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Supreme Court denies review in two LGBT cases

Discrimination Transgender Rights

Today is the first Monday in October, the beginning of the Supreme Court’s term. This morning, they released a long order list from the first conference.

Equality Case Files reports that the Court has denied review in two cases involving LGBT rights. They denied review in Doe v. Holcomb, in which a transgender lawful permanent resident challenged Indiana’s law barring a non-citizen from changing their name, and in Pavan v. Smith, which, at this stage in the case, involves denial of attorneys’ fees. An earlier iteration of the case reached the Court and resulted in a per curiam decision.

As Equality Case Files notes, there are more cases involving LGBT rights, including sexual orientation and gender identity under federal employment law. Those cases are expected to be taken up at a later conference.


  • 1. guitaristbl  |  October 1, 2018 at 10:57 am

    They are waiting for Kavanaugh to be confirmed in order to take up Zarda and overturn it possibly taking a first jibe to anti-discrimination laws as well. Although for the second they have the flower shop case coming probably next year in order to severely gut anti-discrimination protections.

  • 2. scream4ever  |  October 1, 2018 at 11:54 am

    Racial discrimination would also be gutted too then.

  • 3. guitaristbl  |  October 1, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    They have found a way to almost certainly confirm a man with so much baggage (sexual assault, temper, partisanship, hidden paperwork, dubious views on presidential power etc) to a lifetime position on the highest court of the land. Their cronies on said court can find a legal sophistry to gut LGBT protections without causing racial tensions in the meantime.

    Plus he needs to be court on time for Gamble.

  • 4. scream4ever  |  October 1, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Anti-discrimination laws cover all groups listed, not just LGBT.

  • 5. guitaristbl  |  October 1, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    That's not the case in a majority of US states.

  • 6. scream4ever  |  October 1, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Of course. I meant those which cover LGBT people.

  • 7. VIRick  |  October 1, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Guitar, it is the other way around. The majority of states do not have specifically-stated LGBT non-discrimination protections in place as law. It is in those instances where we have to rely on a broader interpretation of federal law (through the EEOC and the courts) to cover LGBT issues.

    Otherwise, federal law is quite specific. One can not discriminate based on race, sex, age, creed, national origin, among others.

  • 8. guitaristbl  |  October 1, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    I don't think you understood what I was answering to. I said that the majority of states do not have LGBT anti-discrimination laws. Your comment about a broader interpretation of federal law refers to the stakes at the Zarda case. I was talking about the flower shop case from Washington state that was returned to state courts to re-evaluate in light of Masterpiece Cakeshop (a worrying move in itself) and that is certain to find its way back to SCOTUS.

  • 9. VIRick  |  October 1, 2018 at 11:40 am

    North Carolina Transgender "Bathroom" Case Up-Date

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Last night, 30 September 2018, in "Carcaño v. Cooper," the ACLU/Lambda Legal challenge to North Carolina laws, HB 2 and HB 142, the federal district court said that HB 142, the 2017 law that replaced North Carolina’s notorious anti-LGBT measure, HB 2, does not bar transgender people from using public restrooms and other facilities that match their gender identity. US District Judge Thomas Schroeder also said that he would allow a challenge to the law’s ban on local LGBT non-discrimination policies (another aspect of the same suit) to now go forward.

    The Memorandum Opinion and Order is here:

    The statement from Lambda Legal and the ACLU is linked here:

  • 10. guitaristbl  |  October 2, 2018 at 9:05 am

    There is an unusually high activity of conservatives and conservative bot accounts on liberal pages on social media these days. Stakes are becoming higher it seems.

  • 11. VIRick  |  October 2, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Minnesota Quietly Offering Non-Binary Gender Marker on Driver's Licenses

    H. Jonathan Goltz was excited. As of 2 October 2018, they walked out of the DMV office with a temporary license in their hand — a license that listed them as non-binary. They believe themselves to be the first person with a non-binary driver’s license in St. Paul, if not the state.

    Goltz was tipped off by friends at OutFront Minnesota about DMV software upgrades that made the option possible. The upgrades were to bring the state into compliance for RealID, the enhanced licenses approved in the wake of 9/11. “All it took me was a note from my doctor that confirmed me as a candidate for bottom surgery (from 2013), and which listed the steps I’d taken to get my birth certificate changed from F to M, as well as my name changed,” said Goltz.

    The Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) division has explained further to the Minneapolis "Star-Tribune" that applicants don’t need to provide any specific documentation to have an “X” on their identification.

    Only three states have previously allowed an applicant to signify a gender other than male or female on a driver’s license: Oregon, California, and Maine. This makes Minnesota the fourth, but with the caveat that DC just passed legislation (on 18 September 2018) to the same effect, and Colorado has conceded in a court case (on 17 September 2018) to do likewise.

