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Open thread 8/6 with breaking update


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

UPDATE: The judge hearing one of the challenges to President Trump’s ban on transgender military servicemembers has dismissed Trump from the case. This won’t affect the court’s ability to decide the underlying merits of the trans ban.

UPDATE 2: In the same case, the judge has denied the government’s attempt to dissolve the preliminary injunction and to dismiss the rest of the complaint.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. ianbirmingham  |  August 6, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    Kavanaugh: Presidents can ignore laws they think are unconstitutional

    Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in 2013 asserted that it's a "traditional exercise" of presidential power to ignore laws the White House views as unconstitutional, as he defended the controversial practice of signing statements prevalent in George W. Bush's White House.

    'When the president does it, that means it is not illegal'

    One of the most famous political lines of the 20th Century was uttered by disgraced former president Richard Nixon, who emerged from the shadows a few years after Watergate to tell his story (for money) to British journalist David Frost. Indeed, the line that Nixon used to defend his actions — the bugging, spying and dirty tricks on political opponents and the massive cover-up — became the centerpiece, the kind of "Perry Mason moment" of a play that then became a Hollywood movie, Frost/Nixon.

    "When the president does it, that means it is not illegal," Nixon told his interviewer. Those words were largely seen by the American public — which continued to hold the ex-president in low esteem — as a symbol of his unbowed arrogance. Most citizens still wanted to believe that no American citizen, not even the president, is above the law.

  • 2. bayareajohn  |  August 6, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    And now Kavanaugh wants to join the ACTUAL NAMED BRANCH of our government whose exclusive charge is Constitutional review. Odd that he sees any need for the Supreme Court at all since he has ceded those duties to the Executive branch in his fantasy of America.

    Checks and balances not required?
    His version sounds like a dictatorship to me.

  • 3. VIRick  |  August 6, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    Slovakia: "Life Partnership" Bill Introduced

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Today, 6 August 2018, in Slovakia, the opposition party, SaS, submitted a "life partnership" bill that will recognize LGBT couples. The bill is expected to be debated in Parliament in September.

    Here's a link to the news article in Slovak, bearing the headline, "Nový návrh zákona od SaS: Kompromis pre heterosexuálne aj homosexuálne páry!?"

  • 4. VIRick  |  August 6, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    Angola: New Penal Code to Receive Final Vote

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In Angola, the new penal code, which decriminalizes homosexuality, is to receive its final vote during the next parliamentary year.

    Luanda — The final approval of the bill on the Angolan penal code, whose discussions on the point concerning the limit of the penalties has split MPs and the government, is expected to be discussed in the next parliamentary year 2018/2019.

    The approval of the bill has already been postponed from the previous legislative session due to a lack of consensus on the abortion issue.

  • 5. VIRick  |  August 6, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Canada: PM Justin Trudeau Marches in Vancouver Pride Parade

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Per Luis Salazar, the Costa Rican government's LGBTIQ+ commissioner:

    Esta mañana y tarde, el 5 de agosto 2018, marchamos junto a Justin Trudeau en el Pride Parade de Vancouver.

    This morning and afternoon, 5 August 2018, we marched together with Justin Trudeau in the Vancouver Pride Parade.

    It is fascinating to note how Canada and Latin America have reciprocally bypassed the USA in their mutual efforts to ensure human rights throughout the hemisphere.

  • 6. VIRick  |  August 6, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    India: Kerala State to Pay for Gender Reassignment Surgery

    The Indian state of Kerala, which lies on the country’s Malabar Coast, has said it will fund transgender people’s gender reassignment surgeries. Kerala’s chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan posted about his decision on Facebook, saying the state government would pay 200,000 rupees (£2,245) so that trans people can obtain their operations.
    It is the second Indian state to make such an announcement, after neighboring Tamil Nadu. “The government, which has ensured the rights of education and employment of the transgender community, will now bear the cost of sex change surgery, too,” Vijayan wrote, as translated by the "Times of India."

  • 7. VIRick  |  August 6, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Chile: Mixed Commission Approves Gender Identity Law

    Per Movilh Chile:

    El 6 de agosto 2018, la Comisión Mixta aprueba y despacha la Ley de Identidad de Género, garantizando derechos a niños, niñas y adolescentes. Solo falta una votación en la Cámara y otra en el Senado para contar con ley.

    On 6 August 2018, the Mixed Commission approves and dispatches the Gender Identity Law, guaranteeing rights to children and adolescents. Just one vote remaining in the House and another in the Senate before becoming law.

  • 8. scream4ever  |  August 6, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Hopefully marriage equality won't be too much longer.

  • 9. VIRick  |  August 6, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    True enough, but in the meantime, Chile is being embarrassed, in particular, on the subject of gender identity, as all of its neighbors, including Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brasil have moved way ahead of it, leaving Chile, for the moment, in the same "class" with dysfunctional Venezuela and dystopian Paraguay. They have been fussing over this gender identity bill in Chile for more than 5 years.

  • 10. allan120102  |  August 6, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    I hope the marriage equality bill does not take as much time because this gender identity bill was introduced in 2013 and it still hasnt been approve by the way we are going we might actually dont see it approve until 2019. I think it will take a shorter time to sue chile and have there ssm ban struck down by a court than waiting for senate approval.

  • 11. arturo547  |  August 7, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Chile doesn't have a judicial tradition of striking down unfair laws unlike Colombia for example. Colombia's judiciary has liberalized abortion and weed, and legalized same-sex marriage, transgender identity rights, civil unions, same-sex adoptions, same-sex parenting rights and euthanasia. (Admirable judicial system). Chile, on the other hand, has always dealt with issues like human rights only through legislative procedures. Fortunately, Chile has a growing liberal society.

    Divorce (2004), civil unions (2015) and abortion [on three cases] (2018) were legalized by the Chilean National Congress. On the contrary, the judicial system has rejected same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting rights.

  • 12. VIRick  |  August 7, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    "The judicial system (of Chile) has rejected same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting rights." For now.

    Arturo, absolutely correct. And here is why:

    There are only two nations, worldwide, whose Constitutional Courts determine the constitutionality of any given pending legislation BEFORE its final legislative passage,– Luxembourg and Chile.

    Thus, in Chile, once the Constitutional Court approves pending legislation based upon its constitutionality, and said legislation then subsequently becomes law, that is it. It becomes almost impossible for the court to later rule that a law, already deemed to be constitutional prior to its final enactment, is now to be considered as unconstitutional. And for the moment, that peculiarity applies to both same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting rights, given that the current law does not allow either.

