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  • 1. Elihu_Bystander  |  March 29, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on transgender people's efforts to get changes to their birth certificates (all times local):
    [29-March-2018] 2:55 p.m.

    "The Ohio attorney general's office says it's reviewing a lawsuit filed by four transgender people who want the gender listings on their birth certificates changed to properly reflect their identities.

    "The state Department of Health has declined to comment.

    "The American Civil Liberties Union is representing the plaintiffs and says the state prevents them from obtaining documents essential to everyday living and subjects transgender people to discrimination and potential violence.

    "The lawsuit asks a court to declare Ohio's birth certification policy unconstitutional and to prohibit the state from refusing to allow transgender people to make adjustments."

  • 2. VIRick  |  March 29, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Ohio: Federal Suit Filed Against Discriminatory Birth Certificate Policy

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Columbus -Today, 29 March 2018, the ACLU of Ohio, the ACLU, and Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit challenging Ohio’s refusal to correct the gender marker on birth certificates for transgender individuals, for any reason, at any time. Ohio is one of just three remaining states, along with Tennessee and Kansas (plus Puerto Rico), that has yet to change the extremely regressive and outdated policy.

    The case is "Ray v. Director, Ohio Department of Health," No. 2:18-cv-00272, and has been assigned to Judge Michael H. Watson, with referrals to Magistrate Judge Chelsey M. Vascura.

    The Lambda Legal press release is here:

    A link to the complaint is here:

  • 3. VIRick  |  March 29, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    New Jersey: Up-Date on the JONAH Gay "Conversion Therapy" Court Saga

    Per Equality Case files:

    On 28 March 2018, in "Ferguson v. JONAH," in New Jersey state court, the SPLC's suit against the conversion therapy organization for fraudulent practices, the SPLC filed a motion asking the court to enforce an order requiring the complete dissolution of the fraudulent gay-to-straight "conversion therapy" provider that the court had ordered be shut down nearly three years ago, but which continues to operate under a different name.

    The motion with accompanying attachments is linked below.

    From the SPLC post on their latest filing:
    "[J]ust 11 days after the permanent injunction [in this case] was issued, JONAH filed articles of incorporation for 'Jewish Institute for Global Awareness (JIFGA),' which is essentially a continuation of JONAH. Not only does it have JONAH’s assets, leadership, and core operations, but it has also maintained the same physical place of business and telephone number.

    "The SPLC’s motion, filed in conjunction with the law firms Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and Lite DePalma Greenberg, LLC, seeks to enforce the permanent injunction against the organization formally known as JONAH, and its founders Arthur Goldberg and Elaine Berk, for failing to cease its operations and for continuing to promote conversion therapy."

    SPLC's full statement is here:

    The Plaintiffs' Motion to Enforce Permanent Injunction and for Default Judgment is here:

  • 4. VIRick  |  March 29, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Pakistan: Trans Activists Launch Transgender Rights Manifesto

    Pakistan’s trans community has launched a manifesto to help secure more social and political rights in the country. The Transgender and Intersex Community Election Manifesto lists 33 demands which are sought, among them: Vying for quotas so that transgender people can be represented in politics, asking for the right to participate in political demonstrations, and asking for the review of the legal frameworks that discriminate against gender minorities. All are listed in the document published in "The Express Tribune."

    In the Peshawar region, trans campaigner Rahim Dada Khan has filed a petition with the High Court to require the government to introduce a quota for trans people to get government jobs.

    The Pakistani Senate has recently voted through a spate of amendments in order to protect transgender rights, among them: Rape of a transgender person would also come with a death sentence or jail of up to 25 years; the eviction of a transgender tenant will result in a jail term between six months and two years imprisonment, or fine up to Rs100,000 ($904.00).

    In other news, transgender Marvia Malik presented the news on the TV network, Kohenoor News, in Lahore this week, making it a landmark moment in the country’s broadcasting history.

  • 5. allan120102  |  March 29, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    One of the best judges in the9th circuit and a championship of lgbt rights have just died. I feel so bad that he will probably be succeed by a conservative. Judge Stephen Reinhardt was really an ally of the lgbt community. He will be miss.

  • 6. VIRick  |  March 29, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    Stephen Reinhardt, Judge on 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Dies

    San Francisco — Stephen Reinhardt, a judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, has died today, 29 March 2018. He was 87. Reinhardt was considered to be one of the most liberal judges on the court. President Jimmy Carter appointed Reinhardt to the federal courts in 1980.

    One of Reinhardt’s most notable high-profile rulings in recent years was a 2012 decision that struck down Proposition 8, the California initiative that denied the right of homosexuals to marry. Reinhardt, writing for the majority, deemed that Prop. 8 was unconstitutional because California had no basis for withdrawing the right to marry from gays and lesbians.

  • 7. allan120102  |  March 29, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    We cannot forget that he also wrote the decision which struck the ssm bans in Idaho and Nevada. Thanks to his ruling ssm was also made possible in Alaska, Montana and Arizona.

  • 8. VIRick  |  March 29, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    Yes, true enough. Here's more detail on his many pro-LGBT rulings, as found in my archives:

    Judge Reinhardt, notably, wrote the opinion in "Hollingsworth v. Perry" striking down California's Proposition 8 in 2012, as well as the decision in "Smith-Kline Beecham v. Abbott Labs," the case in early 2014 which found that laws discriminating based on sexual orientation must be considered with "heightened scrutiny."

