Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

Open thread and news


– The Trump administration is Twitt


  • 1. VIRick  |  October 10, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Tlaxcala: Marriage Equality Proposal Introduced into State Congress

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Propone Miguel Ángel Covarrubias Matrimonio Igualitario en Tlaxcala

    El diputado del PRD, Miguel Ángel Covarrubias Cervantes, propuso incluir en Tlaxcala el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo. En la sesión ordinaria de este martes, el 9 de octubre 2018, el parlamentario sugirió reformas a varios artículos del Código Civil de la entidad, para especificar que el matrimonio debe ser la unión entre dos personas y no precisamente entre un hombre y una mujer.

    Entre otras cosas, la iniciativa para modificar la norma propone que la promesa de matrimonio sea aquella que se hace mutuamente entre dos personas, quienes son los esponsales; que el matrimonio es la unión libre y con el pleno conocimiento de dos personas, cuyo objetivo es hacer la comunidad de vida en donde ambas personas se procuran; que el concubinato es cuando dos personas solteras se unen, y que podrán contraer matrimonio quienes hayan cumplido 18 años.

    Miguel Ángel Covarrubias Proposes Equal Marriage in Tlaxcala

    The deputy of the PRD, Miguel Ángel Covarrubias Cervantes, has proposed to include Tlaxcala in same-sex marriage. In the ordinary session of this Tuesday, 9 October 2018, the parliamentarian suggested reforms to several articles of the state Civil Code to specify that marriage should be the union between two people and not precisely between a man and a woman.

    Among other things, the initiative to modify the law proposes that the promise of marriage be that which is mutually made between two persons, who are to be spouses; that marriage is a free union made with the full knowledge of two people, whose goal is to have a common life which both people seek; that concubinage is when two single people are informally united, and that those who have turned 18 can get married.

  • 2. VIRick  |  October 10, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Texas: New Homophobic Class-Action Federal Suit Seeking Religious Exemption from Title VII

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 6 October 2018, a new class-action lawsuit, "US Pastor Council v. EEOC," filed in Reed O'Connor's federal court in Texas (Northern District of Texas, Ft. Worth Division) is looking to obtain a nationwide injunction providing a religious exemption to Title VII, claiming that not allowing this exemption violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("RFRA") and the First Amendment.

    Plaintiffs are the US Pastor Council, a Texas non-profit comprising approximately 1,000 member churches, and Hotze Health & Wellness Center, a Texas for-profit corporation (a "christian-owned" business whose chairman, Dr. Steven F. Hotze, believes that the Bible is the Word of God, and who, according to him, repeatedly and explicitly condemns homosexual behavior, and who then goes on to cite assorted chapters and verses as his legal proof, see p. 7 of complaint). Oddly, he also believes that transgender behavior is contrary to the Bible, but does not offer the same chapter-and-verse Biblical "proof" as to why he should believe so. They each sue on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated. And among others, they are also suing Jefferson B. Sessions III (the Attorney-General of the USA), as well as the United States of America itself.

    From the complaint:
    "[N]either the text of Title VII nor the EEOC’s regulatory guidance makes any exemptions or accommodations for churches or corporations that oppose homosexual or transgender behavior on religious grounds. The failure to provide a religious exemption to this supposed anti discrimination requirement violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment. The plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment to that effect, and they seek to enjoin the federal government from enforcing anti-discrimination policies of this sort against any employer that objects to homosexual or transgender behavior on religious grounds."

    Plaintiffs’ Class-Action Complaint is here:

    Yikes! I just realized I accidentally cleaned up some dubiously-constructed grammar. According to the wording in the actual filing, despite the multiplicity of plaintiffs, they are actually suing "on behalf of itself and others similarly situated."

  • 3. VIRick  |  October 10, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Texas: Second Homophobic Federal Suit, Same Date, Same Plaintiffs, Different Judge

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 6 October 2018, in "US Pastor Council v. City of Austin," the same plaintiffs are seeking to gut the City of Austin's employment non-discrimination ordinance, looking for exemptions or accommodations for employers who hold religious objections to homosexuality or transgender behavior. This case has been assigned to Judge Robert Pitman of the Western District of Texas.

    The complaint is here:

    Note from Lambda Legal pertaining to Judge Robert Pitman:
    "The US Senate confirmed Robert Pitman last night (16 December 2014) to the US District Court for the Western District of Texas. Pitman becomes the first openly gay judge to sit on the federal bench in Texas, and also assumes a seat that had been vacant for more than six years."

  • 4. FredDorner  |  October 13, 2018 at 11:47 am

    I rather doubt that the plaintiffs in these two Texas cases will have standing.

  • 5. VIRick  |  October 13, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    I just Googled the Hotze Health & Wellness Center and came up with this address:

    Wellness center in Houston, Texas
    Address: 20214 Braidwood Dr Suite 215, Katy, TX 77450

    The US Pastor Council turns up this mailing address:

    P.O. Box 692207
    Houston, Texas 77269


    So, yes, in the one instance, suing the city of Austin probably does not pass muster, and in the other instance, filing with the District court for Northern Texas, Ft. Worth Division, may not either. In addition, a group photo of the "pastors," indicate that there are 14 of them, 11 black, 2 Hispanic, and one white guy, with the sole white guy seemingly in charge, speaking at the podium. They are also having a "pastors breakfast" on 20 October with Ted Cruz and Sean Hannity.