    On the up-side, Chile's legislature can not pass crazy nonsense unchallenged, as the Constitutional Court will pre-emptively strike it down as unconstitutional before it can ever become law. In that regard, they are quite pro-active. On the down-side, the Constitutional Court only ever acts when pending legislation is presented to it to determine its constitutionality. In that sense, they play a rather passive role, as they generally do not "retro-judge" a pre-existing law.

    Thus, in Chile, in order to change a law, one does not normally seek redress through the courts. Instead, one must go through the ordeal of the whole legislative process, which includes the Constitutional Court giving the proposed legislation their stamp of approval along the way. Very much on the upside, Chile's Constitutional Court has already approved the constitutionality of both the pending gender identity legislation and the pending same-sex marriage legislation, with the latter including same-sex parenting rights. The onus is now on the legislature to finalize passage, as the Constitutional Court has already done its job.

    Chile's system does not match with that of any of the other Latin nations, thus making comparisons quite difficult. However, your comparison with Colombia, with one of the most pro-active courts in the hemisphere, is excellent.

  • 13. VIRick  |  August 7, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    Chilean Congress: Final Vote on Transgender Rights Bill Set

    Valparaíso — On Monday, 6 August 2018, a joint commission comprised of members of both houses of the Chilean Congress dispatched a transgender rights bill, paving the way for a final vote after more than five years of debate.

    The commission began to revise the bill in March after the first votes in the House of Deputies and the Senate generated differences. It took four months of debate to resolve them and agree on the proposed law in the last stage of the process, which LGBTI organizations considered an “historic milestone.” One of the controversial points was the inclusion of children in the bill.

    The commission approved a proposal that President Sebastián Piñera presented in May that includes only adolescents over 14 and adults. The commission also approved the provision under which minors under 14 can request to change their gender. It says that any child who has the authorization of their parents may request rectification before a Family Court. The commission also approved provisions that ban discrimination based on gender identity and removes the requirement to undergo surgery in order to legally change one’s gender.

  • 14. VIRick  |  August 6, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    IRS Grants Tax-Exempt Status to Transphobic Lesbian-Run "Pussy Church"

    Pussy Church of Modern Witchcraft, a lesbian house of faith, has been recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization and church by the IRS, reports Forbes. But before you sign up for its Sabbath, the PCMW, an openly anti-trans organization, has many qualifications to join. Among others, the cisgender women-only faith requires adherents to provide "evidence of a consistent lesbian life" to join.

    "The Pussy Church serves Women and Girls only. Males are not permitted to participate, regardless of how they identify. We expressly reject the concepts of gender identity, transgenderism, and gender as being meaningful to defining what a Woman or Girl is," PCMW says on its website.

    So, in India, the state is paying for gender reassignment surgery, in Chile, the progressive, self-declaring gender identity bill has just passed yet another hurdle, while in the USA, the IRS grants tax-exempt status to a church which denies the very existence of gender identity.

  • 15. ianbirmingham  |  August 7, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Democrats poised to pick transgender woman for Vermont governor

    When journalist Danica Roem, a transgender woman, ran for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates last year as a Democrat, the Republican Party of Virginia paid for campaign fliers that repeatedly referred to her with male pronouns, considered a slap in the face to someone who identifies as a woman.

  • 16. VIRick  |  August 8, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Denmark Is Snubbing US Ambassador over Trump Attacks on LGBTQ Rights

    While the US Ambassador’s reception was previously a highlight of the Danish LGBTQ Pride festivities, this year Danes are publicly snubbing the event as a protest against the Trump administration’s non-stop attacks on LGBTQ people. Former ambassador Rufus Gifford, a gay man, hosted the annual celebration during the Obama presidency when an invitation was the hottest ticket in Copenhagen. This time around, even Copenhagen Pride is refusing to attend.

    Trump’s ambassador, Carla Sands, has inherited a difficult position when it comes to LGBTQ rights. While Gifford was Obama’s unofficial “ambassador to the gay community,” the Trump administration has been actively hostile to LGBTQ people. The Canadian, British, and Australian embassies are co-sponsors of the event this year. The reception wasn’t held last year since President Trump had not yet nominated an ambassador.

    “It can easily sound pretty hollow if on the one side you criticise Trump’s administration for their reluctance to accommodate LGBT people and the rolling back of LGBT-positive legislation, and at the same time, stand around drinking champagne with the ambassador who represents that administration,” Copenhagen Pride press officer Thomas Rasmussen said according to Danish LGBTQ magazine, "Out & About." The organization sent a letter to all four ambassadors declining the invitation and spelling out exactly why they were refusing the invite.

    The country’s oldest LGBTQ organization, LGBT Denmark, has also declined the invitation citing similar reasons. “We do not want to rubber stamp the Trump administration’s backlash of LGBT rights by our presence. We are aware that the invitations may be perceived as personal, but it must be clear that there is no official participation by LGBT Denmark’s leadership,” LGBT Denmark’s Peder Holk Svendsen told "Out & About." The outlet reports that individuals invited to the event are also declining or rescinding their acceptance of the invitation as the boycott grows.

  • 17. VIRick  |  August 8, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Rep. Maloney Seeks to Take on Trump as First Out NY Attorney-General

    Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) would be the first openly gay person elected as New York Attorney-General should he succeed in his campaign for the office — and he sees the role as an opportunity to take on Trump. In an interview Wednesday with the "Washington Blade," the three-term congressman said he wants to go on offense, and after winning the primary on 13 September and the general election, would “100 percent” use the Office of Attorney-General to investigate Trump and challenge his anti-LGBT policies.

    “It’s not just Trump’s business and it’s not just Trump’s own actions,” Maloney said. “It’s the threat posed by the entire administration across a range of federal law and nowhere is that more true than in the area of LGBT equality.” As evidence of hostility from the Trump administration and House Republicans toward LGBT people, Maloney cited Trump’s attempt to ban transgender people from the armed forces, as well as efforts to restrict adoption by LGBT couples.

    Maloney, who’s raising children in a same-sex marriage, said the anti-LGBT adoption efforts strike close to home. “The Trump administration has families like mine in the crosshairs, and you better believe I’m going to use every tool I have fight back and to get on offense,” Maloney said.

    In recent years, the New York Attorney-General has used the office for high-profile investigations of Trump and his properties, including Trump University and the Trump Foundation. Asked if he thinks the New York Attorney-General has the authority to dissolve Trump’s businesses if wrongdoing is found, Maloney said a variety of drastic consequences could unfold.

