Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

Open thread and news round-up

Community/Meta Right-wing Transgender Rights

– In Gavin Grimm’s challenge to his school board’s anti-transgender policy, his lawyers filed a request to amend their complaint to update the judge on the issues following his graduation, and they dismissed the appeal of the order denying a preliminary injunction because he’s no longer seeking that relief. His lawyers will go ahead with their request for a permanent injunction.

– Jurors ruled in favor of a school that is alleged to have discriminated against two women on the basketball team because they were dating. There’s also more here.

– The Trump administration has indicated that they’ll roll back LGBT protections in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  August 15, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    North Carolina: Protesters Topple Confederate Monument in Durham

    On Monday night, 14 August 2017, protesters in Durham NC pulled down a Confederate monument on county property, saying representations of white supremacy need to be removed.

    The action was at least partly a reaction to the Unite the Right rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville VA over the weekend, local media report. The Charlottesville ultra-right-wing participants said they were motivated by the city’s plan to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a public park, and they were met with counter-protests.

    The monument in Durham was a statue of a generic Confederate soldier, not a specific person like Lee. It stood in front of the former Durham County Courthouse, now used to house county offices. More than 100 people gathered around the statue early Monday evening to demand its removal, and eventually they tied a rope around it and pulled it to the ground, smashing it. The statue had stood at the location since 1924, with an inscription that reads, “In memory of ‘the boys who wore the gray.’”

    The statue had been protected by an assinine 2015 North Carolina law prohibiting state agencies and local governments from removing any “object of remembrance” on public property that “commemorates an event, a person, or military service that is part of North Carolina’s history.” But now, it too, is history.

  • 2. VIRick  |  August 15, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Dominican Republic: Pride March in Santo Domingo

    Here is a photo montage of LGBT parade marchers, as well as some of the general crowd scene, taken in Santo Domingo by Carlos Rodriguez at the recent Pride March there this past weekend.

    It's not mentioned, of course, but I want to draw attention to the fact that almost everyone in attendance, from participants to observers, are mid-toned to deep-toned in complexion. There are almost zero lighter-toned people anywhere to be seen. But, in the Dominican Republic, this is to be expected, despite the fact that that reality is almost completely up-side-down from every other Latin American country I have ever been to. Here, LGBT people are from the common people, showing forth from the edges of the margins, due in large part to the presence of those two gender-bending genetic anomalies among the groupings which were just highlighted in the previous thread.

    I also enjoyed the bus marked "Cristo Viene Ya" (Christ Comes Now) which got tied up in the march. Either that, or the lanky hottie on roller blades in the same photo, waving the gigantic rainbow flag, is Christ himself coming. I also found the androgenous nature of the very last photo in the series to be hauntingly poignant. But just for fun, on the lighter side, see if you spot "Miss Belleza Trans Plus 2017" (Miss Trans Plus Beauty 2017).

    Note: Throughout the Caribbean region, the plus-sized beauty queens always garner the biggest crowd appeal. Or as I've heard here in the Virgin Islands, they're simply booty-ful.

  • 3. VIRick  |  August 16, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    More Thoughts on the Dominican Republic Pride Event

    There was absolutely no official or even semi-official presence at the recent pride march in Santo Domingo. No one from the hierarchy was there,– no government officials participated in the march, no one in any position of authority stepped forward to be deemed marshal of the event, no corporate sponsors bothered to advertise or host a float or troupe. In fact, there wasn't even any police presence. Although unnecessary, there was no crowd control, no traffic control, no escorting of participants along the parade route.

    In a very Caribbean way, the people themselves were totally in charge. The participants self-handled the entire operation in a very professional, dignified manner. And the crowd was exuberantly welcoming, while the entire hierarchy hid themselves and looked the other way.

    But compare this to the recent, massive Pride March in Panamá where, in a highly-publicized maneuver, the First Lady of Panamá herself joyously and proudly led the marchers along the Malecón, and every official and corporate entity in the country knocked themselves out to participate.

  • 4. Fortguy  |  August 15, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Alabama U.S. Senator special election: With 80% of precincts reporting, Roy Moore leads with 43% and will face a September 26 runoff against Luther Strange who has 32%. Mo Brooks received 16%.

    The runoff winner will in December face Doug Jones who handily won the Democratic Primary.

    Eric Bradner, CNN: Moore, Strange head to runoff in Alabama GOP Primary, CNN projects

  • 5. scream4ever  |  August 15, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    Texas Legislature ends special session without passing bathroom bill:

  • 6. VIRick  |  August 16, 2017 at 12:11 am


  • 7. davepCA  |  August 16, 2017 at 12:27 am


  • 8. Fortguy  |  August 16, 2017 at 1:09 am

    The Texas House adjourned sine die more than a day early forcing the Senate and the governor into a take-it-or-leave-it stance regarding the legislation the House had approved. The Senate later adjourned refusing to consider House bills that differed from their own.

    The bathroom bills are indeed dead, but that was clear a week ago when House State Affairs Committee Chairman Byron Cook (R-Corsicana) announced that he would not hold a hearing on the House bills. Since the hearing during the regular session was an all-nighter, I don't blame him. During Senate hearings in both sessions Senate committee members spent hours listening overwhelmingly to testimony exclaiming, "Bad Senator!" as if each were the dog who tore up the upholstery. Speaker Straus never dignified the Senate bathroom bill with a committee assignment in the first place.

    Despite the conservative calls of "20 for 20" regarding the twenty agenda items Gov. Abbott originally placed before the special session, only nine of those items were addressed and sent to the governor before the House called it quits.

    If the governor doesn't like the end results, he can call them all back for another potential thirty days pulling bathrooms back into play. Abbott would have to weigh the political downsides of doing so should he go that course. The House may end up adjourning much shorter than the 29 days they lasted this time.

