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Open thread 7/16 UPDATED 7/18 w/ breaking news


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

BREAKING: The Ninth Circuit has declined to put a lower court ruling against President Trump’s ban of transgender military servicemembers on hold pending appeal.

UPDATED 7/20: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is asking the Supreme Court to hear a case involving anti-transgender employment discrimination under Title VII. The petition argues that discrimination “because of… sex” doesn’t apply to gender identity and that the Court’s decision in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins (which held that sex stereotyping is discrimination “because of… sex”) doesn’t help transgender employees.


  • 1. VIRick  |  July 16, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Puerto Rico: Trans People Can Now Correct Gender Marker on Birth Certificates

    Per Pedro Julio Serrano:

    Desde hoy, el 16 de julio 2018, las personas trans podrán cambiar su certificado de nacimiento para que tengan su género correcto.

    From today, 16 July 2018, trans people will be able to change their birth certificate to reflect their correct gender.

    Las personas transgénero podrán modificar sus certificados de nacimiento. El Registro Demográfico emitió la carta circular (para permitirlo) que entró en efecto hoy, el 16 de julio 2018.….

    Transgender people can modify their birth certificates. The Demographic Registry issued the circular letter (to allow it) that went into effect from today, 16 July 2018.

  • 2. VIRick  |  July 16, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    CIDH Authority and the 20 Nations Which Agreed to its Jurisdiction

    To answer these questions, posed in the previous thread:

    "So the CIDH is reminding states they have to abide by its rulings?"

    Yes, and we can expect that the CIDH will continue to remind Member States that they must abide by all of its decisions at every future opportunity. They just clarified that all decisions, whether they be the result of contentious jurisdiction obtaining specific sentences or whether they be the result of non-contentious advisory jurisdiction obtaining advisory opinions, all 20 Member States must abide by both types of decisions because they all agreed beforehand, when they first signed the agreement, that they would do so.

    Even among some individuals who should otherwise know better, there has been an on-going mis-understanding that only those decisions resulting in specific sentences are binding on the specific party in question. No. The CIDH has re-iterated that all decisions are binding, and that all decisions are binding on all 20 nations, whether they were a direct party to the case or not.

    "Will this translate into concrete actions which are long overdue such as in Ecuador?"

    Again, it is up to the Member States to take whatever action is necessary to bring their own respective nation into compliance with all CIDH rulings. The CIDH itself has no enforcement mechanism to force anyone to do anything, other that the original agreement, freely signed by all 20 Member States, in which each agreed that they would abide by its rulings.

    Under the circumstances, the best everyone can do is to constantly remind everyone else that these 20 nations committed themselves to abide by all CIDH rulings, and that they are under legal obligation to do so. Just like the CIDH itself is doing, we need to hammer this message home, over and over, repeatedly. Legal scholars already understand. So do an assortment of more progressive political figures. However, the message has not yet reached the average general public, the typical politician, or the run-of-the-mill judge.

    So, there will be resistance, coupled with large doses of ignorance. However, no one held a gun to the head of officials in a nation like Paraguay or Haiti to force them to sign the CIDH accord. They did it on their own, whether they fully understood what they were committing themselves to do in the future or not.

  • 3. ianbirmingham  |  July 16, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Senate GOP poised to break record on Trump's court picks

    Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has teed up two circuit court nominations — Andrew Oldham for the Fifth Circuit and Ryan Bounds for the Ninth Circuit — for Senate votes. Confirming either would give President Trump his 23rd appeals court judge — a record for the number of circuit nominees confirmed during a president's first two years in office.

    GOP senators have worked frantically to confirm nominees to the key bench, letting the party shape the direction of the U.S. court system for decades. … They broke a record last year for the number of circuit court picks confirmed during a president's first year and tied the two-year record earlier this month. …

    Republicans have homed in on circuit judge nominations because they have the final word on a large swatch of cases that never make it to the Supreme Court.

  • 4. VIRick  |  July 16, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    Cuba: Petition to National Assembly for Marriage Equality

    Javier Enrique Pérez Orosa started this petition to the Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular:

    Con motivo de la Reforma Constitucional en Cuba y las comisiones de trabajo creadas al respecto, se hace necesario impulsar la visibilización del colectivo LGBTIQ dentro de la sociedad cubana y sus necesidades. Además de ser el momento propicio para adaptar y actualizar la legislación de la isla a los tiempos q corren, amparados siempre en el principio de considerar los derechos sexuales como derechos humanos. No podemos permitir que se sesguen derechos a las personas o que sean discriminadas por orientación sexual o identidad de género. Es momento de cambio!

    On the occasion of the Constitutional Reform in Cuba and the work commissions created in this regard, it is necessary to promote the visibility of the LGBTIQ collective within Cuban society, as well as its needs. In addition, it is the propitious moment to adapt and update the legislation of the island to current times, always protected by the principle of considering sexual rights as human rights. We can not allow people to be biased against others or to be discriminated against because of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is time for change!

    The link will take you to the petition:

  • 5. allan120102  |  July 16, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    The modifications will start to be approve in friday saturday and sunday will be the last day. Hopefully ssm is include.

  • 6. VIRick  |  July 16, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    Northern Marianas: Same-Sex Tourism Still All the Rage

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Since 2015, when same-sex marriage was legalized in the US and its territories, there has been a significant jump in the number of marriages between same-sex couples performed on Saipan, the majority of which involved Chinese tourists.Today, Chinese tourists still continue to venture out to the CNMI to marry, but so have other ethnicities such as Russians, Koreans, and even Bangladeshi.

    According to data obtained from the Saipan Mayor’s Office, there have been a total of 117 marriage licenses issued for the 6 months, January-June 2018. Of the 117 licenses, 90 were issued to same-sex couples. From the 90 same-sex couples who received marriage licenses from the Saipan Mayor’s Office, 61 were female couples and 29 were male couples, and the majority were Chinese tourists.

    Same-sex marriage continues to thrive despite the recent increase in marriage license fees that were implemented earlier this year. According to a previous article in the "Saipan Tribune," the increase is embodied in House Bill 20-128 that was passed into law in mid-April 2018. Accordingly, non-residents will now be charged $250 to obtain a marriage license and residents will be charged $130. All revenue raised from marriage license fees will go to the Saipan Mayor’s Office account.

    The upward trend in same-sex marriages began in 2015 with the Saipan Mayor’s Office officiating at 12 marriages between same-sex couples. Half of the same-sex marriage certificates issued that year were for Chinese tourists.

  • 7. Elihu_Bystander  |  July 17, 2018 at 5:33 am

    Judge Rules Catholic Agency Cannot Discriminate Against LGBT Foster Parents

    “A judge has ruled that the city of Philadelphia was justified in asking faith-based social service providers to follow local non-discrimination laws.

    “The Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Catholic Social Services (CSS) filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the city in June claiming that the agency should be allowed to deny services to LGBT potential foster parents. Officials with the city’s Department of Human Services had said social service providers must abide by the Fair Practices Ordinance, which protects LGBT people, in order to be contracted by the city.

    “Most recently, CSS sought a temporary restraining order that would allow the agency to continue working on its city foster care contract while the suit was being adjudicated. But Judge Petrese B. Tucker of the U.S. District Court denied that request and defended the city’s practice.”

    You can read more here:

    and here:

  • 8. Fortguy  |  July 17, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    The Failing New York Times, so called by the Embarrassment-in-Chief representing long-held GOP values as a flip-flopping draft dodger who travels the globe apologizing for America, has released in their online opinion section an animated cartoon by Bill Plympton depicting a teenage gay love fling between said Embarrassment and Putin.

