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Open thread 8/21


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


  • 1. ianbirmingham  |  August 22, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    Most Russians believe in a secret group which is destroying their values with ‘gay propaganda’

    A large majority of Russians think an unnamed group is using ‘gay propaganda’ to eradicate their spiritual values, according to state-funded research. The study by the government-run Russian Public Opinion Research Centre shows that more than three in five – 63 percent – believe in the existence of such a shadowy organisation. …

    Hate crimes against LGBT people have doubled and attitudes have worsened since Russia created a law banning gay “propaganda” in 2013 – which has since been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights. …

    When asked whether people who advocate for queer rights in the country might be doing so for purposes other than “destructive goals,” just 24 percent – less than one in four – agreed. … As is often the case, young people were the most progressive, but though more respondents aged 18-24 believed LGBT+ activists’ motives were not destructive, they fell short of a majority, reaching 48 percent.

    Despite the increase in hate crimes in Russia – including the state-led gay purge in Chechnya – authorities have consistently moved to deny any issue with LGBT people.
    In June, Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian Ambassador to the UK, denied the persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya – with part of his explanation relying on the face that President Vladimir Putin has met Sir Elton John. He reportedly said he could not be sure that gay people existed in Chechnya, that Russia is a safe place for LGBT people and that Elton John had met President Putin – so homophobia did not exist in Russia. He added that if LGBT people didn’t like living in Russia they could move to a different country where there are more LGBT people, which was reminiscent of Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s comments last July, when he said: “We don’t have any gays. If there are any, take them to Canada.”

  • 2. VIRick  |  August 22, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Michigan: Democratic Candidate for Attorney-General Is Marriage Equality Proponent

    After helping bring marriage equality to the nation, Michigan attorney-general candidate Dana Nessel hopes to make more history this fall – and get some “poetic justice” as well. Nessel was the attorney who originally handled the case, "DeBoer v. Snyder," in which a Michigan lesbian couple challenged the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, a case that was eventually consolidated with Ohio’s "Obergefell v. Hodges," together with cases from Kentucky and Tennessee, and that was heard before the US Supreme Court, resulting in the 2015 marriage equality ruling.

    It was Michigan Attorney-General Bill Schuette and his staff who defended the state’s ban, opposing Nessel. Thus, if Nessel is elected attorney-general, not only will she be the first out statewide elected official in Michigan, she’ll take the place of the man who opposed her very efforts for marriage equality. “I can think of no better poetic justice,” she says.

    She’s the presumptive Democratic nominee for attorney-general, having received the party’s endorsement, and is expected to receive its official nomination at the state convention to be held this weekend (In Michigan, nominees for certain state offices are chosen by convention rather than primary). If she’s elected in November, her goal is to undo the damage she says Republicans have done to her state and to build a more progressive, inclusive future for all Michiganders

  • 3. Fortguy  |  August 22, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    …to build a more progressive, inclusive future for all Michiganders

    Michiganders? Seriously? Not "Michiganers", "Michiganans", or "Michiganians"? Where did the d come from? Are women from Michigan called "Michigeese"? How do gender-fluid people from Michigan identify themselves in a state-specific context?

  • 4. bayareajohn  |  August 22, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    They call them Michiganders like all the rest of us. Since 1850 or so. Attributed to President Lincoln for origination. Said to have been Abe poking fun at Lewis Cass, but long since common use and even in the State Law. Of course, the north folk are proudly called YOOPERS. As in Upper Penninsula (UP).

    Are women from Texas called "Texettes"? How do gender-fluid Texanians identify themselves?

  • 5. Fortguy  |  August 22, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Obviously, Honest Abe lived in the days before Big 10 rivalries.

    In Texas, unless they live in the very few large, urban counties, most gender-fluid people merely identify as "Here!" during morning roll call until they turn 18 and graduate from high school. Then, they immediately run as fast as they can to some place welcoming as far a possible and call themselves whatever they want.