  • 6. Fortguy  |  October 13, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Let's hope they spent way too much money on the caterer since no one will have any appetite if they have to look at Carnival Cruz over breakfast.

  • 7. VIRick  |  October 10, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    Perú: Same-Sex Marriage in British Embassy, Lima

    Per Colin Gray, UK Consul-General:

    Hoy, 10 de octubre 2018, más que nunca, el amor nos une. He tenido el enorme placer y privilegio de casar a una pareja Británica-Peruana del mismo sexo en la Embajada Británica, conforme a la ley del Reino Unido.

    Today, 10 October 2018, more than ever, love unites us. It gives me great pleasure and privilege to marry a British-Peruvian same-sex couple at the British Embassy, according to the laws of the United Kingdom.

  • 8. arturo547  |  October 10, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    That's lovely but unfortunately that has no legal effect in Peru. We're still waiting for the Constitutional Court ruling on the Oscar Ugarteche case. A guy on this forum said some weeks ago that Mr Ugarteche's lawyer assured him that the ruling was already being written. If would be good if we contact him to ask him if he has any news on the case. We'll have to wait patiently. The judges will have to leave their positions next year in June when their licenses expire. And just to let you know, some months ago the homophobic Fujimorista party tried to remove the liberal judges of the court but the IACHR ordered the politicians to stop that.

  • 9. VIRick  |  October 10, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    Romania Added to Worldwide Marriage Equality Watch List

    On 9 October 2018, Rex Wockner added Romania to his worldwide marriage equality "Watch List," bringing said number of nations up to 22. Here is what he wrote concerning recent positive events in Romania:

    An attempt to obstruct marriage equality by rewriting the definition of "family" in the constitution failed on 7 October 2018, when an inadequate percentage of voters showed up to vote in a nationwide referendum. Thirty percent of all voters were needed to cast a ballot in order for the referendum result to be valid, but only 20.41 percent did. LGBT leaders and others had called on voters to boycott the referendum. Just prior, on 28 September 2018, Romania's Constitutional Court ruled that same-sex couples must have the same "legal and juridical recognition of their rights and obligations" as opposite-sex couples.

  • 10. VIRick  |  October 10, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    UK Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Anti-Gay Bakers from Northern Ireland

    On 10 October 2018, the "christian" owners of a Northern Ireland bakery have won their appeal in the so-called "gay cake" discrimination case. The UK's highest court ruled that Ashers bakery's refusal to make a cake with a slogan supporting same-sex marriage was not discriminatory. The five justices on the Supreme Court were unanimous in their judgment.

    The high-profile dispute began in 2014 when the bakery refused to make a cake with the slogan "Support Gay Marriage." The customer, gay rights activist Gareth Lee, sued the company for discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and political beliefs. Ashers lost the case and the subsequent appeal, but today the firm won its appeal at the Supreme Court.

    The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, which has supported Gareth Lee's action against Ashers, spent over £250,000 in legal fees.

    Ashers Bakery spent more £200,000 on the case, money paid for by The Christian Institute, a charity and lobby group.

  • 11. VIRick  |  October 11, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Nepal: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back on Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Nepal may be one of the most liberal countries in the region in safeguarding the rights of transgender people, but it has yet to legalize same-sex marriage. New legal provisions have now made it even more difficult for transgender couples to get legal status, and live in dignity. Nepal’s new Civil Code Act that came into effect in August 2018 has not criminalized same-sex marriage, but it defines marriage as an act of two opposite-sex people above 20 years of age accepting each other as husband and wife. This provision, according to senior advocate Satish Krishna Kharel, has not just denied the existence of transgender people, it also means same-sex couples cannot get married legally, and they cannot live-in without fear.

    This is one step forward, two steps back. After the Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that citizens can choose their gender identity based on "self-feeling," Nepal’s LGBT community has won a series of battles for equal rights. They can now register as a third gender for citizenship, passport, voter ID, and even in the census. But Nepal’s reputation as a tolerant, forward-thinking country in terms of LGBT rights is now in danger not just because the Civil Code accepts only opposite-sex marriage, but also because this new Act contains several discriminatory provisions like only son or daughter (and not a third gender) are entitled to inheritance.

  • 12. VIRick  |  October 11, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Kosovo Stages Second Gay Pride Parade under Heavy Security

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Pristina – On Wednesday, 10 October 2018, hundreds of people turned out for Kosovo’s second Gay Pride parade under heavy police escort after a political party that espouses Islamic values urged the government to scrap the event. Kosovo deployed special police units to protect the marchers but no incidents were reported. The former Serbian province, which declared independence in 2008, is 90 percent Muslim and, like much of the Balkan region, socially conservative.

    At present, the constitution of Kosovo says “everyone enjoys the right to marry,” but family law also states that those who marry should not be of the same sex.

  • 13. VIRick  |  October 11, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Poland: Lesbian Couple Wins the Right to Register Their Child as Having Two Mothers

    A lesbian couple has won the right to register their child in Poland, in an unprecedented ruling for the country. The decision, handed down today, 11 October 2018, by the country’s Supreme Administrative Court, ends a three-year legal battle started by a Polish woman who tried to get her London-born son a Polish birth certificate, according to Reuters.
    She and her female partner were registered as the child's parents in Britain, but Polish administrative officials rejected her attempts to do the same in Poland. Now, after having gone to the highest administrative court in the land, the couple has overturned that decision.