    “The fact is the Attorney-General has sweeping authority in the area of business crime and consumer fraud,” Maloney said. “So, if you are talking about Trump University, yeah, you could take that thing apart because of the wrongdoing they engaged in. Likewise, depending on the wrongdoing you can prove on the business side, there can be very drastic consequences for a business that’s breaking the law.”

  • 18. ianbirmingham  |  August 8, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and law professor Zephyr Teachout say they will be more independent from Cuomo than [New York City Public Advocate Letitia "Tish"] James.

    Maloney, who is simultaneously running for re-election to his swing congressional seat, has emphasized that he was first openly gay man elected to Congress from New York and would use the position to advocate on LGBTQ issues.

    Teachout, a Bernie Sanders supporter, is running on a progressive policy platform that includes investigating corporations for fraud, decreasing incarceration rates, and pursuing anti-trust action against Google and Facebook.

  • 19. VIRick  |  August 8, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Kansas: First Gay/Native American Nominee to Congress

    Kansas has selected its first Native American and gay nominee for Congress after a close six-candidate Democratic primary on Tuesday, 7 August 2018. Sharice Davids made history in the state after winning the congressional primary. The 38-year-old will now face the Republican Representative, Kevin Yoder, in the general election.
    If Davids prevails against Yoder, she will become the first LGBT person to represent the state of Kansas, and the first Native American woman to serve in the US House. “Representation matters. It’s time for people like me — like us — to have a seat at the table,” Davids said in an email to supporters on Election Day, reiterating her potential to make history.

    Democrats have targeted the third district of Kansas, as Hillary Clinton won the district in the 2016 presidential election. Davids, formerly a mixed-martial arts fighter, was a White House fellow during Obama’s presidency. She is an attorney with a law degree from Cornell.

  • 20. VIRick  |  August 8, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Michigan: Progressive Palestinian-American Wins Congressional Primary

    Detroit — Rashida Tlaib was once hauled out by security for shouting at Trump during a speech here. Early Wednesday, 8 August 2018, she won a crowded Michigan Democratic House primary and will now likely take her fight against Trump to Washington as the first Muslim woman ever elected to Congress.

    The race was called for Tlaib just before 3 AM, after running neck and neck with Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones for hours. When news of the victory was finally announced at Tlaib's election night party, young supporters in blue T-shirts burst into tears and hugged one another. They began chanting, "Rashida!" A few ululated and waved the Palestinian flag. Many in the room were from immigrant backgrounds and took pride in Tlaib's milestone. At one point they all sang along to "Don't Stop Believin'."

    Tlaib, a progressive 42-year-old former state representative, was part of a wave of Muslim candidates across the country who ran this year as a collective pushback against Trump administration policies targeting Muslims and immigrants. She is now almost guaranteed to win November's general election for the 13th District House seat vacated by Detroit's legendary former congressman John Conyers Jr., who stepped down in December amid accusations of sexual misconduct.

  • 21. VIRick  |  August 8, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    UN: Chile's Bachelet Chosen as Next UN Human Rights Chief

    United Nations – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has chosen former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to be the world body’s new Human Rights High Commissioner, the United Nations said on Wednesday, 8 August 2018.

    The 193-member UN General Assembly is due to meet on Friday, 10 August, to approve Bachelet’s appointment. She would replace Jordan’s outspoken Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, who is stepping down at the end of the month after a four-year term in the Geneva-based job.

    Zeid told reporters in New York earlier this month that he did not seek a second term because he did not believe he would have the support of key world powers, including the United States, China, and Russia. Zeid has been strongly critical of some of Trump’s policies and his attacks on the media. “We do not bring shame on governments, they shame themselves,” he said.

  • 22. josejoram  |  August 9, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    It seems that Bachelet, due to her left wing affiliation will be some steps backwards in terms of polítical rights in some countries, specially Venezuela. And she is not specially brilliant on LGBTI rights either.

  • 23. arturo547  |  August 8, 2018 at 6:57 pm


    Tonight Costa Rica's Supreme Court will make its same-sex marriage decision public. Some activists on Facebook are saying that the ruling was a 4-3 vote. Let's wait for the official news.

    Keep your fingers crossed. I'll keep you updated!


  • 24. scream4ever  |  August 8, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    I'm hopeful, and even if it doesn't go our way, the IACOHR will overrule it anyways.

  • 25. allan120102  |  August 8, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    This is an extraordinary action of the court and lgbt activist have state they will not settle for anything less than marriage if not they are going to sue CR for not abiding to the opinion of the court.

  • 26. VIRick  |  August 8, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Be careful about the speculation, as quite a few people appear to be holding a "vigil" of sorts, both in person and on several sites I watch, really ramping up the pressure. The court originally stated that they would have a decision by the middle of August. Today is only one week into the month.

    Per Noticias LGBT:

    Canal oficial de las cortes en Costa Rica parece desmentir rumores de que la Corte Constitucional se pronunciara hoy dia sobre el tema del matrimonio igualitario:

    Official channel of the courts in Costa Rica seems to deny rumors that the Constitutional Court was to pronounce today on the issue of equal marriage:

    Per Poder Judicial CR:

    No para nada. El tema es de interés, pero hay demasiada especulación. No se han dicho horarios, ni se ha dicho que se vaya a comunicar hoy. Cualquier cosa sería por aquí.

    Not at all. The subject is of interest, but there is too much speculation. No schedules have been stated, nor has it been said that they will communicate today.

    Nevertheless, there are lots of comments, like this:

    Per Gil Francisco Pujol (of El Salvador) Retweeted David Zuiga (of Costa Rica):

    Los costarricenses LGBTTI solicitan se les reconozca su igualdad de derechos por eso solicitan tener el acceso Constitucional al Matrimonio Igualitario. No son ciudadanos de segunda categoría, sino ciudadanos en igualdad de derechos. Todo el apoyo desde El Salvador hasta Costa Rica.

    Costa Rican LGBTTIs requested their equal rights be recognized and for that reason they requested to have Constitutional access to Equal Marriage. They are not second-class citizens, but citizens with equal rights. All support from El Salvador to Costa Rica.

    So, yes, everyone is watching and waiting.

    Per David Zuiga, my favorite Costa Rican activist:

    Estamos frente a la Sala Constitucional por si gustan acompañarnos para pedir Matrimomio Igualitario YA.

    We are in front of the Constitutional Chamber in case you would like to join us to ask for Marriage Equality NOW.

    That is David in the foreground of the photo, taken at 8 PM tonight. At least a dozen other people are present, as are TV cameras.

  • 27. allan120102  |  August 8, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    In less than 20 minutes there will be a conference. We might get a ruling after all. Crossing my fingers for marriage equality.

  • 28. VIRick  |  August 8, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    OMG! You are correct. We won marriage equality in Costa Rica!!!

