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Open thread 3/22 UPDATED 3/23

Community/Meta Transgender Rights

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

– The Trump administration has until today (3/22) to comply with a court order to disclose the people involved in the decision to ban transgender military servicemembers.

UPDATE: The Trump administration has responded to the request by stating they don’t intend to use information regarding the deliberative process used to reach the decision to ban transgender military servicemembers, so they’re not disclosing names.

UPDATE 2 3/23: President Trump and Secretary of Defense Mattis have released their new policy banning transgender servicemembers. The link also includes statements from several LGBT organizations, including those with current cases on the trans ban pending in the lower courts.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings.


  • 1. VIRick  |  March 23, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    Sweden: Parliament Votes to Pay Compensation to Forcibly-Sterilized Trans Persons

    Sweden has become the first country to offer compensation to transgender people who were forcibly sterilized. The compensation bill passed in the Swedish Parliament earlier this week, one in which the state agreed to pay 225,000 SEK ($25,000) to each trans person who had been sterilized during the 41 years, 1972-2013, the law was in place.

    In 2013, Sweden repealed the law which made forced sterilization compulsory for trans people in order for the state to thus recognize their gender identity.  Ever since, activists have been campaigning for compensation for the approximately 700 people who were affected.….

  • 2. VIRick  |  March 23, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Brasil: City Councilor Vows to Soldier On for LGBT/Black/Favela Rights

    Last week, Marielle Franco, an out lesbian city councilor in Rio de Janeiro, and champion for LGBT/black/favela rights, was pursued and murdered in Rio on the night of 14 March 2018.

    Her fellow city councilor and friend, another black woman who rose up from the favelas and who is also extremely politically active for the same causes, Taliria Petrone, a current city councilor for Niterói, the big sprawling satellite city immediately across Guanabara Bay from Rio, has vowed to soldier on for LGBT/black/favela rights, now more determined than ever, and to fight against continued police violence perpetrated against all three communities.

    When Rio de Janeiro was named the national capital, the city and its immediate surroundings were located within a Federal District. Niterói became the capital of the remaining portion of Rio de Janeiro state. When the national capital and federal district were relocated to Brasilia, Rio was made the capital of Guanabara state (whose boundaries conformed to that of the old federal district, and now, have become the modern boundaries of the city of Rio de Janeiro), while Niterói continued to remain the capital of Rio de Janeiro state until the two states were merged back together in 1975.

  • 3. ianbirmingham  |  March 23, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    Trump moves to ban most transgender troops
    The decision follows a Pentagon review but the Justice Department will still have to make the case in federal court.

    LGBT advocates who have sought to head off such a move in the courts swiftly slammed the decision, calling it “appalling, reckless and unpatriotic.”

    “Donald Trump and Mike Pence are literally wreaking havoc on the lives of our military families,” said Ashley Broadway-Mack, president of the American Military Partner Association. “This unconscionable attack on our military families cannot stand — we refuse to allow it.”

    Matt Thorn, president of OutServe-SLDN, said: “This policy is a thinly veiled and feeble attempt by the Trump-Pence administration to justify the unnecessary discrimination of qualified patriots in order to advance their own personal agendas and in defiance of the administration’s top military leadership. We are calling this what it is — an attempt to legitimize an unwarranted and unnecessary attack that targets individuals who have volunteered their lives in support of this country.”

    “This Trump-Pence plan categorically bans transgender people from service, with no legitimate basis," added Jennifer Levi, transgender right project director for GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, in a statement. "It requires the discharge of trained, skilled troops who have served honorably for decades. It’s a gross mischaracterization of transgender people, and it’s bad for our. military."

    The Democratic National Committee also weighed in late Friday, calling the decision "an insult to our brave transgender service members and all who wear our nation’s uniform," adding that “discrimination is not a national security strategy."

  • 4. FredDorner  |  March 23, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    Given that the injunction is still in effect and the DOJ just offended the court by refusing to provide the names of the "experts" or provide any rational basis for the policy, I doubt Trump's new memo will ever go into effect.

  • 5. VIRick  |  March 23, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    True enough. Still, he has to have the last word, even if he is totally clueless, and the measure won't pass rational review.

