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Open thread w/ UPDATE 5/17


This is an open thread.We’ll post any breaking news.

– UPDATE: Equality Case Files has posted amicus briefs filed in GG v. Gloucester County School Board.


  • 1. Elihu_Bystander  |  May 17, 2017 at 5:40 am

    "Catholic participation in IDAHOBIT has grown over the past few years. According to Progetto Gionata, an Italian LGBT Christian group, reports that this year prayer vigils marking the occasion (over the course of a week) will be held in Catholic churches in seven Italian cities and one in Spain. The cities and churches are:


    Milan: Santa Maria della Passione
    Reggio Emilia: Regina Pacis
    Pistoia: Santa Maria Maggiore di Vicofara a Pistoia
    Catania: SS. Crocifisso della Buona Morte
    Florence: Madonna della Tosse
    Bologna: San Bartolomeo della Beverara
    Genoa: San Pietro in Banchi

    Seville: San Pedro de Alcántara"

    You can read more here

  • 2. VIRick  |  May 17, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    The Meaning of IDAHOT, 17th of May

    The Spanish acronym IDAHOT, which is actually in English and corresponds to the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (El Día Internacional Contra la Homofobia y Transfobia), an annual event widely-ignored in the English-speaking world, but one which is widely-celebrated by rights groups throughout the Spanish-speaking world, will occur tomorrow, 17 May. For starters, here's a note of poetic justice:

    Mañana, 17 de mayo, el día internacional contra la homofobia, la SCJN resolverá la omisión legislativa de Yucatán sobre matrimonio igualitario.….

    Tomorrow, 17 May, the international day against homophobia, the Supreme Court of Justice will resolve the legislative omission in Yucatán on marriage equality.

    In Havana, where one can guarantee that IDAHOT will be a major happening, expect Mariela Castro to be out marching through the streets with her throng of minions and assorted followers.

    And in Chile, from the official website of the Municipio de Providencia, we have:

    Izamiento de Bandera: Hoy a las 10 horas, Providencia se suma a los 30 Municipios que izarán la Bandera del Arcoíris en todo Chile.

    Flag Raising: Today at 10 AM, Providencia joins with the 30 other municipalities that will raise the Rainbow Flag throughout Chile.

    Actually, the rainbow flag was flown everywhere, all over Chile, and from all sorts of venues, public and private. In addition, that evening, the Government Palace in Santiago, Casa de la Moneda, was bathed in lighting reflecting the colors of the rainbow flag.

  • 3. allan120102  |  May 17, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Another 2 amparos have been filed in Aguascalientes
    Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, which violates, obstructs and denies access to justice, is a clear violation of the Human Rights of all persons and all victims.

    From the Observatory of Social and Gender Violence, we join the call for justice, recognition of all rights for all people, a life free of violence and the fight against homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

    In the framework of the National and International day of fight against homophobia (biphobia, lesbophobia and transphobia), the OVSG presented today, May 17, two amparo lawsuits to enable two same-sex couples to marry, this in a clear Fight for the recognition of the rights that as citizens of this State should have access, despite the legislative and institutional refusal to comply with the order of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation.

    These two amparo lawsuits are joined by a third amparo in the Third District Court, which already has a scheduled constitutional hearing date, commented the lawyer of the Observatory, Wilfrido Salazar.

    The work of the OVSG to accompany proceedings for amparo lawsuits on equal marriage, so far, has won two favorable judgments, in which two couples have been able to marry, deepened Paulina Diaz, lawyer of the Observatory of Social and Gender Violence of the State .

    The denial of Rights guaranteed by the Constitution, the processes of discrimination that violate those who are denied them, are a clear example of the ways in which violence prevents the access of everyone to a dignified life free from discrimination.

    Today, we also recognize the struggle of all couples who have decided, despite institutional violence, discrimination and legislative denial, fight for their Rights, for legal recognition and security guarantees for the person who accompanies them. Because we understand that the promotion of an amparo involves an additional process – in an average of three months – in what should be a simple administrative procedure, as it is for any heterosexual couple; We celebrate that many same-sex couples continue to maintain their convictions and their dreams, taking action despite the fact that the road is not the easiest, concluded Wilfrido Salazar.

  • 4. allan120102  |  May 17, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    I believe that something similar in Yucatan have been done in Puebla today, as the congress of the state continues to ignore mandates to legalize ssm in the state
    Because it did not legislate on equal marriages and changes of identity of transsexual persons, a complaint was filed against the State Congress in the Commission of Human Rights of Puebla (CDH). But also, having as frame in the day against the homofóbica discrimination, was accused Of omission the same CDH Puebla.
    LGBTTTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transvestite, Transsexual and Intersex) groups came to the building of the organization, who accused the local deputies of Puebla for not guaranteeing their rights, not regulating egalitarian marriages, despite Which the law itself should contemplate.

    Also, lawmakers have stopped the modification of the legal code so that transsexual people can process official documents of identity change.
    The members of the LGBTTTI community presented the complaint to the HRC, so that they enforce those measures that already have the endorsement of the federation. The legal advisor of the group "Not to Leave", Juan Alberto Corona Roman, explained that The state Congress is one of the public agencies that have most assaulted the lesbian-gay community. It fails to meet the deadlines set by the law to endorse these changes of law, because in addition, does not respect the human rights of anyone, "he said.

    He pointed out that in addition the members of the legislative branch of the Puebla are late to issue the call for the creation of the state anti-discrimination committee. This mandate had to comply since 2015, but since then they have not done so, despite the fact that they have A total disrespect of the legislative power. The omissions come from the Congress of the State of Puebla and the Human Rights Commission of Puebla, headed by Adolfo López Badillo, because the problem is that they have not taken action. " The HRC is the only commission in the country that has not ruled on the case and therefore has ignored the request of the party, "he said.

    He indicated that there were five organizations that joined in the filing of the complaint, so now they will wait for the 10-day period the HRC has to respond to the complaint … Depending on that, they will make other decisions to pressure them to release "Said Onán Vázquez, president of the group" Não Dejarse ", that the aforementioned omissions are part of the official and institutional discrimination against LGBTTTI people.
    Because what we ask for is already within the law, so we ask that it comply, because discrimination and violence grows against the community, "he said.

  • 5. allan120102  |  May 17, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    more about Puebla

    The Ignacio Ellacuría Institute for Human Rights (IDHIE) of the Ibero-American University expressed its concern at the lack of social figures to account for the real situation and urged the government of the State of Puebla to adopt and strengthen equality policies And non-discrimination.

    Following the research carried out by the IDHIE, they pointed to the lack of systematized social information on human rights violations of LGBTTTI persons.

