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  • 1. VIRick  |  October 17, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Austria: Constitutional Court Ruling in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage

    On 16 October 2017, Austria’s Constitutional Court has made a preliminary determination that differentiating between same-sex and opposite couples with respect to marriage is an “inadmissible discrimination” and stigmatizes children as illegitimate and families as second-class families. The court was examining a case brought by Helmut Graupner on behalf of five children and their same-sex parents, and stated that this discrimination would be the case even if registered partnerships and marriage were legally made “absolutely identical.”

    The court initiated proceedings to delete the words “of different sex” from the Austrian Civil Code’s marriage law, as well as proceedings to terminate the registered-partnership law. The government now has some weeks to respond to the determinations, according to Graupner. “The final judgment of the Constitutional Court is expected in December, so that same-gender couples could be allowed to marry in Austria from January 2018.”

    So far, no other European court has ruled against a marriage ban in favor of same-sex couples, according to Graupner. Austria would be the first.….

  • 2. VIRick  |  October 17, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Here is some background information from November and December of 2015, found in my archives, on the origins of the cases which sparked the current Constitutional Court's decision:

    Austrian Children of Same-Sex Parents Take Government to Court on Marriage Laws

    Austria’s unusual marriage laws are being called into question by five children of same-sex parents, protesting the fact that equal marriage is not yet legal in the country. Today, 26 November 2015, the Administrative Court in Vienna heard the first of five cases in which the children and their parents are protesting the ban on same-sex marriage in the hope of changing the law to allow the children to become ‘legitimate’ children with married parents.

    Unusually, Austria grants identical family rights to same-sex couples as opposite-sex couples; any couple is allowed to apply for second-parent-adoption, joint adoption, or medically-assisted conception – yet they are not allowed to get married. The law also allows for automatic co-parenthood for registered lesbian couples and recognition of motherhood in unregistered lesbian couples, in the same way an unmarried father in a heterosexual couple would be recognized in law.

    Dr Helmut Graupner, who is representing the five families, said: "Austria made the second, third, fourth, and fifth step [towards marriage equality] before the first. The marriage ban must fall, for the sake of the children."

    On 21 December 2015, the Administrative Court in Vienna ruled against the children, saying in part that children of unwed parents no longer face much social criticism. The plaintiffs then appealed this decision within the federal court system, resulting in the Constitutional Court's ruling of 12 October 2017.

  • 3. theperchybird  |  October 18, 2017 at 11:34 am


    In Europe, expect Switzerland to be next, their Parliament is discussing how to go about it since it will be a constitutional change so it may just mean a majority of MPs in favor, or a referendum (hopefully not).

    Slovenia has enough MPs in favor, but that damn referendum repeal tactic by religious groups… I see them coming after the Swiss in a few years when public approval rises.

    I hope the addition of Germany, Malta, Austria swing enough European Court judges to finally rule in favor of marriage for the countries under its jurisdiction. Would love to get the streamers out for the more liberal nations and get the popcorn out for the conservative ones having a meltdown.

    According to Wikipedia, that would be around 40% of the entire European population under the marriage equality scope once Austria joins the list.

  • 4. scream4ever  |  October 19, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    I hope this lawsuit pushes the activists in Slovenia to finally sue for marriage itself. Also, Northern Ireland could beat Switzerland if the appeal to the unsuccessful ruling is successful.

  • 5. VIRick  |  October 17, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    For anyone who can read/understand German, we also have these reports on the Austrian Constitutional Court's decision, the first from Austria and the second from German-speaking Italy:

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Verfassungsgerichtshof könnte die Ehe in Österreich noch dieses Jahr öffnen.

    VfGH prüft Öffnung von Ehe für gleichgeschlechtliche Paare.

  • 6. bayareajohn  |  October 17, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Visiting these links in CHROME will offer automatic translation to English.

  • 7. KryptonKid  |  October 17, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Perfect timing.

  • 8. VIRick  |  October 17, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Algeria: So-Called "Rainbow Marriages"

    Per Sonora Pride:

    La comunidad LGBT de Argelia busca la protección social a través de «matrimonios arco iris». Los matrimonios de conveniencia entre personas homosexuales de distinto sexo, denominados «matrimonios arco iris», constituyen la mejor salida para escapar del ostracismo social y el rechazo familiar en Argelia.

    The LGBT community in Algeria seeks social protection through "rainbow marriages." Marriages of convenience between homosexual persons of the opposite sex, called "rainbow marriages," constitute the best way to escape social ostracism and family rejection in Algeria.

    Such marriages of convenience, whereby a gay man knowingly marries a lesbian, thus offering mutual cover and protection to both parties, is undoubtedly far more common throughout that part of the world which refuses to afford any sort of legal protection to LGBT individuals, and where prejudice and bigotry abound, and thus, is not merely limited to Algeria.

  • 9. scream4ever  |  October 18, 2017 at 12:17 am

    This was the norm not long ago in the Western world.