    The video is getting pushback from some activists who think jokes expressing anything laughable about gayness are homophobic.

    Emily Birnbaum, The Hill: NYT cartoon depicting Trump and Putin as gay spurs backlash over 'homophobia'

    Are late-night comedians joking about the President's and First Lady's relationship guilty of "heterophobia"?

  • 9. Elihu_Bystander  |  July 17, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Cute in the pejorative; regardless, I am likewise offended by the cartoon.

  • 10. VIRick  |  July 17, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    No, it is not homophobia. Nor is there any humor left in any "cartoon" depiction, as the Assh-ole-in-Charge is, in and of himself, well beyond "cartoon."

    Still, the actual problem with said cartoon, as depicted, lies in the fact that it is only nipping around the edges and did not go anywhere near far enough in expressing the reality of the situation. As I see it, in this sordid, one-sided, trashy gay "love affair," the graphically X-rated drawing would have to intimately depict the Assh-Ole-in-Charge as the meek, whimpering, submissive "bottom."

  • 11. JayJonson  |  July 18, 2018 at 7:46 am

    The cartoon is deeply homophobic. It is funny only insofar as it ridicules the fake hypermasculinity of both autocrats. And no, the late-night comedians joking about Trump and Melanoma's relationship are not guilty of heterophobia. When they make fun of Trump and his whorish First Lady, they are making fun of them as individuals and a couple not of heterosexuality. The cartoonist, however, is using the stigma attached to homosexuality as a means of attacking Trump and Putin, based on the assumption that nothing they actually do is worse than being homosexual. That is homophobia, and the New York Times should know better.

  • 12. ianbirmingham  |  July 18, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    The cartoon is not homophobic. A similar cartoon showing Ronald Reagan making out with Margaret Thatcher would not be heterophobic. As VIRick correctly observes, Trump is clearly the bottom in this situation. I personally would give Putin a gaudy BDSM outfit and a brutal whip, and then I'd draw numerous glow-in-the-dark red stripe marks all over Trump's butt.

  • 13. VIRick  |  July 18, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Ian, I like the way you think. Come here and sit by me.

  • 14. JayJonson  |  July 18, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    So bottom-shaming is not homophobic?

  • 15. VIRick  |  July 18, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Jay, this is not "bottom-shaming." This is extrapolating the reality of the situation from factual evidence. How does one "bottom-shame" a tacky "bottom" who not only likes "bottoming," but who revels in it, and boldly and proudly continues to do so before the entire world?

  • 16. JayJonson  |  July 18, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    No. The point of the cartoon is that it is shameful for Trump to be a bottom to Putin. Period. The humor comes from the fact that Trump pretends to be such a "manly" p-ssu-grabbing bully but actually is eager to get fucked by Putin. That is bottom-shaming pure and simple. The entire situation would be very different if Trump were actually a bold and proud bottom. He isn't. The whole thing is absurd. But the cartoon finds its humor (and point) in the assumption that homosexuality is shameful, and the bottom is particularly an object of ridicule. I agree with the many activists who have objected to the cartoon.

  • 17. ianbirmingham  |  July 19, 2018 at 1:35 am

    The cartoon is not about shame at all. It is simply a caricature: an image showing the features of its subject in a simplified or exaggerated way. Here, WP is exaggerating the ginourmous Putin-Trump bromance by taking it up to the next level.

  • 18. JayJonson  |  July 20, 2018 at 6:02 am

    For all the reasons and ways to criticize a corrupt, racist, xenophobic U.S. president and a thuggish, murderous, kleptomaniac Russian dictator, the choice of the cartoonist is to depict them as in love with each other. And that is not homophobic? Absurd.

  • 19. ianbirmingham  |  July 18, 2018 at 1:18 am

    Vermont's Christine Hallquist Could Become First Trans Governor

    On LGBT rights, Vermont has some of the strongest laws in the nation, and it was the first state to enact marriage equality legislatively rather than by court action, but there is still room for improvement, she says. Access to health care, she notes, it’s a problem for LGBT people in the state’s rural areas, as it is for rural Vermonters in general.

    She would like to see data collected on how people from all marginalized populations are treated in schools, the criminal justice system, and other venues, and use that data to help end bias. Citizen oversight boards for police would be one way to address racial disparities in law enforcement, she says.

  • 20. allan120102  |  July 18, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Good news coming from Romania

  • 21. VIRick  |  July 18, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Romania's Top Court OKs Residency Rights for Same-Sex Couple

    On Wednesday, 18 July 2018, Romania's top court ruled that a gay Romanian-American couple is entitled to the same residency rights as other married couples within the European Union.

    The Constitutional Court ruling followed a decision last month by the European Court of Justice in the case of Romanian Adrian Coman and his American husband, Claibourn Robert Hamilton. The men, who live in New York, wanted their marriage legally recognized in Romania.

    Earlier, the EU court had ruled that member countries "may not obstruct the freedom of residence" of EU citizens by refusing to grant residence for the same-sex spouse." Romanian Constitutional Court chief judge Valer Dorneanu said the national ruling was not about recognizing same-sex marriage but about freedom of movement.

    EU members Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia do not recognize same-sex marriage or offer legal protection to same-sex couples, although Slovakia and Bulgaria have both already agreed to abide by the same EU court decision to which Romania has also just agreed, Slovakia by institutional proclamation of their Justice Ministry and Bulgaria by lower court ruling.

  • 22. allan120102  |  July 18, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Breaking Costa Rica.
    Costa Rica supreme court to issue its ssm ruling on the first 15 days of August. CR is poise to become the first country to legalize ssm in 2018

  • 23. VIRick  |  July 18, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Costa Rica: Sala IV Announces, Future of Marriage Equality Will Be Decided in the First Days of August

    Costa Rica: Futuro de Matrimonio Igualitario se Decidirá en los Primeros Días de Agosto, Anuncia Sala IV

    La Sala Constitucional informó que en los primeros 15 días del próximo mes resolverá la acción que pesa contra varios artículos del Código de Familia. “La Sala comunica a la ciudadanía que en la primera quincena del próximo mes resolverá la Acción de Inconstitucionalidad número 13-13032-0007-CO contra el Artículo 242 del Código de Familia y el Artículo 4, inciso m, de la Ley de la Persona Joven, así como la (Acción de Inconstitucionalidad) número 15-13971-0007-CO contra el Artículo 14, inciso 6, del Código de Familia,” aseguró.

    Precisamente este el último obstáculo para la celebración de uniones de personas del mismo sexo en Costa Rica, luego de que le Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones (TSE) le trasladara esa responsabilidad a la Sala IV, subrayando que su función en ese ámbito era meramente registral.

    The Constitutional Chamber reported that in the first 15 days of next month it will resolve the action that weighs against several articles of the Family Code. "The Chamber informs the public that in the first half of next month it will resolve the Action of Unconstitutionality number 13-13032-0007-CO against Article 242 of the Family Code and Article 4, subsection m, of the Young Person's Law, as well as the (Action of Unconstitutionality) number 15-13971-0007-CO against Article 14, subsection 6, of the Family Code," it assured.

    These are precisely the last obstacles to celebrating same-sex unions in Costa Rica, after the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) transferred that responsibility to Sala IV, underlining that its function in that area was merely registration.

  • 24. scream4ever  |  July 18, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Hopefully Cuba won't be far behind, or any of the other nations in the IACOHR for that matter. I'm holding out hope that NI may pass it by year's end (the second reading was pushed back to October due to an objection in Parliament).

