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  • 1. allan120102  |  May 23, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    7th court of appeals looks poise to rule against us with 2 judges poised to rule in favor of Indiana. This case is similar to the one heard by the Arkansas supreme court.

  • 2. scream4ever  |  May 23, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    The Arkansas case which is further along will likely render it moot thankfully.

  • 3. allan120102  |  May 23, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    I dont think the supreme court might here that case. They might just reverse it the way they did with the Alabama bigot ruling. Sadly that will not set precedent. If they hear a case they might hear this one.

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

    Note that one of the named cases in the Obergell v Hodges ruling, DeBoer v. Snyder, was specifically about adoption rights and the corollary benefits of marriage. So if the 7th Circuit rules the wrong way it will most certainly be reversed. You simply cannot deprive a child of the benefits and protections which come from having two legal parents merely because a state doesn't approve of the relative gender of those parents. Nor can these judges evade the equal protection argument in comparison to infertile couples. This exact issue has been addressed several times in the last two years and the end result has always been the same.

    However I'm not at all surprised that Judge Sykes is on the wrong side here. She's from my state and is a really dumb bigot.

  • 5. scream4ever  |  May 23, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    A reverse would set precedent though, and imply that any court ruling contrary would be reversed, so judges would be much less likely to rule against us.

  • 6. allan120102  |  May 23, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    For the 4th time. Mexican supreme court is schedule to issue a resolution against Yucatan ssm ban. Hopefully this time is not postpone.

  • 7. allan120102  |  May 23, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Colombia supreme court new magistrates are extremely conservative so dont expect any more majority rulings in same sex cases, now decisions will probably be 5-4 for us .Liberals members are 5-4 if one more retires or term expires same sex couples could be in trouble of getting more favorable decisions. Bernal Pulido even was the favorite of Bigot Vivian Morales, she convinces members of her party to give there votes to him.
    At 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, President Juan Manuel Santos will take possession of the two new judges of the Constitutional Court, who were elected last May 3 by the Senate and will complete the payroll of this high court.
    They are jurists Cristina Pardo Schlesinger and Carlos Bernal Pulido, who will replace Jorge Pretelt and María Victoria Calle.
    Pardo Schlesinger is a lawyer at the Universidad del Rosario. She was assistant magistrate of the Court for 14 years, was legal secretary of the Presidency of the Republic in the last years.
    For his part, Bernal Pulido is a lawyer at the Universidad Externado de Colombia. He holds doctoral degrees in Law from the University of Salamanca (Spain) and Philosophy at the University of Florida (USA).
    Both come with a profile closely linked to the strictly legal and have declared against the so-called "judicial activism," which is how it is known to the decisions of the Court in which popular issues are addressed, in which it goes further Of the interpretation of the Constitution and in which the courts take a high dose of protagonism.

  • 8. Fortguy  |  May 23, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    Let me begin some updates on the Texas Legislature. The Senate has passed HB 3859 without amendments sending the bill to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk.

    Marissa Evans, The Texas Tribune: Senate passes religious protections for child welfare agencies

    From the article:

    Texas senators voted 21-10 on Sunday to give child welfare providers protection from legal retaliation if they assert their “sincerely held religious beliefs” while caring for abused and neglected children in foster or Child Protective Services custody.

    House Bill 3859 would allow faith-based organizations to place a child in a religion-based school; deny referrals for abortion-related contraceptives, drugs or devices; and refuse to contract with other organizations that don't share their religious beliefs. If a faith-based group refuses services to children or prospective homes on religious grounds, they would be required to refer the child or parent to a different organization that can help them.


    Opponents have decried the legislation, saying it discriminates against LGBT people seeking to be foster or adoptive parents and against people who may have different religious views. Opponents have also argued that “sincerely held religious beliefs” is too ambiguous and leaves the door open for those views to be applied to physical discipline, diets, medical care, blood transfusions, vaccinations and how boys and girls are treated.

    I'll add the bill also allows private child welfare providers to also discriminate against LGBT youth on religious grounds.

  • 9. Fortguy  |  May 23, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    The House, despite killing both Lite Guv Potty Patrick's beloved SB 6 and their own bathroom bill proposal, HB 2899, felt compelled to add a bathroom amendment to an unrelated bill dealing with school emergency management plans for things like weather disasters or active shooting incidents, SB 2078. This was prompted by Patrick's temper tantrum threatening to hold the budget and other critical legislation hostage forcing a special session unless the House concede to his far-right agenda including potties, private school vouchers, and limitations on property tax hikes by local cities and school districts.

    The amendment by Rep. Chris Paddie (R-Marshall), is intended as a much less draconian compromise to SB 6. The amendment applies to students in public and open-enrollment charter schools, and does not apply to adults or other government buildings. It also does not negate municipal ordinances prohibiting anti-transgender discrimination. Because, as Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) noted, Gov. Abbott has also chosen to hold his head down in Patrick's toilet and said, “he would demand action on this in a special session, and the House decided to dispose of the issue in this way.”

    The House amendment is bad, limited discrimination is still discrimination, but it looks like it may not be enough to satiate Patrick's punitive hatred. Let's hope it's enough that Abbott can live with. In special sessions, the Lege may only consider bills that address the agenda the governor posts for the session, and if Abbott feels the House action lets him score a political point on the bathroom front without the North Carolina drama, Patrick may be shit out of luck on this issue.

  • 10. Fortguy  |  May 23, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    Here's some reporting and commentary about the House's passage of potty legislation:

    Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune: Texas House approves bathroom restrictions for transgender students

    Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune: Dan Patrick unconvinced by House action on bathrooms, property taxes

    Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune: Texas business leaders stayed neutral on "bathroom" amendment

    Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune: School groups say House bathroom amendment open to interpretations

    Christopher Hooks, Texas Observer: Bathroom Wars Prove Dan Patrick’s Dominance over Texas Legislature

    Sam DeGrave, Texas Observer: In Passing ‘Bathroom Bill,’ Joe Straus’ House ‘Rolled’ By Dan Patrick

    Charles Kuffner, Off the Kuff: Amendment focused on school bathrooms passes the House

    R.G. Ratcliffe, Texas Monthly: House Appeases Dan Patrick by Passing a Bathroom Bill

    The bill now must go back to the Senate for the bill to receive final legislative approval before going to the governor's desk.

  • 11. Fortguy  |  May 24, 2017 at 12:04 am

    Breaking: It looks like the Senate will reject the House amendment. Since House rules do not allow any other House or Senate bills to clear committee now, we're facing a special session if Patrick makes good on his threats or unless the legislation appears as another zombie amendment to another bill (if amended to the budget bill, both houses will suspend any rule, move heaven and earth, to make that pass). A special session is a worst-case scenario for LGBT rights legislation.

    Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune: Texas Senate will reject House's "bathroom bill" compromise

  • 12. Fortguy  |  May 24, 2017 at 12:28 am

    So, here's where we stand. No pro-LGBT legislation on Equality Texas' watch list has survived. On the other hand, with the exception of the bills I've mentioned on this thread and the sanctuary cities anti-immigrant hate bill already signed by Abbott, no other anti-LGBT bills have survived, either.

    From this point forward by the deadline calendar, all bills that have not passed both chambers are dead. Bills now can only be changed in conference committees between the two chambers if their language differs due to amendments. The Lege adjourns sine die Monday night at midnight.

    Should Patrick act on his threat and refuse to pass a budget or other critical legislation, Abbott will be forced to call a special session. A special lasts for a maximum of 30 days and may only consider matters within the agenda the governor sets for the session. Some chamber rules, such as the Senate's three-fifths rule needed to bring bills to the floor, are suspended during specials. Should the special end in a deadlock on critical legislation, the governor can call subsequent specials.

  • 13. allan120102  |  May 24, 2017 at 1:37 am

    Same sex marriage now almost certainly in Taiwan. The court gave two years to the legislative body to allow ssm.

  • 14. scream4ever  |  May 24, 2017 at 1:47 am

    Boo you beat me to it LOL

    In all seriousness, it's likely to happen even sooner considering there's a bill already working its way through and the President is supportive.

  • 15. VIRick  |  May 24, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Taiwan: First in Asia to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

    On Wednesday, 24 May 2017, in a first for Asia, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled, 12-2-1, in favor of same-sex marriage, punctuating a years-long campaign by advocates for gay rights in one of the continent’s most liberal democracies. In its majority opinion, the court said a provision in the current civil code barring same-sex marriages stood in violation of two articles of the constitution safeguarding human dignity and equality under the law. Two of the court’s 15 justices filed dissenting opinions and one recused himself in the case.

    Authorities must now either enact or amend relevant laws within two years, failing which same-sex couples could have their marriages recognized by submitting a written document, the court said. A bill to enforce the ruling is already working its way through the legislature, where both the ruling and major opposition parties support legalization of same-sex marriage. Surveys show a majority of the public is also in favor, as is President Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s first female leader.

    The ruling was greeted with rapturous applause outside the legislature not far from the court in the center of the capital, Taipei, where hundreds had gathered with rainbow flags and noisemakers emblazoned with slogans in favor of gay marriage.

    Per Equality Case Files:

    "Lu Tai-lang, secretary-general of the Council of Grand Justices (of the Constitutional Court), said authorities must revise the civil code within two years to bring about the legislative change. 'Even if the authorities fail to revise the law at the end of the two-year period, gay couples can always register with local household offices to make their marriage legal and they will enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples do,' Lu said."

  • 16. FredDorner  |  May 25, 2017 at 10:18 am

    If one considers Nepal an Asian country then they're technically still ahead of Taiwan on this issue…..but hopefully this action in Taiwan will light a fire under the Nepalese parliament's butt to enact the marriage equality which their supreme court ordered 10 years ago.

  • 17. scream4ever  |  May 25, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    In Nepal there was no deadline set.

  • 18. VIRick  |  May 24, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Moldova: Pride March Stopped

    On 21 May 2017, the LGBTQ Pride march in Moldova didn’t last long, as police but a halt to it shortly after it started, citing a fear of conflict between the rights activists and anti-LGBTQ demonstrators who were also on the scene. The Pride marchers had water and eggs thrown at them before police evacuated them in buses, Radio Free Europe reports. Last year’s march, organized by the same group, GENDERDOC-M, was also stopped shortly after it began due to concerns over clashes with those opposing LGBTQ rights.

    President Igor Dodon was attending an event on the same day called the Traditional Family Festival, where he told journalists, “I have never promised to be the president of the gays, they should have elected their own president.”

    The Moldovan branch of Amnesty International has condemned the comments, saying they constitute a violation of the country’s constitution, which, it notes, “bans the head of state from inciting hate and obliges him to respect the rights of every Moldovan citizen.”

  • 19. Fortguy  |  May 24, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    SB 6 is a zombie. The Senate earlier today brought the bill back to life as one of numerous amendments crammed onto HB 4180, an omnibus county affairs bill. The bill lacked sufficient votes to send it immediately back to the House, so that will have to wait until tomorrow.

    The bill's original author, Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) was prepared for this as the Senate pulled this same trick during the last session two years ago. Coleman made a point of putting nothing into the bill in which he was deeply invested, so with the House being unlikely to strip the Senate's toxic amendments in conference, Coleman is prepared to kill his own bill.

    Ross Ramsey, Patrick Svitek, and Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune: Texas Senate looks to resurrect bathroom, property tax bills

  • 20. scream4ever  |  May 24, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Awesome strategy from Senator Coleman.

  • 21. Fortguy  |  May 24, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    Actually, the more I think about it, Coleman concocted a brilliant strategy. (By the way, Coleman is a House rep, not a senator to be clear). He created a bill dealing with many minor, non-controversial county issues of inconsequential importance and put it forward as a honeypot for senators who, late in the session, do not have time to actually read his bill but assumed by the broad scope of its provisions was somehow something that would be considered important to the House. With chamber deadlines falling left and right as the Lege rushes to complete its business before the state's constitution demands it adjourn at the end of the holiday, he trapped the Senate into wasting two hours of critical time attaching all sorts of noxious legislation the House already killed, including SB 6, to a bill no one in the House gives a damn about and will now surely kill.

    Coleman deserves the parliamentarian-of-the-year award for this magnificent stroke of genius.

  • 22. VIRick  |  May 25, 2017 at 12:40 am

    Fortguy, and since we are handing out well-deserved awards, you certainly deserve one, as well, for having the fortitude in keeping us abreast as to all the arcane machinations of Texas politics in-the-raw.

  • 23. VIRick  |  May 24, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Know The Enemy: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)

    Per Equality Case Files:

    The anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) publicly boasts a nearly $50 million annual budget and a network of over 3,100 “allied attorneys” who provide hundreds of pro-bono hours of anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice legal services. But new Media Matters research has identified a quieter, more powerful network of former ADF employees, allied attorneys, and fellowship alumni who occupy over 50 influential government posts at the federal, state, and local level.

