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Open thread UPDATES August 2


This is an open thread for news and discussion.


– The leader of the Coast Guard has said he supports people who are transgender serving in the military.

– In the Gavin Grimm case, where oral arguments in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals had been set for September 12, the appeals court has canceled the arguments and sent the case back to the district court in order to determine if the case is moot since Grimm has graduated.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. allan120102  |  August 1, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Puebla's ban has been struck down becoming the 11th states were same sex couples can marry in all municipalities without amparo.

  • 2. VIRick  |  August 1, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Actually, according to my list, there are now 13 of 32 jurisdictions in Mexico where same-sex couples can marry, without first obtaining an amparo, plus 2 more where certain municipalities no longer require an amparo. They are:

    1. Distrito Federal CDMX, Mexico City) (since March 2010)
    2. Quintana Roo (May 2012)
    3. Coahuila (September 2014)
    4. Chihuahua (June 2015)
    5. Guerrero (not all municipalities complying with Executive Order of July 2015)
    6. Nayarit (December 2015)
    7. Jalisco (May 2016)
    8. Campeche (May 2016)
    9. Michoacán (June 2016)
    10. Colima (June 2016)
    11. Morelos (July 2016)
    12. Chiapas (July 2017)
    13. Puebla (August 2017, but San Pedro Cholula since September 2016)
    14. Querétaro (8 of 18 municipalities, including Santiago de Querétaro, since July 2015)
    15. Tamaulipas (Tampico, Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, since February 2017)

  • 3. allan120102  |  August 1, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    I dont count Guerrero, Tamaulipas nor Queretaro until all municipalities comply. Almost every offical lgbt groups in Mexico do the same. They are 12 jurisdictions in Mexico who have full marriage equality. The capital plus 11 states.Matrimonio igualitario has the same number and in facebook there is a video were you can see how the decision to strike down Pueblas´s ban was done.

    Btw something is happening in Guerrero since 2015 the acceptance in Acapulco which was a very liberal city has come down and hate crimes have increase. I was first aware in the change since the homophobic civil registry in Acapulco didnt perform marriages like other municipalities which are more traditional. two men were killed in Acapulco just because of there sexual orientation,

  • 4. VIRick  |  August 2, 2017 at 12:13 am

    Allan, but we should count them, as same-sex couples are marrying in certain municipalities in all three, and in the case of Santiago de Querétaro, have been doing so for over two years, with their liberal interpretation spreading to the other seven municipalities, now also in compliance. In Guerrero, both Chilpancingo and Taxco, and an assortment of others, have been doing the same, and for about the same length of time. As for Tamaulipas, those are the three most-populous municipalities in the state,– and that point alone should be worth noting. Mexico is always messy like this, with different degrees of compliance, so to my mind, any chinks in the resistance and wearing down of obfuscation to the change should be noted and encouraged.

    The ban has already been declared unconstitutional, and that should be enough, any law to the contrary notwithstanding. Obviously, some of these municipal authorities agree, and in all three instances, the state Civil Registry authorities of all three states are registering any/all marriages legally-performed, without question, as did the state authorities in Puebla with regard to any/all marriages previously performed in San Pedro Cholula.

    Alternatively, I realize that the municipal civil registrar in Acapulco threw a holy shit-fit over the governor's actions, but that doesn't mean that that one individual civil registrar has the final word. He may for a while, of course, but only within Acapulco. In Sonora, the civil registrar for Navojoa pulled the same stunt, in effect, blocking the state civil registry authorities there from doing their job of complying with the Supreme Court ruling.

  • 5. scream4ever  |  August 2, 2017 at 12:53 am

    It was the same situation in the US until Obergefell was handed down.

  • 6. VIRick  |  August 2, 2017 at 1:25 am

    Scream, Mexico is much messier, particularly now that we are discussing the situation well after-the-fact. From the same news article Allan cited, relative to the Supreme Court ruling against Puebla, it further states, farther down:

    El 11 de diciembre de 2015, la Primera Sala de la SCJN publicó una jurisprudencia, donde señaló como inconstitucionales todas aquellas normas civiles que definen la institución del matrimonio como la que se celebra entre un hombre y una mujer.

    On 11 December 2015, the First Chamber of the Supreme Court published a jurisprudence, wherein it indicated as unconstitutional all those civil norms which define the institution of marriage as the one celebrated between one man and one woman.

    So, ALL of the them are unconstitutional, even the ones they haven't gotten to yet. However, unlike the USA and its "Obergefell" ruling, in Mexico, they have to go after each and every state individually, one at time, in order to force compliance. In the meantime, compliance remains voluntary, without any definitive deadline. States can change their laws to comply whenever they wish. Some have, but many have not. And civil authorities, even at the municipal level, can choose to comply with the Supreme Court jurisprudence, state law notwithstanding. And governors can still issue executive orders requiring compliance within their respective states. Or they can hide under the table and do nothing.

    And unlike the USA, where recognition prior to "Obergefell" remained spotty, in Mexico, almost perversely, recognition is mandatory nationwide. Any marriage legally-performed anywhere in Mexico must be legally-recognized throughout all of Mexico. That's one of the reasons so many same-sex couples in Mexico continue to travel in order to get married in states like Quintana Roo, Coahuila, Nayarit, or Morelos, all without residency requirements. In fact, it has even given rise to a specialized package deal marriage/honeymoon business in those select locations.

    Plus, I understand that the travelling judge from Colima is still operating, after having issued over 300 amparos to same-sex couples. But her routine has shifted a bit. What she now does is this: The couples in question still come to Colima where she duly marries them (no amparo required). Then, for those who insist that they still want to be married back home before family and friends, she travels with them and performs a re-creation, in effect, a second ceremony, as elaborate as requested. But all the legal work is done beforehand in Colima.

  • 7. Fortguy  |  August 2, 2017 at 1:58 am

    The irony is that Mexican states in most ways usually enjoy much less autonomy from their federal government than US states.

  • 8. VIRick  |  August 2, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Supreme Court: Same-Sex Couples Can Marry in Puebla

    Parejas del mismo sexo podrán casarse en Puebla: la SCJN invalida dos artículos del Código Civil del estado al considerarlos como “violatorios de los principios de igualdad y no discriminación."

