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News round up and open thread 4/23

Community/Meta Transgender Rights

– The judge who earlier struck down Puerto Rico’s policy of not providing accurate birth certificates to people who are transgender issued his written opinion in the case last week.

– The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a gay asylum seeker.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  April 23, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Monaco: Proposed Civil Unions Bill Introduced

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    As of 16 April 2018, the Government of Monaco has introduced its proposed civil unions bill (Pacte de vie commune). It allows same-sex couples to formalize ties, but it explicitly does not recognize "la vie commune" couples as families, nor does it allow them to adopt or share pensions.

    The entire proposal, in French, from the Conseil National, Prinicpauté de Monaco, n° 974 – Projet de loi relative au contrat de vie commune, is here:

  • 2. VIRick  |  April 23, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    France: 40,000 Same-Sex Marriages in 5 Years

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Today, 23 April 2018, marks the fifth anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in France. According to official figures, more than 40,000 couples have married in France in the intervening five years.

    On 23 April 2013, the French National Assembly passed the laws, following months of demonstrations for and against said laws, which allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt children. For the year 2017, national statistics agency INSEE revealed that more than 7,000 same-sex couples had gotten married, although civil unions, known as PACs, remain more popular.

    Same-sex couples now account for 3% of all marriages in France. In Paris, that figure rises to 9.7% of all unions. However, overall, the total number of marriages in the country has continued to decline.

  • 3. VIRick  |  April 23, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    India: Lesbian Couple Marries in Agra

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Two young women, one dressed as a man, successfully married each other in the city of Agra at a mass wedding in the Bhim Nagari locality a few days ago.

  • 4. allan120102  |  April 23, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    They are only two states were the majority of the population is against ssm.

  • 5. VIRick  |  April 23, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Indonesia: Plans to Criminalize Homosexuality Put On Hold

    Indonesia‘s LGBT+ community has been granted a temporary reprieve by the government as a bill to criminalize homosexuality has been put on hold. The bill, which was initially introduced in February, will be put on hold for an other “two to three months” so that the general public can offer its feedback on the legislation, said National Democratic Party legislator Teuku Taufiqulhadi. “We are giving more time in the next two or three months for the public to provide feedback on the bill to us,” Taufiqulhadi told The Bangkok Post.

  • 6. scream4ever  |  April 23, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    I thought the Constitutional Court ruled against this effort?

  • 7. VIRick  |  April 23, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    Scream, this current effort is a new legislative proposal, apparently in reaction to the earlier court ruling.

    Previously, on 14 December 2017, the Indonesian Constitutional Court rejected a measure to ban gay sex in Indonesia, after a religious group filed a petition with the court to implement just such an interpretation. The Family Love Alliance, which launched the petition in 2016 in the Jakarta court, and which sought to ban both extra-marital and gay sex, had its appeal to the Constitutional Court rejected by the justices.

    In an attempt to change the morality articles within the country's criminal code, the group wanted to expand the definition of adultery to mean men who have sex with men and women who have sex with women. The panel of nine justices narrowly voted to reject the petition, 5-4, with the dissenters including the Constitutional Court's Chief Justice.

  • 8. VIRick  |  April 23, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Italy: Lesbian Couple's IVF Baby Recognized by State, a New First

    A lesbian couple’s baby has been recognized by Italian authorities in a landmark move. Chiara Foglietta, a city council member in Turin, was initially told by officials to say that she had sex with a man in order to get her child registered and recognized in the country. 

    Foglietta had used artificial insemination in Denmark to become pregnant. She and her partner, Micaela Ghisleni, welcomed their son, Niccolò Pietro, into the world on 13 April 2018. But authorities refused to recognize their child at first because Italy only allows straight couples to access fertility treatments. Foglietta, who used sperm donated by an anonymous man, was presented with the possibility of lying about the child’s origins, but rejected that option.

    Thus, as of 23 April 2018, "An important page of our story has been written. Niccolò is now officially registered and is my son and Micaela’s for the Italian State.”

  • 9. VIRick  |  April 23, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    El Salvador: Justice Ministry Launches New Pro-LGBTI Policy

    San Salvador, El Salvador — On 16 April 2018, El Salvador’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security unveiled a new set of policies that seek to protect the rights of the country’s LGBTI community. The country’s secretary of social inclusion and its director of sexual diversity, as well as different LGBTI organizations attended the event.

    This effort began in October 2016 with a roundtable on security and the LGBTI community’s access to the justice system that included representatives of the Director General of Prisons, the National Civil Police, the Director General of Migration and Foreign Affairs, the National Academy of Public Security, the Inspector General of Public Security, halfway houses and organizations that are part of the LGBTI Salvadoran Federation.

