Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

Open thread and news round up 5/1

Community/Meta Transgender Rights

– Transgender Wisconsin residents filed a challenge to a Medicaid regulation barring beneficiaries from receiving necessary gender-related care.

– A lawsuit was filed in Colorado against its policy of requiring surgery before changing the gender marker on official documents.

We’ll have more if any news breaks.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  May 1, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    The British Eastern Caribbean and Their "Savings Law" Clauses

    The important points taken from Maurice Tomlinson's article in the New Ways Ministry (as noted by Elihu Bystander), with additional notes in parentheses, are:

    The Belize decision to strike down their anti-sodomy law is final. Period.

    And as for the Trinidad decision, LGBT people and allies across the region anticipated and are quite prepared for the matter to be appealed. This is because a first instance decision will have less persuasive value than one from an apex court. So, hopefully, this matter will quickly be taken up by Trinidad’s final appellate body, the UK Privy Council, which, coincidentally, is also the final court for several Caribbean countries with anti-sodomy laws, including Jamaica.

    In the Jamaican case of "Lambert Waton v. the Queen" [2004] UKPC, the Privy Council said that "savings law" clauses must be narrowly interpreted while constitutional rights must be liberally construed. There is therefore great anticipation that the Trinidad decision will accelerate the end of anti-sodomy laws in the nine other Anglophone Caribbean countries that still have them.

    (Note: Throughout the Anglophone Caribbean, within each ex-colony, the "savings law" clause only applied to the basic body of law transferred from the colonial era into the post-independence period. If any change were made to that basic law after independence, such change rendered the "savings law" notion inoperative for that portion of it. Twice since independence, Trinidad's Parliament increased the penalty for sodomy violations. Thus, from this aspect, dates become quite important, as it conclusively proves that the "savings law" clause for the Trinidad colonial-era anti-sodomy law is no longer operative. Trinidad became independent of Britain in 1962. Its 1976 Republic Constitution contained a Savings provision. However, since then, its parliament increased the maximum penalties for gay sex between consenting adults twice in the last 32 years, once in 1986 to 10 years imprisonment, and again in 2000, to 25 years.)

    As for Jamaica, it is a mistaken notion to believe that Jamaica’s 1864 anti-sodomy law is completely shielded by the "savings law" clause on the grounds that the statute was never changed (same point as above). One needs to appreciate that the 2012 Sexual Offences Act introduced a new requirement that persons convicted under the anti-sodomy law must now register as sex offenders. And in some jurisdictions courts have found that sex offender registration amounts to punishment, and therefore a change in the law. This would ostensibly make the "savings law" clause inoperative and open the Jamaica anti-sodomy law to constitutional review. (Bear in mind that Jamaica became independent of Britain in 1962, fifty years before the 2012 Sexual Offences Act became law.)

    (Further Note: Barbados became independent of Britain in 1966. Subsequently, its Parliament passed its own Sexual Offences Act of 1992, a law which further criminalizes consensual same-sex conduct, a fact which should also render the Barbados "savings law" clause inoperative as far as it pertains to its hold-over colonial-era anti-sodomy law.)

    (Additional further note: The highest court for Barbados is the Caribbean Court of Justice. However, for a few jurisdictions, like Trinidad, Jamaica, and the Bahamas, rather perversely, the highest court, one step beyond the Caribbean Court of Justice, is the antiquated, colonial-era hold-over of the UK Privy Council.)

  • 2. VIRick  |  May 1, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    South Africa: Call to Oust Anti-Gay Marriage Officers

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Cape Town – Gay rights organisations and some political parties are calling for an amendment to legislation allowing marriage officers at Home Affairs to refuse to officiate gay marriages. Of the 1131 marriage officers at Home Affairs offices, 421 were so far exempted from performing civil unions. Cope MP Deidre Carter said the issue came to their attention and they felt they needed to have it addressed.

    The party lodged a private members’ bill seeking to amend the Civil Union Act. The bill aims to repeal Section 6 of the Civil Union Act 17 of 2006, which allows a marriage officer in the employ of the state to inform the Minister of Home Affairs that he or she objects on the grounds of conscience, religion, and belief to solemnizing a civil union between people of the same sex, and to thus be exempted from officiating.

