was introduced criminalizing homosexual acts. This law was extended under the Nazis to convict thousands of gay men and send them to concentration camps.

    The laws were not repealed in West Germany after the fall of the Nazis, and many of the persecuted gay men were not cleared. Homosexuality was not legalized until 1968 and 1969 in East and West Germany respectively. The age of consent was finally equalized in 1989.

  • 12. VIRick  |  March 22, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Germany Clears Path to Erase Convictions of Gay Men

    Today, 22 March 2017, Germany’s Cabinet approved a bill that would annul the convictions of thousands of gay men under a law criminalizing homosexuality that was applied zealously in post-World War II West Germany. The decision also clears the way for compensation for those still alive who were convicted under the so-called Paragraph 175 outlawing sexual relations between men.

    The anti-gay legislation was introduced in 1871, toughened under Nazi rule and retained in that form by West Germany, which convicted some 50,000 men between 1949 and 1969. Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1969 but the legislation wasn’t taken off the books entirely until 1994.

    Note: In the immediate post-war Four Power Occupation of Germany (1945-49), homosexuality was not illegal in either the French Zone of occupation nor in the Soviet Zone of occupation. However, it remained illegal in both the British and US Zones. That's because each Power enforced its own laws during this period of occupation. Homosexuality was not illegal in either France or the Soviet Union, but it was in Britain and the USA. This point also explains the start-up date (1949) for West Germany.

    All of these same points also applied during the Four Power Occupation of Austria (1945-55), the only difference being the longer length of time for the occupation itself.

  • 13. Christian0811  |  March 23, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Actually homosexuality was only legal in the French zone because Stalin recriminalized homosexuality in 1934 after Lenin and his Petrograd soviet repealed the Tsarist laws in 1917 which is where I think the mistake was made. Paragraph 175 was reinstated in French-occupied Germany when they left as the French didn't see the matter as human rights issue.

    I also believe France was the only power to liberate homosexual holocaust prisoners but I can't find a source on that.

  • 14. VIRick  |  March 23, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    My only source is this comment (which to me, at the time, sounded rather authoritative) and which I thus saved in my archives:

    "As a further note, a commentator at LGBTQ Nation has posted this comparison of the treatment of incarcerated gays in occupied Germany in the immediate aftermath of the Nazi era:

    "Gay Germans in the American and British sectors of divided, immediate post-WW2 Germany were merely moved from concentration camps to prisons, and their sentences continued, because of the anti-gay laws in both the USA and the UK. On the other hand, gay Germans in the French and Soviet sectors were freed and allowed to try to re-build their lives like everyone else because France had no laws against homosexuality and the Soviets (at that time) did not either."

    So, we agree about the French releasing their victims, and presumably agree about both the British and US moving theirs from the concentration camps to prisons to finish serving their sentences (despite the fact that all other prisoners held in the concentration camps were freed), but disagree as to what the Soviets did or did not do in their Zone of occupation. I will stand corrected if/whenever we can find accurate, authoritative information.

    Furthermore, as best as I can glean, the same procedures by each of the Four Powers were followed in Austria, as was done in Germany.

  • 15. Christian0811  |  March 23, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    According the sources at Wikipedia, the best I can say is that East German courts were extremely reluctantly to apply paragraph 175 as it was written under the Nazi regime and so between 1948-1968 reverted its application to its pre-1933 form. It was revised in 1968 under a new penal code under similar wording as could be found in the UK's Sex Offenses Act 1967. IE Sexual partners had to be 21 and over, no more than 2 partners, etc.

    Now perhaps the Red Army just saw fit to empty the camps entirely when they came upon them, which is entirely possible, but I can't find an exact source as to their policy or orders of how to handle such camps as even Pravda only ran a small article on the matter in 1944 and it wasn't comprehensive.… <a href=";
    target="_blank"&gt <a href="http://;…” target=”_blank”>;… <a href="; target="_blank"&gt <a href="http://;…” target=”_blank”>;

    It's nice to have a source now that validates my belief that the French liberated the homosexuals in concentration camps now

  • 16. Christian0811  |  March 23, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Sorry about the links, here they are

  • 17. guitaristbl  |  March 22, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    By the way I don't know if it has been reported but even if a government is formed in Northern Ireland marriage equality can again be blocked by the parliament as the 28 MPs of DUP will be joined by Jim Allister of TUV and Roy Beggs of UUP (at the very least) to trigger a petition of concern thus blocking the legislation even if it acquires an overall majority.

