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Happy holidays open thread


Happy holidays everyone! This is an open thread. We’ll be back next week.


  • 1. allan120102  |  December 25, 2018 at 2:07 pm


  • 2. VIRick  |  December 25, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Thailand: Cabinet Approves Same-Sex Civil Partnership Bill

    The cabinet has approved the civil partnership bill, paving the way for Thailand to become the first country in Asia to endorse same-sex marriage. In the current version of the bill, same-sex couples may adopt children, Nathporn Chatusripitak, an adviser to the Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, said on Tuesday, 25 December 2018. (An earlier draft of the legislation, released for public comment on 5 November 2018, had not included adoption provisions.) They must be at least 20 years old and one of them must have Thai nationality.

    The union ends by death, voluntary separation, or court order. In terms of assets and estate, the Civil and Commercial Code will apply mutatis mutandis (once the necessary changes have been made), making the union very similar to that of heterosexual couples.

    The bill will next go to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA). If it is passed, it will be announced in the Royal Gazette and will take effect 120 days later.

  • 3. VIRick  |  December 28, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Japan: 10 Same-Sex Couples to Sue Government over Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News and Rex Wockner:

    Ten same-sex couples will jointly file lawsuits against the government in February for not recognizing marriage equality, their lawyers said Friday, 28 December 2018. The couples argue that the government’s position on same-sex marriage flouts equality under the law and freedom of marriage as protected in the Constitution. Article 24 of the Constitution states, “Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes.”

    The couples, who are seeking compensation, will simultaneously file suits in district courts throughout the country, including Tokyo and Nagoya.

    The government has indicated that it interprets the constitutional phrasing to apply only to heterosexual couples, while the lawyers working for the couples argue that some legal scholars do not see it as prohibiting same-sex marriage. The government also argues that the term “husband and wife” used in the civic law and in the family registration law indicates a man and a woman, and thus it cannot accept marriage applications from gay and lesbian couples.

  • 4. VIRick  |  December 28, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Myanmar: End of Year Review of LGBT Rights

    Per "Myanmar Times:"

    Legal marriage for same-sex couples remains a distant wish in Myanmar, which scores very poorly on international LGBT rights indicators. On paper, homosexual acts remain illegal and there is no official recognition of same-sex relationships, much less acceptance of public displays of affection. In practice, cultural shifts are seeing LGBT culture and individuals enjoying more freedom and public limelight with special events, organizational work, dance parties, advocacy, and public education making some headway against the "old ways."

    There have, in fact, been a few cases of couples declaring their marriage outside the definition of the law, which has attracted controversy, but which needed attention. Two women in Pyay City held a ceremony to celebrate their lives in 2017. Gay relationships are becoming more visible, according to U Aung Myo Min, Executive Director of Equality Myanmar.

    Section 377 of the penal code, dealing with “unnatural” sexual acts, and a direct colonial inheritance from Myanmar's once having been an integral part of the British Raj, still remains on the books and carries sentences ranging from 10 years to life. Despite the fact the law is not used in practice (and has been declared unconstitutional in India), its existence casts a long shadow over LGBT people across Myanmar. The infamous “Darkness Law,” however, which prohibits the donning of a disguise during the nighttime hours, is allegedly habitually used by the police to arrest and brutalise trans-women.

  • 5. VIRick  |  December 28, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Austria: Marriage Equality Begins on Tuesday

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Marriage equality begins in Austria on Tuesday, 1 January 2019. It will become the 26th independent nation with marriage equality.

    The Constitutional Court of Austria struck down the ban on marriage equality on 5 December 2017, and at the same time, also extended the nation's same-sex registered-partnership law to include opposite-sex couples. Said ruling takes effect on 1 January 2019. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit that led to the ruling were allowed to marry earlier.

  • 6. VIRick  |  December 28, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    San Luis Potosí: Legislative Progress on Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Con el fin de dar salida a la iniciativa de matrimonios igualitarios en la Comisión de Derechos Humanos en el Congreso local, el diputado Pedro César Carrizales Becerra (PT), señaló que el tema se tratará durante la primera reunión de dicha comisión – la cual preside – en 2019.

    Deputy Pedro César Carrizales Becerra (PT), in order to pave the way for the initiative on marriage equality in the Human Rights Commission in the state Congress, said that the issue will be discussed during the first meeting of the commission – which he chairs – in 2019.

