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BREAKING: Supreme Court rules in favor of baker who discriminated against same-sex couple Updated 6/7


The Supreme Court just ruled in favor of the baker in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, holding that the Commission was too hostile to his religion.

Justice Kennedy wrote the decision, which was joined by Justices Breyer, Alito, Kagan, and Gorsuch, along with Chief Justice Roberts. Justices Thomas and Gorsuch wrote concurring opinions. Justice Ginsburg dissented with Justice Sotomayor.

The Court didn’t decide whether bakers are totally exempt from anti-discrimination laws. Instead the decision appears to narrowly be based on “hostility” to religion:

The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.

We will have more.

UPDATE 6/7: A court in Arizona today relied on the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision to rule that a business could not discriminate against LGBT people. It’s the first decision to rely on the Supreme Court’s ruling.


  • 1. guitaristbl  |  June 4, 2018 at 10:40 am

    It was to be expected but not a 7-2 for sure. It opens the door wide open regardless of what Kennedy said and with more conservatives on court coming, I cannot see how a gay person can now bring a successful discrimination claim. A truly sad day.

  • 2. guitaristbl  |  June 4, 2018 at 10:50 am

    "The Court’s precedents make clear that the baker, in his capacity as the owner of a business serving the public, might have his right to the free exercise of religion limited by generally applicable laws. Still, the delicate question of when the free exercise of his religion must yield to an otherwise valid exercise of state power needed to be determined in an adjudication in which religious hostility on the part of the State itself would not be a factor in the balance the State sought to reach. That requirement, however, was not met here. When the Colorado Civil Rights Commission considered this case, it did not do so with the religious neutrality that the Constitution requires.
    Given all these considerations, it is proper to hold that whatever the outcome of some future controversy involving facts similar to these, the Commission’s actions here violated the Free Exercise Clause; and its order must be set aside."

    How can any discrimination complain survive this "religious hostility" standard ? Gay person is discriminated against and commission calls spade a spade – gay person was discriminated against based on the seller's religious beliefs. If this is the "religious hostility" standard indeed all anti-discrimination laws are practically null and void. How can they be enforced now ?

    "The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market."

    Oh great so helpful..So what constitutes a "disrespect" towards religious beliefs and what "neutral consideration" then ? How can a complaint that addresses the refusal of service to someone based on their sexual orientation be treated and have that person find justice in court now with the standard set ? This ruling is much worse than media try to make it..The standards set are insurmountable.

  • 3. guitaristbl  |  June 4, 2018 at 11:07 am

    "Since the State itself did not allow those marriages to be performed in Colorado, there is some force to the argument that the baker was not unreasonable in deeming it lawful to decline to take an action that he understood to be an expression of support for their validity when that expression was contrary to his sincerely held religious beliefs, at least insofar as his refusal was limited to refusing to create and express a message in support of gay marriage, even one planned to take place in another State."

    Nonsense in the first line – like he would have not refused in Colorado had legalized marriage equality back then. And the Kennedy simply winks at a vague standard of "artistic expression" as a gaping hole in anti-discrimination laws. Bullshit.

    "A few moments later, the commissioner restated the same position: “[I]f a businessman wants to do business in the state and he’s got an issue with the — the law’s impacting his personal belief system, he needs to look at being able to compromise.” Standing alone, these statements are susceptible of different interpretations. On the one hand, they might mean simply that a business cannot refuse to provide services based on sexual orientation, regardless of the proprietor’s personal views. On the other hand, they might be seen as inappropriate and dismissive comments showing lack of due consideration for Phillips’ free exercise rights and the dilemma he faced. In view of the comments that followed, the latter seems the more likely."

    Says who ? The commisioner said what is self-evident, that doing business means not discriminating against gay couples.

    What is this baker subject to after this ruling ? Can he go back to refusing to serve people based on their sexual orientation ? And EVERY other homophobic baker can easily demand to be held to the same protections this man is. Can a gay couple bring a new complain against him but then the commision must be "nice to him" ? Can it rule against him in any possible legal way ? The answers are obvious to all those things I am afraid.

  • 4. FredDorner  |  June 4, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Actually the ruling repeatedly affirms public accommodation laws both in general and for the particular law and type of case in question. The main issue for the court seems to be the (appropriately) derogatory treatment of Phillip's bigoted superstitions by one of the civil rights commissioners. Apparently they're supposed to treat nutty and bigoted superstitions with the impartiality that the rest of our court system would. So if this identical case were before the civil rights commission and they once again ruled unanimously against him by saying (per SCOTUS) that "a business cannot refuse to provide services based on sexual orientation regardless of the proprietor’s personal views", then the ruling would stand as long as they made no derogatory comments about his bigoted superstitions.

    But there are several problematic aspects, not the least of which is how the court equated this denial of service to a denial due to an offensive message. Either this opens the door to Dixie Swastikas being printed by Walmart, or it becomes a lot more difficult for a civil rights commission to distinguish unlawful bigotry from a legitimate business interest. SCOTUS was concerned about the state substituting its own moral assessment for that of the business'…..but on some level isn't that necessary when adjudicating these disputes?

  • 5. guitaristbl  |  June 4, 2018 at 11:21 am

    How can treatment of bigotry "impartially" lead to the vindication of any complaint ?

    We have such an important civil rights decision decided on whether the commision was mean to poor bigoted baker ? Then remand to the commission and have them reach the same conclusion without the "mean words" according to the majority. Now Phillips and his ilk are free roaming to discriminate ! Let alone the protection provided to delivering anti-gay messages.

  • 6. guitaristbl  |  June 4, 2018 at 11:25 am

    They made it clear that there is actually no distinction, exactly as you describe it :

    "A principled rationale for the difference in treatment of
    these two instances cannot be based on the government’s
    own assessment of offensiveness."

    It is subjective whether a message of a wedding (love) is equated and considered equally deplorable to a message calling gay people lesser than and attacking them now apparently. So, by extending the standard set here black baker bakes white supermacist cake because..race protections apparently ? The ruling makes it clear : either anti-discrimination laws that protect homophobic messages or no anti-discrimination laws at all. And that extends to messages beyond homophobia.

  • 7. FredDorner  |  June 4, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    My problem with the court's simplistic equivocation here is that it's inconsistent with longstanding evaluations of defenses against civil rights claims, and it muddies the water by implying that one religious claim is as good as the next. Perhaps that's true from the standard that the state cannot take a position on religious issues, but on many of these issues it's a matter of objective harm to the reputation of a business. So there is an objective standard that can be used.

  • 8. guitaristbl  |  June 4, 2018 at 11:18 am

    And the insanity continues :

    "The treatment of the conscience-based objections at
    issue in these three cases contrasts with the Commission’s
    treatment of Phillips’ objection. The Commission ruled
    against Phillips in part on the theory that any message
    the requested wedding cake would carry would be attributed
    to the customer, not to the baker. Yet the Division
    did not address this point in any of the other cases
    with respect to the cakes depicting anti-gay marriage
    symbolism. Additionally, the Division found no violation
    of CADA in the other cases in part because each bakery
    was willing to sell other products, including those depicting
    Christian themes, to the prospective customers. But
    the Commission dismissed Phillips’ willingness to sell
    “birthday cakes, shower cakes, [and] cookies and brownies,”
    App. 152, to gay and lesbian customers as irrelevant.
    The treatment of the other cases and Phillips’ case could
    reasonably be interpreted as being inconsistent as to the
    question of whether speech is involved, quite apart from
    whether the cases should ultimately be distinguished. In
    short, the Commission’s consideration of Phillips’ religious
    objection did not accord with its treatment of these other objections."

    HOW are they comparable ? Has Phillips agreed to bake cakes with the rainbow flag on them – a symbol of the LGBT community ? Because this is comparable to accepting to bake cakes with christian themes – not birthday cakes that are totally irrelevant to LGBT people ! Moreover a wedding cake is attributed to the customer because it is part of the WEDDING of that customer – an actual ceremony involving the customer – HOW is the anti-gay cake attributed to the customer in a similar way ? What is a cake showing animus celebrating ? Despicable logic – or lack of rather. Not only we have effectively legalized discrimination nationwide but we have coercion now to bake cakes with hate speech on them. It gets worse and worse…

    "The Constitution “commits government itself to religious
    tolerance, and upon even slight suspicion that proposals
    for state intervention stem from animosity to religion or
    distrust of its practices, all officials must pause to remember
    their own high duty to the Constitution and to the
    rights it secures.”

    How can any anti-discrimination law protecting LGBT people survive that standard of "animosity towards religion" repeated here in the boldest terms ? The ruling makes it clear in my view : the complain itself is showing "animus towards religion".

  • 9. Zack12  |  June 6, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    I know some folks are downplaying this but I simply don't see how any anti-LGBT discrimination laws can survive if the people who refuse to follow them claim it's art etc.

  • 10. guitaristbl  |  June 7, 2018 at 2:30 am

    Thank you.

    I was getting very frustrated with all the positivity towards this ruling here. People just do not realize or dont want to realize how bad it is.

  • 11. allan120102  |  June 4, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Like i was saying in December I was expecting a 5-4 decisión not a 7-2 because the decisión was narrow but for now the baker win this round. Conservatives are hailing this decisión.

  • 12. guitaristbl  |  June 4, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Of course they are. Anti-discrimination laws are effectively null and void no matter what vague nonsense Kennedy says and homophobic expressions acquired new protections under law.

  • 13. guitaristbl  |  June 4, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Also who wants to bet that there will be a downpour of ADF lawsuits challenging anti-discrimination laws now ?

  • 14. FredDorner  |  June 5, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    I think you're correct but the ADF will lose each and every one.

  • 15. guitaristbl  |  June 4, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Thomas and Gorsuch are rubbing their hands over having anti-discrimination laws challenged as it is made clear in Thoma's concurrence. Alito seems to be fine with Gorsuch's analysis that anti-discirmination laws are fine as long as they are gutted to the point they protect the exact conduct and speech they are created to fight.

  • 16. VIRick  |  June 4, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    US Supreme Court Issues Its Opinion in "Masterpiece Cakeshop"

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 4 June 2018, Kennedy, with the majority opinion in a 7-2 split, reverses the Colorado Civil Rights Commission's ruling, saying the commission's actions violated the Free Exercise Clause. Ginsberg dissents, joined by Sotomayor. Kathleen's initial read (at Equality Case Files) is that this is a fairly narrow opinion, based heavily on the facts of this specific case. Note the following: "Given all these considerations, it is proper to hold that whatever the outcome of some future controversy involving facts similar to these, the Commission’s actions here violated the Free Exercise Clause; and its order must be set aside."

    In short, Philips wins this case, but the Court did not strike down Colorado's nondiscrimination statute, nor does this ruling guarantee that another baker making the same refusal would necessarily win. The Court seemed, as we noticed during oral argument, particularly concerned about what it viewed as the Commission's hostility to a religious view.

    "[T]he delicate question of when the free exercise of [the baker's] religion must yield to an otherwise valid exercise of state power needed to be determined in an adjudication in which religious hostility on the part of the State itself would not be a factor in the balance the State sought to reach. That requirement, however, was not met here. When the Colorado Civil Rights Commission considered this case, it did not do so with the religious neutrality that the Constitution requires."

    The Opinion is here:

  • 17. FredDorner  |  June 4, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    In fact the plaintiffs can now refile and win again, and it sounds like they're planning to do just that.

  • 18. guitaristbl  |  June 4, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    Do you have any information on that ? On the plaintiffs refilling their complaint ?

  • 19. FredDorner  |  June 4, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    I heard it on Sirius I think while I was listening to Mike Signorile's show. The Denver Post also touches on it although the article itself gets the relevant legal parts completely wrong. I suspect the ACLU and the couple will consider next steps but my understanding is that the complaint can now be refiled.

    The married couple said they would gladly go through the ordeal again and urged others to take up their fight for civil rights. (They also said they have no hard feelings toward Jack Phillips — “This has always been about a policy and not about a person.”)

