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News round-up and open thread w/ BREAKING news

Community/Meta Transgender Rights

– A jury in Oklahoma found in favor of a transgender professor who faced employment discrimination. She was awarded more than $1 million.

– BREAKING: In the ACLU’s challenge to President Trump’s ban on transgender military servicemembers, the judge has granted a preliminary injunction against the ban. We will have more when we read the decision.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  November 21, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Second Preliminary Injunction Granted against Transgender Military Ban

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 21 November 2017, in the federal District Court for Maryland, in "Stone v. Trump," the ACLU challenge to the transgender military service member ban, Judge Garbis granted a Preliminary Injunction fully suspending the ban and denied in part, granted in part the motion to dismiss:

    1. Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction is GRANTED.

    2. By separate Order, the Court shall issue a Preliminary Injunction.

    3. Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED IN PART, DENIED IN PART.
    a) The Court hereby dismisses without prejudice Count III – Violation of 10 U.S.C. § 1074.
    b) Counts I and II remain pending.

    "The Court finds the directives unlikely to survive even the most deferential standard of judicial review which requires only that they have a reasonable relationship to a legitimate state interest.

    "Moreover, the Court finds that, based on the exhibits and declarations currently on the record, the Directives are unlikely to survive a rational review. The lack of any justification for the abrupt policy change, combined with the discriminatory impact to a group of our military service members who have served our country capably and honorably, cannot possibly constitute a legitimate governmental interest." (Memo and Order, pg 36)

    In addition, Judge Garbis called the Assh-Ole-in-Charge's tweets on the matter, "shocking," "capricious, arbitrary, and unqualified," while fully suspending the ban, stating that the Fifth Amendment itself withdraws from Government the power to degrade or demean. This point is then followed with this sentence, extra-ordinary on so many levels: "A capricious, arbitrary, and unqualified tweet of new policy does not trump the methodical and systematic review by military stakeholders qualified to understand the ramifications of policy changes."

    The judge went on to say that Trump’s tweets did not show that the president had reviewed the issue with military officials.

    "President Trump’s tweets did not emerge from a policy review, nor did the Presidential Memorandum identify any policymaking process or evidence demonstrating that the revocation of transgender rights was necessary for any legitimate national interest," the judge wrote. "Based on the circumstances surrounding the President’s announcement and the departure from normal procedure, the Court agrees with the DC Court that there is sufficient support for Plaintiffs’ claims that 'the decision to exclude transgender individuals was not driven by genuine concerns regarding military efficacy.'"

    • The Memo and Order Re Motions is here:
    • The Preliminary Injunction is here:

    One can read more excepts from the blistering ruling here:

    Note: The reference to the DC Court is in regard to the first preliminary injunction on this matter already issued by that court on 30 October 2017 in "Doe v. Trump."

  • 2. VIRick  |  November 21, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Hearing in Third Suit Challenging Transgender Military Ban

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 21 November 2017, in the federal District Court for Washington State, in "Karnoski v. Trump," the Lambda Legal, OutServce-SLDN, and State of Washington's suit challenging the constitutionality of the ban on military service by transgender individuals, a hearing was held in Seattle on the granting of a preliminary injunction.

    In an up-date from Lambda Legal: "Hearing ends with the judge moving to study the implementation of the ban, and promises an opinion by 8 December."

  • 3. VIRick  |  November 21, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Notice of Appeal against Preliminary Injunction in First Suit Challenging Trans Military Ban

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 21 November 2017, in "Doe v. Trump," the GLAD and NCLR lawsuit challenging the ban on military service by transgender individuals, the Defendants appealed to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia the 30 October 2017 order granting a preliminary injunction.

    The Defendants' Notice of Appeal is here:

    Good luck with this appeal, while remembering Judge Garbis' quote-of-the-day, taken from his ruling on the same matter, cited up above:

    "A capricious, arbitrary, and unqualified tweet of new policy does not trump the methodical and systematic review by military stakeholders qualified to understand the ramifications of policy changes."

  • 4. scream4ever  |  November 21, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    God I hope their appeal is denied all the way up so this nonsense ends fast.