    However, in other news, the Stock Market crash is real, provoked primarily by serious fears of his irrationally-imposed tariffs and the resulting worldwide trade war. Already, in retaliation to tariffs on Chinese-made goods, China has levied its own tariffs on 128 different categories of US-made products, while European auto manufacturers who had intended to locate expanded production facilities in the USA to export vehicles to China have cancelled their plans in Chattanooga (VW), Spartanburg (BMW), and Charleston SC (Chinese-owned Volvo and Mercedes-Benz).

    This article gives a good (optimistic) summary from the point of view of the South Carolina business community, given that it also details production facilities of Bosch (Anderson), Michelin (Greenville), and Continental Tire (Sumter), and was written last month, before the trade war erupted:

    From a personal perspective, I have lost twice as much money in February-March 2018 as what I had earned in all of 2017, a figure that also includes some serious losses caused by the disruptions and damage from the two Category 5 hurricanes which slammed through here last September. These last two days, since it has becomes obvious that we're rapidly cascading into a major trade war, have been brutal.

  • 6. Elihu_Bystander  |  March 24, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    So, does this memorandum initiate new law suits or just amended complaints in the five existing cases?

    How is Trump using the word leathality along with readiness and effectiveness? Is he suggesting that a transgender military person would be incapable of using deadly force if required to accomplish the mission?

    I am a 26 year retired member of the US Navy as a dental officer long before DADT. I'm certain that I provided dental treatment for transgender military during that time.

  • 7. VIRick  |  March 25, 2018 at 10:48 am

    Elihu, I am aware of 4 federal cases all currently under litigation, all of which have had injunctions issued blocking the implementation of the ban, and in which a total of 10 judges, so far, have already ruled in our favor. The cases are listed here by the dates their injunctions were first ordered:

    1. "Doe v. Trump," DC District Court, plus DC Circuit Court of Appeals

    2. "Stone v. Trump," Maryland District Court, plus 4th Circuit Court of Appeals

    3. "Karnoski v. Trump," Washington State District Court

    4. "Stockman v. Trump," District Court for Central District of California

    These cases will all continue, with amended complaints filed to cover the latest wrinkle, given that this new memorandum appears to be nothing more than a vain attempt at "justification" well after-the-fact.

    One point is abundantly clear: One does not legally change government policy, and expect it to remain unchallenged, by issuing a tweet. That's not how it is done in Washington. And now, attempting to issue a new policy to match last year's tweet is also not the way it is done, as the courts will see this latest memo for what it is, merely an attempt at ex-post-facto justification.

    As for another angle, the USA has an all-volunteer force, and has had some difficulty in recent years maintaining troop strength at full capacity, with recruitment numbers not completely keeping pace with demand. Cutting out one particular group, albeit one which is not overly numerous, has a potentially negative ripple effect on recruitment ability, and thus on maintaining troop strength, already hard-pressed to maintain the numbers.

    As one can already note from another very short-sighted maneuver, deporting non-US citizen military veterans, rather than processing their US naturalization applications after they have successfully served their tours of duty, has caused a huge drop in the number of non-US citizens currently being recruited into the all-volunteer US military. If we keep cutting out one group of potential recruits after the other after the next, who will be left to serve?

  • 8. VIRick  |  March 24, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    Trump Issues (Moot) Memo Affirming Ban on Transgender Military Service

    Consistent with expectations for timing for the new policy, Trump issued a memo late Friday on transgender military service that — while moot thanks to court orders against banning transgender troops — nonetheless reaffirms policy against their service. In the memo dated 23 March 2018, Trump claims he defers on the transgender military issue to Defense Secretary James Mattis, and based on his recommendation, asserts that transgender people should not be allowed to serve “except under certain limited circumstances.”

    Among other things, the policies set forth by the secretary of defense state that "transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria — individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery — are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances,” Trump writes.

    Although Trump claims he defers to Mattis on implementing the prohibition on transgender military service, the action is moot because four trial courts and two circuit courts have determined barring transgender people from the military because of their gender identity is discriminatory. Hours before the memo was issued, a Pentagon spokesperson told the "Blade" the military “will still comply with federal court rulings and continue to assess and retain transgender service members.”

    Natalie Nardecchia, senior attorney for the Western Regional Office of Lambda Legal, said the new memo amounts to “implementation of the same ban” that Trump laid out last year. Reliance on Mattis in the new policy doesn’t alter the strategy for LGBT legal groups, nor does she think it will make courts look upon the ban more sympathetically.