    A far more accurate legal summary is here:

  • 20. davepCA  |  June 4, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    While I agree that the decision was wrong, and that SCOTUS should have at most remanded to the lower courts / Colorado Civil Rights Commission with instructions to not use an inappropriate process to reach the conclusion, I don't think this ruling is as bad as some of these comments are painting it.

    Looking ahead, it seems to me that any future rulings from lower courts that reach the same conclusion as the Colorado Civil Rights Commission will not run afoul of SCOTUS, as long as the lower courts do so using one of the methods which SCOTUS actually spells out for them in this ruling.

    Yes, it certainly would have been better if SCOTUS had ruled for the couple, but using a different process than the Colorado Commission, rather than seeing that the earlier decision from an inappropriate process was a reason to set that lower decision aside. But this isn't a blank check allowing anti-gay discrimination. It's mostly a reaction to what SCOTUS sees as a procedural error by the Commission.

  • 21. guitaristbl  |  June 4, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    The ways this will be taken advantage of by the likes of ADF have been highlighted by Lamda Legal in its reaction to the ruling. The ruling contains very vague directions as to what consists "religious hostility" and offers nothing in hands-on support for the rights of same sex couples. The vindication of the couple on civil rights grounds is completely absent. Kennedy himself alongside Gorsuch and Alito make a very forceful case for equating offensive speech to protecting LGBT rights.

    The ruling is very different in its essence imo from what you describe imo. It is a dilemma – either anti discrimination laws protect hate speech and homophobia or they are unenforcable. We also know that there are 2 clear votes to overturn anti-discrimination laws.

  • 22. FredDorner  |  June 5, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    "The vindication of the couple on civil rights grounds is completely absent."

    That's not correct at all. The ruling does state that these laws do protect gays.

  • 23. davepCA  |  June 4, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    …. Something I was wondering – Apparently, this baker ALSO refused to sell cupcakes to a lesbian couple for their celebration. There isn't even any HINT of a 'message' in cupcakes, as can possibly be argued about a wedding cake. So wouldn't the lesbian couples be 'better' plaintiffs, since this would have kept the focus where it belongs, on the sale of goods and services, with no sidetracks about 'artistic message'? Why weren't they, or other gay people who were denied goods from this baker, plaintiffs?

  • 24. guitaristbl  |  June 4, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Social stigma of bringing forward such lawsuits ? Expenses and the pain one has to go through ? And I can imagine that now even less people will be willing to come forward..

  • 25. VIRick  |  June 4, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Dave, this case dates back to 2012. As a result, I suspect that the gay couple in question were the first to encounter this baker's bigotry. Or if not, they were certainly the first to file a formal complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Once launched, this case became the lead case, even if, as you noted, more "appropriate" incidents came along later against the same baker. Other complaints against him could have been formally filed and then combined with the lead complaint. However, from the ruling, there's no evidence that either ever actually happened.

  • 26. FredDorner  |  June 4, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    It's a shame that the cupcakes incident wasn't discussed by the court but those folks weren't party to the case. AFAIK, the half dozen or so other incidents occurred before Craig & Mullins', but they were only discovered after that case became public.

  • 27. ianbirmingham  |  June 4, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    State law at the time also afforded storekeepers some latitude to decline to create specific messages they considered offensive. Indeed, while the instant enforcement proceedings were pending, the State Civil Rights Division concluded in at least three cases that a baker acted lawfully in declining to create cakes with decorations that demeaned gay persons or gay marriages. …

    As the record shows, some of the commissioners at the Commission’s formal, public
    hearings endorsed the view that religious beliefs cannot legitimately be carried into the public sphere or commercial domain, disparaged Phillips’ faith as despicable and
    characterized it as merely rhetorical, and compared his invocation of his sincerely held religious beliefs to defenses of slavery and the Holocaust. …

    The Commission ruled against Phillips in part on the theory that any message on the requested wedding cake would be attributed to the customer, not to the baker. Yet the Division did not address this point in any of the cases involving requests for cakes depicting anti-gay marriage symbolism. The Division also considered that each bakery was willing to sell other products to the prospective customers, but the Commission found Phillips’ willingness to do the same irrelevant. …

    The government, consistent with the Constitution’s guarantee of free exercise, cannot impose regulations that are hostile to the religious beliefs of affected citizens and cannot act in a manner that passes judgment upon or presupposes the illegitimacy of religious beliefs and practices. Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. Hialeah, 508 U. S. 520. …

    …government has no role in expressing or even suggesting whether the religious ground for Phillips’ conscience-based objection is legitimate or illegitimate.

  • 28. VIRick  |  June 4, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    My own opinion?

    By nit-picking around the edges, this "narrow" ruling actually opens up a veritable can of worms of future litigation, similar to the way the definitive abortion ruling has been backpedalled, nit by nit. In the 22 states (now that Michigan has finally reversed course) which offer LGBT public accommodation non-discrimination protections, the ADF has already been chomping at the bit filing challenges against the protections for every nut-job "religious" business owner they can flush out of the bushes. Our only "consolation," in an extremely perverse manner, comes from the fact that such litigation challenges can not be filed in any of the 28 red states which do not already offer such protections.

    Still, we need to be pro-actively alert, and get past this blissful, naive do-it-yourself, going-to-any-ass-hole business, and expecting anything whatsoever from them, particularly when it comes to all the peripheral nonsense involved with weddings, wedding receptions, wedding "messages," wedding venues, and the like. Instead, we must re-focus. We're discussing state-recognized, civil marriage. Weddings, as such, are a completely un-necessary, side-issue circus.

    Still, if one can not get past the un-necessary "need" to have a wedding with all the trimmings, then go to an LGBT or LGBT-friendly wedding planner. They advertise themselves and have lists of merchants one can rely upon. And for those who are too cheap, yet insist on going full-hog, most also advertise themselves separately. Mississippi, for example, already has a full-blown countervailing association of merchants who are not afraid to advertise that they do not discriminate. Here, where I live, and for as far back in time as I can remember, there's a woman from Argentina who operates a wedding planner business and who will do absolutely any kind of wedding one could possibly want.

  • 29. guitaristbl  |  June 4, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    So you propose self-segregation then just so the (void now) anti-discrimination laws are preserved at least in theory ? Then ADF has already won…
    The situation can be even worse for same sex couple living in more rural areas in Colorado for example..E.g. a town with 3 bakeries and they are denied service in all of them. And now they are effectively legally protected to do so.

    Another wrong assessment is that there can be no litigition in the states not protecting LGBT people from discrimination. City ordinances can be challenged and be susceptible after this ruling. I think there is such litigition already underway.

  • 30. VIRick  |  June 4, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    No, it is not self-segregation. It is spending one's money wisely, even on a daily basis. If a business must wear its hair-brained "religious" bigotry, or just plain old bigotry, on its sleeve, then I do not shop there. I never have, and never will. Ask me if I have ever been inside the front door of a Walmart, let alone bought anything there. And ask me about Chick-Fil-A or Hobby Lobby, although here's a clue: the first time I ever came into contact with a Hobby Lobby, I stood outside their front door and loudly "Booed" them.

    I live on an island with only 50,000 inhabitants, so one already has certain limitations on merchant choices. This jurisdiction also does not offer any public accommodation non-discrimination protections, other than whatever might be offered by larger, corporate businesses whose company-wide policy finds it wisest to prohibit any/all discrimination. Small mom-and-pop businesses are a whole other matter. For local bakeries, for example, I already patronize the Dutch-owned bakery which I already know does not discriminate against anyone on any basis. I consciously shop there for that exact reason.

    In certain parts of the USA, it is popular, traditional, cute, or whatever, to display the "hex" sign. If any business does so, I do not shop there because the "hex" sign is an unfounded Evangelical superstition, done to ward off supposed "evil." Such "hex" sign symbolism is rampant in rural/small town areas of eastern Pennsylvania, and in nearby Maryland and Ohio.

  • 31. JayJonson  |  June 5, 2018 at 7:00 am

    I agree with you, Rick, that we need to use our economic clout wisely. I would never buy something from a company I knew or thought was anti-gay or even crazy religious. I was about to sign a contract with a roofing company which I had heard did excellent work. But I noticed that on their letterhead they had a motto that said something like "We believe in family values" at a time when "family values" was an unmistakable sign of anti-gay sentiment. I declined to do business with them and found a company that did a fine job at about half the cost.

  • 32. VIRick  |  June 5, 2018 at 11:34 am

    I expect corporate giants to lead the rest of society with progressive, non-discriminatory measures, So, whenever they have to be pushed to provide non-discriminatory policies/services, I do not forgive them, even after they have finally changed their policies.

    Take Walmart for example. For the longest interval, they refused to provide health care coverage for the same-sex spouses of employees in states like Massachusetts and Rhode Island which had legalized same-sex marriage prior to the Supreme Court ruling. As a result, their intransigence created some very ugly situations in those states for which they can not be forgiven. Florida-based Publix supermarkets did the same, refusing to provide health care coverage to same-sex spouses of employees, and likewise, can not be forgiven, even though, they too, finally changed policies, mainly because their insurance provider, Alabama Blue Cross (amazingly), required it.

    On the other hand, shop at Target. I applaud their tough stance, fending off the anti-trans bigots over their progressive bathroom usage policy. Or shop at Charlotte-based Belk's Department Stores, widely known throughout the mid-South for hiring (cute) gay men as employees, in an area of the USA which is otherwise overtly anti-LGBT.

  • 33. josejoram  |  June 4, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    The most worrying aspect to me is the fragility that the ideological orientation of judges gives to jurisprudence in general.

  • 34. VIRick  |  June 4, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    "The only real dissent is by Thomas."

    The ultimate irony in non-self-awareness is Thomas dissenting from public accommodation non-discrimination laws.

  • 35. guitaristbl  |  June 4, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Thats actually false. The decision of the commision and every other court after that has been vacated at its entirety. Phillips is able to legally deny service and now the standards to find any wrongdoing on his part have been set much higher. The vague standard of "religious hostility" seems very hard to be satisfied while ruling for possible plaintiffs.

    I appreciate the effort to a positive twist but the language in this decision is very hostile to anti-discrimination laws. I cannot see how they can be enforced now properly. They are either useless or compelled to protect speech and actions targeting the very minorities its been created to protect.

  • 36. FredDorner  |  June 5, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    "I appreciate the effort to a positive twist but the language in this decision is very hostile to anti-discrimination laws."

    That's simply flat wrong. There's been a lot of misreporting of the ruling and the ADF is certainly spinning it to their advantage, but the ACLU's assessment is the correct one:

  • 37. VIRick  |  June 4, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Bermuda: Same-Sex Marriage Judgment Scheduled for 6 June 2018

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    According to this week’s court schedule, the judgment in the “Roderick Ferguson et al. v. The Attorney-General” matter is due to be delivered on Wednesday [6 June 2018], with the case having challenged the laws regarding same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage was initially legalized in Bermuda following a Supreme Court decision in May 2017, with Greg DeRoche and Winston Godwin successfully challenging the law, with the court ruling in their favor, saying that “common law discriminates against same-sex couples by excluding them from marriage.”

    The Domestic Partnerships Act took effect on 1 June 2018, so as it stands now, same sex couples cannot get married in Bermuda. Earlier this year, lawyer Mark Pettingill, who represented Greg DeRoche and Winston Godwin in 2017, filed a motion on behalf of a client challenging the constitutional aspects of the Domestic Partnership Act.

    At that time, Mr Pettingill told Bernews that Roderick Ferguson, a Bermudian man living in the United States, filed this lawsuit because “the right to have a same-sex marriage has been taken away.” The former Attorney-General maintained that as Bermuda created legislation that removes it, the Domestic Partnership Act is unconstitutional.

    Following that, OUTBermuda and Maryellen Jackson also filed legal action in the 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 lawyer Rod Attride-Stirling acting on their behalf. As both lawsuits dealt with the same matter, the court ordered that the two actions be heard together.

