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Open thread and SCOTUS news

Community/Meta Discrimination

This morning, the Supreme Court denied review in a case involving job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation based on Title VII. SCOTUSBlog notes that some procedural issues may have affected the decision.

UPDATE: In breaking news, a federal judge has rejected a request by the Trump administration to put on hold its earlier decision to allow transgender military servicemembers to enlist by January 1.

UPDATE 2: In another challenge to the military’s trans ban, a judge granted a preliminary injunction against the ban.

This is an open thread. We’ll post breaking news as it happens.


  • 1. VIRick  |  December 11, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Supreme Court Declines to Hear Anti-Gay Workplace Discrimination Case

    On Monday, 11 December 2017, the US Supreme Court announced that it would not review Lambda Legal‘s case, "Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital," on behalf of a lesbian who said she was harassed and effectively fired from her job at Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah due to her sexual orientation.

    In March 2017, a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the Civil Rights Act’s prohibition on sex-based discrimination does not protect on the basis of sexual orientation. In July 2017, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals denied an en banc rehearing, and Lambda Legal then appealed to the Supreme Court.

    “Keeping your job shouldn’t depend on whether or not you pass for straight. There is no way to draw a line between sexual orientation discrimination and discrimination based on gender nonconformity because not being straight is gender-nonconforming, period,” Greg Nevins, Employment Fairness Project Director for Lambda Legal, said at the time. “By declining to hear this case, the Supreme Court is delaying the inevitable and leaving a split in the circuits that will cause confusion across the country,” Nevins said.

    While lower courts have ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects against anti-LGBTQ discrimination, so far no federal appellate court has followed suit. “But this was not a ‘no’ but a ‘not yet,’ and rest assured that Lambda Legal will continue the fight, circuit by circuit as necessary, to establish that the Civil Rights Act prohibits sexual orientation discrimination,” Nevins continued. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) also believes anti-LGBTQ discrimination should be prohibited. (Although we've won any number of discrimination suits through the EEOC, cases going through this route tend to be settled without recourse to any appeal).….

    Per Equality Case Files:

    The Order is here (bottom of page 5):….

    Lambda Legal's press statement is here:….

  • 2. VIRick  |  December 11, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Australia: Perth Same-Sex Couple First to File for Divorce

    Australia's marriage equality legislation allowing two people to marry regardless of sex, also permits same-sex couples to divorce, as two women from Perth were relieved to find. The lesbian couple can now use the new laws to file for divorce, the first case of its kind in Australia.

    In 2015, the women married at a consulate in Perth under the laws of a European country where same-sex marriage had already been legalized. However, the marriage broke down and the two women separated.

    “The difficulty for this particular couple was that having married under legislation of a European country, they couldn’t access that country's divorce system because they weren’t residents in that country – neither of them were,” barrister Teresa Farmer told ABC News.

    However, as soon as the new marriage act was confirmed, Australian couples who had married overseas had their unions recognized, with thousands of gay couples waking up to find they were now legally married in their home country. And in turn, this couple gained eligibility to file for divorce in Australia, allowing them to begin a new chapter of their lives.….

  • 3. VIRick  |  December 11, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Pentagon: Transgender Recruits to Be Accepted from 1 January 2018

    On 11 December 2018, in "Doe v. Trump," a federal judge yet again blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to keep transgender people out of the military, and the Pentagon will now have to allow them to enlist, starting from 1 January 2018. US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled against overturning her ruling, first delivered back in October, that trans people should be able to enlist at the start of the year, despite an ongoing legal battle.

    Kollar-Kotelly was one of two federal judges to rule against the ban, the most recent of which also prohibits the federal government from refusing to cover health costs associated with gender confirmation surgery. On the same day as the second ruling against them, the Trump administration asked for clarification on Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling. Was she really saying they couldn’t delay trans soldiers from enlisting while the legal battle raged on, and while the Defense Department reviews the issue? Why, yes. Yes she was.

    Even that wasn’t enough for them, however. They tried one last time to block trans people, filing for an emergency stay against Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling. Today’s ruling denying the emergency stay means the military has no choice but to begin allowing trans people to join the military.….

    The Pentagon has affirmed it will allow transgender enlistments starting from 1 January 2018, on the same day that a federal judge re-asserted her order against Trump’s ban on their service, meaning that transgender recurits can accede into the military from that target date onward. US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a Clinton appointee, issued the order on Monday, 11 December 2017 in response to a request from the Justice Department for a temporary stay on the portion of her order requiring the Pentagon to admit transgender service members starting on 1 January 2018.

    “For more than a year preceding the summer of 2017, it was the policy and intention of the military that transgender individuals would soon begin to accede,” Kollar-Kotelly said. “Moreover, the court issued the preliminary injunction in this case approximately six weeks ago, and since then defendants have been on notice that they would be required to implement the previously established policy of beginning to accept transgender individuals on 1 January 2018. In other words, with only a brief hiatus, defendants have had the opportunity to prepare for the accession of transgender individuals into the military for nearly one and a half years.”

    Kollar-Kotelly also takes a jab at the Justice Department over the process in which it requested a stay, saying the “portrayal of their situation as an emergency is belied by their litigation tactics.” She notes the appeal of her initial decision didn’t come until weeks later and the request for a partial stay didn’t come until December. “If complying with the military’s previously established 1 January 2018 deadline to begin accession was as unmanageable as defendants now suggest, one would have expected defendants to act with more alacrity,” Kollar-Kotelly writes.….

  • 4. VIRick  |  December 11, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Injunction #3 Blocking Trump Transgender Military Ban

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Late today, 11 December 2017, in "Karnoski v. Trump," in Washington state federal court in Seattle, the Lambda Legal/OutService-SLDN suit challenging the constitutionality of the ban on military service by transgender individuals, yet another court has issued an injunction against enforcement of the ban. From Judge Pechman:

    "The Court GRANTS Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Preliminary Injunction, and hereby enjoins Defendants and their officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and any other person or entity subject to their control or acting directly or indirectly in concert or participation with Defendants from taking any action relative to transgender individuals that is inconsistent with the status quo that existed prior to Trump’s 26 July 2017 announcement. This Preliminary Injunction shall take effect immediately and shall remain in effect pending resolution of this action on the merits or further order of this Court."

    The order is also on the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, granting in part and denying in part (only dismissing Plaintiffs' procedural due process claim):

    "The Court GRANTS Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss with respect to Plaintiffs’ procedural due process claim;

    "The Court DENIES Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss with respect to Plaintiffs’ equal protection, substantive due process, and First Amendment claims."

    The Orders are here:

    Although Judge Marsha Pechman determines the Obama-era policy change allowing transgender military service was methodical, that was not the case for Trump because he announced it on Twitter “abruptly and without any evidence of considered reason or deliberation.” As a result of her preliminary injunction, Pechman enjoins the Trump administration “from taking any action relative to transgender individuals that is inconsistent with the status quo that existed prior to Trump’s 26 July 2017 announcement.”

    Pechman, a Clinton appointee, concludes transgender status is a quasi-suspect classification on the basis that gender is a quasi-suspect classification, and therefore the transgender military ban should be subject to heightened scrutiny. “Because defendants have failed to demonstrate that the policy prohibiting transgender individuals from serving openly is substantially related to important government interests, it does not survive intermediate scrutiny,” Pechman writes.

  • 5. guitaristbl  |  December 12, 2017 at 10:55 am

    And we are unfortunately only a few hours away of having Roy Moore senator-elect…How has the congress fallen to such lows.

  • 6. scream4ever  |  December 12, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Maybe not. Word is there's very high turnout, which always benefits our side. Also, exit polls show that voters disapprove of Moore 55/42 and are tied with approving of Jones 49/49.

