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Open thread with news updates

Community/Meta Discrimination Transgender Rights

This is an open thread.

– Yesterday, the US Senate confirmed judicial nominee John K. Bush to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. He’s known for anti-LGBT views, including blog posts in which he’s used anti-gay slurs.

– Kentucky will pay more than $222,000 in a challenge to a clerk’s refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

– The plaintiffs challenging North Carolina’s HB2 (which includes a so-called “bathroom bill” targeting people who are transgender) have amended their complaint to challenge the new law that the state claims is a “repeal” bill. More plaintiffs have also been added to the case.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  July 21, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    German President Signs Marriage Equality into Law

    On Friday, 21 July 2017, the presidential office announced that Germany’s president has signed the legislation legalizing same-sex marriage, paving the way for the bill to take effect this fall. His office said President Frank-Walter Steinmeier actually signed the legislation yesterday, thus moving the law onto its last process, one of publication and promulgation, meaning that it will very likely come into force from 1 October 2017.

    Germany has allowed same-sex couples to enter civil partnerships since 2001, but until now, has not granted them full marital rights, including the possibility of jointly adopting children.

  • 2. DevilWearsZrada  |  July 21, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    As far as I know, this bill doesn't include presumed parenthood for lesbian couples (or maybe for gay couples whose children were born via surrogacy as well). So after childbirth the birth mother's wife will have to adopt the child in order to become a legal parent.

  • 3. scream4ever  |  July 21, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    I could've sworn I've read multiple times that it included joint adoption.

  • 4. DevilWearsZrada  |  July 22, 2017 at 12:40 am

    It includes joint adoption but presumed parenthood is another issue. For example, France legalised same-sex marriage (including joint adoption rights) in 2013, but only in the recent weeks French courts ruled that a husband of the biological father of a child born via surrogacy abroad (it's banned in France) must be recognised as a parent.

  • 5. VIRick  |  July 22, 2017 at 1:40 am

    For presumed parenthood, one simply needs to read the language of any/all legislation in a gender-neutral manner (and this point holds true regardless of the actual language involved,– be it French, German, whatever). In other words, for a married couple, the presumed second parent is the SPOUSE of the birth mother. In Spanish, the matching gender-neutral term is "cónyuge." In French, it's "conjoint." In German, one can say, "Ehepartner." And by employing gender-neutral concepts, this is basically the manner in which the French court just ruled,– although they had to do it, inside-out, ruling in favor of the spouse of the known biological father.

    And this was my argument with Gorsuch in his dissent in the "Pavan" decision. He obviously does not understand the broader meaning of the term, "spouse," when applied to a married couple,– that is,– to any married couple.

    I have always found it peculiar that people whose native language is very gender-sensitive seem to be much more aware of the need to be gender-neutral. For example, in Spanish, the standard gender-specific spousal terms for "husband and wife" are "esposo y esposa," with almost the entire language being like that,– same word, slightly different ending, indicating gender. And Portuguese is actually worse, as gender inflects every word, where "o meu marido e a minha esposa," is saved by "cônjuge."

  • 6. VIRick  |  July 21, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Kim Davis and Mat Staver Finally Cost Kentucky $224,703

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 21 July 2017, in "Miller v. Davis," the original dragged-out, high-profile federal case against the notorious Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses following the "Obergefell" decision, the Order granting the Plaintiffs' attorneys' fees (with the Commonwealth of Kentucky being ordered to pay said fees) has been issued.

    Plaintiffs’ Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Costs (Doc. # 183) is hereby GRANTED as follows:
    (a) Plaintiffs are awarded $222,695.00 in attorneys’ fees; and
    (b) Plaintiffs are awarded $2,008.08 in costs

    The 50-page Memorandum and Order is here:

    Note: There are two more cases still outstanding against Davis, both also seeking their respective attorneys' fees.

