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  • 1. allan120102  |  January 23, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    A justice of the Panamian supreme court call the the chief justice and the others justices to discuss the issue of ssm and issue a decision once and for all. That justice looks to be really in favor of marriage equality. (First link) but it looks that chief justice and justice fabregas are against ssm. After two hours of the justice calling for the extraordinary session tomorrow, the chief justice denied the request and even say they will not discuss this topic until recussions(dont know which)? Are done.

    Omg after re reading the news it looks like the decision was move from justice fabregas to justice Diaz if the newspapers are correct I am not sure if if the change of justice writing the decision was before or after the ICH ruling.if it was before the ich ruling It looks then that ssm was going to be made legal in Panama either way. As Fabregas base on la estrella a local newspaper wrote in November an opinion against ssm and was subject to vote but no one knew how the vote was decide. If a majority was against his opinion the decision would have move to another justice in favor of ssm. I believe this was the case.

  • 2. guitaristbl  |  January 24, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Unfortunately the political backlash in conservative Costa Rica starts to show with Frabrizio Alvarado, far right anti-LGBT extremist candidate now polling as marginally first with 17 %, after being considered a perennial candidate all this time, polling at around 3 % before the court decision on marriage equality :

  • 3. allan120102  |  January 24, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Yes I saw it yesterday. That is something I am scare off and not only that. Panama is also suffering backlash. Some members in congress are acussing the vice president in forcing government institutions to accept ssm. Many saying that is something illegal and may deserve punishment.

    In Costa Rica many liberals are angry saying that the time the ICH ruling was not ideal because of the general elections and that would fuel conservatives and moderates to vote for an extremist. If he wins CR will still get marriage equality but it will be extremely harder and couples would not receive the push is having from the president and vicepresident. La Nacion a local newspaper has state that only 35 deputies support ssm and as much as 74 are against it with 15 not saying either way.

  • 4. VIRick  |  January 24, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    US State Dept. Discriminating Against Same-Sex Couples and their Children

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 22 January 2018, Immigration Equality and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP filed two lawsuits against the US State Department in DC Federal District Court for refusing to recognize the valid marriages of same-sex bi-national couples and disenfranchising their children by denying their rightful citizenship at birth.

    “The State Department is refusing to acknowledge the citizenship of children whose parents are same-sex married couples. This policy is not only illegal, it is unconstitutional,” said Aaron C. Morris, Executive Director of Immigration Equality and the couples’ attorney. “This action by the State Department disenfranchises children born to bi-national same-sex parents and places an undue burden on their families.”

    If an American is born and raised in the United States, and then gets married to a foreign national abroad, the couple’s children are entitled to birthright U.S. citizenship whether they are born in the U.S or not. The law treats married couple’s children as their offspring from birth. Immigration Equality and Sullivan & Cromwell, acting pro bono, are representing two plaintiff families who are being wrongly denied that right.

  • 5. VIRick  |  January 24, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    Chile: House of Deputies Approves Gender Identity Bill

    On Tuesday, 23 January 2018, the lower house of the Chilean Congress approved a bill that would allow transgender adults to legally change their name and gender without surgery or a court order. The measure passed in the House of Deputies by a 68-35 vote margin. It will now go before the country’s Senate.

  • 6. guitaristbl  |  January 25, 2018 at 4:01 am

    Well that's a shocker :

    Russia has just changed its laws to allow trans people to update their gender without having to go through gender affirming surgery.

    The Russian Ministry of Health signed the order on Monday which will create a procedure to give trans people a medical certificate. The certificate will indicate a trans person’s gender identity.

    The new rules will come into effect on 2 February 2018.

    Russia had not had a legally established legal gender recognition procedure.

    Until now, trans people could only officially change their gender identity by submitting a ‘medical certificate on gender/sex change’ to a civil registry office.

    ‘We welcome the adoption of the Ministry of Health’s order in its final version, and we believe that its entry into force will significantly improve the situation of trans people in Russia,’ said Tatiana Glushkova, Transgender Legal Defense Project’s Legal Programme Coordinator.

