Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

Open thread 7/5


Fourth Circuit map
Fourth Circuit map
This is an open thread.

– Journalist Nina Totenberg reported over the weekend a tip that Justice Kennedy may have told a clerk applicant that he’s considering retirement after the upcoming Supreme Court term. This is just a rumor so far, but Totenberg is a generally reliable reporter.

– The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will hold oral argument in Gavin Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board on September 12, 2017.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  July 5, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Ecuador: Guayaquil LGBT Pride March Plus Up-Date from Constitutional Court

    Ecuador: Matrimonio Igualitario y Registro de Niños: Pedidos Ciudadanos en la Marcha del Orgullo LGTBI de Guayaquil

    Miércoles, 5 de julio 2017 – Aproximadamente veinte mil personas llenaron la Avenida 9 de Octubre el sábado, 1 de julio. Guayaquil, la ciudad más poblada de Ecuador, celebró al Día del Orgullo LGTBI. Por primera vez en la historia de la ciudad, el municipio encendió las luces multicolores que representan a la diversidad sexual en el monumento a Bolívar y San Martín. Portando camisetas blancas impresas con una leyenda de apoyo al matrimonio civil igualitario, una delegación de estudiantes de la Universidad Casa Grande y de familias guayaquileñas, apoyaron esta causa que se encuentra ahora por parte de la Corte Constitucional.

    La activista Silvia Buendía, defensora de los adolescentes recluidos por sus padres en las clínicas de deshomosexualización, un mal privado que ha afectado las libertades civiles del país, explicó que el activismo ecuatoriano se encuentra esperando la resolución de la corte sobre dos casos: matrimonio igualitario y el registro de una menor de edad.

    La petición de Pamela Troya y Gabriela Correa ha recibido un Amicus Curie enviado por la Fundación Iguales de Chile a la que pertenece Karen Atala. La Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos determinó en el caso de Atala, a quien le fue retirada la tenencia de sus hijos por discriminación, que la orientación sexual forma parte de la intimidad de una persona, y no tiene relevancia para analizar aspectos relacionados con la buena o mala paternidad o maternidad.….

    Wednesday, 5 July 2017 – On Saturday, 1 July 2017, approximately twenty thousand people filled Avenida 9 de Octubre, as Guayaquil, Ecuador's most populous city, celebrated LGTBI Pride Day. For the first time in the history of the city, the municipality lit multicolored lights representing sexual diversity onto the monument to Bolivar and San Martin. Wearing white t-shirts printed with a legend in support of equal civil marriage, a delegation of students from the Casa Grande University, as well as Guayaquil families, supported this cause that is now before the Constitutional Court.

    Activist Silvia Buendía, defender of adolescents detained by their parents in the de-homosexualization clinics ("ex-gay" therapy), a private evil that has affected the country's civil liberties, explained that Ecuadorian activists are awaiting the court's ruling on two cases: marriage equality and the registration of a minor (pertaining to said "ex-gay" therapy).

    The (marriage) petition of Pamela Troya and Gabriela Correa (before the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court) has received an Amicus Curie brief from Fundación Iguales of Chile, the organization to which Karen Atala belongs. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights found that in the case of Atala, the custody of her children was discriminatorily decided against her, that sexual orientation is part of a person's privacy, and has no relevance in analyzing aspects related to good or bad fatherhood or motherhood.

    In the settlement agreement to the Atala suit, the government of Chile agreed to legalize marriage equality. Essentially put, the same line of reasoning, requesting the same outcome, is being utilized in the Troya suit, the same-sex marriage case presently before the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court.

  • 2. Randolph_Finder  |  July 6, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Just as a comparison to other parts of the world (like Turkey), where in the Americas would an LGBTI march in the National Capital be most dangerous, both from the authorities and from any anti-LGBTI groups that would want physical confrontation? (Cuba probably wouldn't allow the march, but I'm not sure it would be as dangerous as other places)

  • 3. allan120102  |  July 6, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Cuba actually allow them and minorities are not as discriminate as in other parts of the Caribbean. I am actually thinking that Cuba might be the next Carribean island to legalize ssm or civil unions.

    I would say Jamaica will be a horrible place to march.

  • 4. VIRick  |  July 6, 2017 at 11:39 am

    No, not Cuba because anything LGBT-related that Mariela Castro wants to do will be done without any interference. Plus, she makes a big deal out of the whole human rights/non-discrimination issue.

    In fact, not any Hispanic country, not even the Dominican Republic. There are semi-related "gang" problems in Central America and a variety of evangelical nut-job problems in an assortment of locales, but there is no across-the-board antipathy.

    The dis-honor you are looking for from authorities and anti-LGBT groups double-teaming any LGBT march with violence has to be squarely placed upon one of the larger non-Hispanic ex-British colonies of the Caribbean,– either Jamaica, Guyana, or Trinidad,– as the smaller ones simply do not have the mass, anonymous population to mount a concerted homophobic attack. Also, in addition, Haiti is so sideways, I doubt if anyone could accurately predict what might happen there on any specific occasion.

