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w/ UPDATE…READ IT HERE: Briefs from same-sex couples and Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission in Masterpiece Cakeshop case


The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
The U.S. Supreme Court. Attribution: Jeff Kubina
Charlie Craig and David Mullins, the same-sex couple turned away by Masterpiece Cakeshop, filed their brief in the Supreme Court case, asking the Justices to affirm the lower court’s ruling in their favor. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the state agency in charge of discrimination complaints, also filed their brief on the merits.

You can read both briefs here. We’ll have more on these briefs when we finish reading them.

The case will be argued December 5.

UPDATE: The Trump administration has asked for time during oral arguments to argue in favor of anti-LGBT discrimination.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  October 25, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Missouri Court of Appeals: Sex Stereotyping Discrimination Is Sex Discrimination

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 24 October 2017, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, in "Harold Lampley and Rene Frost, Appellants, v. Missouri Commission On Human Rights, et al., Respondents," ruled that sex stereotyping discrimination constitutes sex discrimination under the Missouri Human Rights Act.

    The Opinion is here:

    "Though Missouri courts have not formally pronounced (until now) that sexual stereotyping falls within the intended scope of the MHRA, our existing case law provides a framework that readily accommodates a sex stereotyping theory."

    "The MCHR contends a sex stereotyping analysis transforms sexual orientation into a suspect class. We disagree. This analysis simply allows the fact finder to determine whether sex stereotypes motivated disparate treatment. Sexual orientation is incidental and irrelevant to sex stereotyping, a conclusion underscored by 'Price Waterhouse,' where the claimant made no reference to sexual orientation. If an employer mistreats a male employee because the employer deems the employee insufficiently masculine, it is immaterial whether the male employee is gay or straight. The prohibition against sex discrimination extends to all employees, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation."

    The appeals court thus reverses and remands the case back to the trial court to remand back to the MCHR with instructions to issue right-to-sue letters.

    What makes this ruling even more interesting is that the former employer now found guilty of the sex stereotyping charge was none other than a division of the state government of the state of Missouri itself. "In 2014, Lampley filed charges of sex discrimination and retaliation against his employer, the State of Missouri’s Office of Administration, Child Support Enforcement Division. Frost, a co-worker, also filed a claim alleging retaliation based on her association with Lampley."

  • 2. scream4ever  |  October 25, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    Interesting enough, this is the same appeals court that struck down the state's sodomy ban, which the state supreme court refused to hear, thus making Missouri the only state with a "patchwork" system in place when Lawrence v Texas was handed down.

  • 3. VIRick  |  October 25, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Panamá: Future of Marriage Equality in the Hands of the Nine Supreme Court Justices

    Panamá: Futuro del Matrimonio Igualitario en Manos de los Nueve Magistrados de la CSJ

    Luis Ramón Fábrega, one of the 9 justices, proposes to reject the demands for legalizing same-sex marriage in Panamá. This proposed ruling must now be submitted to a period of discussion among the 9 justices.

    However, the proposed ruling has become public information before the finalization of the ruling. Judicial sources confirm that until 22 November 2017, the proposed ruling will be subject to a period of discussion among the members of the court. If the majority votes otherwise (and rejects Fábrega's proposal), the 9 justices must then decide upon a favorable ruling on the legalization of marriage equality.

    Abridged translation, as this news site does not allow for the usual copy-and-paste.

  • 4. SethInMaryland  |  October 25, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    What do think will happen Rick? What's this court made of ? conservative/liberal wise?

  • 5. scream4ever  |  October 26, 2017 at 8:18 am

    If Colombia is any indication, the negative opinion is released first and voted on, so this is likely a good sign.

  • 6. allan120102  |  October 26, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Not really , its just the opinion of the justice who is in charge of the case. He could have been on favor or against of legalizing ssm but it will depend on the other 8 justices if to affirm or throw up his opinion. The difference is that Colombia supreme court was a liberal majority with 6-3.recently there court now only have a 5-4 majority but still a majority in favor of ssm. In contrast Panama supreme court is more conservative.

  • 7. VIRick  |  October 26, 2017 at 10:14 am

    What seems obvious at this point is that someone with some major influence within the judicial system is quite unhappy with Fábrega's proposed ruling (very possibly one of the other justices of the court). Thus, his proposal has deliberately been prematurely "leaked" to the media prior to its finalization. I am hopeful that this pre-emptive maneuver will influence the majority to re-think Fábrega's proposal, as was done in Colombia with Pretelt's negative proposal, and rule to legalize same-sex marriage in a second opinion.