  • 7. VIRick  |  July 21, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    North Carolina: Amended Filing against Potty Law in "Carcaño v. Cooper"

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 21 July 2017, in "Carcaño v. Cooper," the ACLU/Lambda Legal suit challenging North Carolina law HB142 (previously HB2), the amended potty law, the Plaintiffs seek to file an amended complaint addressing the new law, HB142, one that replaced HB2. The motion to file the complaint, with the proposed amended complaint attached, is here:

    Plaintiffs’ Consent Motion for Leave to File Fourth Amended Complaint and Extension of Time to Respond to Fourth Amended Complaint

    Dominic Holden at BuzzFeed has a report here:

    The Lambda Legal/ACLU press release is here:

  • 8. VIRick  |  July 21, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Kentucky GOP Chair Arrested after Exposing Himself in a Store Bathroom

    (AKA, "Sordid Lives" Revisited, with a Heavy Dose of "Cruising Appalachia")

    David Narramore, 54, was the Republican Party county chairman of Letcher County KY until earlier this week when he resigned following his arrest for exposing himself to a department store employee.

    Last Saturday, 15 July 2017, Narramore was in the bathroom of the Belk department store in Kingsport TN. A Belk employee who works in loss prevention was in the next stall, and said that Narramore started rubbing his foot against the employee’s foot. The Republican official then exposed himself to the employee.

    Security escorted Narramore to an office to wait for police to arrive. The police say that he “passively” resisted arrest and then attempted to fight officers, so they tried to tase him. When the taser didn’t work, a police officer hit Narramore in the face and wrestled him to the ground. He was then taken to the Kingsport city jail. He is charged with indecent exposure and resisting arrest. According to police, Narramore says that the employee touched his foot too.

    Narramore, who is also a dentist, resigned on Tuesday,18 July 2017, as Republican county chairman. According to a statement from Kentucky’s Republican Party, “Dr. Narramore is clearly going through some personal issues.”

    Full disclosure: One of my hotter, adorably "out" ex-boyfriends was last reported to be working in the men's department of a Belk's department store in Tennessee.

    This foot-touching account also reminds me to note that on my most-recent DC visit we once again dutifully "paid our respects" in the Larry Craig (R-ID) Memorial Men's Room in the lower level of DC's Union Station (just down the hill from the US Senate Office Buildings), the locale where he spent years honing his own foot-touching skills to near-perfection.

  • 9. Fortguy  |  July 21, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    The State Affairs Committee of the Texas Senate held ten hours of testimony on bathroom bills. After public testimony, which was overwhelmingly in opposition, the committee voted 8-1 to recommend SB 3 to the full chamber. The lone vote against was Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) while the committee's only other Dem who voted in favor was, of course, our old fiend Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville), the only Senate Dem that consistently opposed LGBT causes in the regular session. The floor is expected to take up the bill next week.

    Alexa Ura and Emma Platoff, The Texas Tribune: Senate committee passes 'bathroom bill' after 10 hours of testimony
    Michael Barajas, Texas Observer: Trans Texans, Advocates Swarm Texas Capitol to Oppose ‘Bathroom Bills’ (Again)

    As far as the point of order raised against the bill I mentioned yesterday, that was the attempt by the senator from my district, José Rodríguez (D-El Paso) who chairs the Senate Democratic Caucus, to "tag" the bill which I had also mentioned previously. This is a normally noncontroversial procedure to require that the bill receive 48 hours notice before being considered in committee. However, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is moving feverishly fast to get bills into committee hearings even before the bills are even published and before opponents or the press can figure out what is going on. He has even stated that he wants to have all of the bills dealing with Gov. Greg Abbott's agenda passed by the end of next week. It's easy to get things passed if no one has to studiously read, consider with reason or logic, or listen to constituents back home before voting.

    Gus Bova, Texas Observer: Dems: Dan Patrick’s Senate Speed-up Is ‘Subverting’ the Democratic Process

    As evidence of this, Senate committees today also approved a bill providing for private school vouchers for special needs kids (Patrick strongly pushes school vouchers while rural GOP legislators hate the very notion) and a bill to create a panel to study school finance over the next biennium (House Speaker Joe Straus recognizes school finance is unfair, terrible, and needs to be fixed now).

    Aliyya Swaby, The Texas Tribune: Senate committee passes bills on private school choice and school finance study

    Historically, the House has been the wing of the Capitol where the crazy bats roost generating their batshit while the ones that find their way under the Pink Dome to the Senate go there to die a brutal death. Since Patrick became Lite Guv, however, he's called the bats over to let his senators embrace and wallow in the batshit while Straus, who has always been elected speaker with the support of 100% of House Dems despite himself being a GOPer, has thankfully become quite adept at indoor animal control regarding rabid, flying mammals. The House will slow everything down and make sure everything receives the deliberation it deserves–or killed due to the lack of deliberation it doesn't warrant.