    Carter said same-sex couples seeking the services of a marriage office were being turned away from some Home Affairs offices, particularly in rural areas, as all the marriage officers at those offices had been exempted in terms of Section 6 of the Act from officiating. Carter also said that in the constitution, Chapter 10 states that public service must be provided “impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias." Clearly, it cannot be constitutionally acceptable or permissible that public servants can be exempted on any grounds from providing services to certain sectors of our society, in this instance for designated marriage officers to solemnize same-sex couple marriages.….

  • 3. VIRick  |  May 1, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    London: Led by Gorgeous, 1,000 Drag Queens to "Greet" Trump in Protest

    Apparently, The Queen won’t the only "queen" greeting Trump when he visits the UK this July. A thousand people have signed onto an invitation for a drag-queen protest to greet the Assh-Ole-in-Charge in London on 13 July.

    Manchester drag performer, Cheddar Gorgeous, and four other performers have issued the call to all drag kings, queens, queers, and our allies. “Due to the appalling way the Trump administration has regarded the rights and welfare of the LGBTQI communities in the US, the idea of a Trump visit to the UK is unacceptable,” the invitation says. “Let’s get visible, stand with our sisters, brothers, and others in America.”

    Gorgeous also spread the word through a 30 April guest column in the "Guardian" newspaper. She and her group — Violet Blonde, Liquorice Black, Anna Phylactic, and Jonny Banks — are making plans to meet in a central location in London and join the main protest against Trump.

    In an interview with the British site "Gay Star News," Cheddar cited Trump’s attacks against transgender people in the US military and his removal of protections for transgender students. “There’s also a broad issue around visibility,” Cheddar says. “There’s an even wider point to be made about an attack on diversity. Diversity is becoming a scapegoat by the Trump administration and the people who support it” (that is, who support the administration, not the creature).

  • 4. VIRick  |  May 1, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Chile: New Government Administration to Honor CIDH Accord

    Per LGBT Marriage News and Rex Wockner:

    In Chile, the new Government administration of Sebastián Piñera has agreed to abide by the previous agreement with the LGBT activist organization, Movilh, and the CIDH (IACHR) to implement marriage equality, gay adoption, anti-discrimination laws, modern gender-identity policies and trans rights legislation, repeal of anti-gay laws and its related policies in education and health care.

    Gobierno mantendrá acuerdo pro derechos LGBTI que el Estado firmó con Movilh ante la CIDH. En reunión sostenida en el Observatorio de Participación Ciudadana y no Discriminación del Gobierno, la vocera de Gobierno Cecilia Pérez resaltó que es de interés del Presidente la República, Sebastián Piñera, dar continuidad al Acuerdo de Solución Amistosa (ASA) de manera que los compromisos asumidos por Chile sean cumplidos.

    Government will maintain the agreement for LGBTI rights that the State signed with Movilh before the IACHR. In a meeting held at the Observatory of Citizen Participation and Non-Discrimination of the Government, Government spokesperson Cecilia Pérez stressed that it is in the interest of the President of the Republic, Sebastián Piñera, to give continuity to the Friendly Settlement Agreement (ASA) so that the commitments assumed by Chile be completed.

  • 5. scream4ever  |  May 1, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    Great news!!!

  • 6. VIRick  |  May 1, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Kenya: Atheist Group Proposes Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Atheists In Kenya (AIK) want legalization of same-sex marriages to be among the proposed changes in the constitution being pushed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nasa leader Raila Odinga. In backing the calls for a constitutional referendum, AIK wants Article 45 (2) of the constitution changed for “marriage to be between any two consenting adults irrespective of sexual orientation.”

    “We also ask parliament to review the Penal Code and expunge sections that criminalized homosexual behavior, in particular Sections 162, 163, and 165 of the Penal Code. If need be, we will challenge the penal code in court,” AIK vice president Daisy Siongok said in a statement.

  • 7. VIRick  |  May 1, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Nicaragua and Its Total Silence on Marriage Equality

    Here's why we have not heard a single word about the subject of marriage equality emanating from the present-day government in Nicaragua, as other divisive, rancorous issues command center-stage there, and threaten to tear the country apart once again:

  • 8. VIRick  |  May 2, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Cook Islands: New Crimes Bill to Repeal Sodomy Law Delayed

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    A snap election has delayed passage of the new Cook Islands Crimes Bill 2017, which would repeal the current sodomy law, the Cook Islands Crimes Act 1969. Public consultations will resume after the election on 4 June 2018.