    Chief Justice Dr Ian Kawaley is scheduled to deliver the judgment this Wednesday, 6 June 2018.

  • 38. scream4ever  |  June 4, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Hopefully this will be a good birthday present for me 🙂

  • 39. LK2013  |  June 4, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    An exceptionally poor decision. Awful. Based on a willful and persistent misreading of the Colorado Commissioners' statements, which simply expressed valid concerns about the possibility that religion was being used as an excuse to engage in bigotry. To acknowledge that religion has been used as an excuse to foment hatred, slavery, and war is hardly an egregious abdication of neutrality and reason. But somehow Kennedy could only see these comments, bizarrely, as an attack on religion. Truly a strange overreaction that is inexplicable. In fact, he is so offended by these comments, that he is upset that they were not accentuated, and that they were not repudiated in the briefs! So weird. Acting like one should not consider this possibility when weighing the decision in this case is just ivory-tower absurdity. Reading this SCOTUS decision is an unfortunate slog through a swamp of rationalizations, leading to a quicksand decision that is dangerously abstract. But it is clear that this will rapidly result in increased discrimination – and actual harm – in the real world, where nuance is utterly unappreciated. Just look at the President's tweet that this was not a "narrow" decision because it went 7-2. So, G-d help us.

  • 40. allan120102  |  June 5, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Breaking good news coming from the european unión.

  • 41. VIRick  |  June 5, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    EU Court Backs Same-Sex Marriages in Immigration Ruling

    Bucharest, Romania — In a case directly related to Romania, on Tuesday, 5 June 2018, the European Court of Justice ruled that all European Union countries must recognize same-sex marriage, at least in relation to immigration cases where one partner is a citizen of the bloc. The verdict is an important victory for LGBT rights groups, who have long argued that same-sex spouses of European Union citizens should be afforded the same basic right as heterosexual spouses to live and work across the bloc’s 28 countries, regardless of the individual countries’ stances on same-sex marriage.

    It also highlighted growing tensions between the bloc’s core institutions and some of its newer, more socially-conservative member states. Six European Union countries, all of them former Eastern Bloc nations that joined the union in the 21st century, have yet to legalize same-sex marriages or civil unions. In a statement issued along with its verdict, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg said they remained free not to do so.

  • 42. FredDorner  |  June 5, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    It's not clear to me if the ruling is for full recognition of foreign marriages or just to the extent that it doesn't interfere with a spouse's right to travel freely in the EU.

  • 43. VIRick  |  June 5, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Fred, it is the latter, guaranteeing the spouse of an EU citizen the right to freely travel within the EU, and directly applies to Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. It could also affect the future approval/disapproval of EU applicant countries Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia, and Turkey, none of which recognize same-sex marriage, let alone same-sex civil unions. It also opens the question as to whether this ruling further applies to the Dutch Caribbean territories of Curaçao and Sint Maarten, as well as to the British Caribbean territories of Cayman Islands, Turks & Caicos, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, and Montserrat, none of which recognize any sort of same-sex union. As for the applicant countries, I would answer "Yes," it applies, but in due course, as part of the process for approving their application. As for the Caribbean Territories, I would answer "Yes," it applies, immediately.

    In the specific case in question, a Romanian citizen married a same-sex spouse from the USA in Belgium. The Romanian immigration department refused to recognize this couple's Belgian marriage for purposes of allowing the US citizen Romanian residency. The ECJ stated that Romania must recognize this marriage and grant the spouse residency, as the Romanian government's previous policy violates the EU principle of the right to freely travel within the EU.

    I am certain that there are many more instances wherein which a citizen of one of those 6 nations married a foreigner in another EU country. Today's ruling would apply to them, as well, but it would seem that they would have to fight for it. Today's ruling would not apply to a same-sex couple, for example, from Poland who married in Portugal, as both parties to the marriage already have Polish residency, and thus both can already move freely among the 28 nations, independent of each other.

    Today's ruling also does not apply to those EU members, like Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Estonia, and Austria (and oddments like Northern Ireland and Aruba) who do not yet allow same-sex marriage, but who do recognize some sort of same-sex civil union procedure.

  • 44. VIRick  |  June 5, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    ECJ Ruling: Same-Sex Spouses Have EU Residency Rights

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 5 June 2018, the European Union's top court has ruled in favor of a Romanian gay man's right to have his US husband live with him in Romania. Romania, which does not recognize same-sex marriage, had argued that the American was not entitled to the EU residency rights awarded to spouses. But the European Court of Justice said the term "spouse" was gender neutral. Adrian Coman and his American partner Clai Hamilton were married in Brussels in 2010.

    The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Tuesday that member states should recognize gay marriages contracted in fellow EU states, and grant couples the same residency rights that other families enjoy. "Although the member states have the freedom whether or not to authorize marriage between persons of the same sex, they may not obstruct the freedom of residence of an EU citizen by refusing to grant his same-sex spouse, a national of a country that is not an EU Member State, a derived right of residence in their territory," the court said.

    EU law permits a non-EU spouse of an EU citizen to join his or her spouse in the member state where the European national resides. But the Romanian authorities refused a request for a residence permit for Mr Hamilton, saying he could not be recognized as the spouse of an EU citizen because Romanian legislation prohibits marriages between same-sex couples.

    The couple challenged the decision, saying it was discriminatory on the grounds of sexual orientation. Romania's constitutional court then referred the case to the ECJ, resulting in today's ruling.

  • 45. guitaristbl  |  June 5, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Any news on possibly refilling the complaint against Phillips from the couple or othe people he discriminated against ? The sooner this gaping hole in anti-discrimination laws is filled the better. I hope the commision takes a strong stance and overcomes the huge "religious hostility" requirement added and rules for the couple again..

  • 46. Mechatron12  |  June 5, 2018 at 11:58 am

    I really, really, really hope they don't do that. We have so many bigger fish to fry, and stuff like that is just making more and more people hate us when we are winning the battle for hearts and minds in this country. This baker is a slimy little nothing, and we're just giving him the publicity and business he craves. Several people on Twitter were bragging about ordering celebratory cakes from him yesterday.

    When we have nationwide non-discrimination laws in employment, when marriage is codified into state laws so even if Obergefell is overturned we won't be screwed, when gay refugees from Muslim and African countries are welcomed here – THEN let's worry about vendettas against individual people.

    Besides, who wants someone who hates you to make you baked goods? Didn't ANYONE here see "The Help"?

  • 47. guitaristbl  |  June 5, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    This is a most unfortunate approach. Exactly because several people were bragging on twitter celebrating discrimination we must ensure that anti-discrimination laws are indeed still valid and properly enforced.

    No the baker is not a "slimly little nothing". He is the gateaway to a floodgate of discrimination rendering such protection laws useless.

    Their effect must be ensured now. This is not about Phillips, it is about ensuring proper enforcment of anti-discrimination laws in Colorado and, by extension, everywhere else.

    What chances are there to have nationwide anti-discrimiation laws when state onee are nuttered and rendered unenforcable ? It must be made clear, even after such a slopy idiotic ruling, that the colorado laws are robust and properly enforced. Or else ADF has its way and any anti-discrimination law is practically void. People will be even more afraid to bring complaints forward if this is not fixed soon.

    Its time to fight back and not bow heads and accept the de facto legalization of discrimination. And push even harder for such laws on state level in all states.

  • 48. guitaristbl  |  June 5, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Winning the battle ? Are you serious ? This battle is one we are losing big time as yesterday's ruling indicates.

    We need more lawsuits in all states with anti-discrimination laws where they have been violated. Organize judicially, ensure that the message is clear – the laws are there and they stand.

  • 49. Mechatron12  |  June 5, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    67% of Americans support marriage equality. Those numbers are almost the exact opposite of what they were ONLY TEN YEARS AGO. When Pride month started, major companies were falling all over themselves to tweet their support for us. Just today we got some fantastic news out of the EU, and hopefully some more good news from Bermuda tomorrow and Latin America in the coming months. I call that winning the battle of public opinion.

    As far as baking wedding cakes goes, we'll just have to agree to disagree. And I completely agree with what was said earlier in the thread. My gay dollars go to companies and people who support equality. I have no interest in forcing someone who hates me to take my money.

  • 50. guitaristbl  |  June 5, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    First point is irrelevant to legislation and quality of life. Conservatives states will continue their legislative onslaught against LGBT people while liberal states have just been rendered unable to protect them through common sense laws. What a poll says on marriage equality does not change that reality.

    Yes pride month started and the one that matters, the white house fails to acknowledge it for 2nd year in a row. Instead what we get is joy over the door that has been left wide open to not only completely void anti-discrimination laws but possibly giving momentum to the passage of the first amendment act the GOP is advocating for.

    How is overseas good news relevant to the extreme regression the US is experiencing ? Discrimination has been effectively legalized nationwide, courts are stacked with federalist society members like the extremist Gorsuch and apart fom the anti-LGBT onslaught on state legislatures controlled by the GOP we have a federal administration filled with anti-LGBT extremists of the FRC kind. Only a person completely detached from reality would call that "winning" in the US.

    Tell that to a gay couple in a small town where every bakery legally denies them service and they may have to travel miles to get a service they should be able to get everywhere.

    Where you choose to spend your money is you deal. The law must protect people from discrimination. This business sells wedding cakes to customers – they sell them to heterosexual but not homosexual customers. This is discrimination and under Colorado law it is still illegal.

    If the couple needs financial aid to begin the process again I hope they set uo a gofundme for it or something. I am more than willing to help them get Phillips back to court.

  • 51. scream4ever  |  June 5, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    The ruling did not address the merits of the case. It simply said that the commission didn't handle the claim properly. I expect a similar case to make its way up shortly.

  • 52. guitaristbl  |  June 5, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    It heavily winks towards Phillips though and sets this extremely difficult to surpass "religious hostility" standard. I cannot seee how anyone can be vindicated in a discrimination complaint now under this standard tbh. It offers zero pathway or relief to the people who were discriminated against. I think the most vulnerable to fall in court after Masterpiece are city ordinances in conservative states. I expect a blitz of litigition from ADF.

  • 53. FredDorner  |  June 5, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    "I expect a similar case to make its way up shortly."

    I kind of doubt that although Phillips himself is eager to break the law again. Also the majority ruling rather clearly states that these laws do apply to these cases.

    Note that SCOTUS declined to hear the Elane Photography case despite its far stronger argument, and really all these arguments were dealt with at least 50 years ago anyway. There's nothing new in the current cases other than which human trait is the infringed protected class, and that matters not one bit.

  • 54. guitaristbl  |  June 6, 2018 at 3:43 am

    But this is the whole point ! Phillips has broken the law and vindicated ! His conviction has been overturned, he can legally discriminate and has expressively said he will do so in his post-decision Fox interview along woth his ADF team.

    Also where is this point where the majority said these laws apply to this cases ? I must have missed it.

    I guess people will start realizing what happened after laws start to fall or remain unenforced with people failing to prevail if they are discriminated against after ADF targeted lawsuits.

  • 55. FredDorner  |  June 6, 2018 at 9:54 am

    No, Phillips cannot deny service again in the same way without getting charged. He thinks he can do that but he's wrong and his attorney is lying to him.

    As far as where this is stated in the ruling, it's throughout the majority opinion and some of the relevant sections are quoted on the first page of Kagan's concurrence and Ginsburg's dissent. But just as an example from pg 10:
    "It is unexceptional that Colorado law can protect gay persons, just as it can protect other classes of individuals, in acquiring whatever products and services they choose on the same terms and conditions as are offered to other members of the public."

    And from the last paragraph of the ruling:
    "The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market."

    Note that the references to "without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs" refers to the comments made by one of the civil rights commissioners, comments which SCOTUS chose to view as biased. That person is no longer on the commission and I suspect the other commissioners will be more circumspect. But Kennedy noted that those anti-gay religious views don't need to be given any credence or consideration whatsoever…….the commissioners just need to listen politely while the bigot rants and then reply: "a business cannot refuse to provide services based on sexual orientation, regardless of the proprietor’s personal views."

