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Open thread 7/24 UPDATED 7/26


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

BREAKING UPDATE: In the Third Circuit case involving students who challenged a school board’s pro-transgender bathroom policy, the three-judge panel who originally heard the case and initially ruled in favor of the pro-trans policy and against the challengers granted rehearing and amended their opinion. The panel still holds in favor of the policy and against the challengers, but on narrower grounds. The decision in favor of the policy itself was unanimous. The challengers will have an opportunity to seek rehearing again with the full Third Circuit.

UPDATE 2: Another federal judge has ruled that a school board can’t ban transgender students from using the correct bathrooms.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  July 24, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Delaware: State #15 to Ban Ex-Gay "Conversion Therapy"

    Today, 24 July 2018, Governor John Carney of Delaware signed the bill into law to ban attempts to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors. The law labels conversion therapy as “unprofessional conduct” for mental health and medical professionals, creating grounds for discipline.

    Although there are no current practitioners of the discredited practice in Delaware, over the years, Delaware licensed mental health professionals have been known to refer young people to practitioners doing "conversion therapy" out-of-state, a point that this bill will also prohibit. The law also prevents the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families from recommending "conversion therapy."

    California, Connecticut, Hawai’i, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington State, and DC all have laws banning conversion therapy for minors. Now, so does Delaware, while Massachusetts should soon become state #16 to ban the practice. The Governor of Maine recently vetoed a similar bill banning the practice in that state. It is still not clear whether that state's legislature will be able to over-ride the veto.

    Note: Although New York City has banned the practice by law, in the rest of the state, it has been banned by executive order.

  • 2. Randolph_Finder  |  July 25, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Delaware is the last of the states where the Democrats control both houses of the State Legislature. New Hampshire is the only state in the List where the Republicans currently control both houses. Other than New York and Maine mentioned above, the other two states with split control of the Legislature are Colorado and Alaska.

  • 3. scream4ever  |  July 25, 2018 at 10:01 am

    Colorado and Maine will both likely approve it next year, as the former will likely have a Democratic-controlled state house which will easily approve it, and the latter will have a governor who won't veto it. It may also pass in Minnesota and New York depending on if Democrats can retake legislative chambers.

  • 4. Randolph_Finder  |  July 25, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Colorado right now has a R controlled Senate (18R-16D-1, so very close) but it is pretty close.
    Unfortunately, I have faith in the ability of Terry Hayes campaign as an Independent to screw up Maine for the 3rd time. 🙁
    Minnesota:Right now the Republicans are (76R-56D-2Empty), the senate is tied.
    New York State Senate: Ugh.

  • 5. scream4ever  |  July 25, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Maine now has ranked-choice voting, which will prevent there from being another Paul Lepage in the state, plus all other Republican governors have signed such legislation.

  • 6. Randolph_Finder  |  July 25, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Maine's ranked choice voting only applied in the Gubernatorial Primary as the State Supreme Court pointed out that the state constitution specifies that the Gubernatorial general election specified that the candidate receiving a plurality of the vote would be elected, which means that unless the State Constitution is changed that the general election in the Governor's race will still be the way that it has been.

  • 7. VIRick  |  July 24, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Pakistan: 5 Transgender Women Running in General Election

    Five transgender women are running in Pakistan’s general election this week, which is the highest-ever number of trans nominees in any election. Nayyab Ali, Nadeem Kashish, Lubna Lal, Alamgir (aka Maria) and Zahid Khan (aka Resham) will take part in the 25 July vote. Three of the candidates are reportedly running for seats in the National Assembly and the other two are contesting seats in provincial legislatures.

    In May, Pakistan passed new legislation guaranteeing basic rights for its estimated 500,000 transgender citizens, including intersex people, transvestites, and eunuchs, and banned discrimination against them.

  • 8. VIRick  |  July 24, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    Ecuador: Marriage Equality and the Cuenca Cases

    Per Pichincha Universal, Quito/Esmeraldas:

    Sylvia Bonilla y Elsa Guerra están en nuestros estudios, del Colectivo Jurídico Feminista. Tema: matrimonio igualitario en Ecuador, casos Cuenca.

    Elsa explica que la opinión consultiva de la CIDH en materia de matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo es vinculante. Sylvia afirma que estamos en un estado constitucional de derechos, según la constitución. Los casos de Cuenca abre la puerta al matrimonio igualitario, en un estado laico. Pero el registro civil ha apelado. Tendremos que esperar los procesos (para completarse a sí mismo).

