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Legal orgs ask federal district court to block President Trump’s ban on transgender servicemembers

Transgender Rights

The Pentagon. Attribution: Wikipedia
The Pentagon. Attribution: Wikipedia
In Doe v. Trump, a challenge to President Trump’s ban on transgender military servicemembers filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), the two LGBT legal organizations have asked a federal district court to block the ban from going into effect pending the outcome of the case.

Declarations in support of the motion from “top military officials from the Army, Navy, and Air Force” are included along with the motion.

News outlets like USA Today had reported that Secretary of Defense Mattis had stalled implementation of the ban, but those reports were incorrect.

The NCLR press release is here.

The filings, which include the motion and supporting documents, can be found here.


  • 1. VIRick  |  August 31, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Israel: Government Ends Opposition to Same-Sex Couples Adopting

    On Tuesday, 29 August 2017, the Israeli government formally ended its opposition to adoption rights for same-sex couples. "Haaretz," an Israeli newspaper, cited media reports that indicate the Israeli Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Social Services told the State Attorney’s Office “it has no objection to the practice.”

    Currently, same-sex couples in Israel are able to adopt children, but "Haaretz" reports they can “only adopt children for whom no adoptive heterosexual married couple can be found.” The newspaper notes gay and lesbian couples must wait longer to adopt than those who are heterosexual, and Israeli law considers adoptive parents who are of the same sex “individual adoptive parents.”

    The Association of Israeli Gay Fathers and the Israel Religious Action Center challenged the law in a petition with the Israeli Supreme Court it filed against both the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Social Services, and Attorney-General Avichai Mendelblit. "Haaretz" on Tuesday reported the ministry’s new adoption criteria “will address the potential parents’ suitability for a given child, regardless of sexual orientation.” The Knesset has to formally act on amending the country’s adoption law in order for the proposed regulations to take effect.

    “By acknowledging that same-sex couples are able to be parents and adopt, the Ministry of Social Services has straightened the line between experts and the Israeli public,” Chen Arieli, chair of the Aguda, the Israeli National LGBT Task Force, told the "Washington Blade" in a statement. “Now it’s time for members of the Knesset to do their part, and we expect them to change the law as soon as possible.”….

  • 2. VIRick  |  August 31, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Israel: Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Not a Right

    On 31 August 2017, the Supreme Court of Israel has ruled that same-sex marriage is not a right. The court’s judges unanimously rejected the Israeli Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Association’s case.

    The group had argued that the Basic Law of Human Dignity and Liberty should be interpreted to allow same-sex marriages. They had hoped that, at very least, the present law banning marriage equality would be ruled unconstitutional.

    Ruling on the case, Justices Elyakim Rubinstein said: “To all intents and purposes, Israeli civil law does not recognize same-sex marriage. Therefore, the petitioners’ request to have the civil court rule on something under the jurisdiction of the rabbinical courts, which applies under certain conditions, is not applicable here. Instead, request is based on establishing as an essential precondition that marriage between two individuals of the same gender exists in Israeli law, and it does not,” Rubenstein said.

    “In essence, the petitioners are asking the court to recognize same-sex marriage via court ruling, despite the fact that Israeli law does not recognize it. Regarding the possibility of recognizing marriages which are not performed under religious auspices, including same-sex marriage, there already is a ruling that such recognition is the purview of the legislative body.”….

  • 3. VIRick  |  August 31, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Chile: Regional Government Agencies Reiterate Bachelet's Main Message Nationwide

    Today, 31 August 2017, all day long, various regional governmental agencies have been reiterating the main points taken from Bachelet's speech, as well as her subsequent actions, relative to the signing ceremony, and the sending of the marriage equality bill to congress:

    "No es ético ni justo poner límites artificiosos al amor."

    "It is neither ethical nor just to place artificial limits on love."

    Per Sernam EG Atacama and Gobernación Provincial de Los Andes‏:

    Demanda histórica comienza a cumplirse. Presidenta M. Bachelet envía al Congreso proyecto de ley de matrimonio igualitario.

    Historical demand begins to be fulfilled. President M. Bachelet sends to Congress the marriage equality bill.

    Per Prodemu Biobío‏:

    Porque la igualdad no admite prejuicios, y el amor no es compatible con discriminaciones, el matrimonio igualitario elimina las diferencias.