    Per Jorge Muñoz‏:

    A las 23.20 horas (hora local) aprueban el Matrimonio Igualitario.

    At 11.20 PM (local time), they will approve Marriage Equality.

    Per Aarón Sequeira‏:

    Sala Constitucional da conferencia en pocos minutos sobre decisión relativa al matrimonio igualitario en directo por nación.

    Constitutional Chamber gives a conference in a few minutes on a decision regarding equal marriage live to the nation.

    Per Jorge Muñoz‏:

    Aprobado en Costa Rica el Matrimonio Igualitario, 8 de Agosto del 2018.

    La Asamblea tiene 18 meses para crear la legislación respectiva. Si pasan 18 meses sin resolver, se anula el Artículo 21 del Código de Familia.

    Equal Marriage Approved in Costa Rica, 8 August 2018.

    The Assembly has 18 months to create the respective legislation. If 18 months go by without resolving, Article 21 of the Family Code is annulled.

    Thus, at the very latest, marriage equality will automatically come into force in Costa Rica in February 2020. Still, there is a fair amount of disappointment:

    Per Luis Manuel Madrigal‏:

    Felicidades a los magistrados Fernando Cruz y Nancy Hernández, los únicos dos de los siete que pedía la declaratoria de inconstitucionalidad inmediata.

    Congratulations to the justices Fernando Cruz and Nancy Hernández, the only two of the seven who requested the declaration of immediate unconstitutionality.

  • 29. FredDorner  |  August 10, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    "The Assembly has 18 months to create the respective legislation"

    That's because treating everyone equally is incredibly complicated, don'tchaknow.

  • 30. VIRick  |  August 10, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    Fred, the next sentence is the more important:

    "If 18 months go by without resolving, paragraph 6 of Article 14 (rather than Article 21) of the Family Code is annulled."

    For better or for worse, this is most likely the pattern which has been established for our winning marriage equality in the rest of Latin America, bearing in mind that we are dealing with progressively more difficult nations, one after the next, and that it is going to take some time before the last one falls, whether we like it or not.

  • 31. SethInMaryland  |  August 8, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    They won , they have a 18 month waiting period for congress to legislate it sigh

  • 32. josejoram  |  August 10, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    In Venezuela still waiting for a decision by the chavista "supreme court". Perhaps they will leave the question to the "constituent assembly", illegal corporation created by Maduro to bypass the legal Congress. Can you imagine the legal chaos should the current regime in Venezuela falls?

  • 33. allan120102  |  August 8, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    I have bad news it looks like marriage equality will be legal in Costa Rica but in 18 months it looks like court give that time to the general assembly to legalize it.

  • 34. SethInMaryland  |  August 8, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    It's still a win , Marriage is guaranteed at some point officially in Costa Rica

  • 35. allan120102  |  August 8, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    Yeah in that you are correct, but still the assembly might try to pass some other type of union.

  • 36. SethInMaryland  |  August 8, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    no the court said it has to be marriage , this not even like Columbia deadline which had a civil union or marriage deadline , this just a marriage must be legalized deadline

  • 37. allan120102  |  August 8, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    It says that in the meantime they may legalize some other type of union but better be marriage because a t the end of the 18 months marriage will be legal. Btw we might wait all 18 months because Costa Rica assembly is the most conservatives in years.

  • 38. Randolph_Finder  |  August 9, 2018 at 4:19 am

    How does Costa Rica compare to Austria and Taiwan?

  • 39. scream4ever  |  August 9, 2018 at 9:16 am

    It's essentially the same.

  • 40. Randolph_Finder  |  August 9, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Over on Wikipedia, the template for Same-sex unions
    includes Austria and doesn't include Taiwan because, as I understand it, Austria's court is basically at "If the legislature doesn't act by date X, Marriage Equality will automatically occur", while Taiwan is at "The legislature needs to act by date Y without specifying what will happen if they don't. By that reasoning, Costa Rica is more like Austria, I *guess*????

  • 41. arturo547  |  August 9, 2018 at 10:55 am

    The situation in Costa Rica is now like the one in Austria, as both their top courts have given their parliaments a given time to amend their laws, otherwise those laws will be annulled autommatically. The situation in Taiwan is similar, but there is a small difference. The court said that the parliament can change the law to allow same-sex marriage or another type of union. That means that if the Taiwanese parliament legalises civil unions, the marriage law will remain being as between a man and a woman. I don't understand how this can be possible when the court has stated that the law is unconstitutional. :S

    In simple words, Austria and Costa Rica will have marriage equality no matter what, while Taiwan might have it unless the parliament chooses civil unions instead of marriage.

  • 42. scream4ever  |  August 9, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    If that happens in Taiwan it will likely go back to the courts immediately.

  • 43. VIRick  |  August 9, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    Costa Rica: More on the Constitutional Court's Marriage Equality Decision

    Per Andrés Duque, Retweeted "La Nación:"

    Costa Rica: Last night, 8 August 2018, the country's Constitutional Court, in a 4-3 decision, gave the legislature 18 months to pass a marriage equality law. This morning, 9 August 2018, President Carlos Alvarado Quesada said he would present a bill and push for an extraordinary legislative session to pass the law as soon as possible.

    Per Perchy Bird, Retweeted "Costa Rica News:"

    The Costa Rican Constitutional Court orders the National Assembly in a 4-3 verdict to enact a same-sex marriage law within 18 months, using the Inter-American Court (CIDH) ruling as a basis. If no law is passed, enforcement (of the court decision) will begin on its own (from February 2020).

    Per Amelia Rueda:

    Dos de los siete magistrados de Sala Constitucional, Fernando Cruz and Nancy Hernández, apuntaban a que el matrimonio igualitario entrara en vigencia de inmediato; sin embargo, cedieron a su posición para lograr una mayoría con Paul Rueda and Marta Esquivel, de cuatro votos, y así pasarle el tema al Congreso para que resuelva en 18 meses.

    Two of the seven justices of the Constitutional Chamber, Fernando Cruz and Nancy Hernández, pointed out that marriage equality should take effect immediately; however, they conceded their position in order to achieve a four-vote majority with Paul Rueda and Marta Esquivel, and thus pass the matter to Congress to resolve within 18 months.

    The 18 months count-down begins from the date the decision of 8 August 2018 is actually published in the Boletín Judicial. In the decision, the specific point, paragraph 6 of Article 14 of the Family Code (Es legalmente imposible el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo) was declared unconstitutional in a 6-1 vote.