    For the most part, they have only national data which, moreover, require an update that reflects the real situation of LGBTTTI people, particularly in the state of Puebla.

    He said that CONAPRED had identified 91 homicides for hatred until 2013.

    He said that in Puebla, the Committee for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination, which has been in effect since November 2013, has not been conformed in the state, which is mandated by article 18 of the Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination of the Free and Sovereign State of Puebla.

    In this context, we urge the Local Congress, within the framework of its human rights obligations, to adopt the necessary legislative measures to guarantee the right to equality and non-discrimination of LGBTTTI people, "the statement said.

    They also call on the government of the State to undertake actions aimed at preventing and eradicating discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, which are transparent, public and have monitoring and evaluation indicators consistent with the objectives Which are proposed for this purpose.

  • 6. allan120102  |  May 17, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    86 marriages have occur in Michoacan since same sex marriages were legalized last year
    Morelia, Michoacán.- In the framework of the International Day against Homophobia, the Government Secretariat makes public knowledge that the Directorate of Civil Registry, in response to the instruction of the state governor, Silvano Aureoles Conejo and the Secretary of Government , Adrián López Solís, to eliminate the practice of any type of discrimination, has carried out to date, a total of 86 egalitarian marriages in the entity.

    In this regard, the Director of the Civil Registry in the State, Hugo Gama Coria, reported that as a result of the resolutions of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation and the reform of the Family Code of Michoacán, former judges have been trained , To realize the marriage in people of the same sex, without distinguish, with guarantee in the civil and human rights and with the seriousness that forces a similar act between a man and a woman.

    Gama Coria reported that most of these civil contracts have been made mostly in the state capital, followed by the municipalities of Uruapan, Zamora, Apatzingán, La Piedad, Lázaro Cárdenas, Pátzcuaro, Puruándiro, Zinapécurao and Zitácuaro.

    He also said that it was a precise indication of the secretary of the Government, Adrián López Solís, from the beginning of the current administration, respect for the genuine right to free practice of marriage, whatever its condition, thereby ensuring in all The sectors of society, equal treatment and equity of opportunity.

    "We have taken special care to keep the civil registry officers duly trained and updated in this regard, we have sensitized them and have been performing equal marriages without any setback, since the requirements are exactly the same as those Require for a heterosexual marriage, "he concluded.

  • 7. allan120102  |  May 17, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Support for same sex marriage in Cuba continues to increase.
    The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is celebrated this Wednesday, May 17th, and several activities related to the date have been held in Cuba during the last few days.

    However, despite the efforts of the National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX) to favor the rights of the LGBTI community in Cuba, many consider that the main thing still lacking is the institution led by Mariela Castro: real steps to favor the legalization of Gay marriage in Cuba.

    It should be borne in mind that the approval of marriage between persons of the same sex would bring with it the same benefits of the conjugal right derived from the union between persons of the opposite sex.
    Although CENESEX has fought for causes such as the right to sex change, and more recently it has launched campaigns to avoid prejudices such as homophobia and transphobia in schools, the truth is that the legalization of gay marriage continues to be delayed.

    This report -differed by Cubanet- asks several Cubans on the island if they are in favor of gay marriage, the vast majority say yes, a few say that they "do not care" (they do not say they are against), and of course, There are also those who say that they do not agree because they do not consider it "normal" or by several arguments.

    Cubanet has also stated that the data provided by the interviews – made to citizens of different ages, social extraction and sexual orientation – overturns the official argument that most Cubans do not endorse gay marriage.

  • 8. allan120102  |  May 17, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Rick you were right about Paraguay looks like the support but later rescind support of ssm by a paraguayan candidate has spark action of lgbt groups in the country.

    The LGBT community will present this year a bill that amends the Civil Code to extend access to same-sex marriage. For the activists, a constitutional amendment is not necessary to incorporate egalitarian marriage, since they consider that article 52 of the Magna Carta speaks of the union of men and women, not only "between" these genders. According to this interpretation, the National Constitution leaves open the possibility of union between people of the same sex.
    The impediment is given with the Civil Code, which is more specific in establishing marriage only between men and women. That is why the legal strategy is based on a bill that modifies these local regulations so that the unions are equally accessible for all, said Sergio Lopez, leader of the organization Somos Gay. The official announcement of the proposal Will do in July, on the occasion of the LGBT pride stop, and their presentation to Congress will take another month.
    In the framework of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, Paraguayan activists participated in a besatón in the Plaza de Armas, where a group of people detractors of the egalitarian marriage were also installed, among them Mario Cáceres. The church, with the bible in one hand and a megaphone in the other tried to prevent the besatón with arguments based on his Christian faith.
    "We responded to the aggressions with a lot of love and solidarity," was the reaction of the activists, who argued that they are victims of homophobia constantly. They tried to mobilize then Comuneros square, but again they were redirected by the police. The uniformed men alleged that the demonstration of people in the vicinity of the Government Palace is prohibited.

  • 9. VIRick  |  May 17, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Some Thoughts on the Paraguayan Constitution

    "…. they consider that article 52 of the (Paraguayan Constitution) speaks of the union of men and women, but not uniquely just "between" these two genders. According to this interpretation, the National Constitution leaves open the possibility of unions between people of the same sex."

    This is precisely the same argument put forth by the Panamanian Attorney-General one week ago in his presentation before the Supreme Court of Justice in that country, and is an obvious line of reasoning around any/all supposed existing prohibitions based on the widely-accepted "one man, one woman" definition of marriage. Simply cite that definition as but one example, rather than continue to allow it to be the only determining interpretation.

    We also need to remember that the concept of "non-discrimination," at least in terms of the law, has come to the forefront in recent years in most Latin nations. So has reciprocity and the nicety of signing international agreements and UN declarations. That's why international law is so frequently cited in arguing these marriage cases in the various Latin nations, as most have already signed onto almost every non-discrimination agreement imaginable, whether it be proffered by the UN, the OAS, or with each other. Plus, specifically, both Argentina and Uruguay keep pressing the others to recognize their marriage law, both of which, some years ago, have legalized same-sex marriage. Paraguay, given its geographic location, is particularly vulnerable to these demands.

    I continue to be amazed that Bolivia, for example, has found some 22 different ways within its own current constitution and laws by which it is illegal for anyone in that country to discriminate. Eventually, we'll get same-sex marriage there, as well, by using their own wide-ranging non-discrimination laws against them, never mind what they think it might say in their national constitution to the contrary, just like in Paraguay.

  • 10. Fortguy  |  May 17, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    The Texas House State Affairs Committee has passed on a party-line 8-3 vote SB 522 which would give county clerks and their staff the ability to opt out of providing marriage licenses to individual couples due to "sincerely held religious beliefs".