    On 7 October 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in Nevada and Idaho, a ruling which also paved the way for marriage equality in Alaska, Arizona, Montana, Guam, and the Northern Marianas. The unanimous opinion, authored by Judge Stephen Reinhardt and joined by Judge Marsha Berzon and Judge Ronald Gould, reads:

    "We hold that the Idaho and Nevada laws at issue violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because they deny lesbians and gays who wish to marry persons of the same sex a right they afford to individuals who wish to marry persons of the opposite sex, and do not satisfy the heightened scrutiny standard we adopted in 'Smith-Kline.'"

    "Idaho and Nevada's marriage laws, by preventing same-sex couples from marrying and refusing to recognize same-sex marriages celebrated elsewhere, impose profound legal, financial, social and psychic harms on numerous citizens of those states," Reinhardt wrote.

    The cases at hand were "Latta v. Otter" from Idaho, whose ban had already been struck down at the district court level, but which was subsequently appealed, and "Sevcik v. Sandoval" from Nevada, originally upheld at the district court level, but whose defense completely collapsed after the "Smith-Kline" ruling.

    Indirectly, his decisions also played a major part in rendering the last two nut-job challenges to Hawai'i's Marriage Equality Law moot. So, his decisions either ushered in, affirmed, or reinforced marriage equality in 7 of the 9 states, plus both territories, located within the 9th Circuit.

  • 9. Zack12  |  March 29, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    Of all the people Trump will get to replace, this one sickens me the most, especially since unlike some of the other judges, this will be a conservative replacing a liberal, akin to Marshal/Thomas.

  • 10. guitaristbl  |  March 30, 2018 at 5:39 am

    Unfortunately this is true. Trump will get to really damage the 9th circuit with his appointments given the number of vacancies there. It will practically be an evenly divided court.

  • 11. Zack12  |  March 30, 2018 at 7:05 am

    He will finish what W started.

  • 12. josejoram  |  March 31, 2018 at 12:47 am

    My gosh! It's really sad news.

  • 13. VIRick  |  March 29, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    Perú: Court Decision Slammed by Two Feminist Groups who Demand the Marriage Be Recognized

    Luego de que la Cuarta Sala Civil de la Corte Superior de Justicia de Lima anulara el reconocimiento e inscripción del matrimonio entre Óscar Ugarteche y Fidel Aroche, celebrado en México en 2010, DEMUS y LIFS — dos organizaciones feministas — se han pronunciado al respecto:

    "Esta resolución violenta el derecho de acceso a la justicia y con ello, su dignidad, así como su derecho a la igualdad y no discriminación por orientación sexual, su derecho al libre desarrollo de la personalidad y la protección de su familia," señala un comunicado. En ese sentido, las organizaciones exigieron que el caso sea conocido por el Tribunal Constitucional vía Recurso de Agravio Constitucional (RAC), solo procedente contra resoluciones denegatorias.

    "Esperamos que se establezca la obligación de Reniec de reconocer e inscribir el matrimonio, además de establecer un precedente vinculante sobre el derecho al matrimonio que tenemos todos los peruanos y peruanas sin discriminación por orientación sexual."

    After the Fourth Civil Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of Lima annulled the recognition and registration of the marriage between Óscar Ugarteche and Fidel Aroche, celebrated in Mexico in 2010, DEMUS and LIFS – two feminist organizations – have voiced their strong opinion on this matter:

    "This resolution violates the right of access to justice and with it, the dignity, as well as the right to equality and non-discrimination based on sexual orientation, the right to the free development of personality and the protection of their family," points out their release. Because of this, the organizations demand that the case be heard by the Constitutional Court via the Constitutional Complaint Appeal (RAC), only used against denial resolutions.

    "We hope that Reniec's obligation to recognize and register this marriage will be established, in addition to establishing a binding precedent on the right to marriage that all Peruvians have without discrimination based on sexual orientation."

    Note: In Latin America, the numerous feminist organizations have always worked hand-in-hand with LGBTI groups, as both are often pressing for the same or very similar demands. Here, they have even provided us with the path for taking this case to the Constitutional Court, the highest court in Perú. So, rest assured, this case has not been concluded.

  • 14. VIRick  |  March 30, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    Perú: Ugarteche: "This fight does not end here, I will go to the Constitutional Court"

    Perú: Ugarteche: “Esta lucha no acaba acá, iré al Tribunal Constitucional”

    Economista Óscar Ugarteche no se siente derrotado y asegura que irá incluso a la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH).

    Javier Mujica, abogado del economista, negó que dicha demanda fuera presentada a destiempo. Explicó que la Ley (Art. 44 del Código Procesal Constitucional) considera que si la persona afectada no está en la posibilidad de interponer una demanda de amparo en el plazo regular de 60 días hábiles, es posible que el afectado presente la demanda en la primera oportunidad en que pueda hacerlo.

    En este caso, Óscar Ugarteche evidenció que radicaba en el extranjero. "Ugarteche vive en México, es profesor de la UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México). La Ley permite presentar la demanda (de amparo) en la primera oportunidad que puedas hacerlo. Y eso fue lo que se hizo", explicó el letrado.….

    Economist Óscar Ugarteche does not feel defeated and assures that he will even go to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH), if necessary.

    Javier Mujica, the lawyer for the economist, denied that said demand was presented at the wrong time (too late). He explained that the Law (Article 44 of the Constitutional Procedural Code) considers that if it is not possible for the affected person to file an application for amparo within the regular period of 60 working days, it is permissible for the affected party to file the claim at their first opportunity to do so.

