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  • 1. VIRick  |  March 14, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    Ireland: Bill to Ban "Conversion Therapy" Introduced

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Today, 14 March 2018, legislation has been proposed that would see "conversion therapy" and homophobic courses for LGBT people banned in Ireland. The launch of this legislation aims to prohibit conversion therapy, seen as a deceptive and harmful act or practice against a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression.

    Senator Fintan Warfield, who is the Sinn Féin spokesperson for Youth, Arts, and LGBT rights, has been working on legislation since last summer with the help of the National LGBT Federation. The bill will be submitted to the Bills Office in Leinster House next week.

    Under the proposed legislation, a person found guilty of performing, offering, or advertising conversion therapy will be liable to a fine of up to €5,000 and/or six months imprisonment. It also proposes legislation that would make it unlawful to remove a person from the state (of Ireland) for the purposes of conversion therapy.

    One can read the entire proposal here:

    Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar is due to meet with US Vice President Mike Pence later this week. Warfield stated that Pence is “probably the most powerful advocate for conversion therapy in our world,” and that during the meeting, Varadkar “should assert that his Government on behalf of the Irish people are opposed to such harmful ideologies.”

  • 2. VIRick  |  March 14, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Chile: Processing of Gender Identity Bill Will be Led by Ministry of Justice

    Chile: Tramitación de la Ley de Identidad de Género Será Liderada por el Ministerio de Justicia

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Esta tarde, 12 de marzo 2018, la ministra de la Secretaría General de Gobierno, Cecilia Pérez, anunció que la tramitación del proyecto de Ley de identidad de género será liderada por el Ministerio de Justicia. La ministra señaló que “ese proyecto de ley que ahora está en Comisión Mixta y que va a ser abordada prontamente por el parlamento, lo va a liderar el ministro de Justicia (Hernán Larraís) en compañía de la subsecretaria de DD.HH (Lorena Recabarren).”

    Además, Pérez agregó que con respecto al Acuerdo de Solución Amistosa que hoy existe entre el Estado y Movilh, que entre otras medidas contempla el matrimonio igualitario y adopción homorparental, lo verá la misma cartera. Hoy, el proyecto de ley de identidad de género está en Comisión Mixta, etapa que tiene como punto más álgido del debate resolver; si se aprueba que dentro del reglamento, los menores de edad puedan cambiar su sexo legal.

    This afternoon, 12 March 2018, the Minister of the General Secretariat of Government, Cecilia Pérez, announced that the processing of the draft gender identity law will be led by the Ministry of Justice. The minister said that "this bill that is now at the Mixed Commission and will be addressed soon by parliament, to be led by the Minister of Justice (Hernán Larraís) in the company of the undersecretary of Human Rights (Lorena Recabarren). "

    In addition, Pérez added that with respect to the Friendly Settlement Agreement that currently exists between the State and Movilh, which among other measures includes marriage equality and homorparental adoption, the same portfolio will see it. Today, the gender identity bill is at the Mixed Commission, a stage that has as its most critical point of the debate to resolve; one that if approved within the regulation, will allow minors to change their legal sex.

    Note: To my ear, the Chilean Spanish utilized in this report is excessively florid. With some added punctuation to separate several thoughts, especially in the second paragraph, I am hoping I have translated it correctly.

    Still, from this we learn that the Mixed Commission is not agreeing on the minimum age when one will be legally allowed to change gender; and not disagreeing on whether or not to allow it at all.

  • 3. VIRick  |  March 14, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Extra note: Whenever I run into excessively florid South American Spanish, I always seem to revert.

    In Mexico, when introduced to a stranger, one responds with a hearty "Mucho Gusto." In Brasil, one replies with an equally hearty "Muito Prazer," while in Argentina, one says, in a distinctly distracted tone, "Muy Encantado." The latter pushes me to want to retort in loud, rhyming street Puerto Rican, "Hola, hola, coca cola!"

  • 4. ianbirmingham  |  March 15, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    VIRick, you fully deserve an honorary PhD in Spanish Language Studies!

  • 5. scream4ever  |  March 14, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Good news that the marriage/adoption law will be bundled in with it.

  • 6. VIRick  |  March 14, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Scream, that's where I had difficulty with the translation. Let me attempt to clarify. The same governmental officials (the Minister of Justice and the Undersecretary for Human Rights) will oversee both the marriage equality legislation and the homoparental adoption measure, and will also be in charge of overseeing the gender identity bill.