    Because equality does not admit prejudice, and love is not compatible with discrimination, marriage equality eliminates the differences.

    Sernam EG Región Metropolitana:

    Por un Chile más inclusivo, el proyecto del matrimonio igualitario es un paso hacia el respeto, la diversidad, y el amor en todas sus formas.

    For a more inclusive Chile, the marriage equality bill is a step towards respect, diversity, and love in all its forms.

    Per Seremi, Región de Antofagasta:

    Encuentro de organizaciones de la diversidad sexual junto con el Intendente Víctor Flores sobre matrimonio igualitario en Antofagasta.

    Meeting of sexual diversity organizations along with Mayor Victor Flores on marriage equality in Antofagasta.

  • 4. VIRick  |  August 31, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Chile: Marriage Equality: A Map of the Capital District Vote in Congress

    Per Luis Larraín:

    Chile: Matrimonio Igualitario: Mapa del Voto de DC en Congreso

    There are 25 parliamentarians representing the Capital District in the Chilean Congress, 19 Deputies and 6 Senators. According to a count just undertaken on 31 August 2017 by "La Segunda," 12 (11/1) stated they are in favor, 7 (4/3) were unsure, 2 (1/1) were against, and 4 (3/1) did not respond.

  • 5. VIRick  |  August 31, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Malta: Official Confirmation: Marriage Equality Commences from 1 September 2017

    Per Rex Wockner:

    (ACT No. XXIII of 2017)

    Commencement Notice

    IN EXERCISE of the powers conferred by article 1(2) of the Marriage Act and other Laws (Amendment) Act, 2017, the Minister for European Affairs and Equality has established the 1st of September 2017 as the date when all the provisions of the said Act shall come into force.

    Reminder: Marriage equality commences in Germany from 1 October 2017.

  • 6. VIRick  |  September 1, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Malta: Marriage Equality Law Now in Effect

    The law that allows same-sex couples to legally marry in Malta took effect on Friday, 1 September 2017.

    Gabi Calleja, coordinator of the Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement, a local advocacy group, told the "Washington Blade" on Friday during a telephone interview that as of today, 1 September 2017, same-sex couples can now fill out a marriage application with local officials. However, Calleja also noted that there is a 6-week waiting period under Maltese law before they — and any other couple — can legally get married.

    With a 6-week waiting period, unlike Ireland or Portugal, Malta is apparently not interested in developing a weekend tourism /marriage /honeymoon business.

  • 7. VIRick  |  September 1, 2017 at 12:18 am

    India: First-Ever Transgender Beauty Queen Contest

    India has held its first-ever transgender beauty queen contest, Miss Trans Queen India 2017, and it was fabulous. Kolkata’s Nitasha Biswas triumphed over 15 other finalist competitors, each of whom represented a different Indian state, to win the inaugural event. The beauty queens were initially chosen from more than 1,500 applicants from all over India.

    The 26-year-old winner, who is studying to gain a Masters in Business Management in her home state, West Bengal, will now go on to represent India at the Miss International TransQueen in Thailand, in March 2018. The first runner-up, Loiloi from Manipur, will be sent to Miss Transsexual Australia next year. Organizers were searching for another international competition to send the second runner-up, Ragasya from Chennai.

  • 8. CrystaliaB  |  September 1, 2017 at 5:58 am

    Is anybody aware of in which District the filing was made? Hoping it's part of the 9th.

  • 9. Rick55845  |  September 1, 2017 at 8:25 am

    District of Columbia.

    From the info at the top of this thread:

    The filings, which include the motion and supporting documents, can be found here.

    The complaint is here:

  • 10. CrystaliaB  |  September 7, 2017 at 5:43 am

    Thank you!

  • 11. VIRick  |  September 1, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Up-Date on "Doe v. Trump"

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In "Doe v. Trump," the GLAD and NCLR federal lawsuit filed in District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the directive to reinstate a ban on military service by transgender individuals, the original suit filed on 9 August 2017, the Plaintiffs have now filed an amended complaint and an application for preliminary injunction. In addition, they ask for an expedited hearing on the preliminary injunction.