    Sylvia Bonilla and Elsa Guerra, from the Feminist Legal Croup, are in our studios. Topic: marriage equality in Ecuador, the Cuenca cases.

    Elsa explains that the advisory opinion of the CIDH regarding same-sex marriage is binding. According to the constitution, Sylvia affirms that we are in a constitutional state of rights. The Cuenca cases open the door to marriage equality in a secular state. But the civil registry has appealed. We will have to wait for the process (to complete itself).

  • 9. allan120102  |  July 25, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    Good news from Cayman Islands.

  • 10. VIRick  |  July 25, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    Cayman Islands: Chief Justice Agrees to Hear Case on Marriage Equality

    LGBT Marriage News:

    Chief Justice Anthony Smellie will be hearing what is likely to be a landmark case in the Cayman Islands after he approved, on Wednesday, 25 July 2018, the application for a judicial review of the General Registry’s refusal to give two women a marriage licence. Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden, who were denied the right to marry in April because they are in a same-sex relationship, are challenging the decision in court and now have the green light for the case to go ahead.

    During the first brief hearing on the case, CJ Smellie confirmed that the judicial review could go ahead and also indicated that the case could be brought as a human rights challenge. No one from the Attorney-General’s Chambers was present at the short first hearing, an indication that the government was well aware that the JR was, as noted by the CJ, “well-based.” However, the country’s top judge said he would have thought the Attorney-General would have wanted to be heard.

    Attorney Ben Tonner QC, who is representing the two women, confirmed that following the CJ’s order, he will be filing the formal application shortly.

  • 11. VIRick  |  July 25, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    East Timor (Timor-Leste) Celebrates 2nd Pride Parade

    LGBT Marriage News:

    The small country of Timor-Leste cemented its role as a regional LGBT rights leader during a time when that community is under threat in many of its neighboring countries, such as Indonesia and Malaysia.

    East Timor's pride campaign is notable for its broad base of support in a country of fewer than 1.3 million people. Last year, its prime minister, Rui Maria de Araujo, supported the fledgling movement, stating that "discrimination, disrespect, and abuse toward people, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, does not provide any benefit to our nation."

    This year's parade, held on 21 July, had about 1,500 participants — up from 500 last year — and had "more participation from LGBT community members, especially the transgender and the lesbian community," said Natalino Guterres, an activist who spearheaded both parades in the capitel, Dili.

    "The Catholic Church in Timor has never really opposed LGBT rights the way Indonesia's Islamists do," said, Dede Oetomo, who founded the Indonesian gay rights advocacy group Gaya Nusantara.

    Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch released a landmark report on the rapid decline of LGBT rights in Indonesia, East Timor's largest neighbor, and one which totally surrounds it. Indonesian police conducted at least six raids on private gatherings that included LGBT people in 2016, and apprehended at least 300 LGBT people in 2017, according to the report.

    Timor-Leste is a former Portuguese territory which was forcibly occupied by Indonesia for 22 years before regaining its independence (from both).

  • 12. VIRick  |  July 25, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Transgender Patients Win Case Against Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 25 July 2018, in "Flack v. Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services," a federal suit challenging a state regulation that prohibits Medicaid beneficiaries from obtaining medically necessary treatments for gender dysphoria, Judge Conley granted a preliminary injunction as to the two named plaintiffs and leaves open the possibility of expanding the injunction to block the exclusion entirely, following additional briefing.

    IT IS ORDERED that:

    1) Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction (dkt. #18) is GRANTED. Defendants are ENJOINED from enforcing the Challenged Exclusion (Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 107.03(23)-(24)) against either of the named plaintiffs.

    2) As to plaintiff Cody Flack, defendants will complete their authorization review within 10 business days of this order.

    3) As to plaintiff Sara Ann Makenzie, defendants will provide a copy of this decision to her third-party HMO and, if applicable, complete their authorization review within 10 business days of receipt of any appeal from the denial of coverage by the HMO.

    4) Defendants shall also have 21 days to provide any evidence they may have as to the likely, realistic cost of enjoining the Challenged Exclusion during the remainder of this lawsuit. Plaintiffs may have five days to respond.