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

    Meanwhile, yesterday I brought up the nearly meaningless differences between SB 3 and SB 91 both authored by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham). The mere subtle differences between the bills was intended for one of the bills to be a "precautionary backup" in the words of Kolkhorst according the the Observer's Barajas above. If that's the case, I would think that her strategy would have been better served by leaving one of the bills in her pocket to be submitted later if needed rather than showing the House her hand now. Perhaps her advantage is that the bill avoids a contentious public committee hearing later if the committee needs to vote it out to the floor as a replacement late in the session.

  • 11. VIRick  |  July 22, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Nayarit Approves Gender Identity Law

    Per Sonora Pride, datelined 20 July 2017:

    Nayarit aprueba la Ley de Identidad de Género, convirtiéndose en el tercer estado (en México) en hacerlo. Felicidades!

    Nayarit approves the Gender Identity Law, becoming the third state (in Mexico) to have it.

    On this same date, 20 July 2017, but later in the day, this same Gender Identity Law was also approved by the Michoacán congress. Based on Sonora Pride's comment, there are thus two additional Mexican states which have already previously approved the same Gender Identity Law, but I am not certain which two they are.

  • 12. VIRick  |  July 23, 2017 at 2:12 am

    Mexico DF Approves Gender Identity Law (Retrospective)

    En 13 ne noviembre 2014, con 46 votos a favor, ninguno en contra, y 6 abstenciones, la Asamblea Legislativa del Distrito Federal (ALDF) de México aprobó la iniciativa que garantiza y facilita el derecho de toda persona al reconocimiento de su identidad de género. La sesión legislativa, así como la aprobación, fue calificada como histórica para las personas trans en la capital del país.

    Hasta esta reforma, la ley para el reconocimiento de la identidad de género exigía un trámite legal y sexológico costoso para que otros decidieran si una persona trans tenía derecho a su identidad. Con la reforma aprobada se eliminarán estas trabas.

    On 13 November 2014, with 46 votes in favor, none against, and 6 abstentions, the Legislative Assembly of the Federal District (ALDF) of Mexico approved the initiative that guarantees and facilitates the right of everyone to the recognition of their gender identity. The legislative session, as well as the approval, was qualified as historical for trans individuals in the capital of the country.

    Prior to this reform, the law for the recognition of gender identity required an expensive legal and sexological process for others to decide if a trans person had a right to their identity. With the reform approved, these obstacles will be eliminated.

    This new law in CDMX went into effect very early in 2015.

  • 13. VIRick  |  July 23, 2017 at 2:31 am

    Nayarit, Third State in Legalizing Gender Identity

    Nayarit, Tercer Estado en Legalizar la Identidad de Género

    En 20 de julio 2017, de manera unánime, el Congreso de Nayarit aprobó la Ley de Identidad de Género, con la que la comunidad transgénero y transexual podrá modificar el género en su acta de nacimiento. Para ello fue necesario modificar el Código Civil y el Código de Procedimientos Civiles del estado, propuesta impulsada por un grupo de activistas con el objetivo de concientizar acerca de los crímenes de odio.

    "Este dictamen pretende garantizar el derecho a la identidad de las personas que desde hace años vienen reclamando poder tener un nombre y documentación que las o los identifiquen (correctamente), ayudándoles a reconocer su identidad de género, y no de acuerdo con su sexo biológico de nacimiento," afirmó el diputado Benigno Ramírez.

    Hasta ahora, los trámites para el cambio de identidad de género en las actas de nacimiento en Nayarit eran sumamente largos, costosos, desgastantes, y en muchos casos, inaccesibles.

    On 20 July 2017, the Congress of Nayarit unanimously approved the Law of Gender Identity, with which the transgender and transsexual community will be able to modify the gender on their birth certificates. To do this, it was necessary to modify the Civil Code and the Civil Procedures Code of the state, a proposal promoted by a group of activists with the aim of raising awareness about hate crimes.

    "This law seeks to guarantee the right to identity for those individuals who for years have been claiming to be able to have a name and documentation that (correctly) identifies them, helping them to recognize their gender identity, and not according to their biological sex at birth," said Deputy Benigno Ramírez.