    Technically, only one justice voted against, Fernando Castillo. The remaining two, Luis Fernando Salazar and José Paulino Hernández, in a very weak opinion, voted to pass the measure to the National Assembly, but without a definitive time-frame involved for automatic implementation. Had this been the actual majority decision, the matter could have dragged on forever. So, for all practical purposes, in terms of its implementation, the ruling was a 4-3 decision.

  • 44. allan120102  |  August 9, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    The ruling was like this. The ruling was 6-1 in declaration of unconstitutionality of the articles that prohibit ssm saying that the ich ruling was binding. The only vote against was the judge that give the interview that is why he was having a dog face when he did it. He was against it. The ruling was more complex though. 2 want ssm to start inmediately another 2 want the 18 months wait and another 2 want to send indefinitely the ruling to congresss saying they were the only ones who could modify the text. Seeing this the two judges who want ssm to start inmediately didnt have other way that succumb and join the two judges who want the 18 months wait as rulings of the constitutional court could only be apply if there is a majority if not this will have been sent to congress and it would have probably died there with the conservative majority in other words this was the only way that CR could have achieve ssm by the courts.

  • 45. VIRick  |  August 9, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    "The only vote against was the judge who gave the interview. That is why he was having a dog face when he did it."

    You really made me laugh out loud with that cleverly accurate observation. Amelia Rueda's excellent synopsis also contains a photo of him exhibiting that same pouting dog face.

  • 46. KryptonKid  |  August 9, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Perhaps the best part of this is the pressure and momentum that will now be on the rest of the CIDH nations.

  • 47. VIRick  |  August 9, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Yes, indeed! In fact, following through on this point, I am now fully expecting similar marriage equality rulings in short order from the highest courts in Panamá, Ecuador, and Perú, among others, all of which can now cite both the binding ruling from the CIDH, as well as the decision just rendered in Costa Rica.

    Costa Rica can thus be viewed as the tipping point for marriage equality throughout Latin America, given that it was the first to be forced to rule favorably in light of the recent binding CIDH decision.

    At the same time, Costa Rica skirted around the issue of gender identity by implementing positive administrative reforms without entangling the matter in the courts. Still, other nations, where the courts might have to deal with the issue of gender identity, can still cite this ruling as being one which implements the broader directive of the CIDH.

    (And by the way, even though we are not supposed to state this out loud too frequently, the majority of Costa Ricans are quietly reveling in the undisputed fact that "the little nation that could" has again successfully maneuvered itself back into its highly cherished position of leading all the remaining recalcitrant Latin nations, most of which are larger and more populous, in expanding human rights. Furthermore, much of the credit for this success can be given to Ana Helena Chacón, the previous Vice-President of the Republic, who clevery engineered to take the marriage equality and gender identity issues to the CIDH in the first instance, and who subsequently celebrated the CIDH ruling at a gay bar in San José, still as sitting Vice-President.)

  • 48. VIRick  |  August 9, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    The Costa Rica Marriage Equality Court Decision as Seen from Nicaragua

    En Nicaragua, aún estamos a años luz de algo como esto. Estamos en 1979 aun, derrocando una dictadura demente y asesina, pero confio en que esto llegue.

    In Nicaragua, we are still light years away from something like this. We are still in 1979, overthrowing an insane and murderous dictatorship, but I trust that this will arrive.

    Nicaragua not only is a CIDH member facing the same binding marriage equality and gender identity ruling, but of course, directly abuts Costa Rica to the north. The contrast could not be more stark.

  • 49. psicotraducciones  |  August 11, 2018 at 2:42 am

    Rick, although Im delighted because of the Costa Rica decision (although it should have taken effect immediately), what excites me the most is the consequences this decision will have on the other Latin American countries bound by the IACHR. I wouldnt be surprised if other national courts were looking at the Costa Rica Court to see how they would rule, and based on that they would rule in their respective countries. Costa Rica had to lead by example because it was the one who asked for the IACHR opinion in the first place, now that it has ruled favourably there is momentum and pressure in other countries because of this breakthrough. In fact, countries can now use both the IACHR ruling and this one for their cases. Im optimistic this means good things to come from the top courts of Panama, Ecuador and Peru (my country) to mention a few. Crossing my fingers.

  • 50. psicotraducciones  |  August 11, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    What are your thougts about this?

  • 51. VIRick  |  August 12, 2018 at 12:39 am

    Everything you have written is absolutely correct in every aspect. But here is what is irritating me:

    The courts in Panamá, Ecuador, and Perú should have already ruled on the pending cases sitting before them. I just finished translating a long treatise on the consolidated case before the justices in Panamá (see below). There is precisely one 13-word sentence in the Panamanian Family Code, in clear violation of the Panamanian Constitution itself, which is blocking same-sex marriage from being implemented in that nation. However, the matter has sat before the justices there for almost two years, and we still have not had a decision.

    You and I could have ruled on that case in two minutes, as that one sentence in the Family Code is so obviously unconstitutional. However, the justice originally assigned to write the draft was intending to rule against us,– until someone within the court who disagreed, in late 2017, deliberately leaked the negative draft proposal to the media, causing quite a stir. The case was subsequently reassigned to a different justice. In the meantime, the CIDH released their marriage equality/gender identity ruling on 9 January 2018, very likely as a pre-emptive measure to head off any possible negative ruling from a CIDH member nation, and specifically, Panamá.

    Thus, Panamá must be next. It is an easy case. Plus, the ruling should be written so as to have immediate effect, as per both US and Colombian court procedure. Besides, they have already wasted almost two years of everyone's time. So, the public has had their ample warning. Given the media stir, too, they know it is coming. Amazingly, even the Catholic Church in Panamá has conceded on this issue.

    Next. Ecuador. Should I continue? I suspect you may want to hear about Perú.

  • 52. psicotraducciones  |  August 12, 2018 at 12:52 am

    Yes, Id like to hear about Peru. But here is the thing about Peru, our Court says they have a 30 day limit but cases are usually handed out after 3 months so the ruling should be known around September or October. I think our Court was also waiting for the Costa Rica decision to cite as precedent as they strongly rely on the CIDH, which by the way issued a ruling protecting them against arbitrary impeachment by our authoritarian "Fujimorista" Congress. I really cant see the 4 member majority not ruling in our favour.

  • 53. VIRick  |  August 9, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Colombia: Indigenous Transgenders, the Rebels of Santuario

    Colombia: Indígenas Trans, las Rebeldes de Santuario

    A este municipio de Risaralda llegan todos los sábados indígenas trans que decidieron rebelarse contra su comunidad, la Iglesia, y la sociedad en general para reivindicar sus derechos. Son de la comunidad Embera, cuya Guardia Indígena planea operativos para capturarlas y castigarlas.