    Este martes, 1 de agosto 2017, la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) invalidó por unanimidad la parte del artículo 300 del Código Civil del estado, que establecía que el matrimonio podía celebrarse sólo entre hombre y mujer. Los ministros también anularon el artículo 294 del mismo ordenamiento, que establecía como fin del matrimonio el “perpetuar la especie”, pues consideraron a estos preceptos como “violatorios de los principios de igualdad y no discriminación,” según un comunicado de la SCJN.

    La determinación de la Corte se dio como respuesta a la Acción de Inconstitucionalidad 29/2016, promovida por la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDH), con la que demandó la invalidez del artículo 300 del Código Civil de Puebla, reformado mediante un Decreto publicado en el Periódico Oficial del estado el 28 de marzo de 2016.

    The Supreme Court invalidates two articles of the state Civil Code of Puebla as "violating the principles of equality and non-discrimination."

    On Tuesday, 1 August 2017, Mexico's Supreme Court (SCJN) unanimously invalidated the part of Article 300 of the state Civil Code which established that marriage could be celebrated only between a man and a woman. The justices also annulled Article 294 of the same civil code, which established the purpose of marriage as "perpetuating the species," as they considered these precepts as "violating the principles of equality and non-discrimination," according to a communiqué issued by the Supreme Court.

    The Court's determination was given in response to the "Action of Unconstitutionality 29/2016," promoted by the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), which demanded the invalidity of Article 300 of the Civil Code of Puebla, amended by a published Decree In the Official Newspaper of the state on 28 March 2016.

  • 9. Fortguy  |  August 2, 2017 at 12:50 am

    From Rick:

    15. Tamaulipas (Tampico, Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, since February 2017)

    As for Tamaulipas, those are the three most-populous municipalities in the state,– and that point alone should be worth noting.

    Actually, they are three of the top five municipalities and don't include the largest, Reynosa, nor the state capital, Cd. Victoria. Also, Tamps. has 43 municipalities, so three with less than a third of the state's population really is not that impressive yet. Bring Reynosa and Cd. Victoria on board, then I'd be impressed.

  • 10. VIRick  |  August 2, 2017 at 1:04 am

    OK, perhaps I should have re-phrased that. Those are the three which had the massive amparos colectivos, all with favorable rulings for the hundreds of collective petitioners.

  • 11. Fortguy  |  August 2, 2017 at 1:23 am

    Bringing Tamps. on board along with Veracruz would be awesome. I added Puebla earlier to the map on Wikimedia Commons and noticed that if you bring those two states on board, it would be possible to travel from the US to Cent. Amer. and the Atlantic to Pacific entirely within SSM states. At that point, non-SSM states would become disjointed pockets of resistance.

  • 12. scream4ever  |  August 2, 2017 at 2:46 am

    It's likely to speed up now that the Supreme Court has indicated their growing impatience on the matter.

  • 13. VIRick  |  August 2, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    The next most-likely state to have a Supreme Court ruling successfully made against it will be Aguascalientes, while the next state to voluntarily change its law to allow for marriage equality will be Oaxaca. And the next state to flub will be Veracruz, where the (not good enough) same-sex civil union legislation is likely to pass, and/or Baja California Sur, with its pending "express divorce" legislation, causing either Veracruz and/or Baja California Sur to be hauled before the Supreme Court in "actions of unconstitutionality."

    Then, there are the Supreme Court "resolutions" directed against the states of Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, and Nuevo León, and in that order, a category of decision which we have yet to see, until now, on the marriage equality issue.

    Basically put, an "action of unconstitutionality" is directed against a state congress for doing something stupid, inept, and/or not up to constitutional standards. A "resolution" is the opposite, directed against a state congress for doing nothing at all, but the "resolution" must be repeated 5 times, after which the state congress has 90 days to bring their law into compliance. The tally sheet in this category is:

    Chihuahua – 5
    Tamaulipas – 4, with 1 more nearing completion
    Sinaloa – 2, with 3 more nearing completion
    Nuevo León – 2

    The first three, in particular, are foregone conclusions, especially since this is the arena where Alex has been working of late.

  • 14. allan120102  |  August 2, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    For Anyone who wants to know who can filed an action of Unconstitutionality in Mexico. Here are the only ones.
    Unlike the amparo judgment, the unconstitutionality action can only be brought before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation by state organs (with the exception of political parties, which are not state bodies). Specifically, the unconstitutionality action can be promoted by:

    33% of the Deputies members of the Chamber of Deputies of the Congress of the Union with respect to federal laws or laws issued by the Congress of the Union regarding the Federal District;
    33% of Senators regarding federal laws or laws issued by the Congress of the Union regarding the Federal District, as well as international treaties;
    33% of local deputies regarding laws issued by state legislatures;
    33% of the Deputies members of the Legislative Assembly of the Federal District, with respect to laws issued by the Assembly itself;
    The Attorney General of the Republic against federal, state and Federal District laws, as well as international treaties;
    Political parties registered with the Federal Electoral Institute against federal electoral laws;
    Political parties registered with a State Electoral Institute against electoral laws issued in the State in which they are registered (see the contradiction expressed in the first paragraph);
    The National Commission of Human Rights, against federal, state and Federal laws, as well as international treaties signed by the Federal Executive and approved by the Senate of the Republic, which violate the human rights enshrined in this Constitution . Likewise, the equivalent human rights organizations in the states of the Republic, against laws issued by the local legislatures and the Human Rights Commission of the Federal District, against laws issued by the Legislative Assembly of the Federal District.
    Article 105 clearly states that in order for the Supreme Court's ruling on actions of unconstitutionality to have the effect of declaring the invalidity of a rule, such pronouncement must be approved by a vote of not less than eight ministers.

  • 15. VIRick  |  August 2, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    And this is the pertinent part of all that, as applied strictly to the issue of marriage equality:

    Who can filed an "Action of Unconstitutionality" in Mexico:

    1. The National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH), against federal and state laws ….
    2. Likewise, the equivalent human rights organizations (CEDH) in the states of the Republic, against laws issued by (their respective) state congresses; plus the Human Rights Commission of the Federal District, against laws issued by the Legislative Assembly of the Federal District.

    In addition, Article 105 clearly states that in order for the Supreme Court's ruling on "Actions of Unconstitutionality" to have the effect of declaring the invalidity of a law, such pronouncement must be approved by a vote of not less than eight justices (of 11).