  • 12. VIRick  |  October 2, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    CIDH Cites Chile for Breaching Marriage Equality Accord

    Gobierno chileno está citado para hoy, 2 de octubre 2018, a la CIDH por incumplimiento de matrimonio igualitario. La Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos analiza paralelamente la exclusión de los menores de 14 años de la Ley de Identidad de Género.

    La Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) citó al Gobierno de Chile a comparecer este martes en Colorado, Estados Unidos, en el marco del 169 Período Ordinario de Sesiones de la CIDH. El objetivo es abordar el incumplimiento del matrimonio igualitario y otras medidas legislativas y de políticas públicas que son parte del Acuerdo de Solución Amistosa (ASA) que el Estado firmó con el Movimiento de Integración y Liberación Homosexual (Movilh).

    Leer en:

    The Chilean government was summoned to the IACHR today, 2 October 2018, for its breach of marriage equality. In parallel, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is analyzing the exclusion of minors under 14 years in the Gender Identity Law.

    The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) summoned the Government of Chile to appear this Tuesday in Colorado, United States, in the framework of the 169th Regular Session of the CIDH. The objective is to address the breach of marriage equality and other legislative and public policy measures that are part of the Friendly Settlement Agreement (ASA) that the State signed with the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movilh).

  • 13. VIRick  |  October 3, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Lithuania: Constitutional Court to Rule on Immigration Rights for LGBT Couples

    Per LGBT Marriage News and National LGBT Rights Organization of Lithuania:

    On 25 September 2018, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania began the procedure aimed at determining whether Constitutional provisions regarding freedom of movement of family members apply to same-sex couples.

    The case dates back to 2015 when a male Belarussian citizen married a Lithuanian man and applied to the immigration authorities for permission to live together with his spouse in Lithuania. In December 2016, the case was referred to the Constitutional Court after the Migration Department refused to issue a residency permit to the Belarussian citizen on the basis of family unification. The Administrative Court of Lithuania ruled that EU law, specifically Directive 2004/38/EC (the so-called “Free Movement Directive”), could not be applied to the particular circumstances of the two men. While the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens in Lithuania does not officially prohibit the reunification of same-sex couples, it is uncertain whether the term “spouse” includes same-sex spouse for the purpose of granting a right of residence to non-EU citizens.

    In June 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union, in "Coman v. Romania," ruled that same-sex couples have a right to reside in any EU Member State regardless of its family law. In light of this, it is believed that the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania will issue a positive decision in the case, despite recent attempts to outlaw same-sex unions.

    Lithuania remains one of few European countries without any legal recognition of same-sex partnership. A positive ruling would not only play a significant part in providing legal protection afforded to same-sex couples who wish to reside in the country, but also strengthen the Constitutional definition of family based on “stable emotional attachment, mutual understanding, responsibility, respect, co-parenting, and similar ties,” rather than a marriage between a man and a woman alone.

    Note: There have been two recent, positive rulings in this regard. In addition to the one mentioned, "Coman v. Romania," in which a Romanian citizen successfully obtained Romanian residency rights for his US citizen spouse, in a separate suit from Bulgaria, and one whose ruling was based on the "Coman" precedent, a Bulgarian citizen successfully obtained Bulgarian residency rights for their Australian citizen spouse. Administratively, Slovakia has determined that the "Coman" ruling applies to Slovakia, as well.

    In addition to Lithuania, the only two remaining Eastern European EU members in which the "Coman" ruling has yet to be tested are Latvia and Poland. The remainder, all of which have some sort of same-sex civil union arrangement, are already in compliance. They are: Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Estonia.

  • 14. VIRick  |  October 4, 2018 at 11:42 am

    Re Latvia: From my archives, over two years ago:

    Latvia: Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Request Will Be Considered

    Per LSM.LV, the Latvian Public Broadcasting Service's English language service:

    On Friday, 27 May 2016, Latvia's Supreme Court overturned an administrative court decision to refuse an application to register a same-sex marriage. Supreme Court press spokeswoman Baiba Kataja said that the court agrees with the administrative court decision that current regulations do not allow registering same-sex marriages in Latvia. However, the matter should have been considered in a context not of marriage, but of registering familial partnership, and it should be established whether the refusal does not contravene the Latvian Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. That means, continues the Supreme Court, that it's impossible to conclude whether the applicants' rights weren't violated unless their claim is accepted and reviewed in a proper manner.

    To date, and to the best of my knowledge, we have never heard the outcome of the Latvian Supreme Court's review of this matter pertaining to a lower court's refusal of an application to register a same-sex marriage (which was presumably performed abroad). Thus, until we hear further, one has to assume that their review of this case is still pending.

  • 15. arturo547  |  October 3, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Peru: Lesbian parenting case

    Today the Constitutional Chamber of the Superior Court of Lima held a public hearing on a lesbian parenting case. The chamber is composed of three judges. One of them has stated that the ruling would be a "milestone".