    In this case, Óscar Ugarteche showed that he was living abroad. "Ugarteche lives in Mexico, he is a professor at the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico). The Law allows you to present the (amparo) demand at the first opportunity you can do it, and that was what was done," explained the lawyer.

  • 15. josejoram  |  March 31, 2018 at 12:48 am

    And what news about Venezuela?

  • 16. VIRick  |  March 31, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    José, as for the multiple court cases pending before the TSJ, I have nothing more recent than this, a summary listing of the current status of all 5 suits, as reported by Venezuela Igualitaria on 19 December 2017:

    1. El Recurso de Nulidad del Artículo 44 del Código Civil, en el que buscamos alcanzar el matrimonio igualitario, quedó en etapa final. Estamos esperando sentencia.

    2. La Acción por Omisión Legislativa sobre el Proyecto de Ley de Matrimonio Civil Igualitario, también quedó en etapa final. Estamos esperando sentencia.

    3. La Acción Innominada por el Derecho Humano al Reconocimiento de la Identidad de Género Auto-Percibida, quedó en etapa final. Estamos esperando sentencia.

    4. El Recurso de Nulidad del Artículo 565 COJM, sobre la prohibición de personas LGBTI en las Fuerzas Armadas, quedó en estado de admisión. Estimamos que al admitirse por Mero Derecho, se dicte de una vez la sentencia.

    5. También queda pendiente la Aclaratoria de la Sentencia 1187/2016, respecto al registro de hijos de familias homoparentales nacidos antes y después de la decisión.

    1. The Appeal for Annulment of Article 44 of the Civil Code, in which we seek to achieve marriage equality, was in the final stage. We are awaiting a ruling.

    2. The Action on the Legislative Omission concerning the Equal Civil Marriage Law Project was also in the final stage. We are awaiting a ruling.

    3. The Un-Named Action for the Human Right to the Recognition of Self-Perceived Gender Identity, was in the final stage. We are awaiting a ruling.

    4. The Appeal for Annulment of Article 565 COJM (Code of Military Justice), on the prohibition of LGBTI persons in the Armed Forces, was in a state of admission. We estimate that once admitted by Mero Derecho (Mere Right), the judgment will be handed down once and for all.

    5. Also pending is the Clarification of Sentence 1187/2016, regarding the registration of children of homoparental families born before and after said decision.

    The tenaciousness of Giovanni Piermattei, presidente de Venezuela Igualitaria, is at least on par, if not more so, than that of Pamela Troya of Ecuador and Karen Atala of Chile.

    Otherwise, I have only noted reports from Caribe Afirmativo of Barranquilla about their work in rendering assistance to displaced LGBT Venezuelans presently located in Riohacha and Maicao, both in Colombia near the Venezuelan border, as more and more people pour across said frontier, fleeing the severe dysfunction in Venezuela.

  • 17. VIRick  |  March 30, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    Kansas Rejects Bill Allowing Agencies to Deny Adoptions to LGBTI Couples

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 29 March 2018, the Kansas House blocked a bill that would have allowed adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples on religious grounds.

    Previously, the Kansas Senate had voted the bill through by a margin of 28 to 12, after discussing whether the legislation was inherently homophobic, the "Wichita Eagle" reported. However, yesterday the House of Representatives voted it down, 64 to 58.

  • 18. VIRick  |  March 30, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Georgia: Final Effort to Pass Anti-LGBT Adoption Bill Fails

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    SB 375, granting adoption agencies carte blanche to exercise their "religious beliefs" to discriminate against LGBTI parents, passed out of committee on 20 February and passed in the Senate on 23 February, but has languished in the House ever since.

    State House Judiciary Chairman Wendell Willard (R-Sandy Springs) had made it clear he wouldn’t bring the bill up for a hearing or a vote, but there was always the possibility of language from SB 375 being attached to another bill before the final gavel fell, Sine Die, at the close of the business day, 29 March 2018, the final day of the 2018 Georgia legislative session.

  • 19. VIRick  |  March 30, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Tennessee: Court Blocks Conservative Attempt to Meddle in Lesbian Couple’s Divorce Proceedings

    The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled that lawmakers must cease their attempts to interfere in the state’s first same-sex divorce case, between lesbian couple Sabrina and Erica Witt. Rather foolishly, 52 state representatives and 19 state senators were attempting to have a legal say in the case, represented by the conservative legal group, Family Action Council of Tennessee. Their attempt was originally blocked in May 2017, but they appealed.

    Earlier this week, in late March 2018, in an opinion authored by the court’s chief judge, D. Michael Swiney, the lawmakers were once again told to stop attempting to insert themselves into the proceedings. Additionally, the court ruled that they would have to pay the legal and court fees for the appeal.

    A Knoxville judge, Greg McMillan, had initially ruled that Erica Witt had no legal right to custody of the child the couple conceived via artificial insemination because she did not meet the legal definition of “husband.” However, the judge ended up changing his mind, granted the divorce, and approved a plan for the couple to split custody.

    The appeals court ruled that neither the legislators nor the FAC of Tennessee had standing in the case. Besides, the divorce proceedings had already concluded. “Put simply, the divorce case is over, and there is no lawsuit left in which to intervene,” Judge Swiney wrote. “All of these issues are private rights and claims personal to the parties to the (divorce),” the opinion continued. “The actual case, a divorce, simply does not involve issues of great importance to the public and the administration of justice.”

    So, 71 Tennessee state legislators, the people supposedly elected to make the laws for the state (and who presumably ought to know the law), got caught with their pants down.