  • 5. VIRick  |  November 21, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    Zimbabwe: LGBT Activists Celebrate Mugabe's Resigntion

    On 21 November 2017, Robert Mugabe resigned as the president of Zimbabwe, submitting his resignation, which took effect immediately, less than a week after the country’s military placed him under house arrest. The military moved against Mugabe after he fired Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa in an apparent attempt to allow his wife, Grace Mugabe, to succeed him. On 19 November 2017, members of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front or ZANU-PF voted to remove Robert Mugabe as their party leader. ZANU-PF members also expelled Grace Mugabe from the party.

    That same day, Robert Mugabe remained defiant in a speech he gave on Zimbabwean television, even though ZANU-PF said lawmakers would seek to remove him from office if he didn’t resign by 12 PM local time on Monday, 20 November 2017. Thus, on 21 November 2017, the Zimbabwean Parliament began impeachment proceedings against Robert Mugabe just before he resigned.

    “GALZ (Gays and Lesbians Zimbabwe) receives the news of the resignation of Robert Mugabe with much jubilation,” said GALZ, an LGBT and intersex advocacy group that is based in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare, in a statement. “Since 1995 GALZ has been on the receiving end of the brutality and hate of Robert Mugabe’s aversion to diversity. We are ecstatic that the face of brutality, hate, and impunity has resigned.”

    Ricky “Ricki” Nathanson of the Trans Research, Education, Advocacy and Training (TREAT) program spoke with the Washington Blade from the city of Bulawayo after Robert Mugabe resigned. “It is with such relief and joy to hear of the resignation of the ex-president of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe,” said Nathanson. “When he took over, we thought that it would usher in a new independent country. But that independence was only experienced in certain areas and not across the board.”

    Mnangagwa is expected to be Zimbabwe’s interim president until elections take place in 2018.

  • 6. VIRick  |  November 21, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Croatia: Bank Ad Features Gay Couple and Transgender Woman

    A Croatian bank has upset bigots for its inclusion of a gay couple and a transgender woman in its commercial. Erste Bank’s campaign, “Croatia needs people who believe in themselves,” is centered around diversity, "Total Croatia News" reports, and has brought out the ire of CitizenGo.

    CitizenGo, whose board of trustees includes National Organization for Marriage (NOM) president Brian Brown, has released a petition against the ad, titled “Croatia needs people who believe in themselves, in marriage, in the family.”

  • 7. Raga  |  November 22, 2017 at 9:39 am

    European Court of Justice just heard a case involving the recognition of a Romanian's marriage. It's ruling could impact the recognition of marriage across the EU:

  • 8. VIRick  |  November 22, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    European Court of Justice Debates Subject of Same-Sex Marriage

    Corte Europea de Justicia Debate Tema de Matrimonio Homosexual

    El martes, 21 de noviember 2017, la Corte Europea de Justicia inició un debate sobre la posibilidad de reconocer matrimonios homosexuales en países de la Unión Europea donde ello no es legal.

    La audiencia en Luxemburgo fue convocada luego que la corte constitucional de Rumania le pidió a la corte europea intervenir, en medio de un recurso judicial presentado en Rumania por una pareja rumana-norteamericana que desea que su unión del 2010 sea reconocida. Rumania es parte de la UE pero los matrimonios del mismo sexo no son reconocidos allí. Iustina Ionescu, una abogada rumana, dijo ante el tribunal que el matrimonio de la pareja debería ser reconocido en base al principio del libre traslado de personas dentro de la unión.

    "Tenemos confianza en la sabiduría de los magistrados europeos, de que estarán en capacidad de tomar una decisión en nuestro favor, para corregir las injusticias en Rumania”, declaró Adrian Coman, que lleva desde el 2012 tratando de que su matrimonio con el estadounidense, Claibourn Robert Hamilton, sea reconocido. Sin embargo, representantes de Rumania, Hungría, Polonia, y Estonia declararon ante el tribunal que no desean que la palabra “cónyuge” abarque a parejas del mismo sexo.

    On Tuesday, November 21, 2017, the European Court of Justice began a debate on the possibility of recognizing same-sex marriages in countries of the European Union where this is not legal.

    The hearing in Luxembourg was called after the Constitutional Court of Romania asked the European court to intervene, amid a judicial appeal filed in Romania by a Romanian-American couple who want their 2010 union recognized. Romania is part of the EU but same-sex marriages are not recognized there. Iustina Ionescu, a Romanian lawyer, told the court that the marriage of the couple should be recognized based on the principle of the free movement of people within the union.