    The amended complaint adds additional plaintiffs and defendants and removes as defendants the US Navy and the Secretary of the Navy. It also reflects events that have occurred since the original complaint was filed, including the 25 August 2017 formal directive to the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security.

    The Amended Complaint, presumably filed on 31 August 2017, is here:
    (No, it's not. It's a bad link and has been removed.)

    The Application for Preliminary Injunction, filed 31 August 2017, is here:

    The Request for Expedited Hearing, also filed on 31 August 2017, is here:

  • 12. VIRick  |  September 1, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Indiana: Gender Marker Change Not Subject to Public Notice

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 10 August 2017, in two cases identified, respectively, as "In Re the Name Change of A.L.," and " In Re the Name Change of L.S.," but consolidated for purposes of appeal, the Indiana State Court of Appeals reversed a lower court's ruling that required publication of a transgender person's name change and change of gender marker.

    "We find as follows: (1) there is no statutory requirement to publish notice of intent to change one’s gender marker; (2) there is a statutory requirement to publish notice of intent to change one’s name, but that statute is explicitly subject to Administrative Rule 9; and (3) in this case, L.S. made the requisite showing under Administrative Rule 9, is entitled to have the record sealed, and is entitled to waive publication of notice of intent to change his name."

    The Opinion is here:

    Art Leonard's detailed background analysis to the two cases is here:

    First, the court pointed out that authority to change gender markers on birth certificates stemmed from its own prior ruling in 2014, not from the statute governing name changes. Instead, it had relied on a different statute that authorized the state’s health department to “make additions to or corrections in a certificate of birth on receipt of adequate documentary evidence.”

    As the legislature had not reacted to the 2014 decision by enacting any new requirements, and there was no specific statutory requirement for advance publication in a newspaper of an intention to request a correction to a birth certificate regarding gender, “it was erroneous to create a requirement where none exists.” As far as the Court of Appeals was concerned, when a petitioner establishes that their request is made in good faith and without fraudulent or unlawful purpose, which the trial court had found to be true as to L.S. and A.L., “no further requirements need to be met and the petition should be granted.”

  • 13. VIRick  |  September 1, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Richard Posner Announces Retirement

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Richard A. Posner, one of the best known appellate judges in the nation, is retiring from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Saturday, 2 September 2017. Posner, a teacher and a prolific writer on and off the bench, has served on the Chicago-based 7th Circuit for nearly 36 years.

    “I am proud to have promoted a pragmatic approach to judging during my time on the Court, and to have had the opportunity to apply my view that judicial opinions should be easy to understand and that judges should focus on the right and wrong in every case,” Posner said in a statement.“I look forward to continuing to teach and publish, with a particular focus on social justice reform.”

    A leading proponent of the law-and-economics school of thought, Posner was widely regarded as a conservative when he was appointed to the bench in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan. He called for fewer restrictions on domestic surveillance, wrote the majority opinion declaring an Illinois ban on carrying weapons in public to be unconstitutional and dissented from a decision striking down an Illinois law that barred citizens from audio-recording police in public.

    But Posner also supported the legalization of marijuana and wrote opinions in favor of abortion rights and same-sex marriage. While one of the most — if not the most — frequently cited federal appellate judges in the United States, Posner had no interest in serving on the US Supreme Court. “It’s not a real court,” Posner said in a 2014 interview with the Daily Law Bulletin. “It’s a political court.”

    In addition to writing more than 3,300 opinions, Posner has written a slew of books and articles on a wide range of topics, including adoption, domestic intelligence, public intellectuals, President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, and the ballot recount in the 2000 presidential election. Posner also pitched in for his colleagues on the US District Court, serving as a trial judge in criminal and civil cases.

    Chief Judge Diane P. Wood of the 7th Circuit described Posner’s impact on the court as “immeasurable.” “For more than 50 years, Judge Posner has been one of the leading public intellectuals in the United States — indeed, in the world,” Wood said in a statement. “He is one of the most distinguished people to ever sit on the federal bench. His opinions have had an impact around the world. He has produced an unparalleled body of scholarship — books, articles, and public commentary — covering virtually every legal topic that can be imagined.”

    Posner, 78, earned a bachelor’s degree in English at Yale University in 1959 and then graduated from Harvard Law School in 1962.

