Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

Open thread with SCOTUS news

Community/Meta Discrimination

This is an open thread for news and discussion.

The Supreme Court is being asked to hear another challenge to state anti-discrimination laws. This time the case involves a florist who refused to provide flowers for a same-sex couple’s wedding. The Court has already granted a case for next term involving a baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple.

In addition to those two cases, as we’ve noted previously, the Court will soon be asked to decide whether transgender students should be allowed to use the correct restrooms and whether employees can be discriminated against under federal law because of their sexual orientation and gender non-conformity.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. allan120102  |  July 14, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Breaking looks like all plenary might decide the case instead of the traditional way of one judge writing a ponence and then getting the votes a similar way like Colombia did. Panama being more conservative I really hope we get a positive ruling to the ball might finally roll in Central America.
    Judge Harry Diaz on Friday sent a note requesting that the Supreme Court's Plenary consider the unconstitutionality claim filed against articles of the Family Code of the Republic of Panama that prohibit egalitarian marriage.

    A gay couple filed a petition with the Court to declare Articles 26 unconstitutional, stating that "marriage is a voluntary union between a man and a woman …", as well as articles 35 and 35 that prohibit marriage Between people of the same sex.

    This action has raised concern among defenders of the traditional family about the possibility that the decision of the Court open the door to gay marriage. This Thursday was a massive mobilization in the city of Panama by groups called "pro family", who defend the traditional model.

    "The marches this has generated clearly reveal that this is a sensitive issue for Panamanian society," notes Harry in his note, addressed to the president-in-charge Hernán De León, adding that "the judicial body has a responsibility to safeguard social peace"

    The Presidency of the Court replied to Judge Diaz that the records of unconstitutionality are found in the General Secretariat "to comply with the procedural stages to be accumulated." He explained that one of them will be submitted to the allegations phase, then accumulated and that the formalities must be fulfilled.

  • 2. ianbirmingham  |  July 15, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Republicans think blogger who calls gays ‘faggots’ should be a federal judge
    John Bush has been nominated by President Trump to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals

  • 3. ianbirmingham  |  July 20, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Blogger John Bush, who calls gays 'faggots' & has ZERO judicial experience, advances to a full Senate confirmation vote for a lifetime judicial seat on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court Of Appeals

  • 4. VIRick  |  July 15, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Argentina: 7th Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    La Ley se aprobó el 15 de julio de 2010. En siete años de matrimonio igualitario, se casaron más de 16.200 parejas del mismo sexo. La mitad de las uniones fueron en la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires y la Provincia de Buenos Aires. La organización, Comunidad Homosexual Argentina (CHA), ahora pide avanzar con la incorporación de la orientación sexual e identidad de género a la Ley Antidiscriminatoria.

    Según el informe presentado por la CHA, en la Ciudad hubo 4.286 casamientos y en la Provincia 3.836. Le siguen en cantidad de matrimonios las provincias de Córdoba, Santa Fe, y Mendoza.

    The Law was passed on 15 July 2010. In seven years of marriage equality, more than 16,200 same-sex couples were married. Half of the unions were in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and the Province of Buenos Aires. The organization, Argentine Homosexual Community (CHA), now calls for progress with the incorporation of sexual orientation and gender identity into the Anti-Discrimination Law.

    According to the report presented by the CHA, there were 4,286 marriages in the City and 3,836 in the Province. Córdoba, Santa Fe, and Mendoza provinces followed in the total number of marriages.

    When examining these marriage statistics, one must remember that Argentine law allows anyone to be married there. As a result, many foreign same-sex couples from all over South America have flocked to Argentina in order to be legally-married. In particular, because of the proximity, Chileans have favored Mendoza, while Paraguayans have favored Santa Fe. Those from farther afield seem to prefer to fly to Buenos Aires.

    Per Julián Duo Aguirre, Director of Sexual Diversity for the city of Mendoza:

    Nieva en Mendoza como aquel 15 de julio de 2010.

    It's snowing in Mendoza just like on 15 July 2010.

    Even further south, in Patagonia, it's also freezing in Neuquén, but they're flying the rainbow flags from Government House regardless.

    Per Adrián Urrutia, Provincial Director for LGBT Diversity in Neuquén:

    La Casa de Gobierno de Neuquén está cubierta en las banderas del arco iris.

    The Government House of Neuquén is covered in rainbow flags.

    And from Juan Lencina, we have a photo of the best sign-of-the-day, carried by two guys standing in front of some Government House in Argentina:

    Hombre con hombre es pecado salvo que uno sea sacerdote y el otro menor de edad.

    Man with man is a sin except when one is a priest and the other an underage minor.

    Per Pamela Troya, lead plaintiff in the marriage equality suit presently before Ecuador's Supreme Court‏:

    Argentina fue el primer país en América Latina en conquistar matrimonio igualitario. No provocó el Apocalipsis, sino tener una sociedad más justa.