    "We have confidence in the wisdom of the European magistrates, that they will be able to make a decision in our favor, to correct the injustices in Romania," said Adrian Coman, who has been trying since 2012 to have his marriage to the American, Claibourn Robert Hamilton, recognized. However, representatives of Romania, Hungary, Poland, and Estonia stated in court that they do not want the word "spouse" to cover same-sex couples.

  • 9. VIRick  |  November 22, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Texas: Naked Pic of "Family Values" Congressman Emerges

    A conservative "family values" Texas lawmaker, Rep. Joe Barton (R), has apologized after a graphic picture of him emerged on Twitter from an anonymous account. In it, he appears naked, although small portions on the photo are marked over.

    Barton, former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee and the longest-serving member of Congress from Texas, is running for re-election. There are now serious questions about his political future, following his admission to having had a string of sexual relationships with an assortment of "adult, mature" women while separated from his wife, prior to the finalization of his divorce.

    What is eminently clear is Barton’s anti-LGBTQ voting record. He has voted against prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation, in favor of a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, for a ban on gay adoptions in Washington, DC, and for a bill to only give federal aid to schools allowing voluntary prayer.

    If anyone is worried about gaining weight during the holidays, just replay the nude image of Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton in your head. You will have no appetite. None. Nada. However, if you do look, remember that eye bleach doesn't work. So, if that's not ample enough warning, then click here to see what passes as his penis pic, if you truly wish to be totally revolted:

    Still, the comments that follow it are pure brilliance. Typical examples:
    Just looking at the belly above is gross enough without viewing the dingle in the dangle.
    Good god! Can he even see his penis? His belly stick out more than his Dickey do!
    If you find yourself alone & naked with a cell phone by your genitalia, remember this moment.

  • 10. VIRick  |  November 22, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Canada: First Openly Transgender Mayor Elected

    An openly transgender woman has just become the first transgender person to be elected mayor in Canada. Julie Lemieux is also the first female mayor in the 136-year history of the Quebec town of Très-Saint-Rédempteur.

    The town of Très-Saint-Rédempteur, a small community of 900 with deep Catholic roots, has seemingly changed a great deal since its beginnings. The new mayor said her victory showed that “people from rural areas are open-minded and shouldn’t be seen as out-of-touch just because they don’t live in large cities.”

  • 11. VIRick  |  November 22, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Petition to Supreme Court to Hear Employee's Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claim

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In ""Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital," the appeal to the Supreme Court of a decision dismissing an employee's sexual orientation discrimination claim under Title VII, the Petitioner's Reply Brief in support of granting certiorari has been submitted.

    This petition has already been distributed for the 8 December 2017 conference. For an explanation as to how a case proceeds at the Supreme Court, SCOTUSblog has a post, "Supreme Court Procedure," here:

    The Reply Brief in "Evans" is here:

  • 12. scream4ever  |  November 22, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Assuming they grant cert, this will be the biggest gay rights case since Obergefell.

  • 13. Elihu_Bystander  |  November 23, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Let us not diminish the importance of Masterpice Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

    The decision in this case will influence the outcome in many suits in Federal District Courts and others.

  • 14. FredDorner  |  November 22, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Some rather obvious anti-trans bigotry in the Virginia House of Delegates, although the end result could unwittingly be good:

    The Republican leader of the Virginia House of Delegates wants to do away with the chamber’s longstanding tradition of addressing lawmakers with gendered titles.

    House Leader Kirk Cox told The Washington Post through a spokesman Tuesday that if Republicans maintain control of the House, lawmakers will be referred to as “delegate” instead of “gentleman” or “gentlewoman.”

    The statement came in response to questions about how Delegate-elect Danica Roem, who is a transgender woman, would be addressed.

  • 15. VIRick  |  November 22, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Virgin Islands Post-Hurricane Electric Restoration Efforts

    Per VI Water and Power Authority (WAPA), at end of workday, 21 November 2017:

    Customers on Scott Free Road, from Solberg to Four Corners, and in the area of the Old Mill in Contant were restored. Service was also restored to some additional customers in Santa Maria, Crown Mountain, Estate Pearl and Sorgenfri. A primary circuit was energized from Drake’s Seat to Hull Bay Road with some customers being restored.

