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Open thread 6/14


This is an open thread for news and discussion.

We will update with any breaking news.


  • 1. allan120102  |  June 14, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Panama supreme court have united the two demands into one alone saying that both topics are related. Now supreme court Justice Luis ramon Fabregas will be the one to write a ponencia. Either in favor or against ssm. Then it will be vote.depending on how its vote the ponencia will be pass to another magistrate.

  • 2. scream4ever  |  June 14, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    I'm hopeful!

  • 3. VIRick  |  June 17, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Panamá: Both Suits Requesting Legalization of Marriage Equality Combined

    Panamá: CSJ Acumulan en un Sólo Expediente las Dos Demandas que Piden Legalizar el Matrimonio Igualitario

    En vista de que ambas demandas tratan sobre los mismos hechos, se decidió en 7 de junio 2017 en acumularlas en un sólo expediente, y la ponencia fue asignada al magistrado Fábrega (el mismo juez a quien se le asignó el primero de los dos expedientes).

    Ya Fábrega debe elaborar un proyecto de fallo para decidir el recurso acumulado, y el fallo final debe ser apoyado por la mayoría de los nueve magistrados de la Corte Suprema de Justicia.

    Since both lawsuits deal with the same facts, the Supreme Court decided on 7 June 2017 to combine them into a single challenge, and the written decision was assigned to Judge Fábrega (the same judge who was assigned the earlier of the two cases).

    Fábrega must now prepare a draft judgment to decide the combined appeal, and the final judgment of it must be supported by the majority of the nine judges of the Supreme Court of Justice.

  • 4. VIRick  |  June 14, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Canada: Transgender Protections Now Nationwide

    Per Rex Wockner:

    As of today, 13 June 2017, all of Canada's 10 provinces and 3 territories have anti-discrimination laws protecting transgender people. There are now explicit protections in each and every jurisdiction's Human Rights Code, as well as explicit laws allowing for gender change without surgery. Specific to this point is today's headline:

    Yukon Passes Trans-Rights Bill

    Yukon became the final part of Canada to enact explicit anti-discrimination protections for trans people into its Human Rights Code, when Bill 5 passed its third reading and received the royal assent on 13 June 2017. Bill 5 also amends the territory’s Vital Statistics Act to allow trans people to change their legal gender without undergoing gender-confirming surgery. In a first for Canada, the bill also allows a gender-neutral option on birth certificates, whose marker will be determined later. The bill passed on a vote of 15–3.

  • 5. 1grod  |  June 16, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Rick – Re you header ;Nationwide: On June 15 2017 an amendment to the Canadian Bill of Rights (1960) protecting transgender persons at the federal level was approved by the Senate unamended from the version that passed the House of Commons. The change will soon become law when the Governor General gives "Royal Assent", similar to the USA president assenting to legislation approved by Congress.
    The Canadian Bill of Rights effects only areas of federal jurisdiction. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982) which effects areas of federal, provincial and territorial jurisdiction has not changed. Related changes were handled by each province/territory as noted by you.. The Bill of Rights requires the Commons, Senate and Governor General to agree to Amend. The Charter requires consent of the Commons, and Senate; as well as consent of the provinces per the constitutional amending formula, and the Governor General to agree to Amend.

  • 6. 1grod  |  June 18, 2017 at 7:24 am

    There's a problem with Canada's transgender rights bill says Canadian Senator: The Bill does not provide explicit protection in the amendments to the Bill of Rights and to the Criminal Code for those who are transgendered. .

  • 7. VIRick  |  June 14, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Guanajuato: An Allied Divorce Ruling Striking Down Restrictions

    Per Geraldina González de la Vega:

    Ampara la SCJN contra la prohibición de dos años para que los divorciados vuelvan a casarse en Guanajuato.

    Mexico's Supreme court has ruled against the prohibition in Guanajuato which forced divorcés to wait two years before remarrying.

    Most importantly, citing Article 1 of Mexico's Constitution, and stating that marriage is a fundamental right (El derecho al libre desarrollo de la personalidad), in Amparo Directo en Revisión 1439/2016, the First Chamber struck down this 2-year wait restriction in Guanajuato's code as being unconstitutional for the very same reason they struck down the similar prohibitions against same-sex marriage.

  • 8. VIRick  |  June 15, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Colombia: Three Gay Men Marry in Medellín

    Primer Matrimonio entre Tres Personas del Mismo Sexo en Medellín

    Three gay men in Colombia have married each other, and have been legally recognized as the first ‘polyamorous family’ in the country. Actor Victor Hugo Prada and his two partners, journalist Manuel José Bermúdez and sports instructor John Alejandro Rodríguez, signed the legal documents before a notary earlier in June 2017 in Medellín, documents which establish them as a family with legal inheritance rights.

    Lawyer and gay rights activist German Rincon Perfetti has said that there are many polyamorous families in Colombia, but that this is the first one to be legally recognized.