    "Texan", which has no gender distinction, is a term that came into use in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some of the original republic's founding fathers (and, yes, the history books are very gender-specific on this–no Betsy Ross allowed) such as Stephen F. Austin, William B. Travis, and Sam Houston identified as "Texian". Other founding fathers, such as Lorenzo de Zavala and Juan Seguín, identified as "Tejano/a", a gender-binary term which endures to this day. The present and historic English terms are gender-neutral. The Spanish term doesn't have a non-binary gender form and is often suppressed by the suburban "Speak English, Goddammit!" crowd in the metro suburbs populated by non-native Republicans fleeing the coastal metros that gender-fluid Texas kids flock towards.

    Does that make any sense?

  • 6. bayareajohn  |  August 22, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    It does to this former Michigander and current Californicator.

  • 7. VIRick  |  August 22, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Ecuador: Transgender Bathroom Issue, Deflated

    Per Diane Rodríguez, Ecuadorian transgender legislator:

    Quisieron impedirme ir al baño de mujeres. Me dio mucha pena, y le dije a esta persona: “Voy hacer de cuenta que no me ha dicho nada, porque estoy segura que quiere preservar su trabajo”. Con desdén, me miro y se retiró.

    Someone wanted to stop me from going to the women's bathroom. I'm very sorry, but I told this person: "I'm going to pretend that you have not said anything to me, because I'm sure you want to keep your job." With disdain, he looked at me and left.

  • 8. VIRick  |  August 22, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Ecuador: Cuenca Judges Explain the Precedent Set for Marriage Equality

    Las juezas Ruth Álvarez e Iliana Vallejo (Juezas, Unidad Judicial Cuenca) nos cuentan sobre los efectos de las sentencias en las que se da paso al matrimonio igualitario y su rol como juezas constitucionales.

    Judges Ruth Álvarez and Iliana Vallejo (Judges, Judicial Unit Cuenca) tell us about the effects of the rulings that give approval to marriage equality and their role as constitutional judges.

    The linked video was prepared by la Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, Sede Ecuador.

  • 9. VIRick  |  August 23, 2018 at 10:14 am

    Florida: Transgender Woman Wins Federal Suit against Florida Dept. of Corrections

    Per Equality Case Files and ACLU of Florida:

    The federal court in Tallahassee today, 22 August 2018, ruled in favor of Reiyn Keohane, a transgender woman currently incarcerated at the Walton Correctional Institution.

    Prior to entering DOC custody, Ms. Keohane, now 24, had been living as a woman for several years and had legally changed her name and begun hormone therapy. After arriving in DOC custody in July 2014, Ms. Keohane made clear to DOC officials that she needed to continue her treatment for her gender dysphoria, which included both hormone therapy and the ability to groom and dress consistent with her female gender identity. DOC staff told her that she would never receive hormone therapy while incarcerated; her female clothing items were confiscated; her hair was forcibly shaved; and her numerous grievances were rejected.

    Today’s ruling holds that it is medically necessary for Ms. Keohane to be able to socially transition in prison, in that she must be permitted access to the same clothing and grooming standards as other female inmates.

    The Order on the Merits is here:

    More information on the case, including a link to the original complaint is here:

    The ACLU of Florida statement on the present court ruling is here:

    Note: The Order on the Merits, linked above, contains some rather gruesome detail involving self-mutilation which forced me to stop reading it.

  • 10. allan120102  |  August 23, 2018 at 10:51 am

    5th resolution in Sinaloa was issue but still the state congress need to legalize it.

  • 11. VIRick  |  August 23, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Sinaloa Still Stalling on Marriage Equality

    En Sinaloa hay cinco fallos de la Suprema Corte, pero no se ha reformado el Código Familiar del Estado

    El Registro Nacional de Población sugiere a los estados legislar para atender derechos de todos los sectores sociales. El reglamento del Registro Civil de Sinaloa debe adecuarse a las nuevas disposiciones de la población, entre ellas el matrimonio igualitario, señaló Guillermina Santiago Rodríguez, capacitadora del Registro Nacional de Población (ReNaPo).