    To this municipality in Risaralda arrive every Saturday indigenous transgenders who have decided to rebel against their community, the Church, and society in general to claim their rights. They are from the Embera community, whose Indigenous Guard plans operations to capture and punish them.

    This is an extended article on a cultural minority with limited contact with the outside world, but who demonstrate close affinity to the transgender women of Bolivia of Inca descent, as well as to the Muxe of the Tehuantepec region of southern Mexico.

  • 54. allan120102  |  August 10, 2018 at 11:39 am

    The only thing that scares me is that courts across latin america are going to take CR constitutional court way and establish a time frame so the legislative bodies act. Marriage should have been legalize asap and no wait anymore moments. I am pretty sure Panama supreme court might take this way in leaving a time frame. They might be other courts that send it indefinitely to the legislative body to act. They might have the same thinking as the other 2 judges of the CR supreme court.

  • 55. scream4ever  |  August 10, 2018 at 11:47 am

    I've heard that activists in Costa Rica are already lodging a complaint to have it be legal sooner, if not immediately.

  • 56. psicotraducciones  |  August 10, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    True, but even if they leave a time frame then when that time frame is up marriage equality is immediately legal

  • 57. allan120102  |  August 10, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    depends if they leave a timeframe. I am not saying they are not going to do it but more conservatives courts like Guatemalan or Honduran might send it indefinitely to the assembly of there respective countries knowing full well that our assemblies are strongly conservative and will not legalize it. Look at Costa Rica even there two supreme court justices would have send the decision to be resolve when the assembly want to do it and it would have been never base on how they are compose. Even a third judge would have say that the ICH rulings are not binding to the country the only vote against.

  • 58. VIRick  |  August 10, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Allan, I totally agree with your over-all assessment, and have just written an extended treatise (below) explaining why the inclusion of specific deadlines is so critically important, and why an open-ended ruling without any specific time-frame is rather useless.

  • 59. VIRick  |  August 10, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Yucatán Congress Would Leave Approval of Marriage Equality in Commissions

    Congreso de Yucatán Dejaría Aprobadas Matrimonio Igualitario en Comisiones.

    Tras afirmar que el gran pendiente de la LXI Legislatura es el matrimonio igualitario, la presidenta de la Junta de Gobierno y Coordinación Política del Congreso local, Celia María Rivas Rodríguez, señaló que buscarán que el dictamen de las reformas a la Constitución del Estado, sea aprobado para que los diputados que entren en septiembre lo discutan en el Pleno y en el caso aprobarlo.

    After affirming that the great pending issue of the LXI Legislature is marriage equality, the president of the Board of Government and Political Coordination of the State Congress, Celia María Rivas Rodríguez, said that they will seek to have the draft reforms to the State Constitution approved in order for the deputies who enter in September to discuss it in the Plenary and then approve it.

    In Yucatán, the only state in Mexico to have banned same-sex marriage in its state constitution, they first have to alter the state constitution to drop the offending language before they can legalize same-sex marriage. Thus, for them, it is a two-step process.

  • 60. VIRick  |  August 10, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Cuba: Date of Referendum on New Constitution Announced

    Per Noticias sin Fronteras:

    Referéndum para la nueva Constitución en Cuba será el 24 de febrero de 2019.

    Referendum for the new constitution in Cuba will be on 24 February 2019.

  • 61. allan120102  |  August 10, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    Well by the looks of it Cuba will have same sex marriage before Costa Rica.

  • 62. scream4ever  |  August 10, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    Won't there need to be legislation before it becomes law though?

  • 63. VIRick  |  August 10, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Yes, but potentially, Cuba will have about one year, between March 2019 and February 2020, in which to pass said law. So, it is entirely possible that Cuba will have marriage equality before Costa Rica.

  • 64. VIRick  |  August 10, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    The Importance of the Costa Rica Marriage Equality Ruling as Precedent

    It is fairly obvious that other Latin nations, in due course, will utilize the Costa Rican court decision as precedent in issuing their own rulings, in light of the binding ruling from the CIDH. For better or for worse, we need to prepare ourselves for "copy-cat" decisions with built-in time delays, as that is also a time-tested Latin court tradition of first allowing the legislature a specific interval of time in which to act.

    In Colombia, the original court decision gave the legislature a 2-year window within which they needed to act. Of course, the legislative body did nothing, leaving the matter to drag on well past the 2-year deadline, as the court was not specific enough as to the particular consequences once the deadline had been reached. Thus, they had to issue a second ruling with immediate effect. Now, in Costa Rica, the court has given the National Assembly 18 months to produce a law legalizing same-sex marriage, but with the added provision that the unconstitutional clause will automatically become null and void at the end of that 18-month wait. As a result, if the legislature does refuse to act, marriage equality will still automatically become the law without any further action from any quarter.

    Despite disappointment from many rights activists in Costa Rica and beyond, one should be hopeful that this pattern has thus been established, and that specific deadlines must be met. We need to be particularly wary of a court merely declaring the ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional, in effect, punting the issue to the legislature, without setting any deadline for legislative change. In essence, that is what occurred in Mexico, and we can see how dragged out the issue has become there.

    Again, reflecting on Colombia, one should note that favorable public opinion doubled during the waiting period, as a large portion of the population finally absorbed the fact that same-sex marriage was inevitable. Costa Rica's population is already more accepting, but again, will be even more so once they have digested the fact that the matter is inevitable. In many of the remaining Latin nations, the accepting portion of the population is, at best, only in the 20-25% range. Unfortunately, said populations will need some time in which to adjust themselves into accepting the inevitable, and a court ruling with a specific built-in deadline for implementation will go a long way toward allowing for a more favorable public opinion by the time same-sex marriage is actually legalized.

    Remember, in Latin America, the opposition at first appears to be a mile wide, but in truth, is only about an inch deep. Besides, the sky has not fallen in Argentina.

  • 65. Fortguy  |  August 10, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    Keep in mind that your premise depends upon the jurisdiction and the strength of hard-liners in any place. More than three years after Obergefell, everyone in the U.S. has had at least that long to consider ME not as "inevitable" but as the Law of the Land. Despite this hard truth and reality on the ground, the majority in Alabama still oppose ME while Mississippi remains the only other state where ME opposition holds at least a plurality view. A handful of counties in Alabama still remain so apoplectic about the Supreme Court decision that they would rather that straight couples "live in sin" rather than issue them marriage licenses if that meant that they would be forced to issue them to gay couples also.