  • 16. VIRick  |  October 3, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Perú: I Have Two Mothers

    Per Tengo Dos Mamás:

    Somos Darling y Jenny, luchamos para que RENIEC y las leyes peruanas nos reconozcan como madres de nuestro hijo.

    We are Darling and Jenny, we fight so that RENIEC and the Peruvian laws recognize us as mothers of our son.

    Note: This couple, Darling and Jenny, were legally married in Mexico City. Their son was born there in Mexico, sometime thereafter. However, on their return to Perú, the Peruvian immigration authorities and RENIEC only recognized the birth mother as being the legal parent. Subsequently, this lawsuit was filed to force the second-parent recognition.

    In my archives, I found this additional background detail:

    In January 2017, Darling Yvone Delfin and Jenny Victoria Trujillo started a legal battle with Reniec, which does not recognize the relationship between them and their son, Dakari. The boy was born in August of 2014 in Mexico City, where Darling and Jenny had legally married. The Immigration office of Perú accepted his registration as a child of Peruvians born abroad, and recorded as an observation the names of the two mothers. However, Reniec has only accepted the surname of the biological mother on the ID of the child.

  • 17. VIRick  |  October 3, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Uruguay: Positive Ruling in Favor of Two Mothers in Lesbian Parenting Case

    Per Andrés Scagliola:

    Hoy, 3 de octubre 2018, Uruguay siguen avanzando en la remoción de las barreras que aún quedan para la igualdad de las personas LGBTI y sus familias.

    El juez consideró que el Ministerio de Educación y Cultura (MEC) discriminó por imposibilitar que pareja homosexual le ponga ambos apellidos a sus hijas. La pareja no está casada y por eso les habían prohibido (originalmente) inscribir a sus hijas con el apellido de las dos.

    El juez, Gerardo Alvarez, resolvió que el MEC debe permitir que dos madres puedan ponerle el apellido de ambas a sus mellizas. El juez entendió que no permitir que se les ponga el apellido de ambas por no estar casadas es discriminatorio con el colectivo de LGBTI porque a las parejas heterosexuales (en Uruguay) no se les obliga a estar casadas para a anotar a sus hijos a sus respectivos apellidos.

    Today, 3 October 2018, Uruguay continues to make progress in removing the remaining barriers for the equality of LGBTI persons and their families.

    The judge considered that the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) discriminated because it made it impossible for the same-sex couple to give both of their surnames to their daughters. The couple in question is not married and that is why they were (originally) prohibited from registering their daughters with the surnames of the two.

    The judge, Gerardo Alvarez, ruled that the MEC should allow the two mothers to inscribe their surnames for both of their twins. The judge understood that not allowing them to be given the surname of both because they are not married is discriminatory against the LGBTI collective because heterosexual couples (in Uruguay) are not obligated to be married in order to give their children their respective surnames.

  • 18. VIRick  |  October 4, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Mexico: Final State-by-State Push for Marriage Equality Has Begun in Earnest

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Today, 4 October 2018, an equal marriage bill was presented in the San Luis Potosí state congress by MORENA; it is believed to have the required 15 votes to pass.

    As of 4 October 2018, the PRD is to push their equal marriage bill in the Durango state congress, where the left (PRD/MORENA) holds a majority.

    As of 1 October 2018, MORENA and PRD have joined together to push for an equal marriage law in the Mexico (Edomex) state congress.

    On 28 September 2018, the PRD presented its equal marriage bill to the State of Mexico Congress.

    On 1 October 2018, the state human rights commission (CEDHA) called for an equal marriage law in Aguascalientes state.

    Commencing from 1 October 2018, the new Puebla state Congress, under MORENA direction, plans to pass the equal marriage law within its first 100 days, responding to the 2017 Supreme Court ruling in harmonizing the state civil code with said ruling.

    As of 24 September 2018, the majority MORENA party in the Oaxaca state congress pledges to push for an equal marriage law.

    Additional activity in this regard within the new state congresses is occurring in Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, and Yucatán, any one of which could be next in actually passing the required marriage equality legislation.

  • 19. VIRick  |  October 4, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    Mexico: Federal Constitutional Amendment for Marriage Equality Introduced in House

    Per Víctor Hugo Prado, Presidente del Comité Ejecutivo Estatal del PRD Jalisco‏:

    La Vicecoordinadora del Diputados de PRD, Verónica Juárez Piña, presentó hoy, el 4 de octubre 2018, en el pleno de la Cámara de Diputados (federales) la respectiva iniciativa para reformar la constitución para garantizar el matrimonio igualitario.

    The Deputy Coordinator of the PRD Deputies, Verónica Juárez Piña, presented today, on 4 October 2018, in the full body of the (federal) Chamber of Deputies the respective initiative to reform the constitution to ensure equal marriage.