    ADF was founded in 1994 by several of the country's largest national evangelical Christian ministries to "press the case for religious liberty issues in the nation's courts" and "fend-off growing efforts by groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which seek to immobilize Christians." Today, it has become the country's best-funded and most powerful right-wing Christian group working against what the organization has called the "myth of the so-called 'separation of church and state.'"

    In practice, this work has consisted of ADF’s leaders and affiliated lawyers attempting to criminalize and demonize LGBTQ people by “falsely linking them to pedophilia, calling them ‘evil’ and a threat to children and society, and blaming them for the ‘persecution of devout Christians.’” This has lead the Southern Poverty Law Center to designate ADF as a hate group. ADF has also defended the constitutionality of criminalizing gay sex in the USA, and has actively worked to promote and defend anti-sodomy laws that criminalize gay sex in Jamaica, Belize, and India. The group — whose founder believes that the “homosexual agenda” is dedicated to destroying Christianity — is behind the national push for anti-LGBTQ “religious freedom” laws. It is also the architect of the campaign for “bathroom bills” that aim to ban transgender students from using bathrooms that align with their gender identity.

    In some states, offices with a high concentration of ADF alumni have been actively working against LGBTQ equality. In Texas, there are three former ADF employees — two of whom are also Blackstone Fellows — in the attorney-general’s office. Attorney-General Ken Paxton has been one of the biggest proponents of anti-LGBTQ legislation, and has pushed a Texas version of the anti-transgender bathroom bills that ADF has been working to pass in states across the country.

    In Arizona, where ADF is headquartered, there are four ADF alums serving as assistant attorneys-general, including two in the civil rights division. Before he was assistant attorney-general, ADF legal counsel Joseph La Rue played a “major role” in pushing for a 2014 anti-LGBTQ “religious freedom” bill in the Arizona state legislature. The “turn away the gays” bill — which ADF freely admitted to drafting — was ultimately vetoed by then-Republican Gov. Jan Brewer.

  • 24. VIRick  |  May 24, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Mexico: Second Anniversary of Supreme Court Marriage Equality Ruling

    Per Fundación Iguales:‏

    Hoy 23 de mayo 2017, se cumplen 2 años desde que México tiene matrimonio igualitario. En 2009, el DF fue el primer territorio que permitió el matrimonio igualitario. Luego (hasta el momento) lo hicieron diez estados más. En 23 de mayo 2015, la Suprema Corte de Mexico aprobó el matrimonio igualitario y adopción en todo su territorio (con jurisprudencia obligatoria). Sin embargo, aún no han sido implementado ninguno de los fallos en todos los territorios.

    Today, 23 May 2017, marks the second anniversary since Mexico obtained marriage equality. In 2009, the DF was the first territory that allowed marriage equality. Then (so far) did ten more states. On 23 May 2015, the Mexican Supreme Court approved egalitarian marriage and adoption throughout the nation (with binding jurisprudence). However, not all of the rulings have been implemented in all the territories (states).

    Specifically related to this matter (including a slightly different up-coming anniversary date), here's what I have in my archives (as dated from 5 June 2015):

    On 3 June 2015, Mexico’s Supreme Court issued the first blanket statement that laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying are unconstitutional in every state, a concept which is known as “generic jurisprudence.” The opinion is not yet public, but Supreme Court clerk Geraldina González de la Vega, who worked on one of the early marriage equality suits before joining the court, has just written about the unpublished opinion in a blog post, and has thus let the cat out of the bag. Decisions are ordinarily officially published within a week of when they are decided by the court, so we can expect the actual publication of the decision sometime next week.

    According to González, Mexico's Supreme Court, in response to the suit from Colima, wrote, “The law of whatever federal entity that, on the one hand, considers the goal of marriage to be procreation, and/or defines marriage as celebrating the union of a man and a woman, is unconstitutional." The ruling was made official when published on 12 June 2015.

    About a week after the earlier leak, González then leaked the next ruling that was to follow, one from Chihuahua in which the decision required local authorities to monetarily compensate the 31 same-sex couples who had sought injunctions, known as “amparos” in the Mexican judicial system, after they had been denied their request to marry. The leak of this decision was enough to force the then-governor of Chihuahua, César Duarte Jáquez, to announce on 11 June 2015 that his administration will allow marriage between same-sex couples, effective immediately (from 12 June 2015).

    So, if any special date from Mexico should be commemorated, I would suggest it be 12 June 2015, the date upon which the "generic jurisprudence" in the Colima decision was published, and the date upon which same-sex marriage also became legal in Chihuahua by executive decree. It was at that precise moment in time, immediately before the US Supreme Court ruling, when it truly appeared that Mexico had forged way ahead of the USA.

    Also, the adoption ruling came a bit later in a separate ruling in a different case from Campeche, but one which was also leaked by González.

  • 25. VIRick  |  May 24, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Republic of Ireland: 2nd Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    Per Fundación Iguales:‏

    Hoy, 23 de mayo 2017, se cumplen 2 años desde que Irlanda tiene matrimonio igualitario. La adopción (para parejas del mismo sexo) entró en vigencia en mayo de 2016.

    Today, 23 May 2017, marks the second anniversary of marriage equality in Ireland. Adoption (for same-sex couples) entered into force in May 2016.

    The referendum vote occurred on 22 May 2015. The electoral officials announced the results of the favorable vote on 23 May 2015, with 62.1% in favor and 37.9% against.

  • 26. VIRick  |  May 25, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    4th Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Nationwide Injunction Blocking Trump's Travel Ban

    On Thursday, 25 May 2017, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals struck another blow against the Trump administration's efforts to temporarily halt immigration from six majority-Muslim countries, upholding a nationwide injunction that blocks the travel ban in President Trump's second executive order on the issue.

    A majority of a full sitting of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals held that although President Trump had broad power to deny entry into the United States, his executive order "stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across the nation." "The question for this Court, distilled to its essential form, is whether the Constitution … remains 'a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace,'" Fourth Circuit Chief Judge Roger Gregory wrote in the majority opinion. "And if so, whether it protects Plaintiffs’ right to challenge an Executive Order that in text speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination."

    The ruling is the first appellate court ruling on the second executive order, which was signed on 6 March 2017. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals also heard arguments earlier this month over a more broad injunction against the executive order out of Hawaii, but has yet to release its decision. A 9th Circuit Court ruling in February that allowed an injunction against Trump's first attempt at a travel ban to stand paved the way for this second version.

    The next step for the Justice Department, if the administration wants to challenge the 4th Circuit Court's decision, would be to petition the US Supreme Court for review.

