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New briefs filed in Gavin Grimm’s challenge to school board’s anti-transgender bathroom policy

Transgender Rights

Fourth Circuit map
Fourth Circuit map
Both sides in GG v. Gloucester County School Board filed supplemental briefs today in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The case is back in the appeals court after the Supreme Court sent it back, because the Trump administration rescinded the guidelines related to treatment of transgender status under federal law. The appeals court had relied solely on those guidelines when it issued a preliminary injunction against the school board’s anti-transgender policy that prevented Gavin Grimm from using the restroom in his high school.

Now back at the appeals court, the parties are left to argue over a separate issue that was a part of the challenge from the beginning, but was dismissed by the district court and not relied upon by the appeals court: whether Title IX’s provision barring discrimination in education on the basis of “sex” is violated by Gloucester County School Board’s policy.

First, the school board argues the case is moot because of Grimm’s upcoming graduation, but his lawyers respond that he still plans to attend alumni events, along with other arguments against mootness.

His lawyers argue that transgender discrimination is sex discrimination:

[D]iscriminating against Gavin because he is a boy who is transgender discriminates against him on the basis of sex. The fact that the sex discrimination is targeted exclusively at boys and girls who are transgender does not change it from discrimination on the basis of sex to a distinct form of discrimination on the basis of transgender status. The Supreme Court’s precedents make clear that sex discrimination does not have to affect all boys or all girls the same way in order to be “on the basis of sex.”

The school board disagrees, writing that, because when Title IX was written, the definition of sex included physiological differences, “[i]t follows that when schools establish separate restrooms, locker rooms, and showers for boys and girls, Title IX and section 106.33 affirmatively permit them to rely on physiological sex to distinguish those facilities, regardless of whether the term “sex” could also theoretically include some notion of “gender identity.””

You can read Gavin Grimm’s brief here and the school board’s brief here.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  May 8, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Macron Defeats Le Pen to Become France’s Next President

    Emmanuel Macron will become the next president of France after he defeated Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front party in the second round of the country’s presidential election that took place on Sunday, 7 May 2017. Macron defeated Le Pen by a 65.1-34.9 margin. Macron, a centrist who, among other things, supports France’s same-sex marriage law that took effect in 2015, will succeed President François Hollande who opted not to seek re-election amid record low poll numbers.

    Le Pen campained on an anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and anti-European Union platform. She also said she would repeal France’s same-sex marriage law if elected.

  • 2. VIRick  |  May 8, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Chile: More Government-Sponsored Consultive Meetings on Marriage Equality

    Segegob Los Ríos:‏
    El viernes, 12 de mayo 2017, a contar de 9:00 hrs, te invitamos a un diálogo participativo sobre matrimonio igualitario en sala Paraninfo de la Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia.

    Segegob Los Ríos:
    On Friday, 12 May 2017, from 9:00 AM, we invite you to a participative dialogue on marriage equality in the Paraninfo room of the Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia.

    Antofagasta TV:‏
    En 8 de mayo 2017, la ciudadania y entidades (en Antofagasta) involucradas en el tema se reunieron para conversar sobre el matrimonio igualitario.

    Antofagasta TV:
    On 8 May 2017, citizens and entities (in Antofagasta) involved in the issue met to discuss marriage equality.

  • 3. VIRick  |  May 8, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Lesbian Couples Sue Tennessee over Anti-LGBT ‘Natural and Ordinary’ Language Law

    A number of lesbian couples are suing the state of Tennessee over a newly-signed law which says all laws should be interpreted in a “natural and ordinary” way. This new law was enacted by Governor Bill Haslam last week and is feared to have the potential to challenge a Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, among other harms. Haslam, as well as the state itself, the state's Department of Health, and its commissioner, were named in the lawsuit filed on Monday, 8 May 2017, in Davidson County Chancery Court (Nashville).

    The four lesbian couples who are plaintiffs in the lawsuit are all expecting children conceived by artificial insemination. According to LGBT advocates in Tennessee, the law’s “natural and ordinary meaning” clause could undermines same-sex couples in any statute which includes the words “husband, wife, mother and father.” The bill states without explanation that the “meaning” should be “without forced or subtle construction that would limit or extend the meaning of the language.”

    Governor Haslam has insisted that the law will not change how courts interpret legal precedent. Despite Haslam’s objections, the Family Action Council (a conservative Christian collective who campaigned for the law) said that the purpose of the bill would be to prevent judges from defining references to husband or wife as “spouse.” HB 1111 even has the potential to strip constitutional protections from women if it prevents state courts from reading the term “man” to also include female and other gender-nonconforming identities.

  • 4. VIRick  |  May 8, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Trump’s Wall Faces Another Barrier in Texas: Landowner Lawsuits

    Los Ebanos TX — One of the principal barriers to Trump’s border wall begins in Aleida Garcia’s expansive backyard. She and her husband have built a small park alongside some scrubland on their 30 acres, and they enjoy a panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley. They say they will fiercely resist any effort by the federal government to take over their property, the continuation of a fight that began a decade ago.

    And they are not alone. More than 90 lawsuits involving landowners opposing the federal seizure of their property in South Texas remain open from 2008. The property owners have the support of many Texas politicians in a state where land ownership has an almost mythic resonance, and their opposition to a border wall could delay any construction by years while lawsuits wind through the court system.

    Trump and John F. Kelly, the Homeland Security secretary, have said they can build a wall in 24 months, even though Congress did not include any funding for construction in its latest spending bill. Fresh legal challenges, along with the existing ones, make that timetable highly unlikely.

  • 5. Fortguy  |  May 8, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    My biggest worry is the portion of the border in Texas where the federal government already owns the land, Big Bend National Park. BBNP, larger than Rhode Island, is the 7th largest national park not located in Alaska, and its fragile desert ecology would be environmentally devastated by a wall such as sequestering all wild animals from the only reliable source of water for more than a hundred miles and preventing the migration of black bears, which had been exterminated in West Texas in the early 20th Century and only began to reestablish in the region from Mexico in the 1980s.

    John Burnett, NPR: In Big Bend, Texas, There's Bipartisan Consensus: No Border Wall

    Worse, to the west upstream is Big Bend Ranch State Park which is similarly large and alone holds more than half of the acreage of the entire state park system. Further upstream is the Ocotillo Unit of the Las Palomas State Wildlife Management Area. Downstream to the east are Black Gap State Wildlife Management Area, itself quite large, and Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River, itself a National Park Service designation although the property along it outside of BBNP and Black Gap are privately held.

    The extremely mountainous terrain along all of this stretch of the river would require a yuge amount of taxpayer dollars to complete. The river passes through Colorado Canyon in BBRSP, Santa Elena, Mariscal, and Boquillas canyons in BBNP, and seven more canyons collectively known as the Lower Canyons further downstream.

    Exactly how much would it cost to build a border wall here?

    I almost forgot that there is another federal border property along the Rio Grande, Amistad National Recreation Area, along Lake Amistad above Del Rio, which is also an NPS site. I'm really curious how one would access boat ramps and campgrounds along the reservoir through a border wall, not to mention the lakeshore is quite irregular with fingers extending far into the valleys of adjoining tributaries.

    Not far above Amistad is the confluence of Rio Grande's largest tributary on the U.S. side, the Pecos River. Not only would I want to know how to pay for a wall here, but where do you redirect all that water flowing into the Rio Grande? Citrus, chile, tomato, and cucumber growers hundreds of miles down south in the Valley are kinda depending on the maintenance of that flow.

  • 6. VIRick  |  May 8, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    "Exactly how much would it cost to build a border wall here?"

    I'll defer from attempting to answer that. Instead, I will simply note that that is an excellent question to ask all and sundry, complete with the picture.

    During the "W" regime, over a decade ago, he focused most of his fence-building efforts to federally-owned land on the Arizona/Sonora and California/Baja California border, and primarily left Texas be Texas. Still, in Texas alone, there are 90-some left-over open federal lawsuits from that era, already filed by private landowners, with a lot more now set to be filed during this current regime, as the ass-hat-in-charge is clueless as to what actually constitutes the border.

    I also live very near to an international border. However, ours is a long-standing oceanic demarcation line, along the mid-point of the channel, visible only on nautical maps. At its narrowest, land to land, this channel is less than a mile wide. Plus, for a fair portion of the distance where the channel is narrowest, the National Park extends seaward out to the demarcation line.

    For most of its length, outward for 200 miles both northwest and southeast, we abut the British Virgin Islands, but in the south-easternmost quadrant, we also abut both France and the Netherlands. And directly to our south, we (and Puerto Rico) abut Venezuela, although this maritime border is in dispute, with no resolution in sight.

    Apparently, no one has (yet) thought about building some sort of wall here, out there somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean Sea, but if one makes crossings too difficult in one area, the traffic simply shifts to a different spot.

    Seemingly, that's what's happening with Texas now. The "W" fencing in Arizona and California has caused a shift in the overland traffic flow to Texas (and this, without even considering any of the water-borne traffic).

  • 7. Fortguy  |  May 8, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    Except, as the NPR article points out, this is not true along ICE's Big Bend sector which has the lowest apprehension rate of illegal crossers along the entire southwestern border for each of the last 44 years (PDF) precisely because of the remoteness and hostile physical environment along this part of the border.

  • 8. VIRick  |  May 8, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    OK, I apparently made that statement too broad, as the Texas border geography covers too wide a range of environments.