  • 16. VIRick  |  August 2, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Pennsylvania: Transgender "Bathroom" Case Favorably Settled

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 1 August 2017, in "Evancho v. Pine-Richland School District," Lambda Legal's federal suit against a Pennsylvania school district for implementing a new policy that discriminates against transgender students, the parties have reached a settlement and ask the court for entry of a consent judgment.

    The proposed judgment, attached to the motion, states:

    1. Defendants, their officers, employees, and agents; all persons acting in active concert or participation with any Defendant, or under any Defendant’s supervision, direction, or control; and all other persons within the scope of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65, are enjoined from enforcing Resolution 2 or any policy, practice, or custom of the Pine-Richland School District and/or Pine-Richland High School that denies transgender students the access and use of restrooms that match a student’s consistently and uniformly asserted gender identity; and taking any formal or informal disciplinary action against transgender students for using the restrooms that match a student’s consistently and uniformly asserted gender identity.

    2. This Consent Judgment shall remain binding on the District unless and until modified by the Court on motion with proper cause shown under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60.

    The Joint Motion for Entry of Consent Judgment is here:

  • 17. VIRick  |  August 2, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Coast Guard Commandant "Will Not Break Faith" with Trans Members

    Admiral Paul Zukunft, the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, is pushing back against Trump’s surprise ban on transgender service members. While details about the policy haven’t been fleshed out and no guidance has been given to the military, Zukunft says he will not turn his back on transgender Coast Guardsmen. Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Zukunft told the crowd that as soon as he was aware of Trump’s tweets, he instructed his office to reach out to the 13 Coast Guardsmen who have self-identified as transgender.

    “I reached out personally to Lt. Taylor Miller, who was featured on the cover of 'The Washington Post' last week,” Zukunft said to the crowd. “If you read that story, Taylor’s family has disowned her. Her family is the United States Coast Guard. And I told Taylor, ‘I will not turn my back. We have made an investment in you, and you have made an investment in the Coast Guard, and I will not break faith.'”

    56 retired generals and admirals are also adding their voices to the opposition. The former military leaders are pushing back in a public statement released today, 1 August 2017, saying “Trump seeks to ban transgender service members because of the financial cost and disruption associated with transgender military service. We respectfully disagree, and consider these claims to be without merit.”

    “This proposed ban, if implemented, would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent, and compromise the integrity of transgender troops who would be forced to live a lie, as well as non-transgender peers who would be forced to choose between reporting their comrades or disobeying policy,” they write. “As a result, the proposed ban would degrade readiness even more than the failed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. Patriotic transgender Americans who are serving — and who want to serve — must not be dismissed, deprived of medically necessary health care, or forced to compromise their integrity or hide their identity. Transgender troops have been serving honorably and openly for the past year, and have been widely praised by commanders."

  • 18. scream4ever  |  August 2, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    A sign of true progress!

  • 19. VIRick  |  August 2, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    Zacatecas: Same-Sex Marriage Initiative Presented

    En 1 de agosto 2017, Zacatecas abre debate para aprobar matrimonio igualitario; presentan iniciativa del PRD en Congreso.

    Se presentó en la LXII Legislatura la iniciativa con proyecto de decreto, por el que se reforma el Código Familiar del Estado de Zacatecas, en materia de matrimonio igualitario. La iniciativa fue presentada por la coordinadora de la fracción parlamentaria del Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) María Elena Ortega Cortés, y por el diputado Carlos Alberto Sandoval Cardona.

    On 1 August 2017, Zacatecas opens debate to approve marriage equality; a PRD initiative presented in Congress.

    An initiative to reform the Family Code of the State of Zacatecas in the matter of marriage equality, with draft decree, is presented in the LXII Legislature. The initiative was presented by the coordinator of the parliamentary faction of the Partido del Revolución Democrática (PRD), María Elena Ortega Cortés, and by the deputy Carlos Alberto Sandoval Cardona.

    Zacatecas was to very last state to have an amparo ruling against it, thus finally allowing a same-sex couple to marry there, despite state law to the contrary. Perhaps Zacatecas does not want to be last again.

  • 20. allan120102  |  August 2, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    There is also action taking place in Tamaulipas.

  • 21. allan120102  |  August 2, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Breaking Haiti bans same sex marriage and public support of homosexuality as well as those who advocate for gay peoples.
    Haiti Senate votes to ban gay marriage
    Haiti's constitution established a secular republic but the country is marked by deep religious beliefs. "Although the state is secular, it is people of faith who are the majority," Latortue said, stressing the commonly held belief in Haiti that homosexuality is a Western practice only.
    A vote by the Haitian Senate to ban gay marriage as well as “public demonstration of support” for homosexuality reflects the will of the people, the chamber’s president has said. The Senate approved a bill late Tuesday that said “the parties, co-parties and accomplices” of a homosexual marriage can be punished by three years in prison and a fine of about USD 8,000.
    “All senators are opposed to same-sex marriage, so this simply reflects the commitments the senators made during their campaigns,” Senate President Youri Latortue told AFP. Haiti’s constitution established a secular republic but the country is marked by deep religious beliefs. “Although the state is secular, it is people of faith who are the majority,” Latortue said, stressing the commonly held belief in Haiti that homosexuality is a Western practice only.
    “A country has to focus on its values and traditions. Some people in other countries see it differently, but in Haiti, that’s how it’s seen.” Haitian law already defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, making it unclear what consequences the bill, if passed, would have in practice.
    However, it also called for banning “any public demonstration of support for homosexuality and proselytizing in favour of such acts.” It is this ambiguous wording that raises concern among Haitian homosexuals and their advocates.
    “We see this as an attack on the LGBT community in this country,” said Charlot Jeudy, president of the Kouraj group, which defends the rights of homosexuals and transgender people.

  • 22. Fortguy  |  August 3, 2017 at 12:08 am

    I'm so happy to hear that the Haitian government has finally solved it's long-enduring problems of providing it's people with adequate nutrition, healthcare, education, jobs, infrastructure, clean water and sewage disposal, protections from construction standards that cause buildings to fall down in strong winds much less earthquakes, families selling children out of desperation to their wealthier neighbors as house servants, and widespread graft and corruption.

    It's good to know they have their priorities in order before bothering to consider against whom to discriminate.

  • 23. JayJonson  |  August 3, 2017 at 5:42 am

    Stupid people. Destroying whatever sympathy they might garner from people who respect human rights.