    Chuck Lindell, Austin American-Statesman: Bill letting clerks opt out of gay marriage licenses advances

    My predictions? The bill will easily pass the House if the calendar doesn't run out first, and Gov. Greg Abbott will sign it if it reaches his desk. I also predict the bill will crash in flames after its first inevitable challenge in federal court should it get that far.

    Also, the only anti-LGBT House bill to survive last week's deadline, HB 3859 relating to religious beliefs of adoption agencies, was also favorably reported 6-3 out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

  • 11. Fortguy  |  May 18, 2017 at 12:11 am

    Texas' Lite Guv Dan Patrick, who is also the presiding officer of the Senate, is willing to hold hostage the state's budget bill and an additional bill required as a stop-gap to keep several vital state agencies alive through the mandatory sunset process until next session unless the House passes his potty bill, SB 6, and other far-right legislative priorities of his and force a special session.

    Ross Ramsey, The Texas Tribune: Analysis: Patrick takes hostages — and control of legislative session

  • 12. VIRick  |  May 18, 2017 at 12:17 am

    France: 4th Anniversary of Same-Sex Marriage

    Per Fundación Iguales:

    Hoy, 18 de mayo 2017, se cumplen 4 años desde que Francia tiene matrimonio igualitario.

    En 1998, fue creada una unión civil para parejas de distinto o del mismo sexo.

    En 18 de mayo 2013, se aprobó el matrimonio entre parejas del mismo sexo y también se permitió que estas adoptaran.

    Today, 18 May 2017, marks 4 years since France obtained marriage equality.

    In 1998, civil unions were created for opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

    On 18 May 2013, marriage between same-sex couples was approved, and at the same time, couples were also permitted to adopt.

    The bill allowing marriage between same-sex couples and also allowing same-sex couples to adopt, one intended to be in force in all French jurisdictions worldwide, was signed into law on 18 May 2013 by President François Hollande. The first marriages of same-sex couples took place 10 days later, on 28 May 2013.

  • 13. VIRick  |  May 18, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Lithuania Is Granting Asylum to Gay Chechens

    Just days after a Russian official announced that there is no persecution of gay and bisexual men in Chechnya, Lithuania has stepped forward to give asylum to two gay men fleeing the persecution that Russia says doesn’t exist.

    According to Russia’s Interfax news agency, Lithuania’s foreign minister, Linas Linkevičius, said that the two gay men traveled to Lithuania to escape harassment in Russia, and that his government “issued visas to two people from Chechnya who were persecuted because of their sexual orientation.” Lithuania is among the first EU nations to accept gay asylum seekers from Russia.

    As I have mentioned in a previous thread, asylum-seekers escaping Russia should aim for Finland, but should first cross the land border from Russia into Lithuania/Latvia/Estonia, entering any one of those three. Then, once in Estonia, take the Tallinn-Helsinki ferry into Finland. But given today's new report, one may not need to go any further than Lithuania.

    Still, as another alternate, from Latvia, one can take the Riga-Stockholm ferry into Sweden.

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

    Nevada Governor Signs Bill Banning 'Ex-Gay' Conversion Therapy

    The Republican governor of Nevada has become the latest to sign into law a statewide ban barring the widely discredited practice on youth of “ex-gay” conversion therapy. On Wednesday, 17 May 2017, Gov. Brian Sandoval signed into law Senate Bill 201, which makes it illegal for any licensed medical or mental health care provider to provide sexual orientation or gender conversion therapy to anyone under 18 years old.

    “Conversion therapy has been disavowed by medical experts and is considered a non-effective method of treatment that can cause harm to an adolescent,” Sandoval said in a statement. “This law will help protect some of our state’s most vulnerable youth.”

    The measure was approved in the Nevada Assembly in early May by a 31-8 vote and in the Nevada Senate in April by a 15-5 vote.

    As a result of Sandoval signing SB201, Nevada has become the tenth jurisdiction to ban conversion therapy for youth, joining DC, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, New York, New Mexico, and Connecticut. (New York’s ban is the result of an executive order signed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and not of legislation, like the others.)

    Note: Delaware may be the next state to ban “ex-gay” therapy for youth. On Wednesday, 17 May 2017, the Delaware Senate approved a measure that would ban conversion therapy on youth by a vote of 12-3. The bill now proceeds to the House.

  • 15. Randolph_Finder  |  May 19, 2017 at 9:39 am

    I'm in Montgomery County Maryland.
    Something to push my members of the State Legislature on. We've got a Republican Governor here, but one who *really* don't want to make a mark opposing the democrats on social issues. To give an idea, the election is 2018, and I think the most significant issue to fight him on is an executive order requiring that Public school systems not start classes before Labor Day.

  • 16. VIRick  |  May 18, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Uganda: LGBT Group Sues Government After Being Blocked from Officially Registering

    A Ugandan LGBT rights group has filed a lawsuit against the country’s government after it was blocked from registering its name. Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) has been blocked by the Ugandan Registration Service from registering its own name as an organization. A statement from SMUG said it expects a decision from the Ugandan High Court by the end of the current month.

    The group has struggled since 2012 to register itself with the official body. Being able to register would mean the organization could carry on its work due to various benefits. A rejection letter was received by SMUG from the service explaining that its name was “undesirable, and because homosexuals and same-sex relations are illegal in Uganda, the bureau cannot legitimize an illegality.”

    “We decided to file a case in court purposely to advocate for the rights of association and assembly because an organization in law is incapable of committing a criminal act,” Patricia Kimera, one of the lawyers on the activists’ side, said.

    SMUG’s legal coordinator Daglous Mawadri stated: “There are so many challenges of running an organization that is not registered. One is the fact that you have to operate underground. For example, you cannot apply outright to donors, you cannot have funds, you cannot have spaces to operate. That means most of the things that you do have to be underground.”

    Under Uganda’s archaic penal code, “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” between two males carries a potential penalty of life imprisonment.

  • 17. VIRick  |  May 18, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    Pennsylvania: Federal Judge Rules ADA Covers Gender Dysphoria

    This ruling by Judge Joseph F. Leeson is already being hailed as a major win for transgender rights.

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 18 May 2017, in a federal suit filed with the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in "Blatt v Cabela's Retail, Inc.," a transgender woman's job discrimination claim under Title VII and the ADA, and in a direct challenge to the ADA's transgender exclusion, as written into the law, a federal judge has denied the defendant's motion to dismiss the employee's claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

    The defendant had argued that the ADA's specific exclusion of gender identity disorders applied in this matter and that the court must exclude the plaintiff's ADA claims. The Court instead interpreted the term "gender identity disorders" narrowly, "to refer to only the condition of identifying with a different gender, not to encompass (and therefore exclude from ADA protection) a condition like Blatt’s gender dysphoria, which goes beyond merely identifying with a different gender and is characterized by clinically significant stress and other impairments that may be disabling."