  • 25. allan120102  |  July 18, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Only Cuba and Venezuela are not in the Ich jurisdiction when there bans fall every latin American country should have marriage equality by then. Cuba might legalise it this week. Hopefully

  • 26. Randolph_Finder  |  July 18, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    Feels like every spanish speaking country larger than Uruguay could legalize by the end of the year…

  • 27. VIRick  |  July 18, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    Randolph, that is an excellently clever way of phrasing it,– every Spanish-speaking nation larger than Uruguay may well have marriage equality by the end of the year.

    Unfortunately, Paraguay is actually bigger in both area and in population, while the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua all have larger populations, even though most are smaller in area.

    Paraguay will undoubtedly be the last Latin nation in South America to legalize marriage equality, while Nicaragua appears as if it wishes to win the same dubious award for Central America.

  • 28. psicotraducciones  |  July 18, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    I dont get why Paraguay is so conservative, considering its neighbours, Argentina and Uruguay are so progressive. I think Paraguay will be the toughest one, undoubtedly.

  • 29. allan120102  |  July 18, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    Paraguay is the heaven of conservatives in south America many people who hate liberalism move there. The church has strong power there, there was a time were Paraguay had a extreme liberal president name Fernando Lugo but it was taken down by conservatives and the church

    . Lgbt people in Paraguay would have been good with Santiago Peña but he was replace by a true conservative the now elect president of Paraguay. Paraguay conservatism obviously comes from the church and its strong support of it, but at the same migration from the rural places of Brazil and Argentina that cant support the liberal laws of there nations. Its like someone from California moving to Texas or Alabama looking for a more conservative environment. They are other factors though.

  • 30. VIRick  |  July 19, 2018 at 12:00 am

    Caveat: I have lived in southern Brasil, as well as in Chile, and have visited Argentina and Uruguay multiple times, so by definition, my view of Paraguay is strongly negative, heavily reinforced by the fact that not one single person I ever encountered anywhere in Brasil ever had a good word to say regarding Paraguay (nor about any borderland areas within Brasil near Paraguay).

    Paraguay is not conservative. Instead, think of it as a spoiled brat of a child seeking attention. Its neighbors do one thing; it has to do the opposite. The more progressive the neighbors, the more hostile and entrenched is the opposition to change within Paraguay. Historically, it has always been that way. Paraguay literally thrives on its own perversity, and actually enjoys its well-earned reputation of being dismissively called the Assh-Ole of South America. Bolivia, with good cause, and desperate to change its own image, actually shuns Paraguay, while both Argentina and Brasil barely tolerate its existence. Uruguay totally ignores it, as does Chile.

  • 31. Randolph_Finder  |  July 19, 2018 at 6:04 am

    The ultimate Paraguay temper tantrum was the war of the Triple Alliance…

  • 32. allan120102  |  July 19, 2018 at 12:04 am

    Rick I am not sure if Nicaragua will be the last in Central America I am putting my bets on Guatemala. Right now they have a strongly conservative president, Court and Legislature. I seriously doubt Guatemalan supreme court will rule quickly if at all in our favor they might do it by force but they might take its time do it.

    Still you might be right as Nicaragua hasn't had there ban Challenge but I believe the lawsuit against Guatemala is only a recognition case and not about performing ssm in the country, In normal circumstances I would say Guatemala might be the last one but the trouble in Nicaragua might continue to slow activist in Nicaragua.

    If it wasn't for the trouble that is now occurring in Nicaragua I am pretty sure lgbt activists would have already file a lawsuit against its ban, and Considering that Nicaragua is less conservative than Guatemala in this issue and usually the church don't have the same power as they do in Guatemala it would have been easier for lgbt activist to win there.

  • 33. psicotraducciones  |  July 19, 2018 at 2:03 am

    I mean if were talking about Central America, I think the last ones will definitely be Haiti, Dominican Republic and Belize for example

  • 34. psicotraducciones  |  July 18, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    Costa Rica should legalise it in August then, Peru and Ecuador have good chances as well

  • 35. scream4ever  |  July 18, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    Venezuela is close as well. Supposedly they just have to issue a ruling, which all indications point to a positive one.

  • 36. allan120102  |  July 18, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Venezuela just need to issue a ruling. Its ready I am not sure what they are waiting. Ecuador should have issue theres a while ago but still waiting. Both should had ssm by now but there courts are so slow as the legislature of chile is in advancing ssm.

  • 37. VIRick  |  July 18, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Costa Rica: Sala IV Announcement Is "News of the Day"

    Sala IV resolverá en agosto sobre uniones de hecho y matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo. Magistrados atenderán dos Acciones de Inconstitucionalidad que datan del 2013 y 2015.

    In August, Sala IV will resolve the issue of de facto unions and same-sex marriages. The Justices will address two Actions of Unconstitutionality that date from 2013 and 2015.

    Per Delfino.CR:

    Sala Constitucional anuncia que resolverá Acciones de Inconstitucionalidad y recursos de amparo sobre matrimonio igualitario y uniones de hecho durante la primer quincena de agosto.

    Constitutional Chamber announces that it will resolve Actions of Unconstitutionality and amparo cases on marriage equality and de facto unions during the first half of August.

    Per Luis Salazar del Comisionado Presidencial LGBTIQ de Costa Rica:

    A partir del anuncio de la Sala Constitucional indicando que resolverá las acciones de inconstitucionalidad relacionadas con matrimonio igualitario, presentaré un documento recordándole sus obligaciones constitucionales e internacionales, en respeto del principio de igualdad.

    Per Luis Salazar, LGBTIQ Presidential Commissioner of Costa Rica:

    Following the announcement of the Constitutional Chamber indicating that it will resolve Actions of Unconstitutionality related to marriage equality, I will present a document reminding them of their constitutional and international obligations, respecting the principle of equality.

  • 38. VIRick  |  July 19, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Karen Atala Riffo of Chile Is in Costa Rica Planning Strategy

    Per Karen Atala Riffo (lead plaintiff and judge who won the CIDH suit against Chile):

    (Ahora, el 19 de julio 2018, estoy) en reunión con las organizaciones LGTBI en la Casa Presidencial del Gobierno de Costa Rica para desarrollar estrategias ante el anuncio de la Sala Constitucional de dictar sentencia sobre la Acción de Inconstitucionalidad para el matrimonio igualitario.

    (Right now, on 19 July 2018, I am) in a meeting with LGTBI organizations in the Presidential House of the Government of Costa Rica to develop strategies prior to the announcement of the Constitutional Chamber in issuing its ruling on the Action of Unconstitutionality for marriage equality.

    Note: Karen Atala Riffo, currently a director of Iguales Chile, is a trained jurist and judge who truly knows her jurisprudence. She has already gone through the entire legal code of Chile, word-for-word, line-by-line, indicating where and how each reference can be rendered gender neutral. The entire package has already been submitted to the Chilean Legislature for their approval and is where it currently sits.

  • 39. VIRick  |  July 18, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Lebanon: Appeals Court Rules that Country's Laws Do Not Ban Homosexuality

    The decision to uphold the acquittal of nine people prosecuted for being gay in 2017 has been celebrated by activists, who view it as a landmark moment in the fight to decriminalise homosexuality. The ruling of 12 July 2018, was handed down by a Mount Lebanon appeals court, the highest judicial authority to find in favor of equality so far, according to AFP.

    The appeals court rejected an appeal to overturn the lower court’s ruling of January 2017 that if Lebanese citizens wanted to have gay sex, it was “a practice of their fundamental rights.” The nine people acquitted in that decision had been charged under Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code, which bans sexual acts which “contradict the laws of nature,” making them punishable with one year in prison.