    Note: The Cook Islands are a part of New Zealand, but New Zealand law only applies to New Zealand itself, not to its several outlying territories. New Zealand's two other territories, Niue and Tokelau, do not criminalize homosexuality.

  • 9. VIRick  |  May 2, 2018 at 10:37 am

    India: Supreme Court Issues Notice to Government to Explain Stance on Sodomy Law Case

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On Tuesday, 1 May 2018, the Supreme Court said that India’s government must explain its stand on consensual sexual relations between same-sex adults, setting a July deadline for a response. The court had heard petitions demanding the abolition of Section 377, a colonial-era law that prohibits “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman, or animal,” widely interpreted to refer to homosexual sex.

    The court’s notice to the government “is a watershed in the whole fight against Section 377,” said petitioner Ashok Row Kavi, chairperson of Humsafar Trust, a charity that works with India’s LGBT community. “The government will have to decide whether this colonial law should still stand relevant in a country that has its own constitution that protects the fundamental rights of its citizens,” he told Reuters.

    Those who submitted petitions to the court in the past couple months said they were living in constant fear of police due to their sexual orientation, and argued that the ban was unconstitutional. Among the petitions the judges considered on 1 May was that of Arif Jafar, who was arrested under Section 377 in 2001 and was released after 49 days. His case is still pending. Although the law banning homosexuality is rarely enforced in India, it is used to intimidate, harass, blackmail, and extort money from gay people, activists say.

  • 10. SethInMaryland  |  May 2, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    I wonder what the government will do? I heard the president is aiming to give India a moderate in front of other nations

  • 11. VIRick  |  May 2, 2018 at 11:02 am

    San Francisco Approves Gay, Leather Cultural District

    San Francisco has designated a gay and leather cultural district in the city’s South of Market neighborhood, following a unanimous vote on Tuesday, 1 May 2018. The neighborhood, which is already home to many gay businesses and the world famous leather festival, the Folsom Street Fair, has faced increasing rent prices from recent gentrification. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to preserve the neighborhood’s history from the ’70s and ’80s, a stark contrast to the technology business hub it has become.

    “It was a lot easier to run into people on the street, if you will, and it had sort of a neighborhood feel even though not a lot of people lived in the area,” Bob Goldfarb, chairman of a community group that supported the resolution, told the Associated Press. “This is an opportunity for us to revitalize the area.”

  • 12. VIRick  |  May 2, 2018 at 11:10 am

    DOJ Appeals Order Extending Injunction on Trans Military Ban

    In "Karnoski v. Trump," the US Justice Department has a filed an appeal on a court order extending an injunction against Trump’s transgender military ban, as the lawsuit against the policy goes to trial. The three-page notice, filed on Monday, 30 April 20118, indicates the Trump administration has appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals the order issued by District Judge Marsha Pechman on 13 April 2018.

    Pechman’s order moved the case against the ban to trial, extended a preliminary injunction against the policy, found the transgender military ban should be subject to strict scrutiny, and determined that the US military must demonstrate a compelling need to have the ban in order for it to survive judicial review.

    The notice of appeal provides no explanation for the action by the Justice Department.

  • 13. VIRick  |  May 2, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Canada: Equalized Federal Anal Sex Bill Introduced

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The federal government has introduced a bill to finally strike the anal sex law from the Criminal Code and equalizes the age of consent; but LGBT activists say it leaves other problematic provisions intact in that it will not change the Harper-era sex work regime, won’t criminalize the mutilation of intersex children, nor will it repeal “bawdy house” laws nor obscenity laws, which disproportionately affect queer and trans people.

    Instead, the Anal Sex Bill would change the Criminal Code so that anal sex and vaginal sex are treated the same. Currently, under Section 159 of the Criminal Code, there is a different age of consent for anal sex compared to vaginal intercourse, and it is a crime to have anal sex if more than two people are present. Courts in five provinces have struck the section down as unconstitutional, but charges continue to be brought under it across Canada. Activists have called for its repeal for decades.

