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Equality news round-up: New lawsuits are being filed to stop Trump’s trans military ban

Transgender Rights

The Pentagon. Attribution: Wikipedia
The Pentagon. Attribution: Wikipedia
– GLBTQ Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) are teaming up with five transgender servicemembers and a big law firm to fight President Trump’s ban on transgender military servicemembers. The complaint is in the first link and GLAD has more information on the case here.

– Lambda Legal is planning to file a similar lawsuit when Trump’s guidance letter is delivered to the Department of Defense.

We’ll post when we have more information.


  • 1. ianbirmingham  |  August 9, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Raising The Rainbow Flag

  • 2. scream4ever  |  August 9, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Chile just passed their abortion bill, so same-sex marriage should be taken up very soon.

  • 3. scream4ever  |  August 9, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    I predict this case may initially be dismissed as their is no official policy in place as of yet.

  • 4. VIRick  |  August 9, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Scream, not necessarily at all. In the federal complaint, the plaintiffs assert that the Tweeter-in-Chief, in his spontaneously arcane tweeting session, has already caused them grave material harm and uncertainty, and are thus requesting that whatever guidance is eventually issued be immediately blocked to prevent its implementation. See next post, immediately below, for much more detail:

  • 5. VIRick  |  August 9, 2017 at 5:33 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.….

  • 6. VIRick  |  August 9, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Puebla: More on the Tale of the Two Cholulas

    Note: This is quite definitely a deliberately-planned test case (real, but still purposefully planned, as the couple in question are from San Pedro Cholula, and already have a lawyer), designed to totally force the marriage equality issue in Puebla state, once and for all. The fact that we get to discover whose Cholula is larger during the ensuing pissing contest is an extraneous bonus.

    Marriage Equality Denied to a Gay Couple in San Andrés Cholula

    Niegan Matrimonio Igualitario a Pareja Gay en San Andrés Cholula

    Una pareja tuvo que acudir al Centro Integral de Servicios para iniciar los procesos que les permitan casarse ante la negativa de las autoridades del Ayuntamiento municipal de San Andrés Cholula. (En 8 de agosto 2017), el Registro Civil del municipio poblano de San Andrés Cholula negó el trámite de matrimonio a una pareja gay bajo el pretexto de que la Secretaría General de Gobierno les ordenó no proporcionar el servicio a pesar de la reciente resolución de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN).

    Según informó Marco Antonio Moreno, representante legal de la pareja afectada, este martes 8 de agosto la pareja acudió ante el Registro Civil para solicitar el servicio, sin embargo dos funcionarias advirtieron que desde el gobierno del estado a través de la SGG les ordenó negar el trámite a parejas del mismo sexo. Además, las servidoras públicas indicaron que “el sistema del Registro Civil les impide realizar el trámite” ya que únicamente se cuenta con los formatos para registrar a parejas compuestas por un hombre y una mujer. También el personal del registro civil pretextó que ambos contrayentes tenían domicilio en San Pedro Cholula, así que por una situación de territorialidad no podían brindarles el servicio en ese municipio, hecho que fue refutado por su abogado.

    La SGG negó a través de su área de Comunicación Social que se haya dado tal orden a la Dirección General del Registro Civil en Puebla e incluso subrayó la postura del titular, Diódoro Carrasco Altamirano, para acatar el planteamiento de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación.

    A couple had to go to the Puebla state Integral Services Center to start the processes that will allow them to marry before the authorities of the municipal council of San Andrés Cholula. (On 8 August 2017), the Civil Registry of the municipality of San Andrés Cholula denied the marriage process to a gay couple under the pretext that the General Secretariat of Government (SGGPuebla) ordered them not to provide the service, despite the recent resolution of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN).

    According to Marco Antonio Moreno, legal representative of the affected couple, on Tuesday, 8 August 2017, the couple went to the Civil Registry to request the service. However two officials warned them, that from the state government, through SGG, they were ordered to deny the procedure for same-sex couples. In addition, the public servants indicated that "the Civil Registry system prevents them from performing the procedure" since the only formats available are to register couples composed of a man and a woman. Also, the civil registry staff offered the pretext that since both parties were domiciled in San Pedro Cholula, because of the territorial situation, they could not provide said service in their municipality (of San Andrés Cholula), a fact that was refuted by their lawyer.

    The SGG denied through its Social Communication service that any such order was given to the General Directorate of the Civil Registry in Puebla and even stressed the position of the head, Diódoro Carrasco Altamirano, to abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court.

  • 7. VIRick  |  August 10, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Kentucky: Trans Woman & Husband Suing Amazon after Coworker Tried to Kill Them

    As of 9 August 2017, a married couple from Kentucky is suing Amazon in federal suit filed in Covington for anti-trans discrimination and harassment that led up to a near-fatal incident. Dane Lane and Allegra Schawe-Lane applied to work at an Amazon warehouse in northern Kentucky in October of 2014. Schawe-Lane, who is transgender, said that she applied to work at Amazon because of its reputation as LGBTQ-friendly.