    Karim Nammour of Legal Agenda, an activist group fighting for LGBT equality, said that the decision means “homosexual relations are not a crime, as long as they are between two adults and do not occur in a public space.” Nammour, who is a lawyer, said this was the fifth such verdict in support of equality for gay people, but that a ruling from such a high-ranking court was unprecedented.

  • 40. scream4ever  |  July 18, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Long overdue as Beruit is known for having a large gay scene.

  • 41. ianbirmingham  |  July 18, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Trump's Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh has the lowest support among the American people of any nominee in the last 30 years, according to new poll
    * Kavanaugh was backed by 41 per cent of Americans polled last week by Gallup
    * His nomination is opposed by 37 per cent – giving him a margin of four points
    * Over the years, the average margin of support for nominees has been 23 points

  • 42. VIRick  |  July 18, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    Ecuador: One Step from Having Marriage Equality

    Ecuador: A un Paso de Tener Matrimonio Igualitario

    Per Matrimonio Civil Igualitario Ecuador:

    Invitamos a los medios de comunicación a una rueda de prensa este jueves, el 19 de julio 2018, 10h00, en oficinas de CEDHU, Quito.

    We invite the media to a press conference on Thursday, 19 July 2018, 10 AM, at the offices of CEDHU, Quito.

    Other groups participating in tomorrow's press conference, in addition to Matrimonio Civil Igualitario Ecuador, include Colectivo Jurídico Feminista and Comisión Ecuménica de Derechos Humanos (CEDHU).

    This could prove to be a very interesting press conference, as we will be seeing a convergence of LGBT organizations with feminist jurists (who won the marriage cases in Cuenca) and with CEDHU, the latter group renowned for advocating for Ecuadorian Indigenous rights, with the over-riding theme for all being that of human rights.

  • 43. VIRick  |  July 19, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Wyoming: Jackson Hole Passes Non-Discrimination Ordinance

    The Town Council of Jackson Hole WY unanimously passed a non-discrimination ordinance on Monday, 16 July 2018, reports "The Jackson Hole News & Guide." The new legislation outlaws any forms of unequal treatment based on sexual orientation or gender identity regarding housing, employment, and public accommodation. Wyoming, where Matthew Shepard was murdered in 1998, still lacks such a statewide law.

    “I’m impressed by and proud of our community for coming together and showing empathy and compassion for everyone,” Mayor Pete Muldoon said after the ordinance passed, “It makes me really happy to live in Jackson right now.”

  • 44. scream4ever  |  July 19, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    Wyoming came close to passing such a statewide ordinance in 2015. Hopefully this will provide the momentum to do it soon.

    On a side note, I visited Jackson Hole with my family as a child. Beautiful place!!!

  • 45. Elihu_Bystander  |  July 19, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    White House withdraws judicial nominee Ryan Bounds, after GOP realizes he didn’t have votes for confirmation

  • 46. VIRick  |  July 19, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    11th Circuit Court of Appeals Denies En Banc Rehearing to Employment Discrimination Suit

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 19 July 2018, in "Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia," a Georgia man's case appealing the dismissal of his employment discrimination suit alleging sex discrimination under Title VII based on sexual orientation, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Bostock's petition for a rehearing before the full court (rehearing en banc). Earlier, an 11th Circuit Court panel had affirmed the district court's decision that Bostock's lawsuit should be dismissed because Title VII does not protect against sexual orientation disrimination. That ruling relied on a decision from 1979.

    Judge Rosenbaum dissented from today's denial of en banc review. From his dissent: "I cannot explain why a majority of our Court is content to rely on the precedential equivalent of an Edsel with a missing engine, when it comes to an issue that affects so many people."

    Bostock currently has a certiorari petition pending, asking the US Supreme Court to take up his appeal. That petition is here:

    Today's Order on petition for rehearing en banc; Petition denied, with Judge Rosenbaum dissenting, is here:

    The circuit split on this issue has now become painfully obvious, as this is the second case on this matter to be denied by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, with the previous case being "Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital." In contrast, both the 2nd and 7th Circuit Courts of Appeals have ruled in the opposite manner, determining that sexual orientation discrimination is indeed discrimination based on sex.

  • 47. VIRick  |  July 20, 2018 at 11:56 am

    Ohio: Cuyahoga County Commission on Human Rights

    Cleveland OH — Cuyahoga County Council is considering an amended version of proposed legislation that would establish a Commission on Human Rights and prohibit discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identification. The amended proposal, passed on 19 July 2018, will now grant attorney fees to those that the commission determines have been discriminated against.

    If the final package is approved by council, the Cuyahoga County Commission on Human Rights would hear complaints and levy fines if its three members determine discrimination has occurred. It would protect individuals on the basis of the already-protected classes of race, color, religion, military status, national origin, disability, age, ancestry, familial status, or sex, as well as adding sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to that list. The protections target equal access and opportunities to employment, housing, and public accommodations.

    The legislation, sponsored by County Executive Armond Budish, along with council members Dan Brady, Michael Houser, Dale Miller, and Sunny Simon, was introduced to council last month. The Committee of the Whole will discuss it further next week, and council is expected to vote on the final package at their 7 August meeting.

  • 48. VIRick  |  July 20, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Navajo Nation: LGBTI Issues Come Swinging Out of the Closet

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Kayenta AZ — Thirteen years after the 20th Navajo Nation Council passed the Diné Marriage Act, which banned same-sex marriage right under the prohibition against incest, one candidate at Monday night’s (16 July 2018) presidential candidate forum here charged out of the gate in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer rights and later challenged his opponents to reveal their stance on same-sex marriage by standing up if they supported it.

    Eight candidates — more than half of the 15 who were present at the time — stood up after Nick X. Taylor gave them the ultimatum. For the record, they were Norman Patrick Brown, Alton Joe Shepherd, Trudie Jackson, Vincent Yazzie, Hope MacDonald-Lonetree, Dineh Benally, Calvin Lee Jr., and Tom Tso. (Thus, 9 candidates were in favor, counting the one issuing the ultimatum). Incumbent Russell Begaye had not yet arrived, having given his state of the nation address to the Navajo Nation Council in Window Rock.

    The Navajo Nation (Diné) tribal area is the largest and most-populous in the entire USA, spans three states, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, and is the most prominent to have explicitly banned same-sex marriage.

  • 49. VIRick  |  July 20, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    Switzerland: Parliamentary Progress on Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Parliamentary Committee on National Legal Affairs has voted to legislate for marriage equality without a referendum. The LGBT marriage bill is to be presented in February 2019, and could be law by 2021.

    Le mariage devrait être ouvert aux homosexuels en deux temps. Pour aller plus vite, la commission des affaires juridiques du National a décidé par 14 voix contre 11 de régler d'abord les aspects essentiels du mariage pour tous. Un projet complémentaire traitant notamment l'accès à la procréation médicalement assistée et la rente du conjoint survivant suivrait, ont communiqué vendredi, 20 de juillet 2018, les services du Parlement.

    Le peuple ne devra pas forcément se prononcer. Par 16 voix contre 9, la commission a décidé de légiférer et non de modifier la constitution. Selon elle et l'Office fédéral de la justice (OFJ), l'article 14 de la charte fondamentale n'empêche pas le législateur de s'appuyer sur sa compétence législative en matière civile pour ouvrir l'institution juridique du mariage aux personnes de même sexe.

    La commission a aussi refusé par 18 voix contre 1 de classer l'initiative des Vert'libéraux. En sus du mariage pour tous, le texte demande d'ouvrir le partenariat enregistré aux couples hétérosexuels. Partenaires et concubins pourraient en outre accéder à la naturalisation facilitée.

