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Open thread


This is an open thread for news and discussion. We’ll post if news breaks.


  • 1. Rakihi  |  July 19, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination – The Heritage Foundation hosts a debate with John Corvino, Ryan Anderson, and Sherif Girgis.

  • 2. VIRick  |  July 19, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Anything involving Ryan Anderson can not possibly hold much merit, as he is the same self-loathing, perniciously-closeted ass-hat who attempted to dissuade voters in Bermuda from approving marriage equality during their recent non-binding referendum on the matter (but which, in the long run, also did not matter much, as the high court subsequently overturned the Bermuda ban).

    Following that court ruling, Ryan Anderson has never returned to Bermuda.

  • 3. Elihu_Bystander  |  July 20, 2017 at 6:13 am

    Sherif Girgis is an equally egregious anti-intellectual person.

    The judge in DeBoer v. Snyder refused to let Girgis testify as an expert witness.

  • 4. VIRick  |  July 19, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    SCOTUS: October 2017 Calendar

    Per Kimberly Robinson:

    Today, 19 July 2017, SCOTUS released its October 2017 oral argument calendar. On 10 October, in the consolidated cases, "President of US v. International Refugee Assistance" and "President of US v. Hawaii," the Muslim Travel Ban is to be argued, while the partisan gerrymandering case from Wisconsin, "Gill v. Whitford," has been scheduled for 3 October.

  • 5. VIRick  |  July 19, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    SCOTUS Declines to Clarify Its 26 June 2017 Order on Muslim Travel Ban

    On 19 July 2017, the Supreme Court turned down a request by the federal government to clarify exactly what it meant when it said that individuals with a close family relationship could continue to apply for visas to enter the United States even while the freeze on new visas for travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries is in place. Today’s order left in place a ruling by a federal district judge in Hawaii that had defined the relationships more expansively than the government had wanted – to include, among others, grandparents and grandchildren. But the justices also put a portion of that lower-court ruling relating to refugees on hold while an intermediate federal appeals court reviews it.

    The president’s 6 March 2017 order, often known as the “travel ban,” halted the issuance of new visas for travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries – Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Somalia and Yemen – and temporarily suspended the admission of refugees into the United States. Two different lower courts blocked the government from implementing the order, but on 26 June 2017, the Supreme Court allowed the government to go ahead and enforce it, with an exception for travelers and refugees who have a “credible claim” of a genuine relationship with an individual or institution in the United States.

    Gorsuch, Alito, and Thomas dissented, as they would have placed all of Judge Watson's ruling on hold.

    It might also be worth noting that the two areas of the world which have seen the most precipitous drop-off in visitors coming to the USA for any reason whatsoever, ever since the unveiling of the first Executive Order Travel Ban in late January 2017, are the Middle East and Latin America.

  • 6. VIRick  |  July 19, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Chile: Senate Approves Abortion Bill

    Some action,– finally:

    Hoy día, 19 de julio 2017, aprobación en su totalidad en su segundo trámite legislativo, en el Senado de Chile de tres causales de proyecto que despenaliza el aborto.

    Today, 19 July 2017, approval in the Chilean Senate of the bill, in its entirety on its second legislative process, de-penalizing abortion for 3 causes. The 3 causes are: Risk to the mother's life, the inviable nature of the fetus, and rape.

    Marriage equality should be next of their agenda.

  • 7. allan120102  |  July 19, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    It took two years and the final vote will be tomorrow,So I am hoping the Chilean people choose a left party like the one current in power so Marriage equality could be pass because if not same sex marriage will be put in jeopardy as almost all the right candidates have say they oppose marriage equality and same sex adoption like Sebastian Piñera.

  • 8. scream4ever  |  July 19, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    About time!

  • 9. allan120102  |  July 20, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Well the abortion law in the House fail by one vote. 66 in favor 40 against and one abstention. To pass the bill they were require 67 votes so now this proposal has been assigned to a mix committee and it will take several weeks to approve it, so abortion is still the priority in here. I guess same sex marriage will be discuss in the final months of Bachelet presidency and the new president will be the one to allow it or leave the civil unions in place.

  • 10. scream4ever  |  July 20, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    If they can pass it by the end of the year, than Bachelet would be the one to sign it into law (the election is held in November and the new President takes office in March). Otherwise, they likely will sign it, as vetoing only seems to be an American thing (the Prime Minister of Portugal was opposed but signed their marriage bill).