  • 14. VIRick  |  May 2, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Chile: Another Ugly Murder Spurs Need to Pass Bills on LGBT Rights

    La violación y asesinato de Ámbar, una niña de 20 meses, por parte de la pareja de una tía que tenía su custodia legal, ha conmocionado a la sociedad chilena y avivado el debate sobre la pena de muerte y la discriminación ya que la niña pudo haber estado en la custodia de su tío, a quien se le negó esta posibilidad por ser gay.

    La tía biológica de la menor, que tenía la custodia, llevó a la pequeña el sábado por la noche a un centro médico para ser atendida por los golpes provocados, supuestamente, por una caída de la cama. El equipo médico que la atendió en el Hospital San Camilo de la localidad cordillerana de Los Andes (70 km al norte de Santiago) concluyó que las lesiones que presentaba la pequeña se debían a una brutal agresión sexual y golpes. Así lo ha denunciado otro tío de la niña, Ignacio Páez, que en su momento había luchado por conseguir la custodia de las dos hermanas. El tío de la niña está además convencido de que fue discriminado por su orientación sexual, ya que el Tribunal de Familia de Los Andes que entregó la custodia a su hermana le preguntó expresamente por ello. "Me hicieron discriminación, me tiraron a un lado por mi preferencia sexual (…) Ellos me preguntaron antes de la audiencia si era homosexual y yo dije que 'Sí.' Dijeron que no había problema y después me salen con esto," añadía Páez, que seguirá luchando por la custodia de la hermana de Ámbar.

    El MOVILH ha solicitado ya a la Subsecretaria de Derechos Humanos, Lorena Recabarren, que se investigue la denuncia de Ignacio Páez, que considera "gravísima." "De ser efectiva implicaría que el proceso por la custodia además de cometer el fatal error de entregar la crianza a un hogar donde la niña corría peligro, fue apartada de un familiar que le pudo entregar amor y protección solo en virtud de prejuicios que, en este caso, vulneran derechos humanos básicos, así como el interés superior del niño," expresa este colectivo en una carta dirigida a Recabarren.

    (to continue in English)

  • 15. VIRick  |  May 2, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    (Chile: continued)

    The rape and murder of Amber, a 20-month-old girl, by the husband of an aunt who had legal custody, has shocked Chilean society and stoked the debate over the death penalty and discrimination, since the girl could have been in the custody of her other uncle who was denied this possibility because he was gay.

    The custodial aunt of the minor took the child on Saturday night to a medical center to be treated for the blows, allegedly caused by a fall from bed. The medical team that attended her at the San Camilo Hospital in the cordillera town of Los Andes (70 km north of Santiago) concluded that the child's lesions were due to a brutal sexual assault and beatings. The murder has been denounced by the other uncle of the girl, Ignacio Páez, who at the time had fought to obtain custody of the child and her sister. He is also convinced that he was discriminated against because of his sexual orientation, since the Family Court of Los Andes that gave custody to his sister asked him expressly about it. "They discriminated against me, they threw me aside because of my sexual preference (…) They asked me before the hearing if I was homosexual and I said 'Yes.' They said there was no problem and then they got away with this," added Páez, who will continue fighting for the custody of Amber's sister.

    MOVILH has already requested the Undersecretary of Human Rights, Lorena Recabarren, to investigate the complaint of Ignacio Páez, which they consider "very serious." As expressed in their letter addressed to Recabarren: "Had it been effective, it would have meant that the custody process, rather than committing the fatal error of delivering the child to a home where the child was in danger, could have placed it with a family member who could deliver love and protection, except for the prejudice, which in this case, violated basic human rights, as well as the best interests of the child."

    This Chilean murder case is already having widespread repercussions. Notice that my own news source for it is Blog de Lima Gay, which is Peruvian.

  • 16. VIRick  |  May 2, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    New York State Assembly Passes Bill to Ban "Conversion Therapy"

    LGBT Marriage News‏

    On 30 April 2018, the New York State Assembly passed a bill to ban "conversion therapy" by a vote of 116-19, after which it was then delivered to the New York Senate. The year before, on 28 March 2017, the same bill was passed in the State Assembly by a vote of 121-24. That earlier attempt was then subsequently killed in the Senate.