    Morgan Smith and Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune: Texas Legislature ends special session without passing property tax measure
    Ross Ramsey, The Texas Tribune: Analysis: It’s never the ending that you expect

  • 9. guitaristbl  |  August 16, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Belfast's High Court expected to rule on Northern Ireland same-sex marriage case tomorrow :

  • 10. davepCA  |  August 16, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    I haven't been able to find any info about the actual legal arguments on either side of this case (two cases, really). I don't know what constitutional principles may or may not apply to the issue in Northern Ireland. Is anyone here familiar with the legal arguments in the Northern Ireland cases? Any insight as to how this might turn out?

  • 11. allan120102  |  August 16, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    If I am correct the only thing it will resolve is if Northern Ireland will recognize ssm perform from countries that have ssm but it appears it will not strike the ban for ssm to be perform in the area of NI.

  • 12. scream4ever  |  August 16, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    It still would help pave the way for eventual legalization.

  • 13. guitaristbl  |  August 17, 2017 at 3:51 am

    With the current impasse in NI and the collapse of the power sharing agreement the situation is complicated in the short term. One of the demands of SF to enter an agreement is the legalization of marriage equality but the DUP is not budging.

    I am not aware whether during direct rule from the british government, the british government has the authority to legalize marriage equality in NI. I doubt it though.

  • 14. VIRick  |  August 16, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Northern Ireland: Belfast High Court Ruling on Marriage Equality Expected Tomorrow

    As seen from the Republic of Ireland:

    An historic judgment is expected tomorrow, 17 August 2017, at the High Court in Belfast when a judge rules on whether to allow same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. Three couples are challenging the current law in Northern Ireland with a two-pronged legal process.

    Shannon Sickles and Grainne Close, the first women to have a civil partnership in the north, and Christopher and Henry Flanagan-Kane, the first men have a civil partnership, are challenging, by judicial review, the assembly's repeated refusal to legislate in favor of same-sex marriage. The same two couples broke legal ground in 2005 by becoming the first to enter into same-sex civil unions in the UK.

    A third couple involved in the action have had their identities anonymized at the High Court. Known by Petition X, they were married in England in 2014 but live in Northern Ireland. Their challenge is to the current law which re-defines same-sex marriages entered into in England and Wales and downgrades them to civil-partnerships in Northern Ireland. The legal process for this procedure was established in 2013, following negotiations between the British government and the Northern Ireland Assembly. Successfully overturning this 2013 rule would mean that same-sex marriages are recognized in Northern Ireland for the first time.

    Both cases have been under consideration for almost two years by Mr. Justice O’Hara and are being dealt with at the same time because of the close nature of the two issues.

    Ms Sickles said the case she and Ms Close are taking with the Flanagan-Kanes is "distinct" from that of the anonymized petition. "Our case is distinct in that winning this is about bringing same-sex marriage to all couples in Northern Ireland," she said. "We're looking for same-sex couples to be able to get married in Northern Ireland, not specifically for a marriage which happened in another jurisdiction to be recognized."

    Both judgments are expected tomorrow afternoon, 17 August 2017.

  • 15. VIRick  |  August 16, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Northern Ireland: Judgment Due on Challenges to Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

    The view from Belfast, datelined 17 August 2017:

    Judgment is due later (in the day) in two landmark legal challenges against Northern Ireland's ban on same-sex marriage. Mr Justice O'Hara will rule on two separate cases that were heard together due to the similarities of the arguments.

    In the first case, two couples in civil partnerships, Grainne Close and Shannon Sickles, plus Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kane, argued the region's prohibition on same-sex marriage breached their human rights. Both couples were, respectively, the first and second in the UK to enter into a civil partnership after Northern Ireland became the first part of the UK to make that option available in December 2005. They took a case against Stormont's Department of Finance and Personnel, which regulates the region's marriage laws, on grounds that the ban contravenes entitlements to marriage and a family life under the European Convention on Human Rights. Stormont's Attorney-General, John Larkin, argued against the legal challenge.

    In the second case, known as Petition X due an anonymity order, two men who married in England in 2014 are attempting to get their marriage union recognized as such in Northern Ireland. Their marriage was changed to a civil partnership in law when they moved to Northern Ireland. Their solicitor, Ciaran Moynagh, said a successful challenge would result in the first-ever recognition of a same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

  • 16. VIRick  |  August 16, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Baltimore Removed 4 Confederate Memorials While Racists Were Sleeping

    Last night, 15 August 2017, the city of Baltimore removed four Confederate monuments. The landmarks removed were a monument to Confederate Soldiers and Sailors, the Confederate Women’s Monument, the Roger B. Taney Monument, and a Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson Monument.

    Taney was the Supreme Court justice who delivered the "Dred Scott" decision, where the court found that African-Americans were not citizens and therefore had no rights under the Constitution. Jackson and Lee were Confederate generals during the Civil War.

    Taney, at least, was a native of Maryland, but it seems quite strange and out-of-place that the other 3 monuments were ever erected in a state that did not secede.

    According to the SPLC, there are 718 Confederate-related monuments and statues in various locations, nearly 300 of which are in Georgia, Virginia, or North Carolina. If we subtract the one just destroyed in Durham, and the 4 removed in Baltimore from the total, that still leaves 713 yet to be removed/disposed.

  • 17. Randolph_Finder  |  August 17, 2017 at 8:10 am

    To a Marylander, it actually does make sense. Maryland was a slave state and was *incredibly* divided over the subject. One of Lincoln's first arguably illegal acts had to keep the Maryland Legislature from meeting in order to consider secession. The Marylanders that joined the military were split about 2/3 Union and 1/3 Confederate, including CSA general George H. Steuart. Maryland gave more soldiers to the Confederacy than Florida and in the 1860 election Abraham Lincoln finished Fourth!

    Maryland today looks like a Northern State because of the significant growth of Baltimore in the last half of the 19th and first half of the 20th century in the mold of Philadelphia or Buffalo and the incredible growth of the two counties bordering DC (Montgomery and Prince George's) in the last half of the 20th. In 1994 at the height of the Republican Revolution, the Maryland Gubernatorial race was won by the Democrat who won *only* Montgomery, PG and the City of Baltimore.

