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North Carolina legislature passes “compromise” bill to purportedly repeal HB2


The North Carolina legislature has just passed a bill purporting to repeal HB2. The bill seems to do no such thing and advocates are pushing back on the characterization of the bill as a repeal:

The North Carolina legislature approved legislation Thursday that would repeal a controversial law that bars people from using the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity, while adding provisions to block nondiscrimination protections. The compromise on HB2 reached by lawmakers was quickly criticized by LGBTQ groups.

The bill now goes to Gov. Roy Cooper (D), who helped negotiate the deal and is expected to sign it.

“The initiative is not a repeal,” said Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC. “It’s doubling down on the discrimination that HB2 exacts ― it’s HB2.0.”

“It doesn’t do anything to better the lives of LGBT North Carolinians,” he continued.

Lambda Legal, who’s involved in legal challenges to HB2, elaborated on the bill’s problems:

The new bill bars any protections for transgender people using restrooms or other facilities in schools or other state or local government buildings. This means schools, court houses, city halls, government agencies, and more cannot allow transgender people to use the right restroom.

It also prevents cities from passing any protections for employment discrimination or discrimination by places of public accommodation — for LGBT people or anyone — until 2020.

“This is not a repeal of HB 2. Instead, they’re reinforcing the worst aspects of the law,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU LGBT Project. “North Carolina lawmakers should be ashamed of this backroom deal that continues to play politics with the lives of LGBT North Carolinians.”

Buzzfeed has more.

The governor will decide whether to sign or veto the bill.

UPDATE: There’s skepticism about the language in the bill related to bathrooms.

UPDATE 2: The governor signed the bill.


  • 1. Fortguy  |  March 31, 2017 at 1:02 am

    Now we need to see whether the professional and college sports leagues consider NC's actions adequate or continue to ban the state along with business conventions and artistic performances.

  • 2. JayJonson  |  March 31, 2017 at 6:15 am

    I hope that the NCAA and NBA and other organizations do not fall for this deception. And it is deception. I saw the Democratic Minority Leader on MSNBC defending the new bill by saying it restores Charlotte's nondiscrimination ordinance. This was misleading because it restores the ordinance as it was before the City Council adopted LGBT protections.

    There is a wonderful editorial in the Charlotte Observer about the bill and Cooper's betrayal of the LGBT community:

  • 3. Fortguy  |  March 31, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Indeed, the author of the Texas potty bill, Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, is praising the similarity between the new North Carolina law and her SB 6.

    Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune: Texas Republicans defend "bathroom bill" as North Carolina tweaks its law

    The good news is that SB 6 has received a chilly reception in the Texas House since it was passed by the Senate. Both House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) and Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana), who chairs the House State Affairs Committee where the bill will most likely be assigned, are both critical of the bill suggesting that SB 6 may never reach the floor from committee. Needless to say, Lt. Gov. Dan "Pottyman" Patrick is not pleased. He is launching "Operation 1 Million Voices" to rally Christians around the bill while the Texas Pastor Council seeks to recruit 3000 pastors to urge Straus and Cook to hold hearings on the bill and bring the bill to the House floor. Although Cook has said the bill will probably receive a committee hearing, the veteran legislator, first elected in 2002, is unlikely to be swayed by such shenanigans. Even less likely is Straus, who is Jewish, and has never taken marching orders from evangelical Christians who think he is going to burn in torment in hell for all eternity anyway.

    Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune: In Texas House, uncertain fate of bathroom bill could reverberate

    Patrick and Straus do not like each other, and their acrimony has only intensified with each session since Patrick was first elected lite guv in 2014. Patrick is a loud, flame-throwing culture warrior, while Straus is more reserved, deliberative, and focused on real issues facing the state.

    Christopher Hooks, Texas Observer: No More Mr. Nice Guy: Joe Straus Punches Back at Dan Patrick

    So, here is where we stand as of today. SB 6 has not received a first reading nor a subsequent committee assignment despite being received from the Senate over two weeks ago. Meanwhile, similar House bills, HB 1362, HB 2779, HB 2899, and HB 3571 are all assigned to Cook's committee with no hearings yet scheduled. Any bill that does get favorably voted out of committee would then be subjected to the whims of the Calendars Committee in the House.

  • 4. Zack12  |  April 7, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    I agree with what you wrote.
    Bottom line, Democrats in North Carolina betrayed our community.
    Good luck getting their help this fall for elections.

  • 5. VIRick  |  March 31, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    11th Circuit Court of Appeals: Petition for Rehearing En Banc in Sex Discrimination Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 31 March 2017, the plaintiff in "Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital " has filed a petition with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals for Rehearing En Banc of a decision dismissing the employee's sex discrimination claim under Title VII based on gender-nonconformity and sexual orientation.

    The Petition for Rehearing En Banc is here:

    In rapid succession, this makes the third sexual orientation discrimination/sexual stereotyping case seeking an En Banc review at an appeals court level, with all 3 aiming to overturn binding precedent within the said 3 circuits:

    The "Hively" case, for En Banc review, has already been accepted and is underway at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (Chicago).

    On 27 March 2017, the "Zarda" plaintiffs filed motions to intervene/consolidate with "Christiansen" seeking an En Banc review at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals (New York).

    And now, today, 31 March 2017, the plaintiff in "Evans" has petitioned for the same at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (Atlanta).

  • 6. scream4ever  |  March 31, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    I believe the one in the 7th Circuit is due to be handed down at anytime. Hopefully some of these will be ready for Supreme Court review next term.

  • 7. VIRick  |  March 31, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Yes, the "Hively" case is furthest along, and should have an En Banc ruling quite soon.

    There's also potential for the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (Cincinnati) to be issuing a ruling of sexual orientation/sexual stereotyping employment discrimination in the transgender case of Aimee Stephens in "EEOC v. Harris Funeral Homes" out of Michigan.

  • 8. VIRick  |  March 31, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Arkansas: Another "Bathroom" Bill Dead,– For Now

    On Wednesday, 29 March 2017, an Arkansas lawmaker dropped her proposal prohibiting individuals from using bathrooms in government buildings that do not match their gender at birth after the legislation had faced opposition from the state’s Republican governor and from tourism groups.

    GOP Sen. Linda Collins-Smith withdrew her proposal, which would have required every restroom or changing facility accessible by multiple people at the same time in a government building be designated for use by members of only one sex. The proposal had not advanced past a Senate committee, and lawmakers are entering the final days of this year’s legislative session.

  • 9. VIRick  |  March 31, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Big Gay Dance Party this Weekend in DC Outside Ivanka Trump’s House

    WERK for Peace, 350 DC, the Queer Resistance and the Trans Women of Color Collective have organized a “massive queer dance protest” on Saturday, 1 April 2017, from 6-9 PM. The group will meet at Dupont Circle and parade down Massachusetts Avenue to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s house in Kalorama.

    The protest is in response to the Trump administration’s executive order for the Environmental Protection Agency to roll back the Obama administration’s climate regulations. The first daughter and new federal employee has said she is a supporter of LGBT rights and protecting the environment, but group organizers want to let her know she isn’t doing enough.

    Previous performances by these groups in DC have taken place outside Pence's house, and in front of the Trump hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue.

  • 10. VIRick  |  April 1, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    DC Special: Live In-Person Bonus Time:

    1. So, I'm driving eastbound on K St., and got stuck in traffic midway between 16th and 15th Sts., (on the south side of the Capital Hilton Hotel). And lo and behold, in full view, in all its sordid glory,– there's Mc Crory's infamous alley!! Or rather, there's the alley where the multitude of protesters recently swarmed and surrounded McCrory, angry over North Carolina's HB2, and who he had vainly tried to dodge, only to discover, to his personal chagrin, that his hotel room key was not successful in opening the back-alley entrance door.

    Said alley is in desperate need of an LGBT memorial plaque, dedicated to the defeat of all the vain, clueless, bigoted asshats.

    2. And now, as of this moment, we just did Du Pont Circle and the queer dance-a-thon to Ivanka Trump's house. And. Oh. My. God.

    Some highlights (although it is difficult to know where to begin):

    I enjoyed the tall, cute hottie with bare midriff, expertly twerking in stilleto heels, as he was not only the best-looking, but sported the sharpest foot wear. I further enjoyed a second cute hottie with bare midriff and bright rainbow suspenders, as he was exposing a very alluring treasure trail that led to,– wherever. And the Trans Women of Color, who, of course, for multiple reasons, I know better than to critique on this, the Trans Day of Visibility.

    But moving on. For a bit of domestic normalcy, we also enjoyed comparing notes with the two chatty, dog-owning gay couples who teamed up with us (as we had the beagle in tow).

    So, the queer dance-a-thon successfully departed the circle en masse around 7 PM, in a noisy gaggle, and headed up the middle of Connecticut Avenue under full police escort, and on to Ivanka Trump's. But by that hour, being fresh from the Virgin Islands, I could not handle much more of the biting, cold, north wind, so after a few blocks, we headed back to the car, fortuitously parked on R St., right in front of the Embassy of the Republic of Georgia, and from there, back to the condo.

  • 11. ianbirmingham  |  April 1, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    In 1978, Gilbert Baker created the LGBT Rainbow Flag for San Francisco's Gay Freedom Day Celebration, which went on to be recognized worldwide as the symbol of LGBT Pride. Late Thursday night, Gilbert Baker died peacefully in his sleep in New York City, at the age of 65.

  • 12. ianbirmingham  |  April 1, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Trans women in Thailand get better treatment, but military draft screening is still difficult due to adverse media coverage

  • 13. VIRick  |  April 1, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    Dominican Government Officials Speak at LGBT Conference

    Santo Domingo, DR – More than 300 activists from across Latin America and the Caribbean attended a conference in the Dominican Republic that focused on bolstering LGBT and intersex political engagement in the region.

    On Friday, 31 March 2017, Dominican Minister of Women’s Affairs Janet Camilo told participants at the beginning of the conference, which took place at a hotel in the country’s capital of Santo Domingo, that everyone “should be equal under the law and in society.” She also stressed that President Danilo Medina’s government is “doing everything possible to build and fight for equality, for an inclusive society for everyone. This fight is not only your fight,” said Camilo, after she highlighted a bill in the Dominican congress that seeks to promote equal rights for women, “this fight is that of all Dominicans who believe in equality, inclusion, and equal rights.”

    Rosanna Marzán, executive director of Diversidad Dominicana, a Dominican LGBT advocacy group, opened the conference by acknowledging the International Day of Transgender Visibility. “It is important for us to have these discussions here in the Dominican Republic,” said Marzán. Dominican Congresswoman Jacqueline Montero and Victor Terrero, executive director of the Dominican Republic’s National Council on HIV and AIDS, also spoke at the beginning of the conference.

    Costa Rican Vice Minister of the Interior and Police Carmen Muñoz, Aruban Senator Desiree de Sousa, Uruguayan Congressman Martín Couto, Guatemalan Congresswoman Sandra Morán, Mexican Congressman Benjamín Medrano, and Venezuelan Assemblywoman Tamara Adrián were among the dozens of openly LGBT politicians and officials who attended.

    Gay Venezuelan Assemblyman Rosmit Mantilla, founder of the opposition Popular Will party who was arrested in May 2014 during protests against the country’s president, Nicolás Maduro, and who was released from prison last November, attended the conference. Adrián is also a member of Popular Will.

    Luis Larraín, a prominent Chilean LGBT rights advocate who is running for a seat in the country’s congress, and 18 activists from Haiti were among the more than 300 people from 35 countries who traveled to Santo Domingo for the conference, the largest LGBT-specific gathering that has ever taken place in the Dominican Republic.

  • 14. VIRick  |  April 1, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Netherlands: 16th Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    Per Luis Guzman:

    Hace 16 años, el 1 de abril de 2001, se realizó en Holanda el primer matrimonio igualitario entre personas del mismo sexo con derechos plenos.

