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Open thread 11/14


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


  • 1. VIRick  |  November 14, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    The First LGBT Central Americans Arrive in Tijuana

    Per El Duque:

    On 11 November 2018, an advance group of about 80 LGBTQ Central American caravan members have reached Tijuana in hopes of being granted protection in the United States.

    While much of the caravan remained more than 1,500 miles from Tijuana in the western city of Guadalajara, about nine buses carrying some 300 caravan members, a second portion, were reported on Monday evening, 12 November, to be passing with police escort through Hermosillo, capital of the northern state of Sonora, fewer than 200 miles from the border city of Nogales and 540 miles from Tijuana. A video posted on a local news website showed a Honduran flag flapping from the window of one bus.

    In the meantime, in Tijuana, the first contingent of about 80 caravan participants, members of the LGBT community from Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, settled in for their second day in Tijuana at a house rented out for them by supporters in a well-to-do neighborhood near the US border. They had peeled off from the main caravan after being offered bus transportation and accommodations.….

    Meanwhile, Trompa has been strangely silent on this entire matter, now that the US mid-term elections have passed. (In Central American slang, "trompa" refers to someone who, like a horn, is excessively noisy/mouthy and full of hot air.)

  • 2. allan120102  |  November 14, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Costa rica supreme court has issue its ruling on ssm is more than 500 pages. Anyhow they say they will issue it soon on the judicial boletin and then its when the time start ticking in costa rica

  • 3. VIRick  |  November 14, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    Costa Rica: The Complete 550-Page Ruling on Marriage Equality

    Per Daniel Valverde-Cano and Diego González Fernández:

    Acá está la sentencia completa sobre el matrimonio igualitario en Costa Rica, emitida el 14 de noviembre 2018:

    Here is the complete ruling on marriage equality in Costa Rica, issued on 14 November 2018:

  • 4. VIRick  |  November 15, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Costa Rica: Lawmakers Ordered to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

    On Wednesday, 14 November 2018, the Costa Rica Supreme Court formally released its written ruling that says lawmakers have 18 months to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. “Acts of open discrimination, whether they are expressed or implied, cannot be justified in any way in a democratic society that respects fundamental rights,” reads the ruling.

    The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH), which is based in the Costa Rican capital of San José, in January 2018 issued a landmark ruling that recognized same-sex marriage and transgender rights.

    Then-Costa Rican Vice-President Ana Helena Chacón announced her government was going to comply with the ruling. Carlos Alvarado, who was elected President of Costa Rica in April, publicly supports marriage rights for same-sex couples.

    In August 2018, the Supreme Court, issued its oral decision, ruling that a law that prohibits same-sex marriage in the country is unconstitutional. The deadline for lawmakers to act on the issue had not been precisely established because the ruling has yet to be published in the Judicial Bulletin, but once it has been, lawmakers will then have 18 months to act. If they do not, then the ruling takes automatic effect at the end of that interval, which should occur in May 2020.

  • 5. VIRick  |  November 14, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    US Congressional Up-Date, 14 November 2018

    As of the close of counting for Wednesday, 14 November, NJ-3 has finally been called for the Democrat, Andy Kim, confirming that the Democrats gained 4 seats in New Jersey. Overall, this gives the Democrats 229 seats, a gain of 34, to the Republicans 198, with 8 still undecided. Of those, the Democrats currently lead in 3, while a fourth has become a dead-heat, and the Republicans lead in the remaining 4:

    CA-45, D by 1.6%
    NY-22, D by 0.6%
    UT-4, D by 0.4%
    CA-39, dead-heat
    GA-7, R by 0.4%
    TX-23, R by 0.5%
    ME-2, R by 0.7%
    NY-27, R by 1.1%

    At the final tally, it is increasingly likely that the Democrats will have a total of 234-235 seats, and the Republicans 200-201.

  • 6. scream4ever  |  November 14, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    New Jersey went from 5 to just 1 Republican in their Congressional delegation. A true testiment to how Republicans got killed in the suburbs.

  • 7. guitaristbl  |  November 15, 2018 at 5:08 am

    I would love it for republicans to fall below the 200 representatives milestone but it seems unlikely now as they will win almost certainly NY-27 and TX-23, maybe GA-7 as well. The rest will be Ds.

  • 8. scream4ever  |  November 15, 2018 at 8:34 am

    NY-27 (and quite possibly CA-50) may have special elections soon as the re-elected Republican reps may be facing imminent jail time. Give how close both were, I expect both Democratic candidates to run again.