  • 18. VIRick  |  March 22, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    Oklahoma Republican Legislator Caught With Boy in Motel Room Resigns

    Today, 22 March 2017, Republican state Senator Ralph Shortey submitted his letter of resignation to the Oklahoma Senate after his arrest for engaging in child prostitution with a 17-year-old boy.

    Shortey, who had been a senior member of Trump’s primary campaign team in Oklahoma, was notorious for introducing and pushing discriminatory legislation targeting immigrants, the LGBT community, and women.

  • 19. VIRick  |  March 23, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Indiana County Passes Anti-Discrimination Protections

    Officials in southwestern Indiana‘s Vanderburgh County have expanded its anti-discrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation and gender identity. On Tuesday, 21 March 2017, the county commissioners voted 2-1 to add those categories, along with age, to the ordinance. The county ordinance will now match that of its largest city, Evansville, adopted in 2011.

    But the county ordinance makes it voluntary for a person or business accused of sexual-orientation discrimination to respond to the allegations. Still, Human Relations Commission attorney David Kent says the county ordinance will allow officials to see whether discrimination problems are happening outside the city limits.

    Valparaiso, Kokomo, Carmel, and Columbus are among Indiana cities that have adopted sexual-orientation protections since the uproar over Indiana’s 2015 religious-objections law, which opponents argued sanctioned discrimination against gays.

  • 20. VIRick  |  March 23, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Canada’s Largest School District Cancels All US Trips Over Trump’s Blocked Travel Ban

    Canada’s largest school district is indefinitely canceling all future trips to the US over fears that some students could be stopped at the border as Trump tries to impose border and travel restrictions on visitors. The Toronto District School Board, which oversees about 245,000 students across 584 schools, said the uncertainty surrounding the temporarily blocked travel restrictions prompted the “difficult decision” to stop booking trips to the US.

    “It’s about inclusion, equity, and fairness,” said Ryan Bird, the school board’s spokesman. “We don’t want some of our students stopped and not being let in at the border for no legitimate reason.”

    Several other Canadian school systems have enacted similar measures, including that of Essex County in Ontario (Windsor), and Winnipeg. Earlier this month, the Girl Guides of Canada suspended all travel to the US over concerns some of its young members would be prohibited from entering the country.

    Note: Canadians have also been warned by their own government to stop booking connecting flights to foreign countries by way of the assorted US hub-points. The Mexican government has warned its citizens to avoid the same practice. Instead, both have encouraged their citizens to fly non-stop, or by way of a third-country hub-point, like Panama. Alternatively, one can fly non-stop between Canada and Mexico, using a hub-point in either, like Toronto, Vancouver, or Mexico City, to continue on to one's final destination.

    Further note: Panama's International Airport is set up so that the entire double-concourse passenger area, inside security, is considered "in transit." One does not officially "enter" Panama unless that is one's final destination. US airports are not laid out that way. Instead, if one were flying Mexico City-Miami-Buenos Aires, one must first "enter" the USA, en route, with all the proper documentation to do so, before turning right around to depart on an out-bound flight. However, when flying Mexico City-Panama-Buenos Aires, one is never actually "in" Panama, even though one is on the ground there for an interval while changing planes.

  • 21. VIRick  |  March 23, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Virginia: Governor Vetoes "Religious Freedom" Bill

    Today, 23 March 2017, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed Senate Bill 1324 that would have allowed discrimination against same-sex couples. SB 1324, which state Sen. Charles Carrico (R-Galax) introduced, would not require any person or religious institution to “participate in the solemnization of any marriage” that conflicts “with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.” The measure would also prohibit state officials from punishing people and organizations that refuse to take part in a gay or lesbian wedding because of their religious beliefs.