    Up until now, the procedures for the change of gender identity on birth certificates in Nayarit were extremely long, expensive, exhausting, and in many cases, inaccessible.

  • 14. VIRick  |  July 23, 2017 at 2:59 am

    In searching about using Google, I have determined that CDMX, Michoacán, and Nayarit, have all approved their new self-declaratory Gender Identity Laws, and that similar proposals have very recently been introduced into the congresses of both Coahuila and Jalisco.

    On 21 June 2017, we have this headline:

    Presentan Propuesta de Ley de Identidad de Género en Coahuila

    Proposed Law of Gender Identity Presented in Coahuila

    One day earlier, on 20 June 2017, this:

    Impulsan Iniciativa de Ley de Identidad de Género en Jalisco

    Gender Identity Law Initiative Pushed in Jalisco

    Plus, on 20 July 2017, we have this up-date pertaining to Mexico City:

    Se han realizado mil 923 cambios de identidad de género en la CDMX, de los cuales mil 294 personas solicitaron pasar del masculino al femenino y 629 del femenino al masculino. En CDMX, los requisitos para hacer este trámite son que las o los interesados sean de nacionalidad mexicana, sean mayores de 18 años, y presentar original y copia de acta de nacimiento primigenia certificada, identificación oficial, y comprobante de domicilio.

    To date, 1923 changes of gender identity have occurred in CDMX, of which 1294 have requested to change from masculine to feminine, and 629 from feminine to masculine. In CDMX, the requirements to do this process are that the interested parties be of Mexican nationality, be at least 18 years old, and present the original and a certified copy of the original birth certificate, official identification, and proof of domicile.

    The interested party can be from anywhere in Mexico. To date, of the 1923 changes already made, any number have been done for out-of-state residents with birth certificates from other states, with some examples, as follows: Estado de México (Edomex) con 150; Veracruz con 130; y Jalisco con 70.

    Most stunningly, in honor of Pride Month, between 8-30 June 2017, officials in Mexico City performed this service for free.

  • 15. VIRick  |  July 22, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    LGBT Pride in North Africa

    Per Igualdad LGBT (of Spain):

    Este sábado, 22 de julio 2017, Melilla se prepara para celebrar su XIII Orgullo LGTBI del Norte de África, el único que se celebra en África.

    This Saturday, 22 July 2017, Melilla is preparing to celebrate its XIII LGBTI Pride in North Africa, the only one that is celebrated in Africa.

    Ceuta and Melilla are both Spanish enclaves in North Africa on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, and integral parts of Spain directly bordering on Morocco.

  • 16. VIRick  |  July 23, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    New Jersey: Christie Signs Transgender Student Rights Bill

    CBS News reports:

    On Friday, 21 July 2017, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation requiring the state to give guidance to public schools about policies for transgender students, including blocking the schools from forcing the students from using bathrooms that conflict with their gender identities. The civil rights group Garden State Equality applauded the Republican governor for signing the measure, saying that Christie took a stand for LGBT youth.

    The law was passed by the Democrat-led Legislature after school districts around the state began passing their own rules to allow transgender students to use whichever bathroom they choose. The state education department said last year that districts should pass policies to explain how they handle gender identity issues, but didn’t suggest what they should say.

    Among the requirements of the law is that the state give guidance on students using the name, pronoun, and dress that corresponds with their gender identities. Schools would be blocked from requiring transgender students from using bathrooms that conflict with their gender identities, and at a minimum, would have to find “reasonable alternative arrangements.”

  • 17. Fortguy  |  July 24, 2017 at 1:31 am

    Wow! Maybe after his complete emasculation at the hands of the Trumpistas despite his tail-between-legs submissive loyalty and and his worst poll numbers of any governor in the history of polling, it seems Christie finally wants to have his name associated with something good for once. Sometimes lame ducks have the shiniest down feathers after all.

  • 18. bythesea66  |  July 24, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    He is a complete asshole, but is consistent in opposing anti-Muslim bigotry and seems not to personally care about LGBT issues and thus will support them when it is not politically disadvantageous to do so.

  • 19. VIRick  |  July 24, 2017 at 2:59 am

    Today, 24 July 2017, is the 7th anniversary of the passage of the marriage equality legislation in New York State.