    Note on the Dominican Republic: Underneath all the official fluster and bluster, most people there are very aware of a genetic anomaly which is particularly prevalent in the eastern part of the country (and which also exists in western Venezuela). There's a particularly high incidence of individuals who are born biologically male, but who otherwise have pronounced female characteristics. As adults, they are very androgynous (and very gay), but are otherwise protected by family and the society at large. It is not discussed, but is simply accepted.

  • 5. allan120102  |  July 6, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Jamaica or Haiti are the worse imo to do anything related to lgbt rights.Haiti because of the ignorance and Jamaica because of the buggery law they have and they are actually worse than some African countries in lgbt treatment. 5/6 hispanic central american countries already had pride marches the remaining one is my country which will be march on july 15 on Sps. They are even large part of the population who support lgbt rights. Manuel Zelaya and his wife support openly marriage equality. If we can take out the president we have rights could improve dramatically in Honduras.

  • 6. Randolph_Finder  |  July 6, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    I hope Cuba gets Marriage Equality before Raul dies, because I think her power will be much less with any other national leader.

    Unfortunately, I think some of the ex-British colonies are still using some of the sodomy laws from when the British first arrived. 🙁

    Haiti lakes the civil structure stability to advance LGBTI issues, I think. Fortunately, they ended up with the nuking of the Sodomy laws that the French did at the time of the French Revolution. The rest of the French Caribbean got carried to Marriage Equality with France…

    For the Dominican Republic/Venezuela, one of the Androgen insensitivity syndrome variants (Mild/Partial/Complete) or something else?

  • 7. VIRick  |  July 6, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Partial androgen insensitivity syndrome (PAIS), which according to Wikipedia, is indicated when the external genitalia is partially, but not fully masculinized.

    That matches with what I have encountered,– very cute, smooth-skinned "pretty boys" with tiny dicks, little to no body hair, and a body shape with lots of curves, along with a sensitive, quiet feminine demeanor,– and all from the same region in the eastern part of the Dominican Republic.

  • 8. VIRick  |  July 5, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Vatican Police Raid ‘Drug-Fueled Gay Orgy’ in Cardinal’s Apartment

    Vatican police reportedly arrested a priest who is secretary to one of Pope Francis‘s key advisers in a raid that interrupted what was described as “a drug-fueled gay orgy.” It happened last month, not far outside Vatican City, according to the Italian newspaper, "Il Fatto Quotidiano." Police entered an apartment at the former palace of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — the office that strictly enforces Catholic dogma, once run by former Pope Benedict before he was elected pontiff.

    The Rome apartment belongs to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, the head of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, but it is not his home. The unnamed monsignor who was arrested serves as the cardinal’s secretary; the paper said he was hospitalized for a short period in the Vatican’s Roman Pius XI clinic, to detox from drugs, and is currently staying at an undisclosed convent in Italy. According to the report, the tip came from neighbors who were suspicious of what was described as the “irregular behavior” of men coming and going at odd hours.

    "Il Fatto Quotidiano" reported that Pope Francis was furious at the news and as a result may force Coccopalmerio into retirement. The newspaper said the cardinal’s troubles were multiplied because the apartment was reserved only for high-ranking Vatican officials, not support staff, and the monsignor who was arrested had used a car with official Vatican diplomatic license plates to transport the drugs, thus avoiding inspection by Italian border police.….

    The only new news gleaned from this typically sordid account is the fact that, heretofore, I did not realize that the Vatican maintained a separate, secular police force.

  • 9. VIRick  |  July 5, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    France: Highest Court Rules in Favor of Same-Sex Adoption

    Per Geraldina González de la Vega:

    Hoy, 5 de julio 2017, en Francia, la Cour de Cassation permite a padre intencional no biológico adoptar hijo nacido por gestación por sustitución en el extranjero.

    Today, 5 July 2017, in France, the Cour de Cassation has allowed the intentional non-biological father to adopt a child born by gestation by substitution (artificial insemination) abroad.

    Per Le Monde:

    La Cour de Cassation a jugé, mercredi 5 juillet, qu’un enfant né d’une mère porteuse à l’étranger pouvait être adopté par le mari de son père biologique, et donc se voir reconnaître légalement deux parents en France.

    La plus haute juridiction française était notamment saisie par un couple d’homosexuels élevant un enfant né d’une gestation par autrui (GPA) en Californie, une pratique interdite en France. Le père biologique est reconnu en France, mais ce n’est pas le cas de son conjoint, qui a formulé une demande d’adoption, sans succès jusqu’ici.