  • 14. davepCA  |  September 1, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    “It’s not a real court,” Posner said in a 2014 interview with the Daily Law Bulletin. “It’s a political court.”

    Whoa!! SCOTUS just got 'Posnered' ! : )

  • 15. FredDorner  |  September 2, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    A shame that Trump will be naming Posner's replacement.

  • 16. Zack12  |  September 2, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Along with so many other judges, many of whom ARE moderate to liberal judges.
    Sad to say but I do see Democrats doing expanding of the courts next time they are in power.
    Wish it didn't have to go that far.

  • 17. allan120102  |  September 2, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    I an quite sad that Trump will be the one to replace such an amazing job. I figure it will be with a bigot. Anyhow looks like the 7th court of appeals which is a moderate court will take a turn to the right. The worst court of appeals to be Lgbt right now are the 8th, 6th and 5th and it looks like the 7th, DC court and the 11th might turn to the right too.

  • 18. Zack12  |  September 2, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    The 3rd Circuit and 2nd as well.
    Sad to say but by the time all is said and done, only the 9th,4th and 1st will have liberal majorities.
    Put it bluntly, I do fear many of the rights we've gained will be lost and that this site will be needed once again.

  • 19. scream4ever  |  September 2, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Fortunately some major LGBT cases will be reaching the Supreme Court this term just in time. I don't predict we will lose any rights but we may not be able to rely on the courts for the foreseeable future.

  • 20. Zack12  |  September 2, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    The bigots aka Federalist Society members say that is how it should be done.
    As far as they are concerned, no minority group has the right to go to the courts for help on anything.
    If we want change, we have to go to the legislature or the voters, regardless of the fact in states like AL, UT, ID, MS, OK that will take another 50-100 years.
    They are all about tyranny of the majority.

  • 21. guitaristbl  |  September 3, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    The 11th ? Obama has stacked the 11th with 5 judges and Clinton still has 3 (2 with Mull retiring) and the court has no vacancies after trump put Newsom on there. At best he may get to replace Tjoflat as well who has apparently decided to break all records.

  • 22. VIRick  |  September 1, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Hurricane Irma: Shit Is Starting to Get Real

    Harvey is barely over, and now, Hurricane Irma, although still quite some distance away, is heading straight at us with 120 mph winds, currently a Category 3. This time around, my escape plan is a plane ticket, already purchased and confirmed for 12 September. The problem: That's a few days after the projected arrival of the hurricane to our area, meaning that the date is too late, even if aircraft were to be flying, a fact which at this moment is also doubtful.

    However, I am really not interested in finding out whether all those retrofitted 5-inch bolts will continue to hold the walls and roof of the house together (but there may not be any other choice). Also, letting the hurricane force winds roar through the house in order to save it, is also a sodden nightmare of flying projectiles and smashed glass (been there, done that, and don't need to do it again).

    The general public here has not yet gotten into "panic" mode, but they will, soon enough. I spent the day running around restocking my cash supply, gas tank, assorted refrigerator goods, bug spray, bleach, detergent, and dog food, going nuts with the credit cards, because in a few days' time, nothing will any longer be available, once the inevitable "panic" mode sets in. Next job: boiling water to save for the emergency, as our cisterns here, fed from roof run-off, always become polluted with salt spray following a hurricane (Yes, even at 1,000 feet elevation).

  • 23. ianbirmingham  |  September 1, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    You'll be feeling the big breeze by Tuesday (5th) evening. USVI, 1,000 feet up, really is not the place to live if you simply have to avoid hurricanes. It's kind of like walking into a gay bar wearing nothing but assless chaps, and yet not wanting anyone to hit on you! But since you insist on staying there, I've already suggested looking into solar and wind power, and really strong hurricane shutters plus a well-built safe room (ideally, built inside a cave within the mountain) could come in very handy as well. Hang in there!

  • 24. ianbirmingham  |  September 4, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    At 140 mph sustained winds and expected to strengthen further, Irma is now a mid-strength Category 4 and is progressing at 13 mph directly toward USVI with a hurricane-force wind field 80 miles in diameter and a tropical storm-force wind field 280 miles in diameter.