  • 11. VIRick  |  July 19, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Marriage Equality: The View from Chapala, Jalisco

    Chapala, Jalisco – El acto nupcial entre la ex-candidata a diputada federal por el PRD y actual militante de Morena, Edith Gisela González Rodríguez, y la arquitecta, Socorro García Aguilar, son la octava pareja del mismo sexo en contraer matrimonio en el municipio (de Chapala). La unión se dio el martes, 11 de julio de 2017, 35 años después de convivir en pareja. Sus testigos legales fueron el Presidente (estatal) del Partido Revolución Democrática, Raúl Vargas, y su esposa Érika Natalia Juárez Miranda.

    Chapala, Jalisco – The marriage of the former candidate for federal deputy for the PRD and current Morena militant, Edith Gisela González Rodríguez, and the architect, Socorro García Aguilar, marks the eighth same-sex couple to have contracted marriage in the municipality (of Chapala). Their union took place on Tuesday, 11 July 2017, 35 years after they began living together as a couple. Their legal witnesses were the (state) President of the PRD, Raúl Vargas, and his wife Érika Natalia Juárez Miranda.

    Chapala is a resort of long-standing, and still a favored quick get-away choice for residents of near-by Guadalajara, situated as it is, on the north shore of Lago Chapala, Mexico's largest freshwater lake. Its most-famous residents are the Braniff family of airline fame, who pioneered long-distance commercial passenger aviation throughout Latin America and the USA.

    Additionally, for anyone who might still harbor any lingering doubts, this brief marriage ceremony account perfectly summarizes for us which political party in Mexico truly supports marriage equality.

  • 12. VIRick  |  July 19, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Rhode Island Bans Gay "Conversion" Therapy

    Today, 19 July 2017, Rhode Island became the latest US state to ban gay "cure" therapy. The state’s Governor Gina Raimondo signed into law House Bill (HB) 5277, a measure which protects LGBTQ youth in the state from the harmful and discredited practice of so-called conversion therapy.

    Despite being overwhelmingly condemned by the medical community, only ten states so far have enacted bans on gay "cure" therapy – Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, and New Mexico, plus the District of Columbia,– and now, Rhode Island. A growing number of municipalities have also enacted similar protections, including cities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

    The Rhode Island law states: “This act would prohibit ‘conversion therapy’ by licensed health care professionals with respect to children under eighteen (18) years of age. Violations of this act would subject the health care professional to disciplinary action and/or suspension and revocation of the license by the director of the state department of health.”

    At last report, the Delaware state legislature was also in the process of passing legislation to ban gay "cure" therapy.

  • 13. scream4ever  |  July 19, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Delaware also came close this year. It passed the Senate and made it out of committee in the House, but got brushed aside when the budget negotiations took center stage in the final days. It should easily pass next year for sure. New Hampshire is also a strong possibility.

  • 14. Fortguy  |  July 19, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Last Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced his bid for reelection and has since drawn a gay opponent. Jeffrey Payne is a successful Dallas businessman owning five businesses including a court reporting firm, a real estate company, and The Dallas Eagle which is a leather bar located on Maple Ave. near Inwood Rd. He is married and openly HIV+. He was also 2009's International Mr. Leather.

    Payne is a political novice with no name recognition outside of the Dallas LGBT community. Likewise, he has no donor base although he is willing to loan his campaign $2.5 million of his own money. Needless to say, the state's Democratic Party is still seeking a more well-known, experienced candidate to challenge Abbott.

    Jack Fink, CBS DFW: Gov. Abbott Begins Re-Election Bid As Democratic Candidate Emerges
    Tammye Nash, Dallas Voice: Jeffrey Payne announces run for Texas governor

  • 15. allan120102  |  July 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    Haiti is the latest country that its trying to not only ban same sex marriage but also penalize it. Seeing how Haitian society there is no doubt that ssm will be ban. This proposal has a strong backing in the parliament and some deputies in Haiti say that their bad luck is because of gays.

  • 16. scream4ever  |  July 19, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Poverty always makes it ripe for certain groups to be used as scapegoats.