    The Health Ministry was tasked with the duty of producing the medical certificates but has not done so since 1998.

    That left trans people at the mercy of individual civil registry servants. The civil registry servants would decide if a person’s documents could be changed.

    In that time there had been many complaints from trans people about excessive requirements placed on them by those civil registry servants.

    Some of the excessive requirement included gender affirming surgery and some people with children would not be given a certificate.

    The Ministry created the draft order on ‘medical certificate on gender/sex change’ in October last year and made it open for public discussion.

    Many trans human rights organisations, submitted their comments to amend the text of the draft.

    Fortunately, most of their concerns were listened to and were included in the order.

    Some of those changes included not requiring a mandatory period for psychiatrist observation before legal gender recognition.

    Trans people will not have to undergo any medical procedures, in order to get their gender marker changed. It also does not restrict legal gender recognition for trans people who are married or have children.

    Finally, a referral to a medical board that establishes a person’s ‘sexual re-orientation’ is to be issued if they are diagnosed with ‘transsexualism’. That makes the criteria for establishing a ‘sexual re-orientation’ more transparent.

    ‘The document establishes a transparent procedure for legal gender recognition, which would allow trans people to change their documentation without applying to court,’ Glushkova said.

    ‘In addition, the adoption of the order would bring the Russian legislation in accordance with the European Court of Human Rights case law.

    ‘At the same time, we regretfully note that the order did not reflect either the global depathologisationprocess, or the forthcoming reform of the International Classification of Diseases.

    ‘The key actors who take decisions regarding trans persons’ legal gender recognition, are still psychiatrists. Transgender people will still face all the challenges coming from the psychiatrist diagnosis.’

  • 7. allan120102  |  January 25, 2018 at 6:52 am

    Puebla will finally abide and let same sex couples married. Civil registry will not denied same sex couples to get married

  • 8. allan120102  |  January 25, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Well if this is true Russia is letting me astound. Russia recognizing ssm perform abroad.

  • 9. guitaristbl  |  January 26, 2018 at 5:40 am

    I am highly skeptical and I think this is all a stunt with the world football cup approaching. Smells propaganda.

  • 10. DevilWearsZrada  |  January 26, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Their passports containing marriage stamps were already annulled, the official who made the stamps was fired

  • 11. DevilWearsZrada  |  January 29, 2018 at 9:52 am

    After state intimidation, threats and charges of passport mutilation the couple fled Russia.

  • 12. allan120102  |  January 26, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    Progress in Cuba in terms of adoption. Lgbt organizations are looking the decision to see which way to take and see if they can obtain more rights by the judicial way.

  • 13. allan120102  |  January 26, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Civil registry in CR clarify that same sex marriage will be legal in the country but it will work on it and issue guidance after the elections.

  • 14. VIRick  |  January 26, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Panamá Supreme Court: Another (Potentially Positive) Detour for Marriage Equality Case

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Per a news article dated 26 January 2018, the consolidated case pertaining to marriage equality, presently at the Supreme Court (CSJ), is now on hold, pending a hearing on a request that one justice recuse himself.

    According to the action, one justice, Cecilio Cedalise, spoke against same-sex unions during the ratification process for him to become a justice in 2015.

  • 15. VIRick  |  January 27, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    Panamá: Hearing to Be Held on Recusal Requests in Marriage Equality Cases

    Per Fundación Iguales de Panamá:

    El 21 de diciembre de 2017 presentamos (Fundación Iguales) ante el Pleno de la Corte Suprema de Justicia de Panamá, dos Incidentes de Recusación para que se separe al Magistrado Cecilio Cedalise por prejuzgar sobre matrimonio igualitario.

    On 21 December 2017, we at Fundación Iguales presented two recusal requests before the Panamanian Supreme Court against Justice Cecilio Cedalise in order that he be recused for prejudice about marriage equality (one request for each of the two pending suits).

    The hearing has now been granted on this matter.