    Jillian Weiss, Executive Director of Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund has this to say about today's decision: "This is the first court opinion to rule that the Americans With Disabilities Act protects transgender people from discrimination at work because of gender dysphoria, despite an exclusion for "transsexualism". It invokes the broad protections, the reasonable accommodations requirement and the interactive process afforded by the Americans With Disabilities Act. While there may be important questions as to whether gender dysphoria should be considered a disability, there is no question but that additional protections for transgender people is a welcome sign."

    The Opinion is here:

  • 18. VIRick  |  May 18, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Oregon: Governor Signs Transgender Equality Bill

    Per Equality Case Files and Basic Rights Oregon:

    Today, 18 May 2017, when Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed HB 2673A, it marked a milestone in the movement for LGBTQ equality, as it is Oregon’s first stand-alone transgender equality bill ever passed in the state.

    This law will create an administrative option (as opposed to the present court option) that will be a safer, faster, and more private process for transgender Oregonians to update their name and gender on their Oregon birth certificates. This new option is particularly important to transgender Oregonians living outside of Portland.

    Having mismatched IDs is a significant barrier in transgender communities. The 2015 US Trans Survey estimated that only one in 10 transgender individuals had accurate IDs because (in most states) the current court process lacks privacy, and is costly and onerous.

    The new Oregon law will become effective on 1 January 2018. At the present time, California is the only other state to have a similar administrative option available for transgender people to update their birth certificates.

  • 19. allan120102  |  May 19, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    150 same sex marriages have occur in Morelos since the ssm became legal in the state. Many of the marriages are from couples of Guerrero, Mexico state and Puebla who come to marry as there state laws do not allow those types of marriages.
    CUERNAVACA, MORELOS.- To date, 150 equal marriages have been held, even couples from other entities have chosen to perform their ceremonies in Morelos, since last year, same-sex people, without having to resort to a federal amparo, began to access To this human right.
    Edgar Márquez Ortega, Director of Sexual Diversity Attention of the Ministry of Government, noted the above and mentioned that progress has been made, however, there are still pending issues to address for the benefit of the community.
    "We now have about 150 marriages, it is very interesting that other states come to marry Morelos, Guerrero, Puebla, State of Mexico, where it is still not recognized and see Morelos as an attractive option to come to Celebrate their weddings and is an important economic spill, "he said.
    He said that they have not found resistance from the civil registry staff in the municipalities, since the officers have already been trained, coupled with the fact that the marriage certificate was modified, so it currently says people or contractors and no longer gender.
    The official added that the Federation is working with the issue of gender identity with the Civil Registry, even a birth certificate is being proposed to remove gender and make transgender people make changes to the document.
    Márquez Ortega acknowledged that an effort is being made to recognize the rights of this community, although in the legislative area there is no way to go, but there are advances such as the fact that the police elements have been trained to avoid abuses to members of These collectives.

  • 20. VIRick  |  May 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    "…. 'and see Morelos as an attractive option to come to for celebrating their marriages, and is an important economic spillover,' he said."

    Indeed, on both points. Morelos is a much smaller state in terms of its population and area when compared to sprawling Michoacán. Yet almost twice as many same-sex couples have already married in Morelos v. Michoacán during the same time interval.

    Perhaps Márquez Ortega should have mentioned several other important factors in Morelos' favor. Morelos has no residency restriction for couples wishing to marry, whereas technically, both Michoacán and the Federal District do (although the latter does not really enforce it, as a DF hotel address will do). In addition, the Government of Morelos (El Gobierno de Morelos) continues with its bold advertising campaign, inviting all and sundry to come there to be married. Obviously, their message is finding a receptive audience in the nearby states of Guerrero, Puebla, and Edomex, among others. Plus, Cuernavaca, as a city, is quite attractive and is definitely reachable as a weekend "honeymoon" destination, as is the major tourist draw, the near-by Floating Gardens of Xochimilco.

  • 21. allan120102  |  May 19, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    They are not enough votes to legalize ssm in the state of Baja California Sur

  • 22. VIRick  |  May 19, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Baja California Sur: Insufficient Votes to Pass Marriage Equality

    The modifications to the state civil code to include same-sex marriage, presented by the Baja California Sur State Supreme Court (Tribunal Superior de Justicia del Estado), has not been presented for discussion before the state Congress because they do not have sufficient votes to approve it, this according to the deputy, Alfredo Zamora Garcia (PAN), the president of the Commission on Constitutional Affairs and Justice.

    However, the legislator is aware that all of the proposals of the TSJE must be passed, and the proof of this is that "express divorce" already approved by the Congress, went into effect from 1 January 2017.

    Since the "express divorce" revisions went into effect at the beginning of 2017, LGBT activists in BCS have legal cause to file an "action of unconstitutionality" against the state directly with the Supreme Court for their failure to approve same-sex marriage.

    By the way, this is a terrible site. Not only can we not copy-and-paste, but they attempted to block me to require a paid subscription. So, the above is a totally free-hand translation of the gist of the article, along with an extra comment of my own.

    Note the extreme difference: Quite unlike the Yucatán state Supreme Court, which ruled against us, the Baja California Sur state Supreme Court actually sponsored the pending legislation to revise the state marriage code to allow for same-sex marriage.

  • 23. VIRick  |  May 19, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    The Liberal Muslim Community in Germany, in Favor of Marriage Equality

    La Comunidad Musulmana Liberal de Alemania, a Favor del Matrimonio Igualitario

    In a report, dated 19 May 2017, from Dos Manzanas of Spain:

    Una nueva voz se alza por el matrimonio igualitario en Alemania. La Asociación Islámica Liberal, una de las principales organizaciones musulmanas del país, se posiciona a favor de la equiparación de las parejas del mismo sexo en el acceso al matrimonio. Se une así al sentir de la gran mayoría de la población, a tenor de las encuestas, frente al inmovilismo del Gobierno de Angela Merkel.

    El matrimonio igualitario suma un nuevo apoyo social en Alemania. La Asociación Islámica Liberal (Liberal-Islamische Bund) es una organización de musulmanes que defienden una visión progresista de su religión. Fundada en 2010, se había pronunciado ya en varias ocasiones contra la discriminación de las personas LGTB. En 2013 publicó un documento en el que sostenían que la homosexualidad no debe considerarse ni pecaminosa ni enfermiza dentro de la religión islámica.