    Even the state flag is a compromise between the flags of the Maryland Union Regiments which used the Yellow and Black Calvert device and the Maryland Confederate Regiments who used the Red and White counterchanged cross. However both go back *much* farther into Maryland History, to the point where I have never heard of an effort to change the flag to remove the Red and White. (In short, as long as the entire flag is used, it is at *worst* a many sides argument)

  • 18. VIRick  |  August 16, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Maryland: Frederick County School Board Sued over Trans Policy

    On 11 August 2017, a federal lawsuit was filed in the District Court of Maryland by a 15-year-old girl under the pseudonym Mary Smith, and her disgruntled mother, identified as Jane Doe, against the Frederick County Board of Education and Superintendent Theresa Alban, according to the "Frederick News-Post." The lawsuit argues that a policy approved in June 2017 by the Frederick County Board of Education violates the girl’s fundamental right to bodily privacy, and her mother’s fundamental parental rights regarding the care and upbringing of her child.

    The policy allows students to choose the restroom based on their gender identity, as well as to participate in sports that are consistent with their gender identity. It would also allow students the opportunity to room with others according to their gender identity.

    Board of Education President Brad Young told WFMD in June that the guidelines have been issued to each school regarding the treatment of transgender students, and adopting a policy would put this practice in writing. “This is in practice what Frederick County Public Schools have been doing for the past six years, and now we’re putting into place a policy to formalize it,” he said.

    He said the policy would not infringe upon the rights of other students. Young told WFMD that when it comes to bathroom use, students can use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity, even if it’s not their birth gender. But accommodations are made for students who don’t feel comfortable going to the restroom with someone whose gender differs from their own. “They have just as much right to feel comfortable as everyone else,” he said. “And if they have those apprehensions, they would be entitled to use separate facilities that would be private.”

  • 19. Elihu_Bystander  |  August 17, 2017 at 6:01 am

    If anyone can find a free link to the complaint in Smith v Frederick County Board of Education, please post it. I would like to read it. I found one but it is a legal site with a pay wall. The case number is 1:17-cv-02302 Maryland District Court.

  • 20. VIRick  |  August 17, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Elihu, here's what I found, on a site which claims to provide 14 days for free (but actually doesn't), for 1:17-cv-02302 Maryland District Court, indeed, the correct case filing number:

    However, note the odd title they've given to the case, as apparently pseudonyms for plaintiffs are not legally permissible (or could well still be in process of proper legal verification): "v. Board of Education Of Frederick County, Maryland et al." It's as if there's no real plaintiff,– which I suspect actually matches the truth of the matter.

    Exhibit A – Declaration of Mary Smith – Minor – FILED UNDER SEAL,
    Exhibit B – Declaration of Jane Doe – FILED UNDER SEAL

  • 21. VIRick  |  August 16, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    Australia: Senator to Trigger Same-Sex Marriage Vote

    Per Rex Wockner and Australian Associated Press, datelined 16 August 2017:

    A crossbench senator has vowed to use federal government legislation amending marriage laws to force a vote on same-sex marriage. Nick Xenophon Team senator, Skye Kakoschke-Moore, has circulated amendments to government legislation, which makes minor and technical changes to several different laws, including the Marriage Act, in order to legalize same-sex marriage.

    The legislation was due to be debated on Wednesday, 16 August 2017, but the Senate ran out of time. "This will come back up though, and in the meantime, I urge all parties to use this opportunity for parliamentarians to do the job we were elected to do," the senator said in a statement. "We believe that there should be a free vote of the parliament."

    I understand the last sentence, and thus, the motivation. But can someone please translate the rest of this article for me from "Strine?"

  • 22. allan120102  |  August 16, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    Breaking Veracruz might become the third state to get same sex marriage this year if a federal judge invalidates the same sex marriage ban, something I thought only the supreme court may do, Looks like I was wrong or maybe because Veracruz had already pass there amparo limit so its ban was easier to struck down.
    The president of the Jarochos LGBTI Community of the city of Veracruz, Guillermo Izacur Maldonado, announced that an amparo was filed against the governor Miguel Ángel Yunes Linares and the local deputies for his refusal to reform Article 4 of the Constitution Local policy and 75 of the Civil Code to institute equal marriage in the entity.

    The representative of the LGBTI community stated that the amparo suit was filed on July 20 before the Fourth District Court with residence in Boca de Rio, which was admitted and was registered with file number 641/2017.

    "The court answers that the claim is already admitted, is already admitted and we will have the hearing on September 7 at 9 am, is the last hearing to see if we win, We filed it because the fourth constitutional article and article 75 of the Civil Code are violations of the community, what we want is to annul Article 75 of the Civil Code, "he said.

    The interviewee said that lesbian-gay couples will be able to marry in the event that the demand for amparo is won, where the government secretary and the director general of the Official Gazette of the State Government .

    Guillermo Izacur indicated that Veracruz would become the fourth state of the country that would institute egalitarian marriages in the event that the Judiciary of the Federation gives them the reason in the amparo filed last month.

    "All this is a violation, it is not possible for us to continue lodging requests for protection whenever a couple wants houses, it is very expensive and waiting for the case to be resolved, it is 45 days, another 20 days, 10 days, so we Have brought, then it is not possible that we are again in retreat, "he concluded.…

  • 23. allan120102  |  August 17, 2017 at 7:23 am

    We loose in NI i am pretty angry and sad at the moment. I cant believe he rule against us. Couples in NI will still be left out and have there marriage not recognize.

  • 24. guitaristbl  |  August 17, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    A somewhat expected loss in NI imo. There are chances of an appeal but a case based on ECHR precedent is weak given ECHR's stance on whether same sex marriage is a civil right or not. The judge seemed sympathetic as they went into detail on the legislative efforts noting the existence of a majority in the last vote that took place that was blocked by "special rules" that concern the special history of NI as a state.