    So, 2 1/2 months after the double-hurricane wiped everything out, work-crews are climbing up the south side of the mountain (Scott Free, Solberg, Four Corners) in the general direction of my house, while others are approaching from the east (Drake's Seat, Hull Bay Road), just the beginning of the restoration of service to the Northside of the island.

    Overall, approximately 1/3 of all customers in the Virgin Islands have had their electrical power restored. That's the progress thus far. There's been no word as to when internet service might ever be restored,– except to note that the phone company can not begin to do their restoration until after the power company is finished in any given area.

    And Puerto Rico is even further behind.

    Longer term, despite the fact that I stopped investing new money in the territory some years ago, the tourist economy of the Virgin Islands still remains my primary source of income, an income which has now shriveled up to practically nothing. And I am anticipating that the economic situation will remain in that shrunken state for many more months to come. Still, to complicate matters, I have no intention of abandoning my stake-hold there. As a result, come what may, I will be returning there in about a month's time.

    Note: We have a linguistic scramble of place names that includes Spanish, English, French, and Danish. In Danish, "Solberg" means Sunny Mountain, while "Sorgenfri" means Worry-Free.

  • 16. ianbirmingham  |  November 24, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Do the authorities claim that they are hardening the electrical system as they rebuild?

    Are the residents angry enough to make this huge delay a big issue in the next election?

  • 17. VIRick  |  November 24, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Yes, they claim they are, burying primary circuits and installing composite poles, theoretically capable of withstanding wind speeds up to 200 MPH. But it is difficult to assess. For example, the primary circuit through the area below my house appears to have survived intact. However, that same primary circuit up the steep incline through Solberg, between the power plant and my neighborhood, is a screaming mess, where not a single pole, wire, or transformer survived. Still, my biggest concern is that the house is fed current from a secondary circuit which is also broken in two places. They have not finished with the primary circuitry, and thus, have not even begun on the secondary ones.

    And no, at least not yet, as most residents are taking the disaster as "par for the course," because after Hurricane Hugo it took 3 1/2 months, and after Hurricane Marilyn, it took over 2 1/2 months. We live with the half-expectation that these types of disasters will occur, sooner or later. Besides, "anger' won't make any difference, as our autonomous governmental authorities, following the pattern in New York/New Jersey, are beyond politics and elections. They independently generate their own revenue, separately from the day-to-day operations of the rest of government, and thus, are really not answerable to any elected officials. Besides, even after a disaster of this magnitude, it's still better to focus on the positive: Thank goodness, those retro-fitted 5-inch bolts from Home Depot held the house together, that I listened to the old French people and let the hurricane-force winds freely circulate through the house so as to keep the air pressure balanced, that that massive tree which crashed down only destroyed one car windshield, and that the flood waters were only knee-deep, yet forceful enough to dump an entire truck-load of gravel under my car.

    Also, on a comparative scale, we are aware that our reconstruction efforts are a bit ahead of that of Puerto Rico, the BVI, Anguilla, French/Dutch Sint Maarten, St-Barths, and Dominica, all locales where the eye of either Irma or Maria actually crossed directly over the islands, causing even greater damage. Or Barbuda, which was so horribly ravaged that it has been deemed unfit for human habitation for the foreseeable future. Instead, the USVI were trapped in the narrow corridor between the exact paths of the two hurricanes (as was Guadeloupe, Antigua, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis, Sint Eustatius, and Saba).

  • 18. ianbirmingham  |  November 28, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Sanders Intros $146 Billion 'Transformation Blueprint' for Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands

  • 19. VIRick  |  November 23, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Chile: Discussion on Marriage Equality Bill to Begin in Congress

    Chile: Se Inicia la Discusión del Proyecto de Matrimonio Igualitario en el Congreso

    A casi tres meses de la presentación del proyecto de matrimonio igualitario que hizo la Presidenta, Michelle Bachelet, en La Moneda el 28 de agosto 2017, y de su ingreso al Congreso el 5 de septiembre pasado, la iniciativa que busca dar acceso a las parejas del mismo sexo a esta institución civil comenzará su discusión en el parlamento.