    Sixteen years ago today, on 1 April 2001, the first equal marriage with full rights occurred in the Netherlands between a same-sex couple.

  • 15. JayJonson  |  April 2, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Andrew Shirvell, the assistant attorney general of Michigan who harassed and bullied Chris Armstrong, the first openly gay president of the University of Michigan Student Government, in 2010 has finally been disbarred.

    Shirvell's harassment made national news when Anderson Cooper reported on it on CNN:

    (Note that Shirvell cites our old nemesis the ADF for encouraging his harassment of Armstrong.)

    After Shirvell's appearance on Anderson Cooper's show, Chris Armstrong agreed to appear on the show, motivated in part by the rash of suicides by lgbt teens in 2010.

    After first defending Shirvell, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox was finally forced to fire him.

    Armstrong eventually won a 4.5 million dollar judgment against Shirvell (later reduced to 3.5 million). Shirvell's attempts to overturn the ruling against him were rebuffed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States.

    Armstrong is an outstanding young man who endured the experience with grace and dignity. He and his family established a scholarship for bullied students at the University of Michigan in 2012. In the YouTube video linked to below, he speaks of the ordeal with eloquence and compassion.

  • 16. Fortguy  |  April 2, 2017 at 11:42 am

    This is very alarming.

    Andrew E. Kramer, The New York Times: Chechen Authorities Arresting and Killing Gay Men, Russian Paper Says

  • 17. JayJonson  |  April 2, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    A federal judge has rejected Trump's free speech defense against a lawsuit accusing him of inciting violence against protesters at a campaign rally in Louisville a year ago.

    Trump's lawyers sought to dismiss the lawsuit by three protesters who say they were roughed up by his supporters at a March 1, 2016 rally. They argued that Trump didn't intend for his supporters to use force.

    Two women and a man say they were shoved and punched by audience members at Trump's command. Much of it was captured on video and widely broadcast during the campaign, showing Trump pointing at the protesters and repeating "get them out."

    Judge David J. Hale in Louisville ruled Friday that the suit against Trump, his campaign and three of his supporters can proceed. Hale found ample facts supporting allegations that the protesters' injuries were a "direct and proximate result" of Trump's actions, and noted that the Supreme Court has ruled out constitutional protections for speech that incites violence.

    More info may be found here:

    Judge Hale's full ruling may be found here:

  • 18. VIRick  |  April 2, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Mississippi: Millsaps College Honors Lawyer Who Won Same-Sex Adoption Rights

    Jackson MS — A former Mississippi governor, a journalist, and a lawyer who helped strike down a Mississippi law that protected religious objections to same-sex marriage will receive honorary degrees from Millsaps College. The Methodist-affiliated college in Jackson will award the honors to former Gov. Ray Mabus, lawyer Roberta Kaplan, and journalist Joanne Edgar at its 6 May 2017 commencement.

    Kaplan successfully argued in favor of same-sex marriage in Mississippi, then for adoption by same-sex couples in Mississippi, and most recently, led the fight to overturn the state’s so-called "religious liberty" law, arguing it was discriminatory.

  • 19. allan120102  |  April 2, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    The religious liberty law will actually be heard tomorrow by 3 federal judges. If they vote in our favor they will create good precedent for us from this type of discrimation. Looking the panel I know Judge Smith is against us, Judge Haynes might rule for us but that depends she is a moderate, not sure of judge Elrod. The three of them are republicans though.

  • 20. Zack12  |  April 3, 2017 at 12:44 am

    Sad to say but with all three being Federalist Society members, I'm not holding out much hope we'll get a win here.
    Bottom line, this will come down to Kennedy because Gorsuch has made clear discrimination against people in the name of religion is a-okay.

  • 21. scream4ever  |  April 3, 2017 at 9:36 am

    I'm starting to think that Gorsuch may actually not end up getting confirmed.

  • 22. VIRick  |  April 3, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Scream, that may well be, but I'm holding judgment on this through Friday, 7 April.

    Right now, late Monday afternoon, 3 April, we have at least 41 Senators in favor of the filibuster, so the filibuster is on. How long it lasts is anyone's guess, but it needs to hold through Friday. Plus, we think McConnell is bluffing on his going with the "nuclear" option, as we don't think he has the necessary votes to change the rules to allow it.

    Congress is due to go on their "Spring Break" beginning from next week, after which, when they return on 24 April, they will be headlong into the continuing resolution on extending the funding of the federal government. The current resolution on funding expires on 30 April, and thus is in dire need of being extended. By that stage, Gorsuch's nomination will have been forgotten.

  • 23. VIRick  |  April 3, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Mississippi: Oral Argument of "Religious Liberty" Law at 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In "CSE/Barber v. Bryant," the state of Mississippi's consolidated appeal of the preliminary injunction currently blocking HB 1523, Mississippi's mis-named, discriminatory "religious liberty" law, from taking effect, oral argument will be held today, 3 April 2017, at 3 PM, CDT, before a 3-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting in Lubbock TX. The panel is comprised of Judges Jerry E. Smith, Jennifer Walker Elrod, and Catharina Haynes.

    Oral Argument (45 minutes per side):
    •Jonathan F. Mitchell, for state Appellants
    •Roberta A. Kaplan, for Appellees, CSE Plaintiffs (23 minutes)
    •Robert Bruce McDuff, for Appellees, Barber Plaintiffs (22 minutes)

    The consolidated case history is here:

  • 24. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 4, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Here is a Buzzfeed article about the oral arguments in CSE/Barber v Briant

  • 25. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:04 am

    The Fifth Circuit has not yet released the recording of the oral arguments. They should probably do this by the close of business today. Here is their link:

  • 26. Samiscat1  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:21 am

    Oral Argument for Barber v. Bryant available here:

  • 27. allan120102  |  April 2, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Panama´s lgbt marriage ban its being challenge by a second case. Sadly I cannot paste it in here as the newspaper looks like it prohibit the information being paste on another sites ,but you might read in the link below if you are interested.

  • 28. VIRick  |  April 2, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Panamá: A New Appeal to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage Arrives at the Supreme Court

    Panamá: Llega a la Corte Suprema Nuevo Recurso para Legalizar Matrimonios de Personas del Mismo Sexo

    Una advertencia de inconstitucionalidad, 315-17, en contra de varios artículos del Código de la Familia de Panamá y de una sección de la Ley 61 de 2015, fueron introducidos y admitidos en 24 de marzo 2017 en la Corte Suprema de Justicia buscando legalizar el matrimonio igualitario en Panamá.

    On 24 March 2017, a challenge of unconstitutionality, 315-17, filed against several articles of the Family Code of Panamá and a section of Law 61 of 2015, seeking to legalize marriage equality in Panamá, was introduced and accepted into the Supreme Court of Justice.

    The earlier case before the Supreme Court of Panamá, filed and accepted in October 2016, seeks Panamanian recognition for a same-sex couple's British marriage, and by extension, seeks recognition for all other same-sex marriages legally-performed abroad.

    This new, second case, filed by the same law firm, Morgan y Morgan, but for a different client, Álvaro José López Levy, is seeking to have the Supreme Court declare unconstitutional the prohibition against same-sex marriage within Panamá itself by striking down the several offending portions of Panamanian law, that is, Article 26 and number 1 of Article 34 of the Family Code, as well as Article 35 of Law 61 of 2015.

    The Constitution of Panamá does not discuss marriage in any detail whatsoever.

  • 29. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 3, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Vacating a Campaign Promise

    The Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte has said he opposes legalizing marriage equality in the heavily Catholic nation.

    The New York Times reported that Duterte, while speaking to Filipino expiates in the Asian nation of Myanmar, “did not take issue with anyone’s sexuality [as] two of his brothers-in-law, and some of his cousins, are gay.”

    Here is a link to the New York Times article

    New Ways Ministry, a Catholic LGBT advocate group also addressed the issue.

    Here is a link to New Ways Ministry
    Scroll down to the editorial, “President Duterte and the Bishops: Where Do They Stand?”

  • 30. allan120102  |  April 3, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Anyone knows how the 5th court of appeals hearing went? I want to see if the judges were more sympathic with us than the other side.

  • 31. scream4ever  |  April 10, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    Based on this summary, it looks like it'll be a 2-1 decision in our favor.

  • 32. VIRick  |  April 3, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Aguascalientes: CEDHA to Present New Proposal to Congress for Mariage Equality

    Aguascalientes: Presentará CEDHA Nueva Propuesta de Matrimonio Igualitario al Congreso

    El presidente de la Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos de Aguascalientes (CEDHA), Jesús Eduardo Martín Jáuregui, informó que continúa extraviada la propuesta de matrimonio igualitario presentada a la LXII Legislatura, entonces presidida por Anayeli Muñoz Moreno, junto con otras dos que tratan el reconocimiento del cambio de identidad sexo-genérica en las actas nacimiento y defunción. En entrevista colectiva, el ombudsman local anunció que por esta razón, la Cedha entregará nuevamente a los diputados la iniciativa que reconoce el derecho de toda persona a contraer matrimonio sin importar su preferencia sexual, señaló.

    The president of the State Commission for Human Rights of Aguascalientes (CEDHA), Jesús Eduardo Martín Jáuregui, said that the proposal for marriage equality already presented to the LXII Legislature, then presided over by Anayeli Muñoz Moreno, along with two others dealing with the recognition of gender identity change on birth and death certificates, remains "lost." In a joint interview, the local ombudsman announced that for this reason, CEDHA will again introduce to the deputies this initiative that recognizes the right of every person to marry regardless of their sexual preference, he said.

  • 33. Fortguy  |  April 3, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    How many years is it going to take to bring all the recalcitrant states in line? Mexico's notion of federalism really sucks.

  • 34. allan120102  |  April 4, 2017 at 1:07 am

    Might take years. Maybe 5 at minium 10 at maxium imo. The good thing is that no matter what we at least know for sure that all states will get marriage equality. Well someday. Zacatecas for example only has two amparos if I remember correctly. Has no resolutions against it nor an action of unconstitutionality. Most couples travel to Chihuahua or Cohahuila to get married so not many amparos have been filed so things like this are the ones that makes things slow. Zacatecas will probably take another three years at minium to get marriage equality. If no action is taken.

  • 35. theperchybird  |  April 4, 2017 at 4:53 am

    The minimum hope by activists themselves is 3-5 years at the least(!), still a way to go.

    We've essentially run out of states that will pass a bill on their own/with only with a bit of Court prodding; it's essentially up to 5 appeals per state (each takes months) or filing a tricky action of unconstitutionality now – in other words feet DRAGGERS to the core. I know my bordering state of Baja California is going to try to be Mexico's Texas in the same-sex marriage race.

  • 36. VIRick  |  April 4, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    "Mexico's notion of federalism really sucks."

    Fortguy: Indeed, you've just offered us the understatement of the year.

    At least in the case of Aguascalientes, the state director of the CEDH, Jesús Eduardo Martín Jáuregui, is actually forcefully doing his job. Too frequently, too much depends on specific individuals like this to keep pushing,– and pushing.

  • 37. theperchybird  |  April 4, 2017 at 5:07 am

    Falkland Islands reportedly approved same-sex marriage 7-1 and the bill awaits Royal Assent:

    Guernsey marriages will begin soon, Jersey is wrapping up their legislation and the Faroes should have everything resolved in Danish Parliament this month 🙂

    Wish more sovereign nations would join the fray. I really hope Chile does pull through this year.

  • 38. scream4ever  |  April 4, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Taiwan too.

  • 39. 1grod  |  April 4, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Alabama's Kayla Moore (Roy's spouse) "opposes the nomination of Col. Kristin Goodwin to be the commandant of cadets at the Air Force Academy because she does not set a proper moral example for youth." Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Air Force Academy, responded with the following statement [ in part]: "The Air Force Academy is looking forward to having Brigadier General (select) Goodwin as the commandant of cadets…..

