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Open thread


This is an open thread.


  • 1. JayJonson  |  August 8, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Towleroad presents a video from Australia's Today Show, whose host denounces Turnbull and other politicians for not voting in favor of marriage equality.

  • 2. VIRick  |  August 8, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    "Moms" Mabley: A Queer Retrospective

    Legendary American vaudeville entertainer-turned-comedian Jackie “Moms” Mabley became famous for her persona as a frumpy, middle-aged woman in a housedress and floppy hat delivering hilarious stand-up comedy routines, often with wry political commentary tucked inside.

    Through her early years of performing at famous African-American theaters along the so-called Chitlin’ Circuit, including the Apollo Theater in Harlem, to appearances in the 1960s and early ’70s on television programs like the Ed Sullivan Show, she often boasted about her attraction to young virile men. “The only thing that an old man can do for me is tell me where to find a young one,” she frequently told audiences.

    But those who knew her off-stage have said she quickly shed her matronly housedress and hat after her performances and changed into stylish slacks and shirts that were commonly worn by her fellow male performers.

    “I met her at the Apollo Theater,” said Norma Miller, a dancer, choreographer, actor, and fellow comedian who talked about Mabley in a 2013 HBO documentary film about the comedian directed by Whoopi Goldberg. “And she and I shared a dressing room for two weeks — she and I and her girlfriend,” Miller said.

    “She was real. I mean she was Moms on stage but when she walked off that stage she was Mr. Moms,” said Miller. “And there was no question about it.” She added, “We never called Moms a homosexual. That word never fit her. We never called her gay. We called her Mr. Moms.”

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

    62 Lawmakers Blast Recent Anti-Gay DOJ Court Filing

    A group of 62 Democrats from both chambers of Congress is blasting the Justice Department for a recent court filing arguing lesbians, gays, and bisexuals have no workplace protections under existing federal civil rights law.

    In a letter dated 7 August 2017, and made public on 8 August, the lawmakers assert the Justice Department’s recent friend-of-the-court brief in the case of "Zarda V. Altitude Express" is “not only contrary to existing law, but violates our nation’s ideals of liberty and justice for all.”

    The initiative in sending the missive was led by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), who’s gay and a co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.).

    “Any discrimination is completely unacceptable,” the letter says. “It tears at the fabric of our great nation and does not move us forward; it takes us backward. We urge the Department of Justice to reverse its position and to refrain from arguing against protections for LGBT people in any future Title VII cases dealing with the issue of whether sex discrimination includes discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

    Late last month, the Justice Department under A-G Sessions argued in a voluntary filing before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 affords no protections against sexual orientation discrimination.

  • 4. VIRick  |  August 8, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Nepali Couple Registers First Transgender Marriage

    On Saturday, 5 August 2017, Monika Shahi Nath — who legally identifies as third gender — registered her marriage with her husband, Ramesh Nath Yogi, in her home district in Nepal, making this the first official transgender marriage in Nepal.

    Today, 8 August 2017, in a spectacularly colorful splash, Kathmandu, Nepal's capital, celebrated its annual LGBT Pride event.

    I will let others attempt to figure out whether this marriage qualifies as the first legally-recognized same-sex marriage, not only in Nepal, but in all of Asia. It is, — except that Monika had changed her gender to that of the third-gender category as soon as it had become legal to do so, a category still not available in most other countries.

  • 5. VIRick  |  August 8, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Puebla: A Tale of Two Cholulas

    The Cholula region of Puebla state is historically divided into two separate urban municipalities, San Pedro Cholula (officially, Cholula de Rivadavia) and San Andrés Cholula, which sit side-by-side, but which if combined, would make Cholula Puebla's third-largest city. The pair sits directly adjacent to, and immediately west of, the state capital, the city of Puebla.

