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Open thread w/ breaking news

Community/Meta Discrimination

– A judge in California has ruled in favor of an anti-gay bakery.

This is an open thread. We’ll post any breaking news.


  • 1. guitaristbl  |  February 7, 2018 at 6:25 am

    I doubt the case has enough time to reach higher courts before SCOTUS rules in favour of the Colorado baker so its meritless I'd say. Legalized discrimination will be a nationwide rule, the only unknown factor is the extend. Funny how these people talk about "judge-made rules" after the ruling from a judge who arbitrarily elevated cake making (?!) to "artistic expression". Let's see what else consists artistic expression in the future – as one comment on the page linked rightly states, such cakes are made based on sample cakes put on public display usually so the whole argument the judge made for "having to make something from scratch bla bla bla" falls apart. Soon it will be tires, clothes, groceries, real estate and even medical care that will be able to be refused.

  • 2. scream4ever  |  February 7, 2018 at 9:12 am

    That's assuming they do, which is far from guaranteed.

  • 3. allan120102  |  February 7, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Breaking Bermuda has repeal same sex marriage. Sad day for the lgbt community. Becomes the first territory after California to repeal ssm .

  • 4. scream4ever  |  February 7, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    I hope the couples go back to the courts to correct this injustice.

  • 5. guitaristbl  |  February 7, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    I do hope there is some way to judicially reverse that. Until then there has to be a widespread campaign to boycott Bermuda.

  • 6. VIRick  |  February 7, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Bermuda: Governor Signs Same-Sex Marriage Repeal Bill

    On Wednesday, 7 February 2018, Bermuda Gov. John Rankin signed a bill that rescinds marriage rights for same-sex couples in the British island territory. The "Royal Gazette" newspaper reported Rankin approved the Domestic Partnership Act 2017, which allows same-sex couples to enter into domestic partnerships, as opposed to marrying, “after careful consideration in line with my responsibilities under the Constitution.”

    The Bermuda Parliament approved the repeal bill late last year. Same-sex couples had been able to marry in Bermuda ever since Charles-Etta Simmons, a judge on the Bermuda Supreme Court, ruled in favor of the issue in May 2017. Bermuda is the first government in the world outside the US to rescind marriage rights for gays and lesbians.

  • 7. VIRick  |  February 8, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Bermuda's Rejection of Marriage Equality, Spanish Edition

    Per DW (Español):

    Se aprobó hoy la ley por la cual Bermudas vuelve a desconocer el matrimonio igualitario. Se convirtió así en el primer país en revertirlo.….

    The law by which Bermuda once again ignores equal marriage was approved today. It thus became the first country to reverse it.

    Per "El País" of Spain:

    Bermudas se Convierte en el Primer Territorio del Mundo en Abolir el Matrimonio Homosexual

    El Gobierno de la isla caribeña elimina la unión entre personas del mismo sexo, que fue legalizada el pasado mes de mayo por un fallo del Tribunal Supremo.

    Bermuda Becomes the First Territory in the World to Abolish Same-Sex Marriage

    The government of the Caribbean island eliminated unions between same-sex couples, which were legalized last May by a ruling of the Supreme Court.

  • 8. FredDorner  |  February 9, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Interesting how reactionary and culturally primitive some of the otherwise laid-back countries can be. A real shame that Britain wasn't able to stop this.

  • 9. scream4ever  |  February 9, 2018 at 11:59 am

    We will have to return to the courts, just like what was done in California with Prop 8.

  • 10. VIRick  |  February 7, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Same-Sex Marriage Opponent Wins First Round of Costa Rica Presidential Election

    A pentecostal minister who is a vocal opponent of marriage rights for same-sex couples has won the first round of Costa Rica’s presidential election. The "New York Times" reported that Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, 43, the lone elected legislator of the evangelical National Restoration Party, received 24.8 percent of the vote on Sunday, 4 February 2018. Alvarado, a pentecostal minister and "christian" singer who is a former journalist, will face off against Carlos Alvarado Quesada of the leftist, governing Citizen’s Action Party, the second-placed candidate who obtained 21.6% of the vote, in the second-round run-off that will take place on 1 April. The candidate with the third-most votes, Antonio Álvarez Desanti, conceded on Sunday evening.