  • 7. allan120102  |  December 12, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    I hope he does not wins, and hopefully Jones is elected but I have my reservations seeing Alabama is for republicans as California is for democrats. Hopefully Alabama people choose wisely and dont just elect for the party.

  • 8. guitaristbl  |  December 12, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Indeed according to the NYT projections I may have spoken too soon and Jones is currently projected to win by something less than 1%. Alabama may do the right thing for the first time in decades – Still I keep my enthusiasm low and expect Moore to snatch it at the end.

    EDIT : I may have again spoken too soon as Moore is now leading and projected to win. We ll see.

  • 9. scream4ever  |  December 12, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    30% of voters according to exit polls were African American, up from 28% in 2012. The African-American population in Alabama is around 26%.

  • 10. allan120102  |  December 12, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Alabama is leaning Democrat for the first times in decades base on this hopefully it stays the same.

  • 11. guitaristbl  |  December 12, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    A win for Jones in the only senate seat democrats did not even bother to contest in 2014 will be ground breaking and absolutely change the balance of the midterm elections in 2018.

  • 12. allan120102  |  December 12, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    OMG this race is closer than my teeth. I hope Alabama makes us proud today.

  • 13. VIRick  |  December 12, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    With 77% of precincts reporting in Alabama, Moore has 49.4% of the vote (478,148), while Jones has 49.2% (476,358). The remainder of 1.4% are write-ins (13,156).

    With 78% reporting, Jones is ahead at 49.5% (486,197) to 49% for Moore (481,237).

    At 81% of precincts, Jones has 49.4% (513,896) to Moore at 49.1 (510,984).

    At 84% of precincts, Jones has 49.6% (522,480) to Moore at 48.9% (515.073).

    At 90%, Jones has 49.3% (542,976) to Moore at 49.2% (542,400).

    At 91%, Jones is ahead by only 183 votes.

    With 92% reporting, Jones is ahead by 31 votes.

  • 14. guitaristbl  |  December 12, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Its been called.

  • 15. VIRick  |  December 12, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Holy shit!!! They just called the election for Jones!!! Most of the remaining 8% of precincts are in Mobile and Jefferson (Birmingham) counties, both Democratic strongholds.

  • 16. allan120102  |  December 12, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Yes Alabama has vote democrat for the first time since 1992 I believe. One of the most conservative states in the union has vote for a democrat. We might win the senate after all.

  • 17. guitaristbl  |  December 12, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    With tonight's miracle all it takes is to pick up Heller's and Flake's seats while not losing any. And if this seat can be won even McCaskill may be able to keep hers. Even if she doesn't it will be a 50-50 senate split. Pence will need to be there all the time.

  • 18. scream4ever  |  December 12, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Tennessee will be in play since Corker's retiring and a very popular former Democratic governor is running to replace him.

    If we retake the Senate in 2018, I hope all judicial appointments are halted.

  • 19. guitaristbl  |  December 12, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    They'd better be. No more of the list Federalist Society delivered to trump.

    As for Tennessee, a month ago I would go call you crazy but after tonight's result I think everything is possible.

  • 20. VIRick  |  December 12, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    At 95% reporting, Jones has 49.5% (592,633) to Moore at 48.8% (584,355) with 1.7% write-ins (19,956).

    At 96%, Jones has 49.7% (608,273) to Moore at 48.7% (595,929).

    At 97%, Jones has 49.6% (628,466) to Moore at 48.7% (617,052), with 56 precincts yet to report.

    It's over. At 98%, Jones has 49.6% at (638,397) to Moore at 48.7% (627,767) with write-ins at 1.7% (21,880).

    With just 35 precincts still outstanding, the results are: Jones at 49.6% (648,701) and Moore at 48.7% (636,430).

    With only 15 precincts outstanding, Jones has 50.0% (670,460) to Moore at 48.3% (648,454), with write-ins at 1.7% (22,773). Moore has refused to concede, so I am continuing to pay very close attention to these final precincts.

    The last results, presented by the Alabama Secretary of State, at 100%, show: Jones at 49.92% (671,151) and Moore at 48.38% (650,436), with write-ins at 1.70% (22,810). The total vote was 1,344,397.

  • 21. guitaristbl  |  December 12, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    NYT gives Jones an 84 % chance to win with a range from Jones plus 6 to Moore plus 1.6.

    At this point it will take a statistical miracle for Moore to win ! Unbelieveable !

    EDIT : Doug Jones wins the senate election in Alabama !

  • 22. Elihu_Bystander  |  December 12, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Live vote count from AL WBRC (FOX) Birmingham

  • 23. Elihu_Bystander  |  December 12, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Alabama Secretary of State live count

  • 24. ianbirmingham  |  December 12, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Alabama earthquake: Democrat Jones wins
    Republican Roy Moore is defeated in a huge blow for President Donald Trump and his former strategist Steve Bannon.

    Jones’ win — after Moore was accused of sexual assault and other misconduct by multiple women — will shrink Republicans’ already tenuous Senate majority to 51-49, just as the party approaches final consideration of its sweeping tax bill and prepares for the 2018 midterm elections in a difficult political environment.

    Moore's defeat was a major setback for Trump, who gave the candidate a full-throated endorsement in the final days of the race, in a state he carried with over 60 percent of the vote in 2016.

    The president set up the election as one with outsized consequences for his administration and the GOP, tweeting repeatedly that Alabama could not afford to elect Jones. Trump also praised Moore at a rally in nearby Pensacola, Florida, and the Republican National Committee injected late money into the race after Trump reengaged.

    “This is a brutal reminder that candidate quality matters regardless of where you are running,”

    Jones became [a] cause [célèbre] of national Democrats eager to defeat the Republican. Online donors flooded his campaign with money as Jones criss-crossed Alabama focusing on what he called “kitchen table issues” (and rarely mentioning his party).

  • 25. VIRick  |  December 12, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    I have just done some election vote analysis using the county-by-county results, as provided by the Alabama Secretary of State, and the contrast in the results is stark. Jones won is two major areas of the state:

    1. The 5 large-population urban centers: Mobile (56%), Tuscaloosa (57%), Jefferson (Birmingham)(68%), Madison (Huntsville) (57%), and Montgomery (72%) counties, carrying every one of them by substantial margins.

    2. The rural Alabama "black-belt" that stretches the entire width of the state at about the same latitude as Montgomery, including Chambers, Lee, Russell, Barbour, Macon, Bullock, Lowndes, Butler, Conecuh, Dallas, Wilcox, Monroe, Clarke, Marengo, Perry, Choctaw, Sumter, Greene, and Pickens counties, and an almost in Pike county, garnering as much as 87% or 88% of the total vote, which often approached 50% turn-out. Simply put, black people were not having Roy Moore, and said so in no uncertain terms. On the other hand, some of these same county names are familiar to those of us who were noting rural counties which were "shy" about coming out in favor of marriage equality.

    On the other hand, the rural while counties were almost as strongly (65-75%) in favor of Moore, with Blount and Walker counties both voting over 80% for Moore.

  • 26. guitaristbl  |  December 12, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    The state is very polarized its obvious. The bet is now on whether Jones will be able to maintain that seat in 2020 against a different opponent. But there is vast political time in between now and November 2020.

  • 27. VIRick  |  December 12, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    I found two counties which do not fit either pattern mentioned above, as neither is urban nor in the "black belt:"

    3. Talladega county which Jones won by a handful of votes, 50.12% to 48.76% for Moore.

    4. Colbert county where Jones received 46.4% to Moore's 52.4%, the next closest Jones came to winning in a predominately rural white county.

    Who knew?? Talladega county (the solitary blue spot in east-central Alabama) is considered to be Alabama's election bell-weather county. In other words, how Talladega county votes, so goes the rest of the state. And it is slightly more urban than I thought, what with the modest-sized cities of both Talladega and Oxford (a spill-over from Anniston) within its borders.