  • 9. VIRick  |  November 14, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    The Tight Race in Utah-4

    Ben McAdams, D, 115,549 votes, 50.27%
    Mia Love, R, 114,320 votes, 49.72%

    As of 14 November, McAdams continues to lead by 1,229 votes. The next results will be released on Friday, 16 November. McAdams is the mayor of Salt Lake County, while Love is the incumbent congresswoman. She is also an extremely odd bird, being the only black Republican in Congress. As Ludmya Bourdeau, she was born in Brooklyn to Haitian parents, and converted to Mormonism after being transferred to Salt Lake City by Continental Airlines.

    In Utah, a losing candidate can only request a re-count if they are within 0.25% of the winner. The latest spread, above, indicates that she is down by 0.55%.

  • 10. VIRick  |  November 15, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Florida: Hand Re-Count in US Senate Race Begins

    On Thursday, 15 November 2018, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner ordered election workers to recount all ballots by hand in the state’s tight race for US Senate, a move that Democrats hope will uncover thousands of votes in urban areas that tabulating machines may have missed. That scenario could be a windfall for incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who trails his Republican challenger, Republican Gov. Rick Scott, by12,603 votes, or 0.15%. That puts their race within the 0.25% margin that automatically triggers such a manual recount.

    About 25,000 ballots in Broward County showed votes for the governor’s race but not the Senate race, according to preliminary returns last week. Typically, Senate races, which are at the top of the ticket, receive more votes than other contests in midterm elections. Democrats hope these “undervotes” — in which no candidate is selected on a ballot in a given race — are the result of machines simply failing to register votes, while a human inspector could see the voter’s intent.

    On the Senate ballots that had been counted in Broward County as of last week, voters broke for Nelson by a margin of more than two-to-one, suggesting that any votes uncovered by hand could also tilt heavily in Nelson’s favor. One analysis found 38,593 undervotes statewide in the Senate race.

    Two deadlines are approaching in the coming week. Sunday at noon, 18 November, marks a deadline under state law for county election boards to submit the results of the hand recount to state officials — a deadline many worry cannot be achieved in major counties, where hundreds of thousands of votes must be visually inspected. And the state’s elections canvassing board is required to certify the election by 9 AM on Tuesday, 20 November.

  • 11. Fortguy  |  November 15, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Everything I've read about Broward County seems to indicate that a manual recount is not going to move the needle enough. The problem is not that the machines didn't record votes, but rather very stupid ballot design is going to cheat Nelson.

    In Broward County, the ballots have a three-column layout per page. The instruction for marking the ballot, including its repetition in other languages commonly spoken within the county, take up most of the first, left-hand column with just enough room below the instructions to place the Nelson/Scott senate contest. All other offices and their candidates are continued on the second and third columns and additional pages. As a result, most people don't need to read the long instructions or skip them and jump to the second column to begin voting not realizing the senate race is at the bottom of the page underneath instructions in languages they can't read.

    If the same stupid ballot design were uniform throughout the state, then it would hurt both candidates equally. However, since only heavily Democratic Broward County was dumb enough to think such a design was a good idea, Nelson was screwed. That's why Gillum got such a higher vote total than Nelson in the county.

  • 12. VIRick  |  November 15, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    US Congressional Up-Date: Another Seat Gained for the Democrats

    As of 15 November 2018, now that the ranked-choice voting has been determined, ME-2 has been decided in favor of the Democrat, Jared Golden, over the incumbent Republican, Bruce Poliquin. To date, this gives the Democrats 230 seats, a gain of 35, to the Republicans' 198, with 7 seats still undecided. Of those, 3 lean D, one is still a dead-heat, and 3 lean R.

    With the loss of ME-2, there will not be a single Republican representative remaining in all of New England in the new congress.

  • 13. VIRick  |  November 15, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    US Congressional Up-Date: Yet Another Seat for the Democrats

    As of late on 15 November 2018, with west coast vote-counting finished for the day, CA-45 has now been declared for the Democrat, Katie Porter, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, over the vociferously anti-LGBT Republican incumbent, Mimi Walters, the fifth seat to be gained by the Democrats in California, and the second one in Orange County. Overall, this presently gives the Democrats 231 seats, a gain of 36, to the Republicans 198, with 6 seats still undecided. The Ds now lead in 3 of those (as CA-39 is no longer a dead-heat), while the Rs still lead in the same 3, as follows:

    CA-39, D by 0.4%
    UT-4, D by 0.4%
    NY-22, D by 0.6%
    GA-7, R by 0.4%
    TX-23, R by 0.5%
    NY-27, R by 1.1%

    Up to this point, nationwide, in congressional races, there have been 54,577,333 votes cast for the Democratic candidates (51.8%) and 48,995,037 votes for Republicans (46.5%). The remaining 1.7% of votes went to third-party candidates.