  • 10. bythesea66  |  October 18, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Yep. One of my friends is the offspring of such a marriage in the South. Her parents are both out and proud now as a gay man and lesbian. They are also still married and living as a family.

  • 11. VIRick  |  October 18, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Australia: Votes for Marriage Equality in Lead

    A recent Newspoll states that votes for legalizing same-sex marriage in Australia are commanding a substantial lead in the ongoing postal survey, 59 percent to 38 percent, reports "The Guardian." The poll also projects that public support for marriage equality will prevail when the survey concludes on 7 November 2017.

    Although two-thirds of Australian citizens have already taken part in the survey, it is not legally binding. However, the parliamentary Labor Party caucus hopes that if the "Yes" votes win, they can use the momentum to legislate marriage equality as early as a week after the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases the result in mid-November.

    Newspoll found that 65 percent of respondents have already voted, with another 19 percent stating they will definitely vote and 6 percent saying they probably will before the survey closes.

  • 12. VIRick  |  October 18, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    India's First Transgender Judge

    In July 2017, Joyita Mondal made history as the first transgender judge of the Lok Adalat (People’s Court) in India. Now, she’s spoken out about why her fight isn’t over until she achieves equality for all transgender people in her country.

    Born to a traditional Hindu family in Kolkata, Joyita faced bullying and discrimination growing up. She dropped out of school, sleeping in bus shelters and begging to stay alive, until she left Kolkata in 2009, aged 21, and moved to the north of West Bengal. When she first arrived in Islampur, she found no hostels would take her in, and she was again forced to sleep in bus shelters.

    However, the hostility she faced gave her the aspiration to make a change for transgender people in the region. After befriending some people in the local transgender community, she formed Dinajpur Notun Alo, an organisation that, in the past seven years, has worked with over 2000 transgender people. Joyita worked on a project which helped provide legal aid for 200 transgender people in the region, and she worked to get voter ID cards for transgender sex workers in Islampur.

    In 2016 she became the first transgender person to vote in the district, and a year later, aged 29, was appointed to the Islampur Lok Adalat. But she considers her work far from over, she told the New Indian Express, saying that her personal achievement is not important without overall improvement in the treatment of transgender people.

    Individual successes mean nothing,” she said. “Even as I move around in air-conditioned cars now, my people beg at day and work as sex workers at night.” She is well aware of tokenism in government that is used to cover up wider injustice. “All governments want to appoint one person from a weaker community to a top post so that voices of others of the community are muffled. I would not let that happen.”

    For Joyita, the priority is getting transgender rights in the workplace, saying that if she could get “dignified jobs” for 2-3% of transgender people in Islampur, she would consider that a success.

  • 13. VIRick  |  October 18, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    North Carolina: Proposed Settlement of Suit Challenging Anti-LGBT Law, HB2/HB142

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 18 October 2017, in "Carcaño v. Cooper," the ACLU/Lambda Legal suit challenging North Carolina law, as enacted in both HB 2 and HB 142, the Plaintiffs and the North Carolina Executive Branch Defendants have reached a settlement and are asking the court to enter a negotiated consent decree.

    The press release, "ACLU and Lambda Legal Announce Proposed Settlement With North Carolina in Lawsuit Challenging Anti-LGBT Law" is here:

    Also filed, parties' Memos in support of their motion:
    — Plaintiffs:
    — Executive Branch Defendants:
    — Joint Motion for Entry of a Consent Decree:

  • 14. VIRick  |  October 18, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    West Virginia: Morgantown Adopts LGBT Protections

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 17 October 2017, the Morgantown City Council passed a law that provides employment, housing, and other protections for members of the gay, bisexual, and transgender communities, making the city the eleventh municipality in West Virginia to provide legally-enforceable protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

    The language of the amendment to the city's Human Rights Ordinance code is available beginning on page 53 of the agenda here:

    It may be worthwhile to note that Morgantown is the home of West Virginia University.

  • 15. VIRick  |  October 18, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    Montana: New ACLU Suit Challenging Anti-Trans Ballot Initiative

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Helena MT – On 17 October 2017, the ACLU of Montana announced a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the anti-LGBTQ I-183. This ballot initiative seeks to prevent transgender and gender-nonconforming Montanans from using public facilities that correspond with their gender identity by restricting access to public facilities in public spaces, such as libraries, parks, and schools. I-183 would bar trans Montanans from full and equal participation in public life and nullify many of their constitutional rights.

    The lawsuit was filed in the Eighth Judicial District Court, Cascade County, on behalf of seven transgender Montanans, two parents on behalf of their transgender daughter, and the City of Missoula. The lawsuit asks the court to declare the initiative unconstitutional and prevent the Secretary of State from placing it on the 2018 ballot.

    There is a link to the complaint in the ACLU press release here:

  • 16. VIRick  |  October 18, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Oaxaca: The Third-Gender Zapoteca Muxe

    In southern Mexico, among the very traditional Zapoteca indigenous people, one of their stronger traditions consists of their recognition of what one might call a third gender, the Muxe, a group composed of homosexual men, trans-sexuals, and trans-genders, all of whom tend to live together in their own separate communities.