    Let's say, more land traffic has seemingly shifted toward the more reasonable, inhabited portions of the Texas/Mexico border, and away from Arizona/California (with the understanding that the Big Bend area has never been reasonable nor inhabited).

    But if this situation were to be "corrected," it will simply increase the water-borne traffic around the ends, as well as straight on into other locales, like Florida.

  • 9. allan120102  |  May 9, 2017 at 10:33 am

    After Bermuda, lgbt activist in the Cayman islands are encouraging same sex couples to challenge the same sex marriage ban. Looks like the domino effect is about to start.
    A legal expert is urging same-sex Caymanian couples who want to get married to put the local legislation to the test as he believes there is no lawful prohibition to same-sex marriages in either the Constitution or the Marriage Law. Dr Leo Raznovich, a former Truman Bodden Law School professor, said members of the LGBT community in Cayman should stand up for their rights and test the legislation because the language of the law doesn’t really ban gay marriage. He is also offering to help couples who are willing to give it a try. His suggestion comes in the wake of a landmark ruling in Bermuda that has paved the way for same-sex marriage there.

    Bermudian Winston Godwin and his Canadian fiancé, Greg DeRoche, took their case to the Supreme Court in Bermuda, arguing that the Human Rights Act took primacy and protected their right to marry, and the judge ruled in the couple’s favour.

    Raznovich said local gay couples here need to bring the discrimination they face to the attention of the courts in Cayman because Section 14 of the Constitution of the Cayman Islands does not prohibit same-sex marriage. It simply tells the government that it must “respect the right of every unmarried man and woman of marriageable age as determined by law to freely to marry a person of the opposite sex and found a family”, according to the legal expert who won his own legal case to remain in Cayman as a dependent of his husband.

    “The Marriage Law does not prohibit same-sex marriage either,” he told CNS. “It simply defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Because this is not a prohibition either, there is no case of incompatibility but a case of interpretation.”

    He explained that the Cayman Islands Constitution prohibits discrimination on any grounds, including sexual orientation, and the lack of express prohibition in the Constitution and local legislation to same-sex marriage triggers sections 24 and 25 of the Constitution. These refer to duty of the authority not to act against the law and to read any law that is ambiguous in a manner that is compatible with the Bill of Rights.

    This all means that local courts should also find that preventing the marriage of a consenting same-sex couple of legal age that meet all of the usual criteria is discriminatory and someone needs to test the legislation in court.

    “It is time for gay and lesbian Caymanian couples to stand for their rights to marry in the jurisdiction,” he said, as he issued an invitation to contact him about building a case. “The Constitution of the Cayman Islands is fully on their side. Anybody wanting to challenge the legislation in court, please get in touch because I know people in the community who would be willing to financially support such a course of action.”

    With just over two weeks until polling day, what public open discussion there has been on the campaign trail about gay rights or marriage has been largely confined to those who are vehemently opposed and others who believe the issue was returned to the bottom of the government agenda after the failed referendum motion earlier this year.

  • 10. VIRick  |  May 9, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Albania: Government Promises to Protect LGBT Pride Event from Violence

    Gay rights organizations in Albania say they have been assured their annual pride event will not be hindered on the day when the opposition also has planned a national protest. On Monday, 8 May 2017, the organizations said opposition Democratic party leader Lulzim Basha assured them there would be “no incidents or threat” during their bike ride in Tirana on Saturday, 13 May. They will start two hours before the opposition’s rally.

    The gay rights groups plan to ride past a tent pitched in February by the opposition in front of Prime Minister Edi Rama’s office to block the boulevard. The opposition claims Rama will manipulate the vote in next month’s elections.

    Albania passed an anti-discrimination law in 2009, but does not allow same-sex marriages.

  • 11. VIRick  |  May 9, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Guam: Gay Couple Wins Right to Have Both Parents' Names on Birth Certificate

    Per Equality Case Files and "The Guam Daily Post:"

    Guam, 10 May 2017 – A same-sex couple in Guam, initially denied a request to have both parents' names listed on their child's birth certificate, may have won part of their battle, but are now fighting to have their legal fees paid by the government. Kimberly Chargualaf and her wife, Devidene Chargualaf, married in 2013 in New York City, and underwent in vitro fertilization in Guam through Dr. Tom Shieh's clinic. The couple had a daughter at the Guam Memorial Hospital in October 2016. However, while the hospital indicated it was willing to put both women's names on the birth certificate, the parents were told Carolyn Garrido, a registrar at the Office of Vital Statistics for Public Health, refused to do so. Only Devidene Chargualaf, the birth mother, would be listed on the certificate. When Kimberly Chargualaf asked why her name could not be included, Garrido allegedly told her that it was because certificates included names for a "mother" and a "father." The women were also told the only way to have both their names on the certificate was to have Kimberly Chargualaf adopt her own daughter.

    The legal fees for the adoption is set to cost the couple $1,500, and the attorney's fees for challenging Garrido's initial determination will costs thousands more, according to attorney William Pesch of the Guam Family Law Office, who is representing the Chargualafs in this case. Pesch sent a letter to Public Health Director James Gillan after taking the couple on as clients in February 2017. At this point, the Chargualafs were already a fair way into the adoption process. The letter asked for Gillan's assistance in addressing the matter so as not to reach court, but despite assurance from Gillan's lawyer, the director did not respond in writing.

    The letter cited a prior Guam case, which found that a child born within a marriage is "of the marriage," meaning they are the legal parents of the child, regardless of the father's biological ties. Pesch also cited Guam's marriage equality law, which states that references to legal unions are to be gender neutral. "In light of this, the fact that Vital Statistics' forms still use the archaic designtions of 'mother' and 'father' cannot be used to undermine (Kimberly's) legal right to be designated as (her daughter's) parent."

    On 8 May 2017, the case reached the chambers of Presiding Judge Alberto Lamorena of the Superior Court of Guam. Pesch said he was told by opposing counsel before entering the courtroom that they would agree to have both women's names on the birth certificates, but the department would not pay legal fees. A hearing is now scheduled for 7 August. There were two more women in the courtroom on 8 May who had contacted Pesch about the same issue.

    A writ of mandamus instructing Garrido to issue a birth certificate with both women's names on it and for the recovery of their costs has been submitted to the court. An order for the certificate is to be drafted. Pesch has not charged the couple for his services. The fees would have weighed on the Chargualafs, who already incurred significant expenses from the fertilization process and the pregnancy, he said. Because of the length of time without comment from the department, Pesch had clocked in multiple hours of research and enlisted outside help from Lambda Legal.

  • 12. VIRick  |  May 9, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Guam case continued:

    Pesch, a gay man who is married with adopted children, was a part of the legal team whose actions reshaped Guam's marriage landscape in 2015. Kathleen Aguero and Loretta Pangelinan sued after they were refused a marriage license by Public Health in April of that year. The case was filed in federal court, listing Garrido, as well as Gov. Eddie Calvo, as defendants. The government proceeded with challenging the suit despite comments from the Guam Attorney-General that a ban on same-sex marriage was unenforceable, based on a presiding order from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which superseded Guam law at the time. Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood of the District Court of Guam ruled in Aguero and Pangelinan's favor in June 2015, making Guam the first territory to allow same-sex marriage just weeks before the US Supreme Court would legalize same-sex marriages across the nation. A subsequent ruling granted legal fees for Aguero and Pangelinan.

  • 13. Fortguy  |  May 9, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Here's a status report on the Texas Legislature. This week begins the final three weeks of the 140-day regular session which, by the state constitution, must adjourn sine die at the end of May 29 (Memorial Day). This week began a series of legislative deadlines (PDF) that are mandated either by chamber rules or necessitated by allowing staff to be able to meet further deadlines.

    Most onerous are House deadlines as the Lege has 150 Representatives versus 31 Senators, and therefore the House has nearly five times as many bill-filing members than the Senate. The first deadline was this past Monday when all House bills had to be voted favorably out of their committees. For most meaningful legislation, tonight (Wednesday) is the deadline for bills to be scheduled on the floor by the Calendars Committee. All bills must be passed on the floor after third reading by the end of Friday with most bills needing to be passed tomorrow with the exception of local bills which have an additional week. The Senate has much more time.

    Of the bills on Equality Texas's legislative watch list, the only bills they support that are still in Calendars as of this writing are HB 192 prohibiting anti-LGBT discrimination in housing, HB 225 prohibiting anti-LGBT discrimination in employment, HB 290 requiring gender equality in employment compensation, and HB 1848 striking unconstitutional references to homosexual conduct from the state statutes. The only House bill opposed by EQTX that has survived the committee process is HB 3859 which would allow adoption providers to discriminate due to their religious beliefs. This bill is scheduled for consideration by the floor tomorrow. Let's hope debates on every bill before it are very long and prevent this from receiving a vote before the clock runs out at midnight. Next, I'll spell out progress on Senate bills.

  • 14. Fortguy  |  May 9, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    The one bill on EQTX's list that has passed the Lege and been signed into law is the gawdawful SB 4 sanctuary cities bill that compares horribly with the "show me your papers" Arizona bill Jan Brewer was forced to veto. The bill, as passed by the Senate, was originally moderated in House committee but was then amended into a hate bill on steroids on the House floor with complete disregard to how federal law and the courts permit local police to interact with undocumented persons. The Senate leadership read the House amendments and got all wet in their underpanties thinking about them and passed the House version without sending the bill to conference to reconcile differences. Needless to say, the lawsuits are just beginning and will become legion since the GOPers in the Lege would rather underfund schools and roads in order to defend stupid lawsuit arguments while pandering to their Tea Party constituents about how they're keeping out all "them dirty Meskins" and the sharia law they're bringing with them.