    Note that I don't agree with the ruling and I think there are lots of problems with it and it will likely cause confusion in the lower courts. Ginsburg is the one who really got it right.

  • 56. guitaristbl  |  June 6, 2018 at 10:00 am

    In quoting certain parts you miss certain others here, like the following :

    "Since the State itself did not allow those marriages to be performed in Colorado, there is some force to the argument that the baker was not unreasonable in deeming it lawful to decline to take an action that he understood to be an expression of support for their validity when that expression was contrary to his sincerely held religious beliefs, at least insofar as his refusal was limited to refusing to create and express a message in support of gay marriage, even one planned to take place in another State."

    Kennedy states here in terms I find quite clear that he thinks the exception he asks for is "not unreasonable" because he was asked to participate in something that is an "expression to his sincerely held religious beliefs" as far as this refusal had to do with an expressive message, something Thomas (with Gorsuch's concurrence) elaborated on.

  • 57. FredDorner  |  June 6, 2018 at 10:17 am

    No, Kennedy is just observing that the bigot's confusion about the law was understandable. He's definitely not saying that the commission's decision against the bigot was wrong, just that the perception of bias tainted the proceeding and thus it must be voided. While I don't agree with that, note that what it means is that Craig & Mullins are now free to refile their complaint if they so choose.

    Gorsuch and Thomas are trying to twist the ruling into something it's not. The majority opinion is what matters here. Also note that SCOTUS does not control state law, at least as long as it doesn't violate the US constitution……and there is nothing unconstitutional about Colorado's public accommodations law. As Kennedy noted it's "unexceptional." Also this ruling is just about the procedural issues in this one case…….it's not a ruling about a violation of the constitution by the state law itself, just about the unwise statements of one commissioner.

    I really suggest you read the ACLU link I provided earlier.

  • 58. guitaristbl  |  June 6, 2018 at 10:57 am

    I think you put too much faith in Kennedy, I dont think the part I quoted says anything of that nature. He shows sympathy to the argument of expressive message and that he was likely to vindicate him on the grounds of his complaint (Phillips that is). He particularly picks out the category of expressive support to a message through artistic creation and deems a denial of service on such grounds "not unreasonable". I think his position is pretty clear. What makes it more clear is that he did not vacate and remand for the case to go back to the comission and judged on the "religious hostility" standard his opinion established but threw out the whole thing.

    The "procedural issue" you mention is something very substantial actually. Its another hurdle an LGBT person and a commitee or court have to overcome to vindicate such an LGBT peson called "religious hostility". The new standard Kennedy and the majority set is vague and can be thouroughly abused and succeed. ADF will bring it up in every occasion, scrutinizing commitee behaviour. Conservative courts also found a new way to circumvent anti-discrimination laws by invoking this (very vague) standard. ADF will have a field day. Will they succeed everywhere ? No of course not. But their new weapon will provide them with more victories than if they did not have it for sure.

    I did read and it was a nice and hopeful twist but I find it unconvincing as well.

  • 59. FredDorner  |  June 6, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    This comment from the attorney who represented the couple might help you understand the issues better:
    In the Supreme Court, the baker won, but not on the ground he principally advanced. His main argument was that where a business offers expressive products, the First Amendment prohibition on “compelled speech” bars the government from requiring the business to provide that product when it objects to doing so. The Trump administration backed that argument, maintaining that when businesses provide expressive products or services for “expressive events” such as weddings, the First Amendment bars states from requiring them to provide them to gay and lesbian customers on the same terms as heterosexual customers.

    Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing the majority opinion, could not have been more clear in rejecting the argument that there is a First Amendment right to discriminate. He wrote that “it is a general rule that [religious and philosophical] objections do not allow business owners . . . to deny protected persons equal access to goods and services under a neutral and generally applicable public accommodations law.”

    Kennedy acknowledged that a minister (who is not, of course, a business open to the public) could not be compelled to perform a same-sex wedding if his religious scruples prohibited it, but warned that “if that exception were not confined, then a long list of persons who provide goods and services for marriages and weddings might refuse to do so for gay persons, thus resulting in a community-wide stigma inconsistent with the history and dynamics of civil rights laws that ensure equal access to goods, services, and public accommodations.”
    But what’s critical is that this reasoning is a one-time ruling for this case only. The court made clear that states are free to require businesses, including bakers, to serve gay and lesbian customers equally, including in the provision of wedding cakes. In fact, Charlie Craig and David Mullins could go right back into Masterpiece Cakeshop today and request a cake to celebrate their wedding anniversary — and if Jack Phillips refused them, he would have no First Amendment right to turn them away.

  • 60. VIRick  |  June 5, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    Guitar, at some stage in this discussion, I wish you would remind the other posters that you currently are a resident of Greece.

    Like you, and despite the fact that I travel back and forth quite regularly, I also do not consider myself to be a resident of the USA, but rather, of the Virgin Islands, with an open door to immigrate back to any number of Latin nations.

    I try my best to refrain from telling people resident in the USA (or anywhere else) what they should or should not do under specific circumstances. I wish you would attempt to do the same.

  • 61. ianbirmingham  |  June 5, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    IIRC you are a resident of St. Thomas, which is one of the U.S. Virgin Islands and is an unincorporated territory of the United States. That makes you a resident of the USA.

  • 62. VIRick  |  June 5, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    Ian, true, but I am still in denial, celebrating the fact that I once again returned to the USVI just two days ago, fed up with being dependent on assorted relatives/friends in AZ, NM, OH, WV, VA, and DC in the aftermath of the hurricane destruction. Obviously, my little make-do Wi-Fi wireless box here continues to function.

  • 63. guitaristbl  |  June 6, 2018 at 3:39 am

    I have the right to express my view and opinion and I did not tell anyone what to do I think.

    I am deeply dissapointed at the hostility I receive and how prepared people seem to be to compromise their rights to equal access to goods and services and accept discrimination now.

    SCOTUS issued one of the most dangerous and regressive anti-LGBT decisions and people seem unwilling to acknowledge it or challenge it. Such fear and complacency shows the other side wins. Will people call an upcoming Obergefell reversal "not a big deal" as well I wonder ?

    People can keep downvoting me – it wont change the legal realities.

  • 64. VIRick  |  June 6, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    Guitar, I like you, so do not ever take anything I say to you personally. Also, since this is the internet, never take anything anyone else ever says or does personally,– and that includes the up-vote/down-vote business. From my own experience, if I post negative news, I get down-voted. If I post positive news, I am up-voted. The bigger the positive news, the more up-votes I receive. But it is not personal. It is people's reactions to the news I post.

    But yes. That US Supreme Court ruling was naively stupid, and could have nasty, negative repercussions down the road into the future. But that's not a given. It has to be headed off and de-fanged before the ADF gets very far with it.

    Still, I can not focus on the worst-case scenario, like you seem to be more able to do. The insane ruling surprised me at a very difficult time, despite my original elation at having once again returned home, as I am now attempting to re-adjust back to the reality of the third-world environment which still exists here,– no functioning traffic lights, abominably lax trash pick-up standards, rampant rat populations running wild, no credit cards accepted, extremely slow processing on banking, no internet for the entire day. The island-wide server crashed last night, and has only been restored now, 24 hours later. Still, I will end on a positive note: I, like hundreds of thousands of others from both the USVI and Puerto Rico, am now registered to vote on the US Mainland, hoping to be able to assist in ending the nightmare. I consciously picked a key swing state, too. And I will be there to vote, as I already have my ticket.

  • 65. guitaristbl  |  June 7, 2018 at 2:35 am

    I hope all goes well for all residents in USVI and PR.

  • 66. ianbirmingham  |  June 7, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    On the positive side, the ENSO oscillation has entered the neutral zone, which means there is no longer an atmospheric bias strengthening Atlantic (and weakening Pacific) hurricanes.

    On the negative side, USVI and PR are still centrally located within Hurricane Alley, thus even 1 strong hurricane would likely become a reprise of catastrophic damage.

  • 67. ianbirmingham  |  June 7, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    VIRick, I strongly disagree with your characterization of this ruling as "naively stupid" / "insane".

    Kennedy is doing several important things here. He is affirming the basic concept of public accomodations law, and he is affirming the right to religious self-determination, and he is holding (de facto judicial) commissions to the high standard of neutrality that the Constitution requires to ensure that all who come before these tribunals will receive a fair (or at least not manifestly unfair) trial.

    In some gray areas identified by Kennedy, the outcome of the collision between public accomodation and religious freedom remains to be determined; that is just acknowledging current legal reality. None of that indicates any bias against our side.

    This is brilliant legal work by Kennedy which builds a very firm foundation for the future. Kennedy is far-sightedly engineering the law toward ultimate fairness and justice. This is exactly what a great Supreme Court Justice does.

  • 68. guitaristbl  |  June 7, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    a very firm foundation for whom exactly ? ADF and the likes of that ? Not for LGBT rights for sure…

  • 69. FredDorner  |  June 7, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    Note that the Masterpiece ruling was just cited by the Arizona Court of Appeals to uphold the non-discrimination ordinance in Phoenix.

    In other words the ADF made a big error by appealing the Masterpiece case to SCOTUS. Although as a practical matter the court would have upheld the ordinance anyway.

  • 70. guitaristbl  |  June 8, 2018 at 3:18 am

    And as I said lets wait and see what a state supreme court tilting conservative has to say about it.

    Also the supreme court has now before it the case of the washington florist and we will probably know as early as Monday how they will act on that. ADF is already basing its arguments on Masterpiece arguing the state showed hostility towards the owner based on her religious beliefs.

  • 71. FredDorner  |  June 8, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    I can only wish the ADF luck with their moronic arguments. If their "logic" were to prevail it would undermine not just every public accommodations law in the country but every non-discrimination law about housing and employment too, regardless of which protected class was targeted for harm.

    If there were a constitutional right of the bigoted baker which Trumped the state's compelling interest here then we'd all lose.

  • 72. VIRick  |  June 5, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Anglican Church of Brasil Changes its Canons to Permit Same-Sex Marriage

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 4 June 2018, the General Synod of the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brasil approved changes to its canons to permit same-sex marriages. Civil same-sex marriages have been legal in Brasil since 2012. In a statement, the province said that their move would not require liturgical changes, because gender-neutral language had already been introduced into its service for the solemnization of marriage in the 2015 Book of Common Prayer.

    The move was overwhelmingly carried by the Synod members, with 57 voting in favor and three against. There were two abstentions.

    A Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil is the 19th province of the Anglican Communion, covering the country of Brasil, the oldest non-Roman Catholic sect in the country. It is composed of nine dioceses and one missionary district, each headed by a bishop, among whom one is elected as the Primate of Brasil. It claims to have 120,000 members in a nation with 210 million people, a figure which is less than 2% of the total. Still, as the leading main-line Protestant denomination in Brasil, their action speaks volumes.

  • 73. Fortguy  |  June 9, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    This is actually a BFD within worldwide Anglicanism. On the issue of LGBT rights and, more importantly, rites within the Anglican Communion, there has been a huge gulf between the historically white, English-speaking national churches and those elsewhere in the developing world on this issue. The Brazilian church would join the Church in the Province of Southern Africa as the only LGBT-affirming regional province outside of the white Anglo national churches to embrace such an affirming stance.

    This is especially important considering the importance of the Brazilian church in South America. Churches in Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela belong to various provinces of the Episcopal Church of the U.S., which is decidedly on the liberal side of the LGBT-affirming battle. Guyana belongs to the Church in the Province of the West Indies which is hostile to LGBT rights (and rites). Suriname and French Guiana don't have any organized diocese, but I imagine any individual churches belong to the missionary outreaches of either the Episcopal Church or the Church of England depending upon the heritage of the congregants of any single church.