    State Del. Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper) introduced an identical bill, HB 2025, in the Virginia House of Delegates. "We recognize that religion is a vital part of many Virginians’ daily lives, but HB 2025 does not protect religious liberty,” the governor added. “Instead, it provides a license to discriminate against loving LGBTQ families; furthermore, its broad and vague definition of ‘person’ would set a dangerous precedent for discriminatory individuals and groups to be protected by our religious freedom laws.”

    From this account, it would appear that Gov. McAuliffe intends to veto HB 2025, as well.

  • 22. VIRick  |  March 24, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Slight correction:

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Yesterday, the TWO identical bills, SB1324 and HB 2025, were vetoed simultaneously by Gov. McAuliffe.

  • 23. VIRick  |  March 23, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Japan to Protect LGBT Students against Bullying

    The Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports that for the first time the updated national bullying prevention policy will protect against bullying based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

    “Japan’s new policy on bullying is an important step toward ensuring equal access to education for all Japanese children,” said Kanae Doi, Japan director at Human Rights Watch. “The government is demonstrating leadership in educating and empowering teachers to protect LGBT students.”

    The Basic Policy for the Prevention of Bullying has been updated, and was released earlier this month by the country’s Education Ministry. It states that schools should stop bullying based on sexual orientation or gender identity by “promoting proper understanding of teachers on…sexual orientation/gender identity, as well as making sure to be informed on the school’s necessary measures regarding this matter.” Japan previously released a guidebook for teachers on LGBT students, and issued a directive on transgender students.

    “Japan’s support for two recent United Nations Human Rights Council resolutions on LGBT rights and co-chairing the 2016 UNESCO conference on LGBT bullying should be points of pride for the government,” Doi added. “By amending the Basic Policy for the Prevention of Bullying to include sexual orientation and gender identity, Japan has taken the crucial step of bringing its own policies in line with its international human rights obligations.”

  • 24. VIRick  |  March 23, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Chihuahua Introduces Gender-Neutral Marriage Certificates

    Estrena Chihuahua Actas de Matrimonio Igualitarias

    Chihuahua, 23 marzo 2017 – El Registro Civil de Chihuahua hizo las modificaciones necesarias para expedir actas de matrimonio a parejas del mismo sexo. Así lo confirmaron hoy los titulares de dicha dependencia.

    Antes, el documento de unión civil decía textual: “Nombre de él” y “Nombre de ella,” haciendo referencia únicamente a las parejas hombre-mujer (heterosexuales). Pero a partir de ahora, en las actas se menciona “datos de los contrayentes,” con lo cual se abre la posibilidad de expedir este tipo de documentos también para parejas homosexuales.

    Al ser expedido por el Registro Civil del Estado de Chihuahua, el formato anterior incluía el encabezado, “En nombre del Estado Libre y Soberano de Chihuahua…,” ahora dice “Estados Unidos Mexicanos. Acta de Matrimonio,” y aparece la firma de la directora del Registro Civil, Inés Aurora Martínez Bernal.

    También se cambiaron las leyendas en las actas de nacimiento: “padre y madre de él” y “padre y madre de ella.”

    Aunque el Congreso del Estado de Chihuahua aún no ha aprobado ningún proyecto de ley de matrimonio igualitario, al parecer las autoridades están dando el primer paso para garantizar igualdad de derechos a las parejas gay.

    Chihuahua, 23 March 2017 – The Chihuahua Civil Registry Office has made the necessary modifications to issue marriage certificates to same-sex couples. This was confirmed today by the head of this unit.

    Previously, the text of the civil marriage document stated: "His Name" and "Her Name," referring only to male-female (heterosexual) couples. But from now on, the wording mentions "data of the contracting parties," which opens the possibility of also issuing this type of document to same-sex couples.

    As issued by the Civil Registry of the State of Chihuahua, the previous format included the heading, "In the name of the Free and Sovereign State of Chihuahua …," but now says "United Mexican States. Act of Marriage," and carries the signature of the director of the Civil Registry, Inés Aurora Martínez Bernal.

    Also these legends were changed on birth certificates: "his father and mother" and "her father and mother."