    Meanwhile, the only Senate bill favorable to EQTX that has reached the House is SB 911 which would remove county clerks' names from marriage licenses and have the documents instead indicate merely the county where issued. The bill has been assigned to a House committee.

    The following bad bills have passed the Senate and sent to the House. SB 6, Lite Guv Dan Patrick's beloved potty bill still has not been assigned to a House committee. SB 522, which would allow county clerks to hand off the duty of issuing marriage licenses to some other hapless soul even if in a different county and at incredible inconvenience to the couple, is in a House committee with no hearing scheduled. And finally, SB 2095 which would regulate steroid use among student athletes of public schools in order to prevent trans students from athletic participation passed the Senate Wednesday, but has not been formally received by the House.

    All other Senate bills must find their way to the House by the end of Thursday, May 18. The biggest caveat, we must remember, is that all dead bills can become zombies awakened and attached as amendments to feed off of other legislation, so our allies must have their wits about them and their sticky notes attached to their parliamentary rule books.

  • 15. allan120102  |  May 10, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Bermuda will abide and will not appeal the same sex marriage ruling. That means that same sex marriage is now the law of the land.

  • 16. VIRick  |  May 10, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Bermuda: Government Will Implement Court's Marriage Ruling

    The Bermuda government will not battle against same-sex marriage after a gay couple won the right marry, following the country’s Supreme Court ruling that a ban on same-sex marriages is a discriminatory violation of human rights.

    Today, 10 May 2017, Minister of Home Affairs Patricia Gordon Pamplin confirmed: “The Government acknowledges the Supreme Court ruling handed down on 5 May 2017, and upon legal advice, we have determined that we will not lodge an appeal against the judgment. We will abide by the decision of the judiciary, and will implement the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the judgment.”

    In the interval, a 6 May 2017 editorial in the "Bermuda Royal Gazette" perfectly trolled the haters and the religious nut-job detractors. They wrote:

    “At not long after lunchtime yesterday (5 May 2017), a casual look outdoors revealed the sky was not falling; nor was it red. Upon further inspection, a saunter towards the coastlines revealed there was no tsunami hurtling towards Bermuda to send us whence we came. In fact, it was a most spectacular Bermuda day; beach weather on Cinco de Mayo.

    “Traffic was still moving along at its normal, if breakneck, pace — the roundabout outside The Royal Gazette claiming yet another scalp — with typically Bermudian courtesies still being exchanged among passers-by in the busy streets. And an expensively priced bag of crisps was still expensively priced.

    “In short, the Supreme Court provided the foundation for a same-sex marriage to take place in Bermuda in the future and no one died. Nothing changed. But for a couple in love.”

  • 17. Christian0811  |  May 11, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Is the HRA a constitutional document or is it a matter of superseding previous legislation?

  • 18. VIRick  |  May 12, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Christian, I am not sure, nor does the distinction particularly matter, given the language in the ruling.

    The judge in question threw out the offending wording in the Bermuda Marriage Causes Act, namely the "one man, one woman" references in the definition of marriage, and rendered said wording inoperable on the grounds that the non-discrimination clauses of the Human Rights Act held primacy, just as the plaintiffs had argued.

    I believe that the Human Rights Act is an Act of Parliament (in the UK) with application to all remaining British Overseas Territories, and thus, given the common court system with Bermuda, would also have immediate application in the remaining British Caribbean Territories, namely:

    1. Cayman Islands
    2. Turks and Caicos Islands
    3. British Virgin Islands
    4. Anguilla
    5. Montserrat

    And from there, once court rulings are in place in these locales, the effect will then spread on to the other 12 independent entities which still share in the common British Caribbean court system. I also imagine that this will be a fairly slow, but inexorable process, with the potential for matters to seriously heat up when it comes to such homophobic places like Jamaica and Guyana. But the handwriting is already on the wall for all 17.

    Also note how other British Overseas Territories, like Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands, have already fallen into line.

  • 19. Christian0811  |  May 25, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    I was just wondering about the particulars of the law, I'm no legal professional but I like comparative legal studies 😛

  • 20. VIRick  |  May 10, 2017 at 11:31 am

    4th Circuit Court of Appeals Hears Appeal of North Carolina Magistrate Recusal Law

    Per Equality Case Files:

    The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing oral argument today, 10 May 2017, in "Ansley v. Warren," the plaintiffs' appeal of the district court's dismissal of their challenge to North Carolina's magistrate recusal law, SB2, for lack of standing.

    Here are the parties' briefs:
    • Brief of Plaintiffs-Appellants:
    • Joint Appendix (includes significant filings from the district court):
    • Brief of Defendant-Appellee:
    • Appellants' Reply Brief:

    Arguing for Appellants: S. Luke Largess
    Arguing for Appellee: Olga Vysotskaya de Brito, NC Dept. of Justice

    The federal appeals court will be considering whether three North Carolina couples have legal standing to challenge a law allowing magistrates with religious objections to refuse to perform marriages between same-sex couples.

    The couples are asking the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond to revive the lawsuit because they say the state is spending their tax dollars to accommodate magistrates’ religious views. The couples — two gay and one interracial — argue those expenditures give them the right to sue, despite a district court ruling to the contrary.

    Two of the North Carolina plaintiffs are from McDowell County, where all magistrates recused themselves after the state law was passed, requiring North Carolina to pay a magistrate to come several days a week from nearby Rutherford County.

    And the interracial couple is interesting, as this is the second time in their lives that they have sued over what is essentially the same matter. They were previously party to a federal suit when this same "magistrates' religious objections" issue was thrown in their faces when they first attempted to obtain a marriage license in North Carolina, many years ago, shortly after the Supreme Court decision in "Loving v. Virginia."

    For more plain-language background to the history of this case, see:

  • 21. VIRick  |  May 11, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Campaign for Southern Equality's Status Report on "Ansley v. Warren"

    Per Equality Case Files and CSE:

    Here is the CSE's current status report on their appeal of the case, "Ansley v. Warren," presently before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals:

  • 22. FredDorner  |  May 12, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    The history of the mixed-race couple is interesting – they had to sue in 1976 to get married, 9 years after the Loving v Virginia ruling. Some states are just dumber than others.

  • 23. allan120102  |  May 10, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Looks like Michoacan needs to do better to make their civil registries learn that same sex marriage is the law of the state since 2016.
    Morelia, Michoacán.- Michoacan is still denied same sex marriage for lack of knowledge of the law or discrimination on the part of public officials, said the representative of the Colectivo Michoacán is Diversidad, Raúl Martínez Rojas.

    In May 2016, the current Legislature approved equal marriage allowing same-sex marriage in the state, after making amendments to the Family Code, where it was established that marriage is "the union of two persons to perform one Community of permanent life, in which respect, equality and mutual help are sought, "and procreation was eliminated as the end of this union.

    On June 25 of that same annuity took place the first equal marriage between two women (Alejandra and Claudia) in Morelia.

    However, civil registry officials continue to deny the union of these people in different municipalities of Michoacan geography, arguing that equal marriage only applies to the state capital; The most recent case occurred last week in Uruapan, reported in an interview.

    "If a civil registry official does not know the law and the application of this law, it seems to us that it is time for the evaluation and the monitoring of the civil servants; And we do not bet on the complaint because we believe the saying, "he said in the framework of the International Day Against Homophobia, held on May 17.

    In this vein, Martinez Rojas stated that the government of Michoacán has not implemented a public policy in favor of sexual diversity.

  • 24. VIRick  |  May 10, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Guyana: No Referendum on Decriminalizing Homosexuality

    Guyana, the only South American country which still bans same-sex sexual activity, will not hold a referendum to give voters the choice to decriminalize homosexuality, despite media organizations claiming the opposite. The news published by several Guyanese local media organizations was a result of a misunderstanding of the government’s official position on the matter.

    The government had responded to a submission made by the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), according to its managing director Joe Simpson. SASOD had called for government action on youth LGBT discrimination, with special regard to the fields of education, bullying, employment, and sexual and mental health. It put forward its petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), following the 161st Ordinary Period of Session, addressing young people’s rights.

    The government’s response stated: “The issue of repeal was brought to the attention of the legislative arm of government on several occasions and it was deemed unfit for the legislature to decide on the matter. As such, it was recommended that the matter be taken to a vote, where the people of Guyana will decide by a referendum on these matters.” SASOD sent this statement to several local media organizations who reported that the government would hold a referendum in which the public would have the chance to decide to decriminalize homosexuality.

    The government’s response to the petition further stated that Guyana’s President David Granger supports the change in the laws. Granger has previously shown his support towards the Guyanese LGBT community, stating, “I am prepared to respect the rights of any adult to indulge in any practice which is not harmful to others.”

    Currently, Guyana’s laws consider homosexuality illegal, do not recognize same-sex marriage, and do not offer protection from discrimination.

  • 25. VIRick  |  May 10, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Connecticut Set to Become Next State to Ban Conversion Therapy

    Via press release from Connecticut Equality:

    Earlier today, 10 May 2017, the Connecticut Senate voted unanimously, 36-0, to pass HB 6695, The Protection of Youth from Conversion Therapy, with obvious bipartisan support. Co-sponsored by Senator Beth Bye and Representative Jeff Currey, the bill had an additional 100 co-sponsors and was approved in the House by an overwhelming margin last week.