    Marriage should be open to same-sex couples in two stages. In order to move faster, the National Legal Affairs Committee decided by 14 votes to 11 to settle first the essential aspects of marriage for all. A complementary project dealing with access to medically-assisted procreation and the pension of the surviving spouse would follow, as communicated on Friday, 20 July 2018, by the services of Parliament.

    The people will not necessarily have to decide. By 16 votes to 9, the commission decided to legislate and not to amend the constitution. According to it and the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ), Article 14 of the Basic Charter does not prevent legislators from relying on their legislative power in civil matters to open the legal institution of marriage to same-sex couples.

    The committee also refused by 18 votes to 1 to dismiss the initiative of the Green Liberals. In addition to marriage for all, the text calls for opening up registered partnerships to heterosexual couples. Partners and cohabitants could also access facilitated naturalization.

    One can read a similar up-date on these matters in German here:

  • 50. scream4ever  |  July 20, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    All wonderful news!!!

  • 51. VIRick  |  July 20, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Switzerland: More Details from Parliamentary Report on Marriage Equality

    There is more, as this is an extended report, dated 6 July 2018, but released today, 20 July, through which I simply had not gone far enough (while adjusting my brains to think in French). Citizenship for spouses and adoption by same-sex couples are both included, while religious marriages simply do not figure in the equation:

    La commission a pris ses décisions à la lumière du rapport sur les conséquences du mariage pour tous qu'elle avait commandé à l'OFJ. Elle a chargé l'administration de lui remettre d'ici à février 2019 un projet d'ouverture du mariage aux couples de même sexe contenant les aspects essentiels au niveau du droit civil, y compris le droit de cité et l'accès à l'adoption.

    Opposée au mariage pour tous, l'UDC n'a pas non plus obtenu gain de cause concernant le mariage religieux. La commission a rejeté par 20 voix contre 3 une initiative de Claudio Zanetti (UDC/ZH) qui voulait supprimer l'obligation de conclure un mariage civil avant tout mariage religieux. Selon elle, il n'y a pas lieu d'intervenir et le texte risque de faire augmenter les mariages d'enfants et les mariages forcés.

    The commission took its decisions in light of the report on the consequences of marriage for all that it had ordered from the FOJ. It instructed the administration to submit to it by February 2019 a plan to open marriage to same-sex couples containing the essential aspects of civil law, including the right of citizenship (for the spouse) and access to adoption (for same-sex couples).

    Opposed to marriage for all, the UDC also did not win its case on religious marriage. The committee rejected by 20 votes to 3 an initiative of Claudio Zanetti (UDC/ZH) who wanted to remove the obligation to conclude a civil marriage before any religious marriage. According to it, there was no need to intervene, as the UDC text would likely have increased child marriages and forced marriages.

    OK, so in this portion, I found the reference to the February 2019 date, but can not locate any reference to the year, 2021. As a result, I do not understand why marriage equality can not be legislated into law soon after the administration's final plan is submitted to the national legislature on or before February 2019. As explained, they have eliminated the need for a national referendum, and for the moment, have set aside the matters of medically-assisted procreation, as well as pensions for surviving same-sex spouses, in order to speed up the crux of the legislation so that same-sex marriages can begin sooner rather than later.

  • 52. Randolph_Finder  |  July 22, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    The commission may have decided that it doesn't have to go a referendum, but even if it goes to the legislature, it is pretty easy to get a referendum proposing that it be undone, and in Switzerland that happens to a lot of those types of issue. Switzerland has about 2 to 4 referenda of various types each year. (and the last year they didn't have one was 1943)

  • 53. Mechatron12  |  July 22, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    Yep. According to Wikipedia, only 50,000 signatures are needed to put a law passed by the legislature to a referendum. Since there are more than 8 million people in Switzerland, that should be a piece of cake for them to get if they want to.

    I hope that the gay-rights people are planning for a potential referendum, although in this case I think we would win easily. Although I don't like seeing our rights put to a vote, it is kind of nice to see the homophobes demoralized when they lose. My only worry is the adoption thing – that still presses some people's buttons in Europe.

  • 54. Randolph_Finder  |  July 23, 2018 at 7:14 am

    I'm sure that we would win, Switzerland at this point has the highest level of support for Marriage Equality of any place in Europe that doesn't have it (beating out Austria, Italy and Northern Ireland), Wikipedia has a 2017 survey that has support-opposition at 75%-24%. And since this isn't constitutional as far as I can tell, the vote doesn't have double majority rule of both people and Cantons.

  • 55. VIRick  |  July 23, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Oh, that is what the Parliamentary Commission is dodging, the "majority of cantons" portion of the referendum, which means that 14 cantons must show a positive majority vote. There is a severe population imbalance between the most populous, progressive cantons, and the many low-population, conservative ones, like Uri, Glarus, Schwyz, the 2 Waldens (Nidwalden and Obwalden) and the 2 Appenzells (Inner Rhoden and Ausser Rhoden).

  • 56. Randolph_Finder  |  July 23, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    I *think* as long as there is nothing prohibiting SSM in the Constitution, which if there was, the 2016 referendum would have been different, then there isn't any majority of cantons requirement.

    The Swiss have at least 4 different types of referenda, it gets confusing.

  • 57. VIRick  |  July 22, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Randolph, it sounds as if you just provided a very plausible explanation to account for the potential 2-year delay in the implementation of the marriage equality legislation in Switzerland, one that was not provided in the quoted article, and thus, one for which I was seeking an answer.

    The Parliamentary Commission has determined that, for its purposes, by legislating rather than by amending the constitution, a national referendum is not necessary. Good, so far, as that speeds up the process.

    However, what you are saying is that once the legislation is passed, die-hard opponents can then mount a last-ditch, rejectionist referendum petition to block its implementation. And worse, only 50,000 signatures are needed to force such a referendum.

    Still, a referendum of this nature is beyond the purview of the Commission, as that sort of referendum would have to be mounted by other parties beyond their control, assuming that said die-hards could even get their act together in a timely fashion.

    Plus, the Commission itself is not in a position to speculate as to what other outside parties might do or not do with regard to mounting an opposition referendum to marriage equality. We can speculate about the possibility, but they can not and will not. Still, if only 50,000 signatures are needed, it sounds fairly likely that it could happen, even though such an opposition referendum has a very slim chance of overall success. In the meantime, though, it will delay the implementation of the marriage equality law until after the opposition referendum question has been defeated, thus accounting for much of the 2-year delay to 2021.

    Now, I understand. Thank you.

  • 58. SethInMaryland  |  July 22, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    I don't like referendums by any means at all but since there's going to be one anyway why not the marriage equality groups write up a signature/law and collect the signatures to force on legalizing marriage equality instead of waiting for the legislature in 2019 through 2020?

  • 59. VIRick  |  July 23, 2018 at 12:19 am

    Seth, I believe that most of what you are asking about has already been done, as this entire legislative process in Switzerland is fairly far along, and is basically a proposal from LGBT and LGBT-friendly groups. The Parliamentary Commission in question, having voted in our favor on every item, has just submitted its final report with all of its considered recommendations. From their angle, they dismissed the need for a referendum in order to obtain approval, as that is only needed if one is attempting to change the constitution, an unnecessary detour in this instance. Now, again from their perspective, just pass the legislation, and be done.

    The Commission can not control what those who are opposed might do after the legislation has been passed. Chances are, some outside die-hand group will round up the 50,000 signatures and obtain a blocking referendum. Randolph says do they it all the time in Switzerland on all sorts of issues. In the end, they rarely win, as they would still need a majority in order for their negative counter-proposal to win final approval. Instead, we will win in a blocking referendum because a majority will vote "No." But it will delay the inevitable.