  • 14. VIRick  |  November 15, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Cuba: New Constitution Up-Date

    Per Rex Wockner:

    As of today, 15 November 2018, the three months of public input on the first draft of Cuba's new constitution, which includes marriage equality and which passed the National Assembly unanimously, has come to a conclusion. A second, final draft will now be produced which will go to a voter referendum on 24 February 2019. President Díaz-Canel supports marriage equality.

  • 15. VIRick  |  November 15, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    Czech Republic: Marriage Equality Bill Debated in Parliament

    Per LGBT Marriage News and Lucas Němec:

    Yesterday, 14 November 2018, the Czech MPs in the House debated bills for and against equal marriage. Further debate, and a potential vote on the issue, is expected in early December, and will need a 60% majority of the 200 members (120 in favor) in order to pass.

    Two separate proposals were put forth by Czech members of parliament. A proposal from 46 Czech MPs, including members from ANO, STAN, ČSSD, and the Czech Pirate Party, would grant total equality to all marriages.

    Opposing them, a separate measure spearheaded by the Christian Democrats and 37 signatories would keep the separation between marriage and registered partnerships that currently exists in the Czech Republic.

  • 16. Fortguy  |  November 16, 2018 at 12:08 am

    Matt McCoy, Politico: I Was the Subject of a Political 'Witch Hunt.' Matt Whitaker Directed It.

    This is a fascinating first-hand account from an Iowa state senator about how Trump's acting AG nearly destroyed this openly gay state official personally, professionally, and financially for nakedly partisan purposes while Whitaker was a U.S. attorney in Iowa.

  • 17. arturo547  |  November 16, 2018 at 8:03 am


    San Marino legalises same-sex civil unions. This includes step parent adoption.


  • 18. VIRick  |  November 16, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    San Marino Legalizes Same-Sex Civil Unions

    The Republic of San Marino, a tiny microstate on the Italian peninsula, has legalized civil unions, with the status being available to both straight and gay couples. The Grand and General Council voted 40 to 4 to pass the Regulation of Civil Unions law, with 4 representatives abstaining.

    The Grand and General Council governs the people of San Marino and yesterday, 15 November, it began to discuss the proposed Regulation of Civil Unions. This was the second reading, after the Commission for Constitutional and Institutional Affairs approved the draft on 27 September.

    There are 14 articles in the law, but most notably one that states: "A civil union is a contract stipulated by two legal adults of the same-sex or of opposite sex in order to organize their life together as a couple." The law was passed today, 16 November 2018.

  • 19. VIRick  |  November 16, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Kentucky: Some Close State House Races

    Mary Beverly Goetz is 76, uses a walker and recently had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. Worried her health issues would prevent her from voting for Democrat Jim Glenn in her western Kentucky state House district, she requested an absentee ballot by mail and sent it in weeks ahead of the election to make sure her vote was counted.

    Glenn won by one vote.

    Glenn's victory in Owensboro, Kentucky, was one of six state House races decided by a handful of votes. In District 27, Democrat Jeff Greer lost to Republican Nancy Tate by six votes. In District 96, Republican Jill York lost to Democrat Kathy Hinkle by five votes. In District 91, Republican Toby Herald lost to Democrat Cluster Howard by seven votes.

    The GOP would have a 61-seat super majority if the results stand. Democrats would have 39 seats. Republicans won a super majority in 2016 for the first time in nearly 100 years, making the Kentucky House the last legislative chamber in the south to flip to GOP control.

  • 20. VIRick  |  November 16, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Guerrero: Same-Sex Marriage Bill Introduced

    Per Morena Diversex Guerrero:

    En estos momentos, el 16 de noviembre 2018, el Diputado Moisés Reyes Sandoval de Morena en el Congreso de Guerrero está presentando una iniciativa para reformar el código civil, para que las personas del mismo sexo puedan contraer matrimonio en Guerrero.