    The couple’s complaint alleges that they were the targets of slurs and sexual harassment. She was called “shemale” and “crossdresser,” and he received crude comments about their sex life. Both of them were called “faggots.” Employees looked over the stall divider when she used the bathroom. Coworkers threatened to beat them up.

    Management also participated in the harassment, refusing to use Schawe-Lane’s first name and instead using her first name from before she transitioned, which they also printed on her ID badge. The warehouse improperly calculated her hours worked, resulting in lost wages, and refused to correct their work when she complained. When they filed a complaint with the company, their supervisors were told to “watch them closely.” Schawe-Lane said she consistently received the worst assignments.

    In August of 2015, the brake lines on their car were cut while they were working. Fortunately, they noticed the problem before it was fatal and a mechanic told them someone intentionally cut the lines. They reported the incident, but Amazon did not investigate. Fearing for their lives, at this point they quit.

    Several months before quitting, they filed a discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC said that the couple had evidence to back at least some of their allegations and grounds for a lawsuit. Their case is being handled by the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF).

    TLDEF's press release on the case is here:

  • 8. VIRick  |  August 10, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    One More Round in the Infamous Case, "Miller v. Davis"

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 3 August 2017, in yet one more wrinkle in this endless case, "Miller v. Davis," the 3rd-party defendants in the matter, Kentucky Governor Bevin and Commissioner Manuel are asking the district court to put a hold on enforcing the attorney fees order against them. They intend to file a motion arguing that the attorney fees should be assessed against Kim Davis, in her official capacity, not against them.

    "Third-Party Defendants intend to file a timely motion … to clarify that portion of the Judgment that purports to assess an award of fees and costs against an entity that is not party to the lawsuit and that against whom the Plaintiffs did not prevail. Third-Party Defendants will show that, to the extent the Court concluded fees and costs were appropriate, such award could only have been assessed against the Defendant: Kim Davis in her official capacity as Rowan County Clerk."

    "Third-Party Defendants now seek a stay of execution of the Judgment pending resolution of their forthcoming post-judgment motion to resolve the issue outlined above."

    Their Motion to Stay Enforcement of Memorandum Opinion and Order (D.E. 206) Entered July 21, 2017, is here:

  • 9. VIRick  |  August 10, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Chile: Government Starts Pre-Legislative Debate for Marriage Equality

    Chile: Gobierno Inicia Debate Pre-Legislativo por Matrimonio Igualitario

    Este miércoles, el 9 de agosto 2017, la vocera de gobierno, Paula Narváez, se reunió con la bancada del PPD en busca de respaldos. En la cita, algunos le advirtieron que el tema será complejo para las candidaturas parlamentarias.

    On Wednesday, 9 August 2017, the government spokeswoman, Paula Narváez, met with the PPD bench in search of support. At the meeting, some warned that the issue would be complex for parliamentary candidates (facing re-election).

    The PPD (Partido por la Democracia) is one of the larger leftist political entities in Chile, holding 15 of 120 seats in the House and 6 of 38 in the Senate, and is comparable to Bachelet's Partido Socialista, which holds 17 House seats, and 5 in the Senate. In Chile's multi-party democracy, it will take a number of alliances to forge a majority.

  • 10. allan120102  |  August 10, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Yeah I was reading the news and they said that the issue will be present next week but will most probably be discussed and debate after the elections because many of the candidates are scared of brining another social issue which is against by older people and rural areas. Many are still scared after passing abortion, thinking that some incumbants may be defeat after there vote for abortion they dont want to fire more the rural areas with another issue like same sex marriage.

  • 11. scream4ever  |  August 10, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    I don't think it's anywhere near a contentious issue as abortion.

  • 12. allan120102  |  August 10, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Its Latin America my friend. We tend to be very conservative on many issues. Look Haiti for example with the setback they did with same sex marriage and supporters. Abortion and Same sex marriage are really social issues that trigger many people specially in many rural places. Imcumbants that are going to reelection are not going to put in danger there seat just to pass ssm. Chile is the most conservative in the south cone compare to Argentina and Uruguay, but compare to the rest of SA I am going to say they are the 4th most liberal country in the continent.

    In search of support for the egalitarian marriage project, government spokeswoman Paula Narvaez arrived on Tuesday to meet with the PPD party during lunch.

    The spokeswoman explained some details of the initiative that La Moneda hopes to present in September, where it was explained that one of the changes will be to replace the institution of marriage between a "man and a woman" by "people" or "spouses".

    Narvaez asked the party to support and defend it, as part of one of the commitments of President Michelle Bachelet.

    The idea, however, had detractors within the quote. This, as several lawmakers warned him that it will be difficult to raise the issue during the campaigns for nominations to Parliament.