    Although the Congress of the State of Chihuahua has not yet passed any marriage equality bill, officials have taken the first steps to guarantee equal rights to same-sex couples.

  • 25. allan120102  |  March 24, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    This change of format have caused an uproar in conservative groups as this change of format have been made for all federal entities to use. Actions of unconstitutionality and amparos have been filed so they are declare unconstitutional.

  • 26. VIRick  |  March 24, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    They can uproar all they want.

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with the new certificates. Not only does the new format standardize the marriage certificates to be issued throughout Mexico (thus explaining why they now read "Estados Unidos Mexicanos" rather than "El Estado Libre y Soberano de Chihuahua"), but the gender-neutral wording allows them to be used for any/all couples.

  • 27. allan120102  |  March 24, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Lol I know, I just love seeing conservatives in Mexico head explode. Anyways this new standard was issue because every state had a different type of marriage license and what congress did was eliminate all of them and mergining them into 1. Conservative are having issues as the new act dont use male or female. It use applicant 1 or applicant 2 or spouse 1 or 2 .
    Another things. Lgbt rights are promising marriage equality this year for Aguascalientes.
    Neither the walks, nor the threats by the National Front for the Family will prevent equal marriage, a fact this year in Aguascalientes, this was advanced by Julian Elizalde Peña, President of the Collective Ser Gay, who commented the court is Jurisprudence in favor of marriage between persons of the same sex.

    "So Garcia Villanueva and Edmundo Becerril go and make a walk to San Juan barefoot, stuck, it's already a fact, and the bishop too," said Julian Elizalde Peña.

    He added that he is not contemplated to make present in the walk for the defense of the life that they have programmed for the Saturday conservative groups, besides that he said they are people who many times are even forced to manifest by something with which they are not even of agreement.

    "If then they do their mitote finally do mitote and it is well that they wear out that they continue to manipulate those children and those children, to those adolescents, we have cases of them there in the congress there were two young people who left to leave us some cards Telling us that they were threatening and they were homosexual, adolescent "

    In their view, the efforts of conservative groups to avoid same-sex marriage will be null and void, although it recognizes that there is fear on the part of the deputies, they will only have to approve it.

    "But we have a lot of strength, knowledge and already the supreme court if you endorse this year because the last amparo is going, we are already preparing the jurisprudence for Aguascalientes, then they will be forced, I feel very sorry for them, but they will be forced."

  • 28. theperchybird  |  March 26, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Good, that tired ass excuse from civil registries all over Mexico about the computers not being updated so they can't hand out marriage licenses even with amparos/a law change just became even flimsier there.

  • 29. VIRick  |  March 23, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    Quick Ecuador Up-Date

    Per Pamela Troya:

    Sin embargo sobre Matrimonio Igualitario, Lasso Guillermo me ha dicho que no obstaculizará la lucha como sí Correa.

    However on Marriage Equality, Lasso Guillermo has told me that he will not obstruct/impede the fight like Correa.

    Pamela Troya is the first person to file a lawsuit with Ecuador's Supreme Court (over 3 years ago, and still pending) seeking full marriage equality in Ecuador. Since 2007, Rafael Correa has remained Ecuador's current (but soon-to-be ex-) President. Lasso Guillermo is one of the two presidential candidates in the 2 April 2017 run-off seeking to succeed him.

    In addition, Pamela got me: I can not pronounce the obscure "obstaculizará" in Spanish without stumbling. I would much more likely say, "obstruirá" or "impedirá," and have translated it accordingly.

  • 30. VIRick  |  March 24, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Anti-Transgender "Bathroom" Bill Fails in Tennessee

    Earlier this week, an anti-transgender bathroom proposal, sponsored by Sen. Mae Beavers (R), was killed in committee for lack of a motion to proceed. The bill can not be re-introduced for another year.

  • 31. VIRick  |  March 24, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Taiwan’s Supreme Court Hearing Case to Make Same-Sex Marriage Legal

    Beginning from today, 24 March 2017, the 14 judges of Taiwan's Supreme Court are currently hearing a case that, if successful, could make it the first nation in Asia to introduce marriage equality. Long-serving gay activist Chi Chia-wei attempted to register his marriage to his male partner in 2013, but was rejected. He responded by petitioning for the case to be heard, prompting the current situation.