  • 40. allan120102  |  April 4, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Zacatecas second or third amparo has been granted. I am pleased by this as I was just mentioning this state in an above comment yesterday.

  • 41. VIRick  |  April 4, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Zacatecas: First Same-Sex Marriage Approved in Fresnillo

    Zacatecas: Aprueban Primer Matrimonio Homosexual en Fresnillo

    Fresnillo – En 3 de abril 2017, en el Registro Civil se recibió la primera petición de una pareja homosexual que desea contraer nupcias. Édgar Chávez de León, oficial mayor del Registro Civil, dijo que se trata de una pareja de mujeres que cuentan con un amparo que les permite contraer matrimonio. Refirió que no hay fecha exacta para realizar este matrimonio, pues apenas se les notificó de la falla a su favor, para que reúnan los requisitos.

    Fresnillo – On 3 April 2017, the Civil Registry has received the first petition from a same-sex couple who wish to marry. Édgar Chávez de León, head official of the Civil Registry, said that a female couple has gained an amparo allowing them to marry. He said that there is not yet an exact date for this marriage to occur, as the couple was just notified of the decision in their favor, for which they met the requirements.

    By my count, this is only the second amparo granted in Zacatecas state.

  • 42. allan120102  |  April 4, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Breaking the panel of the seventh circuit have just ruled for us. the decision I believe was 8 to 3. With Sykes dissenting as expected and join by two others.

  • 43. scream4ever  |  April 4, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Onto the Supreme Court!

  • 44. VIRick  |  April 4, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    7th Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Anti-Gay Bias Barred under Current Law

    Today, 4 April 2017, for the first-time, a federal appeals court, ruling En Banc, has determined that discrimination based on sexual orientation amounts to sex discrimination and is unlawful under current civil rights law. In a 69-page decision, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled in the case of "Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College" that anti-gay workplace bias is unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, reversing an earlier decision from a three-judge panel which found that precedent had precluded the court from making that determination.

    Writing for the majority in the 8-3 decision, Chief Judge Diane Wood, a Clinton appointee, found that discrimination based on sexual orientation constituted discrimination based on one’s perception of gender stereotypes, which the US Supreme Court has determined is unlawful under Title VII. “Any discomfort, disapproval, or job decision based on the fact that the complainant, woman or man, dresses differently, speaks differently, or dates or marries a same-sex partner, is a reaction purely and simply based on sex,” Wood writes. “That means that it falls within Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination, if it affects employment in one of the specified ways.”

    Wood also relies heavily on the reasoning in the 1967 US Supreme Court decision in the case of "Loving v. Virginia," which struck down bans on inter-racial marriage and served as a basis for the court’s ruling in favor of marriage equality in 2015. “Changing the race of one partner made a difference in determining the legality of the conduct, and so the law rested on distinctions drawn according to race, which were unjustifiable and racially discriminatory,” Wood writes. “So too, here. If we were to change the sex of one partner in a lesbian relationship, the outcome would be different. This reveals that the discrimination rests on distinctions drawn according to sex.”

    But the best quote from the ruling is this:

    Chief Judge Diane Wood called it a "common-sense reality that it is actually impossible to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation without discriminating on the basis of sex. It would require considerable calisthenics to remove the 'sex' from 'sexual orientation.' The effort to do so has led to confusing and contradictory results," Wood wrote, noting that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concluded "that such an effort cannot be reconciled with the straight-forward language of Title VII."

    The entire 69-page ruling is available at the bottom of this article:

  • 45. TheVirginian722  |  April 5, 2017 at 1:59 am

    Another encouraging feature of the decision was the composition of the eight judges joining in the favorable opinion. Four of them were Reagan appointees, two Clinton, one Bush 41, and one Obama. The three dissenters included one Reagan appointee, one Bush 43, and a 90-year-old Ford appointee on senior status.

    Let's hope the majority Republican support we received in the 7th Circuit will be helpful when an appeal is considered by the Supreme Court.

  • 46. JayJonson  |  April 5, 2017 at 5:55 am

    Apparently, Ivy Tech has decided not to appeal the ruling. They will argue that they did not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

    However, the decision creates a circuit split on the issue. I assume that the plaintiffs in the eleventh circuit decision are appealing the negative ruling there. The seventh circuit decision increases the likelihood that SCOTUS will grant cert in that case.

  • 47. allan120102  |  April 5, 2017 at 9:37 am

    The 11th appeals court case is being appeal to the full court. So it will be heard first before them than the supreme court. Being the majority in the 11th circuit democratic appointees I am almost sure they will rule in our favor and with the decision of the 7th circuit the 11 court judges might feel more support

  • 48. VIRick  |  April 5, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Jay, if Ivy Tech has chosen not to appeal the En Banc ruling, just handed down by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, then that positive decision in our favor is final for that circuit.

    However, the split to which you refer is NOT final, and may well only be temporary. In the case of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, the "Zarda" plaintiffs have requested to intervene in the "Christiansen" matter, and have further requested an En Banc appeal. In the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the "Evans" plaintiff has also requested an En Banc review of the earlier ruling. It is entirely possible that both circuit courts will grant the requested review in order to overturn the binding precedent already established within both circuits.

    If both circuits follow through with positive rulings from their En Banc reviews, there will no longer be any circuit split, a point which many observers see as likely to happen, especially given the fact that 5 of the 8 Republican appointees (as did all 3 Democratic appointees) on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals all ruled in our favor.

  • 49. JayJonson  |  April 5, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Yes, the circuit ruling as to whether sexual orientation discrimination is covered by the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibition of sex discrimination is final in the seventh circuit, though Ivy Tech may ultimately prevail on the merits of the case itself.

    It is also possible–perhaps even likely–that the en banc panels in the second and the eleventh circuits will agree with the seventh.

    But, if I remember correctly, the Fifth Circuit has already ruled that sexual orientation is not covered by the Civil Rights bill. Other Circuits have also reached the same conclusion. (Please correct me if I am wrong.)

    (Other cases are also pending in the other circuits, including the ninth circuit where at least one district court has ruled in our favor. I would expect that an en banc ruling from the ninth circuit would be in our favor. However, I would not expect en banc rulings in our favor from the more conservative circuits.)

    So I believe that there is indeed already a circuit split.

    The question may be whether the losers in the second and eleventh circuits (however the en banc panels rule) will appeal to SCOTUS.

    SCOTUS will not grant cert unless there is a live case that is appealed to them. I would hope that there is such a case soon, because I would much prefer that it be heard when we have 5 justices who are likely to be sympathetic to our cause. If Kennedy or Ginsberg or Breyer decide to retire, we have no chance.

  • 50. VIRick  |  April 5, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Ivy Tech Will Not Seek Supreme Court Review

    Press Statement of 4 April 2017 from Ivy Tech per Equality Case Files and the "Indy Star:"

    "Ivy Tech Community College rejects discrimination of all types, sexual orientation discrimination is specifically barred by our policies," said Jeff Fanter, Ivy Tech senior vice president. "Ivy Tech respects and appreciates the opinions rendered by the judges of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and does not intend to seek Supreme Court review. The College denies that it discriminated against the plaintiff on the basis of her sex or sexual orientation and will defend the plaintiff’s claims on the merits in the trial court.”

  • 51. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 6, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Yes, because the district court has never considered the merits of the case. All the above has been about the dismissal of the case by the district court.

    I suspect that if the district court finds for the plaintiff, Ivy Tech will be right back with an appeal in the Seventh Circuit Court.

  • 52. JayJonson  |  April 6, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    I disagree. The legal question of whether sexual orientation is covered by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has been settled in the Seventh Circuit.

    At the district court, Ivy Tech will argue that they did not discriminate. If they lose on the merits, they can appeal the decision on any basis other than the one that has just been decided. They cannot waive their right to appeal now, but then decide that they will appeal the same point of law later. That ship has sailed for them.

    The question is likely to reach SCOTUS, but it will not be through this case.

  • 53. guitaristbl  |  April 5, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Sykes was among Trump's shortlisted SCOTUS nominees right ? No wonder.

  • 54. Zack12  |  April 5, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    She has been a longtime foe of LGBT rights and has ruled against us before so her doing it here was no surprise.

  • 55. Zack12  |  April 5, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    It will be helpful in getting Kennedy on our side.
    IMO, Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Gorsuch are unreachable.

  • 56. VIRick  |  April 4, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    US CBP Agents Interrogated Barbados LGBT Activist at Miami International

    The governments of both Canada and Mexico have already warned their citizens to stop flying via the various hub-points in the USA when travelling to third countries because of the necessity of having to "enter" the USA while en route, with all the necessary paperwork in hand to do so, and then having to deal with the arbitrary, anti-immigrant whims of high-handed CBP agents. Other near-by countries, in addition to these two, also need to issue their own warnings. And citizens of all the surrounding countries need to heed said warnings.

    In this instance, witnessed by several other members of the group, an LGBT activist was flying from Santo Domingo, DR (after the completion of the LGBT conference), via Miami, en route home to Barbados. In retrospect, the individual in question probably should have flown by way of either Curaçao or Aruba (both allow connecting passengers to remain "in transit" between flights, just like in Panamá). By doing that, the individual could have avoided the arrogantly annoying CBP hassle in the gangway, immediately upon disembarking from the aircraft in Miami.

    And like this linked account of the incident, written by Michael Lavers, I too, fly constantly through the region, and have never encountered CBP agents standing in the gangway, immediately outside the aircraft, questioning disembarking passengers. Of course, I have also refrained from flying internationally through Miami (which is why I know all the alternatives), ever since I was detained there for being a Guatemalan citizen. (I am not a Guatemalan citizen, but that fact did not stop the CBP from performing like fools over some make-believe scenario of their own invention).

  • 57. Fortguy  |  April 4, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    The fake HB 2 repeal in North Carolina was enough for the NCAA to cave in.

    German Lopez, Vox: The NCAA just let North Carolina off the hook after the state partially repealed its anti-LGBTQ law

  • 58. FredDorner  |  April 4, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    The catch is: "any site awarded a championship event in North Carolina or elsewhere be required to submit additional documentation demonstrating how student-athletes and fans will be protected from discrimination."
    Unless the NCAA is going to restrict that certification to just the event venue, no city in NC will be able to provide adequate assurance.

  • 59. theperchybird  |  April 5, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Peruvian Congress will vote on keeping or scrapping the Presidential Decree protecting LGBT from discrimination and adding them to hate crime legislation.

    Their Constitutional Commission voted 10-6 to advance the repeal. In Peru, the President is friendly, but Congress is mostly rightwing so this could end up with a sad outcome.

    The plenary will vote on the decree soon.

    One of the country's leading LGBT activists and politician blasted the committee vote as the "Biggest act of homophobia that ever occured in Congress"

  • 60. VIRick  |  April 5, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Senator Merkley Has Been Talking for over 13 Hours to Stop Gorsuch Nomination

    A Democratic senator held the Senate floor through the night and was still going on Wednesday, 5 April 2017, in an attention-grabbing talk-a-thon highlighting his party’s opposition to Trump‘s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. Oregon Sen. Merkley accused Gorsuch of siding with corporations over regular people, likening Gorsuch’s approach to that of Antonin Scalia, the justice who died last year. Though Scalia died 14 months ago, Republicans held the seat open so Trump could fill it, sparking enduring Democratic fury.

    Merkley’s lengthy speech made for drama but had no chance to change the outcome. In votes set for Thursday, 6 April 2017, Democrats will try to block Gorsuch’s confirmation, but McConnell will then change Senate rules to lower the threshold required to advance Supreme Court nominees from 60 votes to a simple majority in the 100-member Senate.