    The First Lady of Panamá, its Vice-President, and its Attorney-General have all forcefully expressed themselves favorably for a positive ruling. Even the Catholic Church in Panamá is in accord. In addition, Panamá, without question, is the most "Americanized" of all the independent nations of Latin America, particularly in the immediate vicinity of the canal, where it matters most, while both nations with which it has the greatest commonality, that is, Colombia (historically/judicially) and the USA (socially/contemporaneously), have already legalized same-sex marriage through Supreme Court rulings.

    As a separate side-issue, the Panamanian airline, COPA, was the very first foreign airline to resume its daily service, San Juan-Panamá, in the immediate aftermath of our hurricane disaster, thus allowing many residents who would otherwise still be trapped in Puerto Rico to escape in that direction. Given my on-going frustration with United Airlines, I am ready to utilize that routing myself.

  • 8. allan120102  |  October 26, 2017 at 4:51 am

    First of its kind. Court orders a tribe in Arizona to recognize ssm. The tribe say they are not going to appeal.

  • 9. VIRick  |  October 26, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Court Orders Ak-Chin Tribe to Recognize Marriages of Same-Sex Couples

    On 25 October 2017 and three years, almost to the day, after a US federal court legalized marriage for same-sex couples in Arizona (on 17 October 2014), the Ak-Chin Indian Community has begun recognizing those marriages. Following a two-year legal battle believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, a tribal court has ruled that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry under the constitution of the Ak-Chin community and the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968.

    The ruling only applies to the tribe, but could provide a legal path for members of other tribes to pursue similar cases. "This decision made it clear that the tribal law was unconstitutional under tribal law" and not just US federal law, said attorney Sonia Martinez, who represented the same-sex couple in the lawsuit.

    Robert Miguel, chairman of the Ak-Chin Indian Community, said in a statement that they would not appeal the ruling.

    The lawsuit was filed by Cleo Pablo, who grew up on the Ak-Chin Reservation south of the Salt River Valley, and who is a probation officer for the tribal courts. She and her longtime partner, Tara Roy-Pablo, married shortly after the US Supreme Court extended the right to marry to same-sex couples nationwide. While their marriage was recognized in Arizona, the certificate was (previously) meaningless the minute they stepped onto the reservation.

    According to the court ruling, four other Arizona tribes recognize same-sex marriages, including the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and the White Mountain Apache tribe. But others do not. The Navajo Nation passed laws before the ruling that define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Still others, including the Gila River Indian Community, passed such laws after the federal court rulings.

  • 10. Elihu_Bystander  |  October 26, 2017 at 4:54 am

    Brief of Respondent Colorado Civil Rights Commission

    Part One

    The response is almost equally directed to the Brief of Petitioners and the amicus Brief of the United States. It also quotes Roberts often.

    “During the civil rights era, proponents of
    segregation argued that businesses have a right to
    discriminate in selling goods and services. Those
    arguments never took hold. For example, some argued
    that public accommodations laws interfere with a
    business owner’s free exercise of religion. That
    argument was deemed “patently frivolous.” Newman v.
    Piggie Park Enters., (1968). Thus,
    “in a long line of cases” the Court rejected the notion
    that public accommodations laws “interfere [ ] with
    personal liberty.” Heart of Atlanta Motel, {1964}.

    “Because the Anti-Discrimination Act was applied
    here to regulate a commercial entity’s refusal of
    service, rather than its expression, this case does not
    implicate the compelled speech doctrine. Phillips is
    seeking to “stretch” the doctrine “well beyond the sort
    of activities [it] protect[s].” FAIR, {2006}. Both
    Phillips and the United States ask the Court to convert
    the doctrine from “a right of self-determination in
    matters that touch individual opinion and personal
    attitude,” Barnette, {1943}, into a license for
    commercial entities to refuse sales and service because
    of their customers’ protected characteristics. The
    doctrine does not apply so indiscriminately, and
    expanding it to apply here would cause profound
    doctrinal and practical problems.

    “The compelled-speech arguments in Phillips’s Brief
    and the amicus brief of the United States misapply this
    Court’s free speech jurisprudence, misconstrue public
    accommodations laws, and, if accepted, would create
    profound First Amendment problems.