    Right now, on 16 November 2018, Deputy Moisés Reyes Sandoval of Morena is presenting an initiative in the Guerrero Congress to reform the civil code, so that people of the same sex can contract marriage in Guerrero.

  • 21. Fortguy  |  November 16, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    In Georgia, Stacey Abrams has ended her campaign and recount efforts assuring that there will be no runoff. She refused to concede to Brian Kemp, however, and promises to file a federal lawsuit against Georgia challenging how the state conducts its elections.

    Bill Barrow and Kate Brumback, Associated Press: Abrams ends Georgia governor bid, says she’ll file lawsuit

  • 22. VIRick  |  November 16, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    Coahuila: State Congress Passes Gender Identity Law

    Translated summary from previous thread, per copy assistance courtesy of Fortguy:

    On 13 November 2018, Coahuila became the fifth state in the country to have a Gender Identity Law, so transgender people will be able to change their gender and name on their birth certificates by administrative means. and not through the courts. It is expected that more than 2,500 people residing in the state will benefit from the measure.

    Deputy Claudia Ramírez Pineda, of the PRD, author of the initiative, with the support of sexual diversity organizations in Coahuila, said that with the approved measure, transgender people will be able to change gender and name on their birth certificates and from this, on other official documents such as voter's credentials and Social Security, among others.

    With this modification, transgender people who come to do the process of changing gender identity must present an application that shows the free and informed consent of the recognition of their gender identity, a certified copy of their original birth certificate, as well as the original and photostatic copy of official identification.

    Article 128 of the Civil Registry Act of Coahuila now states that "the administrative authority may not oppose or refuse to carry out the administrative procedure of gender change, except for defects in the free and informed consent of the applicant and in violation of the law."

    Coahuila joins the states of Colima, Michoacán, Querétaro, and Mexico City in having a Gender Identity Law. The PRD legislator said that people from nearby states such as Nuevo León, Chihuahua, and Tamaulipas will also be able to do their paperwork in any municipality within Coahuila.

    Noé Ruiz Malacara, leader of the San Aelredo association, applauded the measure approved by the State Congress and called on the 2,500 trans people living in Coahuila to accept the new provisions that will allow them to change gender on their birth certificates, and therefore, on their other official documents.

    He added that transgender women and men from other states will be able to process the change of their gender identity in Coahuila and that the state in which they reside will be obliged to recognize the modification and their associated rights.….

    Note: Previously, from other sources, I had understood that 3 jurisdictions in Mexico allowed gender change on birth certificates, namely CDMX, Michoacán, and Nayarit. This article states that before Coahuila, there were 4: CDMX, Michoacán, Colima, and Querétaro.

    Coahuila prides itself on its progressive stance. It was one of the very first Mexican jurisdictions with marriage equality, the very first state to allow same-sex couples to adopt, and now, one of the first with a Gender Identity Law.

  • 23. VIRick  |  November 16, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    US Congressional Up-Date, 16 November 2018

    As of the close of counting on Friday, 16 November, there are still 6 House races yet to be determined, with the Democrat leading in 2 and the Republican now narrowly leading in 4, as follows:

    CA-39, D by 1.4%
    NY-22, D by 0.8%
    UT-4, R by 0.16%
    GA-7, R by 0.4%
    TX-23, R by 0.5%
    NY-27, R by 0.9%

    NY-22 is the congressional district around Syracuse where the challenger, Anthony Brindisi, has a widening lead over the vociferously anti-LGBT Republican incumbent, Claudia Tenney. Brindisi currently leads by 3,178 votes with 5 of the 8 counties in the district having finished counting absentee and affidavit votes. When finalized, this will be the third seat gained by the Democrats in New York State.

    NY-27 is the congressional district around Buffalo where the incumbent Republican, Chris Collins, a major Trump supporter, has been indicted for insider trading. The latest figures there show that his lead has narrowed. The Democratic challenger is Nate McMurray.

    If Collins were to win re-election, and then be found guilty of the pending charges against him, there will likely have to be a special election to fill the vacated seat. The same point holds true for CA-50 in the San Diego area where the indicted Duncan Hunter narrowly won re-election over his Democratic challenger, Ammar Campa-Najjar of Palestinian-Mexican heritage.

    Without question, the tightest race has become that in UT-4. As of Friday evening, the incumbent, Love, R, was leading the Democratic challenger, McAdams, by 419 votes, or 0.16%. The latest results mark a departure from where the race stood on 8 November, when McAdams was ahead by 6,700 votes. Utah law allows candidates to request a recount when the margin of victory is 0.25% or less.