    “This is a situation were Secretary Mattis was backed into a corner to deliver, based on the president’s tweets, so it was a matter of coming up with a justification after the fact,” Nardecchia said. “The government was legally required to have their justification before banning and targeting transgender people. They’re not permitted legally to come up with a justification after the fact, so I don’t think the courts will be more sympathetic.”

  • 9. davepCA  |  March 25, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    And here's a story that may shed more light on where this idiotic memo really came from – you guessed it, extreme homophobe Mike Pence, Tony Perkins of the FCR and some guy from the Heritage Foundation. The usual gang of un-American bigoted douchebags.

  • 10. allan120102  |  March 24, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Louisiana supreme court has rule against gov Edwards in reviving lgbt protections in the state. Sadly the decision was 4-3.

  • 11. Elihu_Bystander  |  March 24, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    So, now we need a plaintiff who has had actual concrete harm because of this to file a suit in Federal Court.

  • 12. scream4ever  |  March 24, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    That's what's happening now with the cases invloving Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

  • 13. allan120102  |  March 25, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    I am more surprise that the most anti lgbt of the Lousiana supreme court was in the dissent. He was the only judge that rule against us even with supreme court ruling. I mean judge hughes.

  • 14. scream4ever  |  March 25, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    He probably wanted to grant cert over concerns regarding how it would impact future executive orders.

  • 15. VIRick  |  March 25, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Louisiana Supreme Court Kills Order Protecting LGBT State Employees

    Republican Louisiana attorney-general Jeff Landry and a slim majority of the Louisiana Supreme Court teamed up to kill a pro-LGBT executive order from Democratic governor John Bel Edwards.

    In 2016, Bel Edwards issued an executive order that banned anti-LGBT discrimination among state employees and contractors. Homophobe Landry instantly took action, suing to stop the order. A lower court ruled for Landry, saying the governor overstepped his authority in issuing the directive. The case was appealed to the state's Supreme Court, which decided on 23 March 2018, in a 4-3 decision, not to take the case, thus in effect, upholding the lower court's conclusion.

    Bel Edwards and Landry have a combative relationship, with the latter resisting any efforts to make Louisiana more progressive, especially when it comes to reproductive and LGBT rights. After Bel Edwards signed the LGBT order, Landry refused to approve dozens of legal contracts because they contained verbiage banning anti-LGBT discrimination.

  • 16. Zack12  |  March 27, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    Jeff Landry has a gay brother too.
    Makes him all the more vile.

  • 17. VIRick  |  March 24, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    Argentina: March to Remember "Los Desaparecidos"

    Periodically, in many countries in Latin America, groups hold remembrance marches to honor "Los Desaparecidos" (The Disappeared Ones), those dissidents who vanished during the modern military dictatorships. Today, 24 March 2018, it was again Argentina's turn, this time to honor "disappeared" LGBTs, sponsored by the Federación Argentina LGBT.

    Per Fernando Albornoz, who is holding a sign which read:

    "Lesbianas, Gays, Personas Trans, Bisexuales, y Identidades Disidentes Decimos NUNCA MÁS"

    "Lesbians, Gays, Trans Persons, Bisexuals, and Dissident Identities Say NEVER AGAIN"

  • 18. VIRick  |  March 25, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Croatia: Thousands March against Women — Because They Do Not Want Gay Marriage

    Today, 25 March 2018, in central Zagreb, thousands marched against a European initiative which aims to protect women –- because it could legitimize transgender people and same-sex marriage. The Istanbul Convention, which came into force in 2014 and has been signed by 46 nations, as well as by the European Union as a whole, was created around the concept of “preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.”

    The protesters in central Zagreb disagreed with the convention’s definition of gender: “The socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for women and men." This phrasing, which deserves some credit, considering it was formed by the Council of Europe back in 2011, leaves the concept of gender open to a trans-friendly interpretation. And to be fair, that’s probably what the Council was aiming for. It would also leave legislative room for those who support marriage equality, according to marchers.

    Croatia’s centre-right government has given its approval to the country’s entry into the agreement, causing uproar from conservative organisations and from the Catholic Church. And with Parliament having not yet ratified the move, thousands gathered in the Croatian capital, stirred up and egged on by hatred and bigotry, to make their feelings clear.

  • 19. VIRick  |  March 26, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Starkville MS Holds Its First-Ever Pride Parade

    On Saturday, 24 March 2018, Starkville MS, population 25,000, and home to Mississippi State University, held its first-ever LGBT pride parade after multiple months of planning and the filing of a federal lawsuit that had become international news.  At least 2,500 people marched in the parade, it what many have dubbed the largest parade Starkville has ever seen for any occasion whatsoever.