  • 24. VIRick  |  August 3, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Wisconsin: A Twisted Christianist Non-Victory "Victory"

    Today, 3 August 2017, the Alliance Defending Freedom is declaring a victory after a Wisconsin court said they would clarify that a non-discrimination public accommodations law does not apply to an anti-gay photographer due to the fact that she solely operates a home business. The bombastic anti-gay law firm, however, is pretending that they succeeded in overturning an inclusive non-discrimination ordinance meant to “punish” their simple-minded client because we all absolutely need to totally manufacture christianist martyrs out of such fools and portray them as poor hapless little victims, when real victims do not exist.

    Amy Lawson, who owns Amy Lynn Photography Studio, does not want to serve gay couples who are seeking a wedding photographer. However, no such couples have actually approached her, and she doesn’t have a commercial space open to the public. Plus, there was no christianist “punishment” for her to overturn, despite her lawsuit and despite her bigotry, as she was found not to have standing to sue since she had not been harmed and couldn’t be harmed.

    According to the firm’s bio of the plaintiff, in 2016, Lawson put a notice on her blog that she wouldn’t serve gay and lesbian couples. After a customer complained, she took down the statement “for fear it might violate the law.” While Lawson didn’t know what the law actually said, one would think the ADF would know, but obviously, getting publicity has always been more important to the group than getting justice.

    Nevertheless, despite the fact that the case was thrown out for lack of standing, the ADF is crowing in a ridiculously embellished statement headlined: “Victory for photographer, other Wisconsin creative professionals.”

  • 25. VIRick  |  August 3, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Uruguay: 4th Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    Per TeleSUR TV:

    Uruguay: Hace 4 años, en 3 de agosto 2013, con la mayoría de los votos, la Cámara de Diputados aprobó la ley del matrimonio igualitario.

    Uruguay: Four years ago, on 3 August 2013, with a majority of votes, the Chamber of Deputies approved the marriage equality law.

  • 26. VIRick  |  August 3, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Alex Alí Méndez Díaz Never Stops Fighting for LGBT Rights

    Con la interposición de 10 juicios de amparo en Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, y Puebla, la comunidad LGBTI trabaja para hacer una revisión integral y modificar las leyes en materia civil y familiar que discriminan a las familias homoparentales. “Estamos trabajando para dejar los precedentes judiciales que nos permitan poner la lucha a nivel del matrimonio igualitario, es decir, donde se pueda intervenir a través de juicios de amparo,” indicó Alex Alí Méndez Díaz, coordinador general de México Igualitario; Ello, luego de que la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) avalara por unanimidad la unión entre parejas del mismo sexo en Puebla y, con ello, declarara inconstitucional el Artículo 300 del Código Civil estatal que establecía el matrimonio como la unión exclusiva entre un hombre y una mujer.

    El abogado celebró que algunos estados hayan modificado sus legislaciones, como ocurrió en días pasados con Nayarit, Michoacán, y Chiapas en materia de identidad de género y matrimonio igualitario, y subrayó que estos hechos “envían un mensaje sobre las violaciones a los derechos humanos y la necesidad de ser reparadas.”

    Ver más en:

    With the filing of 10 amparo cases in Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, and Puebla, the LGBTI community is working to make a comprehensive review (of the need) to modify laws in civil and family matters which discriminate against same-sex families. "We are working to acquire the judicial precedents that will allow us to place the fight at the level of marriage equality, that is to say, where one can thus intervene through the amparo process," said Alex Alí Méndez Díaz, general coordinator of Mexico Igualitario; This, after the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) unanimously endorsed the union between same-sex couples in Puebla and, thereby, declared unconstitutional Article 300 of the state Civil Code that established marriage as the exclusive union between one man and one woman.

    The lawyer said that some states have modified their legislation, as quite recently with Nayarit, Michoacán, and Chiapas, on matters of gender identity and marriage equality, and stressed that these events "send a message about (other) human rights violations and their need to be fixed."

    Thus, according to Alex, in addition to the Federal District, the 3 states with the self-declaratory gender identity law are: Nayarit, Michoacán, and Chiapas.

    Alex's self-proclaimed motto:

    Ninguna institución salió a defender nuestros derechos, sino hasta que nosotros lo hicimos.

    No institution went out to defend our rights, until after we did it for ourselves.

  • 27. VIRick  |  August 3, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Cook Islands Are Set to Decriminalize Homosexuality

    The Cook Islands, an island nation of 15 islands which sits in the South Pacific between Hawaii and New Zealand, outlawed male homosexuality in 1969. But a new Crimes Bill would overturn the current law, removing the two sections which ban gay sex.

    The country, which has a population of 21,000, created the bill’s current draft with help from New Zealand, according to "Cook Islands News." It would eliminate sections 154 and 155 of the 48-year-old law, under which men face up to seven years in prison for gay sex, or five for “any indecent act with or upon any other male.”

  • 28. Fortguy  |  August 4, 2017 at 12:21 am

    Although Cook Islanders hold New Zealand citizenship, New Zealand is only responsible for the defense and foreign affairs of the islands while granting them a great measure of autonomy otherwise similar to Niue and Tokelau which do not criminalize homosexuality nor recognize SSM.

    If the Cook Islands follow through, then all of the sub-national territories of Oceania will have abolished sodomy laws. Currently, American, British, and French territories allow SSM with the possible, unclear status of American Samoa where marriages are federally recognized. Only New Zealand's territories do not yet permit SSM.

    On the national level, there would remain six Oceanic countries that still criminalize homosexuality:

    Papua New Guinea
    Soloman Islands

    The following nations don't criminalize homosexuality but don't recognize SSM either:

    Federated States of Micronesia
    Marshall Islands
    Palau (constitutional ban on SSM)

    Wikipedia: Recognition of same-sex unions in Oceania
    Wikimedia Commons: File:Same-sex marriage map Oceania.svg

  • 29. Randolph_Finder  |  August 4, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Whether Obergefell applies to America Samoa has more to do with the distinction between American Nationals and American Citizens than anything related to Marriage Equality and there are other cases which are currently in the mix that *might* help with this, but it is unclear.

  • 30. scream4ever  |  August 4, 2017 at 10:23 am

    There's a case pending for American Samoa? I've not heard of that until now.