    On Tuesday evening, McConnell officially filed a “cloture” motion, the procedural step designed to end debate on a nomination and bring it to a final vote. That started the clock toward a showdown on Thursday, when Democrats are expected to try to block Gorsuch, at which point Republicans would respond by enacting the rules change. The change is known on Capitol Hill as the “nuclear option” because of the potential repercussions for the Senate and the court.

    Gorsuch now counts 55 supporters in the Senate: the 52 Republicans, including McConnell, along with three moderate Democrats from states that President Donald Trump won last November — Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. A fourth Senate Democrat, Michael Bennet from Gorsuch’s home state of Colorado, has said he will not join in the filibuster against Gorsuch but has not said how he will vote on final passage.

  • 61. VIRick  |  April 5, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Minnesota to Continue North Carolina Travel Ban

    Minnesota has become the first state to announce it will retain its travel ban to North Carolina, enacted in protest over anti-LGBT bill HB2, despite the governor signing into law a replacement measure. Gov. Mark Dayton signed the travel ban in April 2016, directing state employees not to travel to North Carolina for non-essential business, after the enactment of HB2 in the state.

    Although North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a fellow Democrat, has signed into law a replacement measure he says alleviates the situation, Sam Fettig, a Dayton spokesperson, told the Washington Blade on Wednesday, 5 April 2017, “No, we are not going to lift the ban.”

    Numerous cities that had enacted similar travel bans in protest of HB2 — the District of Columbia, New York City, Oakland, Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Salt Lake City, and Cincinnati — have declared those bans will remain in place in the aftermath of the deal because of the discriminatory impact of the new law.

  • 62. VIRick  |  April 5, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Colorado: Federal Housing Discrimination Suit Favorably Decided

    On 5 April 2017, in "Smith v. Avanti," the Colorado family's housing discrimination suit, the federal judge granted the Plaintiffs' (unopposed) motion for partial summary judgment, ruling that the defendant violated both the federal Fair Housing Act and Colorado's Anti-Discrimination Act.

    From Lambda Legal's press release:
    “The facts in this case are indisputable: Deepika Avanti refused to rent to Tonya and Rachel Smith because they are women in a same-sex relationship raising children together and Rachel is transgender,” [Lambda Legal attorney] Gonzalez-Pagan added. “Her concerns about Rachel and Tonya’s ‘uniqueness’ and ‘unique relationship’ were discrimination, pure and simple, and we are grateful that the judge agreed.”

    The Order is here:

  • 63. JayJonson  |  April 6, 2017 at 7:04 am

    More on the case may be found here:

  • 64. VIRick  |  April 5, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    A Third Sexual Orientation Employment Discrimination Case at 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In "Magnusson v. County of Suffolk," an employee's appeal of an adverse decision in her Title VII suit for discrimination based on sex, gender stereotypes, and sexual orientation at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court has set this case for its 27 April 2017 calendar, taking the case "on submission," meaning it will be decided strictly on the briefs without hearing oral argument.

    The Court's Argument Calendar is here:

  • 65. VIRick  |  April 5, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Up-Date on Pending Sexual Orientation Employment Discrimination Cases at 2nd Circuit Court

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Here's an up-date on the latest development in "Christiansen v. Omnicom Group," an employee's appeal of the order dismissing his claim of sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Recall that the plaintiffs in "Zarda v. Altitude Express" sought to intervene and consolidate their appeal with this one for purposes of seeking en banc review. Christiansen opposed the motion. In response, the "Zarda" plaintiffs' attorney informed the court on 29 March 2017 that he has withdrawn the motion. The Court has formally acknowledged the motion as withdrawn on the same date.

    The Order is here:

    So, to recap:
    1. For our purposes, the "Christiansen" case is a dead issue, as it is not being appealed.
    2. The "Zarda" case remains pending, with a ruling expected soon, but one which will be decided on its own, separate from "Christiansen." If an adverse judgment is obtained, one ought to expect "Zarda" to seek an En Banc review, as per their earlier petition to intervene in "Christiansen."
    3. The "Magnusson" case has just been accepted by the Court, and of course, is pending.

  • 66. VIRick  |  April 6, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Up-Date of Up-Date on "Christiansen" Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 5 April 2017, in "Christiansen v. Omnicom Group," an employee's appeal of an order dismissing his claim of sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII, the appellant requests an extension of the deadline to file a petition for rehearing En Banc by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals from 10 April to 28 April 2017.

    Appellants’ Motion to Extend Deadline to File Petition for Rehearing En Banc is here:

    So, apparently, Christiansen has finally decided to file for a rehearing En Banc after all. Obviously, if accepted, this move will keep this case very much alive.

  • 67. scream4ever  |  April 6, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Likely due to the positive ruling from the 7th Circuit.

  • 68. allan120102  |  April 6, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    We have breaking news from Chihuahua as same sex marriage have been stopped throughout all the state as the new administration have rolled back the previous executive order letting the civil registry issue same sex marriage licenses. This is why I dont support this actions and I previously noted that this executive orders could be rolled back by new adminstration sadly this just happen in Chihuahua.This was the same concern I mention with Guerrero state. Governors are not legislators and cannot do this.

    Activists who defend the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people have reported that the Civil Registry of Chihuahua has notified them that it will cancel indefinitely the holding of marriages between persons of the same sex. In an interview with the online newspaper El Potero, Hiram González, legal counsel for the Humanistic Center for Studies Related to Sexual Orientation, a civil association of the state, announced that the legal representative of the Civil Registry, Héctor Valadez, informed him that weddings between Homosexuals have been momentarily suspended in the state. The former administration of Chihuahua, at the hands of the now fugitive César Duarte, ordered that it be allowed to hold such unions in the entity with the intention of responding to the resolution of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation issued in 2016, which indicates That several articles of the local civil code are unconstitutional for denying marriage because of the sexual orientation of people. As a result, couples made up of same-sex couples could access marriage without the need for an amparo trial, so they simply went directly to the civil registry to request it. However, after the arrival of the new administration, projects were implemented to give effect to this. The activist reported that he will seek to file a collective amparo to seek to punish those responsible for this action and to ensure that the rights of the LGBT population continue to be defended, since when a person resorts to an amparo they invest a lot of money and time, unlike Of heterosexual persons who can access this right within a period of approximately 15 days. "If the idea is to stop marriages between people of the same sex, they can not do it, the fact is that we are going to continue doing it with or without protection, our rights will always be exercised by our community, it is a constitutional right," activist. Gonzalez blamed the pressure of religious groups and conservatives of the decision that the Civil Registry has just taken. The man reproached that the government listen and yield before social groups that are responsible for excluding and raping others, as well as endangering the secular state and legality. "What we have left is to tell the LGBT community not to worry, anyone who wants to marry all they have to do is come to us and take the process in tandem," said the activist, who said he did not know They would remain with their arms folded.

  • 69. scream4ever  |  April 6, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Uh reminds me of Alabama in 2015 before Obergefell.

  • 70. allan120102  |  April 6, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    The worrisome thing is that there are even more conservative states in Mexico and all might try to do this. That is why I fight for state congresses to legalize ssm and not the governor with executive orders.

  • 71. VIRick  |  April 6, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Puerto Rico: Federal Suit Filed over Gender Marker on Birth Certificates

    Per Equality Case Files:

    "On 6 April 2017, Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit, "Arroyo González v. Rosselló Nevares," on behalf of four transgender Puerto Ricans and the LGBT rights organization Puerto Rico Para [email protected] to compel the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to allow transgender individuals to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates."

    A copy of the complaint is here:

    As noted by Lambda Legal in their press release, "Puerto Rico’s birth certificate policy is at odds with its own driver's license policy, with the federal government’s policies, with 46 out of the 50 states in the United States, plus the District of Columbia, and with common sense.”

    The full press release is here:

    According to Lambda Legal, these are the other 4 recalcitrant states which will not re-issue a corrected birth certificate for transgender individuals reflecting the proper sex on it: Idaho, Kansas, Ohio, Tennessee.

  • 72. Fortguy  |  April 6, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Interesting that Lambda Legal includes Kansas and excludes Texas on its list while the U.K. government has it the other way around on their list.

  • 73. VIRick  |  April 6, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Here's Lambda Legal's list (although one has to click on each state's name in order to view the specifics for that state):

    Here's their reference on Kansas:
    Administrative Code: K.A.R. § 28-17-20 (b)(1)(A)(i) (2009).

    Text: (i) The items recording the registrant's sex may be amended if the amendment is substantiated with the applicant's affidavit that the sex was incorrectly recorded or with a medical certificate substantiating that a physiological or anatomical change occurred.

    Controlling case law: In re Estate of Gardiner, 29 Kan. App. 2dn 92 (2001). (interpreting K.S.A. § 65-2422c as only permitting “minor changes” to birth certificates and stating that this does not encompass correction of sex on birth certificates of individuals who have changed their sex by surgical procedure thus invalidating K.A.R. § 28-17-20 (b)(1)(A)(i)).

    Here's their reference on Texas:
    Statute: Tex. Health & Safety Code § 191.028 (2009).

    Form VS-170, available on the Texas Department of State Health Services website, specifies that to change sex on a birth certificate, the applicant will need certification by a medical attendant or affidavit and one document (the form specifies the type of documents, including a passport, considered acceptable evidence). All applications will be reviewed by a specialist.

    Case law: In 1999, a state district court in Texas held in Littleton v. Prange, 9 S.W.3d 223, 225 (Tex. App. 1999) that a transgender woman was male as a matter of law, and that transgender people could not legally change their sex assigned at birth under any circumstances. However, in 2009, the Texas legislature amended its Family Code to include that an original or copy of an order stating an applicant’s name or sex change counts as the proof required for a marriage license. Tex. Fam. Code § 2.005(b)(8). After this change, the Texas Court of Appeals, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi held that Nikki Araguz, a transgender woman, could indeed be legally recognized as a woman in deciding whether her marriage to her late cisgender husband was valid. See In re Estate of Araguz, No. 13-11-00490-CV, 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 1573 (Tex. App. 2014). In re Estate of Araguz represents a clear trend in Texas law departing from the attitude in Littleton.

  • 74. VIRick  |  April 6, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    India Issues Pro-Trans Public Accommodations Guidelines

    On 5 April 2017, India‘s government has asked all states to let transgender people use any public toilet of their choice. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has issued guidelines that urge state governments to ensure that transgender people are recognized as equal citizens. It said they should be allowed to use the facility of their choice in community toilets.

    The transgender rights group Sangama said that the government decision was a good start but needs to be backed by a strong education campaign to change social attitudes. In the guidelines, the ministry further instructed state governments to recruit transgender people to help promote sanitation around the country, in the hope of changing social attitudes toward them.

    With the issuance of these guidelines, India just moved ahead of North Carolina.

  • 75. VIRick  |  April 6, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Morelos: A National Call for a Marriage Equality Collective Wedding Ceremony

    Morelos: Convocatoria Nacional para Boda Colectiva de Matrimonios Igualitarios

    In celebration of the 1st anniversary of the constitutional reform permitting marriage equality within Morelos state, and as a continuation of their ongoing pro-active diversity advertising campaign, the Government of Morelos state has just proudly announced that they will be hosting a national marriage equality collective wedding ceremony on 7 July 2017 at 6:00 PM in the Plaza de Armas Emiliano Zapata, in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.

    Registration for this public, communal event began on 3 April, and will close on 23 June. Required documents include birth certificate and official ID. Absolutely everyone from throughout all of Mexico is invited to register and participate in what is hoped to be the most massive marriage equality communal wedding ceremony ever hosted anywhere.