    By law, Fabricio Alvarado and Carlos Alvarado will face off against each other because neither of them received at least 40 percent of the vote, the minimum required to avoid a run-off. Sunday’s election took place less than a month after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) issued a landmark ruling that recognized same-sex marriage and transgender rights.

    On 9 January, Costa Rican Vice President Ana Helena Chacón announced her country’s government will comply with the court ruling. The "New York Times" reported that Fabricio Alvarado defeated 12 other candidates in the first round because he made his opposition to the court decision a centerpiece of his campaign, (coupled with the fact that there were so many other candidates running).

    A former labor minister under President Luis Guillermo Solís, British-educated Carlos Alvarado Quesada, 38, the runner-up, said he wants to give Costa Rica the best education system in Latin America and reiterated his support for civil rights.

    So, the top 3 vote-getting candidates had the surnames of Alvarado, Alvarado, and Álvarez.

  • 11. VIRick  |  February 10, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    Map of Costa Rica Showing Electoral Split in Presidential Election

    Here's a national map of Costa Rica showing the breakdown in votes for the 4 presidential candidates who actually obtained a majority vote in at least one of the 81 electoral districts in the country:

    The red shows where the leftist PAC and Carlos Alvarado prevailed, and includes most of the heavily-populated central heartland of the country, including the cities of San José, Cartago, Heredia, and Alajuela.

    The blue shows where the evangelical Restauración Nacional and Fabricio Alvarado prevailed, and includes much of the rural and coastal periphery to the north, east, and south.

    The green shows where PLN and Antonio Álvarez, in third place, did best. That includes the Puntarenas area and parts of Guanacaste, including Nicoya, mostly in the west. Let's hope that most of these voters switch from PLN to PAC in the 1 April run-off.

    Note: During and following the recent civil war in Nicaragua, well over 500,000 Nicaraguans poured into Costa Rica. Almost all have stayed. I have no idea whether any of these refugee people are yet able to vote in the Costa Rica elections. The only current reference I can find indicates that their continued presence has increased the poverty level in the northern part of Costa Rica.

  • 12. VIRick  |  February 7, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Spain: The Love Story of Elisa and Marsela

    The first recorded same-sex marriage in the modern era occurred in a Catholic church in A Coruña, Spain, on the morning of 8 June 1901. On that date, Marcela Gracia Ibeas and Elisa Sánchez Loriga married each other in the parish church of San Jorge in said city in the Portuñol-speaking northwest corner of the country.

    On the occasion, Elisa dressed as a man and called herself Mario. In the aftermath, both soon lost their teaching jobs. In 1902, the pair departed for Buenos Aires.

    The film-maker Isabel Coixet has announced that she has turned this true story into a film which will be released later in 2018 on Netflix.

    See article for a copy of their posed wedding photo, taken on the day of the marriage.

  • 13. VIRick  |  February 7, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Another Same-Sex Marriage for Tamaulipas

    The second same-sex marriage in Ciudad Madero occurred on 5 February 2018, and joined Guillermo and Víctor, following the granting of an amparo. It was the first to take place during the current state government administration.

    The very first same-sex marriage in Tamaulipas state occurred in 2015 in Tampico between Paola and Jesica.

  • 14. VIRick  |  February 10, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    There Have Been 10 Same-Sex Marriages in Tamaulipas

    Van 10 Matrimonios entre Personas del Mismo Sexo en Tamaulipas

    Mercurios Espinoza, activista LGBT del sur de Tamaulipas, dijo recientemente a Ulisex Mgzn que gracias a los amparos obtenidos, pronto pueden agilizarse las modificaciones necesarias en la materia.

    “Debido a la presión ejercida por la ciudadanía a través de los juicios de amparo elaborados por México Igualitario, cada vez está más cerca del momento en que sean realizadas las modificaciones al Código Civil que permitan, de manera oficial, el matrimonio igualitario.”

    Mercurios Espinoza, an LGBT activist from the south of Tamaulipas, recently told Ulisex Magazine that thanks to the amparos obtained, the necessary modifications to the law can soon be expedited.

    "Due to the pressure exerted by citizens through the amparo proceedings prepared by Mexico Igualitario, it is getting closer and closer to the moment when the modifications are made to the Civil Code that officially permit marriage equality."

    Note: This article is accompanied by a series of photos from the most-recent same-sex marriage, the splashy one that occurred in Ciudad Madero between Víctor y Guillermo. I particularly enjoyed the final picture, one which shows the happy couple dancing together at the reception.