  • 20. VIRick  |  March 30, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Organized Mass Migration of Thousands of Central Americans through Mexico

    Somewhat off-topic, but a stunning development. Plus, given the volume of people involved, I am certain there are LGBTs among them:

    A voluntary humanitarian group called Pueblos Sin Fronteras (People without Borders) has organized thousands of Central American migrants, men, women, children, even toddlers in strollers, into a mass caravan with the intention of marching all the way across Mexico and into the United States, as one solid phalanx. They've already successfully crossed one international border some days ago, passing through the Guatemala/Mexico frontier at Tapachula, en masse, without hindrance, in an endless procession.

    See the top photo to this article, taken from the Mexican side (Guatemala, in the background, begins under the canopy where the white line is drawn across the pavement), showing the vast assemblage of humanity entering Mexico, all at once, a procession into the distance as far as one can see. So far, the mass flow has continued for 5 days running. A lower photo shows a portion of the same mass grouping, having cleared the border, continuing to move along the Pan-American Highway within Chiapas state.

    The lead groups have already traveled well past Tapachula, and on through Huixtla, Mapastepec, and Arriaga in Chiapas state. Yesterday, 29 March 2018, they first entered Oaxaca state at Tapanatepec. Tonight, 30 March 2018, they are at Niltepec, just before the splitting off of the Trans-Isthmus highway. In a few days' time, they will be passing through Veracruz state, on their way toward Puebla.

    About 80% are from Honduras. Most intend on seeking asylum in the USA as political refugees from the current regime there.

  • 21. ianbirmingham  |  March 31, 2018 at 8:17 am

    Judge Reinhardt's death gives Trump "an incredible opportunity" to overhaul the liberal 9th Circuit

    The death this week of 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt gives President Trump the opportunity to boost the number of Republican-appointed judges on the famously liberal-leaning court, with seven seats now open. …

    “It’s an incredible opportunity,” University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias said. …

    [Trump already has] a record number of judges confirmed to the appeals courts in his first year in office. The Senate last year confirmed 12 of Trump’s nominees, in addition to Justice Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court and has confirmed two more appeals court judges this year.

  • 22. Elihu_Bystander  |  March 31, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    In Rey v Himes—The Ohio Transgender Birth Certificate Case

    Ohio’s Birth Certificate Policy

    I’ve read the entire complaint in this case. It seems it is just plain policy that the Ohio Department of Health, the Office of Vital Statistics, and the State Registrar of the Office of Vital Statistics refuses to correct the gender marker of transgender persons. In fact, in the recent past they did make such corrections.

    41. ODH and the Ohio Office of Vital Statistics exercise responsibility for issuing and correcting Ohio birth certificates. Based on Plaintiffs’ experiences, each of the Defendants enforces a policy and practice that categorically refuses to correct the gender marker on transgender people’s birth certificate to match their gender identity (the “Birth Certificate Policy”).

    42. On information and belief, the Birth Certificate Policy has only been reduced to writing in letters ODH and the Office of Vital Statistics have sent to transgender people rejecting their requests that the state correct the gender marker on their birth certificate.

    43. On information and belief, during one period of time ODH and the Office of Vital Statistics exercised its authority to correct the gender marker on birth certificates of transgender people pursuant to a court order.

    44. On information and belief, ODH and the Office of Vital Statistics since discontinued this practice and will no longer correct the gender marker on transgender people’s birth certificate for any reason. The decision to discontinue the practice was both arbitrary and irrational, especially given that neither ODH nor the Office of Vital Statistics identified any harm resulting from permitting the corrections.


    47. Ohio’s categorical bar to changing gender markers on the birth certificates of transgender people is contrary to even its own practice with other critical identification documents. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (Ohio BMV) allows transgender people to correct the gender marker on their driver’s license and state identification card to reflect their gender identity. Like the federal government, the Ohio BMV also does not require transgender people to have any particular medical procedure, such as surgery, to do so. That practice is consistent with mainstream medical organizations, which support corrections of gender designations for transgender people, and oppose requiring surgery in order for transgender people to make such corrections on birth certificates.

  • 23. VIRick  |  March 31, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Puerto Rico is doing the same idiocy as Ohio. There, just like in Ohio, one can change one's gender marker on every other state-issued document,– driver's license, voter registration, whatever, all except for the birth certificate.

    In both instances, there is no law compelling them to do this. It's simply a matter of entrenched bureaucratic practice, as was the situation in Idaho, until a federal court, on 5 March 2018, in "F.V. v. Barron," struck down Idaho's policy as unconstitutional, and ordered them to change it, even spelling out for them how to change it.

    There are now federal lawsuits against both Puerto Rico, "Arroyo-González v. Rosselló-Nevares," and Ohio, "Ray v. Himes," seeking to do the same. It's time suits were filed against Kansas and Tennessee, the other two remaining states which also still have blanket bans on changing gender markers on birth certificates.

  • 24. VIRick  |  March 31, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    Austria: Constitutional Court Approves Third Gender Option

    Per Dos Manzanas of Spain:

    El 25 de marzo 2018, el Tribunal Constitucional de Austria abre la puerta al derecho a registrarse bajo una tercera opción de género. Solo unos meses después de que el Tribunal Constitucional alemán fallase a favor de una persona intersexual que solicitaba ser inscrita legalmente con un género distinto a los dos tradicionales, ahora es el Tribunal Constitucional de Austria el que ha emitido un fallo preliminar en favor de otra persona intersexual que no se identifica ni como varón (sexo que le fue asignado) ni como mujer, y que pide que el dato que figura en el registro civil sea modificado y se incluye una tercera opción de género o, en su defecto, que dicho dato sea eliminado.