    Santiago Rodríguez estuvo en Sinaloa brindando capacitación a jueces del Registro Civil para despejar dudas en la materia. Para el matrimonio igualitario en Sinaloa, debe adecuarse el reglamento del registro Civil, señalan.

    In Sinaloa there have been five Supreme Court rulings, but the Family Code of the State has not been reformed

    The National Population Registry suggests that states legislate to address rights of all social sectors. The regulations of the Sinaloa Civil Registry must adapt to the new provisions of the population, including marriage equality, said Guillermina Santiago Rodríguez, a trainer for the National Population Registry (ReNaPo).

    Santiago Rodríguez was in Sinaloa providing training to judges of the Civil Registry to clear up doubts on the matter. For the equal marriage in Sinaloa, the regulations of the Civil Registry must be adapted, she point out.

  • 12. allan120102  |  August 23, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    The power of the supreme court in Mexico is very limit. I now see that only with action of unconstitutionality they can struck a ssm ban.

  • 13. VIRick  |  August 23, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Yes, so far, the only two methods which have actually worked with any assurance are positive legislative action from the state congresses to revise the respective state codes, and the positive judicial declarations from the Supreme Court specifically in response to the individual state-based "Actions of Unconstitutionality."

    In the meantime, our best hope for change any time soon lies in the hands of the new state legislative bodies, already elected, but not slated to take their seats until December.

    Otherwise, there's the "Action of Unconstitutionality" already filed against Aguascalientes, as well as the newer one against Nuevo León. Of course, any/all of the state governors could surprise everyone by issuing an Executive Order legalizing marriage equality in compliance with the Supreme Court jurisprudence, as was done, under extreme duress, in Chihuahua, and for an interval, in Guerrero.

  • 14. VIRick  |  August 23, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Florida: Transgender "Bathroom" Case Appealed to 11th Circuit Court of Appeals

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 23 August 2018, in "Adams v. School Board of St Johns County," the case of the transgender boy being denied access to the boys' restroom at his Florida high school, the St. Johns County School Board is appealing the decision to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that requires the school to allow Drew Adams to use the boys' restrooms at his high school.

    The Defendant’s Notice of Appeal is here:

  • 15. VIRick  |  August 24, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Hong Kong: Government Sued for Not Allowing Same-Sex Civil Partnerships

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    A woman who wants to enter into a same-sex civil partnership with her partner has sued the Hong Kong government because it won’t let her. The woman, known only as Mk, has taken the historic step to sue the government over the issue.

    Although Mk filed the petition to the High Court in June 2018, the court did not hear the case until Friday, 24 August 2018, in a preliminary hearing. She is arguing that stopping her from entering into a civil partnership violates her privacy and equality rights. Mk’s lawyers will argue that that is a breach of the Basic Law and the Bill of Rights.

    The High Court’s ruling could have far-reaching implications for Hong Kong. Currently, the city-nation does not recognize same-sex marriage or civil partnerships.

  • 16. VIRick  |  August 24, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Japan: Another City to Recognize Same-Sex Partnerships

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The city of Chiba, east of Tokyo, said Thursday, 23 August 2018, it will begin issuing partnership certificates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender couples, as well as common-law marriage couples, from April 2019.

    Municipalities in Japan are starting to issue such certificates for sexual minorities, ever since Tokyo's Shibuya and Setagaya wards became the first local governments to recognize such partnerships in 2015. They have been followed by the cities of Iga, Takarazuka, Naha, Sapporo, Fukuoka, and Osaka.

    Chiba will be the first municipality not to limit the recognition to LGBT couples, saying applicants only need to meet a set of requirements such as that both people are at least 20 years old, without a spouse, and either lives or plans to live in the city.

    "We will create a foundation where people can live the way they want to," Mayor Toshihito Kumagai said at a press conference, adding he hopes his city's move would be a "catalyst" for people to think about the concept of families and partnerships.