    The 7 September 2017 earthquake, centered on the nearby city of Juchitán, Oaxaca, caused severe damage to the Zapoteca Muxe village of Chicapa de Castro. One individual from the community, Froylán Blas Gómez, a Muxe who was living "abroad" as a professional chef in Campeche, returned home, and practically single-handedly turned the entire situation around by organizing a community kitchen to feed the entire group. This is the story (in Spanish) of that endeavor:

    Although among themselves, the Zapoteca recognize the Muxe for who they are, in a twisted, colonial, Euro-centric way, the state government of Oaxaca does not.

  • 17. allan120102  |  October 19, 2017 at 8:29 am

    118 people win amparo to be marry in NL

  • 18. VIRick  |  October 19, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    118 Persons Gain Amparo to Marry Same-Sex Partners in Nuevo León

    Ganan 118 Personas Amparo para Matrimonio Gay en Nuevo León

    En 19 de octubre 2017, la abogada de la agrupación, Género, Ética y Salud Sexual (GESS), Angélica Hernández, informó que la Primera Sala de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) resolvió a favor de los interesados, al declarar inconstitucional el artículo 147 del Código Civil del Estado de Nuevo León.

    Días pasados, la Dirección del Registro Civil recibió el oficio que ordena ejecutar la sentencia del juez, por lo que los beneficiados podrán contraer nupcias en el momento que lo deseen.

    El 28 de septiembre de 2016, la SCJN resolvió otro amparo colectivo que beneficiaba a 48 personas, de las cuales actualmente una pareja se encuentra en preparativos para la boda.

    On 19 October 2017, the lawyer for the group, Género, Ética y Salud Sexual (GESS), Angélica Hernández, reported that the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) ruled in favor of the interested parties, declaring Article 147 of the Civil Code of the State of Nuevo León unconstitutional.

    Some days prior, the Directorate of the Civil Registry received the notice that orders the execution of the judge's sentence, so that the beneficiaries can contract marriage whenever they wish.

    On 28 September 2016, the SCJN resolved another collective amparo that benefited 48 people, of whom one couple are currently in preparation for their wedding.

    By my count, the present amparo would be amparo #3 granted in Nuevo León. There are at least 10 more still pending.

  • 19. VIRick  |  October 19, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Tabasco: Amparo Allows Tenth Marriage between Same-Sex Couples in Tabasco

    Tabasco: Amparo Permite Décimo Matrimonio entre Personas del Mismo Sexo

    Villahermosa, Tabasco, 4 de mayo 2017 – Hoy, Gabriela Calderón Olvera y Nancy del Socorro Muñiz legalizaron el décimo matrimonio igualitario que se realiza en Tabasco. El Código Civil del estado no permite aún el matrimonio de personas del mismo sexo, pero mediante amparos se han realizado nueve anteriores y 10 con el de hoy.

    La jueza sexta del Registro Civil de esta capital, Graciela Bravata Flores, oficializó la boda luego que Gabriela y Nancy obtuvieron amparo para legalizar su unión, luego de un año de trámites.

    La primera boda gay en la entidad se realizó en febrero de 2015 entre pareja de hombres, luego de un largo litigio y aval de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación.

    Villahermosa, Tabasco, 4 May 2017 – Today, Gabriela Calderón Olvera and Nancy del Socorro Muñiz legalized the tenth equal marriage to take place in Tabasco. The Civil Code of the state does not yet allow for the marriage of same-sex couples, but through amparos, there have been nine previous and now 10 with the one today.

    The sixth judge of the Civil Registry of this capital, Graciela Bravata Flores, officiated at the marriage, after Gabriela and Nancy were granted an amparo to legalize their union, after a year of paperwork.

    The first same-sex wedding in the state was held in February 2015 between a male couple, after a long litigation and a ruling by the Supreme Court of Justice.

    This news article, one which we missed when originally published, is already cited in the Wikipedia text for Tabasco state on Same-Sex Marriage in Mexico. Given this reference, it is more than past due to up-grade Tabasco from tan to gold on the accompanying Wikipedia map of Mexico.

  • 20. VIRick  |  October 19, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Mexico: The Last States with the Least Number of Amparos

    At last count, there were only 6 states (5 if one notes the article on Tabasco, posted immediately above) with fewer than 5 amparos (the number needed to require the state legislature to change the marriage law to allow same-sex couples to marry). They are:

    Durango – 1
    Edomex – 1
    Nuevo León – 3 (see 2nd post above)
    Tabasco – 10 (see post immediately above)
    Tlaxcala – 2
    Zacatecas – 3 (see below)

    As for Zacatecas, this summary, recently posted here, is far more complete than the Wikipedia entry:

    First Same-Sex Marriage in Fresnillo, Zacatecas

    Fresnillo, 8 de octubre 2017:
    Roberto Carlos Flores y Raúl Zaragoza Flores tuvieron una relación de noviazgo por siete años, y luego de dos años de vivir en unión libre, comenzaron una nueva etapa en sus vidas al contraer matrimonio civil. Se convierten, de esta forma, en el primer enlace entre personas del mismo género en Fresnillo. En 7 de octubre, la boda civil y la recepción se realizaron en el salón, Real de Ángeles, donde familiares y amigos llegaron para desearles lo mejor en esta nueva etapa de vida.