    Gregory wrote that, despite the administration's arguments that the executive order on its face had nothing to do with religion, the plaintiffs presented enough evidence that the national security justification was a "pretext for its religious purpose." The judges rejected the Justice Department's arguments that the court shouldn't give weight to Trump's campaign statements in favor of a Muslim ban, quoting them at length. The court also cited post-inauguration statements by Trump and his advisors about the administration's two attempts at a travel ban — the second version was signed after the first one was repeatedly struck down by courts as likely unconstitutional — including Trump's remarks that the second version was a "watered down version of the first order."

    "These statements, taken together, provide direct, specific evidence of what motivated both EO-1 and EO-2: President Trump’s desire to exclude Muslims from the United States," Gregory wrote. "We need not probe anyone’s heart of hearts to discover the purpose of EO-2, for President Trump and his aides have explained it on numerous occasions and in no uncertain terms."

    Ten of the thirteen judges that heard arguments in the case voted to uphold the injunction: Gregory and judges Diana Gribbon Motz, William Traxler Jr., Robert King, Barbara Milano Keenan, James Wynn Jr., Albert Diaz, Henry Floyd, Stephanie Thacker, and Pamela Harris. Wynn wrote a separate, concurring opinion that called the travel ban "invidious discrimination."

    The other three judges — Judges Paul Niemeyer, Dennis Shedd, and G. Steven Agee — dissented, each writing their own opinions about their disagreements with the majority. Two judges recused from the case, J. Harvie Wilkinson III and Allyson Duncan.

  • 27. Randolph_Finder  |  May 25, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    And for those who say judges don't matter… All ten of the judges nominated by Democratic Presidents(Clinton/Obama) voted in the Majority, and all five appointed by Republican Presidents (Reagan/GHWB/GWB) dissented or recused themselves.

  • 28. bayareajohn  |  May 25, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    I am not aware of anyone who says judges don't matter.

  • 29. VIRick  |  May 25, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    En Banc Review of "Zarda" Granted at 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 25 May 2017, in "Zarda v. Altitude Express," an employee's estate appeal to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals of an adverse decision on their employment discrimination claim under Title VII, based on sexual orientation, the 2nd Circuit Court granted En Banc review of the case. The parties are instructed to brief only the following question: “Does Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation through its prohibition of discrimination ‘because of . . . sex’?"

    Oral argument is scheduled for 26 September 2017 at 2 PM in New York. The En Banc panel will consist of all active judges of the 2nd Circuit Court, in addition to Judges Gerard Lynch and Robert David Sack, the two senior judges who sat on the original panel.

    The order is here:

    On 2 May 2017, the petition for En Banc review in "Zarda" was filed. On 28 April 2017, the first petition for En Banc review on an almost identical matter was filed with the same court in "Christiansen v. Omnicom Group," a case which additionally involves the claim of gender stereotyping. On 3 May 2017, another federal district court judge, this time in the Southern District of New York, in "Philpott v. New York," held that sexual orientation employment discrimination claims can be brought under Title VII.

  • 30. ianbirmingham  |  May 25, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Grinning husband of Luxembourg's gay Prime Minister socializes with other NATO spouses & love interests, including Melania Trump and the scowling, devoutly Muslim wife of Turkey's Erdogan

  • 31. VIRick  |  May 25, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    Thank you, those photos are precious. But then, so is Gauthier Destenay, the First Gentleman of Luxembourg.

  • 32. JayJonson  |  May 26, 2017 at 8:44 am

    He is by far the best looking of the spouses, though I must admit that Queen Mathilde is very elegant. I especially like the way she gently moves Melania Trump to the side as she attempts to seize the center place in the official photo.

  • 33. VIRick  |  May 26, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    The elegant Queen Mathilde of Belgium, as the resident hostess, must have been perfectly successful in her efforts to take center stage because the only Slovenian listed in the photo caption to the news article is Mojca Stropnik, the wife of the Slovenian Prime Minister.

    Furthermore, that photo of Gauthier Destenay, as First Gentleman of Luxembourg, posing along with all the First Ladies of the various NATO nations, is all over the Spanish-language media throughout Latin America, mostly with very positive commentary.

  • 34. VIRick  |  May 26, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    And not to be out-done, in seriously heavy news, check out these romantically hot photos taken at the G-7 Summit in Taormina, Sicily, of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau casually strolling through the gardens of Taormina with the new President of France, Emmanuel Macron, on their first solo date, all the while speaking to each other in French (mais, oui, en plus).

    I adore the "proposal" shot of Justin in close-up. Enjoy:

  • 35. ianbirmingham  |  May 28, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    The White House disagrees – they omitted his name from their caption of the photo…

  • 36. theperchybird  |  May 26, 2017 at 1:10 am

    Mexico's Supreme Court postpones Yucatan decision for the 4th time. This blog explains that he thinks the Court will rule against the lawsuit on technicalities rather than whether couples can marry and they are hesitant to try and defend the negative ruling after supporting couples for so long.

    Activists are willing to go the Inter-American Commission if necessary.

  • 37. theperchybird  |  May 26, 2017 at 10:05 am

    So there's still one little piece left in the Faroes, a Church-related law. Right now its final reading is scheduled for the 30th, it will state that while same-sex couples can marry on the islands, the Church will not perform weddings (unless it changes its mind later). LGBT Foroyar already hinted at summer weddings and I predict once this last law is finalized then Denmark/Faroes/both will reveal a date for marriages to commence.

    I know people have civil weddings, but I feel bad that this is the only Church making a fuss in the Kingdom of Denmark. Hopefully Faroes and Finland get that bit of their legislation into gear, would be nice to read all couples welcome in the state Church like the rest of the North.

  • 38. VIRick  |  May 26, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Perchy, do not count on Finland to make this change to their law. The Orthodox community, although numerically small in number over-all, will burst their swollen hemorrhoids in a holy shit-fit before they allow that to occur, particularly in eastern-most Finland, near the Russian border, where they dominate.

    Finland is comprised of 4 quite distinct ethnic/religious communities:
    1. Swedish-speaking Lutherans along the western and southern coasts and in Aaland.
    2. Finnish-speaking Lutherans throughout the central heartland (and the majority).
    3. Finnish-speaking Orthodox in the eastern quarter geographically nearest to Russia.
    4. Lappish-speaking (Saami) northerners who still do their nomadic reindeer herding.

    On a civil national level, all 4 are quite united in their common dislike/distrust of the Russians, with many of the Orthodox and Lappish northerners being displaced from locations further east (now in Russia). But these 4 groups are not at all united on religious matters.