  • 25. ianbirmingham  |  September 5, 2017 at 6:05 am

    Category 5, 175 mph, 90-mile hurricane wind field diameter, 280-mile tropical storm field, still proceeding directly toward USVI at 14 mph… Hurricane Andrew also had 175 mph as its highest sustained wind speed, but with a 170-mile hurricane wind field diameter.

  • 26. ianbirmingham  |  September 5, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Irma is now beating Andrew in wind speed, but is still smaller in wind field. Category 5, 180 mph, 120-mile hurricane-force wind field diameter, 320-mile tropical storm-force wind field diameter, and still moving directly toward USVI at 14 mph (11 AM, 9/5/17)

  • 27. ianbirmingham  |  September 5, 2017 at 11:03 am

    185 mph now. Still aimed directly at USVI, moving at 14 mph, wind fields still at 120 HFWF / 320 TSWF diameter. Estimating USVI TSWF impact in 12 hours, HFWF impact in 20. Those 5-inch bolts need to be really, really tight.

  • 28. ianbirmingham  |  September 8, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    [120 mph Category 3] Hurricane Jose To Give Irma-Battered Islands Another Lashing

  • 29. allan120102  |  September 8, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Actually Jose is an upper category 4 base on the NHC.

  • 30. allan120102  |  September 1, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    Breaking. Chiapas congress refuse to post the ruling made by the supreme court in which order the state to perform ssm. Lgbt groups about to sue the state for failure to comply.

  • 31. Zack12  |  September 2, 2017 at 10:50 am

    With Posner retiring and Ann Claire Williams taking senior status, Trump will soon be replacing two pro equality judges with anti-equality ones and the 7th will soon be just as hostile for LGBT rights as the 5th and 8th are.
    Several other courts will be taking a rightward turn as well because of this past election, something Democrats did a crappy job of talking about.
    Sad to say, but Democrats don't care about nor fight for the courts the way Republicans have.
    And we are going to be paying for that with several courts that will now be very hostile to any future LGBT rights and will be looking to undo rights we've gained.
    Going to get ugly for us, it truly is.

  • 32. scream4ever  |  September 2, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    Thankfully a few major LGBT cases are set to reach the Supreme Court just in time for this term.

  • 33. guitaristbl  |  September 3, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    To what end ? When Kennedy retires and it is said to be soon enough everything will be reversed anyway. Who thinks stare decisis will stop Gorsuch, Alito, Thomas and Co. fro overturning Obergefell and overturning an (already uncertain) positive ruling in the colorado bakery case ?

    As I said some time ago, the day Kennedy retires and trump makes his next federalist society appointment, Texas most likely stops enforcing Obergefell and giving marriage licences to same sex couples or recognizing their marriages, gets sued all the way to SCOTUS which accepts the case and explicitly overturns Obergefell maaaybe with a clause that allows recognition of already contracted marriages to continue and that because Roberts may be in a good day that's all.

  • 34. scream4ever  |  September 3, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Roberts will not move to overturn Obergefell, as indicated by him not joining the Arkansas birth certificate dissent. Also, public opinion continues to climb in favor of the freedom to marry, something which has not happened regarding abortion.

    Courts are not like legislatures. You can't keep contesting an issue over and over again within just a few years. For a precedent-setting decision to occur, it must take at least a generation.

  • 35. guitaristbl  |  September 4, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Obergefell was the only case throughout his tenure Roberts felt so strongly against the majority opinion to actually read his dissent from the bench – and a vitriolic one it was. I do not share your optimism that he is willing to stop a reversal.

    Stare Decisis means little to nothing to federalist society members – virtually everyone trump nominates for federal benches. It wont take much for them to convince Roberts to join a majority opinion reversing Obergefell. He is already going to rule for legalizing discrimination in the colorado bakery case.

    Look at 7th circuit nominee Amy Coney Barett for example. She has speeches upon speeches and publications upon publications taking shots at Stare Decisis.
    This is the quality of trump nominees.
    I mean what are we even discussing ? The man put John Bush on the 6th…He makes Sutton seem like a rational personal in comparison..

  • 36. Zack12  |  September 4, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Put it bluntly, I do believe we will see legislation from younger Democrats in the future either doing away with lifetime tenure or an expansion of the courts.
    Conservatives shouldn't be able to control various courts for the next 30-40 years because of cheating and refusing to do their jobs.