    This was the second court ruling this year which has raised hopes for campaigners in Poland, after the Supreme Court also ruled against a businessman who refused to print posters for an LGBT business because he did not want to “promote” gay rights.

    Same-sex partners in Poland are not allowed to have children, with adoption, surrogacy, and IVF routes all being blocked by regressive laws. Poland is also one of several in the EU which has not legalized same-sex marriage nor civil unions for gay couples.

  • 14. VIRick  |  October 11, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Wisconsin: Jury Awards Transgender State Employees $780K after Being Refused Health Insurance

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 10 October 2018, in a federal suit, "Boyden v. Wisconsin Dept. of Employee Trust Funds & Group Insurance Board," a Wisconsin jury has awarded two transgender women $780,500 after they were refused health insurance by their employer. Both women worked for the state government at UW-Madison. In September, a judge had ruled that denying Shannon Andrews and Alina Boyden health insurance violated federal non-discrimination laws.

    In the damages award for exclusion/denial of health care, Alina Boyden was awarded $301,000; Shannon Andrews was awarded $479,500. The difference in award reflects the fact that Shannon had already paid out-of-pocket for health care that her insurance should have covered.

    “I want to thank the judge in the case and the jury for awarding a fair verdict. It was wonderful to see a process where eight ordinary Wisconsinites were able to listen to our story, see that we were harmed, and make the decision that they did,” Boyden said.

    While courts have previously ruled that transgender people cannot be denied health insurance for gender-affirming medical care, this is one of the first times a jury has awarded damages.

    “No one should be denied health care because of who they are,” Larry Dupuis, legal director for the ACLU of Wisconsin, said. “Depriving transgender people of access to transition-related care is discrimination and we are pleased the jury awarded Shannon and Alina the money they need to cover their care and for the harm they suffered.”

    The jury verdict for damages is here:

  • 15. VIRick  |  October 11, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Panamá: Anti-Gay Political Party, PAIS, in Deep Doo-Doo for Deception and Fraud

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Los magistrados del Tribunal Electoral (TE) decidieron hoy, 11 de octubre 2018, acogerse al plazo de ley para dictar sentencia sobre la denuncia de supuestas irregularidades, en la recolección de firmas para la formación del Partido Alternativo Independiente Social (PAIS). La audiencia de impugnación a los representantes del PAIS se realizó este miércoles, y finalizó a las 3:00 PM, en la sede del Tribunal Electoral (TE).

    El fiscal electoral, Eduardo Peñaloza, agregó que al menos 1,140 personas fueron inscritas en PAIS más de una vez y que detectaron a una persona inscrita hasta 7 veces. Según Peñaloza, parte del engaño para obtener firmas estaba relacionado con el tema del matrimonio igualitario: "Los esperaban afuera de la Iglesia, decían que requerían firmas en contra del matrimonio igualitario y los engañaban," afirmó.

    The judges of the Electoral Tribunal (TE) decided today, 11 October 2018, to take advantage of the terms of law to dictate sentence on the alleged irregularities in the collection of signatures for the formation of the Independent Social Alternative Party (PAIS). The hearing to challenge the representatives of the PAIS was held on Wednesday and ended at 3:00 PM, at the Electoral Tribunal (TE).

    The electoral prosecutor, Eduardo Peñaloza, said that at least 1,140 people were registered in PAIS more than once and that they detected one person registered up to 7 times. According to Peñaloza, part of the deception to obtain signatures was related to the issue of marriage equality: "They waited for them outside the Church, and said they required signatures against egalitarian marriage, and cheated them," he said.

    As a result, it seems fairly likely that PAIS will be disqualified from running candidates in the upcoming national elections. We will see.

  • 16. ianbirmingham  |  October 12, 2018 at 2:39 am

    Scientists create baby mice from same-sex parents

    Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences were able to produce healthy mice with two mothers that went on to have normal offspring of their own. Mice from two dads were also born but only survived for a couple of days. … researchers are planning to improve the process so that the bipaternal mice live to adulthood.

  • 17. scream4ever  |  October 12, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    When this will be done for humans, the Christian right can't use the excuse that our relationships are invalid because they don't/can't produce children.

  • 18. Fortguy  |  October 13, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    You underestimate the depths to which these people will sink to find excuses to treat us with anything approaching human dignity or the slanders they can invent for justification.

  • 19. scream4ever  |  October 13, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Indeed, and it will cause them to look even more depraved and turn more people off of organized religion.

  • 20. allan120102  |  October 12, 2018 at 9:14 am

    The first same sex marriage has occur after the center right parties surrender there opposition.

  • 21. VIRick  |  October 12, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    Austria: First Same-Sex Marriage Has Officially Occurred

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Two women have married in Austria's first same-sex marriage, months after the country's Constitutional Court ruled to legalize it. Vienna's city government said the wedding took place on Friday, 12 October 2018, at a registry office in the capital. Austrian media also reported that the women who married at the private ceremony were one of the five couples whose case prompted the court ruling of 5 December 2017.

    Same-sex couples in Austria, a predominantly Roman Catholic nation of some 8.7 million, have been allowed to enter civil partnerships since 2010. All will be able to marry starting from 1 January 2019, although the five couples involved in the court case were allowed to marry earlier (and this couple did exactly that).