    The gender identity bill is much further long in its process. Pérez (by way of the reporter) tried to explain it, but lost me, possibly because the reporter was equally lost. However, it still appears as if there are 3 separate legislative measures, each one moving at a snail's pace.

    Unlike the USA, where new legislative sessions force pending legislation measures to begin all over again, in most Hispanic countries, pending legislation is pending legislation and keeps right on moving and flowing, even with a change of administration and/or a change of legislative members.

  • 7. VIRick  |  March 14, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Colombia: Constitutional Court Rules: Minors Must Also Be Allowed to Change Gender

    Colombia: Tribunal Constitucional Dictamina: Menores También se les Debe Permitir Cambiar de Género

    Per Noticias LGBT:

    La Superintendencia de Notariado y Registro respondió este miércoles,13 de marzo 2018, al reciente fallo de la Corte Constitucional que permite que menores de edad cambien de identidad de género en sus documentos de identidad, orden que recae directamente sobre las notarías del país. Jairo Alonso Mesa, superintendente, señaló que esa reglamentación se debe hacer en conjunto con la Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil, pues no han quedado claros aspectos como si es necesaria la autorización de los padres de familia y los rangos de edad desde los que será permitido.

    “La Corte da unos parámetros para esta reglamentación, dice que personas muy cercanas a cumplir los 18 años, también dice que necesitan un dictamen médico, no dice si necesita consentimiento de los padres o no; por lo que es algo que deberá determinar, la Superintendencia junto con la Registraduría. En esto nos vamos a enfocar durante los 30 días siguientes,” dijo Mesa.

    El procedimiento (a cambiar de identidad de género), que tiene un costo de $41.300 (pesos), ha venido en aumento desde 2016. Según el Superintendente, porque cada vez más gente conoce el decreto que lo permite, Decreto #1227 de junio de 2015, emitido por el Ministerio de Justicia. En virtud de esa decisión, 766 ciudadanos han solicitado cambiar su identidad de género entre 2016 y 2018 en las notarías del país, según balance presentado por la Superintendencia.

    The Superintendant of Notaries and Registration responded this Wednesday, 13 March 2018, to the recent ruling of the Constitutional Court that allows minors to change their gender identity on their identity documents, an order that falls directly upon the country's notaries. Jairo Alonso Mesa, superintendent, pointed out that this rule-change must be done in conjunction with the National Registry of Civil Status, as it has not been clear as to whether the authorization of the parents is necessary, nor the age ranges for which it will be allowed .

    "The Court gives some parameters for this regulation, saying that (it applies to) people very close to turning 18, and saying also that they need a medical opinion, but it does not say if one needs parental consent or not; so it is something that the Superintendant must determine together with the Registrar's Office. We will focus on this for the next 30 days," Mesa said.

    The (gender identity change) procedure, which has a cost of $ 41,300 (pesos), has become more widespread since 2016. According to the Superintendent, this is because more and more people now know the decree allows it, Decree #1227 of June 2015, issued by the Ministry of Justice. By virtue of that decision, between 2016 and 2018, 766 citizens have requested to change their gender identity with the country's notaries, according to the numbers presented by the Superintendant.

    Note: The following Latin countries all allow their citizens to change their gender on their identity documents by simple self-declaration, without any further medical certificate or intervention: Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, Mexico, Perú, and Uruguay.

  • 8. VIRick  |  March 14, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    Lebanon: Politicians Call for Decriminalization of Gay Sex

    Politicians in Lebanon have called for the government to decriminalize same-sex intercourse. On television over the weekend, the right-wing Christian Democrat Party (Kataeb), announced plans to scrap the law. Discussing a 131-step plan that the party will put in place if they win the elections on 6 May 2018, officials from the party stressed that it was a crucial part of their social agenda. Kataeb is one of the first mainstream parties in government to speak about decriminalization.

    Currently, Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code prohibits sexual relations that are “contradicting the laws of nature," with a penalty whereby it is technically punishable with jail time of up to a year. However, numerous courts in the country have already ruled that the article should not be used to arrest people for engaging in same-sex activity, meaning that such activity is de facto legal.

  • 9. scream4ever  |  March 14, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    It makes sense they'd be the first country in the region to do so, followed by probably UAE. It's surprising that the far right Christian Democrats would be the ones to spearhead the effort.