  • 24. scream4ever  |  November 17, 2018 at 5:48 am

    UT-04 is likely to swing back to the Democrats as the only remaining votes left are from Salt Lake City.

  • 25. VIRick  |  November 17, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    The Demise of the "Soft" Republican Latinos

    California Republicans mourned another low point this week: the defeat of Southern California state Assemblyman Dante Acosta, marking the demise of the last GOP Latino legislator in a state where Latinos comprise the fastest-growing electorate.

    Brian Sandoval, R, is no longer Governor of Nevada, Susana Martinez, R, is no longer Governor of New Mexico, and in Florida, the Latino Republican contingent in the US House has been reduced down to a single member, Mario Diaz-Balart, R, FL-25.

    Of course, Republicans can still count on several non-Latino Latinos like Marco Rubio and "Ted" Cruz. But even here, Marco Rubio was not up for re-election this cycle and "Ted" Cruz has been disowned.

  • 26. Fortguy  |  November 17, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    Your post struck my curiosity of where GOP Hispanics stand in Texas. The answer? They are in serious retreat here, too.

    Hispanic GOP Congresscritters:

    Carnival Cruz may self-identify as Hispanic, but most people would identify him as a complete douchebag. He does not speak Spanish well at all, and his Canadian-born, Cuban-American heritage appeals to no significant demographic group within the state. He does, however, hold strong appeal to other far-right douchebags that are legion here.

    Rep. Bill Flores (R-Bryan) has represented CD-17 since 2010 when he beat Democratic incumbent Chet Edwards. His district includes Waco and Bryan-College Station as well as a sliver of Austin.

    Hispanic GOP state legislators:

    Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) was elected the first-ever Hispanic Republican state senator in a low-turnout special election runoff for SD-19 earlier this year defeating former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego. Flores is in serious danger of losing his seat in 2020. He won election in a border district that hasn't chosen a Republican in 139 years after the incumbent, Carlos Uresti, resigned following conviction on 11 federal charges. The Dems will benefit from having Uresti's stink far behind them with a much more favorable presidential year turnout next time.

    Rep. J. M. Lozano (R-Kingsville) is the last Hispanic GOP holdout in the House which held six before the 2016 election. That year, three Hispanic GOP House members lost reelection bids as did a fourth in this year's primary. A fifth member chose not to seek reelection this year. Lozano was first elected to the Lege in 2010 as a Democrat, but he switched parties after redistricting made his HD-43 redder.

    Statewide GOP executive officeholders:

    The only Hispanic Republican holding any statewide executive office, from governor all the way down to the Railroad Commission, is George P. Bush, the Commissioner of the General Land Office. He is the son of Jeb! and Columba Garnica Gallo, a Mexican immigrant who was naturalized in 1979.

    There are also no Hispanic Republicans on the State Board of Education, a 15-member board representing districts that are the only districts in state government outside of the U.S. House and the Legislature subject to decennial redistricting.

    High court seats:

    Texas has two courts of final appeal. Civil cases are ultimately heard in the Texas Supreme Court while criminal cases go to the Court of Criminal Appeals. There are no Democrats on either nine-member court, and only one court will have a Hispanic Republican after the new year. Justice Eva Guzman holds Place 9 on the Supreme Court while Judge Elsa Alcala, who sits at Place 8 on the CCA, did not seek reelection. Guzman's term expires in 2022.

    Jurists on the intermediate appeals courts are too numerous to break down individually. However, as a result of the phenomenal 2018 Blue Wave in Texas, half of the state's 14 Courts of Appeals districts now have a majority of Democratic judges.

    The chief problem Republicans have in recruiting and retaining Hispanic candidates is the far-right bent of GOP primary voters. When governors have appointed a well-qualified Hispanic Republican to fill the remainder of the term of a retiring officeholder, the appointee, more often than not, is defeated in the primary by some unqualified challenger who doesn't even bother fundraising or campaigning but merely has a non-Hispanic surname because MAGA. George P. benefits from having the Bush name that is still respected among GOP voters, plus many of them probably don't realize his mother is an immigrant.

  • 27. VIRick  |  November 17, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    The CIDH Agenda for December 2018, Including Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    La Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) realizará el próximo seis de diciembre una nueva audiencia sobre la crisis en Nicaragua. Durante su 170 periodo de sesiones, que se desarrollará en la semana del 3 al 7 de diciembre, la Comisión abordará “la represión y violaciones a los derechos humanos en Nicaragua.”