    “Our country must continue to undertake actions that move us towards making a society that is truly inclusive and secure for all people,” said Justice and Social Inclusion Minister Vanda Pignato, who urged the Ministry of Justice and Public Security’s different institutions to put into practice these policies that promote respect of LGBTI people’s rights.

    This policy emerged from the need to guarantee the rights of a portion of the Salvadoran population that has historically faced discrimination, such as the LGBTI community. It is the result of a joint effort carried out by the aforementioned departments.

  • 10. VIRick  |  April 23, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Brasil: Supreme Court Permits Self-Declaration for Trans Persons

    Per CIDH:‏

    En Brasil, la implementación de mecanismos legales que reconocen el acceso a la documentación de acuerdo con la identidad de género tiene un impacto positivo en la vida de las personas trans. Hoy día, el 23 de abril 2018, la CIDH saluda la decisión de la Corte Suprema brasileña de permitir que las personas trans alteren el nombre a través de auto-declaración y llama a todos los Estados de la región a adoptar leyes y políticas amplias y transparentes que se destinen a reconocer la identidad de género.

    In Brasil, the implementation of the legal mechanisms to recognize access to documentation in accord with gender identity has had a positive impact on the lives of trans people. Today, 23 April 2018, the IACHR welcomes the decision of the Brazilian Supreme Court to allow trans people to change their name through self-declaration and calls upon all States in the region to adopt broad and transparent laws and policies designed to recognize gender identity.

  • 11. FredDorner  |  April 24, 2018 at 11:39 am

    That's even better than what the US federal court in PR just allowed, where a health care provider's statement is required.

  • 12. Rakihi  |  April 24, 2018 at 10:57 am

    The types of businesses suing to to preserve their right to discriminate against gay couples keeps on growing.

    "Court hears appeal: Do Phoenix wedding invitation designers have to serve gay couples?"

  • 13. ianbirmingham  |  April 24, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Stand Up for L.G.B.T. Rights, & Promise To Prioritize the issue once they start full-time charitable work after their wedding next month.

    In what has already been a busy week, the engaged couple spent Wednesday advocating for the rights of L.G.B.T. people around the world. … Markle and Harry spoke with L.G.B.T. young people, and Markle said that these issues are about “basic human rights,” and that it was important to challenge inequality. They also spoke to Australia’s Jacob Thomas, who won the Queen’s Young Leaders award for helping to reduce the suicide rate of L.G.B.T. individuals in Australia.

    “Miss Markle said, and these were her exact words, ‘This is a basic human rights issue, not one about sexuality,’” he said to journalists there. Thomas added that Harry spoke about the progress that’s been made on L.G.B.T. issues over the past decade, and that the couple promised to keep advocacy for the community at the forefront of their work following their wedding.

  • 14. VIRick  |  April 24, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    Thailand: New Proposal for Same-Sex Civil Unions

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Narrow LGBT "Life-Partnership" Bill Proposed to Allow Couples to Share Assets

    After years of calls by sexual-diversity groups, a new law that would allow registered life partnership for same-sex couples is in the making, with supporters expecting it to be promulgated within the term of the present government. For proponents, the long-awaited legislation is viewed as the first important step toward legal same-sex marriage in Thailand. Sexual diversity groups have long called for a law that guarantees partnerships between couples of the same sex, as the existing legislation only allows marriages between people of different sexes.

    A Justice Ministry subcommittee charged with drafting the bill is scheduled to convene on 4 May before presenting the final draft, through the justice minister, to the Cabinet for approval, said a source at the ministry’s Rights and Liberties Protection Department (RLPD).

    In 2012, same-sex couples petitioned the Parliamentary Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights for a law to protect same-sex unions, as gender-based discrimination was considered a violation of the Constitution. The committee later worked with the RLPD to draft a bill for “life partnership registration” but its move to Parliament was interrupted by the military coup in 2014.