  • 60. Randolph_Finder  |  July 23, 2018 at 7:23 am

    My knowledge comes from here

    Also, given the close rejection of the effort to put Same sex Marriage along with others related issues in the constitution in 2016 ('_popular_initiative_%22For_the_couple_and_the_family%22), I think we should be fine.

  • 61. VIRick  |  July 20, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Fundación Iguales de Panamá Progress Report

    Per Fundación Iguales de Panamá:

    Acompáñanos el miércoles, 25 de julio 2018, a nuestro segundo ‘mixer,’ celebrando nuestro 1er aniversario. Haremos un reporte de los logros durante el 1er año. Buscamos la inscripción de nuevos miembros y donaciones, y presentaremos nuestro nuevo video sobre matrimonio igualitario en Panamá.

    Join us on Wednesday, 25 July 2018, for our second 'mixer,' celebrating our 1st anniversary. We will make a report on the achievements during the 1st year. We look forward to the registration of new members and donations, and we will present our new video about marriage equality in Panamá.

  • 62. VIRick  |  July 20, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Cuba: Tomorrow, 21 July 2018, National Assembly Decides on Marriage Equality

    Activistas en Cuba reclaman la inclusión y reconocimiento de los derechos de todas las orientaciones sexuales e identidades de género en la reforma constitucional en curso, cuyo proyecto definitivo será examinado el próximo 21 de julio por diputadas y diputados de la Asamblea Nacional.

    Derechos como el reconocimiento legal de las parejas homosexuales (matrimonio igualitario), la prohibición de la discriminación por orientación sexual e identidad de género, junto a la adopción y reproducción asistida son algunos de los puntos socializados en las redes virtuales. Algunas de las agendas más sistematizadas alcanzan 63 demandas, entre las cuales aparece la libertad de asociación con amparo legal, el acceso de las personas transgénero a la educación superior y la sanción de una ley integral contra la discriminación por homofobia y transfobia.

    Activists in Cuba demand the inclusion and recognition of the rights of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the constitutional reform underway, whose final draft will be examined on 21 July 2018 by deputies of the National Assembly.

    Rights such as legal recognition of homosexual couples (egalitarian marriage), the prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, along with adoption and assisted reproduction are some of the points put forward on virtual networks. Some of the most systematized agendas reach 63 demands, among which is the freedom of association with legal protection, the access of transgender people to higher education, and the sanction of a comprehensive law against discrimination based on homophobia and transphobia.

  • 63. allan120102  |  July 20, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    Deputies are already looking at marriage equality base on the comments some deputies approve and are confident that in the referendum of the new constitution it will be approve by the people. They are others that are concern by adoption of ss couples saying that in some countries its legal and in others not.

  • 64. allan120102  |  July 20, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    President of the supreme court of Chile said that all decision and advisories opinion render by the ich are of compulsory compliance to all member states. This might be good for the Chilean lgbt community if they decide to sue the country.

  • 65. VIRick  |  July 21, 2018 at 1:20 am

    40th Anniversary of American Convention on Human Rights and the Creation of the CIDH

    As part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the commencement date of the American Convention on Human Rights and the creation of the Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH)(IACHR), on 19 July 2018, the CIDH itself sponsored a jurisprudential panel discussion on this subject: "The CIDH and Its Interaction with the Highest National Courts."

    The Moderator was Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor, President of the CIDH itself. The panelists were:

    Carmen Lúcia Antunes Rocha, Presidenta, Supremo Tribunal Federal, Brasil
    Dina Josefina Ochoa Escribá, Presidenta, Corte de Constitucionalidad de Guatemala
    Haroldo Osvaldo Brito Cruz, Presidente, Corte Suprema de Justicia de Chile
    Arturo Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea, Ministro, Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, México
    José Fernando Reyes Cuartas, Magistrado, Corte Constitucional de Colombia
    Laurence Burgorgue-Larsen, Magistrada, Expresidenta, Tribunal Constitucional de Andorra

    As jurists and colleagues, these highest-ranking justices of the highest national courts in the Americas are all keenly aware of the binding nature of any/all rulings emanating from the CIDH. So, besides the participation of the President of Chile's Supreme Court, I was elated to note that the President of Guatemala's Constitutional Court was also a participant.

    I am not at all certain as to why Andorra participated.

  • 66. allan120102  |  July 21, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    I am not sure if this counts as same sex marriage legalization or not.

  • 67. DevilWearsZrada  |  July 21, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Even in Ireland a constitutional amendment explicitly allowing same-sex couples to get married wasn't enough for marriages to begin, a statutory law was needed to pass. So it's good that the new Cuban constitution is going to allow such a law to be adopted.

  • 68. VIRick  |  July 21, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Cuba: New Constitution Would Allow Same-Sex Marriage

    As of 21 July 2018, a proposed amendment to Cuba’s new constitution would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

    Francisco Rodríguez Cruz, a gay Cuban blogger who writes under the pen name Paquito el de Cuba, on Friday, 20 July 2018, wrote that the proposed amendment would “redefine marriage as a voluntary union into which two people who are legally eligible can enter.” Rodríguez reported the proposed amendment also “incorporates the principle of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

    Maykel González, an independent Cuban journalist and LGBTI rights advocate who contributes to the "Washington Blade," also confirmed the proposed amendment.

    Mariela Castro, the daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro who directs the country’s National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX), in May told reporters during a Havana press conference that her organization planned to submit proposals to the Cuban National Assembly in support of marriage and other rights for LGBTI Cubans. Her comments came against the backdrop of pro-marriage equality campaigns that several independent LGBTI advocacy groups had previously launched.

    The entire new constitution, as a singular package, must still be submitted for approval by popular vote in a national referendum which will take place later in 2018.

    In any case, the wording in Cuba's present constitution, que data de 1976 y limita el matrimonio a "la unión voluntaria concertada de un hombre y una mujer con aptitud legal para ello," (which dates from 1976 and limits marriage to "the voluntary union between a man and a woman with the legal capacity to do so") must be removed and replaced with other wording less gender specific. Restating it, as mentioned above, as: "Marriage is a voluntary union into which two people who are legally eligible can enter," satisfies this requirement.

  • 69. SethInMaryland  |  July 21, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    I wonder when ? Costa Rica and Cuba now seem to be moving on a very fast track

  • 70. VIRick  |  July 21, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Costa Rica will be next. All signs indicate that we will have a positive answer from their Constitutional Court within the next several weeks. Cuba still has several steps to go, including both the national referendum on the new constitution, plus the companion enabling legislation. Still, Cuba could see marriage equality before 2018 comes to an end.

    In the meantime, several others, specifically Ecuador and/or Perú, could push ahead of Cuba. So, too, could Panamá, Venezuela, and Chile, but all three, although close, seem momentarily stalled.

    Then, before the current year has finished, the newly-elected Morena legislators will take their sets in Mexico's various state congresses, at which point we should see a resumption of marriage equality legislation from that quarter.

    The latter half of 2018, moving into 2019, could prove to be rather "busy."

  • 71. allan120102  |  July 21, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Definitely Costa Rica will be next. Peru might take longer with its decision as the chief justice has resign and the decision might take longer to be issue. Panama problem is with the problem with the new justices that need to be elect. My thinking is that they are waiting a decision from the CR supreme court to see how they act.

  • 72. SethInMaryland  |  July 21, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    What about Ecuador ? This seems really close too

  • 73. allan120102  |  July 21, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    I am thinking about the two cases that have been appeal to the provincial court. A good ruling from the province court will bring marriage equality to that state. The civil registry might appeal or seek a stay from the constitutional court to stop ssm from entering in effect in the Azuay province, hopefully but not likely the supreme court of Ecuador might denied the stay and let ssm to start in the province which might put pressure for them to rule soon.