    A partir de las 15 horas, del lunes 27 de noviembre 2017, está citada la Comisión de Constitución del Senado para dar comienzo a la discusión del proyecto de matrimonio igualitario.

    Almost three months after the presentation of the marriage equality bill made by President Michelle Bachelet in La Moneda on 28 August 2017, and its entry into Congress on 5 September, the initiative that seeks to give same-sex couples access to this civil institution will begin to have its discussion in parliament.

    As of 3:00 PM Monday, 27 November 2017, the Senate's Constitution Committee is scheduled to begin discussion of the marriage equality bill.

    Why the sudden burst of energy? Simple. Congressional elections are over with. The new Congress takes their seats in March 2018, and the new majority in both houses are in favor of its passage. So, the current Congress members no longer have any fear of losing in the election over this issue. And if they do not approve it now, the next Congress will.

    In the meantime, the outcome in the presidential run-off election is still not clear. However, we have this choicely frank summary in terms of the anti-marriage equality front-runner and two of his anti-gay opponents who did not make it into the second round:

    Per Osvaldo Pacheco:

    Ossandon y Kast firmes opositores al matrimonio igualitario a los homosexuales y gays, pero son los primeros en bajarse los pantalones ante Piñera.

    Ossandon and Kast are firm opponents of marriage equality for homosexuals and gays, but are the first to drop their pants before Piñera.

  • 20. scream4ever  |  November 24, 2017 at 12:28 am

    Let's hope momentum in Australia and likely Panama soon will push it through fast!

  • 21. VIRick  |  November 23, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    Panamá: No Word from Supreme Court on Marriage Equality Ruling

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Today (22 November 2017), the Panamá Supreme Court reportedly finished mulling over one justice's draft ruling rejecting marriage equality. But there's been no news as to what they decided. If the majority rejects the draft, the court could still bring in marriage equality.

    Up-Date on 24 November: Two days have now gone by, and there's still been no word. The previous draft ruling against marriage equality was prematurely and deliberately leaked to the press and the public by someone within the court who was displeased with the draft (likely one of the clerks, but possibly even one of the justices themselves). This time, nothing.

    We are thus left to speculate. However, as more time passes, it increases the possibility that the majority of Justices have rejected that original draft ruling (like in Colombia), and are now in the process of writing a contrary majority opinion, to be released in due course.

    That was the process followed in Colombia (including the presence of inside sources who also continued to leak details of the on-going deliberations). We have to remember that Panamá was once a province of Colombia, and as a result, inherited most of Colombia's court procedures at the time of independence.

  • 22. ianbirmingham  |  November 24, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    A Conservative Plan To Weaponize The Federal Courts

  • 23. VIRick  |  November 25, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Bermuda: Retrograde "Domestic Partnerships" Bill Introduced

    On 24 November 2017, Walton Brown, the Minister of Home Affairs, introduced a Bill to give gay couples a watered-down option of “domestic partnerships” instead of marriage. Mr Brown said the Domestic Partnerships Bill would be debated by MPs on 8 December.

    The draft Bill came six months after a Supreme Court ruling paved the way for same-sex couples to marry in Bermuda. To date, there have been six same-sex marriages in Bermuda, while seven banns have been posted, and one additional maritime same-sex marriage is pending.

  • 24. FredDorner  |  November 26, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    It's important for bigots to have a sense of superiority. Equality terrifies them.

  • 25. scream4ever  |  November 26, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    If this passes expect further litigation.

  • 26. VIRick  |  November 25, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    Santiago, Chile: Massive March to Demand Approval of Marriage Equality

    Santiago, Chile: Masiva Marcha para Exigir Aprobación del Matrimonio Igualitario

    El candidato presidencial Alejandro Guillier, su esposa Cristina Farga, parlamentarios, y diplomáticos se manifestaron hoy, 25 de noviembre 2017, por la aprobación de una ley de matrimonio igualitario y de identidad de género, en el marco de una masiva protesta convocada en Santiago, que reunió a unas cien mil personas, según los organizadores.

    La marcha, fijada por el Movimiento de Integración y Liberación Homosexual (Movilh), reunió a centenares de personas a las 14:00 hora local (17.00 GMT) en la céntrica Plaza Italia, para luego caminar por la Alameda y finalizar en la Plaza Los Héroes con un encuentro político, cultural y electrónico que se extenderá hasta entrada la noche.