    Colbert county is not as rural either, with the modest-sized cities of Tuscumbia and Muscle Shoals within its borders, and with much of its employment and revenue generated by the dams, lakes, and power plants along the Tennessee River.

  • 28. Fortguy  |  December 12, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    Monday, December 11, was the filing deadline in Texas for prospective candidates in the party primaries for the 2018 election. Here are some highlights.

    Gov. Greg Abbot has drawn ten Dem opponents, but none who has statewide exposure. Two candidates are openly gay: Dallas businessman and former International Mr. Leather Jeffrey Payne, and Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez. Besides Valdez, the only other candidate with any kind of name recognition is Houston businessman Andrew White who is the son of the late Gov. Mark White, a one-term governor whose tenure in the eighties is remembered only by Texans in their 50s and older. Cedric Davis is the only candidate other than Valdez with experience winning elections albeit as the former mayor of the obscure Dallas suburb of Balch Springs.

    The oleaginous Sen. Carnival Cruz faces several token opponents in his primary before facing U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, himself facing tokens in the Dem primary. O'Rourke would be a refreshing, progressive improvement although no El Pasoan has ever won statewide office since everyone knows El Paso is really part of New Mexico.

    Lite Guv Dan "Potty" Patrick will most likely face Houston accountant Mike Collier in the general election. Collier, who has never held public office, is at least a credible candidate with statewide recognition having run for Comptroller four years ago.

    The race to sit back and watch with the popcorn in hand next year will be the Commish of the General Land Office race between incumbent George P. Bush, son of Jeb! and poster child of Hispanic GOPers due to his close ties to the Hyannisport Latino community, and his predecessor Jerry Patterson who criticizes P for his handling of a redevelopment project for the Alamo and for housing recovery after Hurricane Harvey. P, of course, threw personal and family dignity aside in 2016 to endorse the Orange Sphincter.

    Congressional races are promising. The GOP gerrymandered the state's 36 districts after the last Census, but demographics has a way of creeping up on them in a state that is now "majority minority". In addition to Will Hurd's seat, long considered the state's most marginal and competitive, Hillary beat the Carnival Barker in two newly emerging swing districts: John Culberson's Houston district and Pete Sessions' Dallas district. Also, several GOP incumbents in Congress are retiring: Joe Barton, Jeb Hensarling, Lamar Smith, and Ted Poe if not more. Unlike Barton, who is bowing out gracefully (or, rather, revoltingly) after an image appeared about his sexual dalliances, Blake Farenthold is seeking reelection. He faces an uphill battle. After news emerged he settled a sex harassment lawsuit for $84,000 in taxpayer money, seemingly half the registered voters in his district are smelling blood and have filed for office in one primary or the other to challenge him.

  • 29. Fortguy  |  December 12, 2017 at 11:50 pm


    USA Today Editorial: Will Trump's lows ever hit rock bottom?

    A president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush.

    The editorial is unusually harsh for a non-partisan "mainstream media" publication, and the rest of it doesn't hold back, either. The whole thing is a must-read.

  • 30. guitaristbl  |  December 13, 2017 at 12:52 am

    Jones's election comes at a time that should remind us why elections matter as the senate voted 50-48 to confirm someone as radical right wing as Steve Grasz to the, already very hostile, 8th circuit :

  • 31. Fortguy  |  December 13, 2017 at 12:58 am

    Minnesota Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton will pick Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to replace Sen. Al Franken. This will be the first time Minnesota will be represented by two women senators.

  • 32. guitaristbl  |  December 13, 2017 at 4:06 am

    Well, Donnie managed to figure he was right after all (again) :

    So he endorsed Strange, then endorses Moore, now calls Moore unelectable and endorses Strange again…The congress has to vote for a mandatory psychological assessment for this man.

  • 33. allan120102  |  December 13, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Baja California MX
    Tijuana.- Two couples of the same sex appeared before the Civil Registry to request marriage. According to the couples, five months ago they were notified that if they could get married, however, weeks later they received the news that it would no longer be possible, for which reason they sought help from the State Commission of Human Rights, which recommended that If the right is denied, a process that may culminate in recommendations to the City Council will proceed.

    Couples say they feel excluded because as citizens they have the right to form a marriage like other people. When they entered the Civil Registry office, the request was received, however, they were told that they had to present it to the Oficialía, the latter being the ones that provide a response in the afternoon.

    The intention is to make on February 14 next year, a collective marriage with ten same-sex couples, according to the information provided by Andrés, president of the Tijuana Cultural Community.

  • 34. allan120102  |  December 13, 2017 at 11:45 am

    This year, the Civil Registry has married eight same-sex couples in Aguascalientes, announced Carmen Lucía Franco Ruíz Esparza. The general director of the Ministry of the Interior department pointed out that between 2015 and 2017 a total of of 14 egalitarian marriages: two in 2015, four in 2016 and eight at the November 2017 court.

    He confirmed that at this moment there are more people doing this process. However, the state official did not want to specify how many homosexual unions could be on the doorstep since it is necessary that they be protected before the federal courts against the impediments contained in the Civil Code of the State of Aguascalientes, which in articles 143 and 144 stipulates that: "Marriage is the legal union of a single man and a single woman, to seek their mutual help, to maintain fidelity, to perpetuate the species and to create among them a community of permanent life" and that "any condition contrary to the perpetuation of the species or to the mutual aid that the spouses owe, will be considered as not being applied ".
    When the federal judge grants the amparo, the Civil Registry is obliged to celebrate the civil wedding, in response to the jurisprudence issued by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) in 2015, which declared unconstitutional to condition the marriage to the procreation and sexual preferences.

    "We have contact with civil society organizations such as Colectivo SerGay and Mujeres Trans. They approach and we talk when they request it, we know they are working on some procedures (…). The interested parties request the protection in judicial instances and we are ordered to carry out the equal marriage once they meet the requirements, but we really do not have knowledge because they come and talk, we know they are doing procedures, but we are until we have the resolution when we immediately execute it, "Franco Ruiz Esparza noted.

    In July of this year, the majority PAN-PES caucus in the State Congress rejected a point of agreement by which the deputies were urged to rule on initiatives in favor of sexual diversity. The jurisprudence approved by the first chamber of the maximum The court does not require states to change their marriage laws, but it does set the criteria that judges and courts must follow in support of LGBT couples.

  • 35. allan120102  |  December 13, 2017 at 11:46 am

    CHIHUAHUA, Chih.- In the state of Chihuahua, 5 minors have been registered for same-sex marriages, mainly by lesbian families, in which a woman joins her partner and the adoption is made to recognize the child of the spouse, in addition of two cases before the DIF in process in the city of Chihuahua, informed Luis Mendoza Padilla, president of the Humanistic Center for Studies Related to Sexual Orientation.

    "The process for adopting people before DIF agencies, we know that it is without distinction of sex or marital status. Like Cheros, the accompaniment process has been carried out for a year. They were two couples, who for reasons of time and work could not conclude the process. The facilities that they gave us were of total access to the level that was reached, were the courses, and then interviews and suitability exams, and the filters that the DIF puts, for the best good of the minor, that we are also what we are looking for , anyone is supposed to have access, "said Mendoza Padilla.
    To initiate an adoption procedure, there is availability to initiate the procedure twice a year, and all persons are registered to request the adoption of children; Subsequently, psychological tests and socioeconomic studies are carried out. When approving this phase, the stage of defining what type of adoption is more appropriate, according to the characteristics of the prospective adoptive parents, continues. In case of a child being profiled, the linkage is made and visits are conducted, with a DIF psychological counselor and after a trial time, it is determined whether the adoption is certified or not, in a process between 12 and 48 months.