    Per Verónica Juárez Piña, Diputada Federal de PRD de Jalisco:

    Esta reforma al Artículo 4o. permitirá que las parejas del mismo sexo gocen de igual protección jurídica que las parejas heterosexuales. El seguir negando los derechos que son accesibles a las personas heterosexuales a través del matrimonio implica tratar a toda persona con una preferencia sexual distinta a la heterosexual como ciudadanos de segunda clase. La iniciativa homologaría las leyes en los 32 estados de la República.

    This reform to Article 4 will allow same-sex couples to enjoy equal legal protection to that of heterosexual couples. The continued denial of rights that are accessible to heterosexual people through marriage involves treating every person with a sexual preference other than heterosexual as second-class citizens. The initiative will make uniform the laws in the 32 states of the Republic.

    Per Adn40:

    Con esta iniciativa se modificaría el Artículo 4 constitucional para que se establezca que “toda persona mayor de 18 años tiene derecho a contraer matrimonio y no podrá ser discriminada por origen étnico o nacional, género, discapacidades, condición social, condiciones de salud, religión, preferencias sexuales, o cualquier otra que atente contra la dignidad humana."

    With this initiative, Article 4 of the Constitution would be modified to establish that "every person over 18 years of age has the right to marry and can not be discriminated against based on ethnic or national origin, gender, disabilities, social condition, health conditions, religion, sexual preferences, or any other that threatens against human dignity."

  • 20. VIRick  |  October 4, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Lambda Legal Announces NY Activist Richard Burns as Interim CEO

    Lambda Legal has appointed a longtime New York activist to take the helm as interim leader, following the recent departure of its CEO ahead of the mid-term elections, the "Washington Blade" has learned. Richard Burns, who served as executive director of the NYC LGBT Community Center for 22 years, is set to take over as interim CEO, as the search continues for a replacement for Rachel Tiven, who resigned in August.

  • 21. VIRick  |  October 4, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Bolivia: LGBTI Summit Meeting

    Per Chantal Cuellar:

    Hoy día, 4 de octubre 2018, un cumbre de la coalición de colectivos LGBTI tenia lugar, con delegaciones de todo Bolivia de esos grupos: Metamorfosis_bo, ATBDigital, patnoticias, LosTiemposBol, REDLACTRANS, RedUnoBolivia, aqui_bo

    Today, 4 October 2018, a summit meeting of the coalition of LGBTI collectives took place, with delegations from all over Bolivia from these groups: Metamorfosis_bo, ATBDigital, patnoticias, LosTiemposBol, REDLACTRANS, RedUnoBolivia, aqui_bo

    Chantal Cuellar: Soy una mujer transgénero activista por los derechos humanos de la población Trans de Bolivia.

    Chantal Cuellar: I am a Transgender woman activist for the human rights of the Trans population of Bolivia.

    As mentioned previously, "Never mess with the transgender women of Bolivia." As promised, I am surmising that they met to plan strategies for the presentation of their case against the government of Bolivia before the CIDH, seeking marriage equality.

  • 22. Fortguy  |  October 5, 2018 at 12:55 am

    I'm surprised no one has posted about this. Since Monday, Trump's State Department has stopped issuing visas to same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and U.N. officials unless they are legally married. Foggy Bottom is trying to paint this as a show of "equality" between gay and hetero marriage recognition while ignoring that only 12% of U.N. member states have ME and some criminalize it.

    Colum Lynch, Foreign Policy: Trump Administration to Deny Visas to Same-Sex Partners of Diplomats, U.N. Officials

    I realize that this may have been lost in the news cycle while we have been having a national discussion of the definitions of "boofing" and "devil's triangle".

  • 23. guitaristbl  |  October 5, 2018 at 2:55 am

    Off topic : Does Beto have a realistic chance to unseat Cruz ? His campaign seems to be very promising.

  • 24. VIRick  |  October 5, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Yes, quite definitely, Beto has a very realistic chance.

    Oh, and Fortguy, I'll bite. What is "boofing?" Is that similar to "ralphing?"

    And as for the other point, I understand that one scores double points for performing the "devil's triangle" while flying through the "Bermuda Triangle."

  • 25. Fortguy  |  October 5, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    No. By all accounts, "boofing" happens, well, at the other end of the physiological spectrum. Kavanaugh claims the term means "flatulence" in accordance with the only direction permitted for anal activity in conservative ideology. Media reports, however, reject that with others contemporary to Kavanaugh's age claiming that it either means "butt chugging" alcoholic beverages or straight anal sex. I, myself, have never heard of the term before the media began reporting on his yearbooks despite being only a couple of years older than Kavanaugh. Back in those days, I attended a large, urban high school before attending university at a very small, rural rodeo school out in the middle of nowhere. Although I knew some prep school kids from my family's church while I was in high school, they were not the kind of kids I would purposefully choose to socialize with much less "boof" with however they may have interpreted that.