    Note: Morena, together with its pro-LGBT allies, PRD and PT, control a majority of the seats in the San Luis Potosí state legislature.

  • 7. VIRick  |  December 28, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    US House: NC-9 Seat to Remain Vacant

    Per "Washington Post:"

    On Friday, 28 December 2018, incoming House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said that Democrats next week will not seat a North Carolina Republican amid allegations of election fraud in the state’s 9th Congressional District.

    “Given the now well-documented election fraud that took place in NC-9, Democrats would object to any attempt by Mark Harris to be seated on 3 January,” Hoyer said in a statement to The Washington Post. “In this instance, the integrity of our democratic process outweighs concerns about the seat being vacant at the start of the new Congress.”

  • 8. VIRick  |  December 28, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    Maine: LePage Grudgingly Certifies Election Results in ME-2

    Per Maine Public Radio:

    On 28 December 2018, outgoing Gov. LePage finally certified the results of the election in Maine’s Second Congressional District. The governor tweeted a photo of the certificate naming Jared Golden, D, as Maine’s next congressman for that district.

    However, as an extremely cheap shot, and in the most tasteless manner possible, the photo shows that the governor also wrote “Stolen election” next to his signature on the certificate. Congressman-elect Jared Golden will begin his term on 3 January 2019.

  • 9. VIRick  |  December 28, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    Mexico's Daily Reminder to the USA

    Per México:

    Daily Reminder: We have not paid one penny for a wall and OUR government remains OPEN!

  • 10. VIRick  |  December 29, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Montenegro: Cabinet Approves Draft LGBT Life Partnership Law

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 27 December 2018, the Government of Montenegro passed the Draft Law on the Life Partnership of Same-Sex Partners, Blanka Radosevic Marovic, Director-General at the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, said at a press conference following the Cabinet session.

  • 11. VIRick  |  December 29, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    Michigan: Governor Signs Directive Banning LGBT Discrimination

    With only a few days remaining to his term of office, on 28 December 2018, Michigan’s governor has signed a directive to prevent LGBT discrimination. The executive order signed by Republican governor Rick Snyder will mean that companies seeking contracts, loans or grants from the state of Michigan must agree not to discriminate against LGBT employees.
    After eight years, Snyder will be succeeded as governor on 1 January 2019 by Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, a long-time advocate of LGBT rights. The executive order, which is effective immediately, will require state departments and agencies to include language in contracts prohibiting anyone from hiring or firing on the basis of “religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, height, weight, familial status, marital status, or a disability or genetic information.”

    The directive includes an exception for non-profit religious hate-group organizations, such as churches.

  • 12. VIRick  |  December 29, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    First Same-Sex Marriage in San Martín Texmelucan, Puebla; Mayor Invites More

    El sábado, el 29 de diciembre 2018, se celebra el primer matrimonio igualitario en San Martín Texmelucan. La ceremonia civil contó con la presencia de la alcaldesa Norma Layón, quien celebró el matrimonio. Después, la antigua hacienda de San Cristóbal Polaxtla fue el escenario de la primera boda igualitaria del municipio de San Martín Texmelucan, donde Antonio y Fernando firmaron el pacto de amor.

    La alcaldesa texmeluquense, en entrevista con los medios, señaló que espera que no sea la única boda que realice, e invitó a las parejas del mismo sexo a que acudan a este municipio a realizar la propia, ya que externó que son un gobierno incluyente.

    On Saturday, 29 December 2018, the first same-sex marriage was celebrated in San Martín Texmelucan. The civil ceremony was attended by the mayor Norma Layón, who performed the marriage ceremony. Afterward, the old hacienda of San Cristóbal Polaxtla was the scene of the first egalitarian wedding in the municipality of San Martín Texmelucan, where Antonio and Fernando signed the pact of love.

    The mayor of Texmelucan, in an interview with the media, said that she hopes that this will not be the only marriage over which she presides, and invited same-sex couples to come to this municipality for their own marriages, since she said that they are an inclusive government.

    San Martín Texmelucan de Labastida is a city in the west-central part of the state of Puebla in Mexico, adjacent to the southwest corner of the state of Tlaxcala. The city is the fifth largest in the state of Puebla, with a population of 135,500 inhabitants.