  • 15. ianbirmingham  |  April 25, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Nareelak Phaechaiyaphum, the director of the RLPD’s Division of International Human Rights, said the bill encountered many issues. They included the different demands of various same-sex couple groups, religious beliefs against same-sex partnerships, and authorities’ tendency to cling to the male-female family structure, while some parts of Thai society still had a bias against same-sex companionship. The latest version narrowed its focus to the asset management of same-sex life partners to avoid large-scale impacts and the need to amend multiple laws, she said. People in same-sex relationships yesterday praised the proposed legislation as new hope that their lives could be made easier. However, some gender-equality advocates called for a more progressive law. …

    Gender equality advocate Naiyana Supapueng was suspicious about the new law, saying its content would decide whether or not it would drive the country towards progressiveness. From her experience with similar legislation that had been aborted years ago, Naiyana said that the state may have good will towards the people. However, on the other hand, it still also had to protect traditions and national security, she said. “So, most of the time, the content of the law remains within the limits set by these rules and traditions that it doesn’t guarantee the rights of the people,” she said. “Like in the former draft, they did allow same sex marriage but then so many restrictions and conditions were present. It showed that the state still had a homophobia mindset.” Aside from that, legislation addressing same sex couples may also be a form of discrimination, the activist said. She would rather see partnership legislation that applies equally to all genders, not just the LGBTQ but also straight men and women alike, she said. …

    LGBTIQ rights activist Chumaporn Taengkliang, however, said that the progress of the Same Sex Life Partnership Registration Bill was too little too late for the assurance of gender equality and same sex marriage acceptance in Thailand. … “This is not the progressive move for the LGBTIQ rights campaign, because this bill only focuses on the asset management and barely covers the other aspect of life partnership of same sex couples,” Chumaporn said. “I still do not see other rights acceptances for same sex couples, for instance the right to be a parent of children or having their own child by using assisted reproductive technology, while there are already many cases of rights deprivation that the same sex couples have to face when they need to deal with legal matters with their partner.” She also emphasised that the bill also lacked proper public participation, which could result in problems in the future, as has already happened with the Gender Equality Act, and once the bill becomes law, it will be very hard to amend.

  • 16. VIRick  |  April 24, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Angola: New Penal Code Decriminalizing Homosexuality Being Circulated

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    A new penal code that would fully decriminalize homosexuality has been sent out for more public comment, mostly over its abortion provisions.

    The Bill on the Penal Code would give independent Angola its first Penal Code, one that is intended to replace the current legal tool inherited from the colonial period.

  • 17. VIRick  |  April 24, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Federal Court Upholds DACA Program, Vacating Government Decision to Rescind It

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 24 April 2018, in two challenges to the rescission of the DACA program, filed in DC District Court, "Trustees of Princeton University v. USA," brought by Princeton Univeristy, an individual Princeton student, and Microsoft Corp., and "NAACP v. Trump," brought by the civil rights organization, the federal judge has ruled that under the Administrative Procedure Act, rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was "arbitrary and capricious," and thus it vacates the 5 September 2017 decision to rescind the program. However, the judge stayed his order for 90 days "to allow the agency (the DHS) an opportunity to better explain its rescission decision."

    "For the reasons that follow, the Court concludes that it has both jurisdiction and statutory authority to hear plaintiffs’ APA and constitutional claims. The Court further concludes that, under the APA, DACA’s rescission was arbitrary and capricious because the Department (of Homeland Security) failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful. Neither the meager legal reasoning nor the assessment of litigation risk provided by DHS to support its rescission decision is sufficient to sustain termination of the DACA program. Thus, plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment will be granted in part, and the decision to rescind DACA will be vacated and remanded to DHS. Vacatur of DACA’s rescission will mean that DHS must accept and process new as well as renewal DACA applications. The Court will stay its order of vacatur for ninety days, however, to allow the agency an opportunity to better explain its rescission decision."

    The Order is here:

    The Memorandum Opinion is here:

  • 18. VIRick  |  April 24, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Anti-LGBT Judicial Nominee Confirmed to Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

    Today, 24 April 2018, the US Senate confirmed to the federal bench a Trump judicial nominee who, as a lawyer, has made a major component of his career his multiple attempts to block LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage and transgender student Gavin Grimm’s access to the high school boys’ room. Kyle Duncan, a partner at the DC-based Schaerr Duncan LLP, was confirmed to a seat on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, by a party-line vote, 50-47.

    When same-sex marriage came before the Supreme Court in 2015, Duncan filed a brief on behalf of 15 states in opposition to nationwide marriage equality. Additionally, he led efforts to keep in place marriage bans in Louisiana and Virginia. After the Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, Duncan said the decision was an “abject failure” and “imperils civic peace.” Later, Duncan suggested the ruling was invalid, saying it “raises a question about the legitimacy of the court.”

    Although the Supreme Court ruled contrary to his views, Duncan wasn’t done. In Alabama, he represented the birth mother of three children who refused visitation rights to her former same-sex spouse. Although the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in the birth mother’s favor, the US Supreme Court reversed that decision in accordance with Obergefell.

    On transgender rights, Duncan represented the Virginia school board that sought to bar transgender student Gavin Grimm from using the restroom consistent with his gender identity. Duncan also represented North Carolina Republican lawmakers in their attempt to defend HB 2, which sought to bar transgender people from using the public restroom of their choice.