  • 37. allan120102  |  September 4, 2017 at 10:52 am

    I dont think Roberts will overturn Obergefell in one solo decision but he will go and weaken it the most he can with the decisions ha make. For example he is likely to rule against us in the Baker case. If there was another conservative instead of Kennedy I am pretty sure they will make all they can to lower our rights.

  • 38. guitaristbl  |  September 4, 2017 at 11:01 am

    I already wonder how the bakery case will go WITH Kennedy on the bench. Let's hope Romer kicks in to his brain big time.

  • 39. Zack12  |  September 4, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Kennedy has to know conservatives are going to do everything they can to undermine Obergefell before doing away with it outright if they get the chance.
    If he sides with the bigots on this one, he is opening the door to one of his biggest rulings being gutted, and I don't think that will happen.

  • 40. FredDorner  |  September 4, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    If SCOTUS were to rule for the bigoted baker it would undermine all public accommodations laws at the state level. It's very unlikely the court will do that.

  • 41. guitaristbl  |  September 5, 2017 at 7:32 am

    ADF attorneys have to be asked by one of the justices during hearings what will be the status of non-discrimination laws covering EVERY other category (race, origin,religion,marital status,disability etc) if so called "religious freedom" tramples over the ones covering sexual orientation and gender identity ? I would be interested to listen to an answer to that.

  • 42. bythesea66  |  September 4, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    I think Kennedy would make attempts to solidify his legacy in his remaining time on the Court in the cases that will allow him chances to do so. He is very conservative, but is also very intent on leaving a legacy for gay rights. We'll just have to see how that plays out (also if he does retire soon it is not out of the question that this might involve having input on his successor even if not officially and that can matter even under a GOP administration like this one). If Dems retake the Senate I think they should deny Trump any nominations at all until the next President takes office especially after stealing a Supreme Court seat from Obama and the American people.

  • 43. scream4ever  |  September 4, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    I believe Kennedy's indications that he may retire at the end of this term mean that he wants to have a say in his successor.

  • 44. guitaristbl  |  September 5, 2017 at 7:33 am

    No IMO Democrats should hold hearings and vote them down. Going by the rule and it's much more satisfying.

  • 45. bythesea66  |  September 5, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    That would be fine imo, but they should not allow him to fill another seat whatever the justification used.

  • 46. Fortguy  |  September 5, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Yeah, good luck with ever hoping that dream ever comes true. Senate Dems already showed their true colors by mounting no serious challenge to Gorsuch. They are still under the illusion in this day and age that they are part of the "Upper Chamber", "The World's Greatest Deliberative Body", the house where "comity" prevails despite nearly every single act of McConnell's majority over the past eight years to the contrary.

  • 47. scream4ever  |  September 5, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    They couldn't stop him as Republicans held the majority.

  • 48. Fortguy  |  September 5, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Republicans still do and likely will after the next midterm. Dem senators will be defending roughly twice as many seats, and only one GOP senator on the ballot (Heller of NV) will be from a state Trump lost. I hope I'm wrong. I don't want to be such a Negative Nancy, and a swing election is possible. I'm afraid, though, that things would have to get really scary for that to happen.

  • 49. allan120102  |  September 5, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    No you are correct if Kennedy retires next year there is nothing democrats could do as Republicans will continue to control the chamber. The democrat of missouri is surely going to loose as Missouri has turn more to the right. Indiana and North Dakota democrats also look that they are going to loose

  • 50. guitaristbl  |  September 6, 2017 at 10:04 am

    You forget a major factor which is turn out and democratic turnout will definately be boosted. Ousting a couple of republicans in NV and possibly AZ will leave leeway to lose a couple of seats for the dems and retain the current balance in the senate. And then unleash a full out attack in 2020.

  • 51. bythesea66  |  September 11, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    All of the seats you mentioned are at serious risk but it is not unreasonable to think they may be retained by Democrats given the nature of the environment we likely face next year (deeply despised President who is the leader of the GOP, as yet unknown extent of retirements from both House and Senate, serious fatal illness for McCain, Bannon and his follower vowing to "take out" Republican Senators, etc).

  • 52. bythesea66  |  September 12, 2017 at 4:13 am

    My comment was based on the premise that Dems had already retaken Congress.thus no "dream" involved, (though hope it comes true).