    As they explained to the minister, especially among people over 60 and in rural areas, there is a rejection of the idea, which is why, they asked the government to be "careful" when presenting the subject in a communication so as not to disturb Sectors.

    "It was said at the meeting that it is complex in terms of the campaign, and therefore, it must be taken with much ground. No one likes the moment when this project is going to be presented, "admitted Deputy Jorge Tarud, who in any case said he will support the initiative.

    Joaquín Tuma, a parliamentarian from the same party, said that "the government is wrong to give so much importance to a project six months after the end of management, and not being a priority for citizens, since there are other things more important ".

    In any case, according to those present, the spokeswoman reminded them that the presentation of the project of equal marriage is a commitment of the State with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. However, he explained that once presented, the government has no plans to put some kind of urgency.

    To the complaints of the PPD also added the deputy of the bench Felipe Letelier, who affirmed that "we have projects to dispatch that are very important and if we do not have agreement in the marriage egalitarian, so that we are going to entrap?"

  • 13. scream4ever  |  August 10, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Chile doesn't operate on a parliamentary system? That surprises me.

    If your elected officials are so concerned, then they should aim to pass it during the lame duck session.

  • 14. VIRick  |  August 10, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    No, Chile does not operate on a parliamentary system. Instead, their peculiar twist is that they have proportional representation within their House and Senate, a point which has given rise to many splinter parties. Although Bachelet won the Presidency and has made this commitment for marriage equality to satisfy the terms of the settlement with the Inter-American Court, her party does not have a majority in either legislative body. They have to work rather quickly to build a working coalition to pass the measure, as they are also operating under several time constraints (both from the settlement terms, as well as from the upcoming election).

    And Chile is not quite as conservative as Allan states, as they are still electing Communists to their legislature. Instead, Chile has a horrific partisan split, one which led to the overthrow of the Allende government and the rise of the Pinochet dictatorship, recent historic facts which still haunt Chile, and which they are trying to push into the past. At the moment, too, Chile, has the most robust economy in South America, something which everyone wants to keep. One indication, almost unheard-of in Latin America: the value of their currency vis-a-vis the US dollar continues to rise.

    In public opinion polls, clear majorities of the Chilean electorate (about 2/3rds) are in favor of marriage equality. Chile is also a rather Euro-centric country, one of the last in that category in Latin America still without marriage equality.

  • 15. allan120102  |  August 10, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    Lol. Rick that is why I said that compare to Argentina and uruguay they are quite conservative. Uruguay is categorize as the liberal bastion in latin America. Same sex marriage abortion and Marijuana are legal. Chile like I mention is like the 3rd most liberal being surpass just by Uruguay and Argentina.

  • 16. VIRick  |  August 10, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    And Allan, please do not compare Haiti to anywhere else. It is neither Latin, nor French, nor Caribbean, nor African. It is a separate world unto itself, in both time and space, one which does not share any of the institutions with any other country, nor will it be influenced by anyone (except possibly, in a negative, rejectionist way).

    I went to Haiti once. And while there, I swore that if were ever to able to escape that wretched hole, and safely return to the Dominican Republic, that I would never, EVER return. So far, I have kept my promise.

    Oh wait! I just made a comparison. So, the Dominican Republic is not the world's most wonderful country, complete with a lot of its own rough edges, but next to Haiti, I was elated to be there, but was even happier when I got back to Puerto Rico.

  • 17. scream4ever  |  August 10, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    Yah a childhood friend of mine had a dad who would go there a lot for work and it just sounded like an all around terrible place.

  • 18. allan120102  |  August 10, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Lol that sounds harsh, but even though if we dont like it we cant just leave our brothers and sisters in Haiti alone. Homophobia is worst than before. Since the earthquake people have become more superticious and that have create stigma against the lgbt community. Ignorance can be a bliss but other tims can be deadly. Still I agree I will probably feel safer in Jamaica than Haiti even though both are homophobic countries. The thing that Jamaica is moving slowly but in the right direction.

  • 19. VIRick  |  August 11, 2017 at 12:14 am

    Yes, even Jamaica is moving, ever so slowly, in the right direction.

    Jamaica is also a country of contrasts, comprised of numerous alternate universes, some of which are relatively progressive, especially in and round the main campus of the University of the West Indies. Jamaica also has a complete gay underground and a number of "out" organizations. Still, it has more than its fair share of rough edges, making it one of the least attractive of all the English speaking countries in the Caribbean. Overall, only Guyana is more isolated and retrograde.

  • 20. Randolph_Finder  |  August 11, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Wondering whether Haiti will end up with Marriage Equality after the English Caribbean or not.

  • 21. Zack12  |  August 11, 2017 at 1:37 am
    Article about what is going on in Australia.
    The way they are doing this is an utter joke when a simple vote where everyone in the legislature could vote as they choose would have resolved this long ago.