  • 76. VIRick  |  April 6, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Panamá: Pro-Marriage Equality News Up-Date

    Panamá Points the Compass toward Marriage Equality

    Panamá Abre el Compás al Matrimonio Igualitario

    Here's an excellently-detailed pro-marriage equality news article from "La Estrella de Panamá," dated 5 April 2017, containing a lot of specific information pertaining to the two pending marriage cases presently before the Supreme Court of Panamá, one seeking Panamanian recognition of legal same-sex marriages already performed abroad, while the other seeks to legalize the performance of marriages between same-sex couples within Panamá.

    At the moment, I do not have the necessary time to do a proper translation (as the source does not allow me to do my usual copy-and-paste), but I want to post the link for the benefit of those who can read Spanish. Plus, I do not want to lose track of the reference.

  • 77. allan120102  |  April 6, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    I will pray that the supreme court reach the right decision and strikes down the ban on ssm. The decision will not only affect panama but the rest of CA. As it will push for more movement. We even have a party in Honduras that openly supports ssm now. Costa Rica will be the next ground to fight if we win Panama.

  • 78. Fortguy  |  April 6, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    Texas Lege update:

    "Masturbation Bill", which is not that guy at the bar who spends too much time in the bathroom stall but rather HB 4260 by Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston), has been referred to the House State Affairs Committee headed by Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana). HB 4260, which we've discussed before on a previous thread, is Farrar's satirical attempt to equalize the state's "protection" of men's and women's reproductive health. Cook, who doesn't seem to be easily amused, is not a fan.

    Julie Chang, Austin American-Statesman: Will the masturbation bill get a House committee hearing?

    "Potty Bill", which is not what slightly more polite bar patrons refer to the guy above, is instead SB 6 which has already speedily passed Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's Senate and seeks to discriminate against trans people in the bathrooms of public schools and government buildings while prohibiting municipal ordinances protecting transgender persons. Both Cook, in whose committee the bill will likely land, and House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) have spoken out against it.

    That Masturbation Bill has a committee assignment while Potty Bill still hasn't speaks volumes. Straus has not publicly mentioned Masturbation Bill because that is not the subject among the volley of questions he wants to field at press conferences with much more pressing issues confronting the state.

  • 79. JayJonson  |  April 7, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    In a unanimous decision, the Nebraska Supreme Court has upheld a lower-court ruling that voided the state's law that banned adoption and fostering by same-sex couples.

    From the Omaha World:

    "Three same-sex couples who successfully challenged a policy banning the placement of foster children with gay parents saw their victory affirmed Friday by the Nebraska Supreme Court.

    The court’s unanimous opinion also upheld the payment of nearly $174,000 in costs and attorneys fees to the couples, who won a previous decision striking down a policy instituted decades ago by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

    The 1995 policy prevented the placement of foster children with those “who identify themselves as homosexuals.” It also applied to unmarried heterosexual couples.

    In 2015, Lancaster County District Judge John Colborn ruled for the couples, saying the state’s policy violated their constitutional right to equal protection.

    Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson appealed that decision, arguing the couples were not actually denied a foster placement, and therefore, they did not have standing to sue.

    The Supreme Court found no merit to the state’s appeal.

    “The harm the plaintiffs wish to avoid is not just the possible, ultimate inability to foster state wards; it is the discriminatory stigma and unequal treatment that homosexual foster applicants and licensees must suffer if they wish to participate in the foster care system,” stated the unanimous opinion, written by Judge John Wright.

    Peterson’s office issued a statement Friday afternoon saying the appeal brought up “legitimate jurisdictional issues that needed to be considered by the court. The court has ruled.”

    The attorney general did not challenge the constitutional issues decided in the 2015 ruling. Rather, he asked the Supreme Court to find that the lower court should have dismissed the lawsuit because by the time it was filed in 2013, Nebraska was no longer enforcing the ban on gay foster parents.

    The Supreme Court rejected the position, saying HHS had not formally rescinded the policy by 2013. In fact, records showed the department continued to display the policy on its website until 2015. As a result, there was confusion among members of the public and HHS staff members about whether the long-standing policy still was in force."

    More information may be found here:

    The decision may be found here:

    (Click the link for Stewart v. Heinneman)

  • 80. VIRick  |  April 7, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    New Mexico Bans "Ex-Gay" Conversion Therapy

    Today, 7 April 2017, New Mexico Gov. Susanna Martinez signed into law a measure against widely discredited “ex-gay” conversion therapy, making the Land of Enchantment the seventh state to prohibit the practice on minors. In a message to the legislature, the Republican governor said she signed the legislation, Senate Bill 122, out of a belief that “certain practices” harm children, although she never explicitly names the practice.

    “I’ve spent my career fighting for kids, both as a prosecutor and as governor,” Martinez said. “It is for this reason that I sign Senate Bill 122, which bans certain practices that have been shown to cause harm to children.”

    Approved by the Democratic-controlled legislature, SB122 amends state law to include use of conversion therapy on a minor as reason to deny, revoke, or suspend licenses held by nurses, doctors, and mental health experts. To recover the costs of investigations leading to these decisions, the state may institute fines on these practitioners.

    New Mexico is the seventh state to enact a ban on “ex-gay” therapy for minors after California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, and New York, and well as DC.

  • 81. ianbirmingham  |  April 7, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Dutch Men Hold Hands In Solidarity With Beaten Gay Couple

  • 82. JayJonson  |  April 8, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    The unopposed order vacating the preliminary injunction in the case of GG v. Gloucester School Board was issued on April 7. Nothing surprising about the fact that the injunction was vacated. But what is surprising and surprisingly moving is the concurrence by two members of the panel. Written by Senior Judge Davis and joined by Judge Floyd, the concurrence places GG in the pantheon of civil rights heroes who stood up for dignity and justice.

    The concurrence is a fine piece of writing and will restore one's faith in the judiciary. It can be found here:

  • 83. allan120102  |  April 8, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Another amparo have been granted in Sonora 6 more marriages are expected.

  • 84. VIRick  |  April 9, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Sonora: First Same-Sex Marriage Registered in Nogales

    Sonora: Registran el Primer Matrimonio Homosexual en Nogales

    Nogales, Sonora – En 7 de abril 2017, de forma privada, dos féminas fueron las primeras en unirse legalmente en la frontera de Nogales, esto de acuerdo al oficial del Registro Civil, Vicente González Terán.

    El funcionario estatal confirmó que la unión legal se dio después de una seria de peticiones por parte de la pareja realizadas en primera instancia ante la oficina que coordina. Pero esta fue negada, por lo que acudieron ante el Juez Sexto de Distrito, quien les concedió el amparo de la justicia federal, debido a que la determinación del Oficial del Registro Civil del Estado, la negativa violaba sus garantías constitucionales.

    “ El Juez Sexto les concedió el amparo y protección federal como lo dispone el Artículo 1 de la Constitución Política de la Federación, que ordena que ningún mexicano o mexicana puede ser discriminado bajo ninguna circunstancia, ni de religión, color de piel, idioma, ni de preferencias sexuales”, explicó.

    Nogales, Sonora – On 7 April 2017, in a private manner, two females were the first to be legally joined in Nogales, this according to the Civil Registry official, Vicente González Terán.

    The state official confirmed that the legal union occurred after a series of requests were made by the couple in the first instance to the Civil Registry office. But this request was denied, so they went before the Sixth District Judge, who granted them the federal amparo, given that by the determination of the Civil Registry Officer of the State, this refusal violated their constitutional guarantees.

    "The Sixth District Judge granted them the amparo and federal protection as provided in Article 1 of the Political Constitution of the Federation, which orders that no Mexican may be discriminated against under any circumstances, neither religion, nor skin color, language, nor of sexual preference," he explained.

    This is approximately amparo #31 for Sonora state. It appears to be first one granted in 2017, but 26 amparos were granted in Sonora in 2016, and 4 more prior to that.

  • 85. ianbirmingham  |  April 8, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Anti-homophobia protest rallies held in several Dutch cities

  • 86. allan120102  |  April 8, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    10 couples going to ask for amparos after Chihuahua end ssm two days ago. They hope to change the state government mind but I doubt it after the state congress formally ask the federal congress to elevate marriage as only one man and one women.

  • 87. VIRick  |  April 8, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Transgender University of Wisconsin Employees Sue over Insurance Cuts

    Madison WI — Two transgender University of Wisconsin employees are suing the state’s insurance board and the UW System after it stopped covering sex reassignment procedures. On Friday, 7 April 2017, the ACLU and the ACLU of Wisconsin filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of anthropology graduate student Alina Boyden and cancer researcher Shannon Andrews.

    The plaintiffs, who both identify as female and receive health insurance through their jobs with the university in Madison, argue that their insurance unfairly deprives them of care for gender dysphoria, a documented medical condition in which a person feels trapped in the body of the wrong sex. They allege not providing the benefits amounts to discrimination based on sex and transgender status.

  • 88. SethInMaryland  |  April 8, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Looks like Maduro reign in Venezuela might be coming to a end. Several anti government protest are taking place. thankfully he may be gone soon

  • 89. VIRick  |  April 8, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Radio‏ Panamá, 94.5 FM, Broadcasting Favorably for Marriage Equality

    Hablamos del matrimonio igualitario (parejas del mismo sexo). Participa con tus ideas. ¿Está preparado Panamá para legalizar el matrimonio igualitario? Hoy, 8 de abril 2017, el tema central a partir de las 4:00 PM. ¿Qué opinas?

    We are talking about marriage equality (same-sex couples). Participate with your ideas. Is Panamá prepared/ready to legalize equal marriage? Today, 8 April 2017, the central theme from 4:00 PM. What do you think?

    Usually, I hesitate to speculate about future possibilities, but when national media come out in favor of marriage equality, I have to take that approval as a positive sign, preparing the general public for change. A few days ago, the national newspaper, "La Estrella de Panamá," in an extended, detailed article, gave their approval. And now, the national radio, Radio Panamá, is broadcasting favorably. Even now, radio in Latin America reaches a very wide audience.

    Whenever the Supreme Court of Panamá does issue its first ruling (most likely on the issue of Panamanian recognition of same-sex marriages already legally-performed abroad), it will be a USA-style/Colombia-style national ruling, with the media, in the interval, seemingly preparing the general public for the very distinct possibility of a favorable decision.

  • 90. allan120102  |  April 8, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Panama first lady will march with the lgbt community in there pride day.
    The parade of gay pride changed its route this year, and will have as a special guest and flagrant to the first lady Lorena Castillo de Varela.

    The reason for the change of route, according to its organizers, is because they need more space for the number of people who have joined in recent years. What does not change is the call to tolerance and respect.

    This year, the gay pride parade will be on the Cinta Costera. About 10,000 people are expected to attend this event that seeks to raise awareness of respect for others.

    "I always wanted the community out of the dark … We are very pleased to see that the march is growing every year," said Ricardo Beteta of the Association of New Men and New Women of Panama.

    The guest of honor and standard bearer this year will be the first lady of the Republic, Lorena Castillo de Varela, who confirmed her attendance at this event.

    "For me, it is an honor because it sends that message of Zero Discrimination and that we are all equal," said Castillo de Varela.

    The march, which will take place next July 1, seeks to stop discrimination and violence against the LGBT community that is still present today.

    The parade will close with artistic presentations. Its organizers ask citizens to participate and join the campaign against discrimination.

  • 91. VIRick  |  April 8, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    If the First Lady of Panamá, Lorena Castillo de Varela, is indeed the special guest and flag-bearer/headliner at this year's upcoming Gay Pride march on La Cinta Costera, per the article dated 7 April 2017, then that truly sends the message that Panamá, governmentally speaking, is ready for marriage equality within the very near future. I especially like her point of emphasizing "zero discrimination" and the fact that "everyone is equal."

    La Cinta Costera is the broad boulevard in la Ciudad de Panamá fronting the Pacific Ocean, parallel to Avenida Balboa, and akin to El Malecón in both Santo Domingo and Havana. It runs from Punta Paitilla and some of the city's glitziest neighborhoods, to the city center, where all the governmental buildings are located.