    Their case has been helped by municipal authorities in Taipei seeking clarity over other same-sex marriage requests. Taiwan’s civil code states marriage should be between a man and woman. However, it is hotly disputed as to whether the code is constitutional, something experts and judges will have to debate.

    It’s the first time the judiciary is opening the Constitutional Court to the issue of marriage equality. If campaigners succeed, legislators will be forced to change the law to allow gay couples the protection.

  • 32. VIRick  |  March 24, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Here's a second report from Spain with additional detail on the same court case in Taiwan:

    Audiencia Capital en Taiwán para los Militantes de Uniones Gays

    La Corte Constitucional de Taiwán comenzó este viernes, 24 de marzo 2017, sus audiencias sobre un recurso crucial que, si se acepta, haría de la isla el primer territorio asiático en autorizar las bodas entre personas del mismo sexo.

    Los 14 jueces de la Corte Constitucional deben analizar dos recursos contra un artículo del código civil presentados por el activista de la causa homosexual Chi Chia-wei y el ayuntamiento de Taipei, destinatario de una cantidad cada vez mayor de pedidos de autorización de bodas entre personas del mismo sexo. Chi presentó la demanda luego de que las autoridades le negaran el reconocimiento de su boda con su compañero.

    En el centro del debate está una disposición del código civil según la cual una boda sólo puede unir a un hombre y una mujer. Los abogados de los demandantes defenderán la idea de que este artículo es contrario a varios principios constitucionales que garantizan igualdad a todos. La decisión debería conocerse dentro de dos meses.

    The Constitutional Court of Taiwan began its hearings on Friday, 24 March 2017, on a crucial matter which, if accepted, would make the island the first Asian country to authorize same-sex marriage.

    The 14 judges of the Constitutional Court must consider two appeals against an article in the civil code filed by gay activist Chi Chia-wei and by the Taipei City Council, the latter of which is receiving an increasing number of requests for marriage authorization from same-sex couples. Chi filed suit after authorities denied him recognition of his marriage to his partner.

    At the center of the debate is a provision of the civil code according to which a marriage can only unite a man and a woman. The plaintiffs' lawyers will defend the idea that this article is contrary to several constitutional principles that guarantee equality to all. The decision should be known within two months.

  • 33. VIRick  |  March 24, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Quick El Salvador Up-Date

    Per Daniel Berezowsky:

    (Durante su visita a México), un gusto recibir a Herman Duarte y Andrés Solorzano, activistas que están litigando el caso de matrimonio igualitario en El Salvador.

    (During their visit to Mexico), it is a pleasure to receive Herman Duarte and Andrés Solorzano, activists who are litigating the case for marriage equality in El Salvador.

    Note: The second court challenge for marriage equality in El Salvador is still on-going.

  • 34. VIRick  |  March 24, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    Maryland: Federal Transgender "Bathroom" Case Proceeding

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In "M.A.B. v. Board of Education of Talbot County," the federal case wherein which a transgender boy is suing a Maryland county school board for the right to access the boys' restrooms and locker rooms, the matter had previously been put on hold, pending the Supreme Court's resolution of the Gavin Grimm case.

    However, on 10 March 2017, Judge Russell officially reopened this case, given the non-resolution and the remanding of the "Grimm" case, and ordered the parties to file a status report.

    The Joint Status Report is here:

  • 35. VIRick  |  March 24, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    Oregon: Judge Allows Resident to Be Genderless

    Portland OR — An Oregon judge who last year ruled that a transgender person can legally change their sex to "non-binary" has given the OK for a Portland resident to be genderless. On 10 March 2017, Multnomah County Judge Amy Holmes Hehn granted a petition allowing Patrick Abbatiello to go from male to "agender" and switch to the single name Patch.

    People who are agender see themselves as neither a man nor a woman and have no gender identity.