  • 20. scream4ever  |  July 24, 2017 at 8:17 am

    You mean 6 years from it coming into effect right?

  • 21. VIRick  |  July 24, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Yes, thanks for the correction. The law in New York State went into effect on 24 July 2011, so today is actually the 6th anniversary.

  • 22. VIRick  |  July 24, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Britain to Ease Legal Requirements for Changing Gender

    On 23 July 2017, the British government announced that it plans to make it easier for people to change gender by removing the requirement for a medical diagnosis.

    Equalities Minister Justine Greening says people seeking to legally change gender will still have to prove they have been in transition for at least two years. But they would no longer need a diagnosis of gender dysphoria – a current requirement seen as intrusive by many trans people.

    The plan has to go through consultation and legislation stages before becoming law.

  • 23. ianbirmingham  |  July 24, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    "These Faggots Kill Fascists!" Gay troops shoot at Islamic State in Raqqa, Syria

  • 24. VIRick  |  July 24, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    OK, but what in the world is this? Those initials on the banner, IRPGF, stand for International Revolutionary People's Guerrilla Forces, while TQILA, stands for The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army (in English).

    The website in question appears to be pro-Kurdish/Syrian minorities, and definitely anti-ISIS, anti-Syrian regime, and very anti-Turkish, while also being pro-anarchist.

    The group, SDF (Syrian Defense Force?) appears to be mostly comprised of Kurdish male and female fighters from Kobani and Rojava fighting in Raqqa, but also includes units of Chaldeans, Assyrians, Syriac Christians, and even Yazidi female fighters (all collectively referred to as the indigenous people of Syria). They appear to be allied with the YPG, the Kurdish resistance in Turkey.

    According to Wikipedia:

    Rojava is a de facto autonomous region originating in and consisting of three self-governing cantons in northern Syria, namely Afrin Canton, Jazira Canton and Kobanî Canton, as well as adjacent areas of northern Syria like Shahba region. It claims its capital to be the city of Qamishli.

    Note: The Yazidi are Zoroastrian, one of the last remaining groups still following that ancient Persian religion, as are the Parsi of India.

  • 25. bythesea66  |  July 24, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Interesting. Btw Yazidi are unique and distinct from Zoroastrians but do share similar worldviews. That are often incorrectly regarded as "Satanists" by ISIS and other militant islamists.

  • 26. ianbirmingham  |  July 24, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    SDF = "Syrian Democratic Forces"…..

    Also: "Since the Constitutional update in December 2016, the official name of the polity governing throughout Rojava has been the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria."

  • 27. VIRick  |  July 25, 2017 at 1:00 am

    Ian, but how does The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army figure into all of this? Other than that one banner, bearing that name upon it in English, reputedly on display in central Raqqa, in a Twitter posting dated 24 July 2017, there was no further mention of any such unit within the SDF, but quite a bit on female fighters (Kurdish, Chaldean, and Yazidi), as well as on units representing those other Syrian minorities defending their ancient homes against ISIS. Still, one can not dispute the meaning of the presence of the rainbow flag alongside it, although the second, accompanying pink flag emblazoned with the image of the automatic rifle was new to me.

    I may be wrong, of course, but I rather suspect that that banner and the associated flags are taunting pay-back, given ISIS's penchant for throwing suspected gays off of tall buildings. You know, "The queers, sissies, and girls are definitely here, totally whipping your asses, so get used to it."

    The Kurds are a rare exception in the Middle East, being quite secular (by relative comparison), while respecting women, gays, and the various other ethnic minorities as equals. But then, being outnumbered, I suspect that they have had to rely on every last possible individual in their self-defense efforts at survival.

    Still, it's an unusual alliance. The Kurds are just that,– Kurdish, with their own separate ethnic culture, traditions, and language. Yet, by religion, they are very mildly Sunni Muslim. Most of the others in the alliance are a welter of ancient ethnicities and religious affiliations, including an assortment of Arab non-Muslims.

  • 28. VIRick  |  July 25, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Here's a bit more of an explanation on TQILA:

    The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army, or TQILA (pronounced “tequila”), as they are called, are a subgroup of The International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces (IRPGF). The IRPGF, a group of international volunteers fighting with Kurdish forces in Northern Syria, announced the formation of TQILA on Monday, 24 July 2017.