    On Wednesday, 5 July 2017, the Court of Cassation has ruled that a child born from a surrogate mother could be adopted by the husband of his biological father, and therefore, that they be legally-recognized as two parents in France.

    The highest French court was particularly taken by a same-sex couple raising a child born of a gestation by another (artificial insemination) in California, a practice forbidden in France. The biological father is recognized in France, but this was not the case for his spouse, who had made application for adoption without success until now.

  • 10. davepCA  |  July 5, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Excellent news. About time, France!

  • 11. allan120102  |  July 5, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    Choctaw county in Alabama surrenders leaving only 7 homophobic counties were same sex couples can still not marry. in other news Texas only hold out is still Irion county.

  • 12. ianbirmingham  |  July 6, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    I maintain my long-standing prediction that Alabama will be the last state to fully accept SSM.

  • 13. scream4ever  |  July 6, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Is the one county that claimed it wasn't issuing licences to same-sex couples due to problems with their machines now issuing?

  • 14. VIRick  |  July 6, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    According to Ballotpedia, the 7 Alabama counties still not issuing marriage licenses to anyone are:

    Previously, when they last checked, in October 2015, 3 additional counties were not issuing, but at some date in the interval, have since begun (or at least claim that they have begun):

    For a short interval, immediately following the "Obergefell" ruling, two more counties were also not issuing:

    To answer Scream's question, the machines issue was a Texas problem, one wherein which there was some delay with certain counties in up-dating and altering the language on the computer-driven marriage license application forms. But Irion County, the last remaining confirmed hold-out county in Texas, is a sparsely-populated area west of San Angelo with a total "christian" nut-job for a county clerk. There, it's not a machine problem, but rather, a human one with a mental difficulty.

  • 15. Fortguy  |  July 6, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Molly Criner, the hag who has refused to issue SSM licenses in Irion County, Texas, has stated on the record that she would allow those licenses to proceed if the Lege gave county clerks protection for their religious beliefs. Frankly, I'm surprised that she hasn't been sued yet. Her county is located in the Tom Green County armpit, and there should be someone, anyone, nearby to legally challenge her. Tom Green County is home to the city of San Angelo approaching 100,000 residents. It also has a youthful population due to Angelo State University and Goodfellow Air Force Base. Irion County is a perfectly pleasant place suitable for a country wedding if anyone wants to take on the hag.

  • 16. 1grod  |  July 7, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    These counties' residents constitute 4% of the state population. Two of the seven reluctant Alabama probate judges are lawyers.

  • 17. 1grod  |  July 10, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Rick, not as much progress as thought. Elmore Co [pop 79303], where former lawyer John Enslen remains a 'march-to-his-own-drummer' probate judge, does not issue marriage licenses. <a href="http://.” target=”_blank”>.
    Elmore Co inclusion notches the non conforming counties' population to 6%.

  • 18. scream4ever  |  July 10, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    But were they issuing before Obergefell was handed down?

  • 19. 1grod  |  July 10, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    According to the interactive map on Ballotpedia's webpage… Elmore Co was issuing licenses in 2015. They stopped issuing them in January 2016
    {Elmore Co is next to Autauga].

  • 20. VIRick  |  July 10, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Graeme, in our own much earlier county-count immediately following "Obergefell," we had had 13 counties not issuing marriage licenses to anyone. Comparing that count to Ballotpedia's count, there seemed as if there was one county missing from their up-dated list. And you found it. Quite clearly, and still current, as per their website:

    "The Elmore County Probate Office does not issue marriage licenses."

    John E. Enslen
    Elmore County Probate Office
    100 East Commerce Street
    Wetumpka, Alabama 36092
    Mailing Address: P.O. Box 280, Wetumpka, AL 36092
    (334) 567-1140 Phone

    Thus, the 8 Alabama counties still not issuing marriage licenses to anyone, a full 2 years after the "Obergefell" ruling, are:

  • 21. JayJonson  |  July 6, 2017 at 6:16 am

    Wonderful takedown of Neil Gorsuch by the incomparable Linda Greenhouse: "Whether out of ignorance or by deliberate choice, Neil Gorsuch is a norm breaker. He’s the new kid in class with his hand always up, the boy on the playground who snatches the ball out of turn. He is in his colleagues’ faces pointing out the error of their ways, his snarky tone oozing disrespect toward those who might, just might, know what they are talking about. It’s hard to ascribe this behavior to ignorance — he was, after all, like three of his colleagues, once a Supreme Court law clerk. But if it’s not ignorance, what is it? How could the folksy “Mr. Smith Goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee” morph so quickly into Donald Trump’s life-tenured judicial avatar?"

    She cites not only the absurd dissent in Pavan v. Smith, but also some gratuitous concurrences as well. The only hopeful result of his obnoxious behavior is that it may push Roberts a little leftward.