  • 10. VIRick  |  March 14, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    Egypt: Belly Dancer Wears Beard to Protest Treatment of LGBTs

    A belly dancing activist is challenging LGBT rights in Egypt in a spellbinding way – by wearing a beard when she performs. Shrouk El-Attar, who is lesbian, studies at Cardiff University and is an LGBT refugee from Egypt in the UK. 

    Performing as the “Dancing Queer” in France, the Netherlands, and Japan, the activist is raising money to ensure that asylum seekers in the UK can afford to pursue their education, while simultaneously protesting the treatment of LGBT people in Egypt.

  • 11. Elihu_Bystander  |  March 15, 2018 at 6:37 am

    Classmates Rally Around Gay High School Athlete Targeted by Westboro Baptist Church

    "I feel really loved by my community," Jake Bain, a senior at John Burroughs School in St. Louis*, says of support from other students and alumni.

    (*John Burroughs School is a private college prep liberal arts school located in the St. Louis County city of Ladue. It is not within the city limits of the city of St. Louis which is an independent city and not a part of St. Louis County. The school serves a diverse student body.)

    An openly gay high school football player in St. Louis got support from his classmates on Monday after members of the Westboro Baptist Church showed up to protest him. Supporters used #StandWithJake to share their messages for Jake Bain, a senior at John Burroughs School.

    Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson speaks with Bain about why he thinks the church targeted him, the support he's received and the message he hopes his story sends to the LGBTQ community.

    "This is so much bigger than just me," Bain says. "There's just so many people out there that are going through the same things that I'm going through. So I just hope that a light is kinda shed on the entire community, especially the youth."

  • 12. allan120102  |  March 15, 2018 at 10:48 am

    NI hopefully the court of appeals delivers a judgement fast and does not take like two years to issue a judgement like the previous one.

  • 13. scream4ever  |  March 15, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    I'm more hopeful that the UK Parliament will vote to legalize it at the end of the month.

  • 14. VIRick  |  March 15, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    The First Gay Couple Who Adopted in Colombia

    La Primera Pareja Gay Que Adoptó en Colombia

    Per Revista Jet-set de Colombia of 12 March 2018:

    Cuando los esposos Michael Lacher, de origen Israelí, y Diego Sánchez Molina, de Antioquia, recibieron a la pequeña Emma, la oficina del ICBF (Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar) en Medellín fue decorada como si sus funcionarios se alistaran para una gran fiesta. En un salón lleno de globos y colmado de curiosos, todos aplaudieron hasta el cansancio para remarcar el antes y el después en la legislación colombiana que permitió la primera adopción de bebés entre parejas del mismo sexo.

    Colombia, después de una larga puja entre los activistas de los colectivos LGBTI, legisladores y constitucionalistas, adquirió una normatividad tan incluyente y vanguardista como la de Canadá, Holanda, Reino Unido, Argentina, y México, entre otras veinte naciones que dieron el salto histórico que les otorgó el estatus de familia a las parejas homoparentales. La decisión que aprobó la adopción entre parejas igualitarias salió a flote en noviembre de 2015.

    Michael y Diego se casaron el 29 de diciembre de 2015 en Buenos Aires, cuando Colombia estuvo a punto de hundir la iniciativa del matrimonio igualitario.

    When the spouses Michael Lacher, of Israeli origin, and Diego Sánchez Molina, of Antioquia, received little Emma, ​​the ICBF (Colombian Institute for Family Welfare) office in Medellín was decorated as if its officials were getting ready for a big party. In a room full of balloons and filled with onlookers, all applauded until fatigued to highlight the before and after in Colombian law that allowed for the first adoption of babies by same-sex couples.

    Colombia, after a long struggle between activists of LGBTI groups, legislators and constitutionalists, acquired jurisprudence as inclusive and as avant-garde as that of Canada, Holland, United Kingdom, Argentina, and Mexico, among twenty other nations that have made the historic leap to grant family status to homoparental couples. The Constitutional Court decision that approved adoption between same-sex couples was rendered in November 2015.

    Michael and Diego were married on 29 December 2015 in Buenos Aires, at a time when marriage equality in Colombia was still quite uncertain. (That definitive Constitutional Court decision was finally rendered in late April 2016.)

    Note: This article takes a detour to go after the dirge, Alejandro Ordóñez Maldonado, the former Procurador General (Attorney-General) who hunted down married same-sex couples all over Colombia and prosecuted them in the tense lead-up to the Constitutional Court's definitive ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. They point out that the couple in question was exempt from his witch-hunt because they married in Argentina rather than in Colombia.