    Under the bill’s provisions, any licensed health professional who practices conversion therapy would be subject to discipline by the Department of Public Health up to and including the loss of their professional license.

    Upon the governor’s promised signature, Connecticut will join California, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington DC in banning ex-gay torture. Dozens of cities across the nation have also instituted local bans.

    Up-date from ACLU of Connecticut:

    At 5:42 PM this afternoon, 10 May 2017, Governor Malloy signed the bill into law.

    Nevada is slated to have its legislation banning conversion therapy ready for the governor's signature by the end of this week.

  • 26. Elihu_Bystander  |  May 10, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    How many states prohibit conversion therapy for all patients regardless of age?

    It is clearly a bogus and dangerous therapy. Each person's sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic.

  • 27. VIRick  |  May 10, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Elihu, I believe that all these state bans are directed toward banning conversion therapy for minors, in situations where, for example, parental/institutional control could still be implemented to force the minor, against the minor's will, into such a damaging program.

    I do not think anyone could stop or block a freely-consenting, yet delusional adult from having someone else mess with their brains in the same manner.

  • 28. allan120102  |  May 10, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Would be unconstitutional too. As you cannot force someone of legal age to not do something he wants to do it. Its like gays or lesbians who support republicans even though many of them are against there legal rights, you cannot force them to not vote for them as it will hurt there rights.
    If a state try to ban conversion therapy to everyone most likely it will be found unconstitutional so better play it safe and protect our youth population from this harmful practice.

  • 29. JayJonson  |  May 11, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Your constitutional analysis is wrong. Many fraudulent therapies are banned by various regulations–including, for example, remedies marketed for cancer, etc. So I do not think there is a constitutional issue in banning fraudulent attempts to "cure" homosexuality. However, on libertarian grounds, most people probably think that if someone wants to do something stupid they can do so as long as they do not harm others. Still, licensing agencies can (and imo should) regulate psychiatrists and psychologists who make fraudulent promises or who imply that homosexuality is a disease that can be cured. What probably cannot be regulated are the frauds who are connected with churches and disguise their "treatments" as religious in nature. But even there, religious-based "therapies" can also be regulated, as when religious nuts refuse proper medical treatment to their children.

  • 30. DevilWearsZrada  |  May 11, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I found this case on Wikipedia (it was reported at EoT too):
    On June 25, 2015, a New Jersey jury found the Jewish conversion therapy organization JONAH guilty of consumer fraud for promising to be able to change its client's sexual urges and determined its commercial practices to be unconscionable.
    So conversion therapy may be banned even for adults.

  • 31. bayareajohn  |  May 11, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    It will depend on the presentation, practices, and promises of the "therapy". It's clear that some gay people don't want to be gay, and probably clear enough that to make a business of assisting those people suppress their nature could be both arguably "helpful" to the desired purpose and legal, morality notwithstanding (see: Churches, in general…). It's when the business promises an outcome that fraud can be proven – thus apply when adults are the subjects.

    The crux of the minor-ban is that businesses can't promise a parent that they can change their children for them, and that parents subjecting their children to conversion attempts can amount to child abuse – even if the child agrees to it. (I can identify there, I wished fervently at age 13 that there was a way I could be spared the forbidden sinful feelings I had… and would have given conversion a chance had it been offered, let alone pressed upon me.) (I got better…. married now to my husband and together 24 years).

  • 32. JayJonson  |  May 11, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Yes, the JONAH case is very interesting. The nuts who were practicing as JONAH were particularly stupid. It might be more difficult to sue a more "reputable" kind of psychologist who claimed that they were only trying to help their clients rid themselves of unwanted urges (as opposed to change their orientation). But if the psychological "treatment" was unorthodox and the client could prove that he or she had been demonstrably harmed by it, I think a case could be successful, especially since all professional organizations are on record that conversion therapy is not only unsuccessful but also harmful.

  • 33. FredDorner  |  May 12, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Note that with the recent demise of Joseph Nicolosi of NARTH, most of the wind has been sucked out of the sails of these quacks.

  • 34. allan120102  |  May 11, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    If its so, I would like to see some states try to ban conversion therapy for adults, I really dont think it would survive scrutiny as when you are adult you might do things without hurting others or breaking the law.Will love to see what the courts will say on this issue.

  • 35. allan120102  |  May 10, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Texas House passes bill allowing LGBT discrimination in same-sex adoptions
    The Texas House of Representatives has become the latest state legislative body to pass a bill allowing adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples after Alabama signed similar legislation into law last week.

    Known as the “Freedom to Serve Children Act,” Texas House Bill 3859 allows state-funded child welfare agencies in that state to discriminate against prospective parents on the basis of faith. The legislation, penned by Republican Rep. James Frank, prevents the state from taking “adverse action” against any service provider that acts in accordance with its ,“sincerely held religious beliefs.”

    The measure passed the House Wednesday afternoon by a vote of 93 to 49 after debate continued long into the night Tuesday. It now faces the state Senate.

    According to experts, the act not only allows adoption and foster care agencies to prevent children from being placed in same-sex households but would permit them to subject youth to anti-LGBT counseling, including conversion therapy. Advocates in the state warned about a similar measure under consideration last year.

    The passing marks a win for a fresh strategy from a Republican right that has yet to notch many anti-LGBT victories on its belt. Although the American Civil Liberties Union warned that over 200 pieces of discriminatory legislation targeting the LGBT community may fall under consideration this year, very few of those laws have or are expected to pass. The few bills that have managed to get through state legislatures each share a single intent: preventing the creation or support of families led by same-sex couples.

  • 36. Fortguy  |  May 11, 2017 at 12:16 am

    That's the bad news. HB 3859 is the only House bill that remains alive among EQTX's watch list I mentioned above. That's also the good news provided Dems are diligent that none of these other bills emerge from the dead as zombie amendments to other innocuous bills.

    Now we have to watch Senate bills of which only SB 4 (sanctuary cities-show me your papers) has been passed and signed by the governor. All others are still in flux.

  • 37. ianbirmingham  |  May 10, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Gay Sex in Banda Aceh, Indonesia = "Caning" Torture, 80 Times Per Person

  • 38. VIRick  |  May 10, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Amazingly Accurate Church Sign

    An amazingly accurate church sign has just been spotted by a keen-eyed JMG poster outside the Hampton United Methodist Church in Hampton VA:

    A perv, a con artist, and a Fascist walk into a bar.
    The bartender says, "What'll it be, Mr. President?"

  • 39. ianbirmingham  |  May 10, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Rainbows & Gay Pride Will Soar Over Bangkok Next Week

  • 40. theperchybird  |  May 11, 2017 at 3:25 am

    Colombia's discriminatory adoption referendum initiative has been stopped by a Congress Committee who voted 20-12 to shelve it. The country's own Michelle Bachmann was behind the petition and signature gathering to force Congress to discuss it. The President spoke out against it earlier and was relieved at its failure.

    It would've made only heterosexual married couples able to adopt. LGBT, singles, divorcees/widow(er)s would all be excluded so thank goodness it flopped before it got to voters.

  • 41. Christian0811  |  May 11, 2017 at 10:24 am

    I thought the CC already killed it?

  • 42. VIRick  |  May 11, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    True,– and they would have killed it again, as the measure is obviously unconstitutional. But this wise, pre-emptive move on the part of the Colombian Senate saves everyone a lot of bother and fuss.

    From a social point of view, and something which is blatantly self-evident to anyone who is resident in Colombia, especially its capital city, Colombia has a LOT of street children, mostly into begging and petty street crime. There's a massive need for more people (of any/all description) to adopt more children. Thus, any attempt at restricting adoption to a select grouping is quite counter-productive.

    This social problem of having masses of street children is not unique to Colombia, but rather, is fairly widespread throughout much of Latin America. Not all are orphans, of course, but a portion are.

  • 43. VIRick  |  May 11, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Appeal to SCOTUS of Arkansas Birth Certificate Ruling

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In "Pavan v. Smith," now in process of being appealed to SCOTUS, given the Arkansas Supreme Court decision denying married same-sex couples the right to have both parents listed on their child's birth certificate, the petition in support of granting certiorari is scheduled to be considered at the Supreme Court's conference of 18 May 2017.

    The Reply Brief of the Petitioners, filed with SCOTUS on 1 May 2017, is here:

  • 44. VIRick  |  May 11, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    State of Indiana Birth Certificate Appeal at 7th Circuit Court of Appeals

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In "Henderson v. Adams," the state of Indiana's appeal of the district court ruling requiring both mothers on a child's birth certificate when a child is born to a married couple, the case has been set for oral argument before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, 22 May 2017.

    The State's Reply Brief is here:

    The Case History for this appeal is here:

  • 45. VIRick  |  May 11, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    West Virginia Supreme Court Hate Crimes Decision

    Per Equality Case Files and WVMetroNews:

    Huntington WV — In a 3-2 opinion issued on Tuesday, 9 May 2017, the West Virginia Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that dismissed hate crime charges against former Marshall University football player, Steward Butler.

    In arguments before the Court last month, Cabell County Assistant Prosecutor Lauren Plymale said Cabell County Circuit Judge Paul Farrell was wrong when he dismissed the charges against Butler under the pretext that state law does not include sexual orientation as a protective class in the hate crimes statute. Instead, Plymale argued that the word "sex" also included "sexual orientation."