    The bill designates as professional misconduct, engaging in sexual orientation change efforts by mental health care professionals upon patients under 18 years of age.

    Up-dated summary: So far, California, Oregon, New Jersey, Illinois, DC, Vermont, Nevada, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington State, Maryland, and Hawaii have already passed similar laws. The latter two passed the legislation banning the practice in April, with both bills now awaiting the respective governor's signature. Similar bills banning "conversion therapy" for minors are in legislative process in New Hampshire (in conference committee) and in New York State (in the Senate).

    In a previous summary, it should have stated that the practice is already banned in New York City, not the entire state.

  • 17. VIRick  |  May 2, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Colombia: New Self-Determining Gender Identity Procedure for Minors

    Per Noticias Caracol‏ de Cartagena:

    Superintendencia de Notariado y Registro reglamentó el cambio de sexo en el documento de identidad para menores de edad (según el fallo de la Corte Constitucional de Colombia desde marzo de 2018).

    The Superintendence of Notaries and Registration has issued the procedure for minors (who wish to make) the change of sex on their identity document (as per the ruling of Colombia's Constitutional Court from March 2018).

  • 18. VIRick  |  May 2, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    Costa Rica: New Legislative Assembly Members Take Their Seats

    Per Andrés Duque:

    The new Legislative Assembly, including the first elected out congressman in Costa Rica, Enrique Sánchez, PAC, took possession of their seats on 1 May 2018.

    Per Enrique Sánchez:

    Soy Enrique Sánchez y hoy, 1º de mayo de 2018, inicio una etapa de mi vida que requerirá de mucho trabajo y compromiso. Hoy me convierto en Diputado de la República de Costa Rica.

    I am Enrique Sánchez and today, 1 May 2018, I begin a stage of my life that will require a lot of work and commitment. Today, I became a Deputy of the Republic of Costa Rica.

    Per Ana Helena Chacón, Vicepresidenta de la República de Costa Rica:

    Impulsamos la defensa de los derechos de la comunidad LGTBI con el acceso al seguro y pensiones con el reconocimiento del vínculo de las parejas. Se declaró a todas las instituciones públicas libres de discriminación.

    We promote the defense of the rights of the LGTBI community to access insurance and pensions through the recognition of the bond between couples. All public institutions have been declared free of discrimination.

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Two young women will lead Congress, as 35-year-old Carolina Hidalgo Herrera, PAC, was elected president of the Legislative Assembly; 34-year-old, Maria Ines Solis Quiros, PUSC, will be vice-president. Hidalgo is totally in favor of same-sex marriage and the need to legalize abortion.

  • 19. scream4ever  |  May 2, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    "Via press release from Freedom For All Americans:

    In a legislative victory two years in the making, the New Hampshire Senate, by a bipartisan vote of 14-10, voted in favor of a bill, HB 1319, that adds transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination protections to the state’s existing civil rights law. The bill now heads to the desk of Republican Governor Chris Sununu, who confirmed almost immediately through a spokesperson to reporters that he will sign.

    With this historic vote – and previous passage through the Republican-led House earlier this month – the Granite State will soon become the 19th in country to enact statewide comprehensive nondiscrimination protections in housing, employment, and public accommodations for all LGBTQ people, should Governor Sununu sign. As a result, New Hampshire becomes the first state since 2016 with a proactive victory on LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections."

  • 20. VIRick  |  May 3, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    Kenyan Author to Marry Nigerian Partner in South Africa

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Award-winning author Binyavanga Wainaina has said that he will marry his unnamed boyfriend, a Nigerian, early next year. Wainaina and his Nigerian boyfriend have been together for five years, and are planning to marry in South Africa, a country that has legalized same-sex marriage.

    This article, a Nigerian source, has been heavily edited to remove the homophobic content.