    Organiser and student Bailey McDaniel welcomed the size of the parade, saying that it was a good indicator of the future success of Starkville Pride. Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill also greeted the success of Pride, which saw some attendees travel from hours away to attend. “I never expected to have this many people,” Mayor Spruill told the "Starkville Daily News."

    “This would never have happened if we didn’t have the controversy, so I’m almost grateful for the controversy, in the sense that it became something more than it ever would have been. And it became something we can be very proud of.”

    Earlier this year, Starkville made international headlines after an application from a local LGBT group to hold a Pride event in the city was originally denied by the city council.

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

    Latin America: Percentage of Persons in Favor of Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage, Based on Religious Affiliation

    There are 4 categories, arranged in this order: Protestants (read as Evangelicals), Catholics, No Affiliation, Average of Total Population, with the country name behind.

    35 59 77 62 Uruguay*
    32 53 75 52 Argentina*
    35 50 65 49 Mexico*
    26 46 67 46 Chile
    25 49 67 46 Hispanos en EE.UU.*
    25 51 54 45 Brasil*
    20 39 49 33 Puerto Rico*
    14 32 45 29 Costa Rica
    14 29 n/a 28 Colombia*
    14 33 n/a 28 Venezuela
    11 29 n/a 26 Perú
    12 29 32 25 Rep. Dominicana
    17 26 n/a 23 Panamá
    10 25 n/a 22 Bolivia
    09 17 n/a 16 Ecuador
    10 21 25 16 Nicaragua

    Data was not available for Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, or Paraguay. Countries marked with a (*) already have marriage equality.

    In almost every instance, the two less numerous groups, the liberal-minded No Affiliation and the narrow-minded Evangelicals, tended to counter-balance each other, while the more numerous Catholics tended to closely reflect the national average. Countries which already have marriage equality showed a much higher average acceptance level than those which do not, presumably reflecting the fact that the sky did not fall nor did the world come to an end, once marriage equality was approved. In most instances, Catholics were twice as likely (or more) to be accepting of marriage equality than were the Evangelicals.

    I noted two surprises: The Dominican Republic showed a higher level of acceptance than expected, while Ecuador showed a much lower acceptance level than anticipated.

    These percentages merely indicate those in favor of legalizing marriage equality. However, this does not mean that everyone else is disapproving, although obviously, a portion are opposed. Instead, there's a broad grey range of nebulous opinion; those who do not really agree, but who also do not really oppose, as they feel that the issue does not directly concern or affect them, and that others will make the decision, regardless of what they personally think. This nebulous grey area is a very widespread non-opinion concerning the entire matter.

  • 21. allan120102  |  March 26, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    Rick, I saw this in the morning but I discover that this was a poll made in 2014 by PEW research center. It has been 4 years since this was done and we can see that acceptance have increase in Colombia and CR base on recent polls. You might look it here.

  • 22. VIRick  |  March 26, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    The figures accompanying the Wikipedia article, reflect a slightly different parameter, although many are based on the Pew Research Center poll done in 2014. However, rather than showing the differences based on religious affiliation, or non-affiliation, as above, these figures, below, show the over-all national percentages In Favor Of, Opposed To, or Neutral To same-sex marriage, in that order, with the country name behind:

    70.6 — — Uruguay, LAPOP 2014
    52 40 08 Argentina, Pew 2014
    69 25 06 Mexico, GCE 2016
    62 35 03 Chile, CD 2017
    45 48 07 Brasil, Pew 2014
    45 49 06 Costa Rica CIEP 2016
    45 52 03 Colombia, Gallup 2017
    28 61 11 Venezuela, Pew 2014
    13 82 04 Perú, CPI 2017
    25 72 03 Rep. Dominicana, Pew 2014
    23 72 05 Panamá, Pew 2014
    22 67 11 Bolivia, Pew 2014
    16 74 10 Ecuador, Pew 2014

    Nicaragua and Cuba are not cited, but the following additional Latin nations are:

    11 81 08 El Salvador, Pew 2014
    12 82 06 Guatemala, Pew 2014
    13 83 04 Honduras, Pew 2014
    15 80 05 Paraguay, Pew 2014

    as well as these nations, also in the Americas:

    18 82 — Suriname, Vanderbilt 2014
    07 93 — Haiti, Vanderbilt 2014
    07 90 03 Bahamas, Public Domain 2014
    09 91 — Belize, Vanderbilt 2014
    08 92 — Guyana, Vanderbilt 2014

    The biggest gains in approval of same-sex marriage registered between 2014 and 2016/17 are noted for Mexico, Chile, Colombia, and Costa Rica. Note that in both Brasil and Costa Rica there is no majority opinion and that those neutral to same-sex marriage hold the balance between two evenly split opposites. The CPI poll for Perú is either grossly inaccurate, or public opinion there has actually reversed, a point which seems unlikely, given the rapid gains in approval made elsewhere and the fact that these Latin nations share the same language and same information via a common communications media.

  • 23. VIRick  |  March 27, 2018 at 1:03 am

    Israel's First-Ever Openly Gay Mayor

    After serving as deputy mayor for six years, and before that, as a city council member for 15, Eitan Ginzburg was appointed to the position of mayor by a vote of the Ra’anana city council on 16 March 2018. He replaces former mayor Ze’ev Bielski, who held the position between 1989–2005 and 2013-2018.

    At 41, Ginzburg also became Israel’s youngest mayor ever. For the moment, Ginzburg is only serving as interim mayor, but will have a shot at a permanent position in October’s national municipal elections.

    Ra'anana, originally called Ahuza, is a city of 71,000, located an hour's drive north of Tel Aviv on the Sharon plain in the narrow corridor of central Israel. Most of its earliest residents were English-speakers from New York. Currently, the majority of its residents are Israeli-born and secular.

  • 24. allan120102  |  March 27, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    First step in NI to legalize ssm has been done. Hopefully we can add NI in the marriage equality states this year.

  • 25. scream4ever  |  March 27, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Wonderful it's long overdue to say the least.

  • 26. allan120102  |  March 27, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Agree hopefully nothing stop the movement until NI gets marriage equality. I am hopeful too that a judge will stop the ban of bermuda from taking effect. Many in Bermuda were complaining that UK couldnt force bermuda from accepting ssm when NI didnt have it. Hopefully this will teach them a reason.

  • 27. VIRick  |  March 28, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    Northern Ireland: Bill to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage Passes First Stage in House of Lords

    On Tuesday, 27 March 2018, Conservative peer Baron Hayward proposed legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland in a private members’ bill.

  • 28. VIRick  |  March 27, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    San Marino: Same-Sex Civil Unions Bill Introduced

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In San Marino, a new LGBT Civil Unions bill received its first reading in the legislature on 9 March 2018; but it would appear that the majority called for more consultations.… …

    As a result, Federico Podeschi, a Sammarinese man married to his Welsh partner, launched a petition for LGBT civil unions in San Marino. Addressed to the Consiglio Grande e Generale, it is entitled:



    Raccolta firme per la proposta di legge per le Unioni Civili per San Marino:

    Collecting signatures for the proposed law for civil unions for San Marino:… …

    Then, as a result of this petition (which one can still sign), it now appears that a consultation on the proposed LGBT Civil Union law has been scheduled at the Centro Congressi Kursaal, in the city of San Marino, at 4 PM on 6 April 2018. The official notice is here, in Italian:

  • 29. allan120102  |  March 28, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Breaking. Federal appeals court in Peru struck down a judge order that has force Peru to recognize ssm. The federal appeals courts said its decision was because the plaintiff didnt sue in the correct time

  • 30. VIRick  |  March 28, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Perú: Ruling Annulled Ordering RENIEC to Record Same-Sex Marriage

    Perú: Anulan Sentencia que Ordenaba al RENIEC a Inscribir un Matrimonio Homosexual

    La Cuarta Sala Civil de la Corte Superior de Justicia de Lima anuló el fallo que ordenaba al Registro Nacional de Identificación y Estado Civil (RENIEC) reconocer e inscribir el matrimonio homosexual entre Óscar Ugarteche (peruano) y Fidel Aroche (mexicano), celebrado en el extranjero (México).

    Como se recuerda, por primera vez, hace más de un año, el Poder Judicial emitió una histórica sentencia en la que reconocía un matrimonio entre dos personas del mismo sexo cebrado en México y ordenaba al Reniec que dicho acto sea inscrito. La jueza constitucional motivó su resolución apelando a varias sentencias de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, como el caso "Atala Riffo vs. Chile," "Duque vs. Colombia," etc., para amparar la pretensión, y señalar que no es factible la discriminación por orientación sexual.