  • 36. VIRick  |  December 13, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Bermuda: Senate Approves Domestic Partnership Bill

    On Wednesday, 13 December 2017, the Bermuda Senate approved the Domestic Partnership Bill that would rescind marriage rights for same-sex couples in the British island territory.

    The 8-3 vote took place less than a week after the Bermuda House of Representatives also approved the measure, which would allow same-sex couples to enter into domestic partnerships, as opposed to marriage. The bill will become law unless Gov. John Rankin refuses to sign it.

    In a letter sent to senators the day prior, the Bermuda Tourism Authority stated, “We are convinced this measure will result in lost tourism business for Bermuda. While we cannot responsibly estimate what the scale of those losses will be, we can point to contemporary examples that tell a cautionary tale.”

  • 37. ncusajohn  |  December 14, 2017 at 5:27 am

    Rick, according to Wikipedia the people of Bermuda are British citizens. Whose courts will decide if the legislature of Bermuda can take away marriage rights?

  • 38. VIRick  |  December 14, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Bermuda is still a British Overseas Territory, but it might be best to separate citizenship from the mix, as "British" citizenship is a can of worms. It comes in multiple flavors, although in this instance, it probably mistakenly leads "Bermuda belongers" to think they can do what they want. British Bermuda citizenship effectively blocks UK citizens, Canadian citizens, and other "British" citizens from Caribbean territories, like from the British Virgin Islands or the Cayman Islands, from participating in their political process. Islanders (all over) have come to use that "belonger" status as a wedge to assert their own insularity. I see it all the time across the channel in the British Virgin Islands where those "born there" cling to their "Virgin Islands belonger" status, to the detriment of everyone else, the so-called "non-belongers."

    On the other hand, the Supreme Court in Bermuda has already ruled to allow marriage equality. Thus, there's a very high probability that they will not allow this new legislation to stand. At this stage, the Governor of Bermuda would be well-advised to veto it, and save everyone the additional bother. British courts are even more tied to precedent than are US courts. After all, Common Law, which is all based on precedent, was invented by the British. Plus, all the British courts are tied together. Even the courts in the so-called "independent" islands still follow British precedent. Plus on occasion, a court's jurisdiction may include both "independent" and "British" islands, like the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, which includes the BVI, Anguilla, and Montserrat, in between an assortment of "independent" island jurisdictions stretching from St. Kitts-Nevis to Grenada.

    Note: The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, physically located on St. Kitts, is a court for the OECS, including 6 independent states and 3 British Overseas Territories. It has unlimited jurisdiction in each member State.

    Note: The Caribbean Court of Justice, physically located in Trinidad, is the court for CARICOM, and includes most all of the remaining ex-British islands, from Belize to Guyana, but also includes Suriname, Netherlands Antilles, Aruba, and Haiti.

    As another example, a ruling in Bermuda on recognizing overseas marriages has already directly affected a similar ruling in the Cayman Islands. Plus, after the Belize sodomy ban was struck down, it became quite clear that all the remaining British sodomy bans were unconstitutional. Politicians as far away as Antigua and Barbados have expressed that view, their "independence" notwithstanding. Still, British courts are extremely slow in rendering decisions; but we all know the eventual outcome, even if it is years away.

    The politicians, all elected by the "belongers," are thus running scared. That's what that "noise" was all about a few days ago across the way in the BVI legislature, when changing their marriage law to allow for "same-day" marriages, one ass wanted to make sure that it only applied to heteros, but could not express himself without being totally obtuse.

  • 39. TimATLGA  |  December 15, 2017 at 11:11 am

    So is the Bermuda government thinking that, when this new law is challenged, they might get a different Supreme Court justice who might have a different opinion on the constitutionality of same sex marriage?

    Even so, you're saying that ANY judge will now be bound by that May 2017 ruling that denying same sex couples the institution of marriage is a violation of the Human Rights Act?

    Is there no provision for the Supreme Court of Bermuda to block this law from going into effect while it determines if it passes constitutional muster?

  • 40. allan120102  |  December 15, 2017 at 11:31 am

    No, Actually is the contrary even though it hurts me saying. It looks like the Bermuda supreme court mgiht be bound to follow the new law .
    Everyone should check this tweet of lgbt marriage news and it explains perfectly.
    Also,if Bermuda actually abolish ssm then lgbt groups in other countries might find it harder to achieve Marriage equality, for example the cayman islands.

  • 41. scream4ever  |  December 15, 2017 at 11:54 am

    The Constitution supercedes legislation though.

  • 42. allan120102  |  December 15, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Will see, but if you remember the case in northern Ireland the judge said it was up to the legislative body and not the court to interfer, and Bermuda is has a special status with UK so something like that might happen. Here is the second tweet if someone just read the first.

  • 43. scream4ever  |  December 15, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    The big difference though is that SSM has never been in effect in Northern Ireland.

  • 44. VIRick  |  December 13, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Colombia: Transgender Woman Running for Senate Seat

    Bogotá, Colombia — A transgender woman who is running for the Colombian Senate hopes to make history in the South American country. On Monday, 11 December 2017, Tatiana Piñeros, a transgender woman who was a member of former Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro’s cabinet in charge of the social welfare agency and tourism office, formally registered her candidacy with Colombian election officials.

    Piñeros is ninth among the list of candidates for the “List of Decency,” a coalition that includes the center-left Independent Social Alliance and Patriotic Union parties and the Indigenous and Social Alternative Movement. Congressional elections are scheduled to take place on 11 March 2018. Piñeros would become the first openly trans person elected to the Colombian congress if she receives enough votes.

    Colombian Congresswoman Angélica Lozano also confirmed that she is running for the Senate. In 2014, Lozano, who is bisexual, became the first openly LGBT person elected to the Colombian congress.

  • 45. VIRick  |  December 13, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    List of All Openly Trans Persons Holding Elected Public Office in Latin America

    1. Michelle Suarez, a member of the Uruguayan Communist Party, is the first openly trans person elected to that country’s Senate. She assumed her seat on 11 October 2017.

    2. In early 2017, Diane Rodríguez won a seat in Ecuador’s congress when she ran on the ticket of current Congressman Carlos Vera, a former World Cup referee who was a (presidential) candidate for the left-leaning Movimiento Alianza PAIS party.

    3. In 2015, Tamara Adrián, a member of the left-leaning Popular Will Party that is part of the opposition against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, was elected to that country’s National Assembly.

    4. In 2014, Luisa Revilla became the first openly trans person elected to public office in Peru after she won a seat on the local council in La Esperanza, a city that is located in the province of Trujillo.

    5. In 2012, Adela Hernández became the first openly trans person to hold public office in Cuba when she became a member of the Caibarién Municipal Council in the province of Villa Clara.

  • 46. ianbirmingham  |  December 13, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    The next senator from Alabama would make Bernie Sanders proud
    Doug Jones figures to be a reliable vote for Senate Democrats after his win in Alabama.

    The next senator from deep-red Alabama supports Obamacare. He favors abortion rights and same-sex marriage, and believes young immigrants brought to the country as children should be allowed to become U.S. citizens. And he opposes both President Donald Trump’s border wall and the Republican tax plan.

    While Jones has a moderate temperament and deal-making public persona, he has yet to stray far from Democratic orthodoxy on policy, with the exception of guns — Jones called himself a strong Second Amendment supporter during the campaign.

    On immigration, Jones told the Montgomery Advertiser he supports “maintaining the integrity of our borders against all threats.” But he also supports a pathway to citizenship for so-called “Dreamers,” like other Senate Democrats. On health care, Jones said he wasn’t “there yet” on backing a single-payer health care system. But Jones openly backed Obamacare and opposed Republican proposals to slash Medicaid. And he focused on the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a point he repeated in his victory speech Tuesday night.