    El candidato oficialista Alejandro Guillier, que se enfrentará el próximo 17 de diciembre en segunda vuelta a Sebastián Piñera, participó de la actividad con el objetivo de "defender el Chile, inclusivo y diverso, que soñamos," dijo.

    The presidential candidate Alejandro Guillier, his wife Cristina Farga, parliamentarians, and diplomats demonstrated today, 25 November 2017, for the approval of a law in favor of marriage equality and gender identity, within the framework of a massive protest convened in Santiago, which brought together some one hundred thousand people, according to the organizers.

    The march, organized by the Movement of Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movilh), brought together hundreds of people at 2:00 PM local time (17:00 GMT) at the central Plaza Italia, to then walk through the Alameda, and to finish at Plaza Los Héroes with a political, cultural, and musical gathering that will last until late at night.

    The governing candidate Alejandro Guillier, who will face Sebastián Piñera on 17 December in the second round, participated in the activity with the aim of "defending a Chile, inclusive and diverse, that we dream of," he said.

  • 27. VIRick  |  November 26, 2017 at 12:35 am

    Chile: Reading the Tea Leaves Regarding the Opposition

    Despite the fact that the failed presidential Evópoli candidate, Ossandón, rather meekly "dropped his pants" before the anti-gay Piñera, Juventud Evópoli, the youth arm of the party, insists otherwise:

    Per Juventud Evópoli‏:

    Nos comprometemos en apoyar el matrimonio igualitario. Gracias a nuestro diputado Luciano Cruz-Coke por comprometerse.

    We are committed to supporting equal marriage. Thanks to our deputy Luciano Cruz-Coke for committing himself.

    Juventud Evópoli‏ also manned an entire pro-marriage-equality contingent at today's massive march in Santiago.

    Despite the fact that Evópoli ‏is part of the "Chile Vamos" opposition coalition, it would appear that they have split from the coalition on this issue, and/or are divided among themselves as to how they intend on voting in Congress.‏

  • 28. VIRick  |  November 25, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    Sinaloa: New Amparo to Be Sought for Marriage Equality

    Sinaloa: Buscarán Nuevo Amparo para Matrimonios Igualitarios

    Per Ma. Luisa Alatorre:

    Ante la inacción de las autoridades a legalizar el matrimonio igualitario, miembros de la comunidad LGBT buscarán un nuevo amparo con el fin de ser reconocidos como pareja ante la ley.

    Sería el sexto amparo que se busque en el estado con el fin de que personas del mismo sexo se casen, explica el activista Tiago Ventura. Esta idea nació de la necesidad de asumir sus derechos y no tener que viajar a otros estados para contraer matrimonio.

    Faced with the inaction of the authorities to legalize equal marriage, members of the LGBT community will seek a new amparo in order to be recognized as couples before the law.

    It would be the sixth amparo sought in the state in order for same-sex couples to marry, explains activist Tiago Ventura. This idea was born from the need to assume their own rights and to no longer rely on travelling to other states to contract one's marriage.

    Note the usage of the plural in Spanish. This would indicate that they are planning a massive "amparo colectivo" for multiple couples, in effect for all couples willing to sign on.

  • 29. allan120102  |  November 26, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Today are the general elections in Honduras. Hoping Salvador Nasralla wins because even though he is not in favor of marriage equality he supports protections for minorities and that includes lgbt people. He at least supports something and not like Juan Orlando who make re election legal in an illegal way and who is always against minorities.

  • 30. ianbirmingham  |  November 26, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    An Egyptian court on Sunday sentenced 14 gay men to 3 years in jail each for "abnormal" sexual relations"

  • 31. VIRick  |  November 27, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Chile: Projected Vote on Marriage Equality in New Congress

    Per Diversidad Sexual Guillier:‏

    Según estudio de "La Tercera," el Matrimonio Igualitario contraria con 19 votos en el senado y 73 en la cámara de diputados del nuevo congreso, y la Ley de Identidad de Género con 17 votos en el senado y 85 en la cámara de diputados.

    According to a study by "La Tercera," in the new Congress, Marriage Equality would be opposed by 19 votes in the Senate and 73 in the Chamber of Deputies, and the Gender Identity Law by 17 votes in the Senate and 85 in the Chamber of Deputies.