    Como se sabe, durante el proceso judicial, el Séptimo Juzgado Constitucional de Lima emitió la Resolución N° 9, que rechazó la excepción de prescripción presentada por el Reniec. La entidad arguyó que Oscar Ugarteche no había interpuesto su demanda de amparo dentro del plazo de ley. Y este fue el escollo que no pudo superar el demandante.

    Reniec aducía que había notificado el agotamiento de la vía administrativa a Ugarteche hacia el 21 de agosto del 2012, mientras que este recién presentó su demanda el 12 de diciembre de ese año, con lo cual sostenía que se había violado lo dispuesto en el artículo 44 del Código Procesal Constitucional. El plazo para interponer la demanda de amparo vencía el 6 de diciembre de ese año. Ugarteche lo hizo 6 días después.

    The Fourth Civil Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of Lima annulled the ruling ordering the National Registry of Identification and Civil Status (RENIEC) to recognize and register a same-sex marriage between Óscar Ugarteche (Peruvian) and Fidel Aroche (Mexican), celebrated abroad (Mexico).

    As one will remember, for the first time, more than a year ago, the Court issued an historic ruling in which it recognized a marriage between a same-sex couple in Mexico and ordered RENIEC that said act be registered. A constitutional judge made her decision citing several judgments of the IACHR, such as the case of "Atala Riffo v. Chile," "Duque v. Colombia," etc., to protect the claim, and point out that discrimination based on sexual orientation is not permissible.

    As is known, during the judicial process, the Seventh Constitutional Court of Lima issued Resolution No. 9, which rejected the limitation exception filed by RENIEC. The entity argued that Oscar Ugarteche had not filed his application for amparo within the statute of limitations. And this was the pitfall that the plaintiff could not overcome.

    RENIEC argued that they had notified Ugarteche that the administrative channels were exhausted on 21 August 2012, while the latter filed his complaint on 12 December 2012, of which they argued that the provisions of Article 44 of the Constitutional Procedural Code had been violated. The deadline for filing the amparo claim expired on 6 December 2012. Ugarteche filed it 6 days later.

  • 31. VIRick  |  March 28, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Perú: More on the Instant Ruling, Including a Major Procedural Flaw

    En octubre del 2013, el Séptimo Juzgado Constitucional de Lima admite el caso, luego que Ugarteche presentara un recurso de amparo en el que señaló que se había vulnerado su derecho al desarrollo de la libre personalidad. En esta instancia judicial, el Reniec reiteró su argumento inicial: que no podía registrar la unión de Ugarteche y Aroche, debido a que el Código Civil vigente no lo permitía.

    Luego de tres largos años, en diciembre del 2016, se emitió la sentencia en primera instancia, y se ordenó al Reniec que reconozca e inscriba el matrimonio entre Ugarteche y Aroche en México. El fallo fue apelado.

    Sin embargo, mientras este proceso judicial se llevaba a cabo, en julio de 2015, el Séptimo Juzgado Constitucional de Lima emitió la Resolución N°9, con la cual declaró infundada una excepción de prescripción presentada por el Reniec.

    In October 2013, the Seventh Constitutional Court of Lima accepted the case, after Ugarteche filed an appeal for amparo in which he stated that his right to the development of his free personality had been violated. In this judicial instance, Reniec reiterated its initial argument: that it could not register the union of Ugarteche and Aroche, because the current Civil Code did not allow it.

    After three long years, in December 2016, the judgment was issued in the first instance, and Reniec was ordered to recognize and register the marriage between Ugarteche and Aroche in Mexico. The ruling was appealed.

    However, while this judicial process was being carried out, in July 2015, the Seventh Constitutional Court of Lima issued Resolution No. 9, declaring that a limitation exception filed by Reniec was unfounded.

    So, if this earlier ruling throwing out Reniec's timing claim as unfounded was not appealed, it is impossible to understand how that matter figures into the present appeals court ruling. Thus, even though the appeals court was supposed to be ruling on the appeal of the December 2016 ruling, based on the merits, it would appear they invoked, instead, the unfounded Reniec claim already thrown out by the lower court in their July 2015 ruling in order to avoid having to rule on the merits of the actual matter under appeal. That should make this case automatically appealable to the Supreme Court of Perú.