  • 13. VIRick  |  December 29, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Kansas: Certificate of Election, KS-3

    Sharice Davids just tweeted that her certificate of election arrived today, 29 December 2018, via Special Delivery:

    I, Kris W. Kobach, Secretary of State of the State of Kansas, do hereby certify that at the General Election held in the State of Kansas on the 6th of November in the year 2018, Sharice Davids was duly elected to the office of US House of Representatives, District 3.

  • 14. allan120102  |  December 31, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Now parties are starting to support ssm

  • 15. VIRick  |  December 31, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Pakistan: First-Ever Transgender Rights March

    Trans people in Pakistan have called on the government to implement legal protections, as they staged the country’s first-ever Transgender Pride march in Lahore, Pakistan, on 29 December 2018, with transgender campaigners calling on the government to push ahead with reforms. According to Pakistan’s "Express Tribune" newspaper, the campaigners pressed the government to actually implement the transgender rights reforms that were already passed by the legislature earlier in 2018.

    The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, passed by Pakistan’s Parliament in May 2018, allows people to self-identify as male, female, or non-binary, and to have that identity recorded on official documents, including passports and ID cards. It guarantees citizens the right to a gender identity defined as “a person’s innermost and individual sense of self” that can “correspond or not to the sex assigned at birth.”

    The bill also prohibits discrimination in public places, including schools, hospitals, and on public transport, and ensures trans citizens are given the right to vote in elections and to run for office. But despite the legislation, transgender people still face extreme hostility in Pakistani society.

    Despite advances for transgender people in Pakistan, it is still illegal to be gay in the country under a British Colonial-era law (Section 377, identical to that of India) that has never been repealed. Under the law, people who have gay sex can technically be jailed for up to ten years, while gay people have no legal protections from discrimination. Despite the decriminalization of gay sex in neighboring India, attempts to address the issue in Pakistan have gained little traction.

  • 16. VIRick  |  December 31, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Rob Salerno: Where We Stand in 2018

    Per Rob Salerno (of LGBT Marriage News):

    Rob has prepared an excellent, extended Marriage Equality/LGBT Rights summary, highlighting worldwide progress in both spheres, very thoroughly covering just about every significant development in every country around the globe, complete with prospects for further progress in multiple jurisdictions on into 2019.

    Among the many new factual developments (among items we missed), I learned:

    1. In Estonia, several new pro-LGBT court cases were favorably decided, namely: In 2018, the courts in Estonia sought to bring clarity to the law, where a same-sex registered partnership bill was passed in 2016, but without any accompanying regulations to bring it into force (and which the current government now refuses to enact). In April 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that the law is in fact in force, and same-sex couples can be registered. In September 2018, courts further clarified an earlier ruling that required Estonia to recognize foreign same-sex marriages by finding that this did indeed confer residency rights on LGBT spouses (in compliance with the ECJ ruling).

    2. In Japan, a host of additional cities have established same-sex partnership registries, namely: Fukuoka, Osaka, Chiba, Toshima, Nakano, Fuchu, Kumamoto, and Yokosuka (the latter five all taking effect in 2019). Partnership registries are also under consideration in: Saitama, Yokohama, Abashiri, Hachiōji, Hannō, Iruma, Kamakura, Kawagoe, Kawasaki, Kazo, Moroyama, Sakado, and in the Tokyo wards of Arakawa, Bunkyō, Chiyoda, Chūō, Katsushika, Kita, Kōtō, Nerima, Sumida, and Taitō.

    3. Additional pro-LGBT laws were passed in Malta (allowing LGBT couples access to assisted reproduction), Finland (extending automatic parental recognition to LGBT couples), and Greece (allowing LGBT couples to foster children).

    One can read all the details here:

  • 17. VIRick  |  January 1, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Wisconsin: Trans Workers Now Covered for Surgery; Scott Walker Out

    Wisconsin will now cover gender confirmation surgery for state employees. Beginning from 1 January 2019, the state’s Group Insurance Board will cover hormone and gender confirmation surgery after debating the issue for more than two years, according to Wisconsin Public Radio.

    The board first decided to take such procedures off its exclusions list in 2016, but Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican with a consistently homophobic and transphobic record, demanded the state reverse course. However, a federal judge earlier this year said no legal reason existed to deny surgery coverage to two state employees suing the state, according to the Milwaukee "Journal Sentinel."