  • 92. allan120102  |  April 8, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    More challenges expected against Panama´s civil code. It looks like a decision is expected this year. The water has dropped from its glass and lgbt fights are now fighting with all of their might
    The leader of the Association of Men and New Women of Panama (AHMNP), Ricardo Beteta, said Saturday that the Supreme Court will bring new demands against Article 26 of the Family Code, which establishes that marriage is the union between a Man and woman.

    Two cases of unconstitutionality have already been presented on the article. The last of them generated an intense debate on civil rights that occupied the agenda of the media and social networks.

    "It's going to complicate the scenario more, and the Court will have to make a decision," Beteta told TVN Noticias. Although the group of lesbians, gays, transsexuals and bisexuals foresees that the maximum court will not fail soon on the subject.

    Even so, for the leader the Supreme Court "must rule in law, if not magistrates will make a fool of it" in front of other jurisdictions, which have welcomed the recommendations of organizations such as the United Nations to guarantee the rights of sexual minorities.

    Although towards equal marriage there are still strong positions against, especially religious groups, Beteta believes that not everything is lost. The country, he says, accepts the issue much more and discusses it more openly than it did a decade ago. Important lawyers have come out in favor.

    "We are in the most positive era of recent times. Although the monster of homophobia is going to be raised and avoided (egalitarian marriage), we are clear that this is going to happen: we have the arguments, the law, and the moral to defend the idea, "he insists.

    It also says after the first lady, Lorena Castillo, accepted to be the standard bearer of the 2017 Gay Pride march, although for reasons related to her work as an ambassador against discrimination and HIV / AIDS and not for commitment to the LGBT agenda .

    "It is not binding with the lawsuit in the Supreme Court, they are incidents that have coincided and that has nothing to do. But it is creating a milestone, because not even in Europe a person of his political level has marched with the community, "he said.

    For Beteta, "that has a very powerful and very important message: the first lady is a person who professes faith (catholic, openly and actively) and is free from discrimination.".

  • 93. Sagesse  |  April 9, 2017 at 5:41 am

    Every now and then the mainstream media (NBC in this case) does a deep dive into the behind-the-scenes activities of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), "a powerful conservative Christian law firm with a decades-long track record of litigating against LGBT rights. It's also been labeled a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center".

    This Law Firm Is Linked to Anti-Transgender Bathroom Bills Across the Country

  • 94. Randolph_Finder  |  April 9, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Mexico map status:
    Is… current? (Wondering what the color for Chihuahua should be)

  • 95. VIRick  |  April 9, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I would leave Chihuahua colored blue in protest, as the current governor's action in rescinding the executive order of his predecessor is illegal and unconstitutional. That order was originally issued in 2015 to avoid having to pay court-ordered fines for continuing non-compliance with the multiple Supreme Court rulings against the state.

    Back in 2015, before I lost count, at least 35 amparo decisions, with ever-increasing penalties, had been levied against the state, the most against any single state, even to this date. According to my understanding, only 5 such decisions causes the state to be in contempt of court, subject to court-imposed "resolutions," which is where we still are today, even if the original executive order had remained in place.

    All the other jurisdictions in Mexico are currently colored their correct color, whether blue (marriage equality legal, 10), gold (needing to be in compliance, 14), or tan (still with insufficient number of amparos, 7).

    On a more positive note, we continue to see advertisements from Travel Gay Mx and Diversity Travel Mx, offering to assist same-sex couples in planning their weddings for CDMX (Distrito Federal), Cancún (Quintana Roo), and/or Nuevo Vallarta (just across the state line from Puerto Vallarta in Nayarit state). Plus, there's the constant advertising from Morelos state, and its state-sponsored diversity plans for bodas colectivas, as well as the weekly (every Saturday) state-sponsored boda colectiva for same-sex couples in Saltillo, Coahuila (a practice which was emulated in Chihuahua state for an interval, as well).

  • 96. allan120102  |  April 9, 2017 at 10:10 am

    I disagree, I will put Chihuahua gold. Marriages cannot longer occur without issuing amparos. Like I post yesterday 10 same sex couples were going to marry but now they need to require amparos to get married as lgbt groups in the state said. Leaving Chihuahua blue is not correct as it might cause confusion.

    Its not ilegal actually what he did.He just rescind the executive order that the previous administration put in place like what Trump have been doing with Obama´s executive orders. Sonora, Sinaloa and other states have already pass there limit amparos but they still not issue ssm licenses. As you saw with Sonora even the governor stop ss marriage when the head of the civil registry had legalize it.Even though Sonora has pass the requirement amparo limit.

  • 97. VIRick  |  April 9, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Two Marriage Equality Anniversaries: Colombia and Uruguay

    Hace un año, en 8 de abril 2016, Colombia dijo "SÍ" al matrimonio igualitario.

    One year ago, on 8 April 2016, Colombia said "YES" to marriage equality.

    Este lunes, 10 de abril 2017, Uruguay celebra 4 años de aprobación de ley de matrimonio igualitario.

    This Monday, 10 April 2017, Uruguay will celebrate 4 years since the approval of the marriage equality law.

  • 98. ianbirmingham  |  April 10, 2017 at 6:05 am

    Chechnya opens world's first concentration camp for homosexuals since Hitler's in the 1930s, where campaigners say gay men are being tortured with electric shocks and beaten to death
    * One of those who fled said prisoners were beaten to force them to reveal other members of the gay community
    * Comes after 100 gay men were detained and three killed in Chechyna last week

    Read more:

  • 99. JayJonson  |  April 10, 2017 at 11:19 am

    I doubt Chechnya is the first concentration camp for homosexuals since Hitler's in the 1930s. We know that Castro had "reeducation" camps for homosexuals in the 1970s and 1980s. I would not be surprised if there were similar camps in Eastern Europe. If the Christian Right were ever to take control of the United States, they would certainly open such camps. In any case, the Chechnyan situation is horrific.

  • 100. VIRick  |  April 10, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Yes, Castro operated "re-education" camps during the 70s and 80s, primarily on the off-shore Isla de Pinos (Isle of Pines), and which has been re-named Isla de la Juventud. The main focus at the time was to separate those who were HIV-positive from the general population, given the mis-informed, panicked response that HIV was being spread from neighboring Haiti.

    I never understood Castro's response to the HIV crisis, because I never understood why he thought anyone of any description from Haiti would ever consider the idea of going to Cuba as being a feasible plan.

  • 101. VIRick  |  April 10, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Hawaii: Insurance Coverage of In Vitro Fertilization for Gay Couples

    Sean Smith and his husband paid more than $20,000 for a fertility procedure when they decided to have a child using a surrogate mother. They did not know at the time that if they were a heterosexual couple, they might have saved that money. Now, Smith and other members of Hawaii‘s LGBT community are lobbying for equal access to the financial help married, heterosexual couples enjoy under state law.

    They are pushing legislation that would require insurance companies to cover in vitro fertilization for more couples, including making Hawaii the first state to require the coverage for surrogates, which would help male same-sex couples who must use a surrogate.

    “Now that marriage equality is the law of the land and is accepted, now let’s turn to family building, and let’s figure out how we fix all these inequities that exist,” said Barbara Collura, president and CEO of Resolve, a national organization that advocates for access to fertility treatments.

    Hawaii is one of eight states that require insurance companies to cover in vitro fertilization, a costly procedure where a doctor retrieves eggs from a woman, combines them with sperm from a man and then implants an embryo into a woman’s uterus. But Hawaii’s mandate applies only to married heterosexual couples because it covers the medical intervention only if a woman uses sperm from her spouse, leaving the LGBT community and single women behind.

    The measure pending in the Hawaii legislature removes requirements that the egg and sperm come from a married couple and includes surrogates among the people to be covered. No other state has included surrogates in their laws, Collura said.

    A broad coalition including the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission and the Democratic Party of Hawaii are working with LGBT groups to push for change. The proposal passed the state Senate and is up for a vote in the House this week.

  • 102. allan120102  |  April 10, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Colombia supreme court continues to extend and protect the right of the lgbt community. I would really hope most courts in the world were like the Colombian or Mexican supreme court when it pertains on this issue.

    Affirmative Caribbean celebrates this decision that protects the rights of Héctor Sánchez Escorcia and orders to stop all acts of discrimination against this fashion designer neighbor of Villa Carolina.

    The Constitutional Court guaranteed the rights of Héctor Sánchez Escorcia, an openly gay 42-year-old fashion designer who presented in November 2015 a protection action to seek protection of his fundamental rights, non-discrimination, equality, free Development of personality and human dignity, which were violated when the residents of the residential complex 'Villa Catalina', located at 87, No. 75-27, shouted: "I'm going to kill you son of a bitch …. As long as you're still fucking going, you're going to fuck me. "

    The acts of discrimination against Hector were strongly marked by verbal violence and threats. Sánchez says that he damaged some assets of his house, where he lives with his parents, elderly people who have also been victims of the aggressions.

    The Constitutional Court ordered the locals to "immediately cease any act of discrimination against them," and "refrain from alluding to the sexual orientation of any resident for the purpose of offending and / or assaulting, through the use of Insulting and / or disqualifying epithets ".

    The corporation made this decision after establishing that the acts of discrimination that were presented in this case were two: first, the discriminatory use of language, with reference to homosexuality; And second, the strengthening of a scenario of discrimination, evidenced by the effective limitation of Héctor's fundamental rights in the residential complex by his neighbors, without the latter having mechanisms to safeguard their constitutional guarantees.

    The Caribbean affirms this ruling that not only guarantees the rights of this person, but also the LGBTI people of Barranquilla and the Caribbean region, who have been victims of threats due to their sexual orientation and diverse gender identity. "This case is one of the many that have been known in this city, where people ridicule gay men, and calls them all the time 'fags', a verbal aggression that causes a lot of damage to this population that has been raped Historically, "says Wilson Castañeda, director of Caribbean Affirmative.

  • 103. scream4ever  |  April 10, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Or the United States.

  • 104. allan120102  |  April 10, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    not really, the US supreme court is really polarized. Most lgbt rights have been extended in 5-4 decisions, meanwhile in the Mexican SC the cases have been unanimous, or in the Colombian supreme court 6-3,7-2 or even unanimous.

  • 105. theperchybird  |  April 11, 2017 at 2:42 am

    Yup, marriage decisions are unanimous in Mexico and a major adoption ruling was 10/11.

    As far as Colombianos have come, we've been lucky in Colombia though, they rotate the judiciary every few years when the person's term is up or if someone must recuse themselves then a junior judge is elevated to fill in that spot from a random pool. That's why the first ruling for joint adoption failed, because of the temporary replacement which caused 5-4. So I applaud Colombia and have confidence in them most of the time, but I'm still wary unlike Mexico who is always a surefire YES.

  • 106. ianbirmingham  |  April 11, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Two gay men face 100 lashes in Indonesia after vigilante mob storms into their house and finds them naked together

  • 107. VIRick  |  April 11, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    California and Los Angeles Continue Travel Bans to North Carolina

    The City of Los Angeles and the state of California are not impressed with North Carolina, as both have issued directives continuing their pre-existing travel bans against the state.

    When North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper repealed HB 2, a measure that, among other things, required people using public bathrooms to use the facility that corresponds to the gender assigned on their birth certificate, he signed a new law, HB 142 that keeps many of the worst provisions of the HB 2, including a ban on local anti-discrimination laws. The new law, HB 142, was immediately denounced by activists, state and local governments nationwide as a draconian compromise.

    “It doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican, if you vote for this bill (HB 142), you are not a friend of the LGBT community,” Equality North Carolina executive director Chris Sgro said in a statement.

    Other jurisdictions continuing with their existing bans against conducting government business with North Carolina include: Atlanta; Baltimore; West Palm Beach; Minnesota; New York City; Washington DC; San Francisco; Seattle; Portland OR; Oakland; Santa Fe; Cincinnati; Salt Lake City; Palm Springs CA; Portland ME; and Wilton Manors FL.