    On Thursday, 11 October 2018, just one day prior, the political parties in Austria's center-right governing coalition announced that they were giving up their resistance to same-sex marriage and were accepting the court ruling.

    Good. This means that the commencement of marriage equality in Austria can be officially dated from 2018, rather than from 2019.

  • 22. allan120102  |  October 12, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Things are heating up in Honduras. The constitutional court is poise to rule in the marriage cases base on the decision of taking the cases. Top members of the evangelical church went yesterday and talk with each member of court and told them they should not for any instance legalize ssm.
    The president today spoke against ssm but he actually did it in a civilize matter I know its an act but at least went better than two years ago. He said that the majority of the country is against and that Honduras is a christian nation etc.

  • 23. VIRick  |  October 12, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    Honduran President Disagrees with Same-Sex Marriage, But …..

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Presidente Hondureño en Desacuerdo con Matrimonio de Personas del Mismo Sexo, Pero …..

    El presidente de Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, expresó hoy, 12 de octubre 2018, su desacuerdo con el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo, pero enfatizó que, al margen de la preferencia sexual de cada quien, "debe tratársele con dignidad."

    Hernández considera que sobre el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo es una determinación en cuyo debate los hondureños deben participar con libertad. La Constitución de Honduras no permite el matrimonio de personas del mismo sexo, ni la adopción de menores por parte de ese tipo de parejas, pero sobre el tema la Corte Suprema de Justicia conoce un recurso orientado a eliminar la definición de que un matrimonio es entre un hombre y una mujer.

    Hernández reiteró que aunque el matrimonio de personas del mismo sexo se está aceptando en varios países, y en Honduras, hay un recurso (pendiente) para que este sea permitido, los hondureños tienen la libertad de participar en el debate, añade la información oficial.

    Today, 12 October 2018, the president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, said he is in disagreement with same-sex marriage, but stressed that, regardless of the sexual preference of each person, "each should be treated with dignity."

    Hernández believes that marriage between people of the same sex is a determination in which Hondurans should participate freely. The Constitution of Honduras does not allow for marriage of people of the same sex, nor for the adoption of minors by the same type of couples, but on this subject, the Supreme Court of Justice holds a case aimed at eliminating the definition that marriage is between a man and a woman.

    Hernández reiterated that although same-sex marriage has been accepted in several countries, and in Honduras, there is a (pending) case seeking for it to be allowed, Hondurans are free to participate in the debate, according to official information.

    Note: This report on Honduras comes from Nicaragua. More on this point immediately below.

  • 24. VIRick  |  October 12, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Nicaragua Slams Guatemala over Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage

    El Presidente de Guatemala Reitera su Oposición al Aborto y al Matrimonio Gay

    "Guatemala y nuestro Gobierno cree en la vida. Nuestro Gobierno y Guatemala cree en la familia basada en el matrimonio de hombre y mujer," proclamó el mandatario ante los medios de comunicación. El presidente de Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, reiteró hoy, el 31 de agosto 2018, su oposición al aborto y al matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo, dos días antes de que se celebre una manifestación a favor de una iniciativa de ley que aumenta las penas para las mujeres que aborten.

    El Congreso ya ha aprobado en segundo debate (de los tres necesarios además de la redacción y aprobación por artículos) la iniciativa 5272, la ley "Para la protección de la vida y la familia." El artículo 2 de la iniciativa define la diversidad sexual como "el conjunto de pensamientos, tendencias, y prácticas por las que determinados grupos de la sociedad adoptan una conducta sexual distinta a la heterosexualidad e incompatible con los aspectos biológicos y genéticos del ser humano." Además, establece que la familia nuclear está constituida por "el padre, la madre, y los hijos que conviven con ellos o que se encuentran bajo su potestad."

    The President of Guatemala Reiterates his Opposition to Abortion and Gay Marriage

    "Guatemala and our Government believe in life, our Government and Guatemala believe in the family based on marriage between men and women," the president proclaimed before the media. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales reiterated today, 31 August 2018, his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, two days before a demonstration is held in favor of a bill that increases penalties for women who abort.

    The Congress has already approved in the second debate (of the three necessary besides the writing and approval by articles) the initiative 5272, the law "For the protection of life and the family." Article 2 of the initiative defines sexual diversity as "the set of thoughts, tendencies, and practices by which certain groups of society adopt a sexual behavior different from heterosexuality and incompatible with the biological and genetic aspects of the human being." In addition, it establishes that the nuclear family is constituted by "the father, the mother, and the children who live with them or who are under their power."

    Note: This report slamming the president of Guatemala for his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage (as well as slamming the reactionary Congress of Guatemala for fomenting this reactionary "family" law) comes from the same news source in Nicaragua as the previous report, immediately above, which offers faint praise for the president of Honduras.

    In the same breath, it is also important to note that neither article from Nicaragua makes any mention whatsoever to the situation in Nicaragua regarding either abortion or marriage equality. It would appear that the press in Nicaragua is perfectly free to critique and criticize its neighboring Central American republics, while remaining perfectly silent about Nicaragua itself.

  • 25. VIRick  |  October 12, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Baja California: Forum on Gender Identity and Marriage Equality Law

    Per Diana Sánchez Barrios, Activista de Derechos Humanos:

    Mañana, el 13 de octubre 2018, participaré en el foro, “Ley de Identidad De Género y Matrimonio Igualitario,” en el Centro Cultural Tijuana en Tijuana, Baja California. ¡Los espero!