    The Opinion and Order is here:

  • 13. VIRick  |  July 25, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Oregon: Federal Anti-Transgender "Bathroom" Suit Tossed

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 25 July 2018, in "Parents for Privacy v. Sessions," a federal challenge to an Oregon school district policy that allows transgender students to use restrooms, showers, and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity, Judge Marco Hernandez granted the motions to dismiss:

    "District, Federal Defendants, and BRO’s motions to dismiss [30] [31] [49] are GRANTED. The Court finds that Plaintiffs cannot plausibly re-allege their claims and that any amendment would be futile. For the reasons discussed above, the Court dismisses with prejudice all of Plaintiffs’ claims. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction is DENIED as moot."

    The Opinion and Order is here:

    The Judgment is here:

    Note: This is the nut-job suit in which everybody and their mother was sued, from the school district in question, to the Oregon Department of Education, to Oregon Governor Kate Brown, to US Attorney-General Sessions (the named defendant), to clueless Betsy De Vos.

    I particularly enjoyed the hyper-terse Judgment:

    "Based on the record, it is Ordered and Adjudged that this case is dismissed with prejudice."

  • 14. VIRick  |  July 25, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    Mexico: Coahuila Up-Date

    A cuatro años de que Coahuila aprobó legalmente la unión entre personas del mismo sexo bajo la figura del matrimonio igualitario, en la entidad se han casado 736 parejas, la mayoría de otras entidades del país, informó San Aelredo.

    In the four years since Coahuila legally approved unions between same sex couples as equal marriage, the state has married 736 couples, the majority from other states in Mexico, reported San Aelredo.

    Coahuila continues to remain one of the premier marriage destinations for same-sex couples, particularly for those from the northern part of the country. The pace continues, on average, one couple every second day, but more realistically, 4 couples every Saturday.

  • 15. arturo547  |  July 26, 2018 at 12:05 am

    Horrible news from Chile:

    Supreme Court of Chile rejects appeal from LGBT organization to recognise a girl with two mothers. They say that they will take the case before the Inter-American Comission of Human Rights, which might elevate the case to the Inter-American Court.

    However, if the IACHR rules in favour of the two mothers, it will set a precedent for all Latin America.


  • 16. VIRick  |  July 26, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    Notice to Supreme Court of Chile from Constitutional Court of Ecuador:

    In the very recent case of the little girl named Satya who has two mothers (as spouses legally married in Britain), we have already ruled in favor of the little girl, recognizing her two mothers as her parents, due primarily to the recent CIDH marriage equality ruling, which has established binding precedent on marriage recognition.

    Notice to Supreme Court of Chile from the Supreme Tribunal of Venezuela:

    Even earlier than Ecuador, and prior to the recent CIDH marriage equality ruling, we too ruled in favor of the child who has two mothers (as spouses legally married in Argentina), recognizing their two mothers as their parents.

    Please note that neither of these two "announcements" are official. Instead, I have simply summarized the two rulings, one from Ecuador, the other from Venezuela, on the same subject.

  • 17. VIRick  |  July 27, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    Chile: Supreme Court Refuses to Recognize that a Girl Has Two Mothers

    Chile: Corte Suprema Rechaza Reconocer que una Niña Tiene Dos Madres

    La Tercera Sala de la Corte Suprema rechazó una apelación interpuesta por el Movilh para que se reconociera el hecho de una niña de un año, Martina, es criada con dos madres, los convivientes civiles, Mayra Opazo y Constanza Monsalves.

    Sin permitir los alegatos solicitados por la abogada del Movilh, Carolina Etcheverry, los ministros, Sergio Muñoz Gajardo, Juan Fuentes Belmar, Carlos Aránguiz Zúñiga, y los abogados integrantes Ricardo Abuauad Dagah y Julio Pallavicini Magnere, confirmaron así la sentencia dictada el pasado 18 de junio de la Quinta Sala de la Corte de Apelaciones de Valparaíso.

    Supreme Court Refuses to Recognize that a Girl Has Two Mothers

    The Third Chamber of the Supreme Court rejected an appeal filed by Movilh to recognize the fact that a one-year-old girl, Martina, is being raised by two mothers, the civil cohabitants, Mayra Opazo and Constanza Monsalves.

    Without allowing the allegations requested by the lawyer for Movilh, Carolina Etcheverry, the justices, Sergio Muñoz Gajardo, Juan Fuentes Belmar, Carlos Aránguiz Zúñiga, and the legal members, Ricardo Abuauad Dagah and Julio Pallavicini Magnere, thus confirmed the ruling handed down last 18 June by the Fifth Chamber of the Court of Appeals of Valparaíso.