    While that lawsuit pertained to just those plaintiffs, Judge William Conley suggested a lawsuit demanding all state employees be allowed coverage for surgery would likely succeed. Furthermore, as that case played out, the Group Insurance Board in August reversed its previous decision and removed its exclusion on the surgeries.

    As for Walker, voters tossed him out in the November election, instead electing Democrat Tony Evers, who ran with the strong endorsement of pro-equality groups, including the Human Rights Campaign.

  • 18. VIRick  |  January 1, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Two Austrian Women Celebrate Country's First Same-Sex Marriage

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Two Austrian women were the first same-sex couple to officially marry in the predominantly Catholic country, following years of legal challenges from gay rights groups. Public broadcaster ORF reported Tuesday, 1 January 2019, that Nicole Kopaunik and Daniela Paier wed in a ceremony in Velden, southern Austria, shortly after midnight. The couple, both 37, had reportedly been engaged for four years.

    Austria's constitutional court ruled in 2017 that same-sex couples should have the right to marry from 1 January 2019. Previously, same-sex couples could only enter into a registered partnership that granted fewer rights than marriage.

  • 19. VIRick  |  January 1, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Venezuela: Death of an LGBT Activist

    Per Venezuela Igualitaria:

    Hacemos llegar nuestras condolencias a Raymer Díaz por el triste fallecimiento de su esposo, quien casados en Argentina desde hace 5 años, nuestro querido Edwin Erminy. Esta pareja de venezolanos nos acompañó en la entrega del Proyecto de Ley de Matrimonio Igualitario a la Asamblea Nacional el 31/01/2014.

    We send our condolences to Raymer Díaz upon the sad death of his husband, our beloved Edwin Erminy, who were married in Argentina 5 years ago. This pair of Venezuelans accompanied us on the delivery of the Marriage Equality Law Project to the National Assembly on 31 January 2014.

  • 20. VIRick  |  January 1, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Governador de Nuevo México, Michelle Luján Grisham, después de 1 de enero 2019.

    Governor of New Mexico, Michelle Luján Grisham, since 1 January 2019.


    Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, since 1 January 2019.

  • 21. bayareajohn  |  January 1, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    I think that's the wrong link.

  • 22. Fortguy  |  January 1, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Also, in Spanish, Grisham was identified by the wrong gender just like the haters do to trans people. As a former Gobernador de Texas once said, "Oops!"

  • 23. VIRick  |  January 1, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    The reference is further down in that thread about Austria and same-sex marriage. Scroll down and look for a comment made by Blake J. Butler. Otherwise, look here:

    Also, it is "La Gobernadora de Nuevo México."

    And here:

    Both were sworn in today.

  • 24. allan120102  |  January 2, 2019 at 12:41 am

    Bolsonaro is now the president of Brazil and in its speech he promise God will be above everything. He promise brazil will take out the inmorality that has reach the country and during his mandate it will be a country of morals. He discribe himself as a fighter against gender ideology and will be eliminate of Brazil along with socialism. same sex marriages continue to increase in Brazil as ss couples are rushing to get married before parliament could pass a law against ssm. Some describe him worse than trump in this issue.

  • 25. guitaristbl  |  January 2, 2019 at 4:32 am

    He has evaded mentioning marriage equality directly and has backtracked already on the paris agreement withdrawal as well. He lacks the global standing the US and trump enjoy to engage in grand standing. We ll see what happens. Wont be positive but one can hope things can be kept under control.

  • 26. VIRick  |  January 2, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Brasil has always seen itself as being the next USA, even naming itself accordingly when the 13 former Portuguese colonies, some free, some slave, united to form the original 13 states of Os Estados Unidos do Brasil, and basically, copied the US Constitution, but as translated into Portuguese. Of course, the parallel between the two can only go so far before it begins to break down. And as Guitar already mentioned, Brasil's lack of global standing on the world stage is definitely one major difference.