  • 21. VIRick  |  May 3, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    Mexico: Up-Coming Gay Pride/Sexual Diversity Marches

    Per Ricardo Baruch:

    Anuncian las marchas del orgullo y la diversidad sexual en Saltillo, Monterrey y Ecatepec, como lo seguinte:

    Gay Pride and Sexual Diversity marches are announced for Saltillo, Monterrey, and Ecatepec, as follows:

    19 May at 1 PM in Ecatepec, Edomex (Saliendo frente a la Costeña y llegando a la Explanada Municipal)

    09 June at 5 PM in Saltillo, Coahuila (Punto de reunión Explanada del TEC, llegada Plaza de Armas)

    23 June at 6 PM in Monterrey, Nuevo León (Estación del Metro General Anaya)

    Note: Ecatepec, with a population of 1.6 million, the most populous municipality in Edomex, is also Mexico's most populous urban-sprawl commuter suburb, and directly abuts the Federal District on its northern point. The "B" Line of Mexico City's Metro serves Ecatepec with 5 stations. Ecatepec, along with the more up-scale municipalities of Tlalnepantla (pop. 700,000), Coacalco (pop. 300,000), Atizapán (pop. 500,000), and Naucalpan (Ciudad Satélite) (pop. 850,000) to its west, and the down-scale Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl (Neza) (pop. 1.1 million) to its east, are the epitome of the DF population spill-over into Edomex.

  • 22. VIRick  |  May 4, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Kansas Governor to Sign Anti-LGBT "Religious Freedom" Adoption Placement Bill

    In a late night move, Kansas legislators passed a bill that would allow adoption agencies to discriminate against gay or lesbian couples, saying it “protects” the “sincerely-held religious beliefs” of the agency. The state Senate passed the bill around 2 AM this morning, 4 May 2018, with a 24-15 vote. The House had passed it last night, 3 May 2018, in a 63-58 vote.

    Governor Jeff Colyer has said he will sign it into law despite outcry from businesses, activists, and child care specialists. Colyer became governor after Trump tapped former Governor Sam Brownback to lead the Office of International Religious Freedom at the State Department.

    The discriminating adoption measure has been pushed primarily by Catholic adoption agencies who don’t want to place children in homes with gay or lesbian parents. The best interest of the child would be abandoned on the altar of religious dogma.

    A similar bill has passed both chambers of the Oklahoma state legislature and is awaiting Governor Mary Fallin’s signature. Unlike Colyer, she has not indicated whether or not she will sign it.

  • 23. VIRick  |  May 4, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Ireland: Gay "Conversion Therapy" Ban Advances in Parliament

    Senator Fintan Warfield, who is spokesperson on LGBTQI rights for Irish republican party Sinn Féin, has introduced the Prohibition of Conversion Therapies Bill 2018, that would make attempts to perform gay "cure therapy" illegal in Ireland. The bill went before the Seanad in the Irish Parliament for its second reading today, 4 May 2018, securing passage after the government confirmed it would not oppose the legislation. 20 senators co-signed the bill, including senators from Sinn Féin, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, the Labour Party, the Green Party, and Independents.

    Senator Warfield noted: “If enacted untouched, this ban would be the most comprehensive prohibition of conversion therapy in the world. It will prohibit conversion therapy as a deceptive and harmful act or practice against a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. We define ‘conversion therapy'” as meaning any practice or treatment by a person who seeks to change, suppress, or eliminate sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression."

    "If enacted, the Bill would make it unlawful for any person to perform, offer to perform, or advertise conversion therapy, or to remove someone from the State for the purpose of conversion therapy. It also creates further offences that can only be committed by a professional, including referring a person to any other person to perform conversion therapy.”

  • 24. VIRick  |  May 4, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Cuba: Possible/Likely Constitutional Change toward Marriage Equality

    Per On Cuba Magazine:

    Mariela Castro Espin, diputada e hija del ex presidente Raúl Castro, aprovechará la reforma de la Constitución del próximo julio para promover el matrimonio igualitario y que se modifiquen los Códigos de Familia y Penal.

    Los activistas esperan retirar de la Constitución que el matrimonio sea entre un hombre y una mujer – lo que impide las uniones entre personas del mismo sexo – e impulsar las modificaciones a los Códigos de Familia y Penal con el objetivo de lograr sanciones apropiadas para los delitos de violencia de género y homofobia, entre otros.

    Mariela Castro Espin, deputy and daughter of former President Raúl Castro, will take advantage of the constitutional reform (process) this July to promote marriage equality and to amend the Family and Criminal Codes.