  • 18. VIRick  |  July 26, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    Florida: Transgender Student Wins Federal "Bathroom" Case

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 26 July 2018, in "Adams v. School Board of St Johns County," the federal case in which a transgender boy is being denied access to the boys' restroom at his Florida high school, Judge Corrigan has ruled in favor of the plaintiff, Drew Adams. "Drew Adams must be permitted to use any of the boys’ bathrooms at Nease High School that are available to any other male student, except within locker room and shower facilities, so long as Adams is a student enrolled at Nease High School."

    – Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law are linked here:

    – Final Judgment is here:

    – Lambda Legal statement is here:

  • 19. Elihu_Bystander  |  July 27, 2018 at 3:31 am

    Rick, could you check out your link to the Lambda Legal statement? I get a page cannot be found response when I follow it. Thank you.

  • 20. VIRick  |  July 27, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    I have no idea what happened. Instead of taking me to the Lambda Legal website for their statement on the "Adams v. School Board of St. John's County" case, that link takes one to a site named "#1 Sugar Daddy" where one can hunt for one's favorite sugar daddy, or vice versa, where sugar daddies can hunt for their sugar babies, or in their words, where "rich can meet beautiful."

    I would be extremely cautious venturing here, especially if looking for male Sugar Babies. Again, in their own words, "A Sugar Baby is an adult (over 18 years) man or woman who is attractive, ambitious, intelligent and seeking a lifestyle that matches their dreams and goals in life. A Sugar Baby excatly knows what he/she wants in life, is driven in fulfilling their dreams, appreciates the finer things in life, and is attracted to successful, intelligent, self-confident and attractive Men / Women. They are not afraid to define exactly what they want in a partner and relationship whether it be height, fitness, or occupation."

    After a number of redirections, not only from the link I posted, but also from Kathleen's link at Equality Case Files, this is where I ended up:

  • 21. JayJonson  |  July 27, 2018 at 5:47 am

    Elihu, here is another link to the Lambda Legal statement.

  • 22. VIRick  |  July 27, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Jay, thank you. Your link actually takes one to the Lambda Legal statement on the Florida transgender case in question, "Adams v. School Board of St. John's County."

  • 23. ianbirmingham  |  July 27, 2018 at 7:56 am

    Puerto Ricans Who Fled To FL After Hurricane Maria Aren't Registering To Vote

    “We’ve got two-and-a-half months left for voter registration. But these numbers show it’s not going to happen organically. … This is a warning flare that there’s real work to be done. … Dems need to be registering around the clock, which they clearly aren't doing.”

  • 24. Fortguy  |  July 27, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott has been supportive of Puerto Rican migrants, and is polling much better among recent migrants than he is among Puerto Ricans who have resided longer on the mainland. Support for the Democratic Party is also weaker among recent migrants, but this may be due to those respondents who are less interested in politics in general being more uninformed about the mainland parties. It doesn't help that Bill Nelson's name recognition is lower than both Scott's and even Marco Rubio's even though Nelson is running for his fourth term. Any concerted voter registration effort among new migrants for 2018 must also coincide with a voter education effort to improve the recognition and favorability of Dem candidates on the ballot to keep registration efforts from being self-defeating.

    The good news is the poll shows that both newer migrants and more established Puerto Ricans in Florida all agree that Trump really is terrible. This should be helpful in 2020.

    Anthony Man, Orlando Sun-Sentinel: Poll of Puerto Ricans in Florida has good news for Dems — and for Gov. Scott

  • 25. scream4ever  |  July 28, 2018 at 12:23 am

    The high youth registration after Parkland will likely be enough to get Nelson re-elected.

  • 26. VIRick  |  July 27, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    Costa Rica: Government Commissioner to Lead LGBTI Groups to Supreme Court to Urge It to Bring in Marriage Equality

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Grupos LGBTI se Manifestarán Frente a Corte para Presionar por Matrimonio Gay

    El comisionado LGBTI del Gobierno, Luis Salazar, explicó que el sábado 4 de agosto los grupos LGBTI se manifestarán en la Plaza de la Justicia, con el fin de recordarle a la Sala IV el compromiso que tiene Costa Rica con los tratados internacionales. Salazar detalló que el acto pacífico tiene como objetivo que los magistrados valoren la realidad de miles de costarricenses que no pueden contraer matrimonio civil por ser homosexuales.