    "TQILA members have watched in horror as fascists and extremist forces around the world have attacked the Queer community and murdered countless of our community members, citing that they are ‘ill,' ‘sick,’ and ‘unnatural’. The images of gay men being thrown off roofs and stoned to death by Daesh [another name for ISIS] was something we could not idly watch,” it stated.

    But, just how many fighters are currently in TQILA, and how many of them are members of the LGBTQ community, remains unknown.

    This article features a different photo of the same flags/banner in the same locale, but now, with the rainbow flag front and center, with all ostensibly being held up by the same 6 individuals.

  • 29. allan120102  |  July 25, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Nepal moving forward as same sex marriage is being discuss. Also a man has married someone of third gender and authorities are recognizing that marriage.

  • 30. scream4ever  |  July 25, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    It's about time!

  • 31. VIRick  |  July 25, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Texas: Senate Passes "Bathroom Bill" Despite Police/Business Opposition

    On Tuesday, 25 July 2017, the Texas version of a North Carolina-style “bathroom bill” targeting transgender people again passed the state Senate over opposition from police and major corporations, but still faces an uncertain path to becoming law. It is the second time this year that Texas has lurched toward putting restrictions on which bathrooms transgender people can use, but the same deep GOP divisions that sank the first try still remain.

    If anything, tensions are running even hotter. Now at stake for Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who faces re-election in 2018 and has gone against the tide of GOP governors who have otherwise shied away from following the lead of North Carolina, is whether his party will deliver, after ordering them to finish the job in a special legislative session that ends in August.

    Big business and police — two usually important groups to Texas Republicans — have urged Abbott to drop it. Just as the bill came to the floor inside the Senate, police chiefs and commanders from Texas’ largest cities stood outside on the Capitol steps and railed against the effort as a waste of time.

    Nine hours later, the bill tentatively passed, 21-10, after Democrats dragged out the vote. The bill would require transgender people to use the bathroom that matches the sex on their birth certificate, including in public schools. It now moves to the House, where the original Senate version died earlier this year without a vote.

  • 32. scream4ever  |  July 25, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    It's going to face a MUCH harder time in the House, as the Speaker is strongly opposed.

  • 33. VIRick  |  July 25, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Singapore: Officials Void Legal Same-Sex Marriage

    The decision to annul a legal marriage between a transgender woman and her wife almost two years after they were married as a straight couple has left advocates questioning the precedent under Singapore’s already strict marriage laws. “The Registry (of Marriage) had no precedent for voiding marriages,” said Jean Chong, the Singapore-based program field coordinator for OutRight Action International. “We’ve not seen them do this before.”

    Known as FK and BS to protect their identities, the couple married in 2015 while FK was still designated as male under the law. They had consulted with a lawyer and were assured they were within their rights to legally marry. “We have a law that says that marriage is between a man and woman, but the problem is that the registry went further than that,” said Chong. “They said one can get married only if they want to remain a man and woman, but that is not (the wording) in the law.”

    The couple’s troubles started when they applied to receive state-subsidized housing. Under Singapore law, married couples are eligible for certain housing benefits through the Housing and Development Board. “What Singapore has is a lot of social engineering,” said Chong. “There’s all kinds of discrimination if you don’t fit into the cookie cutter mold of what they want Singapore to be.”

    The law defines marriage between a man and a woman under an act known as the Women’s Charter, which provides explicitly heterosexual guidelines for issues surrounding marriage and family. The Women’s Charter goes so far as to state, “a marriage solemnized in Singapore or elsewhere between persons who, at the date of the marriage, are not respectively male and female shall be void.”

    By the time the couple started their housing search, FK had undergone sex-reassignment surgery and updated the identity marker on her documents to female. Their gender was legally-recognized as that of a same-sex couple, despite what the papers reflected at the time of their marriage. The Housing and Development Board questioned the couple’s legal married status, and put their application on hold in order to allow the Registry of Marriages to investigate. The couple was given the runaround for months before being told by the Registry of Marriage that their marriage was no longer valid since they were not living as a man and a woman, making their housing search no longer approved.
    (continued below)

  • 34. VIRick  |  July 25, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Singapore (continued from above)

    The Registry of Marriages, however, was aware of FK’s transition even before their marriage, according to "Quartz" magazine in Singapore. While her gender marker was still listed as male at the time of their marriage, FK had legally changed her name. FK has stated that the Registry of Marriage asked her to sign a document declaring she would not undergo any sex-reassignment surgeries before the date of their wedding, and that she would wear masculine clothing to the ceremony.