  • 15. VIRick  |  February 7, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    Guatemala and Marriage Equality

    Tonight, 7 February 2018, Matrimonio Igualitario exploded with positive commentary from Guatemala due to the airing of a debate on marriage equality by Sophos en Línea, organized by Diálogos Guate. According to Trendinalia, marriage equality has suddenly become the #1 topic of discussion in Guatemala. Needless to say, the recent CIDH court decision figured heavily in the discussion, as did Guatemala's obligation to follow said ruling. Not mentioned in the discussion, but lingering in the background, was the fact that Chiapas state, immediately across the border in Mexico, already has marriage equality.

  • 16. allan120102  |  February 7, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Another amparo to be granted in Sonora, its expect it to be grant on February 20th. I am not even sure how many have been grant in that state

  • 17. VIRick  |  February 7, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    La Mesilla NM y la Hispanidad

    I have just returned to the Virgin Islands, after having visited for several weeks with family in southern New Mexico, and can report that citizens of Mexico are still crossing the border into the USA in some number in private vehicles (many marked "fronterizo," giving them special clearance to do so), most simply enjoying their ability to tour/shop in the region. Vehicles bearing Chihuahua license plates were too numerous to count, but Durango and Sonora were also noted.

    La Mesilla is a very special place. After New Mexico was occupied during the American Intervention of 1846 (Mexican-American War), and following the 1848 treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ceding most of New Mexico and Arizona, all of California, Nevada, and Utah, plus parts of Colorado, to the USA, Mexican citizens who wished to remain Mexican citizens moved south and were granted land on the Mexican side of the Río Bravo del Norte (Río Grande), opposite Las Cruces. By 1850, their town of La Mesilla had been founded and was flourishing.

    Then came the Gadsden Purchase of 1853, effectuated in May 1854, in which the USA additionally purchased southwestern New Mexico and the southern third of Arizona, everything south of the Gila River to the present border. La Mesilla now found itself back within the USA, and in fact, was made the first capital of the newly-created Arizona Territory, while Santa Fe remained the capital of the pre-existing New Mexico Territory.

    For Mexican food, the old stage coach stop, La Posta de la Mesilla, right on the plaza opposite the cathedral and facing the grotty adobe building that served as the territorial capital, is truly divine. However, for the hottest green chili stew on record, Casa de Sueños in Tularosa had me crying and drooling uncontrollably in a totally emotional experience.

    On departure from El Paso, my American Airlines flight took off on the southwest runway, right over Ciudad Juárez, and remained in Mexican air space while heading west toward Phoenix, so I got to Chihuahua after all.

    Note: The relatively short riverine border between Texas and New Mexico follows the original course of the Río Grande, rather than its current "straightened" course. As a result, the westernmost part of the city of El Paso lies on the "New Mexico" side, while a portion of the city of Sunland Park NM sits on the "Texas" side. The city of Anthony NM/TX straddles the state line and is in both states. Further downstream, yet another portion of El Paso lies on the "Chihuahua" side.

  • 18. VIRick  |  February 8, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Puerto Rico: Governor Vetoes "Religious Freedom" Bill

    On Wednesday, 7 February 2018, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló vetoed a "religious freedom" bill that critics contend would have allowed anti-LGBT discrimination in the US commonwealth. Rosselló, in a letter to Puerto Rico Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz, noted his administration “has an unwavering commitment to guarantee and protect the fundamental rights of all of our citizens.”

    Rosselló told Rivera “one of the most important rights of our republican system of government is religious liberty.” Rosselló nevertheless acknowledged the bill “has raised serious concerns and distractions that could cause the violation of rights of portions of our society and even limit our population’s access to public services. We promised a government that will serve all the citizens of this land and we will do so,” said Rosselló.

    The measure received final approval in the Puerto Rico Senate on 29 January. The Puerto Rico House of Representatives passed the bill last year.

  • 19. VIRick  |  February 8, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    Puerto Rico Mayor: "We are American Citizens"

    Ponce PR — On 2 February 2018, the mayor of Puerto Rico’s second-largest city, said the situation in many parts of the US commonwealth remains dire 4 1/2 months after Hurricane Maria. Ponce Mayor María “Mayita” Meléndez noted to the "Washington Blade" during an interview in her office at Ponce City Hall that although electricity has been restored to 93% of Ponce municipality, it has not been restored to many parts of rural (and mountainous central) Puerto Rico. Meléndez also said some people who live in these areas still do not have running water. “The devastation is in the rural areas,” she said.