    El argumento de la manifestación, que arrancará a las 10:00 horas, se basa en la respuesta que dio la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) a Costa Rica el 9 de enero anterior. En ese momento, la CIDH respondió que el país debe garantizar el matrimonio entre parejas del mismo sexo. Luis Salazar aseveró que para este sábado se espera gran cantidad de familias homoparentales con sus hijos de crianza.

    LGBTI Groups Will Demonstrate in Front of Court to Press for Gay Marriage

    The government's LGBTI commissioner, Luis Salazar, explained that on Saturday, 4 August, LGBTI groups will demonstrate in the Plaza de la Justicia, in order to remind Sala IV of Costa Rica's commitment to international treaties. Salazar explained that the peaceful act has as its objective to ensure that the justices value the reality of thousands of Costa Ricans who can not contract civil marriage because they are homosexuals.

    The argument of the demonstration, which will start at 10:00 AM, is based on the response given by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) to Costa Rica on 9 January. At that time, the CIDH responded that the country must guarantee marriage between same-sex couples. Luis Salazar said that for this Saturday a large number of homoparental families with their foster children are expected.

  • 27. ianbirmingham  |  July 28, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Trump administration 'exacerbating' LGBTQ health care discrimination, report says

    LGBTQ people — particularly transgender individuals — face high rates of discrimination in health care settings, research has shown.

  • 28. ianbirmingham  |  July 28, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Outrage after 200 leading rabbis in Israel call gays ‘perverts’

    More than 200 of Israel’s leading rabbis have caused outrage by signing a letter calling LGBTI people ‘perverts’. The missive also condemned the gay community for wanting surrogacy rights. The letter came after widespread protests in opposition to a new surrogacy law that excluded single men and gay couples. Leading rabbis signed the letter in support of the chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, who spoke out against gay surrogacy rights. Aryeh Stern said gay surrogacy would cause ‘children to be born and enter a very strange and unnatural life’. He also said childrens’ lives would become ‘wretched.’ The rabbis wrote that Stern had simply spoken about ‘the eternal truth of our holy Torah and human normalcy’. They claimed outrage at the ‘organisations of abomination, who carry out impudent marches in the cities of Israel.’ ‘[T]he aggressive terror which accompanies the media’s brainwashing’ designed to ‘destroy the concept of family and turn perverts into heroes will not succeed,’ he rabbis wrote. ‘[A]nd nor will the attempt to silence rabbis and sane people and turn them into delusional extremists.

  • 29. DevilWearsZrada  |  July 28, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    They are doing very well at promoting secularism in Israel.

  • 30. allan120102  |  July 28, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Breaking president of the constitutional court of Ecuador has state that the majority of justices in the court are in favor of ssm and ss adoption and if the case being appeal right now reach the court they will rule in favor of same sex marriage and possibly ss adoption. I am still not sure why they dont rule in the case they have since 2013 but oh well.

  • 31. SethInMaryland  |  July 28, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    Well that's that, the government of Ecuador should just go ahead and apply the law across the country

  • 32. allan120102  |  July 28, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    Its not that easy, Ecuador might not be as conservative as other nations like Peru and Paraguay but if they do that the people will be outrage that the government didnt at least try to stop, the government will just fault the supreme court when it happens, saying that they try it but they couldnt stop the supreme court etc…. its just politics.

  • 33. psicotraducciones  |  July 29, 2018 at 12:21 am

    Ecuador is as conservative as Peru but youre right

  • 34. VIRick  |  July 29, 2018 at 9:30 am

    When I lived in Brasil, I had a female Brazilian friend who had made the mistake of marrying a Peruvian. Although now divorced, she could not return to Perú because Perú did not recognize her Uruguayan divorce.

    I see strong parallels and similarities between the issue of non-recognition of divorce from around 15-20 years ago and the non-recognition of same-sex marriage today, particularly when it again involves progressive Uruguay dragging the rest behind it.

  • 35. VIRick  |  July 29, 2018 at 9:14 am

    And in turn, the Supreme Court can defend itself by "blaming" the CIDH, stating that their hands were tied because of the binding accord the politicians signed some years ago, agreeing to abide by the decisions rendered by the CIDH. In effect, the argument is a vicious circle, with everyone blaming everyone else, but with the binding decision of the CIDH being key.