    The rest of the continent belongs to the Anglican Church of South America. The countries of this national body are Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. Considering that many of these countries already embrace SSM or will do so sooner rather than later due to the CIDH even if kicking and screaming, the Brazilian church's decision will have a profound influence on the church there.

    The beauty of this is that if this church chooses to follow the progressive reforms of the Brazilians, it places a lot of North American parishes and diocese in a huge quandary. Many conservative U.S. and Canadian parishes and diocese have separated from their national churches and sought affiliation with the South American church specifically over their objections to women and gay clergy as well as their opposition to LGBT ministry whatsoever. After all, Christ's Great Commission doesn't apply to reaching out to icky people in their minds.

  • 74. VIRick  |  June 5, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    Michigan: Farmer Sues Market for Barring Him Over Anti-LGBT Bias

    Steve Tennes, a farmer who was barred from a Michigan farmers' market for not allowing gay couples to marry at his apple orchard, is now suing the city with the help of the same ADF that represented Masterpiece Cakeshop. East Lansing officials changed the city-run market's rules to require vendors to comply with the city's LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination ordinance. This resulted in Tennes losing his permit to sell produce, as he won't let same-sex couples marry at the Country Mill, his orchard in nearby Charlotte MI, which hosts weddings and other events, the AP reports.

    A federal judge ruled that by punishing Tennes for discriminating against same-sex couples, the city violated his religious and free speech rights, and the judge ordered that he be allowed to return. However, East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows is pushing back, noting the ruling only forced the market to let Tennes sell his organic apples in the 2017 season.

    “This doesn’t have anything to do with Mr. Tennes,” Meadows said, asserting that the decision to bar him was about his corporate practices rather than his religious beliefs, “This has to do with the business.”

  • 75. allan120102  |  June 6, 2018 at 12:52 am

    Slovak authorities respond to the ruling Made yesterday by the EU Court.

  • 76. VIRick  |  June 6, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    Slovakia: Married Same-Sex Couples Have the Right to Stay in Slovakia

    Slovak authorities have responded to the latest judgment issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union. A family member of a European Union citizen can enjoy the right to reside in Slovakia if he/she accompanies their spouse here. This is how the Interior Ministry responded to the 5 June 2018 judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Coman-Hamilton case concerning the legality of same-sex marriage.

    The term ‘spouse’ within the provisions of EU law on freedom of residence for EU citizens and their family members includes spouses of the same sex. Although member states have the freedom to decide whether or not they will authorize marriage between persons of the same sex, they may not obstruct the freedom of residence of an EU citizen by refusing to grant his same-sex spouse, a national of a country that is not an EU member state, a derived right of residence in their territory, the judgment states.

    “The truth is that Slovak legislation does not recognize the registered partnership,” the Interior Ministry’s press department said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “However, as of 1 January 2012, the law on the residency of foreigners is valid, part of which is the directive on the law of EU citizens and their family members to move freely and stay on the territory of member states.”

    Meanwhile, the Slovak Justice Ministry also stated that Slovak law does not recognize a registered partnership or same-sex marriage. The Slovak Constitution stipulates that the marriage is a unique bond between a man and a woman. “The bond between people of the same sex cannot be closed and it would not be recognized,” said the ministry’s spokesperson Zuzana Drobová. However, she claimed that recognizing the effects or selected effects of registered partnership or same-sex marriage is not at odds with Slovak laws. For example, same-sex couples can have some rights in inheritance if the couple followed the laws of the country where such laws are recognized before coming to Slovakia, Drobová added. The same applies to taking care of a child, if these rights were recognized by the other country they lived in before coming to Slovakia, she explained for TASR.

    So, we have wedged our foot in the door, and Slovakia, as least, is immediately complying.

  • 77. TheVirginian722  |  June 6, 2018 at 2:43 am

    New Mexico Primary: Democratic Voters Finally Dump Debbie Rodella

    In Tuesday's New Mexico primary election, Democratic voters in the 41st State House District finally ended the 26-year legislative nightmare that is Debbie Rodella. First elected in 1992, Rodella (D-Espanola) had enjoyed a 12-year free ride, not having faced any primary or general election opponent since 2006 in her northern New Mexico district.

    Rodella first came to national attention in 2013, when she killed a Marriage Equality constitutional amendment sponsored by Rep. Brian Egolf.. As a member of the state House's Elections Committee, she voted against the proposal, along with her sidekick, Rep. Mary Helen Garcia (D-Las Cruces). Even though the Democrats had a 6-5 majority on the committee, the treachery of Rodella and Garcia caused the amendment to fail by a 4-7 vote. Fortunately, Mary Helen Garcia was promptly defeated in the 2014 primary by Bill Gomez, but no one came forward to challenge Debbie Rodella until this year.

    Susan Herrera proved to be just the challenger we needed, well-qualified and experienced. She exposed Debbie's horrible record on education, the environment, voting rights, gun control, payday lending, and a host of other issues. And she won with 3,108 votes (56.3%) to Rodella's 2,415 votes (43.7%), carrying all three of the district's counties.

  • 78. JayJonson  |  June 6, 2018 at 5:59 am

    Happy to report that Zach Wahls handily won the Democratic nomination to the Iowa state senate from District 37, which includes Iowa City. The Democratic nomination is tantamount to election. He will face a Libertarian opponent in the general election. Republicans have declined to contest the seat.

  • 79. FredDorner  |  June 6, 2018 at 9:35 am

    I still remember the great speech he gave to the legislature in support of equality and of his parents. I'll bet he wins in a landslide.

  • 80. JayJonson  |  June 6, 2018 at 6:01 am

    Also the next mayor of San Francisco will be either London Breed or Mark Leno. The latter has edged ahead due to SF's ranked voting system. If his lead holds, he will be San Francisco's first openly gay mayor; if Breed wins, she will be the city's first Black woman mayor.

    Read more here:

  • 81. Randolph_Finder  |  June 6, 2018 at 7:09 am

    Is there much difference between the two on LGBT issues?

  • 82. allan120102  |  June 6, 2018 at 7:27 am

    Breaking same sex marriage legal again in Bermuda.

  • 83. Mechatron12  |  June 6, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Yes!!! See, every time we have a setback in one place, we get good news in another. Can anybody imagine saying that ten, fifteen years ago??

  • 84. allan120102  |  June 6, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Sadly a stay was grant as the government appeal the decisión. The ban Will stay in place for six weeks.

  • 85. Randolph_Finder  |  June 6, 2018 at 9:39 am

    There is a stay pending appeal. Where can this be appealed to???

  • 86. VIRick  |  June 6, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    This article does not answer your question, but if the Bermuda government plans to appeal this ruling to the Privy Council (in the UK), they could be playing with fire, as a ruling from the Privy Council coud have much wider ramifications, in effect, legalizing same-sex marriage throughout all the remaining British Overseas Territories.

    Both the BVI and Anguilla, in particular, are sitting ducks, waiting for such a ruling. In recent years, both have become quickie hetero marriage havens, and will marry just about anyone from anywhere (as a revenue enhancer), no questions asked, no waiting period, as long as we're discussing opposite-sex couples. However, in both instances, their marriage laws are already gender-neutral. Neither needs a change in law, just in its interpretation and application. I believe the same applies to Turks and Caicos, although I am somewhat less familiar with their specifics (We can not get there from here directly. We can only fly over them non-stop to/from Miami).

  • 87. allan120102  |  June 6, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Bermuda government has already plan to appeal base on the royal Gazette. If you are correct looks like this will be the catalyst for the remaining territories to have same sex marriage. I Guess this will apply to Montserrat as well.

  • 88. VIRick  |  June 6, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    I absolutely love the photo that accompanies this news article, of the 4 lead plaintiffs in the several lawsuits, all together holding the rainbow flag, Greg De Roche, Winston Godwin, Rod Ferguson, and Maryellen Jackson, as it speaks volumes about the composition of Bermuda's population. And behind the scenes, we should also compliment Bermuda-based Carnival Cruise Lines for having underwritten the legal expenses for Maryellen Jackson's appeal.

  • 89. VIRick  |  June 7, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Bermuda Government to Lodge Appeal after Chief Justice Rules Gay Couples Can Again Marry

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Hamilton, Bermuda — On Wednesday, 6 June 2018, the Bermuda government said it would lodge an appeal against a Supreme Court ruling allowing gay couples to once again marry in Bermuda, just five days after a ban came into effect in this British Overseas Territory. Home Affairs Minister Walton Brown said in a statement that the decision by Chief Justice Ian Kawaley, handed down earlier in the day, would be challenged in the higher courts “subject to any legal advice that we receive.”

    Justice Kawaley had upheld a constitutional challenge against the Domestic Partnership Act (DPA) and declared the sections of the legislation which revoked marriage equality as invalid. His ruling was not set to take immediate effect because he agreed to an application by Attorney-General Kathy Lynn Simmons for a six-week stay to allow the government to decide whether to appeal.

    Earlier, delivering his judgment before a packed courtroom, Justice Kawaley said the parts of the act which revoked the right to same-sex marriage were inconsistent with provisions in the Bermuda constitution which give the right to freedom of conscience and creed.

    The Chief Justice said the plaintiffs were not seeking the right to compel people of opposing beliefs to celebrate or enter into same-sex marriage. “They merely seek to enforce the rights of those who share their beliefs to freely manifest them in practice,” he said. “Persons who passionately believe that same-sex marriages should not take place for religious or cultural reasons are entitled to have those beliefs respected and protected by law. But, in return for the law protecting their own beliefs, they cannot require the law to deprive persons who believe in same-sex marriage of respect and legal protection for their opposing beliefs,” the Chief Justice ruled.

    The Bermuda Court of Appeal sits 3 times per year, is comprised of a panel of foreign judges, and entertains appeals from the Bermuda Supreme Court. Notices of appeal must be lodged with the Court of Appeal within 6 weeks of the Supreme Court decision. Any person not satisfied with a decision from the Court of Appeal can then file an appeal with the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in the UK).

    In the above, for "foreign," read British-based, but not from Bermuda.

    The Judicial Committee of The Privy Council (JCPC) is the court of final appeal for the UK overseas territories and Crown dependencies, and for those Commonwealth countries that have retained the appeal to Her Majesty in Council or, in the case of Republics, to the Judicial Committee.

  • 90. davepCA  |  June 6, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    Here's some good news. You guys remember Zack Wahl's awesome video about his two moms?

  • 91. allan120102  |  June 6, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Same sex marriage is being perform at an amazing rate in Chiapas so far 300 marriages have been perform without the need of an amparo. Quite surprising for a conservative state. Not even the people that work in the civil registry were expecting this number.

  • 92. VIRick  |  June 6, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Canada: Vancouver BC Bans Anti-LGBT "Conversion Therapy"

    Per LGBT Marriage News and Rob Salerno:

    Vancouver will ban all "conversion therapy," across-the-board, and supporters say it’s the first municipality in the country to do so. On 6 June 2018, city council members voted unanimously in favor of the bylaw that will prohibit businesses from providing services or counselling intended to change a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation.

    The business licence bylaw will also apply to religious groups who hold a business licence in the city. The bylaw was initially written to protect minors from conversion therapy, but a last-minute amendment by Councillor George Affleck made it apply to people of all ages.

  • 93. VIRick  |  June 6, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    Australia: New South Wales Up-Dates Its Marriage Laws to Gender-Neutral

    Per LGBT Marriage Equality News:

    The NSW government has become the first Australian state or territory to change its marriage laws to fall in line with Australia's new same-sex marriage legislation, the Commonwealth Marriage Act, following Australia's marriage equality vote last year.

    On 6 June 2018, the state parliament voted to update 53 NSW acts and regulations to reflect the changes made in federal parliament in December. The amendments include the use of gender-neutral language to make sure laws don't exclude married couples based on their sex, and removing the requirement for people to file for divorce before registering for a change of sex.