    Fresnillo, 8 October 2017:
    Roberto Carlos Flores and Raúl Zaragoza Flores had a seven-year courtship relationship, and after two years of living in a free union, they began a new stage in their lives when contracting civil marriage. They became, in this way, the first same-sex couple to marry in Fresnillo. On 7 October, the wedding and reception were held in the hall, Real de Ángeles, where family and friends came to wish them the best in this new stage of life.

    Although this news article does not mention anything about this couple needing to obtain an amparo prior to their marriage, it would have been necessary for them to have gained one. Thus, this action makes them the third same-sex couple, state-wide within Zacatecas state, to have received a favorable amparo judgment.

    The first injunction, filed by a male same-sex couple from the city of Zacatecas, Rodolfo Eduardo Flores Nava and Francisco Domínguez Galindo, was approved in May 2016. This couple married very quickly thereafter. As for the second injunction, on 3 April 2017, a female same-sex couple from Fresnillo gained an amparo allowing them to marry (but apparently, have yet to do so).

  • 21. allan120102  |  October 19, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Rick how would you count Guerrero? As Guerrero let in some municipalities ss couples to marry but since ssm stop in March Guerrero couples will need amparos, and if I am correct they only have 2 or 3 amparos.

  • 22. VIRick  |  October 19, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    As best as I can count, the number of amparos granted in Guerrero has always been zero. But I am of the opinion that none is needed, as an executive order is in place, and to the best of my knowledge, has never been rescinded. Per the Wikipedia entries:

    Same-sex marriage is legal in the Mexican state of Guerrero per a decision of the chief executive of the state. After the Supreme Court of Justice's ruling went into effect on 22 June 2015, officials in Guerrero began announcing plans for a collective group wedding. Governor Rogelio Ortega Martínez submitted a same-sex marriage bill to Congress on 7 July 2015 and then instructed civil agencies to approve marriage licenses for same-sex couples. On 10 July 2015, twenty same-sex couples were married by the Governor in Acapulco.

    On 13 February 2016, a day before mass Valentine's Day weddings were planned statewide, the head of Guerrero's State Civil Registry department announced that same-sex couples could marry in any of the (state) jurisdictions that want to marry the couples and criticized Acapulco's Civil Registry for not allowing these kinds of mariages. The department head also stated that any marriage (of a same-sex couple) conducted in Guerrero will be legally valid. Thus, same-sex marriages will depend on the civil registry of each municipality; if the registry question does not want to conduct the marriage for a same-sex couple, such couples can go to another municipality within Guerrero, or (as an option), ask for an amparo to be granted.

    We know for a fact that same-sex couples have married, without amparo, in Chilpancingo, Taxco, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, and a number of other smaller municipalities, and that any such marriages are recognized by the state. I am not certain as to why Zihuatanejo chose to stop doing so in March 2017, but that individual decision should not have any bearing on the other municipalities, nor on the state recognition.

    The Supreme Court of Justice has issued its jurisprudence on this matter. It should be a closed issue throughout all of Mexico. Just like the Governor of Guerrero and the head of the Guerrero state Civil Registry, at least 8 municipalities in Querétaro, 3 in Tamaulipas, 1 in Puebla (prior to the Supreme Court ruling against Puebla), and the head of the state Civil Registry in Sonora (had she had her way), all simply cited said jurisprudence as authority for their commencement in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

    Legally speaking, there is no longer any need for anyone to seek permission from a higher authority, nor to request an amparo be granted, nor to actually alter the various state civil codes to allow for marriages between same-sex couples. It is binding jurisprudence throughout all of Mexico.

    However, the obfuscators will use whatever excuse they can conjure if they think they can get away with it. And Mexico is full of obfuscators trying to avoid doing their duty.

  • 23. allan120102  |  October 19, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Actually in the link there its a video were it explains that same sex marriage was stopped in all 86 municipalities of the state, not just Zihuatanejo. They just talk to him why it was stop and her confirm it . He also said that child marriage was prohibit. It looks like the new administration rescind the previous one issue by the ex governor and in the new one child marriage was prohibit and ssm was stop supposedly because of international treaties
    The director of the Civil Registry of Zihuatanejo, Luciano Pineda Quiroz said that since March, equal and child marriage in the entire state of Guerrero has been suspended, he also explained that it was an order that came from the federation to the entity, the which is based on the agreements that Mexico has with the United Nations (UN), where supposedly the purpose is to protect human rights. "As of March no more egalitarian marriages were carried out, nor marriages older than 16 years because before with the consent of the parents they could marry." Recently the UN gave the order that marriages will not take place children in all countries that are part of international treaties, with the justification of protecting children and human rights in the country, since this marriage, unites men and women 16 and 17 years of age, despite the fact that the children do not want to do it, only the consent of their parents is needed

  • 24. VIRick  |  October 19, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    "It looks like the new administration rescinded the previous (executive order) issued by the ex-governor …."