    On 25 March 2018, the Constitutional Court of Austria approved the right to register under a third gender option. Only a few months after the German Constitutional Court ruled in favor of an intersex person requesting to be legally registered with a gender different from the traditional two, now it is the Constitutional Court of Austria which has issued a preliminary ruling in favor of another intersex person who does not identify as male (sex assigned to him) or female, and who asks that the information at the civil registry be modified and that a third gender option be included or, failing that, that the information be eliminated.

  • 25. VIRick  |  March 31, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    Germany: Constitutional Court Approves Third Gender Option

    Per Dos Manzanas of Spain:

    Hace pocos meses, el Tribunal Constitucional alemán dio de plazo al Parlamento para que antes del 31 de diciembre de 2018 regule el derecho a la propia identidad de género cuando esta no es binaria. También en este caso la batalla jurídica la emprendió una persona intersexual, disconforme con su género legal femenino. Según los jueces del alto tribunal alemán, el derecho al libre desarrollo de la personalidad recogido en el Artículo 2 de la Constitución de Alemania incluye la protección de la propia identidad y expresión de género. Además, negarles el reconocimiento a las personas que no se identifican ni con el género masculino ni con el femenino constituye una discriminación por razón de género prohibida por la Constitución. El tribunal tampoco consideró satisfactoria la ley aprobada hace cuatro años, que abría la posibilidad de dejar en blanco el campo del género. El motivo es que esta opción da a entender que las personas afectadas carecen de género, cuando la realidad es que su género no se corresponde con los dos binarios.

    A few months ago, the German Constitutional Court gave the Parliament a deadline of 31 December 2018 to regulate the right to gender identity when it is not binary. Also, in this case, the legal battle was undertaken by an intersex person, dissatisfied with their female legal gender. According to the judges of the German High Court, the right to the free development of personality included in Article 2 of the German Constitution includes the protection of one's own identity and gender expression. In addition, denying recognition to people who do not identify with either the male or female gender constitutes discrimination based on gender, prohibited by the Constitution. The court also did not consider satisfactory the law approved four years ago, which opened the possibility of leaving the gender field blank. The reason is that this option implies that the affected persons lack gender, when the reality is that their gender does not correspond to the two binaries.

    Note: Dos Manzanas actually covers both the German and the Austrian court rulings on third gender recognition in the same news article. Simply scroll down further to find the details about the German court ruling (which we all missed when it was first issued), but which was added to the article on the Austrian court ruling as a comparative retrospective.

  • 26. ianbirmingham  |  April 1, 2018 at 8:52 am

    Activists in Tunisia continue to break taboos on LGBTQ+ rights

    Tunisian activists have taken increasingly bold steps in the last three years to open up real, public debate on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) issues.

    As countless associations surfaced in the post-revolutionary years, local groups that openly support the cause such as Shams, Damj, Mawjoudin or Chouf made their appearance and soon became part of the Tunisian Association for the Defence of Individual Liberties (ADLI).

    Gay rights groups gained an unprecedented space at the heart of Tunisia’s civil society, taking the discussion in public and in the media. The subject of LGBT rights has attracted more and more attention in the recent period as multiple actions have been initiated by organisations campaigning for sexual minority rights and human rights groups.

    The Mawjoudin Queer Film Festival took place in January of this year, making it the first LGBT+ film festival in Tunisia and the Maghreb. Organised by Tunisian NGO Mawjoudin (We Exist in Arabic), the four-day festival showcased 12 films from North Africa and the Middle East raising awareness on queer issues.

    Nada Mezni Hafaiedh’s documentary Under the Shadow, featuring the intimate lives of gay Tunisians, was screened on the opening day. The Tunisian film debuted at last year’s Carthage Film Festival in November and was generally well-received. The event also included panel discussions about art and queer resistance.

    According to the organisers, the first edition of the festival was aimed at promoting queer culture and focusing "on the issue of non-normative gender identities and sexual orientations".

    "We didn’t imagine such an event would get that good response from the public. We didn’t expect such large turnout," Mawjoudin co-founder Ali Bousselmi uttered in disbelief.

    With an attendance of over 700 LGBTQI individuals and supporters, the event went smoothly without any police intimidation or threats.

  • 27. allan120102  |  April 1, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    Costa Rica general elections are today. We should see how it goes. I hope that the vote of the cities superceed the ones in the conservative areas. The first results will come between 8:15 to 8:30 local time

  • 28. SethInMaryland  |  April 1, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    I believe the liberal will pull it out but yea it's going to be close 🙁

  • 29. allan120102  |  April 1, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    Breaking Costa Rica have chose Carlos Alvarado as the new president with 60%. Ssm will be a reality in CR. As we have a very supportive president for minorities.

  • 30. Zack12  |  April 1, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Wow, color me surprised.
    Congrats to Costa Rica!
    P.S. Sorry about your like count.
    Accidentally hit the down vote and it won't let me undo it:(

  • 31. allan120102  |  April 1, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    Dont worry. Looks like abstention was higher in the most conservative provinces. In part because even though they provide the highest support for Fabricio in his goverment plan he didnt include nothing that will help them. So instead of voting for carlos they decide not to vote at all letting the liberal and more develop provinces to superceed the conservative votes.