  • 22. Elihu_Bystander  |  August 11, 2017 at 3:51 am

    Here is the link to "Doe v. Trump" complaint

  • 23. VIRick  |  August 11, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Secretary of Navy: Trans Troops Are Patriots, Should Be Allowed to Serve

    The newly-confirmed Secretary of the Navy walked a fine line between obeying the (so-called) Commander-In-Chief and pushing back against Trump’s nonsensical ban on transgender people serving in the military. While Trump falsely claimed he had consulted with his “generals and military experts,” not a single one of them has come out in support of his proposed ban. In fact, quite the opposite.

    Today, 11 August 2017, Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer became the latest commander to publicly, but softly, rebuke Trump for his decision issued via Twitter, saying he would follow orders, but strongly disagreed with them. “We will process and take direction of a policy that is developed by the [Defense] secretary [with] direction from the president and march out smartly,” he told reporters. “On a fundamental basis, any patriot that wants to serve and meets all the requirements should be able to serve in our military.”

    While Trump refused to recognize LGBT Pride Month, the Navy did.

  • 24. scream4ever  |  August 11, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Some good news out of Texas:

  • 25. VIRick  |  August 11, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Trans Military Ban Halted by War Threat

    It took the threat of nuclear war with North Korea to reportedly get the White House to put a hold on the policy re-instituting the ban on open transgender service in the military.

    A White House source, who spoke to the "Blade" on condition of anonymity, said “A Guidance Policy for Open Transgender Service Phase Out” — which had been certified by the White House Counsel’s Office, despite repeated advice that it would result in lawsuits — was expected to be sent to Defense Secretary James Mattis sometime during the week starting from 7 August 2017. So far, it has not been sent.

    However, according to a Pentagon source, after Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un got into a fiery verbal sparring match on 8 August, the Defense Secretary sent a message to major US commands letting them know that the threat by North Korea was his overriding priority and that other issues “were to be temporarily sidelined.”

    Additionally, the Pentagon source says that Mattis intends to put a hold on all personnel matters, though disciplinary issues such as discharges will continue. However, anything that affects military strength and readiness, specifically troop numbers, will be put on hold. Meanwhile, the Pentagon confirmed to the "New York Times" on 9 August that it has not yet received the trans guidance.

    This is a perfect example of how the bureaucracy will stymie the Idiot-in-Charge, by slow-walking and then "placing on hold" much of his more ludicrous inanities. "Manpower" concerns in an all-volunteer military in any sort of "crisis" take total precedence over any and all other concerns. The irony, of course, is that the "crisis" in question is also completely due to more of his own intemperate, thoughtless tweeting, thus bollixing himself with two contradictory issues.

    And he truly is the Idiot-in-Charge, as this lengthly "Washington Blade" article continues on with specific behind-the-scenes detail as to how he was so easily manipulated on this issue by Pence and the "religious right" who only fed him certain negative specifics. It also confirms that there was absolutely no prior consultation with anyone in any capacity within the US military.

  • 26. davepCA  |  August 11, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    …"how he was so easily manipulated on this issue by Pence…" Indeed. Mike Pence's homophobia – and his apparent phobia about sex in general – is genuinely pathological. What a deeply disturbed mind he must have. As bad as Trumph is, I do believe a lot of us would be even worse off if Trumph were gone and Pence took his place.

  • 27. Randolph_Finder  |  August 15, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Unfortunately, the choice that may need to be made is that under Pence the LGBT will be worse off in their rights, however under Pence they are less likely to be nuked… 🙁 🙁

  • 28. VIRick  |  August 11, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Puebla: Same-Sex Marriage Now Official

    Per Miriam Espinoza:

    Ya es oficial. Matrimonio igualitario no tendrá restricción en Puebla, informó Aguilar Chedraui. Jorge Aguilar Chedraui es el coordinador del grupo parlamentario del PAN y el presidente del Congreso de Puebla.

    It's now official. Marriage equality will not be restricted in Puebla, Aguilar Chedraui reported. Jorge Aguilar Chedraui is the leader of PAN's congressional grouping in the Puebla Congress and is its president.

    Per Periódico Enfoque‏:

    Hoy día, 11 de agosto 2017, Puebla recibe de SCJN notificación para aplicar matrimonios igualitarios. En entrevista, el legislador (Aguilar Chedraui) detalló que el Congreso local no tendrá que legislar al respecto porque la notificación señala claramente la invalidez de los artículos en cuestión. Cualquier persona que desee contraer matrimonio de unión de parejas del mismo sexo lo podrán hacer sin la necesidad del amparo.

    Today, 11 August 2017, Puebla received the Supreme Court notification to begin applying marriage equality. In an interview, the legislator (Aguilar Chedraui) detailed that the state Congress will not have to legislate on the matter because the notification clearly indicates the invalidity of the articles in question. Any same-sex couples who wish to contract marriage can do so without the need of an amparo.