    Go to Imatra in South Karjala. It was founded in 1948 after Finland was forced to cede 11% of its land area to the Soviet Union, following the Winter War. Orthodox Finnish-speakers from Eastern Karjala, from places like Viipuri and Sortavala (now in Russia), poured in and rebuilt their lives. That re-named city within view of Imatra across the border, Svetogorsk, with the monstrous belching smokestacks, is (now) totally Russian.

    Even in Helsinki, I can not envision a same-sex marriage ever being performed within the historic Uspensky Orthodox Cathedral where services are still (inexplicably) conducted in Russian, and this, despite the fact that the Finnish Orthodox Church (during the early Soviet era) officially disassociated from the Russian Orthodox Church, re-aligning instead, with the Greek Orthodox Church.

    As per this excellent article, please note that despite the much smaller membership numbers, the Finnish Orthodox Church has constitutionally-guaranteed co-equal status with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland as the "national" church of Finland:

    And that may not have been modern Russian I heard at the service at the Uspensky Cathedral, as this same article mentions Church Slavonic, a form of old Bulgarian. But whatever it was, to me, in that haunting medieval chant, it conjured up visions of the Czars, Doctor Zhivago, and the Volga boatmen.

  • 39. VIRick  |  May 26, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Argentina: A Same-Sex Marriage in a Small Rural Town

    Marriage Equality: A Chilean Marries a Sanjuanino

    Matrimonio Igualitario: Se casaron el chileno y el sanjuanino

    A pesar de las agresiones e insultos recibidos, la pareja constituida por el chileno Marco Antonio Saez Barría y el sarmientino Mondaca, contrajeron matrimonio, este viernes, 26 de mayo 2017, en la localidad de Media Agua, departamento de Sarmiento, provincia de San Juan.

    El joven Marco Antonio decidió cruzar la cordillera para casarse con su amor del departamento de Sarmiento y constituir así, el primero matrimonio igualitario del la localidad. La sociedad está amparada por la ley de matrimonio igualitario que rige en el país (de Argentina) desde 2010.

    In spite of the aggressions and insults received, the couple comprised of the Chilean, Marco Antonio Saez Barría, and the sarmientino, Mondaca, were married this Friday, 26 May 2017, in the town of Media Agua, department of Sarmiento, San Juan Province.

    The young Marco Antonio decided to cross the cordillera to marry his love from the department of Sarmiento, and to thus constitute the first equal marriage of the locality. Their union is protected by the law of marriage equality that has governed the country (of Argentina) since 2010.

    Two points to note: Chileans wishing to marry same-sex partners continue to marry in Argentina. Still, even in Argentina, most same-sex marriages have occurred in and around Buenos Aires, and the several other large cities, like Córdoba, Rosario, or Mendoza. It is still rare to unheard-of for a same-sex couple to marry in the smallest of towns. Even after 7 years of marriage equality, this same-sex couple was the first to do so in the small rural town of Media Agua, north of Mendoza, near the Chilean border.

    A few months ago, I saw a similar report of a lesbian couple who were the first same-sex couple to marry in their small town in Patagonia, way to the south.

  • 40. VIRick  |  May 26, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    Gay Pride March in Caracas

    Per Orgullo LGBTI Venezuela:

    La marcha gay Caracas 2017 ya tiene fecha y ruta!

    La XVII Marcha Nacional de Orgullo LGBTI de Caracas, Venezuela, domingo, 2 de julio 2017, salida de 10 AM del Parque Generalisimo Francisco de Miranda, y llegada a 2 PM a la Plaza Alfredo Sadel en Las Mercedes.

    The gay march Caracas 2017 already has a date and route!

    The XVII National LGBTI Pride March of Caracas, Venezuela, on Sunday, 2 July 2017, departs at 10 AM from Generalisimo Francisco de Miranda Park, and arrives at 2 PM at the Plaza Alfredo Sadel in Las Mercedes.

  • 41. allan120102  |  May 27, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Good news coming from Nevada my friends

  • 42. VIRick  |  May 27, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Nevada: Sandoval Signs Bill Codifying Right to Same-Sex Marriage

    Carson City NV — Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a bill on Friday, 26 May 2017, that will codify the right to same-sex marriage in Nevada law. AB 229, sponsored by Assemblyman Nelson Araujo, changes the Nevada Revised Statute in light of the US Supreme Court's decision in "Obergefell v. Hodges," which established marriage as a constitutionally protected right for same-sex couples. State law will now reflect that same-sex couples have the same parental rights as heterosexual couples.

  • 43. guitaristbl  |  May 27, 2017 at 10:31 am

    At least in a possible Obergefell reversal in the near future that secures Nevada in the list of ME states.

  • 44. allan120102  |  May 27, 2017 at 10:55 am

    If Obergefell is reverse which is improbable Nevada will be more safe than California in conserving marriage equality. I believe California still has its ban in its constitution although I am no sure.

  • 45. A_Jayne  |  May 27, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Just so you are aware, NV also has an anti-gay amendment "marriage = one man, one woman" type, like many other states. I'll have to read this law to find out if it covers anything more than parental rights, but it cannot undo that amendment.

    AFAIK, this year the legislature also approved a resolution to repeal the amendment, but the way it is set up here, another legislature must do so again in 2019, then the population must vote on it in 2020. (The first attempt at this was passed in 2013 after Windsor and DOMA by a -D- legislature, but the -Rs- in 2015 did not pass the second required resolution, so we had to start over this year again.)

  • 46. A_Jayne  |  May 27, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    I read the changes being made to family law (NRS 122.020), and it does specify that two persons, regardless of gender, may marry in Nevada. As long as Obergefell stays in effect, this will cover us in NV. But I fear that, if Obergefell is overturned, the amendment to our constitution will once more be prevailing law, by default.

    I'll check into this further with my senator or representative next week.

  • 47. scream4ever  |  May 27, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    If Roe v Wade is still standing, despite support for abortion leveling off at barely majority support, then Obergefell will never be overturned, as support for same sex marriage has reached super-majority levels and is growing nearly every year.

  • 48. allan120102  |  May 27, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Might not be overturn but it might be severely weaken like Roe v Wade had, at federal and state by state level.

  • 49. scream4ever  |  May 28, 2017 at 12:18 am

    For sure, but such efforts are being scuttled accordingly (laws in state legislatures not passing). The biggest test will be how the Texas Supreme Court rules in the Houston benefits case. There's also the birth certificate cases from Arkansas and Indiana, which the Supreme Court is sure to reverse without a trial.