    Rick I am actually not sure if the Ecuadorian supreme court would have rule in favor of us, the previous ruling the one of adoption render in May was a little divided it, and it was base on the ICH ruling without that ruling things could have been a little different.

  • 74. VIRick  |  July 21, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    This is probably the truth, and not only applies to Ecuador, but likely also to Costa Rica and definitely to Panamá. Still, under the circumstances, a silence with "no ruling" was much better than a negative ruling, because as long as the cases remained pending, the court could always change its mind,– or have its mind changed for it by other intervening measures like the very broad-reaching CIDH ruling recently obtained on marriage equality and gender identity.

    The best example of "changed minds" is Panamá where we know Fábrega was in the process of drafting a negative ruling against us,– until someone within the court, possibly one of the other justices or one of their clerks who had seen the document, turned around and prematurely released it to the media, causing a major uproar, which in turn caused the court to withdraw the draft (which was exactly the intention of the individual who prematurely released the document). The pending marriage case ruling in Panamá was then re-assigned to a different justice who apparently is still in the process of re-writing a revised ruling (and for all we know, could very well be re-writing a revised ruling to the revised ruling).

    I am being slightly sarcastic here by phrasing it that way because, in the meantime, we have had the CIDH marriage equality ruling (a ruling whose release may well have been speeded up because of the on-going fiasco in Panamá). Panamá, Ecuador, and the rest, must now abide by the advisory opinion of the CIDH. They can stall to some degree in issuing their separate decisions, but in the end, said decisions must be within the parameters as set forth by the CIDH.

    As for Costa Rica, I am firmly convinced that the real reason the Costa Rica government sought the advisory opinion of the CIDH in the first instance was due to the total indecision and inaction on the part of their own Sala IV on those several marriage cases dating back to 2013 and 2015 (which are finally to be ruled upon within the next several weeks). Now, Sala IV has the cover of a CIDH ruling to fall back upon, because in effect, the broader, higher decision has already been made for them, first by their own government seeking advice from the CIDH, then by the CIDH issuing its binding marriage equality ruling.

  • 75. VIRick  |  July 21, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Yes, it is. We could get a ruling from the highest court in Ecuador at any time. In addition, we now also have two favorable recent rulings from a lower court in Ecuador.

    Quite frankly, Ecuador's court should have already ruled, even before the CIDH issued its advisory opinion, given that the original case in Ecuador dates from 2013. Since the CIDH ruling, the same international obligation also applies to Ecuador as per Panamá (see immediately below).

  • 76. arturo547  |  July 21, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    Hello, Allan. Let me clarify something: the chief justice who resigned actually belonged to the Supreme Court of Peru, not to the Constitutional Court.

    If you read the news you will find out that we are facing corruption scandals within the judiciary of Peru. What is more, it has stopped its activities while new justices are being elected. But fortunately the Constitutional Court is still working, so we'll have a ruling on marriage equality very soon, as the 30-day period has already been met.

  • 77. allan120102  |  July 21, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    Thank you so much for the correction Arthur, and the well explain answer. I was seriously afraid that the could have affect the decision.

  • 78. VIRick  |  July 21, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Yes, the hearing before the Peruvian Constitutional Tribunal on the marriage recognition case took place on 20 June 2018. The 30-day window for casting its vote was completed on 20 July 2018. Thus, a ruling from the TC can be expected at any time.

  • 79. VIRick  |  July 21, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    I agree, the court in Panamá is most likely waiting to see the basis upon which the court in Costa Rica rules. And from a generalized court perspective, that is quite understandable.

    Costa Rica sought the ruling from the CIDH. Thus, the court in Costa Rica needs to act first, and hopefully, will base much of its ruling upon the same advisory opinion issued by the CIDH. If they do so, and is seems relatively certain that they will, this will then give other courts, like that in Panamá, Ecuador, Perú, etc., a firmer footing upon which to issue their own rulings on the same matter, laden with terms like "binding obligation" and "international treaty requirements" which "command" us to "act within the framework of the accord."

    There. I just issued the ruling for all of them, to which they simply need to do a "copy-and-paste." They can unapologetically dump it all onto the CIDH, as they must act within the parameters of its guidelines. No independent thinking is even required.

  • 80. ianbirmingham  |  July 21, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Overhaul of sex education in England could elevate LGBT rights

    England’s schools could for the first time treat LGBT life the same as heterosexuality in a radical shift that campaigners say would transform the lives of children struggling with their sexuality or gender.

  • 81. allan120102  |  July 22, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    We might as well say ssm will be legal in Cuba really soon.
    Havana, Cuba – The Cuban deputies today favored the insertion in the new constitution of the country of a guarantee to equal marriage and without discrimination, which will allow same-sex couples or transsexuals to marry and place Cuba as one of society advanced that allows such unions in their legal and social order.

    The National Assembly of People's Power (ANPP), the highest-ranking legislative body in the Cuban legal system, has been meeting since Saturday to discuss the drafting project for a new constitution, which will replace the 1976 constitution.

    The document contains several reforms that have been released in droves at the ANPP session, which is broadcast in its entirety on national television.

    The new constitution that will govern the country includes the elimination of the concept of "communism" from its language, while ratifying the socialist and one-party model, but it makes important recognitions of the market economy and opens the doors to gay marriage.

    This last provision sparked an intense debate among the deputies, who, although massively supported the provision of non-discrimination on the basis of gender, raised doubts about its scope, especially when terms such as adoption for paternity purposes are touched.

    Article 68 of the draft constitution recognizes marriage as "the consensual voluntary union between two persons with legal capacity to do so", which implies the "absolute equality of duties and rights of the spouses, forced to attend the maintenance of the home and the integral formation of the children ".

    Deputy Mariela Castro Espín, daughter of the former president and first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), Raul Castro Ruz, said that including in the article the issue of children and reproduction implies that marriage has specific purposes that exclude who do not comply or do not wish to comply with them.

    "Marriage is not only to have children, it starts with other purposes, because they want to live together and then comes the reproduction. What I propose is that all families have the same rights, "said Castro Espin, recognized in Cuba as the champion of the rights of the homosexual community.

    "Love of neighbor is the aspects of this Project. With this proposal of constitutional regulation Cuba is situated among the vanguard countries, in the recognition and guarantee of human rights. This is the result of the Cuban revolutionary process, "added the deputy to the plenary of the ANPP, which sparked an extensive debate among the deputies.

    Miguel Barnet, intellectual and writer, intervened in favor of gay marriage and to eliminate any form of discrimination on issues of marriage in Cuba.

    "We are inaugurating a new era. This is a dialectical and modern Constitution. If it is necessary to break the tradition it is broken, because breaking the tradition is also a revolutionary act. I am in favor of Article 68. Love does not have sex, "he declared, a position that was endorsed by Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, one of the so-called" Five Heroes "of Cuba.

    "We are not discussing here whether or not a couple of the same sex can marry, but about the obligation to maintain the home and the responsibility of the children. I have known heterosexual couples who have not had children and have never accused them of violating the constitution, "he said.

  • 82. allan120102  |  July 22, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    "For many years, issues such as the right to vote for women were discussed and so much was broken with the tradition that rejection was generated, nowadays nobody is a secret that many people are aware of what is being discussed here. I am proud of the discussions that have arisen. People of the same sex who decide to have children or not, are not affected with this text fragment, "he added when referring to the right of same-sex couples to have children through the mechanism they understand relevant.