    “Take this opportunity, in light of this election, and go ahead and fund that CHIP program before I get up there,” Jones said Tuesday night. “Put it aside and let’s do it for those million kids and 150,000 here in Birmingham.”

    On some key social issues, Jones left little daylight between himself and future Democratic colleagues from deep-blue states. Jones supports same-sex marriage and LGBT rights, and he spoke proudly during the campaign of refusing to moderate his position in favor of abortion rights…

  • 47. ianbirmingham  |  December 13, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    White House pulls back judicial nominee who never tried a case and referred approvingly to the early KKK and another who called transgender kids 'Satan's children'

    * Two of President Trump's judiciary nominees 'will not be moving forward' says the White House
    * Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley raised concerns about them
    * Brett Talley, 36, has never tried a case and was rated "not qualified" by bar association for federal judgeship in Alabama
    * Slate reported he wrote approvingly of the early KKK on college message board
    * Failed to disclose wife's role in Trump White House: Jeff Mateer was nominated for Texas district court judgeship
    * In 2015 speech he said transgender children were part of 'Satan's plans'

  • 48. VIRick  |  December 13, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    Australia: First Same-Sex Couples to Marry

    The first same-sex couples to marry in Australia will begin doing so this weekend. Because the country has a month-long notice period for couples wishing to marry, the first wave of marriages between same-sex couples will not commence until 9 January 2018, one month from the new law's effective date. However, a few couples have been given exemptions from the notice period, and are now set to become the first couples to marry.

    Thus apparently, Lauren Price, 31 and Amy Laker, 29, of New South Wales, will become the first couple to marry under Australian law when they do so on Saturday afternoon, 16 December 2017. They were given an exemption from the notice period because Price’s family, who live in the UK, would only be able to attend the wedding if it were to take place this week. The exemption was thus granted on financial grounds, citing the travel of close relatives. Before Australia’s marriage equality law was passed, the couple had already made plans to be married under UK law at the British Consulate.

    Another couple, Stephanie Dyball and Megan Stapleton, 30 and 32, will marry next week after they were also granted an exemption. The pair had booked their 21 December wedding more than a year ago. It was originally going to simply be a ceremonial wedding, and not one which was to be legally-recognized, but after the country passed the marriage equality law, they too appealed to clerks for an exemption to marry under Australian law, and received one.

    ABC reports that, so far, at least one other couple has also been granted a similar exemption.

  • 49. VIRick  |  December 16, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Australia: The First Same-Sex Couples Have Married

    Today, 16 December 2017, at least two Australian same-sex couples, having received exemptions from the 30-day waiting period, held their marriage ceremonies.

    Lauren Price, 31 and Amy Laker, 29, were the first to marry in Sydney this morning. They were followed several hours later by Amy and Elise Mc Donald, 36 and 28, in Melbourne. Both were granted exemptions for financial reasons, due to international travel expenses on the part of family.

    Plus a third un-named couple has been granted an exemption from the waiting period because one of them has terminal cancer.

  • 50. davepCA  |  December 13, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    LOTS of good news in the past couple of days!

  • 51. scream4ever  |  December 13, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Except for Bermuda, but I expect the courts to remedy that situation.

  • 52. allan120102  |  December 13, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Hope they do quickly but for many lgbt couples there christmas will be grim. At the best the courts might resolve it next year but I feel sadden that Bermuda took this step.

  • 53. guitaristbl  |  December 13, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    And apart from Bermuda there is the confirmation of another extremist on the 8th circuit and the very worrying arguments in Masterpiece cakeshop.

    I d say the situation was even in terms of good and bad news.

  • 54. VIRick  |  December 13, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Kentucky: Republican Lawmaker Facing Sexual Assault Accusations Kills Himself

    Frankfort KY — Dan Johnson, a Republican state lawmaker in Kentucky known for inflammatory Facebook posts comparing Barack and Michelle Obama to monkeys and who defiantly denied allegations that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl in the basement of his home in 2013, killed himself Wednesday night, 13 December 2017. He was 57.

    Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell said Johnson shot himself on a bridge in Mount Washington KY. Tinnell confirmed the death to WDRB-TV in Louisville.

    Johnson was elected to the state legislature in 2016, part of a wave of Republican victories that gave the GOP control of the Kentucky House of Representatives for the first time in nearly 100 years. He won his election despite Republican leaders urging him to drop out of the race after some of his racist Facebook posts came to light.

    As a "legislator," Johnson, the pastor of Heart of Fire church in Louisville, sponsored a number of bills having to do with religious liberty and with the teaching of the Bible in public schools. On Tuesday, the day before he killed himself, Johnson held a news conference in the pulpit of his church, which he began by leading friends and family in singing a portion of the Christmas carol, "O Come All Ye Faithful." He said the allegations against him were "totally false" and said they were part of a nationwide strategy of defeating conservative Republicans.

    The sexual assault accusations against Johnson were revealed at the same time a separate sexual harassment scandal involving four other Republican lawmakers was unfolding at the state Capitol. Former Republican House Speaker Jeff Hoover resigned his leadership position after acknowledging he secretly settled a sexual harassment claim with a member of his staff. Three other lawmakers were involved in the settlement, and all lost their committee chairmanships.

  • 55. guitaristbl  |  December 13, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    I find it hard to feel sorry for him I am sorry. I care more about his victim or potentially victims.

  • 56. allan120102  |  December 14, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Puebla continue to fight cloack and dagger ssm. They are trying to do everything in its power to stop ssm.
    At least 50 same-sex couples have not been able to marry in Puebla, San Pedro Cholula and Izúcar de Matamoros, because the judges deny them this right because the deputies have not made the reforms to the Civil Code of the State.

    María José Flores Serrano, president of the LGBT Pride March, explained that only five of these couples have filed amparos to defend their rights, after the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) invalidated the articles that prevented these unions.

    However, the activist explained that not all couples are able to resort to these protections, due to how expensive they are, in addition to the time they have to allocate to follow the course of them.

    "Five couples are starting to seek shelter because it is very expensive, not everyone has the possibility to pay up to 20 thousand pesos struggling to be citizens. Although the unions are already approved, the judges do not carry out the procedures because the changes to the constitution have not been made, "he reproached.

    He accused that the statements made at the time by the local deputies in relation to the union of couples between equals, were simply "smoke curtains" since they have not implemented the determination of the SCJN.

  • 57. scream4ever  |  December 14, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Indonesia Constitutional Court rejects attempt to criminalize homosexuality:

  • 58. VIRick  |  December 14, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Indonesia: Constitutional Court Rejects Appeal to Ban Gay Sex

    On 14 December 2017, the Indonesian Constitutional Court has rejected a measure to ban gay sex in Indonesia, after a religious group filed a petition with the court to implement just such an interpretation. The Family Love Alliance, which launched the petition in 2016 in the Jakarta court, and which sought to ban both extra-marital and gay sex, has just had its appeal to the Constitutional Court rejected by the justices. 

    In an attempt to change the morality articles within the country’s criminal code, the group wanted to expand the definition of adultery to mean men who have sex with men and women who have sex with women. The panel of nine justices narrowly voted to reject the petition, 5 – 4, with the dissenters including the Constitutional Court’s Chief Justice.

    “The appeal is rejected in its entirety,” Chief Justice Arief Hidayat told the court. “Just because a law is considered incomplete or no longer in line with the society’s norms does not mean the law itself is contradictory to the Constitution,” Justice Saldi Isra read from the verdict.