    El pasado martes, 16 de mayo 2017, la asociación emitió un comunicado en el que aboga por la igualdad de las parejas del mismo sexo en el acceso al matrimonio. La organización no ve motivos teológicos, políticos ni jurídicos que justifiquen la discriminación de las personas LGTB que aún existe en Alemania, y recuerda que en el Corán no se hace ninguna referencia al sexo de las personas que se aman cuando se habla de las relaciones de pareja.

    A new voice is raised for marriage equality in Germany. The Liberal Islamic Association, one of the main Muslim organizations in the country, is in favor of equalizing same-sex couples in accessing marriage. It joins the sentiment of the vast majority of the population, according to the polls, against the immobility of the Government of Angela Merkel.

    Marriage equality adds new social support in Germany. The Liberal Islamic Association (Liberal-Islamische Bund) is an organization of Muslims who defend a progressive vision of their religion. Founded in 2010, it had already spoken on several occasions against discrimination against LGBT people. In 2013, it published a paper stating that homosexuality should not be considered sinful or unhealthy within the Islamic religion.

    On Tuesday, 16 May 2017, the association issued a statement advocating equality for same-sex couples in accessing marriage. The organization does not see the theological, political, nor legal reasons justifying the discrimination of LGBT people that still exist in Germany, and recalls that in the Qur'an no reference is made to the sex of people who love each other when talking about relations of couples.

    It should be noted that the Muslim community in Germany is primarily of Turkish ethnicity.

  • 24. VIRick  |  May 19, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Veracruz: Amparo #11 Granted, First for Coatzacoalcos

    First Same-Sex Marriage to be Celebrated in Coatzacoalcos Following Amparo Judgment

    Celebrarán Primer Boda Gay Tras Promover Juicio de Amparo, en Coatzacoalcos

    Coatzacoalcos, 19 de mayo 2017 – En los próximos meses se celebrará el primer matrimonio igualitario en Coatzacoalcos. Marisela Acosta de 32 años y Luisa María Salomón de 27, se unirán por la vía civil tras promover un amparo en el Juzgado Noveno de Distrito, luego de que iniciaron este proceso desde el mes de septiembre del 2016.

    Coatzacoalcos, 19 May 2017 – The first same-sex marriage will be celebrated in Coatzacoalcos in the coming months. Marisela Acosta, 32, and Luisa María Salomón, 27, will unite civilly after being granted an amparo in the Ninth District Court, following a process that began in September 2016.

    At the end of 2016, in the most-recent up-date available for Veracruz state, it was reported that "more than 9 marriages of same-sex couples obtained through amparos have already been registered." So, conservatively speaking, this latest must be at least #11.

  • 25. allan120102  |  May 20, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Morelos could loose marriage equality if the Mexican supreme court rules against us and it looks like some justices are pondering if to strike the method how Morelos legalize ssm.
    CITY OF MEXICO, 19 May. On May 18, the Supreme Court of Mexico ruled in favor of a complaint to analyze the Constitutional Reform that allowed, since May 2016, that people with the same sex attraction State of Morelos can marry.

    With the ruling in favor of the complaint, the Constitutional Controversy presented in September 2016 was examined by 18 of the 33 municipalities in Morelos, which rejected the ruling, but was originally rejected in the first Supreme Court room.

    Red Familia said in a statement that this court decision, which counted with the 20 necessary votes of the congress, was not "coupled with due process and did not have the approval of most municipalities, as the law ".

    "In the end, the SCJN (Supreme Court) will thoroughly analyze the Morelos case after originally the Minister José Ramón Cossío dismissed it, rather than irregular and based on a personal agenda. The Constitutional Controversy argued its dismissal because the municipalities demanded jointly, and according to this minister, that is illegal and therefore dismissed it, "the statement continued.

    Some prosecutors during the press conference held yesterday in the Senate said they are "celebrating", that with that resolution, their rights be restored and their "basic right of access to justice" be safeguarded.

    "Once the ministers of the Second Chamber did not reach a resolution by majority and less unanimously, the complaint was discussed and approved by the Plenary of the SCJN (Supreme Court), this means that it will enter into the study of the matter And resolve if there were violations in the approval of reform sheet, "explained Red Familia.

    Lastly, prosecutors are confident that, in reviewing the Constitutional Controversy, "the ministers of the Court will note all the irregularities that have occurred in the legislative process and fail in favor of legality."

  • 26. VIRick  |  May 20, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Catholic Church in Panamá, in Favor of Civil Marriage Equality

    La Iglesia Católica de Panamá a Favor del Matrimonio Igualitario Civil

    La Conferencia Episcopal de Panamá acaba de afirmar que no se deben de oponer, y por eso no se oponen, a la instauración del matrimonio igualitario, ya que la Iglesia Católica está en contra de cualquier discriminación.

    Consideran que el matrimonio homosexual, en cuanto a las leyes civiles no es malo, pero otra cosa sería querer celebrar estos matrimonios dentro del rito católico, a lo cual se oponen.

    The Episcopal Conference of Panamá has just affirmed that they should not oppose, and therefore do not oppose, the establishment of marriage equality, since the Catholic Church is against any/all discrimination.

    They consider that same-sex marriage, as far as civil laws are concerned, is not bad, but it would be another thing to want to celebrate these marriages within the Catholic rite, a matter which they oppose.

  • 27. scream4ever  |  May 20, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    That's a pretty big deal regardless 🙂

  • 28. VIRick  |  May 20, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Honduras: Gay Couple Stabbed to Death in Their Own Home

    A gay couple from Honduras have been stabbed to death and shot. Jorge Sarmiento, 42, and his 80-year-old partner, Gerard Argiud, were attacked by a number of people in their home in Atlántida on 12 May. Local reports revealed that the group of attackers were “strangers” to the couple who they stabbed and shot. Sarmiento, who previously owned a gay bar in the area, died on the scene. He was well-known in the local LGBT community.

    However, his partner, Argiud was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, but died following complications. Atlantis Travel Group said in a statement: “Reports indicate the couple were attacked by several people because of their sexual orientation and position as prominent members of the LGBT community.”

    Honduras is rife with homophobia, with 215 people in the LGBT community being killed in the country in the last seven years. Asociación LGBT Arcoíris General Coordinator Donny Reyes told the "Washington Blade" that the violence that LGBT people were facing in the country was unprecedented. “What is happening in Honduras still does not have a name; it is simply savagery in the extreme expression of evil and lack of respect for life,” Reyes said.

    He added that religion, the press, and the state were all contributing to the issues. “This is based on three elements. 1) Religious fundamentalism in the name of God that comes from the pulpits, and urges governments to discriminate and (promote) hate against LGTB people. 2) The press that contributes and promotes this hate, and 3) Last but not least, the state itself by not, at the very least, taking positive actions to punish all of those who commit these terrible crimes,” he added

    Atlántida is one of 18 departments which comprise Honduras. Its capital and main city is the port of La Ceiba.