  • 22. A_Jayne  |  July 6, 2017 at 11:25 am

    At the very least, CJ Roberts will balk at lack of dignity Neil brings into the traditionally distinguished environment of the Court…

  • 23. VIRick  |  July 6, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Inter-American Court of Human Rights Agenda, 163rd Session

    Per Geraldina González de la Vega:

    CIDH Audiencias de hoy, miércoles, 5 de julio 2017, en Lima, Perú. Síguelas en vivo por

    IACHR Hearings today, Wednesday, 5 July 2017, in Lima, Perú. Follow them live at

    From a partial listing, cases on that date were to be heard from both Venezuela and Colombia. On 6 July, cases will be heard from Mexico (including one concerning the human rights of LGBT individuals), as well as more cases from Venezuela (including a private hearing denouncing human rights violations there). On 7 July, cases will be heard from Argentina and Ecuador, including one brought by Argentina against Venezuela concerning refugees and asylum-seekers fleeing Venezuela. The present session runs 3-7 July 2017.

  • 24. theperchybird  |  July 6, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    All amendments from the Maltese Opposition discussed today were rejected. Amendment round continues tomorrow, final vote next Wednesday.

  • 25. scream4ever  |  July 6, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    If granted cert, the Supreme Court would likely hear it next year, just before Kennedy may retire.

  • 26. VIRick  |  July 6, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    Georgia: Lesbian's Employment Discrimination Case Appealed to Supreme Court

    Lambda Legal announced today, 6 July 2017, that it will ask the Supreme Court, in "Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital," to hear the case of Jameka Evans, whose lawsuit says she suffered harassment and discrimination at her job as a security guard at Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah and was eventually forced out because she’s a lesbian and gender-nonconforming.

    In March 2017, a 3-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 ruling, upheld a lower court’s dismissal of Evans’s suit. The judges did not dispute the facts of the case, but the majority said they were bound by precedent that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination, does not cover discrimination based on sexual orientation. Lambda Legal, representing Evans, then asked the full court to rehear the case en banc. However, today, 6 July 2017, it declined to do so, leaving Lambda Legal no option but to go to the Supreme Court.

    Lambda Legal's press release is here:

    Per Equality Case Files:

    The Order on Petition(s) for Rehearing and Petition(s) for Rehearing En Banc (Order denying Evans's request to have the full 11th Circuit Court rehear her appeal) is here:

  • 27. Fortguy  |  July 6, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Meet the new mayor of San Antonio who is a breath of fresh air after defeating his anti-LGBT predecessor last month.

    Alex Zielinski, San Antonio Current: Ron Nirenberg: LGBT Ally in the Mayor's Office

  • 28. Fortguy  |  July 6, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Coming soon to the help wanted section of the classified ads in a local paper near you (if you live in Texas, and I wish it were so simple):

    The American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation seek LGBT couples and individuals willing to adopt or provide loving foster homes but have been prevented from doing so due to discriminatory practices under the state's new law effective Sept. 1 protecting private child welfare services from anti-discrimination charges due to "sincerely held religious beliefs". These organizations also seek children who have been denied vaccinations, contraceptives, or subjected to anti-LGBT conversion therapy due to such beliefs being held by their foster parents contrary of the beliefs of the children in their custody.

    The state's foster care system is terrible. Since 2011, 1,138 children in the state have died from abuse or neglect, while many children have been forced to live in state offices due to lack of placement. Although the Texas House succeeded in providing some additional funding to the Department of Protective and Family Services, even that was pulling teeth from the Senate culture warriors who preferred legislation such as the religious freedom B.S. As a result, the department will most likely remain staffed with underpaid, overworked caseworkers and high staff turnover for the foreseeable future.

    Laura Marie Thompson, Texas Observer: ‘Recipe for Discrimination’: Legal Battle Brews Over New ‘Religious Refusal’ Child Welfare Law

  • 29. VIRick  |  July 6, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Mississippi: Cases Challenging HB1523 Petition for En Banc Rehearing

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 6 July 2017, in "CSE/Barber v. Bryant," the consolidated cases on appeal challenging Mississippi's HB 1523, the plaintiffs in both matters have filed petitions for an en banc rehearing by the full 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Last month, a 3-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court issued a ruling, overturning the district court's preliminary injunction, claiming that the plaintiffs in these cases lack standing to challenge the law. Today, the plaintiffs in both matters filed petitions for a rehearing by the full 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Petitions for rehearing en banc:
    • CSE Plaintiffs:
    • Barber Plaintiffs:

  • 30. JayJonson  |  July 7, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan has found Mississippi's ban on adoption by same-sex couples unconstitutional. The decision is embedded in the article linked here:

  • 31. JayJonson  |  July 7, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Sorry. This article is from March 2016. It appeared in my facebook news feed.

  • 32. VIRick  |  July 7, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Jay, please note the original date of this ruling as being 31 March 2016. Subsequently, the state opted not to appeal, as noted below.