    If that is in fact the case, then that would explain the reversal in Guerrero. However, it would be far more secure if we could find the actual executive order from the new governor rescinding the previous order of Governor Rogelio Ortega Martínez. So far, I have not seen the new order, nor has anyone yet produced a citation directing one to it. If it exists, the order should be a matter of public record and would presumably be dated sometime in March 2017.

  • 25. allan120102  |  October 19, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Agree, I will try to look it up tomorrow as today I am busy studying for an exam, If I cant find one I will try to contact lgbt groups in Guerrero so they can explain me the situation and how they are dealing with it.

  • 26. allan120102  |  October 19, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Arkansas supreme court relucantly follow Scotus decision. In a 4-3 decision they say they will let ssc have the same rights as heterosexual couple but they will not afirm the lower court because they say that is for the legislature to do and not the courts.

  • 27. guitaristbl  |  October 19, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    They are fighting everything tooth and nail, its insane. A pity..this court used to be a ray of light in the south once. Now its another GOP hellhole.

  • 28. bayareajohn  |  October 19, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Go read the link. ALL of the judges agreed that the discrimination was unconstitutional. The minority simply wanted to void the statute that treated SS couples differently on birth certs than MS couples re presumption of parenthood. The majority remanded the matter to the lower court for supervision of legislative efforts. Hard to beat 100%, I wish all GOP hellholes would match it.

  • 29. guitaristbl  |  October 19, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    I read it. They grumpily accepted it after the sipreme court taught them a lesson on precedent, nothing more. And they refused to uphold the district court's initial order. They have completely vacated the statute itself and now the legal situation for same sex couples seems at best muddled. We ll see.

  • 30. allan120102  |  October 19, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    I am really sadden in this as the Arkansas supreme court was pretty liberal like 3 years ago, I remember that they were going to strike down the ban on ssm in a 4-3 decision but the three women the ones in fact in the dissent in this case were also the ones dissenting in the ssm case, they are really bigots and I feel sorry for the people of Arkansas as the number has increase to all the court trying to diminish ss couple rights.

  • 31. VIRick  |  October 19, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Arkansas Supreme Court Orders Gender-Neutral Treatment of Parents on Birth Certificates

    Today, 19 October 2017, as ordered by the US Supreme Court in "Pavan v. Smith," a fractured Arkansas Supreme Court ordered that same-sex couples must be treated the same as opposite-sex couples in the issuance of birth certificates. But the court again resisted rewriting statutes to provide for equal treatment, as a lower Arkansas court had originally decided.

    As directed by the US Supreme Court, the Arkansas Supreme Court acknowledged that the Arkansas state law was unconstitutional, that is, as the state law stated, that opposite-sex couples were presumed to be parents on a birth certificate, but that same-sex married couples were not given the same presumption.

    The opinion, written by Justice Robin Wynne, said: “The birth-certificate law must be addressed, but we cannot simply affirm the (state) circuit court's previous order, which impermissibly rewrote the statutory scheme. An order rewriting a statute 'amounts to a judicial intrusion upon the legislative prerogative and violates the constitutional doctrine of separation of power.'"

    "On remand, the (state) circuit court should award declaratory and injunctive relief as necessary to ensure that same-sex spouses are afforded the same right as opposite-sex spouses to be listed on a child's birth certificate in Arkansas, as required under 'Pavan v. Smith.' Extending the benefit of the statutes at issue to same-sex spouses will implement the mandate of the Supreme Court of the United States without an impermissible rewriting of the statutes."

    Wynne was joined by Chief Justice John Dan Kemp, Rhonda Wood, and Shawn Womack. Womack wrote a separate concurring opinion in which he said he would have additionally required further hearings in (state) circuit court on how the law treats same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples differently in other respects so constitutionality could be considered.

    Justices Karen Baker, Jo Hart, and Courtney Goodson dissented. They said they would not have remanded the case to (state) circuit court for a hearing, but would have simply vacated the Arkansas Supreme Court's own ruling in the case that was later voided by the US Supreme Court, and then declared the state statute void.

    Note: Edited Version for added clarity. The minority provided for the most-direct method for handling the matter. The majority fobbed off the actual decision onto the (state) circuit court on remand.

  • 32. guitaristbl  |  October 19, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Alderney Council of States voted 9-0 with one abstention to legalize same sex marriage, the formality of Royal Assent being the only thing remaining.

    That leaves Jersey (in the process to legalize), Northern Ireland and the tiny island of Sark, also part of the Bailwick of Guernsey, as the sole holdouts of sub national entities in Europe without marriage equality (excluding the legally disputed region of northern cyprus and other non recognized entities such as the eastern ukrainian provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk).