    In addition to his anti-LGBT work, Duncan was also the lead attorney in the "Hobby Lobby" case, which led the US Supreme Court to rule in 2014 that closely-held corporations could deny health insurance to female employees if it included birth control coverage.

  • 19. VIRick  |  April 24, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    India: Supreme Court Requests Government's Views on Section 377

    The Indian government has been asked by the Indian Supreme Court to give its views on the country’s anti-gay sodomy law ahead of the Supreme Court challenge. Colonial-era penal code Section 377, which criminalizes sex “against the order of nature,” has widely been used to clamp down on the LGBT community in India. LGBT campaigners have been calling for the repeal of the law since it was brought back into effect by a court ruling in 2013, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has remained silent on the issue.

    According to the "Times of India," the court headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra issued a notice seeking the government’s views as it prepares to hear the legal challenge brought by 33-year old hotel owner Keshav Suri, who is in a same-sex relationship and is seeking to have the law struck down.

  • 20. VIRick  |  April 25, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    Missouri Supreme Court Hears Two LGBT Cases

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 25 April 2018, the Missouri Supreme Court heard oral argument in two LGBTQ rights cases:

    • "R.M.A. v. Blue Springs School District," No. SC96683
    • "Harold Lampley and Rene Frost; ACLU vs. Missouri Commission of Human Rights," No. SC96828

    Per the Missouri Supreme Court, the case summaries, #3 and #4, are here:

    The judges will be asked to determine whether the Missouri Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, even though the words are not in the act itself. Lower courts are split on the issue.

    The first case involves a Kansas City-area transgender teenager identified in court documents as R.M.A. The teen began living as a boy at the age of 9, and received a new birth certificate listing his sex as male.

    For most of his school years, R.M.A used single-stall restrooms, including when changing for athletics and gym. But in 8th grade, he expressed an interest in using the boy’s locker and restrooms. When the school district said "No," the mother and the teenager sued, claiming discrimination based on sex.

    The legal arguments went like this: courts have ruled that sex discrimination also includes discrimination based on a gender-related trait such as pregnancy. R.M.A’s attorneys argued that gender identity was such a trait, and therefore R.M.A was protected by the Human Rights Act.

    The school district and its board countered with two points. First, its attorneys said, gender identity isn’t specifically mentioned in the Human Rights Act and judges should not read something into the law that isn’t there. Sex, they write in their legal brief, is defined as distinguishing between male and female on the basis of reproductive organs, and that isn’t the reason R.M.A was treated differently. The district’s attorneys also argued that the district and the board are not “people” under the Act and therefore cannot be sued. A Jackson County judge agreed with the school district in 2016 and threw out the case. The Missouri Court of Appeals reinforced that decision in July 2017.

    The second case involves two employees of the Missouri Department of Social Services, Harold Lampley and Rene Frost. Lampley, a gay man, filed a complaint with the state Human Rights Commission claiming discrimination based on sex. In a section of the complaint, Lampley wrote that he was being treated poorly at work because he “does not exhibit the stereotypical attributes of how a male should appear and behave.” Frost, Lampley’s co-worker, also sued, claiming that she faced discrimination and retaliation because of her friendship with Lampley.

    The Human Rights Commission ruled that Lampley was claiming discrimination based on sexual orientation rather than sex, and denied both cases. An appeals court disagreed in an opinion issued in October 2017. “If an employer mistreats a male employee because the employer deems the employee insufficiently masculine, it is immaterial whether the male employee is gay or straight,” the judges wrote. The state appealed.

    In its brief submitted to the Supreme Court, the attorney general’s office makes the same argument it does in the case of R.M.A — the words sexual orientation appear nowhere in the Human Rights Act, and courts cannot read into a law language that isn’t there.

  • 21. VIRick  |  April 25, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    Costa Rica: Judge Who Validated First Same-Sex "Union de Hecho" Vindicated

    Juez que validó unión de hecho de pareja gais resultó exonerado de resolver contra la ley. El juez de familia que reconoció por primera vez la unión de hecho de una pareja gay, Carlos Manuel Sánchez Miranda, del Juzgado de Familia de Goicoechea, fue exonerado de los delitos de prevaricato e incumplimiento de deberes.

    La decisión la tomó el Juzgado Penal de Goicoechea el 13 de abril en favor de Carlos Manuel Sánchez Miranda, quien encaró la investigación por denuncia de un abogado, tras el reconocimiento de derechos de dos hombres en 2015.