    Ponce is located on Puerto Rico's southern coast, roughly 70 miles west of the southeast coast where Maria made landfall on 20 September 2017 with 155 mph winds. The hurricane’s eye passed directly over the municipalities of Yabucoa, Humacao, Las Piedras, San Lorenzo, Caguas, Cidra, Aguas Buenas, Comerío, Naranjito, Barranquitas, Corozal, Orocovis, Morovis, Ciales, Manatí, Florida, Barceloneta, and Arecibo before it moved offshore on the island’s northern coast. In addition, the island of Vieques, plus Naguabo, Juncos, Gurabo, Trujillo Alto, San Juan, Guaynabo, Bayamón, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, Dorado, Vega Alta, and Vega Baja were barely north of the eye's passage, while Maunabo, Patillas, Cayey, Aibonito, Coamo, Villalba, Jayuya, Utuado, Hatillo, and Camuy were barely south of it. That tallies to 41 municipalities of a total of 78.

    Meléndez, a Democrat who is a member of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s New Progressive Party that supports statehood, has been in office since 2009.

    While Ponce Mayor María Meléndez simply stated factual evidence backing her claim regarding the piss-poor emergency response from the administration of the Assh-Ole-in-Charge, it is San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz who remains among the most vocal critics of his mind-numbingly feeble and inappropriate response to Hurricane Maria.

    Note: After going several months without any re-supply, we have resumed receiving bags of much-needed concrete mix for reconstruction from Cementos Ponce, one of the largest industrial suppliers in Ponce.

  • 20. VIRick  |  February 8, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Australia: Same-Sex Marriage Up-Date

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    More than 370 same-sex marriages have been registered across Australia within the first month of same-sex marriages becoming legal. Since 9 January 2018, NSW has led the way with 142 same-sex couples formally registering their marriages. They accounted for nearly nine per cent of the state's 1602 recognized marriages during that time, the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages stated.

    To date, in Victoria, some 88 same-sex marriages have been registered. In Queensland, 61 same-sex marriages have officially been recorded to the end of January, with almost two-thirds involving women.

    In the same month, 45 of 687 registered marriages in Western Australia were between same-sex couples, while in South Australia the figure was 25. Tasmania's Births, Deaths, and Marriages registered a total of 10 same-sex marriages since 9 January.

    The overall number of same-sex couples who married in January is likely to be higher, however, as in most jurisdictions couples have up to a fortnight to register their marriage. In addition, while same-sex marriage was signed into law in December, couples have to give a month's notice of their intention to marry.

    These figures do not include marriages for the ACT, NT, and the several off-shore islands.

  • 21. VIRick  |  February 9, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    Maryland: Bills to Ban Conversion Therapy for Minors Introduced

    On Friday, 9 February 2018, two Maryland lawmakers introduced bills that would ban so-called conversion therapy for minors in the state. State Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) introduced Senate Bill 1028 in the Maryland Senate, while State Del. Bonnie Cullison (D-Montgomery County) introduced House Bill 902 in the Maryland House of Delegates.

    Madaleno, who is running for governor, stated that “denying young people their humanity with conversion therapy is inhumane. We need to ensure a better future for children free of this mental abuse,” he said. “[Maryland’s governor] needs to be at the forefront of this fight!”

    In recent weeks, Virginia lawmakers tabled two bills that would have banned the widely discredited practice in that commonwealth. However, on Thursday, 8 February 2018, the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a bill that would prohibit it in that state.

  • 22. VIRick  |  February 9, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Maryland: Bill to Allow "Unspecified" Gender Marker on Driver’s Licenses

    On Thursday, 8 February 2018, Maryland lawmakers held a hearing on a bill that would allow Marylanders to obtain state-issued identification cards and driver’s licenses with an “unspecified” gender marker. Members of the Maryland House of Delegates Environment and Transportation Committee heard testimony on House Bill 13, which state Del. Shane Robinson (D-Montgomery County) introduced.

    Matthew Malouf, a Baltimore psychologist who is on the board of the Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome-Differences of Sex Development Support Group, which is one of the largest support groups for intersex people in the US, testified in support of the measure.