  • 50. VIRick  |  May 27, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    In the event "Obergefell" were ever to be overturned, all the states which have guaranteed marriage equality by state legislative action, by a ruling of their own state Supreme Court, or through a state voter referendum, would still be safe. Those states, prior to "Obergefell," are:

    By state legislative action:
    New Hampshire
    Rhode Island
    New York

    By state Supreme Court ruling:
    New Jersey
    New Mexico

    By state voter referendum:
    Maine (over-ruling vetoed legislation)
    Maryland (confirming legislation)
    Washington State (confirming legislation)

    Since "Obergefell," we can add Oregon, and now, from 26 May 2017, Nevada, to the legislative list. California is somewhat confusing, as it regained marriage equality through a completely separate Supreme Court decision, one which would not be dependent upon "Obergefell," since the decision came two years earlier and was based on entirely different grounds.

    Also, Puerto Rico and the USVI did so through executive order, rather than through any direct court order. Still, all told, that's only 22 jurisdictions of 55/56.

  • 51. TheVirginian722  |  May 28, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    It would be nice to count California, Nevada, and Oregon, but unfortunately they are among the thirty states whose Constitutions prohibit same-sex marriage. The overturning of Obergefell would bring marriage to a halt in those thirty states. In addition, revived state statutes would end marriage equality in four additional states: Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wyoming. Legislatures in Indiana, Iowa, and West Virginia, which previously rejected anti-marriage amendments, would be virtually assured of approving them, as their membership has significantly changed for the worse.

    The action taken by Oregon in 2016 was just to revise its marriage statute to be gender-neutral. While that is a welcome gesture, it isn't needed under Obergefell and wouldn't be valid without Obergefell. Nevada is the only state out of thirty taking meaningful action to repeal its constitutional anti-marriage provision.

    We will have to hope that Justice Gorsuch means it when he says that Obergefell is "settled law."

  • 52. allan120102  |  May 28, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Agree, Oregon, California, Nevada and maybe Pennsylvania would be the ones to approve same sex marriage. If Obergefell is overturn next year for example Nevada would stop same sex marriage as to overturn the ban it need to be put in referendum. Would be a state by state issue.

    Still I believe it will not be overturn, it will be weaken first, taking our rights one by one. I just really hope Kennedy, Ginsburg and Breyer are in the court until 2020 or if the senate can be fflip back in 2018. Which I doubt seeing that the majorities who are for election are democrats. Democrats in Indiana, Missouri and West Virginia are in risk to be out. We need 3 seats to have control of the senate but I see it really hard to get.

    In the case of PR the executive order might be roll back as the new governor has said that marriage is only between a man and a women. The executive order is still in effect because Obergefell is law if its decide that it should be state by state then conservatives will see no reason to have it in place, the assemb.y by the way was change to a conservative majority so its a problem.

  • 53. scream4ever  |  May 28, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Given how things are going I wouldn't at all be surprised if Democrats take back the Senate and the House.

  • 54. VIRick  |  May 28, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    The Virginian is correct. It seems The Virginian is always correct. But it's excellent to have someone paying such close attention to the finer details and who has the knowledge and expertise to make said corrections.

    So, based on The Virginian's commentary, the 17 jurisdictions named in my 3-part upper list are the only ones which are safe. My comments regarding Oregon, Nevada, and California are simply wishful thinking, as those 3 are still among the 30 states with state constitutional bans against same-sex marriage. Thus, in addition to the 17 safe jurisdictions, the only 4 remaining jurisdictions without state constitutional bans (but who otherwise had statutory bans) are, as he named, Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wyoming (and presumably, Guam and the Northern Marianas). If "Obergefell" were ever to be overturned, all of those 30 state constitutional and 4/6 statutory bans, now held in abeyance as unenforceable, would be resuscitated and could once more be enforced, as they've never (yet) been removed from the books.

    Other than the process being undertaken in Nevada, almost nothing else has been done by those other state legislative bodies to remove the unenforceable bans from the books. And with "Obergefell" firmly in place, and doing its job for them, said legislatures have had very little motivation to do anything along this line. One can only hope that that do-nothing attitude would change if the "Obergefell" ruling appeared to be threatened.

    The executive orders, per Puerto Rico and the USVI, although originally signed to bring those two territories into alignment with "Obergefell," are independent of "Obergefell." They may or may not be retained if "Obergefell" were ever to be overturned, but there is enormous incentive to keep them in place. Both territories are major destination marriage venues. Originally, we only catered to hetero couples, but now, since "Obergefell" and the follow-up executive orders, that industry has changed. June remains the most popular month for large wedding parties to descend upon us and spend massive amounts of $$$ on lavish wedding performances. June is otherwise a slow month during the summer "off-season." So, the mere presence of these large wedding parties and their extravagant spending is quite important for the economy at a critical time of the year, a fact about which most residents are keenly aware.

  • 55. scream4ever  |  May 28, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    In several of the states where the freedom to marry would theoretically be overturned, I would suspect that many public officials would not enforce such a change.

  • 56. TheVirginian722  |  May 29, 2017 at 1:50 am

    Thank you, Rick, for your kind words. They are especially generous coming from our site's perennial MVP who has kept us informed on everything from comparative Finnish religion to the Mr. Gay World 2017 competition. (And to prove that I am not always correct, I must admit that I predicted a win by Mr. Austria or Mr. Switzerland in that competition, no doubt due to a subconscious Alpine bias.)

  • 57. FredDorner  |  May 29, 2017 at 9:32 am

    I don't think a reversal of Obergefell would immediately impact Oregon since the federal district court ruled prior to that and the state choice not to appeal, which makes the ruling final.

  • 58. scream4ever  |  May 29, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Same with Pennsylvania.

  • 59. VIRick  |  May 29, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Yes, both Oregon and Pennsylvania. State officials in both states did not appeal their respective district court rulings, which should make those rulings final. In Pennsylvania, Santai-Gaffney, the ADF tool from Pottstown, attempted to appeal, but was told "No" all the way up to and including Alito. NOM attempted the same thing on behalf of some mythic, anonymous "members" allegedly resident in Oregon, but repeatedly received the same response, "No," at multiple court levels. Neither Santai-Gaffney nor NOM had "standing" to appeal.

    In particular, the Pennsylvania state court system has followed up on that federal court ruling, in multiple state cases with regard to retroactive recognition, whether it be the prior marriages performed in Montgomery County (where the Pennsylvania state Supreme Court issued a positive ruling, even exonerating the county clerk), the retroactive recognition of any number of out-of-state marriages, including more than a few involving estates and inheritance taxes (remembering that Pennsylvania had its own state mini-DOMA), the retroactive recognition of a number of common-law marriages, often for the same reasons, even the unscrambling of "adoptions," where one partner "adopted" the other.