    Durante el 170 periodo de sesiones de la CIDH también se abordará la detención arbitraria y situación de los derechos políticos en Venezuela, el matrimonio igualitario en la región, femicidios en el Ecuador, la situación de los defensores y las defensoras de derechos humanos de las personas migrantes en EEUU, y la crisis migratoria de Centroamérica.

    The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) will hold a new hearing on the crisis in Nicaragua on 6 December. During its 170th session, which will take place during the week of 3-7 December, the Commission will address "the repression and violations of human rights in Nicaragua."

    The 170th session of the CIDH will also address the arbitrary detention and the situation with political rights in Venezuela, marriage equality in the region, femicide in Ecuador, the situation of human rights defenders of migrants in the US, and the migration crisis in Central America.

    Note: The CIDH has never acknowledged the unilateral withdrawal of Venezuela from its authority.

  • 28. VIRick  |  November 17, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Successful LGBT Candidates in Recent Election

    Per Hillary Clinton:

    A wonderful development of this election: Americans elected more than 600 LGBTQ candidates across the country. The Victory Institute trained 60 of them. With just 0.11% of elected positions held by LGBTQ people, it has ambitions to build an even bigger Rainbow Wave.

    According to Out for America, here's their summary list:

    1 Governor
    2 US Senators
    8 US Congressional Members
    3 Statewide Officials
    38 Mayors
    122 State Legislators
    309 Local
    98 Judicial Members

    According to their interactive map, California leads with 104, followed by Washington State with 33, and Pennsylvania with 30. Then New York with 27 and both Illinois and Florida with 26.

    Four states still have 0 LGBT members at any level: Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Dakota, while 3 states have just one: Alabama, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

  • 29. VIRick  |  November 17, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    LGBT Members of Central American Caravan Marry in Tijuana

    Per Daniel Alvarenga:

    A queer Honduran-Guatemalan couple from the caravan got married today, 17 November 2018 (in Tijuana).

    Per Sarah Kinosian‏:

    Congrats to Erick and Pedro! The first LGBT couple of 7 from the migrant caravan to get married today. A short video is attached, showing part of the ceremony:

    Meanwhile, (as but one example,) the elders from the town of Pijijiapan, Chiapas, in southern Mexico continue taking it up upon themselves to welcome and aid Central American refugees on the exodus/caravan. This is solidarity, with the constant refrain, "Today it is them, but tomorrow it could be us." Daniel Alvarenga, who is Salvadoran, has produced a video in which he lets the people of Pijijiapan speak.

    At the same time, within the past several days, another 40,000 people from Nicaragua, fleeing the political violence there, just poured across the border into Costa Rica. Whenever necessary, most Nicaraguans flee in that direction, not only because of the proximity, but also because refuge in Costa Rica is far more secure, especially for LGBT individuals.

  • 30. ianbirmingham  |  November 17, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    House conservatives protest LGBT protection in Mexico-Canada trade deal

    “A trade agreement is no place for the adoption of social policy,” reads the letter, which carries the names of 40 lawmakers and was sent Friday. … It’s unclear whether the LGBT clauses even have real teeth. Both Canada and the U.S. agree it wouldn’t require a new law. But it’s unprecedented language in a U.S. trade agreement.

    USMCA’s Chapter 23 on labor requires countries to implement policies that protect workers against employment discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. Another provision in the same chapter requires countries to promote workplace equality with respect to gender identity and sexual orientation.

    The conservatives say this would undo other administration policies. The letter argues that USMCA contradicts other administration work on sexual orientation and gender identity, and would also make it impossible to end a pair of executive actions from the Obama administration forbidding workplace discrimination. …

    In reality, the federal government is somewhat divided about whether employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is illegal under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, a question that turns on how judges interpret the word “sex” (one of the law’s protected classes, along with race, religion, and national origin).

    Under the Obama administration, the Justice Department said that “sex” included sexual orientation and gender identity, and that discrimination on those bases was therefore illegal. After Trump was elected and Jeff Sessions became attorney general, the department reverted to the position that the 1964 law did not bar discrimination against LGBT individuals. In addition, the Justice and Education departments, in a two-page guidance letter to schools, scrapped an Obama directive aimed at protecting the rights of transgender students.