  • 15. VIRick  |  March 15, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Argentina: Another Small-Town Same-Sex Marriage

    Esta semana se realizó el primer matrimonio igualitario en mi pueblo, que orgullosa me pone decir que soy de San Basilio.

    This week the first same-sex marriage took place in my town, which makes me proud to say that I am from San Basilio.

    San Basilio is a small town of about 4,000 inhabitants in central Argentina, in the southern portion of Córdoba province.

  • 16. scream4ever  |  March 15, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    Wonderful news Rick!!!

  • 17. ianbirmingham  |  March 15, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    Congrats, VIRick!!

  • 18. VIRick  |  March 15, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Wait guys! I am directly quoting (and translating) a twitter-user named Vale Gondor. San Basilio is her town, not mine! I had to search Wikipedia to determine where in Argentina it is even located.

    Despite the fact that Argentina has had marriage equality for 8 years, the vast bulk of same-sex marriages have occurred in the major metro areas, especially in and around Buenos Aires. It is still quite exceptional to learn of one occurring in the plethora of small towns scattered across the Pampas, like this one in San Basilio, and even rarer to encounter one taking place further south in Patagonia.

  • 19. VIRick  |  March 15, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    Brasil: Massive Vigil Held for Out Rio Councilwoman Who Was Murdered

    Per Andrés Duque:

    On the night of 15 March 2018, huge rallies were held in Brasil demanding justice in the murder of out Rio de Janeiro councilmember and social justice advocate Marielle Franco.

  • 20. VIRick  |  March 17, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Bisexual Rio Councilwoman, Human Rights Activist Killed

    Per Felipe Alface's detailed report in the "Washington Blade:"

    RIO DE JANEIRO — Rio de Janeiro city Councilwoman Marielle Franco and her driver were shot to death and killed in their car on 14 March 2018 at around 9:30 PM, local time, after she attended and spoke at a black women’s empowerment event in the Rio neighborhood of Lapa. A key witness, Franco's assistant, survived the attack (and currently is in hiding), in what appears to be a targeted, hit-man/ambush assassination that seems to have also involved a car chase with at least one other vehicle in pursuit.

    Franco was known for fighting for minorities. She was a bisexual Afro-Brasileira (Brazilian of African descent) who grew up in one of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. Franco was also one of Rio de Janeiro’s most outspoken critics of police actions in these same areas of the city.

    She was a member of Rio de Janeiro’s black, LGBT, feminist, and favela communities. Franco leaves behind an 18-year-old daughter and a partner who was the first woman with whom she fell in love.

    The Brazilian military currently controls Rio de Janeiro’s police in an attempt to curtail the city’s rampant violence. Franco was, among other things, a member of the commission that monitored the military’s intervention in the city.

    A true warrior for the equality and dignity of Brazil’s under-represented groups, Franco would more frequently than not use a certain phrase on her social media accounts to denounce hate crimes against LGBT Brazilians and young people in the country. As Brazilians try to understand the crime that took the prominent advocate’s life, they are left with the same words she used repeatedly: “Pare de matar-nos" (Stop killing us).

    Personal note: When I lived in Rio, for one's own personal safety, stopping at traffic signals at night was strictly optional and rarely if ever done, precisely to avoid the same type of random ambush robbery/assassination attempt mentioned above, although in Marielle's case, it would appear that she was pursued and specifically targeted. A number of 9 mm. cartridges, of a type used by the federal police, were found at the scene afterward.

    Lapa, named after the 18th century aqueduct, Arcos da Lapa, is an older, somewhat gentrified, yet bohemian Rio neighborhood, full of nightlife and the sounds of samba, forró, and choro, sandwiched between the downtown business area of Centro and the time-worn, yet still rather elegant Santa Teresa.

  • 21. ianbirmingham  |  March 16, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    Oregon judge who refused to marry gay couples gets longest suspension in state history

    Marion County Circuit Judge Vance Day was given a three-year suspension without pay, the lengthiest suspension the court has handed down in its history…

  • 22. MichGuy  |  March 18, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    here is the ruling

  • 23. ianbirmingham  |  March 16, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Maine state candidate who called Parkland student 'skinhead lesbian' drops out of race

  • 24. VIRick  |  March 17, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Philadelphia Halts Foster Care Intake at Two Agencies Discriminating against LGBTs

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On Thursday, 15 March 2018, the city of Philadelphia announced that it had stopped two faith-based agencies from placing foster children after learning that both organizations discriminate against LGBTQ people. The Philadelphia Department of Human Services has ceased foster-care intake with Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services, pending an investigation by the Commission on Human Relations.