    Tomorrow, 13 October 2018, I will participate in the forum, "Gender Identity and Marriage Equality Law," at the Tijuana Cultural Center in Tijuana, Baja California. I expect you!

    Even though, administratively, from November 2017, officials in Baja California (certainly in Tijuana) began allowing same-sex couples there to marry without an amparo, the Baja California state law has yet to be amended. It sounds as if plans are afoot to remedy that.

  • 26. VIRick  |  October 14, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    And now, just one day later, following this massively well-attended LGBT forum in Tijuana, organized by Diana Sánchez Barrios:

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Baja California: Legislator Promises Marriage Equality and Trans Rights Bills to Be Presented in State Congress in 15 Days

    Baja California: Presentarán Legislación para la Identidad de Género y los Matrimonios del Mismo Sexo en BC

    El diputado estatal, Catalino Zavala Márquez, se comprometió a entregar en 15 días un borrador de iniciativa de ley en colaboración con el primer foro del Centro de Estudios y Proyectos de la Frontera Norte, Heberto Castillo, y para presentar en un plazo tentativo de tres meses al Congreso del Estado, una iniciativa de ley que regule la identidad de género y los matrimonios del mismo sexo.

    El legislador presentó su compromiso al arquitecto, Jaime Martínez Veloz, durante el foro, Ley de Identidad de Género y Matrimonio Igualitario, que se llevó a cabo este sábado (ayer) en el Centro Cultural Tijuana (Cecut), con asistencia de cientos de activistas y residentes de todo el estado.

    The state deputy, Catalino Zavala Márquez, promised to deliver a draft law in 15 days in collaboration with the first forum of the Center for Studies and Proposals of the Northern Border, Heberto Castillo, and to present to the State Congress within a tentative period of three months, an initiative of law that regulates gender identity and same-sex marriages.

    The legislator presented his commitment to the architect, Jaime Martínez Veloz, during the forum, Law of Gender Identity and Marriage Equality, which was held this Saturday (yesterday) at the Tijuana Cultural Center (Cecut), with the assistance of hundreds of activists and residents from all over the state.

    Last night, there were tweets in thanks and in support for Diana for having organized this well-attended forum, from among others: Omar Ramírez, Karen Ruiz, María Fernandi, Samantha, Melissa Mott, Johan Liebertt, Deniss Velarde‏, and Carla López

  • 27. VIRick  |  October 12, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Mexico: Catholics for Marriage Equality Have a Message

    Per Católicas México:

    En un estado laico, no se obliga a nadie a casarse con una persona del mismo sexo, pero permite hacerlo a quienes así lo desean.

    In a secular state, no one is forced to marry with a person of the same sex, but permit those who want it to do so.

  • 28. ianbirmingham  |  October 12, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    Internal drama rampant at Lambda Legal

  • 29. VIRick  |  October 13, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    Brasil Elects its First Openly Gay Federal Senator and its First Transgender Woman to the House in its History

    Brasil Elige a un Senador Abiertamente Homosexual y una Mujer Transgénero a la Cámara por la Primera Vez en su Historia

    Fabiano Contarato logró el triunfo con el el 31.15 % del total de los votos, por lo que ocupará la primera plaza para el Senado por el estado de Espíritu Santo. Se trata de un logro que nunca había sido conseguido por una persona abiertamente homosexual en Brasil. Contarato, quien está casado con otro hombre y tiene un hijo adoptivo, obtuvo el escaño en la Cámara Alta y venció a Magno Malta, un pastor evangélico y opositor a los derechos de las personas LGBT, el religioso recogió solo el 17.04 % de los votos.

    Además de Fabiano Contarato, la población LGBT tendrá como representante a Érica Malunguinho, una Afro-Brasileira de São Paulo, inspirada para correr tras el asesinato de la activista, Marielle Franco, y quien se convirtió en la primera mujer transgénero en llegar a la Cámara de Diputados del país.

    Fabiano Contarato triumphed with 31.15% of the total votes, and will occupy first place for the Senate from the state of Espiritu Santo. It is an achievement that had never previously been accomplished by an openly gay person in Brasil. Contarato, who is married to another man and has an adopted son, obtained the seat in the Upper House by beating Magno Malta, an evangelical pastor and an opponent of the rights of LGBT people, who picked up only 17.04% of the votes.

    In addition to Fabiano Contarato, the LGBT population will be represented by Érica Malunguinho, an Afro-Brasileira from São Paulo, inspired to run following the murder of activist, Marielle Franco, and who became the first transgender woman to ever reach the Chamber of Deputies in Brasil.

    Because of the proportional representation factor involved, the results of the recent election in Brasil for the multitude of lower-level offices are only now being released, one week later. Stay tuned. We probably have more.

  • 30. VIRick  |  October 14, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    But not necessarily this delusional and self-deluded nut-job from Bahía:

    Brasil: "Ex-Homosexual" Evangelical Pastor Most-Voted Deputy in the State of Bahía

    Brasil: Pastor Evangélico “Ex-Homosexual,” Diputado Más Votado en el Estado de Bahía

    Uno de los diputados más votados en las elecciones legislativas del pasado domingo en Brasil fue Isidorio Manoel Santana Junior, un pastor evangélico y sargento de la Policía Militarizada, quien se presenta como “ex-homosexual,” y que ya tiene una larga carrera política en el estado de Bahía.