  • 17. VIRick  |  July 19, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Haiti: Parliament Debates Bill to Prohibit and Penalize Marriage Equality

    Parlamento de Haití Debate Proyecto de Ley para Prohibir y Penalizar el Matrimonio Igualitario

    Puerto Príncipe, 19 de julio 2017 – El Parlamento haitiano debate un proyecto de ley para prohibir y penalizar el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo, aunque la legislación nunca ha reconocido las uniones entre homosexuales, informaron hoy activistas de la comunidad de LGBTI. Se trata de un proyecto de ley del senador Carl Murat Cantave, que critica abiertamente a la comunidad LGBTI en Haití, a la que ha llegado a culpar públicamente de “todo lo malo” que ocurre en la nación caribeña.

    Este proyecto de ley llega semanas después de que el Senado adoptara una resolución para denegar a los miembros de esa comunidad el “certificado de buena vida”, un documento necesario para hacer cualquier gestión en el país, desde obtener un trabajo, hasta viajar.

    El presidente de Kouraj, única organización de defensa de LGBTI en Haití, Charlot Jeudy, denunció en declaraciones el ataque que sufre el colectivo por parte del Estado, dado que “hay senadores que abiertamente expresan su homofobia, lo que supone un claro ataque contra nosotros. Toda la comunidad LGBTI en Haití está preocupada por los últimos ataques contra nosotros. La proposición de ley de prohibir el matrimonio de personas del mismo sexo en Haití es tiempo perdido, puesto que la ley no reconoce el casamiento de personas del mismo sexo, ahora lo que quieren hacer es penalizarlo," apuntó.

    En cuanto a la denegación del certificado de buena vida a los homosexuales, Jeudy consideró, “Es muy grave que el Parlamento de un país en crisis como Haití no quiera trabajar para mejorar la vida de sus ciudadanos. Ellos tienen que hacer su trabajo y respetar los derechos de todos."

    Port-au-Prince, 19 July 2017 – The Haitian Parliament is debating a bill to prohibit and penalize same-sex marriage, although legislation there has never acknowledged homosexual unions, LGBTI community activists stated today. This is a bill of Senator Carl Murat Cantave, who openly criticizes the LGBTI community in Haiti, and has even come to publicly blame it for "everything bad" that occurs in the Caribbean nation.

    This bill comes weeks after the Senate passed a resolution to deny members of the LGBTI community the "certificate of good living," a document needed to make any arrangement in the country, from obtaining a job, to traveling.

    The president of Kouraj, the only LGBTI defense organization in Haiti, Charlot Jeudy, denounced the attack that the collective suffers on the part of the State, given that "there are senators who openly express their homophobia, which implies a clear attack against us. The entire LGBTI community in Haiti is concerned about these latest attacks on us. The proposed law prohibiting same-sex marriage in Haiti is wasted time, since the present law does not recognize same-sex marriage, but now what they want to do is penalize it," he said.

    Regarding the denial of the certificate of good life to homosexuals, Jeudy considered, "It is very serious that the Parliament of a country in crisis like Haiti does not want to work to improve the lives of its citizens. They have to do their job and respect the rights of all."

    Kouraj = "Courage" in Creole.

  • 18. VIRick  |  July 19, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    Senator John McCain Diagnosed with Brain Cancer

    John McCain, one of the highest-profile members of the US Senate and a two-time presidential candidate, announced today, 19 July 2017, that he has been diagnosed with brain cancer. The diagnosis came after McCain, 80, had had a blood clot removed from above his left eye on 14 July. "Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot," said a statement from the Mayo Clinic and released by his office.

    Geez, and I just saw him, quite recently, hurridly sneaking out one of the back entrances to the Russell Senate Office Building (non-wheelchair accessible, on the Delaware Avenue side, facing Upper Senate Park), on the same day that the very intent, forceful crowds of disabled folks were loudly protesting against the possibility of the repeal of the ACA in and around the front entrance (wheelchair accessible, on Constitution Avenue).

  • 19. ianbirmingham  |  July 20, 2017 at 12:28 am

    John McCain is a great man who has given his life to his country and done a lot of good. There's plenty to disagree with him about, but he was always a politician with a good heart who knew how to compromise and make rational choices. His daughter, Meghan McCain, is a fierce advocate for LGBT issues within the Republican party. I truly hope John and his family will find peace and happiness as they love one another while coping with this very aggressive form of cancer.