  • 108. VIRick  |  April 11, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Sonora: First Same-Sex Marriage Celebrated in Guaymas

    Sonora: Celebran en Guaymas el Primer Matrimonio Igualitario

    El primer matrimonio civil entre dos personas del mismo sexo se realizó en Guaymas el pasado sábado, 8 de abril 2017, gracias a un amparo promovido ante el Juzgado Decimoprimero de Distrito con sede en Hermosillo. Después de seis años y medio de relación, Miguel Roberto Soto Tobardillo y Aarón Esteban Valdez Domínguez decidieron unir su vida por la vía civil haciendo valer el Artículo Primero de la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos.

    Agradeció a Lorenia Portugal Amavizca, Juez del Registro Civil, quien el sábado en la tarde los casó en una playa de San Carlos de Nuevo Guaymas.

    The first civil marriage between two persons of the same sex in Guaymas was conducted last Saturday, 8 April 2017, thanks to an amparo granted by the Eleventh District Court based in Hermosillo. After a six and a half-year relationship, Miguel Roberto Soto Tobardillo and Aarón Esteban Valdez Domínguez decided to unite their lives through the civil procedure, asserting the First Article of the Constitution of the United Mexican States.

    Thanks to Lorenia Portugal Amavizca, the Judge at the Civil Registry, who on Saturday afternoon, married them on a beach in San Carlos, Nuevo Guaymas.

    This amparo in Guaymas, the port city way in the south-west on the Pacific Ocean, is at least amparo #32 for Sonora state, and at least the second one for 2017. Amparo #31 was for a same-sex marriage in Nogales, on the US border, which occurred just one day prior, on 7 April.

  • 109. VIRick  |  April 11, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Falkland Islands Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

    Per Rex Wockner:

    The Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly legalized same-sex marriage on 30 March 2017. The vote was 7-1 in favor. The law takes effect when it has been gazetted.

    Per Lisa Watson of the Falkland Islands:

    The Falklands Legislative Assembly Bill, passed today (30 March 2017), allows same-sex marriages, as well as civil partnerships for same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

  • 110. davepCA  |  April 11, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Delusional Republican wing-nuts in North Carolina introduce bill to reinstate ban on same sex marriage. The bill includes biblical quotes as justification for this action. I kid you not. What a bunch of bigoted morons.

  • 111. allan120102  |  April 11, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    I am quite baffle as I am not sure why they would try doing that after the bad spotlight they got with HB2 and how many damage they done to the state. Looks like bigotry wins against the best interest of the state. The scary thing is that the NC state congress have the votes to pass it and if moderate republicans join they could override a certain veto of Cooper.

  • 112. VIRick  |  April 11, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    North Carolina Republicans File Bill Attacking Same-Sex Marriage

    Four North Carolina Republicans filed a bill on Tuesday, 11 April 2017, that would direct the state to defy a Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. It would reinstate the state’s constitutional amendment, limiting marriage to between one man and one woman, approved in 2012 by voter referendum. Same-sex marriages conducted in other states would also not be recognized in North Carolina.

    House Bill 780, titled the “Uphold Historical Marriages Act,” would make the 2015 Supreme Court ruling “null and void in the State of North Carolina.” The bill quotes the Bible in saying the ruling “exceeds the authority of the court relative to the decree of Almighty God that ‘a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24, ESV) and abrogates the clear meaning and understanding of marriage in all societies throughout prior history.”

    Not "The Onion," just North Carolina.

  • 113. Fortguy  |  April 11, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Don't these idiots understand that the maps by which they were elected were declared unconstitutional by federal judges and that they will all have to face a special election later this year under new maps? Many of these lawmakers will inevitably be forced into either Democratic districts or districts where they must appeal to centrist, independent voters to keep their seats. Doubling-down on far-right stupidity isn't smart when you haven't yet seen the maps that hold your political future.


  • 114. allan120102  |  April 11, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Meanwhile Texas its on its path to make a law were county clerks could opt out of issuing ssm licences to ss couples if they fill they violate there religious beliefs.
    The Texas Senate on Tuesday gave initial approval to a measure allowing county clerks to recuse themselves from signing marriage licenses for same-sex couples because of religious objections.

    On a 21-10 vote, senators approved Senate Bill 522 by Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, under which a county commissioners court would appoint another official to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples if the clerk objects because of religious beliefs. The measure would also allow judges to refuse to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.

    State Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. of Brownsville was the only Democrat to join Republicans in voting for the measure, which must still obtain final approval before it’s sent over to the House.

    The legislation comes almost two years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, after which some same-sex couples in Texas ran into obstacles in obtaining marriage licenses because of county clerks' religious opposition to their marriages.

    On Tuesday, Birdwell said the measure enables government officials to “follow the law without being forced to compromise their religious liberty” by formalizing the recusal process available to county clerks.

    It “guarantees county clerks and every American the free exercise of religion even when they are working for the government,” Birdwell told his colleagues on Tuesday.

    “I have very strong, deeply held religious beliefs on a number of issues, and I’ve been a judge and I have faced some difficult decisions to make,” said state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston. “But I’ve also known that if I just couldn’t handle a case … then I would recuse myself.”

    The legal quagmire surrounding government officials’ ability to opt out of issuing same-sex marriage licenses or performing same-sex wedding ceremonies came to light following the
    As conservative attorneys geared up to defend such government employees, they indicated that existing laws ensured their religious freedom. Because there are no blanket protections for county clerks and other government employees who reject same-sex marriage in their official capacity, those cases are considered on an individual basis.

    But government officials could also be offered “reasonable accommodations” by delegating their responsibilities to other employees who have no objections.

    Civil rights attorneys have agreed that there is room for religious accommodations for government officials as long as those accommodations don’t place an undue burden on same-sex couples or cause a delay in obtaining a marriage license, which was the case in Hood County, where a gay couple was at first unable to obtain a marriage license.

    Echoing those concerns, Garcia on Tuesday offered up an amendment to add language to the legislation saying no couple can be burdened by a county clerk’s refusal to certify their marriage license. Birdwell accepted that amendment before the Senate signed off on the legislation.

  • 115. Fortguy  |  April 11, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    That bill will never get out of the Texas House.

    More likely to pass is SB 911 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Sugar Land) which would remove clerk's names from all marriage licenses, gay or straight, and indicate only the county where issued. This bill has already been reported favorably and unanimously out of the Senate State Affairs Committee and recommended for the chamber's local and uncontested calendar. SB 911 even has the support of the state's leading LGBT advocacy group Equality Texas.

    In other words, it avoids the drama of all the other bills seeking to protect clerk's "sincerely-held religious beliefs" by treating all marriages equally.

    John Wright, Texas Observer: LGBT Group Backs GOP Lawmaker’s Proposal to Remove Clerks’ Names from Marriage Licenses

    Update: I see that SB 911 also is scheduled for second reading Wednesday which would most likely include a floor vote. The Senate, however, has a very long agenda for the day.

  • 116. Randolph_Finder  |  April 12, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Let's hope SB911 passes. There are other states both red and blue that had this setup prior to Marriage Equality even being a possibility. I agree, avoids the drama.

  • 117. bayareajohn  |  April 12, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Yes… it's time to stop implying that a clerk has to "approve" anything to do with marriage. A clerical action is to certify filing compliance with the law, not to judge the morals or motivations of the the applicants with some implied right to block otherwise legal actions based on their own personal values. This ought to become a national trend.

  • 118. VIRick  |  April 11, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Chile: Marriage Equality Up-Date

    As a reminder, Luis Larraín has re-presented all 31 pages of the final draft document detailing every change needed to be made within Chile's Civil Code, along with the corrected, revised wording to be inserted, in order to up-date the Code so as to allow for same-sex marriage. This measure, dated 31 March 2016, has now been waiting over a year.

    Per Fundación Iguales‏:

    Revisa nuestro proyecto de matrimonio igualitario que presentamos a Osvaldo Andrade, Presidente de la Cámara de Diputados de Chile, hace 1 año, acá:

    Check out our marriage equality project that we presented to Osvaldo Andrade, President of the Chilean House of Deputies, 1 year ago, here:

  • 119. allan120102  |  April 12, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    A little bit of good news coming from NC.
    NC House Speaker says bill to reinstate same-sex marriage ban will not be heard
    The bill is basically dead, but critics of the proposal say it gives new life to North Carolina's tattered reputation.

    "Marriage equality is the law of the land in North Carolina and the entire nation, no matter what half-baked legal theories anti-LGBT lawmakers try to put forward," ACLU-NC Policy Director Sarah Gillooly told ABC11. "This bill says to LGBT North Carolinians that there are members of the North Carolina General Assembly that are intent on discriminating."
    Three conservative lawmakers, Rep. Larry Pittman (R-Concord), Rep. Michael Speciale (R-New Bern), and Carl Ford (R-China Grove) filed House Bill 780 on Tuesday. The proposal, dubbed "Uphold Historical Marriage Act," asserts that the U.S. Constitution's states-rights amendment allows North Carolina to decide for itself what its marriage laws should be.
    In a statement to ABC11, Rep. Pittman said:

    "HB 780 is about the need for the States to reassert their rights. As the bill states, marriage is not a federal matter. For too long, the federal government and federal courts have been allowed to overstep their bounds because the States have not had the courage to say no. Upholding the US and NC Constitutions means demanding that laws and court rulings do not contradict the very Constitutions we are obligated to uphold. I appreciate Rep. Speciale and Rep. Ford for having the courage to stand with me and say so."

    The bill, however, will not be heard as it did not draw support from Republican leadership, including North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland).

    "There are strong constitutional concerns with this legislation given that the U.S. Supreme Court has firmly ruled on the issue," Moore said in a statement sent to ABC11.
    Though the bill may have not a future, the controversy is making its way on social media outlets like Facebook, with many critics noting the proposal fits a narrative of North Carolina's perceived discrimination.

    Brad Grantham, Associate Vice President of French West Vaughan, the largest independently-owned public relations firm in the southeast, worries the bill sends mixed signals just weeks after lawmakers repealed and replaced House Bill 2.

    "I would argue the profile that North Carolina has right now – it's under a magnifying glass," Grantham told ABC11. "Every move made at the General Assembly is going to be scrutinized."

    Notably, a spokesperson for Visit Raleigh said the office did not receive any questions or complaints about the proposed legislation.

    House Bill 780 was also just one of more than 130 bills filed on Tuesday just before the long session's filing deadline. Other entries – which similarly have slim chances of ever being heard – include a controversial proposal supporting assisted suicide.

  • 120. allan120102  |  April 12, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    Breaking same sex marriage are now allowed again in Chihuahua after the governor spoke to the head of the civil registry to allow this marriages again. Saying that he didnt roll back the executive order but someone in the civil registry said he did it. Imho after the boycotts local lgbt are doing I guess the governor caved instead of fighting more lawsuits..
    Around the controversy generated by the Civil Registry's alleged refusal to hold egalitarian marriages without amparo, the governor of Chihuahua, Javier Corral Jurado, affirmed that for no reason can marriage be banned between same-sex couples.

    Corral Jurado said that the day before the announcement was made that it would be returned to the old format of birth certificates that include the nouns of "father" and "mother", in the Civil Registry someone ran the rumor or the version that was Prohibited egalitarian marriage without amparos, which is totally false.

    In this sense, instructed the director of this body, Inés Martínez Bernal, that under no reason should deny the marriage to any pair of the same sex. "I myself have married more than 30 couples in the state at a corporate wedding," he added.

    The head of the executive pointed out that the issue of equal marriage is a human rights issue that also have legal support based on the criteria of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN), who has already established jurisprudence on unconstitutionality To deny this type of unions.