  • 36. DevilWearsZrada  |  July 29, 2018 at 10:02 am

    It stops being a vicious circle when the state denounces IACHR and withdraws from CIDH. Instead of being forced by the Court to legalize marriage equality conservative states may do just that thus making CIDH a court for socially liberal Latin American nations.

  • 37. VIRick  |  July 29, 2018 at 10:38 am

    The counter-argument to that point is this:

    On the date that the CIDH announced its marriage equality and gender identity decision, 9 January 2018, there were 20 nations with whom the accord was in current force. Any denunciation now is too late to abrogate a decision reached in January 2018. It would only apply to future decisions.

    Plus, any withdrawal from the CIDH must be done properly in order to be valid, including the provision of waiting one year before the withdrawal takes effect. Venezuela (nation #21) withdrew by immediate, unilateral presidential proclamation some years ago, after Chavez became irritated about some other decision of theirs. Most legal scholars do not recognize that immediate, unilateral withdrawal because it was not done correctly. So far, otherwise, the issue of withdrawing from the CIDH (over any matter, not just same-sex marriage) has not been raised in the other 20, not even in Paraguay.

    And in general, we do not stir up the issue with Venezuela because of the marriage equality cases pending before its Supreme Tribunal. Plus, the very recent progressive constitutional change underway in Cuba completely undermines any remaining left-wing resistance in "allied," dysfunctional Venezuela (as well as in "allied" Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Bolivia).

  • 38. VIRick  |  July 29, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    However, having just stated that, and left-wing ideology notwithstanding:

    Venezuela: 4th PSUV Congress

    Per Gabriel Bastidas, Venezuelan journalist:

    El 29 de julio 2018, en el IV Congreso del PSUV, (Presidente) Maduro se refirió a la reforma constitucional en Cuba que incluirá el matrimonio igualitario, y en el auditorio (ahí en Venezuela) hubo fueron risas de burla.

    On 29 July 2018, at the IV Congress of the PSUV, (President) Maduro referred to the constitutional reform in Cuba that will include marriage equality, and in the audience (there in Venezuela) there was laughing mockery.

    PSUV = Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela, the de facto governing political party in Venezuela

    Meanwhile, the hyper-inflation in Venezuela is approaching 1,000,000%, surpassing an all-time world-wide record.

  • 39. VIRick  |  July 29, 2018 at 12:52 am

    Ecuador: Same-Sex Marriage Will Be Recognized by Constitutional Court

    Ecuador: Matrimonio Gay Sería Reconocido por Corte Constitucional

    La Corte Constitucional (CC) de Ecuador reconocerá el matrimonio homosexual en caso de que se tenga que pronunciar sobre la cuestión, según reveló 28 de julio de 2018 la presidenta de la Federación Ecuatoriana de Organizaciones LGTBI, Diane Rodríguez. Así lo manifestó tras una reunión que mantuvieron esta semana una decena de delegados de colectivos LGTBI con el presidente de la Corte Constitucional, Alfredo Ruiz. De acuerdo a Rodríguez, el presidente de la CC ecuatoriana ha asegurado que la mayoría de magistrados del tribunal son favorables al reconocimiento del matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo en caso de que llegue un caso a la máxima instancia judicial.

    El artículo 67 de la Constitución ecuatoriana, que data de 2008, considera de forma explícita el matrimonio como la unión entre hombre y mujer, pero un reciente caso ventilado en la corte provincial de Azuay ha fallado a favor de una acción de protección de un matrimonio homosexual, reconociendo el casamiento entre dos mujeres. No obstante la decisión, el registro civil recurrió esa sentencia e impidió su ejecución, por lo que las afectadas podrían elevar su causa en otras instancias judiciales para lograr el cumplimiento de la sentencia, manifestó la dirigente de la Federación ecuatoriana que agrupa a unas 40 organizaciones LGTBI.

    "Este caso está escalando a nivel nacional, y si llegara a la Corte Constitucional, nos han garantizado que se manifestarán a favor del matrimonio homosexual," manifestó Rodríguez, primera trans en resultar electa como legisladora en el país en 2017.

    The Constitutional Court (CC) of Ecuador will recognize same-sex marriage in the event it must pronounce on the issue, as revealed on 28 July 2018 by the president of the Ecuadorian Federation of LGTBI Organizations, Diane Rodríguez. This was said after a meeting was held this week by a dozen LGTBI delegates with the president of the Constitutional Court, Alfredo Ruiz. According to Rodríguez, the president of the Ecuadorian CC has assured that the majority of justices of the court are favorable to the recognition of marriage between persons of the same sex whenever a case reaches the highest judicial court.