    Argentina was the first country in Latin America to conquer marriage equality. It did not provoke the apocalypse, instead it made for a more just society. .

  • 5. VIRick  |  July 17, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Honduras: Pride March in San Pedro Sula

    On Saturday, 15 July 2017, hundreds of people from across Honduras participated in a Pride parade that took place in one of the world’s most dangerous cities, San Pedro Sula. Kendra Stefani Jordany, a transgender woman who is running for a seat in the Central American country's parliament, was among the roughly 400 people who took part in the march there. Freddy Funez, a local LGBT rights advocate, told the "Washington Blade" the first Pride parade in Honduras’ second-largest city took place in 2000.

    A bill that would allow trans Hondurans to legally change their names on legal documents are among the issues that Jordany and other parade participants highlighted. They also marched in support of LGBT Hondurans’ participation in the country’s general election that is scheduled to take place on 26 November. Funez said people lined the streets and watched the parade as it made its way through the city, despite some evangelicals with loudspeakers making noise in a downtown park, and some homophobes shooting guns into the air.

    San Pedro Sula, which has a population of more than 700,000 people, is roughly 150 miles northwest of the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. San Pedro Sula in 2015 had 171.2 murders per 100,000 people, which made it the most dangerous city in the world that it is not in a war zone. This figure dropped to 111.03 murders per 100,000 people in 2016.

  • 6. VIRick  |  July 18, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Marriage Equality: The View from San Rafael, Argentina

    San Rafael is a city of 170,000 population in the southern part of Argentina's semi-arid Mendoza province, bordering Chile, famous for its production of Malbec wines.

    Note: For clarity, in Argentina, each province is sub-divided into departments, corresponding to municipalities in other Hispanic jurisdictions. Interestingly, this report does not distinguish between Argentine same-sex couples marrying each other and Chilean same-sex couples crossing the border to marry in Argentina:

    Desde que se sancionó la ley, hace exactamente 7 años, se registran (más de) 16 mil matrimonios igualitarios en toda la República Argentina. Respecto de lo que ocurre en nuestra provincia (de Mendoza), según datos aportados por la Dirección de Registro Civil, se han realizado 210 matrimonios igualitarios, de los cuales 16 corresponden a lo que va del 2017.

    Si miramos a San Rafael, los datos oficiales señalan que se han celebrado 9 matrimonios igualitarios desde el año 2010 a la fecha. De esta forma, nuestro departamento (de San Rafael) se ubica quinto, junto a San Martín (también con 9), detrás de la capital (de Mendoza) con 119, Las Heras con 18, Godoy Cruz con 17, y Guaymallén con 16. En cuanto a todo el sur (de la provincia de Mendoza), la mayoría de los matrimonios corresponden a San Rafael, dado que en General Alvear solamente se han celebrado 2 y en Malargüe ninguno. No obstante, no es el único departamento de la provincia donde no se contabilizan matrimonios igualitarios, dado que lo mismo sucede con San Carlos, Santa Rosa, y La Paz.

    Tal como lo informó nuestro medio, desde el Área de Diversidad, del Ministerio de Salud de Mendoza, se acompaña a cada una de las parejas que deciden dar ese paso, ya sea con asesoramiento o contención, y con toda la información que necesiten respecto de sus derechos.

    Since the law was passed, exactly 7 years ago, there have been (more than) 16 thousand same-sex marriages in the entire Argentine Republic. Regarding what has happened in our province (of Mendoza), according to data provided by the Director of the Civil Registry, 210 same-sex marriages have taken place, of which 16 occurred in 2017.

    If we look at San Rafael, to date, official data indicate that there have been 9 same-sex marriages since the year 2010. In this way, our department (of San Rafael) is in fifth place, along with San Martín (also with 9), but behind the capital (of Mendoza) with 119, Las Heras with 18, Godoy Cruz with 17, and Guaymallén with 16. As for the whole south (of Mendoza province), most of the marriages took place in San Rafael, since in General Alvear only 2 have been celebrated and in Malargüe none. However, this is not the only department in the province where no same-sex marriages have occurred, as it is also the case with San Carlos, Santa Rosa, and La Paz.

    As reported by our media, someone from the Diversity Area of ​​the Ministry of Health of Mendoza accompanies each of the couples who decide to take this step, either with advice or assistance, and with all the information they need regarding their rights.

  • 7. VIRick  |  July 18, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Maryland: Madaleno Announces Run for Governorship

    On Monday, 17 July 2017, openly-gay, progressive Maryland state Senator Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) formally announced his candidacy for governor. Madaleno, 52, has represented the 18th Senate District since 2007. He became the first openly-gay person elected to the Maryland General Assembly in 2002.

    “I’m running for governor and I’m going to win,” said Madaleno during his announcement speech that he made at Universities at Shady Grove in North Potomac MD. Madaleno is among the lawmakers and advocates who led efforts to secure passage of the state’s same-sex marriage bill that then-Gov. Martin O’Malley signed into law in 2012. The Montgomery County Democrat in 2014 introduced a transgender rights measure that took effect later in that year.