    Any number of Japanese sources are hailing Chiba's decision to begin recognizing all forms of relationships, across-the-board, regardless of the specifics within the pairing.

  • 17. VIRick  |  August 24, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Trump Immigration Policy Prompts LGBT Migrants to Seek Refuge in Mexico

    Mexico City — A 22-year-old gay man from Honduras’ Lempira Department was with a female friend in a park in San Pedro Sula, the country’s second largest city, one night in late February when a group of gang members forced them into a car. The man, who the "Washington Blade" is not identifying by name or publishing his picture in order to protect his identity and the safety of his family in Honduras, said the gang members took them to a secluded location. He told the Blade they repeatedly raped his friend before killing her in front of him.

    “I didn’t want to run away from her,” said the man on 17 July during an interview in a Mexico City park. “They killed her and they beat me.” The man fled San Pedro Sula five days after the attack. “I left because of discrimination,” said the man, who is now seeking asylum in Mexico. “I was discriminated against a lot.”

    The man with whom the Blade spoke is among an increasing number of LGBTI migrants who are seeking asylum in Mexico based on persecution they suffered in their home countries because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Anti-LGBTI violence is rampant in Honduras, which has one of the world’s highest per capita murder rates. Statistics indicate San Pedro Sula remains one of the most violent cities in the world that is not located in a war zone.

    Activists in San Pedro Sula and other cities in Central America with whom the Blade has spoken in recent years have said violence and a lack of economic opportunities are the primary reasons that prompt LGBTI people to flee. Hiram Villarreal of Casa de Refugiados, a Mexico City-based group that provides assistance to migrants, regardless of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, echoed them.

    Casa de Refugiados has offices (en route) in Tapachula and Tenosique and works with the UN Refugee Agency. Villarreal said Tapachula and Tenosique are “not safe for the LGBTI community, above all for transgender women.”

    A person who is seeking asylum in Mexico must formally request it within 30 days of their arrival in the country. The Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid (COMAR) will then interview the asylum seeker to determine whether their claims of persecution in their countries of origin are founded.

    Mexican law says COMAR has 45 days to determine whether an asylum seeker has a valid claim. A person who is granted asylum in Mexico is able to receive documents that allow them to work legally, access the country’s public health care system, and receive social security benefits. An asylum seeker who speaks Spanish can request Mexican citizenship after three years. Non-Spanish speakers can seek citizenship after five years.

  • 18. VIRick  |  August 24, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Colombia: Venezuelan LGBT Refugees

    Per Caribe Afirmativo de Barranquilla:

    Hoy, 24 de agosto 2018, es nuestro segundo encuentro con líderes y lideresas LGBT venezolanos refugiados en el caribe Colombiano. Conversaremos sobre los retos para seguir avanzando en consolidar sus derechos en nuestro país y su integración a la agenda nacional de la diversidad sexual y de género.

    Today, 24 August 2018, is our second meeting with Venezuelan LGBT leaders and refugees in the Colombian Caribbean. We will talk about the challenges to continue advancing in consolidating their rights in our country and their integration into the national agenda of sexual and gender diversity.

    The number of Venezuelans seeking refuge in Colombia is now estimated to exceed 800,000, of whom an undetermined proportion are LGBT.

  • 19. ianbirmingham  |  August 24, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    ‘Such an Inspiration’: Hallquist's Candidacy [For Governor] Resonates Beyond Vermont

    Christine Hallquist's victory in Vermont's Democratic gubernatorial primary on August 14 [ ] made her the first openly transgender person to win a major party nomination for governor. It also won her a special place in the hearts of the transgender community everywhere.

    "We've gotten an unbelievable volume of letters, emails and messages," Hallquist's campaign manager, Cameron Russell, said Monday. "People who saw Christine win [the Democratic party nomination] have a different outlook on their lives. That's pretty heavy." He added that the campaign has fielded requests from other countries where LGBTQ people face much more severe discrimination. "They ask, 'Will you do an interview?' 'Will you help us fight bigotry?'"