    Mississippi: Ban on Same-Sex Adoption Ruled Unconstitutional (Retrospective)

    On Thursday, 31 March 2016, a federal judge ruled that Mississippi’s ban on same-sex couples adopting children is unconstitutional, making adoption by same-sex couples legal in all 50 states. US District Judge Daniel Jordan issued a preliminary injunction against the ban, citing the Supreme Court’s decision in "Obergefell" legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. The injunction blocks Mississippi from enforcing its 16-year-old anti-gay adoption law.

    The Supreme Court ruling “foreclosed litigation over laws interfering with the right to marry and rights and responsibilities intertwined with marriage,” Jordan wrote. “It also seems highly unlikely that the same court that held a state cannot ban gay marriage because it would deny benefits — expressly including the right to adopt — would then conclude that married gay couples can be denied that very same benefit.”

    The challenge to Mississippi’s law was filed last year by four same-sex couples, who were joined by the Campaign for Southern Equality and the Family Equality Council. “Two sets of our clients have waited many (almost 9 and 16) years to become legal parents to the children they have loved and cared for since birth,” Roberta Kaplan, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a statement. “We hope that it should finally be clear that discrimination against gay people simply because they are gay violates the Constitution in all 50 states, including Mississippi.”

    The Human Rights Campaign’s Mississippi state director Rob Hill also praised the ruling. “This welcome decision affirms that qualified same-sex couples in Mississippi seeking to become adoptive or foster parents are entitled to equal treatment under the law, and commits to the well-being of children in our state who need loving homes,” he said in a statement. “Judge Jordan has repudiated reprehensible efforts by our elected leaders to deny legal rights to our families. They are on the wrong side of history, and today’s decision confirms, yet again, that they are also on the wrong side of the law.”

    The one-sentence Mississippi law, adopted in 2000, simply reads, “Adoption by couples of the same gender is prohibited." While several other states, including Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, and Michigan, had similar bans, all have since been overturned. Mississippi remained the lone holdout until this ruling on 31 March 2016.

    From my archives:

    Mississippi Officially Concedes on Adoption Issue

    In the case, "Campaign for Southern Equality v. Mississippi Department of Human Services," the challenge to the state's adoption ban for same-sex couples, Mississippi really has conceded the case. This is the state defendant's motion of 5 May 2016 to have the preliminary injunction converted into a permanent injunction and final judgment in favor of the plaintiffs:

    "Executive Director Davis requests that the Court (1) enter a final order adopting all of its factual findings and legal conclusions contained in the 31 March 2016 Order, and awarding the remaining Plaintiffs a permanent injunction consistent with the 31 March 2016 Order providing that the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services is permanently enjoined from enforcing Mississippi Code section 93-17-3(5), and (2) enter a final judgment consistent with its order."

    Respectfully submitted, JOHN DAVIS, in his official capacity as Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services

  • 33. VIRick  |  July 7, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Way too frequently, news articles are "dated" with vague wording like "today," or "on Thursday," as this one was. I only picked up the correct, retrospective date of 31 March 2016 from the date-stamp on the tops of each of the 28 pages to the court ruling itself, as said ruling was embedded at the bottom of the news article (coupled with some recollection that this case had already been resolved in our favor).

    That's why whenever I do a copy-and-paste from a contemporary news article, I am quite anal about editing it to add in the exact date, in place of those vague words like "today" or "on Thursday," which, over time, quickly become meaningless.

  • 34. JayJonson  |  July 8, 2017 at 6:05 am

    Thanks, Rick. I don't know why the article suddenly appeared in my Facebook newsfeed. But as I note above, I soon realized that it was from 2016. I am glad that you take such care with the dates in your posting.

  • 35. VIRick  |  July 7, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Germany: Marriage Equality Bill Passes Upper House

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Today, 7 July 2017, the German marriage-equality bill cleared the Bundesrat, the upper house of the federal legislature. The proposal will become law after the President signs it and after the Gazette then publishes it. It will become effective on the first day of the third month after this entire process has been completed.

    Thus, if it can be finalized in July, it will go into effect from 1 October 2017. If the finalization drags into August, the bill's effective date becomes 1 November 2017.

    See also:

    Unlike the Bundestag, where Chancellor Merkel’s Grand Coalition holds control, the Bundesrat is controlled by the 16 state governments, with a left-wing majority. The law effectively passed through the Bundesrat unanimously, as no state challenged the bill and no vote was called.

    The Bundesrat had passed several motions on same-sex marriage before, leading to much of the political pressure on Merkel in the lower house that sparked her climb-down. A coalition of Social Democrats, the Greens, and the Left previously submitted a bill in the Bundesrat that would recognize marriages between same-sex couples, which was the basis for the current legislation in the Bundestag.

    The measure will now head to the desk of the country’s President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, for his signature.