  • 53. VIRick  |  September 2, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Colorado: Another Anti-LGBT "Religious" Bigot Case Mostly Dismissed

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 1 September 2017, in "303 Creative v. Elenis," the case of a Colorado graphic designer, represented by the ADF, challenging the state's Anti-Discrimination Act in the federal District Court for Colorado, rulings have been issued on the Plaintiffs' Motions for Preliminary Injunction and Summary Judgment and on the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss:

    • MOTION TO DISMISS: Defendants' Motion to Dismiss is Granted in Part and Denied in Part.

    – Plaintiffs challenge two clauses of the Anti-Discrimination Act:
    1) The Communications Clause (plaintiffs want to publish a statement on 303's website as to religious convictions, etc.).
    2) The Accommodation Clause (plaintiffs say they would refuse any request by a same-sex couple to build a wedding website).

    As to 1) The motion to dismiss is denied as to claims challenging the validity of the Communication Clause: "it is undisputed that [the statement] has been prepared and the sole impediment to its posting is enforcement of the Public Accommodation Statute. This is sufficient to show a chilling effect."

    As to 2) The motion is granted, for lack of standing, as to claims challenging the Accommodation Clause: "the possibility of enforcement based on a refusal of services is attenuated and rests on the satisfaction of multiple conditions precedent, the Court finds that the likelihood of enforcement is not credible."

    "In summary, the Plaintiffs have standing only to pursue claims challenging the Communication Clause that arise from publication of the Proposed Statement. They lack standing to assert claims challenging the Accommodation Clause based on the possibility that they will decline all requests by same-sex couples to build wedding websites. Accordingly, such claims are dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction."

    • MOTIONS FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AND SUMMARY JUDGMENT: Motions denied, with leave to renew after the Supreme Court ruling in "Masterpiece Cakeshop."

    The Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part the Motion to Dismiss and Denying the Motion for Preliminary Injunction and the Motion for Summary Judgment, With Leave to Renew, is here:

  • 54. VIRick  |  September 2, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Ahead of Labor Day Weekend, NCTE Issues Blanket Condemnation of Inevitably-Divisive (Remarks / Release / Statement / Tweet / Policy) issued by Trump Regarding (Race / Women / Transgender People / Immigrants / Muslims)

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Washington DC — On 1 September 2017, citing the Trump Administration’s strategy of releasing major, and often offensive, policy decisions/directives late on Friday evenings, the Washington, DC-based National Center for Transgender Equality has released a blanket condemnation of whatever Trump does in this area, when he should be working on disaster relief for people who really need government attention, ahead of the Labor Day weekend.

    The full statement, issued by NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling, is here:

  • 55. VIRick  |  September 3, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Romania: Referendum Blocking Same-Sex Marriage Likely

    Romania’s ruling party leader has confirmed that the country intends to hold a referendum which could likely rule out the possibility of same-sex marriage before the end of the year. The Social Democrats leader, Liviu Dragnea, is still pushing forward with the referendum after three million people signed a petition which called for a constitutional change to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Currently, the constitutional definition of marriage is between “spouses.”

    The petition, and the number of signatures on it, allowed the top court to open the door to the possibility of a referendum because a change in the constitution can only be proposed by one of there four alternatives: the president; the government; a quarter of the lawmakers in parliament; or a petition with at least 500,000 signatures from Romanian citizens.

    Still, in order to push the constitutional change through, it must first be approved by Parliament before it can head to a nationwide referendum, as the petition effort itself was only the first step. Very few politicians support same-sex marriage in Romania, meaning that the change will likely be proposed as a referendum rather soon.

    Somewhat surprisingly, Romania’s president is an open supporter of marriage equality. President Klaus Iohannis is ethnically German, and has said that as an ethnic and religious minority, he supports tolerance and openness towards other minorities.

  • 56. SethInMaryland  |  September 4, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Off topic:VIRick please be careful , Irma is likely going to be a cat 5 soon and likely moving over your area

  • 57. allan120102  |  September 5, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Breaking. India could soon be in our side again as the court is expected to hear the case to decriminalize the ban on ss relationships

  • 58. allan120102  |  September 5, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Rick I hope you the best and hope that you are prepare for the monster that is Irma. Wish you luck and please be careful as Irma's pressure continues to drop she continues to strength. Landfalls or direct hits are expected for anguila,Antigua and Barbuda, st Barts and british virgin Islands.