    Activists hope to remove from the Constitution that marriage be between a man and a woman – which prevents same-sex unions – and push for changes to the Family and Criminal Codes in order to achieve appropriate sanctions for crimes of gender violence and homophobia, among others.

    Note: On Cuba Magazine is a pro-government publication from Cuba, heralding what could prove to be a significant shift in the official Cuban government stance toward marriage equality. With Fidel dead, and Raúl retired, Mariela is the last remaining Castro of significance within the Cuban government.

    For a rather similar report, from the Spanish-language version of the "Miami Herald:"

    Cuba: Hija de Raúl Castro Impulsa el Matrimonio Gay

    Mariela Castro, diputada e hija del expresidente cubano Raúl Castro, aprovechará el inicio del proceso de reforma de la constitución previsto para julio para impulsar el matrimonio igualitario y modificar los Códigos de Familia y Penal.

    Cuba: Daughter of Raúl Castro Promotes Gay Marriage

    Mariela Castro, deputy and daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro, will take advantage of the beginning of the constitutional reform process scheduled for July to promote marriage equality and modify the Family and Criminal Codes.

  • 25. allan120102  |  May 5, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    The new president of Cuba is really lgbt friendly and with her actions Cuba might join all marriage equality countries really soon. We will see if she can convince legislators to do it. As we have seen poll after poll in Cuba shows a plurality or majority in favor of ssm. With Cuba joining and with PR also having ssm that might push Dominican Republic to abide by the ich ruling.

  • 26. ianbirmingham  |  May 5, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    40% of US Mormons supported gay marriage in 2017, up from 27% in 2014. Among Mormons 18-29, acceptance is 52 per cent…

  • 27. VIRick  |  May 6, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Valparaíso, Chile: Referendum on Marriage Equality

    Per Fundación Iguales‏ de Chile:

    El 10 y 11 de mayo 2018, entre 10:30 y 19:00 horas, realizaremos un referéndum porteño por el matrimonio igualitario, porque queremos conocer tu opinión respecto a esto. ¡Participa y haz que tu voz se escuche! (en Plaza Victoria o Edificio Consistorial de la Municipalidad de Valparaíso, Condell 1490).

    On 10-11 May 2018, between 10:30 AM and 7:00 PM, we will hold a referendum (in the Municipality of Valparaíso) on marriage equality, because we want to know your opinion about this. Participate and make your voice be heard!

  • 28. VIRick  |  May 6, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    Chilean Constitutional Court: Abortion for 3 Causes Is Constitutional

    Per Geraldina González de la Vega:

    In its landmark 2017 abortion decision in Chile, the Constitutional Court of Chile, in a 294-page ruling, upheld the constitutionality of new government legislation that would remove the criminal prohibition on procuring an abortion on three grounds: when there is imminent risk to the life of the mother, in case of fatal fetal disease, and in cases of rape. It also made important revisions to the law, extending conscientious objection beyond “professional” participants, and allowing conscientious objection to be invoked by institutions.

    Remember, in Chile, the Constitutional Court must rule on the constitutionality of pending legislation prior to its final enactment. This is the third of three rulings on pending social reform matters: Marriage Equality, gender identity, and abortion for 3 causes, all three of which have now been ruled constitutional, but only the first two of which are inclusive within the CIDH accord.

  • 29. ianbirmingham  |  May 6, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Transphobia in FL Governor's race @ Republican candidate forum

  • 30. VIRick  |  May 6, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Cali, Colombia: New LGBTI Television Series Programming

    Hoy, 6 de mayo 2018, a las 10:00 PM, llega a Telepacífico TV de Cali (Canal Regional de Televisión Pública del Pacífico Colombiano) la primera serie que desde la televisión regional, relata historias de vida de la comunidad LGBTI en un lenguaje de alta calidad. El nombre del programa es LABELS. Nos comencemos con Jacobo y Andrés.

    Today, 6 May 2018, at 10:00 PM, Telepacífico TV of Cali presents the first series from regional television relating life stories from the LGBTI community in a high-quality format. The name of the program is LABELS. Let's start with Jacobo and Andrés.

    From the clips, this new series appears to be quite revolutionary and very well done, and appears to have been shown nationwide, as there are also reviews from Canal Telecaribe de Barranquilla, from Canal TRO de Santander, as well as from the Autoridad Nacional de Televisión de Colombia.