  • 16. VIRick  |  January 26, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    British House of Commons to Debate Bermuda's Pending Withdrawal of Same-Sex Marriage

    The attempt by Bermuda to ban same-sex marriage will damage Britain’s international reputation if it is allowed to go ahead, a politician warned yesterday, 24 January 2018. Chris Bryant, who will lead a debate on the controversy in the House of Commons on Monday, 29 January 2018, told "The Royal Gazette" that the British Government should block a Bill designed to replace same-sex marriage with civil partnerships.

    The Domestic Partnership Act, which aims to reverse a Supreme Court ruling last May that opened the way for same-sex marriages, has yet to be signed into law by John Rankin, the Governor.

    Mr Bryant said: “I think Britain will harm its reputation internationally for leading on such issues as this when we basically say ‘Yes, in one of our overseas territories which has a strong link to the United Kingdom and has the same queen, we are prepared to sanction getting rid of same-sex marriage.’"

  • 17. scream4ever  |  January 26, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    If they follow through with this, then the same logic can and should be applied to Northern Ireland.

  • 18. VIRick  |  January 26, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    First Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Title VII Covers Sexual Orientation Discrimination

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 25 January 2018, in "Franchina v. City of Providence," the First Circuit Court of Appeals, on appeal from the district of Rhode Island, affirmed a favorable verdit in the plaintiff's favor, a case in which Lt. Lori Franchina, a former Providence firefighter, brought claims of sex discrimination and retaliation under Title VII. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a jury verdict in her favor.

    On appeal, one of the defendants' arguments was that the plaintiff "blurred the line between sex and sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII," presented little evidence of sex discrimination, and that sexual orientation discrimination is specifically not covered under Title VII per First Circuit precedent.

    While the opinion does not overturn the earlier precedent and establish a specific claim for discrimination based on sexual orientation under Title VII as the 7th Circuit did in Hively, it does make clear that in "sex-plus" claims (i.e., claims on the basis of sex plus another characteristic), claims are not precluded simply because "the 'plus' factor is the plaintiffs' status as a gay or lesbian individual." (see pg 43 of the opinion)

    Also significant is the Court's rejection of the City's argument that for the plaintiff to succeed in her sex discrimination claim it was necessary for her to "identify a corresponding sub-class of the opposite gender and show that the corresponding class was not subject to similar harassment or discrimination. … she is required to have presented evidence at trial of a comparative class of gay male firefighters who were not discriminated against." (pg 39)

    One may recall that that was exactly the argument Judge Sykes made in her dissenting opinion in Hively: "For the comparison to be valid as a test for the role of sex discrimination in this employment decision, the proper comparison is to ask how Ivy Tech treated qualified gay men." The pdf pg 69 of the HIvely en banc is here:

    The Opinion in the present case is here:

  • 19. scream4ever  |  January 27, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Let's hope the House follows suit (Republicans only have a one-seat majority, which they could lose if a special election is called in a district where a Democrat may have otherwise won).

  • 20. VIRick  |  January 27, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    Virginia Senate Approves Two Non-Discrimination Bills

    On Friday, 26 January 2018, the Virginia Senate approved two LGBT-specific non-discrimination bills.

    State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria)’s Senate Bill 202, which would ban discrimination against public employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity, passed by a 29-10 vote margin. State Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-Loudoun County)’s Senate Bill 423, which would add LGBT-specific protections to Virginia’s Fair Housing Law, passed by the same margin.

    Both measures now head to the Virginia House of Delegates for approval.

  • 21. allan120102  |  January 28, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    A fight between the magistrates continue to escalate. One of the justices said that the rcussion of another justice could have been debate in the extraordinary session of Wednesday.

  • 22. ianbirmingham  |  January 28, 2018 at 11:50 pm

    House Republicans in Texas are facing their biggest midterm challenge in 25 years

    Energized by last year’s high-profile senate and gubernatorial Democratic victories in Alabama and Virginia, along with wins in state and local races, liberal activists and candidates are taking on Republicans in places where the GOP has gone virtually unchallenged for years.