  • 36. VIRick  |  March 24, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    Florida: Massive, Positive Ruling in Federal Class-Action Suit Re: Death Certificates for Same-Sex Couples

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 23 March 2017, in "Birchfield v. Armstrong," the Florida federal class-action suit for retroactive recognition of spouses on death certificates, Judge Robert Hinkle has certified a class of plaintiffs and grants summary judgment in favor of said plaintiffs, saying "the defendants must correct a constitutional error that affected a death certificate’s information on both marital status and a spouse’s identity."

    The Class is defined as:
    "Each person (i) who entered into a valid marriage with a same-sex spouse in a jurisdiction that permitted the marriage, (ii) whose spouse died in Florida on or before January 6, 2015, (iii) for whose spouse a Florida death certificate was issued that did not recognize the marriage and list the surviving spouse, and (iv) who has not already obtained a court order to amend the death certificate to recognize the marriage and identify the surviving spouse."

    Order Certifying a Class:

    Order Granting Summary Judgment:


    Lambda Legal's statement is here:

    One may recall that Judge Hinkle also ruled in our favor on 21 August 2014 in the very strongly-worded consolidated marriage case, "Brenner/Grimsley v. Scott/Armstrong," the ruling with the 90-day countdown (from 6 October 2014) that led to 6 January 2015, the date mentioned above, and the date upon which same-sex marriage thus became legal in Florida.

    However, ever since then, the state of Florida has continued to obstinately fight that ruling, especially when it came to the matter of retroactive recognition of same-sex relationships, whether it pertained to birth certificates (see "Chin v. Armstrong," already decided in our favor on 11 January 2017), and now, death certificates. A-G Bondi has a very difficult time grasping the obvious,– that the Supreme Court ruling in "Obergefell v. Hodges," in addition to its same-sex marriage ruling, specifically addressed the matter of retroactive death certificates for same-sex couples duly married in another jurisdiction, as that was precisely what Jim Obergefell set out to obtain from the state of Ohio,– and precisely what the instant decision in "Birchfield" corroborates.

    But Florida under Scott and Bondi is special, and apparently requires its own separate federal court ruling on every matter related to same-sex marriage, and all the associated issues pertaining thereto.

  • 37. VIRick  |  March 25, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Great Britain: Last Anti-Gay Law Repealed

    On 24 March 2017, a bill that removes one of the last UK-wide sodomy laws was unanimously passed in the House of Commons. The Merchant Shipping (Homosexual Conduct) Bill, which was submitted by Tory MP John Glen, would finally repeal one of the last remaining homophobic measures in UK law.

    The bill addresses a reference in maritime shipping law that includes “homosexual acts” as grounds for dismissal from the crew of merchant ships. The provisions, which were introduced when gay sex in the Navy was decriminalized in 1994, are already rendered unenforceable by existing equality law, making the repeal a largely symbolic measure.

    Still, the bill achieved a rare distinction as it became one of the first pieces of legislation on LGBT issues to pass through the House of Commons without any opposition. The bill will now head to the House of Lords.

  • 38. theperchybird  |  March 26, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    I remember reading that the Channel Islands were discussing scrapping that law as well. Need to double check, but I think they've deleted it a while back.

  • 39. VIRick  |  March 25, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Quick Venezuela Up-Date

    Per Venezuela Igualitaria:

    A partir del 24 de marzo 2017, la Demanda en la TSJ Venezuela por la Omisión Legislativa Caso: Proyecto de Ley de Matrimonio Civil Igualitario, ya entró en Estado de Sentencia.

    As of 24 March 2017, the Demand in the Supreme Court of Venezuela for the Legislative Omission Case: Bill for Civil Marriage Equality, has already entered the Decision Stage.

  • 40. VIRick  |  March 25, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Mexico City Hosts Annual Public Mass Wedding Ceremony

    Per Registro Público CDMX‏:

    Hoy día, 25 de marzo 2017, 3400 parejas unen sus vidas en "Bodas Colectivas 2017."

    Today, 25 March 2017, 3400 couples joined their lives in "Collective Weddings 2017."

    Any number of same-sex couples participated in the mass ceremony, side-by-side with several thousand hetero couples, all sponsored and paid for by Mexico City's government, CDMX.