  • 36. VIRick  |  July 7, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Veracruz Congress Promoting "De Facto Unions"

    Impulsan en el Congreso Veracruzano "Unión de Hechos"

    Per Coatza Digital:

    Xalapa – Según se informó el 7 de julio 2017, luego de que se desató la polémica por la iniciativa sobre “Unión de Hechos," misma que regularía la unión de personas del mismo sexo, la expresidenta del Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) y diputada federal, Cecilia Romero Castillo, acudió al Congreso Local. La legisladora exhortó a no dejarse presionar por la iglesia católica, ya que esta propuesta no tiene nada que ver con religión.

    Señaló que la "unión de hechos" no utiliza la palabra "matrimonio," misma que se define como la unión de un hombre y una mujer. Al ser cuestionada sobre la ideología conservadora del PAN, la también activista por los derechos de la comunidad LGBT, remarcó que por encima de las creencias debe prevalecer el derecho de este sector.

    Xalapa – As reported on 7 July 2017, after the controversy unleashed by the initiative on "De Facto Unions," which would regulate the unions of same sex couples, the ex-president of PAN and a federal deputy, Cecilia Romero Castillo, went to the local Congress. The legislator urged them not to be pressured by the Catholic Church, since this proposal has nothing to do with religion.

    She pointed out that "de facto unions" does not use the word "marriage," which is defined as the union of one man and one woman. When questioned about the conservative ideology of PAN, the sometime activist for the rights of the LGBT community remarked that the law on this matter should prevail over any beliefs.

    Except, of course, that the law in Mexico states "marriage equality," not separate "de facto unions" for same-sex couples, while the "one man, one woman" marriage definition has already been struck down by Mexico's Supreme Court as being unconstitutional.

  • 37. VIRick  |  July 7, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Same-Sex Marriage Proposal Delayed in Switzerland


    According to this press announcement dated 16 June 2017, the Swiss parliament has extended by two years its deadline for deciding on allowing same-sex couples to marry. A gay rights' group has welcomed the move to allow the issues to be looked into in more detail. Parliament has given a parliamentary legal affairs committee until summer 2019 to draw up a bill on implementing the “Marriage for everyone” parliamentary initiative, which calls for gay couples to be allowed to marry. The practice is currently not legal in Switzerland.

    The decision to delay was attributed to the need to clarify certain legal issues with the federal administration. A committee spokesman said this meant looking into expected law changes in the fields of tax and social security, adoption, and reproductive medicine.

    Pink Cross, the umbrella association for Swiss gay groups, said it was pleased that the extension had been accepted because it allowed the authorities to look into the effects of the initiative in detail. "Although we would have preferred the procedure to move on more quickly, we're looking forward to a dialogue with the public," co-secretary general Bastian Baumann told

    Parliament’s move comes at a time of increasing public support for gay marriage. A poll in October 2016 found that seven out of ten people thought gay couples should be allowed to get married.

    In 2005, the Swiss people voted to allow same-sex civil unions, which came into force in 2007. The civil partnership resembles marriage, with gay couples granted the same pension, inheritance, and tax rights and obligations. However, adoption of children by gay couples in a civil partnership remains forbidden, as does the facilitated application process for non-Swiss to become citizens, as well as access to fertility treatment.

  • 38. VIRick  |  July 7, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Panamá: Marriage Equality Quote of the Day

    Per Enrique Jelenszky, lead plaintiff in the lead case presently before Panamá's Supreme Court:

    "No tengo que convencer a la Iglesia, es a la Corte."

    "I do not have to convince the Church; it's up to the Court."

    The struggle for the legalization of gay marriage faces several social sectors. Enrique Jelenszky, in favor, explains that it must be debated in a secular setting.

  • 39. VIRick  |  July 7, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Aguascalientes Congress Votes Against Marriage Equality

    Per Sonora Pride:

    En 6 de julio 2017, con 14 votos en contra y 11 a favor, la propuesta se ha rechazado aprobar el matrimonio igualitario en Aguascalientes.

    On 6 July 2017, with 14 votes against and 11 in favor, the proposal to approve marriage equality in Aguascalientes has been rejected.

  • 40. VIRick  |  July 7, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    Sinaloa: Gay Pride March in Culiacán

    Per Tiago Ventura:‏

    Cuarta marcha de la diversidad en Culiacán, "Sinaloa con Amor," con la Reina de la Diversidad, en sábado, 8 de julio 2017, a 5 PM, La Lomita.

    Fourth march of diversity in Culiacan, "Sinaloa with Love," with the Queen of Diversity, on Saturday, 8 July 2017, at 5 PM, La Lomita.