    Article 67 of the Ecuadorian Constitution, dating from 2008, explicitly considers marriage as the union between a man and a woman, but a recent case heard in the provincial court of Azuay has ruled in favor of an action to protect a same-sex marriage, recognizing the marriage between two women. Despite the decision, the civil registry appealed this ruling and prevented its execution, so that those affected could elevate their case to other judicial levels in order to achieve compliance with the ruling, said the leader of the Ecuadorian Federation, which brings together some 40 organizations LGTBI.

    "This case is escalating at the national level, and if it reaches the Constitutional Court, they have guaranteed us that they will rule in favor of same-sex marriage," said Rodríguez, the first trans to be elected as a legislator in the country in 2017.

    Note: Despite this article using the singular, there were two successful cases in Cuenca, Azuay province, each with their own ruling separately recognizing the marriage. Both have been appealed.

  • 40. arturo547  |  July 29, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Taking into account this, I'd like to remind you of the same situation in Venezuela. According to a news article published in February this year, most of the judges of the Venezuelan Supreme Court are in favour of ssm. Only one judge is against.

    You can read the news here:

  • 41. ianbirmingham  |  July 28, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    US State Department Is Retroactively Revoking The Passports Of Trans Women

  • 42. ianbirmingham  |  July 29, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Transgender Syrian Katia finds refuge in Berlin

    Gay Pride in Berlin welcomed thousands of people on Saturday, among them a Syrian transgender refugee, Katia, who now calls the famously open-minded city a safe haven.

    "Here, we get support," said Katia, who described how it was impossible in war-torn Syria to discuss her predicament, let alone do anything about it. … For Katia, Berlin could not be more different from Syria and Arab society in general in its attitude towards homosexuality. "In society, not only in Syria but in the Arab world generally, one does not look kindly on" homosexuals or transgender people, she says. "But in Germany, there is support, there are associations which help us, there is no unease … In Syria, if we had said something, I don't know what would have happened to us."

    This year's Gay Pride in Berlin, where it goes by the name of the Christopher Street Parade, was organised around a slogan seemingly made for Katia — "My body, my Identity, my Life."

  • 43. ianbirmingham  |  July 29, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Mixed city of Lod holds Israel's first ever Jewish-Arab pride event

    It was also the first time an Arab member of [Israel's legislature, the] Knesset spoke at a pride event. “I am proud of you and our friendship,” Meretz MK Issawi Frej told the crowd. “You have the same right as anyone else to live where you want and how you want. We believe that the human being is at the center, and this means a human being regardless of sex or color — we are equal. I am here to identify with you.”

  • 44. ianbirmingham  |  July 29, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Rain fails to dampen spirits at Dublin's first Trans Pride

    Organisers created Trans Pride Dublin after they felt that Dublin Pride, which took place at the end of June, was not paying enough attention to trans issues.

  • 45. ianbirmingham  |  July 29, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    Ginsburg suggests she has at least five more years on the Supreme Court

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she hopes to stay on the Supreme Court until the age of 90. "I'm now 85," Ginsburg said on Sunday. "My senior colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, he stepped down when he was 90, so think I have about at least five more years." She has already hired law clerks for at least two more terms.

  • 46. ianbirmingham  |  July 29, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    Calgary police chief apologizes to LGBTQ community for past mistreatment

    Calgary police have issued a formal apology to the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer, questioning and two-spirit community.

    Chief Roger Chaffin apologized Friday at police headquarters for past criminalization, marginalization and systematic oppression of the community.

  • 47. ianbirmingham  |  July 30, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    Log Cabin Republicans support anti-LGBTQ politician in GA Governor’s race

    In an eye-raising move, the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans, an organization of gay Republicans, tossed their support behind Brian Kemp in the Georgia Governor's race. Kemp is opposed to gay rights, and has recently signed a pledge to support "religious freedom" bills, also known as RFRAs. These bills are viewed as a "license to discriminate" against LGBTQ people using religious beliefs as an excuse. … In spite of Kemp's stand against LGBTQ rights, the Log Cabin Republicans chose to endorse Kemp over Abrams. In a press release, they offered Kemp their congratulations in winning the runoff against Georgia's State Lieutenant Governor, Casey Cagle, and painting Abrams as a "radical liberal." …

    Abrams, the former Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, has led a much less controversial campaign. If elected, she would become the first black female governor in the United States. Abrams' policy proposals are more centrist in form, rather than radical. Unlike Kemp, however, she is a supporter of LGBTQ rights. "From supporting marriage equality and comprehensive workplace protections to opposing any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Stacey Abrams is ready to build a stronger, brighter state where the gates of opportunity are open to every Georgian," read part of Abrams' statement on LGBTQ policy.