  • 41. VIRick  |  March 25, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Portugal Quickie

    Per Venezuela Igualitaria:

    Sabias que en febrero 2010 Portugal aprueba la ley de matrimonio igualitario sin adopción y que en abril 2010 el Tribunal Constitucional lo aprueba por no ser inconstitucional?

    Did you know that in February 2010 Portugal approved the law of marriage equality without adoption and that in April 2010 the Constitutional Court approved it for not being unconstitutional?

    Portugal legalized same-sex adoption on 10 February 2016 when Portugal’s parliament overturned the presidential veto on the measure after it had first passed in late 2015.

  • 42. VIRick  |  March 25, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Minnesota: Ladybird Bachmann's Ex-Gay Torture Clinics Cited for Records Violations

    NBC News reports that a clinic that was accused of pushing bogus “pray away the gay” therapy, and which is owned by former Rep. Michele Bachmann’s husband, was cited by Minnesota health inspectors for failing to properly keep patient records. Inspectors going through the paperwork at the Counseling Care clinic in Lake Elmo found last month that “developmental condition” and other legally-required information was missing in the records they perused, a Minnesota Department of Human Services correction order dated 20 March 2017 states.

    The Counseling Care clinics in Lake Elmo and Burnsville became an issue during Bachmann’s failed presidential bid in 2012 when her husband was accused of practicing “conversion therapy” — a widely-debunked method for turning gay people straight that critics lampooned as “pray the gay away.” Marcus Bachmann’s clinics were also found to have taken $137,000 from Medicaid — a federal program the Republican congresswoman claimed was swelling “welfare rolls.”

  • 43. ianbirmingham  |  March 26, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Guyana's transgender activists fight archaic law

  • 44. Fortguy  |  March 26, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    I did not know this.

    Alex Hannaford, Texas Observer: Texas’ Failure on Birth-Certificate Gender Changes Is an International Problem:

    For a transgender person living in the U.K., getting a British birth certificate reissued is simple. For U.K. citizens living in certain places abroad it’s relatively straightforward, too, but [Texas resident and dual U.K.-U.S. citizen Meghan] Stabler would quickly discover that when it comes to trans rights, the U.K. government considers Texas a pariah state.

    Britain has a well-established system for altering or reissuing documents to its trans citizens. If they live in the U.K., they must get approval from two doctors and apply to the country’s Gender Recognition Panel (GRP). For Brits living abroad, the U.K. secretary of state maintains a list of approved territories — 40 countries and 46 U.S. states — that have gender recognition systems comparable to the UK. Their doctors simply write letters to submit to the GRP. Stabler’s problem is that Texas does not appear on the list of approved territories.

    And then there is this:

    Charles Kuffner, Off the Kuff: When your gender doesn’t match your birth certificate

    “Getting your documents updated in the state of Texas is rather difficult,” Lou Weaver, Transgender Programs Coordinator for the LGBT advocacy group Equality Texas, told The Daily Beast.

    “Rather difficult,” in this case, is an understatement. The majority of U.S. states have written policies allowing transgender people to change the gender markers on their birth certificates with either a doctor’s letter specifying that they have had “appropriate clinical treatment” or proof of sex reassignment surgery, which not all transgender people want or can afford. About twice as many states require surgery as those that do not.

  • 45. VIRick  |  March 26, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Sweden: $26,000 in Compensation to Each Trans Person Legally Sterilized

    The Swedish government has pledged to pay compensation to transgender people who were legally forced into sterilization in order to transition. Health Minister Gabriel Wilkström said that the Swedish government was set to introduce a bill that would award 225,000 kroner ($26,000) to those who were affected.

    Between 1972-2013, Swedish law forced transgender people into sterilization if they wanted their gender identity to be recognized by authorities. It specified that those who wanted to change legal gender had to be “lacking the ability to procreate.” This meant that hundreds of transgender people were forced to undergo surgery to prevent them from ever having children. It is believed that nearly 800 people may have been affected.

    The law was suspended in 2013, after the court ruled that this practice violated European Human Rights.

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