    Madaleno in 2014 defeated Gender Rights Maryland Executive Director Dana Beyer in the Democratic primary for his state Senate seat. Madaleno was among those who considered running for then-Congressman Chris Van Hollen’s seat in the US House of Representatives after then-US Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) announced her retirement in 2015. Madaleno would become the first openly-gay man elected governor in the USA if he were to beat the incumbent governor, Hogan, in the 2018 general election. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, former NCAAP President Ben Jealous, and former State Department official Alec Ross are among the Democrats who are also running to succeed the current Republican Governor, Larry Hogan.

  • 8. VIRick  |  July 18, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Argentina: LGBT History, First Same-Sex Civil Union in Latin America

    Argentina: Primera Unión Civil entre Personas del Mismo Sexo en América Latina

    Per TeleSUR TV:

    En 18 de julio 2003, Marcelo Suntheim y el profesor César Cigliutti firman el registro de Uniones Civiles de Buenos Aires, constituyéndose así el la primera pareja en hacer uso los derechos otorgados por la primera ley de unión civil en América Latina, aprobada por la legislatura porteña el 12 de diciembre de 2002. Esta ley sentó un importante precedente que promovió un rico debate social y mediático, otorgando un fuerte impulso a los distintos proyectos de reforma de la ley de matrimonio que finalmente llegaron al Congreso en 2009, para convertir en ley al matrimonio igualitario el 15 de julio de 2010.

    On 18 July 2003, Marcelo Suntheim and Professor César Cigliutti signed the Civil Unions register in Buenos Aires, thus becoming the first couple to make use of the rights authorized by the first civil union law in Latin America, approved by the Buenos Aires legislature on 12 December 2002. This law was an important precedent that promoted a rich social and media debate, giving a strong impetus to the different reform bills to the marriage law that finally arrived at the Congress in 2009, culminating in the marriage equality law of 15 July 2010.

  • 9. Fortguy  |  July 19, 2017 at 12:25 am

    The special session of the Texas Legislature began Tuesday. Oh, where do I begin?

    First of all, before the Lege can deal with Gov. Greg Abbott's far-right agenda items, they must first deal with must-pass but non-controversial legislation extending the life of the Texas Medical Board and four other professional agencies. Sen. José Rodríguez (D-El Paso) had tagged the Senate bills which would have required committee hearings preceded by a 48-hour notification period, but Senate GOPers united behind Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick overruled him under a rarely-used chamber rule and voted the bills out of committee the same day. Senate Dems cried foul about discharging the bills from committee, but Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) said the bills were too important to postpone. The session will last at most 30 days adjourning on Aug. 17 at the latest. Since the professional agencies will remain alive until Sept. 1 without action, Hancock clearly demonstrates the poor grasp of math that she and her GOP colleagues hold. The Senate will vote on the bills Wednesday when the House committee will begin to address them. (Full disclosure, I live in Rodríguez's senatorial district.)

    Morgan Smith, The Texas Tribune: Texas Senate moves to fast-track special session agenda

    Once the life of these boards is revived, Abbott will extend the session's agenda to his other 19 items including potty-policing. Our biggest ally here is House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) who is not on board with Abbott's and Patrick's agenda and will likely assign all anti-LGBT bills to the House Purgatory Committee.

    Morgan Smith, The Texas Tribune: As Abbott launches ambitious special session, ill will flows between Straus, Patrick
    Michael Barajas, Texas Observer: ‘Bathroom Bills’ Get Second Life in Special Session

    The business community is also coming out in force in opposition. Too bad they didn't put this much effort during the regular session.

    Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune: IBM ups the ante in fight against Texas bathroom bill
    Mitchell Schnurman, The Dallas Morning News: CEOs from AT&T, American Airlines, TI and BNSF join the chorus against a ‘bathroom bill’

    Continued below…

  • 10. Fortguy  |  July 19, 2017 at 12:26 am

    …from above

    Meanwhile, Ashley Smith, a San Antonio trans woman and LGBT activist, has seriously trolled Abbott on social media calling him her #bathroombuddy. In her words:

    “How will the Potty Police know I’m transgender if the Governor doesn’t?”

    Chris Quinn, San Antonio Express-News: Greg Abbott trolled with photo by San Antonio activist after campaign announcement

    Last but not least, Rep. Scott Sanford (R-McKinney) participated in a bathroom bill debate with the CBS affiliate in DFW. When confronted with statistics that 40% of trans youths will attempt suicide, he claimed that this was not due to discrimination but because of "mental illness". Unwilling to understand how deep of a hole he was in, he continued digging deeper. He went on to say that parents and teachers who love trans kids for who they are were committing child abuse.

    Kelli Busey, Planet Transgender: Texas legislator: Parents of trans kids are guilty of child abuse

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