  • 9. VIRick  |  June 15, 2017 at 11:36 am

    As found in my archives, the closest previously-known 3-way legal arrangement, as discussed in this news article date-lined 3 May 2015, was recorded in Argentina:

    Argentina Grants Birth Certificate Listing 3 Parents

    In what appears to be a "first ever," whether in Argentina or elsewhere, Buenos Aires Province has granted a family legal recognition of three parents. A lesbian couple and the biological father of their child have all been listed on the child’s birth certificate, which gives them all legal recognition as parents of the child. The family says it is "important" that they are all recognized as parents.

    According the Buenos Aires Provincial Registrar of Persons, Claudia Corrado, this is in the best interests of the child, and means that the father, Hernán Melazzi, retains his rights and responsibilities for the child. Mothers Susana Guichal and Valeria Gaete have been together for eleven years, and married for three. They said they think of Melazzi as more than just a sperm donor for their child.

    Esteban Paulón, head of the LGBT Federation of Argentina, stated, “We are so proud, on this historic day, of the decision of the Buenos Aires Provincial government. We didn’t even need to go to the courts. It is like science fiction for other countries, who are only just discussing equal marriage or common children.”

    Mr. Melazzi said: “This is a very important moment for the three of us and for Antonio, our child.”

  • 10. ianbirmingham  |  June 15, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Pennsylvania and Ontario courts ruled in 2007 that a child could have 3 legal parents:

    On April 30 [2007], a [Pennsylvania] state Superior Court panel ruled that a child can have three legal parents. The case, Jacob v. Shultz-Jacob, involved two lesbians who were the legal co-parents of two children conceived with sperm donated by a friend. The panel held that the sperm donor and both women were all liable for child support. Arthur S. Leonard, a professor at New York Law School, observed, “I’m unaware of any other state appellate court that has found that a child has, simultaneously, three adults who are financially obligated to the child’s support and are also entitled to visitation.”

    The case follows a similar decision handed down by a provincial court in Ontario in January. In what appeared to be the first such ruling in any Western nation, the court ruled that a boy can legally have three parents. In that case the biological mother and father had parental rights and wished for the biological mother’s lesbian partner, who functions as the boy’s second mother, to have such rights as well.

  • 11. VIRick  |  June 15, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Denmark: 5th Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    Per Fundación Iguales:

    Hoy se cumplen 5 años desde que Dinamarca aprobó el matrimonio igualitario. Desde 15 de junio 2012, son legales los matrimonios entre parejas del mismo sexo y la adopción.

    Today marks 5 years since Denmark approved marriage equality. From 15 June 2012, marriage between same-sex couples has been legal, as has adoption.

  • 12. VIRick  |  June 15, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Mexico: Los Algodones BC, RV/Snowbird Health Care Capital of Record

    Los Algodones BC, parked immediately on the Mexico-USA border near Yuma AZ, but abutting California in the lower Colorado River valley, has developed itself into the RV/snowbird dental/ optometry/ prescription drug capital of record, offering its products and services at affordable prices to thousands of US citizens, mostly retirees, including many veterans, all of whom either do not have dental/eye glasses/prescription drug insurance coverage of their own, or who simply find the prices for these multiple services and products to be far too expensive in the USA.

    Its 6000-plus residents include 600 dentists, 150 optometrists, and 20 medical doctors, with dozens of pharmacies carrying low-cost prescription medications. Particularly during the mild winter months, each day, about 6,000 dental refugees from El Norte migrate there looking for implants, root canals, crowns,– whatever. Many deported Mexican citizens who have lived for many years in the USA have been specifically hired to work as interpreters.

    See the article for the photo of one dental clinic so close to the US border that only its second story windows are visible from the California side, peering directly above Trump's (actually W's) wall, as well as for the additional street pictures showing the chock-a-block clinics and pharmacies along Los Algodones' main street.

    Note: Los Algodones caters to day-trippers from El Norte. Unlike many other border towns, there are no nightly girlie shows, seedy whore houses, or donkey spectaculars, and the town only supports one hotel. And unless one wishes to participate in an after-hours climb of the wall (or burrow one's own tunnel), please remember that the border crossing there closes at 10 PM and does not re-open again until 6 AM.

    And be forewarned: Like other low-elevation desert locales in California, Arizona, and Sonora, summertime afternoon temperatures in Los Algodones can reach 114 degrees, thus making the trek across the border on foot a serious heat challenge. It is also illegal to drive a rental car across the border in either direction.

  • 13. VIRick  |  June 15, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Oregon: First-in-Nation with Non-Binary ID Option

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On Thursday, 15 June 2017, Oregon officials voted to add a gender-neutral option on state IDs, making it the first state in the country to recognize non-binary people on their driver’s licenses. The unanimous decision by the Oregon Transportation Commission is the final step in a year-long process that began in June 2016, when Portland resident Jamie Shupe became the first legally non-binary person (that is, one who identifies as neither male nor female) in the USA.