  • 26. VIRick  |  October 5, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    For me, I must have been living in Mexico, or somewhere in South America, when "boofing," by whatever definition, was a popular entitled Anglo straight-guy prep-school past-time in the USA. The hard-core version in Mexico was less-than-elegantly called by what it was,"camote en el culo," which I will refrain from translating. Oh, in Brasil, it sounds much better, "batata-doce na bunda," but it's the same thing.

  • 27. Fortguy  |  October 6, 2018 at 12:42 am

    I bet you have a very interesting recipe for sweet potato pie for dessert after Thanksgiving dinner. Or is it the candied yams I should avoid?

  • 28. Fortguy  |  October 5, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    As of this writing, FiveThirtyEight is giving Beto a 27.0% chance of winning. He is vastly outraising Carnival Cruz in non-PAC, non-party contributions. His campaign appearances are so well attended and so exuberant you'd think the resurrected Elvis were giving a concert tour.

    He has some strong advantages such as his Kennedyesque good looks paired against the oleaginous Cruz. Although he is not Hispanic, he speaks Spanish fluently and is completely at home in Mexican-American culture as someone from overwhelmingly Hispanic El Paso would be expected. Cruz, by contrast, speaks Spanish at best awkwardly, was born in Calgary, Alberta, and is ethnically Cuban-American which is a group with no meaningful constituency in Texas.

    Beto stakes out popular positions on health care, a living wage, and pot decriminalization. Cruz is running ads insinuating that Beto's support for kneeling black football players means Beto opposes veterans. Cruz, of course, cannot point to any meaningful legislation of benefit to Texas he has passed. After all, Cruz's Senate career is marked by obstruction and bomb throwing and not by being a legislative craftsman willing to work well with others.

    Cruz's campaign earlier tried to make fun of Beto's previous participation in a rock band when Beto was younger. The effort backfired miserably. Beto strikes everyone as a likeable guy that would be fun to hang out with. Cruz, on the other hand, comes across as the last guy anyone would want to sit down and have a beer with except maybe Brett Kavanaugh and only because he really likes beer. Cruz also comes across as politically emasculated after Trump insulted Cruz's wife and father in 2016 and called him "Lying Ted". While Cruz took a defiant stance at the GOP convention, he was booed and ended up meekly crawling into the Trump orbit with his tail between his legs.

    Despite all this, I'm afraid that there are too many people who will close their eyes to Cruz's B.S. and vote for him anyway because they've believed their whole lives that voting for a Democrat would usher in a post-apocalyptic socialist hellhole. It doesn't help Beto that no one from El Paso has ever one statewide office before since everyone knows El Paso is really part of New Mexico. The rays of hope we must cling to is that demographics in Texas are slowly changing in the Dems' favor, and that Texas is a notoriously bad low-turnout state even in presidential years. With that in mind, if voter enthusiasm is very one-sided and GOTV efforts succeed, a Beto win is possible. He'll probably need Trump to pull something really shameful once again right before election day to make it happen.

  • 29. Fortguy  |  October 5, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    Here are more reasons to keep in mind as to why Beto might beat Carnival Cruz.

    During the 2016 election, a Florida poll by Public Policy Polling showed that 10% of Florida voters thought that Cruz was the Zodiac Killer while another 28% were unsure. Presumably, the other 62% knew that Cruz was too young to be the killer, but would otherwise be open to considering him a suspect. Cruz's popularity is terrible even among GOP colleagues. Here are some quotes:

    George W. Bush:

    I just don't like the guy.

    John Boehner:

    I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.

    Lindsey Graham:

    If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.

    Bob Dole:

    I don’t know how he’s going to deal with Congress. Nobody likes him.

    Peter King:

    I hate Ted Cruz, and I think I’ll take cyanide if he ever got the nomination.

    Charles Krauthammer:

    Everybody who knows him in the Senate hates him. And I think hate is not an exaggeration.

    Trent Lott:

    I’ve watched him stand on the floor of the Senate and call the majority leader a liar. I don’t know whether he was or he wasn’t—you don’t do that where I’m from. If I’d have been in the Senate, I would have tried to have him removed from the floor of the Senate for inappropriate conduct. You just don’t do that. Are we not still gentlemen, and respectful of each other?

    Dan Coats:

    I don’t want to use a failed tactic for political purposes knowing that it’s not going to succeed. It will certainly get Sen. Cruz a lot of attention, which is obviously something that anybody running for president would want to get.

    Sean Duffy:

    You can’t talk to the American people, you can’t talk to our bases on this strategy, and then completely roll over. Thank God he wasn’t there fighting at the Alamo!

    John Feehery (former GOP staffer):

    Cruz is an army of one, alienating anybody who is in his path. He advocates losing strategies purely to further his own career at the expense of the party.

  • 30. guitaristbl  |  October 5, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Kavanaugh just ensured his elevation to SCOTUS. The end of an era for LGBT rights among other things in the US. My heart goes out to all american LGBT people. Stay strong.