    The deputy Yolanda Ferrer, for the municipality of Pinar del Río, said that marriage is a social and legal institution, and is one of the ways of organizing the family.

    "In the ability of two people to make a life in common in (marriage) there must not always be offspring, but a shared responsibility of law, and the law has to determine the form that is constituted," said the parliamentarian.

    "There is no reason to deny marriage to homosexual people, there is no reason to limit the happiness of these people. How many people do we know who are homosexual or bisexual, and are decent people who are with us every day, and often live together, but who have denied them the right to become a family, "he said.

    "We can not allow those centuries of delay to mark our actions … We have to face prejudices and we have an inclusive justice, for which we must support and defend this proposal," he added.

    The deputy Marcia Cristobalina Chicoi, member of the commission appointed to draft the new constitution, defended the proposal of equal marriage by stating that "you can not divorce marriage with your social responsibility. The fact that there is an opening to the other type of marriage is a step forward of the Cuban society that responds to a sector of the population. "

    Castro Espin's intention was to include the right to adoption in the new Magna Carta, a proposal that did not find echo in the ANPP, since the majority understood that as it is written the proposed article takes for granted, together with other provisions, that gay couples can have children that way through provisions in the Family Code.

    Teresa Amarelle, a deputy and expert on the subject, said that "the removal of the union of marriage between men and women is an advance … On the subject of adoption, this will be a topic for the Family Code. It is a great step in the recognition of equality and recognized for all. "

    He explained that "the responsibility is maintained with the sons and daughters. This recognizes the heterosexual and homosexual people who decide to have their children, but it is a responsibility of the family. We can not discriminate against anyone because of their orientation and we can not allow that, in Cuba there are homosexual people who live under one roof and maintain correct behavior. "

  • 83. VIRick  |  July 22, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    Cabo Verde: Pride Week in Praia

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Last month, Praia hosted another LGBTI Pride Week with the support of the Cabo Verdean Institute for Gender Equality and Equity (ICIEG), the Spanish Cooperation Association, and City Hall, among other partners.

    Last year, during LGBTI Pride Week, the Associação Gay de Cabo Verde announced at a press conference that it would start a campaign to bring a petition to the National Assembly to change the law to include same-sex marriage. This year, joining forces with the Associação LGBTI de Praia and the Associação Arco Iris, they focused on the petition for a Law for equal treatment and non-discrimination for all forms of sexual orientation, identity, and gender expression (Anti-LGBTIphobia Law).

    Note: Cabo Verde, an ex-Portuguese overeas department, now independent, is comprised of 10 volcanic islands lying off the northwest coast of Africa. Culturally and linguistically, and given its location, Cabo Verde is heavily influenced by both Portugal and Brasil, two nations which already have marriage equality, as do their neighbors on the near-by Spanish islands, Islas Canarias, as well as those on the Portuguese islands of Madeira and As Açores.

  • 84. Randolph_Finder  |  July 23, 2018 at 7:37 am

    In 2016, an Afrobarometer survey question "Would you welcome or would not be bothered having a homosexual neighbor" Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) had the *highest* positive score (74%) in Africa beating out South Africa (69%), Mozambique (56%) and Namibia (55%), which were the only other three with a majority.

    And in terms of Politics and Press Freedom, Cabo Verde is about as good as it gets. (not just as good as it gets in Africa, but *period*)

    And yes, the more right wing of the two major political parties is in power right now, but that is also the more Europhile of the two.

  • 85. DevilWearsZrada  |  July 23, 2018 at 8:00 am

    Well, just after looking at their national flag I thought Cabo Verde might be Europhile lol

  • 86. Randolph_Finder  |  July 23, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Well it isn't the *most* blue of any african county, that belongs to Somalia. But yeah, a noticable lack of green.

  • 87. scream4ever  |  July 23, 2018 at 11:00 am

    A former colleague of mine was in the Peace Corps in Namibia recently and he said it was surprisingly gay friendly, and that he never really felt uncomfortable.

  • 88. VIRick  |  July 22, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    Parliament of Cuba Approves Constitutional Reform: 5 Things That Would Change

    Parlamento de Cuba Aprueba Reforma Constitucional: 5 Cosas que Cambiarían

    Este domingo, 22 de julio 2018, la Asamblea Nacional de Cuba aprobó el proyecto de nueva Constitución. El proyecto pasará ahora a discusión popular del 13 de agosto al 15 de noviembre. Por último se realizará un referendo nacional, antes de su aprobación final.

    Los diputados cubanos aprobaron por unanimidad, tras dos días de discusión, los 224 artículos de la próxima Constitución, cuyo texto provisional modifica 113 artículos, añade 87, y elimina 11, respecto a la actual Constitución de 1976.

    Número Uno

    En el artículo 68 del anteproyecto constitucional, se establece que ser permitiría sentar las bases para legalizar los matrimonios homosexuales. La Constitución vigente (1976) define el matrimonio "como la unión concertada voluntariamente entre un hombre y una mujer," lo que impedía la aprobación de una modificación en el código de familia que legalizara las uniones entre personas del mismo sexo, ya que habría resultado inconstitucional.

    El secretario del Consejo de Estado de la isla, Homero Acosta, explicó hoy a los diputados que el concepto de matrimonio se modifica de forma que ahora "no especifica de qué sexo son las personas que lo conformarían. No dice que se trata del matrimonio igualitario, solo rompe con esa barrera de modo que en el futuro se podría incorporar," dijo Acosta en la televisión estatal, que trasmite con una hora de retraso los debates en el pleno de la Asamblea Nacional.

    This Sunday, 22 July 2018, the National Assembly of Cuba approved the draft of the new Constitution. From 13 August until 15 November, the proposal will now go into popular discussion. Finally, a national referendum will then be held before its final approval.

    After two days of discussion, the Cuban deputies unanimously approved the 224 articles of the next Constitution, whose provisional text modifies 113 articles, adds 87, and eliminates 11, with respect to the current 1976 Constitution.

    Number #1

    In Article 68 of the preliminary draft of the constitution, it is established to permit the laying of the foundation to legalize same-sex marriages. The current Constitution (1976) defines marriage "as the union voluntarily agreed between a man and a woman," which prevented the approval of a modification in the family code to legalize unions between persons of the same sex, since it would have been deemed unconstitutional.

    The Secretary of the Council of State of the island, Homero Acosta, explained today to the deputies that the concept of marriage is modified so that now "it does not specify what sex the people are who would comprise it. It does not say that it is about equal marriage; it only breaks with that barrier so that in the future it could be incorporated," Acosta said on state television, which broadcasts debates in the plenary of the National Assembly one hour late.

    The other 4 things? The word "communism" is gone, private property is in, foreign investment is in, and a Prime Minister is added to the governmental structure, splitting the power of the Presidency.

  • 89. VIRick  |  July 23, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Costa Rica: Pro-Marriage-Equality Document Submitted to Sala IV

    Per Enrique Sánchez Carballo, Diputado Legislativo:

    and jointly submitted on 23 July 2018, along with Luis Salazar Muñoz, Comisionado Presidencial para asuntos de la población de LGBTI. Their complete 42-page document submitted to Sala IV of the Constitutional Court (in Spanish) is here:

    Needless to say, one of the most important supporting precedents repeatedly cited is OC-24, the advisory opinion of the CIDH on marriage equality and gender identity, issued at the request of the state of Costa Rica.

    Note: Enrique Sánchez is the first out, gay elected legislator in Costa Rica's Legislative Assembly. Luis Salazar is the first cabinet-level appointee for LGBT matters anywhere in Latin America.

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