    The judge who validated the de facto union of a gay couple was exonerated from ruling against the law. The family court judge who first recognized the de facto union of a gay couple, Carlos Manuel Sánchez Miranda, of the Family Court of Goicoechea, was exonerated from the crimes of malfeasance and breach of duty.

    The decision was taken by the Criminal Court of Goicoechea on 13 April 2018 in favor of Carlos Manuel Sánchez Miranda, who faced the investigation on the complaint of a lawyer, after he recognized the rights of two men in 2015.

    Although it seems so "ordinary" today, at the time, in Costa Rica, the ruling by Judge Sánchez in the Goicoechea family court, recognizing the legality of the first same-sex "union de hecho," was deemed sensational. While LGBT advocates enthusiastically celebrated, conservatives totally burst their hemorrhoids in horror, to the point of their filing this counter-suit against the judge accusing him of malfeasance and breach of duty. They lost.

    Note: Goicoechea is a suburban canton just north of San José, well within the metro area of the capital, and has a population of 124,000.

  • 22. VIRick  |  April 26, 2018 at 12:03 am

    Paraguay: New LGBT Headquarters in Ascunción

    Per Simón Cazal:‏

    La sede de SOMOSGAY Villeta abre dentro de poco. Aquí, funcionará un albergue LGTB, la clínica Kuimba’e, y el Centro Comunitario para la ciudad (de Ascunción).

    The headquarters of SOMOSGAY Villeta opens shortly. Here, we will operate an LGBT shelter, the Kuimba'e clinic, and the Community Center for the city (of Ascunción).

  • 23. VIRick  |  April 26, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Montenegro: Plan for Same-Sex Registered Partnerships Rouses Fury

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Moves to legalize same-sex unions in the Balkan country under restricted conditions have angered socially conservative groups, as well as LGBT activists. Montenegro's hardline and influential Serbian Orthodox Church, as well as conservative opposition parties, have condemned plans to allow same-sex marriage in Montenegro, while LGBT organisations say the proposed law gives them too few rights.

    Montenegro’s Human and Minority Rights Ministry has drafted a law on registered partnership in a new attempt to legalize gay marriage, causing a heated debate on social media, with comments mostly opposing the idea. Under the draft law, same-sex couples will be acknowledged as legal unions but won’t have the same rights as married hetero couples.

    They will not be allowed to adopt children or be foster parents, for example, which human rights organisation says restricts LGBT rights, and same-sex couples will also not be recognized as a family. The Queer Montenegro NGO also warned against the abuse of the proposed law for political purposes, particularly ahead of local elections in Montenegro.

    Montenegro planned to legalize gay marriage in 2014 but that first attempt failed.

  • 24. VIRick  |  April 26, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Japan: Man Seeks Inheritance Plus Damages over Same-Sex Partner's Death

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Osaka — On 26 April 2018, a 69-year-old man in western Japan filed a lawsuit seeking assets left behind by his deceased same-sex partner and damages for being barred from attending his cremation. The rare case involving inheritance from a same-sex partner highlights the problems faced by such couples upon the death of their partners in a country that only provides legal protection to married couples.

    The man from Osaka Prefecture sued his partner's sister at the Osaka District Court, seeking to win back the assets held by her following her brother's death in March 2016. The man is also seeking 7 million yen ($64,000) in damages from the woman, saying he was robbed of the chance to arrange the funeral for his long-time partner due to discrimination against homosexual people.

    So far, Japan's top court has not recognized the inheritance rights of same-sex couples nor of opposite-sex couples under common-law marriage.

  • 25. VIRick  |  April 26, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Sonora: Government Files Challenge to Block Marriage Equality: Lawyer

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Sonora: Interponen Revisión a Amparo para Matrimonio Igualitario: Abogado

    Navojoa.- La Consejería Jurídica del Poder Ejecutivo se opuso al matrimonio igualitario en Sonora, al interponer recurso de revisión en contra del juicio de amparo 1077-2017-II que permite llevar a cabo dicha unión entre personas del mismo sexo. El amparo (de revisión) se interpuso ante el Juzgado Séptimo de Distrito en el Estado de Sonora con sede en Ciudad Obregón desde diciembre de 2017, declaró Julio Lugo Sánchez, quien como el litigante de este asunto jurídico explicó que a pesar que un juzgado federal ya reconoció que existe una violación a los derechos humanos, la autoridad sigue oponiéndose a una decisión constitucional. Esto implica, dijo, que se debe de llevar a cabo el matrimonio igualitario.