  • 20. ianbirmingham  |  August 24, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    GOP pollster: Kavanaugh popular in Senate battleground states

    GOP pollster North Star Opinion Research found that people in Indiana, West Virginia and North Dakota want their senators to confirm the high court nominee. Democratic Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota are all up for reelection this fall. … 60 percent of registered voters in North Dakota want Kavanaugh confirmed, compared to 23 percent who do not. In Indiana, 46 percent of voters want the nominee approved compared to 32 percent against. And 51 percent of West Virginians want Kavanaugh confirmed compared to 32 percent in opposition. Independents in each state favored Kavanaugh by similar margins.

  • 21. allan120102  |  August 25, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Bermuda ssm appeal to be Heard on November.

  • 22. VIRick  |  August 25, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    John Mc Cain died today, 25 August 2018, at 81.

    Here's one account of his sad legacy in his helping to build the type of Republican party he once opposed:

    Here's another which gives more attention to his several more positive attributes:

  • 23. Fortguy  |  August 25, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    This will be the second major funeral of a long-time beloved Republican political figure in the past two years. The first was Barbara Bush, the only woman other than Abigail Adams who had been both First Lady and the mother of another president. Now McCain, who served 35 years in Congress and five honorable years as a POW enduring torture and hardship. Both political families have not been above treating the LGBT community as cheap political pawns in their broader games of electoral aggrandizement before finally coming around to supporting us, however meekly, in recent years.

    The irony is that these formerly central figures of their party now look upon their party and no longer recognize anything they see. They tolerated an ideological fringe in which they didn't believe and kowtowed to it for political expediency when they saw fit due to their own shortsightedness.

    Now the McCain's, like the Bush's before them, will hold a funeral where the President of the United States, the leader of their own party, is neither invited nor welcome. This alone is aberrant and unusual in American history. The president insults and criticizes them routinely and represents an ideological base they now revile. They could have crushed this ideology in the bud when they had the chance, but chose instead to accommodate it out of political opportunism of the moment not understanding how much of America would be willing to embrace their fringe notions of hate and contempt for the rule of law or even decent behavior.

    I have come to respect McCain. I didn't use to, and for very good reasons, but in the end I believe he was a good and decent man. Over the next few days you will here the news channels calling him the "Lion of the Senate". No, he wasn't. He could have been. In the end he tried to be and certainly began to act like he truly could have been. But, for me, it was too little, too late.

    Still, I don't see any Republican now in the Senate who could touch him in character or match his legacy. Not Orrin Hatch, not Charles Grassley, certainly not Mitch McConnell, no one. I say this even though McCain left a very low bar to meet.

  • 24. VIRick  |  August 25, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    My own personal memory of him will always be that chance one-on-one, face-to-face encounter I had with him, the day I caught him, alone, quietly slipping out of his Senate Office building via the Delaware Avenue non-handicapped-accessible entrance facing Upper Senate Park, just months before his own cancer diagnosis was publicly announced. At that same moment in time, a horde of noisy disabled people in wheelchairs, well within shouting distance of where we both stood, were storming the Constitution Avenue handicapped-accessible entrance of the same Senate Office building, angry and fearful of losing their insurance coverage, should the ACA be thrown out, as per the Republican talking-point that had gone on since its very inception into law.

    Neither Mc Cain nor I acknowledged each other's presence in our little face-off. He momentarily hesitated, appearing to be drained, troubled, sallow, and tired, not knowing who I was nor why I was standing there, as we read each other's eyes. But I let him pass out of the entry way, after which he got into a blue sedan with Arizona license plates, by himself, and drove away. Later, after he voted to uphold the ACA (thus saving it by exactly one vote,– his), I always felt that somehow I played a small part in helping him come to that decision, a decision which, in retrospect, he may have already reached by that point, given his own cancer.