    “They clearly thought it through when they decided to make me sign the declaration form stating I wouldn’t go for surgery before the marriage,” said FK in the interview with "Quartz" magazine. “And I interpreted that as a sort of, ‘OK, whatever happens after the marriage is none of our business.' Otherwise, why would they make me sign (the declaration)?”

    Singapore, which does not currently recognize same-sex marriage, does in fact recognize trans people under the law, but only for the marriages of those couples that identify as heterosexual. “This is where our laws fail because nothing in them talks about other kinds of families,” said Chong. “We have rules around how heterosexual families are rewarded. They get better tax breaks. Anyone who falls out of that spectrum — single people, unmarried mothers, or in this case, a same-sex couple — are just not in this framework.”

  • 35. VIRick  |  July 25, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Jamaica: Prominent Bishop Favors Repeal of Sodomy Law

    A prominent Jamaican bishop has called for the repeal of his country’s law that criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual relations. On Sunday, 23 July 2017, the "Jamaica Gleaner" reported that Bishop Howard Gregory, head of the Anglican Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, expressed his personal opposition to the colonial-era statute in a letter he sent to the parliamentary committee studying the issue.

    “Sexual activity engaged in public spaces is illegal and should continue to be so, whether of an heterosexual or homosexual nature,” wrote Gregory. “Beyond that, what happens in privacy between consenting adults should be beyond the purview of the government.” The "Jamaica Gleaner" also reported Gregory wrote that the Jamaican government should not hold a referendum on whether to repeal the law. Previously, the newspaper had reported that Prime Minister Andrew Holness said before his Jamaica Labor Party won last year’s general election that he would call a referendum on the sodomy law.

    The sodomy law in question, Section 76 of Jamaica’s Offenses Against the Person Act of 1864, imposes a prison sentence of up to 10 years of hard labor against anyone who is convicted of “the abominable crime of buggery, committed either with mankind or with any animal.” Maurice Tomlinson, a gay lawyer who lives in Montego Bay and Toronto, alleges in his still-pending 2015 lawsuit that this law violates the right to privacy, as well as other provisions of the Jamaica Constitution.

  • 36. Fortguy  |  July 25, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    The Texas Senate took up floor debate today for several hours on their version of the bathroom bill, SB 3 by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) and gave it preliminary approval on a 21-10 vote.

    Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune: Senate votes again to advance "bathroom bill"
    Lauren McGaughy, The Dallas Morning News: Texas Senate OKs 'bathroom bill' with minor changes
    John C. Moritz, USA Today Network via the Corpus Christi Caller-Times: Senate approves bathroom bill, but deep divisions remain

    Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) was once again the only Dem to vote with the GOPers for passage.

    Unlike SB 6 from the regular session, the current bill exempts state buildings and universities and doesn't impose civil fines for non-complying local governments although it allows the state AG to sue them.

    The bill also prohibits transgender public school athletes from participating on the appropriate team for their gender which allowed Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Houston) to challenge the bill on a point of order as Gov. Greg Abbott's agenda for the session did not include that topic. Watson was eventually overruled, but not before the Senate had wasted nearly two hours considering his challenge.

    The Senate then considered more than 20 amendments. Among those approved was one to allow bathroom use to be permitted, not merely by birth certificate, but also according to any identification provided by the Dept. of Public Safety including drivers licenses, state IDs, and concealed handgun licenses. Student IDs, even those issued by state universities, would not be honored. The approved amendments also restored SB 6 language exempting public buildings leased by private parties such as sports facilities and convention centers, and exemptions for people providing assistance to disabled or elderly persons.

    Dems offered numerous amendments that were soundly rejected. These included amendments specifically exempting transgender persons, increasing penalties for assaults against transgender persons, and tallying economic losses as a result of any backlash.