    See more details here:

  • 59. GregInTN  |  December 14, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Update from Tennessee

    Previously I posted about a suit filed in state court by a local pastor and a County Commissioner trying to make the case that ALL marriage licenses issued in TN since Obergefell are invalid since there has not been a new marriage law passed in TN after SCOTUS declared Tennessee's marriage law unconstitutional.

    Yesterday a hearing was held on a motion filed by the Bradley County Clerk requesting summary judgment. I was unable to attend but there was a lengthy article in this morning's Chattanooga Times Free Press about the hearing:

    My favorite quote from the Judge was what he said to the Plaintiffs (represented by the Family Action Council of TN)…

    "Does the 14th Amendment apply everywhere but Tennessee?"

    A trial is tentatively scheduled for late February but I would be very surprised if it gets that far.

  • 60. VIRick  |  December 14, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Virgin Islands Post-Hurricane Up-Date

    Per Water and Power Authority:

    13 December — Focus this week is on reconstruction and restoration in the following areas on St. Thomas: Crown Mountain, Fortuna, Frenchman's Bay, Frydenhoj, Mountain Top, Nazareth, Skyline Drive, Smith Bay, St. Peter Mountain Road, Watergate.

    Let there be light!! After 96 days of doing without, electrical power has finally been restored to our area of the island, high up in the mountains. And in a sense, we're lucky because according to their latest estimates, only 57% of all customers, territory-wide, have had service restored. Part of that is due to the fact that, in these initial phases, it requires an essentially undamaged building in order for the linemen to be able to do a quick reconnect (and given the amount of damage, "quick" does literally mean 96 days worth of waiting).

    As for internet service, I have just successfully made my appointment to pick up my new mobile wireless hot-spot on 26 December between 1-3 PM, the day after I have returned to the island. This device is a temporary interim make-do until wired service can be restored, some months from now.

  • 61. VIRick  |  December 15, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Anger Grows as Puerto Rico Misses Power Restoration Deadline

    San Juan, Puerto Rico — On Friday, 15 December 2017, union leaders representing Puerto Rico power company workers slammed local and federal officials as the US territory missed a deadline to restore 95 percent of power as promised by the island's governor. Puerto Rico is currently at 64 percent power generation nearly three months after Hurricane Maria hit, and the situation has sparked a growing number of protests organized by some of the hundreds of neighborhoods that remain in the dark.

    UTIER union president Angel Figueroa said one of the biggest problems is that workers with Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority still don't have the equipment or material to meet the governor's goal. "We've been forced to recycle materials," he said, adding that residents in the southern mountain town of Villalba recently bought basic supplies for government workers so power could be restored in their neighborhood.

    Nine of Puerto Rico's 78 municipalities remain entirely without power, and thousands of businesses have closed. The lack of electricity and other ongoing problems have sparked a massive exodus to the US mainland, with more than 130,000 Puerto Ricans fleeing the island, so far. And this number is an extremely conservative estimate, with no end in sight to the continuing exodus.

  • 62. VIRick  |  December 16, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Puerto Rico: Sin Luz (Without Light)

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Here's an extremely powerful video, focusing on the Puerto Rican central mountain communities of Utuado and Rio Abajo, and on the ravaged coastal community of Yabucoa, a video which graphically shows the daily life in those locales in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, three locales still without any electrical power.

    All I can add is "Been there, done that." And all of it, from the back-breaking chore of fetching water, washing clothes by hand in a bucket, the daily task of patching un-co-operative generators, to being trapped on the mountainside by fallen trees and wash-outs, and of being reduced to scrounging for food from whatever source.

    Still, this video does focus on the staunch ones, those who are absolutely determined to pull through and succeed, no matter the odds. However, reading between the lines, I can grasp that part of their unease is due to the fact that these same people can see longer-term, while witnessing the final collapse of the independent, production-based rural mountain economy focused on coffee, plantains, and market-gardens. Once that's gone (and it is gone), in this, the most traditionally self-sufficient part of the island, there's nothing else left to hold people together in those mountain communities. I saw that myself with the complete ruination of this year's avocado crop (although unlike many residents in the central mountains of Puerto Rico, I am not financially dependent upon the proceeds from avocado sales).

  • 63. bayareajohn  |  December 17, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Incredible video. I wonder how we could get our president to watch it instead of Fox 'n Fiends.

  • 64. VIRick  |  December 15, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Namibia: Government Sued Over Same-Sex Marriage/Adoption

    On 12 December 2017, a married same-sex couple, one a born-there Namibian citizen, the other a South African citizen, have filed an emergency suit before the Windhoek High Court against multiple departments of the Namibian government (i.e., the government itself, the Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, the Attorney-General, the Immigration Selection Board, and the Immigration Tribunal) to not only recognize their legal South African marriage as valid, but to also recognize as equally valid their legal South African adoption of the South African's cousin, a 9-year-old minor who would otherwise be orphaned. A hearing has been scheduled for today, 15 December 2017.

    This is an extra-ordinary case, well-worth watching quite closely, because if successful, this would be the first instance whereby South African law on marriage equality has had to be recognized by a neighboring African country, and contains the double-whammy of both marriage rights and adoption rights.

    Unfortunately, I can not do a copy-and-paste, but one can read many further details here:

    Just for the record, Namibia is one of the plethora of African countries which still criminalizes same-sex sexual activity in a vague colonial-era law which is no longer enforced. Until independence, Namibia, the former German South-West Africa, was a League of Nations/UN mandate under South African control.

  • 65. ianbirmingham  |  December 15, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Trump Judicial Nominee Can’t Answer Basic Questions About The Law In Disastrous Hearing
    Matthew Spencer Petersen admits to “the challenge that would be ahead of me.”

    One of President Donald Trump’s nominees to a lifetime seat on a U.S. district court struggled to answer basic questions about law during his Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday.

    Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) asked a panel of Trump’s judicial nominees to indicate if they had never tried a case to verdict in a courtroom.

    Sheldon Whitehouse @SenWhitehouse: MUST WATCH: Republican @SenJohnKennedy asks one of @realDonaldTrump’s US District Judge nominees basic questions of law & he can’t answer a single one. Hoo-boy.

    Matthew Spencer Petersen, a nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, raised his hand. Kennedy proceeded to press him on legal matters.

    KENNEDY: Have you ever tried a jury trial?

    PETERSEN: I have not.

    KENNEDY: Civil?


    KENNEDY: Criminal?


    KENNEDY: Bench?


    KENNEDY: State or federal court?

    PETERSEN: I have not.

    It only got worse from there.

    Petersen, who is currently the chairman of the U.S. Federal Election Commission, struggled to answer more questions as it became clear he did not have the experience typically expected of a federal judge.

    KENNEDY: As a trial judge, you’re obviously going to have witnesses. Can you tell me what the Daubert standard is?

    PETERSEN: Sen. Kennedy, I don’t have that readily at my disposal but I would be happy to take a closer look at that. That is not something I’ve had to contend with.

    KENNEDY: Do you know what a motion in limine is?

    PETERSEN: Yes.. I haven’t, I’m, again, my background is not in litigation as when I was replying to Chairman (Chuck) Grassley (R-Iowa), I haven’t had to um, again, do a deep dive.

    PETERSEN: I would probably not be able to give you a good definition right here at the table.

    KENNEDY: Do you know what the Younger abstention doctrine is?

    PETERSEN: Um, I’ve heard of it… but I, again.

    KENNEDY: How about the Pullman abstention doctrine?

    PETERSEN: I… I heard…

    KENNEDY: You'll see that a lot in federal court.

    A number of Trump’s judicial nominees have come under fire for not being fit to serve on the federal bench. Four of his court picks have been rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Association ― an embarrassingly high number to receive the abysmal rating in a president’s first year. One of them, district court court nominee Brett Talley, withdrew his nomination this week.