  • 31. Randolph_Finder  |  August 4, 2017 at 10:40 am

    The situation with American Samoa means that cases that have little to do with Marriage Equality are likely to affect whether Obergefell applies or not. The general concept is refered to as the "Insular Cases" and have to do with which parts of the US Constitution applies to the areas which are unincorporated territories rather than incorporated ones (Obergefell applied in the incorporated ones). As long as the Insular Cases say that the pieces of the Constitution by which Obergefell was decided don't apply to American Samoa, then Obergefell does either.

    An example is that Racial descrimination *is* legal in American Samoan law, which allows for certain land ownership cases to be decided in favor of those of Samoan descent rather than those that are not.

    So in that regard the AS Government opposes have Obergefell apply equally to American Samoa *not* necessarily because they are opposed to Marriage Equality (though I think they are) , but rather because if Obergefell *was* decided by the Supreme court to apply to American Samoa then that would indicate that the parts of the Consitution that it depended on applied to AS, which would upset other things.

    I'm not sure what cases currently involving the law of the Insular cases is currently in front of the court, but I know there was at least one brought to the court and denied cert in 2016.

  • 32. Fortguy  |  August 4, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    The general concept is refered to as the "Insular Cases" and have to do with which parts of the US Constitution applies to the areas which are unincorporated territories rather than incorporated ones (Obergefell applied in the incorporated ones).

    Indeed, that's the crux of the matter. Under the Insular Cases, territories only have those constitutional rights as Congress chooses to bestow upon them due to it's authority under the Constitution's Territorial Clause (Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2). A territory becomes "organized" when Congress has passed an Organic Act establishing the governance of the territory. The important exception to this under the Insular Cases are rights deemed to be "fundamental".

    All other territories, regardless of their original organic acts, have congressionally ratified territorial constitutions that now serve as their current organic laws. American Samoa, however, has gone through a different pipeline. An executive order was issued in the 1960s directing the Secretary of the Interior to draw up a territorial constitution. This was done, presumably by the Office of Insular Affairs, and was then submitted to AS voters who gave it their approval. No subsequent Congress, however, has ever deemed ratifying the territorial constitution as worthy of their time, nor was there any previous organic act thus rendering the territory unorganized. Although the territorial constitution is in force for the governance of the island, it in no way conveys any congressionally established rights within the territory.

    The point at issue then is whether marriage is a fundamental right worthy of universal recognition including marriages between spouses of the same sex. The Supreme Court has indeed described marriage as a fundamental right on numerous occasions. The problem is that I believe it has always done so within the context of decisions in cases based upon lawsuits of stateside origin. What's waiting is for a couple in AS seeking the right to marry or someone from AS married elsewhere seeking to have his/her marriage recognized after returning home.

    Needless to say, the easiest, obvious remedies are for the territory's AG to affirm the marriages of SS couples or to have Congress extend that right should there be a Dem wave election next year sweeping out the GOP majority due to Trump's disapproval numbers.

  • 33. VIRick  |  August 4, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    US Supreme Court Rejects US Citizenship for American Samoans

    On 13 June 2016, in "Tuaua v. USA," the Supreme Court turned down an appeal from American Samoans who said they deserved the right to be US citizens at birth. The court’s action leaves in place a law adopted in 1900 that says persons born in American Samoa will be considered “nationals” who owe allegiance to the United States, but not citizens with the right to vote and hold public office. Acting without comment, the justices refused to review a US appeals court ruling that said it is up to Congress, not the courts, to change the legal status of American Samoans.

    Currently, all people born in the 50 states, and the other US territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and Northern Marianas, become US citizens at birth. During the 20th century, Congress extended citizenship rights to the people of these territories, all except for the people of American Samoa. The lawsuit brought by five Samoan plaintiffs pointed to the 14th Amendment adopted after the Civil War, which declares that all persons “born or naturalized in the United States” shall be US citizens.

    In the early 1900s, however, the Supreme Court ruled that people in the newly acquired US territories were not entitled to all the constitutional rights of American citizens. In 1901, Justice Henry Brown said the “development of the American empire” could be set back by the “annexation of distant possessions,” which are “inhabited by alien races.” The lawyers who sued on behalf of the Samoans hoped the high court would revisit the issue of birthright citizenship and overrule the earlier decisions that had authorized what they described as second-class status for the people of the US territories.

  • 34. VIRick  |  August 4, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Also, if this helps, think of American Samoa as a giant, closed colonial "Indian reservation," where those born there have preference over everyone else, but have shit once they leave their gilded "reservation," and where US citizens (and everyone else) must request permission beforehand to even consider living there temporarily.

    This discriminatory dual concept of US citizens v. US "nationals" had not yet been invented when the USA annexed the US southwest from Mexico, nor when the USA annexed Alaska from Russia, so it never applied to any territory on the mainland. Any question in this regard evaporated when US citizenship was specifically extended to cover all native Indigenous peoples (on the mainland).

    Instead, the concept was hastily "developed" at the height of the US overseas colonial territory grab, commencing quite fiercely in 1898. Still, it did not apply to Hawaii, as the pre-existing Hawaiian government formally requested annexation to the USA under specific terms and conditions, including the right of US citizenship.

    But it applied to everyone else. US "nationals" existed in every other US overseas territory from the date of its annexation until the date Congress extended US citizenship to the residents currently living there within that territory.

    For Puerto Rico, those dates are: 1898 – 1917.
    For US Virgin Islands, those dates are: 1917 – 1927.
    For Guam, those dates are: 1899 – 1950.
    For Northern Marianas, those dates are: 1947 – 1986.
    For American Samoa, those dates are: 1900 – —-

    And here's the law covering Guam:

    I honestly do not know whether there might still be any US "nationals" living in other former US possessions, namely the Philippines, Cuba, and the Panama Canal Zone. What I do know is that the Cuban government, once Castro came to power, refused to recognize US "nationals" from Puerto Rico or the USVI as a legitimate category (people who had emigrated to Cuba from those two territories prior to the extension of US citizenship).

    Also, there are no residual US "nationals" resident in Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, nor the Marshall Islands, as the more modern separation agreements for those were written in such a way as to disallow it.