    San Pedro Cholula totally jumped the gun on marriage equality, and since about September 2016, has been marrying same-sex couples without the need of their having to first obtain amparos. There, they properly based their reasoning strictly and solely upon the strength of the Supreme Court's ruling and jurisprudence. But then, we have the sister municipality at the opposite extreme:

    Que en San Andrés Cholula no tramitan matrimonio igualitario, por instrucciones de SGGPuebla, con cc a CDHPuebla, CONAPRED, CNDH. Resulta que en el Registro Civil de San Andrés Cholula no realizan el trámite para matrimonio igualitario.

    In San Andrés Cholula, they will not process marriage equality, by instructions of the SGGPuebla, with cc. to CDHPuebla, CONAPRED, CNDH. It seems that in the Civil Registry office of San Andrés Cholula officials will not enact the procedure for marriage equality.

    SGGPuebla = Secretaría General de Gobierno del Estado de Puebla (Secretary General of the Government of the State of Puebla). The other 3 are the civil rights arms of both the state and federal governments.

    So, we're now engaged in a governmental pissing contest, while noting: Is your Cholula bigger than my Cholula? Spoiler alert: Pedro's is significantly larger than that of Andrés.

  • 6. VIRick  |  August 8, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Australia: Senate Again Votes Against Plebiscite on Marriage Equality

    Per AU Marriage Equality‏ and Rex Wockner:

    Plebiscite bill vote on 9 August 2017: 31 "No" and 31 "Yes," resolved in the negative. The Senate has again said "No" to a plebiscite on marriage equality.

    What's next? Here are the possibilities:

  • 7. scream4ever  |  August 8, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    I never thought Australia would look more ridiculous than the United States lol.

  • 8. Randolph_Finder  |  August 9, 2017 at 10:21 am

    For good or ill, Australia will get there in one swoop. Like, for example Germany or Malta, the entire country will get there together.

    They will get there!

  • 9. VIRick  |  August 9, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Transgender Service Members Sue Trump Over Military Ban

    Today, 9 August 2017, five active duty transgender service members have filed a federal lawsuit, "Doe v. Trump," in the District Court for DC against Trump‘s spontaneous decision to ban trans troops from the military “in any capacity.” The unnamed soldiers say they relied on the military’s earlier guidance that allowed them to come out as trans, and firing them after they did so would be unconstitutional.

    While the ban has not yet been implemented, the Pentagon recently announced that they are drawing up the first draft of the new guidelines. The lawsuit asks the courts to block it immediately. Trump’s tweets have “already resulted in immediate, concrete injury to Plaintiffs by unsettling and destabilizing plaintiffs’ reasonable expectation of continued service,” according to the lawsuit filed by the NCLR and GLAAD.

    “Last year, the Department of Defense announced that transgender people could serve openly,” said one plaintiff. “I was very relieved and came out as transgender to my commanding officers, who were supportive. My experience has been positive and I am prouder than ever to continue to serve. I am married and have three children, and the military has been my life. But now, I’m worried about my family’s future.”

    The decision flies in the face of President Obama’s directive allowing transgender service members to serve openly. Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced a year-long study of how to best implement the change, while current Secretary James Mattis asked for an extension to ensure a smooth transition in policy.

    While Trump claimed he “consulted my generals” on the change in policy, military leaders have disputed that fabrication with Secretary Mattis noting he was on vacation and found out about the spontaneous decision via Twitter along with everyone else.

    “Because they identified themselves as transgender in reliance on (the Obama-era) earlier promise, Plaintiffs have lost the stability and certainty they had in their careers and benefits , including post-military and retirement benefits that depend on the length of their service,” attorneys for the service members wrote. “Plaintiffs have served honorably and successfully in the military since coming out as transgender, and their transgender status has not had any detrimental effect on their ability to serve or to fulfill their duties."

    In addition to GLAD and NCLR, the plaintiffs are represented by lawyers from the firms Foley, Hoag LLP and WilmerHale.

    Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN have also promised a joint lawsuit against the ban, while the ACLU has promised its own, having sent a letter to the White House on Monday, 7 August 2017, formally informing the administration of its intent to sue, and telling officials to preserve all documents related to the ban. The administration has reportedly prepared guidance on the implementation of the ban and forwarded it to Defense Secretary Mattis.

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