    Murkowski voted against but Munchin voted in favour alongside Collins and Flake.

  • 31. JayJonson  |  October 5, 2018 at 10:03 am

    The vote was on cloture. It was not on his elevation to SCOTUS. Collins and Flake and Manchin (and anyone else) can change their mind on the final vote, though admittedly it is not likely. Kavanaugh is a horrible choice and he is unsuited for the Court, but it is not certain that he will reverse Kennedy's legacy on gay rights.

  • 32. scream4ever  |  October 5, 2018 at 10:03 am

    It was a cloture vote. It's not over yet.

    As far as LGBT rights, we won't lose any of the existing rights, but we won't be able to count on the courts for the forseeable future to expand the scope of existing right.

  • 33. guitaristbl  |  October 5, 2018 at 10:27 am

    But it is very likely conservatives will get their wish to gut anti-discrimination protections massively unless miraculously Roberts stops it. And I remain uncertain about Obergefell. Federalist Society and ADF wont let the opportunity slide.

    And then there is the upcoming Zarda reversal on federal protections. So there is some imminent damage for sure.

  • 34. JayJonson  |  October 5, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    Yes, we need to be worried, but we should not panic. And we should be motivated to vote and work like hell to get a Congress that will check Trump and stop his packing of the Courts.

  • 35. VIRick  |  October 5, 2018 at 9:10 am

    San Marino: LGBT Civil Unions Bill Passes Committee

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 27 September 2018, the LGBT Civil Unions Bill passed the committee stage, and has now gone to the General Council for a final vote.… …

    In a ploy to attract same-sex foreign tourists, this bill contains the unusual feature whereby, if passed, the authorities will only "civil union" same-sex foreign citizens, not local Sammarinese. The idea was originally floated as "same-sex marriage for foreigners only," prior to Italy's legalization of same-sex civil unions. But now, how much "business" this new civil unions law will attract from Eastern Europe is anyone's guess.

  • 36. VIRick  |  October 5, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Edomex Congress Will Approve Marriage Equality

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Congreso de Edomex Va por Aprobación de Matrimonio Igualitario

    El PRD presentó una nueva iniciativa, el 28 de septiembre 2018, y se espera que en los próximos días sea dictaminada y luego votada en el pleno.

    The PRD presented a new initiative on 28 September 2018, and it is expected that within the next few days the draft bill will be finalized and then voted upon by the full congress.

    Note: The State of Mexico (Edomex) is Mexico's most populous, containing as it does, a vast spill-over of Mexico City's (CDMX) wealthy suburbs lying to the west, northwest, and north of the central city, which on a per capita basis, are some of Mexico's most affluent municipalities. And to the northeast of the central city, also in Edomex, and in utter contrast, one finds some of its poorest municipalities.

  • 37. VIRick  |  October 5, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    European Summary on Same-Sex Marriage/Civil Unions

    European countries where same-sex marriage is legal:

    Netherlands (2001)
    Belgium (2003)
    Spain (2005)
    Norway (2009)
    Sweden (2009)
    Portugal (2010)
    Iceland (2010)
    Denmark (2012)
    France (2013)
    England/Wales/Scotland/Akrotiri and Dhekelia (2014)
    Republic of Ireland (2015)
    Isle of Man (2016)
    Finland (2017)
    Malta (2017)
    Guernsey (2017)
    Germany (2017)
    Jersey (2018)
    Austria (2019)

    European countries with some form of same-sex civil union:

    Andorra (2005)
    Northern Ireland (2005)
    Czech Republic (2006)
    Slovenia (2006)
    Switzerland (2007)
    Hungary (2009)
    Croatia (2014)
    Greece (2015)
    Cyprus (2015)
    Estonia (2016) (also recognizes same-sex marriages performed abroad)
    Italy (2016)

    European nations where equal marriage is illegal (but not constitutionally banned)

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Republic of Macedonia
    Romania (but recognizes same-sex unions performed abroad)
    San Marino
    Turkey/Northern Cyprus

    European countries with a constitutional ban on equal marriage:

    Bulgaria (1991) (but recognizes same-sex unions performed abroad)
    Lithuania (1992)
    Belarus (1994)
    Moldova (1994)
    Ukraine (1996)
    Poland (1997) (recognizes co-habitation of same-sex partners in limited circumstances)
    Latvia (2006)
    Serbia (2006)
    Montenegro (2007)
    Hungary (2012)
    Croatia (2013)
    Slovakia (2014) (but recognizes same-sex unions performed abroad)
    Armenia (2015) (but recognizes same-sex marriages performed abroad)
    Georgia (2018)

  • 38. allan120102  |  October 5, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Slovakia is only in immigration status nothing more. Only relate to the decision made by the court in June.