    El candidato, que se identifica en las urnas y en la política como “Pastor Sargento Isidorio,” asumirá en febrero del próximo año un mandato de cuatro años como miembro de la Cámara de Diputados de Brasil tras haber sido el legislador más votado en el estado de Bahía, con 323.241 sufragios. El folclórico político es conocido por cargar una Biblia todo el tiempo y por dedicar a Dios todos sus éxitos, incluso la “cura” que le permitió dejar de ser homosexual, según dice.….

    In Brasil, one of the most-voted deputies in the legislative elections last Sunday was Isidorio Manoel Santana Junior, an evangelical pastor and sargeant of the Military Police, who presents himself as "ex-homosexual," and who already has a long political career in the State of Bahia.

    The candidate, who identifies himself at the polls and in politics as "Pastor Sargento Isidorio," will assume a four-year term as a member of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies in February 2019 after being the most-voted legislator in the state of Bahía, with 323,241 votes. The political clown is known for carrying a Bible all the time and for dedicating to God all of his successes, including the "cure" that allowed him to stop being homosexual, or so he claims.

    Note: The "snark" in this report is built into the original Spanish text. I merely translated it.

  • 31. VIRick  |  October 13, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    Florida: Gay Latino State Legislator Just Got Engaged

    Florida's first and only LGBTQ Latinx legislator, Carlos Guillermo Smith, representing the 49th District of the Florida House of Representatives, just got engaged to his long-term same-sex partner, Jerick, tonight, 13 October 2018, on stage at Orlando Pride.

    Note: The 49th District occupies an area on the east side of Orlando around University Park and E. Colonial Drive (FL 50) where the East-West Expressway (FL 408) and the Eastern Beltway (FL 417) intersect. It is 50% Anglo white, 10% Anglo black, 33% Hispanic, and 7% other (primarily Asian).

  • 32. VIRick  |  October 14, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Perú: Manuel Siccha, the First (Lima) Metropolitan Council Memberr Belonging to the LGTBI Community

    Perú: Manuel Siccha, el Primer Regidor Metropolitano (de Lima) que Pertenece a la Comunidad LGTBI

    Elecciones 2018:

    El joven de 28 años llega a la Municipalidad de Lima junto a Acción Popular. Está comprometido con el activismo desde muy joven y hoy, 10 octubre 2018, llega a la Municipalidad de Lima con el compromiso de trabajar por los derechos para todos y para todas. Carlos Manuel Siccha Chipana se ha convertido en el primer regidor metropolitano abiertamente homosexual y marca un hito en cuanto a la representación que tiene la comunidad LGTBIQ en la política peruana.

    "Somos un partido (Acción Popular) progresista que abraza la diversidad en todos sus sentidos y no sólo lo sexual," manifestó el regidor en entrevista con el portal, Conexión Vida, donde aseguró que también se enfocará en la erradicación del racismo y en reforzar la importancia del feminismo.

    2018 Elections:

    The 28-year-old arrives at the Municipality of Lima with Acción Popular. He has been committed to activism from a young age and today, 10 October 2018, he comes to the Municipality of Lima with the commitment to work for the rights of all. Carlos Manuel Siccha Chipana has become the first openly gay metropolitan council member, marking a milestone in terms of the representation that the LGTBIQ community has in Peruvian politics.

    "We are a progressive party (Acción Popular) that embraces diversity in all its senses and not just the sexual," the council member said in an interview with the portal, Conexión Vida, where he assured that it will also focus on the eradication of racism and on strengthening the importance of feminism.

    Note: Peruvian regional and municipal elections were held on 7 October 2018, the same date as the first round of elections in Brasil.

  • 33. arturo547  |  October 14, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    Let me add some info:

    On the last regional election in Peru, Jorge Muñoz from the "Popular Action" party was chosen as the mayor of Lima. He has been the major of the famous Lima district of Miraflores and has passed a district-level norm protecting LGBT people from discrimination. As a mayor of Lima he is expected to pass a similar law for Lima and conservatives are already talking about "gay dictatorship coming to Lima". It's a shame that Lima city doesn't have a regional law against discrimination.

    Up to 2018, the Peruvian regions with such laws are 14 (out of 24) and are the following:

    Anti-discrimination norms including both gender identity and sexual orientation: Ayacucho, Loreto, San Martìn, Ucayali, Tacna, Moquegua, La Libertad.

    Anti-discrimination norms including sexual orientation: Amazonas, Apurímac, Huancavelica, Huánuco, Ica, Junín, Madre de Dios and Piura.

    There are some province and district level norms too. For example, in Lima city a lot of districts have passed resolutions against discrimination including LGBT people.

    At state level an anti-discrimination and hate crimes law was approved as a decree by former president PPK. However, the homophobic fujimorista party voted to eliminate the decree because they "hadn't given permission to the president to include LGBT people in the law". Then, the president vetoed the scrapping of the law and in May a Comission asked the president of the Congress to add in the agenda the final vote to scrap the law and consequently override the president's veto. As of October no final vote has been arranged, so the decree is still in effect. I hope the president dissolves this congress very soon.

  • 34. VIRick  |  October 14, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Appeal from Czech-Equality for More International Support for Marriage Equality

    The Czech Republic is moving closer towards marriage equality. But we'll need strong allies by our side to help us win this fight. Ask these companies to join the growing list of supporters and help love and equality win: Tesco, Ikea, Skanska, Škoda Auto, and Zara.