    Now LGBT groups try to put pressure on Theresa May and Westminster to act and change the marriage legislation so that it applies to NI as Stormont is currentlynot functioning due to the collapse of the power sharing agreement. Unlikely given how the stability of the british government depends on the DUP.

    I cannot see a way forward to be honest. Northern Ireland is bound to be left without marriage equality for years to come unless there is an election and the DUP loses even more power and fails to be able to use the petition of concern to block ME even with the contribution of TUV and some UUP members which seems unlikely.

  • 25. scream4ever  |  August 17, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    If the situation in Australia is any indication, it could cause major problems soon, as the Liberal Party of Australia is poised to lose their majority coalitions in the next elections in 2019 because of their refusal to pass same-sex marriage.

  • 26. VIRick  |  August 17, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Pakistan: 2nd Transgender Rights Bill Introduced

    Two groundbreaking bills have been introduced in Pakistan that would provide expansive legal protections to the country’s transgender community. The Transgenders Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, already introduced, and the second one, The Transgenders Persons (Protection of Rights) Criminal Law Amendment Bill, would first provide non-discrimination protections for the trans community, plus then criminalize acts of violence and discrimination against them.

    “I am very hopeful that these bills will pass,” said Sabahat Rizvi, a lawyer and advocate within the community who has worked closely on developing the legislation. “If they pass, it will be a great success for the trans community in Pakistan, and rights will be available across the board.”

    While Pakistan’s constitution prevents discrimination based on sex, the goal of advocates is to expand its scope to gender expression and gender identity. “There was always a transgender community in Pakistan, but the movement was really limited,” said Qamar Naseem, a Pakistani advocate. Naseem works as program coordinator for Blue Veins, a collective working to empower women and trans people, and serves as a member of the advisory board of TransAction Alliance, a group that brings together the trans and intersex communities.

    Pakistan’s Supreme Court in 2009 ruled in favor of recognizing trans individuals as a third gender on identity cards. Now, almost 10 years later, the fight to enact that same kind of recognition has expanded. A governmental task force was formed less than two years ago to bring together trans individuals, advocates, and politicians to examine and guide the country’s focus on issues facing the trans community in Pakistan. “Despite the decisions recognizing khawaja sara as a gender, it was never reflected in our policies,” said Naseem.

    The bills’ first iteration were modeled after a law in India, and would have required a medical test and screening to determine an individual’s gender identity. “I raised objection to it because men and women don’t need certification to prove their genders, so why should we?” said Rizvi. “If a person is claiming that they are transgender and not guarding their identity, shouldn’t that be enough?” Thus, in the bills' current format, self-declaration is deemed sufficient.

    As a third gender, the term "Khawaja sara" matches with what is referred to in India as "hijra." I am uncertain of the Nepalese term, but that nation also legally recognizes the third gender.

  • 27. VIRick  |  August 17, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Allan, be on the alert! Tropical Storm Harvey has formed, and is located 200 miles east of Barbados (or 310 miles east of St. Lucia). It is projected to pass through Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent tomorrow, 18 August 2017, and move into the Caribbean. It will pass to our south early Saturday, 19 August, and continue westward across the Caribbean. By Monday afternoon, 21 August, and on into Tuesday, 22 August, it is to skirt along the north shore of Honduras and the Bay Islands, and right into Belize, continuing on through to Tabasco and Campeche.

  • 28. allan120102  |  August 17, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    Thanks Rick, I really appreciate it your concern, I am more worried for my family that is on La Ceiba in the north coast of Honduras. I was going to travel there in two weeks as I am still on classes here in the capital but with this storm in the coming days I am worried about them. Still I think Harvey is going to miss us to the north. As an astrophycist and meteorologist I am really concern for the partial eclipse that is suppose to happen on monday the day the storm is going to approach. Here the faculty has spend some money in making things pretty for visitors but it looks like its going to be cancelled sadly.

  • 29. JayJonson  |  August 18, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Best wishes for you and your family. May you all remain safe during the coming storms.

  • 30. VIRick  |  August 17, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    Australia: It's Getting Quite Exciting, as New Zealand Enters the Fray as the Grown-Up

    Per Rex Wockner:

    The New Zealand government has confirmed that Barnaby Joyce, Australia's Deputy Prime Minister, is still a New Zealand citizen. According to Australia's Constitution, only Australian citizens are eligible to run for Parliament. Those with dual citizenship, like Joyce, must renounce the other citizenship before being elected. Joyce did not do that,– and now, it's too late.

    The matter has been referred to Australia's High Court (along with 4 other instances, with 3 of them being Senators, 2 of whom have already resigned). If Joyce is booted (but given that he announced in Parliament that he's a New Zealand citizen, once the information against him was revealed, it would be difficult to see any other alternative happening), the governing coalition's one-seat House majority evaporates, and the Australian government falls.

    Joyce is an extremely smug ass-hat, opposed to marriage equality, so he needs to be gotten rid of. And this article points out how certain officials in the New Zealand government did some sleuthing to assist in making that happen.

    Note: New Zealand does not want Joyce back. They merely revealed certain factual evidence in order to disqualify him from serving in the Australian government, as it would appear that New Zealand has gotten completely fed up with the antics of the governing party in Australia. And of course, the antics in question are all about marriage equality.

    Additional note: The much less controversial Resources Minister also failed to renounce his dual Italian citizenship before running for office. So actually, if either are booted, the government falls, but getting Joyce booted is particularly delicious, especially since New Zealand has pro-actively taken the lead in putting Australia out of its misery.

    Needless to say, this matter has created quite a diplomatic row between the two. However, New Zealand is holding firm, and the Australian governing coalition is in utter disarray, on the verge of total collapse.

  • 31. SethInMaryland  |  August 18, 2017 at 10:47 am

    So that would force another election in Australia?