    The new Congress will consist of 47 senators in the Senate and 155 deputies in the House. At the current moment, in the on-going Congress, there are 38 Senators (20 of whom continue their terms into the new Congress) and 120 Deputies, as Chile is in the process of expanding the membership of both chambers.

    Per Senadores PPD:

    Presidida por el senador Felipe Harboe (PPD BíoBío), sesiona la Comisión de Constitución, abordando el proyecto que regula, en igualdad de condiciones, el matrimonio de las parejas del mismo sexo.

    Chaired by Senator Felipe Harboe (PPD BíoBío), the Constitution Commission is meeting, addressing the bill that regulates, under equal conditions, the marriage of same-sex couples.

    Here's the new web-site created by the Government of Chile, "Chile Mejor," which provides an informative, positive chronology on Marriage Equality:

    The Government of Chile has pulled out all stops, turning up the volume, with non-stop messaging from any/every sector, Segegob, Seremi, Segpres, Prensa Harboe, Min. Mujer y EG, Ministra Pascual, Min. Justicia, Cancillería Chile, Min. Paula Narváez, Oscar Rementería, Senador Quinteros‏, Senadores PPD, Senadores PS, Senado Chile, etc., as they immediately press forward in the current Congress, knowing that they will now also receive a positive outcome with the new Congress.

    Per Senado Chile:

    Finaliza Comisión de Constitución, donde inicio primera ronda de audiencia, para escuchar a diferentes organizaciones por proyecto regula el matrimonio de parejas del mismo sexo.

    Constitution Commission ends, initiating the first round of hearings, to listen to different organizations per the bill to regulate the marriage of same-sex couples.

  • 32. scream4ever  |  November 27, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    So they don't think the current Congress will vote on it?

  • 33. VIRick  |  November 27, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Scream, the current Congress will vote in the affirmative on the measure, knowing that the next Congress is even more strongly in favor of its passage. They've carefully counted heads, and have already determined that the new Senate would pass the bill 23-20, so their conclusion is that they may as well pass it now, and thus take the "credit" for it.

    Note the correction, per Rex Wockner: The new Senate will have 43 senators (not 47).

  • 34. scream4ever  |  November 27, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Okay I got it thanks. What about the House?

  • 35. VIRick  |  November 27, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    The current composition of the 120-member House is less clear (but almost certainly, with a slim majority in favor), but the next, expanded 155-member House definitely has a majority in favor.

    So, the strategy is as follows: Introduce the bill in the Senate, and have the Senate affirmatively pass it. Then bring it to the House, where all current members know two major points:

    1. The Senate has already passed the bill.
    2. The majority of members in the new 155-member House will also pass it.

    So, again, they may as well pass the measure, and take the "credit" for it.

  • 36. VIRick  |  November 27, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    11th Circuit Court of Appeals: Prospective Jurors Must be Vetted for Homophobia

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 22 November 2017, in an appeal from a Florida federal district court, a 3-member panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a defendant will be granted a new trial because the judge refused to ask potential jurors questions about any anti-gay bias they might have.

    "Raymond Berthiaume brought suit against Lieutenant David Smith of the Key West Police Department and the City of Key West …. alleging claims of excessive force, false arrest, false imprisonment, battery/unnecessary force, and malicious prosecution, arising from Lieutenant Smith’s October 2013 arrest of Berthiaume. Following a three-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants, and the district court subsequently denied Berthiaume’s motion for a new trial.

    "On appeal, Berthiaume contends that he was denied a fair trial by an impartial jury. Berthiaume asserts, inter alia, that the district court abused its discretion in failing to ask jurors his proposed voir dire question, which was: 'Do you harbor any biases or prejudices against persons who are gay or homosexual?’ After review, and with the benefit of oral argument, we conclude that, given the particular facts and circumstances in this case described below, the district court abused its discretion in not asking that question.”

    The Opinion is here:

  • 37. VIRick  |  November 27, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Australia: Senate Hoping to Pass Same-Sex Marriage Laws this Week

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Debate resumed on Monday, 27 November 2017, in the upper house on a private senator's bill introduced by Liberal Dean Smith to change the marriage laws to allow for same-sex marriage.