    As a result, the Pennsylvania state court system probably has built up enough court precedent on its own to be protected against an "Obergefell" reversal.

    Also, in the case of both Nevada and Colorado (and Oregon, assuming the remote chance that "Obergefell" would have any impact), wouldn't those states then revert back to their earlier mode of allowing the separate, unequal same-sex civil unions? In particular, Nevada, like us, wants to maintain its image as a destination marriage venue.

  • 60. davepCA  |  May 29, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Obergefell is indeed "settled law" and is at no more risk of being overturned than Loving v. Virginia would be. In both cases, the only way the status quo could possibly change now would be if someone who actually had standing could come up with some possible argument that these rulings resulted in some kind of demonstrable 'harm' to them, and actually infringed on rights, rather than what these rulings really do, which is assuring recognition of constitutionally guaranteed rights. The opposition was unable to do so in over fifty state and federal cases, and they have no more chance of doing so now than they did then.

  • 61. scream4ever  |  May 30, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Once the Texas State Supreme Court dismisses the Houston challenge to pension benefits, that will set a blatant precedent regarding standing to challenging laws based on religious objection, including marriage rights.

  • 62. Deeelaaach  |  May 29, 2017 at 1:30 am

    As an addition to the above, and has been observed already, California is a different bird with regard to Obergefell. I don't know if it is also with regard to its Constitution. As a native Californian, I do hope I understand the situation here correctly. I believe that because it was put into the Constitution by Prop H8, it can only be taken out by the vote – by another proposition.

    This would be subject to getting enough signatures to put it on the ballot, so someone or some organization would likely have to put up the cash to hire a firm to get enough signatures. I believe that's how it has to be handled anyway, if we want a prayer of getting enough signatures to get it on the ballot in the first place.

    Further, if I'm correct that it needs to be taken out by proposition, I'm not sure if enough people would realize that this is necessary. I wonder how many people think that Hollingsworth v. Perry not only invalidated it but also removed it, when it only invalidated it. I also wonder if people may think that the legislature has the power to remove it from the Constitution. So I'm not sure if some amount of education would need to be done also. Heck, I followed the trial, almost from day one on this site, and even to me, the above post and comments were a reminder that it's still in our Constitution. Perhaps others consider Prop H8 to be a distant memory and don't recall that it's still there also.

    Then I wonder how many people would actually believe this to be the case, given the new (?) proclivity of a certain population that seems to believe that facts don't matter. Or perhaps those who would leave it there either because they fervently believe that it needs to be in there, or who would leave it there simply out of spite. CA may be a blue state, but the citizenry did vote in the majority for both Prop 22 and Prop H8.

    Of course, none of the above addresses the above mentioned Proposition 22, which preceded Prop H8 by a few years, and which created a statute forbidding state recognition and licensing of marriage equality. It would have to be removed by the same mechanism, and while I hope that they could be both removed in one fell swoop with a single proposition, I'm not sure that this is the case. Someone who knows better would have to comment on whether this is possible or not. Frankly, I hope they can both be taken out, like, yesterday.

    Please forgive me if any of this is incorrect, and any of it is, could you please post a correction? Thanks.

  • 63. TheVirginian722  |  May 29, 2017 at 3:46 am

    You have raised good questions, Deeelaaach. If the U. S. Supreme Court should reverse the Obergefell decision and hold that states have the right to prohibit same-sex marriage, it would invalidate all of the many federal court decisions which provided couples with the right to marry in numerous states. The Constitution of California, because of the adoption of Proposition 8 in 2008, would have to be amended before marriage could be restored.

    An amendment repealing Proposition 8's prohibition would have to be approved by California voters by referendum. There are two ways such an amendment could be put before the voters: (1) by a 2/3 affirmative vote in both the California Senate and Assembly, or (2) by an initiative petition bearing the signatures of a number of California voters equal to 8% of the votes cast in the most recent election for Governor. Democrats by themselves currently hold greater than 2/3 majorities in both houses, and at least some Republicans would likely also support such an amendment. So an expensive and time-consuming petition effort would most likely not be necessary.

    Proposition 8 was approved 52% to 48% in 2008. Given the growth in support for marriage equality over the last ten years (64% nationally in the most recent poll), it would be hard to imagine that a majority of California voters would not approve such an amendment and restore marriage rights for all.

    Bottom line: California would be the least of our worries, compared to the other 29 states with constitutional marriage bans. But we have to be prepared to work hard in every state should the unthinkable come to pass.

  • 64. Deeelaaach  |  May 29, 2017 at 5:37 am

    Thanks for the information, and for the reminder. I think I knew that once about the proposition process; that the legislature could place it on the ballot, but forgot. Thanks also for reminder about general changes in opinions on marriage equality, and thus a bit more hope for repeal.

    Your response spurred me to investigate a little further, and it appears that two separate propositions would have to be put on the ballot to effect a reversal. I did a quick google search, coming up with this link:

    Still wondering if marriage equality could be repealed in one that one fell swoop, given that marriage equality is a single subject, I followed the link regarding the single subject rule. Per the California Constitution, Article II, Section 8 (b), it appears to me that we would need two separate propositions, because apparently each proposition can only address a statute or an amendment to the Constitution.,_California_Co

    Edit: Whoops, it appears I forgot that Prop 22 was invalidated by the CA Supreme Court in May 2008. Please forgive my Swiss Cheese memory!

  • 65. TheVirginian722  |  May 29, 2017 at 10:40 am

    You are correct that the California Supreme Court struck down the statutory provision enacted by Proposition 22. Furthermore, the legislature and the Governor deleted that now-inoperative language in 2014. Also, Proposition 8 essentially took Proposition 22 and moved it from the statute books into the state constitution, making 8 and 22 one and the same. So I think we can consider Proposition 22 itself dead and gone.

    However, reviewing the history of Proposition 22 is important, as it illustrates how the issue of interjurisdictional recognition would be revived by a reversal of Obergefell. Throughout the 1990's, it became clear that eventually some jurisdiction — perhaps the Netherlands, perhaps Hawaii — was going to adopt marriage equality. While virtually no one in California thought that their state was ever going to offer same-sex couples the right to marry, they became concerned by the prospect that such couples married in another jurisdiction would seek to have their marriage recognized by California. This was an understandable concern, since California law at the time provided for recognition of any marriage validly contracted under the laws of any other state or country. The purpose of Proposition 22 was to modify the state's marriage statutes to limit any such recognition to opposite-sex couples only. It passed with 61% of the vote in 2000.