    Kolkhorst denied the bill was about discrimination. "I know this has been talked about as an anti-transgender person legislation," she said. "That's not what it's about. It is about the privacy and protection of our small children and our young girls." If she were surely serious, she would have wholeheartedly supported Dem amendments protecting trans bathroom users from discrimination or assault. She also could have written her bill to increase protections for small children and young girls from assault or harassment by anyone anywhere at anytime. The fact that she, Lucio, and all Senate Republicans chose not to do so belies their disingenuous claim that they are not seeking to discriminate.

    The bill faces third reading and a final vote likely Wednesday before being sent to the House where we can hope it faces a long, cruel death by neglect.

  • 37. VIRick  |  July 26, 2017 at 12:55 am

    First Gay Couple to Marry in Yucatán Are Divorcing

    Se Divorcia la Primera Pareja Gay en Casarse en Yucatán

    MÉRIDA.- El 8 de agosto del 2013, Javier Carrillo y Ricardo Góngora pasarían a la historia como la primera pareja del mismo sexo en contraer matrimonio en el estado de Yucatán. Su boda marcaría un hito para los derecho de la comunidad LGBT de Yucatán, y el Centro de Estudios Superiores en Sexualidad (CESSEX) compartiría, a través de sus redes sociales, un video de la ceremonia.

    Ahora, y a casi cuatro años de estar unidos en matrimonio, los esposos vuelven a hacer historia: son la primera pareja gay en solicitar el divorcio en el estado de Yucatán. Según reveló Walter Salazar Cano, director del Registro Civil en Yucatán, este trámite de divorcio está en proceso, y se trata del primer caso de divorcio de una pareja del mismo sexo en el estado. Aunque el matrimonio igualitario aún no es legal en Yucatán, la pareja inició el proceso legal con el respaldo del Juzgado Tercero de Jurisdicción Federal.

    Salazar Cano también comentó que en Yucatán existen actualmente 53 parejas del mismo sexo que ya han formalizado su unión en esta entidad. Por otro lado, el viernes 27 de octubre 2017, se llevarán a cabo una serie de bodas colectivas completamente gratuitas en el recinto de la Feria Yucatán Xmatkuil 2017, a partir de las 18:00 horas; y que las parejas del mismo sexo que deseen formalizar su unión, también podrán formar parte de esta celebración colectiva.

    MÉRIDA.- On 8 August 2013, Javier Carrillo and Ricardo Góngora would go down in history as the first same-sex couple to marry in the state of Yucatán. Their wedding would mark a milestone for the rights of the LGBT community of Yucatán, and the Center for Higher Studies in Sexuality (CESSEX) would share, through its social networks, a video of the ceremony.

    Now, after almost four years of being united in marriage, these husbands make history again: they are the first gay couple to file for divorce in the state of Yucatán. According to Walter Salazar Cano, director of the Civil Registry in Yucatán, this divorce proceeding is in process, and is the first divorce case of a same-sex couple in the state. Although marriage equality is still not legal in Yucatán, the couple began the legal process with the support of the Third Court of Federal Jurisdiction.

    Salazar Cano also said that in Yucatán there are currently 53 same-sex couples who have already formalized their union in the state. On the other hand, on Friday, 27 October 2017, a series of completely free collective marriage ceremonies will be held on the grounds of the Yucatán Xmatkuil 2017 Fair, starting at 6 PM; and that same-sex couples who wish to formalize their union may also be part of this collective celebration (remembering that an amparo was very recently granted to 80 LGBT individuals in Yucatán to marry whomever they wish).

  • 38. Elihu_Bystander  |  July 26, 2017 at 7:30 am

    I don't believe anyone here is surprised to see the news:

    President Trump Wednesday (25-July-17) announced that the US government will ban transgender individuals from serving in the US military.

    Never mind that many trans persons have server successfully since at least the Civil War and very likely before.

  • 39. scream4ever  |  July 26, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I am actually quite surprised, as I thought Mathis would make this statement closer to the January 1st deadline.

  • 40. guitaristbl  |  July 26, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Other than the Log Cabin Republicans and Caitlyn Jenner no I don't think anyone is surprised.

    The Log Cabin Republicans came out in opposition to this move surprisingly but the comments on their facebook page from "gay conservatives" are super supportive of their amazing president and his move against "mentally ill" trans people. They even said he made them a favour with this decision by protecting them of tough situations where they would find themselves isolated in a warzone without hormones or something.

    A truly amazing bunch.

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