  • 33. VIRick  |  October 19, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Alderney Votes in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage

    The tiny Channel Island of Alderney, population of 2,000, and part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, has just voted to legalize same-sex marriage. The change in the law was voted through at a Council of States meeting last night, 18 October 2017, with nine members voting in favor and one abstaining, ITV News reports.

    The law will be enacted after it is approved by the Queen and her Privy Council, which is a constitutional formality.

    One gay couple, Dits Preece and Alan Jones, saw the decision being made from the public gallery. Despite being together for 15 years, they have been putting off getting married until they can do so at home in Alderney.

  • 34. VIRick  |  October 19, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Tijuana Initiates Issuance of Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Tijuana's Civil Registry is reportedly issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples without requiring that they first obtain an amparo (and has initiated this process by its own independent decision, with encouragement from the CEDH, based on Supreme Court jurisprudence).

    Per Cocut Lgbti AC, the local Tijuana-based LGBT rights organization, 17 October 2017:

    En monitoreando el Registro Civil de Tijuana, nos encontramos que ya permiten el tramite para matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo. COCUT se mantendra en alerta hasta que se concrete el primer enlace (sin amparo).

    In monitoring the Civil Registry of Tijuana, we find that they already allow the process for marriage by same-sex couples. COCUT will remain on alert until after the first such marriage (without amparo) has been completed.

  • 35. VIRick  |  October 20, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    St. Helena: Same-Sex Marriage and its Gay Tortoise

    The world’s oldest living creature is gay. The 186 year-old tortoise, Jonathan, and his inseparable “partner,” Frederica, were outed when it was discovered that Frederica, the tortoise presented to him as a mate in 1991, is also male, "The Times" reports.

    Ever since they met, the pair have been seen knocking shells on St Helena during mating season, the South Atlantic island they call home. Their minders got to wondering why the pair never reproduced, but the reason for that was recently discovered accidentally while Frederica was being examined and treated for a lesion.

    The news breaks as St Helena is debating marriage equality. Citizens have been asked to register their opinion on the issue by 27 October 2017, and a Supreme Court hearing is expected in January.

    Per César DM:
    La tortuga más vieja del planeta es gay y vive en Santa Elena, donde el matrimonio igualitario es ilegal.

    The oldest tortoise on the planet is gay and lives in St. Helena, where egalitarian marriage is illegal.

  • 36. allan120102  |  October 20, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    First same sex marriage has occur in BC without the requirement of an amparo. The ssm are ecstatic and are telling other couples to do the same and try to marry.

  • 37. VIRick  |  October 20, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Tijuana: First Same-Sex Marriage without Amparo Has Already Occurred

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Tijuana, Baja California
    Fue el pasado 21 de septiembre 2017 cuando Javier y su pareja lograron ser el primer matrimonio igualitario en Baja California, sin necesidad de interponer un amparo.

    Javier Martínez viajó desde Colombia, luego de intercambiar mensajes por más de dos años con su actual esposo, mismo que se desempeña como policía en esta ciudad. “Decidí renunciar a todo. Dejé mi país, mi familia, y mi trabajo, todo por amor. Por más de 14 años fui defensor de los derechos humanos en mi país. Llegué aquí y no podía quedarme de brazos cruzados ante la negativa de permitirnos formar un hogar,” compartió.

    El primer intento de formalizar su relación fue en diciembre de 2016, en la oficina del Registro Civil del Ayuntamiento de Tijuana, donde de manera verbal les notificaron que su solicitud de matrimonio no procedía sin un amparo. Luego de un mes y medio de gestiones, Javier y su pareja obtuvieron la autorización para casarse en la delegación de Playas de Tijuana. Eligieron el 21 de septiembre como la fecha oficial.

    El 13 de septiembre, con los preparativos en puerta para celebrar su enlace, la misma oficial del Registro Civil les entregó por escrito la notificación de que el trámite no podía efectuarse debido a que se faltaba al artículo 143 del Código Civil del Estado de Baja California. “A pesar de que en pocas horas se resolvió, no lo podía creer. Ellos, los de la CEDH, me aseguraron que el 21 me estaría casando,” afirmó.

    Tras lograr ser la primera pareja del mismo sexo en contraer matrimonio sin un amparo en Baja California, Martínez alentó a otras parejas que estén pasando por lo mismo a buscar opciones hasta lograr su sueño de formalizar su relación.

    Tijuana, Baja California
    It was on 21 September 2017 when Javier and his partner managed to be the first same-sex couple to marry in Baja California without the need to file an amparo.

    Javier Martínez traveled from Colombia, after exchanging messages for more than two years with his current husband, who is a police officer in this city. "I decided to give up everything. I left my country, my family, and my job, all for love. For over 14 years, I was a human rights defender in my country. I came here and could not stand idle by their refusing to allow us to form a home," he shared.

    The first attempt to formalize their relationship was in December 2016, at the Civil Registry Office of the City of Tijuana, where they were verbally notified that their marriage application could not proceed without an amparo. After a month and a half of negotiations, Javier and his partner obtained the authorization to marry at the delegation, Playas de Tijuana. They chose 21 September as their official date .