    The plethora of political parties in Brasil (like in Chile), coupled with the fact that his own party is not a major one, will slow Bolsonaro down quite dramatically when it comes to any legislative enactments attempting to overturn the favorable court rulings for marriage equality and gender identity. (His use of gender ideology is telling, too, as that is a manufactured term invented as an ugly substitute by the haters in Paraguay.) He is also in a lather against "criminals," socialists/communists, and immigrants. The latter should be read as his being anti-African/Middle Eastern, despite his own Italian immigrant background. His second lather is due to the fact that the bulk of his most vocal political opposition is made up of socialists/communists. And the first would otherwise be considered nothing more than ignorant, standard-fare right-wing hoopla, except that his definition of what constitutes a "criminal" is quite broad and far-reaching.

    And here's another issue: Afro-brasileiros who practice the religious cult of West African origin called candomblé (akin to vodun in Haiti or santería in Puerto Rico/Cuba), are livid over Bolsonaro's exclusion of their religious values when he speechifies about his brand of morality. Although it is most widely-practiced in the poverty-stricken, Afro-majority north-east, I have personally attended candomblé ceremonies in both Bahia and São Paulo, as well as took notice of its symbolic highway markings near Santos. And then, there's the second Afro-based cult, of Angolan origin, found mostly in the Rio area, called umbanda. And a third, found mostly in urban favelas, called quimbanda or macumba. In the Pernambuco area, there is a fourth quite feverish cult called frevo, as well as its knife-wielding "religious" companion, the traditional Angolan martial arts cult of capoeira. All of this, in combination, will be working against him.

  • 27. Fortguy  |  January 2, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    Mauricio Savarese, Associated Press: Brazil’s Bolsonaro targets minorities on 1st day in office

    SAO PAULO (AP) — Newly installed President Jair Bolsonaro targeted Brazil’s indigenous groups, descendants of slaves and the LGBT community with executive orders in the first hours of his administration, moving quickly after a campaign in which the far-right leader said he would radically overhaul many aspects of life in Latin America’s largest nation.


    One of the orders issued late Tuesday, hours after Bolsonaro’s inauguration, likely will make it all but impossible for new lands to be identified and demarcated for indigenous communities. Areas set aside for “Quilombolas,” as descendants of former slaves are known, are also affected by the decision.

    Another order removed the concerns of the LGBT community from consideration by the new human rights ministry.


    In removing LGBT concerns from the responsibilities of the human rights ministry, Bolsonaro did not name any agency to consider such issues. He has strongly criticized what he calls “gender-based ideology,” saying it is a threat to Brazil’s Christian values.

    Damares Alves, the new human rights minister, did not discuss the LGBT order in her first address on the job, but the evangelical pastor has insisted over the years that “the Brazilian family is being threatened” by diversity policies.

    On Wednesday, she said: “The state is lay, but this minister is terribly Christian.”

    Under the new administration, Alves added, “Girls will be princesses and boys will be princes. There will be no more ideological indoctrination of children and teenagers in Brazil.”

    LGBT activist Symmy Larrat said she doesn’t’ expect reasonable treatment from the Bolsonaro administration.

    “The human rights ministry discussed our concerns at a body called secretariat of promotion and defense of human rights. That body just disappeared, just like that. We don’t see any signs there will be any other government infrastructure to handle LGBT issues,” she said.

    The newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported that Bolsonaro will later announce the closing of an agency within the Education Ministry that has been aimed at promoting diversity in public schools and universities.

    New Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo indirectly criticized the LGBT community as being “those that say they are not men and women.”

    Although I posted all the relevant portions of the article dealing with LGBT issues among the executive orders of the new Brazilian president, the longer article should be read. It goes into greater detail of the orders' assault on the dignity and lack of decency and basic human respect for other marginalized peoples in Brazil in order to accommodate monied and evangelical interests.

  • 28. FredDorner  |  January 3, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Bolsonaro is following Trump's playbook……gut civil rights protections for minorities in order to pander to superstitious bigots.

  • 29. allan120102  |  January 3, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Even though marriage rights are important and one important goal. We should not let aside the lgbt protections. In some countries this protections are more important than marriage because of the blantant homophobia and transphobia. We need to remember that Brasil has one of the highest murder rates to the lgbt community and Bolsonaro stripping this rights its like giving green rights to homophobes just to appease there suppose 'Christian' minds.

  • 30. VIRick  |  January 3, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Some notes about the quilombolas (or cafuzos) and their remote, hidden settlements, the quilombos. These people are the descendants of escaped, runaway African slaves, many of whom have mixed and blended in with the indigenous people. The first such runaway settlements occurred in Pernambuco in the 1600s, but today many more live further inland, up the riverine tributaries in the states of Maranhão, Pará, and Tocantins. I have visited several quilombo communities even further inland along the Amazon in Amazonas state.