    “Having binary male/female sex markers on driver’s licenses and on other state and federal SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) identifiers impair our ability to record and collect information on this population and to guide individuals and families in aspects of their treatment,” said Malouf. “By changing the framework by which we categorize data, bills such as HB 13 allow researchers and practitioners to have a better understanding of the prevalence of these conditions which, in turn, hopefully improves outcomes.”

    “Changes to how we think about gender markers across the lifespan can also reduce the pressure families face in choosing an ‘optimal’ sex of rearing at birth, pressure which sometimes impairs their medical decision making and can result in inappropriate surgical intervention on infants,” added Malouf. “For those individuals diagnosed with one of these conditions, it also allows them to have identification that accurately reflects their physical body.”

  • 23. VIRick  |  February 9, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Trinidad/Tobago President-Elect Shoots Down Rumors about Her Sexuality

    In a true breath of fresh air, the president-elect of Trinidad and Tobago has perfectly shot down rumors about her sexuality. Paula-Mae Weekes, 59, is set to be the sixth president of the country, but since the election, her private life has been pulled into question (given that she is unmarried, without children). 

    Weekes, the former Judge of the Turks and Caicos Islands Court of Appeal, added that the situation proved that the country should be questioning character aspects that don’t concern sexuality. “We major in the superficial. I don’t think it is peculiarly Trinidadian, but I think we have to face it. I think questions of character are far more important,” she said.

    Weekes, who will be the first female president in the country when she’s inaugurated in March, concluded by adding that she believes all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago should be offered protection from the state, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity, and made it clear that equality was on the top of her agenda.

    “I think in terms of the State and the law, all citizens and all persons under the protection of our jurisdiction should have equal treatment whatever their gender, whatever their sexual orientation, whatever their race. We need to have absolute equality across the board in terms of State obligations and constitutional rights,” she said.

    Note: I have lived for an interval in Trinidad, but obviously, have chosen not to remain there. However, as a former judge, Paula-Mae Weekes, very encouragingly, strikes one as the perfect person in the right place at the right time.

    Given that Trinidad does not have any racial majority, the country's government routinely performs an incredibly intricate racial balancing act between the two most numerous groups, the Afro population and the East Indian population, with the "others," including the very numerous mixed-race population, holding the key. If Trinidad can continue to handle this reality with its usual grace, surely there is hope that LGBT citizens can become full participants.

    Furthermore, Trinidad, as the singular Caribbean nation holding the most influence over the rest of the region, given that all the others are dependent upon it for their continued supplies of oil and gas, appears to be the key to winning full LGBT rights throughout the remainder of the Caribbean area.

  • 24. VIRick  |  February 9, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Tonga Flag-Bearer Heats-Up the Freezing Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

    Tonga athlete Pita Taufatofua captured the attention of many an individual when he carried his country’s flag without a shirt, but with plenty of oil, two years ago. Now, he’s done it again.

    Taufatofua qualified for the Winter Olympics in South Korea as a cross-country skier, after competing in taekwondo in the 2016 Olympics, despite never having been on skis before last year. Again, he served as Tonga’s flag-bearer, and he rocked the same shirtless look, despite the freezing cold.

    At the same time, Gus Kenworthy, per Rex Wockner, had the quote of the day with regard to the entire Winter Olympics:

    "We're here. We're queer. Get used to it."

  • 25. VIRick  |  February 9, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    Ecuadorians Being Raped, Beaten in "Ex-Gay" Clinics

    LGBT people in Ecuador are being raped and beaten in clinics that practice so-called conversion therapy, abuse that has been going on for years, according to a new report by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The brutality particularly targets lesbians, who are subjected to “corrective rape” in the clinics, in addition to being beaten, chained to beds, force-fed medicine, and kept in solitary confinement, reports the foundation, which is the charitable arm of the Thomson Reuters news service and focuses on human rights issues.

    Reports of torture in “ex-gay” clinics surfaced several years ago, and since 2012 the government has investigated six allegations of abuse at the facilities, but “no one has been found guilty or punished,” Cayetana Salao of LGBT rights group Taller de Comunicación Mujer told the foundation. Much of the anti-LGBT persecution happens in “private and clandestine alcohol and drug-addiction clinics,” Salao said.

    Government officials contended that there are no “ex-gay” clinics in Ecuador, where such “therapy” is already against the law. But activists said it takes place anyway, in a nation that is deeply sexist and homophobic, and where the population is predominantly Catholic or evangelical Protestant. Salao's group has taken testimony from several survivors of the abuse.