  • 35. ianbirmingham  |  August 4, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Majorities In Every State Oppose Trump's Transgender Ban

  • 36. Randolph_Finder  |  August 4, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Yes, even Oklahoma and Wyoming…

  • 37. allan120102  |  August 4, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Homophobic head of civil registry in Puebla says he will not do anything to let same sex couples to marry and he will not let them until the Puebla senate modify the civil code which at this time it looks very hard as the majority of the deputies are against of ssm.
    Víctor Kuri Bujaidar, general director of the civil registry in Puebla, has told his colleagues that he will not move a finger to make same-sex marriage possible, because they are unions that "act against nature."

    Sources close to the official say he is characterized by his homophobia and once he learned of the ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation – it orders modifications to the Civil Code to eliminate the provision that only a man can get a nuptial bond With a woman and that union is intended to preserve the species – said that it would not move a die to indicate to the judges that they would marry without any restriction to the members of the community Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Transvestite and Queer (LGBTTTQ).

    The sources that counted this species to the Day of the East added that Kuri Bujaidar does not have any empacho in making public and frequently manifests his homofobia.

    Jorge Aguilar Chedraui, president of the Political and Local Government Board of the Congress, said that the government of the state will have to give indications to civil registry judges to hold same-sex marriages without the need for Couples to resort to amparo.

    However, he was reluctant to start work for MPs to reform the Civil Code, despite the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) declared unconstitutional Article 300 of that law, stating that only one man can marry and a woman.

    The amendment, said the coordinator of the PAN, will have to gather the majority of votes in the committees and plenary to be approved, a consensus that until yesterday did not have.

    The President of the High Court of Justice, Roberto Flores Toledano, accepted the opinion of the country's highest court and said: "It is left to the legislative branch to amend the Civil Code, if applicable, as a modification That is done to the Code and we will apply what the law mandates. "

    The ruling of the Court was unanimously endorsed by the 11 ministers of the SCJN and is due to an unconstitutional action that the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) promoted in March 2016 against the resistance of Congress to legislate on the matter.

    The SCJN recognized egalitarian marriages throughout the country since June 14, 2015, through jurisprudence 43/2015 that described as unconstitutional all civil codes of states that conceptualize marriage as the union between a man and a woman

  • 38. allan120102  |  August 4, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Puebla senators doing as much as they can to drag back legalization of same sex marriage in the state.
    The State Congress could resort to arguments to leave pending the debate and approval of recognition of marriage between people of the same sex, said Deputy Julian Peña Hidalgo.

    For the legislator, who declared himself independent, the issue is not within the priorities of the alliance factions (PAN, Nueva Alianza and Puebla Commitment), which have a majority in the LIX Legislature.

    In an interview, Peña Hidalgo stated that in case the resolution of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) determines to declare invalid Article 300 of the Civil Code of the State, would leave without legal status and recognition of rights to individuals That they choose to marry.

    In case of having to legislate, he said, Congress could take a stance in which to dilate the subject under the argument that it is necessary that the Court indicate the bases under which the marriage has to be recognized.

    "They could try to close this possibility to people of the same sex and under legal arguments to say that only the article is declared invalid and ask that the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation has to determine the guidelines to legislate," said the deputy.

    He warned that if MPs choose not to recognize same-sex marriage, the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) could file a sentence execution incident, with which the Legislative Branch would be obliged to comply with the provision of the Maximum court of the country.

    Yesterday, congressional leader Jorge Aguilar Chedraui said that if the sentence passed on Tuesday by the Court determines that the concept of marriage has to be legislated, there is no majority to recognize same-sex unions .

  • 39. VIRick  |  August 4, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    On the other hand, Socorro Quesada (PRD, Puebla) has been on Radio Ultra today, 4 August 2017, with this message:

    La diputada, Socorro Quezada T., una perredista poblana, considera que el Congreso de Puebla debe legislar a favor del matrimonio igualitario.

    The Puebla deputy, Socorro Quezada T., PRD, considers that the Congress of Puebla must legislate in favor of marriage equality.

  • 40. VIRick  |  August 4, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Veracruz: Coatzacoalcos Same-Sex Couple to Finally Marry

    ‚ÄčEste fin de semana (5 de agosto 2017), se celebrará el primer matrimonio igualitario en el sur de Veracruz, confirmó el presidente del Colectivo de Diversidad Sexual, “Ambien-Tales,” Luis Geovani Pérez. Comentó que se trata de una pareja de mujeres de Coatzacoalcos que ganaron un amparo (en septiembre 2016) y unirán sus vidas por la vía civil.

    Explicó que si bien no es el primer caso de la región, sí será la primera boda que tenga lugar en la parte sur de la entidad, pues las otras dos uniones – parejas de Cosoleacaque y Acayucan – se llevaron a cabo en la Ciudad de México.

    Al respecto, Luis Geovani reconoció la perseverancia de las chicas para casarse por lo civil. Sin embargo, lamentó que en Veracruz todavía no exista la figura del matrimonio igualitario, que a la fecha, se ha celebrado en 18 ocasiones.…

    This weekend (5 August 2017), the first egalitarian marriage will be celebrated in southern Veracruz, confirmed the president of the Sexual Diversity Collective, "Ambien-Tales," Luis Geovani Pérez. He commented that it will be a female couple from Coatzacoalcos who won an amparo (in September 2016) and who will now join their lives by civil means.

    He explained that although it is not the first same-sex marriage in the region, it will be the first wedding to take place in the southern part of the state, as the other two unions – couples from Cosoleacaque and Acayucan – were held in Mexico City.

    In this regard, Luis Geovani recognized the perseverance of the women to marry legally. However, he regretted that in Veracruz there is still no marriage equality law, but which to date, has already been celebrated on 18 previous occasions.

    So, Veracruz is presently up to 18 same-sex marriages (via amparo) already performed in-state.

  • 41. VIRick  |  August 4, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Hidalgo: To Date, 8 Amparos Have Been Granted to Same-Sex Couples

    Hidalgo, 3 Agosto 2017 – En el estado de Hidalgo no existe una ley de matrimonio igualitario. Las parejas homosexuales tienen que recurrir al amparo o viajar a la Ciudad de México para casarse. Hace dos años, la asociación, México Igualitario, interpuso un amparo colectivo firmado por seis personas homosexuales residentes del estado de Hidalgo. Se han concedido cinco amparos indirectos para cinco parejas.