  • 94. VIRick  |  June 6, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    South Korea Rejects Visa Application for Same-Sex Spouse of Citizen

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The South Korean government has declined to issue a marriage immigration visa (F-6) to a British man who married his Korean male partner in Britain three years ago. On Sunday, 3 June 2018, the Ministry of Justice said that it had recently turned down Simon Williams-Im’s request for the visa, saying Korean laws do not recognize same-sex marriages.

    “Whether a nation or a society accepts, same-sex marriage needs a careful and comprehensive consideration of many factors, such as interpretation of constitutional values regarding the definition of marriage … And it requires national consensus,” the ministry said in response to Williams-Im after he sent his request to President Moon Jae-in.

    Same-sex marriages and civil unions are not legally recognized here, though some members of the National Assembly proposed a bill to legalize such partnerships several years ago. In a highly publicized case, actor Kim Jho Gwang-soo and his male partner Kim Seung-hwan filed a lawsuit in 2013 after the Seodaemun District Office in Seoul declined to accept their marriage registration, only to be rejected by the Seoul Western District Court in 2016.

  • 95. ianbirmingham  |  June 6, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    Superb Analysis Of Masterpiece Cakeshop At SCOTUSblog!!

  • 96. FredDorner  |  June 6, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    Well, that's one analysis anyway. Does her notion of "pluralism" extend to sincerely held racist, antisemitic or anti-Catholic views? I rather doubt it but that would be the necessary outcome if her view of the ruling is how it gets interpreted by federal and state courts.

    However this analysis on SCOTUSblog seems more accurate:
    In the most powerful part of the majority opinion in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Justice Anthony Kennedy reaffirmed this principle. Writing for the court, Kennedy explained:

    The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths. Nevertheless, while those religious and philosophical objections are protected, it is a general rule that such objections do not allow business owners and other actors in the economy and in society to deny protected persons equal access to goods and services under a neutral and generally applicable public accommodations law.

  • 97. guitaristbl  |  June 7, 2018 at 2:47 am

    What is superb about this analysis exactly other than the fact that it says exactly what feared ? That post-Masterpiece Cakeshop anti-discrimination laws are at best weakened and that will have a lasting impact and that SCOTUS is willing to create loopholes to them ?

  • 98. VIRick  |  June 6, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    Some New Firsts in Pride: Guyana, Swaziland, Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya

    LGBTI rights activists around the world will hold Pride celebrations this year against the backdrop of recent legal and political advances and lingering challenges.

    In Guyana, the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) Guyana, a local LGBTI advocacy group, organized the South American country’s first-ever Pride parade that took place on 2 June 2018.

    Activists in Swaziland, a small African country that borders South Africa and Mozambique, are organizing their nation’s first-ever Pride event, scheduled to take place on 30 June 2018. All Out, a global LGBTI advocacy group, has launched a campaign to help activists raise money.

    LGBTI refugees who live in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya are organizing a Pride event that is scheduled to take place on 16 June 2018. Moses Mbazira, who is from Uganda, told the Washington Blade that the organizers hope the event will “awaken” the UN Refugee Agency, and organizations that work with it, about the plight of LGBTI refugees who live in the camp. “It promotes unity amongst the LGBTIQ refugee community members,” said Mbazira.

  • 99. VIRick  |  June 6, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    Another Trans Lawyer Quits DOJ under Trump to Join LGBT Legal Group

    After working for the Justice Department for 34 years, a transgender attorney who objected to Trump administration anti-LGBT policies has left her leadership position for work at a prominent LGBT legal group. In an interview with the "Washington Blade" during her second week on the job at Lambda Legal’s DC office, Diana Flynn, who formerly served as chief of the appellate section of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, talked about her experience over the decades as a transgender attorney and the anti-LGBT policies of the Trump administration.

    Flynn also discussed her decision to depart DOJ to continue the fight as litigation director at Lambda Legal. “I want to see a situation where in society as a whole, it is no more acceptable or legal to discriminate based on LGBT status or HIV status than it is on the basis of any other pernicious classification, like race or sex or anything else,” Flynn said. “We’ve made a lot of progress on that, but we have to go a lot further and nail that down.”

  • 100. JayJonson  |  June 7, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Arizona Court of Appeasl upholds Phoenix nondiscrimination ordinance in a challenge brought by Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of a stationary shop that does not want to have to provide wedding invitations to same-sex couples..

    Most significantly, the ruling cites not only the New Mexico photographer case, but also Masterpiece Cakeshop. This goes a long way to reassuring us that openminded judges will read the SCOTUS decision the way it was intended. (Of course, with all the Trump appointees on the federal bench, many of the judges will not be openminded.)

    Here is the decision in the case, which is known as Brush & Nib v. Phoeniz:

  • 101. guitaristbl  |  June 7, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    That is hopeful but let's see what the Arizona Supreme Court will have to say.

  • 102. VIRick  |  June 7, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    Here's the original decision in this case before the Arizona Superior Court:

    Arizona: Challenge to Phoenix AZ Non-Discrimination Ordinance Tossed

    On 25 October 2017, a calligraphy business, Brush & Nib Studio, one in which the business owners alleged that the city was violating their First Amendment rights by requiring them to do custom work for same-sex couples, lost its challenge to the Phoenix AZ non-discrimination ordinance. Alliance Defending Freedom filed this case in Arizona state court as "Brush & Nib Studio v. City of Phoenix" (Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County), and says it intends to appeal the ruling.

    "IT IS ORDERED granting City of Phoenix Motion for Summary Judgment on all of Plaintiffs' claims, and denying Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment."

    Today's ruling on appeal, pertaining to the same case:

    Arizona: Phoenix Non-Discrimination Ordinance Upheld

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 7 June 2018, in the first lower court ruling applying "Masterpiece Cakeshop," the Arizona Court of Appeals rejected the argument that business owners have a license to discriminate against same-sex couples. In the case in question, "Brush & Nib Studio v. City of Phoenix," a calligraphy company, represented by ADF, was challenging tha city's non-discrimination ordinance. The court upheld the Phoenix non-discrimination ordinance in a challenge brought by a small-time businss that does not want to have to provide "artistic" wedding invitations to same-sex couples.

    Most significantly, the ruling cites not only the New Mexico photographer case, but also that of Masterpiece Cakeshop. This ruling goes a long way in reassuring us that open-minded judges will read this very recent SCOTUS decision the way it was intended.

    The Ordinance reads:
    It is unlawful for any owner, operator, lessee, manager, agent or employee of any place of public accommodation to directly or indirectly display, circulate, publicize or mail any advertisement, notice or communication which states or implies that any facility or service shall be refused or restricted because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability.

    The Court gives examples of the kinds of statements that would be in compliance with the modified ordinance:
    "Although Appellants are prohibited from posting discriminatory statements about their intent to refuse services for same-sex weddings, they may post a statement endorsing their belief that marriage is between a man and a woman and may post a disclaimer explaining that, notwithstanding that belief, Section 18-4(B) requires them to provide goods and services to everyone regardless of sexual orientation. Or they may post a disclaimer that the act of selling their goods and services to same-sex couples does not constitute an endorsement of their customers’ exercise of their constitutional right to marry or any other activities."

    NOTE: This lawsuit was not brought by a same-sex couple who had been refused service. Instead, it was filed by the ditzy female proprietor, who despite never having been approached by a same-sex couple, let alone be requested to do any work, was "worried" that it might happen and that they would then be "forced" to do something that they simply could not bring themselves to do.

    It is identical to the Minnesota videographer suit, again filed by a small-time proprietor who has never been approached by a same-sex couple but who was "afraid" of eventually having the same "horrific" fate befall them, and who just not possibly bring themselves to film a same-sex marriage/wedding performance. The ADF eagerly snapped up both cases. Never mind that the plaintiffs can not prove any harm.

  • 103. FredDorner  |  June 7, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    Looks like the ADF shot themselves in the foot. Again.

  • 104. guitaristbl  |  June 8, 2018 at 8:34 am

    You are getting waaayyy ahead there. Better wait for more decisions.

  • 105. VIRick  |  June 7, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    Delaware Bans Anti-LGBT "Conversion Therapy," State #14

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 7 June 2018, the Delaware General Assembly passed SB65, protecting LGBTQ youth in Delaware from the dangerous and discredited practice known as “conversion therapy.” The bill now moves to the desk of Governor John Carney who is expected to sign it into law. Once signed, Delaware will join 13 other states and Washington DC with laws or regulations protecting LGBTQ youth from the harmful practice.

  • 106. VIRick  |  June 7, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    Alderney: Marriage Equality to Commence from 14 June 2018

    LGBT Marriage News:

    The Alderney States is to consider the commencement ordinance for the equal marriage bill on 13 June 2018. If approved, it will allow the law to come into effect on the very next day, 14 June 2018.

    See Item III, Same-Sex Marriage Legislation, the Same-Sex Marriage (Alderney) Law, 2017, which received the Royal Assent on 13 December 2017:

  • 107. VIRick  |  June 7, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Scotland: Bill to Pardon and Expunge Anti-Gay Convictions Passes

    LGBT Marriage News:

    On 7 June 2018, the Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) Bill passed by 119 votes to zero and will automatically pardon gay men convicted under historical discriminatory laws. It will also allow them to apply for past convictions of this nature to be legally disregarded or removed from criminal records.

    Police Scotland have identified up to 1,261 offenses recorded against 994 people which fall within the scope of the Bill.

  • 108. ianbirmingham  |  June 7, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    São Paulo just hosted the world’s biggest Pride parade

  • 109. VIRick  |  June 7, 2018 at 11:28 pm

    This article on São Paulo Pride needs two corrections. São Paulo is not the capital of Brasil, and never has been the capital. That current honor is reserved for Brasilia. Previously, since independence, Rio de Janeiro was the capital, and all through the colonial period, it was Salvador da Bahia. Instead, São Paulo is without question the largest, most populous city in Brasil, and its combined metro area and total population make it one of the truly leading cities of the world. I am not doubting the claim that they host the world's largest Pride Parade, an event which successfully competes with Rio's Carnaval (at a different time of year) for sheer splashiness.

    Avenida Paulista is not in downtown São Paulo. Downtown (o centro da cidade) is where the cathedral and all the governmental buildings are located. Instead, Avenida Paulista is this massively broad, lengthly, planned esplanade some distance to its east, in what has become, in effect, its ultra-modern new downtown and the financial capital of Brasil. The hyper-busy Anhangabaú connects the two. I used to live on the Jardins side of Avenida Paulista, a few blocks away, near Rua Augusta. The Bela Vista side, near Liberdade, was the gay area, full of funky nightclubs and whatever.

  • 110. ianbirmingham  |  June 8, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    GOP nominee to be Alabama chief justice is a Roy Moore protege tied to white supremacists

  • 111. VIRick  |  June 8, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    New Hampshire: Double LGBT Victory, State #19 with Across-the-Board Trans Protections and State #13 Banning "Conversion Therapy"

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Today, 8 June 2018, Republican Governor Chris Sununu signed HB 1319 into law, protecting transgender individuals across the state from discrimination in employment, housing, and public spaces. The major victory for equality marks the first statewide proactive win on LGBTQ non-discrimination protections in any state since 2016. New Hampshire is now the 19th state in the country, and final state in New England, to explicitly provide comprehensive non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ people. It is particularly significant because of the broad Republican support HB 1319 garnered. The measure passed the Republican-controlled Senate by a vote of 14-10 and the Republican-controlled House with an overwhelmingly strong vote of 195-129.

    On the same date, Governor Sununu also signed HB 587 into law banning anti-LGBT "conversion therapy" for minors, a dangerous and debunked practice that purports to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. New Hampshire joins 12 other states and the District of Columbia that also have laws or regulations protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy. (Delaware, whose legislature passed a similar ban yesterday, will become state #14 once its governor signs the measure into law).