    The option, which will be available from 3 July 2017, will make a difference for non-binary and transgender people for whom using an ID marked “M” or “F” is inaccurate or even dangerous, advocates say.

  • 14. ianbirmingham  |  June 15, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    'God has decided': Putin claims it is his 'duty' to stop gay people getting married so that people have more babies
    * Putin explained his views on same-sex marriage to film director Oliver Stone
    * The Russian president said he has to 'uphold traditional values' in the country
    * Putin is against same-sex adoption, while supporting 'traditional' households
    * Putin also said he would not take a shower on a submarine with a gay crewman

    Read more:

  • 15. VIRick  |  June 16, 2017 at 9:26 am

    "Putin also said he would not take a shower on a submarine with a gay crewman."

    That is because he is so uncertain of his own sexuality that he's hauntingly fearful that in a claustrophobic situation he'd be so tempted, mesmerized, and enthralled with the forbidden enchantment of the dangling dong that he'd immediately bend right over and unhesitatingly take it full throttle, instantly becoming totally addicted to said enjoyment, constantly and forever wanting more, leaving him in a never-to-be-satiated stupor.

    People with such ridiculous, unfounded fears and extended, paranoid scenarios are exceedingly creepy, and are inevitably the provocateurs in violent gay-bashing incidents. Thus, that "reveal" on the part of Putin actually indicates that he is quite dangerous.

  • 16. ianbirmingham  |  June 16, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Although there is widespread animosity toward homosexuality in Russia and authorities regularly deny gay rights activists permission to rally, Putin said 'our society is liberal-minded to a great extent. There is no situation like in some Muslim countries where homosexuals face death penalty,' he said. [10% of the population of Russia is Muslim.] 'We have no restrictions or harassment based on gender. Moreover, many people explicitly talk about their non-traditional sexual orientation. We maintain relations with them and many of them achieve outstanding results in their [professional] activity… they even get state awards and orders for their [outstanding professional] achievements.'

    After Putin noted that there is no formal prohibition of gays in the military, Stone asked if Putin would take a shower on a submarine with a gay crewman. 'I prefer not to go to the shower with him. Why provoke him?' Putin said. [Putin is well known for posing bare-chested while performing macho activities & he probably thinks the song "I'm Too Sexy…" was actually written about him…] 'But you know, I'm a judo master and a SAMBO master as well.'

  • 17. davepCA  |  June 16, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    As a gay man, I think Putin doing his shirtless posing routines looks like a complete moron and I feel nothing but embarassment – for him. It's pathetic.

  • 18. JayJonson  |  June 16, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Serbian president has nominated an open lesbian as the nation's first woman Prime Minister. The move will not be popular with the Orthodox Church and the country's ultranationalists.

    "President Aleksandar Vucic announced that Ana Brnabic, 41, was nominated as the prime minister-designate, which could also make her the first female head of government in the country's history. Her cabinet needs formal approval by parliament next week.

    It was 'a difficult decision reached in the interest of Serbia and its citizens,' said Vucic, a former extremist-turned-reformist who has promised to boost gay rights as part of efforts to move closer to European Union membership.

    'If elected in parliament, I will run the government with dedication and responsibility and I will do my job honestly and with love,' Brnabic told state Tanjug news agency.

    Brnabic's nomination is considered part of Vucic's apparent turn toward the West despite strong pressure from Russia to maintain its influence in the region. The British-educated Brnabic, a marketing expert, had worked for U.S. companies before she assumed her Serbian government job."

    More here:

  • 19. VIRick  |  June 16, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Texas Governor Signs Anti-LGBT Adoption Placement Bill

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law a bill allowing adoption agencies, even those that receive state funds, to discriminate against LGBT people or anyone else who offends the operator’s "sincerely-held religious beliefs."

    Under House Bill 3859, which Abbott signed on Thursday, 15 June 2017, “child welfare providers will be allowed to deny adoptions and other services to children and parents based on 'sincerely-held religious beliefs,’” the "Texas Tribune" reports. It also means faith-based agencies can “place a child in a religious school; deny referrals for certain contraceptives, drugs or devices; and refuse to contract with other organizations that don’t share their religious beliefs,” according to the publication.

    In addition to allowing discrimination against same-sex couples and LGBT individuals, the law provides cover for agencies to turn away a variety of others based on religious objections, such as single parents, interfaith couples, divorced people, and members of other faiths, opponents pointed out.

  • 20. davepCA  |  June 16, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    ….aaaand we're back to dragging blatantly unconstitutional state legislation through the courts to get them overturned. No way this will fly. But it sucks that we have to waste resources to get it tossed out.