    En 2016, se celebraron las dos primeras uniones (Sergio Rubén Hernández Grimaldo y Óscar Zacarías Portillo Moncada, primer matrimonio gay de Hidalgo, se casaron en mayo del 2016), y entre el periodo de enero a agosto de 2017, se han concedido tres amparos más en el estado. Estas celebraciones se llevarán a cabo entre los meses de agosto de 2017 a abril de 2018.

    En entrevista con Japii MX, Yolanda Molina Reyes de México Igualitario, aseguró que las uniones civiles entre personas del mismo sexo son un tema de derechos humanos, y por lo tanto corresponde a las autoridades hidalguenses hacer algo para garantizar igualdad entre ciudadanos, independientemente de su orientación sexual.

    Buscamos incentivar a más personas a casarse en Hidalgo; por la cercanía con la Ciudad de México la mayoría de las parejas prefieren viajar para allá porque se evitan varios tramites,” refirió Molina Reyes. No obstante, México Igualitario ha logrado que el procedimiento sea menos tardado. Antes los amparos tardaban de 6 a 9 meses en resolverse, ahora en 3 meses se otorga el amparo y las parejas gays pueden casarse como lo hacen las heterosexuales.

    Hidalgo, 3 August 2017 – In the state of Hidalgo, there is no marriage equality law, and same-sex couples have to resort to amparo or travel to Mexico City to get married. Two years ago, the association, México Igualitario, filed a collective amparo signed by six homosexual residents of the state of Hidalgo. Five indirect amparos have been granted for five couples.

    In 2016, the first two marriages were held (Sergio Rubén Hernández Grimaldo and Óscar Zacarías Portillo Moncada, Hidalgo's first gay couple to marry, did so in May 2016), and between January and August 2017, three more amparos were granted in the state. These celebrations will take place between August 2017 and April 2018.

    In an interview with Japii MX, Yolanda Molina Reyes de México Igualitario, said that civil unions between same-sex couples are a human rights issue, and therefore it is up to the authorities of Hidalgo to do something to ensure equality between citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation.

    We seek to encourage more people to get married in Hidalgo; By the proximity to Mexico City, most couples prefer to travel there because they avoid various procedures," said Molina Reyes. However, Mexico Igualitario has managed to shorten the processing time. Before, the amparos took 6 to 9 months to resolve, now they are granted in 3 months, and gay couples can marry as do heterosexuals.

    NOTE: Someone needs to up-grade the status of Hidalgo on the Wikipedia map from tan to gold to reflect the fact that Hidalgo has finally surpassed the 5 amparo limit.

  • 42. Fortguy  |  August 4, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    NOTE: Someone needs to up-grade the status of Hidalgo on the Wikipedia map from tan to gold to reflect the fact that Hidalgo has finally surpassed the 5 amparo limit.


    For what it's worth, the map now shows only six states that haven't reached the 5-amparo limit. Three in the north (Durango, Nuevo León, Zacatecas), two central states (Edoméx, Tlaxcala), and Tabasco in the south.

  • 43. VIRick  |  August 4, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Marriage Equality Now Law: Ascension/Tristan da Cunha

    Per Lisa Phillips and Rex Wockner:

    The Ascension Marriage Ordinance has now been extended to Tristan da Cunha. This means same-sex marriage in both islands is enshrined in law.

    The extension of the marriage ordinance was assented to in Her Majesty's name and on Her Majesty's behalf on 4 August 2017, and was signed by Lisa Phillips, Governor of Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha.

    (For Tristan da Cunha), its date of enactment, date of commencement, and publication date in the gazette were all 4 August 2017.

    One can see a photocopy of the first page, with signature and seal, here:

    The Ascension Marriage Ordinance went into effect in Ascension in 2016.

  • 44. JayJonson  |  August 5, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Ireland's openly gay Prime Minister Leo Varadkar particpated in Belfast Pride and predicted that marriage equality in Northern Ireland is inevitable. Not surprisingly, social conservatives in Northern Ireland are unhappy. Nevertheless, he told a gathering, "I am here to state my support and my government's support for equality before the law and individual freedom for all citizens wherever they may reside."

  • 45. VIRick  |  August 5, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    New Scholarly Book: The Supreme Court and Marriage Equality in Mexico

    Per El Blog de la Corte:

    El objetivo del libro que anunciamos, “La Suprema Corte y el Matrimonio Igualitario en México,” por Micaela Alterio and Roberto Niembro, publicado por el Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas de la UNAM (2017), es reflexionar sobre la línea jurisprudencial de la Suprema Corte mexicana sobre el matrimonio igualitario, particularmente, teniendo en cuenta el papel que ha tomado a partir de las reformas constitucionales en las materias de amparo y derechos humanos de 2011.“la…..

    The objective of the book we are announcing, "The Supreme Court and Marriage Equality in Mexico," by Micaela Alterio and Roberto Niembro, published by the Institute of Legal Research of UNAM (2017), is to reflect upon the jurisprudential reasoning of the Mexican Supreme Court concerning marriage equality, particularly taking into account the role it has taken starting from the constitutional reforms of 2011 in matters of amparo and human rights.

    The entire text of the book, in Spanish, is here:

  • 46. JayJonson  |  August 6, 2017 at 6:33 am

    More on the Australian marriage equality bill. Liberal Senator Dean Smith has introduced a private members bill that contains religious exemptions. On Monday, the Coalition will decide if their members can vote their conscience. If the answer is yes, Smith's bill is expected to pass. The article at this link has some embedded videos and an interview with Smith, who says that the murder of a gay man in the December 2014 terror attack in Sydney made him change his mind about the need for marriage equality.

  • 47. allan120102  |  August 6, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Lgbt collectives in Durango hopeful that they can get the enough votes to achieve marriage in the state.

    The members of the sexual diversity in Durango could present a new initiative before the State Congress to promote the issue of equal marriage, "we have not presented anything, because we want to carry a very good initiative that allows us to reach the Congress with the greatest amount Of votes for this to progress, "said Tadeo Campagne, a human rights activist.

    He pointed out that in the way that they have followed they have obtained votes, as happened with the deputy Jorge Salum who voted in favor of the initiative, currently even parties like the PRI already have spaces for the sexual diversity in its structure, Coherence in the votes at the moment of legislating, "because obviously the leaders of the theme of diversity in that party will have to do their chamba as we all do in the different parties; The PRD case is already known because it has always been and will remain in favor, "he said.