    The states which have banned the practice by law are: New Jersey, California, Oregon, Nevada, Illinois, New Mexico, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington State, Hawaii, Maryland, New Hampshire, plus DC, with Delaware next. Additionally, New York has banned it by executive order.

  • 112. VIRick  |  June 8, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Israel: Gay Marriage Law Fails by 3 Votes

    LGBT Marriage News:

    The Gay Marriage bill has failed to pass, three votes short, MK Stav Shaffir announced on Thursday, 7 June 2018. Shaffir is the youngest female Knesset member in Israeli history, a leftist, and an outspoken member of the Zionist Union faction.

    “If only two Knesset members from the coalition would have voted in favor of the bill as they promised,” said Shaffir, “today we would have made history. They should be ashamed.”

    Hundreds of thousands of “pride” tourists have flooded the coastal region, specifically, the Tel Aviv metro area, in order to attend the city’s 20th annual Gay Pride Parade on Friday, 8 June 2018. It’s the region’s biggest gay event, and expected to draw as many as 200,000 people.

    The left-leaning Labor and Meretz parties both fully came out in support of same-sex marriage. MK Merav Michaeli, who is the co-chair of the gay rights lobby in the Knesset, responded: "The State of Israel is the only democratic state in which there is no civil marriage, and it is time for this government to understand that we are in the year 2018.”

    In Israel, though same-sex marriage is not technically illegal (which is why civil marriages between same-sex couples, performed abroad, are recognized by the civil state), there is no institution (within Israel) authorized to carry it out. In a system inherited from Ottoman times (but touted, pushed, and loudly defended by ultra-orthodox Jews), people can only marry in Israel through their religious institutions: Jewish couples must marry through the Chief Rabbinate, which refuses to carry out same-sex marriages, and Christians, Druze, and Muslims all marry through their own state-sanctioned and publicly-funded religious legal systems.

  • 113. davepCA  |  June 8, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    So how do opposite sex atheist or agnostic couples ever marry in Israel? Or an opposite sex couple with one person who is religious and one who is atheist/agnostic? Or opposite sex couples from different religious backgrounds, when their religions won't marry people from outside that religion?

  • 114. josejoram  |  June 9, 2018 at 12:25 pm

  • 115. VIRick  |  June 9, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    The Difference between Argentina and Israel

    Aharón, el bebé que llegó luego de la primera boda gay en una sinagoga, nació por inseminación, con donante anónimo de esperma. El casamiento de sus dos mamás, en un templo de Belgrano, fue pionero en Latinoamérica. Cómo fue el largo camino de Romina Charur y Victoria Escobar para construir una familia como la primera pareja de lesbianas en tener una boda religiosa en Latinoamérica.

    La celebración fue posible ya que el Templo NCI Emanu-El, del que formaban parte las mujeres, había adherido a la Asamblea Rabínica del Movimiento Conservador, que en 2006 les había conferido a las parejas del mismo sexo la posibilidad de casarse bajo el ritual judío.

    Aharón, the baby who arrived after the first gay wedding in a synagogue, was born by artificial insemination, through an anonymous sperm donor. The marriage of his two moms, in a Belgrano temple, was a pioneer in Latin America. It was a long journey for Romina Charur and Victoria Escobar to build a family as the first lesbian couple to have had a religious wedding in Latin America.

    The celebration was possible since the NCI Emanu-El Temple, to which the women belonged, had joined the Rabbinical Assembly of the Conservative Movement, which in 2006 had given same-sex couples the opportunity of marrying under the Jewish ritual.

    Note: Argentina is so far ahead of most of the rest of the world when it comes to same-sex relationships and transsexual rights, that it can leave one's head spinning. This is but an example. In addition, the article also mentions that the religious wedding was performed in temple by "una rabina" (a female rabbi), something else that Orthodox Judaism in Israel would never approve. Still, they need not worry themselves too much because once Aharón was born, "ocho días después, le hicieron la circuncisión o brit milá en NCI."

    The World Union for Progressive Judaism is the international umbrella organization of the Reform, Liberal, Progressive, and Conservative Jewish congregations to which Congregation NCI Emanu-El of Belgrano, Buenos Aires, is a member.

  • 116. scream4ever  |  June 8, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    It'll happen very soon I'm sure.

  • 117. VIRick  |  June 8, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    Dave, in every instance you have cited, those parties would have to join the same-sex couples and marry abroad. Once they have done so, and returned to Israel, the civil state will recognize their marriages. But you missed the biggest category of Israeli citizens who must marry abroad (if they choose to marry at all), and who thus account for the majority of marriages recognized every year by the state: Hetero, secular Jews who refuse to be married under the strict conditions spelled out by the Chief Rabbinate, which only recognizes Orthodox Judaism, despite the fact that most Jews, even in Israel, are not Orthodox. This battle between Orthodox/Non-Orthodox has been an on-going fight within Israel ever since the state was founded.

    Note: For Christians, ten churches are officially recognized under Israel's confessional system, which provides for the self-regulation of status issues, such as marriage and divorce. These are the Roman (Latin rite), Armenian, Syriac, Chaldean, Melkite (Greek Catholic) and Maronite Catholic churches, plus the Eastern Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, and Syriac Orthodox churches, as well as Anglicanism. Also, despite the fact that their World Centre is located in Haifa, Israel, the Baha'i, a modern eastern religion of Persian origins, is not a recognized religion within Israel for marriage purposes. Despite the presence of several hundred volunteer staff in Haifa and Acre, there is no formal community of Bahá'ís in Israel. Bahá'ís have observed a self-imposed ban on teaching their religion to the local population of Israel. Messianic Judaism is also not recognized.

  • 118. davepCA  |  June 8, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    So here we see what happens when willfully ignorant religious cases are actually able to implement, in civil law, their ill-informed, made-up notion that 'religion created marriage' and therefore ought to 'control' it. That is effing crazy.

  • 119. VIRick  |  June 8, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    If my read on those two articles, back-to-back, concerning the same vote, is correct, it would appear that the clear Israeli majority are on the verge of overthrowing the entire religion-based, Ottoman-inherited marriage/divorce/burial scheme, in large measure because of the rigidity of the Chief Rabbinate and the stranglehold Orthodox Judaism and the ultra-orthodox have over it.

    It is perverse how they seemingly tip-toe around the Christians/Druze/Muslims, and within certain religious bounds, let them do whatever they want, yet they stomp on the majority of Jews (in an ostensibly Jewish state) who are non-Orthodox. Still, a closer look shows that they are doing the same to all the religious minorities. Take the Christians, for example. The first 6 listed, recognized rites, all generically Catholic, definitely do not allow divorce. So, if one were to marry within the Maronite Church (both parties being Maronite), do not ever expect to be able to divorce. Plus, we know that the Orthodox Christians, like Greek Orthodox, are even more intransigently hidebound (personally, I know that from Finland). Perhaps the Druze are content even being recognized at all, but for the Muslims, only the Sunni tradition is recognized, despite the presence of the small Ahmadi sect.

    For those not familiar with Finland, at the time of independence, the Finnish (Greek) Orthodox Church, representing 5-10% of the population, a holdover from the Czarist Russian era when it was actually the Russian Orthodox Church, was given religious parity with the Finnish and Swedish Lutheran Churches, representing 90-95% of the population, and has used that parity to block any/all religious liberalization ever since (like being opposed to any church-based same-sex weddings nationwide, despite the fact that the Lutherans have no serious objections).

  • 120. ianbirmingham  |  June 9, 2018 at 5:48 am

    The Russian Orthodox Church not only interferes with same-sex marriage in Russia, but also pushes laws like the one against "gay propaganda which might be heard by children", which prevents all Pride parades and forces gays to act straight in public. Its anti-gay influence extends well beyond Russia, exporting bigotry to many non-Russian but Russian-speaking places such as Serbia.

  • 121. Fortguy  |  June 9, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    To be truly correct, the Greek Orthodox are not only Eastern Orthodox, but the mother church of all Eastern Orthodoxy similar to how the Church of England is the mother of Anglicanism. Many Eastern churches dignify their chief as patriarch, but their current overall leader, the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, is considered primate and first among equals of all Eastern Orthodox churches in the same way as the Archbishop of Canterbury is the titular, if meaningless, head of all churches within the Anglican communion.

  • 122. VIRick  |  June 8, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    Spain: New Cabinet Includes Two Gay Ministers

    In a first for heavily Catholic Spain, not one but two of the country’s 17 newly appointed cabinet ministers are openly gay.

    On Thursday, 7 June 2018, King Felipe VI presided over the swearing-in ceremony of the new government of Prime Minster Pedro Sánchez, which included Fernando Grande Marlaska, who became Spain’s new interior minister, and Maxim Huerta, who became the new minister of culture and sports.

    While historic, this is not the first time a government has had two openly gay ministers. Luxembourg’s openly gay prime minister also serves as the country’s minister for communications and media, and its openly gay deputy prime minister concurrently serves as the minister for economy and trade.

  • 123. allan120102  |  June 9, 2018 at 1:40 am

    Guatemala on its way to ban same sex marriage. Will be the 2nd country in Central America after mine (Honudras) to have a constitutional ban on its constitution.

  • 124. scream4ever  |  June 9, 2018 at 10:10 am

    But this will be in violation of the IACOHR.

  • 125. VIRick  |  June 9, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Guatemala: Anti-LGBT Legislation in Process

    Per Perchy Bird, Francisco Pérez, and LGBT Marriage News:

    Comisión de Legislación y Puntos Constitucionales del Congreso de la República Guatemala da dictamen favorable a ley que penaliza cualquier tipo de aborto (con excepción del terapéutico), prohíbe la unión de hecho y el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo, y regula enseñanza sobre diversidad sexual.

    Congressional Commission on Legislation and Constitutional Matters of the Republic of Guatemala gives a favorable opinion to the draft bill that criminalizes any type of abortion (with the exception of the therapeutic one), prohibits both de facto unions and marriage between same-sex couples, and regulates teaching about sexual diversity.

    Alan, this is not necessarily a constitutional ban, but rather, is an irreal piece of proposed legislation simultaneously attacking both women's rights (with the abortion restrictions) and LGBT rights (with the prohibition on any form of same-sex union), precisely the type of measure that die-hard right-wingers constantly propose in the more retrograde parts of Latin America, all wrapped up in their "holier-than-thou" defensive posture.

    Right now, that element in Guatemala is probably pissed that that part of Guatemala (Chiapas), which they forgot to take back when they re-split from Mexico, now has marriage equality. You were surprised (but I am not) by the high number of same-sex couples (more than 300) who have already married in Chiapas within the last 7 months. No doubt, a fair number of these couples are from neighboring Guatemala. I am further speculating that some of them are indeed preparing lawsuits to force the Guatemalan government to recognize their Mexican marriages. This retrograde measure, put forth by certain people sensing the same eventuality, smells strongly of defensive, right-wing "panic."

    Just on the face of it, too, this proposal is in complete violation of the CIDH ruling.

    Note: Upon further thought, I have no idea how one can legally prohibit a de facto union (unión de hecho) of any type whatsoever, because, by definition, such a union occurs quite informally, yet automatically, once a couple chooses to begin living together. One does not need someone else's permission to form a de facto union. Instead, it is because it is. A whole separate question is involved as to whether the government chooses to recognize such unions. But said government can not prohibit two people from living together as a de facto couple. Yet, this piece of garbage legislation seeks to prevent such from happening. No court, even in Guatemala, will accept that standard.

  • 126. VIRick  |  June 9, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Iowa: State's Medicaid Policy Must Include Coverage for Transition Care

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 6 June 2018, Iowa Chief District Judge Arthur Gamble ruled in favor of Carol Ann Beal of northwest Iowa and EerieAnna Good of the Quad Cities, agreeing that the state's Medicaid ban on transition-related care violated both the Iowa Civil Rights Act and the Iowa state constitution. The judge ordered the Department of Human Services to approve the women's requests for coverage.