  • 21. Fortguy  |  June 16, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Rick, your post used an article in the Advocate that itself was sourced from The Texas Tribune. Here is the original Tribune article:

    Marissa Evans, The Texas Tribune: Abbott OKs religious refusal of adoptions in Texas

    Meanwhile, because of all the anti-LGBT covfefe spewing out of Austin and D.C., some are questioning the whimsical, celebratory theme of this year's Pride Parade in Houston instead demanding that these times call for old-fashioned Pride Marches. Due to the current right-wing backlash against us, it may indeed be time to put aside the floats and the glitz and walk rather with placards and raised fists again demanding our rights and recognition of our inherent human dignity.

    Andrew Edmonson, for the Houston Chronicle: Pride parades started as protests. Houston's should be again.

  • 22. davepCA  |  June 16, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    agreed. That's exactly what Los Angeles Pride just did last weekend.

  • 23. ianbirmingham  |  June 16, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Karen Handel, Jon Ossoff’s Opponent, Re-Affirms Her Extreme Anti-Gay Stance In Georgia's 6th Congressional District's Special Election Debate

  • 24. ianbirmingham  |  June 20, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Homophobe Karen Handel just defeated Jon Ossoff in the most expensive Congressional race of all time 🙁

  • 25. VIRick  |  June 16, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Mass Resignation from Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS

    Per Equality Case Files:

    From Scott A. Schoettes, Counsel and HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal, who resigned from the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS on 13 June 2017, along with Lucy Bradley-Springer, Gina Brown, Ulysses W. Burley III, Michelle Ogle, and Grissel Granados:

    "Five of my colleagues and I resigned this week from the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). As advocates for people living with HIV, we have dedicated our lives to combating this disease and no longer feel we can do so effectively within the confines of an advisory body to a president who simply does not care.

    "The Trump Administration has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic, seeks zero input from experts to formulate HIV policy, and—most concerning—pushes legislation that will harm people living with HIV and halt or reverse important gains made in the fight against this disease."

  • 26. Fortguy  |  June 16, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    My question is whether anyone who gives a damn about people with HIV remains on the council. Otherwise, Trump will replace them with AFD or FRC types without any dissenting opinion to appeal to Ivanka or anyone else who thinks letting people get sick and die is bad PR for the administration. (Not that I think Ivanka gives a damn, but she does seem to care about the PR in how it affects her own brand.)

  • 27. ianbirmingham  |  June 16, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    Savannah, a 12-year-old Mormon girl, courageously stood up in front of her Utah congregation last month to tell them she was gay. But before she could finish her testimony, church officials cut off her microphone and told her to sit down. Standing behind a lectern in front of her congregation, Savannah had told the crowd she was proud God had made her that way. When her mic was cut, the confused girl could be seen tapping on it, clearly assuming it had broken mid-speech.

  • 28. scream4ever  |  June 17, 2017 at 10:16 am

    God I hate Mormons so much.

  • 29. Randolph_Finder  |  June 20, 2017 at 10:23 am

    There are a few things in the story that don't really ring true to me.

    1) "She thought it was broken". At least in the church buildings that I'd been in, the fact that microphone control (and the lectern up/down control) are next to the seat that the Bishop sits in (and a 12 year old would know that)

    2) Writing what the person is going to say ahead of time really isn't appropriate for Fast and Testimony meeting. If the Bishop sees that, then he'll know something is up.

    3) The parents (including the mother who has *left* the church(!)) were there and recording. Completely inappropriate for this.

    In my wife's LDS unit they had an issue in the other direction just before we moved in. A woman would take advantage of being able to go up during fast and testimony meetings an rail against the gays, and *many* other things. (If she had lived to see the same sex marriage vote in Maryland in 2012, they would have had to drag her off the stage) Or to put it another way. It isn't supposed to be "Speechimony".

  • 30. ianbirmingham  |  June 17, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    A new reformist mosque which seeks to break gender and sexual taboos in the Muslim community has opened in Berlin. Turkish-born lawyer and women's rights activist Seyran Ates co-founded the Ibn Rushd-Goethe mosque as she called for a “sexual revolution” within Muslim communities. The founders of the mosque welcome Muslims of all sects, as well as Muslims of the LGBTQ+ community, to worship together within a safe space which intends to celebrate Muslim diversity and unity.

  • 31. VIRick  |  June 17, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    US Commission on Civil Rights Probes into Trump Administration

    Per Equality Case Files:

    The United States Commission on Civil Rights will launch a two-year probe into civil rights offices throughout Trump’s administration to examine their ability to function. The bipartisan federal watchdog voted unanimously to undertake a two-year investigation into the “degree to which current budgets and staffing levels allow civil rights offices to perform” under the current administration.

    In a statement, the commission expressed concerns that this administration’s proposed budget cuts to civil rights offices across the federal government "would result in a dangerous reduction of civil rights enforcement across the country, leaving communities of color, LGBT people, older people, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups exposed to greater risk of discrimination."

    The full statement is here:

  • 32. ianbirmingham  |  June 17, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Londoners are set to unite for a "Big Gay Iftar" for the second year in a row this Ramadan.