    Part of the reason this keeps happening is that Trump is nominating judges at a breakneck pace without taking the time to thoroughly vet their backgrounds. That’s leading to problems later in their confirmation process, as senators discover more details about their background. Many of Trump’s court picks are being funneled to him by the The Federalist Society, a right-wing legal organization focused on filling up courts with conservative judges.

  • 66. guitaristbl  |  December 16, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Yeap sounds as qualified as Gorsuch did in his Pavan dissent for example. Perfect fit for federal court under this administration – and for the DC of all district courts, one of the most important courts in the country on district level.

  • 67. VIRick  |  December 18, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Embarrassed Trump Judicial Pick Who Never Tried a Case Withdraws Own Nomination

    Matthew Petersen, the judicial nominee who was widely ridiculed last week after a video went viral of him struggling to answer basic legal questions at his Senate confirmation hearing, withdrew from consideration on Monday, 18 December 2017. Petersen, a member of the Federal Election Commission, said in his resignation letter to President Donald Trump that it "became clear to me over the last few days that my nomination has become a distraction — and that is not fair to you or your Administration."

    Trump nominated Petersen for a seat on the US District Court for the District of Columbia, which carries a lifetime tenure.

    The latest withdrawal comes after two of Trump's other judicial picks were knocked out of the confirmation process earlier this month. Jeff Mateer had described transgender children as evidence of "Satan's plan," while Brett Talley had also never argued a case in court and was thus rated "unanimously unqualified" by the American Bar Association.

  • 68. guitaristbl  |  December 18, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Oh well, he will be substituted by another federalist society crook anyway..

  • 69. davepCA  |  December 15, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Yup, more fine work brought to you by the Federalist Society. Zero consideration for experience or ability to determine constitutional compliance of a law, but hey, their 'nominees' all hate thuh gayz, neegoes and muzlumz so Gawd bless 'muricah!

  • 70. VIRick  |  December 16, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Same Sex Marriage in Rosario, Argentina

    The city of Rosario has recently begun sponsoring monthly mass marriage ceremonies in the middle of the city's downtown park, El Rosedal del Parque Independencia. Yesterday, 15 December 2017, 13 couples were thus married, one of whom, Rosa and Paola, were the first same-sex couple to participate in this city-sponsored event.

  • 71. VIRick  |  December 16, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Mexico: First Same-Sex Marriage between Men in Estado de México (Edomex)

    Mexico: Primer Matrimonio Igualitario entre Hombres en Edomex

    Tras una larga batalla legal, aceptan realizar la primera boda gay en Edomex. Raymundo y Víctor firmarán esta tarde, el 16 de diciembre 2017, su acta de matrimonio luego de obtener un amparo en los juzgados mexiquenses. Los dos hombres obtuvieron un amparo por parte de los juzgados Primero y Cuarto de Distrito en materia de Juicios de Amparo y Juicios Federales en el Estado de México, para legalizar su compromiso, el cual seguirá siendo inusual en el lugar donde viven.

    En el Estado de México desde el mes de febrero del 2015, seis parejas de gays y lesbianas lograron que la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) fallara a su favor y ordenara al gobierno mexiquense reformar el Código Civil para legalizar los matrimonios entre parejas de mujeres o de hombres; sin embargo, la Legislatura local no acató el fallo y sigue congelada la iniciativa de reforma.

    After a long legal battle, the first same-sex marriage between men occurred in Edomex. Raymundo and Víctor will sign their marriage certificate this afternoon, 16 December 2017, after having obtained an amparo judgment from the Mexiquense federal courts. The two men obtained an injunction to legalize their commitment from the First and Fourth District Courts in matters of Amparo and Federal Judgments in the State of Mexico, unusual in their having obtained it in the place where they live (because most same-sex couples from the obnoxiously obfuscating Edomex have been routinely marrying without difficulty in the nearby Federal District).

    Since February 2015, in the State of Mexico, in total, six gay and lesbian couples (four from the earlier ruling) managed to get the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) to rule in their favor and order the Mexiquense government to reform the Civil Code to legalize marriages between same-sex couples; however, the local Legislature has not abided by the ruling and the reform initiative remains frozen.

    Still, this is only the second same-sex marriage to occur in Edomex. A lesbian couple, from the first Supreme Court order, became the first same-sex couple to marry in the state when they did so on 18 April 2015. Two more separate amparos have been issued since. Today's marriage was the result of one of these subsequent amparos.

  • 72. VIRick  |  December 17, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Alderney: Royal Assent Granted to Marriage Equality Legislation

    On 15 December 2017, the Royal Assent has been given to the Alderney marriage equality legislation, which will now go into effect upon its publication.

  • 73. scream4ever  |  December 17, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Next up, Jersey!!!

  • 74. VIRick  |  December 17, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Bermuda: Gov. Rankin in Process of Withholding Consent to Domestic Partnership Bill

    In order for the Domestic Partnership Bill to take effect, withdrawing marriage equality in direct contradiction to the recent ruling of the Bermuda Supreme Court, it requires the signature of the governor on the new legislation, normally a formality.

    However, as of today, 17 December 2017, Bermuda's Governor Rankin, a career diplomat, is seeking authorization from the UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, to veto said legislation by withholding consent.

  • 75. scream4ever  |  December 17, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    That's great news! Hopefully it will be sustained.

  • 76. Mechatron12  |  December 17, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Sigh. Guillier (the left candidate) is doing extremely poorly in early results in Chile. If Pinera (right wing) ends up winning, what does that mean for marriage equality in Chile?

  • 77. Mechatron12  |  December 17, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    And Chilean television calls the election for PINERA. I really hope the Bachelet government's dithering on marriage didn't kill us.

  • 78. allan120102  |  December 17, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    He already says he will not sign the ssm bill but will allow adoption for ss couples. He looks likely to veto the ssm bill. *Sighs* Looks like ssm will be difficult to achieve in the upcoming 5 years for Chile.

  • 79. scream4ever  |  December 17, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    The bill is already being debated in the Senate, and he's not seated until March, so there's still time to pass it. Also, we could easily go back to court, since the settlement of the lawsuit demanded that an equal marriage bill be approved.

  • 80. VIRick  |  December 17, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Chile: Presidential Run-Off Results

    Per CNN Chile, Radio Bío Bío, and Luis Larraín‏:

    Projections show that the rightist ex-president, Sebastián Piñera, to have gained 54.8% of the vote, to the pro-marriage-equality center-left candidate, Alejandro Guillier, who received 45.2%.

  • 81. SethInMaryland  |  December 17, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Shocking THE PHILIPPINES: President Rodrigo Duterte Reverses, Backs Same-Sex Marriage, Vows To Protect LGBT Rights

  • 82. scream4ever  |  December 17, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    I don't trust him for one second.

  • 83. SethInMaryland  |  December 17, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Me neither but he went to a lgbt gathering today and announced new positions so have to see

  • 84. guitaristbl  |  December 17, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Anything that comes out of the mouth of such people means nothing. Its worth as much as Trump's "love" for the LGBT community. They are both mentally disturbed opportunists. They will say anything before a suitable audience to have them cheer on them as they adore being worshipped by crowds but their policies are another matter.

  • 85. guitaristbl  |  December 17, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    So Chile is most likely off the list of countries to get marriage equality soon..I dont believe they will move fast enough to pass it till March, they may even stall it for thay very reason, and going through courts again will yake years. Oh well..2023 it is..

  • 86. scream4ever  |  December 17, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    It would not take years since it's already at the highest level. A year tops.

  • 87. allan120102  |  December 17, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    No, that case is already decided, like the link Rick present below, Lgbt groups will need to sue again the government and that might take 2 to 3 years or more. It will depend on the urgency the court thinks of the case. Even the lawyer said that they will be ready to sue if neccesary. Chile might be bound to have marriage equality but Piñera will drag as much as it can as ssm was not part of his campaign and was something he promise the conservatives of the faction of Kast to join him. for some reason the far left didnt vote for guille, what a shame.