  • 20. JayJonson  |  July 20, 2017 at 6:26 am

    I am sorry to hear of McCain's diagnosis. He is a war hero, but I would not call him a "great man." He was not always a politician wth a good heart who knew how to compromise and make rational choices. One of the most disgraceful scenes I have ever witnessed on the floor of the Senate was his crazy antics when DADT was repealed. He was running around like a chicken with his head cut off, outraged because his colleagues ignored him on the issue. (He absurdly denied that anyone was kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation.) His daughter and his wife (apparently) were in favor of marriage equality. He was not. I do not know a single time he cast a vote in favor of gay rights, though he did thank profusely gay 9/11 hero Mark Bingham for his actions in averting the hijacked plane heading for Washington, D.C.

  • 21. Fortguy  |  July 19, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    The Texas Senate has passed the non-controversial, must-pass bills required to keep certain state agencies alive for another two years under the state's sunset review process. The Senate was in such a hurry to pass these that they suspended a chamber rule to allow the bills to be considered and passed out of committee on the first day of the special session without a formal public notification period, passed them on the floor on second reading on the second day, and then convened at midnight to hold third reading and vote for final passage on the third day literally minutes ago as I write this. The reason for their hurry is to get them out of the way so they can sink their fangs into the rest of Abbott's Red Meat agenda items as soon as possible.

    Meanwhile, a House committee passed a bill to keep the agencies open on the second day, Wednesday, but it is unclear when the bill will be addressed on the floor. A second must-pass bill providing funding to the agencies still has not been reviewed in committee. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are throwing the Lege Red Meat from the right. While the Senate devours in a blood-fest, Speaker Joe Straus and his House leadership desire to dine from the vegan menu over these thirty days. Having their own bills and now the Senate bills to consider is a plus from the perspective of those wanting to run out the clock as much as possible on the worst of the agenda.

    With the Senate passage of the sunset bills on the wee early hours of Thursday, the Senate is free to begin hearings on the rest of Abbott's agenda on Friday including bathroom legislation.

    Shannon Najmabadi, The Texas Tribune: Senate gives OK to must-pass "sunset" legislation in midnight vote

    Najmabadi says that the Senate will begin hearing bathroom legislation in committee on Friday even though no such Senate bill has been filed in contradiction to another Tribune story. Indeed, I've found that Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), the author of the notorious SB 6 from the regular session, has filed SB 3. The bill was filed so late on Wednesday that the Lege's website still doesn't have the text available at this writing, but the caption which states "Relating to the regulation of certain facilities and activities of political subdivisions, including public school districts, and open-enrollment charter schools." sounds suspiciously like SB 6. The text should be available early on regular business hours Thursday.

    On some somewhat good news, Sen. Sylvia R. Garcia (D-Houston) filed SB 66 which would make it easier for transgender persons to change their names and gender markers on birth certificates. Under current law, many trans people have to travel around the state to judge-shop for sympathetic judges willing to make the changes. This bill, of course, will go nowhere. Since it's not part of Abbott's agenda, it will be shot down by a point of order if not ignored completely.

    In further no-news-is-good-news, none of the bathroom bills, including HB 46 and HB 50, nor the Senate's omnibus hate bill against municipal EROs SB 23 have been assigned to committee.

  • 22. Fortguy  |  July 20, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    SB 3 has been assigned to the Senate State Affairs Committee. The committee will hold a hearing on the bill Friday at 9 a.m. CT. The text of the bill has now been posted on the Lege's website. The bill as introduced would require transgender people to use the bathroom as indicated on their birth certificates of all political subdivisions including public schools. The bill also bans all local non-discrimination ordinances protecting any class of people not already protected under federal or state law. Interesting, some senator challenged the bill with a point of order. The challenge was overruled, but I'm waiting to see today's Senate journal after it's published to see which senator and under what grounds the challenge was made.

    SB 23 is still hanging in limbo, while the House has assigned HB 46 and HB 50 to the House State Affairs Committee with no hearings scheduled yet.

    Also today, Abbott has added two more agenda items bringing the total to 22. The two new items are school finance and retired teacher benefits both of which will be highly contentious. This is a good thing since Abbott's agenda was already way too ambitious and controversial as it was. The more fighting that breaks out, the less likely that the Lege will come close to addressing all of his agenda perhaps letting the bathroom bills fall by the wayside.

    Aliyya Swaby, The Texas Tribune: Abbott adds school finance, retired teacher benefits to special session

  • 23. scream4ever  |  July 20, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Uh so SB3 is literally on par with HB2 from North Carolina?