    “The arguments of the United States are equally
    incompatible with the First Amendment. The United
    States urges the Court to adopt a novel, disruptive
    rule: commercial entities may discriminate so long as
    they sell “inherently communicative” products for
    “expressive event[s].” U.S. Br. 16. That rule is legally
    unsupported, impractical, and—as applied by the
    United States—singles out gay people for disparate
    treatment. The United States offers no persuasive
    justification for undermining the laws of 21 States and
    hundreds of other jurisdictions across the country that
    seek to end discrimination based on sexual orientation.
    The United States’ proposed rule is a doctrinal
    aberration. To adopt it, the Court would be required to
    disregard relevant First Amendment precedent and
    ignore salient features of Hurley and Dale.


  • 11. Elihu_Bystander  |  October 26, 2017 at 4:56 am


    The four-point test.

    “[T]he most demanding First Amendment scrutiny that may apply here
    is the deferential four-part test from United States v. O’Brien, {1968}.
    Each prong of that test is satisfied here, as the United States concedes.
    “[P]ublic accommodations laws either do not trigger any First
    Amendment scrutiny or survive O’Brien.”). Phillips
    does not argue otherwise; he argues only that the
    O’Brien test does not apply because the Commission’s
    enforcement of the Act is content- and viewpoint-based.
    Pet. Br. 35–37. That is incorrect.
    a. Under O’Brien, the first question is whether a
    challenged law is “within the constitutional power of
    the Government.” This Court’s decisions confirm that
    Colorado may forbid commercial entities from refusing
    to sell goods or services based on a customer’s identity.
    b. The second question is whether the challenged
    law “furthers an important or substantial government
    interest.” Again, as this Court has held, when laws like
    the Act are applied to a discriminatory denial of service by a
    commercial entity, they further not just important or substantial interests,
    but “compelling interests of the highest order.”
    c. Third, O’Brien asks whether “the government
    interest is unrelated to the suppression of free
    expression.” This Court has repeatedly held that a
    State’s “commitment to eliminating discrimination and assuring
    … citizens equal access to publicly available goods and services …
    is unrelated to the suppression of expression.” Thus, when public
    accommodations laws are applied to a commercial entity’s sale of goods
    and services, they are both content- and viewpoint-neutral.
    d. Finally, O’Brien requires a tailoring inquiry. This fourth prong asks
    whether a law’s objective would “be achieved less effectively absent the
    regulation.” The question is not whether other means of pursuing the objective
    “might be adequate,” only whether the law “add[s] to the
    effectiveness” of the government’s goal.
    Granting special exemptions for businesses like Phillips’s, and allowing them
    to discriminate in selling goods and services, would make the Act less effective.
    Indeed, it would single out lesbian women and gay men for unfavorable
    treatment, contravening the mission of the Anti-Discrimination Act.
    As applied here, the Act satisfies O’Brien.

  • 12. Elihu_Bystander  |  October 26, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Brief of Respondents Charlie Craig & David Mullins

    As one would expect the Table of Authorities of both respondents are consimilar. Like the brief of the CCRC, this brief rebuts the amicus brief of the United States no less than fifteen (15) times.

    If one only has time to read one of these two briefs. I recommend the CCRC brief.

    Craig & Mullins’ brief gives a brief history (as does the CCRC’s) of Colorado Civil Rights Acts beginning from 1885 through Romer and beyond.
    Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (internal citations omitted)

    “[F]or well over 100 years, Colorado has prohibited discrimination by businesses
    that offer goods and services to the public.” Colorado was among the first states
    to codify the common law duty not to “refus[e], without good reason, to serve a
    customer.” Hurley v. Irish-Am. Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Grp. of Boston, Inc.,
    (1995); see also Romer, (1996) (describing history of Colorado’s anti discrimination laws).

    “The earliest predecessor to the Anti-Discrimination Act, entitled
    “An Act To Protect All Citizens in Their Civil Rights,” became law in 1885.
    It guaranteed all citizens the “full and equal enjoyment” of places of public
    Accommodation regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
    [S]ee also Darius v. Apostolos, (1919) (interpreting 1895 version of the Act).