  • 33. VIRick  |  June 17, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    NOM's Anti-LGBT Marriage Hate March Draws 47

    After more than six months of near-daily money begs and incessant cries of impending victory due to Trump's election, NOM’s fifth annual anti-LGBT marriage march on the Mall in Washington DC today, 17 June 2017, drew a hilariously paltry 47 attendees (“including babies”) according to an actual head count done by a Twitter friend.

    That NOM leader Brian Brown even held the event in the first place after last year’s event drew a humiliating attendance of fewer than 200 only confirms one's belief that the march is nothing but a fundraising scam. Other than a few clueless, wandering tourist families, the only other attendees appeared to be members of the Red-Caped Catholic Loons.

  • 34. davepCA  |  June 17, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Ha! This made my day. I remember, several years ago, when NOM had some actual power to draw a huge crowd and to do real damage with their constant barrage of rhetoric and lobbying and donating huge sums of money to anti-LGBT causes and ballot measures. Then, as the dominoes started to fall and same sex couples began legally marrying in state after state, and the tide of public opinion began to turn, I would sometimes think about what might eventually happen to them. Now I know. Serves the bastards right. I hope Brian Brown felt humiliated and terrified that day as he looked out at the empty lawn, knowing that everything they did was a pointless waste, that NOM is toothless and meaningless, and that it's all over. Thanks for posting this, Rick!

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

    Dave, did you have a chance to look at the photos which accompany Joe's article taken during this singular non-event? Despite all the temporary barricades, the plentitude of banners, the porta-potties, and the erection of a wooden stage, there was almost no one there. Even last year, rather than allow any marchers to parade down a roadway, the Capitol Police insisted that the handful of die-hard clowns sheepishly walk single-file along the sidewalks. This year, they didn't even bother to do that. Instead, for a so-called "march," the handful of Caped Loons in attendance had to individually wander off on their own if they wished to go over and glare at the Supreme Court building following the lame speechifying.

  • 36. davepCA  |  June 17, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    Oh yes, I enjoyed the pictures very much!

    …..And you said "erection".

    Hee hee.

  • 37. scream4ever  |  June 18, 2017 at 1:14 am

    I'd like to also add that they failed to reach their $100,000 matching grant goal, which was extended by 6 weeks.

  • 38. VIRick  |  June 18, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Now, if only the ADF would collapse in upon itself the way that NOM has.

  • 39. guitaristbl  |  June 18, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    NOM may be crumbling and we may laugh at it but they have 4 young, robust supporters sitting in the supreme court that wait for a 5th that will give them what they want. So making fun of them is good and all but they have their people in government now..

  • 40. davepCA  |  June 18, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    There have ALWAYS been people in the government who have been willing and eager to deny us our Constitutional Rights and to do whatever else they could get away with doing to us, since long before NOM. And as we all know, we now have an administratio that has no problem letting them do all of that. So, yes, the fight ain't over. But the end of the chapter on NOM's relevence and significance in the USA is worth celebrating.

  • 41. scream4ever  |  June 18, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    I honestly don't think Roberts would vote to overturn Obergefell, even though he didn't join the majority. His likely votes to deny stays in the marriage cases spoke louder IMO.

  • 42. allan120102  |  June 18, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    His dissent was pretty strong though, he read his dissent from the bench the first time he had done it since he took seat in the supreme court. I would also note that Roberts is not a fan of overturning this kind of cases from a single hit. He would probably vote to weaken them first like taking the case of Arkansas or Indiana and voting in favor of them. That has been his method in abortion and other issues.

  • 43. VIRick  |  June 19, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    Guitar, we now have a real-life, first-hand report on NOM's so-called "march," courtesy of the owner of the baying beagle. Based on his report, the whole underwhelming performance was even more pathetic than first stated, as he claims only about 30 people were there. Since Brian Brown firmly declared that his wife and all 9 of his kids were in attendance, that means that there were only about 18 or so non-family attendees. In fact, the "crowd" was so sparse, the owner of the baying beagle further figured that there were probably more porta-potties present than live human beings. And definitely more banners and metal barriers.

    As an added insult, the beagle (in squirrel-hunter mode) also proceeded to out-howl the speakers, in a tone that can be heard from several blocks away, much to the annoyance of Brian Brown, as the added noise undoubtedly interfered with their ability to record the speeches for later propaganda purposes.

  • 44. ianbirmingham  |  June 18, 2017 at 5:54 am

    Trump thought White House bid would cost as much as a yacht, but be ‘a lot more fun’

  • 45. VIRick  |  June 18, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Tijuana: 22nd LGBTQI Pride March

    Per Rex Wockner:

    On Saturday, 17 June 2017, Tijuana quite gaily and proudly hosted its 22nd Annual LGBTQI Pride March, "Viva la Vida con Orgullo" ("Live Life with Pride"), one of the longest-running Pride marches in all of Mexico.