    Expuso que la autoridad sigue reafirmando que no debe llevarse a cabo el matrimonio igualitario en Sonora, a pesar que hay antecedentes en todo el país donde ya se legisló en la materia. (También), es una decisión constitucional y algo que la Suprema Corte de Justicia ya tomó suyo.

    Los argumentos, subrayó, son muy endebles para dar una respuesta positiva a lo que el Gobierno del Estado se está oponiendo. Mencionó que la justicia federal va a seguir amparando a la pareja del mismo sexo que pretenda contraer matrimonio.

    Navojoa.- The Legal Department of the Executive Branch is opposing marriage equality in Sonora by filing an appeal for review against the amparo judgment, 1077-2017-II, which allows for such a union to be carried out by a same-sex couple. The amparo (appeal) was filed before the Seventh District Court in the State of Sonora based in Ciudad Obregón in December 2017, said Julio Lugo Sánchez, who as the litigant of this legal case explained that although a federal court has already recognized that there is a violation of human rights, the state continues to oppose this constitutional decision. This implies, he said, that an equal marriage should be carried out.

    He explained that the state continues to reaffirm that an equal marriage should not be carried out in Sonora, despite the fact that there is a history in the whole country where legislation has already occured on the matter. It is (also) a constitutional decision and something that the Supreme Court of Justice has already ruled upon.

    The arguments, he stressed, are too weak to give a positive response to what the State Government is opposing. He mentioned that federal justice will continue to protect the same-sex couple that intends to marry.

    Note: The jurisprudence on this matter is set. All federal judges must approve amparo requests from same-sex couples wishing to marry. There are no appeals. The lawyer for the case, Julio Lugo Sánchez, is correct: The State will lose. In fact, their amparo appeal is out-of-order, and should simply be thrown out. However, if this appeal were to go to Mexico's Supreme Court, the State may find itself with quite a surprise on its hands.

  • 26. VIRick  |  April 26, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Panamá: New Trans Rights Bill Pending


    Comunicado por la aprobación del proyecto de Ley 518 en Panamá.

    Communicated for the approval of the proposed Law 518 in Panamá.

  • 27. allan120102  |  April 26, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    8 same sex couples have married this year in Aguascalientes, and more are expect.

  • 28. allan120102  |  April 26, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    No authority in Baja California can prohibit ssm, As a resolution was already issue against its civil code.

  • 29. VIRick  |  April 27, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Oklahoma: Anti-LGBT Adoption Bill Passes

    Yesterday, 26 April 2018, the Oklahoma House passed a bill that would allow Oklahoma adoption and foster care agencies that do not receive state or federal funding to discriminate against parents whose lives violate the “sincerely-held religious beliefs” of the agency.

    The “Adoption Protection Act” passed the GOP-controlled House in a 60-26 vote. A similar bill has already passed the Oklahoma Senate. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (R) is expected to sign the bill, which would make it, in all of the 50 states, the only anti-LGBTQ state law passed in 2018.

    South Dakota, Michigan, Alabama, and Texas already have similar legislation.

    Note: The new Oklahoma adoption bill might sound wonderful to the bigoted right-wing rubes and all the red-state haters, but the agencies most likely to employ the ruse of citing their "sincerely-held religious beliefs" in order to discriminate, all receive state and/or federal funding. Thus, they can either give up the government funding so as to be perfectly free to discriminate,– or they can continue to receive their precious government funding by adhering to the current non-discriminatory standard. It's totally their choice.

  • 30. VIRick  |  April 27, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Nuevo León: Civil Unions Bill Submitted to State Congress

    Per Fer León:

    El Congreso de Nuevo León está sometiendo a dictamen, y posterior votación, la iniciativa de unión civil, nada que ver con matrimonio igualitario. Todavía, hay que reconocer el esfuerzo que al respecto han realizado los integrantes de MOV_I_NL.

    Sin embargo, no debemos pasar por alto el Máximo Tribunal de la Nación, respecto de modificar la Constitución Política del Estado de Nuevo León y dar reconocimiento jurídico pleno a las personas que deseen formalizar su relación afectiva-sentimental a través del matrimonio, y que opten por la figura de matrimonio igualitario.

    The Congress of Nuevo León is submitting a draft bill, and subsequently voting upon, an initiative for civil unions, nothing that looks like marriage equality. Still, we must recognize the efforts made by the members of MOV_I_NL.

    However, we must not overlook the Supreme Court of the Nation, with respect to modifying the Political Constitution of the State of Nuevo León and giving full legal recognition to people who wish to formalize their affective-sentimental relationship through marriage, and who choose to do so through egalitarian marriage.