    Carina Vance, a lesbian who was Ecuador’s health minister from 2012 to 2015, said her ministry raided and closed more than 100 clinics during her tenure, but she believes many received advance notice of raids and reopened under other names.

  • 26. guitaristbl  |  February 9, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Since winter olympics are mentioned, Adam Rippon, the openly gay ice skater, has received so much abuse and hatred from trump/pence supporters over the last 3 weeks ovee his stance against Pence it is truly shocking. The amount of comments on his facebook page wishing for him to fall and break something are disturbing.

  • 27. VIRick  |  February 9, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    Chile: Minister Omar Jara Meets with Movilh to Address the Marriage Equality Bill

    Chile: Ministro Omar Jara se Reúne el Movilh para Abordar Proyecto de Matrimonio Igualitario

    Se busca votar antes del término de Gobierno la idea de legislar el matrimonio igualitario y que la identidad de género llegue a comisión mixta, en el marco del Acuerdo de Solución Amistosa (ASA) que el Estado firmó ante la CIDH. El Movilh definirá solo en marzo que informará a la CIDH.

    “Jara comprendió y aceptó que con la sola presentación del proyecto de ley de matrimonio igualitario el Ejecutivo solo cumple a medias el ASA, pues debe hacer gestiones para agilizar su trámite legislativo. En ese sentido, el Gobierno comprometió que hará las gestiones para que la Comisión de Constitución del Senado vote la idea de legislar en marzo próximo, antes del cambio de gobierno,” sostuvo el dirigente del Movilh, Rolando Jiménez

    Añadió que en relación a la ley de identidad de género “el compromiso en el ASA es darle tramitación legislativa permanente. Por tanto, el proceso continuará en marzo, cuando el Ejecutivo gestionará que el proyecto sea votado en Sala del Senado y luego pare a comisión mixta.”

    A vote is sought before the end of the current Government on ​​legislating for marriage equality and for gender identity in order for both to reach a mixed commission, within the framework of the Friendly Settlement Agreement (ASA) that the State signed before the IACHR. Movilh will wait until March before it will inform the IACHR.

    "Jara understood and accepted that by simply presentating the marriage equality bill, the Executive only partially complies with the ASA, since it must take steps to expedite the processing of the legislation. In this regard, the Government promised that it will take steps so that the Constitutional Committee of the Senate votes to ​​legislate on it in March, before the change of government," said the leader of Movilh, Rolando Jiménez.

    He added that concerning the gender identity law "the commitment in the ASA is to give it permanent legislation. Therefore, the process will continue in March, when the Executive will manage for the bill to be voted upon in the Senate and then before a mixed commission."

    Note: Chilean Spanish can be difficult when it wishes to be obscure. The above is a good example. The change of government occurs on 11 March 2018.

  • 28. scream4ever  |  February 10, 2018 at 12:24 am

    Good news, as an unsupportive President would complicate things (although the IACOHR gives much new cushion to our side).

  • 29. ianbirmingham  |  February 11, 2018 at 8:40 am

    LGBT adoption ban moves forward in Georgia Senate

  • 30. bayareajohn  |  February 11, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    I was so hoping this was about Soviet Georgia. Nope.
    The proponents of the "religious freedom" legislation here show a mastery of overstatement and hyperbole that can only be described as "faith-based".

    The capper in head-twisting is this one:
    "Dave Baker, executive director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition of Georgia, argued that since LGBT people are able to adopt and foster children, it's fair to protect the ability of faith-based agencies to do the same."

    Um. That's a misquote, a mis-statement, or outright insanity.
    Yes, let's protect the ability of faith-based agencies to be able to adopt and foster children, the same as LGBT people. Wait, what? Is that under attack?

  • 31. FredDorner  |  February 12, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Do you know if the bill also allows discrimination against mixed-race and interfaith couples who wish to adopt, or does it just target same-sex couples for publicly subsidized harm?

  • 32. bayareajohn  |  February 12, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    Read the article… it implies larger ramifications, but isn't clear on where on the slippery slope they want to plant this flag. Surely seems to pave that slope right into permitting funding for KKK adoption centers that support sincerely held purity. Good question, if a Muslim couple wants to adopt from a Catholic adoption agency, what?