    The majority on the High Court sided with the circuit judge in this hate crimes case, stating in their Opinion that the word “sex” must be considered under its common and ordinary meaning.

    The full Opinion of Chief Justice Loughry is here:

    Justices Davis and Workman dissented.

  • 46. VIRick  |  May 11, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    Paraguay: Presidential Candidate Supports Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The major news article, in Spanish, from Paraguay and dated 10 May 2017, is here:

    Peña y Discusión sobre el Matrimonio Gay Pone a la ANR en el Siglo XXI, Dicen

    Peña Says Discussion about Marriage Equality Places the ANR in the 21st Century

    Paraguay may have finally awakened itself. I am rather stunned and quite elated with this surprise development, and am in the process of translating said article into English. But in the interim, I wanted to give everyone a quick "heads-up."

    Paraguay lags far behind three of its closest neighbors, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brasil on almost any LGBT-related issue. Although same-sex sexual activity is legal in Paraguay, same-sex marriage is not legal, nor are any other type of same-sex unions recognized. Plus, LGBT anti-discrimination measures have yet to be put in place.

  • 47. allan120102  |  May 11, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    I am sorry to burst your moment Rick but he has retract himself after almost every deputy and the president himself condemn him for the support. Paraguay is the most conservative in terms of lgbt policies in the latin American countries that conform South America. I dont see Paraguay changing its policy in the near future, even the supporters says its best to marry in Argentina. A deputy has condemn lgbt marriages and say he will do everything in its power to stop them.

    is expressions were quickly used against him by his political rivals, who reminded him that the National Republican Association historically was in favor of the family and the union between the man and the woman.

    Trying to remove the backpack from his back, President Horacio Cartes' dolphin recanted his first sayings on Thursday, arguing that they were taken out of context, UH journalist Patricia Vargas reported.
    "I said that I promote marriage between men and women, as the Church consecrates, I am a faithful believer and I have been married for 20 years, I am a living witness to that," he said.

    Wanting to argue his position, the minister mentioned that in the first interview only he pronounced against the discrimination. "It's a different thing," he said.

    According to what was revealed to UH, he barely found out that Cartes, who is on an official visit to Portugal, was in a rage when a nearby man showed him the news portals that reproduced his dolphin's declarations.

    This, given the conservative position of the president on this point and the close relationship he has with the leadership of the Catholic Church, institution that flatly rejects the initiative.

    1592585.html" target="_blank"&gt <a href="http://;…” target=”_blank”>;

    "I totally disagree with your decision. God created man and woman and respect the family. An equal marriage is immoral, "said Senator Carlos Nunez colorado when asked about what he thinks of the stance of Santiago Peña to support the homosexual union.

    "It is a very difficult opinion, without analyzing in depth the questioning of Catholics. It has to make use of reason, an examination of conscience and to revise its position of supporting the marriage egalitarian, "added the senator this morning.

    According to his statements, he will defend his "ideology" and "fight" because he will never approve of gay marriage. "I respect the decision of those who are not macho (sic), but they have to do it confidentially," said the parliamentarian.

    In addition, Núñez affirmed that he also rejects abortion and adoption by gay couples and hopes that the Church will support his position. However, the Colorado added that if Horacio Cartes supports Peña's candidacy, he will not oppose and will continue with the president's mandate.

    The possible candidate for the presidency by the ruling party, Santiago Peña, said yesterday that he is in favor of equal marriage. Regarding abortion, he said that "we have to discuss it in a sincere and unbiased environment."

  • 48. VIRick  |  May 11, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Paraguay: Reaction to Santiago Peña's Declaration on Marriage Equality

    Paraguay: Reacción a la Declaración de Santiago Peña sobre Matrimonio Igualitario

    Desde las organizaciones que activan por los derechos LGTB destacaron el gesto político al dar apertura al debate sobre temas que aun siguen siendo tabú en Paraguay: el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo y el aborto.

    Simón Cazal, fundador de la organización Somos Gay y de la clínica Kuimba’e, argumentó que el debate sobre el aborto y el matrimonio igualitario llega retrasado al país, aunque resaltó que es sumamente positivo que se toquen esos temas.

    Esto lo dijo tras las declaraciones de Santiago Peña, virtual candidato a Presidente del oficialismo, quien indicó que estaría a favor del matrimonio igualitario y que debe discutirse el aborto sin entrar en prejuicios.

    “Para nosotros, es muy positivo que se haya planteado desde el Partido Colorado; que el candidato del oficialismo plantee le da una fuerza bastante buena al tema y mueve el tablero para que los políticos, tanto dentro de la ANR como de las demás nucleaciones, sientan postura”, argumentó Cazal en contacto con la redacción de HOY Digital.

    Activist organizations for LGTB rights highlighted this political gesture by opening the debate on issues that are still taboo in Paraguay: same-sex marriage and abortion.

    Simón Cazal, founder of the organization Somos Gay and the Kuimba'e clinic, argued that the debate on abortion and marriage equality is one that confronts the country, but stressed that it is extremely positive that these issues are even touched.

    He said this after the statements of Santiago Peña, virtually the candidate for President of the ruling party, who indicated that he would be in favor of marriage equality and that abortion should be discussed without prejudice.

    "For us, it is very positive that this has arisen from the Colorado Party; That the issue raised by the candidate of the ruling party gives a fairly good force to the subject, and shifts the board so that politicians, both within the ANR and other groups, adjust their posture," argued Cazal in his communication with the editors of HOY Digital.

    At the moment, in Paraguay, the ultra-right-wing Colorado Party is the ruling party, with its presumptive candidate for president, Santiago Peña, apparently having made pro-marriage-equality statements, while the relatively more progressive ANR is the opposition, and the one supported by Cazal. However, in mixing up the two political parties, I also incorrectly translated the original headline. It should read:

    Peña y Discusión sobre el Matrimonio Gay Pone a la ANR en el Siglo XXI, Dicen

    They Say: Peña and Discussion about Marriage Equality Places the ANR in the 21st Century

  • 49. VIRick  |  May 11, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Still, even if now retracted, Sebastian Peña's pro-marriage-equality statements made a huge newsy splash all over the airwaves in Paraguay, with Simón Cazal, of Somos Gay (We Are Gay), wasting no time at all in being interviewed on Radio La Unión, Paraguay's foremost radio station (which even tweeted pertinent excerpts of the interview to Matrimonio Igualitario) on this precise issue:

    Radio La Unión 800AM:‏

    "Para nosotros, es algo histórico que un precandidato ponga en plataforma este tema. Hasta ahora no se presentó ningún proyecto con relación a este tema," Simón Cazal, Somos Gay.

    "Lo que es interesante ver es que la discusión se da en el plano político. Es ahí donde se generan las leyes y ya sabes donde vas a jugar," Simón Cazal, Somos Gay.

    Radio La Unión 800AM

    "For us, it is something historical that a pre-candidate would put this issue in his platform. So far, no bill has been presented relative to this issue," Simón Cazal, Somos Gay.

    "What is interesting to see is that the discussion now takes place on the political level. That is where the laws are generated and you already know where you are going to engage," Simón Cazal, Somos Gay.

  • 50. VIRick  |  May 11, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    On 10 May 2017, we observed the 1st anniversary of the nearly-unanimous vote by the state Congress of Campeche, with only one vote cast against, approving the measure legalizing marriages between persons of the same sex.

    Here's a retro article, dated 10 May 2016, referring back to that vote, from one year ago:

  • 51. Elihu_Bystander  |  May 12, 2017 at 6:40 am

    On adult conversion therapy.

    There is a new movement to federally label so called conversion therapy, dangerous, a fraud, and unnecessary. I don't hold out much hope for it; however, all movements start out small.

    You can read it here:

  • 52. scream4ever  |  May 12, 2017 at 10:27 am

    I know a judge has already ruled as such.

  • 53. FredDorner  |  May 12, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Note that the APA currently says that "conversion therapy" is harmful and ineffective.

  • 54. VIRick  |  May 12, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Tennessee: Lesbian Couple Granted Divorce Despite Legislative Interference

    A judge has granted a divorce decree to a lesbian couple after a custody battle that was targeted by dozens of conservative Tennessee lawmakers who tried to intervene in the case. The same-sex divorce and custody case became a political flashpoint after a Knoxville judge initially ruled that one of the women had no parental rights to a child conceived by artificial insemination because she did not meet the legal definition of “husband.”

    The judge changed his mind, granted the divorce and approved a plan for Sabrina and Erica Witt to split custody. Their divorce came on 2 May 2017, as the state Legislature was pushing through a bill that gay rights groups say encourages judges to deny rights to same-sex couples when defining words such as “husband” and “wife” or “father” and “mother.”

    Dozens of Tennessee lawmakers filed court papers to intervene in the divorce case. They were represented by the head of Family Action Council of Tennessee, which supports one-man, one woman marriage. The lawmakers argued that they had to protect their ability to set domestic policy.

    However, Knox County Circuit Court Judge Greg McMillan repeatedly refused to let them intervene. The Tennessee attorney-general’s office also got involved in the divorce case, arguing that Tennessee law should not be interpreted in a way that runs afoul of the US Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

    The lawmakers are appealing the judge’s decision denying them intervention in the case.

  • 55. VIRick  |  May 12, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Argentina: First Transgender Police Chief in Latin America

    Analia Pasantino served in Argentina‘s federal police as a man for 20 years (1988-2008), then she came out as a transgender woman and was forced to resign. But now, as of this week, she's back.