    “In the mid-20th century, Colorado, like many states, expanded the types of
    businesses covered by the statute. Act of June 7, 1969, Colo. Today, the
    Anti-Discrimination Act defines “place of public accommodation” to include, as
    relevant here, “any place of business engaged in any sales to the public and
    . . . any business offering wholesale or retail sales to the public.” It specifically
    exempts churches, synagogues, mosques, or other places principally used for
    religious purposes. In 2008, Colorado added sexual orientation to disability, race,
    creed, color, sex, marital status, national origin, and ancestry as an expressly
    prohibited basis for refusing service. Act of May 29, 2008, The purpose of the
    amendment was to cure the particular history of discrimination against LGBT
    people in Colorado so that they might “live in dignity” and “die in dignity” in the
    State. An Act Concerning the Expansion of Prohibitions on Discrimination:

    “Twenty other states and the District of Columbia likewise expressly prohibit
    places of public accommodation from discriminating on the basis of sexual
    orientation. Many more, as well as the federal government, prohibit discrimination
    by places of public accommodation based on characteristics such as race,
    religion, national origin, and disability.

  • 13. VIRick  |  October 26, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Costa Rica: First Congress on Marriage Equality

    Costa Rica: Primer Congreso sobre el Matrimonio Igualitario

    Per Gay Guatemala:

    El primer congreso sobre el Matrimonio Igualitario en Costa Rica se llevará a cabo del 8 al 11 de noviembre 2017.

    The first congress on Marriage Equality in Costa Rica will take place from 8 to 11 November 2017.

  • 14. VIRick  |  October 26, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Oklahoma Transgender Employment Discrimination Suit

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 26 October 2017, in the case, "Tudor v. Southeastern Oklahoma State University," a transgender professor’s employment discrimination suit, the Memo Opinion and Order have been issued denying the defendants' motion for summary judgment.

    Memorandum Opinion and Order is here:

    As a result, trial in this case has currently been scheduled to begin on Wednesday, 8 November 2017, in Oklahoma City.

    Note: This case was originally filed as "United States v. Southeastern Oklahoma State University," but the federal government has since reached a settlement agreement with the defendants, a settlement that does not include Intervenor-Plaintiff Dr. Rachel Tudor and one which does not resolve her claims.

  • 15. VIRick  |  October 26, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    6th Circuit Court of Appeals: The "Other" Suits against Kim Davis

    Per Equality Case Files:

    While most attention has been paid to April Miller's original suit against Kim Davis, "Miller v. Davis," these two “other" cases suing Kim Davis for refusing to issue marriage licenses are presently back at the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, that is, both "Ermold v. Davis" and "Yates v. Davis," with both lawsuits seeking damages from the notorious Rowan County KY clerk.

    In May 2017, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the "Ermold" case, a case Judge Bunning had earlier dismissed as being moot, stating, "Whether Ermold and Moore will prevail on the merits is not a question currently before us. We hold today that our 13 July 2016 order instructing the district court to vacate its preliminary injunction in "Miller [v. Davis"] did not render this damages-only action moot."

    Following that decision, Judge Bunning set a schedule for further proceedings in both "Ermold" (the subject of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals order) and the related case, "Yates v. Davis." The procedure then has been mostly the same in the two related cases, leading eventually to Davis filing motions to dismiss. On 15 September 2017, Judge Bunning issued his order on Davis’s motion to dismiss, granting in part and denying in part.

    Plaintiffs' claims against Davis in her official capacity were dismissed, based on sovereign immunity, but Davis’s motion to dismiss was denied as to the claims against her in her personal capacity. The Order in "Ermold" and the Order in "Yates," essentially identical, is here:

    "Plaintiffs’ official-capacity claim against Davis faces an insurmountable hurdle — sovereign immunity. The Eleventh Amendment’s “[s]overeign immunity protects states, as well as state officials sued in their official capacity for money damages, from suit in federal court.” Therefore, Plaintiffs’ money-damages claim against Davis in her official capacity, which 'is, in all respects other than name, to be treated as a suit against the' Commonwealth, is barred by the Eleventh Amendment. Accordingly, to the extent Plaintiffs seek money damages from Davis in her official capacity, she is immune from such relief, and that claim must be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”

    Judge Bunning then turns to the question of whether Davis can also dismiss the claims against her in her personal capacity, “The doctrine of qualified immunity protects government officials from liability for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.’” However, he concludes that Davis denied the plaintiffs their fundamental right to marry and had fair warning at the time she denied the marriage licenses that her conduct was unconstitutional, and therefore cannot dismiss the personal capacity claims.