    Consider that 45 years after the Roe decision, Mississippi now has only a single facility where women can terminate their pregnancies. It's not helpful to have the Supreme Court affirm that women have a "right" to reproductive freedom if, for all intents and purposes, they have no access to that right especially for women outside of Jackson where the one clinic is located and have to take time away from work and home for travel at least twice due to waiting period laws.

  • 66. VIRick  |  August 10, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    Fortguy, I have used the word, "inevitable," on purpose because in Latin America a much larger portion of the population exhibits a much more fatalistic attitude toward change, once said change has been thrust upon them, particularly if it does not directly effect them in any meaningful way. Put a different way, proportionally, they have far fewer hard-core evangelical nut-jobs running amok through their societies, while almost no one pays much attention to the Catholic Church hierarchy on a whole range of issues, least of all on their preachments concerning same-sex marriage.

    In the meantime, you have me stretching my brains attempting to imagine a Latin version of an Alabama or Mississippi. Based on what others have told me, I am tempted to throw Paraguay out there, except I have never actually been to that country to know for certain. Of those with which I have had direct experience, the Dominican Republic, at least in terms of its ruling class, is probably the most intransigent. But even there, among the majority of the common people, same-sex marriage is a non-issue, having little or nothing to do with their daily lives. Of course, this may also mean that the Dominican Republic may well beat Paraguay in legalizing same-sex marriage.

    On the other hand, same-sex sexual activity has been legal in the Dominican Republic since 1822 and in Paraguay since 1880.

  • 67. Fortguy  |  August 10, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    During my senior year in high school, I became close friends with a foreign student from Paraguay. He really liked life in the U.S. including becoming fond of marijuana which he only knew about from news reports never encountering it or anyone who smoked it back home. He returned some time before graduation, and I never had the opportunity to properly see him off, unfortunately. After he left, the two girls in the family with whom he was staying, both of whom also attended my school, told me that he became very depressed and was even crying about the prospect of returning to Paraguay.

    Back then, Paraguay was mired in the hellhole that was the Alfredo Stroessner dictatorship, the ideological cousin of the fascist generals that cursed the whole Southern Cone in the 70s and early 80s.

    Now in the Internet and social media age, I've tried to see if I could contact him to no avail. If he is still alive, he doesn't have any outstanding social media presence, and his given and surnames are so common as to make it as frustrating as looking for a specific "John Jones" in England.

  • 68. VIRick  |  August 11, 2018 at 12:23 am

    The several times I lived in Brasil, I had single-entry visas which meant that I could not leave the country for the duration of my extended time there. As a result, I never visited Paraguay, even though it was relatively close-by, as I had no interest in attempting to renew my Brazilian entry visa in Paraguay.

  • 69. VIRick  |  August 11, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    A Statement from Evan Wolfson on the Costa Rica Marriage Equality Ruling

    Per Rex Wockner:

    US marriage-equality architect Evan Wolfson tells me he agrees with Costa Rican LGBT activists challenging the year-and-a-half delay built into the marriage-equality ruling from the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice:

    Per Evan Wolfson:

    "The Inter-American Court ruling mandating the freedom to marry was clear, binding, and months ago. The people of Costa Rica went to the polls and repudiated the anti-gay, anti-marriage candidate in favor of the current president, who campaigned in favor of the freedom to marry. This week, Costa Rica's Supreme Court got the "what" right but the "when" wrong. Every day of delay is a day of real injury, indignity, and injustice for real families. It's time for the freedom to marry in Costa Rica — now."

    My comment:

    I understand. I agree. However, Latin America's courts generally do not work that way. Yes, the CIDH ruling is binding on all 21 member nations (I am counting Venezuela because the never legally withdrew). However, the CIDH did not issue a specific deadline date by which said member nations must be in compliance. Sala IV in Costa Rica did. They have given their legislative body an 18-month window within which to pass the required legislation. If they do nothing during that interval, then marriage equality automatically becomes the law. And as explained up above, even the very pro-active Constitutional Court in Colombia, in its original decision, gave their legislature a 2-year window within which to act, but did not clearly spell out the consequences as to what would happen next if their legislature failed to act. Thus, even there, a second ruling, one with immediate effect, was necessary.

    I am elated that many activists are dis-satisfied with the built-in time delay in the Costa Rica ruling, and plan to do something about it. However, this decision is rather typical of court decisions within Latin America. Plus, now, the precedent has been set. Thus, we can expect more time-delayed decisions from most, if not all, of the remaining CIDH members. My bigger concern is in pushing the courts in these remaining jurisdictions to act at all, remembering that Pamela Troya's case, for instance, has been sitting with the Constitutional Court of Ecuador since 2013, while also noting the rather forlorn comment (up above) from a voice from Nicaragua.

    Still, Costa Rica's court learned two important points from Colombia:

    1. Shorten the time-delay within which the legislature must act.

    2. Very carefully spell out the consequences as to what will happen next if the legislature fails to act within the given time-frame.

  • 70. allan120102  |  August 11, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    This is what would had happen if Costa Rica hadnt put a time set. Believe me I sad and angry of the 18 months wait but at least its something. I am not sure the Ich will rule quickly in this new lawsuit as they usually take time to rule. In the previous they 1 year and 10 months to rule. Hopefully this one will be quicker

  • 71. VIRick  |  August 11, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    Precisely. By the time the CIDH does act upon this latest complaint, it is fairly likely that the 18-month wait will have expired, Costa Rica will have marriage equality, and the complaint will be rendered moot.

    We won in Costa Rica. Personally, I am ready to move on to tackle Panamá, Ecuador, and Perú and obtain a positive ruling from each, based upon the binding opinion of the CIDH, in favor of marriage equality. All three are do-able before the current year expires. And so is Venezuela.

  • 72. ianbirmingham  |  August 11, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Teenager becomes first minor prosecuted under Russia's anti-gay 'propaganda' laws

    Maxim Neverov, a 16-year-old from the city of Biysk, was reportedly fined £50,000 rubles (£580) by a court, according to campaign group the Russian LGBT Network. The organisation said a police report filed in July claimed the teenager had posted several images of “partly nude” men on the social network VKontakte. It added the images had been determined to have “the characteristics of propaganda of homosexual relations”, according to an “expert opinion”. The Russian LGBT Network, which also provided a lawyer to represent Maxim, said authorities may have pursued charges following the teenager’s involvement in an event called “Gays or Putin”.