    As efforts to adopt similar statutes in other states moved forward, state courts began to issue opinions which found that such statutes were in conflict with equal protection guarantees of state constitutions. Marriage opponents realized that the only way to hamstring their state courts was to adopt amendments to state constitutions which would tie the hands of judges and legislators alike in regard to same-sex marriage. That strategy paid off handsomely for them with 30 states adopting such amendments.

    As for the single subject rule, I think you are on the right track in thinking that any and all provisions dealing with marriage equality can be dealt with in a single referendum question.

  • 66. VIRick  |  May 27, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Mexican Lawyer Markets "Trump" Brand Toilet Paper

    A Guanajuato lawyer was looking for a way to soothe his native country's collective frustration and rage towards the newly-installed US leader, as Antonio Battaglia had had enough of the labels he continually associated with his nation and its citizens. The result just hit the markets: "Suavidad sin Fronteras, Trump Paper, 4 Puros Rollos." Even the infamous orange hair-do and eyebrows are on the cartoon roll-figure on the front of the packaging, giving a smiling thumbs-up.

    Translation: "Smoothness without Borders, Trump Paper, 4 Pure Rolls."

    Note: The word "paper" on a Spanish-language product is invoking Spanglish. The proper Spanish word is "papel," with the full term being "papel higiénico."

  • 67. allan120102  |  May 28, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    This Monday the Movement for Integration and Homosexual Liberation (Movilh) will meet with the Government to set the dates for the processing of bills on Gender Identity and Equal Marriage Law.

    The meeting will be attended by the Secretary General of the Government, the spokeswoman Paula Narvaez, and the President of the General Secretariat of the Presidency, Nicolás Eyzaguirre.

    The meeting will allow to know what is the projection of the votes with which the government counts for the approval of both projects, since in the official government there is no unanimity given the observations that the DC has made. This is in addition to the rejection posed by most of the Chilean banks.

    The appointment takes place within the framework of the commitments assumed by the government in the Agreement for Equality that signed with the Movilh, where it will be sought that the draft Law on Gender Identity – which seeks to allow transgender people to change their name and Of legal sex – to be voted this week in the National Congress.

    In addition, as indicated in a statement MOVILH, seeks to refine the details for the presentation of the draft law on equal marriage no later than June 30.

  • 68. VIRick  |  May 29, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    France Accepts First Gay Chechen Refugee

    The president of French LGBTQ rights organization SOS Homophobie announced today, 29 May 2017, that France has started taking in gay refugees from Chechnya.

    “The first gay Chechen refugee arrived on French land,” Joël Deumier said on the radio station FranceInfo. “So France has started to welcome Chechen refugees. This is going to continue.” He went on to say that SOS Homophobie helped with the refugee’s application and provided testimony that he was oppressed because of his sexuality.

    He also pointed out that the refugee arrived during Putin’s first meeting with France’s president Emmanuel Macron. Macron also brought up the violence in Chechnya (with Putin), saying that he would be “constantly vigilant” on the issue. Protestors outside the meetings in Versailles and in Paris held signs that said (in French), “Stop homophobia in Chechnya.”

    Note: For the past several days, the site, LGBTQ Nation, has been inaccessible. I am elated to see that they have returned.

  • 69. VIRick  |  May 29, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    Venezuela: A Question in Search of an Answer

    Per Giovanni Piermattei‏ de Venezuela Igualitaria:

    Nos adecuamos al "modelo social" al exigir igualdad de derechos como matrimonio igualitario o restablecemos el orden del que fuimos excluidos?

    Do we conform to the "social model" by demanding equal rights such as marriage equality, or do we re-establish the order from which we were excluded?

  • 70. VIRick  |  May 29, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Yucatán: SCJN Again Postpones Decision

    Por cuarta ocasión, en 26 de mayo 2017, 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, pues, en ambos casos, establece que son uniones entre un hombre y una mujer.

    For the fourth time, on 26 May 2017, the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice postponed the revision of the direct injunction, 5459/2016, filed by three civil society organizations, in the face of the Yucatán Congress's refusal to amend the state's Family Code in matters of marriage and cohabitation, since, in both instances, it establishes that they are unions between a man and a woman.

  • 71. VIRick  |  May 29, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Illinois: House Approves Bill to Ease Birth Certificate Correction Requirements

    The Illinois House has endorsed a plan to make it easier for transgender people to correct their birth certificates. The Democratic-led chamber approved the proposal 63-43 on Thursday, 25 May 2017. It would allow transgender citizens to change their gender designation with authorization from a medical professional confirming they have undergone medically-appropriate treatment. Current law requires proof of a surgical operation.

    Democratic Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago is sponsoring the measure. He says it would align state law with contemporary medical standards at the federal level. At least a dozen other states no longer require surgery. Advocates say these updated standards help protect from discrimination transgender people who do not want or who cannot afford surgery.

  • 72. VIRick  |  May 30, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Madrid: World Pride 2017

    World Pride 2017 will take place in Madrid during the last week of June, and Telemadrid announced that it would be televising the event. “It’s an obligation: if Madrid hosts the most important event in the world for the LGBT community, then public television is present,” the regional television station said in a statement.

    The announcement comes after the public television corporation in Spain, Corporación de Radio y Televisión Española (RTVE), said that it would not broadcast the event, citing the high cost of production, a lack of public interest, and low profitability. World Pride is an event set up by InterPride in 2000 in order to promote LGBT issues internationally. The host of a World Pride is decided at InterPride’s yearly general meeting.

    Berlin and Sydney also tried to host 2017’s World Pride, but Madrid was unanimously chosen because 2017 is the 40th anniversary of the first LGBTQ protests in Spain. On 28 June 1977, the Gay Liberation Front of Catalonia marched in Barcelona, an event that occurred two years after Franco’s death. In 2019, World Pride will be in New York City for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

    Note: Franco is still dead.

  • 73. VIRick  |  May 30, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Panamá: Former Dictator Manuel Noriega is Dead

    Manuel Noriega, the former military dictator of Panamá, who was removed from power in a 1989 US invasion and jailed for decades, has died. He was 83.

    The cause of death, which was announced on Twitter by Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, was not immediately known. Noriega was released from prison in January 2017 to undergo brain surgery, but his daughter said on 7 March that he had suffered a hemorrhage and was critically ill.

    Per Juan Carlos Varela:

    Muerte de Manuel A. Noriega (en 29 de mayo 2017) cierra un capítulo de nuestra historia; sus hijas y sus familiares merecen un sepelio en paz.

    The death of Manuel A. Noriega (on 29 May 2017) closes a chapter in our history; his daughters and his relatives deserve to bury him in peace.

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