    All parties have appealed to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. A cross-appeals briefing schedule has been set in both cases, with the first briefs due on 28 November 2017, and briefing due to be completed by mid-February 2018.

    The Briefing Order, filed on 19 October 2017, is here:

  • 16. VIRick  |  October 27, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Kentucky: Judge Resigns Rather Than Hear Gay Cases

    On 25 October 2017, a Kentucky judge who refused to hear adoption cases involving gay and lesbian parents just announced his resignation, to be effective after 16 December 2017.

    In April 2017, Mitchell Nance, of Glasgow KY, an elected family court judge for Barren and Metcalfe Counties in rural south-central Kentucky, first issued an order requiring lawyers representing gay and lesbian parents in adoption cases to notify him of their clients’ sexuality so that he could recuse himself in advance. In his order, he said that he believes that “the best interest of the child” can never “be promoted by the adoption by a practicing homosexual.”

    He cited a state rule that requires judges to recuse themselves in cases where their prejudice affects their impartiality. As a result, gay and lesbian parents would have to get the county court to hire a special judge to handle their cases. Nance submitted his order announcing his prejudice to the Kentucky Supreme Court for its approval, but the order was subsequently rejected by the Chief Justice.

    Local LGBTQ activists then called on him to resign, and filed a complaint with the judicial disciplinary panel wherein which he was charged with violating judicial ethics rules. On 11 September 2017, the state Judicial Conduct Commission, having thoroughly investigated the complaint, then brought formal proceedings and charges against him.

    In his response to said complaint before the commission, Nance’s lawyer wrote that Nance thought he was doing the right thing and being fair to everyone by announcing his prejudice. “His recusal would have facilitated the impartiality of the judicial system and ensured that all families had a fair opportunity for adoption.” His response goes on to state that it’s his “sincerely held religious belief” that “the divinely created order of nature is that each human being has a male parent and a female parent.”

    As a finale in the response to the charges against him, he further stated that said charges are rendered moot since he’s resigning. Simultaneously, he then dispatched his formal resignation letter to Governor Matt Bevin. Good.

    More specific detail on this sordid matter, including the complete listing of the multiple formal charges brought against him, can be found here:

    As another nut-job who managed to get elected as a state official, Kim Davis of Rowan County KY, complete with the same whacka-doodle beliefs, should have immediately done the same thing, and resigned, on-the-spot..

  • 17. ncusajohn  |  October 27, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Here is a link to the Notice of Formal Proceedings and Charges:

  • 18. Elihu_Bystander  |  October 27, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    I believe he should be given credit for stating his predigest openly. In the way he conducted himself, no LGBT parents were discriminated against by his beliefs. Also credit should be given to the chief justice of the state supreme court for denying his request to be able to recuse himself.

  • 19. VIRick  |  October 27, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Egypt: Lawmakers Introduce LGBT Criminalization Bill

    On Wednesday, 25 October 2017, lawmakers in Egypt introduced a bill that would criminalize the country’s LGBT community. A translated copy of the measure the "Washington Blade" obtained states “any two individuals or more, whether male or female, who conduct perverted sexual relations between themselves in any public or private place will each be arrested and sentenced to a period of no less than one year and no more than three years.” Those who are found guilty of violating the proposed law more than once would face up to five years in prison.

    The bill states those who “incite same sex relations, either by inciting, facilitating, hosting or calling for (them), even if they don’t perform the act itself, will be sentenced to prison for a period of no less than one year and no more than three years, as well as shutting down the venue.” Those who are found guilty of repeatedly violating this provision of the proposed law would face up to five years in prison.

    The proposal also states “audio and video publicity and advertising for LGBTQ parties or gatherings are strictly prohibited on visual, audio and social medias. In case of such violation, the host and promoter will face up to three years in prison,” it reads. “In case of holding a party or a gathering, the organizers and all participants will be sentenced to three years of prison, even if they were normal individuals. If the host was an entity, their legal representative will be put in prison, as well as shutting down both the entity and venue.”

    The measure would also “strictly” prohibit anyone from carrying “any symbol or sign of the LGBTQ community, as well as prohibiting the production, selling, marketing or promotion of such products.” Those who violate this provision would face between 1-3 years in prison.