    On 13 September, with the preparations in place to hold their marriage, the same Civil Registry official gave them a written notice that the procedure could not be carried out due to Article 143 of the Civil Code of the State of Baja California. "Although it was resolved within a few hours, I could not believe it. They, the CEDH (State Human Rights Commission), assured me that on the 21st I would be getting married," he affirmed.

    After being the first same-sex couple to contract marriage without an amparo in Baja California, Martínez encouraged other couples who are going through the same thing to look for options until they achieve their dream of formalizing their relationship.

  • 38. allan120102  |  October 20, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Breaking Panama supreme court to upheld the ban on ssm if the majority on minister vote in favor of the decision, They are taking the other way compare to Colombia even though both countries share a history and have similar laws and judicial style. The panamian supreme court says that is up to the legislature and not the courts to modify trhe law

  • 39. allan120102  |  October 20, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    More about the situation in Panama I just hope the rest of the court is against of this preliminary ruling if not it will create jurisprudence in all the country and may lead the supreme court of El Salvador and Costa Rica rule in a similar way.

    A draft of the ruling containing 200 pages seeks to resolve the claim of unconstitutionality filed against articles 26 and 34 of the Family Code, which deals with marriage between men and women.

    The appeal seeks to declare illegal, as unconstitutional, the article that prevents same-sex couples from getting married.

    In this regard, Judge Luis Ramón Fábrega, rapporteur of the project, determined that the articles in question are not unconstitutional, but leaves the door open to the deputies of the National Assembly so that they are the ones who legislate on civil unions between people of the same sex .

    It is also established that it will be through a law that the recognition of equality must be carried out as a minimum guarantee avoiding discrimination, achieving social recognition and that the rights be regulated by law approved by this body (National Assembly).

    "Equality must be safeguarded constitutionally through a law. It is incumbent upon the Assembly to issue the necessary laws for the fulfillment of the purposes and exercise of the functions of the State declared in this Constitution, "the operative part of the draft judgment reads.

    Now, the rest of the magistrates should read the long document and give their opinion. If the majority think differently, they will take the project to Fábrega and make a new proposal of failure.

    According to two lawsuits filed by the Morgan & Morgan law firm on behalf of two different partners, preventing two persons of the same sex from entering into marriage is a discriminatory act and a breach of the international commitments entered into by the country, such as the Convention American Convention on Human Rights.

    Homosexual couples, according to the lawsuit, can not change their marital status and, therefore, do not generate family or kinship relationships; they have neither rights nor duties; can not build a patrimonial regime to manage their assets.

    In the text of the lawsuit, it is established, it is established that if one of the members dies, the other can not be benefited with the intestate inheritance; the survivor can not decide on the assets of his partner; nor do they have access to the specialized jurisdiction of family courts, in case of internal conflict; in case of accident, the couple can not benefit from social security protections; can not access adoption, cites the lawsuit.

    "That's not what I've been told. I have been told that it was going to fail in favor of egalitarian marriage, we heard it from a good source, so I do not know what is happening in the Court, "said Ricardo Beteta of the Association of Men and New Women of Panama .

    The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which met today in Panama City, issued a favorable concept on the recognition of same-sex couples .

  • 40. scream4ever  |  October 20, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    It sounds to me like this is just the opinion of the chief justice, and that the majority will likely disagree and issue a final ruling in our favor. Isn't that what originally happened in Colombia?

  • 41. VIRick  |  October 20, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Despite the headline today, 20 October 2017:

    Panamá: Grupos Gay Pierden Batalla, según Proyecto de Fallo de la Corte Suprema

    Panamá: Gay Groups Lose Battle, according to Draft Supreme Court Ruling

    The key points are these:

    Ahora, el resto de los magistrados deberán leer el extenso documento y emitir su opinión. Si la mayoría opina distinto, le quitarán a magistrado Fábrega el proyecto y realizarán una nueva propuesta de fallo.

    Now, the rest of the magistrates must read the long document and give their opinion. If the majority think differently, they will take the draft away from Judge Fábrega and will produce a new proposed ruling.


    La Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, que sesionó hoy en la ciudad de Panamá, emitió concepto favorable sobre el reconocimiento de parejas del mismo sexo.

    The Inter-American Court for Human Rights, which met today in Cd. de Panamá, issued a favorable opinion on the recognition of same-sex couples.

    Also, the above is a working link to the news article in "La Estrella." Allan's doesn't work.

    Didn't we have that same situation occur in Colombia, where the anti-LGBT bigot justice went first, rendering his opinion, which was then rejected by the majority, who in turn, then wrote a second, favorable ruling? This same procedure appears to be the one that is followed in Panamá.

    From my archives of 17 March 2016, re Colombia:

    All along, for months now, the justices have been discussing and discussing, arguing, stalling and delaying, over the presentation and argument made by Justice Jorge Ignacio Pretelt Chaljub who is vehemently in favor of upholding the marriage ban for same-sex couples, and who simply would not shut up and give his argument a rest. Today, 16 March 2016, the justices finally had a chance to vote on his presentation and argument, and voted 6-3 to dismiss it.