    The Supreme Court's ruling against the Puebla ban was 1 August 2017. The date the ruling went into effect was 11 August 2017 (the date the state legislature received official notice of the Supreme Court's ruling. That quoted paragraph, immediately above, specifically says exactly that). Someone needs to amend the Wikipedia listing to correctly reflect that second date.

    And ditto for Chiapas. Although I do not know the date the state received official notice, it ought to have been about 10 days after the Supreme Court's 11 July 2017 ruling. The date of the ruling is not the date the ruling went into effect, as the state first has to have received its official notice informing it of the ruling (and then publicly acknowledge it, just as Aguilar Chedraui did on 11 August 2017 for Puebla).

    In fact, I have yet to find hard evidence that the ruling against Chiapas has yet gone into effect. Listing the ruling date as the effective date for Chiapas, as currently shown on Wikipedia, is incorrect.

  • 29. VIRick  |  August 13, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Here's what I found in my archives pertinent to the (still up-coming) effective date for same-sex marriage in Chiapas:

    Both articles are from San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the first dated 14 July 2017, the second from 31 July 2017:

    (En Chiapas), será hasta a mediados de agosto cuando una pareja del mismo sexo podrá acudir al registro civil (sin amparo) para casarse, porque falta cumplir con el trámite de notificación al Congreso local y éste último al registro civil.

    (In Chiapas), it will take until mid-August before a same-sex couple can go to the civil registry (without amparo) to get married, because they (the Supreme Court) have to comply with the procedure of notification to the local Congress, and then the latter to the civil registry.

    (Tras la sentencia), la primera boda igualitaria (aun con un amparo, como ha ocurrido con los otros 25 matrimonios igualitarios que se han realizado en Chiapas en los últimos dos años) se celebró en Chiapas, el 29 de julio 2017.

    (Following the ruling), the first same-sex marriage (but still with an amparo, like the 25 previous same-sex marriages which occurred in Chiapas during the last 2 years) was held in Chiapas, on 29 July 2017.

    And to date, that is it; one same-sex couple, with previously-issued amparo in hand, got married in San Cristóbal de las Casas in late July.

  • 30. allan120102  |  August 13, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    We need to remember that Jalisco´s congress was notified I believe until May and since then marriage equality was the law of the land. The difference between Puebla and Chiapas I believe is that Puebla´s ban was struck unanimous so the sentence was send inmediately, while Chiapas was 9-2, so the two dissenting judges need to write their dissents before sending the notification to the congress of Chiapas.

  • 31. VIRick  |  August 13, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Yes, in the case against Jalisco, the Supreme Court ruling was announced in late January 2016, but did not become effective until after the Court had officially notified the state congress, and the state congress, in turn, had notified all the statewide civil registries, a process that took until early May to be completed.

  • 32. VIRick  |  August 11, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    A Protest "Death Watch" in Sinaloa

    While mariage equality is being celebrated in Puebla, protesters have been holding a "death watch" outside the Sinaloa state congress in Culiacán. This article is a bit difficult to translate, as it requires some knowledge of traditional Mexican burial rituals, but suffice it to say that the protesters have placed a mess of coffins (ataúdes) and hundreds and hundreds of lit, burning votive candles (velas, the type used at funeral wakes) all over the congress grounds in a re-creation of the extremely Mexican ritual remembrance day, the "Day of the Dead," a very literal and quite graphically somber Mexican version of Halloween:

    Cabe señalar que a esta protesta también se sumó el líder de la comunidad LGBT, Tiago Ventura, ya que los legisladores se han negado a tratar el tema del matrimonio igualitario en Sinaloa a pesar de que tienen una orden de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación para que se legisle en materia, pero no se ha hecho.

    It should be noted that this protest was also joined by the leader of the LGBT community, Tiago Ventura, since lawmakers have refused to address the issue of marriage equality in Sinaloa, despite having an order from the Supreme Court of Justice to legislate on the matter, something which has not been done.

  • 33. VIRick  |  August 11, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Panamanian LGBT Rights/Marriage Equality Activist Marries in Colombia

    Panameño Promotor de Matrimonio Homosexual Se Casa en Colombia

    Panameño contrae matrimonio con su pareja del mismo sexo en Colombia; mientras en Panamá, persiste un debate intenso de activistas a favor y en contra de la unión legal de dichas parejas.

    Vestidos de blanco ante la notaría colombiana primera De Bello, Antioquia, se dieron el sí, el panameño Juan Alonso y su pareja Juan David Parra. Durante la ceremonia Alonso, conocido promotor de los derechos de personas LGBT, agradeció a la República de Colombia por reconocer los derechos civiles y por respetar la dignidad humana de conformidad con los preceptos contemplados en el articulo 9, y capitulo 1 del articulo 176 de la Constitución del país hermano (de Panamá).