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

    This action taken by New Zealand to "out" Joyce as a New Zealand citizen, and thus disqualify him from even running for a seat in the Australian Parliament, will do it. Once he is booted from the House, the governing coalition loses its razor-thin one-seat majority, and new elections will need to be called. In the meantime, all the nonsense about the government spending a small fortune on a non-binding postal plebiscite vote on marriage equality is thrown out the window. And until the High Court rules (or Joyce resigns), the governing coalition in Australia is totally paralyzed. Any action they might take now can later be deemed as being illegal, as Parliament itself is illegally constituted.

    This dual citizenship issue is probably better understood by Canadians than those from the USA, as citizenship within the Commonwealth nations is "inherited." Take Joyce as an example. He, his mother, and his grandmother was all born in Tasmania as Australian-born citizens. However, Joyce's father was born in New Zealand, so Joyce automatically "inherits" New Zealand citizenship, as well. For ordinary citizens, this "inherited" dual citizenship matter is a non-issue.

    However, when running for a seat in Australia's Parliament, their Constitution sets a higher standard. Only Australian citizens are legally allowed to become members. Dual citizens, like Joyce (and others), must renounce the "inherited" citizenship by written legal means before running for a seat. Joyce did not do this, and now, it is way too late, as he is already the Deputy Prime Minister.

    Two Green Party Senators (one born in Canada and the other in New Zealand) have already resigned over this same issue. A third Senator, representing something called the One Nation Party, apparently has also "inherited" British citizenship. But it is the House majority (not the Senate) which determines the ruling majority. And there, the ruling party's Resources Minister (who already resigned his post, but not his seat) apparently has "inherited" Italian citizenship bestowed upon him by his mother. Plus, there's the smug-faced Joyce who attempted to hide his origins.

  • 33. scream4ever  |  August 18, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    There is now talk that this fiasco could force a new election by year's end, one which would likely result in Labor winning an outright majority They have promised to pass marriage equality within 100 days.

  • 34. VIRick  |  August 19, 2017 at 1:21 am

    I see I need to date-stamp New Zealand's revelation that the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Barnaby Joyce, is still a citizen of New Zealand, and thus ineligible to sit as a member of Australia's Parliament. This matter became public information on Thursday, 17 August 2017, (first revealed in New Zealand's Parliament, and then in Australia's on the same date) and has basically paralyzed Australia's Parliament from doing anything whatsoever from that moment on, given that this current Parliament is extremely likely to be deemed to be illegally constituted.

    One or the other of the dual-citizen House members need to resign, causing the governing coalition to fall, so new elections can be called. The Australian High Court is not scheduled to issue a ruling on the dual citizenship matter until some time next month (which I read as September). Constitutionally speaking, though, there appears to be little leeway in interpreting that dual citizens are ineligible to sit in Parliament, at which point, as the alternative, once the court has issued its ruling, the governing coalition then fails. So, the end result is the same. It is just a matter of the timing, and then following through with new elections.

    So, thank you, New Zealand, for exposing the current Australian Parliament as fraudulent, and as a direct result, for bringing marriage equality to Australia much sooner than most had recently anticipated.

  • 35. scream4ever  |  August 18, 2017 at 12:50 am

    If worst comes to worst, Governor Edwards should issue a new Executive Order regarding just employment and dump the state contracts since that seems to be the major point of contention.

  • 36. VIRick  |  August 18, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Irish PM to March with Canadian PM at Montreal Pride

    Ireland's Prime Minister will travel to Montreal this weekend, where he will become the first foreign head of government to march in a pride parade with a Canadian prime minister.

    Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will visit Canada from Saturday through Tuesday, 19-22 August 2017. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet with Mr. Varadkar, Ireland's first openly gay leader, on Sunday, 20 August 2017, when the two leaders will walk together in the Montreal pride parade.

  • 37. allan120102  |  August 19, 2017 at 11:50 am

    It is not necessary to make a reform to Article 300 of Civil Code of the State of Puebla, only civil registry judges will have to read it without the words "man and woman" when referring to marriage, as endorsed by the Supreme Court Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), affirmed the magistrate, Jose Ramón Cossío Diaz, in relation to the resolution that validates weddings between people of the same sex.

    It was the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH) that promoted the unconstitutionality action to eliminate a portion of the cited article in the Civil Code of the state and was until August 2 when they received a positive response. The struggle of the Lesbian, Gay, Transsexual and Bisexual community (LGTB) of Puebla carried out similar processes to obtain this right, but they had been rejected.

    If the judges accept the change, they can legally join people of the same gender or heterosexuals. "Then two people go, they appear before the civil registry, and at the moment the civil registry official has to abide by the disposition, the sentence of the Court and read the Civil Code as the Court is ordering him to read it," he said.

    After participating in the conference "Current Reflections on Legal Research," held at the Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla, recalled that the entity is not the only where gay weddings have been endorsed.

    Regarding the complaints of the new Accusatory Criminal Justice System, he said that in reality the nonconformities are focused on the insufficiency of investigative methods in the actions of police, agents, experts and ministers.

    He mentioned that these indications can not be blamed on the new system and can not be called a "revolving door" because if the judge who decides the cases determines that the person should continue their process in jail, so it will do with legal arguments.

  • 38. allan120102  |  August 19, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Colombia looks like men marry more than women in Colombia compare to other countries were women ss marriages are more common,
    Figures from the Superintendent of Notaries show that in Colombia 417 links were held in the first half of this year.


    A total of 417 same-sex marriages were carried out in Colombia during the first half of 2017, according to the figures provided by the Superintendent of Notaries, the more the men choose that union.

    Until last June, 233 male couples and 184 female couples married a notary in the country. These figures are given after 16 months since the ruling of the Constitutional Court that enabled these unions became effective.

    The balance indicates that Cundinamarca, including Bogotá, with 132 marriages, Antioquia with 100 and Valle del Cauca with 54 are the departments that register the highest figures of marriages of the same sex. The regions of the country where this type of unions have been least present are Vichada, San Andrés and Providencia, Putumayo and Vaupés.