  • 32. josejoram  |  April 2, 2018 at 1:13 am

    The compromise with Social-christian's party leader Piza seems to be a "light" version of his original Programme, leaving to the Courts decision on marriage and keeping current legal límits to abortion:

  • 33. guitaristbl  |  April 2, 2018 at 2:50 am

    A stunning turnaround of events. I told you some time ago that polls meant little given the amount of undecided voters who sided overwhelmingly with C. Alvarado apparently. He did not only win but he became the winning candidate with the highest number of votes ever received and only the second to win with over a million votes.
    Truly marvelous news from Costa Rica.

  • 34. VIRick  |  April 1, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Costa Rica: Pro-Marriage-Equality Governing Party Candidate Wins Presidency

    Per LGBT Marriage News:‏

    Carlos Alvarado Quesada, the marriage equality supporter and governing party candidate, won the presidential election with 61% of the vote. The election was basically a referendum on LGBT marriage. Costa Rica could now well be the next equal marriage country.… …

    "Miami Herald" headline:

    Governing party candidate wins Costa Rica presidential ballot, defeating (evangelical) rival who opposed same-sex marriage.

    "La Nación" headline, Costa Rica's largest newspaper:

    Carlos Alvarado será el presidente número 48 de Costa Rica: barrió con el 60,79% de los votos.
    Carlos Alvarado will be president #48 of Costa Rica: he swept with 60.79% of the vote.

    Nationwide, Carlos obtained 1,281,292 votes to Fabricio's 828,243, sweeping 5 of Costa Rica's 7 provinces, Cartago, San José, Heredia, Alajuela, and Guanacaste. Fabricio only won Puerto Limón on the Caribbean Coast and strangely-shaped Puntarenas on the Pacific coast. At the cantonal (municipal) level, Carlos won 58 cantons to Fabricio's 21. Carlos assumes the presidency on 8 May 2018.

    The main difference between the multi-candidate first round and the two-candidate run-off can be seen at the cantonal level in Guanacaste and in the northern part of Puntarenas. Both went for third-party candidates in the first round, but then switched to Carlos this time, while the four big cities in the central valley, plus all their immediate environs, were even more solidly for him. Fabricio only won in the outlying rural fringes, in a one-canton-wide semi-circle tracing along the northern border with Nicaragua and the Caribbean Sea, plus a small lump in the south, minus one canton directly against the Panamanian border won by Carlos.

  • 35. VIRick  |  April 1, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Costa Rica: Epsy Campbell Barr, an Afro-Caribbean Female, Elected Vice-President

    Per Joshi Leban, Andrés Duque, and Rex Wockner:

    Por primera vez en la historia (en cualquier lugar de América Latina continental), una mujer afrodescendiente será vicepresidenta de Costa Rica.

    For the first time in history (anywhere in continental Latin America), a woman of Afro descent will be vice-president of Costa Rica.

    to which (totally hot) David Zuiga of San José adds for clarity, quoting from "La República:"

    Y de América Latina continental.

    And of continental Latin America.

    Campbell is named after her paternal grandmother, who migrated from Jamaica to the Costa Rican Caribbean coast with her husband. Epsy Campbell Barr was born in San José in 1963, while her parents Shirley Barr Aird and Luis Campbell Patterson were living in San Francisco de Dos Rios.

    In today's national elections, there was an impressive 66.91% voter turn-out.

  • 36. VIRick  |  April 3, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    Message from Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President-Elect of Costa Rica

    Felicitamos a doña Epsy Campbell por convertirse en la primera mujer afrodescendiente en ocupar la vicepresidencia de un país en América continental. Reafirmamos nuestra búsqueda de la inclusión y la construcción de un país más justo para todas las personas.

    We congratulate Ms. Epsy Campbell for becoming the first woman of Afro descent to occupy the vice-presidency of any country in continental America. We reaffirm our search for inclusion and the construction of a fairer country for all people.

    In addition, among many others, he also thanked Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia, Juan Carlos Varela, President of Panamá, Jimmy Morales, President of Guatemala, Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico, Evo Morales Ayma, President of Bolivia, Michelle Bachelet, ex-president of Chile, Rafael Correa, ex-president of Ecuador, Luis Guillermo Solís, current President of Costa Rica‏, and even Fabricio Alvarado, his defeated opponent. However, one large orange turd was conspicuously not mentioned. And I am not referring to Nicaragua or Venezuela, although they too were not mentioned. Apparently, all three nations did not send the diplomatically-correct congratulatory notes.

  • 37. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 3, 2018 at 7:59 am

    The Birth Certificate Policies

    Forty-six states plus the District of Columbia all allow transgender people to change their birth certificate to reflect their gender. The nay-sayers are Idaho, Puerto Rico, Ohio, Kansas, and Tennessee. In the previous three jurisdictions, Federal law suits have been filed as noted below. All of the three—Idaho, Puerto Rico, and Ohio—allow a change of the gender marker on driver’s licenses and other state identification documents upon application. It is only the birth certificate that they refuse to amend. Further, in all three jurisdictions this prohibition is not based in state law but only in policy.

    Regardless of that similarity, Idaho and Puerto Rico have responded to the complaints in very different ways.

    Idaho: F.V. v. Barron
    Case 1:17-cv-00170-CWD
    Represented by Lambda Legal Defense

    In Idaho, the defendants agreed that the policy was unconstitutional; however, they claimed they were unable to change the policy without instructions from the court. On 5 March 2018, judge Candy W. Dale struck down Idaho's policy as unconstitutional, and ordered them to change it, even spelling out for them how to change it. To date the defendants have not responded.