  • 25. ianbirmingham  |  August 26, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    "John McCain was an American hero, a man of decency and honor and a friend of mine. He will be missed not just in the U.S. Senate but by all Americans who respect integrity and independence. Jane and I send our deepest condolences to his family." — Bernie Sanders

  • 26. guitaristbl  |  August 26, 2018 at 1:02 am

    The first LGBTQnation article (a site I stopped following aftee they added that Milo creature to a poll about the most influential gay person of 2016 and that drew in all the alt right trolls) is extremely harsh. McCain made mistakes, huge ones but at times like that he was a voice of decency and represented a brand of politics that showed that change is possible in one's perception and that partisanship is not and should not be the status quo especially with such a profoundly dangerous administration in charge. Even if McCain opened the door to the GOP of today at the very least he realized his mistake, which is more than one can expect from the rest of the GOP.

    The saddest thing is republicans will substitute him now for someone certain to vote for a candidate aa repugnant as Kavanaugh.

  • 27. JayJonson  |  August 26, 2018 at 6:11 am

    I will never forget the tantrum McCain threw when his filibuster of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal was finally broken. He ran around the Senate like a chicken with his head cut off. It was embarrassing and revealed something about the man that is very different from the "civility" mentioned in the lgbtq nation article. I also remember that he and Miss Nancy flat out lied when they said that no one was then being discharged for their sexual orientation when in fact they were. He also lied when he said that he would support whatever the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended. The Don't Ask, Don't Tell debate was not his finest moment. It was as though he took it very personally that Obama's military officials were not paying him the deference he thought they owed him. It also seemed that he was startled when the study of the military personnel reported that a huge majority had no objection to serving with openly glb personnel and that lifting the ban would increase unit cohesion rather than hurt it..

    Fortguy, I am not sure what you mean when you say that McCain finally came around to supporting us. On what do you base that statement? Barbara Bush certainly did. She and President George H.W. Bush attended a couple of same-sex weddings and Laura Bush revealed that she supported same-sex marriage, but as far as I know neither McCain nor George W. Bush have ever indicated any support for gay people.

    [Since writing the paragraph immediately above, I have noticed a statement from the Human Rights Campaign, which credits McCain for the following: "later in his career, he became an increasingly vocal advocate for LGBTQ servicemembers. In the last few years, Senator McCain blocked anti-LGBTQ language in the National Defense Authorization Act, opposed a ‘license to discriminate’ bill in Arizona, denounced the Trump-Pence Administration's effort to ban transgender troops and spoke out against the nomination of the anti-LGBTQ Mark Green to lead the Army.” Perhaps these are the actions referred to by Fortguy? I was unaware of them, but am glad to hear of them.]

    Despite his blindness on our issues, McCain was a hero, an honorable person, and a patriot, unlike the current occupant of the White House.

  • 28. Fortguy  |  August 26, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Yes, I was aware of at least some of the things you mentioned from the HRC statement. Like most politicians of his generation, regardless of party, who aren't beholden to the toxic influence of white evangelical Christianity (Republicanity, more accurately as the teachings of Christ's Gospel are wholly absent), McCain had evolved slowly on LGBT rights, and it is still not clear how far his evolution went.

    In his later years, McCain only spoke out in favor of LGBT rights when he felt compelled to do so. As a conservative politician from a red state, there was no political upside for him to speak out at all. When the Obergefell decision was handed down, McCain made no statement either in support or in opposition unlike many in his party who were predicting the end of Western Civilization. I'm sure he recognized the decision for what it was, the Law of the Land, regardless of what two cents he had to offer. If he truly opposed ME, it certainly would have been politically expedient for him to say so considering the influence of white evangelical voters in his party. At the same time, he had won reelection numerous times with at best only tepid support from them, and he certainly owed no favors to the white evangelical leadership whose sacred Councils of Hipocracea anointed Pat Buchanan and Mike Huckabee during his presidential bids.