    British grocery retailer Tesco has shops everywhere in the Czech Republic. Swedish furniture company IKEA says "inclusion is everyone's responsibility". Ask them to live up to their standards and support marriage equality in the Czech Republic. Construction company Skanska builds highways and buildings all across the country. Czech car company Škoda Auto is the country's biggest company. Spanish apparel retailer Zara supplies Czech shoppers with the latest fashion trends.

  • 35. Mechatron12  |  October 15, 2018 at 1:02 am

    I really want to know what is happening in the CR. I had heard that their parliament was supposed to have voted by now. I'm glad that there is at least some optimism. With Bolsonaro now looking certain to win in Brazil, and the Taiwan vote coming next month, I really want some more good news to balance that out.

  • 36. VIRick  |  October 15, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    In Costa Rica, we are waiting:

    Per Pablo Escobar:

    En Costa Rica, estamos esperando la publicación de la resolución judicial (positiva) sobre matrimonio igualitario.

    In Costa Rica, we are awaiting the publication of the (positive) judicial ruling on marriage equality.

    Once published, we will then begin the 18-month count-down to the commencement of marriage equality.

    Also, as a very generic statement, the long-term optimism within the Spanish-speaking nations of Latin America has not diminished or dissipated because of outside events. However, it just feels as if it is taking forever (because it is, as too many judicial cases in a multitude of countries continue to remain pending). At the moment, the largest dose of optimism appears to be in Mexico where, with MORENA majorities in almost all of the remaining states, there is an over-all perception that most of these heretofore recalcitrant states will finally actually pass their marriage equality legislation within the coming months.

  • 37. VIRick  |  October 14, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Poland: Court of Appeal Overturns Ban on Gay Pride March

    The Polish city of Lublin held its first-ever Pride parade on 13 October 2018, despite counter-protestors’ best efforts to halt the proceedings. According to "Gay Star News" (via local police), it is estimated that around 1500 people marched for equality on Saturday. In comparison, it has been reported that about 200 individuals showed up to disrupt the celebration by throwing bottles, bricks, and stones at attendees.

    Earlier in the week, Mayor Krzysztof Żuk announced that the parade had been banned due to security concerns. It is believed that the homophobic regional governor Przemysław Czarnek, who is a member of the anti-LGBTI Law & Justice Party, heavily influenced the decision. Around the same time, he claimed that the march would promote “pedophilia” and “sexual behavior [that is] incompatible with nature.”

    Addressing the ban, the President of the European Pride Organisers Association, Kristine Garina, said: “It is deeply depressing that we keep having to have the same conversations about Poland. Opposition to equality marches in Poland has found its way into European case law as to the freedom of assembly, and you would think that eight years after Warsaw hosted EuroPride, attitudes would be changing."

    Poland’s Court of Appeal overruled the ban on Friday, 12 October 2018, due to said freedom of assembly laws, and the event went ahead as planned the following day.

    Lublin is south-east of Warsaw, toward the border with Ukraine.

  • 38. VIRick  |  October 15, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    Taiwan Marriage Equality Referendum Now Contains Five Separate Questions

    No menos de cinco preguntas relativas a derechos LGBT deberán responder los y las votantes en Taiwan el próximo noviembre. La primera agrupación será sobre si se debe prohibir, y la segunda sobre si se debe aprobar, el matrimonio igualitario.

    La primera de las cinco preguntas interrogará a los votantes si desean reservar el matrimonio para las parejas heterosexuales; la segunda pregunta, si se debe crear un tipo de unión específica para las parejas del mismo sexo; y la tercera les cuestionará sobre si se debe proceder a la prohibición de mencionar la igualdad de género y la homosexualidad en las escuelas. Estas tres preguntas están debido a las firmas reunidas por organizaciones religiosas anti-LGBT.

    Pero, ya que las organizaciones LGBT reunieron también el suficiente número de firmas, en el referéndum del 24 de noviembre se hará además otras dos preguntas: una sobre si se aprueba la apertura del matrimonio a las parejas del mismo sexo, y la última sobre la introducción de lecciones escolares sobre educación sexual y minorías sexuales.

    No less than five questions regarding LGBT rights will now be answered by voters in Taiwan this November. The first grouping will be on whether to prohibit, and the second on whether to approve, marriage equality.

    The first of the five questions will ask voters if they wish to reserve marriage for heterosexual couples; the second question, if a specific type of union should be created for same-sex couples; and the third will question them on whether to proceed with the prohibition of mentioning gender equality and homosexuality in schools. These three questions are due to the signatures gathered by anti-LGBT religious organizations.

    But, now that LGBT organizations have also gathered a sufficient number of signatures, an additional two questions will be asked in the referendum of 24 November: one on whether to approve marriage for same-sex couples, and the last about the introduction of school lessons concerning sexual education and sexual minorities.

    Note: The Spanish text (from Perú) appears to be a translation, most likely from Chinese. I have done some editing to it, most notably, to add some much-needed punctuation in order to separate and clarify the five questions from each other. I then edited the English translation of it further.