    Puerto Rico: Arroyo-González v. Rosselló-Nevares
    Case 3:17-cv-01457-CCC
    Represented by Lambda Legal Defense

    The response of the defendants in Puerto Rico has been to move for dismissal of all charges with prejudice. The plaintiffs have moved for summary judgement and (separately) opposed the motion to dismiss.

    Ohio: Ray v. Himes
    (Case number not yet assigned)
    Represented by ACLU & Lambda Legal Defense

    As of this date (03-April-2018), the defendants have yet to respond. I do not know the date that they are required to respond.

    I do not know if the prohibition in Kansas and Tennessee is based in law or only policy. Nor do I know if these states allow a gender marker change to other state identification documents. Regardless, I agree with Rick, “It's time suits were filed against Kansas and Tennessee, the other two remaining states which also still have blanket bans on changing gender markers on birth certificates.”

  • 38. VIRick  |  April 3, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    Puerto Rico: Discriminatory Birth Certificate Policy Declared Unconstitutional

    Per Pedro Julio Serrano y "El Nuevo Día:"

    Hoy día, 3 de abril 2018, una jueza declara inconstitucional la práctica de no permitir que cambien sus actas en el Registro Demográfico (de Puerto Rico). Las personas transgénero ahora podrán modificar sus actas de nacimiento.

    La jueza de distrito federal Carmen Consuelo Cerezo entregó un veredicto sumario en "Arroyo-González v. Rosselló-Nevares," declarando como un acto inconstitucional la política del gobierno de Puerto Rico de no permitir que personas transgénero o transexuales puedan corregir sus actas de nacimiento.

    La jueza indicó que la corte entregará, más adelante los hallazgos mediante un documento de Opinión y Orden, incluyendo una declaración de que el forzar a personas transgénero a revelar su estatus viola sus derechos fundamentales a que su información se mantenga privada.

    La Opinión, además, detallará cómo los mecanismos que el gobierno tendrá que implementar para corregir las fallas en las opciones de género en los certificados de nacimiento de los demandantes para que reflejen con precisión su estatus sin revelar que son personas transgénero.

    Today, April 3, 2018, a judge declared unconstitutional the practice of not allowing changes to be made to their records in the Demographic Registry (of Puerto Rico). Transgender people can now modify their birth certificates.

    Federal District Judge Carmen Consuelo Cerezo delivered a summary judgment in "Arroyo-González v. Rosselló-Nevares," declaring as an unconstitutional act the Puerto Rico government's policy of not allowing transgender or transsexual people to correct their birth certificates.

    The judge indicated that the court will later deliver the findings through an Opinion and Order document, including a statement that forcing transgender people to reveal their status violates their fundamental rights to keep their information private.

    The Opinion will also detail the mechanisms that the government will have to implement in order to correct the flaws in the gender options on the birth certificates of the plaintiffs so that they accurately reflect their gender identity without revealing their transgender status.

    Note: The Summary Judgment was declared on 28 March 2018. The Order to that effect was issued late today, 3 April 2018. A separate Opinion and Order is still forthcoming.

    The Order is here:

    And here:

  • 39. davepCA  |  April 3, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Carnival Cruise steps up and joins the fight to regain same sex marriage in Bermuda!

  • 40. VIRick  |  April 3, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    Bermuda: Second Lawsuit Filed against Same-Sex Marriage Re-Ban

    Per Rex Wockner:

    On 3 April 2018, OUTBermuda and Maryellen Jackson have filed legal action in the Bermuda Supreme Court seeking an order declaring that provisions that “have the effect of revoking same-sex marriage” are in contravention of the Bermuda Constitution, with the local legal action — which marks the second case filed about the matter — being backed by the Carnival cruise line.

    The legal action is by OUTBermuda and Ms. Jackson, who said they “are actively preparing evidence for submission this week and an application to join their case to the 'Ferguson v Attorney-General' case so both cases can be heard together. The trial in the related action is set to be heard by the Chief Justice in May. The two legal teams involved have been in contact,” they noted.

    Carnival Corporation said they are “actively supporting OUTBermuda” which includes providing “financial, civic, and public relations support, as well as involvement by our company,” with the cruise line also confirming that they will be “filing an affidavit supporting the legal action.”

  • 41. VIRick  |  April 3, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    New Zealand: Parliament Passes Law to Allow Wiping of Convictions for Gay Men

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    MPs addressed Parliament with moving stories as a law was passed allowing convictions of men for homosexual offences to be expunged from the public record. It's believed that more than 1000 gay men were convicted and shamed before homosexuality was legalized in 1986. In July 2017, parliament formally apologized to them.

    Now, on the night of 3 April 2018, MPs unanimously passed a bill that gives them the right to apply for their convictions to be expunged.

    Meanwhile, in Canada, a similarly-worded a bill to expunge past homosexual offenses awaits its third reading in the Canadian Senate.

  • 42. VIRick  |  April 3, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    Singapore: Couple Challenges Annulment Of Marriage After Sex Change

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Singapore voided a hetero marriage last year, after the husband underwent a sex change, saying the operation made their partnership a same-sex union and that that is illegal under Singapore law.

    The couple, Faith and Bryce Volta, married as man and woman in 2015, the "Straits Times" newspaper reported. Faith, the husband, then underwent sex change surgery and updated her national identity card to read "female," the paper said. Six months later, the government's Registrar of Marriages met the couple to discuss the sex change and later informed them the marriage would be annulled.