    She is smiling these days, beaming with pride to be wearing a police badge again. And the sign on her office door reads: “Chief" (actually, in Spanish: "Jefe"). Nearly a decade after psychiatric reports said Pasantino suffered from an “irreconcilable” illness that made her unfit to serve, she was welcomed back to the federal police force and appointed deputy police commissioner in the judicial communications department in Buenos Aires.

    Every three months, she would present a psychiatric evaluation hoping to rejoin the force, but a committee reviewing her case repeatedly extended her leave. Then the leadership of the federal police changed and she finally won reinstatement, Pasantino said.

    Argentina became a world leader in transgender rights in 2012 when it gave people the freedom to change their legal and physical gender identity simply because they want to, without having to undergo judicial, psychiatric, and medical procedures. Argentina also legislatively legalized same-sex marriage in 2010.

    Read the full account here:

  • 56. VIRick  |  May 12, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Kentucky: Sexual Orientation Discrimination Suit Filed

    Per Equality Case Files and Freedom for All Americans:

    Today, 12 May 2017, in "Hudson v. Park Community Credit Union," Fauver Law Office in Louisville KY filed a lawsuit in Jefferson Circuit Court against the Park Community Credit Union on behalf of a woman who last year was harassed and fired from her job because of her sexual orientation.

    The plaintiff, Penelope Hudson, worked at the credit union for 15 years, and during her time there, she faced repeated discrimination for being a lesbian. The complaint details how Penelope was told that she looked “too butch” to interface with customers, was called “unprofessional” because she wore her hair short, was told by a supervisor “because you’re gay, you don’t believe in God,” and was grilled about the personal medical reasons that she was taking FMLA time. Park Community Credit Union ultimately fired Penelope in September 2016.

    Shannon Fauver, who filed the case, was one of the lawyers whose cases, "Bourke v. Beshear" and "Love v. Beshear," secured the freedom to marry in Kentucky and were ultimately decided by the US Supreme Court in June 2015. In 2016, in Fauver’s case, "Mickens v. General Electric," which centered on a transgender man who faced employment discrimination because of his gender identity, a federal judge refused to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims under Title VII, adding to the growing legal consensus that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits anti-LGBT employment discrimination.

    Penelope’s case is being filed citing claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, including sex discrimination like gender stereotyping and sexual orientation discrimination, as well as the local LGBT non-discrimination ordinance in Louisville KY.

    The complaint is here:

  • 57. VIRick  |  May 12, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Philippines: Mr. Gay World, 2017

    John Raspado, 36, received the Mr. Gay World title for 2017, becoming the first man from the Philippines to earn the honor. More than 40 contestants competed in the ceremony that took place between 5-10 May in Madrid and Maspalomas, Spain.

    For more details, including a series of seriously hot pics of the new Mr. Gay World, see:

    My fave is the beaded "Native Wear" costume.

  • 58. allan120102  |  May 13, 2017 at 12:55 am

    Honduras. The number of lgbt people killed in the country continues to increase. Today another lgbt person was killed and his partner its in intensive care. Two weeks ago another member was killed and this year the number of lgbt members murder has increased compare to the same date of last year.

  • 59. VIRick  |  May 13, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Michigan: The Asshats And Dumbf-cks Are Clearly in Charge

    From the same miserable folks who brought you the dreadful Flint water crisis.

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In case you're one of the Michigan taxpayers who received this letter …

    Dozens of same-sex married couples recently received threatening letters from the Michigan State Department of Treasury demanding an explanation as to why the income on their 2013 personal taxes differed from what appeared on their federal tax returns. Couples were told they risked having their bank accounts seized if they did not respond by a deadline or pay a large additional state tax. But in an about-face, on 12 May 2017, the Michigan Department of Treasury put out a statement that the letters were sent in error.

    Between The Lines contacted Treasury to ask why these letters were sent out to same-sex couples who complied with the regulations imposed by the state at that time. Following the US Supreme Court decision in June 2015 that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, all couples, including same-sex couples, can now file as married both federally and with the state. This letter felt like harassment of same-sex couples by requiring them to go backwards in time to when their marriages were deemed unequal by the state.

    It was explained to the state that for many couples, complying with the demands of this letter would be time-intensive and expensive. Tax accountants interviewed said they would have to prepare extensive documentation to explain why the 2013 federal and state tax returns do not agree.

    However, affected couples should soon receive a second letter informing them that they can ignore the first letter.

    Needless to say, the "discrepancy" about which the state was complaining was due solely to the state's own pig-headed obtuseness in the first instance.

    Just to review: Many of those same-sex couples who received this threatening letter were married in Michigan during the one-day window in the 4 counties whose registrars re-opened for business on a Saturday (22 March 2014), immediately following the Friday district court marriage ruling in "De Boer v. Snyder," but prior to the Monday placement of a stay on said decision by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Others were same-sex couples married out-of-state prior to the Supreme Court ruling in June 2015. And until that decision, the state of Michigan perversely and adamantly refused to recognize any/all same-sex marriages, even those performed during the one-day window.

  • 60. scream4ever  |  May 13, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Prior to Obergefell being handed down, wasn't there a court ruling which declared that Michigan was to recognize the marriages which had been conducted? I believe it went unappealed by the state, so thus they presumably complied. I'd like to this this was just a clerical oversight, but it's still insulting nonetheless.

  • 61. VIRick  |  May 13, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Michigan Same-Sex Marriage Recognition Summary

    Per my archives (and thanks to Scream for reminding me of the "Caspar" decision):

    On 28 March 2014, US Attorney-General Eric Holder extended federal recognition to the Michigan marriages of about 323 same-sex couples that took place before a federal appeals court put the district court ruling of Judge Bernard Friedman in "De Boer v. Snyder" on hold. This announcement came two days after Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said Michigan won't recognize the (same 323) marriages performed last weekend.

    On 15 January 2015, District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith, in "Caspar v. Snyder," ruled in favor of 323 same-sex couples who got married in four counties in Michigan on 22 March 2014, immediately after its ban was struck down.

    On 4 February 2015, Michigan’s governor, Rick Snyder, announced that the state would not appeal a district court judge’s ruling in "Caspar v. Snyder."

    Apparently, the Michigan State Department of Treasury failed to receive/read the memo, given how the state continued to remain so intransigent, as many of these same couples were the recipients of the threatening letter cited above.

    Out-of-state same-sex marriages remained unrecognized in Michigan until the US Supreme Court decision in June 2015.

  • 62. VIRick  |  May 13, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Chile: Homophobes Fail (Fracasan los Homófobos)

    Court Rejects Appeal that Attempted to Block Advancement of Marriage Equality between MOVILH and the State

    Corte Rechaza Recurso que Pretendía Boicotear Avance del Matrimonio Igualitario entre el MOVILH y el Estado

    Santiago, 13 de mayo 2017 – La Octava Sala de la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago rechazó esta semana un recurso de ilegalidad interpuesto por profesionales de "Comunidad y Justicia" contra el Consejo para la Transparencia, el cual había validado que se mantuvieran en reserva los antecedentes sobre la denuncia por la prohibición del matrimonio igualitario que el Movilh había interpuesto ante la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH).

    Por 9 votos contra 1 el TC rechazó en ese momento el recurso. Votaron por el rechazo el presidente del TC, Carlos Carmona, y los/as magistrados/as Marisol Peña, Gonzalo García, Domingo Hernández, Juan José Romero, María Luisa Brahm, Cristián Letelier, Nelson Pozo, y José Vásquez. Estuvo por acogerlo el juez Iván Aróstica.

    “Los abogados de 'Comunidad y Justicia' perdieron así dos veces con su arremetida homofóbica, lo que es un triunfo para la igualdad,” finalizó el líder del Movilh, Rolando Jiménez.

    Santiago, 13 May 2017 – This week, the Eighth Chamber of the Court of Appeals in Santiago rejected an appeal of illegality which had been filed by professionals of "Comunidad y Justicia" against the Council for Transparency, which had validated the background concerning the challenge to the prohibition of marriage equality which MOVILH had filed before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

    By 9 votes to 1, the TC rejected the appeal at this time. The president of the TC, Carlos Carmona, and the judges Marisol Peña, Gonzalo García, Domingo Hernández, Juan José Romero, María Luisa Brahm, Cristián Letelier, Nelson Pozo, and José Vásquez voted for the rejection. Only judge Iván Aróstica voted in favor.

    "Thus, the lawyers of 'Comunidad y Justicia' lost twice with their homophobic attack, which is a triumph for equality," summarized MOVILH leader, Rolando Jiménez.

    Remember: Chile is one of those strange countries where they test the constitutionality of all proposed legislation PRIOR to its actual enactment. The rejection of this challenge on appeal should now clear the path for the ensuing legislation to be passed into law, because once a case in Chile has lost twice, it can not be appealed any higher.

  • 63. scream4ever  |  May 13, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Let's hope that this finally results in some movement!

  • 64. VIRick  |  May 13, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Perú: The Lesbian Mothers Who Fight to Be Legally Recognized

    Perú: Las Mamás Lesbianas que Luchan por Ser Reconocidas Legalmente

    Per Lol Kin Castañeda Ba‏:

    Karenina Álvarez dio a luz a un bebé, Diego. Su esposa, Morayma Rejas, no puede ponerle su apellido pues las leyes en el país no lo permiten. Karenina y Morayma son pareja desde hace más de tres años, esposas desde hace poco más de uno, y madres de Diego desde 1 de abril 2017.