  • 33. FredDorner  |  February 12, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    While I was joking you obviously got the point. There's no way a state can target same-sex couples for disfavor in this area without violating Romer v Evans or violating the Establishment clause (ie like Mississippi's recent law does). A state simply cannot favor anti-gay religious views but not similarly odious religious views, and the bill is indeed written generically. The problem for a challenge will be standing.

    Note that private adoption agencies which don't use federal funds are generally free to discriminate on any basis (assuming we're in a red state). Enlightened states have passed similar bans on the use of public funds subsidizing bigoted private agencies. What I've found very revealing is that in states like MA and IL, Catholic social services has stopped providing adoptions rather than continue to do it without public subsidies, despite the willingness of the CSS people to comply with the law.. It's clear that the local diocese is driving the boat in those cases, not the people who actually run CSS.

  • 34. VIRick  |  February 11, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Bhutan Celebrates LGBTI History Month on TV

    Per Yeshi Bidha and LGBT Marriage News:

    Talk-n-Show TV8 celebrates the beautiful, brave, and fabulous rainbows of Bhutan. Join us on 14 February 2018 at 7 PM for soul-stirring revelations and music. Get to know them to understand them. Support LGBTQ Bhutan.

  • 35. VIRick  |  February 11, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Veracruz State Legislator Requests CEDH to Invalidate Anti-LGBT Constitutional Reform

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Veracruz: It would appear as if a state legislator has requested that the state human rights commission (CEDH) in Veracruz invalidate a state constitutional provision that privileges heterosexual marriage because it leaves out LGBT couples.

    Daniela Griego Ceballos pide a la CEDH revertir reforma (constitucional) que eleva rango de matrimonio exclusivamente a los heterosexuales. La diputada local afirmó que la reforma "discrimina" a parejas gay.

    Daniela Griego Ceballos asks the CEDH to reverse the (constitutional) reform that raises the rank of marriage exclusively to heterosexuals. The local deputy affirmed that the reform "discriminates" against same-sex couples.

    The link provided at LGBT Marriage News requires a log-in which I am unable to access:… …

  • 36. VIRick  |  February 11, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    Leche Suiza: A Sign of Hurricane Recovery

    For the first time since Hurricanes Irma and Maria slammed through the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico 5 months ago, Leche Suiza, the popular Puerto Rican fresh milk brand, has finally returned to our super-market shelves. Following any major hurricane, it is "minor" recovery details, like this, which suddenly become cause for celebration.

    At the same time, today, at Home Depot, we loaded up the back of the SUV with another dozen bags of much-needed cement mix from Cementos Ponce. For months, Home Depot, with its collapsed roof, remained totally shuttered, after which it was then only partially re-opened. Only now has it fully gotten back in business. And only now has Cementos Ponce construction products been re-stocked there.

    On the negative side, and as an unpleasant reminder, we just survived another all-day island-wide power outage which lasted until 8 PM. As a result, we went through the entire emergency drill, just to make sure we keep ourselves in practice,– find and ready the lamp oil, hurricane lamps, flashlights, back-up batteries, cell phone car chargers, etc. And then reluctantly start to think about having to fetch those heavy buckets of water from the cistern down below.

    There is still no TV service of any description whatsoever, and no indication as to whether there ever will be. And ditto for the old land-line telephones.

    Immediately after the hurricanes, only one of 4 routes to my house was safely passable. Two others were totally blocked, and the third requires negotiating the narrow one-lane abyss. Although the latter is still there, passively waiting for unwary victims, one of the two fully-blocked roads has now re-opened, after its wash-outs were filled-in, rebuilt, and cemented over. However, the ruins of the very attractive great-house at the near-by Botanical Gardens, once a major tourist attraction and a popular banqueting center, destroyed by Irma, is now in the process of being demolished. I shudder every time I pass it, while on my way to the one-lane abyss (which actually happens to be on the main cross-island highway, running the full length of the island, high up on the central ridge).

    Another "minor" triumph: My house number, which I had posted at the top of the steps, out by the lane, blew away in the hurricane, bracket and all. To me, it was special, as it was comprised of those distinctive, colorfully decorative, glazed Mexican tiles, purchased some years ago in Baja California. In any case, while in New Mexico, I found a suitable replacement, made up of the same decorative, glazed tiles (but bearing the New Mexico state flag and its zia symbol), complete with hanging bracket.

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