    Indeed, a civil unions bill at this late stage is a classic example of "too little, too late." Still, it is an indirect acknowledgement on the pat of the Nuevo León Congress that theirs will likely be the next state that will have its ban on same-sex marriage struck down by Mexico's Supreme Court as being unconstitutional.

  • 31. VIRick  |  April 27, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Migrant Caravan Gathers on US-Mexico Border for Final Push

    Tijuana, Mexico — About 170 migrants in a caravan of Central American asylum-seekers have arrived in Tijuana, joining nearly 200 others on their final stop before entering the United States. Three tourist buses were guarded by a Mexican police escort on a curvy, mountainous road as it travelled from the Mexican border city of Mexicali.

    Lawyers planned free workshops on the US immigration system on Friday and Saturday in Tijuana. Many planned to seek asylum starting Sunday, 29 April 2018, at San Diego's San Ysidro border crossing, the nation's busiest.

    Migrant shelters in Tijuana's Zona Norte neighborhood, home to the many of the city's seedy bars and bordellos, were full. That forced organizers to look elsewhere for temporary housing, said Leonard Olsen of Pueblos Sin Fronteras, a group leading the effort.

    Migrants who stayed overnight at a shelter in Mexicali were tired from the long journey and nervous about the possibility of being detained in the US but also knowledgeable about their rights to seek protection from persecution in their home countries, Olsen said. Many Central American asylum seekers say they face death threats by criminal gangs in their homelands.

  • 32. VIRick  |  April 27, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery Up-Date

    It will take three to five years and $1.2 billion to overhaul all of the territory’s main roads, but the first phase of that process will soon begin, backed by $530 million recently approved by a range of federal agencies, according to Gov. Kenneth Mapp.

    Note: Two of the four routes to my house are now open and functioning normally, while a third has been barricaded and deemed officially closed indefinitely, until whenever …. As for the fourth, the one-lane "abyss" still persists, with no effort being made to do anything whatsoever about it, other than for neighbors who threw assorted boards, rocks, lawn chairs, and other debris into the path of the missing lane as a warning to approaching drivers. Also, in case it is not abundantly clear, this dangerous one-lane "abyss" is located on Route 40, the busy cross-island roadway traversing along the Northside of the island. Several hundred feet of guard-rail, the entire retaining wall, and one lane of pavement have vanished down the mountainside. For want of alternatives, heavy vehicles continue to ply Route 40, further undermining the unstable remaining single lane.

    Per Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority:

    WAPA is rebuilding an electric system stronger than it has ever been. We are replacing wooden poles with more resilient composite poles which can withstand wind speeds of 200 miles per hour; more assets such as electrical feeders and distribution system components will be placed underground, and pole-mounted transformers will be replaced by ground-level pad-mounted transformers.

  • 33. VIRick  |  April 28, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    Judge Rules Trump Supporters Can Be Bounced Out of Bars for Being Deplorable

    It’s official. Bars can ask you to leave if you’re a Trump supporter. A Manhattan judge has ruled that there’s nothing ”outrageous” about bars giving Trump supporters the heave-ho. Here’s the thing. The law does not protect against political discrimination.

    So, next time you visit your favorite watering hole, you may want to leave your MAGA hat at home. Otherwise, your fellow patrons might decide your friendly neighborhood bar would be a lot friendlier with you on the other side of the door.

    Philadelphia accountant Phil Piatek found this out when he was bounced from his favorite watering hole for sporting a MAGA hat shortly after Trump took office. Piatek sued, claiming the ejection ”offended his sense of being American.” But only religious, and not political, beliefs are protected under state and city anti-discrimination laws So, until Trumpism is declared a religion, Piatek and his ilk are out of luck.

  • 34. allan120102  |  April 28, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    Good news from Hawaii

  • 35. VIRick  |  April 28, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    Hawaii: 12th State to Ban Gay "Conversion Therapy" for Minors

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On Friday, 27 April 2018, state lawmakers approved a ban on so-called gay "conversion therapy" treatments conducted on minors. Gay rights advocates say the practice, which is largely discredited by healthcare professionals, does more harm than good to those who are subjected to it.

    "This has been a priority of the caucus for years," said Michael Golojuch, chair of the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. "(The measure) ensures that LGQTB youth will not be tortured by mental health professionals."

    So far, California, Oregon, New Jersey, Illinois, DC, New York, Vermont, Nevada, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington State, and Maryland have already passed similar laws. Maryland passed the legislation banning the practice earlier this month (but apparently, the governor there has yet to sign it)..

  • 36. scream4ever  |  April 29, 2018 at 12:03 am

    New Hampshire will ban it as well as soon as the conference committee finalizes the language and sends the bill to the governor.