  • 46. VIRick  |  June 18, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Malta: Marriage Equality before Parliament's Summer Recess

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Prime Minister Muscat hopes to keep Malta's MPs busy until end of July. A marriage equality bill should be passed into law before parliament rises for its summer recess, Muscat said this morning, 18 June 2017.

    In a brief interview held on ONE Radio, Dr Muscat said that he hoped to secure agreement to have MPs keep working until the end of July, giving the newly-formed parliament enough time to discuss money bills various state entities need to function. Should the government and opposition fail to agree, MPs will have to cram multiple parliamentary sessions into a few days to ensure the bills are passed.

    Dr Muscat reiterated his promise to prioritize the legalization of same-sex marriage and suggested the marriage equality bill would be passed into law before parliament's summer recess. "We have a strong mandate and we want to deliver on our promises," Dr Muscat said. The marriage equality bill's second reading would be one of the first things MPs tackled when they began debating tomorrow, he added.

  • 47. scream4ever  |  June 18, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    Could this be what finally pushes Germany into our column?

  • 48. VIRick  |  June 19, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Google Grants $1 Million to Preserve Stonewall Oral History

    Google’s philanthropic branch,, is donating $1 million to preserve an oral history of the Stonewall riots, one of the modern era’s earliest and certainly the most famous actions in the fight for LGBTQ rights. The funding will go to The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center to start the project, Sen. Chuck Schumer announced yesterday, 18 June 2017. “With this money, The Center will collaborate with the National Park Foundation to better education the community about its extraordinary history,” Schumer said.

    Individuals present at the riots will have a chance to have their stories preserved so that future generations will know what really happened over several days in the summer of 1969, as members of the community fought back against police harassment specifically and a society that refused to accept them generally. William Floyd, Google’s head of external affairs in New York, is credited with coming up with the idea.

    The Stonewall Inn was named a national monument last year. There has been some concern that the current administration could take away the designation after Trump signed an executive order instructing the secretary of the Interior to look at the designations made over the past 21 years. “The National Park Service is committed to telling the stories that reflect all of America’s history,” said Joshua Laird, commissioner of the National Parks of New York Harbor.

  • 49. VIRick  |  June 19, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Ukraine: Thousands Attend Pride Despite Death Threats

    Thousands of people marched in Kyiv Pride yesterday, 18 June 2017, despite death threats against the organizers and against those protesting the far-right nationalists. The march through the capital of Ukraine drew a crowd of 2,500 marchers, according to police spokesperson Oksana Blishchik.

  • 50. VIRick  |  June 19, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Veracruz: New Marriage Equality Bill Presented

    Per Ruta Equidad AC:

    Hoy, 19 de junio 2017, entregamos una propuesta de iniciativa de ley (sobre el matrimonio igualitario) para la reforma al código civil del estado de Veracruz a la diputada, María Josefina Gamboa Torales.

    Today, 19 June 2017, we presented a proposal for a legal initiative (on marriage equality) for the reform of the Veracruz state civil code to the deputy, María Josefina Gamboa Torales.

    This controversial PAN deputy, better-known by her pseudonym, Maryjose Gamboa, is an ex-journalist, who currently represents District 14 (Boca del Río) in the Veracruz state congress.

    Note: Boca del Río is the up-scale beach/resort area adjacent to the port city of Veracruz, not too overly distant from where I once lived.

  • 51. VIRick  |  June 20, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    More on the Veracruz Marriage Equality Proposal

    Per Ruta Equidad AC:‏

    Maryjose Gamboa trabaja una iniciativa sobre "unión de hechos" que va en contra del matrimonio igualitario en Veracruz. Maryjose Gamboa sólo muestra desconocimiento del derecho cuando propone "unión de hechos."

    Maryjose Gamboa is working on an initiative for "de facto unions" (common law cohabitation) that goes against marriage equality in Veracruz. Maryjose Gamboa only shows ignorance of rights when proposing such "de facto unions."

    So that's the real reason why yesterday la Ruta Equidad sent her a proper marriage equality bill that would meet the Supreme Court's established standard. Still, if her proposal were to actually pass and become law, this half-measure change to the law would give la Ruta Equidad the ability to challenge its constitutionality before the Supreme Court.

    Per Congreso de Veracruz‏:

    Hoy día, 20 de junio 2017, en tribuna la diputada Maryjose Gamboa presentó la iniciativa de ley para regular las "Uniones de Hechos" para el Estado de Veracruz.

    Today, 20 June 2017, from the rostrum, Deputy Maryjose Gamboa presented the bill to regulate "De Facto Unions" in the State of Veracruz.

  • 52. ianbirmingham  |  June 19, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    LGBT community struggles for recognition & rights in Iraqi Kurdistan

  • 53. VIRick  |  June 19, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    New Irish PM Told DUP to Stop Blocking Marriage Equality in N. Ireland

    After failing to win a majority in the UK’s general election, British PM Theresa May is trying to seal a deal with Northern Ireland’s ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party in order to prop up her government. The DUP has a long history of homophobia, and continues to employ the peace process powers to override votes in favor of equal marriage in the Northern Irish Assembly.