    Rule #1 when visiting a quilombo: Do not touch or "take" anything, as these are very poor people (also watch your toes for piranha if foolish enough to be wading ashore). Their huts have no doors, but if anything is missing, they will hunt down the offender and kill them. That's the rule; respect it, as one is on their territory.

    On a larger scale, this same rule applies to any potential land-grab. They have resisted for hundreds of years, and are extremely fierce in defending themselves against outside encroachment. They will hunt down the offending intruder(s) and kill them. Again, that's the rule. Respect it or die.

    Similarly, along the new road connecting Manaus with Roraima and Venezuela, the indigenous people resisted its construction, first by attacking and killing the construction workers, and then, once the road was open, by attacking stray Volkswagens driving along it. They would not take any material goods from the vehicle,– only its occupants, who were then never heard from again. As a result, the army was forced to organize armed weekly convoys to escort vehicles wishing to traverse the new road. Needless to say, I stayed within Manaus with my rented VW, and only ventured out as far as the convoy assembly point.

    Another incident; One day, we were on the Solimões traversing a flooded forest in a dugout, when we spotted a motionless group of indigenous people, also in dugouts, lurking in the reeds with raised bows and arrows, attempting to hide their presence. For a brief instant, I thought we were all dead, thinking we had accidentally violated some unknown taboo, like invading their territory without invitation. But nothing dreadful occurred, and we continued on, in the direction of Perú.

    According to the current 1988 Constitution of Brasil (the re-written one, after the end of the military dictatorship), the quilombolas were granted and guaranteed the rights to their land, rights that were re-affirmed by a Supreme Court ruling as recently as 8 February 2018. By government estimate, there could be as many as 16 million quilombola people in Brasil.

    And then, there are the even more-numerous caboclos, (including those who rescued me from my close encounter with a giant anaconda, during which I saved my life by screaming like a little girl,) but I will hold that adventure for another thread, perhaps when I describe the horrors of the Belem market with the hordes of hungry hooded vultures scrabbling over the discarded carrion.

  • 31. allan120102  |  January 2, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Sinaloa to get marriage equality this month….. Finally.

  • 32. VIRick  |  January 2, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    Japan: Opposition Party to Seek Code Revisions to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP) has solidified plans to submit to the ordinary session of the Diet in 2019 revisions to the Civil Code and other related laws to provide same-sex couples the same marriage rights as heterosexual unions. The CDP has already decided to support sexual minority candidates in the House of Councillors elections next summer, and the party hopes to further carve out its support base with the planned political move.

    The Japanese government does not recognize same-sex marriage on the basis of a Family Registry Act provision that "a family register shall be created for each unit consisting of a husband and wife, and any children thereof with the same surname," and other related laws. However, there are many constitutional scholars who point out that Article 24 of the Constitution, which states that "marriage shall be based on the mutual consent of both sexes," does not prohibit the legalization of same-sex marriage.

    The CDP has two options for recognizing same-sex marriage in the "marriage" section of the Civil Code, or creating a new "partnership system" that extends the same rights as married couples to same-sex common-law marriages. The party intends to finalize its revision plan within the next ordinary session of the Diet.

  • 33. VIRick  |  January 2, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    New York City: Non-Binary Birth Certificate Option in Effect from Today

    A measure passed by the New York City Council last September went into effect from today, 2 January 2019, to allow birth certificates to be updated with one of three options: M, F, or X.

    Additionally, transgender New Yorkers no longer need a letter from a doctor to correct the gender on their birth certificates. Instead, it’s enough to bring in a notarized affidavit that explains that the gender marker needs to be updated to affirm one’s gender identity.

    “Transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers deserve the right to choose how they identify and to live with respect and dignity,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement.

    Note: Unlike most other states, New York State and New York City keep separate birth information records. This new measure only applies to the 5 boroughs of the City.