    Los casos como el de Karenina, Morayma, y Diego no son pocos. En enero último, Darling Yvone Delfín y Jenny Victoria Trujillo iniciaron una batalla legal con el Reniec, que no reconoce la parentela entre ellas y su hijo Dakari. El pequeño nació en agosto del 2014 en la ciudad de México, donde Darling y Jenny habían contraído matrimonio legalmente.

    La oficina de Migraciones de nuestro país (Perú) aceptó su inscripción como hijo de peruanos nacido en el extranjero y consignó como observación los nombres de las dos madres. Sin embargo, el Reniec solo ha aceptado que en el DNI del pequeño vaya el apellido de la madre biológica.

    Karenina Alvarez gave birth to a baby, Diego. Her wife, Morayma Rejas, can not give her surname to the child because the laws in the country do not allow it. Karenina and Morayma have been partners for more than three years, wives for just over one, and mothers of Diego since 1 April 2017.

    Cases such as Karenina, Morayma and Diego are not few in number. In January 2017, Darling Yvone Delfin and Jenny Victoria Trujillo started a legal battle with Reniec, which does not recognize the relationship between them and their son, Dakari. The boy was born in August of 2014 in Mexico City, where Darling and Jenny had legally married.

    The Immigration office of our country (Perú) accepted his registration as a child of Peruvians born abroad, and recorded as an observation the names of the two mothers. However, Reniec has only accepted the surname of the biological mother on the ID of the child.

    Reniec is the Spanish acronym for the Registro Nacional de Estado Civil, the Peruvian National Civil Registry Department.

  • 65. allan120102  |  May 13, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Breaking Panama.
    Panama's attorney general has file to the supreme court in favor of ss couples. Arguing that the constitution allows ss couples to marry. Lgbt activist in the country cheered this action. This is a stark difference to the colombian attorney general who did everything in its power to stop ssc of getting married. Now everyone is waiting to see what. panama's supreme court will do. I continue to pray for a good decision for us.

  • 66. VIRick  |  May 13, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    Panamá: Attorney-General González Expresses his Opinion to the Court on Same-Sex Unions

    Panamá: Procurador González Expresa su Opinión a la Corte sobre Unión entre Homosexuales

    El Procurador General de la Administración, Rigoberto González, pidió a la Corte Suprema de Justicia "eliminar los tratos discriminatorios" que prohíben el matrimonio igualitario en Panamá.

    Su posición está contenida en un extenso documento enviado al Pleno el jueves, 11 de mayo de 2017, que le consultó sobre el tema debido a la demanda de inconstitucionalidad presentada por el bufete, Morgan y Morgan, en nombre de su cliente, Enrique Jelensky, contra el artículo 26 del Código de la Familia, que establece que el matrimonio es la unión entre un hombre y una mujer.

    The Attorney-General of the administration, Rigoberto González, asked the Supreme Court of Justice to "eliminate the discriminatory treatment" which prohibits marriage equality in Panamá.

    His position is contained in an extensive document sent to the Full Court on Thursday, 11 May 2017, who consulted him about the issue due to the demand for unconstitutionality presented by the law firm, Morgan y Morgan, in the name of its client, Enrique Jelensky, against Article 26 of the Family Code, which establishes that marriage is the union between one man and one woman.

    With this unapologetically favorable recommendation from the highest legal authority in the Panamanian administration, Panamá is poised to push right past Chile as the next Latin nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

    Note: The Jelensky case, the matter under current discussion, is the first of the two cases filed in Panamá, and seeks Panamanian recognition for same-sex marriages performed abroad. The more recently-filed López Levy case seeks to legalize the performance of same-sex marriages within Panamá.

    This website of TV Nacional de Panamá does not allow for the usual copy-and-paste. But I finally discovered a work-around. I typed a freehand English translation into Google Translate, and bingo, there's the original Spanish text, almost word for word, sitting right next to it. I believe there are only two inconsequential variations from the original in what I have posted above.

    This is an extended news article, complete with long quotes from the document submitted by the Attorney-General. Still, for those who can read Spanish, the entire 110-page official document is here:

  • 67. FredDorner  |  May 14, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Google Translate can be used to translate short PDFs or other documents, and there's also a way to OCR & translate images either via screen grab or by taking a pic with your phone:

    I've also had good success with a new Microsoft image recognition program (I think you first have to create an account, but the OCR & translate service is free):

    NewOCR works well too for PDFs and images, and then it runs the output through Google Translate:

  • 68. VIRick  |  May 14, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Some Commentary on the Opinion of the Attorney-General of Panamá

    González is utterly breathtaking in the scope of his opinion, even advocating the official recognition of gender identity (an issue not raised in either of the present suits). Still, in effect, he argues that same-sex marriage in already legal in Panamá, or at the very minimum, that it certainly is not illegal constitutionally:

    González aseguró que el articulo en mención (artículo 26) no es inconstitucional porque no "excluye a personas del mismo sexo."

    "Una interpretación conforme a la Constitución llevaría a sostener que (el artículo 26) no resulta inconstitucional en la medida en que se interprete que así como un hombre y una mujer pueden, voluntariamente, contraer matrimonio, personas del mismo sexo también podrían hacerlo," plantea González en el documento.

    González assured that the article in question (Article 26) is not unconstitutional because it does not "exclude persons of the same sex."

    "An interpretation according to the Constitution would imply that (Article 26) is not unconstitutional to the extent that it be interpreted that just as a man and a woman can voluntarily marry, people of the same sex could also do so," González stated in the document.

  • 69. VIRick  |  May 14, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Brasil: 4th Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    Per Fundación Iguales‏:

    Hoy, 14 de mayo 2017, se cumplen cuatro años desde que Brasil tiene matrimonio igualitario ¿Lo quieres en Chile?

    En Brasil, el matrimonio igualitario fue aprobado por la Corte Suprema en mayo de 2013. Durante 2010, las adopciones fueron permitidas para parejas del mismo sexo.

    Today, 14 May 2017, marks four years since Brasil obtained marriage equality. Do you want it in Chile?

    In Brasil, marriage equality was approved by the Supreme Court in May 2013. From 2010, adoptions have been permitted for same-sex couples.

    In their daily count-down, Fundación Iguales‏ further notes that only 48 days remain until the end of the first half of 2017. In January, the Chilean marriage equality legislation was promised to be presented before that deadline.

  • 70. scream4ever  |  May 14, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    It was wonderful to hear that news on the same day of the bill signing in Minnesota.

    Hopefully now that the constitutionality process is over, the bill will be passed quickly.

  • 71. VIRick  |  May 14, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Canada Post Releases Stamp to Honor Marriage Equality

    The Canada Post is commemorating Canada’s 150th anniversary with a series of 10 stamps, one of which honors the country’s affirmative position on marriage equality. The entire series will be available from Canada Post from 1 June 2017.

    The postal service unveiled the new stamp earlier this week. The stamp is shaped like a maple leaf, features a rainbow flag, and the words “Marriage Equality” in both English and French (Le mariage égal). The year “2005” appears on the stamp, the year in which same-sex couples could begin marrying in Canada.

    Canada: First-Ever Permanent Transgender Pride Flag Crosswalk

    On 10 May 2017, Lethbridge, Alberta, just voted to become what is believed to be the first city ever to have a permanent transgender pride flag painted on its streets. Council members voted 8-1 to allow two permanent additions to the city, a trans pride flag and an LGBTQ pride flag painted onto crosswalks, the "Lethbridge Herald" reports.

  • 72. theperchybird  |  May 15, 2017 at 6:06 am

    Copying and pasting this, along with my friend's analysis. Swiss marriage initiative passes another round, is given a two year deadline extension. Going at a snail's pace, but I get the feeling even with the lag, it could still beat Germany and Austria *sigh*…

    Literal translation from Parliamentary page: "Press release of the Committee on Legal Affairs of the National Council of 12.05.2017 In its first reading, the two Legal Affairs Commissions responded to Parliamentary initiative 13.468 "Civil marriage for all", issued by the Green Group. The commission of the National Council has begun the development of a project to implement the initiative in question. After a first discussion on the further procedure, it decided to instruct the administration to examine in detail the possible consequences for the various legal fields of introducing a civil marriage for everyone. Based on the results of this study, the Commission will define the next phases of work. With this in mind, it proposes to its council to extend the processing time for the initiative by another two years. A minority proposes to classify the latter."

    Literal translation from a news site: Marriage is also to be opened for same-sex couples – that calls for a parliamentary initiative of the Green Liberal Group . Also, heterosexual couples like in France should be able to enter a registered partnership. After the right-hand committees of the National Council (RK-N) and the Council of States (RK-S) voted for the submission in 2015 , the committee passed the second round on Thursday.

    The RK-N should start drafting a decree. However, it has decided to commission the administration to carry out further clarifications, as the parliamentary services announced on Friday afternoon.

    "Because marriage for all is not a draw in the civil law landscape; The opening of marriage would involve some 30 legal adjustments. Among other things, in tax law, social insurance and foreigner law, but also in the law of adoption and in reproductive medicine. The report, which will probably be finalized in the autumn of 2017, will provide an overview.

    Accordingly, the RK-N will also decide on the controversial question of whether a transposition to legislative level or whether it needs a constitutional change for the opening of marriage will only be decided in a next step, ie after the publication of the report. A constitutional change would result in a compulsory referendum, the people and the cantons would have to decide. On observers, observers agree, the proposal might fail; Especially the consequences of the adoption of the marriage in the law of adoption would probably be met with great skepticism."