  • 73. VIRick  |  August 11, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    Costa Rica Court Decision on Marriage Equality as Seen from Panamá

    Panamá, 11 agosto 2018 – El activista panameño Ricardo Beteta declaró que el fallo de la Sala Constitucional de Costa Rica a favor de las uniones del mismo sexo es un paso “grandísimo” y anima a la comunidad LGBT a seguir luchando por sus derechos en la región. “Es un paso grandísimo. Costa Rica es el primer país de la región que lo logra y eso nos motiva a nosotros a seguir presionando para que se resuelva la demanda sobre el mismo tema que descansa en la Corte Suprema de Justicia de Panamá”, indicó el presidente de la Asociación de Hombres y Mujeres Nuevos de Panamá.

    “También nos da ánimos lo que pasó en Cuba, donde están tratando de reformar su Constitución para prohibir la discriminación por identidad de género y abrir la puerta a los matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo. Son pequeñas victorias en la región que le dan aire a nuestra causa,” apuntó Beteta.

    El Supremo de Panamá tiene que pronunciarse sobre una demanda de inconstitucionalidad contra el Código de Familia que fue presentada hace casi dos años por varias parejas del mismo sexo y que busca legalizar las uniones gay. La demanda persigue invalidar el articulo 26 del Código de Familia, que establece que “el matrimonio es la unión voluntariamente concertada entre un hombre y una mujer” porque, según alegan los querellantes, contradice a la Constitución, que en su artículo 57 dice que “el matrimonio es el fundamento legal de la familia y descansa en la igualdad de derechos de los cónyuges.”

    “Estamos preocupados por el silencio de la Corte. Hemos tratado de investigar en que etapa está el proceso, pero no hemos podido conseguir ningún tipo de información,” reconoció el activista.

    Panamá, 11 August 2018 – Panamanian activist Ricardo Beteta declared that the decision of the Costa Rican Constitutional Chamber in favor of same-sex unions is a "huge" step and encourages the LGBT community to continue fighting for their rights in the region. "It's a huge step. Costa Rica is the first country in the region to achieve this and that motivates us to continue pressing for the resolution of the claim on the same issue that rests with the Supreme Court of Justice of Panamá," said the president of the Association of New Men and Women of Panamá.

    "We are also encouraged by what is happening in Cuba, where they are trying to reform their Constitution to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and open the door to same-sex marriages. They are small victories in the region that give air to our cause," Beteta pointed out.

    The Supreme Court of Panamá has to rule on a claim of unconstitutionality against the Family Code that was presented almost two years ago by several same-sex couples and that seeks to legalize gay unions. The lawsuit seeks to invalidate Article 26 of the Family Code, which states that "marriage is the union voluntarily agreed between a man and a woman" because, according to the complainants, that contradicts the Constitution, which in Article 57 says that "marriage is the legal foundation of the family and rests on the equal rights of the spouses."

    "We are concerned about the silence of the Court. We have tried to investigate at what stage the process is, but we have not been able to obtain any type of information," the activist acknowledged.

  • 74. VIRick  |  August 11, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    Costa Rica Court Decision on Marriage Equality at the National Assembly

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    San José, 11 agosto 2018 – El Comisionado de Asuntos LGGBTI de Casa Presidencial, Luis Salazar, manifestó que el proyecto de matrimonio igualitario es el único de interés del Gobierno.

    “El proyecto de unión civil fue convocado a solicitud de PUSC. Sin embargo que quede claro: el único que cumple con la resolución de la Sala Constitucional y la OC (de la CIDH) es el de matrimonio igualitario,” agregó Salazar. Asimismo el funcionario agregó que defendería "la postura jurídica correcta," que es matrimonio civil y lo cual comparte Presidencia.

    San José, 11 August 2018 – The Presidential Commissioner of LGGBTI Affairs, Luis Salazar, stated that the marriage equality proposal is the only one of interest to the Government.

    "The civil union proposal was put forth at the request of PUSC. However, let's be clear: the only one that complies with the ruling of the Constitutional Chamber and the OC (of the CIDH) is that of equal marriage," added Salazar. At the same time, the official added that he would defend "the correct legal position," which is civil marriage and one which the Presidency shares.

    OC = Opinión Consultiva

  • 75. allan120102  |  August 12, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Looks very likely that Taiwan will have a referendum on November if to approve same sex marriage or civil unions.

  • 76. scream4ever  |  August 12, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Their campaigns should get in touch with those in the US which were successful in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington in 2012. Also, I'm not sure what these referendums can really accomplish since the court already ruled as such last year.

  • 77. VIRick  |  August 12, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Ecuador: Is Constitutional Change Needed?

    Per Carla Aguas Herrera:

    El debate sobre el matrimonio igualitario es indispensable en Ecuador. La Constitución reconoce distintos tipos de familias, pero establece que el matrimonio será solo entre hombre y mujer. En Ecuador es legal la unión de hecho entre personas del mismo sexo, pero existe un vacío legal, por ejm, cuando existen hijos o al momento de la adopción. ¿Es necesaria una reforma constitucional?

    The debate on marriage equality is indispensable in Ecuador. The Constitution recognizes different types of families, but establishes that marriage will only be between a man and a woman. In Ecuador, a de facto union between persons of the same sex is legal, but there exists a legal vacuum, for example, when there are children or at the time of adoption. Is a constitutional reform necessary?

    This could well be the reason as to why the Constitutional Court in Ecuador has not ruled on Pamela Troya's case, filed in Quito, and still undecided since 2013. Quite possibly, all along, they have preferred to leave the matter as an open question, rather than issue a negative ruling. The second marriage equality case, filed in Guayaquil shortly thereafter, has been held in abeyance, as well. Neither had ever received a positive ruling from a lower court along the way.

    However, cases #3 and #4, filed in Cuenca, received positive rulings from the Cuenca court on 29 June 2018, and did so specifically in light of the CIDH marriage equality ruling of 9 January 2018. According to Diane Rodríguez, from what she understands from the president of the Constitutional Court, Alfredo Ruiz, the court will now rule favorably for marriage equality once the Cuenca cases reach them. Apparently, this could mean that the Constitutional Court will only rule to uphold a positive ruling from a lower court, rather than take on the slightly more difficult task of overturning a negative ruling from a lower court, one which was also issued prior to the CIDH ruling.

    Article 67 of the Ecuadorian Constitution currently reads:

    El matrimonio es la unión entre hombre y mujer, se fundara en el libre consentimiento de las personas contrayentes y en la igualdad de sus derechos, obligaciones.

    Marriage is the union between a man and a woman, based on the free consent of the contracting parties and on the equality of their rights, obligations.

    Only the four words, "entre hombre y mujer," need to be struck down by the Constitutional Court, as they segregate and discriminate, contradicting Article 11.2.

    There, that was fairly easy. We just ruled on the case in Ecuador. Next. Perú.

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