    The restriction follows an "Inquirer and Daily News" report that the city-funded agencies will not work with LGBTQ people or same-sex couples interested in becoming foster parents, a stance that likely violates city contract rules. Together, the agencies have received about $3 million in foster care reimbursement funds from the city each year. Philadelphia contracts prohibit discrimination against individuals based on sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation, as does the city’s 1963 Fair Practices Ordinance.

    The ACLU is involved in a lawsuit against the State of Michigan in which Bethany and Catholic Social Services are the two organizations cited for refusing to work with same-sex couples. Michigan has a law that protects faith-based foster care and adoption organizations. Pennsylvania has no such law.

  • 25. VIRick  |  March 17, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    McCabe Offered Job by Out Congressman so He Can Get Full Retirement

    That's one way of protesting Andrew McCabe's firing as deputy FBI director, roughly a day before he was set to retire: At least one Democratic congressman has offered McCabe a temporary job so he can get full retirement benefits, and McCabe appears to be considering.

    Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) announced Saturday afternoon, 17 March 2018, that he has offered McCabe a job to work on election security in his office, “so that he can reach the needed length of service” to retire. “My offer of employment to Mr. McCabe is a legitimate offer to work on election security,” Pocan said in a statement. “Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of American democracy and both Republicans and Democrats should be concerned about election integrity.”

    Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) tweeted that he'd consider hiring McCabe, too.

    It's not immediately clear if getting fired from the FBI on a Friday and going to work on Capitol Hill on a Monday would solve McCabe's problems for certain, though at least one former federal official with knowledge of retirement rules says it probably would. McCabe's team is confident that he had at least 20 years of law enforcement work under his belt — defined as carrying a weapon or supervising people who do — which made him eligible to retire on his 50th birthday on Sunday, 18 March 2018, with full retirement benefits. With those 20 years, he would need to just go to work with the federal government for another day or so in any job he pleases.

    Although not mentioned in this particular article, Mark, who represents Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District, based in Madison, married his partner Phil in 2006 in Canada.

  • 26. MichGuy  |  March 18, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    He should def take this offer while he appeals his termination to the Merit Board. I would if I was him. Assuming this was his first offense and the severity if this offense I think he should have been suspended without pay instead of fired or at least allowed to retire with a bar from future federal employment. The government is supposed to use progressive discipline and take into account the severity of the offense and prior infractions. I doubt he has a bad prior disciplinary record.

  • 27. VIRick  |  March 18, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    California: State Senate Gets First LGBT Leader

    Per Joe.My.God and the AP:

    San Diego Sen. Toni Atkins will make history Wednesday, 21 March 2018, when she becomes the first woman and first lesbian to hold the California Senate’s top job. A former Assembly speaker, Atkins is taking over the post of Senate president pro tem from fellow Democrat Kevin de Leon as the chamber gears up for election season and faces a number of thorny challenges, including a reckoning over sexual misconduct, a loss of the Democratic supermajority, and an icy relationship with the state Assembly.

    De Leon took control of the Senate in 2014. He’s barred by term limits from seeking re-election and is challenging Democratic US Sen. Dianne Feinstein. If she can keep the support of her fellow Democrats, Atkins will have an unusually long run in the Senate’s top job; she isn’t term-limited until 2024.

    Equality California issued a statement in December when Atkins emerged as the consensus pick to lead the Senate:

    "Senator Toni Atkins is one of the LGBTQ community’s most respected and effective leaders and her upcoming election as the Senate President Pro Tem breaks multiple glass ceilings. Not only will she be the first woman to serve as leader of the California Senate, but Senator Atkins will also be the first LGBTQ person to serve in that role. This follows on her historic career in the Assembly where she became the first lesbian Speaker.

    "Electing role models like Senator Atkins is important to the LGBTQ community because it sends a clear message to our community across the country, particularly LGBTQ youth, that LGBTQ people can achieve anything. By having a seat at the table, LGBTQ elected officials can speak with their colleagues with authenticity and first-hand experience on issues that affect our community."

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