  • 29. allan120102  |  May 20, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Thanks Rick, La Ceiba is my natal city I am actually writing you from there. Today is the celebration of the biggest carnaval of all of Honduras and probably of CA. Today is the day were most gay and lesbian people can be open of there sexuality as most people dont care, compare to the other 364 days. Still Homophobia is pretty big specially in the poorest departments of La Paz, Valle, Lempira,Intibuca and Ocotepeque. Acceptance is biggest in Bay Islands, Atlantida(La Ceiba), Cortes( San Pedro Sula) and Francisco Morazan(Tegucigalpa).

    Like I mention I was born in La Ceiba but I will travel tomorrow to Tegucigalpa and be there for months as most university students can only study in Tegucigalpa and SPS because most careers are only find there. The National university of Honduras is pretty liberal and supports the lgbt community .It has transform the thinking of many faculties and careers now some careers specially the social and humanities faculties celebrate the day against homophobia.

    Honduras homophobia could be attribute specially thanks to the evangelical church that its strong dislike to homosexuals have increase the hate against our community, usually the catholic church is more subdue in other countries but in Honduras our cardinal is an strong ally of the Vatican and have a strong voice in politics, Thanks to him in part abortion was not legalized this month and he is strongly against same sex marriage, civil unions or cohabitation of same sex couples, so while he has this power I dont see us getting ssm or something similar.

    I remember posting this story I believe on May 13 or May 12 but I see until now the international community took notice. Took me by surprise as how much time it took because there was a foreign, in Honduras the same day it happen it was post in the newspapers.

  • 30. ianbirmingham  |  May 20, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    At Central Wedding Market in Shanghai, China, Mothers of Gays & Lesbians Face Resistance

  • 31. VIRick  |  May 21, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Georgia: Trans Rights Activist Dies at 25

    A transgender man, whose winning fight to legally obtain a male name made Georgia law, is dead at age 25. The LGBT nonprofit Lambda Legal says Rowan Feldhaus died Tuesday, 16 May 2017, after complications from surgery.

    Lambda Legal represented Feldhaus and Andrew Baumert in their lawsuit. A Georgia appeals court ruled in January 2017 that Feldhaus could change his name from Rebeccah Feldhaus, and Baumert could change his from Daphne Baumert. A lower-court state judge had said they had to choose gender-neutral names, because male names could confuse and mislead people.

    Lambda Legal spokesman Jonathan Adams said in a brief interview that he doesn’t know what surgery Feldhaus underwent when he died. Attorney Beth Littrell said in the statement, “Because Rowan stood up, Georgia judges are now required to allow people to change their names without bias.”

  • 32. VIRick  |  May 21, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Romania: 1000 People Participate in Pride March

    Some 1,000 people joined a gay pride march in the Romanian capital of Bucharest on Saturday, 20 May 2017, demanding greater rights amid government moves they say will curtail their rights. Some 30 ambassadors expressed support for the march and for protecting the rights of the LGBT community. US Ambassador Hans G. Klemm was among those taking part, despite the pouring rain.

    The gay pride march, now in its 13th year in Romania, comes after lawmakers approved an initiative that could amend Romania’s constitution to explicitly state that marriage is a union between a man and woman. The wording now is a union between “spouses.”

    Participants held a minute of silence as they passed the Russian Embassy in solidarity with gays in Chechnya, where dozens have been detained and tortured. Romania decriminalized homosexuality in 2001.

  • 33. VIRick  |  May 21, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Acuña, Coahuila: 5th Same-Sex Marriage Celebrated

    Acuña, Coahuila: Celebran Quinta Boda Igualitaria

    En Acuña, se han celebrado cinco uniones de los matrimonios igualitarios en lo que va del año, la más reciente, ayer, 20 de mayo 2017. Leticia González Treviño, oficial primero del Registro Civil, manifestó que de enero a la fecha son tres parejas del mismo sexo que han contraído nupcias en esta oficialía, dos de ellas conformadas por mujeres y una más de hombres, todos ellos de origen mexicano.

    In Acuña, five unions of egalitarian marriages have been held so far this year, the most recent one, yesterday, 20 May 2017. Leticia González Treviño, first officer of the Civil Registry, said that from January to date, there have been three same-sex couples who have contracted marriage in her office, two of them comprised of women and one more of men, all of Mexican origin. (Apparently, there's a second civil registry office in Acuña to account for the other two.)

    Ciudad Acuña is located directly on the Mexico-US border, immediately opposite Del Rio TX, and just down-river from Lake Amistad, a large sprawling lake formed behind a major international dam spanning the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte), and one which we are still attempting to understand how Trump intends to built his wall around, or across, or through. Whatever,– but at a minimum, the lake's name will then probably have to be changed from "amistad" to "odioso" ("friendship" to "hateful") to more accurately reflect the current sentiment.

    Ciudad Acuña is the 4th largest city in the state of Coahuila, the second Mexican state to have legalized same-sex marriage, and one which did so in September 2014, even ahead of Texas. Still, it was interesting to note that the initial crowds of same-sex couples rushing to marry in Acuña have dissipated, as have all the foreigners among them. Coahuila, of course, does not have a residency restriction for couples wishing to marry.

  • 34. theperchybird  |  May 22, 2017 at 2:07 am

    Some states in Meixco pass marriage laws, but only some of those with equal marriage have approved adoption ones. It really is all very piecemeal. Nayarit had a gubernatal election recently and the PRD candidate went all out to promote, and now as Governor, call for a state same-sex adoption law.

    In Mexico sometimes the left PRD team up with the right PAN to block the President's PRI from gaining seats. In this case, PRD won in convincing PAN to overlook who is adopting children and just give all parents a chance.

  • 35. Randolph_Finder  |  May 22, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Just curious, is there any nation on planet without Marriage Equality that *could* eventually end up as complicated as Mexico?
    Switzerland? India? Egypt?

    I don't know how many of the countries without Marriage Equality have enough Federalization that marriage laws are independent between the units….

  • 36. VIRick  |  May 22, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    In addition to Mexico, there are 3 other examples that can be cited from the recent past. First, Canada began to legalize same-sex marriage, province by province, until federal legislation made it uniform nationwide. Then both Brasil and the USA began to do likewise, state by state, until their respective Supreme Courts issued their national rulings.