  • 88. scream4ever  |  December 17, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    Nothing in the article indicates that it will take years.

  • 89. allan120102  |  December 17, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    No, I am making an estimate of how much time it will take base on all this.
    The Commission processes petitions lodged with it pursuant to its Rules of Procedure.

    Petitions may be filed by states, NGOs or individuals. Unlike most court filings, petitions are confidential documents and are not made public. Petitions must meet three requirements; domestic remedies must have already been tried and failed (exhaustion), petitions must be filed within six months of the last action taken in a domestic system (timeliness), petitions can not be before another court (duplication of procedure).

    Once a petition has been filed, it follows the following procedure:

    Petition is forwarded to the Secretariat and reviewed for completeness; if complete, it is registered and is given a case number. This is where the state is notified of the petition.
    Petition reviewed for admissibility.
    The Commission tries to find a friendly settlement.
    If no settlement is found, then briefs are filed by each side on the merits of the case.
    The Commission then files a report on the merits, known as an Article 50 report from relevant article of the Convention. This is a basically a ruling by the Commission with recommendations on how to solve the conflict. The Article 50 report is sent to the state. This is a confidential report; the petitioner does not get a full copy of this report.
    The state is given two months to comply with the recommendations of the report.
    The petitioner then has one month to file a petition asking for the issue to be sent to the Inter-American Court (only applicable if the State in question has recognized the competence of the Inter-American Court).
    The Commission has three months, from the date the Article 50 report is given to the state, to either publish the Article 50 report or send the case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Alternatively, the Commission can also choose to monitor the situation. The American Convention establishes that if the report is not submitted to the Court within three months it may not be submitted in the future, but if the State asks for more time in order to comply with the recommendations of the Article 50 report, the Commission might grant it on the condition that the State signs a waiver on this requirement.

  • 90. VIRick  |  December 17, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Some Positive Notes on the Marriage Equality Prospects in Chile

    Bachelet and Piñera have been back and forth, trading positions as President of Chile for the last several elections, in a long-standing tradition which harkens back to the time period from before the military dictatorship:

    Bachelet – 2006-2010
    Piñera – 2010-2014
    Bachelet – 2014-2018
    Piñera -2018-2022

    Piñera was president when the AUC (civil unions) legislation was introduced. His son and former government spokesperson is pro-marriage-equality. Chile must still abide by the international accord already signed by the current administration in agreement with the ruling of the CIDH to legislate for marriage equality. If there's any delay, we already know that Karen Atala and MOVILH will be back in court, insisting upon the completion of the agreement. At the same time, they also need to move double-speed on the gender identity bill, as Bolivia is shaming them on this specific subject.

    In the interval, before Piñera takes office on 11 March 2018, the current legislature needs to complete this task on marriage equality, knowing that the incoming legislature is even more pro-marriage-equality than it, with the added note that Guillier will now be retaining his Senate seat to continue representing Antofagasta on into the new legislature, in a district which abuts the Bolivian border.

    Read this article by Michael Lavers in the Washington Blade, and one will take away a much more positive outlook on the prospects of obtaining marriage equality in Chile rather soon, despite the election of Piñera:

    If one is looking for a somewhat gloomier outlook, here's what Daniel Berezowsky, the premier LGBTI journalist from Mexico, has to say:

    El conservadurismo vuelve a Chile. Con la victoria de Piñera, se reducen significativamente las posibilidades de que el matrimonio igualitario se apruebe en 2018 y se pone en riesgo el avance que hubo en legalizar el "aborto por 3 causales" este año (2017).

    Hard conservatism returns to Chile. The victory of Piñera significantly reduces the chances of marriage equality being approved in 2018 and puts at risk the progress that has been made in legalizing "abortion for 3 reasons" this year (2017).

  • 91. scream4ever  |  December 17, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    Thank you for this. Abortion definitely won't be repealed since the legislature is more progressive now.

  • 92. VIRick  |  December 17, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    Agreed. Plus, turning the equation around, it is worth noting that Piñera's coalition, "Chile Vamos," does not control either house of Chile's Congress, neither in the current legislature nor in the upcoming one.

    Still, Allan made a good point. In the run-off, Piñera ran to the right in order to capture the (mostly evangelical) votes for Kast (which he needed to secure a majority for himself). On the other hand, Guillier, of the center-left, was not leftist enough to stir the imaginations of the ultra-left. Guillier was supposed to do better in a high turn-out situation. For Chile, a 49.5% turn-out was considered moderate. That leads me to think that the Chilean "Bernie or Busters" stayed at home since Guillier was not "pure" enough to suit them. Oh where oh where have we heard that before? Oh, and Piñera is a billionaire (although in Piñera's case it is actually real). Still, he has been president before, and will not run the country amok, stripping it of its assets, and turning it over to a foreign power.

  • 93. allan120102  |  December 18, 2017 at 12:51 am

    Agree I am not saying that Chile will not have marriage equality the thing is that it might take more time than with guille in power. Like you mention Rick, Guille was center left but was not left enough to drag the votes of the students who usually vote left. I have read in twitter that many stay at home thinking that there vote would not matter and that Guille would have still win. A huge mistake for there part. In Honduras students give the win to the left candidate even though fraud happen and the conservative candidate was elect base on the supreme electoral tribunal and we are almost at civil war thanks to that so far the death toll is at 22 and will continue to rise as at least another 8-10 are report to be kill today. Anyhow as young voters decide to stay home in Chile. Evangelicals were energyze to chose someone against liberal thinking after abortion was made legal. Even though they think Piñera is not conservative enough its better than another progressive even though Guille is more conservative than Bachelet.

    The good think is that Piñera cannot pass anything unless he has support from the left. As the senate was make even more left. I believe that when he was presidente the first time his party was the one in power.A benefit he will not have this time.

  • 94. allan120102  |  December 18, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Not even 24 hours has passed and the evagenlicans pastors have meet Sebastian Piñera and have state thay they want him to ban abortion again and to stop ssm and ss adoption.

  • 95. scream4ever  |  December 18, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    They constantly meet with Trump and what ha she really done for them lol

  • 96. allan120102  |  December 18, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Actually he had appoint many conservative judges one of the priorities of the conservatives and evangelicals. Base on the vacancies Trump may appoint one of the largest numbers of judicial appointments base on news he have already surpass many past administrations.

  • 97. scream4ever  |  December 18, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Which is why I hope that when Democrats retake the Senate in 2018, they immediately halt all judicial appointments.

  • 98. VIRick  |  December 18, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    That is a really stupid move on their part, as the evangelicals (evangelistas), at best, only comprise 7-8% of the population, and are not a major voting bloc in a country far more interested in maintaining its extremely vibrant economy, rather than in playing around with retrograde social issues. Almost none of the evangelical candidates won in the recent congressional elections, so they have no power to enact anything.

    Besides, the Communists are still a much larger voting bloc, well-known to be far ultra-left, pro-union, and violently anti-religion (of all flavors), and remain a much more potent force.

    If either the evangelicals or the Communists gain too much ground, or are perceived as having done so, then we're right back to the horror show which led to the military dictatorship.

  • 99. allan120102  |  December 18, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Yeah I agree, they might push Piñera to do this or to that but it will be futile as the left has control of the senate. Without them Piñera is almost nothing. At the most he might veto the marriage law but I am not sure if they are enough votes to override them.

  • 100. scream4ever  |  December 18, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Which is why it makes the most logical sense to hurry up and pass the bill before March, since it will cause an ongoing headache for all, and we know how it will turn out in the end.

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