    According to the superintendent of Notaries and Registry, Jairo Alonso Mesa Guerra, "with marriages between same-sex couples happens the same as with those of heterosexual couples and is that December is the month that more people get married, while in January Figure is significantly reduced. However, for this specific case, it should be noted that between February and June 2017 a record of 70 to 75 marriages was maintained in the notaries of the country.

  • 39. VIRick  |  August 19, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    North Carolina: Another Confederate Monument Gone

    Protesters in Durham NC have convinced privately-operated Duke University to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee which had stood in a pantheon of "heroes" lining the front façade of the Duke University chapel, each in its own niche. As a rationale for its removal, on 18 August 2017, the university cited its desire "to preserve the integrity of the chapel" after the statue itself had been singled out and severely vandalized. So, with its complete removal in the wee hours this morning, pedestal and all, Robert E. Lee will no longer be on display in Durham, even in a vandalized state.

  • 40. Fortguy  |  August 20, 2017 at 12:01 am

    My biggest gripe about Confederate monuments is that most of them really do not rate preservation in museums or anywhere else. Although there was a big spurt in monument creations in the 1950s-60s during the Civil Rights era, the overwhelming growth and placements in these monuments happened during the 1910s-20s. This was a period after Reconstruction when the South felt financially secure to go on such spending sprees, unleash a litany of suppression laws against African-Americans, and the Klan was bold and popular enough to organize a march of thousands down Pennsylvania Avenue in DC.

    During this earlier period, local governments did not often commission renowned or notable artists, but instead purchased these statues, literally by mail order as if from the Sears catalog, from a handful of foundries and stone masons mostly cynically located in the North. As a result, these statues, if you've seen enough of them, tend to take on a certain cookie-cutter quality. Most commonly, you have your general riding on a galloping horse, a soldier standing at attention with his rifle, or some naked Greco-Roman or angelic god-like figure that somehow was supposed to place a positive face on the Southern values of slavery and treason such as this weird guy.

    These statues were built to be large and intimidating. Placing them in museums, no matter how much text you erect around them to attempt to explain them in some sort of historical context, will not provide proper equivalency. Most appropriate would be to send the cookie-cutters to the smelter and fashion new monuments that speak to the evils of slavery: the millions who toiled without rest every day of their lives until the day they died for the master's profit and the South's comfort, the unhealing scars from the brutal beatings they endured, and the unbearable heartbreak of the separation of their spouses and children from them into sale as just so much property never to be seen or heard from again.

    Until imposing monuments celebrating the lives of such slaves are on every single courthouse square and city hall grounds everywhere throughout the South, no Confederate monument can ever be displayed in any sort of historically proper context.

  • 41. bayareajohn  |  August 20, 2017 at 10:13 am

    About that weird guy statue:
    In a 1908 editorial, the Chronicle explained what the statue tried to convey.

    "With brawny arms folded, and standing in majestic dignity, gazing into the future, the angelic figure seems to say: 'The past is now the irrevocable past; that which has been written is written; the record that has been made is closed and clasped, and radiant with glory upon it, a great people stands without apology, without explanation, looking with abiding faith to that future wherein the cause I symbolize will be vindicated.' "

  • 42. davepCA  |  August 20, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    …So the "message" this is supposed to be conveying would be basically "slavery – oh well, shit happens. At least things turned out okay for the white people who put this statue here". Good grief. Bulldoze it. Pronto.

  • 43. bayareajohn  |  August 20, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    I feel the message is worse than that. More like, "Beaten for now, but we'll be back and better than ever. Make Slavery Great Again!"

  • 44. Fortguy  |  August 20, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    The statue of weird guy is entitled "Spirit of the Confederacy" and is located in Sam Houston Park in Houston despite the fact that Sam Houston was a fervent Unionist and was forced from his governorship out of refusal to lead the state into secession. (Sadly, he also owned a small number of slaves.)

    Mayor Sylvester Turner has asked city staff to inventory Confederate monuments on municipal properties so the city can begin to figure out what to do with them. Weird guy, though, already has been singled out for special scorn from his neighbors.

    John D. Harden and Rebecca Elliott, Houston Chronicle: Tensions put spotlight on Confederate monument in Houston park

  • 45. davepCA  |  August 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    … and speaking of 'statues such as this weird guy', take a look at THIS nightmarish confederate monstrosity!… (and the article is hilarious!)

  • 46. Fortguy  |  August 20, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    I certainly understand why Nashville wants nothing to do with the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue. Perhaps his statue could replace every other statue at the state capitol in Montgomery. The wild look in his eyes resembles those of the legislators who enter therein.

  • 47. VIRick  |  August 20, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    "…. 25-foot fiberglass monument to American racism …."

    This modern fiberglass insanity, purportedly dedicated to Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who following the Civil War, then became the first "Grand Wizard" of the KKK, can be set on fire and melted down into an unrecognizable glob. Short of that, a sledge hammer will effectively shatter fiberglass.

  • 48. VIRick  |  August 20, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Prior to the recent horror show in Charlottesville VA, I had been very dismissive of Confederate "symbols," especially the monuments, because, after all, they are nothing more than that, mere symbols which few people pay much attention to, and that making a major fuss about these silly symbols seemed as if it were simply a distracting side-issue (and in truth, it still remains a distracting side-issue, although less of a side-issue and much more of a distraction).

    However, following the events in Charlottesville, something snapped. I believe a lot of it had to do with the hideousness of the opposition's viciousness over the mere thought of the city's plan to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from a public space within that city. The haters crawled out of the sewers from places as far away as Nevada and Oregon to do their armed intimidation by gathering there by the thousands, while hiding behind their shields, helmets, and tiki torches.