  • 20. VIRick  |  October 27, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Arizona: Challenge to Phoenix AZ Non-Discrimination Ordinance Tossed

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 25 October 2017, a calligraphy business, Brush & Nib Studio, one in which the business owners alleged that the city was violating their First Amendment rights by requiring them to do custom work for same-sex couples, lost its challenge to the Phoenix AZ non-discrimination ordinance. Alliance Defending Freedom filed this case in Arizona state court as "Brush & Nib Studio v. City of Phoenix (Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County)," and says it intends to appeal the ruling.

    The ruling is here:

    "IT IS ORDERED granting City of Phoenix Motion for Summary Judgment on all of Plaintiffs' claims, and denying Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment."

  • 21. Elihu_Bystander  |  October 27, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    There is nothing tossed here. The City of Phoenix's motion for summary judgement has been granted.

    Regardless, the proceedings should be stayed until SCOTUS ruling on Masterpiece is given. Whatever happens there will determine the outcome here.

  • 22. VIRick  |  October 27, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    Argentina: Defying Frontiers, Two Cubans Marry in Buenos Aires

    Son cubanos, uno vive en la isla y otro en Miami y se casaron el 24 de octubre 2017 en Buenos Aires. Edel Reina Palacios y Henry Alpizar Palma son novios hace 14 años. Y necesitaban formalizar para poder mudarse juntos a Estados Unidos donde Henry vive actualmente.

    "Se conocieron en la ciudad de Cienfuegos. Hace dos años Henry pudo salir de la isla y se mudó a Miami, pero Edel se tuvo que quedar en Cuba," le contó a "Clarín" Gustavo Michanie, vicepresidente de la entidad, Judíos Argentinos Gays, quien ayudó a la pareja con los trámites para poder casarse en el país.

    "Somos uno de los pocos países que acepta el casamiento para turistas. En marzo, empezaron con los trámites. Yo tuve que enviar a la embajada argentina en Cuba una carta de invitación para que dejaran salir a Edel. Lo autorizaron por una semana, así que después solo quedó sacar los pasajes y reservar turno en el registro," contó Michanie, quien fue además testigo del casamiento.

    They are Cuban, one lives on the island and one in Miami and they were married on 24 October 2017 in Buenos Aires. Edel Reina Palacios and Henry Alpizar Palma have been boyfriends for 14 years. But they needed to formalize their relationship so they could move together to the United States where Henry currently lives.

    "They met in the city of Cienfuegos. Two years ago, Henry was able to leave the island and moved to Miami, but Edel was required to stay in Cuba," Gustavo Michanie, vice president of the group, Judíos Argentinos Gays, who helped the couple with the procedures to be able to marry in the country, told "Clarín."

    "We are one of the few countries to allow the marriage of tourists. In March, they started with the procedures. I had to send a letter of invitation to the Argentine embassy in Cuba so that they would allow Edel to leave. They authorized it for a week, so that afterwards, there was only time to get the tickets and reserve space at the registry," said Michanie, who was also a witness to the marriage.

  • 23. bythesea66  |  October 28, 2017 at 12:56 am

    I think Defying Borders would be a better translation for Estadounidenses.

  • 24. VIRick  |  October 28, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Indeed, I am certain it is, but as someone who has lived in both Sonora and Arizona, I have always viewed the US-Mexico border, first and foremost, as "La Frontera," and automatically translate that as "The Frontier," as if there were no other border of importance. In addition, this Cuban couple also utilized "La Frontera" as one step in their epic journey.

    Plus, for the couple in question, there were actually multiple frontiers on several levels which needed to be crossed, not the least of which was the fact that they have now become one of the very first Cuban same-sex couples to be legally married anywhere.

    Here are additional pertinent parts to their amazing story:

    Henry, de 36 años, (salió de Cuba con una visa turistica mexicana, y) entró a los EE.UU. desde México y pudo armar una vida nueva en el Estado de la Florida gracias a la política llamada "pies secos, pies mojados,” que le otorgaba asilo político a los cubanos que tocaban suelo norteamericano.

    La idea era que Edel (39) se mudara con él gracias al mismo recurso, pero antes de pudiera, se eliminó ese beneficio.

    La única opción que les quedó para poder vivir juntos, entonces, era contraer matrimonio. Se pusieron entonces a averiguar en qué país podían hacerlo y después de un tiempo llegaron a la conclusión de que Argentina era la mejor opción.