  • 39. VIRick  |  October 15, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    CDMX: Self-Declaration Procedure for Correcting Birth Certificates for Transgender Individuals

    La Consejería Jurídica y de Servicios Legales reportó que desde 2015, año en el que entró en vigor la reforma al Código Civil de la Ciudad de México, el Registro Civil Local ha realizado 3,481 rectificaciones de actas de nacimiento que reconocen la identidad de género de las personas trans. De acuerdo con esta Consejería, 2,388 del total de las actas rectificadas reconocen la identidad de género de mujeres trans, mientras que 1,093 reconocen la identidad de género de hombres trans.

    Con esta nueva modificación, las personas transgénero solo deben recurrir a un procedimiento administrativo, sin la necesidad de que su identidad de género sea acreditada por una tercera persona, sin que tengan que someterse a intervenciones quirúrgicas, y sin someterse a ningún tipo de terapias hormonales, o dar cuenta de su identidad ante las autoridades. Las y los interesados en realizar este trámite deben ser mayores de 18 años y acudir al Registro Civil, presentando su acta de nacimiento primigenia, identificación oficial, comprobante de domicilio, y llenar una solicitud.

    The Ministry of Judicial and Legal Services reported that since 2015, the year in which the reform to the Civil Code of Mexico City came into effect, the Local Civil Registry has made 3,481 rectifications to birth certificates to recognize the gender identity of trans individuals. According to this Ministry, 2,388 of the total corrected certificates recognize the gender identity of trans women, while 1,093 recognize the gender identity of trans men.

    With this new modification, transgender people only need to resort to an administrative procedure, without the need for their gender identity to be accredited by a third person, without having to undergo surgical interventions, and without undergoing any type of hormonal therapies, nor give an account of their identity to the authorities. Those interested in completing this process must be over 18 years of age and go to the Civil Registry (in person), presenting their original birth certificate, official identification, proof of address. and then fill out an application.

    Note: The jurisdictions of CDMX, Michoacán, and Nayarit are all able to make said correction for anyone from anywhere in Mexico upon presentation of a Mexican birth certificate issued in any jurisdiction in Mexico.

  • 40. VIRick  |  October 16, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Thailand Set to Legalize Same-Sex Civil Unions

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    As of 15 October 2018, the bill that the Thai government is expected to pass will lead to a civil partnership act that recognizes same-sex unions. The inclusive bill is welcomed by many, but falls short of providing for full rights for LGBT couples. Existing law only recognizes heterosexual marriage and does not allow an individual in a same-sex relationship to receive the body of a dead partner, nor does it provide the same rights in regards to inheriting the partner's assets. The military government aims to pass the bill before the next general election, slated for as early as February 2019.

    Thailand's move follows Taiwan's 2017 constitutional court ruling in favor of allowing same-sex couples to marry — a first for Asia. The court called for legislative measures to resolve the situation within two years.

    Still, it is not a complete win for the Thai LGBT community. The new law, dubbed the Civil Partnership Act, would still restrict some rights to heterosexual couples. For example, same-sex couples would not be allowed to adopt children. But if the bill becomes law before Taiwan revises its law, Thailand would become the first Asian country to legally recognize same-sex partnerships.

  • 41. VIRick  |  October 16, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Openly Gay Federal Prosecutor Nominated to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

    The White House announced the nomination of Patrick Bumatay to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last week as part of a group of 18 nominees for judgeships, as well as for appointments as US attorneys and US marshals. Log Cabin Republicans confirmed to the "Washington Blade" on Monday that Bumatay is openly gay.

    Bumatay is an assistant US attorney in the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California and works for the Organized Crime & Drug Enforcement Task Forces Section. Bumatay is detailed to the Office of the Attorney-General, where he serves as counselor to US Attorney-General Sessions on criminal issues, such as the national opioid strategy and transnational organized crime.

    Among the groups in which Bumatay has membership, according to his bio, is the San Diego-based Tom Homann LGBT Law Association, which seeks to advance LGBT issues in California. Bumatay is also a member of the National Filipino-American Lawyers Association, the National Asian-Pacific American Bar Association, and the Federal Bar Association.

    For the current administration, this is the second nomination of an openly gay person to the federal bench. The first was Mary Rowland, who was nominated for a seat on the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Rowland’s nomination remains pending before the US Senate.

    Obama nominated a total of 11 openly gay judicial nominees. The very first sitting openly gay federal judge, nominated by Clinton in 1994, was District Judge Deborah Batts, who currently still serves with senior status on the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

  • 42. guitaristbl  |  October 16, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    I dont know what to think here. On one hand its good to have openly LGBT people on bench on the other hand given this is a trump nominee and in the 9th circuit which is a primary target for the GOP to reshape I am worries about how much of an uncle tom we have here. On the other hand they may just not care that much anymore because they control SCOTUS.

  • 43. allan120102  |  October 16, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Still 8 counties in Alabama are not issuing ssm licenses.

  • 44. FredDorner  |  October 19, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Just to be clear, those bigoted county clerks aren't issuing marriage licenses to anyone. That's the only way they can do that, but the hate is so strong that they prefer to harm all their residents than to do the job they were elected to do.

  • 45. allan120102  |  October 16, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Breaking Chihuahua. For the first time on record. I am not sure if its a court of appeal or a federal judge will force the state congress to legalize ssm if not they will be in contempt. The legislators say this is intromission of the judicial power if they rule in favor of lgbt groups. While lgbt groups said that Chihuahua already use everything they could for not legislating and that ssm is already occuring but from what I read not in all counties.

Having technical problems? Visit our support page to report an issue!