  • 24. Fortguy  |  July 20, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    We'll have to see what changes are made in committee or what amendments are passed on the floor. The most significant differences I see between this bill and SB 6 are that SB 6 provided specific fines to non-complying agencies and political subdivisions but also provided exemptions to facilities leased to private entities such as a sports facility paid with local public bonds and leased to a professional sports league. Also, SB 3 as written applies only to political subdivisions and public school districts but doesn't, weirdly, specify as applying to the state government itself.

    Unlike North Carolina's HB 2, none of the Texas bills now nor in the regular session have ever presumed to regulate the bathrooms of private businesses and require them to discriminate against trans customers.

  • 25. Fortguy  |  July 21, 2017 at 2:58 am

    Oops, Friday's hearing will hear a second bathroom bill, SB 91, also filed by Kolkhorst, and nearly identical to her SB 3. The differences?

    SB 3:

    ACTIVITIES. (a) Each multiple-occupancy restroom, shower, and
    changing facility of a political subdivision, including a public
    school district, or an open-enrollment charter school must be
    designated for and used only by persons of the same sex as stated on
    a person's birth certificate.
    (b) Except in accordance with federal law as enacted by
    Congress and interpreted in controlling federal case law and state
    law as enacted by the legislature and interpreted in controlling
    case law of this state, a political subdivision, including a public
    school district, or an open-enrollment charter school may not adopt
    or enforce an order, ordinance, policy, or other measure to protect
    a class of persons from discrimination to the extent that the order,
    ordinance, policy, or other measure regulates:
    (1) access to multiple-occupancy restrooms, showers,
    or changing facilities; or
    (2) participation in athletic activities.
    (c) This section may be enforced only through an action
    instituted by the attorney general for mandamus or injunctive
    relief. The attorney general may recover costs and attorney's fees
    related to enforcing this section.

    SB 91:

    ACTIVITIES. (a) Each multiple-occupancy restroom, shower, and
    changing facility of a political subdivision, including a public
    school district, or an open-enrollment charter school must be
    designated for and used only by persons of the same sex as stated on
    a person's birth certificate.
    (b) Except in accordance with federal law and state law, a
    political subdivision, including a public school district, or an
    open-enrollment charter school may not adopt or enforce an order,
    ordinance, policy, or other measure to protect a class of persons
    from discrimination to the extent that the order, ordinance,
    policy, or other measure regulates:
    (1) access to multiple-occupancy restrooms, showers,
    or changing facilities; or
    (2) participation in athletic activities.
    (c) This section may be enforced only through an action
    instituted by the attorney general for mandamus or injunctive
    relief. The attorney general may recover costs and attorney's fees
    related to enforcing this section.

    Perhaps someone who is a lawyer can guide us on the subtle difference?

    Meanwhile, the 9 a.m. committee hearing will have video feeds.

    Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune: Watch as hundreds in Texas testify on the bathroom bill
    Senate live feed: Senate Live Video Broadcasts Click on the 9 a.m. meeting of the Senate Committee on State Affairs

  • 26. scream4ever  |  July 21, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Okay so according to the text it would only overturn bathroom/changing facilities public accommodation previsions. That makes it slightly less bad.

  • 27. VIRick  |  July 21, 2017 at 11:28 am

    SB 3 is more specific in its application of both federal and state law. SB 91 does not inject the point, "and interpreted in controlling case law of this state."

    However, both measures, if passed, contain this gem, basically admitting that they fully intend to discriminate:

    "…. may not adopt or enforce an order, ordinance, policy, or other measure to protect a class of persons from discrimination …."

    Perhaps someone should point out to these "brilliant minds" in Texas that just yesterday, the state of Michoacán in Mexico changed its law to allow transgender individuals to self-declare their gender, thus allowing them to be able to administratively change the gender listed on their birth certificate. This change now matches with the law in Bolivia and Perú,– and Argentina,– and about 46 US states. Still, both Texas measures would blindly insist: "…. as stated on a person's birth certificate ….," as if this information were some sort of immutable fact.

  • 28. scream4ever  |  July 20, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    The deadline is 30 days correct, so Thursday, August 17th?

  • 29. Fortguy  |  July 20, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Yes, that is correct. However, if dissatisfied with the results, the state constitution allows Abbott to call as many 30-day special sessions as he likes. If the House leadership were to remain firm to their principals with no floor revolt, then calling multiple special sessions somehow expecting a different outcome is a paraphrased version of the definition of insanity. This becomes especially true when a 30-day session costs the taxpayers $1-1.2 million.