    Suddenly, since the opposition appeared to place so much stock in "defending their symbols," it became quite apparent that all these monuments and statues glorifying the Confederacy should have been removed years ago (or never installed in public spaces in the first instance), but since so many are still there on display, now need to be removed in their totality as rapidly as possible. They have become more than symbols, as they are now being used as hateful rallying points, which in turn, makes them flash points for violence.

    However, as is being shown in Durham NC, where an insane state law won't allow removal, pre-emptive anonymous vandalism of said monuments and statues appears to hasten the authorities' decision to remove said offensive objects, once damaged.

    And just for the record, Robert E. Lee's slave plantation grounds has been totally and permanently "occupied" by thousands and thousands of brave anti-Nazi and anti-Fascist fighters, all quietly lined up, row upon row, after row. And they will not be moved, and are totally steadfast in their complete "occupation." The Lee plantation grounds, in fact, are now called Arlington National Cemetery.

  • 49. davepCA  |  August 20, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    They are indeed powerful symbols, and they have nothing to do with 'honoring heritage' or 'preserving history'. Many of them were not erected until the 1930s or 1940s when groups like the KKK were at their strongest, and in some cases were not erected until well into the Civil Rights era. They have always been a powerful symbol, not of WHAT, but of WHO – WHO had the power to place the monuments in public spaces, and WHO were their oppressed victims who were forced to put up with this. They have been a symbol that racist white people still called the shots in society and in the government and a symbol which showed that they could impose their power and will onto those they chose to oppress.

  • 50. allan120102  |  August 20, 2017 at 10:24 am

    The Movimiento de Liberación Homosexual (Movilh de Liberación Homosexual – Movilh) announced that the Government will present next August 28 the project of equal marriage, an initiative that will also include filiation and homoparental adoption.

    The leader of the organization, Rolando Jiménez, stated that "the invitations to the presentation of the bill in La Moneda were already addressed to the IACHR and from next week delivered to more people, in the context of a list being prepared And that considers both the suggestions of the Government, as ours. "

    The legal document, in addition to incorporating filiation and adoption, included the process of artificial insemination, since this point is estimated from the agreement reached between Movilh and the government following the lawsuit filed before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights The absence of the union between people of the same sex in our country.

    Of course, it is still in doubt if the body will approve the body of the initiative. "We will communicate to the executive if we will agree on the contents of the bill," said Jiménez, arguing that "our more specific proposals will work only on a pre-draft law and not on drafts or minutes."

  • 51. scream4ever  |  August 20, 2017 at 10:37 am

    I'm still hopeful that it will be approved.

  • 52. VIRick  |  August 20, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Chile: The Government's Marriage Equality Bill

    Per CNN Chile:

    En la semana del 28 de agosto 2017, el Gobierno ingresaría al Congreso el planamiento legislativo del matrimonio igualitario.

    During the week of 28 August 2017, the Government will send to Congress the legislative plan for marriage equality.

  • 53. VIRick  |  August 21, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Chile: "Abortion for 3 Reasons" Approved by Constitutional Court

    Triunfo de La Moneda: Esta mañana, 21 de agosto 2017, el Tribunal Constitucional da la luz verde a "aborto por 3 causales" y rechaza los requerimientos de la derecha.

    Triumph of Government House: This morning, 21 August 2017, the Constitutional Court gave the green light to "abortion for 3 reasons" and rejected the requirements of the right.

    With that done, next on the agenda:

    La Presidenta de Chile presentaría el proyecto de ley para el matrimonio igualitario, adopción homoparental, e identidad de genero los próximos dias.

    The President of Chile will present the bill for marriage equality, same-sex adoption, and gender identity in the coming days.

    Per R. Jiménez Pérez at MOVILH:

    Hoy a las 4 de la tarde, 21 de agosto 2017, tenemos una reunión en La Moneda para ver detalles del proyecto. El proyecto debería incluir adopción y filiación. Este es un compromiso de Estado y no del gobierno de turno. El Tribunal Constitucional no podría acoger demanda en relación al proyecto de matrimonio igualitario. La ley de identidad de género tiene prioridad a la ley de matrimonio igualitario.

    Today at 4 pm, 21 August 2017, we have a meeting at Government House to see the details of the bill. The bill must include adoption and filiation (assisted insemination). This is a state commitment and not one from the government of the moment. The Constitutional Court could not accept a suit against the marriage equality bill. The gender identity bill has priority over the marriage equality bill.

    Remember that peculiarity in Chilean law whereby the Constitutional Court must first approve any legislatively-passed proposal for its constitutionality before in it is finally signed into law and then becomes effective, just as has been illustrated above for the abortion bill. In turn, we can expect that same required detour with regard to the marriage equality proposal, but it might prove to be a very pro forma ruling, given the comment immediately above.

    Note: The historic Government House in Santiago is referred to as La Moneda (The Money) because during the colonial period the same building once housed the government treasury.

  • 54. ianbirmingham  |  August 20, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Roy Moore has a 51-32 lead in Alabama's US Senate Republican primary runoff

  • 55. VIRick  |  August 20, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Montreal Pride Parade

    Today, 20 August 2017, Montreal held its big Pride festival, Fierté Canada. The headliners leading the march, from left to right in several news photos taken at the event, were: Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, and the totally hot First Husband of Ireland, Dr. Matthew Barrett, in a tight-fitting pink shirt and dark shorts, whose hotness is almost eclipsed by that of Justin who went one step further than the others by proudly waving the trans flag, as only Justin could manage, while everyone else carried on with the rainbow flag.

  • 56. JayJonson  |  August 21, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Ian Thorpe and his partner Ryan Channing urge Australians to register and vote for marriage equality in the postal plebiscite. Polls currently show marriage equality leading by a 63-30 margin, with 67% of those enrolled definitely planning to vote, and another 15% likely to vote.