    Of Brasil's 27 jurisdictions, these 10 had legalized same-sex marriage prior to the national court ruling: AL, BA, CE, DF, ES, MS, PI, PR, SE, SP, that is, Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Distrito Federal, Espírito Santo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Piauí, Paraná, Sergipe, and São Paulo. Of the USA's 56 jurisdictions, a total of 37 (plus 3 which were partial), by assorted means, had legalized same-sex marriage prior to the Supreme Court ruling (and to date, only 55 now adhere, as American Samoa is off doing its own thing).

    The same could have happened in Australia (and was already in process) until their Supreme Court ruled otherwise. I suppose the most likely future candidate could be Switzerland, canton by canton. There are 26 cantons (20 full cantons plus 6 half-cantons, making for a total of 23 full cantons in all). From Wikipedia:

    In popular referenda about constitutional amendments, which require for adoption a national popular majority as well as the assent of a majority of the cantons (Ständemehr / majorité des cantons), the result of the half-cantons' popular vote counts only one half of that of the other cantons (Cst. arts. 140, 142). This means that for purposes of a constitutional referendum, at least 12 out of a total of 23 cantonal popular votes must support the amendment.

    And then, there's Liechtenstein, which participates on certain matters with Switzerland (like currency, customs/border control, foreign affairs, and defense). Where does marriage figure?

    Plus, what about the federal Republic of Germany? It is a federation comprised of 16 states. Couldn't each separately move forward on this matter, leaving the national government behind?

    I don't have enough knowledge about India, except to note that it, too, is sub-divided into an assortment of states (29 states and 7 union territories). And what about Malaysia? It, too, is sub-divided into a collection of states (13 states and 3 federal territories).

  • 37. guitaristbl  |  May 23, 2017 at 5:48 am

    55 adhere is also partially innacurate as not the whole state of Alabama is issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples and there is the 1000-people county in Texas where nobody asked for a marriage license but Molly Kriner has made it clear she won't issue them.

  • 38. davepCA  |  May 22, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Anyone who has had first hand experience with governmental bureaucracy in India would probably put their money on that country as having the potential for most legislative complexity.

  • 39. Randolph_Finder  |  May 23, 2017 at 9:38 am

    29 states and 7 Union territories, (the 7 union territories do have more control than a US "territory" does)

  • 40. guitaristbl  |  May 23, 2017 at 5:50 am

    I don't think any of us will live long enough to see the matter arising in places like Egypt or India anyway…

  • 41. Randolph_Finder  |  May 23, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Egypt agreed. India, OTOH, I could see being there within the next 20 years especially if some of the other "Eastern religion" dominated states like Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand or the PRC get there within a decade.

  • 42. Raga  |  May 23, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Homosexual intercourse is still illegal in India. I don't see that changing for the next several years at least, let alone marriage equality!

  • 43. Randolph_Finder  |  May 23, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Remember in Southern Asia/ Southeast Asia, the concept of third sex does exist (while not quite matching the Western concept of Transgender). It is entirely possible that laws allowing either the third sex to marry each other or possibly third sex marrying men may come into existence. Could be a *very* different path.

    Or could be a similar path to the west, who knows…

  • 44. Raga  |  May 24, 2017 at 12:39 am

    Yes, but even then, LGB people shouldn't have to identify/falsify themselves as belonging to the third gender (used for transgender individuals) in order to get married.

  • 45. Randolph_Finder  |  May 24, 2017 at 7:29 am

    I agree, but the change that that would represent is likely to make the job of getting ME easier rather than harder, IMO

  • 46. scream4ever  |  May 23, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Could be sooner than you think. Isn't their Supreme Court hearing an appeal to the ruling which recriminalized homosexuality?

  • 47. Raga  |  May 24, 2017 at 12:46 am

    A review petition asking our Supreme Court to review its December 2013 decision recriminalizing homosexuality was denied in early 2014 and a "curative petition" (final appeal for reconsideration) was filed soon after. Two years later, in early 2016, our Supreme Court agreed to set up a constitutional bench to decide whether to allow the curative petition to proceed. This has still not happened. If allowed, the earlier decision will be wiped out and briefing and hearings start all over again. As you can gather, the speed at which this is proceeding is snail-paced (typical for our courts), and curative petitions are very rarely allowed to proceed, historically speaking.

  • 48. VIRick  |  May 22, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Taiwan: Court to Issue Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

    The Taiwanese court ruling on the same-sex marriage challenge has been set for Wednesday, 24 May 2017, a ruling that could make Taiwan the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.

  • 49. scream4ever  |  May 22, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    I'm hopeful they will rule in favor of equality. Since Nepal has dragged its feet, it's long overdue for there to be an Asian nation with equality.

  • 50. Randolph_Finder  |  May 23, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Even if they don't, getting it through the legislature isn't completely unrealistic.

  • 51. Christian0811  |  May 24, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    The Constituional Yuan has ruled the ban unconstitutional and has given the Legislative Yuan 2 years grace period to change the law, the ruling will automatically come into effect if parliament fails to comply.

  • 52. Randolph_Finder  |  May 24, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Yup. I think things would have been close without this in the Legislative Yuan, with this push, I think the Legislative Yuan will act by the end of the year.

  • 53. VIRick  |  May 22, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Chile: More Government-Sponsored Participatory Meetings on Marriage Equality

    Segegob Tarapacá‏:
    El Seremi de Gobierno, Luigi Ciocca, coordina el Diálogo Participativo sobre matrimonio igualitario, que se realizará mañana, 23 de mayo 2017, a 15 horas, en la Iglesia San Francisco.

    The Secretary of the Regional Government, Luigi Ciocca, will coordinate the Participatory Dialogue on marriage equality, to be held tomorrow, 23 May 2017, at 3 PM, in the San Francisco Church.

    Tarapacá‏ is in the far north, one of Bolivia's official outlets to the sea. I found the specific venue to be somewhat unusual for a government-sponsored meeting.

    Meanwhile, in its daily count-down, Fundación Iguales noted that the government has only 40 days remaining until the end of June, the deadline for the presentation of the legislative proposal.

  • 54. scream4ever  |  May 22, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    Hope this means they're getting close!

  • 55. VIRick  |  May 22, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Mexico: Latest Opinion Poll Shows Up-Tick in Favor of Marriage Equality

    The latest opinion poll in Mexico, by Parametría, indicates an all-time high in favor of marriage equality, with 39% of the population now in agreement. By some standards, this percentage may sound "low," but for Mexico this is "excellent," with the percentage continuing to rise, and rising rather rapidly.

    In carefully analyzing the numbers, what could well be far more significant than the percentage in favor, is that the percentage of the population in disagreement with marriage equality has now dropped lower than the 50% mark for the very first time, and currently stands at only 46% (with 34% in disagreement and 12% in strong disagreement).