    Perhaps nowhere is that more apparent than in Texas, a state with changing demographics that Democrats have long sought to flip blue….

    According to documents filed with the Texas Secretary of State’s office, a Democratic candidate is registered to run in all of Texas’ 36 congressional races for the first time in 25 years. …

    The sheer number of Democratic candidates points to the level of enthusiasm on the left. As of early January, 111 Democratic candidates had registered to run for Congress in the midterm elections this fall.

    In contrast, when Democrats regained control of the House in 2006, the party fielded just 39 candidates in Texas, though it competed in 31 congressional districts, nearly as many as this year. Since 1992, Democrats have run candidates in an average of 28 House races, according to an analysis of election results.

    Lisa Goodgame, the political director of the liberal group Indivisible Austin, said the 2016 election and disapproval of President Donald Trump’s performance in office were the main factors driving Democrats in Texas to run for Congress.

    Goodgame’s organization is a good case in point. Indivisible Austin is one of the 5,800 grassroots groups that sprang up across the country after Trump’s victory in the 2016 election. The Austin chapter boasts close to 10,000 subscribers on its email listserv, and Goodgame said hundreds show up to the chapter’s meetings.

    “Our first mission was to resist Trump,” Goodgame said. “But we quickly realized that what we needed to do was bigger than that, and also needed to include something proactive to balance all the resisting.”

    State and local issues are also drawing more Democrats into politics. In the last state legislative session, the Republican-controlled state legislature passed a sanctuary city law requiring jails to comply with ICE detainers, and attempted to pass a “bathroom bill” law, which would force transgender individuals to use the gender they were assigned at birth — measures that were deeply unpopular on the left. …

    Take Texas’ 32nd congressional district, which covers the northeast suburbs of Dallas. Eight-term GOP Rep. Pete Sessions ran unopposed there in 2016, when Hillary Clinton had a two-point victory over Trump in the district. In 2018, Sessions is facing 12 challengers from the left, as well as one Republican opponent.

    Similarly, eight-term GOP Rep. John Culberson is facing seven Democratic challengers — and one Republican opponent — in the race for his suburban Houston district. One of Culberson’s challengers, Alex Triantaphyllis, has out-raised him so far this cycle — albeit by only roughly $25,000 — according to OpenSecrets, a website that tracks federal campaign contributions.

    Recent surveys from Public Policy Polling suggest that a Democratic victory is well within reach in both districts. …

  • 23. VIRick  |  January 28, 2018 at 11:59 pm

    Costa Rica Up-Date on Same-Sex Marriage

    Mario Arias, 28, and Roberth Castillo, 25, planned on being the first same-sex couple to get married in Costa Rica on 20 January 2018. But on the day prior, the ceremony was called off after a last-minute decision by a government agency. The couple now plans to file suit.

    On 9 January 2018, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) ruled that prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying is a form of illegal discrimination. The CIDH’s decision is legally binding in 20 Latin American countries, although each country has different procedures to implement the decision. Costa Rican president Luis Guillermo Solís has said that the government will comply with the court’s decision.

    Arias, who is Venezuelan, and Castillo, who is from Costa Rica, planned to get married as soon as possible. They found a notary and organized a wedding to take place this past Saturday, 20 January, in a gay bar in San José. On Thursday night, 18 January, the Superior Council of Notaries (CSN) held an extraordinary meeting to discuss the CIDH ruling. The CSN, which regulates notaries, banned notaries from registering marriages between two people of the same sex.

    “We found out yesterday night,” Arias told La Nación. “We were surprised that it was an extraordinary session, we were quite shocked, and our notary told us it would be best to postpone the marriage.” Arias and Castillo said that they are going to appeal the CSN’s decision to the Constitutional Court.

    Minister of Justice Marco Feoli has also stepped in, asking the CSN for their reasoning and reminding them that the CIDH’s decision is binding. The Ministry of Justice names two of the members of the CSN. Feoli wrote: “The Superior Notary Council’s ruling not only contradicts the [CIDH’s] opinion, but also the position of the Executive” regarding the ruling.

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