  • 41. VIRick  |  July 7, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    Yucatán: Massive Collective Amparo Granted to All Gays Who Requested to Marry

    Como se anunció públicamente hoy, en 28 de junio 2017, el Tribunal Colegiado en Materias Civil y Administrativas del Decimocuarto Circuito emitió sentencia en el Amaro en Revisión 378/2016, en la que otorgan amparo a personas gay que colectivamente firmaron el amparo colectivo en 2016 para acceder al matrimonio igualitario en Yucatán.

    As publicly announced today, on 28 June 2017, the Collegiate Court on Civil and Administrative Matters for the Fourteenth Circuit issued a ruling on Amaro en Revisión 378/2016, granting said amparo to all gay people who collectively signed the collective amparo in 2016 to access marriage equality in Yucatán.

    Because of the importance of this ruling, all persons who signed this amparo are to meet on 21 July 2017 at 7 PM at a certain given address in downtown Mérida, Yucatán.

    Per Cindy Aparicio:

    Que les cuento, que dos años y medio después, al fin se nos concedió un amparo colectivo en Yucatán sobre matrimonio igualitario.

    So I will tell you, that two and a half years later, we were finally granted a collective amparo in Yucatán on marriage equality.

    We still need to determine precisely how many people this amparo covers, but it sounds as if it could be as many as several hundred. And if so, this would be the grandest, all-inclusive collective amparo to date ever granted anywhere in Mexico. It is also the latest handiwork of the legal genius, Alex Alí Méndez Díaz.

  • 42. VIRick  |  July 10, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Yucatán: 80 Gays Granted Collective Amparo for Civil Marriage

    Amparan Matrimonio Civil de 80 Homosexuales en Yucatán

    Tras obtener un amparo emitido por el Tribunal Colegiado en Materias Civil y Administrativas el pasado 28 de junio en cuya sentencia se cobija a 80 personas homosexuales a contraer matrimonio por vía civil, las organizaciones Unasse e Indignación convocaron a los 80 firmantes de ese recurso legal a una reunión el próximo 21 del presente mes para determinar la estrategia a seguir. Según el comunicado por parte de Indignación, la resolución es la primera de este tipo que se emite en favor de 80 personas que radican en Yucatán y parte de una estrategia jurídica nacional impulsada por el abogado Alex Alí Méndez Díaz, quien busca el reconocimiento pleno de los derechos de matrimonio civil en parejas del mismo sexo, y en igualdad de condiciones que las heterosexuales.

    La lucha de ambas organizaciones inició a partir del 21 de julio de 2014; mediante un amparo colectivo buscaron su derecho a contraer nupcias por la vía civil. Sin embargo, fue desechado en primera instancia, por lo cual se solicitó la revisión del mismo. Luego de tres años y con la sustitución del Presidente del Tribunal Colegiado en Materias Civil y Administrativas se emitió una nueva tesis y, por unanimidad, ese órgano del poder judicial concedió el amparo colectivo a los 80 firmantes.–

    After receiving an amparo issued by the Collegiate Court on Civil and Administrative Matters on 28 June 2017, by which judgment 80 gay individuals are covered, allowing them to civilly marry, the organizations, Unasse and Indignación, are convening the 80 signatories to this legal ruling for a meeting on 21 July 2017 to determine their follow-up strategy. According to the statement by Indignación, the ruling is the first of its kind issued in favor of 80 people who are based in Yucatán, and is part of a national legal strategy promoted by the lawyer, Alex Alí Méndez Díaz, who seeks the full recognition of civil marriage rights for same-sex couples on equal terms with heterosexuals.

    The struggle of both organizations began on 21 July 2014; Through a collective amparo, they sought their right to marry through civil channels. However, their petition was dismissed in the first instance, for which a review was then requested. After three years, and with the substitution of the President of the Collegiate Court in Civil and Administrative Matters, a new judgment was issued and, unanimously, that body of the judiciary granted the collective amparo to the 80 signatories.

    Given my understanding, these 80 individuals can now marry whoever they wish, whenever they wish. An amparo, once granted, has no expiration date. And even at 80 individuals (potentially covering 80 same-sex marriages, involving 160 people, as there's no requirement that the 80 signatories must marry each other), this collective amparo is still the largest single amparo yet granted to any set group of people anywhere in Mexico.

  • 43. VIRick  |  July 8, 2017 at 12:41 am

    Roberta Kaplan Starts New Social Justice Law Firm

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Roberta Kaplan, the prominent New York attorney who successfully argued before the US Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, has left Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to form a litigation boutique. Her new firm, Kaplan and Co. LLP, includes four lawyers for now, including partner Julie Fink, previously in-house counsel at Pfizer Inc. and a Paul Weiss attorney; senior counsel John Quinn, a former litigation associate of Sullivan & Cromwell; and associate Rachel Tuchman, a recent Yale Law School graduate. It will have offices in Manhattan's Empire State Building.

    Kaplan said she left Paul Weiss because she saw a market need for a nimble law firm where she would have more flexibility in negotiating billing rates and using flexible fee arrangements. She also said the new firm’s commitment to social justice has allowed her to attract top talent.