    Henry, 36, (left Cuba with a Mexican tourist visa, and) entered the USA from Mexico and could build a new life in the State of Florida thanks to the policy called "dry feet, wet feet," which granted political asylum to Cubans who touched American soil.

    The idea was that Edel (39) would move with him thanks to the same policy, but before he could, that benefit was eliminated.

    The only option left for them to live together, then, was to get married. They then set out to find out in which country they could do it, and after a while, they came to the conclusion that Argentina was the best option.

    The recent termination of the "dry feet, wet feet" policy, as part of the normalization of US-Cuban relations stranded thousands of Cubans who were still en route to "La Frontera," particularly moving overland northward from Ecuador, once that country abolished the need for Cubans to obtain any visa at all for entry from Cuba into Ecuador.

    At last report, Panamá granted temporary asylum to some (which will probably become permanent), while Costa Rica granted permanent asylum to most of the remainder.

    Subsequently, the Assh-Ole-in-Charge abolished the USA-Cuba normalization process, making these third-party connections even more important than ever.

  • 25. VIRick  |  October 29, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Taiwan Premier: Same-Sex Marriage Bill to Be Filed by Year's End

    The Premier of Taiwan has said a same-sex marriage bill will be sent to the legislature by the end of the year.

    In May 2017, the highest court in Taiwan ruled that Article 972 of the Civil Code, which states that marriage is between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional, and that the legislature has 2 years to change it,– or have it changed for them by the court.

    And now, Premier Lai Ching-te has said that the Executive Yuan will attempt to have a same-sex marriage bill filed by the end of the current legislative session. Writing on Facebook, the Premier said the bill will be filed in accordance with the May ruling.

  • 26. SethInMaryland  |  October 29, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Hopefully Taiwan won't have to wait two years , It should right away

  • 27. VIRick  |  October 29, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    OMG! It's Snowing in Abingdon VA

    Despite the fact that it is still the month of October, right here, right now, it is snowing in Abingdon VA (in SW Virginia, last county before Tennessee).

    Plus, as a special bonus, I just spotted a regional Belk's Dept. Store, and had to re-live the exciting recent incident and down-low adventure whereby the county Republican party chair of Pike County KY deliberately exposed himself, seeking sex, from a Belk's store employee in the men's room at their Kingsport TN outlet, and of course, then got himself duly arrested for doing so,– resulting in his resignation from his political position.

    Note: Whether deserved or not, in this part of the world, male employees at Belk's have a reputation for being gay. Apparently the local politico was acting out, based on this unproven theory.

  • 28. ncusajohn  |  October 30, 2017 at 5:16 am

    Here is an article with mug shot. It lists the KY county as Letcher County (perhaps it will now be known as Lecher County).

  • 29. VIRick  |  October 30, 2017 at 8:00 am

    You are correct. It was the Republican party chair of Letcher County KY.

    Those two counties, Pike and Letcher, sit side-by-side, right on the VA state line.

  • 30. JayJonson  |  October 30, 2017 at 6:44 am

    It's Mueller Time!

  • 31. VIRick  |  October 30, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Chile: Multiple Shades of Grey

    Chile: En la Gama de los Grises

    "En la Gama de los Grises" ("Multiple Shades of Grey," or more literally, "Within the Range of Greys"), is a recently-released gay film from Chile, filmed entirely in Santiago. It provides an extra-ordinarily accurate feel for that city, and uses its geographic positioning to create multiple levels of symbolism to very good effect.

    The Spanish city is south of the Río Mapocho, while the mestizo city is north. The Puente Cal y Canto links the two, both historically and culturally. Both sides of the river have their gay areas. One is up-scale Providencia, actually a separate municipality, on the south side, situated immediately east of Santiago, while the other is the working class area immediately north of the bridge, Cal y Canto, where Pablo Neruda once lived.

    The film is heavy on the multi-level symbolism of "crossing bridges," while one of the protagonists only sees the clear-cut "black and white" rather than the "multiple shades of grey," per the title of the film. Even Chile's earthquakes play their role in the film, in the sense of their knocking everything down so that one can then start over.

    The nonchalant, full-frontal nudity and the several graphic nude gay sex scenes also clearly illustrate just how far Chile has come within a very short interval of time.

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