    Now, a second presentation and argument will be made by Justice Alberto Rojas Ríos, this time in favor of marriage equality. Although this second presentation has not yet been made, let alone finalized and voted upon to render a decisive ruling, given the previous vote, we already know with certainty that they will eventually vote 6-3 in favor of marriage equality.

    On top of everything, Fábrega's argument is phony. The Supreme Court of Panamá, like its counterparts in both Colombia and the USA, does indeed have the broad power to declare Panamanian laws unconstitutional.

  • 42. VIRick  |  October 21, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Vietnam: Draft Proposal to Further Protect Rights of Transgenders

    Vietnam has begun drafting a law to further protect the rights of transgender people by allowing them to change their legal gender (without requiring surgery). The potential new law from the Ministry of Health would provide recognition for trans people and would no longer differentiate based upon whether a trans person had undergone gender reassignment surgery or other forms of medical transition.

    Gender reassignment surgery itself is currently illegal in Vietnam. However, it is common for transgender people to travel to neighboring Thailand for their gender reassignment surgeries. According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, there are between 270,000 and 300,000 transgender people in Vietnam.

    LGBT rights in Vietnam have radically changed within the last few years, with the first formal recognition of transgender people passing in the form of an amended civil code in 2015 (in effect since early 2017) which allows those who have received gender reassignment surgery to change their legal gender.

    In 2015, Vietnam also repealed the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, (replacing it with a neutral stance. They did not then follow through in a positive manner to legalize same-sex marriage).

  • 43. VIRick  |  October 22, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Orlando: The New Puerto Rico

    According to local Orlando media reports, so far for the month of October, over 1,000 new students from Puerto Rico have already been enrolled in the Orlando public school system. And the beginning of the mass influx has barely begun.

    As further sign of the continuing chaos and mass displacement of people throughout the region on into the foreseeable future, my next 4 flights to and fro, in December, January, February, and April, have all been re-arranged, re-routed, re-booked, and re-ticketed for me at the airlines' convenience, with 2 of the 4 even having altered dates for travel. My latest negotiations, via phone, just occurred last night with United Airlines "who would be happy to accommodate me on a different date, via a different routing, at no fee, due to the 'irregular' nature of the continuing service being provided throughout the upcoming months." And in this particular instance, we were discussing flights for mid-January, during the height of what would normally be considered the winter tourist season. (Since originally posting this up-date, and having just completed yet another phone negotiation with American Airlines concerning the February flights, I now have 3 of 4 trips with altered dates of travel). Of course, I suppose all of this must be considered an "improvement" because when I was attempting to depart St. Thomas right after the two hurricanes slammed us, my flight dates were changed 8 different times, and involved two different airlines (with my original ticket having been cancelled and refunded), before I successfully flew out.

    Yesterday, Saturday, 21 October, there were 50 non-stop flights (with at least 12,000 seats) which actually operated between San Juan International and various cities on the US mainland, of which 21 were destined for Florida (10 to Orlando, 6 to Ft. Lauderdale, 4 to Miami, and 1 to Tampa). Other flight quantities and destinations were: 7 to JFK, 4 to Newark, 2 to Boston, 3 to Philadelphia, 3 to Baltimore, 2 to Charlotte, 3 to Atlanta, 2 to Chicago, 2 to Houston, and 1 to Dallas. Let's hope that this continuing influx not only permanently flips Florida, but adds to the possibility of flipping Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

    In another recent development, it would appear that almost all of the non-US-flag air carriers have finally returned to providing service in/out of San Juan, that is, Air Century to Santo Domingo, Iberia to Santo Domingo/Madrid, Copa to Panamá, Avianca to Bogotá, Volaris to Mexico, Condor to Punta Cana, Inter Caribbean to Providenciales, and LIAT to Antigua. Currently, because of the continuing diplomatic row, there are no flights to/from Venezuela.

    In other notes, the Alaska Army National Guard has arrived in St. Croix, USVI, to provide for hurricane relief assistance.

  • 44. allan120102  |  October 22, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    bad news coming from Paraguay

  • 45. VIRick  |  October 22, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Paraguay Bans LGBT-Inclusive Education Curriculum

    Somosgay, a Paraguayan LGBT advocacy organization, has condemned the ban (on teaching an-LGBT-inclusive curriculum in Paraguayan public schools), arguing that the term “gender ideology” was “invented by conservative groups to keep justifying violence and discrimination.”

    The new ban defies the Montevideo Consensus, adopted by Paraguay and other Latin American nations in 2013, which requires countries to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

    “Under cover of the malicious expression ‘gender ideology,’ what is really happening here is the suppression of education about equality and discrimination, which is an international obligation of the Paraguayan state,” says Amnesty International’s Erika Guevara Rosas. “Excluding education on equality from the curriculum is tantamount to state promotion of violence and discrimination, with extremely grave consequences. This decision represents an extremely dangerous backward step for human rights in the country.”

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