    It should also be pointed out that Roberta Kaplan successfully overturned the ban on same-sex marriage in Mississippi, and then went on to successfully overturn Mississippi's ban on same-sex adoption, the same ruling which Jay inadvertently re-posted higher up in this same thread.

    There's a very interesting behind-the-scenes story as to how, several years ago, Roberta Kaplan and her partner, Julie Fink, were vacationing on Cape Cod at the same time and in the same place as a lesbian couple from Mississippi. Upon hearing of their plight fighting the entrenched bigotry in Mississippi on the subjects of both marriage and adoption, Roberta, having just successfully overturned DOMA before the US Supreme Court, then decided to take on the state of Mississippi, full-time, a job not for the faint-of-heart.

  • 44. guitaristbl  |  July 8, 2017 at 4:37 am

    Apparently Armenia recognizes same-sex marriages performed abroad now ?

    I cannot confirm the validity of the source – if that is the case this is pretty unexpected. Armenia is an extremely conservative post Soviet country.

  • 45. VIRick  |  July 8, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Same-Sex Marriages Registered Abroad are Valid in Armenia

    Marriage certificates registering the union between two people of the same sex abroad are valid in Armenia, the Justice Ministry told PanARMENIAN.Net in an emailed statement on Monday, 3 July 2017.

    According to the Family Code, marriages between Armenian citizens, and those between Armenian citizens and foreigners or stateless persons, which have been registered outside Armenia, are valid inside the country after consular legalization. Also, the Code stipulates that marriages registered in another country which are in line with that particular state’s legislation, are valid in Armenia.

    It turns out that in the event of obtaining consular legalization, marriages registered outside Armenia are valid, regardless of the sex of the spouses, as the article makes no reference to the sexes whatsoever.

    As far as any other post-Soviet country is concerned, a court in Estonia has also determined that a same-sex marriage legally performed in Sweden between a Swedish citizen and an Estonian citizen is valid in Estonia. This Estonian court ruling would match with the determination of the Armenian Justice Ministry.

  • 46. VIRick  |  July 8, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Trump Totally Snubbed by Polish President's Wife

    Wildly off-topic, but wonderful to see:

    Per Ophelia Pastrana:

    Lo mejor que van a ver hoy, 6 de julio 2017.

    The best that you will see today, 6 July 2017.

    It's a live TV screen-shot taken in Poland, just prior to the G-20 Summit, whereby the wife of the Polish President totally ignores Trump and his extended hand, and moves directly past him to Melania, who is uncomfortably standing next to him, idly playing with her hair, to shake Melania's hand instead. The doltishly awkward look on Trump's face afterward is precious, as is the amazing recoil speed with which he stuffs his own hand up his a$$.

  • 47. Fortguy  |  July 9, 2017 at 12:47 am

    I guess at least that's one advantage to having small hands.

  • 48. VIRick  |  July 9, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    BuzzFeed News has an even clearer view of the First Lady of Poland, Agata Kornhauser-Duda, maneuvering right past Trump. That expression on his face, in reaction to the snub, is extraordinary.

    Never mind that the First Lady of Poland also married a complete ass-hat. She expressed her sympathy to Melania in the best way she knew how.

  • 49. VIRick  |  July 10, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Gay Muslim Marries in Traditional Ceremony in the UK

    On 10 July 2017, wearing traditional Muslim garb, Jahed Choudhury, 24, and Sean Rogan, 19, married in a ceremony at the Walsall Registry Office in the West Midlands of England. Choudhury, who grew up in the UK in a traditionally Muslim household to Bangladeshi parents, opened up to the "Express and Star" about struggling to reconcile his sexuality and faith.

    He realized at school that he was not like other boys, as he was more interested in fashion than football, and quickly became a target for homophobic bullying. While a teenager, he was branded a “fag” and relentlessly bullied, driving him to attempt to ‘cure’ himself of homosexuality. Choudhury said that when the mosque he had attended for fifteen years found out he was gay, he was told he was no longer welcome. It was at his lowest point that he met Rogan, shortly after a suicide attempt.

    He explained: “I’d not long overdosed and I was crying on a bench and Sean came over and asked if I was okay. He gave me hope at one of my lowest points and he’s stood by me all the way. The housing association got us a house in a week and we’ve been living together ever since. I proposed on Sean’s birthday last June.”

    “I’ve known I was gay since I was six. I didn’t come out to my parents until I was 16, but you always know." The low-key ceremony was not attended by Mr Chouhury’s family, as he explained: “They just don’t want to see it, it’s too embarrassing for them."

    But he insisted: “I want to say to all people going through the same thing that’s it’s okay – we’re going to show the whole world that you can be gay and Muslim.”

Having technical problems? Visit our support page to report an issue!