    But the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which continues to retain a Democratic majority, still adheres to the Obama policy that the Civil Rights Act outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Federal appeals courts are split on the question, and the Supreme Court has never taken up the matter.

    Earlier this year, Trump issued orders to ban transgender troops who require surgery or significant medical treatment from serving in the military except in select cases — following through on a pledge under review by the Pentagon that is being fought out in the courts.

  • 31. Fortguy  |  November 17, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    Andrew Gillum has conceded the Florida governor's race to Ron DeSantis.

  • 32. VIRick  |  November 17, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    California: A Sixth House Seat for the Democrats

    As of the close of vote counting for 17 November 2018, CA-39 has been declared in favor of the Democrat, Gil Cisneros, the sixth seat the Democrats have gained in California, and the third in Orange County, once the bastion of the Republicans. Statewide, of California's 53 seats, 45 are now Democratic, and only 8 remain Republican, all well inland, either in the Central Valley or in the eastern desert along the Nevada state line, in one continuous stripe stretching from Oregon to Arizona. Oddly, that low-population, extended red area must occupy at least half of the geographic area of the state.

    Overall, this win gives the Democrats 232 seats, a gain of 37, while the Republicans still have 198. Only 5 seats remain undecided:

    NY-22, D, by 0.8%
    UT-4, R, by 0.16%
    GA-7, R, by 0.4%
    TX-23, R, by 0.5%
    NY-27, R, by 0.9%

    Nationwide, in the 2018 mid-terms, there have now been 55,218,626 votes cast (and counted) for the Democrats (51.9%) and 49,265,585 for the Republicans (46.3%). The remaining 1.8% of votes were cast for third party candidates.

  • 33. Fortguy  |  November 17, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Democrat Gil Cisneros has defeated Republican Young Kim in California's CD-39 making Orange County, land of Nixon's and Reagan's Western Whitehouses, entirely blue.

  • 34. scream4ever  |  November 18, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Also, CA-21 may be in play again as Valandao's lead has shrunk with many outstanding votes left to come in, primarily from areas which are friendly to his Democratic opponent.

  • 35. VIRick  |  November 18, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    CA-21: Fresno County Up-Date Boosts Cox

    A Fresno County election update posted late Friday, 16 November, has kept Fresno Democrat TJ Cox within striking distance of Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, in their race for California’s 21st District congressional seat.

    Valadao had 49,707 votes (51.1%) to Cox’s 47,724 (48.9%), an advantage of 1,983 votes, or 2.2%.

    Using the interactive state map accompanying this article, one also needs to make a correction/clarification. There are 7 congressional districts which are fully or partially within Orange County. All 7 are now blue, 4 of which have just flipped, CA-39, CA-45, CA-48, and CA-49. Three districts are entirely within the county, CA-45, CA-46, and CA-48, while one is shared with San Diego County, CA-49. Two others are shared with Los Angeles County, CA-38 and CA-47, while CA-39 is shared with both Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties.

  • 36. VIRick  |  November 18, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Florida: US Senate Race Is Over

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott has won the close and tense Florida race for US Senate over incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson after a hand recount ended at noon on Sunday, 18 November 2018. The state is slated to certify the results on Tuesday, 20 November, putting to bed a messy post-election dispute involving a dozen lawsuits, claims of fraud, allegations of disenfranchisement, and rowdy protests.

    The official results Sunday put Scott, a Republican, up 50.05% to 49.93% over Nelson, a Democrat. That represents a difference of about 10,000 votes in a race where well over 8 million people voted.

    Florida began the hand recount in the Senate race on Thursday, 15 November, after a mechanical recount showed the race was so close that a manual recount would be necessary under state law. The mechanical recount showed Scott up over Nelson by fewer than 12,603 votes, or 0.15%. A 0.25% margin is all that's necessary to trigger an automatic hand recount.

    With Scott's arrival, both of Florida's senators will be Republicans. His vote will give Republicans a 52 vote margin, with a Mississippi race, the last to be decided, to be determined by a runoff.

  • 37. allan120102  |  November 18, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    Hundreds of ss wedding are ocurring in brasil after bolsonaro win many are doing at protest others are doing because they are scare there right is going to be take away.

  • 38. VIRick  |  November 19, 2018 at 11:38 am

    If worse comes to worse, Uruguay will continue to marry any/all couples who present themselves to the proper authorities there, regardless of citizenship/residency. So will Argentina. In fact, many same-sex couples from Brasil have been marrying in Uruguay all along.

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