  • 30. scream4ever  |  July 20, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Yah I doubt he would extend it unless the other items fail to pass. Abbot doesn't seem to enthusiastic about Patrick's endeavors.

  • 31. Fortguy  |  July 20, 2017 at 12:53 am

    The special session of the Texas Lege and the bathroom bill issue have gotten some national press.

    Manny Fernandez and David Montgomery, The New York Times: Bathroom Bill Tests Clout of Rare Moderate in Increasingly Conservative Texas

    The Times piece includes this little bitty:

    “His days are numbered as speaker,” said Jared Woodfill, the president of Conservative Republicans of Texas, which has spent a small fortune in recent years to defeat Mr. Straus and his lieutenants in the House. “This is one man who has a liberal agenda for the state of Texas, and who has done everything he can to stop the good work that’s being done by the lieutenant governor and our State Senate and the governor.”

    That's rich coming from Woodfill who learned nothing from having the numbering of his days as chair of Harris County GOPers expire when his own county party voted him out for being too extremely far-right even for their tastes. And then this:

    Tim Teeman, Daily Beast: The Fight Against the Anti-Transgender Bathroom Bill That Could Mess With Texas

    Teeman's piece is a bit long, but well worth the read. It also includes this golden nugget:

    [Transgender Education Network of Texas director Lisa] Scheps applauded one school she went to that insisted that anyone who had a problem with trans kids using the bathroom of their choice should themselves choose another bathroom.

    Absolutely! If requiring others to use either the wrong bathroom or single-use facilities far away poses no hardship, then just choosing not to use a bathroom with transgender people would logically be also Just. So. Easy.

  • 32. VIRick  |  July 20, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    US Senate Confirms Anti-Gay Blogger as Federal Appeals Court Judge

    On Thursday, 20 July 2017, the US Senate confirmed John Kenneth Bush as a federal judge, a man who once equated abortion with slavery, calling them the “two greatest tragedies in our country” in an anonymous blog post for his wife‘s blog, Elephants in the Bluegrass, and who pledged fealty to Donald Trump during the Republican National Convention. The vote was 51-47 to elevate Kentucky lawyer and blogger John Bush to a lifetime post on the Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    He also wrote a post critical of the State Department’s decision to change passport applications to refer to parents in a gender-neutral way, as “Mother or Parent 1” and “Father or Parent 2.” Bush wrote that “it’s just like the government to decide it needs to decide something like which parent is number one or number two. When that happens, both parents are subservient to the nanny state — more precisely, a nanny Secretary of State.” Another post under Bush’s pen name shows support for Mike Huckabee’s stance against same-sex marriage.

    Democrats objected strongly to the nomination, arguing that Bush’s blog posts under a pseudonym disqualified him. Those included the post about abortion and slavery, links to articles on an alt-right conspiracy theory website, and the comment, “Time to roll with Trump,” while the GOP convention was underway last summer. “They are awful, they are disgraceful,” said Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, arguing that Bush was “uniquely unqualified for the job.”

    But Bush was strongly supported by fellow Kentuckian Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who lectured Franken on the Senate floor for saying that Bush was the worst nominee he’s seen in his time on the Judiciary Committee. McConnell was the beneficiary of millions of dollars raised for his re-election campaign by John Bush’s wife.

    Bush will be taking the seat of another conservative judge, Danny Boggs, on a court already dominated by Republicans. The 6th Circuit covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.

  • 33. VIRick  |  July 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Japan's First Lady, Akie Abe v. Trump

    One special nugget in Donald Trump‘s stunning interview with the "New York Times" has gone under-reported. Sure, he stabbed Jeff Sessions in the back, along with other top leaders at the Justice Department. Of course, he bad-mouthed Robert Mueller for leading the investigation into Trump’s probably-illegal ties to Russian mobsters, and whether his campaign colluded with the Russian government to win the presidential election.

    But buried in the interview comes this juicy tidbit: Japan’s First Lady, Akie Abe, apparently let Trump think she doesn’t speak English so she could avoid talking to him during dinner. During a segment in the conversation about Trump’s “secret meeting” with Vladimir Putin during a dinner at the G20 summit, Trump took a moment to point out that spouses attended the dinner, as well, and that Melania Trump was seated near Putin. "It would have been rude not to say hello, amirite?"

    Besides, he was sitting next to Abe. “She’s a terrific woman, but doesn’t speak English,” Trump told the reporters. Asked if she really said nothing to him, Trump responded with, “Like, not even ‘hello’.” Except, of course, she does speak English. Apparently, like Melania, she was just trying to ignore the doddering old lecher, and make the most of a bad pairing.