    In my original post, I intended to focus on the families as well as the individuals. You pointed out the growing support for LGBT rights among the Bushes, particularly the Bush women. Among the McCains, the daughter Meghan is a staunch supporter of LGBT rights. Although McCain's wife Cindy is less outspoken, she joined her daughter in a photo-op in support of the NOH8 campaign during California's Prop. 8 battle. Kitchen table discussions certainly must have played a role in McCain's evolution toward us. In my family, it was common for the men to argue about politics over dinner while the women generally didn't think participation in the arguments was particularly lady-like. But whenever one of the women did have something to say, the rest of us shut up and dutifully listened or else no dessert for you.

  • 29. VIRick  |  August 26, 2018 at 9:56 am

    McCain Requested Obama, G.W. Bush Deliver Eulogies at Funeral

    John McCain requested that former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush deliver eulogies at his funeral, CBS News has confirmed. McCain, who had been suffering from an aggressive form of brain cancer, died Saturday at the age of 81 at home in Arizona.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden will also speak at the service. It's not yet known for certain where and when the funeral will take place. In September 2017, McCain told Lesley Stahl on "60 Minutes" that he wanted a service at the Naval Academy. McCain is to be buried at the Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis MD.

    "I want– when I leave, that the ceremony is at the Naval Academy. And we just have a couple of people that stand up and say, 'This guy, he served his country,'" McCain said.

  • 30. VIRick  |  August 26, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Schumer Proposes Renaming Senate Office Building after McCain

    Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, says he'll introduce a resolution to rename the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington for Sen. John McCain. The building is currently named for Sen. Richard Brevard Russell Jr., a Democrat from Georgia who served from 1933 to 1971.

    Russell, however, was a leader of Southern opposition to the civil rights movement and an ardent supporter of segregation for decades. Russell often used parliamentary maneuvers to scuttle civil rights legislation like bills banning lynching and abolishing the poll tax, his Senate biography notes.

    The Senate moved to rename the Caucus Room in the Russell building after Sen. Ted Kennedy died in 2009. McCain died nine years to the day after Kennedy's death, and died from the same form of aggressive brain cancer known as glioblastoma.

    Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, told "Face the Nation" on Sunday, 26 August 2018, that he wants to be the "first Republican co-sponsor" for Schumer's resolution, calling it a "fitting tribute" to McCain.

    I concur. At the absolute minimum, McCain's name needs to be emblazoned over the Delaware Avenue entrance, at the very spot where I had my face-to-face encounter with him. Higher up, in a previous post, I see I already sub-consciously wrote:

    " . . . his Senate Office Building . . ."

  • 31. Fortguy  |  August 27, 2018 at 1:49 am

    Arizona's Republican Gov. Doug Ducey will not announce his appointment for McCain's Senate seat until after McCain is laid to rest next Sunday. CNN is reporting that a special election for the unexpired term of the seat will be held during the 2020 election. The seat will then be on the ballot for its general election in 2022.

    In other words, Dems have the opportunity to take Flake's seat this November, but McCain's seat will remain safely Republican until Trump is also seeking reelection.

  • 32. Randolph_Finder  |  August 27, 2018 at 9:28 am

    In fact by Arizona law, Gov. Ducey is *required* to appoint someone of the same political party as McCain and has already said that he isn't appointing himself. The appointment that would rock the boat the least would be Cindy McCain. On the other hand, he could appoint one of the Republicans who is currently running in the Republican Primary for Flake's seat. *that* would be interesting.

  • 33. ianbirmingham  |  August 27, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    This would be REALLY interesting: Ducey appointing Republican activist Meghan McCain!!!

  • 34. VIRick  |  August 25, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Ireland's Gay PM Blasts Catholic Church in Front of Pope

    In a speech in Dublin on Saturday, 25 August 2018, referred to as "blistering" by "The Guardian," Ireland's out prime minister, Leo Varadkar, highlighted the numerous scandals and abuses of the Catholic Church, as Pope Francis stood to his side.

    Varadkar described "brutal crimes perpetrated by people within the Catholic church, and then obscured to protect the institution at the expense of innocent victims… stains on our state, our society and also the Catholic church. People kept in dark corners behind closed doors, cries for help that went unheard.”