    A Panameño married his same-sex partner in Colombia; meanwhile in Panamá, an intense debate persists among activists for and against the legal union of such couples.

    Dressed in white before the first notary of De Bello, Antioquia, Colombia, they gave themselves to each other, the Panamanian Juan Alonso and his partner Juan David Parra. During the ceremony, Alonso, a well-known promoter of LGBT rights, thanked the Republic of Colombia for recognizing civil rights and for respecting human dignity in accordance with the provisions of Article 9 and Chapter 1 of Article 176 of the Constitution of their brother country (of Panamá).

    The news article from Panamá, announcing the marriage, is dated today, 11 August 2017, but the actual marriage in Colombia itself must have taken place on some recent date. And although one person of the couple is definitely a Panamanian citizen, the other one's citizenship is not identified. However, from what I understand about Colombian law, the partner (now husband) must be Colombian, as Colombia does not allow two non-citizens of any description to be married there.

    So now, they can press onward with a new case, and sue to force Panamá to recognize a Colombian marriage, performed in accordance with provisions embedded in the Panamanian Constitution while remembering that they were once unified as a single country. The original recognition case there is in regard to a British marriage between a British citizen and a Panamanian performed at the British embassy in Panamá.

  • 34. VIRick  |  August 11, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Chile: The Marriage Equality Bill Will Be Sent to Congress Next Week

    Chile: Proyecto de Matrimonio Igualitario Sería Enviado la Próxima Semana

    Although not 100% clear, I am taking this notice to mean that the bill is to be sent during the week of 14-18 August 2017.

  • 35. VIRick  |  August 11, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Australia: Suit #2 Against Dubious, Expensive, Non-Binding Marriage Equality Postal Vote

    Per Rex Wockner and Capital Monitor:

    On 10 August 2017, the Human Rights Law Centre filed legal action against the Australian Government on behalf of Australian Marriage Equality and Senator Janet Rice. The action challenges the constitutional validity of the postal plebiscite on marriage equality.

    The HRLC will be arguing that the expenditure of funds on the plebiscite is not constitutionally valid because it has not been authorized by legislation.

    I have not found a reference to lawsuit #1, but Rex claims the above is already lawsuit #2 seeking to challenge and block the non-binding, voluntary postal vote.

  • 36. VIRick  |  August 13, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Dominican Republic: The Guevedoces

    Some children who are born with vaginas go on to grow penises due to a rare genetic disorder. In a rural village in the Dominican Republic, an estimated one in 90 children who seem to be girls grow male genitalia during puberty. The children are known as Guevedoces, which translates literally as “penis-at-12,” referring to their age when their physical appearance starts to change.

    This extraordinary intersex condition, known medically as 5-alpha-reductase deficiency, has previously been documented for a BBC2 series ‘Countdown to Life’ which takes a look at how we develop in the womb and how early changes impact us for the rest of our lives.

    Many children who live in the village of Las Salinas (near Barahona), located in the southwestern part of the Dominican Republic, are affected by the condition. The children, when born, have nothing except what appears to be a vagina, and it is only as they mature that it becomes apparent all is not as it seems. Dr. Julianne Imperato-McGinley originally investigated the phenomenon in the early 1970s, and found that while genetically male, Guevedoces lack the enzyme, 5-alpha reductase, that converts testosterone to dihydro-testosterone and helps form the penis. When these children hit puberty, the body is flooded with another surge of testosterone, causing a penis to finally develop and testes to descend.

    The penis remains somewhat undersized, but apart from that, it is usually fully functioning, with the testes even producing sperm. In the Dominican Republic, the birth of a pseudo-hermaphrodite is fully accepted, and during puberty, the child’s physical transformation into a male is marked by joyous celebration.

    This genetic anomaly is not the same as Partial Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (PAIS), which according to Wikipedia, is indicated when the external genitalia is partially, but not fully masculinized.

    The PAIS condition matches with what I have encountered,– very cute, smooth-skinned "pretty boys" with tiny dicks, little to no body hair, and a body shape with lots of curves, along with a sensitive, quiet feminine demeanor,– and all from the same region in the eastern part of the Dominican Republic, in and around the city of San Pedro Macoris.

    These PAIS individuals are born biologically male, but otherwise have pronounced female characteristics. As adults, they are very androgynous (and very gay), but are otherwise protected by family and the society at large. It is not discussed, but is simply accepted.

  • 37. VIRick  |  August 13, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    The presence of two rather opposing genetic anomalies, one turning apparent "girls" into boys, and the other turning ostensible boys into "girls," in the relatively small-sized nation of the Dominican Republic, along with the quiet acceptance of both groups among the surrounding common people of the country, goes a long way toward blocking out and negating the more bigoted chatter emanating from the official hierarchy on the two subjects of gender identity and sexual orientation. The population-at-large, from direct personal experience, simply knows better.