  • 39. VIRick  |  October 5, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    And ditto for Romania and Bulgaria, as will Latvia and Lithuania in due course. I did not express that quite carefully enough.

    Also note that despite the constitutional bans on marriage for same-sex couples, both Hungary and Croatia allow for some sort of same-sex civil union.

    Plus, in the first category, with same-sex marriage being legal, I skipped:

    Greenland (2016)
    Faroe Islands (2017)

    The listing also skipped Kosovo, for which I do not know the status,– and the Vatican.

  • 40. JayJonson  |  October 5, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Now it is almost official. Collins and Manchin are voting Yes, which should give Kavanaugh 51 votes. Murkowski will vote No. Ironically, Collins's long speech, which emphasized his supposed moderate positions, would have dissuaded Republicans from voting for Kavanaugh if they thought she was telling the truth.

  • 41. guitaristbl  |  October 5, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Collins trying to explain the inexplicables. She is lucky she is not up for re election. She bares the responsibility for decades of judicial extremism to come. I hope Maine votes her out in 2020 and she has to live the rest of her life with that burden.

  • 42. ianbirmingham  |  October 5, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Let's not forget Manchin, the DINO of West Virginia…

  • 43. Fortguy  |  October 5, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    Manchin is facing reelection next month. He has already won his state's primary, and he is leading in the polls. Sadly, we need him for a Dem majority this cycle.

  • 44. Mechatron12  |  October 5, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    It's worth keeping in mind that Manchin A) didn't announce his vote until after Collins had made it impossible to stop Kavanaugh from being approved and B) represents a state that MASSIVELY supports Trump and Kavanaugh. Collins was the one who went against her state and will hopefully pay dearly for it.

    As badly as this week has turned out, would you rather have a Republican holding that seat if God forbid RBG dies in the next two years?

  • 45. Fortguy  |  October 5, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    God help us all. I can hear the national discourse degenerating from the definitions of "boofing" and "devil's triangle" all the way down to those of "scat" and "golden shower" with Trump's next appointment.

  • 46. VIRick  |  October 5, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    Fortguy, and do not forget those elusive "golden shower" pee pee tapes, and Stormy Daniels' detailed description of that small mushroom-shaped thingie, while she lay there for all of about 2 minutes, dearly praying for death.

    And apparently, earlier today, while boarding Air Force One, illustrious Captain Bonespurs was reported as having toilet paper stuck to his shoe,– and no one, neither from among his staff, nor from the security detail, bothered to tell him.

    I can not imagine how or why it got there, let alone what held it in place, but that likely does bring us down to "scat."

    Seriously though, we really need to hope against hope that there is no "next appointment."

  • 47. allan120102  |  October 5, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Cayman Island case to be discuss next year.

  • 48. ianbirmingham  |  October 6, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    How Kavanaugh got the votes

    Kavanaugh’s nomination would come down to two Republican moderates, Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska). If McConnell could keep one of those two on board along with the rest of his conference, he would win a major victory for President Trump. … Republicans control 51 seats and could afford no more than one defection. …

    Confirming him was a high-stakes task for McConnell, who rated the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court in 2017 — after keeping the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia vacant for nearly a year — as one of his biggest professional accomplishments. …

    The GOP leader warned members of his conference that failing to get Kavanaugh confirmed only weeks before the midterm elections would throw the Republican base into disarray and prove disastrous. …

    In his back pocket, McConnell could count on his strong personal relationship with Collins, a fellow member of the Appropriations Committee, who shared his work ethic and pragmatism. …

    McConnell does not have as strong a relationship with Murkowski, whom he opposed in her 2010 reelection race after she lost the Republican Senate primary to conservative candidate Joe Miller, whom she went on to defeat in a write-in campaign. Murkowksi was the only Republican who voted against advancing Kavanaugh on a key procedural vote Friday. …

  • 49. VIRick  |  October 6, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    Queer Mexican Wrestling: Lucha Va Voom

    This is a "special" for Fortguy, but everyone, do please enjoy!

    To say the very least, this new documentary shows Mexican wrestling like you've never seen it before. For starters, a glitter-covered, fiercely flamboyant wrestler smacks down a hyper-macho luchador. Gender-bending dancers perform vintage burlesque routines in between the action. Crowds roar. That is Lucha Va Voom. And it is called America's most outrageous show for a reason. The high-octane hybrid show offers Mexican wrestling, circus artists, seductive dancers, and even aerial acts by Violet Chachki.

    The show has brought together performers of diverse ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations into one unparalleled found-family, ready to entertain. The new documentary, "Lucha Va Voom: Inside America's Most Outrageous Show," takes the viewer onstage, backstage, and into the lives of the individuals who make the show the spectacle it is.

    Among others, one will meet gender-queer performance artist Karis Wilde who candidly shares how questioning her own identity led to freedom beyond gender, as well as Cassandro el Exotico, the self-proclaimed Liberace of Lucha Libre, and discover why he deserves the title, Queen of the Ring (which, by all measures imaginable, is a serious understatement).