    Friend: So both (Swiss Parliament) committees voted in 2015 to proceed with the marriage initiative, now they're basically starting the actual legislative work. And they extended the initiative's deadline with two years to that end <img draggable="false" class="emoji" alt="😛" src="×72/1f61b.png"&gt; so it goes very slowly but in the right direction.


    Even though a vast majority of the Swiss are supportive of marriage for all, if same-sex marriage is subject to a referendum then I fear full adoption rights may be removed to ensure its passage. I hope it's just done via Legislature; right now the marriage definition is genderless in their Federal Constitution, MPs should just go the whole nine yards if they can.

  • 73. theperchybird  |  May 15, 2017 at 6:43 am

    Rick/Allan, this site says Mexican Supreme Court case for Yucatan is now scheduled for the 17th.

    One question, why only 5 magistrates and not all 11 hearing this on that day?

  • 74. allan120102  |  May 15, 2017 at 10:46 am

    The first chamber hear usually cases of civil right issues. The second chamber of criminal and similiar things. The full court hear cases when they are going to declare a statue or something similar unconstitutional or when issuing resolutions. Amparos are usually granted by the individual chambers but sometimes the state could ask the full court to review a case

  • 75. VIRick  |  May 15, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    This is also an unusual case, unlike any of the previous marriage equality challenges, and one which is also unlikely to be duplicated in its specifics from any other state, but in a broader sense, the first one to be challenging a state congress for "legislative omission" for its failure to change the law in a timely manner in order to be within the parameters of what is deemed to be "constitutional."

    Essentially put, three marriage equality groups have filed a petition against the Yucatán state Supreme Court for its negative ruling against them, and for upholding the narrow definition of marriage as "one man, one woman," as defined in the Yucatán state constitution, as well as against the state congress for its failure to make the necessary changes to the law.

    Yucatán is the only state to have such a definition embedded in its state constitution, and as a result, the Yucatán state Supreme Court is the only one to have ruled against us, using this state constitutional clause to do so. All the other state Supreme Courts have either not become involved in the marriage equality issue (primarily because amparos are a federal court matter), or have ruled in our favor on assorted peripheral matters.

    The federal Supreme Court will have to reverse the decision of the Yucatán state Supreme Court, and that of the federal Appeals Court, remanding the case back to the state Supreme Court, two levels down, with instructions to reverse their own decision(s) on federal constitutional grounds.

    Here's the most-recent entry in my archives pertaining to the case at hand:

    Supreme Court Postpones Debate on Marriage Equality in Yucatán

    Pospone Suprema Corte Debate sobre Matrimonio Igualitario en Yucatán

    En 5 de mayo 2017, por segunda ocasión, la Primera Sala de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación pospuso la revisión del amparo directo 5459/2016, interpuesto por tres organizaciones de la sociedad civil, ante la negativa del Congreso de Yucatán de modificar el Código de Familia de la entidad en materia de matrimonio y concubinato.

    On 5 May 2017, for the second time, the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice postponed the revision of the direct amparo 5459/2016, filed by three civil society organizations, in the face of the Yucatán Congress's refusal to modify the state Family Code in matters of marriage and cohabitation.

    The civil society organizations could not bring an "Action of Unconstitutionality" against the congress for having done something stupid, as has been done in several other states, as the state congress of Yucatán has done nothing at all. So instead, they're getting them for that, as a "legislative omission." But it requires a different approach.

    Note on terminology: El Tribunal Constitucional del Estado = State Supreme Court;
    El Tribunal Colegiado en Materias Civil y Administrativa = Federal Appeals Court on Civil and Administrative Matters.

    In Mexico, cases on appeal from a state Supreme Court first go to a Federal Appeals Court before reaching the federal Supreme Court.

  • 76. allan120102  |  May 15, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    Things on Panama are becoming hotter as each day goes by. The pro traditional groups are in high alert.
    Panama, May 15 (Prensa Latina) The public debate on same-sex marriage has now become red in Panama's society, after the possibility of a legal declaration being made.

    According to press reports, the Attorney General, Rigoberto González, asked the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) to give green light to this decision, based on the principle of non-discrimination.

    The Government official recommended that the judicial body should discuss in plenary whether the phrase 'between a man and a woman', which is established in article 26 of the Family Code in reference to marriage, does not contravene the agreements or treaties of which the Country is a signatory.

    He also suggested that judges analyze the matter under the terms established by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in matters of equal treatment before the law, if not to do so, the Panamanian State could be sued before this body.

    This would give the material conditions to enforce the prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, in addition to respecting the dignity of all people, he said.

    Although the criterion of the Attorney of the Nation is not binding, it can be taken into account when issuing the ruling, according to local media.

    González acknowledged the controversial nature of the subject, as it happens in other countries, but insisted that his reflection is didactic, in line with the value of the dignity of human beings, who before the law are all the same.

    Lawyer Morgan & Morgan has filed a lawsuit with the CSJ on behalf of Enrique Raul Jelenszky, a Panamanian who wants to legalize his marriage to Britain's John Winstanley, whom he married in 2008 at the British embassy in the United Kingdom.

    When the couple tried to register their marriage in the Civil Registry of Panama, the institution rejected it because according to article 26 of the Family Code, marriage is 'between a man and a woman', a definition that Jelenszky considers unconstitutional.

    One of the grounds that the complainant expresses in his complaint is the American Convention on Human Rights, of which Panama is a signatory, and stipulates that all persons are equal before the law, without discrimination.

    The Panamanian Court, for its part, stated that when a State ratifies an international treaty, its judges, as part of its apparatus, are subject to it, and obliges them to ensure that the effects of the provisions of the Convention are not undermined by The application of laws contrary to its object and purpose.

  • 77. VIRick  |  May 15, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    From an otherwise impeccably-written news article, this one point is in error:

    " … con quien contrajo matrimonio en 2008 en la embajada de la nación istmeña en el Reino Unido."

    " …. with whom he married in 2008 at the embassy of the isthmian nation (Panamá) in the United Kingdom."

    No. Exactly the opposite occurred. However, your translation also mis-states the facts:

    " …. whom he married in 2008 at the British embassy in the United Kingdom."

    Here's what I found on the matter in my archives, noting that there was actually a two-step process involved:

    Jelenszky, a Panamanian lawyer, and Winstanley, a British executive, held a civil union ceremony in May 2008 at the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Panamá. Eight years later, in early 2016, and in accordance with the marriage law of the United Kingdom, the civil union was converted into a marriage (again, at the British embassy in Panamá).

    Shortly after the second step had been completed, Jelenszky then requested that the Panamanian Civil Registry record their marriage as one having been performed "abroad." They refused. He sued. And that's where we are today.

  • 78. VIRick  |  May 16, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Although this point is somewhat off-topic, the Panamanian Civil Registry office in question is located near the Torre Trump on Punta Pacifica. Torre Trump itself is a 70-storey, obscene monstrosity which according to many Panamanians, when viewed from below from the landward side, looks exactly like a gigantic, open-flanged vagina, complete with ominous, serrated balconies on either side which clearly resemble teeth.

    Google "Torre Trump Panama Images" and you'll see what I mean. Just make certain you have plenty of "brain bleach" available beforehand.

  • 79. allan120102  |  May 15, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    things are not looking good for the lgbt people in Guerrero. Homophobia is still great in the state and deputies do not legalize ssm in the state in fear of the church.
    ACAPULCO, Gro., May 15, 2017 .- The president of the Association of Lesbian and Gay of the State of Guerrero, Alberto Serna Mogollón urged the State Congress to legislate in favor of equal marriage and adapt it to the needs of the community. Interviewed during the commemoration of the National Day of the fight against homophobia, Serna Mogollón accused the Catholic Church of putting their hands to delay the approval of this law. "He is currently in the freezer, afraid to legislate on the issue that the Catholic Church has gotten a lot of hands in Congress," he said. He reported that this year five cases of homophobic murders go up in Tecpan, Acapulco, San Marcos and Chilpancingo, before which in the next few days his organization will start a campaign to eradicate homophobia.

    The original text of this article was published by Agencia Quadratín at the following address:

    The second link is more complete but the page does not let me copy and translate it so here it is.

  • 80. VIRick  |  May 16, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Quintana Roo: PRD Marriage Equality Proposal Presented to State Congress

    Per Laura Beristain Navarrete:

    Hoy día, 16 de mayo 2017, presenté la iniciativa sobre el matrimonio igualitario y los derechos de filiación LGBTTTI en Quintana Roo.

    Today, 16 May 2017, I presented the initiative on marriage equality and LGBTTTI filiation rights in Quintana Roo.

    Laura Beristain Navarrete (PRD) is a state deputy to the 15th congress of Quintana Roo, representing the 10th district, Playa del Carmen.

    This measure is probably not truly necessary, but is more a matter of tidying up the civil code to specifically allow for marriage equality and other LGBT-associated rights by law.

    Same-sex couples have been marrying in Quintana Roo for the past 5 years, ever since the determination was made by the state's Secretary of State on 3 May 2012 that no language in the state's gender-neutral civil code nor in its gender-neutral state constitution prohibited it. This determination made Quintana Roo the first Mexican state to allow same-sex couples to marry, 2 years after the Federal District, but 2 years ahead of Coahuila.

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