    Because of this, even in a country like the Dominican Republic, I have always argued that "opposition" to such concepts as same-sex marriage may appear from the outside to be a mile wide, but in truth, is only about an inch deep. That has certainly been the case in Puerto Rico, where schools now allow boys to wear skirts, and girls can wear pants, and same-sex marriage is already a non-issue. Socially, on almost every level one can think of, the Dominican Republic is almost identical to Puerto Rico.

    And although they will never mention skin tone, I will stick my neck out and make some comment. The official hierarchy tends to be fairly light-skinned, while those with PAIS from the San Pedro Macorís region are mid-tone in complexion. Those from Las Salinas with 5-alpha reductase deficiency are rather deep-toned. And that 3-way skin-tone variation also makes an underlying difference, but again, one that is never discussed (yet one can sense its presence), and appears to have much to do with the acceptance levels of both groupings among the affected population as a whole.

  • 38. allan120102  |  August 14, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    The PRD in Puebla is not playing when they said that the ruling of the supreme court be applied in Puebla, they are about to test civil registries in the state and see if marriages will be perform, if not they will sue the state officials for not obeying a ruling of the supreme court.
    PRD's state president, Socorro Quezada Tiempo, announced that the state's civil registry judges will be tested with the marriage petition of 23 same-sex couples, who must attend to comply with the Supreme Court's mandate Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN).

    If the administrative authority refuses to recognize these unions, he warned that the Aztec sun will legally advise those affected to denounce it for contempt before the Judiciary.

    The Secretary of Sexual Diversity of the State Executive Committee (CEE), Alejando Pérez Pérez, announced that the 23 couples interested in marriage had open suits of amparo before the refusal of the local institutions to attend their request.

    For two years Congress denied egalitarian marriages
    Because the country's highest court of justice invalidated articles 300, 297 and 294 of the Civil Code of Puebla because they defined marriage as the union between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation, the interested parties no longer need to conclude the litigation, Abounded.

    He regretted that the Legislative Branch refused for nearly two years to correct the order, since the SCJN declared its content unconstitutional since 2015 for not complying with the provisions of the country's Constitution on human rights.

    Meanwhile, Socorro Quezada celebrated the position adopted by the president of Congress, Jorge Aguilar Chedraui, who acknowledged that the civil registry courts of the entity can no longer refuse to celebrate the well-known gay weddings.

    The last step that needs to be done to make that right a reality in Puebla, he continued, is that the Legislative Branch order the publication of the Civil Code of the state with a footnote in invalidated articles explaining that they are unconstitutional because Marriage "is a union of two people regardless of their sex."

  • 39. allan120102  |  August 14, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    A marriage of two women have occur in a municipality in Guanajuato the first of that municipality.
    Last Saturday, August 5, 2017, the first equal marriage was held in the city of Villagrán Guanajuato.

    At 6:00 pm, the official ceremony for the celebration of the marriage between Guadalupe and Georgina began, in which the official license 01 of the Civil Registry of the City gave faith, declaring them united in Legitimate Marriage under the prerogatives that The law confers them.

    Raúl Ruíz, leader of the Diverse Circle Association of Mexico A. C, whose purpose is to defend the rights of the LGBTTTI community, he said. "Once again Diverse Circle of Mexico A.C sum this achieved the struggle for social inclusion and Equality to assert the Human Rights of the LGBTTTI Population."

    The now wives expressed their gratitude and solidarity with the association that has fought for the Human Rights of the LGBTTTI population in the State of Guanajuato, also said that their union will be a precedent in their municipality and that from this day they are convinced that More people will come to them asking what process they followed to achieve Equal Civil Marriage, channeling them to the leaders of the association.

    They added that their marriage will bring legal benefits as administrative procedures that benefit their spouse, for example, affiliation to the IMSS, INFONAVIT, among others.

    On the other hand the leader of Círculo Diverso congratulated the couple and expressed their admiration for their personal arrangement during the ceremony.

    "The brides looked radiant, Lupita in black frack suit and tie while Gio with a beautiful dress to the knee beige, both accompanied by relatives and friends who were happy, supportive and cheerful, who congratulated and witnessed so Emotional act of love, "he concluded.

  • 40. VIRick  |  August 14, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Virginia: Gavin Grimm Files Amended Suit against School District

    The ACLU has amended a federal lawsuit it filed on behalf of a transgender student who challenged his Virginia school district’s bathroom policy. In an 11 August 2017 press release, it noted that it has filed a motion with the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Newport News that requests the withdrawal of Gavin Grimm’s request for an immediate injunction against the Gloucester County School Board’s policy prohibiting students from using bathrooms and locker rooms that do not correspond with their “biological gender.” Grimm graduated from Gloucester County High School in June.