    My old "boyfriend," the very androgynous super-star singer and mariachi, Juan Gabriel, belting out "Querida" or "Amor Eterno," while wearing one of his eye-stopping, signature costumes, now seems somewhat ordinary by comparison.

    And by the way, this is all a "tease," as the actual show is not scheduled for release until 16 October. Still, there are two short clips attached to the article.

  • 50. Fortguy  |  October 6, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    I spent the summer after my freshman year of college studying in a foreign students program at UNAM. While I was there, friends took me to a Lucha Libre match which I got a great kick out of watching. Even better, one of my friends accompanying me was a man in his late fifties who told me that he was a professional wrestler when he was younger. At the time, performance wrestling was only starting to become popular in the U.S. as cable TV was just beginning to reach into mainstream homes. I wonder how many wrestling fans these days would acknowledge the sport's Mexican roots or just plain howl in denial as "fake news"?

    It was a very interesting summer to spend in Mexico City! That was the summer when Miguel de la Madrid (or de la Madre as people in Mexico City universally referred to him) was elected, and I witnessed many political rallies that summer as well as the ubiquitous campaign placards and wall paintings for the various candidates everywhere. Of course, De la Madrid's election was assured as the country was still decidedly under the PRI's long-running, one-party hegemony.

    At that time, besides the PRI and the PAN, the leading party on the left was the Partido Socialista Unificado de México, a party that would later merge with other leftist parties to form today's PRD. One Sunday before the election, PSUM held a massive march and rally beginning at the Monument of the Revolution proceeding down the Alameda and Avenida Madero to the Zócalo where they nearly filled the square. At the Revolution Monument, I bought a cool PSUM T-shirt, red with a yellow Communist hammer and sickle logo with the letters "PSUM", and then followed the march to the Zócalo. I then went to the rooftop bar at the Regency Hotel, that's the building immediately south of Madero and directly across the Zócalo from the Palacio Nacional, and watched the rally while having drinks with American expats. As far as the T-shirt goes, I very much enjoyed wearing that to class from time to time after I got back home appreciating the shock value it caused in a small West Texas college town.

    (Continued below…)

  • 51. Fortguy  |  October 6, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    (…From above)

    Also that summer, I was witness to three severe devaluations of the peso, always on a Friday, and always announced just after closing of regular business hours of the banks. It was always an amazing spectacle to watch. You could be sitting in a café or a bar having a beer when, all of a sudden, everywhere appeared shouting newspaper boys holding up extra editions of the major dailies announcing the peso's closing price in bold headlines. Even Excélsior, which went through so much effort not to look like its more tabloid competitors and emulated the New York Times's classical, gray lady layout style, had such huge letters on its top headline that you'd think the president had been assassinated. The first time that happened, everyone looked just bewildered and shell-shocked not knowing what to make of it all. By the third time, the news was greeted just with a universal look of anger and contempt. Despite all this, De la Madrid won handily as the PRI was not yet ready to concede that it could ever relinquish power.

    That third time came just as my stay in Mexico was winding down. I had already finished my studies at UNAM, and was planning a visit with the neighbor across the street to Oaxaca, where he was from, before returning home. Conveniently, I received a money transfer from home that same weekend denominated in dollars. Because of the devaluation, I suddenly was able to exchange it for twice as many pesos than I could have the day before, and had a great time on my excursion. My friend took me first to his very small hometown village just outside the city of Oaxaca, and, besides Oaxaca, we also spent time in Puerto Angel and Puerto Escondido. We did the trip from DF to Oaxaca by train, a surreal experience in itself, but that would have to be another long post.

  • 52. VIRick  |  October 6, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    O.M.G. I just saw the second clip, the one featuring the Liberace of Lucha Libre, complete with the sashaying to the mariachi music, while doing a strip-tease, and he is irreal. They are from Juárez, as was Juan Gabriel, and are perfectly bi-lingual, slipping back and forth between Spanish and English in the same sentence. But besides the flamboyance, and the total androgyny, they are incredibly athletic, and extra-ordinarily nimble,– and quite cute.

    Outrageous is an extreme understatement.

  • 53. Fortguy  |  October 7, 2018 at 12:08 am

    Of course, back in the early 80s, Mexican wrestling was strictly hetero-normative than it appears today. I hope this is a start. I think we're still at least a decade away from seeing body-slamming queens winning belts Monday nights on the USA Network.

  • 54. Fortguy  |  October 7, 2018 at 12:24 am

    Oh, and speaking of Juan Gabriel, it's a shame he died at the point of his concert tour when he did. He died after performing in San Diego, and was scheduled to travel next for a performance in El Paso. It would have been fitting for him to live just long enough to perform and finish his life in "El Chuco" thereby drawing a complete circle to his professional life there.

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