  • 31. VIRick  |  May 7, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Federal Suit to Compel the VA to Cover Transition-Related Surgery for Veterans

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 3 May 2018, in "Fulcher v. Secretary of Veterans Affairs," a petition seeking to compel the VA to engage in rulemaking to amend regulations that categorically deny transition-related surgery for veterans, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit heard oral argument. Today, 7 May 2018, the Court requested supplemental briefing and, if available, additional evidence to "provide additional explanations" on three topics:

    (i) whether consideration of the petition has been suspended pending an appropriation or for some other reason, and if not, what steps the Department has taken to consider the petition in the year and a half since the November 2016 letters were sent;
    (ii) what explains the pace of any consideration there has been; and
    (iii) what if any steps to address the petition the Secretary currently contemplates and on what schedule, as well as the reasons for any contemplated steps and schedule.

    The Secretary's brief is due by 9 July. Petitioners may respond by 8 August. Today's order is here:

  • 32. VIRick  |  May 7, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Del Rio, Texas, Just Elected Gay Mayor Who Marched in Heels for Veterans' Day Parade

    Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano, 35, is a US Air Force veteran who is now the mayor-elect of Del Rio, the county seat of Val Verde County, a town of 41,000 in southwestern Texas situated directly on the border with Mexico, immediately opposite Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, and near Laughlin AFB. The unofficial election results from this past weekend's election show that about 3500 people voted. 65% of those votes went to Lozano over incumbent Robert Garza.

    Lozano’s campaign focused on modernization of infrastructure and bringing tourism back to the town, which he said has dropped off because of the Mexican border’s unfair reputation as being "unsafe." His sexual orientation, according to the San Antonio LGBTQ publication, "Out in SA," did not play a large role in the campaign.

    Lozano served in the Air Force under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and he talked about how he was forced back into the closet. “Stonewall happened because drag queens and a minority group stood up to animosity, and I had to go back in the closet because of that same hatred. I know what that was like, and it translates to today’s campaign. I’m not going to bow down. I am who I am. Accept me or not.”

    One can read more background info on Lozano here:

  • 33. VIRick  |  May 7, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    DC: "Ex-Gays" Humiliated When No One Showed Up for Their Big Rally

    Ex-LGBTQ activists held a rally (if one can call it that, as it more resembled a very small fundamentalist Christian non-event) this past weekend in Washington, DC, which was attended by all of 36 people. The “Freedom March,” organized by Voice of the Voiceless, was held on Saturday, 5 May 2018, at the National Sylvan Theater. Voice of the Voiceless is an ex-LGBTQ group that has advocated for conversion therapy on college campuses.

    According to them, the Freedom March was “an opportunity for those of us who have a new life with Jesus to come together in fellowship and praise Him for the love and grace available to everyone who seeks it [and] to testify publicly of the life-changing grace available to leave the LGBT identity for something greater,” said Daren Mehl, president of Voice of the Voiceless.

    The rally had several speakers (but no audience), including ex-transgender activist Jeffrey McCall, the nut-job Pulse shooting survivor Luis Ruiz, and “Activist Mommy” Elizabeth Johnston, who claims that schools are forcing kids to learn how to have anal sex.

    Groups like Voice for the Voiceless portray conversion therapy as a science-based endeavor and not primarily religious. However, when the "rally" turned into a "march" (of sorts, given the meager attendance) from the National Mall to the White House, the rhetoric became exclusively Christian and the participants broke out in Christian song.

  • 34. VIRick  |  May 7, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Paraguay: Upcoming LGBT Visibility Festival

    Per SOMOSGAY:‏

    Vení con tu familia, amigos y amigas a celebrar el amor en el Festival Besatón 2018 por la igualdad de derechos en Paraguay. El 17 de mayo desde las 17hs en la Plaza de Armas frente al Congreso Nacional. Artistas en vivo.

    Come with your family and friends to celebrate love at the 2018 Festival Besatón for equal rights in Paraguay. On 17 May from 5 pm on the Plaza de Armas in front of the National Congress. Live artists. For more info (in Spanish) see:

Having technical problems? Visit our support page to report an issue!