  • 48. Elihu_Bystander  |  July 30, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Do you think that the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans have a racial motive for their endorsement of Kemp?

  • 49. davepCA  |  July 30, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    It's certainly a possibility. I can't think of anything else that would provide a rational explanation. But then again it's hard to find a rational explanation for the Log Cabin Republicans at all…

  • 50. VIRick  |  July 30, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    Ginsburg Plans to Stay on Supreme Court for 5 More Years

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she intends to stay on the Supreme Court for the next five years. “I’m now 85,” she said. “My senior colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, stepped down when he was 90, so I think I have at least five more years.”

    She has also hired law clerks for the next two terms, a sign that she plans to be on the court until 2020. Ginsburg is a survivor of both colon cancer and pancreatic cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, about 4% of people live five years after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

    In January, she told the audience at a Sundance “Cinema Talks” conversation that “As long as I can do the job full steam, I will be here.” Her health is “very good,” she added. She is a longtime supporter of LGBTQ equality, joining the majority in landmark cases like "Romer v. Evans," "Lawrence v. Texas," "United States v. Windsor," and "Obergefell v. Hodges."

  • 51. VIRick  |  July 30, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    Two Caribbean Countries Hold First-Ever Pride Parades

    In July, activists in both Trinidad/Tobago and Barbados held their respective countries’ first-ever Pride parades. On Saturday, 28 July 2018, hundreds of people took part in a Pride parade in the Trinidadian capital of Port-of-Spain. And on 22 July, the week-end before, Barbados’ Pride parade took place in Bridgetown, the island’s capital.

    Barbados and Trinidad/Tobago are among the countries in the English-speaking Caribbean in which consensual same-sex sexual relations remain criminalized. In April, a judge on Trinidad/Tobago’s High Court struck down the country’s sodomy law. In June, three LGBTI rights advocates in Barbados filed a lawsuit with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) against that island’s colonial-era statute which criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual relations.

    On 9 January 2018, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) issued a landmark ruling that recognizes same-sex marriage and transgender rights (gender identity). In 1979, the Organization of American States created the Costa Rica-based court in order to enforce provisions of the American Convention on Human Rights. January’s ruling is legally binding on Barbados and 19 other countries in the Western Hemisphere which recognize the convention.

  • 52. VIRick  |  July 31, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Thailand: Civil Partnership Bill to Be Introduced in September

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Justice Minister of Thailand has been drafting a Civil Partnership Bill that is expected to be introduced into the country’s parliament this September. If approved, the Thailand Civil Partnership Bill will grant same-sex couples the same legal rights as married straight couples, including adoption, hospital visitation, inheritance, tax laws, and welfare benefits.

    According to reports, the Justice Minister began drafting the Civil Partnership Bill after 60,000 people signed a petition asking the minister to help restart discussion around a stalled 2013 LGBTQ rights bill. LGBTQ activists at the time criticized the 2013 bill for not including rights around trans identity and same-sex adoption.

    Chief of the Rights and Liberties Protection Department Pitikan Sithidej said, “The bill is now being vetted by the ministry. We expect to finish considering it by the end of September. After that, it will be forwarded to the cabinet for approval before being submitted to the National Legislative Assembly for deliberation.”

  • 53. arturo547  |  August 1, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    I wonder why they don't just propose a same-sex marriage bill. Actually, the civil partnership bill is marriage in all but in name. That's absurd.

  • 54. VIRick  |  August 1, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Indeed. However, in many politicians' minds, the "in all but name" concept "sells" better to a larger chunk of the general public who are not paying close attention to the issue, let alone to its specific details. Thus, as long as one can claim it is "different" in some generic way, even if it is only the name, they are OK with it.

    Even so, assuming this proposed measure passes, it would push Thailand to the absolute forefront in the recognition of same-sex rights within East Asia, noting that the court decision in favor of marriage equality in Taiwan has not yet been implemented, while a very similar "in all but name" proposal has already been floated as an alternative in the Philippines.

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