    Varadkar also spoke of a changed Ireland; one where homosexuality and abortion were illegal during the last papal visit. Now, Ireland is led by a gay man and grants women the right to make their own reproductive decisions. The Irish people understand "that marriages do not always work, that women should make their own decisions, and that families come in many different, wonderful forms, including those headed by a grandparent, lone parent or same-sex parents, or parents who are divorced."

  • 35. VIRick  |  August 25, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    16 States Sign Amicus Brief to Allow Workers to Be Fired for Being LGBT

    The 16 states, led by Nebraska, are Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming, plus the governors of Kentucky, Maine, and Mississippi. The amicus brief is in conjunction with the petition for writ of certiorari on the Michigan transgender funeral parlor case, "EEOC v. R.G. &. G.R. Harris Funeral Homes," on appeal to the Supreme Court from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, and urges the Supreme Court to take the case.

    Per Joe.My.God, "Bloomberg Law" reports:

    On 23 August 2018, a group of 16 states urged the US Supreme Court to rule that companies can fire workers based on their sexual orientation and gender identity without violating federal workplace discrimination law.

    The states, led by Nebraska Attorney-General Doug Peterson (but written up by Nebraska's Chief Deputy Attorney-General, David Bydalek, formerly of Focus on the Family) asked the justices to overturn an appeals court decision against a Michigan funeral home that fired a transgender worker. They said Congress didn’t intend the ban on sex discrimination in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to cover bias against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender employees. “The States’ purpose is to note that ‘sex’ under the plain terms of Title VII does not mean anything other than biological status,” Peterson wrote.

    The friend-of-the-court brief is the latest development in a legal debate that has divided courts and exposed a rift within the Trump administration. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says LGBT bias already is banned, but the Justice Department disagrees.

  • 36. VIRick  |  August 26, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Federal Judge: Plaintiffs Entitled to Full Discovery on Transgender Ban in the Military

    Side-note message from judge to government defendants: This is not how it works, this is not how any of this works.

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 24 August 2018, in "Doe v. Trump," the GLAD and NCLR lawsuit challenging the ban on military service by transgender individuals, Judge Kollar-Kotelly, in District Court for the District of Columbia, denied the federal defendants' motion to dismiss the second amended complaint and also denies the plaintiffs' cross-motion for summary judgment. "Because genuine disputes of material fact exist and Plaintiffs are entitled to continue pursuing discovery of those facts, the Court will not [grant summary judgment] at this time."

    From the opinion, "Plaintiffs are entitled to complete discovery. As already stated above, despite the fact that one of Defendants’ main defenses in this action is that their decisions regarding transgender military service are owed great deference because they are the product of reasoned deliberation, study and review by the military, Defendants have withheld nearly all information concerning this alleged deliberation. This is not how civil litigation works. Defendants cannot prevent Plaintiffs from obtaining the facts about a disputed issue and then expect to be granted summary judgment on that issue."

    The Order is here:

    The Memorandum Opinion is here:

  • 37. allan120102  |  August 27, 2018 at 8:42 am

    Oaxaca. Same sex couples no longer need to wait for an amparo but they need to wait 3 days before getting married.

  • 38. VIRick  |  August 27, 2018 at 11:18 am

    New York: Catholic Adoption Agency Shutting Down

    Catholic Charities of Buffalo is ending its adoption program, citing New York State’s ban on discrimination as the reason. The organization has a contract with the Erie County Department of Social Services to place children in foster and adoptive families. State law in New York does not allow contracting organizations to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

    Catholic Charities of Buffalo, though, said that placing children in homes with same-sex couples is not “consistent with the teaching of the church.” “We’re a Catholic organization,” said Dennis Walczyk, CEO of Catholic Charities.

    A same-sex couple approached the agency recently to apply to become foster parents. The agency said that this led to its decision to end all adoption and foster services.

  • 39. ianbirmingham  |  August 27, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    2018's Best Adoption Agency Customers 🙂

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