  • 59. JayJonson  |  September 6, 2017 at 6:28 am

    Yes, Rick, we all have you in our thoughts. Please let us know when you are able how you have fared. Best of luck.

  • 60. Mechatron12  |  September 6, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    The Australian High Court has just given the go-ahead for the gay marriage plebiscite. Sigh. Well, at any rate I hope that the good guys in Australia can put this behind them and get ready to roll up their sleeves. This isn't gonna be pretty, unfortunately.

  • 61. scream4ever  |  September 6, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    As a former staffer for the MN marriage campaign, I can sympathize with what they will go through, but I have no doubt that our side will prevail, and the the freedom to marry will finally come to Australia by year's end.

  • 62. allan120102  |  September 6, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    I agree with you, I believe Ireland will give us a win like Ireland and not a redo of what happen in Slovenia. Same sex marriage will probably be legal in Australia pretty soon after the plebiscite. Even though its hurtful to have a referendum I am hopeful that Australians will give the fingers to all bigots. Especially to Brian Brown. Btw thanks Scream for your dedication in MN. Thank for your efforts 🙂

  • 63. scream4ever  |  September 6, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    It was an experience I will cherish forever. It's been incredible to see it applied to other campaigns all around the world.

  • 64. guitaristbl  |  September 7, 2017 at 5:45 am

    It's not the same though. This is a sneaky voluntary postal vote. There needs to be utmost vigilance and mobilization to get people to vote. It could be much closer than the polls suggest given this whole thing is the bigots' ploy.

    The outpouring of hate speech will be unbelievable though. The australian christian lobby has already showed signs.

  • 65. bythesea66  |  September 9, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Yes it will be awful, perhaps worse than any of us yet expect, but at least we have avoided such so far in almost every case in a "western country" and in many others where rights are achievable for LGBTs. This is one remaining place where they can take this route in the near future and the movement will survive it and prevail.

  • 66. guitaristbl  |  September 10, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Polls are already showing a closing gap there. I am worried VERY worried about this one.

  • 67. scream4ever  |  September 10, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    The same thing happened leading up to the Ireland vote. I'm yet to see any.

  • 68. Mechatron12  |  September 11, 2017 at 1:56 am

    I'd be more nervous if it were like Ireland, with a campaign leading up to an election day. But keep in mind that "ballots" are beginning to be mailed out today in Australia, and most people are likely to mail them back fairly quickly. I suppose a whole lot of people could be lying to pollsters, but it certainly seems like the bigots simply don't have enough time to change people's minds.

    At least that's what I'm hoping.

  • 69. bythesea66  |  September 11, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Apparently lots of Millennials have been registering to vote for marriage that weren't registered before. Enough that conservatives fear they may just keep voting after registering to vote for this one issue. Amusing since they were the ones insisting a plebiscite was necessary.

  • 70. bythesea66  |  September 11, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    As with Ireland, if we were just ahead there would be real reason to worry, but not enough is happening nor is there enough time to erode sufficient support to make it fail given how far ahead it started out. Also, it is non-binding so it's not like it couldn't fail to pass the plebiscite but then the Liberals get voted out and then soon enact marriage equality anyway.

  • 71. Fortguy  |  September 7, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Hurricane Irma has claimed the lives of at least four people in the USVI. This is in addition to at least six others confirmed previously elsewhere in the Antilles. Let's all be thinking about Rick as well as everyone in Florida and the Bahamas.

    And now, less than an hour ago at this writing, an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.0 has struck off the coast of Mexico roughly south of the state line separating Chiapas and Oaxaca. Mexico's Gulf Coast is still bracing for Katia to make landfall somewhere in Veracruz state.

    Following in Irma's wake is José which is now also a major hurricane. Watches and warnings are expected to be issued soon for many of the same islands impacted by Irma.

  • 72. ianbirmingham  |  September 8, 2017 at 6:17 am

    USVI's 911 system was knocked out by the storm & it is still down.

  • 73. dlejrmex  |  September 8, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Has anyone heard from Rick? I am getting worried about him.

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