  • 37. VIRick  |  April 29, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    Say Goodbye to Utah’s Most Anti-LGBTQ Legislator

    In a true "Bye, Felicia" moment, starting next year, Republican state Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, won’t be walking the halls of Utah’s Capitol Hill, unless it’s as a visitor. On the first ballot of the 2018 Utah Republican Party State Nominating Convention, Rep. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, received 63 percent of the votes in his bid for the Utah Senate District 11 seat.

    That’s the same one, as an empty seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, for which Christensen was also running. For those who don’t remember, Christensen — who won his 2016 election by a razor-thin three-vote margin — in 2004, authored Utah’s now-overturned same-sex marriage ban, Utah's Amendment 3, one of the earliest of the state constitutional amendments to do so, and the same ban that was quite sensationally overturned in December 2013 in "Kitchen v. Herbert," the very beginning of the chain-reaction of federal court rulings overturning the same-sex marriage bans in one state after the other after the next, and one which, in the immediate aftermath of the court ruling, spurred a mad rush on the part of same-sex couples wishing to marry in the unlikeliest of states.

    In addition, in 2011, he dropped a trio of anti-gay bills that even his fellow conservatives couldn’t support, ones which would have prohibited same-sex couples from making contractual agreements, as well as exempting anyone from prosecution for discriminating against LGBTs on religious grounds.

    McCay, the Republican winner, will now face Democrat Christian Burridge in the general election in November.

  • 38. VIRick  |  April 29, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Idaho: First Native American Governor?

    In Idaho, any Democrat running is a long shot. But Paulette Jordan — who, if elected, would become the first Native American to serve as a governor anywhere in the USA — doesn’t mind the odds, and isn’t heeding calls to let an older, white, established candidate take her place.

    At 38, after serving just two terms as a state representative, Jordan is not a conventional gubernatorial candidate. Until she resigned to dedicate herself full-time to running for governor, she was the only left-leaning legislator from North Idaho to survive the 2016 Trump wave that took out even the most established Democrats in the area. She’s a progressive, but declines comparisons to Bernie Sanders; she’s a woman of color, running to become the US’s first Native American governor, in a state that is 82% white. In the Idaho house, she refused to toe the party line. She’s referred to state Rep. Heather Scott, a far-right legislator and favorite liberal enemy, as a friend.

    And while the bulk of the Idaho Democratic establishment has endorsed Jordan’s opponent, Boise school board member A.J. Balukoff, Jordan has earned the support of the progressive PAC Democracy for America, Planned Parenthood, Our Revolution, and was among the first five candidates endorsed on the national level by Indivisible.

    Her candidacy has come to symbolize the breadth of the post-Trump wave of candidates who are energizing Democrats on both the local and national levels. But ahead of the 15 May primary, she still needs to persuade Idaho Democrats — many of whom remain convinced of their party’s impotency and irrelevance across the state — that the person they choose to run in a long-shot race against Republicans actually matters.

  • 39. VIRick  |  April 30, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Wisconsin: New Transgender Medicaid Services Lawsuit Filed

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 30 April 2018, two transgender Wisconsin residents filed a lawsuit in federal court, "Flack v. Wisconsin Department of Health Services," challenging a Wisconsin state regulation that prohibits low-income Medicaid beneficiaries from obtaining medically-necessary treatments for gender dysphoria. The plaintiffs, Cody Flack of Green Bay, and Sara Makenzie of Baraboo, are represented by the National Health Law Program, the civil rights law firm of Relman, Dane & Colfax PLLC, and the Wisconsin law firm of McNally Peterson, S.C.

    The complaint is linked here:

    Think Progress has a fuller background report on the case here:

  • 40. VIRick  |  April 30, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Colorado: New Transgender Birth Certificate Lawsuit Filed

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 24 April 2018, a new lawsuit was filed in Colorado state court, "B.D. v. State of Colorado," challenging the state law requiring “that the sex of an individual born in this state has been changed by surgical procedure” before changing the gender marker on a transgender person’s birth certificate. Plaintiffs are a transgender minor, "B.D.," and his mother. They are represented by Emma Shinn of the Shinn Law Office and John McHugh of Reilly Pozner.

    The complaint is linked here:

  • 41. Elihu_Bystander  |  May 1, 2018 at 2:43 am

    Some legal thoughts on the Anglophone Caribbean countries and the British Anti-sodomy laws. I ran across this essay by Maurice Tomlinson. Maurice acts as counsel and/or claimant in cases challenging anti-gay laws before the most senior tribunals in the Caribbean.

    Please read and comment.

  • 42. VIRick  |  May 1, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    See extended comment in newer thread.

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