    Leo Varadkar, the new Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland, one of three openly gay world leaders currently in office, revealed today, 19 June 2017, at a meeting with May, that he has pressed the DUP over their questionable use of "Petitions of Concern" to block all progress on marriage equality.

    Speaking in a joint press conference with Theresa May, the gay world leader said: “I met with Arlene Foster and the DUP last week in Dublin, and at that meeting I expressed my very strong view that marriage equality should be permitted in Northern Ireland. The majority of people in Northern Ireland want that, the majority of members in the Northern Ireland Assembly want that, and I expressed very clearly my view that the Petition of Concern mechanism should not be used to block marriage equality in Northern Ireland.

    “As you can appreciate, Arlene Foster and the DUP have a different view on this matter. They made me aware of their views, so there wasn’t a meeting of the minds on this issue. However, I will certainly continue to raise it.”

    Petitions of Concern were a power introduced under the Good Friday Agreement to promote cross-community collaboration, but the DUP continues to employ the law to block marriage equality proposals, even though same-sex marriage is legal in the rest of the UK and in the Republic of Ireland.

  • 54. VIRick  |  June 19, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Brasil: Millions Attend São Paulo Pride

    Per The Associated Press:

    Revelers gathered in São Paulo on Sunday, 18 June 2017, for one of the world’s largest-ever gay pride parades, with this year’s event focusing on the threat of religious fundamentalism to Brasil’s LGBT community.

    Under a giant rainbow-colored flag, revelers of all ages, many wearing bright wigs, turned the city’s Avenida Paulista into an absolute, multi-colored sea of people filling more than 10 city blocks. Organizers said they expected 3 million people to participate in São Paulo’s 21st annual gay pride parade, though military police did not release a crowd estimate.

    Grammy award-winning singer Daniela Mercury and Brazilian pop star Anitta performed at a parade that organizers said would focus on secularism and the idea that no religion is law, regardless of people’s individual beliefs. Parade organizer Claudia Regina said on the event’s official Facebook page that “our main enemies today are religious fundamentalists,” warning that some groups insist on condemning LGBT people and “removing rights that we have already obtained.”

  • 55. Fortguy  |  June 19, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    In the intermission between the regular session of the Texas Legislature and the special session called by Gov. Greg Abbott to begin on July 18, we have Univ. of Texas/Texas Tribune polling on opinions of Texans regarding a few LGBT issues. On the question "How important is the bathroom bill?", a plurality of respondents overall say not important at 47% to 44% who say the bill is important. Democrats consider the bill not important 53% to 35%, while 57% of Republicans regard the bill important. Among Republicans, 70% of Tea Partiers consider the bill important compared to 54% of those who don't mix their tea and right-wing politics. Compared to a February poll, Republicans have increasingly regarded the bill as important under the rhetoric of the session while Dem numbers have remained largely flat.

    Ross Ramsey, The Texas Tribune: UT/TT Poll: Texas voters weigh in on importance of "bathroom bill"

    Support for marriage equality has increased to 55% of all Texans but is still opposed by 52% of GOPers who no longer have a say in the matter.

    Despite Abbott's signature to a bill allowing adoption agencies to discriminate upon "sincerely held religious beliefs", 51% believe there should be no such exemption to non-discrimination laws with widely partisan differences. Of course, any such legislation still has to deal with the veto power of federal courts.

    Unfortunately, I have not had the time to read the full poll results and crosstabs or study them. I would love to see how the results differ by gender, race and ethnicity, education, and income. The full results are linked at the bottom of the article.

  • 56. VIRick  |  June 20, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    European Court Hands Russia Stinging Defeat in ‘Gay Propaganda’ Case

    Europe‘s highest human rights court ruled on Tuesday that Russia‘s “gay propaganda law” prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality is discriminatory and a violation of freedom of expression. The law, signed by Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2013, ostensibly prohibits the promotion of homosexuality to minors, and has been used to stop LGBTQ pride demonstrations, as well as to go after and jail activists.

    The European Court of Human Rights ruled that it breached European treaty rules. It ordered Russia to pay the men a total of 43,000 euros, or $48,000, in damages in a binding ruling. “The Court found in particular that, although the laws in question aimed primarily at protecting minors, the limits of those laws had not been clearly defined and their application had been arbitrary,” the Strasbourg-based court said in a statement. “Indeed, by adopting such laws, the authorities had reinforced stigma and prejudice and encouraged homophobia, which was incompatible with the values of a democratic society.”

    The court, in its ruling in favor of three gay activists who staged protests from 2009 to 2012 — Nikolai Bayev, Aleksei Kiselev, and Nikolai Alekseyev — also said the law “served no legitimate public interest.”