    Need proof? Here you go. She gave the keynote speech in 2014 at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction at the Ford Foundation – no small feat for someone who “doesn’t speak English.” A video of her giving said speech is embedded at the bottom of this article:

  • 34. allan120102  |  July 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Mexico City. The Mexican Equal collective will request the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) to hold a public hearing to resolve the unconstitutionality action on the definition of marriage in Puebla legislation, which is limited to one man and one woman.

    This is so that various organizations that defend the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersexual (LGBTI) people express their concerns about the obstacles they face if this definition is not modified also in the various Articles that are presented in the civil codes of the states, said Alex Alí Méndez, litigation director of this group.

    Given the determination of unconstitutionality that the Court decided on the legislation of the state of Chiapas, on July 11, where marriage was also limited between a man and a woman, they demand that the other articles that also establish this definition be reviewed.

    "Couples who are already married are governed by all the regulation of the Civil Code and same-sex couples obviously do not fit this definition," said the activist.

    He added that in some states like Chihuahua, Tamaulipas and Oaxaca are challenging that all those articles of the state civil codes are unconstitutional. "What we are worried about is that it is again making invisible the unconstitutionality of these, instead of pronouncing directly" on them.

    Alí Méndez said that it is also important that the SCJN "listen to civil society, what are their concerns in terms of access to justice and the challenges we have faced. It would be a good space not only to listen to those who are in favor of the recognition of this type of rights but in being a public hearing any person, even groups that are against, have access "to them.

    In an interview he added that the Court would be studying the case of Puebla in the first half of August, so that Equal Mexico invites organizations interested in participating in this request for hearing to contact this group so that they can submit their request The 31 of July next.

    However, he said, they have already sent a request to the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), "as a promoter of the unconstitutionality action" in Puebla, to request the Court "to open public hearings"

  • 35. VIRick  |  July 20, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Gender Identity Law Approved in Michoacán

    Per Rex Wockner‏:

    In a 22-1 vote, Michoacán state law now says that transgender persons can get a new birth certificate just by asking for one – no other requirements. "In no case, will it be necessary to demonstrate any surgical intervention, therapies, or other diagnosis or procedure …"

    Aprueban Ley de Identidad de Género en Michoacán

    Este jueves, 20 de julio 2017, los diputados locales de Michoacán aprobaron el reconocimiento legal de la identidad de género de las personas trans, esto gracias a la modificación del Código Familiar del Estado. Con esta resolución, las personas transgénero podrán solicitar el cambio de género y nombre en sus documentos legales de forma más rápida, sencilla y respetando sus derechos humanos.

    El fallo se tomó con 22 votos a favor, uno en contra (por parte de la diputada Alma Mireya González del PAN) y una abstención (por parte de Eduardo Chavira del PAN). La resolución reforma el Artículo 117 del Código Familiar, por lo que las personas transgénero podrán realizar este proceso administrativo a través de los registros civiles.

    Con la nueva reforma, se eliminan, como requisitos para realizar este trámite, la acreditación de la identidad de género, las intervenciones quirúrgicas, terapias psicológicas, y cualquier otro tipo de diagnóstico o procedimiento que busque validar la autodeterminación de las personas trans.

    Gender Identity Law Approved in Michoacán

    This Thursday, 20 July 2017, the deputies of the Michoacán state congress approved the legal recognition of the gender identity of transgender persons, this thanks to the modification of the Family Code of the State. With this resolution, transgender persons will be able to request the change of gender and name in their legal documents in a quicker, simpler way, respecting their human rights.

    The decision was taken with 22 votes in favor, one against (by deputy Alma Mireya González of PAN) and one abstention (by Eduardo Chavira of PAN). The resolution amends Article 117 of the Family Code, so that transgender persons can carry out this process administratively through civil registries.

    With the new reform, for the accreditation of gender identity, surgical interventions, psychological therapies, and whatever other type of diagnosis or procedure that seeks to validate self-determination of trans persons, are all eliminated as requirements.

    With the passage of this new law, Michoacán now has both marriage equality and gender identity recognition, pushing it way ahead of the bulk of the rest of the Mexican states,– and this is a large, populous state in the "heart of Mexico," the 4th most-populous jurisdiction of the 12 with marriage equality,

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