    Tadeo Campagne said that he has talked with all the leaders of the gay community, both with political parties and civil society, so that they can join the deputies and raise awareness, "I think if we work as a team and We win votes there will be equal marriage in Durango. The case of Puebla is very similar to ours and it is already a fight won for all that also generates antecedents so that Durango can advance ", he concluded.

  • 48. scream4ever  |  August 7, 2017 at 2:04 am

    Unbelievable cowardice in Australia. It's clear now that Turnball is worried he'll lose his coalition in the Senate. They can now likely kiss their majorities goodbye in 2019:

  • 49. JayJonson  |  August 7, 2017 at 5:38 am

    They are wasting precious time. Hope they are held to account.

    More on the actions earlier today:

  • 50. allan120102  |  August 7, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Veracruz has two resolutions and activists expect to have their 5 by next year. If this happen same sex marriage will be legal in the state by 2018

  • 51. VIRick  |  August 7, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Marriage Equality in Puebla: the Debate That Was and That Still to Come

    Matrimonio Igualitario en Puebla: el Debate Que Fue y el Que Viene

    In a very extended article, Alex explains why it is now necessary to challenge every non-gender-neutral word-phrase in every Mexican state constitution which uses words like man/woman, husband/wife, father/mother, and which are scattered throughout the entire state civil code, as being unconstitutional. As a result, here's the crux of what he has already begun:

    7 de agosto 2017, por Alex Alí Méndez Díaz

    En esta estrategia, se han dado los primeros pasos en Puebla, en el amparo indirecto 1478/2017 tramitado ante el Juzgado Quinto de Distrito en Materias Civil, Administrativa, y del Trabajo, y Juicios Federales, un matrimonio del mismo sexo demandó la inconstitucionalidad de más de 50 artículos del Código Civil de esa entidad por utilizar un lenguaje discriminatorio que excluye a las familias homoparentales.

    Con el mismo objetivo se han iniciado juicios de amparo en Chihuahua y Tamaulipas, por lo que el tema volverá a ser objeto de estudio de la justicia constitucional. Este sentido, es importante que desde la ciudadanía se siga que impulsando un ejercicio de control constitucional acorde con el paradigma de derechos humanos en lugar de imaginar que interpretando el derecho, dejando intocado el texto, puede resolverse el histórico problema de discriminación a que nos enfrentamos la población LGBTTTI.

    7 August 2017, by Alex Alí Méndez Díaz

    In this strategy, the first steps were taken against Puebla, in the indirect amparo 1478/2017, filed before the Fifth District Court in Civil, Administrative, and Labor Matters, and Federal Judgments, by a married same-sex couple demanding the unconstitutionality of more than 50 articles of the Civil Code of that state for using discriminatory language that excludes same-sex families.

    With the same objective, amparos have also been initiated in Chihuahua and Tamaulipas, so that the issue will again be the subject of constitutional justice. In this sense, it is important that citizens continue to promote an exercise of constitutional control in line with the human rights paradigm rather than imagine that interpreting the law, leaving the text untouched, can solve the historical problem of the discrimination that we face as the LGBTTTI population.

  • 52. VIRick  |  August 7, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    The state civil code of Quintana Roo was originally written in a gender-neutral format, while those of the Federal District, Coahuila, Nayarit, Morelos, Campeche, Colima, y Michoacán have already been properly revised to become gender-neutral, for a total of 8 juridictions.

    Of the remainder, Chihuahua, with de facto same-sex marriage, Guerrero, Querétaro, and Tamaulipas, with de facto same-sex marriage in some municipalities, and Jalisco, Chiapas, and Puebla, with their bans against same-sex marriage effectively struck down by Mexico's Supreme Court, all still need to have their civil codes revised and up-dated to become gender-neutral, as do those of the other 17 states still without marriage equality. Thus, in total, 24 states still need the necessary code revisions.

  • 53. VIRick  |  August 7, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    EEOC Ruling: Walmart Guilty of ‘Harassment & Intimidation’ of Transgender Employee

    Jessica Shyne Robison was a stellar employee for Walmart-owned subsidiary, Sam’s Club, when she told her manager she would be starting the transition process. While she received several promotions and kudos during her career pre-transition, things quickly turned sour after she came out as trans.

    Robinson was “subjected to harassment and intimidation” by her supervisor according to a ruling from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). They also found that her exclusion from the corporate health care policy violated the law.

    The commission found that the company “categorically excluded coverage of any services for ‘transgender treatment/sex therapy,’ denying [Robison] medically necessary care that would have been covered if not for her transgender status” according to the ruling. Walmart also recently settled a class action lawsuit brought by several former and current gay and lesbian employees who were denied health insurance coverage for their spouses.

  • 54. VIRick  |  August 7, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Justice Department Ordered to Release 1950’s Era ‘Gay Purge’ Documents

    A federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to release all documents related to its purge of LGBTQ employees in the 1950’s. The Mattachine Society of Washington, DC, has been involved in the five-year legal fight to get the documents released. The papers are related to President Dwight Eisenhower’s Executive Order 10450, which he signed in 1953. The executive order gave agency heads the power to fire workers who posed a national security risk, and was used as a legal justification for J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI to hunt down and fire thousands of gay and lesbian employees from all over the federal government.

    “We’re talking about tens of thousands of people over the years investigated and ruined by this executive order; lives were shattered,” Mattachine president Charles Francis told NBC News. “You were branded ‘immoral’ and ruined if you were labeled a homosexual in the 1950s … and these papers remain locked away in federal vaults, and it’s time now for the Department of Justice and the FBI to work with us and release all of it.”

    The purge was officially ended in 1975 by the US Civil Service Commission, which is the office that fires federal employees. Discrimination continued until Clinton‘s 1998 executive order that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation in the federal workforce and Obama‘s 2014 executive order that banned discrimination based on gender identity in the federal workforce.

    Judge Royce C. Lamberth rejected the FBI’s claims that it would present too great a burden on them to find all of these documents. The ruling also cast doubt on the FBI’s claim that they found no documents related to former Chief Justice Warren Burger, who was an assistant attorney-general charged with enforcing Eisenhower’s executive order at the time. Lamberth wrote that the claim “strains credulity.”

  • 55. scream4ever  |  August 7, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    This is very appropriate given what may happen to our trans service-members.

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