  • 57. ianbirmingham  |  June 20, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    First Look Inside One Of Chechnya's Gay Concentration Camps

  • 58. ianbirmingham  |  June 20, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    First LGBT Pride Sidewalk In Texas: Coming Soon @ Montrose

  • 59. Fortguy  |  June 20, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Rather than create yet more LGBT-awareness symbology in Montrose, I'd rather see the rainbow crosswalks installed at every single megachurch whose pastors railed against HERO. (Also crossing the streets directly in front of the homes of unhinged haters Steve Hotze and Jared Woodfill would be a nice touch.) Then they can move up to Dallas and install them at every crosswalk serving the five-block downtown compound of Robert Jeffress' First Baptist Church of Dallas.

  • 60. VIRick  |  June 20, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Sonora: Same-Sex Marriage Up-Date

    Per María Luisa Alatorre, state director, CEDH:

    CEDH Receives Nine Requests for Processing for Equal Marriage Counseling

    Recibe CEDH Nueve Solicitudes a Tramitar de Asesoría para Matrimonio Igualitario

    Hermosillo, 20 de junio 2017 – En Sonora, hasta la fecha, la cifra de matrimonios entre parejas del mismo sexo asciende a 23, 15 de ellos en Hermosillo, y el resto en Guaymas, Nogales, San Luis Río Colorado, y Puerto Peñasco, de cuales 16 uniones legales han sido del sexo feminino y 7 entre hombres.

    Hermosillo, 20 June 2017 – In Sonora, to date, the number of marriages between same-sex couples amounts to 23, 15 of them in Hermosillo, and the rest in Guaymas, Nogales, San Luis Río Colorado, and Puerto Peñasco, of which 16 legal unions have been female and 7 between men.

    Added to the 9 new requests so far for this year, all of which must be approved in due course through the amparo process, that would bring the total number of same-sex marriages in Sonora up to 32.

  • 61. VIRick  |  June 20, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Chile: Comment on Up-Coming Papal Visit

    Per Hugo Manuel:

    Así que viene el Papa a Chile?? Bienvenido acá, así los esperamos con la ley ya aprobada de aborto 3 causales y matrimonio igualitario.

    So the Pope comes to Chile? Welcome here, as we await you with the already approved law on abortion for 3 causes and marriage equality.

  • 62. VIRick  |  June 24, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Pakistan Grants First Gender-Neutral Passport

    As of June 2017, in Pakistan, “third gender” or gender-neutral passports will now be available for trans and non-binary people living in the country. The president of the TransAction Alliance, Farzana Jan, was the first trans person to receive the new passport. Jan, who is non-binary, had applied for it over six months ago. On their passport, it reads X where the gender of the passport holder is signified.

    On Facebook, the Alliance wrote that they were overjoyed about the step towards equality. “After a long struggle, we are able to make another change. Thank you Government of Pakistan, Ministry of Interior, and Passport authorities for listening to us,” the statement read.

    Jan, who received the first passport, said that they were delighted that Pakistan was leading the way for acceptance in the Middle East. “It is a good sign at the international level as the country is now among the very few countries with the third gender category on passports. Still, countries like Saudi Arabia don’t consider our identity nor allow us entry into the country for Umrah or Hajj,” they said.

    No official announcement has been made by the Pakistan government acknowledging the decision. India, Nepal, Germany, and New Zealand all also offer gender-neutral passports, with Canada soon to follow suit.

  • 63. VIRick  |  June 25, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Iraq: Supportive LGBTI Posters Appear in Baghdad

    Large purple-colored wall posters that say, in Arabic, “Like me, like you. Differences and diversity are the basis of life,” have been put up in the city of Baghdad. In addition, the logo, "LGBTI," in rainbow colors, is centered near the bottom of each, and is surrounded by a pair of hands also done up in rainbow colors. It is unknown who put them up.

    Ayaz Shalal, who works for Rasan, an organization that works for LGBTQI rights in Iraqi Kurdistan, told "Gay Star News" that he was “personally impressed” with the posters. “I am personally very impressed by those who did the posters, and I support them all the way to the end.”

    While homosexuality is not banned by Iraqi law, violence against LGBT people from non-government actors like ISIS remains a major problem in Baghdad and throughout the rest of Iraq.

  • 64. VIRick  |  June 25, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Turkish Police Break up Banned Istanbul Pride

    Today, 25 June 2017, Turkish police were using rubber bullets and dogs to disperse crowds of LGBT activists who marched at Istanbul Pride, despite authorities having banned the event. AFP reported that authorities were firing rubber bullets and ITV said that tear gas was also released on peaceful marchers.

    It is believed that a number of lawyers working in conjunction with the organizers of the march were temporarily detained. Organizers have confirmed that at least 10 people were arrested, but it is unclear if they have been charged with any specific crime.

    The violence comes after authorities announced yesterday, 24 June 2017, that the Pride event had been banned, the second year in a row that that had happened, with authorities citing fears over the safety of marchers and tourists because of threats from right-wing ultra-nationalist groups.

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