  • 57. VIRick  |  August 21, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    US Commission on Civil Rights Opposes Trump Trans Military Ban

    In a recently released statement, a federal civil rights panel has criticized Trump‘s decision to ban transgender soldiers from the military, and is urging “this Administration to recommit to the full protection of civil rights for all persons in our country.” The US Commission on Civil Rights called the move, reportedly done to make the far-right happy, as well as due to Trump’s fear that he might lose money for his proposed border wall, “a message that fosters and encourages prejudice.”

    “Thousands of transgender troops currently serve in the US military and thousands more have served and given their lives for the country throughout our history,” the statement reads. “These military men and women honor our country and defend all its citizens with their service. The mere announcement of a ban on transgender military service harms all Americans by sending a message that fosters and encourages prejudice, inconsistent with our core national values,” it continues. “If implemented, the ban would further harm Americans, and weaken our defense, by enshrining unequal treatment of Americans based on rank stereotype,” Chair Catherine E. Lhamon said.

    Trump is also said to have made the announcement of the ban on Twitter in order to keep his lawyers from continually telling him what it was a bad idea.

  • 58. VIRick  |  August 21, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    California: New Federal Case Involving Employment Discrimination

    On 17 August 2017, in a new federal case, "Dominguez v. Cherry Creek Mortgage," a married California same-sex couple has filed suit against a former employer for refusing to provide spousal health insurance.

    "In December 2016, Defendant Cherry Creek Mortgage Company (“Cherry Creek”) informed its employee, Judith Dominguez, that Cherry Creek would no longer provide health insurance benefits to her spouse solely because Ms. Dominguez and her lawful spouse, Patricia Martinez, are both women. Moreover, Cherry Creek told Ms. Dominguez that the company would be retroactively retracting the health benefits they had provided to her wife for the prior year. When Dominguez attempted to re-enroll [her wife] the following year, her application was denied because Cherry Creek only covers 'spouses who are in a legal union between one man and one woman.'"

    The case was filed in District Court for the Central District of California and assigned to Judge Virginia A. Phillips. The complaint is linked here:

  • 59. VIRick  |  August 21, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    U. of Texas at Austin: 4 Confederate Statues Gone in Middle of the Night

    The University of Texas at Austin abruptly took down four Confederate statues, including one of Gen. Robert E. Lee, which has been located on a prominent part of the campus, beginning from 11 PM Sunday, and continuing into early Monday morning, 21 August 2017. The university's president ordered the immediate removal of the statues, saying that Confederate monuments, which were praised as "beautiful" by Trump, have become "symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism."

    In a written statement, UT's president, Gregory L. Fenves, announced that four Confederate statues depicting Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston, John Reagan, and James Stephen Hogg were being removed from the Main Mall following discussions with student leaders, alumni, and staff after the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

    "Last week, the horrific displays of hatred at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville shocked and saddened the nation," Fenves wrote. "These events make it clear, now more than ever, that Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism. Erected during the period of Jim Crow laws and segregation, the statues represent the subjugation of African Americans," Fenves wrote. "That remains true today for white supremacists who use them to symbolize hatred and bigotry. The historical and cultural significance of the Confederate statues on our campus — and the connections that individuals have with them — are severely compromised by what they symbolize," Fenves said.

  • 60. Fortguy  |  August 21, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    In truth, only three of the statues removed at UT-Austin depicted Confederates: Lee; Johnston, a Texan who was a Confederate general killed during the war; and Reagan, a Texan who was postmaster general for the Confederacy.

    The fourth statue depicts former Gov. Jim Hogg who was a child too young to fight during the Civil War. Gov. Hogg's statue is expected to be restored to some place of prominence on campus. His statue was only removed for the time being because it was part of the overall statuary as the Confederates.

    The three Confederate statues will be moved to the Briscoe Center for American History on campus where they will join a statue of Jefferson Davis removed from an outdoor campus mall two years ago following the Charleston church massacre.

    Just hours after the removal of the UT-Austin statues, officials at the University of Houston announced that they are renaming an on-campus residency complex. UH's Calhoun Lofts are technically named for their location along Calhoun Street. However, the street is named for former Vice President John C. Calhoun who was an especially fervent supporter of slavery.

    Matthew Watkins, The Texas Tribune: UT-Austin removes Confederate statues in the middle of the night

  • 61. VIRick  |  August 21, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Fortguy, was former Texas Governor Jim Hogg the same clown who named his 3 daughters, Ima, Ura, and Bea? If so, that ought to be reason enough to permanently banish any statuary of him.

  • 62. Fortguy  |  August 21, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    He named one of his daughters Ima. The others are all fake names that have been a century-old joke. Ima was named after a character in a poem written by the governor's brother.

    Hogg's governorship boils down to his populist anti-trust fights against the railroads and Standard Oil. He successfully had the state's constitution amended to create the Texas Railroad Commission and provide for the election of its commissioners. Jim Hogg County around Hebbronville is named after him. Hogg was also the state's first governor born within Texas.

    Ima went on to become a very well-liked philanthropist and arts patron in her time. She helped design Bayou Bend, a museum now operated by the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. She donated her estate, the Varner-Hogg Plantation, to the state which now holds it as a state park.

  • 63. VIRick  |  August 21, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Houston: Man Charged with Trying to Blow Up Confederate Statue

    On Saturday night, 19 August 207, police caught a man before he managed to do anything to a Confederate statue in Houston, but charging documents, issued on Monday, 21 August, say he had nitroglycerin when officers found him. The man, Andrew Schneck, was spotted by a ranger kneeling in the bushes near a statue of Confederate Maj. Richard Dowling on Saturday evening at Houston's Hermann Park. The ranger reported seeing Schneck with two small boxes, according to the Department of Justice, and ordered him to put them down.

    The statue of Dowling that Schneck is accused of trying to blow up was carved from white marble in 1905, according to the Hermann Park Conservancy. The Conservancy describes Dowling — who with a small group of men warded off an attempted Union invasion of Texas — as a "local Civil War soldier."

    Schneck is facing federal charges because the statue is located in a park that received federal funding.

Having technical problems? Visit our support page to report an issue!