    Since the appeals court ruled based on an unfounded timing issue already thrown out by a lower court, and not on the merits of the present appeal, the present ruling in no way interferes with the merits of Ugarteche's case. Nor does it alter or cancel Peru's obligation to abide by the recent rulings of the CIDH (IACHR) on such matters, as was already cited by the lower court judge in earlier cases against Chile and Colombia, even before the latest CIDH ruling per Costa Rica which was a blanket ruling covering all member states.

  • 32. Randolph_Finder  |  March 29, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Am I correct that this decision says absolutely *nothing* that would affect a future case on Marriage Equality one way or another?

  • 33. scream4ever  |  March 29, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    Basically yes.

  • 34. VIRick  |  March 29, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Randolph, not that I can detect. Still, based on these two separate reports on the decision, both coming from sources in Perú, there is some variation of opinion. In the first report, which appears to come from a legislative source, there's some self-satisfied smirking and clucking that the Court foiled Ugarteche by inventing a pretext out of thin air. They use the word "formalismo" (formalism) to indicate that. They do not seem to care that the decision was based on a very minor technicality, one which, according to the second, more critical report, had already been thrown out as unfounded. The bigger picture prospect frightened the first party, so snagging him on some formalism, pertinent or not, was by their standard good enough.

    I am glad I found the second report, as it gives a much more detailed historical analysis of the case, step by step, one that has been dragging on since 2012, and provides a lot of detail, particularly in the earlier stages. For example, from this second report, it would further appear that RENIEC shifted their defense. Originally, they stated they could not register the marriage because it violated the civil code, a claim they seem to have dropped. More recently, they have simply claimed that Ugarteche did not file his amparo in a timely manner, a claim they had not made at earlier stages of litigation, yet a claim that had already been dismissed by the lower court as unfounded.

    Plus, when it coms to the "really big picture," that is, the multiple CIDH rulings, including the blanket one recently issued at Costa Rica's behest, Perú must comply. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Perú is already on record stating that that ruling is applicable to Perú. This last point can not be altered or diminished.

  • 35. VIRick  |  March 28, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Washington State: Governor Signs Bill Banning Gay "Conversion Therapy"

    Washington has become the tenth state to pass a ban on conversion therapy on minors. Gov. Jay Inslee signed the legislation banning the debunked and dangerous practice earlier today, 28 March 2018. The law takes effect in June, and will deem as illegal any therapy attempting to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of any person under the age of 18.

    The law defines conversion therapy as “a regime that seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex. Conversion therapy does not include counseling or psychotherapies that provide acceptance, support, and understanding of clients or facilitation of client’s coping, social support, and identity exploration and development that do not seek to change sexual orientation or gender identity,” it continues.

    On the same date, the Maryland Senate approved a bill, SB 1028, that would ban gay "conversion therapy" there, as well. Other states attempting to ban the practice include Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, and New Hampshire, while Hawai'i ought to soon become state #11.

    The news article on the Maryland Senate vote is here:

  • 36. VIRick  |  March 28, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    Top Lawyer At Justice Department Is Quitting To Fight For LGBT Rights

    Diana Flynn has been chief of the Civil Rights Division Appellate Section since the Reagan administration. She planned to stay until retirement, no matter who was in power, but instead she’s about to join Lambda Legal, a leading LGBT legal organization where she likely will be in direct conflict with the Sessions Justice Department.

    One of the government’s top civil rights lawyers since the 1980s told "BuzzFeed News" today that she will leave to become the litigation director for Lambda Legal, a high-profile exit that will put her at the vanguard of LGBT rights and likely place her in conflict with former colleagues at the Justice Department. The departure of Diana Flynn is the most recent example of legal veterans abandoning their posts since Sessions became attorney-general.

    “I never really expected to leave,” Flynn, a transgender woman, said today in an interview about her role as head of the influential office that seeks to sway circuit courts by asserting the government’s agenda. "However, it appears to me — at this crucial time for LGBT rights — to make the arguments I want to make and take positions I want to take, I would be much better situated at Lambda Legal than I am at Justice,” she said.

    Lambda Legal, founded in 1973, is the country’s largest LGBT litigation organization and a frequent adversary to the Trump administration. The group has sued to block Trump from banning transgender people from the military, presenting one of the cases in which Flynn and Sessions could face off. Flynn will start her new job in May.

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