    The decision in "Good/Beal v. Iowa Department of Human Services (Iowa District Court for Polk County) is here:

    One can read more background detail to the consolidated case here:

  • 127. ianbirmingham  |  June 9, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    'Unbreakable' LGBT rainbow installation unveiled in Warsaw [Poland] after far-Right [vandalism] attacks

    The new rainbow, which lights up a busy intersection in the city, is formed by a water hologram, with light bouncing off a curtain of vapour.

    As light and water cannot be defaced in the same way as a solid structure, its creators hope it will not suffer the fate of its predecessor and will become “an unbreakable symbol of love, peace, LGBT rights and equality.”

    The old rainbow, made of artificial flowers, was taken down in 2015 after it was set on fire in [a] series of up to seven attacks that became a symbol of the battle for gay rights in Poland.

    “This rainbow signifies the start of a wider campaign to raise awareness of LGBT rights and in particular the fight for marriage equality in Poland,” said Ola Muzinska, chairperson of the Love Does Not Exclude Association, one of the organisers of the rainbow.

  • 128. bayareajohn  |  June 9, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    That story and image truly have made my weekend light up with unbreakable pride. Thank you for sharing!

  • 129. ianbirmingham  |  June 9, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    Irish children will have [the] ‘right to pick [their own] gender from [age] sixteen [onward]’

  • 130. ianbirmingham  |  June 9, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    Thousands march for LGBT rights in pride parades across Europe

  • 131. ianbirmingham  |  June 9, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    'Jesus would have baked that cake': Local church posts sign blasting baker who was backed by the Supreme Court for refusing to make a gay couple's wedding cake

  • 132. VIRick  |  June 10, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    US Virgin Islands: First-Ever St. Croix Pride Parade Receives Threat

    The FBI and the Virgin Islands Police Department continue to investigate a threat made against St. Croix’s first-ever Pride parade that took place on Saturday, 9 June 2018. Lavonne Wise, an LGBT rights advocate who helped organize the event, sent the "Washington Blade" a screenshot of the threat that was left on Facebook:

    “Everyone that (sic) owns AK-47 needs to stay on roof tops and gun them down !!!!,” reads the post. “They are tipping the scale. No balance. They will become our destruction if we as a whole don’t to (sic) something. They are trying to destroy Reproduction (sic). No sin will be brought against humans for killing.”

    The parade took place without incident.

  • 133. VIRick  |  June 10, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    UK: Trans Man Sues to Be Recognized as Father/Parent of Child He Gave Birth To

    In the UK, a transgender man has begun a legal battle to be officially identified and listed as either the father or the parent on the baby’s birth certificate, after he was informed by the registrar responsible for registering the birth that the law requires people who give birth to be registered as mothers. He has now launched a human rights case in order to be listed as the child’s father or parent, stating that being registered as his child’s mother infringes on his right to respect for family and private life.

    On Thursday, 7 June 2018, a High Court judge heard the beginning of the case from lawyers representing the unnamed man, as well as those representing the General Register Office, the government agency responsible for keeping records on births, deaths, and marriages. The judge, Mr Justice Francis, stated that this issue had not been previously raised in a court in England and Wales and could prompt a change in the law if the man were successful.

    The head of the unnamed man’s legal team, barrister Hannah Markham QC, said the law was “no longer compatible” with modern society and wider gender expression. In a statement to the court, Markham wrote: “It is an accepted fact that a female who transitions to male may in law maintain the ability to conceive and give birth to a child. It is further averred that the current law relating to the registration of births and deaths is no longer compatible with the changes in society, the evolvement of freedom of expression and gender equality, and the protection of an individual’s rights to identify as a particular gender.”

  • 134. VIRick  |  June 10, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Ecuador: First-Ever Pride March in Durán, Guayas

    Per Valientes de Corazón:‏

    Hoy, 9 de junio 2018, participamos del primer desfile Orgullo LGBTI en el cantón de Durán, Provincia de Guayas. Nuestra consigna es inclusion laboral trans.

    Today, 9 June 2018, we participated in the first LGBTI Pride parade in Durán canton, Province of Guayas. Our slogan is trans work inclusion.

    Valientes de Corazón es una asociación dirigida hacia la población LGBTI en Ecuador, dirigida por hombres trans militando hacia la construcción del bienestar colectivo.

    Valientes de Corazón is an association directed towards the LGBTI population in Ecuador, led by trans men working towards the construction of the collective well-being.

    Durán is a city of over 100,000 people, right at sea level, near Guayaquil, just 2 degrees south of the equator. So, technically, it is "winter" there.

  • 135. VIRick  |  June 10, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Chile: Coyhaique Pride Marches in the Snow, 9 June 2018

    Per Ivonne Coñuecar:

    Resistiendo en Coyhaique al frío y al odio. Orgullo por la comunidad LGBT de mi ciudad.

    Resisting in Coyhaique to cold and hatred. Pride for the LGBT community in my city.

    It is definitely winter in Coyhaique, in remote Chilean Patagonia.

  • 136. VIRick  |  June 10, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    Bolivia Continues to Challenge the Outer Edges of Gender Boundaries

    La Paz – Un desfile de belleza y moda de "cholas transformistas, la mujer boliviana de raíces indígenas," interpeló este fin de semana los tradicionales eventos de belleza occidentales, en una pasarela llena de colorido montada en un patio colonial de La Paz. El movimiento de la "chola transformista" cuestiona "las estéticas" pero también la "performática y la autonomía de los cuerpos," explica la comunidad LGTB, liderada por el artista y comunicador Andrés Mallo, conocido como "Alicia Galán" en su identidad de transformista.

    En la elección de la "cholita transformista 2018" intervinieron, el sábado, ocho hombres jóvenes que entre bambalinas requirieron de más de una hora de maquillaje y vestuario para asumir la identidad de "la mujer de pollera que actualmente tiene una gran presencia en la sociedad boliviana." Se trata de "realzar la vestimenta para visibilizar la pollera," explica a la AFP Madison Rodríguez, de 35 años, mientras se maquilla para convertirse en una indígena quechua. "Mi madre y mi abuela vestían pollera," pero debido a la intolerancia y discriminación mudaron sus vestidos por otros occidentales, señala.

    Madison resalta las normas del gobierno del presidente aymara Evo Morales, que asumió en 2006, reivindicando el poder indígena, posibilitando que actualmente sea "más honroso vestir la pollera." En materia de derechos, sin embargo, "falta mucho por hacer," según Mallo.

    Abel Espinoza, comerciante de 33 años de edad, identificado como "Génesis" y activo miembro de esta comunidad, normalmente baila de "chola transformista" en diversos eventos folclóricos. Sin embargo, su idea es clara: "no me voy a volver trans ni travesti, respeto a ellos pero me mantengo en el transformismo," sostiene. "Génesis" fue elegida el año pasado como "cholita transformista 2017" y asegura que, además de sacrificada y trabajadora, "la mujer de pollera es muy elegante."

    En un país con una comunidad creciente de lesbianas, gays, bisexuales, y transexuales (LGBT), el presidente Morales promulgó en mayo de 2016 una norma que permite a transexuales y transgéneros cambiar de identidad en el sistema público de registro civil, pero, según el Tribunal Constitucional, ello no les faculta a contraer matrimonio.

    (continued below in English)

  • 137. VIRick  |  June 10, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    (continued from above)

    La Paz – A parade of beauty and fashion from "cholas transformistas, the Bolivian woman of indigenous roots," this weekend mirrored traditional western beauty events, in a catwalk full of color mounted on a colonial patio of La Paz. The movement of the "chola transformista" questions "the aesthetics" but also the "performance and the autonomy of the body," explains LGTB community leader, artist, and communicator Andrés Mallo, known as "Alicia Galán" in his transformista identity.

    In the selection for "cholita transformista 2018" on Saturday, eight young men, behind the scenes, each required more than an hour of makeup and costuming to assume the identity of "the woman of pollera who currently has a large presence in Bolivian society." It's about "enhancing the dress to make the pollera visible," Madison Rodríguez, 35, told AFP, as he put on makeup to become an indigenous Quechua. "My mother and my grandmother wore pollera," but due to intolerance and discrimination they changed their clothing to other western styles, he says.

    Madison highlights the laws of the government of Aymara president Evo Morales, who took office in 2006, vindicating indigenous power, which now makes it possible for it to be "more honorable to wear the skirt." Regarding rights, however, "there is still a long way to go," according to Mallo.

    Abel Espinoza, 33-year-old merchant, identified as "Genesis" and active member of this community, usually dances "chola transformista" in various folkloric events. However, his idea is clear: "I'm not going to become a trans or a transvestite, I respect them but I am staying transformista," he says. "Genesis" was chosen last year as "cholita transformista 2017" and ensures that, in addition to being sacrificing and hard-working, "the woman in pollera is very elegant."

    In a country with a growing community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, President Morales enacted a law in May 2016 that allows transsexuals and transgenders to change their identity in the public civil registry system, but, according to the Constitutional Court, this does not entitle them to marry.

  • 138. VIRick  |  June 10, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    Note: The pollera costuming is a dated female attire from the 19th century, featuring multiple layers of long, wide billowing skirts, usually with the outer layers lifted in front, thus revealing more and more white, frilly under-layers further underneath, the actual pollera. In Bolivia, it is a dress style more associated with the wealthier urban mestizo class (cholo/chola), rather than being strictly Quechua.

    In their traditional dress, rural Quechua women also still wear several layers of long skirts, but more significantly, wrap the upper body in several layers of colorfully-decorated alpaca ponchos, and then top off the entire costume with a jaunty home-made woolen bowler hat.

    Still, I found the article informative, as it was highlighting a slightly different (cholo/chola) identity, one based on Quechua origins, but one once practiced by urban mestizos, even if it were not precisely the one still traditionally followed by rural Quechua women today.

    More significantly however, certain urban mestizo men, in long-standing Quechua tradition, will still dress as women, and put on a show of it in full splendor, just as described in the article. And that aspect of it, challenging the farthest, outer edges of gender boundaries, even in modern, urban La Paz, has always been a serious, well-regarded, traditional Quechua tradition.

  • 139. VIRick  |  June 11, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Maine BMV to Allow Non-Binary "X" Gender Designation

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Portland ME – EqualityMaine, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders – GLAD, MaineTransNet, and the ACLU of Maine joined together today, 11 June 2018, to celebrate an agreement with the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles, which will begin offering the option of a non-binary gender designation on driver’s licenses and identification cards.

    At this time, the face of existing credentials show an “M” for male or “F” for female. Upon receipt of a completed Gender Designation Form, the BMV will issue a sticker for the license or ID that will read: "Gender has been changed to X – Non-binary." In conjunction with a system upgrade and new design for licenses and IDs, which will be completed no later than July 2019, the gender information on the front of the card will be displayed as 'M', 'F' or 'X' and the sticker will be phased out.

    Maine is state #4 to allow a third-gender option on state-issued IDs, following Oregon, California, and Washington state. See the article below for more detail, including the fact that, a year ago, an individual had filed an official complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission over this matter:

  • 140. VIRick  |  June 11, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    First Guatemala Highlands Pride Walk in Cobán

    Per Gente Positiva:

    Que orgullo realizar la primera caminata del orgullo LGBTIQ en Cobán en 9 de junio 2018, gracias a quienes nos acompañan en nuestra caminata para la reivindicación de nuestros derechos.

    How prideful it is to make the first LGBTIQ pride walk in Cobán on 9 June 2018, thanks to those who accompanied us on our walk to demand our rights.

    Santo Domingo de Cobán, the capital of the department of Alta Verapaz, is in the central highlands of Guatemala.

  • 141. ianbirmingham  |  June 12, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    LGBTQ pride parade turnout defies conservative times in Poland

    A record number of gay pride marches – 12 – are scheduled across predominantly Catholic Poland this season, including in five cities having them for the first time. Some of the new locations are considered conservative strongholds, like Rzeszow and Opole.

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