    Herre is a video if you can speak spanish were the governor mention that he spoke with the civil registry and order her that they need to marry couples of the same sex.

  • 121. VIRick  |  April 12, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    No, the new governor, Javier Corral Jurado, caved in the face of intense criticism, plus the threat of multiple lawsuits which the state would ultimately lose, and is now vainly attempting to foist the blame for his own rash decision, exercised with extremely poor judgment, onto someone else. However, the Director of the Civil Registry, Inés Martínez Bernal, is NOT the party upon whom one should dump the blame, at least not if one wants to be believed. Here's why:

    Only three weeks ago, the same exact individual, the Director of the Civil Registry, Inés Martínez Bernal, introduced the new, uniform, gender-neutral marriage certificates (as well as gender-neutral birth certificates) to Chihuahua, something upon which we have already reported. Here is what I have recorded in my archives concerning this recent, progressive change:

    Inés Martínez Bernal
    "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 (whose name, Inés Martínez Bernal, will appear in Paragraph 3).

    "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."

    I'm sorry, but Inés Martínez Bernal did NOT change the state's marriage certificates to a gender-neutral format one week, only to decide, shortly thereafter, to stop using them in registering marriages of same-sex couples. No, someone else named Javier Corral Jurado, unhappy with what she had done in changing the format, attempted to out-rank her by over-riding her decision.

    That is precisely how asshats in Mexican politics operate.

  • 122. allan120102  |  April 12, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    Imo she is not to blame and she sadly was in a hard place. First the civil code was not modify and the congressman of PES and the Mexican Organization for the family(The Nom of Mexico) were going to sue her because she let couples marry thanks to the executive order of the previous governor even when the state civil code was not modify. Instead of finding solace and help in the new governor He order her to stop issuing after the Mexican organization for the family start protesting and putting pressure to him to stop the issuance of ssm licenses and the new formats.

    After lgbt couples starts accusing the governor he is now putting all the blame to her and the workers of the civil registries instead of taking the responsability like a man. We all know none of them have the power to roll back executive orders only the governor can. If it was the case then the head of the civil registry of Sonora could have override the power of the bigot governor of that state when she order the civil registries to stop issuing marriage licenses.

    Pes Congressman might sue the state to stop the issuance of ssm licenses but at the same time lgbt groups should sue the state to force them to return the update of the new formats like all the other 31 Federal identities are doing, as its unconstitutional what they are doing as they are not abiding to federal mandates .

  • 123. VIRick  |  April 12, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    Indiana: The State's Pig-Headed Appeal of Birth Certificate Ruling

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 12 April 2017, in "Henderson v. Adams," the appeal by the state of Indiana of the district court ruling requiring that both mothers be shown on a child's birth certificate when the child has been born to a married couple, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has announced that it has set oral argument for Monday, 22 May 2017.

    Notice of Oral Argument is here:

    This should be a "slam-dunk" win for our side, as even the state of Florida has settled its own suit, "Chin v. Armstrong," which challenged that state's obfuscation on this same precise point (and agreed to pay the plaintiffs' attorney fees, in the process of making the settlement). Eventually, the bill the state of Indiana will be forced to pay for the plaintiffs' attorney fees will be even larger than the amount Florida was forced to pay.

    The only other state, of which I am aware, still fighting this issue is Arkansas.

  • 124. VIRick  |  April 12, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Indiana: Transgender Name-Change Appeal

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 11 April 2017, in "Doe v. Pence," a case in which a transgender man, granted asylum in US, is challenging an Indiana law that bars name-change for non-citizens, the plaintiff has appealed the order dismissing his case for lack of standing to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    For reference:
    • Docketing statement that outlines the procedural history, parties, etc:
    • 13 March 2017 Order granting defendants' motion to dismiss:

    The Notice of Appeal is linked here:

    The fact that the state of Indiana even has such an unusual law on the books is a direct result of their having had someone named Pence as governor, as is the insistance behind their pig-headed appeal of the birth certificate ruling, immediately above.

  • 125. VIRick  |  April 12, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Edomex: Pro-Marriage Equality PRD Candidate for Governor

    Edomex: El Candidato a la Gubernatura del PRD ¡Sí Apoya el Matrimonio Igualitario!

    Juan Zepeda, quien es el candidato de izquierda de PRD a la gubernatura por el Edomex (Estado de México), dio un discurso en Ixtapaluca, en el que mencionó su postura sobre la diversidad en México:

    “A mis amigos de la diversidad, les quiero decir que estoy de su lado y vamos a defender sus derechos una vez que ganemos la gubernatura.” Matrimonios igualitarios, dijo el candidato a la gubernatura de Edomex, mientras ondeaba una bandera de arcoíris.

    Juan Zepeda, who is the left-leaning PRD candidate for governor of Edomex (State of Mexico), gave a speech in Ixtapaluca, in which he mentioned his position on diversity in Mexico:

    "To my friends of diversity, I want to say that I am on your side and we will defend your rights once we win the governorship." Egalitarian marriages, said the Edomex gubernatorial candidate, while waving a rainbow flag.

    There has been a lot of LGBT criticism directed toward the other leftist candidate for Governor of Edomex, Delfina Gómez of Morena, for not taking a public position on marriage equality. On the other hand, the PRD candidate, Juan Zepeda, could not have been more direct.

  • 126. VIRick  |  April 12, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    Perú: TV Discussion on Marriage Equality

    Per La Revista Sábado de ATV Perú‏:

    Beatriz Mejiamor y Carlos Bruce debatirán sobre matrimonio igualitario.
    ¡Nos vemos el sábado, 15 de abril 2017, a las 10 PM!

    Beatriz Mejiamor:
    Abogada, investigadora, experta en gestión pública, Ex-Directora del Centro de Investigaciones de la Corte Suprema y de la Academia de la Magistratura.

    Carlos Bruce:
    Economista. Ex-Ministro de Vivienda. Ex-Ministro de la Presidencia. Actual Congresista de la República del Perú.

    Per Saturday Magazine of ATV Perú :

    Beatriz Mejiamor and Carlos Bruce will discuss marriage equality.
    See you on Saturday, 15 April 2017, at 10 PM!

    Beatriz Mejiamor:
    Attorney, researcher, public management expert, Former Director of the Supreme Court Research Center and of the Judicial Academy.

    Carlos Bruce:
    Economist. Former Minister of Housing. Former Minister of the Presidency. Current Congressman of the Republic of Perú.

    Although not mentioned in the ATV announcement of its upcoming Saturday programming, Carlos Bruce is also out and gay, as well as being a representative of one of the two Peruvian political parties in favor of marriage equality.

  • 127. guitaristbl  |  April 13, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    ADF got its claws as far as progressive Sweden but suffered a predictable loss amounting already to thousands of euros their client has to pay to legal fees :

    She says if she gets the funding from ADF she will go to the ECHR. I hope they keep wasting their money on her as her case is a pretty sure failure for her.

  • 128. JayJonson  |  April 13, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Virginia Supreme Court has rejected a bid by the Traditional Values Coalition, and a student, to overturn protections for gay and transgender students recently adopted by the Fairfax County School Board.

    The plaintiffs argued that the new policy is unlawful because such protections are not authorized by state law.

    However, on Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling dismissing the lawsuit. The Supreme Court said Lafferty and the student lacked standing to bring the challenge.

    The justices wrote that the student's "general distress" over the non-discrimination policy is not sufficient injury to allow him to bring a lawsuit against the school.

  • 129. ianbirmingham  |  April 13, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Trump's Army Sec'y pick: "Transgender is a disease" & "Armed citizens" should fight for anti-trans bathroom laws

  • 130. VIRick  |  April 13, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Minnesota: Federal Case Against Transgender Teen's Rights Dropped

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 13 April 2017, in "Privacy Matters v. US Dept. of Education," a case in which parents/students, represented by ADF, were suing the federal government and a Minnesota school district to block a policy, consistent with federal Title IX guidelines, that protects transgender students from discrimination, the plaintiffs have filed a notice of voluntarily dismissal.

    This case had been on hold until the Supreme Court resolved Gavin Grimm's case. Following the Supreme Court order in that case, parties in this case were to file a notice with the court, "proposing a scheduling plan for proceeding, if at all, with this matter."

    The plaintiffs' Notice of Voluntary Dismissal Without Prejudice is here:

    The ACLU's press release following this filing for voluntary dismissal is here:

  • 131. VIRick  |  April 13, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    An Obituary: Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam of the New York State Court of Appeals

    On Wednesday, 12 April 2017, the 65-year-old Abdus-Salaam, a judge on the New York State Court of Appeals, New York's highest court, was found dead, her body floating in the Hudson River by the shore of Manhattan's West 132nd Street, just a few blocks from her Harlem home. She was reported missing by her husband, Gregory Jacobs, the day before. Police said the final cause of her death will be determined by the city’s medical examiner.

    Born in 1952 in Washington, DC, Abdus-Salaam first came to New York in the early 1970s to attend Barnard College in Upper Manhattan. From there, she attended Columbia Law School, graduating in 1977.

    She became a judge in 1992 when she was elected to the New York civil court. A rising star, Governor David Patterson appointed her to the Appellate Division in 2009. Then, four years later, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed her to the highest court in the state, the Court of Appeals.

    In 2016, "In the Matter of Brooke S.B. v Elizabeth A.C.C.," Abdus-Salaam wrote the landmark decision that overturned an over two-decade old ruling that said non-biological parents in a same-sex couple had no standing to seek custody of a child after the couple broke up. In her opinion, Abdus-Salaam said she determined that non-biological parents could seek custody if they showed “by clear and convincing evidence that all parties agreed to conceive a child and to raise the child together.”

  • 132. VIRick  |  April 13, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    India: It Is Now Illegal to Deny Work, Housing, Services to Those with HIV

    On 13 April 2017, India’s Parliament made history by passing a landmark bill ensuring equal rights for those living with HIV. The HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill was the first of its kind in the eastern world, and it vows to protect HIV-positive people from being denied work, having access to education, housing, health care, even the right to hold public or private office. Additionally, it also prohibits businesses from refusing entry to anyone who is HIV-positive. The bill took 15 years to make it all the way through Parliament.

    For HIV activists in India, the bill couldn’t have come at a better time. Earlier this year, Manvendra Singh Gohil, India’s first openly gay Prince of Rajpipla, said volunteers at his HIV foundation experienced constant harassment by authorities while trying to educate men who have sex with men about safer sex practices — some were even taken to precincts and raped by policemen.

    India decriminalized gay sex in 2009 after a Delhi high court said the law was a violation of a person’s fundamental rights. But everything changed in 2013 when the Indian Supreme Court chose to overturn the lower court and uphold the ban on gay sex, saying that only India’s Parliament has the right to overturn the anti-gay statute, S.377, not the lower court judges.

    According to UNAIDS, nearly 2.1 million people were living with HIV in India in 2015, and nearly all of them experienced discrimination of some degree. Now that Parliament has set a ban on HIV discrimination, which is often associated with male-on-male sex in that part of the world, some say it’s only a matter of time before the country’s lawmakers overturn S.377, as well.

    It has been an extraordinary week for LGBT advocates in India, as the passage of this HIV non-discrimination measure in Parliament comes only 8 days after India promulgated new national guidelines protecting transgender access to the toilets of their choice.

  • 133. Randolph_Finder  |  April 14, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Which way is Chihuahua right now, Marriage Equality or not? I've seen contradictory stories and it seems to change daily…

  • 134. allan120102  |  April 14, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Supposedly right now marriages are occurring, after the governor spoke with the head of the civil registry an order her to allow ssm to start again,Still I will like to see if marriages are occuring in the state before giving a concrete answer.

  • 135. ianbirmingham  |  April 14, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Trump's DoJ withdraws Obama DoJ's federal lawsuit against NC's HB2

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