    Of course, those numbers do not completely add up because there's also an additional 15% of the population who either had no opinion, or who don't care, and/or who can't/won't say what they think. As far as this 15% is concerned, this issue is not of any major significance or importance to them. And they certainly are not going to protest. So, if we were to add this 15% who don't give a shit (as passive non-opposition) to our side, we would currently stand at 54%.

    In fact, the 34% who claim to be in some disagreement likely do not have any strong feelings about the issue, either. They're merely reflecting the "traditional" norm, many of them probably quite passively. It's just that remaining 12% who are making life difficult for everyone else.

  • 56. scream4ever  |  May 23, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Great to hear. Support continues to climb in the US as well:

    For a point of reference, support for same-sex marriage is at the same level where support for interracial marriage was in 1997. If the polling for interracial marriage is any indication, it may level off for a few years but then sharply increase again. We also shouldn't see any significant decreases from now on since with it being legal more and more opponents realize that the sky isn't going to fall.

  • 57. FredDorner  |  May 24, 2017 at 11:07 am

    One interesting aspect to that poll is a very dramatic increase in GOP support for same-sex marriage to 47%. That's probably a temporary spike given that just a few years ago it was 20 points lower. I'd also like to see the geographic distribution of that – I doubt the GOP in the south is above 30% support.

  • 58. scream4ever  |  May 24, 2017 at 11:43 am

    I'm more curious about why it dropped 5 points among Democrats. Regardless, a 3 point increase in just one year is dramatic, and I predict from this point on, we won't see any significant decreases ever again. The dramatic rise in Republican support is likely among those whom were "on the fence" and have now witnessed how nothing bad came from it.

    What I find even more promising is that recent Gallup polls on other issues show that Americans' views on moral issues are more left-leaning than ever, which further indicates that Trump's election was simply a fluke and doesn't represent any form of a trend.

  • 59. FredDorner  |  May 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    We saw a similar drop in support for mixed-race marriage shortly after the Loving ruling, so seeing a temporary glitch in Dem support for same-sex marriage isn't surprising today. But while overall the trend is positive across the political spectrum, I still doubt that the 47% figure for the GOP is real.

    One big difference between the two cases is the visibility of the issue. While it's fairly obvious when someone dates or marries someone of the same gender or a different "race", there still seem to be lots of conservatives who are unaware that they have gay kids or gay relatives, or even that they're gay themselves. The reduction in stigma and the willingness of gay folks to be out is why support for equality on this issue has evolved much more rapidly than it did for mixed-race marriage. Otherwise it would still be a generational thing.

  • 60. scream4ever  |  May 24, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    The bottom line is that the baseline level of support is continuing to grow at a quick pace, quicker than just demographic changes, which means minds are being changed.

  • 61. allan120102  |  May 22, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    I have sad news coming from Louisiana
    Jon Penton-Robicheaux, the lead plaintiff in a case that challenged Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriages, died May 12 at a New Orleans hospice of liver failure after a battle with bacterial meningitis. He was 39.

    He was an unlikely activist who shied away from the spotlight, despite being well-known as a bartender at local gay bars like the Bourbon Pub & Parade and the Golden Lantern.

    “Though Jon was a very beloved figure in the gay community, he was low-key. He wasn’t a big publicity person at all. But he is definitely part of history now,” said Frank Perez, a tour guide and chronicler of the city’s gay history.

    Even in Penton-Robicheaux’s last days, his court battle paid dividends: His husband, Derek Penton-Robicheaux, was by his side, privy to all aspects of his medical care — rights often denied in the past to same-sex partners who were not considered to be legally “family.”

    Jon Robicheaux grew up in Houma, a place where he saw progress for gay people in recent years as the local gay bar moved to a main street, he said in a 2014 interview.

    On Lundi Gras 2007, while Robicheaux was working at the Bourbon Pub, he met Derek Penton, a native of Picayune, Mississippi. The two immediately hit it off.

    Later that year, Penton, who was then working as a paramedic, convinced his employer to transfer him to New Orleans. After living in the French Quarter, the two moved to the Bywater, where they bought a house together.

    In 2012, the two men became engaged and made plans for a wedding in Iowa, where same-sex marriage was legal. To give it a New Orleans sensibility, the wedding party was decked out in Mardi Gras colors, with Penton and Robicheaux in light green, their best men in yellow and bridesmaids in purple.

    Once the couple returned to New Orleans, they framed their Iowa marriage certificate and hung it on a wall. But it had no legal meaning in Louisiana, which didn’t recognize same-sex marriages. They realized that they still had none of the rights of married people.

    So they filed Robicheaux v. Caldwell, a federal challenge to the Louisiana laws that barred same-sex marriages. They wanted to be recognized as a married couple.

    The case became part of a growing nationwide movement for same-sex marriage. In Louisiana, after the couple’s case and a few others were denied by U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans in 2014, the other cases were consolidated into the Robicheaux case. Lawyers for the seven Louisiana same-sex couples then made a consolidated appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Though the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the Louisiana case, it agreed to hear four same-sex marriage cases from other states. Penton and Robicheaux flew to Washington, D.C., to be on the court steps the day the justices heard arguments in those cases.

    The couple celebrated at home in June 2015, when the Supreme Court held 5-4 that state laws barring same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. Though Robicheaux’s case seemed moot at that point, Gov. Bobby Jindal did not order Louisiana state agencies to comply with the federal ruling until July, when Feldman rescinded his earlier judgment.

    Once their marriage was legal in Louisiana, Penton and Robicheaux celebrated by combining and hyphenating their names. They also founded a nonprofit called Louisiana Equality Foundation to further their gay-advocacy work.

    In addition to his husband, survivors include his mother, Brenda Robicheaux, of Houma; a brother, Jeffrey Robicheaux; and a sister, Beth Robicheaux Canter.

    A memorial ceremony was held Thursday in Houma.

  • 62. FredDorner  |  May 23, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Judge Feldman's ruling was the looniest of the small handful of anti-equality rulings, even worse than the ruling in Puerto Rico. It's good for a laugh or two and it exposes how desperate bigots were to maintain their privileged status. At least Robicheaux lived to see Feldman eat his own words.

  • 63. scream4ever  |  May 23, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    I thought the judge from Nevada was way worse, especially his actions after his ruling was reversed.

  • 64. FredDorner  |  May 23, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Yeah, that was the 3rd one I was thinking of. No surprise at all that Judge Jones is a Mormon. He's old enough that he probably still opposes mixed-race marriage too.

  • 65. scream4ever  |  May 23, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    "His husband, Derek Penton-Robicheaux, was by his side, privy to all aspects of his medical care — rights often denied in the past to same-sex partners who were not considered to be legally “family.”'

    I love how such practices are now already being seen as a barbaric relic of the past.

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