    On 2 April 2018, the couple asked the High Court to review the decision taken by the registrar, a matter confirmed by their lawyer, Eugene Thuraisingam, whose law firm is representing them for free. Authorities previously cited the country's laws which state marriage is a union between a man and a woman as the reason for annulling the union.

  • 43. VIRick  |  April 3, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    Romania: Two Civil Partnership Bills Submitted in Parliament

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Amid discussions about changing the definition of family in the Romanian Constitution, two draft bills on civil partnership have been submitted to the Parliament. One was drafted by the National Council for Combating Discrimination (CNCD), while the second one was submitted to the Senate by MP Oana Bizgan.

    CNCD’s draft bill is aimed at regulating the legal framework in which the consensual union is legally recognized. According to this bill, the consensual union targets both same-sex and opposite-sex couples, and can be registered with the civil status officer. However, it can also be legally recognized even if it’s not registered, under the law.

    The persons who have concluded a consensual union have the same rights as those who are married. For example, one of the partners can use the other one’s health insurance in the public health system, being co-insured. However, the draft bill stipulates that same-sex couples can’t adopt.

    Meanwhile, MP Oana Bizgan submitted to the Senate a draft bill on civil partnership, which also grants legal rights to couples. The initiative removes from the Civil Code the provision prohibiting same-sex couples such a union, local Mediafax reported.

    “Within the EU, under the principle of subsidiarity, regulating forms of cohabitation is not the exclusive competence of the EU – each Member State is responsible for providing the legal framework necessary to protect the private and family life of its citizens. At EU level, 22 countries, through regulations, offer citizens the opportunity to formalize their relationship as a couple without being forced to get married, having the civil partnership as an alternative,” Bizgan said.

    The idea of civil partnership was brought into public attention by Liviu Dragnea, the president of the Chamber of Deputies and the leader of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD), who said at the end of March that he wanted a debate on the opportunity of regulating the civil partnership in Romania. The statement came amid discussions about the need to change the definition of family in the Constitution. According to deputy prime minister Paul Stanescu, a referendum on the family definition could be organized in May. However, the Referendum Law, which is currently debated in the Parliament, has to come into force first.

  • 44. VIRick  |  April 3, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    Central American Migrant Caravan Up-Date

    Since Saturday night, 31 March 2018, the mass migration of Central Americans, organized by Pueblos sin Fronteras, has been camped out in the town park of Matías Romero Avendaño, the last town in Oaxaca state, just south of the Veracruz state line, about half way along the Trans-Isthmus Highway. Many in the caravan appear to be seeking humanitarian visas to remain in Mexico.

    Still, the mass group intends to push on through Veracruz state and continue toward Puebla, where organizers plan to set up legal workshops with attorneys to assist with asylum claims.

    La Bestia (The Beast) is the common nickname for the freight rail line that traverses the isthmus, running parallel to the highway. Many migrants hop aboard the empty tanker cars, riding up on top, as the trains move north. Some may have moved ahead of the main group, by doing just that.

    Note: The town of Matías Romero Avendaño is within the Zapoteca homeland, the indigenous people with the long-standing muxe (transgender) tradition. They are very welcoming of any/all LGBTs.

    Further note: The Trans-Isthmus Railway connects the oil and gas fields of Coatzacoalcos and Minatitlán in Veracruz state, on the Gulf coast, with the port of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, on the Pacific coast, where the oil and gas supplies are then transported by sea for delivery all along Mexico's Pacific coast.

  • 45. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 4, 2018 at 6:11 am

    In Texas, Ted Cruz Is Facing an Unusual Challenge: A Formidably Financed Democrat

    The New York Times
    Houston 04-April-2018

    By Manny Fernandez

    “For the first time in Mr. Cruz’s rise to political prominence in Texas, he is facing a serious Democratic challenger, Representative Beto O’Rourke from El Paso, who has stunned political observers by raising more money than any Democrat who has ever run for a Senate seat in Texas.

    “Mr. O’Rourke, a former punk-rock bassist and El Paso city councilman, has raised $13.2 million in the race so far, and outraised Mr. Cruz in three of four Federal Election Commission reporting periods. (Mr. Cruz has not yet reported his latest fund-raising.) In the first three months of 2018, Mr. O’Rourke raised $6.7 million, more than any other Democratic Senate candidate in the country in that period.”

  • 46. guitaristbl  |  April 4, 2018 at 11:07 am

    I understand the momentum democrats have and I am happy for it but let's not get carried away. I prefer money to be funnelled into other senate races (maintaining the seats in Missouri, North Dakota, Montana, West Virginia, Indiana, Ohio and winning the ones in Arizona and Nevada) rather than an effort to take down Cruz.

  • 47. Elihu_Bystander  |  April 4, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Guitar, there is no reason to believe that O'Rourke's campaign is drawing funds away from the senatorial districts that you mentioned.

  • 48. VIRick  |  April 4, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Plus, do not under-estimate the level of pissed-off-ness among Hispanics and other liberal-leaning Texas voters.

    Beto speaks fluent Spanish and regularly jaunts from El Paso to Juárez for lunch or a drink. He is a liberal Democrat whose current congressional district is 75 percent Hispanic, and is one of many who openly opposes Trump's idiotic border wall. Beto is an El Paso-born 4th generation Irish-American.

    Like so many of us, he actively straddles the ethnic/linguistic/cultural divide, even proudly relying on his Hispanic nickname, Beto, short for Roberto, to convey simpatico, an effort which is genuinely appreciated.

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