  • 34. VIRick  |  January 2, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    India: Two Lesbians Divorce Husbands, Marry Each Other

    Two lesbian women in India who were separated by their families and forced into arranged marriages have divorced their husbands and married each other in a symbolic ceremony. The brides from the northern town of Hamirpur, who are 24 and 26 and have not been named for their own protection, traded garlands in a (Hindu) temple ceremony which has not been recognized by authorities, according to the "Hindustan Times."
    Despite India not having legalized same-sex marriage, the newlyweds were optimistic about the future after their wedding on 28 December 2018, with one saying: “Our lawyer has told us that since the Supreme Court has done away with Section 377, we can stay together. No one can trouble us. We have been living together as a couple for some time now.”

  • 35. allan120102  |  January 3, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Hong kong legal challenge against ssm has been made public.

  • 36. VIRick  |  January 3, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Hong Kong: First Lawsuits Directly Challenging Same-Sex Marriage Ban

    Per LGBT Marriage News and Rex Wockner:

    Two Hong Kong gay men have launched the first legal bids challenging the city for not allowing them to get married, it was revealed during a court hearing on Thursday, 3 January 2019. The two men have mounted the first legal challenges to Hong Kong laws banning same-sex marriage, with the court giving both applications the green light to proceed.

    The two separate legal challenges were brought by a 21-year-old University of Hong Kong student, known as TF, and a 31-year-old activist, known as STK, who argued in the High Court that the lack of options for same-sex couples to get married violated their right to equality under the city’s Bill of Rights and mini-constitution, the Basic Law.

  • 37. VIRick  |  January 3, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    Northern Marianas: Three Times More Same-Sex Marriages than Church Marriages

    Per Rex Wockner:

    The "Saipan Tribune" learned over the weekend that the Saipan Mayor’s Office has been recording more same-sex marriages compared to church marriages in the first three quarters of 2018, mirroring the same trend in 2017 within the same time period.

    From January through September 2018 alone, the mayor’s office conducted a total of 96 same-sex marriages—59 same-sex female marriages and 37 same-sex male marriages. Within the same time span, the office recorded only 31 church marriages.

    In 2015, when same-sex marriage became legal in the CNMI, only 12 same-sex couples were married as per the mayor’s office data. The year 2016 had 30, while in 2017 the number jumped to 75 marriages, before peaking at the current data for 2018 with 96. The numbers reflect only the span from January to September.

    Altogether, the Saipan Mayor’s Office collected over $7.5 million from January through September 2018 from issuing marriage licenses.

    Note: The Northern Marianas (Saipan in particular) has become a "hot spot" for same-sex couples from East Asia who wish to legally marry.

  • 38. VIRick  |  January 3, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    Indian Lesbian Wins Right to Leave Husband

    Indian courts say a woman who left her husband to live with another woman had the right to pursue whatever relationship she chooses. On 3 January 2019, the Delhi High Court decided that a woman could not be compelled to stay with her marital partner and had “inalienable human and fundamental rights” of her own, as reported by "The Indian Express."

    High Court justices wrote in a decision that the “expression of the woman’s choice to reside with her 'friend' is strictly within the ambit of inalienable human and fundamental rights that she is entitled to as part and parcel of the basic freedoms enshrined, guaranteed, and protected by the Constitution of India.”

    The landmark decision allowing a woman agency over whom she chooses to live with marks a step forward in women’s rights in the nation and also a stride forward in recognizing the fundamental right of individuals to pursue same-sex relationships over the objection of family members.

  • 39. Dexi22  |  January 3, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    What will 2019 bring in the way of marriage equality? Given the slowdown last year I think a realistic view is: Taiwan in May and Czech Republic by June and Cayman Islands by end of year. If your feeling optimistic then add Northern Ireland, 2-5 more Mexican states, Switzerland, Ecuador. Winning in all those countries is going to be hard enough, let alone other more recalcitrant jurisdictions we hope to claim in the next few years (like all the IACHR countries, remaining holdouts in Western Europe/UK territories and Israel). Just my two cents

  • 40. scream4ever  |  January 3, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    I think Northern Ireland will be the next Germany, in the after struggling for years it will end up happening very fast at the end (if nothing else due to the Bermuda litigation).

    Switzerland probably won't have it until 2020 or 2021 as their legislative process is among the slowest in the world.

  • 41. allan120102  |  January 3, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Finally the discussion of the project for ssm is expect to debate in the constitutional committee and is expect to pass in a 3-2 vote. If it reach the senate it has at least 24 votes out of 43 possible. Hopefully it moves faster.

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