    The ACLU in its press release said its decision to amend Grimm’s lawsuit paves the way for a “more permanent injunction halting” the implementation of the bathroom policy. It also noted the amended lawsuit will allow the ACLU to seek “nominal damage claims” on Grimm’s behalf.

    Earlier this month, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals sent Grimm’s case back to the lower federal court where Judge Arenda Wright-Allen will be hearing further proceedings.

  • 41. VIRick  |  August 14, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    Pakistan: Bill Introduced to Protect Trans People

    On Tuesday, 8 August 2017, The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill was introduced into the lower house of the legislature in Pakistan by Naeema Kishwar, seeking to extend equal rights to transgender people.

    The bill reads: “There is a need to safeguard rights of transgenders on par with other citizens and residents of the country. The Constitution of Pakistan explicitly provides, inter alia, the fundamental rights to (Article 9) life, liberty, and equality of citizenship, (Article 25) and the inviolability of dignity, safeguard to educational institutions in respect of education, protection of property, and safeguard against discrimination in service,” it says.

    The bill goes on to say: “The transgender persons constitute one of the most marginalized and disadvantaged communities in the country. They face problems ranging from social exclusion to discrimination, to the lack of protection in their family, community, and society.”

  • 42. Fortguy  |  August 15, 2017 at 12:21 am

    Alabama U.S. Senator special election: Today, August 15, Alabama holds primary elections for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by federal Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    Republican Primary: This race features five candidates with three being realistic contenders. Incumbent Luther Strange and former state AG was appointed to replace Sessions by former Gov. Robert Bentley who has since been forced to resign in disgrace. Strange has endorsements from Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Disgraced former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore who polls most favorably among evangelical voters and has long been ridiculed on this forum; and Rep. Mo Brooks who, despite his views being as extremely aligned as his opponents, polls best among Trump-skeptic GOPers (both of them!).

    Ballotpedia: United States Senate special election in Alabama (August 15, 2017 Republican primary)
    Harry Enten, FiveThiryEight: Trump Picks A Favorite In Alabama’s GOP Senate Primary

    Democratic Primary: Seven candidates are running, but there are only two serious contenders. Doug Jones served as a U.S. Attorney under Bill Clinton. Robert Kennedy, Jr. is a former naval officer otherwise largely unknown but benefiting in poling due to his name despite, or perhaps because of, being African-American rather than Hyannis Port Irish. The winner of this race will likely lose badly to the Republican in the general. This is Alabama, after all. More interesting will be whether the GOP margin suffers from an unfavorable Trump dump as other special elections have seen so far this year.

    Ballotpedia: United States Senate special election in Alabama (August 15, 2017 Democratic primary)

    Polling indicates the GOP race is close and will likely require a September runoff. The two party nominees will face off in December.

  • 43. Randolph_Finder  |  August 15, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Are *either* Strange or Brooks likely to be better than Moore? I'm not talking how anti-LGBT they are, I'm talking how much political capital they are likely to spend for anti-LGBT efforts?

    And which of them has the highest likelihood of losing to any Democrat?

  • 44. bythesea66  |  August 15, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Probably Moore is the most likely to be defeated by perhaps Kennedy, but even then the odds are very low indeed of a Democratic victory. If there is a sufficient wave, who knows, but it would be a shock.

  • 45. VIRick  |  August 15, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Randolph, at the height of the fracas over marriage equality in Alabama, Moore, as chief judge of the Alabama Supreme Court, was pro-actively frothing-at-the mouth nuts, deliberately pushing himself (and his so-called "non-profit") into the fray, and deliberately creating most of the chaos, in a mad attempt to place his retrograde bigotry center-stage, a point he actually was successful at doing for an interval. Moore remains totally unhinged over LGBT rights, much the way wild-eyed segregationists were over black civil rights. He needs to be forced into retirement.

    On the other hand, at the same moment in time, A-G Strange was re-actively passive, only doing a kind of pro forma performance in order to "keep up appearances." After all, Alabama is still Alabama. So, as state attorney-general, he dutifully filed his several appeals of lower court rulings that had gone against the state.

    Brooks, as a current congressman, is a typical loud-mouthed, retrograde Alabama politician, full of a lot of red-neck code words. For example, he's trying to run his present campaign by running against McConnell on his failure to repeal the ACA, using all the code words "pertinent" to the subject, while double-wrapping himself in ultra-Trumpism. He's more bluster than anything else. As a Southern nickname, "Mo" is right up there alongside "Bubba" and "Billy Bob."

    None are a "prize," but in terms of their unhinged ass-hatted-ness, from least to most, I would rank them in this order: Strange, Brooks, Moore. If this were almost any other state, Brooks would be deemed to be furthest "around the bend" as one could possibly imagine. However, it's Alabama, and Moore is also running.

    And to answer your second question, Moore would be the one most likely to lose to a Democrat.

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