    Attorney-General George Brandis told reporters on Monday that it's imperative that the purpose of the vote isn't lost amid discussion about religious freedoms. "There are some who take the view that it ought to be a broader debate and that it ought to extend into broader areas of anti-discrimination law, that's not what the Australian people voted on in the marriage survey," he said.

  • 38. VIRick  |  November 27, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Federal Judge: Military Must Move Forward to Allow Transgender Recruits by 1 January

    Per BuzzFeed News and Equality Case Files:

    On Monday, 27 November 2017, in "Doe v. Trump," a federal judge ruled that the military must move forward with plans for allowing transgender recruits, starting on 1 January 2018. The ruling clarifies an earlier injunction against Trump's memorandum halting Obama-era policies that allowed for out transgender service. At present, there are two federal court injunctions against Trump's order, one in DC and the other in Maryland.

    The Justice Department already has filed notice that it is appealing this DC-based injunction, which was issued in October by US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. However, before it did so, the Justice Department asked Kollar-Kotelly to clarify that her court's injunction did not prevent Secretary of Defense James Mattis from "exercising his discretion to defer the 1 January 2018 effective date for the accession" portion — as in, recruitment policies — of the Obama-era order allowing for transgender military service.

    Under the order initially issued by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in 2016, the military was to begin new accession policies that allowed transgender people to join the military by 1 July 2017, if they met the Defense Department's requirements. On 30 June, however, Mattis pushed that date back to 1 January 2018. Rather than clarifying as the Justice Department had wanted, that is, issuing a ruling that Mattis could keep delaying the date, Kollar-Kotelly did the opposite, clarifying that the court's injunction meant the 1 January 2018 date has to remain:

    "The Court explained that the effect of its Order was to revert to the status quo with regard to accession and retention that existed before the issuance of the [Trump] Presidential Memorandum," she wrote. "Those policies allowed for the accession of transgender individuals into the military beginning on 1 January 2018. Any action by any of the Defendants that changes this status quo is preliminarily enjoined."

    The Order is here:

  • 39. allan120102  |  November 27, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Costa Rica
    The general elections in Costa Rica are early next year and for the first time the candidates from the right and left both support ssm. Here is what the conservative candidate said about marriage equality.
    If he were to become president of the Republic, Juan Diego Castro, candidate of the National Integration Party (PIN), would not oppose gay marriage, but would block any attempt to legalize the use of marijuana, regardless of whether it is for medical consumption or recreational.For Castro, the fundamental principle that all men are equal, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is transversal to his political thinking and therefore, could not oppose the struggle of the LGTBI collective.

    However, the presidential hopeful of the PIN makes clear that to validate the union of people of the same sex, it could only be done through a legal reform in the Legislative Assembly, or through a new Political Constitution, which he would be willing to push. In that sense, he clarifies that in the first case that would depend on the new legislators and the composition of the new Congress.
    Another way out is for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to validate gay marriage in Costa Rica and for its ruling to be binding, as it happened in March 2016 with in vitro fertilization.

    "I give birth and the PIN is part of the universal declaration of human rights, there is nothing to invent. With the rights of gays and any minority, religious, ethnic, social, sexual, we will be based on the declaration of human rights and a basic principle of the spiritual traditions of humanity, which is do not do anyone, what You do not like to be made. To me, it does not affect me at all that two ladies, or two gentlemen get married, "said Castro.

    The position of the candidate of the PIN seems to be the exception and not the rule in the political spectrum, since the aspirants of other parties except Carlos Alvarado of the PAC, or do not agree, or only validate the civil union of people of the same sex.

    Currently, 57% of Costa Ricans are against the recognition of same-sex couples, while 37% are in favor, according to a survey conducted by the CIEP-UCR that was announced at the beginning of April. .
    In other words we need the Inter American court of human rights to tell CR to legalize ssm, I actually have more faith in this court than the Panamian supreme court issuing a good ruling, this court was the one that issue in favor of Ms Atala in Chile in the discrimination case.

  • 40. allan120102  |  November 28, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Breaking Aguascalientes. 4 more amparos have been granted for a total 16, one of this amparos is expected to reach the supreme court and with Aguacalientes already having 4 resolutions against there civil code it will be enough to overturn its marriage ban.
    for some reason it does not let copy the text so there is the link if you want to check it out.

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